Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 25, 2013

Syria: The Mask Is Off

It was quite obvious from the very beginning of the protests and insurgency violence in Syria that the violent part was done by sectarian Sunni Jihadists aligned groups who's aim were to implement an Islamic state. Every name of the "brigades" that announced their youtube existence was taken from some famous Sunni hero, historic event or other sectarian religious scheme. The "western" media tried their best to avoid noticing such and for two and a half years continued to talk about "democratic" and "peaceful" "protesters".

But now the mask is finally off:

A collection of some of Syria's most powerful rebel brigades have rejected a Western-backed opposition group that announced the creation of an interim government in exile this month.

The 13 rebel groups, led by the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, also called on supporters of the Syrian opposition to embrace Sharia law "and make it the sole source of legislation."

The new group includes many who were until now members of the openly U.S. supported Free Syrian Army and include the very "democratic" folks Senator John McCain met at the Turkish-Syrian border.

Who does the Obama administration suggest should now sit on the opposition side to negotiate with the Syrian government in Geneva? Neither the exile National Syrian Council nor the exile Supreme Military Command have any control over or traction with the groups fighting against the Syrian government. And how will the Obama administration justify further support for these groups?

Obama will not yet abandon his aim of destructing the Syrian state but pursuing this aim is becoming more and more indefensible.

Posted by b on September 25, 2013 at 16:43 UTC | Permalink

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either i am particularly stupid or the accord is extremely oblique

i cannot see how russia can permit any essential compromise on its initial position

for her, there is so much to lose

being a greedy bugger i am awaiting b's meditation on what the ukranians & the e u/americans are attempting to do together

they really want to end up like greece

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Sep 27 2013 20:35 utc | 101

"Surely, this kind of stuff - false flags - isn't new, "

Nope - and it's fine if I refer to "Gladio", Aldo Moro and the red brigades for example. But they're all safely in the past and the past as we know is a foreign country, and anyway "we don't do things like that anymore", right?

Any one pointing it out in the here-and-now is obviously just one tin-foil-hat short of a full-smelter

Posted by: hmm | Sep 27 2013 20:35 utc | 102

i cannot see how russia can permit any essential compromise on its initial position

They cannot

which is why the US position is actually stronger than people think

Posted by: hmm | Sep 27 2013 20:36 utc | 103

UN Security Council unanimously adopts Syria resolution – RT, September 28, 2013 00:17 (UTC)
The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution outlining the details of taking under international control and eventually destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 28 2013 0:24 utc | 104

@103 Your praise for US strategy is bizarre.

By what definition is the US position is strong? Their "strength" is the ability to make the world imagine that they can simply lay waste to a region and remain impervious to the consequences? Their strength is that they can threaten it again at any moment? Everyone knows that even if they destroy Syria, they won't survive the fire that follows. That's the strength of your average suicide bomber - no more.

The real strength is being showed by the Syrians, Iranians, and Russians. They are showing to be sand that which has been the bedrock of US policy for the better part of 70 years - that strength comes only through military power.

What is important is the survival of Syria as a sovereign multi-ethnic country, the defeat of the "rebels", Israeli, KSA, US/UK/Fr plans, and the continued support to Hezbollah. This they seem to have secured and secured it through peace and firmness.

If Chomsky is right (and I think he is) that the world is now simply a dual between two superpowers - the United States and world public opinion - then the Resistance has just taken the leadership of the latter and handed the US its greatest defeat since the "end of history" began.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28 2013 0:44 utc | 105

Honestly, if it wasn't so damn bloody, serious and threatening, US Syria policy would remind me mostly of the comedy of "Blazing Saddles":

"Next man makes a move, the n*gger gets it!"

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28 2013 0:55 utc | 106

What "praise"? Bizarre turn of phrase you employ

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 2:04 utc | 107

@95 - Afflicted with a sad case of the "White Knights" eh?

Afflicted with a sad case of Confirmation Bias eh?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28 2013 3:28 utc | 108

Any one pointing it out in the here-and-now is obviously just one tin-foil-hat short of a full-smelter/

Now that's pretty funny :)

Posted by: DM | Sep 28 2013 4:01 utc | 109

The contract stipulates that you should claim that the UK/US/Israel is behind any event on the planet, to give readers the idea that "the White Man" is so clever and powerful that no one can go against its goals.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 28 2013 9:43 utc | 110

The Syrian "uprising" is a cynical US-engineered plot using provocateurs, mercenaries, Wahhabi fanatics, corrupt NGO's and the global media. The US, NATO and the feudal emirates are out to smash this independent Arab state that spends on human welfare and refuses to surrender to Israel. The US and Saudi-financed plot turns on the tactic of "Countergangs." Terrorists - mercenaries and irregulars, the "CIA foreign legion" - shoot both demonstrators and police, blow up buildings, massacre innocent villagers - and then blame the carnage on the targeted government. NGO's like NED, the "National Endowment for Democracy" (funded by US State Dept, Geo. Soros, Ford Foundation etc) promote "activists," whose leaders are ambitious sociopaths, eagerly carving out a piece of the carcass for the moment the state is brought down. The corporate lapdog media, cogs in the military-industrial complex, lap up and magnify the Big Lie, creating a fake "reality" that the average person has little chance of seeing through. Subverting Syria reveals how the crusade to destroy Syria follows tactics explicitly set out in the Pentagon's Unconventional Warfare Manual. - fund NGO's to create a climate of protest in the target country - provocateurs organize demonstrations, then fire on protesters and security forces alike to stoke violence - staged and mislabeled video footage creates the illusion of repression - mass media endlessly repeat the Big Lie that the nation's leader is a brutal dictator killing his own people. "Give a dog a bad name and hang him." - invade border towns with special forces death squads, the CIA Foreign Legion of Al Qaeda psychopaths, fanatics and guns for hire - fabricate pretexts for military intervention by the UN, or NATO - bomb the country into the stone age, to be conquered by NATO's Islamic terrorist puppets - eradicate Arab socialism and government for the people, replacing it with a corrupt clique beholden to Wall Street and London bankers - isolate Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Iran, giving free rein for Greater Israel to dominate the Middle East - US corporations write multi-billion-dollar contracts for "reconstruction" and "security" Subverting Syria shows how wars are engineered by manipulation of the kinder instincts of mankind, hoodwinking and harnessing pacifist and leftist forces - entrapping them in the service of mass murder and the global dictatorship of the money power.

Posted by: brian | Sep 28 2013 10:05 utc | 111


That one-liner of yours might have looked a little less dumb&hypocritical if you weren't already an acknowledged Melanie Phillips fan.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 10:11 utc | 112

This blog cracks me up.

Pure delusionality and/or tool time on a breathtaking level. Assad created this war from whole cloth (AKA his military and his official state thug organization going on the offensive) rather than respond constructively to the economic and political dissent engendered by the 'Arab Spring' in Egypt.

To expect anything other than the armed reaction by the opposition after the Assadian provocation (and knowing full well what awaits the opposition if they "settle" with Assad while allowing him to remain in power) including the ever present jihadist elements is nothing short of 'ostrich effect' on your part. Assad certainly expected the reaction, anticipated it, counted on it and announced it in advance. The armed reaction is his survival strategy and it has in fact been a desperate one since he put it into play but was his only hope short of retiring permanently to that Black Sea resort which represents his capitulation (AKA 'the right thing to do').

Assad cannot win outright. Putin's clever rapprochement with Obama over the Russian Guignol's chemical weapons is the clearest announcement of this fact, even as Putin and his useful idiots (hi, guys!) regurgitate the myriad false memes and planted propaganda of the internets, such as that (1) Assad is winning (2) the opposition is thoroughly dominated by Al Qaeda terrorists and (3) the opposition was responsible for the chemical weapons attack (the Russians have the evidence right? yes? no?)

Please be honest and admit that at base you care nothing at all about the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and care everything about the geopolitics as it relates to Israel. In this you allow yourselves to become willing tools in service to whatever viewpoints are necessary to advance the anti-zionist cause.

I/P is everything to you guys and always has been, correct?

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 28 2013 15:25 utc | 114

@114 An ass's view for sure.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28 2013 15:55 utc | 115

@114 I think, rather, Israel Palestine must be everything for you because there is simply no other way you could possibly write off the murderous activities of Al Qaeda, funded by the west with all of their history in the region, as a complete invention of "Assad" without having that mental roadblock preventing you from seeing the real tragedy of Syria.

I think we have all just witnessed just how damaging psychological projection can be on the human mind. Having so completely eclipsed your sense of reality, there is no doubt your morality was left in the dust long ago.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 28 2013 16:05 utc | 116

114) It is de facto collusion in Egyt and Syria.

Take the Al Jazeera Strategy of video-creating victims, take a Muslim Brotherhood intent on reality-creating victims and take a deep state intent on "fighting terror" plus both sides agreeing of their dislike of the secular, liberal, democratic opposition that would oppose any fundamentalism and dictatorship and you have the recipe of the deadly inhuman mix.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28 2013 16:26 utc | 117


I think what unites most people on this blog is the horror of the reasons and the ways the US goes to war. To quote Morales

In his most controversial demand, Morales said that Obama should face an international trial with human rights watchdogs among the judges. The Bolivian president accused his US counterpart of instigating conflicts in the Middle East to make the region more volatile and to increase the US’s grip on the natural resources it abounds in. He gave Libya as an example of a country where “they arranged for the president to be killed, and they usurped Libya’s oil.”

“Now they are funding the rebels that fight against presidents who don’t support capitalism or imperialism,” Morales told Eva Golinger of RT’s Spanish sister channel, Actualidad. “And where a coup d’état is impossible, they seek to divide the people in order to weaken the nation – a provocation designed to trigger an intervention by peacekeeping forces, NATO, the UN Security Council. But the intervention itself is meant to get hold of oil resources and gain geopolitical control, rather than enforce respect for human rights.”

The US also operates in the same imperialist way outside the Middle East, Morales argued. At the General Assembly Obama said that the US “is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure these core interests” in the Middle East. Among the core interests, he mentioned “the free flow of energy from the region to the world.” Morales said that Obama’s statement should make any country possessing natural resources worried.

“I think that statement poses a threat to all countries that have energy sources, especially gas and oil,” Morales said. “But mostly those countries that sell gas and oil to the US. It is a direct threat. I am planning to meet with President Maduro and analyze the issue. I understand that this is a direct threat to Venezuela, because in order to secure his country’s energy needs, Obama can invade any country.”

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28 2013 16:53 utc | 118

@Donkeytale: your linked article is a real piece of illiterate journalistic hackwork. The guy calls Higgins a "Syrian weapons specialist," whereas in fact Higgins knows nothing about weapons that he didn't learn on the internet; then he says (ungrammatically) "The UN chemical inspectors investigation doesn't ascribe blame but present evidence (sic) that is damning for Assad," which is an unsupported opinion; then he says "Higgns (sic) independently collected evidence of the munitions and concluded that the Syrian government was capable of the attack, and had a history of using the munitions linked to the attack," which is a circular argument, whereas in fact Higgins simply invents a weapon he calls an UMLACA (unidentified munition linked to alleged chemical attacks) then an FSA fan sends him a video showing people wearing fatigues and red berets loading and firing one of these things, and says that proves they're govt troops, which is promptly refuted by dozens of other people; and finally you should know by now that the phrase "conspiracy theories" is bullshit.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 28 2013 17:45 utc | 119

The phrase "Coincidence theorists" is definitely a real thing, though. I know cos I saw it on "Popular Mechanics"

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 17:50 utc | 120

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 28, 2013 11:25:49 AM | 114

to know the truth, just turn donkeytale on his head so his ass is in the air

Posted by: brian | Sep 29 2013 1:34 utc | 121

Excellent debunking of Brown Moses half-proofs here (+ comments)

Posted by: Mina | Sep 29 2013 10:10 utc | 122

" Are you willing to present this evidence?

Yes, I just presented a compilation of evidence to John Kerry when we met a couple of hours ago. This evidence is not something revolutionary. It’s available on the Internet. They are reports by journalists who visited the sites and talked to the combatants, who said they were given some unusual rockets and ammunition by some foreign country and they didn’t know how to use them. There is also evidence from the nuns living in the monastery nearby who visited the site. You can read the assessments by the chemical weapons experts who say that the images shown do not correspond to a real situation if chemical weapons were used. And we also know about the open letter sent to President Obama by former operatives of the CIA saying the assertion that the [Syrian] government used chemical weapons was fake. So you don’t need to have any spy reports to make your own conclusions, you only need to carefully watch what is available in public."

Posted by: Mina | Sep 29 2013 10:44 utc | 123

Hollandyahoo and Minibusfabius are sending their ambassadors who speak Arabic to... South America and Northern Europe.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 29 2013 13:57 utc | 124

I like the conclusion to that: "Your friends on the second floor (of the French Foreign Ministry, dealing with MENA), with their 'The PLO will win' slogans - that's all over now," a diplomatic friend a little on the neocon side told me a couple of years ago."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 29 2013 15:01 utc | 125

McCain takes another step towards being a complete non-entity by hiring liar Elizabeth O’Bagy.

With a staff full of falsifiers and a blackberry full of poker apps, surely the American people are in good hands...

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 29 2013 17:50 utc | 126

Some people may think that the big story of the day is FSA brigades abandoning the SNC and joining forces with al-Nusra to form the Army of Islam. This story may be even bigger: The Norwegian Aftenposten has published an interview with the kidnapped journalist who overheard the conversation between a FSA general and his superiors.

Frigitt gissel mener opprørere sto bak gassangrepet i Syria – Aftenposten, September 29, 2013

The story is closely followed by our research wiki:
Quirico and Piccinin at A Closer Look On Syria

Here is a paraphrase and translation of the content by my coworker CE:
A renowned Norwegian correspondent in Brussels interviews Piccinin. He gives more details about what they heard than he did in the sources we so far have. Key points:

– We heard two men, a general from the FSA, and one officer from Al-Farouk in a room next door - talking to a third person via Skype. This man had an Oxford-accent, says Piccinin.
– They first talked about the situation in Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt. Then they started talking about Ghouta. Domenico and myself had no idea there had even been a gas attack.
– The FSA-general was angry and said there were too many dead. Hundreds. The Skype-voice answered that gas had been involved, and the situation had spun out of control.
– The Al-Farouk officer said: You said there would be only fifty dead. The Skype-man said: It was necessary. It will change a lot in this war.

I commented the story as follows.

Holy Shit!!!! I have now updated the article page to reflect my new number 1 suspect: Western powers and their intelligence services.

Previously I has assumed that the "attack" was the work of hard core Islamist in the familiar pattern of collusion short of actual conspiracy – where Islamist would make massacres and Western powers would look the other way and blame the "authoritative" governments. The Piccinin interview turns the tables on this and exposes the Westerners as instigators.

This interpretation helps explain the recent political developments in the armed opposition with Islamist cutting ties to Western puppet proxies of the Syrian National Coalition and joining forces as the Army of Islam. Previously I thought this was because the rebels were simply disappointed with the West's failure to deliver the promised air war. The split is however so dramatic that it is hard so see the the rebel brigades abandoning their financiers and armory just because of this blunder. There must be more fundamental reasons to the monumental shift. Piccinin explains it: the rebels are accusing the west for BOTH murdering 2000 innocent Syrian civilians AND failing to deliver the promised air strikes.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 30 2013 0:48 utc | 127

@127 That is some serious shit. My only question would be: will we see the new "Army of Islam" come out and make the accusation against the west then - especially if they have severed ties completely?

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 30 2013 1:23 utc | 128

Seven Israelis to participate in dismantling Syrian CW
Anti Zionist Party (France), Sep 24 2013 (my trans - RB)

The OPCW team dismantling the Syrian CW will include seven Israelis, according to a source close to the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW. The source says: "The US-Russia agreement related to this case and the mode of action of the organization allows the OPCW to request the assistance of Israeli experts, although Israel is not a member of the organization, provided they hold other nationalities and are thus allowed onto Syrian soil." Seven of the nine Israeli experts who were contacted expressed their willingness to join the team expected to visit Syria. They held German, Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and French-Canadian nationalities respectively. They were contacted at the request of Canadian Scott Cairns, Vice-President of the Commission of Inquiry into the “Ghouta massacre,” and the Dir-Gen of the OPCW, Turkish Ambassador Ahmad Azomjo. Cairns has worked in CW inspection for a decade, is a researcher and a military trainer of Research and Development for Defense. He is a holder of Israeli citizenship. Azomjo was consul in Aleppo in the early 1980s. Between 1999 and 2002, he held the position of Ambassador of Turkey to Israel, then to NATO between 2002 and 2004. Five of the seven Israelis work for the Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR Nes Ziona).

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 30 2013 4:54 utc | 129

Pigs Might Fly Dept: (Reuters) - The Israeli government will seriously consider joining the international treaty banning chemical weapons after Syria said it would destroy its own toxic arsenal, President Shimon Peres said on Monday. "I am sure our government will consider it seriously," Peres told reporters in The Hague.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 30 2013 12:54 utc | 130

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