Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 02, 2016

U.S. CentCom History: "2014 - Syrian Terrorist Group ISIS Invades Iraq"

Significant parts of the U.S. military, its secret services and its politicians want to deny any culpability in the creation of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Thus they resort to extreme falsifications of historical facts. They create fantasy narratives that completely leave out their own mistakes.

The U.S. Central Command created a coalition of several countries' military to wage war on ISIS. The operation is known under the the moniker "Inherent Resolve". CentCom created a website that propagandizes the operation. On the About page of that website we find this "History" of ISIS:



In the summer of 2014, a new terrorist group which had risen during the chaos of the Syrian Civil War attacked across the Syrian-Iraqi borders and seized large swaths of Iraqi territory in the Euphrates River Valley and northern Iraq. Several Iraqi towns fell to the invaders, who called themselves “The Islamic State.” By the end of summer, it seemed that Baghdad itself was threatened by IS.

This is not only far away from the truth but an outrageous fabrication to deny and distort what really happened. ISIS was not created in Syria but in Iraq, it existed way before 2014 and its existence has nothing to do with war on Syria. To state that ISIS somehow came from Syria and in 2014 invaded Iraq is like claiming that Hitler invaded Germany in 1944.

ISIS was created in Iraq due to the U.S. war on Iraq. The leading ISIS members, former Al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters, found each other and planned the creation of ISIS Caliphate in 2006 in the U.S. prisoner camp Bucca in Iraq:

According to a CBS News investigation, at least 12 of the top leaders of ISIS served time at Camp Bucca, including the man who would become the group's leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. CBS News obtained photos of 10 of them in Bucca's yellow prison jumpsuits.
"I think it's undeniable that one of the main causes of ISIS's explosive growth after 2010 was Bucca. It's where they met, it's where they planned," said Patrick Skinner.

Skinner is with the Soufan Group and was a former CIA case officer who spent time in Iraq.

It is undeniable that ISIS started in Iraq years before the war on Syria:

October 2006 - AQI leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri announces the creation of Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), and establishes Abu Omar al-Baghdadi as its leader.

April 2010 - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi becomes leader of ISI after Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri are killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation.

April 2013 - ISI declares its absorption of an al Qaeda-backed militant group in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front. Al-Baghdadi says that his group will now be known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Al-Nusra Front leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani rejects ISIS's attempt to merge with the group.

The above CNN timeline jumps over 2011 when the Al-Nusra's leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani was sent by al-Baghdadi to Syria from Iraq to reorganize Al-Qaeda cells that were secretly established in Syria long before the first demonstrations there took place. Al-Jawlani, who had also been imprisoned in Camp Bucca, came to Syria in March 2011 when the first demonstrations against the Syrian government just started:

A leader of Jordan’s ultra-Orthodox and banned Salafi movement said al-Baghdadi sent al-Golani and Abu Jleibeen, a senior al-Qaeda operative who has a relationship by marriage to al-Zarqawi, to fight in Syria, ..

Like Ahrar al-Shams, Jabhat Al-Nusra cells were secretly establishing themselves even before the "revolution" in Syria began:

The Ahrar started working on forming brigades “after the Egyptian revolution,” Abu Zayd said, well before March 15, 2011, when the Syrian revolution kicked off with protests in the southern agricultural city of Dara’a.

To claim that the Islamic State somehow started in Syria, as CentCom does, is to claim the opposite of what really happened. The Islamic State under Baghdadi sent fighters and leaders to Syria to created and prop-up the "revolution" against the Syrian state. The religious and philosophical roots of ISIS are grounded in Wahhabism and are of Saudi, not Syrian or Iraqi, origin.

Another fake history story is build by the CIA elements and U.S. politicians who launched the war on Syria from the "color revolution" side. Witness this astonishingly false CBS headline: Obama Nixed CIA Plan That Could Have Stopped ISIS: Officials

The CIA in 2012 proposed a detailed covert action plan designed to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, but President Obama declined to approve it, current and former U.S. officials tell NBC News.
[The CIA chief] Petraeus and others who supported the plan believe it could have prevented the rise of ISIS, Assad's use of chemical weapons, the European refugee crisis and the tens of thousands of civilian deaths that have happened since, the former officials say.

Overthrowing the Syrian government would have created more chaos in Syria which very likely the Islamic State, already established in Syria at that time in the form of Jabhat al-Nusra, would have used to take Damascus and to gain primacy in Syria. Everything else is pure wishful thinking which ignores the military superiority the Takfiri groups like Ahrar, Nusra and ISIS have always had compared to the "moderate" Jihadist rebels that have direct U.S. support. The CBS piece is also about the former CIA man who was the original author of the covert action plan. He seems to disagree with what the CBS headline claims:

Looking back, Laux now says he doesn't believe his or any other covert plan could have stopped the rise of ISIS or ended Syria's bloody civil war. "There were no moderates," he says.

It is frightening to think that Central Command, which is supposed to fight the Islamic State, might believe its own propaganda, that ISIS came from Syria. One can not successfully fight ISIS when one does not know its real origin: the U.S. war on Iraq and CentCom's own meager to ignorant performance during that war.

Posted by b on April 2, 2016 at 15:45 UTC | Permalink


us central command = propaganda central.. no other way to view it...

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2016 15:48 utc | 1

Thanks very much b for the heads-up regarding the fresh propaganda effort. Oh for a pied-piper to circulate through the Beltway, attract all neoliberalcons and march them into the Atlantic Ocean to their demise--several thousand I'd guess.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2016 16:09 utc | 2

@ James, yes, they could not possibly be that dumb. If we can see it, they can, too. So who are the real policy makers, and what is the end game?

Posted by: shadyl | Apr 2 2016 16:24 utc | 3

from that link at 'grounded in wahhabism' - Abd al-Wahhab was an extreme fanatic and religious nutcase given the descriptions in that article..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2016 16:28 utc | 4

They always lie about everything so this is hardly surprising. The current branch of al-Ciada, and the previous Zarqawi nonsense in Iraq, were really counter-insurgency programs. The intent was to destroy support for the resistance movements by forcing the locals to turn to Mordor for protection from these mysterious new groups that hated Arabs & Mosques. It hasn't worked yet, but al-Ciada is still a useful prop to justify endless meddling and scare the peasants.

Posted by: Jesrad | Apr 2 2016 17:00 utc | 5

The 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency assessment became public last summer; it outlined Western support for a "Salafist principality" in eastern Syria. Russia showed the world proof that the US-led coalition had taken no action against ISIS oil exports. Starting last fall and through the winter, we saw many media reports of Turkey's support of ISIS. Obama has admitted using ISIS to effect regime change in Iraq and manipulate policy there.

Yet I don't sense the the prevailing narrative in the US has changed much. Liberals still talk about how Bush's war in Iraq gave birth to ISIS; neo-cons still blame Assad and Obama for not bombing Syria in 2013.

Posted by: Berry Friesen | Apr 2 2016 17:07 utc | 6

Something I heard back in 2004 on one of Wisconsin public radio's locally produced current affairs talk shows: The highly respected anchor of PBS NewsHour, Jim Lehrer, was on the show discussing a new book. He was asked by the host, a woman as I remember, why he had not reported on the widespread reporting that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Lehrer demurred that any such reports were ignored by his program. The host referenced reporting mainly from Democracy Now! by Amy Goodman, plus a few NPR reports.

Lehrer stated that he had never heard of Amy Goodman or of her news program and certainly not these reports.

(I may not accurately have remembered the exact question, but I clearly recall Lehrer stating he no knowledge of Goodman or Democracy Now!)

I was, well, gobsmacked. This man, who should have had access to the best sources available, apparently kept his quest for knowledge within the permitted boxes of facts permitted by…those in power, those who had access to the "right" sources? Would NewsHour have lost funding if it reported things not included in the "reportable"? Was his ignorance willful, for self survival and survival of his news program, or was it the knock on effect of being a kept "journalist" who was also kept from learning truths?

When leaders of any part of a nation's important functions are either kept ignorance or choose to be ignorant, that nation is ill prepared to manage its future and security.

I had trusted PBS's NewsHour, even the Charlie Rose show somewhat; after that, I felt I could not believe anything they report without much further digging and wider reading. Now, they seem quaint and essentially useless except for some on point reports which get through the TPTB containment mechanisms.

What still amazes me is that most people in the US did gain an understanding that the corporate news media clearly served the interests of those pushing for war and they no regard GWBush as one of the worst presidents in modern history.

But the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) still buries any accurate reporting which doesn't fit with TPTB's accepted vision of reality. Such things are placed in the near final paragraphs of news articles, and they swiftly are sent down the memory hole.

~~~In searching for the appearance by a on-the-ground reporter who reported the grim reality of the US occupation, including widespread corruption, which resulted in Jim Lehrer making an on air apology to viewers, especially those in power I imagine, I came across a site listing Iraq Invasion lies and misleading reporting.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 2 2016 17:10 utc | 7

Also, b, thanks for this one stop post which summarizes how facts are being manipulated. And thanks to all posting additional good links.

Makes it easier to pass on the those who are still bamboozled.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 2 2016 17:13 utc | 8

b, thank you for unveiling more history. It's the future which threatens death by disgust: State Dept Cancels Probe Into Hillary E-Mails.

Posted by: Penelope | Apr 2 2016 17:28 utc | 9

DENY AND DISTORT. Doesn't that, in just a few words, describe our situation?

Isn't that why there seems to be a movement in the US to:

Nobody will keep election promises.
Nobody will listen to your concerns.
Nobody will help the poor and destitute.
Nobody cares about you and your family.

The information isn't new, it is simply a concise summary of what we already know about how the so called news is distorted.

Thanks b. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: rg the lg | Apr 2 2016 17:51 utc | 10

This is part of the 'Syrian opposition' narrative to demonize Bashar al Assad. The USA, France and the UK are furious that he has become a hero in the eyes of many, as the army he is leading has kicked out ISIS from Palmyra.
The narrative goes: Bashar al Assad created ISIS and it spilled over to Iraq. As he is the 'magnet' according to that narrative, if he resigns, by magic ISIS will disappear.
Unfortunately this message works with lots of naive people.

Posted by: virgile | Apr 2 2016 18:34 utc | 11

They want to conflate Assad with extremism. They've been trying to do this for some time now. The thinking goes like this: 1) Assad is a brutal dictator. 2) His abused people were forced to fight for change. 3) Extremists saw an opportunity to capitalize on the civil war/'power vacuum'.

b and many others that have been paying attention see it differently. I wish that the truth of game-playing got more attention. It simply needs more elaboration.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

USA wants to distance itself from the rise of ISIS. Those that claim no USA connection / support for ISIS mislead/misdirect so that the wrong questions are asked/answered. For example:

Does the US support ISIS?
Is easily dismissed as conspiracy theory, and those who answer will sometimes elevate the 'intent' of the question to a 'crazy' one of collusion with ISIS and attack the motives of the questioner.
Does the US support ALLIES that support ISIS?
They most certainly do!

Now, to what extent would they go? ...

Over time, a fair amount of circumstantial evidence has accumulated that is difficult to explain or ignore:

> training of less than 100 anti-ISIS fighters in a $500 million program (as per CBS report: most of the fighters training were said to have left the program early because they really wanted to fight Assad!!);

> a group of military intelligence analysts that became whistle-blowers who say that their reports were distorted (;

> weapons provided to moderate head-choppers are (conveniently?) taken by extremists;

> bombs and supplies (mistakenly?) dropped where they shouldn't be;

> the chemical attack in Gouda (2013) was likely a false flag, and the rush to bomb after Obama's "Red Line" was crossed would've greatly helped the rebels;

> Russian intervention that highlighted the utter failure to effectively combat ISIS or stop ISIS funding (especially wrt oil smuggling);

> the unbelievable fall of Mosul (a few thousand fighters take a major city!?!?!)

The meek/bungling anti-ISIS effort by US/West comes despite their calling ISIS the biggest security threat and that USA will attack ISIS anywhere in the world that they are found.

In addition, the hyper-sensitivity to civilian casualties in the fight against ISIS is a joke given the feeble attempts to stop extremism: why haven't the madrassas been shut down? Why haven't funding for extremism been stopped; Why allow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to fester?

Lastly, anyone with half a brain understands that:

> the GWOT has up-ended Western democracies - terror attacks justify ever increasing anti-civil rights measures and condition public to support the neocon/neolib establishment;

> color revolutions, R2P, - and now extremists - are used to topple regimes that we don't like;

> there is a new Cold War as the drive for a unilateral NWO continues apace.

But some will say: "there's no smoking gun!" - we don't KNOW that governments planned to use ISIS/extremists. REALLY? See Seymour Hersh's prescient reporting in "The Redirection" (2007) of a conspiracy by Israel, USA, and Saudi Arabia to use extremists as a weapon.

Until Russia intervened, it looked like the Western neocon/neolib establishment in the West + Sunnis + Israel would get EXACTLY the result they wanted from the plans that Hersh wrote about.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 2 2016 18:34 utc | 12

Thanks for this useful corrective on the history of Islamic State.

However, the suggestion that "The Islamic State under Baghdadi sent fighters and leaders to Syria to create and prop-up the "revolution" against the Syrian state" needs clarification.

Groups like Al Qaeda and Islamic State do, of course, set up clandestine networks, and aspire to foment and direct, as well as take advantage of, popular discontent. But if you're suggesting that either group was the primary force behind the Syrian uprising, that's a different matter. The uprising was a broad popular movement. There is no doubt that al Nusra and Islamic State were better positioned to take advantage of it, having the organizational structure, weaponry, suppliers and financiers, and guerrilla combat experience to do so with greater success than were the masses of disaffected (who were indeed "moderate" in the general instance). But to suggest that either Al Qaeda or IS had the broad popular influence to instigate and direct the initial uprising (which was a response to police-state abuses of the population) requires more documentation than is likely to be available.

Incidentally, allow me to congratulate you on a fair degree of tolerance (by the blog owner, not the users) here at MoA. I recently visited Sic Semper Tyrannis, a moderated blog with some overlapping interests. I had the impression that a blog run by a former defense analyst would be informed by, and welcoming of, a reasonable degree of skepticism about such things as military propaganda, whether American or Russian. It seems that I was mistaken. The initial response was presumptuous, intemperate, ill-informed, dogmatic, and irrationally hostile. I persevered, deliberately concentrating on substantive points in order to give no excuse for censorship, but to no avail: two of my replies, patiently refuting attacks on their merits, never appeared, despite the passage of days and the appearance of new comments hostile to me. Censorship to ensure civility is one thing: an arbitrary silencing of participants is just cowardly. I'm reminded of the Soup Nazi character from Seinfeld: step up in just the right way, say the expected thing in just the right tone, or no soup for you!

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Apr 2 2016 18:59 utc | 13

The Libyan connection is also totally white-washed out of the picture. Stalin would be proud.

The Syrian air force has recently killed the Libyan ISIS leader in al Raqqa

The whole thing appears to be part of the plan to leave Turkey as the fall guy, allowing the AngloZionists to escape (or so they hope).

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 2 2016 19:00 utc | 14

Mid February 2016 NATO representative visits Azerbaijan supposedly to discuss close NATO-Azerbaijan relations.

Early April Azerbaijan attacks Armenia over Nagorno — Karabakh.

Just one of those amazing coincidences?

By another coincidence, Russia has been supporting Armenia, partly in light of the Turkey shootdown of the Su-24, so the Azerbaijanis seem to have been kicked in the ass.

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 2 2016 19:09 utc | 15

@13 ep - another propagandist of similar ilk..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2016 19:12 utc | 16

Pentagon: Eligibility for WOT Campaign Medal

Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR)

is the U.S. military operation name for the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS, in the vernacular, Daesh), including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria. Effective 22 Sep 2015, U.S. Army III Corps is responsible for Combined Joint Task Force- Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). A change of command from III Corps to XVIII Airborne Corps is expected in late summer 2016. On March 30, 2016, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the creation of a new medal, named "Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal".
The Defense Department announced at the end of October 2014 that troops operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve after June 15 were eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Service areas are: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, as well as troops supporting the operation in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea east of 25 degrees longitude. The medal is approved retroactively beginning June 15, the Pentagon said.

[Source: Wikipedia]

CJTF Operation Inherent Resolve (Videos)

Posted by: Oui | Apr 2 2016 19:17 utc | 17

Good timeline of creation of ISIL by b.

The onslaught of the evil empires lies shows that they still have The break up and/or the elimination of the current Syrians state in mind. So absolutely no reason for the Russians to do any deals with the evil US Empire.

Hear how The US wants to send many more invader troops to Syria ?

Posted by: tom | Apr 2 2016 19:35 utc | 18

@ jawbone | 7

Pardon a tangential response, but I second your heartfelt comment about becoming disillusioned with PBS's news operation.

I watched the MacNeil-Lehrer programs religiously for years, after a "subversive" high-school history teacher put me onto them waaay back in the 1970s.

After 9/11/2001, the scales fell from my eyes; it finally clicked that beneath his professional façade, Jim Lehrer harbored a streak of reactionary, chauvinistic patriotism, manifested in his policy of uncritical deference to government authorities.

Although Lehrer credited his stint in the Marine Corps as an eye-opening, consciousness-raising experience, his scrupulous kow-towing to government officials and their manufactured narratives suggested that he'd never transcended his flag-saluting, authoritarian-submissive Inner Jarhead.

When Lehrer vigorously defended the Stenography School of Journalism by declaring disingenuously that it wasn't the News Hour's job to practice "advocacy journalism" by being openly skeptical or confontational towards government spokespersons and/or the views they presented on the News Hour, but simply to "report" statements by officials or analysts in order for the viewers to "make up their own minds" about the merits, it removed all doubt.

If journalists give officials or spokespersons carte blanche to present information, analysis, and opinion in an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard, without providing rigorous rebuttal or challenge, how can viewers critically evaluate what they're being fed? Lehrer didn't address this question.

Lehrer's journalistic philosophy reduced "questioning authority" to a rote exercise in complacent, deferential obsequiousness. That's why the Snooze Hour has become the perfect "flagship" news program for the fully-corporatized and neutered PBS network.

PBS and CentCom are both divisions of the government/military/corporate mass-media consent-manufacturing infoganda combine.

Posted by: Ort | Apr 2 2016 19:37 utc | 19

@11 The narrative goes: Bashar al Assad created ISIS and it spilled over to Iraq. As he is the 'magnet' according to that narrative, if he resigns, by magic ISIS will disappear.

In a perverse sense, the second sentence is actually true. The empire is using al-Ciada to punish the Syrians (and Iraqis) for defying them. If those countries would just put zionist quislings in charge, then the empire could finally send their pets to terrorize the Lebanese and Iranians.

@12 There actually were "smoking guns" tying the empire to terrorism before the Hersh piece. The empire has a proven history of car bombing recalcitrant Arabs.

Posted by: Jesrad | Apr 2 2016 20:34 utc | 20

I started writing a long but late comment about the origin of ISIS to your post about Palmyra, which I then published on Fort Russ as an article. It was also picked up by Global Research. I will repost the essential bits here:


It did not. Raqqa was captured in March 2013 by Syrian rebels, i.e. "FSA" and their al-Nusra Front allies. Most likely the operation happened like the capture of Idlib in March 2015, under the command of a US operations room in Turkey and with full access to real time American satellite imagery.

The Wikipedia article on the battle has more details:

Battle of Raqqa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The battle, on the opposition side, was primarily led by the Islamist jihadist group Al-Nusra Front.

Ar-Raqqah was not initially a rebel stronghold. The city itself saw several small protests at the beginning of the uprising, but these soon subsided. The anti-Assad elements within the city also remained peaceful until the end of 2012. Furthermore, previous pro-government tribal coalitions and the presence of more than a half million displaced Syrians, mostly from Idlib, Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo, served to strengthen the Syrian government's opinion that Ar-Raqqah was relatively safe.

By early 2013, the Syrian opposition had secured much of the north of Syria, but had yet to seize control of a major city. The rebels planned an offensive to seize control of Ar-Raqqah where government forces were in control, effectively giving the opposition control over a much greater portion of northern Syria.

As of 2016 the Kurds control the north of Syria, after having driven out the Islamic State. Raqqa was never a rebel stronghold. Where then did all the FSA and Nusra fighters come from that captured Raqqa? It is evident that they mostly came across the border from Turkey, pushing their way through Kurdish controlled areas. An example is the assault on Ras Al-Ayn detailed in this long article on A Closer Look On Syria. The border town of Ras Al-Ayn, northeast of Raqqa was attacked in late 2012 and early 2103 by FSA and Nusra fighters coming from Turkey. A brief summary of the events is included in this February 1, 2013 letter from Syrian Kurds... ...the Vatican News Agency Fides reports in November 2012: A young Christian...

-- clip -- clip --

From Nusra to ISIL

In March al-Nusra Front's affiliation to al-Qaeda was not yet openly acknowledged, so they would still be counted as "Syrian rebels". In fact, there is some reason to believe that al-Nusra fighters were exactly the same rebels that the CIA was training in its training camps in Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The strongest suspicion comes from the fact that of all rebel groups al-Nusra Front was best known for the same terror tactics that the US was teaching at its training camps, namely "guerrilla attacks and assassinations", or more precisely, massive terror bombings and massacres.

But how did Raqqa change hands from FSA and Nusra to ISIL? This was the result of the split in al-Qaeda:

  1. The Islamic State in Iraq (al-Qaeda in Iraq) announced that the al-Nusra Front was in fact part of ISI, and had been so in secret all along. The group would now be called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL.
  2. Al-Nusra Front leader Al-Julani stated that he would not join ISIL
  3. After a eight month argument ISIL announced that it would split from al-Qaeda.

From the Wikipedia article on ISIL:

As Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, 2013–14

On 8 April 2013, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that the al-Nusra Front had been established, financed, and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq, and that the two groups were merging under the name "Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham". Al-Julani issued a statement denying the merger, and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra's leadership had been consulted about it. In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, addressed to both leaders, in which he ruled against the merger, and appointed an emissary to oversee relations between them to put an end to tensions. That same month, al-Baghdadi released an audio message rejecting al-Zawahiri's ruling and declaring that the merger was going ahead.

Because of its position behind the front lines, ISIL could concentrate more on state building and less on fighting. Factually the FSA and al-Nusra Front served as the Islamic State's front line troops against the Syrian Army. It is partly true that 'Assad' was not fighting ISIL, but neither was ISIL fighting Assad. With the emergence of the state and later the Caliphate all FSA groups in ISIL controlled territory were merged with ISIL, disbanded or otherwise terminated. What remains of the fake revolution is a few Twitter accounts that are tweeting form Istanbul, Washington, D.C., or who knows where.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 2 2016 20:54 utc | 21

@16 james -- Yes, everyone who refuses to accept the gospel as preached by St. James is a propagandist. I view the claims of governments (not just American, but also Russian and Syrian) with a healthy skepticism, and that is an unforgivable sin when dealing with jingoists of any nationality. I prefer to think independently, and that gets me into trouble with dogmatists who view deviations from their political-economy as evidence of sinister, concealed intent (or who find it convenient to pretend this, as a cheap and easy way to discredit those offering alternatives).

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Apr 2 2016 21:23 utc | 22

@21 petri.. good info. thanks.

@22ep.. i take exception to this bs from you @13 " But if you're suggesting that either group was the primary force behind the Syrian uprising, that's a different matter. The uprising was a broad popular movement." everything i have read of your reeks of propaganda... just calling it like i see it..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2016 21:33 utc | 23

Emil @ 13, 22:

Please provide some evidence that the protest in Dara'a (where the so-called "Arab Spring" took off in Syria) in 2011 was supported by most people there.

Is an uprising that results in more police dead than protesters and in which the local Ba'ath Party headquarters are set on fire by the protesters really a genuine popular protest?

Posted by: Jen | Apr 2 2016 22:24 utc | 24

@23 The uprising was a broad popular movement

Ambassador Ford in Syria 2011
AMBASSADOR FORD: They’re certainly angry with my trip to Hama. They were very angry about that.
I don’t particularly care because we have to show our solidarity with peaceful protestors. I’d do it again tomorrow if I had to. I’m going to keep moving around the country. I can’t stop.
QUESTION: Well, let me ask you about that strategy. You’re clearly bypassing the Syrian Government in that you’re not speaking to state television; you’re using social media, Facebook. You and your spokespeople have used very harsh,one might say undiplomatic, language to condemn the violence. What is your strategy
AMBASSADOR FORD: My whole purpose in being in Syria is to be able to communicate not only with the SyrianGovernment but with the Syrian people more generally. I will be very frank again: The Syrian television operated by the state, operated by the dictatorship, is not credible and tells all kinds of lies. So we are looking for ways to reach out to the Syrian public through social media, through things like Facebook, and by going out and about in the country.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 2 2016 23:19 utc | 25

oops.. not sure what happened to my post @25 Should have been just these two sentences in bold.

You’re clearly bypassing the Syrian Government in that you’re not speaking to state television; you’re using social media, Facebook.

I will be very frank again: The Syrian television operated by the state, operated by the dictatorship, is not credible and tells all kinds of lies.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 2 2016 23:22 utc | 26

I will be very frank again: The Syrian television operated by the state, operated by the dictatorship, is not credible and tells all kinds of lies.
Much like all Western media.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 2 2016 23:36 utc | 27

Other treads of ISIL ignored.
1. Involvement of former secular Saddam's Ba'th party military commanders in military training.
2.So called ISIL conquest of other terrorists/moderate rebels which was buying them off, their weapons with dollars and gold and not fighting, mostly.
3. Early integrated military command and control, of ANF and ISIL including exchange of commanders such as happening now in Golan Heights.

Posted by: Kalen | Apr 2 2016 23:42 utc | 28

re Other treads of ISIL ignored.

1. Involvement of former secular Saddam's Ba'th party military commanders in military training. It's supposed to be more than that, even running the show. Ridiculous in my view.

2. So called ISIL conquest of other terrorists/moderate rebels which was buying them off, their weapons with dollars and gold and not fighting, mostly. Pretty much proved, no?

3. Early integrated military command and control, of ANF and ISIL including exchange of commanders such as happening now in Golan Heights.You mean ISIS is joining with Nusra in the south, in allying with Israel?

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 3 2016 0:15 utc | 29

I hear the CIA and State Department edit Wikipedia entries. They missed this one which clearly shows ISIS was operating in Syria before 2014.

There were news reports at the time indicating ISIS was being led by Chechen fighters and receiving financial support from Qatar.

Posted by: Les | Apr 3 2016 1:12 utc | 30

@b thread posting

"I think it's undeniable that one of the main causes of ISIS's explosive growth after 2010 was Bucca. It's where they met, it's where they planned," said Patrick Skinner.

Skinner is with the Soufan Group and was a former CIA case officer who spent time in Iraq.

The idea that these guys just found each other at camp Bucca is nuts. The CIA knew who they were putting together. They often light fires so they can put them out, or pretend to try, as Jesrad points out @5, and its abundantly clear that ISIS is one of those.

There is nothing decent or good about US foreign policy, it's just on fire after another, all over the world. Who is in charge? Certainly not Obama, but he never was. The only thing that makes his own drone self more apparently helpless looking now than previously is that he's keeping his mouth shut. He's covering his mentors' actions less now with his own 'magical', formerly teflon blather because the 'magic' is all gone. He's a disgraced dissimulator, and the guys who used to pull his strings behind the scenes are now pulling the strings they used to pull using strings to operate Obama's hands using their own. One level of indirection is gone because it is of no further use.

The latest fire started by the pyromaniac CIA is Dozens of Casualties Reported as Situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan deteriorates, as reported by Yonotan @15 above.

We are going to have to drive stakes through the hearts of the neo-libs/neo-cons to end their otherwise endless pyromania. I hope we can do so before they are finally successful in starting the big one.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 3 2016 1:49 utc | 31

@24 - Jen

I don't know how one could prove that "most" Syrians supported the protests: only a free and fair plebiscite or an independent, objective and well-designed poll could do that, and those obviously don't exist.

What I said is that the protests were a popular movement. I base this on the size of the protests (reportedly 100,000 marched in Dara'a), the broad-based participation (which included many segments of society -- professionals, middle-class, working-class, students, liberals, secular human-rights activists, housewives, shopkeepers, and eventually members of the Syrian Army); and also by the way that the protests had spread to twenty cities by the 22nd of April, 2011.

As for comparative casualties, by the end of May, 1,000 civilians and 150 soldiers and policemen had been killed, and thousands detained. By the end of July about 1,600 civilians and 500 security forces had been killed and 13,000 arrested.

The United Nations, among other bodies, has issued reports. There is no shortage of documentation.

(Note: I attempted to post a supporting hyperlink, but the comment failed to appear. I'm trying again without it. The Wiki page on the Syrian civil war, particularly the section on the early civil protests and defections, is as good a starting point as any, and contains a number of citations.)

I would certainly expect Ba'ath Party headquarters, among other symbols of government tyranny, to be the target of popular outrage after the children of prominent families were arrested and tortured for spraying anti-government graffiti, among other crimes. I also do not know what other government offices (e.g. security services) may have shared quarters in the same building.

It is not uncommon for popular protests (including militant actions) to be hijacked by better organized extremist elements with their own repressive agenda. It happened in Iran. Protests against the Shah, his secret police, and western manipulations, were widespread and popular. But the fundamentalist Shia militias were better organized and armed. The liberals and ordinary citizens seeking democracy in the face of police-state outrages by the Shah's goons, certainly didn't want the regime to be replaced by something similar, only on religious rather than secular lines.

Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Apr 3 2016 1:50 utc | 32

It's far from seductive to witness AmeriKKKan Christianity's habit of constructing awe-inspiring verbiage cathedrals to assert and sanctify their right to bear False Witness.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 3 2016 2:04 utc | 33

Control of information is why young visionaries like Aaron Schwartz are driven to suicide, why renegade individual like Julian Assange choose self imprisonment abroad, why cowboy journalists like Barrett Brown sit between four silent walls, why champion war scribe Michael Hastings' new car spontaneously combusts at maximum speed.

Successful propaganda is so much more achievable when counterargument somehow...just... disappears. Freedom of information is not a right and sum of human discovery up until the present moment is owned by just a few. Their version of history controls the present.

Power to the few that expose themselves so that we may understand the true darkness of this age even though I was happier asleep.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 3 2016 3:17 utc | 34

@ MadMax2

I think your comment about how the counterargument sources somehow just disappear adds value to this post about blatant propaganda. It also points to why there are not more "visionary" leaders emerging from 2nd and 3rd world countries, that is, they are disappeared before they can become problems. It has been going on since WWII, all in the name of bringing democracy/empire to the world.

Empire = private finance/inheritance based global plutocratic families.....a scourge on our species.

I hate the truism that history is written by the winners except when I think about the Cosmos laughing at our hubris.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 3 2016 4:58 utc | 35

I think the word "delusional " best describes a person who believes his own bullshit.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Apr 3 2016 5:38 utc | 36

@14 'Stalin would be proud.

why stalin? arent you also a victim of propaganda?

Posted by: brian | Apr 3 2016 8:21 utc | 37

oops.. not sure what happened to my post @25 Should have been just these two sentences in bold.

You’re clearly bypassing the Syrian Government in that you’re not speaking to state television; you’re using social media, Facebook.

I will be very frank again: The Syrian television operated by the state, operated by the dictatorship, is not credible and tells all kinds of lies.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 2, 2016 7:22:56 PM | 26

clearly Peter AU who loves bold case came her to stamp out free enquiry with a nbit of anti syrian ranting.

syria isnt a dictatorship, whatever you mean by that word: its govt and president have the support of most syrians...far more than 'dictator' Obama has of americans

syrias media is a good source of info on syria and so far has been telling the truth

Posted by: brian | Apr 3 2016 8:24 utc | 38

history is malleable stuff...and their version of it seems to have a pretty long shelf life.

in 1945 85% of Americans surveyed approved of having used the new atomic weapon as a justified means of ending the war.

70 years later that approval rating is all the way down to 56%.


fucking savages

Posted by: john | Apr 3 2016 10:22 utc | 39

Hell of a post Petri@21. Thanks.

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 3 2016 10:23 utc | 40

The serial liars hate Trump.WTF does anyone else need?
Zion controls America into doing things against our interests.
Syria is the enemy of Zion.
Who else besides Trump rejects the WOT,Russophobia,world police,and is the only candidate to broach the taboo of Israeli criticism?
Twilight zone time.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 3 2016 13:39 utc | 41

As if on cue there goes the MSM :

as usual anonymity is de rigueur:
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Western diplomat who has seen the declaration of identity believes it is significant, and that it matters.

He says nothing of this kind, "authentically Alawite", had been seen since 1971 from within Syria.

"The language implies a dissociation from Iran and the regime there, but also something that seeks to disconnect the Alawite community from the Assad family," he says.

Yep the P3 (FUKUS) can't swallow the fact that Assad is winning and, being unable to link ISIS to the Shi'a community or Iran, well what else do they do :(

Same as last evening on the French TV- Journal du 20 heures - a fake blond telling the anchorman how bad Assad was FOR NOT PROTECTING Palmyra last year . Where was the coalition of the 65 nations - they went back under their rock after the 2014 PR of the UAE female pilot and the demise of the young Jordanian pilot in the hands of ISIS.

Well Cameron has become the poodle of KSA and Hollande is relying on the Gulfies to be re-elected ( like Sarkozy did on the $$$$ provided by Ghaddafi) so Iran and the Shi'a are bad bad bad ( they still want to maintain their influence on those GCC countries to sell arms)

Posted by: Yul | Apr 3 2016 14:15 utc | 42

You can't "take out" seven countries in five years (or however long it takes) in accordance with PNAC and full spectrum Israel Dominance, without shifting blame from a country you've destroyed to the country you wish to destroy next.

NATO Commander General Wesley Clark - We're going to war with Iraq?... Why?....Every problem has to look like a nail.. We're going to take out seven countries in five years.. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

Paraphrasing Jewish Donald Rumsfeld, "You can't have what you wish you had, you've got to break some eggs with the shitty body armor you've got. What good are you with your arms and legs blown off anyway?"

Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 3 2016 14:28 utc | 43

@42 Ah there's the anonymous Western diplomat again. He/she always seems happy to help the BBC out when a quote is needed.

Posted by: dh | Apr 3 2016 14:45 utc | 44

Thanks b, for the real historical perspective on ISIS.

Maybe overkill, but then there is this:
Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS
Posted on May 28, 2015 by Carol Adl in Middle East, News, US // 96 Comments

Posted by: ben | Apr 3 2016 15:34 utc | 45

Steve Gowans' latest on Syria. Not so much anecdotal as antidotal (to CentCom's Crusaders).
April 2, 2016.
Zionism, Genocide and the Colonial Tradition in Contemporary Syria

Dozens of references to supporting documentation at the end...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 3 2016 15:42 utc | 46

So with the move to a negotiated settlement in Syria, Why this?


US to Train, Equip Individual Troops in Syria Instead of Entire Units

Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Steve Warren said that during the first train-and-equip program in Syria, the US military pulled entire units off the battlefield and tried to push them through training, but that initiative failed.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US military will apply lessons learned from its failed train-and-equip program in Syria by training individuals as opposed to pulling entire units off the battlefield, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters on Friday.

"Dozens of people are now being trained [in Syria]," Warren stated. "These are individuals as opposed to units." [.]

Earlier this month, US Central Command Commander Gen. Joseph Votel told Congress the Defense Department would enhance the vetting processes in the revived program, and fighters trained would focus efforts against the Islamic State (ISIL, or Daesh) as opposed to Syrian government forces.

Yeah, you can't make any of this stuff up.. “Lessons learned,” eh. What has changed?

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 3 2016 16:00 utc | 47

All these relevant articles beg the question...

How many examples of the U$A/Empire attempts at regime change, through historical perspective, do we need to see, to convince ourselves, that it doesn't work?

Posted by: ben | Apr 3 2016 16:01 utc | 48

@ ben 48

The myth about regime change forwarding a country toward "democracy" is the same kind of myth that the Donald is making about torture being effective.

Then there is my pet myth of capitalism, the fig leaf of cover for private finance and unfettered inheritance. I will take a committee of elected officials of some socialist/communist social organization over the bastards that have given us Fukushima, an ongoing war economy and global strife over debt to the oligarchs.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 3 2016 16:32 utc | 49

@32 ep.. more propaganda bs from you... popular uprisings and oh - they might get hijacked by more extremist groups - yeah like the usa/west regime change gang you happen to represent? you avoid any of that, because it's an inconvenient fact as is the continued foreign military escalation on the part of the usa/sa/turkey/israel gang that continues to attempt regime change in syria.. you don't fucking get any of it, except 'it is a popular uprising' bullshit.. i am sure you haven't seen a colour revolution you couldn't relate to either - all of them popular uprisings as told in the western msm.. what a load of crap..

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2016 17:15 utc | 50

ben @45

From your link:

The documents obtained by Judicial Watch also provide the first official documentation that the Obama administration was well aware that weapons were being shipped from Benghazi to rebel troops — including members from ISIS, the Al-Nusra Front and other Islamist terror groups — in Syria.... The deadly and shocking attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission that saw four Americans — including a U.S. ambassador — slaughtered by jihadists occurred just weeks after the weapons shipment. [emphasis is mine.]

Now take note of the recent battle over mentioning Benghazi in Obama's Wikipedia profile.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

I will add a comment to MoA's post: 'The Obama Doctrine' Is To Whitewash His Foreign Policy with the above info and "ht ben" (hat tip).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 3 2016 17:29 utc | 51

re 47

So with the move to a negotiated settlement in Syria, Why this?
There's no change in US or British policy. You can see it in the sour reaction to Syria's success in liberating Palmyra. Everyone cheers, but the governments are back to telling us what a murderous dictator Asad is.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 3 2016 17:39 utc | 52

Saker rant about a stolen Europe. Great European focused opinion piece by Saker. Also I agree with his opinion of the Turkish Ottoman Empire Caliphate II.

"The Ottomans: Call me crazy, but I am coming the conclusion that Turkey, at least in its present form, is inherently a dangerous and non-reformable entity which must be beat back to a size and quality commensurate with the notion of “normal country”. Just look at the past couple of decades. The Turks were involved in: Cyprus, Kurdistan, Chechnia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Crimea, Lebanon and Syria! How is that for a terrorism-support scorecard? Does anybody remember that Turkey does still occupy half of Cyprus and that the Turkish military has been bombing and attacking Kurds in Syria and Iraq for decades already. Clearly, the “imperial virus” has not been eradicated in this ex-Empire and this rot must be eliminated until Turkey finally becomes what all other former empires have become: a normal country, like Greece or Holland. By the way, the only thing which currently keeps Turkey together and gives it a kind of immunity is, of course, the protection of the United States, NATO aka the AngloZionist Empire. Get rid of one, and the other will soon follow."

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 3 2016 19:33 utc | 53

The press briefing by OIR spox last week was definitely frightening. I had thought this spox was much better than most but that briefing was terrifying, actually. He was asked a lot about Raqqa and he said yes, we do hope that the Syrian Democratic Forces (mostly Kurds) will take Raqqa because we think it's appropriate that these moderates are the ones who should be there. I assume he was talking about moderate Sunnis embedded in SDF but I'm not even sure. Later, the Syrian Kurd leader said if they take Raqqa, they will not allow the Syrian army to enter without a political arrangement, which sounds like an end to any kind of cooperation between the Kurds and the Syrian military coalition. What the heck is that about? I guess it's about getting some "facts on the ground" to use as negotiating cards at the table, but boy that sounds like a dangerous game, knowing that US special forces, air force and god only knows who else is in the mix.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Apr 3 2016 19:40 utc | 54

Replying to myself with a link from that briefing I referenced.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Apr 3 2016 19:42 utc | 55

Jrabbit @ 51: Thanks for that 1st link. If your're a favorite of the Empire, no matter what you do, your ass is covered.

Posted by: ben | Apr 3 2016 19:46 utc | 56

Excellent reminder b thanks.
It s so funny to see how propaganda work to the point of even trying to convince the people who forged it...Ridiculous!

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Apr 3 2016 19:55 utc | 57

@41, Trump may have "broached the taboo" but that didn't prevent him from bending the knee before AIPAC.

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 3 2016 22:08 utc | 58

EP @ 32:

" ... What I said is that the protests were a popular movement. I base this on the size of the protests (reportedly 100,000 marched in Dara'a), the broad-based participation (which included many segments of society -- professionals, middle-class, working-class, students, liberals, secular human-rights activists, housewives, shopkeepers, and eventually members of the Syrian Army); and also by the way that the protests had spread to twenty cities by the 22nd of April, 2011 ..."

That doesn't look like evidence or even just bluster, that looks like someone reading from a script. Please ask your bosses at Langley for an updated script that includes the takfiris who targeted and torched the Ba'ath Party headquarters and then turned on police and civilians alike.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 3 2016 23:42 utc | 59

I'm only scanning this thread lightly - but I see the topic is propaganda, and I'm delighted to see the Pulsifer deconstruction going on here.

Let the record show that the assembled parties discussed the situation at great length and began to arrive at authentic consensus. At this point the brand-new, "Reasonableness, Mark 1" robot was sent in, to beg the parties to step back and reconsider all premises from scratch, as if the foregoing discussion had never occurred. The robot's advances were rebuffed, handily, and the further discussion continued.

Thanks to james and Jen, and anyone else I may have missed in the excitement of w̶a̶t̶c̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶p̶a̶i̶n̶t̶ ̶d̶r̶y̶ deconstructing propaganda.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 4 2016 2:15 utc | 60

...which sounds like an end to any kind of cooperation between the Kurds and the Syrian military coalition. What the heck is that about? I guess it's about getting some "facts on the ground" to use as negotiating cards at the table, but boy that sounds like a dangerous game, knowing that US special forces, air force and god only knows who else is in the mix.
Posted by: Joanne Leon | Apr 3, 2016 3:40:49 PM | 53

If you were Assad or Putin, what disadvantage would there be to telling the Kurds to publicly promote the Kurdish Independence daydream? It could easily lead to the Yankees helping the Kurds. They're certainly stupid enough, and the Kurds owe the Yankees a betrayal, or two, or three...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4 2016 3:30 utc | 61

Assad has a potentially winning attitude to the Kurdish future...
"Yes, you can retain the autonomy we offered you during the invasion. All we ask is that you see yourselves as Syrians first and Kurds second - like everyone else in Our Secular Society."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4 2016 3:48 utc | 62

In fact the Panama Papers have less to do with Panama than with the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jersey, Gurnsey, Britain itself, even Nevada, etc. So why are all the media freaking out about Putin and Assad, the enemies du jour of the Western Empire? The hypocrisy meters have overheated and exploded. Hypocrisy meters are probably the investment of choice at this moment and for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Quentin | Apr 5 2016 8:36 utc | 63

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