Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 03, 2021

Former U.S. Official: Al-Qaeda In Syria Is "An Asset" For U.S. Strategy

There is a new public relation campaign pushed by Turkey to whitewash al-Qaeda in Syria. 'Western' journalists were invited to Idleb governorate through some Turkish agency to make some fan flicks about Hayat Tahrir al Sham, the al-Qaeda entity under Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, which rules in Idelb.

The U.S. Public Broadcasting Service sent a crew for the gig and scored an interview with Jolani himself:

In his first interview with an American journalist, Jolani told FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith that his role in fighting Assad and ISIS, and in controlling an area with millions of displaced Syrians who could potentially become refugees, reflected common interests with the United States and the West.

Jolani told Smith that his group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, posed no threat to the United States, and the government should remove him from its list of designated terrorists.

“First and foremost, this region does not represent a threat to the security of Europe and America,” Jolani told Smith. “This region is not a staging ground for executing foreign jihad.”

There is of course no reason to believe such nonsense:

Aaron Y. Zelin, whose research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy focuses on jihadi groups in North Africa and Syria, told Smith that it’s hard to know what Jolani’s intentions are “because he has been a chameleon.” Zelin said in an interview conducted March 8, “How can you necessarily trust somebody that’s just trying to survive and continue to remain in power, because that’s the only way he can?”

Still - PBS is whitewashing the guy. Just see this passage:

Since the start of the conflict in Syria a decade ago, the Assad regime’s forces and ISIS have conducted large-scale human rights abuses. The Assad regime’s actions, Jolani told Smith, fit the definition of terrorism because it was “killing innocent people, children, poor people, women.”

Human rights organizations have also documented violations by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, from indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas to arbitrary arrests.

"Arbitrary arrests" seems mild when compared to "large-scale human rights abuses". That is until you learn form recent news how Hayat Tahrir al Sham really rules:

Three women and one man were stoned to death in Idlib, northwestern Syria, on Monday, on the orders of Islamist militant group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS).

According to sources close to HTS, who spoke to The New Arab’s Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the individuals executed were charged with "adultery" and "attempted murder".

They were brutally executed in the city centre and the sentence was carried out by the security apparatuses, sources said.

But the U.S. government and its media never had trouble to ally with entities who commit such crimes. They are in fact often seen them as valuable tools. Former U.S. officials no problem with admitting that:

James Jeffrey, who served as a U.S. ambassador under both Republican and Democrat administrations and most recently as special representative for Syria engagement and special envoy to the global coalition to defeat ISIS during the Trump administration, told Smith that Jolani’s organization was “an asset” to America’s strategy in Idlib.

Is Jeffrey now in breach of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act?

The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (Pub.L. 97–200, 50 U.S.C. §§ 421–426) is a United States federal law that makes it a federal crime for those with access to classified information, or those who systematically seek to identify and expose covert agents and have reason to believe that it will harm the foreign intelligence activities of the U.S.

Probably not. The law protects only covered agents and it has long been obvious that Jolani and his group were working in U.S. interests.

Posted by b on April 3, 2021 at 17:05 UTC | Permalink


PBS news coverage is, to a large extent, propaganda. They hyped Russiagate and bashed Putin at every opportunity. Much of their news and public affairs funding comes from private sources--rich ones. At one time, PBS hosted the great progressive journalist Bill Moyers. Moyers is now retired, but no one has been asked to take his place, so its establishment oriented news all the time.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 3 2021 17:26 utc | 1

Honestly thought this was known since we let all them cats from Camp Bucca

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Apr 3 2021 17:29 utc | 2

This "hypocrisy" makes a lot of sense when you analyze it from the point of view of the "End of History" of the liberals post-1991. Just to give you a very recent example:

Biden Meets, and Defeats, the Press, by Joan Walsh, The Nation.

As president, Biden is responsible for conditions at the border, and immigration and asylum policies. This is an awful problem morally, politically, and logistically. Ultimately, he might not handle it well. But he handled loaded questions with moral passion and clarity.

See how ms. Walsh dismisses the atrocities committed by the liberal government of the USA against Latin American refugees/immigrants as a mere "logistical" issue.

The liberals don't see this words game as hypocrisy for the simple fact they claim for themselves to be the holders of the "common sense": they are the natural ideology, the natural state of humanity; therefore, they can't commit any violations to human rights etc. etc. by definition. It is only them who can claim to have the right of being pragmatic. The non-liberals cannot be pragmatic by definition for the simple fact they're abortions of History, non-natural states of humanity. Using the language in vogue, the non-liberals are not universal.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2021 17:35 utc | 3

NPR did a puff piece last fall on the plight of Uighyur families in Instabul, separated through the men's participation in the Idlib-based medieval death cult. Though they didn't state it that way.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 3 2021 17:50 utc | 4

The execrable Scott Simon -- NPR's very own Julius Streicher -- has managed to collect all the existing lies about China and the Uighers, and dumped them onto the airways this morning.

It's interesting to hear what happens to his voice whenever he is lying about China or Russia. I don't know if he's paid extra for pushing all those lies, or if it's a condition of his employment, but he makes a real effort to sound oh, so convincing when he's doing it. That's the tip-off that whatever he's saying is a lie.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Apr 3 2021 18:18 utc | 5

wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Pompeo the most truthful person in the history of mankind said that IRAN is hosting the largest number and concentration of Al Qaeda operatives in the world.

We are guilty of whatever we accuse Iran of doing. On youtube I am currently tormented by a Hasbara troll, Erick Stakelbeck, the Watchman. Once you watch a video, youtube keeps recommending more and I can't stop looking. And he accused Iran of supported Al Qaeda using Pompeo as a 'credible' source.

The U.S. is helping Al Qaeda in Syria.
Israel is helping ISIS in Syria by bombing the SAA and Iranian allies while ISIS attacks them.
This is not a 'conspiracy theory'. This is reported on the news but spun in a manner so that the U.S. public will not see it that way.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Apr 3 2021 18:21 utc | 6

Damn it vk, quit demonizing the word liberal. There is corporate malfeasance at every turn in the corporate admins we've been experiencing the last 40yrs here in the U$A.

Corporations are NOT liberal institutions. Greedy corporations are responsible for the regime change operations manifesting in Syria the past decade. Hence Biden's foreign policy screw ups.

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 3 2021 18:37 utc | 7

Does anything in U$ foreign policy resemble this definition? IMO, NO..

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 3 2021 18:43 utc | 8

thanks b! i wonder how long before they send the cleaners over to the wikipedia page on jolani???

"Ahmed Hussein al-Shar’a[5] (Arabic: أحمد حسين الشرع‎), known by the nom de guerre Abu Mohammad al-Julani[6] (Arabic: أبو محمد الجولاني‎), is the commander-in-chief of the Syrian militant group Tahrir al-Sham;[7] he was also the emir of its predecessor organisation al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda.[8] The US State Department listed Al-Julani as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" in May 2013,[9] and four years later announced a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture."

too bad the crew at pbs didn't want to take advantage of the 10 mil reward for his capture.. i guess the chump change they are making doing these promotional interviews is less stressful and they are being put to good use!

like i was saying in the previous thread, unless the usa has the punch bowl removed, they will continue in their drunken stupor and horrible rampages on the rest of the planet... someone needs to cut off the finance for wall st and the mil and end the planets anguish over this fucked up countries drunken madness...

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2021 18:48 utc | 9

rebranding... big corps do it... why can't jolani? jeffreys is fine with it! yeah, he was al qaeda, but he rebranded and now it is all good.. reminds me of the bullshit corp called monsanto... now they are bayer or whatever, so it is all good! oh but it is nice pbs gave jolani a podium to repeat what all usa media tell us - "The Assad regime’s actions, Jolani told Smith, fit the definition of terrorism because it was “killing innocent people, children, poor people, women.”

now, i just wouldn't have believed it until jolani said it! stuff like this at easter is fairly depressing until you realize their is nothing christian about anything going on in the usa media or government at present.. once you figure that out - it all makes sense and fits together nicely!

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2021 19:01 utc | 10

i once murdered people on a regular basis, but now i only murder bad guys... i can't tell if that was jolani or the usa that said that.. it makes sense... as long as you aren't the innocent person being murdered, all is fine.. rule# 1... control the narrative.. who gets to call someone else the bad guy?? or terrorist, or whatever??? us little people can't be given this task! we have to leave it up to usa politicians and media experts working for pbs!

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2021 19:04 utc | 11

@ Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 3 2021 18:37 utc | 7

I use the term "liberal"/liberalism in the sense as used by the rest of the world, i.e. as practically synonym to "pro-capitalist"/"pro-capitalism" (ideology).

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2021 19:27 utc | 12

Turkey is the main problem. Idlib would have been reclaimed long ago if it wasn’t for Turkey protedting the terrorists

Posted by: Yongle | Apr 3 2021 19:29 utc | 13

A not so new Condottiero

HTC is whitewashed every 3-4 years.
Could be understood as a weakness.
US, France, Turkey, Quatar, KSA... and nobody more suitable. The interview is 2 months old but the narrative of "Suit & Ties Rebels" run out of steam. For now.

From 2014, Réseau Voltaire, Thierry Meyssan:

In reaction to the headway of the Islamic State (IS, ex-ISIL) in Iraq, the Al-Nusra Front (an Al Qaeda-linked group in Syria) decided to create its own caliphate, according to an announcement made by its emir, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani. through an audio message on July 11.

The "Victory Front for the People of the Levant" emerged in early 2012. In March of that year, it perpetrated a double suicide bomb attack in Damascus (which was first presented by the Western press as a false flag operation organized by the Syrian government). It was then made up of members of the Islamic Emirate in Iraq, including some Syrian nationals originating mainly from Deraa, whose objective was to continue the jihad in their own country.

It would seem that the Front was created on the initiative of Mohammad Farouk Tayfour, Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, whose political orders allegedly came from the MB office in Istanbul and the military intelligence from NATO.

Funding for the Front was initially provided by the State of Qatar and subsequently by that of Saudi Arabia (until its breakup with the Brotherhood). It also received private donations from religious leaders and heads of major Gulf companies. Its current benefactors are the Saudi secret services (since the return of Prince Bandar).

End of 2012, the Front publicly disclosed its links with Al-Qaeda, resulting in its inclusion in Washington’s list of terrorist organizations, on December 11.

However, France - which oversees the Front militarily with officers of the French Foreign Legion - continues to support it also diplomatically. At the Friends of Syria meeting held in Marrakech, Morocco, on December 12 2012, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated that "all Arabs were up in arms" against the attitude of the United States "because, on the ground the Front was doing a good job." "It was very clear, and the president of the Coalition [Syrian National] was of the same mind" [1]. The president of the Coalition, Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib (also a Shell lobbyist), asked Washington to reconsider its position. 29 rebel groups signed a petition to oppose the move by the U.S. and to support the Front. In the end, France officially endorsed the U.S. position and took the initiative to have the Front added to the UN list of terrorist organizations.

In fact, there is documented proof that French, U.S., Qatari and Turkish officers were active within the Front after its inclusion in the United Nations list of terrorist organizations.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 19:39 utc | 14

@ james | Apr 3 2021 18:48 utc | 9

We are told about the 10 millions$ reward for his capture.
Unfortunately, the reward to help him to stay alive and well and suitable is not unsealed.
Does FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith just "Take the Money and Run"?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 19:56 utc | 15

Also watch what happens in the East Med.;

A million barrels of Iranian crude oil is approaching the Suez Canal from the Red Sea. It is part of a larger flotilla of tankers bound for Baniyas, Syria. We have visually identified all of them. The first one shall arrive in about 3 days time, all depending on congestion.

The Eisenhower Air craft carrier strike group has NOT left the Med. and they say they are ramping up flight operations.
"to support the continuing campaign against Islamic State remnants in Syria and Iraq."

Clearly a coincidence. (So Syria couldn't carry out their planned advance into Idlib (or eventually into east Syria as well?)

In Jordan there has apparently been an "coup" attempt, but the King has already assured Israel that it was unsuccessful. As long as the important people have been told first......

About Joulani; there has always been the "name changing tactic". How many wokies really remember Al Quaeda and ..... the three towers on 9/11? Was that just another thing that happened in the past? - quick, zap.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 3 2021 20:16 utc | 16

@ vk
Is The Banality of US's Evil just
The Banality of Liberal's Evil
Or The Banality of Blinken's Evil?

When I think of the suffering of the Syrian people, including Syrian children, I think of my own two children. How could we not take action to help them? Our common humanity demands it. Shame on us if we don't.

so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal
Hannah Arendt

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 20:17 utc | 17

Among other Western media propaganda outlets invited to the Turkish-sponsored junket in Idlib province, the BBC must have been prominent. Surely there was room on the all-expenses-covered trip for Brit Bullshitter Corporate flack John Sudworth who had to flee China after he was hit with lawsuits from irate Uyghur farmers in Xinjiang for reporting that they use forced labour and not John Deere harvesters to gather in cotton harvests.

There must be a few Uyghur jihadi pals in Idlib Sudworth could have caught up.

Last I heard, Sudworth is currently in Taiwan.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 3 2021 20:52 utc | 18

@ Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 20:17 utc | 17

Deep down, it nothing more nothing less means the the USA is the Capitalist version (i.e. the bad, evil version) of the USSR. It two-headed party is the Capitalist version of the Bolshevik Party (Russian Communist Party/Communist Party of the Soviet Union). When an American speaks of his own country or that his country leads an international order, it is nothing more nothing less speaking in the name of Capitalism, as if USA was synonymous with Capitalism. Wall Street is the Capitalist politburo; the USG and its embassies are the de facto Capitalist International. Its NGOs and other shadowy institutions are the Capitalist version of the congresses of the workers', peasants' and soldiers' deputies.

The USA doesn't consider it an normal nation. The USA is an idea (Manifest Destiny). The USA is everywhere. Where there is an American citizen, there is the USA; each American carries with him or her the Manifest Destiny, the universal human being, the End of History. That's what makes the USA the greatest, but at the same time the most virulent and most dangerous, empire ever built by the homo sapiens.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2021 21:14 utc | 19

Scott Horton interviewed Smith about his documentary last month:

Posted by: Edward | Apr 3 2021 21:23 utc | 20

vk @ 12; Choose the definition that suits you, but, the "rest of the world" is using a re-definition that pleases most "right-wingers" like the late Rush Limbaugh, who was famous for coining new definitions for long defined words. Demonizing the word liberal plays into the agenda of the anti-democracy crowd.

The definition I provided is not "pro-capitalist", and neither are most REAL liberals.

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 3 2021 21:30 utc | 21

Al Qaeda has been a US/Israeli/NATO asset all along, including on 9/11.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Apr 3 2021 21:32 utc | 22

Former U.S. Official: Al-CIA-duh In Syria Is "An Asset" For U.S. Strategy

Couldn't agree more.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 3 2021 22:13 utc | 23

Posted by: Rob | Apr 3 2021 17:26 utc | 1

Both PBS and NPR also refused to call the Bush administration's torture what it was, insisting on using the term "enhanced interrogation techniques" (between on-air advertisements - yes - on NPR and PBS - for Boeing and Raytheon!). So when they were full throat apologists for Obama's middle east destruction campaign, it wasn't any surprise to me. My theory is that over the years Republican politicians have successfully cut taxpayer funding to those organizations and as a result they turned to big money interests which, during the Bush years were "defense" contractors or rich guys who made their money in that sector - that was the establishment of the time.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Apr 3 2021 22:15 utc | 24

Somewhat not-off-topic suggested reading (and inclusion in tomorrow's Week in Review/Open Thread?) about the whacky alignment of American Uighur activists with rightwing, anti-Muslim politicians and militia groups. Strange stuff, but in keeping with the U.S. government's longstanding M.O. against "hostile foreign powers", which of course China has been made out to be.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Apr 3 2021 22:17 utc | 25

vk #19

Kind of reminded me of the Smedley Butler quote from his book "War is a Racket."

The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

Smedley Butler

The truth is, as Maj. Gen. Butler understood about a century ago, American corporate capitalism in the interest of private finance - dedicated to the concentration of wealth, and the use of concentrated wealth to accrue even more concentrated wealth, absolutely cannot exist without spreading perpetual instability abroad and the occasional military invasion.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Apr 3 2021 22:22 utc | 26

Sorry vetinLA but Liberal politicians in the world outside amerika are pro-capitalist conservative parties whose ideology is the same as that of old school rethugs. A typical one being the Liberal Party who ruled Australia thru the 20th century into the 21st, Liberal parties outside amerika are generally defined by the old englander Liberal party which espoused free trade as a liberal virtue; of course they meant the right of england to steal from whatever colony they chose to as being free trade, none the less liberal outside amerika means unhindered capitalism, free from regulation or trade barriers.
Like amerikan neolibs, the old school liberal parties would occasionally suborn some seeming ideal, such as 'ending slavery' For example Liberal MP William Wilberforce was shocked when englander Parliament passed a bill in 1833 totally banning the slave trade as he had advocated a slow reduction in slavery so as not to upset england's trade.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 3 2021 22:44 utc | 27

Yongle #13

Turkey is the main problem. Idlib would have been reclaimed long ago if it wasn’t for Turkey protedting the terrorists

THAT is it in a nutshell but then USA is the MAIN problem.

While Turkey runs the headchoppers for the USA in Idlib they distract SAA and its Russian support from reclaiming their invaded lands in the east. So Syria has lost its breadbasket and oil supply from its eastern lands. These lands are invaded by Kurds who Turkey pretends to hate but uses them to slowly creep into more Syrian lands.

Turkey is the fence for every dollar going into Idlib and every barrel going out of the eastern Syian oilfields and is yet to get its hands on the wheat. Give it time. Currently the wheat seems to be consumed by Kurds but is likely sold in Iraq.

The Turkish/Kurdish predatory relationship has been a thing since before the Armenian Holocaust when both participated in that ghastly genocide. The USA backs both of these groups - Turkey somewhat covertly and the Kurds overtly.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 23:17 utc | 28

@ vk

each American carries with him or her the Manifest Destiny, the universal human being, the End of History

No mystification is eternal. No population is monolitic.

Beyond the literary effects, isn’t there evidences that the Empire’s Titanic is sinking?
Is it not this hope that makes us exchange informations and opinions here?

Never forget:Wir sind das Volk

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 23:28 utc | 29

@ Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 19:39 utc | 14 and etc...thanks bernard... many of the posters here have been at moa since the war started on syria, 2012 and before... some of us have long memories too... no matter how many times the west want to paint different stripes on a leopard, it is still the same leopard at work for regime change, stealing syrians land, resources and etc - or what not.. it is generally the same players too... i wish it would all end, but russia likes these frozen states... perhaps it is taking the long approach, but it sure is taking a long time to be done with this madness on the part of usa and poodles...

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2021 1:23 utc | 30

Yesterday's enemy is today's strategic asset in the ME.

What doesn't change is the long term geo strategic objectives. That is to facilitate and cushion the alien invaders of historic Palestine imposing themselves, expanding and keeping their hands on the stolen property. The new cushioned Pashas.

Dividing the region into a mosaic of feuding mini states is their method since WW1. It is blatant for all those willing to see.

The world had the ideal Arab moderate leader, Faisal, the son of Sheriff Hussain of Mecca during and after WW1. However he wouldn't go along with the alien invasion and vivisection of Palestine.
Faisal was hindered from attending the Paris 'Peace' Conference and eventually became a wanted man by French police. There is an excellent book 'Faisal 1 of Iraq' by Ali A. Allawi, published by Yale University Press on the twists and turns of ME policy. Highly recommended. Interestingly the World Zionist Organisation had a seat at the conference despite not representing a real nation or being a belligerent party. The objectives were transparent. A land grab to establish an exclusive ghetto in the sun, at someone else's expense.

The Arab irredentists wanted no more than the founders of the American Revolution, the Italian, Polish, German and Serbian irredentists. An independent nation free from foreign occupation and domination.

The Anglo/Zionist/French betrayed the Arab irredentist allies during and after WW1and now the policy continues today.

WW1 is far from over, it is unfinished business.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 4 2021 1:28 utc | 31

The King of Jordan is a strategic US asset.

Coup attempt.

The BBC aired this report.

"I had a visit from the chief of general staff of the Jordanian armed forces this morning in which he informed me that I was not allowed to go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them because in the meetings that I had been present in - or on social media relating to visits that I had made - there had been criticism of the government or the king," Prince Hamzah said in the video recorded on Saturday.

Prince Hamzah said he was able to post the video, recorded in English, thanks to satellite internet which had not been cut off yet.

The royal also said a number of his friends, people he knows, have been arrested, but while he was not being accused of making criticism against Jordan’s ruling structures, he, nevertheless, took to accuse the government of corruption.

"I am making this recording to make it clear that I am not part of any conspiracy or an affairious organization or foreign pact group as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out," Hamzah said, adding "I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse by the year. And I am not responsible for the lack of faith people have in their institutions."

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 4 2021 1:31 utc | 32

I always wondered what the real morale and feelings of US soldiers and special forces is when they are ordered to aid groups like Hayat Tahrir al Sham or train and arm jihadis at Al Tanf, or the the ones that have to fire at Syrian army units as they steal Syria's oil, or the ones that stand guard over Syria's wheat fields and oil production zones while Syrian's pick through the garbage in their own country. Or the coalition airforce pilots that carried out the air raids on Syrian troops in support of ISIS in Deir ez-Zor in Sept 2016 for example. I wonder if it ever makes people regret they signed up for service or want to quit after their tour? I wonder if it makes people hate their generals and policy makers or makes people spiritually sick? Or if its led to any suicides? Even though I know US military operatives are well trained to not ask questions about why and just follow orders I still don't understand how you could live with yourself killing Syrian men that are defending their country from these groups like HTS, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Jaysh Al Islam..etc. I can't imagine the thoughts and lives of US military men if they are eventually forced by the Biden administration to kill Syrians to help HTS take Damascus. Many must know what they are doing amounts to treason and is, for lack of a better word, evil. I'd like to see an interview with some soldiers who did this one day in the future, to see what lies they told themselves to stomach this. I figure many must adopt a cynical type of dissociation, similar to someone who works for a cartel or mafia, like "well its just a job, someone has to do it, I do it to feed my family or survive". Mind-boggling to think about.

Posted by: jamesC | Apr 4 2021 2:36 utc | 33

Debs @ 27; Appreciate the heads up, but, I care not about what they call one another in other countries. I can call a dog a cat, if I choose, but its still a dog. I'll stick with the original definition of liberal, thanks..

IMO, redefining already defined words, has one purpose, to confuse the dialog, and mislead people.

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 4 2021 3:09 utc | 34

@ jamesC | Apr 4 2021 2:36 utc | 33... good post... worth pondering.. thanks.. go over to pat langs site and ask him.. see what he says..

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2021 3:15 utc | 35

You run into some problems with the product you are selling, you hire some consultants (prostitutes of wisdom) who form a focus group to come up with a new name, mission statement and marketing plan, and voila, problem solved. Product is still poison though. Oxford–AstraZeneca changes it's name to Vaxzevria, while Jolani the barbarian head chopping organ eating orc is now an elder statesman on a par with Sir Tony Blair. Perhaps Jolani after the rebranding can take up Sir Blair's Peace envoy to the Middle East.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 4 2021 3:49 utc | 36

Posted by JamesC @33

Good question. First the vets need a conscience.

I understand about twenty commit suicide per day in the US. There are many vet suicides in Australia. There are persistent calls for a Royal Commission into vet suicides. One company Cresco Pharma CPH is conducting trials with psilocybin.

Could this be the new SOMA as described by Aldous Huxley in 'Brave new World'?

I hope it works. Perhaps give it to the vets before combat rather than later. It might be a bad trip or 'we found the enemy and we got smashed'.

I can say synthetic and organic psilocybin has mild side effects. A sore stomach from excessive laughing.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 4 2021 3:50 utc | 37

Posted by: jamesC | Apr 4 2021 2:36 utc | 33

The act of signing up with a known and proven imperialist terror organization called the US military makes one a mercenary at best and a war criminal at worst.

They can piss off with their baizuo crocodile tears and victim claiming.

Posted by: J W | Apr 4 2021 3:50 utc | 38

@ Posted by: jamesC | Apr 4 2021 2:36 utc | 33

I don't think they're using low conscripted soldiers to do that kind of job.

They're probably using medium-high, carefully selected officials, in a highly controlled environment.

But even if it wasn't the case, see my first comment here. If you think you're the universal ideology, the ends justify the means, and the concept of hypocrisy self-annihilates.

Posted by: vk | Apr 4 2021 4:29 utc | 39

Is there any reason Syria & Lebanon could not reunite?

And at the same time Syria could cut a deal with Turkey to divide Idlib and end this War?

Posted by: Julian | Apr 4 2021 4:34 utc | 40

Turkey under Erdoğan has been playing a very nefarious role in syria by protecting islamist extremists be Isis or the moslem brotherhood. That criminal game will blow up on their face because the kurds will defeat the turkish army and the kurdish part of turkey will secede as part of kurdish Irak seceded. These days will come fast if Erdoğan stays in power. Turkey is the snake and its head should be cut to save it. Erdoğan must go!

Posted by: Virgile | Apr 4 2021 4:54 utc | 41

Good to see that FRONTLINE is pimping for America's precious Moderate Head-Choppers and Jihadists in Syria!

God knows that these Pro-Democracy Jihadists don't get nearly the love that they deserve given their cozy connections with Al-Queda or ISIS affiliates--or that peculiar head-chopping habit of theirs. So gauche.

That Frontline interview also demonstrates that the Propaganda Broadcasting Service (PBS) is putting in a strong bid to win this year's prize for America's highly prestigious Julius Streicher Journalism Award. Kudos!

Without PBS or other media mouthpieces like it, the sheeple in the USA and around the world might actually start questioning how America can be leading a Global War on Terrorism even as it bankrolls and arms jihadists groups that are Al-Queda or ISIS franchises.

Worse still, they might stop surfing internet porn for a second and wonder about the American government's role in that 9-11 thingie, given the USA's connections to Al-Queda.

How Ambassador Robert Ford Attempted to Whitewash the CIA’s Dirty War on Syria

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 4 2021 6:08 utc | 42

@33 JamesC

Yes, in the American Military there is a lot of cognitive dissonance and misgivings regarding Syria and the support we give to Al Queda.

In some military circles Russia is respected for their role in fighting the moderate head-choppers, although I am not sure that would make a difference in the event of hostility with Russia. The military is going thru great pains indoctrinating soldiers to unquestionably consider Russia the enemy, much of which falls on deaf ears.

The US role in Syria is definitely takings its toll on US military morale, but when push comes to shove, due to the way the military is structured, it might not matter...although the way military brass is behaving, I'd say they are worried.

Posted by: Haassaan | Apr 4 2021 6:15 utc | 43

The original definition of liberal is the one I gave, it goes back more than 200 years, for some reason known entirely to themselves amerikans dubbed themselves liberal long after the birth of liberalism in other parts of the world.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 4 2021 7:14 utc | 44

Did this Anglo-Jihadi odd couple started with Brezinski's Afghan-trap set for the Russians in 1978? Motives plenty for that Warsaw born US hawk: anti Russian anti communism and pro US-Mil complex business model are clear, but do not forget that Russia was/is a major oil producer with the potential to destabilize the linchpin of the Sunni petro-dollar.

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 4 2021 7:26 utc | 45

vetinLA, actually if we consider two things that the 'Liberal' descriptor is nowadays used is a pejoritive term by the right in amerika and as you correctly said "redefining already defined words, has one purpose, to confuse the dialog, and mislead people" then when the Nixonians began talking about 'the liberal media' etc back in the late sixties it sort of makes sense. Back then not that many amerikans had a big awareness of the political systems & parties of other countries.
Maybe it was Pat Buchanan who decided to suborn a word that people could be aware had a political connotation but they weren't aware of the details, although they probably knew the dictionary non-political descriptor meaning :

: of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts liberal education
b archaic : of or befitting a man of free birth
2a : marked by generosity : openhanded a liberal giver
b : given or provided in a generous and openhanded way a liberal meal
c : ample, full
3 obsolete : lacking moral restraint : licentious
4 : not literal or strict : loose a liberal translation
5 : broad-minded especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms
6a : of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism
b capitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism especially : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives

Then labelling that which they wanted to portray as being somehow sinful as liberal would have made great sense to the Buchanans et al

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 4 2021 7:42 utc | 46

Stonebird 16

There is no evidence that I can find that locates CVN69 aircraft operating over Syria. They seem to be focused on Iraq. As per from

"Last week, task force spokesman, Col. Wayne Marotto, reported the latest operations against Islamic State holdouts in northern Iraq’s Makhmour Mountains included more than 300 airstrikes, which hit 120 hideouts and killed 27 terrorists."

It appears that the plan is that they move into the 5th Fleet area this month.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 4 2021 10:20 utc | 47

Thanks b,
no wonder you closed comments for your Easter post, It became inhabited by hair splitting hasbara trolls. Happy Easter to you and genuine barflies. Go Wagner, the synthesis of the arts. That's real heavy music. One has to see Wagner in action to actually appreciate it.

A gripe:

I wish I had more time to make more well wordered comments by consulting books and checking facts moments before I am timed out.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 4 2021 11:16 utc | 48

JohninMK | Apr 4 2021 10:20 utc | 47

That was quoted from their "mission statement".

The only recent reference I have heard about was a plane (s?) breaking the sound barrier over Deir Ezzor. But that doesn't prove anything as there is no indication of who it was. (Ie. it probably did not come from the Ike.)

One thing about Eisenhower is that it sailed towards Gibraltar, and is now "on the way back" to the eastern Med. (Tailed by a Russian Missile frigate on the way "out"). It is a key piece as it can act as "overall" command center over a wide area. Med or Persian Gulf - lucky the Suez canal is open again !

Makhmur mountains; I had to look it up. There is plenty of "confusion" between the PKK, ISIS and the PKK refugee camp. The latter were moved from Turkish threatened areas and are still there.
There have been mentioned various attempts to clear out the area round Sinjar (further North), but without sucess. Now I find out about the refugees' position I can understand a bit more about what is going on. The US are building "crossings" somewhere around that area to supply the Syrian occupation and to take their wheat into Iraq, which is possibly the reason behind them doing anything at all.

The PKK, described as a terrorist organisation, were never really part of a "Kurdish" alliance with the YPG. (YPG connected to Israel and both rather corrupt where oil "rights" are concerned).

The reference I found for info -

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 4 2021 11:25 utc | 49

Thanks Stonebird, always after new sources of info.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 4 2021 12:03 utc | 50


Chris Hedges did an interview recently with an ex-solider - Erik Edstrom - who served in Afghanistan and led missions there as a captain. Edstrom wrote a book about it called the ‘Un-American: A Soldier's Reckoning Of Our Longest War’. The Hedges' interview and the book (I have not read it yet) address many of the issues you raise directly about how Edstrom/soldiers cope with deeds they are ordered to do and how what he did as a soldier still affects him detrimentally to this day. A very powerful segment worth watching.

Posted by: Blake Holden | Apr 5 2021 21:44 utc | 51

Bernard F @ 19,

You wrote:

When an American speaks of his own country or that his country leads an international order, it is nothing more nothing less speaking in the name of Capitalism, as if USA was synonymous with Capitalism.

I have come to the same conclusion. Even references to democracy are really references to Capitalism.

Except, I would add this. It is not Capitalism in the sense Adam Smith imagined but rather the current form of "crony Capitalism" seen in the West.

Posted by: Mike from Jersey | Apr 19 2021 20:05 utc | 52

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