We are continuing to publish on our site the fragments from the book AMERICA’S PLANSFOR WORLD HEGEMONY , by Romanian author Calistrat M. Atudorei which was published in English version very recently by printing house ”ePublishers” in Bucharest.
Chapter 9/5. 9/11 and Offensive in the Middle East
Syrian War: 2011–2018
The reasons for US intervention in Syria are numerous. Beyond the strategic ones, set by the PNAC Council as early as 1991, in 2006 another reason appeared. In conformity with reports announced by Reuters, in February 2006 “Syria changed all its foreign currency transactions, from dollars to euros.”109 The official report was made at that time by Syrian Commercial Bank chief, who invoked some political conflicts with the United States. I previously described, especially in the case of Iraq and Libya, the importance of such a decision and the most frequent consequences.
It is important to note that Syria was an economically independent country without external debt until the domestic crisis began in 2011. In fact, according to data110 provided by the World Bank and International Debt Statistics, even after the onset of the domestic crisis, Syria succeeded, with some oscillations, to keep its external debt to zero until 2016. Another remarkable fact is that Syria remained even despite the prolonged war, owner of its Central Bank, which is not affiliated to the international financial regulation system (BIS—Bank for International Settlements). The bank was seriously affected, but it resisted. A clue in this regard is given by a document issued on May 17, 2018 by the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, stating that “Restrictions on the state-owned Syrian Central Bank and transactions in major international currencies seriously affected the ability of any physical or legal entity wishing to operate on this platform internationally.”111
Regarding American interests and the intervention of US military forces in Syria, I will further present some accounts by US officials as well as a declassified report of US secret services showing that the US and its allies armed, funded and supported groups of Islamic rebels, and used them as intermediaries (through a proxy war) to overthrow the Syrian government.
On April 12, 2018, Jeffrey Sachs—world renowned expert at Columbia University, UN Secretary-General economic affairs adviser, spoke about the situation in Syria as part of a live broadcast by MSNBC TV channel. Regarding America’s military involvement in Syria, Sachs’s opinion was that “This is a US mistake that started seven years ago.” He went on to say that the Obama administration “sent the CIA to overthrow Assad. CIA and Saudi Arabia attempted together to overthrow Assad through undercover operations. It was a disaster.” Describing the consequences of this operation, Jeffrey Sachs explained that “We made a proxy war in Syria that killed 500,000 people, displaced 10 million (…) and resulted in a complete chaos.” Sachs also expressed a suggestion to improve the situation, addressed to President Donald Trump: “What I would recommend to President Trump is to get out of there. Just as the instinct told him from the beginning. But then the entire establishment—The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Pentagon—everybody told (Trump) ‘No, no, that’s irresponsible!’” The conclusion of the famous analyst was that “we have done enough damage for seven years. And now we really risk an argument with Russia which is extraordinarily dangerous.”112
In his turn, former US Vice President Joe Biden publicly admitted in 2014 that the Sunni allies of the United States in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Turkey) funded with hundreds of millions of dollars to Islamist rebels in Syria who formed ISIS. The report was part of a talk he gave at the Kennedy School of Governance within Harvard University. In line with BBC news site, when Biden referred to these states, he said that “our biggest problem was our allies. (…) The Turks… the Saudis, the Emirates, etc., what were they were doing? They were so determined to take down (Syrian President Bashar al) Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad.”113 In the video recording of Biden’s accounts, he can be seen explaining that ISIS comes from Iraq’s terrorist organization Al-Qaeda (which we know it was called “ISI,” i.e. the Islamic State of Iraq) and when it was expelled from Iraq, it found open space in the east of Syria, and thus they outlined the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” So this is how ISIS was formed, in accordance with the US Vice President’s competent explanations at a Harvard conference! Biden completed, amused regarding ISIS terrorists, that “we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.” He further explained that since “America cannot once again go to a Muslim nation and be the aggressor,” then this attack “must be led by the Sunnis.”114 Biden therefore admits that America attacked Muslim nations (we can think of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya) and intimates that now it can no longer openly do it in Syria, but it acts strategically through a coalition of Sunni states.
Hillary Clinton—former Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013 in the Barack Obama administration—also admitted many times that those against whom the war on terror is being waged today are being trained and funded by the United States government itself. In such an account, Clinton stated that “the people we are fighting today, we funded them twenty years ago… and we did it because we were locked in a struggle with the Soviet Union.” She added that as a result of this operation, the USSR “lost billions of dollars and this led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.”115 In a further reference to the same topic, in a show broadcast by Fox News, Hillary Clinton said that “When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan we had this brilliant idea of going to Pakistan and creating a Mujahedeen force, equipping them with missiles and everything else to go against the Soviets in Afghanistan. And we did it! The Soviets left Afghanistan.” She further explained that afterwards America also withdrew from the area, but “we left in Pakistan and Afghanistan these well-trained and armed men who created a disaster.”116
So the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan formed the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which then expanded into Iraq and formed the so-called Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).
Back to Clinton’s first statement, we find that she admits the US worked not only with Al Qaeda but also with the terrorist group ISI. Specifically, Hillary Clinton stated that “we stopped dealing with the Pakistani military and with ISI, and we now are making up for a lot of lost time.”117
Perhaps some would have the impression that accounts made by Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are simple mistakes in moments of confusion. But similar accounts came from Senators Rand Paul and John McCain too.
Senator Rand Paul admitted in a live show, presented by Fox News in 2014, that “We sponsored people who are allies with ISIS. ISIS is stronger because we funded Islamic rebels in Syria.”118
And Senator McCain declared — in an interview broadcast in 2014 by Fox News—that “At a meeting in the White House, more than two years ago, all members of the national security team recommended ISIS’ arming.”119 The US senator said President Obama wouldn’t have approved that initiative, but his allegation is questionable in relation to the identity of the terrorist groups.
Let us make a brief assessment of the difference between rebels and terrorists from Syria. In the official accounts representatives of the United States say that Washington supports only the “rebels” who do not want Bashar al-Assad anymore. At the same time, the USA administration declares they fight against terrorists in Syria. However, if we start from the premise that rebels and terrorists are in opposite sides, we can wonder: how is it possible for these terrorists to support for about nine years the war in Syria against rebels, the United States, other great Western powers, the Russian Federation and the Syrian government? How do these terrorists have so many military, financial and logistical resources to face so many forces in a country exhausted by wars, turned to ruins and with the highest emigration rate in the world?
It is interesting to note that the US administration, Saudi Arabia and Qatar do not make any secret of the financing and intensive arming of the rebels in the Middle East region. For example, a news release from CNN in August 2012 announced that “President Barack Obama signed a secret directive authorizing US support for Syrian rebels” and that the order “allows for clandestine support by the CIA and other agencies.” CNN also adds that “US officials have told CNN that Washington is cooperating with countries that are arming the rebels, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”120
Besides, as the British daily The Guardian informed in June 2014, Obama “asked from the Congress $500m for the US army, seeking to train ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels,”121 in order to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime. As we can see, it is ironic that although rebels (so sustained by America’s allies) and terrorists (no one knowing who finances them) seem to be in opposite sides, both groups aim to overthrow Assad!
The arming activity of the Middle East “rebels” to overthrow the Syrian regime was very prodigious in recent years and involved enough support from Western countries. On March 10, 2013, the Reuters news agency picked a German weekly Der Spiegel piece of news, announcing that “Americans train Syrian rebels in Jordan: Spiegel.”122 Connections were much more complex, as “Saudi Arabia and Qatar are believed to be providing weapons to the rebels, and Arab League ministers decided on Wednesday to allow Arab nations as well to arm them.” In addition, both Reuters and The Guardian announced that “British and French instructors also participated in the US-led effort” in training those who were to fight against the army of the Syrian government. The Guardian invokes Jordanian sources according to which “training took place in more secure areas and was led by the CIA.”123
Also interesting is the news that shows how some ISIS leaders being in trouble fighting against Syrian government forces were rescued by the US Army. A BBC News release of November 13, 2017, announced that following a secret agreement, “hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition.” The city had been designated by the terrorist organization as the capital of the caliphate Islamic State but had to be abandoned due to the rough siege laid by the Syrian forces supported by the Russian Federation. The BBC adds that in the fugitive ISIS convoys were also “some of the group’s most notorious members.”124
Regarding the same evacuation of ISIS terrorists, US television station CBS News provided additional information in conformity with which the convoy was allowed to flee along with a lot of ISIS weapons: “their convoy included nearly 50 rented trucks, 13 buses and more than 100 ISIS vehicles. Ten trucks were loaded with weapons.” This channel also very frankly confirmed that the evacuation was done with the approval and oversight of the Western Allies: “The U.S. and British-led coalition knew about the deal, brokered by Syrian Democratic Forces (a US-backed anti-Assad militia) and monitored the exodus.”125
The Irish Times also mentioned in the same period that its reporters “learned not only about evacuation, but also that the greatest commanders of the Islamic State and their families, a total of 45 people, had been transported from Raqqa by an American helicopter.”126
A second rescue wave of ISIS leaders (also known as DAESH) was operated by the US Army in Syria in December 2017. The Syrian news agency SANA wrote on December 28, 2017 that “the US continues to evacuate Daesh leaders in the province DeirEzZor” as reported by local sources that saw how they were boarded on American helicopters. Meanwhile, Syrian agency noted that “In recent months, the Syrian government has repeatedly accused Washington of providing various forms of support for Daesh and other terrorist groups operating in Syria, including intelligence which allowed militants to attack Syrian army positions.”127
A similar situation occurred in Afghanistan in January 2019 when, according to a detailed report by the Tasnim News Agency128, about 40 ISIS leaders were released from a Northwestern prison in Afghanistan by US troops. US soldiers killed all Afghan guards and embarked ISIS leaders on board of American helicopters.
On this behavior of the US the news and analysis site, Alwaght informed that “Syrian government sent a message to the United Nations, accusing the US-led coalition of making deals with the ISIS terrorists and coordinating its actions with the terror group.”129
US government’s close links with ISIS were exposed with documents in 2015 by the web sites Medium130 and ZeroHedge131. An ultra-secret report of the Pentagon, dated August 12, 2012, was thereby brought to light. The document was legally obtained by the law firm of public interest Judicial Watch and was posted on the Internet in photocopy. Nevertheless, the mainstream media refuses to raise the issue, and the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not respond when asked to comment.
The document clearly demonstrates that the US supported the formation of ISIS as a “tool” to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It is reported that Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) “supported Syrian opposition from the start, both ideologically and through the media” and that “Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI are the major forces driving insurgency in Syria.” Concerning combat forces, the report summarizes that “the West, the Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition while Russia, China and Iran support the [Assad] regime.”132
The most significant part is the observation that “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”133
Therefore the Pentagon regarded the probable foundation of the extremist Islamic State (the “Salafist Principality”) as a direct consequence of the strategies applied in the region, but considered this outcome a strategic opportunity with the “purpose of isolating the Syrian regime.” So this probable situation was in 2012 “exactly” what “the opposition supporters [US-led coalition] want.” Behold a clear confirmation, expressed in a legal, official document but which Western analysts and the mainstream media pretend not to see.
Regarding mass-media virulent allegations that the Bashar al-Assad government carried out chemical weapon attacks on its own civilian population, there are stridently highlighted a few elements that generate more than mere suspicions.
If we were to only analyze the two attacks attributed to Assad, in 2017 and respectively 2018, we can find that, first of all, the evidences are completely missing.
The first attack with chemical weapons, the one from April 4, 2017, resulted in 80 deaths in the region Ghouta, conducted after the March 30, 2017 news announcing that “US priority in Syria is no longer focused on removing Assad”134 from power. The decision came in the context in which helped by the Russian Federation, the Syrian government had already taken control of most of Syria’s territory, and had almost completely dispelled ISIS terrorists. However, the chemical weapon attack attributed to Assad changed the perception completely, and the US had again reason to attack the Syrian regime and maintain its presence in Syria. On April 6, 2017, the New York Times titled that “Dozens of American missiles hit the Syrian Air Base.”135 Let us note that on the author of the chemical weapons attack in April 2017, the US Secretary of Defense, General JimmMattis admitted on February 8, 2018, that “the United States has no evidence that the Syrian government used the sarin chemical gas over its citizens.”136 It is almost useless to emphasize the lack of logic and strategy that Bashar al-Assad would have proven that through that alleged chemical attack attributed to him to nullify by him the victory that he was so close to and for which he assiduously struggled for six years. The fact that this cock-and-bull situation repeated almost identically a year later makes things even more suspect.
On March 29, 2018, after the Assad government, helped by the Russian Federation, controlled again the Syrian territory with authority, CNN announced that “Trump declares that the US will withdraw from Syria very soon”137 and the New York Times wrote on April 4, 2018 that “President Trump instructed his military commanders to quickly terminate the US military operation in Syria so that they could bring their troops home in a few months.”138 However, a few days later, on April 8, 2018, Assad apparently sabotages his coveted victory again and he is accused of attacking in suburbs of Damascus his own compatriots with prohibited weapons. 42 deaths were reported as a result of the incident. As retaliation, on April 14, 2018, “US, UK and France launch strikes in response to chemical attack.”139 With respect to the author of this attack not only is there no evidence that it was ordered by the Syrian government, but bombing to punish “monster Assad”140 (as Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN characterized him) was carried out a few hours before the OIAC141 team of investigators began the inspection of the crime scene. Surely, with the bombing of the area, the chances of a conclusive investigation disappeared. The Independent UK daily reported a week after the US bombing: “It is unclear why the US and its allies could not postpone the action until the inspectors, who were already on their own way, could reach Douma and start their inspection activity.”142
This sequence of events clearly indicates that chemical weapon attacks were programmed to create a change of political and military situations precisely at times when Syria was about to chase US-funded rebel-terrorists. Who would have benefited from the attacks? Definitely, not the Assad regime, because it would have instantly lost victory against the rebels and made the invaders of the American coalition have reason to remain in Syria. Instead, for US-backed terrorist rebels, such absolutely stupid attack, allegedly conducted by the Syrian government without any military stake, would have been the perfect opportunity to reiterate the conflict. Despite the lack of logic of these repeated chemical attacks, the Western media treated the audience as if they were a silly kid, broadcasting a message like: “Don’t try to understand anymore! Assad is a monster, he does not act logically!”
It is also fundamental to note that the press and Western politicians had never taken into account that attacks on civilians could have been carried out by terrorists. Such a possibility was not even commented upon when chemical weapon laboratories were discovered in the areas liberated from the occupation of ISIS terrorists, such as the one discovered in March 2018 in East Ghouta143. In line with Off Guardian journalists, Western investigators or Western mainstream media journalists did not want to get involved in this topic even if they were in the area. In support of the possibility that terrorists would have carried out chemical attacks, we can add that they do not value civilians’ life at all, which is already well-known. Associated Press, for example, announced in March 2017 that “ISIS uses terrified civilians as massive human shield in a Syrian city”144 in that case being no less than 300,000 civilians in the city of Raqqa. In other words, the terrorists placed Syrian civilians exactly in front of ISIS fortifications to expose them to the fire of the Syrian government, who wanted to reject the terrorists in the area. In another situation, in conformity with a report by Human Rights Watch, the rebels used metal cages to discourage the Syrian government attacks: “Rebels in Ghouta have distributed 100 cages, with each cage containing approximately seven people and the plan is afoot to produce 1,000 cages to distribute in Eastern Ghouta… in different parts of Douma city particularly in public places and markets that have been attacked in the past by the regime and Russian air-force.”145
Regarding the situation through the perspective of international law, it should also be remarked that the bombings carried out between 2017 and 2018 by US, United Kingdom and France on Syria, as a sovereign country, were done “without the authorization of the UN Security Council”146 and even without approval of their own Parliaments. The fact is not new at all, because they did the same with attacks of other states, even on a much larger scale.
Despite American harassment that lasted seven years, Syria still remained a sovereign country. But the price paid was, however, very heavy: almost half a million dead, more than a million wounded, over 10 million refugees (half of the pre-war population) and a ruined country. At the beginning of November 2017, a HRW report recorded, based on official sources, a general result of the war: “More than 400,000 people died in the Syrian conflict in 2011, according to the World Bank; 5 million sought refuge abroad, and more than 6 million were internally displaced, according to UN agencies.”147
During the first half of the year 2019 the Syrian government regained control of almost entire country. The essential support came from the Russian Federation, which supported the Bashar al-Assad’s army, including particularly efficient anti-rocket systems, the S-300 and the S-400.
In March 2019, US forces were still working to rescue ISIS commanders from northeast Syria, helping them to reach Iraq. As reported by news in the Turkish press, more than 140 ISIS leaders received false documents from CIA, being involved “Israeli, French and British special services.”148
This relative victory—ifwe may say—of the Syria-Russia coalition, however, has very important significance because it has practically achieved the remarkable performance of halting, at least temporarily, the series of conquests planned by America in the Middle East.
(To be continued)