Part Two of Three Parts
(Part One is here.)
Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
The Sauds pay undisclosed sums, amounting perhaps to billions of dollars annually, to support the U.S. CIA, and especially to finance U.S. training and weapons to Al Qaeda and other jihadists in Syria for the overthrow of Assad, and they have for decades financed efforts to overthrow and replace Syria’s secular non-sectarian government. The Sauds’ contribution, according to The New York Times, is “by far the largest from another nation to the program to arm the rebels against President Bashar al-Assad’s military.” They hire us — and not only for the Syrian operation. After the bloody CIA coup that had replaced democracy with fascism in Chile in 1973, and the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee hearings revealed how evil the CIA is and the CIA thus became subjected to some public scrutiny for a brief period, the Sauds took up much of the slack, filling in for the CIA until the matter faded from the headlines. “In the late 1970s, the Saudis organized what was known as the ‘Safari Club’ — a coalition of nations including Morocco, Egypt and France — that ran covert operations around Africa at a time when Congress had clipped the C.I.A.’s wings over years of abuses.” This program continued: “In the 1980s, the Saudis helped finance C.I.A. operations in Angola, where the United States backed rebels against the Soviet-allied government.” Moreover, “Prince Bandar bin Sultan [al-Saud] … directed Saudi spies to buy thousands of AK-47 assault rifles for Syrian rebels.” Such is ‘The Western Alliance’ of ‘the free world’ of ‘the democracies’, who work for the Sauds. And what’s publicly known about it, is only the most palatable part of the reality.
For this reason, President Obama vetoed a bill that would allow America’s victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue in U.S. courts the government of Saudi Arabia, including the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar, and his wife, both of whom had been regularly paying thousands of dollars to the Saudi officials who were paying the 9/11 terrorists during the immediate lead-up to 9/11. Obama’s argument for their being above the law was that if the Sauds were to be held liable for what they did to produce 9/11, then the U.S. President and other U.S. officials could be held liable for what they do (bombings, coups, invasions, etc.) to other countries. Obama’s argument was the Medieval concept of ‘sovereign immunity’, or ‘the king can do no wrong’. However, since Congress was up for re-election at the time, it overrode Obama’s veto. “‘I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983,’ [White House] press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters” on that occasion. For the first time ever, Congress had voted against the Saud family. Obama, like Bush before him, did all he could to protect his masters; but, finally, it could no longer be enough. Even a king can’t always get what he wants.
Within a day after America’s September 17th bombing of the Syrian government’s soldiers at Der Zor, enough details of the operation became known so that Russia’s government was already saying, in essence, that Obama had been negotiating in bad faith and that Russia’s attempts to work cooperatively with him on Syria were ended — not because of Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry’s having had any ill intent or lying in the negotiations, but because “The White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that.” It was “the White House,” not the Secretary of State (and not ‘the Pentagon’), who sabotaged those peace talks. Obama ditched Kerry on Syria, just like he had earlier ditched him on Ukraine (the other flashpoint, with regard to Russia).
The independent German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer managed to get a video interview with an ISIS commander (“NF”), and Todenhofer headlined his interview on 26 September 2016, “Inside IS”. The following passage from it (Todehofer is fluent both in German and Arabic, and here is my translation of his German translation of it into English) was typical, regarding America’s back-stage support not only of Al Qaeda, but even of ISIS — the group that Obama’s bombing of the Syrian army at Der Zor on September 17th was helping — and of all of the other jihadist groups in Syria:
JT: Is this only true for “Jabhat al Nusra” or also for the allies of “Jabhat al Nusra” here.
NF: This is valid for all groups, who are our allies.
JT: Islamic Front, Islamic Army?
NF: They are all with us. We are all the “Al Nusra-Front”. A group is formed and calls itself “Islamic Army” or “Fateh Al Scham“. Each group has its own name, but the belief is uniform. The overall name is “Al Nusra-Front” (Jabhat al Nusra).
For example, one person has 2000 fighters. Then a new group is formed from there an calls itself “Ahrar Al Scham“ — brothers, whose faith, thoughts and aims are identical with the “Al Nusra-Front”.
As Steve Chovanec had aptly summarized, on 4 March 2016, Obama’s position in negotiations with Russia on Syria: “Please Don’t Attack Al-Qaeda”. Obama kept that position till the end of his Presidency (though Kerry did not). Eliminating Assad was far more important to him than was eliminating Al Qaeda; it even caused him to fire or otherwise sideline any of his top national-security officials who didn’t share his passion in this regard.
Seymour Hersh reported on 4 April 2014:
“The former intelligence official said, ‘the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently “painful” to the Assad regime.’ The original targets included only military sites and nothing by way of civilian infrastructure. Under White House pressure, the US attack plan evolved into ‘a monster strike’.”
Gareth Porter reported on 16 February 2016:
“Information from a wide range of sources, including some of those the United States has been explicitly supporting, makes it clear that every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces is engaged in a military structure controlled by Nusra militants. All of these rebel groups fight alongside the Nusra Front and coordinate their military activities with it.”
Christina Lin noted, on 8 April 2016:
“Reports say some American-backed jihadi groups are being equipped with US-made MANPADS. Indications are they’re obtaining these advanced weapons either directly or indirectly from the US or its Mideast allies in connection with a recent escalation in the fighting in Syria.”
Izat Charkatli headlined on 12 August 2016, “Nusra commander defects to ISIS with his battalion”, and reported:
“The leader of Jabhat Al Nusra’s, now Jabhat Fath Al-Sham, Barraq Battalions, defected from the Al-Qaeda affiliated terror group and joined the notorious ISIS group.”
Nominally, Obama was opposed to ISIS in Syria, but he wasn’t even nominally opposed to Al Nusra (except publicly to American audiences): he instead insisted that during the peace negotiations, there would be no bombing allowed against any of the anti-Assad forces except ISIS — especially Nusra and its allies were being treated by Obama as ‘moderate rebels’, ‘freedom fighters against Assad’; and he insisted that, during the peace negotiations, only ISIS could still be bombed. Russia always refused to accept that condition. Russia insisted that no exception be made for Al Nusra and the other non-ISIS jihadist groups. Russia insisted to be allowed to continue bombing all jihadists that don’t put down their arms during the negotiations — that there be no cease-fire against any of them that don’t. Russia’s minimal demand was that the existing bombing and other attacks by Russia and Syria against Nusra be allowed to continue while the peace talks continue. Finally, Kerry managed to get Obama nominally to agree to that minimal condition; but, within less than a week thereafter (the September 9th agreement went into force on September 12th, and Obama bombed the Syrian army post on September 17th), Obama’s bombers killed over 60 Syrian soldiers at Der Zor — the attack that terminated the peace-talks. This was in such blatant violation of the September 9th agreement, so that, since then, the U.S. has been out of the picture: the talks resumed with only Syria, Russia, Iran, and Turkey, as governmental participants.
The tactic of using jihadists against Russia had started late in the 1970s, as a means of weakening the Soviet Union, during America’s war against communism.
The U.S., and the royal family of Saudi Arabia, had created Al Qaeda back in 1979, to be their “boots on the ground” against the Soviet Union, and used them not only in Afghanistan but also in Russia’s own Chechnya region, to weaken, first the Soviet Union itself, helping to break it up, and then, after the Cold War ended on the Russian side in 1991 when the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance all ended, America and the Sauds continued arming and funding Al Qaeda, so as to create terror in Russia and to overthrow Russia’s allies abroad, such as Assad. Perhaps communism wasn’t the reason for the Cold War but merely the excuse for the Cold War; but, certainly, this has been and is the case after communism ended but America’s war against Russia didn’t. Only the excuse is gone. The U.S. subterranean policy since the termination of the Soviet Union and of its communism and of its Warsaw Pact military alliance in 1991 has been to continue the Cold War now against Russia, by bringing its former Warsaw Pact allies, and even the other states that had been parts of the Soviet Union, into America’s anti-Russia military club, NATO. Syria had never been a part of the Soviet Union, nor of the Warsaw Pact, but it had been an ally of the Soviets and then of Russia, and the Sauds wanted to take it over and bring it into ‘The Western’ fold.
Whereas NATO is the European wing of America’s continuing war against Russia, the African or southern wing of America’s permanent (meaning: until conquest) war against Russia is led by the Saud family, who dominate their Gulf Cooperation Council of other Arabic royal families. So: whereas the U.S. aristocracy leads the anti-Russia war in Europe, the Saudi aristocracy leads it in Africa (basically in the other countries that are owned by the other fundamentalist-Sunni Arab royal families). On 15 December 2015, the Saud family announced that they had created and gotten 34 nations signed onto their new “Islamic Military Alliance”, but the Sauds’ main ally remains the U.S. aristocracy.
Those two aristocracies — U.S. and Saudi — control The West. The U.S. controls the dollars, and the Sauds and their fundamentalist-Sunni allies control enough of the oil and gas, so that between them the petrodollar-era has been the American-Saudi Empire; and, after the end of the Soviet Union, the U.S. and Sauds have been doing all they can to crush all challengers but especially Russia and its allies including Iran and Syria — two Muslim-majority countries that refuse to subordinate themselves to the Saud family and its Wahhabist-Salafist clergy.
So, the U.S. government sometimes arms, and sometimes arms against, Al Qaeda (a joint U.S.-Saudi product, fundamentalist-Sunni like the Sauds themselves): it all depends on where, but basically it depends upon whether Al Qaeda is fighting against Russia (which both the U.S. and the Saudi aristocracies want to become conquered — that aim is Al Qaeda’s original reason for being). Whereas the U.S. sometimes is against Al Qaeda, and at other times is arming Al Qaeda, Russia is always against Al Qaeda and against all of the Sauds’ other terrorist groups (such as the ones Al Qaeda leads in Syria).
(Part Three is here.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.