Does Obama know he’s fighting on al-Qa’ida’s side?

ROBERT FISK The Independent Tuesday 27 August 2013

‘All for one and one for all’ should be the battle cry if the West goes to war against Assad’s Syrian regime. 

Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted “All for one and one for all” each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if – or when – the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.

The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.

This, of course, will not be trumpeted by the Pentagon or the White House – nor, I suppose, by al-Qa’ida – though they are both trying to destroy Bashar. So are the Nusra front, one of al-Qa’ida’s affiliates. But it does raise some interesting possibilities.

Maybe the Americans should ask al-Qa’ida for intelligence help – after all, this is the group with “boots on the ground”, something the Americans have no interest in doing. And maybe al-Qa’ida could offer some target information facilities to the country which usually claims that the supporters of al-Qa’ida, rather than the Syrians, are the most wanted men in the world.

There will be some ironies, of course. While the Americans drone al-Qa’ida to death in Yemen and Pakistan – along, of course, with the usual flock of civilians – they will be giving them, with the help of Messrs Cameron, Hollande and the other Little General-politicians, material assistance in Syria by hitting al-Qa’ida’s enemies. Indeed, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one target the Americans will not strike in Syria will be al-Qa’ida or the Nusra front.

And our own Prime Minister will applaud whatever the Americans do, thus allying himself with al-Qa’ida, whose London bombings may have slipped his mind. Perhaps – since there is no institutional memory left among modern governments – Cameron has forgotten how similar are the sentiments being uttered by Obama and himself to those uttered by Bush  and Blair a decade ago, the same bland assurances, uttered with such self-confidence but without quite  enough evidence to make it stick.

In Iraq, we went to war on the basis of lies originally uttered by fakers and conmen. Now it’s war by YouTube. This doesn’t mean that the terrible images of the gassed and dying Syrian civilians are false. It does mean that any evidence to the contrary is going to have to be suppressed. For example, no-one is going to be interested in persistent reports in Beirut that three Hezbollah members – fighting alongside government troops in Damascus – were apparently struck down by the same gas on the same day, supposedly in tunnels. They are now said to be undergoing treatment in a Beirut hospital. So if Syrian government forces used gas, how come Hezbollah men might have been stricken too? Blowback?

And while we’re talking about institutional memory, hands up which of our jolly statesmen know what happened last time the Americans took on the Syrian government army? I bet they can’t remember. Well it happened in Lebanon when the US Air Force decided to bomb Syrian missiles in the Bekaa Valley on 4 December 1983. I recall this very well because I was here in Lebanon. An American A-6 fighter bomber was hit by a Syrian Strela missile – Russian made, naturally – and crash-landed in the Bekaa; its pilot, Mark Lange, was killed, its co-pilot, Robert Goodman, taken prisoner and freighted off to jail in Damascus. Jesse Jackson had to travel to Syria to get him back after almost a month amid many clichés about “ending the cycle of violence”. Another American plane – this time an A-7 – was also hit by Syrian fire but the pilot managed to eject over the Mediterranean where he was plucked from the water by a Lebanese fishing boat. His plane was also destroyed.

Sure, we are told that it will be a short strike on Syria, in and out, a couple of days. That’s what Obama likes to think. But think Iran. Think Hezbollah. I rather suspect – if Obama does go ahead – that this one will run and run.

RUSSIA, CHINA VETO. NATO/GCC plans to 'roll back' Syria thwarted

By rahnuma ahmed

The last two months plus flashed by as I burned the midnight oil, working on three manuscripts, intended for Boi Mela 2012. While it is true that I’ve accomplished a lot, there are still chunks left that need to be done, which means they will not make it to the book fair. But hey, no regrets. Viewing the book fair as a goal post helped spur my work, but the Mela is not a train one needs to catch, not at the cost of the quality of the product. Printing mistakes, atrocious ones in the case of Oitijjo’s publication of Rabindranath’s works this year, have created a heightened sense of awareness about the quality of the ?books published. I watched Shamsuzzaman Khan, director-general of Bangla Academy, and Sanjida Khatun, torch-bearer of Tagore, caution publishers on TV news to not reduce the national book fair into a mindless race of touching the February goal post.
No regrets about not making it to the book fair, true, but I missed writing my columns. Sorely. Out of touch with the world, one where western leaders and their Gulf monarchical collaborators attempt to implement their plans of a ‘New Middle-East’ map, instead of the older, ‘Greater Middle East’? (The Unfolding Crisis in Pakistan-III. “New Imperial Cartographies. Destroying and Re-creating National Boundaries,” New Age, May 18, 2009).
The term was introduced by the US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in a Tel Aviv press conference in July 2006, ?[w]hat we?re seeing here [in regards to the destruction of Lebanon and the Israeli attacks on Lebanon], in a sense, is the growing?the ?birth pangs??of a ?New Middle East? and whatever we do we [meaning the United States] have to be certain that we?re pushing forward to the New Middle East [and] not going back to the old one.” (full citation, with the additions in square brackets, from Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a ?New Middle East?, Global Research, November 18, 2006).
“Creative destruction”, in the words of neo-conservative philosopher and Bush adviser Michael Ledeen, is “an awesome revolutionary force.” And, as Nazemroaya elaborates, it “generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region” — extending from “Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan,” and, might I add, drone-attacked Pakistan — so that the United States, Britain and Israel can redraw the map of the Middle East, to further their “geo-strategic needs and objectives.”

Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution on Syria calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down. February 4, 2012.

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