Why Are Trump’s Troops Training ISIS Terrorists?

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by Eric Zuesse, Strategic Culture:

When Donald Trump ran for the U.S. Presidency, his biggest foreign-affairs promise (which he copied from Ted Cruz) was to defeat “radical Islamic terrorism”; but, on December 27th, the Russian Government publicly accused Trump’s military of backing ISIS terrorists to fight against Syria’s Government (which is allied with Russia). Russia’s RT international television network headlined “US lets militants train, mount attacks from its Syrian bases – chief of Russian General Staff”, and opened:

The US is hosting training camps for militant groups in Syria, including former ISIS fighters who fled from Raqqa, said the head of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, citing data obtained by aerial surveillance.

The US forces have effectively turned their military base near the town of al-Tanf in southeastern Syria into a terrorists’ training camp, Gerasimov said in an interview to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Wednesday.

“According to satellite and other surveillance data, terrorist squads are stationed there. They are effectively training there, Gerasimov said. …

Barely over a month earlier, the BBC had headlined on November 13th, “Raqqa’s Dirty Secret: The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.” One lorry driver told BBC, “We took out around 4,000 people including women and children — our vehicle and their vehicles combined. When we entered Raqqa, we thought there were 200 people to collect. In my vehicle alone, I took 112 people.” The reporter noted, “Another driver says the convoy was six to seven kilometres long.” Furthermore: “IS fighters took everything they could carry. Ten trucks were loaded with weapons and ammunition. The drivers point to a white truck being worked on in the corner of the yard. ‘Its axle was broken because of the weight of the ammo,’ says Abu Fawzi [a lorry driver].”

So: America’s ISIS training camps might have thousands of extremely well-armed fighters to pay (by the Sauds) and train (by the Americans) to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s forces — prolonging the war against Syria, continuing the Syrian carnage.

One can’t understand this U.S. support of ISIS, unless one recognizes the key fact: that, during the prior, Obama, U.S. Presidency, the U.S. Government was relying principally upon Al Qaeda in Syria to train and lead the various imported-into-Syria Saudi-paid international fundamentalist-Sunni mercenaries (committed jihadists, but all soldiers need to be paid and trained and fed and armed) who served as America’s proxy boots-on-the-ground in Syria to overthrow and replace Syria’s non-sectarian Baathist socialist Government. Furthermore, on 17 September 2016, Obama’s air force bombed Syrian Government troops in Deir Ezzor (or Der Zor) the capital of Syria’s oil-producing region; and the surrounding ISIS forces then rushed in to grab that city to take it over, for the U.S.-Saudi side in the Syrian war. So: Obama sometimes even provided crucial support to ISIS (and not only depended heavily upon Al Qaeda). The U.S. Government, under Obama, even honored internationally the White Helmets wing of Al Qaeda in Syria, at the same time as refusing to allow its leader into the U.S. to receive a ‘humanitarian’ award, because he was on the U.S. terrorism watch-list.

The January 2016 issue of Harper’s featured a landmark article by Andrew Cockburn, “A Special Relationship: The United States is teaming up with Al Qaeda, again”, which included such rare (practically unique in the U.S. press) gems as this:

The Saudis, of course, had been an integral part of the anti-Soviet campaign from the beginning. According to one former CIA official closely involved in the Afghanistan operation, Saudi Arabia supplied 40 percent of the budget for the rebels. The official said that William Casey, who ran the CIA under Ronald Reagan, “would fly to Riyadh every year for what he called his ‘annual hajj’ to ask for the money. Eventually, after a lot of talk, the king would say okay, but then we would have to sit and listen politely to all their incredibly stupid ideas about how to fight the war.”

Despite such comments, it would seem that the U.S. and Saudi strategies did not differ all that much, especially when it came to routing money to the most extreme fundamentalist factions. Fighting the Soviets was only part of the ultimate goal. The Egyptian preacher Abu Hamza, now serving a life sentence on terrorism charges, visited Saudi Arabia in 1986, and later recalled the constant public injunctions to join the jihad: “You have to go, you have to join, leave your schools, leave your family.” The whole Afghanistan enterprise, he explained, “was meant to actually divert people from the problems in their own country.” It was “like a pressure-cooker vent. If you keep [the cooker] all sealed up, it will blow up in your face, so you have to design a vent, and this Afghan jihad was the vent.”

Soufan agreed with this analysis. “I think it’s not fair to only blame the CIA,” he told me. “Egypt was happy to get rid of a lot of these guys and have them go to Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia was very happy to do that, too.” As he pointed out, Islamic fundamentalists were already striking these regimes at home: in November 1979, for example, Wahhabi extremists had stormed the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The subsequent siege left hundreds dead.

Within a few short years, however, the sponsoring governments began to recognize a flaw in the scheme: the vent was two-way. I heard this point most vividly expressed in 1994, at a dinner party on a yacht cruising down the Nile. The wealthy host had deemed it safer to be waterborne owing to a vigorous terror campaign by Egyptian jihadists. At the party, this defensive tactic elicited a vehement comment from Osama El-Baz, a senior security adviser to Hosni Mubarak. “It’s all the fault of those stupid bastards at the CIA,” he said, as the lights of Cairo drifted by. “They trained these people, kept them in being after the Russians left, and now we get this.”

The CIA, and the entire U.S. federal government, is presented there as servicing the aristocrats (the billionaires) not only in the U.S., but in the countries that are allied with the U.S., America’s vassal nations. America’s taxpayers are funding the protection of foreign billionaires — the individuals who control those vassal governments — in addition to funding foreign land-clearance operations to benefit America’s billionaires. Normally, this fact is simply unpublishable inside the United States, but it’s essential for any American voter to understand in order to be able to vote in an accurately informed (instead of deceived) way; and Harpers should therefore receive an award for having had the guts to publish this customarily unpublishable information. Unfortunately, it’s not the type of article the Pulitzers etc., grant awards to. That’s how the American Government and its media have so successfully kept such crucial information a secr
et. Thus, for example, Pew was able to headline on 15 December 2014, “About Half See CIA Interrogation Methods as Justified”, and they reported that: “51% of the public says they think the CIA methods were justified, compared with just 29% who say they were not justified; 20% do not express an opinion. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 11-14 among 1,001 adults, finds that amid competing claims over the effectiveness of CIA interrogation methods, 56% believe they provided intelligence that helped prevent terrorist attacks, while just half as many (28%) say they did not provide this type of intelligence.” But, in fact, the reason for the waterbaoarding and other tortures wasn’t to find truths (such as those 51% had been deceived to think why tortures were used), but instead to ‘find’ (i.e., to provide fake ‘evidence’ for) lies, which they could then use to convince the public to believe America’s case that Iraq needed to be invaded — and invaded urgently, not to wait for the U.N.’s weapons-inspectors to finish their job. Bush and Cheney demanded the CIA to extract confessions and other testimonies saying that Saddam Hussein was to blame for 9/11, and only few of the captured suspects in 9/11 even knew enough about Hussein to be able to concoct sufficiently credible accusations against him to be used in America’s propaganda-media; so, Bush-Cheney’s CIA would then turn the interrogation screws even harder against a given suspect, and the waterboard was part of that. Pew found that Republicans were overwhelmingly more likely than Democrats to say that waterboarding and other tortures were ‘justified’. Perhaps a reason for this finding was Bush-Cheney’s having been Republicans, mere partisanship; but, for at least the past hundred years, Republicans have almost always been more effusive supporters of dictatorship in America than Democrats have been. (However, the KKK prior to 1960 was virtually a branch of the Democratic Party in the South, and today’s Democrats remain proudly supportive of the vile Obama, and even of Hillary Clinton.) Without doubt, the Republican Party has generally stood for “authoritarianism” (a.k.a., dictatorship) in America, more than has the Democratic Party (at least until recently); but the anti-FDR, pro-fascist, Clinton-Obama pro-aristocratic Democratic Party might be dominant for long into the forseeable future, so that the two Parties could become more obviously just branches of each other, both representing the U.S. aristocracy equally.

One of the current U.S. regime’s (Trump’s) main challenges in servicing these billionaires is continuance of hiding the real reason those tortures had actually been ordered.

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