CommunityMy FDL

Embarrassing the USA: Contrast Corporate MSM Coverage of ISIS in Iraq With Gaza

ISIS flag

Corporate media pretend that ISIS got there on their own.

The obvious omissions with corporate MSM start with their failures to criticize years and years of ignorant Republican policy statements. “Arm the Syrian rebels” has been Republican dogma since 2010. They all want a piece of this issue, fantasizing that they will be the next Senator Bob Dole getting an extra $100-million in materials for the Afghan rebels (from back in 1978 for the war against Russia.)

White House actions have gone to budget talk. $500-million in talk. A proposal to spend more to train and equip anti-ISIS-anti-Assad “rebels.” But little for action. Really, nothing.

[In Gaza Terry Moran rode in an IDF armored car into Gaza. We get first-person eye witness reporting.]

No one on the Democratic side claims that President Obama is going to put tanks and missiles and artillery up for grabs inside Syria. Enough already. About a tenth of George Bush’s gifts of military hardware to Iraq have gone over to ISIS. We don’t need to do more of that in Syria.

The GOP’s heavyweights have lined up for years, demanding that the U.S. send heavy weapons to their friends, the anti-Assad “Moderate Rebels.” They think they invented that phrase “Moderate Rebel.” They continue to claim, today, that the majority of anti-Assad Syrians fit the label.

Unfortunately for the GOP there is no evidence that these “Moderate Rebels” exist in-country among the Syrian Arabs.

WSJ and the CIA

The closest to that description in Syria is local militia in northwest Syria and the Kurds in three border areas. There’s also a couple dozen middle-aged Sunni Syrian guys taking CIA money and living in Turkey. There’s enough of a Sunni Front going to make a photo op for John McCain. Not enough of a force to control a city, or even a village when you get away from the Turkish border.

Another tag “Free Syrian Army” has circulated in the West. That existed briefly, serving as a way station for Sunni soldiers coming out of the Syrian Army, which is now a Shia force with support from Hezb Allah and the Iranian Qods Force.

McCain & buds

McCain with FSA and ISIS fighters.

Plain fact: there is no “Third Way” inside Syria.

“Free Syrian Army” units in central and eastern Syria went over to the Islamists in 2012. Iran’s Qods Force sent a full commando battalion to Damascus, in 2012, at which point the most of FSA that remained active melted into the Islamist ISIS and JTND organizations.

At worst the Big Republicans get used by Salafi terrorists. The guy on McCain’s far left is Mouaz Moustafa. He supported Hamas during the Egyptian Arab Spring and has ties to the political wing of the Arab Brotherhood. Her also turned up in Libya. It is possible that CIA considers Moustafa an asset. If so, this would not be their first blunder.

McCain and the GOP got their notion of Moderate Rebels from a Moustafa confederate named “Dr.” Elizabeth O’Bagy. She is the gal who got fired from WSJ for a claim that she had a Ph.D. from Georgetown University.

O’Bagy works for an operation called the Syrian Emergency Task Force. SETF gets its money from the Syrian rebels in Turkey. They get their money from the CIA. That’s the CIA who have their own standards where it comes to perpetrating disinformation inside the United States. “Contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida die-hards,” — the baggy-pants Party Line. That is what O’Bagy wrote for WSJ (August 30, 2013); McCain and our benighted SoS John Kerry have quoted her.

[From Gaza and Sky News: “At least 17 people have been killed and more than 200 wounded in an Israeli strike on a market, Palestinian officials say, shortly after Israel said it was observing a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire.” The point is made over and over that Israel is designing its actions to apply collective punishment to the Arab residents of Gaza.]

“Moderate opposition groups make up the majority of actual fighting forces,” or so she says. And there are more than a few dummies who think she is an expert, a go-to resource. Poor dummies who don’t realize that her words are third-hand CIA propaganda and incompetently constructed at that.

Takes time to follow the money. But it’s almost always a worthwhile investment.

We know that CIA put Usama bin Laden in business. All very pro-Saudi of them. Then they’ve been off doing it again providing small arms to Syrian militias that end up with ISIS and JTND. The support effort succeeded getting O’Bagy to push for additional arms shipments into Syria — a sure method to cut off quality control efforts aimed to track what has happened to earlier CIA gun running.

Generally when a statement tracks back to CIA for Iran and the Arab countries and Islam: Just Say No.

Sectarian War

What has been real for Syria since 2011 is that there are two broad-based anti-Assad Arab groups. These are ISIS and the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JTND.) Both are Salafi. Both got started with Saudi and Gulf States money. Both want to reset the clock to the 7th Century. Both are big for female genital mutilation — snipping off clitorises. Both field guerrilla armies that are manned with foreign “volunteers” who are paid in part with what they can seize from Shia and Christian victims. they murder what they cannot convert to their causes.

The local Syrian groups are no more than militias, similar to volunteer fire departments in the U.S. These militias have no consistent access to artillery. Where they are anti-Assad they have to rely on what they can be capture from the central government for military arms. Foreign money from the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia came in for ISIS and JTND, not for the militias.

[In Gaza from Voice of America: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quashed hopes Monday for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, telling Israelis to prepare for a “prolonged campaign” against Hamas.” And the article continues on listing civilian target after civilian target that IDF is destroying. Collective punishment and making Gaza a terrible place to live for years — even VoA gets the core of the story spot on.]

On the other side pro-Assad military support is now all Shia. The Syrian Army lost its Sunni assets. Hizb Allah came in with more than 10,000 experienced fighters. The Persians sent Qods Force and Major General Suleimani to bring professional standards to the effort.

Syria is now experiencing religious war. The lines are not exactly Shia vs. Sunni. Not by a long shot. The Assad regime does not attack Kurdish areas. The ordinary non-Salafi Sunnis of central Syria have no use whatsoever for ISIS and JTND. For most people there the big problem is the Syrian drought, a climate anomaly similar to what hit California. ISIS and JTND are human plagues, added on top of the drought.


While we are considering the Syrian drought, the country’s system of lamb feed lots turns out to be critical. Syrians need protein. They are like other folks. Without functioning lamb feed lots they have a tough time meeting their dietary requirements. So of course — you guessed it — nobody in the Arab areas of Syria with government power is doing jack to buy grain from out of country and keep the lamb feed lots going in disputed areas.

Only the Kurds are able to act rationally. The drought is a major problem and they apply their resources to remediation.

This from Malcolm Garcia in NY Times:

…Syrians feel abandoned and increasingly skeptical of Western expressions of concern.

‘Why did America go into Libya and not Syria?’ asked Abu-Mohammad al-Husen, a Free Syrian Army commander. ‘In my opinion, America wants to maintain the war so Al-Assad won’t have a huge army to attack Israel. America only cares about Israel. That’s why we say only Allah and the jihadists support us.’

The Free Syrian Army soldiers, meanwhile, seem content with fighting a war with no clear end in sight.

One afternoon, I stood with a rebel commander as he rocketed a building that housed government soldiers. After he and his men fled the area shouting, ‘God is great,’ he returned to his wife and children and considered watching a ‘Lord of the Rings’ DVD. He had no firm plan to follow up the assault. ‘Possibly tomorrow,’ he told me, ‘when they won’t expect us.’

His strategy embraced a skewed kind of logic, I suppose. Why rush? Without war, without guns, many of these fighters would most likely be unemployed or back at school. Their bravery and passion can’t be denied, but the longer the war lasts, the longer they have a purpose. ‘I don’t know what will happen when the war ends,’ Akran Ahmed, a 16-year-old rebel, told me. ‘I just have my gun.’

The war produces a generation of illiterate boys, suited for the 7th Century and for war. Now thousands of them are separated from family. Off in another country learning that murdering strangers is a religious duty.

And at Tikrit and down to Samarra in Iraq, these ISIS raiders are running into professional military units. They do not have a Sunni population supporting them, like what happened at Mosul. Their opponents set them up for artillery barrages and then do it again the next day. And the next. These boys and young men serving ISIS are finding that they are not part of a real army. They are raiders. They have no trained officer corps and no tactical plan. They are the ones getting killed by the hundreds, now. But at least the deaths are in battle so they can imagine that they are getting the martyrdoms they say they crave.

It is all a Paradise of the battlefield. The sweet taste of death. So let’s follow Republican logic, do what McCain wants and “arm the Syrian rebels.” It is the stuff of phony video games — not “Six Days in Fallujah” or anything verging on what is real.

[In Gaza: the artillery shells and bombs continue to fall. Hamas assets are destroyed. Hamas is so far out of control that no one complains much about Israeli destructions. But if truth were told outright, Hamas is 1% of the damage. MSM coverage makes it clear, cannot avoid the obvious point that Gaza as a modern society is what is being destroyed.]

Previous post

Judge with Israeli Military Ties Won't Recuse Himself from Immigration Fraud Case Against Palestinian American

Next post

Tomgram: Nick Turse: An East-West Showdown in the Heart of Africa?