By David Stockman
Exactly one year ago Obama proposed to take Bashar Al Assad to the woodshed because he had allegedly unleashed a vicious chemical attack on his own citizens. That was all pretext, of course, because even the CIA refused to sign-off on the flimsy case for Assad’s culpability at the time—-a reluctance corroborated since then by the considerable evidence that hundreds of Syrian civilians were murdered during a false flag operation staged by the rebels with help from Turkey. The aim of the rebels, of course, was to activate American tomahawk missiles and bombers in behalf of “regime change”, which was also the stated goal of the Obama Administration.
Now the White House is threatening to bomb Syria again, but this time its “regime change” objective has been expanded to include both sides! In 12 short months what had been the allegedly heroic Sunni opposition to the “brutal rule” of the Assad/Alawite minority has transmuted into the “greatest terrorist threat ever”, according to the Secretary of Defense.
So Obama has already unleashed the drones and surveillance apparatus to identify targets of attack that will help bring down a regime in northern and eastern Syria—the so-called Islamic State—which did not even exist a year ago. And a regime that is now armed to the teeth with America’s own latest and greatest weaponry as previously supplied to the disintegrated Iraqi army and the Syrian rebels trained by the CIA in Jordan.
Adding to this blinding farce is the warning of Syria’s Foreign Affairs minister that Obama should please to request permission before he rains destruction from the sky on the Opposition—-that is, the opposition to the very same Damascus regime which the White House has vowed to eradicate. Needless to say, the Washington apparatus is having nothing to do with aiding the enemy of its new enemy:
White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday tried to tamp down the notion that action against the Islamic State group could bolster Assad, saying, “We’re not interested in trying to help the Assad regime.” However, he acknowledged that “there are a lot of cross pressures
In fact, there is apparently an option emerging from the bowels of the war machine that calls for an odd/even day plan to bomb both sides, thereby making clear that Washington is an equal opportunity spanker. Apparently, whether you use a 12th century sword or 20th century attack helicopter as a means of rule, you will be bombed by the “indispensable nation”, as Obama put it, adding that “no other nation can do what we do”.
Well, that involves some “doing”. According to AP, it appears that Syrian airstrikes are imminent, but could be carried out under the odd/even day plan:
“In an effort to avoid unintentionally strengthening the Syrian government, the White House could seek to balance strikes against the Islamic State with attacks on Assad regime targets.”
Is any more evidence needed that Washington has gone stark raving mad than even the possibility that such an absurd option could be under consideration? Has not the imperial city on the Potomac become so inured to its pretensions of global hegemony and to instant resort to deployment of its war machine that any semblance of rationality and coherence has been dissolved?
Indeed, in the context of Syria’s fractured and riven tribal, religious and political splinters how could anyone in their right mind think that a bombing campaign without boots on the ground will accomplish anything other than function as a potent recruiting tool for ISIS, and a generator of jihadist blowback for years to come. By the same token, the White House’s polling machine surely documents that an outright Iraq-style invasion of the Islamic State is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people, and rightly so.
Accordingly, the silly, hapless man in the Oval Office stumbles forward, apparently unaware that he’s not merely playing video games during his sojourns in the Situation Room. Indeed, the make-believe “nuanced” bombing options that are likely to be ground out by the national security machinery are destined to fail and drag Washington ever deeper into the violent cauldron of Mesopotamia and the Levant. The trillions of treasure wasted, the millions of lives lost and the venomous tribal enmities resulting from Washington’s misbegotten ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan provide all the proof that is needed.
The fact is, the artificial states created by the Sykes-Picot map drawn up by the French and British foreign offices in 1916—- as they carved up the Ottoman empire— are now destined for the dustbin of history. The fracturing remnants of Syria and Iraq cannot be fused back together by means of lethal deposits of metal and chemicals delivered by tomahawks and F-16s.
So let the region rearrange itself without Washington’s unwelcome meddling and mayhem. If Turkey and an independent Kurdistan can make mutually acceptable political and economic arrangements, which are already well-advanced, so be it. If the Shiite south in Iraq and the Alawite/Shiite southwest in Syria break-off from their present Europe-bequeathed boundaries and form independent regimes, how does that jeopardize the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Spokane WA?
And, yes, if the Islamic State temporarily manages to coalesce within the Sunni lands of the Euphrates Valley and the upper Tigress why is that really a national security threat which requires launching an unwinnable war, a new round of hostility to America in the Islamic world and the blowback of legions of jihadi with a score to settle?
Now that you know about the Yazidis, did you ever hear of the Sheitaat tribe of Sunnis who inhabit the minor oil province around Deir al-Zor in northeastern Syria? There appear to be about 100,000 members of that sect in the region and they have been declared apostates by the medieval butchers who run ISIS:
Hundreds of members of the Sheitaat clan have been executed after their tribe refused to submit to Islamic State. The entire tribe have been deemed “hostile apostates” by the group, an offshoot of al Qaeda that has declared a “caliphate” in the territory it holds.
Islamic State has declared the Sheitaat tribe “an unbelieving sect” that should be fought as if they were infidels, according to a report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence in the Syrian war.
At least 700 hundred members of the tribe have already been executed, the Observatory reported on Aug. 16.
Another 1,800 are still missing after being detained by Islamic State, according to the Observatory, which gathers information from all sides in the Syrian war. Its efforts to pledge allegiance to Islamic State have been rebuffed.
Pictures of the bodies of men apparently slain by Islamic State fighters in Sheitaat areas are surfacing every day, said Rami Abdelrahman, founder of the Observatory. “We have repeatedly expressed concerns about extermination,” he said.
“It is the first time that the Islamic State has used these (religious) concepts against an entire tribe,” he said.
Three Sheitaat villages seized by Islamic State have been designated as a military zone, the rebel and another activist from the area said. The clan’s property and livestock have also been seized, another person from the area said.
Islamic State has declared that no truce is possible with the Sheitaat, that its prisoners can be killed, and its women are unfit for marriage, according to the Observatory.
“We’re still seeing Islamic State trucks loaded up with furniture and rugs from Sheitaat homes in those villages, which are now totally abandoned,” said one person from the area contacted by internet link, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Islamic State has started to use house demolitions as a punishment. A video posted over the weekend shows what appears to be the detonation of a rural home as the narrator, who identifies himself as from Islamic State, explains that the home belongs to Sheitaat “apostates”.
Why would you believe that a viable state can be built in today’s world on the tactics of Genghis Kahn? The Islamic State, such as it is, is not rich, does not have enough oil to make a difference, will soon be bogged down in the insuperable problems of governance by the sword and will flounder on the impoverished economics of the dusty villages and desert expanse which comprise its natural territory. And it will eventually mobilize its neighbors—-Turkey, Hezbollah, the rump regime of Assad’s Alawite Syria, Kurdistan, the Shiite alliance of Iran and lower Iraq, and even Saudi Arabia and the oil sheikdoms—to contain its external ambitions.
So Washington should call off the bombers and get out of harm’s way. The American Imperium has failed and the prospect of bombing both sides of an irrelevant non-country’s ancient tribal wars ought, at last, to make that much clear.
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