Here is a concise timeline which explains the truth behind today’s crisis is Syria, the number of refugees in Europe, and the rise of the Islamic state.
First of all, we have to understand a little history which directly relates to the situation today.
On 24th December 1979 the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan to assist the communist government (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA)) battle the Mujahideen – Islamic extremists fighting against the unpopular Afghan government. The Soviet presence lasted until February 1989.
In response to Soviet involvement, several countries (including the USA, UK, China, and various Arab nations) set up covert operations to supply, train, and finance the Mujahideen.
The US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established ‘Operation Cyclone’ which ensured resources reached the Mujahideen via Pakistan, most notably through Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ‘Inter-Services Intelligence’ (ISI).
Jimmy Carter was president of the US between 1977 and 1981, with Ronald Reagan in power between 1981 and 1989. Margaret Thatcher was UK Prime Minister (and was to stay in power until 1990).
Operation Cyclone was significantly expanded under the Reagan regime as part of his plan to assist anti-communist resistance movements abroad.
Along with funding from similar programs from Britain’s MI6 and SAS, Saudi Arabia, and the People’s Republic of China, it is estimated that the ISI armed and trained over 100,000 Islamic extremists between 1978 and 1992.
The Bush family (which was later to spawn two presidents) in the United States were heavily involved in the corridors of power, and had very close associations with the US arms industry. Included in their circle of close friends were the bin Ladens.
The bin Ladens are closely connected to Saudi royalty. Their wealth (almost a rags to riches story) comes from construction, owning one of the largest construction groups in the Middle-East. Their business activity reaches far beyond the Middle-East, with companies and partnerships with major construction companies spanning the entire globe, most notably London (Evered Holdings) and Geneva (Saudi Investment Company).
An interesting aside is that the bin Laden family are the only foreign entity to be protected in the United States by the Secret Service.
Around the same time Operation Cyclone was initiated by the CIA, Osama bin Laden (of the previously mentioned bin Ladens) went to Pakistan after leaving collage.
He joined the Mujahideen and helped facilitate funding, training, and other resources for fighters in Afghanistan. There are theorists who suspect that Osama bin Laden was part of Operation Cyclone – sent into Pakistan to spread Islamic fundamentalism with the aim of destabilising the soviets and the Afghanistan government. His family’s reputation in the area and their wealth would have been an ideal cover to aid the CIA in covertly channelling resources.
Bin Laden had a close relationship with General Hamid Gul who was head of Pakistan’s ISI agency, further lending credibility to claims he was part of Operation Cyclone.
Part of bin Laden’s role was to establish small groups of resistance to the Soviet occupation, for which he used Islamic fundamentalism as a driving force. Once established (with suitably motivated leadership) each group became a self-perpetuating force, recruiting from the poor and disillusioned of the country, with bin Laden and his carefully selected associates acting as a central hub.
This resulted in a very well trained gorilla fighting force resourced and supported by the CIA and intelligence organisations from other countries.
Operation Cyclone was hugely successful and made a significant contribution to the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989.
Not only had the US and its allies forced the Soviets to withdraw from Afghanistan, they had also established a significant force which could be used to covertly destabilise the region, and continued to fund Islamic groups well into the 1990s at least – including bin Laden’s core organisation – al-Qaeda.
Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 2001, has written that al-Qaeda and bin Laden were “a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies”, and that “Al-Qaida, literally ‘the database’, was originally the computer file of the thousands of Mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians
The pro-American Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979 and replaced with the anti-American Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – which had taken the Americans by surprise. Intelligence agencies had underestimated the threat to the Shah, who was considered by many observers to be a US puppet.
Aided by the CIA, Iraq invaded Iran on the 22nd September 1980. Iraq claimed that the invasion was because they feared the Iranian Revolution in 1979 would inspire insurgency by the supressed Shia majority in Iraq. Iraq also had a desire to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state allied to the US.
This resulted in the Iran-Iraq war which lasted from 1980 to 1988. Although perhaps it would be more appropriate to call it the Iraq-Iran War because CIA backed Iraq was the aggressor.
Through various mutually beneficial arrangements, the US had manipulated support from countries surrounding Iran on all sides.
Relations between Syria and the US and its allies have been very cold for a long time. During the late 1950s the CIA made several attempts to destabilise the country and install a puppet government.
In 1957 the CIA resourced an attempted coup to oust the government. In collaboration with British Intelligence (MI6) the CIA planned the assignation of three high-ranking Syrian officials, Abdel Hamid al-Sarraj, head of military intelligence; Afif al-Bizri, army chief of staff; and Khalid Bakdash, leader of the Syrian Communist Party.
There was also a plan around the same time for the CIA to fund a “Free Syria Committee” (sound familiar?) who would engage in sabotage and disruption within Syria. The mechanics of the plan would be handled by MI6 and would include groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood – later to become closely associated with al-Qaeda in the 1980s.
After 1989 al-Qaeda and some members of the Mujahideen facilitated the establishment of other Islamic groups in the region. These included the Haqqani Network, al-Shabab, Lashkar-e-Taliba, and Boko Harem in Nigeria.
During an interview in 2003, President Bashar Assad of Syria said of Osama bin-Laden “[He] cannot talk on the phone or use the Internet, but he can direct communications to the four corners of the world?” Assad said. “This is illogical.”
The most notorious of the spin-off organisations is what we know today as The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The organisation has gone through several incarnations as smaller groups joined them, including Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (1999–2004), Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (2004–06), Mujahideen Shura Council (2006), Islamic State of Iraq (2006–13), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2013–14), and the Islamic State – which is how they are known today.
In July 2011 the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was established (allegedly) by approximately five Syrian army officers who defected at the result of protests that began in the spring of that year.
According to mainstream media reports at the time, the conflict was the result of protesters being fired on by Syrian troops during a protest in Damascus on 15th March 2011. The protest calling for democratic reforms and the release of political prisoners was allegedly triggered by the arrest of a boy and his friends in the city of Daraa who had written graffiti saying “The people want the fall of the regime”.
Highly organised protests began to spread throughout the country and by 22nd April 2011 twenty Syrian cities had been subject to demonstrations, the tone of which had changed significantly. Now protesters were demanding the overthrow of the Assad government. The protests had also turned violent and Syrian military were sent in to quell the unrest.
The focus of the FSA was stated as being to bring down the government and to work hand-in-hand with the demonstrators.
However, there seems to be another side to the start of the conflict. According to various sources, which include Syrian officials and independent observers, in each of the demonstrations there appeared to be a small number of people who were the core instigators. These people are described as of Arabic decent but not Syrian.
Eye witness statements claim that these infiltrators moved around within main groups of protesters and fired on Syrian security forces using other protesters as a ‘shield’, or to provoke Syrian forces to fire into the crowd.
Throughout the course of the conflict various groups have joined the FSA, most of them being radical Islamic based organisations, very similar (if not the same) as those financed through Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan.
From the beginning of their involvement, much of the equipment used by the FSA is new and originates from the United States, Israel, and European sources. Pictures show crates of rifles and other equipment which have clearly been supplied in bulk, as well as pictures of fighters using new rifles etc.
Mossad, CIA, Blackwater employees and other intelligence and military operatives from around the world have been reported to have been involved in the conflict from the start. This includes the alleged capture of 13 French undercover military personnel in March 2012.
In 2012, Wikileaks released an email from US private intelligence company Stratfor. In the email were details of a confidential meeting at the Pentagon attended by senior analysts from the US Air Force, France, and the UK.
The author of the email stated “…said without saying that SOF [special operation forces] teams (presumably from the US, UK, France, Jordan and Turkey) are already on the ground, focused on recce [reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces.”
There is also expansion on the role of undercover commandos by US army experts, which stated “the idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.”
But there is one very simple question that has yet to be answered by any of the FSA supporting governments. Why would anyone support Islamic extremists, providing them with expert training, advanced and new weaponry, and billions of dollars in financial aid?
Logically, it doesn’t make sense – and it makes even less sense when western governments are pronouncing their ‘war on terror’ and that al-Qaeda/Islamic State are a serious threat to world democracy and peace.
As recently as 2013 UK Prime Minister Cameron was convinced he would gain support at the G8 summit for supplying and supporting the FSA, even though it was well reported at the time that the majority of the ‘freedom fighters’ were Islamic extremists.
Fortunately his plan was stopped by a parliamentary vote.
When he was asked to explain why he was so in favour of supporting the FSA when he knew al-Qaeda and other Islamic organisations were involved he avoided answering by launching into a tirade of personal insults against the person who had asked.
Anti-Assad propaganda has also been extensive within mainstream western media.
In particular, the BBC has been criticised many times for its coverage of the conflict and has been accused of misreporting, and of re-editing reports to support the official UK government position/propaganda.
Shortly after the conflict started, BBC Foreign Correspondent Lyse Doucet was allowed entry into Syria (while at the same time claiming in her report that foreign journalists were not being allowed in to the country) and was lambasted by local people for the BBC’s misrepresentation of life in Syria under the Assad regime.
Mainstream media in the US have bombarded the population with misinformation and speculation about Syria and the Syrian conflict. Again, much of this information merely regurgitates their government’s official accounts rather than the truth.
Despite the propaganda surrounding the controlling Ba’ath Party and President Bashar al-Assad, many Syrians see him as something of a progressive since he took over from his father.
Within a year of becoming President, Assad embarked on reforming the corrupt government.
When Assad took over the Presidency, Syria’s economy was in terrible shape. Lost were the decades of support from the Soviet Union after its collapse in 1991. A serious recession in the mid-1990s was exacerbated by Syria squandering its oil revenues on its second rate army. However, by 2001, Syria exhibited many signs of a modern society—cell phones, satellite television, trendy restaurants and Internet cafes.
Prior to 2011, the country had seen a relaxation of the Emergency Law which had been in place since 1963, the closing of Mezzeh prison which held military and political prisoners, and a wide ranging amnesty which released hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners. Assad is responsible for many positive changes within Syria which affect the lives of ordinary citizens. However, he has been slow to change the military and intelligence services which have been accused of human rights violations against political opponents.
Something that has annoyed western powers is Assad’s stance on Israel. Assad is openly critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, Israel’s aggressive presence in the Middle-East, and Israel’s refusal to enter into any reasonable peace agreement or truce.
In a 2006 interview with US broadcaster CBS, Assad told interviewer Charlie Rose (referring to the possibility of a peace agreement with Israel) “There is a big difference between talking about a peace treaty and peace. A peace treaty is like a permanent ceasefire. There’s no war, maybe you have an embassy, but you actually won’t have trade, you won’t have normal relations because people will not be sympathetic to this relation as long as they are sympathetic with the Palestinians: half a million who live in Syria and half a million in Lebanon and another few millions in other Arab countries.”
Although Syria has a long way to go before it is able to overcome all of its problems (presuming Assad is able to continue in office), Assad has brought about positive change in the country.
As far as human rights are concerned, Syria is certainly nowhere near as bad as Saudi Arabia or Israel. The majority of ordinary citizens go about their daily business just as anyone else would in any western country.
Another myth we are led to believe is that Assad is refusing to enter into arrangements to bring peace to Syria.
During the early period of the Syrian conflict Assad offered to enter into peace talks with the FSA. However, it was the FSA who refused to attend or sabotaged potential peace talks by making unreasonable demands – not the kind of approach which is conducive to finding a real solution to the conflict.
Assad has also stated very clearly that he is open to cooperating with western governments to bring about an end to the crisis. Yet again, these offers have been refused or ignored and as a result it is the ordinary people of Syria who are paying the price.
The refusal of western governments to entertain finding a solution to Syria’s problems is a ridiculous stance from a humanitarian perspective. As ISIS gained ground in Syria and continued to commit atrocities against ordinary Syrians, they stood by and watched, using the terrorist invasion as a tool to bring down Assad rather than find a peaceful solution for those who are suffering.
Israel has played its part by supplying the FSA and the Islamic groups associated with it. Not only have they supplied the terrorists, they have also attempted to provoke Syrian forces by conducting operations on the Golan Heights border with Syria by firing shells and small arms into the country.
Since 2011 all we have seen from western governments is criticism of the Syrian government, the demand for Assad to step down, and an enormous amount of propaganda.
There were accusations which originated from US sources claiming that Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people. When the accusations were examined by the UN it was clear that the so-called ‘evidence’ was manufactured, and UN General Secretary, Ban Ki Moon criticised the US for presenting ‘evidence’ which was far below the basic standards set out for establishing if a nation had used chemical weapons.
In May of 2013 Carla del Ponte, Commissioner of the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, stated that there the rebels forces are in possession of sarin and there is evidence that the rebels have used the agent in several attacks on civilians.
Also in May of 2013, Syrian rebels were arrested in Adana, Turkey, and were found to be in possession of 2Kg of sarin. The Turkish authorities suspected that the agent was going to be used in a terrorist attack in the city.
Assad has never refused an inspection by the UN, but interestingly the ‘rebel forces’ have ensured that inspections have been difficult by refusing to cease their operations so inspectors can enter areas safely. The only thing Assad has said is that he can not guarantee inspectors security while the ‘rebel forces’ are refusing to cooperate.
So you may be wondering why western governments would be so interested in destabilising Syria – as they have with several other countries in the region which are now virtually destroyed or have come under ISIS control.
Some possibilities are:
- Syria’s Central Bank is state-owned & controlled.
- Syria has no IMF (International Monetary Fund) debt.
- Syria has banned genetically modified (GMO) seeds
- Syria has massive oil and gas reserves.
- Syria clearly and unequivocally opposes Zionism and Israel.
- Syria is one of the last secular Muslim states in the Middle East.
You should also be asking yourself why ISIS has been allowed to spread like a disease across the Middle-East when it is an obvious threat to the whole world (if mainstream propaganda is to be believed).
The western governments were more than keen to commit vast resources to the invasion of Iraq based on a total lie, and then leave the country to the forces of ISIS, and yet they refuse to commit resources to address a very clear and extensive danger – one they have been well aware of since the days of the Afghan war.
Now we are seeing one of the many results the west’s refusal to take positive action and the west’s arming and support of Islamic extremists.
Refugees have fled Syria – with the only choice they have being to flee or suffer at the hands of ISIS. These are ordinary people who want to live their lives in peace with each other.
Recently there has been a lot of mainstream media coverage of a child’s body washed up on a beach.
Although this is a sad event, it is nothing compared to the carnage the ordinary Syrian people have endured at the hands of ISIS.
Take the picture of the child and times it by two hundred thousand and you will be getting close to how many ordinary Syrian people have been killed by ISIS – that is the extent of death in Syria so far.
Perhaps those who have died are the lucky ones. Many more ordinary Syrian people are subjected to atrocities committed by ISIS every day.
Although Syria may have had its problems prior to 2011, they were nothing compared to what has been inflicted on the ordinary people of Syria since.
As refugees arrived in Europe official government responses have fallen far short of what we should expect at a humanitarian level.
These people are not economic migrants trying to take advantage of a system – they are ordinary people who had ordinary lives in Syria before 2011. They are people who have (or have had) families, homes, work, and so on – the same as any one of us. Prior to this conflict the thought of becoming refugees was probably alien to them. But now they have very little choice, and it is up to the western governments to assist them as much as possible.
There have been many derogatory statements made concerning the ‘influx of more refugees’ into various European countries. To some extent this is understandable in smaller countries where capacity is limited and people seem to be living on top of one another.
But the difference here is that those refugees who have landed in Europe would not be here if it were not for the action and inaction of our governments. The actions which are designed to destabilise the country and the inactions of doing nothing to stop the spread of ISIS. It is that simple – not complicated at all as governments and the mainstream media would try and fool us into believing.
Unfortunately we tend to believe what those in power tell us (when it is convenient), and believe the propaganda injected into our lives through mainstream media, particularly organisations such as the BBC.
But we need to be careful where we get our information from and not automatically believe reports from propaganda machines such as the BBC or the pseudo-experts trotted out to bolster the ‘official view’. We need to look beyond and behind and find out for ourselves.
There are a lot of people with ‘opinions’, but often these are based on the distorted information they have ingested from the vast propaganda machines which intrude on our lives.
It is no different with this article. It is opinion based on many sources of evidence and knowledge of how propaganda is used. There are no references on purpose, because you have to find out for yourself. Consider this article a starting point – some ideas for you to explore further.
We believe that ISIS and the situation in the Middle-East is by design. It is clear that Syria (and Iran) have been targeted by western governments for a long time.
Cameron has revived Thatcher’s plan for destabilising the Middle-East – almost to the letter. This is more than coincidence which has been proven time and time again through his statements and the government’s public stance on the Syrian situation. A similar situation exists in the US.
There have been plenty of opportunities to take positive action to stop ISIS in its tracks, but it is only now that they have taken a significant hold of Syrian territory that some European nations are taking action.
As usual, it is the ordinary people who are the real victims – they are treated like nothing more than cannon fodder as the power games continue.
“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”– George Bernard Shaw
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