The De Facto US/Al Qaeda Alliance

Exclusive: Buried deep inside Saturday’s New York Times was a grudging acknowledgement that the U.S.-armed “moderate” rebels in Syria are using their U.S. firepower to back an Al Qaeda offensive, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A curious aspect of the Syrian conflict – a rebellion sponsored largely by the United States and its Gulf state allies – is the disappearance in much of the American mainstream news media of references to the prominent role played by Al Qaeda in seeking to overthrow the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

There’s much said in the U.S. press about ISIS, the former “Al Qaeda in Iraq” which splintered off several years ago, but Al Qaeda’s central role in commanding Syria’s “moderate” rebels in Aleppo and elsewhere is the almost unspoken reality of the Syrian war. Even in the U.S. presidential debates, the arguing between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton has been almost exclusively about ISIS, not Al Qaeda.

The World Trade Center's Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

Though Al Qaeda got the ball rolling on America’s revenge wars in the Middle East 15 years ago by killing several thousand Americans and others in the 9/11 attacks, the terrorist group has faded into the background of U.S. attention, most likely because it messes up the preferred “good guy/bad guy” narrative regarding the Syrian war.

For instance, the conflict in Aleppo between Syrian government forces and rebels operating primarily under Al Qaeda’s command is treated in the Western media as simply a case of the barbaric Assad and his evil Russian ally Vladimir Putin mercilessly bombing what is portrayed as the east Aleppo equivalent of Disney World, a place where innocent children and their families peacefully congregate until they are targeted for death by the Assad-Putin war-crime family.

The photos sent out to the world by skillful rebel propagandists are almost always of wounded children being cared for by the “White Helmet” rebel civil defense corps, which has come under growing criticism for serving as a public-relations arm of Al Qaeda and other insurgents. (There also are allegations that some of the most notable images have been staged, like a fake war scene from the 1997 dark comedy, “Wag the Dog.”)

Rare Glimpse of Truth

Yet, occasionally, the reality of Al Qaeda’s importance in the rebellion breaks through, even in the mainstream U.S. media, although usually downplayed and deep inside the news pages, such as the A9 article in Saturday’s New York Times by Hwaida Saad and Anne Barnard describing a rebel offensive in Aleppo. It acknowledges:

A fake war scene in the dark 1997 comedy "Wag the Dog," which showed a girl and her cat fleeing a bombardment in Albania.

A fake war scene in the dark 1997 comedy “Wag the Dog,” which showed a girl and her cat fleeing a bombardment in Albania.

“The new offensive was a strong sign that rebel groups vetted by the United States were continuing their tactical alliances with groups linked to Al Qaeda, rather than distancing themselves as Russia has demanded and the Americans have urged. … The rebels argue that they cannot afford to shun any potential allies while they are under fire, including well-armed and motivated jihadists, without more robust aid from their international backers.” (You might note how the article subtly blames the rebel dependence on Al Qaeda on the lack of “robust aid” from the Obama administration and other outside countries – even though such arms shipments violate international law.)

What the article also makes clear in a hazy kind of way is that Al Qaeda’s affiliate, the recently renamed Nusra Front, and its jihadist allies, such as Ahrar al-Sham, are waging the brunt of the fighting while the CIA-vetted “moderates” are serving in mostly support roles. The Times reported:

“The insurgents have a diverse range of objectives and backers, but they issued statements of unity on Friday. Those taking part in the offensive include the Levant Conquest Front, a militant group formerly known as the Nusra Front that grew out of Al Qaeda; another hard-line Islamist faction, Ahrar al-Sham; and other rebel factions fighting Mr. Assad that have been vetted by the United States and its allies.”

The article cites Charles Lister, a senior fellow and Syria specialist at the Middle East Institute in Washington, and other analysts noting that “the vast majority of the American-vetted rebel factions in Aleppo were fighting inside the city itself and conducting significant bombardments against Syrian government troops in support of the Qaeda-affiliated fighters carrying out the brunt of front-line fighting.”

Lister noted that 11 of the 20 or so rebel groups conducting the Aleppo “offensive have been vetted by the C.I.A. and have received arms from the agency, including anti-tank missiles. …

“In addition to arms provided by the United States, much of the rebels’ weaponry comes from regional states, like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Mr. Lister said, including truck-borne multiple-rocket launcher systems and Czech-made Grad rockets with extended ranges.”

The U.S./Al Qaeda Alliance

In other words, the U.S. government and its allies have smuggled sophisticated weapons into Syria to arm rebels who are operating in support of Al Qaeda’s new military offensive against Syrian government forces in Aleppo. By any logical analysis, that makes the United States an ally of Al Qaeda.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

The Times article also includes a quote from Genevieve Casagrande, a Syria research analyst from the Institute for the Study of War, a neoconservative “think tank” that has supported more aggressive U.S. military involvement in Syria and the Middle East.

“The unfortunate truth, however, is that these U.S.-backed groups remain somewhat dependent upon the Al Qaeda linked groups for organization and firepower in these operations,” Casagrande said.

The other unfortunate truth is that the U.S.-supplied rebels have served, either directly or indirectly, as conduits to funnel U.S. military equipment and ordnance to Al Qaeda.

One might think that the editors of The New York Times – if they were operating with old-fashioned news judgment rather than with propagandistic blinders on – would have recast the article to highlight the tacit U.S. alliance with Al Qaeda and put that at the top of the front page.

Still, the admissions are significant, confirming what we have reported at for many months, including Gareth Porter’s article last February saying: “Information from a wide range of sources, including some of those the United States has been explicitly supporting, makes it clear that every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces [of Idlib and Aleppo] is engaged in a military structure controlled by [Al Qaeda’s] Nusra militants. All of these rebel groups fight alongside the Nusra Front and coordinate their military activities with it. …

“At least since 2014 the Obama administration has armed a number of Syrian rebel groups even though it knew the groups were coordinating closely with the Nusra Front, which was simultaneously getting arms from Turkey and Qatar.”

Double Standards

The Times article on page A9 also deviated from the normal propaganda themes by allowing a statement by Syrian officials and the Russians regarding their suspension of airstrikes over the past week to permit the evacuation of civilians from east Aleppo and the rebels’ refusal to let people leave, even to the point of firing on the humanitarian corridors:

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

“The [Syrian] government and its [Russian] allies accused the rebels of forcing Aleppo residents to stay, and of using them as human shields.”

The “human shields” argument is one that is common when the United States or its allies are pummeling some city controlled by “enemy” forces whether Israel’s bombardment of Gaza or the U.S. Marines’ leveling of Fallujah in Iraq or the current campaign against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul. In those cases, the horrific civilian bloodshed, including the killing of children by U.S. or allied forces, is blamed on Hamas or Sunni insurgents or ISIS but never on the people dropping the bombs.

An entirely opposite narrative is applied when U.S. adversaries, such as Syria or Russia, are trying to drive terrorists and insurgents out of an urban area. Then, there is usually no reference to “human shields” and all the carnage is blamed on “war crimes” by the U.S. adversaries. That propaganda imperative helps explain why Al Qaeda and its jihadist comrades have been largely whited out of the conflict in Aleppo.

Over the past few years, U.S. regional allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, also have shifted their public attitudes toward Al Qaeda, seeing it as a blunt instrument to smash the so-called “Shiite crescent” reaching from Iran through Syria to Lebanon. For instance, in September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored Syria’s Sunni extremists over President Assad.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were with Al Qaeda.

And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

Warming to Al Qaeda

As Israeli officials shifted toward viewing Al Qaeda and even ISIS as the lesser evils and built a behind-the-scenes alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Sunni states, American neoconservatives also began softening their tone regarding the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Across the U.S. foreign policy establishment, pressure built for “regime change” in Damascus even if that risked handing Syria to Sunni jihadists. That strategy hit a road bump in 2014 when ISIS began chopping off the heads of Western hostages in Syria and capturing swathes of territory in Iraq, including Mosul.

That bloody development forced President Barack Obama to begin targeting ISIS militants in both Iraq and Syria, but the neocon-dominated Washington establishment still favored the Israeli-Saudi objective of “regime change” in Syria regardless of how that might help Al Qaeda.

Thus, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its jihadist ally, Ahrar al-Sham, faded into the background under the fiction that the anti-Assad forces were primarily noble “moderates” trying to save the children from the bloodthirsty fiends, Assad and Putin.

Grudgingly, The New York Times, deep inside Saturday’s newspaper, acknowledged at least part of the troubling reality, that the U.S. government has, in effect, allied itself with Al Qaeda terrorists.

[For more background on this issue, see’s “New Group Think for War with Syria/Russia.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

58 comments for “The De Facto US/Al Qaeda Alliance

  1. exiled off mainstreet
    October 31, 2016 at 11:07

    It is all a sort of Orwellian treason. Since the end result could be nuclear war on the basis of treason, since Russia is opposing the barbaric element supported by the yankee imperium, it is a sort of black comedy.

  2. October 30, 2016 at 22:53

    And Parry, you imply that Al Qaeda carried out 9/11 without Saudi Government and US deep state support. And you must also know that to be completely false. So, perhaps a little more care when tossing off one-liners about September 11th?

    9/11 & 28 Pages of Treason

  3. October 30, 2016 at 22:41

    It’s been the strategy since day one.

    The Double Game

    • backwardsevolution
      October 31, 2016 at 06:02

      Joe – that was an excellent article! Thank you for posting it.

  4. ltr
    October 30, 2016 at 16:39

    July 25, 2012

    Al-Qa`idah in Syria

    Until recently, if someone suggested that Al-Qa`idah is present in Syria, he/she would be accused of being a shabbiha * for the Assad regime. But when the New York Times says it, ** it becomes true.

    * Or goon


    — As’ad AbuKhalil

  5. ltr
    October 30, 2016 at 16:37

    July 22, 2012

    How the US ensures that its weapons and equipment don’t fall into Al-Qa`idah hands

    “American and other Western intelligence officials have expressed concern that some of the more than 100 rebel formations fighting inside Syria may have ties to Al Qaeda that they could exploit as security worsens in the country or after the collapse of the government…. A small number of C.I.A. officers have been operating secretly in southern Turkey for several weeks, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive weapons to fight the government.” * I am assured that the US has a fool-proof system at hand. The CIA operatives ask the person in question: are you with Al-Qa`idah? If the person says no, he is told: take the weapons and money and run. If he says yes, he is told: not good. Take the money and weapons and run but don’t use them against us one day, OK?


    — As’ad AbuKhalil

  6. GeorgyOrwell
    October 30, 2016 at 11:12

    There’s much said in the U.S. press about ISIS, the former “Al Qaeda in Iraq” which splintered off several years ago, but Al Qaeda’s central role in commanding Syria’s “moderate” rebels in Aleppo and elsewhere is the almost unspoken reality of the Syrian war.
    Not a word from Robert Parry about the Washington Post reporting on the propaganda campaign regarding the leader of “Al Qaeda in Iraq”.

    Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi
    Jordanian Painted As Foreign Threat To Iraq’s Stability
    By Thomas E. Ricks
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, April 10, 2006

    The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    The documents state that the U.S. campaign aims to turn Iraqis against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, by playing on their perceived dislike of foreigners. U.S. authorities claim some success with that effort, noting that some tribal Iraqi insurgents have attacked Zarqawi loyalists.

    For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi’s role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the “U.S. Home Audience” as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign.

    • W. R. Knight
      October 30, 2016 at 17:53

      True, but that doesn’t say much about the U.S. aiding and abetting Al Qaeda operatives in Syria where we are arming rebels that are clearly in bed with Al Qaeda and transferring weapons to them. So, on the one hand we are condemning them and on the other we are aiding them.

  7. W. R. Knight
    October 30, 2016 at 10:56

    “’The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,’ Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview.”

    It’s ironic that there was no continuous so-called strategic (Shiite) arc until the US overthrew the Sunni government of Saddam Hussein. With the Shiite government in Iraq, installed by the U.S, there is now a continuous strategic (Shiite) arc which the Israelis want to break up the arc by overthrowing the Assad regime in Syria.

    So in summary, the U.S., claiming they wanted to get rid of Al Qaeda, destroyed the regime of Sadam Hussein which provided a Sunni barrier between Iran and Lebanon, the result being a continuous strategic Shiite arc which threatens Israel; and now wants to help Israel to break up that arc by destroying the Assad regime in Syria with the help of Al Qaeda, which the U.S. previously wanted to destroy.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  8. W. R. Knight
    October 30, 2016 at 10:25

    The implication of all this is that the Syrian opponents of Assad do not have enough support of the Syrian people to topple the Assad regime so they have turned to terrorist groups supported by foreign countries to achieve their goal.

    Now one has to ask, if the revolution doesn’t have the support of the vast majority of the Syrian people, why should America support the rebels?

  9. October 30, 2016 at 09:50

    The US involvement in the Syrian civil war is only highly ILLEGAL, it is also MORALLY DEPRAVED! it reflects a Ho Chi Minh insurgency level of immorality. The US sacrificed over 50 THOUSAND American lives during the Vietnam War fighting against such a level of immorality!

    • Joe L.
      October 31, 2016 at 00:09

      What about the 3 to 4 Million dead Vietnamese not too mention people being born to this day with deformities due to Agent Orange. I think also as John Pilger pointed out in one of his documentaries it was those “evil” Vietnamese that went to the aid of Cambodians meanwhile the US and Britain were supporting Pol Pot who was committing genocide.

    • Joe B
      October 31, 2016 at 09:45

      I would add that your “evil” Ho Chi Minh pleaded with the Versailles convention after WWI to grant Wilson’s 14 points (point 7?) allowing self-determination to colonized peoples, and after WWII pleaded with Truman not to let France resume its colonial government there, and in fact read the US Declaration of Independence to his people. If independence is so evil, why should the US have had its independence? Ho later stated that he was a nationalist first, and a communist second, and only because the West would not support independence. When NV won at Dien Bien Phu it was the US that blocked reunification of Vietnam. When elections were at last held in SV, the US installed Diem with a fake 92% of votes, and later had him assassinated because his brother was negotiating for peace with NV, and installed the military dictator Thieu.

      The US was the first western nation to rebel against colonialism, and the last to defend colonialism.

      So who was “evil” in all of that?

  10. October 30, 2016 at 09:40

    Interesting article.
    “There is overwhelming evidence that there are war criminals that plotted and planned a number of wars in various countries. [1] Yet, you won’t hear or see most of the corporate controlled media exposing the criminality of the powerful war perverts in our midst, or the victims of the war criminals and their war business. [2] Syria is just one of example of many countries, where the media are protecting the criminal actions of governments and their treacherous “allies” that are consorting with terrorists…. “
    [read more at link below]

  11. anon
    October 30, 2016 at 05:32

    Gosh, imagine Gaza being so rude to completely innocent Israeli thieves and slaughterers.
    Gee you Israelis sure do fool everyone easily.

  12. Kramet
    October 30, 2016 at 00:22

    People in this part of the world have long known that All Qaeda – and indeed bin Laden- were/are US affiliates. They took over from where the Mujahuddin left off. The war in the Middle East, Afghanistan and now Pakistan is all about US ascendancy over Russia in the overall region. So where’s the story?

  13. F. G. Sanford
    October 30, 2016 at 00:00

    Does anybody remember that “Kodak Moment” between John McCain and al Baghdadi? Off hand, I forget which criminal statute makes it illegal to conduct foreign policy if you’re not a member of the Executive Branch. Somebody said the Clinton scandals are “bigger than Watergate”, but I think maybe they infringed on Greg Palast’s copyrighted book title. But that was more or less about Nuremberg Principle violations. But, we’ve certainly seen “continuity of government”, now that we’re headed into the 5th term of George The Lesser. Maybe somebody should start a list of specifyable charges. Start with “aid and comfort to the enemy” and “material support for terrorism”. Then move on to that birthday check from Qatar to Bill. I’m sure a creative prosecutor could find some “bribery” there somewhere. That movie about the phony war to cover up scandal…maybe they could do a remake with Huma Abedeen and Anthony Weiner, and call it, “Wag the Dong”. Cheese and crackers, doesn’t anybody see how absolutely batshit crazy this country has gone? Hey, if I told you there was a guy in the U.S. Government that had a net worth of $52 million, and was on the board of both Lockheed Martin and that Swiss bank HSBC that does business with the Clinton foundation, could you guess who it was? Didn’t think so. Nope, no charges anytime soon.

    • Sam
      October 30, 2016 at 09:17

      I would be interested to know. I’ll tell you about a judge whose sister stole $51 million from the state of Florida. No charges anytime soon there either.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 30, 2016 at 10:28

      F.G. I’m scratching my head, and dying to know who the 52 million dollar guy is…so I give up, who is he? I’ll take a guess that the Logan Act 1917 could be the law you forgot off the top of your head. You once explained in detail to me all about the Logan Act. Although the Logan Act is hard to enforce, it would be worth seeing some of these scumbag politicians of ours go down with it. Imagine arming the same creeps we blamed for 911, and then acting as though life goes on in a normal way in America. Talk about getting away with a crime.

      October 30, 2016 at 14:18

      Trivia Time: Despite its name, HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.) is headquartered in the UK.

      • F. G. Sanford
        October 30, 2016 at 20:03

        Of course, you are correct. Pardon my flippancy. As a Saxe-Coburg and Gotha appendage (The Queen of England is actually German), nationality is irrelevant when it comes to banks. But the interconnectedness of the financial movers and shakers is a reality, and they are not necessarily loyal to any particular nation. That’s what “globalization” is all about. Hillary is the “tip of rhe spear” in this milieu of multinational sellouts, but It’s a detatchable tip. If you think she’ll win, buy Lockheed Martin stocks now. My guess is, this whole Wiener-gate thing is a limited hangout. HSBC and Lockheed are gonna do just fine.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 31, 2016 at 01:58

      F.G. Sanford – I’ll take James Comey for $100, Alex. Wow, I really cannot believe it.

  14. Abe
    October 29, 2016 at 23:27

    The entire US/Israel-backed terrorist “regime change” war in Syria is being waged on behalf of Israel.

    Israel seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War from Syria and annexed it in 1981. The international community never accepted Israel’s annexation.

    The turmoil in Syria began as an effort to make permanent Israel’s annexation of the Golan.

    For several months in 2010, the Obama administration brokered discussions with Syria and Israel for a possible peace treaty based on a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

    In early February 2010, in a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister in Damascus, Syrian President Assad said that “Israel is not serious about achieving peace since all facts point out that Israel is pushing the region towards war, not peace.”

    A flurry of inflammatory rhetoric issued from Israel. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused Assad of making a “direct threat on Israel”.

    Negotiations between Israel and Syria were further obstructed in 2011 by the so-called “Arab Spring”. Widespread destabilizations of the Middle East culminated in a full-on terrorist assault on the government of Syria.

    An ultimate goal of the al-Qaeda terrorist assault on Syria is international recognition of Israel’s permanent “defensive” annexation of the Golan.

    In April 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the first-ever cabinet meeting held on the Golan: “I convened this celebratory meeting in the Golan Heights to send a clear message: The Golan will always remain in Israel’s hands. Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights.”

    • October 30, 2016 at 00:19

      Geni Oil thats the link. Golan,Gaza eastern Egypt and the coast of Syria and Lebanon have gas and Geni is the link. Cheney/Murdoch/Kissinger. Well documented and easily researched. Its all about the petro-dollar and nufin else.
      P.S Take a look at recent You-tube of Micheal Moore related to the NOV 8th POTUS election. It might put a smile on ur face and anybody else who is interested. It appears to be the establishment r living in a dystopia and the repeat of the BREXIT will hit them hard.

      • backwardsevolution
        October 31, 2016 at 01:17

        Is this the Michael Moore video you’re talking about?

        Michael Moore: “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest ‘F#*k You’ ever recorded in human history.”

    • backwardsevolution
      October 30, 2016 at 18:15

      Abe – I spent a night reading about the Golan Heights. Israel needs to get the hell out; it is not their land. It belongs to Syria. Get out, Israel.

  15. October 29, 2016 at 23:23

    Wesley Clarke revealed the crime 7 countries in five years. Syria and Libya were on that list. Further more the leaked DIA documents of 2012 stated that a salifist principality would be the end resultant . Further more wiki-leak documents demonstrate that once the Assad government rejected the Qatari and Saudi offer of having their pipeline built from the pars fields that Syria was going to be destabilised and the Libya effect was going to be imposed on them. Obama did not waist any breathe on that matter. He came out and said it in 2012 once Libya was destroyed and Qadaffi was murdered he just repeated the same old western lies Assad must go. All these events r related to the seven sisters (petroleum industry) and safe guarding the petro-dollar . Thats what the ME is all about to save the petro-dollar. Saddam’s fate was he wanted to trade in euros. Qadaffi wanted to establish a Gold backed currency the African Dinar . Syria does not have a central banking system connected to the west. Iran does not have a central banking system connected to the west. and Libya the same. So recent history repeats itself and pre ww2 history is repeating itself. P.S I would like to add also the Sykes -Picot/Balfour accord is rearing its head. The establishment classes of the west r trying to redraw the maps just like they did in 1916.
    I just find we in the west r living in a dream world and cannot even connect these obvious dots. I can understand in 1971-2 when Nixon took us of the gold standard and created the petro -dollar the extreme ignorance in the general public with that move , but in this day and age when MSM has been fully discredited and we the people know how propagandistic they have become for the elite that we cannot c the deception and lies.

    • backwardsevolution
      October 30, 2016 at 18:12

      falcemartello – I think Libya has got a central banking system connected to the West now.

      “The rebels in Libya are in the middle of a life or death civil war and Moammar Gadhafi is still in power and yet somehow the Libyan rebels have had enough time to establish a new Central Bank of Libya and form a new national oil company. Perhaps when this conflict is over those rebels can become time management consultants. They sure do get a lot done. What a skilled bunch of rebels – they can fight a war during the day and draw up a new central bank and a new national oil company at night without any outside help whatsoever. If only the rest of us were so versatile! But isn’t forming a central bank something that could be done after the civil war is over? According to Bloomberg, the Transitional National Council has “designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.” Apparently someone felt that it was very important to get pesky matters such as control of the banks and control of the money supply out of the way even before a new government is formed.

      Of course it is probably safe to assume that the new Central Bank of Libya will be 100% owned and 100% controlled by the newly liberated people of Libya, isn’t it?

      Most people don’t realize that the previous Central Bank of Libya was 100% state owned.”

  16. Charles Browning
    October 29, 2016 at 21:26
    • Kiza
      October 30, 2016 at 00:04

      When you read “Intercept” think Washington Post. It is the same propaganda boss.

      • Charles Browning
        October 30, 2016 at 18:19

        Interesting opinion, but I’m not sure the WP would hire Glenn Greenwald or Jeremy Scahill. I think of The Intercept as a counterweight to the mainstream media. Can you suggest better sources?

  17. Charles Browning
    October 29, 2016 at 21:25

    But what about what this guy is saying? Very confusing.

    • Abe
      October 29, 2016 at 22:15

      A useful “leftist” idiot pretentiously labeled as Syria’s “conscience”, Yassin al-Haj Saleh has been a Western media darling.

      Since the beginning of the terrorist assault on Syria in 2011, Saleh has spouted every scrap of anti-government propaganda.

      Not a whisper from Saleh about the blatantly obvious US/Israel backing of al-Qaeda.

      Saleh strives mightily to shame the Left into supporting Washington and Tel Aviv’s “regime change” project in Syria.

  18. GeorgyOrwell
    October 29, 2016 at 21:14

    A curious aspect of the Syrian conflict – a rebellion sponsored largely by the United States and its Gulf state allies – is the disappearance in much of the American mainstream news media of references to the prominent role played by Al Qaeda in seeking to overthrow the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.
    It’s only curious to people like Robert Parry who deny and ignore the mountain range of evidence that 9/11 was an inside job. Even someone so brilliant as Parry can be a complete ignoramus when confronted with that that he does not wish to be confronted with.

    To those who have taken a hard look at the case for an inside job, it’s really not curious at all.

    • Wini
      October 30, 2016 at 09:43

      Thank you, GeorgyOrwell! It’s very curious.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        October 30, 2016 at 19:54

        The sceptical movement dismisses such claims.

    • Cal
      October 30, 2016 at 13:32

      It was actually Saudi that ‘started’ the Syrian rebellion.
      If you go way back to the beginning and just ‘before’ the beginning of actual fighting—Saudi had Price Bandar in Syria directing the ‘recruiting’ of rebels and arranging the financing for weapons and etc..
      No doubt that Saudi consulted with and brought in Israel (or visa versa) even prior to their plan for Syria thinking they could gain US support for the overthrow of Syria thru the US Jewish Lobbies and influence. So Israel and Saudi are ‘piggybacking’ each other’s agenda in Syria.

      The US is involved as usual because the WH and our neo politicians never saw a shit pile they wouldn’t send the US Into for Israel, Saudi and their own neo brain farts.

  19. October 29, 2016 at 20:29

    Well if that doesn’t beat all! Who could have seen that coming? The US government is so out of touch with reality it’s not even funny.

  20. Joe B
    October 29, 2016 at 20:19

    Your point is good, that the US use of AlQaeda in 1980s Afghanistan and now in Syria suggests some US-related covert use of them in 9/11, but I would expect a careful journalist or analyst to wait for reliable information before suggesting any specific connection. There are endless possible scenarios in which responsibility would be quite differently apportioned. It is remarkable that with so much surveillance, we still can only speculate about what motivated the KSA people and any others those behind 9/11. It certainly would be good to have more real facts.

  21. Cal
    October 29, 2016 at 20:18

    ” New York Times was a grudging acknowledgement that the U.S.-armed “moderate” rebels in Syria are using their U.S. firepower to back an Al Qaeda offensive”

    Most of us (I think) have been aware of the rebel and ALQ connection for a year or more now.
    OBL is laughing his ass off wherever he is.

  22. Abe
    October 29, 2016 at 20:07

    The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States (2016)
    Executive producer Sut Phally and narrator Roger Waters – Real News interview

    Israel’s propagandist Hasbara narrative directly applies to the US/Israel-backed terrorist war against the people of Syria.

    The basics of Hasbara propaganda are easy to identify: simplistic phrases, repeated over and over, designed to engage emotions rather than produce rational arguments, all shaped to fit into a narrative of good (Western-oriented Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy) versus evil (Arab/Muslim terrorists who seek not only to destroy the Jewish state but kill all Jews).

    To persuade Americans to accept this impoverished account of the conflict, Hasbara propaganda rewrites history, rejects international law and ignores the struggle over land and resources that is at the heart of the conflict.

    • Abe
      October 29, 2016 at 21:12

      Hasbara Propaganda Manual – “Global Language Dictionary”

      Written by Republican pollster and political strategist Frank Luntz, the Hasbara handbook was commissioned by a group called The Israel Project in 2009.

      Labeled “Not for distribution or publication”, the Hasbara manual is a treasure trove of scripted propaganda canards.

      In 2009, Israel’s foreign ministry organized volunteers to add pro-Israeli commentary on news websites. In July 2009, it was announced that the Israeli Foreign Ministry would conduct “internet warfare” to spread a pro-Israel message on various websites.

      The program has expanded to a Hasbara troll army that promotes pro-Israel policies in the press and online media.

      US/Israel-backed al-Qaeda terrorists in neighboring Syria advance the geopolitical goals of Israel, which include permanent annexation of Syria’s resource-rich Golan Heights area that Israel has occupied since 1967.

      The illusion of a “threat” to Israel guarantees an ever greater cascade of military and economic aid supplied by slavishly pro-Israel politicians in the United States.

  23. October 29, 2016 at 19:48

    Why is the United States so interested in getting rid of Bashar Assad? What do WE have against him? On the other hand, could it be ONLY because that’s what Israel wants to do and for no other real reason. After all, Israel (Zionists and Neo-Conservatives) are pretty much in control of our Middle Eastern policy, so that would follow on the basis of that premise. However, in the process of following them, we are managing to antagonize Russia, an enterprise in which only our war-profiteers, but not we as a country, have an interest. So, on balance, we would have to ask ourselves what the percentage is in this losing proposition, i.e. antagonizing Russia in exchange for getting rid of Bashar. One would have to say ” not hardly worth it (in the vernacular)” for us.

    So, this being the current arrangement, one must ask, “What is.really going on here?” since this obviously is not an advantageous situation for those Americans who put “America First”. .In addition to the warmongering w/profiteering, could it also be the case that the aforementioned controllers of our foreign policy have it in for Russia as a result of an historic ethnic grudge going back to the Tzars? It would seem then that the eminently rational financial motive of the war-profiteers provides only a partial but unsatisfactory answer. For the balance of the motivation here, the “grudge”, there is no “quid pro quo” other than the perverse pleasure of retaliation experienced by the Zionists, who are risking nothing, while we are taking it on the chin. America is being used by Israel at the behest and facilitation of the Congress and Executive Branch.

    • Dave Brunskill
      October 31, 2016 at 22:45

      Israel is and always has been the biggest controller of US foreign policy. Also, when will people acknowledge that there were never any Arabs of any kind or AlQueda involved in pulling off 911. The only thing that is true of that day in the official report is that 3 building were no longer standing at the end of the day. Every thing else in the official report can be picked apart into a million pieces just using the principles of physics.

  24. anon
    October 29, 2016 at 19:38

    This is such great news. We can just pay AlQaeda with surplus weapons and ammo, and dump the entire US armed forces. Just let them make foreign policy for us: it can’t be any more irrational or injurious than what we have now. And we don’t even have to explain it. Why not let them get started by cleaning out KSA and Israel ,and then invite them to Washington? They can recycle the ziocons, and retire in peace to Greater Palestine. We will all be much better off and much more secure.

  25. ltr
    October 29, 2016 at 19:31

    December 15, 2012

    Non-lethal US aid

    Weeks before the Obama administration and other Western nations recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition as “the legitimate representative” of the Syrian people, Syrian rebels were receiving training in the use of light and heavy weapons with the backing of the Jordanian, British and U.S. governments, participants in the training have told McClatchy….

    By November, another rebel said, the training had expanded to anti-tank weapons and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles…. *


    — As’ad AbuKhalil

  26. ltr
    October 29, 2016 at 19:26

    May 3, 2013

    In Raqqah, Syria

    This is from Raqqah in Syria. * The main square there has been renamed Prophet Muhammad Square, and a giant flag of Al-Qa`idah is posted. And do you still need a fortune teller to tell you how things are going in Syria?


    — As’ad AbuKhalil

  27. ltr
    October 29, 2016 at 19:25

    July 30, 2012

    The Prophet’s Flag? or Al-Qa`idah’s?

    “The groups demanded to raise the prophet’s banner — solid black with ‘There is no god but God.’ ” * Somebody needs to tell the New York Times that what it calls the “prophet’s banner” is none other than the flag of Al-Qa`idah. What an informed paper.


    — As’ad AbuKhalil

    • Brice
      October 30, 2016 at 02:59

      Any idea what New York Times article Robert is referencing in this article?

      • ltr
        October 30, 2016 at 09:25

        Any idea what New York Times article * Robert is referencing in this article?


        October 28, 2016

        Syrian Rebels Launch Offensive to Break Siege of Aleppo

        A coalition of insurgent groups said it had begun a major effort to break the monthslong siege of eastern parts of the city, and at least 15 people were reportedly killed.

        • November 1, 2016 at 21:23

          Did you follow the link and read it? The meaning is clear. The US is on the side of the jihadists in Syria, as is KSA, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, France, UK.

      • Wini
        October 30, 2016 at 09:35

        He gave a link after the first subhead.

      • incontinent reader
        October 30, 2016 at 14:29

        Bob has included a link to the article- or you can go directly to:

  28. anon
    October 29, 2016 at 19:14

    Are you trying to say something? Looks delete-worthy IMO.

  29. Bill Bodden
    October 29, 2016 at 18:47

    It looks like the Middle East Institute is well represented by the military-industrial complex and foreign policy hawks. –

  30. Abe
    October 29, 2016 at 18:05

    “Rarely ever does hypocrisy align so succinctly as it does within the pages of American policy and media coverage. US policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, recently provided an extreme example of this in a paper titled, ‘A convenient terrorism threat,’ penned by Daniel Byman.

    “[…] worse than Byman’s intentional mischaracterisations and lies of omission regarding US allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel’s overt, global-spanning sponsorship of terrorism, is the fact that not only is the US itself engaged in sponsoring terrorism as it poses as fighting against it globally, the Brookings Institution and Byman have specifically and publicly called for the funding, training and arming of designated foreign terrorist groups in pursuit of self-serving geopolitical objectives.

    “Indeed, Daniel Byman is one of several signatories of the 2009 Brookings Institution report, ‘Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran.’

    “The report not only reveals the blueprints of using supposedly ‘peaceful’ and ‘democratic’ protests as cover for violent, US sponsored subversion (as was precisely done in Syria beginning in 2011), it specifically lists a US State Department-designated foreign terrorist organisation as a potential US proxy in violently rising up against, and eventually overthrowing the government in Tehran […]

    “Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution’s latest paper even at face value is disingenuous, full of intentional mischaracterisations meant to direct attention away from the US and its closest allies’ own sponsorship of terrorism amid a very much feigned ‘War on Terror.’ Understanding that Byman quite literally signed his name to a policy paper promoting the arming and backing of a US State Department designated foreign terrorist organisation makes his recent paper all that more outrageous.

    “What is also as troubling as it is ironic, is that Byman not only signed his name to calls for arming a listed terrorist organisation, he was also a staff member of the 9/11 Commission, according to his Georgetown University biography. A man involved in sorting out a terrorist attack who is also advocating closer cooperation with listed terrorist organisations is truly disturbing.

    “The political and ethical bankruptcy of American foreign policy can be traced back to its policy establishment, populated by unprincipled hypocrites like Byman and co-signatories of Brookings’ ‘Which Path to Persia?’ The US certainly cannot convince other nations to abandon an alleged ‘two-faced’ policy of promoting and fighting terrorism simultaneously when it stands as a global leader in this very practise.”

    America’s Ironic “Two-Faced” War on Terror
    By Joseph Thomas

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