It is ironic that Eurasia is no longer the enemy; Eastasia is. Al Qaeda was supposed to be part of the Axis of Evil (TM), engaged in a grand conspiracy against the US along with Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Now, all of a sudden, they are no longer the enemy. It is now an open secret that we are now engaging in a proxy war against the Syrian government, one of the governments that George Bush rendered prisoners to when he was The Decider.
The officials declined to identify the source of the newly provided weapons, but they noted that the countries most closely involved in supporting the rebels’ campaign to oust Assad have grown increasingly alarmed at the soaring influence of Islamists over the fragmented rebel movement. They include the United States and its major European allies, along with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the two countries most directly involved in supplying the rebels. Security officials from those nations have formed a security coordination committee that consults regularly on events in Syria, they said.But note that the US supports "Islamists" when it is convenient:
Libya retains a law from the Muammar Gaddafi era that makes proselytising a criminal offence potentially punishable by death. The arrests underlined the sometimes difficult relationship between churches and the new authorities.
"Proselytising is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100% Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security," security official Hussein Bin Hmeid told Reuters.
There are way too many unanswered questions here. How are we supposed to know who the "moderates" and the "extremists" are? How are we supposed to know that the arms are not going into the wrong hands? And who gets to decide who is moderate and extremist in the first place?
Among the groups fighting Assad is al-Nusra, a group designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. So apparently, the ends now justify the means. And now, the US is turning a blind eye to stuff like this:
Over 50 people were killed and several injured in an explosion of a booby-trapped car in Al-Thawra street in Damascus Thursday, Syrian state TV reported.The Land Destroyer Report alleges that the same terrorist network that flooded Iraq with people who fought our troops there also fermented discord in Libya and are now doing so again in Syria. This network was detailed in two reports in 2007 and 2008 by the West Point Combating Terrorism Center. You can read the first report here. The document shows that Benghazi was one of the hotbeds in terrorist recruitment against our troops in Iraq.
The explosion caused widespread destruction. The suicide attack “killed and injured a large number of citizens and left severe material damage in houses and streets,” SANA reported.
For its part, the Syrian television, which indicated that the explosion resulted from “a suicide attack from inside a car”, added that “it targeted a populated area, a garage, and a school, causing casualties among civilians, including school children.”
"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."
"the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations."
"...[Saudi Arabia's] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”The second West Point report notes that the US created the terrorist network in the first place during the Cold War:
During the first half of the 1980s the role of foreign fighters in Afghanistan was negligible and was largely un‐noticed by outside observers. The flow of volunteers from the Arab heartland countries was just a trickle in the early 1980s, though there were more significant links between the mujahidin and Central Asian Muslims—especially Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kazakhs. Individuals like the above‐mentioned Abu’l‐Walid were recruited in the early years via ad hoc outreach campaigns initiated from within Afghanistan, but by 1984, the resources being poured into the conflict by other countries—especially Saudi Arabia and the United States—had become much greater, as had the effectiveness and sophistication of the recruitment efforts. Only then did foreign observers begin to remark on the presence of outside volunteers.The US is so absorbed in its Ends Justifies the Means Strategy that it is ignoring the fact that most Syrians do not even want these groups. They were barely a fleeting presence as late as last summer. Now, they are growing like wildfire:
The repression of Islamist movements in the Middle East contributed to the acceleration of Arab fighters leaving for Afghanistan. One important process was the Syrian regime of Hafez Assad’s brutal campaign against the Jihadi movement in Syria, led by the “Fighting Vanguard” (al‐Tali’a al‐Muqatila) of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The crackdown initiated an exodus of Vanguard militants to neighboring Arab states. By 1984, large numbers of these men began making their way from exile in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan toward southeastern Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.
"I have a problem with al-Qaida," he said from the gloom. "Come with me, alone, and I'll tell you."Ultimately, this struggle should be none of our business. In the final analysis, a solution to Syria rests with the Syrian people. As things stand now, this struggle is simply a bunch of dictators vying for power.
He gripped his short black beard anxiously and began to speak. "I am an engineer," he said. "I trained abroad and I came back for this revolution. My skill is in making machinery parts and now al-Qaida want me to make their weapons. They run everything here. They are very powerful."
The group he called al-Qaida is known locally as Jabhat al-Nusra. Before the siege of Aleppo started mid-July, the group was unknown in the city and had been only a fleeting presence in the rebellious countryside.
Now though, almost six months later, inspired by the Bin Laden world view of a global jihad to enforce a fundamental Islamic society, al-Nusra is very much competing for influence in the Syria that will take shape if and when the embattled regime falls.