The US are trying to salvage the remnants of their comic-book Syrian narrative, hiding behind the transparent diversionary claim the Russians are bombing “non-ISIS rebels”, hoping, forlornly no one will be smart enough to realise this essentially means “al Qaeda/al Nusra”, and amounts to an admission the US is working with the group they used to claim were the embodiment of evil.
Not just working with, but defending hysterically. Watching Ashton Carter at the podium issuing barely concealed threats of retribution to another nuclear power, it’s hard to comprehend that he’s doing this because Russia dared to bomb the alleged perpetrators of 9/11.
Naturally the tame western media aids and abets this bankrupt story-line, but they can’t save it. It’s garbage, and even after the spinners have finished spinning, it still looks like garbage. But the lie has to be maintained, even while it becomes increasingly obvious no one believes it, because the alternative is impossible to contemplate.
The collapse of the “we’re bombing the bad guys” narrative doesn’t just completely unravel the accepted reality of what is going down in Syria, it opens up numerous other worm-filled cans. Questions inevitably proliferate that go far beyond current events. How long has Washington been funding al Qaeda while declaring them enemies? How routine is false narrative like this? How blurred is the distinction between real and pretend? How many people is it acceptable to kill in fuzzy semi-pretend-war with pretend-enemies who may still die? How much of our current world view is contaminated with someone’s convenient fiction and message-laden fantasy?
Where on the spectrum of reality does ISIS belong? That multi-million dollar oil-exporting & antiquity-smuggling “Caliphate”. With $2 billion dollars in bank accounts the CIA can analyse but not freeze. ISIS with a convoy of oil trucks 2km long the US air force can’t bomb. ISIS with the “slick and sophisticated media department” that turns out high quality, professional, recruitment vids and films of real or not so real violence. ISIS, “gaming Twitter” with their official app, available through Google Play store for three months, until public outrage closed it down. ISIS, the designer terrorists, with their brand-saturation logo, and their endless stream of slick promo pics, often in matching trucks. ISIS, taking time out to Photoshop Twitter pix even in the midst of “battlefield setbacks” in their “desert strongholds”.
That ISIS/Islamic State/al Qaeda/al Nusra, or whatever new name we want to use, were to some extent packaged and marketed as designer fear porn seems beyond doubt. Nothing else explains their unparalleled success as media-manipulators or their immunity to any kind of retribution. It’s possible a lot of the guys in the ubiquitous promo pics never did anything more violent than pose with a black flag or an assault rifle. But some of them apparently did a lot more than that. They didn’t just take the money and fight either. They tortured people. En masse. On film.
Where was the line drawn? Where did agitprop “theatre” become proxy warriors gone out of control and making snuff films? Was there a line at all? Did their western backers who supplied the trucks also pay for those orange jump suits, those burning cages, those decapitation knives? Did they know what they were doing?
How deep and nasty is the psycho-nightmare of US Middle East “policy”?
OffGuardian is the creation of people from different parts of the world committed to the original vision which drew us together on The Guardian‘s CiF pages. We followed with dismay and disappointment the increasingly distorted and tendentious news reporting on Libya, the proxy-war in Syria, and the Ukraine Crisis. Tired of being censored by our beloved, once-upon-a-time left-of-centre newspaper, in February 2015 we decided to create our own platform for airing our unacceptable opinions.