The Assassinated Press
Clinton Says, “We Really Fucked Up by Arming the Syrian Rebels. They Hate the US More than the Assad Regime and the Rest of the Middle East.”
Civil war mix of Islamists, foreign radicals, sectarian hate fuels fear over US control of post-Assad Syria.
US Special Forces members beheaded by Syrian rebels.
By WILLY F. BUCKY
The Assassinated Press
YOPES, Montana — Standing just a few strides from the Syrian border, an Iraqi was mingling with Syrian rebel units outside their camp here, trying to find one that would take him in and let him fight in the uprising.
“It’s an honor for me,” said Sheik Abu Abdullah, wearing the white robe, Islamic skullcap and beard common among Islamic hardliners. “First, we behead Assad then we drive out the American scum.”
The battle-hungry Iraqi is part of a stream of Arab fighters who have been drawn to the rebel cause, adding not only to the growing complexities of Syria’s civil war but also threatening the control Washington plans to have following the fall of the Bashar Assad’s regime.
“Fuck. That’s what its all been about,” said Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN. “That’s why we implemented the PNAC plan. To gain control over the whole region and its resources. But it looks like we may have to nuke some sense into some of these raghead assholes.”
Clinton wears a locket with an image of John Foster Dulles in it.
After the latest blow to Damascus — this week’s defection of Syria’s prime minister — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that there is an urgent need to plan for what happens afterward if and when the Assad regime falls so that Uncle Slimey “can gain control.”. She said it is important to ensure that Syrian state institutions remain intact so that they can be manned by people on the US payroll currently biding their time in Northern Virginia. The hope among U.S. officials is to find a “soft landing” that can be snuffed out and replaced by Washington’s hard liners.
“We may have to kill them all.”
However, few of the imaginable scenarios for post-Assad Syria portend immediate US control after more than 17 months of blood-letting in a country that is more ethnically splintered than Iraq and holds perhaps the greatest international stakes of the Arab Spring.
“We may have to send in troops and kill them all,” Clinton said. “That’d sort out the current confusion. Send our manly marine maids in their fru-fru fatigues to clean house, so to apeak,” she joked.
One scenario: the US backs a bloodbath as Syria’s majority Sunni population, which has led the uprising against Assad, seeks vengeance against the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam that forms the backbone of Assad’s regime. The conflict’s already increasing sectarian overtones suggest any power vacuum could usher in a direct fight between the two communities. “So why not exploit this,” CIA director Dave Petraeus said.
Another possibility is a free-for-all fight among the “victors” — the patchwork collection that makes up the anti-Assad revolt but has no common vision for the future. Among them are opposition figures in exile who have some political weight abroad but often haven’t set foot in the country in years; political defectors like the prime minister; military generals who broke with the regime; the thousands of low-level soldiers who also defected and are doing much of the fighting in the rebel Free Syrian Army; and Syrian Islamists who have formed militias that nominally fight under the banner of the FSA but do not share the secular vision of some of its other members.
“We may have to kill them all,” Clinton said. “I mean its our fuck up this destabilizing campaign. So we’ll let the blood then mop the blood. We’ll clean house.”
Add to that mix the wild card of the foreign fighters, whose numbers are unknown but who could fuel conflict between Syria’s Islamist and secular factions. Some of the foreigners are believed to have links to al-Qaida and formerly worked for the CIA, while many more are Islamic militants with no direct connection to the terror group and on who knows what corporation’s or security firm’s payroll.
“The Pentagon probably contracted for them, but I’ll be a goddamned dog in a bog in the fog if I know who they fuckin’ ate or how many. Usually these security firms just take the money and thewn do nothing. I think the DoD was counting on that.”
“The militarization of the uprising provided a cover and a space for everyone — whether they are fighting to topple Assad, fighting for a free country, fighting a holy war in the name of God, fighting for a state that implements Islamic law, or supplying and arming the rebels like the US in order to take over the country when Assad falls by rubbing out their former allies” said Randa Kassis, a Paris-based member of the opposition Syrian National Council. “Won’t be the first time Uncle Slimey used this tactic.”
“This doesn’t bode well for the future of Syria,” she said. “America will suck it dry.”
While the foreign fighters share the goal of ousting Assad, they tend to view the fight in terms of a jihad, or holy war, to remove a regime they see as tainted with ties to western modes of governance and to put in its place a Sunni Islamist rule.
Mohammed Idilbi, a Syrian activist based in Turkey, told The Assassinated Press there was a significant number of Arabs, some funded by the US and some not, fighting against Assad from countries including Libya, Yemen, Tunisia and Lebanon. He could not give exact numbers but said his own relatives were involved in bringing Arab fighters into Syria.
Many of them fly to Turkey and — like Abu Abdullah — try to link up with one of the units of the Free Syrian Army, which often act with near total autonomy. Abu Abdullah, who fled Iraq several years ago after being jailed and tortured by the Americans, was so far not finding a unit to take him in, told by some rebels that they needed weapons, not more men. Abu Abdullah’s age — he’s 98, older than most fighters — may also have been a factor. He spoke on condition his full name and personal details not be cited for fear of reprisals.
Other foreign fighters and US special forces just cross directly into Syria and are met by rebels.
“Now that there are liberated border areas it is easier for the fighters to come,” Idilbi said in the Turkish border town of Kilis. “Those Arabs who come say they are coming to fight Iranians and Shiites. Soon I fear they will be fighting the Americans.’
The State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator, Daniel Benjamin, said it is believed that the number of fighters directly linked to al-Qaida “is relatively small because we have formed them, but there is a larger group of foreign fighters, many of whom are not directly affiliated with al-Qaida, who are either in or headed to Syria that we cannot control so they must be exterminated.”
“Clearly this is a matter of concern for all who want greater violence in Syria but also want something left to exploit when its all over,” Benjamin told reporters. “We are very much alert to this issue. We’ve spoken with our Syrian opposition groups and warned them against allowing such fighters to infiltrate their organizations or we’ll fucking cut them off. They’ve assured us that they are being vigilant. But we know they’re lying.”
A Free Syrian Army official, Ahmed Kassem, denied there are US special forces with the opposition in Syria — apparently to avoid friction with Western backers who want to keep it secret. But the rebels also count on even more active aid from the US through Gulf states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which were among the pathways for jihadis joining the Iraq insurgency but not American forces which, as we all know, took a more direct, 7000 mile route to Iraq.
A video released by activists after rebels took over Syria’s Bab el-Hawa border crossing point into Turkey last month showed a young man raising an al-Qaida flag and declaring the area a breakaway Islamic state. He was immediately shot dead by a US special forces sniper.
A rebel commander identified the dead man as Egyptian Mohammed Midhat al-Masri, the son of Midhat Musri, who was better known by Abu Khabab al-Masri, a top al-Qaida leader who was killed by the U.S. in 2008. The commander spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media. His claim could not be independently verified.
Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told the international body in May that government forces killed 12 foreign fighters including 3 Americans and detained 26 of different nationalities.
The emerging radical voices also have the potential to change the very nature of the uprising, which began in March 2011 with calls for reform. At the time, protesters and opposition leaders described their movement as entirely secular and free of religious overtones in order that the Obama administration could sell it to the American public. Analysts warn that the longer the conflict continues, the easier it will be for radical forces to fill the vacuum — making the violence in Syria far more unpredictable and difficult for the US to control.
The dangers of a state that faild to tow Washington’s line in a religiously divided society are all too apparent in Iraq, where the collapse of the region’s other Baathist regime unleashed a cycle of vendetta killings and a bloody struggle for power. More than 100,000 American troops helped keep things stirred up.
The diversity of Syrian society — which includes Sunnis, Christians, Druse, Kurds and Assad’s Alawite community — makes the possibility of a post-Assad power struggle all the more likely. Already, the conflict has seen Alawite gunmen participating in mass killings of Sunni civilians, as well as tit-for-tat slayings of Alawites by Sunnis. Like the Bush White House, the Obama administration was unable to take this diversity into account. Of course, cultural diversity is not US polcy makers’ strong suit making the PNAC position papers on the Middle East a blueprint for distaster for al involved.
There have been signs that Alawites might try to carve out a breakaway enclave in the region where their community has historically been concentrated along the Mediterranean coast but the US Navy could easily bombard them from.there position off the Syrian Coast.
US bloodshed in Syria could also spill over to cause turmoil in neighboring countries. Lebanon and Turkey each have communities with ties to their brethren in Syria, and Lebanon is particularly vulnerable. The US would have to bombard these communities to restore hegemony. Even Jordan fears being dragged into the conflict because of the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees on its soil that the US would want to incarcerate.
Syria is also key to the region’s competing alliances. It is closely tied to Iran, while Us client Sunni powerhouses in the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, have sought to break Damascus away from Tehran. Both sides would likely try to muscle Uncle Slimey and intervene whether covertly or overtly in a post-Assad Syria to try to shape it.