February 20, 2015
Death squad operative Robert Ford has turned a number of heads recently with his surprising indictments of the so-called “moderate” rebels operating in Syria. Ford, who has long been one of the most vocal cheerleaders of the jihadists – having played a crucial role in organizing and arming them early on – is now openly admitting much of what many in the alternative media have been saying since the beginning of the crisis in 2010 – that al-Qaeda, Nusra, and other jihadist forces make up the overwhelming majority of the alleged “rebellion.”
Of course, there never was anything remotely “moderate” about any of the “rebels” operating under Ford’s tutelage or NATO’s direction. Despite the propaganda necessities of NATO and the US, a “moderate rebel” has yet to have been produced for analysis.
Ford’s willing deceitful adherence to the State Department line of the existence of such ephemeral and mysterious beings known as “moderate rebels” notwithstanding, his admission of the fact that jihadists and al-Qaeda fighters make up the majority of fighters in Syria is something that alternative media journalists and researchers have been labeled as conspiracy theorists for suggesting for years. After having been badgered and mis-labeled by mainstream media propagandists for nearly five years, the establishment may now freely admit what the alternative media analysts have known and reported the entire time.
As McClatchy News writes,
Ford today sounds like a different person from the optimist who only six months ago wrote an essay in Foreign Policy that began: “Don’t believe everything you read in the media: The moderate rebels of Syria are not finished. They have gained ground in different parts of the country and have broken publicly with both the al Qaida affiliate operating there and the jihadists of the Islamic State.”
Now, however, on panels and in speeches, Ford has accused the rebels of collaborating with the Nusra Front, the al Qaida affiliate in Syria that the U.S. declared a terrorist organization more than two years ago. He says opposition infighting has worsened and he laments the fact that extremist groups now rule in most territories outside the Syrian regime’s control.
Ford said part of the problem was that too many rebels – and their patrons in Turkey and Qatar – insisted that Nusra was a homegrown, anti-Assad force when in fact it was an al Qaida affiliate whose ideology was virtually indistinguishable from the Islamic State’s. The Obama administration already has suffered a string of embarrassments involving supplies it’s donated to the rebels ending up in the hands of U.S.-designated terrorist groups.
“Nusra Front is just as dangerous, and yet they keep pretending they’re nice guys, they’re Syrians,” Ford said. “The second problem is, some of our stuff has leaked to them.”
So does this make Ford a conspiracy theorist too? Such claims certainly warranted the label of anyone in the alternative media or any of the few braves souls in the mainstream who suggested these very ideas – that Turkey and Qatar were involved in the funding, directing, and training of al-Qaeda and Nusra fighters for the purposes of overthrowing the secular government of Bashar al-Assad, that al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, and ISIS are indistinguishable, and that the weapons provided to the allegedly “moderate” rebels is merely one stop on the way to ISIS.
Yet, for those who suggest that Ford may be abandoning the strategy of arming al-Qaeda, his subsequent statements should eliminate any such suspicion.
Again, as McClatchy reports,
“The size of the assistance is still too small,” he said. “What are they going to do with 5,000 guys? Or even 10,000 in a year? What’s that going to do?”
The Assad regime is eager to present itself as an alternative, but Ford said the Syrian military had been severely weakened and that it was doubtful the regime could pull off a successful campaign against the extremists. Then there’s the political and moral fallout that would come from a U.S. détente with a man American officials have described since 2011 as a butcher who’s lost the legitimacy to rule.
Ford said the time had come for U.S. officials and their allies to have a serious talk about “boots on the ground,” though he was quick to add that the fighters didn’t need to be American. He said a professional ground force was the only way to wrest Syria from the jihadists.
In other words, Ford is not admitting the fundamentalist and jihadist nature of the opposition to Assad as a means to suggest an end to supporting them, he is admitting it so as to suggest the commitment of a “professional ground force” to Syria. Although he states that this professional ground force does not need to be American, what other professional fighting force could he be referring to? The jihadist “moderates” that the US is currently seeking to train? Ford has already downplayed them and their potential effect. Does he mean military contractors? Does he mean the military of other NATO countries or of NATO as a collective force? Ford was much more elusive in this regard.
Regardless, it should be remembered that Robert Ford is no mere former Ambassador and terrorist cheerleader. Nor has his treachery been isolated to Syria.
Robert Ford served in Iraq at the same time that the death squads were beginning to make their bloody mark on the cohesion of the Iraqi “insurgency,” after being appointed political counselor to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Ford remained in this post from 2004-2006 where he worked closely with John Negroponte, a death squad expert in his own right who was also heavily involved in the organization of the death squads in Iraq. Ford was instrumental in helping make “contacts” with these individuals as well as developing and maintaining relations with them for other purposes such as continued and future terror campaigns.
In fact, Ford was once described by Negroponte as “one of these very tireless people . . . who didn’t mind putting on his flak jacket and helmet and going out of the Green Zone to meet contacts.” In short, Ford acted as a foot soldier in death squad formation.
Attempting to summarize the death squad plan, Michael Hirsh and John Barry of Newsweek wrote in 2005:
[O]ne Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called 'snatch' operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries.
Commenting further on the Newsweek article, the Times Online added, “Nor is it clear who would take responsibility for such a programme – the Pentagon or the Central Intelligence Agency. Such covert operations have traditionally been run by the CIA at arm’s length from the administration in power, giving US officials the ability to deny knowledge of it.”
Although the focus of these articles revolve around the question of CIA/Pentagon death squads in Iraq, it is important to notice that, as far back as 2005, it was admitted that there were clear plans to create, fund, and operate death squads in Syria.
Consider also the article entitled “The Redirection” by Seymour Hersh written in 2007 for The New Yorker Magazine. In this article Hersh wrote,
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 cooperated 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.Ford’s later action in Syria served the exact same purpose as his presence in Iraq only a few years previous. This time, however, Ford took on a more central role in the affair. Indeed, many Syrians, if not aware of the more sinister acts of Ford, were at least aware that he had been instrumental in fomenting violent rebellion and negative Western public opinion against the ruling government. This is why Ford’s convoy was attacked by “pro-government” Syrians as he rode through town meeting with his terrorist pets.
Ford’s very presence in Syria was nothing more than a destabilization tactic. Indeed, he drew quite a bit of international attention to himself by traveling across the country at will, “meeting with protestors” and turning terrorists into martyrs in the minds of the gullible Western public.
Logically, by “meeting with protestors” one can read “instigating terrorism.” The mainstream media, however, reported Ford’s terror encouragement tour as a heroic act of solidarity with “the people.”
Eventually, after a succession of terror tours the Assad regime finally slapped restrictions on Ford’s travel, requiring him not to leave the boundaries of Damascus. However, Ford openly disregarded those limitations and brazenly began traveling all over Syria, meeting with his terrorist brethren.
There Are No Moderate Rebels In Syria
In reality, the so-called “opposition” in Syria is anything but moderate. As Tony Cartalucci wrote in his article, “In Syria, There Are No Moderates,”
. . . . . there were never, nor are there any "moderates" operating in Syria. The West has intentionally armed and funded Al Qaeda and other sectarian extremists since as early as 2007 in preparation for an engineered sectarian bloodbath serving US-Saudi-Israeli interests. This latest bid to portray the terrorists operating along and within Syria's borders as "divided" along extremists/moderate lines is a ploy to justify the continued flow of Western cash and arms into Syria to perpetuate the conflict, as well as create conditions along Syria's borders with which Western partners, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, can justify direct military intervention.
Indeed, even the New York Times has been forced to admit that there are, as Cartalucci expertly argues in his article, no moderates in the ranks of the Syrian death squads. As Ben Hubbard wrote in April, 2013,
In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.
Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.
Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.[emphasis added]
Even one of the FSA commanders, Bassel Idriss, recently admitted to openly collaborating with ISIS and al-Nusra, revealing yet another example of the fact that the “moderate rebels” are not moderate at all.
In an interview with the Daily Star of Lebanon, Idriss stated “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in . . . Qalamoun . . . . Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”
Idriss also admitted that many FSA fighters had pledged allegiance to ISIS. He said, “[ISIS] wanted to enhance its presence in the Western Qalamoun area. After the fall of Yabroud and the FSA’s retreat into the hills [around Arsal], many units pledged allegiance [to ISIS]”.
Abu Fidaa, a retired Syrian Army Colonel who is now a part of the Revolutionary Council in the Qalamoun, corroborated Idrisss’ statements by saying that “A very large number of FSA members [in Arsal] have joined ISIS and Nusra. In the end, people want to eat, they want to live, and the Islamic State has everything.”
Not only the FSA, but also the Syrian Revolutionary Front has also openly admitted to working with Nusra and al-Qaeda. The leader of the SRF, Jamaal Maarouf admitted that his brigades coordinate with Nusra and al-Qaeda regularly.
ISIS Is Controlled By The U.S. And NATO
It is important to point out that the Islamic State is not some shadowy force that emerged from the caves of Afghanistan to form an effective military force that is funded by Twitter donations and murky secretive finance deals. IS is entirely the creation of NATO and the West and it remains in control of the organization.
As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article “Implausible Deniability: West’s ISIS Terror Hordes In Iraq,”
Beginning in 2011 - and actually even as early as 2007 - the United States has been arming, funding, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and a myriad of armed terrorist organizations to overthrow the government of Syria, fight Hezbollah in Lebanon, and undermine the power and influence of Iran, which of course includes any other government or group in the MENA region friendly toward Tehran.
|Image: ISIS corridors begin in Turkey and end in Baghdad. [image credit: Land Destroyer]|
Billions in cash have been funneled into the hands of terrorist groups including Al Nusra, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and what is now being called "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" or ISIS. One can see clearly by any map of ISIS held territory that it butts up directly against Turkey's borders with defined corridors ISIS uses to invade southward - this is because it is precisely from NATO territory this terrorist scourge originated.
ISIS was harbored on NATO territory, armed and funded by US CIA agents with cash and weapons brought in from the Saudis, Qataris, and NATO members themselves. The "non-lethal aid" the US and British sent including the vehicles we now see ISIS driving around in.
They didn't "take" this gear from "moderates." There were never any moderates to begin with. The deadly sectarian genocide we now see unfolding was long ago predicted by those in the Pentagon - current and former officials - interviewed in 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh.< Hersh's 9-page 2007 report, "The Redirection" states explicitly:
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 cooperated 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.
"Extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam" and are "sympathetic to Al Qaeda" - is a verbatim definition of what ISIS is today. Clearly the words of Hersh were as prophetic as they were factually informed, grounded in the reality of a regional conflict already engineered and taking shape as early as 2007. Hersh's report would also forewarn the sectarian nature of the coming conflict, and in particular mention the region's Christians who were admittedly being protected by Hezbollah.
While Hersh’s report was written in 2007, knowledge of the plan to use death squads to target Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, had been reported on even as far back as 2005 by Michael Hirsh and John Barry for Newsweek in an article entitled “The Salvador Option.”
Regardless, Cartalucci states in a separate article, “NATO’s Terror Hordes In Iraq A Pretext For Syria Invasion,”
In actuality, ISIS is the product of a joint NATO-GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] conspiracy stretching back as far as 2007 where US-Saudi policymakers sought to ignite a region-wide sectarian war to purge the Middle East of Iran's arch of influence stretching from its borders, across Syria and Iraq, and as far west as Lebanon and the coast of the Mediterranean. ISIS has been harbored, trained, armed, and extensively funded by a coalition of NATO and Persian Gulf states within Turkey's (NATO territory) borders and has launched invasions into northern Syria with, at times, both Turkish artillery and air cover. The most recent example of this was the cross-border invasion by Al Qaeda into Kasab village, Latikia province in northwest Syria.
Cartalucci is referring to a cross-border invasion that was coordinated with NATO, Turkey, Israel, and the death squads where Israel acted as air force cover while Turkey facilitated the death squad invasion from inside its own borders.
Keep in mind also that, prior to the rapid appearance and seizure of territory by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, European media outlets like Der Spiegel reported that hundreds of fighters were being trained in Jordan by Western intelligence and military personnel for the purpose of deployment in Syria to fight against Assad. The numbers were said to be expected to reach about 10,000 fighters when the reports were issued in March, 2013. Although Western and European media outlets would try to spin the operation as the training of “moderate rebels,” subsequent reports revealed that these fighters were actually ISIS fighters.
Western media outlets have also gone to great lengths to spin the fact that ISIS is operating in both Syria and Iraq with an alarming number of American weapons and equipment. As Business Insider stated, “The report [study by the London-based small arms research organization Conflict Armament Research] said the jihadists disposed of ‘significant quantities’ of US-made small arms including M16 assault rifles and included photos showing the markings ‘Property of US Govt.’” The article also acknowledged that a large number of the weapons used by ISIS were provided by Saudi Arabia, a close American ally.
Remember, when the United States was “debating” the idea of becoming more directly involved in Syria and Iraq, particularly in the form of bombing civilian and government infrastructure and openly funding the death squads they claim to be fighting, a video allegedly showing the beheading of James Foley was released resulting in widespread anger and indignation amongst a general public who were temporarily yanked away from reality TV long enough to view it.
Likewise, when the British seemed hesitant to directly join the imperialist bombing coalition, a video was released allegedly showing the beheading of a British citizen, Alan Henning , also causing widespread indignation amongst the public and shoring up support for British military involvement in Iraq and Syria.
When the French seemed hesitant to join the bombing, ISIS releases a third video of an allegedbeheading of a Frenchman, which provided justification for French involvement.
Such convenient timing was also present when NATO was considering “targeted airstrikes” in Syria but were concerned about Assad’s sophisticated air defense systems. Shortly thereafter, ISIS manages to capture Taqba air base in Raqqa, Syria, eliminating the air defense systems in the entirety of the eastern part of the country.
In addition, such “convenient” timing took place when NATO was once again pushing for a “No-Fly Zone” inside Syria but many members of the public and even Congress were confused about the necessity of such a zone due to the fact that ISIS has no air force. Very soon after, reports appeared in the news allegedly showing ISIS pilots flying stolen Syrian aircraft.
ISIS IS Al-Qaeda
It is important to remember that the so-called leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As Voltaire Net describes Baghdadi,
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Iraqi who joined Al-Qaeda to fight against President Saddam Hussein. During the U.S. invasion, he distinguished himself by engaging in several actions against Shiites and Christians (including the taking of the Baghdad Cathedral) and by ushering in an Islamist reign of terror (he presided over an Islamic court which sentenced many Iraqis to be slaughtered in public). After the departure of Paul Bremer III, al-Baghdadi was arrested and incarcerated at Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009. This period saw the dissolution of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, whose fighters merged into a group of tribal resistance, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq.
On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named emir of the IEI, which was in the process of disintegration. After the departure of U.S. troops, he staged operations against the government al-Maliki, accused of being at the service of Iran. In 2013, after vowing allegiance to Al-Qaeda, he took off with his group to continue the jihad in Syria, rebaptizing it Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. In doing so, he challenged the privileges that Ayman al-Zawahiri had previously granted, on behalf of Al-Qaeda, to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, which was originally nothing more than an extension of the IEI.
Regardless, false assumptions surrounding the true leadership of ISIS would be called into question in January of 2014 when Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned and operated news agency, published an article as well as a video of an interrogation of an ISIS fighter who had been captured while operating inside Syria.
When asked why ISIS was following the movement of the Free Syrian Army and who had given him the orders to do so, the fighter stated that he did not know why he was ordered to monitor the FSA’s movement but that the orders had come from Abu Faisal, also known as Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal of the Saudi Royal Family.
An excerpt from the relevant section of the interrogation reads as follows:
Interrogator: Why do you (ISIS) monitor the movement of the Free Syrian Army?
ISIS Detainee: I don’t know exactly why but we received orders from ISIS command.
Interrogator: Who among ISIS gave the orders?
ISIS Detainee: Prince Abdul Rachman al-Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal.
Such revelations, of course, will only be shocking news to those who have been unaware of thelevels to which the Saudis have been involved with the funding, training, and directing of death squad forces deployed in Syria. Indeed, the Saudis have even openly admitted to the Russian government that they do, in fact, a number of varied terrorist organizations across the world.
Even tired mainstream media organizations such as Newsweek (aka The Daily Beast) can no longer ignore the facts surrounding the Saudis’ involvement with the organization of terrorist groups across the world.
Note also that Voltaire Net describes al-Nusra, a documented al-Qaeda connected group, as merely an extension of the IEI (Islamic Emirate of Iraq) which itself was nothing more than a version of Al-Qaeda In Iraq. Thus, from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, came the IEI, which then became the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant. IEIL then became ISIS/ISIL which is now often referred to as IS.
In other words, Nusra=Al-Qaeda-IEI=IEIL=ISIL=ISIS=IS.
With the information presented above regarding the nature of the Free Syrian Army and the so-called “moderate rebels,” it would be entirely fair to add these “moderate” groups to the list as well.
Although too lengthy of a study to be presented in this article, it is important to point out that al-Qaeda is entirely a creation of the West, created for the purpose of drawing the Soviets into Afghanistan in the 1970s and a host of other geopolitical goals in the Middle East and around the world, 9/11 being the most memorable instance of Western intelligence al-Qaeda mobilization.
While peace is no doubt to be desired in Syria, Western powers should not be allowed to use the concept as a weapon against the Syrian government or the Syrian people.
The United States, UK, France, NATO, and the UN do not want peace. They want a reprieve for their proxy forces.
If the ISIS fighters encircled in Aleppo want peace, they should have the option of unconditional surrender. Amnesty, upon surrender, could also be discussed at the pleasure of the Syrian government.
Otherwise, the encirclement should continue and the liberation of Aleppo must necessarily follow.
Fake peace agreements and politically based “truces” are no longer acceptable and they are no longer credible in the eyes of any informed observer.
Only true and total peace, stability, and reconstruction are acceptable options for Syria.
 “El Salvador-style ‘death squads’ to be deployed by US against Iraq militants.” Times Online. January 10, 2005. As quoted and sourced by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of GlobalResearch.ca in his article, “ The Pentagon’s ‘Salvador Option’: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria.”
 Tarpley, Webster Griffin. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA. 5th Edition. Progressive Press. 2011.
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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.