US corporate-financier funded policy think tanks have been taking turns in recent weeks floating the narrative that the next logical step to stopping so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) terrorists in Syria is removing the Syrian government from power – this despite the fact that the only cohesive, organized force in the region capable of fighting ISIS terrorists is the Syrian government and its Syrian Arab Army.
Kenneth M. Pollack a policy writer at the Brookings Institution and a signatory of the noxious 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report Brookings produced which advocated arming and funding listed terrorist organizations to fight Iran under the cover of street protests (exactly how the US went about plunging Syria into its current crisis), has recently penned his thoughts on what should be done in Syria. Titled, “An Army to Defeat Assad: How to Turn Syria’s Opposition Into a Real Fighting Force,” Pollack claims:
…there is, in fact, a way that the United States could get what it wants in Syria — and, ultimately, in Iraq as well — without sending in U.S. forces: by building a new Syrian opposition army capable of defeating both President Bashar al-Assad and the more militant Islamists.
Pollack correctly assesses that the real US goal, as it has been since 2011 when it triggered street mobs as cover for terrorists aligned to Al Qaeda, is to remove Syrian President Bashar al Assad from power. The US State Department would openly claim as much, using ISIS as a nebulous pretext for toppling the Syrian government. The Hill in an article titled, “State: Assad must go for ISIS to be defeated,” claims:
State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Friday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) cannot be defeated as long as Syrian President Bashar Assad remains in power.
Harf would go on to say:
“The best thing that the Syrian people can have going forward is not ISIS, it’s not the Assad regime, but it’s a new transitional government that leads them to a better future and ends this horrible bloodshed we’ve seen over the last three years.”
Of course, there is no “transitional government,” and neither Pollack nor Harf ever managed to explain just why the toppling of the Syrian government would help eliminate ISIS. Comments appear to infer that by doing so, somehow Syria would see the rise of a more “inclusive government” better capable of uniting Syrian society and thus counter ISIS.
Similar disingenuous propositions were used to sell the toppling of Libya’s government in 2011 which predictably led to precisely the opposite of peace, stability, and a cohesive, inclusive government. Libya lies in ruins with the sectarian extremists NATO intentionally armed and thrust into power, ruling over a divided and broken nation.
Next door to Syria in Iraq, upon ISIS’ initial invasion into northern Iraq, the US advocated regime change which it promptly achieved. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stepped down from power to make way for what the Western called an “inclusive government” it claimed would be better able to counter ISIS and reverse sectarian rifts in Iraqi society.
With Iraqi bases still falling to ISIS terrorists and the violence escalating, the West appears to be retrenching its rhetoric, claiming that the solution now to both Syria and Iraq’s bloodshed is – not cutting off ISIS’ funding from US allies like Saudi Arabia or Qatar, or running them out of safe havens they have maintained in Jordan and Turkey – but rather to topple the Syrian government to finally achieve their fabled “inclusive government” that has eluded them thus far in Libya and now Iraq.
Regime change has not worked in Libya or Iraq, nor will it work in Syria to eliminate ISIS. The quandary ISIS appears to pose to Western policymakers is owed to an intentional misrepresentation as to what ISIS is in the first place. It is the very “moderates” the US and its European and Middle Eastern partners have been arming and funding for years. ISIS represents the sectarian extremists veteran journalist Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh warned the world about as early as 2007 in his New Yorker report titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” which stated (emphasis added):
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.
ISIS is an extremist group that espouses a militant vision of Islam that appears hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. It is a battering ram the US first used in its attempt to violently overthrow the Syrian government, and failing to achieve that, a pretext to intervene directly to achieve its goal of regime change. Though Al Qaeda has been operating under various names in Syria since US-engineered chaos unfolded in 2011, it wasn’t until recently that the Western press began vilifying sectarian extremists Washington, London, Riyadh, Doha, Ankara, and Tel Aviv have been backing and directing for years. This is simply to flip the script and allow the West’s mercenaries to now become a convenient pretext for direct military intervention.
If regime change stood any chance of stopping ISIS – it should be carried out in the capitals of the nations currently arming and funding ISIS – Washington (Wall Street), London, Riyadh, Doha, Ankara, and Tel Aviv. For good measure, nations like Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates should have their unelected, autocratic regimes toppled and their capacity to fund global terrorism uprooted. Anything less is but an insidious hegemonic act of military aggression, couched behind solving bloodshed of the West’s own making.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.