‘ISIS convenient for Pentagon: It fights US enemies’
The US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter admits Washington is struggling to recruit fighters in Syria to take on Islamic State.
RT:There is a history of some US officials working together with certain forces in Syria. But now the US is saying it is struggling to recruit rebels to fight against Islamic State. Why is that, do you think?
Caleb Maupin: These remarks from Mr. Carter about being concerned about the ideology of the people they are recruiting are almost laughable, because for the last five years in Syria and in Libya, prior to that, the US has had a policy of recruiting the most extreme elements you can imagine: the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda in Syria. These groups have been happily working with the US toward the end of toppling the Syrian government.
So the US has no problem working with extremist and deranged psychopaths like you see in ISIS. But now the US is saying that they are having trouble finding people who are fighting ISIS. The whole situation is just laughable and it really shows that the US doesn’t want to defeat ISIS. When it gets down to it, who is ISIS fighting? ISIS is fighting against the Syrian government, which the US government has been trying to topple for the last several decades. ISIS has been fighting against the Shia community in Iraq, which is sympathetic to Iran. Everywhere ISIS goes whether it’s in Yemen, whether they are allying with Saudi Arabia against the forces that want to fight for independence; everywhere ISIS goes it only fights enemies of the US, and in the process creates these gruesome videos, which then serve as a justification for the expansion of the US drone strike program and military presence in the region. When it gets down to it the US has no interest in fighting ISIS. ISIS is very convenient for the Pentagon.
Daniel Shaw from the anti-war coalition: “The US has a long history of supporting terrorism in Libya, in Central America, across the world. They fear the last vestige of sovereign territory which Syria is in the Middle East. They’ve already been able to dismantle the central Iraqi state, and the Libyan state, and now they are going after Syria.”
RT:US officials have often talked about so-called "moderate" rebels. Does such a thing even exist?
CM: It’s pretty obvious that if it exists it is very, very, very marginal. The Free Syrian Army, the armed groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian government have almost always been clearly understood to be dominated by extremist religious organizations. The term ‘takfiri’ is used to describe a certain branch of Sunni Islam that justifies the slaughter of people for religious reasons. The forces that make up the Free Syrian Army have openly described their goal not as a democratic prosperous country in Syria, but rather to create an Islamic Caliphate in the country. But the US again has no problem aligning with this force; it has no problem associating with extremist whether it is in Syria, Iraq or in Ukraine where they are allying with neo-Nazis. All over the world the US is happy to work with extremists. So now they are telling us they can’t find people because of ideological problems. This is just nonsense.
RT:Why does America still refuse to work with the Syrian government against the terrorists?
CM: Again, it gets back to the fact that the IS and the US State Department have the same goal, which is the toppling of the Syrian Arab Republic, the overthrowing of the Syrian government. That has been the goal of the US State Department for many years, and that is also the goal of IS. So why would the US work with the Syrian government? That’s what this is about. ISIS is not really something that the Pentagon is concerned about. It is very convenient for them; their gruesome acts of violence are well publicized, they horrify the world with what they do and in doing so they justify US military intervention throughout the Middle East.
US strategy: let Mideast groups fight each other
Lew Rockwell, chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, said that the US government likes having terrorists and “it deals with terrorists all the time.”
RT:The US says it's struggling to recruit reliable rebel fighters in its war against ISIS. Isn't that a problem Washington could have foreseen?
Lew Rockwell: First of all, I think it’s hilarious. They always talk about these soldiers as if there haven’t been – unfortunately - effective armies in that part of the world for thousands of years. By training, they mean indoctrinating, making them give up any loyalty to their own country and be loyal to the empire in Washington, DC. I guess that is difficult, and it’s a good thing it is difficult by the way.
The US is just making trouble. There is a lot of evidence that it had something to do even with the beginning of ISIS. This sort of group was helpful at least at the beginning to them: Wanting to overthrow [Bashar] Assad which would mean the massacre of all the remaining Christians and Alawites, and in Syria a horrendous event. The US is just making trouble. It’s killing people.
Daniel Shaw from the anti-war coalition on Ashton Carter’s statement: “It’s so cavalier and arrogant on the part of the [US] Defense Secretary [Ashton Carter] that he would say that these rebels [‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ fighters among the Syrian opposition] can’t live up to US expectations and stuff. They’ve long trained these types of terrorist groups and they control them because their intentions to dismantle the central Syrian state, which they can’t control. It’s not a sphere of their influence.”
It ought to get out of the Middle East, not try to train, control more soldiers there, get the US soldiers, the CIA, all the rest of the US government out of the Middle East. It is the only way that we [US] can have clean hands. The US government has got very bloody hands, dirty hands. Its involvement with al-Qaeda, ISIS rebels with the Syrian rebels, who are all of course the terrorists against the Assad government in order to make trouble. Empires, as the Romans always put it, want to divide and conquer, they want to dominate by controlling, by making all these different groups fight each other.
RT:There were warning signs when the Syrian conflict started. People were warning that if you’re trying to oust Assad, then you might strengthen extremists in this way. Why did Washington not listen, was it a bad strategy, was it deliberate, or did they simply backed the wrong horse?
LR: They like having terrorists, [the US government] tells the American people that they have got to give all their money and power to Washington, tells people all over the world they got to obey Washington because these terrorists are over there. You have Americans who believe that ISIS is going to be invading Pittsburgh; they buy into this very stupid propaganda. The US was not surprised; it deals with terrorists all the time. The mujahedeen in Afghanistan when they went up against the Soviet occupation, those were terrorists too. That’s when Osama bin Laden was connected to the US.
So this has been going on for a long time. The US should stop supporting terrorists, they should be supporting everybody in the Middle East, let people run their own lives, run their own countries, let’s mind our own business. Believe me, we have so many problems to handle in the US, we don’t want to be trying to run the rest of the world. But that’s the goal of the US government, which wants to be the world government, and apparently wants to control the solar system too, from some of the space programs they’ve got.
Daniel Shaw from the anti-war coalition on Islamic State: “These ISIS forces don’t believe in any type of democracy. They want to implement a type of society that’s not tolerant to other types of religion. It’s really an archaic ideological formulation that they encompass, and the US has supported that because they thought originally it was a strategy to get rid of Bashar al-Assad, which has been their intention the entire time.”
RT:What do you think Washington will do from here? Apparently, there are two ways: either you back Assad, or you ‘inadvertently’ support Islamic State?
LR: I think they are going to do both: they want to get rid of Assad; they want to aid the IS. IS weapons are all from the US. Now this is supposed to be an error, but the US typically supports with weapons both sides of every war it’s involved in. The military industrial complex does very well out of that. They are only going to make more trouble. Will it rebound on us, will we have terrorist attacks in this country because of that? I hope to goodness not, but it’s not impossible. We should just stop sticking the stick into a hornet's nest. Leave other people alone, mind your own business, worry about your own problem, stop trying to be the world government!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.