There is a scene in The Syrian when Nadia is catching her husband, Elie, up on thirteen years worth of news. She’d just sprung him from a Syrian prison where he’d been held captive for those missing years.
“A lot’s happened in those years, Elie, but the short answer is that in 2000 Hezbollah forced the Israelis out of south Lebanon after a twenty-two year occupation and Israel’s been itching to repay Hezbollah for that insult ever since.
“And then there was the September 11th attack in 2001. Islamic terrorists, mostly Saudis, drove lanes into the World Trade Center in New York. The towers collapsed. Thousands died.”
Elie stared at his wife, speechless.
Nadia broke the silence. “Elie, you gave a lecture in ’93 to your class just before you were abducted about the first World Trade Center bombing, when Ramzi Yousef drove a truck full of explosives into the North Tower and tried to bring it down. Do you remember?”
“Of course! I linked that event back to 1985 when CIA Director Casey ordered U.S. Special Forces to teach state-of-the-art sabotage techniques to Pakistani Intelligence, who then trained thousands of Afghans and foreign mujahedin, most of them Saudis, to kill Soviet soldiers across Afghanistan. The CIA facilitated the greatest transfer of terrorist techniques in history. After Yousef’s failed attempt, I remember wondering what the next target would be.”
“I remember when the Soviet’s finally pulled the last of their troops out of Afghanistan in ’89,” said Nadia. “The Americans patted themselves on the back for helping to make that possible. After that, the mujahedin fell off everyone’s radar.
Fast forward to 2007, under the Bush administration, the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel and other regional allies planned to fund, arm and support a wide terrorist front—affiliated with Al Qaeda—to wage proxy war against Iran, Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his article The Redirection: Is the Administration’s New Policy Benefiting our Enemies in the War on Terrorism? wrote:
“To undermine Iran, which is predominately Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided 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 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.”
In the same year, David Wurmser, who served as Middle East Advisor to Dick Cheney said: “We must do everything possible to destabilize the Syrian regime and exploit every single moment they strategically overstep. That would include the willingness to escalate as far as we need to go to topple the regime.”
Fast- forward to 2011, in the initial stages of the Syrian war when Washington recruited, armed, trained funded and directed ISIS, the newest generation of mujahedin to fight against the Assad regime in Syria.
When he arrived in Damascus in late January 2011 the newly appointed American Ambassador played a central role in laying the groundwork as well as establishing contact with these opposition groups. He was no ordinary diplomat. Working directly under the American Ambassador to Iraq at the time he had coordinated the convert support of death squads and paramilitary groups in Iraq with a view to fomenting sectarian violence and weakening the resistance movement. The gruesome Iraqi version of the “Salvador Option” was to serve as a “role model” for setting up the “Free Syrian Army” Contras. The objective in Syria was to create factional divisions between Sunni, Alawite, Shiite, Kurds, Druze and Christians.
A report published by Der Spiegel referring to atrocities committed in the Syrian city of Homs confirmed an organized sectarian process of mass-murder and extra-judicial killings comparable to that conducted by the US sponsored death squads in Iraq.
In early July 2011 the US Ambassador traveled to Hama and had meeting with members of the “protest movement,” according to The Washington Post, July 12, 2011. Reports confirmed that the Ambassador had numerous contacts with opposition groups both before and after his July trip to Hama.
Shortly after the Syrian war began Syria’s Interior Ministry identified gangs of “armed Salafist groups” who were seeking to establish “caliphates” and “were abusing the freedoms and reforms launched by President Assad. Assad blamed the unrest on a foreign plot to sow sectarian strife—echoing pronouncements from almost every other besieged leader in the region.
On October 24, 2011, the US Ambassador to Syria was recalled due to what the U.S. State Department described as “credible threats” to his safety when, in fact, he had attracted the ire of pro-Assad Syrians due to his strong support of the Syrian uprising and Assad booted him out of the country. According to a former CIA intelligence officer “prior to his forced removal he was traveling across Syria inciting groups to overthrow the Assad government.”
Sadly, the whole of the Syrian opposition is nothing more than a new generation of mujahedin, the same jihadists, mercenaries and terrorists the US used to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. ISIS, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and their ilk—they are the new US foot soldiers.
The Syrian is available for purchase here: