Black Is White, White Is Black, in the Washington Post

Black Is White, White Is Black, in the Washington Post

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

The Washington Post presents a shockingly imaginary Syria, in which the U.S. Government has been the friend of the Syrian people by trying to eliminate in Syria simultaneously the jihadists and the Syrian Government that’s been fighting against the jihadists, and in which the Syrian war has not been between the Syrian Government and those tens of thousands of jihadists, many of whom have actually been armed by the U.S. Government and financed by the American Government’s allies, especially by the Saudi Government, and brought into Syria through America’s allies, first Turkey, and then more recently Jordan, and the jihadists tended medically by yet another U.S. ally, Israel. Obviously, the U.S. Government supports jihadists when doing so serves its higher goal, of overthrowing Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. But this fact is unmentionable in the ‘authoritative’ media. The reality hidden by the Western press is that, according to Western-sponsored polls of Syrians, 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. for the plague of ISIS in their country, and well over 50% want Bashar al-Assad to continue as Syria’s President.

Such extreme reality-denial in the Washington Post is ordinary for the U.S. newsmedia; but, nonetheless, as in this particular case, it reaches occasionally absurd proportions, which the entire world would instantly recognize as being the propaganda-media of a dictatorship, if only the entire world knew about it (rather than its being hidden from the public by and within all of the aristocracies that are allied with the U.S. aristocracy). To mention that the Emperor has no clothes would be a capital offense.

A recent example of this 1984-style ‘news’-coverage in today’s American ‘news’-reporting, is the Washington Post’s October 7th “Civilian casualties spiral in Syria as air raids target areas marked for cease-fire”. It opens by alleging: “Civilian casualties have spiraled across Syria in recent weeks as pro-government forces launch hundreds of bombing raids across areas marked for international protection. Groups monitoring the conflict have recorded hundreds of strikes since the end of a sixth round of peace talks among Russia, Iran and Turkey in mid-September. On Friday, the White Helmets rescue group reported that 80 percent of those attacks targeted civilian areas.”

Here is some of the background reality, which that propaganda-piece ignores and/or blatantly flouts:

First of all, the White Helmets is an Al Qaeda affiliate that’s heavily backed by UK’s MI6 and America’s CIA in order to stir hatred among Westerners against Syria’s Government and especially against its President, Bashar al-Assad (seen here in an interview) by both actually rescuing people in jihadist-controlled areas of Syria and also outright staging ‘rescues’ of children and other residents in those areas who have been alleged to have been hit by Syrian or Syrian-allied bombings of those areas. The best brief introduction to the White Helmets was given on 23 September 2016, “How US Propaganda Plays in Syrian War” by the great American investigative journalist Rick Sterling, which was based largely upon an exhaustive earlier account which had been given on 23 October 2015 by the great British investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley, “Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception”. Here’s an excerpt from Sterling’s article:

There were three contestants in the Syrian presidential election of June 2014. Turnout was 73 percent of the registered voters, with 88 percent voting for Assad. In Beirut, the streets were clogged with tens of thousands of Syrian refugees marching through the city to vote at the Syrian Embassy. Hundreds of Syrian citizens living in the U.S. and other Western countries flew to Syria to vote because Syrian Embassies in Washington and other Western capitals were shut down.

While Secretary of State John Kerry was condemning the Syrian election as a “farce” before it had even happened, a marketing company known as The Syria Campaign waged a campaign to block knowledge of the Syrian election. Along with demonizing President Assad, the company launched a campaign which led to Facebook censoring information about the Syrian election.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a “no-fly zone,” a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military

Incubating Propaganda

The Syria Campaign was created by a larger company named “Purpose,” which – according to its website – “incubated” The Syria Campaign. 

[ That should have been linked to: or better yet, to ] The company’s website says, “Purpose creates new movements, brands and organizations from the ground up to address complex global challenges. We apply this experience as movement creators to our work with progressive companies, nonprofits and philanthropies, helping them to put purpose and participation at the heart of what they do.”

The “White Helmets” are marketed in the West as civilian volunteers doing rescue work. On Sept. 22, it was announced that the Right Livelihood Award, the so-called “Alternative Nobel Prize,” is being given to the U.S./U.K.-created White Helmets “for their outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians from the destruction of the Syrian civil war.” The major achievement of The Syria Campaign has been the branding and promotion of the “White Helmets,” also known as “Syria Civil Defense,” which began with a British military contractor, James LeMesurier, giving some rescue training to Syrians in Turkey with funding provided by the U.S. and U.K. The group stole this name from the REAL Syria Civil Defense as documented in this recent report from Aleppo.

Both the Rick Sterling article, and the Vanessa Beeley series of articles, are recommended reading, for anyone who trusts the Washington Post and other U.S.-or-allied newsmedia, to report to them what is happening in the world and why it’s happening, and who is actually behind it, and for what reasons. Recommended, that is, in order to disprove the validity of that trust.

Beeley published, at 21st Century Wire on 11 March 2017, her extensive interview of Assad, and one of her questions to him was:

Question 12: Mr. President, as you may be fully aware that the “White Helmets” took an Oscar this year for the best documentary short, but folks are saying that the truth about this “White Helmets” is not like what Netflix has presented, so what is your take on this?

President Assad: First of all, we have to congratulate al-Nusra for having the first Oscar! This is an unprecedented event for the West to give Al Qaeda an Oscar; this is unbelievable, and this is another proof that the Oscars, Nobel, all these things are politicized certificates, that’s how I can look at it. The White Helmets story is very simple; it is a facelift of al-Nusra Front in Syria, just to change their ugly face into a more humanitarian face, that’s it. And you have many videos on the net and of course images broadcasted by the White Helmets that condemn the White Helmets as a terrorists group, where you can see the same person wearing the white helmet and celebrating over the dead bodies of Syrian soldiers. So, that’s what the Oscar went to, to those terrorists.

In fact, Al Nusra, which is Al Qaeda in Syria, was the main group that the Obama Administration relied upon to organize and train the other jihadist groups there.

But, of course, the U.S. regime itself knows the truth about this mater, as I had reported, on 4 August 2016, at Strategic Culture, headlining, “U.S. State Department Refused Entry to Jihadist It Employed for Overthrowing President Al-Assad”. The head of the White Helmets had been barred entry into the U.S. back in April, because the U.S. Government knew that the head of the White Helmets — which group also calls itself “Syria Civil Defense” in order to give itself an official, legitimate, and even government-sounding name — the Government knew that he was a jihadist, a “terrorist,” and President Obama simply wanted to avoid a possible terrorist incident on U.S. soil. The event — this man’s landing at Dulles International Airport only to be barred entry by the U.S. Government there — had occurred on April 20th of 2016, and here’s the way that the U.S. propaganda-media had dealt with the event, at that time: “A man who has helped save more than 40,000 lives in Syria was just denied entry into the US”. That report made his having been barred entry seem like it had been simply an error by unidentified U.S. Customs official(s) at the airport. That report was, basically, a lie. And the report that appeared in the New York Times about the event pretended that the man who had been denied a visa was leading a Syrian charity, and gave no indication whatsoever that he was on Al Qaeda’s side, helping their war to overthrow Syria’s Government. This was presented as a nonpartisan charity: “It was a stance of the unity of humanity.” It was ‘nonpartisan’ like Al Qaeda itself is.

Though you might not have been informed of that matter, perhaps you do remember having seen, during 18 August 2016, this staged ‘rescue’ by the White Helmets being shown on all mainstream U.S. ‘news’media including the networks and including the Washington Post, but not at all the reality, which the terrific independent reporter Brandon Turbeville described so well, in the following, 9 June 2017, as soon as the truth behind the matter became fully revealed (and the mainstream U.S. press ignored the truth altogether, because it was a very “inconvenient” truth):

Nearly a year ago, Western corporate media outlets paraded video of a young Syrian boy, injured in a blast and allegedly being saved by the White Helmets. That video was presented as evidence of “Assad’s cruelty” and his “indiscriminate bombing of civilians” as well as the heroism of the White Helmets.

The picture of the boy, seemingly injured in some type of bombing incident, sitting alone in an orange chair in the back of an ambulance, blood stains on his face and covered in dust from cracked concrete also comes in video form, footage that lasts for about two minutes, showing the boy being carried to a well-equipped ambulance (with English writing on some of the equipment). The boy’s story was also accompanied by “heart wrenching” stories from “activists” in east Aleppo alleging the crimes of the Syrian government and the horrific situation in the area.

It was rather clear that the child was being used as a stage prop. After being passed to the medical “attendants,” little Omran was placed in an orange chair facing the camera and immediately left alone. He was not treated, no one else was lifted into the ambulance, and no one was even in the vehicle with him. Instead, he was left to face the “activists” outside the vehicle and their cameras for what seems like too long a time to be anything other than a photo op for the “activists” videotaping him.

While the Western public was whipped into a fury of concern for one child, largely uninjured, they were able to completely ignore the thousands upon thousands of children murdered by the United States, NATO, and their proxies in the same country. Still, little Omran was paraded in front of Western audiences as an unfortunate little propaganda tool, part of a play where the other actors were the same people who behead children on camera and hang them from doorposts.

Turbeville then presented the interview with the boy’s father, telling the man’s outrage during the actual event, while the jihadists were staging and filming this propaganda-video, which had been broadcast to Western audiences uncritically as ‘news’. Until the Syrian Government rescued the residents of that area from Al Qaeda, in the liberation of eastern Aleppo, neither the boy nor his family were allowed to speak to the press.

Back again to the Washington Post’s October 7th “Civilian casualties spiral in Syria as air raids target areas marked for cease-fire”, that article’s attempt vaguely to convey the false impression that the “hundreds of strikes since the end of a sixth round of peace talks among Russia, Iran and Turkey in mid-September” were a result of some kind of failure of the current Russia-Iran-Turkey “Astana” peace-process for Syria, which process had replaced the previous U.S.-Saudi peace process, which had ended when U.S. President Barack Obama sabotaged his own Secretary of State John Kerry’s signed 9 September 2016 peace-agreement with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, when the U.S. unprovokedly bombed the Syrian Army at Deir Ezzor in Syria on September 17th of last year, is simply false. Whereas the prior, U.S.-Saudi ‘peace’-process demanded the immediate ouster of President Assad, the current peace-process does not, and is, in fact, making steady progress, despite continued efforts by the U.S, Israel, and Saud, regimes (and their ‘news’media such as the Washington Post), to discredit this peace-process, and so to help to make it fail.

On 1 March 2017, the BBC bannered “Lies, propaganda and fake news: A challenge for our age”, and presented a lengthy report on ‘fake news’ which itself constituted fake news, because it focused entirely upon non-mainstream ‘news’media as being the sole creators of ‘fake news’, and pretended as if media such as the BBC itself weren’t fake ‘news’media, perhaps even worse than some of the non-mainstream ones. That BBC report itself demonstrated — as propaganda for itself and for its friends (such as at the Washington Post, NYT, etc.) and against their desired victims, such as the Syrian people, who persist in wanting Bashar al-Assad to lead their nation — demonstrated that, despite all of the West’s lying, the similar deception of foreign publics wasn’t possible, and the deception of their own public was not sufficient. No ‘solution’ that the BBC’s article proposed urged that the system, which causes their ‘news’ to be distorted or even downright false, must be ended, but instead the proposals were all to distract the public, about what the problem itself is: For example, one solution “is an approach being attempted by a number of different groups around the world. Researchers at the University of Mississippi and Indiana University are both working on an automated fact-checking system.” But, when the aristocracy — who own, and whose corporations’ products and services are advertised in and thus fund, the ‘news’media — leave out of their ‘news’reports, the key facts that are essential in order to enable a true understanding to be conveyed of what’s happening and why; then, automating fact-checking (even if it can be done) ignores, instead of addresses, the real problem, which is institutional, and thus can’t possibly be solved merely by automation. In any case, “says Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive scientist at the University of Bristol in the UK, who studies the persistence and spread of misinformation, ‘Having a large number of people in a society who are misinformed and have their own set of facts is absolutely devastating and extremely difficult to cope with.’” But, why should people such as that, be consulted by a ‘news’medium as ‘experts’, on a matter such as this? They don’t know anything more about it than, say, Americans know about the Syrian war. No computer scientist, nor cognitive scientist, is an expert on, say, political corruption, and all the rest of the system that causes “misinformation” — that causes it to be very profitable, for ‘the right people’ — such as for the propagandists (including the executives, the decision-makers, at BBC).

That kind of excuse for failure (failure in the efforts by U.S. and allied regimes, against the government of Syria and of other countries whose governments ours want to overthrow) which alleges that “We’re a democracy, and their government isn’t,” or that “Their news-media lie to their public about the war in their country, and ‘ours’ tell our public the truth about that war,” can be believed by the publics in the U.S. and in its allied regimes (and, so, we invaded and destroyed Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc., just as the regime intended), but it’s not necessarily going to be believed by the publics in the intended victim-countries — and it really shouldn’t be believed by anybody anywhere. But, the sad fact is that, many countries, which claim to be ‘democratic’, are not. The ‘news’media are an important part of that problem, because they’re the way that their public ‘know’ their own country. And — obviously — very few Americans have any realistic idea about ‘our’ Government. Realistically, it’s not really “ours” at all. The system deceives us, because the people who control it want it to — and they fire and demote any of their employees or other agents who refuse to cooperate and do their job, for which they’re being paid. Deceiving the public, in the intended ways, is part of their job. They’re being paid to do it. And, “an automated fact-checking system” or etc., won’t affect that, at all. And, to the extent that such a proposal is imposed, it will be designed to rely instead upon mainstream sources as defining what is ‘true’, and what is ‘fake’. Automated censorship would be the real goal. Truth, and the public, would be even more victimized by the system, if such automated censorship becomes imposed.

For news-consumers, there is no short-cut. Buying a subscription to some mainstream ‘news’media won’t solve the problem, but will only cause to become less costly to the owners, their existing and very successful (at least domestically) system of deception and manipulation of the domestic public.

Nothing should be trusted; everything should be at least spot-checked, many times, and right down to its ultimate sources. Are all of the root-sources reliable? Not every newsmedium is fake, even if all of the mainstream newsmedia now are. But no newsmedium should be trusted. Only if they’re all distrusted, can the few honest ones become even so much as recognized, and — only then — worthy of perhaps donating to, after some free trial period. Because, only in this way, can a person intelligently decide, on one’s own, which those few worthy newsmedia actually are (worthy of being subscribed to). And, as regards ‘free’ newsmedia, nothing is actually free. Every newsmedium has an agenda; but, only if at the very top of that agenda is total honesty and never deceiving about anything, can a newsmedium reasonably be relied upon, as being purely honest news and opinion, never anything else than that — never propaganda.

After all: propaganda is produced and marketed so as to seem to be honest. Nothing should be trusted, unless one has long and carefully vetted it so as to have confirmed, in a strict and rigorous way, its thorough honesty. Because, in this world, to be trusting of ‘news’, or for a person not to know how to test the honesty of ‘news’, is to invite being deceived. There is no short-cut, to truth.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


The reason why U.S. wants Iran out of Syria & Iraq is to make life easier for terrorists

ISIL would have taken over region if not for Iran forces  


News ID: 4122146 –
 TEHRAN, Oct. 23 (MNA) – Reacting to Rex Tillerson’s remarks on asking Iranian forces to exit Iraq, FM Zarif stressed Tehran’s role in fighting terrorism, saying ISIL would have taken over Syria and Iraq if it were not for Iran’s efforts.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks upon arrival in South African capital early Monday, adding “the policies of the Trump’s administration are isolated in the world. Even the closest allies to Washington have publicly taken a stand against Mr. Trump’s anti-JCPOA approaches.”

Zarif was reacting to the remarks made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who called for new sanctions to be imposed on Iran during a press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday in Riyadh.

Tillerson had also said it was time for Iranian forces fighting ISIL in Iraq to exit the war-torn country.

In a tweet late Monday, Zarif reacted to Tillerson’s remakes by censuring US foreign policy as shameful, saying “exactly what country is it that Iraqis who rose up to defend their homes against ISIS return to? Shameful US FP, dictated by petrodollars.”

Asked to comment about Tillerson’s Middle East tour, Zarif said “regrettably, the Americans are not willing to amend their views about Iran and realize that the country is the cause of peace and stability by fighting terrorism in the region.”

“If it were not for the sacrifices of our Holy Shrine Defenders [Iranian advisers and military personnel fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq], today Damascus, Baghdad and Erbil would have been taken over by ISIL terrorists,” he added.

“The US allies who are bending to Washington’s will and allowing their petrodollars to be squandered are the cause of instability and crisis in the region, and as days go by, more people in the US and the world come to realize that the US has been the recipient of the majority of damage caused by its own wrong approach toward the region,” Zarif said.

The Iranian top diplomat further advised American politicians to correct their wrong policies as soon as possible and stop supporting Saudi Arabia in the massacre of children and the elderly in Yemen so as to prevent further damage to the Middle East region. 

Just following orders, Trump Trashes Iran Deal to Satisfy Netanyahu

Trump Trashes Iran Deal to Satisfy Netanyahu
by Gareth Porter

U.S-Iran policy is closer to Israel than it has been in years.

President Donald Trump’s new Iran policy clearly represents a dangerous rejection of diplomacy in favor of confrontation. But it’s more than that: It’s a major shift toward a much closer alignment of U.S. policy with that of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Whether explicitly or not, Trump’s vow to work with Congress to renegotiate the Iran nuclear agreement, and his explicit threat to withdraw from the deal if no renegotiation takes place, appear to be satisfying the hardline demands Netanyahu has made of Washington’s policy toward Tehran.

Specifically, Netanyahu has continued to demand that Trump either withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or make far-reaching changes that he knows are impossible to achieve. In his September 17 speech to the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu declared, “Israel’s policy toward the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it.” And he made no secret of what that meant: If Trump doesn’t “cancel” the deal, he must get rid of its “sunset clause” and demand that Iran end its advanced centrifuges and long-range missile program, among other fundamentally unattainable objectives.

Trump’s statement last Friday managed to include both of the either/or choices that Netanyahu had given him. He warned that, if Congress and America’s European allies do not agree on a plan to revise the deal, “then the agreement will be terminated.” He added that the agreement “is under continuous review,” and our participation “can be canceled by me, as president at any time.”

One provision the administration wants Congress to put into amended legislation would allow sanctions to be imposed if Iran crosses certain “trigger points,” which would include not only nuclear issues but the Israeli demand that Iran stop its long-range missile program. Ballistic missiles were never included in the JCPOA negotiations for an obvious reason: Iran has the same right to develop ballistic missiles as any other independent state, and it firmly rejected pro forma demands by the Barack Obama administration to include the issue in negotiations.

Trump went a long way towards Netanyahu’s “cancel” option by refusing last week to certify that Iran was keeping up its end of the JPCOA. That move signaled his intention to scrap the central compromise on which the entire agreement rests.

Although the Middle East is very different today than during the George W. Bush administration, some parallels can be found in comparing Trump’s policy toward the JCPOA and Bush’s policy toward Iran during the early phase of its uranium enrichment program.

The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump’s and Bush’s Iran policies held views close to those of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner’s parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump’s secretary of state, as he’d hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran.

Bolton spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday about the paragraph in the deal that vowed it would be “terminated” if there was any renegotiation, according to Politico. He was calling Trump from Las Vegas, where he’d been meeting with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the third major figure behind Trump’s shift towards Israeli issues. Adelson is a Likud supporter who has long been a close friend of Netanyahu’s and has used his Israeli tabloid newspaper Israel Hayom to support Netanyahu’s campaigns. He was Trump’s main campaign contributor in 2016, donating $100 million. Adelson’s real interest has been in supporting Israel’s interests in Washington—especially with regard to Iran.

In a public appearance in Israel in 2013, when Adelson was asked about his view on negotiating with Tehran, he suggested dropping a nuclear weapon on a desert in Iran and then saying to the Iranians, “See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development….”

The Likud Party policy preferences on Iran dominated the Bush administration in large part because of the influence of David Wurmser, a Likudist who was a Middle East advisor first to Bolton and later to Vice President Dick Cheney. Wurmser was a co-author, with Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, of A Clean Break, the 1996 paper that advised Netanyahu to carry out military strikes against Syria and Iran and to remove the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. Wurmser convinced Cheney that the administration should seek a pretext for attacking Iran.

But it was Bolton who worked with Israeli officials to plan a campaign to convince the world that Iran was secretly working on nuclear weapons. His goal was to sell key European nations on a UN Security Council resolution accusing Iran of developing a nuclear program. Bolton explains in his memoirs that the assumption of his strategy was that either the Security Council would strip Iran of its right to have a nuclear program or the United States would take unilateral military action.

In the summer of 2004, a large collection of documents allegedly from a covert Iranian nuclear weapons research program was suddenly obtained by Germany’s foreign intelligence agency. Those documents became the sole alleged evidence that such a program existed. But this writer found more than one telltale sign of fraud in the papers, and a former senior German foreign office official told me on the record in March 2013 that the source who passed on the documents was a member of the Mujihadeen e-Khalq (MEK), the armed Iranian opposition group. The MEK has allegedly worked with Israel’s Mossad for some time.

Neither the Bush administration nor the Trump administration viewed the alleged danger of nuclear proliferation by Iran as the priority problem per se; it was rather an issue to be exploited to weaken the Islamic regime and ultimately achieve regime change. Hilary Mann Leverett, the NSC coordinator in the Persian Gulf from 2001-03, told this writer in a 2013 interview that Wurmser and other Cheney advisors were convinced that the student protests of 1999 indicated that Iranians were ready to overthrow the Islamic Republic. In his statement last week, Trump blamed Obama for having lifted nuclear sanctions on Iran “just before what would have been the total collapse of the Iranian regime.”

After Netanyahu became Israeli prime minister in early 2009, his administration worked assiduously for four years to maneuver the Obama administration into giving Iran an ultimatum over its enrichment program. Obama rejected such a proposal, but Bolton has repeated his call for the United States to bomb Iran year after year.

Now the Trump administration is playing out a new chapter in the drama of the Likudists and their patrons in Washington. Their objective is nothing less than using U.S. power to weaken Iran through military means if possible and economic sanctions if necessary. The remarkable thing is that Trump is cooperating even more eagerly than did Bush.

Gareth Porter is an independent journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of numerous books, including Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter

US Mercenaries, Iraqi Highways and the Mystery of the Never-Ending ISIS Hordes

US Mercenaries, Iraqi Highways and the Mystery of the Never-Ending ISIS Hordes

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 22.10.2017


While the US and European media provided little explanation as to how militants from the self-titled Islamic State (IS) managed to appear, expand and then fight for years against the combined military power of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia, it was abundantly clear to many analysts that the IS organization was not only receiving state sponsorship, but it was receiving reinforcements, weapons and supplies from far beyond Syria’s and Iraq’s borders.

Maps of the conflict stretching over the last several years show clear corridors used to reinforce IS positions, leading primarily from Turkey’s southern border and to a lesser extent, from Jordan’s borders.

However, another possible vector may be desert highways in Iraq’s western Anbar province where US military contractors are allegedly to “provide security” as well as build gas stations and rest areas. These highways contributed to the current conflict and still serve as a hotbed for state sponsored terrorism. Whether these US-controlled and improved highways pose a significant threat for a reorganized effort by the US and its regional allies to divide and destroy Iraq and Syria seems all but inevitable.

US Mercenaries “Guarding” Iraqi Highways 

Al Monitor in an April 2017 article titled, “How Iraq is planning to secure key border road,” would claim:

 Due to the imminent threats to the road, which is one of Iraq’s vital economic lines as it connects Basra in the south to Jordan in the west, Iraq commissioned an American company to secure and rebuild the road. The contract also included reconstructing bridges, 36 of which are destroyed.

The article would elaborate, stating:

A security source from the Iraqi intelligence service told Al-Monitor, “The American company will only secure the two roads reaching Terbil from Basra and Baghdad and will build gas stations and rest areas, in addition to building bridges and cordoning off the roads with barbed wires, as per distances that would be determined later.”

Al Monitor would claim that Iraq’s popular mobilization units found themselves unable to oppose the move made by the central government in Baghdad. It would also note that Iraq’s Hezbollah Brigades claimed, in opposition to the plan, that:

The road connecting Iraq and Jordan is a strategic gateway allowing the US and forces seeking to control it to tighten their grip on Anbar and the potential Sunni region as per a US-Gulf plan.

One could imagine future potential scenarios including these rebuilt roads, complete with gas stations and rest areas, leading from Jordan and Saudi Arabia and providing an efficient route for future wars waged either directly or by proxy against Iraq. The infiltration of fighters and supplies, for example, would be greatly expedited should the US and its partners decide to shift their efforts along this new axis.

Beyond this more obvious threat comes the fact that US-Jordanian-Saudi influence would be greatly enhanced with stronger logistical lines leading into Iraq’s western regions.

How the US Might Use its New Highways  

The Islamic State’s de facto invasion of Syria and Iraq was a more massive and dramatic replay of an earlier surge of foreign militants into the region, following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

It would be America’s own Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point United States Military Academy in two reports published in 2007 and 2008 (.pdf) respectively that would describe in detail the networks some of Washington’s closest regional allies used to flood post-war Iraq with foreign fighters.

While these fighters indeed attacked US soldiers, what they also did was disrupt a relatively unified resistance movement before plunging Sunni and Shia’a militias into a deadly and costly “civil war.”

Fighters, weapons and cash infiltrated into Iraq from a network that fed fighters from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region first into Turkey, through Syria via the help of many of the senior leadership of anti-government militant groups now fighting  Damascus, and then into Iraq primarily where IS has been based and where the remnants of its militancy remains.

During the more recent conflict, these same networks were utilized successfully until Russia’s intervention in 2015 when these terrorist “ratlines” came under fire by Russian warplanes. The cause and effect of attacking these terrorist ratlines was visible on conflict maps, causing an almost immediate shrinking of IS-occupied territory and a corresponding atrophy of IS fighting capacity.

The Jordanian-Iraqi and Saudi-Iraqi border crossings and the highways running through them represent an alternative means to reorient Washington’s proxy conflict either now or in the near future.

US Already Planning to Weaponize the Project 

Raising further alarm bells should be the New York Times’ May 2017 article, “U.S. Sees a Vital Iraqi Toll Road, but Iran Sees a Threat,” which helps frame the very sort of conflict US policymakers are seeking with this move and the reaction it has already provoked among America’s primary targets in the region, particularly Iran.
The article would claim:

 As part of an American effort to promote economic development in Iraq and secure influence in the country after the fight against the Islamic State subsides, the American government has helped broker a deal between Iraq and Olive Group, a private security company, to establish and secure the country’s first toll highway.

This being Iraq, though, the project has quickly been caught up in geopolitics, sectarianism and tensions between the United States and Iran, which seems determined to sabotage the highway project as an unacceptable projection of American influence right on its doorstep.

The New York Times also helps prepare a narrative so that any attack on American contractors along the highway could easily be blamed on militias linked to Iran, or even on Iran itself. The article states:

Already, Iraqi militia leaders linked to Iran, whose statements are seen as reflective of the views of Tehran, have pledged to resume attacks against American forces if the Trump administration decides to leave troops behind to train the Iraqi military and mount counterterrorism missions, as appears likely. And the militia leaders have specifically singled out the highway project for criticism.

The New York Times ultimately admits that the US is attempting to control the highway specifically to continue its increasingly dangerous proxy war against Tehran. The article also admits that the highways will be entirely controlled by US contractors, including the collection of tolls of which only a portion would be handed over to the Iraqi government. The article also claims other highways, including one leading directly from Saudi Arabia, are being considered.

In essence, these would be terrorist ratlines directly controlled by the United States, leading directly out of the very epicenter of state sponsored terrorism in the region, Saudi Arabia, other Persian Gulf states and to a lesser but still significant extent, Jordan.

They would be terrorist ratlines difficult for Iraq’s central government or its allies to attack without providing a much welcomed pretext for Washington to directly retaliate against the faction of its choosing.

While the New York Times and US politicians and businessmen involved in the highway deal attempt to portray it as a means of providing peace, stability and economic prosperity for Iraq, a quick audit of US policy in the Middle East should ground those lofty promises in a much more frightening reality.

The scope of this project is nothing short of both a US occupation and a US-administered “safe zone” in which militant groups backed by the US and its regional partners can safely be harbored, and from which they can strike out against Iraq and its neighbors with the full protection of US military force.

Some US policymakers may feel that their failing proxy war against Syria involved a cart-before-the-horse policy in which the creation of US-administered and protected safe zones turned out to be more difficult to implement than initially anticipated, and that in the future, such zones should be created before another round of proxy-hostilities.

No matter what, the US presence and the more-than-certain intentions that underpin it will ensure not peace, stability or prosperity, but another decade of division and strife both in Iraq and beyond. Confounding this project, and those like it, and replacing them with actual projects to fulfill the promises of progress the US is merely hiding behind, will be key to truly moving Iraq and the region forward.

Corruption permeates israel under Netanyahu, goes back decades


Corruption permeates Israel under Netanyahu, goes back decades

 Prime Minister Netanyahu faces mounting scandal, as do his wife, friends, and many colleagues. This follows scandals for previous Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, David Ben-Gurion and others for charges that range from financial corruption to sexual assault.

by Kathryn Shihadah, If Americans Knew

Certainly every country has its share of shady politicians and dirty little secrets. The US has more than enough to be embarrassed about. We need to vet our elected officials’ campaign funds, study their relationships with non-government operatives, and examine our government’s spending habits.

We need to spend our money where it will have a good return, where it will be invested in ways that reflect our American ideals. And when it comes to foreign aid, we should not support governments that will be wasteful, imprudent, or treacherous toward the people they rule.

About 20% of the American foreign aid budget goes to Israel. Is that a good investment? Is this a trustworthy government?

One would expect that a nation with oodles of Nobel laureates, world-class medical facilities, cutting edge technology, a robust economy, a nation that boasts (erroneously – see embedded links for the truth) a “flourishing democracy,” the “most moral army in the world,” “an absolute reverence for life,” and ancient, deeply religious underpinnings—one would expect that such a nation might be a little cleaner than average.

Human rights violations aside, infraction of international law and disdain for United Nations resolutions notwithstanding, Israel seems to have more than its share of shenanigans.

In fact, misconduct seems to be the norm, rather than the exception in the country that receives $10 million a day from the United States. State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan commented recently that there is nothing to worry about: “A corrupt state is a state that doesn’t fight against corruption” – and Israel is fighting. But from the looks of things, it isn’t fighting nearly hard enough.

Israel is one of the world’s leading exporters of investment scams ($5-10 billion a year–read this or a few of these), with organized crime that has grown to “monstrous proportions.” That cutting edge tech sector? 25% of its revenue comes from “shady or fraudulent industries.” And that government of the people? 75% of Israel’s 120 parliamentarians live in the pockets of special interest groups and their relentless lobbyists. (To be fair, at least that percentage of American congress people live in the pockets of AIPAC.)

Israel is fighting corruption from the highest places in government, right on down to the household help. Here is just a starter list of the fine messes that Israel’s darlings have gotten themselves into.

Charges against Netanyahu

Arnon Milchan

“Case 1,000” – Cigars and Pink Champagne Affair
In 2015, Bibi allegedly accepted “lavish gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars” from a number of people, including billionaire Hollywood producer (and Israeli spy) Arnon Milchan. Milchan admitted that for years he’d been giving the Netanyahus expensive gifts—champagne, jewelry, boxes of cigars—at their request. At the time as the 2015 gifts, Milchan was negotiating a media partnership which, if it had succeeded, would have given him controlling interest over Channel 2 News in Israel. According to the Times of Israel, “if Milchan had succeeded, Netanyahu would have gained valuable influence over Channel 2 News.”

The Netanyahus also reportedly received lavish gifts from Australian millionaire James Packer in exchange for special favors.

The Prime Minister maintains his innocence.

Arnon Mozes

“Case 2,000” – the Newspaper Rivalry Affair
In 2014, Netanyahu allegedly attempted to manipulate newspaper circulation in Israel. Namely, he promised to advance legislation that would effectively reduce the circulation of Sheldon Adelson’s free newspaper, Israel Hayom, and increase Arnon Mozes’ Yedioth Ahronoth. All Mozes would need to do was give Netanyahu more favorable coverage during the election season.

The Prime Minister denies any wrongdoing.

In addition, Netanyahu’s phone records are under investigation: it seems that during the last election he placed calls to Adelson, owner of Israel Hayom. The timing of some of these calls coincided with “particularly sympathetic headlines,” which may constitute illegal campaigning. Adelson is an American citizen and a major donor to the Republican Party.

Previous Netanyahu allegations
During his first term as Prime Minister (1996 – 99), Benjamin Netanyahu was investigated twice for fraud and breach of trust. In both cases, the police recommended that he be charged, but prosecutors declined. Ironically, the first investigation alleged that Netanyahu attempted to influence a corruption investigation.

In both cases, he insisted he was innocent.

History repeats itself

Netanyahu is not the first Prime Minister to be embroiled in scandal; in reality, this has been going on for decades. It can get very distracting.

One member of Israeli parliament – from Netanyahu’s Likud party – came up with a solution to this annoying problem. In 2016, David Amsalem drafted a bill that would shield the prime minister from criminal investigation while in office. He explained on Facebook: “For the past 30 years, there hasn’t been a single prime minister who wasn’t busy with investigations. The prime minister holds the most important job in Israel…[and] can not be preoccupied by investigations practically every day.” The bill is not expected to pass into law.

Yitzhak Rabin

What have these Prime Ministers been getting themselves into all these years?

Yitzhak Rabin (PM 1974-77, 1992-95) was involved in The Dollar Account Affair—an illegal bank account—which led to his resignation from his first stint as Prime Minister in 1977.

Interestingly, he was re-elected in 1992. (Earlier, Rabin had been a member of the pre-Israel underground paramilitary group, Haganah.)


Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres (PM 1984-86, 1995-96) is known in the West as a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Among Arabs, he is nicknamed “the butcher of Qana” and “the engineer of genocide,” referring to a 1996 attack in Lebanon that killed over 100 civilians. A Time Magazine article stated that “for Palestinians, on the receiving end of this “great” man’s policies, Peres was an integral part of a project that was anything but honorable…his whole history was devoted to establishing and then developing a state founded on dispossession and the ethnic cleansing of another people[.]” (Peres had also been a member of Haganah.)


Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak (PM 1999-2001) Barak was investigated several times for alleged illegal campaign financing, bribery, money laundering, and more. Those charges did not stick. In 2009, While visiting England, Barak almost faced arrest under “universal jurisdiction” as a war criminal for his actions during Operation Cast Lead. Similarly, he, along with Ehud Olmert (see below) and 12 other Israeli political officials, was charged by lawyers in Belgium for war crimes. As long as the officials stay out of Belgium, they are not at risk of arrest. (Barak served in the IDF for 35 years.)

Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon: (PM 2001-2006) Sharon was investigated for a number of financial and corruption scandals during his time as Prime Minister, but is best remembered for his efforts as Defense Minister. Sharon launched the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which resulted in the Sabra and Shatila massacres. The world reacted strongly against this atrocity, and in 1983 Israel set up a commission of inquiry. It determined that Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for the massacre, stating, “Mr. Sharon was found responsible for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge…as well as not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed.” Sharon was forced to resign. Nevertheless, he was later elected Prime Minister 3 times. (Sharon had also been a member of Haganah.)

Ehud Olmert

Ehud Olmert (PM 2006-2009) Olmert was dogged by corruption investigations from the mid-1980s, leading some to believe that he was “corrupt but a master at covering his tracks,” and others to conclude that “the authorities were simply obsessed with harassing him.” Beginning in 2008, his luck changed: Olmert was convicted for accepting bribes, falsifying documents, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and breach of trust in the Talansky Affair, the Holyland Affair, the Rishon Tours Affair, and the Investment Center Case. (He tried to pin the Holyland case on his secretary, and offered her money – $10k/month – for her prison sentence. But she turned state’s witness and testified against him.) Olmert resigned, was imprisoned in February 2016, and then was granted an early release in July 2017, thanks to “impeccable” behavior, according to the parole board. Ironically, however, the recently released Olmert is now under investigation for allegedly disclosing classified information while in prison.

Shady dealings go beyond the prime minister’s office: Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, has a few issues of her own.

Sara Netanyahu

Sara Netanyahu

“Mealbooking affair” – corruption
Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Prime Minister, already has a full-time chef, but she is about to be indicted for fraud and breach of trust  for hiring an outside chef and having hundreds of lavish meals catered at the official residence – about $100,000 worth – paid for with public funds. (In addition, in 2011 alone, the Netanyahu residence billed Israeli taxpayers $24,000 for take-out food.) The probe alleges that Mrs. Netanyahu falsified documents. The most serious charge carries a possible sentence of five years in prison.

Previous Sara Netanyahu charges
Mrs. Netanyahu’s employees have had additional complaints. In 2015, former caretaker at the PM residence Menny Naftali won a case against her for verbal and emotional abuse. He alleged that she drank “crazy amounts” of alcohol, especially champagne, and then regularly flew into a rage, yelling at and humiliating Naftali and other employees, over 20 of whom had quit during the Netanyahus’ tenure at the residence. The court awarded Naftali compensation of about $43,000.

The Prime Minister stands by his wife, describing her on Facebook as a “courageous and honest woman who has never had any flaws in her actions.”

And the trail of corruption goes on.

Bibi’s inner circle and top powerbrokers

“Case 3,000” – the Submarine Affair, David Shimron et al

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu climbs out of the Rahav, the fifth submarine in the fleet. It arrived in Haifa port January 12, 2016.

In 2013-14, in what has been described as the “gravest corruption case in Israel’s history,” David Shimron (Netanyahu’s personal attorney, former chief of staff, close friend, and 2nd cousin) allegedly attempted to push through a $480 million deal (some sources place the value at $1.7 billion) for the purchase of submarines and patrol boats from a German shipbuilding company in which he has a financial interest. Shimron stood to receive millions of dollars. The case includes allegations of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. According to Ha’aretz, “At least ten high-powered individuals have been identified as involved in the scandal, including very close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu,” among them a former Navy commander, a retired rear admiral, and a former deputy head of the National Security Council.

Netanyahu’s hands may or may not be clean in this affair. He has been accused of frivolously increasing the order of submarines from 5 to 6—a wasteful action that former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon claimed “jeopardizes the interests of the country.” One journalist suggested that if Netanyahu knew what was going on around him, “then this is a case of suspected offenses that violate ethical standards.” If he wasn’t aware, then he had “surrounded himself unknowingly with a bunch of allegedly corrupt people, appointing them to the highest and most sensitive positions in government.” Either way, the news is not good.

Netanyahu maintains his innocence.

(As an aside, these submarines and patrol boats were intended to protect offshore natural gas platforms—as Israel extracts natural gas that is also claimed by Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, and the Palestinians. The tangle of claims, counter-claims, and violence that surround this resource located in the Mediterranean Sea is astonishing.)

Moshe Katsav

Rape conviction, 2010 – Moshe Katsav (former Israeli President)
Katsav resigned as President of Israel in June 2007 when he was charged with rape, as well as with molesting or sexually harassing two female employees. The first incident happened in the 1990s when he was cabinet minister; the second and third happened while he was president. He began his sentence in 2011 and was granted early release in 2016 after serving five years for rape.

He has repeatedly professed innocence.

An Israeli drone manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Case 630, corruption – Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)
Top management at government owned IAI are under scrutiny for alleged bribery, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and breach of trust. Suspects include retired IDF brigadier-general Amal Asad and many others at high levels, including executives, board directors,  and board members, as well as individuals who were “supposed to be guardians of the public trust.” Police describe the allegations as “systematic criminal behavior and deep corruption seemingly commonplace in Israel Aerospace Industries.”

Aryeh Deri

Bribery, fraud, breach of trust – Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri, one of the founders of the ultra-orthodox Shas party, has had his ups and down. In the 1988, at the age of 29, Deri became the youngest Interior Minister in Israel’s (short) history. In 1999 he was convicted of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust, and served 22 months. In 2013 he was back at the helm of the Shas party. In January 2016, he was re-appointed Interior Minister. And by the end of March that year, he was embroiled in another scandal, suspected of tax offenses, breach of trust, and money laundering.

Faina Kirshenbaum

“Case 242,” corruption – Faina Kirshenbaum et al
In “one of the biggest public corruption investigations that have been uncovered in Israel,” dozens of officials have been arrested, charged, or indicted on a range of activities, including bribery, money laundering, conspiracy, extortion, tax evasion, embezzling, and breach of trust. In the middle of this mess is Faina Kirshenbaum, former Deputy Interior Minister and former director general of far-right political party Yisrael Beytenu (“Israel is our home”). Kirshenbaum is “at the center of some 10 separate corruption cases,” and in the words of her indictment, “acted willfully and intentionally, at times with great sophistication, in order to carry out a series of crimes.” She allegedly used her position as deputy minister to embezzle millions of dollars. Many of those implicated are members of Yisrael Beytenu.

Gil Shefer

Alleged Sexual Harassment – Gil Shefer (Netanyahu’s former chief of staff)
In December 2016, Gil Sheffer was arrested on suspicion of sexual offense that allegedly occurred during his time as Netanyahu’s chief of staff in 2012-13. This was not his first brush with the law: in 2013 allegations came to light of sexual harassment dating back 15 years, too long ago to allow investigation. Coincidentally, he resigned from office at the same time the allegations became public – both Shefer and Netanyahu insist that his departure was unrelated to the scandal. Interestingly, Shefer’s predecessor, Natan Eshel, had also quit amid a sexual harassment scandal. Shefer was also recently questioned in the Mealbooking Affair (see #9 above).

Shaul Elovitch

Case 4000 – “the Bezeq Affair”
Meet Shaul Elovitch, Chairman and owner of telecom giant, Bezeq. He may or may not be a longtime friend of PM Netanyahu. (Bibi stated once that they were “little more than acquaintances,” and later that he had been a “personal friend for 20 years.”) Elovitch himself is already under investigation, and now he is in his own version of Case 2000 (see #2 above): for the last few years, Elovitch’s internet portal, Walla, has been suspiciously pro-Netanyahu. Starting in 2015, Bibi stories were always glowingly positive; photos of Sara Netanyahu were profuse; stories like the Naftali scandal (see #X above) miraculously disappeared from the website; stories of Bibi’s son Yair and his girlfriend miraculously appeared just when rumors were flying of his being gay—and all of this at roughly the same time that Netanyahu’s office was advancing policies favorable toward Elovitch’s business. When Bibi was ordered to turn over information, he refused to comply.

Perach Lerner

Perach Lerner – corruption
A highly influential advisor of Netanyahu, Perach Lerner recently confessed to fraud and breach of trust. She had allowed her husband to take advantage of her position with the prime minister to help his business.

Histadrut, an organization of the settler Jewish working class, was the key Zionist organization responsible for the formation of the Israeli state.

Under-age sex scandal: Tzion al-Grisi
Al-Grisi was not a high-level official, but he was important enough to rub elbows with some powerful people before the scandal. He behaved improperly toward a young girl, starting when she was 8 or 9 years old, which is shocking enough. He was later convicted, but the story doesn’t end there.

Al-Grisi was  was a labor union delegate to Meretz, a leftist, Zionist political party, where he allegedly kept his position for months before Twitter got ahold of the news. He was also regional branch chair of Histadrut, Israel’s national trade union center. Histadrut has reportedly taken no action against Al-Grisi.

(Quick history lesson: Histadrut was founded in 1920 purportedly as a labor union, but acted as a colonizer of Palestine by assimilating immigrants in order to “carry out the conquest of the land.” It rejected Arab workers and products–essentially boycotting Arab labor and produce. David Ben-Gurion (Israel’s legendary first Prime Minister) was the organization’s first secretary-general, and added to the Arabs’ misery with wage scales that favored Jewish workers. Under Ben-Gurion, “class struggle was redefined as the struggle against Arab labor.” He also reportedly helped himself to the treasury–including for “trysts with his mistress in sundry European spas” (The Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews by Norman Cantor, New York: HarperPerennial, 1995, p. 368). Histadrut also founded Haganah.)

Al-Grisi maintains innocence, claiming that the girl seduced him and that the charges were “concocted” by her mother.


Israel is not alone in the corruption within its government, but the magnitude of the mess is critical when considering the amount of aid it receives from the United States–over $10 million per day. Compare this to assistance to the occupied Palestinian territories–averaging $400 million per year–approximately one tenth of what Israel receives. In fact, the US Congress is trying to reduce aid to Palestinians by vilifying the compensation being paid to the families of their slain and imprisoned.

Another serious issue is the Israeli government’s way of creating distractions for the world when a serious scandal comes to light. Israeli political analyst Michel Warschawski warned that Netanyahu “desperately needs distractions from these scandals. A ready-made target is always Gaza.” He added, “The danger is that he tries to heat up things there and starts a war.”

Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew

You Won’t Believe Why They Could Withhold Relief Funds from Harvey Victims



israel Exposed for Secretly Paying ISIS terrorists to Protect Rothschild, Murdoch Oil

Israel Exposed for Secretly Paying ISIS terrorists to Protect Rothschild, Murdoch Oil


Syria has devolved into a morass of civil conflict, proxy wars, and an ostensive international effort to quash thriving terrorist groups, but one revelation might top the rest in potential contention: Israel has been covertly supporting ISIS members

in the disputed Golan Heights territory — providing funds, fuel, food, and medical supplies — according to fighters insisting they’ve received such aid.

Newsweek reports:



Fierce wrangling over Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights region surrounds rich hydrocarbon deposits and the rights for New Jersey-based Genie Energy, Ltd. — parent company of Afek Oil and Gas, and whose cadre of investors include Jacob Rothschild, Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney, and a number of others — to extract oil for transport and profit.

It could be no shock, then — given the potential for profiteering and political ramifications concomitant from safe fossil fuel extraction —ISIS members

claim to be receiving such a high degree of assistance from the Israeli government.

“Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” asserted Moatasem al-Golani, spokesman for Fursan al-Joulan, or the Knights of the Golan, to the Wall Street Journal, adding the group of around 400 fighters receives $5,000 each month from the Israeli government — effectively ensuring its existence.


Fighters allege support began in earnest once the wounded were allowed to be treated in hospitals located inside Israel.

Although the WSJ did not name its sources — described albeit vaguely as “half a dozen rebels and three people familiar with Israel’s thinking” — that moderate rebels have been treated medically inside the border of Israel has long been known, making the account at least feasible, if not verifiable.

They claim, according to Haaretz, “Israel’s secret dealings with the rebels began as early as 2013 under former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and that they continue to this day, with the goal of keeping pro-Iranian groups, like Hezbollah, away from the border.”

Also unsurprising is Israel’s firm alignment with U.S. political aims to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — which, at least theoretically in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s eyes, would preventHezbollah from securing an arms, supply, support, and transport line from Iran through to occupied Palestine and elsewhere.

Fursan al-Joulan, unlike other militant groups deemed “moderate rebels” by the West, does not receive similar support from coalition and allied entities, so Israel’s active assistance has literally kept the group from disbanding.

Beyond years-long medical support for certain Syrian rebel groups, Israel claims only to have intervened directly in Syria’s quagmire upon ostensible threats to national security — primarily along the bordering, contentious Golan Heights.

Israel also asserts any funding crossing its border into Syria has been allotted for humanitarian reasons — a characterization disputed by Fursan al-Joulan, whose unnamed fighters told the Wall Street JournalIsraeli funds are used for salaries and the purchase of munitions.

While the Israeli military refused to elaborate on supposed humanitarian assistance or comment on Fursan al-Joulan’s claims, Israel is “committed to securing the borders of Israel and preventing the establishment of terror cells and hostile forces … in addition to providing humanitarian aid to the Syrians living in the area.”

With the U.S. military now directly striking Assad’s forces in Syria — and the ultimate, longstanding goal of regime change not yet pulled from the table — news of contentious actor, Israel, directly supplying rebels intent on deposing the Syrian leader threatens to further destabilize an already-precarious powder keg of hostilities in the war-ravaged nation.

Indeed, the downing of a Syrian military aircraft by the U.S. slid relations with regional proxy foe, Russia, further toward a nadir not even seen amid previous Red Scare tensions during the 1950s. Israel — being, of course, a nuclear power and itinerant if controversial friend to Washington — might yet find itself aligning with the U.S. against Moscow militarily should this simmering war by proxy abruptly explode into conflict on the scale of a world war.


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