by Pepe Escobar
23 Nov, 2015
People gather around candles during a ceremony for the victims the day after a series of deadly attacks in the French capital of Paris, in Lausanne, Switzerland November 14, 2015. The banner reads : “No to terrorism”. © Denis Balibouse / Reuters
The established mainstream narrative tells us “Paris changed everything”. Well, not really.
Let’s start with the diplomatic front. Instead of the self-defined International Syria Support Group – composed of 19 political actors – meeting regularly in Vienna to implement a peace process in Syria, the priority now is war; a remixed war on terror not against al-Qaeda, but ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
The UN Security Council already issued a de facto declaration of war on Daesh. It calls for UN members to “take all necessary measures” to defeat Daesh. Language was appropriately vague to ensure approval. Yet, post-Libya, everyone knows how the devil – especially in vague UNSC resolutions – is in the detail.
Vienna set an arbitrary target date of January 1, 2016 for the start of negotiations between Damascus and the “respectable” Syrian opposition about a political transition – with elections and a new constitution coming within 18 months.
The five permanent members of the UNSC also agreed to support a ceasefire in Syrian territory not controlled by Daesh. As if Daesh, for starters, would respect any ceasefire.
Then it gets even more surrealist. Jordan – run by ‘Playstation’ King Abdullah – was charged to draw up the top ten terrorist list in Syria.
At least the Obama administration finally relented and conceded that Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, which the Beltway regards as “moderate rebels”, is a terrorist entity as much as Daesh.
The latest Vienna communiqué is quite vague; article 6 stipulates that “Daesh, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants, must be defeated.”
So what we have is only a top two terrorist list in Syria. And that’s it. Nothing about Ahrar al-Sham, which is actively supported by US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and given a pass by the US and Britain. Or the patchwork known as Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) – financed and weaponized by Saudi Arabia. Plenty of dodgy outfits linked to Ahrar al-Sham – a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood – have struck “pacts of non-aggression” with Daesh.
As for Jabhat al-Nusra, it has been manipulating the so-called “moderate rebels” of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) at virtually every major battle in Aleppo, Latakia, Hama and Idlib. In the perennially porous “rebel” alliance front, Jaish al-Fatah de facto congregates Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham and provides them free access to [Free Syrian Army] FSA’s made in USA weapons – especially anti-tank TOW missiles. Needless to add, the FSA has been weaponized by the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.