Washington is really scraping the bottom of the barrel on its Syria strategies these days. Four and a half years into the Syrian crisis, it’s been one embarrassment after another. Starting with Obama’s red line on the use of chemical weapons in which he painted himself into a corner, followed by the Pentagon’s disastrous arming and training of the New Syria Forces that left a mere 5 fighters on the ground, and ending with a full year of selective half-assed bombing of ISIS that left the terrorist group stronger than ever. All the while the CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, were arming and training thousands of Islamic terrorists while claiming they were only backing moderates. In spite of all this, Washington is still pretending it has a plan.
Last week, 17 nations convened in Vienna under the guidance of the US and Russia with the intention of coming up with a solution to the Syrian conflict. They actually managed to agree on 9 points…but then an American spasm: the US military announced that it would send 50 special forces into Syria (illegally, mind you) to assist “moderate” rebels in fighting ISIS. This small number is like a drop in an ocean and the Americans must be delusional to think it will have any impact on the battle against ISIS.
It most certainly looks like they have hit rock bottom back in Washington. One telling sign is the kind of company they are keeping in the US capital. On Tuesday, November 3, US Representative Ed Royce who is also the chairman of House Foreign Relations Committee, hosted Syrian opposition propagandist Raed Fares, the man behind the lame/bizarre banners that come out of Kafranbel, Syria every Friday.
While Raed Fares likes to portray himself as both moderate and secular to his admirers in the West, he has openly expressed his support for the Jihadist rebel group Ahrar al-Sham who are closely tied with Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria). His Kafranbel Media Center works very closely with Syrian opposition propagandist Hadi al-Abdallah who over the last 4 years has been the leading “journalist” to be embedded with Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham on the battlefield.
Could it be that Representative Royce, who the day after his meeting with Fares, chaired a hearing in the house in which Ambassador Anne Patterson confirmed that Jabhat al-Nusra is the enemy, didn’t know that his guest is a staunch supporter of Nusra’s partner in the Jihadist alliance known as Jaish al-Fateh (Army of Conquest)?
Funnier still, the twitter account of the Washington think tank Atlantic Council just tweeted the following:
This tweet links to an event scheduled for Friday November 6 billed as Fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda through Syrian Civil Society. Here’s a snapshot:
How ironic is it that Fares is a guest speaker at a talk dealing with fighting ISIS and Al-Qaeda that is introduced by Ambassador Frederic Hof, a former advisor on Syria to Hilary Clinton and moderated by Atlantic Council resident fellow Faysal Itani?
How pathetic is it that Washington thinks it can bolster it’s Syria credibility by feting Raed Fares, a non-English-speaking propagandist whose English-language, pop-culture signs are sent to him by the same western spin doctors who have funded and trained him for four years?
Other than the shock to us all that US policy on Syria is really, actually this shallow and thinly-sourced, the feting of Raed Fares in Washington makes things easy for us. For one, we can simply take everyone associated with this level of policy, put them in a box and stuff them into the attic for all of time. Hof, Itani, the likes of Michael Weiss, Emile Hokayem, Michael O’Hanlon, HRW’s Kenneth Roth, Brooking Doha’s Charles Lister, YouTube “detective” Elliot Higgins, former US Ambassador Robert Ford…all the regime-change advocates who got Syria wrong by looking for facts that supported their narratives, rather than the other way around.
(refer to my blogpost Kafranbel Media Center: A Propaganda Banner Assembly Line That Targets The Naive).