November 18, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The terrorist attacks carried out in the heart of the French capital, either coincidentally or intentionally, have served as the perfect point of leverage for the West on the very eve of the so-called “Vienna talks” regarding Syria.
With its serendipitously strengthened hand and with France taking a more prominent role, the West is attempting to reassert not only its narrative, but its agenda regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria, an agenda that has – as of late – been derailed by Russia’s military intervention and recent gains made on the battlefield by Syrian military forces.
The London Guardian stated in its article “Paris attacks galvanise international efforts to end Syria war” that:
The Isis attacks in Paris have galvanised international efforts to end the war in Syria, with a new deadline set for negotiations between the warring parties and for a country-wide ceasefire.
There is still no sign of agreement, however, on the key question of the future of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
It should seem extraordinary to the global public that even after the attacks in Paris, the West still insists on undermining the Syrian government toward its goal of “regime change,” which includes continued material support to armed militants – all of which are extremists, and many of which have either coordinated with, or fought under the banner of Al Qaeda and even the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS).
This is also considering the fact that the Syrian government is now currently engaged in battle with ISIS in and around Aleppo, and is currently threatening to sever its supply lines leading out of NATO-member Turkey’s territory.
It was clear, however, that Russia and the US have again had to agree to disagree about Assad. The Paris attacks “show that it doesn’t matter if you’re for Assad or against him,” said the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. “Isis is your enemy.”
However, to explain the West’s apparent failure to prioritize, the Guardian claims:
Isis, in their [the West’s] view, is a symptom of political failings in both Iraq and Syria. The Vienna participants are to meet in Paris before the end of the year to review progress toward a ceasefire and the selection of delegations for the Syrian talks.
In reality, ISIS is not a “symptom of political failings.” It is the result of concerted, immense, multinational state-sponsorship. Entire armies of the immense scale ISIS operates on do not rise out of “political failings,” they rise from huge, preexisting financial networks, region-wide logistical support, multinational political support, intelligence networking, and experienced military planning and organizational skills.
The West and its regional allies, namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, clearly constitute this immense multinational state-sponsorship ISIS has so far enjoyed. A look at any map depicting the Syrian conflict shows ISIS supply lines running directly out of NATO-member Turkey’s territory and in numerous reports, even out of the West’s most prominent papers, it is even admitted that ISIS is supplied in Syria, via Turkey.
It is clear then that “political failings” are not the “cause” of ISIS except only in the sense that the “failure” to exact regime change in Syria has prompted the West to continue propping up ISIS and other terrorist groups until the government in Damascus falls – and only when Damascus’ regional and global allies abandon it.
The West Got What it Wanted in Libya – And Created ISIS in the Process
The West’s claims during the Vienna talks that if only they get their way in Syria, the threat of ISIS will subside, is betrayed by the events surrounding the very rise of ISIS in Syria in the first place.
Just before the conflict reached critical mass in Syria during 2011, the US, UK, France, other NATO members, as well as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), were already in the process of fully dividing and destroying Libya in pursuit of regime change.
They insisted that regime change was the only way to end the bitter fighting that had swept the country – regime change that just so happened to fulfill the long-held desire by Washington and Europe to see Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi ousted from power.
Through arming what the West called “rebels,” and through direct military intervention which included large-scale, nationwide airstrikes, naval bombardments, and even special forces, NATO devastated the country and turned it over literally to Al Qaeda. The West’s “rebels” turned out to be sectarian extremists all along, and in fact – with NATO’s help – they promptly took their weapons, fighters, and cash to begin the invasion of northern Syria via Turkey later that year.
The Business Insider would report in its article, “REPORT: The US Is Openly Sending Heavy Weapons From Libya To Syrian Rebels,” that:
The administration has said that the previously hidden CIA operation in Benghazi involved finding, repurchasing and destroying heavy weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, but in October we reported evidence indicating that U.S. agents — particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens — were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.
There have been several possible SA-7 spottings in Syria dating as far back as early summer 2012, and there are indications that at least some of Gaddafi’s 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles were shipped before now.
On Sept. 6 a Libyan ship carrying 400 tons of weapons for Syrian rebels docked in southern Turkey. The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi” who worked for the new Libyan government. The man who organized that shipment, Tripoli Military Council head Abdelhakim Belhadj, worked directly with Stevens during the Libyan revolution.
Belhadj, it should be mentioned, was the commander of US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – which is literally Al Qaeda in Libya – and was so before, during, and after the 2011 Libyan war. Belhadj was also reportedly aligned with ISIS as it officially established itself in the shattered North African state. Fox News would report in its article, “Herridge: ISIS Has Turned Libya Into New Support Base, Safe Haven,” that:
[Catherine] Herridge reported that one of the alleged leaders of ISIS in North Africa is Libyan Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was seen by the U.S. as a willing partner in the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
“Now, it’s alleged he is firmly aligned with ISIS and supports the training camps in eastern Libya,” Herridge said.
It is clear that despite Western claims that regime change in Libya would be the beginning of the end for Libya’s violence and instability, it was only the end of the beginning – and not only for chaos in Libya – but for other nations across North Africa and in Syria itself.
Using Another 9/11 to Justify Creating Another Libya
NATO’s intervention and regime change in Libya did not avert a refugee crisis, it helped create one. NATO’s intervention and successful regime change in Libya did not make the region or the world safer, it turned the entire nation into a breeding ground for terrorist organizations with so-far unprecedented reach and operational capacity. NATO’s goals in Libya did not prevent the refugee crisis, it helped start it. And with all of this in mind, having seen this and taken full stock of Libya’s outcome, the West has nonetheless moved forward with precisely the same agenda in Syria.
In all reality, the West has no intention of bringing peace or stability to Syria. Their goal is to leave Syria as divided and destroyed as Libya, and to use the chaos and instability fostered there as a springboard for other targets of the West’s proxy warfare – most likely Iran, Russia, and targets deeper in Central Asia.
The West promises that it will end the chaos in Syria, just like they promised it would end in Libya. It will not end in either.
With Libya’s fate in mind, and a repeat performance clearly taking shape in Syria should the West get its way, it must be made clear that no matter how many innocent people are killed by terrorists the West itself helped create and perpetuate, they will not get an opportunity to turn Syria into the “Libya of the Levant,” no matter how convenient and well-timed these killings are, no matter how deep they are within the heart of Europe or North America, and no matter how tragic and regrettable the aftermath is.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”