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The Hijacking Of Arab Spring, And The Media’s Complicity

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Let’s stop and consider what is being said here. If the CIA is “operating secretly,” then what are “American officials and Arab intelligence officers” doing publicizing their efforts? Are these leakers courageous whistleblowers, risking a nice visit to the Bradley Manning Hall of Detention? Don’t bet on it.

The reason we are being told about this, in all likelihood, is that  they want us to know.Why? Because this is, in spy jargon, a “limited hangout” that hides the real truth. By “leaking” potentially controversial material, they get ahead of the curve, and by framing it in the most benign possible way, they control any discussion. Read on, please:

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.

So there’s another soft spin: covert American operatives are helping keep weapons “out of the hands” of terrorist groups. Or, to be precise, out of the hands of terrorist groups opposed to American interests, while channeling them to terrorist groups more amenable to our policies in that region. The identity of these friendly “opposition fighters” is not stated, but they are presumably groups the CIA approves of—  perhaps because they were originally created or at least co-opted by these very same CIA people. Of course, the history of Western support for selected terrorist groups in this region is not encouraging; recall the extensive CIA funding of anti-Soviet mujahedeen who morphed into anti-American fighters (including Taliban and Al-Qaeda) after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan ended in 1989.

The  Times article goes on to say that the US is not providing arms but that US allies—particularly Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar—are. What it neglects to mention is that the US provides arms to these allies, and all but tells these countries what to do with those arms. The trick: Washington uses these intermediaries in order for the US to say that it is not involved in overthrowing the Assad regime.

That’s why the US government can hypocritically chastise Russia for  sending in helicopters to the beleaguered Assad government. Perhaps Russia should, Western-style, simply look the other way (wink, wink) while its own allies send in weapons? Unfortunately for Russia, it is increasingly isolated, and, since the end of the Soviet bloc, has nothing comparable to the Western alliance. All it can do is provide direct aid to the regime and raise objections at the UN to those arming the opposition.

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The fact that the United States government, and notably a Democratic administration, is waging war against another government through surrogates is a really, really big deal. Yet our media—almost  all of it, Left, Right and Other—walks in lockstep with a shared dubious narrative of an essentially spontaneous uprising being crushed by a ruthless government and of a West helping “the people” purely for humanitarian purposes.

It turns out that the US government really did learn a lesson from Vietnam. Win those hearts and minds. But not in foreign jungles or deserts. The real battle is right here at home.

WhoWhatWhy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news site founded by Russ Baker. Follow it on Facebook and Twitter or visit WhoWhatWhy.com

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