Friday’s report of allegations emanating from the Russian Foreign Ministry by the BBC World Service appears to confirm what so-called ‘conspiracy theorists’ have been claiming since the rise of Isis and other al-Qaeda affiliated groups, and their entry into the Syrian Civil War. The principal source of the new allegations, himself none other than Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, claimed in an interview that the US has repeatedly failed to deal with the al-Qaeda inspired al-Nusra Front, now fighting under the name Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, because of some previously hidden agenda related to regime change.
According to Mr. Lavrov, ‘…..we have more and more reasons to believe that from the very beginning the plan was to spare Nusra and to keep it….just in case for ‘Plan B’ or for ‘Stage 2′ when it would be time to change the regime.’ In response to Sergei Lavrov’s claims on camera, in footage that was first broadcast late on Friday afternoon, Mark Toner, a US State Department spokesman and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, summed up his reaction as follows: ‘Honestly I saw those remarks. It left me shaking my head. I don’t know what he means by it. Well I can conjecture what he means by it. But it’s absurd.’
At the same press conference, however, Mr. Toner admitted to an assembled group of journalists that the US hasn’t actually targeted the former al-Nusra Front for months, citing the fact that extremists have become “intermingled”, both with civilians and more moderate groups, as what the American Military views as a reasonable excuse. Meanwhile, in another separate broadcast of the same footage by the RT news agency, under the banner headline ‘US admits not targeting Nusra, blames Moscow for own failure to separate ‘moderates’ from terrorists’, a critic of American policy in Syria described al-Nusra and its affiliates as ‘changing their labels around the clock’; perhaps as a means of making them less distinguishable from some of the other factions with whom they are collectively fighting the ruthless Assad Regime.
Elsewhere, in the same report, former CIA Policy Adviser Fred Fleitz, now Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs with the Center for Security Policy, was quoted as saying ‘I am hoping, if we have a Donald Trump Administration, that we will get a new international alliance, including NATO troops, to restore law and order and stability to Syria, move Iran out of that nation, and bring stability to the region.’ Mr. Fleitz did not mince words either when discussing the possibility of regime change in Syria, in the context of a projected international military initiative along the lines of the liberation of Kuwait during the First Gulf War.
In many ways these new claims in the mainstream media parallel those previously circulated on platforms such as www.globalresearch.ca, the website of the Centre for Research on Globalization, an independent research and media organization based in Montreal, and conspiracy orientated blogs such as Political Vel Craft or ‘Veil of Politics’. The Global Research website first asserted that the United States was the hidden hand behind Isis as early as September 2014, in an article headed ‘America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group’ by Garikai Chengu. Similarly, in a post that appeared about a month later, the compilers of Political Vel Craft claimed that an Israeli Colonel, one Yusi Oulen Shahak, captured in Iraq by elements loyal to the Iraqui regime, had confessed to there being an active coalition between Israeli forces and the Islamic State. A fact which has thus far escaped the attentions of most media outlets outside of the Middle East.
Thus, we see the seemingly ridiculous assertions of the compilers of some of the most widely circulated memes that clutter up the conspiracy pages on social media platforms, such as Reddit and Facebook, entering the dialogue of veteran BBC journalists attached to the organization’s World Service. And all this as a former CIA adviser toys with the possibility of out-and-out regime change for Syria in the event of a possible Presidential victory for Donald Trump in the coming months. In light of these developments then, and the current on going situation on the US domestic front, both politically and socially, it is not unfair to say that you just couldn’t make this up, even if you tried.
Having begun his career as a junior researcher at Thames Television in London, he has written for a wide range of publications including 'The Brighton Reporter', 'Durham Town and Country', 'The Brighton and Hove People' and 'The New Celtic Review'. As an exhibited film maker he has been a regular contributor and award nominee at the Portobello Film Festival in London; and has seen his work shown at the annual London Film Makers' Convention at the prestigious Round House Theatre.
As well as receiving enthusiastic reviews from BBC Radio 4 and others for his book on Sir Walter Scott, his pioneering work as an Underground Film Maker on the fledgeling Goa Trance Scene has set him in a field of his own amongst many of his contemporaries; both in the UK, where he presently resides, and elsewhere. Current projects presently in hand include a book centred on his 'Legendary London' series of documentary films, which have stimulated an enthusiastic response from the likes of Glenda Jackson and others; and a novel set in France and Edinburgh during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.
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