Late yesterday, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, disclosed what in a nutshell US strategy in Syria would be.
For one, he announced that the US would require some 12,000-15,000 armed, trained and paid for boots on the ground, i.e., mercenaries to do Obama's dirty work on the ground because the Nobel peace prize winner is unwilling to go all the way with his belligerent pivot. As a reminder, the last notable time the US engaged in wholesale arming and funding of offshore mercenaries was the Afghan war, when the CIA got involved with the Mujahideen "freedom fighters" whose funding began with $20–$30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987, culminating with the terrorist action of Osama Bin Laden, once a close friend of the US and the CIA (read more about Operation Cyclone here).
More importantly, as Reuters reported, Dempsey said that the endgoal is "to recapture lost territory in eastern Syria". Territory, which as we reported in July, amounts to 35% of Syria's landmass and includes most of its oilfields. And sure enough, the territory would be preserved for the exclusive use of the "rebels", or the group of Islamists from whose ranks none other than ISIS arose over the past year. And since the rebels couldn't care one way or another, this is merely a way for the US to say that whatever Syrian territory is "liberated" from ISIS presence, it will be disposed of as the US sees fit, with the only decisions being whether to grant it to Qatar or Saudi Arabia.
In the meantime, things on the propaganda front are going form bad to worse. Recall the Nusra front - the extreme wing of the "rebels" that the US is allegedly supporting? Well as Haaretz just reported, ""the al Qaida-linked Nusra Front on Saturday denounced U.S.-led air strikes on Syria, saying they amounted to a war against Islam and vowing to retaliate against Western and Arab countries that took part.
Er, that doesn't help the official party line that Syrian rebels are greeting the US with open arms. "We are in a long war. This war will not end in months nor years, this war could last for decades," the group's spokesman Abu Firas al-Suri said.
Funny, because earlier today, Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Muallem was informed, by the US mind you, that the war against ISIS will continue for three years, or just after until the end of Obama's second, and hopefully final term.
"It's not a war against Nusra Front, it's a war against Islam," he added in an audio message published on the group's social media network, its first reaction since the launch of the U.S.-led strikes on Tuesday.
As an amusing aside, Site reports about a Dutch jihadist and member of al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the al-Nusra Front, who reacted to the Netherlands revoking his passport by publishing a diatribe against the Western concepts of capitalism and democracy, and criticizing the Netherlands for joining the U.S.-led military coalition.
But while the extreme Syrian "rebels" are allowed to have a minority report opinion - after all they are ISIS in all but name - one would think that at least the "moderate" Syrian rebels, whatever that means (and since the entire US strategy in Syria is based on weeding out the moderates from the, well, non-moderates we eagerly look forward to finding out just how the Pentagon distinguishes one from the other) are far more positively inclined toward the US. One would be wrong.
Here are some three dozen YouTube videos released over the past two days, showing just how the Syrian "rebels", those which the US is supposedly helping, feel about America, and US-led airstirkes "on their behalf."
35 videos from rebel areas across Syria against US-led air strikes posted today https://t.co/ByZWgEuDC2— Brown Moses (@Brown_Moses) September 26, 2014
All the 36 videos of Syrian rebels protesting against US-led airstrikes, which apparently are hitting rebels alongside ISIS forces, can be found in the compendium below:
But nothing captures the total confusion among the US offensive line than this poster held by a "rebel" child protester.