Tag: Al-Qaeda

Pushback: Aaron Maté and Ben Norton discuss Syria war, US withdrawal, Turkish invasion

The Grayzone hosted its first YouTube livestream of Pushback with Aaron Maté, featuring Ben Norton. We discussed the Syria war, the withdrawal of US troops, and the Turkish invasion.

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Israeli attacks provoke Iran, Hezbollah – and could help jihadists

With its bombings of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, is Israel trying to stop an attack from Iran and its allies, as it claims, or is it trying to provoke one? Rania Khalek analyzes Israel’s escalating violence and how it could potentially help jihadist groups in the region.

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This celebrated Western-funded nonprofit collaborated with al-Qaeda to wage lawfare on Syria

Mainstream reporting on Syria has relied heavily on the work of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), a Western government-funded regime change group whose investigators collaborated with al-Qaeda and its extremist allies to drum up prosecutions of Syrian officials

By Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton


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Behind the Syrian Network for Human Rights: How an opposition front group became Western media’s go-to monitor

Top media outlets turn to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) for figures on deaths and detentions, never noting the group’s seamless connection to Syria’s opposition, the support it receives from states that waged war on the country, or its open lobbying for US military intervention.

By Max Blumenthal


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US greenlights missiles for al-Qaeda-linked, Turkish-backed Salafi-jihadists occupying Syria’s Idlib

The Trump administration has approved a Turkish shipment of US-made anti-tank missiles to al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels fighting a Russian-backed offensive in Syria’s Idlib province.

By Ben Norton


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Presenting The Syria Deception: Al Qaeda Goes to Hollywood (VIDEO)

An exclusive Grayzone investigative documentary rips the cover off of the most sophisticated and expensive campaign of humanitarian interventionist propaganda in modern history.

By Dan Cohen


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Cutting through media propaganda on the battle for Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

The corporate media has grossly distorted the battle for Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, which is occupied by extremist Salafi-jihadists funded by Saudi Arabia.

By Ben Norton

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US Ambassador Confirms Billions Spent on Regime Change in Syria, Debunking ‘Obama Did Nothing’ Myth

The US government spent at least $12 billion in Syria-related military and civilian expenses in the four years from 2014 through 2017, former ambassador Robert Ford disclosed in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

By Ben Norton

The United States spent at least $12 billion in Syria-related military and civilian expenses in the four years from 2014 through 2017, according to the former U.S. ambassador to the country.

This $12 billion is in addition to the billions more spent to pursue regime change in Syria in the previous three years, after war broke out in 2011.

This striking figure provides a further glimpse of the exorbitant sums of money the U.S. spent trying to topple the government in Damascus. It also bluntly contradicts claims by Syrian opposition supporters that the former administration of President Barack Obama “did nothing” in Syria, or that it supposedly did not seek regime change fervently enough.

Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert S. Ford disclosed this information in written testimony prepared for a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on February 6.

“The cost of US military operations in Syria between FY 2014 and the end of FY 2017 was between $3 and $4 billion,” Ford said. “In addition to the cost of those military operations, the FY 2017 budget request included $430 [million] to build local security forces and the FY 2018 request was for $500 million.”

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How Trump blamed bin Laden’s crimes on Iran to stir war

Donald Trump blamed al-Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden’s crimes on Tehran in his historic speech on the Iran nuclear deal, and the media missed these huge lies.

By Ben Norton / AlterNet

Donald Trump claimed during his campaign that he would change U.S. foreign policy, opportunistically condemning Hillary Clinton over her support for the “failed policy of … regime change.” Pundits predicted that Trump would usher in a new era. But as president, the far-right billionaire has doubled down on key elements of the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy consensus, resulting in a dangerous escalation of the so-called War on Terror.

Trump has placed aggression against Iran and staunch support for the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Israel front and center. While previous administrations assumed a similar agenda in the Middle East, Trump has embraced anti-Iran fervor to an unprecedented degree.

Trump has gone so far in his anti-Iran fervor that he has wound up whitewashing the crimes of al-Qaeda, blaming Tehran for past attacks that had actually been overseen by Salafi-jihadist leader Osama bin Laden.

In his anti-Iran speech in October, Trump tried to pin al-Qaeda bombings on Tehran, using ambiguous rhetoric that is reminiscent of the language alleging Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Some media outlets that were critical of Trump’s speech and its many factual errors failed to draw attention to his whitewashing of al-Qaeda.

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How Trump’s CIA used Bin Laden files and neocon think tank to escalate tensions with Iran

An ex-CIA analyst has raised suspicions about the Trump CIA’s release of bin Laden documents and apparent collaboration with the hard-right Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) to demonize Iran.

By Ben Norton / AlterNet

The Central Intelligence Agency appears to have collaborated with the neoconservative think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies to try to link Iran to the Salafi-jihadist group al-Qaeda.

Ned Price, a former CIA analyst and spokesman, has suggested that the move may be part of a wider campaign by the Trump administration’s new CIA director to establish “a rationale for regime change” in Tehran.

In the lead-up to the illegal 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the effort to link Baghdad to al-Qaeda was “a key element of the march to war,” Price explained, implying that the Trump administration might be doing something similar with Iran.

President Donald Trump has, since the beginning of his term, made aggressive opposition to Iran a key feature of his foreign policy. He has surrounded himself with anti-Iran hawks in the White House, and pledged to unilaterally “tear up” the nuclear deal agreed to by major world powers.

Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. proxy in the Middle East, has in recent weeks escalated its campaign against Iran. The Saudi monarchy pressured Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign, and has been accused of holding him hostage. The kingdom then effectively declared war on Lebanon, in the name of countering Iran and its ally Hezbollah.

President Trump has praised Saudi Arabia’s belligerent intervention and foreign meddling, even while accusing Tehran of doing exactly what Riyadh is doing. The U.S. government is working very closely with the Saudi monarchy and Israel to, in Trump’s words, “counter the regime’s destabilizing activity.”

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