Foreign Affairs as Opera Buffa: The Global Fight Against Isis By John Chuckman
18 September 2014
There is a forgotten 1933 movie serial called The Three Musketeers in which three members of the French Foreign Legion are rescued by an American, a young John Wayne, using the machine
gun on his biplane to mow down Arab bad guys threatening the Legionnaires in the Sahara. What was John Wayne doing
flying around the French Sahara? He had flown over from France to visit his girlfriend. Why did he have a machine gun
mounted on his plane? There wouldn’t be a story otherwise. Like all such series, it is silly, but it is notable for a
plot which includes a secret organization called the Devil’s Circle led by a mysterious and evil figure called El
Shaitan, someone who wants to destroy the Legion and, after many false leads, turns out in the last reel to be a western
merchant rather than an Arab.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Substitute al-Qaeda for the Devil’s Circle, substitute Osama bin Laden for El Shaitan, and
substitute the Mideast for North Africa. John Wayne remains John Wayne, symbol as they used to say on the voiceover for
the 1950s Superman television show, “for the American way of life.” It does sound as though the script for al-Qaeda was
lifted from the old serial. I’m sure someone at Langley would be able to confirm that. With all its twists and turns
around the identity of El Shaitan, the story would make a great libretto for an extravagant opera buffa, or a Broadway
Of course, we had indisputable proof years ago, in the testimony of a former British Foreign Minister and several other
significant world figures, that there was indeed no such organization as al-Qaeda, the Arab word commonly meaning “hole”
or “toilet,” hardly the choice of cutthroats. The term was a convenient Washington insider shorthand to designate
scattered, unrelated populations of Islamic bad guys, as Washington saw them, lurking in deserts and on mountain
redoubts or maybe even hiding in Western cities, ready to spring into action at a signal from El Shaitan, I mean, Osama
bin Laden. But the fact that al-Qaeda does not exist, as is the case so many times with facts, made no impression on
Americans, and especially not on their ever-vigilant press, and certainly had no influence on a lunatic policy called
the War on Terror.
Of course, the root cause of 9/11 and so many other acts of angry, frustrated, and powerless people is America’s embrace
of the seemingly never-ending injustice and brutality of Israel towards millions of Arabs. But Washington doesn’t deal
with hard realities; it is too busy always dealing with self-created fantasies like al-Qaeda. After all, it is the same
in its own society. Police brutality, corrupt elections, massive abuses of lobbyists, crying need for reform of a truly
sick democracy, massive urban poverty, poor public education, and a dark and overwhelming military-intelligence
influence are not topics of discussion in America’s government. No, American politicians’ ideas of domestic issues are
proposed flag-desecration amendments, The Star Spangled Banner being sung in Spanish, the role of drones in cities, supplying the nation’s police forces with surplus armored vehicles
and gear from all the nation’s wars, stopping the flow of poor refuges, especially children, from all the horrors
America has helped create in Central America and Mexico, maintaining the world’s largest prison population at minimum
cost, and paying less taxes.
Well, as al-Qaeda fades into the sunset, we are suddenly flooded with media noise about an even more bizarre
organization called ISIS (or ISIL) which honorable and honest Western leaders – try not laugh: Obama, Cameron, and
Hollande - insist is ready to attack us in city streets, sabotage power grids, and poison water supplies if we don’t
start bombing the crap out of them in Iraq and Syria. Some of America’s more bizarre congressmen are also blubbering
about an ISIS invasion from Mexico, calculatingly dragging in paranoid fears over the widely disliked situation on
America’s southern border concerning refugees. What’s that about Syria? Don’t all the chilling tales of ISIS come from
Iraq? Well, pretty much so, but ISIS is said to be very ambitious. Tales of its growth and spread resemble lines from
the script of a cheap 1950s science fiction film called The Blob. And besides, Syria is what the United States really cares about, now that Iraq drags itself around almost like a
veteran with three limbs nearly severed.
We have indisputable proof in the testimony from a certain former NSA employee, that ISIS is the creation of Mossad and
American intelligence. As with so many of America’s recent ghastly projects in the Middle East, financing comes from
Saudi Arabia, the Saudis having spent the last 13 years desperately repenting their (still undefined) role in events
around 9/11, even to the point of secretly embracing Israel in their regional plans and plots. The Saudis remain under
great pressure to cough up wads of cash whenever America now beckons with a new bone-headed project. All the creeps -
various collections of mindless fundamentalists, soldiers of fortune, just plain opportunists, and CIA thugs - working
to overthrow Assad’s government in Syria also receive their bounty, just as they receive weapons and refuge in Turkey.
ISIS first worked in Syria as just one of several rag-tag armies assembled by the United States and its helpers to
destroy a peaceful nation which has had the temerity to oppose some of American policy, especially with regard to
Israel. Again, to remind readers, the incident at Benghazi, Libya, involving the killing of an American ambassador and a
great deal of embarrassment for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was precisely about gathering up violent people and
arms in the wasteland created there and shipping them off to Turkey in order to create hell in Syria.
But ISIS is just too over-the-top even for opera buffa. Its creation served several dark aims. First, it serves as a
lure for malcontents from many places, many of its recruits being American or English, drawing them together at one
location. The leadership of ISIS, associated to a certainty with Israel and the United States, can gather information
from these recruits about their associates or organizations in various countries. Effectively, after doing any dirty
work assigned to them, the recruits are being set up to be killed, either by American air strikes or by the opponents
they face in their work. Few in ISIS would know who the “undercover cops” are and who the bad guys are to be used and
disposed of like so much toilet paper. The method reflects Israel’s secret services’ long, ugly use of Palestinians to
Second, ISIS served as a mechanism to topple Nouri al-Maliki, recently prime minister of Iraq, a figure with whom
Washington had become very unhappy, chiefly owing to his friendliness with Iran, yet another target of the
American/Israeli Axis. Maliki proved lucky compared to most leaders Washington sets up and with whom it becomes
disenchanted: they generally end up as the proverbial Mafia figures fitted with cement overshoes at the bottom of a
river. Maliki was given a good scare with the advancing blood-curdling hordes of ISIS and wisely understood it as his
cue to exit.
Third, ISIS has served as an excuse to work with the Kurdish population in Iraq, more or less separately from the
national government. This involves giving weapons and intelligence to Kurds and furthering their de facto separation
from Iraq, thus greatly weakening any future Iraq since the Kurdish areas have a great portion of the country’s crude
oil. After all, the most basic reason for America’s invasion of Iraq was to eliminate it as even a potential enemy of
Israel. There also have been some mysterious disappearances of Iraqi crude shipments, which may well have ended up in
Fourth, the ISIS move back into Syria provides the perfect excuse for American bombing there, something President Putin
of Russia managed to prevent earlier with some deft statesmanship. America has already warned President Assad, busy
fighting an engineered civil war created by the same folks who created ISIS, that they will attack his defences if he
interferes with their bombing his country. Incidentally, no one consulted the Syrian government on any of this, America
having already recognized the collection of rabble and criminals called the Free Syrian Army as legitimate.
American air power and perhaps ground troops, while using the excuse of fighting ISIS, will attempt to swing the
engineered civil war back in favor of the “rebels,” Assad’s national forces having had considerable success in defeating
them recently. The failure to achieve Assad’s overthrow is one of the more worrying developments in America’s bloody
scheme for a re-birth of the Middle East, a plan which seeks to surround Israel with a giant cordon sanitaire, albeit at
the cost of more than a million innocent lives. Never mind death or homelessness, such matters never are never concerns
of American policy except where there is an advantage to be gained. Look at their filthy work in Ukraine, Iraq,
Afghanistan, Libya, and Egypt.
It is of course remotely possible that ISIS, in attempting to set up “an Islamic state” comprising parts of both Iraq
and Syria, has gone rogue, out of the control of its handlers – that kind of event being called blowback in the dirty intelligence business – but I think likely it was always in the script. Most ISIS recruits are destined to
die after doing what their handlers told them to do, and along the way President Assad’s country is to be further
destroyed and if possible reduced to the kind of paraplegic-like nation Iraq has become.
ISIS started as no more than a couple of thousand guys in pick-up trucks with rifles and grenade launchers. It grew,
drawing bizarre recruits from many countries, as its reputation for ferocity was artificially played up by the western
press. There are after all always and everywhere a fair number of individuals drawn to violence and dangerous adventure.
You might call its wonderings in Iraq a gestation period for bigger things, the ultimate goal being an acceptable way to
help topple Assad while disposing of a collection of unwanted people. This all amounts to a giant-scale police
entrapment scheme, something our courts consistently strike down, but this is entrapment played for keeps on a scale of
thousands of lives.
The pick-up truck brigade proved enough to scare off group after group of well-armed units of the Iraqi army –
especially with bags of loot from the Saudis tossed into tents at night. Of course, gradually, ISIS did manage to
collect some vehicles and tanks left behind by Iraqi forces and present something more threatening. If you just think
about it, how would unprofessional recruits have the least idea of how to operate sophisticated weapons? Imagine
operating modern tanks or artillery without expert training? But ISIS has plenty of undercover experts to train them and
make them seem more formidable. The head of ISIS is a man, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was an American prisoner for a
time. He seems to know America’s greatest pug-ugly senator and roaming unofficial ambassador for killing, John McCain
(judging from a number of photos on the Internet showing them together), and he is, according to a number of sources,
actually a former Jewish actor named Elliot Shimon, trained by Mossad for a different kind of theater.
Now we’ve had a crescendo of beheadings supposedly captured live on video, only each of these is a patent fraud. Even
the mainstream press, the last to discover almost anything worth knowing these days, have now admitted the first one was
a fraud, although not before many columnists and commentators spewed great quantities of self-righteous outrage on the
subject. Not that the victims probably haven’t died somehow or other, but they were not beheaded by a mysterious
eight-foot British giant dressed in black and armed with a paring knife. Staged beheadings of course are intended to
revolt people and rouse support for Western governments to act. The real beheadings which occur regularly in Saudi
Arabia - there was a batch of 19 only recently - are never shown on American news, nor are they even discussed. But a
single video of a fake terrorist beheading is played and replayed and commented on endlessly with indignation over such
horror. And the hundreds of Palestinians, including children, whom Israel has beheaded with bombs and artillery never
make an appearance on television or rate any commentary.