Did media help ISIS
John Kerry's admission: "USA supported ISIS in Syria, Russia fought on terror"
The USA watched the rise of ISIS in Syria and hoped to be able to control the development: Last fall, the US Secretary of State Kerry met with anti-Asad activists at the UN headquarters for a private conversation. The meeting was secretly recorded. Media like the New York Times only gave a distorted impression of what had been said, there was no scandal. The author of this article advises you to listen to the entire recording, as the conversation is very informative for assessing the role of the USA in the emergence of ISIS and Russia's intervention in the conflict is assessed very differently than in the official rhetoric. It went like this:
The Syrians present complained that we were not helping enough. Kerry and his staff said we and the Saudis, Qatar and Turkey had given huge amounts of aid to the rebels; the rebels, for their part, are unfortunately somehow allied with extremists. "Nusra makes it difficult for us," said Kerry, referring to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida's offshoot in Syria. "Nusra and Daesh [ISIS] make it difficult for both of us because there are these extreme elements and unfortunately some sections of the opposition have chosen to work with them."
The rise of the extremists led to the intervention of Russia. Kerry said (at minute 26) that at the time Daesh or ISIS was gaining strength, the US was watching and believing we could keep the ISIS situation “under control” because they could force Asad to negotiate but stepped instead Putin on the scene. Kerry: “The reason the Russians intervened was because ISIS was gaining ground; Daesh threatened to advance to Damascus, etc. And that is why Russia intervened. Because they didn't want a Daesh government and supported Asad. And we knew it was emerging. We saw that. We saw Daesh grow stronger and we thought that this would threaten Asad. However, we assumed that we would probably be able to control this and that Asad would then be ready to negotiate. But instead of negotiating, he got support from Putin. "
Syrian activists wanted more US support, but Kerry and one of his advisors said more military aid was problematic. "We are currently sending an extraordinarily large amount of weapons to Syria," said the Foreign Minister. His adviser added that guns are a double-edged sword because “if you send more and more guns to places like Syria, it won't end well for Syria. Because there will always be someone who is ready to deliver weapons to the other side. "
Kerry went into even more detail: “The problem is that more and more players get involved and the stakes skyrocket. Russia is more pure, Iran is more pure; Hezbollah is more present, as is Nusra; and Saudi Arabia and Turkey are pumping money to their proxies - and you will all be destroyed. "
Kerry said the US wanted a "political process" to replace the fighting: elections that would allow millions of Syrian refugees in other countries to vote - so that it would ensure Asad would lose. The Syrians present refused. One insisted that Asad must be overthrown by an invasion because Syrians abroad feared for their relatives in the country. Kerry said a US ground offensive would not be supported by the US public because of the thousands of deaths from our other wars. Kerry said he was one of those in the US administration who advocated greater engagement, but failed to get his way. He was as frustrated as she was: "It's difficult because Congress won't approve a military operation."
So the conversation was mostly about that frustration, but in that context, Kerry said some illuminating things. Like the Wikileaks revelation 1 that the US State Department and Hillary Clinton knew that our allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar "secretly supported ISIS financially and logistically" in its 2014 advance in Iraq and Syria, confirm Kerry's remarks and those of Representatives of the US State Department on the anti-interventionist view of the US role in Syria: We and our Arab allies have supplied weapons. This has escalated the violence. The good rebels have "somehow" worked with extremists who have received direct financial support from our Arab allies. We thought the strengthening of ISIS would prove to be a useful leverage against Asad, but Putin intervened not because Russia wanted to bomb civilians, but because of the strengthening of ISIS. So while arming the rebels and our shrewd hopes of controlling the rise of ISIS have put pressure on Asad, most of all they have led to more violence. Aside from the fact that we had no right to intervene, this sounds like a list of reasons why the US shouldn't have intervened.
How was this presented in the New York Times report of September 30, 2016 mentioned above? According to Anne Barnard, it was about the failure of the US to fail to carry out the beneficial military operation: “Foreign Secretary Kerry was visibly angry about this, not least about his own administration. According to an audio recording of the meeting available to the New York Times, he complained over and over to a small group of Syrian civilians that his diplomatic efforts had not been supported by serious threats of military intervention. "
In all fairness, it must be said that Barnard focused on what would have been most important to the participants in the conversation - Kerry's presentation of US good intentions and the position of those looking to use US military strength to bring about a brutal regime overthrow that is not allied with us.
"So you think the only solution is for someone to intervene and topple Asad?" Asked Mr. Kerry.
"Yes," said Ms. [Marcell] Shehwaro.
"Who is that supposed to be?" He asked. "Who is going to do that?"
“Three years ago I would have said: you. But now I don't know. "
However, it was emphasized that those present believed that the US had not done enough. The geopolitical context contained in the audio recording simply did not appear in the report. There is no doubt that Asad and the Russians were responsible for many atrocities, but anyone who heard the recording should have been able to see that Kerry inadvertently provided a devastating assessment of potential US intervention in Syria.
Commenting on the US arms shipments, Barnard said, "He also said that further US efforts to arm or intervene in rebels could backfire."
But what about the weapons that have already been delivered? "Right now we are sending an extraordinarily large amount of arms," Kerry said, which the Times did not quote. Was there anything in Kerry's logic that suggested our arms shipments did no damage in the past, but future shipments did? Rather, does this argument point to the painful realization that some of the hundreds of thousands who died in Syria died because we and our allies kept fueling the war?
CNN chose a tenor similar to the New York Times: “Kerry also expressed sympathy for the Syrians' demand that the US should step up its intervention in the face of the Syrian and Russian air strikes on civilians; he told the group that he had not been able to prevail with his argument for a military operation against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad. "
It would be difficult to find an example of when activists passionate about US intervention or the crimes of our allies would have had a private conversation with a US Secretary of State. How many Palestinians or victims in Yemen, let alone Syrians who are hostile to the rebels, have ever had the opportunity to meet like this? There is no need to worry about biased media coverage of such meetings as they never seem to take place anyway. So Kerry can continue to talk about our respect for international law and draw a clear dividing line between us and the Russians - he can be sure that the people in Yemen will not contradict him because 1,000 children die there every week, 2 and mainly because of our Saudi allies and with our support. And Kerry is unlikely to speak to Gaza either, despite describing the 2014 Israeli bombing of Gaza in a statement recorded by an unexpectedly open microphone3 as a "damn precise operation".
Wikileaks tweeted last week about the reveal of the recording [of the conversation with the Syrian activists], raising the public eye on the matter. The sound recording has received attention on right-wing blogs calling Obama a traitor for supporting ISIS. This exaggerates the content of the recording. So far, there have been only sporadic reactions on the left. Joe Lauria recently summed up the conversation on Common Dreams 4:
"Foreign Secretary John Kerry said that instead of seriously fighting IS in Syria, the US was ready to use the rise of the jihadists as leverage against Asad in order to force him to resign ..."
The left-wing libertarian website [Activist Post] also captured the main point: "Uncovered footage shows John Kerry's admission: US supported ISIS in Syria, Russia fought terrorism."
Mark Ames6 [commented] “Why isn't this Kerry recording a massive scandal? The cynicism is breathtaking. "
And even NBC’s Bill Neely7 captured the disturbing content of the recording: “Why #Russia intervened in #Syria, by John Kerry. And why the USA watched #ISIS grow stronger & wanted to take advantage of it. "
It is amazing. One would think that the mainstream media would suppress the really interesting passages that contradict the usual presentation - in which we are undoubtedly the good, if a little incompetent, guys and the Russians are the pure evil. But why has the subject not received more attention on the left? You won't find a better argument against our intervention in Syria than Kerry's in this shot.
The New York Times8 came into possession of these secretly recorded recordings in September  and reported on them; also CNN.9
8 The recording is available here: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/watched-manage-leaked/#sthash.5fT05AdF.dpuf
9 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/30/world/middleeast/john-kerry-syria-audio.html?_r=1; http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/01/politics/kerry-audio-recording-syria/
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