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Rob Slane: Putin targets Western trained jihadists. No wonder we are so cross


The United States and its allies suffered what is known as an Emperor’s New Clothes moment last week. After two decades of tearing up the notion of national sovereignty in their efforts to impose their will upon the world, it took a simple question from the Russian President at the United Nations General Assembly to reveal the nakedness of their utopian ideology: “Do you realise now what you have done?”

What exactly have they done? From Yugoslavia in the 1990s through to Syria today, they have invaded, bombed, arm-twisted, financed proxies and backed coups in order to impose their own ideology in the post-Cold War space. Many of these revolutions, wars and proxy insurgencies have been supported by people who on many other issues would describe themselves as conservative. The line-up of Republican candidates in the US, many of whom are socially conservative on a number of issues, illustrates this clearly. But make no mistake, there is nothing conservative whatsoever about the aims and actions of those who have run US foreign policy for the past two decades or so. Whether neo-cons or liberal interventionists, with their obvious contempt for the idea of national sovereignty, and with their promotion of globalism, revolution and perpetual chaos, they are in reality not neo-“conservatives” but neo-Trotskyists.

Yet having fomented and brought about regime change in country after country, they are finally being called to account. Well sort of. Emperor’s New Clothes moments are meant to end with the Emperor slinking back to his palace, chased back by howls of derision, too ashamed to show his face again for a very long time. But if the Emperor has the likes of CNN, Fox News and the BBC supporting him, he not only stands his ground, but ramps up the propaganda dial even further, so that soon the crowd are convinced not only that the Emperor is actually fully clothed, but that the kid who exposed his nakedness is in fact the one wearing nothing.

And so it is that Washington and its global media lackeys, having been exposed, have spent the last week or so making up all sorts of absurd and baseless claims about the Russian military action in Syria. The first was a claim of the deaths of 33 civilians, including children, which appeared literally within minutes of the first airstrikes. Too quick in fact. It actually turned out not to be utterly without foundation, and the original tweet put out by the White Helmets organisation, apparently showing a picture of a man carrying a dead child out of rubble after Russian airstrikes, was exposed as having been taken several days prior to the Russian action. No apology from the Western media who rushed to print the unsubstantiated claims in the first place.

The wider claim of the Russians going after civilians is nothing short of outrageous. Firstly, it is simply not true, but secondly such a claim cooked up by media outlets that have, by and large, explained the huge number of civilian deaths arising from our recent Middle Eastern adventures as “collateral damage” and who don’t appear to have heard of Yemen makes it all sound really rather risible.

What of the claim that Russia is targeting “moderate rebels” rather than Isis? This claim has been repeated ad nauseum by Western media and high ranking politicians. The first thing it should do is to give rise to the following question: If the US and its allies are apparently so clear about which targets Russian planes have and haven’t been hitting, presumably they must have the sophisticated military intelligence to know where the “right” targets actually are. In which case, what exactly have they been doing out there for the last year?

Violating the sovereignty of another nation is one answer that could be given, and I wouldn’t mind so much if they simply came out and said they don’t actually give a stuff about national sovereignty. At least they wouldn’t be adding hypocrisy to the list of sins. But of course they don’t do this at all. Quite the opposite. Instead the Emperor without the clothes and his allies repeatedly play the sovereignty,rules and international order card like they really believe in it.

But the other part of the answer to the question of what they’ve been doing over the past year is “not much, save making some holes in the desert”. They tell us they’ve been tackling Isis, yet Isis has grown bigger. And now a week into the Russian action – and remember they’re apparently not even going after Isis – and lo and behold Isis are already retreating. How strange. What is the explanation for this? Given the military and intelligence capabilities that the US possesses, there can only be one. The truth is that the US and its allies never had any intention whatsoever of dealing with Isis, since Isis are a convenient proxy army for their real purpose, which is the toppling of the Syrian Government.

There is another aspect to the claim that the Russians have been targeting “moderate” Syrian rebels which ought not to pass us by. Less than a month ago, General Lloyd Austin, Commander of US Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that so far, the US had trained four or five “moderate” Syrian rebels to take on Isis. You heard that right. Not four or five thousand. Not even four or five hundred. No, just four or five. Fewer than ten in other words. But as soon as the Russians started their action, apparently the place was swarming with them. These four or five spread themselves pretty thinly!

Actually, what they are really referring to is not the overt Pentagon scheme to train “moderate” rebels, which has a budget of $500 million, but the covert CIA programme that has existed since at least 2012. What you actually have is two separate programmes, the official one, which apparently exists to fight Isis and so far seems to have cost $100 million per “moderate” rebel (not a very “moderate” cost), and the unofficial one, which has trained thousands more “moderate” rebels, not to fight Isis, but rather to fight al-Assad.

However, regardless of which programme they belong to – the official or the unofficial one – it is well known that many of these fighters have simply defected to Isis (hence the reason – at least in part – why Isis have been seen with US weaponry), or to groups like the al-Nusra Front (or al-Qaeda in Syria as they are also known). In other words, the “moderate” rebels that the US has trained and armed are to be found within groups like al-Nusra (and if you think that al-Nusra are moderate, go to Google images and play spot the difference with them and Isis).

Just about the only truth that the West is telling in the current propaganda war is that Russia is not just targeting Isis. No they are not. They are also going after other groups like al-Nusra, which just happen to be stuffed with CIA trained jihadists. Our jihadists, in other words.

So when the naked Emperor said in his address last week that “we have demonstrated over more than a decade of relentless pursuit of al-Qaeda, we will not be outlasted by extremists”, it is for him and the media outlets that peddle this stuff to explain how it is that days later, we are now meant to be lamenting the fact that the Russians have apparently been targeting not just Isis, but also the likes of al-Nusra, aka al-Qaeda in Syria.

I anticipate the usual objections. Do you support al-Assad? This is the usual black hats / white hats mentality, which in this case is entirely inappropriate. No I don’t like al-Assad, but the terrifying truth is that if he falls, we will witness a bloodbath and a migration crisis to dwarf what we have so far seen, as the Islamic State controls the whole of Syria. The real story in this is not what you think of him or of Vladimir Putin for that matter, but rather that in their support for what they laughably call “moderate” rebels – aka Our Jihadists – Western governments and the media are encouraging the worst scenario possible.

That is the damnable truth of where Western governments have led us. The outcry over Russia’s actions is as phony as it is despicable. It is simply a cover up for the real truth, which is that unlike the US coalition, which is not only acting illegally but which has no intention of defeating Isis since it plays a part in the real goal of toppling al-Assad, Russia is not only acting entirely legally, but is actually deadly serious about destroying Isis along with all the other jihadist groups in Syria too, many of whom have been armed and trained by the West. The fury from the likes of Obama and Cameron has nothing to do with what they keep calling “moderate” rebels, but purely because they see their plans being destroyed, and can only watch helplessly as those pesky Ruskies destroy not only Isis, but Our Jihadists too.


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Rob Slane
Rob Slane
Rob is married to Alina, and they live with their six children in Salisbury. He blogs regularly at

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