Philip Giraldi, is a former military intelligence officer and CIA operative. Having worked closed to both army intelligence and special operations with the Central Intelligence Agency, gave Giraldi a special understanding of how wars are fought and why nations and their leaders do things, how they do they and why the carry them out.
According to Mr. Girardi, Turkey’s recent challenge of Russia is a clear example of a country that explicitly intends to derail the success gained by the Syrian government and Russia against the Islamic State.
He says it is a complicated situation, but that given the history of the Turkish regime, there is no way that a Turkish army general or colonel would have himself ordered the shoot down of the Russian Su-24 fighter jet. The attack on the plane “had to come from the top down; from the president himself,” said Giraldi.
“Knowing that, it had to be premeditated. It was something they were prepared to do.” The plan behind the shoot-down of the plane is much larger than the event itself. Giraldi says that the intention was, and still is, to stop the formation of an international coalition where Russia, the United States, France and Great Britain would be acting together.
When asked why Turkey would seek entanglements with Russia, Giraldi explained that Erdogan has no intention to defeat ISIS. He added that Turkey’s only foreign policy goal is to prevent the formation of a neighbor state called Kurdistan and that anything that the Turkish government does is aimed at preventing that from happening.
“The are fearful of a Kurdish state forming, taking Turkish, Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian territory.” Mr. Giraldi believes that Erdogan made a miscalculation. He believed that after attacking the Russian plane, NATO and the West in general, would come running to protect it from any kind of Russian aggression, but in practice, it was the opposite. The Turkish attack was met with skepticism and even rejection in many NATO member-nations.
On the issue of Turkish collaboration with terrorist organizations including the flow of weapons, oil and terrorists to and from Syria, Giraldi explained that Turkey does not really want to stop ISIS. In fact, he says, Turkey is using the refugees coming from Syria and other countries in the region as a leverage to press Europe to aid its plans. “Supplying weapons to ISIS and Al-Nusra is Turkish policy,” says Giraldi. “In return, they are able to get the oil from Syria and resell it.”
As I reported a few days ago, the Erdogan family is heavily involved in the commerce of stolen Syrian oil and consequently, is directly profiting from the conflict in Syria, Iraq and other civil wars in the region. “The Turks tend to see the conflict in very narrow terms, only in what related to their interests.”
Not surprisingly, Giraldi confirmed that ISIS is not a threat to Turkey. This has been evident as the country has not suffered any attacks perpetrated by the terrorist organization. The same has happened with Israel. Giraldi explains that the recent attacks in Turkey, which the government says were committed by ISIS were actually carried out by Turkish intelligence to disguise government plans to support ISIS and get ahead on its domestic agenda.
Establishing an Islamic State in Turkey
Publicly, Turkey says it is fighting ISIS along with the US, France, Britain and the rest of the Arab coalition, but in private the story is very different. Mr. Giraldi believes that Turkey is actually attempting to form a true Islamic State within its own borders.
The current Turkish government seeks to end the secular side of the Turkish State as we speak and Giraldi thinks Erdogan is behind that plan. “Erdogan is trying to destroy the traditional constitution of the Turkish nation and secular groups are deeply resentful of it.” Giraldi cites recent demonstrations all over Turkey as a sign that Erdogan will not be able to continue with his agenda for much longer.
Advancing the formation of a political Islamic State in Turkey is both a tool and a goal, according to Giraldi’s assessment. “It is definitely a goal, but it is also a tool,” because Erdogan has used the fact that most of the population is poorly educated and deeply religious to manipulate them and gain their support.
One of the most confusing situations on the current war in Syria and neighboring countries is the fact that multiple countries are said to be fighting ISIS while aiding ISIS. Right now, Russia, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah are fighting ISIS on Syrian territory with the expressed permission of the Assad government. Meanwhile, the Arab coalition, the US, Britain and France are also allegedly bombing ISIS, but without Assad’s permission.
As for the reason why Washington continues to support Turkey, despite its obvious support for ISIS, Giraldi says that the strongest reason is that the US needs permission from Turkey to use a military base to launch its attacks against Syria.
There are no moderates
One of the arguments given by Washington, especially neocons in Capitol Hill and current presidential candidates, to justify sending weapons and troops to Syria is that they are on a mission to train and arm moderate groups who oppose Assad. Despite abundant proof to the contrary, Washington continues to say that terrorist organizations such as Al-Nusra Front are part of those moderate groups. Recently, Saudi Arabia held a meeting with Assad’s enemies in Ryad, to which all kinds of terrorist organizations were invited. At the end of that meeting the Saudis announced the formation of a new coalition that will fight against ISIS. What the Saudis did not say is that the members of the so-called coalition are, in many cases, ISIS members themselves.
The notion that there are no moderate forces in Syria is also shared by Philip Giraldi. “The moderate of today, becomes the Al-Nusra of tomorrow,” says Giraldi, and these people are the ones that the Americans are arming and aiding to fight against the Syrian Army. “You have American weapons coming to various sources and ending up in the hands of the terrorist groups,” which the Americans call moderates. The so-called moderates are in true members of “Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda,” explains Giraldi.
Mr. Giraldi believes that the complex situation taking place in Syria is the result of awful miscalculation from the part of the United States. He says the Americans believed that putting pressure on Assad and ISIS would result in the desired outcome by Washington, – taking down Assad – in the same way it has in other conflicts that were instigated by the US, – Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan – but that his time it did not work quite as well.
Playing War and Politics
“It has become a swamp which becomes deeper and deeper.” Giraldi says that Obama has one policy right now and that is to prevent the Syrian conflict from blowing up into a more destructive conflict so that he can leave the White House without carrying that on his back. He wants to avoid such escalation so that another democrat can get elected to take over the US government in 2016.
Giraldi disqualified all current political candidates by saying that they don’t know how to execute foreign policy and that the American public is deeply ignorant about the topic as well. “They are saying what they think they have to say to get elected, but once they get into office everything changes.”
He provided a very recent example on changing policy once a candidate gets to the White House. “Obama was elected to a great extent as a peace candidate,” he remembers. Most people who voted for Obama did it because he preached peace during his political campaign, but after almost two terms in office, the sitting US president has been pretty much as bad as his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Most candidates are intelligent enough to know that what they say does not make any sense, yet the public believes it all. In addition to the continuous lying by politicians from both parties, one has to take into account the idea that in America, people hold the belief that their country is exceptional and that therefore they have an obligation to impose their viewpoint over everyone else. “It creates a toxic mix in the way America sees itself. American exclusiveness is a bad thing,” asserts Giraldi.
He added that the United States has been historically hypocritical in supporting regimes that are against its own interests, such as the Saudi monarchy, all the while saying that Washington’s only goal is to spread democracy worldwide. “America basically wants to be hegemonistic. It wants to be the dominant power in the world and it wants to set the standards for everyone else.”
How many coalitions are needed to defeat ISIS?
Right now, there are multiple groups in Syria and Iraq who allegedly intend to end the Islamic State, however, it is not clear how they are going to do that. Bombing ISIS targets alone does not seem to be the ultimate solution, especially when there is the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey providing training and weapons to the terrorists themselves.
In this sense, having multiple coalitions does not even seem to be a good starting point to defeat ISIS. According to Giraldi, the first step that must be taken is to isolate or contain ISIS to then reduce the physical territory it occupies. Of course, that containment must also have a financial part; that is, it is also necessary to financially starve ISIS and to stop providing it with new pick up trucks, advanced weaponry and strategic planning.
As for the ideological nature of the terror threat that ISIS presents to the world, Giraldi explained that since terrorism is and idea and a tactic, which means that terror attacks will never go away 100 percent. What players fighting terrorism can and must do is decrease the reach that terror organizations have so that they can no longer carry out attacks outside their neighborhoods. The success of this strategy depends upon many elements, one of them being the complete obstruction of aid to groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra. It is the continuous circulation of military and financial aid, both directly and indirectly, which has spurred terrorism as we know it.
Ironically, the United States government is the single nation that profits the most from the sale of weaponry to its alleged allies in the region and also the illegal arming of guerrilla groups all over the Middle East, Asia, Northern Africa and Latin America. In that sense, is is clear that America not only wants to derail any kind of move to end terrorism but also wants to use terrorism as a tool to carry out its plan to continue dominating the world.