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Blowback at the Holy Triumvirate


“France no longer recognizes its children,” lamented Guillaume Roquette in an editorial in the Figaro weekly magazine in Paris. “How can the country of Victor Hugo, secularism and family reunions produce jihadists capable of attacking a kosher grocery store?”

I ask: How can the country of Henry David Thoreau, separation of church and state, and family Thanksgiving dinners produce American super-nationalists capable of firing missiles into Muslim family reunions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia?

Does America recognize its children? Indeed, it honors them. Constantly.

A French state prosecutor stated that “A network of French Islamists behind a grenade attack on a kosher market outside Paris last month also planned to join jihadists fighting in Syria.”

We can add these worthies to the many other jihadists coming from all over to fight in Syria for regime change, waving al-Qaeda flags (“There is no god but God”), carrying out suicide attacks, exploding car bombs, and singling out Christians for extermination (for not supporting the overthrow of the secular Syrian government.) These folks are not the first ones you would think of as allies in a struggle for the proverbial freedom and democracy. Yet America’s children are on the same side, with the same goal of overthrowing Syrian president Bashir Assad.

So how do America’s leaders explain and justify this?

“Not everybody who’s participating on the ground in fighting Assad are people who we are comfortable with,” President Obama sad in an interview in December. “There are some who, I think, have adopted an extremist agenda, an anti-U.S. agenda, and we are going to make clear to distinguish between those elements.”  

In an earlier speech, Secretary of State Clinton acknowledged the scope of the threat from such movements. “A year of democratic transition was never going to drain away reservoirs of radicalism built up through decades of dictatorship,” she said. “As we’ve learned from the beginning, there are extremists who seek to exploit periods of instability and hijack these democratic transitions.”  

“Extremist” … “radicalism” … No mention of “terrorists” (which is what Assad calls them). No mention of “jihadists” or foreign mercenaries. Or that they were preparing their movement to overthrow the Syrian government well before any government suppression of peaceful protestors in March of 2011, which the Western media consistently cites as the cause of the civil war. As far back as 2007, Seymour Hersh was writing in The New Yorker:

The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Nor any explanation of what it says about the mission of the Holy Triumvirate (the United States, NATO and the European Union) that they have been supplying these jihadist rebels with funds, arms and training; with intelligence and communication equipment; with diplomatic recognition(!); later we’ll probably find out about even more serious stuff. But President Obama is simply “uncomfortable” with them, because Assad, like Gaddafi of Libya, is a non-Triumvirate Believer, while the Jihadists are the proverbial “enemy of my enemy”.

How long before they turn their guns and explosives upon Americans, as they did in Libya?

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War IIRogue State: a guide to the World’s Only Super Power and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir. He can be reached at:


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