FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In the Fight Against ISIS, Russia Ain’t Taking No Prisoners

by

The so-called Islamic State should have learned by now: they’ve picked a fight against the wrong guys. We have entered “take no prisoners” territory. For Russia, now all the gloves are off.

Especially after online terrorist magazine Dabiq published a photo of the alleged bomb that downed the Metrojet: a crude device inside a can of Schweppes Gold, placed under a passenger seat. Also published were photos of passports of Russian victims, allegedly taken “by the mujahedeen.”

Their collective fate was sealed the minute the Director of the Federal Security Service Aleksandr Bortnikov told President Putin, about the Metrojet crash on October 31 in Egypt that: “We can say with confidence that this was a terrorist act.”

Caliphate goons may run – in the deserts of ‘Syraq’ and beyond – but they can’t hide, as per Russia’s presidential message: “We will search for them everywhere – wherever they are hiding. We will find them in any spot on the planet and we will punish them.” The message comes with extra enticement; the $50 million bounty offered by the FSB for any information leading to the perpetrators of the Sinai tragedy.

Putin’s message instantly turned heavy metal in the form of a massive, impressive Russian barrage over 140 Caliphate targets, delivered via 34 air-launched cutting-edge cruise missiles and furious action by Tu-160, Tu-22, and the Tu-95MC‘Bear’ strategic bombers. This was the first time the Russian long-range strategic bomber force has been deployed since the 1980s Afghan jihad.

And there’s more coming – to be stationed in Syria; an extra deployment of 25 strategic bombers, eight Su-34 ‘Fullback’attack aircraft, and four Su-27 ‘Flanker’ fighter jets.

The tanker truck riddle

At the G-20 in Antalya, Putin had already, spectacularly, unveiled who contributes to Daesh’s financing – complete with“examples based on our data on the financing of different [Daesh] units by private individuals.”

The bombshell: Daesh’s cash, “as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them.” It doesn’t take a Caltech genius to figure out which members. They’d better take the “you can run but you can’t hide” message seriously.

Additionally, Putin debunked – graphically – to the whole G20 the myth of a Washington seriously engaged on the fight against Daesh: “I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil.” He was referring to Daesh’s oil smuggling tanker truck fleet, which numbers over 1,000.

Apparently acting on Russian satellite intelligence, the Pentagon then miraculously managed to find tanker truck convoys stretching “beyond the horizon,” smuggling out stolen Syrian oil. And duly bombed 116 trucks. For the first time. And this in over a year that the ‘Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists’ (CDO) is theoretically fighting Daesh. The only such bombing that happened before was by the Iraqi Air Force.

The US “strategy”, which Obama recently turbocharged, is to bomb (aging) Syrian oil infrastructure currently expropriated and exploited by Daesh. Technically, this is the property of Damascus, and thus belongs to “the Syrian people.”

And yet Washington seemed so far to be more focused on other “people” who could make a bundle rebuilding the devastated infrastructure, disaster capitalism-style, in case “Assad must go” works.

Russia once again went straight to the point. Bomb the transportation network – the oil truck convoys – not the oil infrastructure. That will eventually drive oil smugglers out of business.

The key reason the Obama administration had not thought about this before is Turkey. Washington needs NATO member Ankara for the use of the Incirlik air base. And then there’s the sensitive subject of who profits from Daesh’s oil smuggling.

Turkish Socialist party member Gursel Tekin has established that Daesh’s smuggled oil is exported to Turkey by BMZ, a shipping company controlled by none other than Bilal Erdogan, son of “Sultan” Erdogan. At a minimum, this violates UN Security Council resolution 2170. Under the light of Putin’s message of going after anyone or any entity engaged in facilitating Daesh’s operations, Erdogan’s clan better come up with some really good excuses.

That jihadi boot camp

Putin’s vow to go after anyone or any entity that facilitates/collaborates with Daesh should logically imply a trip back to‘Shock and Awe 2003’: the bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq that created the conditions for the establishment of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, “directed” by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi up to 2006.

The next significant step was Camp Bucca, near Umm Qasr in southern Iraq; a mini-Guantanamo where at least nine members of the future metastasis of al-Qaeda – Islamic State (IS) – was spawned.

ISIS/ISIL/Daesh was born in an American prison. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a.k.a. Caliph Ibrahim did time there, as well as Daesh’s previous number two, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, and most of all Daesh’s conceptualizer: Haji Bakr, a former colonel in Saddam Hussein’s Air Force.

Hardcore Salafi-jihadist meet former Ba’athist notables and find a common purpose; an offer the Pentagon could not refuse and in fact – willfully – let prosper. GWOT (the Global War on Terror), after all, is a Cheney-Rumsfeld-coined“Endless War”.

The US neocon regime change obsession ended up bolstering Daesh’s reach in Syria.

The whole process exhibits multiple ramifications of imperial folly, past and future, that can be identified like splinters from a suicide bomb; from CIA-trained/weaponized, Wahhabi-drenched mujahedeen (“Reagan’s freedom fighters”) metastasizing into ‘Al-CIAada’, to Hillary Clinton admitting Saudi Arabia is a top source of terrorist financing.

Paris 2015 – as well as Sinai 2015 – essentially is a side effect of Baghdad 2003. Putin knows it. For now, the task is to smash those mongrel imperial offspring once and for all.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  His latest book is Empire of ChaosHe may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail