Talk about a tectonic shift in the world of public relations. We are all used to big corporations and business figures as well as celebrities highering PR firms to manage their image and branding to the public, especially in times of crises. It clearly looks like public relations have now been applied to the world of terrorism.
In a world where we have so many terrorists with each group having their own base of supporters, which itself can be broken down into:
hardcore, sympathizers and soft supporters – that drift from one view to another based on what’s happening in the world each day that relates to each one’s self concept of right & wrong.
Every terrorists group that can afford to buy thousands of weapons or other military spec equipment for their fighters always has a wealthy and globally connected funder – be it a foreign state, political NGOs, local or foreign wealthy individuals.
One might think that it must be ruthless dictators that are supporting these types of groups. Believe it or not, nearly half or more of these terrorists are either supported directly or indirectly by the US or British government-sponsored initiatives to influence their corporate-led military policies in various regions. If International Law did not allow them to sell deadly weapons to terrorist groups directly, they would easily sell these weapons to their allies such as Saudi Arabia and others, knowing very well that the end user of these weapons will be some terrorists in one of the many countries in the Middle East. With all these money flowing from one country to another to avoid violating international sanctions, we can imagine the amount of money that flows
If International Law did not allow them to sell deadly weapons to terrorist groups directly, they would easily sell these weapons to their allies such as Saudi Arabia and others, knowing very well that the end user of these weapons will be some terrorists in one of the many war torn countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
With all these money flowing from one country to another just to avoid violating international sanctions, we can imagine the amount of currency that flows into it. Basically, this is done with the support and backing of the establishment politicians in the US (including Democrats & Republicans) are all a part of it. While in the UK, the British Labour Party politicians knows as Blairites and their counterparts the Conservative Party are all part of this corrupt swamp that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders talks so much about.
So again with all these connections, power and wealth behind these terrorist groups fighting as proxies for their funders, it is no wonder they would one day move to the area of public relations. Especially in a time where online propaganda is thriving like it had never before.
Every group who was fighting against Assad, even if they did not like each other from the begining, they all had help from third parties in creating online propaganda against the Assad government, portraying the Syrian dictator as someone worse than Hitler if ever possible. One thing they did manage to do is convince thousands of young frustrated Muslims from around the world that it is their obligation to fight in this sectarian war, even more so than the long standing conflict that the Muslim and Arab world has had with Israel. Hence their online propaganda had managed to use religious scholars from mainly Arab countries or Arabic speaking backgrounds to successfully create their terrorist recruitment propaganda.
Do you know of this group called Al-Nusra Front? They were the first ISIS style terrorist group in Syria. Nusra Front went around killing anyone that disagreed with their type of strict conservative Islam. Their targets were Christians and Muslims alike that did not agree to follow their strict form of Shariah Law.
It is very well known in the political and security circles that Nusra Front is sponsored by Saudi Arabia. When Nusra Front started, every Sunni Muslim that had the sectarian racism in their hearts against the Shia Muslims flooded to join this group because they openly called to fight against Iran, their Shia Muslim neighbors who are also the arch enemy of the Saudi Monarchy.
Eventually, Nusra Front and other Syrian opposition groups supported by their neighbouring Sunni government states, had strategised to shift the support that Iran had gained over the decade before this in the Muslim world – the support Iran received with their public stance against Israel, who is every Muslim’s number one enemy. This support that Shia-Muslim majority Iran gained in the Muslim world, including much of the Sunni Muslim communities in Asia and Africa was hated and despised by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is the second closest ally of the US and UK establishment next to Israel. Both countries have sucked the money of US and British tax payers money dry. The majority of the 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, but guess what, Bush wanted to attack Afghanistan instead since Bush had excellent side business relations with the Saudi Monarchy. When it comes to Israel, the US is giving over $3 Billion of US Tax Payers money free to protect Israel, a country that by law puts Judaism before Christianity and other religious followers. That’s over $9 Million tax payers dollars a day. When Donald Trump came to power, many would have hoped that he took the same stance against Israel as he did with the Muslims. However, due to the immense control that the Israel-backed Washington-based political lobbies have over the Republican Party’s establishment politicians, even Donald Trump is not able to stop giving US tax payers money to Israel for free, as it has been done by Bush and Obama administration.
Going back to the Syrian civil war – With all these political and strategic policies being played out, one thing that terrorist groups did not foresee was the role of Russia. Many, including Saudi Arabia, US, UK and some EU nations tried to force Russia into a corner for its support of the Assad government in Syria.
As I had predicted from the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Russia will come in when the time is right and they will use the legal road since they are strong allies with the Syrian government. This is similar to the method which Saudi Arabia’s military used to legally be invited by Bahrain monarchy to squash peaceful democracy protesters during the Arab Spring. Hence the Syrian government invited their long-term military ally, the Russians. The Syrian government sent a formal request to the Russian government to help them fight the armed terrorist rebellion which they had always claimed to be filled with Islamic terrorists sponsored by Saudi Arabia.
Of course, the Russians could not go into Syria from the beginning. Especially when during the first year of the war, all of the Western and Sunni Arab media were sending out propaganda claiming that groups like Nusra Front were all peaceful rebels. Politicians like John McCain from the Republican Party visited these terrorists while they were being trained under the US-sponsored Free Syrian Army initiative to overthrow the Syrian regime. Eventually, all these US military trained Syrian rebels went to join Nusra Front and ISIS. I am sure these terrorist groups are very grateful for John McCain and other US politicians for the hundreds of millions of US Tax payers money that was spent in training them and arming them. It sounds very similar to how the US establishment has been fighting drugs all these decades. A planned disaster there, just as a planned disaster in the Middle East just to profit the elite in Washington.
I am also sure that these terrorist groups are very thankful for John McCain and other US politicians for the hundreds of millions of US Tax payers money that was spent in training them and arming them. They could not have succeeded in so much of butchery of human beings without this significant help which Obama and Hillary supported them with.
So what do these terrorists do later to thank the US government? Well does not take a genius to figure it out. ISIS who had now grown even stronger due to defections of fighters from other US-trained groups were now sending weapons and terrorists to strike Europe, US and Muslim countries that did not support their strict form of Islam.
This false notion that existed of the Free Syrian Army and other groups being moderate Sunni Muslims were now being exposed by independent news medias like RT. With these few independent media leading the way to countering terrorist propaganda, it opened up the chance for Russia to slowly get more involved in compliance to international law. Hence later taking an active role in defeating not only Nusra Front, but also driving ISIS from Aleppo – something Saudi Arabia and the US worked very hard to block through the UN and other venues. Everyone claimed Russia and the Syrian military could not defeat ISIS, just as the Bush and the Obama Administration has not been able to defeat terrorism in Iraq, Lybia and other places for over a decade now. However, Russia proved its critics wrong eventhough western media failed to report on the success of Russia in its capture of Aleppo in Syria.
Within the time frame of this sectarian war in Syria, the terrorist group Nusra Front was exposed to be from the same terrorist ideology as ISIS. Nusra Front’s support in the Muslim world was fading away, even amongst those traveling to Syria to join this war.
Al Nusra Front Vs ISIS.
One might ask what is the difference between Nusra Front and ISIS? Well ISIS got so much more popular and was able to get much more money from rich individuals connected to the Saudi and other Gulf country monarchies and business individuals. They were able to completely go independent from their previous funders once they got control of some of oil-rich regions in Iraq and Syria. Hence countries like Saudi Arabia that fed them before were now getting their hands bitten from one of their most successful terrorist groups they created.
When ISIS went rogue, these Arab Gulf countries had many smaller groups left under their control still. From these groups, the biggest was Al Nusra Front. However, there was a big problem! Nusra Front is now known to have committed similar war crimes as ISIS has and this did not help in their recruiting and brainwashing campaigns online. They understood that Muslims today are even questioning the fatwas and religious calls given by Muslim scholars in support of terrorist groups in Syria. 99% of today’s 1.4 Billion Muslims have a more independent mind than in the 1990s. It was now common in Asia, the West and some African countries to openly question Islamic scholars who call for violence. In the old days, it was hard to do this because of the blanket authority religious scholars had given to themselves by discouraging Muslims from going against their scholars, even if their scholars might be doing wrong. It was very similar to the old Christian Church teachings where it is best to not question the Church and if you question the church, it can be sometimes counted as pretty close to blasphemy.
With all the public relations problems being faced by Nusra Front, the first plan by the US establishment and its Arab Gulf allies was to try and minimize the damage caused to the public image of Nusra Front as a group. Al Jazeera even sent a memo to their jounalist to not refer Nusra Front as a terrorist group in their reporting. Instead use the words rebels to associate with Nusra Front. This and many other tactics were tried by everyone who hated the Syrian government. This was done in order to try and give some type of legal credit to Nusra Front. In fact, it was a desperate move by Obama and his Middle East allies.
When all this failed, on July 28, Jabhat al-Nusra announced it was severing all ties with its parent organization, al-Qaeda, and changing its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. Whatever they could claim and state were done, but the people in the terrorist group all remained the same, their funders and their policies all remained the same.
The best part of this was that, unlike all these other countries that were a part of this global corrupt establishment, Russia was not going to give an atom of importance to any terrorist group in Syria. Russia was there to do a job, to kill off and defeat all forms of terrorists in Syria, especially those that were supported by Saudi Arabia which started this sectarian-led war for their own long-term strategy for the region. Russia’s Putin did not care if Nusra wanted to rename itself to Gandhi or Mother Theresa. Putin knew the true face of terrorism and he was not there to play soft diplomacy. He was there to rid the world of these extremist forces and give a clear message that Russia cannot be bought by this global wealthy establishment.
If Putin and Russia joined forces, we can imagine the success it will have against sponsors of terrorism in the Middle East. No public relations name changes or other tactics can fool the Russians, or deter them from their objectives. However, we are yet to see if Trump can seriously get the backing he needs to independently make decisions to fight terrorism. Especially when Iran is an important ally of Russia in fighting terrorism in the Middle East. While Russia helped in air-strikes, it was Iranian forces joined with the Syrian military as well as Hezbollah from Lebanon that were fighting ISIS, Nusra Front and hundreds of other terrorist groups on the ground every day. This will be a problem for Trump since his Republican Party politicians are very anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah. Why? Simply because Iran and Hezbollah are enemies of Israel for a long time now. Will Trump be able to ignore the powerful pro-Israel politicians in Congress and Washington DC? Will he really be able to tell Israel to hold on because US needs to work with Russia who is working with Iran and Hezbollah to fight ISIS that is sending fighters to bomb cities across US and Europe. Will Trump be able to tell Israel that America’s interest comes first? As it has shown in the past, Israel will take its own interest before the safety of US citizens. It will be an interesting area to watch and see how Trump maneuvers this.