Attack Syria

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 2 months ago

Thanks to Politics Central (Pajamas Media), we learn that Iraqi insurgents have successfully launched a 24-hour propaganda television station, located in Syria, and with the help of Egypt.

Broadcasting from a secret location in Syria, Al-Qaeda and its allies now have their own 24-hour television station, Pajamas Media has learned. Known as Al-Zawraa, Arabic for “first channel,? the station broadcasts enemy propaganda and rebroadcasts of Western anti-war material, including Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. It is not connected with Al-Jazeera.

Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, is delighted by al-Zawraa. A U.S. military intelligence officer told Pajamas Media that the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Masri, “has long-term and big plans for this thing.? Previous attempts by al-Qaeda to set up media propaganda outlets have been limited to satellite radio and the Internet. Al-Zawraa, however, is seemingly well financed and striving for a broader appeal.

From that secret studio somewhere in Syria, al-Zawraa TV’s signal extends to the entire Arab world thanks to a satellite owned by Egypt, Pajamas Media has learned.

It is apparently primarily aimed at the youth to attempt to persuade them to join the jihad against the Iraqi government and the U.S. forces, and thus it will serve in the future to be a tool of recruitment for the forces of terror.

I would like to join Blackfive in calling for a strike on Syria.  The strikes would likely be led and planned by the Air Force, with assistance from the Navy air assets.  For some time now, U.S. air assets have been out of commission regarding the GWOT.  Sure, the coalition forces can count on a JDAM to be dropped exactly where they target and when they request it, making for safer, more standoff warfare against the enemy in Iraq.  But this kind of power is infrequently used against an insurgency compared to the pyrotechnics of which we are capable.

So we can turn this one over to the flyboys.  However, they will need help from Air Force special forces operators, and more particularly from all of the intelligence assets we have, both in-region and out.  It might be embarrassing to launch munitions at irrelevant targets, only to give the jihadist television something else to preen about when we miss.  This would amount to a moral victory for the enemy.

No, the target must be verified, and then independently verified, and then verified again.  This will require human intelligence, the very thing that the Clinton administration allowed to decompose.  But however hard it may be, this action by Syria cannot go unchallenged.  The planning should be given maximum latitude to remove and disable whatever Syrian military infrastructure and assets that the planners feel is necessary to ensure mission success.

The pitiful Baker commission has recommended talks with Iran and Syria, and Syria’s reaction has been to allow jihadist television on its soil.  Any continuing reliance on help from Syria can only be attributed to foolish and stolid minds who feel more comfortable ignoring the truth than in confronting our epic quest for the very survival of the west.

In a time when the entire country, even the world, is watching to see what reaction Bush will have to the Baker report, an attack on Syrian assets along with the destruction of jihadist television would go a long ways towards an authoritative answer to this question.

In addition to an attack on Syrian assets and jihadist television, the State Department should finally engage in the GWOT (this might require them to pick a side in the war).  Assuming that they side with the U.S., Egypt should be our next target for high-pressure diplomacy.  The State Department, again assuming that they side with the U.S., should not countenance pretend allies.  Allowing an Egyptian satellite to be used for the publication of enemy propaganda should be viewed as aiding the enemy, and Egypt should suffer all of the political and diplomatic pressure that we can bring to bear on them for this act.

An attack on Syria and jihadist television would have several benefits.  First, it would be a huge morale boost for U.S. forces (and possibly the public).  Second, recalling the counsel of Sun Tzu, “If you wish to engage the enemy in talk, then you must do so by first positioning yourself as the master.  He who intimidates his neighbors does so by inflicting injury upon them (VIII.14).  Your enemies must be intimidated by you in order for talk of peace to have the affect you desire.”

If we do wish at some point to sit with the enemy and converse, we should do so from the position of master.  Intimidation will begin the path to claiming that position.  If we cannot find it in ourselves to take these simple actions, then we may as well sit in quiet resignation awaiting our final demise at the hands of an enemy who is far less skilled and powerful than we, but much more dedicated and committed.

The world watches.

  • Dominique R. Poirier

    While talking about TV broadcasting and information warfare in general it is of my assumption that this propaganda TV station in Syria is perhaps not the only thing we have to feel concerned about in the times to come.

    Actually, I’m making allusion here to France 24, a French state owned international TV broadcast channel that was officially launched a few weeks ago. The official goals of France 24 is to beam French views abroad, and more especially in the Middle East and Northern Africa so as to challenge CNN and the BBC. I’ll not go as far as to compare France 24 with this station in Syria but, in revenge, I’m pretty sure that this French TV channel will do little for helping the mission of the U.S. troops in Iraq and U.S. diplomacy in the region in general. It is today common knowledge that the goals and aims of the Frogs are never to help their “oldest allies.?.

    Some years ago, Chirac had publicly criticized CNN and the BBC which he denounced as an expression of Anglo-Saxon hegemonic culture and unilateral views on foreign affairs France strongly disagree about. Although they usually rely on their ONGs and unofficial channels to fuel anti-Americanism and anti-Bush feelings everywhere they can (including on the U.S. soil) at least for the sake of officially save the appearances of normal and acceptable diplomatic relations, they are in revenge unable to keep on that political correctness when important issues arise (i.e. major resolutions at U.N. Security Council).

    France 24 intends to beam in three languages which are French, English, and Arabic. Now that this program has been launched and is already broadcasting they claim their main goal is to challenge Al-Jazeera.
    But, doubtless they’ll use France 24 as anti-American propaganda channel each time such important issues on foreign affairs involving the U.S. interests will arise at the U.N. or else. Just things will be more subtle than what does the Syrian TV station so as to stay hovering on the fringe of the diplomatically “tolerable.?

    But the good news is that the Frogs will never have the strength and means to challenge the U.S-English worldwide broadcasting capacities and consumed experience in this domain. Beside, U.S. broadcasting capacity in the Middle East and elsewhere in the World do not limit to CNN. There are also the Voice Of America (VOA), Radio Farda, Al-Hurra, Radio Sawa, Radio Farda, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Radio-TV Marti which are each and all placed under the aegis of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors.

    I guess the Frogs are aware of their limits and probably consider that however small scaled are their efforts and capacities in this endeavor, at least it will bring its share of contribution to their steady undermining of the U.S. interests abroad. I would not be that surprised if the Frogs would ingenuously let broadcasting Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 on France 24 in the times to come.

    Meanwhile, I wonder whether an Al-Qaeda broadcasting station in Syria is not putting this country in the uncomfortable situation of openly supporting Al-Qaeda and terrorism in general. A fact that may possibly entail dire consequences.

    About France 24 in the news and on Wikipedia:

    About the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors:

  • skip

    During the recent Lebanese conflict the Israelis hacked into Al Manar a couple of times. they substituted their own programming for the standard hezbullah nonsense. Is such an operation possible here?

    Sadly, I must agree with your concerns about our state department. I have long believed that we in America are in the middle of a Coup D’Etat. The standing government is so huge an undwieldy that no administration can completely control it. The endless leaks, the foot dragging the utter nonsense that spews out of state makes me cringe. I doubt Dr. Rice will put a dent in the hide bound bureaucracy that is now running our country.

    a sad, sorry state of affairs.

  • Mike

    I say we hit Syria, and, at the same time, convince Saudi Arabia and/or Israel to hit tactical targets in Iran. As Col. Pete Blaber likes to say, “Audacity, audacity, audacity!”

  • Herschel Smith

    Great observations, all of them. Skip, I like your idea of putting out information technology and coding experience to work as an offensive weapon of war. Certainly, one would think, the NSA and CIA have these assets. Are they being put to use the way you suggest? And moreover, are they cooperating with each other to do this? I have my doubts.

    Dominique, there will only be dire consequences for Syria if the U.S. has the stomach to act. Like my comment above, I have my doubts. At least Syria is betting against it. If I were in Las Vegas or Monte Carlo and were a betting man, I would too.

  • Dominique R. Poirier

    when you speak about Coup d’Etat, I suppose you are making allusion to what specialists call a “revolution of palace.? For the record, and for whoever does not know the difference, a revolution of palace tantamounts to a Coup d’Etat without any visible demonstration of violence, even though, in most cases a revolution of palace implies the use of threat.

    Usually, when, in a given country, a change of presidency and regime happens suddenly through a revolution of palace the population is not informed about the real conditions through which such dramatic change happened. Thus, in France, in May 1958, the General de Gaulle took the power that way, and in the wake of this event the French media – which are tightly state controlled in France – reported that the previous government had asked from own will the return of the General de Gaulle. The truth has been publicly revealed (though still reluctantly admitted today) several decades later.

    Although I have the unpleasant feeling to wander from the main subject, at this point, I finish my comment. I don’t believe at all that a revolution of palace be realizable in United States, especially because power is too diluted and also American are too individualist. Since the United States and the French Republic originated from popular revolutions that broke out during the same period (1776 and 1789) I am going to pursue on that comparison.

    In United States there are two main political Parties, one President, two Chambers at the Senate (Representatives and Senators), and a Governor for each State; while in France, there are several political parties and two or three main political trends (left, right, and a somehow marginal ecologist movement) one President, one Prime Minister, and two Chambers at the Senate (Députés and Senators).
    Political parties in France are much more united than in America, and contrary to what one would assume it is not a good thing at all since Senators and Representatives listen, above all and willy-nilly, to the decisions and policy of their party. Why? Because they are truly much more elected by the force and money of the party to which they belong than by the voters.

    In United States, on the contrary, Representatives and Senators listen to the will of the people who elected them because they know that their party will not be able to help them during the next election if they got unpopular in their districts and States. It results from this that U.S. Representatives and Senators are much more independent-minded that their French counterpart and that the issues they stand for reflect to a much better extent the will of the people than the line and stance of their respective parties. In turn, this explains us why some Democrat Representatives or Senators often stand by George Bush’s policy or decision on some issues. The contrary is equally true, of course, and as you have noticed, it happened that some prominent Republicans no longer supported the President on some issues.

    Such a thing would never happen in France and, as a result, it fuels chronic and common hypocrisy in the French government. But the main problem resulting from indefectible obedience to a party occurs when a political party is less or more openly backed by another country

    In France his problem especially arose with the Communist Party which, for worse, often made alliances with the French Socialist Party in the aim to win at the legislative and presidential elections. It paid at last in 1981 when a Socialist President won against the French right wing thanks to the help of the Communists. I guess you’ll have a better understanding of what I’m saying if I go on telling you that the French Communist Party has always notoriously been backed by the Soviet Union and that it indefectibly followed the line drawn by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. That’s not exactly a Coup d’Etat, nor really a revolution of palace, but the outcome is the same.

    Happily, once more, numerous U.S. Representatives, Senators and Governors recklessly and repeatedly stray from the line of the party to which they claim they belong. That’s why I think that a Coup d’Etat in United States will never happen. Americans are saved by their individualism and by the way they dilute governmental power; a redoubtable and effective means of defense against such kind of threat indeed.

    To finish with a touch of humor, let say that Mao’s strategic thought, which was heavily inspired by this of Sun Tsu, claimed that in order to overcome your enemy you must concentrate you attack on the mind of its leader and not on its troops. Such strategy would prove to be trickier against the United States.

  • Xanthippas

    First of all, is there any sort of independent confirmation of this insurgent TV network? It seems awfully presumptious to plan attacks on another country based solely on “intelligence” provided by some unnamed officer. The claim that it broadcasts “Fahrenheight 9/11″ makes the claim sound particularly dubious, and I wonder who added that bit of spicy detail.

    Secondly, would it be helpful to our cause to launch airstrikes on Syria even if this station did exist? Seems to me that propoganda broadcasts are the least of our concerns right now, and that any benefit would be far outweighed by expanding our war in Iraq to another country…especially a country who could elect to ratchet up their aid to the insurgents in Iraq. And I seriously, seriously question the presumption that this would be some sort of morale boost for the American public. As they are slowly but surely turning against the war in Iraq, expanding operations to other countries hardly seems like a way to court public opinion.

  • Dominique R.Poirier

    Your opinion is no-nonsensical and reflects correct assumptions, Xanthippas. Now, the existence of TV broadcasting station beaming in the region from Syria is a kind of information so easy to check that it’s hard to believe it’s a hoax.

    Before any U.S. attack would occur multiple requests for collaboration, then warnings, would be sent to Syria; a country that is neither in position to defy America, nor has the guts to do it, anyway. Besides, I believe that, at worst, there are other options allowing to shut the mouth of this TV station; options which do not imply a grand scale operation. So, if this TV station truly exists in Syria, then there is reasonable ground to expect this country will take appropriate measures of its own for putting an end to it.

You are currently reading "Attack Syria", entry #425 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Iraq,Islamic Facism,Jihadists and was published December 18th, 2006 by Herschel Smith.

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