News Release

The Israeli-ISIS Accommodation and Other Inconvenient Realities

ImpeachDTANDREW COCKBURN, amcockburn [at] gmail.com, @andrewmcockburn
Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine, Cockburn said today: “Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be the only person connected to Trumpgate with a sense of humor — for example threatening to spoil the party by producing a record of what Trump actually said to Lavrov. He also said he’ll have to give Lavrov a dressing down for not reporting all the deep secrets that Trump is supposed to have told him.

“It’s obviously very much to Israel’s advantage to be portrayed as working to expose alleged plots by the so-called Islamic State just as Trump is going to Israel. In reality, it seems there’s some sort of accommodation between Israel and ISIS — and the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, that has been studiously ignored in the U.S. press. Wounded Al Qaeda fighters have regularly been treated in Israeli military hospitals. According to no less a source than Moshe Yaalon, former Israeli Minister of Defense, when ISIS accidentally shelled Israeli forces in the Golan Heights, the group ‘immediately apologized to Israel.’ (See from Newsweek: ‘ISIS Fighters Regret Attacking Israel And Have “Apologized”, Former Defense Minister Says.’)

“There certainly appears to be corrupt things the Trump administration has been up to, for example, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had taken money from the Turkish government and then reportedly tried to nix a plan to help Kurdish fighters.

“But the long-standing Israeli ambition of decimating the front line states — especially Syria and Iraq — seems to be playing out very smoothly. This is apparently also the goal of the U.S. establishment, as well as selling arms (always a prime objective). This is evident from Trump’s travel itinerary: Going to Israel and Saudi Arabia, which both benefit from the demise of secular Arab states (and buy lots of U.S. weapons). Despite distractions it is the central theme of U.S. policy in the region and of course breeds massive instability and untold carnage.”

Cockburn has written widely about U.S. foreign policy, especially in the Mideast. His books include Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins; Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy; and Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship.