Thursday, 1 January 2015
Two female Italian aid workers who ignored their parents’ pleas and snuck into Syria have been kidnapped by Islamist militants
You can see from the Free Syrian flag they're wrapped in that they aren't just aid workers, but revolutionaries. Supporters of an uprising that has been going on in Syria against Bashar al-Assad since he had schoolkids tortured for anti-government graffiti in 2011. Unlike those who have bought into the Russian and Iranian propaganda that those fighting Assad were Muslim terrorists, often recycled in the Western media in a six of one half a dozen of the other OMG it's all so confusing manner, they could see that Assad was waging a war on the Syrian people, and it would be an act of solidarity to provide aid, to limit Assad war strategy of forcing those he couldn't control out of Syria by bombing and starvation. So it is wonderful news that they are safe and well. I assumed for the longest time that they were dead, as they would have been in an ISIS beheading video by now.
The bad news is that they are being held by Jabhat al-Nusra, the Victory Front, the most extreme of the Islamist militias that is fighting to overthrow Assad, not like ISIS simply wishing to take advantage of the chaos to set up their own caliphate. Not as RT* claim today, "They are believed to be currently held either by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front or their fearsome allies, Islamic State." Granted they aren't as opposed to ISIS as the Free Syrian Army. Where they have had power, they have sometimes been intolerant of opposition, but nothing like the wankmag version of the seventh century you see with ISIS, or Assad's equal brutality. Which is why it makes sense for supporters of the revolution in Syria to demand that al-Nusra release the women unconditionally, because Nusra are supposed to be in the same fight. And it is only supporters of the revolution who do have the authority to make such a demand. It would be good if the Italian government were to do everything in its power to get the women released. If al-Nusra get a large ransom, and they use it to buy weapons to use against Assad, still shame on them for kidnapping innocent supporters of the Syrian revolution, but not the worst outcome. If the West had done the right thing, and given the Free Syrian Army a fraction of the weaponry Russia has given to Assad, we wouldn't have any of these problems. But instead the world has been happily seduced by scares of America as the warmonger in Syria. Something only really believed in Syria by Jabhat al-Nusra, who have been bombed by the Americans, on the bullshit pretext that they had some Khorosan group (which I suspect comes from a Clash song) at their heart. Not a pretext that I recall the conspiracy theorists of the left who post pictures of John McCain claiming he's a supporter of ISIS bothering to examine too closely, because it didn't fit the agenda of only being opposed to bombing if it was by the Americans on Assad, which was the great hoax of last year that denied solidarity to Syrians in the wake of the chemical attacks.
Al-Nusra gain support among those who see the Americans as the enemy, and when the Americans have done so little to dislodge Assad but are happy to attack his enemies, it's easy to see why. On the other hand, as I said at the time, if you're going to declare allegiance to al-Qaida, you are asking to have the Americans bomb you, and that goes double when you kidnap revolutionaries.