Fatah al-Islam and Blowback

Fatah al-Islam, the terrorist group operating in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, which has become the target of Lebanese Army attacks, was, until very recently, supported by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the elements within the Lebanese government. These governments used the Fatah al-Islam group to conduct a proxy war against Hezbollah. Fatah al-Islam is a Sunni group, and, as you no doubt know, Hezbollah is Shi’ite. The US supports Sunni or Shi’ite depending on their particular goal in each country.

The US opposes Hezbollah for two reasons: (1) it’s a functioning political party in Lebanon, and therefore threatens US hegemony in the region, and (2) it successfully pushed Israel out of Lebanon, thus diminishing Jewish sway over Palestine. So, in this case, the US supports the Sunni extremists over Shi’ites.

Fatah al-Islam is an al Qaeda-like organization (al Qaeda is Sunni), created in a similar manner and for similar purposes as the United States and Saudi Arabia created al Qaeda. It is not Syria who is behind Fatah al-Islam, as the Christians in Lebanon and US propagandists claim, but our own country. In fact, it was Vice President Cheney, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, who personally organized the covert funding of Fatah al-Islam. Like the attack on the United States of September 11, 2001, Fatah al-Islam is another case of what the CIA calls “blowback.”

For context, the United States and Saudi Arabia (along with Pakistan) created al Qaeda to antagonize the Soviet Union, which originally moved troops into Afghanistan to honor a mutual defense pact with the progressive democratic government of Afghanistan, a government that the United States destabilized beginning with the Carter administration’s funding of the Mujahideen. When the US invaded the Middle East during the first Gulf War, bin Laden turned against the US. He could effectively score against US targets because the United States gave him the equipment and the training to do so. Now a US and Saudi-organized Sunni terrorist cell in Lebanon has, instead of antagonizing Hezbollah, turned its attention to the government of Lebanon.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.