Thomas Wictor

Illusion, reality, and symbolism blend in a virtuoso performance

Illusion, reality, and symbolism blend in a virtuoso performance

I was asked today if the fact that a Turkish fighter jet flew into Syria meant that the Saudi invasion had begun. Well, I believe that the Saudi invasion began in October of 2014 at the latest, when fifty Arab fighters helped 2000 Kurds at Kobane repel 10,000 Islamic State terrorists armed with main battle tanks, armored vehicles, car bombs, truck bombs, and heavy artillery. The victory at Kobane was reality. How it was presented is an illusion.

This is not in any way a slam on the Kurds. However, they were armed only with rifles, and they’d had virtually no training. It’s not reasonable to expect anyone on earth to prevail under those circumstances.

The initial story was that 1500 Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters would be sent to Kobane.


Only fifty arrived. Where did they come from?


They had to have been Arab professional special operators armed with cutting-edge weapons that we don’t know about. Air strikes by Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve had been ongoing for over a month without breaking the stalemate. Within a week of the fifty Arabs arriving, hundreds of Islamic State terrorists had been killed. By January 27, 2015, the Islamic State had been pushed out of Kobane city. As many as 5000 terrorists were dead, including all the major commanders in the area.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s militia the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) was credited with the victory. This gave them massive international standing. They also now controlled much of northern Syria.

Why did Turkey allow 1500 Turkish Kurds to go into Kobane on September 28, 2014, to join the YPG? And then on October 31, 2014, a convoy of 150 Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga armed with heavy weapons entered Kobane from Turkey. Nobody really stops to ponder that.

Look where they came from (red arrow).


There’s absolutely no way that they drove from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region with their artillery. They were flown in C-17 Globemaster transports. You can bet that the US didn’t do it, and neither did the Turks. Who was behind the saving of Kobane?


Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, current king of Saudi Arabia and Defense Minister until January 23, 2015. As defense minister, King Salman had a single private adviser; this formal position was given to a man who was twenty-five years old at the time.


There was no reason in the world for Turkey to help the Syrian Kurds. The Turks knew that if the YPG prevailed, there would be only one outcome: legitimacy for the Kurdish cause. Yet Turkey cooperated.

Illusion can sweep you along

This what the giant news organization Reuters wrote about the 150 Iraqi Peshmerga entering Kobane on October 31, 2014.

Their arrival would mark the first time Turkey has allowed ground troops from outside Syria to reinforce Syrian Kurds, who have been defending Kobani for more than 40 days.

That’s not true. On September 28, 2014, Turkey allowed 1500 Turkish Kurds to enter Syria to join the YPG in Kobane. But the illusion was so well crafted that I myself didn’t see it until today. The way journalism works now is that reporters are simply stenographers. A Turkish official said, “This is the first time we’ve allowed ground troops from outside Syria to reinforce Syrian Kurds,” and Reuters dutifully reported it.

Current Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman began reshaping the Middle East when he was twenty-eight. At that age, he had the ability to persuade the Turks to accept the eventual creation of an independent Kurdistan. And you can bet that he persuaded. He made no threats. For one thing, that’s not his style, and for another, nobody can force Turks into doing something they don’t want.

In a moment, we’ll get back to Turkey shelling the Kurds. First, a video.

The illusion is almost perfect

This video is fake. Can you see what gives it away as phony?

The rotors of the MI-24 Hind, and the explosions show that this is a fraud. Four barrel bombs are dropped; there are only three explosions, but we hear the sounds of four. It’s computer-graphic imagery (CGI). The filmmaker got sloppy.

As for the rotors, digital cameras produce this effect when filming a real helicopter.


Don’t feel bad about being fooled. The fakery is getting more and more sophisticated.

Another near-prefect illusion

On February 10, 2016, the Iranians released additional video of ten American sailors they detained January 12, 2016.

That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life, as I’ll explain. The capture of the sailors has made the mullahs drunk with power.

This comes on the heels of many prior incidents that appear to be indicative of a rising tide of anti-Western and particularly anti-American rhetoric coming out of Tehran, apparently in response to the perceived danger of cultural, economic, and political “infiltration” in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.

Supreme Leader Khamenei explicitly warned against such infiltration soon after the July 14 deal, and critics of the regime subsequently noted a surge in arrests of Iranian journalists, artists, and persons with connections to the West.

This crackdown has also apparently coincided with enhanced efforts to project Iranian military strength and to even portray Iran as being prepared to stand up to the United States in outright war.

One talking point that has become notably prevalent in recent days is the notion that the US, which has sought some level of collaboration with Iran on such issues as the conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is dependent upon Iran’s leadership and consent in the Middle East.

On Wednesday, quoted Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the head of Iran’s Basij civilian militia as saying “the United States subordinates to Iran’s dominance in the Middle East and it cannot act in the region without getting the approval of the Supreme Leader of Iran.”

But these remarks followed the lead established by the main Iranian driver of rapprochement between the US and Iran, namely President Hassan Rouhani.

The illusion completely hoodwinked the mullahs. Those were US Navy CB90 Riverine Command Boats out of Bahrain. Each CB90 has a crew of nine.


The vessel is armed with up to six heavy machine guns and two automatic grenade launchers. More importantly, the sailors are special operators. They’re chosen based on their fearlessness. The idea that one of them would cry because he was captured is laughable.

There should’ve been eighteen sailors, but there were only ten. That’s because the original crews were replaced.

The nine men and one woman were detained Tuesday after at least one of their boats suffered mechanical problems off of Farsi Island, an outpost in the middle of the Persian Gulf that has been used as a base for Revolutionary Guard speedboats since the 1980s.

The Americans’ small Riverine boats were sailing between Kuwait and Bahrain on a training mission when the U.S. lost contact.

The sailors left the island at 0843 GMT (3:43 a.m. EST) Wednesday aboard their boats, the Navy said. They were picked up by Navy aircraft, and other sailors took control of the vessels for the return voyage to Bahrain, where the U.S. 5th Fleet is based.

This is so hilarious. The eighteen sailors had to be picked up by helicopters, which means that a surface action group of ships was right there. The ten volunteer soon-to-be-prisoners—actors—were put on the boats and set adrift. By the way, the two CB90s had crossed 100 miles (161 kilometers) of open ocean to get to Farsi Island. CB90s don’t do that.

Who could’ve conceived the precise deception that would give the Iranians suicidal delusions of grandeur and make them easier to defeat?


Illusion gives way to reality and symbolism

At the Munich Security Conference 2016 (February 12 to 14), this photo was taken.


On the right is Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. He’s shaking hands with Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, former Saudi Director of General Intelligence. Smiling in the right background, wearing a maroon tie, is Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammed Asif.

That handshake is a message to the world. The old order is dead.

An illusion that shouldn’t bother you

The stenographers are confused, which is how we want them.

Syria’s Kurds ‘won’t retreat’ despite Turkish shelling

Kurdish-backed fighters in Syria say they will not withdraw from the areas they have recently captured in the country’s north, after Turkey shelled their positions in Aleppo province for a second day.

Turkey has demanded that the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), give up the territories it has gained in the last few days from Turkish-backed Syrian armed groups.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Afrin on Sunday, Tarek Abu Zeid, a spokesman of Jaish al-Thuwar, a YPG ally, said: “We recently captured Menagh airbase, and we are close to capturing Tal Rifaat.”

Referring to the Islamic State of the Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group, he said: “Our aim is to reach ISIL-controlled territories. We want to fight this terrorist group. Turkey wants us to return to Afrin. This won’t happen. We are advancing, we won’t retreat.”

I love it. The Turks are shelling the Kurds, who everybody—including the Kurds—says both are and aren’t at Minaq Air Base.


Al-Jazeera spoke to Jaysh al-Thuwar. This is what an analyst said about them.

Combat videos from the group or any of its substituents are sparse in the past few months, a major indicator as rebel groups are always eager to record and upload their various exploits to gain fame, recruits and support.

According to that writer, the lack of combat videos means that Jaysh al-Thuwar isn’t doing anything. You know what the lack of combat videos tells me?

It tells me that Jaysh al-Thuwar prefers to fight in secret, needs no recruits, and has enough support.

It’s a unit of professional special operators. They shun the spotlight. Propaganda means nothing to them, indicating that they have the means to defeat the enemy purely militarily. They don’t need support on the home front or from other nations.

There’s a new concept of warfare out there: strategic special forces gradually infiltrate and defeat the enemy without causing massive destruction. Pundits, analysts, think tanks, and journalists need to adopt new methods of thinking.

And as for the alleged Turkish-YPG conflict that can’t be solved?


Armed members of the YPG stand at the Turkish border in silent vigil. The Turks don’t shoot them. Both sides have achieved an understanding.

The illusion of endless chaos is being maintained because it allows extremely good things to happen unnoticed.

At the proper time, we’ll learn about some of them.

This article viewed 403 times.