BBC helps Saudis whitewash arms trade to Syrian jihadis

The BBC quoted an anonymous Saudi source who insisted that the arms the country imports en masse from the UK are only funnelled to the good Syrian rebels and not the Al Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front.

When a reader pointed out that the groups that the Saudi source named as recipients of UK-manufactured arms included the al-Nusra Front, the BBC quietly edited the story to hide the contradiction, rather than trumpeting the fact that the UK arms industry's biggest customer was arming terrorists that the UK was currently fighting.

Part of the problem is the UK media's absurd willingness to allow official sources to be anonymous and on the record, even when stating their employer's official position. The other part of the problem is that, having spent most of this century telling us that we're at war with terrorists, the BBC is squeamish about admitting that western governments and their allies are terrorists' number one partners.

But what this does highlight is just how ludicrous – how beyond parody – the 14-year-old "War on Terror" has become, how little it has to do with its original ostensible justification. The regime with the greatest plausible proximity to the 9/11 attack – Saudi Arabia – is the closest U.S. ally in the region next to Israel. The country that had absolutely nothing to do with that attack, and which is at least as threatened as the U.S. by the religious ideology that spurred it – Iran – is the U.S.'s greatest "War on Terror" adversary. Now we have a virtual admission from the Saudis that they are arming a group that centrally includes Al Qaeda, while the U.S. itself has at least indirectly done the same (just as was true in Libya). And we're actually at the point where western media outlets are vehemently denouncing Russia for bombing Al Qaeda elements, which those outlets are manipulatively referring to as "non-ISIS groups."

It's not a stretch to say that the faction that provides the greatest material support to Al Qaeda at this point is the U.S. and its closest allies. That is true even as Al Qaeda continues to be paraded around as the prime need for the ongoing war.

BBC Protects UK's Close Ally, Saudi Arabia, With Incredibly Dishonest and Biased Editing [Glenn Greenwald/The Intercept]