Islamic State is the Cancer of Modern Capitalism
Debate about the origins of the Islamic State (IS) has largely oscillated between two extreme perspectives. One blames the West. IS is nothing more than a predictable reaction to the occupation of Iraq, yet another result of Western foreign policy blowback. The other attributes IS’s emergence purely to the historic or cultural barbarism of the Muslim world, whose backward medieval beliefs and values are a natural incubator for such violent extremism.
The biggest elephant in the room as this banal debate drones on is material infrastructure. Anyone can have bad, horrific, disgusting ideas. But they can only be fantasies unless we find a way to manifest them materially in the world around us.
So to understand how the ideology that animates IS has managed to garner the material resources to conquer an area bigger than the United Kingdom, we need to inspect its material context more closely.
Follow the money
The foundations for al-Qaeda’s ideology were born in the 1970s. Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden‘s Palestinian mentor, formulated a new theory justifying continuous, low-intensity war by dispersed mujahideen cells for a pan-Islamist state. Azzam’s violent Islamist doctrines were popularised in the context of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
As is well-known, the Afghan mujahideen networks were trained and financed under the supervision of the CIA, MI6 and the Pentagon. The Gulf states provided huge sums of money, while Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) liaised on the ground with the militant networks being coordinated by Azzam, bin Laden, and others.
The Reagan administration, for instance, provided $2 billion to the Afghan mujahideen, which was matched by another $2 billion from Saudi Arabia.
In Afghanistan, USAID invested millions of dollars to supply schoolchildren with “textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings”, according to the Washington Post. Theology justifying violent jihad was interspersed with “drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines”. The textbooks even extolled the heavenly rewards if children were to “pluck out the eyes of the Soviet enemy and cut off his legs”.
The conventional wisdom is that this disastrous configuration of Western-Muslim world collaboration in financing Islamist extremists ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. As I said in Congressional testimony a year after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, the conventional wisdom is false.
A classified US intelligence report revealed by journalist Gerald Posner confirmed that the US was fully aware of a secret deal struck in April 1991 between Saudi Arabia and bin Laden, then under house arrest. Under the deal, bin Laden could leave the kingdom with his funding and supporters, and continue to receive financial support from the Saudi royal family, on one condition: that he refrain from targeting and destabilising the Saudi kingdom itself.
Far from being a distant observer of this covert agreement, the US and Britain were active participants.
Saudi Arabia’s massive oil supply underpins the health and growth of the global economy. We could not afford it to be destabilised. It was pro quid pro: to protect the kingdom, allow it to fund bin Laden outside the kingdom.
As British historian Mark Curtis documents meticulously in his sensational book, Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, the US and UK government continued to covertly support al-Qaeda-affiliated networks in Central Asia and the Balkans after the Cold War, for much the same reasons as before – countering Russian, and now Chinese, influence to extend US hegemony over the global capitalist economy. Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil hub, remained the conduit for this short-sighted Anglo-American strategy.
A year after the 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) bombing, Curtis reports, Osama bin Laden opened an office in Wembley, London, under the name of the Advice and Reformation Committee, from which he coordinated worldwide extremist activity.
Around the same time, the Pentagon was airlifting thousands of al-Qaeda mujahideen from Central Asia into Bosnia, in violation of the UN’s arms embargo, according to Dutch intelligence files. They were accompanied by US special forces. The “Blind Sheikh”, convicted of the WTC bombing, had been deeply involved in recruiting and dispatching al-Qaeda fighters into Bosnia.
From around 1994, all the way until 9/11, US military intelligence along with Britain, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supplied arms and funds to the al-Qaeda-harbouring Taliban.
In 1997, Amnesty International complained about “close political links” between the incumbent Taliban militia, who had recently conquered Kabul, and the US. The human rights group referred to credible “accounts of the madrasas (religious schools) which the Taleban attended in Pakistan,” indicating that “these links may have been established at the very inception of the Taleban movement.”
One such account, reported Amnesty, came from the late Benazir Bhutto – then Pakistan’s Prime Minister – who “affirmed that the madrasas had been set up by Britain, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan during the Jihad, the Islamic resistance against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan”. Under US tutelage, Saudi Arabia was still funding those madrasas.
US government-drafted textbooks designed to indoctrinate Afghan children into violent jihad during the Cold War, now approved by the Taliban, became part of the Afghan school system’s core curriculum, and were used extensively in militant madrasas in Pakistan being funded by Saudi Arabia and the Pakistani ISI with US support.
Both the Clinton and Bush administrations were hoping to use the Taliban to establish a proxy client regime in the country similar to its Saudi benefactor. The vain hope, clearly ill-conceived, was that a Taliban government would provide the stability necessary to install a Trans-Afghan pipeline (TAPI) supplying Central Asian gas to South Asia, while side-lining Russia, China and Iran.
Those hopes were dashed three months before 9/11 when the Taliban rejected US proposals. The TAPI project was subsequently stalled due to the Taliban’s intransigent control of Kandahar and Quetta, but has been shepherded along by the Obama administration and is now being finalised.
NATO continued to sponsor al-Qaeda-affiliated networks in Kosovo by the late 1990s, reports Mark Curtis, when US and British special forces supplied arms and training to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) rebels who included mujahideen recruits. Among them was a rebel cell headed by Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman, who now leads al-Qaeda.
In the same period, Osama and Ayman coordinated the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania from bin Laden’s office in London.
There was some good news, though: NATO’s interventions in the Balkans, accompanied by the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia, paved the way to integrate the region into Western Europe, privatise local markets, and establish new regimes supportive of the Trans-Balkan pipeline to transport oil and gas from Central Asia to the West.
The Middle East redirection
Even after 9/11 and 7/7, US and British addiction to cheap fossil fuels to sustain global capitalist expansion led us to deepen our alliance with extremists.
Around the middle of the last decade, Anglo-American military intelligence began supervising Gulf state financing, once again led by Saudi Arabia, to Islamist extremist networks across the Middle East and Central Asia, to counter Iranian Shiite influence in the region. Beneficiaries of this enterprise included al-Qaeda-affiliated militant and extremist groups from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon – a veritable arc of Islamist terror.
Once again, Islamist militants would be unwittingly fostered as an agent of US hegemony in the face of rising geopolitical rivals.
As Seymour Hersh revealed in the New Yorker in 2007, this “redirection” of policy was about weakening not just Iran, but also Syria – where US and Saudi largess went to support the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, among other opposition groups. Both Iran and Syria, of course, were closely aligned with Russia and China.
In 2011, NATO’s military intervention to topple the Gaddafi regime followed hot on the heels of extensive support to Libyan mercenaries who were, in fact, members of al-Qaeda’s official branch in Libya. France had been reportedly offered 35 percent control of Libya’s oil in exchange for French support to insurgents.
After the intervention, European, British and American oil giants were “perfectly poised to take advantage” of “commercial opportunities”, according to Professor David Anderson of Oxford University. Lucrative deals with NATO members could “release Western Europe from the stranglehold of high-pricing Russia producers who currently dominate their gas supply”.
Secret intelligence reports showed that NATO-backed rebels had strong ties to al-Qaeda. The CIA also used Libya’s Islamists militants to funnel heavy weapons to rebels in Syria.
A Canadian intelligence report from 2009 described the rebel stronghold of eastern Libya as an “epicentre of Islamist extremism”, from which “extremist cells” operated in the region – the same region, according to David Pugliese in the Ottawa Citizen, that was being “defended by a Canadian-led NATO coalition”. Pugliese reported that the intelligence report confirmed “several Islamist insurgent groups” were based in eastern Libya, many of whom were also “urging followers to fight in Iraq”. Canadian pilots even joked privately that they were part of al-Qaeda’s air force, “since their bombing runs helped to pave the way for rebels aligned with the terrorist group”.
According to Pugliese, Canadian intelligence specialists sent a prescient briefing report dated 15 March 2011 to NATO senior officers just days before the intervention began. “There is the increasing possibility that the situation in Libya will transform into a long-term tribal/civil war,” they wrote. “This is particularly probable if opposition forces receive military assistance from foreign militaries.”
As we know, the intervention went ahead regardless.
For nearly the last half-decade at least, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Jordan and Turkey have all provided extensive financial and military support primarily to al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant networks that spawned today’s “Islamic State”. This support has been provided in the context of an accelerating anti-Assad strategy led by the United States.
Competition to dominate potential regional pipeline routes involving Syria, as well as untapped fossil fuel resources in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean – at the expense of Russia and China – have played a central role in motivating this strategy.
Former French foreign minister Roland Dumas revealed that in 2009, British Foreign Office officials told him that UK forces were already active in Syria attempting to foment rebellion.
The ongoing operation has been closely supervised under an on-going covert programme coordinated jointly by American, British, French and Israeli military intelligence. Evidence in the public record confirms that US support alone to anti-Assad fighters totalled about $2 billion as of the end of 2014.
While the conventional wisdom insists that this support to Islamist extremists was mistaken, the facts speak for themselves. Classified CIA assessments showed that US intelligence knew how US-led support to anti-Assad rebels through its Middle East allies consistently ended up in the hands of the most virulent extremists. But it continued.
Pentagon officials were also aware in the year before IS launched its campaign of conquest inside Iraq, that the vast majority of “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels were, in fact, Islamist militants. It was, officials admitted, increasingly impossible to draw fixed lines between “moderate” rebels and extremists linked to al-Qaeda or IS, due to the fluid interactions between them.
Increasingly, frustrated FSA fighters have joined the ranks of Islamist militants in Syria, not for ideological reasons, but simply due to their superior military capabilities. So far, almost all “moderate” rebel groups recently trained and armed by the US are disbanding and continuously defecting to al-Qaeda and IS to fight Assad.
The US is now coordinating the continued supply of military aid to “moderate” rebels to fight IS, through a new arrangement with Turkey. Yet it is an open secret that Turkey, throughout this entire period, has been directly sponsoring al-Qaeda and IS as part of a geopolitical gambit to crush Kurdish opposition groups and bring down Assad.
Much has been made of Turkey’s “lax” efforts to curb foreign fighters crossing its territory to join IS in Syria. Turkey has recently responded by announcing that it has stopped thousands.
Both claims are mythical: Turkey has deliberately harboured and funnelled support to IS and al-Qaeda in Syria.
Last summer, Turkish journalist Denis Kahraman interviewed an IS fighter receiving medical treatment in Turkey, who told him: “Turkey paved the way for us. Had Turkey not shown such understanding for us, the Islamic State would not be in its current place. It [Turkey] showed us affection. Large number of our mujahedeen [jihadis] received medical treatment in Turkey.”
Earlier this year, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military (the Gendarmerie General Command) were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services (MIT) had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation” in Syria.
“Moderate” FSA rebels are involved in the MIT-sponsored Turkish-Islamist support network. One told the Telegraph that he “now runs safe houses in Turkey for foreign fighters looking to join Jabhat al-Nusra and Isil [Islamic State].”
Some officials have spoken up about this, but to no avail. Last year, Claudia Roth, deputy speaker of the German parliament, expressed shock that NATO is allowing Turkey to harbour an IS camp in Istanbul, facilitate weapons transfers to Islamist militants through its borders, and tacitly support IS oil sales. Nothing happened.
The US-led anti-IS coalition is funding IS
The US and Britain have not only remained strangely silent about the complicity of their coalition partner in sponsoring the enemy. They have tightened up the partnership with Turkey, and are working avidly with the same state-sponsor of IS to train “moderate” rebels to fight IS.
It is not just Turkey. Last year, US Vice President Joe Biden told a White House press conference that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey among others, were pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons, of weapons” into “al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis” as part of a “proxy Sunni-Shia war”. He added that, for all intents and purposes, it is not possible to identify “moderate” rebels in Syria.
There is no indication that this funding has dried up. As late as September 2014, even as the US began coordinating airstrikes against IS, Pentagon officials revealed that they knew their own coalition allies were still funding IS.
That month, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Senator Lindsay Graham during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing whether he knew of “any major Arab ally that embraces Isil [IS]?” He said: “I know major Arab allies who fund them.”
Despite this knowledge, the US government has not merely refused to sanction these allies, but rewarded them by including them in the coalition that is supposed to fight the very extremist entity they are funding. Worse, the same allies continue to be granted ample leeway to select fighters to receive training.
Key members of our anti-IS coalition are bombing IS from the air while sponsoring them behind the scenes – with the knowledge of the Pentagon.
The arc of Muslim state-failure
In Iraq and Syria, where IS was born, the devastation of society due to prolonged conflict cannot be underestimated. Western military invasion and occupation of Iraq, replete with torture and indiscriminate violence, played an undeniable role in paving the way for the emergence of extreme reactionary politics. Before Western intervention, al-Qaeda was nowhere to be seen in the country.
The continual input of vast quantities of money to Islamist extremist networks, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of material resources that no one has yet been able to quantify in its totality – coordinated by the same nexus of Western and Muslim governments – has over the last half century had a deeply destabilising impact. IS is the surreal, post-modern culmination of this sordid history.
The West’s anti-IS coalition in the Muslim world consists of repressive regimes whose domestic policies have widened inequalities, crushed legitimate dissent, tortured peaceful political activists, and stoked deep-seated resentments. They are the same allies that have, and are continuing to fund IS, with the knowledge of Western intelligence agencies.
Yet they are doing so in regional circumstances that can only be described as undergoing, in the last decade, escalating converging crises. As Princeton’s Professor Bernard Haykel said: “I see ISIS as a symptom of a much deeper structural set of problems in the Sunni Arab world… [It has] to do with politics. With education, and the lack thereof. With authoritarianism. With foreign intervention. With the curse of oil … I think that even if ISIS were to disappear, the underlying causes that produce ISIS would not disappear. And those would have to be addressed with decades of policy and reforms and changes – not just by the West, but also by Arab societies as well.”
Yet as we saw with the Arab Spring, these structural problems have been exacerbated by a perfect storm of interlinked political, economic, energy and environmental crises, all of which are being incubated by a deepening crisis of global capitalism.
With the region suffering from prolonged droughts, failing agriculture, decline in oil revenues due to domestic peak oil, economic corruption and mismanagement compounded by neoliberal austerity, and so on, local states have begun to collapse. From Iraq to Syria, from Egypt to Yemen, the same nexus of climate, energy and economic crises are unravelling incumbent governments.
Alienation in the West
Although the West is far more resilient to these interconnected global crises, entrenched inequalities in the US, Britain and Western Europe – which have a disproportionate effect on ethnic minorities, women and children – are worsening.
In Britain, nearly 70 percent of ethnically South Asian Muslims, and two-thirds of their children, live in poverty. Just under 30 percent of British Muslim young people aged from 16-24 years are unemployed. According to Minority Rights Group International, conditions for British Muslims in terms of “access to education, employment and housing” have deteriorated in recent years, rather than improving. This has been accompanied by a “worrying rise in open hostility” from non-Muslim communities, and a growing propensity for police and security services to target Muslims disproportionately under anti-terror powers. Consistently negative reporting on Muslims by the media, coupled with grievances over justifiable perceptions of an aggressive and deceptive foreign policy in the Muslim world, compound the latter to create a prevailing sense of social exclusion associated with British Muslim identity.
It is the toxic contribution of these factors to general identity formation that is the issue – not each of the factors by themselves. Poverty alone, or discrimination alone, or anti-Muslim reporting alone, and so on, do not necessarily make a person vulnerable to radicalisation. But together these can forge an attachment to an identity that sees itself as alienated, frustrated and locked in a cycle of failure.
The prolongation and interaction of these problems can contribute to the way Muslims in Britain from various walks of life begin to view themselves as a whole. In some cases, it can generate an entrenched sense of separation and alienation from, and disillusionment with wider society. This exclusionary identity, and where it takes a person, will depend on that person’s specific environment, experiences and choices.
Prolonged social crises can lay the groundwork for the rise of toxic, xenophobic ideologies on all sides. Such crises undermine conventional mores of certainty and stability rooted in established notions of identity and belonging.
While vulnerable Muslims might turn to gang culture, or worse, Islamist extremism, vulnerable non-Muslims might adopt their own exclusionary identities linked with extremist groups like the English Defence League, or other far-right extremist networks.
For more powerful elite groups, their sense of crisis may inflame militaristic neoconservative ideologies that sanitise incumbent power structures, justify the status quo, whitewash the broken system that sustains their power, and demonise progressive and minority movements.
In this maelstrom, the supply of countless billions of dollars to Islamist extremist networks in the Middle East with a penchant for violence, empowers groups that previously lacked any local constituency.
As multiple crises converge and intensify, undermining state stability and inflaming grievances, this massive input of resources to Islamist ideologues can pull angry, alienated, vulnerable individuals into their vortex of xenophobic extremism. The end-point of that process is the creation of monsters.
While these factors escalated regional vulnerability to crisis levels, the US and Britain’s lead role after 9/11 in coordinating covert Gulf state financing of extremist Islamist militants across the region has poured gasoline on the flames.
The links these Islamist networks have in the West meant that domestic intelligence agencies have periodically turned blind eyes to their followers and infiltrators at home, allowing them to fester, recruit and send would-be fighters abroad.
This is why the Western component of IS, though much smaller than the number of fighters joining from neighbouring countries, remains largely impervious to meaningful theological debate. They are not driven by theology, but by the insecurity of a fractured identity and psychology.
It is here, in the meticulously calibrated recruitment methods used by IS and its supporting networks in the West, that we can see the role of psychological indoctrination processes fine-tuned through years of training under Western intelligence agencies. These agencies have always been intimately involved in the crafting of violent Islamist indoctrination tools.
In most cases, recruitment into IS is achieved by being exposed to carefully crafted propaganda videos, developed using advanced production methods, the most effective of which are replete with real images of bloodshed inflicted on Iraqi, Afghan and Palestinian civilians by Western firepower, or on Syrian civilians by Assad.
The constant exposure to such horrifying scenes of Western and Syrian atrocities can often have an effect similar to what might happen if these scenes had been experienced directly: that is, a form of psychological trauma that can even result in post-traumatic stress.
Such cult-like propaganda techniques help to invoke overwhelming emotions of shock and anger, which in turn serve to shut down reason and dehumanise the “Other”. The dehumanisation process is brought to fruition using twisted Islamist theology. What matters with this theology is not its authenticity, but its simplicity. This can work wonders on a psyche traumatised by visions of mass death, whose capacity for reason is immobilised with rage.
This is why the reliance on extreme literalism and complete decontextualisation is such a common feature of Islamist extremist teachings: because it seems, to someone credulous and unfamiliar with Islamic scholarship, to be literally true at first glance.
Building on decades of selective misinterpretation of Islamic texts by militant ideologues, sources are carefully mined and cherry-picked to justify the political agenda of the movement: tyrannical rule, arbitrary mass murder, subjugation and enslavement of women, and so on, all of which become integral to the very survival and expansion of the “state”.
As the main function of introducing extreme Islamist theological reasoning is to legitimise violence and sanction war, it is combined with propaganda videos that promise what the vulnerable recruit appears to be missing: glory, brotherhood, honour, and the promise of eternal salvation – no matter what crimes or misdemeanours one may have committed in the past.
Couple this with the promise of power – power over one’s enemies, power over Western institutions that have purportedly suppressed one’s Muslim brothers and sisters, power over women – and the appeal of IS, if its religious garb and claims of Godliness can be made convincing enough, can be irresistible.
What this means is that IS’s ideology, while important to understand and refute, is not the driving factor in its origins, existence and expansion. It is merely the opium of the people that it feeds to itself, and its prospective followers.
Ultimately, IS is a cancer of modern industrial capitalism in meltdown, a fatal by-product of our unwavering addiction to black gold, a parasitical symptom of escalating civilisational crises across both the Muslim and Western worlds. Until the roots of these crises are addressed, IS and its ilk are here to stay.
Dubai Chief Police: The Qatari King Is A “Dirty Pig” And “U.S. Lackey”, Arab Countries Are Sitting On A Ticking Bomb
Dubai’s long-serving head of general security, Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan , strongly criticized Qatari ruler labeling him as a “dirty pig” and “U.S. lackey” who promotes terrorism in the restive Middle-East region and jeopardizes the security of Dubai and other oil-rich Arab monarchies.
Lt Gen. Dhahi Khalfan who made the remarks on Friday in a press conference at Dubai Police Academy, accused Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad of exploiting political instability ensuing the anticipated death of Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah by funneling millions of dollars in secret contributions to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
“Qataris badly seek to undermine the national security of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Arab states, i.e. Egypt. In fact what they do currently is to sow terrorism and if we don’t thwart their malicious agenda, we might all plunge into abyss of anarchy and total destruction,” quoted Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Khalfan as saying.
On the anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, they [Qatari regime] have recently re-launched Al Jazeera Online, Lt Gen. Khalfan added, a seditious news channel covered with the veneer of democratic goals and set to spark bloody ethnic and religious riots in Egypt and elsewhere, violating their previous commitments according to Riyadh agreement.
“…This incompetent lad [Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad] has become a plaything in the hands of notorious Yusuf al-Qaradawi—the Egyptian chairman of the so-called International Union of Muslim Scholars and infamous for his support for radical Islamist groups in Egypt and Syria— and I do believe that all Arab countries are sitting on a ticking bomb susceptible to explode at any moment,” Khalfan added.
Lt Gen. Khalfan is considered the unofficial spokesman for Emirati government and a major critic of Qatar’s unwavering support of the Muslim Brotherhood. In April 2014, stated that “Qatar should not be ‘a safe haven’ to the so-called ‘Muslim’ Brotherhood”.
THE JOKE OF THE YEAR: Press Laughs After U.S. Spokeswoman Claims We Do Not Support Coups
So as you can see the United States is famous for backing coups or changing sovereign governments when ever it suits their purposes….. by denying it, it only makes you laugh so hard that tears come to your face, with their audacity that reporters and anonymous readers would believe such a blatant lie. Here is a small preview of the above table which I got it from this article and I suggest you read the whole article maybe some people will wake up from their lethargic sleep and do something
Some common themes can be seen in many of these U.S. military interventions.
First, they were explained to the U.S. public as defending the lives and rights of civilian populations. Yet the military tactics employed often left behind massive civilian “collateral damage.” War planners made little distinction between rebels and the civilians who lived in rebel zones of control, or between military assets and civilian infrastructure, such as train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine supplies, etc. The U.S. public always believe that in the next war, new military technologies will avoid civilian casualties on the other side. Yet when the inevitable civilian deaths occur, they are always explained away as “accidental” or “unavoidable.”
Second, although nearly all the post-World War II interventions were carried out in the name of “freedom” and “democracy,” nearly all of them in fact defended dictatorships controlled by pro-U.S. elites. Whether in Vietnam, Central America, or the Persian Gulf, the U.S. was not defending “freedom” but an ideological agenda (such as defending capitalism) or an economic agenda (such as protecting oil company investments). In the few cases when U.S. military forces toppled a dictatorship–such as in Grenada or Panama–they did so in a way that prevented the country’s people from overthrowing their own dictator first, and installing a new democratic government more to their liking.
Third, the U.S. always attacked violence by its opponents as “terrorism,” “atrocities against civilians,” or “ethnic cleansing,” but minimized or defended the same actions by the U.S. or its allies. If a country has the right to “end” a state that trains or harbors terrorists, would Cuba or Nicaragua have had the right to launch defensive bombing raids on U.S. targets to take out exile terrorists? Washington’s double standard maintains that an U.S. ally’s action by definition “defensive,” but that an enemy’s retaliation is by definition “offensive.”
Fourth, the U.S. often portrays itself as a neutral peacekeeper, with nothing but the purest humanitarian motives. After deploying forces in a country, however, it quickly divides the country or region into “friends” and “foes,” and takes one side against another. This strategy tends to enflame rather than dampen a war or civil conflict, as shown in the cases of Somalia and Bosnia, and deepens resentment of the U.S. role.
Fifth, U.S. military intervention is often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. goals and rationales. Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the conflict, it tends to polarize factions and further destabilize the country. The same countries tend to reappear again and again on the list of 20th century interventions.
Sixth, U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming many of their countries’ internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.
One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century was that “people like us” could not commit atrocities against civilians.
German and Japanese citizens believed it, but their militaries slaughtered millions of people.
British and French citizens believed it, but their militaries fought brutal colonial wars in Africa and Asia.
Russian citizens believed it, but their armies murdered civilians in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere.
Israeli citizens believed it, but their army mowed down Palestinians and Lebanese.
Arabs believed it, but suicide bombers and hijackers targeted U.S. and Israeli civilians.
U.S. citizens believed it, but their military killed hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, Iraq, and elsewhere.
Every country, every ethnicity, every religion, contains within it the capability for extreme violence. Every group contains a faction that is intolerant of other groups, and actively seeks to exclude or even kill them. War fever tends to encourage the intolerant faction, but the faction only succeeds in its goals if the rest of the group acquiesces or remains silent. The attacks of September 11 were not only a test for U.S. citizens attitudes’ toward minority ethnic/racial groups in their own country, but a test for our relationship with the rest of the world. We must begin not by lashing out at civilians in Muslim countries, but by taking responsibility for our own history and our own actions, and how they have fed the cycle of violence.
and here is the rest of the article with the joke that America is not involved in any coups:
Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro has publicly accused the United States of trying to foment a coup in Venezuela. The accusations come as the Obama Administration has bizarrely labeled Venezuela a national security threat to the United States despite that obviously not being true.Maduro’s accusation stems not just from being labeled a national security threat but from a plot Venezuelan security services uncovered which was publicly detailed by Maduro on Venezuelan TV.
According to Maduro the plot involved Carlos Manuel Osuna Saraco who operates out of New York and Miami, allegedly with the help of the US government. There is audio of Osuna dictating a statement rebel leaders should read after the coup.
If the plot is true it will be the second attempt by the US to foment a coup in Venezuela this century. The first being an amazingly blatant attempt in 2002 against President Hugo Chavez which the White House itself publicly supported before the coup was reversed and Chavez was returned to power.
Which brings us to the laughing stock State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki became yesterday when she claimed [VIDEO] in response to Maduro’s accusations:
As a matter of long standing policy the United States does not support transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal.
We’ve seen many times that the Venezuelan government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
The Associated Press reporter, Matt Lee, immediately jumped in with quite reasonable incredulity saying “I’m sorry. Whoah, whoah, whoah. The US has a long-standing practice of not promoting [coups] – how long-standing would you say?” Lee continued audibly scoffing and laughing “In particular in South and Latin America that is not a long-standing policy.”
ISIS: Saudi-Qatari-Funded Wahhabi Terrorists Worldwide
by Ramtanu Maitra
The sudden emergence of another organized militant Islamist-terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or simply IS, along the Iraqi-Syria borders, was not really “sudden” at all. A series of West-organized military actions, particularly the Iraq invasion of 2003, invasion of Libya in 2011, and arming and facilitating the passage of Islamists and terrorists, in the garb of freedom fighters, to Syria to dismantle the Assad regime, has served to bring together thousands of hard-core Islamic terrorists, from as many as 50 countries, who have for years been funded and indoctrinated by the Saudis, Qataris, and Kuwaitis, with the “kill them all” Wahhabi-Salafi vision of Islam, to establish what ISIS calls the Islamic State.
That state currently encompasses a swath of land stretching from the outskirts of Baghdad in the east, to the outskirts of Aleppo in Syria, bordering Lebanon and Turkey, in the west. Estimates of the number of fighters that might be affiliated with ISIS vary from more than 10,000, to as many as 17,000.
While many policy errors have contributed to creating this horror, there is one center of evil with the intention of spreading such brutal sectarian warfare, which destroys civilization and nation-states alike. This center is in London, often dubbed “Londonistan,” for its role as a center for incubating international terrorists. As we review the history of the creation of ISIS below, keep in mind the reality that we are dealing here with a London imperial project being carried out through Saudi Arabia, other Gulf States, and sundry British tools.
Setting Up Sectarian War
Although this large group of Wahhabi-Salafi terrorists in Iraq and Syria, who are killing Shi’as, and grabbing large of tracts of land for setting up a Wahhabi-Salafi Caliphate, has been much better organized and trained over the decades, it is not altogether different from the London-organized, Saudi-funded, and Pakistan-trained mujahideen in the 1980s, who showed up in Afghanistan to drive out the invading Soviet military. While the objective of the mujahideen brought in by Western powers was to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan, and then become terrorists-for-hire, ISIS is busy setting up a Caliphate in Southwest Asia.
It is perhaps because of this distinction that the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, told reporters on Aug. 24, on his way to Afghanistan, that he believes ISIS is more of a regional threat, and is not currently plotting attacks against the U.S. or Europe. He also pointed out that there is no indication, as of now, that ISIS militants are engaged in “active plotting against the homeland, so it’s different than that which we see in Yemen.” In Yemen, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has attempted attacks against Western countries.
There is no doubt that the threat that ISIS poses, as observed by General Dempsey, is a regional threat, and is primarily directed against Iran, Iran’s allies, and Shi’as in general. But it also poses a serious threat to all Arab monarchies and countries such as Lebanon.
The objective of ISIS became evident from its actions in Iraq and Syria. It is clear that the staunchest promoters of anti-Shi’a ideology, which is aimed at undermining Shiite Iran, are the Saudi monarchy, the Qatari monarchy under the al-Thanis, and the Kuwaiti monarchy under the al-Sabahs. These monarchies are exporters of the Salafi-Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam, which does not accept Shi’as as Muslims, and considers them to be heretics who should be annihilated in order to purify Islam.
Saudi Fears and Coverups
Nonetheless, the rise of the ISIS and its military prowess, seen in its securing a large tract of land not too-distant from the Saudi Arabian borders, has evoked an existential fear in the House of Saud. In addition, the presence of thousands of Western jihadi fighters who could raise hell upon their return to their home countries, has also made the Americans, the British, the French, and some other European governments—friends of the Saudi-Qatari-Kuwaiti axis—a bit uneasy. In order to assuage their Western friends’ fears, the Saudis have begun a propaganda campaign to convince others that they do not fund ISIS.
The West, with its vested interest in Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Gulf nations, has continued to defend Saudi Arabia; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry went on record praising the Saudi Kingdom for donating $100 million to the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre. Riyadh is also spewing out the lie that the ISIS militants are not adherents to Wahhabism. In a statement to the Aug. 23 London-based Saudi news daily Asharq al-Awsat, a spokesperson for the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in London said:
“Saudi Arabia wants the defeat and destruction of ISIS and other terrorist networks. Terrorist networks are as abhorrent to the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as they are to the governments and peoples of the rest of the world…. There have been suggestions that ISIS followers are members of some sort of Wahhabi absolutist sect. Indeed, certain UK media outlets often refer to Muslims within Saudi Arabia as Wahhabists. The unsubstantiated use of this invented connotation must end because it is untrue. Wahhabism is not a sect of Islam.” ****(But it is a sect and a very bad one at that)
“Muhammad [Ibn] Abd Al-Wahhab was a scholar and jurist of the 18th century who insisted on the adherence to Qur’anic values and the teachings of the word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad,” the statement added. The Saudi spokesperson criticized Western media attempts to draw comparisons between Wahhabism and extremist ideology. ****(Wahhab was not a scholar but a shrewd man who knew how to manipulate the Quran and everything in Islam, the teachings of the Prophet have nothing in common with the teachings of the screwed Wahhab)
But some Western news media are not buying these denials by Riyadh and Washington about the Saudi-Qatari-Kuwaiti connections to ISIS. The British weekly The Spectator, on Aug. 21, alluded to the common ideology of the Saudi and ISIS Wahhabists: “Saudi Arabia is a close ally of Britain and a keen customer of our killing machines, and like most of the Arab states is hostile to lunatic elements like ISIS and Hamas. Yet they are part of the problem; like many Islamists, including those in Britain, the Saudis are happy to condemn ISIS in what they do but not their basic ideology, largely because it mirrors their own.”
The article pointed out that “the Saudi hostility to ISIS could even be described in Freudian terms as the narcissism of small differences. ISIS is dangerous to them because for those raised in the Saudi version of Islam, the Islamic State’s even more extreme interpretation is not a huge leap.”
Wahhabi ‘Peaceniks’ of Yesteryear and Today’s ISIS
In 1744, Muhammad ibn Saud and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab swore a traditional Muslim oath, in which they promised to work together to establish a state-run according to Islamic principles. Until that time, the al-Saud family had been accepted as conventional tribal leaders whose rule was based on longstanding, but vaguely defined, authority. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab labeled all those who disagreed with him heretics and apostates, which, in his eyes, justified the use of force in imposing both his beliefs and his political authority over neighboring tribes. This in turn led him to declare holy war (jihad) on other Muslims (neighboring Arab tribes), an act which would otherwise have been legally impossible under the rules of jihad.
In 1802, the Wahhabis captured Karbala in Iraq, and destroyed the tomb of the Shi’ite Imam Husayn. In 1803, the Wahhabis captured the holy city of Mecca. The Ottoman Turks became alarmed, and in 1811, dispatched Muhammad Ali, the Ottoman ruler of Egypt, to challenge the Wahhabis. He succeeded in re-imposing Ottoman sovereignty in 1813. Nearly a century later, in 1901, with Wahhabi help, Saudi emir Abd al-Aziz al-Saud recaptured Riyadh. Al-Saud’s sovereignty over the Arabian peninsula grew steadily until 1924, when his dominance became secure. At that point, the Wahhabis went on a rampage throughout the peninsula, smashing the tombs of Muslim saints and imams, including the tomb of the Prophet’s daughter Fatima. Saudi Arabia was officially constituted as a kingdom in 1932.
In Newsweek July 8, Lucy Westcott wrote, “The Islamist militant group ISIS has been destroying Iraq’s Shiite mosques and religious shrines as it continues to put pressure on the country and further its extreme agenda. The AFP reported that four shrines that commemorated Sunni Arab or Sufi figures have been destroyed, while six Shiite mosques were demolished. The destruction seems to have been limited to Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, including militant-held Mosul. One local resident told Al-Arabiya that members of the group had also occupied the Chaldean cathedral and the Syrian Orthodox cathedral, both in Mosul, removing their crosses and replacing them with the black flag of the Islamic State.”
There is another hallmark that ties Wahhabism with ISIS like an umbilical cord. Human Rights Watch reported recently that Saudi Arabia has beheaded 19 people since the beginning of August. Some confessions may have been gained under torture, and one poor defendant was found guilty of sorcery. Beheading of Kafirs (in Arabic, a slur to describe non-believers) is also the high-profile act of both ISIS and al-Qaeda under Sheikh Osama bin Laden, another group that was a beneficiary of Saudi money and wide-ranging Gulf support.
ISIS beheaded the American journalist James Foley recently in Iraq; while another American journalist, Daniel Pearl, was beheaded in 2002 in Pakistan. In both cases, videos of the beheadings were widely circulated to rev up emotions among the Wahhabis.
The Financing of ISIS
In 2011, in Syria, when President Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, and President François Hollande joined forces to remove Syria’s elected President Bashir al-Assad from power, and thus deal a body blow to the Russians and the Iranians, who acknowledge Assad’s legitimacy, not-so-militant groups within were bolstered by attaching them to well-trained Salafi-Wahhabi terrorists from a number of countries. While the Western countries were quite generous with arms, and worked with the neighboring countries to facilitate entry of arms into Syria, the bulk of the money came from the Salafi-Wahhabi bastions of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.
Despite denials issued from Riyadh and Doha to quiet gullible Westerners, the funding of various Sunni groups seeking to establish Salafism and Wahhabism in a number of countries has long been well-documented. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example, who is keen to see Assad, and the Russian influence over Syria, vanish altogether, praised the Saudis and Qataris for financial help lent to the Syrian “rebels,” in a discussion on CNN, in January 2014,
“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends,” the Senator repeated at the Munich Security Conference in late January. McCain praised Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services and a former ambassador to the United States, for supporting forces fighting Assad in Syria. McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had previously met with Bandar to encourage the Saudis to arm Syrian rebel forces.
But McCain was a bit off the mark. At the time he was bloviating on CNN, the “rebel” power in Syria was already firmly in the hands of ISIS—now an enemy of the U.S. Indeed, in Syria, where the moderate Friends of Syria (those who, according to what the White House conveyed to the American people in 2011-13, were the recipient of arms thanks to American and other Western largesse), Jabhat al-Nusra (a faction of al-Qaeda), and ISIS worked together in the early stages of the West-orchestrated and Saudi-Qatari-Kuwaiti-funded anti-Assad militancy. These groups used to carry their flags together during militant operations against Damascus; but that changed, and the Salafi-Wahhabis, having seized arms and ammunition from their earlier collaborators, became the powerhouse.
Now, it is evident that ISIS has enough killing power to loot and extort funds to sustain itself, and even grow.
How Saudi Money Created Foreign Wahhabi Terrorists
In 2010, Britain’s news daily The Guardian citing Wikileaks, Dec. 5, 2010, quoted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying that Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)—but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money. Both the Afghan Taliban and the LeT espouse the Wahhabi version of orthodox Islam. “More needs to be done,” wrote The Guaridan, “since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups, says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.
Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them. The problem is particularly acute in Saudi Arabia, where militants soliciting funds slip into the country disguised as holy pilgrims, set up front companies to launder funds, and receive money from government-sanctioned charities.
In other words, a small fraction of the Saudi money may have gone directly to ISIS, but it is definitely Saudi money that armed and trained terrorists in Russia’s Chechnya, Dagestan, North Ossetia, Ingushetia; in Pakistan; along the Afghanistan-Pakistan borders; in the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan belt in Central Asia and also in Europe, particularly in Britain’s Londonistan. These militants have come in droves to the Syrian theater with their expertise to boost ISIS’s killing power.
In short, the Saudis have shipped money, sermons, and volunteers to Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Russia’s North Caucasus, just as they’re doing now in Syria. In Chechnya, Saudis such as Ibn al-Khattab, Abu al-Walid, and Muhannad (all noms de guerre) indoctrinated, armed, and trained militants who mired the Chechens in an endless war that killed some 160,000 people, while forcing Chechen women into Saudi-style isolation, and throwing Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia into turmoil. Many of these jihadis are now on full display in the Syria-Iraq theater on behalf of ISIS.
In Afghanistan, Saudi money, and the Pakistani military, backed by Saudi money and support, have created a relatively small, but hardcore, Wahhabi capability in a number of provinces. Although these Afghan Taliban were not notably visible in either Syria or Iraq, they have helped facilitate movement of Saudi-funded Wahhabi terrorists coming down from the north to participate in the Caliphate-formation war in Iraq and Syria.
In Pakistan, myriad Saudi-financed Wahhabi and anti-Shi’a terrorists are growing in strength, and trying establish inroads into the Pakistani military; while in Afghanistan, the Saudi- and opium-funded Taliban, spewing Wahhabi venom, are trying to seize power again. In addition, Saudi money is also being distributed to build bases in several nations for recruitment and training of jihadis for future operations. It is evident that such a widespread operation cannot be carried out in stealth for years; it is therefore fair to assume that such base-building is done in collaboration with the targeted nation’s intelligence community. These recruits remain available for use by the mother-nation. This became visible when the Libyan Islamic Fighters Group (LIFG) was used to dismantle the Libyan state and kill Colonel Qaddafi. Pakistan and Britain are two important centers where the Saudis operate hand-in-glove with those nations’ intelligence apparatus.
Britain in the Spotlight
Take, for instance, the recent beheading of the American photo-journalist James Foley by a British jihadi working with ISIS. Whether the British jihadi actually carried out the execution, or not, it was evident that ISIS was keen to project its strength, boasting that it has muscle in developed countries, such as Britain. And, indeed, it has.
The identified British jihadi was a product of the East London Mosque, situated at the heart of Londonistan, in the borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. Londonistan is a world unto itself, where British intelligence recruits and trains Saudi-funded radical and criminal Sunni Muslims to kill and assassinate, and then deploys them wherever needed to serve the “Empire’s interest.”
Tower Hamlets is where the Shi’a-hating radical Saudi cleric and head Imam of Mecca, Sheikh Adel al-Kalbani (who last year was refused entry into Britain) went to meet local council leaders for a “private meeting” in 2008. He was the guest of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, a fanatic Islamist who heads the Saudi-funded Jamaat-e-Islami in Britain. According to a Bangladeshi journalist, Tower Hamlets has been converted into the “Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets” under the mayor. That statement was right on the mark.
On Aug. 9, The Guardian reported that some 20 Asian youths had gathered around the Tower Hamlets gates, where a black flag, resembling that of ISIS, was hoisted. The flag was subsequently taken down by a Catholic nun.
Tower Hamlets is one of many centers where the Saudis breed their Wahhabi recruits. In 2013, when Sheikh al-Kalbani was denied entry to the U.K., followers of radical hate preacher Anjem Choudary, spokesman for the Islamist group Islam4UK, led a demonstration in London in May against Shi’a Muslims, three years after Islam4UK was officially proscribed, on Jan. 14 2010, under the U.K.’s counter-terrorism laws. In other words, the proscription of Islam4UK is a paper job to cover up that group’s activities.
It is also evident that the Saudi funding for Wahhabi-indoctrinated jihadi fighters has not gone to waste. Among the ISIS foreign fighters, the Londonistan-created jihadists are the largest and most dominant group. The Telegraph, in an Aug. 21 article, “More British Muslims fight in Syria than in U.K. Armed Forces,” cited Khalid Mahmood, the Member of Parliament from Birmingham, another recruiting and training center of Londonistan, saying that “1,500 British Muslims have gone to wage jihad since 2011, as opposed to the 400-500 the government estimates and the 650 serving in the British armed forces.”
“The Saudi Arabian princes, the people that we’re doing business with every day, because of the petro-dollar arrangement we have with them, they’re still funding ISIS. Their money is going directly to ISIS as we speak,” Mr. Papantonio said. “So, (ISIS has) this huge armament stash that (the U.S.) gave them, they have this propaganda machine that we gave them, and they have money coming from the Saudi Arabians.”
The “back-story” of U.S. involvement in the very creation of ISIS is undeniable, Mr. Papantonio said. “In the 1980s—(Pres. Ronald) Reagan and (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld—the U.S. funded anti-Soviet rebels and provided huge weapons supply to (Osama) bin Laden and Al Qaeda,” when they were fighting America’s “Cold War” enemy the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
“Al Qaeda, then after that, if you remember the history, merged with ISIS, and then together, the next step was ISIS and Al Qaeda, pushed to overthrow (Col. Muammar) Gadhafi in Libya and to reassert this strong “Islamic” regime. And for them doing that, the U.S. provided more money, more arms, more air strikes and more moral support for ISIS.
“Then the Al Qaeda-ISIS group, recovered huge amounts of U.S. weapons that we left behind in Iraq. I mean tons and tons of weapons. It’s disgusting when you start seeing what they drove away with and carried away,” Mr. Papantonio continued.
But Mr. Obama’s international problems are even deeper than just ISIS. He is facing a “triple-headed monster” in international affairs, according to Dr. Gerald Horne, who holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American studies at the University of Houston. “The way it’s been described is the so-called Islamic State, on the Syria-Iraqi border, the Ukraine-Russia-crisis that’s exploding as we speak, and the alleged threat from China, where the United States has been buzzing the coast of China in recent days, leading to confrontations between the air forces of both nations, with—according to press reports—the planes coming within 30 feet of each other, which is quite dangerous,”