Who is responsible for the catastrophes in the Middle East?
by Bill Van Auken
“The United States of America is not responsible for what happened in Libya, nor is it responsible for what is happening in Iraq today,” Secretary of State John Kerry declared at a Cairo news conference held in the midst of his recent crisis tour of the Middle East.
As Kerry spoke, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a growing Sunni insurgency were consolidating their grip over the north and west of Iraq, including the country’s borders with Syria and Jordan. Upwards of a million Iraqis had been displaced by the fighting, and thousands had been killed in the mounting sectarian slaughter.
Libya is in a state of complete collapse, with continuous fighting between rival militias, a government that exists in name only, oil production down by at least 80 percent, and over a million ****(unfortunately its over 3 million) people forced to flee the country’s violence. Many thousands ****(over 70 thousand) are incarcerated in a network of prisons run by armed groups that practice systematic torture.
Kerry’s statement merely made official the steady drumbeat from the political establishment and the media since the situation in Iraq turned into a complete debacle: “The US bears no responsibility.”
Typical was the commentary by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a “human rights” imperialistwho was a vocal proponent of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. He wrote: “The debacle in Iraq isn’t President Obama’s fault. It’s not the Republicans’ fault… overwhelmingly, it’s the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.” ***(Really? Maliki is the puppet of the USA so how is it his fault?)
Maliki, the stooge put in power and kept there by the US occupation, is made the fall guy.
Thomas Friedman, the Times’ foreign affairs columnist, wrote Sunday that Maliki is an “arsonist,” who, “the minute America left Iraq,” deliberately unleashed mayhem. This is the same Friedman who in 2003 declared that the US invaded Iraq “because we could,” spoke proudly of US troops going house-to-house and ordering Iraqis to “suck on this,” and declared that he had “no problem with a war for oil.”
Listening to the chorus of statements insisting that the US has no responsibility for the deepening tragedy inflicted upon the people of Iraq and Libya, one is reminded of nothing so much as the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, from Hermann Göring on down, rising one-by-one in the dock to declare themselves “not guilty.”
What are the crimesfor which Kerry and so many others in the ruling establishment insist Washington bears no responsibility?
The description that they used for their own actions at the time was “shock and awe,” the unleashing of colossal destructive force upon a society already shattered by a decade of sadistic US sanctions. Killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions into refugees, the US war and occupation destroyed every institution of Iraqi society, while Washington deliberately fomented sectarian divisions as a means of overcoming Iraqi nationalism. The country’s deposed ruler, Saddam Hussein, was tried by a drumhead court and unceremoniously executed.
All of this was justified with warnings about the imminent threat from “weapons of mass destruction” and ties between Baghdad and Al Qaeda. As the whole world now knows, it was all lies.
There were no WMDs and there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until US imperialism overthrew the country’s government and tore its social fabric to pieces. In fact, there was no Al Qaeda at all before Washington set about inciting a bloody war by right-wing Islamists in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
In Libya and now in Syria, the Obama administration abandoned the “war on terrorism” pretext for an equally cynical and fraudulent justification for regime-change: “human rights.” In Libya, the US and NATO heavily bombed the country while organizing and arming Islamist-led militias in a sectarian war that destroyed all of the existing governmental and social structures. As in Iraq, it ended its war with the brutal murder of the country’s secular leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Washington is carrying out a similar war for regime-change in Syria, backing Sunni Islamist and sectarian militias that are led by ISIS, the same force that has overrun much of Iraq. The US hopes to end this war with the assassination of a third secular Arab head of state, Bashar al-Assad.
Just last week, Obama proposed to funnel $500 million in arms to the Syrian “rebels”—weapons that everyone knows will end up in the hands of ISIS, which the US is supposedly committed to defeating in Iraq.
As the contradictions and deceptions of Washington’s policy become ever more glaring, US officials simply act as though the American people won’t notice, or will believe anything. Or, for that matter, they won’t see that $500 million can be conjured up instantly to pay for a criminal war, while working people are being told “there is no money” for health care, education, housing or jobs.
The destruction that the US oligarchs have wrought in the Middle East, with all of its terrible human consequences, is the external manifestation of their destructive role within the US itself—smashing up the country’s manufacturing base, turning its economy into a gambling casino for financial parasites, destroying the jobs and living standards of millions of people. With no answers to the growing crisis at home, they turn to violence abroad, only compounding the catastrophes they have created overseas.
The “not responsibles” and “not guilties” from Kerry, Kristof, Friedman and the other advocates and apologists for American military aggression won’t wash. US imperialism is responsible for terrible crimes against humanity.
Yet no one has been held accountable.Not those in Washington—Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, et al.—who conspired to wage a war of aggression; not those in the current administration, from Obama on down, who conspired to shield their predecessors and continue the same predatory policies; not the military brass who carried out the war; not the private contractors who enriched themselves off of it; not the lying media that helped foist the war onto the American public; not the cowardly and conformist academics who justified and went along with it.
Together, they are responsible for the catastrophes that have been inflicted upon the peoples of Iraq, Libya and Syria.
The Saudi ‘Prince’ Bandar – affectionately known as ‘Bandar Bush’, for his slavish devotion to the US family in doing their dirty deeds – is known to the more discerning readers amongst you as a terrorist. To this day, he controls militants of al-Qaeda in Chechnya, Syria, Iraq etc. and is behind terror attacks on these countries, as well as Lebanon and Russia.
Some say he is the real de-facto leader of al-Qaeda – he uses the group for America’s CIA black operations of terror and false flag atrocities across numerous countries.
Officially, he is the head of the Saudi Intelligence Agency – but few people know just how far back his terrorism and killing goes, and just how long he has secretly been a CIA operative.
A UK TV television programme on the ‘Yesterday’ channel recently aired a ‘CIA Declassified’ episode, titled ‘The Beirut Bomber’, in which extraordinary revelations were yet again revealed about the CIA’s level of disregard for human life, civilian casualties, faulty intelligence, terror activity and breach of laws in other peoples’ countries.
In 1985, the CIA director William Casey, decided to ‘take out’ the man he falsely believed was the leader of Hezbollah in the Lebanon. Casey was also the man who bombed Libya a year later – killing scores of civilians, narrowly missing killing its leader Muammar Gaddafi, and causing head injuries to the latter’s three year old son, Khamis.
Casey was keen to keep his own CIA operatives out of his planned attack in Beirut (to try and pretend the CIA had nothing to do with such terrorism) – so he contacted the Saudis to get them to sort out the finer details of arranging the bombing. The Saudi King ordered Bandar Bush to co-operate in EVERY way with anything the Americans would want from him (note the sickening servitude)!
Bandar Bush set about finding and recruiting Lebanese agents to plant the bomb – but the British also had their filthy paw marks all over the attack, as a former SAS officer was also brought in to help the recruitment process…
The bomb was planted amongst a pile of vegetables in a large truck – for detonation in a busy area in broad daylight.
The massive blast killed 83 people – all civilians – and left 283 people injured. Most of the victims were schoolgirls, and women and other children. The force of the bomb was so powerful that buildings 600 feet away were destroyed…
But the butchers had missed their target. He only avoided the bombing after a woman, who had stopped to chat to him, delayed him nearby.
Later, the CIA also found that their target was just an innocent cleric – who had never had any direct links to either ‘terrorism’ or Hezbollah.
The CIA’s intelligence had been deadly wrong…
What I find most chilling is how the means to attempt to kill just one man was a type of attack that was deliberately chosen despite its obvious capacity to kill a large number of innocent people. The truck bomb and the size of the explosives were clearly designed to cause maximum carnage and huge civilian loss of life – especially in a crowded area at a busy time of day…
Just what was the real agenda here?
Since writing this article, Bandar Bush has recently resigned as head of the Saudi Intelligence Agency – due to ill health. I do not think anyone will be feeling very sorry for him…
Editors Note: That was the official statement but Bandar Bush was forced to resign by orders of the U.S.A. foreign administration for the very poor job he did with Syria and being sloppy with the Sarin gas in August 2013. His health is just fine.
The unprecedented Saudi refusal to take up its Security Council seat is not just about Syria but a response to the Iranian threat
By Robert Fisk
October 24, 2013 “The Independent” – - The Muslim world’s historic – and deeply tragic – chasm between Sunni and Shia Islam is having worldwide repercussions. Syria’s civil war, America’s craven alliance with the Sunni Gulf autocracies, and Sunni (as well as Israeli) suspicions of Shia Iran are affecting even the work of the United Nations.
Saudi Arabia’s petulant refusal last week to take its place among non-voting members of the Security Council, an unprecedented step by any UN member, was intended to express the dictatorial monarchy’s displeasure with Washington’s refusal to bomb Syria after the use of chemical weapons in Damascus – but it also represented Saudi fears that Barack Obama might respond to Iranian overtures for better relations with the West.
The Saudi head of intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan – a true buddy of President George W Bush during his 22 years as ambassador in Washington – has now rattled his tin drum to warn the Americans that Saudi Arabia will make a “major shift” in its relations with the US, not just because of its failure to attack Syria but for its inability to produce a fair Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
What this “major shift” might be – save for the usual Saudi hot air about its independence from US foreign policy – was a secret that the prince kept to himself.
Israel, of course, never loses an opportunity to publicise – quite accurately – how closely many of its Middle East policies now coincide with those of the wealthy potentates of the Arab Gulf.
Hatred of the Shia/Alawite Syrian regime, an unquenchable suspicion of Shia Iran’s nuclear plans and a general fear of Shia expansion is turning the unelected Sunni Arab monarchies into proxy allies of the Israeli state they have often sworn to destroy. Hardly, one imagines, the kind of notion that Prince Bandar wishes to publicise.
Furthermore, America’s latest contribution to Middle East “peace” could be the sale of $10.8bn worth of missiles and arms to Sunni Saudi Arabia and the equally Sunni United Arab Emirates, including GBU-39 bombs – the weapons cutely called “bunker-busters” – which they could use against Shia Iran.Israel, of course, possesses the very same armaments.
Whether the hapless Mr Kerry – whose risible promise of an “unbelievably small” attack on Syria made him the laughing stock of the Middle East – understands the degree to which he is committing his country to the Sunni side in Islam’s oldest conflict is the subject of much debate in the Arab world. His response to the Saudi refusal to take its place in the UN Security Council has been almost as weird.
After lunch on Monday at the Paris home of the Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal, Kerry – via his usual anonymous officials – said that he valued the autocracy’s leadership in the region, shared Riyadh’s desire to de-nuclearise Iran and to bring an end to the Syrian war. But Kerry’s insistence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime must abandon power means that a Sunni government would take over Syria; and his wish to disarm Shia Iran – however notional its nuclear threat may be – would ensure that Sunni military power would dominate the Middle East from the Afghan border to the Mediterranean.
Few realise that Yemen constitutes another of the Saudi-Iranian battlegrounds in the region.
Saudi enthusiasm for Salafist groups in Yemen – including the Islah party, which is allegedly funded by Qatar, though it denies receiving any external support – is one reason why the post-Saleh regime in Sanaa has been supporting the Zaidi Shia Houthi “rebels” whose home provinces of Sa’adah, al Jawf and Hajja border Saudi Arabia. The Houthis are – according to the Sunni Saudis – supported by Iran.
The minority Sunni monarchy in Bahrain – supported by the Saudis and of course by the compliant governments of the US, Britain, et al – is likewise accusing Shia Iran of colluding with the island’s majority Shias. Oddly, Prince Bandar, in his comments, claimed that Barack Obama had failed to support Saudi policy in Bahrain – which involved sending its own troops into the island to help repress Shia demonstrators in 2011– when in fact America’s silence over the regime’s paramilitary violence was the nearest Washington could go in offering its backing to the Sunni minorityand his Royal Highness the King of Bahrain.
All in all, then, a mighty Western love affair with Sunni Islam – a love that very definitely cannot speak its name in an Arab Gulf world in which “democracy”, “moderation”, “partnership” and outright dictatorship are interchangeable – which neither Washington nor London nor Paris (nor indeed Moscow or Beijing) will acknowledge.But, needless to say, there are a few irritating – and incongruous – ripples in this mutual passion.
The Saudis, for example, blame Obama for allowing Egypt’s decadent Hosni Mubarak to be overthrown.They blame the Americans for supporting the elected Muslim Brother Mohamed Morsi as president– elections not being terribly popular in the Gulf – and the Saudis are now throwing cash at Egypt’s new military regime.Assad in Damascus also offered his congratulations to the Egyptian military. Was the Egyptian army not, after all – like Assad himself – trying to prevent religious extremists from taking power?
Fair enough – providing we remember that the Saudis are really supporting the Egyptian Salafistswho cynically gave their loyalty to the Egyptian military, and that Saudi-financed Salafists are among the fiercest opponents of Assad.
Thankfully for Kerry and his European mates, the absence of any institutional memory in the State Department, Foreign Office or Quai d’Orsay means that no one need remember that 15 of the 19 mass-killers of 9/11 were also Salafists and – let us above all, please God, forget this – were all Sunni citizens of Saudi Arabia.
Secretary Kerry Stretches his face…
…as he stretches the truth !
Surprise! John Kerry Lied (again), when he made claims that the UN Report “confirms” the Syrian Government carried out the chemical weapons attack August 21, 2013 in Syria. Like I said before, Secretary of State is working his hardest to get as many people to believe these false claims as possible. Him and McCains problem is, there is now video footage taken off a dead terrorists cell phone showing Kerry and McCains terrorists actually carrying out that exact bombing that exact night.
Do to the availability of hard core proof on the internet of “WHO” exactly carried out the attack is NOT in question. The question of “WHY” these 2 men (Kerry & McCain), want to keep lying to the world and supporting terrorism in Syria. Perhaps to further a pipeline from Saudi to the Mediterranean Sea? Perhaps to control…
Beheaded in front of children, Assad’s Supporters are dragged to their doom and butchered like animals in some of the most brutal scenes to emerge from Syria’s civil war
The sword rests briefly on his neck as a blindfolded man kneels under a clear blue sky.
Moments later, the executioner raises his right arm, slashes downwards and the prisoner is dead.
The whole barbaric episode is watched by a crowd of jeering men, many of them armed.
And sitting on a low wall only a few feet from where the wretched captive died so violently is a line of young boys.
They were still there as the dead man’s head was dumped on his body. Another child, even younger, was led by the hand past the corpse.
As a cheering crowd of fighters look on, an executioner – believed to belong to the Al Qaeda-linked faction ISIS – lines up his sword in a practice run before delivering the final blow
A Syrian boy is held by the hand as he walks past the body of a beheaded Islamic militant loyal to Assad. An unnamed photojournalist was given rare access to the public executionin the town of Keferghan in the north of the country
A group of young children sit on a wall as they stare at the dead body
The severed head of a militant is held aloft. The photographer witnessed four public executions on August 31
The public execution was the last of four that took placeon August 31 in the town of Keferghan in the north of the country.
The picture forms part of a set taken by a photojournalist – whose identity has not been revealed in order to protect him– who was given unprecedented access to the gruesome proceedings.
Among the other photos are an executioner lining up his sword before delivering the final blow as his victim kneels in the village square – and a victim’s head being held aloft by a jubilant fighter.
On A Constitutionalist Note....“The time is now near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves.” Father of Our Country - George Washington 1776..............................................................................In Memoriam: "War" - Andrew Breitbart - Father of Our New Media (1969-2012)
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Turning and turning in the widening gyre | The falcon cannot hear the falconer | Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold | Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world | The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere | The ceremony of innocence is drowned | The best lack all conviction, while the worst | Are full of passionate intensity. -- W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming