Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton Helped Topple Gadhafi While France & UK Fought Over Libya’s Oil


Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton Helped Topple Gadhafi While France & UK Fought Over Libya’s Oil

Clinton bragged about the U.S. role in Moammar Gadhafi’s death, and her emails leaked by Wikileaks show the race to claim Libya’s resources in the aftermath.

By Kit O’Connell
WASHINGTON — A message from Hillary Clinton’s private email server reveals that France and the United Kingdom both sought to control Libya’s oil in the days after the U.S.-backed coup in 2011.

An email sent on Sept. 16, 2011 to Clinton, then the U.S. Secretary of State, from journalist and family friend Sidney Blumenthal, shows that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron each traveled to Tripoli about one month after Moammar Gadhafi’s government fell in order to assert their claim on Libya’s energy reserves.

They made these demands, Blumenthal wrote, during meetings with the country’s National Transitional Council, a de facto government which formed with Western support in the aftermath of the coup:

“According to knowledgeable individuals, as part of this effort, the two leaders, in private conversations, also intend to press the leaders of the NTC to reward their early support for the rebellion against Muammar al Qaddafi. Sarkozy and Cameron expect this recognition to be tangible, in the form of favorable contracts for French and British energy companies looking to play a major role in the Libyan oil industry. According to this source, Sarkozy feels, quite strongly, that without French support there would have been no revolution and that the NTC government must demonstrate that it realizes this fact.”

Blumenthal reported that Cameron sought to downplay the historically strong ties between the U.K.-based BP Oil and the Gadhafi government. France, he wrote, was negotiating “to reserve as much as 35% of Libya’s oil related industry for French firms, particularly the major French energy company TOTAL.”

Analysis of the Clinton emails by Antiwar.com shows Sarkozy also lusted after Gadhafi’s gold and silver reserves, valued at about $7 billion.

The United States, France, U.K. and other NATO allies backed rebel forces in Libya that ousted Gadhafi in August 2011, in what was widely reported to be a “humanitarian intervention” against a government with a history of severe human rights abuses.

Clinton played a major role in convincing allied nations to join in the attacks, and after Gadhafi was killed that October, she boasted during a break in an interview for CBS, “We came, we saw, he died.”

However, far from improving conditions, the fall of Libya’s government left what was once an economically prosperous nation in chaos and disarray.

The failed state proved to be a perfect opportunity for Daesh, the terrorist group commonly known in the West as ISIS or ISIL, as Catherine Shakdam reported for MintPress last March. She highlighted that it brought extremists closer to European shores:

“With ISIS now inserted into the mix of Libya’s unravelling, the country is back on the forefront of the war on terror. Two days after the video surfaced, Egypt’s Ambassador to the U.K. Nasser Kamel told the BBC that ISIS would attempt to break into Europe by exploiting conventional migration routes, camouflaging its fighters within the waves of illegal migrants pouring toward Western capitals.”

Both the U.S. and France were reported to have re-entered the conflict in Libya in February.

Clinton’s emails also suggest that another U.S. ally, Israel, supported the destabilization of Syria through efforts to weaken Iran and control energy reserves in Syria’s Golan Heights, a region illegally occupied by Israel.

Similar to the conflict in Libya, the Syrian civil war is driven by competing interests in gas pipelines which would run through the country.

What’s Israel’s Role in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict?


What’s Israel’s Role in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict?
Sputnik – April 17, 2016

With the decades-long Azeri-Armenian conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region burning out of control for four intense, blood-soaked days at the beginning of this month, questions have emerged over the secretive role played by Israel in the conflict.

Late last week, commenting on the recent escalation of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman blamed Armenia for provoking four days of clashes which left over a hundred dead and dozens wounded.

Azerbaijan, Lieberman said, had “no reasons for escalating the conflict,” despite extensive reports confirming that Azerbaijan was the party that launched offensive operations to regain control of territory in the Armenia-backed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

For its part, the Azeri Defense Ministry called the operation, which resulted in the taking of several strategic heights and settlements, a successful ‘counteroffensive’ launched in response to Armenian shelling.

Lieberman’s words would be echoed by retired Israel Defense Forces general Ephraim Sneh, who emphasized in a Friday op-ed for Al-Monitor that Azerbaijan is Israel’s “strategic ally,” and that at the moment, Baku “needs all the diplomatic help [Israel] can muster.”

Sneh slammed Tel Aviv for “staying silent” in Baku’s hour of need, explaining that Azerbaijan is one of Israel’s only friends in the Islamic world, and adding that Israel needs Azerbaijan to ensure its energy security, with Baku providing the Jewish State with some 40% of its oil.

Russia’s mediation of the conflict, Sneh suggested, has been disastrous for Baku, with the “status quo” that emerged in 1994 following the six-year war which began in the late 1980s “convenient for everyone, except for Azerbaijan.”

Blaming Armenia for violations of the ceasefire (and absolving the Azeris of their own violations), Sneh candidly admitted that Baku started the latest bloodshed, and suggested that Azerbaijan’s challenging of the status quo may actually work in its favor.

Saying that the current Moscow-brokered ceasefire, is “tenuous at best and not expected to last long,” the general says that he is hopeful that “now that Azerbaijan has proved its military superiority, there is a chance for real diplomatic negotiations that could lead to an agreement between the two countries,” i.e. for the ethnically Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to give its territory. In this sense, Sneh says, the Azeris could take a lesson from Tel Aviv and negotiate according to a formula of “land for peace,” which Israel used in the late 1970s in negotiations with Egypt to return the Sinai Peninsula.

This time, Sneh argues, the Azeris should do the same, but in reverse, promising Armenia peace in exchange for Nagorno-Karabakh. “Armenia’s weak economy could stand to benefit from such an agreement.” Moreover, “improved economic relations with Turkey are just one important economic benefit that Armenia can be assured of as soon as it withdraws from the occupied Azeri territories.””Meanwhile, Azerbaijan needs much more robust diplomatic support than it is receiving today.” Unfortunately, Sneh complains, Baku hasn’t been getting it from Israel.

But just how silent has Tel Aviv actually been?

To begin with, hints of the extensive military cooperation between the two countries emerged in the first days of the conflict, indicating that Israeli ‘suicide drones’ were being used by Azeri forces in the course of their offensive. The Harop unmanned aerial vehicle, which acts as a ‘kamikaze’ capable of destroying targets by ramming into them, is produced by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI).

According to French intelligence newsletter Intelligence Online, in addition to drones, Israel also provides Baku with advanced radar systems, control and command posts, and other intelligence-collection equipment, and has even entered a bid to provide Baku with a $150 million observation satellite.

Israel has refused to confirm or deny its sale of drones, or other weaponry, to Azerbaijan. However, Meretz party chairwoman Zehava Galon came out publicly warning that Israel intends to send more drones to Baku. In a letter addressed to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Galon urged that the Israeli government should stop weapons deliveries to the Azeris until it could be assured that Baku would halt the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.

At the same time, Israeli security and intelligence specialist Yossi Melman says that Israel has a massive, but highly secretive, defense footprint in Azerbaijan.

In his analysis for The Jerusalem Post, Melman explained that Israel and Azerbaijan enjoy annual trade which is “$5 billion larger than between Israel and France.” Moreover, he said, “most of the content remains confidential, and consists of Azeri oil sold to Israel and Israeli weapons and intelligence technologies purchased by Azerbaijan.”

From modest beginnings in the early 1990s, Azerbaijan has grown to become “the second-biggest market in Asia, after India, for Israeli weapons,” with Israeli defense companies enjoying literally billions of dollars in sales in the Caucasian state. At the same time, Melman indicates, “the best promoters of the military sales and ties are Israeli ministers and officials who visit the Caucasian nation.”

“This week,” the analyst recalls, “The Washington Post enabled the world to have a peeping window into the secret relations [between the two countries] when it published a photo of an Israeli-made ‘suicidal drone’ exploding itself on a bus leading Armenian combatants to the front lines. Seven people were killed, and the Armenian government protested to Israel.”

“A few days after the incident, military journalists visited Israeli Aerospace Industries facilities and were briefed on the various products, from drones to satellites, which the company has to offer. An IAI spokeswoman was asked if the company was behind the Washington Post revelation. She refused to answer but openly smiled when one reporter commented that such a photo is good for business and promotes sales of products that can be labeled ‘battle proven’.”

In addition to military ties, Melman notes that the two countries also have strong intelligence ties, with Mossad given permission to set up a large station in Azerbaijan, taking advantage of the region’s geography to run operations throughout the North Caucasus.

Both Russian and Iranian officials have previously accused Azerbaijan of allowing Mossad to use their territory for espionage activities, the latter indicating that the Israeli missions included everything from “recruiting and planting agents,” to “communication interception and aerial reconnaissance,” Melman explained. Moreover, he added, “more than a year ago Iran claimed to have shot down an Israeli-made drone,” claims which Israeli officials have refused to comment on.

Pointing to the secretive nature of political, defense and intelligence cooperation between the two countries, the analyst noted that “it was [Azeri President Ilham] Alieyev himself who was quoted in a WikiLeaks cable sent from the US Embassy in Baku [saying] that ‘bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Israel are like an iceberg. Nine-tenths are below the surface.’”

Ultimately, Melmen notes, “seemingly, Israel and Azerbaijan are an odd couple, not meant to be with each other,” with the Caucasian nation not really serving as a model of Western democracy, being run by the same family since 1991, and facing issues including corruption and the suppression of free media. “On the other hand, Israel is not too selective in choosing friends when it comes to weapons sales and national interests. A quick look at the map,” showing that Azerbaijan borders Iran, Israel’s sworn enemy, “can explain Israeli priorities.”

It’s Ok, Everyone, Nusra Says Nusra Won’t Hurt Us


It’s Ok, Everyone, Nusra Says Nusra Won’t Hurt Us

By Brandon Turbeville

Al-Nusra Front has taken to the airwaves with a message for all Westerners and Americans in particular – they really aren’t that bad. And there are no plans to attack Americans. They are just your friendly neighborhood terrorist organization, funded handsomely by the West and the GCC, raping and beheading their way across the Middle East. There’s nothing to worry about so long as the US allows them to continue to rape little girls, cut off heads, impose savage Sharia law, and eat the hearts and livers of the occasional dissident.

This message was brought to you by the feudal monarchy of Qatar and its mouthpiece organization, Al-Jazeera and conducted with a journalist whose past is checkered with a conviction of supporting al-Qaeda.

The alleged leader of al-Nusra Front, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, appeared on al-Jazeera with a setting fit for a king (or Emir *ahem*) to discuss Nusra’s plans for Syria and the West. The man alleging to be Julani and alleging to be the leader of Nusra, despite claiming to be “fearless,” sat with his face covered and his back to the camera. The set was ornately decorated and almost appeared to be some type of palace room or high government building.

Julani reassured Westerners that he had been ordered by another alleged leader, this time of al-Qaeda proper, Ayman al-Zawihiri, not to launch attacks against the West as this would jeopardize the mission in Syria.

A New York Times report cited a US intelligence official as saying that Julani’s statements were merely self-serving propaganda.

Propaganda? Yes. Self-serving? Not exactly. Julani’s statements were actually serving NATO, the US, and Israel in their own propaganda efforts to assure the American people that supporting the so-called “rebels” in Syria is a good idea and one that will not come back to bite them.

Indeed, Julani truly spoke like a paid actor or a professional trained talking monkey in his job as message delivery boy. Obviously, neither designation would set him clearly apart from any other “expert” or “reporter” in the Western/Gulf media propaganda establishment.

Still, the “fearless” hijabed Julani stated, “We are only here to accomplish one mission, to fight the regime and its agents on the ground, including Hezbollah and others. Al-Nusra Front doesn’t have any plans or directives to target the West. We received clear orders not to use Syria as a launching pad to attack the US or Europe in order to not sabotage the true mission against the regime. Maybe al-Qaeda does that, but not here in Syria.”

The only true part of his statement was that Khorosan, painted as the end of the Western world and enemy #1 for a total of about five days, was a fictional organization invented by the Americans to deceive and frighten the American public.

His presentation of al-Qaeda and al-Nusra Front as different organizations, however, is ludicrous, since Nusra was merely the Syrian version of al-Qaeda proper before the two groups were largely united by the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and renamed the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant, later to be renamed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIS, and IS. Of course, all incarnations of the group were entirely organized, funded, and armed by the United States, NATO, and GCC.

Julani also stated that Nusra would not harm Christians or Druze who refused to fight against it and that the even the Alawites would be spared if they would refuse to fight, reject Assad, and give up their religious beliefs and convert to Sunnism.

Of course, this is disingenuous to say the least. The “opposition” in Syria was famous for screaming “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave!” as far back as 2011 when the crisis first began. Alawites have long been targeted by the so-called “rebels” from the start. Regardless, for the likes of the “moderate rebels,” no Muslim – even Sunni – is ever Muslim enough, unless he practices the Wahhabist filth that is labeled Islamic by its proponents and psychopathic adherents.

The reality of the situation is that Julani’s statements are nothing more than Western intelligence propaganda foisted upon the brains of the Western public in an effort to gin up support for the savages now bearing down on Latakia Syria as I write this article.

Of course, Nusra and al-Qaeda will still be played up as a threat to the US here at home. After all, there are a few straggler civil liberties ambling about that still need to be corralled and destroyed.

Libyan army force to battle heavily armed Islamic militias using “scraps”


Libyan army force to battle heavily armed Islamic militias using “scraps”

by Lesley Whiting

It is now recognized as an uncontested fact, that the tiny, but wealthiest state in the world, Qatar, was a major source of weapons and funding that enabled the so-called “rebels”, to overthrow the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, in tandem with the firepower of the NATO countries who participated in the bombing and destruction of the thriving and prosperous state of Libya. Qatar, with the help of Turkey, is a prime sponsor of the Islamic extremist groups which now control Tripoli and Misurata under the collective name of “Libyan Dawn” as well as other violent jihadi groups such as ISIS, ISIL across the entire region.

Following this particular money trail, the extraordinarily sudden rise of the super-rich, highly trained ISIS, flaunting their arrays of brand new armoured vehicles, sophisticated weaponry, immaculate flags and jihadi uniforms, should come as no surprise! Moreover, they command formidable high-tech media capabilities, with which they apparently intend to “shock and awe” the public, via throat slitting, head chopping and other gory displays of bloodletting, into passive acceptance of their omnipotence and omniscience.

Not content with having brought to ruin of the formerly prosperous Libyan State, shipments of supplies, manpower and sophisticated weaponry continue to arrive in Misurata and Tripoli via regular flights or aboard “cargo” ships, from either Qatar or their partner state Turkey. In recent incidents, the Libyan forces have fired upon such vessels approaching Islamist controlled ports, that have ignored all warnings from legitimate authorities.

No longer a “conspiracy”, even the mainstream British conservative Daily Telegraph points out tersely:

“So it is that Qatar buys up London property while working against British interests in Libya and arming friends of the jihadists who tried to kill one of our ambassadors (referring to Dominic Asquith). A state that partly owns Hyde Park, London’s most expensive apartment block, and the Shard, the city’s tallest building, is working with people who would gladly destroy Western society”.

Such concerns apparently fall on deaf ears. The article continues:

It’s deeply concerning that these individuals, where sufficient evidence is in place to justify their inclusion on the US sanctions list, continue to be free to undertake their business dealings,” said Stephen Barclay, the Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire.

Qatar’s investment in Britain is so extensive, and the Foreign Office is so anxious to win its favour, that some question whether UK diplomats will have the resolve to ask robust questions. “If diplomats are focused on winning commercial contracts, there is a danger they will be reluctant to ask tough questions on the funding of unsavoury groups,” said Mr Barclay. (Daily telegraph Link below)

Indeed.

No one can deny that the vast natural gas and oil reserves upon which Qatar sits, enable it to wield huge influence in Europe. Moreover their plans to construct an oil pipeline to supply Europe, via Turkey, (in direct competition with the proposed Iraq-Iran-Syria pipeline, and the Russian Nabucco pipeline) happens to go straight through Syria; a proposal that Syria had rejected.

The key to Qatar’s power and political strategies, but also its vulnerability, lies in its abundance of natural gas. It has almost 14 percent of total world gas reserves, but most of it comes from a field that it shares with Iran. Regional experts say that Qatar’s principal security concern is that Iran may one day try to exert full control over the field.” (NY Times Link below)

Qatar is also home to a strategically important US military base. Thus, joining the dots, it would appear that a kind of balancing act is underway, both in engaging and co-operating with the US imperial plans to their mutual benefit, while keeping at bay any possible Iranian plans for extending its reach.

In Libya today, we discover a scenario where the Libyan army, still under the arms embargo imposed by the UN “in case weapons fall into the wrong hands”, is forced to defend its country against these heavily armed and trained mercenary fighters using scraps – working parts and weapons salvaged from destroyed military vehicles.

Dangerous: Images obtained by Libyan-based bloggers show a host of improvised, deadly weapons...and a picture of a hatchback with missiles perched atop being used by opposition militia Libya Dawn

Dangerous: Images obtained by Libyan-based bloggers show a host of improvised, deadly weapons…and a picture of a hatchback with missiles perched atop being used by opposition militia Libya Dawn

Surreal: The Libyan army - which has mounted machine gun turrets on trucks to take on ISIS and opposition factions - is running out of scraps to replenish its makeshift armoury

Surreal: The Libyan army – which has mounted machine gun turrets on trucks to take on ISIS and opposition factions – is running out of scraps to replenish its makeshift armoury

Improvised: The Libyan army supposedly salvaged naval guns (pictured) from defunct warships and fixed them to the back of trucks

Improvised: The Libyan army supposedly salvaged naval guns (pictured) from defunct warships and fixed them to the back of trucks

Protected: The makeshift trucks constructed by Libya's armed forces (pictured) - armed with machine guns that fire 700 rounds a minute - also have a metal casing to protect the driver

Protected: The makeshift trucks constructed by Libya’s armed forces (pictured) – armed with machine guns that fire 700 rounds a minute – also have a metal casing to protect the driver

Scraps: The Libyan army salvaged two AK-230 machine guns from a Natya-class warship (pictured) before it sunk due to lack of maintenence

Scraps: The Libyan army salvaged two AK-230 machine guns from a Natya-class warship (pictured) before it sunk due to lack of maintenence

Construction: Libyan government soldiers transform weapons dating back to the 1940s in six warehouses in the country's east and transform them into usable arms

Construction: Libyan government soldiers transform weapons dating back to the 1940s in six warehouses in the country’s east and transform them into usable arms

 

Whilst such creations stand as an extraordinary testimony to human ingenuity and the determination to resist under any circumstances, the situation is approaching critical as the supply of such scrap materials inevitably diminishes.

No doubt, all of this is intended to force the Libyan government to ask for “international intervention” a cry that still goes up from either the woefully ignorant or from the deliberately traitorous.

Libya’s Green Resistance insists that it does not require further “International intervention”. Libya only requires that the UN embargo be lifted, since the original stated cause of “weapons falling in the wrong hands” has been proven a farce. The Benghazi incidents revealed that the US consulate and CIA was directly involved in extensive gun-running operations between Libya, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, and the NATO Israel Qatar Turkey axis have been ensuring, for a very long time, that weapons, training and funding: do, in fact, get directly into the “unsavoury” hands of mercenaries, jihadists and terrorists wreaking havoc in a massive destablisation campaign across the Middle East.

Interestingly, recent indications claim that “ISIS” (include here sponsors and creators) is enraged that they are beginning to lose fighters who flee when they awaken to the “ awkward moment” when they realize that they are actually fighting for western intelligence agencies. ISIS videos and publications are now busily engaged in damage control efforts, denouncing (to their faithful) “conspiracy theories” that suggest such a thing.

This is an excellent indication that the alternative media, bloggers and all those passionate about truth are having a powerful influence. There can be no greater nightmare to the US, Israeli, Qatari and Turkish sponsors of the Muslim Brotherhood and their offspring ISIS/ISIL and associated jihadi forces, than to have them turn on their “handlers” when they realize they have been duped into fighting for the intelligence agents of Western Imperialism.

References:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/qatar/11110931/How-Qatar-is-funding-the-rise-of-Islamist-extremists.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/world/middleeast/04qatar.html?_r=0

Islamic State is the Cancer of Modern Capitalism


Islamic State is the Cancer of Modern Capitalism

By Nafeez Ahmed
Islamic State is the Cancer of Modern Capitalism

The brutal ‘Islamic State’ is a symptom of a deepening crisis of civilisation premised on fossil fuel addiction, which is undermining Western hegemony and unravelling state power across the Muslim world

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.

Protection racket

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.

Bosnia

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.

Afghanistan

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.

Kosovo

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.

Libya

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.

Syria

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.

Turkey

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.

Dehumanisation

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.