March 19, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
A twin terrorist bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus, allegedly targeting government buildings, ripped through a Christian neighborhood killing an estimated 27, mostly civilians. A third bomb exploded, killing only the driver of the car it was placed in, in what was apparently an attempted triple suicide bombing.
CBS News reports (1) that after other similar attacks, U.S. officials suggest Al Qaeda terrorists “may be” amongst the Syrian rebels. However, while the West attempts to portray this as an unexpected development, we shall see that it not only was likely, but in fact the premeditated modus operandi of Western-backed destabilization efforts directed at upturning not only Syria, but the entire Arab World.
Pentagon’s Premeditated Arab World Blitzkrieg
From the beginning, the United States has been directly behind the unrest in Syria. In fact, America’s involvement in destabilizing Syria began years before the admittedly US-engineered Arab Spring (2) even unfolded in a premeditated plot to upturn the entire Arab World and reorder it according to their own corporate-financier and hegemonic geopolitical interests.
In a 2007 speech given to the Commonwealth Club of California (3), US Army General Wesley Clark would state that in 1991, then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz said the US had 5-10 years to clean up the old Soviet “client regimes” before the next super power rose up and challenged western hegemony. Clark claimed that this, along with the aftermath of 9/11 constituted a policy coup where Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and the other members of the of Project for a New American Century had hijacked US foreign policy to destabilize and turn the nations of the Middle East upside down — much the way they are now.
February 29, 2012
By Robert Fisk
If Iran obtains nuclear weapons capability, “I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons”.
Thus thundered our beloved Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in one of the silliest pronouncements he has ever made. Hague seems to spend much of his time impersonating himself, so I’m not really certain which of Mr Hague-Hague’s personas made this statement.
Flaw number one, of course, is Hague-Hague’s failure to point out that there already is another Middle East “nation” that has, in fact, several hundred nuclear weapons along with the missiles to fire them. It’s called Israel. But blow me down, Hague-Hague didn’t mention the fact. Didn’t he know? Of course, he did. What he was trying to say, you see, was that if Iran persisted in producing a nuclear weapon, Arab states – Muslim states – would want to acquire one. And that would never do. The idea, of course, that Iran might be pursuing nuclear weapons because Israel already possesses them, did not occur to him.
Now as a nation that sells billions of pounds worth of military hardware to Gulf Arab nations – on the basis that they can then defend themselves from Iran’s non-existent plans to invade them – Britain is really not in a position to warn anyone of arms proliferation in the region. I’ve been to the Gulf arms fairs where the Brits show alarming films of an “enemy” nation threatening the Arabs – Iran, of course – and the need for these Arab chappies to buy even more kit from British Aerospace and the rest of our merchants of death.
Then comes the historical killer in Hague-Hague’s peroration. He warns of “the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented” which could produce “the threat of a new Cold War in the Middle East” that would be “a disaster in world affairs”. Now, I know that Hague-Hague sits in the throne room of Balfour and Eden – both pseudo-experts on the Middle East – but does he really have to mess up history so badly? Surely the most serious round of nuclear proliferation occurred when India and Pakistan acquired the bomb, the latter a nation which is awash with al-Qa’ida chaps, home-grown Talibans and dodgy intelligence men.
Still, it was good to be reassured that “we are not favouring the idea of anybody attacking Iran at the moment”. Maybe later, then. Or maybe after President Assad eventually falls, thus depriving Iran of its only – and valuable – ally in the Middle East. Which is, I suspect, what a lot of the roaring and raging against Assad is all about. Get rid of Assad and you cut out part of Iran’s heart – though whether that will induce the crackpot Ahmadinejad to turn his nuclear plants into baby-milk factories is another matter. For here’s the rub. The mighty voices calling for Assad’s departure grow louder every time they refuse to involve themselves militarily in the overthrow of the same man. The more they promise not to “do a Nato” on Syria – every time they claim there can be no “no-fly” zones over Syria – they get angrier and angrier at Assad. Why doesn’t he just go off to retirement in Turkey, end the theatre once and for all, and stop embarrassing us all by bludgeoning his country with shells and sniper fire, killings thousands – journalists among them – while we rage on innocently from the stalls?
December 29, 2011
by Laurence M. Vance
“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. . . . America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.” ~ George W. Bush, address to the nation, September 11, 2001
“They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” ~ George W. Bush, address to Congress, September 20, 2001
Of all the lies of the Bush administration used to justify the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this one has proven to be the most enduring – and the most wrong.
According to a 2004 report on strategic communication prepared by the Defense Science Board Task Force, “a federal advisory committee established to provide independent advice to the secretary of defense”:
American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.
Muslims do not “hate our freedom,” but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.
Furthermore, in the eyes of Muslims, American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering. U.S. actions appear in contrast to be motivated by ulterior motives, and deliberately controlled in order to best serve American national interests at the expense of truly Muslim selfdetermination.
Therefore, the dramatic narrative since 9/11 has essentially borne out the entire radical Islamist bill of particulars. American actions and the flow of events have elevated the authority of the Jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims. Fighting groups portray themselves as the true defenders of an Ummah (the entire Muslim community) invaded and under attack – to broad public support.
A 2006 National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the war in Iraq increased the threat of terrorism rather than reduced it. “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States” points out the “centrality” of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in fomenting terrorist cells and attacks and describes how the American presence in Iraq has helped spread radical Islam by providing a focal point for anti-Americanism.
November 28, 2011
By Kim Sengupta, Solomon Hughes
“Our efforts in Libya sure don’t seem to be paying off. Not much has changed there is seems.” –KTRN
Thousands of people, including women and children, are being illegally detained by rebel militias in Libya, according to a report by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Many of the prisoners are suffering torture and systematic mistreatment while being held in private jails outside the control of the country’s new government.
The document, seen by The Independent, states that while political prisoners being held by the Gaddafi regime have been released, their places have been taken by up to 7,000 new “enemies of the state”, “disappeared” in a dysfunctional system, with no recourse to the law.
The report will come as uncomfortable reading for the Western governments, including Britain, which backed the campaign to oust Gaddafi. A UN resolution was secured in March in order to protect civilians from abuses by the regime, which was at the time mercilessly suppressing the uprising against the Gaddafi regime.
There was evidence, says the report by Ban Ki-moon, due to be presented to the Security Council, that both sides committed acts amounting war crimes in the bitter battle for Colonel Gaddafi’s hometown, Sirte. The Secretary-General who recently visited Libya, echoes the concern expressed by many world leaders over the killing of the former dictator by rebel fighters pointing out that Gaddafi was captured alive before being put to death.
The report also stresses that it is a matter of great praise that the country has been liberated after 42 years of totalitarian rule. The victorious opposition – which formed a new interim government this week – fully intends to follow a democratic path and introduce a functioning legal system, he says. The report is due to be circulated among members of the UN Security Council, and discussed next week.
However, Ban Ki-moon also presents a grim scenario of the growing power of the armed militias that control of the streets of many towns, including those of the capital, Tripoli, and the settling of internecine feuds through gun battles resulting in deaths and injuries.
Meanwhile the lawlessness has resulted in the vast majority of the police force not being able to return to work. In the few places where they have been back on duty under experienced officers, such as Tripoli, their role has been restricted largely to directing traffic.
Libya is the only Arab uprising to have attracted direct Western military support, despite the closer links forged with the West in recent years by the Gaddafi regime. The resistance in London, Washington and elsewhere to Nato-led intervention in other Arab countries has centred largely on a lack of coherent opposition. Political backers of the air strikes in Libya had cited the National Transitional Council (NTC) as a credible alternative to the Gaddafi regime.
October 27, 2011
By Glen Ford
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared like ghoulish despots at a Roman Coliseum, reveling in their Libyan gladiators’ butchery.”
Last week the whole world saw, and every decent soul recoiled, at the true face of NATO’s answer to the Arab Spring. An elderly, helpless prisoner struggled to maintain his dignity in a screaming swirl of savages, one of whom thrusts a knife up his rectum. These are Europe and America’s jihadis in the flesh. In a few minutes of joyously recorded bestiality, the rabid pack undid every carefully packaged image of NATO’s “humanitarian” project in North Africa – a horror and revelation indelibly imprinted on the global consciousness by the brutes’ own cell phones.
Nearly eight months of incessant bombing by the air forces of nations that account for 70 percent of the world’s weapons spending, all culminating in the gang-bang slaughter of Moammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and his military chief of staff, outside Sirte. The NATO-armed bands then displayed the battered corpses for days in Misurata – the city that had earlier made good on its vow to “purge Black skin” through the massacre and dispersal of 30,000 darker residents of nearby Tawurgha – before disposing of the bodies in an unknown location.
The saner sections of America’s psychological operations machinery – including their collaborators in the corporate media – were doubtless as horrified as anyone at the Libyan jihadis’ insistence on revealing so graphically to the entire planet the barbaric character of the “revolution.” The months of gushing, ad nauseam press reports of near-universal jubilation in Tripoli and elsewhere at rebel “victories” – always under cover of NATO bombs – now made great sense. Who but those in search of instant martyrdom would voice displeasure at the NATO-jihadi triumph, with murderous fiends such as this roaming the streets?
“In a few minutes of joyously recorded bestiality, the rabid pack undid every carefully packaged image of NATO’s “humanitarian” project in North Africa.”
The United Nations Human Rights Office and Amnesty International found themselves compelled to ask for investigations into Gaddafi’s death – as if the immediate circumstances were not excruciatingly apparent to anyone with eyes and ears. Although the same U.S. domination of the UN that enabled NATO’s regime-change operation will ensure that the neocolonial powers escape legal liability for the results, the world still sees the executioners, correctly, as monsters in league with Washington, Paris, London and Riyadh. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who gave a snarling thumbs down to Gaddafi just days before his death, appeared like ghoulish despots at a Roman Coliseum, reveling in their Libyan gladiators’ butchery. Their hands and gums ooze blood – a lasting impression on decent world opinion.
The assault on Libya began as a desperate bid by the West and Persian Gulf royalty to bludgeon their way into the dangerous (for them) dynamic of the Arab Spring. The “rebels” (now, ludicrously, the “revolutionary” government) are their guys, just as the Afghan “mujahidin” were the foot soldiers of the Saudis and Washington from 1979 through the Eighties and (for the Saudis) beyond. Here lies the certainty of catastrophic “blowback.” As Trinity College political scientist Vijay Prashad points out, Tripoli may soon resemble 1996 Kabul, a place of mass carnage between rival warlords.
“The world still sees the executioners, correctly, as monsters in league with Washington, Paris, London and Riyadh.”
The Libyan jihadis are far more Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s brethren, than the West’s. The Arab Spring has both emboldened and frightened the wealthy Persian Gulf despots, who have their own agendas in the Arab world that are not necessarily consonant with the U.S. and Europe (the same applies in Pakistan and elsewhere in the region). All reactionaries are not alike. The oil-rich monarchs are fighting to preserve legitimacy in their own, Muslim milieu, not for Western-based corporate hegemony, and will cause at least as much problems for Washington as the accommodating Gaddafi they set out to depose at the beginning of the Arab Spring.
But that is secondary. As always, U.S. imperialists cannot resist the temptation to overreach. John Pilger writes, “With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent is under way.” It is by no means certain that Libya will remain “secure” or under American sway. And President Obama’s all-out offensive to the south – now centered in East and Central Africa, but soon to become generalized – takes place with the cell phone imagery of Gaddafi’s demise fresh in minds of tens of millions of Africans. Obama may believe the pictures send the message that resistance is futile, but it is likely to have the opposite effect. As Venezuelan President Caesar Chavez said, of the Americans, “The most lamentable thing is that in their determination to dominate the world…they are setting it alight.”
October 25, 2011
By Maria Golovnina
As fireworks celebrating Muammar Gaddafi’s death light up Tripoli’s central square, party-goer Hani Nuwara has already set his sights on his next target, with fears that traditional tribal rivalries will become the enemy within.
For eight months Libyans across the country put aside their complex tribal and cultural divisions to fight for a common good but many are concerned that the ousting of Gaddafi will re-ignite these rivalries and mar the path to democracy.
Nuwara, 24, from a respected Tripoli clan, was already angered that rebels from Misrata took the bodies of Gaddafi and his son Mo’tassim to their city for public viewing and have claimed the major role in the rebels’ victory.
“Misratans. We hate them. We don’t want any of them here,” he repeated angrily in Tripoli’s central square during celebrations to mark Libya’s new-found freedom.
“They think they fought hard. They say ‘we made this revolution’. They make me nervous. We also fought hard. We also suffered. The revolution is ours.”
Historic rivalries among Libyan cities such as Tripoli on the western coastline, the port city of Misrata, and Benghazi in the east, were kept in check under Gaddafi’s iron-fist rule.
Political risk consultancy Stratfor estimates that Libya has up to 140 tribes but only 30 have any particular significance and ubiquitous hatred for Gaddafi united Libya’s factitious population during the battle to oust the despot after 42 years.
But with the dictator gone, some wonder how Libya’s 6 million people, scattered thinly across the vast desert country and long plagued by regional and tribal rivalries, will remain in agreement to face the daunting challenge of nation building.
“The prospect of increased friction or violent conflict between the country’s tribes, clans and ethnic groups (specifically between the Arabs and Berbers) remains a serious source of concern,” risk consultancy Maplecroft said in a report released in August.
Euphoria over Gaddafi’s death on Oct. 20 was already giving way to new anxieties and frictions, and, behind the façade of celebration and fireworks, many Libyans are worried about the future while others are optimistic differences can be resolved.
“Everyone is happy now but of course there is uncertainty. Before it was even worse. If we fail, it would be only our fault,” said Abdelaziz Massoud, an engineer from Libya’s biggest tribe of Warfalla, who now lives in Tripoli.
“Before we blamed everything on Gaddafi, it was easy. Now we can only blame ourselves.”
NEW DAY OF UNCERTAINTY
Now Libya has been declared free, its new leaders have a month to create an all-inclusive government and work out how to hold a democratic election — a crucial period to define whether Libya can remain stable and unified in coming years.
It is not an easy task for a thinly populated country that was only united in the 1930s under Italian colonial rule.
Alongside regional enmities there are differences between Islamists and secularists, and ethnic tensions between Arabs and North Africa’s indigenous Berbers.
The immediate tensions after Gaddafi’s downfall was friction between rebels from different cities.
Misrata rebels, who suffered heavy casualties inflicted by Gaddafi forces, are claiming credit for the uprising and want special recognition.
That has infuriated Libyans elsewhere in the country who believe they also suffered during the war. Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city and the seat of the revolt that began in February, says it has played an equally important role.
Some, like Nuwara in Tripoli, are openly belligerent.
“If we wanted, we could take Misrata in three hours,” he said, as his friends nodded in agreement. “There are 2 million of us here in Tripoli, Misrata is tiny. Misrata is nothing.”
The interim government’s decision to make the official announcement of liberation on Sunday in Benghazi – Tripoli’s long-standing rival in Libyan tribal politics that can be traced bck to before the Romans – added to people’s bitterness.
“Tripoli is the capital. All the official celebrations, all the government officials should be here by now, not anywhere else,” said Samira Massoudi, 49, a bespectacled mathematics teacher.
Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) has already moved some of its operations to Tripoli but remains based in Benghazi.
It says it will move to Tripoli properly soon, citing lingering logistical and security considerations. Just days ago, clashes erupted in Tripoli between remnants of Gaddafi forces and NTC troops.
Tripoli is the most cosmopolitan city in Libya where tribes and cultures have long coexisted more or less happily side by side – a valuable unifying element for the country.
Here, too, people tried to rise up against Gaddafi in February but their repeated attempts were brutally quashed by the proximity of Gaddafi’s security apparatus headquartered in Tripoli with reminders of these deaths on public display.
The streets of Tajoura, a small, sandy town on the eastern edge of Tripoli, are lined by portraits of dozens of people killed during those early protests.
Only weeks ago Tajoura, with its winding streets and ageing palm trees, was still in the tight grip of Gaddafi’s rule, its residents too frightened to venture outside.
Days after Gaddafi’s death, it was carnival time. Tajoura was alive with crowds of smiling families and the smell of barbeques and fresh coffee replaced gunfire and burning tyres.
Holding her wailing baby tight, Fatima Suweisi, 38, said: “My little Mohaned will never see Gaddafi’s face in his life. He will grow up in a new Libya.”
Quietly, life is returning to normal even as the nightly parties go on in Tajoura and elsewhere.
As people danced and watched fireworks in Tripoli on Sunday night, street sweepers could be seen quietly cleaning street corners. Soldiers stuck flowers into the muzzles of their rifles.
“It’s time to work hard and make changes,” said 17-year-old Khalifa Milud, who had studied in Britain for seven years. “I am not going back to the UK, now it’s time to be here. We will make Libya at least like Dubai. We have a lot of money.”
His friend, Abdallah, his face illuminated by the green and yellow of the deafening fireworks, shouted: “We are going to rebuild Libya. We are ready. God is greatest.”
March 18th, 2011
By: Barbara Burk and Reem Khalifa
Soldiers and riot police in Bahrain overran a protesters’ camp, imposed a 12-hour curfew and choked off movement nationwide Wednesday. Witnesses described helicopters firing on homes in a hunt for Shiites and attacking doctors treating the wounded, while the government called the demonstrators “outlaws” for demanding an end to the monarchy.
The nation that once led the Middle East in entrepreneurial openness went into lockdown, its government propped by troops from Sunni Gulf neighbors fearful for their own rule and the spread of Shiite Iran’s influence.
The unrest that began last month increasingly looks like a sectarian showdown: The country’s Sunni leaders are desperate to hold power, and majority Shiites want more rights and an end to their dynasty.
Wednesday’s assault began in Pearl Square, the center of the uprising inspired by Arab revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. But the violence that left at least five people dead on Wednesday did not stop in the capital.
Doctors at the country’s main hospital said their facility was taken over by security forces, effectively blocking physicians from either leaving or treating the wounded on-site.
“There are many people injured, but we can’t bring them to the hospital because of the travel restrictions and doctors can’t come to us,” said Ali Marsouk, a resident of the Shiite village of Sitra, who said helicopters fired on homes in a three-hour attack.
Rania Ali, another resident, said police were charging after Shiites as they sought shelter.
“I saw them chasing Shiites like they were hunting,” said Ali, a Sunni whose husband is Shiite.
The Salmaniya hospital complex has become a political hotspot – with the mostly Shiite personnel seen by authorities as possible protest sympathizers. The staff claim they must treat all who need care.
But there have been moments of open anger. As overwhelmed teams treated the injured from Tuesday’s clashes, many broke out in calls to topple the monarchy.
“We are under siege,” said Nihad el-Shirawi, an intensive care doctor who said she had been working for 48 hours. “We cannot leave and those on-call cannot come in.”
The king’s announcement of a three-month emergency rule and the crackdown on Pearl Square sent a message that authorities will strike back in the strategic island nation, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
January 29, 2010
By Cynthia Johnston
The authenticity of the tape, aired on Friday and the second by bin Laden to air on Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera this week, could not be immediately confirmed.
“It is necessary for us to avoid doing business in the dollar, and to finish with it in the fastest possible time,” bin Laden said on the brief tape.
Saudi-born bin Laden has never been found and is believed to still be hiding in the mountainous border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is known to suffer from ill-health.
U.S. soldiers and Afghan militia forces launched a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora mountains in 2001 after the September 11 attacks on the United States in pursuit of bin Laden, believed to have been hiding in the region with supporters after Afghanistan’s Taliban government was removed from power.
In excerpts from Friday’s tape lasting under three minutes, bin Laden also blamed Western countries for climate change.
“Talk about climate change is not an ideological luxury but a reality,” he said. “All of the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis.”
He added that while wealthy nations had agreed to the Kyoto Protocol that binds them to emission targets, former U.S. President George W. Bush had later rejected such limitations before Congress in deference to big business.
The United States never ratified the existing Kyoto Protocol, whose present commitments expire in 2012, and has said it will not sign up to an extended Kyoto Protocol, preferring a new agreement.
In a separate audiotape earlier this week on Al Jazeera also purportedly of bin Laden, he claimed responsibility for the failed December 25 bombing of a U.S.-bound plane and vowed to continue attacks on the United States.
In that message, addressed “from Osama to Obama,” bin Laden said the attempt to blow up the jet as it neared Detroit was a continuation of al Qaeda policy since September 11 2001.