Why has the USA invaded, occupied or bombed 14 Muslim countries in 30 years?

Why has the US invaded, occupied or bombed 14 Muslim countries in 30 years?

After the sacrifice of thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars, the region is now a cauldron of death and destruction.

Obama meets Gulf states

On May 13th and 14th, 2015, President Obama hosted a billionaire conglomerate known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, consisting of Middle East countries Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Oman, at which he said: ‘I am reaffirming our ironclad commitment to the security of our gulf partners.’

TO PLACATE their pique at his effort to get a non-proliferation agreement with Iran, Barack Obama met last Thursday at Camp David with Saudi royals and leaders of the other five feudal dictatorships of the Persian Gulf.

He reaffirmed the United States “ironclad” commitment to their security and promised even more military aid and cooperation. After the personal dust-up between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu settles, we can expect the Administration and Congress to add even more steel to our commitment to protect and subsidize Israel by adding more to its already vast store of sophisticated weapons.

Thus, we take another step deeper into the tragedy of US intervention in the Middle East that has become a noxious farce.

Consider just one of the head-spinning subplots: We are allied with our declared enemy, Iran, against the bloody Islamic State, which was spawned from the chaos created by our own earlier decisions to invade Iraq and to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, which has us fighting side-by-side with jihadist crazies financed by Saudi Arabia, whom we are supporting against the Houthis in Yemen, the bitter rivals of Al Qaeda — the perpetrators of 9/11!

Since 1980, we have invaded, occupied and/or bombed at least 14 different Muslim countries. After the sacrifice of thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars, the region is now a cauldron of death and destruction. Yet, we persist, with no end in sight. As a former Air Force General Charles F. Wald remarked told the Washington Post, “We’re not going to see an end to this in our lifetime.”

Democrats and Republicans snipe over tactics, but neither wants to discuss the question of whether we should be there in the first place. Even liberals counseling caution, like the New York Times editorial board, hasten to agrees that the US must play a “leading role” in solving the Middle East’s many problems. In other worlds, stay the course.

The ordinary citizen trying to make sense of all this might reasonably ask: why? The president’s answer is that the war is in our “national interest.” Congress says, Amen. The phrase causes politicians and pundits on talk shows to synchronize the nodding of their heads, signaling that the national interest should not have to be explained — and certainly not debated.

When pressed for more specifics, our governing class offers four rationales for this endless war:

1. Fighting terrorism
2. Containing Iran
3. Securing oil
4. Defending Israel.

But when the citizen in whose vital interest the war is supposedly being fought takes a close look, he/she will find that none of these arguments — or all of them together — justifies the terrible cost, or even makes much sense.

Terrorism

The claim is that we will prevent another 9/11 by killing terrorists and keeping them offshore. But by now it is obvious that our interventions are counter-productive, i.e., they have vastly enlarged the pool of American-hating fanatics, willing to kill themselves in order to hurt us.

Americans are appalled when shown ISIS’s public beheadings on TV. What they are not shown is the beheadings routinely performed by the Saudi Arabian government and our “moderate” allies. Nor are they told that militias allied to the US-backed government in Iraq have killed prisoners by boring holes in their skulls with electric drills.

This is the way bad people behave in that part of the world. ISIS is a symptom, not a cause, of Middle East fanaticism — a problem rooted in corruption, tyranny and ignorance, which the United States cannot solve. Meanwhile, Arab governments themselves have enough firepower to defeat ISIS if they can put aside their own differences to do it. If they can’t, it is not our job to save them from their own folly.

The rationale here is embarrassingly circular — we must remain in the Middle East to protect against terrorists who hate America because we are in the Middle East. George W Bush’s often echoed claim that “They hate us for our freedoms” is nonsense. They hate us because we are foreign invaders. The longer we stay, the most likely it is that we will see another 9/11. And as the Boston Marathon bombing demonstrates, the people who carry out the next attack are more likely to live here, than there.

Iran

Iran is not a threat to US security and will not be as far as one can see into the future. Its hostility to the US is a product of over 50 years of our active interference in its politics, beginning in 1953 when the CIA overthrew the democratically elected prime minister and replaced him with a king.

Barack Obama is right that stopping the spread of nuclear weapons should be one of our highest international priorities. But taking sides in the Middle East’s political and religious civil wars has undercut our credibility, making it look like we are more interested in checking Iran’s influence than nuclear proliferation. Why, the inquiring American citizen might ask, is it OK for Israel and Pakistan to refuse to sign international treaties and allow inspection of their nuclear facilities, but not Iran?

In any event, the leverage that brought Iran to the negotiating table was not the US military’s presence or saber rattling in Washington. It was the economic sanctions.

Oil

Oil is an international commodity. When it comes out of the ground it is sold on world markets. Producing countries need consumers. US consumers buy oil at world prices, and it is available to them as it is to everyone else who can pay for it. They get no special discount for having military bases in the area.

The economic motivation for the invasion of Iraq was not to assure that we Americans would have gas for our cars and oil for our furnaces, but to assure that American-based oil companies would be the ones to bring it here.

Today, we get less than 10 percent of our oil from the Persian Gulf. The US is now projected to pass both Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer in the next two years. By 2020 North America, and likely the US alone, will be self-sufficient in oil and gas.

The claim that Americans need to be in the Middle East for the oil has gone from dubious to implausible.

Israel

The United States does not need Israel to protect its security. Nor does Israel need the US

Israel has by far the most powerful sophisticated military in the entire region. Its arsenal includes nuclear and chemical weapons that, because Israel has refused to ratify international nonproliferation treaties banning, it can continue to develop with no outside interference. The surrounding Arab states are dysfunctional, disorganized and caught in the brutal quasi-religious war between Sunnis led by Saudi Arabia and Shiites led by Iran that is likely to drag on for decades. Hezbollah, which arose in Lebanon as a result of Israel’s 1982 invasion, can harass, but is certainly no threat to Israel’s existence.

Even if Iran eventually builds a bomb, Israel would still have the capacity to blow that country back to the Stone Age, and there is no evidence that Iran’s political establishment is suicidal.

The security problem for Israel comes from within the territory it controls: the status of the conquered, embittered Palestinians, who in 1948 and 1967 were driven out of their homes and herded into the ghettos of the West Bank and Gaza in order make room for the Jewish state.

The Palestinians are militarily powerless. They can throw stones and occasionally talk some lost soul into becoming a suicide bomber. From Gaza they can lob wobbly mortars over the Israel border. But always at the cost of harsh retaliation. Two thousand Gazans were killed in the Israeli punitive attacks of August 2014. It will take them ten years to rebuild their homes and infrastructure.

Yet the Palestinians will not give up their own dream of an independent homeland — at least on the territory occupied by the Israel army since 1967. So for almost a half century, our governments have pushed both sides to negotiate a permanent solution, pouring billions in aid to Israel, and lesser, but substantial amounts to placate the Palestinians and to bribe Egypt and Jordan into recognizing Israel. We have paid a huge political price; our role as collaborator in the Palestinian oppression is a major source of anti-Americanism in the Muslim world.

The US effort has failed. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis — both driven by anger, mutual distrust and historical grievances — have behaved well. But, Israel is the one in control of the West Bank. So any credible solution requires that it end the apartheid system they have imposed, either by giving Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians (One-State) or by permitting the establishment of an independent Palestine (Two-States).

The Israelis will never accept a one state solution with the Palestinians. Among other reasons is a widely shared fear of the faster Palestinian birthrate. The re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu in March after he promised Israeli voters he would never accept two states, has buried that idea as well. The real Israel solution is already in motion on the ground — pushing Jewish settlements further and further into the Palestinians’ territory until there is no space left for a Palestinian state.

There are now about 600,000 people in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and their number is growing. No Israeli government in the foreseeable future will be capable of evicting a substantial share of them in order to give the Palestinians room to form an independent country. The only pressure on Israel is the fear that it might become an international pariah state — as South Africa did before it ended its apartheid. But so long as Israel is under the political protection of the US, it can, and will, ignore world opinion.

Our choice therefore is either to remain as enabler of Israel’s “settler” solution, or, as part of a general withdrawal from the region, to let the Israelis and Palestinians deal with the consequences of their own behavior. Indeed, US disengagement might be the political jolt needed to force a change.

Thus, the real answer to the question of why our country is stuck in the Middle East will not be found in the phrase, “national interest.” Rather it will be found among a much narrower group of special interests — military contractors, oil sheikdoms, the Israel lobby, and a media that hypnotizes the electorate into equating patriotism and war.

These interests are formidable. Their fallback argument is that we are in too far even to contemplate pulling out. Much too complicated. And America’s “credibility” is at stake.

Maybe. But our credibility as a democracy is also at stake. To maintain it, responsible citizens should at least demand clarity about why we are slogging deeper and deeper into this quagmire, putting lives at risk, wasting enormous resources and diverting the attention of the US government from the deterioration of our national economy — the fundamental source of national security.

America’s bi-partisan governing class has no intention of opening up their Middle East misadventure to such scrutiny. So it’s up to the citizenry.

The 2016 president election campaign will force candidates into forums, town meetings and question-and-answer sessions. It may be the last chance for citizens to pierce the veils of glib rhetoric that hide the reasons our rulers have pushed us into a part of the world where we have no real business and where our presence has only made things worse.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Stop the War Coalition

Source: Common Dreams

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Suleimani Accuses US-Led Coalition of Supporting ISIL

Local Editor

Suleimani

Commander of the Iranian Al-Quds Brigades, Major General Qassem Suleimani accused that the “anti-ISIL” coalition supports ISIL terrorist group.

Suleimani said that the states which claim that they are fighting ISIL enable the terrorist group to export the oil it confiscates in the Syrian Deir Ezour and the Iraqi Kirkuk via their territories.

Source: Agencies

27-05-2015 – 14:46 Last updated 27-05-2015 – 15:14

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The Debate – Saudi War on Yemen (3.5.2015)

The Saudi onslaught on Yemen has gone on more than a month now and has caused the death of almost 3000 Yemeni men, women and children. And now Riyadh is using cluster bombs on the civilian population of Yemen. Scenes reminiscent of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza are being played out but it is Saudi warplanes bombing the civilian Yemeni population and using the same cluster bombs that Tel Aviv uses against Palestinians and also using a blockade keeping aid and food from getting in to Yemen. Something else familiar during this onslaught and that is the continual silence opposite direction of the so called international community.

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DAMASCUS: ALQAEDA ZIONIST TERRORISTS DIE IN DROVES; ALEPPO’S DAY IN THE SUN, AT LAST

ALEPPO:  While most people’s eyes have been fixed on events in Idlib Governorate, there has been expansive action all over Aleppo with the Syrian Army squelching Erodoghan’s efforts to seize this singularly important northern capital.

Kafr Sagheer and Duwwayr Al-Zaytoon:  On the Turk border lies this major supply route to the terrorists.  It has now been closed by the SAA.  In the area of St. Simeon’s Mountain, the SAAF participated in destroying several vehicles and fortifications.  Expect an SAA assault to secure this border route.

Al-Mansoora Village west of the city:  Nusra/Alqaeda saw one truck and a pickup with 23mm cannon destroyed.  There were 5 rat carcasses.  All were foreigners.

Baab Al-Hawaa:  The crossing is now in the Syrian Army’s cross hairs.  SAA is only 2kms now from establishing its control over this very important and troublesome crossing with Turkey.

Tal Rif’aat:  A unique operation netted 12 Al-Jabhat Al-Islamiyya terrorist vultures, and some from Harakat Nooreddeen Zanki with a smattering of Jaysh Al-Muhaahideen.  The only Syrians out of the 12 were these:

‘Umar Nabeel Julaylaati

Muhammad Faheem Al-Qaseer

Abu Al-Dhuhoor Village in the northeast rural area:  The SAA attacked Nusra/Alqaeda and killed 9 rodents, destroyed a pickup with 23mm cannon and seized several mortars, boxes of ammunition and light weapons.

Thermal Station:  A truck loaded with supplies for rats was destroyed.  Weapons which survived the explosions were seized for use by our militias.

Umm Khaan Village:  4 rats killed and 6 taken prisoner.  All weapons and ammunition were confiscated and delivered to the PDC.  The only Syrian in the group was this:

Sulaymaan Mahmoud Al-Hassan Qarqoot

Al-Nayrab Airbase to the west:  The SAA has repeatedly repelled attacks on this base. Last night the Nusra group tried again with little success.  Early field assessments indicate several killed with many wounded.  No other details.

Khanaassir Road:  Another highly complex, but perfectly executed operation kept the road open and resulted in 17 dead rodents with many wounded being seen evacuated to field clinics.

Al-Jubool Village:  Nusra again loses 3 of its rats in a firefight.

Fighting reported intense here: Ramla Village, Bustaan Al-Qassr, Murabbaa Al-Kabeer, Murabbaa Salloom, Burj Seenaa, Khaan Al-‘Asal, Bani Zayd Quarter, Al-Saakhoor, Hanaanu, Karm Jabal, Salaahuddeen, Layramoon, Baab Al-Nayrab, Ataarib, Kafr Hamraa, Al-Shuqayf, Bishqaateen Village, Castillo, Bustaan Al-Baashaa, Qastal Mushut, Old City, Turaab Hulluk, Al-Hulwaaniyya, Al-Ma’aadi, Al-Saaliheen, Al-Marj, Aghyoor, Al-Sha’aar, Baab Al-Hadeed.

________________________________________________________

DAMASCUS:  Not much action in the Damascus area as rats appear more interested in killing each other than fighting the SAA.  

مصدر عسكري: هدفنا الرئيسي هو جسر الشغور ومعركتنا القادمة ستكون حاسمة

Khaan Al-Shaykh:  Southwest of the city.  SAA blunted an attack by Nusra.  No other details.

Bayt Taymaa:  At the border of Al-Shaykh Mountain.  SAA snipes at moving rats and kills a reported 2 with others wounded.


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ANSARULLAH FORCES CHANGE MILITARY STRATEGY IN SANA’A

Houthis 14

 TEHRAN (FNA)- The Ansarullah forces have changed their military array in Sana’a as the street battles are likely to spread to the Yemeni capital, local sources said on Monday.

Ansarullah forces have specified new locations in the Yemeni capital to deploy their armored vehicles and set up new military checkpoints, eyewitnesses said.

 They noted that Ansarullah has fortified its positions in Sana’a streets and alleys.

Mansour Hadi in a televised speech thanked Saudi Arabia and its Arab and western allies for their support, and hinted at the prospect that he and other government officials currently based in neighboring Saudi Arabia would soon return to Yemen.

 In response, a source close to the Ansarullah movement on Monday rejected media news reports about Hadi’s return as part of the psychological war launched by the Saudi-backed front.
“Such reports are produced by the media affiliated to Saudi Arabia to boost the morale of the former regime’s remaining loyalists,” the source told FNA on Monday.
In sarcastic remarks, the source who is close to the popular movement said the Yemeni people are waiting for Hadi’s return to the country to punish him as a traitor.
“Any one who accompanies the Saudis in their crimes, the Yemeni people see him as a traitor who will be tried for betraying his/her homeland and nation,” the source added.

Meantime, the Saudi-led airstrikes against Yemen entered its 33rd day.

 Saudi Arabia launched its bombing campaign against Yemen on March 26 in an attempt to restore power to fugitive President Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
 The Monarchy’s attacks have so far claimed the lives of at least 3,010 civilians, mostly women and children.
Despite Riyadh’s announcement on Tuesday that it was halting the bombing campaign, the Saudi warplanes are still bombing residential areas across Yemen.

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Putin accuses U.S. of supporting separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus

colorrevolutions

Posted by MG editor on April 26, 2015

MOSCOW — In a new documentary, Russian President Vladimir Putin says intercepted calls showed that the U.S. helped separatists in Russia’s North Caucasus in the 2000s, underscoring his suspicions of the West.

The two-hour documentary, which began airing Sunday afternoon on the state-owned Rossiya-1 TV channel, is dedicated to Putin’s 15 years in office. It focused on Putin’s achievements as well as challenges to his rule — which the producers and Putin blame on Western interference.

Putin was elected Russian president on March 26, 2000, after spending three months as acting president, and was sworn in on May 7, 2000.

The documentary showed Putin interviewed at the Kremlin in the dimly-lit St. Alexander’s Hall. In excerpts released shortly before the film’s broadcast, Putin said Russian intelligence agencies had intercepted calls between the separatists and U.S. intelligence based in Azerbaijan during the early 2000s, proving that Washington was helping the insurgents.

He didn’t specify when the calls took place.

Following a disastrous war in the 1990s, Russia fought Islamic insurgents in Chechnya and neighbouring regions in the volatile North Caucasus.

“They were actually helping them, even with transportation,” Putin said.

Putin said he raised the issue with then-U.S. President George W. Bush, who promised Putin to “kick the ass” of the intelligence officers in question. But in the end, Putin said the Russian intelligence agency FSB received a letter from their “American counterparts” who asserted their right to “support all opposition forces in Russia,” including the Islamic separatists in the Caucasus.

Putin also expressed his fears that the West wishes Russia harm as he recalled how some world leaders told him they would not mind Russia’s possible disintegration.

“My counterparts, a lot of presidents and prime ministers told me later on that they had decided for themselves by then that Russia would cease to exist in its current form,” he said, referring to the time period around the second conflict in the Caucasus. “The only question was when it happens and what consequences would be.”

The latest poll by the independent Levada agency showed that the approval rating for Putin, whose third term in office ends in 2018, was a whopping 86 per cent in April.

Putin’s interview has revealed the depth of his disappointment in the West.

The West, in Putin’s words, is friendly to Russia only when it is on its knees.

“The so-calling ruling classes, political and economic elites like us only when we are wretched and poor and stand with a begging hand,” he said.

Whenever Russia begins to grow economically and politically, the West, according to Putin, begins to punish it. Putin said that he does not view Western sanctions against Russia as a reaction to last year’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, but rather “an attempt to hamper Russia’s development.

“This is a policy we have been familiar with for centuries.”

Putin defended the annexation of Crimea as a response to the will of the people, which restored “historic justice.”

Putin, who hasn’t announced whether he will run for presidency in 2018, insisted that he still hasn’t lost touch with ordinary Russians and that he “may very well imagine a life beyond this position.”

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Netanyahu is a criminal, should he even be allowed entry into the USA?

Poll: Netanyahu Should be Investigated for Nuclear Weapons Tech Smuggling Before US Visit

A majority of Americans believe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be investigated by the FBI for nuclear weapons technology smuggling before being allowed to enter the United States according to a new poll.

bibi-poll-thumb

In 2012 the FBI declassified and released files (PDF archive) of its investigation into how 800 nuclear weapons triggers were illegally smuggled from the U.S. to Israel. According to the FBI, the Israeli Ministry of Defense ordered nuclear triggers (krytrons), encrypted radios, ballistic missile propellants and other export-prohibited items through a network of front companies. Smuggling ring operations leader Richard Kelly Smyth alleged that Netanyahu worked at one of the fronts – Heli Trading owned by confessed spy and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan – and met with him frequently to execute smuggling operations.

The poll was commissioned by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). When informed of the incident, most Americans (54.9 percent) indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be investigated by the FBI before an upcoming U.S. visit.

Israel officially designated the smuggling operation “Project Pinto.” Smyth was captured, prosecuted and incarcerated in 2002 after years on the run as an international fugitive. The krytrons were believed to be destined for Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Only 25.8 percent of Americans polled believe Netanyahu should be allowed to freely visit the U.S. while 15.9 percent say said he should neither be investigated nor allowed to enter the U.S.

When questioned by Israeli and Russianmedia about the smuggling affair, the Israeli Foreign Ministry denied involvement.

Younger respondents (age 18-24 and 25-34) are generally more likely to want Netanyahu investigated (73.6 percent and 62.0 percent) than older Americans. Reponses vary little between income categories. However females (63.4 percent) were more likely than males (50.4 percent) to prefer Netanyahu be criminally investigated before being allowed to enter America.

Netanyahu has recently announced plans to break diplomatic protocol and address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Congress in March, 2015 without coordinating his state visit with the White House.

The IRmep poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent, was fielded January 26-28, 2015 by Google Consumer Surveys and received 1,507 responses. The poll question, response choices and statistically significant results may be viewed online and cross-tabulated.

Grant F. Smith is the author of America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government. He currently serves as director of research at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington (IRmep), D.C. Read other articles by Grant, or visit Grant’s website.

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