NATO’s Aggression Reaches for Russian Waters

December 7, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The recent Kerch Strait incident marks a new low amid the US-led expansion of NATO eastward.

The intentional provocation executed by Kiev saw three Ukrainian naval vessels seized by Russia. The vessels were intentionally violating protocol for passing through the Strait – protocol previously agreed upon by Kiev and previously observed by Ukrainian naval vessels.

The extent to which Ukraine was aware of these protocols and the 2003 agreement that put them in place includes entire events organized in Ukraine by NATO-sponsored “think tanks” discussing the necessity to “rip them up” and attempt to assert greater control over the current joint-use of the Sea of Azov.

In the wake of this incident – predictable calls are being made to use it as a pretext to expand NATO even further east, with senior American Foreign Policy Council fellow and former professor at the US Army War College Stephen Blank declaring the need for the US to “lease” Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, patrol the sea with US warships,  all while committing to the “full-fledged” arming of Ukrainian forces.

Blank’s commentary – published in The Hill in a piece titled, “Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of war,” predicates an anti-Russian narrative and NATO’s eastward expansion into Ukraine upon a number of blatant falsehoods.

He mentions Russia’s “seizure” of Crimea, its “claiming that Crimea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait are exclusively Russian waters,” and the building of the Crimean Bridge which Blank claims is impeding Ukrainian commerce in the Sea of Azov – all as Russian provocations.

However, Blank conveniently omits the US-NATO backed putsch that seized power in Ukraine in 2013 – setting off Ukrainian-Russian tensions in the first place. Nowhere in Blank’s commentary does he mention the prominent role paramilitary Neo-Nazi organizations have played in both overthrowing the elected government in 2013 and militancy carried out against Russian businesses, institutions, and even Ukrainians of Russian decedent – particularly in Donbass, eastern Ukraine.


Blank would even feign ignorance over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motives in repatriating Crimea and taking measures against a now fully hostile Ukraine sitting on Russia’s borders.

Also conveniently omitted from Blank’s commentary was any mention of decades of NATO’s eastward expansion along with various episodes in NATO’s history where it waged wars well beyond its jurisdiction and mandate, including in Libya and Afghanistan.

Coupled together with Blank’s prescription for a “response” – it is abundantly clear who stood most to benefit from the Kerch Strait incident – especially considering the systematic expansion of NATO that has been ongoing long before President Putin ever came to power.

Blank suggests:

Beyond imposing more sanctions, waging a robust informational campaign and transferring more arms to Ukraine we can and must do something more innovative and decisive. We have the means and precedent for doing so.

He then suggests (emphasis added):

Ukraine could lease ports on the Black Sea and even in the Sea of Azov to the U.S. while we lend them military equipment they need for air, naval, and ground warfare. The U.S. or NATO naval vessels could then stay at those ports for as long as necessary without bringing Ukraine formally into NATO. It would greatly diminish the chance of Russian attack if those forces patrolled the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Blank concludes by claiming:

Not only do these forces deter future Russian attacks they show everyone, not least in Moscow, that Putin’s reckless adventurism has merely brought NATO into Ukraine to stay, the exact opposite of his goals.

Yet, claiming Russia’s actions prompted NATO’s entrance into Ukraine is preposterous – especially considering NATO’s decades-long and relentless expansion eastward. The US-NATO backed putsch in 2013 was aimed wholly at placing a proxy regime in power that would uproot all Russian influence and interests in Ukraine, fast-track Ukraine’s entry into both the European Union and NATO, and join the front-line of NATO expansion – literally right on Russia’s borders.

NATO Expansion was the Goal Long Before “Putin’s Reckless Adventurism”  

Despite assurances from senior US representatives to the Soviet Union toward the end of the Cold War that NATO would not be expanded “one inch to the east,” it has since been expanded directly to Russia’s borders.

NATO members bordering Russia now include Estonia, Latvia, and Norway – with Georgia and Ukraine both bordering Russia and being considered “aspirant” countries.

Norway was host of one of the largest NATO exercises in decades – Trident Juncture. Other exercises are regularly held in the Baltic states bordering Russia. And US troops have carried out training, have provided arms to, and have ensured compliant regimes remain in power in Ukraine and Georgia.

Then US Secretary of State James Baker – as revealed in now declassified documents maintained in archives by George Washington University – personally and repeatedly made assurances to then Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not be further expanded toward Russian borders.

In one document titled, “Memorandum of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow,” Baker would state in regards to the reunification of Germany (emphasis added):

We fought a war [World War 2] together to bring peace to Europe. We didn’t do so well handling the peace in the Cold War. And now we are faced with rapid and fundamental change. And we are in a better position to cooperate in preserving peace. I want you to know one thing for certain. The President and I have made clear that we seek no unilateral advantage in this process. 

In other words – the US recognized the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany and admitted both nations failed to broker peace in the war’s aftermath. The US also stated it sought to cooperate with Russia regarding the reunification of Germany and the post-Cold War political order in Eastern Europe. It would stand to reason that in exchange for any sort of cooperation from Moscow, certain assurances would have to be made that NATO would not be expanded further eastward.

Baker would continue, claiming (emphasis added):

All our allies and East Europeans we have spoken to have told us that they want us to maintain a presence in Europe. I am not sure whether you favor that or not. But let me say that if our allies want us to go, we will be gone in a minute. Indeed, if they want us to leave, we’ll go and I can assure you that the sentiment of the American people is such that they will want us to leave immediately. The mechanism by which we have a US military presence in Europe is NATO. If you abolish NATO, there will be no more US presence. 

Of course, if the sentiment of the American people was and is for the US to withdraw its military presence from Europe – as a defender of global democracy – the US finds itself making a very undemocratic decision by keeping its military in Europe regardless.

Baker then claims (emphasis added):

We understand the need for assurances to the countries in the East. If we maintain a presence in a Germany that is part of NATO, there would no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east.

Baker would reiterate this point by asking Gorbachev the question:

Would you prefer a united Germany outside of NATO that is independent and has no US forces or would you prefer a united Germany with ties to NATO and assurances that there would be no extension of NATO’s current jurisdiction eastward? 

Obviously then, just as now, Russia had nothing to gain by allowing NATO to continue expanding eastward. A meeting between then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Gorbachev following the Baker-Gorbachev meeting would again reiterate commitments not to expand NATO any further eastward.

The US has – in retrospect and to no one’s surprise – claimed that the meetings, language used, and agreements were non-binding, misinterpreted, and ultimately did not equate to any sort of constraint on NATO’s expansion, including up to and along Russia’s borders.Some have claimed that the assurances only applied to NATO’s presence in Germany – but clearly Baker’s assurances of not expanding NATO’s jurisdiction eastward inside of Germany was an acknowledgement that NATO’s move eastward – anywhere – was seen as a threat and provocation by Moscow.

If the US understood that eastward expansion of NATO’s jurisdiction inside of Germany would be perceived rightfully as a threat and provocation, why wouldn’t it be equally understood that eastward expansion outside of Germany and up to Russia’s borders would be perceived as an even greater threat and provocation?  Wouldn’t the US equally see similar expansion by Russia westward as a threat and provocation?

Putting the Shoe on the Other Foot – How Would Washington React to “Russian Expansion?”

To understand how bad NATO expansion actually looks outside the bubble of American exceptionalism and just what sort of situation Moscow is faced with – consider what Washington’s reaction would be to a Russian-backed coup in Canada, Mexico, or both.

Consider both nation’s hosting Russian troops and receiving Russian arms with high-level Russian politicians vowing to overthrow the political order of the United States next.

Consider as Russia did this, it also imposed sanctions on the United States – crippling its economy – then blamed Washington’s “incompetence” rather than Russia’s own sanctions for the predictable economic crisis. Consider if Russia also imposed secondary sanctions on American allies, preventing them from trading with the US, thus attempting to impose a modern-day blockade on the United States itself.

It takes little imagination to conclude Washington would not tolerate such activity – and considering what the US has already done in reaction to unfounded claims of “Russian meddling” in US elections, such extreme meddling, sanctions, and military and economic encirclement carried out along America’s borders would fall well within the realm as “acts of war.”

Washington has lied the American people into serial wars abroad, destroying entire regions of the planet and killing millions. One can only imagine what Washington would do if actually confronted with genuine acts of war carried out directly on its borders.

And yet Russia’s reaction to exactly these sort of very real provocations carried out by the US and NATO all along its borders and against its allies has been measured, patient – and for some – considered even woefully inadequate.

Despite this, US policymakers and the Western media still manage to twist the narrative a full 180 degrees and portray Russia – a nation with a military budget and GDP a fraction of those of the United States – as the “aggressor.”

NATO Will Not Stop Itself  

It is clear that NATO’s expansion is aimed at Moscow itself. It will continue until it is forcibly stopped. This means either by Russia warding off NATO expansion until NATO collapses under its own unsustainable weight, or Russia outmatches NATO at the very edge of the West’s extent in areas Moscow clearly holds the military, sociopolitical, and economic advantage.

The Kerch Strait incident and attempts to leverage it as a pretext to place NATO warships in the Sea of Azov is a dangerous provocation – the Sea of Azov is not “international waters” and is considered by both Ukraine and Russia as an inland sea they share control over.

If people like Stephen Blank have their way and warships enter the Sea of Azov – NATO will be one step past many of the proxy wars the West is already fighting Russia through – and one step closer to fighting Russian forces directly.

Blank’s claiming NATO must act to confront Russian “provocations” is an instance of inverse reality. In this case – NATO is encircling Russia, violently stripping it of buffer states where the West and East have and could have continued to share influence to avoid conflict, and is instead turning them into frontier fortresses in preparation for what is clearly further and more direct conflict planned with Russia in the future.

A nation leading an alliance that must cross the Atlantic Ocean and several seas to station its vessels in Russian waters is not reacting to provocations – it is the provocateur.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

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US Fueling Terrorism in China

October 24, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The West’s human rights racket has once again mobilized – this time supposedly in support of China’s Uyghur minority centered primarily in the nation’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, China.
Headlines and reports have been published claiming that up to a million mostly Uyghurs have been detained in what the West is claiming are “internment camps.” As others have pointed out, it is impossible to independently verify these claims as no evidence is provided and organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Uyghur-specific organizations like the World Uyghur Congress lack all credibility and have been repeatedly exposed leveraging rights advocacy to advance the agenda of Western special interests.

Articles like the BBC’s, “China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told,” claim (emphasis added):

Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have submitted reports to the UN committee documenting claims of mass imprisonment, in camps where inmates are forced to swear loyalty to China’s President Xi Jinping. 

The World Uyghur Congress said in its report that detainees are held indefinitely without charge, and forced to shout Communist Party slogans.

Nowhere in the BBC’s article is evidence presented to verify these claims. The BBC also fails to mention that groups like the World Uyghur Congress are funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and has an office in Washington D.C. The NED is a US front dedicated specifically to political meddling worldwide and has played a role in US-backed regime change everywhere from South America and Eastern Europe to Africa and all across Asia.
What China Admits 

According to the South China Morning Post in an article titled, “China changes law to recognise ‘re-education camps’ in Xinjiang,” China does indeed maintain educational and vocational training centers. The article claims:

China’s far-western Xinjiang region has revised its legislation to allow local governments to “educate and transform” people influenced by extremism at “vocational training centres” – a term used by the government to describe a network of internment facilities known as “re-education camps”.

The article also claims, echoing the BBC and other Western media fronts:

The change to the law, which took effect on Tuesday, comes amid an international outcry about the secretive camps in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

But observers said writing the facilities into law did not address global criticism of China’s systematic detention and enforced political education of up to 1 million ethnic Uygurs and other Muslims in the area.

Again, the “1 million” number is never verified with evidence, nor does the article, or others like it spreading across the Western media address the fact that China’s Uyghur population is a target of foreign efforts to radicalize and recruit militants to fight proxy wars both across the globe, and within China itself.

Also omitted is any mention of systematic terrorism both inside China and abroad carried out by radicalized Uyghur militants. With this information intentionally and repeatedly omitted, Chinese efforts to confront and contain rampant extremism are easily depicted as “repressive.”


Uyghur Terrorism is Real, So Says the Western Media Itself  

Within China, Uyghur militants have carried out serial terrorist attacks. This includes a wave of attacks in 2014 which left nearly 100 dead and hundreds more injured. The Guardian in a 2014 article titled, “Xinjiang attack leaves at least 15 dead,” would admit:

An attack in China’s western region of Xinjiang left 15 people dead and 14 injured. 

The official Xinhua news agency said the attack took place on Friday on a “food street” in Shache county, where state media said a series of attacks in July left 96 people dead, including 59 assailants.

Abroad, Uyghur-linked terrorists are believed to be responsible for the 2015 Bangkok bombing which targeted mainly Chinese tourists and left 20 dead. The bombing followed Bangkok’s decision to send Uyghur terror suspects back to China to face justice – defying US demands that the suspects be allowed to travel onward to Turkey.

In Turkey, they were to cross the border into Syria where they would train, be armed, and join terrorists including Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in the West’s proxy war against Damascus and its allies.

AP in its article, “AP Exclusive: Uighurs fighting in Syria take aim at China,” would admit:

Since 2013, thousands of Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority from western China, have traveled to Syria to train with the Uighur militant group Turkistan Islamic Party and fight alongside al-Qaida, playing key roles in several battles. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops are now clashing with Uighur fighters as the six-year conflict nears its endgame. 

But the end of Syria’s war may be the beginning of China’s worst fears.

The article implicates the Turkish government’s involvement in facilitating the movement of Uyghurs through its territory and into Syria. Another AP article claims that up to 5,000 Uyghur terrorists are currently in Syria, mainly in the north near the Turkish border.

The Western media – not Beijing – admits that China’s Xinjiang province has a problem with extremism and terrorism. The Western media – not Beijing – admits that Uyghur militants are being recruited, moved into Syria, funded, and armed to fight the West’s proxy war in Syria. And the Western media – not Beijing – admits that battle-hardened Uyghur terrorists seek to return to China to carry out violence there.

Thus it is clear that Beijing – as a matter of national security – must confront extremism in Xinjiang. It is undeniable that extremism is taking root there, and it is undeniable that China has both the right and a duty to confront, contain, and overcome it. It is also clear that the West and its allies have played a central role in creating Uyghur militancy – and through feigned human rights concerns – is attempting to undermine Beijing’s efforts to confront that militancy.

US Supports Uyghur Separatism, Militancy  

The US National Endowment for Democracy’s own website admits to meddling all across China and does so so extensively that it felt the necessity to break down its targeting of China into several regions including mainlandHong KongTibet, and Xinjiang/East Turkistan.

It is important to understand that “East Turkistan” is what Uyghur militants and separatists refer to Xinjiang as. Beijing does not recognize this name. NED – by recognizing the term “East Turkistan” – is implicitly admitting that it supports separatism in western China, even as the US decries separatists and alleged annexations in places like Donbass, Ukraine and Russian Crimea.

And more than just implicitly admitting so, US NED money is admittedly provided to the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) which exclusively refers to China’s Xinjiang province as “East Turkistan” and refers to China’s administration of Xinjiang as the “Chinese occupation of East Turkistan.” On WUC’s website, articles like, “Op-ed: A Profile of Rebiya Kadeer, Fearless Uyghur Independence Activist,” admits that WUC leader Rebiya Kadeer seeks “Uyghur independence” from China.

It is the WUC and other Washington-based Uyghur fronts who are repeatedly cited by the Western media and faux human rights advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International regarding allegations of “1 million” Uyghurs being placed into “internment camps,” as illustrated in the above mentioned BBC article.

By omitting the very real terrorist problem facing China in Xinjiang as well as elsewhere around the world where state-sponsored Uyghur terrorists are deployed and fighting, and by depicting China’s campaign to confront extremism as “repression,” the West aims at further inflaming violent conflict in Xinjiang and jeopardizing human life – not protecting it.

Where Uyghur terrorists are being trafficked through on their way to foreign battlefields, Beijing-friendly governments like Bangkok are sending suspects back to face justice in China. In nations like Malaysia where US-backed opposition has recently come to power, Uyghur terror suspects are being allowed to proceed onward to Turkey.

Al Jazeera’s recent article, “Malaysia ignores China’s request; frees 11 ethnic Uighurs,” would report:

Malaysia has freed 11 ethnic Uighurs detained last year after they broke out of prison in Thailand and crossed the border, despite a request from Beijing for the men to be returned to China. 

Prosecutors dropped immigration charges against the group on humanitarian grounds and they flew out of Kuala Lumpur to Turkey on Tuesday, according to their lawyer Fahmi Moin.

Al Jazeera would also make sure to mention:

The decision may further strain ties with China, which has been accused of cracking down on the minority Uighurs in the western region of Xinjiang. Since returning as prime minister following a stunning election victory in May, Mahathir Mohamad has already cancelled projects worth more than US$20bn that had been awarded to Chinese companies.

This point makes it abundantly clear that Uyghur extremism has become a central component in Washington’s struggle with Beijing over influence in Asia and in a much wider sense, globally. Geopolitical expert F. William Engdahl in his recent article, “China’s Uyghur Problem – The Unmentioned Part” concluded that:

The escalating trade war against China, threats of sanctions over allegations of Uyghur detention camps in Xinjiang, threats of sanctions if China buys Russian defense equipment, all is aimed at disruption of the sole emerging threat to a Washington global order, one that is not based on freedom or justice but rather on fear and tyranny. How China’s authorities are trying to deal with this full assault is another issue. The context of events in Xinjiang however needs to be made clear. The West and especially Washington is engaged in full-scale irregular war against the stability of China. 

It is difficult to argue with this conclusion – as the US has already openly wielded terrorism as a geopolitical tool everywhere from Libya where the nation was divided and destroyed by NATO-led military operations in the air and terrorist-led troops on the ground, to Syria where the US is all but openly aiding and abetting Al Qaeda and its affiliates cornered in the northern governorate of Idlib, and even in Yemen where another AP investigation revealed the US and its allies were cutting deals with Al Qaeda militantsto augment Western and Persian Gulf ground-fighting capacity.

It is important to understand the full context of the West’s accusations against China and to note the media and supposed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and others involved in propaganda aimed at protecting terrorists and promoting militancy inside of China.

These same media groups and faux-NGOs will turn up elsewhere along not only China’s peripheries across Southeast, South, and Central Asia, but also within and along the borders of nations like Russia and Iran.

Exposing and confronting these appendages of Western geopolitics, and the Western corporate-financier interests themselves directing their collective agenda is key to diminishing the dangerous influence they have and all the violence, conflict, division, and destruction they seek to employ as they have already done in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Syria.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

 

US-Delisted MEK Terrorists Still Openly Committed to Violence

October 1, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – In 2012, the US State Department would delist anti-Iranian terrorist group – Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) – from its Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. Yet years later, MEK has demonstrated an eager desire to carry out political violence on a scale that eclipses the previous atrocities that had it designated a terrorist organization in the first place.
In the US State Department’s official statement published in September 2012, the rationale for delisting MEK would be as follows (emphasis added):

With today’s actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members. 

The Secretary’s decision today took into account the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, their historic paramilitary base.

Yet US policy before the State Department’s delisting, and events ever since, have proven this rationale for removing MEK as an FTO to be an intentional fabrication – that MEK was and still is committed to political violence against the Iranian people, and envisions a Libya-Syrian-style conflict to likewise divide and destroy the Iranian nation.

However, facts regarding the true nature of MEK is not derived from Iranian state media, or accusations made by MEK’s opponents in Tehran, but by MEK’s own US sponsors and even MEK’s senior leadership itself.

“Undeniably” MEK “Conducted Terrorist Attacks”

By the admissions of the United States and the United Kingdom, MEK is undeniably a terrorist organization guilty of self-admitted acts of terrorism. The UK House of Commons in a briefing paper titled, “The People’s Mujahiddeen of Iran (PMOI),” it  cites the UK Foreign Office which states explicitly that:

The Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK) is proscribed in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000. It has a long history of involvement in terrorism in Iran and elsewhere and is, by its own admission, responsible for violent attacks that have resulted in many deaths. 

The briefing paper makes mention of “assiduous” lobbying efforts by MEK to have itself removed from terrorist lists around the globe.

A 2012 Guardian article titled, “MEK decision: multimillion-dollar campaign led to removal from terror list,” would extensively detail the large number of prominent US politicians approached and paid by MEK as part of this lobbying effort.
Yet there is more behind MEK’s delisting than mere lobbying. As early as 2009, US policymakers saw MEK as one of many minority opposition and ethnic groups that could be used by the US as part of a wider agenda toward regime change in Iran.

The Brookings Institution in a 2009 policy paper titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (PDF), under a chapter titled, “Inspiring an Insurgency: Supporting Iranian Minority And Opposition Groups,” would openly admit (emphasis added):

Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S.  proxy  is  the  NCRI  (National  Council of Resistance of  Iran),  the  political  movement  established  by  the  MeK  (Mujahedin-e  Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American.  

Brookings would concede to MEK’s terrorist background, admitting (emphasis added):

Undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks—often excused by the MeK’s advocates because they are directed against the Iranian government. For example, in 1981, the group bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, which was then the clerical leadership’s main  political organization, killing an estimated 70 senior officials. More recently, the group has claimed  credit for over a dozen mortar attacks, assassinations, and other assaults on  Iranian civilian and  military targets between 1998 and 2001.

Brookings makes mention of MEK’s attacks on US servicemen and American civilian contractors which earned it its place on the US FTO, noting:

In the 1970s, the group killed three U.S. officers and three civilian contractors in Iran.

And despite MEK’s current depiction as a popular resistance movement in Iran, Brookings would also admit (emphasis added):

The group itself also appears to be undemocratic and enjoys little popularity in Iran itself. It has no  political base in the country, although it appears to have an operational presence. In particular, its  active participation on Saddam Husayn’s side during the bitter Iran-Iraq War made the group widely  loathed. In addition, many aspects of the group are cultish, and its leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, are revered to the point of obsession.  

Brookings would note that despite the obvious reality of MEK, the US could indeed use the terrorist organization as a proxy against Iran, but notes that:

…at the very least, to work more closely with the  group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign  terrorist organizations. 

And from 2009 onward, that is precisely what was done. It is unlikely that the MEK alone facilitated the rehabilitation of its image or exclusively sought its removal from US-European terrorist organization lists – considering the central role MEK terrorists played in US regime change plans versus Iran.

While MEK propaganda insists that its inclusion on terrorist organization lists around the globe was the result of a global effort to curry favor with Iran’s clerical regime,” it is clear that the terrorist organization earned its way onto these lists, and then lobbied and cheated its way off of them.
The MEK is Still Committed to Violence Today 
 
While Iranians mourned in the wake of the Ahvaz attack, MEK was holding a rally in New York Cityattended by prominent US politicians including US President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and former US National Security Adviser under the Obama administration, James Jones.
During the “2018 Iran Uprising Summit” Giuliani would vow the overthrow of the Iranian government.

MEK leader Maryam Rajavi would broadcast a message now posted on MEK websites. In her message she would discuss MEK’s role in fomenting ongoing violence inside of Iran.

She would admit:

Today, the ruling mullahs’ fear is amplified by the role of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and resistance units in leading and continuing the uprisings. Regime analysts say: “The definitive element in relation to the December 2017 riots is the organization of rioters. So-called Units of Rebellion have been created, which have both the ability to increase their forces and the potential to replace leaders on the spot.” 

The roadmap for freedom reveals itself in these very uprisings, in ceaseless protests, and in the struggle of the Resistance Units.

Riots by definition entail violence. The riots taking place across Iran beginning in late 2017 and continuing sporadically since – of which Rajavi and her MEK take credit for organizing – have left dozens dead including police.
One police officer was shot dead just before New Year’s, and another three were killed in late February 2018 during such riots.
In the region of Ahvaz specifically, MEK social media accounts have been taking credit for and promoting ongoing unrest there. Ahvaz was more recently the scene of a terrorist attack in which gunmen targeted a parade leaving dozens dead and scores more injured.

Rajavi and MEK’s ultimate goal is the overthrow of the Iranian government. As Brookings admits in its 2009 paper, the Iranian government will not cede power to US-orchestrated regime change without a fight – and MEK was recruited as a US proxy specifically because of its capacity for violence.

Brookings would note:

Despite its limited popularity (but perhaps because of its successful use of terrorism), the Iranian regime is exceptionally sensitive to the MEK and is vigilant in guarding against it. 

It was for this reason that Brookings singled them out as a potential proxy in 2009 and recommended their delisting by the US State Department so the US could provide more open support for the terrorist organization.
It is clear that Rajavi’s recent admissions to being behind political violence inside Iran contravenes the US State Department’s rationale for deslisting MEK on grounds that the group had made a “public renunciation of violence.”

MEK is not only refusing to renounce violence, MEK’s most senior leader has just publicly and unambiguously declared MEK’s policy is to openly wield violence inside Iran toward destabilizing and overthrowing the government.

From the United States’ ignoring of its own anti-terrorism laws – aiding and abetting MEK while still on the US State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list – to the US now portraying MEK as a “reformed” “resistance” organization even as its leader takes credit for ongoing political violence inside Iran, it is clear that once again the US finds itself a willing state sponsor of terrorism.

It was as early as 2007 that Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” would warn:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

It is clear in retrospect that the rise of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and other extremist fronts in Syria were a result of this US policy. It is also clear that there are many other extremist groups the US has knowingly whitewashed politically and is covertly supporting in terrorism aimed directly at Iran itself.

It is just a matter of time before the same denials and cover-ups used to depict Syrian and Libyan terrorists as “freedom fighting rebels” are reused in regards to US-backed violence aimed at Iran. Hopefully, it will not take nearly as long for the rest of the world to see through this game and condemn groups like MEK as the terrorists they always have been, and continue to be today.

Also in retrospect, it is clear how US-engineered conflict and regime change has impacted the Middle Eastern region and the world as a whole – one can only imagine the further impact a successful repeat of this violence will have if visited upon Iran directly.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Idlib: Al Qaeda’s Last Stand and the USA’s Last Stand in Syria

Idlib: Al Qaeda’s Last Stand

By Tony Cartalucci

07.09.2018

 

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The United States has raised tensions further amid Syria’s ongoing conflict. It has issued a threat in the form of a “warning” against Damascus against retaking the northern region of Idlib. More specifically, the US has accused Damascus of preparing chemical weapon attacks as part of its alleged strategy to retake the territory.

No evidence has been provided by the US to substantiate these accusations – and it is clear that the warning was actually a threat implicating a planned, staged provocation likely to be followed by US military aggression.

Idlib: Al Qaeda’s Syrian Capital 

The northern city of Idlib has become the defacto capital for Al Qaeda in Syria.

It is home to Al Qaeda affiliates, partners, and allies including Tahrir al-Sham – formally Jabhat Al Nusra, a US State Department-listed Foreign Terrorist Organization, Nour al-Din al-Zenki – a US-armed and backed military front notorious for its many war atrocities involving torture and executions including the beheading of a child, and Ahrar al-Sham which has repeatedly cooperated with the self-proclaimed “Islamic State in Syria and Iraq” (ISIS).

The nature of the militants occupying Idlib is well known to Washington, London, Brussels, and the Persian Gulf nations sponsoring them. It is because of this knowledge that the West’s media monopolies work feverishly to cover up, deny, defend, or even excuse their atrocities.
When Idlib-based terrorist front Nour al-Din al-Zenki beheaded a child, the BBC disgracefully attempted to defend the atrocity by suggesting the boy was a “fighter,” and attempting to dispute his age, claiming:

…he appears to be as young as 10, although other reports suggest he is considerably older.

The BBC appears indifferent to the fact that if the victim had been a fighter and was over the age of 18, Nour al-Din al-Zenki would still be guilty of an egregious war crime.

BBC’s defense of war atrocities committed by terrorist organizations occupying Syrian territory is the rule, not the exception – not just for British state broadcaster BBC, but the Western media as a whole. From the beginning of the 2011 conflict, the BBC and others have played a direct role in covering up the terrorist affiliations of fighters attempting to overthrow the Syrian government.

Terrorist Central – A Collaborative Western Project 

Idlib remains one of the last remaining strongholds of Al Qaeda in Syria specifically because of its proximity to the Turkish border – Turkey being a NATO member who has provided years of financial, political, and military support to militants operating in Syria.

Idlib has been – since it fell to foreign-sponsored terrorists – so dangerous that much of the governorate is inaccessible to the Western media and Western organizations sending aid to groups occupying it.

US-based think tanks have even written entire papers on Idlib’s status as a dangerous and dysfunctional epicenter of armed militancy. One 2016 paper published by the Century Foundation titled, “Keeping the Lights On in Rebel Idlib,” would admit:

Restrictive border measures taken by the Turkish government and the security situation inside Idlib mean that access to Idlib is limited. Dangers include aerial bombing, but also the threat of kidnapping by entrepreneurial criminals and some of the groups referenced in this report. With some exceptions, independent Western researchers and journalists can no longer safely work inside Idlib province.

With extremists more recently uprooted from around Damascus and the southern city of Daraa sent to Idlib, the concentration of “entrepreneurial criminals” and “some of the groups” referenced by the Century Foundation has only risen.

In 2016, the Century Foundation admitted that because of the dangers involved in setting foot in Idlib, their research was conducted via remote interviews – meaning that the Western media today is likely also heavily reliant on such methods to collect information – when they are not simply fabricating it.The Century Foundation would also reveal another important aspect of Idlib’s defacto status as Al Qaeda’s Syrian capital – the extensive Western support keeping it afloat. The report first notes the leadership role extremist organizations play in Idlib:

Islamist and jihadist armed groups hold power at the local level, and have developed relatively sophisticated service coordination bodies.

The report then admits the networks and local institutions these extremists preside over are entirely funded by the US, UK, and European Union (emphasis added):

In addition to helping organize relief distribution, councils also provide some intermittently successful municipal services, ranging from operating bakeries to street-cleaning and trash disposal, repairs to the water grid, and road maintenance. 

Many of these more resource-intensive services are supported by international donors such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), which have made support for civilian governance and service provision a priority. The United States has provided support through a number of offices, including both USAID proper and USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI), whose “Syria Regional Program” has a more directed, political mandate to support moderate opposition organizations and promote values of tolerance. Some international assistance has been delivered through discrete, branded projects such as “Bil-Akhdar” (In Green) and “Tamkeen” (Empowerment), supported by donors including USAID, the United Kingdom Conflict Pool, and the European Union. 

The report also makes mention of the now notorious “White Helmets” and the now defunded and exposed “Free Police:”

Local councils coexist and cooperate with other nascent local institutions, including Syria Civil Defence emergency first responders (the “White Helmets”) and the Idlib Free Police, that are also supported by international donor governments.

While the West has doubled down on its support for the “White Helmets” despite extensive evidence linking them directly to Al Qaeda, the so-called “Syrian Free Police” have already been defunded.

The Guardian in their August 2018 article titled, “Britain to axe funding for scheme supporting Syrian opposition,” would admit:

Britain was one of six countries supporting the community-led police force set up after the Syrian uprising in 2011. 

The Panorama programme, Jihadis You Pay For, claimed police officers in Idlib province had to be approved by Jabhat al-Nusra and that police officers in Aleppo province were forced to hand over cash to Nour al-Din al-Zinki, another extremist group.

From the actual militant groups occupying Idlib, to the administrative networks attempting to run the region – it is clear extremism now holds the population hostage and does so specifically because of Western aid the West’s own think tanks have exposed as ending up directly and exclusively in the hands of terrorists.

Should this support be cut, the fighting capacity of terrorists occupying Idlib would quickly collapse. Continued support by the West of terrorists occupying Idlib ensures a bloody battle to finally liberate the civilian population held hostage and abused by these extremists.

Idlib is thus every bit an “Islamic State” in practice as ISIS was in Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq – and an “Islamic State” made possible by extensive and fully conscious Western sponsorship.

Truth Aside: The West’s Window Dressing 

Thus it is not Russian propaganda or a public relations office in Damascus exposing those occupying Idlib as terrorists or the necessity for Syrian forces to liberate the region – it is the Western media through their own incremental admissions made discretely beneath headlines and op-eds like the New York Times’ recent piece titled, “The Death Blow Is Coming for Syrian Democracy

The sub-heading for the NYT op-ed would read:

The Assad regime’s imminent assault on Idlib will empower jihadists and crush the last of the revolution’s democrats. Why is the world standing by?

The absurdity of claiming security operations aimed at uprooting the terrorist occupiers of Idlib will “empower jihadists” illustrates the departure from reality of much of  what remains of the so-called “opposition.” The op-ed laments in its conclusion that:

The people of Idlib are aware that they will probably be abandoned to a fate similar to their countrymen in Daraa and Ghouta. Anger at their betrayal by the supposed democratic powers, already deeply rooted, is growing. The residents understand that those who favor “stability” at any price perceive their continued resistance as an inconvenience. But the resumption of the regime’s control in Idlib will not lead to peace, and still less to stability. It will eradicate the democratic alternative to tyranny, leaving the jihadists — who thrive on violence, oppression and foreign occupation — as the last men standing, to constitute a long-term threat to the region and the world.

But if “the supposed democratic powers” who engineered Syria’s 2011 conflict and propped up the opposition in Idlib ever since don’t really care about “democratic alternatives,” they probably weren’t really “democratic powers” to begin with. Their interests in Syria were completely unrelated and merely obfuscated by “humanitarian” and “democratic” concerns, and the entire supposed “revolution” merely an obfuscation for Western-backed regime change in pursuit of regional and global hegemony.

The so-called “opposition” does not really exist as a functional, relevant factor in Syria’s conflict and never did. It was a superficiality necessary to dress the windows of Western-backed, violent regime change pursued with equally violent, ruthless terrorist organizations.  With the eviction of terrorists from Idlib complete, Syrian forces and their Russian and Iranian allies will have only a tenuous US occupation in eastern Syria and Turkey to the north to contend with.

Attempts to portray Idlib as a bastion of democracy, the Syrian government as a ruthless dictatorship “terrorizing” the population when in reality it is eliminating militants both the West and Damascus agree are actual terrorists – all constitute similar attempts at window dressing what is otherwise a very clear and concise battle – one between a sovereign nation defending and liberating its territory, and the proxies of a foreign invasion that have plagued Syria since 2011.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.
https://journal-neo.org/2018/09/07/idlib-al-qaedas-last-stand/

Syria: Bolton’s ‘Damascus Chemical Weapons Plot’ Lacks Motive, Credibility

 

August 29, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – US National Security Adviser John Bolton – a tireless proponent of US-led war around the globe – has recently claimed the Syrian government is preparing to use chemical weapons to retake territory held by militants in northern Syria. In response, the US has already threatened to carry out military strikes against Syria.

Bloomberg in its article titled, “U.S. Warns Russia It Will Hit Assad If He Uses Chemical Arms, Sources Say,” claims:

Tensions between the nuclear powers flared after National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, that the U.S. has information Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may be preparing to use chemical weapons to recapture the northwestern province of Idlib from rebels.

The article also claimed:

In April 2017, and again a year later, the U.S. carried out limited airstrikes on Syrian targets as punishment for what it said was the use of chemical weapons. Bolton said any U.S. action will be stronger this time, the people familiar with the talks said.

However, not only has the US failed categorically to produce the evidence it claimed to possess regarding previous alleged chemical weapon attacks blamed on Damascus, it has also failed to provide any logical motive to explain why Damascus would carry out such attacks.

The Syrian military along with its Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies have retaken large swaths of occupied Syrian territory from Western-backed terrorists through the use of conventional weapons, including precision strike capabilities provided by Russian military aviation.

Alleged chemical weapon attacks have been on such small scales as to have no tactical or strategic value to Damascus, but demonstrable political value to the United States, its regional partners, and the militants it has been arming and backing since the 2011 conflict began.

Chemical Weapon Attacks: Cui Bono? 

The US media and its corporate sponsors have repeatedly attempted to explain the rationale behind Damascus’ alleged use of chemical weapons. This struggling narrative is best summed up by Atlantic Council “expert” Aaron Stein and US Army Reserve officer Luke O’Brien in their coauthored article titled,  “The Military Logic Behind Assad’s Use of Chemical Weapons.”

The article claims that chemical weapons are a cheap alternative for struggling regimes fighting wars “on the cheap.” The article proposes that chemical weapons are ideal for terrorizing the population and to target “buried facilities” that a lack of precision munitions have left otherwise invulnerable.

The article claims:

 Chemical weapons have proved to be more psychologically damaging to populations than conventional munitions, and are thus well-suited to the regime’s strategy of mass punishment.

Yet the article can only cite 4 instances in which the Syrian government allegedly even used chemical weapons in the past 5 years. There have literally been more total cities the Syrian military has had to retake from foreign-sponsored militants than even the most liberal number of alleged chemical weapon attacks blamed on Damascus.

Stretching the credibility of this narrative further, the article assigns another impetus to Damascus’ alleged use of chemical weapons, claiming:

For Assad, chemical weapons also compensate for the limitations of his army’s older, less sophisticated weapons. While the use of precision-guided munitions has grown in militaries around the world, they are still a comparatively small part of most countries’ arsenals, limited to anti-tank roles or against naval targets. As a result, most states are forced to use unguided munitions instead. Many targets, if sufficiently protected, can weather most unguided attacks by sheltering in structures, tunnels, or fighting positions.

The article claims that chemical weapons can seep into these heavily defended positions “with relative ease.” However – again – the article itself can only cite 4 instances where Damascus allegedly used chemical weapons in the past 5 years. Syrian forces have obviously encountered well-fortified militant positions more than 4 times in the past 5 years – having retaken buildings, blocks, districts, and even entire cities through the use of conventional weapons and military tactics.

The routine use of humanitarian corridors, cease-fire deals, and the government-sponsored relocation of militants lays to rest the West’s claims that Damascus aims to “collectively punish” its own population.

The Western narrative falls apart even further when considering the Syrian government most certainly does have access to precision munitions and the ability to deliver them to specific, well-fortified targets – through the aid of Russian military aviation.

As pointed out by even the Western media, Russian warplanes have carried out over 70 sorties per day at certain points during the Syrian conflict – a number in a single day dwarfing even the wildest accusations leveled against Damascus about chemical weapon use since the conflict began in 2011.

There is clearly no tactical, strategic, or political gain for Damascus to use chemical weapons. But there is every reason for the US and its partners to lie and claim it does.

Blatant False Flags 

The Western narrative – summarized by Stein and O’Brien – also attempts to account for the most obvious explanation for repeated instances of chemical weapon attacks carried out at critical junctures of the conflict, just before major breakthroughs are achieved by Syrian forces – that the attacks are staged to create a pretext for Western military intervention.

To this, the likes of Stein and O’Brien claim the US has no way of leveraging staged chemical weapon attacks to its benefit. The article claims:

The regime presumably weighs the expected cost of retaliatory strikes against the clear military benefit of chemical weapons use. The United States, for its part, has to balance the desire to punish the regime for violating its commitment not to use chemical weapons with other factors, like protecting American troops in northeast Syria and limiting the risk of unintended escalation with Russia. The United States and its allies have signaled that they do not want to risk such escalation over the war in Syria. Thus, Assad can count on the presence of Russian forces in Syria to act as a deterrent against strikes that could threaten regime stability.

Of course, there are no military benefits for Damascus in using chemical weapons – and of course, the US presence and its multiple strikes on Syrian forces have all been predicated at least in part to allegations of chemical weapon use by Damascus. The US State Department has also repeatedly cited “chemical weapons” as a pretext to maintain a US military presence in Syria.

As Syrian forces close in on Idlib, with Western-sponsored militants flushed out of virtually every other city, town, and governorate west of the Euphrates, little will stop Damascus from finally returning security and stability to Idlib as well.

Only staged provocations used as a pretext for US forces and their allies to strike at advancing troops or command and control elements of the Syrian armed forces can delay or stop an inevitable victory for Damascus and its allies. With the liberation of Idlib, America’s occupation of eastern Syria will become more tenuous still.

Bolton’s baseless accusations, built on equally baseless, irrational narratives signals a new level of political and diplomatic desperation in Washington, where blatantly staged provocations are done in the open in the hopes the threat of naked force is enough to coerce Syria and its allies to hesitate or withdraw from retaking Idlib.

It will be up to Damascus and its allies to ensure sufficient deterrence is put in place to ensure the consequences of America’s use of naked force are greater than any perceived benefits gained from exercising it – tactically, strategically, politically, and diplomatically.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Will Turkey Back or Break Militants in Northern Syria?

August 20, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Syria once again finds itself at another critical juncture. Having secured virtually all territory in the nation’s southwest, Damascus’ attention is now fixated on Idlib in the north.

Reuters has recently reported on a so-called “National Army” based in northern Syria that appears poised to confront Syrian efforts to restore peace and security nationwide.

In an article titled, “Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges,” Reuters would claim:

A “National Army” being set up by Syrian rebels with Turkey’s help could become a long-term obstacle to President Bashar al-Assad’s recovery of the northwest…

Reuters would also report:

The National Army compromises some 35,000 fighters from some of the biggest factions in the war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced some 11 million people from their homes over the last seven years.

And:

Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, has vowed to recover “every inch” of Syria, and though he has now won back most of the country, the Turkish presence will complicate any government offensive in the northwest.

The idea of having NATO military forces on the ground in Syria, providing protection for Western-backed militants in safe-havens has been stated US policy since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

Seeking Safe-Havens Since 2012

The Brookings Institution – a US-based corporate-financier funded policy think tank – in its March 2012 “Middle East Memo #21” titled, “Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” (PDF), stated explicitly that (emphasis added):

An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.

The document would also state in regards to a NATO invasion of Syria that:

Turkey would have to be willing to provide the logistical base and much of the ground troops for the operation. Turkey is best placed of any country to intervene in Syria: it has a large, reasonably capable military; it has vital interests in Syria; and its interest is in seeing peace and democratic transition. 

While Brookings policymakers noted Turkey’s hesitation to do this in 2012 due to fears that Syrian Kurds might be used in some form of retaliation, the dynamics have since shifted due to Turkey’s incremental occupation of northern Syria and Washington’s minding of Kurds east of the Euphrates River.

Building a Better Proxy Army

Another more recent Brookings paper titled, “Building a Better Syrian Opposition Army” (PDF), published in 2014 would designated both Jordan and Turkey as potential bases from which to train and deploy a US backed “Syrian opposition army.”

The plan included the seizure of a significant swath of Syrian territory after which the US could recognize the militants as the “new provisional Syrian government,” then lend them more direct military, political, and economic support. In northern Syria, particularly around the city of Idlib, a slow-motion version of this plan has been unfolding for years, under the protection of the Turkish military.

Of course, both Brookings papers were written before Russia intervened directly in the Syrian conflict in 2015. Iran also has a sizable presence in Syria. Militant-held territory has been retaken all the way up to the Syrian-Jordanian border and Syrian forces are reportedly mobilizing for operations against Idlib itself.

Ankara and Washington also appear to be at odds, while at the same time, Ankara has been making overtures toward Moscow and Tehran. Of course, all of this could be geopolitical theater. It is not unprecedented for nations – particularly those aligned to the US – to feign a shift in policy only to backtrack and double down. Turkey is heavily dependent on Europe in particular economically and the vector sum of its foreign policy still appears to favor Western interests.

Turkey Created and Backed Terrorists. Turkey is Still Harboring Terrorists 

Turkey still finds itself overseeing a nearly verbatim execution of stated US foreign policy in northern Syria. The militant groups it has consolidated and harbored under its protection have been refitting and rearming – many of them having been flushed out from across Syria as Damascus and its allies retake the country. These are groups that have rejected peace deals and have rejected offers to join Syrian forces in the fight against extremists still holding out across the country.

In many cases, these militants come from groups either fighting under Al Qaeda’s banner, or alongside it.

Turkey still finds itself overseeing one of the last bastions of anti-government militancy in Syria – the other being US-occupied eastern Syria.

Only Damascus, Moscow, and Tehran’s intelligence services can know for sure what Ankara’s intentions are, what its true disposition is in northern Syria, and what if anything Turkish forces can or will do if Syrian forces begin retaking Idlib.

For Damascus and its allies, promises and good will from Ankara must be coupled with realist provisions to ensure good will is the only good option Ankara has to choose from.

Ultimately, one of the last showdowns in Syria’s long-fought war to foil Western-sponsored terrorism and subversion will be in territory Turkey has harbored US-backed anti-government militants in. Only time will tell if these militants are incrementally disbanded and Turkish forces withdraw thus bringing this conflict one step closer to an end, or a dangerous standoff with Turkey – mirroring Israel’s illegal occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights – begins.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

US-Saudis Enlist Al Qaeda For Yemen War

22.08.2018
Source

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Associated Press has revealed that the US-backed, Saudi-led war against Yemen includes the use of Al Qaeda as a mercenary force against Houthi rebels.

This confirms as fact what was widely dismissed by Western politicians and a complicit Western media as a “conspiracy theory” since 2011.

Evidence that the US and its allies enlisted Al Qaeda and other extremist groups to wage serial proxy wars across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), from Libya and Syria to Yemen, has piled up into a mountain emerging high above the fog of disinformation behind which these wars had been fought.

The AP article titled, “AP Investigation: US allies, al-Qaida battle rebels in Yemen,” would report (emphasis added):

Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West. 

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

AP would also link the Muslim Brotherhood directly to Al Qaeda militants, stating:

In some places, militants join battles independently. But in many cases, militia commanders from the ultraconservative Salafi sect and the Muslim Brotherhood bring them directly into their ranks, where they benefit from coalition funding, the AP found.

This is further evidence exposing the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in preparing the grounds for the US-engineered 2011 “Arab Spring” uprisings and the planned violence that accompanied them.

Of course, while Western leaders and the media attempted to deny complicity in the dominant role Al Qaeda played in conflicts across MENA for years, a look at any conflict map – be it in regards to Syria or Yemen – reveals that pockets of extremists operating in both nations are adjacent to US-Saudi-controlled supply lines and US-Saudi controlled territory – not because the US or Saudi Arabia are fighting Al Qaeda and its affiliates – but because they are protecting and using these extremists to fight their various regional wars on their behalf.

As to why the US and Saudi Arabia might be aiding and abetting Al Qaeda, AP would quote Michael Horton of the Jamestown Foundation. AP would report:

“Elements of the US military are clearly aware that much of what the US is doing in Yemen is aiding AQAP and there is much angst about that,” said Michael Horton, a fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a US analysis group that tracks terrorism.

“However, supporting the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against what the US views as Iranian expansionism takes priority over battling AQAP and even stabilizing Yemen,” Horton said.

However, the US has failed to make a case as to what threat Iran constitutes that is equal or greater to the threat posed by Al Qaeda. It was supposedly Al Qaeda, not Iran that hijacked airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in 2001 – tipping off a now nearly two decade-long “War on Terror.” In fact – Iran has invested blood and treasure in fighting and defeating Al Qaeda and its proxies, including the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” in both Syria and Iraq – contributing directly to both terrorist organizations’ defeat.

It would appear that if Iran is involved in Yemen, it is also clearly fighting against Al Qaeda there as well.

And while the AP investigation presents a coalition of convenience between Al Qaeda and the US-backed Saudi-led coalition – the truth is that Saudi Arabia itself is the original “Islamic State,” having sponsored the perversion and abuse of Islam via Wahhabism since its inception, the recruitment and indoctrination of extremists through a global network of madrases funded by Riyadh sine the Cold War, and the direct arming and backing of terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda as they wage war in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

The US for its part, also – knowingly and willingly – is aiding and abetting Al Qaeda, using them as auxiliaries to fight where US troops cannot either for political or practical reasons.

This is not merely a recent arrangement wrought from stark realism, this was a plan that has been developed over the course of at least three US presidencies – George Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump.

It was in Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker piece titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” which revealed (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The US has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Hersh’s article too made a clear link between Al Qaeda extremists, the Muslim Brotherhood and the US and Saudi sponsors preparing both for what his sources claimed was a “cataclysmic conflict.”

Thus Al Qaeda forming the backbone of the US-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, or Al Qaeda fighting Washington’s proxy wars in Libya or Syria is no mere coincidence or accident, or even just a recent phenomenon emerging from growing Western desperation to “contain Iran,” but part of a long-planned geopolitical gambit aimed at eliminating Washington’s competitors and establishing itself as sole hegemon over the MENA region.

The revelations should further bolster the moral imperative of Iran and its allies – including Russia, Syria, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. It should also further undermine the credibility of both the US and its allies, as well as the “international order” they presume dominion over.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.    
https://journal-neo.org/2018/08/22/us-saudis-enlist-al-qaeda-for-yemen-war/

 

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