‘Holy Land Foundation 5’ are Victims of America’s Unjust Persecution of Palestinians

November 27, 2022

A Holy Land Foundation press conference. (Photo: via Twitter)
– Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the South Africa-based Media Review Network. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com

By Iqbal Jassat

America’s destructive wars on Muslim countries launched in the wake of 9/11 under the misplaced rubric known notoriously as “War On Terror” (WoT), spawned mindless death and bloodshed on an unprecedented scale.

The George W Bush administration, heavily infested with neoconservatives and Likudniks, contemptuously ignored and willfully disregarded the sovereign status of Muslim lands by unleashing invasions, bombings, massacres and ultimately occupying them.

In a gross display of raw power, America shamelessly sought to demonstrate its unchallenged position as a military superpower to refashion the world in its image.

Since the unmistakable target of US belligerence was Islam and Muslims, it adopted a well-worn Israeli strategy by dehumanizing victims as “terrorists”. The tactic was designed to fool the world by claiming that the war was not on “good Muslims” but only the “bad ones” depicted as “terrorists”.

Against this background, one is reminded of the extent of maliciousness associated with the WoT paradigm and the abuse of justice flowing therefrom.

A classic example in this regard is the case of what became known as the “Holy Land Foundation 5”.

Fourteen years ago, five highly respected US-based Palestinian academics were unfairly targeted and jailed for providing humanitarian aid to orphans and widows in Palestine.

They have been described as the “Holy Land 5” who were actively involved in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF)based in Texas.

The HLF was at the time, the largest Muslim welfare and charity organization in the US until it was singled out and hounded by the Bush administration and Israeli forces.

Using the cover of the WoT, and fuelled by hostile Zionist agencies who profiled the HLF as a “nest of terror”, it was shut down in December 2001 by US authorities.

The case against the “Holy Land 5” led to the wrongful conviction and unjust long-term imprisonment of five highly respected Palestinian men. Three of them, Mufid Abdulqader, Ghassan Elashi, and Shukri Abu Baker, remain imprisoned today.

The two others, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mohammed El-Mezain, sentenced to 15 years each, were released in 2020 and 2022 respectively.

An intriguing yet deplorable aspect of the highly politically-charged case is the fact that these men were convicted on false charges of “providing material support to terrorism,” despite the fact that they were never even accused of funding the legitimate armed resistance to Israeli occupation and colonization.

According to various reports including by Samidoun, interestingly the same charities funded by the Holy Land Foundation were also funded by the International Red Cross and even USAID, the US Agency for International Development.

In other words, the criteria for aiding or funding “terrorism” ought to have been applicable to the International Red Cross and USAID, rendering them “guilty” as well.

However, as is known, the Holy Land Foundation was selectively targeted and borne out by the fact that after failing to convict the HLF5 in their first attempt, the US. judiciary allowed untested “evidence” by an anonymous Israeli intelligence agent.

The “War on Terror” has and remains a playbook on how to subvert justice to gain political goals. The dubious, torture-produced “evidence” by a faceless Israeli spook against the HLF5 was typical sensationalism and anti-Palestinian bigotry.

Though the subversion of American politics by Israel is a well-known documented fact, it cannot remain unchallenged. By the same token, the ill-conceived path of destruction known as the WoT needs to be derailed and its perpetrators brought to justice.

And the case of the three men who remain behind bars, deserve a global campaign to secure their freedom.

Towards the Real New World Order

November 17, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Thirty years ago George Bush Senior, the blood of untold numbers of dead Iraqi civilians and children on his conscience, was the first to popularise the term ‘the New World Order’. No doubt he got his inspiration from looking at the slogan on a dollar bill (after all, where else would a man like that get his inspiration from?). The phrase in Bush’s meaning has over the last 30 years been completely discredited. Yugoslavia? Iraq? Syria? Afghanistan? Now we are talking about a real ‘New World Order’. This is being fought for in the Ukraine and in world political and economic fora at this very moment. And its ideological and military leader is the Russian Federation, the only country with the guts to lead the real New World Order. This will be to its credit for as long as the world lasts. In this context the Saker has written an excellent article, titled with the following hypothetical question:

What would a Russian Defeat Mean for the People of the West?

Although the Saker has given an excellent answer, I would give my own, which is a summary of his. This is: A Russian defeat at the hands of the ‘Combined West’ would mean the end of the world and therefore no New World Order. Fear not, since Russia is not about to be defeated, the world is not going to end just yet and there is going to be, and there already is, a New World Order.

Let us be frank, the Combined West has attacked Russia again and again in history. Many do not know that the Teutonic Knights in the thirteenth century were international, pan-Western. The Napoleonic Invasion of 1812 was carried out by twelve Western nationalities. The Crimean War, i. e., the 1854 Invasion of Russia, was carried out by the French, the British, the Ottomans and the Sardinians.

As for the Austro-Hungarian Army and the Kaiser’s Army in 1914, that too was an effort of the Combined West, and if it had not been for the Revolution, Russia would have taken Vienna and Berlin later in 1917. And Hitler’s invasion 27 years later was equally multinational. And such is the case today, with the Kiev regime’s mercenary army, armed by multinational NATO.

Talks

Today the US mentors of the Kiev regime are desperate for peace talks to begin. Peace could have been had at any time between February 2014 and April 2022. The US did not want it then and did not allow it then, so now they will have to pay the price. The US elite knows that they are about to lose big time. This is their last chance and the last chance for the former Ukraine – for that is what we are talking about now. Like so many, these Americans have big mouths, but when it comes to it, it is all just hot air. And although Russia is talking at the US request in order to keep channels open, it is ignoring ridiculous American demands.

Today Russia has no reason to talk. It is successfully fighting against and so demilitarising NATO in the Ukraine. Everybody knows it. However, we are also at a dangerous moment because the US is losing control of its puppets. Just as it promoted Hussein in Iraq or Bin Laden in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and any number of Latin American gangster-puppets and then lost control of them because they refused to behave as puppets, so they risk losing control now. The lickspittle Kiev regime and its allies in Poland, the Baltics and even in the UK (there they have been singing even pop songs with an American accent for over sixty years) are being more American than the Americans. The pupil is worse than the teacher.

The recent provocation of a Ukrainian missile landing in Poland and the Poles and Latvians claiming it was Russian is an example, The Americans refused to fall for it. Before that the threat of a dirty bomb being prepared by the Kiev regime was another example. Alarmed, the Americans stopped that nonsense. The UK’s anti-German destruction of the Nordstream pipeline was yet another example. The culprit was covered up, just as the Americans covered up the culprits of MH-17. In Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all. After all, people died all the time. And yet these people do not know when to stop. Where does this problem come from?

Self-Delusion

One of the problems of the contemporary US/Western system is that it is based almost wholly on ‘Psyops’, that is to say on PR, that is to say, on what used to be called propaganda, which then became ‘spin’, and then ‘fake news’. Of course, all these are just words for lies. However, the problem with all these lies is that they are so persuasive that the perpetrators actually begin to believe in them themselves. They zombify themselves. They delude themselves.

This is why the contemporary Western elites are suffused with infantilism. As soon as you contradict their lies with solid evidence, they behave like spoilt children and throw their toys out of their pram. But suppose those toys are nuclear? God forbid that anyone should give the kids in Kiev or Warsaw or the Baltics or London control of nuclear toys. (Yes, London does have them, but they do not control them).

The problem with spoilt children is that if you contradict them, they will ‘cancel’ you. As the Americans say: ‘The difference between men and boys (here they mean infantile American men) is the size and cost of their toys’. Thus, the woke West would never impose ‘censorship’. Instead, it imposes ‘editorial control’. Western media are nothing if not State mouthpieces.

In France, for instance, as in so many Western countries, after Presidential elections, the news presenters mysteriously tend to change and new journalists come to the fore. The reason? In central Paris the President has at his disposal 500 apartments, which he can give rent-free to his ‘friends’, though only so long as….. Presstitutes indeed. As for the UK, everyone knows that the BBC is part and parcel of the British Establishment, peopled with MI5 and MI6 assets, and fully dependent on the income awarded it by the British State. If you don’t behave, …..

On Lessons of History

Some may object: ‘But what about history? Can’t we learn from the mistakes of history? After all history never repeats itself’. Such people are naïve. Unfortunately, history does repeat itself and constantly. The first reason for this is that geography does not change. For example, Russia will always be a Eurasian power, in the same position. It will not move to South America or New Zealand. The second reason why history repeats itself is because of human stupidity. Did Hitler learn about the Russian winter in 1941 from Napoleon’s experience in 1812? Did the American Empire’s invasion of Afghanistan learn from the British Empire’s invasion of Afghanistan? Why not? Sheer stupidity, brought on by the blindness of hubris. ‘I am not like them, I am intelligent, I will not do the same thing again’. Here below is another lesson to learn from.

President Putin has been compared to Peter the Great. At the turn of the eighteenth century Peter broke a window through to Europe and so modernised Russia, so that it could compete with and defend itself from Europe. I can see the point in the comparison, but I think a better comparison is with Nicholas II, 300 years later. At the turn of the twentieth century it was Tsar Nicholas who broke a window through to Asia. It was he who built the Trans-Siberian railway, settled millions of Russian peasants in Siberia and built up links with Korea, Japan, China and Thailand.

True, his policy was thwarted by the British who had armed Japan to the teeth, building its dreadnoughts, which duly and treacherously attacked the Russian fleet in Port Arthur in 1904, just as Britain (and the US) had hoped. Thirty-seven years later the US got their just desserts at Pearl Harbour, when the Japanese repeated the same lesson. And the British got their just desserts three months later in 1942, when the greatest British military disaster in history took place. 80,000 troops surrendered in humiliation to the ’Asiatic and primitive’ Japanese. And that led to the end of the British Empire in Asia just a few years later.

Surely President Putin has now completed the Russian breakthrough into Asia? Today his Russia is allied with China and Iran, India, Indonesia, Turkey, North Korea, and much of the rest of Asia stands behind him. Has President Putin not learned from history, thus enabling him to complete the work begun five generations before?

The Future

The American Empire is truly a giant, but truly with feet of clay. The Empire is all based on the virtual reality of Psyops, not on reality. And the real rock of Russia is hitting the giant. And this how the New World Order is being born. It means the gradual end of the American Empire and all the fakes and clubs dependent on it, the UN, NATO, the EU, the IMF, the World Bank, the G7 and the G20, of which latter it has already lost control. They are all being destroyed by the Ukraine, which is the giant’s feet of clay.

Tsar Nicholas II founded the Tran-Siberian Railway, which connects Moscow to Beijing in six days. It is the symbolic foundation of the real New World Order, which will run from Beijing to Moscow, including Tehran and New Delhi, and reach Berlin. For Berlin is the real capital of Europe, and not the overgrown village of Brussels. When the Beijing-Moscow-Berlin axis is formed, even the UK, its absurd anti-English British Establishment by then deposed, will want to join it.

In order to survive, that is to join the multipolar New World Order of the seven billion, the Great Rest, the tiny west, the one billion remaining, will have to eat humble pie. It has already started. The New World Order will be global, but not globalist, imperial, but not imperialist, just, but not woke, based on values that are traditional and universal and human. If I may quote from that great speech of President Putin, made on of 30 September this year, these are the values:

The battlefield to which destiny and history have called us is a battlefield for our people…for the great historical Russia, for future generations, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We must protect them against enslavement and monstrous experiments that are designed to cripple their minds and souls….Today, we need a consolidated society, and this consolidation can only be based on sovereignty, freedom, creation, and justice. Our values ​​are humanity, mercy and compassion.

17 November 2022

W. Bush’s Iraq/Ukraine slip – same truth as Kerry’s ‘implode’/‘sanctions’ Iran slip in 2013

May 25, 2022

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

The clip of George W. Bush’s attempt to condemn Russia’s military operation in Ukraine but instead referring to his own autocratic warmongering in Iraq exploded across the internet.

I saw the clip and, perhaps like many, watched it several times in succession. I even found myself returning to it several more times. There is so much to be said about it, and it says so much. It perfectly sums up where we were 20 years ago, the state of the world today, the political gullibility of many, decades if not centuries of US history, counterposes the absolutely different last century of Russian history, the ability of Western politicians to so easily wave away their failures no matter how atrocious, and – well, like I wrote, it says so much.

Much, much later I was finally reminded of a similar incident in February 2013 involving then-US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran.

Kerry was in Paris on his first overseas trip as Barack Obama’s new foreign minister, having replaced Hillary Clinton. Add in Bill Clinton and this paragraph contains the Democratic Party’s power brokers since 1992.

I was covering the visit for PressTV, and it was only after a careful reviewing of his answers about Iran that I realised that Kerry had made a shocking Freudian slip. He was responding to a question about the importance of dialogue between nations:

“Richard Nixon, at a time when we had no relationship with China, that they were great dangers, had the courage to send Henry Kissinger and made a decision which opened up China and (which is now) a member of the P5, and now works with us in concert to try to implode put the sanctions in place to deal with Iran.”

The thing is, whoever paid for Kerry’s failed 2004 presidential campaign against W. Bush still got their money’s worth – he is truly a professional: in a lightning flash he rushed out “put the sanctions in place” to cover his initial admission of “implode”. It was so fast I honestly didn’t even catch it the first time I watched.

Nobody else caught it, but PressTV and I ran a report on it, titled US Foreign Minister Kerry talks of trying ‘to implode’ Iran in another overseas gaffeIt’s right here at the 0:40 mark of our report.

“Try to implode” Iran – that’s truly always been the goal of the US. That’s what sanctions have always been about. It was great to finally hear the top US diplomat openly admit it, if only by accident.

Watch the clip – it feels just as vindicating as it was seeing George W. Bush admit, “The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean of the Ukraine. Iraq, too. Anyway.”

But the vindication in both is not a righteous one – at least for me – but a tragic one, filled with a nostalgic, deeply sad sense of what could have been but was not allowed to be.

If Twitter existed in 2013 I didn’t know about it, but our report didn’t go viral.

February 2013 was so long ago that an interim agreement for the JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear energy program hadn’t even been signed yet, much less the final agreement. In 2022 Iranians are still – still – waiting for the JCPOA to start and for efforts “to implode” to stop. (Of course, it’s not really “implosion” when the combustion is provided from the outside.) If I could guess the real feelings of Western politicians regarding this deadly delay I think they would likely use Bush’s phrase, “Anyway.”

This week saw the first visit to Iran by a UN human rights expert in 17 years, a stunning delay.

“During our visit, we were able to identify (the) devastating humanitarian impact of sanctions,” said Alena Douhan, the UN special rapporteur focused on the impact of unilateral US sanctions.

I suppose this has to qualify as progress. Probably not to the families of those who died because of the sanctions.

I’m sure that in a few more years we’ll get a viral clip of Obama making a gaffe about the deadly impact of sanctions on Iran and laughing, “Anyway”.

In 20 years I’m absolutely certain French President Emmanuel Macron will make a slip regarding his brutal weekly repression of the Yellow Vests and he’ll just laugh it off and add, “Anyway”.

Ukraine could be roasted in nuclear fire before the 2014 Minsk Agreements were respected by the West, and as the geiger counters are still going haywire 20 years later politicians across the entire West will laugh it off and say, “Anyway”.

The signed JCPOA has still proven to be less valuable than the ink which was used to sign it – the West is simply not “agreement-capable”. The idea that belligerence belonged to W. Bush – but not Obama or Biden – is egregiously nonfactual. If you find that too biased a conclusion then feel free to give your own analysis: just a bit more lobbying in Congress is needed, it’s all Donald Trump’s fault (remember 20 years ago when everything was supposed to be all W. Bush’s fault?), please wait for the new administration in Washington to get settled, Biden really does mean well, etc.

Western-led institutions are discrediting themselves as fast as the internet can now publish proofs of their failures. The UN was told to wait years before allowing an unbiased effort which examined the effort to implode put the sanctions in place on Iran. Gulf War II was based on a total lie. The European Union is not breaking with the foreign policy of Washington, as Tehran has long hoped, but is gleefully gutting their own 99% for years to join a war drive against Moscow.

What the W. Bush clip shows most of all is: how bankrupt the words and policies of Western politicians truly are, and because they reflect the needs of their elite and not of their people. The problem should not be placed in their culture, but in their aristocratic Liberalist structures. That is not only what allows them to make such heinous crimes and to escape domestic accountability, but which propels them even to make such belligerent efforts in the first place.

Tehran fails to realise that the EU is a completely Liberalist – and thus oligarchical – structure. It was rammed through undemocratically from start to finish, with national referendums first being ignored and then totally bypassed – I know, I know: “Anyway”. My point is that the EU is not going to break with the US over Iran while also going along with the US on Russia.

The US and EU are obviously working in perfect tandem, and especially since the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 finally, firmly installed the power of the undemocratic pan-European project. I go back to what I wrote in that February 2013 report on Kerry’s visit: “Since rejoining NATO in 2010 France has marched in lockstep with the US, regardless of international perception.” It’s not that things don’t ever change, it’s that they have only gotten worse in Europe since 2009.

It’s not Tehran’s fault – the failure to pursue diplomacy logically implies a choice to pursue war, and that would be wrong and shameful. Like choosing not to implement the JCPOA. Or the Minsk Agreements. Or choosing to go to war in Iraq. Or choosing to go to war with Russia.

Anyway.


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. His new book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

زلّة لسان

الإثنين 23 أيار 2022

بثينة شعبان 

صحيح أن العيون تتّجه إلى أوكرانيا لمعرفة نتيجة الحسم العسكري بين روسيا وحلف الناتو العدواني هناك، ولكن ما يجري بالتوازي من إعادة تشكُّلات وصياغات في عالم اليوم قد يكون هو الأهم.

لم تكن زلّة لسان الرئيس جورج بوش الابن لتحدث في ظروف أكثر مواءمة وخدمة لما تحاول الصين وروسيا أن تؤكداه، وسط أحداث متسارعة ومعقدة؛ فقد قال الرئيس بوش الابن: ” قرار رجل واحد لشن غزو وحشيّ غير مبرّر للعراق… آه… أقصد لأوكرانيا”، وضحك الجمهور، وأعاد هو: “العراق، العراق”، وسط أنباء جادة يتحدّث بها الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ عن شكل العالم المقبل، في كلمته المهمة في الـ 21 من نيسان/ أبريل لمنتدى بواو الآسيوي، ووسط إعلان وزارة الخارجية الروسية بعد مناقشة نسخة جديدة من مفهوم السياسة الخارجية الروسية في ضوء الحرب الغربية على روسيا باستخدام أوكرانيا.

زلّة لسان

وبدلاً من أن يستنكر القرّاء والمشاهدون كل القرارات الأحادية والحروب غير الشرعية التي شنّتها الولايات المتحدة على الشعوب الآمنة في أفغانستان والعراق وليبيا وسوريا واليمن، فقد أتت زلّة لسان جورج بوش الابن، المسؤول هو وأبوه عن مقتل الملايين من المدنيين العراقيين حصاراً وقتلاً وإرهاباً ووباءً، لتكشف ما حاول هو وإدارته والإدارات السابقة واللاحقة أن يخفوه، وبرهن (ولتبرهن) أنه يسكن في “لا وعيهم” من غزو ظالم وغير مبرر للعراق، ما زال الشعب العراقي يدفع ثمنه في كل يوم من حياة أبنائه.

كما أنّ عمليات النهب الأميركية للموارد العراقية والليبية والسورية جريمة تطال لقمة عيش جميع أبناء الشعب العربي في هذه البلدان، لأن هذا النهب الاستعماري لموارد الشعب السوري واحتلال أرضه وسرقة نفطه وقمحه قد تمثّل زلّات لسان لرؤساء ومسؤولين أميركيين في المستقبل، ولكنه (ولكنها) جريمة إبادة جماعية لما سببه (سبّبته) من آلام وموت للمدنيين المحاصرين.

ولكن العالم اليوم لم يعد بحاجة إلى الكشف عن المستور، لأنه لم يتبقَّ هناك مستور أصلاً سوى حملات التضليل الإعلامية التي يصدّرها الغرب للعالم، وينسج من خلالها أكاذيبه وأوهامه. والخطوة الأولى المجدية في عالم اليوم هي أن يتبنّى جميع الحريصين على حياة البشر إما مقاطعة هذا الإعلام الغربي المزيّف، وإما التساؤل بشأن كل سردية يتبنّاها حيال أي قضية في العالم. إنني أجد نفسي أعيد صياغة ما أقرأه من إعلام غربي حول سوريا أو فلسطين أو لبنان أو إيران أو أوكرانيا أو الصين، وأتساءل اليوم ما هي جدوى قراءة إعلام أصبحنا نعلم علم اليقين أنه مكرّس لخدمة أهداف استعمارية لمن يشنّون الحروب على دولنا ويقومون باحتلال أرضنا ودعم الإرهاب ضد شعبنا وتمويله وإرسال الإرهابيين وتسليحهم واحتلال أرض أشقائنا وأصدقائنا، ويعطّلون أيّ قرارات أمميّة تحاول أن تحقق ولو جزءاً من العدالة للشعوب المستضعفة؟؟ 

فإذا كان اجتماع وزارة الخارجية الروسية قد ناقش مهامّ السياسة الخارجية الروسية في ضوء الحقائق الجيوسياسية المتغيّرة جذرياً، فإن هذه الحقائق قد تغيّرت بالنسبة إلى العرب منذ وعد بلفور وسايكس بيكو واحتلال فلسطين من قبل عصابات الإرهاب الصهيونية، ومنذ غزو العراق وقصف ليبيا، وشنّ حرب إرهابية على مدى عقد ونيّف على سوريا، وتدمير حياة المدنيين العرب في اليمن، ومع ذلك لم يعقد العرب اجتماعاً واحداً لدراسة الوضع المستجد حيالهم، ودراسة الخطوات التي يمكن اتخاذها لحماية أنفسهم من سياسة التشظّي وتفتيت البلدان والشعوب إلى طوائف وأعراق وإثنيات على حساب اللُحمة الوطنية المنشودة، وهي سياسة فرّقْ تسُدْ الاستعمارية التي تستهدف العرب جميعاً.

إنّ النقاش الدائر في روسيا والصين يُري أن البلدين يدركان أن العالم قد تغيّر، وأن لا عودة تُرتجى إلى عالم ما قبل الـ 24 من شباط، وهو تاريخ انطلاق العملية العسكرية الروسية في أوكرانيا، ولذلك فإنهما منشغلان بوضع المرتسمات الجديدة لعالم ما بعد اليوم وعالم المستقبل. ومن يقرأ كلمة الرئيس شي جين بينغ يجد أنها تضع رؤية للتحديات التي طرأت على عالم اليوم، ومساراً للتعامل معها بجدية لضمان السير إلى الأمام رغم كل التحديات. ويؤكد خطاب بينغ أن زمن الحرب الباردة ونزعة الهيمنة وسياسة القوة ستكون جزءاً من الماضي، وقد طرح مبادرة الأمن العالمي من خلال التمسّك بمفهوم الأمن المشترك والشامل والتعاوني والمستدام، والعمل معاً على صيانة السلام والأمن في العالم، ومعارضة السعي إلى الأمن القومي على حساب الأمن القومي للغير.

في هذه المرحلة المفصلية بتشكُّل عالم جديد وسعي الأطراف في الشرق لأن تكون فاعلة في تشكيل هذا العالم، لاقتناعهم بأنّ أسس الهيمنة الغربية آيلة إلى الزوال، وأنها أصبحت مرفوضة وغير قادرة على الاستمرار، وأنها تخوض معركة منازعة أخيرة مهما بدت أنها طويلة اليوم، ولكنها ستكون الأخيرة.

في هذه المرحلة يتهدّد العرب جميعاً خطران أساسيان، إضافة إلى خطر الصهيونية الجاثمة على ضمير الأمة وأرض فلسطين والجولان، ألا وهما: الخطر العثماني الإخواني، وخطر أن لا يجد العرب لأنفسهم موطئ قدم إذا ما استمروا في حالة الفرقة والتشظّي التي يعيشونها اليوم، والتي لا يبدو أن هناك جهداً حقيقياً وواعداً للتخلص منها. فالخطر العثماني الإخواني اليوم حقيقي على سوريا والعراق وليبيا، حيث يحتل الأرض ويقيم القواعد وينشر لغته وثقافته وأكاذيبه وعملاءه من إخوان الشياطين، ويُلبس هيمنته لبوس الحرص على اللاجئين أو المسلمين أو محاربة التنظيمات الكردية، وهو لبوس لا يقل خطراً علينا جميعاً من وعد بلفور واتفاقية سايكس بيكو.

واللافت أنه بدأ بأسلوب مختلف بمحاولة تدنيس أرض الجزائر الطاهرة، من خلال اتخاذ الجزائر بوابة للدخول إلى شمال أفريقيا وأفريقيا، بعد أن فشل في أن تكون تونس منصة انطلاقه لنشر فكر الإخوان المسلمين وعقيدتهم في شمال أفريقيا. وفي هذه البلدان تتعدّد أساليبه وأدوات مكره؛ فحيث لا يستطيع (يتمكّن من) الاحتلال المباشر، قد يلجأ إلى التسلل الاقتصادي أو العقائدي كي يثبّت أقدامه في المكان، وينطلق منه لتحقيق غاياته وأهدافه التي لا تختلف بين شمال قبرص والشمال السوري والشمال العراقي والليبي والعمق الجزائري.

صحيح أن العيون تتّجه إلى أوكرانيا لمعرفة نتيجة الحسم العسكري بين روسيا وحلف الناتو العدواني هناك، ولكن ما يجري بالتوازي من إعادة تشكُّلات وصياغات في عالم اليوم قد يكون هو الأهم، لأنه هو الذي يُرسي أسس العالم الجديد وشكله، وسوف تكون الغلبة، ولا شكّ، لمن يخطط ويفكّر من اليوم أو من البارحة، أين سيكون تموضعه في هذا العالم، وكيف وما هي الميزات والأدوات التي يمتلكها كي يكون رقماً صعباً في عالم يسهم في بنيانه ويشكّل جزءاً من هويته وتوجّهاته.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

The brutal invasion of Iraq: Media – he made an unfortunate mistake

May 19, 2022

This speaks for itself and needs no comment.

CHRIS HEDGES: THE LIE OF AMERICAN INNOCENCE

MARCH 22ND, 2022

Source

By Chris Hedges

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost) — The branding of Vladimir Putin as a war criminal by Joe Biden, who lobbied for the Iraq war and staunchly supported the 20 years of carnage in the Middle East, is one more example of the hypocritical moral posturing sweeping across the United States. It is unclear how anyone would try Putin for war crimes since Russia, like the United States, does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. But justice is not the point. Politicians like Biden, who do not accept responsibility for our well-documented war crimes, bolster their moral credentials by demonizing their adversaries. They know the chance of Putin facing justice is zero. And they know their chance of facing justice is the same.

We know who our most recent war criminals are, among others: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, General Ricardo Sanchez, former CIA Director George Tenet, former Asst. Atty. Gen. Jay Bybee, former Dep. Asst. Atty. Gen. John Yoo, who set up the legal framework to authorize torture; the helicopter pilots who gunned down civilians, including two Reuters journalists, in the “Collateral Murder” video released by WikiLeaks. We have evidence of the crimes they committed.

But, like Putin’s Russia, those who expose these crimes are silenced and persecuted. Julian Assange, even though he is not a US citizen and his WikiLeaks site is not a US-based publication, is charged under the US Espionage Act for making public numerous US war crimes. Assange, currently housed in a high security prison in London, is fighting a losing battle in the British courts to block his extradition to the United States, where he faces 175 years in prison. One set of rules for Russia, another set of rules for the United States. Weeping crocodile tears for the Russian media, which is being heavily censored by Putin, while ignoring the plight of the most important publisher of our generation speaks volumes about how much the ruling class cares about press freedom and truth.

If we demand justice for Ukrainians, as we should, we must also demand justice for the one million people killed — 400,000 of whom were noncombatants — by our invasions, occupations and aerial assaults in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan. We must demand justice for those who were wounded, became sick or died because we destroyed hospitals and infrastructure. We must demand justice for the thousands of soldiers and marines who were killed, and many more who were wounded and are living with lifelong disabilities, in wars launched and sustained on lies. We must demand justice for the 38 million people who have been displaced or become refugees in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria, a number that exceeds the total of all those displaced in all wars since 1900, apart from World War II, according to the Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs at Brown University. Tens of millions of people, who had no connection with the attacks of 9/11, were killed, wounded, lost their homes, and saw their lives and their families destroyed because of our war crimes. Who will cry out for them?

Every effort to hold our war criminals accountable has been rebuffed by Congress, by the courts, by the media and by the two ruling political parties. The Center for Constitutional Rights, blocked from bringing cases in US courts against the architects of these preemptive wars, which are defined by post-Nuremberg laws as “criminal wars of aggression,” filed motions in German courts to hold US leaders to account for gross violations of the Geneva Convention, including the sanctioning of torture in black sites such as Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.

Those who have the power to enforce the rule of law, to hold our war criminals to account, to atone for our war crimes, direct their moral outrage exclusively at Putin’s Russia. “Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, condemning Russia for attacking civilian sites, including a hospital, three schools and a boarding school for visually impaired children in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. “These incidents join a long list of attacks on civilian, not military locations, across Ukraine,” he said. Beth Van Schaack, an ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, will direct the effort at the State Department, Blinken said, to “help international efforts to investigate war crimes and hold those responsible accountable.”

This collective hypocrisy, based on the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves, is accompanied by massive arms shipments to Ukraine. Fueling proxy wars was a specialty of the Cold War. We have returned to the script. If Ukrainians are heroic resistance fighters, what about Iraqis and Afghans, who fought as valiantly and as doggedly against a foreign power that was every bit as savage as Russia? Why weren’t they lionized? Why weren’t sanctions imposed on the United States? Why weren’t those who defended their countries from foreign invasion in the Middle East, including Palestinians under Israeli occupation, also provided with thousands of anti-tank weapons, anti-armor weapons, anti-aircraft weapons, helicopters, Switchblade or “Kamikaze” drones, hundreds of Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-tank missiles, machine guns and millions of rounds of ammunition? Why didn’t Congress rush through a $13.6 billion package to provide military and humanitarian assistance, on top of the $1.2 billion already provided to the Ukrainian military, for them?

Well, we know why. Our war crimes don’t count, and neither do the victims of our war crimes. And this hypocrisy makes a rules-based world, one that abides by international law, impossible.

This hypocrisy is not new. There is no moral difference between the saturation bombing the US carried out on civilian populations since World War II, including in Vietnam and Iraq, and the targeting of urban centers by Russia in Ukraine or the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Mass death and fireballs on a city skyline are the calling cards we have left across the globe for decades. Our adversaries do the same.

The deliberate targeting of civilians, whether in Baghdad, Kyiv, Gaza, or New York City, are all war crimes. The killing of at least 112 Ukrainian children, as of March 19, is an atrocity, but so is the killing of 551 Palestinian children during Israel’s 2014 military assault on Gaza. So is the killing of 230,000 people over the past seven years in Yemen from Saudi bombing campaigns and blockades that have resulted in mass starvation and cholera epidemics. Where were the calls for a no-fly zone over Gaza and Yemen? Imagine how many lives could have been saved.

War crimes demand the same moral judgment and accountability. But they don’t get them. And they don’t get them because we have one set of standards for white Europeans, and another for non-white people around the globe. The western media has turned European and American volunteers flocking to fight in Ukraine into heroes, while Muslims in the west who join resistance groups battling foreign occupiers in the Middle East are criminalized as terrorists. Putin has been ruthless with the press. But so has our ally the de facto Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman, who ordered the murder and dismemberment of my friend and colleague Jamal Khashoggi, and who this month oversaw a mass execution of 81 people convicted of criminal offenses. The coverage of Ukraine, especially after spending seven years reporting on Israel’s murderous assaults against the Palestinians, is another example of the racist divide that defines most of the western media.

World War II began with an understanding, at least by the allies, that employing industrial weapons against civilian populations was a war crime. But within 18 months of the start of the war, the Germans, Americans and British were relentlessly bombing cities. By the end of the war, one-fifth of German homes had been destroyed. One million German civilians were killed or wounded in bombing raids. Seven-and-a-half million Germans were made homeless. The tactic of saturation bombing, or area bombing, which included the firebombing of Dresden, Hamburg and Tokyo, which killed more than 90,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo and left a million people homeless, and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which took the lives of between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilianshad the sole purpose of breaking the morale of the population through mass death and terror. Cities such as Leningrad, Stalingrad, Warsaw, Coventry, Royan, Nanjing and Rotterdam were obliterated.

It turned the architects of modern war, all of them, into war criminals.

Civilians in every war since have been considered legitimate targets. In the summer of 1965, then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara called the bombing raids north of Saigon that left hundreds of thousands of dead an effective means of communication with the government in Hanoi. McNamara, six years before he died, unlike most war criminals, had the capacity for self-reflection. Interviewed in the documentary, “The Fog of War,” he was repentant, not only about targeting Vietnamese civilians but about the aerial targeting of civilians in Japan in World War II, overseen by Air Force General Curtis LeMay.

“LeMay said if we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals,” McNamara said in the film. “And I think he’s right…LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose, and not immoral if you win?”

LeMay, later head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, would go on to drop tons of napalm and firebombs on civilian targets in Korea which, by his own estimate, killed 20 percent of the population over a three-year period.

Industrial killing defines modern warfare. It is impersonal mass slaughter. It is administered by vast bureaucratic structures that perpetuate the killing over months and years. It is sustained by heavy industry that produces a steady flow of weapons, munitions, tanks, planes, helicopters, battleships, submarines, missiles, and mass-produced supplies, along with mechanized transports that ferry troops and armaments by rail, ship, cargo planes and trucks to the battlefield. It mobilizes industrial, governmental and organization structures for total war. It centralizes systems of information and internal control. It is rationalized for the public by specialists and experts, drawn from the military establishment, along with pliant academics and the media.

Industrial war destroys existing value systems that protect and nurture life, replacing them with fear, hatred, and a dehumanization of those who we are made to believe deserve to be exterminated. It is driven by emotions, not truth or fact. It obliterates nuance, replacing it with an infantile binary universe of us and them. It drives competing narratives, ideas and values underground and vilifies all who do not speak in the national cant that replaces civil discourse and debate. It is touted as an example of the inevitable march of human progress, when in fact it brings us closer and closer to mass obliteration in a nuclear holocaust. It mocks the concept of individual heroism, despite the feverish efforts of the military and the mass media to sell this myth to naïve young recruits and a gullible public. It is the Frankenstein of industrialized societies. War, as Alfred Kazin warned, is “the ultimate purpose of technological society.” Our real enemy is within.

Historically, those who are prosecuted for war crimes, whether the Nazi hierarchy at Nuremberg or the leaders of Liberia, Chad, Serbia, and Bosnia, are prosecuted because they lost the war and because they are adversaries of the United States.

There will be no prosecution of Saudi Arabian rulers for the war crimes committed in Yemen or for the US military and political leadership for the war crimes they carried out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, or a generation earlier in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The atrocities we commit, such as My Lai, where 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by US soldiers, which are made public, are dealt with by finding a scapegoat, usually a low-ranking officer who is given a symbolic sentence. Lt. William Calley served three years under house arrest for the killings at My Lai. Eleven US soldiers, none of whom were officers, were convicted of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But the architects and overlords of our industrial slaughter, including Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Gen. Curtis LeMay, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Lyndon Johnson, Gen. William Westmoreland, George W. Bush, Gen. David Petraeus, Barack Obama and Joe Biden are never held to account. They leave power to become venerated elder statesmen.

The mass slaughter of industrial warfare, the failure to hold ourselves to account, to see our own face in the war criminals we condemn, will have ominous consequences. Author and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi understood that the annihilation of the humanity of others is prerequisite for their physical annihilation. We have become captives to our machines of industrial death. Politicians and generals wield their destructive fury as if they were toys. Those who decry the madness, who demand the rule of law, are attacked and condemned. These industrial weapons systems are our modern idols. We worship their deadly prowess. But all idols, the Bible tells us, begin by demanding the sacrifice of others and end in apocalyptic self-sacrifice.

Everyone Loses in the Conflict Over Ukraine

March 02, 2022

By Ralph Nader

Global Research,

OpEdNews.com 1 March 2022

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Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

Global Research condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Bilateral Peace Agreement is required.


When two scorpions are in a bottle, they both lose. This is the preventable danger that is growing daily with no end game in sight between the two nuclear superpowers led by dictator Vladimir Putin and de facto sole decider Joe Biden.

Putin’s first argument is Washington invented the model of aggressive, illegal invasions, and destruction of distant countries, that never threatened U.S. security.

Millions have died, been injured, and sickened in defenseless countries attacked by U.S. armed forces. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney killed over a million innocent Iraqis and devastated the country in so many ways that scholars called it a “sociocide.”

Putin’s second argument is that Russia is being threatened on its sensitive western border which had been invaded twice by Germany and caused the loss of 50 million Russian lives.

Soon after the Soviet Union collapsed the West’s military alliance against Russia began moving east. Under Bill Clinton, NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) signed up Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in 1999, leading to major arms sales by the U.S. giant munitions corporations.

More recently, Putin sees U.S. soldiers in these countries, ever closer U.S. missile launchers, U.S.-led joint naval exercises in the Baltic Sea, and intimations that Ukraine and Georgia could soon join NATO. Imagine if the Russians were to have such a military presence around the U.S. borders.

Even often hawkish New York Times columnists – Thomas Friedman and Bret Stephens – made this point this week about the brazen U.S. history of military hypocrisy while tearing into Putin. Stephens brought up the Monroe Doctrine over the entire Western Hemisphere in raising repeatedly the question, “Who are We?”

The chess game between Russia and the West has become more deadly with Putin’s military moves followed by immediate Western sanctions against some Russian banks and oligarchs close to Putin.

Travel bans and freezing the completion of the second major natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany are in place with promises of much more severe economic retaliation by Biden.

These sanctions can become a two-way street. Western Europe needs Russian oil and gas, Russian wheat, and essential Russian minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel.

Sanctions against Russia will soon boomerang in terms of higher oil and gas prices for Europeans and Americans, more inflation, worsening supply chains, and the dreaded “economic uncertainty” afflicting stock markets and consumer spending.

The corporate global economy gave us interdependence on other nations instead of domestic self-reliance under the framework of corporate-managed free trade agreements.

Repeating 1970s Strategy of Grand Chess-Master Brzezinski: Biden Appears to Have Induced Russian Invasion of Ukraine to Bankrupt Russia’s Economy and Advance Regime Change

So how many billions of dollars in costs and a weakened economy will Joe Biden tolerate as the price of anti-Putin sanctions that will blowback on the American people?

How much suffering will he tolerate being inflicted on the long-suffering Russian people? What will be the impact on the civilian population of more severe sanctions? And who is he to talk as if he doesn’t have to be authorized by Congress to go further into this state of belligerence, short of sending soldiers, which he said he would not do?

Is Congress to be left as a cheerleader, washing its hands of its constitutional oversight and foreign policy duties?

Also, watch Republicans and Democrats in Congress unify to whoop through more money for the bloated military budget as pointed out by military analyst, Michael Klare.

What energy will be left for Biden’s pending “Build Back Better” infrastructure, social safety net, and climate crisis legislation?

In recent weeks, the State Department said it recognizes Russia’s legitimate security concerns but not its expansionism. Well, what is wrong with a ceasefire followed by support for a treaty “guaranteeing neutrality for Ukraine similar to the enforced neutrality for Austria since the Cold War’s early years,” as Nation publisher and Russia specialist Katrina Vanden Heuvel urged. (See: Katrina vanden Heuvel’s Washington Post article and her recent Nation piece).

Putin, unable to get over the breakup of the Soviet Union probably has imperial ambitions to dominate in Russia’s backyard. Biden has inherited and accepted the U.S. Empire’s ambitions in many other nation’s backyards.

Events have polarized this conflict over Ukraine which is not a security interest for the U.S., into two dominant egos – Putin and Biden – neither of whom want to appear weak or to back down.

This is a dangerous recipe for an out-of-control escalation, much as it was in the lead-up to World War I. Neither the people nor the parliaments mattered then as seems to be the case today.

Putin isn’t likely to make a cost-benefit assessment of each day’s militarism. But Biden better do so. Otherwise, he will be managed by Putin’s daily moves, instead of insisting on serious negotiations.

The Minsk II Peace Accords of February 2015 brokered by Germany, France, and the United Nations, that Russia and Ukraine agreed to before falling apart due to disagreements over who should take the first steps still makes for a useful framework.

It is too late to revisit the accords to stop the invasion but it should be proposed to introduce a climate for waging peace.

Already, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has spoken about an increase in cyberattacks and ransomware demands in her state in recent weeks.

Has Biden put that rising certainty in his self-described decades-long foreign policy expertise?

Watch out for what you can’t stop, Joe.

*

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Copyright © Ralph NaderOpEdNews.com, 2022

Colin Powell’s Death: Liar of the Century

19 Oct 2021

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Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Hussam AbdelKareem

Colin Powell was part of the Quartet (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Powell) of American officials who were responsible for the illegal, unethical, and criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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Colin Powell passed away at the age of 84. In his eulogy, writers in the American press will certainly talk about the “brave soldier” who ascended the US army ranks to the “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff” position and who eventually became the first African-American Secretary of State (he’s born to Jamaican parents). But in fact, he will be remembered for his role in Iraq’s invasion more than anything else in his career. Colin Powell was part of the Quartet (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Powell) of American officials who were responsible for the illegal, unethical, and criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was Colin Powell who presented America’s case for the war on Iraq to the world in the famous UN Security Council session on Feb 5, 2003.

“Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence”

– Colin Powell; Feb 5, 2003. 

During the UN Security Council session, Powell detailed the serious threats Iraq was posing to the world by its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) secret programs and its links with terrorism. He even went on to show a vial in his hand saying that it could be used to store Iraq’s Anthrax germs as part of biological warheads.  

Powell actually used that UN Security Council meeting as “show business”, using projectors and audio recordings to “prove” to the world that Iraq was an imminent threat and that the US has no other option but to go to war. Well, it was all lies, nothing but lies and fabrications. Powell was lying all-out when he talked about: 

– Iraq’s possession of mobile labs to produce WMD’s 

– Iraq’s links to Al-Qa’eda and Bin-Ladin.

– Iraq’s buying Uranium from Niger

– Iraq’s possession of long-range missiles (900 km)

All that was proven false. America failed to find any evidence to support those allegations even after years of extensive search operations all over Iraq after its invasion. 

Colin Powell was lying intentionally. He was not “mistaken”, he knew exactly what he was doing. His boss, Bush, tasked him with the dirty work of presenting a convincing “war case” to the world even if he needs to use lies, misleading information, and false evidence, and Powell accepted to do it. It’s as simple as that. It’s typical soldier behavior: obey the commander. He’s part of the crime and cannot distance himself from it as he tried to do at a later stage in his life. 

After he left office, Powell tried to blame others for what he said in the UN Security Council, portraying himself as “deceived” not as a liar. On Feb 16, 2011, The Guardian newspaper of the UK published an article titled “Former US secretary of state asks why CIA failed to warn him over Iraqi defector who has admitted fabricating WMD evidence”. Also in 2011, Powell told Al Jazeera News Channel that “I deeply regret some of the information I presented was wrong. It has blotted my record, but you know, there’s nothing I can do to change that blot”. And in 2017 Powell said in an interview on Bloomberg “I was more than embarrassed. I was mortified”.

Well, that can hardly be an apology. Talking about the CIA not informing him, his embarrassment, and the blot on his record is no more than an excuse and justification. 

Colin Powell died after he actively participated in destroying another country without any legal or moral basis. His name will remain in history’s list of invaders and barbarians.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Iraq’s Agriculture Reaps the Despoiled Seeds of US Meddling

October 5, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Farah Hage-Hassan

The poisonous effects of American interference and failed policies are still affecting Iraq’s agricultural sector today. Here’s how.

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  • Decades of US interference have plagued Iraq’s agricultural sector
  • “You lied!”

    Those were the screams of former US Army veteran Mike Prysner echoing in the lecture hall during a speech by George W. Bush, and the lasting trauma still resonates in the ears of millions of Iraqis and Americans today, almost two decades later.

    From a full-scale invasion under the pretext of overthrowing Saddam Hussein to the insurgence of ISIS, Iraq has been plagued with endless wars and destruction. This invasion and endless interventions aggravated the marginalization of sectors in Iraqi society and allowed the internal state of Iraq to crumble under sectarianism and violence.

    The lasting effects of the US policies are especially present within the aftermath of the agricultural sector among others. Farmers across the country continue to be displaced and doubt remains overcast on Iraq’s environmental capabilities and the future of agricultural development.

    American invasion 

    One of the many false pretenses for the heavily documented war was the alleged harboring of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell infamously claimed that the US was aware of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and their role in terrorism. Powell’s bold statements and deceptive assertions regarding the evidence that was available have ultimately haunted the US for what has become known as the very public “campaign of lies” the US tricked global citizens into believing.  

    For over 7 years, Iraq was invaded and bombed by the US and the coalition of the willing, not to mention their use of white phosphorous munitions. Although they claimed that white phosphorus was used whilst fully considering the incidental effects on civilians, the secondary effects on Iraq’s agriculture were most definitely not taken into account.

    Deliberate destruction

    The invasion and destruction that accompanied the war did not only permanently damage arable lands with mines and cluster ammunition, but the suspension of government agricultural institutions and irrigation projects also caused disastrous results to the population.

    From 2002 to 2008, agriculture’s contribution to the country’s GDP has decreased from almost 9% to 3.6% due to challenges created by war, social instability, and institutional and economic concerns. 

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  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value-added, % of GDP (Source: World Bank)
  • In a final blow after causing significant damage to the agricultural sector, the US secured its monopoly over the Iraqi farming industry and the future of agriculture by issuing Order 81. The Order was described as an attempt to “rebuild” Iraq’s agriculture industry by the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Paul Bremer.

    What was Order 81?

    After Coalition Provisional Authority Order 81 was implemented, farmers were forbidden from conserving, distributing, or propagating harvested seeds, resulting in a dependency on big businesses such as Monsanto, Cargill Inc., and Dow Chemical. As a consequence, Iraq has only been able to meet 4% of its seed demands since 2005. These distributors are known to patent their seeds and collect fees without considering if crops were proven to contain their proprietary genetic information.

    Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation founded in 1901, is notorious for its contribution to the neutron initiators inside the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, as well as for producing Agent Orange. The US military used Agent Orange in Vietnam during the infamous operation Ranch Hand, destroying crops and ultimately causing half a million Vietnamese children to be born with birth defects and millions of others left with cancer and other serious health conditions. 

    Dying of thirst

    Reconstruction efforts in Iraq also targeted the distribution of safe drinking water. 

    Millions of dollars were lost in the attempt and efforts failed, with only one-third of the objectives reached in the context of providing safe drinking water. 

    Iraq’s infrastructure was heavily bombed in the 1990s after the US-led coalition conducted massive airstrikes on the region during the gulf war. Water and sewerage treatment facilities were heavily damaged. As people suffered from a lack of access to clean water, diseases multiplied.

    The US war has critically aggravated the water crisis. Water is scarcely passing through the Tigris and Euphrates as is, causing contaminated water to reach crops, and in turn poisoning much of the population. The UN Security Council described the effects of the war as returning Iraq to the “pre-industrial age”, and warned of the imminent catastrophe that would hit the Iraqi population. 

    The Tigris River is bordered by Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Along with the Euphrates, they create a river system that encircles Mesopotamia known as the Fertile Crescent. The Tigris is an important source of transportation and irrigation, with a history dating back to the earliest known civilizations.

    Visual search query image
    Tigris River (Global Atlas)

    Scorched earth

    The catastrophic insurgence of ISIS ripped Iraq’s already suffering sectors into developmental and economic shreds. 

    The US policies created a weak state that resulted in the marginalization of considerable sectors of Iraqi society. ISIS militants, armed partially with CIA-funded weapons, developed into one of the goriest terrorist organizations of our time. 

    The world watched in horror as ISIS became globally renowned for unspeakable atrocities like beheadings, kidnapping of women and children, and numerous suicide bombings and terrorist attacks that not only affected the Middle East but many western countries, especially Europe. 

    ISIS used the burning tactic to terrorize inhabitants, laid landmines, and destroyed agricultural equipment. IEDs were frequently utilized to fortify their defense. They attempted to meticulously carry out a form of ecocide, as their “scorched earth” tactics took hold. Oil wells were set on fire and thousands of civilians came close to suffocation and others suffered respiratory complications.

    In a final effort to devastate their targets, they booby-trapped escape routes, barns, and pump stations. 

    The presence of the terrorist group forced agricultural workers and farmers to evacuate their farmlands during the bloody conflicts. Numerous families retell their experiences of being forced to abandon their farming communities when ISIS militants surrounded the area in mid-2014. The same families who evacuated their homes reported returning to their homes post-ISIS and finding them heavily booby-trapped. Numerous families have lost children and relatives after bombs inexplicably detonated on their properties. 

    A glimpse of hope

    Away from the nightmares that haunt Iraq, as one of many initiatives, Iraq’s holy shrines have begun to establish massive farms for relying on agricultural production and providing national agricultural products that are distinguished by quality, as well as meat at subsidized prices.

    Visual search query image
  • Farms administrated by the Imam Hussein Holy Shrine (Website)
  • Agricultural cities are being established to provide the cultivation of wheat, barley, yellow corn, fodder, jet, and cattle, as well as raising sheep and cows.

    Despite the seemingly irreversible effects of America’s assaults and intrusion on Iraq’s wellbeing have undoubtedly damaged the country, things can still be turned around. With Iraq’s Parliamentary elections looming, the crucial vote of the youth may have the power to carry Iraq out of decade-long darkness and into the light. 

    Another Look at 9/11: Ask Not ‘What Happened?’ but ‘Who Did It?’

    See the source image

    Philip Giraldi

    September 16, 202

    The evidence of Israeli involvement is substantial, based on the level of the Jewish state’s espionage operations in the U.S., Phil Giraldi writes.

    The twentieth anniversary of 9/11 last Saturday has raised many of the usual issues about what actually happened on that day. Were hijacked airliners actually crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or was the damage in New York City attributable to explosives or even some kind of nuclear device? These are fundamental questions and the so-called “Truthers” who raise them have been inspired by their reading of the 585 page 9/11 Report, which is most charitably described as incomplete, though many would reasonably call it a government cover-up.

    I have long believed that unless one actually sees or experiences something first hand the description of any event is no better than hearsay. The closest I came to “seeing” 9/11 was the panicked evacuation of a CIA office building, where I was working at the time. Another related bit of 9/11 narrative also came from two close friends who were driving into work at the Pentagon when they each independently observed what appeared to be a large plane passing over their cars and striking the building. I consider the sources credible but was it an airplane or a missile? And I was not there to see it with my own eyes, so I am reluctant to claim that my friends actually saw something that in retrospect might have been misconstrued.

    Critics of the physical and engineering aspects of the accepted narrative certainly have a great deal of expert evidence that supports their case. The way the towers fell as well as the collapse of Building 7 nearby are suggestive of something other than the impact of an airliner near the top of the structure, but I am no expert in the science of the matter and have avoided expressing a view regarding it.

    Apart from what happened, I have always been more intrigued by “Who done it?” I found the 9/11 Report to be conspicuously lacking in its failure to cover possible foreign involvement, to include the Saudis, Pakistanis and the Israelis. Indeed, President Joe Biden has taken steps that have resulted in the declassification and release of 16 pages of the notorious 28-page redaction of documents relating to any possible Saudi role. The document consists of interviews with Saudi student Omar al-Bayoumi, who reportedly helped support several hijackers.

    The Saudis are being sued by 9/11 survivors, but it is unlikely that anything really sensitive will ever be exposed, as explained by investigative journalist Jim Bovard. Indeed, the documents released last Saturday did not demonstrate that the Saudi government itself played any direct role in 9/11, though it is clear that wealthy Saudis and even members of the Royal Family had been supporting and funding al-Qaeda. It is also known that that Saudi Embassy and Consulate employees in the U.S. had funded the alleged hijackers.

    Friends who were in CIA’s Counterterrorism Center at the time of 9/11 tend to believe that the Saudis were indeed supporting their fellow citizens while in the U.S. but were likely not knowledgeable regarding any terrorist plot. They observed, however, that there was considerable evidence that Israel knew in advance about what was impending and may have even been instrumental in making sure that it succeeded.

    The evidence of Israeli involvement is substantial, based on the level of the Jewish state’s espionage operations in the U.S. and also its track record on so-called covert actions simulating terrorist attacks designed to influence political decision making in foreign countries. But, of course, in reporting on the 9/11 tragedy no one in the mainstream media did pick up on the connection, inhibited no doubt by the understanding that there are some things that one just does not write about Israel if one hopes to remain employed. That is true in spite of the fact that the Israeli angle to 9/11 is without a doubt a good story, consigned to the alternative media, where it can be marginalized by critics as a conspiracy theory or the product of anti-Semitism.

    In the year 2001 Israel was running a massive spying operation directed against Muslims either resident or traveling in the United States. The operation included the creation of a number of cover companies in New Jersey, Florida and also on the west coast that served as spying mechanisms for Mossad officers. The effort was supported by the Mossad Station in Washington DC and included a large number of volunteers, the so-called “art students” who traveled around the U.S. selling various products at malls and outdoor markets. The FBI was aware of the numerous Israeli students who were routinely overstaying their visas but they were regarded as a minor nuisance and were normally left to the tender mercies of the inspectors at the Bureau of Customs and Immigration.

    The Israelis were also running more sophisticated intelligence operations inside the United States, many of which were focused on Washington’s military capabilities and intentions. Some specialized intelligence units concentrated on obtaining military and dual use technology. It was also known that Israeli spies had penetrated the phone systems of the U.S. government, to include those at the White House.

    All of that came into focus on September 11, 2001, when a New Jersey housewife saw something from the window of her apartment building, which overlooked the World Trade Center. She watched as the buildings burned and crumbled but also noted something strange. Three young men were kneeling on the roof of a white transit van parked by the water’s edge, making a movie in which they featured themselves high fiving and laughing in front of the catastrophic scene unfolding behind them. The woman wrote down the license plate number of the van and called the police, who responded quickly and soon both the local force and the FBI began looking for the vehicle, which was subsequently seen by other witnesses in various locations along the New Jersey waterfront, its occupants “celebrating and filming.”

    The license plate number revealed that the van belonged to a New Jersey registered company called Urban Moving Systems. The van was identified and pulled over. Five men between the ages of 22 and 27 years old emerged to be detained at gunpoint and handcuffed. They were all Israelis. One of them had $4,700 in cash hidden in his sock and another had two foreign passports. Bomb sniffing dogs reacted to the smell of explosives in the van.

    According to the initial police report, the driver identified as Sivan Kurzberg, stated “We are Israeli. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.” The five men were detained at the Bergen County jail in New Jersey before being transferred the FBI’s Foreign Counterintelligence Section, which handles allegations of spying.

    After the arrest, the FBI obtained a warrant to search Urban Moving System’s Weehawken, NJ, offices. Papers and computers were seized. The company owner Dominick Suter, also an Israeli, answered FBI questions but when a follow-up interview was set up a few days later it was learned that he had fled the country for Israel, putting both his business and home up for sale. It was later learned that Suter has been associated with at least fourteen businesses in the United States, mostly in New Jersey and New York but also in Florida.

    The five Israelis were held in Brooklyn, initially on charges relating to visa fraud. FBI interrogators questioned them for more than two months. Several were held in solitary confinement so they could not communicate with each other and two of them were given repeated polygraph exams, which they failed when claiming that they were nothing more than students working summer jobs. The two men that the FBI focused on most intensively were believed to be Mossad staff officers and the other three were volunteers helping with surveillance. Interestingly, photo evidence demonstrated that they had been seen “casing” the area where they were seen celebrating on the day before, indicating that they had prior knowledge of the attack.

    The Israelis were not exactly cooperative, but the FBI concluded from documents obtained at their office in Weehawken that they had been targeting Arabs in New York and New Jersey. The FBI concluded that there was a distinct possibility that the Israelis had actually monitored the activities of at least two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers while the cover companies and intelligence personnel often intersected with locations frequented by the Saudis.

    The dots were apparently never connected by investigators. Police records in New Jersey and New York where the men were held have disappeared and FBI interrogation reports are inaccessible. Media coverage of the case also died, though the five were referred to in the press as the “dancing Israelis” and by some, more disparagingly, as the “dancing Shlomos.”

    Inevitably, the George W. Bush White House intervened. After 71 days in detention, the five Israelis were inexplicably released from prison, put on a plane, and deported. One should also recall that when the news of 9/11 reached Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pleased, saying that “It’s very good. Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” It will “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.” And, of course, it was conveniently attributable to Israel’s enemies.

    The possible role of Israel in 9/11 was first explored in book form in 2003 by Antiwar.com editorial director Justin Raimondo in his The Terror Enigma, a short book focusing on Israeli spying and inconsistencies in the narrative that bore the provocative subtitle “9/11 and the Israeli Connection.”

    Currently, the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 has inspired some others to take another look at the possible Israeli role. Ron Unz has recently completed an exhaustive examination of the evidence. He observes that 9/11 and its aftermath have shaped “the last two decades, greatly changing the daily lives and liberties of most ordinary Americans.” He asks “What organized group would have been sufficiently powerful and daring to carry off an attack of such vast scale against the central heart of the world’s sole superpower? And how were they possibly able to orchestrate such a massively effective media and political cover-up, even enlisting the participation of the U.S. government itself?”

    Ron Unz answers his question, concluding that there is “a strong, perhaps even overwhelming case that the Israeli Mossad together with its American collaborators played the central role” in the attack. His argument is based on the noted inconsistencies in the standard narrative, plus an examination of the history of Israeli false flag and mass terrorism attacks. It also includes new information gleaned from Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman’s recent book Rise and Kill First: the Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.

    To a certain extent, Unz relies on a detailed investigative article written by French journalist Laurent Guyenot in 2018 as well as on an argument made by an ex-Marine and former instructor at the U.S. Army War College Alan Sabrosky in an article where he records how “Many years ago I read a fascinating discussion of the ‘tactics of mistake.’ This essentially entailed using a target’s prejudices and preconceptions to mislead them as to the origin and intent of the attack, entrapping them in a tactical situation that later worked to the attacker’s strategic advantage. This is what unfolded in the 9/11 attacks that led us into the matrix of wars and conflicts, present (Afghanistan and Iraq), planned (Iran and Syria) and projected (Jordan and Egypt), that benefit Israel and no other country — although I concede that many private contractors and politicians are doing very well for themselves out of the death and misery of others. I am also absolutely certain as a strategic analyst that 9/11 itself, from which all else flows, was a classic Mossad-orchestrated operation. But Mossad did not do it alone. They needed local help within America (and perhaps elsewhere) and they had it, principally from some alumni of PNAC (the misnamed Project for a New American Century) and their affiliates within and outside of the U.S. Government (USG), who in the 9/11 attacks got the ‘catalytic event’ they needed and craved to take the U.S. to war on Israel’s behalf…”

    Economist and author Paul Craig Roberts has also been motivated by the anniversary to review the evidence and concludes “Circumstantial evidence suggests that 9/11 was a scheme of George W. Bush regime neoconservative officials allied with vice president Dick Cheney and Israel to create a ‘new Pearl Harbor’ that would generate support on the part of the American people and Washington’s European allies for a Middle Eastern ‘war on terror’ whose real purpose was to destroy Israel’s enemies in the interest of Greater Israel… This is the most plausible explanation, but, if true, it is not one that the U.S. and Israeli governments would ever acknowledge. Consequently, we are stuck with an official explanation long championed by the presstitutes that no one believes.”

    Yes, an implausible explanation that no one really believes for the greatest national security disaster in America’s twenty-first century. And Israel gets yet another pass.

    Afghanistan: US defeat stems from its ruinous response to 9/11 attacks

    6 September 2021 10:08 UTC 

    Peter Oborne

    Osama bin Laden outwitted George W Bush by dragging America into its unwinnable ‘war on terror’. If the US had reacted more rationally, the world today would look very differently

    US President George W Bush being informed by his chief of staff, Andrew Card, of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York during a visit to a Florida school, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

    Today George W Bush lives a comfortable life in his adoptive home state of Texas. He has reinvented himself as a painter.

    Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US special forces and reportedly buried at sea.

    But the two men will always be remembered for the same reason: Osama bin Laden’s attack on the United States on 11 September 2001 – and Bush’s ruinous response. The memories of these terrible events are still raw, though some of the facts remain disputed. 

    Looking back with the perspective of 20 years, we can judge which man came closest to realising his objectives.

    It was not George W Bush. With the Taliban back in charge in Afghanistan, the neoconservative project in ruins and the United States in headlong retreat from its global ambitions, Bush has a claim to be, by some distance, the most disastrous president in his country’s history.

    Morally abject figure

    Bin Laden is a morally abject figure, a preacher of death and hatred. Yet he outwitted Bush, the leader of the western world, the trustee of all its values, the beneficiary of its intellectual and scientific vitality. 

    Before 9/11, bin Laden could command at most a few thousand followers: a sandal-wearing tribal militia whose most powerful military weapons were machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But, paradoxically, that gave it an advantage against the most powerful and well-equipped armed forces the world has ever known. Two decades since 9/11: The human toll of the ‘war on terror’

    Bin Laden induced the United States to commit itself to an open-ended asymmetric war against him and any other group of terrorists America deemed to be his allies. He wanted the US to invade Muslim countries so that jihad could bleed America’s military in prolonged guerrilla warfare. Only that way could the US, like the Soviet Union before it, be defeated.

    This forced the US into committing colossal military resources for limited and impermanent gains. Above all, it imposed a steady flow of US casualties in faraway countries largely unknown to the American population, with no prospect of an end that would allow their loved ones to come home. 

    Those armed forces have been defeated. Not just once, but twice. First in Iraq, then in Afghanistan. They have not lost any conventional battle – but they failed, totally, to achieve their objectives.

    Historians and analysts have not yet even begun to grasp the meaning and consequence of 9/11 and its aftermath. US military thinkers and their British equivalents are in open denial. 

    Superficial parallel

    The first important point to grasp is that bin Laden himself did not defeat them. After the destruction of the Twin Towers, the al-Qaeda leader was either in hiding or on the run. His lines of communications were broken, while by the end of 2001 his organisation could count on no more than a few dozen fighters. 

    9/11 crash
    A hijacked plane approaches the World Trade Center in New York, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

    Meanwhile, the world was on the side of the United States, including candlelit vigils in Tehran. 

    George W Bush rejected these offers, a mistake brought about by a misunderstanding of the meaning of 9/11. Bush interpreted it as an act of war equivalent to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

    It was a superficial parallel. For while Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were both unforeseen by intelligence agencies and came from the air, Pearl Harbor was an act of conventional war, launched by Japan, an organised state, and as such demanded a conventional military response.

    Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him

    The attack on the Twin Towers, for all its horror, was a terrorist atrocity, by what modern jargon describes as a “non-state actor”. The US president could and should have dealt with it by hunting down bin Laden and his murderous associates using counterterrorism methods – those which ultimately secured his death. 

    He chose not to do so, launching instead his “war on terror”, an abstract, undefined and open-ended concept which played mightily into the hands of al-Qaeda. The “war on terror” gave an immediate boost in domestic politics for an undistinguished, underachieving presidency. Bush’s popularity ratings soared and his administration, with suspicious promptitude, was able to introduce a raft of tough security legislation, which it passed with minimal resistance. But it was a military and foreign policy disaster. 

    Bush was not alone in his error. In the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair shared his analysis (and so did the media: even the Guardian’s headline the following day read “A declaration of war”). But this formulation laid open the question: who was the US fighting against? 

    Remember, no national government had supported the attack; not even the Taliban in Afghanistan supported bin Laden’s plan for international jihad. Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him.

    ‘Head of the snake’

    To quote Professor Fawaz Gerges, historian of al-Qaeda: “Bin Laden and his inner circle developed a strategic vision that involved forcing the United States to fight the war on bin Laden’s terms and lash out angrily against the Muslim world at large. As a small elitist vanguard, they could neither challenge American power nor survive direct confrontation with it. The only way to level the playing field lay in asymmetric warfare, one that ignited a greater clash between America and the world of Islam.”

    To an astonishing extent, bin Laden caused all this to happen. His underlying objective was always to drive American forces out of Muslim countries, in particular his native Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy places, Mecca and Medina. (That has still not been achieved, though with America exposed as an unreliable ally in headlong retreat, it is a more likely outcome than ever before.)

    bin laden rally, Pakistan
    Protesters flash victory signs during a rally in support of Osama bin Laden in Lahore, Pakistan, on 21 September 2001 (AFP)

    While other jihadis wanted to fight the “near enemy” – US-sponsored client regimes across the Muslim world – bin Laden’s special insight was the strategic utility of striking “at the head of the snake” and thus provoking the United States into a violent and irrational response which would poison its relationships with Muslim states and communities and make all of his Muslim opponents look like collaborators with the enemy. 

    Chaos and carnage

    Bin Laden knew also that he and his followers could prevail in the struggle simply by remaining in being and forcing the US to accept more casualties and costs than its population would be ready to endure. 

    The course of events suggests that bin Laden may have understood the United States rather more clearly than Bush. He induced the US president to do exactly what he wanted, plunging much of the Muslim world into a period of chaos and carnage, from which it has yet to emerge, and creating the conditions for al-Qaeda and other terror groups to prosper.

    For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious

    The neoconservatives who directed Bush’s response to 9/11 and al-Qaeda mirrored each other. They were both revivalist movements at odds with what they saw as a corrupt modernity seeking inspiration in the Salaf – the ancients. They both despised due process and the rule of law. They preferred violence to diplomacy.

    For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious. Both saw themselves as the ultimate good fighting the ultimate evil. Both despised moderate Muslims as much as western liberals. 

    Al-Qaeda and the neocons thus shared the false interpretation of Islam as a religion of violence and the same demented belief in an irreconcilable clash of civilisations between Muslims and the West. 

    Between them, they plunged much of the world into a death spiral. Muslims have suffered far worse in terms of lives lost. But America’s reputation across the world as a force for good has been destroyed, while the country now faces military defeat and a deep moral crisis from which it may not recover.

    Had George W Bush acted rationally, Osama bin Laden would be despised as another terrorist – and no more. Thanks to Bush, he became a terrorist who changed world history, and a model for other terrorists across the world.

    The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.Peter ObornePeter Oborne won best commentary/blogging in 2017 and was named freelancer of the year in 2016 at the Online Media Awards for articles he wrote for Middle East Eye. He was also named as British Press Awards Columnist of the Year in 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His latest book, The Assault on Truth, was published in February 2021. His previous books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

    The ‘Great Reset’ in Microcosm: ‘Data Driven Defeat’ in Afghanistan

    August 30, 2021

    Alastair Crooke

    There is little mystery as to why the Taliban took over Kabul so quicklyAlastair Crooke writes.

    Nation-building in Afghanistan arrived in 2001. Western interventions into the old Eastern bloc in the 1980s and early 1990s had been spectacularly effective in destroying the old social and institutional order; but equally spectacular in failing to replace imploded societies with fresh institutions.  The threat from ‘failed states’ became the new mantra, and Afghanistan – in the wake of the destruction wrought post-9/11 – therefore necessitated external intervention.  Weak and failed states were the spawning ground for terrorism and its threat to the ‘global order’, it was said. It was in Afghanistan that a new liberal world vision was to be stood-up.

    At another level, the war in Afghanistan became another sort of crucible. In very real terms, Afghanistan turned into a testbed for every single innovation in technocratic project management – with each innovation heralded as precursor to our wider future. Funds poured in: Buildings were thrown up, and an army of globalised technocrats arrived to oversee the process.  Big data, AI and the utilization of ever expanding sets of technical and statistical metrics, were to topple old ‘stodgy’ ideas.  Military sociology in the form of Human Terrain Teams and other innovative creations, were unleashed to bring order to chaos. Here, the full force of the entire NGO world, the brightest minds of that international government-in-waiting, were given a playground with nearly infinite resources at their disposal.

    This was to be a showcase for technical managerialism. It presumed that a properly technical, and scientific way of understanding war and nation-building would be able to mobilize reason and progress to accomplish what everyone else could not, and so create a post-modern society, out of a complex tribal one, with its own storied history.

    The ‘new’ arrived, as it were, in a succession of NGO boxes marked ‘pop-up modernity’.  The 18th century British statesman Edmund Burke, of course, had already warned in Reflections on the Revolution in France, as he witnessed the Jacobins tearing down their old order: “that it is with infinite caution” that anyone should pull down or replace structures that have served society well over the ages.  But this managerial technocracy had little time for old ‘stodgy’ ideas.

    But, what last week’s fall of the western instituted regime so clearly revealed is that today’s managerial class, consumed by the notion of technocracy as the only means of effecting functional rule birthed instead, something thoroughly rotten – “data-driven defeat”, as one U.S. Afghan veteran described it – so rotten, that it collapsed in a matter of days. On the extended blunders of the “system” in Afghanistan, he writes:

    “A retired Navy SEAL who served in the White House under both Bush and Obama reflected,[that]  “collectively the system is incapable of taking a step back to question basic assumptions.” That “system” is best understood, not simply as a military or foreign policy body, but as a euphemism for the habits and institutions of an American ruling class that has exhibited an almost limitless collective capacity for deflecting the costs of failure.

    “This class in general, and the people in charge of the war in Afghanistan in particular, believed in informational and management solutions to existential problems. They elevated data points and sta­tistical indices to avoid choosing prudent goals and organizing the proper strategies to achieve them. They believed in their own provi­dential destiny and that of people like them to rule, regardless of their failures”.

    Whatever was not corrupt before America arrived, became corrupt in the maelstrom of that $2 Trillion of American money showered on the project. American soldiers, arms manufacturers, globalised technocrats, governance experts, aid workers, peacekeepers, counter-insurgency theorists and lawyers – all made their fortunes.

    The flaw was that Afghanistan as a liberal progressive vision was a hoax in the first place: Afghanistan was invaded, and occupied, because of its geography. It was the ideal platform from which to perturb Central Asia, and thus unsettle Russia and China.

    No one was truly committed because there was really no longer any Afghanistan to commit to. Whomsoever could steal from the Americans did so. The Ghani regime collapsed in a matter of days, because it was ‘never there’ to begin with: A Potemkin Village, whose role lay in perpetuating a fiction, or rather the myth of America’s Grand Vision of itself as the shaper and guardian of ‘our’ global future.

    The true gravity for America and Europe of the present psychological ‘moment’ is not only that nation-building, as a project intended to stand up liberal values been revealed as having ‘achieved nothing’, but Afghanistan débacle has underlined the limitations to technical managerialism in way that is impossible to miss.

    The gravity of America’s present psychological ‘moment’ – the implosion of Kabul – was well articulated when Robert Kagan argued earlier, that the ‘global values’ project (however tenuous its basis in reality) nonetheless has become essential to preserving ‘democracy’ at home:  For, he suggests, an America that retreats from global hegemony, would no longer possess the domestic group solidarity to preserve America as ‘idea’, at home, either.

    What Kagan is saying here is important – It may constitute the true cost of the Afghanistan débacle. Every élite class advances various claims about its own legitimacy, without which a stable political order is impossible. Legitimating myths can take many forms and may change over time, but once they become exhausted, or lose their credibility – when people no longer believe in the narrative, or the claims which underpin that political ‘idea’ – then it is ‘game over’.

    Swedish intellectual, Malcolm Kyeyune writes that we may be “witnessing the catastrophic end of this metaphysical power of legitimacy that has shielded the managerial ruling class for decades”:

    “Anyone even briefly familiar with the historical record knows just how much of a Pandora’s box such a loss of legitimacy represents. The signs visibly have been multiplying over many years. When Michael Gove said, “I think the people in this country have had enough of experts” in a debate about the merits of Brexit, he probably traced the contours of something much bigger than anyone really knew at the time. Back then, the acute phase of the delegitimization of the managerial class was only just beginning. Now, with Afghanistan, it is impossible to miss”.

    There is therefore, little mystery as to why the Taliban took over Kabul so quickly. Not only did the project per se lack legitimacy for Afghans, but that aura of claimed expertise, of technological inevitability that has protected the élite managerial class, has been exposed by the sheer dysfunctionality on display, as the West frantically flees Kabul. And it is precisely how it has ended that has really drawn back the curtain, and shown the world the rot festering beneath.

    When the legitimating claim is used up, and people no longer believe in the concepts or claims that underpin a particular system or claim to rule, the extinction of that particular élite, Kyeyune writes, becomes a foregone conclusion.

    Graveyard of Empires

    By Eric Margolis

    Global Research, July 21, 2021

    EricMargolis.com 19 July 2021

    All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). 

    Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.

    ***

    The US-led war in Afghanistan looks to be ending, and not a day too soon. America’s father, Benjamin Franklin, wisely wrote: ‘No good war; no bad peace.’

    Yet for 20 years, the United States waged all-out war against this small, remote, impoverished state whose only weapons were old AK47 rifles and the boundless courage of its fierce people.

    In my first book about Afghanistan, ‘War at the Top of the World,’ written after being in the field with the anti-Soviet ‘mujahidin’ warriors, I called them ‘the bravest men on earth.’ Now, some 21 years later, I repeat this title.

    For the past two decades, the Afghan nationalist mujahidin have faced the full might of the US empire: waves of B-1 and B-52 heavy bombers; fleets of killer drones, constant air strikes from US airbases in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Gulf; 300,000 US-financed Afghan mercenary troops; up to 120,000 US and NATO troops and other US-paid mercenaries; the brutal Communist-run Afghan secret police, regular government police, Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek militias, hit squads sent by the US and Britain, plus famine and disease. Use of torture by western forces was rampant.

    All this to defend the US-installed Afghan puppet governments whose main business was protecting the nation’s growing opium trade which made Afghanistan the world’s largest exporter of opium/morphine that was processed into heroin. Another proud moment for Washington which, in the 1970’s had been up to its ears in Indochina’s opium trade, and later in Central America’s cocaine business.

    Afghanistan was a war of lies, sustained by the powerful US and British media. President George W. Bush, a man of deep ignorance, launched this war to cover being caught sleeping by the 9/11 attacks. Bush blamed Osama bin Laden, former US ally, and Afghanistan’s Taliban government for 9/11, though the Afghans were likely not involved with it.

    The only proof of bin Laden’s involvement was a number of fake videos that I believe were made by Afghanistan’s Communist-run intelligence service or its former KGB bosses. When I pointed out these videos were fakes, CNN blacklisted me from further broadcasting. So too did Canada’s CBC TV and the Sun chain after I warned Canadian troops were being sent to Afghanistan under false pretenses.

    Officially, the US lost 31,376 dead and seriously wounded in Afghanistan; Canada lost 158 dead; Britain 456 dead; the Afghans god knows how many. Estimates range from, 100,000 to one million. Two million Afghans reportedly died during the decade-long Soviet occupation. Almost anything that moved was bombed.

    The known cost for this useless war was 2 trillion US dollars, plus hundreds of millions in secret payments to hire ‘volunteers’ from US allies to fight in Afghanistan. This was almost all borrowed money hidden in the US federal debt.

    What next? The US is trying to find a way to stay engaged in Afghanistan via air attacks from its bases in the Gulf and possibly new ones in Central Asia. The world’s premier military power simply cannot endure the humiliation of defeat in Afghanistan, particularly so by a bunch of Muslim mountain warriors. All those US and British ‘experts’ who championed the Afghan war are now hiding their faces, as they did after the Iraq debacle.

    America’s war party is trying to find ways to keep the conflict going by raising phony alarms about girl’s schooling, translators and woman’s rights. But we hear nothing at all from these pro-war hypocrites about the murder, rape and dowry killing of thousands of women in India each year. How many misinformed Americans know that Taliban was a religious movement formed to stop the rape of Afghan women and brigandage during the bitter 1990’s civil war? I was there and saw it.

    What next? As US power wanes, CIA will try to bolster separatist movements among Afghanistan’s Tajik and Uzbek minorities. Iran will arm and finance the Shia Hazara minority. Still Communist dominated Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will support their ethnic brethren in Afghanistan. Most important, India will intensify intrigues in Afghanistan where its powerful intelligence agency, RAW, is increasingly active.

    Meanwhile Pakistan quietly supports Taliban which, like a quarter of Pakistanis, is of Pashtun ethnicity. China for once does not know what to do in Afghanistan: it wants to block expansion of Indian influence in the subcontinent but deeply fears militant Islam and its rising influence in Chinese-ruled Xinjiang, formerly Turkistan.

    So, Americans may have not seen the last of Afghanistan, one of the greatest follies of US foreign policy. To paraphrase the great Talleyrand, the US war in Afghanistan ‘was worse than a crime, it was a mistake.’

    *

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    Featured image: An April 8, 2013 memorial service for Anne Smedinghoff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Anne was killed in an insurgent attack on Saturday April, 6. 2013 while traveling to donate books to a school in Qalat, Zabul province. (Photo by Musadeq Sadeq/U.S. State Department)

    Bomber Joe Biden Strikes Iraq and Syria: Retaliation Breeds More Incidents

    See the source image

    July 15, 2021

    Philip Giraldi

    Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

    Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

    In less than six months in office President Joe Biden has already developed a national security policy that appears to lean strongly towards proactive use of military force in questionable circumstances, as if war is the answer to every problem. Biden should nevertheless be applauded for his persistence in withdrawing from Afghanistan after twenty years of ill-considered nation building, but even the departure from that country appears to be characterized by a lack of coordination, rather reminiscent of helicopters taking off from the embassy roof in Saigon in 1975.

    For the second time the president has ordered a US bombing raid on two targets in Syria, and for the first time, he also attacked a site inside Iraq. According to one report possibly as many as seven Iraqis died in the attacks which targeted alleged weapons storage facilities along the Syria-Iraq border belonging to Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada militias. The US claims that the two Iraqi militias have ties to Iran, which may be more than usually true because the Iraqis and Iranians have cooperated regularly in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). The Pentagon also claims that the militias were behind recent attacks on American targets, see more below.

    After the attacks carried out by US fighter-bombers, the excuse provided was the same one employed after Biden’s first air attack in February, namely that the US, as described by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, “conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region.” He added verbiage what has now become a regular feature of all US military actions, that “the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense.” For those who are intrigued by Pentagon newspeak the expression “defensive precision airstrikes” must be considered as a new entry in the crowded field of phrases that largely have no meaning.

    The strikes were framed as being retaliatory, but the most interesting aspect of this latest bombing is that the initial US government justifications for the action were on somewhat tentative. Reportedly, someone had used drones with explosives attached for mostly night-time attacks directed “against places where Americans were located in Iraq,” which were further described as including diplomatic, intelligence and military facilities. The Pentagon refers to the drones as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or UAVs. No Americans were killed in the alleged attacks and there were no reports of any substantial damage, though the Pentagon is apparently collecting information and preparing a comprehensive report which the public undoubtedly will not be allowed to see.

    Oddly, the initial media reporting on what had occurred and who had been blamed for it included a weasel word, “suspected.” In government-speak that frequently means there was little or no evidence that the militias that had been targeted were actually the perpetrators, but it is convenient to assume that they are responsible, making them “suspects.” After all, it is relatively easy to transport a number of drones on the bed of a pickup truck, drive with it to a location where one is unlikely to be observed and then release them at a fixed target. Even if you don’t hit anything, you will spread fear and trigger a response that might well be exploited to vilify the occupying forces. You will also provide justification for your own retaliation.

    The Iraqi government, which was not informed in advance of the US bombings, not surprisingly reacted strongly, registering its opposition to such activity on the part of its so-called ally, though occupier has been suggested as a more appropriate description. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s office called the airstrikes a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.” After the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad Airport in January 2020, the Iraqi Parliament had called for the departure of all US forces, but the Trump Administration ignored the demand, claiming that it was in Iraq to help the Iraqis in their fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups.

    The US currently has a claimed 2,500 soldiers in Iraq who, it asserts, are in country advising and training their local counterparts. Meanwhile, “Fighting terrorists and training friendly forces” is roughly the same excuse that has been used to justify remaining in neighboring Syria, where the US has deployed roughly 500 soldiers who have been taking possession of the production of the country’s oil fields, which it then provides to Israel. The US is also, by the way, trying to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government in Damascus, using some of the very terrorists it claims to be fighting to do the job, but that is of course another story.

    If the United States government is beginning to sound a bit like the Israeli government that should surprise no one, as Israel is clearly heavily involved in whatever on goes vis-à-vis Syria and Iran directly and in Iraq by proxy. One almost expects new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to provide an endorsement, parroting the Pentagon line as well as his own country’s rhetoric, saying “the US has a right to defend itself.” Of course, the unasked question then becomes “to defend itself against what?” Israel was at least able to pretend that there was some kind of threat coming from Gaza since the two share a border, but the United States would be hard pressed to explain why it has soldiers in Syria and Iraq at all, particularly since the Iraqi government has called upon them to depart.

    A neocon journalist supportive of a global crusade to spread “democracy” once quipped that the nice thing about having an empire is never having to say you are sorry, but that has not meant that mindless acts of violence inflicted throughout the Middle East are have been consequence free. One has to suspect in this case that the use of force to include a target within the borders of a nominal ally was also mostly intended to send a signal to Iran. A Pentagon spokesman ironically boasted afterwards that “This action should send a message to Iran that it cannot hide behind its proxy forces to attack the United States and our Iraqi partners.” The spokesman appears to be oblivious to the fact that it was Iraqi militiamen tied to the government that had been killed, not Iranians. And his assumption that it would reduce the level of violence also proved wrong as there have been a number of new drone, rocket and mortar attacks against American targets in Iraq since Biden’s “defensive precision airstrikes” were launched. One of the militias that lost fighters to the US airstrikes, said it would “avenge the blood of our righteous martyrs.”  Another Iranian supported group, the Popular Mobilization Forces went further, threatening to “enter an open war with the American occupation.” In short, all the attacks really accomplished was to anger the Iraqi people over the continued US presence and to guarantee more incidents.

    Biden’s “sending a message to Iran” would undoubtedly be intended to do the same to the Iraqi government, telling them that drawing any closer to the Iranians is too close as far as the Pentagon and White House are concerned. In terms of the timing of the airstrikes, it is also important to note that the US has been working closely with the new Israeli government to establish a unified policy on Iranian “regional aggression” and its nuclear program. Biden met recently with retiring Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the White House and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has been having discussions with Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid. Iran was the focus of both meetings.

    So, Joe Biden and whoever is advising him are continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy. The problem with the meddling in the Middle East is primarily that it permits no exit strategy. It will end ignominiously when it ends as is happening in Afghanistan, without any remorse and little to show for all the expense and the deaths. Given that reality, rather than concoct largely fabricated reasons to keep US troops in Iraq and Syria the Administration should be looking for ways to end the torment for everyone involved.

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    POTUS Punk vs. Dem Dementia

    October 15, 2020

    POTUS Punk vs. Dem Dementia

    by Pepe Escobar and cross posted with Strategic Culture Foundation

    The whole planet is enthralled, appalled, shocked and awed by the spectacle of democracy as enacted under the shadow of messianic imperialism – complete with a slew of slimy, smoking gun October Surprises.

    We’re in total Frank Underwood territory. And as befits the ultimate “society of the simulacrum” pictured by Baudrillard back in the swingin’ 1980s, all those similarities with a Wrestlemania spectacular are obviously not mere coincidence.

    Let’s start with the polls.

    All manner of polls are circulating like whirling dervishes. Most highlight myriad Dem paths to victory and an inexorable Highway to Hell for Trump. A poll by The Economist gives Joe “Walking Dead” Biden a whopping 91% chance – remember Hillary in 2016? – of winning the Electoral College.

    A Dem-fueled consensus is emerging that Trump – relentlessly depicted as a deranged, lunatic proto-fascist who’s bad for business worldwide – will dispute results in any Republican-led state which he may narrowly lose, as in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    Yet on the campaign trail, it’s a completely different story. Evidence shows that on The Walking Dead’s rallies, there are more people from the Biden bus and reporters than flesh-and-blood Dem voters. The Biden-Harris campaign, demonstrating its matchless P.R. skills, spins these rallies as campaign secrets.

    Team Trump’s long-shot strategy seems to have been unveiled by the President himself: “We are going to be counting ballots for the next two years (…) We have the advantage if we go back to Congress. I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state.”

    That was a reference to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution: if state electors can’t agree on a president, the decision goes to the House. And then each of the 50 states gets one vote. So picture small GOP-controlled states such as Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (each with one Republican in the House) having the same weight as California (52 members in the House, 45 of them Democrats.)

    Advantage Trump: as it stands, it’s indeed 26 to 22, with two – Pennsylvania and Michigan – basically tied.

    Ask the quant

    Internal GOP polls show that while the Biden-Harris campaign is not knocking on any doors, Trump volunteers have actually swarmed no less than 20 million homes in swing states.

    Combine it with a new Gallup Poll showing that 56% of Americans state they are better off now under Trump than four years ago under Obama/Biden. Call it the return of “It’s the economy, stupid.”

    The Trafalgar Group – which correctly called the 2106 election – bets that Trump narrowly wins the Electoral College with 275 votes.

    JPMorgan’s top quant Marko Kolanovic has exhaustively mapped changes in voter registration to dismiss virtually every poll showing a Dem sweep. This implies that Trump may well end up winning the Holy Trinity: Pennsylvania (20 votes), Florida (29 votes) and North Carolina (15 votes).

    And to top it off, something more exotic than a black hole eating a star has happened in this October Surprise-laden week: CNN decided to practice real journalism and eviscerated Nancy Pelosi on camera.

    That may be quite a bad omen for President-in-Waiting Kamala Harris, who very few remember was forged as the heir to the Obama-Pelosi axis in a secret meeting in the Hamptons way back in the summer of 2017.

    Follow the money

    Now let’s Follow The Money.

    That’s a slam dunk. For Republicans, the top bagman is casino schemer Sheldon Adelson – who literally bought Congress

    for a paltry $150 million. For Democrats, it’s Haim Saban – who owns his own think tank and is Hillary’s go-to moneyman. The Dem dementia is essentially a bagman op.

    To make it even more digestible, both Adelson and Saban are rabid Israeli-firsters. A dissident Beltway intel op cuts all corners: “The Mafia front man Sheldon Adelson financed Trump for Israeli insurance even though Israel was for Hillary.”

    Four years ago, selected New York sources I was in touch with correctly called the election result at least 10 days before the fact.

    One of these, a New York business tycoon intimate with assorted Masters of the Universe in control of Wall Street, once again goes to the jugular:

    The Deep State governs both Republicans and Democrats. Trump has to work within the system. He knows it. I am a friend of Donald and I know he wants to do the right thing. But he is not in charge. He certainly wants to be friends with Russia and China. He is a businessman. He wants to make deals with countries not fight them. We were among those who set the main campaign features for him in 2016: stop rigged currencies destroying domestic industries, stop unlimited immigration destroying the lower classes wages and encourage detente with Russia and China. Largely nothing has happened in four years.”

    Still, adds another New York player, “Trump does 90% of what they want anyway. Better to keep a villain at the top to blame and keep the proles running in circles.”

    On the financial front, that will never be admitted publicly: but Wall Street, while projecting a mere pro-Dem façade, is not interested in a Democrat “sweep”, because that would tank Wall Street stocks. A contested/protracted election would go the same way – with Goldman Sachs projecting a nightmare scenario of the S&P down to only 3,100 points.

    Thus the preferred, hush hush, Wall Street scenario: a Trump win and more juicy tax cuts – in parallel with the sentiment that Wall Street’s priority is for the Fed to keep showering trillions of dollars in helicopter money whatever happens. After all the only “policy” in town is that Wall Street turned the Fed into a hedge fund.

    For its part, what Team Trump certainly does not want is the Great Reset – to be officially “launched” at a virtual Davos in January 2021.

    And all this while Goldman Sachs, once again, is adamant that the only way to “save” the nation from it humongous, ever-exploding debt is to devalue the U.S. dollar.

    Hillary wants a new job

    In the shadow play – or Wrestlemania plot – of Trump’s face-off against the Deep State, another of those New York players confirms that, “Trump was not allowed to do much of his agenda. That shows you where the real power is. The military-industrial complex wants Trump in as he is giving them everything they want for a giant military buildup. But Biden will not make that commitment.”

    Clapper, Brennan, Comey and Mueller “were just following orders and are being protected.” As for warmongering narcissistic hyena

    Hillary Clinton, she needs a Biden/Harris win essentially to stay out of jail, a follow-up to a “secret” deal struck with Obama which had her bow out to the former President as the de facto leader of the vast DNC machinery.

    Anyone with a brain across the Beltway knows The Walking Dead was chosen because he does not even qualify as a place mat. Assuming he would be elected president, the real power behind the throne will be the Obama-Pelosi axis – and their usual suspect masters. Welcome to the reign of President Kamala.

    Hillary though is leaving nothing to chance, doubling down and taking no prisoners. She has just released a 5,000-word manifesto which reads as an application to become head of the Pentagon.

    The fact that with all the plot twists key vectors of the Deep State continue to be untouchable should be read as the proverbial D.C. swamp protecting their flock. More than the possibility that Trump is unqualified when it comes to picking minions, more realistically he was never given any decent options: so he was stuck with nefarious specimens such as Gina “Queen of Torture” Haspel, The Warring Mustache John Bolton, and Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo.

    Which bring us to Attorney General William Barr – and a persistent question across many Beltway corridors: how come there have been no indictments as evidence piles up of interlocking Deep State-related shenanigans.

    Simple: Barr is CIA, part of the old Daddy Bush gang, recruited when he was still in high school, in 1971. When Daddy Bush became CIA director in 1976, Barr stepped into the CIA’s legal office and started his steady climb, culminating in 1991 as Chief Legal Counsel to Daddy Bush’s presidency.

    Needless to add, Barr subsequently squashed every possible investigation on Bush, Clinton and assorted CIA ops, from BCCI to the theft of PROMIS software.

    No one will volunteer to be on the record showing how Trump selected Barr – or how the Deep State made it happen. The fact is Barr was appointed shortly after the death of Daddy Bush. It’s unlikely that Team Trump have “turned” CIA asset Barr away from the swamp – with or without Hillary’s 33,000 deleted emails.

    And that’s what leads those New York players to bet that Barr won’t go after any star in the Deep State galaxy.

    Still the fact remains that the NSA has stored every possible call, chat or email on its massive server farms. Trump has the power to order everything to be released – as he did. Yet, as it stands, the proles have only been offered a WWF-themed sitcom.

    “I’m back” on steroids

    The total balkanization of culture in the U.S. into bulletproof containers of irrationality is precluding any possibility of civilized debate. What’s left is an endless proliferation of fake actors, paid troll armies, bots, mob outrage packaged as chocolate bars, all out hysteria.

    Whatever happens, get ready for some major Kill Bill mayhem ahead.

    And into this shooting war – not only metaphorical – steps John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistol legend and a millionaire resident of the tony parts of Venice beach in L.A. He’s voting Trump.

    That’s the ultimate crowning of POTUS Punk – except that Trump is more Village People (“Young man/ there’s no nee to feel down”) than the Sex Pistols in Holidays in the Sun or the Dead Kennedys in Holiday in Cambodia.

    Cue to POTUS Punk in Florida, “I’m back” on steroids, working an excited crowd of thousands like a pro, complete with YMCA dance moves at the end: “I’ll kiss the guys, and the beautiful women…”

    Now compare it to “Sleepy Joe” in Ohio, in front of, well, nobody really: “I’m running as a proud Democrat…for the Senate”.

    Last week an astonishing eight people showed up for a Biden-Harris rally in Arizona.

    And the racket goes on while a pandemic with an Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of roughly 0.14% – according to the WHO’s own estimate – has cost the global economy no less than a whopping $28 trillion, according to the IMF.

    Oh yes: it ain’t over till slim Britney “I Did It Again” sings.

    U.S. exploited 9/11 attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan: Iraqi expert

    By Saeed Kh. Mavedat

    September 10, 2020 – 17:54

    TEHRAN – The U.S. plans to invade Iraq and Afghanistan gained stream immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks on civilian and military targets in the United States. An Iraqi expert tells the Tehran Times that the Americans “exploited” the attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda, killed almost 3,000 American and foreign citizens and sent shock waves across the world. In the wake of the attacks, the U.S. administration sought to pave the way for a military response to al-Qaeda and those allegedly supporting it.

    Addressing the American people on the same day at 9 pm, then-President George W. Bush said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

    Only a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed a special law allowing President Bush to punish the people who had aided or abetted the 9/11 attackers. The law, which was passed on September 18, 2001, stipulates “that  the  President  is  authorized  to  use  all necessary  and  appropriate  force  against  those  nations,  organizations,  or  persons  he  determines  planned,  authorized,  committed, or  aided  the  terrorist  attacks  that  occurred  on  September  11,  2001, or  harbored  such  organizations  or  persons,  in  order  to  prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

    A few weeks later, the U.S. led a coalition to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later, the U.S. invaded Iraq under the pretext of countering terrorism.

    Nearly two decades after the 9 /11 attacks, the U.S. is still bogged down in “endless wars” in the region, which yielded no results in terms of combating terrorism, according to Reza Alghurabi, an Iraqi expert who closely monitors the situation in Iraq and Iran.

    In order to assess one of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in the region, the Tehran Times interviewed Alghurabi. He weighed in on the situation in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of the country. He also touched on the U.S.-Iran relations in Iraq since 2003.
    The following is the full text of the interview:

    Q: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the issue of “counterterrorism” became prominent in U.S. foreign policy and eventually, it became one of the reasons for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you think the United States really wanted to fight terrorism in Iraq? And if so, how successful was it? How do you assess the U.S. presence in Iraq in terms of the fight against terrorism since 2003?

    A: In addition to leading to the emergence of the U.S. counterterrorism agenda and the introduction of new concepts in the field of terrorism and international law, the 9/11 attacks led to one of the largest U.S. military campaigns and military interventions in recent decades in the ever sensitive region of West Asia.
    Regardless of any assessment of the truth of 9/11, Washington’s subsequent exploitation of it shows that the Americans behaved in a completely political and abusive manner that led to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    It was clear at the time that the terrorists were mostly Saudi nationals, and that if the United States was to be honest in its counterterrorism plan, it would have had to deal with the source of religious extremism in the region, which is the Saudi regime and some other countries whose religious muftis kept playing role in the death of thousands of people and the spread of extremism and violence by issuing hundreds of fatwas [religious decrees] and sending financial aid through charities after the occupation of Iraq.

    Despite spending billions of dollars on the counterterrorism project since 2001, Washington has failed to fight terrorism, and the growing spread of extremism, violence, and terrorism in recent years in areas where the Americans themselves have been present was not only a sign of Washington’s failure to fight terrorism, but it also raised serious doubts about its direct role in the spread of terrorism and violence.

    Iraq is clearly still grappling with terrorism 17 years after [the American occupation], and from 2003 to 2011, when U.S. troops were officially present in Iraq, violence was widespread in the country and the United States failed to contain it.

    Q: How many human rights violations did the United States commit in the years following the occupation of Iraq? In terms of human rights violations, can Abu Ghraib prison be compared to Guantanamo?

    A: While the U.S. was present in Iraq as an occupying force, numerous reports were published by Western and American think tanks on individual and organized ill-treatment of prisoners. Some of the initial information was released by U.S. troops themselves. Various forms of torture of prisoners, such as waterboarding in the United States itself, sparked controversy in the U.S. Congress.

    U.S. human rights abuses were not limited to detainees. There were also numerous reports of civilians being harassed during house searches or checkpoints and street raids by soldiers and mercenaries of private security companies such as Blackwater. In this respect, there was no difference between Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Perhaps Abu Ghraib can be considered a worse case than Guantanamo because in this prison even young Iraqi girls were sexually tortured by the American military.

    Q: How do you assess Iran-U.S. relations in Iraq after 2003? It is said that Iran had reached understandings with the United States during the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, but why did the United States turn these understandings into hostility and include Iran in the “axis of evil”?

    A: Iran-U.S. relations have always been tense for the last four decades. After 9/11, the Americans took a more hostile stance against the Iranians. The use of the term “axis of evil” in reference to Iran by George W. Bush in 2002 indicated the adoption of an escalatory strategy against Iran. With the occupation of Iraq by the U.S., this country became the scene of confrontation between Tehran and Washington. Iran was concerned and dissatisfied with the full U.S. military presence in Iraq and the repeated threats by White House officials about the need for regime change in Iran. The Americans in Iraq were also reluctant to vacate the battlefield for Tehran. Therefore, Iraq has since become the scene of confrontation between the two axes.

    The U.S. is a longtime enemy of Iran and the prospect of its troops being deployed along Iran’s borders as well as [U.S.] provocative actions were a source of potential and tense hostility that threatened any possible understanding.

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    Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

    Global Research, September 05, 2020

    9 September 2006

    Osama bin Laden

    Author’s note

    The following article was first published 14 years ago on the 9th of September 2006, in the context of the 2006 commemoration of the tragic event of September 2001.  

    ***

    “Going after bin Laden” has served  to sustain the legend of the “world’s most wanted terrorist”, who  “haunts Americans and millions of others around the world.”

    Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly claimed that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden remain unknown:  “It is like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

    In November 2001, US B-52 bombers carpet bombed a network of caves in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and his followers were allegedly hiding. These caves were described as “Osama’s last stronghold”.

    CIA “intelligence analysts” subsequently concluded that Osama had escaped from his Tora Bora cave in the first week of December 2001. And in January 2002, the Pentagon launched a Worldwide search for Osama and his top lieutenants, beyond the borders of Afghanistan. This operation, referred to by Secretary of State Colin Powell as a “hot pursuit”, was carried out with the support of the “international community” and America’s European allies. US intelligence authorities confirmed, in this regard, that

    “while al Qaeda has been significantly shattered, … the most wanted man – bin Laden himself remains one step ahead of the United States, with the core of his worldwide terror network still in place. (Global News Wire – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, InfoProd, January 20, 2002)

    For the last five years, the US military and intelligence apparatus (at considerable expense to US taxpayers) has been “searching for Osama”.

    A CIA unit with a multimillion dollar budget was set up, with a mandate to find Osama. This unit was apparently disbanded in 2005. “Intelligence experts agree”, he is hiding in a remote area of Pakistan, but “we cannot find him”:

    “Most intelligence analysts are convinced that Osama bin Laden is somewhere on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Lately, it has been said that he’s probably in the vicinity of the a 7700m Hindu Kush peak Tirich Mir in the tribal Chitral area of northwest Pakistan.” Hobart Mercury (Australia), September  9, 2006)

    President Bush has repeatedly promised to “smoke him out” of his cave, capture him dead or alive, if necessary through ground assaults or missile strikes. According to a recent statement by president Bush, Osama is hiding in a remote area of Pakistan which “is extremely mountainous and very inaccessible, … with high mountains between 9,000 to 15,000 feet high….”. We cannot get him, because, according to the president, there is no communications infrastructure, which would enable us to effectively go after him. (quoted in Balochistan Times, 23 April 2006)

    The pursuit of Osama has become a highly ritualized process which feeds the news chain on a daily basis. It is not only part of the media disinformation campaign, it also provides a justification for the arbitrary arrest, detention and torture of numerous “suspects”, “enemy combatants” and “accomplices”, who allegedly might be aware of Osama’s whereabouts. And that information is of course vital to “the security of Americans”.

    The search for Osama serves both military and political objectives. The Democrats and Republicans compete in their resolve to weed out “islamic terrorism”.

    The Path to 9/11, a five-hour ABC series on “the search for Osama” –which makes its debut on the 10th and 11th of September to marks the fifth anniversary of the attacks– casually accuses Bill Clinton of having been  “too busy with the Monica Lewinsky scandal to fight terrorism.” The message of the movie is that the Democrats neglected the “war on terrorism”.

    The fact of the matter is that every single administration, since Jimmy Carter have supported and financed the “Islamic terror” network, created during the Carter administration at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Who is Osama bin Laden, 12 September 2001). al Qaeda is a instrument of US intelligence: a US sponsored intelligence asset.

    Where was Osama on Septembers 11? 

    There is evidence that the whereabouts of Osama are known to the Bush Administration.

    On September 10. 2001, “Enemy Number One” was in a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan, as confirmed by a report of Dan Rather, CBS News. (See our October 2003 article on this issue)

    He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as George W’s speeches in the course of the last five years.

    According to Dan Rather, CBS, Bin Laden was hospitalized in Rawalpindi. one day before the 9/11 attacks, on September 10, 2001.
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/dUj2905unnw

    “Pakistan. Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI) told CBS that bin Laden had received dialysis treatment in Rawalpindi, at Pak Army’s headquarters.

    DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

    This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.

    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

    CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The special team was obviously up to no good.

    “The military had him surrounded,” says this hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, “and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time,” he says, “I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after.” Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the military was often there to help before 9/11.

    (…)

    PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any medical treatment on that night.

    (voice-over): But it was Pakistan’s President Musharraf who said in public what many suspected, that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death. His evidence, watching this most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don`t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.

    DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: With respect to the issue of Osama bin Laden`s health, I just am — don`t have any knowledge.

    PETERSEN: The United States has no way of knowing who in Pakistan`s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Laden maybe up to the night before 9/11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the United States may not know if those same people might help him again perhaps to freedom.

    Barry Petersen, CBS News, Islamabad.

    (END VIDEOTAPE) END

    (CBS News,  28 January 2002 emphasis added, the complete transcript of CBS report sis contained in annex to this article)

    It should be noted, that the hospital is directly under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. U.S. military advisers based in Rawalpindi. work closely with the Pakistani Armed Forces. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive, but then maybe bin Laden was serving another “better purpose”. Rumsfeld claimed at the time that he had no knowledge regarding Osama’s health. (CBS News, 28 January 2002)

    The CBS report is a crucial piece of information in our understanding of 9/11.

    It refutes the administration’s claim that the whereabouts of bin Laden are unknown. It points to a Pakistan connection, it suggests a cover-up at the highest levels of the Bush administration.

    Dan Rather and Barry Petersen fail to draw the implications of their January 2002 report.  They suggest that the US had been deliberately misled by Pakistani intelligence officials. They fail to ask the question:

    Why does the US administration state that they cannot find Osama?

    If they are to stand by their report, the conclusion is obvious. The administration is lying. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known.

    If the CBS report is accurate and Osama had indeed been admitted to the Pakistani military hospital on September 10, courtesy of America’s ally, he was either still in hospital in Rawalpindi on the 11th of September, when the attacks occurred or had been released from the hospital within the last hours before the attacks.

    In other words, Osama’s whereabouts were known to US officials on the morning of September 12, when Secretary of State Colin Powell initiated negotiations with Pakistan, with a view to arresting and extraditing bin Laden. These negotiations, led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of Pakistan’s military intelligence, on behalf of the government of President Pervez Musharraf,  took place on the 12th and 13th  of September in Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage’s office.

    He could have been arrested at short notice on September 10th, 2001. But then we would not have been privileged to five years of Osama related media stories. The Bush administration desperately needs the fiction of an “outside enemy of America”.

    Known and documented Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda is a construct of the US intelligence apparatus. His essential function is to give a face to the “war on terrorism”. The image must be vivid.

    According to the White house, “The greatest threat to us is this ideology of violent extremism, and its greatest public proponent is Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden remains the number one target, in terms of our efforts, but he’s not the only target.” Recent Statement of White House Assistant for Homeland Security Frances Townsend, 5 September 2006).

    The national security doctrine rests on the fiction of Islamic terrorists, led by Osama who are portrayed as a “threat to the civilized World”. In the words of President Bush, “Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? We are on the offensive. We will not rest. We will not retreat. And we will not withdraw from the fight until this threat to civilization has been removed.” (quoted by CNN, September 5, 2006)

    The “hot pursuit” of Osama in the rugged mountainous areas of Pakistan must continue, because without Osama, referred to ad nauseam in news reports and official statements, the fragile legitimacy of the Bush administration collapses like a deck of cards.

    Moreover, the search for Osama protects the real architects of the 911 attacks. While there is no evidence that Al Qaeda was behind the 911 attacks, as revealed by nuerous studies and documents, there is mounting evidence of complicity and coverup at the highest levels of the State, Military and intelligence apparatus.

    The continued arrest of alleged 911 accomplices and suspects has nothing to do with “national security”. It creates the illusion that Arabs and Muslims are behind the terror plots, while shunting the conduct of a real criminal investigation into the 911 attacks. And what were dealing with is the criminalization of the upper echelons of State.

    Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best America’s “War on Terrorism”  Global Research, 2005. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization. 

    To order Chossudovsky’s book  America’s “War on Terrorism”, click here

    Note: Readers are welcome to cross-post this article with a view to spreading the word and warning people of the dangers of a broader Middle East war. Please indicate the source and copyright note.

    media inquiries crgeditor@yahoo.com

    CBS Evening News with Dan Rather;

    Author: Dan Rather, Barry Petersen

    CBS, 28 January 2002

    DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

    This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.

    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

    CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The special team was obviously up to no good.

    “The military had him surrounded,” says this hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, “and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time,” he says, “I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after.” Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the military was often there to help before 9/11.

    AHMED RASHID, TALIBAN EXPERT: There were reports that Pakistani intelligence had helped the Taliban buy dialysis machines. And the rumor was that these were wanted for Osama bin Laden.

    PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any medical treatment on that night.

    (voice-over): But it was Pakistan`s President Musharraf who said in public what many suspected, that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death. His evidence, watching this most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don`t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.

    DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: With respect to the issue of Osama bin Laden`s health, I just am — don`t have any knowledge.

    PETERSEN: The United States has no way of knowing who in Pakistan`s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Laden maybe up to the night before 9/11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the United States may not know if those same people might help him again perhaps to freedom.

    Barry Petersen, CBS News, Islamabad.

    (END VIDEOTAPE) END

    Copyright CBS News 2002

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml

    Hospital Worker: I Saw Osama

    Jan. 28, 2002

    Quote

    “They military had him surrounded. I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden.” Hospital employee

    (CBS) Everyone remembers what happened on Sept. 11 and, reports CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen, here’s the story of what may have happened the night before.

    In a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS Evening News has been told that the night before the Sept. 11 terrorists attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into a military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment.

    “On that night,” said a medical worker who wanted her identity protected, “they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them.” She said it was treatment for a very special person and “the special team was obviously up to no good.”

    “They military had him surrounded,” said a hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, “and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time,” he said, “I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after.”

    Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments — back and stomach problems.

    Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, said the military was often there to help before Sept. 11.

    “There were reports that Pakistan intelligence had helped the Taliban buy dialysis machines and the rumor was that these were for wanted for Osama bin Laden,” said Rashid.

    Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they declined our request to see any records. Government officials reached Monday night denied that bin Laden received any medical treatment that night.

    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday the United States has seen nothing to substantiate the report.

    It was Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf who said in public what many suspected: that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death.

    His evidence — watching the most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don’t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.

    “With respect to the issue of Osama bin Laden’s health, I just am…don’t have any knowledge,” said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

    The U.S. has no way of knowing who in Pakistan’s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Lade, maybe up to the night before Sept. 11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the U.S. may not know if those same people might help him again — perhaps to freedom.

    Copyright CBS News 20029/11 ANALYSIS: Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

    Why U.S. Must Be Prosecuted for Its War Crimes Against Iraq

    Why U.S. Must Be Prosecuted for Its War Crimes Against Iraq

    May 16, 2020

    by Eric Zuesse  for The Saker Blog

    The reason why the U.S. Government must be prosecuted for its war-crimes against Iraq is that they are so horrific and there are so many of them, and international law crumbles until they become prosecuted and severely punished for what they did. We therefore now have internationally a lawless world (or “World Order”) in which “Might makes right,” and in which there is really no effective international law, at all. This is merely gangster “law,” ruling on an international level. It is what Hitler and his Axis of fascist imperialists had imposed upon the world until the Allies — U.S. under FDR, UK under Churchill, and U.S.S.R. under Stalin — defeated it, and established the United Nations. Furthermore, America’s leaders deceived the American public into perpetrating this invasion and occupation, of a foreign country (Iraq) that had never threatened the United States; and, so, this invasion and subsequent military occupation constitutes the very epitome of “aggressive war” — unwarranted and illegal international aggression. (Hitler, similarly to George W. Bush, would never have been able to obtain the support of his people to invade if he had not lied, or “deceived,” them, into invading and militarily occupying foreign countries that had never threatened Germany, such as Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This — Hitler’s lie-based aggressions — was the core of what the Nazis were hung for, and yet America now does it.)

    As Peter Dyer wrote in 2006, about “Iraq & the Nuremberg Precedent”:

    Invoking the precedent set by the United States and its allies at the Nuremberg trial in 1946, there can be no doubt that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a war of aggression. There was no imminent threat to U.S. security nor to the security of the world. The invasion violated the U.N. Charter as well as U.N. Security Council Resolution #1441.

    The Nuremberg precedent calls for no less than the arrest and prosecution of those individuals responsible for the invasion of Iraq, beginning with President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleez[z]a Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

    Take, for example, Condoleezza Rice, who famously warned “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” (That warning was one of the most effective lies in order to deceive the American public into invading Iraq, because President Bush had had no real evidence, at all, that there still remained any WMD in Iraq after the U.N. had destroyed them all, and left Iraq in 1998 — and he knew this; he was informed of this; he knew that he had no real evidence, at all: he offered none; it was all mere lies.)

    So, the Nuremberg precedent definitely does apply against George W, Bush and his partners-in-crime, just as it did against Hitler and his henchmen and allies.

    The seriousness of this international war crime is not as severe as those of the Nazis were, but nonetheless is comparable to it.

    On 15 March 2018, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies headlined at Alternet “The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq” and wrote that “our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion,” and linked to solid evidence, backing up their estimate.

    On 6 February 2020, BusinessInsider bannered “US taxpayers have reportedly paid an average of $8,000 each and over $2 trillion total for the Iraq war alone”, and linked to the academic analysis that supported this estimate. The U.S. regime’s invasive war, which the Bush gang perpetrated against Iraq, was also a crime against the American people (though Iraqis suffered far more from it than we did).

    On 29 September 2015, I headlined “GALLUP: ‘Iraqis Are the Saddest & One of the Angriest Populations in the World’,” and linked to Gallup’s survey of 1,000 individuals in each of 148 countries around the world, which found that Iraq had the highest “Negative Experience Score.” That score includes “sadness,” “physical pain,” “anger,” and other types of misery — and Iraq, after America’s invasion, has scored the highest in the entire world, on it, and in the following years has likewise scored at or near the highest on “Negative Experience Score.” For example: in the latest, the 2019, Gallup “Global Emotions Report”, Iraq scores fourth from the top on “Negative Experience Score,” after (in order from the worst) Chad, Niger, and Sierra Leone. (Gallup has been doing these surveys ever since 2005, but the first one that was published under that title was the 2015 report, which summarized the 2014 surveys’ findings.) Of course, prior to America’s invasion, there had been America’s 1990 war against Iraq and the U.S. regime’s leadership and imposition of U.N. sanctions (which likewise were based largely on U.S.-regime-backed lies, though not totally on lies like the 2003 invasion was), which caused massive misery in that country; and, therefore, not all of the misery in Iraq which showed up in the 2015 Global Emotions Report was due to only the 2003 invasion and subsequent military occupation of that country. But almost all of it was, and is. And all of it was based on America’s rulers lying to the public in order to win the public’s acceptance of their evil plans and invasions against a country that had never posed any threat whatsoever to Americans — people residing in America. Furthermore, it is also perhaps relevant that the 2012 “World Happiness Report” shows Iraq at the very bottom of the list of countries (on page 55 of that report) regarding “Average Net Affect by Country,” meaning that Iraqis were the most zombified of all 156 nationalities surveyed. Other traumatized countries were immediately above Iraq on that list. On “Average Negative Affect,” only “Palestinian Territories” scored higher than Iraq (page 52). After America’s invasion based entirely on lies, Iraq is a wrecked country, which still remains under the U.S. regime’s boot, as the following will document:

    Bush’s successors, Obama and Trump, failed to press for Bush’s trial on these vast crimes, even though the American people had ourselves become enormously victimized by them, though far less so than Iraqis were. Instead, Bush’s successors have become accessories after the fact, by this failure to press for prosecution of him and his henchmen regarding this grave matter. In fact, the “Defense One” site bannered on 26 September 2018, “US Official: We May Cut Support for Iraq If New Government Seats Pro-Iran Politicians”, and opened with “The Trump administration may decrease U.S. military support or other assistance to Iraq if its new government puts Iranian-aligned politicians in any ‘significant positions of responsibility,’ a senior administration official told reporters late last week.” The way that the U.S. regime has brought ‘democracy’ to Iraq is by threatening to withdraw its protection of the stooge-rulers that it had helped to place into power there, unless those stooges do the U.S. dictators’ bidding, against Iraq’s neighbor Iran. This specific American dictator, Trump, is demanding that majority-Shiite Iraq be run by stooges who favor, instead, America’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies, such as the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who hate and loathe Shiites and Iran. The U.S. dictatorship insists that Iraq, which the U.S. conquered, serve America’s anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian policy-objectives. “The U.S. threat, to withhold aid if Iran-aligned politicians occupy any ministerial position, is an escalation of Washington’s demands on Baghdad.” The article went on to quote a “senior administration official” as asserting that, “if Iran exerts a tremendous amount of influence, or a significant amount of influence over the Iraqi government, it’s going to be difficult for us to continue to invest.” Get the euphemisms there! This article said that “the Trump administration has made constraining Iran’s influence in the region a cornerstone of their foreign policy.” So, this hostility toward Iran must be reflected in Iraq’s policies, too. It’s not enough that Trump wants to destroy Iran like Bush has destroyed Iraq; Trump demands that Iraq participate in that crime, against Iraq’s own neighbor. This article said that, “There have also been protests against ‘U.S. meddling’ in the formation of a new Iraqi government, singling out Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk for working to prevent parties close to Iran from obtaining power.” McGurk is the rabidly neconservative former high G.W. Bush Administration official, and higher Obama Administration official, who remained as Trump’s top official on his policy to force Iraq to cooperate with America’s efforts to conquer Iran. Trump’s evil is Obama’s evil, and is Bush’s evil. It is bipartisan evil, no matter which Party is in power. Though Trump doesn’t like either the Bushes or Obamas, all of them are in the same evil policy-boat. America’s Deep State remains the same, no matter whom it places into the position of nominal power. The regime remains the same, regardless.

    On April 29th, the whistleblowing former UK Ambassador Craig Murray wrote:

    Nobody knows how many people died as a result of the UK/US Coalition of Death led destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and, by proxy, Syria and Yemen. Nobody even knows how many people western forces themselves killed directly. That is a huge number, but still under 10% of the total. To add to that you have to add those who died in subsequent conflict engendered by the forced dismantling of the state the West disapproved of. Some were killed by western proxies, some by anti-western forces, and some just by those reverting to ancient tribal hostility and battle for resources into which the country had been regressed by bombing.

    You then have to add all those who died directly as a result of the destruction of national infrastructure. Iraq lost in the destruction 60% of its potable drinking water, 75% of its medical facilities and 80% of its electricity. This caused millions of deaths, as did displacement. We are only of course talking about deaths, not maiming.

    UK’s Prime Minister Tony Blair should hang with the U.S. gang, but who is calling for this? How much longer will the necessary prosecutions wait? Till after these international war-criminals have all gone honored to their graves?

    Although the International Criminal Court considered and dismissed possible criminal charges against Tony Blair’s UK Government regarding the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, the actual crime, of invading and militarily occupying a country which had posed no threat to the national security of the invader, was ignored, and the conclusion was that “the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute” (which was only “Willful killing or inhuman treatment of civilians” and which ignored the real crime, which was “aggressive war” or “the crime of aggression” — the crime for which Nazis had been hanged at Nuremberg). Furthermore, no charges whatsoever against the U.S. Government (the world’s most frequent and most heinous violator of international law) were considered. In other words: the International Criminal Court is subordinate to, instead of applicable to, the U.S. regime. Just like Adolf Hitler had repeatedly made clear that, to him, all nations except Germany were dispensable and only Germany wasn’t, Barack Obama repeatedly said that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation”, which likewise means that every other nation is “dispensable.” The criminal International Criminal Court accepts this, and yet expects to be respected.

    The U.S. regime did “regime change” to Iraq in 2003, and to Ukraine in 2014, and tried to do it to Syria since 2009, and to Yemen since 2015, and to Venezuela since 2012, and to Iran since 2017 — just to mention some of the examples. And, though the Nuremberg precedent certainly applies, it’s not enforced. In principle, then, Hitler has posthumously won WW II.

    Hitler must be smiling, now. FDR must be rolling in his grave.

    The only way to address this problem, if there won’t be prosecutions against the ‘duly elected’ (Deep-State-approved and enabled) national leaders and appointees, would be governmental seizure and nationalization of the assets that are outright owned or else controlled by America’s Deep State. Ultimately, the Government-officials who are s‘elected’ and appointed to run the American Government have been and are representing not the American people but instead represent the billionaires who fund those officials’ and former officials’ careers. In a democracy, those individuals — the financial enablers of those politicians’ s‘electoral’ success — would be dispossessed of all their assets, and then prosecuted for the crimes that were perpetrated by the public officials whom they had participated in (significantly funded and propagandized for) placing into power. (For example, both Parties’ Presidential nominees are unqualified to serve in any public office in a democracy.)

    Democracy cannot function with a systematically lied-to public. Nor can it function if the responsible governmental officials are effectively immune from prosecution for their ‘legal’ crimes, or if the financial string-pullers behind the scenes can safely pull those strings. In America right now, both of those conditions pertain, and, as a result, democracy is impossible. There are only two ways to address this problem, and one of them would start by prosecuting George W. Bush.

    —————

    Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

    From Wuhan to Baghdad with Trump and Bush

    Source

    May 11, 2020  

    by Lawrence Davidson

    I have been writing these analyses for ten years. Really not a great amount of time, but enough that you see leaders ignorantly repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. You also notice that most of the media, and almost all of the citizenry, appear not to notice the repetitions. Just such a rerun is now playing itself out. 

    Part I—Covid-19 and the Wuhan Lab Claim

    According to a New York Times (NYT) article, President Trump and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, have begun pressuring the U.S. government’s intelligence agencies to come up with evidence that the Covid-19 virus originated in a Chinese lab in Wuhan—specifically, that city’s Institute of Virology. 

    Let’s state up front that there is no reliable evidence that this is the case. As the NYT puts it, “Most intelligence agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to a lab can be found, and scientists who have studied the genetics of the coronavirus say that the overwhelming probability is that it leapt from animal to human in a non-laboratory setting, as was the case with H.I.V., Ebola and SARS.” This is also the opinion of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s own top infectious disease expert. 

    Alas, this is not what the Trump-Pompeo duet wants, or needs, to hear. What they want and need is something to support their already stated position that the Covid-19 virus is a “Chinese virus.” Thus, Trump told a reporter on 30 April that, while there were many theories about how the virus originated, he took the Wuhan lab contention seriously. He claimed that he had personally seen “intelligence that supported the idea” and that “we have people looking at it very, very strongly. Scientific people, intelligence people and others.” He then stated that he was “not allowed” to share the intelligence. Pompeo followed up in a 3 May ABC interview by describing the evidence as “enormous.”

    It has also become apparent that Trump would like to tie the World Health Organization (WHO) into the Wuhan lab theory. “Administration officials had directed intelligence agencies to try to determine whether China and the World Health Organization hid information early on about the outbreak.” This seems to be the result of the president’s personal dislike of the WHO. He believes it has praised China’s fight against the pandemic more strongly than his own quasi-efforts. So annoyed has he become that he cut off U.S. aid to the organization in the midst of its fight against Covid-19—an almost universally condemned act. 

    In the end Trump seems to think that nothing less than evidence supporting the Wuhan lab conspiracy theory will help shift popular attention away from his own abysmal failure to react to the pandemic in a timely fashion. So it doesn’t matter if the president is corrupting the intelligence agencies for personal political advantage, or that “the odds are astronomical against a lab release as opposed to an event in nature.” That is the state of our knowledge according to assessments based on science. What the president is demanding is a world that accords with his personal needs. It’s the latter he expects the intelligence agencies to serve. 

    Part II— Nuclear Weapons in Iraq Claim

    Where have we heard this sort of demand before? Well, how about during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq?

    Back in late 2002 and early 2003, George W. Bush was planning an invasion of Iraq. His public reason for doing so was the assertion that the country’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, was on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. The real reason went beyond that charge and involved a long-range plan for “regime change” in the Middle East—a thoroughly implausible goal. However, Bush’s initial, obsessive need was a way to rally the American people behind his planned war. Why Iraq? Bush seems to have had a hate-filled preoccupation with Saddam Hussein and a desire to finish the job his father began with the First Gulf War. Or, maybe, as he claimed, it was because God told him to do it

    At first he tried to connect Saddam Hussein to the 11 September 2001 attacks on the U.S. Though he never gave up on that stratagem, the lack of evidence made it difficult to shift popular attention, already fixated on Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan, onto Saddam Hussein and Baghdad. However, the nuclear weapons gambit appeared to have more potential, not because there was any hard evidence for the charge, but because supposedly reliable witnesses, in the persons of mendacious exiled anti-Saddam Iraqis, kept whispering to Bush and others in the administration that the nuclear story was true.

    So, what we had was (1) a U.S. leadership cadre who were itching to revolutionize the Middle East, (2) informants who, in order to precipitate the overthrow of Saddam, were willing to tell the tale of alleged atomic weapons, and (3) a president with enough of a personal grudge against Saddam to use anything in support of his desire to invade Iraq.

    Bush proceeded to put pressure on the U.S. intelligence agencies to find evidence for the nuclear weapons claim. In essence, this pressure threatened to politicize and contaminate the White House’s normal source of intelligence. When the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defense Intelligence Agency, did not come through in this regard, Bush went so far as to create a shadow operation: the “Office of Special Plans (OSP),” staffed mainly by rightwing amateurs, to find him a nuclear “smoking gun” that would justify invasion.

    Simultaneously, the U.S. insisted that the United Nations send in arms inspectors to scour Iraq for evidence of a nuclear weapons program. None of this resulted in the required evidence. This so frustrated President Bush that on 19 March 2003 he launched the invasion of Iraq without any proven reason to do so. This, by the way, constituted a war crime under international law. The president did have the expectation that, once in occupation of the country, American troops would surely find those nukes. They did not. 

    Bush ended up blaming his appalling mistake, which led to the death and injury of tens of thousands, on “faulty intelligence.” He never admitted that the intelligence at fault was his own. 

    Part III—Conclusion

    What do Donald Trump and George W. Bush have in common? They are both know-nothing Republican leaders. (You can get Democrats like this too. They are just less common.) They are know-nothing in the sense that neither of them know the difference between their own desires and objective reality. If Trump needs a Wuhan lab to shift blame from his own failings, then there must be a lab out there and it is the job of the intelligence agencies to find it. If George W. Bush needs Iraqi nuclear weapons to justify his obsessive desire to invade that country and depose Saddam Hussein, then they must be out there and it is the job of the intelligence agencies to find them. Both Bush and Trump, and a whole lot of their staff, were/are caught up in delusions. And, tragically, they both had/have the power to spread their respective delusion, like a “virus,” to large segments of a historically ignorant American public. 

    Now, if this writer can recognize the similarity between these two men and brand the connecting events described here for the delusional episodes they are, you would think that at least some of the media folks bringing us the “news” could do so as well. And maybe in the privacy of their offices and studies they do see the connection and its dire potential. But they are having a hard time translating that into public knowledge. One can only wonder why! As long as that is the case, most of the general public, focused on their local affairs, will not be able to recognize the danger such irresponsible behavior represents, and will once more be dragged along in whatever perilous direction their present muddled leaders take them. 

    Lawrence DAVIDSON | West Chester University, Pennsylvania ...

    Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

    دونالد ترامب وحروب «الأمة المختارة»

    توفيق شومان

    انقلبت أفكار أبي الطب اليوناني أبقراط (460 ق.م ـ 370 ق.م) رأساً على عقب، حين اجتاح وباء الطاعون بلاد الإغريق في عام 430 ق. م، إذ ربط أبقراط علم الطبابة بالأخلاق وجعلهما متكاملين غير منفصلين، فحين رأى الناس يموتون صرعى الطاعون، قرّر إخراج الطب من عالم مغلق على الكهنة والتوارث والاحتكار، إلى عالم مفتوح لكلّ راغب ومريد ومريض.

    بعد هذا الانقلاب ورث أبقراط لقباً إنسانياً سامياً، لعله الأرفع، وغدا يُعرف بأبي الطب في العوالم القديمة والحديثة.

    ماذا يمكن أن يُقال عن الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب حين يحظر مستلزمات الوقاية من وباء كورونا عن إيران أو يحجرها عن الإيرانيين؟

    الرئيس ترامب يقول إنه يخوض حروبه ويمارس سياساته في الخارج والداخل وفقاً لـ «مشيئة الله».

    هكذا قال عن حربه التجارية مع الصين، فـ «الله اختارني لخوض هذه الحرب وإنجاز هذه المهمة».

    وهكذا قال في تجمع انتخابي مع الإنجيليين قبل فترة قصيرة فـ «الله يقف إلى جانبنا وكلّ مذبح شيطاني يُرفع ضدّنا سيسقطه الله».

    وقال مراراً وتكراراً إنّ إيران تقود «محور الشر».

    هذا الخطاب الإيمانيّ ـ القدريّ وفقاً لتأويلات المستوطنين الأميركيين الأوائل، وعلى الرغم من مخالفته الصريحة لما تورده الأناجيل المقدّسة عن السيد المسيح وقوله على سبيل المثال: «إن ألقيتم السلام على إخوانكم وحدهم، فأيّ زيادة تفعلون؟ أوَليس الوثنيون يفعلون ذلك؟»، أو قوله: «إن أحببتم من يحبكم فأيّ أجر لكم؟»، فإنه يعيد إلقاء الضوء على مفهوم «الأمة الرسالية وأرض الميعاد» التي أسبغها أوائل الأميركيين على أنفسهم، واعتبارهم الأرض الأميركية المكتشفة حديثاً منحة من الله بهدف إقامة «الأمة الفاضلة».

    قليل من التاريخ المعاصر والقريب قد يفيد:

    أكثر الكتب المعروفة على المستوى العالمي، تناول نشوء الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، كتاب للفرنسي ألكسيس دو توكفيل (1805ـ 1859) بعنوان «الديمقراطية في أميركا» يقول فيه إنّ مؤرّخ السنوات الأولى للولايات المتحدة ناثانيل مورتون كتب عن مستوطنة «نيو إنيجلند» فقال: «إنه لواجب مقدس علينا، نحن الذين نال آباؤهم كثيراً من نعم الله، بإلهامهم إنشاء هذه المزرعة، أن نقوم بتخليد ذكراها، حتى نبيّن للأجيال المقبلة أنّ الواجب عليهم أن يحمدوا الله على ما أتاهم، وكيف أمر الله بنقل هذه الكروم وغرسها في الصحراء، وكيف طرد الوثنيين منها»، وفي الفترة نفسها كتب فرنسيس هيجنسون قائلاً: «نحن هنا نعلم الدين الحق والوصايا المقدسة، ولا نشك أن الله معنا، وحين يكون الله معنا، فمن يستطيع أن يكون ضدنا؟».

    مثل هذه الكتابات المتحوّلة إلى عقيدة لدى شريحة من المستوطنين الأميركيين، ستجد لها مماثلات عدة في كتاباتهم وعقائدهم وممارسات أصحاب القرار السياسي والاقتصادي، وبحسب فرانك لامبرت في كتابه «الدين في السياسة الأميركية» أنّ أقوى الأساطير في الثقافة الشعبية الأميركية «أن الله اختار البراري الأميركية لإنزال نعمه عليها»، ويعتبر جاي باريني في كتابه «أرض الميعاد» أنّ من بين الكتب الثلاثة عشر التي غيّرت أميركا وشكلت عقلها الجمعي، كتاب لماري آنتين عن «أرض الميعاد» (1912)، وهو كتاب يحتلّ مكانة مرموقة في الثقافة الأميركية العامة، وعلى ما يقول ألمع المؤرّخين الأميركيين في القرن العشرين دانيال بورستين (1914ـ 2004) في كتابه الذائع الصيت «الأميركيون» إن جماعات من المهاجرين الآوائل كان لديها اليقين بأنها تسير على «الصراط المستقيم لبناء صهيون جديدة في الأرض الأميركية الجديدة».

    قد يصعب حصر الكتابات والمؤلفات المتحدثة عن «الرسالية الأميركية»، غير أنّ هذه «الرسالية» كما يصفها ميشال بوغنون ـ موردان في كتاب «أميركا التوتاليتارية» أدّت بالولايات المتحدة إلى انتهاج سلوك سياسي على المستوى العالمي انطلاقاً من قاعدة إيديولوجية تقوم على محورين:

    ـ الأول: الاقتناع بأنّ الولايات المتحدة مكلفة برسالة إلهية.

    ـ الثاني: الاقتناع بأنّ تنفيذ هذه الرسالة يستلزم استخدام كلّ الوسائل بلا تحريم.

    هنا بالضبط، يمكن العثور على خلفيات «تحريم» دونالد ترامب تزويد الإيرانيين بالوسائل الطبية المفترضة أو الإفراج عن أموالهم المجمّدة.

    ومن هنا بالضبط يمكن فهم ما قالته المتحدثة باسم وزارة الخارجية الأميركية مورغان أورتاغوس ـ قبل تفشي وباء كورونا في الولايات المتحدة: «إننا نرى قادة إيرانيين يموتون»، وكذلك تصريح وزير التجارة الأميركية ويلبر روس حين قال: إنّ تفشي فيروس كورونا في الصين قد يفيد الاقتصاد الأميركي وينعش فرص العمل في الولايات المتحدة.

    كلّ هذا يعيد عقارب إيديولوجيا الرؤساء الأميركيين إلى الوراء بعض الشيء:

    ـ الرئيس بنيامين فرانكلين (1706ـ 1790) وقوله: إنّ مصلحة أميركا هي مصلحة الإنسانية.

    ـ الرئيس جون آدامز (1735ـ 1826) حيث يقول: أميركا هي وطن وأرض السعادة البشرية.

    تلك شواهد من الماضي البعيد نسبياً

    ماذا عن الماضي المعيش والحاضر؟

    المفكر الأميركي فرانسيس فوكويوما صاحب الكتاب الشهير «نهاية التاريخ»، يقول في كتاب له بعنوان «أميركا على المفترق» إنّ الأميركيين رأوا في هزيمة ألمانيا واليابان في الحرب العالمية الثانية «نتيجة أخلاقية» وأنّ كثيرين منهم أدرجوا الحرب الأميركية على العراق في عام 1991 في سياق «الهيمنة الخيّرة التي تقدّم خيراً كونياً عاماً».

    ينقل رئيس التحرير الأسبق لصحيفة «الحياة» جهاد الخازن في كتابه: «المحافظون الجدد والمسيحيون الصهيونيون» أنّ الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس قال له نقلاً عن الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق جورج بوش الإبن: «إنّ الله أمره بمحاربة حركة طالبان وبقتال الرئيس العراقي صدام حسين».

    آنذاك قال الرئيس بوش أيضاً: إنّ النصر حتمي في هذه الحرب لأنّ الله يقف إلى جانب قوى الخير التي تمثلها الولايات المتحدة».

    الرئيس بوش قال: إنّ الله يقف إلى جانب أميركا، تماماً كما قال الرئيس ترامب: «إنّ الله يقف إلى جانبنا» في المجمع الانتخابي الإنجيلي، كما سبق القول.

    ومثلما قال ترامب في المجمع نفسه: «كلّ مذبح شيطاني يُرفع ضدّنا سيسقطه الله»، كان قاله فرنسيس هيجنسون قبل مئتي عام: «لا نشك أنّ الله معنا، وحين يكون الله معنا، فمن يستطيع أن يكون ضدّنا؟».

    القناعة نفسها والمفردات نفسها كأنها صراط لغوي واحد، وهو الأمر عينه الذي أبدع به الرئيس الأميركي رونالد ريغان في ولايتيه الرئاسيتين (1981ـ1989)، وإليه يعود سبق تقسيم العالم إلى فسطاطين: محور الشر ومحور الخير، علماً أنّ عتبة ولايته الرئاسية الثانية كانت بدأت تشهد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي، ومع ذلك أخذه الإصرار إلى العقيدة الفسطاطية، والهدف من ذلك التأكيد على «خيرية» الولايات المتحدة ونصرة الله لها على أعدائها الأشرار، فهي «الأمة الطاهرة»، ولذلك يجب تعميم هذه «الطهرانية» على كلّ مفاصل الدولة الأميركية، فـ «الرب ألزمهم بذلك، وأنّ من واجبهم أن يطيعوا أمر الرب»، مثلما ورد في كتاب كيمبرلي بلاكر المعنون بـ «أصول التطرّف اليميني في أميركا».

    تقدّم القول إنّ حروب الولايات المتحدة لا تعرف التحريم كما قال ميشال بوغنون ـ موردان، وفي ذلك تقول جين كيركباتريك السفيرة الأميركية لدى الأمم المتحدة في عهد الرئيس ريغان في كتاب حرّره آرون سيلزر بعنوان «المحافظون الجدد» وأورد فيه مقالات ومحاضرات لرئيسي الوزاء البريطانيين الأسبقين مارغريت تاتشر وطوني بلير ووزيرة الخارجية الأميركية السابقة كوندوليزا رايس وآخرين: «إنّ من شأن الدفاع عن مصلحتنا القومية ألا يكون مرتبطاً عضوياً بالدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان أو أيّ قضية أخرى جديرة أخلاقياً».

    في هذا الكلام لجين كيركباتريك، يتمّ التقاط أبعاد أخرى في الحروب الأميركية على العالم، ومن ضمنها الحرب الدوائية والمالية على إيران، فطالما أنّ هذه الحروب تصبّ في مصلحة الولايات المتحدة، فهي «حروب خيّرة»، حتى لو رآها كلّ العالم مغايرة لذلك، فإيديولوجيا الخير حصرية بالمكان والزمان الأميركيين، وما يقوله الآخرون لغو وشطط.

    هو تعريف غير مسبوق للخير.

    تعريف يستند إلى المصلحة الذاتية والنفعية وليست المصلحة الإنسانية.

    ولكن من الإنصاف القول إنّ الحرب الدوائية والمالية على إيران، بالرغم من كونها تتخذ واقعاً أكثر سفوراً في جانبه غير الأخلاقي، إلا أنّ سياسات التطرف الأميركي، لم تبق ولم تَذَر أحداً، لا روسيا ولا الصين، ولا حتى الحليف الأوروبي العجوز كما وصفه الرئيس ترامب ذات مرة، ونقاش «الحرب الباردة» بين الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد الأوروبي مفتوح على جوانب عدة منذ تسعينيات القرن العشرين، ولعلّ كتاب «الفردوس والقوة» لروبرت كيغن، والذي خرج من المطابع في عام 2003، يشكل نموذجاً صارخاً لنمط التفكير الأميركي تجاه القارة الأوروبية.

    هي «الأمة الخيّرة» كما اعتقد بها الأميركيون السابقون والأميركيون اللاحقون ومن ضمنهم الرئيس ترامب.

    هذه «الأمة» ماذا تريد؟

    هذه «الأمة» تريد كلّ شيء: أن تكون القوة العسكرية الأقوى ـ أن تكون الاقتصاد الأقوى ـ أن تكون مركز المال والأعمال ـ أن تتجاوز الأمم المتحدة ولا تأبه لقراراتها (نموذج صفقة القرن) ـ أن تقبض على صندوق النقد والبنك الدوليّين ـ أن تهيمن على منظمة التجارة العالمية ـ أن تنسحب من اتفاقية المناخ ـ أن تخوض حروباً نفطية ومالية ودوائية ويميل نحوها الآخرون حيث تميل، وكلّ ذلك تحت شعار «أميركا أولاً» لأنها «الأمة المختارة».

    كيف هي «مختارة»؟ ويقودها الرئيس ترامب ومن «أقواله المأثورة»:

    ـ منافستي على الرئاسة هيلاري كلينتون محتالة ـ رئيسة مجلس النواب نانسي بيلوسي جرو مريض ـ وزير خارجيتي ريكس تيلرسون كان كسولاً وغبياً ـ وزير دفاعي جيمس ماتيس وقح وسيّئ أجبرته على الاستقالة ـ مستشاري للأمن القومي جون بولتون شحاذ ومتسوّل ـ «نيويورك تايمز» كذابة ـ «وول ستريت جونال» غير شريفة.

    تقول صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» (1ـ 1ـ 2019) في تحليل لمواقف وتصريحات الرئيس ترامب: «إنه كذب 5600 كذبة في عام 2018، وبمعدل 15 كذبة في اليوم الواحد».

    لم يتمّ تحليل مواقف الرئيس ترامب في عام 2019، بسبب انشغال الصحافة الأميركية بجائحة كورونا في عام 2020، إلا أنّ هذه الصحافة نقلت عنه مواقف وتغريدات في غاية السوء، ومنها: «أودّ أن أرى الكنائس تكتظ بجمهور المصلين، في عيد الفصح فهذا سيحرك اقتصادنا».

    هو يعلم أنّ جائحة كورونا مستمرة، ومع ذلك يدعو الناس إلى الموت. يدعو كبار السنّ إلى القبور.

    ما لم يقله ترامب حرفياً، قاله نصيره في الحزب الجمهوري، جيف دان باتريك، نائب حاكم ولاية تكساس، حيث دعا المعمّرين والكبار في السنّ لأن يضحّوا بأنفسهم إنقاذاً للاقتصاد والأحفاد!

    «قادة مختارون» لـ «أمة مختارة» يحجبون الدواء عن الناس في إيران، و»قادة مختارون» لـ «أمة مختارة» يدعون إلى ترك كبار السن في بلادهم في عراء الموت!

    هؤلاء «القادة المختارون»: هل قرأوا ما قاله السيد المسيح: «أكرم أباك وأمك كما أوصاك الرب… أكرم أباك وأمك كي تطول أيامك»؟

    هؤلاء «القادة المختارون»: هل يقرأون الأناجيل المعروفة أم يقرأون أناجيل غير معروفة؟

    في أية أناجيل يقرأون…؟

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