Can US Military Interventions End Terrorism? Are they Even Meant or Designed To? The Purported and Real Reasons for US Interventions
A newly redacted and released report reveals that the Department of Defense wanted to stage a false flag attack on the US that would possibly result in the death of some Americans so they could blame it on Cuba, giving the US the pretext to invade the island nation and overthrow the revolutionary government. The plan was not implemented because President Kennedy refused to go along.
It was also revealed about two months ago that former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger convinced President Ford to attack Cuba because the revolutionary nation had sent more than 20,000 troops to help Angola defend itself against the invasion of the newly independent nation by apartheid South Africa, which was getting US fighter jets, tanks and other advanced weapons through Israel. The plan was postponed until after the elections of 1976 and was then shelved by the newly elected President Carter who also objected to it.
President Lyndon Johnson, however, did agree in 1968 to implement Pentagon’s false flag attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, which gave the US the pretext to escalate its war on Viet Nam.
The opportunity to attack Iraq came after the terror attacks of 9/11, when the Bush Administration falsely linked Saddam Hussein to the terror attacks. Not only there was no such link, there was ample evidence linking close US ally, Saudi Arabia, to the attacks. Not only did the US not point the finger of blame at the Saudis, they flew family members of the ruling King out of the country at a time when all planes had been grounded. They also classified as top secret and hid 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission report that implicated the Saudis.
The reason is obvious: they didn’t want a regime change in Saudi Arabia which was cooperating with US imperialism in the region. They wanted it in Iraq which was considered a threat to Israel because Saddam’s ruling party was siding with Palestinians.
Same thing is now playing out in Syria, where the Assad government, after the demise of Saddam and Qaddafi is one of the last remaining forces sympathetic to Palestinians and uncooperative with US plans in the region. The other one is Iran which is now under US sanctions and heavy monitoring by the UN similar to what they did to Iraq prior to their attack.
Incidentally, last year, the CIA formerly admitted its involvement in the 1953 military coup in Iran, which overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and put the infamous Shah back on the throne who ruled with an iron fist for the next 25 years until he was overthrown in the revolution of 1979. Also, in the last five years, four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated in the streets of Tehran by Mossad and CIA agents. Also, in 2010, the US conducted a cyber attack against Iran’s nuclear centrifuges causing explosions in the facilities. And get this: Iran is on US list of states sponsoring terrorism. No, I didn’t say that backwards. US considers Iran a terrorist state. Why? Again, the answer should be obvious: they want a regime change there, too. That’s why. You know who else is on their list of terrorist states? Cuba! Not Saudi Arabia that has been sponsoring Islamist jihadists, not Israel that routinely assassinates Palestinian leaders, and helped assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, to name just two examples, but Iran. As for Cuba, that’s even more ironic because it’s the US that has tried to assassinate Fidel Castro numerous times, not to mention so many assassinations they have committed in the Middle East and Central and South America in the last few decades, some of them with Israelis.
Now, why am I talking about these when all attention is on the brutality of ISIS terrorists and the danger it poses to humanity you ask? Okay let’s talk about ISIS. Terror groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS have been financed by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf kingdoms such as Qatar which are considered US allies. In fact, King Abdullah spent about $200 billion of his own enormous wealth to finance such Sunni Islamist organization to spread its version of Wahhabi Islam, which treats women like cattle to be owned and beheads people and cuts their hands and feet for punishment. In fact, just in 2014, 781 people were beheaded in Saudi Arabia, which the corporate media of the US did not say a word about. Why? Again, because that’s not where they want regime change. Maybe beheadings and cutting of arms and legs and stoning to death women who leave their husbands and not giving them the privilege of driving isn’t so bad and worth mentioning, after all.
Meanwhile, another new report reveals that Israel has been in contact with and has transferred equipment and material – most probably weapons – to ISIS fighters, in order to help overthrow the Assad government, which like the US, it considers an enemy. It goes without saying that the U.S. has been privy to these contacts and giving of aid. The overthrow of the Assad government in Syria has been a top priority for both the US and Israel.
The U.S. animosity with ISIS only began when the organization began killing Westerners and threatened its assets in Iraq, especially in Kurdistan of Iraq which is selling oil to Israelis. Still, all the killings in Syria, which is in excess of 200,000, has been blamed on the Syrian government. Up until very recently, all Islamist terrorists fighting the government were called “pro democracy rebels”.
Two years ago, the Obama Administration also blamed a chemical attack in Syria on the government, without presenting any evidence. US media refused to even mention evidence presented by some foreign journalists implicating the “rebels”. All John Kerry could offer for their claim was that “we know”, just as the Bush Administration claimed that they knew that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction and had links to the 9/11 terrorists. That’s when they were trying to set the groundwork for a military attack on Syria. They backed down only because of both domestic and international opposition to a new US war in the region, while still being involved in Iraq and Afghanistan and having just overthrown the Qaddafi regime in Libya.
Now, the US is itching to get involved in yet another civil war, one which it helped engender through a carefully planned and implemented coup against an elected government. Sounds familiar? And, as always, never ever is their intervention on the side of social or economic Justice, democracy or freedom and always on the side of Terror, oppression, mass murder and injustice. Such is also the case in Ukraine where they joined forces with the Christian version of ISIS, namely, the Neo Fascists who like their Muslim counterparts in Syria are assassinating opponents to the coup government everyday. The thinking has always been: use the terror groups now. We’ll deal with them later.
Their stories are all too familiar, their motives unmistakable and their actions predictable. The leaders and policymakers of the US empire have the mindset of a corporate CEO, who is narrowly and unwaveringly fixated and focused on maximizing profits, at all cost and with all means necessary. The analogy in fact goes deep, as all the aggression, militarism and acts of terror committed by the empire is ultimately for creating conditions that would allow maximizing of profits for the corporate oligarchy that the US government represents.
When a passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine, the US predictably blamed it on the opponents of the pro-US coup government, whom they, along with their faithful media, conveniently call “Russian separatists”. Once again, all they could offer as proof for their claim was: “we know”.
You may say: so what’s your point Sako from all this? Why should we care or be concerned? The answer is that this government of the United States, regardless of who and from which of the two pro imperialist parties wins the presidency, is the source of just about all wars, violence, terror, and instability in the world, and is making the world a dangerous place to live. The government of the US empire which has caused the death of some 20 million people since WWII, is dragging the world towards another world war. The time to stop it is now. And it won’t be stopped by any of the Republican or Democratic presidential candidates, not by Hillary, not by Bush and not by Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, but through a grassroots movement.
Kayla Mueller, a 26-year-old American aid worker, volunteering with Doctors Without Borders in Syria, helping Syrians displaced due to the fighting between Islamist terrorists and government forces, was abducted by ISIS terrorists in August of 2013. On Friday, ISIS claimed that she was killed the day before in a US-backed air strike, conducted by Jordan’s fighter jets, in retaliation for the burning to death of a Jordanian fighter jet pilot, a few days before.
Now what can you say about a bunch of medieval barbaric terrorist savages who kidnap young women volunteering to treat wounded and displaced children and pride themselves in how brutally they can kill their captives that hasn’t already been said? But, how different are these cold blooded and heartless murderers from the leaders of the U.S. military industrial complex, from the Pentagon to the CIA and NSA and from the White House to US Congress and those at the control of US drones, who go to war against defenseless people in underdeveloped countries who don’t have the means or weapons to defend themselves, or from the Zionist occupiers of Palestine who use their US supplied fighter jets, tanks, attack helicopters and warships to attack the defenseless and trapped people of Gaza who have no way to fight back or protect themselves against bombs falling on their apartment buildings, schools and hospitals?
As the media of the US corporate empire screams about the brutality of ISIS, hoping to garner more popular support for their endless wars, we’d be well advised to remember that the U.S. helped create the “ISIS problem”. When these barbarians were massacring Syrian people by the hundreds every day (which they still do), they were considered “rebels” by the U.S. government and the corporate media which repeats the Pentagon line. Not only were they not considered an enemy force, but they, as well as other religious terrorists who had descended on the country to overthrow the government, were getting funding and arms from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, Israel and the CIA, which was vetting the arms recipients at the Syrian-Turkish border. Their beheadings were not an issue at the time because they were trying to overthrow a government that doesn’t toe the Washington line like the corrupt and treasonous sheiks and kings of the Gulf, including the Late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who just in 2014, ordered the beheading of 781 people. Match that ISIS!
And, we all saw how US government officials from the President and his wife to members of his cabinet and high ranking members of Congress rushed to his funeral to pay their utmost respects to a longtime loyal servant of imperialism, not minding in the least how he treated his own people, especially women. You see, it doesn’t matter how brutal a dictator is; it doesn’t matter how he treats the women and gays or how under his rule journalists are whipped and jailed or how many hands and feet are cut under his brutal rule. What matters is what he does for imperialism. You really can tell a lot about a government from the friends it keeps.
The “ISIS problem” or more generally Islamic fundamentalism and Islamist militarism which everyone is suddenly so concerned about only seems like a new and isolated problem that sprang up out of nowhere to those who have a short memory and don’t remember events of recent history. Colonialism and imperialism has always used religion to divide people of conquered lands in order to better rule over them. But, in more recent times, Muslim fundamentalists have been used to beat back and defeat the specter of socialism, especially in the vital and oil rich region of the Middle East, where democratically elected and secular nationalist and especially socialist governments could nationalize their oil, say no to neoliberal policies and austerity measures, close U.S. military bases and make it harder for imperialism to control their economies, policies and politics. That’s why imperialism always prefers dictators like King Abdullah and King of Jordan and General Al Sissi of Egypt who all jail, beat and torture their political opponents including journalists, while enjoying close friendship with Washington.
imperialism has a long history of using Islamic Jihadis and extremists for its imperial ends. When it became clear to the West that the Iranian revolution of 1979 could not be stopped and the Shah (meaning king), who had been a faithful puppet of imperialism, had to go, they threw their support behind Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic Republic, out of fear that the revolutionary left which had been active and helped with the revolution might come to power. To be sure, the Islamic Republic was never the choice of imperialism, but, it was always preferred over the secular left.
That wasn’t the only time Islamists were preferred – and supported and aided – over the secular left. This attitude of the West and in particular the US, was even more evident in Afghanistan, where they armed and funded the Islamist Mujaheddin in 1980’s, to help overthrow a secular and socialist government that came to power in 1979 and dared to let girls attend school. Those Islamists that were getting money, shoulder missiles, automatic rifles, antitank grenades and ammunition from the CIA were the same Taliban who after defeating the socialist government, prevented girls from going to school, same Taliban whom later the US invaded and occupied the country to defeat. Bin Ladin who was once compared with “the Founding Fathers” of the US and he and his Islamist fighters were called “freedom fighters” because they were fighting the socialists and for the interests of transnational corporations, later turned into an enemy when he directed his ire and terror against his former bosses. He was the old “ISIS”.
What the US and its allies did and are still doing in Syria is almost exactly what they did in Afghanistan: make an alliance with brutal medieval and misogynist Islamists to overthrow a government that refuses to cooperate with the Pentagon and multinational corporations. That’s also what they did in Libya. As for Iraq, after supporting Saddam for years and giving him chemical weapons in 1980’s, which he used against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, they pushed Kuwait to flood the oil market and lower the price of oil and encouraged them to take Iraqi oil from inside Iraq near the border which prompted Saddam to invade Kuwait, giving the US the pretext to attack and weaken Iraq. It also gave the US an excuse to station troops in Saudi Arabia which turned Bin Ladin against the U.S. Iraq was later weakened further, both economically and militarily, as a result of 12 years of US imposed sanctions in the 1990’s, which not only impoverished most of its population, but according to the UN, also caused the death of 500,000 Iraqi children. Then, came the invasion and occupation of 2003, on completely false and made up charges, causing the death of another million Iraqis and turning the country into a ruin. And, if history is any indication of what’s in store for future, there are currently ongoing economic sanctions and trade embargo against Iran.
In the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US government and the media, including major newspapers, such as New York Times, that mirror Pentagon assertions, made a case for invading Iraq by falsely connecting the 9/11 terrorist attacks to Iraq and claiming that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction. Polls at the time showed that the majority of Americans bought those lies. Now, a dozen years later, many realize that that was a fabrication designed to justify a totally unjustifiable war. But, many still believe to this day that the first war against Iraq that occurred in 1991, was justified. So, I’d be remiss not to mention a few facts about that mostly forgotten war.
When oil formations run beneath two different nations’ borders, they typically share the revenues and costs using a formula that sets percentages of ownership. In late 1980’s, Kuwait’s Royal dynasty who in 1899 were given Kuwait by the British Empire by siphoning it out of Iraq and calling it a separate country (which previously it wasn’t), was producing oil from the border region of Rumaila without any agreement with Iraq. Under pressure from Washington, it also was producing far more oil than it was allowed under the quota system of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which depressed world oil prices, cutting into the revenue of oil producing countries just as the Saudi kingdom has been doing lately to help weaken the Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan economies on U.S. behalf. Saddam Hussein told the Arab League in an emergency meeting in 1990 that Kuwait’s increased production was costing Iraq $14 billion a year in the last two years. Kuwait’s production in 1989 exceeded its OPEC quota by 700,000 barrels, according to a New York Times report published that year. The Kuwaiti Government’s hope, wrote the Times, was to force Mr. Hussein to accept a border truce that included drilling rights over the Rumaila border region. Henry M. Schuler, director of the energy security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, agreed with Saddam and called the action of the Kuwait’s royal family “economic warfare.”
After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991 and drove the ruling family into exile in Saudi Arabia, Saddam’s repeated requests for resolving the issue over bargaining table to avoid an imminent US attack were ignored. The attack which came quickly and forcefully had two major objectives: to weaken Iraq, which was sympathetic to the cause of Palestinians and to station troops in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to ensure the uninhibited flow of oil as well as having control over its production. Indeed, Saddam’s invasion was expected and hoped for. There were reports at the time that, privately, US gave assurances to Saddam of nonintervention, while at the same time, pressuring Kuwaitis to remain intransigent over their extraction of oil from under Iraq and continuing to flood the market with their increased production. The two pronged strategy worked and the US got what it wanted.
The US has an enormous information gathering capability, as well as the ability to pressure non democratic governments into doing what it wants. As they anxiously followed the events leading up to the Iraqi invasion, they could have brought pressure on both sides to avoid an armed conflict. Instead, they did the opposite and set up a trap for Iraq, while giving assurances to Kuwait’s royal family of full protection and post war benefits, greasing the wheels of war which resulted in the massacre of the Iraqi forces in what they called “the highway of death”.
During the Iran-Iraq war, too, they tried to prevent either side from achieving a quick victory by giving vital satellite information and selling big weapons to any side that seemed to be losing ground in order to lengthen the war as much as possible. Their attitude was best expressed by Henry Kissinger who said: “I hope they kill each other off”. Same attitude has been on display about the war of the Islamist terrorists against Syria, where they have rejected all offers by Russia to end the conflict peacefully. They have taken the same non-peaceful approach also in Ukraine, rejecting and thwarting any effort to end the bloodshed peacefully and instead continuing to support and even push for government’s attack on the civilian population of the East who want local self governance within a federal system.
Social and political events and phenomena don’t happen out of nowhere and without a reason. To understand what’s really happening, we must look at the big picture and in its historical context and continuum. Barbaric Terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS are the byproducts of a world dominated by corporate greed and narrow economic interests, which lead up to imperialist wars and conflicts anywhere they can get their hands on. In a world dominated by imperialism, political expediency and complacency towards corrupt self-serving and treacherous puppet governments on the one hand and support for brutal terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS, on the other, become routine and the norm. Terrorists are armed and funded and medieval dictators and kings applauded and supported as long as they serve their imperial interests, no matter how many people they massacre and how they treat their women, and then, when those terrorists turn against them, they embark on new wars in the name of “war on terror”. Could it have been any more convenient than that? They use terror groups once to destabilize and overthrow governments and then they use them again to justify their wars against them.
Such insatiable proclivity for wars, militarism and military interventions don’t happen for no reason, either, but are in fact, tied to and stem from the nature of an economic system that’s based on maximizing profits by all means necessary, which comes with political and economic coercion, assassinations, military coups, interventions and frequent wars causing countless deaths and destroyed lives. Such a system that’s predicated upon and benefits from wars and terror will by necessity also lead to spying on its own citizens, punishing whistle blowers and silencing critics should they menage to lead a movement for change.
We might be tempted to put all this into the category of intellectual musings and pastime and continue with our daly routine until the news of the next war or the next massacre or next regional conflagration, but, I’m afraid we don’t have that luxury, anymore. We’ve let this beast grow for far too long and it’s now threatening to drag us all into another world war.
Imperialism and Its Despotic Friends: An Alliance for Money and Power Dragging the World Through Terror and Wars
Some people, when you talk to them about the goings on in the world, will tell you that it’s become a dangerous world, that there are too many problems without an easy answer and that things are complicated. If you’re one of those people who think like that, I say you’re wrong! Things are actually not that complicated.
Now, I’m not one who will simplify things to avoid a sober and realistic analysis of the socioeconomic, political-economic and geopolitical realities of our times. Nor do I paint things in black and white and make uncalled for generalizations or give overly simplistic or infantile explanations, leaving out information vital to our understanding of the world around us. I always thought, for example, that a “creator” creating the entire cosmos and everything in it in 6 days and “resting” on the seventh was too simplistic, lazy and infantile, leaving far too many questions unanswered. But, sometimes much of, if not all, the current “problems” do have one single source. If you happen to have a tumor growing in your body, you may feel a multitude of symptoms, from pain to lack of appetite or sleep to having fever to throwing up etc. Likewise, all or most of the problems and danger spots in the world that we see or hear about today, such as terrorism, wars, massacres, assassinations, human rights violations, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine, political chaos and instability, economic crises, famine and mass starvation and rapidly spreading infectious diseases can be traced to one source: world imperialism headed by the U.S. government – the empire of large multinational banks and other giant corporations, headquartered in a few industrialized nations’ capitals, under the leadership of the U.S. military industrial complex, headquartered in Washington – which is the government of the multibillionaires who are the one tenth of one percent of the US population who set the agenda and policies of the US government with far reaching policy and socioeconomic implications throughout the world, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East that has been turned into a hotbed of violence and chaos threatening to drag the world into a dangerous conflagration, all thanks to the US. Those who say that there are too many problems and dangers without an easy solution need to reconsider.
Los Angeles Times reported (January 19) that on Sunday, January 18, Israel attacked a Hezbollah convoy with an airstrike “in the Quneitra region of southern Syria, close to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights”, killing a number of its members and an Iranian general who was accompanying them. Iran confirmed the unprovoked attack the following day. On January 26, AP wrote from Jerusalem about the attack, writing that “striking one of the group’s positions … for the first time since the sides fought a war” in 2006, “Israel has opened a new front … as part of a risky policy that could easily backfire by triggering retaliation”. The retaliation came yesterday when Hezbollah attacked an Israeli military vehicle, killing two soldiers and wounding 7. Israel responded to the retaliation by shelling inside Lebanon and threatened “an all out war”, which the US State Department once again quickly defended, repeating the line that “Israel has the right to defend itself”, saying nothing about the Israeli airstrike that caused the Hezbollah retaliation, in the first place. “Israel has the right to defend itself” really means two things: “Israel has the right to attack anyone at anytime” and “only Israel has the right to retaliate”.
Incidentally, the US considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, which should always make one think the group must be doing something right. And, indeed, they are. Hezbollah is the organization that was able to drive Israel out of Lebanon, which it had invaded and occupied since 1982. In 2006, 4 years after being kicked out, Israel attacked Lebanon again, undertaking massive bombings, similar to what they did last August to the defenseless people of Gaza, who had no way of protecting or defending themselves (remember: “only Israel has the right to defend itself”), or fighting back, save some harmless homemade missiles that landed in the desert. Not so in Lebanon where Hezbollah fighters made Israel suffer heavy losses and end its attack without any military or political gain. It’s that patriotic and spirit of resistance that has won the group the support of even most of Lebanon’s Christians as well as the honor of being on US “terror list”. incidentally, the US has another longer “terror list”: the list of nations and leaders it targets with its own terror, but that’s another topic.
Also, worth noting is that when Israel Attacks a convoy belonging to a group inside another country, without that group having attacked it first, it’s reported by US media as an airstrike with a legitimate purpose, such as preventing the group from obtaining weapons. That’s how the Israeli airstrike of January 18 was reported by news media, including AP, which I quoted above. But, when reporting Hezbollah’s retaliatory strike, it’s a “terrorist attack”, just as Hamas’ firing its primitive and useless rockets was reported which the group fired in retaliation for the siege and starving of Gaza and the “targeted killings” of some and arresting of hundreds of others of its members, which went largely unreported.
“While Israeli experts agree that Israel would never want to help al-Qaida”, AP article of January 26 continued, “in this case Israel and the al-Qaida-linked fighters have as a common goal opposing Hezbollah and its alliance with the Syrian government. This puts them at least indirectly on the same side”. That’s right; Israel – and the US – are fighting “on the same side” as Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, including ISIS. US imperialism and its client settler state, Israel, have no problem working with groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, as long as they help overthrow the Syrian government, even if it means creating another fertile ground for terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda to come in and set up shop, as it happened after their regime change in Iraq and Libya, where they replaced stable and secular governments with groups of Islamic fundamentalists vying for power and committing mass murder and before that, in 1980’s, in Afghanistan by supporting Mujaheddin who were the precursors of the Taliban.
The US even cooperated with and gave its military and political support to fascists and Neo-Nazis in Ukraine to help overthrow the democratically elected government in Kiev, and continued its full support to the new government which included the Neo-Nazis, even while they were massacring those in the East who opposed the coup, calling them “pro-Russia separatists” and calling on the coup government to crush them with heavy weapons. Hundreds of people were burnt alive in a trade union building in Odessa, when Neo-Nazis burned the building to ground, without any US corporate media reporting on it. Compare that to a Palestinian killing an Israeli occupation soldier in desperation. By the time Undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland, stood with Senator John McCain, shoulder to shoulder with the victorious Neo-Nazis in Maidon square in Kiev, handing them cookies to celebrate their victory, seeing US government officials standing next to Neo-Nazis was not as much of a shock anymore to those who had been following the events in Syria. By then, we had already heard about the cooperation between the CIA and Al Qaeda forces to overthrow the Syrian government.
The AP goes on to explain that Israel doesn’t mind that Syrian government and Al Qaeda forces with whom it’s cooperating are killing each other. Thats not a first; that’s what Kissinger said about the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988: “let them kill each other off”, he said. That’s the attitude of the US about the people of Middle East: honor and bow to those who help with imperialist agenda for total hegemony and control over the region and its oil, including barbaric medieval and despotic kings like the late King Abdullah who died a few days ago, who beheaded people, cut arms and legs for punishment, stoned gays to death, ordered journalists whipped and jailed and treated women like cattle, but when it comes to those who refuse to toe the Washington line, like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine (and in the future Iran), invade, bomb and overthrow their governments or sabotage and try to incite opposition as in Venezuela and elsewhere.
Present at King Abdullah’s funeral, wasn’t just US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia or Secretary of State John Kerry or Vice President Joe Biden. It was in the words of a TV reporter “who’s who” of the U.S. government, including top ranking House and Senate members such as John McCain and Nancy Pelosi and of course President Obama and his wife, who in the presence of the Saudi men coming forward to greet Mr. Obama, had to stand behind her husband, ignored by the Royal male family members and all-male Saudi government officials who, one by one, stepped forward to shake hands with Obama, turning and walking away from the “First Lady” because they don’t consider women equal human beings or worthy of respect. King Abdullah to whom Washington made sure to pay its utmost respect didn’t allow women to even drive. Women in Saudi Arabia don’t have the same rights as men. Their testimony in court doesn’t count as much as men’s. They don’t even have custody rights over their own children.
Obama left his India visit, leaving in the middle of a spectacular festival of songs and acts and performances the Indian government had prepared for him and his wife (a big mistake) to attend the funeral of a king who had personally spent about $200 billion over the years to promote the most extreme and fanatical branch of Islam, the Wahhabi sect, which forbids girls from attending school and stones women to death for leaving their husbands.
But, none of that matters because the King gave hundreds of millions of dollars to terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS to overthrow the Syrian government, which the US and Israel wanted to see gone, sent troops to crack down pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, which has a pro-US dictatorship and is home to a large US military base including the Fifth Fleet of US Navy, right next to Iran, was hostile against Iran, was indifferent towards Israel’s genocide against Palestinians and even cooperated with Israel “in regional security matters”, helped the U.S. drive down the price of oil to squeeze Russian and Iranian economies that are dependent on it and bought a huge amount of expensive and sophisticated weaponry from the US and its allies, returning much of its oil money back to US weapons companies, ostensibly and supposedly to defend “against Iran”, which never threatened it. These are some of the services the Saudi King provided to US imperialism.
As if all that outpouring of honor and respect that the US political establishment paid to a brutal Islamist despot wasn’t enough, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, established a “research and essay competition in honor of King Abdullah” hosted by the National Defense University. The Web site of the Department of Defense (DoD) says: “The king, who died Jan. 23 at age 90, oversaw the modernization of his country’s military during the time he spent as commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, a position he held from 1963 until he became king in 2005″. He said: “the essay competition is a fitting tribute to the life and leadership of the Saudi Arabian monarch”. Yes, who could forget the billions of dollars of weapons he bought from the US to “modernize” his country’s military?
Number two in the pack of imperialist wolves, British prime minister David Cameron, also praised Abdullah for his “commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths” and ordered Flags to be put at half-mast at official buildings across London on Friday. US secretary of state John Kerry called him a “man of wisdom and vision”. “This is a sad day,” he said, adding: “The United States has lost a friend”. The praise for the medieval King in whose honor, Michelle Obama had to stand back and be ignored by the all male group of dignitaries because she’s a woman, went from outrageous to ridiculous and outright laughable when IMF head Christine Lagarde said: “In a very discreet way, he was a strong advocate of women”!
Offering effusive condolences, President Obama said: “As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions.” Yes, the conviction to stone women and gays to death, the conviction to cut arms and legs and behead people and the conviction to whip journalists who dare write anything critical of the government. By the consent of the King, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, to be meted out 50 at a time, to prevent him from dying before all 1000 lashes were completed, simply for writing in a blog dedicated to freedom of speech.
The King also leaves behind a country where Christians are banned from practising their faith, no church has been allowed to be built despite the presence of an estimated 1 million Roman Catholics, and where some have been detained for worshipping in their own homes. Compare that to the Iranian society, which the U.S. and its allies consider an enemy, where the largest Jewish Population in Middle East outside of Israel openly and freely practice their religion in their many synagogues and Christian Armenians practice theirs in their many churches. And, while you’re making comparisons, also compare the reaction and attitude and statements of US leaders about the untimely death of democratically elected and popular President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, with their statements for and reaction to the death of the Jihadist King. And, imagine their reaction from Washington to London to Paris when Fidel Castro dies. That alone should tell you all there is to know, but there is more.
The fact of the matter is: for imperialism, it all comes down to money and profits for corporations. Guardian of London noted: “European relations with Saudi Arabia are particularly affected by commercial concerns. France and the UK especially have vied to sign huge arms contracts with their biggest Gulf ally”. “The Saudis are too important economically and politically. Financial concerns are key”, said Julien Barnes-Dacey, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Faced with criticism for ignoring and whitewashing the atrocities of the dictator, Obama recited the old Pentagon line of “constructive engagement” that was used in 1980’s when President Reagan was being criticized for the close ties between the U.S. and its ally, the apartheid regime of South Africa.
What I hope I’ve been able to show in this piece is that there is no humanity or benevolence or good faith or good intentions of any kind or any moral values in anything that the U.S. military industrial complex and its allies in Europe do, despite disingenuous statements about freedom, democracy, liberty and human rights. It’s all about corporate profits for their giant corporations and their billionaire shareholders. To achieve maximum possible profits and accumulate maximum possible wealth of the world, the government of the 1% – or 0.1% – wages wars, commits massacres, overthrows governments, executes coups, supports brutal dictators, crushes revolutions, cooperates with and supports terror groups and Neo-Nazis, Attacks and invades countries and helps with the genocide against the Palestinian people with the help of its allies who are partners to its crimes. The group of bullies headed by the U.S. is thus directly and indirectly responsible for most of the instabilities, wars, terror and violence that’s engulfing our world today. Martin Luther King Jr. said 47 years ago that the US was “the biggest purveyor of violence in the world” and he had not seen a fraction of what it’s doing today.
A tragedy and injustice of enormous magnitude is taking place in Palestine and the only reason it’s continuing without an end is because not enough people in the West, especially in the U.S., which is the main enabler of this unfolding catastrophe, know about it, and the little that they do know is what their corporate and Zionist media has told them, which without exaggeration, is all lies, and I don’t say that lightly. We all have heard that two peoples are fighting over the same piece of land, that this has been going on for ages, that it’s a clash of religions, and that there is no solution or at least an easy solution, etc. The “fairest” of such assessments, held by some liberals, puts the blame equally on “both sides” and holds that they both must make sacrifices and compromises for a lasting peace. Well, the truth is something entirely different, on all these accounts. One way to avoid a just solution, in fact, is to posit that there is no solution. That removes the burden of doing what’s right and just and dodges responsibility. One must ask herself or himself why is it that this “irreconcilable conflict” between two peoples took place only in Palestine. The fact is that a colonial settler state was established by occupying Palestine, through brute force, including mass killings and terror, by European Jews, using their political and military advantage, with the goal of ethnically cleansing Palestine, which was controlled by the British Empire at the time, of its Arab and other non-Jewish population, in order to create a “Jewish state”, which was and still is understood as for “Jews only”. The “Jewish state” was then to be settled by anyone from anywhere in the world who is a Jew or claims to be a Jew, in homes built by the state on land confiscated from non-Jewish Palestinians, after they have been evicted and made refugees and their homes have been demolished.
What’s important to understand is that there cannot be a settler state for a people of a particular ethnicity or religion, without serious and disastrous consequences for the people being evicted and displaced to cleanse the land and make room for settlers coming to settle on the land. The whole idea is racist and unjust and will by necessity and by purpose involve massacres, “targeted killings”, home raids, violent arrests, incarcerations, torture, home demolitions, military checkpoints, wall of separation and acts of resistance by the occupied that will give an excuse to the occupier to commit even more massacres, more detentions, more incarcerations and more atrocities. What should be clear is that the idea of Zionism is a racist idea, which tries to drive away one people to make room for another. This is the problem. This is what results in the killings and massacres and acts of resistance and even more massacres. What will end the “conflict” and killings is an end to ethnic cleansing and purposeful extermination of the Palestinian people. This is the root of all problems and this is what needs to stop.
Any ideology that prefers one group of people over another, and worse displaces one to settle another is unjust and will lead to atrocities, massacres and genocide. Such racist ideologies, if left unchecked, will lead to genocide. Genocide is the only conclusion of such racist ideas, if left to continue, and that’s exactly what’s taking place. I see no other way to end this catastrophe and genocide except by spreading the truth to as many people as possible, especially in the US, and urge them to boycott Israel.
The photo shows Israeli occupation Forces (IOF) moving an arrested Palestinian child to a military vehicle to take to prison. As reported many times by human rights organizations, Israel routinely arrests and tortures Palestinian children. There are currently hundreds of such children in Israel’s prisons. According to Palestinian Commission of Detainees, Israeli forces kidnapped 3755 Palestinian children in the last four years, including 1266 in 2014.
A government can say many things about itself. It can claim to be “exceptional”, with high moral values, tasked with helping other nations, on a mission from God to spread democracy and freedom around the world and much more. But if you’re really interested, as a citizen, to know the real character of your government, all you need to look at is whom it considers its friends and whom its foes. That alone will tell you all you need to know.
So, let’s see who are the close friends and allies of the U.S. and who its enemies. One of its closest allies is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where in 2014 alone, 87 people were beheaded at the order of its King, King Abdullah, who died the other day, similar to how ISIS kills its kidnapped captives. Any criticism of the Kingdom will subject the person to prison and lashes. A journalist who only criticized the government was sentenced to 10 years in prison and one thousand lashes. They only stopped whipping him because one more lash would have almost certainly killed him. A police officer who videotaped a recent beheading of a woman, was arrested and will probably be beheaded, too. The punishment for petty theft in the Kingdom is cutting off the arm. Bigger theft has the punishment of cutting off of both arms and legs. They also stone people to death in the case of infidelity or homosexuality. Women in Saudi Arabia aren’t even second class citizens. They’re treated like cattle owned by either their father or husband. They don’t even have the right to drive. They also are not recognized as the legal guardians of their own children. That right is entirely the husband’s.
Another close ally and friend of the U.S. is the racist and apartheid state of Israel that has for the last 67 years, been occupying and stealing Palestinian land, demolishing their homes, evicting and displacing them from their homes and settling those who are or claim to be Jewish on land cleansed of Palestinians. Non-Jews in Israel have no rights that the state is obliged to respect. They can’t own any property, must carry and show an ID and cannot use the same roads as the Jews. Millions of Palestinians have been driven from their homes into refugee camps where they live in squalid conditions without adequate clean water or services. Palestinians can’t go anywhere without going through military checkpoints, where they are stopped and searched and subjected to beatings and humiliation. Going through such military checkpoints often takes several hours or an entire day. Pregnant women have at times given birth at a checkpoint or suffered miscarriage. Palestinian homes are often raided and members of family taken without a charge or explanation and jailed where they are beaten and tortured or killed. Such charge less arrests and imprisonments are called “administrative detention”. Human rights organizations have reported on children as young as 13 years old being jailed and beaten or tortured. Every few years, Israel finds an excuse to conduct a massive attack on the defenseless Palestinian population of Gaza, using tanks, fighter jets, attack helicopters and navy vessels in what they call “mowing the lawn”. In the last such massacre, last August, they killed about 2000 Palestinians in Gaza, including 500 children, who had already been condemned to living under the Israeli siege which amounted to an open air prison with nowhere for people to go. The purpose of the siege was to starve them, or as the Israeli officials called it, to “put them on a diet”. Basically, what they’re doing is ethnic cleansing and displacement of an occupied people to make room for new settlements for foreign settlers, which is strictly and unequivocally prohibited by international laws. Israel is also in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions, despite the fact that the US has vetoed many more. Their actions against the indigenous Palestinian population is so egregious and inhuman and barbaric that the U.S. often stands alone or almost alone in the UN as the defender and protector of the apartheid Zionist state. Even its closest industrialized allies such as Britain, France, Germany, Canada and others often vote with the rest of the world in condemning their illegal actions, atrocities and massacres. Yet, the US government gives the settler state $3 billion every year, unconditionally, which is a staggering amount, considering its small population.
Other US allies include the most backward, dictatorial, medieval, Islamic fundamentalist kingdoms of the Persian Gulf, such as Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait , Yemen and others, each with a brutal dictator like in Saudi Arabia. Egypt is another ally where the military overthrew an elected government and established once again a military dictatorship and which arrests and jails for years any critic, including journalists. Same is in the Kingdom of Jordan, another dictator closely allied with the U.S. The U.S. and its allies, including Israel’s Prime Minister and other top Israeli officials, as well as the head of the Egyptian military dictatorship and the President of Turkey, another US ally, were among participants in the front line of the so called “March for freedom of expression” in Paris, after the terror arrack on Charlie Hebdo magazine! There could not have been a bigger show of hypocrisy.
Now, let’s see who the US considers among its enemies: Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Cuba. The difference between these and the group mentioned before is that the government in these countries place people’s needs over the profits of imperialist nations’ multinational corporations. And, with the exception of Cuba, they all have elected their presidents through elections, unlike US allies in Middle East. Even in Cuba, which doesn’t hold presidential elections, it’s the interests of the working people that the “dictatorship” protects not those of international banks and a small minority of super wealthy parasites and oppressors like in capitalist dictatorships. Compare the reaction of both the U.S. government and the corporate media to the death of the brutal Saudi Dictator-for-life, King Abdullah, who ordered beheadings and arm and leg amputations and forbids women from driving, to their reaction to the death of Venezuela’s democratically elected President, Hugo Chavez. That alone should tell you a lot.
None of this should come as a surprise. If a government represents the interests of the corporate oligarchy, which also owns all the mass media, as is the case in the US, it can try, using its vast propaganda machine, to portray itself as the protector of democracy and freedom in the world and claim to be a gift to humanity from God – which would be true if humanity were defined as the class of billionaires alone – but it cannot escape some naked truths that are out there for everyone who is interested to see.
You don’t have to be an economist to see. For example, how banks that make fraudulent loans, which they know are a time bomb, get bailed out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, causing huge deficits, which working people have to pay and make up for and suffer its consequences by losing jobs, benefits and social services. You don’t have to understand how imperialist countries such as the US, Britain, Germany, France and others, whose banks cause economic mayhem by extending bad loans, impose huge debts with high interest rates on poorer nations, such as Greece, using the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, in order to bail out the giant international banks that caused the problems in those countries, in the first place, that the working people end up paying the price for, with back breaking “austerity measures”, making them even poorer and keeping them poor, while making billionaires bankers even richer. And, you don’t have to understand the politics of militarism and endless wars, under the pretext of “war on terror”, or how imperialism helped create much of the terror groups operating today in Middle East to undermine governments it finds undesirable to realize that there is something fundamentally wrong here. Just look at how one by one, the U.S. and its allies topple governments, making formerly secular and stable nations ungovernable, which then attracts Islamist terrorists, who fill the vacuum and provide the pretext for even more wars. They did that in 1980’s in Afghanistan to cause the overthrow of a secular pro-Soviet government, by helping to bring to power the Taliban, whom they later went to war with in 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They completely destroyed Iraq, replacing the secular and stable state with a fundamentalist Shia government and making it ungovernable, which drew in opportunist terror groups. They did it again in Libya and they’re trying to do it in Syria, where they armed and funded Islamist Jihadists and terrorists, including ISIS, among others, with the help of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf states, in order to overthrow yet another secular and stable government. Is there any wonder there are terrorists wreaking havoc in the region? Is there any wonder there is no stability which the US says it wants, when all it’s done and is doing is destabilizing the region, bringing to power Islamists and creating chaos which gives the US more reasons for war?
You don’t have to consider any of that. As I said, just look who the friends and foes of the US are. That alone will tell you enough.
What’s disgraceful about the monarchy of Saudi Arabia isn’t just its medieval, reactionary and misogynist leaders like King Abdullah who died yesterday at the age of 90 and his brother who is in line to take the throne, or the beheadings that they do everyday for punishment, including of their political opponents, or how they treat women, not even allowing them to drive. All that is disgraceful, despicable and revolting in this 21st Century, and to be expected of such backward, corrupt and despotic religious fundamentalists, who sell their vast amount of oil to support their lavish and wasteful lifestyle and use billions of dollars of the proceeds to spread the most extreme and fundamentalist branch of Islam called Wahhabi, which is the driving ideology behind groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. That too is disgraceful. But, what’s even more disgraceful and despicable is the US government that considers such reactionary despotic and fundamentalist criminals their close ally in the region, along with other despots like the King of Jordan or General Al Sissi of Egypt, who overthrew an elected government and established a military dictatorship and who kills and tortures his opponents and jails journalists. It really is disgraceful how the U.S. sells billions of dollars of weapons to such dictatorships and criminal regimes like Saudi Arabia and turns a blind eye on how they fund terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS, which end up killing Americans and other Westerners. It’s disgraceful how the U.S. joins forces with such reactionary despots to undermine and overthrow governments they find unhelpful with their plans for world domination for their multinational corporations.
President Obama only had praise for King Abdullah on the occasion of his death yesterday because he cooperated with Washington, not so much in “the war on terror” that the President speaks of and that President Bush and Cheney before him spoke of – Saudi leaders have contributed to terrorism, not acted against it – but because he cooperated with the U.S. imperialism to advance “US interests”, which of course means the interests of US multinational corporations.
King Abdullah, whom CNN and other corporate news outlets can’t stop admiring, was a major contributor to the barbaric Jihadis of ISIS, which the US has declared war on. And while ISIS fighters were only massacring the Syrian people, the US was okay with them and their barbaric beheadings because, like Saudi Arabia, the US too found the Syrian government undesirable and wanted it gone. The US fight against ISIS started only after they became a threat to “US interests”. Compare the treatment of US corporate media of such a despicable despot as King Abdullah with their treatment of Fidel Castro or the late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, who didn’t cooperate with US corporate Empire to enrich US billionaires. There is of course no comparison. And, while we’re on the topic of US “friends” in Middle East, how can we forget the colonial settler state of Israel, which using US taxpayers’ money and the full support of US government, is committing ethnic cleansing and genocide against the occupied and defenseless people of Palestine? King Abdullah had no problem with that, either.
A barbaric misogynist despot who for geopolitical and economic reasons was a close US ally is dead and the corporate media and the corporate President only have kind words to say about him. Imperialism has absolutely no shame, no decency and no humanity. Their God is money and money knows no such unnecessary niceties as shame, decency or humanity.
Bill Maher isn’t just an Islamophobe and a misogynist, but also an idiot. He calls those who try to get Rush Limbaugh off the air “babies” who “don’t get free speech”. But apparently, he gets it. He lectures liberals that being liberal means tolerating all kinds of stupid shit thrown at people, including racist, xenophobic, misogynist garbage and total lies and misinformation, broadcast on public airwaves, in the name of “free speech”. We, as people, apparently should not have a say as to what gets sent into our living rooms. Anyone who objects and tries to change that is a little baby and doesn’t understand free speech. If you order food and instead, day after day, get harmful junk that makes you sick, you’d object, or try to change that, but I suppose receiving false information and poisonous ideas and lies and prejudices fed into our and our children’s brains is okay.
But, Bill Maher is right about one thing: trying to get Rush Limbaugh off the air is a “liberal” thing. The reason liberals target Limbaugh is because he’s the most offensive, not because he’s different, in any real or fundamental way, from all the others who spew all kinds of racist, xenophobic and misogynist rants and lies and participate in the brainwashing of the people, everyday. He’s singled out, because he goes too far even for liberals and crosses their line of sensibility and sensitivity. But, Bill Maher proudly proclaims that he’s the true liberal because he has no such demarcation line. For him, everything goes, in the name of “free speech”.
Now, why do I call him an idiot and what’s wrong with “free speech”? Because there is no such thing. Speech that can be heard by thousands and millions of people isn’t free, at all. In fact, it’s quite expensive and only big corporations with big money can afford to purchase mass media outlets that can reach so many people and hire racist, homophobic, Islamophobic idiots and liars like Limbaugh, O’Reily, Hannity and Bill Maher and through them broadcast their own opinions and mindset to millions of people, including the very idea that anyone with the kind of money that takes to own Newscorp, Time Warner, HBO or others, should have the ability and authority to broadcast their ideas to the population, even though only a very tiny section of the population can do that and naturally they would propagate and promote only the ideas and ideology of that tiny minority, shaping the society’s culture and groupthink, which is anathema to the principles of democracy, which Bill Maher prides himself to possess.
I don’t try to get Limbaugh off the air, because I don’t think the problem is any one individual talkshow host; rather, I believe the problem is systemic, as in the system, that allows and produces such disparity, absence of democracy and propagation of lies, disinformation and brainwashing, which Mr. Maher himself is a part of. Case in point: he got to say to tens of thousands in his last HBO show, and thousands more read on the Internet, his idea of “free speech”, which he “gets”, not necessarily because his ideas are the right ones, but because he happens to be hired for big bucks by a corporation, which has no problem with what he says and which expects him to say the “right” things. I’m sure he remembers all too well how he got fired in 2001, by a big corporation with the “right” to “free speech”, which was not free and on the contrary was quite expensive, for not saying the right thing, meaning the line of the corporation. He realized then that “free speech” for him wasn’t quite the same as for the corporation that hired him. And precisely because their “free” speech had been paid for, it gave them the authority to stop Mr. Maher’s own “free speech”, which we, as well as Mr. Maher himself realized he didn’t have, after all. So, for him to forget that corporate and powerful part of that equation is quite ironic.
Now, I called him an idiot, but I have to qualify that. People like Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh, with whom he has more similarities than most liberals would admit, are products of a profit based system, who learn how to sell themselves to the corporate world to become “successful”. It’s a “win-win situation”, as they, from Wolf Blitzer to Rev. Al Sharpton and from the NPR reporters to PBS broadcasters all serve the corporations with their propaganda needs. As for the rest of us, we only hear about that elusive “free speech” and get to adopt their ideas of what it even is.