The last United States and its ‘partners” troops have now left Afghanistan after almost 20 years of futile war with the Taliban.
The chaotic tragedy over the last week of desperate Afghans wanting to leave Afghanistan via Kabul Airport for a better and safer life, is now also over.
In the final few days of the exodus, the Taliban apparently informed United States forces of a likely threat from ISIS Khorasan forces at Kabul Airport. A suicide bomber duly arrived at one of the U.S. entry points to the airport and blew himself up, killing himself, an indeterminate number of Afghans (in the 100s), and 12 U.S. force personnel.
It would appear from Afghan accounts on the ground that the U.S. soldiers in the surrounding watchtowers then panicked and opened fire with automatic fire on the Afghans below- killing at least another 100 people.
Subsequent to the ISIS attack, the U.S. president stated in the usual petulant child-like way of American presidents that, ‘vengeance shall be ours’; rather than a thoughtful and lawful approach to such acts of premeditated murder which act to limit the risks of further attacks.
“To those who carried out this attack … we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.”-Joe Biden
Miraculously U.S. forces already knew the location of the planners of the ISIS attack and duly dispatched a drone to kill the planners and further attackers. (why the attackers weren’t arrested or killed before the attack is not explained)
The U.S. subsequently reported (as per usual) that it was ‘highly likely’ that the ISIS K planners and bombers had been killed in the drone attack. Given the history of U.S. drone attacks it is also ‘highly likely’ that those killed were guilty of owning several goats that were coveted by a neighbour who had then reported them as ISIS K combatants to the authorities.
One notes that the images of the vehicle supposedly hit by the subsequent U.S. drone attack show a somewhat burnt out vehicle-not a vehicle with a bomb on board, as claimed by the Americans , which would have disintegrated with the explosion of the ISIS bomb, after the drone missile impact.
Unsurprisingly the ruling Taliban have objected to the U.S. launching drone attacks on sovereign Afghan territory, but any objections by the Taliban will be ignored as the U.S. continues to bomb and drone Afghans that it believes are ‘highly likely’ to be terrorists. Only once the Taliban acquire anti-air missiles ( as the Mujahedeen before them did ) will the scourge of drone warfare be over.
With the elimination of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan, the Taliban are now free to follow up in every corner of the country, the threat that their mortal enemy ISIS, poses to Afghan security.
We know for certain that the United States did indeed facilitate the rise of extremist Wahhabist movements including Al Qaeda across the Middle East-in collaboration with U.K. ‘special’ forces, the Saudis, Turkey and some of the Gulf ministates; initially to confront the Russian forces in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and later to attack any secular government that the American and their ‘partners’ saw as a threat to their control of local resources.
We also know that the Iranians, Syrians and Russians have long complained about the U.S. facilitating the rise and ongoing support of ISIS groups in the Middle East, including the transport by helicopter of ISIS remnants from Syria into Afghanistan, and training and support by the Israelis of ISIS Syrian teams. How true are those statements from the Russians Syrians and Iranians? However we do know that the American’s definition of what they have traditionally called ‘moderate’ jihadists in the Middle East, is not one shared by many.
Despite the calls for an end to the drone murders, it is ‘highly likely’ that the Americans will continue to provide any excuse to continue to “precision’ bomb, drone and assassinate anyone they believe is not in their best economic interests and will support a new Mujahideen to confront the now more moderate ruling Afghan Taliban.
After several years of extreme violence and turmoil across Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power in the late 1990s,
As Consortium News notes: The triumphant Taliban imposed harsh Islamic law on Afghanistan. Their rule was especially cruel to women who had made gains toward equal rights under the communists, but were forced by the Taliban to live under highly restrictive rules, to cover themselves when in public, and to forgo schooling.
The Taliban also granted refuge to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, who had fought with the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s. Bin Laden then used Afghanistan as the base of operations for his terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, setting the stage for the next Afghan War in 2001.
After the 9/11 attacks in New York by Al Qaeda, the Taliban agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. However their offer was refused, and instead President Bush launched a war to remove the Taliban from power beginning with a brutal bombing campaign in October 2001
If the purpose of Bush’s Afghan war was not to trap Osama bin Laden – what was the purpose?
The United States had been negotiating with the Taliban for an oil pipeline to traverse Afghanistan from Central Asian oil fields, and appeared to be on relatively good terms with them.
It was only much later that the hype about a humanitarian intervention for women’s rights etc came to the fore in Western media. However this supposed human rights agenda by the United States and the United Kingdom is contradicted by their wholehearted support for the brutal Mujahideen the Saudi regime, and their unconditional support for the Israeli genocidal actions against Palestinians (amongst many other brutal regimes supported and armed by Western governments)
As a Western person I oppose discrimination against any person of any gender or race- however I also oppose the barbaric use of violence to impose one’s will on others we do not agree with- something my country New Zealand has been complicit in along with other Western white countries.
Setting up an indigenous Afghan army funded and trained and managed by foreigners to oppose local people who they may in fact know by tribe or family, and who are trying to defend their country from invasion, was always a recipe for failure. Such troops’ only motivation could be their paycheck, not patriotism for their country: so when the occupation force goes in the dead of night, the money goes with them and the local funded military disintegrate- they have nothing to fight for.
Similarly a ‘democracy’ funded and approved and beholden to an occupying power is not a democracy -it is a mockery of ‘democracy’.- and an extraordinarily corrupt one at that– why else would you pretend to lead your country whilst under an occupying power?
As Marshall Auerback and Patrick Lawrence note in ‘The Scrum’: Ashraf Ghani, (the last of the U.S. appointed Afghan ‘Presidents’) was among the more preposterous creations of the Obama administration, a man who personified our American presumption that we can go around the world making all others in our image without reference to histories, cultures, or political traditions.
We know the colonial occupation forces killed many thousands of civilians (through bombing campaigns, drone murders, the brutal occupation and destruction of villages and people’s homes and the use of torture at Bagram airbase and other locations in Afghanistan- civilian losses that the occupying forces continue to largely deny.
The New Zealand presence in Afghanistan is one more shameful example of our complicity in the United States’ war crimes..
While there will be many in Kabul and other major Afghan cities who have come to enjoy Western values, comforts and the easy money that came with the occupiers, there will be many many more Afghans who are thankful that the brutality and systematic racism of the Western occupying powers is finally at an end.
The lessons other vulnerable countries have learnt from Western occupying powers’ brutal occupation of Afghanistan will not be soon forgotten..
Nor will the boys coming home from that 20 year war be immune to its effects on the psyche..
“One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.” – Booker T. Washington
That is not to say Afghanistan is going to become some liberal, rights respecting country any time soon: traditional rigid views about women’s rights and other ethnicities and belief systems -particularly in rural areas, are gong to prevail for some time to come. And Sharia law is not exactly a very forgiving dogma; but there are signs that the new Taliban leadership recognise that they will have to adapt to the modern world if they are to be accepted by the wider international community, especially investment from Chinese and other neighbouring countries. Certainly, as of 17th August 2021, the Taliban command have so far largely behaved with honour and discipline for the defeated.
It should also be noted that the Taliban are not ‘terrorists’ and in no way resemble ISIS or the earlier Mujahideen . While they may have sheltered Al Qaeda in the past, they have no record and no stated intent of terrorist actions outside (or within) Afghanistan.
It is time now for the new Afghan government to demand reparations from all those Western occupation governments for the deaths, torture, trauma and misery; and land and property losses of the last 20 years.
Perhaps Westerners could also remember, for the future, that the way for outsiders to encourage change in any other society, is to demonstrate your positive values: your generosity, your honesty, your capacity to forgive and your willingness to listen…
One wonders which of ‘our values’ Joe is referring to. Most probably it is the values of barbarous violence against other less powerful states that characterized U.S. ‘foreign policy in the 20th century.
While continuously espousing the virtues of democracy and freedom, the United States continues to conduct wars of aggression against any country that either can be exploited for its resources, or may pose a threat to its global dominance at some later time.
In the traditional manner of U.S. politics, we are reminded to simply listen to their grand eloquence about human rights and freedoms and ignore the sordid reality of U.S. foreign relations. We are exhorted once again to extol the Nazi-like virtues of American ‘Exceptionalism’ .
No longer will we have to endure the thuggish foreign follies of Mike Pompeo; instead we will be called to embrace freedom and fairness, and bomb the hell out of the next country that doesn’t subscribe to U.S. demands.
We will be encouraged to support the freedom loving rulers of Israel and Saudi Arabia while they brutalize their populations, and encourage them to buy more armaments for their wars in Yemen, or Syria , or anywhere!
We will be delighted to once again support Obama era levels of drone murders of unsuspecting innocents in far away poor (Muslim) countries, with the intelligence aids of our Five Eyes (white) allies in Australia, New Zealand Canada and the U.K.
We will be required to delight in (as the Guardian has done) in the new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s statements that “We can’t solve all the world’s problems alone,” he said. (without a trace of humour) And even that “We need to be working with other countries.” and “America, at its best, still has a greater ability than any other country on earth to bring others together to meet the challenges of our time.” This from the man who supported the atrocities and genocide in Iraq and Libya (and supported the use of Al Qaeda to blunt Syrian and Russian successes in Syria), to name just a few of the wars that Blinken has enthusiastically supported. What more delights can we expect from a man with no moral capabilities?
And as Caitlin Johnstone so acerbically states, ‘There’s never been a better time to be a woman, minority or member of the LGBT community who works in the DC establishment and enjoys dropping cluster munitions on children”
To say nothing of John Kerry, former secretary of State to Obama and who is to be Biden’s ‘Climate Envoy” a completely meaningless role, other than to continue the Obama policy of signing climate treaties with absolutely no intention of acting on them. (like the rest of our “world leaders”.)
One can only assume that American politicians live in an alternate reality- where they genuinely believe the lies that spout spontaneously from their mouths, while they commit evil.
Lieutenant-General Soleimani; leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, was, as Soleimani himself expected, assassinated by United States drone or helicopter rockets on the morning of Friday 3rd January 2020, while leaving Baghdad Airport by car after a civilian flight in to Baghdad from Tehran to meet with the Iraqi prime minister.
Soleimani was revered by many Shiite Muslims around the world for his military successes in helping Shiite Hezbollah protect and defeat an Israeli invasion of Lebanon (part of Israel’s ‘grand’ strategy of building a mythic “Greater Israel”), but more importantly, for his work in both Iraq and Syria coordinating the largely successful battle against Al Qaeda in Syria (or HTS) and ISIS (otherwise known as Daesh).
The Wahhabist Muslim sect believes that all non Sunni Muslims are ‘heretics’ and should either be forcibly converted or killed . General Soleimani was therefore following the lineage of the great Shiite Imams of medieval times, in protecting all Shiites -this time from the scourge of Wahhabism.
In collaboration with the Russians, a revitalized Syrian Arab Army (Assad’s forces), a re-armed Iraqi Army, and Shi-ite militias under his command, Soleimani had at the time of his death largely succeeded in defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The jaws are rapidly closing in on the remnants of Al Qaeda, HTS, ISIS and other Saudi and Western backed jihadists in Idlib in Northern Syria and Iraq. There is real fear in Washington “intelligence” circles that mainstream media will finally be forced to expose the direct linkage between Washington and the head-chopping jihadists.
The recent death in Ankara of James Le Mesurier, leader of the White Helmets, supposedly humanitarian aid workers in Syria, but in reality well funded propaganda units for the jihadist groups and their backers, is likely to be directly linked to the imminent exposure of the White Helmets as fakes, and the revelation of Western governments’ manipulation and likely bribery of senior staff at the OPCW to create a ‘scientific finding” that the Assad government had gassed civilians. Western governments will consequently be finally forced to acknowledge their appalling collaboration and support of pyschopathic jihadist killers in the Middle East- all in the name of oil and support for the Israeli entity.
American intelligence agencies consequently panicked and reasoned that a decisive provocation against Iran, would ensure that Iran would ‘over-react”, and could thus be seen by the world as the crazed religious pariah state that the United States has always tried to portray Iran as being since the Islamic revolution.
It might be useful at this point to list just some of the legitimate grievances Iran has against the United States.
The shooting down of a civilian Iranian Airbus A300 by a US warship in the Persian Gulf , with 290 resultant deaths. There was no official apology from the United States although some compensation was paid out belatedly.
Ongoing promotion of Iran as a pariah state at the UN and with other Western governments, which resulted in severe sanctions and the deaths of many innocent Iranians because of Iran’s non existent nuclear weapons programme.
Unconditional support by the United States of the Wahhabist Saudi clan who have funded and managed Sunni jihadist groups, killing many Shi-ite across the world, but particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
United States unconditional support for the Israeli entity, in their desire to create a “Greater Israel” by the theft and extremely brutal occupation of land from (largely Sunni) Palestinians, Shi-ite Lebanese and Syrians.
Perhaps it might therefore be understandable why Iran’s leadership calls the United States, the “Great Satan”.
Iran is, unlike many of the United States’ allies in the Middle East, a democracy of sorts. However the rules for democracy are managed and controlled at a central level by its Shi-ite Islamist leaders, and democratic choice is very limited (not too dissimilar in fact to the U.S. presidential election process).
While there are undoubtedly many in Iran who long for what Western democracy appears to promise, most are also fiercely patriotic; proud of their many thousands of year’s history as Persians. Faced with ‘existential” external threats, as Iranians have been since the Islamist revolution in 1979, few Iranians would support an overthrow of their current government.
Soleimani’s death was mourned by hundreds of thousands of Shiites in Iraq and Iran. Memorials in Tehran had to be postponed because of the size of the crowds mourning him in other cities in Iran, but the most crucial memorial was held for him in the Iranian city of Qom . “Qom is considered holy by ShiʿaIslam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatimah bint Musa, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Rida (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 CE). The city is the largest center for Shiʿa scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage, with around twenty million pilgrims visiting the city every year..” -Wikipedia.
The red Shi-ite flag of the blood of the martyrs and revenge, was raised in Qom at his funeral procession. According to local reports it is the first time in the Qom mosque’s history – a holy site since the Middle Ages – that the red flag has been raised over the building.
It should be noted that the raising of the red-flag over Qom is not simply an Iranian government contrivance, but a religious appeal to all Shi-ite believers around the world to avenge Soleimani’s death -one who battled with the forces of evil to save Shi-ites.
Albawaba .com notes that ‘Last night Khamanei and Rouhani consoled Soleimani’s family.
‘Who is going to avenge my father’s blood?’ One of the commander’s daughters asked.
In response, Rouhani promised her that ‘everyone will take revenge’ and assured her as she wept, ‘we will, we will avenge his blood, you don’t worry.’
‘The Americans did not realize what a grave mistake they have made. They will suffer the consequences of such criminal measure not only today, but also throughout the years to come,’ Rouhani said.
‘This crime committed by the US will go down in history as one of their unforgettable crimes against the Iranian nation.’
Is it possible that United States intelligence officials were unaware of the paramount importance of Soleimani to the 112 million people in the Shiite world? Did they not understand that his killing would provoke a desire for revenge against the United States which would be unstoppable?
No matter whether President Trump carries out his threats to bomb 52 targets in Iran including “cultural sites”. (which would of course be a war crime, but nothing new to the United States, which has been guilty of horrendous war crimes and genocide in so many parts of the world since the U.S began: see our blog article; America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars) or whether the United States might lose its residual sanity and nuke Tehran, the revenge would continue .
The United State’s only option now is to seek forgiveness from the Iranians and negotiate a deal which allows their soldiers to leave safely from their many many bases circling Iran.
In just one example, the United State’s main military base in the Persian Gulf is located on the island of Bahrain. Bahrain is ruled by an autocratic and brutal Sunni ‘prince” over a population which is 62% Shi-ite. It would not require any intervention on the part of the Iranians for a rebellion to once again boil over to depose the Bahrain Al Khalifa royal family and for Shi-ites in Bahrain to destroy the U.S. base there and its occupants.
While Western media choose to portray any actions by Shi-ite groups around the world as being by “Iranian proxies”, Shi-ite groups, whether military of otherwise, will seek to avenge the death of Soleimani; they have now been called to do so.
It would be timely for someone in Washington who is sane, and with more than the level of intelligence currently displayed, to seek the mediation skills of someone with credibility to both sides, like Russian Federation Foreign Minister Lavrov- who may be able to help forestall what currently looks like the inevitable tragedy for the 60,000 plus United States soldiers stationed in the Middle East, as a result of General Soleimani’s killing.
Negotiated via U.N. auspices, the Iran deal limited Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium and thus limit any potential for Iran to develop nuclear weapons; something it has always said is has not intended nor planned to do. UN inspections prove that Iran has indeed complied with the JCPOA in full since its inception in 2015. The deal in no way prohibits Iran’s develop of missile technology, which would be seen by any state as a sovereign right to protect itself from aggressors.
And Iran has many threatening states to protect itself from. These include Israel, who sees Iran as its major spoiler to the ongoing expansion of Israeli territory in the Middle East; particularly because of Iranian support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, who roundly defeated Israel in its last attempt to occupy Lebanon in 2006 . Then there is Saudi Arabia, the despotic regime which pretends to be a ‘monarchy” who actively supports protects and funds the Salafist terrorists across the Middle East and beyond. Salafists believe that all other Islamic and other religious beliefs other than their own are ‘heretical”, and therefore those people who hold such beliefs need to be either forcibly converted or disposed of. Hence the millions of Shiite peoples of Iran and its Shi-ite theocracy are anathema to the Saudi ‘princes’. Iran is a large country of over 80 million people, and while its economy has been made vulnerable by years of U.S. and other Western countries sanctions, it has managed to develop a wide range of responses to those sanctions, and particularly a home grown defence industry.
Iran is therefore not significantly vulnerable to attack by Saudi Arabia , despite S.A.s huge defence spending ($76 billion in 2017 – third highest in the world after the U.S. and China) , as opposed to Iran’s approximately $14 billion), largely because of its very effective home grown ballistic missile systems. (it is always amusing to note that U.S. military ‘specialists always attribute this or that countries’ home grown military capabilities to some other country – implying in some way that the specific country does not have the technology , research capability and technical know-how that only the great and exceptional U.S. has!)
The U.K. has also played a supporting role to the U.S. since 1953 in supporting the salafist regimes in the Persian Gulf and encouraging the export of Saudi and Qatari jihadist terrorists to Middle East states which are not active supporters of Western colonialism or Israeli expansionism.
Thus the latest move by the Trump administration to undermine the U.N. JCPOA agreement and threaten sanctions against countries and companies that do not comply with its renewed sanctions against Iran, is simply part of the ongoing war by the United States against Iran that had its inception in the overthrow of its brutal dictator , the Shah.
The drivers for this ongoing war against Iran are largely economic: primarily re-acquisition of the huge Iranian oil market by American oil companies will buffer the U.S. against the imminent collapse of the local shale oil market, whilst ensuring that Iranian owned oil and gas is not pipe-lined through to Europe and Turkey.
However the other major U.S. impetus for Iranian destabilisation and overthrow of its independent theocracy is the role of Israel and its Zionist lobbyists in Washington. Now that Saudi Arabia has been bought into the Zionist fold and accepts the Israeli theft of Palestinian lands since 1948 as legitimate, there is only Iran as a significant power player in the Middle East who is able to confront Israeli expansionism. A tame Iranian regime that supported both Israel and U.S. colonial policy in the Middle East would mean Chinese and Russian commercial and strategic ambitions there could be thwarted, and U.S. and U.K. (and to a smaller degree, French) companies could make billions exploiting the region. With the truly psychopathic John Bolton now as Trumps defence advisor, drooling for war with Iran, and Israel’s Netanyahu frothing at the mouth for the U.S. to bomb Iran, all options are truly on the table.
While Iran does not have an effective airforce, due to the long-standing sanctions against it; it’s ballistic missile capacity is indeed formidable, although largely deprecated by U.S. defence analysts . Should the U.S. launch an attack on Iran’s infrastructure, as it has continually threatened to do over the years, the U.S. would undoubtedly be able to , over time, obliterate much of Tehran and its key urban centres as it has done in North Korea, Vietnam Libya and Iraq in the past, along with the consequent huge suffering and civilian casualties that entails. However in the first days and weeks of such a war, Iran’s widely dispersed military units, and particularly its missile and anti-ship units, will be able to inflict massive damage on U.S. military bases and aircraft carriers in the Gulf because of their close proximity to Iran. An ongoing guerilla war against U.S. economic and military interests in the Middle East could well last for years. In comparison to the U.S. war against Iraq, Iran’s military capabilities cannot be under-rated as American defence analysts are wont to do in their arrogance. This would not be the “cake-walk” that the neocons pretended the Iraqi invasion would be!
Should Israel also enter the war, as it has often promised to, then Tel Aviv is now well within missile striking distance by Iran’s Lebanese allies. Hezbollah.
One would hope that the crazies like Netanyahu and John Bolton will finally be locked away somewhere safe for the rest of humanity’s sake , and the fools like Donald Trump fade into quiet oblivion, but sadly it seems , that may not be the case…
The recent very fake news from the White Helmets about Assad’s government gassing civilians in Douma in Ghouta province of Syria has clearly been orchestrated by Western intelligence agencies ( who largely control the White Helmet’s agenda and their Al Qaeda affiliates on the ground in Syria). As has been noted elsewhere, Syrian government forces have no need to gas anyone; they are on a roll and likely to overrun all Al Qaeda rebels in the Ghouta area in the next week..And in fact Syrian government forces and Russian advisers now control the area where the gassing supposedly occurred. An unfortunate fact for the U.S. now gunning for war…
The appointment of John Bolton as Secretary of State for the U.S., who along with U.S.’s U.N. representative, Nikki Haley, know no other response to perceived threats to U.S. global omnipotence than war and more war, is a solid indication that the U.S. intelligence community and State Dept is indeed preparing for war with Russia.
Russia has given categorical statements at the U.N. , and to the U.S. , that missile attacks against the Syrian government will be responded to “at source” ie by attacking U.S. French or U.K. aircraft , airbases or aircraft carriers that carry out such attacks.
As noted in a previous post on this site; the argument in NATO command and the Western “think tanks”, is that by destroying once and for all, the threat of Russia as an state entity capable of having an independent foreign policy and economic pathway, all the other dominos; China, Iran, North Korea who currently oppose Western global control, will inevitably ‘fall into line”
We know from previous experience, that Western countries; particularly those who have signed up to NATO, will indeed fall into line with their masters, and both acquiesce and actively participate in whatever horrific actions the Americans and their British allies have decided upon.
The blatantly absurd arguments about Saddams’ little trucks full of WMD, or the viagra given to Libyan soldiers so that they could rape Libyan civilians, or any of the ridiculous other casus belli formulated in the rather small brains of the military strategists in London and Washington over the past 60 years since the second world war, have been promulgated by a compliant (or perhaps ‘bought”) Western media without analysis, and accepted as fact by the vast majority of the Western world’s population. We do not need rational or factual arguments, any old rationale, however ridiculous, will do to destroy another country and its population.
We are after all, as members of the Western world- defenders of democracy and freedom and civilised humanity- are we not?…..
Except this time, making war with Russia as a major nuclear power, and with very formidable weaponry, will not be the ‘cake-walk’ it was supposedly going to be in Iraq. In addition it is unknown at this point, but likely, that China will have to take a stand beside Russia in the lead-up to war-knowing they will be next if Russia falls. The writing is on the wall for the Chinese with Trump’s ‘trade war”, and the Chinese have demonstrated they will not be bullied by the U.S.
If you think that none of this could be possible , (we wouldn’t risk global war- would we?) it is well to be reminded about the last Western allies in the pursuit of ….something…. invaded Russia.
Why should such barbaric partners therefore need things like evidence or truth when responding to allegations by the jihadists they support in Syria, of gas attacks by the Syrian military ( and therefore Russia).
There is a higher goal here- the pursuit of more money and power…
As Christopher Davidson makes clear in his 2016 book ‘The Shadow Wars’; the extremist ideology of wahhabism – an ‘offshoot’ of Islam, is deeply imbedded in the Saudi regime. That sectarian brutal regime could not have come to power and retained its military domination over the Arabian peninsula, without the unconditonal support of first the British and latterly the United States. Their Wahhabist dogma states that all who don’t believe in their version of Islam are heretics and should be forcibly converted or put to death.
This dogma is the foundation of Al Qaeda and ISIS ; and these groups, along with fanatical wahhabist ideology promoted in many Saudi funded Sunni mosques around the world, has been actively promoted by those in power in Riyadh since they were effectively installed by the British in the First World War to counter the Turkish Ottoman Empire’s reach..
As Davidson meticulously notes in his book, the support of the British and then the Americans for this fanatical regime, has never wavered; even after the 9/11 terror attack and now the genocide occuring in Yemen. The ongoing U.S. and British support for wahhabist terror to further Western agendas can be taken as a given.
As Human Rights Watch notes (2017) Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities, notably Twelver Shia and Ismailis, including in public education, the justice system, religious freedom, and employment. Government-affiliated religious authorities continued to disparage Shia Islam in public statements and documents.
And now we see a Saudi attempt to completely eliminate any Shia influence within the ‘kingdom’ in their ongoing brutal crackdown of the minority Shia population in Awamiya on the Arabian peninsula.
Because of the huge amounts of money flowing from the Saudis into Washington and other Western ‘think-tanks’ ( ie propaganda outlets) , both Western media mainstream media and the Washington and London ‘intelligence’ communities are largely uncritical of this despotic regime and its outpourings of hatred and violence to any Muslims and other Middle Eastern religions who do not espouse their Wahhabist ideology. As long as the Wahhabists remain useful in the cause of eliminating any threats to Israel, countering an independent Iran or eliminating other Middle Eastern states critical of the United States or the United Kingdom- then that is all good!- regardless of the loss of lives or the devastation left behind…The destruction of the Shi-ite state of Iran is a priority of both the Saudis, Israel, as well as the U.S. and U.K. The re-appropriation of Iranian assets and oil by Western interests is looked upon longingly.
Saudi Arabia funds many wahhabist sect mosques throughout the Western world; whose aim is to preach hate and sectarian discord and promote the killing of others who do not accept their extremist views. Given that this sectarian dialogue is visible open and blatant, how is it that those western mosques have not been closed and the Saudi funnelling of money towards Wahhabists has not been blocked?
Or is this ‘minor’ irritant of localised terrorism and hate in Western states ‘worth it’, when the majority of the mosques’ gullible and disenfranchised indoctrinated young adherents can be shunted off to the Middle East with the assistance of Western intelligence agencies, so that Shi-ite or non secular non U.S. aligned states can be destroyed?
We have reached a rather surrealist situation where the previously hidden long term ‘agreement’ to divide the Middle East according to their respective spheres of influence between Israel and Saudi Arabia has now become completely visible, and now means that ISIS has needed to apologise to Israel for their unintended attack on Israeli ‘Defence’ forces. For many Arabs this apology is a clear signal of the betrayal by the Saudis of the Palestinians and their 60 year brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel military forces. Taken in conjunction with their genocidal war against the impoverished Yemen people by massive Saudi military forces, and with the total support of the U.K. and U.S., Saudi credibility has reached an all time low amongst Arab populations across the Middle East.
Once can only hope that the end of the brutal ‘reign’ of the House of Saud is nigh.
My apologies to Benjamin Disraeli for abusing his wonderful quote about statistics in my blog title.
In essence, any information, however factual, can be used to manipulate opinion; and is most frequently used in that manner. The recent barrage of U.S. media reports on ‘fake news’, of Facebook getting mainstream media to, laughably, monitor what is fake and is not fake in Facebook posts, the accusations of Russian (sorry Putin) manipulation of the US media for his own nefarious ends…. the list of ‘factual’ reports goes on and on.
What we do know as fact is that the media has frequently and knowingly, lied to their respective publics about news; particularly news about ‘foreign’ wars.
For instance, we know the media lied on behalf of the U.S. State Department about the reasons for war with North Korea in the 50s, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was supposedly the rationale for war with “North’ Vietnam, the war in Kosovo against Serbia, the war in Iraq, the war in Libya, the war in Syria….and so on..
And U.S. media is not alone in blindly reporting press releases from government agencies- the U.K. media is amazingly compliant for one which espouses a ‘free press’, in reporting as ‘fact’ what is churned out from government reporting channels.
So , one might think that the world public would by now recognize that media tells lies and half-truths, or ‘selective truths’ – incessantly- for political ends. But for some reason; time after time; the public believes the next new set of ‘facts’.
And I am not for a minute suggesting that the Russian media is in any way free of the propaganda and lies that Western media indulge in daily; the difference for western publics, is that they are a new set of lies- or ‘half-truths’, or simply a different perspective. Hence they are extremely valuable in helping Westerners determine what the possible ‘real’ reality might be.
We have seen increasingly hysterical and far-fetched outbursts from Western politicians and their mainstream media (MSM) allies about ‘fake news ‘ because MSM is failing to deliver the goods to them. The public is slowly but increasingly becoming aware of other perspectives on international events; the open internet plays a very significant role in this. ‘Brexit’ was a prime example where enormous resources were poured into convincing the UK public that exiting the EU would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to them-and yes the majority of voters voted for Brexit! In the U.S., the presidential election saw an astonishingly powerful alignment of MSM , politicians, celebrities etc lined up against Trump- and yes- using the archaic electoral college system, he won! The constantly repeated refrain about evil Assad and Putin in Syria and Aleppo has become to fray at the edges as many westerners see the Aleppan public dancing in the streets as the rebels are ‘evacuated’ to other places, and the true savagery of the ‘moderate rebels’ unveiled.
There is panic in Western political circles. What if the public really could make up its own mind, using multiple and divergent sources of information?
Russia therefore becomes a convenient bogey-man- haven’t we always feared the barbaric, savage and primitive Russian Bear? The consequence of using ‘external’ bogey-men is that politicians and media therefore imply that if you dont agree with their version of events, you must have been subtly manipulated by Communist (whoops!) I mean Russian, propaganda. The dangerous next implication, is that we have a fifth column in our midst; people who are not ‘true patriots’ because they dont believe the ‘correct’ party line..
The other hugely significant implication of the U.S Intelligence fear-mongering, is that if a a foreign media outlet indicates any support for one side or other of a political debate or election it is somehow undermining that country’s democracy. The implication being that all foreign media should have slavishly endorsed the Hilary campaign ( 99% of which did so as ordered)
The recent accusations by President Obama , the Democrat Party and others that Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin) hacked Democrat emails to discredit Hillary Clinton in the presidential election are outlined in the State Department media release . The very reputable US based WordPress IT website ‘Wordfence’ concludes that the State Dept information provided is implausible in its intent to show that the hacking (if it occurred) , was Russian, and that the sources quoted in the State Dept memo are in fact outdated Ukrainian malware) https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/
Overall Conclusion The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.
The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.
Rinf.com argues that Cloudstrike– the company contracted by the Democrat Party to investigate the ‘hacks” , and also the sole source of the State Dept info on the ‘hacks’, is strongly connected to the Ukrainian regime in Kiev , which is strongly ant-Russian for obvious reasons. We appear to be seeing, as we have time and time again, the U.S. ‘intelligence’ community being easily or (willingly ) conned by hostile vested interests determined to create hostilities where none are needed: think the Kuwaiti scam on Saddam’s Iraqi soldiers bayoneting incubator babies, the Libyan scam on Ghadaffi’s forces using viagra to rape civilians… the list goes on and on. Combine the lack of inteligence and analytical skills of the U.S. intelligence community with a deeply ingrained psyche that considers violence and war as the solution to everything, we have a problem….The current massing of hundreds of American tanks and other weaponry in the Baltic states is signalling that the U.S. war machine intends to strike soon .
Now that Eastern Aleppo has been finally retaken by Syrian government troops and their allies after 4 years of war there, we see a curious phenomenon in the Western press. Rather than applauding the return to peace for the millions of civilians in Western Aleppo and a potential return to some normalcy for the few remaining in Eastern Alleppo, we are instead treated to ongoing accusations from ‘rebel’ sources of massacres; statements that cannot be verified in any way because the reporters are not on the ground in Syria, and statements which are intended to undermine the Assad victory. We are also told in each of these mainstream reports that ‘the war will go on regardless’- one might be forgiven for thinking that those journalists and media outlets are actually wanting the war to continue?
We know that Western governments and the Gulf State dictatorships have poured millions of dollars, not only into arming and training the ‘rebels’ of any affiliation in Syria over the past five years- but also poured millions into a huge propaganda network designed to convince the Western public that Al Qaeda in Syria is in fact moderate and cuddly and that only the Syrian government forces do terrible things.
This is a brutal war without question. Both sides have committed atrocities and enormous devastation: to pretend otherwise is to be blind to the costs of war.
But it is absolutely clear that without the ongoing Western government resourcing of salafist extremists in Syria this war would have been long over.
This war was not inevitable; it was a deliberate decision by Western governments to overthrow Assad; firstly , because the Syrian government opposes the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights heights and secondly because their allies; the Gulf dictatorships of Saudi Arabia , Qatar and UAE see a secular Syria under Assad as a threat to their support for the Wahhabist sunni extremist doctrine espoused by Al Qaeda and ISIS, and thereby alters their power play against shi-ite Iran.
I for one, hope that peace will prevail over the dogs of war.
As of 15th December, mainstream media are now reporting that Chinese green buses are now transporting some of the remaining East Aleppo rebels and their families to Idlib province and possibly Turkey. This is going to make the ongoing reporting of massacres and pictures of carefully cement dust covered babies, that much harder for Western PR agencies to make plausible for the western public. The ruthless evil dictator Assad granting amnesty to the poor defenceless rebels?- that doesnt quite add up…? hmmm
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have put huge resources, not only into funding and paying for anti-Shiite Salafist soldiers in Syria, but also into resourcing a vast media campaign to attack Iran and the IRGC for its role in supporting the Assad regime.
With the imminent defeat of the Saudi funded jihadists in Aleppo, the Saudis are facing a huge hit to their morale and international standing- especially when taken alongside their disastrous war in Yemen, which increasingly is seen to be a humanitarian human rights genocidal campaign against the Yemen people. The anti-Iran campaign now means that it will be considered internationally that Iran has in effect, defeated the Saudis in Syria. This is however, not the true state of affairs; while Iran’s IRGC has played a significant role in Syria over the past two years, their role does not appear to have been a game changer- despite the Iranian hype about the famed General Suleiman and his soldiers.
With the likely defeat of all opposition forces in Eastern Aleppo in the next few weeks, those 25,000 battle-hardened SAA (Syrian Government) soldiers in action there can now be deployed elsewhere in Syria. This re-deployment will likely result in the final defeat of the majority of forces aligned with the Saudis and Qataris and trained by Western governments in the Jordanian ‘rebel’ camps. The “King’ of Jordan will now have to make some considerable contortions in order to ‘make up’ with Assad – but it’s quite possible that those jihadis escaping back over the Jordanian border will now make a serious attempt to overthrow another of the West’s pawns in the Middle East. Additionally, those rebels of European origin, which Western intelligence agencies have been facilitating into Syria for the past five years, are also likely to return to their native European countries bringing their carefully honed military skills and sectarian hatreds with them.
Should the Assad regime succeed in pacifying the majority of Syria , the huge resources put into destabilising Syria by the George Soros business empire, the French, the U.K., Turkey and the U.S., means that their corporate intent to profit from re-building the Syria they have destroyed, will have come to nothing. Chinese and Russian businesses are now well placed to do that.
And Saudi Arabia, has by its attempts to play Iran as the key evil agent in Syria , almost literally, shot itself in the foot- with a consequence that the whole Saudi regime is now likely to go gangrenous in a relatively short space of time. No wonder the UK is panicking in its absurd manipulation of MSM media coverage of the Syrian war! The loss of the Saudi ‘kingdom’ to UK control and arms sales, would be a catastrophic loss for those who hold the puppet-strings of power in Whitehall and ‘The City’. Should the Qatari regime also be brought down in the aftermath of a SAA victory, the implications for Western influence in the Middle East will be huge.
Given that Egypt now appears to be wavering towards supporting the Assad regime and the Russians, there are serious international re-alignments happening. Even the wily but somewhat deranged President Erdogan of Turkey is admitting that his long-term interests no longer lie with being antagonistic to Russia – particularly if the oil pipeline from Russia to Europe can run through his backyard!
Early prognostications were that the EU and US sanctions against Russia, (ostensibly for their Crimean ‘invasion’) would cripple the Russian economy. With the shift of economic focus of Russia towards the East and China’s One Belt Road, the impacts of the sanctions have been somewhat reduced, and the medium term economic outlook for Russia now looks considerably more rosy than even the worst dreams of U.S. neocons .
For the Chinese, the increasing hysteria coming from the US about China’s growing power, economically and militarily, is now being mitigated by the rapid development of the ‘One Belt Road’ This new high-speed overland trade route to Russia and the West means that China will, in the near future, be somewhat insulated from the increasing risks of Western warships blockading its trade routes to the outside world. Bizarrely the U.K. government in London is now also sending its aging warships to the South China Sea (shades of the ‘Opium Wars’). Commercial engagement in a revitalised Syria is just one part the Chinese are likely to play in their resurgent role in the Middle East.
In short, the battle for Aleppo is one symptom of the shifting power alignments in the world. A victory for Assad and his allies implies a significant change in the ways of the world for the medium to long term.