As Donald Trump has announced: ‘Qatar has been funding terrorism at a very high level”. Trump is of course correct; Qatar has been funding training and arming jihadists across the Middle East and the Western world for many years. However, funding terrorists is not Qatar’s sin for the Saudis , the Americans and the British. Qatar’s crime is that they not only support Hamas to respond to Israeli terror against the Palestinians , but they also have a distant alliance with Iran promarily via their shared Pars field gas resource; and, to cap it all off, are now agreeing to sell some gas in non-US dollars!
The reality is that a few deaths on London Bridge or somewhere else in Europe are simply collateral damage; worth it, in the bigger interest of huge kickbacks from the Saudis, and Israel’s backers in the States and the U.K. .. This is purely and simply about money. The festering cesspool of British/American mainstream politics and their respective ‘intelligence’ units , is all about money- what’s a few blown-up innocent citizens compared to the billions that can be made through arms deals, oil deals and kickbacks?-with the added benefit of de-stabilising the one final disruptor to Israel’s’ plans to once and for good ‘solve’ the Palestinian question- by removing Iran and their allies Hezbollah and to some degree Hamas.
As Angry Arab notes: If Western media want to really serve their readers in their (lousy) coverage of the Gulf crisis, they would adhere to those two basic standards of professional journalism: 1) they would tell their readers while interviewing academics, journalists, or “citizens” in UAE or Saudi Arabia or Qatar that opposition the government or disagreeing with the government in tweets or in retweets would land you in jail for up to 15 years with a hefty fine. They would tell them people in those countries are not free to express views different form the government. 2) they would tell readers when they cite “experts” at DC think thanks that those think tanks are all funded by UAE and/or Saudi Arabia (except Brookings which is funded by Qatar). These are basics.’
As one more US aircraft carrier steams off to confront the North Koreans and threaten nuclear war once again , it is timely to recall that 60 years ago the United States and its allies (including a very compliant New Zealand) began a genocidal bombing of every town and city in the north of Korea. Millions of Koreans died. Since that war ended, the largest and nuclear superpower in the world has refused to sign a peace treaty with North Korea, has stationed thousands of troops and weapons along its South Korean border and has regularly threatened to nuke North Korea, applied annual large scale attack manoeuvres along the border with North Korea, as well as implementing sanctions that in several years since the war, caused mass starvation in the north. Small wonder that the North Korean regime might be considered paranoid and unstable!
Ironically, the United States has absolutely no interest in the Korean peninsula and its peoples; its sole rationale for maintaining the ongoing conflict with North Korea is to justify maintaining the extensive military bases encircling China, with the support of the Japanese. China has recently proposed“As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” but this eminently reasonable offer has been once again refused by the United States because it would reduce the threat to China.
While the latest American President is also considered unstable and unreliable, it is important to recognise that every American president’s foreign policy since the 1900s has almost entirely consisted of a psychopathic policy of violence and war and repeated acts of genocide:- in the Philippines, at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Korea, Vietnam and Laos, in Iraq, and Libya, as well as support for unspeakable acts of murder and terror in South America . Its full logistical and weaponry support for the starvation of millions of Yemen ‘s children by Saudi Arabia because they do not share the Saudi regime’s extremist and sectarian Wahhabist views, (ably supported in this war of terror by its sycophantic ally, the United Kingdon), tells you exactly where the United States’ current moral and ethical foreign policy stands.
The old fiction of the “Shining City Upon a Hill” – an American beacon of hope, democracy, liberty and freedom , has been ceaselessly trotted out by American Presidents over the years and regurgitated by the American mainstream media. Now the facade of that shining city is falling away;-exposing the house of horrors within.
United States foreign policy does not recognise the international rules of war or human rights obligations; it stands above any necessity for humanity or compassion or peaceful solution to conflicts. It is in fact, a rogue state.
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
Obama’s legacy; and this may well be his prime legacy- and one he may remember in his older years as he stands before the International War Crimes Tribunal, (once its decisions are no longer controlled by the U.S. State Department), was his omnipotent capacity to decide who shall live and who shall die by drone anywhere in the world, based on limited pieces of information provided on baseball cards. (a kind of Roman Emperor type role: – thumbs- up or down at the Coliseum)
Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over-reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront. The Intercept
One might almost be forgiven therefore for coming to the conclusion that the intent of the U.S. targeted killing process is not to eliminate the sources of terror, but to exacerbate them.
As we have seen in many a colonial war, those who ‘hand in’ terrorists to the colonial power inevitably have their own agendas; feuding families and clans, or perhaps financial or property interests, but rarely because they are in fact ‘terrorists”. In addition we can be certain that US military and State Dept claims of minimal ‘collateral damage’ (accidental killing of civilians who get in the way of a drone missile’s large detonation area) are complete fabrications. And we can be certain too that drone operators have less than minimal knowledge of foreign cultural issues- e.g. the difference between a wedding party celebrating by firing automatic weapons into the air and a terrorist group in weapons training , let alone their drone “eyes” having sufficient definition to pick up who is who on the ground.
So, when dear President Obama gives the thumbs down on that particular baseball card, he really has no idea what he is agreeing to; other than that his decision will kill someone or more likely , quite a few people, out there . But of course, if that Hellfire missile with its 9kg warhead just happens to kill a few other ‘military-age males’ in the vicinity of the explosion, all to the good. By using remote killing mechanisms the US president can appear to take a Herod-like hands-off approach to the art of murder, with the added benefit of limited capacity of verifying what carnage has actually occurred on the ground.
In addition the United States’ penchant for targeting supposed ‘leaders’ of terrorist groups, rather than their supply lines, infrastructure or financial backers, means that drones can be used over and over to kill the next leader who takes the deceased’s place in the leadership line; or as in many cases , the United States simply ‘kills’ the same person over and over again; such is the usefulness of remote unverified killing.
Sadly, van Buren’s parting lines are not about the millions of tortured, raped, and murdered civilians of that trail of “dark skinned’ countries the US has invaded over the past 50 years; it is commiseration for those few hundred thousand US soldiers who have been put in “impossible” environments by those in the “highest seats of power”.
As van Buren notes: The issue is not so much how/when/should we assign blame and punishment to an individual soldier, but to raise the stakes and ask: why have we not assigned blame and demanded punishment for the leaders who put those 19-year-old soldiers into the impossible situations they faced? Before we throw away the life of a kid who shot when he should not have done so, why don’t we demand justice for those in the highest seats of power for creating wars that create such fertile ground for atrocity? The chain of responsibility for the legacy left behind in our wars runs high.
Every one of those soldiers had the opportunity to refuse to fight; every one of those soldiers had the opportunity to refuse to commit atrocities- but failed to do so. The responsibilities for murder and massacre run at all levels of our white-skinned colonial societies. The assumptions of superiority, of “rightness” and ultimately simply pure racism, are endemic at every level of Western society. They are our sins which cannot be absolved, and for which we are likely to pay dearly once the tables are turned in another decade or two, when western economies will no longer rule the world and determine the ‘game’.
Even now, almost forty years after the end of the Vietnam war, the US government and most of it’s citizens, refuse to acknowledge the massive war crimes of at least a million Vietnamese deaths carried out by the US in the name of rolling back a fictional red tide of asian dominos, through carpet bombing, chemical warfare and systemic atrocity after atrocity.
It is time for all countries to acknowledge that for us all to live peaceful fulfilled lives on a sustainable planet, that we have no rights to control other human beings to behave in the way we think they “should” behave through force-nor indeed any rights of force over any other species on this planet.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Forty years after the secret U.S. bombing that devastated Laos, heirs to the war’s deadly legacy of undetonated explosives are touring America to prod the conscience of the world’s most powerful nation for more help to clear up the mess.
Note the casual throwaway line ” The U.S. dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos over a nine-year period up to 1973 — more than on Germany and Japan during World War II.”