Posts tagged ‘Control of the “Great Middle East”’

Where will all this lead us to ?……

……… it seems to me that things are starting to get more and more serious in eastern Europe .

the west is just poking and poking that Russian Bear ,

wherever they can lately…..

is stupid really as stupid does ?

 

after this pathetic attempt, now of course they are waiting for a civil and diplomatic reaction from RU ……

Are Russia and China the ultimate goal ?

………seems so !

via twitter

Welcome to Nulandistan: Propaganda and the Crisis in Ukraine !

Meanwhile,

Africans die like flies trying to cross the Mediterranean for safety when M. Gaddafi had warned US/EU about;”that his removal would have catastrophic consequences for Europe and North Africa”!

but they knew better anyway .

Now thanks to UN/NATO and their regional mercenary “ally”support Libya was bombed into a 20th. Century Democracy stone age following Iraq and Afghanistan on their path as a late failed state.

other parts of the Greater Middle East already are in flames and ruins .

 

……….the one who preaches war will never have peace !

 

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK SPEAKING 2007 ON IRAN, LIBYA, SYRIA, IRAQ, AFRICA AND 911 …….

Can you handle the truth ?

Here’s that famous “US will bomb 7 countrys in 5 years” speech from Gen. Wesley Clark again .

A must watch ………….

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David Icke – Syria:The Truth (Viewer Discretion Advised) ….

If you want to go to heaven, you had better get busy overthrowing Syria ………

The United States government has been at war for eleven years. The US military destroyed Iraq, leaving the country and millions of lives in ruins and releasing sectarian blood-letting that had been kept in check by the secular Saddam Hussein government. On any given day in “liberated” Iraq, the death toll is as high as during the height of the US attempted occupation.

In Afghanistan eleven years of US attempted occupation has had no more success than a decade of Soviet occupation. The Afghans are still not worn down despite more than two decades of war with the two superpowers. Like the Soviets, the Americans have managed to kill many women, children, and village elders, but precious few warriors. In place of the Soviet puppet government there is Washington’s puppet government. That is the only change, and Washington’s puppet is no more secure than the Soviet one was.

In Libya, Washington used its corrupt NATO puppets and CIA-recruited bandits to overthrow another stable government, that of Muammar Gaddafi, leaving Libya mired in sectarian violence. A stable prosperous country has simply been destroyed by western governments that profess human rights values and condemn China and Russia for not having any.

Washington has also been killing civilians with drones and air strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, two countries with which Washington is not at war but has purchased the governments, paying the Pakistani and Yemeni governments for the right to murder their citizens and destabilizing both countries in the process.

And now in Syria Washington is at work destroying another stable secular government headed by a British trained eye doctor.

Washington’s eleven years of illegal aggression against Muslim countries–war crimes according to the Nuremberg trials of Nazis–have resulted in civilian deaths far in excess of military casualties and in a domestic American police state that has destroyed the rule of law and the constitutional protections of US citizens. Washington and its presstitutes have emphasized that these costs are necessary to save Americans from al-Qaeda terrorists, none of whom have ever been apprehended in the United States.

Having listened to the propaganda line pumped out by Washington and its Ministry of Propaganda for eleven years, imagine my astonishment when I saw two juxtaposed headlines: “Al-Nusra pledges allegiance to al-Qaeda” (BBC) and “Move to Widen Help for Syrian Rebels Gains Speed in West” (NY Times). Al-Nusra is the main military component of the “Syrian rebels,” and it has allied itself with our mortal enemy–Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.

Wait a minute! Our government told us for eleven years that we blew trillions of dollars on wars to protect Americans from al-Qaeda, endangering Social Security, Medicare, the social safety net, the dollar’s exchange value, the credit rating of the US Treasury, and our civil liberties in order to save America from al-Qaeda terrorists. So why is Washington now supporting al-Qaeda’s overthrow of the secular, non-Islamist government in Syria which has never ever done anything whatsoever to Americans!?

The New York Times presstitutes, Michael R. Gordon and Mark Landler, elevated the terrorist al-Qaeda organization to the status of “the Syrian opposition.” At a lunch meeting hosted by Washington’s puppet, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and US Secretary of State John Kerry, “the Syrian opposition,” aka al-Qaeda, requested antiaircraft and antitank weapons. A senior Washington official said: “Our assistance has been on an upward trajectory, and the president (Obama) has directed his national security team to identify additional measures so that we can increase assistance.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a $123 million “defense aid package” to “the Syrian opposition” that now includes al-Qaeda. Washington had already sent $117 million in “food and medical supplies” to “the Syrian opposition,” and ordered its Middle Eastern puppets to send arms. Note the Orwellian language: support for an outside terrorist force seeking to destroy a government and a people is called a “defense aid package.”

On April 11 the establishment French newspaper, Le Monde, reported that the al-Nosra organization affiliated with al-Qaeda is the dominant force in “the Syrian opposition,” not democratic revolutionaries. Despite this fact, Washington’s puppets, France and Britain, are pushing the European Union to send arms to the al-Qaeda affiliated “Syrian opposition.” And Senator John McCain wants US airstrikes on Syrian government forces with whom the US is not at war, in order to provide air cover for al-Qaeda’s takeover of Syria.

Meanwhile, the Islamist Shiites, whom the Americans left in control of Iraq, have announced that they have joined the battle against the American-supported al-Qaeda forces seeking to radicalize Syria.

So far at last count, the UN reports that the military attack on Syria organized by Washington’s proxies has killed 70,000 people. But americans are preoccupied with the Boson Marathon bombing, which killed 3.

Once again “the indispensable people” are bringing death and destruction to an entire country in order to bring to the dead “freedom and democracy.” No Syrian asked for this “liberation” from his life.

Be a Proud American. We are doing our duty to our rightful hegemony over the world and to Israel, which has purchased our government. It is our right to be the hegemonic power on the planet earth, and that includes the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore it is Washington’s right to overthrow Syria in order to get rid of the Russian naval base there. The Romans would never have put up with a foreign power having a naval base in the Mediterranean, and we can do no less, unless we are some kind of pansy state afraid of our own shadow. The Mediterranean was mare nostrum–our sea–for the Romans. Now it is our sea, and by god we are going to claim it by overthrowing Syria.

Israel, of course, was given the rights to “Greater Israel” by God himself–who am I to question the Christian Zionist preachers who are growing fat on Israeli money–and part of “Greater Israel” is the river in southern Lebanon that supplies precious water.

Hizbollah, provisioned by Syria and Iran has prevented Israel from confiscating southern Lebanon in order to acquire the water rights that God gave them. Therefore, to fulfill our obligations as Israel’s puppet, we are required to destroy both Syria and Iran so that Hizbollah is isolated and out of the way and “Greater Israel” can be created.

The Christian Zionist churches in the US repeat this message every Sunday. If you don’t believe it, you are some kind of anti-american anti-semite and should be exterminated. Or you could be a despicable Muslim terrorist to be waterboarded into confession. Homeland Security will make short work of you just like they did to those Russian Muslim terrorists in Boston who tried to blow up the Marathon race.

I mean, really, how can we indispensable people bring freedom and democracy to the world if the Russians have a naval base in our sea? How can we project strength if we project such weakness by permitting a foreign power’s presence in our exclusive sphere of influence many thousands of miles away from our borders. Don’t forget, America’s borders are the world’s borders. It says so in our song–”From sea to shining sea.” Don’t forget it.

Of course, we don’t want to go head-to-head with another well armed nuclear military power, but the way around that is to demonize the Syrian government and Russia for supporting an eye doctor who is “a brutal dictator” who is resisting an Islamist al-Qaeda takeover of Syria financed by Washington. Our masters in Washington can use the UN and all our well-paid puppet states to pressure the Russians to shut up and get out of our way. I mean, really, does Putin want all those Russian NGOs that we finance to bring their operatives out onto the streets in Moscow and bring down his government? I mean, really, who does Putin think he is standing up to our god-given hegemony over the world, much less Israel’s god-given hegemony over the Middle East? I mean, Putin is in for it, and so are those goddamn Chinese. I mean, really, who do they think they are? Americans? Don’t those Chinks know about our control of the Pacific? I mean, really, are they out to lunch?

And, I mean, really, how can all us get to heaven if we don’t do God’s will and deliver the Middle East to Israel as Israel says the scriptures require. I mean, really, do you want to oppose God and burn in hell? Instead of all those virgins Muslims promise you, you will be devoured by fire. You better get on the right side before you die.

I mean, really, who wants this fate. We had better get rid of Syria sooner than ordered.
If we don’t do what Israel tells us God requires, we are finished. That’s for sure.

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Ten Years on, Iraqis ‘Have No Future’ ………

http://original.antiwar.com

Dahr Jamail and Nick Turse

by , March 27, 2013

Operation Iraqi Freedom

In the lead-up to the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush made a promise.  “The Iraqi people can be certain of this,” he said. “The United States is committed to helping them build a better future.”  A decade later, his successor, Barack Obama, seemed to suggest the U.S. had kept its end of the bargain.  On the 10th anniversary of the invasion, he lauded U.S. troops who, he insisted, gave the Iraqi people “an opportunity to forge their own future after many years of hardship.”

A promise made, a promised kept. Mission accomplished, right?

But what happened to the “better future” for the untold number of Iraqis who died in the charnel house that resulted from the American invasion?  Where can we find the “better future” of the nine-year-old girl killed by an air strike in Baghdad‘s Al-Nasser marketplace on March 28, 2003?  Or the 12-year-old boy killed by a car bomb in Al-Ula market in Baghdad’s Sadr City on July 1, 2006?  Or Dawoud Nouri’s eight-year-old daughter who was beheaded in Kirkuk on April 21, 2007?  What happened to their opportunities “to forge their own future”?

According to a recent report from the Costs of War Project at Brown University, at least 123,000-134,000 Iraqi civilians have died “as a direct consequence of the war’s violence since the March 2003 invasion.”  In fact, while the U.S. military left Iraq in 2011 and war supporters have advanced a counterfeit history of success there — owing to then-General (now disgraced former CIA director) David Petraeus’s military “surge” of 2007 — the war’s brutal legacy lives on.  Last year, the casualty watchdog group Iraq Body Count tallied 4,570 Iraqi civilian deaths from violence, a small increase over the death toll from 2011.

And on the day of Obama’s 10th anniversary announcement, car bombs and other attacks killed and wounded hundreds in the Iraqi capital Baghdad alone.  Add to these numbers the countless wounded of the last decade and the approximately 2.8 million Iraqis who, to this day, remain refugees outside the country or internally displaced within it and the words of both presidents ring hollow indeed.

Today, Dahr Jamail, who, in the early years of the American occupation of Iraq, covered that country’s nightmare in a way that few other American reporters even tried to do, returns to its still war-torn streets to do what he does best: give voice to the men and women who were promised those bright futures by America’s commanders-in-chief.  The Iraq they speak of, not surprisingly, bears little resemblance to the fantasyland touted by America’s recent presidents.  And their thoughts, for the years ahead, seem to fall somewhere between fatalism and nihilism. “Hardship” is hardly in the past and a “better future” appears nowhere in sight on a dim road filled with sectarian tensions, despair, lack of basic services, and the urge for revenge.  An “opportunity to forge their own future”? Tell it to the dead. Nick Turse

Living with No Future 
Iraq, 10 Years Later
By Dahr Jamail

Back then, everybody was writing about Iraq, but it’s surprising how few Americans, including reporters, paid much attention to the suffering of Iraqis.  Today, Iraq is in the news again. The words, the memorials, the retrospectives are pouring out, and again the suffering of Iraqis isn’t what’s on anyone’s mind.  This was why I returned to that country before the recent 10th anniversary of the Bush administration’s invasion and why I feel compelled to write a few grim words about Iraqis today.

But let’s start with then. It’s April 8, 2004, to be exact, and I’m inside a makeshift medical center in the heart of Fallujah while that predominantly Sunni city is under siege by American forces. I’m alternating between scribbling brief observations in my notebook and taking photographs of the wounded and dying women and children being brought into the clinic.

A woman suddenly arrives, slapping her chest and face in grief, wailing hysterically as her husband carries in the limp body of their little boy. Blood is trickling down one of his dangling arms. In a few minutes, he’ll be dead.  This sort of thing happens again and again.

Over and over, I watch speeding cars hop the curb in front of this dirty clinic with next to no medical resources and screech to a halt.  Grief-stricken family members pour out, carrying bloodied relatives — women and children — gunned down by American snipers.

One of them, an 18-year-old girl has been shot through the neck by what her family swears was an American sniper. All she can manage are gurgling noises as doctors work frantically to save her from bleeding to death.  Her younger brother, an undersized child of 10 with a gunshot wound in his head, his eyes glazed and staring into space, continually vomits as doctors race to keep him alive. He later dies while being transported to a hospital in Baghdad.

According to the Bush administration at the time, the siege of Fallujah was carried out in the name of fighting something called “terrorism” and yet, from the point of view of the Iraqis I was observing at such close quarters, the terror was strictly American. In fact, it was the Americans who first began the spiraling cycle of violence in Fallujah when U.S. troops from the 82nd Airborne Division killed 17 unarmed demonstrators on April 28th of the previous year outside a school they had occupied and turned into a combat outpost. The protesters had simply wanted the school vacated by the Americans, so their children could use it. But then, as now, those who respond to government-sanctioned violence are regularly written off as “terrorists.” Governments are rarely referred to in the same terms.

10 Years Later

Jump to March 2013 and that looming 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion.  For me, that’s meant two books and too many news articles to count since I first traveled to that country as the world’s least “embedded” reporter to blog about a U.S. occupation already spiraling out of control. Today, I work for the Human Rights Department of Al Jazeera English, based out of Doha, Qatar.  And once again, so many years later, I’ve returned to the city where I saw all those bloodied and dying women and children.  All these years later, I’m back in Fallujah.

Today, not to put too fine a point on it, Iraq is a failed state, teetering on the brink of another sectarian bloodbath, and beset by chronic political deadlock and economic disaster.  Its social fabric has been all but shredded by nearly a decade of brutal occupation by the U.S. military and now by the rule of an Iraqi government rife with sectarian infighting.

Every Friday, for 13 weeks now, hundreds of thousands have demonstrated and prayed on the main highway linking Baghdad and Amman, Jordan, which runs just past the outskirts of this city.

Sunnis in Fallujah and the rest of Iraq’s vast Anbar Province are enraged at the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki because his security forces, still heavily staffed by members of various Shia militias, have been killing or detaining their compatriots from this region, as well as across much of Baghdad.  Fallujah’s residents now refer to that city as a “big prison,” just as they did when it was surrounded and strictly controlled by the Americans.

Angry protesters have taken to the streets. “We demand an end to checkpoints surrounding Fallujah.  We demand they allow in the press.  We demand they end their unlawful home raids and detentions.  We demand an end to federalism and gangsters and secret prisons!” So Sheikh Khaled Hamoud Al-Jumaili, a leader of the demonstrations, tells me just prior to one of the daily protests. “Losing our history and dividing Iraqis is wrong, but that, and kidnapping and conspiracies and displacing people, is what Maliki is doing.”

The sheikh went on to assure me that millions of people in Anbar province had stopped demanding changes in the Maliki government because, after years of waiting, no such demands were ever met.   “Now, we demand a change in the regime instead and a change in the constitution,” he says. “We will not stop these demonstrations. This one we have labeled ‘last chance Friday’ because it is the government’s last chance to listen to us.”

“What comes next,” I ask him, “if they don’t listen to you?”

“Maybe armed struggle comes next,” he replies without pause.

Predictably, given how the cycle of violence, corruption, injustice, and desperation has become part of daily life in this country, that same day, a Sunni demonstrator was gunned down by Iraqi security forces.  Lieutenant General Mardhi al-Mahlawi, commander of the Iraqi Army’s Anbar Operations Command, said the authorities would not hesitate to deploy troops around the protest site again “if the protesters do not cooperate.”  The following day, the Maliki government warned that the area was becoming “a haven for terrorists,” echoing the favorite term the Americans used during their occupation of Fallujah.

Today’s Iraq

In 2009, I was in Fallujah, riding around in the armored BMW of Sheikh Aifan, the head of the then-U.S.-backed Sunni militias known as the Sahwa forces. The Sheikh was an opportunistic, extremely wealthy “construction contractor” and boasted that the car we rode in had been custom built for him at a cost of nearly half a million dollars.

Two months ago, Sheikh Aifan was killed by a suicide bomber, just one more victim of a relentless campaign by Sunni insurgents targeting those who once collaborated with the Americans.  Memories in Iraq are long these days and revenge remains on many minds.  The key figures in the Maliki regime know that if it falls, as is likely one day, they may meet fates similar to Sheikh Aifan’s.  It’s a convincing argument for hanging onto power.

In this way, the Iraq of 2013 staggers onward in a climate of perpetual crisis toward a future where the only givens are more chaos, more violence, and yet more uncertainty.  Much of this can be traced to Washington’s long, brutal, and destructive occupation, beginning with the installation of former CIA asset Ayad Allawi as interim prime minister.  His hold on power quickly faltered, however, after he was used by the Americans to launch their second siege of Fallujah in November 2004, which resulted in the deaths of thousands more Iraqis, and set the stage for an ongoing health crisis in the city due to the types of weapons used by the U.S. military.

In 2006, after Allawi lost political clout, then-U.S. ambassador to Iraq neoconservative Zalmay Khalilzad tapped Maliki as Washington’s new prime minister. It was then widely believed that he was the only politician whom both the U.S. and Iran could find acceptable.  As one Iraqi official sarcastically put it, Maliki was the product of an agreement between “the Great Satan and the Axis of Evil.”

In the years since, Maliki has become a de facto dictator. In Anbar Province and parts of Baghdad, he is now bitterly referred to as a “Shia Saddam.” Pictures of his less-than-photogenic face in front of an Iraqi flag hang above many of the countless checkpoints around the capital.  When I see his visage looming over us yet again as we sit in traffic, I comment to my fixer, Ali, that his image is now everywhere, just as Saddam’s used to be. “Yes, they’ve simply changed the view for us,” Ali replies, and we laugh. Gallows humor has been a constant in Baghdad since the invasion a decade ago.

It’s been much the same all over Iraq.  The U.S. forces that ousted Saddam Hussein’s regime immediately moved into his military bases and palaces. Now that the U.S. has left Iraq, those same bases and palaces are manned and controlled by the Maliki government.

Saddam Hussein’s country was notoriously corrupt.  Yet last year, Iraq ranked 169th out of 174 countries surveyed, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. It is effectively a failed state, with the Maliki regime incapable of controlling vast swaths of the country, including the Kurdish north, despite his willingness to use the same tactics once employed by Saddam Hussein and after him the Americans: widespread violence, secret prisons, threats, detentions, and torture.

Almost 10 years after U.S. troops entered a Baghdad in flames and being looted, Iraq remains one of the most dangerous places on Earth. There are daily bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations. The sectarianism instilled and endlessly stirred up by U.S. policy has become deeply, seemingly irrevocably embedded in the political culture, which regularly threatens to tip over into the sort of violence that typified 2006-2007, when upwards of 3,000 Iraqis were being slaughtered every month.

The death toll of March 11th was one of the worst of late and provides a snapshot of the increasing levels of violence countrywide.  Overall, 27 people were killed and many more injured in attacks across the country. A suicide car bomb detonated in a town near Kirkuk, killing eight and wounding 166 (65 of whom were students at a Kurdish secondary school for girls). In Baghdad, gunmen stormed a home where they murdered a man and woman. A shop owner was shot dead and a policeman was killed in a drive-by shooting in Ghazaliya. A civilian was killed in the Saidiya district, while a Sahwa member was gunned down in Amil. Three government ministry employees in the city were also killed.

In addition, gunmen killed two policemen in the town of Baaj, a dead body turned up in Muqtadiyah, where a roadside bomb also wounded a policeman. In the city of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, gunmen killed a blacksmith, and in the northern city of Mosul, a political candidate and a soldier were both killed in separate incidents. A local political leader in the town of Rutba in Anbar Province was shot and died of his injuries, and the body of a young man whose skull was crushed was found in Kirkuk a day after he was kidnapped. Gunmen also killed a civilian in Abu Saida.

And these are only the incidents reported in the media in a single day.  Others regularly don’t make it into the news at all.

The next day, Awadh, the security chief for Al Jazeera in Baghdad, was in a dark mood when he arrived at work.  “Yesterday, two people were assassinated in my neighborhood,” he said. “Six were assassinated around Baghdad. I live in a mixed neighborhood, and the threats of killing have returned. It feels like it did just before the sectarian war of 2006. The militias are again working to push people out of their homes if they are not Shia. Now, I worry everyday when my daughter goes to school. I ask the taxi driver who takes her to drop her close to the school, so that she is alright.” Then he paused a moment, held up his arms and added, “And I pray.”

“This Is Our Life Now”

Iraqis who had enough money and connections to leave the country have long since fled.  Harb, another fixer and dear friend who worked with me throughout much of my earlier reportage from Iraq, fled to Syria’s capital, Damascus, with his family for security reasons. When the uprising in Syria turned violent and devolved into the bloodbath it is today, he fled Damascus for Beirut. He is literally running from war.

Recent Iraqi government estimates put the total of “internally displaced persons” in Iraq at 1.1 million. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis remain in exile, but of course no one is counting.  Even those who stay often live as if they were refugees and act as if they are on the run.  Most of those I met on my most recent trip won’t even allow me to use their real names when I interview them.

My first day in the field this time around, I met with Isam, another fixer I’d worked with nine years ago. His son narrowly escaped two kidnapping attempts, and he has had to change homes four times for security reasons. Once he was strongly opposed to leaving Iraq because, he always insisted, “this is my country, and these are my people.” Now, he is desperate to find a way out. “There is no future here,” he told me. “Sectarianism is everywhere and killing has come back to Baghdad.”

He takes me to interview refugees in his neighborhood of al-Adhamiyah. Most of them fled their homes in mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods and towns during the sectarian violence of 2006 and 2007. Inside his cobbled-together brick house with a roof of tin sheeting held down with old tires, one refugee echoes Isam’s words: “There is no future for us Iraqis,” he told me. “Day by day our situation worsens, and now we expect a full sectarian war.”

Elsewhere, I interviewed 20-year-old Marwa Ali, a mother of two. In a country where electric blackouts are a regular event, water is often polluted, and waste of every sort litters neighborhoods, the stench of garbage and raw sewage wafted through the door of her home while flies buzzed about. “We have scorpions and snakes also,” she said while watching me futilely swat at the swarm of insects that instantly surrounded me. And she paused when she saw me looking at her children, a four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. “My children have no future,” she said. “Neither do I, and neither does Iraq.”

Shortly afterward, I met with another refugee, 55-year-old Haifa Abdul Majid. I held back tears when the first thing she said was how grateful she was to have food. “We are finding some food and can eat, and I thank God for this,” she told me in front of her makeshift shelter. “This is the main thing. In some countries, some people can’t even find food to eat.”

She, too, had fled sectarian violence, and had lost loved ones and friends. While she acknowledged the hardship she was experiencing and how difficult it was to live under such difficult circumstances, she continued to express her gratitude that her situation wasn’t worse.  After all, she said, she wasn’t living in the desert.  Finally, she closed her eyes and shook her head.  “We know we are in this bad situation because of the American occupation,” she said wearily. “And now it is Iran having their revenge on us by using Maliki, and getting back at Iraq for the [1980-1988] war with Iran. As for our future, if things stay like they are now, it will only keep getting worse. The politicians only fight, and they take Iraq down into a hole. For 10 years what have these politicians done? Nothing! Saddam was better than all of them.”

I asked her about her grandson.  “Always I wonder about him,” she replied. “I ask God to take me away before he grows up, because I don’t want to see it. I’m an old woman now and I don’t care if I die, but what about these young children?”  She stopped speaking, looked off into the distance, then stared at the ground.  There was, for her, nothing else to say.

I heard the same fatalism even from Awadh, Al Jazeera’s head of security.  “Baghdad is stressed,” he told me.  “These days you can’t trust anyone. The situation on the street is complicated, because militias are running everything. You don’t know who is who. All the militias are preparing for more fighting, and all are expecting the worst.”

As he said this, we passed under yet another poster of an angry looking Maliki, speaking with a raised, clenched fist.  “Last year’s budget was $100 billion and we have no working sewage system and garbage is everywhere,” he added. “Maliki is trying to be a dictator, and is controlling all the money now.”

In the days that followed, my fixer Ali pointed out new sidewalks, and newly planted trees and flowers, as well as the new street lights the government has installed in Baghdad. “We called it first the sidewalks government, because that was the only thing we could see that they accomplished.”  He laughed sardonically. “Then it was the flowers government, and now it is the government of the street lamps, and the lamps sometimes don’t even work!”

Despite his brave face, kind heart, and upbeat disposition, even Ali eventually shared his concerns with me.  One morning, when we met for work, I asked him about the latest news.  “Same old, same old,” he replied, “Kidnappings, killings, rapes. Same old, same old. This is our life now, everyday.”

“The lack of hope for the future is our biggest problem today,” he explained.  He went on to say something that also qualified eerily as another version of the “same old, same old.”  I had heard similar words from countless Iraqis back in the fall of 2003, as violence and chaos first began to engulf the country.  “All we want is to live in peace, and have security, and have a normal life,” he said, “to be able to enjoy the sweetness of life.”  This time, however, there wasn’t even a trace of his usual cheer, and not even a hint of gallows humor.

“All Iraq has had these last 10 years is violence, chaos, and suffering. For 13 years before that we were starved and deprived by [U.N. and U.S.] sanctions. Before that, the Kuwait War, and before that, the Iran War. At least I experienced some of my childhood without knowing war. I’ve achieved a job and have my family, but for my daughters, what will they have here in this country? Will they ever get to live without war? I don’t think so.”

For so many Iraqis like Ali, a decade after Washington invaded their country, this is the anniversary of nothing at all.

Dahr Jamail is a feature story staff writer and producer for the Human Rights Department of Al Jazeera English. Currently based in Doha, Qatar, Dahr has spent more than a year in Iraq, spread over a number of trips between 2003 and 2013. His reportage from Iraq, including for TomDispatch, has won him several awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism. He is the author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.

Copyright 2013 Dahr Jamail

This article was originally published at Tom Dispatch.

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America’s Secret Libya War (filed under: another faked revolution)……….

http://www.thedailybeast.com

Aug 30, 2011 2:12 AM EDT

The U.S. military has spent about $1 billion on Libya’s revolution, and secretly helped NATO with everything from munitions to surveillance aircraft. John Barry provides an exclusive look at Obama’s emerging ‘covert intervention’ strategy.

The U.S. military has spent about $1 billion so far and played a far larger role in Libya than it has acknowledged, quietly implementing an emerging “covert intervention” strategy that the Obama administration hopes will let America fight small wars with a barely detectable footprint.

Officially, President Obama handed the lead role of ousting Muammar Gaddafi to the European members of NATO. For this he was criticized by Washington war hawks who suggested that Europeans working with a ragtag team of Libyan rebels was a recipe for stalemate, not victory.
But behind the scenes, the U.S. military played an indispensable role in the Libya campaign, deploying far more forces than the administration chose to advertise. And at NATO headquarters outside Brussels, the U.S. was intimately involved in all decisions about how the Libyan rebels should be supported as they rolled up control of cities and oil refineries and marched toward the capital, Tripoli.

The Libya campaign was a unique international effort: 15 European nations working with the U.S. and three Arab nations. The air offensive was launched from 29 airbases in six European countries. But only six European nations joined with the U.S. and Canada to fly strikes against Gaddafi’s forces. The scale of the unpublicized U.S. role affirms hawks’ arguments: a divided NATO simply couldn’t have waged the war it did without extensive American help. What the hawks underestimated was the U.S. ability to operate without publicity—in military lingo, beneath the radar.

According to two senior NATO officials, one American and the other European, these were the critical U.S. contributions during the six-month military campaign:

• An international naval force gathered off Libya. To lower the U.S. profile, the administration elected not to send a supercarrier. Even so, the dozen U.S. warships on station were the biggest contingent in this armada. In the opening hours of the campaign, an American submarine, the USS Florida, launched 100 cruise missiles against Libyan air defenses, crucially opening an entry corridor for the airstrikes that followed.

obama-war-on-libya-barry
Left: Rebel fighters celebrate overrunning Gaddafi’s compound Bab al-Aziziya in Tripoli, on Aug. 24; President Obama (AP Photo)

• U.S. tanker aircraft refueled European aircraft on the great majority of missions against Gaddafi’s forces. The Europeans have tanker aircraft, but not enough to support a 24/7 air offensive averaging, by NATO count, around 100 missions a day, some 50 of them strike sorties. The U.S. flew 30 of the 40 tankers.

• When the Europeans ran low on precision-attack munitions, the U.S. quietly resupplied them. (That explains why European air forces flying F-16s—those of Norway, Denmark, Belgium—carried out a disproportionate share of the strikes in the early phase of the campaign. The U.S. had stocks of the munitions to resupply them. When Britain and France, which fly European-built strike aircraft, also ran short, they couldn’t use U.S.-made bombs until they had made hurried modifications to their aircraft.)

• To target Gaddafi’s military, NATO largely relied on U.S. JSTARS surveillance aircraft, which, flying offshore, could track the movements of rival forces. When more detailed targeting information was needed—as in the battles for Misrata and other towns defended by Gaddafi’s troops—the U.S. flew Predator drones to relay a block-by-block picture.

• U.S. Air Force targeting specialists were in NATO’s Naples operational headquarters throughout the campaign. They oversaw the preparing of “target folders” for the strikes in Tripoli against Gaddafi’s compound and the headquarters of his military and intelligence services. (Organizing precision strikes by high-speed jets is not a task for novices. The attack routes over Tripoli and the release times of bombs had to be precisely calibrated so munitions released even a second late by a strike aircraft would have the best chance of avoiding civilian homes.)

What seems to be evolving is a new American way of war.

• U.S. AWACS aircraft, high over the Mediterranean, handled much of the battle-management task, acting as air-traffic controllers on most of the strike missions. Again, the Europeans have AWACS, but not enough crews to handle an all-hours campaign lasting months.

• Eavesdropping by U.S. intelligence—some by aircraft, some by a listening post quietly established just outside Libya—gave NATO unparalleled knowledge of what Gaddafi’s military planned.

• All this was crucial in supporting the European effort. But U.S. involvement went way beyond that. In all, the U.S. had flown by late August more than 5,300 missions, by Pentagon count. More than 1,200 of these were strike sorties against Libyan targets.

• The administration largely stuck to Obama’s decision that the U.S. would not put boots on the ground in Libya (although the CIA did have agents inside Tripoli). British and French special forces were on the ground, training and organizing the insurgents—as were units from two Arab nations, Qatar and Jordan. But their communications relied on a satellite channel run by the U.S. And the U.S. also supplied other high-tech gear—NATO sources declined to describe it, but apparently it had never been given before, even to allied special forces.

• When a desperate Gaddafi began to launch Scud missiles into towns held by the opposition, a U.S. guided-missile destroyer offshore negated his offensive by shooting down the Scuds.

“President Obama may have taken the U.S. out of the direct combat role, but he certainly did not take American forces out of the front line,” Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute think tank, wrote in a recent analysis. “The European allies were hardly ‘going it alone’ in this operation.”

With the Pentagon facing deep budget cuts, the Libyan campaign will likely provoke a debate in Washington. There is zero appetite to repeat the massive interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the U.S. is still embroiled a decade later. The Libya campaign appears to offer an alternative. It hasn’t been cheap. The Pentagon estimates U.S. operations there cost $896 million through the end of July.

The good news is that the U.S. will be repaid for its assistance to the Europeans—everything from fuel for the aircraft to munitions and spare parts—which cost a further $222 million, the Pentagon estimates. And compared with Afghanistan, which is still costing the U.S. taxpayer roughly $10 billion a month, Gaddafi’s overthrow has been a bargain.

One senior NATO official pointed to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan at the end of 2001 as a precursor of the Libya campaign. In Afghanistan, U.S. special forces riding with Northern Alliance troops downloaded on their laptops satellite pictures of Taliban deployments over the next hill, and used their satphones and hand-held GPS targeting devices to call in airstrikes. The Taliban was overthrown in 63 days.

“That was a classic example of the U.S. using its technological supremacy to support local forces,” the official said. “Now we have Libya as another example.”

The campaign in Yemen provides a third example. For more than two years, U.S. special forces have been training and working with Yemeni troops to combat, among other insurgent groups, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The U.S. campaign in Yemen has used conventional weaponry on occasion: sorties by Harriers and even some cruise-missile strikes. But the burden of much of the campaign has fallen to special-forces units, supported by Predators.

The ongoing struggle in Pakistan is arguably yet another case study in what seems to be evolving as a new American way of war.

Predator strikes against alleged Taliban and allied Afghan insurgent groups massing in Pakistan have preoccupied international attention. But senior NATO officers in Kabul whisper that again “beneath the radar,” CIA paramilitary operatives are inside Pakistan, leading groups of locally recruited frontier tribesmen. They apparently supply much of the targeting information for the Predators—especially against senior Taliban and al Qaeda operatives, who reportedly are the main targets of these CIA-led bands. Their mission may go beyond reconnaissance. According to one senior NATO officer in Kabul, some strikes credited to Predators actually result from raids by this covert force.

The killing 10 days ago of al Qaeda’s operations chief, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, in the Pakistani frontier province of Waziristan, was the greatest single success in the campaign. U.S. officials attributed al-Rahman’s death to a Predator strike. But on the question of how he was identified and tracked, the officials were tight-lipped.

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

John Barry joined Newsweek‘s Washington bureau as national-security correspondent in 1985. He has reported extensively on American intervention in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti, Bosnia, Iraq, and Somalia and on efforts for peace in the Middle East. In 2002 he co-wrote The War Crimes of Afghanistan, which won a National Headliner Award. He won the 1993 Investigative Reporters & Editors Gold Medal for his investigation of the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes, as well as a 1983 British Press Award—the British equivalent of a Pulitzer—for his reconstruction of the U.S.-Soviet negotiations to ban intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

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Bashar al-Assad appeals to the Syrian People …………………..

by Thierry Meyssan
Voltaire Network | 14 January 2013

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France and the Gulf monarchies are bent on presenting Bashar al-Assad as a bloody tyrant and on blaming him for the 60 000 victims counted by the High Commissioner on Human Rights. Flipping this rhetoric, President al-Assad delivered a speech to the nation on January 6, 2012. He emerged as the leader of a country under attack from the outside and he pronounced the eulogy of the 60 000 martyrs. Symbolizing this claim, a Syrian flag composed of faces of the victims was deployed in the background during his speech.

This intervention was designed to provide concrete details on how to operationalize the peace plan negotiated between the White House and the Kremlin in the context of sharing the Middle East. Though the June 30th Geneva communiqué and the many contacts which followed define the general architecture of the plan, numerous details remain to be negotiated.

The idea of a transitional government headed by Bashar al-Assad and including opposition leaders has been accepted by all parties, with the exception of France and the Gulf monarchies. Paris, Riyadh and Doha continue to interpret the “transition” as the passage from a Syria presided by Bashar al-Assad to a Syria without him. By contrast, Washington, Moscow and Damascus interpret the “transition” as a process of pacification and reconciliation.

The Geneva Agreement establishes the principle of a government of national unity during the transition period. But the current constitution, which is presidential-type, does not allow it. Ministers are revocable at any time by the President as are the secretaries in the USA. Therefore, the creation of a government of national unity requires constitutional reform that gives guarantees to the opposition.

In his speech, Bashar al-Assad invited the opposition to develop with him a “national charter” that would provisionally amend the constitution to set the objectives and modus operandi of the government during the transition period. Stealing the thunder of the Europeans and of the Special envoy of the Secretary Generals of UN and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi, he has announced that the text would be submitted to a referendum. In other words the Syrian people will remain sovereign. Arrangements between the major powers, such as Mr. Brahimi had engineered at Taif at the end of the Lebanese civil war, placing the Land of the Cedars under foreign tutelage that continues to this day, is out of the question.

A second question is about the identification of the opposition. The United States created a national coalition that brings together Syrian personalities from the outside and which is considered representative of the people of Syria by many states. However, the National Coalition has no basis in the country and was formally rejected by the Free Syrian Army.

From the point of view of Damascus and Moscow, the National Coalition, being funded from abroad and having called on Westerners to bomb Syria can in no way participate in any government of national unity. Worse, from the perspective of Washington, the Coalition has committed an unpardonable sin: it has condemned the U.S. registration of the Al-Nusra Front (Al Qaeda branch in the Levant) on its list of terrorist organizations. Therefore, it has positioned itself on the side of terrorists, discrediting itself.

President al-Assad has therefore said that the government of National unity would include all political parties who defended the country throughout this war of aggression.

That is where, obviously, the words of President al-Assad are incompatible with U.S. State department rhetoric. As far as Damascus is concerned, the nation is attacked by self-proclaimed “jihadist” foreign forces. As for Washington, the country is facing a “civil war” in which foreign fighters interfere.

Nonetheless, these views are gradually approaching each other. By registering the al-Nusra Front on its list of terrorist organizations, Washington has de facto politically abandoned the Free Syrian Army. Even if some U.S. politicians differentiate the ASL from Al-Qaida, the main think tanks – including the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) –affirm on the contrary that the Al-Nusra Front is the main component of FSA and the only one having operational significance. Henceforth, it has become common in the United States to say that the “revolution has been hijacked” or that it has been “commadeered by jihadists.” Consequently, Washington can easily be accommodated by the Damascus position. The human rights rhetoric that required that al-Assad be deposed requires today that he be maintained in order to fight terrorism.

All this is of course greatly hypocritical. The new energy reality means that the United States no longer needs to grab Syrian gas; the triple veto of Russia and China has prevented the destruction of the country by NATO; and the Syrian Arab army has held in check the destabilization strategy devised by General David Petraeus. Washington seeks an honorable way out of this failed war. Bashar al-Assad has taken the cue on his own terms.

By calling on the Syrian people to take a position through a referendum, President Assad hits three targets with one stone: he reaffirms the sovereignty of his people denied by Westerners and the Gulf monarchies, he implicitly recalls that he is the only leader to have legitimacy through the ballot box, and he shakes up the agenda. Knowing that there will be no shortage of states questioning the sincerity of such a vote, Bashar el-Assad intends to use their complaints to hasten the deployment of United Nations forces to oversee the referendum and to end violence as quickly as possible. The President has avoided evoking a timeline for the national charter and for the referendum, hoping that the Security Council will propose one speedily.

Translation
Roger Lagassé

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