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US Interference: From Afghanistan to Syria

US interference in the Middle East and Asia did not start in 2001

Ziad Alzoghbi

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Long before Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria were attacked by the US Empire and its allies, these countries had something very important in common: They all had secular progressive nationalist sovereign governments with long established ties with the former Soviet Union, which is one of the reasons why the US has long planned to destroy them and turn them into client states.

They had an all inclusive society that respected and protected religious and ethnic minorities and women’s rights. Their economies were necessarily state controlled in order to protect against predatory western corporations that have destroyed and still are destroying national economies around the world in the name of the so-called free trade and open market policies.

After nearly four decades of war, death and destruction, it is now difficult to imagine Afghanistan before its tragic recent history. Up until the Soviet invasion of 1979 the country was indeed a secular country with a nationalist government and long proud history, where people lived their normal lives in peace. Contrary to current perception, women then had access to university education and pursued varied professional careers like their counterparts in any other twentieth century modern country.

Thanks to the overwhelmingly biased mainstream media there are many other myths about Afghanistan long held in the West, however, it is worth reading Jonathan Steele’s article in The Guardian in which he tries to dispel some of them.

kabulWell before the Soviet invasion the Afghan Mujaheddin were supplied with arms by the US and funded by the Saudis in order to topple the pro-Moscow government in Kabul. Furthermore, the US had an even bigger plan to drag the Soviet Union into a quagmire in Afghanistan where “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War”, according to Brzezinski the national security adviser to President Carter. His aim was to break up the Soviet Union at any cost and the Mujaheddin were merely tools used to that end. He called them “Some stirred-up Moslems” who have over the years morphed into today’s terrorists, with more support and aggression from the Empire of chaos.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991, the US found itself the only superpower in an uncertain and rapidly-changing world. Instead of showing leadership on tackling poverty, health, education and climate change, the US, driven by its entrenched Neo-cons and Neo-liberals, chose to embark on a campaign of unprecedented aggression starting with the Middle East, where the world’s largest gas and oil reserves lie. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the US refused outright to accept the Taliban’s offer to hand over Bin Laden on condition the US did not invade Afghanistan.

The mainstream media did not even mention this crucial fact because the propaganda machine in the West was spinning out of control after 9/11/2001.The hawks in Washington were intent on invading Afghanistan under the false pretext of capturing Bin Laden and destroying Al-Qaeda, the very jihadist group they set up years earlier.

Iraq was another example of US Empire projecting its military power. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the American administration did not spare any effort in encouraging and supporting Saddam Hussein to engage in a catastrophic conflict with Iran. The result was an 8 year long bloody war which killed an estimated one million people and crippled the economies of both countries.

iraq iran war

This left the Iraqi government no option but to ask the Saudi, Kuwaitis and other Gulf states to help Iraq by raising the price of oil, which they refused under American pressure. Intriguingly, American connivance tricked Saddam Hussein into thinking that he could invade Kuwait and put further pressure on the Saudis and others to see matters from his point of view. But this was a grave miscalculation by Saddam Hussein and a well planned American trap for him and one that resulted in yet another catastrophe for Iraq.

The usual propaganda spun its lies about the Iraqi Army’s barbaric atrocities in Kuwait and the valiant resistance there, all of which mobilised public opinion in the so-called civilised world. Consequently, much of the Iraqi Army was pulverised in what was called “Desert Storm” and most of Iraq’s infrastructure was systematically attacked from the air and destroyed. A no-fly zone was declared through the United Nations; nominally over the north of the country but effectively over the whole of Iraq.

Contrary to what was reported in the media at the time, this gave licence to the US and its allies to bomb targets anywhere in Iraq on a daily basis which went on for 12 years. Sanctions had been imposed immediately after Iraq invaded Kuwait and also lasted for 12 years until 2003. The government could not even import essential items such as food and medicine, “As many as 576,000 Iraqi children may have died since the end of the Gulf war because of economic sanctions imposed by the Security Council” according to The New York Times in 1995.

As if this humanitarian tragedy of enormous proportions was not enough to satisfy the neo-con hawks who pulled the levers of power behind Bush junior they used the events of September 2001 in America to whip up such frenzy around the world so as to silence any dissenting voice, not that the mainstream media showed any signs of being critical or even tried to question what the US administration was doing- interesting in a country that claims to be the land of democracy and freedom of speech. The Bush administration even concocted “evidence” from various questionable sources showing falsely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (“WMD”), this despite the fact that the UN weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix were reporting that there were no WMD, having been dealt with and disposed of many years before. Among such sources were an Iraqi exile’s PhD thesis and the infamous dossier that led Blair to tell parliament in September 2002 that Saddam Hussein had “chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes”.

Fourteen years later the Chilcot Report found that the “Supposed Iraqi weapons of mass destruction identified in an intelligence dossier resembled an inaccurate portrayal of such weapons in a fictional Hollywood movie”.

All the protest around the world by millions of people could not prevent the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. The fact that Iraq had nothing to do with the attack of September 2001 on America, had no connection whatsoever with Al-Qaeda and more importantly posed no threat to any western countries, all of this did not make any difference to the US administration already intent on invading Iraq. Apart from the oil, there were arguably other reasons why the Americans were so determined to invade Iraq:

  1. Iraq was already a weak state without significant allies and therefore with no hope of defending itself against the military might of the US who counted on minimal casualties.
  2. America had long wanted to banish once and for all the nightmare of Vietnam that had been weighing heavily on the American psyche for a long time.
  3. The military industrial complex had huge stockpiles of arms that needed to be tested and used in a “fireworks” show to project its might as the only superpower in the world.
  4. To make huge fortunes for the arms manufacturers and other big corporations.
  5. To intimidate and bully other countries and demonstrate literally what it could do to them if they do not fall in line with US imperialist policies.
  6. To satisfy Israel’s unquenchable thirst for security by destroying a major Arab country.
  7. To confirm itself as the only superpower in the world.

The well planned and executed US invasion of Iraq saw the complete destruction of a sovereign state: Its army, civil service, ministries, power stations, hospitals, schools, bridges, museums, archives and much more of the Iraqi state’s administrative, social and civil structure. Some have always argued that the vacuum and chaos that ensued represents the failure of the invasion as the planners had no plans for the aftermath. Seen from a different perspective, it could well be argued that the lack of plans for the post-invasion period was, in an undeclared way, deliberate and as such the invasion was indeed a big success. Its real objective was to plunge Iraq and the entire region into endless sectarian wars for years or even decades, leading ultimately to Balkanising the Middle East.

Until 1991, Iraq was a modern secular country with an excellent free health care system and a first class free education system up to university level. Art, science and music flourished and were enjoyed by all citizens irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliation.

Libya too had free health care and education systems with an economy considered to be the best in Africa to the extent that it provided employment for thousands of Africans from across the whole continent. After the Western invasion of Libya those workers who survived the killing spree by the NATO-backed death squads had no option but to head for Europe as migrants. Gaddafi was always portrayed by the West as the “madman of Libya”, though in fact he was helping to develop African countries and their economies in many ways, hardly the work of a madman. Moreover, Gaddafi had huge quantities of gold and silver with a plan to”establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar” which would threaten western currencies and lead many African countries to more economic and political independence, according to recently disclosed emails.

gaddafi love

This clearly was the real reason behind NATO’s military campaign in Libya, which was not reported at all in the West. Instead the public were fed with the usual fabricated images of civilians about to be massacred by Gaddafi‘s forces and that NATO had to intervene to prevent a humanitarian disaster, using the UN Security Council resolution as a fig-leaf. Consequently Libya’s weapons were looted by extremists and soon went to various African countries, a destabilising factor and a major contributor to the on-going migrant crisis in Europe. Following the collapse of the Libyan state, the US oversaw the transfer of significant quantities of Libya’s weapons to the jihadists in Syria. According to Seymour Hersh, “The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition.”

For years Syria has been refusing to become a client state of the US Empire. Since independence from the French colonisers in April 1946, the Syrian people have built a modern secular inclusive society with free education and health care for all citizens. The Syrian economy needed to be controlled by the government in order to protect it from hostile western multinationals. Unsurprisingly, such an independent stance always angered the US who never ceased to plot and scheme to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs over the past seven decades.

What is happening in Syria these days is not a civil or sectarian war but a war of aggression by the US and its regional proxies to dismantle the state and tear apart the very fabric of Syrian society and culture.

In its July 5th-11th 2014 issue, The Economist bemoans the failure of the so-called “Arab spring” completely ignoring western meddling behind it, through their supply of funding and weapons as well as their hired agitators and saboteurs who operated among innocent protesters.  The vast majority of the Syrian people did not participate in such protest and were appalled by the armed violence and the atrocities committed at the start of the conflict by the mercenaries sent by the Wahhabi machine. The Economist also questions the failure of Arab countries to create democracy and prosperity for their people. Again there is no mention of the constant and relentless aggression from western powers throughout the past one hundred years or more. Even after independence colonial powers never stopped interfering in the whole region covertly or otherwise, not to mention the illegal creation of Israel in Palestine at the heart of the Arab world. Imagine if these countries were left alone to develop and build their economies free of bullying or threat of regime change, the world would be in a better state than it is now.

isis beac

After a quarter of a century of America’s campaign of continuous destruction and military adventurism in the Middle East, US aggression has now hit a hard obstinate rock in Syria. It is the rock of resistance that has its roots deep in Syrian history. It is the unshakeable rock on which all foreign invaders were defeated; the people of Syria refuse to be subjugated.  Syria and its allies have shown the world their legendary resistance over the last 6 years and the Syrian people will eventually emerge united and triumphant from this neo-colonial-manufactured crisis.

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BARR: No collusion by any Americans

Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Alex Christoforou

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Attorney General Barr found no one in the Trump campaign colluded with “Russia” to meddle in the 2016 US election.

A devastating blow to Democrats and their mainstream media stenographers.

Trump reacted immediately…

Via RT…

With the full report on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into claims President Donald Trump colluded with Russia about to be released, Attorney General William Barr is giving a press conference about its findings.

Barr maintains the allegation that the Russian government made efforts to interfere in the election through the Internet Research Agency, an alleged Kremlin-control “troll farm”, as well as “hacking efforts” by the Russian intelligence agency GRU.

The bottom line, Barr says, is that Mueller has found Russia tried to interfere in the election, but “no American” helped it.

Barr explained the White House’s interaction with the Mueller report, whether Trump used executive privilege to block any of its contents from release, as well as on how the Justice Department chose which bits of the 400-page paper to redact.

On the matter of obstruction of justice, Barr said he and his deputy Rod Rosenstein have reviewed Mueller’s evidence and “legal theories”, and found that there is no evidence to show Trump tried to disrupt the investigation.

He said Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Most of the redactions in the report were made to protect ongoing investigations and personal information of “peripheral third parties”.

Barr said that no-one outside the Justice Department took part in the redacting process or saw the unredacted version, except for the intelligence community, which was given access to parts of it to protect sources.

Trump did not ask to make any changes to Mueller’s report, Barr said.

Trump’s personal counsel was given access to the redacted report before its release.

A number of Trump-affiliated people, as well as Russian nationals, have been indicted, charged or put on trial by Mueller over the course of the past two years, but none for election-related conspiracy. Still, Democrats in Congress as well as numerous establishment media personalities have been insisting that Barr, a Trump pick for AG office, is somehow “spinning” its findings in order to protect and exonerate Trump, and are calling to see the full report as soon as possible.

They have equally condemned Barr’s decision to hold a news conference before the report is release, claiming he is trying to shape the public perception in Trump’s favor.

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Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Important events have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks that underline how the overall political reconfiguration of the region is in full swing. The Shia axis continues its diplomatic relations and, following Rouhani’s meeting in Baghdad, it was the turn of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to be received in Tehran by the highest government and religious authorities. Among the many statements released, two in particular reveal the high level of cooperation between the two countries, as well as demonstrating how the Shia axis is in full bloom, carrying significant prospects for the region. Abdul-Mahdi also reiterated that Iraq will not allow itself to be used as a platform from which to attack Iran: “Iraqi soil will not be allowed to be used by foreign troops to launch any attacks against Iran. The plan is to export electricity and gas for other countries in the region.”

Considering that these two countries were mortal enemies during Saddam Hussein’s time, their rapprochement is quite a (geo)political miracle, owing much of its success to Russia’s involvement in the region. The 4+1 coalition (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria plus Hezbollah) and the anti-terrorism center in Baghdad came about as a result of Russia’s desire to coordinate all the allied parties in a single front. Russia’s military support of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah (together with China’s economic support) has allowed Iran to begin to transform the region such that the Shia axis can effectively counteract the destabilizing chaos unleashed by the trio of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One of the gaps to be filled in the Shia axis lies in Lebanon, which has long experienced an internal conflict between the many religious and political currents in the country. The decision by Washington to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel pushed the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, to make an important symbolic visit to Moscow to meet with President Putin.

Once again, the destabilizing efforts of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans are having the unintended effect of strengthening the Shia axis. It seems that this trio fails to understood how such acts as murdering Khashoggi, using civilian planes to hide behind in order to conduct bombing runs in Syria, recognizing the occupied territories like the Golan Heights – how these produce the opposite effects to the ones desired.

The supply of S-300 systems to Syria after the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane took place as a result of Tel Aviv failing to think ahead and anticipate how Russia may respond.

What is surprising in Moscow’s actions is the versatility of its diplomacy, from the deployment of the S-300s in Syria, or the bombers in Iran, to the prompt meetings with Netanyahu in Moscow and Mohammad bin Salman at the G20. The ability of the Russian Federation to mediate and be present in almost every conflict on the globe restores to the country the international stature that is indispensable in counterbalancing the belligerence of the United States.

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange. Another military and economic example can be found in a third axis; not the Shia or Saudi-Israeli-US one but the Turkish-Qatari one. In Syria, Erdogan started from positions that were exactly opposite to those of Putin and Assad. But with decisive military action and skilled diplomacy, the creation of the Astana format between Iran, Turkey and Russia made Turkey and Qatar publicly take the defense of Islamist takfiris and criminals in Idlib. Qatar for its part has a two-way connection with Turkey, but it is also in open conflict with the Saudi-Israeli axis, with the prospect of abandoning OPEC within a few weeks. This situation has allowed Moscow to open a series of negotiations with Doha on the topic of LNG, with these two players controlling most of the LNG on the planet. It is evident that also the Turkish-Qatari axis is strongly conditioned by Moscow and by the potential military agreements between Turkey and Russia (sale of S-400) and economic and energy agreements between Moscow and Doha.

America’s actions in the region risks combining the Qatari-Turkish front with the Shia axis, again thanks to Moscow’s skilful diplomatic work. The recent sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, together with the withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear agreement), has created concern and bewilderment in the region and among Washington’s allies. The act of recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as belonging to Israel has brought together the Arab world as few events have done in recent times. Added to this, Trump’s open complaints about OPEC’s high pricing of oil has forced Riyadh to start wondering out aloud whether to start selling oil in a currency other than the dollar. This rumination was quickly denied, but it had already been aired. Such a decision would have grave implications for the petrodollar and most of the financial and economic power of the United States.

If the Shia axis, with Russian protection, is strengthened throughout the Middle East, the Saudi-Israel-American triad loses momentum and falls apart, as seen in Libya, with Haftar now one step closer in unifying the country thanks to the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia, with Fayez al-Sarraj now abandoned by the Italians and Americans awaiting his final defeat.

While the globe continues its multipolar transformation, the delicate balancing role played by Russia in the Middle East and North Africa is emphasized. The Venezuelan foreign minister’s recent visit to Syria shows how the front opposed to US imperialist bullying is not confined to the Middle East, with countries in direct or indirect conflict with Washington gathering together under the same protective Sino-Russian umbrella.

Trump’s “America First” policy, coupled with the conviction of American exceptionalism, is driving international relations towards two poles rather than multipolar ones, pushing China, Russia and all other countries opposed to the US to unite in order to collectively resist US diktats.

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Nigel Farage stuns political elite, as Brexit Party and UKIP surge in polls (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 144.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party’s stunning rise in the latest UK polls, which show Tory support splintering and collapsing to new lows. Theresa May’s Brexit debacle has all but destroyed the Conservative party, which is now seeing voters turn to UKIP and The Brexit Party.

Corbyn’s Labour Party is not finding much favor from UK voters either, as anger over how Britain’s two main parties conspired to sell out the country to EU globalists, is now being voiced in various polling data ahead of EU Parliament elections.

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Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk:


The Guardian reports Tories Hit by New Defections and Slump in Opinion Polls as Party Divide Widens.

The bitter fallout from Brexit is threatening to break the Tory party apart, as a Europhile former cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell on Sunday announces he is defecting to the independent MPs’ group Change UK, and a new opinion poll shows Conservative support plummeting to a five-year low as anti-EU parties surge.

The latest defections come as a new Opinium poll for the Observer shows a dramatic fall in Tory support in the past two weeks and a surge for anti-EU parties. The Conservatives have fallen by six percentage points to 29% compared to a fortnight ago. It is their worst position since December 2014. Labour is up one point on 36% while Ukip is up two points on 11%.

Even more alarmingly for the Tories, their prospects for the European elections appear dire. Only 17% of those certain to vote said they would choose the Conservatives in the European poll, while 29% would back Labour, and 25% either Ukip (13%) or Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party (12%).

YouGov Poll

A more recent YouGov Poll looks even worse for the Tories

In the YouGov poll, UKIP and BREX total 29%.

Polls Volatile

Eurointellingence has these thoughts on the polls.

We have noted before that classic opinion polls at a time like this are next to useless. But we found an interesting constituency-level poll, by Electoral Calculus, showing for the first time that Labour would get enough constituency MPs to form a minority government with the support of the SNP. This is a shift from previous such exercises, which predicted a continuation of the status quo with the Tories still in command.

This latest poll, too, is subject to our observation of massively intruding volatility. It says that some of the Tory’s most prominent MPs would be at risk, including Amber Rudd and Iain Duncan-Smith. And we agree with the bottom-line analysis of John Curtice, the pollster, who said the abrupt fall in support for Tories is due entirely to their failure to have delivered Brexit on time.

The Tories are facing two electoral tests in May – local elections on May 2 and European elections on May 23. Early polls are show Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party shooting up, taking votes away from the Tories. If European elections were held, we would expect the Brexit party to come ahead of the Tories. Labour is rock-solid in the polls, but Labour unity is at risk as the pro-referendum supporters want Jeremy Corbyn to put the second referendum on the party’s manifesto.

Tory Labour Talks

The Tory/Labour talks on a compromise have stalled, but are set to continue next week with three working groups: on security, on environmental protection, and on workers’ rights. A separate meeting is scheduled between Philip Hammond and John McDonnell, the chancellor and shadow chancellor. The big outstanding issue is the customs union. Theresa May has not yet moved on this one. We noted David Liddington, the effective deputy prime minister, saying that the minimum outcome of the talks would be an agreed and binding decision-making procedure to flush out all options but one in a series of parliamentary votes.

May’s task is to get at least half of her party on board for a compromise. What makes a deal attractive to the Tories is that May would resign soon afterwards, giving enough time for the Tory conference in October to select a successor before possible elections in early 2020.

This relative alignment of interests is why we would not rule out a deal – either on an agreed joint future relationship, or at least on a method to deliver an outcome.

Customs Union

A customs union, depending on how it is structured, would likely be worse than remaining. The UK would have to abide by all the EU rules and regulations without having any say.

Effectively, it will not be delivering Brexit.

Perhaps May’s deal has a resurrection.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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