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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘al-Qaeda’

Joe Biden is already breaking his promise to end the US’ ‘forever wars’ in the Middle East — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on February 20, 2021

In the case of Iraq, there had not been a single suicide bombing and no Islamic terrorist organisations, such as al-Qaeda, had operated in the country before the overthrew of Saddam Hussein.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/516096-biden-middle-east-forever-war/

By Robert Inlakesh, a political analyst, journalist, and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News and Press TV. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. Follow him on Twitter @falasteen47 Prior to his inauguration, President Joe Biden had proclaimed that he wished to end the “forever wars” the US is fighting, just as former president Trump had claimed he would. But once you’re in office, it’s a different story.

NATO has decided to expand its footprint in Iraq, following a rocket attack in the city of Erbil that killed one American contractor and injured six more people. This, as the US State Department has threatened consequences for all those involved.

NATO announced this Thursday that it will boost its Iraq mission from 500 to 4,000 personnel, which, Pentagon spokesperson Jessica McNulty confirmed in an interview with CNN, will mean the US “will contribute its fair share to this important expanded mission” – a clear indication that Biden is ready to continue his career along the warpath. The United States currently has 2,500 troops active in Iraq, following the former Trump administration’s decision to lower troop presence – a policy the Biden administration is now poised to undo.

When in doubt, blame Iran

Despite the fact there has been no confirmation as to who exactly carried out the recent Erbil rocket attack, the US State Department has vowed a response against those involved. The group that claimed the attack, Saraya Awliya Al-Dam, has since been linked by the Western press to Iran. The likes of CNN have even called the group an “Iranian-backed militia”, for which the network provided no evidence and which is a potentially dangerous assertion, as many Americans will have been given the impression that Iran was somehow responsible. Iran has since denied any involvement in the Erbil attack and says it has never backed the Saraya Awliya Al-Dam militia group. 

Following Trump’s ‘targeted assassination’ of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) Chairman Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in January 2020, the Iraqi parliament had voted to expel US forces from the country. Although the expulsion never occurred, US forces did begin to close down military facilities in the east of Iraq and concentrated their troop presence further to the west, in Anbar Province. 

The United States invaded Iraq under the pretence of dispossessing former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of his non-existent “weapons of mass destruction”. Now, almost 17 years and over a million dead Iraqis later, the war is close to the age that is required for enlistment to serve in the US military.

Breeding terrorism

While the US footprint seemingly expands in Iraq, Biden is also set to make his decision on whether he will follow the previous administration’s deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan and withdraw the remaining 2,500 troops, or stay in that 20-year-long war. He has until May 1 to do the former or face the backlash of breaking the Trump-era accord. 

The common argument used for staying in Afghanistan is similar to the argument for remaining in Iraq. The US will argue, with the full complicity of its media, that there will be a bloodbath if they leave, due to militant groups gaining the upper hand. But when it comes to the US and its involvement in these wars, the problems in both Iraq and Afghanistan were created almost entirely by its presence.

In the case of Iraq, there had not been a single suicide bombing and no Islamic terrorist organisations, such as al-Qaeda, had operated in the country before the overthrew of Saddam Hussein. 

As for Iranian influence in Iraq, the reason why this was even possible was due to the US having destroyed the country and left space for foreign groups and nations to intervene. The Iranian influence in Iraq, specifically through the aforementioned PMUs (that is, the state-sponsored umbrella organisation for militias), came as a response to Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS) insurgency and occupation of Iraqi lands. Iran stepped in to help build the primary force that defeated IS on the ground inside Iraq. However, despite the fact that the PMUs are part of the Iraqi armed forces, they are portrayed simply as an Iranian proxy group akin to terrorist organisations hostile to US forces.

Twisting the nuclear deal

Along with the demonisation of Iran and its influence in Iraq being used as a partial justification for further action in the country comes the Biden administration’s continued hardball stance when it comes to re-entering the JCPOA/Iran nuclear deal.

Biden has offered to rejoin talks with Iran,on the issue of the JCPOA, dropping Trump-era restrictions such as the tight limitation of movement imposed on Iranian diplomats, but these gestures have not budged any party.

In a meeting this Thursday between US, German, French and UK diplomats, the quartet blamed Iran for the lack of progress on the restoration of the deal. The statement focuses on its reactionary enrichment of uranium, which came in the wake of US and EU non-compliance with the deal, and urged Iran to consider the “consequences of such grave action”

In response to the statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif lambasted the US and E3 partners for what he calls their placing of the onus on Iran over a deal they had violated. Zarif reaffirmed Iran’s position that it would follow action with action, meaning sanctions must first be lifted and the quartet must honour its commitments before Iran will resume honouring the deal.

One of the most effective weapons the US is using to justify its aggressive posture in the Middle East is its propaganda, which works to paint its opposition as near-irredeemable. Even if Biden is going to re-enter the Iran Deal, he has now made it abundantly clear that he is not going to end hostility towards Iran and its allied forces in the region, and has already betrayed his stated goal of favouring a diplomacy-first stance.

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Never Forget: Smoking Gun Intel Memo From 1990s Warned Of ‘Frankenstein The CIA Created’ | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2020

But it was all the way back in 1993 that a then classified intelligence memo warned that the very fighters the CIA previously trained would soon turn their weapons on the US and its allies. The ‘secret’ document was declassified in 2009, but has remained largely obscure in mainstream media reporting, despite being the first to contain a bombshell admission.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/never-forget-1993-smoking-gun-intel-memo-warned-frankenstein-cia-created

As Americans pause to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001 which saw almost 3,000 innocents killed in the worst terror attack in United States history, it might also be worth contemplating the horrific wars and foreign quagmires unleashed during the subsequent ‘war on terror’.

Bush’s so-called Global War on Terror targeted ‘rogue states’ like Saddam’s Iraq, but also consistently had a focus on uprooting and destroying al-Qaeda and other armed Islamist terror organizations (this led to the falsehood that Baathist Saddam and AQ were in cahoots). But the idea that Washington from the start saw al-Qaeda and its affiliates as some kind of eternal enemy is largely a myth. 

Recall that the US covertly supported the Afghan mujahideen and other international jihadists throughout the 1980’s Afghan-Soviet War, the very campaign in which hardened al-Qaeda terrorists got their start. In 1999 The Guardian in a rare moment of honest mainstream journalism warned of the Frankenstein the CIA created — among their ranks a terror mastermind named Osama bin Laden.

1998 CNN still of Osama bin Laden, right, along with Egyptian jihadist Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan, CNN/Getty Images

But it was all the way back in 1993 that a then classified intelligence memo warned that the very fighters the CIA previously trained would soon turn their weapons on the US and its allies. The ‘secret’ document was declassified in 2009, but has remained largely obscure in mainstream media reporting, despite being the first to contain a bombshell admission.

A terrorism analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research named Gina Bennett wrote in the 1993 memo “The Wandering Mujahidin: Armed and Dangerous,” that

“support network that funneled money, supplies, and manpower to supplement the Afghan mujahidin” in the war against the Soviets, “is now contributing experienced fighters to militant Islamic groups worldwide.”

The concluding section contains the most revelatory statements, again remembering these words were written nearly a decade before the 9/11 attacks:

US support of the mujahidin during the Afghan war will not necessarily protect US interests from attack.

…Americans will become the targets of radical Muslims’ wrath. Afghan war veterans, scattered throughout the world, could surprise the US with violence in unexpected locales.

There it is in black and white print: the United States government knew and bluntly acknowledged that the very militants it armed and trained to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars would eventually turn that very training and those very weapons back on the American people.

And this was not at all a “small” or insignificant group, instead as The Guardian wrote a mere two years before 9/11:

American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up.

But don’t think for a moment that there was ever a “lesson learned” by Washington.

Instead the CIA and other US agencies repeated the 1980s policy of arming jihadists to overthrow US enemy regimes in places like Libya and Syria even long after the “lesson” of 9/11. As War on The Rocks recounted:

Despite the passage of time, the issues Ms. Bennett raised in her 1993 work continue to be relevant today.  This fact is a sign of the persistence of the problem of Sunni jihadism and the “wandering mujahidin.” Today, of course, the problem isn’t Afghanistan but Syria. While the war there is far from over, there is already widespread nervousness, particularly in Europe, about what will happen when the foreign fighters return from that conflict.

On 9/11 we should never forget the innocent lives lost, but we should also never forget the Frankenstein of jihad the CIA created.

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The U.S. State Dept.’s own numbers at the height of the war in Syria: access the full report at STATE.GOV

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