All posts tagged: Iraq

Haunted by the Ghosts of War

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori

Syrian Victory Will Reshape the Middle East and Recalibrate Global Hegemony

A Syrian Arab Army soldier soldier celebrates the lifting of the three year long siege of Dier ez-Zor by ISIS. Alastair Crooke* in Consortium News: Plainly, Syria’s success – notwithstanding the caution of President Bashar al-Assad in saying that signs of success are not success itself – in resisting, against the odds, all attempts to fell the state suggest that a tipping point in the geopolitics of the region has occurred. We have written before how the Syria outcome dwarfs that of Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, significant though the result of that war was, too. Both events taken together have brought America’s unipolar moment in the Middle East to an end (though not globally, since the U.S. still retains its necklace of military bases across the region). The successes have corroded badly, the reputation of the Gulf States and have discredited fired-up Sunni jihadism as a “go-to” political tool for Saudi Arabia and its Western backers. But, aside from the geopolitics, the Syria outcome has created a physical connectivity and contiguity that has not existed for some …

Pepe Escobar: The House of Saud bows to the House of Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman attend a welcoming ceremony ahead of their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 5, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS Pepe Escobar in Asia Times: What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally. The House of Saud was horrified by Russia’s successful campaign to prevent regime change in Syria. Moscow was solidifying its alliance with Tehran. Hawks in the Obama administration were imposing on Saudi Arabia a strategy of keeping oil prices down to hurt the Russian economy. Now, losing all its battles from Syria to Yemen, losing regional influence to both Iran and Turkey, indebted, vulnerable and paranoid, the House of Saud has also to confront the ghost of a possible coup in Riyadh against …

The Rising of Britain’s ‘New Politics’

Delegates to the recent Labour Party conference in the English seaside town of Brighton seemed not to notice a video playing in the main entrance. The world’s third biggest arms manufacturer, BAe Systems, supplier to Saudi Arabia, was promoting its guns, bombs, missiles, naval ships and fighter aircraft.

It seemed a perfidious symbol of a party in which millions of Britons now invest their political hopes. Once the preserve of Tony Blair, it is now led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose career has been very different and is rare in British establishment politics.

According to Emmanuel Macron, the days of popular sovereignty are over

by Thierry Meyssan, September 5, 2017, via VoltaireNet Delivering a keynote speech before the most senior of French diplomats, President Macron revealed his conception of the world and the way in which he intends to use the tools at his disposal. According to him, there will be no more popular sovereignty, neither in France, nor in Europe, and therefore no more national or supra-national democracies. Neither will there be any more collective interest, no more Republic, but an ill-defined catalogue of things and ideas which compose the common good. Describing their new programme of work to the ambassadors, he informed them that they should no longer defend the values of their country, but find opportunities to act in the name of the European Leviathan. Entering into the details of certain conflicts, he described a programme of economic colonisation of the Levant and Africa. Participating in the traditional Ambassadors’ Week, President Macron gave his first general speech on foreign policy since his arrival at the Elysée Palace [1]. In this article, all the quotations in inverted commas …

Guardian Plugs War Criminal’s Book

by Kit Nobody should be surprised to learn that Alistair Campbell, the former Blair PR guru, suffers from psychological problems. Obviously, lacking empathy to the extent that you can start an illegal war with a peaceful country, for the lone purpose of enriching corporate interests, would be a red flag to any psychiatrist worth his salt. Even supposing you weren’t entirely psychopathic beforehand, the associated guilt-rotting of the soul, after the fact, would surely be enough to drive one mad. Just look at Blair. Look at his mummified, rictus grin and tell me that’s not a man whose evil has stained his face. No, no one is surprised that Alistair Campbell has mental problems. And, sadly, no one is surprised that the Guardian gives him column inches – not just to whine about the stress involved in coordinating (among other things) mass-murder – but also to plug his book. I will not name it or link to it here, it doesn’t deserve the clicks. In any right-thinking society, this man would be in prison for …

Terror Incognita: ‘Demistifying’ the Fog of War

by Sean Stinson, August 28, 2017 “The Muslim terrorist apparatus was created by US intelligence as a political weapon” – National security adviser to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski “The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al-Qaeda, and any informed intelligence officer knows this. But, there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an intensified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive TV watchers to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the United States.” – Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken Corporate propaganda is flying so thick and fast lately it’s dizzying just keeping up with it. For regular readers of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, Vladimir Putin is the new Fuhrer of American …

VIDEOS: Is ISIS finished?

Al Masdar news reports: BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – According to at least one ISIS member who very recently surrendered himself to pro-government forces, the terrorist group to which he belonged is “finished.” This confession, captured by pro-government media, came about during a very brief and sombre conversation between a Hezbollah reporter and an elderly ISIS militant (who had surrendered earlier on) near the Zumrani crossing point in the western Qalamoun region of Syria. In the footage below, the Hezbollah reporter holding the camera asks “why did you surrender?” In response, the ISIS fighter simply replies “because we’re finished.” The video emerges at a time when some pro-government sources are reporting that over fifty (50) ISIS militants in western Qalamoun have surrendered themselves to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) amid an ongoing pro-government offensive against the terrorist group throughout the region. See also Iran’s Press TV debate on the subject of the defeat of Daesh. A ten year war of attrition. That is how long most high-ranking U-S army officials estimated it would take to …

The US Aggression on Syria and the Principles of a “Just War”

by Prof. Vladislav Sotirovic The US military forces committed a classical example of the aggression on one sovereign and independent state on April 6th, 2017 by bombing the territory of Syrian Arab Republic with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Killing civilians who are proclaimed, as usual, as “collateral damage”. A formal excuse for the aggression was based, as many times before (from Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya), on traditional political false flags and mainstream media fake news used by the US propaganda machinery to sanction the Pentagon’s hegemonic policy of the Pax Americana. The Fundamental Dilemma The fundamental dilemma is why the US administrations of Obama & Trump were and are supporting different kinds of the Islamic fundamentalist jihad organizations in Syria and the Mideast regardless on the fact that they are called by the White House as “moderate terrorists”? A terrorist is simply a terrorist and there is no any difference between “moderate” or “hardcore” terrorist if the first term can exist at all from both logical and moral reasons. It is already known that …

Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About the “Ecology of War”

Text and Photos: Andre Vltchek Dr. Gus Abu-Sitta is the head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the AUB Medical Center in Lebanon. He specializes in: reconstructive surgery. What it means in this part of the world is clear: they bring you people from the war zones, torn to pieces, missing faces, burned beyond recognition, and you have to try to give them their life back. Dr. Abu-Sitta is also a thinker. A Palestinian born in Kuwait, he studied and lived in the UK, and worked in various war zones of the Middle East, as well as in Asia, before accepting his present position at the AUB Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon. We were brought together by peculiar circumstances. Several months ago I burned my foot on red-hot sand, in Southeast Asia. It was healing slowly, but it was healing. Until I went to Afghanistan where at one of the checkpoints in Herat I had to take my shoes off, and the wound got badly infected. Passing through London, I visited a hospital there, and …

Iraqi WMDs Anyone? Washington Post Makes Unfounded Claims Of Iranian Supplies To Insurgencies

from Moon of Alabama The Washington Post falls back into its 2005 mode of blaming Iran for the capabilities of a local insurgency. This time it is not Iraq where Iran is allegedly providing to insurgents, but Bahrain. Old and debunked claims are hauled up and propaganda from the U.S. proxy Sunni dictatorship is cited as “evidence”. It is a top-right front-page story in the Sunday edition and thereby “important”. It is also fake news. The headline: U.S. increasingly sees Iran’s hand in the arming of Bahraini militants. The core: The report, a copy of which was shown to The Washington Post, partly explains the growing unease among some Western intelligence officials over tiny Bahrain, a stalwart U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf and home to the Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Six years after the start of a peaceful Shiite protest movement against the country’s Sunni-led government, U.S. and European analysts now see an increasingly grave threat emerging on the margins of the uprising: heavily armed militant cells supplied and funded, officials say, by Iran. The …

VIDEO: Queen unveils monument celebrating half a million Iraqi deaths

from UKColumn News On March 9 The Queen and Prince Philip unveiled a new monument to “honour the duty and service of both UK armed forces and civilians” in Iraq and Afghanistan. So, it’s official. The UK celebrates its illegal wars, the subsequent murder of tens of thousands of innocent people, the destruction of a society and the fostering of terrorism. The artist who created the monument described it as “twin monoliths” in a nod towards 9/11.

What’s the End Game: hype and hysteria surrounding the “Muslim Ban”

by Kit They’re calling it the “Muslim Ban”, that’s the headline attention-grabber. It has its own twitter hashtag too. Everyone, all around the progressive “free world” is coming together to denounce this barbarism with one voice. Actors are making speeches at the SAG awards, and earnest navel-gazing columnists are writing about how this travel ban clashes with “British values”. There’s a petition to ban Trump from entering the UK with over a million signatures already (only tree from the British Antarctic Territories this time). John Harris, in the Guardian, even manages to make this all about Brexit – how triggering Article 50 will push us closer to a Trump administration that is “ruining America’s reputation”. Not even Jeremy Corbyn was immune, his biggest weakness it seems, is that he cannot ever miss an oppurtunity to be “nice”. In a Guardian opinion piece, Jack Straw – a man currently under investigation for permitting the use of torture – is allowed valuable column inches to moralize. He quotes Dick Cheney on “American values”. He compares Donald Trump …

Western weapons falls into the hands of terrorists

by Sophie Mangal British organization Conflict Armament Research (CAR) has examined the ways arms have been supplied to the areas of military conflict around the world and has published a new investigation on Syria (link: http://www.conflictarm.com/publications/). CAR experts have found that weapons supplied by Western countries not only get into the hands of the Syrian opposition fighters but also into the hands of IS terrorists. It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the Syrian conflict IS militants used mainly weapons captured during the fighting with the Syrian and Iraqi government troops.  But after 2012 the terrorists gained new sources such as illegal supplies of weapons from the Western countries, buy and capture arms shipments destined to the Syrian opposition, as well as its own domestic arms industry. According to CAR’s James Bevan, the first evidence of illegal weapons turnover showed up as his staff found a box of ammunition with serial numbers not far from Mosul. It turned out that the ammunition had been manufactured in the factories of Eastern Europe, but it was …

Elite U.S. Special Forces Fight For Mosul

by Ahmad Salah The fierce battle for the city of Mosul keeps on shocking Iraq and the whole Middle East and there are no significant results. The leading role belongs to the assault of the Iraqi army and Kurdish Self-Defense Forces which still lack experience and skills to capture the city in the shortest time. However, 500 elite commandos of the U.S. Special Forces which had been transferred this week at Mosul should give new impetus to the assault. U.S. combatants are supported by Apache and Chinook helicopters. According to the Inside Syria Media Center, the U.S. Special Forces are located at the forefront of Iraqi and Kurdish combat formations. Military experts believe these combat conditions are atypical for the special operation forces which are aimed to carry out reconnaissance and other specific tasks. Elite combatants in Mosul perform actually the functions of infantry soldiers resulting in inevitable great losses which are going to be covered up and silenced by the Washington officials in the usual manner. Although the U.S. officials have repeatedly stated Mosul …

How Britain Funded Syria’s “Moderate Armed Opposition” (aka Terrorists with a Human Face)

by Felicity Arbuthnot, via Global Research A document (1, pdf) produced last December by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, headed: “ UK Humanitarian Aid in Response to The Syria Conflict”, makes interesting reading. The British government it states, has spent “over £100 million” since 2012, “working closely with a range of actors” to “find a political solution to the conflict and prepare to rebuild the country in the post Assad era.” (Emphasis added.) Our efforts … include providing more than £67 million of support to the Syrian opposition.” One of the “actors” to benefit from hefty chunks of British taxpayers moneys is the Syrian National Coalition whose website (2) states, under “Mission Statement and Goals”: “The coalition will do everything in its power to reach the goal of overthrowing the Assad regime …” and to “Establish a transitional government …” (Emphasis added.) Thus the UK government is overtly supporting the illegal overthrow of yet another sovereign government. This all reads like a re-run of Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraq National Congress and Iyad Allawi’s Iraq National …

Military Blogger Alleges U.S. Now Aids ISIS to Oust Assad

by Eric Zuesse A highly informed anonymous military blogger, who goes by the name of “bernhard” and blogs at his widely followed “Moon of Alabama” website, is alleging, in a post October 12th (“The ’Salafist Principality’ — ISIS Paid Off To Leave Mosul And To Take Deir Ezzor?”), that the Obama Administration has negotiated with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and with Saudi Prince Salman (who is the decision-maker in Saudi military matters), to provide safe passage into the large Syrian city of Deir Es Zor, for the ISIS jihadists who have been occupying the city of Mosul in Iraq. On September 17th, U.S. and UK jets had bombed the compound of Syrian government troops who were fighting to oust jihadists from that City, and 62 Syrian soldiers were killed, and over a hundred were injured, in that U.S.-led bombing attack. Subsequently, Syria brought more troops to that location and retook control there, but if and when the ISIS jihadists from Mosul take control there, the forces of Bashar al-Assad will be beaten not by U.S. …

Analysis of the sophistry of Noam Chomsky on 9/11

By Petra Liverani Gatekeeping is the term used to describe the process of deciding which information will go forward and which will not. It is to be expected that the mass media/corporate/government triumvirate are strict and vigilant gatekeepers but what is puzzling, to me at least, is that certain progressive intellectuals, who are generally very critical of that triumvirate and who are regarded as important voices in keeping its members to account, also practise gatekeeping but only on a few, though vitally important, issues. A case in point is the truth about 9/11. The crimes of 9/11 involved a massive conspiracy, planned many years in advance, which have had severe and worsening repercussions; many of us despair and feel quite helpless about what can be done about the spreading of war and terror throughout the globe. However, there is one relatively straightforward action that can be taken, if only the gatekeepers will allow it: “When the big lie regarding the 9/11 attacks is exposed and understood, the legitimacy of America’s military agenda falls like a …