Two thorns in Obama’s side

1 Sep

  
by Thierry Meyssan

VOLTAIRE NETWORK | DAMASCUS (SYRIA) | 1 SEPTEMBER 2015 

Whatever happens, Washington will win in Syria, because the United States has not one, but two different policies with regard to this country. Either there will be peace, and President Obama will be praised for having successfully negotiated with Iran ; or else the Syrian Arab Republic will be destroyed and occupied by NATO, and a few US generals and NATO will be praised for having brought an end to the bloodbath. Here, Thierry Meyssan reveals the underside of this double policy, in particular the plot that was hatched by the NATO Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs.

The application of the agreement reached between Washington and Teheran, on the 14th July, 2015, depends mainly on President Obama’s capacity to convince his fellow-citizens, and particularly the Congress of his own administration, to accept it. Here, however, he will be faced with two major obstacles.
The Petraeus group
On the one hand, there is a political current which remains favourable to the Juppé-Wright project for the creation of a Sunnistan and a Kurdistan straddling the borders of Syria and Iraq. It is organised around General David Petraeus, who was director of the CIA until Obama’s re-election in October 2012, and is currently chief analyst for the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts investment fund. The group includes his ex-deputy, General John Allen, current special Presidential envoy in the fight against Daesh, and ex-Secretary of State and present Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. Petraeus also enjoys the support of certain members of the Republican Party, like the current President of the Senatorial Commission for the Armed Forces, John McCain, and the real estate promoter and main candidate for nomination, Donald Trump.
At the end of July, General Allen was invited to the Aspen Security Forum. There he met journalists from the New York Times to whom he secretly confided that he had reached an agreement with Turkey to create a safety zone in northern Syria. Astounded by this decision, which violates the United Nations charter, Eric Schmitt decided to dedicate the front page of his newspaper to it [1]. However, after a few days of contradictory public announcements, Washington and Ankara denied the story [2]. Immediately afterwards, the White House clarified its position : the priority is the fight against Daesh. In this fight, they are allied with the « moderate Syrian rebels » and also the YPG (a Marxist-Leninist Kurdish group) – consequently, although Turkey was authorised to attack the Turkish branch of the organisation, it was asked not to attack these groups [3].
On the 29th July, the « army » of sixty CIA-trained « moderate Syrian rebels » entered Syrian territory to ground-mark Daesh positions for Coalition bombers. But al-Qaïda had been informed, and attacked the « rebels », taking twenty prisoners including their chief, Colonel Nadim Hassan. They could only have been betrayed by the US army.
Although Turkey was at first the prime suspect, suspicion was transferred to the United States after vehement denegations by the Interim Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu [4]. And who else in the US army could it have been, except for General Allen’s group ?
General Allen’s manœuvres first of all provoked a serious incident between the Pentagon and the Turkish army. The Turkish liaison officer to the CAOC (Combined Air and Space Operations Center) issued warning only ten minutes before the raid in Iraq, thus endangering both the Kurdish trainee soldiers and their US instructors, who were present in the area [5]. The path chosen by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, should the AKP stay in power, could lead to a partial breakdown in relations between Washington and Ankara [6].
Above all, these incidents led the Pentagon to ask CentCom to check the allegations – which are wide-spread in the Near East – claiming that the Coalition is not bombing Daesh, but on the contrary, supporting it. This was also the moment chosen by the Defense Intelligence Agency to denounce the fudging of CentCom reports [7]. It seems that CentCom is commanded by another ex-collaborator of General David Petraeus, General Lloyd James Austin III.

The Feltman group
Obama’s other problem is the United Nations General Secretariat. While it is difficult to know to which movement Ban Ki-moon belongs, since he is too busy making money from his position, the same is not true of his Deputy Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman.
Before becoming an international civil servant, he was a United States ambassador, specialising progressively in the Near East. In particular, he was posted to Israël, Iraq (where he administered for the Kurdish party) and Lebanon (where he imposed his ideas on the Siniora government ). He enjoyed a rare relation of confidence with the Secretary of State of the time, Condoleezza Rice, with whom he shared a weekly video-conference, and then was nominated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to work with Rice in Washington and supervise all policies touching the Near East.
Jeffrey Feltman organised the 2005 assassination of the ex-Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafic Hariri, then Detlev Mehlis’s Inquiry Commission, and then the creation of the Special International Tribunal for Lebanon. This hybrid structure was formed to convict the Presidents of Lebanon and Syria, Emile Lahoud and Bachar el-Assad, on the basis of paid, false testimony, but the accusations collapsed once the truth was known. Mr. Feltman continues to work against Syria and Iran in his new post.
Arriving at the United Nation just before the Geneva Conference 1 on Syria, Feltman did his best to sabotage the agreement between his country and Russia, and joined the Petraeus group to push France into re-starting the war. He drew up a plan for the total and unconditional surrender of the Syrian Arab Republic. The sovereignty of the Syrian People must be abolished ; the Constitution must be revoked ; the President must be relieved of his duties ; the Peoples’ Assembly must be dissolved ; 120 Syrian leaders must be arrested and judged and convicted ; the Direction of Military Intelligence, the Direction of Political Security and the Direction of General Security must be decapitated or dissolved ; the « political prisoners » must be freed and the anti-terrorist courses must be stopped.
After the failure of the Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission, Feltman asked Ban Ki-moon to nominate the Italian Steffan De Misruta as his representative in Syria. He had met this elegant diplomat in Iraq, and forged close ties with him during their missions in Lebanon. De Mistura had also frequently met with Petraeus and Allen during his mission as a representative of the General Secretary of the United Nations in Afghanistan.
From then on, while meeting the different parties in the conflict with bountiful smiles, Stefan De Mistura buckled down to imposing Feltman’s surprise plan for Syria. On the 29th July, 2015, with Ban Ki-moon, he presented the broad outlines of his « peace » plan to the Security Council, but neither of them provided the slightest written text [8]. They politely asked the Security Council to push the protagonists to sign an Interim Agreement, then left them to deal with it. In reality, the agreement was intended to withdraw the Council’s prerogatives, to force the Syrian Arab Republic to sign a vague text which would have allowed NATO to occupy Syria, and authorised Messrs. De Mistura, Feltman and Ban to organise her capitulation according to the process elaborated in 2012 by Feltman.
This skillful manœuvre almost worked, because on the 17th August, the Security Council adopted a strange declaration (not a resolution) of support for Stefan De Mistura [9]. Contrary to all practices, the text was first of all discussed in private by the five permanent powers. Russia, worried that something was being prepared in secret, decided to vote « yes ». It feared that Washington may be preparing an action out of the bounds of the Security Council and International Law. However, the Venezuelan ambassador Rafael Ramírez, who been kept absent from the writing of the declaration, cautiously raised two objections : first of all, the Geneva Communiqué 1 [10], which is supported by everyone, in fact violates the United Nations Charter ; secondly, it’s not enough to declare that you are fighting terrorism, you must also help the Syrian Arab Republic in their fight against al-Qaïda and Daesh. You must stop indirectly supplying these organisations with arms, and stop creating and activating pseudo-rebel groups.
So it was an old companion of Hugo Chávez, not the Allies, who was on the same wavelength as President Barack Obama.

Clinton, Juppé, Erdoğan, Daesh and the PKK, AN INSANE AMBITION WHICH IS TURNING INTO A CIVIL WAR

22 Aug

  
Published in 2013, the Wright plan is based on the Juppé plan for Libya, Syria and Iraq. However, Robin Wright goes further by including projects for Saudi Arabia and Yemen. 

by Thierry Meyssan

VOLTAIRE NETWORK | DAMASCUS (SYRIA) | 3 AUGUST 2015 

The resumption of the repression of Kurds in Turkey is nothing more than a consequence of the impossible task of implementing the Juppé-Wright plan of 2011. While it was easy to deploy Daesh in the Syrian desert and the provinces of Niniveh and d’al-Anbar (Iraq), which are mostly Sunnite, it proved to be impossible to take control of the Kurdish populations of Syria. In order to realise his dream of a Kurdistan outside of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no other choice but civil war.

When they took power in Ankara in 2003, the Islamist party AKP modified Turkey’s strategic priorities. Rather than using reports on the post-« Desert Storm » balance of power, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harboured the ambition of freeing his country from the isolation it has known since the end of the Ottoman Empire. Based on analyses provided by his advisor, Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu, he advocated solving century-old problems with Turkey’s neighbours, and becoming progressively the inevitable regional mediator. In order to do so, Turkey had to become a political model and build relations with his Arab partners, without losing its alliance with Israël.
This policy, known as « zero problem », began sucessfully at first.Ankara no longer feared Damascus and its support for the PKK, and also asked Syria for help in negotiating an exit. In October 2006, the Kurdish party declared a unilateral truce and began negotiations with the Erdoğan government. In May 2008, Ankara organised indirect negotiations between Damascus and Tel-Aviv, the first talks since Ehud Barack’s rejection of the Bill Clinton / Hafez el-Assad plan. But President Bachar el-Assad withdrew from the discussions after Israël attacked Gaza in December 2009.
Realising that because of the Palestinian conflict, it was impossible to maintain good relations with all the states in the region, Ankara chose to support the Palestinians against Israël. This was the period of the Davos and Freedom Flotilla episodes. Backed by vast popular support in the Muslim world, Ankara approached Teheran and accepted, in November 2010, to participate in a Turkey-Iran-Iraq-Syria common market. Visas were repealed ; the rights of the Customs were considerably reduced ; a consortium was created to manage the oil and gas pipe-lines ; an authority was created to enable the management of water ressources. The overall structure looked so inviting that Lebanon and Jordan presented their candidacy. Sustainable peace seemed possible for the Levant.
When, in 2011, the United Kingdom and France launched a double war against Libya and Syria, at the request and under the control of the United States, Turkey quite logically opposed it. These wars, launched on the pretext of protecting the populations, were far too evidently neo-colonial strategies. Besides, they damaged Turkish interests, since Libya was one of its main economic partners and Syria had become one by way of the new regional common market.
That’s when everything collapsed…
How France caused the collapse of Turkey
In March 2011, on the initiative of the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, Paris secretly proposed to support Ankara’s candidacy to the European Union and help it solve its Kurdish problem if Turkey would join France in its war against Libya and Syria. From the French point of view, this was a radically new proposition, since during the period he led the Gaullist party and was a collaborator of Jacques Chirac, Alain Juppé had been firmly opposed to the entry of Turkey into the Union. But, condemned for corruption in France, he had exiled himself to America in 2005 and taught classes in Québec while at the same time following a course at the Pentagon. Converted to neo-conservatism, he returned to France and was chosen by Nicolas Sarkozy as Minister for Defence, then for Foreign Affairs.
Retrospectively, the Juppé plan revealed French intentions : they concerned the creation of a Kurdistan in Iraq and Syria, according to the map which was published two years later by Robin Wright in the New York Times, and was implemented conjointly by the Islamic Emirate, the Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan and some ex-collaborators of Saddam Hussein linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. The document, co-signed by Alain Juppé and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu, leaves no doubt : France intended to reconstitute a colonial empire in Syria. Moreover, it had connections within the Islamist terrorist movements and anticipated the creation of Daesh. In order to guarantee the Juppé plan, Qatar agreed to make massive investments in eastern Turkey, hoping that the Turkish Kurds would then abandon the PKK.
This plan has remained secret until today. If the French and Turkish parlementaries could manage to legally obtain a copy, it would amply suffice to bring Messrs. Juppé and Davutoğlu before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
Contrary to a popular notion, the Kurds are deeply divided. In Turkey and Syria, the PKK, originally a Marxist-Leninist party, has always defended the anti-imperialist point of view. While the Iraqi Kurds, linked with Israël since the Cold War, have always been the allies of the United States. The two groups do not speak the same language and have very different histories.
It is probable that, from their side, the United States would sweeten the dowry by promoting the Turkish political model in the Arab world, and helping the AKP to take charge of the political parties born of the Muslim Brotherhood, so that Turkey would become the centre of the next Middle East. In any case, and in extremis, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan supported NATO’s project, which took over from AfriCom after the revolt of its commander [1].
Immediately, Ankara mobilised the citizens of Misrata in Libya. These are mostly the descendants of the Jewish soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, the Adghams, and the nomadic merchants descended from black slaves, the Muntasirs, who had supported the Young Turks. They formed the only significant Libyan group capable of attacking Tripoli [2].
Simultaneously, Ankara organised several meetings of the Syrian opposition in Istanbul, from August 2011. Finally, the Muslim Brotherhood constituted the Syrian National Council in October, associating representatives from the diverse political and minority groups.
NATO renounces the invasion of Syria
Watching NATO’s implication in Libya, Ankara was logically counting on an identical implication by NATO in Syria. But despite a large number of terrorist attacks and an unflagging international Press campaign, it proved impossible to both inflame the population and attribute mass crimes to President el-Assad in a credible manner. Above all, Moscow and Bejing, angered by the Libyan affair, opposed any Security Council resolution pretending to « protect » the Syrians from their own government (October 2011, February and July 2012).
Washington and London abandoned the game, even though Paris and Ankara continued to believe in it [3]. The two states developed close collaboration, which went as far, in September 2012, as planning the assassination of the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Walid al-Mouallem, and President Bachar el-Assad.
The terrorist attack in Riyadh, a response to the assassination of members of the Syrian National Security Council, seriously wounded Prince Bandar ben Sultan in July 2012, and left the international jihadist movement orphaned. Even though the prince survived his wounds, he only left hospital a year later, and was never again able to assume the role he had played until then. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seized the occasion to replace him. He opened personal relations with Yasin al-Qadi, the banker for al-Qaïda, whom he received in secret several times in Ankara. He supervised a number of jihadist groups, initially created by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.
In January 2013, by intervening in Mali, France distanced itself from the Syrian jihadists, thus leaving on-the-ground military operations to Turkey, even if it left a few legionnaires in place. Shortly afterwards, the Emir of Qatar, cheikh Ahmad, was obliged to abdicate by Washington, which blamed him – after denunciation by Russia – for operating in a way that was damaging to United States economic interests. Even before his son, cheikh Tamim, succeeded him, the greater part of the financing of the war against Syria was being handled by Saudi Arabia.
In order to benefit from this support, and that of Israël, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began to promise anyone who was listening that the United States were going to ignore the Russian and Chinese vetos and launch NATO in an assault against Damascus. Profiting from the confusion, he organised the pillage of Syria, dismantled all the factories in Aleppo, the economic capital, and stole the machine-tools. Similarly, he organised the theft of archeological treasures and set up an international market in Antioch [4]. Still apparently unaware of the consequences, with the help of General Benoît Puga, Chief of Staff for the Elysée, he organised a false-flag operation intended to provoke the launching of a war by the Atlantic Alliance – the chemical bombing of la Ghoutta in Damascus, in August 2013. But London immediately uncovered the manipulation and refused to engage [5].
Turkey participated in the operation of ethnic cleansing and partition of Iraq and Syria, known as the « Wright plan ». The presence of the Turkish secret services in the preparatory meetings for Daesh in Amman is verified by the publication of a record of decisions by the PKK. Moreover, the « Wright plan » is a copy of the « Juppé plan », which convinced Turkey to go to war. Following this, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself took command of the terrorist organisation, ensuring at the same time its arms supply and the sale of its petrol.
Anxiously observing the talks between Washington and Teheran, Ankara feared a peace agreement which would leave it powerless. Solicited by his Russian opposite number, Vladimir Putin, Mr. Erdoğan accepted to participate in the gas pipe-line project Turkish Stream, intended to break the US monopoly and avoid the European embargo. Then, racking up his courage, he went to see his Iranian opposite number, cheikh Hassan Rohani, who assured him that he had nothing to fear from the agreement which was then being developed. But as soon as it was signed, on the 14th July 2015, it was apparent that it left no room for Turkey in the region.
Without surprise, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received, on the 24th July, an ultimatum from President Obama, requiring him to 

 immediately renounce the Russian gas pipe-line project ; cease his support of Daesh – of which he had become the excutive chief behind the screen of calife Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi – and go to war with them. Applying even greater pressure, Barack Obama evoked the possibility of excluding Turkey from NATO, with the concertation of the United Kingdom, even though this situation is not mentioned in the Treaty.
After having begged pardon and authorised the United States and NATO to use the the military base at Incirlik against Daesh, Mr. Erdoğan made contact with the special emissary for the Anti-Daesh Coalition, General John Allen, known for his opposition to the agreement with Iran. The two men agreed to interpret President Obama’s remarks as an encouragement to fight terrorism, a heading under which they listed the PKK. Exceeding his functions, the General promised to create a « no-fly zone » ninety miles wide, over Syrian territory, along the whole border with Turkey, supposedly intended to help Syrian refugees fleeing from their government, but in reality to apply the « Juppé-Wright plan ». The Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, revealed US support for the project on the TV channel A Haber by launching a bombing raid against the PKK.
General John Allen had twice succeeded in prolonging the war against Syria. In June 2012, he plotted with General David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to sabotage the Geneva agreement between Washington and Moscow for peace in the Near East. This agreement called, amongst other things, for peace in Syria – even though Damascus had not been invited to the conference – but this was considered inacceptable by both the US neo-conservatives and the US « liberal hawks ». The trio Clinton-Allen-Petraeus counted on the new French President, François Hollande, and his new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, to convene a conference of the « Friends of Syria » and reject the Geneva Agreement. Since he was in the heat of an election campaign, President Obama could not sanction his collaborators, but the day following his election, he had David Petraeus and John Allen arrested, victims of a sexual trap. Hillary Clinton stayed on for a few weeks, but then suddenly retired after an « accident ». Finally, only Petraeus was found guilty, while Allen was whitewashed and Clinton – like Juppé – began preparations for the next Presidential election campaign.
The trio Clinton-Allen-Petraeus staged a second operation in December 2014 which managed to disrupt the Moscow Conference. By promising the Muslim Brotherhood that they would implement the « Juppé-Wright plan », they convinced the Syrian National Coalition to refuse any disscussions on peace. Incidentally, this episode attests to the fact that the aim of the Syrian National Coalition is not regime change in Syria but the destruction of the country and its state.
Learning the facts during his journey to Africa, President Obama officially denied the engagement of General Allen, recognised Turkey’s right to fight the PKK, but denounced any action against it outside of Turkey. President Erdoğan then called for a meeting of the Atlantic Council to inform them of his entry into the Anti-Terrorist Coalition and his double action against Daesh and the PKK. On the 29th July, the Allies coldly replied that they supported his action, but did not recognise his right to bombard the PKK in Iraq and Syria except in cases of « pursuit » – in other words, if the PKK used bases in other countries to manage troop movements against Turkey.
Moreover, President Obama has relieved Daniel Rubinstein of his functions as Special Envoy to Syria, and replaced him with Michael Ratney, a specialist of both the Near East and communications. His main task will be to keep an eye on General Allen.
Turkey enters into civil war
Presently, the actions of the Turkish army against the PKK in Iraq and Syria have no legal justification in international law. Both governments have denounced attacks on their territory. From the US pont of view, the PKK and the Syrian Arab Army – in other words, the army of the Republic – are the only ground forces capable of confronting Daesh. The resumption of the war against the Kurdish minority illustrates the AKP’s desire to continue the implementation of the « Juppé-Wright plan », even after the partial withdrawal of Qatar and France.
However, one fundamental element has profoundly changed the game : Israël and Saudi Arabia, who not so long ago supported the idea of creating a Kurdistan and a Sunnistan in Iraq and Syria, are now opposed to it. Tel-Aviv and Riyadh now understand that these two new states, if they come to be, will not be controlled by them, but by a Turkey which is no longer hiding its imperial ambitions, and will become a de facto regional giant.
By one of those turn-arounds of which the Near East has the secret, Israël and Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement in order to oppose President Erdoğan’s folly, and also, surreptitiously, to help the PKK, despite its Marxist identity. Furthermore, Israël has already contacted the traditional enemies of Turkey, Alexis Tsípras’ Greece, and Níkos Anastasiádis’ Cyprus.
Let there be no mistake – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chosen civil war as his only political exit. After losing the general election and managing to block the creation of a new government, he is now trying to scare his own people into convincing the MHP (nationalists) to support the AKP (Islamists) and form a coalition government, or call another round of general elections – and win.
The anti-terrorist operation which was intended to fight both Daesh and the Kurdish population is aimed almost exclusively at the PKK and the PYG (its Syrian alter ego). The bombings which were supposedly aimed at the Islamic Emirate destroyed nothing. At the same time, Mr. Erdoğan has begun judicial enquiries against the Kurdish leaders of the HPD, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. For a start, the prosecution accuses them of having called for violence against non-Kurds – which is ridiculous – and secondly, of supporting the PYG, the militia of the Syrian Arab Republic and therefore, according to the magistrate, a terrorist organisation.
The civil war which is beginning will not be the same as in the 1990’s. It will be far more wide-ranging and murderous. Partly because Turkey has not one ally left outside its boundaries, and partly because the government’s Islamist policies have divided its own society. Thus there will not be Turkish institutions supported by NATO on one side and Syrian-backed PKK on the other – but a fragmentation of Turkish society – secular against Islamist ; modern against traditionalist ; Alevis against Sunnites ; Kurds against Turks.

Syria – the rhetoric and the truth

20 Aug

  
VOLTAIRE NETWORK | BEIRUT (LEBANON) | 13 AUGUST 2015 

by Thierry Meyssan
For the last two weeks, the international Press has been full of rumours announcing the beginning of a US military operation against Syria. Thierry Meyssan, who has already denounced a manipulation by General John Allen and his friends, whose aim is to sabotage the USA/Iran agreements, revisists the absurdity of this charge. He explains why the strategic support offered by Russia and China to a secular Syria is not negotiable.

On the 27th July, the New York Times announced the creation, by Washington and Ankara, of a security zone to shelter Syrian refugees presently stationed in Turkey [1]. Shortly afterwards, the White House denied this information. I explained in an earlier article that the New York Times had been led astray both by General John Allen, special envoy for the international anti-Daesh Coalition, and by the intermediary Turkish governement [2]. I noted that Allen had aleady participated in two other attempts to sabotage peace in Syria, in June 2012 and in December 2014, and that President Obama had attempted to have him arrested three years ago, in September 2012.

A large number of commentators have connected this information to another, according to which the Pentagon is now authorising itself to support the « moderate rebels » whenever they are attacked, and whoever the aggressor. They believed that this was the start of the long-awaited NATO campaign against the Syrian Arab Republic.

This is an absurd interpretation – these elements must be interpreted differently.

Contradictory declarations and the reality on the ground

As it happens, the Coalition had agreed not to hit the Syrian Arab Army, but only Daesh – and now also al-Qaïda – in Syria. It also transmits the flight plans for its bombers and troop missions on the ground to the General Staff of the Syrian Arab Army, by the intermediary of their Kurdish allies of the PYG. In this way, the Coalition ensures in advance that its planes will not be destroyed by the Syrian Air Force, and that they will be taking part in the same objectives as the Syrian Arab Army, without any need to coordinate further.

Officially, the British and French are not participating in operations on Syrian territory. But we know that this is false. These two nations have been bombing Daesh in Syria. A few days ago, the British Minister for Foreign Affairs was obliged to admit the truth to the House of Commons [3]. However, his French opposite number, who is not submitted to the same political pressure, continues to deny the facts. The British have deployed 120 SAS troops to on-the-ground locations in order to guide the air strikes [4]. This mission was especially risky for foreigners who do not know the terrain – the Pentagon trained 60 « moderate Syrian rebels » to help them. 54 soldiers entered Syrian territory and were immediately attacked by al-Qaïda.

It is grotesque to pretend that the Pentagon trained 60 combatants with the aim of overcoming hundreds of thousands of soldiers from the Syrian Arab Republic and overthrowing the Republic. Their only function is to play a part in the anti-Daesh Coalition, and their only mission is to determine, on the ground, the targets for their bombers.

It is true, as the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov pointed out, that the announcement was poorly phrased. The White House spokeman should have suspected that it would be badly interpreted, given the desire of certain members of the United States, French and Turkish leadership to enter into open war with Syria. In practice, he preferred to mislead the adversaries of the USA/Iran agreement.

In fact, the Pentagon was alluding to the situation which presented itself. The 54 « moderate rebels » were attacked by al-Qaïda, and the Pentagon defended them. But during the last few months, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been trying to rehabilitate al-Qaïda in Syria (the al-Nusra Front) to create an acceptable alternative to Daesh. Contrary to the conclusions of a number of commentators, by bombing both Daesh and al-Qaïda, which is a new development, the Pentagon is supporting the strategy of the Syrian Arab Republic, in accordance with its agreement with Iran.

Geostrategic Principles

Now let’s examine the whole picture. This line of reasoning – cleverly fabricated by General Allen during the Aspen Security Forum, and also by Turkey – aims at operating a radical change in US policy. Washington, after having long hesitated over launching an all-out war against Syria, seems to have finally decided to do so. Syria will soon be bombed just like Lybia, and that will be the end of President Bachar el-Assad.

If that is what transpires, we will be entering into a state of world war.

Indeed, Russie and China have opposed their veto at the Security Council four times already concerning proposed resolutions which authorise or prepare for an attack on Syria. By opposing their veto, Moscow and Beijing did not simply refuse to support these resolutions. They entered into diplomatic conflict with the authors of these projects, and confirmed that they were prepared to wage war on them if they should make a unilateral decision to pursue their projects.

The first veto, on the 4th October 2011, surprised Washington. The second, on the 4th February 2012, convinced them to abandon the idea of treating Syria the way they had treated Libya. France, Qatar and Turkey decided to restart the war, and presented two more projects for resolution, on the 19th July 2012, and on the question of crimes against humanity attributed to the Syrian Arab Republic, on the 22nd May 2014. They received the same vetos.

The French, Qatari and Turkish declarations – that their diplomats are dedicated to convincing their Russian friends to abandon Bachar el-Assad – are stupid, and the recent declarations by Barack Obama concerning a potential evolution of the positions of Russia and Iran are not much more convincing. In fact, the US President was attempting to anaesthetize the opponents of the agreement that he has negotiated with Iran.

But we’re not talking about Iran. Only the two permanent powers of the Security Council – Russia and China.

Russian and Chinese interests

The position of Moscow and Beijing is not a display of anti-Western defiance, nor an act of solidarity between dictatorships, since that’s how Western qualifies the régimes of these two states. It’s a question of geostrategy which is born of centuries of history. It’s anything but negotiable.

The Russian presence in the Mediterranean and the Near East depends on a régime in Damascus which is respectful of religious diversity. It would be impossible if the Muslim Brotherhood, or any other similar Islamist group, were to seize power. This was also true in the days of Tsarina Catherine II, who declared that Syria was Russia’s key to the Near East, and this is still true today for President Putin. Also, the Russians, who are mostly orthodox and have suffered because of that, feel solidarity for the Syrian Christians, who are mostly orthodox.

Of course, Russia has not always been in a position to defend its interests. This is why, in 2005, it refused the Syrian offer to occupy the port of Tartus and 30 kilometres of coastline for its Mediterranean fleet – in this way, Damascus was hoping to prevent the war that Washington had been preparing since well before the Arab Spring. But at the time, after the collapse of the USSR, Russia had no fleet in the Mediterranean. Today, it has re-organised, and has rebuilt its maritime power, and now effectively uses the port of Tartus.

In order to develop, Chinese commerce relies upon the security of the continental routes linking China to the Mediterranean. In the Middle Ages, the Chinese built the « silk road » which linked their capital at the time, Xi’an, to Damascus. The Umeyyad, who founded the Muslim religion, were careful to protect the other local religions – Judaism, Mandaeism and Christianism. When they extended their power in Central Asia as far as Xin Qiang, they treated the religions of the Far East in the same way – they were a long way from the current sectarian form of Islam. Today, all these religions pray every day in the Great Mosque in Damascus, where one of the mosaics pays tribute to a Chinese pagoda. In order to develop, modern China is attempting to rebuild the « silk road », and for this reason, has founded the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Let there be no mistake about it, the strategic support for Damascus by Moscow and Beijing in no way signifies that they would send their troops to defend the country against the jihadists who are bleeding it dry – they have not done so yet, and they will not do so – just that they will not allow the Western powers to use their own weapons to destroy the Syrian Arab Republic.

From their side, the United States are the dominant global power because they oblige global commerce to rely mostly on maritime transport, and with the United Kingdom, they control and secure the oceans. This is why, for the maintenance of its power, Washington considers it essential to sabotage any attempts to re-open the continental routes [5]. The chaos in Iraq and the fall of Palmyra have cut communication routes via the South, while the chaos in Ukraine cuts the routes via the North.

In the Syrian conflict, the Western and Gulf powers support the Muslim Brotherhood, while Russia and China support the secular Republic.

The illusions of France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey

The Turkish government, which decidedly seems to understand nothing about politics, has twice attempted to force the United States into open warfare. On the 11th May 2013, Turkey denounced a massive terrorist attack in Reyhani, which it attributed to the Syrian secret services. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan immediately rushed off to complain to President Obama. But the US President had already been warned in advance by the CIA that the attack, which cost the lives of 51 Turks and crippled 140, was a set-up by the Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MIT), a false-flag operation engineered by the Turkish secret services. Since Reyhani, incidentally, those responsible for the attack have been forced to resign.

Mr. Erdoğan tried again four months later with the help of the Elysée, by organising the chemical attack on la Ghoutta in Damascus, the 21st August 2013. The plot was immediately unmasked by the British MI6, who hurried to warn their US allies. After a cleverly-orchestrated spectacle in the House of Commons, London and Washington left Ankara and Paris to their crimes and their bluster.

We can discuss the capacity of the Obama administration to defend its new strategy of alliance with the Iranian Chiite clergy, or the capacity of its US adverseries to pursue their Straussian strategy of remodeling the « Greater Middle East » and generalised chaos. But in any event, none of them will ever move from a third-party war fought by jihadists to a classic conflict. It is absurd to imagine that Washington would launch a third World War against Russia and China with the sole aim of replacing President Bachar el-Assad with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Yemen: A Voice in the Wilderness

10 Jul

  
By Vanessa Beeley

Global Research, July 10, 2015

thewallwillfall 10 July 2015

A boy and his sisters watch graffiti artists spray on a wall, commemorating the victims who were killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

“ Yemeni people are not bad people, they are good people. They want to be respected, they want their sovereignty to be respected. We did not wage a war, a war was brought upon us. Our issue was an internal one and it would have been sorted out internally”

Hanan al-Harazi, her mother and her 8 year old daughter fled Yemen 10 days after the first bombs started to tear holes in her beloved country. Hanan’s daughter had begun to present the early signs of PTSD and for her sanity, the family decided to split itself down the middle, leaving Hanan’s husband behind in Yemen with his family and her two brothers. Hanan brings us a moving and powerful insight into the events leading up to the present devastation of Yemen at the hands of their Saudi oppressors and their imperialist allies.

A boy and his sisters watch graffiti artists spray on a wall, commemorating the victims who were killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, May 18, 2015. Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels resumed early on Monday in the southern port city of Aden after a five-day truce expired amid talks on the war-torn country’s future that were boycotted by the rebels. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Vanessa Beeley: When did you leave Yemen?

Hanan al-Harazi: I think we were in Yemen for almost 10 days after the bombing started and then there was a rocket attack on our immediate neighbourhood, very close to where we lived. After this, my daughter developed urinary incontinence and a sudden fear of any loud sound. Recently, I was looking for her for over an hour and I eventually found her hiding in the closet because she had heard an aircraft flying overhead. It will take decades to erase this trauma from her memory. I can’t even imagine what the other children still in Yemen have been going through after almost 103 days of continuous air raids. It is devastating.

V: How old is your daughter?

collageH: She is turning 9 in August. I used to work at a school so I know that children are not able to express themselves in words as well as adults. I just gave her a piece of paper and I told her to write down her feelings. It was heart-breaking for me to read the pain and suffering in those baby words. A few days later, it’s the same thing, all she can draw or paint are jets bombing her country, really sad images. I know that the sun represents something really positive in a child’s life but when you have a child depicting a crying sun with a sad face, it should really pass a powerful message to the world.

We were lucky enough to have foreign passports that meant we could leave Yemen. Nobody is issuing visas to Yemeni nationals so this means 23 million people trapped inside a country that is being mercilessly and indiscriminately bombed with complete disregard for civilian life.

V: There are reports that state over 80% of the population are now enduring a humanitarian crisis. Is this figure realistic?

H: Absolutely! There is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis unfolding in Yemen. My fear is that if the blockade is not lifted we are going to witness something horrific by all standards. You are talking about a population of which almost 60% are living below the poverty line. They don’t know how to secure the next meal and this was when their world was “ok” and not in a state of war. I would say the few people who had jobs have lost them and food prices have rocketed. The capital may have slightly better facilities than some outlying areas but even there, the water is now contaminated and the cost of bottled water has trebled in price. I have no idea how people are coping.

Food is still available in the markets but supplies are sparse. Once these supplies do run out, Yemen will starve. We produce very little food in Yemen itself, the majority of foodstuff is imported so the movement of goods is essential to our survival. The blockade will ensure that we cannot survive. There has been a tiny trickle of aid via certain aid groups and NGOs but this has only reached hardest hit areas like Aden, leaving entire swaths of the country without food, water or medical facilities. The cumulative effects will be horrendous and the Humanitarian crisis will be crippling.

V: I am assuming that KSA [as Israel did in Gaza] is targeting Yemen’s infrastructure in order to destroy the civilian ability to survive this onslaught.

goatH. Yes absolutely. If you look back to yesterday, the events in Amran and Lahj, they have targeted food markets and livestock markets. More evidence of the coalition determination to starve the people of Yemen. The livestock constitutes part of our minimal domestic produce, so this is a deliberate destruction of the civilian ability to survive. The footage that is coming out shows that they are targeting civilian areas, schools have been hit, stadiums, sports facilities, you name it. They have hit everything. They are saying they are only targeting military centres. Perhaps in the beginning this was true. Over the last few weeks we have seen far more random & intense bombing of civilian sites.

The Ansarullah movement is pretty much part of the Yemeni fabric, the Yemeni society. They don’t carry any markings or insignia to distinguish them from the local population so it is beyond ridiculous to say that they are hitting only Ansarullah targets in a city like Sanaa, that has a population of 3 million people .The civilian death toll is way higher than if they were only targeting Ansarullah operatives.

V: In your view is there any alternative to resisting this attack on Yemen? Is there an option for surrender and negotiation?

H: Look, I will speak for myself and for a lot of people in Yemen. The question of Yemen’s sovereignty has always been uppermost in Yemeni minds and this led to the 2011 revolution to get rid of our long- time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh because we knew he was largely a Saudi puppet. He was pushing the Saudi agenda in Yemen and giving it priority over the interests of the country. During this time many people lost their livelihoods and their lives and most of the major cities caught up in the revolt, came to a standstill for a while.

We have not come this far only to have another Saudi puppet government in place in Yemen. If this continues we no longer have an identity. Yemeni people are not bad people, they are good people. They want to be respected, they want their sovereignty to be respected. We did not wage a war, a war was brought upon us. Our issue was an internal one and it would have been sorted out internally.

Jamal Benomar, the former UN peace envoy to Yemen has actually stated very openly that the warring factions were actually reaching an agreement before the first bomb hit. “When this campaign started, one thing that was significant but went unnoticed is that the Yemenis were close to a deal that would institute power-sharing with all sides, including the Houthis,” said Mr. Benomar, a Moroccan diplomat. Thus it becomes obvious that our aspirations are being sacrificed at the altar of Imperialist greed and ambition.

V: We are seeing this across the region, these internal attempts at reconciliation and agreement that are being derailed by the Imperialist agenda and their sectarian propaganda. From what you are saying, this is also happening in Yemen?

H: I can categorically state, there is no sectarian conflict in Yemen. They have been trying to ignite a sectarian war in Yemen but Yemen is one country where we have had Shafi Sunnis and Zaydi Shias praying in the same mosques for hundreds of years. We are a society that is known to intermarry between these two sects. In reality they instigated this territorial war when they wanted to split Yemen into a 6 federal state system. We are tired of having their agenda imposed upon us and being forced to implement it.

I have lived in Yemen for the last 21 years and I never knew that my next door neighbour was a Shafi Sunni or a Zaydi Shia. It was not part of our culture, we never asked. We peacefully coexisted. This balkanisation agenda was the start of the entire problem. Their division was all wrong. They left some areas totally isolated.

The Ansarullah movement and the Southern Separatist movement were both in favour of a confederal state system where Yemen would be divided into north and south existing within a federal state. Most of us were ok with that.

President Hadi [although I hate to call him our President] was pushing the Saudi agenda of the 6 state system. Another thing that a lot of people don’t realise, is that when they divided the 6 state system they purposefully isolated one state called Azal. Azal incorporated many of the Zaydi strongholds, Sadaa, Amran, Sanaa and Dhamar. Azal was left without any resources or any access to the sea. It was blatant imprisonment and suppression of what we would term the “traditional powers” in that area. It was a deliberate attempt to weaken their influence in Yemen.

So Hadi’s plan would have divided Yemen into smaller sectarian states while the Ansarullah plan was more like going back to the boundaries before unity where the south would have greater autonomy over its own internal affairs.

V: How great is the “extremist” threat in Yemen?

H: Let me give you an example. The al-Jauf area has both Sunni and Shia populations and so does Marib and elsewhere. The Zaydi Shias and Shafi Sunnis are both very moderate sects. Yemeni people have no affiliation to the Wahabi sect of Saudi Arabia. Wahabism is alien to Yemen.

We do see certain areas in the South, like Hadramaut which has been in the media lately, parts of which are totally under control of Al Qaeda. The funny thing is, the bombs are falling on the very people that are fighting these extremists. Not a single bomb has been dropped on the extremist strongholds. Even though they know that AQ is in total control of al-Mukalla in Hadramaut and the seaport in that area. That has to be a huge question mark over their true agenda in the region.

The bombing has only achieved one thing and that is to further strengthen these extremist groups in Yemen. I know that in Ansarullah controlled-areas we have the local popular committees that are in charge of security and they have been working round the clock to ensure that the extremist elements are kept at bay. On the battleground their progress has been immensely impeded thanks to the airstrikes that serve as cover for the advancing extremists.

I am not sure if there are any foreign fighters at the moment. I know there are some Saudis, but I am not aware of foreigners from Afghanistan, Chechnya for example. If things escalate I believe we will see many more of these extremists entering Yemen via our borders, yes. Right now the northern borders are secure, apart from Marib where there is heavy fighting going on.

V: How much support are you receiving from Iran?

H: I do not believe that Iran is playing any active role. They support Yemen from a media perspective only. I believe Iran’s “support” is a propaganda ploy to justify hitting Yemen. This war was planned a long time ago, even before Ansarullah moved towards the capital. It becomes very suspicious when you have a president in power and a minority group leaves its stronghold in the northernmost tip of Yemen and moves down towards the capital, Sanaa, in the centre of the country. One city after another in the north falls to them and the president says nothing. Then just as they reach agreement which was the Peace and Partnership Initiative, Hadi suddenly decides that he does not want Ansarullah to have even marginal representation in Government. That was obviously never going to be acceptable, Ansarullah is a force on the ground that must be considered part of the coalition. That is where the conflict originated and that is why they placed Hadi under house arrest because he was following Saudi instructions. Saudi was against the Ansarullah inclusion in Yemen’s government. Then Hadi fled to the south.

My personal take was that the plan was always for Hadi to flee to the south and ask the Saudis for help which justified their bombing of the north of Yemen which has traditionally been the Zaydi stronghold and a thorn in their side. Ansarullah and the army discovered this plan and moved very quickly down to the south and hence you see this widespread bombing in all areas, not just in the north.

As a final point in the analysis of Iran’s role in Yemen. Yemen is a sovereign state and we are free to have bilateral ties with whomsoever we choose. Saudi had a problem with Yemen opening up about 12 flights per week to Iran mainly for bilateral reasons because the rest of the world shut down against Yemen. We have been under Saudi influence for, at least, the last 30 years. Many will say it’s much longer due to Saudi having been implicated in the assassination of President Ibrahim Al Hamdiwho was probably the best President that Yemen has ever had.

Yemen’s greatest problems are economic in nature. Saudi never did anything to resolve our economic issues other than putting our leaders on their payroll in order to effectively destroy the country. It’s nearly impossible for a Yemeni to get a visa to travel, even to the UAE. How can a country flourish when there are so many restrictions upon its people? When Ansarullah came to power our options were reviewed and bilateral ties with Iran were naturally investigated.

V: There is a very strong sense Yemen’s isolation. Even last night 180 Yemeni civilians were massacred in Amran and Lahj yet the media barely mentions it. Is this how you perceive it?

H: Yes. This goes back to decades and decades of isolation. Let me ask this question to the world. The government collapsed in Yemen in September 2014. Can you imagine a country that has gone months and months without a government in place, without a police force, without an army, with a population that does carry arms and with crushing poverty, yet the crime rate is less than “first world” countries like America. Why are these people isolated when they have this inestimable respect for human life? They are an example to the world.

News trickles out via internet, Yemen Today channel and Ansarullah’s channel, al-Masirah. It pains me that people seem to be largely ignoring our suffering, particularly when it is relatively easy to inform themselves these days. For instance, Yemen has had no coverage regarding the internationally banned weaponry that is being used against us. I know that where I work, the area has been severely damaged. It is an area called Faj Attan a densely populated civilian area where there are shopping areas, thousands of residential homes, schools. How can you use such weapons of mass destruction in an area like this and be exempt from investigation? 

V: Are you receiving any help through Oman?

H: Oman appears to have taken a neutral stance, for which I am grateful. The interesting thing is, about a month before the bombing started, I read a report from inside Oman stating that they were preparing for a refugee crisis. They were talking about the possibility of setting up refugee camps on the Yemen/Oman borders. So when the first bombs hit at 1.30 am when we were all asleep, I knew immediately that this had all been pre-planned. Maybe because Oman are part of the Gulf Cooperative [GCC] they had information that something was being prepared against Yemen. I do know that a lot of people have been flown into Oman for treatment, particularly during the suicide bomb attacks on the mosques in Yemen.

V: How is the internet in Yemen? How much electricity or alternative power source is available?

H: People are struggling, there is no power. Can you imagine a country in the 21st century without any power at all? Many people don’t realise that much of the water used in Yemen is pumped from underground reservoirs and so we need diesel or electricity to enable this pumping process, neither of which are available.

From what I hear, electricity is available maybe 40 minutes per week in the capital, Sanaa. There are other areas in the country that have no power at all. We did have this black out problem even before the war but never to this extent. Yes some have generators but black market fuel prices are crippling.

V: You mention WMD. I know there were reports on the use of nuclear bombs. The information coming out of Yemen is sketchy. Do you have any further information or evidence of this claim?

H: I know that 2 of the bombs that were used did produce a nuclear “type” mushroom cloud. Obviously the effects of any radiation will only be seen after time.

yemen cluster bombsBut even if they did not use nuclear missiles..the weapons they are using are still illegal and devastating. Their use of cluster bombs is well documented, some have failed to detonate and have been photographed on the ground. They have used neutron bombs which generate so much pressure. When my neighbourhood came under attack in first 10 days, the pressure I felt from a relatively distant explosion was terrifying. I had pain in my ears from the pressure draft for weeks afterwards.

The Yemenis were leading normal lives before being suddenly flung into a war zone, its bewildering for everyone. My husband is part of a food distribution network for the poor during Ramadan. He had just gone to deliver some goods to someone in the neighbourhood. Two minutes after he left there were direct rocket hits on this area and this poor man who didn’t even know where his next meal was coming from, was killed. How many more people must die senselessly to serve an Imperialist agenda?

V: Do you have a personal concept of what that Imperialist agenda is?

H: I do not think it is related to Iran despite the propaganda to the contrary. I think we are paying dearly for trying to free ourselves from Saudi slavery. We are paying for our freedom with our lives.

I have been told there are oil and more importantly, gas reserves in al-Jawf which is bordering Saudi Arabia and has been protected by them for years. In 2011 when the people took to the streets demanding a better life, President Saleh was forced to admit its existence publicly for the first time. So we are cursed, we are cursed because we have oil & gas. Every country that has natural resources is cursed and a target of Imperialist intervention.

Saudi Arabia has fostered corruption in Yemen for decades. Ansarullah were committed to ending this poisonous influence on our leaders and this would have countermanded Saudi power in Yemen. When the first bombs hit, the “sold” tribal sheikhs and politicians were seen fleeing to Saudi Arabia.

V: Would you be able to just elaborate on the situation in Aden and also address why Yemen is so important to Saudi Arabia.

H: Aden is being portrayed by the pro aggression media as being a battle for the legitimacy of Hadi. In 2011 Hadi was the only viable choice to fill the power vacuum. 6 million northerners voted for him while the south actually boycotted elections. This alone should counter the claims that he has legitimacy in the South of Yemen.

In Aden what is happening now is that Hadi has gone back to the South but it has to be made clear that the people of Aden and the surrounding area are not pro Hadi, they are also fighting for their independence and are not pro Saudi aggression.

If you look at a map of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is landlocked. Its only access or lifeline to the outside world is via the Bab-el-Mandeb straits in the south of Yemen and the Straits of Hormuz which are controlled by Iran. Yemen has never attempted to block or to impede movement through the Yemeni controlled Mandeb straits. To be honest I don’t even think that Yemen truly controls this area, it is covertly under the control of the Imperialist nations. Saudi Arabia has a lot of internal turmoil and is brutally crushing its own internal opposition. We would never interfere in Saudi internal affairs but I believe that they fear a strong Yemen. With our new constitution clearly stating that leaders can only have two terms in power, we would be the only republic in the GCC block. In Saudi Arabia, which is a despotic regime, our evolution could threaten the stability of their ruling families.

V: What is the message that you would like to convey to the outside world.

H: My hope right now, apart from a miracle from God, is that there are more good people than bad people in this world and I wish we could reach out to them and tell them, today it is me, tomorrow it is you.

We just want to survive, we want to live. Yemen is not the country it is being portrayed to be. We are not terrorists. We are proud of our culture. We are a peace loving people. Yemen is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. We are being portrayed as savages by a media that is supporting the savaging of our land.

I also have to say I respect Ansarullah for their wisdom and self -restraint especially when our mosques came under attack. Mosques that may have been built by Zaydi but are inclusive of all sects for worship. Ansarullah released a statement instructing people not to be drawn into the foreign conspiracy to ignite sectarian divisions. I feel they genuinely represent millions of Yemeni who are fighting for self-determination and recognition as a sovereign nation.

Surrender is not an option while our own internal peace process is being derailed by external aggression. Saudi Arabia has failed to send in ground troops and they are attempting to bomb us into submission. They see that this will not succeed so they have now imposed this brutal, horrific, cruel, vicious blockade on Yemen in the hope that the Yemeni people will turn against those who are fighting the Saudi invaders. I am proud of the solidarity that my people have shown to one another. Even in a situation like this where they have so few resources they will still take care of their neighbours. We are human beings and we have a right to a decent life.

Hands off Yemen

Yemen is far from perfect but no country in this world is perfect. We did not wage this war, we did not provoke this war. For the first 40 days of the Saudi offensive, Yemen did not fire one bullet towards Saudi Arabia. It is rank hypocrisy from Saudi Arabia to label us the aggressor. It has always been the opposite, Saudi Arabia has always been sending its filthy elements into my country and attempting to spread its disgusting Wahabi ideology. Whether Zaydi or Shafi we will never adopt this distorted, twisted, ugly version of Islam.

I would go so far as to state that Yemen has potential to be a model for true democracy in the Middle East. There are 25 million people who call Yemen, home. We simply ask to be left in Peace. Is that too much to ask?

Vanessa Beeley is a photographer, writer, peace activist and volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. She lived in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defence and again in 2013. In 2014 she established the Gaza Smile Project to raise funds for children in Gaza. She spent her childhood in Egypt with her father, Sir Harold Beeley who was Special Envoy to Cairo during both Suez Crises, confirmed Nasserist and Middle East Advisor to Ernest Bevin. Since 2011, Vanessa has spent most of her time in the Middle East . She was recently invited to be on the steering committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement. Visit her blog thewallwillfall.wordpress.com.

Behind the Greek Economic Crisis. The Unspoken History of Foreign Intervention

6 Jul

  
Image: Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s Syriza party. (Photo credit: FrangiscoDer)

By William R PolkGlobal Research, July 06, 2015

Consortiumnews 2 July 3015

 globalresearch.ca

Behind the Greek Economic Crisis. The Unspoken History of Foreign Intervention

1024px-Alexis_Tsipras_Syriza-300×200

Image: Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s Syriza party. (Photo credit: FrangiscoDer)
The usual narrative of the Greek economic tragedy is that the country is paying for its past profligacy, but there is deeper back story of political repression fueled by major powers intervening in Greece and contributing to a dysfunctional political system, recalls ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk.
Focusing exclusively on the monetary aspects of the Greek crisis the media misses much of what disturbs the Greeks and also what might make a solution possible.
For over half a century, Greeks have lived in perilous times. In the 1930s, they lived under a brutal dictatorship that modeled itself on Nazi Germany, employing Gestapo-like secret police and sending critics off to an island concentration camp. Then a curious thing happened: Benito Mussolini invaded the country.
Challenged to protect their self-respect and their country, Greeks put aside their hatred of the Metaxis dictatorship and rallied to fight the foreign invaders. The Greeks did such a good job of defending their country that Adolf Hitler had to put off his invasion of Russia to rescue the Italians. That move probably saved Josef Stalin since the delay forced the Wehrmacht to fight in Russia’s mud, snow and ice for which they had not prepared. But, ironically, it also saved the Metaxis dictatorship and the monarchy. The king and all the senior Greek officials fled to British-occupied Egypt and, as new allies, they were declared part of the “Free World.”
Meanwhile, in Greece, the Germans looted much of the industry, shipping and food stuffs. The Greeks began to starve. As Mussolini remarked, “the Germans have taken from the Greeks even their shoelaces…”
Then, the Greeks began to fight back. In October 1942, they set up a resistance movement that within two years became the largest in Europe. When France could claim less than 20,000 partisans, the Greek resistance movement had enrolled about 2 million and was holding down at least two divisions of German soldiers. And they did it without outside help.
As the war’s outcome became apparent, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was determined to return Greece to the prewar rule of the monarchy and the old regime. He was motivated by fear of Communist influence within the resistance movement.
Churchill tried to get the Anglo-American army that was getting ready to invade Italy to attack Greece instead. Indeed, he tried so hard to change the war plan that he almost broke up the Allied military alliance; when he failed, he threw all the soldiers he still controlled into Greece and precipitated a civil war that tore the country apart. The Underground leaders were outsmarted and their movement was smashed. The bureaucracy, police and programs of the prewar dictatorship resumed control.
After the war, with Britain out of money and no longer able to sustain its policy, London turned Greece over to the Americans who announced the “Truman Doctrine” and poured in money to prevent a leftist victory. American money temporarily won the day, but the heavy hand of the former regime created a new generation of would-be democrats who challenged the dictatorship.
This is the theme beautifully evoked in Costa Gavras’ film “Z,” starring Yves Montand. As the film shows, the liberal movement of the early 1960s was overwhelmed by a new military dictatorship, “the rule of the colonels.”
When the military junta was overthrown in 1974, Greece enjoyed a brief period of “normality,” but none of the deep fissures in the society had been healed. Regardless of what political party chose the ministers, the self-perpetuating bureaucracy was still in control. Corruption was rife. And, most important of all, Greece had become a political system that Aristotle would have called an oligarchy.
The very rich used their money to create for themselves a virtual state within the state. They extended their power into every niche of the economy and so arranged the banking system that it became essentially extra-territorialized. Piraeus harbor was filled with mega-yachts owned by people who paid no taxes and London was partly owned by people who fattened off the Greek economy. The “smart money” of Greece was stashed abroad.
The Current Crisis
This state of affairs might have lasted many more years, but when Greece joined the European Union in 1981, European (mainly German) bankers saw an opportunity: they flocked into Greece to offer loans. Even those Greeks who had insufficient income to justify loans grabbed them. Then, the lenders began to demand repayment. Shocked, businesses began to cut back. Unemployment increased. Opportunities vanished.
There is really no chance that the loans will be repaid. They should never have been offered and never should have been accepted. To stay afloat, the government has cut back on public services (except for the military) and the people have suffered. In the 2004 elections, the Greeks had not yet suffered enough to vote for the radical coalition led by the “Unity” (SYRIZA) party. Only 3.3 percent of the voters did.
Then, after the 2008 financial crash came years of worsening hardship, disapproval of all politicians and anger. It was popular anger, feeling misled by the bankers and by their own foolishness. There was also hopelessness as Greeks realized that they had no way out and began to turn to SYRIZA. After a series of failed attempts to secure a mandate, SYRIZA won the 2015 election with 36.3 percent of the vote and 249 out of 300 members of Parliament.
Today, the conditions that impelled that vote are even more urgent: the national income of Greece is down about 25 percent and unemployment among younger workers is over 50 percent. So where does that leave the negotiators?
Faced with German and EU demands for more austerity, the Greeks are angry. They have deep memories of hatred against the Germans (this time, not soldiers but bankers). They have been, time after time, traduced by their own politicians. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must know that if he is charged with a “sell-out,” his career is finished.
And the bail-out package offered by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank is heavily weighted against Greece. Greeks also see their option of exiting the Euro as similar to stances taken by Britain and Sweden in not joining in the first place – although a painful adjustment for the Greek economy would be expected if Greece undertakes an unprecedented departure from the European currency.
However, unless the IMF and ECB offer a real chance for a better life for Greeks by forgiving most of the debts, I believe that the Greeks might well vote on Sunday to reject the austerity demands and leave the Euro.
William R. Polk is a veteran foreign policy consultant, author and professor who taught Middle Eastern studies at Harvard. President John F. Kennedy appointed Polk to the State Department’s Policy Planning Council where he served during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His books include: Violent Politics: Insurgency and Terrorism; Understanding Iraq; Understanding Iran; Personal History: Living in Interesting Times; Distant Thunder: Reflections on the Dangers of Our Times; and Humpty Dumpty: The Fate of Regime Change.

Media Coverage of Europe’s Migrant Crisis Ignores Root Cause: NATO

28 Jun

   

By Global Research News

Global Research, June 28, 2015

Russian Insider 

The scale of the migrant crisis Europe is facing today cannot be understated. It is truly unprecedented. What is habitually understated, however — and in fact almost completely ignored by mainstream media — are the real roots of the crisis.
The debate around migration into the EU is happening nearly entirely without reference to the causes of the recent influx of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East. The elephant in the room is NATO and nobody really wants to talk about it.
Hundreds of articles, laden down with numbers and proposals and predictions fail to make any direct link between cause and effect. News anchors sit seemingly baffled, mouths agape, at the apocalyptic-like pictures they are seeing land on their desks, and yet few are willing to draw the appropriate conclusions. But it is such a basic and logical connection that it’s hard to believe it is not being made very loudly and very persistently.
Maybe it’s just that these journalists are so conditioned to framing U.S. and NATO policy in a positive light that the links don’t even really occur to them. Or maybe they’re simply embarrassed and trying to shift focus from their long-recorded support for various military interventions in these countries.
Either way, the result is that the story is framed in such a way that it makes the timing of the crisis sound almost random. We’re witnessing a conversation about how to ‘deal’ with boats full of Libyans making their way across the Mediterranean — as if Libya was a country that had just self-imploded yesterday, and for no discernible reason.
A fierce debate is raging over ‘what to do’ about these migrants — and in a way that’s understandable because that is the more immediate problem — but the debate we really need to be having is about the policies, NATO’s policies, which were the catalyst.
Even if Europe unites in formulating a ‘solution’ to the problem, it will be nothing more than a bandaid fix because it will only deal with symptom. After all, what’s the point in covering your open wound with a bandaid when the guy who cut you is still wielding a knife in the same room? It doesn’t take a genius to work out how that story ends.
Whenever the cause is grudgingly mentioned by the media, it is mentioned briefly and abstractly where the author or anchor might refer to “conflict” or make mention of how violence has “reignited” in these countries in recent years and months.
The editors at the New York Times in particular, are big fans of loading all the blame squarely onto Europe’s shoulders. Here a Times piece argues that the migrant crisis “puts Europe’s policy missteps into focus”. Another piece, from the editorial board, lectures Europe on how to handle the situation.
In April, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg called for a “comprehensive response” to the crisis and promised that NATO would help to stabilize the situation. The alliance’s role in “stabilizing” Afghanistan was part of its broader approach to the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, he said.
That is rich coming from the head of a ‘security’ and ‘defensive’ alliance which for years has pursued a policy of offensive destabilization in the very regions which people are fleeing from in their hundreds of thousands. But Stoltenberg’s comments and NATO’s actions are easily decoded by the employment of some basic common sense.
The NATO modus operandi is clear. The pattern, repeated over and over, involves the complete destabilization of a region, to be swiftly followed up with another NATO-led ‘solution’ to the problem. When you couple that with the use of spokespeople who are unashamed to feign ignorance and lie blatantly (Jen Psaki, Marie Harf etc.), and a compliant media that will regurgitate the line without question, this is what you get.
The 2011 NATO intervention in Libya was authorized by the United Nations on “humanitarian” grounds and resulted in the deaths of between 50,000 and 100,000 people and the displacement of 2 million. Very humanitarian.
Similarly, after the U.S.-led campaign to destabilize Syria in an effort to topple Bashar al-Assad, facilitating (and even supporting) the rise of ISIS in the region, a staggering 10 million have been displaced (according to Amnesty International) and European countries are left to help pick up the pieces. Germany, for example, has pledged to resettle 30,000 Syrian refugees. Sweden, a non-NATO nation, has taken in similar numbers.
It should be made clear however, that the numbers European countries have taken or pledged to take pale in comparison to the numbers being hosted in other Middle Eastern countries. Lebanon, for example, is hosting 1.1 million Syrian refugees. Jordan is hosting more than 600,000. Iraq hosts nearly a quarter of a million. Turkey hosts 1.6 million.
There is one country that’s getting off scot-free in all of this — at least on the Syrian front. That country is the United States. The U.S. has taken in less than 900 Syrian refugees after four years of war. American officials have cited “national security” in their explanations for not yet taking more, although they have said they would like to see the number increase.

Maybe this has something to do with it?
Debate not allowed
There is a second media crime flying under the radar here and it is this: In European countries where the massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa have caused serious societal divisions, where migrants have failed to assimilate (for a variety of reasons, including both government policies and often radical religious beliefs), Western media will allow no one to talk about it honestly — and woe betide the person who tries.
Take Sweden, where the disease of political correctness is at an even more advanced stage than it is in the rest of Europe. There, any attempt to debate the coherence of a ‘doors wide open’ immigration policy is branded as “racist”. A further irony in the Swedish context, is that the country is facing a housing crisis and has nowhere to put most of the people they are pledging to resettle. There’s some real forward-thinking, common sense policy for you.
This is a dangerous combination for Europe: An unsustainable influx of migrants, foreign policy which ensures its continuation, a docile media, and an epidemic of political correctness which has infected the entire continent.
Media 101 on the migrant crisis: Talk a lot about migrants, don’t mention why they fled and then call anyone who has a problem with it a “racist” — success! Oh, and you get an added bonus if you can somehow link it all to ‘Russian aggression’, Vladimir Putin and NATO as a ‘defensive’ alliance.
Some European countries are taking a more hardline approach and are getting slammed for it. Hungary, for example, is looking at building a barrier wall along its border with Serbia, similar to barriers along the Greek-Turkish and Bulgarian-Turkish borders. Again, this has sparked accusations of xenophobia and racism from media and political quarters.
But that’s part of the game, isn’t it? If NATO’s war supporters can focus the debate around the idea that anyone who wants to address or critically assess immigration policy is “racist” then we won’t have to talk about why the migrants are here in the first place or why they are facing such dire circumstances at home.
Russia Today’s Oksana Boyko tried recently, to broach this topic with Peter Sutherland, the UN’s special representative on international migration and development, but she got nowhere. She argued that the debate around migration into the EU can’t really be had without addressing the essence and heart of the problem, but found that NATO policy is apparently a topic not up for discussion.
Debating Europe’s migrant crisis without acknowledging the context in which it has been created it useless. It would be like asking Americans to debate police brutality without talking about race. The two are inescapably interlinked and any ‘solutions’ that come from an incomplete debate will ultimately fail.
For now though, it seems Europe will continue to debate this humanitarian crisis in terms of ‘what to do’ without addressing the ‘how to stop’ and we’ll keep running around in a vicious circle.
An easier solution, of course, would be for NATO to put an end to its campaign of destabilization in the Middle East and North Africa, but that would require the acceptance and acknowledgement of some very hard truths.

The Next Phase of the Middle East War. Pentagon “Guidelines” for “Preemptive” Nuclear Strikes against “Rogue Enemies”

24 Jun

  
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, June 24, 2015

4 September 2006

The Next Phase of the Middle East War

This article written 9 years ago discusses the evolution of the Middle East War. The US-NATO design involves a timeline of military interventions. The wars on Syria and Yemen are part of a military roadmap which is ultimately directed against Iran.

In the wake of the 2006 war on Lebanon, Israel announced plans to wage a pre-emptive “full-scale war” against Iran and Syria, implying the deployment of both air and ground force. These war plans in 2006-2007 were said to at the top of the defense agenda as confirmed in a September 2006 Sunday Times report (highlights added): 
“Israel is preparing for a possible war with both Iran and Syria, according to Israeli political and military sources.”

“The challenge from Iran and Syria is now top of the Israeli defense agenda, higher than the Palestinian one,” said an Israeli defense source. Shortly before the war in Lebanon Major-General Eliezer Shkedi, the commander of the air force, was placed in charge of the “Iranian front”, a new position in the Israeli Defense Forces. His job will be to command any future strikes on Iran and Syria.”
In the past we prepared for a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities,” said one insider, “but Iran’s growing confidence after the war in Lebanon means we have to prepare for a full-scale war, in which Syria will be an important player.” (Sunday Times, 3 September 2006)
Michel Chossudovsky, June 24, 2015
* * *
Israel’s war on Lebanon is an integral part of a US sponsored “military roadmap”.

The war on Lebanon, which has resulted in countless atrocities including the destruction of the nation’s economy and civilian infrastructure, is ”a stage” in a sequence of carefully planned military operations.
Lebanon constitutes a strategic corridor between Israel and North-western Syria. The underlying objective of this war was the militarization of Lebanon, including the stationing of foreign troops, as a precondition for carrying out the next phase of a broader military agenda.
Formally under a UN mandate, the foreign troops to be stationed on Lebanese soil on the immediate border with Syria, will be largely although not exclusively from NATO countries. This military force mandated by the UN Security Council is by no means neutral. It responds directly to US and Israeli interests.
Moreover, the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops, following the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has contributed to opening up a “new space”. The withdrawal of Syrian troops served Israeli interests. The timely pullout was of strategic significance: it was a major factor in the timing and planning of the July 2006 IDF attacks on Lebanon.
In the aftermath of the Israeli bombings and the “ceasefire”, UN Security Council Resolution 1701, drafted by France and the US in close consultation with the Israeli government, has paved the way for the militarization of Lebanon, under a bogus UN mandate.
The Next Phase of the Middle East War
Confirmed by official statements and military documents, the US in close coordination with Britain (and in consultation with its NATO partners), is planning to launch a war directed against Iran and Syria. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton has already initiated the draft of a UN Security Council resolution with a view to imposing sanctions on Tehran for its alleged (nonexistent) nuclear weapons program. Whether this resolution is adopted is not the main issue. The US may decide to proceed in defiance of the Security Council, following a veto by Russia and/or China. The vote of France and Britain, among the permanent members has already been secured.
US military sources have confirmed that an aerial attack, pursuant to a sanctions regime on Iran, with or without UN approval, would involve a large scale deployment comparable to the US “shock and awe” bombing raids on Iraq in March 2003:
American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq, and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against Iraq. Using the full force of operational B-2 stealth bombers, staging from Diego Garcia or flying direct from the United States, possibly supplemented by F-117 stealth fighters staging from al Udeid in Qatar or some other location in theater, the two-dozen suspect nuclear sites would be targeted.
Military planners could tailor their target list to reflect the preferences of the Administration by having limited air strikes that would target only the most crucial facilities … or the United States could opt for a far more comprehensive set of strikes against a comprehensive range of WMD related targets, as well as conventional and unconventional forces that might be used to counterattack against US forces in Iraq
(See Globalsecurity.org at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iran-strikes.htm
The aerial bombing plans have been fully operational (“in an advanced state of readiness”) since June 2005. The various components of the military operation are firmly under US Command, coordinated by the Pentagon and US Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) at the Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska.
In November 2004, US Strategic Command conducted a major exercise of a “global strike plan” entitled “Global Lightening”. The latter involved a simulated attack using both conventional and nuclear weapons against a “fictitious enemy” [Iran]. Following the “Global Lightening” exercise, US Strategic Command declared “an advanced state of readiness”.
The operational implementation of the Global Strike is called CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022. The latter is described as “an actual plan that the Navy and the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and bombers,’
The command structure of the operation is centralized and ultimately The Pentagon will decide on the sequence; ” if and when” to launch military operations against Iran and Syria. Israeli military actions and those of other coalition partners including Turkey, would be carried out in close coordination with the Pentagon.

Ground War

While the threat of punitive aerial bombardments of Iran’s nuclear facilities have been announced repeatedly by the Bush administration, recent developments suggest that an all out ground war is also under preparation.

CONPLAN constitutes only one component of the Middle East military agenda. CONPLAN 8022 does not contemplate a ground war. It posits “no boots on the ground”, which was the initial assumption envisaged in relation to the proposed aerial attacks on Iran.
US and Israeli military planners are fully aware that the aerial “punitive bombings” will almost inevitably lead coalition forces into a ground war scenario in which they will have to confront Iranian and Syrian forces in the battlefield.
Tehran has confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked, in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel as well as against US military facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of military escalation and all out war.
Iranian troops could cross the Iran-Iraq border and confront coalition forces inside Iraq. Israeli troops and/or Special Forces could enter into Syria.
The foreign troops stationed in Lebanon under UN mandate would respond to the diktats of the US led coalition and the prior commitments reached with Washington and Tel Aviv in the context of the various military alliances (NATO-Israel, Turkey-Israel, GUUAM, etc).
War Games
These military preparations have also been marked, quite recently, by the conduct of war games.
In late August, Iran was involved in the conduct of war games in major regions of the country, including border areas with Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Iran’s Defense Minister General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has confirmed the deployment of enhanced military capabilities including weapons systems and troops on the Iranian border: “[Iranian] forces are supervising all movements by trans-regional troops and their agents around the Iranian borders” (FARS news, 2 September 2006)
Iran War Games August 2006.
Barely acknowledged by the Western media, military exercises organized by Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan under the Collective Security Treaty Organization, (CSTO) were also launched in late August. These war games, officially tagged as part of a counter terrorism program, were conducted in response to US-Israeli military threats in the region including the planned attacks against Iran. (See Michel Chossudovsky, August 2006). In turn, China an Kazakhstan held concurrent war games under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Azerbaijan and neighboring Georgia have close military ties to Washington. Both countries are part of GUUAM, a military alliance with the US and NATO.
Turkey is a close ally of Israel. Since 2005, Israel has deployed Special Forces in the mountainous areas of Turkey bordering Iran and Syria with the collaboration of the Ankara government: Pakistan is also a close ally of the US and Britain. Georgia also has a military cooperation agreement with Israel.
Meanwhile, the USS Enterprise, America’s largest aircraft carrier is en route to the Persian Gulf.

Map; Copyright Eric Waddell, Global Research 2003. Click to enlarge.

US Troop Build-up
US troops in Iraq have been increased to 140,000 as confirmed by recent Pentagon statements (Reuters, 2 September 2006) These plans have been coupled with a the compulsory recall of “inactive servicemen” as well as the expansion of mercenary forces. (Mahdi Darius Namzaroaya, August 2006)
The Pentagon justifies the troop build-up as part of a “routine” process of replacement and rotation, required in its ongoing war against “terrorists” in Iraq. The speeding up of military recruitment is also occurring in the core countries of the Anglo-American coalition including Great Britain. Australia and Canada (see also Recruiting Canada). Canada and Australia are aligned with the US. Australian Prime Minister John Howard as well as Canada’s Steven Harper have confirmed their commitment to the US-Israeli war and have promised an expansion of the armed forces in their respective countries.
Meanwhile British troops stationed in Iraq have been redeployed to the Iranian border in southern Iraq. This redeployment has been casually presented by Britain’s Ambassador to Iraq as part of a “crack down on smuggling and the entrance of weapons into Iraq from Iran”.
While British officials are maintaining no desire or preparations for a conflict with Iran, more British troops are being mobilized and deployed to Iraq at the same time. The Light Infantry of the 2nd Battalion, another unit with rapid deployment capabilities, is deploying to the southern Iraqi border with Iran. The 2nd Battalion is being sent to Iraq under the pretext of working in the Rear Operations Battle Group which will provide escorts for military convoys and security for British forces and bases in Basra. (See Mahdi Darius Namzaroaya, August 2006)
The Role of Israel
In the wake of the war on Lebanon. Israel’s military plans and pronouncements are increasingly explicit. Tel Aviv has announced plans to wage a pre-emptive “full-scale war” against Iran and Syria, implying the deployment of both air and ground force. These war plans are now said to at the top of the defense agenda:
“Israel is preparing for a possible war with both Iran and Syria, according to Israeli political and military sources.”
(…)
“The challenge from Iran and Syria is now top of the Israeli defense agenda, higher than the Palestinian one,” said an Israeli defense source. Shortly before the war in Lebanon Major-General Eliezer Shkedi, the commander of the air force, was placed in charge of the “Iranian front”, a new position in the Israeli Defense Forces. His job will be to command any future strikes on Iran and Syria.”
(…)
In the past we prepared for a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities,” said one insider, “but Iran’s growing confidence after the war in Lebanon means we have to prepare for a full-scale war, in which Syria will be an important player.”
(…)
As a result of the change in the defense priorities, the budget for the Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza is to be reduced.” (Sunday Times, 3 September 2006)
Media Disinformation
The Western media is beating the drums of war.
The Sunday Times views Israel’s war plans as legitimate acts of self defense, to prevent Tehran from launching an all out nuclear attack on Israel: “Iran and Syria have ballistic missiles that can cover most of Israel, including Tel Aviv. An emergency budget has now been assigned to building modern shelters.”
The fact that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons capabilities as confirmed by the IAEA report does not seem to be an issue for debate.
Media disinformation has contributed to creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. The announcement on August 10 by the British Home Office of a foiled large scale terror attack to simultaneously blow up as many as ten airplanes, conveys the impression that it is the Western World rather than the Middle East which is under attack.
Realities are twisted upside down. The disinformation campaign has gone into full gear. The British and US media are increasingly pointing towards “preemptive war” as an act of “self defense” against Al Qaeda and the State sponsors of terrorism, who are allegedly preparing a Second 911.
The underlying objective, through fear and intimidation, is ultimately to build public acceptance for the next stage of the Middle East “war on terrorism” which is directed against Syria and Iran.
The antiwar movement has also been weakened.
While China and Russia will oppose the US led war at the diplomatic level as well as at the UN Security Council, Washington has secured the support of France and Germany. While Russia and China have military cooperation agreements with Iran, they would most probably not intervene militarily in favor of Iran.
NATO is broadly supportive of the US led military agenda. In February 2005, NATO signed a military cooperation agreement with Israel.
Nuclear Weapons against Iran
The use of tactical nuclear weapons by the US and Israel against Iran, is contemplated, ironically in retaliation for Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons program.

Tactical Nuclear Weapons: B61-11 NEP Thermonuclear Bomb
The Bush administration’s new nuclear doctrine contains specific “guidelines” which allow for “preemptive” nuclear strikes against “rogue enemies” which “possess” or are “developing” weapons of mass destruction (WMD). (2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations (DJNO)).
CONPLAN 8022, referred to above, is ‘the overall umbrella plan for sort of the pre-planned strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons.’
‘It’s specifically focused on these new types of threats — Iran, North Korea — proliferation and potentially terrorists too,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing that says that they can’t use CONPLAN 8022 in limited scenarios against Russian and Chinese targets.’(According to Hans Kristensen, of the Nuclear Information Project, quoted in Japanese economic News Wire, op cit)
The mission of JFCCSGS is to implement CONPLAN 8022, in other words to trigger a nuclear war with Iran.
The Commander in Chief, namely George W. Bush would instruct the Secretary of Defense, who would then instruct the Joint Chiefs of staff to activate CONPLAN 8022.
The use of nuclear weapons against Iran would be coordinated with Israel, which possesses a sophisticated nuclear arsenal.
The use of nuclear weapons by Israel or the US cannot be excluded, particularly in view of the fact that tactical nuclear weapons have now been reclassified as a variant of the conventional bunker buster bombs and are authorized for use in conventional war theaters. (“they are harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”).
In this regard, Israel and the US rather than Iran constitute a nuclear threat.
The World is at a Critical Crossroads
The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. This is not an overstatement. If aerial bombardments were to be launched against Iran, they would trigger a ground war and the escalation of the conflict to a much broader region. Even in the case of aerial and missile attacks using conventional warheads, the bombings would unleash a “Chernobyl type” nuclear nightmare resulting from the spread of nuclear radiation following the destruction of Iran’s nuclear energy facilities.
Throughout history, the structure of military alliances has played a crucial role in triggering major military conflicts. In contrast to the situation prevailing prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, America’s ongoing military adventure is now firmly supported by the Franco-German alliance. Moreover, Israel is slated to play a direct role in this military operation.
NATO is firmly aligned with the Anglo-American-Israeli military axis, which also includes Australia and Canada. In 2005, NATO signed a military cooperation agreement with Israel, and Israel has a longstanding bilateral military agreement with Turkey.
Iran has observer status in The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and is slated to become a full member of SCO. China and Russia have far-reaching military cooperation agreements with Iran.
China and Russia are firmly opposed to a US-led military operation in the diplomatic arena. While the US sponsored military plan threatens Russian and Chinese interests in Central Asia and the Caspian sea basin, it is unlikely that they would intervene militarily on the side of Iran or Syria.
The planned attack on Iran must be understood in relation to the existing active war theaters in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon-Palestine.
The conflict could easily spread from the Middle East to the Caspian sea basin. It could also involve the participation of Azerbaijan and Georgia, where US troops are stationed.
Military action against Iran and Syria would directly involve Israel’s participation, which in turn would trigger a broader war throughout the Middle East, not to mention the further implosion in the Palestinian occupied territories. Turkey is closely associated with the proposed aerial attacks.
If the US-UK-Israeli war plans were to proceed, the broader Middle East- Central Asian region would flare up, from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Afghan-Chinese border. At present, there are three distinct war theaters: Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine-Lebanon. An attack directed against Iran would serve to integrate these war theaters transforming the broader Middle East Central Asian region into an integrated war zone. (see map above)
In turn the US sponsored aerial bombardments directed against Iran could contribute to triggering a ground war characterized by Iranian attacks directed against coalition troops in Iraq. In turn, Israeli forces would enter into Syria.
An attack on Iran would have a direct impact on the resistance movement inside Iraq. It would also put pressure on America’s overstretched military capabilities and resources in both the Iraqi and Afghan war theaters.
In other words, the shaky geopolitics of the Central Asia- Middle East region, the three existing war theaters in which America is currently, involved, the direct participation of Israel and Turkey, the structure of US sponsored military alliances, etc. raises the specter of a broader conflict.
The war against Iran is part of a longer term US military agenda which seeks to militarize the entire Caspian sea basin, eventually leading to the destabilization and conquest of the Russian Federation.
The Pentagon’s Second 911
The economic and political dislocations resulting from this military agenda are far-reaching.
If the attacks directed against Iran and Syria were to proceed, martial law and/or a state of emergency could be declared in the US and possibly Britain on the pretext that the homeland is under attack by Iran sponsored terrorists. The purpose of these measures would essentially be to curb the antiwar movement and provide legitimacy to an illegal war.
The Pentagon has intimated in this regard, in an official statement, that “another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to retaliate against some known targets [Iran and Syria]“. In a timely statement, barely a few days following the onslaught of the bombing of Lebanon, Vice President Cheney reiterated his warning: “The enemy that struck on 9/11 is fractured and weakened, yet still lethal, still determined to hit us again” (Waterloo Courier, Iowa, 19 July 2006, italics added).
Reversing the Tide of War
The issues raised in this article do not imply that the war will take place. What the analysis of official statments and military documents confirms is that:
a) the war is part of a political agenda;
b) military plans to launch an attack on Iran and Syria are “in an advanced stage of readiness”.
War is not an inevitable process. War can be prevented through mass action.
The issue is not whether the war will inevitably take place but what are the instruments at our disposal which will enable us to shunt and ultimately disarm this global military agenda.
War criminals occupy positions of authority. The citizenry is galvanized into supporting the rulers, who are “committed to their safety and well-being”. Through media disinformation, war is given a humanitarian mandate.
The legitimacy of the war must be addressed. Antiwar sentiment alone does not disarm a military agenda. High ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military and the US Congress have been granted the authority to uphold an illegal war.
The corporate backers and sponsors of war and war crimes must also be targeted including the oil companies, the defense contractors, the financial institutions and the corporate media, which has become an integral part of the war propaganda machine.
There is a sense of urgency. In the weeks and months ahead, the antiwar movement must act, consistently, and address a number of key issues:
1. The role of media disinformation in sustaining the military agenda is crucial.
We will not succeed in our endeavours unless the propaganda apparatus is weakened and eventually dismantled. It is essential to inform our fellow citizens on the causes and consequences of the US-led war, not to mention the extensive war crimes and atrocities which are routinely obfuscated by the media. This is no easy task. It requires an effective counter-propaganda program which refutes mainstream media assertions.
It is essential that the relevant information and analysis reaches the broader public. The Western media is controlled by a handful of powerful business syndicates. The media conglomerates which control network TV and the printed press must be challenged through cohesive actions which reveal the lies and falsehoods.
2. There is opposition within the political establishment in the US as well as within the ranks of the Armed Forces.
While this opposition does not necessarily question to overall direction of US foreign policy, it is firmly opposed to military adventurism, including the use of nuclear weapons. These voices within the institutions of the State, the Military and the business establishment are important because they can be usefully channeled to discredit and ultimately dismantle the “war on terrorism” consensus. The broadest possible alliance of political and social forces is, therefore, required to prevent a military adventure which in a very real sense threatens the future of humanity.
3. The structure of military alliances must be addressed. A timely shift in military alliances could potentially reverse the course of history.
Whereas France and Germany are broadly supportive of the US led war, there are strong voices in both countries as well as within the European Union, which firmly oppose the US led military agenda, both at the grassroots level as well within the political system itself.
It is essential that the commitments made by European heads of government and heads of State to Washington be cancelled or nullified, through pressure exerted at the appropriate political levels. This applies, in particular, to the unbending support of the Bush adminstration, expressed by President Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The weakening of the system of alliances which commits Western Europe to supporting the Anglo-American military axis, could indeed contribute to reversing the tide. Washington would hesitate to wage a war on Iran without the support of France and Germany.
4. The holding of large antiwar rallies is important and essential. But in will not in itself reverse the tide of war unless it is accompanied by the development of a cohesive antiwar network.
What is required is a grass roots antiwar network, a mass movement at national and international levels, which challenges the legitimacy of the main military and political actors, as well as their corporate sponsors, and which would ultimately be instrumental in unseating those who rule in our name. The construction of this type of network will take time to develop. Initially, it should focus on developing an antiwar stance within existing citizens’ organizations (e.g. trade unions, community organizations, professional regroupings, student federations, municipal councils, etc.).

5. 9/11 plays a crucial and central role in the propaganda campaign. 
The threat of an Al Qaeda “Attack on America” is being used profusely by the Bush administration and its indefectible British ally to galvanize public opinion in support of a global military agenda.
Revealing the lies behind 911 would serve to undermine the legitimacy of the “war on terrorism”.
Without 911, the war criminals in high office do not have a leg to stand on. The entire national security construct collapses like a deck of cards.
Known and documented, the “Islamic terror network” is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus. Several of the terror alerts were based on fake intelligence as revealed in the recent foiled “liquid bomb attack”. There is evidence that the several of the terrorist “mass casualty events” which have resulted in civilian casualties were triggered by the military and/or intelligence services. (e.g Bali 2002).
The “war on terrorism” is bogus. The 911 narrative as conveyed by the 911 Commission report is fabricated. The Bush administration is involved in acts of cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of government.
Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best seller “The Globalization of Poverty “ published in eleven languages. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization. His most recent book is America’s “War on Terrorism”, Global Research, 2005.
To order Chossudovsky’s book America’s “War on Terrorism”, click here
Note: Readers are welcome to cross-post this article with a view to spreading the word and warning people of the dangers of a broader Middle East war. Please indicate the source and copyright note.

The following texts by Michel Chossudovsky provide detailed analysis of the US war plans:

Triple Alliance”: The US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon 2006-08-06
The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil – 2006-07-26
Israeli Bombings could lead to Escalation of Middle East War – 2006-07-15
Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust? – 2006-02-22
The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War – 2006-02-17
Nuclear War against Iran – 2006-01-03
Israeli Bombings could lead to Escalation of Middle East War – 2006-07-15
Iran: Next Target of US Military Aggression – 2005-05-01
Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran – 2005-05-01

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