THE U.S. HAS A FINGER IN EVERY MIDDLE EASTERN "PIE"
U.S. "POLICY", HOWEVER PICKS AND CHOOSES WHO GOES, WHO STAYS, AND WHO GETS THE DRONE STRIKES!
"...the U.S. counter-terrorism mission -- with all its unmanned drones, tens of thousands of troops, untold billions spent on spy programs, and covert warfare campaigns in over a dozen countries -- is NOT going away anytime soon."
"How can these messages about DEMOCRACY be seen as credible when there has been no public threat from the U.S. to cut off military aid to countries that are killing their own people and repressing dissent?"
On Iraq, Americans by 52%-37% say the United States mostly failed to achieve its goals.
On Afghanistan, Americans by a nearly identical 52%-38% say the U.S. has mostly failed to achieve its goals.
The biggest shift in attitudes toward the Iraq War came among Republicans and those who lean to the GOP. In 2011, 65% of them said the war had succeeded; now just 38% do.
IF AMERICANS SEE THE FAILURES, WHAT DO THOSE IN THE MIDDLE EAST SEE?
U.S. shuts down embassy in Libya
The diplomats were evacuated to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias.
Today's Libya is overrun by militias and faces a deteriorating human rights situation, mounting chaos that is infecting other countries, growing internal splits, and even the threat of civil war.
Libya's chaos is spilling across the region.
THE U.S. AND NATO BOMBED THE SUPREME HELL OUT OF LIBYA TO GET RID OF THE "DICTATOR" 90% OF LIBYANS LOVED...AND ARMED THOSE WHO KILLED HIM SO THAT NOW "ISIS" AND OTHER REBEL GROUPS CAN KILL SYRIANS ALL THEY PLEASE.
We certainly didn’t bring democracy and freedom to Iraq, and Iraqi citizens are quick to tell reporters that. "It is worse here now than when we had Saddam," many are saying.
"The US troops left behind a devastated, tortured Iraq."
"Iraq once most developed in the middle east is now rubbish."
Iraqis blame U.S.-led coalition forces and Iraqi militias for at least 70% of deaths since 2009.
Deaths picked back up in 2009 and then even further in 2010, to 2005 levels. Iraq has refused to grant US troops immunity from prosecution for potential war crimes
Documented stories about the militant Islamist group ISIS and abuses by the Iraqi government continue to emerge from Iraq.
Iraqi leaders fear that the country is sliding rapidly into a new civil war which “will be worse than Syria”.
Baghdad residents are stocking up on rice, vegetables and other foodstuffs.
Hawijah people are frightened of a return to the massacres of 2006.
Taliban's leader in Afghanistan has warned against the presence of US-led troops in the country after 2014, saying it means more fighting...halted minibuses in western Afghanistan, identified 14 Shiite passengers and shot them dead by the side of the road ...
“This whole 12 years was one of constant pleading with America to treat the lives of our civilians as lives of people,” Karzai stated, continuing his denunciation of the terror of anti-terrorism exemplified by Bush’s orgy of torture followed by Obama’s drone attacks that traumatize the Afghan countryside. Karzai, no stranger to corruption and contradiction, has refused to sign a pact authorizing a continued and much reduced US presence in his country unless all such unilateral military attacks on his people are ended. As for the Taliban enemy that the US invasion had temporarily deposed, Karzai referred to them as “brothers” while he dismissed his erstwhile American sponsors as “rivals,” indicating that Obama now has his own “mission accomplished” embarrassment.
It’s not clear why the White House helped usher out Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, who abided by the Camp David accords for 30 years at some personal risk.
The Obama administration has been all over the place on Egypt, sticking briefly with Hosni Mubarak, then siding with his ouster, then working hard to establish productive relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and its democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, then backing the military coup that removed Morsi six months ago (without calling it a coup) and finally arguing, in the words of Kerry last August, that the military headed by Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi was “restoring democracy.”
THAT IS NOT TRUE!
Egypt, home to about a quarter of all Arabs and the fulcrum of the Arab Spring, is in a disastrous state.
“Thousands of Egyptians celebrated the third anniversary of their revolt against autocracy on Saturday by holding a rally for the military leader who ousted the country’s first democratically elected president.”
“I have never had so many of my friends in jail, arrested only for expressing their own opinions,” said Rami Shaath, 42, a left-leaning activist and executive for a technology company preparing for a short-lived march from a mosque in Giza.
The Islamist militants and the authoritarian state “feed off of each other,” he said, the militants crusading against the corruption of the state and the state using the fear of terrorism to justify limiting freedoms.
In addition to the violent suppression of protesters, the coup and the crackdown following it have had several negative effects on the country. Egypt’s religious minorities have faced increased hostility and persecution at the hands of Islamists, and now at least one Islamist groups is resorting to bomb attacks that presage greater violence and repression.
U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper is describing the situation in Syria as an "apocalyptic disaster".
Clapper told a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday that the war has killed more than 134,000 people and created nearly 10 million refugees.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today called the Obama administration’s approach to resolving the worsening conflict in Syria “a failure” of U.S. foreign policy.
Now the former CIA chief, General Michael Hayden, says that Assad winning would be the best geopolitical outcome of the conflict.
AND IF ASSAD FALLS?
"It means the end of the Sykes-Picot (Agreement), it sets in motion the dissolution of all the artificial states created after World War I," Hayden said. A breakdown in the century-old settlement could spread chaos in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, Hayden warned.
"The dominant story going on in Syria is a Sunni fundamentalist takeover of a significant part of the Middle East geography, the explosion of the Syrian state and of the Levant as we know it."
WHAT WE MAY FORGET IS THAT AMERICA LOVED AND SUPPORTED ASSAD FOR OVER A DECADE!
With the moderate Free Syrian Army troops being driven out of Syria by the more Islamist wing, America doesn't really know what to do.
The chemical arms deal was, in a sense, support for Assad and it indicated that the U.S. preferred that Assad keeps control of those weapons until they could be destroyed rather than destroying Assad as the rebels wanted and letting those weapons fall into the hands of the Islamic rebels.
Saudi Arabia is pushing America HARD to oust Assad.
Assad, it has been said, is backed by Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.
Over 1,000 rebel groups were fighting against Assad, MANY BACKED BY THE SAUDIS, and increasingly over the year we've seen them consolidate to what is that Islamic Front today.
Saudi Arabia now says it would go it alone even if the United States does not pursue arming the rebels.
The Saudis are buying some 15,000 new anti-tank weapons and their current stock will be unloaded onto their Islamic Front mercenaries in Syria.
WHATEVER SAUDIS WANT, SAUDIS GET!
IT'S THE AMERICAN WAY!
KISS THEM IN THE MOUTH AND STROLL THEM TENDERLY THROUGH THE ROSE GARDEN.
"The Obama administration is willing to consider supporting an expanded Syrian rebel coalition that would include Islamist groups, provided the groups are not allied with al-Qaeda and agree to support upcoming peace talks in Geneva, a senior U.S. official said Thursday. In addition, the official said, the Americans would like the Islamic Front groups to return U.S. vehicles, communications gear and other non-lethal equipment they seized [in December] from warehouses at the Syria-Turkey border."
American would also like a pink pony....
PAKISTAN TURNS ON AMERICA
Since missiles fired by American drones killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, in his vehicle last Novermber, Pakistan’s political leaders have reacted with unusual vehemence. The interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, denounced the strike as sabotage of incipient government peace talks with the Taliban. Media commentators ranted about American treachery.
To some American security analysts, the furious reaction was another sign of the perversity and ingratitude that they say have scarred Pakistan’s relationship with the United States.
“It’s another stab in the back,” said Bill Roggio, whose website, the Long War Journal, monitors drone strikes. “Even those of us who watch Pakistan closely don’t know where they stand anymore. It’s such a double game.”
To many Pakistanis, though, it is the United States that is double-dealing, and sentiments like Mr. Roggio’s exemplify typical American arrogance. Shireen Mazari, a senior official in Mr. Khan’s party, has urged the Pakistani military to shoot down drones.
Pakistanis have a consistent, if relatively recent, history of rooting for people the West has deemed villains, and against people the West has praised.
Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who is serving an 86-year jail sentence in New York for trying to kill Americans in Afghanistan, is a virtual national hero, popularly known as the “daughter of the nation.”
Malala Yousafzai, the teenage education activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year, making her an icon around the world, has been demonized in Pakistan, where she is regularly called a C.I.A. agent or a pawn of the West.
TURKEY ACCUSES U.S. OF GENOCIDE
The head of Turkey's parliamentary human rights group has accused Washington of genocide in Iraq and behaving worse than Adolf Hitler, in remarks underscoring the depth of opposition in Turkey to U.S. policy in the region.
The US war against Iraq was illegal and illegitimate. It violated the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and a host of international laws and treaties
"The occupation turned into barbarism," Mehmet Elkatmis, head of parliament's human rights commission, said. "The U.S. administration is committing genocide...in Iraq.
YEMEN...AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT AGAIN
The New York Times reported that the U.S. is now pushing for the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a repressive dictator and close U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda. In the two months since pro-democracy protests began in Yemen, U.S. support for Saleh did not falter even when his police fired on demonstrators, killing dozens. For President Obama, it was an ugly compromise perceived in the U.S. as necessary for national security and abroad as a sign of U.S hypocrisy. After all, how could the U.S. truly be the global beacon of democracy that every president in a century has declared it to be if it props up a man whose decades of rule have been the opposite of all that America supposedly stands for?
In the Arab press, Obama has been harshly criticized for continuing to support Arab dictators in Yemen and Bahrain for their role in aiding U.S. security.
NOW, we see the U.S.'s drastic shift from supporting Saleh's autocratic rule to pushing for his resignation and for the establishment of "a legitimate Yemeni democracy".
HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH THAT DEMOCRACY FOR THE MIDDLE EAST RUSE!
The US-Yemen relationship gained some attention during the Wikileaks release of State Department cables as it was revealed that ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to let Americans bomb inside his country and to lie about it to his people. This cooperation on counterterrorism is a major factor in how the US responds to the violence:
The Yemeni government has also worked extensively with the US to reduce the number of foreign-born Muslims visiting Sana'a to learn Arabic. The US has long believed that "learning Arabic in Sana'a" was generally a front for terrorist training and radicalization. All the while, US "security assistance" to Yemen has shot up, from an already-impressive $67 million in 2009 to requests for first $150 million and then over a billion dollars in 2010. (NOTE: The $1 billion was just a request, a number under discussion according to the cables.)
THE SAUDIS, ONCE AGAIN, INFLUENCE U.S. POLICY IN BOTH YEMEN AND BAHRAIN!
The Saudi monarchy has long been propping up pro-Saudi rulers in BAHRAIN and YEMEN to keep them in power despite massive protests that would have toppled the toughest regimes elsewhere.
BAHRAIN... the U.S. supplied Bahrain with enough .50 caliber rounds—used in sniper rifles and machine guns—to kill every Bahraini in the kingdom FOUR TIMES OVER!
Since protests started on February 14th in Bahrain, things have escalated considerably, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE sending in troops to protect the ruling family from protesters. Disturbing reports of violence used against protesters have streamed in since then. Human Rights Watch reports that masked men have been arresting doctors and human rights workers in nighttime raids, and injured people have been denied medical care. The AP had a harrowing report in march, 2011, of people being pulled from hospital beds by men in military uniforms:
The Salmaniya medical complex — now under military rule — appears to be one of the last main targets of Bahrain's Sunni rulers trying to crush a pro-democracy uprising by the country's Shiite majority. The hospital treated hundreds of injured demonstrators and its morgue held some of the dead since the revolt began last month in the strategically important Gulf country, the home of U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
The United States has a cozy relationship with the government of Bahrain, largely because the Bahrain and its allies have raised the scary specter of Iran and its growing power that might result if democracy breaks out in Bahrain. The country receives military aid and provides logistical support for Iraq and Afghanistan and houses the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Nick Turse reports that bullets that are killing protesters may have been paid for with US tax dollars:
<<A TomDispatch analysis of Defense Department documents indicates that, since the 1990s, the United States has transferred large quantities of military materiel, ranging from trucks and aircraft to machine-gun parts and millions of rounds of live ammunition, to Bahrain's security forces.
According to data from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the branch of the government that coordinates sales and transfers of military equipment to allies, the US has sent Bahrain dozens of "excess" American tanks, armored personnel carriers, and helicopter gunships. The US has also given the Bahrain Defense Force thousands of .38 caliber pistols and millions of rounds of ammunition, from large-caliber cannon shells to bullets for handguns. To take one example, the US supplied Bahrain with enough .50 caliber rounds—used in sniper rifles and machine guns—to kill every Bahraini in the kingdom four times over. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency did not respond to repeated requests for information and clarification.
While the administration has condemned violence against peaceful protesters, Turse reports that Washington has since “softened its tone” after lobbying by the Pentagon, Bahrain’s State Department emissaries and Middle East allies. When protesters showed up at the US embassy in Manama with signs bearing slogans such as “stop supporting dictators,” a U.S. Embassy official brought them a box of doughnuts..>>
FROM THE TEHRAN TIMES NEWS SITE!
According to official figures released by the "Bahrain Center for Human Rights" website, at least 44 Bahraini citizens were killed at the hands of mercenaries of Al Khalifa regime. The Bahraini "martyrs" include the 6-year-old Mohammed Farhan, 14-year-old Ali Jawad Alshaikh and 15-year-old Sayed Ahmad Saeed Shams. The Bahraini organization has reported that many of these people were killed while in custody. The Center has also published documents indicating that more than 1,500 Bahrainis including about 100 women were incarcerated since the eruption of turmoil in the Persian Gulf country on February 14, 2011 and that more that 90 journalists face DEATH threat.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:
THE ILLEGITIMATE HOUSE OF SAUD POINTS AN OIL-DIPPED FINGER AT WHOMEVER THEY WISH DESTROYED, AND AMERICA IS HER WAR DOG.
The house of al-Saud has become highly adept in exploiting regional ethnic and religious fault lines to advance its own political goals, a practice first used in the 1950s against Nasser’s Egypt and continued till now.
The blueprint for the kingdom’s reaction to revolutionary movements in the Middle East has remained unchanged, whether it is applied to a military-led regime similar to Nasser’s, or a clergy-lead government upheaval like the one in Iran. The Saudi recipe calls for a combination of media, religious, security and political pressures aiming to halt any meaningful change in the region—especially if it can negatively affect the monarchy’s standing.
The Saudi regime has a formidable arsenal, which includes its massive oil revenues, media empires, religious establishment, intelligence services, and the gravitas of its political leadership. The monarchy wields this unrivaled collection of assets with skill and fluency that puts leading western political establishments to shame, making Obama’s national security team look like amateurs in comparison.
Take Bahrain, for example. The Saudis invaded the country with no objection from the United States. One would think that the U.S. would at least show concern for the safety of its Fifth Fleet servicemen who are now forced to share a small patch of land with thousands of well-armed soldiers without any supposed coordination. The rest of the world, too, supported the invasion and continued to sell arms to the country that targets peaceful protesters, and will not be leaving Bahrain anytime soon.
As for Yemen, the monarchy’s many years of involvement in the affairs of its poorer neighbor yielded great results—both President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his main rival Sadiq Al-Ahmar are loyal to Saudi Arabia and have been on its payroll for decades. Meanwhile, the leaders of the uprising have been sidelined and left with nothing more than giving speeches at rapidly shrinking rallies.
The Saudi success is rooted in the region’s fragmentation and the ease of buying out loyalists, especially among the Saudi-oriented salafists who have been attacking churches in Egypt and movie theaters in Tunisia. This is a strategy that makes it easy for the rest of the world to equate revolution with chaos. The kingdom thus has not only been able to keep its head above the water, but also has continued to actively shape the region to fit its needs.
n Egypt, where a friendly autocrat of long standing was unceremoniously deposed by popular pressure in just a few weeks; and in Iran, where a hostile, rival theocracy continues its march toward both nuclear weapons and regional predominance. To make matter worse, the Saudis see these twin disasters as signs of self-defeating American errors and inhibitions, leaving Riyadh in the lurch.
With Mubarak gone, the main Saudi interest is now to keep Egypt steered not toward democracy, but away from Iran. Billions of dollars in Saudi economic aid to the desperate new government in Cairo are apparently conditioned on just this one demand. From Riyadh’s vantage point, the United States is simply too distracted and destitute to make up for its original sin of pushing Mubarak out by keeping Egypt’s new rulers under control.
This disillusionment with U.S. policy is actually what led Saudi Arabia to its highly uncharacteristic, decisive military intervention in Bahrain. Saudi troops are keeping a subordinate Sunni monarch on the throne; nipping the democratic “virus” in the bud before it can infect and maybe undermine stability in other small oil sheikhdoms, or even inside Saudi Arabia itself; and preempting a potential Iranian beachhead on its border— all with relatively little bloodshed to boot. As a result, the United States has accepted this anti-democratic fait accompli as part of “the price of the price of oil.”
Syria. Here, the popular uprising against President Assad’s regime is creating a newfound convergence of interests between Washington and Riyadh, in weakening and perhaps eventually toppling Iran’s only major Arab ally. This time, Saudi soft power—Al-Arabiya TV and other pan-Arab media, money, Muslim (Sunni) solidarity, and discreet diplomacy—is being deployed against a dictator, in the service not of democracy but of traditional Saudi “riyalpolitik” in the struggle against Iran. And this time, too, the self-interested Saudi policy is quite compatible with U.S. interests as well.
In short, while Saudi Arabia opposes U.S. policy on democracy, it generally ends up supporting U.S. policies on oil and Iran. And as the old American saying goes, “two out of three ain’t bad.”
Few remember the words of the perceptive Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, US Army, who wrote about Afghanistan two years ago that:
“The United States, along with over 40 NATO and other allied nations, possesses the most sophisticated, powerful, and technologically advanced military force that has ever hit the field of combat. We have the finest and most well trained soldiers that exist anywhere; we have armored vehicles of every type, to include MIA2 Main Battle Tanks; artillery, mortars, advanced rockets, precision guided missiles, and hand-held rocket launchers; we have a wholly uncontested air force composed of NATO’s most advanced ground attack fighter jets, bombers, AWACS controllers, spy planes, signals-interception aircraft, B 1 bombers, attack helicopters, and massive transport jets to ferry our troops and critical supplies where they are needed; we have thousands of unmanned aerial drones both for intelligence collection and missile-launching; we have a helicopter fleet for personnel transport and attack support; we have an enormous constellation of spy satellites; logistics that are as limitless as the combined weight of the industrial world; we have every technological device known to the profession of arms; we are able to intercept virtually every form of insurgent communication to include cell phones, walkie-talkies, satellite phones, email, and even some ability to eavesdrop on otherwise private conversations; a remarkably capable cohort of intelligence analysts that are as educated, well trained and equipped to a degree that used to exist only in science fiction; and our various nations have the economic wherewithal to spend tens of billions of dollars each month to fund it all. And for almost 10 years we have pitted this unbelievable and unprecedented capability against:
A bunch of dudes in bed sheets and flip-flops.”
AND WE COULD NOT WIN... WE HAD NO BUSINESS TRYING!
A FEW OF MY 'SOURCES':
Eventually it became obvious there was no justification whatever for the invasion