Leave the Houthis Alone!

Why are we on the same side as the Saudis – and al Qaeda – in Yemen?

by Justin Raimondo, March 27, 2015

Saudi Arabia‘s US-backed aggression against the sovereignty of Yemen is a textbook example of how local conflicts are internationalized – and become tripwires for regional wars and even global conflagrations.

Like Libya, Yemen is yet another Middle Eastern country that doesn’t really exist: it is actually at least two separate countries, perhaps three – the southern provinces, which are primarily Sunni, the northern tribes, who adhere mostly to the Zaydi form of Shi’ite Islam, and the area around Sa’na, the capital, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth, where all Yemen’s clashing cultural, political, and religious factions meet.

The north/south division dates back to the nineteenth century British colonization, when, in 1839, the British seized the port city of Aden and administered it as a subset of the Indian Viceroyalty. It became a major trading center after the opening of the Suez canal, and the Brits pushed outward, extending their influence throughout what had been a land perpetually divided between the Ottoman Empire and local imams, including the distinctive Zaydis in the north. In 1911, the Zaydis rose up against the British and their local collaborators, abolished the north/south division negotiated by the British Foreign Office, and established the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen under Imam Yahya. Yahya’s dream was to recreate the ancient Qasamid dynasty, founded in the seventeenth century: a "Greater Yemen" extending into what is today Saudi Arabia as well as the whole of modern Yemen.

In the 1960s, the de-colonization movement in the Arab world took on a Nasserist, socialist form, and this was manifested in Yemen in the form of a coup against the king by Nasserist officers, who then established – after a three-way civil war pitting royalists against republicans against ultra-leftists – the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), in the south, which became a de facto member of the Soviet bloc, and the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) in the north.

The two Yemens warred with each other constantly – as well enduring violent internal conflicts – reflecting the religious, ideological, and historical differences that have plagued the country for centuries, but agreed to merge in 1990, after the Soviet bloc collapsed and the PDRY was left without Russian subsidies. Yet the "merger" was weak from the very beginning, and old divisions soon reemerged.

The southerners formed a secessionist movement, as did the Zaydis in the north (although they said they only wanted autonomy), and to complicate matters al Qaeda moved into the ensuing chaos – providing the central government in Sa’na with theperfect excuse to ask for outside intervention on its behalf.

As US aid and "advisors" poured into Yemen, the central government used this in order to cement what amounted to a de facto dictatorship. Government troops largely ignored Al Qaeda, which has very little popular support and poses no real threat to the central government’s authority, and concentrated their fire on the southern independence movement and especially the Houthi insurgency in the north. The latter – who are now in control of large swathes of the country, and have sent the "president" into hiding – have their origins in the "Believing Youth," which sought to revive the Shi’ite Zaydi religious tradition in order to counter Sunni fundamentalist preachers – precursors of al Qaeda – proselytizing with some success in the north. The Houthi counterinsurgency movement has defied the efforts of both the central government and the Saudis to suppress them, albeit not without considerable losses on their part: thousands of civilians were killed in the conflict, with hundreds of thousands displaced.

In spite of US-based news accounts reporting the current conflict to be between the Saudis and "Iran-backed rebels," the evidence for the Tehran-Houthi connection is tenuous to nonexistent. There is no evidence of Iranian involvement beyond political (i.e. rhetorical) support. Indeed, as Christopher Boucek and Marina Ottoway report in their book, Yemen on the Brink, "some Yemeni officials have confided that such assertions are unfounded." Doctrinal differences between the Zaydi sect of Shi’ism and the Iranians over important theological issues within Islam preclude Tehran from providing any substantial support for the Houthi insurgency beyond mere words. Neoconservative pundits who point to the Houthis’ success with alarm mirror the propaganda of al Qaeda, which denounces the Zaydi "takfiris" (apostates) in similarly hysterical terms. The Houthis, for their part, have never attacked Americans or American interests in Yemen, as acknowledged in a series of classified cables sent by the no-longer-present US embassy.

All of which underscores the present conundrum faced by US policymakers in the region. The neocons are screaming that US air strikes in Tikrit are helping the Iranian-commanded Shi’ite militias defeat ISIS, while in Yemen we are backing the Saudis against the supposedly-but-not-actually Iranian-backed Houthis. They are right to point out the obvious contradiction, but wrong in their proposed resolution – which seems to be to play the Sunni card and oppose the Iranians (or, more accurately, the Shi’ites) at every opportunity. Apparently the neocons’ calls to smash ISIS have been conveniently forgotten.

As with most of the current problems in the region, it all goes back to the Iraq war. That war handed the Iranians de facto control of Iraq: although the initial plan was for the neocons to anoint their favorites, Ahmed Chalabi and his gang, as the "democratic" rulers of the country, things didn’t work out that way (and Chalabi, it turns out, was canoodling with Tehran all along). Instead, the Ayatollah Sistani, chief of the majority Shi’ite sect, threatened an all-out rebellion if direct elections weren’t held. The Shi’ite parties won that election, and subsequent elections, and today Iraq is an Iranian ally. That’s why thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis had to die – in a war to make Iraq a Shi’ite theocracy.

Now that Iraq is in the Iranian camp, it was only natural they would turn to their Shi’ite allies when ISIS arose to threaten Baghdad. This enraged the neocons, who – forgetting their own role in handing Iraq to the Iranians – are now targeting Tehran. The Iranians are taking care of ISIS for us, precluding US "boots on the ground," much to disappointment of John McCain and Lindsey Graham. It doesn’t count as a war in their book unless American blood is being spilled.

The same irony abounds in Yemen, where the Shi’ite Houthis are viscerally hostile to Al Qaeda, and are, indeed, the only indigenous force capable of defeating them and rooting them out. Yet that would preclude a Saudi-US intervention – and we can’t have that!

What’s happening in Yemen is a local problem, with causes that are strictly confined to the long and tumultuous history of that dirt-poor country. Foreign intervention, whether from the British, the Saudis, al Qaeda, or whomever, has only led to endless war and not improved the lot of the people by one iota. Now the Americans are using the "war on terrorism" to impose their will and re-order the Yemeni polity when they can have no real understanding of what is – or ought to be – going on there. Washington and Riyadh are internationalizing a conflict that is Yemeni in origin, and will only be resolved by the Yemenis themselves.

As I have written on many occasions, the "Sunni turn" – the US playing the "Sunni card" in Iraq and Syria – has been a disaster on so many levels that it’s hard to keep count. In Iraq, it led directly to ISIS – the mutant offspring of the so-called "Arab Awakening." In Syria, where US-backed "moderate" jihadists defected en masse to the ranks of our enemies, it led to the empowerment of ISIS and Al Nusra. And now in Yemen it is leading to the destruction of the Houthis – a long-suffering and valiant people – at the hands of our Saudi allies and their 10-nation alliance of despots. To add stupidity to deadly folly: our anti-Houthi pro-Saudi orientation is acting directly against our interests, which are supposedly focused on eliminating al Qaeda from the scene. In this instance, as in Syria, we are on the same side as al Qaeda. How does this make sense to anyone but Bibi Netanyahu?

Each time we intervene where we have no business intervening the "blowback" hits us right in the face – and provides yet another excuse for yet more intervention. It’s an endless cycle, one that won’t come to an end until and unless we rid ourselves of this succubus – this Empire – that is costing us so much.


HRW Watch report on Syria: Rebels’ Car Bombs, Rockets Kill Civilians

Indiscriminate Attacks Strike Government-Held Areas

MARCH 23, 2015

GET THE REPORT:  Download the full report

Site of a car bomb explosion in the Abbasiyah neighborhood of Homs, Syria, on April 29, 2014.

Opposition armed groups in Syria have indiscriminately attacked civilians in government-held territory with car bombs, mortars, and rockets, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The attacks have killed and maimed hundreds of civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure in violation of the laws of war.

The 79-page report, “‘He Didn’t Have to Die’: Indiscriminate Attacks by Syrian Opposition Groups,” documents scores of attacks in heavily populated, government-controlled areas in Damascus and Homs between January 2012 and April 2014, and which continue into 2015. The findings are based primarily on victim and witness accounts, on-site investigations, publicly available videos, and information on social media sites.

Human Rights Watch documented seventeen car bombings and other improvised explosive device attacks in Jaramana, Damascus countryside, one in central Damascus, six in the Homs neighborhoods of al-Zahra and Akrama, and one in the village of Thabtieh in the Homs countryside. Many of these areas have a high concentration of religious minorities, including Christians, Druze, Shias, and Alawites, who are sometimes perceived to be supporting the government.

The car bombings took place in commercial and residential areas, town centers, and in one case at a cemetery during a funeral. In several instances, two bombs exploded, one shortly after the other, in an apparent attempt to maximize deaths and injuries.

Car bombings have continued, including a twin bombing on October 1 just outside an elementary school in Akrama, Homs that media reports said killed dozens of civilians, mostly children.

In all of the car bomb attacks Human Rights Watch investigated, witnesses said there were no Syrian government military targets anywhere near the site. Besides being indiscriminate, many of these attacks seemed primarily intended to spread terror among the civilian population. No armed group claimed responsibility for most of the car bombings, though the extremist Islamist groups Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State (also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for 10 of the 25 attacks documented in the report.

Armed groups opposed to the government also frequently fired mortars, locally-made rockets, and other artillery into Damascus and its environs and Homs, in apparently indiscriminate attacks that caused numerous civilian casualties. Among hundreds of such attacks on Jaramana, at least six struck at or near schools that were full of children, two hit aid and shelter facilities, and four hit central residential areas.

In Homs, armed opposition groups often shelled populated areas under government control. Although they frequently assert in public statements that they are attacking government forces, interviews with witnesses and visits to attack sites uncovered no evidence of military targets in the vicinity, which would make them indiscriminate and possibly deliberate attacks against civilians.

Some armed opposition groups have indicated in public statements that all means are legitimate to fight the government of President Bashar al-Assad, saying that those living in areas under government control may be attacked in retaliation for attacks on civilians in opposition areas, and that populations perceived as associated with or supporting the government are subject to attack.

Witness Statements 

“I stumbled on a torn-off hand on the way. People closest to the car were all in pieces. Then I saw my father’s body on the ground. It was intact, but there was an injury – a hole – on the left side of his chest. His leg was broken, sticking out at an angle. I tried to clean his face and embraced him. I felt his last breath.” – Hani, describing the November 28, 2012 car bombing in Jaramana that killed his father and brother (November 2013).

“I heard a low sound, I thought I was dreaming, then I felt the cement shaking, in a fraction of a second I was squeezed in between the rooftop and the floor… I realized that the small girl [my daughter] that was sleeping next to us died… I didn’t want to go to the hospital before I made sure everybody is alright, but they forced me…in the hospital I waited for them to come one after the other, hoping one of them would come in alive. But nobody did.” – Father describing the death of his wife and children in a suicide attack with an explosive-filled truck on November 4, 2013, in Thabtieh, Homs countryside (November 2013).

“Mona was just finishing kindergarten and preparing to start school. We were talking about buying school supplies the following day. I don’t remember what happened, but when I woke up I was in the hospital and they told me that Mona had died.” – Mother describing a rocket attack on June 5, 2013, in Akrama, Homs (November 2013).

“I was watching TV, my daughter was playing on the computer and my wife was sitting on the floor in the middle of the room when the rocket hit. I was conscious, shouting, but I couldn't move because of the debris on top of me.” – Hady, describing a September 9, 2013 rocket attack in Akrama, Homs in which he, his son, 9, and his daughter, 28, were injured (November 2013).

Opposition armed groups in Syria have indiscriminately attacked civilians in government-held territory with car bombs, mortars, and rockets, Human Rights Watch said. 

Imperialism, the Islamic State and the Policy of Endless War

By Brian Becker  | Feb 19, 2015

An Iraqi demonstration against US occupation

Why we are marching in Washington, D.C., on Saturday March 21, 2015, to say NO to authorization for new war in Iraq and Syria

On Saturday, March 21 the ANSWER Coalition is taking a lead role, as part of a broader coalition, in organizing a National March in Washington, D.C., to oppose the policy of “endless war” in Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. The March 21 National March will gather at the White House at 12:00 Noon and will be the culmination of four days of actions in the Capitol. The events are being organized under the banner of Spring Rising.

This is a critical moment as the Obama administration seeks Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the Middle East and perhaps beyond.

I hope you will participate in these actions, spread the word and show your support.

This message is written to explain why we consider the situation now to be of critical importance.
A grave moment

We are on the eve of what is being planned as a decades-long war — a war that will expand and grow. Although there was a promise by the President to “limit” the war, that should be understood as merely a talking point to soothe a skeptical public. If Obama had said that he was ordering a new “surge” of tens of thousands of troops to Iraq there would be massive anti-war protests in the streets of this country.

The President couldn’t risk that. Neither could the chest-thumping Republicans who always depict Obama as a weak leader. They too are afraid to tell the public that this is just the start and that the commitment will lead to a huge number of troops in Iraq — that military advisers and trainers will not succeed in defeating the Islamic State and that their failure will result in a steady expansion of U.S. troops to the battlefield.

Despite the initial promise of “No Boots on the Ground” we now see several thousand more U.S. troops in Iraq. On February 14, the Pentagon announced that it is sending a 4,000-strong brigade equipped with heavy weaponry to Kuwait. Massive U.S. airpower is deployed on bases and ships in the region. Iraqi cities and towns will be bombed again but the “limited war” will not succeed any more than it did in Vietnam and thus there will be a call for more and then more troops.

The U.S. Army has set up a Division Headquarters in Iraq. The only reason to establish such a Headquarters is for it to lead a Division. The Division hasn’t arrived yet but it will. A Division consists of 20,000 troops.

The problems in Iraq and Syria today are the consequences of U.S. military action. More U.S. military action now will strengthen the Islamic State, not weaken it. The catastrophe of an open-ended U.S. war will impact not only the people of the region, but the entire globe. To say that the stakes are high does not capture the magnitude of the possible disaster.

Now is the time for people to go into the streets to say NO to Congressional authorization for endless war.
U.S. military action broke up Iraq, Syria and Libya

There is a great deal of confusion about what the Obama administration is doing and why they are doing it. The confusion is caused by the deceptive presentation about the U.S. military struggle against the so-called Islamic State.

The Islamic State has established a formidable military presence in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and its influence is growing in other countries as well.

We must tell the truth, expose the lies and help the people of this country understand how they are being deceived by the Pentagon and the leadership of both the Republicans and Democrats.

The U.S. military strategy in the Middle East has been and is the primary catalyst for the growth of the Islamic State. Now, fighting the Islamic State is the public rationale for authorization for an open ended war by the Pentagon in the Middle East. That will require military bases, thousands of troops, fighter jets and hundreds of billions of dollars in military expenditures.

The Pentagon destroyed the secular governments and state apparatus in Iraq and Libya that created the political space for the rise of the Islamic State and other right-wing Islamic militias. The CIA, through Jordan and Turkey, coordinated the massive foreign arms flow into Syria to those the State Department and the mainstream media labeled “freedom fighters” from 2011 to 2014. Flush with arms and funding from abroad, and their victory in Libya, these armed units successfully captured large areas of Syrian territory from the government. These spaces have been used to create the so-called Islamic State Caliphate.

In August/September 2013, Secretary of State Kerry and his neo-conservative friends in Congress were demanding that the United States start the massive bombing of the Syrian Army. That was prevented only by the grassroots anti-war opposition in the United States, Britain and elsewhere. Kerry and McCain led the charge for the bombing of the Syrian Arab Army at that time and not once during that entire episode did they call for military action against the Islamic State. By then (August/September 2013) the Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra were the dominant military force in the armed opposition in Syria and would have been the prime beneficiary of U.S. military action.
The rise of the Islamic State is the direct outcome of U.S. military policies

Without the criminally destructive actions of U.S. politicians and the Pentagon high command, the Islamic State would not exist today except perhaps as a very small entity.

Under the direction of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the Pentagon invaded Iraq. U.S. authorities immediately dissolved the national government and the national army. Since the UN would not authorize this action, the Bush White House premised the “legality” of its actions on the spineless Congressional Authorization of October 2002.

As a direct result of this premeditated act of aggression, the nation of Iraq fragmented along ethnic and sectarian lines. Bush and Cheney, after ordering the dissolution of the Iraqi government, established their own military dictatorship in Iraq under the control of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Led by an American, L. Paul Bremer, who did not even speak Arabic, the CPA tore up Iraq’s Constitution and set about to re-create Iraq under the tutelage of American military occupation. From the beginning, the U.S. occupation, both wittingly and unwittingly, fragmented Iraq along ethnic and religious lines.

In response to the Iraqi armed resistance – unanticipated by Washington – against the occupation that began in the summer of 2003, U.S. officials consciously re-organized and funded Iraqi political life and the government on a strictly sectarian basis: A Shiite would be Prime Minister, a Kurd would be President, a Sunni would be the Speaker of the National Assembly. And then, starting in 2004, in an effort prevent the emergence of unified, nationwide Iraqi resistance front, U.S. occupation officials and the Pentagon and CIA started funding militias whose identity was anchored in religion or ethnicity. It was a classic divide-and-conquer tool that British colonialism had employed in the Indian sub-continent and throughout its far-flung empire.

It was precisely U.S. policies that fragmented Iraq. And today, Iraq as it existed up until 13 years ago is no more. That is why the Islamic State exists as a force in Iraq.

The areas that the Islamic State now control are the population centers that were bombed and occupied by U.S. military forces, marginalized and brutalized by the U.S.-created central Iraqi government and the sectarian militias who supported the government.
The urgent task of the anti-war movement in the United States

As we know — and knew then — the invasion of Iraq was based entirely on lies. It was an aggression based on power alone.

The criminals who ordered the invasion and occupation of Iraq were not arrested nor are they demonized in the U.S. media. In fact, both Bush and Cheney are making large sums of money giving speeches, engaged in partisan fundraising, and writing and selling books while they appear on television talk shows to render their opinion on this or that issue.

For those who argue that the “United States must do something” in Iraq, it must be pointed out that the “something” is the bombing of the very cities and towns in Iraq that the U.S. military bombed and brutally occupied during the Bush years. The “something” is the arming and directing of sectarian militias and the national Iraqi army that for the past years has carried out a reign of terror against the population centers that are now under the control of the Islamic State.

It is important to think through the contradictory public positions adopted by the U.S. government — again, including both its Democratic and Republican wings.

U.S. foreign policy is an imperialist policy. Having wreaked so much destruction and suffering on the peoples of the Middle East, it is either crudely naive or an act of unabashed cynicism to assert that the Pentagon can be the agency to bring justice in the same countries it violently destroyed. The growing strength of the Islamic State and other such reactionary political forces is a dominant problem for progressive people in the Middle East and throughout the Muslim world. For the past half century, the U.S. foreign policy and military strategy has been to destroy leftist and secular anti-imperialist movements and governments that constituted the leadership of the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements in the region. Having fulfilled that agenda, the officialdom in United States should not act surprised that loathsome organizations like the Islamic State have risen to fill the void.

Progressive forces in the Middle East are locked in a life-and-death struggle for the leadership of society against brutal reactionaries like the Islamic State. U.S. military action is not designed to nor can it help them. We, in the West, can offer political support and solidarity for their struggle to rescue the region from imperialism, the reactionary monarchies, the Israeli military machine and the revanchist reactionaries like the Islamic State.

For our part, progressive people in the United States have to mobilize now against the policies of our “own” government that has created a firestorm of destruction in the Middle East and now seeks “authorization” for decades more of war in the same countries and against the same peoples. Authorized by an imperial establishment, the policy of endless war that will be carried out by the Pentagon military machine can only lead to more suffering – neither peace nor liberation for the targeted peoples.

It is urgent that we revive the broad anti-war movement. Let’s start with the March 21 National March gathering at 12:00 Noon at the White House and by joining in the other actions scheduled in the days before in Washington, D.C.

Click here for a detailed list of the March 18-21 Spring Rising events.

5 Reasons The Latest Report On Syria War Crimes Might Not Be True

 A woman reacts as she looks at the images of dead bodies at the UN headquarters in New York. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
By Brandon Turbeville

January 22, 2014 - Information Clearing House

In a recently released and conveniently timed report, complete with references to Nazi Germany and concentration camps, efforts to ramp up support for a “tough line” against Syria at the upcoming Geneva II conference and even possible military intervention, are once again moving into high gear. The report, compiled by three British war crime prosecutors and three “forensic experts” claims that it has demonstrable proof that the Assad government is guilty of torturing and killing over ten thousand people.

The report (accessed here) claims to show evidence of physical torture, murder, and starvation.
Of course, the Syrian government denies the veracity of the claims of the report and Western media outlets repeat the claims as incontrovertible proof.

As Reuters reports,

A Syrian military police photographer has supplied "clear evidence" showing the systematic torture and killing of about 11,000 detainees in circumstances that evoked Nazi death camps, former war crimes prosecutors said. 

Syrian officials could face war crimes charges as a result of the evidence provided by the photographer, who has defected, the three prosecutors said. 

One of the prosecutors said the evidence documented "industrial scale killing" that was reminiscent of the World War II concentration camps of Belsen and Auschwitz. 
The trove of harrowing photographs ratchets up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who the United States and its Western allies say has committed war crimes against his own people during the civil war. 


55,000 images provided by the photographer, who fled Syria after passing the pictures to Assad's opponents, show emaciated and mutilated corpses. 

Bearing signs of torture, some of the corpses had no eyes. Others showed signs of strangulation or electrocution. 

"There is clear evidence, capable of being believed by a tribunal of fact in a court of law, of systematic torture and killing of detained persons by the agents of the Syrian government," the three prosecutors said in the 31-page report. 

"Such evidence would support findings of crimes against humanity against the current Syrian regime. Such evidence could also support findings of war crimes against the current Syrian regime," they said.

However, while the final determination of whether or not these claims are accurate is yet to be made, there exist ample reasons to question the assertions made in the report.

1. The Gulf State Feudal Monarchy Qatar is the sponsor of the report. Qatar is, of course, one of the major sponsors of the Syrian invasion (aka the Syrian “rebels”) and has played a massively important role in financing, training, arming, and directing the death squads currently being mopped up by the Assad government.

2. The source of the report. One would be justified in questioning the nature of the report since the sole source of the material comes by virtue of an allegedly “defected Syrian military police officer” who was apparently fine with photographing thousands of dead victims for over a year until now. Regardless of the possibility for such a “moral” conversion, taking information from a “defected” member of government forces once again returns us to the realm of the “activists say” school of journalism – a notorious method used by Western media outlets to promote the side of the death squads and only the side of the death squads as fact in popular reports.

3. Past claims of Assad’s “Crimes Against Humanity.” It is important to remember past experiences with Western claims against Assad for alleged “crimes against humanity,” all of which turned out to have been committed by the death squads, not the Syrian government. From the Houla massacre to the Ghouta chemical weapons attacks, the Syrian government has been exonerated by all credible evidence. The death squads, however, have been proven guilty by virtue of their own video tapes and Youtube accounts, guilty of some of the most horrific acts imaginable. While many innocent people have no doubt been killed in the crossfire between the military and the death squads, the Western media has done everything in its power to place the blood of each and every death inside Syria in the hands of the government.

Let us also not forget the other famous Codename, “Curveball,” that played a major role in the initiation of a previous and still ongoing conflict that was later admitted to be a fabrication. Being fooled by the same type of propaganda twice in ten years is indeed a humiliation too great for a country to bear.

4.) Possibility that the death squads could have killed the victims shown in the report. The victims shown in the report have clearly been abused and starved. However, before jumping to conclusions about just how these unfortunate individuals met their fate, perhaps it would be a good idea to look back at the context of the victims. As mentioned earlier, the death squads operating in Syria are no strangers to crimes against humanity, murder, and torture. In fact, they have been both the initiators of such depravity and overwhelmingly the largest proprietors of it.

Furthermore, the fact that the victims were starved does not necessarily mean that they were starved by the government. Indeed, it is important to remember that, due to the siege of a number of cities by both the military and the death squads as well as due to death squad cruelty and attempted cordoning off of specific areas, food shortage has been a serious concern in some areas for some time. There is also plentiful evidence of death squad groups killing innocent people and shipping their bodies to the places where cameras are set up, waiting for the recording of the propaganda piece. The Ghouta chemical attack is just one instance in which innocent civilians were captured and killed by the death squads and used as stage props for propaganda purposes.

Indeed, it is also important to remember that the death squads themselves are quite adept at keeping prisoners in atrocious conditions. Only a few months back, it was reported that the Syrian military was able to free a number of captive Syrian women from the hands of the death squads who had kept them in captivity in underground tunnels for months on end for the purposes of using them as sex slaves.

5.) The report was conveniently released just two days before the Geneva II Peace Conference meeting on Syria. After the retraction of an invitation to Iran to attend the peace conference, the Qatari-funded report was released just two days before the peace conference was scheduled to take place. With such evidence being studied and analyzed and a report being compiled, to believe that it was only a coincidence that the information was released two days before the conference is absurd. If this evidence was real and of such grave importance why are world leaders only learning of it now? If world leaders knew, why are we only learning of it now?

Considering all of the information provided in this article, taken in conjunction with the “convenient” timing of the release of the reports (convenient, at least, for the enemies of Syria), such reports should be taken with a large grain of salt.

The Western media has not only been wrong, but has lied on so many occasions in the past, that it cannot be expected to tell the truth now.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books,

See also

Syrian regime accused of 'systematic torture and killing': The report was commissioned by the Gulf state of Qatar, which backs the Syrian rebels.

Why one day before the Geneva meeting?: This report is altogether most unconvincing, based on alleged photos of alleged victims by an alleged 'defector' in QATAR!

Syria says torture report 'politicised,' photos 'fake': Syria's justice ministry on Wednesday dismissed a report alleging mass torture and killing by the country's regime as "politicised" calling the shocking photos in the document "fake".


What we can learn from the day the US burned to death 100,000 women and children

Rory Fanning -  11 March 2015

Charred remains of Japanese civilians after the firebombing of Tokyo. Ishikawa Kouyou / Wikimedia Commons

March 9, 2015 marked the seventieth anniversary of the American firebombing of Tokyo, World War II’s deadliest day.

More people died that night from napalm bombs than in the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But few in the United States are aware that the attack even took place.

The lack of ceremonies or official state apologies for the firebombing is unsurprising considering that many Americans see World War II as the “just war” fought by the “greatest generation.” These labels leave the war and the atrocities Americans committed during it largely untouched by critique.

The little that is available to study on the firebombing, at least here in the US, is told from the perspective of American crewmen and brass, through usually biased American military historians. Those seeking better understanding of the March 9 tragedy must wade through reams of history primarily devoted to strategy; the heroics of American soldiers; the awesome power behind the bombs unleashed that day; and a cult-like devotion to the B-29 Superfortress, the plane that dropped the napalm over Tokyo and the atomic bombs, and was the inspiration for George Lucas’s Millennium Falcon.

The overriding narrative surrounding the events of March 9, 1945 is that the American pilots and military strategists such as Gen. Curtis LeMay, the architect of the firebombing, had no other option but to carry out the mission. The Americans had “no choice” but to burn to death nearly one hundred thousand Japanese civilians.

Most historians seem to believe that LeMay should be commended for making“tough choices” in wartime, for it was these tough choices that allegedly saved lives on both sides by ending the war sooner.

What little criticism that exists of the firebombing is attacked for failing to put the bombing in proper context and not providing alternate solutions for ending the war. These attacks are also riddled with “they did it too” justifications.

World War II was carried out with brutality on all fronts. The Japanese military murdered nearly six million Chinese, Korean, and Filipino civilians by the end of it. However, to argue that Japanese civilians deserved to die — that children deserved to die — at the hands of the US military because their government killed civilians in other Asian countries is an indefensible position, in any moral or ethical framework.

Operation Meetinghouse saw more than three hundred B-29 bombers flying at ten thousand (as opposed to their usual thirty thousand feet) to avoid the effects of a 100 to 200 MPH jet stream, and setting Tokyo ablaze in the late hours of March 9. The American planes dropped five hundred thousand M-69 bombs (nicknamed “Tokyo Calling Card”), which were designed specially to consume the largely wooden residential structures of Tokyo.

Clustered in groups of thirty-eight, each M-69 weighed six pounds. The five hundred–pound clusters would disperse at two thousand feet. A white phosphorus fuse that looked like a gym sock ignited flaming jellied gasoline that spurted one hundred feet in the air on impact.

Like a sticky fiery plague, the globs of napalm clung to everything it touched. The M-69s were so effective at starting fires in Tokyo that night that gale force winds turned thousands of individual fires into one massive firestorm. Temperatures around the city raged between 600 and 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. In some areas, the fires melted asphalt.

LeMay planned the attack to coincide with 30 MPH winds in order to intensify the effect of the bombs. Ultimately, sixteen square miles of Tokyo were reduced to ash.

LeMay claimed that the Japanese government relied on residential “cottage” war production, thus making the civilians living in Tokyo a legitimate military target. However, by 1944 the Japanese had essentially terminated its home war production. A full 97 percent of the country’s military supplies were protected underground in facilities not vulnerable to air attack the day of the bombing. The Americans knew this.

The United States had broken Japan’s Red and Purple cipher machines well before 1945, allowing them access to the most classified enemy intelligence. American generals understood the war would soon be materially impossible for the Japanese.

The US Naval blockade had also prevented oil, metal, and other essential goods from entering Japan long before March 9. Japan was so cut off from basic supplies that it was constructing its planes partially out of wood.

The Japanese population at this point in the war was most concerned with starvation. The 1945 rice harvest was the worst since 1909. Surveys commissioned by Japan’s government in April 1945 reported the population was “too preoccupied with the problems of food” to worry about fighting a war. Victory for the Allies was guaranteed by the start of the year.

The most damning evidence against the firebombing can be traced to August 19, 1945, when Walter Trohan of the Chicago Tribune finally published a piecegracefully titled “Roosevelt Ignored M’Arthur Report on Nip Proposals” that he had been sitting on for seven months.

Trohan wrote:
Release of all censorship restrictions in the United States makes it possible to report that the first Japanese peace bid was relayed to the White House seven months ago.The Jap offer, based on five separate overtures, was relayed to the White House by Gen. MacArthur in a 40-page communication, [who] urged negotiations on the basis of the Jap overtures. . . .The offer, as relayed by MacArthur, contemplated abject surrender of everything but the person of the Emperor. President Roosevelt dismissed the general’s communication, which was studded with solemn references to the deity, after a casual reading with the remark, “MacArthur is our greatest general and our poorest politician.”The MacArthur report was not even taken to Yalta.

In January 1945 — two days before Franklin Roosevelt was to meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in Yalta — the Japanese were offering surrender terms almost identical to what was accepted by the Americans on the USS Missouri in the Japan Bay on September 2, 1945.

The Japanese population was famished, the country’s war machine was out of gas, and the government had capitulated. The Americans were unmoved. The firebombing and the nuclear attacks were heartlessly carried out. If anyone is guilty of disregarding the “context” of the firebombing of Tokyo, it’s the sycophantic and biased American historians who deride these critical facts.

Let us not forget what actually happened on the ground that day. It has been too easy to bury the stories. Largely ignored by mainstream reviewers, Edwin P. Hoyet‘s Inferno: The Fire Bombing of Japan, March 9–August 15, 1945 is one of the only oral histories from March 9.

Toshiko Higashikawa, who was twelve at the time of the bombing, recalled: “There was fire everywhere. I saw one person caught by the claws of the fire dragon before you could say Jack Robinson! Her clothes just went up in flames. Another two people were caught and burned up. The bombers just kept coming.” Toshiko and her family fled to a neighborhood school, seeking shelter from fire. The family bottlenecked in a doorway, and Toshiko could hear children shouting: “Gya. Help! Its Hot! Moma! Uwa! Daddy! It hurts! Help!”

Moments later, Toshiko lost the grip of her father’s hand in the frantic crowd. Her father was holding her younger brother Eichi in his other arm. Toshiko and her sister made it out of the schoolhouse alive. She never saw her father and brother again.

Koji Kikushima, who was thirteen at the time, tells the story of running down a street as fire chased her family and hundreds of others. The heat was so intense she instinctively jumped off a bridge into a river below. She survived the fall. In the morning she emerged from the river to see a “mountain of corpses” on the bridge. She never saw her family again.

Sumiko Morikawa was twenty-four that day. Her husband was off fighting in the war. She had a four-year-old son Kiichi, and twin eight-month-old girls Atsuko and Ryoko. As the fire began to burn the homes in her neighborhood, Sumiko ran towards a park pool with her kids. Nearing the pool’s edge, four-year-old Kiichi’s jacket caught fire.

“It’s hot, mom. It’s hot,” he cried. Sumiko jumped into the pool with the twin girls and Kiichi. Then a fireball hit the boy in the head, and his mother doused him with water. But his head slumped over.

Sumiko fainted and woke to find her twins dead and son breathing faintly. The water in the pool had evaporated from the heat. Sumiko ran Kiichi to an aid station and began to give him tea from her own mouth. He opened his eyes for a moment and said “Mama” before dying.

There were nearly a million casualties that day in Tokyo and countless stories like the ones above. However what is mostly absent from Hoyet’s book are personal reflections from men about what it was like that day. It’s because cities like Tokyo and Nagasaki were essentially devoid of them.

“We rarely saw any fathers in the town,” a women from Nagaski recalled for Paul Hamm in his book Hiroshima Nagasaki. “There were a lot of grandmothers, mothers, and children. I remember seeing one father-like person in my town but he was ill.”

The remaining population, and hence the main targets of the bombing, were disproportionately women, children, and the elderly. The majority of the military-age men were away fighting in the war.

So why did the Americans continue to raid and terrorize the Japanese civilian population knowing the war could have been over? Many argue that the Americans were flexing their muscles for Russia in anticipation of the ensuing Cold War. Countless pages have been written about this.

But what is too often overlooked is the racism of the day. It is America’s racism that best explains the extent of the firebombing and the nuclear attacks. The racist mindset that all too many Americans were comfortable with in the Jim Crow era easily bled onto the Japanese. The horror stories of the almost two hundred thousand Japanese Americans who lost their livelihoods as a result of Roosevelt’s internment camps are just one example of how Americans saw not only the Japanese but Japanese-Americans.

The firebombing of Japan was about testing new technologies on a civilian population. Significant funds had gone into the development of American military technology — 36 billion in 2015 dollars funded the creation of the atomic bomb. Napalm was new as well. The firebombing of Tokyo marked the first time it was used on a dense civilian population. The Americans wanted to assay their new inventions on a group of people who they thought were less than human.

LeMay famously remarked, “Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time . . . I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.” LeMay later leveraged his war credentials and racism to earn a spot on segregationist Gov. George Wallace’s 1968 presidential ticket.

Terms like “greatest generation” betray Americans by keeping them willfully disconnected from their past. These labels flatten complex legacies, and prevent a thorough questioning of power.

Why did no one from the greatest generation stop these needless bombings? How can a country whose leaders constantly invoke its “exceptionalism” regularly fall back on the platitude “All sides were committing atrocities so why focus on the Americans?” These are the questions our high school textbooks need to be asking.

As Howard Zinn put it in “Three Holy Wars,” his final speech before he died:
This idea of good wars helps justify other wars which are obviously awful, obviously evil. And though they’re obviously awful — I’m talking about Vietnam, I’m talking about Iraq, I’m talking about Afghanistan, I’m talking about Panama, I’m talking about Grenada, one of our most heroic of wars — the fact that you can have the historic experience of good wars creates a basis for believing, well, you know, there’s such a thing as a good war, and maybe you can find, oh, parallels between the good wars and this war, even though you don’t understand this war.
But, oh, yes, the parallels. Saddam Hussein is Hitler. That makes it clear. We have to fight against him. To not fight in the war means surrender, like Munich. There are all the analogies. . . . You compare something to World War II, you immediately infuse it with goodness.
After the war US Marine Joe O’Donnell was sent to document the destruction of Japan. His book Japan 1945: A U.S. Marine’s Photographs from Ground Zero is something everyone who labels World War II good and just should see.

“The people I met,” O’Donnell recalls, “the suffering I witnessed, and the scenes of incredible devastation taken by my camera caused me to question every belief I had previously held about my so-called enemies.”

The ubiquity of America’s national security state, its commitment to war without end, and the chauvinism of our leadership demands that we be ever-vigilant about propaganda that maintains the American war mindset.

Connecting with the transformation of Marines like Joe O’Donnell and Howard Zinn is the way forward. Destroying our war myths will help unravel the mentality that keeps America to this day fighting for the benefit of a few at the great expense of the many.

Source: www.jacobinmag.com

SOURCE | http://stopwar.org.uk/news/what-we-can-learn-from-the-day-the-us-burned-to-death-100-000-women-and-children

The Future Gaddafi Foresaw: Libya, ISIS and the Unaffordable Luxury of Hindsight

by AHMAD BARQAWI | Published March 9, 2015

Who are you?” the late Muammar Gaddafi once rhetorically asked in a famous speech of his towards the end of his reign; (rightly) questioning the legitimacy of those seeking to over-throw his government at the time, calling them extremists, foreign agents, rats and drug-addicts. He was laughed at, unfairly caricatured, ridiculed and incessantly demonized; a distasteful parody video poking fun at the late Libyan leader even went viral on social media; evidently the maker of the video, an Israeli, thought the Libyan colloquial Arabic word “Zenga” (which means an Alleyway) sounded funny enough that he extracted it from one of Gaddafi’s speeches, looped it on top of a hip-hop backing track and voila… he got himself a hit video which was widely (and shamefully) circulated with a “revolutionary” zeal in the Arab world. We shared, we laughed, he died.

But the bloody joke is on all of us; Gaddafi knew what he was talking about; right from the get-go, he accused the so-called Libyan rebels of being influenced by Al-Qaeda ideology and Ben Laden’s school of thought; no one had taken his word for it of course, not even a little bit. I mean why should we have? After all, wasn't he a vile, sex-centric dictator hell-bent on massacring half of the Libyan population while subjecting the other half to manic raping sprees with the aid of his trusted army of Viagra-gobbling, sub-Saharan mercenaries? At least that’s what we got from the visual cancer that is Al Jazeera channel and its even more acrid Saudi counterpart Al-Arabiya in their heavily skewed coverage of NATO’s vicious conquest of Libya. Plus Gaddafi did dress funny; why would anyone trust a haggard, weird-looking despot dressed in colorful rags when you have well-groomed Zionists like Bernard Henry Levy, John McCain and Hillary Clinton at your side, smiling and flashing the victory sign in group photo-ops, right?

Gaddafi called them drug-addicted, Islamic fundamentalists; we know them as ISIS… it doesn’t seem much of a joke now, does it? And ISIS is what had been in store for us all along; the “revolutionary” lynching and sodomization of Muammar Gaddafi amid manic chants of “Allahu Akbar”, lauded by many at the time as some sort of a warped triumph of the good of popular will (read: NATO-sponsored mob rule) over the evil of dictatorship (sovereign state), was nothing but a gory precursor for the future of the country and the region; mass lynching of entire populations in Libya, Syria and Iraq and the breakup of key Arab states into feuding mini-statelets. The gruesome video of Colonel Gaddafi’s murder, which puts to shame the majority of ISIS videos in terms of unhinged brutality and gore, did not invoke the merest of condemnations back then, on the contrary; everyone seemed perfectly fine with the grotesque end of the Libyan “tyrant”… except that it was only the beginning of a new and unprecedented reign of terror courtesy of NATO’s foot-soldiers and GCC-backed Islamic insurgents.

The rapid proliferation of trigger-happy terrorist groups and Jihadi factions drenched in petrodollars in Libya was not some sort of an intelligence failure on the part of western governments or a mere by-product of the power vacuum left by a slain Gaddafi; it was a deliberate, calculated policy sought after and implemented by NATO and its allies in the Gulf under the cringe-inducing moniker “Friends of Libya” (currently known as the International Coalition against ISIS) to turn the north-African country into the world’s largest ungovernable dumpster of weapons, al-Qaida militants and illegal oil trading.

So it is safe to say that UNSC resolution 1973, which practically gave free rein for NATO to bomb Libya into smithereens, has finally borne fruit… and it’s rotten to its nucleus, you can call the latest gruesome murder of 21 Egyptian fishermen and workers by the Libyan branch of the Islamic State exhibit “A”, not to mention of course the myriad of daily killings, bombings and mini-civil wars that are now dotting the entire country which, ever since the West engineered its coup-d’etat against the Gaddafi government, have become synonymous with the bleak landscape of lawlessness and death that is “Libya” today. And the gift of NATO liberation is sure to keep on giving for years of instability and chaos to come.

In an interview with the western media misinformation collective that is the BBC, ABC and the Sunday Times in February 2011; the late Muammar Gaddafi told his condescending interviewers; “have you seen the Al Qaeda operatives? Have you heard all these Jihadi broadcasts? It is Al Qaeda that is controlling the cities of Al Baida and Darnah, former Guantanamo inmates and extremists unleashed by America to terrorize the Libyan people…”. Darnah is now the main stronghold for ISIS in Libya.

In a bizarre coincidence (or some sort of cosmic irony); the date on which ISIS chose to release its video of the beheading of Egyptian captives, thereby officially declaring its presence in the war-torn country with three oil fields under its control, (appropriately) marked the 4th anniversary of the start of the so-called Libyan revolution on February 15th, 2011; a more apt “tribute” to commemorate the Western instigated regime-change debacle in Libya could not have been made.

But even long before ISIS became the buzzword, the acrid nature of a “revolutionary” Libya showed in full, sickening splendor almost instantly right after the old regime fell, everything the late Gaddafi was falsely accused of doing was literally perfected to a chilling degree by the so-called rebels; massacres, indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, car-bombings, mass arrests, torture, theft of oil and national resources… the whole lot. In 2013; two British pro-Palestine activists, on their way to Gaza with an aid convoy, got to experience first-hand the rotten fruits of the Libyan chapter of the so-called Arab Spring when they were abducted by a motely crew of Libyan revolutionaries-turned-warlords in the city of Benghazi and gang raped in front of their father.

Proponents of Humanitarian Interventions must be patting themselves on the back these days; now that Libya has completed its democratic makeover from a country with the highest standard of living in Africa under Gaddafi’s rule into a textbook definition of a failed state; a godless wasteland of religious fanaticism, internal bloodletting and wholesale head-chopping, in fact Libya became so “democratic” that there are now two parliaments and two (warring) governments; each with its own (criminal) army and supported with money and caches of weapons from competing foreign powers, not to mention the myriad of secessionist movements and militias which the illegal coup against Gaddafi has spawned all over the country while free health care, education and electricity, which the Libyans took for granted under Gaddafi’s regime, are all now but relics of the past; that’s the “Odyssey Dawn” the Libyans were promised; a sanitized version of Iraq sans the public outrage, neatly re-packaged in a “responsibility to protect” caveat and delivered via aerial bombing campaigns where even the West’s overzealous Gulf Co-conspirators Club (GCC), driven by nothing beyond petty personal vendettas against Gaddafi, got to test the lethality of its rusted, American-made military aircrafts alongside NATO on the people of Tripoli and Sirte.

This is what Gaddafi had predicted right from the get-go and then some; the ephemeral euphoria of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions was just too potent and too exhilarating for us to read the fine print; was it a conspiracy or a true revolutionary spirit gone awry? It doesn’t really matter now that ISIS has become the true legacy of Tahrir Square; “they will turn Libya into another Afghanistan, another Somalia, another Iraq… your women won’t be allowed out, they will transform Libya into an Islamic Emirate and America will bomb the country under the pretext of fighting terrorism”, the late Libyan leader had said in a televised speech on February 22nd, 2011, and more prophetic words were never spoken.

America’s “clean war” Libyan prototype proved to be such a success that it was replicated with a wanton abandon in Syria; Paul Bremer’s “Blackwater” death squads of old, which reigned terror all over Iraq, are back… with an Islamic twist; bearded, clad in black and explosives from head to toe and mounting convoys of Toyota Land Cruiser trucks with an ever-expanding, seemingly borderless Islamic Caliphate (that somehow leaves the Zionist regime unencumbered in its occupation of Palestine) set in their sights.

Everyday the Arab World is awakened to a new-videotaped atrocity; steeped in gore and maniacal terror courtesy of ISIS (or IS or ISIL), and countless of other “youtubeless”, albeit more heinous crimes courtesy of America’s very own ever-grinding, one-sided drone warfare; the entire region seesaws between machete beheadings and hellfire missile incinerations. Death from above… as well as below; the War on Terror rears its ugly head once again; to bring in line those nasty terrorists that the West itself funded and sponsored in the name of democracy to destabilize “unsavory” regimes; an unrelenting Groundhog Day that starts with the Responsibility to Protect and ends with the War on Terror, with thousands of innocent lives, typically chalked up to collateral damage, crushed in the process.

This is exactly what Gaddafi foresaw; a Libya mired in utter chaos, civil conflict and western diktats; a breeding ground for Jihadi fundamentalism and extremists… too bad we just laughed his warnings off to an Israeli-made parody tune.

Ahmad Barqawi, freelance columnist and writer.

Washington’s Al Qaeda Ally Now Leading ISIS in Libya

9.March.2015 | Author: Eric Draitser

Abdelhakim Belhadj

The revelations that US ally Abdelhakim Belhadj is now leading ISIS in Libya should come as no surprise to those who have followed US policy in that country, and throughout the region. It illustrates for the umpteenth time that Washington has provided aid and comfort to precisely those forces it claims to be fighting around the world.

According to recent reports, Abdelhakim Belhadj has now firmly ensconced himself as the organizational commander of the ISIS presence inside Libya. The information comes from an unnamed US intelligence official who has confirmed that Belhadj is supporting and coordinating the efforts of the ISIS training centers in eastern Libya around the city of Derna, an area long known as a hotbed of jihadi militancy.

While it may not seem to be a major story – Al Qaeda terrorist turns ISIS commander – the reality is that since 2011 the US and its NATO allies have held up Belhadj as a “freedom fighter.” They portrayed him as a man who courageously led his fellow freedom-lovers against the “tyrannical despot” Gaddafi whose security forces at one time captured and imprisoned many members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), including Belhadj.

Belhadj served the US cause in Libya so well that he can be seen receiving accolades from Sen. John McCain who referred to Belhadj and his followers as heroes. 

He was initially rewarded after the fall of Gaddafi with the post of military commander of Tripoli, though he was forced to give way to a more politically palatable “transitional government” which has since evaporated in that chaotic, war-ravaged country.

Belhadj’s history of terrorist activity includes such “achievements” as collaboration with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of course his convenient servitude to the US-NATO sponsored rampage across Libya that, among other things, caused mass killings of black Libyans and anyone suspected of being part of the Green Resistance (those loyal to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Gaddafi). Although the corporate media tried to make a martyr of Belhadj for his alleged torture via the CIA rendition program, the inescapable fact is that wherever he goes he leaves a violent and bloody wake.

While much of this information is known, what is of paramount importance is placing this news in a proper political context, one that illustrates clearly the fact that the US has been, and continues to be, the major patron of extremist militants from Libya to Syria and beyond, and that all talk of “moderate rebels” is merely rhetoric designed to fool an unthinking public.

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend…Until He Isn’t

There is ample documented evidence of Belhadj’s association with Al Qaeda and his terrorist exploits the world over. Variousreports have highlighted his experiences fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and he himself has boasted of killing US troops in Iraq. However, it was in Libya in 2011 where Belhadj became the face of the “rebels” seeking to topple Gaddafi and the legal government of Libya.

As the New York Times reported:

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was formed in 1995 with the goal of ousting Colonel Qaddafi. Driven into the mountains or exile by Libyan security forces, the group’s members were among the first to join the fight against Qaddafi security forces… Officially the fighting group does not exist any longer, but the former members are fighting largely under the leadership of Abu Abdullah Sadik [aka Abdelhakim Belhadj].

So, not only was Belhadj a participant in the US-NATO war on Libya, he was one of its most powerful leaders, heading a battle-hardened jihadist faction that constituted the leading edge of the war against Gaddafi. Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than when the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) took the lead in the attack on Gaddafi’s compound at Bab al-Aziziya. In this regard, LIFG was provided intelligence, and likely also tactical support, from US intelligence and the US military.

This new information about Belhadj’s association with the suddenly globally relevant ISIS certainly bolsters the argument that this writer, among many others, has made since 2011 – that the US-NATO war on Libya was waged by terrorist groups overtly and tacitly supported by US intelligence and the US military. Moreover, it dovetails with other information that has surfaced in recent years, information that shines a light on how the US exploited for its own geopolitical purposes one of the most active terrorist hotbeds anywhere in the world.

According to the recent reports, Belhadj is directly involved with supporting the ISIS training centers in Derna. Of course Derna should be well known to anyone who has followed Libya since 2011, because that city, along with Tobruk and Benghazi, were the centers of anti-Gaddafi terrorist recruitment in the early days of the “uprising” all through the fateful year of 2011. But Derna was known long before that as a locus of militant extremism.

In a major 2007 study entitled “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records” conducted by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point, the authors noted that:

Almost 19 percent of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia… The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa’ida which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa’ida on November 3, 2007…The most common cities that the fighters called home were Darnah [Derna], Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with 52 and 51 fighters respectively. Darnah [Derna] with a population just over 80,000 compared to Riyadh’s 4.3 million, has far and away the largest per capita number of fighters in the Sinjar records.

And so, the US military and intelligence community has known for nearly a decade (perhaps longer) that Derna has long been directly or indirectly controlled by jihadis of the LIFG variety, and that that city had acted as a primary recruiting ground for terrorism throughout the region. Naturally, such information is vital if we are to understand the geopolitical and strategic significance of the notion of ISIS training camps associated with the infamous Belhadj on the ground in Derna.

This leads us to three interrelated, and equally important, conclusions. First, Derna is once again going to provide foot soldiers for a terror war to be waged both in Libya, and in the region more broadly, with the obvious target being Syria. Second is the fact that the training sites at Derna will be supported and coordinated by a known US asset. And third, that the US policy of supporting “moderate rebels” is merely a public relations campaign designed to convince average Americans (and those in the West generally) that it is not supporting terrorism, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

The Myth of ‘Moderate Rebels’

The news about Belhadj and ISIS must not be seen in a vacuum. Rather, it should be still further proof that the notion of “moderates” being supported by the US is an insult to the intelligence of political observers and the public at large.

For more than three years now, Washington has trumpeted its stated policy of support to so-called moderate rebels in Syria – a policy which has at various times folded such diverse terror groups as the Al Farooq Brigades (of cannibalism fame) and Hazm (“Determination”) into one large “moderate” tent. Unfortunately for US propagandists and assorted warmongers however, these groups along with many others have since voluntarily or forcibly been incorporated into Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS/ISIL.

Recently, there have been many reports of mass defections of formerly Free Syrian Army factions to ISIS, bringing along with them their advanced US-supplied weaponry. Couple that with the “poster boys” for Washington policy, the aforementioned Hazm group, now having become part of Jabhat al Nusra, the Al Qaeda linked group in Syria. Of course these are only a few of the many examples of groups that have become affiliated with either the ISIS or Al Qaeda brand in Syria, including Liwaa Al-Farouq, Liwaa Al-Qusayr, and Liwaa Al-Turkomen to name just a few.

What has become clear is that the US and its allies, in their unending quest for regime change in Syria, have been overtly supporting extremist elements that have now coalesced to form a global terror threat in ISIS, Nusra, and Al Qaeda.

But of course, this is nothing new, as the Belhadj episode in Libya demonstrates unequivocally. The man who was once Al Qaeda, then became a “moderate” and “our man in Tripoli,” has now become the leader of the ISIS threat in Libya. So too have “our friends” become our enemies in Syria. None of this should surprise anyone.

But perhaps John McCain would like to answer some questions about his long-standing connections with Belhadj and the “moderates” in Syria. Would Obama like to explain why his “humanitarian intervention” in Libya has become a humanitarian nightmare for that country, and indeed the whole region? Would the CIA, which has been extensively involved in all of these operations, like to come clean about just who they’ve been supporting and what role they’ve played in fomenting this chaos?

I doubt any such questions will ever be asked by anyone in the corporate media. Just as I doubt any answers will ever be furnished by those in Washington whose decisions have created this catastrophe. So, it is for us outside the corporate propaganda matrix to demand answers, and to never let the establishment suppress our voices…or the truth.
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


First appeared:http://journal-neo.org/2015/03/09/washington-s-al-qaeda-ally-now-leading-isis-in-libya/

Hillary’s Connection To The Muslim Brotherhood

Hillary’s Connection To The Muslim Brotherhood And Her Multiple Private Emails With Her Muslim Assistant Huma Abedin Is Being Investigated For Muslim Brotherhood Connections

March 6, 2015 | By Walid Shoebat

Fox News reported tonight that Hillary Clinton may have had several different private email addresses she used that were all on her private email server. They got this information on the multiple email addresses from a professional hacker that used a tool to comb through public information found in major search engines.

A prominent hacker tells Fox News’ James Rosen that Hillary Clinton appears to have established multiple email addresses for private use.

Aides to the former secretary of state say she only used one private email while in office — hdr22@clintonemail.com. That domain name has been traced to a private Internet server in Clinton’s hometown of Chappaqua, N.Y. The server was registered in the name of Clinton’s former aide Eric Hothem a week before the Obama administration assumed office.

Rosen’s hacker source employed a tool called “The Harvester” to search a number of data sources to look for references to the domain name Clintonemail.com. The source says it appears Clinton established multiple email addresses, includinghdr@clintonemail.com, hdr18@clintonemail.com, hdr19@clintonemail.com,hdr20@clintonemail.com, and hrd21@clintonemail.com.

Other email addresses include h.clinton@clintonemail.com, Hillary@clintonemail.com,contact@clintonemail.com, and mau_suit@clintonemail.com.

After ignoring a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in August 2014, government watchdog Judicial Watch has issued a lawsuit against the State Department for all emails between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her top aide Huma Abedin and wife of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, Nagla Mahmoud, from January 2009 to January 2013. It was discovered earlier this week that both Clinton and Abedine used personal email accounts to conduct government business, potentially violating federal records laws.

The Judicial Watch lawsuit specifically seeks the following:

A. Any and all records of communication between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Nagla Mahmoud, wife of ousted Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi, from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2013; and

B. Any and all records of communication between former State Department Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin and Nagla Mahmoud from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2013.

“Now we know why the State Department didn’t want to respond to our specific request for Hillary Clinton’s and Huma Abedin’s communications,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “The State Department violated FOIA law rather than admit that it couldn’t and wouldn’t search the secret accounts that the agency has known about for years. This lawsuit shows how the latest Obama administration cover-up isn’t just about domestic politics but has significant foreign policy implications.”

Hillary received memos which included a note on the sources of intelligence referred to as “Sources with access to the highest levels of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.”

Both Hillary and Huma Abedin, her assistant had multiple emails, as it seems. Now we shall see what becomes of the lawsuit. Will it be discovered that Hillary and Huma were neck-deep involved with the Muslim Brotherhood?

But is it only the emails that will reveal such connections?

Shoebat.com has spent quite some time revealing the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabist connections of the Abedin family and it is perhaps the right time for all this to resurface again. We do not need just emails to prove it.

And just to give a glimpse of what we researched, it was Huma’s mother, father and brother who were neck deep as well as Huma with activism for the Wahhabists and the Muslim Brotherhood. Her mother Saleha Abedin is Vice Dean at Dar El-Hekma College in Saudi Arabia, Saleha was also one of the institution’s founders, along with Yaseen Abdullah Kadi—a designated terrorist by the U.S.—and members of the bin Laden family.

In 2010, Huma arranged for the Secretary of State to visit Dar El-Hekma where Clinton spoke alongside both Saleha and another Sisterhood member named Suheir Qureshi, who like so many of her colleagues, holds a Ph.D.

Courtesy of Internet Archives, we were able to learn that Huma Abedin served as an Assistant Editor with IMMA (Institute For Muslim Minority Affairs) from at least December 2, 2002—September 24, 2008. Her name fails to appear on the IMMA website some time before February 14, 2009. Presumably, Abedin left IMMA to accept her current position as Deputy Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton.

Our detailed research shows the roots of IMMA which had its roots from the Wahhabists and an Al-Qaeda financier Abdullah Omar Naseef, in which the Abedins were neck deep in involvement on plans to use the Muslim Minority Affairs to bring forth a grand Muslim revolution.

The IMMA Editorial Board currently lists both Huma’s brother and her mother as editors. A screenshot from the Anti-Mullah blog proves that Huma worked and partnered together with her family at IMMA:

This would be within the same time period that her brother Hassan Abedin began serving as a fellow with OCIS working closely with the notorious Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, the spiritual head of the Muslim Bortherhood. This necessarily means that Huma was serving on a board (IMMA) with people who had confirmed ties to al-Qaeda, which leads to another relevant discovery.

From at least December 2, 2002—December 3, 2003, none other than Abdullah Omar Naseef served on the Advisory Editorial Board. This screenshot confirms that:

The relevance of this discovery is further increased by what his revealed by the Anti-Defamation League:

On October 12, 2001, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Rabita Trust, a charity in Pakistan “for its close ties to senior al Qaida leadership and for providing logistical and financial support to Al Qaida.” The Rabita Trust was founded in 1988 by Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, the former secretary general of the Muslim World League (MWL) in the 1980s.

Obviously, this means that more than two years prior to Huma Abedin serving on a board with Naseef—and one month after the 9/11 attacks—Naseef was formally connected to Al-Qaeda by the U.S. Government.

With all this, why would Huma serve on a board with Saleha and coordinate a meeting between her mother and the Secretary of State while Saleha still appears on the main Al-Azhar university website as a member of the High Council for Islamic Matters? As such, she participated in the 12th session regarding the Islamic Conference for The Islamic Uprising as representing the Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (the same group that supports marital rape).

But all this is the tip of the iceberg, the research takes several days just to comprehend. (see here and here).

It is always a fact of life that sooner or later, what you do in life will always haunt you in the end. This includes Hillary and her sidekick Abedin. As it is said in the Middle East, “the snow one day melts, and all the crap under will be revealed”.

While many in the past years accused the valid demand for inquiry (like Michelle Bachmann) whom we are proud to have worked with on this issue, regarding the Muslim Brotherhood connections of Huma Abedin and Hillary as “racism” and “bigotry”, these, like John McCain, who knew no Middle East history, has no foresight and knew very little about the Muslim Brotherhood’s connections to the Abedins, including prominent Abedin family members with the Nazis; Hassan Al-Banna, the grandfather of Tariq Ramadan (whom Huma’s boss Hillary Clinton lifted his ban from the U.S.) collaborated with my grandfather’s associate Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who was also Hitler’s Arab henchmen. Al-Husseini also became the Muslim Brotherhood leader. Neither did they repent for they still take pride in their collaboration with the Islamo-Nazis. Abdul Hakim Abedin was born in 1914 in Egypt and was one of the first regular ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood who married Imam Hassan Al-Banna’s sisiter. Al-Banna was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr. Abedin was also the secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested (just like Muhammad Morsi) along with his colleagues when the group was disbanded in 1948, and was released from prison when the government canceled the delegation of martial law in 1950. He was also handpicked by the notorious Nazi collaborator Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Palestine to be an adviser to the Arab Higher Committee in Beirut under the chairmanship of al-Husseini and was chosen by the Muslim World League (MWL) in Mecca to be its adviser. Saleha Abedin (Huma’s mother) still serves in the MWL till today. He returned to Egypt in 1975 where he practiced advocacy work for the Brotherhood, led by the third Leader of the Brotherhood Professor Omar al-Tilmisani until he passed away in 1977.

It is the Brotherhood who are still racist, not Michelle Bachmann who defended her country from infiltration. In Arabic, Muhammad Morsi before he was thrown in the slammer says that Egypt needs to “ban western dress” and that people who believe in “the Trinity” do not possess a “full mental faculty.” One can see the writing on the wall; the Islamist supremacy over Christians in Egypt is a repeat of Nazism. But thank God for Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi whom this U.S. Administration unforunately alienated threw these bums in the slammer. Egypt today has more justice when it comes to Islamists than what we see in the State Department. Discover the Networks described an important similarity shared by Hitler’s Nazism and al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood:

“Both movements sought world conquest and domination. Both were triumphalist and supremacist: in Nazism the Aryan must rule, while in al-Banna’s Islam, the Muslim religion must hold dominion.”

Sooner or later, the snow will completely melt, and the crap under will all be revealed.

For more detailed evidence in the Huma Abedin and Hilary Clinton connections to the Muslim Brotherhood read our detailed work Proof: Huma has Ties to Muslim Brotherhood – Countless Documents Surface. Read as well, The Abedin Affairs With Al-Saud.