Tag Archives: terrorism

Circle of Absurdity: Killing the Extremists We Create, by Danny Sjursen

The US has made countless allies its enemies, and vice versa. Al Qaeda may be the most noteworthy example of the former.From Danny Sjursen at truthdig.com:

The U.S. military remains mired in countless wars in the Greater Middle East. Ironically – and tragically – it tends to combat Islamists that Washington either armed or birthed.

We, Americans, truly are a strange lot. Our government in Washington – ostensibly representative of “We the People” – speaks of peace, but wages endless war, prattles on about “freedom,” but backs absolute monarchs and authoritarian strongmen the world over. A bipartisan array of politicians warns of the evils of radical Islamic (though Islamist is more accurate) terrorism; and yet, truthfully, the US once supported and/or funded those same extremists not too long ago. In some cases, and certain circumstances, it backs them still; until, that is, all those guns are turned on the US military, or those fighters threaten Washington’s (ever shifting) “interests.”

Perhaps, one imagines, there are lessons here: be careful who you arm; be careful where you meddle; today’s “friends” are, all too often, tomorrow’s enemies; and, in the turbulent Middle East, sometimes less is more.

Washington would do well to remember that before its next – and there will be a next – intervention.

Russia, it seems, is once again center stage in the Middle East. Congressmen and Senators – usually neocons or hawkish liberal interventionists – warnthat Russia is “running wild,” or will “win” Syria. In fact, they argue, the US military must stay put in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, indefinitely one presumes, to block potential Russian gains. US troops must also back assorted proxies, even some nefarious characters, in order to deter Russian efforts in the region.

The whole presumption, of course, is flawed and simplistic. We are led to believe geopolitics is a simple zero-sum game, whereby any “gain” for Russia (or Iran) is somehow a “loss” for the United States. Much evil, and plenty of mistakes, stem from such warped assumptions.

To continue reading: Circle of Absurdity: Killing the Extremists We Create

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Saudi Crown Prince Admits Saudis “Financed Terrorist Groups”, Blesses Israeli Statehood, by Tyler Durden

The crown prince draws the line, however, at admitting that the Saudi government finances terrorist groups. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) admitted in a wide-ranging interview in The Atlantic that Saudi nationals have funded terrorist groups, and quite stunningly – that Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land yet another indicator that the relationship between Riyadh and Tel Aviv is strengthening.

When it comes to financing extremist groups, I challenge anyone if he can bring any evidence that the Saudi government financed terrorist groups. Yes, there are people from Saudi Arabia who financed terrorist groups. This is against Saudi law. We have a lot of people in jail now, not only for financing terrorist groups, but even for supporting them. –The Atlantic

Bin Salman’s comments come days after a U.S. judge rejected Saudi Arabia’s request to dismiss lawsuits accusing it of involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

The cases are based on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta), a 2016 law that provides an exemption to the legal principle of sovereign immunity, allowing families of the victims to take foreign governments to court.

The families point to the fact that the majority of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and claim that Saudi officials and institutions “aided and abetted” the attackers in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, according to court documents. Middle East Eye

MbS also told The Atlantic when asked if Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland:

I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations…  We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people”

Saudi Arabia does not currently recognize Israel – maintaining for years that normalizing relations all depends on the withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East War – territory Palestinians claim to be theirs for the establishment of a future state.

There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace,” MbS added. “There would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan”

To continue reading: Saudi Crown Prince Admits Saudis “Financed Terrorist Groups”, Blesses Israeli Statehood

A Terrorist by Any Other Name, by L. Reichard White

Governments are by far the deadliest institution on the planet. So why does nobody label them terrorists? from L. Reichard White at lewrockwell.com:

Newspapers and other publications keep what they call “stylebooks” to let the folks who write for them know what’s acceptable to the publication and what isn’t. Many factors determine the rules that are included in a stylebook, many, but not all of them, economic.

What these stylebooks reveal, however, is much more than just preferences and economics. What is a “terrorist” for example – – –

For the record, here’s the [Minnesota] Star Tribune style entry, word for word: “The Star Tribune permits the use of the word ‘terrorist’ to describe nongovernmental groups that carry out attacks on civilians. Other words –‘gunmen,’ ‘separatist,’ ‘rebel’ and ‘suicide bomber,’ for example –usually are more precise and therefore are generally preferred. In the case of Al-Qaida, the use of ‘terrorist network’ or similar terms is permitted. Also, referring to the Sept. 11 attacks as ‘terrorist attacks’ is permitted.” –from Minnesota startribune

So, “In the case of Al-Qaida, the use of ‘terrorist network’ or similar terms is permitted.” But, in the case of governments, apparently, the use of “terrorist,” etc. isn’t permitted.

It seems that if a “governmental group/network” does exactly what a non-governmental “terrorist group/network” does — “carrying out attacks on civilians,” etc. — it isn’t called “terrorist.

Can you think of any “governmental group/network” currently carrying out attacks on civilians?

Thought so. Me too.

So, we know that governments attack civilians – – – regularly. And the results are predictable and the magnitude horrendous. Just to start with – – –

New York, NY – An early July column in the Wall Street Journal by R.J. Rummel confirmed what most libertarians already know: that government is the biggest scourge of mankind. According to Rummel’s research, governments of all kinds … have killed 119 million people in the twentieth century. The second runner up, war (also sponsored by governments, usually) has killed “only” 35.7 million. –AMERICAN LIBERTARIAN Aug. 1986

This record (154.7 million) has been substantially “improved” since Rummel’s 1986 research —- in Afghanistan (by Russian Government), Nicaragua, Bosnia, Iraq 1991 (200,000+ by U.S. Coalition), Guatemala, Chechnya (100,000+), Somalia (by U.S. Government), Rowanda, Grenada (by U.S. Government), East Timor, Panama (by U.S. Government), Kosovo 1999 (by U.S-NATO Coalition & Yugoslav Government), Yugoslavia 1999 (7000+ by U.S.-NATO Coalition), Waco, Texas (60+ including 23 children by U.S. Government), Afghanistan 2002 (4000+ by American Government), Palestine (Israeli Government), Iraq 2003-05 (100,000+ by U.S. led “Coalition”), etc.

To continue reading: A Terrorist by Any Other Name

France’s Marine Le Pen Charged Over Islamic State Tweets, by Tyler Durden

Civil liberties are being extinguished in Europe. Don’t think it couldn’t happen in the US. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In the latest example of the European Union’s disturbing new tendency toward outright suppression of any speech that bureaucrats in Berlin, Brussels, and elsewhere find unacceptable for any number of reasons, former French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has been formally charged with circulating “violent messages that incite terrorism” for a series of tweets she sent after the massacre at Paris concert hall the Bataclan back in 2015.

The move comes after French President Emmanuel Macron announced early this year that, in an effort to “defend liberal democracy”, he would push through legislation this year to fight the spread of “fake news” in France.Macron went on to criticize Russian media in particular and accusing RT, a Moscow funded TV channel, of deliberately sowing disinformation and discord (sound familiar?).

While Macron’s announcement was cheered by many on the left, conservatives and those with anti-establishment or right-wing views are (so far justifiably) worried that they might become targets (because there’s no better way to defend an open society than to crack down on free speech and enforcing not only official censorship, but, by extension, the self-censorship that these policies encourage.)

And now they have even more reason to be concerned as French prosecutors move to punish – and possibly imprison – a political rival despised by the ruling party.

The charges stem from a series of tweets Le Pen sent in the weeks after the Bataclan massacre, where she shared disturbing photos including images from the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Le Pen later took the photos of Foley down after being contacted by his family. 

Other pictures showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being run over by a rank – another showed a man being burned alive in a cage.

“Daesh is this!” Le Pen wrote in a caption. The tweets were a response to a TV journalist drawing a comparison between ISIS and the French far-right.

To continue reading: France’s Marine Le Pen Charged Over Islamic State Tweets

“We’ve Got To DO Something About Syria!” Uh, No You Don’t. Please Don’t. by Caitlin Johnstone

In the whole history of governments, probably less than 1 percent of them have adopted “doing nothing” as a strategy. Doing something is what government’s do, usually making the situation they’re doing something about that much worse. From Caitlin Johnstone at steemit.com:

“Kindly let me help you or you will drown,” said the monkey putting the fish safely up a tree. ~ Alan Watts

“We’ve got to do something about Syria!” goes the common western refrain.

Actually, no you don’t.

“What? You’re saying we should just do nothing??” goes the common response.

Yes. Yeah that’d be great. Definitely please get as far away from Syria as possible, thanks.

Arguing that the western war machine is a good way to bring about peace and justice is like arguing that a bulldozer is a useful tool for brain surgery. Arguing that the western war machine is a good way to bring about peace and justice in Syria is like arguing that the gasoline which was used to start a house fire can also be used to extinguish it.

The cutesy fairy tale you will hear from empire loyalists is that what started out as peaceful protests slowly morphed into a battle between the Syrian government and various terrorist factions, with the west only backing the terrorists later on in the conflict. This is false.

Last October, former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani admitted on television that the US and its allies were actively involved in shipping weapons to violent extremist groups in Syria from the very beginning of the war there in 2011. In an article titled “The day before Deraa“, the American Herald Tribune‘s Steven Sahiounie documents how CIA-backed foreign mercenaries/terrorists were already in place ready to go prior to the outbreak of violence in Deraa in March 2011. It is now an openly admitted fact that the CIA and US allies have been arming known terrorist factions in Syria. If you know anything about the CIA and the western war machine, none of this will surprise you.

To continue reading: “We’ve Got To DO Something About Syria!” Uh, No You Don’t. Please Don’t.

America’s Forever Wars: Guantanamo Bay “Prepared” For New Inmates, Says US Admiral, by Tyler Durden

Guantanamo Bay may be getting some new prisoners, as America’s interminable war on terrorism continues. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

On Thursday, Kurt Walter Tidd, a high ranking United States Navy admiral, currently serving as the Commander of the United States Southern Command, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is now “prepared” to receive an influx of new detainees.

“We have 41 detainees who are there right now. We are prepared to receive more should they be directed to us,” Admiral Kurt Tidd, told lawmakers.

As of today we have not been given a warning order that new detainees might be heading in our direction, but our responsibility will be to integrate them in effectively,” he added.

During President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech last month, Trump said he had signed an executive order directing Secretary of Defense James Mattis to “re-examine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.”

“I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And In many cases for them it will now be Guantánamo bay,” Trump said during his speech.

AFP notes that Guantanamo Bay has not received any new inmates since 2008, but that could be changing under the Trump administration, as he plans on expanding the forever war on terrorism.

US military officials have been openly discussing the fate of Islamic State group detainees, mainly foreign fighters, held by US-backed militias in northern Syria. Guantanamo has not received any new inmates since 2008 but on the campaign trail, Trump vowed to load the facility with “bad dudes,” and said it would be “fine” if US terror suspects were sent there for trial. During his State of the Union speech in January, Trump said IS captives would in “many cases” end up in Guantanamo.

To continue reading: America’s Forever Wars: Guantanamo Bay “Prepared” For New Inmates, Says US Admiral

 

Who Are the Leading State Sponsors of Terrorism? by Philip M. Giraldi

The answer to the title question is not Iran. From Philip M. Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

As 2017 draws to a close, it is difficult to be optimistic about what will be coming in the new year. The American President, whose margin of victory was certainly based on his pledge to avoid unnecessary wars, has doubled down on Afghanistan, refuses to leave Syria even though ISIS has been defeated, and is playing serious brinksmanship with a psychopathic and unpredictable regime in Pyongyang. The White House has also bought into the prevailing largely fabricated narrative about a Russia and has decided to arm Ukraine with offensive weapons, which has already resulted in a sharp response from Moscow and will make détente of any kind between the two leading powers all but impossible in the upcoming year.

But, as I have observed before, the red hazard light that continues to be blinking most brightly relates to Washington’s relationship with Iran, which has unnecessarily deteriorated dramatically over the past year and which brings with it collateral problems with Russia and Turkey that could trigger a much wider conflict. I say unnecessarily because all the steps taken to poison the relationship have come out of Washington, not Tehran. The Trump administration refused to certify that the Iranians had been in compliance with the nuclear agreement negotiated in 2015 and has since escalated its verbal attacks, mostly at the United Nations, claiming that the regime in Tehran is the major source of terrorism in the world and that it is seeking hegemony over a broad arc of countries running westward from its borders to the Mediterranean Sea.

The only problem with the allegations being made is that none of them is true and, furthermore, Iran, with limited military resources, poses no serious threat to gain control over its neighbors, nor to attack the United States or Europe. The invective about Iran largely derives from Israel and Saudi Arabia, which themselves have hegemonic ambitions relating to their region. Israel’s friends in the US Congress, media and White House have not surprisingly picked up on the refrain and are pushing for military action. Israel has even threatened to bomb any Iranian permanent presence inside neighboring Syria.

To continue reading: Who Are the Leading State Sponsors of Terrorism?