Tag Archives: terrorism

The War on Populism, by C. J. Hopkins

Is populism the new terrorism? From C. J. Hopkins at unz.com:

Remember when the War on Terror ended and the War on Populism began? That’s OK, no one else does.

It happened in the Summer of 2016, also known as “the Summer of Fear.” The War on Terror was going splendidly. There had been a series of “terrorist attacks,” in Orlando, Nice, Würzberg, Munich, Reutlingen, Ansbach, and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, each of them perpetrated by suddenly “self-radicalized” “lone wolf terrorists” (or “non-terrorist terrorists“) who had absolutely no connection to any type of organized terrorist groups prior to suddenly “self- radicalizing” themselves by consuming “terrorist content” on the Internet. It seemed we were entering a new and even more terrifying phase of the Global War on Terror, a phase in which anyone could be a “terrorist” and “terrorism” could mean almost anything.

This broadening of the already virtually meaningless definition of “terrorism” was transpiring just in time for Obama to hand off the reins to Hillary Clinton, who everyone knew was going to be the next president, and who was going to have to bomb the crap out of Syria in response to the non-terrorist terrorist threat. The War on Terror (or, rather, “the series of persistent targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America,” as Obama rebranded it) was going to continue, probably forever. The Brexit referendum had just taken place, but no one had really digested that yet … and then Trump won the nomination.

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Continued American Occupation of the Middle East Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It, by Craig Murray

That US interventions cause the terrorism they are ostensibly supposed to squelch is a truth that’s been so obvious for so long that only a neoconservative could miss it. From Craig Murray at craigmurray.org:

Even the neo-con warmongers’ house journal The Guardian, furious at Trump’s attempts to pull US troops out of Syria, in producing a map to illustrate its point, could only produce one single, uncertain, very short pen stroke to describe the minute strip of territory it claims ISIS still control on the Iraqi border.

Of course, the Guardian produces the argument that continued US military presence is necessary to ensure that ISIS does not spring back to life in Syria. The fallacy of that argument can be easily demonstrated. In Afghanistan, the USA has managed to drag out the long process of humiliating defeat in war even further than it did in Vietnam. It is plain as a pikestaff that the presence of US occupation troops is itself the best recruiting sergeant for resistance. In Sikunder Burnes I trace how the battle lines of tribal alliances there today are precisely the same ones the British faced in 1841. We just attach labels like Taliban to hide the fact that invaders face national resistance.

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UK: Syrian Rebels Can’t Possibly Be Planning a False Flag, Because Russia Said They Are, by Caitlin Johnstone

If Russia were to claim the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, somebody would say its propaganda and a lie. From Caitlin Johnstone at theantimedia.org:

(CJ Opinion) — In a recent meeting with the press, British ambassador to the United Nations Karen Pierce told reporters that it is absolutely unthinkable that the terrorist factions in the terrorist-held Syrian province of Idlib could possibly be planning a terrorist attack using chemical weapons with the intention of blaming it on the Syrian government.

Her reasoning? Since the Russian government has been warning of this possibility, the exact opposite must necessarily therefore be true.

Yes, really.

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Why US Imperialism Loves Afghan Quagmire, by Finian Cunningham

The real reasons the US stays in Afghanistan, from Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

t may seem paradoxical that any American interest would seek to deliberately prolong the Afghan quagmire. Costing trillions of dollars to the national debt, one would think that US planners are anxious to wind down the war and cut their immense losses. Not so, it seems.

Like the classic 1960s satire film, Dr Strangelove, and how he came to “love the A-bomb”, there are present-day elements in the US military-security apparatus that seem to be just fine about being wedded to the mayhem in Afghanistan.

That war is officially the longest-ever war fought by US forces overseas, outlasting the Vietnam war (1964-75) by six years – and still counting.

After GW Bush launched the operation in October 2001, the war is now under the purview of its third consecutive president. What’s more, the 17-year campaign to date is unlikely to end for several more years to come, after President Donald Trump last year gave the Pentagon control over its conduct.

This week saw two developments which show that powerful elements within the US state have very different calculations concerning the Afghan war compared with most ordinary citizens.

First there was the rejection by Washington of an offer extended by Russia to join a peace summit scheduled for next month. The purpose of the Moscow conference is to bring together participants in the war, including the US-backed Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani, as well as the Taliban militants who have been fighting against American military occupation.

Washington and its Afghan surrogate administration in Kabul said they would not be participating because, in their view, such a dialogue would be futile.

The US refusal to attend the Moscow event, after previously showing an apparent interest, drew an angry response from Russia. Russia’s foreign ministry said the “refusal to attend the Moscow meeting on Afghanistan shows Washington has no interest in launching a peace process.”

One suspects that US reluctance is partly due to not wanting to give Moscow any additional international standing since Russia’s successful military intervention in Syria and its leading role in mediating for peace there.

To continue reading: Why US Imperialism Loves Afghan Quagmire

Meanwhile, 10 Miles From the White House, by Ann Coulter

The US’s immigration problem is still out there, unaddressed. From Ann Coulter at anncoulter.com:

Now that Trump has solved Northeast Asia’s problems, maybe he can get to a problem in our country — in fact, within 10 miles of the White House. For some reason, The Washington Post recently ran an article on something important — the MS-13 gang presence at a public school on the outskirts of our nation’s capital, William Wirt Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The media’s usual approach to the diversity being inflicted on us is: Don’t report this! It’s better if no one knows. Maybe the left has decided it’s too late to do anything about the transformation of our country into a Third World hellhole, and Trump couldn’t stop it even if he wanted to.

The Post reported that, like many schools up and down the East Coast, MS-13 has turned Wirt into a battleground. There have been near-daily gang fights, rampant drug dealing, one reported rape, gang signs on the walls, one shooting — more in nearby schools — and teachers afraid to be alone with their students. At least two students are required to have security officers assigned to them, walking them from class to class and watching them during lunch hour, on account of MS-13 threatening to kill them.

How many different categories of immigrants require special law enforcement officers devoted to them? Thanks to mass Muslim immigration, the FBI has terrorist watch lists in ALL 50 STATES. That’s why whenever there’s a terrorist attack, the FBI says, Oh yeah, we were watching that guy. And now we have police bodyguards for kids at schools wherever “unaccompanied minors” have been dumped by our government.

In addition to the free school lunches, transportation, housing and health care to pay for all this wonderful diversity, immigrants are also massively ratcheting up law enforcement costs.

It would be enraging enough if bad things were happening to our country and the immigrants were paying for it. But we’re paying for it. Wait — you are offering to bring gang warfare, drug cartels and terrorism? We’ll go top dollar for that! Put your wallet away! Your money’s no good here!

To continue reading: Meanwhile, 10 Miles From the White House

Trump Accidentally Described US Foreign Policy While Trying to Slam Iran, by Darius Shahtahmasebi

Most of President Trump’s claims about Iran don’t hold up to close examination, and many of them are more true about the US and its allies. From Darius Shahtahmasebi at theantimedia.org:

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the United States is officially walking away from the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

As Anti-Media has already outlined, it appears that right from the get-go, it was the United States that implemented this agreement in bad faith — not Iran. To put it bluntly, the United States is the only party that has violated its terms. In light of this harsh truth, is it Iran or the United States that poses a threat to global stability?

In taking this drastic step, the United States has certainly demonstrated its schizophrenic approach to global affairs and effectively shown its true colors to the world. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran to punish Iran for the following:

  1.       Iran’s status as the world’s largest state sponsor of terror;
  2.       Its use of ballistic missiles against American allies;
  3.       Its support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria;
  4.       Its human rights violations against its own people;
  5.       Its abuses of the international financial system.

The first of these claims is completely untrue. Iran spends very little on military-related affairs compared to the United States and its regional allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saudi Arabia has openly confirmed it spread the ideology of Wahhabism — the same sect of Islam as ISIS — across the world at the behest of its Western allies. The U.S. actively supported the precursor to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan with Saudi assistance in order to confront the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The U.S. continues a similar policy of supporting Sunni jihadists even to this day.

To continue reading: Trump Accidentally Described US Foreign Policy While Trying to Slam Iran

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

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