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The Ever-Expanding ‘War on Terror’

In the shadows, the U.S. special operations war on “terrorists” keeps on expanding around the globe, now reaching into Africa where few detectable American...

The staggering cost of ‘War on Terror’ — RT US News

The ‘War on Terror’ has cost US taxpayers at least $1.46 trillion since September 11, 2001,...
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Video: Expansion of Imperialist U.S. “War on Terror” in Africa Preceded Deadly Attacks in...

https://democracynow.org - We look at the U.S. military presence in Africa and what happened during the ambush of U.S. Special Forces by militants in...
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Video: Horace Campbell on US Disregard for Black Lives, From “War on Terror” in...

https://democracynow.org - We continue to examine the U.S. military presence in Africa, and what happened during the ambush of U.S. special forces by ... Via...

‘Main creator of terrorism is US war on terror, not terrorists’ — RT US...

Published time: 24 Oct, 2017 13:55 The US’ only answer to terrorism is violence against violence,...

‘F**k your war on terror!’ Russian rapper Oxxxymiron wows US audience (VIDEO) — RT...

Published time: 16 Oct, 2017 19:59 For the first time ever, a participant from Russia has...
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Video: The War On Terror Isn’t Meant To Be Won & Israel Did 9/11,...

9-11/Israel did it Interest of • Christopher Bollyn • Alan Sabrosky https://wikispooks.com/wiki/9-11/Israel_did_it Subpage(s) •9-11/Israel did it/Dancing Israelis ... Via Youtube

DAPL Company Hired War on Terror Contractors to Suppress Native Uprising

The years-long, Indigenous-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) briefly captured the nation's attention last fall as images of peaceful resisters being sprayed...

Manchester Proves War on Terror a Flop

Given that the Manchester terrorist was a product of the interventions in Libya and Syria, it’s time to have an adult discussion about what...
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Video: Tariq Ali: Manchester Bombing is Part of Vicious Cycle, Likely Blowback from Ongoing...

https://democracynow.org - In Britain, nearly 4000 soldiers have been deployed to support local police departments in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed...

The War on Terror Is a War of Chaos

Here’s a footnote to America’s present wars that’s worth pondering for a few moments. The U.S. Air Force is running out of ordinary bombs,...

The Bait-and-Switch ‘War on Terror’

The U.S. “war on terror” has always been a bait-and-switch scam on the American people, with Washington putting the desires...

Through the ‘War on Terror’ Looking Glass

Exclusive: The U.S. government’s 15-year-long “global war on terror” has spread death and chaos across entire regions – while also...

War on Terror & neo-con agenda to blame for Westminster attack, says rights group

Published time: 28 Mar, 2017 11:20 The West’s violent policies at home and abroad were major...
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Video: More Than 1,000 Civilians Reportedly Killed by U.S.-Led Airstrikes as Trump Expands War...

http://democracynow.org - Details are emerging about U.S.-led coalition airstrikes that are believed to have killed over 200 people in a single day in Iraq. Via...

Lynne Stewart: ‘War on Terror’ Casualty

In America’s “war on terror,” normal actions, such as lawyer Lynne Stewart passing a client’s message to friends, became criminalized....

Trump’s Muslim Ban: Another Symptom of the War on Terror

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0   On January 28, President Trump signed an executive order denying entry for 90 days to the United...

The War on Terrorism Just Keeps Making It Worse

European political leaders are making the same mistake in reacting to the massacre at the Christmas fair in Berlin, in which 12 died, as...

Ron Paul on the Global War On Terrorism: Are We Winning?

The US State Department comes out yearly with its list of “state sponsors of terrorism,” but to many people overseas it is the US...

The Never-ending ‘War on Terror’

The Constitution granted war-making powers to Congress, but President Obama, like his post-World War II predecessors, has trampled on that...

How America Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the War on Terror

Berlin. The “War on Terror,” which former President George W. Bush officially launched in late-September 2001, and which President Obama officially rebranded as “The Series...

Brexit fatal threat to War on Terror, says Europol chief

Britain’s departure from the European Union might prove fatal to international police efforts against terrorism,...

Trump Hypes a New ‘War on Terror’

Donald Trump has urged a new “war on terror” that brings back torture and seeks revenge on terrorists’ families, but...

US Celebrates Unprecedented Expansion of Global War on Terror, and Other Stories

US Celebrates Unprecedented Expansion of Global War on Terror The US announced a new target country in the War on Terror, as airstrikes rained down...
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Video: War on terror: Security agencies from all over the world mount efforts to...

The threat of terrorism has become a global issue, but how effective can cooperation between different security agencies be? RT's Egor Piskunov has more. Via...

Welcome to the Cold War on Terror

So, here we are again, am I right? Another ISIS terrorist attack in Europe. I wonder what President Obama will call this one? Road...
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Video: As Bastille Day Attack in France Kills 84, Is the War on Terror...

http://democracynow.org - More than 84 people are dead in Nice, France, after an attack on a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in the...

As Bastille Day Attack in France Kills 84, Is the War on Terror a...

More than 84 people are dead in Nice, France, after an attack on a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in the...

The Myth of the ‘War on Terrorism’

Remember “We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here”? That was the justification for...

‘War on Terror’ Blowback Hits Dallas

The blowback from America’s “war on terror” swept into Dallas last Friday when an Afghan War veteran allegedly killed five...
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Video: Christopher Bollyn “War On Terror Created At 1979 Jerusalem Conference By Bibi Netanyahu...

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube

From Paris to Istanbul, More ‘War on Terror’ Means More Terrorist Attacks

At least 41 people were killed in the recent bombing of Istanbul’s ...

From Paris to Istanbul, More ‘War on Terror’ Means More Terrorist Attacks

(Photo: Wikipedia) At least 41 people were killed in the recent bombing of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. The day before, suicide bombers killed five people in Qaa,...

America’s War on Terror is a Matrix of Lies and Deceit

Christopher Black So how is your war on “terrorism” going? I’m not doing too well at it since I have no idea who the enemy...

Violence Begets Violence: The Orlando Shootings and the War on Terror

“Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US… But take a...

Counting the Crimes of the War on Terror

Nuna Mas, or “Never Again”: The official Argentine report on the crimes of the country’s “dirty war.” (Photo: Arte es disfrutar / Flickr) “The cold was terrible...

James Bovard on the Cost of the War on Terror

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James Bovard on the Cost of the War on Terror

James Bovard on the Cost of the War on Terror Eric Garris, May 26, 2016 James Bovard talks about the war...

How Obama ‘Legalized’ the War on Terror

Among the troubling legacies of Barack Obama’s presidency is his consolidation of the dubious legal principles that George W. Bush...

Court Rules Bush Administration Can Be Sued for Its "War on Terror" Conduct

Everyone who authorized and participated in the illegal roundup of hundreds of innocent men after 9/11, from high-up government officials on down, is now...

The War on Terror Is Creating More Terror

The interventionists will do anything to prevent Americans from seeing that their foreign policies are perpetuating terrorism and inspiring others to seek to harm us. The...

Two Reasons The ‘War on Terror’ Will Always Fail

If we want to get to a world where terrorism isn’t such a regular tragedy, governments need to start recognizing the fact that the...

Five Signs the Drone War Is Undermining the ‘War on Terror’

“Not a Bug Splat,” a giant art installation intended to show the faces of drone war victims to drone operators. (NotABugSplat.com) The Intercept – a...

The ‘War on Terror’ Has Been Lost

After 14 years, trillions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands of people dead — with violence expanding, not abating — perhaps it’s finally...
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Video: ‘US not interested in winning War on Terror’ – Hamid Karzai

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook ... Via Youtube
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Video: ‘War on Terror’ backfire? Number of attacks in 2001 – 1882….2014 – 16818

Number of terrorist attacks: 1882 in 2001 16818 in 2014 World must unite against terror. RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube

Switching Sides in the ‘War on Terrorism’

We have just observed the 14th anniversary of “Operation Enduring Freedom,” otherwise known as the war in Afghanistan. It is the longest war in US history,...

Video: Brandon Bryant: “I Killed A Child In A Drone Strike, The War On...

Please Support The Show — http://richieallenshow.com/donate/ http://richieallenshow.com/ https://www.facebook.com/richieallenshow ... Via Youtube

Obama hails Ethiopian regime as US proxy in “war on terror”

By Bill Van Auken On the second leg of his trip to Africa, President Barack Obama appeared on a joint platform with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam...

Philippines’ Terror-Inducing ‘War on Terror’

A largely forgotten front in George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” has been the Philippines where military campaigns to crush various rebel groups...

Have Millions of Deaths from America’s ‘War on Terror’ Been Concealed?

How many days has it been Since I was born? How many days ‘Til I die? Do I know any ways I can make you laugh? Or do I only...
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Video: War on terror created more extremism, terrorism than we ever had – Karzai

Afghanistan has been at the center of the geopolitical grand game for centuries. With complex local, regional and international interests overlapping, the ... Via Youtube

Obama’s New “War on Terrorism”

In a short-lived but well-crafted move aimed at hyping President Obama’s credentials as a reasonable and democratic warmaker in mid-February the president submitted a...

Being Stupid in the Endless War on Terrorism

The West is at war with Muslim terrorists, not Muslims, let alone Islam. That has been the mantra of the states waging war on...

The Global War On Terror Is Being Used To Bring In A Global Government...

I am humored by the sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity that some people in this country accept concerning their representatives on the topic of...

Fraudulent “War On Terror” Creates Terror

Mark Taliano Psy Ops Inc. "Democracy" and "freedom" are two over-used words that belong to the domain of Psychological Operations (Psy Ops) Inc. Likewise for the...

The Senate Drone Report of 2019: Looking Back on Washington’s War on Terror

It was December 6, 2019, three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress. That day, the 500-page executive summary of...

Thirteen years after the September 11 attacks: CIA torture and the “war on terror”

Joseph Kishore Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The events of that day were followed within days by...

Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed

Washington sabotaged its own "war on terror" by destabilizing the Middle East even as it coddled the U.S. allies who were actually sponsoring terrorism. There...

Anniversary report from 9/11 Commission seeks to bolster “war on terror”

Thomas Gaist On the tenth anniversary of its original 9/11 Commission Report, the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (NCTAUUS) has...

U.S. Ignored ISIS Threat to Hype Endless War On Terror

The corporate media, taking its cues in part from Foreign Policy, a magazine formerly owned by the misnamed Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, insists...

How Obama Lost Iraq and the War on Terror

Shamus Cooke The fall of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to an al-Qaeda linked militia elicited a curiously muted response from the Obama administration. Yes, Obama...

Iraq and the Destructive Sham Called the ‘War on Terror’

The fall of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to an al-Qaeda linked militia elicited a curiously muted response from the Obama administration. Yes, Obama...

How Obama Lost Iraq and the War on Terror

The fall of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to an al-Qaeda linked militia elicited a curiously muted response from the Obama administration. Yes, Obama “denounced” the terrorist invasion, but when the Iraqi government asked for U.S. airstrikes to repel perhaps the most powerful terrorist group in the world, Obama thus far refused, only hinting at some […]

Profiting from 9/11: The Private Company that Played a Major Role in the “War...

Both before and after 9/11, one private company had a greater impact on counterterrorism programs in the Unites States than any other. That company,...

The War on Terrorism Is One Fine Scam

Jacob G. Hornberger Throughout the Cold War, the proponents of the national-security state assured us that the only reason the United States needed to adopt...

America’s “War on Terror”: No U.S. Citizen Is Safe “Throughout the World”

Felicity Arbuthnot After the attack on Iraq a frequently heard comment from those with no interest in foreign affairs or much, from activists, journalists and...

Psychology and War on Terror Abuses

Torture has been in the national news again this spring as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted last month to declassify key sections of its...

Interview 878 — Christoph Germann Explains China’s War on Terror

A recent string of high-profile terror attacks in China have focused attention on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and its attempt to win independence of the Xinjiang region from Beijing. Today on the program we talk to Christoph Germann of the New Great Game Round-up about China\'s own war on terror, the foreign influence in the region, and what\'s likely to happen next.

War on Terror’s Trickle Down Effect: The FBI’s Military Evolution Exposed

Washington Post report reveals how Bureau brought their 'deadly-force policy' to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the world beyond Members of the Federal Bureau...

The High Cost of a ‘War on Terror’

Ivan Eland  RINF Alternative News  Retired Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr., the Director of National Intelligence, recently gave testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on...

Washington’s “Global War on Terrorism”: Violence, War and Instability in an “Arc of Terror”

Nicolas J S Davies  RINF Alternative News Twelve years into America’s “war on terror,” it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence,...

NSA’s Fake War on Terror

A New America Foundation report suggests it. More on this below. NSA spying is longstanding. It's ongoing abroad and at home. It has nothing to...

NSA’s Fake War on Terror

NSA's Fake War on Terror

by Stephen Lendman

A New America Foundation report suggests it. More on this below.

NSA spying is longstanding. It's ongoing abroad and at home. It has nothing to do with national security. It's unrelated to uncovering terrorist plots. 

Homegrown ones virtually don't exist. Alleged ones are hatched. They're fake. Claiming dozens were foiled in time is false. 

They're Big Lies. Previous articles discussed dozens of innocent victims. They included:

  • a fake shoe bomber;

  • fake underwear bomber;

  • fake Times Square bomber;

  • an earlier one there;

  • fake shampoo bombers;

  • fake Al Qaeda woman planning fake mass casualty attacks on New York landmarks;

  • fake Oregon bomber;

  • fake armed forces recruiting station bomber;

  • fake synagogue bombers;

  • fake Chicago Sears Tower bombers;

  • fake FBI and other building bombers;

  • fake National Guard, Fort Dix and Quantico marine base attackers;

  • fake 9/11 bombers; 

  • fake Boston bombers; and 

  • numerous others. 

At issue is generating fear. Washington's fake war on terror needs public support. FBI operatives are involved. 

Orchestrated stings are used. Innocent victims are entrapped. Familiar schemes repeat. 9/11 is the Big Lie of our time. So is the fake war on terror. 

Innocent victims languish in America's gulag. NSA spying watches everyone. It's unconstitutional. It's for police state control. It's  ending privacy. It's destroying freedom. 

Global spying is espionage. It's for political and economic advantage. It's to be one up on foreign competitors. It's for information used advantageously in trade, political, and military relations.

The New America Foundation (NAF) is an establishment organization. Bilderberg Group/CIA-connected Google CEO Eric Schmidt chairs its board of directors. 

Right-wing ideologue Anne-Marie Slaughter is president and CEO. NAF study co-author Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst. His articles appear in establishment publications.

NAF's report is titled "Do NSA's Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorists?"

Two weeks after Edward Snowden's first revelations were published, Obama lied saying:

"We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but," abroad as well.

NSA director General Keith Alexander repeated the lie claiming:

"information gathered from these programs provided the US government with critical leads to help prevent over 50 potential terrorist events in more than 20 countries around the world."

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers (R. MI) said:

"Fifty-four times (NSA spying) stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe - saving real lives."

False! According to NAF's analysis, government contentions "about the role that NSA 'bulk' surveillance of phone and email communications records has had in keeping the United States safe from terrorism shows that these claims are overblown and even misleading."

Mass NSA surveillance "had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism."

So-called evidence NSA claimed to uncover is easily gotten through conventional investigatory methods.

NAF analyzed 225 instances of alleged post-9/11 terrorism. Only two involved NSA meta-data. 

None were legitimate. Alleged homegrown terrorism is fabricated. So are others abroad. They're fake. NAF's report didn't explain. It said:

"The overall problem for US counterterrorism officials is not that they need vaster amounts of information from the bulk surveillance programs, but that they don’t sufficiently understand or widely share the information they already possess that was derived from conventional law enforcement and intelligence techniques."

On Friday, Obama will address so-called NSA reforms. Last month, his hand-picked advisory committee recommended minor changes. They're too inconsequential to matter.

They legitimized lawless spying. They ignored what federal Judge Richard Leon called unconstitutional. They're "almost Orwellian," he said.

Expect Obama to rubber-stamp continuity. He'll maintain business as usual. He'll stress balancing civil liberties with protecting national security. He'll lie claiming it.

He'll legitimize what Electronic Frontier Foundation's Kurt Opsahl called "heinous." 

He'll leave NSA's worst lawlessness untouched. He'll whitewash its crimes. He'll lie claiming otherwise.

Last November, the General Assembly addressed privacy rights in the digital age. Over 50 member states co-sponsored a resolution. It supports what's too precious to lose.

On December 18, the 193-member body unanimously approved a resolution titled: "The Right to privacy in the digital age."

It reaffirmed a fundamental human right. No one should be denied the right to privacy. No one should be lawlessly spied on. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called the General Assembly's resolution "one small step for privacy, one giant leap against surveillance."

Obama stacked his so-called Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies with longstanding Washington insiders.

A previous article discussed them. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) head James Clapper supervised. He's an acknowledged perjurer. He's complicit in NSA crimes.

On December 12, Obama's committee released its report. It's titled "Liberty and Security in a Changing World." Its handpicked members included:

  • former acting CIA head Michael Morell;

  • former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism Richard Clarke;

  • former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein; Francis Boyle calls him a neocon;

  • Democrat party connected/political advocacy group Center for American Progress member Peter Swire; and

  • University of Chicago Law Professor Geoffrey Stone. 

Forty recommendations were made. They stopped well short of what's needed. They legitimized mass surveillance.

They ignored what's most important. Constitutional issues were unaddressed. Mass surveillance is illegal. It's unacceptable everywhere.

It's unrelated to alleged terrorism. It's police state ruthlessness writ large. It's Obama's war on freedom. 

He promised no warrantless spying. Straightaway he authorized it. His explanation fell short and then some. He said:

"When I came into this office, I made two commitments that are more important than any commitment I made: number one to keep the American people safe, and number two to uphold the Constitution."

Americans are less safe than ever. Freedom is disappearing in plain sight. Obama's done more to subvert constitutional law than any previous president. 

He made freedom a four-letter word. He claimed:

"You can't have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience."  

"We're going to have to make some choices as a society. I think that on balance, we have established a process and a procedure that the American people should feel comfortable about."

He lied saying mass surveillance "help(s) prevent terrorist attacks." None whatever exist.

He lied again calling NSA spying "modest encroachments on privacy." It's sweeping, pervasive and lawless. It's unrelated to alleged terrorism.

Obama wants Americans to trust him. Why anyone would, they'll have to explain. He's a war criminal multiple times over. He's done more to destroy freedom than any of his predecessors.

He wants it eliminated altogether. He's a serial liar. Nothing he says has credibility. He lied claiming:

"When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program is about. As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls."

"They are not looking at people's names and they are not looking at content." Permission to do so, he claimed, requires "go(ing) back to a federal judge just like (for) a criminal investigation."

"With respect to the Internet and emails, this does not apply to US citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States."

False! Obama authorized sweeping domestic spying. He did so unconstitutionally. He institutionalized it. It's ongoing daily. It's warrantless. 

No one escapes NSA's spying eye. Everything communicated electronically is vulnerable. It's fair game.

NSA's mandate is "Get it all." Phone calls, emails, and other electronic communications are secretly collected. They're gotten without court authorization.

Probable cause isn't needed. Major telecom and Internet companies cooperate. They do so willingly.

All three branches of government are involved. They're complicit in sweeping lawlessness. Police states operate this way. America is by far the worst.

Expect nothing ahead to change. Expect worse with increasingly sophisticated NSA technology. 

Cyberwar on freedom is official US policy. NSA is Big Brother writ large. Privacy no longer exists. Obama's waging war on freedom. It's vanishing in plain sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Poll: War on terror ‘wrong thing to do’

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Sen. Feinstein used FBI concocted terror case to argue for FISA expansion. Kurt NimmoInfowars.comNovember 27, 2013 A teenager from Chicago ensnared in a phony bomb plot...

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The documentary, 9/11 in the Academic Community, has been earning the praise of several top academics. Its unique approach documents academia's treatment of critical...

American “war on terror” goes to Germany

Voice of RussiaNovember 18, 2013 Photo: EPA US intelligence agents can perform arrests at German airports. So, if you're one of a million people cited on...

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The U.S. knows no limits. And Germany looks on–even asking where it can help By Christian Fuchs, John Goetz, Hans Leyendecker and Frederik Obermaier Tapping Germany's...

Experts slam doctors in War on Terror

Michael CookBioEdge.orgNovember 8, 2013 An independent report has highlighted ongoing violations of medical ethics at Guantánamo Bay and called on the Department of Defense (DoD)...

Perpetual War: How Does the Global War on Terror Ever End?

via DirtyWars.org/)' width="308" height="467">(Book cover via DirtyWars.org)Think the world needs an alternative to corporate media? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation...

“Global War on Terrorism”: Who are the Terrorists? John McCain Openly Supports Al Qaeda...

This is beginning to become a regular occurrence, and McCain has the arrogance to say he'll run for another term as Senator in...

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Charts Show that U.S. Policy Has Increased Terror Attacks The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Global Terrorism Database...

“War on Terror” Advocate to Head Homeland Security

Obama intends to nominate former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson as new DHS chief. He's responsible for endorsing some of Washington's most lawless policies....

War on Terror Advocate to Head Homeland Security

War on Terror Advocate to Head Homeland Securityby Stephen LendmanObama intends to nominate former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson as new DHS chief. He's responsible for endorsing some of Washington's most lawless policies. His rap ...

We Lost 10 Years to the “War on Terror,” It’s Time We Admit It

Brian Frydenborg policymic.com October 11, 2013 When you look at the entirety of events over the last twelve years – 9/11, the wars, our...

‘US war on terror at cost of human rights’

An American human rights activist says it is a œdisgrace” that the United States has allowed its œso-called war on terror” to continue œat...

The War on Terrorism … or Whatever: Syria and “America’s Jihad”

“U.S. hopes of winning more influence over Syria's divided rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed political...

The US raid on Libya and the fraud of the war on terror

8 October 2013 ...

SEAL Team Six Raids: More War On Terror Theatrics

Interminable war on terror requires dramatic events to condition war-weary public Kurt Nimmo More than an effective military raid against dangerous terrorists, the...

Obama Expands Bush-Initiated ‘War on Terror’ to Africa

Two separate operations by US Special Forces over the weekend expose a military policy in Africa that critics say is a dangerous and unpredictable...

The Pseudo-War on Terror: How the US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies

Before World War Two American government, for all of its glaring faults, also served as a model for the world of limited government, having...

Washington’s Tyranny: What is the Real Agenda of Obama’s “War on Terror”?

The war criminal barack obama has declared his “outrage” over the 62 deaths associated with the takeover of a Nairobi, Kenya, shopping mall...

The Thistle and the Drone: The Real Story Behind the War on Terror

In a remark to the pop group the Jonas Brothers, President Barack Obama told the young men to stay away from his daughters, lest...

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“The US is not the world's policeman,” says Obama Julie Wilson Nearly all Americans, 94 percent, believe the war on terror has not...

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“The US is not the world's policeman,” says Obama Julie WilsonInfowars.comSeptember 11, 2013 Nearly all Americans,...

The US-Al Qaeda alliance in Syria and the fraud of the war on terror

  6 September 2013 ...

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Americans have been repeatedly told that Al Qaeda under the helm of the late Osama bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Formulated in...

Senate told: War on terrorism’s price tag, $17.82b

Peer Muhammadtribune.com.pkAugust 30, 2013 The government on Thursday informed the Senate that the country’s economy suffered...

The detention of David Miranda and the “war on terror”

  20 August 2013 ...

Cyber Attack Against Establishment Media Next Phase in Never Ending War On Terror

Kurt Nimmo Back in May, 2010, before Edward Snowden and the unmasking of the NSA, we announced the Pentagon’s preparation for a cyber war against...

Endless War on Terror Far From Noble Cause

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/endless_war_on_terror_far_from_noble_cause_20130814/ Posted on Aug 14, 2013 ...

Former Guantanamo Chief Says Close Guantanamo, End “War on Terror”

Retiring U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Policy William K. Lietzau dropped a bombshell on the Obama administration in an interview with...

5 Ways the War on Terror Has Changed Your Life

The leaks from National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden over the summer have made one thing abundantly clear: the war on terror has come to affect every single American.

US needs to 'keep war on terror going'

Political analyst Dr. Kevin Barrett believes that the recent global terror alert by the United States shows that Washington needs something to keep the...

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Jake Millercbsnews.comJuly 10, 2013 Global terrorist networks continue to pose a grave threat to the security...

Another ‘War on Terror’ Casualty

William Boardman consortiumnews.com July 8, 2013 Attorney Lynne Stewart aggressively defended alleged terrorists, making her a target of President George W. Bush’s “war on...

Energy Companies Entering War on Terror

Daniel J. Graeber OilPrice.com June 24, 2013 Norwegian energy company Statoil said last week it was forming a special operations division to handle emergency...

Identity, Consciousness and the Global War on Terror

There’s a riveting moment in Dirty Wars — the new documentary about the War on Terror by investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill — that calls...

Obama, ‘War on Terror’ Captive

Lawrence DavidsonConsortium NewsJune 17, 2013 Context One: It is 1971 and the United States is mired...

Has the US war on terror just had its Cronkite moment?

Revelations about US domestic spying and the NSA's massive PRISM web-surveillance program have harmed not only trust in the Obama administration, but also confidence in US bond markets, which could have dire consequences.

Hillary Clinton: “We Created Al Qaeda”. The Protagonists of the “Global War on Terrorism”...

The following video features Hillary Clinton candidly acknowledging that America created and funded Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization in the heyday of the...

Hillary Clinton: “We Created Al Qaeda”. The Protagonists of the “Global War on Terrorism”...

The following video features Hillary Clinton candidly acknowledging that America created and funded Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization in the heyday of the...

Obama Spinning War on Terror

Ben Shapirotownhall.comMay 29, 2013 In a hallmark speech last week, President Obama unilaterally declared the war...

UN Human Rights Chief Slams US Over Gitmo, 'War on Terror'

Anti-terror policies implemented by the U.S. and governments around the world have grossly violated human rights, warned United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay...

The war on terror and the fate of US democracy

The speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. last week has revealed not only a crisis within...

The war on terror and the fate of US democracy

  28 May 2013 ...

Neoconservative Republicans Knock Obama's Shift in War on Terror

A number of neoconservative Republicans spent part of the Memorial Day weekend roundly criticizing the plan announced by President Obama to limit the scope...

Neoconservative Republicans Knock Obama's Shift in War on Terror

A number of neoconservative Republicans spent part of the Memorial Day weekend roundly criticizing the plan announced by President Obama to limit the scope...

UN Human Rights Chief Slams US Over Gitmo, 'War on Terror'

Anti-terror policies implemented by the U.S. and governments around the world have grossly violated human rights, warned United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay...

President’s Obama’s Promise: Global War on Terror to Continue, with Fresh Makeup. Assassinating People...

The United States uses Predator and Reaper drones to kill people at a distance, sometimes at random, sometimes Americans or children, and after a...

Obama wants to end ‘war on terror’ but Congress balks

Patricia Zengerle and Matt SpetalnickReutersMay 24, 2013 President Barack Obama wants to roll back some of...

Muslims and the War on Terror

A tipoff from a prominent Toronto imam more than a year ago appears to be at the heart of arrests at the end of April in...

‘Obama must be taken before ICC for the war on terror’ – Chomsky

The US war on terror is in fact the most massive terror campaign ever, and the invasion of Iraq was the worst crime in...

Argentina’s General Videla and the “War on Terror”

Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla died May 17 at the age of 87 as the result of injuries suffered from a fall in a prison...

Argentina’s General Videla and the “war on terror”

  22 May 2013 ...

Obama’s War on Terror is Endless, Permanent

Glenn Greenwald guardian.co.uk May 20, 2013 Last October, senior Obama officials anonymously unveiled to the Washington Post their newly minted “disposition matrix”, a...

America’s “War on Terrorism”: The Truth will Prevail

To understand the complex web of deceit aimed at luring the American people and the rest of the world into accepting a military solution...

Washington gets explicit: its ‘war on terror’ is permanent

Glenn GreenwaldThe GuardianMay 17, 2013 Last October, senior Obama officials anonymously unveiled to the Washington Post...

Pentagon plans to fight ‘War on Terror’ for another 20 years

rt.comMay 17, 2013 Even after cutting off the head of al-Qaeda, the United States Department of...

‘War on terror to continue 10—20 years’

A top US military official has emphasized that the American so-called Å“war on terror” on Muslim world will continue for Ëœat least 10 to...

Pentagon plans to fight ‘War on Terror’ for another 20 years

Even after cutting off the head of al-Qaeda, the United States Department of Defense doesn’t believe an end to the war on terror is...

Dirty Wars, Filthy Hands: Five Unsavory Ways America Conducts Its “Global War on Terror”

America’s allies are terrorists, warlords, and corrupt officials, plied with bounty payments and quid-pro-quo assassinations. The recent revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency has handed...

Al Qaeda and the “War on Terrorism”

The following text was first published in Italian in: Giuletto Chiesa (Editor), Zero, Perché la versione ufficiale sull’ 11/9 è un Falso , Piemme,...

Shadow Lives: How the War on Terror in England Became a War on Women...

Once, as a reporter, I covered wars, conflicts, civil wars, and even a genocide in places like Vietnam, Angola, Eritrea, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, keeping away from official briefings and listening to the people who were living the war.  In the years since the Bush administration launched its Global War on Terror, I’ve done the same thing without ever leaving home.

In the last decade, I didn’t travel to distant refugee camps in Pakistan or destroyed villages in Afghanistan, nor did I spend time in besieged cities like Iraq’s Fallujah or Libya’s Misrata.  I stayed in Great Britain.  There, my government, in close conjunction with Washington, was pursuing its own version of what, whether anyone cared to say it or not, was essentially a war against Islam.  Somehow, by a series of chance events, I found myself inside it, spending time with families transformed into enemies.

I hadn’t planned to write about the war on terror, but driven by curiosity about lives most of us never see and a few lucky coincidences, I stumbled into a world of Muslim women in London, Manchester, and Birmingham.  Some of them were British, others from Arab and African countries, but their husbands or sons had been swept up in Washington’s war. Some were in Guantanamo, some were among the dozen Muslim foreigners who did not know each other, and who were surprised to find themselves imprisoned together in Britain on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda. Later, some of these families would find themselves under house arrest.

In the process, I came to know women and children who were living in almost complete isolation and with the stigma of a supposed link to terrorism. They had few friends, and were cut off from the wider world. Those with a husband under house arrest were allowed no visitors who had not been vetted for “security,” nor could they have computers, even for their children to do their homework.  Other lonely women had husbands or sons who had sometimes spent a decade or more in prison without charges in the United Kingdom, and were fighting deportation or extradition.

Gradually, they came to accept me into their isolated lives and talked to me about their children, their mothers, their childhoods — but seldom, at first, about the grim situations of their husbands, which seemed too intimate, too raw, too frightening, too unknowable to be put into words.

In the early years, it was a steep learning curve for me, spending time in homes where faith was the primary reality, Allah was constantly invoked, English was a second language, and privacy and reticence were givens. Facebook culture had not come to most of these families. The reticence faded over the years, especially when the children were not there, or in the face of the kind of desolation that came from a failed court appeal to lift the restrictions on their lives, an unexpected police raid on the house, a husband’s suicide attempt, or the coming of a new torture report from Washington’s then-expanding global gulag of black sites and, of course, Guantanamo.

In these years, I met some of their husbands and sons as well.  The first was a British man from Birmingham, Moazzam Begg. He had been held for three years in Washington’s notorious offshore prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, only to be released without charges.  When he came home, through his lawyer, he asked me to help write his memoir, the first to come out of Guantanamo.  We worked long months on Enemy Combatant. It was hard for him to relive his nightmare days and nights in American custody in Kandahar and in the U.S. prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and then those limbo years in Cuba. It was even harder for him to visit the women whose absent husbands he had known in prison and who, unlike him, were still there.

Was My Husband Tortured?

In these homes he visited, there was always one great unspoken question: Was my husband or son tortured? It was the single question no one could bear to ask a survivor of that nightmare, even for reassurance. When working on his book, I deliberately left the chapter on his experiences in American hands in Bagram prison for last, as I sensed how difficult it would be for both of us to speak about the worst of the torture I knew he had experienced.

Through Moazzam, I met other men who had been swept up in the post-9/11 dragnet for Muslims in Great Britain, refugees who sought him out as an Arabic speaker and a British citizen to help them negotiate Britain’s newly hostile atmosphere in the post-9/11 years.  Soon, I began to visit some of their wives, too.

In time, I found myself deep inside a world of civilian women who were being warred upon (after a fashion) in my own country, which was how I came upon a locked-down hospital ward with a man determined to starve himself to death unless he was given refugee documents to leave Britain, children who cried in terror in response to a knock on the door, wives faced with a husband changed beyond words by prison.

I was halfway through working on Moazzam’s book when London was struck by our 9/11, which we call 7/7. The July 7, 2005, suicide bombings, in three parts of the London underground and a bus, killed 52 civilians and injured more than 700. The four bombers were all young British men between 18 and 30, two of them married with children, and one of them a mentor at a primary school. In video statements left behind they described themselves as “soldiers” whose aim was to force the British government to pull its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Just three weeks later, there were four more coordinated bomb attacks on the London subway system.  (All failed to detonate.) The four men responsible, longterm British residents originally from the Horn of Africa, were captured, tried, and sentenced to life imprisonment. In this way, the whole country was traumatised in 2005, and that particularly includes the various strands of the Muslim community in Great Britain.

The British security services quickly returned to a post-9/11 stance on overdrive. The same MI5 intelligence agents who had interrogated Moazzam while he was in U.S. custody asked to meet him again to get his thoughts on who might be behind the attacks. However, three years in U.S. custody and five months at home occupied with his family and his book had not made him a likely source of information on current strains of thought in the British Muslim community.

At the same time, the dozen foreign Muslim refugees detained in the aftermath of 9/11 and held without trial for two years before being released on the orders of the House of Lords were rearrested. In the summer of 2005, the government prepared to deport them to countries they had originally fled as refugees.

All of them had been made anonymous by court order and in legal documents were referred to as Mr. G, Mr. U, and so on. This was no doubt intended to safeguard their privacy, but in a sense it also condemned them.  It made them faceless, inhuman, and their families experienced it just that way. “They even took my husband’s name away, why?” one wife asked me.

The women I was meeting in these years were mostly from this small group, as well as the relatives of a handful of British residents — Arabs — who were not initially returned from Guantanamo with the nine British citizens that the Americans finally released without charges in 2004 and 2005.

Perhaps no one in the country was, in the end, more terrorised than them, thanks to the various terror plots by British nationals that followed. And they were right to be fearful.  The pressure on them was overwhelming.  Some of them simply gave up and went home voluntarily because they could not bear house arrest, though they risked being sent to prison in their native lands; others went through years of house arrest and court appeals against deportation, all of which continues to this day.

Among the plots that unnerved them were one in 2006 against transatlantic aircraft, for which a total of 12 Britons were jailed for life in 2009, and the 2007 attempt to blow up a London nightclub and Glasgow International Airport, in which one bomber died and the second was jailed for 32 years. In the post-9/11 decade, 237 people were convicted of terror-related offences in Britain.

Though all of this was going on, much of it remained remote from the world of the refugee women I came to know who, in the larger world, were mainly preoccupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that, with Palestinian developments, filled their TV screens tuned only to Arabic stations.

These women did not tend to dwell on their own private nightmares, but for anyone in their company there was no mistaking them: a wife prevented from taking her baby into the hospital to visit her hunger-striking husband and get him to eat before he starved to death; another, with several small children, turned back from a prison visit, despite a long journey, because her husband was being punished that day; children whose toys were taken in a police raid and never given back; midnight visits from a private security company to check on a man already electronically tagged.

Here was the texture of a hidden war of continual harassment against a largely helpless population.  This was how some of the most vulnerable people in British society — often already traumatised refugees and torture survivors — were made permanent scapegoats for our post-9/11, and then post-7/7 fears.

So powerful is the stigma of “terrorism” today that, in the name of “our security,” whether in Great Britain or the United States, just about anything now goes, and ever fewer people ask questions about what that “anything” might actually be. Here in London, repeated attempts to get influential religious or political figures simply to visit one of these officially locked-down families and see these lives for themselves have failed. In the present political climate, such a personal, fact-finding visit proved to be anything but a priority for such people.

A Legal System of Secret Evidence, House Arrest, and Financial Sanctions

Against this captive population, in such an anything-goes atmosphere, all sorts of experimental perversions of the legal system were tried out.  As a result, the British system of post-9/11 justice contains many features which should frighten us all but are completely unfamiliar to the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom.

Key aspects for the families I have been concerned with include the use of secret evidence in cases involving deportation, bail conditions, and imprisonment without trial. In addition, most of their cases have been heard in a special court known as the Special Immigration Appeals Commission or SIAC, which is housed in an anonymous basement set of rooms in central London.

One of SIAC’s innovative features is the use of “special advocates,” senior barristers who have security clearance to see secret evidence on behalf of their clients, but without being allowed to disclose it or discuss it, even with the client or his or her own lawyer. The resignation on principle of a highly respected barrister, Ian Macdonald, as a special advocate in November 2004 exposed this process to the public for the first time — but almost no one took any interest.

And a sense of the injustice in this arcane system was never sufficiently sparked by such voices, which found little echo in the media. Nor was there a wide audience for reports from a team of top psychiatrists about the devastating psychological impact on the men and their families of indefinite detention without trial, and of a house-arrest system framed by “control orders” that allow the government to place restrictions of almost any sort on the lives of those it designates.

An even less noted aspect of the anti-terror legal system brought into existence after 9/11 was the financial sanctions that could freeze the assets of designated individuals.  First ordered by the United Nations, the financial-sanctions regime was consolidated here through a European Union list of designated people. The few lawyers who specialized in this area were scathing about the draconian measures involved and the utter lack of transparency when it came to which governments had put which names on which list.

The effect on the listed families was draconian.  Marriages collapsed under the strain. The listed men were barred from working and only allowed £10 a week for personal expenses. Their wives — often from conservative cultures where all dealings with the outside world had been left to husbands — suddenly were the families’ faces to the world, responsible for everything from shopping to accounting monthly to the government’s Home Office for every item the family purchased, right down to a bottle of milk or a pencil for a child. It was humiliating for the men, who lost their family role overnight, and exhausting and frustrating for the women, while in some cases the rest of their families shunned them because of the taint of alleged terrorism. Almost no one except specialist lawyers even knew that such financial sanctions existed in Britain.

In the country’s High Court, the first judicial challenge to the financial-sanctions regime was brought in 2008 by five British Muslim men known only as G, K, A, M, and Q. In response, Justice Andrew Collins said he found it “totally unacceptable” that, to take an especially absurd example, a man should have to get a license for legal advice about the sanctions from the very body that was imposing them. The man in question had waited three months for a “basic expense” license permitting funds for food and rent, and six months for a license to obtain legal advice about the situation he found himself in.

In a related case before the judicial committee of the House of Lords, Justice Leonard Hoffman expressed incredulity at the “meanness and squalor” of a regime that “monitored who had what for lunch.” More recently, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court endorsed the comments of Lord Justice Stephen Sedley who described those subject to the regime as being akin to “prisoners of the state.”

Among senior lawyers concerned about this hidden world of punishment was Ben Emmerson, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism. He devoted one of his official U.N. reports to the financial sanctions issue. His recommendations included significantly more transparency from governments who put people on such a list, the explicit exclusion of evidence obtained by torture, and the obligation of governments to give reasons when they refuse to remove individuals from the list.  Of course, no one who mattered was paying the slightest attention.

Against ideological governments obsessed by terrorism on both sides of the Atlantic and a culture numbed by violent anti-terrorist tales like “24” and Zero Dark Thirty, such complicated and technical initiatives on behalf of individuals who have been given the tag, implicitly if not explicitly, of “terrorist” stand little chance of getting attention.

“Each Time It’s Worse”

Nearly a decade ago, at the New York opening night of Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Defend Freedom, the play Gillian Slovo and I wrote using only the words of the relatives of prisoners in that jail, their lawyers, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, an elderly man approached Moazzam Begg’s father and me.  He introduced himself as a former foreign policy adviser to President John Kennedy. “It could never have happened in our time,” he said.

When the Global War on Terror was still relatively new, it was common for audiences to react similarly and with shock to a play in which fathers and brothers describe their bewilderment over the way their relation had disappeared into the legal black hole of Guantanamo Bay. In the years since, we have become numb to the destruction of lives, livelihoods, futures, childhoods, legal systems, and trust by Washington’s and London’s never-ending war on terror.

In that time, I have seen children grow from toddlers to teenagers locked inside this particular war machine.  What they say today should startle us out of such numbness. Here, for instance, are the words of two teenagers, a girl and a boy whose fathers had been imprisoned or under house arrest in Britain for 10 years and whose lives in those same years were filled with indignities and humiliations:

“People seem to think that we get used to things being how they are for us, so we don’t feel the injustices so much now. They are quite wrong: it was painful the first time, more painful the second, even more so the third. In fact, each time it’s worse, if you can believe that. There isn’t a limit on how much pain you can feel.”

The boy added this:

“There is never one day when I feel safe. It can be the authorities, it can be ordinary people, they can do something bad for us. Only like now when we are all in the house together can I stop worrying about my mum and my sisters, and even me, what might happen to us. On the tube [subway], in class at university, people look at my beard.  I see them looking and I know they are thinking bad things about me. I would like to be a normal guy who no one looks at. You know, other boys, some of my friends, they cut corners, things like driving without a current license, everyone does it. But I can’t, I can’t ever, ever, take even a small risk. I have to always be cautious, be responsible… for my family.”

These children have been brought up by women who, against all odds, have often preserved their dignity and kept at least a modicum of joy in their families’ lives, and so, however despised, however unnoticed, however locked away, made themselves an inspiration to others. They are not victims to be pitied, but women our societies should embrace.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s response to recent proposals that Washington establish a secret court to oversee the targeting of terrorist suspects for death-by-drone and President Obama’s expanding executive power to kill, speak for the world beyond the West.  They offer a different perspective on the war on terror that Washington and Great Britain continue to pursue with no end in sight:

“Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the nineteenth century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it.  I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity.”

Victoria Brittain, journalist and former editor at the Guardian, has authored or co-authored two plays and four books, including Enemy Combatant with Moazzam Begg. Her latest book, Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013) has just been published.

Shadow Lives: How the War on Terror in England Became a War on Women...

Once, as a reporter, I covered wars, conflicts, civil wars, and even a genocide in places like Vietnam, Angola, Eritrea, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, keeping away from official briefings and listening to the people who were living the war.  In the years since the Bush administration launched its Global War on Terror, I’ve done the same thing without ever leaving home.

In the last decade, I didn’t travel to distant refugee camps in Pakistan or destroyed villages in Afghanistan, nor did I spend time in besieged cities like Iraq’s Fallujah or Libya’s Misrata.  I stayed in Great Britain.  There, my government, in close conjunction with Washington, was pursuing its own version of what, whether anyone cared to say it or not, was essentially a war against Islam.  Somehow, by a series of chance events, I found myself inside it, spending time with families transformed into enemies.

I hadn’t planned to write about the war on terror, but driven by curiosity about lives most of us never see and a few lucky coincidences, I stumbled into a world of Muslim women in London, Manchester, and Birmingham.  Some of them were British, others from Arab and African countries, but their husbands or sons had been swept up in Washington’s war. Some were in Guantanamo, some were among the dozen Muslim foreigners who did not know each other, and who were surprised to find themselves imprisoned together in Britain on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda. Later, some of these families would find themselves under house arrest.

In the process, I came to know women and children who were living in almost complete isolation and with the stigma of a supposed link to terrorism. They had few friends, and were cut off from the wider world. Those with a husband under house arrest were allowed no visitors who had not been vetted for “security,” nor could they have computers, even for their children to do their homework.  Other lonely women had husbands or sons who had sometimes spent a decade or more in prison without charges in the United Kingdom, and were fighting deportation or extradition.

Gradually, they came to accept me into their isolated lives and talked to me about their children, their mothers, their childhoods -- but seldom, at first, about the grim situations of their husbands, which seemed too intimate, too raw, too frightening, too unknowable to be put into words.

In the early years, it was a steep learning curve for me, spending time in homes where faith was the primary reality, Allah was constantly invoked, English was a second language, and privacy and reticence were givens. Facebook culture had not come to most of these families. The reticence faded over the years, especially when the children were not there, or in the face of the kind of desolation that came from a failed court appeal to lift the restrictions on their lives, an unexpected police raid on the house, a husband’s suicide attempt, or the coming of a new torture report from Washington’s then-expanding global gulag of black sites and, of course, Guantanamo.

In these years, I met some of their husbands and sons as well.  The first was a British man from Birmingham, Moazzam Begg. He had been held for three years in Washington’s notorious offshore prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, only to be released without charges.  When he came home, through his lawyer, he asked me to help write his memoir, the first to come out of Guantanamo.  We worked long months on Enemy Combatant. It was hard for him to relive his nightmare days and nights in American custody in Kandahar and in the U.S. prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and then those limbo years in Cuba. It was even harder for him to visit the women whose absent husbands he had known in prison and who, unlike him, were still there.

Was My Husband Tortured?

In these homes he visited, there was always one great unspoken question: Was my husband or son tortured? It was the single question no one could bear to ask a survivor of that nightmare, even for reassurance. When working on his book, I deliberately left the chapter on his experiences in American hands in Bagram prison for last, as I sensed how difficult it would be for both of us to speak about the worst of the torture I knew he had experienced.

Through Moazzam, I met other men who had been swept up in the post-9/11 dragnet for Muslims in Great Britain, refugees who sought him out as an Arabic speaker and a British citizen to help them negotiate Britain’s newly hostile atmosphere in the post-9/11 years.  Soon, I began to visit some of their wives, too.

In time, I found myself deep inside a world of civilian women who were being warred upon (after a fashion) in my own country, which was how I came upon a locked-down hospital ward with a man determined to starve himself to death unless he was given refugee documents to leave Britain, children who cried in terror in response to a knock on the door, wives faced with a husband changed beyond words by prison.

I found myself deep inside a world of civilian women who were being warred upon (after a fashion) in my own country, which was how I came upon a locked-down hospital ward with a man determined to starve himself to death, children who cried in terror in response to a knock on the door, wives faced with a husband changed beyond words by prison.

I was halfway through working on Moazzam’s book when London was struck by our 9/11, which we call 7/7. The July 7, 2005, suicide bombings, in three parts of the London underground and a bus, killed 52 civilians and injured more than 700. The four bombers were all young British men between 18 and 30, two of them married with children, and one of them a mentor at a primary school. In video statements left behind they described themselves as “soldiers” whose aim was to force the British government to pull its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Just three weeks later, there were four more coordinated bomb attacks on the London subway system.  (All failed to detonate.) The four men responsible, longterm British residents originally from the Horn of Africa, were captured, tried, and sentenced to life imprisonment. In this way, the whole country was traumatised in 2005, and that particularly includes the various strands of the Muslim community in Great Britain.

The British security services quickly returned to a post-9/11 stance on overdrive. The same MI5 intelligence agents who had interrogated Moazzam while he was in U.S. custody asked to meet him again to get his thoughts on who might be behind the attacks. However, three years in U.S. custody and five months at home occupied with his family and his book had not made him a likely source of information on current strains of thought in the British Muslim community.

At the same time, the dozen foreign Muslim refugees detained in the aftermath of 9/11 and held without trial for two years before being released on the orders of the House of Lords were rearrested. In the summer of 2005, the government prepared to deport them to countries they had originally fled as refugees.

All of them had been made anonymous by court order and in legal documents were referred to as Mr. G, Mr. U, and so on. This was no doubt intended to safeguard their privacy, but in a sense it also condemned them.  It made them faceless, inhuman, and their families experienced it just that way. “They even took my husband’s name away, why?” one wife asked me.

The women I was meeting in these years were mostly from this small group, as well as the relatives of a handful of British residents -- Arabs -- who were not initially returned from Guantanamo with the nine British citizens that the Americans finally released without charges in 2004 and 2005.

Perhaps no one in the country was, in the end, more terrorised than them, thanks to the various terror plots by British nationals that followed. And they were right to be fearful.  The pressure on them was overwhelming.  Some of them simply gave up and went home voluntarily because they could not bear house arrest, though they risked being sent to prison in their native lands; others went through years of house arrest and court appeals against deportation, all of which continues to this day.

Among the plots that unnerved them were one in 2006 against transatlantic aircraft, for which a total of 12 Britons were jailed for life in 2009, and the 2007 attempt to blow up a London nightclub and Glasgow International Airport, in which one bomber died and the second was jailed for 32 years. In the post-9/11 decade, 237 people were convicted of terror-related offences in Britain.

Though all of this was going on, much of it remained remote from the world of the refugee women I came to know who, in the larger world, were mainly preoccupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that, with Palestinian developments, filled their TV screens tuned only to Arabic stations.

These women did not tend to dwell on their own private nightmares, but for anyone in their company there was no mistaking them: a wife prevented from taking her baby into the hospital to visit her hunger-striking husband and get him to eat before he starved to death; another, with several small children, turned back from a prison visit, despite a long journey, because her husband was being punished that day; children whose toys were taken in a police raid and never given back; midnight visits from a private security company to check on a man already electronically tagged.

These women did not tend to dwell on their own private nightmares: a wife prevented from taking her baby into the hospital to visit her hunger-striking husband and get him to eat before he starved to death; another turned back from a prison visit because her husband was being punished that day; children whose toys were taken in a police raid and never given back; midnight visits from a private security company to check on a man already electronically tagged.

Here was the texture of a hidden war of continual harassment against a largely helpless population.  This was how some of the most vulnerable people in British society -- often already traumatised refugees and torture survivors -- were made permanent scapegoats for our post-9/11, and then post-7/7 fears.

So powerful is the stigma of “terrorism” today that, in the name of “our security,” whether in Great Britain or the United States, just about anything now goes, and ever fewer people ask questions about what that “anything” might actually be. Here in London, repeated attempts to get influential religious or political figures simply to visit one of these officially locked-down families and see these lives for themselves have failed. In the present political climate, such a personal, fact-finding visit proved to be anything but a priority for such people.

A Legal System of Secret Evidence, House Arrest, and Financial Sanctions

Against this captive population, in such an anything-goes atmosphere, all sorts of experimental perversions of the legal system were tried out.  As a result, the British system of post-9/11 justice contains many features which should frighten us all but are completely unfamiliar to the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom.

Key aspects for the families I have been concerned with include the use of secret evidence in cases involving deportation, bail conditions, and imprisonment without trial. In addition, most of their cases have been heard in a special court known as the Special Immigration Appeals Commission or SIAC, which is housed in an anonymous basement set of rooms in central London.

One of SIAC’s innovative features is the use of “special advocates,” senior barristers who have security clearance to see secret evidence on behalf of their clients, but without being allowed to disclose it or discuss it, even with the client or his or her own lawyer. The resignation on principle of a highly respected barrister, Ian Macdonald, as a special advocate in November 2004 exposed this process to the public for the first time -- but almost no one took any interest.

And a sense of the injustice in this arcane system was never sufficiently sparked by such voices, which found little echo in the media. Nor was there a wide audience for reports from a team of top psychiatrists about the devastating psychological impact on the men and their families of indefinite detention without trial, and of a house-arrest system framed by “control orders” that allow the government to place restrictions of almost any sort on the lives of those it designates.

An even less noted aspect of the anti-terror legal system brought into existence after 9/11 was the financial sanctions that could freeze the assets of designated individuals.  First ordered by the United Nations, the financial-sanctions regime was consolidated here through a European Union list of designated people. The few lawyers who specialized in this area were scathing about the draconian measures involved and the utter lack of transparency when it came to which governments had put which names on which list.

The effect on the listed families was draconian.  Marriages collapsed under the strain. The listed men were barred from working and only allowed £10 a week for personal expenses. Their wives -- often from conservative cultures where all dealings with the outside world had been left to husbands -- suddenly were the families’ faces to the world, responsible for everything from shopping to accounting monthly to the government’s Home Office for every item the family purchased, right down to a bottle of milk or a pencil for a child. It was humiliating for the men, who lost their family role overnight, and exhausting and frustrating for the women, while in some cases the rest of their families shunned them because of the taint of alleged terrorism. Almost no one except specialist lawyers even knew that such financial sanctions existed in Britain.

In the country’s High Court, the first judicial challenge to the financial-sanctions regime was brought in 2008 by five British Muslim men known only as G, K, A, M, and Q. In response, Justice Andrew Collins said he found it "totally unacceptable" that, to take an especially absurd example, a man should have to get a license for legal advice about the sanctions from the very body that was imposing them. The man in question had waited three months for a "basic expense" license permitting funds for food and rent, and six months for a license to obtain legal advice about the situation he found himself in.

In a related case before the judicial committee of the House of Lords, Justice Leonard Hoffman expressed incredulity at the "meanness and squalor" of a regime that "monitored who had what for lunch." More recently, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court endorsed the comments of Lord Justice Stephen Sedley who described those subject to the regime as being akin to “prisoners of the state.”

Among senior lawyers concerned about this hidden world of punishment was Ben Emmerson, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism. He devoted one of his official U.N. reports to the financial sanctions issue. His recommendations included significantly more transparency from governments who put people on such a list, the explicit exclusion of evidence obtained by torture, and the obligation of governments to give reasons when they refuse to remove individuals from the list.  Of course, no one who mattered was paying the slightest attention.

Against ideological governments obsessed by terrorism on both sides of the Atlantic and a culture numbed by violent anti-terrorist tales like “24” and Zero Dark Thirty, such complicated and technical initiatives on behalf of individuals who have been given the tag, implicitly if not explicitly, of “terrorist” stand little chance of getting attention.

"Each Time It's Worse"

Nearly a decade ago, at the New York opening night of Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Defend Freedom, the play Gillian Slovo and I wrote using only the words of the relatives of prisoners in that jail, their lawyers, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, an elderly man approached Moazzam Begg’s father and me.  He introduced himself as a former foreign policy adviser to President John Kennedy. “It could never have happened in our time,” he said.

When the Global War on Terror was still relatively new, it was common for audiences to react similarly and with shock to a play in which fathers and brothers describe their bewilderment over the way their relation had disappeared into the legal black hole of Guantanamo Bay. In the years since, we have become numb to the destruction of lives, livelihoods, futures, childhoods, legal systems, and trust by Washington’s and London’s never-ending war on terror.

In that time, I have seen children grow from toddlers to teenagers locked inside this particular war machine.  What they say today should startle us out of such numbness. Here, for instance, are the words of two teenagers, a girl and a boy whose fathers had been imprisoned or under house arrest in Britain for 10 years and whose lives in those same years were filled with indignities and humiliations:

"People seem to think that we get used to things being how they are for us, so we don't feel the injustices so much now. They are quite wrong: it was painful the first time, more painful the second, even more so the third. In fact, each time it’s worse, if you can believe that. There isn’t a limit on how much pain you can feel."

The boy added this:

"There is never one day when I feel safe. It can be the authorities, it can be ordinary people, they can do something bad for us. Only like now when we are all in the house together can I stop worrying about my mum and my sisters, and even me, what might happen to us. On the tube [subway], in class at university, people look at my beard.  I see them looking and I know they are thinking bad things about me. I would like to be a normal guy who no one looks at. You know, other boys, some of my friends, they cut corners, things like driving without a current license, everyone does it. But I can’t, I can’t ever, ever, take even a small risk. I have to always be cautious, be responsible... for my family."

These children have been brought up by women who, against all odds, have often preserved their dignity and kept at least a modicum of joy in their families’ lives, and so, however despised, however unnoticed, however locked away, made themselves an inspiration to others. They are not victims to be pitied, but women our societies should embrace.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s response to recent proposals that Washington establish a secret court to oversee the targeting of terrorist suspects for death-by-drone and President Obama’s expanding executive power to kill, speak for the world beyond the West.  They offer a different perspective on the war on terror that Washington and Great Britain continue to pursue with no end in sight:

"Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the nineteenth century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it.  I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity."

© 2013 Victoria Brittain

Victoria Brittain

Victoria Brittain, journalist and former editor at the Guardian, has authored or co-authored two plays and four books, including Enemy Combatant with Moazzam Begg. Her latest book, Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013) has just been published.

‘War on terror, an Israeli fabrication’

US President Barack Obama addressing the influential Israeli lobby AIPAC. (File photo)

A political analyst says the ongoing US-led “war on terror” is a policy imposed by Israel on the United States.

“In fact, the whole “war on terror” - in reality, a war on Islam - is an Israeli fabrication,” Kevin Barrett wrote in a column for Press TV.

He noted that the US hostility against the Islamic Republic is an indication of “a self-destructive policy imposed on America by Israel”.


“Iran will never stop supporting the Palestinians in their struggle against genocide in the Occupied Palestine. And that isn’t acceptable to Israel - which owns and runs the US government,” he wrote.

Barrett noted that the US has even been forced by the Zionist regime to bully Iran.

Separately, he said American President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, threatens Israel’s sovereignty over the United States.

“The Israelis correctly see that their ownership of the US government is in jeopardy. Their hysterical opposition to Hagel is a sign of desperation,” Barrett wrote.

Hagel sent shockwaves through the Zionist lobby in the US when he openly said in a 2008 interview, “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here…. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator.”

In reaction, 40 allegedly American Senators blocked Hagel’s nomination with a filibuster.

“When another Hagel vote happens next week, will the treasonous Senators from Israel win again? Or will the Senators from America prevail?” asks Barrett.

“Regardless of whether Hagel is ultimately confirmed, the battle between the Senators from Israel and the Senators from America is educating the American people about who really runs their country,” concluded Barrett.

KA/HGH/SS

The International Literary Festival: A New Front in the War on Terror

The International Literary Festival: A New Front in the War on Terror

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Posted on Feb 16, 2013
Zaheer Chauhan

The Dalai Lama at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

By Cherilyn Parsons

JAIPUR, INDIA—So into a bar walk a Palestinian-British novelist, a famous Jewish humorist and an Indian cricket star. On nearby barstools are an Academy Award-winning Pakistani filmmaker and a gay writer on psychology. Add a Bollywood celebrity, an Argentine dissident, the Dalai Lama and—what the hell—a few Bhutanese literary pioneers. Ready to break a brawl is a crusading Indian investigative journalist who has written one of the sexiest novels of all time. Of course there’s a guy from Google, helping to underwrite the scene.

This is way too complicated for a bar joke and unfortunately, at least in the opinion of some of the writers, the scene wasn’t a bar. The Jaipur Literature Festival held from Jan. 24-28, 2013 at Diggi Palace, was alcoholically as dry as a bone. But it was extraordinarily rich in ideas, not to mention in chai, peddled by wallahs pouring milky sweet caffeine into clay cups, 20 rupees, madam.

There is a new front on the war against terrorism: the international literary festival. The Jaipur festival presented 260 authors, many from nations that are enemies more than drinking buddies—or are, as speaker Reza Aslan said about the United States toward Pakistan, in “incredibly schizophrenic” relationships. The authors spoke to 130,000 attendees, about half local Rajasthanis (Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan state), a quarter from greater India, and the rest from the wider world, as estimated by co-director and author William Dalrymple. There was no brawl, other than one perceived insult over caste that was quickly forgiven. For five sunny days, people came together for a remarkable single purpose, to share ideas, listen and delve into the written word across national, religious and cultural borders.

International literary festivals are mushrooming around the globe. In imitation of Jaipur, which is now in its sixth year, 30 fairs have started throughout India alone. Other festivals have launched in Rangoon (last week saw the first Irrawaddy Literary Festival), Lahore (in late February 2013) and Dhaka. These new gatherings add to the well-established festivals in Edinburgh, Hay-on-Wye (Wales), Vancouver, Guadalajara, Jerusalem, Brisbane and various U.S. cities such as Washington, D.C., Miami and Los Angeles, just to name a few locales.

Perhaps the most unusual of the upstarts is the Palestine Festival of Literature, or PalFest, which mounted its fifth annual festival in 2012. Because checkpoints make it so difficult for residents to travel, the writers go out to the readers, each day speaking at a different site, not only taking their work to Palestinians but hearing locals’ stories in return. The brainchild of Egyptian-born novelist Ahdaf Soueif, PalFest is inherently political but says it pushes “the power of culture” over “the culture of power,” quoting Edward Said.

The Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is overt about promoting international understanding. It fights against “the terrorism of the mind,” said the event producer, Sanjoy Roy, a friendly middle-aged guy sporting True Religion jeans and long gray-white locks. Novelist and co-director Namita Gokhale likes to describe the festival as a Mahakumbh of the mind, referring to the Kumbh Mela, the annual gathering of tens of millions of Hindus in one city to bathe in a sacred river. Gokhale said she aims to foster “understanding ourselves through literature, through words, through ideas, at a time when people are getting, at one level, more and more entrenched in their own set of prejudices.”
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War Crimes and the Global War on Terrorism: US Arms Al Qaeda in Syria,...

America's Delusional Democracy. Don’t Mute Newt

AFP has reported that a recent NATO airstrike in Afghanistan has killed over 10 civilians in an all-too-familiar headline glossed over by the Western media in an exercise of both depravity and hypocrisy. RT’s article, “NATO airstrike kills 10 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children – officials,” notes in particular that up to 11,864 civilians were killed in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2011, and that civilian deaths before 2007 were not even tracked by the UN.

Such facts reveal alarming hypocrisy as the UN keeps almost daily, inflated tallies of civilian deaths elsewhere, in particular, in nations like Libya and Syria where Western interests have been heavily involved in regime change and in dire need of manipulating public perception worldwide. The United Nations had in fact pieced together a dubious report crafted from “witness accounts” compiled not in Syria, or even beyond its borders in a refugee camp, but instead, in Geneva by “witnesses” supplied by the so-called Syrian “opposition.”

Worse yet, that UN report was co-authored by Karen Koning AbuZayd, a director of the US Washington-based corporate think-tank, Middle East Policy Council. Its board of directors includes Exxon men, CIA agents, representatives of the Saudi Binladin Group (Osama Bin Laden’s family business), former ambassadors to Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar, US military and government representatives, and even the president of the US-Qatar Business Council, which includes amongst its membership, Al Jazeera, Chevron, Exxon, munitions manufacturer Raytheon (who supplied the opening salvos during NATO’s operations against Libya), and Boeing.

In other words, the very underwriters of the armed militancy that is consuming Syria are sitting along side the head of the UN commission producing reports portraying the Syrian government as guilty of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The hypocrisy does not end there. The pretense the US and NATO have used for over a decade to occupy, subjugate and slaughter the people of Afghanistan – in a conflict increasingly creeping over both Afghanistan’s borders with Pakistan and Iran – is supposedly to fight “terrorism.” Western interests have been allowed to fight this “war on terrorism” with impunity, and even without UN monitoring for years, while Syria was immediately condemned for fighting against Al Qaeda terrorists overtly flooding into their nation with NATO assistance.

Indeed, as NATO claims to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, it has already handed over the North African nation of Libya to Al Qaeda terrorists, specifically the the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The US in particular oversaw the rise of the Al Qaeda terror-emirate Benghazi, even having a US ambassador slain there by the very terrorists it had armed, funded, trained, provided air support for, and thrust into power.

These same terrorists have been documented extensively as spearheading the invasion of northern Syria via NATO-member Turkey, with NATO cash and weapons in cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The glaring hypocrisy of so-called “international law” and “international institutions” is on full display. Nations like Russia, China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, and many others should give serious thought to peeling away from the United Nations, the compromised International Criminal Court, and other corrupt, Western-serving institutions that will, and in many cases already are, being turned against them, their interests, and national sovereignty.

For the people of the world, we must realize that these institutions were created for and by big-business special interests, and the legitimacy they are portrayed as having is a mere illusion created by the corporate media. We must begin identifying these special interests, boycotting and replacing them permanently at a local level. If it is peace we want, it is clear that the UN, NATO, and all institutions in between, sow only death and destruction amidst a myriad of hypocrisy, double standards, and immeasurable corruption, and we must move into the future without them.

Controlling Lucifer: How Everyone Loses the Global War on Terror

The president negotiates our withdrawal from Afghanistan, proclaims mission accomplished — and the wars of the last decade continue winding down to nothing.

We’ll be leaving behind an unstable country with one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates and hundreds of armed insurgent groups. We haven’t rescued or rebuilt the country or accomplished any objective that begins to justify the human and financial cost of this adventure. We just lost.

But we’re the most powerful nation on the planet. How is that possible? And, as Tom Engelhardt asks, “who exactly beat us? Where exactly is the triumphant enemy?”

He goes on, in an essay that ran this week on Common Dreams: “Did we in some bizarre fashion fight ourselves and lose? After all, last year, more American servicemen died from suicide than on the battlefield in Afghanistan; and a startling number of Americans were killed in ‘green on blue’ or ‘insider’ attacks by Afghan ‘allies’ rather than by that fragmented movement we still call the Taliban.”

Did we fight ourselves and lose? This is a question for the millennium — a question in which the human future hangs in the balance. A rich, arrogant and unbelievably powerful nation, riding a tide of opportune vengeance, pursuing its global interests, invades a poor, backward country, then a year and a half later invades another. It pours multi-trillions of dollars into the adventure and unleashes the most sophisticated high-tech weaponry the world has ever seen. On the home front, the war is backed by at least 80 percent of the population. It’s a good war, a righteous war, proclaimed by the prodigious public relations arm of the military-industrial consensus as a “war on terror” . . . a war on evil itself.

And we lost. Or sort of lost — at least in the sense that we didn’t win. As Andrew Bacevich wrote in 2010: “By 2007, the American officer corps itself gave up on victory, although without giving up on war. First in Iraq, then in Afghanistan, priorities shifted. High-ranking generals shelved their expectations of winning . . . . They sought instead to not lose. In Washington as in U.S. military command posts, the avoidance of outright defeat emerged as the new gold standard of success.”

His essay was titled, “Is War Becoming Obsolete?” That is, is war becoming an ineffective means of achieving, not merely the aims of its own propaganda (the defeat of evil), but its actual, limited goals of regional dominance, the looting of natural resources, the containment of geopolitical rivals? And if so, does it matter?

Beyond such questions, I sense that a larger question lurks: Might it be that war isn’t something we wage, so much as a force that wages us? And if that’s the case, it doesn’t particularly matter whether we win or lose because it’s not in our control anyway, at least not in the way we think it is. War has been obsolete for at least the last century, in that the damage it inflicted shattered winner and loser alike, almost to the point of mutual suicide — not counting the United States, which emerged powerful and prosperous and on top of the world after World War II. It took another half-century or so for the lose-lose nature of war to catch up to us, and thus for us to begin noticing its obsolescence.

This may be a good time to begin assessing the nature of our loss in the war on terror, beyond the non-achievement of geopolitical ends and non-fulfillment of whatever our mission actually was. Certainly this loss includes expenditures in the trillions of dollars, contributing enormously to the national bankruptcy.

And it also includes the thousands of American combat deaths and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers wounded, both physically and psychologically, during their extended deployments, or suffering from an array of mystery nerve, respiratory and multiple other illnesses— now called chronic multisymptom illness and declared, in a recent report by the federal Institute of Medicine, to be the same symptoms that several hundred thousand vets from the 1991 Gulf War still suffer from — which are the result of the toxic hell that modern warfare inflicts on its battle zones.

In the process of inflicting all this harm on ourselves, of course, we inflicted infinitely more harm on the nations we invaded, killing hundreds of thousands, displacing millions, and polluting Iraq and Afghanistan with radioactive waste from depleted uranium munitions and the toxins of unregulated burn pits, among much else. In 2010, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published the results of a study showing that Fallujah, Iraq, was experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia and infant mortality than Hiroshima and Nagasaki did in 1945.

Is war becoming obsolete? When war's toxic aftermath is endured only by the defeated “enemy,” the winners can still cheer. But today there’s no cheering on any side of the erstwhile war on terror. The pertinent question is: How do we stop our mad preparation for future wars?

And there’s only one answer: Stop inventing enemies, whom we proceed to dehumanize. Once we begin the dehumanization process, we lose — not just figuratively, but literally, and in almost incalculable ways. Philip Zimbardo coined the term “the Lucifer Effect” to describe the sadistic corruption that consumes good-hearted men and women when they are given overwhelming power over others. We wage war thinking we can control the Lucifer Effect. We’re always wrong.

Mali: The Fastest Blowback Yet in This Disastrous War on Terror

To listen to David Cameron's rhetoric this week, it could be 2001 all over again. Eleven years into the war on terror, it might have been Tony Blair speaking after 9/11. As the bloody siege of the part BP-operated In Amenas gas plant in Algeria came to an end, the British prime minister claimed, like George Bush and Blair before him, that the country faced an "existential" and "global threat" to "our interests and way of life".Diabaly, 21 January 2013. ‘France is the last country to sort out Mali's problems, having created quite a few of them in the first place.' (Photograph: Arnaud Roin/ECPAD/EPA)

While British RAF aircraft backed French military intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali, and troops were reported to be on alert for deployment to the west African state, Cameron promised that a "generational struggle" would be pursued with "iron resolve". The fight over the new front in the terror war in North Africa and the Sahel region, he warned, could go on for decades.

So in austerity-blighted Britain, just as thousands of soldiers are being made redundant, while Barack Obama has declared that "a decade of war is now ending", armed intervention is being ratcheted up in yet another part of the Muslim world. Of course, it's French troops in action this time. But even in Britain the talk is of escalating drone attacks and special forces, and Cameron has refused to rule out troops on the ground.

You'd think the war on terror had been a huge success, the way the western powers keep at it, Groundhog Day-style. In reality, it has been a disastrous failure, even in its own terms – which is why the Obama administration felt it had to change its name to "overseas contingency operations", until US defence secretary Leon Panetta revived the old title this week.

Instead of fighting terror, it has fuelled it everywhere it's been unleashed: from Afghanistan to Pakistan, from Iraq to Yemen, spreading it from Osama bin Laden's Afghan lairs eastwards to central Asia and westwards to North Africa – as US, British and other western forces have invaded, bombed, tortured and kidnapped their way across the Arab and Muslim world for over a decade.

So a violent jihadist movement that grew out of western intervention, occupation and support for dictatorship was countered with more of the same. And the law of unintended consequences has meanwhile been played out in spectacular fashion: from the original incubation of al-Qaida in the mujahideen war against the Soviet Union, to the spread of terror from western-occupied Afghanistan to Pakistan, to the strategic boost to Iran delivered by the US-British invasion of Iraq.

When it came to Libya, the blowback was much faster – and Mali took the impact. Nato's intervention in Libya's civil war nearly two years ago escalated the killing and ethnic cleansing, and played the decisive role in the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime. In the ensuing maelstrom, Tuareg people who had fought for Gaddafi went home to Mali and weapons caches flooded over the border.

Within a couple of months this had tipped longstanding demands for self-determination into armed rebellion – and then the takeover of northern Mali by Islamist fighters, some linked to al-Qaida. Foreign secretary William Hague acknowledged this week that Nato's Libyan intervention had "contributed" to Mali's war, but claimed the problem would have been worse without it.

In fact, the spillover might have been contained if the western powers had supported a negotiated settlement in Libya, just as all-out war in Mali might have been avoided if the Malian government's French and US sponsors had backed a political instead of a military solution to the country's divisions.

The past decade has demonstrated beyond doubt that such interventions don't solve crises, let alone deal with the causes of terrorism, but deepen them and generate new conflicts.

French intervention in Mali has now produced the fastest blowback yet in the war on terror. The groups that seized the In Imenas gas plant last week – reportedly with weapons supplied to Libya by France and Britain – insisted their action was taken in response to France's operation, Algeria's decision to open its airspace to the French and western looting of the country's natural resources.

It may well be that the attack had in fact been planned for months. And the Algerian government has its own history of bloody conflict with Islamist movements. But it clearly can't be separated from the growing western involvement across the region.

France is in any case the last country to sort out Mali's problems, having created quite a few of them in the first place as the former colonial power, including the legacy of ethnic schism within artificial borders – as Britain did elsewhere. The French may have been invited in by the Malian government. But it's a government brought to power by military coup last year, not one elected by Malians – and whose troops are now trading atrocities and human rights abuses with the rebels.

Only a political settlement, guaranteed by regional African forces, can end the conflict. Meanwhile, French president François Hollande says his country will be in Mali as long as it takes to "defeat terrorism in that part of Africa". All the experience of the past decade suggests that could be indefinitely – as western intervention is likely to boost jihadist recruitment and turn groups with a regional focus towards western targets.

All this is anyway about a good deal more than terrorism. Underlying the growing western military involvement in Africa – from the spread of American bases under the US Africa Command to France's resumption of its post-colonial habit of routine armed intervention – is a struggle for resources and strategic control, in the face of China's expanding economic role in the continent. In north and west Africa, that's not just about oil and gas, but also uranium in countries like Niger – and Mali. Terrorism has long since become a catch-all cover for legitimising aggressive war.

The idea that jihadists in Mali, or Somalia for that matter, pose an existential threat to Britain, France, the US or the wider world is utter nonsense. But the opening of a new front in the war on terror in north Africa and the Sahel, accompanied by another murderous drone campaign, is a potential disaster for the region and risks a new blowback beyond it.

The past decade has demonstrated beyond doubt that such interventions don't solve crises, let alone deal with the causes of terrorism, but deepen them and generate new conflicts. More military intervention will bolster authoritarian regimes – and its rhetoric further poison community relations in the intervening states. It seems the price has to be paid over and over again.

© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited

Seumas Milne

Seumas Milne is a Guardian columnist and associate editor. His most recent book is The Revenge of History: The Battle for the 21st Century. His previous books include, The Enemy Within and Beyond the Casino Economy (co-authored with Nicholas Costello). He tweets @SeumasMilne

The War On Terror Spreads to Africa: U.S. Sending Troops to 35 African Nations

The U.S. is sending troops to 35 African nations under the guise of fighting Al Qaeda and related terrorists.

Democracy Now notes:

U.S. Army teams will be deploying to as many as 35 African countries early next year for training programs and other operations as part of an increased Pentagon role in Africa. The move would see small teams of U.S. troops dispatched to countries with groups allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, such as Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. The teams are from a U.S. brigade that has the capability to use drones for military operations in Africa if granted permission. The deployment could also potentially lay the groundwork for future U.S. military intervention in Africa.

NPR reports:

[A special American brigade] will be able to take part in nearly 100 separate training and military exercises next year, in nearly three dozen African countries

Glenn Ford writes:

The 2nd Brigade is scheduled to hold more than 100 military exercises in 35 countries, most of which have no al-Qaida presence. So, although there is no doubt that the U.S. will be deeply involved in the impending military operation in Mali, the 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations. The situation in Mali is simply a convenient, after-the-fact rationale for a long-planned expansion of the U.S. military footprint in Africa.

Timothy Alexander Guzman argues:

AFRICOM’s [the U.S. military's Africa command] goal is to eliminate China and other countries influence in the region.  Africa’s natural resources is another important element to consider because it includes oil, diamonds, copper, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite, silver, petroleum, certain woods and tropical fruits.

In a must-watch interview, Dan Collins of the China Money Report agrees that the purpose of the deployment is to challenge China’s rising prominence in Africa:

In reality – as we’ve repeatedly noted – the U.S. sends in the military to fight “terrorists” in any country which has resources we want (and see this).

And the U.S. is not shy about backing our “mortal enemies” to topple those standing between us and resources we pine for.

Anthony Carlucci argues that the overthrow of Gaddafi (largely through American support of terrorists) was really the opening salvo in the war for African resources:

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The “War On Terror” Spreads to Africa: U.S. Sending Troops to 35 African Nations

africa

The U.S. is sending troops to 35 African nations under the guise of fighting Al Qaeda and related terrorists.

Democracy Now notes:

U.S. Army teams will be deploying to as many as 35 African countries early next year for training programs and other operations as part of an increased Pentagon role in Africa. The move would see small teams of U.S. troops dispatched to countries with groups allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, such as Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. The teams are from a U.S. brigade that has the capability to use drones for military operations in Africa if granted permission. The deployment could also potentially lay the groundwork for future U.S. military intervention in Africa.

NPR reports:

[A special American brigade] will be able to take part in nearly 100 separate training and military exercises next year, in nearly three dozen African countries

Glenn Ford writes:

The 2nd Brigade is scheduled to hold more than 100 military exercises in 35 countries, most of which have no al-Qaida presence. So, although there is no doubt that the U.S. will be deeply involved in the impending military operation in Mali, the 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations. The situation in Mali is simply a convenient, after-the-fact rationale for a long-planned expansion of the U.S. military footprint in Africa.

Timothy Alexander Guzman argues:

AFRICOM’s [the U.S. military's Africa command] goal is to eliminate China and other countries influence in the region.  Africa’s natural resources is another important element to consider because it includes oil, diamonds, copper, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite, silver, petroleum, certain woods and tropical fruits.

In a must-watch interview, Dan Collins of the China Money Report agrees that the purpose of the deployment is to challenge China’s rising prominence in Africa:

In reality – as we’ve repeatedly noted – the U.S. sends in the military to fight “terrorists” in any country which has resources we want (and see this).

And the U.S. is not shy about backing our “mortal enemies” to topple those standing between us and resources we pine for.

Anthony Carlucci argues that the overthrow of Gaddafi (largely through American support of terrorists) was really the opening salvo in the war for African resources:

Civil liberties are still the victim in the War on Terror

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The Results of the US “Spreading Democracy” in Iraq: Terrorism, Civil War and Joe...

Iraq’s not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self reliant Iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations and we are ending a war not with a final battle but with a final march toward home. This is an extraordinary achievement

US President Barack H. Obama

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an extreme fascist Islamic terrorist organization has taken control of Mosul and Tikrit and now they’re on their way to Bagdad. The Washington Post reported what had occurred in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul:

Death was everywhere in the sacked the city of Mosul, a strategically vital oil hub and Iraq’s largest northern city. One reporter said an Iraqi woman in Mosul claimed to have seen a “row of decapitated soldiers and policemen” on the street. Other reports spoke of “mass beheadings,” though The Washington Post was not able to confirm the tales. But the United Nations Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay, said the summary executions “may run into the hundreds” and that she was “extremely alarmed

Iraq is a monumental failure for US foreign policy. The US-led war to “spread democracy” and freedom to the people of Iraq under Operation Iraqi Freedom was a farce. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 for two main reasons according to the Bush administration and Congress. First, they claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems capable of striking the United States. Second, they publically lied to the world that Iraq had been involved in the 9/11 terror attacks with Al-Qaeda through its “credible” intelligence services. Both claims were completely fabricated. The Pentagon and CIA (although there were some members that did not agree with the assessment) knew that the case was being made for war and eventually went along with the Bush administration’s plan to invade Iraq. The US government wanted absolute control over the production and transport of oil for US markets and for the military-industrial complex war machine. The result is catastrophic. More than 1.4 million Iraqis, 4,800 US soldiers and 3,400 International occupation forces were killed. The total cost of the war exceeds $1.5 trillion.

The US exploited differences between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds since Iraqi society was already deeply divided. These divisions were manipulated by coalition forces to subdue the population. Between 2006 and 2008, a sectarian conflict erupted which resulted in over 60,000 deaths most of them civilians. Now there is the threat of Iraq becoming even more divisive, one of them becoming an Islamic state based on Sharia law under the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since the US invasion, Iraqi population has constantly witnessed terrorist attacks resulting in numerous deaths including women and children. Divisions between Sunni and Shite are even greater today than under Saddam Hussein.

US Vice-President Joe Biden wanted to systematically divide Iraq along ethnic-lines into three states. He wrote a New York Times opinion editorial in 2006 with Council of Foreign Relations member Leslie H. Gelb how the plan would work:

The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group — Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab — room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests. We could drive this in place with irresistible sweeteners for the Sunnis to join in, a plan designed by the military for withdrawing and redeploying American forces, and a regional nonaggression pact

Well Biden’s wish is might be coming true. Iraq is becoming increasingly more divided and even more dangerous since the US withdrew its forces in 2011. Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish groups remain divided. Now with a situation involving al-Qaeda and its splinter groups such as ISIS forming their own organization whether Western-funded or not, the Iraqi government is losing control. According to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) the Syrian government is blaming the West and Saudi Arabia for its ties to ISIS:

Syrian state media on Thursday accused Saudi Arabia and the West of complicity with the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) that has captured swathes of Iraqi territory. Echoing claims often made by the regime and its supporters, state media said Saudi and other allies of the Syrian opposition were funding and arming jihadist groups like ISIS. “Terrorism is spreading in front of the eyes of the western world… and alongside it are the fingers of Saudi Arabia, providing money and arms,” the Al-Thawra daily wrote

Iraqi President Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also believes that Saudi Arabia and Qatar has funded terrorist groups in Iraq according to a report by Patrick Cockburn of The Independent:

Iraq has long suspected the hidden hand of Wahhabism, the variant of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia, as being behind many of its troubles. But it was only this month that Mr Maliki, in an interview with France 24 television, put the blame squarely on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, saying that “these two countries are primarily responsible for the sectarian, terrorist and security crisis in Iraq

The United States and the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar support of ISIS seems accurate since Iraq has been divided along ethnic lines and the attempt to further destabilize Syria has been part of the US foreign policy. Cockburn says:

How much truth is there in Mr Maliki’s accusations? A proportion of aid from the Gulf destined for the armed opposition in Syria undoubtedly goes to Iraq. Turkey allows weapons and jihadist volunteers, many of them potential suicide bombers, to cross its 500 mile-long border into Syria and inevitably some of the guns, fighters and bombers will go to Iraq. This is hardly surprising given that Isis operates in both countries as if they were one

The Guardian reported on what Wikileaks cables had revealed Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s memo on Saudi Arabia’s involvement in financing terrorist organizations “Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton”.

The BBC reported in 2013 that Al-Nusra and ISIS are the majority of foreign fighters in Syria:

According to a recent estimate by Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, there could be up to 11,000 of these fighters. It raises the questions of which groups they join, and what the relations between these groups are. By far the two most popular banners for these foreign fighters are al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

ISIS is the result of a unilateral attempt by the leader of Iraq’s al-Qaeda affiliate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to merge his group with al-Nusra. The move was rejected al-Nusra’s leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, and by al-Qaeda overall leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but Baghdadi refused to disband ISIS

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Leader of ISIS?

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known as Abu Dua. ISIS was created in Iraq after the Bush Administration’s orchestrated a US-led invasion. Who is al-Baghdadi? According to Patrick Cockburn, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS was a former prisoner in an American run facility called the Bocca Camp in Southern Iraq:

There are disputes over his career depending on whether the source is ISIS itself, US or Iraqi intelligence but the overall picture appears fairly clear. He was born in Samarra, a largely Sunni city north of Baghdad, in 1971 and is well educated. With black hair and brown eyes, a picture of al-Baghdadi taken when he was a prisoner of the Americans in Bocca Camp in southern Iraq between 2005 and 2009, makes him look like any Iraqi man in his thirties.

His real name is believed to be Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai, who has degrees in Islamic Studies, including poetry, history and genealogy, from the Islamic University of Baghdad. He may have been an Islamic militant under Saddam as a preacher in Diyala province, to the north east of Baghdad, where, after the US invasion of 2003, he had his own armed group. Insurgent movements have a strong motive for giving out misleading information about their command structure and leadership, but it appears al-Baghdadi spent five years as prisoner of the Americans

The US has offered a $10 million reward for leads that can either capture or kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2011. That offer still stands. The US has destabilized Iraq, and now terrorist organizations threaten all nations across the Middle East, including Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Syria. It is no coincidence that the Obama administration is taking advantage of Iraq’s situation. Last month, Obama gave a speech in a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. It signified how Washington is planning to topple the Syrian government. He said:

A critical focus of this effort will be the ongoing crisis in Syria. As frustrating as it is, there are no easy answers there, no military solution that can eliminate the terrible suffering anytime soon. As president, I made a decision that we should not put American troops into the middle of this increasingly sectarian civil war, and I believe that is the right decision. But that does not mean we shouldn’t help the Syrian people stand up against a dictator who bombs and starves his own people. And in helping those who fight for the right of all Syrians to choose their own future, we are also pushing back against the growing number of extremists who find safe haven in the chaos.

So with the additional resources I’m announcing today, we will step up our efforts to support Syria’s neighbors — Jordan and Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq — as they contend with refugees and confront terrorists working across Syria’s borders. I will work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators. And we will continue to coordinate with our friends and allies in Europe and the Arab World to push for a political resolution of this crisis and to make sure that those countries and not just the United States are contributing their fair share of support to the Syrian people

Syria is part of the US Imperial agenda. Now with ISIS expanding its base and launching attacks across Iraq creating an uncertain future for the war torn country, Syria will experience the same fate if President Bashar al-Assad is removed from power. The Syrian government and the people will prevent ISIS and Washington’s so called “moderate rebels” from destabilizing their country. ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are all Western backed terrorist groups seeking to gain power across the region. The consequence of the US invasion has destabilized Iraq with no hope of re-establishing itself as a united country as it once was under Saddam Hussein. The US, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf states are attempting to do the same to Syria by funding terrorist organizations in hopes of installing a puppet regime that will remain loyal to Western interests. Iraq is a failed state because of Western intervention, so why would they attempt the same policy towards Syria knowing what happened to Iraq? Do they believe this time would be successful? I certainly doubt it. But then again do they really want success? Or do they want to divide the region in order to control all sides?

                               

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Open War Crimes: US and British-Backed Weapons Airlift From Croatia to Terrorists in Syria

It’s well known by now that the NATO and Gulf States' initial plans to overturn the sovereign state of Syria has been running behind schedule since their operation was launched two years ago. They had hoped for the sort of slam dunk which they enjoyed in overturning the country of Libya in late 2011.

This same formula could not be applied again however, so Plan B, a ground war using proxies has meant a longer drawn out conflict, with western backed terrorist groups sustaining heavy losses in their fight to topple the Assad government on behalf of NATO and its Gulf allies.

The main obstacle with Plan B is that the very idea of directly arming terrorists in Syria is not one which can be sold openly in either the US or Britain. Plan C is to draw in the UN by creating a ‘chemical weapons’ crisis in Syria, but thanks to a prominent online leak of documents relating to UK DOD contractor Britamthe British have been caught brokering a deal transferring ex-Gaddafi stocks from Libya to Syria to be blamed on Assad, paid for by Qatar. The WMD threat still remains a hard sell for western voters…

From the NATO Allied corner, something drastic needed to be done.

Whilst politicians in the West, namely those in Washington DC, London and parts of Europe, have been publicly denying that they were helping to organise running arms into Syria and issuing very public pleads for ‘humanitarian aid’ for those they identify as the Syrian Opposition, activity back stage has been furious. The debate in government and the media has been mere window dressing for the real operation being quietly carried out.

NATO Gun-running via Croatia

It can now be revealed that NATO allied nations were busy using proxy states to drive their war in Syria – putting together one of the biggest international black operation transfers of military supplies in recent history. So it’s official: large caches of hardware from the West have been transferred to the Syrian jihadist mercenary collective known as the ‘Free Syrian Army’ , ‘Syrian Rebels’, or ‘Syrian Opposition’ – depending on who you ask, a brash move which may be vehemently opposed by other UN Security Council members – namely Russia and China.

Multiple media sources reveal the details of this massive airlift comprised of 75 airplanes, and an estimated 3,000 tons of military weaponry on board has left Croatia and has already been delivered… to Syria.

It is also confirmed from these reports that Saudi Arabia has financed a large portion of this purchase secretly transported to al Qaeda and other FSA fighters – who are working with the support of the CIA, MI6 and others, along with other financial and material support of Qatar and Saudi, to further destabilise and overthrow the Assad government in Syria.

Croatia’s daily newspaper Jutarnji List reported:

From the start of November last year, till February this year, 75 planes flew out from Zagreb Airport with over 3,000 tons of weapons and ammunition bound for Syrian rebels…

The newspaper, quoting diplomatic sources, says that besides Croatian weapons the planes were full with weapons from other European countries including the UK. The weapons were organised by the United States of America.

Sources say that the first few flights to leave Croatia bound for Syria with weapons were operated by Turkish Cargo, which is owned by Turkish Airlines. After those flights, Jordanian International Air Cargo took over the flights. The deal to provide arms to the rebels was made between American officials and the Croatian Ambassador to the US.

In addition to this huge gun-running operation, Croatia also appears to be guilty of either having advanced knowledge, or possibly coordinating with Syrian terrorists as evidenced by their recently withdraw all of troops from the UN observer mission in Golan Heights, indicating that the recent kidnapping by Free Syrian Army Terrorists of at least 20 UNIFIL peacekeepers in the Golan Heights was known in advance by Croatia.

The kidnapping incident may have been designed to test the UN, but also to pull Syria’s southern neighbor, Israel, even closer to the conflict, a development which would almost surely prompt the UN to declare this as trigger to a regional crisis, followed by an authorised military intervention. Pulling Israel in would also risk involving Hezbollah from Lebanon, who are already engaging in assisting Assad in training a new specialist paramilitary force in Syria to deal with urban warfare.

If it was known by Croatia, then one can only conclude that this was also known by US and British operatives as well. Both the US and Britain will naturally claim deniability as their legal out in this case, by deniability through the use of proxies makes no innocent parties when the prospect of a multi-regional war beckons as a result of the west’s financial, logistical, political, and now material involvement in the overthrow of a sovereign state and internationally recognised government.

Much worse, however, is that by employing proxies like Jordan, Croatia, Turkey,and others, the NATO allies have guaranteed long-term retribution down the road, should Syria prevail in this fight. For Syria, it is now known which countries collaborated with the West to dismantle their country. This fact alone will ensure conflict in the region for a generation.

US officials are on record as admitting to helping arrange the weapons airlift, as cited in this Feb 25, 2012 article in the New York Times:

“An official in Washington said the possibility of the transfers from the Balkans was broached last summer, when a senior Croatian official visited Washington and suggested to American officials that Croatia had many weapons available should anyone be interested in moving them to Syria’s rebels.”

Terrorist receive recoilless guns from the former Yugoslavia

Revelations are not limited to the Croatian news report, as we see the US and Europe’s mainstream media wall of silence has begun to crack, including here a recent report from London’s Daily Telegraph sent across Syria’s borders with Jordan and NATO-member Turkey. The article entitled, “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’“ goes on to give further details of direct European involvement in illegal weapons running:

The United States has coordinated a massive airlift of arms to Syrian rebels from Croatia with the help of Britain and other European states, despite the continuing European Union arms embargo, it was claimed yesterday…

Decisions by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, to provide non-lethal assistance and training, announced in the past week, were preceded by much greater though less direct Western involvement in the rebel cause, according to a Croat newspaper.

The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria’s neighbours.

as from Croatia, weapons came “from several other European countries including Britain”, without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.

British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers…

… The weapons, including rocket launchers, recoil-less guns and the M79 anti-tank weapon, have been seen in rebel hands in numerous videos, and were first spotted by an arms expert Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the name Brown Moses. He traced them moving from Dera’a in the south, near the Jordanian border, to Aleppo and Idlib provinces in the north.

Hague: Denies Britain’s involvement in gun-running

It is also no big secret that Britain has deployed a significant contingent of troops and support personnel to Jordan at least as far back as Autumn 2012 as part of its ongoing ‘joint military exercises’ with the Jordan military, but this latest revelation puts into clearer perspective the overwhelming likelihood that high level British military operation have actually been involved in the transfer of arms from Jordan into the hands of the international terrorist confab of mostly foreign fighter running under the west’s media banner of “Syrian Rebels”.

Consequences for Croatia, and Britain

What Britain may be guilty of here, is cynically – and illegally, trying to side-stepping the EU embargo on arms into Syria by using the fledgling EU state of Croatia as their delivery mechanism, because Croatia does not officially join the EU until July 1, and has not implemented any binding EU legislation. This flagrant violation of both EU and international law should mean that Croatia’s entrance into the EU could be appealed by other members states willing to raise an objection, with what are now clear grounds to mount a legal challenge against Croatia.

Regardless of any EU outcomes however, Croatia at least –  is guilty of international war crimes.

International and EU Sanctions Against the US, Britain, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia

As expected, Britain’s Foreign Office denies all of the claims connecting it to the Croatian gun-running program, but if Britain is involved – even indirectly, through a proxy like Croatia, or if British military personnel are aiding and abetting these known terrorist fighters in Syria through the transfer of weaponry, then Britain can also be brought into the international legal framework to answer for what it has done behind the public’s back.

The international war crimes which are now in the public view could test the legal framework of the EU, the UN and the ICC in the Hague. The legal door is now open for charges against state actors including US, Britain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – for the crimes of illegally arming a force of foreign fighters and known terrorists in Syria – designed to destroy the country from within. Many UN resolutions, including the recent Resolution 1973 applied in Libya by the UN, have been implemented on much more spurious and shaky grounds than the overwhelming evidence available regarding Syria.

Consequences for NATO and the UN

Despite any denials in Brussels, NATO are involved through their member states Turkey and Croatia, as well as US, UK, and France from behind. Any involvement should question these country’s NATO status, or at least it begs the question what is NATO for, or even the UN, if their member states are conspiring together to subvert international law?

Moreover, Israel’s unwarranted airstrike against a Syrian Military Research facility last month was also ignored by the UN, but this is not surprising as Israel has long been allowed to operate outside of international law and norms.

If the international community does not act in this instance, then it opens the door to more brazen criminality sans borders, which could spawn similar illegal operations against Iran, opening the door to a Third World War.

US uniformed Personnel Training Rebels in Jordan

Der Spiegel also reports this week that, despite denials by Washington DC, Americans are definitely training Syrian rebels in neighboring Jordan. The reports goes on:

It is not clear if the Americans are members of the US armed forces or are part of a private contracting firm, but the trainers wear uniforms, the paper reported.

It added that the training, which also involves Jordanian intelligence officers, had been going on “for some time,” and that the rebels were being taught how to use anti-tank weaponry.

France sends ‘aid’ for Syria to Jordan

France played an integral part in the destruction of Libya in 2011, and they might also have an interest in their former colonial possessions in Syria, but it’s not clear as yet if France’s commitment to overthrowing the Assad government is on par with the US and Britain’s efforts. Back in August 2012, France had also been sending large shipments designated for Syria via Jordan, claiming that these shipment contained ‘aid and medical supplies’ – intended for Syrian refugees. Real Syrian News reported:

An Antonov 124 cargo aircraft landed at the Marka military airport in Amman on Saturday. The cargo is said to include a field hospital and medical supplies for the refugees in the Zaatari camp near the Syrian border. An A310 airliner carrying 85 French military staff and medical equipment arrived in Jordan on Thursday.

After the Croatian airlift, it’s now not a stretch to suspect that other countries could be involved in similar operations under the cover of supplying ‘humanitarian aid’.

Consequences for Jordan

The overwhelming body of evidence proves that Jordan is playing the key role as proxy and facilitator for the West’s wishes and desires to destroy the country of Syria. The consequences for Jordan, should the West’s efforts fail, is that Jordan has now exposed itself as a provocateur and enemy of both Syria, and Lebanon, and indeed Iran also. It is not know how much Jordan has been paid for its services, or what promises have been made to its royal family in exchange for facilitating the Syrian upheaval, but it cannot compensate Jordan for playing the crucial role in possibly fomenting a regional or multi-theatre global war.

Syria Crisis Planned by the US and NATO Allies Before the ‘Arab Spring’

Despite previous denials and avoiding the issue by states persons like Hillary Clinton and William Hague, it is certain that ‘al Qaeda’ terrorists are operating in Syria and receive various kinds of support from the West and their Gulf allies, and that these are many of the same terrorist who are responsible for violence and killing in Iraq. The New York Times confirmed this fact recently:

Iraqi officials said the extremists operating in Syria are in many cases the very same militants striking across their country. “We are 100 percent sure from security coordination with Syrian authorities that the wanted names that we have are the same wanted names that the Syrian authorities have, especially within the last three months,” Izzat al-Shahbandar — a close aide to the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki — said in an interview on Tuesday. “Al Qaeda that is operating in Iraq is the same as that which is operating in Syria,” he said.

Bangkok based analyst, Tony Cartalucci, from Land Destroyer blog, adds another important piece of evidence in this mix, pointing out the fact that the US and its NATO operatives have been engineering the crisis in Syria well before the official ‘uprising’ began in 2011:

Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, in his 2007 New Yorker report titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?“stated explicitly that: “To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Cartalucci provides further background to support the west’s own knowledge and involvement is the current crisis:

Is there any doubt that the US has executed this plot in earnest, arming and funding sectarian extremists “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” on both Syria’s northern and southern border? Where else, if not from the West and its regional allies, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, could extremists be getting their weapons, cash, and logistical support from?

And of course, Syria’s borders with Jordan and Turkey have been long-ago identified by the US Army’s own West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) as hotbeds of sectarian extremist/Al Qaeda activity – hotbeds that the West is purposefully funneling thousands of tons of weaponry through, while disingenuously claiming it is attempting to prevent such weapons from falling into the hands of extremists.

The CTC’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” identified Syria’s southeastern region near Dayr Al-Zawr on the Iraqi-Syrian border, the northwestern region of Idlib near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border, as having produced the majority of fighters found crossing over into Iraq throughout the duration of the Iraq War.


Image: (Left) West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s 2007 report, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” indicated which areas in Syria Al Qaeda fighters filtering into Iraq came from during the US invasion/occupation. The overwhelming majority of them came from Dayr Al-Zawr in Syria’s southeast, Idlib in the north near the Turkish-Syrian border, and Dar’a in the south near the Jordanian-Syrian border. (Right) A map indicating the epicenters of violence in Syria indicate that the exact same hotbeds for Al Qaeda in 2007, now serve as the epicenters of so-called “pro-democracy fighters.” These areas are now admittedly the epicenters of fighting, and more importantly, despite being historical hotbeds of Al Qaeda activity, precisely where the West is flooding with cash, weapons, and military “advisers.”

Just like in Libya where the West literally handed an entire nation to sectarian extremists, we are watching a verbatim repeat in Syria – where we are told Al Qaeda terrorists are “pro-democracy” “freedom fighters” that deserve US cash, weapons, and support, when it couldn’t be any clearer they aren’t.  

Not only has the US and UK lied to the world about their policy toward Syria and their current level of support for increasingly overt terrorists committing an array of atrocities – their latest act including the taking of over 20 UN peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights - but have revealed once again the manufactured facade that is the “War on Terror…”

Terrorist Groups Currently Active in Syria

Known terrorist groups are operating in Syria and are receiving the full backing of NATO Allies and Gulf states Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They include – but are not limited to, Saudi Intelligence-backed Jabhat al-Nusra or ‘al Nursa Front’, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group,  Abdullah Azzam Brigades and Al Baraa ibn Malik Martyrdom Brigade, the jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham, the PKK (in northeast Syria), Kata’ib Mohadzherin from the Russian Caucus region - to name only a few.

Earlier reports of rogue Russian and Chechen terrorists filtering into Syria appear to be preceded by Salafists killing Sufi leaders in the Russian Federation. The Pakistan Christian Post reports:

Recently in Dagestan the Sufi spiritual leader Said Efendi Chirkeisky was killed by a suicide bomber along with a few followers. This happened in late August and the closeness to the recent attack against Sufi leaders in Tatarstan is a clear reminder that Salafism is a potent force within parts of the Russian Federation. Therefore, not surprisingly the Russian Federation is extremely alarmed by major Western powers once more working in collusion with the FSA, al-Qaeda and a whole array of Salafi terrorist organizations.

It’s worth noting also that like Libya’s new militant governor of Tripoli, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, terrorist group Kata’ib Mohadzherin’s leader Airat Vakhitov was also imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002 after being captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Both were released and filtered back into fighting regions to organise al Qaeda-type Islamist groups – both active in countries which the US and NATO have been actively vying for regime change, in Libya and Syria respectively. You can draw your own conclusions here about what Guantanamo is in reality.

The same New York Times article (above) also mentions terrorists’ theocratic designs of establishing some caliphate in the region:

One Qaeda operative, a 56-year-old known as Abu Thuha who lives in the Hawija district near Kirkuk in Iraq, spoke to an Iraqi reporter for The New York Times on Tuesday. “We have experience now fighting the Americans, and more experience now with the Syrian revolution,” he said. “Our big hope is to form a Syrian-Iraqi Islamic state for all Muslims…"

It’s important to understand that such claims by any shadowy ‘al Qaeda’ figures must also be balance with the reality that these militants have been historically, and are still today, directed and funded at the highest levels of both US and Saudi intelligence, and others. When you see terror spokesman like Ayman al-Zawahri, the alleged leader of Al Qaeda, praise the Syrian fighters by referring to them as “the lions of the Levant,” in messages released exclusively via a known CIA media dissemination outlets like SITE, or INTEL CENTER, then readers should be suspicious of why it’s been released and what political effect it is designed to have.

Now that some of the scope of NATO Allies operation in Syria has been exposed to the public, perhaps political representatives, media journalist, and editors will be able to report more accurately on the Syrian crisis, and demand a withdrawl of NATO, Arab League and others country’s support for the growing and highly dangerous paramilitary and other al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups who are currently working to take power by destabilising the country of Syria.

It’s all happening out in the open now.

UN probing global terror drone warfare

A United Nations official has initiated a formal probe into assassination drone strikes and targeted killings, examining one of the most controversial instruments of US government’s so-called counter terrorism policy.

In a press briefing in British capital of London on Thursday, UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson announced the launching of an investigation by experts to inspect 25 terror drone attacks in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, The Los Angeles Times reports on Friday.

The UN official further said that the assassination drones are not the only manner of conducting targeted killings, “but the relative ease with which they are used and their devastating effects have spotlighted the legal unease around them,” the report adds.


Emmerson is also cited in the report as emphasizing that the world “urgently needs ways to regulate their use and keep it in line with international law,” which has still not resolved ways to deal with such killings.

“To shine the light of factual truth on some of these very abstract debates,” a team of investigators will look into targeted killings, the UN expert is quoted as saying.

The New America Foundation has published figures, estimating that since 2004 up to 3,279 people have been killed by US assassination drone strikes in Pakistan alone, including as many as 305 civilians and hundreds of others “unknown.”

The United States under the Obama administration has intensified terror drone strikes and its officials have defended the deadly assassination bids as a warranted use of force against what they widely claim as affiliates of the shadowy al-Qaeda terrorist group.

However, the daily points out, the rising use of assassination drones as a form of warfare “has alarmed human rights groups around the world, who argue that the secretive practice of targeted killings runs afoul of international law.”


The US, it notes, has been sued over drone assassination of three American citizens in Yemen, including an alleged al-Qaeda activist and his 16-year-old son.

Additionally, the US has recently escalated its terror drone attacks across Yemen, striking the central part of the country on Wednesday for the fourth time in the previous five days.

“The Obama administration seems to have decided that wherever it conducts a targeted killing, it is by definition engaged in armed conflict, even far from any obvious battlefield,” James Ross of Human Rights Watch is quoted of saying in the report. “What would the US say if Russia or China took the same approach to attack perceived enemies in the streets of New York or Washington?”

According to Emmerson, UN investigators will gather evidence on terror drone strikes until May by visiting a number of targeted countries and would make recommendations to the world body about nation’s duty to probe such attacks.

MFB/MFB

Hagel and Brennan Nominations: The Empire’s Agenda is Covert Warfare, Targeted Assassinations and “Counterterrorism”

Senate confirmation on both is required. Expect little opposition to Brennan. More on him below.

Republicans will challenge Hagel. At issue is political opportunism more than who serves. Questions about Obama’s nominee are exaggerated. More on that below.

Rarely ever are presidential nominations rejected. Expect nothing different this time. Candidates are carefully vetted. Selection depends on full support for US policies.

Hagel is a reliable imperial supporter. His Senatorial voting record offers proof. The Peace Majority Report rated him highly. The lower the score, the higher the rating. He scored 5%. John McCain got 4%, Joe Lieberman 26%, and Bill Clinton 74%.

The American Conservative Union called him solidly Republican. It gave him a lifetime 84% rating.

In 1996, Hagel suspiciously defeated Nebraska’s popular Democrat governor Ben Nelson.

At stake was a US Senate seat. Polls suggested a close race. Hagel won by 15 points. Few Nebraskans knew about Hagel’s ties.

He was part owner, chairman and CEO of Election Systems & Software (ES&S). It’s an electronic voting machine company.

At the time, it was called American Information Systems. AIS’ parent company founder, Michael McCarthy, was Hagel’s campaign treasurer. His easy victory made winning suspect.

He never disclosed his business ties. A Senate Ethics Committee investigation was requested. It was rejected. Nothing followed. Expect little or nothing said now.

Hagel serves as chairman of the Atlantic Council (ACUS). In 1961, former Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Christian Herter established it. It was done to support NATO.

It’s headquartered in Washington. It supports Washington’s global agenda. Past and current members include a rogue’s gallery of reliable American imperial supporters.

Among others, they include Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, James Schlesinger, James Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, James Jones, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Susan Rice, and an array of current and former top military officials.

Frederick Kempe is president and CEO. He’s a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, editor and associate publisher. He’s a regular major media commentator.

Damon Wilson is executive vice president. Formerly he served on George W. Bush’s National Security Council. He’s committed to strengthening NATO. Like all past and current ACUS members, he supports America’s imperial project.

The Washington Post listed other Hagel credentials. Past and current ones include:

  • US senator (Nebraska-R.) from 1997 – 2009;
  • chairman of the US Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee;
  • co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and Defense Policy Board member;
  • Private Sector Council president and CEO;
  • Vanguard Cellular Systems co-founder, director and executive vice president;
  • Communications Corporation International LTD chairman;
  • Hagel & Clarke co-founder, director and president;
  • president McCarthy & Co,;
  • Veterans Administration deputy administrator;
  • Firestone Tire & Rubber government affairs director; and

He’s no dove. He’s solidly right-wing. He supported Bush’s war on terror. He backs it now. He voted for every National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He endorsed NATO’s 1999 Yugoslavia war.

At the time he said: “When you’re in a war, you’re in a war to win.” He called Slobodan Milosevic “a butcher loose in the backyard of NATO.” He viewed Kosovo as a “goal-line stand.”

He said if America doesn’t respond, “we will be tested every day for the next who knows how many years.” He favored sending US forces to Kosovo. He said “never….take any military option off the table.”

He voted for the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts. He endorsed an “urgent need” for missile defense. He called the 1972 US/Soviet Russia Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) “obsolete.”

He said “We can’t hold America’s national security interests hostage to any threats from some other nation.”

After Bush withdrew from ABM in December 2001, he said “What the president did was responsible. I support it. I think it was the right thing to do.”

He accused North Korea of being “on the verge of fielding a ballistic missile capable not only of striking my home state of Nebraska, but anywhere in the United States.”

He supported the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”

The Afghanistan war followed. It rages. It shows no signs of ending. It’s America’s longest war. It was lost years ago.

Hagel supported the 2003 Iraq war. When it was too late to matter, his tone got more dovish.

He favors lawless warrantless surveillance. He opposes habeas and due process rights for Guantanamo detainees.

On January 7, the Washington Post headlined “On Israel, Iran, and spending, Chuck Hagel looks a lot like Robert Gates,” saying:

His opponents claim he’ll dramatically change defense spending and America’s position on Israel and Iran. Reality suggests otherwise.

“The bottom line is that” Hagel and Gates “are remarkably similar and appear to share a number of policy preferences.” They include drawing down in Iraq and arguing against Libyan intervention.

Both men differ somewhat on Iran. Gates is more hardline. Hagel tried having it both ways. On the one hand, he claimed sanctions are counterproductive. At the same time, he said they’re “working.”

In his first post-nomination interview, he said critics “completely distorted” his record.

“I have said many times that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism,” he stressed. “I have also questioned some very cavalier attitudes taken about very complicated issues in the Middle East.”

Nonetheless, he favors “direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks with the Government of Iran.”

He called for direct Hamas/Hezbollah engagement. In 2008, he endorsed direct talks with Syria and North Korea.

There’s “not one shred of evidence” that he’s anti-Israeli, he said. “Israel is in a very, very difficult position. No border that touches Israel is always secure. We need to work to help protect Israel so it doesn’t get isolated.”

He calls “distortions about (his) record….astonishing.” During Senate confirmation hearings, he welcomes “an opportunity to respond” to critics.

At the same time, Politico quoted him saying “I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator. I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel. If I go run for the Senate in Israel, I’ll do that.”

Politico added that:

“In 2006, (he) used the term ‘Jewish Lobby,’ ” saying:

“The political reality is….that the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. I have always argued against some of the dumb things they do because I don’t think it’s in the interest of Israel. I just don’t think it’s smart for Israel.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Abe Foxman responded, saying:

“What I find more troubling is, he had sufficient time to distance himself from the ‘Jewish lobby’ quote, to explain, and he hasn’t.”

“He let it stand. I find that more troubling than the original statement. He sees it out there. He sees it being seen as this truly conspiratorial view, that the Jewish lobby controls foreign policy, and there’s no comment.”

AIPAC withheld comment. The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said:

“While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, (Hagel) will follow the president’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel – on strategic cooperation, missile defense programs, and leading the world against Iran’s nuclear program.”

On January 8, the right-wing Jerusalem Post headlined “Ayalon: Hagel sees Israel as ‘true and natural’ ally,” saying:

Ayalon is Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister. He’s positive on Hagel’s nomination. “I have met him many times,” he said, “and he certainly regards Israel as a true and natural US ally.”

Netanyahu withheld comment. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin expressed concerns. “Because of his statements in the past, and his stance toward Israel, we are worried,” he said.

He added that Washington’s ties to Israel don’t depend on “one person.”

The New York Times commented on Hagel and Brennan. Obama chose “two trusted advisers,” it said.

Expect Senate hearings for Hagel to be “bruising,” it added. Confirming both will likely follow.

John Brennan is Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. He’s Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor.

He heads the administration’s Murder, Inc. agenda. He chairs a panel of National Security Council officials. CIA, FBI, Pentagon, State Department, and others are involved.

America’s war on terror is wide-ranging. It includes direct and proxy wars. Special Forces death squads operate in 120 or more countries. CIA agents are virtually everywhere. They’re licensed to kill.

US citizens are fair game. They’re vulnerable at home and abroad. Obama’s kill list picks targets. Brennan advises on who next to assassinate. Victims are a closely held secret.

Anyone can be targeted anywhere in the world. Ordinary people, distinguished ones, or officials are fair game. Their crime is opposing US imperialism.

Drone wars are prioritized. Human lives don’t matter. Rule of law principles are spurned. Summary judgment overrides them.

Obama usurped diktat authority. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He and Brennan meet regularly. Eliminating America’s enemies matter most.

Washington calls innocent victims “terrorists.” Names go on kill lists. It’s called America’s “disposition matrix.” Brennan’s in charge of global assassinations. Prioritizing them made him top CIA director choice.

Expect drone wars to expand. So will targeted assassinations. Summary executions will be prioritized. Rule of law principles, standards, and protocols won’t matter. Counterterrorism takes no prisoners.

Foreign Terrorists Wage War on Syria

Syrian authorities said so in 2011. Other reports acknowledged it then and now.

Syria is Washington’s war. It was planned years ago. America wants pro-Western puppet leadership replacing Assad.

All independent governments are targeted for regime change. Imperial rogue states operate that way.

Strategy used is longstanding. On January 4, Michel Chossudovsky discussed it. Current US proxy wars employ earlier tactics. Western-recruited death squads are used.

Using them “go(es) back to the Vietnam war.”

“Terror brigades (commit) targeted assassinations (and) countless atrocities.”

Since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011, Washington, key NATO allies, Israel, and other regional allies recruited, armed, trained, and directed death squads.

They’re still doing it. They’re imported from abroad. More on that below.

Washington prioritizes the “Salvador Option.” Rules of engagement proliferated massacres, torture, and gruesome atrocities in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

In Vietnam, Operation Phoenix (OP) did the same things earlier. It became a template for future counterterrorism operations.

From 1968 – 1973, CIA operatives, Special Forces, and Military Assistance Command Vietnam-Special Operations Group (MACV-SOG) conducted covert missions.

Their mandate was to crush National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) resistance. Strategy was to terrorize people into submission.

Operations were no holds barred. Indiscriminate mass murder and atrocities were committed. US military personnel and South Vietnamese government officials considered security risks were targeted.

High-value elements mattered most. Countless others were affected. Around 80,000 died before operations ended.

Later reports said OP failed. John Pilger called America’s Southeast Asian war “the grand illusion of the American cause.” What couldn’t succeed finally ended.

Many remember Washington’s humiliating April 30, 1975 Saigon embassy rooftop exit. Perhaps Middle East/North African/Central Asian ones await.

America considers state-sponsored terrorism success stories.

Johnson and Nixon prioritized them. So did Reagan, Bush I and II, Clinton and Obama. Rogue states operate no holds barred. Inviolable international and domestic laws are spurned.

Unchallenged global dominance alone matters. Unlimited body count totals and mass destruction further it. Wars of aggression are called liberating ones. Humanitarian intervention duplicity justifies them.

Patriotism means going along with criminal lawlessness. Truth is turned on its head. Media scoundrels suppress it. Rogue politicians betray their constituents.

It’s institutionalized. Empires never say they’re sorry. Policy is made through the barrel of a gun. It’s not pretty. It proliferates state terror globally. Most people haven’t a clue.

They’re hooked on bread and circuses. They’re mindless about what affects them most. Their dismissiveness compromises their own security. Their futures are jeopardized. Their children may not have one worth living. People are on their own to fight back.

Prioritized wealth, power, privilege and dominance undermine what’s too important to lose. Permanent imperial wars alone divert trillions of vitally needed dollars. They’re not available for essential domestic needs.

Popular ones go begging. Bailing out bankers and rewarding other corporate favorites matter more. So do imperial conquests. Permanent war is policy.

Direct and proxy ones are waged. Brutal assassins are used. They’re recruited abroad. A UN report said 29 countries supply them. The worst of cutthroat killers are hired guns. They’re enlisted to advance America’s imperium.

They’re waging war on Assad. It’s mischaracterized as civil. There’s nothing civil about Washington’s war on Syria. The same dirty game repeats. Independent states are targeted for regime change. All options are used.

They include full-scale war, mass killing, and gruesome atrocities. Nations are transformed into charnel houses. It’s done on the pretext of liberating them.

American-style freedom is slavery. Mainstream discourse doesn’t explain. It repeats long ago discredited notions. Responsibility to protect (R2P) duplicity justifies what demands condemnation.

Media scoundrels suppress imperial lawlessness. Western-inflicted violence and bloodshed go unnoticed. Victims are blamed for aggressor crimes. The same dirty game repeats.

Post-9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq were ravaged and destroyed. So was Libya last year. Now it’s Syria’s turn. Perhaps Iran comes next.

Most Syrians deplore violence. They oppose internal and external elements committing it. They support protective security forces. They represent a vital last line of defense.

Conflict continues without end. On January 1, Press TV headlined “Al-Qaeda, Israel’s Trojan horse in Middle East: Iranian MP,” saying:

Iranian Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member Mohammad-Hassan Asafari said:

“The Zionist regime has become the largest training base for active terrorists in the Middle East region and the footprint of this sinister regime can be easily traced in recent terrorist operations.”

Al Qaeda and like-minded terrorists wage war on Syria. They’re closely allied with Washington. They’re recruited throughout the region and beyond.

Israel provides training and intelligence support. A separate Press TV report headlined “US, Israel major players in Syria crisis: Iran cmdr,” saying:

“Chairman of Iran’s Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi says the United States and Israel are major players in the Syrian crisis.”

“The number of terrorists in Syria, compared with the people and the popular army of this country, is not high and they are weak.”

“However, they have been provided with advanced weapons and shoot people from hiding places, and this is not a coherent and systematic move.”

The London Independent discussed the issue. It’s report was largely one-sided. It headlined “Foreign fighters fuel the sectarian flames in Syria.”

It called the conflict “sectarian.” Doing so implies civil war. It covered up a foreign invasion. It cited a duplicitous Human Rights Council International Commission of Inquiry for Syria report.

It claimed Syrian forces “resorted to aerial bombardments, including shelling of hospitals.” It called such attacks “disproportionate.” It blamed Assad for Western aggression.

The Media turn truth on its head. Managed news substitutes for the real thing. Readers and viewers aren’t told what they most need to know.

Offensive Patriot missiles arrived in Turkey. They’re positioned near Syria’s border. NATO maintains control.

On January 4, an AFRICOM statement said America began transporting 400 troops to Turkey. Additional equipment will arrive by sea.

US forces will be based at Gaziantep. It’s 50km north of Syria’s border. Missile batteries will be fully operational later in January. They’re for offense, not defense.

Plans may involve establishing a backdoor no-fly zone. Doing so would circumvent Security Council authority.

Washington-led NATO heads closer to full-scale intervention. The new year promises more bloodshed.

On January 6, Press TV headlined “Russian warships gathering off Syria waters to deter West: Report.”

The Sunday Times was cited. It said Russia sent sent five landing ships. On board are military vehicles, hundreds of marines, and combat vessels.

“Russia should be prepared for any developments as it believes the situation in Syria might reach its peak before Easter,” it said. An unnamed diplomatic source was quoted.

He added that Russia intends to deter “the West from deploying ground forces.” Moscow says its ships are to “improve the management, maintenance, and testing of the interaction of naval forces.”

Another Russian warship carrying marines heads for Tartus. Moscow maintains its only Mediterranean base in the Syrian port city.

On December 29, two other warships, the Azov and Nikolai Filchenkov, were deployed. They’ll arrive in Syrian waters shortly.

“In mid-December, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that a fleet of Russian warships had been sent from the Baltic port of Baltiysk to the Mediterranean Sea near the Syrian waters.”

“Syria, Russia and Iran say” deploying offensive Patriot missiles near Syria’s border “could spark an eventual military action by NATO.”

On January 2, Iran’s Fars News Agency (FNA) headlined “Foreign Military Intervention in Syria: Red Line for Russia,” saying:

Mehdi Sanayee is a senior Iranian legislator. He’s a National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member. He’s also a Russian expert.

He told FNA:

“Causing developments through military intervention and remaining empty-handed in the developments in Syria are Moscow’s red lines.”

Deploying Russian forces represents a “new step” in the Syrian conflict.

“Russia tries to prove on the international scene that it is committed to its strategy, which is opposition to and confrontation against foreign military intervention and unilateral moves in Syria to show that it has not surrendered on them,” he said.

He referred to Vladimir Putin’s earlier comments. They suggested Moscow’s new position. It remains to be seen what follows.

Patrick Seale is a longtime Middle East analyst. On January 1, he offered grim new year tidings. “The coming year” won’t be “happy” for “the tormented Middle East,” he said.

“(T)he balance sheet of the past two years remains profoundly negative.” Nowhere throughout the region have “convincing sign(s) of peace and reconciliation” emerged.

Some countries suffered more than others. He called the “Palestine cause….all but lost. The two-state solution is virtually extinct.” He stopped short of saying it’s been that way for years.

He stressed the importance of preserving a “unitary Syrian state.” Doing so is essential to “containing Israel.” Resolving the conflict militarily can’t succeed.

The only solution is mutually agreed on ceasefire, halting weapons and funding sent insurgents, “isolat(ing) murderous extremists,” and resolving the conflict politically.

At issue isn’t whether Assad stays or goes. Syria is vitally important. It’s essential to protect its “unique historical heritage, its state institutions, its ancient minorities, and its vital role in the defense of Arab independence.”

On January 6, Assad delivered a major address. It’s his first in months. He called for “comprehensive national dialogue in the near future” with opposition elements and other political parties.

“Syria wants peace and reconciliation,” he stressed. At the same time, “(a)rmed groups must halt terrorist acts.” Outside forces direct them.

They’re “terrorists” and “criminals.” They want Syria’s government ousted. He vowed to defeat them. He called for “full national mobilization.”

“We meet today and suffering is overwhelming Syrian land. There is no place for joy while security and stability are absent on the streets of our country. The nation is for all and we all must protect it.”

“These are the enemies of the people, the enemies of God,” he said. “Eventually they resorted to terrorism to terrorize the people.”

“They call it a revolution, but it has nothing to do with revolution. A revolution needs thinkers. These are a bunch of criminals.”

“The first stage of a political solution would require that regional powers stop funding and arming (opposition forces), an end to terrorist operations, and controlling the borders.”

“We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West,” he stressed.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported what he said in detail.

He prefers responsible conflict resolution. He urged it all along. Mutually agreed on ceasefire is essential. Washington and key NATO partners spurn it.

For months, Assad made good faith efforts. A year ago, Syria’s constitution was rewritten. It was put to a popular referendum.

Despite opposition boycotts, threats, anti-Assad media campaigns, and turnout hampered in violence-torn areas, 89.4% of eligible voters approved it. Another 9% opposed, and 1.2% of ballots were invalid.

It includes 157 articles. Key reforms were instituted. They include political pluralism established for the first time. Presidential term limits and press freedom were mandated.

Last May, first time ever legislative elections were held. Doing so was a milestone political event. Independent candidates participated.

Despite ongoing insurgent violence, turnout was high. Voting went smoothly. Independent monitors supervised the process. They included intellectuals, legislators and judicial authorities from other countries.

Ba’ath party members won a 60% majority. Previously they held just over 50% control. With support from independent MPs, they comprise 90% of Syria’s parliament. Opposition party members were also elected.

Assad said nothing about stepping down. He, Russia, China, Iran, and other sources say Syrians alone should choose their government.

Outside interference is rejected. International law is clear and unequivocal. The UN Charter explains under what conditions intervention, violence and coercion (by one state against another) are justified.

Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zone acts of war.

In addition, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council in accordance with UN Charter provisions.

Three General Assembly resolutions also prohibit non-consensual belligerent intervention. They include:

• the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;

• the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and

• the 1974 Definition of Aggression.

Under no circumstances may one or more nations intervene against another without lawful Security Council authorization. Doing so constitutes illegal aggression.

Article 8 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention of Rights and Duties says “No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.”

Under Article 10, differences between states “should be settled by recognized pacific methods.”

Article 11 calls sovereign state territory “inviolable….”

Washington and key NATO partners spurn international law repeatedly. In 1999, without Security Council authorization, nonbelligerent Yugoslavia was lawlessly attacked and ravaged. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya followed.

Now Syria. America prioritizes attacking one nation at a time or in multiples. Unless stopped, doing so may end up destroying humanity in the process.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

 

http://www.dailycensored.com/foreign-terrorists-wage-war-on-syria/

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More than half (54 per cent) of terror plots in Germany have involved asylum seekers and refugees since 2014 and the onset...

Wings for hire? Ex-Blackwater CEO Erik Prince reportedly offering private air force for Afghan...

Former Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who earlier urged Donald Trump to appoint a US “viceroy” to...

How War Became a Lucrative, Global Industry

I cannot recommend the new documentary Shadow World highly enough. It packs an enormous punch in 90 mins, providing a devastating account of the...

Attempt to prosecute Tony Blair over Iraq War blocked by High Court

Published time: 31 Jul, 2017 09:43 Edited time: 31 Jul, 2017 13:58 Britain’s High Court...

Blocking Tony Blair’s prosecution for Iraq War ‘an attack on democracy’

The High Court’s refusal to prosecute Tony Blair over the war he launched in Iraq...

Fanciful Terrors: Bomb Plots and Australian Airport Security

In the classroom of international security, Australia remains an infant wanting attention before the older hands.  During the Paris Peace talks, Prime Minister William...

The Mask Is Off: Trump Is Seeking War with Iran

Something extraordinary has happened in Washington. President Donald Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms and with no effort to disguise his...

War on weed: Veterans’ access to medical marijuana blocked by Republicans

Veterans hoping to use medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder have had their hopes extinguished...

Learning to Love Perpetual War

The transformation of the Democratic Party into the perpetual war party – accelerated by the Russia-gate hysteria – is personified...

How Media Spread CIA’s Sectarian, Anti-Iran ‘Mideast Cold War’ Narrative

A new Vox video (7/17/17) is the latest addition to a media onslaught that propagates numerous misleading talking points to demonize Iran—just as the...

No Gitmo for ‘Blackflag’: Suspected terrorist to stand trial in Pennsylvania

Published time: 22 Jul, 2017 01:03 Edited time: 22 Jul, 2017 11:56 An Algerian national accused...

Trump’s Slide into Endless-War Syndrome

Much like President Obama, President Trump was elected as the relative “peace candidate” but – once in office – has...