Did America Enable ISIS in Iraq & Syria?

Did the Obama administration enable ISIS, also known as Daesh, to unleash its reign of terror in Iraq and Syria? Have the policies of successive prior US administrations contributed to rising wave of global terrorism today? Is the American filmmaker Oliver Stone right when he says "we are not under threat. We are the threat"? Let's examine answers to these questions in light of available facts and evidence.

US Support for ISIS:

A recently declassified DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) document of August 2012 said that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI (Al- Qaeda in Iraq) are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” being supported by “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey.”

The document DIA declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), analyzed the situation in Syria in the summer of 2012 and predicted: “If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

In an interview with Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera, former head of DIA and President-elect Donald Trump's National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn confirmed that it was a "willful decision" of the Obama White House to transfer arms to the Salafists and Al Qaeda in 2012 to defeat the Assad regime in Syria. Here's what General Flynn told Mehdi Hasan:

"I don’t know if they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision (US arms transfers to Salafis and Al Qaeda fighting in Syria in 2012). I think it was a willful decision....Well, a willful decision to do what they're doing, which, which you have to really – you have to really ask the President (Obama), what is it that he actually is doing with the, with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing? I’m sitting here today, Mehdi, and I don’t, I can’t tell you exactly what that is, and I've been at this for a long time. ...I think it was a strategic mistake. I think history will not be kind. It was a strategic mistake"

Here's a video clip of General Michael Flynn's Aljazeera interview with Mehdi Hasan:

https://youtu.be/i0_BEPfYk4A





US Role in Iraq:

In an interview with Vice News, President Barack H. Obama acknowledged that the rise of ISIS was directly linked to the 2002 American invasion and occupation of Iraq during President George W. Bush's administration.

 “Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said in an interview with VICE News. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”

More recently, the CIA agent John Nixon who interrogated Saddam Husain has revealed that the former Iraqi dictator had predicted the rise of ISIS... a prediction that has turned out to be accurate. Here's what he told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now in a interview:

"When people ask me, you know, "Was it worth taking him out of power?" I say, "You know, look around you. Show me something that is positive that happened." Iraq, right now, is a country that has 2 million displaced people. Parts of its territory are held by ISIS. You have a dysfunctional government that is probably more corrupt than Saddam’s government was. And if ask the average Iraqi—Sunni, Shia or Kurd—you know, "Were things better back then? Were services better? Did the government do more for you?" I think they would say yes. I can’t find one thing. And if you said, "Well, maybe, what about the Kurds? They’re almost independent now," that was happening already. I can’t find one thing positive that came out of his removal from power". 



US Role in Afghan Soviet War:

In an earlier testimony to the US Congress, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said very candidly that "the terrorists we are fighting today we funded 20 years ago".  Here's what she said:

"We also have a history of kinda moving in and out of Pakistan.....Let’s remember here… the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago… we said let’s go recruit these mujahideen. .....And great, let them come from Saudi Arabia and other countries, importing their Wahabi brand of Islam so that we can go beat the Soviet Union.  And guess what, they (Soviets) retreated....it led to the fall of the Soviet Union.... It wasn't a bad investment....But let's be careful what we sow because we will harvest....we then left Pakistan. Now you deal with the stingers...you deal with the mines....we don't have anything to do with you...in fact we are sanctioning you...  ”

Here's a video clip of Ex US Sec of State Hillary Clinton's testimony:

https://youtu.be/XY-BWScpdZw



Summary:

All the evidence suggests that the US policies have significantly contributed to the growth of global terror. I hope the West, particularly the United States as its leaders, will introspect about the West's actions in the Middle East in the past and the dangerous consequences of such actions the world faces today.  I hope the leaders of the West will ponder the unintended consequences before starting more overt or covert wars in the region.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

Did the West Sow the Seeds of ISIS?

General Petraeus Debunks Allegations of Duplicity Against Pakistan

Unintended Consequences of Charlie Wilson's War

Jihadis Growing After Afghan and Iraq Wars

US Invasion of Iraq

Global Power Shift After Industrial Revolution

Seeing Bin Laden's Death in Wider Perspective

Straight Talk by Gates on Pakistan

What If Musharraf Had Said No to US After 911? 

Who Are the Haqqanis?

Creation of the State of Israel

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Comment by Riaz Haq on February 14, 2017 at 9:21pm

US Strategies in the Middle East
Feb. 8, 2017 
Washington must choose sides.

By George Friedman Stratfor 


https://geopoliticalfutures.com/us-strategies-in-the-middle-east/


From the beginning of American history, the U.S. has used the divisions in the world to achieve its ends. The American Revolution prevailed by using the ongoing tension between Britain and France to convince the French to intervene. In World War II, facing Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union, the United States won the war by supplying the Soviets with the wherewithal to bleed the German army dry, opening the door to American invasion and, with Britain, the occupation of Europe.
Unless you have decisive and overwhelming power, your only options are to decline combat, vastly increase your military force at staggering cost and time, or use divergent interests to recruit a coalition that shares your strategic goal. Morally, the third option is always a painful strategy. The United States asking monarchists for help in isolating the British at Yorktown was in a way a deal with the devil. The United States allying with a murderous and oppressive Soviet Union to defeat another murderous and oppressive regime was also a deal with the devil. George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt both gladly made these deals, each knowing a truth about strategy: What comes after the war comes after the war. For now, the goal is to reach the end of the war victorious.

In the case of the Middle East, I would argue that the United States lacks the forces or even a conceivable strategy to crush either the Sunni rising or Iran. Iran is a country of about 80 million defended to the west by rugged mountains and to the east by harsh deserts. This is the point where someone inevitably will say that the U.S. should use air power. This is the point where I will say that whenever Americans want to win a war without paying the price, they fantasize about air power because it is low-cost and irresistible. Air power is an adjunct to war on the ground. It has never proven to be an effective alternative.
The idea that the United States will simultaneously wage wars in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and emerge victorious is fantasy. What is not fantasy is the fact that the Islamic world, both strategically and tactically, is profoundly divided. The United States must decide who is the enemy. “Everybody” is an emotionally satisfying answer to some, but it will lead to defeat. The United States cannot fight everyone from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush. It can indefinitely carry out raids and other operations, but it can’t win.
To craft an effective strategy, the United States must go back to the strategic foundations of the republic: a willingness to ally with one enemy to defeat another. The goal should be to ally with the weaker enemy, or the enemy with other interests, so that one war does not immediately lead to another. At this moment, the Sunnis are weaker than the Iranians. But there are far more Sunnis, they cover a vast swath of ground and they are far more energized than Iran. Currently, Iran is more powerful, but I would argue the Sunnis are more dangerous. Therefore, I am suggesting an alignment with the Iranians, not because they are any more likable (and neither were Stalin or Louis XVI), but because they are the convenient option.
The Iranians hate and fear the Sunnis. Any opportunity to crush the Sunnis will appeal. The Iranians are also as cynical as George Washington was. But in point of fact, an alliance with the Sunnis against the Shiites could also work. The Sunnis despise the Iranians, and given the hope of crushing them, the Sunnis could be induced to abandon terrorism. There are arguments to be made on either side, as there is in Afghanistan.

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 19, 2017 at 9:59am


'CIA created ISIS', says Julian Assange as Wikileaks releases 500k US cables

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange today said the CIA was responsible for paving the way for ISIS as the whistle blowing organisation released more than half a million formerly confidential US diplomatic cables dating back to 1979.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/737430/CIA-ISIS-Wikileaks-Carte...

On the sixth anniversary of the first infamous "Cablegate" by WikiLeaks, when it releases its first batch of sensitive US files, on November 28 2010, it has expanded its Public Library of US Diplomacy (PLUSD) with 531,525 new diplomatic cables from 1979.

In a statement to coincide with the release of the cables, known as "Carter Cables III", Mr Assange explained how events which unfolded in 1979, had begun a series of events that led to the rise of ISIS.

He said: "If any year could be said to be the "year zero" of our modern era, 1979 is it."

Mr Assange said a decision by the CIA, together with Saudi Arabia, to plough billions of dollars into arming the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to tackle the Soviet Union, had led to the creation of terror group al-Qaeda.

This, in turn, he said led to the 9/11 terror strikes, the invasion of Afghanhistan and Iraq by the US, and the creation of ISIS.

Speaking about how 1979 shaped current global events, Mr Assange said: "In the Middle East, the Iranian revolution, the Saudi Islamic uprising and the Egypt-Israel Camp David Accords led not only to the present regional power dynamic but decisively changed the relationship between oil, militant Islam and the world.

"The uprising at Mecca permanently shifted Saudi Arabia towards Wahhabism, leading to the transnational spread of Islamic fundamentalism and the US-Saudi destabilisation of Afghanistan."

He said at this point Osama bin Laden left his native Saudi Arabia for Pakistan to support the Afghan Mujahideen.

He added: "The invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR would see Saudi Arabia and the CIA push billions of dollars to Mujahideen fighters as part of Operation Cyclone, fomenting the rise of al-Qaeda and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

"The 1979 current of Islamification spread to Pakistan where the US embassy was burned to the ground and Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed.

"The Iranian hostage crisis would go on to fatally undermine Jimmy Carter's presidency and see the election of Ronald Reagan.

"The rise of al-Qaeda eventually bore the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, enabling the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and over a decade of war, leaving, at its end, the ideological, financial and geographic basis for ISIS."

The election of Margaret Thatcher as British Prime Minister and the Three Mile Island nuclear incident are some of the incidents during the year cited by Assange.

Other events of the year included in the cables are papers on the Irish Republican Army (IRA), who in 1979 killed Lord Mountbatten, cousin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, and the Iranian hostage crisis, which saw 66 Americans taken hostage after 3,000 Iranian students raided the US embassy in Tehran.

Mr Assange added: "In 1979 it seemed as if the blood would never stop. 

"Dozens of countries saw assassinations, coups, revolts, bombings, political kidnappings and wars of liberation."

The Carter Cables III bring WikiLeaks' total published US diplomatic cable collection to 3.3 million documents.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 6, 2017 at 1:50pm

Hatred of Arabs deeply rooted in Persians, says Iranian intellectual

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/10/09/170927.html

The relationship between Arabs and Persians has always been a source of controversy, not only owing to the contemporary power struggle in the region, but also because of a long history of rivalry that formed an integral part of the national psyche of both people. Iranian intellectual Sadek Zibakalam provides deep insight into the different levels of this enduring animosity. 

“I think the majority of Iranians of all types hate Arabs, and I believe they hate us, too,” Sadek Zibakalam, who is also a professor at the University of Tehran, said in an interview with the Iranian weekly Sobh Azade.

Zibakalam said there is a link between racism and a lack of education, and pointed out that this is the case in Europe, where people who express hatred against Jews or Muslims or foreigners are mostly uneducated. However, the situation tends to be different in Iran.

“The phenomenon of hating Arabs is very common among intellectuals in Iran,” he said.

He added that religious people also frequently express their resentment of Arabs, which usually comes in the form of curses directed at Sunnis.

“As a matter of fact, Iranians’ constant attacks on Sunnis stem from their hatred of Arabs.”

This hatred, Zibakalam argued, is not the product of the current hegemony conflict in the region, as many people might suspect, but has its roots in history.

“Persians will never forget their defeat at the hands of Arabs in the Battle of Qadisiya 1,400 years ago. It is as if a fire keeps seething under the ashes and is waiting for the right moment to explode,” he said. 

Iran’s attempts to gain supremacy in the region are not triggered by political ambition as much as by a racist drive that pushes Iranians to prove they are superior, the professor said.

“Whenever Iran issues any fiery statement about our neighbors in the U.A.E, Qatar, or Kuwait, you can easily detect that they revolve around a belief that Persians are superior. Listen to our foreign minister, parliament speaker, or even mosque imams, and you will notice that derogatory tone they use and which focuses on the racial and not the political superiority of Persians.”

He cited the example of the U.A.E., which many Iranians, politicians and clergy derides in their statements.

“They would say that if Iranians just blow some air across the Persian Gulf, they would wipe the U.A.E off the map,” he said.

When asked whether the stance of the people is similar to that of the government as far as hatred of Arabs is concerned, Zibakalam replied in the affirmative.

“Yes, people are like the government, and may be even more racist and intolerant.”

For example, he said, when a couple of years ago the U.A.E said it was not going to drop its opposition to Iran’s occupation of three disputed Islands in the Gulf and referring to the “Persian Gulf,” large numbers of people rallied in front of the U.A.E embassy in Tehran with a cake that had 35 candles: they were making fun of the U.A.E’s 35-year history, compared to Iran’s 2,500.”

He added that Iranians also criticize their compatriots who travel to Arab countries. For example, they always ask why they would go and spend their money in Arab countries, while they never do the same with Turkey, where huge numbers of Iranians go.

“This even applies to religious trips to the Arab world, while if Mecca or Karbala were in Turkey or Malaysia, Iranians would not have a problem with people going there,” Zibakalam said.

He added that Persian racism against Arabs becomes very clear in language, and that the establishment of the Persian Language Institute was intended to carry out a plan to remove Arabic words from the Persian language. 

“Arabic words that have been in the Persian language for more than 1,00 years would be removed even though they are mentioned in great literary works like The Shahnameh and the poetry of Rumi, all of which are parts of our history.” 

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 6, 2017 at 1:50pm

Hatred of Arabs deeply rooted in Persians, says Iranian intellectual

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/10/09/170927.html

He added that Persian racism against Arabs becomes very clear in language, and that the establishment of the Persian Language Institute was intended to carry out a plan to remove Arabic words from the Persian language. 

“Arabic words that have been in the Persian language for more than 1,00 years would be removed even though they are mentioned in great literary works like The Shahnameh and the poetry of Rumi, all of which are parts of our history.” 

Zibakalam also admitted that this “racism” for which Iranians are known is not practiced against Arabs only, but also against other non-Persian ethnicities inside Iran.

“If for example we take jokes as an indication of the way we view people, you will find how the Turkmens and the Lur are the most ridiculed in our jokes.”

That same goes for other groups, such as Kurds and the Baluchi, he added.

Zibakalam was born in 1948 to a Shiite family in Tehran and obtained his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Bradford in the U.K. He is currently a member of the Scientific Association at Tehran University.

Zibakalam was a critic of the Shah and a supporter of former Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq. He was sent to jail for two years during the Shah’s reign.

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Zebakalam held several government positions and played a major role in the Iranian Cultural Revolution, in which academics who did not toe the line of the new republic were dismissed. He, however, expressed his regret for taking part in the revolution and issued a direct apology. 

One of the things known about Zebakalam is that he has never belonged to any party, and that he criticizes both conservatives and reformists. He is also said to be close to former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 6, 2017 at 1:51pm

Maysam Behravesh: How do you think the nuclear deal will affect Iran’s regional policy? Will it become more assertive and aggressive or moderate and restrained?

Sadegh Zibakalam: I am not sure about this to be frank, because ordinary people do not have a strong say in foreign policy making, particularly in places like Syria and Yemen. It is possible that once Iran feels powerful, it may adopt a more assertive position towards Saudi Arabia, but it is also possible that common sense prevails and the authorities extend an olive branch to the Saudis despite the fact our relations with the United States are entering a thaw. Tehran may invite Riyadh to engage in cooperation with the purpose of resolving the crisis in Yemen or in Iraq. In other words, though Iranians may now be feeling stronger than before, common sense may incline them to extend a hand of friendship to Saudi Arabia. They can make friendly gestures like declaring that Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, or president Hassan Rouhani or foreign minister Javad Zarif would like to pay a visit to King Salman.

Why do the Arab states in the region, not least Saudi Arabia, oppose Iran’s efforts to improve bilateral relations? After all the Rouhani administration has been going to great lengths to mend fences with Riyadh.

Like many others, the Saudis were waiting for the outcome of the nuclear negotiations. That is, they wanted to see if Iran arrives at an agreement with the United States or not. So in a sense, the Saudi disdain for Rouhani’s olive branch has partly been due to their uncertainty about the results of the nuclear talks. But now that the accord has been clinched, the Saudis may welcome those gestures and efforts to improve bilateral relations.

Another significant point is that relations depend on whether Iran will strike a triumphalist tone and approach Saudis from the position of superiority, or exhibit an amicable gesture and approach them from the position of friendship. Part of the Saudi refusal to embrace Rouhani’s olive branch goes back to their probable perception that Iran has perhaps been approaching them in a triumphalist manner, as a victor, implying that we brought you to your knees in Syria and kept Bashar al-Assad in power, or we managed to bring 90% of Yemen under the control of our proxies. Therefore, if Iran extends an olive branch from a position of superiority and supremacy, it is natural that it will be turned down. I think these friendly efforts can come to fruition only when we make it clear that we want to work in concert with them to resolve the situation in Yemen, that it is not about victory or triumph of one side over the other, that no side has been defeated, and that we just want to restore stability and security to Yemen with your assistance.
Sadegh Zibakalam: Anti-Americanism at a 'dead end' in Iran

https://www.theguardian.com/world/iran-blog/2015/jul/15/iran-sadegh...

Maysam Behravesh: How do you think the state will use the financial resources released after the removal of sanctions?

Sadegh Zibakalam: I think part of these funds will be invested in the domestic economy and infrastructural projects. Part of it will cover our expenses in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. And finally, given that we have a state economy, part of it will be squandered here and there. In fact, it has always been the case that when we reap some huge fortune and revenues, it prompts corruption in its wake. We saw this even under the Shah before the 1979 revolution, particularly during the seventies when the price of oil quadrupled, as it did during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when oil prices exceeded $100 a barrel. So, I believe part of it will be wasted in spite of all the regulations, supervisions and inspections in place. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 6, 2017 at 1:59pm

Overcoming the Arab-Persian divide: On bigotry and racism
Persian and Arab bourgeois nationalism has paved the way for racism and disregard of a rich and diverse common past.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/04/overcoming-arab-pe...


byHamid Dabashi
@HamidDabashi


The history of both Persian and Arab bourgeois nationalism is solidly predicated on a sustained genealogy of racist bigotry, partaking in its European prototype. Today the legitimate criticism of the Islamic republic easily degenerates into a nasty Islamophobia among a wide spectrum of Iranian bourgeois liberalism that fancies itself "secular". There is a very brittle and porous line between that Islamophobia and a rabid anti-Arab racism, astonishingly shared by a significant portion of the selfsame constituency for whom a delusional notion of "Cyrus the Great" is the ahistorical panacea of an entire history of imperial nostalgia.

This racism is not limited to the history of Islamic republic and extends well into the Pahlavi period and before it to the Qajar dynasty, when leading Iranian intellectuals ranging from Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani coming down to Sadeq Hedayat, harboured the most pernicious anti-Arab racism. They categorically attributed what they thought was Iranian backwardness to Islam, Islam to Arabs, Arabs to fanaticism and stupidity and thus began ludicrously to celebrate a lopsided reading of the pre-Islamic Iranian history that was informed mostly by the figment of their perturbed imagination.

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

"An Arab-Iranian poet and human rights activist, Hashem Shaabani," according to a report published on Al Jazeera, "has been executed for being an 'enemy of God' and threatening national security". The report further added that, "The Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal [had] found Shaabani and 13 other people guilty of 'waging war on God' and spreading 'corruption on earth'."

These are standard, now almost cliche, charges based on Shia jurisprudence that the judiciary branch of the Islamic Republic has regularly brought against people they consider a threat to their state security. In this particular case, Hashem Shaabani and his fellow defendants were charged with "separatist terrorism". In a follow-up report, Huffington Post identified Shaabani as "a member of the Arabic-speaking Ahvazis ethnic minority".

Labour migration and cosmopolitanism

Much confusion and disinformation cloud the circumstances in which such atrocious violations of civil liberties are perpetrated in Iran and much of its violent neighbourhood. I was born and raised in the city of Ahvaz. The term "Arabic-speaking Ahvazi ethnic minority" is a misnomer.

Ahvaz is a major cosmopolitan city in southern Iran, the capital of the oil-rich Khuzestan province, which has attracted labour migrants from all over the country. The nature of urbanisation and labour migration in Ahvaz and other major Iranian cities has created a mosaic of ethnicised communities brought together by the force and necessity of labour and not by the delusional fantasies of bourgeois nationalism of one sort or another.

My own father came to Ahvaz from Bushehr as a labourer for the Iranian national railroad and my mother's family from Dezful. Neither of them were Arabs. From Azerbaijan and Khorasan in the north to Isfahan and Yazd in the centre and down to the coastal regions of the Gulf, labour migrants regularly come to Ahvaz in search of work. As the capital of Khuzestan, Ahvaz belongs to all of them, and as such the term "Arabic-speaking Ahvazis ethnic minority" is categorically flawed.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 13, 2017 at 9:31pm

the conflicts between Arabs and Persians can be traced back to the pre-Islamic past of West Asia when Arab tribes, proud of the richness and eloquence of their language Arabic, used to look down upon all the non-Arabs in general, and Persians in particular, as Ajam or deaf. Spreading Islam and building their vast empire in the later years with more worldly pursuits they started regarding themselves as a natural ruling race. They came to enjoy a certain sense of religious and racial superiority. Even the latest statement of Saudi grand mufti called Iranians “children of Magi” in a clear reference to the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian religion of Iran.

On their Part Iranians have been very proud of their rich and ancient civilisation. The classic epic of Persian literature ‘Shahnameh’ written by poet Firdousi one thousand years ago poignantly depicts this pride. The epic denounces the Arab conquest of Persia in 651 AD as an effort by Arab Bedouins to occupy the sacred throne of Kian (named after Kowyani, a heroic character from ancient Persian mythology).

Although Persians converted to Islam but they could never develop fondness for Arab domination and in keeping with founding tradition of the Persian empire they aspired for revival of their imperial glory and regarded Arab expansion as an encroachment on their sphere of influence. With the passage of time Iran gradually turned into a centre of Shi’a Islam competing with Arabs in its different incarnations. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State in his famous book ‘ World Order’ writing about Iranian resilience says, “Persia retained its confidence in its cultural superiority. It bowed to its conquerors as a temporary concession but retained its independence through its world view, charting “great inner spaces” in poetry and mysticism and revering its connection with heroic ancient rulers recounted in Book of Kings. Meanwhile , Persia distilled its experience managing all manners of territories and political challenges into sophisticated canon of diplomacy placing a premium on endurance, shrewd analysis of geopolitical realities, and the psychological manipulation of adversaries.”

http://nation.com.pk/columns/10-Sep-2016/of-arab-and-ajam

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 21, 2017 at 10:19am

Meet 'The Brothers' (Dulles Brothers) Who Shaped U.S. Policy, Inside And Out

Stephen Kinzer on NPR Radio

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/16/234752747/meet-the-brothers-who-shape...

On the Dulles' ability to overthrow regimes in Iran and Guatemala but not in Cuba or Vietnam

They were able to succeed [at regime change] in Iran and Guatemala because those were democratic societies, they were open societies. They had free press; there were all kinds of independent organizations; there were professional groups; there were labor unions; there were student groups; there were religious organizations. When you have an open society, it's very easy for covert operatives to penetrate that society and corrupt it.

Actually, one of the people who happened to be in Guatemala at the time of the coup there was the young Argentine physician Che Guevara. Later on, Che Guevara made his way to Mexico and met Fidel Castro. Castro asked him, "What happened in Guatemala?" He was fascinated; they spent long hours talking about it, and Che Guevara reported to him ... "The CIA was able to succeed because this was an open society." It was at that moment that they decided, "If we take over in Cuba, we can't allow democracy. We have to have a dictatorship. No free press, no independent organizations, because otherwise the CIA will come in and overthrow us." In fact, Castro made a speech after taking power with [Guatemalan President Jacobo] Árbenz sitting right next to him and said, "Cuba will not be like Guatemala."

Now, [Vietnamese Communist leader] Ho Chi Minh was not establishing an open society ... the fact is, he had a dictatorship, he had a closed, tyrannical society, and that made it much more difficult for the CIA to operate. So we find this irony that if [Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad] Mossadegh and Árbenz had been the tyrants that the Dulles brothers portrayed them as being, the Dulles brothers wouldn't have been able to overthrow them. But the fact that they were democrats committed to open society made their countries vulnerable to intervention in ways that Vietnam and particular North Vietnam then were not.

On how things might have been different had the Dulles brothers not intervened

It's quite possible, even likely, had the Dulles brothers not been [in Vietnam] or had acted differently, there never would've been an American involvement in Vietnam at the cost of a million lives and more than 50,000 Americans. Guatemala wouldn't have suffered 200,000 dead over a period of 35 years in the civil war that broke out after they intervened in Guatemala and destroyed democracy there. Iran fell under royal dictatorship and then more than 30 years of fundamentalist religious rule as a result of the Dulles brothers' operations. Had they not intervened in Iran we might've had a thriving democracy in the heart of the Muslim Middle East. ...

So you look around the world and you see these horrific situations that still continue to shake the world, and you can trace so many of them back to the Dulles brothers.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 23, 2017 at 6:59am
Nawaz Sharif has a tough balancing act in the Iran-Saudi conflict.
 
Saudi Arabia hosts millions of Pakistani workers who send billions of dollars home that help Pak economy. Sharif did not decline an invite to the Riyadh conference. We know Saudis and Emiratis were very angry when Pakistan turned down participation in Yemen conflict.
 
Iran is a neighbor with whom Pakistan wants to maintain friendly relations. A prominent role for Nawaz Sharif at this summit would not be welcome by either Iran or others who oppose Saudis and support Iran.
 
I think it's going to continue to be a challenge for Pakistan to stay out of the Saudi-Iran regional conflict without upsetting either side.

 

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 8, 2019 at 4:41pm

#IlhanOmar slams #Obama's message of 'hope and change' as a 'mirage'. With ‘caging of kids’ at U.S.-#Mexico border, ‘droning of countries around the world’ Obama "operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor” https://fxn.ws/2tYH0Y2 #FoxNews

Omar is then quoted as saying: “We can’t be only upset with Trump… His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was.

“And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”

The comments came after the passage Thursday of a broad anti-bigotry resolution prompted by Omar's prior comments about Israel. The resolution and the drama surrounding its passage exposed chasms in the Democratic caucus regarding Israel and marked a coup of sorts for a tight-knit band of House freshmen who – in a matter of hours – were able to shift the spotlight away from Omar’s allegedly anti-Semitic remarks and refocus on issues like Islamophobia and pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

“The week was supposed to start off with a rebuke of Omar's anti-Semitic comments and it ended up turning into a long list of other hateful actions,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told Fox News on Friday, saying the final product “fell short of addressing the real problem.”

But the broadside delivered at Obama is highly unusual for any Democrat, especially one who has been in the House for two months and has already ticked off party elders with her outspokenness.

DEM FROSH TURN TABLES ON ANTI-SEMITISM REBUKE, SHIFT SPOTLIGHT TO ISLAMOPHOBIA AND AIPAC POWER

The House resolution, following a week of Democratic infighting over the language, was approved on a 407-23 vote. The measure originally was drafted in response to Omar, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota, suggesting last week that Israel supporters want U.S. lawmakers to pledge “allegiance” to the Jewish state – which was widely condemned as echoing the age-old “dual loyalties” smear against Jewish politicians.

Yet after Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced a rebellion in the ranks amid concerns the resolution would unfairly single out Omar, a Muslim, and increase security threats against her (she was recently the subject of an inflammatory poster at the West Virginia capitol falsely tying her to the 9/11 attacks), the resolution was overhauled.

The result was a broad rebuke of bigotry, including anti-Semitism as well as “anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities” perpetrated by white supremacists and others. The resolution condemned “dual loyalty” accusations, but did not mention Omar by name.

The fight exposed deep divisions in the party. But on the 2020 campaign trail, heavyweights came to Omar's side. Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was raised Jewish, defended Omar, arguing that “we must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.

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