[SEE: The Unholy Alliance of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the CIA and Their Bastard Offspring–ISIS ;There Is No “Al-Qaeda In Iraq,” Only An Official Cover Story for US Army Covert Actions ; NATO’S ISIS–Creating Justification for WWIII ]
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Sunni militants taking over Iraq have quickly gained power because the United States has armed their group in Syria.
“I think we have to understand first how we got here,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have been arming [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS in Syria.”
ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, has been collaborating with the Syrian rebels whom the Obama administration has been arming in their efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Paul explained.
The administration has reportedly assisted the moderate opposition in Syria, but details about the dissemination of those resources are unclear.
“That is the real contradiction to this whole policy,” Paul said. “If we were to get rid of Assad,” it would become a “jihadist wonderland in Syria.”
Asked what he would do as president on Iraq, Paul deflected and did not give a straight answer. Instead, he pointed to the Reagan doctrine, and said Congress must ultimately determine the U.S. plan after engaging in a “full-throated debate.”
“The president doesn’t have unilateral authority to begin war,” said Paul, who couldn’t say whether he would support U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.
He said he’s not ruling U.S. assistance out, but said first Shiites must show they will fight for their country.
Paul downplayed the idea that ISIS is an immediate threat to the U.S., but said it could be “at some point.”
“I don’t think ISIS in in the middle of the battle right now thinking ‘hmm, I think we’re going to send inter-continental ballistic missiles to America,’” Paul said.
President Obama said in an interview airing Sunday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria poses a “medium and long-term threat” to the U.S., adding that it’s just one of a number of organizations to monitor.
“There are a lot of groups out there that probably have more advanced immediate plans directed against the United States that we have to be on constant guard for,” he told Norah O’Donnell in an interview broadcast on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Obama also said that the notion that a moderate rebel force backed by the U.S. could have stopped Assad and ISIS is a “fantasy.”
–Kyle Balluck contributed to this report.
[Obama and friends have created something that it is so monstrous in intent and ruthlessness that it is incomprehensible to most “normal” human beings. The CIA has weaponized the refugees who flood the highways surrounding the live war zones, or die in great numbers, while bobbing about on the Mediterranean. In modern Imperial warfare, they are just a free-flowing asset, that can be turned on and off whenever and wherever the Empire needs them.
This can best be described as a reverse “human wave assault” tactic (the Chinese tactic which literally cost us the Korean War). Waves of armed men have been replaced by mobile masses of the poorest and most desperate human beings on the face of the planet, who can be covertly directed to overrun “enemy lines,” which impede the Empire’s progress. This strategy of using human beings as an ocean of refuse causes far more damage than could have been wrought in a controlled attack. More important, is that it is acceptable to use brutal violence against attackers, while refugees have to be fed, clothed and cared for, in a transparent humanitarian operation.
Now we see the two major strategies of the CIA and State Dept. merging in Libya and the other puppet states of North Africa. This is enabling a greater international strategy to legally bind the EU to American will, utilizing the terror war (which generates both refugees and new terrorists, in large numbers) to provide the human fodder needed by State Dept. in its campaign to use refugees and the UN. The State Dept. is Washington’s “spear,” which is being wielded to create a legal mechanism for forcing European compliance with American directives, pertaining to refugees and the international migration of the unwanted.
If the new Libyan Interior minister has threatened to unleash his substantial refugee weapon against Europe, it is because that is what his international bosses want him to do next. It is NO COINCIDENCE that a tsunami of African refugees has been set in motion upon all of the main arteries of North Africa, just as they are needed for the invasion of Europe, where Obama will use them as a living battering ram to knock-down the wall separating Africa and Europe. Africa’s poor and destitute have long been suffering and waiting in the wings, much like the people of Palestine, who have served as everyone’s pawns, moving the international drama forward.
Interior minister says Tripoli will allow migrants to “flood” Europe if it does not help Libya combat illegal entries
Mazek said he had just returned from France where he had asked his counterpart for help over the issue [AFP]
Libya’s interim interior minister has warned that Tripoli could “facilitate” the passage of those people seeking to get to Europe illegally unless the European Union (EU) helps it combat the problem.
“With regards to illegal immigration, I am warning the world, and the European Union in particular, that if they do not shoulder the responsibility with us, the state of Libya will take a position on this matter that could facilitate the quick passage of this flood of people through Libya since God has made us a transit point for this flood,” Salah Mazek told a news conference on Saturday.
Mazek said Libya was “suffering” because thousands of mainly sub-Saharan Africans were spreading disease, crime and drugs in the North African nation, the AFP news agency reported.
“Libya has paid the price. Now it’s Europe’s turn to pay,” Mazek added.
For years, Libya has been a springboard for hundreds of thousands of Africans seeking a better life in Europe.
Many cram into makeshift boats to attempt the perilous Mediterranean crossing to Malta or the Italian island of Lampedusa off Sicily. Hundreds lose their lives each year.
More than 22,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the start of the year, 10 times more than the number during the same period in 2013.
Former leader Muammar Gaddafi, deposed and killed in the 2011 uprising, turned on and off the flow of illegal migrants as a way of exerting pressure on Brussels.
Shortly before the uprising erupted in February that year, he demanded nearly $7bn a year from the EU to solve the problem.
Mazek said he had just returned from a trip to France where he had asked his counterpart for help to tackle the problem, but without specifying the nature of any such assistance.
April 25, 2014 6:33 AM
Yatsenyuk warned Friday that Russia’s actions could lead to a wider military conflict in Europe. He told an interim Cabinet meeting that Moscow “wants to start World War III.”
U.S. President Barack Obama also criticized what he called Russia’s “further meddling” in eastern Ukraine, where armed, pro-Russian separatists have occupied government buildings.
Speaking in Seoul, Obama said he would talk to “key European leaders” later Friday about implementing wider sanctions in the event Russia further escalates the situation.
He said Russian President Vladimir Putin must decide whether he wants to see his country’s already fragile economy weakened further because he failed to act diplomatically in Ukraine.
His comments echoed that of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said Thursday that Moscow is making “an expensive mistake” by failing to restrain the separatists.
Underscoring the threat to Moscow’s economy, credit agency Standard and Poor’s cut Russia’s credit rating to BBB- . The agency said it is concerned about increased capital outflows from Russia, and said the rating could be cut further if sanctions are tightened.
Both Obama and Kerry have accused Russia of failing to uphold the four-party deal it signed last week calling for all parties in Ukraine to lay down their weapons and vacate public buildings. Kerry said Moscow has not taken “a single step” to de-escalate tensions since the deal was signed in Geneva.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday blamed the West for raising tensions, saying the Pro-Russian militants would only lay down their weapons if the Ukrainian government first clears out its own protesters in the capital.
Lavrov also denounced Kyiv’s security operation to clear the pro-Russian militants, calling it a “bloody crime.” Ukrainian officials on Thursday said the crackdown killed up to five people.
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is vowing the operation will continue. On his Facebook page, Avakov said “terrorists should be on guard 24 hours a day,” but that civilians have nothing to fear.
The flurry of diplomatic exchanges come amid rising tensions along the Ukraine-Russian border, where a huge Russian military force is gathered. A Ukrainian diplomat at the United Nations told VOA that Moscow has doubled its military presence on the border to about 80,000 troops.
Image Credit: REUTERS/Mian Khursheed
Recent months have brought Islamabad a flurry of visits from leaders of Sunni gulf nations, prompting many observers to question just what Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif might be getting the already embattled country into.
Pakistan’s 190 million inhabitants include around 26 million Shiites, giving it the largest population of the minority Muslim sect’s adherents after Iran. While Pakistan has officially tried to remain on the sidelines of the regular Shiite-Sunni flare-ups in the Middle East over the last few decades, backroom deals with Sunni monarchies like those being signed recently have not gone unnoticed domestically.
Pakistan is already witnessing unprecedented levels of sectarian violence, with more than 1,700 killed since 2008. The armed groups responsible for the bloodshed were born out of the global sectarian tensions that followed the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which produced the first modern Shiite theocracy.
Now, as the three-year-old civil war in Syria is encouraging Muslim nations to form Shiite and Sunni blocs, there is concern that if Pakistan were to join the fray globally, things could go from bad to worse domestically.
Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, smiles down on traffic in Pakistan’s capitol Islamabad from hundreds of banners lining the streets, a reminder of the ruler’s visit last month, the first by a Bahraini ruler in 40 years.
The words “Pakistan welcomes you!” are emblazoned across the top, although that is more an aspiration than reality.
The details of Khalifa’s visit were kept deliberately vague, with the Pakistani Foreign Office describing discussions between the “brotherly countries” centering around “bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest.” What little information that did emerge was worrying to some Pakistanis, like the pledge to increase the “export of Pakistani manpower to Bahrain.” That’s something that has ended badly in the past.
In 2011, when largely Shiite protesters began demanding that Bahrain move towards a constitutional monarchy, thousands of ex-soldiers and police officers were recruited from Pakistan with the promise of Bahraini citizenship. The Pakistani security personnel shouted orders at Bahrainis in English and Urdu, becoming the face of a brutal crackdown by the state that engulfed Shiite villages in perpetual clouds of tear gas.
But Bahrain’s domestic troubles pale in comparison to the explosive war in Syria, which has drawn thousands of Sunni jihadists, including Al-Qaeda’s leadership, into a conflict Islamist extremists see as an apocalyptic confrontation with Shiite Islam, in this case the forces of Bashar al-Assad and neighboring Iran.
With prospects for a negotiated settlement fading, the rebels are in need of weapons and expertise to get them out of a stalemate. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar have set up camps to coordinate the training of Syrian rebels, but are in need of instructors and equipment.
That likely prompted a rare February visit to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who doubles as the defense minister. Over three days in Islamabad, al-Saud met the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the President Mamnoon Hussain, and the country’s top military leadership.
His prize: a 180-degree shift in Pakistan’s policy towards the war in Syria, which had previously been one of neutrality. A joint statement called for “the formation of a transnational governing body with full executive powers enabling it to take charge of the affairs of the country.” In other words, Pakistan now stands with Saudi Arabia in demanding the departure of Bashar al-Assad.
A few weeks later, $1.5 billion was transferred to Pakistan’s state bank by an unnamed “brotherly country,” giving the rupee is largest boost in years. When word leaked the funds had come from Saudi Arabia, many in Pakistan began to connect the dots with other rumors about Pakistan’s shift in policy.
A long-delayed pipeline meant to carry natural gas from Iran to energy-starved Pakistan has effectively been killed by Nawaz Sharif’s government. Pakistan has not built any of the 781 km pipeline on its side that it’s contractually obligated to complete by December 2014, and stands to incur a daily fine of $3 million next year.
Meanwhile, there are rumors Pakistan is planning to provide Saudi Arabia with expert trainers and equipment for the Syrian rebels.
Officials have been coy on the details, but responding to inquiries in February, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson admitted it was looking to sell the Gulf kingdom the JF-17 Thunder, a fighter jet developed jointly with China, and other unspecified equipment.
That equipment is thought to include the Anza, a heat-seeking, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile designed with China and manufactured locally. It’s the equivalent of the American Stinger missile, which was used to equip jihadist fighters during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan three decades ago. The U.S., which is also supplying the Syrian rebels with light arms and communication equipment, is reportedly reluctant to hand over its own shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles for fear of where they might end up.
Thousands of Pakistani troops, who now have more than a decade of experience fighting insurgents in the country’s war against the Taliban, may also make their way to Saudi Arabia to train the rebels.
All of that prompted criticism by Pakistani lawmakers, who grilled the foreign minister last month about what their military could play in the Syrian war. “We are afraid this amount has a link with the Syrian situation,” Syed Khursheed Shah, who leads the opposition in the National Assembly, told reporters. The prime minister himself weighed in, categorically denying that any troops would be sent to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain.
But the rumors have persisted, including one story that Pakistan might deploy nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia if Iran goes nuclear itself. While Pakistan has vehemently denied that story – which does indeed seem far-fetched – the fact is, Pakistan owes Saudi Arabia a favor.
Pakistan’s decades-long nuclear weapons program finally yielded a weapon in 1998, prompting severe sanctions by the United States, which were only lifted when the country’s cooperation was needed following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Beginning in 1998, Saudi Arabia began supplying Pakistan with 50,000 barrels a day of free crude oil, worth nearly $2 billion.
In fact, Pakistan’s military-to-military cooperation with Saudi Arabia goes back five decades. Between the 1960s and 1980s, tens of thousands of Pakistani troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia, working under Saudi command. Pakistani fighter pilots trained their first Saudi counterparts, and in 1969 flew jets that successfully repulsed incursions by Yemeni forces. Pakistani engineers built Saudi fortifications along its border with Yemen, meant to keep out Shiite Houthi fighters to the south.
During the first Gulf War, Pakistan toned down the presence of 15,000 troops in Saudi Arabia, ordering them away from the frontlines, fearing a backlash from Saddam Hussein, and sectarian groups at home.
It was during those decades that the sectarian groups now plaguing Pakistan first emerged.
In 1980, military ruler Zia ul Haq instituted the Zakaat Ordinance, which forced Shiites and Sunnis alike to turn over 2.5 percent of their income, as was required under Islamic law, to the state to be spent on charity. Pakistan was engulfed in protests by Shiites, who objected to the state’s interference in their religious practices. Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s leader, convinced Zia ul Haq to exempt Shiites from the law.
That movement spawned the Tehrik-e-Jafria, a Shiite group sworn to protect the minority’s rights. Sunnis saw the group as a front for the Iranian regime, and by 1985, hardliners had formed their own group, called Sipah-e-Sahaba. In 1990, one of that group’s founders, Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, was killed, and in return, Sunni militants killed the Iranian Consul General.
In 1997, a bomb killed the head of the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba group; in return, Sunni militants killed an Iranian diplomat in the city of Multan. Later that year, the Iranian cultural center in Lahore was also bombed, and five Iranian soldiers training in Pakistan were killed.
Today, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a splinter group of the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba, has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of Shiites in the city of Quetta, killed in bombings and brazen attacks on buses carrying pilgrims to Iran, Iraq and Syria. Dozens of Shiite and Sunni clerics have been gunned down in Pakistan this year alone, in tit-for-tat assassinations each blames on “foreign interference.”
“There is no doubt the differences are being instigated,” said Muhammad Amin Shaheedi, the head of Pakistan’s largest Shia political party. “It’s terrorism being fanned by others, outsiders who are taking advantage of the situation.”
Ahmed Ludhianvi, head of a Sunni group that formed after Sipah-e-Sahaba was banned in 2002, has exactly the same view. “Some foreign powers are trying to bring Pakistan to the brink of civil war,” he says. “This bloodshed began after 1979.”
To be sure, Pakistan’s sectarian militants are now operating on auto-pilot, and the idea that Iran and the Sunni Gulf monarchies are to blame seems farfetched. But if Pakistan’s pivot away from Iran continues and it finds itself mired in a sectarian war in Syria, those domestic militants could become proxy warriors in a conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands in the Middle East.
Umar Farooq is based in Pakistan, where he works as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. He has also written for The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Globe and Mail, and The Nation.
US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides … The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot. The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: How fortunate that the US can place sanctions anywhere in the world. What foresight.
Free-Market Analysis: Gradually and continually (we humbly observe) our theses are confirmed by others. The Anglo-American axis indeed controls the world – China, too.
We find this startling admission in a recent article posted at the UK Telegraph (SEE: US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides).
And, yes, we’ve reported on it in our own way, proposing that the top elites in any society have more in common with each other than the vast majority of citizens they keep (a distant) company with.
Thus it is not surprising that the US has a great deal of clout around the world. The article also makes the point that the power the US has accumulated makes its exercise dangerous, at least when it comes to Russia.
The Bear is a big and powerful country on its own, and any misjudgment on the part of US officials may cause a kind of destabilization that could lead to direct military conflict between Russia and the US.
Nonetheless, leaving aside the obvious danger, the article’s point about the power that the West – and the US – has accumulated is significant.
“It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies’ financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness,” says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11.
“The new geo-economic game may be more efficient and subtle than past geopolitical competitions, but it is no less ruthless and destructive,” he writes in his book Treasury’s War: the Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.
Bear this in mind as Washington tightens the noose on Vladimir Putin’s Russia, slowly shutting off market access for Russian banks, companies and state bodies with $714bn of dollar debt (Sberbank data).
… The stealth weapon is a “scarlet letter”, devised under Section 311 of the US Patriot Act. Once a bank is tainted in this way – accused of money-laundering or underwriting terrorist activities, a suitably loose offence – it becomes radioactive, caught in the “boa constrictor’s lethal embrace”, as Mr Zarate puts it.
This can be a death sentence even if the lender has no operations in the US. European banks do not dare to defy US regulators. They sever all dealings with the victim. So do the Chinese, as became clear in 2005 when the US hit Banco Delta Asia (BDA) in Macao for serving as a conduit for North Korean commercial piracy.
China pulled the plug. BDA collapsed within two weeks. China also tipped off Washington when Mr Putin proposed a joint Sino-Russian attack on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008, aiming to precipitate a dollar crash.
Mr Zarate told me that the US can “go it alone” with sanctions if necessary. It therefore hardly matters whether or not the EU drags its feet over Ukraine, opting for the lowest common denominator to keep Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary and Luxembourg on board. Washington has the power to dictate the pace for them.
This last point is especially noteworthy: Not only is the US effective at placing sanctions on countries around the world, it can also push most countries into complying with these sanctions. If US officials are unhappy, they can threaten credibly to destabilize a country causing such unhappiness.
Of course, it is not just the “US.” Those who stand behind the enormous power of America are globalist bankers located in various independent city-states around the world.
Those wielding sanctions are a power elite that has created a complex tapestry of rules, regulations and relationships that are subordinate to Western interests.
The British Empire dominated in the world in the 1800s, and this domination included China, India and Brazil. The British also had a sizeable influence in Russia during the post-war Russian Revolution, along with Wall Street, as G. Edward Griffin has
[The following is a concise, well-written, semi-lucid explanation of the current “iffy” state of affairs in South Asia, but the writer is completely delusional, as are ALL analysts associated with any of the major Pak news outfits. He does not hesitate to detail the dire situation in Afghanistan, but neither does he miss a beat in broadcasting the Army’s message of reassurances: “It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again.” Like all Pak writers, this one assumes that the US is seeking to stabilize the region, despite ALL the evidence to the contrary, proving that the CIA and Pentagon are engaged in a perpetual effort to DESTABILIZE the world, so that they might have a free hand to murder and maim, at will. Washington could care less (except for all of the political game-players within the Democratic-Republican war party) what happens to the people of either country, once they get clear from the mess that they have created there. Afghanistan is doomed to the same fate as Iraq, to suffer another civil war…Pakistan is just doomed.]
There are many speculations and assumptions running through the region about the US retreat and its repercussions on Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries.
It seems obvious, without a shadow of a doubt, that Afghanistan will be dragged again into a state of chaos, turbulence and anarchy. History has so far been unkind to that troubled country and every now and then it is dragged back to square one.
One wonders whether or not the US will be quitting Afghanistan for good. If so, then what’s next in the kitty of US strategies? Many scholars, intellectuals and think tanks anticipate a purely Afghan civil war. On top of that, the time spent there by the US with all its underlying motives will have been in vain. What that simply means is that it was a waste of time, energy, lives and resources on the part of the US.
Half of the game plan is already on the move — I refer of course, to the election’s outcome, which is just around the corner. So far Karzai has acted wilfully to his whiplashing master and will continue to do so. Nonetheless, recent resentment against US demands could prove to be expensive for Kabul. More likely still, the next government will be another dummy setup (Dari speaking), installed on the dictation of the US. Even if Karzai, otherwise, uses his own political influence in the presidential elections, the fate of the Afghan people will remain the same.
It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again. A 60 percent turnout in the elections already assures the downfall of the Taliban. Still, the Taliban could get hold of the Pakhtun belt. Restricting the Taliban would be more conducive for US strategists, while preventing any backing or fuelling towards Taliban simultaneously.
The US departure could also have drastic implications for Pakistan. Unfortunately, Islamabad as usual seems to be in a whirlpool of ifs and buts, and no firm stance is appearing at the surface. Savvy foreign policymakers, political scientists and the military establishment must come up with visionary goals to cope with such an alarming situation.
India’s elections could also play an important role and one has to wait and see how Indian influence in Afghanistan is going to shape up. India is the fifth biggest donor in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan. This can bring a double advantage to India — economic stability and alliance against Pakistan. For national security measures, Islamabad must remain vigilant to secure its north-west border to sustain peace and avoid cross-border terrorism.
China’s foreign policy in case of a civil war in Afghanistan is still unclear. Meanwhile, Beijing is busy promoting economic cooperation and continues to build infrastructure and roads. Even a continuation of bilateral trade depends on the volatility there; unrest in Afghanistan can put an end to China’s successful economic ascension.
Iran, as a neighbouring state, is highly concerned about the post-withdrawal scenario in Afghanistan. It has vowed nearly $1 billion in aid at international aid conferences held to help Afghanistan. Its aid in the first decade after the Taliban’s ouster was estimated at about 12 percent of the total assistance for reconstruction and development.
Tehran and Kabul have multiple disputes over water, Afghan refugees and drug trafficking. Tehran equally blames Kabul and Washington for not shutting down the production of opium. One should remember that Iran is a major corridor for narcotics smuggling to Middle Eastern and other European countries. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran claims to have lost more than 3,700 members of security forces fighting drug traffickers, many of whom were heavily armed. Tehran estimates that it spends around $1 billion annually on its war on drugs.
Washington has to play an anchor role before walking out; it must leave behind peace, tranquillity and stability in Afghanistan. This chiefly depends on whether the economic aid would be sufficient for Afghanistan to run its military affairs and secure the state from insurgency and internal turmoil.
As for the neighbouring states, Afghanistan would require them to pursue their foreign policies with utmost care. India, China, Pakistan and Iran will need to bury their animosities and grudges and stand together to avoid another conflict in the region. Peace is the only way forward for a prosperous and stable South Asia.
The writer is a research officer at the Institute of Regional Studies, and part of the visiting faculty at Quaid-e-Azam University.