BOSTON BOMBINGS; Peter King, ‘Saudi Man Is Still A Suspect’, Pressure Cooker Bombs Suggest Al Qaeda, ‘A DRILL IS GOOD ON THE JOB TRAINING’!!
“I hope also that members of Congress, both parties, including my own, will realize that the war against terror is not over. And it’s foolhardy to be making cuts in Homeland Security…” – Peter King
All I can say is… follow the money.
Peter King sounds quite insane, but he is the mouthpiece for the military industrialists who want more “money” for more “security”, and more “money” to keep fighting their never ending wars in places like… Afghanistan!
If an Al Qaeda Afghan Taliban link is found does this mean the War On Afghanistan goes on… forever????
2013.4.16 Rep. Peter King Tells Steve Malzberg Saudi Man At Race Still A Suspect (NewsmaxTV, youtube.com):
On the Steve Malzberg Show today, Congressman Peter King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, says that despite contradicting reports, the fleeing Saudi man that was injured at the Boston Marathon is
nota suspect. ["Not" is a typo - Joel]
2013.4.16 Congressman Peter King; ‘We Need More Cameras’ (MSNBC, youtube.com):
Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC: Congressman briefly, do you think that this will lead to more cameras? I know it’s controversial, there are privacy issues. Boston does have a lot of cameras. European cities, led by London, have the most. Are Americans going to have to get used to more surveillance on a daily basis?
Rep. Peter King (R-NY): I think we do because I think privacy involves being in a private location. Being out in the street is not an expectation of privacy. Anyone can look at you, can see you, can watch what you’re doing. A camera just makes it more sophisticated, but it’s no different from your neighbor looking out the window at you or a police officer looking at you walking down the street.
So I do think we need more cameras. We have to stay ahead of the terrorists and I do know in New York, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is based on cameras, the outstanding work that results from that. So yes, I do favor more cameras. They’re a great law enforcement method and device. And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.
I hope also that members of Congress, both parties, including my own, will realize that the war against terror is not over. And it’s foolhardy to be making cuts in Homeland Security, especially to cities, whose police departments need this to train and to be ready to take on terrorism.
(Andrea Mitchell Reports, April 16, 2013)
WAR ON SYRIA; CIA Assisted Arming Of Syrian Rebels, Over 3000 Tons Of Weapons Airlifted From Croatia To Turkey Via Jordan, Qatar & Saudi Cargo Planes
More evidence to support what we’ve been saying for over a year now, that NATO is really supporting terrorism.
2013.3.25 CIA Helps Smuggling Arms To Syria (PressTV, youtube.com):
Data provided by the International think thank adjust the CIA has been helping Arab states and Turkey boost military aids to insurgents in Syria according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and estimated 350,000 tones [typo, should read 3,500 tones - Joel] of military equipments has been air-lifted to militants in recent months.
Earlier related story…
2013.3.9 US, Europe Sending Syria Militants Arms From Croatia (presstv.ir):
The US and Europe have supplied militants fighting inside Syria against President Bashar al-Assad with arms from Croatia, a new report says.
Since last November, the US and its European allies have sent 3,000 tons of weapons in 75 planeloads from Zagreb to Syria militants via Jordan and Turkey, Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List said Thursday.
The report said weapons, which date back to the the time of former Yugoslavia, have been paid for by Saudi Arabia at the request of the US.
These shipments, which include rocket launchers, recoil-less guns and the M79 anti-tank weapon, have enabled militants to advance in north Syria over the past few weeks after months of stalemate.
The Croatian paper added that the weapons used by Syria militants also came from “several other European countries including Britain”
According to the report, British, American and French military advisers have also been operating in countries bordering Syria in an effort to provide training to militants to fight against the Syrian government.
The Guardian also said on March 8, 2013 that the United States has been leading a training program with the assistance of British and French instructors since last year.
The Syrian crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed.
Damascus says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
The Pentagon’s Cyber Command will create 13 offensive teams by the fall of 2015 to help defend the nation against major computer attacks from abroad, Gen. Keith Alexander testified to Congress on Tuesday, a rare acknowledgment of the military’s ability to use cyberweapons.
The new teams are part of a broader government effort to shield the nation from destructive attacks over the Internet that could harm Wall Street or knock out electric power, for instance.
But Alexander warned that budget cuts will undermine the effort to build up these forces even as foreign threats to the nation’s critical computer systems intensify. And he urged Congress to pass legislation to enable the private sector to share computer threat data with the government without fear of being sued.
As he moves into his eighth year as director of the National Security Agency and his third year as head of the fledgling Cyber Command, Alexander told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the strategic-threat picture is worsening. “We’ve seen the attacks on Wall Street over the last six months grow significantly,” he said, noting there were more than 160 disruptive attacks on banks in that period.
Describing an attack on Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, he said: “Last summer, in August, we saw a destructive attack on Saudi Aramco, where the data on over 30,000 systems were destroyed. And if you look at industry, especially the anti-virus community and others, they believe it’s going to grow more in 2013. And there’s a lot that we need to do to prepare for this.”
The U.S. intelligence community has indicated that the assaults on the banks and Saudi Aramco were the work of Iran in retaliation for U.S. financial sanctions imposed to deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
Alexander’s remarks came as U.S. intelligence officials elsewhere on Capitol Hill testified about the growing cyberthreat. At a national security threat hearing, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. called on China to stop its “cyber-stealing” of corporate secrets from U.S. networks.
Alexander said the 13 teams would defend against destructive attacks. “I would like to be clear that this team . . . is an offensive team,” he said.
Twenty-seven other teams would support commands such as the Pacific Command and the Central Command as they plan offensive cyber capabilities. Separate teams would focus on protecting the Defense Department’s computer networks. He said the first third of the forces, which officials have said will total several thousand civilians and uniformed personnel, will be in place by September and the second third a year later.
Some teams are already in place, Alexander said, to focus on “the most serious threats,” which he did not identify.
But he said uncertainty about the budget is affecting the ability to fill out the teams. About 25 percent of the Cyber Command’s budget is being held up by congressional wrangling over the fiscal 2013 budget, he said. And across-the-board cuts that took effect March 1 are forcing civilian furloughs. “By singling out the civilian workforce, we’ve done a great disservice,” said Alexander, noting that one-third of the command workforce is made up of Air Force civilians.
He said some cybersecurity recruits have taken a salary cut to work for the government, only to be faced with a furlough. “That’s the wrong message to send people we want to stay in the military acting in these career fields.”
The attacks hitting the banks are “distributed denial of service attacks” — or barrages of network traffic against Web site servers — that are best handled by the Internet service providers, he said. The issue is “when does a nuisance become a real problem” that forces the government to act, he said. The administration is debating that now, he said.
To detect major attacks on industry, the department needs to see them coming in real time, Alexander said. The Internet service providers are best positioned to provide that visibility, but they lack the authority to share attack data with the government, he said. In particular, he said, the companies need legal protection against lawsuits for sharing the data.
WAR ON SYRIA; ‘US Supporting Terrorism Under Disguise Of War On Terrorism’, ‘Media Lies Are Absolutely Mind Boggling’
“I think what we’re witnessing is the criminal nature of US foreign policy… it’s a very cynical and criminal process… the process of actually destroying Syria as a sovereign nation state, that is the objective of the Western military alliance.” – Michel Chossudovsky
Chossudovsky also says, “it was my understanding that when John Kerry were to take over the position of Secretary of State that he would seek a diplomatic path”… well I’m not sure where Michel got this idea from, perhaps from the same media which is blatantly lying about the foreign invasion of Syria. Obama knew exactly what he was getting when he chose John Kerry, a 100% guaranteed war monger, as I briefly outlined here.
2013.3.11 US Backs Terrorism Under Mask Of War On Terror; Michel Chossudovsky (PressTV, youtube.com):
A political analyst tells Press TV that US is supporting terrorism in Syria under the disguise of ‘war on terrorism’. The US and Europe have supplied militants fighting inside Syria against President Bashar al-Assad with arms from Croatia, a new report by Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List says. The report said weapons, which date back to the time of former Yugoslavia, have been paid for by Saudi Arabia at the request of the US. The Syrian crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Michel Chossudovsky, with the Center for Research on Globalization (Montreal), to further discuss the issue of war on Syria.
In the wake of former Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus’ resignation over committing adultery with biographer Paula Broadwell, Barack Obama has decide to appoint his counterterrorism adviser and assassination czar John Brennan as his replacement on Monday.
According to the London Telegraph, Brennan was the “mastermind of Barack Obama’s secret drone war.”
Unlike John Kerry, who was appointed to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brennan actually spoke at his appointment announcement.
“I will make it my mission to ensure the CIA has the tools it needs to keep our country safe,” the fifty-seven year old said.
White House colleagues have described him as “a priest whose blessing has become indispensable” to the president in their selection of targets for drone strikes from a so-called “kill list”.
A career spy who served as CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, Mr Brennan was also accused of being complicit in the agency’s torture of terror suspects under former president George W. Bush.
Controversy over his involvement in the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” is believed to have prevented Mr Obama from nominating Mr Brennan to lead the CIA after his 2008 election win.
He promised to ensure the work of the CIA “always reflects the liberties, the freedoms, and the values that we all hold dear”.
Apparently that doesn’t apply to the values of the sixth amendment for Mr. Brennan. In May of 2012, Brennan was appointed to be an advisor to Barack Obama to determine who and who would not be assassinated by the administration under the cloak of calling it “counterterrorism.” Thus he became the first appointed assassination czar in the United States. Now he heads the CIA.
Dr. Randy Short describes the neo colonial invasion of Syria with precision…
Also don’t forget… these 95 percent foreign invaders known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are paid with ‘crisp US $100 bills’ by groups like the Syrian Support Group (SSG), which was given a TERRORISM LICENSE by US Treasury Department, which then funds the FSA to create instability and destroy infrastructure all across Syria with things like kidnappings and suicide bombings.
Oh what a twisted web we weave…
2013.1.5 ‘Al Qaeda Advancing NATO Agenda In Mideast’ (PressTV Interviews Dr. Randy Short) (youtube.com):
An analyst says al-Qaeda is furthering US-NATO colonial agenda the geostrategic importance of the Middle East region.
In the background of this video footage shows insurgents in Syria praising al-Qaeda as well as the 9/11 attacks in America. Al-Qaeda, created by the CIA, is fully support by the US with funding and weapons as is Saudi Arabia and Qatar to topple the government of Syria and to steal control of its natural resources.
Press TV has interviewed Dr. Randy Short, Dignity Human rights and Peace Organization, Washington about this issue.
WAR ON SYRIA; 2002 Article Has ‘HIT LIST’ Of Middle East Countries, Iraq War Was Just The Start, ‘SKITTLES THEORY’
The “skittles theory” of the Middle East - that one ball aimed at Iraq can knock down several regimes…
“We fear a state of disorder and chaos may prevail in the region.” – Hosni Mubarak
While searching for something else, I ran across this article from 2002 that I had filed away. After a quick look I realized how interesting this article is considering it was written before the Iraq War and contains a “Hit List” of Middle East countries. This is very reminiscent of General Wesley Clark’s ”7 countries in 5 years” hit list (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran) that generated so much attention in certain circles.
While the Guardian article below frames this as an “Israeli Plan” I’d have to strongly argue that the evidence clearly shows the powers behind planning and attacking these Middle East countries comes from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and is implemented via their mad dog known as NATO.
Here’s the most interesting quote:
The six-year-old plan for Israel’s “strategic environment” remains more or less intact, though two extra skittles – Saudi Arabia and Iran – have joined Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on the hit list.
Interesting, however I must confess, I do not understand the “Skittles” reference, it’s mentioned twice… perhaps some popular culture I missed out on… to me “Skeet” would be more logical. Here is my current evaluation of the countries discussed, how “The Plan” is going…
‘HIT LIST’ COUNTRIES:
Iraq (Destroyed, no Hashemite Monarchy or Kingdom yet)
Iran (Economic warfare, international sanctions, targeted)
Lebanon (Weakened by past Israeli invasions, now receiving spillover from Syria’s foreign insurgency)
Saudi Arabia (Not really on the hit list, not as yet, see below)
Syria (Economic warfare, under attack by foreign insurgency)
PROXY COUNTRIES (NATO PUPPETS):
Jordan (Supplying Syria’s foreign insurgency)
Saudi Arabia (Supplying Syria’s foreign insurgency)
Turkey (Supplying Syria’s foreign insurgency)
Here’s the article (emphasis mine):
Playing Skittles With Saddam
The gameplan among Washington’s hawks has long been to reshape the Middle East along US-Israeli lines, writes Brian Whitaker
In a televised speech last week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt predicted devastating consequences for the Middle East if Iraq is attacked.
“We fear a state of disorder and chaos may prevail in the region,” he said. Mr Mubarak is an old-fashioned kind of Arab leader and, in the brave new post-September-11 world, he doesn’t quite get the point.
What on earth did he expect the Pentagon’s hawks to do when they heard his words of warning? Throw up their hands in dismay? – “Gee, thanks, Hosni. We never thought of that. Better call the whole thing off right away.”
They are probably still splitting their sides with laughter in the Pentagon. But Mr Mubarak and the hawks do agree on one thing: war with Iraq could spell disaster for several regimes in the Middle East. Mr Mubarak believes that would be bad. The hawks, though, believe it would be good.
For the hawks, disorder and chaos sweeping through the region would not be an unfortunate side-effect of war with Iraq, but a sign that everything is going according to plan.
In their eyes, Iraq is just the starting point – or, as a recent presentation at the Pentagon put it, “the tactical pivot” – for re-moulding the Middle East on Israeli-American lines.
This reverses the usual approach in international relations where stability is seen as the key to peace, and whether or not you like your neighbours, you have to find ways of living with them. No, say the hawks. If you don’t like the neighbours, get rid of them.
The hawks claim that President Bush has already accepted their plan and made destabilisation of “despotic regimes” a central goal of his foreign policy. They cite passages from his recent speeches as proof of this, though whether Mr Bush really knows what he has accepted is unclear. The “skittles theory” of the Middle East – that one ball aimed at Iraq can knock down several regimes – has been around for some time on the wilder fringes of politics but has come to the fore in the United States on the back of the “war against terrorism”.
Its roots can be traced, at least in part, to a paper published in 1996 by an Israeli thinktank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Entitled “A clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm”, it was intended as a political blueprint for the incoming government of Binyamin Netanyahu. As the title indicates, it advised the right-wing Mr Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by adopting a strategy “based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism …”
Among other things, it suggested that the recently-signed Oslo accords might be dispensed with – “Israel has no obligations under the Oslo agreements if the PLO does not fulfil its obligations” – and that “alternatives to [Yasser] Arafat’s base of power” could be cultivated. “Jordan has ideas on this,” it added.
It also urged Israel to abandon any thought of trading land for peace with the Arabs, which it described as “cultural, economic, political, diplomatic, and military retreat”.
“Our claim to the land – to which we have clung for hope for 2,000 years – is legitimate and noble,” it continued. “Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, ‘peace for peace’, is a solid basis for the future.”
The paper set out a plan by which Israel would “shape its strategic environment”, beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad.
With Saddam out of the way and Iraq thus brought under Jordanian Hashemite influence, Jordan and Turkey would form an axis along with Israel to weaken and “roll back” Syria. Jordan, it suggested, could also sort out Lebanon by “weaning” the Shia Muslim population away from Syria and Iran, and re-establishing their former ties with the Shia in the new Hashemite kingdom of Iraq. “Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them”, the paper concluded.
To succeed, the paper stressed, Israel would have to win broad American support for these new policies – and it advised Mr Netanyahu to formulate them “in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the cold war which apply well to Israel”.
At first glance, there’s not much to distinguish the 1996 “Clean Break” paper from the outpourings of other right-wing and ultra-Zionist thinktanks … except for the names of its authors.
The leader of the “prominent opinion makers” who wrote it was Richard Perle – now chairman of the Defence Policy Board at the Pentagon.
Also among the eight-person team was Douglas Feith, a neo-conservative lawyer, who now holds one of the top four posts at the Pentagon as under-secretary of policy.
Mr Feith has objected to most of the peace deals made by Israel over the years, and views the Middle East in the same good-versus-evil terms that he previously viewed the cold war. He regarded the Oslo peace process as nothing more than a unilateral withdrawal which “raises life-and-death issues for the Jewish state”.
Two other opinion-makers in the team were David Wurmser and his wife, Meyrav (see US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy, August 19). Mrs Wurmser was co-founder of Memri, a Washington-based charity that distributes articles translated from Arabic newspapers portraying Arabs in a bad light. After working with Mr Perle at the American Enterprise Institute, David Wurmser is now at the State Department, as a special assistant to John Bolton, the under-secretary for arms control and international security.
A fifth member of the team was James Colbert, of the Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) – a bastion of neo-conservative hawkery whose advisory board was previously graced by Dick Cheney (now US vice-president), John Bolton and Douglas Feith.
One of Jinsa’s stated aims is “to inform the American defence and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East”. In practice, a lot of its effort goes into sending retired American military brass on jaunts to Israel – after which many of them write suitably hawkish newspaper articles or letters to the editor.
Jinsa’s activities are examined in detail by Jason Vest in the September 2 issue of The Nation. The article notes some interesting business relationships between retired US military officers on Jinsa’s board and American companies supplying weapons to Israel.
With several of the “Clean Break” paper’s authors now holding key positions in Washington, the plan for Israel to “transcend” its foes by reshaping the Middle East looks a good deal more achievable today than it did in 1996. Americans may even be persuaded to give up their lives to achieve it.
The six-year-old plan for Israel’s “strategic environment” remains more or less intact, though two extra skittles – Saudi Arabia and Iran – have joined Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on the hit list.
Whatever members of the Iraqi opposition may think, the plan to replace Saddam Hussein with a Hashemite monarch – descendants of the Prophet Muhammad who rule Jordan – is also very much alive. Evidence of this was strengthened by the surprise arrival of Prince Hassan, former heir to the Jordanian throne, at a meeting of exiled Iraqi officers in London last July.
The task of promoting Prince Hassan as Iraq’s future king has fallen to Michael Rubin, who currently works at the American Enterprise Institute but will shortly take up a new job at the Pentagon, dealing with post-Saddam Iraq.
One of the curious aspects of this neo-conservative intrigue is that so few people outside the United States and Israel take it seriously. Perhaps, like President Mubarak, they can’t imagine that anyone who holds a powerful position in the United States could be quite so reckless.
But nobody can accuse the neo-conservatives of concealing their intentions: they write about them constantly in American newspapers. Just two weeks ago, an article in the Washington Times by Tom Neumann, executive director of Jinsa, spelled out the plan in clear, cold terms:
“Jordan will likely survive the coming war with US assistance, so will some of the sheikhdoms. The current Saudi regime will likely not.
“The Iran dissident movement would be helped enormously by the demise of Saddam, and the Palestinians would have to know that the future lies with the West. Syria’s Ba’athist dictatorship will likely fall unmourned, liberating Lebanon as well.
“Israel and Turkey, the only current democracies in the region, will find themselves in a far better neighbourhood.” Would anyone like to bet on that?
2002.9.3 Playing Skittles With Saddam By Brian Whitaker (guardian.co.uk):
Yet more confirmation that the Syrian conflict is an external invasion of the country and not a civil war.
It’s been widely reported that some of the countries supplying funding, weapons, and apparently troops, are Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Note, all these countries have British controlled governments.
Syrian Support Group Inc. (SSG) Director Of Government Relations (ie, terrorism lobbyist) Brian Sayers admitted in his BBC interview that their group is supplying NATO’s Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists with money and weapons, and that they would like to be the “single source” conduit for all support (ie, so they can direct arms elsewhere to spread the conflict, and take some money off the top for themselves). Sayers even mentions Qatar and Saudi Arabia as funding the rebels, so this is no secret.
I would second the notion given by Daoud Khairallah in the video below… this is economic warfare.
2012.10.2 95% Of Syrian Rebels Not Syrians, Report (RT, youtube.com):
The Syrian crisis is a result of a coherent collective effort by a gang of foreign
states – that’s the message Syria’s foreign minister laid out for the UN General
International law professor Daoud Khairallah says that Syrians would never
inflict such vicious destruction on their homeland and the fact that foreign
fighters are involved in the war runs against the UN charter.
May 23, 2012 - Since the withdrawal of US military forces from Iraq, there has been an ongoing campaign of demonization and subversion of Prime Minister Maliki. Though this effort likely began with an assassination attempt in December of 2011, it has come to a head in recent months with the warrant, flight, and subsequent trial of Vice President Hashemi. This conflict illustrates not only the deep divides that exist within the ruling power structure in Baghdad, but also the attempts by foreign powers to exert control and influence over the future of Iraq.
Prime Minister Maliki came to power by overcoming the opposition of US puppet figures such as Allawi and Chalabi who, despite incredible financial support and propaganda, were unable to establish coalitions or even legitimate bases of support. Instead, Maliki emerged as the Shiite leader who was able to unify officials from a variety of ethnic and religious groups. At the time, this seemed a positive development for US military leadership and the Bush administration, anxious to have anyone who could exert control over Iraq.
However, in the years since then, Maliki has developed into a strong, nationalist leader who, in the interests of the Shiite majority and Iraq more generally, has exponentially expanded relations with Tehran, consolidated political control (particularly in the Kurdish North), and broken with the United States and its proxies in the GCC on issues such as Libya, Syria, and oil contracts. Naturally, this is anathema to US designs for Iraq and has lead to this concerted effort to remove, by any means necessary, Prime Minister Maliki.
Assassination Attempt a Warning To Maliki
In the midst of the withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi soil last December, a very rare event took place: a bomb exploded inside the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad. Although the event garnered little international attention against the backdrop of the so-called “end of the Iraq War”, it sent a very clear message to the leadership in Baghdad – toe the US line or suffer the consequences. In the aftermath of the bombing, Maliki stated publicly that the plot was clearly an attempt on his life. However, instead of capitulating to such threats, the Prime Minister immediately denounced the episode and proceeded to meet with Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Undoubtedly, this decision conveyed to the United States that idea that Maliki would not succumb to pressure and threats.
The lessons learned from this failed assassination were significant. First and foremost, the United States and its proxies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and elsewhere came to recognize that Maliki and his Shiite base of support in Baghdad had become more than just a thorn in the side of imperial ambitions. Rather, they were forced to admit that he and his ruling coalition had become a legitimate nationalist force. Secondly, those nations with designs to control Iraqi oil wealth, among other natural resources, were forced to admit that the traditional, strong-arm tactics of assassination and physical violence would not be effective against the entrenched and popular Maliki. Instead, they had to change the strategy from overt attacks to covert subversion.
The Hashemi Affair
When the story of Iraqi Vice President Hashemi being implicated in the operation of an assassination death squad first broke, it was immediately apparent that the issue was going to become an attempt to divide the government and destroy Prime Minister Maliki. Not only was Hashemi a representative of the Iraqiya bloc, an integral part of the fragile coalition ruling the country, but he was a Sunni. This meant that Iraq would be divided along political and religious lines. Naturally, the evolution of the crisis only furthered these initial conclusions.
Upon receiving news that an arrest warrant had been issued, Hashemi immediately fled to the Kurdish territory, seeking asylum in the arms of the Barzani government in Arbil. This initial move by Hashemi signaled to the world that this conflict was part of a much larger political struggle that would pit the Shiite majority led by Maliki against much of the Sunni and Kurdish minorities. It is no secret that these divisions have been, and continue to be, the locus of power maintained in Iraq by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and their paymasters in Washington. In order to maintain their domination of Iraq’s wealth and resources, they needed to get rid of Maliki and they were determined to use their agent Hashemi to do so.
Any lingering doubts about the role of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in fostering this conflict were erased when Hashemi left Arbil in the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan for Qatar followed by Saudi Arabia. It was during these trips where Hashemi met with various power brokers, essentially receiving his orders from the reactionary Sunni leaders of those two nations. Hashemi had proven to be a useful pawn on the chessboard of the Middle East, in which the Gulf monarchies, always acting in the interests of their masters in Washington, seemed intent on exerting their dominance over Iraq at all costs.
The final stop on Hashemi’s destabilization tour was Turkey, where he resides today. Ankara, which has its own strategic interests in Iraq, for which Maliki presents an obstacle, has provided Hashemi with safe haven, even after Interpol issued a warrant calling for Hashemi’s arrest. Turkey, with its large Kurdish minority and ambitions of becoming a dominant regional power, has maintained that they will not extradite Hashemi back to Baghdad where his trial continues. By providing safe haven to an international fugitive, Turkey is playing a dangerous political game, one that threatens not only their own stability, but that of the entire region.
The Propaganda of “Dictatorship”
In the last two months, as the various forces have aligned to subvert the Maliki government, the talking point has been that Maliki is consolidating power into a dictatorship. Naturally, the propaganda function of such absurdities is to conflate Maliki with Saddam Hussein, thereby delegitimizing him in the eyes of an uninformed public. In fact, as Maliki has been attacked seemingly from all sides, he has moved to consolidate control so as to maintain the fragile coalition that rules Iraq despite (not thanks to) the weak, decentralized government established by the US-imposed Iraqi Constitution. In so doing, Maliki has won many enemies while, simultaneously working to restore Iraq’s reputation internationally.
The cries of “dictator” must be directly attributed to the forces of Western imperialism that control much of the international media and who seem to have no issue whatsoever with the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and other proxy states. Of course, this demonization of Maliki is a last-ditch effort at destabilizing his government in the wake of the string of failures already mentioned.
Having fought an aggressive and illegal war, committed billions of dollars to a reconstruction process that favored corporate and financial interests, and sought to exploit natural resources, the United States and its regional proxies have seemingly exhausted all avenues to rid themselves of the disease of Prime Minister Maliki. However, diseases often mutate, changing their form to become resistant to cures and antidotes – surviving even under extreme circumstances. To accept this analogy, we must see Maliki and his relations with Iran as having infected the imperial body and, as anti-imperialists interested in peace, prosperity and freedom for all, not just some, we must support Maliki and the Iraqi people in their ongoing struggle for true independence.
Eric Draister is an independent geopolitical analyst that maintains StopImperialism.com which hosts his weekly podcast. He has been a guest on Dr. Webster Tarpley’s World Crisis Radio and has provided analysis on Russia Today.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Iraq’s fugitive vice president arrived Wednesday in Saudi Arabia hours after he vowed in a television interview that he would return home.
Tariq al-Hashemi, the top Sunni official in Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, flew to Saudi Arabia from neighboring Qatar where he stayed for four days, the official Saudi news agency reported. He was greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal in the Red Sea port city of Jiddah, according to a Saudi Foreign Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. He had no further details on the visit.
Al-Hashemi is wanted in Iraq on terror charges for allegedly running death squads against Shiite pilgrims, government officials and security forces. Iraqi authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in December, touching off a political crisis in Baghdad and deepening the country’s sectarian divide just days after the U.S. military withdrawal.
Al-Hashemi, who has denied the charges and says they are politically motivated, took refuge in the self-ruled Kurdish region in northern Iraq, out of the jurisdiction of the central government in Baghdad.
He told the pan-Arab television channel Al-Jazeera in an interview that the charges were designed to “push me out of the political process” and launched a scathing attack on Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“I will return to Kurdistan without a doubt. I will never abandon my country,” al-Hashemi said, adding that he would be ready to leave Kurdistan if he felt his presence there was a burden to its government.
He said that al-Maliki, a hardline Shiite who has been in power for nearly six years, “has so much hatred and malice inside him that go beyond the political differences between me and him.”
Al-Maliki, he added, was discriminating against the nation’s once-powerful Sunni minority and that his policies posed a risk to Iraq’s unity. Also for sectarian reasons, he charged, al-Maliki was allowing Iraq’s airspace to be used by Iranian aircraft to ferry weapons to the embattled regime of President Bashar Assad in Syria. He provided no evidence to support his claim.
He also claimed that Iraqi Shiite militiamen were fighting alongside the Syrian regime’s forces. He gave no details.
Syria has a Sunni majority but the ruling Assad dynasty are Alawites, followers of a sect that is an offshoot of Shiism. Assad came to power in 2000, succeeding his father Hafez who ruled the country for about 30 years.
Al-Hashemi’s visit to Qatar was his first trip abroad since the allegations were leveled against him. Iraq called on Qatar to extradite him so he can stand trial in Baghdad. Doha refused the request.