Nel's New Day

September 12, 2014

George W. Bush Created ISIL

Filed under: War — trp2011 @ 7:40 PM
Tags: , , ,

It started 13 years ago with planes crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. George W. Bush’s first action was to ensure that any potential accomplices from Saudi Arabia were flown home before any investigations. A month later, Donald Rumsfeld stood in front of a $2-billion bomber and told the aircrews:

“We have two choices. Either we change the way we live, or we must change the way they live. We choose the latter.”

Since then the U.S. has killed a million people and reduced tens of millions of others to disability, dislocation, and poverty with more than 94,000 air strikes. Most of these were launched on Afghanistan and Iraq, but others covered Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Rumsfeld achieved his goal of changing the way that they live. Three months before 9/11, Bush gave Al-Qaeda almost $50 million; two years later he acquiesced to their demand that he withdraw U.S. forces from U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia.

ISIL goes back to 2004 when Western propaganda needed a villain. U.S. military intelligence officers explained: “We were basically paying up to $10,000 a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction and supposition about [the original leader of ISIS precursor] as cast-iron fact, making him out as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq.” After the leader’s death in 2006, the U.S. continued to describe the Iraqi Resistance as bloodthirsty religious fanatics instead of the people of an invaded country resisting Bush’s preemptive occupation. According to a Congressional Research Service investigation, the group was responsible for only two percent of violence incidents. The real violence came from U.S. air strikes, night raids, and other indiscriminate use of force.

The 1,000 members of ISIL found support after the Western- and Arab royalist-backed war in Syria during 2012. ISIL moved from there back to Iraq where it again exaggerates its strength and accents its brutality. By that time, the sectarian Maliki government had exacerbated the problems by politically and economically marginalizing the largely Sunni Arab areas of northern and western Iraq where security forces used brutality to deal with dissent and political demands.

The U.S. met resistance in Iraq by recruiting, training, and directing Iraqi death squads, largely from the Shia militia. Its reign of terror in 2005 and 2006 tortured and killed tens of thousands of mostly Sunni Arab men and boys by ethnically cleansing most of Baghdad. Adnan al-Asadi, the leader of that campaign is still in office where he runs the Interior Ministry. With the current crisis, al-Asadi has released a new surge of death squad activity.

Almost 70 years ago, George Orwell wrote, “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” He listed “torture, the use of hostages, forced labor, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians.” During the past 13 years, the U.S. has committed all these atrocities.

President Obama, elected on a “peace” platform, now has the biggest military budget since the second world war, supervised eight times as many drone strikes, and become commander-in-chief of special forces operations in at least 134 countries, twice as many as during the regime of George W. Bush. Night raids in Afghanistan have gone from 20 per month in May 2009 to 1,000 during the same time period by April 2011; senior officials report that these kill the wrong people most of the time.

The more deaths, the better the recruiting of terrorists. During the massive tonnage of U.S. bombs dropped on Cambodia, the CIA said that Khmer Rouge recruiting “has been most effective among refugees subjected to B-52 strikes.” During his speech this week, the president announced his intention of escalating U.S. bombing in Iraq, but he has already launched over 24,000 air strikes in Afghanistan, vastly increasing the number of U.S. enemies.

President Obama’s use of Islamist militias to destabilize Libya supported ISI by giving them weapons, equipment, and training. Many of them were veterans of groups that worked with the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Qatari special forces in Libya, with U.S. support, just moved over to Syria where they trained al-Nusra in the use of chemical weapons which almost started another U.S. bombing campaign last year.

The lesson of 9/11 should have been that creating and arming groups of religious fanatics to fight secular enemies leads to their increased power and refusal to submit to external control. The U.S. and its allies, the U.K., France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, insisted on undermining Kofi Annan’s 2012 peace plan in Syria and pledged ever more support, funding and weapons to the rebels. With the help of the Western propaganda, the coalition claimed to fund and arm only “moderate” forces, allowing ISIL to gain strength and eliminate any rivals.

When Iraqis participated in the 2011 Arab Spring protests, the repressive sectarian government sent security forces to beat, torture, arrest, and kill the demonstrators. Protests after the arrest of activist Dr. al-Issawi, a Maliki opponent, spread to 14 cities and were greeted with the usual brutality, firing on demonstrators in Mosul and Fallujah. The killings have continued since then as the Maliki’s government has banned satellite TV channels, including Al-Jazeera, to censor news of any uprising.

Since then, the Iraqi problems have worsened as the U.S. denies any diplomatic attempts to recognize opposition to the U.S.-installed Maliki government. Tribal leaders have tried to approach U.S. officials with no response. With no attempt to work out differences, ISIS will only grow stronger. If the nation can work out diplomacy with Iran, it can certainly do the same in Iraq if all people in the country can be given civil and political rights.

Instead of using air strikes and sending more arms to the Middle East for ISIL to take, the United States could work on changing the sectarian dynamics in Iraq. People who lost their jobs and suffered from bombings, arrests, torture, and watching murders are those who now support ISIL. Every bomb that is dropped has the marks of the Kurds and the Shia to the Sunnis. A partnership with Iran could move Iraq toward inclusive governing because Tehran is worried about its neighbor’s growing instability. Diplomacy, especially with a coalition, would undermine ISIL, and Middle Eastern countries might stop arming anyone in Syria, including the al-Qaeda supporter al-Nusra Front, who claims to be against Assad.

If the U.S. stopped sending arms to the Middle East, an embargo might stop Russia and Iran from supporting the Assad regime. As long as this nation sends arms, other countries—Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc.—will send arms to what we see as the opposition. This policy could move toward eliminating nuclear arsenals, including that in Israel.

None of this can happen, however, as long as leading U.S. conservatives shout for war in the Middle East. The odd couple, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), are demanding that the president call for more war, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is agreeing with them. Republicans won’t notice that these legislators have the authority to call on Congress to declare war, that, in fact, it is the role of Congress and not the president. Voting to send more troops into Iraq would create a problem in the upcoming election. People want something done about ISIL, but they don’t want to go back to war.

Two beheadings in Iraq have driven 59 percent of the people in the United States toward war in the Middle East, yet tens of thousands of beheadings by Mexican drug cartels don’t seem to disturb them. This past summer, Israel killed 2000 civilians, and in the last month Saudi Arabia beheaded 26 people. Most people in the U.S. have either nodded sagely about the importance of these actions or remained ignorant of them, but they went insane over two beheadings.

Two years ago, Dennis Kucinich emphasized the importance “of strong and patient diplomacy, working together with the community of nations to address security challenges, letting our allies take responsibility for regional security, being willing to talk to anyone in the cause of stability, and setting aside stale, ideological doctrines of intervention.” Reasonable people could look for diplomatic solutions, but conservatives aren’t reasonable. Their only goal is to take over all three branches of government.

Bringing back the draft would make any war more relevant to the people of the United States, possibly making them more thoughtful about hard decisions.


1 Comment »

  1. I’ve struggled within myself over how to put an end to this tortured game of “whack-a-mole” that enriches no one but the Western Military Industrial Complex (after all, everyone seems to be using weapons we produced). The economic impacts upon many Americans have been harsh, but the majority continue to vote against our truest national interest: peace through international cooperation, universal education and economic stability. Something needs to jolt us into reality … universal conscription? Maybe.


    Comment by Monica Kirk — September 13, 2014 @ 10:36 AM | Reply

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