If you want an alternative perspective on what’s happening in Syria to the one you’ve been getting on the MSM, try this one by Lebanese-American writer and activist Joyce Chediac. Is Syria another Operation Ajax?
At least since 1953 (and probably before that) it has been a tried-and-true tactic of the CIA to finance and conduct (either directly or indirectly) “false flag” civil unrest in a country they want to overthrow. They will then blame escalations of violence on the person running the government (the target of the operation) and use his perceived abuses to justify political or military intervention (directly or indirectly).
The list of countries where they have carried on this kind of operation is lengthy (I counted 53 in Tim Weiner’s book “Legacy Of Ashes”). Here’s a short list:
- Iran (1953)
- Guatemala (1954)
- Indonesia (1958)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo (1960)
- Dominican Republic (1961)
- South Vietnam (1963)
- Brazil (1964)
- Chile (1973)
- Afghanistan (1979)
- Turkey (1980)
- Nicaragua (1981)
- Iraq (1992)
- Afghanistan (2001)
- Venezuela (2002)
- Iraq (2003)
- Haiti (2004)
So when you see something similar happen in Syria, you’d be naïve not to wonder if the version of events we are getting from the corporate media isn’t the same bunch of fabricated bullshit that we’ve seen so many times before. Assad may be the antichrist – like so many were before him – or maybe he’s being set up. Since Washington has been funneling money to a right-wing Syrian opposition group since at least 2005, there is obviously more to the story than the one we are being told.
Afghanistan as a whole supplies 92% of the world’s opiates. The Head of the Taliban’s Supreme Council, Mullah Mohammed Omar, declared it “un-Islamic” to process heroin in July 2001 and production for that year fell by 91%. Two months later, the 9/11 attacks happened in the United States and were immediately blamed on Al Qaeda operating out of Afghanistan. The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. NATO forces, lead by the U.S.A., removed the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan. Since then, opium production in Afghanistan has reached all-time historical highs. Recent estimates by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimate that 52% of the nation’s GDP, amounting to $2.7 billion annually, is generated by the drug trade and some 3.3 million Afghans are involved in producing opium. There are currently around 437,000 troops making up the NATO / Afghan / USA non-NATO force in Afghanistan. As the CIA has a history of dealing with drug traffickers (i.e. the Contras), we have to wonder what’s going on in Afghanistan. How is the product leaving the country when it has 430,000 foreign troops spread out all over it? One argument is that opium is such a huge part of the Afghan economy, that NATO troops can’t destroy it without creating huge financial burdens on the farmers. Yet the $2.5 Billion that opium production provides the Afghan economy each year is a pittance compared to the cost of the war, which is already well over $369 Billion for the USA alone. Another $2.5 Billion to destroy 90% of the world’s opium seems like a easy decision. Why hasn’t it been made yet? Is it possible that the NATO forces are supporting the world’s heroin trade?
World Bank website – Afghanistan Opium Report
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website – World Drug Report
Wikipedia “War In Afghanistan”
Nautilus Institute: Opium And Heroin Production
Wikipedia: “Mohammed Omar”
Wikipedia: “US involvement in Contras”
Cost Of War
As the Australian parliament begins a long-overdue debate about our involvement in Afghanistan, expect to hear a lot of hot air about what a nasty piece of work the Taliban are and how we are there to put an end to their nastiness. You’ll hear about their theocracy, their imprisonment of women in burqas and nose-slitting for the disobedient.
Expect to hear statements, such as the one Foreign Minister Stephen Smith recently made, about Afghanistan being “current hotbeds or danger points” for international terrorism.
I have several issues with these arguments.
1. They Cut Both Ways
To begin with – as much as I dislike theocracies and religion in any form, from a diplomatic perspective, we have to realise that if disliking a country’s politics or religion gives us moral grounds to invade that country, then we are acknowledging that that country also has moral grounds to invade OUR country if they dislike OUR politics or religion. The USA didn’t like it very much the last time a handful of Saudis decided they didn’t like American politics. In fact, they used the attack that stemmed from that dislike as an excuse for invading a couple of countries. We have to be extremely careful what precedents we set interceding in international affairs.
2. They Are Hypocritical
The second issue, about being a “hotbed” for terrorism, is troubling for the same reason. It is a record of fact that the CIA has been a supporter of terrorists and dictators for many decades. Terrorists and dictators with names such as Saddam, Noriega, Pinochet, Suharto, Mobutu and “Papa Doc” Duvalier all received either direct or indirect support from the CIA. (Australia also was a direct supporter of at least one of these men – General Suharto.)
Of course it is also a matter of record that the CIA has been and is currently involved in supporting other terrorist organisations such as Israel’s MOSSAD and Pakistan’s ISI. If we argue that supporting terrorists makes a country open to invasion, we have to then acknowledge that it is equally acceptable for other people to invade our countries with the same justification.
So keep an eye out for any such hypocritical justifications during the government debates.
Of course, the typical politician will claim that our country (and our friends such as the USA) are justified in our/their support of terrorism or our politics. It’s one of the accepted truths of domestic politics that our position is right because it is our position. Capitalism is right and communism is wrong because we are capitalists. Christianity is right and Islam is wrong because the majority of our population is Christian.
We are right because it is unthinkable that we could possibly be wrong.
Ewan Saunders is the Socialist Alliance’s Brisbane candidate in the upcoming federal election. I caught up with him recently to talk about socialism, climate change, indigenous communities, and the Socialist Alliance’s policies on subjects like Iraq, Afghanistan and immigration.
As I mention during the show, if you’re interested in hearing more about “participatory democracy”, then listen to my 2008 interview with Richard Moore.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
It’s been fascinating to me to note the difference between the way the media has been treating the two Americans who have lashed out at their government in the last month – John Patrick Bedell, who shot a couple of Pentagons guards, and Joe Stack, who flew a plane into an IRS building in Austin – and they way the media treats civilian deaths at the hands of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The media, completely unable to even explore whether or not men like Bedell and Stack might have had genuine grievances, have immediately closed ranks to write both men off as being crazy. There’s no investigative reporting, no genuine inquiry into what would make these US citizens commit acts of suicide to make a point about the actions of the US government. Both men have just been tarred and brushed. The media grabs quotes from family and friends that make it sound like each man was a loony and then they editorialise with descriptions to back that up.
The Washington Post just puts it in the headline “Pentagon shooter’s spiral from early promise to madness”.
The Boston Globe, in its first paragraph, says Bedell “crisscrossed the country in a frenetic and sometimes doped-up state”.
The Mirror in the UK claims he was a “conspiracy theorist”.
The Associated Press claims Bedell “a history of mental illness”.
CBS News leads with the headline that Bedell was a “nut”.
The Christian Science Monitor refers to Stack’s online writing as a “lengthy, disjointed screed”.
USA Today says his writing “drips with cynicism, paranoia and narcissism.”
Of course, the 535 Afghani civilians who were murdered by US & NATO bombs in 2009, are just “collateral damage” or “civilian casualties”. When one out of every three people killed by US bombs in Afghanistan is a civilian, that’s just unfortunate. Obama is actually increasing the use of drones, not decreasing them. The media makes no psychological analysis about the people who are sending in drones that kill THOUSANDS of innocent civilians, men, woman and children. They don’t ask whether or not those people, the politicians or the soldiers, are paranoid or suffering from a mental illness. The issue isn’t even broached.
The lesson? When “we” kill civilians, it’s justifiable. But when someone, even one of our own, attacks us, then they suffer from a mental illness.