And the United States trained and funded ISIS

A few days after writing about Washington’s plans for a new Middle East the pieces are already starting to fall into place. Firstly, the academic hedging implied in my finding it difficult to imagine Turkey accepting the creation of a Kurdish state at all”, would appear misplaced if Daniel Dombey’s main thesis in his article in the Financial Times‘  is to be substantiated. The author argues that Ankara would be willing to accept what was once a reason for war (for Turkey) because it sees the break up of Iraq as inevitable and an independent Kurdistan, within Ankara’s sphere of influence, would be a buffer between Turkey and an Islamic state to its south.

Furthermore, if the fact that much of the financial backing for ISIS Jihadists is coming from the Washington’s three closest allies in the Sunni world – Saudi, Kuwait and Qatar – is not sufficient to convince Ankara that a new Realpolitik is required, then Obama seeking $500 million from Congress to “train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition,” should certainly dispel an doubts in doubts in the Turkish capital that the break up of Iraq and Syria, and the creation of a Kurdish state, are at least very real possibilities. Moreover, that this will also mean the creation of a new Sunni, and very conservative, if not radical, state, should be obvious to even the most myopic observer. After all, despite Obama’s reassurance that the funding will be going to “moderate” elements in Syria, William Engdahl hits the nail on the head when he says: “How do you test if a recruit is not a jihadist? Is there a special jihad DNA that the CIA doctors have discovered?”

Of course, as Mr Engdahl himself knows, neither Washington nor its Sunni allies have no, and have never had any, intention of vetting so-called “elements of the moderate Syrian opposition”, and he goes on to write:

“Key members of ISIS it now emerges were trained by US CIA and Special Forces command at a secret camp in Jordan in 2012, according to informed Jordanian officials. The US, Turkish and Jordanian intelligence were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region, conveniently near the borders to both Syria and Iraq.”

The real news is that almost one hundred years after the Sykes-Picot Agreement the borders  of the Middle East are being redrawn. However, while ISIS might envisage a new Arab Caliphate along sectarian lines and Turkey and the Arab Gulf states might seek to cement what they see as their particular spheres of influence, what we really have here is the implementation of Washington’s plan for a new Middle East.

 

Washington’s plan for a new Middle East?

The Project for the New Middle EastMichel Chossudovsky’s contention that US-NATO is involved in the recruitment, training and financing of ISIS death squads operating in both Iraq and Syria” and that the funding for this supposedly covert activity is taking place through Saudi, Qatar, and Kuwait, is deserving of our attention, even if Josh Rogin at ‘The Daily Beast’, while agreeing that the Sunni Gulf states are financing extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, argues that under significant U.S. pressure, the Arab Gulf governments have belatedly been cracking down on funding to Sunni extremist groups.”. Of course, no examples of any real pressure from Washington on its Gulf allies can be provided.

Moreover, while academic caution is advised when pursuing Chossudovsky’s main thesis that “Washington’s intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of “regime change” in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines.”, that thesis too is worthy of our attentions. After all, it would not be the first time that maps have been redrawn in a western capital.

Of course, it might be going too far to suggest that those plans for redrawing the Middle East correspond to the map above. After all, it is difficult to imagine either Riyadh’s acquiescence to the creation of two states on its territory, or to Turkey accepting the creation of a Kurdish state at all, never mind one which will include territory that is at the moment under Ankara’s jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, with ISIS offering a truce to the Kurdish Pershmerga south of Kirkuk, we might already be seeing the shape of things to come and there are a number of reasons to believe that the shape of those things is indeed being dictated in a Washington which has decided that its interests will be best served by redrawing those borders, which were drawn up mainly by other western powers, to correspond to a new plan for the Middle East that is in line with that greater plan; the project for a new American century.

Peter Lavelle is another Bill O’Reilly and Mr Putin refuses to play ball

About five years ago I made a comparison between the CCTV anchor Yang Rui and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. Ultimately, the conclusion was that “It is time to pick up the remote control, time to think, and time to stop listening to the drivel that the “Yangs” and “Bills” spout and when we stop listening to them, perhaps, we will stop listening to their political masters.” However, what happens when the propaganda is a little bit more subtle than the garbage spouted by Yang and Bill?

Anyway, there was me watching the host of RT’s CrossTalk, Peter Lavelle, gang up on one of his guests yesterday and it soon became obvious that not only is Lavelle very much a mouthpiece for the Kremlin, but that there is also something to be said for the conclusion reached by Oliver Bullough in his New Statesman article Inside Russia Today: counterweight to the mainstream media, or Putin’s mouthpiece? last May, when he wrote that Putin “…… funds RT to persuade everyone else that their own countries are no better (than Russia).”

Nevertheless, should that stop us at least looking at the other side of the story, and should it prevent us wanting to puke at the hypocritical propaganda that is disseminated by the mainstream media in the west? It shouldn’t, of course, for, if it were to do either, we would be entering that Orwellian world where 2+2=5. As it is, we have not yet entered that world and that is why we might be grateful for articles such as the one from Tariq Ali in yesterday’s “Guardian”. In discussing “how Vladimir Putin became evil”, Mr Ali writes:

“The Crimean affair led to barely any loss of life, and the population clearly wanted to be part of Russia. The White House’s reaction has been the opposite of its reaction to Chechnya. Why? Because Putin, unlike Yeltsin, is refusing to play ball any more on the things that matter such as Nato expansion, sanctions on Iran, Syria etc. As a result, he has become evil incarnate.”

Yes, Mr Lavelle, might be another Yang or Bill, but the West did not care one jot about the “rape, torture, homeless refugees and tens of thousands dead” in Chechnya, the hypocrisy is disgusting and the ambitions criminal, even if the man in Moscow is most certainly not Mr Nice Guy.

Obama hype, Yatsenyuk meets the IMF, and Ukraine’s gold flown to the USA

There wasn’t anything unexpected at Obama’s news conference in the Hague today. There weren’t any awkward questions from the usual array of sycophant scribblers who are invited to attend such meetings and was no real variation of the hypocritical hyperbole from Mr President himself. Does anyone really take his “It is now up to Russia to act responsibly and show itself once again willing to abide by international rules and international norms.” seriously? It was,therefore a speech, however gratifying he might have found it, that the unelected Prime Minister of the Ukraine could afford to miss.

That is why it is no surprise to discover that  Arseniy Yatsenyuk decided that it was more important for him to turn his attentions to the more pressing business of completing his country’s bailout talks with the IMF. Furthermore, with him describing his task as a, “kamikaze” mission,  while  saying the country is in a “great mess,” with an empty treasury, unpaid pensions and foreign-currency reserves having been “robbed”,  there is at least some evidence to suggest that he has no illusions of what a “cap in hand” mission to the IMF in actual fact implies. Of course, that “awareness” will not change anything with the unelected Prime Minister has already decided that Kiev has “….. no other choice but to accept the IMF offer”.Therefore, it might be important to summarize the nature of what that “offer” will actually entail and what it means, of course, is that the majority of the population will become even poorer, while “a small corrupt and subservient political and economic elite”, will become richer. It is tempting to say that State assets will be transferred into the hands of foreign investors, but that is strictly speaking not true, after all, there will be very little real investment.

Indeed, with reports that the Ukraine’s gold reserves are being transferred to the United States it might be that the “big steal” has already begun.  For while it might be politically expedient to think that either the new ruling elite have stolen the gold bullion or perhaps their is a legitimate fear of the Russians taking possession of this bullion”, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that once the western banks get their hands on your gold, you are probably not going to get it back. Just ask the Germans or the Saudis ….. or the Iraqis, or the Libyans. Anyone else had their gold stolen recently? Yes, first your gold and then your country.

 

The Ukraine and neocon ambitions

When Putin drew a parallel between the Crimea and Kosovo in his speech and then used the latter to justify Russian action in the Crimea he was, at the very least, demonstrating a flawed logic. After all, Russia refuses to recognise the Kosovo.Therefore, does it not follow that Moscow’s annexation of the Crimea is illegal?

Nevertheless, as was pointed out earlier had the United States and the European Union not facilitated what was an illegal coup in Kiev there would have been no referendum in the Crimea. Therefore, while Russia’s fait accompli might be contrary to international law, it is fair to say that the catalyst for it was the events in Kiev. Moreover, while Moscow most certainly cannot be condoned for annexing the Crimea, it is also difficult to condemn that annexation unreservedly. Was Moscow expected to wait until the US navy arrived in Sevastopol?

That is why it might be appropriate to consider the achievements until now and the ultimate goals of those neo-conservative groups which were instrumental in the Maidan demonstrations and the violent overthrow of what was an elected government.

To begin with, even if nuclear weapons don’t come into play, the neocons have provoked a confrontation between the major nuclear powers. Furthermore, they have succeeded in driving a wedge between Putin and Obama to the point where cooperation on Syria and Iran is no longer possible. This in itself might be seen as one of their major goals? Nevertheless, the neocon operatives, led by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), also have more immediate and wider ranger goals.

Last September those aims were formulated by the NED president Carl Gershman in the “Washington Post”  when he said that the Ukraine was the “biggest prize”. In other words, over six  months ago the NED, whose funding is approved by Congress, was pursuing a change of government in Kiev. However, while the Ukraine might be the “biggest prize” Gershman then went on to state that it was in fact only a stage towards a much bigger goal,which was removal of Putin. In other words, the neo-cons ultimate goal is regime change in Kiev and Moscow.Of course, it  cannot be expected that Putin will stand idly by and let this happen.

There are, of course, other forces at play in this drama and it might be worthwhile querying the role of the European Union, which has just signed an association agreement with the Ukraine’s “unelected” interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. That querying might prompt a number of questions. For instance, is the EU being used by Washington or does it have geopolitical ambitions of its own, and who is meant to pay for the Ukraine?

Unfortunately, while that last question might be a restraining factor on unrealistic EU ambitions, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that it will not worry the neocons as they go after their greatest prize as they continue to pursue their project for a new American century.

Since the Russian annexation of the Crimea it has at least become clear that it is not going to be plain sailing for them, but then they are probably not too worried, after all, it is not they who will be paying the price, neither for a Ukraine brought into the western sphere, nor for the chaos which is about to break loose.

Putin annexes the Crimea, but our confrontation should be with the enemy within

Had the United States and the European Union not facilitated what was an illegal coup in Kiev there would have been no referendum in the Crimea. However, with President Putin’s speech to the federal assembly today a fait accompli has been created and, whether Washington and its allies like it or not, it is now time for the rhetoric and polemic, the hypocritical hyperbole, of many western leaders, and the propagandist polemic pish of many more hangers-on such as McCain, Biden, Hague etc., to take a back seat, Are these people really serious when they appeal to an international law that they themselves disregard time and time again?

Unfortunately, not only are they serious and seriously deluded, but they seem to be, as has been shown time and time again, incapable of putting the lid back on the Pandora’s box which they have opened. Of course, it might be argued that this is exactly what they want and certainly, it that is so, their aims are facilitated when the unelected Ukrainian “prime minister”, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, says that “the conflict has entered a military phase” after shots were fired at a Ukrainian military base in Simferopol, and a Ukrainian soldier was killed, and, it would appear that Yatsenyuk, is one of the more moderate members of what even the mainstream British media view as, a far right regime.

There is much more at stake here than the territorial integrity of the Ukraine, and, if there are not forces and leaders in the West who bring a measure of control into this situation the rest of the Ukraine will descend into chaos with far-reaching consequences for all of us. It is time for those leaders and forces to show themselves because it would appear that there is a political elite in Washington in particular that wants  this chaos and there is more than enough evidence to suggest that behind Maidan, behind the extremely right-wing government in Kiev, behind the disgusting hypocritical western media, we have a neo-con agenda that could lead us all to Armageddon. For that to be prevented our confrontation should not be with Putin in the first instance,  but rather with the enemy within and when that happens we could in all sincerity once again appeal to international law.

Russian “Realpolitik” and western hypocrisy

There is more than enough evidence to suggest that the Maidan “revolution” was in fact a western backed coup. Moreover, a “who’s who” of the new regime would further suggest that what we now have in Kiev is an extremely right-wing, if not downright fascist, government. Nevertheless, neither of those facts should delude us into thinking that President Putin is overly concerned about the fate of the large ethnic Russian population in the Ukraine.
No, even if there is a large ethnic Russian population there, we would have to come to the conclusion that in a world which has been thoroughly exposed to American “Realpolitik” Russia is demonstrating a “Realpolitik” of its own by creating facts on the ground and these facts will cement Moscow’s own strategic interests.
Away from the hyperbole, polemic and propaganda, however, it is not made difficult for the Kremlin as Washington blatantly attempts to curtail Russia’s sphere of influence in the Ukraine by what are quite simply illegal means and US energy companies continue in their attempt to undermine Gazprom’s regional monopoly.
Of course, this conflict is not about humanitarian issues and, with a democratically elected government being undemocratically deposed, it is most certainly not about democracy. It is a conflict that will lead to the break up of the Ukraine and to a cementing of Russia’s influence in the region while the hypocrisy of John Kerry’s “unacceptability of invading a sovereign country on phony pretexts in order to assert one’s own interests in the 21st century” along with the USA’s  own disregard for international law might just be coming back to haunt not only Washington, but also the West as a whole.