Category Archives: Law/Geopolitics/ Politics

How Britain Helped Create ISIS

“Britain has a long history of wanting to force regime change in Syria,”

09.06.2017 Author: Steven MacMillan

4523423423Britain is gripped by fear, panic and anger, after being struck by three terror attacks in the space of three months. Innocent men, women and children have been killed in the terror rampage, filling many homes with tragedy and despair. Martial law has practically been declared in many regions of the country, with troops now being a common site on the streets of Royal Britannia. Many are looking for someone or something to blame, as rage is increasingly triumphing over reason. 

Lost in all this hysteria however, there sits a glaring connection that needs to be illuminated: the connection between these terror attacks and British foreign policy in Syria. Although Jeremy Corbyn has correctly highlighted the link between British wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and the growth of terrorism at home, there is a still a conflict – arguably the most important in the rise of terrorism – that no one dares speak about; namely, the war in Syria.

Sadly, most people in Britain are still completely ignorant of the real truth of the Syrian war, and the role that the British establishment has played in supporting an array of terrorist groups, including ISIS. Even if we accept for a moment that all the official stories of the last three terror attacks are 100% true (something I don’t believe, see here for instance), a significant portion of the blame should still be directed towards the British establishment for the policies it has pursued overseas.

The Syrian proxy war has provided fertile ground for the rise of ISIS and other extremist groups, with ISIS claiming responsibility for the last three terror attacks in Britain; namely, the London Bridge attack, the Manchester Arena attack and the Westminster attack.  Britain has been part of a nefarious troika that have supported an array of terrorist groups in Syria for years now, a fact that legendary journalist and documentary filmmaker, John Pilger, highlighted in an interview at the end of 2015. In response Afshin Rattansi – the host of the RT show, Going Underground – asking “how are ISIS the progeny of Washington, London and Paris?”, Pilger said:

“They are not only the progeny, they are the fully grown-up, manic, adolescent creature belonging to Paris, London and the United States. Without the support of these three countries, without the arms that have been given to ISIS – either they have been given directly to Jabhat al-Nusra and have gone to ISIS; or they have gone the other way; or they have gone to the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia or in Qatar- but the French, the British, the Americans and the Turks have all supplied those that have kept ISIS going. You know, if David Cameron had won his Commons vote a couple of years ago, ISIS would now be in charge in Syria… The Middle East’s most multi-ethnic, multi-cultural state, would be finished, and these fanatics would be in charge, and that would-be thanks entirely to Western actions.” 

For years, the UK has been pouring millions into the Syrian opposition. In 2012, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, William Hague, admitted that Britain had been helping the Syrian rebels in a “practical and non-lethal way,” and vowed to increase British assistance. As the Independent noted, this non-lethal aid consisted of Britain sending the Syrian opposition £8m-worth of body armour, vehicles with ballistic protection, trucks, forklift trucks, communications equipment, laptops, water purification kits and other equipment needed to fight a war. In 2013, a report claimed that Britain was involved in an operation with other European states and the US to send the Syrian rebels 3,000 tons of weapons, sent in 75 planeloads, from Zagreb to the rebels.

ISIS Has Always Been a Major Part of the Syrian Opposition

But who exactly are these Syrian rebels? According to a declassified US military intelligence report – by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) – from August 2012, the opposition largely consisted of terrorists and extremists, including ISIS (emphasis added):

“The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq], are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The report added that “AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media,” and that “events are taking a clear sectarian direction.” 

Al-Qaeda in Iraq was the main precursor to ISIS, as a summary from Stanford University explains (emphasis added): 

“The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), is a Salafi-Jihadist militant organization in Syria and Iraq… The group has its origins in the early 2000s, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi began training extremist militants. The group was a major participant in the Iraqi insurgency during the American occupation, first under the name Jama’at al-Tawhid wa’al-Jihad and then, after swearing fealty to Al Qaeda, as Al Qaeda in Iraq. 

Facing backlash from the community and increased pressure from U.S. and Iraqi forces, the group declined until 2011, when it began to grow through its involvement in the Syrian Civil War. In 2013, it changed its name to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Over the course of 2013 and 2014, ISIS quickly took over territory in Syria and Iraq… On the ground, ISIS fought the Assad Regime and allied Shiite forces, Syrian opposition groups, the Iraqi military and militias, and the Kurdish peshmerga.” 

So, according to US military intelligence in August 2012, AQI – later to be known as ISIS – was a major part of the Syrian opposition, and Britain was officially supporting the Syrian opposition by means of non-lethal aid. According to some reports, Britain was also directly arming the opposition, but we know for sure that Britain’s partners in crime – France and the US – were certainly arming the opposition directly, not to mention British allies in the Middle East. Britain was also involved in training the Syrian rebels in Jordan, with British intelligence teams on the ground, according to the Guardian. If this is just what is admitted, imagine how many clandestine operations Britain has been involved in but never have been officially recognised. 

It isn’t just US military intelligence that has acknowledged that a large percentage of the Syrian rebels are terrorists. Even the former Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, who was always a strong proponent of forcing regime change in Syria, admitted in early 2016 that many of the ‘moderate’ rebels actually belonged to “relatively hardline Islamist groups” (i.e. terrorist groups): 

“But if you’re arguing: are all these people impeccable democrats, who would share the view of democracy that you and I have: [then] no. Some of them do belong to Islamist groups, and some of them belong to relatively hardline Islamist groups.” 

Britain’s collusion with terrorist forces in Syria was further highlighted during a court case at the Old Bailey in 2015. Bherlin Gildo, a Swedish national, was accused of fighting for Syrian militant groups – including Jabhat al-Nusra (or al-Qaeda in Syria), who have now changed their name multiple times – but the case was quickly dropped after his lawyer’s argued that British intelligence was involved in arming and providing non-lethal aid to the very same terrorist groups he was allegedly fighting for.

Britain’s Long-held Desire to Force Regime Change in Syria

Britain has a long history of wanting to force regime change in Syria, and install a regime that would be subservient to the Anglo-American (and by extension, Israeli) establishment. In 1957, the British Prime Minister at the time, Harold MacMillan (no relation by the way), approved a joint CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents in order to provide a justification for an invasion of Syria, and the assassination of prominent Syrian political figures. Although this plan was never acted upon – mainly due to resistance from Syria’s Arab neighbours – it illustrates how long Britain has had Syria in its sights.

In more modern times, there is strong evidence to support the notion that Britain was one of the main architects of the engineered Syrian ‘civil war’ that began in 2011. In an 2013 interview, the former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roland Dumas, stated that he was approached in the UK “two years before the violence” erupted in Syria, to see if he would like to participate in organizing “an invasion of rebels” into the country (emphasis added):

‘’I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me… 

This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… In the region, it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance. Consequently, everything that moves in the region – and I have this from the formerIsraeli prime minister who told me: ‘we’ll try to get on with our neighbours, but those who don’t agree with us, will be destroyed.’” 

Interestingly, even the BBC admitted that there was a plan circulating around the British establishment in 2012 to “train and equip a 100,000-strong Syrian rebel army” to fight against Bashar al-Assad. The BBC tried to spin the story by saying the plan was deemed too risky by the Prime Minister and ultimately rejected, but considering that is exactly what happened (was happening, and is happening), albeit in conjunction with the US, France and Britain’s Middle Eastern allies, it hardly seems the plan was rejected.    

May Pushes for Internet Regulation

In the wake of the most recent (at the time of writing anyway) terrorist attack at London Bridge – which, as always, was carried out by extremists who were known to the authorities – the British Prime Minister has advocated internet regulation. May said that the internet provides a “safe space” for terrorist ideology to spread, and called for governments to “reach international agreements” to regulate the internet:

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed; yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services, provide. We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace, to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning.” 

The truth may never come to light regarding these three terror attacks, but we know for sure that the establishment will exploit these atrocities in order to further their agendas. May’s call for internet regulation has been an objective of the British establishmentfor years, with May’s proposal further proving that the elite never let a crisis go to waste.

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


http://journal-neo.org/2017/06/09/how-britain-helped-create-isis/

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Time to Rethink Australian Defence Policy

 

07.05.2017 Author: James ONeill

6745324324The recent visit to Australia by the US Vice-President Mike Pence and statements by both Prime Minister Turnbull and Opposition leader Shorten have highlighted yet again the singularly dangerous path that Australia is following in its defence and foreign policies.

A symptom of that danger was the statement by the North Korean leader Kim Yong-Un that Australia is now a nuclear target because of its close adherence to US foreign policy in respect of the current Korean tensions.

While Kim’s threats are easy to dismiss because of that country’s inability to actually carry them out, this will not always be the case. The cartoonish nature of the way that country is often represented in the Australian media allows our media and politicians to avoid discussing the much wider threat that our foreign policies create.

The two countries most regularly portrayed as constituting a threat to Australia are Russia and China. There is no doubt that either of these countries have the current capacity to quickly eliminate Australia as a viable entity, military or otherwise.

Pence’s visit to Australia, the real objective of which we know little, follows on the heels of senior American military officials to cement further into place the basing of US navy, air force and marine units in bases on Australian soil.

The stationing of US military personnel on Australian soil is downplayed in the political discourse by the use of euphemisms such as “rotation” as if that meant something other than a permanent presence where only the personnel may change.

Taken together with the role of Pine Gap in America’s worldwide military actions and other military installations performing similar though less well-known roles, Australia’s participation in the American war machine poses a threat in a way that is more serious than the posturing of North Korea’s current dictator.

If statements made by senior defence personnel at the time of the signing of the military agreements extending the US military footprint in Australia are any guide, Australia’s defence policies appear to rest on a set of assumptions that are dubious at best, and for the most part delusional.

The ANZUS Treaty, signed in 1951 is regularly stated to be the cornerstone of Australia’s defence strategy. That New Zealand, the treaty’s third part, effectively withdrew in 1984 has not altered the Australian view of its importance. It is consistently represented to the Australian public as a security guarantee. In the event that Australia is attacked, the US will come to Australia’s aid. In fact, the ANZUS Treaty does not provide for such a guarantee. Unlike, for example, the NATO Treaty, it merely provides that each country shall “consult” in accordance with its constitutional procedures.

That such a flimsy base should be the cornerstone of a defence policy for nearly 70 years speaks volumes about the faith based nature of the policy. That is, Australian defence planners believe that the US will come to Australia’s aid in the event that it is attacked by a hostile power.

Australia’s willingness to join a whole series of US foreign policy misadventures since World War 2 may be seen as an attempt to provide a basis for mortal suasion should the need arise for US help: “look, we helped you umpteen times, now you can help us.”

It is difficult to ascertain any other basis upon which Australia would enter into a series of largely illegal wars, and in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, stay indefinitely when no vital Australian strategic interest is discernible. Apart from continuing that policy as in the case of Syria, Australia does the US the courtesy of refraining from criticizing the latter’s involvement in other unconscionable actions such as the ongoing onslaught of Yemen, or Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

It is significant that Australia was recently excluded from any participation in the Syrian peace talks on the basis that it did not have any independent contribution to make but was simply an echo chamber for the Americans. Unsurprisingly that fact received little or no coverage in the local media because the notion of independent sovereignty is another carefully nurtured myth.

Australia’s policy is only explicable in terms of each of its actions being seen as a continuing down payment on an insurance policy of American goodwill, even though there is no guarantee of an eventual payout.

That is the dubious element that permeates the policy. The delusional element is reflected in a series of statements made in recent months by senior defence personnel, both civilian and military, and the political support given to sustain the delusions. Some brief examples illustrate the point.

Australia is currently committed to the expenditure of over $55 billion for submarines (not due in service until 2030), and $105 billion for the lifetime cost of the US built F35 fighter jet. Quite who the F35, if it ever flies in a combat capacity, will actually be attacking has never been made clear. It is plainly useless in an Australian environment. To be used elsewhere would require a foreign base that would be an obvious primary target in the event of actual hostilities.

In 2016 a Defence Department spokesman was quoted as saying that the submarines could “pop up” in the South China Sea and fire missiles at China in the event of a war with that nation.

That thinking is beyond delusional. Assuming that the submarines could even penetrate China’s maritime defences (of which the island building exercise is a crucial part), does our Department of Defence seriously expect that China has no capacity to detect and eliminate such missiles; and that such an attack would not result in immediate and devastating retaliation?

If the Department of Defence believes that the US alliance would protect Australia from such retaliation, then that is only further evidence of delusional thinking.

In respect of proposition, quite apart from their own systems, the Chinese have acquired the S300 and S400 anti-missile systems from Russia. Those two models are superior to anything in the western armoury, and Russia is now replacing them with the even more sophisticated S500 series.

Among its many capabilities, the S500 series renders obsolete the F35 fighter, which even the Americans acknowledge. This instant obsolescence of the F35 has not deterred Australia’s commitment to huge expenditure to no obvious advantage.

In regard to proposition the Chinese capability for massive and devastating retaliation is linked to another delusional statement by the Department of Defence. At the time of the signing of the bases agreement with the Americans in late 2016, the statement was made that Australia was ‘like a fixed aircraft carrier’ out of reach of Chinese missiles.

If this is an accurate reflection of Defence Department thinking, then it is dangerously misinformed. If on the other hand if it was a statement made that was known to be untrue, then the Australian public is being misled.

The DongFeng41 is a Chinese ICBM with a range of 12,000-15,000 km with a top speed of Mach25. It can deliver 8-10 independently targetable nuclear warheads. Simple arithmetic demonstrates that any Australian target can be reached from China in less than 30 minutes.

The only anti-missile defence system capable of intercepting the DongFeng41 is the Russian S500 series, which Australia does not have and is unlikely under present policies to ever have.

Surface warships are no less vulnerable. The Chinese have the DongFeng21D, a supersonic cruise missile capable of Mach10 speeds, and with a range of 1600km. It has rendered obsolete US aircraft carriers, which are incapable of defending themselves against this weapon, as are other warships.

The Chinese also have the YJ-18 supersonic cruise missile, which has the ability to be fired from submarines. Its intelligent mechanisms also make it virtually invulnerable to interception. It has been described as “America’s Nightmare”. Other Chinese missiles, the supersonic YJ-12 and the long range XJ-100 and the CX-1 supersonic missiles are currently under development.

The Russian equivalent is the Khalibr range of missiles of which there are more than a dozen variants. They have the advantage of, among other things, of being able to skim over the sea at 4.6 metres of altitude, making detection and defence very difficult. A more advanced model, the Zircon, is due to be introduced shortly.

Again, the Americans have admitted that their anti-aircraft defence systems are virtually incapable of intercepting the Russian hypersonic systems. Their range and capability means that US aircraft carriers, until now the major means of power projection, will have to operate so far from the coastline as to render their aircraft ineffective.

This July the Australian Navy will again be taking part in Operation Talisman Sabre, an exercise with the US Navy aimed at practicing a blockade of the Malacca Strait through which 80+ percent of Chinese imports and exports currently pass.

It is clearly a hostile act aimed at China, which is Australia’s largest trading partner by a significant margin. For the first time in Australia’s history, its largest trading partner is also designated as a potential enemy. This requires cognitive dissonance on a significant scale.

OBOR is creating alternative markets for China to purchase the same raw materials that have enabled Australia to grow rich over the past several decades. The time will shortly arrive when China will be able to source its raw materials without recourse to Australia. This will have major economic repercussions for Australia, a topic that is not even considered.

In the light of these developments, and the military realities which our planners seem determined to ignore, would it not be more in Australia’s true national interest to reappraise our current blind adherence to the US military alliance? Notwithstanding the constant propaganda to the contrary, it is difficult to perceive what actual benefit it has brought to Australia. On the contrary, it is only too easy to identify the disadvantages, including a reduced standing in the international community and a very real threat to economic prosperity.

Unless Australia’s foreign and defence policies are made to reflect actual reality, the failure risks those policies bringing real dangers to Australia. We could do no better than to base a new policy on the adage propounded by Palmerston, the 19thC British statesman, who said words to the effect that nations have neither friends nor enemies, only interests.

It was an adage repeated by the supreme realist Henry Kissinger. It is one that Australia’s political and defence planners would do well to heed as we charter the very changed geopolitical waters of the 21st century.

James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
http://journal-neo.org/2017/05/07/time-to-rethink-australian-defence-policy/

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Amnesty International Confirms US Gave ISIS $1 Billion of Weapons in 2016

US Army gave arms and equipment to Islamic State under Obama
By: Jay Greenberg |@NeonNettle on 26th May 2017 @ 5.05pm
the us gave 1 billion usd worth of weapons in 2016
the us gave 1 billion usd worth of weapons in 2016 © press
The US gave 1 billion USD worth of weapons in 2016 Amnesty International has confirmed that the US Army gave ISIS $1 billion worth of arms and equipment in Iraq during President Obama’s final year in office, according to a report.
The data was obtained by the human rights group following a freedom of information request for a 2016 government audit.
“This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed — and potentially dangerous system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region,” Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty’s researcher on international arms control, said in a statement.
“It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.”
In 2015, the US gave $1.57 billion worth of equipment to Iraq to help them fight ISIS through the Iraq Train and Equip Fund. Now it has been revealed they also funded the enemy, providing them with weapons.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2211-amnesty-international-confirms-us-gave-isis-1-billion-of-weapons-in-2016
© Neon Nettle

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