Western veterans of the Iraq War have long objected to the fact that they were sent there on the basis of an outright lie – that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction ready to be launched in 20 minutes. Those who saw their friends killed and were themselves injured and have had problems readjusting to civilian life – an increasing problem for ex-servicemen – rightly feel aggrieved that not enough has been done for them by those who conned them into putting themselves in such a situation.
Now the US Administration and its European/NATO pets are paying the final insult to these veterans. Intelligence sources in Georgia and Turkey are expressing increasing concern that the US-trained and inserted ISIS terrorists may soon have either weaponised bio agents or conventional battlefield WMDs of their own.
These items are apparently waiting to be shipped, and if they do take possession of them, it will be through the usual transit point, the Georgian port of Poti which is actually controlled in large part by Turkish and US intelligence, which the US continues to use in spite of the sudden interest in investigating the longstanding and well-documented shenanigans at these ports and storage facilities. The other main port, Batumi, is now too transparent to outside observers.
This explains why President Obama is doing practically nothing to help the victims of the beheadings, slaughters and forcible displacements of the non-Moslem population unfortunate enough to live in the path of the ISIS “Islamic State” onslaught. After all, ISIS has recently been using Western technology such as Barret .50 sniper rifles, capable of shooting up to two miles, which could only have been supplied by infidel Western sources.
It is hardly surprising that Iraq War veterans are angry that their friends were sent to their death to stop Iraq using WMDs it didn’t have when they see the US giving Iraq the WMDs it didn’t have them, and putting them into the hands of people committing atrocities on a daily basis which make Saddam look like Mother Teresa by comparison.
The moves and counter-moves concerning Ukraine and the Middle East, of which the emergence of ISIS is a part, are now following each other at such a pace that they cannot be effectively analysed. This is not accidental. When things go too fast they become a blur, you don’t exactly know who is doing what, so don’t know who to attack and what connections are being made in the dizzying mass inflicted upon you.
We have ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, which are seemingly unconnected but are linked by the movement of personnel and equipment from one place to the other as needed, This is made possible via ever-compliant Georgia, where being in the government is one of the few ways of earning a tolerable living and using your position to line your pocket has traditionally been the best way of doing that.
We have the Israel-Gaza conflict, in which both sides are considerably guilty and innocent, to provide distraction until the case can be made for engagement one way or another and different European politicians condemning violence on the one hand and professing support for one side, thereby encouraging its actions, on the other.
We are seeing what we are supposed to see, as ever. So to work out what is really going on, let us look at what is NOT being reported in mainstream sources, even though it is known, as there is a reason we are not supposed to be seeing these particular things.
Someone else’s war
American foreign policy has long been based around war in Iraq. Removing Saddam was supposed to cure all ills, but it has merely led to a prolonged occupation and so-called “reconstruction efforts” which have clearly failed miserably. Reconstruction was not supposed to create ISIS, nor were the Iraqi people supposed to be so ungrateful as to use the vote America had given them to elect who they actually wanted, whether or not that was in line with stated US policy.
Yet despite his campaign promise to withdraw from Afghanistan to sort out Iraq, Obama is now seeking a way out. According to reports, “A day before the Islamic State released a video of the brutal execution of American journalist James Foley, President Obama declared at a White House news conference that defeating the Islamic State was not his responsibility, [if he actually said that] ….
“We’re not the Iraqi military, we’re not even the Iraqi air force,” Obama said, adding “I am the commander in chief of the United States armed forces, and Iraq is going to have to ultimately provide for its own security.”
Iraqis both within and outside the country have long been demanding exactly this – that the US leave them to sort out their own mess. Yet the US has hung around this long to pursue its own policy objectives, regardless of what the Iraqis might actually want.
In addition to the Barret .50 sniper rifles ISIS is also using equipment such as SatCom and secure battlefield communications, and its maneouvres clearly show that it has been given access to satellite intelligence so far only available to Turkey and Israel, in fact the sort Israel is using in Gaza. It is this equipment which gives it an advantage over the ill-prepared Iraqi defence forces, which are also hampered by being sick and tired of having to conduct operations which do not have rebuilding their country as their ultimate aim, as the US has given no blueprint but DO AS WE SAY.
So the question is: If the US really wanted Iraq to ultimately provide for its own security, why does ISIS have technology the Iraqi forces do not have? It is, after all, Western technology, supplied by Westerners one way or another. Is it not rather more obvious that the plan was never to help Iraq and its people but to wipe it off the map altogether?
The drum beat
America is ostensibly losing wars all over the Middle East. Syria is disappearing from the news because Assad is regaining his lost territory, Israel has signally failed to either remove its so called terrorist groups or create a mainstream Arab alternative and Iraq is being destroyed by an insurgent group which is supposed to be everything the US entered there to protect it from – terrorist, radical Islamist, doctrinaire, anti-Christian and violent. This is not a position a superpower can afford to be in for very long.
There are two obvious explanations for this. Either the US no longer has the military capability it thinks it has, despite nearly 50% of its budget being spent on the armed forces, or it is no longer winning the battle of hearts and minds. Neither of these explanations is very pleasant to US ears, but given the choice it prefers the first one. The country which thinks its values automatically superior to anyone else’s would rather lose a few wars in defence of them than admit that the world doesn’t automatically think that the US is the answer to everything, and want to embrace everything it believes it stands for.
However, losing wars has one unfortunate consequence. It leaves in place enemies of the US who might turn out to be not so bad after all, and not drive their people to beg the US to rescue them. Iraq has been the focus of policy for so long that, even if this happens elsewhere, it cannot be allowed to happen there. But if there is no Iraq, there is no longer any problem. Yesterday’s war, win or lose, would no longer be relevant to a new geopolitical reality the US can interpret how it likes.
Obama was not really saying that he wants the Iraqi forces to defeat ISIS on their own. He was saying that he wants them to fail, so that he has an excuse to intervene on a larger scale, and fail with a bang instead of a whimper. ISIS has done half the job for him, with the support of American technology and training. When the US intervenes to complete the second half, whatever is left will not be Iraq, thus turning defeat into victory.
Witness the behaviour of agenda-setting papers like the Washington Post. Quoting Obama after the murder of the American journalist James Foley, it poured scorn on his contention that the Islamic State will meet its demise.
“People like this ultimately fail,” Obama declared passively, “because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.” Sorry, Mr. President, the Islamic State is not going to somehow magically collapse under the weight of its bankrupt ideology. People like this don’t “fail.” They have to be stopped. Nazi Germany didn’t fail. It was defeated. And the Islamic State needs to be defeated — something that will not happen without vigorous U.S. leadership, states the Washington Post piece.
This sort of article sounds like reasoned opinion. Until you realise that it is taking exactly the line of the previous Bush Administration and the US military and Obama’s own previously expressed position. Obama has got his Washington insider friends to say it for him so his actions appear to be a response to public opinion rather than aggression on his watch.
The comparison with the Nazis is also interesting. When they were defeated Germany was likewise wiped off the map, split into two allegedly hostile states which nevertheless supported each other financially throughout their existence, even when this involved taking and ransoming hostages, on the grounds that both were serving a “Greater Germany”. Any two state solution in what is now Iraq, perhaps the Republics of Kurdistan and Mesopotamia, will be obliged by balance of resources to look rather similar.
Consider other evidence. There is range of chemical weapons facilities in former Soviet states, including Georgia, which are run by US defence contractor Bechtel National. The supply lines to and from these run through Mosul and Eastern Syria, the areas the US has taken over through its armed proxies. All this has been confirmed through interviews with US officials and rebel commanders and intercepted Department of Homeland Security documents which are now open source.
Hugh Griffiths, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, who monitors illicit arms transfers, last year described “The intensity and frequency of cargo flights,” through Jordan and how this is “suggestive of a well-planned and coordinated clandestine military logistics operation.” Jeffrey K. Silverman,Veterans Today Bureau Chief in Georgia, has described how the same characters who kept visiting Georgia, another transit country, to support the Saakashvili regime are still holding meetings there, discussing God knows what, and that the government which was elected to stop the abuses of the Saakashvili years has taken on action over what is going on in the ports, though this was seen as part of the same abuses at the time.
The US wants to go into Iraq now to ensure that country will no longer be there to keep reminding it of its failures. The aim of giving ISIS WMDs is to ultimately prove there is no Weapon of Mass Destruction greater than the US Military and its CIA backstoppers.
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.