Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Duel in the Sun: America's Iraqi Clients Play the Al Qaeda Card on Syria
First published in Empire Burlesque earlier today, 31 August 2009
Sectarian extremist Nouri al-Maliki has turned to the time-honored tactic used by governments since time immemorial to divert attention from its own manifest failures: blaming foreign devils.
The American client government in Iraq has embarked on a remarkable campaign of diplomatic hostilities with its neighbor, Syria, accusing Damascus of, among other things, the modern-day blood libel that immediate consigns a nation to diplomatic hell, and makes it a target for what George W. Bush used to call "the path of action": supporting al Qaeda.
As Jason Ditz reports, America's Baghdad satrapy has been broadcasting confessions "obtained" (via "strenuous" but no doubt justified and right-minded interrogation) from captives blamed for the recent bombing attacks that have shaken the PR image of a calmer, surge-soothed Iraq. The bombings also pointed up the vast failures of the client regime to provide security or bring together the warring factions inside the country. These goals are of course impossible for a regime installed and maintained in power by foreign invasion; even so, they represent the Green Zoners' sole claim to "legitimacy." Thus any threat to the PR image undermines the regime's hopes to survive the partial reduction of American occupation forces (erroneously termed a "withdrawal" in the obfuscating argot of imperial message management).
And so the client state led by sectarian extremist Nouri al-Maliki has turned to the time-honored tactic used by governments since time immemorial to divert attention from its own manifest failures: blaming foreign devils. Naturally, the Maliki regime cannot blame its foreign masters in Washington for unleashing, arming, abetting and exacerbating the murderous chaos in the conquered land. Nor can they blame their long-time mentors and supporters in Iran. So that leaves Syria.
With the televised confessions, the Maliki regime has moved swiftly from blaming Baathist diehards who have been hiding amongst the multitude of Iraqi refugees to accusing the Damascus regime of openly directing the attackers -- and now, in the latest show-trial spectacle, of supporting al-Qaeda training camps on Syrian soil.
This is heavy stuff indeed. For as we all know, the presence of al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan was the sole, purported reason for the American invasion in 2001; and preventing the re-establishment of such camps is still one of the primary excuses for continuing the slaughter there. The presence (or threat) of al-Qaeda camps is also proffered as justification for extending the Terror War into Pakistan and Somalia. What's more, the continual -- and blatantly false -- trumpeting of a "connection" between al Qaeda and Iraq was, in the end, the principal reason why the Iraq invasion garnered so much initial public support; the act of unprovoked aggression was seen as "payback for 9/11," as so many U.S. soldiers put it in those heady early days.
The "al Qaeda" card trumps everything else. It justifies any action: invasion, torture, drone attack, rendition, death squads, covert ops, war profiteering, draconian power -- "the dark side, if you will," as one great American statesman put it. By openly accusing the Syrian government of sponsoring al Qaeda and directing terrorist attacks inside Iraq, the Maliki regime is laying the groundwork for any action their Washington masters might want to take against Damascus at any time.
The regime is also giving one more reason to delay and dilute the American drawdown (which is also a cherished goal of the American militarists): are you going to pull out troops from Iraq when al Qaeda is getting state protection on Iraq's borders and launching terrorist attacks?
As I noted way back in caveman times -- April 2003, to be exact -- the neo-cons had been putting Syria in the crosshairs for years:
In the end, of course, Iraq represented too glittering a prize for all the various militarist factions to pass up on the first course. But you must never underestimate the appetite -- and persistence -- of our militarists. The latest accusations of the Iraqi client regime will be used to stoke the never-ending fires of militarist warmongering; they won't rest until every knee bows to their god of American Dominance.
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.
This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on August 31, 2009.
Public Service Ads: