“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false.”— CIA Director Bill Casey, 1981
Dear Friends + Interlocutors,
A major goal of Washington’s foreign policy, as evinced by its track record, is to immiserate certain countries which have been targeted for such treatment, targeted whether they deserve it or not. This is not an accidental byproduct of incompetence or poor judgment. It is by design.
Iran, Syria and Russia spring to mind. Closer to home base, there is Venezuela and Cuba. The latter has been under American economic sanctions for many years, since time out of mind. What are we afraid of? What are we trying to do?
Also in the history books, there are Iraq and Libya. Both countries have been essentially ruined. In the case of Libya, it was rendered a failed state by the benevolent armed intervention of the self-proclaimed “indispensable nation”—and the application of its “rules-based order”, assisted by NATO allies and “partners”.
Why? In our post-Cold War era, none of the targeted countries was/is a danger, a rival, or an actual threat to the U.S. This includes highly-demonized Russia, whose GDP is minuscule compared to the U.S. or the EU and whose military budget is a small fraction of the U.S. and NATO.
Hubris and stupidity aside, what could possibly have motivated such an incendiary foreign policy by the Neocon-Neoliberal establishment in Washington, both elected representatives and unelected functionaries, moving in lock-step for decades?
How can such conduct be considered normal or desirable in a post-Cold War world, or in the best interests of the United States? There is no rhyme or reason to it, unless one considers a private, hidden agenda. We can only guess.
As a straw in the wind, take Syria, a once thriving and vibrant country, now a wreck. The key for understanding the destruction of Syria goes back to “The Redirection”, an article in the New Yorker which Seymour Hersh wrote in 2007.
The U.S.-Israeli project to invade Iraq in 2003—in the aftermath of 9/11 and following unrelenting murderous sanctions imposed on Iraq by President Bill Clinton during the 1990’s—had been a success. A success, that is, from the viewpoint of the Neocon cabal in Washington who engineered it.
But afterwards, there was a perceived downside, a problem. The U.S.-led invasion put Shiite Muslims in power in Baghdad. The Shiites were regarded as too friendly with Iran’s Shiite regime, which regime was a thorn in the side to Israel. What to do now? More mischief-making was required.
Dick Cheney and his ever-resourceful inner circle of Neocon fanatics had the answer: play the “Sunni card”, to wit, use Saudi cash to bankroll a Sunni resurgence. In other words, stir up an internecine Arab conflict, Sunni vs. Shia. Divide et impera. The purpose was “to contain the Shiite gain” in Iraq. Get the picture? Read Hersh’s article.
What happened? Iraq was further laid waste in a sectarian tribal war. Eventually playing the Sunni card resulted in a contrived civil war in next-door Syria, and the subsequent invasion of Syria by assorted Jihadist crazies, sponsored by Washington, Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
The purpose was to overthrow the secular regime of Bashar al-Assad, who is a member of the Alawite sect of Islam, an ally of Iran and a foe of Israel. Recall that Tel Aviv had annexed the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981 and Syria wanted it back. Hence, Tel Aviv had Assad in its cross-hairs; Washington and America’s Israel Lobby were eager to assist.
To complicate matters, Assad requested Vladimir Putin’s help in 2015, because Syria was in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists, unleashed by Washington in an attempt to streamline Israel’s long-range strategy to dominate the Middle East.
Russia stemmed the tide, saved Syria from the crazies, and provided a further reason for Washington to target Putin. In the meantime, Washington had had Syria under extreme sanctions since 2011, following the playbook it employed successfully in Iraq. Destabilize, destroy, dissimulate, demonize and leverage.
Earlier this month, the UN Special Rapporteur Dr. Alena Douhan urged that all sanctions be lifted on Syria:
“I am struck by the pervasiveness of the human rights and humanitarian impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the total economic and financial isolation of a country whose people are struggling to rebuild a life with dignity, following the decade-long war….
“In the current dramatic and still-deteriorating humanitarian situation as 12 million Syrians grapple with food insecurity, I urge the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions that severely harm human rights and prevent any efforts for early recovery, rebuilding and reconstruction.”
Will Washington (and the EU) respond positively? Most unlikely. Washington is sanction crazy. Sanctions are the prime tool in its foreign policy toolbox. In the meantime, American troops remain illegally inside Syria as further leverage.
What is the authorization for this? There is none. It’s just long established White House policy, part of the U.S. “rules-based” international order. You figure it out.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.