Posts Tagged ‘war’

The Kassandra Project

I came across this picture today. My first thought was that the artist is probably giving way too much credit to the average American (and their geographical aptitude). Does the randomly selected college student have any clue about the Soviet Eastern Bloc states? Do they know about the forcefully acquired neo-colonial Pacific territories? Do they teach the kids these days about the nefarious global divide and conquer strategy employed by the Wall Street stooge FDR, Papa Joe Stalin, and Winston Gin Blossoms at the Yalta Conference?

The media psy-op brainwash machination is currently in overdrive. Iran is the supposed evil-doer that, if left unchecked, will usher us into apocalyptic nuclear oblivion. The dogs of war are being savagely whipped by the Neo-Con humanity destroyers who are desperately seeking their War of Terror hat trick. Considering that the CIA forcefully overthrew Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953, and the U.S. gives over 3 billions dollars of military and financial aid a year to their antagonistic neighbor (with over 140 nuclear missiles), rational individuals can sympathize with the need for an Iranian defensive deterrent to U.S./Israeli aggression.

A majority of U.S. citizens, who are the benefactors of an economic hyper-power with the World’s greatest military arsenal, are blind to the responsibility this power requires. It is not hard to understand why my country is loathed on the World stage. The aggressive threat of force wielded by the maniacal sociopaths in the U.S. government is a symptom of diplomatic impotency. The inability of those in power to negotiate with the other kids in the sand box is a sign of inherent weakness. The problem is that, at some point, a bigger kid is going to come by and thrust their faces into the cat shit in the corner. Power wielded unjustly, and without respect for the weaker among us, has the tendency to create horrific unforeseen consequences due to the alliances of the subjugated.

That ends my political rant. Here is a lyric that sums up my current emotional state.

Waiting for the sun to shine
And you know sometimes it gets so painful
Just like talking to yourself
When everything don’t seem to have no rhyme or reason we all go
Waiting for the sun to shine
~ Van Morrison (Straight To Your Heart) Like A Cannonball

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The Kassandra Project

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Global Research, July 4, 2008

Is the war against Iran on hold?

Tehran is to allow foreign investors, in what might be interpreted as an overture to the West, to acquire full ownership of Iran’s State enterprises in the context of a far-reaching “free market” style privatization program.

With the price of crude oil at 140 dollars a barrel, the Iranian State is not in a financial straightjacket as in the case of most indebted developing countries, which are obliged by their creditors to sell their State assets to pay off a mounting external debt. What are the political motivations behind this measure? And why Now?

Several Western companies have already been approached. Tehran will allow foreign capital  “to purchase unlimited shares of state-run enterprises which are in the process of being sold off”.

While Iran’s privatization program was launched during the government of Mohammed Khatami  in the late 1990s, the recent sell-off of shares in key state enterprises points to a new economic design. The underlying measure is far-reaching. It goes beyond the prevailing privatization framework applied in several developing countries within America’s sphere of influence:

“The move is designed to attract greater foreign investment and is part of the country’s sweeping economic liberalization program.

Iran will no longer make a distinction between domestic and foreign firms that wish to purchase state-run companies as long as the combined foreign ownership in any particular industry does not exceed 35%. … As an example, a foreign firm may purchase an Iranian steel company but it would not be allowed to buy every business enterprise in Iran’s steel industry.

Among the new incentive measures announced, foreign firms may also transfer their annual profit from their Iranian company out of the country in any currency they wish.”

It is important to carefully analyze this decision. The timing of the announcement by Iran’s Privatization Organization (IPO) coincides with mounting US-Israeli threats to wage an all out war against Iran.

Moreover, the divestment program is compliant with the demands of the “Washington Consensus”. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed, with some reservations, that Tehran is committed to a “continued transition toward a viable and efficient market economy” while also implying .that the building of “investor confidence” requires an acceleration of  the privatization program.

In its May 2008 Review (Art. 4 Consultations), the IMF praised Tehran for its divestment program, which essentially transfers the ownership of State assets into private hands, while also underscoring that the program was being carried out in a speedily and efficient fashion.

Under the threat of war, is this renewed initiative by Tehran to privatize key industries intended to meet the demands of the Bush Administration?

The Bretton Woods institutions are known to directly serve US interests. They are not only in liaison with Wall Street and the US Treasury, they are also in contact with the US State Department, the Pentagon and NATO. The IMF-World Bank are often consulted prior to the onslaught of a major war. In the war’s aftermath, they are involved in providing “post conflict reconstruction” loans.  In this regard, the World Bank is a key player in channelling “foreign aid” to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The privatization measures suggest that Iran is prepared to allow foreign capital to gain control over important key sectors of the Iranian economy.

According to the chairman of the Iranian Privatization Organization (IPO) Gholamreza Kord-Zanganeh some 230 state-run companies are slated to be privatized by end of the Iranian year (March 2009). The shares of some 177 State companies were offered in Tehran Stock Exchange in the last Iranian year (ending March 2008).

Already the state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) has indicated that “a number of foreign telcos have expressed an interest in acquiring its shares when the government sells off part of its interest in a month’s time. Local press reports did not name the potential investors. TCI has a monopoly in Iran’s fixed line market and is also the country’s largest cellular operator via its subsidiary MCI.” France’s Alcatel, the MTN Group of South Africa and Germany’s Siemens already have sizeable interests in Iran’s telecom industry.

Other key sectors of the economy including aluminum, copper, the iron and steel industry have recently been put up for privatization, with the shares of State companies floated on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE)

More than Meets the Eye

Is this decision by Tehran to implement a far-reaching privatization program, in any way connected with continuous US saber rattling and diplomatic arm twisting?

At first sight it appears that Tehran is caving into Washington’s demands so as to avoid an all war.

Iran’s assets would be handed over on a silver platter to Western foreign investors, without the need for America to conquer new economic frontiers through military means?

But there is more than meets the eye.

Washington has no interest in the imposition of a privatization program on Iran, as an “alternative” to an all out war. In fact quite the opposite. There are indications that the Bush adminstration’s main objective is to stall the privatization program.

Rather than being applauded by Washington as a move in the right direction, Tehran’s privatization program coincides with the launching (May 2008) of a far-reaching resolution in the US Congress (H.CON. RES 362), calling for the imposition of Worldwide financial sanctions directed against Iran:

“[H. CON. RES. 362] urges the President, in the strongest of terms, to immediately use his existing authority to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, … international banks which continue to conduct financial transactions with proscribed Iranian banks; … energy companies that have invested $20,000,000 or more in the Iranian petroleum or natural gas sector in any given year since the enactment of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996; and all companies which continue to do business with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.” (See full text of H.CON RES 362) (emphasis added)

The resolution further demands that “the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran …. prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.”(emphasis added)

Were these economic sanctions to be carried out and enforced, they would paralyze trade and monetary transactions. Needless to say they would also undermine Iran’s privatization program and foreclose the transfer of Iranian State assets into foreign hands.

Economic Warfare

Now why on earth would the Bush administration be opposed to the adoption of a neoliberal-style divestment program, which would strip the Islamic Republic of some of its most profitable assets?

If “economic conquest” is the ultimate objective of a profit driven military agenda, what then is the purpose of bombing Iran, when Iran actually accepts to hand over its assets at rock-bottom prices to foreign investors, in much the same way as in other compliant developing countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil,  etc?

The largest foreign investors in Iran are China and Russia.

While US companies are notoriously absent from the list of foreign direct investors, Germany, Italy and Japan have significant investment interests in oil and gas, the petrochemical industry, power generation and construction as well as in banking. Together with China and Russia, they are the main beneficiaries of the privatization program.

One of the main objectives of the proposed economic sanctions under H. RES CON 362 is to prevent foreign companies (including those from the European Union and Japan) , from acquiring a greater stake in the Iranian economy under Tehran’s divestment program.

Other countries with major foreign investment interests in Iran include France, India, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland. Sweden’s Svedala Industri has major interests in Iran’s copper mines.

France, Japan and Korea have interests in the automobile industry, in the form of licensing agreements with Iranian auto manufacturers.

Italy’s ENI Oil Company is involved in the development of phases 4 and 5 of the South Pars oil field amounting to 3.8 billion dollars.(See Iranian Privatisation Organization, 2008 report) Total and the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Shell are involved in natural gas.

While the privatization process does not allow for the divestment of Iran’s State oil company, it creates an environment which favors foreign investment by a number of countries including China, Russia, Italy, Malaysia, etc. in oil refinery, the petrochemical industry, the oil services economy as well as oil and gas infrastructure including exploration and oil-gas pipelines.

While several US corporations are (unofficially) conducting business in Iran, the US trade sanctions regime (renewed under the Bush adminstration) outlaws US  citizens and companies from doing business in Iran. In other words, US corporations would not be allowed to acquire Iranian State assets under the privatisation program unless the US trade sanctions regime were to be lifted.

Moreover, all foreign firms are treated on an equal footing. There is no preferential treatment for US companies, no corrupt colonial style arrangement as in war-torn Iraq, which favors the outright transfer of ownership and control of entire sectors of the national economy to a handful of US corporations.

In other words, Tehran’s privatization program does not serve US economic and strategic interests. It tends to favor countries which have longstanding trade and investment relations with the Islamic Republic.

It favors Chinese, Russian, European and Japanese investors at the expense of the USA.

It undermines and weakens American hegemony. It goes against Washington’s design to foster a “unipolar” New World Order through both economic and military means.

And that is why Washington wants to shunt this program through a Worldwide economic sanctions regime which would, if implemented, paralyze trade, investment and monetary flows with Iran.

The proposed economic sanctions’ regime under H. CON 362 is intended to isolate Iran and prevent the transfer of Iranian assets into the hands of competing economic powers including China, Russia, the European Union and Japan.  It is tantamount to a declaration of war.

In a bitter irony, H CON 362 serves to undermine the economic interests of several of America’s allies. The Resolution would prevent them from positioning themselves in the Middle East, despite the fact that these allies (e.g. France and Germany) are also involved through NATO in the planning of the war on Iran.

War and Financial Manipulation

The Bush administration has opted for an all out war on Iran in alliance with Israel, with a view to establishing an exclusive American sphere of influence in the Middle East.

A US-Israel sponsored military operation directed against Iran, would largely backlash on the economic and financial interests of several of America’s allies, including Germany, Italy, France, and Japan.

More generally, a war on Iran would hit corporate interests involved in the civilian economy as opposed to those more directly linked to the military industrial complex and the war economy. It would undermine local and regional economies, the consumer manufacturing and services economy, the automobile industry, the airlines, the tourist and leisure economy, etc.

Moreover, an all out war feeds the profit driven agenda of global banking, including the institutional speculators in the energy market, the powerful Anglo-American oil giants and America’s weapons producers, the big five defense contractors plus British Aerospace Systems Corporation, which play a major role in the formulation of US foreign policy and the Pentagon’s military agenda, not to mention the gamut of mercenary companies and military contractors.

A small number of global corporations and financial institutions feed on war and destruction to the detriment of  important sectors of economic activity, Broadly speaking, the bulk of the civilian economy is threatened.

What we are dealing with are conflicts and rivalries within the upper echelons of the global capitalist system, largely opposing those corporate players which have a direct interest in the war to the broader capitalist economy which ultimately depends on the continued development of civilian consumer and investment demand.

These vested interests in a profit driven war also feed on economic recession and financial dislocation. The process of economic collapse which results, for instance, from the speculative hikes in oil and food prices, triggers bankruptcies on a large scale, which ultimately enable a handful of global corporations and financial institutions to “pick up the pieces” and consolidate their global control over the real economy as well as over the international monetary system.

Financial manipulation is intimately related to military decision-making. Major banks and financial institutions have links to the military and intelligence apparatus. Advanced knowledge or inside information by these institutional speculators regarding specific “false flag” terrorist attacks, or military operations in the Middle East is the source of tremendous speculative gains.

Both the war agenda and the proposed economic sanctions regime trigger, quite deliberately, a global atmosphere of insecurity and economic chaos.

In turn, the institutional speculators in London, Chicago and New York not only feed on economic chaos and uncertainty, their manipulative actions in the energy and commodity markets contribute to spearheading large sectors of the civilian economy into bankruptcy.

The economic and financial dislocations resulting from the hikes in the prices of crude oil and food staples are the source of financial gains by a handful of global actors. Speculators are not concerned with the far-reaching consequences of a broader Middle East war, which could evolve into a World War Three scenario.

The pro-Israeli lobby in the US indirectly serves these powerful financial interests.  In the current context, Israel is an ally with significant military capabilities which serves America’s broader objective in the Middle East. Washington, however, has little concern for the security of Israel, which in the case of a war on Iran would be the first target of retaliatory military action by Tehran.

The broader US objective consists in establishing, through military and economic means, an exclusive US sphere of influence throughout the Middle East.

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The Kassandra Project

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The Kassandra Project

Global Research, June 25, 2008

Shining Light on the “Black World”

In January of 2002, the Washington Post ran a story detailing a CIA plan put forward to President Bush shortly after 9/11 by CIA Director George Tenet titled, “Worldwide Attack Matrix,” which was “outlining a clandestine anti-terror campaign in 80 countries around the world. What he was ready to propose represented a striking and risky departure for U.S. policy and would give the CIA the broadest and most lethal authority in its history.” The plan entailed CIA and Special Forces “covert operations across the globe,” and at “the heart of the proposal was a recommendation that the president give the CIA what Tenet labeled “exceptional authorities” to attack and destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.” Tenet cited the need for such authority “to allow the agency to operate without restraint — and he wanted encouragement from the president to take risks.” Among the many authorities recommended was the use of “deadly force.”

Further, “Another proposal was that the CIA increase liaison work with key foreign intelligence services,” as “Using such intelligence services as surrogates could triple or quadruple the CIA’s effectiveness.” The Worldwide Attack Matrix “described covert operations in 80 countries that were either underway or that he was now recommending. The actions ranged from routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks,” as well as “In some countries, CIA teams would break into facilities to obtain information.”[1]

P2OG: “Commit terror, to incite terror… in order to react to terror”

In 2002, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a “Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism,” portions of which were leaked to the Federation of American Scientists. According to the document, the “War on Terror” constitutes a “committed, resourceful and globally dispersed adversary with strategic reach,” which will require the US to engage in a “long, at times violent, and borderless war.” As the Asia Times described it, this document lays out a blueprint for the US to “fight fire with fire.” Many of the “proposals appear to push the military into territory that traditionally has been the domain of the CIA, raising questions about whether such missions would be subject to the same legal restraints imposed on CIA activities.” According to the Chairman of the DSB, “The CIA executes the plans but they use Department of Defense assets.”

Specifically, the plan “recommends the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception. For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT) forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities.” The purpose of P2OG would be in “‘stimulating reactions’ among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction, meaning it would prod terrorist cells into action, thus exposing them to ‘quick-response’ attacks by US forces.”[2] In other words, commit terror to incite terror, in order to react to terror.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2002 that, “The Defense Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised,” and quoted then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying, “Prevention and preemption are … the only defense against terrorism.”[3] Chris Floyd bluntly described P2OG in CounterPunch, saying, “the United States government is planning to use “cover and deception” and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let’s say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people–your family, your friends, your lovers, you–in order to further their geopolitical ambitions.”[4]

“The Troubles” with Iraq

On February 5, 2007, the Telegraph reported that, “Deep inside the heart of the “Green Zone” [in Iraq], the heavily fortified administrative compound in Baghdad, lies one of the most carefully guarded secrets of the war in Iraq. It is a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG).” The members of the JSG “are trained to turn hardened terrorists into coalition spies using methods developed on the mean streets of Ulster during the Troubles, when the Army managed to infiltrate the IRA at almost every level. Since war broke out in Iraq in 2003, they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents.” They have been “[w]orking alongside the Special Air Service [SAS] and the American Delta Force as part of the Baghdad-based counter-terrorist unit known as Task Force Black.”

It was reported that, “During the Troubles [in Northern Ireland], the JSG operated under the cover name of the Force Research Unit (FRU), which between the early 1980s and the late 1990s managed to penetrate the very heart of the IRA. By targeting and then “turning” members of the paramilitary organisation with a variety of “inducements” ranging from blackmail to bribes, the FRU operators developed agents at virtually every command level within the IRA.” Further, “The unit was renamed following the Stevens Inquiry into allegations of collusion between the security forces and protestant paramilitary groups, and, until relatively recently continued to work exclusively in Northern Ireland.”[5]

Considering that this group had been renamed after revelations of collusion with terrorists, perhaps it is important to take a look at what exactly this “collusion” consisted of. The Stevens Inquiry’s report “contains devastating confirmation that intelligence officers of the British police and the military actively helped Protestant guerillas to identify and kill Catholic activists in Northern Ireland during the 1980s.” It was, “a state policy sanctioned at the highest level.” The Inquiry, “highlighted collusion, the willful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence, and the extreme of agents being involved in murder,” and acknowledged “that innocent people had died because of the collusion.” These particular “charges relate to activities of a British Army intelligence outfit known as the Force Research Unit (FRU) and former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police officers.”[6]

In 2002, the Sunday Herald reported on the allegations made by a former British intelligence agent, Kevin Fulton, who stated that, “he was told by his military handlers that his collusion with paramilitaries was sanctioned by Margaret Thatcher herself.” Fulton worked for the Force Research Unit (FRU), and had infiltrated the IRA, always while on the pay roll of the military. Fulton tells of how in 1992, he told his FRU and MI5 intelligence handlers that his IRA superior was planning to launch a mortar attack on the police, yet his handlers did nothing and the attack went forward, killing a policewoman. Fulton stated, “I broke the law seven days a week and my handlers knew that. They knew that I was making bombs and giving them to other members of the IRA and they did nothing about it. If everything I touched turned to shit then I would have been dead. The idea was that the only way to beat the enemy was to penetrate the enemy and be the enemy.”[7]

In 1998, Northern Ireland experienced its “worst single terrorist atrocity,” as described by the BBC, in which a car bomb went off, killing 29 people and injuring 300.[8] According to a Sunday Herald piece in 2001, “Security forces didn’t intercept the Real IRA’s Omagh bombing team because one of the terrorists was a British double-agent whose cover would have been blown as an informer if the operation was uncovered.” Kevin Fulton had even “phoned a warning to his RUC handlers 48 hours before the Omagh bombing that the Real IRA was planning an attack and gave details of one of the bombing team and his car registration.” Further, “The man thought to be the agent is a senior member of the [IRA] organization.”[9]

In 2002, it was revealed that, “one of the most feared men inside the Provisional IRA,” John Joe Magee, head of the IRA’s “internal security unit,” commonly known as the IRA’s “torturer- in-chief,” was actually “one of the UK’s most elite soldiers,” who “was trained as a member of Britain’s special forces.” The Sunday Herald stated that, “Magee led the IRA’s internal security unit for more than a decade up to the mid-90s – most of those he investigated were usually executed,” and that, “Magee’s unit was tasked to hunt down, interrogate and execute suspected British agents within the IRA.”[10]

In 2006, the Guardian reported that, “two British agents were central to the bombings of three army border installations in 1990.” The claims included tactics known as the ‘human bomb’, which “involved forcing civilians to drive vehicles laden with explosives into army checkpoints.” This tactic “was the brainchild of British intelligence.”[11]

In 2006, it was also revealed that, “A former British Army mole in the IRA has claimed that MI5 arranged a weapons-buying trip to America in which he obtained detonators, later used by terrorists to murder soldiers and police officers,” and “British intelligence co-operated with the FBI to ensure his trip to New York in the 1990s went ahead without incident so that his cover would not be blown.” Further, “the technology he obtained has been used in Northern Ireland and copied by terrorists in Iraq in roadside bombs that have killed British troops.”[12]

Considering all these revelations of British collusion with IRA terrorists and complicity in terrorist acts in Northern Ireland through the FRU, what evidence is there that these same tactics are not being deployed in Iraq under the renamed Joint Support Group (JSG)? The recruits to the JSG in Iraq are trained extensively and those “who eventually pass the course can expect to be posted to Baghdad, Basra and Afghanistan.”[13]

P2OG in Action

In September of 2003, months after the initial invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Iraq’s most sacred Shiite mosque was blown up, killing between 80 and 120 people, including a popular Shiite cleric, and the event was blamed by Iraqis on the American forces.[14]

On April 20, 2004, American journalist in Iraq, Dahr Jamail, reported in the New Standard that, “The word on the street in Baghdad is that the cessation of suicide car bombings is proof that the CIA was behind them.” Jamail interviewed a doctor who stated that, “The U.S. induces aggression. If you don’t attack me, I will never attack you. The U.S. is stimulating the aggression of the Iraqi people!” This description goes very much in line with the aims outlined in the Pentagon’s P2OG document about “inciting terror,” or “preempting terror attacks.”[15]

Weeks after the initial incident involving the British SAS soldiers in Basra, in October of 2005, it was reported that Americans were “captured in the act of setting off a car bomb in Baghdad,” as, “A number of Iraqis apprehended two Americans disguised in Arab dress as they tried to blow up a booby-trapped car in the middle of a residential area in western Baghdad on Tuesday. … Residents of western Baghdad’s al-Ghazaliyah district [said] the people had apprehended the Americans as they left their Caprice car near a residential neighborhood in al-Ghazaliyah on Tuesday afternoon. Local people found they looked suspicious so they detained the men before they could get away. That was when they discovered that they were Americans and called the … police.” However, “the Iraq police arrived at approximately the same time as allied military forces – and the two men were removed from Iraq custody and whisked away before any questioning could take place.”[16]

It was reported that in May of 2005, an Iraqi man was arrested after witnessing a car bombing that took place in front of his home, as it was said he shot an Iraqi National Guardsman. However, “People from the area claim that the man was taken away not because he shot anyone, but because he knew too much about the bomb. Rumor has it that he saw an American patrol passing through the area and pausing at the bomb site minutes before the explosion. Soon after they drove away, the bomb went off and chaos ensued. He ran out of his house screaming to the neighbors and bystanders that the Americans had either planted the bomb or seen the bomb and done nothing about it. He was promptly taken away.”

Further, another story was reported in the same month that took place in Baghdad when an Iraqi driver had his license and car confiscated at a checkpoint, after which he was instructed “to report to an American military camp near Baghdad airport for interrogation and in order to retrieve his license.” After being questioned for a short while, he was told to drive his car to an Iraqi police station, where his license had been forwarded, and that he should go quickly. “The driver did leave in a hurry, but was soon alarmed with a feeling that his car was driving as if carrying a heavy load, and he also became suspicious of a low flying helicopter that kept hovering overhead, as if trailing him. He stopped the car and inspected it carefully. He found nearly 100 kilograms of explosives hidden in the back seat and along the two back doors. The only feasible explanation for this incident is that the car was indeed booby trapped by the Americans and intended for the al-Khadimiya Shiite district of Baghdad. The helicopter was monitoring his movement and witnessing the anticipated ‘hideous attack by foreign elements.”[17]

On October 4, 2005, it was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald that, “The FBI’s counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering some vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior US Government officials.” Further, “The inquiry began after coalition troops raided a Falluja bomb factory last November and found a Texas-registered four-wheel-drive being prepared for a bombing mission. Investigators said there were several other cases where vehicles evidently stolen in the US wound up in Syria or other Middle Eastern countries and ultimately in the hands of Iraqi insurgent groups, including al-Qaeda in Iraq.”[18]

In 2006, the Al-Askariya mosque in the city of Samarra was bombed and destroyed. It was built in 944, was over 1,000 years old, and was one of the most important Shi’ite mosques in the world. The great golden dome that covered it, which was built in 1904, was destroyed in the 2006 bombing, which was set off by men dressed as Iraqi Special Forces.[19] Former 27-year CIA analyst who gave several presidents their daily CIA briefings, Ray McGovern, stated that he “does not rule out Western involvement in this week’s Askariya mosque bombing.” He was quoted as saying, “The main question is Qui Bono? Who benefits from this kind of thing? You don’t have to be very conspiratorial or even paranoid to suggest that there are a whole bunch of likely suspects out there and not only the Sunnis. You know, the British officers were arrested, dressed up in Arab garb, riding around in a car, so this stuff goes on.”[20]

Death Squads for “Freedom”

In January of 2005, Newsweek reported on a Pentagon program termed the “Salvador Option” being discussed to be deployed in Iraq. This strategy “dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported “nationalist” forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers.” Updating the strategy to Iraq, “one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions.”[21]

The Times reported that, “the Pentagon is considering forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago. Under the so-called ‘El Salvador option’, Iraqi and American forces would be sent to kill or kidnap insurgency leaders.” It further stated, “Hit squads would be controversial and would probably be kept secret,” as “The experience of the so-called “death squads” in Central America remains raw for many even now and helped to sully the image of the United States in the region.” Further, “John Negroponte, the US Ambassador in Baghdad, had a front-row seat at the time as Ambassador to Honduras from 1981-85.”[22]

By June of 2005, mass executions were taking place in Iraq in the six months since January, and, “What is particularly striking is that many of those killings have taken place since the Police Commandos became operationally active and often correspond with areas where they have been deployed.”[23]

In May of 2007, an Iraqi who formerly collaborated with US forces in Iraq for two and a half years stated that, “I was a soldier in the Iraqi army in the war of 1991 and during the withdrawal from Kuwait I decided to seek asylum in Saudi Arabia along with dozens of others like me. That was how began the process whereby I was recruited into the American forces, for there were US military committees that chose a number of Iraqis who were willing to volunteer to join them and be transported to America. I was one of those.” He spoke out about how after the 2003 invasion, he was returned to Iraq to “carry out specific tasks assigned him by the US agencies.” Among those tasks, he was put “in charge of a group of a unit that carried out assassinations in the streets of Baghdad.”

He was quoted as saying, “Our task was to carry out assassinations of individuals. The US occupation army would supply us with their names, pictures, and maps of their daily movements to and from their place of residence and we were supposed to kill the Shi’i, for example, in the al-A’zamiyah, and kill the Sunni in the of ‘Madinat as-Sadr’, and so on.” Further, “Anyone in the unit who made a mistake was killed. Three members of my team were killed by US occupation forces after they failed to assassinate Sunni political figures in Baghdad.” He revealed that this “dirty jobs” unit of Iraqis, Americans and other foreigners, “doesn’t only carry out assassinations, but some of them specialize in planting bombs and car bombs in neighborhoods and markets.”

He elaborated in saying that “operations of planting car bombs and blowing up explosives in markets are carried out in various ways, the best-known and most famous among the US troops is placing a bomb inside cars as they are being searched at checkpoints. Another way is to put bombs in the cars during interrogations. After the desired person is summoned to one of the US bases, a bomb is place in his car and he is asked to drive to a police station or a market for some purpose and there his car blows up.”[24]

Divide and Conquer?

Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, wrote in October of 2006, that, “The evidence that the US directly contributed to the creation of the current civil war in Iraq by its own secretive security strategy is compelling. Historically of course this is nothing new – divide and rule is a strategy for colonial powers that has stood the test of time. Indeed, it was used in the previous British occupation of Iraq around 85 years ago. However, maybe in the current scenario the US just over did it a bit, creating an unstoppable momentum that, while stalling the insurgency, has actually led to new problems of control and sustainability for Washington and London.”[25]

Andrew G. Marshall contributed to breaking the Climate Change consensus in a celebrated 2006 article entitled Global Warming A Convenient Lie, in which he challenged the findings underlying Al Gore’s documentary.  According to Marshall, ‘as soon as people start to state that “the debate is over”, beware, because the fundamental basis of all sciences is that debate is never over’. Andrew Marshall has also written on the militarization of Central Africa, national security issues and the process of integration of North America. He is also a contributor to GeopoliticalMonitor.com
He is currently a researcher at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) in Montreal and is studying political science and history at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia.

Andrew G. Marshall is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Andrew G. Marshall

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