Eric Zuesse / Off-Guardian & Andrew Cockburn / Harper’s Magazine – 2016-01-04 16:16:52
Historic New Harper’s Article Exposes Who Controls America
Eric Zuesse / Off-Guardian
(December 18, 2015) — There can be little doubt now: America’s decades-long catastrophic failures to make significant progress in eliminating even a single one of the numerous jihadist groups around the world is due to the American government’s secret under-the-table crucial ongoing assistance to those groups, and this American-government support has intentionally encouraged recent terrorist events especially in Syria, Libya, and other countries that had been allied with Russia — but which might be flipped ‘our’ way, by those jihadists.
In such countries (America’s ‘enemies’), the US government calls the jihadist groups ‘pro-democracy’ ‘moderates’. But in Christian, Jewish, and Shiite-Muslim dominant countries, they’re instead called “terrorists,” which is what they actually are.
George Orwell called such linguistic tricks for fooling any nation’s mass of suckers “Newspeak,” but America’s version is more sophisticated than his fictional one was. And so is America’s version of Orwell’s “Big Brother” more sophisticated than his — and now we know what it actually is, because of this:
The great investigative journalist Andrew Cockburn, in the January 2016 issue of Harper’s Magazine, has come forth with what may be the best public-affairs article I’ve ever seen, because he has interviewed key individuals in the CIA and other US intelligence agencies, some of whom he even identifies by name (i.e., they’re retired), and all of whom provide different details of the very same stunning huge story, a story that I have been reporting only in bits and pieces over the past year, but for which Cockburn offers an astounding amount of fuller and entirely new documentation — it blows everything else away.
To boil it all down to the essence:
The fundamentalist-Sunni royal family of the Sauds have bought the highest levels of the US government in order to control US foreign policies, especially the ongoing wars to take down the governments of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and ultimately (they hope) of Russia itself, which latter nation has allied itself instead with Shiia countries.
The controlling entities behind American foreign policies since at least the late 1970s have been the Saud family and the Sauds’ subordinate Arabic aristocracies in Qatar (the al-Thanis), Kuwait (the al-Sabahs), Turkey (the Tuktik ErdoÄŸans, a new royalty), and UAE (its six royal families: the main one, the al-Nahyans in Abu Dhabi; the other five: the al-Maktoums in Dubai, al-Qasimis in Sharjah, al-Nuaimis in Ajman, al-Mualla Ums in Quwain, and al-Sharqis in Fujairah).
Other Saudi-dominated nations — though they’re not oil-rich (more like Turkey in this regard) — are Pakistan and Afghanistan.
On December 15th, the Sauds formed their own Sunni-Islamic version of the American aristocracy’s NATO; and, though it shares one existing member with the 28-member NATO military alliance, which is Turkey, the other 34+ nations in it are, like the Sauds’ Kingdom itself, ruled by Wahhabist-Salafist leaders, and are likewise vigorously against both Russia and Shiite-led countries — just as NATO itself also is.
Cockburn mentions by name only the al-Sauds, but he documents the cooperation of the other kingdoms in the ring-leading Sauds’ fundamentalist-Sunni plan, for, essentially, a Saud Caliphate, which dream had actually started when Muhammad Ibn Saud and Muhammad Ibn Wahhab in the year 1744 swore their mutual oaths to one-another that started Saudi Arabia: Saud’s descendants would be authorized by Wahhab’s clerics as approved by God to rule, in return for which the Sauds would impose upon their subjects the Wahhabist-Salafist version of Islam and would allow the Wahhabist clerics to make the country’s laws, with the approval of (and enforcement by) the Sauds.
It’s the traditional deal between a nation’s aristocrats and its clergy, but superpowered in the Sauds’ case with ‘god’s’ gift of oil, and America’s commitment of weapons (which is an endless boon to America’s weapons industry).
As I have documented previously, the bookkeeper for Al Qaeda, who also was their traveling bagman personally collecting in cash each one of the many multi-million-dollar donations to al-Qaeda, has testified in stunning detail, and under oath (not merely as the interviewee of some journalist), regarding the identities of the chief funders of al-Qaeda; and, he said, to summarize, that, “Without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing”.
Even Hillary Clinton, in a much-quoted 2009 wikileaked cable telling America’s Ambassadors what to say to the Islamic-nation rulers (quoted from also by Cockburn), mentioned this Saudi problem, when she addressed the issue indirectly to the Sauds, via the US Saudi Ambassador:
While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.
Due in part to intense focus by the USG over the last several years, Saudi Arabia has begun to make important progress on this front and has responded to terrorist financing concerns raised by the United States through proactively investigating and detaining financial facilitators of concern. Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. . . .
In contrast to its increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qa’ida’s access to funding from Saudi sources, Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qa’ida and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
So: we know that al-Qaeda was an operation financed chiefly by the Saud family not only pre-9/11, but until at least 2009.
She went on to request, almost to plead with them:
We would like to stress our interest in broadening and deepening this dialogue and information exchange as we still lack detailed information on the ultimate sources of terrorist financing emanating from the Kingdom.
No sanctions against them were threatened: a subordinate doesn’t threaten his (or her) master.
She also requested their:
cutting off the flow of funds from Saudi Arabia to foreign religious, charitable, and educational organizations that propagate violent extremist ideologies to vulnerable populations.
She went on also to mention, regarding Kuwait (whose Sabah family are ruling there only because the Sauds want them to):
the specific activities of terrorist financiers in country, Kuwaiti charities financing terrorism abroad, and Kuwait’s lack of a comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime. . . . Al-Qa’ida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point. . . .
A particular point of difference between the US and Kuwait concerns Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS). In June 2008 the USG domestically designated all RIHS offices RIHS under Executive Order 13224 for providing financial and material support to al-Qa’ida and UN 1267-listed al-Qa’ida affiliates, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya.
To Kuwait’s Sabahs themselves, she said:
We remain concerned that the continued absence of counterterrorism legislation criminalizing terrorist financing will continue to prevent effective counterterrorist efforts.
She noted regarding Qatar:
Qatar has adopted a largely passive approach to cooperating with the US against terrorist financing. Qatar’s overall level of CT cooperation with the US is considered the worst in the region.
However, she said nothing at all to the rulers, the Thanis, themselves.
To UAE’s Nahyans, she concluded by saying:
We urge your government to strengthen its regulatory and enforcement regime to interdict cash couriers transiting major airports.
To Pakistan’s rulers, she said:
We urge your government to support the international community’s efforts to combat terrorist financing. . . . We urge your government to comply with UN and domestic legal obligations to enforce sanctions on the Pakistan-based, UN-proscribed NGOs al Rashid Trust and al Akhtar Trust, and all successor organizations that continue to funnel money and provide other forms of support to the Taliban and LeT. . . . We emphasize that social services provided by NGO extremist organizations, such as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JUD) challenge the legitimacy of your government to provide for its people.
The clergy in all of those countries are mainly Wahhabist in ideology, which outside Saudi Arabia is instead called Salafist. This is the fundamentalist wing of Sunni Islam, and it is rabidly anti-Shiite. It dominates not only Arabia but also Pakistan and Afghanistan; it’s the jihadist wing of Islam, the wing that promotes restoring the “Caliphate” or the Islamic Empire.
Secretary of State Clinton had nothing to say in this cable to Shiite-dominant countries, such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria, nor to Bahrain, which is Sunni-ruled by the Salafist al-Khalifa family, who continue to rule their majority-Shiite population only because in 2011, US weapons and Saudi soldiers slaughtered opponents of the regime.
Here was the never-telecast US news-report about that, and here is an interview with its reporter, who was fired and blackballed from US media for having tried to report it. (A YouTube news-medium, Vice News, wasn’t as corrupt: they allowed their report to run.)
So, it’s remarkable that Andrew Cockburn is able to get his extraordinarily honest article published in a mainstream American news-medium. Perhaps Harpers Magazine is suddenly testing the limits of what the US aristocracy will tolerate to be published. But whatever the reason is, it’s to be welcomed, and applauded.
The only scientific study that has yet been done of whether or not the US is a democracy or an oligarchy found that it’s an oligarchy; and now the international extension of that oligarchy, if not its chief figures (if America’s aristocracy actually is subordinate to the Sauds), can be more clearly understood.
But, perhaps, one can safely say that the alliance between the US aristocracy and the Saudi royals is emerging as a global dictatorship, a dictatorial type of world government. Because, clearly: those two aristocracies have been, to a large extent, ruling the world together for several decades now. From their perspective, jihadists themselves are a weapon, not merely a political nuisance.
This is a more realistic explanation of America’s decades-long catastrophic failures to make significant progress in eliminating even a single one of the numerous jihadist groups around the world: that’s how things have been planned to be. It’s not just ‘intelligence errors’ or ‘not being tough enough.’ Those ‘explanations’ are just cover-stories, propaganda, PR from the aristocrats. It’s skillful ‘crowd control’: keeping the people in their ‘proper’ places.
Following America’s presidential campaign ‘debates’ in this light enables a viewer to understand better the pressures upon each one of the candidates — and upon the moderators who ask the questions, and who don’t ask the follow-up questions that will expose the lies in the answers. It’s not merely a contest between the candidates; it is all part of a collective war by the aristocracy against the public, to keep them in their ‘proper’ places.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
A Special Relationship [Excerpt]
The United States is teaming up with Al Qaeda, again
Andrew Cockburn / Harper’s Magazine
(January 2016 Edition) — One morning early in 1988, Ed McWilliams, a foreign-service officer posted to the American Embassy in Kabul, heard the thump of a massive explosion from somewhere on the other side of the city. It was more than eight years after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, and the embassy was a tiny enclave with only a handful of diplomats.
McWilliams, a former Army intelligence operative, had made it his business to venture as much as possible into the Soviet-occupied capital. Now he set out to see what had happened.
It was obviously something big: although the explosion had taken place on the other side of Sher Darwaza, a mountain in the center of Kabul, McWilliams had heard it clearly. After negotiating a maze of narrow streets on the south side of the city, he found the site. A massive car bomb, designed to kill as many civilians as possible, had been detonated in a neighborhood full of Hazaras, a much-persecuted minority.
McWilliams took pictures of the devastation, headed back to the embassy, and sent a report to Washington. It was very badly received — not because someone had launched a terrorist attack against Afghan civilians, but because McWilliams had reported it. The bomb, it turned out, had been the work of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the mujahedeen commander who received more CIA money and support than any other leader of the Afghan rebellion.
The attack, the first of many, was part of a CIA-blessed scheme to “put pressure” on the Soviet presence in Kabul. Informing the Washington bureaucracy that Hekmatyar’s explosives were being deployed to kill civilians was therefore entirely unwelcome.
“Those were Gulbuddin’s bombs,” McWilliams, a Rhode Islander with a gift for laconic understatement, told me recently. “He was supposed to get the credit for this.” In the meantime, the former diplomat recalled, the CIA pressured him to “report a little less specifically about the humanitarian consequences of those vehicle bombs.”
I tracked down McWilliams, now retired to the remote mountains of southern New Mexico, because the extremist Islamist groups currently operating in Syria and Iraq called to mind the extremist Islamist groups whom we lavishly supported in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Hekmatyar, with his documented fondness for throwing acid in women’s faces, would have had nothing to learn from Al Qaeda.
When a courageous ABC News team led by my wife, Leslie Cockburn, interviewed him in 1993, he had beheaded half a dozen people earlier that day. Later, he killed their translator.
In the wake of 9/11, the story of US support for militant Islamists against the Soviets became something of a touchy subject. Former CIA and intelligence officials like to suggest that the agency simply played the roles of financier and quartermaster. In this version of events, the dirty work — the actual management of the campaign and the dealings with rebel groups — was left to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
It was Pakistan’s fault that at least 70 percent of total US aid went to the fundamentalists, even if the CIA demanded audited accounts on a regular basis.
The beneficiaries, however, have not always been content to play along with the official story. Asked by the ABC News team whether he remembered Charlie Wilson, the Texas congressman later immortalized in print and onscreen as the patron saint of the mujahedeen, Hekmatyar fondly recalled that “he was a good friend. He was all the time supporting our jihad.” Others expressed the same point in a different way.
Abdul Haq, a mujahedeen commander who might today be described as a “moderate rebel,” complained loudly during and after the Soviet war in Afghanistan about American policy. The CIA “would come with a big load of ammunition and money and supplies to these [fundamentalist] groups. We would tell them, ‘What the hell is going on? You are creating a monster in this country.’ ”
American veterans of the operation, at the time the largest in CIA history, have mostly stuck to the mantra that it was a Pakistani show. Only occasionally have officials let slip that the support for fundamentalists was a matter of cold-blooded calculation. Robert Oakley, a leading player in the Afghan effort as ambassador to Pakistan from 1988 to 1991, later remarked, “If you mix Islam with politics, you have a much more potent explosive brew, and that was quite successful in getting the Soviets out of Afghanistan.”
In fact, the CIA had been backing Afghan Islamists well before the Russians invaded the country in December 1979. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, later boasted to Le Nouvel Observateur that the president had “signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul” six months prior to the invasion.
“And that very day,” Brzezinski recalled, “I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.” The war that inevitably followed killed a million Afghans.
Other presumptions proved to be less accurate, including a misplaced faith in the martial prowess of our fundamentalist clients. As it turned out, the Islamists were really not the ferocious anti-Soviet warriors their backers claimed them to be.
McWilliams, who left Kabul in 1988 to become special envoy to the Afghan rebels, recalled that Hekmatyar was more interested in using his US-supplied arsenal on rival warlords. (On occasion, he tortured them as well — another fact the envoy was “discouraged” from reporting.) “Hekmatyar was a great fighter,” McWilliams remembered, “but not necessarily with the Soviets.”
Even after the Russians left, in February 1989, the agency’s favorite Afghan showed himself incapable of toppling the Soviet-supported regime of Mohammad Najibullah. Hekmatyar’s attack on the key city of Jalalabad, for example, was an embarrassing failure.
“Oakley bragged in the weeks leading up to this offensive [that] it was going to be a great success,” said McWilliams, who had passed on warnings from Abdul Haq and others that the plan was foolhardy, only to be told, “We got this locked up.”
To his disgust, the Pakistani and American intelligence officials overseeing the operation swelled its ranks with youthful cannon fodder. “What they wound up doing was emptying the refugee camps,” McWilliams told me. “It was a last-ditch effort to throw these sixteen-year-old boys into the fight in order to keep this thing going. It did not work.” Thousands died.
Anxious as they might have been to obscure the true nature of their relationship with unappealing Afghans like Hekmatyar, US officials were even more careful when it came to the Arab fundamentalists who flocked to the war in Afghanistan and later embarked on global jihad as Al Qaeda.
No one could deny that they had been there, but their possible connection to the CIA became an increasingly delicate subject as Al Qaeda made its presence felt in the 1990s.
The official line — that the United States had kept its distance from the Arab mujahedeen — was best expressed by Robert Gates, who became director of the CIA in 1991. When the agency first learned of the jihadi recruits pouring into Afghanistan from across the Arab world, he later wrote, “We examined ways to increase their participation, perhaps in the form of some sort of ‘international brigade,’ but nothing came of it.”
. . . .
Andrew Cockburn is the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine and the author, most recently, of Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins.
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