David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org & Khaleda Rahman and Anthony Harwood / Daily Mail Online – 2018-08-14 01:19:28
Should Al Qaeda Be Made the 51st State?
David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org
(August 8, 2018) — Should Al Qaeda be made the 51st state?
Hear me out.
Al Qaeda, despite being Saudi in origins and ideology, was easily tied to Afghanistan, then Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, the Philippines, and Yemen, and now Iran. The potential is almost as endless as with Communism in the good old days.
Without Al Qaeda the United States would not be whole. With it, all is in perfect balance. If there were no Al Qaeda we’d have to invent one.
In fact, where there is no Al Qaeda, the effective policy has been to invent one. Pretending there’s been a major Al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan has worked wonders. Pretending Al Qaeda members all wanted to move to Afghanistan from which to destroy the United States, the moment the United States stopped bombing people and kicking in doors and paying off members of Al Qaeda or related groups in Afghanistan has been a gold mine.
Invading and occupying Iraq gave a whole new birth to Al Qaeda, which also mutated into ISIS, which has been a wonderful source of war fever. In Syria, the Pentagon and CIA have been able to arm and train various moderate murderous gangs to fight against each other. What could be better?
Well, the set-up now arranged in Yemen, that’s what! The United States ships billions of dollars of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, not to mention its purchases of oil. The United States ran a drone war on Yemen for years that it understood giving birth and power to Al Qaeda in Yemen.
Having successfully gotten a major war going, and created the worst human catastrophe on earth, The US-Saudi alliance now passes millions of dollars to Al Qaeda fighters in Yemen in exchange for their leaving certain areas with their weapons and looted wealth, only to fight again elsewhere — and often to fight on the same side as the Saudis-Americans. The possibilities for proclaiming victories without risking ending the war are endless.
As in Syria, the US and its allies want to overthrow a government while also fighting those who want to overthrow the government. But the former is the main goal, while the latter is the better propaganda. So Al Qaeda and the US are on the same side in these wars, but as long as that’s not talked about too much, Al Qaeda is also the top generator of good will for the wars back in the US of A, serving basically the purpose of a Donald Trump effigy anywhere else on earth.
Now, with the money being handed out to and spent fighting with and against Al Qaeda, the United States could easily choose instead some bleeding-heart liberal mamby pamby scheme like giving everyone food, water, medicine, schools, and housing, while stashing the remaining billions in the bank.
But think what would happen, before acting rashly. People would start to like the United States rather than burning its flag. The environmental devastation of the wars might end, and people might have to face environmental catastrophe as a crisis to be addressed. And, most importantly, we might lose the ability to drain the US economy of trillions of dollars for wars.
No, in the end we are clearly far better off with Al Qaeda. Bringing back the Russian menace is not working. It’s been made partisan, laughable, and just not viscerally frightening. It lacks a bit of racist kick. Al Qaeda is the answer. And its net impact on the bottom line at the Pentagon outpaces that of any of the other 50 states.
It’s time we stopped imagining that the US public would object to any inconsistency. It’s time we openly acknowledged our partners. Statehood for Al Qaeda now!
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
Don’t Ask Saudis Awkward Questions:
Saudi Arabia appears to threaten Canada
with 9/11 attack with chilling Tweet
after ambassador is kicked out for
objecting to jailing of women’s rights activists
Khaleda Rahman and Anthony Harwood / Daily Mail Online
LONDON (August 6, 2018) — Saudi Arabia appeared to threaten a 9/11-style attack on Canada today after posting an image to Twitter that showed a passenger plane flying towards the CN Tower in Toronto.
The inflammatory photo was captioned: ‘As the Arabic saying goes: ‘He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him’.
The Saudi government-linked Twitter account, which has 354,000 followers, placed another caption over the tower reading: ‘Sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong’.
Responding to the mock 9/11 threat Elizabeth Tsurkov, a research fellow at the Israeli Forum for Regional Thinking, said: ‘This tweet by an official Saudi propaganda account has now been deleted.
‘Seems like they realized that reminding us that 15 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi is not a great idea’.
The 1814 feet high CN Tower is one of Canada’s best-known landmarks. More than 500 people work in the tower, which welcomes 1.5million tourists every year.
The apparent threat comes following a disagreement between the two nation’s over Canada’s criticism of Saudi Arabia for its jailing of women’s rights activists.
Saudi Arabia responded by freezing all new trade with Canada and expelling its ambassador over citing ‘interference’ in the desert kingdom’s domestic affairs. It added Canada’s actions were a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
A spokesman said: ‘The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia . . . will not accept interference in its internal affairs or imposed diktats from any country’.
In response, Canadian foreign ministry spokesman Marie-Pier Baril said the country would ‘always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women’s rights, and freedom of expression around the world’.
Among those detained by Riyadh is Loujain al-Hathloul, 28, who appeared with the Duchess of Sussex, then Meghan Markle, at a One Young World summit in Canada two years ago where they were pictured in a Vanity Fair photoshoot.
Yesterday the leading Saudi women’s rights campaigner Manal al-Sharif thanked Canada for ‘speaking up’ and asked when other Western powers would do the same. Aviation analyst Alex Macheras said the account was connected to the Saudi royal court.
Desperately trying to wriggle out of the gaffe, the Twitter account responsible, @infographic_ksa, apologised saying:
‘Earlier we posted an image, which is why we deleted the post immediately. The aircraft was intended to symbolize the return of the Ambassador, we realize this was not clear and any other meaning was unintentional. We apologise to anyone who was offended’.
Canada last week said it was ‘gravely concerned’ over a new wave of arrests of women and human rights campaigners in the kingdom, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi.
Samar is a vocal campaigner for her brother Raif Badawi, a blogger who was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for ‘insulting Islam’ in a case that sparked international outcry.
Badawi’s wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their three children now aged 14, 13 and 10 as a single mother.
Samar was arrested along with fellow campaigner Nassima al-Sadah last week, the latest victims of what Human Rights Watch called an ‘unprecedented government crackdown on the women’s rights movement’.
Freeland tweeted about the arrests on Thursday.
‘Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia,’ she wrote. ‘Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.’
The latest arrests come weeks after more than a dozen women’s right campaigners were detained and accused of undermining national security and collaborating with enemies of the state. Some have since been released.
The Saudi foreign ministry slammed the Canadian statement, signalling its growing irritation over Western criticism of the kingdom’s poor human rights record.
‘Using the phrase ‘immediately release’ in the Canadian statement is very unfortunate, reprehensible, and unacceptable in relations between states,’ the ministry tweeted.
Prince Mohammed, heir to the region’s most powerful throne, has introduced a string of reforms such as lifting a decades-long ban on women drivers in a bid to overhaul the kingdom’s austere image as it prepares for a post-oil era.
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