Tag Archives: Moammar Gadhafi

The War in Syria: Who Is Actually to Blame?

By Darius Shahtahmasebi. Published 10-602016 by The Anti-Media

Aftermath of coalition air strike. Photo: Twitter

Aftermath of coalition air strike. Photo: Twitter

Depending on which news outlets you follow, your understanding of what is going on in Syria is likely coming from one of two main camps — Western media or Eastern media. Western media, in tandem with the Arab Gulf states, has almost completely pinned the blame for the crisis in Syria on the current president, Bashar al-Assad. Any residual blame left for the taking is delivered to Russia and Iran.

Those of us who inform ourselves daily from an eclectic range of media sources tend to have a broader understanding of the conflict in Syria. The more critical one becomes of both ends of the media spectrum, the more one can evaluate the veracity of the respective outlets (for example, the peddling of statistics from a T-shirt shop in England versus the use of satellite imagery). Continue reading

Share

Aspiring to Be a Mass Murderer? There’s a Scholarship for That

By Darius Shahtahmasebi. Published 7-27-2016 by The Anti-Media

Stephen Schwarzman. Photo: YouTube

Stephen Schwarzman. Photo: YouTube

Aspiring mass murderers will be happy to learn they no longer have to waste time on the child’s play that is firing into an open crowd at the risk of receiving a bullet to the head. One can now apply for a scholarship to China to learn from the experts themselves.

Well, kind of.

The Schwarzman Scholars Program is a new master’s program at Tsinghua University, China that seeks to “educate students about leadership and about China’s expanding role in the world.” Continue reading

Share

Failed US Policy in the Middle East

By Ellen Rosser. Published 2-29-2016 by Common Dreams

(Photo: Mark Holloway/flickr/cc.)

(Photo: Mark Holloway/flickr/cc.)

The United States has been involved in the Middle East for almost one hundred years because of the vast oil reserves there, and the US has been militarily involved since 1967, when the US began supplying Israel with weapons with which to defend itself. However, the US has only been involved in the “quagmire” of Middle East wars since 2001. Continue reading

Share

‘Huge Error’: Former US Military Chief Admits Iraq Invasion Spawned ISIS

The U.S. is poised to repeat all the same mistakes in Syria that it made in Iraq after 9/11, says former head of Defense Intelligence Agency

Written by Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-30-2015.

Daesh. Photo via TRT.

Daesh. Photo via TRT.

The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq fueled the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS) today and must serve as a warning against similar rash military intervention in Syria, a former U.S. intelligence chief said in an interview with German media on Sunday.

“When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, ‘Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them.’ Instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from,” former U.S. special forces chief Mike Flynn, who also served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), told Der Spiegel. “Then we strategically marched in the wrong direction.”

In recent weeks, ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks in Lebanon and Paris and the bombing of a Russian airplane over the Sinai peninsula, which together killed hundreds of people. Following the attacks, French President François Hollande vowed a “merciless” response against the group in Syria and Iraq—a statement that prompted comparisons between Hollande and former U.S. President George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11.

Echoing long-held arguments made by other experts, Flynn said Sunday that increased airstrikes and other offensives could be seen as an attempt to “invade or even own Syria,” and that the fight against militant groups like ISIS will only succeed or make progress through collaborative efforts with both Western and Arab nations. “Our message must be that we want to help and that we will leave once the problems have been solved. The Arab nations must be on our side.”

Otherwise, the U.S. is poised to repeat all its past mistakes, he said.

Der Spiegel‘s Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark noted that in February 2004, the U.S. military “already had [ISIS leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in your hands—he was imprisoned in a military camp, but got cleared later as harmless by a U.S. military commission. How could that fatal mistake happen?”

Flynn replied:

We were too dumb. We didn’t understand who we had there at that moment.

[….] First we went to Afghanistan, where al-Qaida was based. Then we went into Iraq. Instead of asking ourselves why the phenomenon of terror occurred, we were looking for locations. This is a major lesson we must learn in order not to make the same mistakes again.

Asked whether he regretted the Iraq War, Flynn responded simply, “Yes, absolutely.”

“It was a huge error,” Flynn said. “As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him. The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.”

Flynn’s interview with Der Spiegel echoes comments he made to Al Jazeera‘s Mehdi Hasan in August that the U.S. “totally blew it” in preventing the caliphate’s rise “in the very beginning.”

In fact, Flynn said, the U.S. deliberately backed extremist groups within the Syrian rebel movement as far back as 2012, when he was still DIA head. The Obama administration was aware at the time of a recently-declassified DIA memo that predicted the rise of a militant group in eastern Syria. Supporting the insurgency was a “willful decision,” he said.

Watch below:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Share