CONFRONTING IRAN, "PROTECTING ISRAEL": The Real Reason for America's War on Syria
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, June 8, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for an R2P humanitarian military intervention in Syria to curb the atrocities allegedly ordered by the government of president Bashar Al Assad. In a twisted logic, Clinton recognizes that while "opposition forces" are integrated by Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists, the government rather than the terrorists is held responsible, without a shred of evidence, for the ongoing massacre of civilians.
Amply documented, these sectarian killings and atrocities are being committed by foreign mercenaries and militia which are armed and supported by the Western military alliance.
The killings are carried out quite deliberately as part of a diabolical covert operation. The enemy is then blamed for the resulting atrocities. The objective is to justify a military agenda on humanitarian grounds.
In US military jargon, it's called a "massive casualty producing event", the historical origins of which go back to "Operation Northwoods", an infamous 1962 Pentagon Plan, consisting in killing civilians in the Miami Cuban community, with a view to justifying a war on Cuba. (See Michel Chossudovsky, SYRIA: Killing Innocent Civilians as part of a US Covert Op. Mobilizing Public Support for a R2P War against Syria, Global Research, May 30, 2012)
In the logic of Operation Northwoods, the killings in Syria are carried out to "create a helpful wave of indignation", to drum up public opinion in favor of an R2P US-NATO operation against Syria. "The international community cannot sit idly by, and we won’t”, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
What lies behind this outburst of humanitarian concern by "the international community". Is America coming to the rescue of the Syrian people? What is the real reason for America's war on Syria?
This question is addressed in a lead article by James P. Rubin, a Bloomberg executive editor and former State department official under the Clinton administration. The article appears in this month's Foreign Policy Magazineunder the clear-cut title: "The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria"
In an unusual twist, "the answer to the question", namely "the real reason" is provided in the article's subtitle: "Cutting Iran's link to the Mediterranean Sea is a strategic prize worth the risk.".
The subtitle should dispel --in the eyes of the reader-- the illusion that US foreign policy has an underlying "humanitarian mandate". Pentagon and US State department documents as well as independent reports confirm that military action against Syria has been contemplated by Washington and Tel Aviv for more than 20 years.
Targeting Iran, "Protecting Israel"
According to James P. Rubin, the war plans directed against Syria are intimately related to those pertaining to Iran. They are part of the same US-Israeli military agenda which consists in weakening Iran with a view to "protecting Israel". The latter objective is to be carried out through a pre-emptive attack against Iran: "We're not done with the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran" says James P. Rubin.
According to Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies ("a policy institute focusing on terrorism and Islamism"), the humaniitarian concern is not the primary objective but rather as "a means to an end": "If the Arab League is unmoved by the massacres of Syrian women and children (their angry eyes fixed as ever on Israel), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation doesn’t give a fig about Muslims slaughtering Muslims, why should we Americans expend an ounce of energy? ...[The answer] Because Syria, under the Assad dictatorship, is Iran’s most important ally and asset. And Iran is the single most important strategic threat facing the U.S. — hands down." (See National Review, May 30, 2012)
The military roadmap to Tehran goes through Damascus. The unspoken objective of the US-NATO-Israeli sponsored insurgency in Syria is to destabilize Syria as a Nation State and undermine Iran's influence in the region (including its support of the Palestinian Liberation movement and Hezbollah). The underlying objective is also to eliminate all forms of resistance to the Zionist State:
US-Israeli War Plans directed against Syria
Rubin candidly outlines the contours of US military intervention in Syria, which is to be implemented in close liaison with Israel. A diplomatic solution will not work, nor will economic sanctions: "only the threat or use of force will change the Syrian dictator's stance" says Rubin:
Washington's first step, according to James P. Rubin, should be to work with "its allies", the Arab sheikdoms --Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey-- "to organize, train, and arm Syrian rebel forces."
This "first step" has already been launched. It was implemented at the very outset of the insurgency in March 2012. The US and its allies have been actively supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists for over a year. The organization and training consisted in the deployment of Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists, alongside the incursion of French, British, Qatari and Turkish special forces inside Syria. US-NATO sponsored mercenaries are recruted and trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Sidetracking the UN
Rubin's proposed "second step" is "to secure international support for a coalition air operation." outside the mandate of the United Nations. "Russia will never support such a mission, so there is no point operating through the U.N. Security Council" says Rubin. The air operation contemplated by Rubin is an all out war scenario, similar to the NATO air raids conducted in Libya.
Rubin is not expressing a personal opinion on the role of the UN. The option of "sidetracking" the UN Security Council has already been endorsed by Washington. The violaiton of international law does not seem to be an issue. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice confirmed in late May, in no uncertain terms, that "the worst and most probable scenario" in Syria might be the option of "acting outside of the UN Security Council's authority".
Rubin also points to "the reluctance of some European states" (implying Germany without identifying the countries) to participate in an air operation against Syria: "this [military] operation will have to be a unique combination of Western and Middle East countries. Given Syria's extreme isolation within the Arab League, it should be possible to gain strong support from most Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. U.S. leadership is indispensable, since most of the key countries will follow only if Washington leads."
The article calls for continued arming of the Syrian Free Army (FSA) as well carrying out air raids directed against Syria. No ground operations are to be envisaged. The air campaign would be used --as in the case of Libya-- to support the FSA foot soldiers integrated by mercenaries and Al Qaeda affiliated brigades:
While the participation of Israel in military operations is not mentioned, the thrust of Rubin's article points to active cooperation between Washington and Tel Aviv in military and intelligence affairs, including the conduct of covert operations in support of the opposition rebels. This coordination would also be carried out in the context of the bilateral military-intelligence cooperation agreement between Israel and Turkey.
"Coming to the rescue of the Syrian people" under a fake "humanitarian" R2P mandate is intended to destabilize Syria, weaken Iran and enable Israel to exert greater political control and influence over neighboring Arab states including Lebanon and Syria.
A war on Syria is also a war on Palestine. It would weaken the resistance movement in the occupied territories. It would reinforce the Netanyahu government's ambitions to create a "Greater Israel", initially, through the outright annexation of the Palestinian territories:
War Crimes in the name of human rights: What we really need is "Regime Change" in the United States of America.... and Israel.
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Monday, June 25, 2012
Early CIA Involvement in Darfur Has Gone Unreported
By Jay Janson
There has been a glaring omission in the U.S. media presentation of the Darfur tragedy. The compassion demonstrated, mostly in words, until recently, has not been accompanied by a recognition of U.S. complicity, or at least involvement, in the war which has led to the enormous suffering and loss of life that has been taking place in Darfur for many years.
In 1978 oil was discovered in Southern Sudan. Rebellious war began five years later and was led by John Garang, who had taken military training at infamous Fort Benning, Georgia. "The US government decided, in 1996, to send nearly $20 million of military equipment through the 'front-line' states of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda to help the Sudanese opposition overthrow the Khartoum regime." [Federation of American Scientists fas.org]
Between 1983 and the peace agreement signed in January 2005, Sudan's civil war took nearly two million lives and left millions more displaced. Garang became a First Vice President of Sudan as part of the peace agreement in 2005. From 1983, "war and famine-related effects resulted in more than 4 million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than 2 million deaths over a period of two decades."
[CIA Fact Book -entry Sudan]
The BBC obituary of John Garang, who died in a plane crash shortly afterward, describes him as having "varied from Marxism to drawing support from Christian fundamentalists in the US." "There was always confusion on central issues such as whether the Sudan People's Liberation Army was fighting for independence for southern Sudan or merely more autonomy. Friends and foes alike found the SPLA's human rights record in southern Sudan and Mr Garang's style of governance disturbing." Gill Lusk - deputy editor of Africa Confidential and a Sudan specialist who interviewed the ex-guerrilla leader several times over the years was quoted by BBC, "John Garang did not tolerate dissent and anyone who disagreed with him was either imprisoned or killed."
CIA use of tough guys like Garang in Sudan, Savimbi in Angola, Mobutu in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), had been reported, even in mass media, though certainly not featured or criticized, but presently, this is of course buried away from public awareness and meant to be forgotten, as commercial media focuses on presenting the U.S. wars of today in a heroic light. It has traditionally been the chore of progressive, alternate and independent journalism to see that their deathly deeds supported by U.S. citizens tax dollars are not forgotten, ultimately not accepted and past Congresses and Presidents held responsible, even in retrospect, when not in real time.
Oil and business interests remain paramount and although Sudan is on the U.S. Government's state sponsors of terrorism list, the United States alternately praises its cooperation in tracking suspect individuals or scolds about the Janjaweed in Darfur. National Public Radio on May 2, 2005 had Los Angeles Times writer Ken Silverstein talk about his article "highlighting strong ties between the U.S. and Sudanese intelligence services, despite the Bush administration's criticism of human-rights violation in the Sudan." Title was "Sudan, CIA Forge Close Ties, Despite Rights Abuses." Nicholas Kristof, of The New York Times, won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for "his having alerted this nation and the world to these massive crimes against humanity. He made six dangerous trips to Darfur to report names and faces of victims of the genocide for which President Bush had long before indicted the government of Sudan to the world's indifference." [Reuters] But last November saw the opening of a new U.S. consulate in Juba the capital of the Southern region. (Maybe consider this an example of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" especially where oil is involved.)
The point is there is human suffering at mammoth level proportions. Humanitarian activists are trying to pry open the purse strings of an administration and congress willing to spend billions upon billions to get people killed and keep them in their place, namely, at our feet. Reminding Congress of what needs to be atoned for because of past policies of supporting war and human destruction could eventually make present policies of war intolerable. Americans are presently not exactly conscious stricken about dead and maimed Iraqis and Afghans, for commerical media always keeps of most of the human particulars of war crimes modestly out of sight, dramatizing much lesser losses and suffering of American military personal abroad.
Darfur made the headlines again because a governor of presidential timber was building up his foreign policy credentials. Meanwhile we are going to continue to see newsreels of our mass media depressing us with scenes of starving children, basically as testimony of how evil another Islamic nation's government is, so we can feel good - and want to purchase the products needing the advertising - which pays for the entertainment/news programs - which keep viewers in the dark about THEIR contribution to the suffering brought upon those people all the way over there in Africa.
Just try to put 4 and 2 million of anything into perspective. We are talking about an equivalent to the sets of eyes of half the population of Manhattan. Imagine one of us, whether a precious child ,a handsome man, a beautiful women, - to the tune of, (dirge of), one times four million, half of us dead. Sorry! It has no impact right? We realize that, remembering the words of Joseph Stalin (of all people), "One man's death is a tragedy, a thousand, is a statistic." There is absolutely no way we can whip up enough anguish to match a total of four million displaced and two million dead Sudanese, unless we could be of a mind and heart with Martin Luther King dealing with three million dead Vietnamese, also as in this case, over on the other side of the world, far from our living rooms - "So it is that those of us who are yet determined that "America will be" are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land." (MLK, 1967, "Beyond Vietnam")
This writer remembers reading newspapers articles about the U.S. backing the Southern Sudan rebellion way back then. If we had supported a side that wound up winning, we would be bragging about our having supported 'freedom fighters'. But we just threw a lot of money and outdated weapons at a John Garang in the Sudan, as we did with Jonas Savimbi in Angola, to the ultimate destruction of millions of people, and they LOST! Like we did in Vietnam, and half-way lost in Korea, and now are mid-way losing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jesus! Calculating the chances of an investment in human life and money coming to a fruition of sorts - that is certainly the job of any intelligence gathering agency! What we have had is an Agency using its gathered intelligence to do unintelligent things because, as our Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote more than a hundred and twenty-five years ago, "Things are in the saddle and ride herd over men" (trampling others under foot, we might add)
The European Union is under pressure from inside to assure that a United Nations force of 20,000 men will be sent to Darfur as required by Security Council resolution 1706, and to threaten sanctions in order to halt a war the U.S. was originally interested to see begun.
The U.N. Security Council will receive a list from the International Criminal Court of those Sudanese officials who could be charged with war crimes. The list is expected include some members of rebel organizations among Sudanese government officials and Janjaweed militias. There assuredly will be no names on the list of non-Sudanese officials of nations which were known to have involved themselves in this Sudanese civil war contrary to accepted provisions and obligations of U.N. membership. But we can know that the responsibility for war, slaughter, rape and theft in Sudan extends beyond the leaders of those murderously weilding guns and swords.
It will be good if outside influence will now be focused on peace, but citizens best be vigilant of their nation's foreign policy intentions. The world has heard many protestations that oil is not a reason for war, but blood and oil has been known to mix.
Ten Reasons Why "Save Darfur" is a PR Scam to Justify the Next US Oil and Resource Wars in Africa
By Bruce A. Dixon
Created 11/27/2007 - 17:52
Submitted by Bruce A. Dixon on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 17:52
The star-studded hue and cry to "Save Darfur" and "stop the genocide" has gained enormous traction in U.S. media along with bipartisan support in Congress and the White House. But the Congo, with ten to twenty times as many African dead over the same period is not called a "genocide" and passes almost unnoticed. Sudan sits atop lakes of oil. It has large supplies of uranium, and other minerals, significant water resources, and a strategic location near still more African oil and resources. The unasked question is whether the nation's Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite are using claims of genocide, and appeals for "humanitarian intervention" to grease the way for the next oil and resource wars on the African continent.
"Out of Iraq - Into Darfur" cartoon by Mike Flugennock. Find more of his work at www.sinkers.org 
Top Ten Reasons Why "Save Darfur" is a PR Scam to Justify US Military Intervention in African
by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
The regular manufacture and the constant maintenance of false realities in the service of American empire is a core function of the public relations  profession and the corporate news media. Whether it's fake news stories about wonder drugs and how toxic chemicals are good for you, bribed  commentators and journalists discoursing on the benefits of No Child Left Behind, Hollywood stars advocating military intervention to save African orphans, or slick propaganda campaigns employing viral marketing techniques to reach out to college students, bloggers, churches and ordinary citizens, it pays to take a close look behind the facade.
Among the latest false realities being pushed upon the American people are the simplistic pictures of Black vs. Arab genocide in Darfur, and the proposed solution: a robust US-backed or US-led military intervention in Western Sudan. Increasing scrutiny is being focused upon the "Save Darfur" lobby and the Save Darfur Coalition; upon its founders, its finances, its methods and motivations and its truthfulness. In the spirit of furthering that examination we here present ten reasons to suspect that the "Save Darfur" campaign is a PR scam to justify US intervention in Africa.
1. It wouldn't be the first Big Lie our government and media elite told us to justify a war.
Elders among us can recall the Tonkin Gulf Incident , which the US government deliberately provoked to justify initiation of the war in Vietnam. This rationale was quickly succeeded by the need to help the struggling infant "democracy" in South Vietnam, and the still useful "fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here" nonsense. More recently the bombings, invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have been variously explained by people on the public payroll as necessary to "get Bin Laden" as revenge for 9-11, as measures to take "the world's most dangerous weapons" from the hands of "the world's most dangerous regimes", as measures to enable the struggling Iraqi "democracy" stand on its own two feet, and necessary because it's still better to "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here".
2. It wouldn't even be the first time the U.S. government and media elite employed "genocide prevention" as a rationale for military intervention in an oil-rich region.
The 1995 US and NATO military intervention in the former Yugoslavia was supposedly a "peacekeeping" operation to stop a genocide. The lasting result of that campaign is Camp Bondsteel , one of the largest military bases on the planet. The U.S. is practically the only country in the world that maintains military bases outside its own borders. At just under a thousand acres, Camp Bondsteel offers the US military the ability to pre-position large quantities of equipment and supplies within striking distance of Caspian oil fields, pipeline routes and relevant sea lanes. It is also widely believed  to be the site of one of the US's secret prison and torture facilities.
3. If stopping genocide in Africa really was on the agenda, why the focus on Sudan with 200,000 to 400,000 dead rather than Congo with five million dead?
"The notion that a quarter million Darfuri dead are a genocide and five million dead Congolese are not is vicious and absurd," according to Congolese activist Nita Evele. "What's happened and what is still happening in Congo is not a tribal conflict and it's not a civil war. It is an invasion. It is a genocide with a death toll of five million, twenty times that of Darfur, conducted for the purpose of plundering Congolese mineral and natural resources."
More than anything else, the selective  and cynical application of the term "genocide" to Sudan, rather than to the Congo where ten to twenty times as many Africans have been murdered reveals the depth of hypocrisy around the "Save Darfur" movement. In the Congo, where local gangsters, mercenaries and warlords along with invading armies from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola engage in slaughter, mass rape  and regional depopulation on a scale that dwarfs anything happening in Sudan, all the players eagerly compete to guarantee that the extraction of vital coltan for Western computers and cell phones, the export of uranium for Western reactors and nukes, along with diamonds, gold, copper, timber and other Congolese resources continue undisturbed.
Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young and George H.W. Bush both serve on the board of Barrcik Gold , one of the largest and most active mining concerns in war-torn Congo. Evidently, with profits from the brutal extraction of Congolese wealth flowing to the West, there can be no Congolese "genocide" worth noting, much less interfering with. For their purposes, U.S. strategic planners may regard their Congolese model  as the ideal means of capturing African wealth at minimal cost without the bother of official U.S. boots on the ground.
4. It's all about Sudanese oil.
Sudan, and the Darfur region in particular, sit atop a lake of oil . But Sudanese oil fields are not being developed and drilled by Exxon or Chevron or British Petroleum. Chinese banks, oil and construction firms are making the loans, drilling the wells, laying the pipelines to take Sudanese oil where they intend it to go, calling far too many shots for a twenty-first century in which the U.S. aspires to control the planet's energy supplies. A U.S. and NATO military intervention will solve that problem for U.S. planners.
5. It's all about Sudanese uranium, gum arabic and other natural resources.
Uranium is vital to the nuclear weapons industry and an essential fuel for nuclear reactors. Sudan possesses high quality deposits of uranium . Gum arabic is an essential ingredient in pharmaceuticals, candies and beverages like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and Sudanese exports of this commodity are 80%  of the world's supply. When comprehensive U.S. sanctions against the Sudanese regime were being considered in 1997, industry lobbyists stepped up and secured an exemption in the sanctions bill to guarantee their supplies of this valuable Sudanese commodity. But an in-country U.S. and NATO military presence is a more secure guarantee that the extraction of Sudanese resources, like those of the Congo, flow westward to the U.S. and the European Union.
6. It's all about Sudan's strategic location
Sudan sits opposite Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, where a large fraction of the world's easily extracted oil will be for a few more years. Darfur borders on Libya and Chad, with their own vast oil resources, is within striking distance of West and Central Africa, and is a likely pipeline route. The Nile River flows through Sudan before reaching Egypt, and Southern Sudan has water resources of regional significance too. With the creation of AFRICOM, the new Pentagon command for the African continent, the U.S. has made open and explicit its intention to plant a strategic footprint on the African continent. From permanent Sudanese bases, the U.S. military could influence the politics and ecocomies of Africa for a generation to come.
7. The backers and founders of the "Save Darfur" movement are the well-connected and well-funded U.S. foreign policy elite.
According to a copyrighted Washington Post story  this summer
According to a copyrighted Washington Post story  this summer
"The "Save Darfur (Coalition) was created in 2005 by two groups concerned about genocide in the African country - the American Jewish World Service and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum...
"The coalition has a staff of 30 with expertise in policy and public relations. Its budget was about $15 million in the most recent fiscal year...
"Save Darfur will not say exactly how much it has spent on its ads, which this week have attempted to shame China, host of the 2008 Olympics, into easing its support for Sudan. But a coalition spokeswoman said the amount is in the millions of dollars."
Though the "Save Darfur" PR campaign employs viral marketing techniques, reaching out to college students, even to black bloggers, it is not a grassroots affair, as were the movement against apartheid and in support of African liberation movements in South Africa, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique a generation ago. Top heavy with evangelical Christians who preach the coming war for the end of the world, and with elements known for their uncritical support of Israeli rejectionism in the Middle East, the Save Darfur movement is clearly an establishment affair, a propaganda campaign that spends millions of dollars each month to manfacture consent for US military intervention in Africa under the cloak of stopping or preventing genocide.
8. None of the funds raised by the "Save Darfur Coalition", the flagship of the "Save Darfur Movement" go to help needy Africans on the ground in Darfur, according to stories in both the Washington Post and the New York Times .
"None of the money collected by Save Darfur goes to help the victims and their families. Instead, the coalition pours its proceeds into advocacy efforts that are primarily designed to persuade governments to act."
9. "Save Darfur" partisans in the U.S. are not interested in political negotiations to end the conflict in Darfur
President Bush has openly and repeatedly attempted to throw monkey wrenches at peace negotiations to end the war in Darfur. Even pro-intervention scholars and humanitarian organizations active on the ground have criticized the U.S. for endangering humanitarian relief workers, and for effectively urging rebel parties in Darfur to refuse peace talks and hold out for U.S. and NATO intervention on their behalf.
President Bush has openly and repeatedly attempted to throw monkey wrenches at peace negotiations to end the war in Darfur. Even pro-intervention scholars and humanitarian organizations active on the ground have criticized the U.S. for endangering humanitarian relief workers, and for effectively urging rebel parties in Darfur to refuse peace talks and hold out for U.S. and NATO intervention on their behalf.
The slick, well financed and nearly seamless PR campaign simplistically depicts the conflict as strictly a racial affair, in which Arabs, generally despised in the US media anyway, are exterminating the black population of Sudan. In the make-believe world it creates, there is no room for negotiation. But in fact, many of Sudan's 'Arabs", even the Janjiweed, are also black. In any case, they were armed and unleashed by a government which has the power to disarm them if it chooses, and can also negotiate in good faith if it chooses. Negotiations are never a gurantee of anything, but refusal to particpate in negotiations, as the U.S. appears to be urging the rebels in Darfur to do, and as the "Save Darfur" PR campaign justifies, avoids any path to a political settlement among Sudanese, leaving open only the road of U.S and NATO military intervention.
10. Blackwater and other U.S. mercenary contractors, the unofficial armed wings of the Republican party and the Pentagon are eagerly  pitching their services  as part of the solution to the Darfur crisis.
"Chris Taylor, head of strategy for Blackwater, says his company has a database of thousands of former police and military officers for security assignments. He says Blackwater personnel could set up perimeters and guard Darfurian villages and refugee camp in support of the U.N. Blackwater officials say it would not take many men to fend off the Janjaweed, a militia that is supported by the Sudanese government and attacks villages on camelback."
Apparently Blackwater doesn't need to come to the Congo, where hunger and malnutrition, depopulation, mass rape and the disappearance of schools, hospitals and civil society into vast law free zones ruled by an ever-changing cast of African proxies (like the son of the late and unlamented Idi Amin), all under a veil of complicit media silence already constitute the perfect business-friendly environment for siphoning off the vast wealth of that country at minimal cost.
Look for the adoption of the Congolese model across the wide areas of Africa that U.S. strategic planners call "ungoverned spaces ". Just don't expect to see details on the evening news, or hear about them from Oprah, George Clooney or Angelina Jolie.
Bruce Dixon can be contacted at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com
Burying the Darfur Genocide Mythby Thomas C. Mountain
August 13, 2011
I am one of the first western journalists to try and bring to the world’s attention the problems in west Sudan/Darfur in 2003. Having lived side by side here in Asmara, Eritrea, with representatives of not only the Darfur, but all the Sudanese resistance, since 2006, my investigation has found no evidence of genocide [BELOW] having been committed in Darfur.
Genocide has and is being committed by the Ethiopian regime of Meles Zenawi against the Somali people of the Ogaden, but there has been no genocide in Darfur.
To start with, my investigation has found that the victims of the Darfur conflict were the beneficiaries of the largest, best-run relief works in history. This is a fact, demonstrated repeatedly by the situation on the ground in Darfur, and every honest, knowledgeable aid worker in the Darfur relief works will tell you that Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has played a critical role in the relief works success, and that without the leadership and support of Pres. Bashir, the Darfur relief works would not have been possible.
The charges of genocide laid against Pres. Bashir by, amongst others, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, are based on reports of the shakiest provenance, mainly UN “sources” of very questionable backgrounds.
Does it make any sense that Pres. Al Bashir was playing a critical role in saving hundreds of thousands of lives in Darfur all the while he was committing genocide against the Darfur people? The success of the relief works is a fact, while the charges against Pres. Bashir are almost impossible to verify.
The Darfur genocide myth has been promoted by western “human rights” NGO’s that have collected over $100 million under the rubric of “Enough” and “Preventing Genocide”. The claims of genocide are based on estimates of the number of deaths that were rapidly inflated as the dollars started rolling in. First it was 100,000, then 200,000, then 300,000 and finally, in a claim so ludicrous that even the British government media watchdog yanked it off the air, 400,000 people were supposed to have been victims of genocide in Darfur.
None of the Darfur reps I have heard here in Asmara have ever given any credibility to the western figures. In fact, most everyone here in the Horn of Africa, at least those not on the western payroll, all agree the real number of those lost in the violence in west Sudan is about 30,000, a tragic number, but surpassed by what has befallen those suffering in the Ogaden where a real genocide has been taking place.
In the Ogaden, Ethiopian death squads funded by western “aid” have spent the better part of the past decade spreading murder and mayhem across the countryside. With almost everyone from the International Committee of the Red Cross to Doctors Without Borders being expelled, there has been miniscule coverage of this genocide in the western media, let alone the extent of the western role in funding the Ethiopian regime. The Darfur genocide myth has for years been a very useful smokescreen in helping to hide the most terrible crime in the world today, the Ogaden Genocide.
As I mentioned earlier, I first wrote about what I believed was happening in Sudan and Ethiopia back in 2003. Sudan is estimated to have suffered some two million deaths during its decades-long civil war between the north and the south. After many years of hard work, peace has slowly, almost tortuously, been nurtured in Sudan, with the major ground work first laid during negotiations held here in Asmara.
In contrast to this, what is the program of action demanded by the “save Darfur” lot? A western-led military invasion and occupation of Sudan a la Iraq and Afghanistan. With half a million or more dead in Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to western military “intervention”, with NATO bombers slaughtering women and children in their sleep in Libya as I write, who in their right mind could think that sending western soldiers to Sudan will do anything other than destroy the peace so painfully built these past few years and cause even more suffering?
While peace has been slowing taking hold in Darfur, in the Ogaden peace is a long lost memory. War, famine, and disease are spreading across the Ogaden, and it is becoming a situation that is increasingly the norm in growing areas of Ethiopia. While the western hucksters raked in beau coup millions of dollars while peddling their “save Darfur” bunkum, Sudanese have seen real peace on the ground take place in Darfur.
In contrast, Ethiopians, suffering under a regime that is the largest recipient of western aid in Africa, only see a future of growing ethnic and religious conflict, and worse, active programs of genocide. The problems developing in Ethiopia can invariably be traced back to the west, mainly the USA. The west, in particular the USA, is hell bent on keeping Africa in a state of crisis, the better to exploit. And the “save Darfur” lobby is all for bringing more violence to Africa under the guise of “humanitarian intervention”, while little of the over $100 million they collected ever reached the Darfur people it was intended for.
The Darfur genocide myth is long overdue for burial and the world needs to put it to rest once and for all.
The ICC Facilitates US Covert War in Sudan
Inter Press Service, March 9, 2009
Title: “Aren’t There War Crimes in The US? Legitimacy of Global Court Questioned Over Sudan”
Author: Thalif Deen
Dissindentvoice.org, Black Star News, and San Francisco Bay View, March 6, 2009
Title: “Africom’s Covert War in Sudan”
Author: Keith Harmon Snow
Michelcollon.info, April 1, 2009
Title: “The Darfur crisis: blood, hunger and oil”
Author: Mohamed Hassan interview with Grégoire Lalieu and Michel Collon
Student Researcher: Curtis Harrison
Faculty Evaluator: Keith Gouveia J.D.
Sonoma State University
The United States promoted the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) indictment of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur, in order to justify continuing Western exploitation and military interventions in the resource-rich region.
“America is an opportunist country,” explains Sudanese Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad. “They want to use the ICC without being a party to it.” In effect, he said, US soldiers can have immunity, but not the president of Sudan.At a UN press conference, the ambassador also challenged reporters to show him any photographs or film footage from Darfur that would equal the destruction of human lives and homes in Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan. “Did anybody ask who is accountable for this damage and destruction?”
Asked why Sudan was being singled out, the Sudanese envoy said Western nations are eyeing Sudan’s newly discovered oil riches.
Western nations have been marginalized in the region, in terms of both oil exploration and arms supplies, by China, which has in recent years become one of Sudan’s closest political, economic and military allies. Mohamad explains that the US, UK and France, “harbor a desire to revive their colonial dreams in Sudan.”
Keith Harmon Snow warns, “It is difficult to make sense of the war in Darfur —especially when people see it as a one-sided “genocide” of Arabs against blacks that is being committed by the Bashir ‘regime’—but such is the establishment propaganda. The real story is much more expansive, more complex, and it revolves around . . . deeper geopolitical realities.”
Michele Colon explains that when the British Empire invaded and colonized Egypt in 1898, Sudan, by extension, became an Anglo-Egyptian colony. As in other African colonies, Great Britain applied the “divide-and-rule” policy. Sudan was divided into two parts. In the north they kept Arabic as the official language and Islam as religion. In the south, the English language was imposed and missionaries converted people to Christianity. There was no trade between the two areas. The British imported Greek and Armenian minorities to create a buffer zone. Great Britain also imposed a modern economic system that we could call capitalism. They built one train line to connect Egypt and Sudan and another to connect Khartoum to Port Sudan. These looting lines were used to siphon resources from Sudan into Great Britain and to be sold on the international market. Khartoum became an economically dynamic center of colonial activity.
This imposed division of Sudan and the choice of Khartoum as its economic center led to a series of civil wars.
When Sudan gained independence in 1956, there were still no relations between the two parts of the country. The first civil war was sparked by Southern Sudan’s demand for an equitable share of the control and wealth of the country, which was still concentrated in Khartoum. When in 1978 Chevron discovered important oil fields in Southern Sudan, a second civil war broke out as Northern Sudan sought control of those revenues.
Relationships soured between US and Sudan as Chevron’s motives in the region conflicted with those of the new Khartoum-based president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir.
In this setting, Colon notes, with Sudanese oil slipping away from American interests, China came in, offering to buy raw minerals and oil from Sudan at international market prices. Whereas Africa used to be the private hunting grounds of the West, China now competes for domination of the rich African continent.
The Western agenda in Darfur, Sudan is to win back control of natural resources by weakening the Arab government and establishing a more “friendly” government that will accommodate the corporate interests of the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Israel.
The ICC was used in the strategy to turn world opinion against al-Bashir and the government of Sudan, and to further divide and destabilize the region. The legitimacy of the court is being questioned as it shows itself to be a tool of Western hegemony.
Following on the heels of the announcement that the ICC handed down seven war crimes charges against al-Bashir, a story broadcast into every American living room by day’s end, President al-Bashir ordered the expulsion of ten international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that were operating in Darfur under the veneer of humanitarian aid.
Snow points out that this expulsion was used to further ramp up Western public demand for military intervention. “Mainstream broadcasters expressed moral outrage and complained that ‘hundreds of thousands of innocent refugees will now be subjected to massive unassisted suffering’—as opposed to the assisted suffering they previously faced,” Snow continues, “but they never ask with any serious and honest zeal, why and how the displaced persons and refugees came to be displaced to begin with. Neither do they ask about all the money, intelligence sharing, deal making, and collaboration [between many “humanitarian” NGOs and] private or governmental military agencies.”
What is not reported in English-speaking press is that the US had just stepped up its ongoing war for control of Sudan. There are US Special Forces on the ground throughout the region, and the big questions are, 1) How many of the killings are being committed by US proxy forces and blamed on al-Bashir and the government of Sudan? And 2) Who funds, arms and trains the rebel insurgents?
Colon concludes that while the Western strategy is to magnify regional conflicts in order to mobilize international opinion and destabilize the Sudanese regime, “the truth is that if Khartoum were to stop dealing with China, the US would not mention Darfur again.”
Update by Keith Harmon Snow
How do you whitewash a whitewash? Having manufactured the massive body of propaganda needed to persuade the English and Hebrew speaking world that an unadulterated genocide is occurring in Darfur, Sudan, committed by the heavily armed Arab Government of Sudan—and its ‘Janjaweed’ militias—against an unarmed civilian population of black Africans; having inflated death tolls and exaggerated the levels of violence (even as violence and death tolls are diminishing or nonexistent); having masked all military involvement of Western countries behind the moral imperatives of altruistic western charity and aid (our self-less Judeo-Christian dedication to humanitarian action); having duped millions of people into following your charade by throwing money at them, hidden behind glossy brochures, congressional lobbies and vested-interest advertorials; having organized good-intentioned people into a ‘grassroots’ collective falsely equated with the Apartheid movement; and having been discovered to be a massive body of deceptions, mischaracterizations, selective facts and outright lies, where do we go from here?
The brief exposé “AFRICOM’S Covert War in Sudan” merely scratched the surface of the massive body of ‘Save Darfur’ propaganda, one of the false narratives created by the Empire to obliterate its culpability in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It has been completely ignored by the establishment press, and receives equally indifferent, or even hostile, treatment from the left liberal ‘progressive’ press.
Indeed, there is no doubt that genocide has occurred in Sudan, be it Darfur or Kordofan or the mountains of Juba. But genocide is concomitant with the imperial enterprise all over Africa, and all over the world, and that is the political economy of genocide.
For some excellent news coverage and exposés of the establishment’s false narratives on Sudan, or other places, see the work of Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon in Black Agenda Report (e.g. Dixon: “Darfur “Genocide” Lies Unraveling—Only 1,500 Darfuris Died in 2008, Says African Union,” June 24, 2009); also look to editor Milton Alimadi at Black Star News (see, e.g. Amii Omara-Otunu, “Western Humanitarianism or Neo-Slavery,” November 7, 2007; or Alimadi, “U.S. Illegally Trained Uganda on Torture,” April 19, 2009; or keith harmon snow, “The U.S. and Genocide of Acholi,” July 5, 2007).
The true grassroots movements to help Sudan, Uganda and Congo can be supported through the non-government organizations Friends of the Congo (.org), Campaign to End Genocide in Uganda Now (http://www.CEGUN.org), and UNIGHT For the Children of Uganda (ww.unight.org).
One of the final war crimes of George W. Bush was his order to the Pentagon to immediately airlift military equipment to Rwanda, destined for Darfur, to the genocidal government of Paul Kagame, one of the protagonists destabilizing Congo and Sudan. Also backing the Rwandan Defense Forces and Ugandan People’s Defense Forces covert operations in Sudan, the Obama Administration has escalated military involvement in all frontline states: Chad, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Meanwhile, all the foreign-backed rebel groups in Darfur recruit and deploy child soldiers, with some 6,000 armed children in Darfur and 8,000 in Sudan.
Weapons shipped by Israelis, including radioactive shells, were not the first to be sent illegally through Kenya—most weapons shipments cross the Kenya-Uganda border at night—but the government of Kenya arrested one official who spoke freely about their true destination (Africa Research Bulletin, Vol. 46, No. 1). Washington was quick to point out that “it may not be illegal for Kenya to provide weapons to Sudan”—in violation of the international arms embargo—and the Pentagon continues to fortify South Sudan in advance of its scheduled ‘independence’ (2012), while South Sudan’s de facto ‘president,’ General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has an open-door in Washington (Africa Research Bulletin, Vol. 46, No. 1). The bulk of South Sudan’s 2008 budget ($US 2.5 billion), involving huge USAID and other ‘aid’ donors, was spent on weapons. And the International Crises Group, and its clones—ENOUGH! and Resolve Uganda and Raise Hope for Congo—are all talking about peace, but peddling war (see Milton Alimadi, “Resolve, Enough! So Called Peace Organizations Promote War in Uganda,” Black Star News, June 17, 2009,
Keith Harmon Snow is the 2009 Regent’s Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work outside of academia contesting official narratives on war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, while also working as a genocide investigator for the United Nations and other bodies. He is also a past and present (2009) Project Censored award winner. His work can be found through his website, http://www.allthingspass.com.
Protecting Israeli war crimes. Nuggets from a Nut House: From Netanyahu to Mladic
By Prof Edward S. Herman
Z Magazine, July-August 2011
The nuggets keep piling up as the United States continues its course toward the abyss, pulling the rest of the world with it. Imagine, 29 standing ovations for Benjamin Netanyahu’s May 24th speech by the members of the U.S. congress, who once again displayed their loyalty to a foreign state, their contempt for international law, their racism, and their support of Israeli apartheid and serious ethnic cleansing. Joseph Biden has stated publicly that he is “a Zionist” and that both when a member of the Senate and as Vice President helping Israel was his highest priority (“the center of my work as a United States Senator and now as vice president of the United States.”).
It is now routine for U.S. politicians to openly pledge allegiance to Israel , and they readily turn over large resources to Israel at the same time as they are reducing them for U.S. citizens. (This applies fully to President Obama, who bragged to AIPAC that “Because we understand the challenges Israel faces, I and my administration have made the security of Israel a priority. It’s why we’ve increased cooperation between our militaries to unprecedented levels. It’s why we’re making our most advanced technologies available to our Israeli allies. And it’s why, despite tough fiscal times, we’ve increased foreign military financing to record levels. That includes additional support – beyond regular military aid – for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.”)
The U.S. political leadership is also guilty of protecting Israeli violations of international law, war crimes, state terrorism, and disregard of UN resolutions and court decisions, including consistent support for Israel ’s systematic dispossession (ethnic cleansing) operations. How indignant these politicians (and the mainstream media) were over dispossession and ethnic cleansing in civil war-ridden Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and what a contrast with the standing ovations for ethnic cleansing carried out inside the tail that wags the flea-ridden dog! The words, behavior and actions of the fleas, if done in support of an Arab-dominated state, would be found immoral, in violation of anti-terror laws, and treasonous. The racist double-standard here is breathtaking.
Similarly, it is striking to see how the rule of law has been rendered so clearly inoperative in other matters supposedly bearing on “national security.” It is notable how readily and completely a leader like Obama, an expert on constitutional law, and one who had so explicitly committed himself to return us to that promised land, has followed in its abandonment in what Tom Engelhardt aptly calls a “post-legal” state. (“Are We Living in Post-Legal America ?,” TomDispatch.com, May 30, 2011). This is applicable across the board: no prosecutions for authorizing or carrying out torture; for illegal spying on U.S. citizens; or for illegal war-making. In fact the Obama administration has engineered the renewal of the U.S. Patriot Act and has made no attempt to eliminate the 2006 Military Commissions Act. It has aggressively pursued war protesters and extended executive privilege to the right to assassinate U.S. citizens at will. With the Libya war, the administration has carried out a straightforward violation of the War Powers Act requirement that congress must sanction a war not in self-defense, an action that Obama had specifically promised to avoid.
The war against Libya is also one more U.S.-NATO war of aggression in violation of the UN Charter. It is true that the global war lords did get the Security Council to vote them powers to protect civilians under Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, but both before and after these resolutions were passed the NATO-mafia war lords had announced “regime change” as their goal. And they have been extending their bombing raids throughout Libya , killing civilians on an ever-increasing scale, and certain to do to Libya what the United States has done to Iraq (mass killing, mass refugee generation, and devastation).
Mladic and Impunity
It is a bit mind-boggling to see Human Rights Watch, Richard Goldstone, Ban Ki-moon, and a stream of pundits and officials claim that the arrest of Ratko Mladic shows that the world has conquered “impunity.” This was also supposedly proved by the International Criminal Court's (ICC’s) issuance of indictments of, and then arrest warrants for, Gaddafi and one of his sons and brother-in-law. Kofi Annan had already announced years ago that with the creation of the ICC impunity was at an end, and here we can see its Kafka-esque truth as officers and leaders of tiny states on the U.S. hit-list are brought to book! The brazenness of these claims is breathtaking.
In March 2003 George Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq in violation of the UN Charter and were responsible for the million or more Iraqi deaths that followed. The leader of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, was repeatedly asked to investigate and pursue this crime, but he found that the “threshold of gravity” was not reached in this case for proof of “willful killings.” This was all just collateral damage, and not deliberate! (Actually, even in Texas if you shoot and kill somebody while going after a different target, you are guilty of murder.) But the relatively tiny killings by Gaddafi in response to a rapidly growing and at least partly foreign-sponsored armed insurgency were willful and demanded a rush-to-action. No white person has ever been indicted by the ICC under this new anti-impunity regime—and of the 20 persons who had been indicted through mid-2011, all 20 were African, the three Libyans being the only non-black Africans. And by another amazing coincidence, two of the greatest black African killers, Paul Kagame ( Rwanda ) and Yoweri Museveni ( Uganda ), who happen to be U.S. clients, have also not been indicted. In short, the real impunity rule, of long standing, is that leaders of the Western great powers who have not been defeated in war (as Hitler was), and their clients, have impunity. Their targets do not.
When Milosevic was first indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in May 1999, he was accused of responsibility for some 340 victims, only 45 of them having died in the months prior to NATO's bombing war (from March 24 on) in the almost surely mythical “Racak massacre” of January 15, 1999 (see “Mythical Bloodbaths” in Herman and Peterson, The Politics of Genocide [Monthly Review Press, 2010]). But in considering a petition that NATO leaders be indicted for its killings of civilians in its 1999 bombing war, this was ruled out by Carla Del Ponte on the grounds that (1) these killings were not deliberate, and (2) with only 500 admittedly killed by NATO, this was too few to constitute crimes of war—that is, whereas for Milosevic, the “threshold of gravity” was 340 deaths, for NATO, 500 was too small (see the superb discussion in Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder [Pluto Press, 2004], Chap. 6). In short, these cases had nothing to do with justice but reflected the same dichotomy of impunity for the de facto aggressor violating the UN Charter, on the one hand, and sure guilt for the Great Power’s target by that Power’s corrupt agent, the ICTY, on the other hand (see John Laughland’s Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice [Pluto Press, 2007]).
When the arrest of Ratko Mladic in the Serbian village of Lazarevo was announced on May 26, this was generally greeted as a positive achievement for international justice, given the uniformity, passion and assurance of the media, and even a substantial contingent of supposedly liberal and left analysts, that he was a murderous villain. But this reflects a remarkable propaganda system, that can swallow and honor real mass killers like Clinton, Bush, Blair, Kagame, and Sharon, and yet in the former Yugoslavia pursue Milosevic, Karadzic, and Mladic, but not Croatia's wartime President Franjo Tudjman, nor the Bosnian Muslim's wartime President Alija Izetbegovic, nor the former Kosovo Liberation Army leader become the newly independent Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. In a civil war context there are always nasty episodes of ruthless killings, and the multi-sidedness of this in the Balkan wars was very briefly revealed in single Washington Postand Toronto Star profiles of the Muslim commander of Srebrencia, Naser Oric, who openly bragged to John Pomfret and Bill Schiller of an episode in which he killed 114 Serbs, showing these reporters videos of beheaded victims. The Serb analyst Milivoje Ivanisevic listed the names of 3,262 Serbs killed in the Srebrenica vicinity prior to the July 1995 “massacre,” a large majority civilians (2,382). These have been “disappeared” in the discussions of Srebrenica, helping make the July killings inexplicable except for some ethnic cleansing or even genocidal plan.
There is nothing comparable to Oric’s admissions to Pomfret and Schiller in any evidence ever used to implicate Mladic. His initial Srebrenica-related indictment for “genocide” by the ICTY in November 1995 preceded their gathering of any evidence on Srebrenica (not even a single grave was investigated until 1996), and when the ICTY forensic analysts finished their collection and evaluation of grave evidence in 2002, the manner of death in the vast majority of the 1,919 sets of mortal remains exhumed up to that point was unclear, but the majority of the relative small number of remains whose manner of death could be determined (477 sets, or 24.8 percent) were likely combat victims rather than victims of executions. (See the two chapters that Ljubisa Simic contributed to the volume edited by Stefan Karganovic, Deconstruction of a Virtual Genocide [Belgrade: Srebrenica Historical Project, 2011], pp. 69-88, and pp. 89-104.)
There were evidently hundreds of executions, but Mladic’s role in ordering these executions was surely no clearer than Oric’s role in ordering the deaths of many more Serb civilians in the Srebrenica area prior to July 1995. The main “evidence” of any Mladic role in Srebrenica executions was given in the testimony of Drazen Erdemovic, a mercenary and truly “protected witness” of the ICTY, whose performance (and ICTY protection—against verification) is actually a high point in showing the thoroughgoing politicization of the ICTY and hence of the compromised case against Mladic. (About which, see the devastating account in Germinal Civikov’s Srebrenica: The Star Witness, Trans. John Laughland [ Belgrade : NGO Srebrenica Historical Project, 2010], reviewed by me in Z Magazine, January, 2011.)