Of thousands killed in US drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004, less than one third of the victims have been identified, including a record low number of ten last year, according to an international investigation.
A UK-based not-for-profit organization revealed the figures in the framework of their “Naming the Dead” project. Initially created for tracking US drone strikes in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, the project seeks to identify casualties, calling for accountability for the attacks.
According to project data, of 2,494 people confirmed killed by American drone strikes in Pakistan, only 729 have been identified. In 2015 the names of those killed was extremely small – only ten of 60 allegedly killed by drones.
Five of ten victims were pronounced members of Al Qaeda, another three were named Pakistani Taliban fighters and the last two were aid workers from Western states.
The US carried out 13 drone attacks in Pakistan in 2015, killing about 60 people. While unnamed sources revealed to Naming the Dead that the vast majority of victims in the six attacks were Uzbeks, the data on the rest of those killed remains scarce.
In 2015, Pakistan authorities declined to assist in the identification process of victims, for the first time since the US launched its drone campaign.According to Common Dreams, ISPR, the Pakistani military propaganda division, could have banned the release of data pertaining to the issue. Islamabad has started a military campaign against terrorists and other non-state groups in Waziristan in 2014, preventing data from being leaked.
ISI, Pakistan’s spy agency, is reportedly keeping secret the names of those murdered in drone attacks across the state’s tribal areas. Before 2015, the agency used to provide reporters and officials with the lion’s share of information on casualties, including those caused by American unmanned aerial vehicles.
ISI is still providing journalists with the names of Taliban and al Qaeda members murdered by US drones in Afghanistan.
But, as the Bureau announced, both Afghan and Pakistan officials tend to underestimate the number of casualties in bordering regions. They reported on 700 killed in drone attacks in 2015. In reality, Naming the Dead says at least 100 more people were killed.According to Washington, a total of 411 air and drone strikes were conducted in Afghanistan last year. But that’s all the authorities announced, leaving no specific information of number of killed people there.
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi warned on Thursday of the consequences of any military intervention in Libya, stressing the need for the countries considering such action to consult with Tunisia and other neighbouring countries, a presidential statement said.
According to the statement, Essebsi made the remarks during a meeting with heads of diplomatic missions and representatives of regional and international organizations held in Tunis to celebrate the New Year.
“The President of the Republic has pointed to the uniqueness of Tunisia’s situation, being a neighbour with Libya, which has become the scene for terrorist cells and home to Islamic State [Daesh] threats,” the statement read.
President Essebsi stressed that the only way to bring an end to the Libyan conflict is through inter-Libyan political unity. The international community must support the efforts of the unity government, he said.
Despite the difficulties in Libya, Essebsi said that Tunisia “will not close its borders to its Libyan brothers”.
Media reports have suggested that military intervention in Libya by an international coalition could be imminent.
However, US Secretary of State John Kerry ruled out military intervention in Libya in the near future on Tuesday.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also said that his country has no intention in militarily intervening in Libya.
The Globe and Mail’s recent coverage of Rwanda has been schizophrenic. While South African-based correspondent Geoffrey York has done important work detailing how Paul Kagame’s government has assassinated its opponents and contributed to violence in Eastern Congo, columnist Gerald Caplan has justified its repression and echoed Kigali’s position on regional conflicts.
At the start of January York reported on two new books describing the totalitarian nature of President Kagame’s regime. “Village informers”, wrote York. “Re-education camps. Networks of spies on the streets. Routine surveillance of the entire population. The crushing of the independent media and all political opposition. A ruler who changes the constitution to extend his power after ruling for two decades. It sounds like North Korea, or the totalitarian days of China under Mao. But this is the African nation of Rwanda – a long-time favourite of Western governments and a major beneficiary of millions of dollars in Canadian government support.”
A year and a half ago York wrote an explosive investigation headlined “Inside the plots to kill Rwanda’s dissidents”, which provided compelling evidence that the regime had extended its assassination program, killing (or attempting to) a number of its former top officials who were living in South Africa. Since the initial investigation York has also reported on Rwandan dissidents who’ve had to flee Belgium for their safety and revealed that Ottawa failed to act after UN and Spanish court investigations concluded Canadian priests Guy Pinard and Claude Simard were killed by soldiers loyal to Kagame in the mid-1990s.
At the end of 2012 York reported on Rwanda reasserting control over the mineral rich Eastern Congo. In one of a number of insightful articles York described how “Rwandan sponsored” M23 rebels “hold power by terror and violence.” The rebel group added “a [new] layer of administrators, informers, police and other operatives” in and around the city of Goma in part to “bolster” its “grip on the trade in ‘blood minerals’.” (In 1996 Rwandan forces marched 1,500 km to topple the regime in Kinshasa and then re-invaded after the Congolese government it installed expelled Rwandan troops. This led to an eight-country war between 1998 and 2003, which left millions dead.)
While York has done what investigative journalists are supposed to do — comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable — unfortunately the Globe also publishes regular columns by an author who seems to strive for the exact opposite in the case of Rwanda.
Gerald Caplan recently wrote about political conflict in Burundi, invoking Kagame’s rhetoric of “genocide” all the while ignoring Rwanda’s role in organizing armed opposition to the Burundian government. In support of Kigali’s aggressive regional posture, Caplan continues to repeat Kagame’s rationale for unleashing mayhem in the Congo two decades after the mass killing of Rwandan Tutsi (and Hutu) in 1994. In a 2014 column he wrote: “In the Congo former génocidaires lead a violent anti-Kagame militia dedicated to ‘finishing the work’ of the hundred days.”
In another column Caplan justified the arrest of presidential opponent Victoire Ingabire and criticized the Law Society of Upper Canada after it called for the release of her American lawyer, who was also imprisoned.
And strangely, for a former NDP strategist, Caplan has sought to muzzle media that disagree with the current government’s version of Rwandan history. In 2014 he signed an open letter condemning the BBC documentary Rwanda’s Untold Story and a year earlier wrote a piece about lobbying the University of Toronto to remove the Taylor Report, a program on campus radio, from air because it hosted critics of the Rwandan government.
Caplan has failed to inform readers about his ties to the regime in Kigali. He started an organization with Rwanda’s current Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo and said he stays at her family’s hotel when visiting the country. Caplan has also spoken at a number of events in Kigali and New York organized by the Rwandan government.
So, who to believe? York or Caplan? Is Kagame a saint or dictator?
My money is on the investigative journalist.
Was he the great businessman, politician, patriot, and visionary his admirers claim, a man who did more than any other to develop an African continent which in the 19th century was imprisoned behind walls of primitiveness, barbarism, superstition and under-development? Or was he in truth a rampant racist and colonialist, a white supremacist who treated a large swathe of Africa as his personal fiefdom, ruthlessly exploiting its people and resources for personal gain and enrichment?
These are the questions that underpin the contested history not just of Cecil Rhodes but European colonialism and empire in toto.
They are questions that have come to the fore in recent weeks over the campaign by students at Britain’s elite Oxford University to have a statue of Cecil Rhodes removed from the building of one if its colleges – Oriel College, to be precise – on the basis that he was a racist and a colonialist, a slaveholder whose veneration is an insult to the countless millions of Africans who suffered unspeakable exploitation and cruelty under Rhodes in the land he ruled, named after him as Rhodesia, which later became Zimbabwe.
Rhodes and other men like him from across the European continent in the 19th century – colonialists, adventurers, soldiers of fortune, administrators, merchants, etc. – arrived and set about the necessary task of introducing civilization and order to savages who’d only ever known spiritual and cultural desolation. This was their belief and the justification employed to plunder and pillage an entire continent, reducing its people to abject misery and despair while indulging in genocidal brutality and barbarity.
On this basis it is not only the statue of Cecil Rhodes that constitutes an offence to decency and justice. Every second grand statue and monument that litters central London and other British towns and cities are statues and monuments to the brutality of colonialism and empire, dripping in the blood of countless human beings whose only crime was to be born African or Indian or Irish in a period when to be such was to be untermenschen in the eyes of people like Cecil Rhodes and the ruling elites in the societies that produced them.
You would automatically think, then, that a campaign to acknowledge the victims of a man like Rhodes would have no problem in achieving its objectives. Alas, you’d be wrong. For in opposition to the campaign to have the statue removed has come threats from wealthy and not so wealthy members of Oxford University’s alumni to withdraw donations to the university unless the statue stays put.
Rhodes, it should be mentioned, was himself a student at Oxford in the 1870s. Upon his death in 1902 he left money to fund an international scholarship at the university. Among the 8,000 students who have since benefited from a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford are Bill Clinton, Bill Bradley, Naomi Wolf, and Rachel Maddow. By this method his legacy has been ‘whitewashed’, along with the history of colonialism he personifies, especially at traditional institutions such as Oxford University, a pillar of the British establishment where a disproportionate number of its political leaders, leading journalists, newspaper editors, and business leaders have been educated.
It’s not only Britain that has this problem of historical legacy, wherein its economic foundations and with them political, cultural, and educational institutions were built on crimes of genocide, slavery, ethnic cleansing, and colonial exploitation. In the United States we have Andrew Carnegie, who rather than exploit Africans and Africa amassed his wealth out of the brutal exploitation of American workers. Yet today Carnegie, a natural born Scotsman, is known as a great philanthropist whose legacy is embodied in the abundance of trusts, endowments, scholarships, colleges, museums, and cultural establishments that are named after him across the world.
Does his philanthropy excuse the barbarity by which he made his fortune? If the workers at the Homestead Steel Mill in Pennsylvania back 1892 could speak to us today about Andrew Carnegie and his legacy, what do you think they would say?
This is why the controversy surrounding the campaign to have Cecil Rhodes’ statue removed from Oxford is so important. It’s about acknowledging the rights of the victims of empire to a semblance of historical justice by refusing to burnish the legacy of men such as Rhodes today. For those who believe that the past belongs in the past and has no bearing on the present or the future, they are hopelessly deluded when we consider the role of Britain and its establishment in the world today. A colonial and empire view of the world continues to underpin British foreign policy, evidenced in its participation in the war on Iraq in 2003, its participation in the destruction of Libya in 2011, its role in destabilizing Syria and the wider Middle East, and its malign role in maintaining Western hegemony as an economic, geopolitical, and military straitjacket, impeding the development of the Global South abroad and upholding the rights of the rich at home in service to a system of injustice sold to us as liberal democracy.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is dangerously and unaccountably distorting the direction of international development, according to a new report by the campaign group Global Justice Now. With assets of $43.5 billion, the BMGF is the largest charitable foundation in the world. It actually distributes more aid for global health than any government. As a result, it has a major influence on issues of global health and agriculture.
‘Gated Development – Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good?’ argues that what BMGF is doing could end up exacerbating global inequality and entrenching corporate power globally. Global Justice Now’s analysis of the BMGF’s programmes shows that the foundation’s senior staff are overwhelmingly drawn from corporate America. As a result, the question is: whose interests are being promoted – those of corporate America or those of ordinary people who seek social and economic justice rather than charity?
According to the report, the foundation’s strategy is intended to deepen the role of multinational companies in global health and agriculture especially, even though these corporations are responsible for much of the poverty and injustice that already plagues the global south. The report concludes that the foundation’s programmes have a specific ideological strategy that promotes neo-liberal economic policies, corporate globalisation, the technology this brings (such as GMOs) and an outdated view of the centrality of aid in ‘helping’ the poor.
The report raises a series criticisms including:
1) The relationship between the foundation and Microsoft’s tax practices. A 2012 report from the US Senate found that Microsoft’s use of offshore subsidiaries enabled it to avoid taxes of $4.5 billion, a sum greater than the BMGF’s annual grant making ($3.6 billion in 2014).
2) The close relationship that BMGF has with many corporations whose role and policies contribute to ongoing poverty. Not only is BMGF profiting from numerous investments in a series of controversial companies which contribute to economic and social injustice, it is also actively supporting a series of those companies, including Monsanto, Dupont and Bayer through a variety of pro-corporate initiatives around the world.
3) The foundation’s promotion of industrial agriculture across Africa, pushing for the adoption of GM, patented seed systems and chemical fertilisers, all of which undermine existing sustainable, small-scale farming that is providing the vast majority of food security across the continent.
4) The foundation’s promotion of projects around the world pushing private healthcare and education. Numerous agencies have raised concerns that such projects exacerbate inequality and undermine the universal provision of such basic human necessities.
5) BMGF’s funding of a series of vaccine programmes that have reportedly lead to illnesses or even deaths with little official or media scrutiny.
Polly Jones the head of campaigns and policy at Global Justice Now says:
“The Gates Foundation has rapidly become the most influential actor in the world of global health and agricultural policies, but there’s no oversight or accountability in how that influence is managed. This concentration of power and influence is even more problematic when you consider that the philanthropic vision of the Gates Foundation seems to be largely based on the values of corporate America. The foundation is relentlessly promoting big business-based initiatives such as industrial agriculture, private health care and education. But these are all potentially exacerbating the problems of poverty and lack of access to basic resources that the foundation is supposed to be alleviating.”
The report states that that Bill Gates has regular access to world leaders and is in effect personally bankrolling hundreds of universities, international organisations, NGOs and media outlets. As the single most influential voice in international development, the foundation’s strategy is a major challenge to progressive development actors and activists around the world who want to see the influence of multinational corporations in global markets reduced or eliminated.
The foundation not only funds projects in which agricultural and pharmaceutical corporations are among the leading beneficiaries, but it often invests in the same companies as it is funding, meaning the foundation has an interest in the ongoing profitability of these corporations. According to the report, this is “a corporate merry-go-round where the BMGF consistently acts in the interests of corporations.”
Uprooting indigenous agriculture for the benefit of global agribusiness
The report notes that the BMGF’s close relationship with seed and chemical giant Monsanto is well known. It previously owned shares in the company and continues to promote several projects in which Monsanto is a beneficiary, not least the wholly inappropriate and fraudulent GMO project which promotes a technical quick-fix ahead of tackling the structural issues that create hunger, poverty and food insecurity But, as the report notes, the BMGF partners with many other multinational agribusiness corporations.
Many examples where this is the case are highlighted by the report. For instance, the foundation is working with US trader Cargill in an $8 million project to “develop the soya value chain” in southern Africa. Cargill is the biggest global player in the production of and trade in soya with heavy investments in South America where GM soya mono-crops have displaced rural populations and caused great environmental damage. According to Global Justice Now, the BMGF-funded project will likely enable Cargill to capture a hitherto untapped African soya market and eventually introduce GM soya onto the continent. The end markets for this soya are companies with relationships with the fast food outlet, KFC, whose expansion in Africa is being aided by the project.
Specific examples are given which highlight how BMGF is also supporting projects involving other chemicals and seed corporations, including DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta and Bayer.
According to the report, the BMGF is promoting a model of industrial agriculture, the increasing use of chemical fertilisers and expensive, patented seeds, the privatisation of extension services and a very large focus on genetically modified seeds. The foundation bankrolls the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in pushing industrial agriculture.
A key area for AGRA is seed policy. The report notes that currently over 80 per cent of Africa’s seed supply comes from millions of small-scale farmers recycling and exchanging seed from year to year. But AGRA is promoting the commercial production of seed and is thus supporting the introduction of commercial seed systems, which risk enabling a few large companies to control seed research and development, production and distribution.
In order for commercial seed companies to invest in research and development, they first want to protect their ‘intellectual property’. According to the report, this requires a fundamental restructuring of seed laws to allow for certification systems that not only protect certified varieties and royalties derived from them, but which actually criminalise all non-certified seed.
The report notes that over the past two decades a long and slow process of national seed law reviews, sponsored by USAID and the G8 along with the BMGF and others, has opened the door to multinational corporations’ involvement in seed production, including the acquisition of every sizeable seed enterprise on the African continent.
At the same time, AGRA is working to promote costly inputs, notably fertiliser, despite evidence to suggest chemical fertilisers have significant health risks for farm workers, increase soil erosion and can trap small-scale farmers in unsustainable debt. The BMGF, through AGRA, is one of the world’s largest promoters of chemical fertiliser.
Some grants given by the BMGF to AGRA have been specifically intended to “help AGRA build the fertiliser supply chain” in Africa. The report describes how one of the largest of AGRA’s grants, worth $25 million, was used to help establish the African Fertiliser Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) in 2012, whose very goal is to “at least double total fertiliser use” in Africa. The AFAP project is being pursued in partnership with the International Fertiliser Development Centre, a body which represents the fertiliser industry.
Another of AGRA’s key programmes since its inception has been support to agro-dealer networks – small, private stockists of transnational companies’ chemicals and seeds who sell these to farmers in several African countries. This is increasing the reliance of farmers on chemical inputs and marginalising sustainable agriculture alternatives, thereby undermining any notion that farmers are exercising their ‘free choice’ (as the neo-liberal evangelists are keen to tell everyone) when it comes to adopting certain agricultural practices.
The report concludes that AGRA’s agenda is the biggest direct threat to the growing movement in support of food sovereignty and agroecological farming methods in Africa. This movement opposes reliance on chemicals, expensive seeds and GM and instead promotes an approach which allows communities control over the way food is produced, traded and consumed. It is seeking to create a food system that is designed to help people and the environment rather than make profits for multinational corporations. Priority is given to promoting healthy farming and healthy food by protecting soil, water and climate, and promoting biodiversity.
Recent evidence from Greenpeace and the Oakland Institute shows that in Africa agroecological farming can increase yields significantly (often greater than industrial agriculture), and that it is more profitable for small farmers. In 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (Olivier de Schutter) called on countries to reorient their agriculture policies to promote sustainable systems – not least agroecology – that realise the right to food. Moreover, the International Assessmentof Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was the work of over 400 scientists and took four years to complete. It was twice peer reviewed and states we must look to smallholder, traditional farming to deliver food security in third world countries through agri-ecological systems which are sustainable.
In a January 2015 piece in The Guardian, Director of Global Justice Now said that ‘development’ was once regarded as a process of breaking with colonial exploitation and transferring power over resources from the ‘first’ to the ‘third world’, involving a revolutionary struggle over the world’s resources. However, the current paradigm is based on the assumption that developing countries need to adopt neo-liberal policies and that public money in the guise of aid should facilitate this.
If this new report shows anything, it is that the notion of ‘development’ has become hijacked by rich corporations and a super-rich ‘philanthrocapitalist’ (whose own corporate practices have been questionable to say the least, as highlighted by the report). In effect, the model of ‘development’ being facilitated is married to the ideology and structurally embedded power relations of an exploitative global capitalism.
The BMGF is spearheading the ambitions of corporate America and the scramble for Africa by global agribusiness.
Coercive Engineered Migration: Zionism’s War on Europe (Part 3 of an 11 Part Series)
As German independent TV station K-TV has revealed, the current refugee crisis is most likely the brain child of the afore-mentioned US military grand strategist General Thomas PM Barnett. Barnett was a strategic advisor to former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and currently works with the Israeli military consultancy firm Wikistrat. Wikistrat are close collaborators with US Africa Command (Africom). Barnett’s books The Pentagon’s New Map and Blueprint for Action have had a major influence on US/Israeli global military geostrategies.
A former student of Vice-Admiral Andrew K. Cebrowski, former director of the Office of Transformations in the US Department of Defense, Barnett’s work focuses on integrating Cebrowski’s concepts of Network Centred Warfare, Colonel Boyd’s OODA loop theory, and Lind’s Fourth Generation Warfare, by ‘simultaneously seeking to relate their yin-and-yang interplay to the larger economic reality of globalization’s emergence as the dominant characteristic of today’s strategic environment’.1
Barnett divides the world into ‘functioning core’, ‘non-integrating gap’ countries and ‘seam states’. The first category of ‘functioning core’ countries includes Europe and North America, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. These are economies which are actively integrating into the global economy. This category is subdivided into ‘old core’ Europe, the USA and Japan and ‘new core’, Brazil, Russia, China and India.
The second major category is the ‘non-integrated gap’. This is made up of the Caribbean Rim, Andean South America, Africa, parts of the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The third category contains some members of the first two. This category is referred to as the ‘Seam States’, countries which surround the Gap — such as Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil.
The former Pentagon general has developed the theory of the ‘Five Flows of Globalisation’ — five flows which must come about if US Zionist imperialism is to dominate the world. These involve the free flow of money, security, food, energy and people. The ‘free flows’ theory means breaking down nation-state structures, thus freeing up resources for pillage by US multinational corporations. The inundation of Europe with immigrants from the Southern Hemisphere is a key feature of Barnett’s geo-strategic thinking. That is why it would be wrong to see the immigrant crisis from Libya and Syria as an unintended consequence of NATO policy as some form of unforeseen blowback.
Europe’s top demographers have known for some time that the Southern Hemisphere countries are experiencing a population boom and what that means for Europe’s relative population decline. German sociologist and demographer Gunnar Heihsohn published a major book on this topic, Söhne und Weltmacht: Terror im Aufstieg und Fall der Nationen (Sons and World Power: The Rise of Terror and the Fall of Nations). In his book Heinsohn argues that population youth bulges were the driving factor behind European colonialism and world conquest. From 1900 to 2000 the population of the Muslim World has grown from 150 million to 1,200 million, an increase of 800 percent. He argues that large families tend to produce ‘superfluous’ sons, who, unable to find work at home, emigrate.
Heinsohn contends that these youth bulges can lead to extreme violence as the young men, needing to carve out a place for themselves in the world, often tend to resort to violence in order to survive. This is one of the many factors driving the Islamic State. The youth bulge means boom time for imperialism’s merchants of death, who are harnessing youthful anger and hatred for the fomentation of proxy wars against geopolitical enemies. Heinsohn predicted that Europe would be overwhelmed with Southern Hemisphere youths by 2015.
The German sociologist notes that Islamism is more a tool which enables disaffected ‘superfluous’ sons to justify genocide, rather than an ideology which they necessarily believe in. In other words, once demographic balances have been restored, the Korans will be for sale in second-hand book shops. He gives the example of Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores in the 15th and 16th century who, needing to kill in order to carve out colonies in the New World, made convenient use of the Bible in order to absolve themselves from feelings of guilt.
Heinsohn notes that Europe’s immigration policy contrasts markedly with that of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, there are no requirements that immigrants possess the qualifications needed by European economies, whereas in Canada and Australia those with the highest skills are given preference. The result of these policies is that 98 percent of immigrants in Canada have higher qualifications than the native population, whereas in Europe only 10 percent have higher qualifications. At the same time, the percentage of highly qualified Europeans leaving the continent for the Anglophone world is rising steadily every year. In this sense one can understand the logic behind Anglo-Saxon imperialism of flooding Europe with uneducated immigrants, while simultaneously siphoning off the continent’s brains and skills, thus ensuring Anglo-American/Zionist global hegemony. It is the ability to take into account these complex demographic realities which constitutes the importance of Thomas P.M. Barnett’s grand strategy of US globalisation.
In her book Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy Kelly M. Greenhill argues that one of the reasons for Europe’s rapprochement with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was the latter’s offer to stem the tide of African emigration to Europe. It would be erroneous, therefore, to suggest that the chaos wrought by the Arab Spring was unintentional. While many European politicians may have wanted to prevent a chaotic overflow of immigration into Europe, the imperial agencies behind the Arab Spring wanted just that.
The mass exodus of migrants/refugees is a central part of the globalisation of class war in accordance with the Pentagon’s long term objectives of global hegemony or “Full Spectrum Dominance”. What we are dealing with here is a well-planned strategy of chaos. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it is madness but there is method in it.
General Barnett’s Wikistrat are heavily involved in the development of ‘crowd sourcing’ and ‘crowd leveraging’ technologies. Investigative journalist Andrey Fomine, using the analyses of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has convincingly shown that most of the twitter entries encouraging refugees/migrants in Turkey to travel to Germany come from the UK, USA and Australia.
What we are witnessing here is a covert war being waged by the Anglo-Saxon Zionist elite against the German Federal Republic. The low-intensity war is using people as weapons to create conditions of social chaos in order to prevent Berlin’s inevitable rapprochement with Moscow. The migrants cannot possibly integrate in German society if the German economy does inot integrate with Eurasia, as Germany will have no viable market for its exports.
Barnett has predicted that Muslim immigrants in Europe will form their own Islamist political parties. In his book Blueprint for Action he quotes approvingly from Oliver Roy’s Globalized Islam, who claims that while in the past working class Muslims would have joined Marxist political movements: “There are now in the West only two movements of radical protest that claim to be ‘internationalist’: the antiglobalization movement and radical Islam. For a rebel, to convert is to find a cause”
Both of these movements, that of ‘human rights’ and ‘jihad’, represent petty bourgeois objections to the global order, but as they do not have a scientific analysis of the capitalist mode of production, they cannot possibly change that order. That is why they are both backed by the forces they supposedly oppose. Hence Barnett welcomes this development:
By channeling their sense of economic and social disconnecteness into political action, Muslims in Europe achieve connectivitiy with governments there that allow for their integration into political life on a peaceful basis while preserving a sense of cultural identity. (p. 292)
In other words, these movements will help increase and further entrench globalization, imperialism and class warfare.
In Europe’s case, this isn’t just the political release valve for both sides but an economic one as well: Europe needs workers to balance its rapidly aging population, while the Middle East needs to be able to siphon off a portion of its huge youth bulge for emigration. (p. 292)
Barnett predicts that the mass migration of people from the Middle East into Europe will lead to a ‘revival of ethnicity’. He argues that their immigration into Europe will generate a paradoxical attitude that will marry Muslim identity politics at home with European human rights evangelism in their countries of origin. He writes:
So when Muslims emigrate from the Middle East and immigrate into Europe, both regions respond to this transaction by becoming, respectively, more Islamic and more European in the near term, until such time passes that new rule sets emerge to define these profound forms of social(family ties), economic( remittances), and ultimately political connectivity. While the movement of Core citizens into the Gap occasionally force Core powers to defend them through military means…. a far more potent form of political connectivity comes in expatriate populations living inside the Core and agitating for their adopted nations to intervene militarily or diplomatically in their countries of origin in response to instability or political repression there. A good example of this, of course, is the role of Iraqi expatriates in the US decision to lead a multinational coalition into that country in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime. (p. 294)
This is imperialist grand strategy accounting for demographics, economics, religion and ethnicity. But its core function is similar to the imperialist ideologies of the past: divide and conquer the workers of the world on the basis of religious and ethnic sectarianism, as well as bourgeois values such as human rights, thereby making the world “safe for capitalism” and global imperialist domination.
A recent example of expats mobilising for imperialist intervention in their own country was provided by demonstrations by Eritreans in Germany against President Issias Afwerki in 2012, with the predictable US NGO inspired slogan “Down, down dictator”.
Barnett predicts that Europe and Russia will disintegrate in the 21st Century, leaving only India and China to rival the United States. The US strategist clearly believes that coercive engineered mass migration into Europe, coupled with American occupation of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, will prevent Eurasian integration, whilst securing the US/Israeli control of Europe and the conquest of Africa, thereby establishing US/Israeli global supremacy in the 21st century.
The choreography and mediatisation of the ‘Refugees Welcome’ campaign bears a striking resemblance to the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ campaign launched less than 30 minutes after the first reports of the Paris terrorist attack in January 7th were broadcast.
Many of the migrants are receiving welcome booklets packed with maps and information distributed by an NGO called w2eu,which stands for welcome to the EU.
One is reminded of the non-violent revolution rule book by Zionist ideologue Gene Sharp which was used to train activists in the US/Israeli fomented counter-revolutions in North Africa in 2011.
- Barnett, Thomas PM, 2005, Blueprint for Action: A future worth creating, p.7, New York, Berkley Publishing Group
The lead, Western warmaking/regime-change countries intervening in northern Iraq and Syria held a strategy conference of their ministers of war in Paris on January 20. The meeting made waves in Canada because Ottawa was not invited to attend.
The meeting of ministers of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands discussed ongoing plans for intervention in Syria and Iraq. Canada is fully engaged in that intervention, more so than some of the other countries attending in Paris. For example, neither Italy or Germany have fighter aircraft engaged in bombings. But Canada was not invited to the party because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a promise during the national election campaign of October 19, 2015 that, if elected, his government would withdraw its six fighter-bomber jets from the U.S.-led warmaking alliance and instead focus on ground operations, including training of allied Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
The decision not to invite Canada was likely taken by U.S. Secretary of Defense (sic) Ashton Carter. Never mind that the new Trudeau government is not keeping its electoral promise or that, to the contrary, it has promised to step up its military presence in northern Iraq. No, for the U.S. government, any deviation from its lead in the imperialist war agenda is punishable by shunning.
The U.S. views the Canadian electoral promise as a weak-kneed sop. It cares not a whiff about the war-weary Canadian public, repelled by Canada’s failed military intervention in Afghanistan. That intervention goes back to late 2001. 158 Canadian soldiers died in combat in Afghanistan. At least 59 of those who served have killed themselves upon their return, while, shamefully, the previous Conservative government in Ottawa did all it could to reduce to a minimum disability payments to injured, returned soldiers.
The U.S. snub is intended as a warning to the Trudeau government just in case any of its members are actually considering keeping their election promise. It needn’t worry, there is no evidence that any are doing so. Also, importantly, the snub is serving as a rallying cry for pro-war ideologues in Canada who never liked the election promise in the first place and now want it definitively buried.
The enclosed opinion article in the Globe and Mail is exactly the kind of knee-jerk, pro-war backlash that the U.S. government wanted to foment. The writer, David Bercuson, is a well-known military academic in Canada. He directs his criticisms not at the United States government for snubbing its loyal ally but at the Trudeau government for giving the U.S. a reason to do so.
Bercuson wrote a commentary last month in the Globe saying that Prime Minister Trudeau was asking for trouble with his allies by making flaky election promises over war and intervention in the Middle East.
Columnist Thomas Walkom of the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper, provides a different view of the snub in a January 18 column. He calls it a “welcome snub”. He says, “Trudeau’s Liberals won power on a pledge to end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq and Syria — in the air and on the ground. If they are serious about this, why should we expect the Americans to include Ottawa in their combat deliberations?
“More to the point, why should we want to be included?”
Ottawa is lucky to have carte blanche, more or less, in working out the subtleties of its desired intervention in Iraq and Syria. The two large opposition parties in Parliament support military intervention in the Middle East, differing only on how that should be done. Meanwhile, antiwar forces are weak and marginalized. Years of confusion over the regime change agenda of the imperialist countries in the in Africa and the Middle East (Mali, Libya, Egypt, Syria) combined now with utter disarray in the face of the anti-Russia drive of NATO have left antiwar forces marginalized.
Coercive Engineered Migration: Zionism’s War on Europe (Part 2 of an 11 Part Series)
During the 1920s General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin formulated what he considered to be the essential contribution of Lenin to Marxist political economy. Leninism, he wrote, is Marxism in the era of proletarian revolution. Since 1989 proletarian and national liberation revolutions throughout the world have been overturned by a general, global counter-revolutionary upsurge. It is a counter-revolutionary upsurge that has seen the onslaught of US colour revolutions, which seek to do away with the bourgeois nation-state itself, the last barrier to the total exploitation of the world by the global corporate and financial elite.
In this essay we have argued that the contemporary form of this counter-revolutionary ideology, of this imperial drive for global domination, is Zionism. One could therefore assert that Zionism is imperialism in the age of capitalist counter-revolution. In other words, Zionism is the very form of contemporary Western imperialism. Therefore, unlike Russian and Chinese imperialism, Western imperialism or Zionism has both a religious and ethnic dimension. Zionism is a Messianic and racist ideology based on Talmudic Judaism.
Zionism, through its control of Western finance capitalism, is striving for global governance. Lenin, writing in 1915, described as ‘indisputable’ the fact that ‘development is proceeding towards monopolies, hence, towards a single world monopoly, towards a single world trust’. But Lenin also pointed out that this drive towards unipolar global power would also intensify the contradictions in the global economy. A cogent example of this today is the low-intensity covert war currently being waged by the United States/Israel against Germany: The Western imperial alliance is turning on itself.
However, no people’s resistance to Zionism can be mounted if the empire continues to outsmart its opponents. The aforementioned General Barnett understands his enemies well. He used to teach Marxism in Harvard university and has written a book comparing the African policies of the German Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Romania. In his book Blueprint For Action, he points out that the father of Fourth Generation Warfare is Mao Tse Tung. Imperial grand strategy is now waging war using techniques developed during the Chinese revolution, one of the greatest anti-colonial struggles in history. The key for anti-imperialist resistance today is, therefore, to understand how to turn the tools of imperialism against imperialism.
Marxism is a useful and indispensable tool but is insufficient for an full understanding of the complexities of the information age in the context of imperial strategy and tactics. Barnett and many other US and Israeli military strategists are keen students of social psychology, and in particular General Boyd’s OODA Loop Theory. The OODA stands for observation, orientation, decision, action. According to Boyd, decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby “get inside” the opponent’s decision cycle and gain the advantage.
One could see this psychology at work during the Arab Spring. The rigid ideological orientation of the average ‘leftist’ saw the uprisings in Tunisia as proof that people were rebelling against a US-backed dictator and his ‘neo-liberal’ regime. This interpretation was reinforced by strategically placed ‘critics’ of US-foreign policy in the news station of Zionism’s ancillary regime, Qatar, while the initial indifference of the Western press confirmed the interpretation of the Tunisian revolt as a genuine, grass roots uprising against US imperialism.
US and Israeli strategists were capable of doing this through their deep understanding of ‘leftist’ discourse. They also understood that the ‘anti-globalisation’ form of the protest movement would fool genuine critics of US imperialism, thereby impeding their ability to react to the US-orchestrated revolutions in a rational manner.
In the Arab Spring, inverted Marxian dialectics, Systems Theory, Psychology, Military Science and Utility Theory were waged against a feckless and discombobulated anti-war movement who would repeat the sound bites of ‘popular uprising’ and the ‘defeat of US imperialism in the Middle East’ implanted in their minds by one of the most impressive and successful US/Israeli geostrategic operations in modern history.
On the eve of NATO’s bombing of Libya, the BBC predictably called upon an old reliable ‘critic of US foreign-policy’ Noam Chomsky. The veteran American philosopher agreed that the West had a “duty” to “stop the massacres” in Libya thus ensuring there would be no moral outrage among the so-called anti-war movement. The invitation of Noam Chomsky by the Zionist-controlled BBC shows the importance for British intelligence of ideologically disarming potential ‘leftist’ opponents in the run-up to meticulously planned wars of aggression, disguised as ‘humanitarian interventions’.
Given Chomsky’s anarchist ideology, the very ideology instrumentalised by the CIA in colour revolutions, the BBC knew he would go along with their fake ‘popular uprising’ in Benghazi, thus providing justification to wage ‘humanitarian’ warfare in support of the ‘revolution’.
In 2013, a massive military destablisation of Brazil was undertaken by US NGOs, operating under the guidance of the CIA, in order to weaken the popularity of a government moving far too close to Russia and China in the eyes of Washington. Again, the CIA’s ‘Vinegar revolution‘ received full support from most ‘leftist’ quarters. Once again, military geostrategy had triumphed over anti-imperialist analysis.
The current refugee crisis proves that US/Israeli military geostrategy is running circles around its opponents, who, instead of identifying the culprits who are using human beings as weapons, are unwittingly collaborating with Zionism’s plan to inundate Europe with migrants for the purposes of fomenting civil war in the European peninsula, in a desperate effort to prevent Eurasian integration, a prospect inimical to what the Pentagon refers to as ‘full spectrum dominance’, US/Zionist global hegemony.
Those who have joined in the chorus of welcoming the refugees/migrants are unwitting participants in an extension of Zionism’s neo-colonial wars in Africa and the Middle East. They are also complicit in the endorsement and cover-up of a modern slave trade. Opposing imperialism requires study of the logic of its geostrategic operations. Imperialism’s deliberate flooding of Europe with a Wahhabised lumpen-proletariat from a war-torn Southern Hemisphere will not help the cause of labour, the cause of human freedom. Rather, it will contribute to prevent the unification of the European-peninsula with Russia and Asia. It will contribute towards the further colonisation and destruction of independent African and Middle Eastern nations such as Eritrea and Syria.
An example of Marxist Leninist parties’ inability to deal with imperialism’s weaponization of migrants comes from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist). Their argument in favour of immigration is sound under normal circumstances but they fail to address the problem of when immigration becomes a tool of imperialism, a specific geopolitical strategy aimed at destabilizing both the country of origin and the destination of the migrant.
The recent resolution of the CPGBML is worth reproducing here in full:
This party firmly believes that immigration is not the cause of the ills of the working class in Britain, which are solely the result of the failings of the capitalist system.
Immigration and asylum legislation and controls under capitalism have only one real goal: the division of the working class along racial lines, thus fatally weakening that class’s ability to organise itself and to wage a revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of imperialism.
These controls have the further effect of creating an army of ‘illegal’ immigrant workers, prey to super exploitation and living in dire conditions as an underclass, outside the system, afraid to organise and exercising a downward pull on the wages and conditions of all workers.
The scourge of racism, along with all other ills of capitalism, will only be finally abolished after the successful overthrow of imperialism. But since immigration can no more be abolished under capitalism than can wage slavery, our call should not be for the further control and scapegoating of immigrants, but the abolition of all border controls, as part of the wider fight to uproot racism from the working-class movement and build unity among workers in Britain, so strengthening the fight for communism.
The problem here is that no distinction is made between immigration into imperialist countries and immigration into semi-colonial type countries. For example, Syria has been forced to close its borders due to the passage of terrorists in the service of imperialism. In such circumstances, it would be ludicrous to condemn the Syrian government for erecting fences to protect its borders. Similarly, Hungary, a small country which has just taken modest steps towards escaping from the clutches of US imperialism under the control of the IMF, has decided to erect fences to protect its borders from what it perceives as an attempt by US imperialism to destablize the country. Under these conditions, such a decision is entirely justified. The CPGBML argues correctly that “the scourge of racism, along with all other ills of capitalism, will only be finally abolished after the successful overthrow of imperialism.” The erection of fences in Hungary is part of that fight against imperialism, when migrants are clearly being used as weapons of imperialist strategy against recalcitrant nation-states.
The fact that Zionism is using the refugee crisis to further its imperialist agenda does not mean, however, that all refugees in the world are being used for this purpose. Rather, just as in the Arab Spring where the social inequalities of capitalism were used by imperialism to further the cause of capitalism, so are many refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa being used for the same purpose.
Throughout the world Homo sapiens is being supplanted by homo economicus: a vacuous, brain-washed, rootless cosmopolitan, a deterritorialised and acculturated nomad, hopelessly blown hither and thither by the exigencies of capital. Meanwhile, Zionism continues to stoke up the incessant and utterly fraudulent ‘War on Terror’, with omnipresent mass surveillance of the “nations” (goyim) while at the same time Jews are being encouraged by the Israeli regime to leave Europe for settlement on Arab lands, ruined and depopulated by Zionism’s wars.
The ‘refugee crisis’ is indubitably one more step towards the creation of a Greater Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu recently told the Israeli National News that Israel must become a “world power”.
To politically correct pundits, Victor Orban’s fence might appear inhumane and xenophobic, but at this moment in history the concrete choice presented to us is between temporary fences designed to protect nations from imperialism or Zionist walls built to imprison humanity.
Saudi Arabia pledged the Somali government USD 50 million in aid on the same day Mogadishu declared it had severed ties with Iran, a report says.
According to a document from the Saudi embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, to the embassy of Somalia there, the regime in Riyadh pledged USD 20 million in budget support to Mogadishu and USD 30 million for investment in the African country, Reuters reported Sunday.
The news agency quoted diplomats as saying that the financial support is “the latest sign of patronage used by the kingdom to shore up regional support against Iran.”
“The Saudis currently manage to rally countries behind them both on financial grounds and the argument of non-interference,” a diplomat said. Iran has repeatedly denied the Saudi allegations of interference in the affairs of other countries.
On January 2, Saudi Arabia announced the execution of prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 other people. Nimr was a critic of Riyadh. After that, protesters gathered outside the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran, and the consulate building in the city of Mashhad. Some people attacked the Saudi diplomatic missions during the protests. Iranian authorities strongly condemned the attacks and some 60 people were detained.
Riyadh severed its ties with Tehran on January 3.
Somalia was among those countries that declared they were cutting diplomatic relations with Iran. Bahrain, Sudan, Djibouti and Comoros also have severed ties with Iran. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates recalled ambassadors.
The Somali government has not confirmed or denied the pledge, but Mogadishu claims the Saudi support for Somalia, which has been long-running, is not related to the decision to break diplomatic ties with Iran. The Saudi Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
Last week, Siddharta Dhar, a Hindu-born Muslim convert, made front page news as the latest British citizen to turn up in Syria draped in ISIS imagery and toting an AK.
He may or may not be the masked Brit who starred in a recent ISIS snuff movie, but, like pretty much all those who preceded him, he was well known to the British security services.
A member of Al-Muhajiroun, a ‘proscribed organization’ under the 2000 Terrorism Act, he was on bail for terrorism offenses at the time he left the country, and had been asked to hand over his passport to the police (he didn’t bother, it turned out). Indeed, according to Andy Burnham, shadow British Home Secretary, “He was well-known to the authorities having been arrested six times on terrorism related offenses”.
Perhaps stating the obvious, Burnham added that “people will be shocked that a man detained on a series of counts of terrorism-related activity could be allowed to walk out of the country, unimpeded.”
Nor was his flight exactly unpredictable. Earlier in the year, he had declared – on the BBC’s ‘This Morning’ program, no less – that “now that we have this caliphate I think you’ll see many Muslims globally seeing it as an opportunity for the Koran to be realized”. Just to further clarify his intentions, he went on to tell Channel Four News: “I would love to live under the Islamic State”.
I’m no expert on decoding terrorist lingo, but to my untrained eye this statement appears fairly unambiguous. But perhaps no one in British intelligence has a telly.
Or perhaps there is another explanation. Once in Syria, Dhar tweeted: “My Lord (Allah) made a mockery of British intelligence and surveillance… What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to the Islamic State.” Shoddy? Maybe. But as Nick Lowles, from the group Hope not Hate, put it, “With at least six prominent members of al-Muhajiroun (the banned extremist group) having been able to slip out of Britain whilst on bail or having been banned from leaving, questions need answering. One absconding is a worry, two appears careless, but six – well, that needs answering.” Indeed it does.
In fact, it seems that pretty much every time a British ISIS or Al Qaeda recruit is unearthed, they turn out to have deep ties to the intelligence services. The story of Michael Adebalajo is a case in point.
On May 22, 2013, Adebelajo and Michael Adebowale stabbed Fusilier Lee Rigby to death in London. It soon emerged that MI5 had been trying to recruit him at the time. But for what?
The parliamentary committee on intelligence and security conducted hearings on the murder later that year, and its report makes fascinating reading. It revealed that, prior to the murder, Adebolajo had been identified as a Subject of Interest (SoI) in no less five separate MI5 investigations, including one which was focused specifically on him.
This surveillance had revealed that he was in contact with “a high profile and senior AQAP [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] extremist” as well as two “Tier 1 SoIs being investigated… due to their possible links with AQAP in Yemen”. At one point in 2011, this particular investigation was “MI5’s highest priority operation” and it led MI5 to conclude that “Adebolajo was a primary contact of BRAVO and CHARLIE”, code names for the two suspected AQAP members under investigation.
Of course, ‘guilt by association’ alone would not have been enough to arrest him. But his drug dealing would have been. In theory, MI5 are supposed to ‘disrupt’ the activity of extremists by, for example, facilitating their arrest if they are involved in criminality. In Adebolajo’s case, the ‘intrusive surveillance’ which he was under for a time revealed not only that he was “involved in drug dealing” but indeed that he was “spending most of his time” drug dealing.
This was the perfect opportunity for MI5 to ‘disrupt’ the activities of a man suspected of being a recruiter for Al Shabaab and known to be in contact with senior members of Al Qaeda. But MI5 seemed curiously uninterested in pursuing it. They did eventually pass some information onto the local police – but without passing on any actual evidence, and “accidentally omitting” his house number, with the result that “the police officer tasked to investigate concluded… that no further action could be taken”, an entirely predictable outcome.
Further opportunities for ‘disruption’ were also ignored. The report notes that in November 2012, Adebolajo was part of “a larger group of individuals who were [involved in] a violent confrontation”. Following the disruption, it was noted that “Adebolajo’s details will be passed to [another police unit]”. For some reason, however, this didn’t happen. Nor was Adebolajo prosecuted for his membership in a proscribed organization (Al Ghurabaa, aka Al Muhajiroon).
But most suspicious was the British response to his arrest in Kenya in 2010: “On 22 November 2010, the Kenyan police reported to the MPS officer based in Nairobi that they had arrested Adebolajo the previous day. He had been arrested with a group of five Kenyan youths and was assessed to have been attempting to travel into Somalia to join Al Shabaab (a Somalia-based terrorist group).”
Information apparently relating to Adebolajo’s involvement with terrorism – but redacted from the report – was known by MI6 at the time of his arrest according to the British counter-terrorist police officer stationed in Kenya at the time.
According to the Daily Mail, “The Kenyans believed Adebolajo, 28, had played a crucial role in recruiting his co-accused, including two secondary school-aged boys, after they were radicalised during weekly visits to a mosque in Mombasa.”
Kenyan government spokesman Muthui Kariuki said: “We handed him to British security agents in Kenya and he seems to have found his way to London and mutated to Michael Adebolajo. The Kenyan government cannot be held responsible for what happened to him after we handed him to British authorities.”
The security agents in question belonged to a highly secretive counter-terrorism unit in Kenya (referred to in the report as ARCTIC) with “a close working relationship” with the British government. Adebolajo alleged on several occasions that he had been tortured during his time in custody, leading the Committee to point out that “if Adebolajo’s allegations of mistreatment did refer to his interview by ARCTIC then HMG could be said to have had some involvement”.
MI6 consistently lied to the Committee about their involvement with Adebolajo in Kenya – a point noted (albeit somewhat apologetically) in their report. Of his detention, MI6 claimed “we did not know it was going on”; prompting the Committee report to “note that SIS [MI6] had been told that a British citizen was being held in detention: therefore, they did know that “it was going on”.
The Chief of MI6 then lied about their responsibility to investigate the allegations of abuse, claiming that this “is not an SIS responsibility”, directly contradicting emails written by an MI6 officer at the time which had stated that “We obviously need to investigate these allegations”. This, said the Committee, “clearly indicates that SIS officers believed that they had a responsibility to investigate the allegations”, adding that this is “not consistent with the evidence provided to the Committee by the Chief of SIS”, and going on to note their “concern that this email was not provided as part of the primary material initially offered in support of this Inquiry as it should have been [as] it was clearly relevant to the issues under consideration.”
Finally, a redacted piece of information referring to what the Committee called “relevant background knowledge” concerning Adebolajo was disowned by MI6, who claimed only to have heard it when told by the police. The police, however, had already explained that it was MI6 who passed it to them in the first place.
Exactly what MI6 were up to in Kenya with Adebolajo remains shrouded in mystery. However, the Committee was clearly unimpressed by what they were told: “SIS has told the Committee that they often take the operational lead when a British national is detained in a country such as Kenya on a terrorism-related matter.
They have also told the Committee that they have responsibility for disrupting the link between UK extremists and terrorist organizations overseas, and that in Kenya this is at the centre of their operational preoccupations. The Committee therefore finds SIS’s apparent lack of interest in Adebolajo’s arrest deeply unsatisfactory: on this occasion, SIS’s role in countering ‘jihadi tourism’ does not appear to have extended to any practical action being taken.”
What if, however, MI6’s work on the “link between UK extremists and terrorist organizations overseas” is not aimed at disruption after all? What if they have been charged with facilitating, rather than countering, “jihadi tourism”?
The SO15 (counter-terrorism) police officer who conducted an extensive interview with Adebolajo on his return to the UK from Kenya concluded that “It is… believed Adebolajo will attempt to travel again in the future…”
At the time, MI5 was running an investigation into “individuals who were radicalizing UK-based extremists and facilitating their travel overseas for extremist purposes”, referred to in the Committee’s report as Operation Holly. They wrote to an MI6 representative in East Africa to ask whether “one of Adebolajo’s contacts could have been a Kenya-based SoI known to MI5 and SIS” then under investigation, but MI6 never responded.
The following year, “surveillance deployments indicated that Adebolajo had met an SoI investigated for radicalizing UK-based individuals and facilitating their travel overseas.” This entry in the report’s timeline was preceded by four redacted items and followed by another.
The report also contains reference to a number of occasions in which investigating officers’ requests and recommendations for action against Adebolajo and Adebowale were not implemented, for reasons that were not recorded. This raises the issue of whether these requests had been over-ruled, and if so by whom.
Unfortunately, the committee seemed to accept at face value MI5’s explanations of such failures (new priorities taking away resources, etc), but their report did note, in somewhat exasperated tone, that “where actions were recommended, they should have been carried out. If the investigative team had good reason not to carry out a recommended action, then this should have been formally recorded, together with the basis for that decision”.
Adebolajo, then, had come up on the security services radar again and again as someone not just potentially involved in recruiting for overseas terrorism, but with prior form in actually doing so. And yet we are supposed to believe that MI6 – whose prime concern was supposedly to deal with such people – had no interest in him in Kenya, and that MI5 – who are supposed to disrupt the work of such figures – willfully passed up chance after chance to do so.
Fast forward to today, and we have an official figure of 800 – but with estimates of 1,500 and more – British citizens who have gone to fight in Syria. We have evidence from Moazzam Begg’s collapsed trial that MI5 gave the ‘green light’ to his trips to train fighters in Syria; we have the collapse of Bherlin Gildo’s trial for terrorist activities in Syria due to the embarrassment it was feared it would cause British security; we have Abu Muntasir’s testimony that “I inspired and recruited, I raised funds and bought weapons, not just a one-off but for 15 to 20 years. Why I have never been arrested I don’t know”; we have the US Senate hearings into the murder of US ambassador Christopher Stevens revealing that MI6 was involved in running a ‘ratline’ of weapons from Libya to Syria; we have case after case of families angry at the British authorities for allowing their children to go and fight despite repeated warnings, and on it goes.
Can we really still call it a conspiracy theory to believe that British intelligence has allowed this to happen?
A shoddy security system? Or a ruthlessly efficient one.
Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. It featured a collection of articles written from 2009 onwards examining the links between economic collapse, the rise of the BRICS, war on Libya and Syria and ‘austerity’. He is currently researching a book on US-British use of sectarian death squads against independent states and movements from Northern Ireland and Central America in the 1970s and 80s to the Middle East and Africa today.
A Nigerian Shia group says more than 700 of its members are still unaccounted for a month after the deadly attacks by Nigerian forces against Shia Muslims in the northern city of Zaria.
In a statement released on Thursday, Ibrahim Musa, the spokesman for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), whose leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky is in police custody, said about 730 people have gone missing since December 12, 2015.
“These missing people were either killed by the army or are in detention” but their “whereabouts are still unknown and undisclosed,” Musa said.
He further noted that some 220 IMN members were in a prison, located in the city of Kaduna, the capital of the state with the same name, while others were in military custody elsewhere across the African state.
On December 12 last year, Nigerian soldiers attacked Shia Muslims attending a ceremony at a religious center in the northern city of Zaria, accusing them of blocking the convoy of the army’s chief of staff and attempting to assassinate him. The Shias have categorically denied the allegations.
The following day, Nigerian forces also raided Zakzaky’s home and arrested him after reportedly killing those attempting to protect him, including one of the IMN’s senior leaders and its spokesman.
Both incidents led to the deaths of hundreds of members of the religious community, including three of Zakzaky’s sons. There has been no official death toll in the violence, but rights activists have put the number at over 1,000.
Musa said no Nigerian family had received a body for burial in the weeks since the Zaria violence.
The Shia cleric is said to have been charged with “criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbances.”
The IMN has called for Zakzaky’s unconditional release and for Abuja to respond to the “unjustifiable atrocities committed by the army.”
The United States in the past year dropped more than 20,000 bombs on Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, according to a study by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
In an article published January 7, Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at CFR, states that since January 1, 2015, the United States has dropped an estimated 23,144 bombs in those six countries: 22,110 in Iraq and Syria; 947 in Afghanistan; 58 in Yemen; 18 in Somalia; and 11 in Pakistan.
“This estimate is based on the fact that the United States has conducted 77 percent of all airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, while there were 28,714 US-led coalition munitions dropped in 2015. This overall estimate is probably slightly low, because it also assumes one bomb dropped in each drone strike in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, which is not always the case,” Zenko writes.
Despite dropping tens of thousands of bombs over the past 17 months, Washington’s strategy has failed to defeat Daesh and other Islamic militant groups, Zenko observed.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban control more territory than at any point since the 2001 US invasion, according to a recent analysis in Foreign Policy magazine.
Zenko notes that the primary focus of Washington’s counter-terrorism strategy is to kill extremists, and that far less attention is paid to prevent a moderate individual from becoming radicalized.
As a result, “the size of [Daesh] has remained wholly unchanged,” Zenko writes.
In 2014, the Central Intelligence Agency estimated the size of Daesh to be between 20,000-31,000 members. On Wednesday, Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, estimated the group at 30,000 members, despite Pentagon claims that 25,000 Daesh members have been killed in US air strikes.
At the same time, the Pentagon claims that only six civilians have “likely” been killed in the course of the bombing campaign.