By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
“Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications. According to legend, Iran’s President has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, “Israel must be wiped off the map”. Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made, …” (Arash Norouzi, Wiped off The Map: The Rumor of the Century January 2007)
“The United States has attacked, directly or indirectly, some 44 countries throughout the world since August 1945, a number of them many times. The avowed objective of these military interventions has been to effect “regime change”. The cloaks of “human rights” and of “democracy” were invariably evoked to justify what were unilateral and illegal acts. (Professor Eric Waddell, The United States’ Global Military Crusade (1945- ), Global Research, February 2007
“This is a [Pentagon] memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” (General Wesley Clark, Democracy Now, March 2, 2007)
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Washington is in the “business of destroying” a very long list of countries.
Who is “Wiping Countries off the Map”? Iran or the United States?
During a period which is euphemistically called the “post-war era” –extending from 1945 to the present–, the US has directly or indirectly attacked more than 40 countries.
While the tenets of US foreign policy are predicated on the “spread of democracy”, US interventionism –through military means and covert operations– has resulted in the outright destabilization and partition of sovereign nations.
Destroying countries is part of a US Imperial project, a process of global domination. Moreover, according to official sources, the US has a total of 737 military bases in foreign countries. (2005 data)
The Notion of “Failed States”
The Washington based National Intelligence Council (NIC) in its Global Trends report (December 2012) “predicts” that 15 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East will become “failed states” by 2030, due to their “potential for conflict and environmental ills”.
The list of countries in the 2012 NIC report includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, DR Congo, Malawi, Haiti, Yemen. (see p 39)
In its previous 2005 report, published at the outset of Bush’s second term, the National Intelligence Council had predicted that Pakistan would become a “failed’ state” by 2015 “as it will be affected by civil war, complete Talibanisation and struggle for control of its nuclear weapons”.
Pakistan was compared to Yugoslavia which was carved up into seven proxy states after a decade of US-NATO sponsored “civil wars”.
The NIC forecast for Pakistan was a “Yugoslav-like fate” in a “country riven by civil war, bloodshed and inter-provincial rivalries” (Energy Compass, 2 March 2005).
While the failed states are said to “serve as safehavens for political and religious extremists” (p. 143), the report does not acknowledge the fact that the US and its allies have, since the 1970s, provided covert support to religious extremist organizations as a means to destabilize sovereign secular nation states. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan were secular states in the 1970s.
A Yugoslav or Somalia-style “failed state status” is not the result of internal social divisions, it is a strategic objective implemented through covert operations and military action.
The Washington based Fund for Peace, whose mandate is to promote “sustainable security through research”, publishes (annually) a “Failed States Index” based on a risk assessment (see map below). Thirty three countries (included in the Alert and Warm categories) are identified as “failed states”.
According to the Fund for Peace, the “failed states” are also “targets for Al Qaeda linked terrorists”
“The annual ranking of nations by the Fund for Peace/Foreign Policy for failing/fragile-state trouble-signs comes as international alarm grows about al-Qaeda-linked extremists setting up a state-based sanctuary in northern Mali for jihadi expansion.”
Needless to say, the history of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset, its role in creating factional divisions and instability in the Middle East, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are not mentioned. The activities of the jihadist Al Qaeda units in most of these countries are part of a diabolical covert intelligence agenda.
“Weaker” and “Failed States”: A Threat to America
In a twist logic, “weaker failed states”, according to the US Congress, are said to constitute a threat to the security of the US. The latter includes “several threats emanating from states that are variously described as weak, fragile, vulnerable, failing, precarious, failed, in crisis, or collapsed“.
As the Cold War concluded in the early 1990s, analysts became aware of an emerging international security environment, in which weak and failing states became vehicles for transnational organized crime, nuclear proliferation pathways, and hot spots for civil conflict and humanitarian emergencies. The potential U.S. national security threats weak and failing states pose became further apparent with Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attack on the United States, which Osama bin Laden masterminded from the safe haven that Afghanistan provided. The events of 9/11 prompted President George W. Bush to claim in the 2002 U.S. National Security Strategy that “weak states, like Afghanistan, can pose as great a danger to our national interests as strong states.” (Weak and Failing States: Evolving Security, Threats and U.S. Policy, CRS Report for the US Congress, Washington, 2008)
What is not mentioned in this Congressional CRS report is that the “hot spots of organized crime and civilian conflict” are the result of US covert intelligence operations.
Amply documented, the Afghan drug economy which generates over 90 percent of the World’s supply of heroin is tied into a multibillion dollar money laundering operation involving major financial institutions. The drug trade out of Afghanistan is protected by the CIA and US-NATO occupation forces.
Syria: Categorized as a “Failed State”
The atrocities committed against the Syrian population by the US-NATO sponsored Free Syrian Army (FSA) create conditions which favor sectarian warfare.
Sectarian extremism favors the breakup of Syria as a Nation State as well as the demise of the central government in Damascus.
Washington’s foreign policy objective is to transform Syria into what the National Intelligence Council (NIC) calls a “failed state”.
Regime change implies maintaining a central government. As the Syrian crisis unfolds, the endgame is no longer “regime change” but the partition and destruction of Syria as a Nation State.
The US-NATO-Israel strategy is to divide the country up into three weak states. Recent media reports intimate that if Bashar Al Assad “refuses to step down”, “the alternative is a failed state like Somalia.”
One possible ”break-up scenario” reported by the Israeli press would be the formation of separate and “independent” Sunni, Alawite-Shiite, Kurdish and Druze states.
According to Major-General Yair Golan of Israel’s IDF “Syria is in civil war, which will lead to a failed state, and terrorism will blossom in it.” The Israel Defence Forces are currently analyzing “how Syria would break up”, according to Major General Golan (Reuters, May31, 2012)
In November, United Nations peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi intimated that Syria could become “A New Somalia” ,… “warning of a scenario in which warlords and militia fill a void left by a collapsed state.” (Reuters, November 22, 2012)
”What I am afraid of is worse … the collapse of the state and that Syria turns into a new Somalia.”
“I believe that if this issue is not dealt with correctly, the danger is ‘Somalisation’ and not partition: the collapse of the state and the emergence of warlords, militias and fighting groups.” (Ibid)
What the UN envoy failed to mention is that the breakup of Somalia, was deliberate. It was part of a covert US military and intelligence agenda, which is now being applied to several targeted countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, which are categorized as “failed states”.
The central question is: who is failing the failed states? Who is “Taking them Out”?
The planned break-up of Syria as a sovereign state is part of an integrated regional military and intelligence agenda which includes Lebanon, Iran and Pakistan. According to the “predictions” of the National Intelligence Council, the breakup of Pakistan is slated to occur in the course of the next three years.