New Eastern Outlook
by Viktor Mikhin
Once again the “wisdom” of Washington’s generals raises the question about the American leadership’s ability in both political and military affairs. This time it is due to the recent statement of the once again notorious, although retired, former leading US General David Petraeus, that suggests actively relying on the Jabhat al-Nusra currently at war in Syria.
Perhaps D.Petraeus, owing to his “excessive preoccupation” did not have time to get acquainted with the fact that Jabhat al-Nusra is officially considered a terrorist organization by the White House. It is well known that it is this very organization that is the most cruel and is famed for terrorists who have left a bloody trail of numerous civilian deaths.
But perhaps D.Petraeus “accidentally” revealed to us that very secret plan (after all, he led the most “secret” organization of the United States, the Central Intelligence Agency, from September 2011 to November 9, 2012), according to which the White House has set its policy of gambling on the support a leading terrorist organization, be it al-Qaeda, established by the CIA in 1988, or others, including, it appears, Jabhat al-Nusra!
Who is D.Petraeus, who considers himself the savior of the American nation and the world, some new Herostratus and, who proposes new, drastic, as yet unheard of methods for fighting terrorists with terrorists? It should be noted that he was until recently a very well-known and influential figure in the contemporary US establishment. After graduating from the prestigious Military Academy at West Point in 1970, he successfully married the daughter of General William Knowlton, who, according to malicious rumors, even provided his son-in-law, a mediocre soldier, with rapid career advancement to the highest posts. Now a retired general, in his time he was the commander of the Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) and served as the head of United States Central Command, then commanded the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. His latest position is Director of the CIA. However, the “courageous” General was then sentenced to pay a significant fine and two years’ suspended sentence for his dubious affairs. As the saying goes “Don’t be so sure the same won’t happen to you.” But the general has surfaced and he now advises the US administration on the issue of the fight against the Islamic State with whom the group Jabhat al-Nusra is at war. Clearly, it’s impossible to find a better “consultant” in the USA! Of course, D.Petraeus is well aware of the tragic events that have now swept the Middle East in a bloody wave, and which began after the barbaric and unprovoked US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
What new and clear suggestions is this “bloody affairs specialist” in the Middle East actually putting forward? As reported by the American online edition The Daily Beast, with reference to several members of the military and political establishment of the United States, the retired General intends to use the same strategy he used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back then, he tried to win over “moderate” insurgents, who allegedly did not fully subscribe to the radical militant jihad doctrine, to the side of the Western coalition. According to the former head of the CIA, the current methods used in the fight against the terrorists of the Islamic State do not work, and suggests setting some terrorists onto others for a good fee.
The most striking part of the “smart” General’s statement is that despite Washington’s official statements, American soldiers continue to actively cooperate with the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. These days it is well known that this organization was created by the United States and Saudi Arabia to counter the limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The Pentagon, using Saudi Arabia’s money, extensively supplied advanced weapons to militants, including Stinger MANPADS. American advisers did not only train terrorists how to use these advanced weapons, but they launched missiles at Soviet planes themselves. Then US statesmen loved to be photographed while looking through a machine gun scope in the Khyber Pass at Soviet positions, and cynically declaring: “We’ll make the Russians wash in their own blood.” However it was the Soviet Union, who was in fact fighting alone against the embryos of terrorism at that time, while the US actively created it, by organizing and generously funding various criminal groups. The Western press itself wrote about a certain tariff for killing Russians according to which American advisers paid the terrorists for their “heroic deeds”. The advisers often demanded material evidence in the form of severed heads of Soviet soldiers and officers.
And now, judging by D.Petraeus’ speech, the tactics of the Obama administration involve working closely with the terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Washington has repeatedly stated that it is actively supplying “moderate” terrorists with the most modern weapons. Thus, the question arises, how and on what grounds, do the current American advisers determine “moderation”? If a person kills civilians in Syria, is he a reasonably “moderate” terrorist, reasonably liberal and reasonably democratic? Apparently, “moderation” is determined by unconditional fulfilling orders and a total submission to Washington. In this sense, Barack Obama should be reminded of the rather witty saying that you “can’t be a little pregnant,” or according to the American expression, “moderately pregnant.” A terrorist, who kills civilians and commits other crimes, is 100% a terrorist, and his actions are subject to criminal law and other responsibility.
In the New York Times article of August 4, “ISIS or Al Qaeda? American Officials Split Over Top Terror Threat”, it is reported that Washington is already split over which threat should be considered more “imminent” – the Islamic State or al-Qaeda. And it isn’t just a matter of assessments: the shifting of emphasis from one side or another depends on where the funding will go. For example, the FBI is more concerned about the actions of ISIS and considers that this organization poses a direct threat to the United States, while the Pentagon, which focuses on problems abroad, would prefer to send forces to fight al-Qaeda.
However, D.Petraeus’ latest statement makes it clear that US aid will be sent to all “moderate” terrorists no matter what organization they belong to. The Chinese have a saying about this: it doesn’t matter what color the cat is, as long as it catches mice.
It’s Washington’s fault that the countries of the Middle East are now immersed in chaos and anarchy, and the whole of Europe is suffering from the influx of migrants! In Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and many other countries, where the “valiant” American warriors proved their mettle with a vengeance, the infrastructure has been completely destroyed, roads have been broken, and factories and numerous towns and villages have been razed to the ground. In Iraq alone, the American generals and their subordinates’ “efforts” killed about one million Iraqis, and 3.5 million have fled the country, which has practically ceased to exist.
In Afghanistan, the American generals’ same “efforts” saw a 7-fold increase in poppy cultivation and heroin trafficking. Malicious rumors say that all this is led by the CIA officers, and that by doing so, until recently, they covered the costs of the American military presence in the country and improved the living standards of the US military. The American press itself often reports how CIA retirees, who served in Afghanistan, suddenly buy luxury villas and expensive cars. Incidentally, on 8 June 1998 the New York Times published an appeal of a number of former government officials, which read: “We believe that the global war on drugs currently does more harm than the actual drugs.” You can’t say it clearer than that!
In Syria, the “efforts” of Washington hawks, who actively cooperate with the “moderate” terrorists, have killed nearly 250 thousand people, and several million have fled the country. According to the global media, dozens of new criminals arrive there from Western countries every day. There is a clear and simple task before them – to overthrow the legally elected regime of Bashar al-Assad. To that end, Washington is prepared to enter into a contract not so much with terrorists, as with the devil himself. On TV every day you can watch the distress of Afghan, Iraqi, Syrian and other refugees in Europe who have left their country in order to at least save their lives from the “mercy” of the “moderate” terrorists.
The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose country is known to be a member of NATO, quite eloquently spoke on this topic. “The West, which can not cope with the influx of refugees from Syria, Libya and Iraq, says that it is bringing freedom, peace and prosperity to these countries. However, these claims have not convinced anyone. There is oil in Libya and Iraq and the West wants to control its production. 80% of Iraqi oil is currently in the hands of Western companies, who are skimming the cream from its extraction. The same thing is happening in Libya,” the president said at the opening of the Turkish business forum at the G20. You can’t argue with this view, as the West (and especially the US) is selfishly pursuing its own goals in the Middle East, ignoring the interests of the peoples living there. “What we see in the Middle East today is the direct result of a strategic disaster created by the United States,” clearly stated the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson. According to him, invading Iraq, the United States disturbed the equilibrium that had existed in the region for more than half a century.
Americans love the saying “money has no smell”. And they are ready to earn their blood-soaked dollars even at the sake of children. Photos of children, drowned at sea or suffocated in a truck are unlikely to be the last illustrations of the worsening migration crisis in Europe. Head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Anthony Lake warned of this. According to him, following the shock felt by all after seeing these heartbreaking shots, there must be action. He called for the protection of young migrants and refugees, who have been forced to leave their homes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya not of their own volition. According to the head of UNICEF, it is necessary to protect refugees and migrants with children from violence and exploitation.
But will the West hear this warning, because D.Petraeus, in his current position as consultant to the Obama administration, is actively advocating for cooperation with “moderate” terrorists, who are sowing fear and death in the Middle East on American handouts? And will the rational forces of the West be able to stop their “big brother” or will they allow him to continue destroying the Old World and indeed the rest of the world?
Victor Mikhin, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”