Posts tagged ‘al Qaeda’

January 4, 2017

How We Were Misled About Syria: the role of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF)

by mkleit

Original is from Tim Hayward wordpress

Source

msf-blames

 

I have unbounded admiration for the doctors who volunteer for the invaluable and often dangerous work of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF). The question concerns MSF’s policy of ‘bearing witness’. MSF will speak out – even against governments – when it thinks a humanitarian situation could and should be dealt with differently by those it holds responsible.[1] It has done so in Syria.

But if none of MSF’s international doctors have been on the ground in Syria’s war zones since 2015,[2] how can MSF claim to bear witness for what is happening there?

MSF has relayed reports from the rebel-held areas to which, exclusively, its supplies and support have been dispatched. The reports – including allegations of government attacks on hospitals and civilians – come from people working with the permission and protection of such groups as Al Nusra, Isis and other foreign jihadis and mercenaries. These anti-government forces are known to exercise a rule of terror and to be not overly concerned about ordinary citizens’ access to medical attention. That is precisely why the MSF doctors withdrew from the areas under their control.[3] So there is scope to ask who the medics on the ground were, and who they were treating.

 

My question, though, simply concerns the reliability of uncorroborated witness statements coming from potentially compromised sources. For while press statements have been issued from various MSF offices around the world, it appears MSF had no independent access to verifiable information from Syria.

In fact, the public unavailability of detailed or verified information is a matter of record: even John Kirby of the US State Department could only assert that ‘relief agencies that we find credible are levelling these accusations’.[4]

The most prominent relief agency, and visible in all video footage linked to the alleged bombings, is the White Helmets.

It is a matter of record that the White Helmets are funded by the NATO and Gulf states whose avowed aim is regime change in Syria; or-38096it is generally believed that they work closely with terrorist organisations (how else could the Netflix documentary have shown them roaming so freely in a zone where MSF and Western journalists dared not set foot?[5]). Their independence and integrity are widely questioned.[6]

So while MSF has often been cited as an independent source of support for White Helmet testimony, its press statements have in fact merely repeated White Helmet claims![7]

Whether intending it or not, MSF thereby became complicit in purveying a particular narrative that suffused the Western media during the period from 22 September to 22 December 2016.[8] Before September, the media had been perfectly clear that the citizens of eastern Aleppo were being held captive, effectively as human shields, by forces dominated by jihadist terrorists.[9] That changed following the uncompromising statement by Samantha Power to the UN Security Council, in which she invoked the White Helmets as victims and witnesses of Russian and Syrian aggression.[10]

Western governments and media re-designated the terrorist groups as ‘moderate rebels’.[11] Concurrently, anti-government activists like Lina Shamy started tweeting in English, the celebrated twitter account in the name of the child Bana was created, and there followed a flow of ‘famous last webcams’ from purported ordinary civilians voicing fears of impending massacre by the Syrian government.

Those of us in the West who were uncertain about the authenticity of all this social media activity in a zone lacking basic infrastructure, let alone wifi,[12] were coaxed to accept the mainstream narrative because a respected organisation like MSF apparently bore witness to it.[13] Few of us realised that MSF was merely repeating White Helmet testimony, not independently verifying it.

The consistent testimony now coming from the people who have been liberated in eastern Aleppo suggests a quite different story from the one that Netflix and our media have promoted.[14] The Helmets themselves appear to have melted away with the departure from Aleppo of the jihadists and mercenaries. If there were any genuinely independent doctors working with them in Aleppo, they too have yet to be heard from. But most telling, in view of White Helmet claims to have saved some 70,000 lives (or whatever exact number we are invited to believe), is that not a single person interviewed in liberated Aleppo has thanked them.

 

So, in seeking to bear witness against the Syrian government, MSF has made claims on a basis that is uncertain and contested.[15]  By so publicly associating itself with the White Helmets and their narrative it may have risked compromising the reputation it relies on to attract international doctors.

Those of us who deeply appreciate the service to humankind of MSF’s international doctors are left to hope the organisation coordinating their work can be more sure to avoid bearing false witness.[16]

The problem with the false narrative is no trivial one, for it perpetuates a fundamental misrecognition of the causes of the war – and thus of all the casualities the doctors have to deal with.  A false narrative not only gives impunity to the guilty but it supports them in moving ever onwards with their murderous designs. It distracts from the ethical truth, too, that the jihadis and the states supplying them with arms and opportunity are in fundamental breach of the law and morality of just warfare.

oberg-5

oberg-6

 

 

[1] The background for this founding principle – of témoignage (‘bearing witness’) – is cited on their website: ‘Hundreds of thousands of people died in the Biafran war because of a deliberate government policy. On their return from the region, a group of young French doctors were frustrated and outraged by the inability of the Red Cross to say publicly what had happened.’ https://www.msf.org.uk/advocacy-and-temoignage

[2] MSF Voice from the Field in Syria: Dr. Nathalie Roberts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61cmnPLk6uE

[3] Dr Nathalie Roberts has described how in the earlier days of the war in Syria, MSF had followed its usual working procedures in opposition-held areas but with the arrival of Islamic State group that became impossible: “they were not allowing all the patients to access the hospital”, they then started appropriating MSF supplies and even kidnapping MSF staff. They could not continue to work in a place where the occupying groups would not allow the doctors to do their medical job. (Dr Roberts interviewed on 13 March 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oQVUssxK-U

[4] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-spokesperson-loses-temper-with-rt-journalist-over-syria-bombing-questions-a7423146.html

[5] I personally first became curious about the White Helmets from viewing the Netflix documentary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wj4ncIEDxw), and the question I mention in the text here is the one I simply could not get past. I was therefore not surprised to find that others had already offered powerful critiques of the organisation.

I also had trouble imagining how people working in such desperate conditions would have the leisure to keep up with the latest Western craze of the Mannequin Challenge, and also the insensitivity to do a facsimile rescue for the purpose. The video of this PR own goal was quickly removed by the White Helmets’ promoters but remains available elsewhere at time of writing, e.g.:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgl271A6LgQ

A discussion of it is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8bIupYSZeU

[6] The critical sources now on the internet are far too numerous to mention, but indicative examples include:
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/361957-syria-white-helmets-un/
http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/12/10/exclusive-president-raed-salehs-terrorist-connections-within-white-helmet-leadership/
https://janoberg.exposure.co/humans-in-liberated-aleppo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmFFvu5H4f4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_bObdZhqyE
http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/09/23/exclusive-the-real-syria-civil-defence-expose-natos-white-helmets-as-terrorist-linked-imposters/

[7] The spokespersons bearing MSF witness to the public are quite numerous and remote from Syria. They seldom make explicit the source of their information, but when they do we find it is the White Helmets.

Sam Taylor, for instance, who is Syria communications coordinator for MSF and is based in Jordan, uncritically reproduced White Helmets material: ‘The civil defense, also known as the White Helmets, said the hospital and adjacent buildings were struck in four consecutive airstrikes.’ ‘Video posted by the White Helmets showed lifeless bodies, including children, being pulled from a building and loaded into ambulances amid screams and wailing. Distraught rescue workers tried to keep away onlookers, apparently fearing more bombs.’ http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/airstikes-aleppo-hospital-1.3556632

Taylor does mention another authority: ‘Shortly after midday Thursday, new airstrikes in rebel-held areas killed at least 20 people in two neighbourhoods, the Syrian Civil Defense and the Observatory said.’ By ‘Observatory’, he presumably means the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Although this sounds like an independent organisation, it is in fact a single individual named Rami Abdulrahman (sometimes referred to as Rami Abdul Rahman) living in Coventry in the UK; and he is presumably as independent as one can expect from an opposition exile whose small network of informants in Syria consists largely of anti-government activists.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/world/middleeast/the-man-behind-the-casualty-figures-in-syria.html

Certainly, he is no more directly a witness than is MSF’s spokesperson. Needless to say, the Observatory’s credibility and independence is disputed: http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/man-behind-vaunted-syrian-observatory-human-rights-shown-all-his-full-absurdity; http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/syrian-ngos-working-directly-with.html; http://journal-neo.org/2015/12/12/the-syrian-observatory-for-human-rights-is-a-tool-of-western-propaganda/

Despite this lack of verified independent evidence, Taylor was prepared to state on behalf of MSF that a hospital attack ‘was deliberate’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebrpj689Ib8. While the basis for the accusation is not given, the cumulative effect of this sort of public statement is evident.

Pablo Marco Blanco, MSF’s Operations Manager for the Middle East in Barcelona, effectively endorsed the accusation, while admitting that the basis of the information was unconfirmed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5KMAvfYDU.

Similar communications came from Muskilda Zancada, ‘MSF head of mission in Syria’ in Barcelona. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4s9uEp6Ujs). Zancada also stated that ‘civilians are targeted’ http://www.msf.org/en/article/syria-update-airstrike-al-quds-hospital. Paul McPhun, Executive Director MSF Australia, speaking from Australia (10 October 2016) likewise makes categorial statements about targeted bombings in Aleppo, but without indicating the source of his knowledge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHyPtcG5a6M

It is even possible that the accusations are true. Yet it is also possible that they are not. The fallibility of MSF sources has been illustrated by how Teresa Sancristoval, Head of MSF’s Emergency Unit for Aleppo, was clearly being fed her information in Barcelona from people with an oppositional stance towards the Syrian Government because they were ‘afraid of the retaliations they can suffer’ http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/east-aleppo-ceasefire-fails-shelling-resumes-and-hope-fades (see note 7).

While I have no doubt that all MSF statements are made from a standpoint of agonised human sympathy, and in good faith, they take on a life of their own when picked up by the media and disseminated for further purposes.

In the end it is clear that what matters from the humanitarian point of view is that the bombing should stop. When MSF call for all sides to stop, they can claim to speak for humankind. When they complain of ‘targeted and indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian and Russian armed forces’ (http://www.msf.org/en/article/syria-crisis-update-28-november-2016) they create unnecessary controversy: if bombing both targeted and indiscriminate is to stop on the government side, that is as much as to say – from the government’s perspective – that it should simply allow the ISIS and Al Nusra terrorists free rein over the people and sovereign territory that it has a duty to defend. MSF do not want to say exactly this, I assume, but my point is that the organisation seems not to have a firm enough grip on its communications policy or a sufficiently coherent approach to defining its extra-medical mission.

[8] MSF statements from Syria condemning the Syrian and Russian governments have been demonstrably lacking in certainty or detail. For instance, in relaying reports of attacks on hospitals around Aleppo in May they note that ‘one was the MSF-supported al Sakhour hospital in Aleppo city, which was forced to suspend activities after being bombed at least twice on consecutive days.’ (https://www.msf.org.uk/country/syria) An inexact statement like this – being equivocal as to whether the number of bombings was two, three, or some other number – may or may not be true; it cannot claim to have been properly verified, since a verification would make clear whether or not a third or further bombings had occurred.

MSF uncritically accepted the veracity of the ‘famous last webcams’ coming out of besieged eastern Aleppo. As late as 14 December 2014 MSF wrote on their own website: ‘Whatever hope remained is rapidly dissipating. People are terrified, almost certain that their own deaths are near. Messages in which they say goodbye to their love ones are proliferating.’ http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/east-aleppo-ceasefire-fails-shelling-resumes-and-hope-fades ]

MSF do not appear to have known as much as one might hope or expect about the doctors they supported in terrorist-held Aleppo and whose words they relay to the public. The doctors communicating from terrorist-held Aleppo whose testimony the MSF publicly cited just prior to the liberation of Aleppo were apparently not looking forward to the end of the siege, and MSF even believed that their forebodings were shared by the ordinary people of Aleppo: ‘Like the rest of the population, “doctors are terrified and losing hope,” says Teresa Sancristoval, Head of MSF’s Emergency Unit for Aleppo. “They are afraid of the retaliations they can suffer. For the last two days, our exchanges have been more about goodbye messages and requests for evacuation than anything else. They feel abandoned to their fate and with no way out.”’ http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/east-aleppo-ceasefire-fails-shelling-resumes-and-hope-fades

[9] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/02/us-syria-policy-tatters-moderate-rebels-disband

[10] As Stephen Cohen has pointed out, the sea change came with the breakdown of negotiations between Obama and Putin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPp8eKBjcyA&t=974s

The view was then forcefully asserted against Obama by Samantha Power.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/22/syria-obama-us-president-putin-russia

In her speech to UN Security Council she singled out the White Helmets as victims and witnesses of Russian and Syrian attacks. She declared: ‘This is not the day, this is not the time to blame all sides, to draw false equivalencies. It is not the time to say that “airstrikes took place,” or “civilians were killed.” It is time to say who is carrying out those airstrikes, and who is killing civilians.’ https://usun.state.gov/remarks/7453
[11] Some insights into the unreliability of the mainstream narrative have occasionally been heard from within mainstream media outlets.

For instance:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-aleppo-iraq-mosul-isis-middle-east-conflict-assad-war-everything-youve-read-could-be-wrong-a7451656.html
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/12/time-judge-assads-aleppo-campaign-standards-set-mosul/
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/aleppo-falls-to-syrian-regime-bashar-al-assad-rebels-uk-government-more-than-one-story-robert-fisk-a7471576.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1B2xFqfEgY (‘Tulsi Gabbard tells the truth about Syria’ on CNN)
Carla Ortiz Speaks about her Experience in Aleppo and The Little Syrian Girl
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAE3WawgOX0&feature=share

Criticisms have of course been extensive in the Russian media. Since promoters of the Western narrative do not regard the Russia Today (RT) channel as a reliable source, I mention just a couple of interviews that they might concede have some credibility – one from a Church of England clergyman and one from a former UK ambassador to Syria:
‘Consistent stories of brutality at the hands of the Syrian rebels’ – Rev. Andrew Ashdown
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8iM_eY2viQ

US effectively siding with Al-Qaeda in desire to get rid of Assad – former UK ambassador to Syria
https://www.rt.com/news/345636-us-siding-al-qaeda-ford/

[12] Common sense scepticism on this point is supported by the first hand testimony of Carla Ortiz about trying to get internet connections in Aleppo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il7I1FTRSwY.

[13] I have seen MSF cited as a source to discredit the account of Syria given to the UN by Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uap0GwBYdBA
In fact, I was first prompted to do the research that led to writing this blog because a respected and well-informed friend on Facebook invoked MSF as a refutation of Bartlett’s claims. I believe it has since become clear that events have entirely vindicated Bartlett.

[14] Some examples of interviews with newly liberated citizens in Aleppo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjPpREHEF1Y
https://www.facebook.com/vanessa.beeley/posts/10155907018683868
https://www.sott.net/article/337545-East-Aleppo-Diaries-Testimony-from-Hanano-Shatters-Corporate-Fake-News
https://janoberg.exposure.co/humans-in-liberated-aleppo
https://www.sott.net/article/338019-Bolivian-actress-Carla-Ortiz-exposes-what-went-wrong-with-Western-media-coverage-of-Syrian-conflict

[15] Stronger criticism of MSF than I am making is found in Miri Wood’s ‘Guide to Understanding How ‘Unhospitals’ Cannot Be Bombed’ http://www.syrianews.cc/guide-understanding-unhospitals-cannot-bombed/ ; MSF’s relationship with the Syrian Government is known to be an uneasy one: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/12161437/Medecins-Sans-Frontieres-run-by-French-intelligence-says-Assad-regime.html

[16] MSF takes a certain pride in fostering debate and allowing some plurality of political views to be aired within the organisation: it does not attempt, as ICRC does, to hold a single public line. (Rony Brauman, ‘Médecins Sans Frontières and the ICRC: matters of principle’, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 888, 31 December 2012: https://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/article/review-2012/irrc-888-brauman.htm)

Yet the public hears MSF-branded messages and thinks they represent the honest and considered position of a respected organisation. They are encouraged to do so by the fact that press releases and comments are issued by the organisation and not as independent opinions of particular members.

While it is not my place to tell MSF how to conduct its affairs, I would say that their internal plurality of opinion is not necessarily a virtue: if they cannot agree on certain matters of principle about bearing witness, then the wise option might be simply to refrain, as ICRC do. At any rate, some of their internal philosophical debate strikes this reader as unhelpfully verbose and analytically unclear. More specifically relating to Syria, it is reasonable to believe that the geopolitics of the region and the machinations of its various protagonists are as complex and challenging, in their way, as are the medical emergencies in a war zone. Even the most judicious political analyst would not be much use in dealing with the latter. The people in MSF offices might reflect on whether the converse does not also apply.

We are not in a position to know if Syria or Russia should answer any charges in respect of the conduct of war.  We do know that their enemies must, and, more crucially, that they face the more fundamental charge of having attacked Syria and its people without just cause.

I find a rather bitter irony in the MSF position that they distinguish themselves from the ICRC in not being willing to patch up victims simply in order to make possible further harm to them; for that could be said to be what they are doing by wishing that a sovereign people should not use full lethal force against merciless invaders on its soil.

November 25, 2016

Analysis: Why Sweden is giving an award to White Helmets?

by mkleit

 

 

Sweden did not succeed in getting Bob Dylan to come to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Literature Prize. As a consolation Sweden got nevertheless the “White Helmets”; they were bestowed today the Right Livelihood Award.

 

This article examines a likely geopolitical rationale that the Swedish elites had for selecting that organization. Also, facts suggest a congruence between the stances of those elites on Syria and the declared political aims of the organization White Helmets. The reviewing of the institutions involved in the award-decision and process can also result relevant in pondering the reason for the event. Finally, to inquire into the role of Carl Bildt, as member of the board of directors in the institution ultimately deciding, is interesting against the backdrop of his opposition against the participation of  Julian Assange and Edward Snowden in previous international events organized by the same institutions –all of them under the umbrella of the Swedish Foreign Office.

 

However, Sweden’s awarding a prize to this organization –called the  “murky Withe Helmets’ by Professor Jan Osberg– it might reveal a semi-concealed intervention in support of Hillary Clinton’s doctrine in the dirty war against Syria. In concrete, another means used by Sweden’s elites in uttering their view, and gathering support, for the No-Fly Zone campaign in Syria.

 

A main purpose of what I have called the Hillary Clinton doctrine in the Middle East is the ending –by violent means– of the secular governments in the region, to be replaced by fundamentalist dictatorships. That happened in Egypt, Libya, etc. Now it was Assad’s turn. A valuable testimony of both the origin and purpose of this stance by Clinton was given by US Senator Richard Black, who declared in video:

 

“Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, put into place a series of actions to overthrow the secular governments in the Middle East and to replace them with radical Islamic regimes. Why she was doing this? I know she has great connections, financial and otherwise, with Saudi Arabia, with Qatar, with Kuwait, with tyrants of the Arab world”.

 

To these ends in Syria, the Swedish establishment has comprehensively supported the establishment of a No-Fly zone –precisely as advocated by Hillary Clinton. Beside illustrating Hillary Clinton’s stance on the No-Fly Zone issue, the video below shows also the risk of an all-out war against Russia and Syria, and what such measure would signify for the US Armed Forces (and others supporting the No-Fly Zone, such as the Swedish establishment).

 

 

 

 

 

It would be worth to mention in this context the participation of the “neutral and nonaligned” Swedish air Force in the No-Fly Zone operation masterminded by Hillary Clinton –the ultimate responsible for the bullets fired a close range against the head of the secular Libyan government, Omar Kaddafi, while he was held prisoner and immobilized. “We came, we saw, he died“, says Hillary Clinton on video, while she laughs.

 

Also, it should be reminded that the decision regarding the military participation of Sweden in Libya was taken at the Parliament after a proposition presented by Carl Bildt; a proposal that found uncontested support in ALL political parties of the Swedish political establishment, including the Left Party (the former ‘euro-communists’). Only the Sweden Democrats opposed.

 

For the Swedish rulers, as it was for Hillary Clinton, it is not about religion or ideology, or about an “idealistic” solidarity with refugees from the Syrian war (in fact most of those migrants are not ). It is only about money.

 

While those Sunni governments financially backed Clinton and the Clinton Foundation (mentioned in the above-quoted testimony by Senator Richard Black), the role of Sweden was to contribute either with direct public funds or with donations by important Swedish companies, such as Lundin Oil or Ericsson. In retribution, they got the kind of favours from Clinton’s State Department, which permitted further expansion of Swedish business in the area, such as  Ericsson. Meanwhile, the business of Sweden with Saudi Arabia, or Sweden’s arms export to the United Arab Emirates, continues unabated [See my recent articles in “The Indicter” and “Global Research”].

 

 

Another promoter for a No-Fly Zone in Syria is the organization “White Helmets”. Undoubtedly, there are in that organization, like in any of that kind,  true volunteer-individuals trying to do a humanitarian contribution. However, as organization at large, “White Helmets” is in fact another operation set up and financed by the same forces pressing for an escalation in the military conflict in Syria. In other words, the same factions that financed armed and trained the ‘moderate’ rebels –as the New York Times and the Washington Post call them (also called non-partisan media, also call them “moderate” terrorists, or “moderate jihadists”).

 

This organization has been boosted and financed by a number of State-donors, all of them implicated in the US-led (Clinton/Obama) political and/or military coalition aimed to depose the presidency of Assad in Syria. Most of these countries count with economic benefits in the planned oil-pipe construction designed to pass through Syria and that Assad opposed; the real cause of the war. For instance, Germany raised recently its financing to the “White Helmets” up to $7.85 million. Other examples of funding governments to this so-called “non-governmental organization”: The US government has contributed with $23 million; the UK government with $4.5 million.

 

 

One conclusion emerging in this analysis, considering also White Helmets own statements done previously in its home page, is that a main aim of its propaganda endeavour is bringing public opinion’s support to the ‘necessity of establishing a No-Fly Zone in Syria’. This is the geopolitical item that coincides with the one of Sweden’s political establishment pursuing a confrontation of “West” against Russia. And it is in this context where the Swedish award  to “White Helmets” should be understood.

 

The claims for a No-Fly Zone in Syria have been passed through standard psy-op  by the pro-Clinton corporate-owned press. This has been directed not only at American audiences, but also echoed among EU countries  viewed as potential proxies for the escalation of the Syria military conflict. Sweden is, historically considered, the primary government in Europe to react positively to such calls.

 

As Sweden now is giving its prestigious award to the White Helmets, the Swedish media has relentlessly reported in the most positive terms the deeds of the organization. None of the international reports denouncing a variety of manipulation techniques in constant use by the White Helmets has found space in the Swedish media. The image and video below shows how this is done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The appeals by “White Helmets” are done by fabricating or drastically exaggerating news on ‘war atrocities’. Hence, the suggestion of demolishing ‘air raids’ directed at civilian populations is a favourite number, for instance, in videos uploaded in YouTube. In the videos I have seen, however, such attacks never appear; what we see instead, solely, are rooms filled with smoke, dust, etc., where same “patients” move constantly in the scene with or without anti-dust protection masks.

 

In the Swedish version of “Swedish Institute of International Affairs” that I have access to, I found that the largest single entity financing this ‘independent’ institution is ultimately the Swedish State.

 

Right now, as I am typing these lines, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs has removed its web page in English. There is a growing focus on that institution right now because of the Right Livelihood Prize to the White Helmets. So, one reason might be that they are ‘cleaning up’ the page. And they should.

November 11, 2015

Photos from Destroyed Neighborhoods in Syria

by mkleit

The following photos are not mine nor do I claim rights to them.

I have shared them in this post to show the amount of destruction caused by all sides of the Syrian crisis; regime, opposition, extremist groups, all are responsible for the chaos and disasters in Syria.

Syrian kid selling merchandises on a table in Der el Zour

Syrian kid selling merchandises on a table in Der el Zour

Syrian kid plays on tricycle in a besieged neighborhood by FSA in Homs

Syrian kid plays on tricycle in a besieged neighborhood by FSA in Homs

Syrian students playing in the courtyard of their school in rebel-controlled Idlib

Syrian students playing in the courtyard of their school in rebel-controlled Idlib

Girls playing in Homs

Girls playing in Homs

Children taking a walk in destroyed neighborhood of Douma, Damascus

Children taking a walk in destroyed neighborhood of Douma, Damascus

Young man riding by a bomb in Douma, Damascus

Young man riding by a bomb in Douma, Damascus

Kids swimming in a crater caused by bombing in Aleppo

Kids swimming in a crater caused by bombing in Aleppo

Girl holding a bag of licorice (unknown area)

Girl holding a bag of licorice (unknown area)

October 11, 2015

How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists

by mkleit

Source

ScreenHunter_1549-Apr.-20-16.42

Many doubts, questions, and dilemmas have arisen concerning the contradicting conduct of the West while dealing with extremist movements. The West exploited these movements in Afghanistan during the late 1970’s, opposed them in the Arabian Peninsula in the nineties, and then launched war against them in Afghanistan in 2001, and in Iraq after the invasion of 2003. However, in 2011, the West returned to taking advantage of these extremist groups and we are currently faced with a rather vague Western connection with Isis.

The reason behind the doubts and different points of view is that analyses are based on relatively rigid mental paradigms which fail to proceed in accordance with the flexibility and pragmatic segmentation of the cowboy mentality. On the other hand, the alignment of extremist groups in many instances with the West has induced powers which oppose these groups to accuse them of treacherous conduct.

This is accurate, but it is accomplished through the Western scheme of indirect control of these groups. This indirect control is due to the ideological and strategic disorder which extremist groups suffer from, and the disapproval which those in their infrastructure, supportive environment, and their mustering forces maintain toward any connection with the United States- let alone full alliance with America. This is what the inconstancies in relations from 1979 up until this day indicate.

Another factor which has spurned these doubts is the vehement self-defense which the “takfiris” display when they are accused of having connections with the United States or with any countries which adhere to America or revolve around it.

The examination of the course of this movement leads to a specific model which displays how the relation with Isis is controlled by Western powers with the United States at their head. This model is composed of three aspects:

1017178_501452883261086_558810

1) Commission 2) Steering 3) Restraint

Each one of these aspects forms a set of tools which The US select according to the time and condition they deem as most appropriate. They do not necessarily benefit from all of these aspects in a simultaneous manner.

1) Commission

This policy depends on assessing which geographical area is most suitable for the movement of extremist groups, but under the condition that these movements do not pose a threat on American interests and that they also provide a strategic advantage. This policy is fulfilled according to circumstances and through certain means which are chosen according to time and place. There are five essential means.

1) Ensuring geographical domains: Weakening a country’s control in the target region through commotions, political turmoil, political settlement, and national uprising – as was the case in Syria in 2011, and Mosul in 2014.

2) Securing logistical pathways: Ensuring roads for extremists to reach target regions whether these pathways are by land, sea, or air. They also provide visas and even means of transportation in order to reach the area of conflict. They used Egypt, Pakistan, and Yemen as transits during the war on Afghanistan in 1979, and Turkey and Jordan during the war on Syria in 2011

3) Allowing financial aid and armament: Giving approval to their allied powers which wish to support extremist groups with money and weapons whether directly or indirectly (through certain institutions and weapon dealers). Rationing and organizing financial aid is done according to the time which ensures the imposition of a strategic course upon extremist groups.

The United States might also resort to direct weapon provision in some cases of tactical exceptions, such as throwing weapons and equipment from the air to Isis fighters in Kobani more than five times, and presenting this act in the guise of “a mistake”.

4) Transport: Expelling extremists from the countries which are harmed by their presence or from countries which desire to take advantage of them.

5) Facilitating the work of preachers: Allowing extremist preachers to fulfill their activity of spreading extremist ideology and mobilizing “takfiris” in the areas of transference, at departure, and at arrival. Extremist preachers are also allowed to spread their views on satellite TV stations and through different media.

2) Steering

This policy is based upon exerting an effort in media, mobilization, and in the field of action in order to direct the strategic priority of extremist groups toward movement in a certain sphere only, to target a specific enemy, or even to change the strategic and tactical course at a certain stage. All of this is done according to circumstances, requirements, and capacity.

The United States is very active in this domain with the aid of its regional and international allies. It achieves its aim through nine principal means.

1) Specifying the “preferable enemy”: the US have created “stars” among the “takfiri” environment for their own purposes and interests. They shed light on commanders or convenient extremist factions through inserting them on the list of terrorism. They focus on them in the media and select them in a way in which their prominence on the political scene leads to regional and international political achievements. For example, at the beginning of the war on Iraq, Colin Powell proclaimed that the enemy of the United States was al-Zarqawi. The US media machine placed him under the spotlight in a way where he became a prominent figure on the scene, and the conflict considerably shifted to internal Iraqi strife.

This is what Israel did a few months ago when it imposed on Jabhat Nusra to assign certain commanders in charge of control of the positions along the Jolan Heights- under threat of military intervention.

2) Assassinating commanders: Targeting extremist leaders who pose a threat on American or Western national security, or leaders whose regional influence negatively affects the scheme of steering and exploiting. For example, assassinating Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-‘Awlaqi, and most Qaeda commanders in Yemen.

3) Arabian and International Media: Delivering ideological and provocative concepts which aggravate extremist groups and urge them to head to a certain target region to fight the side which America chooses.

4) Saudi Arabian clerics: The Saudi Arabian religious institution is performing a central role through issuing fatwas which declare jihad in a target region.

5) Security Breaches: Recruiting, sending “Islamized” Western men to fight, the role of Arabian secret services, imprisonment, and attracting a supportive environment which is discontent with the conduct of the extremists. Prisons play a central role in recruiting commanders and prominent figures whether in an explicit or indirect way.

6) Taking command of conflicts: Handling the crisis in the target region in a way which achieves the goals of the United States, and preserving the controllable and exploitable extremist power through suspicious operations and different means of steering.

7) Causing a suitable environment of strife: Creating a setting of conflict in which the mustering forces of the extremist groups are presented as the targets, the oppressed, and the infringed upon – as in the case of Afghanistan and Syria.

8) Dividing the “takfiri” factions: Creating conflicts, tactical clashes in the field of combat, and producing a multiple set of goals and priorities through different means in order to prevent the formation of a unified power- as in the case of the clash between Isis and Jabhat Nusra in Syria.

9) Strategic Theorization: Presenting comprehensive strategic plans which represent the interest of the extremist scheme in the targeted geographical range. The security services infiltrates the Salafist jihadi virtual world and make their own Salafist websites, and in some cases they have the advantage of recruiting few ideologue under the coercion or persuasive instrument in the secret jails, those ideologue are capable of making the paradigm shift when needed.

3) Restraint

Takfiri factions strive to maintain their own agendas – in spite of the great influence of the United States and its agents – in order to preserve their rank among their mustering forces and political authorities. Western powers need to restrain takfiri groups in order to prevent them from crossing strategic or military limits, and they fulfill this through force or control of their incomes.

Regulation is based on six essential means:
1) Direct Confrontation: Carrying out direct military operations to strike at the critical takfiri forces or those which pose a threat, as in the case of Afghanistan in 2001 for example.

2) Limiting financial aid and armament: Monitoring the flow of money and weapons; the amount, type, and timing. They also uphold the limits which prevent the takfiris from becoming a threat while allowing them to act in a way which benefits the United States, as in the case of Syria since 2011.

3) Geographical Restraint: When necessary, the military forces of the United States or its allies fire at the posts where takfiris pose a current or future threat, as the coalition forces did when Isis fighters entered Irbil.

4) Providing a Geographical Substitute: If takfiri groups increase in number or if it becomes hard to control them or their actions, a new battlefield is provided which forms a vent for emotional and military zeal. The most prominent example is allowing Isis forces to engage in fighting in Mosul.

5) Steering through the Media: Provocations in the media contribute to maintaining military and political zeal to achieve the intended and previously specified goal. Thus, it becomes difficult for the leaders of takfiri factions to turn around on the intermediate range.

6) Assassinating Commanders: This was explained among the aforementioned means of steering. The best example on resorting to this course of action during operations of restraint is the assassination of Al-Zarqawi when the United States became suspicious that he had pledged allegiance to Bin Laden and that he had restored the struggle against America as his main priority.

terrorist Abu Mes'ab al Zarqawi

terrorist Abu Mes’ab al Zarqawi

Exemplification

The usage of these means was fulfilled in different circumstances and course of events. In Afghanistan in 1979, the United States had previously designated the course of events. The National Security Advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, had formulated a plan to bring Islamists to Afghanistan, to lure the Soviets, and to trigger a long term exhaustive struggle between them.

The second example was after the eleventh of September when the United States resorted to means of restraint in the face of takfiri groups which had left Afghanistan in search of a range of movement. A clash of interests ensued and resulted in the war on Afghanistan in 2001 and the operation of complete security restraint in Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, the zeal of these takfiri groups was directed toward Iraq in 2003 under the banner of fighting America only to be steered toward internal strife.

After that, the great operation to engage in Syria commenced and it is still continuing. The takfiri factions had envisioned in their consciousness and political cognizance an old enterprise in that country. One of the results of this operation was the emergence of Isis whose military effort has been steered once again toward Iraq- in limited mutual interests which the United States has not allowed to cross their specified sphere. Now, Isis is heading toward targeting Saudi Arabia which induced the international coalition to strike it.

Art of the Possible

The United States, its allies, and its regional adherents have adopted this three dimensional policy. This is due to the deep hostility which Arabian and Islamic nations hold toward America, the inability of the US army to engage in the battlefield for military and economic reasons, and the steady growth of powers which oppose America and Israel. Thus, the need for substitute armies able to accomplish strategic and tactical missions arose.

The second reason is the difficulty in engaging in direct combat with takfiri groups which Bin Laden had been temporarily able to drive toward fighting the far enemy in the late nineties and the new millennium, and the need which arose after September eleventh to return these groups to their favorite ideology of targeting the near enemy and regional foes.

Thirdly, Western powers were most of the time in need for an excuse for military intervention. They were also in need of signing long-term agreements (in security, economics…) with the terrorist takfiris. This is why they enabled the takfiris to be present- in order to justify intervention as in the case of Iraq in 2003.

Fourth is the need of America and Western countries to import the takfiri individuals who are active on their soil and to get rid of them.

Regional allies have other concerns – the most important which is the need to vent the internal pressure which these takfiri movements of revolutionary quality pose, and to solve jurisprudential issues when dealing with takfiri groups which lessen their excommunicative speech against certain regimes when they find a suitable range of movement abroad.

On another level, Arabian and Islamic countries need to get rid of the organizational structures of the takfiris or to weaken them as much as possible through driving them toward areas of conflict and strategic ambushes, as Saudi Arabia did in 2003 when it imported its dilemma with Qaeda to Iraq and got rid of that great predicament. The final motive for countries which are involved in the strategy of indirect control has to do with the regional aspect- they make use of takfiri groups to accomplish political regional goals, as in the case of Syria since 2011.

The nature of the takfiri groups is the reason why they have a tendency to be under this strategy. They are hostile and excommunicate everyone, even one another. Thus, they are prone to be steered in any possible direction. Due to the intellectual and jurisprudential differences among takfiri groups, and the lack of a unified command and strategy, they have a tendency to be infiltrated and to be steered in different directions. They also suffer from great vulnerability in security and this has facilitated the endeavors to recruit agents and secret intelligence infiltration.

They are also faced with a major problem which is financial aid – they lack an independent Islamic country which provides them with the money they need. This is why they depend on countries which exclusively adhere to the United States such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Pakistan. On the other hand, due to the security and political pressure exerted on takfiri groups, they are usually in search of any available outlet- especially since their speech carries very ambitious goals in comparison with their ability and narrow range of movement.

ألعوبة السعودية في سوريا

ألعوبة السعودية في سوريا

Courses of Action and Achievements

The main cases in this strategy are Afghanistan 1979, Iraq 2003, and Syria 2011. These cases have been generally successful in accomplishing their main goal which is transformation as much as possible of the threat which takfiri movements pose into a chance, and to take advantage of their blood-thirsty and destructive nature for the benefit of strategic US enterprises. They were successful in Afghanistan which the Soviets left, and they were successful in kindling sectarian and ethnic turmoil in Iraq in 2003. Currently, the United States has benefitted from these takfiri groups in Syria through destroying a great deal of the infrastructure of that country which is central in the allegiance of resistance. Israel has benefitted in creating an obstructive line on the border of the Jolan Heights which is formed of the Jabhat Nusra forces. In Iraq today, Isis represents a case which we wait to discover its outcomes and strategic courses.

On the long term, this strategy has been successful in shifting the military effort of takfiri groups away from directly targeting the West. In Afghanistan, the enemy was the Soviet Union, and in the period after that the targeting of American interests commenced up until the eleventh of September. Steering and indirect control were successful in Iraq in making American interests a secondary priority for takfiri groups in opposition to the priority of targeting other regional powers. As for Syria, American interests became completely distant from takfiri attacks, and Isis has almost fully eliminated attempts to target American interests. The main concern has become the geographical region- to establish the state of Isis, expand it, and to preserve its lands.

The profound and structural results show that America has been able to prevent takfiris from being active in regions where they pose threats on American interests. As a result of wide American domination, takfiri groups have not been able to move in an effective way which has influential political results anymore. They are only able to do so when there is no opposition to US interests which means where the US are at an advantage due to their presence. Thus, these takfiri groups – in an objective way- have become a part of the American scheme. With time they have avoided all regions vital to the United States and are active in less crucial areas.

July 20, 2015

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

by mkleit

Independent

How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as “spoils of war”. Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar’s words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”.

He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.” This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan

Prince Bandar bin Sultan

Dearlove’s explosive revelation about the prediction of a day of reckoning for the Shia by Prince Bandar, and the former head of MI6’s view that Saudi Arabia is involved in the Isis-led Sunni rebellion, has attracted surprisingly little attention. Coverage of Dearlove’s speech focused instead on his main theme that the threat from Isis to the West is being exaggerated because, unlike Bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida, it is absorbed in a new conflict that “is essentially Muslim on Muslim”. Unfortunately, Christians in areas captured by Isis are finding this is not true, as their churches are desecrated and they are forced to flee. A difference between al-Qa’ida and Isis is that the latter is much better organised; if it does attack Western targets the results are likely to be devastating.

The forecast by Prince Bandar, who was at the heart of Saudi security policy for more than three decades, that the 100 million Shia in the Middle East face disaster at the hands of the Sunni majority, will convince many Shia that they are the victims of a Saudi-led campaign to crush them. “The Shia in general are getting very frightened after what happened in northern Iraq,” said an Iraqi commentator, who did not want his name published. Shia see the threat as not only military but stemming from the expanded influence over mainstream Sunni Islam of Wahhabism, the puritanical and intolerant version of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia that condemns Shia and other Islamic sects as non-Muslim apostates and polytheists.

Dearlove says that he has no inside knowledge obtained since he retired as head of MI6 10 years ago to become Master of Pembroke College in Cambridge. But, drawing on past experience, he sees Saudi strategic thinking as being shaped by two deep-seated beliefs or attitudes. First, they are convinced that there “can be no legitimate or admissible challenge to the Islamic purity of their Wahhabi credentials as guardians of Islam’s holiest shrines”. But, perhaps more significantly given the deepening Sunni-Shia confrontation, the Saudi belief that they possess a monopoly of Islamic truth leads them to be “deeply attracted towards any militancy which can effectively challenge Shia-dom”.

Western governments traditionally play down the connection between Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist faith, on the one hand, and jihadism, whether of the variety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Isis. There is nothing conspiratorial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Bin Laden and most of the private donors who funded the operation.

Sir Richard Dearlove

Sir Richard Dearlove

But there has always been a second theme to Saudi policy towards al-Qa’ida type jihadis, contradicting Prince Bandar’s approach and seeing jihadis as a mortal threat to the Kingdom. Dearlove illustrates this attitude by relating how, soon after 9/11, he visited the Saudi capital Riyadh with Tony Blair.

He remembers the then head of Saudi General Intelligence “literally shouting at me across his office: ‘9/11 is a mere pinprick on the West. In the medium term, it is nothing more than a series of personal tragedies. What these terrorists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Middle East.'” In the event, Saudi Arabia adopted both policies, encouraging the jihadis as a useful tool of Saudi anti-Shia influence abroad but suppressing them at home as a threat to the status quo. It is this dual policy that has fallen apart over the last year.

Saudi sympathy for anti-Shia “militancy” is identified in leaked US official documents. The then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in December 2009 in a cable released by Wikileaks that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.” She said that, in so far as Saudi Arabia did act against al-Qa’ida, it was as a domestic threat and not because of its activities abroad. This policy may now be changing with the dismissal of Prince Bandar as head of intelligence this year. But the change is very recent, still ambivalent and may be too late: it was only last week that a Saudi prince said he would no longer fund a satellite television station notorious for its anti-Shia bias based in Egypt.

The Sunni Ahmed al-Rifai shrine near Tal Afar is bulldozed

The Sunni Ahmed al-Rifai shrine near Tal Afar is bulldozed

The problem for the Saudis is that their attempts since Bandar lost his job to create an anti-Maliki and anti-Assad Sunni constituency which is simultaneously against al-Qa’ida and its clones have failed.

By seeking to weaken Maliki and Assad in the interest of a more moderate Sunni faction, Saudi Arabia and its allies are in practice playing into the hands of Isis which is swiftly gaining full control of the Sunni opposition in Syria and Iraq. In Mosul, as happened previously in its Syrian capital Raqqa, potential critics and opponents are disarmed, forced to swear allegiance to the new caliphate and killed if they resist.

The West may have to pay a price for its alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, which have always found Sunni jihadism more attractive than democracy. A striking example of double standards by the western powers was the Saudi-backed suppression of peaceful democratic protests by the Shia majority in Bahrain in March 2011. Some 1,500 Saudi troops were sent across the causeway to the island kingdom as the demonstrations were ended with great brutality and Shia mosques and shrines were destroyed.

An alibi used by the US and Britain is that the Sunni al-Khalifa royal family in Bahrain is pursuing dialogue and reform. But this excuse looked thin last week as Bahrain expelled a top US diplomat, the assistant secretary of state for human rights Tom Malinowksi, for meeting leaders of the main Shia opposition party al-Wifaq. Mr Malinowski tweeted that the Bahrain government’s action was “not about me but about undermining dialogue”.

Iraqi leader al-Maliki

Iraqi leader al-Maliki

Western powers and their regional allies have largely escaped criticism for their role in reigniting the war in Iraq. Publicly and privately, they have blamed the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for persecuting and marginalising the Sunni minority, so provoking them into supporting the Isis-led revolt. There is much truth in this, but it is by no means the whole story. Maliki did enough to enrage the Sunni, partly because he wanted to frighten Shia voters into supporting him in the 30 April election by claiming to be the Shia community’s protector against Sunni counter-revolution.

But for all his gargantuan mistakes, Maliki’s failings are not the reason why the Iraqi state is disintegrating. What destabilised Iraq from 2011 on was the revolt of the Sunni in Syria and the takeover of that revolt by jihadis, who were often sponsored by donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Again and again Iraqi politicians warned that by not seeking to close down the civil war in Syria, Western leaders were making it inevitable that the conflict in Iraq would restart. “I guess they just didn’t believe us and were fixated on getting rid of [President Bashar al-] Assad,” said an Iraqi leader in Baghdad last week.

Of course, US and British politicians and diplomats would argue that they were in no position to bring an end to the Syrian conflict. But this is misleading. By insisting that peace negotiations must be about the departure of Assad from power, something that was never going to happen since Assad held most of the cities in the country and his troops were advancing, the US and Britain made sure the war would continue.

The chief beneficiary is Isis which over the last two weeks has been mopping up the last opposition to its rule in eastern Syria. The Kurds in the north and the official al-Qa’ida representative, Jabhat al-Nusra, are faltering under the impact of Isis forces high in morale and using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army. It is also, without the rest of the world taking notice, taking over many of the Syrian oil wells that it did not already control.

The Shia Al-Qubba Husseiniya mosque in Mosul explodes

The Shia Al-Qubba Husseiniya mosque in Mosul explodes

Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein’s monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open. As Kurdish-held border crossings fall to Isis, Turkey will find it has a new neighbour of extraordinary violence, and one deeply ungrateful for past favours from the Turkish intelligence service.

As for Saudi Arabia, it may come to regret its support for the Sunni revolts in Syria and Iraq as jihadi social media begins to speak of the House of Saud as its next target. It is the unnamed head of Saudi General Intelligence quoted by Dearlove after 9/11 who is turning out to have analysed the potential threat to Saudi Arabia correctly and not Prince Bandar, which may explain why the latter was sacked earlier this year.

Nor is this the only point on which Prince Bandar was dangerously mistaken. The rise of Isis is bad news for the Shia of Iraq but it is worse news for the Sunni whose leadership has been ceded to a pathologically bloodthirsty and intolerant movement, a sort of Islamic Khmer Rouge, which has no aim but war without end.

The Sunni caliphate rules a large, impoverished and isolated area from which people are fleeing. Several million Sunni in and around Baghdad are vulnerable to attack and 255 Sunni prisoners have already been massacred. In the long term, Isis cannot win, but its mix of fanaticism and good organisation makes it difficult to dislodge.

“God help the Shia,” said Prince Bandar, but, partly thanks to him, the shattered Sunni communities of Iraq and Syria may need divine help even more than the Shia.

June 15, 2015

جيش الـcia في سوريا: مليار دولار سنوياً لـ 10 آلاف مقاتل

by mkleit

جريدة الأخبار

p10_20150615_pic1

عدا عن الدعم السعودي والقطري والتركي والأردني والإسرائيلي لمسلحي الجنوب السوري، كشفت صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» أن الـ«سي أي ايه» تنفذ برنامجاً لدعم مقاتلي «الجبهة الجنوبية» كلفته مليار دولار سنوياً

لوكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية (سي آي ايه) جيش يضم آلاف المقاتلين المعارضين في سوريا. وهؤلاء يقاتلون في الجنوب السوري بشكل خاص، وتتولى الاستخبارات الأميركية تدريبهم وتسليحهم وتزويدهم بالمعلومات الميدانية. ما سبق ليس اتهاماً أطلقه الحكم في دمشق على معارضيه الذين يصنفهم الغرب بـ»المعتدلين»، بل وقائع كانت مدار بحث على طاولات صنع القرار في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وكشفتها صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» أول من أمس.

تمويل وتسليح وتدريب بكلفة مليار دولار سنوياً، يذهب جلّها إلى مقاتلي «الجبهة الجنوبية في الجيش السوري الحر». السخاء ليس حكراً على الأميركيين، بل إنه جزء من تعاون أميركي ــ سعودي ــ قطري ــ تركي. وإذا ما قيس هذا الأمر على السوابق الأميركية في أفغانستان ونيكاراغوا وغيرها من الدول التي بنت فيها وكالة الاستخبارات جيوشاً من المرتزقة، حيث كانت الولايات المتحدة تأخذ على عاتقها الجزء الأصغر من الإنفاق وتجعل حلفاءها يتولون الحصة الأكبر من الكلفة، يمكن توقع المبالغ الخيالية التي تنفق سنوياً في الجنوب السوري. ويمكن أيضاً تخيّل القدر الهائل من الأموال الذي يُدفع لإراقة الدم والتدمير في عموم سوريا، حيث لا تكف المعارضة منذ أربع سنوات عن الشكوى من الشح المالي والنقص في السلاح والذخيرة، وتزعم أنها متروكة لتواجه وحيدة النظام وحلفاءه.

برنامج الـ»سي أي ايه» الذي كشفت عنه الـ»بوست» هو من بين أكبر البرامج السرية التي تنفذها الوكالة في العالم، بحسب الصحيفة التي قالت إن كلفته تشكل نسبة «1 من 15» من إجمال إنفاق الـ»سي أي إيه» سنوياً. وهذا البرنامج، بحسب مسؤولين في الاستخبارات ورجال سياسة أميركيين قابلتهم الصحيفة، ينص على تدريب مقاتلين وتسليحهم، وتزويدهم بالمعدات اللوجستية، وجمع المعلومات التي يحتاجونها في معاركهم، وإيصالهم مع ما يحتاجونه إلى الأراضي السورية.

عنصر من المعارضة السورية مع صاروخ تاو الأمريكي

هو إذاً برنامج عسكري «متكامل»، يضمن بناء جيش تابع لـ»سي أي إيه»، على شاكلة ما قامت به الوكالة عينها في أفغانستان ونيكاراغوا في ثمانينيات القرن الماضي. الجزء الأكبر من هذا البرنامج يجري تنفيذه انطلاقاً من الأردن، حيث درّبت الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية 10 آلاف مقاتل حتى اليوم، بحسب المقال الذي نشرته «واشنطن بوست» على رأس صفحتها الأولى السبت الماضي. مبلغ مليار دولار سنوياً، بحسب مسؤولين أميركيين، هو جزء من مشروع أكبر تبلغ كلفته مليارات الدولارات، وتساهم فيه إلى جانب الولايات المتحدة، السعودية وقطر وتركيا. ويتركز عمل هذه الدول في الجنوب السوري، لدعم ما يُسمى «الجبهة الجنوبية في الجيش السوري الحر». وأجرى كاتبا تقرير الـ»بوست» عملية حسابية بسيطة استنتجا فيها أن كلفة المقاتل الواحد سنوياً تبلغ 100 ألف دولار أميركي!  الكشف عن هذه العملية «المتواصلة منذ عام 2013»، أتى على خلفية قرار أصدرته بالإجماع لجنة الاستخبارات في مجلس النواب الأميركي، قضى بخفض ميزانية برنامج الـ»سي أي إيه» في سوريا بنسبة 20 في المئة. لكن هذا القرار لن يكون نافذاً إلا بعد سلسلة طويلة من الإجراءات، بينها تصويت المجلس عليه الأسبوع الجاري. كما أن سريان القرار بحاجة إلى تبنيه من قِبل مجلس الشيوخ ولجنة الاستخبارات الخاصة به التي ستبدأ درس ميزانية الاستخبارات قبل نهاية حزيران. وبحسب الصحيفة، فإن البيت الأبيض سيباشر اتصالاته بمجلس الشيوخ لتجنيب وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية خفض ميزانية برنامج عملها في سوريا الذي تبنته لجنة الاستخبارات في مجلس النواب.

كبير النواب الديموقراطيين في لجنة الاستخبارات آدم شيف قال للصحيفة إن ممثلي الحزبين (الديموقراطي والجمهوري) مجمعون على القلق حيال الاستراتيجية الأميركية في سوريا. هذا القلق، على ما يبدو مما نشرته اليومية الأميركية، متمحور حول نظرة الساسة الأميركيين ودوائر الاستخبارات إلى ما يجري في الميدان السوري. فبحسب تقرير الصحيفة، حتى المدافعون عن برنامج عمل الـ»سي أي إيه» يقرّون بالأداء الضعيف للفصائل «المعتدلة»، وبأنها ستهزم في أي معركة حاسمة مع «داعش». موقف أكثر «صراحة» في هذا السياق نقلته الـ»بوست» عن أحد كبار مساعدي الجمهوريين في الكونغرس، قائلاً إن تراجع قوات النظام في سوريا «ليس نتيجة عمل من يسمّون المعتدلين». أما شيف، فقال: «للأسف، أعتقد أن «داعش» و»النصرة» وبعض الفصائل الإسلامية المتطرفة الأخرى هم في أفضل موقع للاستثمار في الفوضى التي يمكن أن ترافق انحداراً سريعاً للنظام».

وينقل كاتبا التقرير عن مسؤولين قولهم إن هذه اللهجة مستندة إلى عدم قدرة وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية على «إظهار أن قواتها سيطرت على أراضٍ أو ربحت معارك أو حققت نتائج ملموسة».

في المقابل، يدافع داعمو البرنامج عن رجال الـ»سي أي ايه» في الميدان، قائلين إنهم «يحاصرون قاعدة للجيش السوري»، فيما يؤكد آخرون أنهم تمكنوا من السيطرة على عدد من القواعد الرئيسية للجيش السوري جنوب دمشق.

January 15, 2015

12 > 2000: المسلمون هم الضحية

by mkleit

الملثمين الذين هاجموا مبنى مجلة تشارلي إيبدو

كان مسلمو العالم الضحية الأكبر بعد الهجوم الذي استهدف مقر المجلة الفرنسية الساخرة “تشارلي إيبدو” والتي أضحت بين ليلة وضحاها أشهر مجلة في العالم, وأجبرت كل من لم يسمع بها على أن يهرع للبحث عن أي معلومة تعرفّه عن هذه المجلة الساخرة بعد مقتل عدد من صحفييها ورساميها من قِبل ملثمين. وبالرغم من أن الحكومة الفرنسية لم توجه الاتهام إلى أي جهة, فقد خرجت مصادر صحافية قائلة إن المسلحين اللذين هاجما المجلة الساخرة يتبعان لتنظيم “القاعدة في الجزيرة العربية”. وتوالت الإدانات عالمياً، حيث كان أولها من وزير خارجية الولايات المتحدة الأميركية جون كيري بعد نحو ساعة من حدوث الهجوم الإرهابي، وتلاه رئيس الوزراء البريطاني دايفيد كاميرون وغيره من قادات العالم.

وبعيداً عن أحداث باريس الدموية، وفي قرية لا برج إيفل فيها ولا وسائل إعلامية مهتمة بها, هاجم التنظيم الإرهابي “بوكو حرام” النيجيري قرية باغا (Baga) وقرى صغرى محيطة بها, بعد أن قاموا بحرق المنازل وقتل كل من حاول الوصول إليها. وقدّرت الضحايا البشرية بنحو ألفي شخص، جلّهم من النساء والأطفال وكبار السن ممن لم تسنح لهم الفرصة بالفرار كغيرهم من الفارين الذين وصل عددهم إلى نحو 7500.

لم تجد باغا أقل أنواع الدعم ولو “معنوياً” كما وجدته باريس، حيث احتشد أكثر من ثلاثة ملايين بين زعماء ومشاهير وغيرهم من المواطنين الفرنسيين في مسيرة واحدة سارت في شوارع باريس الأنيقة, ضمن حراسة أمنية مشددة لا خوف عليهم فيها من الغازات المسيلة للدموع أو الرصاص المطاطي كما هو الحال مع مواطني العالم الثالث في كل مرة يخرجون فيها مطالبين بحقوقهم الدنيا أدنى في الحياة. ولربما في عالم السياسة العدد 12 يفوق العدد 2000، وبالأخص حين تحصل المقارنة ما بين قتيل أوروبي وآخر أفريقي، فيلعب لون البشرة دوراً بارزاً في تحديد طبيعة الإدانة والقرار الدولي الذي يليها. بالإضافة إلى أن فرنسا تُعتبر دولة عظمى من بين دول العالم الأول، ولديها تاريخ حافل في تحديد مصير شعوب عديدة، من بينها لبنان وسوريا. بينما نيجيريا تُعد من أفقر دول العالم بحسب المنتدى الاقتصادي العالمي، فهي رغم غناها النفطي، إلاّ أن اللعنة قد صبّت عليها كون بشرة سكانها سوداء، وهذا ما أعطى الضوء الأخضر للتنظيم الإرهابي أن يجزر بمسلميها ومسيحييها على حدٍ سواء.

دول أفريقيا هي من أكثر الدول التي تعاني من العنصرية الدولية والأزمات المتتالية على كافة الأصعدة الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية. فهي ليست جميعها سيدة قرارها (باستثناء بعض الدول الشمالية)، ولطالما كانت الدول هذه حقول تجارب “طبية” على الكثير من الأمراض، بالإضافة إلى استعباد شعوبها من قبل الدول الأخرى ولا سيما تلك التي ترفع شعارات الحرية والديقراطية، فليس من المستغرب أن ينبذ العالم المجزرة التي هي أشبه بالإبادة الجماعية، ويذهب مسرعاً للتضامن مع الصحافيين والرسامين في باريس من خلال جميع أشكال الدعم, وعن طريق وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية عبر هاشتاغ دشنه رواد موقع تويتر وأسموه #CharlieHebdo ليلقى رواجاً حتى في العالم العربي، إذ فاق عدد التغريدات 55 ألف تغريدة خلال 24 ساعة. واستعمل الهاشتاغ في مرحلة أولية لمتابعة الحدث أولا بأول ولنشر آخر المستجدات ليتحول في مرحلة لاحقة إلى وسيلة للتعبير عن آراء رواد موقع تويتر إزاء ما حدث. وظهر هاشتاغ آخر تحت شعار #KillAllMuslims، كرد فعل على الهجوم “الإرهابي” في باريس، والذي استقبله العديد بالرفض وطغى الاستنكار عليه، وغرد مسلمون ومتضامنون معهم تحت شعار “Je Suis Muslim” أي “أنا مسلم” و #RespectForMuslimsتعبيراً عن رفضهم لإدانة الإسلام والتضامن مع جميع المسلمين حول العالم وخاصة في أوروبا، ولمواجهة العنصرية ضدهم التي تؤججها تلك الهجمات تحت شعار الإسلام. وبين مؤيد ومعارض لما وقع، كان الملفت للنظر تاريخ مجلة “إيبدو” التي لم تتوانَ عن السخرية يوماً من كافة الأديان (باستثناء اليهودية)، حيث كلف التعليق على انتقاد الديانة اليهودية الكاتب السابق للمجلة “موريس سينيه” عمله، وذلك في عام 2009 بتهمة “المعاداة للسامية”، وتمت محاكمته بتهم الكراهية، بحسب جريدة تيليغراف البريطانية.

امرأة تجول في منطقة باغا المحروقة من قِبل التنظيم الإرهابي بوكو حرام في نيجيريا

يولد الإرهاب والتطرف الفكري من الفقر وسوء التعليم بشكل أساسي، وفي بعض الأحيان من التهميش الاجتماعي أو الإيهام بالمظلومية، وهذا ما يحصل اليوم في نيجيريا، من قبل التنظيم الإرهابي بوكو حرام، الموالي لتنظيم القاعدة، والذي يسيطر على أجزاء من نيجيريا، ويفتك “بالأخضر واليابس” من بشر وخيرات الأرض السمراء. وقد حذر رئيس أساقفة نيجيريا، المطران إغناطيوس كايغاما، من خطر هذا التنظيم، و”أن الإرهاب قد يتوسع ليخرج الى أبعد من حدود نيجيريا ويصل إلى دول الجوار وأوروبا”. وهنا يأتي دور المجتمع الدولي ممن يدرك تمام الادراك خطر الإرهاب وما قد ينتج عنه إذا ما تم القضاء عليه قبل أن يخرج خارج سيطرة الدولة الواحدة وينتشر كانتشار النار في الهشيم، فهل من يسمع لتحذيرات المطران “كايغاما”، أم أنه سينتظر غداً لتلقّي الصدمة في عقر داره كما حصل في باريس وأنقرة ونيويورك؟ والجدير بالذكر حول التنظيم الإرهابي الآخر، “داعش”، أن الولايات المتحدة لم تعمد لمحاربته “عملياً” إلا بعد أن اقترب في العراق وسوريا من آبار النفط في الإقليم الكردستاني، الذي تسيطر عليه الشركات الأميركية والبريطانية.

وبيد أن المشكلة لا تكمن في “النفاق” السياسي على المستوى الدولي، بل أيضاً في سوء التغطية من قبل الإعلام العالمي للمجزرة النيجيرية، فالإعلام أخذ منحى ذا طابع عنصري في تغطيته لأخبار الموت والقتل المستمر في دول “العالم الثالث”، وتحولت دول أفريقيا والعالم العربي بمجازرها وحروبها التي تسفك يومياً دماء المئات من أبنائها، في “الوسائل الإعلامية” لتصبح من العناوين الثانوية، ولتعاد صياغة الخبر يومياً مع تغيّر في عدد الضحايا وتصل في نهاية المطاف إلى نحو الملل، وذلك ما أدى إلى “تقبّل الجمهور عبر تمليلهم” بحسب ما قال الفيلسوف والكاتب الفرنسي جان جاك روسو. فكان من الملحوظ مرور خبر وجود مقبرة جماعية في الموصل تحتوي على 120 جثة مرور الكرام، وذلك بعد بضع ساعات من حدوث هجوم باريس. وإلى حد الآن، يتم استغلال الوضع الباريسي كما تم استغلاله عام 2001 عقب أحداث 11 أيلول، وذلك عبر الهجوم على الإسلام بالتحديد، وإلصاق تهمة الإرهاب به.

وبالتأكيد على أنه لا شيء ينبغي أن يبرر هكذا عمل، لكن هذا لا يتعارض مع التذكير بأن الإساءة إلى أي عقيدة دينية أو أي نبي من أنبياء الله هي أمر مرفوض تماماً، وهي إساءة تحرض بعض الناس على الثأر لدينهم أو نبيهم كما حصل في باريس.

نُشر على موقع شاهد نيوز

August 22, 2014

وكالة الاستخبارات الأميركي “تجاهد في سبيل الله” – الأخبار

by mkleit
جعفر البكلي
جريدة الأخبار

رنّ جرس الهاتف في حجرة نوم الرئيس الأميركي في الطابق الثاني بالبيت الأبيض. كانت الساعة تشير إلى الثانية صباحاً. رفع الرئيس السمّاعة، فخاطبه صوت مستشاره للأمن القومي قائلاً: «سيدي الرئيس، آسف لأني اضطررت لإيقاظك. الوضع غَدَاً خطر».

بعد أربع ساعات تقريباً، في تمام السادسة والنصف صباحاً من يوم الخميس 27 كانون الأول 1979، نزل جيمي كارتر إلى المكتب البيضاوي. كان زبيغنيو بريجنسكي مستشار الأمن القومي بانتظاره جالساً مترقباً. بادره الرئيس بالسؤال: «ما الجديد؟».

أجاب بريجنسكي: «لقد قتلوا الرئيس أمين! الأمر لم يعد يتعلق الآن بإعادة تمركز قواتهم كما كنا نتصوّر من قبل، بل هو غزو واحتلال كامل للبلد! إنّ أعداداً كبيرة من القوات المجوقلة انضمت للقوات السوفياتية المتمركزة على الأرض، وبدأت بالهبوط في كابول. شبكة الاتصالات انقطعت بالكامل في أفغانستان، وهذا البلد صار معزولاً تماماً عن العالم الخارجي».

صمت بريجنسكي قليلاً ثمّ نظر في أوراق دوّن عليها بعض النقاط والملاحظات، وأردف: «سي آي إيه أكدت لي منذ قليل أنّ كتيبتين من القوات الخاصة السوفياتية هما «ألفا» و«زينيث»، قامتا باحتلال الأبنية الحكومية والعسكرية والإذاعية في كابول، بما فيها القصر الرئاسي، حيث تخلصوا من الرئيس حفيظ الله أمين. وكتيبة «فايتبسك» المظلية احتلت مطار بغرام. وأمّا عملاء «كي جي بي» فقد أحكموا السيطرة على مراكز الاتصالات الرئيسية في العاصمة، وشلوا بذلك القيادة العسكرية الأفغانية».

سأل كارتر: «وهل تظن أن غزوهم سيقتصر على أفغانستان؟». صمت بريجنسكي برهة قليلة، ثمّ أجاب: «تقديري الخاص، أن غزو السوفيات لأفغانستان هو بداية الأمر، وليس نهايته. ويشاطرني في هذا الرأي أيضاً الأميرال تيرنر» (يقصد ستانسفيلد تيرنر، مدير وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية آنذاك).

حكّ الرئيس كارتر أنفه وهو ينظر إلى زبيغينيو بقلق، فأردف كبير المستشارين البولندي الأصل، موضحاً لرئيسه مكمن الخطر: «السيد الرئيس، إذا تركناهم اليومَ يضعون أيديهم على أفغانستان، فما الذي يضمن لنا أن لا يتطلعوا غداً نحو إيران؟! الوضع الآن في إيران مشوش. ونحن فقدنا السيطرة تماماً على هذا البلد الأهم في الشرق الأوسط، والخميني يبدي عداء ضارياً لنا، والحكومة الإيرانية تخشى من ضربتنا الوشيكة لهم بعدما احتجزوا موظفي السفارة. كل هذا قد يجعل الخمينيين يتقربون من السوفيات ويحتمون بهم، كما تقرّب بالأمس منهم أمين واحتمى بهم. والسوفيات إذا مدوا عروقهم أكثر في طهران، صنعوا فيها ما يصنعونه اليوم في كابول. فإذا سقطت طهران بعد كابول، صارت منابع النفط في الخليج الفارسي في متناول يد موسكو!».

ران صمت ثقيل في المكتب البيضاوي، قبل أن يقطعه الرئيس الأميركي قائلاً بصوت حازم: «ادع مجلس الأمن القومي فوراً».

يا أميركا حرّضي المؤمنين على القتال

صبيحة يوم 27 كانون الأول 1979، انعقد مجلس الأمن القومي الأميركي في «مبنى إيزنهاور» المقابل للبيت الأبيض. ضمّ الاجتماع كلّاً من الرئيس كارتر، ونائبه والتر موندل، ومستشار الأمن القومي بريجنسكي، ووزير الخارجية سايروس فانس، ووزير الدفاع هارولد براون، ورئيس هيئة الأركان المشتركة الجنرال ديفيد جونز، ومدير وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية ستانسفيلد تيرنر، وبعض المستشارين المتخصصين المرافقين لأعضاء المجلس. دام ذلك الاجتماع أربع ساعات. واتفق فيه على جملة من القرارات تصب في خدمة هدفين اثنين هما:

1ــ يجب على الولايات المتحدة أن تردع الاتحاد السوفياتي بكل وسائلها، كي لا يطمع قادته أو يفكروا فيما وراء أفغانستان.

2ــ بعد التأكد من تحقق الهدف الأول، يجب على الولايات المتحدة أن تعمل لدحر السوفيات في أفغانستان نفسها، حتى يخرجوا منها مهزومين غير منتصرين.

وفي ما يخص الهدف الأميركي الأول، يكون على واشنطن أن تنبّه السوفيات بالوسائل الدبلوماسية/ السياسية بدايةً، ثمّ بفرض العقوبات الاقتصادية/ المالية عليهم تالياً، ثمّ بتفعيل الاتفاقيات الأمنية/ العسكرية السرية المبرمة مع ملوك ورؤساء وأمراء البلدان الحليفة في الشرق الأوسط. وفي هذا الصدد، يكون على السفراء الأميركيين المعتمدين في العواصم الخليجية (وفي القاهرة وعمّان) أن يطلبوا من السلطات المحلية تنفيذ تفاهمات واتفاقات سرية أبرمت مع الولايات المتحدة سابقاً، بما في ذلك حق أميركا في استخدام القواعد العسكرية في بلدانهم للأغراض الحربية. ويفضل أن تمر تلك الإجراءات بهدوء، ومن غير صخب إعلامي.

وأمّا في ما يخص الهدف الأميركي الثاني، فإنّ واشنطن يجب أن تنال غايتها من دون أن تتدخل عسكرياً أو علنياً ضد السوفيات في أفغانستان، وذلك لثلاثة أسباب:

أولاً: لأنها لا ترتبط قانونياً مع حكومة كابول بأي اتفاق دفاعي مشترك، على عكس غريمها السوفياتي الذي وقع منذ عام، مع الرئيس الأفغاني السابق نور محمد تراقي «معاهدة الصداقة والتعاون وحسن الجوار» التي تتيح لموسكو إمكان التدخل العسكري لمساعدة النظام الحليف لها في أفغانستان. وبذلك تنزع تلك الاتفاقية، قانونياً، عن «العملية السوفياتية» صبغة الاحتلال.

ثانياً: لأنّ حماية أفغانستان نفسها ليست هدفاً أميركياً مغرياً. فما يهم واشنطن أساساً هو حماية مصالحها الاستراتيجية التي تحيط بأفغانستان (في إيران وباكستان والخليج). ولذلك فإن دخول أميركا في صدام عسكري مباشر مع الاتحاد السوفياتي من أجل أفغانستان – بقطع النظر عن مسوغاته القانونية – هو أمر غير مرغوب، فضلاً عن أنه مكلف.

ثالثاً: لأنّه باستطاعة أميركا تحقيق غايتها، وإخراج السوفيات من أفغانستان منكسرين، من دون أن تخسر هي جندياً واحداً من جنودها، أو تحرك طائرة واحدة من طائراتها… وذلك لأنّ بلاد الأفغان يمكنها أن تكون فخاً أميركياً مثالياً للروس!

وأثناء نقاشات مجلس الأمن القومي الأميركي (المذكور)، عرض ستانسفيلد تيرنر مدير «سي آي إيه» كيف نجحت وكالته، مع حلفائها الباكستانيين، في اختراق قيادات من القبائل الأفغانية (خصوصاً من قبائل الباشتون ذات الارتباطات الإثنية مع باكستان). وكيف جُنّدت ميليشيات من رجال القبائل للقيام بحرب عصابات ضد الحكومة الأفغانية، وضد الجنود والمستشارين السوفيات الداعمين لها، في إطار معاهدة التعاون العسكري. وذكر تيرنر كيف عملت «سي آي إيه» فعلاً على مضاعفة دعمها «للمجاهدين»، بعد أن أصدر لها الرئيس كارتر في الثالث من تموز 1979 توجيهاً رئاسياً لزيادة تمويلهم وتسليحهم، وتحفيزهم معنوياً تحت شعارات «الجهاد ضد الشيوعيين الملحدين الذين يريدون شراً بالإسلام في أفغانستان». وبالفعل فقد قامت هذه الميليشيات بجهد مميّز في حربها ضد حكومة كابول ما اضطر الاتحاد السوفياتي، في نهاية المطاف، إلى التدخل بنفسه في أفغانستان، لينقذ نظاماً جاراً وحليفاً له من التهاوي تحت ضربات «المجاهدين» المدعومين من وكالة الاستخبارات الأميركية. وكان من رأي مجلس الأمن القومي في اجتماعه المذكور، أنّ أميركا تستطيع أن تزيد جرعات دعمها لميليشيات «المجاهدين»، وأن تحفزها دينياً «للجهاد – أكثر فأكثر – ضد الملحدين الذين يريدون شراً بالإسلام». ذلك أنّ جهاد أولئك المجاهدين إذا وفرت له أميركا بيئة مساعدة إقليمياً وإسلامياً وغطاء من الدعاية الإعلامية ومدداً من المتطوعين الراغبين في الشهادة في سبيل الله ورُزَماً من المال وترسانات من السلاح، فهو حينئذ لا بدّ أن يؤتي أكله، عاجلاً أو آجلاً… ولقد أثمر «الجهاد» نتائج رائعة لمصلحة أميركا، فيستنزف السوفيات، من دون أن تخسر هي شيئاً يذكر!

ولأجل تحقيق هذه الأهداف، قرر الرئيس الأميركي إيفاد مستشاره للأمن القومي في «جولة مكوكية» إلى الشرق الأوسط لإقناع الحلفاء بمحاسن «الجهاد الإسلامي»، وبأهمية تمويل «المقاومة» وتسليحها، وبضرورة الوقوف كالبنيان المرصوص ضد دولة الاحتلال، وضد الكفار والملحدين الذين يريدون شراً بالإسلام وأهله!

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مَثلُ الذين ينفقون أموالهم في سبيل أميركا

بدأ زبيغنيو بريجنسكي جولته في القاهرة، فالتقى يوم 3 كانون الثاني 1980 الرئيس المصري أنور السادات. ولم يكن إقناع «الرئيس المؤمن» بخدمة المشروع الأميركي الجديد صعباً، فالرجل قد أسلم زمامه تماماً «لصديقه الحميم» كارتر، منذ أن قبل بمعاهدة «كامب ديفيد». وكان مطلب المبعوث الأميركي من مصر هو القيام بحملات دعائية إعلامية نشطة يشارك فيها شيوخ الأزهر (ولا بأس إذا تمكّن السادات بما له من دالة على «الإخوان المسلمين» أن يشركهم في هذه الحملة أيضاً)، والمراد من تلك الحملات أن تبيّن للعرب قبح صنيع الملاحدة الروس، وأن تستصرخ ضمائرهم لنجدة إخواننا المسلمين في أفغانستان، وأن تفتي بوجوب الجهاد في سبيل الله لتحرير هذا البلد الأسير.

وفي المقابل فإنّ مصر ستنال أجرها وافياً على مجهوداتها، من خلال صندوق تمويل تزمع واشنطن إنشاءه بالتعاون مع المملكة العربية السعودية ودول الخليج الأخرى، ويكون مقره في جنيف. ثم إن مصر قد تنال أجرها على الجهاد مضاعفاً من أميركا. فإن لزم «المجاهدين الأفغان» سلاح (ولا شك أنه سيلزمهم) فإن القاهرة بإمكانها أن تبيع بأسعار مربحة إلى «صندوق الجهاد» تلك الأسلحة السوفياتية الفائضة عن حاجتها، والتي اشترتها من موسكو في الماضي بأسعار زهيدة، للمساهمة بها في الجهاد ضد الروس!

[في الحقيقة، أن الأسلحة السوفياتية لمصر لم تكن رخيصة، وإنما كانت شبه مجانية، لأن مصر لم تدفع لحد اليوم ثمنها، بل يمكن أن يقال إن الاتحاد السوفياتي قد تبرّع بمجمل السلاح الذي قاتل به الجنود المصريون في أربعة حروب (56/ 67/ الاستنزاف/ 73) لمصلحة المجهود الحربي المصري والعربي ضدّ «إسرائيل». والاتحاد السوفياتي لم يكتف بالتبرع للعرب بالسلاح الذي قاتلوا به عدوهم، بل هو تبرع لهم بمستشارين عسكريين، وبطواقم من خيرة طياريه ليقاتلوا جنباً إلى جنب مع المصريين، وليعلموهم كيف يستعملون ذلك السلاح بكفاءة. أمّا إذا تطرقنا إلى المساعدات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والسياسية السوفياتية لمصر وللعرب جميعاً، فحدّث ولا حرج!].

ومباشرة بعد تلقيه مطالبَ المبعوث السامي الأميركي، أمر السادات بتخصيص مطار قنا العسكري ليكون مقراً لمجهود «الجهاد» الأميركي، وليصير قاعدة منها تحمّل الأسلحة المصرية (السوفياتية) إلى باكستان حيث توزعها «سي آي إيه» على إخواننا «المجاهدين». كما أمر الرئيس المصري بجعل ميناء بورسعيد قاعدة خلفية لتخزين وشحن السلاح إلى ميناء كراتشي.

وفي 1 نيسان 1980 بقّ السادات البحصة كما يقول المثل اللبناني، حين تكلم في حديث صحافي نشرته وسائل الإعلام المصرية قائلاً: «إننا على استعداد بأسرع ما يمكن لكي نساعد في أفغانستان وأن نتدخل لنصرة إخواننا المجاهدين هناك، سواء طلبوا منا المساعدة أو لم يطلبوها!» (1).

وبعد يوم من اجتماعه مع السادات، طار بريجنسكي إلى جدة، حيث التقى الأمير فهد ولي العهد السعودي وشقيقه الأمير سلطان وزير الدفاع. وكان المطلوب من السعودية أن تخرج من جيوبها المال. ولم يرفض فهد أن يدفع، ولكنه اشترط أن تجرى الأمور الأمنية ضد الروس بسرية مخافة انتقامهم من المملكة، وأن يتولى الأمير تركي الفيصل رئيس الاستخبارات العامة السعودية تنسيق الجهد السعودي مع «سي آي إيه»، وأن تحصرَ الاتصالاتُ السياسية والتوجيهات المباشرة للمجاهدين بالطرف السعودي. ثمّ إنّ الأمير فهد اشترط على مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي أن تؤدي الولايات المتحدة قسطها المالي بما يساوي قسط السعودية، أي أن تدفع هي الأخرى 500 مليون دولار للجهاد، تتجدد دورياً بحسب حاجة المجاهدين.

وكان على بريجنسكي أن يقبل بشروط فهد، ولكن المشكلة أن الشرط المالي الأخير عويص التحقيق. وواشنطن كان «عشمها» أن تتكفل السعودية بتحمل الأعباء المالية للجهاد في سبيل الله لوحدها، أو بالاشتراك مع دول الخليج الأخرى. ولقد حاول بريجنسكي أن يشرح لفهد بأنّ عبء النصف مليار دولار سنوياً هو أثقل مما تستطيع ميزانية وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية أن تتحملَه. كما أنه أكبر مما تقبل به لجنة الأمن المتفرعة من لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في الكونغرس، للموافقة على اعتمادات العمليات السرية. فضلاً عن أنّ الذهاب إلى مثل هذه اللجان يعني شبه كشفٍ للعملية السرية ضد الروس! ولم يتزحزح فهد عن شرطه إلا قليلاً، فقبل أن تؤجل أميركا مساهمتها لبعض الوقت حتى تدبر أمرها، ثمّ قبل أن تبادر السعودية إلى تمويل مشروع الجهاد منفردة على أن تلحق بها واشنطن حين ييسّر الله لها مخرجاً من عسرها.

يسألونك عن الأفيون، قل فيه منافع للناس

مرت سنة 1980 الانتخابية من دون أن تدفع إدارة كارتر تكاليف مشروعها الجهادي، بل إن المملكة السعودية هي التي تحملت عبء حصتها وحصة أميركا معاً. وانتهى عام 80 بخسارة كارتر ومغادرته مع مستشاره بريجنسكي للبيت الأبيض، ومجيء رونالد ريغان وطاقمه. وكان من الطبيعي أن تفتح للإدارة الأميركية الجديدة جميعُ الملفات السرية، ومنها عمليات «سي آي إيه» للجهاد في سبيل الله ودحر الكفر والإلحاد. وكان على الجنرال فيرنون والترز نائب مدير وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية آنذاك، أن يشرح لريغان تفاصيل تلك العملية. ويبدو أن الرئيس الأميركي المنتخب قد تحمس كثيراً لمسألة الجهاد ضد السوفيات. ولكن المعضلة القديمة كانت ما تزال قائمة، فالاعتمادات المالية للعملية باهظة جداً، والرياض بدأت تتذمر لكونها تحمل «الشيلة» لوحدها، ثمّ إن حملة ريغان الانتخابية نفسها رفعت شعار الضغط على الإنفاق الحكومي لتقليص الدين العام، ومن غير الوارد أن يخنث الرئيس بالوعد الذي قطعه للناخبين منذ يومه الأول في الحكم. 

رونالد ريغان يلتقي بقادة اسلاميين في الأردن بحضور الملك الأردني

رونالد ريغان يلتقي بقادة اسلاميين في الأردن بحضور الملك الأردني

ولقد جاء الفرج، في شكل «نصيحة» من ألكسندر دو ميرانش رئيس جهاز مكافحة التجسس الخارجي (المخابرات الفرنسية)، للرئيس ريغان حينما اجتمع به في المكتب البيضاوي يوم 23 كانون الثاني 1981، بحضور وزير الدفاع الأميركي كاسبر واينبرغر، وروبرت ماكفرلين مساعد مستشار الأمن القومي، وفيرنون والترز الذي عينه ريغان مستشاراً له للمهمات الخاصة. وكانت نصيحة ألكسندر دو ميرانش لريغان أنه بإمكانه أن يستفيد من شحنات المخدرات الهائلة التي يصادرها كل من مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي وهيئة الجمارك، لأجل تمويل حصة الولايات المتحدة في صندوق الجهاد. وإنّ تلك الشحنات المصادرة من المخدرات ربما تثمّن بمليارات الدولارات في السوق السوداء، وبدلاً من إتلافها – كما ينص القانون الأميركي – يستحسن إعادة بيعها والاستفادة بثمنها في العمليات السرية للإدارة، من دون المرور بالكونغرس وبلجانه البيروقراطية. ولعل «سي آي إيه» تستفيد من المخدرات بطريقة أخرى إذا استطاعت توصيلها إلى الجنود السوفيات ليستهلكوها! (2).

ولقد راق هذا الاقتراح الفرنسي للرئيس الأميركي، فأمر مدير «سي آي إيه» الجديد ويليام كايسي بأن يسعى إلى تنفيذ هذه «الفكرة العظيمة» في الحال. وكذلك جعل الله لأميركا مخرجاً، ورزقها المال اللازم للجهاد في سبيله، من حيث لا تحتسب!

ويبدو أنّ «السي. آي. إيه» اكتشفت لاحقاً منافع الأفيون الذي تمتاز بإنتاجه أرض أفغانستان، فهذه الزراعة لو قدّر لها أن تتطوّر إلى صناعة، فإنها ستغني «المجاهدين» عن مدّ أكفهم لأيدي المحسنين. وهكذا فقد تضاعف، في سنوات الجهاد، إنتاج المزارعين الأفغان من الخشخاش مرات عدة حتى صار مردوده المالي يقارب ستة مليارات دولار سنوياً، وأصبح الأفيون وتقطيره أهم صناعة وطنية في البلاد. ولقد احتاجت تلك الصناعة سريعاً إلى أن تردفها التجارة، ثمّ احتاجت التجارة إلى طرق مواصلات مؤمنة. وكذلك أمسك كل زعيم ميليشيا (جهادية) بتقاطع طرق، فأنشأ عليه حاجزاً يُنَظِّم مرور شحنات الأفيون، ويسمح بها مقابل رسوم يقتطعها تحت يافطة «واجب دعم الجهاد»!

ويروي الصحافي الباكستاني محمد رشيد كيف أنّ التغاضي والتواطؤ والجشع قد أوصلوا جميعاً إلى ما يشبه «الانفجار» في تجارة المخدرات. وفي عقد الثمانينيات من القرن العشرين اقترب حجم المخدرات الأفغانية المتداولة في العالم من 70% من إجمالي الإنتاج. ولقد اضطرّ بعض ضباط مكاتب مكافحة المخدرات التابعة للأمم المتحدة في بيشاور إلى الاستقالة من وظائفهم احتجاجاً على العراقيل التي يصنعها رجال الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية والمخابرات العسكرية الباكستانية لجهودهم! (3).  ومن غرائب التصاريف أنّ حركة طالبان، حين استولت على الحكم في أفغانستان فيما بعد، أرادت أن تحرّم زراعة المخدرات، لكنها وجدت أنّ موارد البلاد من المال قد شحّت بصورة مفجعة من بعد حملتها الأمنية ضد الخشخاش. ولمّا كان صندوق مال الجهاد السعودي/ الأميركي قد ولّى إلى غير رجعة مع انتهاء «الجهاد» في البلاد، فقد كان لازماً لأمير المؤمنين الملا محمد عمر أن يدبّر أمره. وهكذا أصدر أمير المؤمنين فتوى من أغرب ما يكون، وكان فحواها أن «زراعة الأفيون وتجارته مباحة شرعاً، وأما زراعة الحشيش وتجارته فهي محرمة شرعاً. والداعي: أن الأفيون تقع زراعته وصناعته بهدف التصدير، فلا ينزل ضرَرُه إلّا على الكفار، وأما الحشيش فإنه يُستهلك محلياً، فينزل ضرره على المسلمين!» (4).

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لم تنته حتى اليوم تلك المأساة التي حلت بأفغانستان، تحت مسميات «الجهاد»، و«نصرة إخواننا المسلمين»، و«التصدي لمشروع الإلحاد»… ولقد وصل مجمل ما أنفقته الأطراف المتصارعة في أفغانستان، وما خسرته تلك البلاد جرّاء حروب «الجهاد» و«الحرية» و«دحر الإلحاد» إلى ما قيمته 45 مليار دولار. وصرفت «سي آي إيه» على الجهاد الأفغاني ما يقدّرُ الخبراءُ قيمته بين 12 إلى 14 مليار دولار. وتكفلت المملكة العربية السعودية بدفع عشرة مليارات من ذلك المبلغ، أمّا دول الخليج الأخرى ومنظماتها الخيرية، فقد أسهمت بالتبرع بالباقي. وساهمت «سي آي إيه» بنصيبها من المبلغ عبر تبييض تجارة المخدرات. ولكن سلسلة الحروب الأهلية التي رعاها القيّمون على «الجهاد والمجاهدين» في أفغانستان، ساهمت كذلك في قتل أكثر من 3 ملايين إنسان أفغاني، أغلبهم من الأطفال والنساء والشيوخ. وتهجير ما بين 3 إلى 4 ملايين من البشر. ودمّرت «الحرب الجهادية» بنية أفغانستان التحتية تماماً. وحرمت جيلاً كاملاً من الأفغان من كل فرص التقدم والتطور والنماء. ولم تنس بركات «حروب الجهاد» البلدان العربية الراعية، فقد عاد كثير من «المجاهدين» (الذين سموا في وسائل الإعلام بـ«الأفغان العرب») إلى بلادهم، لينشروا موجات أخرى من الجهاد في أوطانهم. وكذلك غرقت الجزائر ومصر (والسعودية أيضاً) لسنوات عديدة في صراعات داخلية دامية. ولم ينسَ الجهاد أميركا، فنالها شيء من رذاذه في أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول/ سبتمبر 2001.

* كاتب عربي

المراجع:

(1) محمد حسنين هيكل، الزمن الأمريكي: من نيويورك إلى كابول، الشركة المصرية للنشر العربي والدولي، ط 4، يونيو 2003، ص258.

(2) John Cooley – Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism – Pluto Press, june 2002 – P 128-129

(3)Ahmed Rashid –Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia -I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2000 – P 120-121

(4) محمد حسنين هيكل، المصدر السابق، ص293.

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