Barack Obama is the first two-term American president to have presided over war every day of his tenure in office. He bequeaths to a Trump administration ongoing operations in Afghanistan, continuing drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, the consequences of the 2011 destruction of Libya, the instigation of civil war in Syria, US sponsorship of the brutal Saudi interventions in Yemen, and the civil conflicts in Ukraine, the Caucuses and across Africa.
Obama’s blood-soaked legacy, however, is most graphic in Iraq. There is a bitter irony in this, given the fact that he was elected in 2008 largely on the basis of claimed opposition to the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of the country, and his boasts, after continuing the war for nearly three more years after his inauguration, to have ended it with the formal withdrawal of US forces in December of 2011.
Obama launched new military attacks in Iraq following ISIS’ June 2014 capture of Mosul, where one of the most criminal episodes in over 25 years of US violence against Iraq and its people is currently unfolding.
The northern Iraqi city is under siege by tens of thousands of US-led Iraqi Army forces, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) troops and sectarian Shiite militias. The objective is to take back control of the city from the Sunni extremist Islamic State, which was able to capture Mosul and other Iraqi cities from the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad only because of the weaponry and recruits it had gained in Syria by serving as a proxy for the US and its allies in the war for regime change against the government of Bashar al-Assad.
The Obama administration seized upon this blow-back from its own policy to resume large-scale American operations in Iraq and directly intervene in the war in Syria. Uncounted numbers of Iraqis and Syrians have paid with their lives as a result. The majority Sunni cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in western Iraq have already been effectively destroyed and depopulated as a result of the campaign to evict ISIS. Now, the same destruction is being inflicted to “liberate” Mosul—Iraq’s second largest city with a population of some 1.5 million.
After two months of the US-led assault, reports from Mosul testify to large-scale civilian casualties, mass displacement, the wholesale destruction of infrastructure and housing, and horrific human suffering.
The Baghdad government instructed Mosul residents to remain in their homes and not flee the city. In the weeks since, air strikes by the US and British, French, Australian, Canadian, Jordanian and Iraqi war planes have shattered bridges linking the west and east of the city across the Tigris River and destroyed water pipelines. Electricity has been cut off in most areas. The university and other public buildings have been reduced to rubble, while roads are being “cratered” to stop vehicles using them.
Hundreds of thousands of people, including large numbers of children, are trapped without safe drinking water, adequate food or access to medical treatment. ISIS has rigged buildings with explosives and is sending vehicles driven by suicide bombers against the government forces pushing into the eastern suburbs. It has ignited oil-filled trenches to cover the city in thick black smoke and hinder air attacks. The US-led offensive is making limited progress due to the savage resistance.
The most populated suburbs are still held by ISIS. In the areas that have been retaken by US-led forces, just 100,000 people have been able to flee to tent city displacement camps. Males are separated from their families to be detained and interrogated for potential ISIS sympathies. Scattered reports have surfaced of Sunni civilians being killed or tortured by sectarian Shiite troops or militias. Once in the camps, people are prevented from leaving for “security reasons.”
A Kurdish government representative stated this week that 2,000 more people are now fleeing the city each day. Lisa Grande of the United Nations told the Washington Post: “We are very worried that we are going to run out of supplies. We only have limited amounts of stocks, and if everyone near and inside Mosul requires help, we won’t have enough—not by a long shot.”
Medical facilities have been overwhelmed by civilians with wounds caused by gunfire or explosives. The fate of the majority of wounded, inside the city where hospitals are not functioning, is terrible to contemplate.
The Obama administration and American media, as well as the governments and media in allied states, have denounced as a war crime the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive that dislodged US-backed Islamist “rebels” from the city of Aleppo. The plight of Aleppo civilians, particularly imagery of suffering children, has been widely reported.
The people of Mosul, however, are being treated as “collateral damage” by the imperialist hypocrites, barely warranting comment. Casualties are largely being blamed on ISIS using civilians as “human shields” or attacking people trying to escape the city with snipers or mortars.
Summing up the situation, one displaced person told the Washington Post: “People of Mosul have two options. Either stay inside and die because of the bombing or hunger, or go to the camps—to the prison. Either way, it’s a slow death.”
The US military has stated that the offensive will go on for at least two to four months—well into the first stages of a Trump presidency. When, or if, Mosul falls, the full extent of civilian deaths is unlikely to ever be known. Close to 14 years since the US invasion, the credible estimate by Lancet that it caused over 650,000 deaths just between March 2003 and June 2006 is still routinely rejected as exaggerated by apologists for American imperialism and its puppet government in Baghdad. The death toll of this year’s bloodbaths in Fallujah and Ramadi has not been revealed.
While the exact human cost is unknown, there is no doubt as to the overriding motive behind the 1991 Gulf War, years of sanctions on Iraq, the 2003 US invasion, through to the current blood-letting in Mosul: Oil.
The 2003 invasion was a criminal conspiracy planned between the Bush administration and the major oil conglomerates and justified with flagrant lies that Iraq threatened the United States with “weapons of mass destruction.” It was continued under Obama because years of Iraqi resistance had prevented the US establishing untrammelled dominance over either the country’s energy resources or the broader Middle East. During the past three years, ISIS’ victories in Iraq, and Russia’s decision to join Iran in militarily supporting the Syrian Assad government, have further set back the US agenda.
US intrigues in the Middle East will continue under Trump. He is surrounded by figures steeped in the 25-year attempt to subordinate the region to American dictates. These include Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whose company sought to buy up much of Iraq’s oil industry. In charge of the Pentagon will be Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who commanded Marines in the 2004 assault on Fallujah, opposed the withdrawal of US forces in 2011, and has advocated military confrontation with Iran to shatter its influence in Iraq and Syria.
The degree to which the Middle East becomes the focus of US aggression under Trump will be determined by the outcome of the bitter struggle taking place within the American establishment over which major rival to its world position should be its more immediate target. Accusations by the Democratic Party and much of the American media that Trump’s victory is the result of “Russian interference,” stems from their concern that the new administration intends to moderate the confrontation with Russia in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, in order to focus more immediately on escalating the conflict with China.
Regardless of what front is ultimately chosen by a Trump administration, the legacy of Barack Obama is the heightened danger of World War III.
By James Cogan
MP3 & SHOW NOTES: http://themindrenewed.com/interviews/… Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy) returns to the programme for an extended interview on the ongoing tensions between Washington and Moscow.
Drawing upon his extensive experience in government, academia and journalism, Dr. Roberts explains how Washington’s current hostility towards Russia, with its demonization of Vladimir Putin, is a bitter fruit of the neoconservative ideology of world hegemony that came to dominate US centres of power from the early 1990s onwards. Assessing the geopolitical landscape with an eye to historical, economic and political realities, Dr. Roberts judges there to be only two hopes for the world to avert nuclear Armageddon: a Europe decisively resistant to Washington diktat, or economic collapse of the US empire itself.
We also discuss the murder of Boris Nemtsov, prospects for Washington-agitated colour revolutions in Central Asia/Caucasus, MH17 and the growth of the police state ...
On May 18th, Britain’s Guardian headlined “West and Russia on course for war, says ex-Nato deputy commander” and reported that the former deputy commander of NATO, the former British general Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff (who was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe from 2011-2014), expressed outrage that Britain isn’t urgently preparing for war against Russia, and also reported that “He describes Russia as now the west’s most dangerous adversary and says Putin’s course can only be stopped if the west wakes up to the real possibility of war and takes urgent action. … In a chilling scenario, he predicts that Russia, in order to escape what it believes to be encirclement by Nato, will seize territory in eastern Ukraine.” (That’s the Donbass region, where there has been a civil war.)
This encirclement by NATO is, apparently, about to be expanded: Shirreff will now be satisfied by NATO, even if not by its member the UK, of which Shirreff happens to be a citizen. ...
Macedonia is about to experience Democracy American Style. The nation’s misfortune is simple. It occupies strategic territory of keen interest to the United States and Russia.
“Russia’s Stroitransgaz said on Thursday it will build a gas pipeline across Macedonia, which could eventually be used as part of a route to supply Europe with Russian gas via Turkey”. Reuters, Mar 12
In January, Russia fired Ukraine as its natural gas transit for Europe. The pipeline across Ukraine was ideally positioned for this function. However, Ukraine’s practice of failing to pay for the natural gas it used and the outright hostility of the Kiev junta toward Russia were simply too much. Russia gave notice that the spigot would be turned off permanently in 2019. (Image: WikiCommons)
As an alternative to the Ukraine pipeline, Russia struck a deal with Turkey to sell it all the natural gas it wanted. In addition, Turkey agreed to put a ...
Let’s imagine for just a moment that a people was forcibly dispossessed of its homeland.
Let’s imagine that a portion of this people had rotted in refugee camps for some seven decades while others had lived under a brutal military occupation for almost five decades.
Let’s imagine that the people living under this military occupation were systematically tortured, abused, stolen from, and prevented from exercising their most basic and universally ratified human and political rights.
Let’s imagine that for nearly a decade, a part of this people was placed under an inhuman and illegal siege that brought about the complete collapse of their already desperate economy, and rendered their environment borderline unfit for human inhabitation.
Let’s imagine that, on top of the expulsion, military occupation, and inhuman and illegal siege, these people suffered periodic massacres, the most recent of which killed more than 2,200 people, including 550 children, and destroyed or rendered uninhabitable fully 18,000 homes.
Let’s imagine ...
How many times have we seen this before?
The President of the United States is on TV telling us horror stories. Some innocent people in some corner of the world are being crushed, he tells us. They face some monstrously evil oppressor, he says. While the United States doesn’t like war, what choice is there? Sacrifices must be made, cruise missiles must be unleashed, to protect the poor and innocent. The world is the set of an action movie, and the US is the tragic hero, forced to rescue the innocent.
This is the script we heard in former Yugoslavia. Bill Clinton claimed to be stoping “mass rapes” and “concentration camps.” After the smoke had cleared, and thousands had been killed, the truth came out. The United Nations admitted that no “genocide” had taken place. The talk of mass rapes and concentration camps had been hype.
While the alleged crimes used to justify ...
USAID is spending $300,000 to fight traditional Christian morality in the Republic of Macedonia (a href=”http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-367912520/stock-photo-puzzle-with-the-national-flag-of-macedonia-and-dollar-banknote-concept.html?src=1NQf52M43o22eQ682DptgQ-1-66″>esfera/Shutterstock).
A reader passes along a government document putting out bids for a contract. Here’s the top of the document:
Apparently the (former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia, a small Balkan nation that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia, is insufficiently progressive on LGBT issues. So the American government is spending $300,000 to undermine the traditional Orthodox Christian culture of the country. Excerpts from the document (emphases mine):
Macedonia has ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Human Rights Convention. Through ratification of these human rights treaties, Macedonia has assumed obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect, and to fulfil human rights. Despite the adoption of international human rights principles, which are incorporated in domestic legislation, Macedonia has made little progress towards meeting European Union criteria in strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights according ...
Dear Readers and Friends:
The distinguished and knowledgeable international commentator William Engdahl, in a superb statement, has expressed the view I gave you that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on September 28 at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations changed the balance of power in the world. Until Putin’s speech the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries. In France and other US vassal states it brought multi-billion dollar confiscations of bank net worth as the price of not following Washington’s policies toward other countries.
Other countries felt powerless in the face of the arrogant hegemonic Unipower, which from time to time replied to noncompliance with threats, such as US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivered to Pakistan, to bomb noncompliant countries “back to the stone age.” ...
Only when we refute the monolithic interpretation of Zionist theory and practice can we approach an understanding of the contested relationship between anti-zionism and antisemitism.
Israel - BDS. Flickr/ Takver. Some rights reserved.The relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism is a vexed and controversial question. My starting point is to elucidate an understanding of the meaning of Zionism; a term and a political concept which is rarely defined and frequently misunderstood. This is hardly surprising given that today in the 21st century, Zionism/ist is construed as an insult by some and is often equated with apartheid and even worse, Nazism. My understanding of Zionism seeks neither to exonerate, praise nor condemn. Rather we must seek to comprehend the Zionist movement and concomitant ideology in its historical, material and constantly evolving context.
A form of nationalism
Put simply Zionism is a form of nationalism which developed under two sets of linked influences in the ...
Imagine – the European Union were to collapse tomorrow – or any day soon for that matter. Europeans would dance in the streets. The EU has become a sheer pothole of fear and terror: Economic sanctions – punishment, mounting militarization, the abolition of civil rights for most Europeans. A group of unelected technocrats, representing 28 countries, many of them unfit to serve in their own countries’ political system, but connected well enough to get a plum job in Brussels – are deciding the future of Europe. In small groups and often in secret chambers they decide the future of Europe.
Take the TTIP – under pressure from their masters in Washington, behind closed doors under utmost secrecy – and most likely against their own personal good – a small group of European Commission (EC) delegates without scruples, without any respect for their co-citizens, without consideration for their children, grand-children and their ...
THE GLOBALIZATION OF NATO
Author: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Clarity Press (2012)
Pages: 411 with complete index
Available to order from Global Research
The world is enveloped in a blanket of perpetual conflict. Invasions, occupation, illicit sanctions, and regime change have become currencies and orders of the day. One organization – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – is repeatedly, and very controversially, involved in some form or another in many of these conflicts led by the US and its allies. NATO spawned from the Cold War. Its existence was justified by Washington and Western Bloc politicians as a guarantor against any Soviet and Eastern Bloc invasion of Western Europe, but all along the Alliance served to cement Washington’s influence in Europe and continue what was actually America’s post-World War II occupation of the European continent. In 1991 the raison d’être of the Soviet threat ended with the collapse of the USSR and the ...
A year ago, at a closed-doors meeting between the USA and EU officials and the leaders of the four major parties of FYROM in Strasbourg, a route map for the resolution of the protracted political crisis was agreed on (or rather imposed). The roots of this political crisis are to be found outside FYROM: it is actually more a confrontation by proxy between “the West”, which supports the opposition, and Russia, which is trying to maintain its influence in the region. In conjunction with the public discontent at government policies and the escalating corruption, the negotiations have contributed to sharpening the crisis, which has become acute.
The route map imposed on the closed-doors meeting between US representatives and the EU and local political leaders was supposed to lead to elections in April 2016. But the elections were postponed to 5th June 2016, in order to be “better prepared”. As it turned ...
Here we go again. Earlier this year, some were surprised to see Project For The New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and longtime DC fixture Robert Kagan endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president.
They shouldn’t have been. As is now clear from a policy paper [PDF] published last month, the neoconservatives are going all-in on Hillary Clinton being the best vessel for American power in the years ahead.
The paper, titled “Expanding American Power,” was published by the Center for a New American Security, a Democratic Party-friendly think tank co-founded and led by former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy. Flournoy served in the Obama Administration under Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the next secretary of defense, should Hillary Clinton become president.
The introduction to Expanding American Power is written by the aforementioned Robert Kagan and former Clinton Administration State Department official James Rubin. The ...
The objectives of the US military presence in Africa are well documented: counter Chinese influence and control strategic locations and natural resources including oil reserves. This was confirmed more than 8 years ago by the US State Department:
In 2007, US State Department advisor Dr. J. Peter Pham commented on AFRICOM’s strategic objectives of “protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance, a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.” (Nile Bowie, CIA Covert Ops in Nigeria: Fertile Ground for US Sponsored Balkanization Global Research, 11 April 2012)
At the beginning of February, AFRICOM’s “head General David Rodriguez called for a large-scale US-led ‘counterinsurgency’ campaign against groups in West Africa during remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC:
Part 1: The Intermarium and the Russian Revolution
by Clara Weiss 31 May 2016
May 12 to 14 marks the 90th anniversary of the coup by Józef Piłsudski in Poland with which the Polish bourgeoisie tried to save its rule from the threat of socialist revolution. Today, he is being idealized by large sections of the Polish bourgeoisie and the US imperialist elite.
In large measure, this is bound up with the increasing popularity of his conception of the Intermarium, a pro-imperialist alliance of right-wing nationalist regimes throughout Eastern Europe that was primarily directed against the Soviet Union. The resurgent interest in the Intermarium has been bound up with the increasing drive toward a new world war, which, as the ICFI stated in its resolution “Socialism and the Fight Against War,” has been accompanied by a revival of geopolitics among the ideologists of imperialism.
This series reviews the history of the Intermarium, the main ...
Many articles in the US press have speculated at length in an attempt to define a new ideology called “Putinism.” The pieces serve as an attempt to fit Putin into an outdated Cold War narrative, as if some new ideology in the Russian Federation is playing the role that Marxism-Leninism once played in the Soviet Union, though the current Russian constitution forbids this.
The notable leaders of history are rarely ideologues. History judges people mainly by what they achieve, not what they write or say. As Chinese President Xi Jinping recently put it: “The worth of any plan is in its implementation.”
Putin has continued to play a specific role in the history of his country and the world. It is in his role as a leader of Russia that we can really define “Putinism.” However, when examining his achievements, Putin’s role and methods are not so different from those utilized by ...
A hegemonic power never says sorry.
Three recent episodes underscore this truism.
When US President Barack Obama offered a floral wreath at the cenotaph of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on 27 May 2016, some peace advocates in the United States, in Japan and in other parts of the world hoped against hope that he would say “sorry” for the Atom bomb that the then US President, Harry Truman, had ordered to be dropped over Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. The deadly bomb claimed 140,000 lives. Three days later a second Atom bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki killing another 80,000.
There is a view advanced by a number of scholars and activists that based upon documentary analysis Japan had already indicated to the US Military Command in the Pacific a couple of months before 6th August that it was prepared to surrender if there were some safeguards for the position ...
Andrew Bacevich has written a series of books on the topic of U.S. imperialism and U.S. military power. His latest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East [the GME War] is the latest in this series and as with the previous works is clearly written and logically presented. It covers more narrowly than the previous works the military aspects of U.S. military endeavours in the Middle East (greater – as in including East Africa and Afghanistan et al). Generally he succeeds well and this work is a good ‘primer’ for anyone interested in a quick historical overview of U.S. military actions in the region.
However it is not one of his better works, and perhaps that is because of the narrowness of focus and the resulting tie ins that could have been made and that without do not provide a perspective of this war amongst all the other wars instigated ...
In Arabic TV interview, Labour’s ex-London mayor blames Israel for IS attacks in Europe and mass expulsion of Jews from Arab world, again claims Hitler supported Zionism
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone on Wednesday called the creation of Israel “fundamentally wrong,” and “a great catastrophe.” The existence of the Jewish state in the Middle East, he said, could ultimately lead to nuclear war.
“The creation of the state of Israel was fundamentally wrong, because there had been a Palestinian community there for 2,000 years,” Livingstone told an Arabic language TV station based in London, in a clip posted and translated by the watchdog MEMRI group.
“The creation of the state of Israel was a great catastrophe,” he repeated. “We should have absorbed the post-World War II Jewish refugees in Britain and America. They could all have been resettled, whereas 70 years later, the situation is still very tense, and there is potential for ...
The term "security" is a very multifaceted one. But today's geopolitical situation forces us to think about its military aspect above all.
Our attention is completely absorbed by news about wars, conflicts, military exercises and increasing defence capabilities. An average European reader has no chances to skip this kind of news while looking through news feeds of popular media.
Even planned further militarization of the European region and Russia pose the real threat today. A whole generation of European children is growing in the firm belief that the war is approaching. We destroy ourselves by our fears. We notice everything concerning military issues and neglect economic and social sides of our life. We live in a changed world and we are to blame for it.
Let's take Lithuania as an example. This small country with reach history and with immensely kind and open people last few weeks falls into the center of world ...
Israel is in a class all by itself when it comes to perpetuating some of the worst human rights violations of any country on earth today. For decades, Israel has had a policy of ethnically cleansing and robbing the indigenous Palestinian population of its lands and resources and killing them when they resist the atrocities committed against them under the guise of self-defense. Now, an Israeli military general, someone who is one of the leaders of Israel’s killing machine, has come out and admitted that Israel today shares many of the same elements as Nazi Germany.
Addressing an audience at Tel Yitzhak in central Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel Defense Forces Major General Yair Golan dropped a bombshell on the Israel’s racist establishment when he said:
“It’s scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here.”
“The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, ...
Paul Craig Roberts 2015: Washington’s Path to War with Russia
NATO Announces War Policy Against Russia
Democracy American Style – Macedonia
Phantom Tanks and the Desperation of Kiev
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
Contestation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
NATO: Proudly Delivering Death Since 1949 – A Book Review
West Rules Macedonia (FYROM) as a US-EU Protectorate, To Put A Check on Russian Influence in the Balkans
Hillary Clinton’s Project For A New American Century
Is Boko Haram a CIA Covert Op to Divide and Conquer Africa?
The Strategy of the Intermarium
“Putinism” In American History: Lincoln, Roosevelt, And The Fight Against ISIS
Hiroshima, Vietnam, Cuba: A Hegemonic Power Never Says Sorry…
America’s War for the Greater Middle East – A Military History
Ken Livingstone: Creation of Israel was ‘a great catastrophe’
Who will secure Lithuania?
Israeli Military General Compares Israel To Nazi Germany At Holocaust Remembrance Day Event