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
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, ...
The internal and much more external destruction of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s is celebrating in 2015 its 20th years of anniversary. However, this historical and much more geopolitical event still needs a satisfactory research approach in regard to the true geopolitical reasons and political-military course of the destruction of this South Slavic and Balkan state. During the last quarter of century, the (western) global mainstream media unanimously accused Serbia and the Serbs for the national chauvinism as the main cause of the bloody wars on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s. However, the role and direct impact of the other Yugoslav republics and nations in the process of killing the common state was not taken (purposely) into the consideration; especially of the Croats and Croatia as the biggest nation and republic after the Serbs and Serbia. This article is an attempt to contribute to the full-scale of ...
Donald Trump certainly lies more often, and sometimes for the most trivial or ego-driven reasons. But presidential prevaricating is a common tactic dating back to the nation’s early days.
After escalated provocations with Mexico until he obtained the necessary pretext in 1846, President James Polk announced, “War exists,” thus explaining away how it really happened. After defeating Spain, William McKinley said he wanted to “uplift and civilize and Christianize” the Filipinos, and “by God’s grace do the very best we could by them.” But they’d already declared independence, so doing the “best” actually meant allowing the worst — killing and burning villages during a 12-year war of resistance.
In 1947, Harry Truman (image right) wanted to “assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.” But the pledge didn’t stop him from approving CIA manipulation of elections in Greece and Italy. And when asked about a US operation ...
The following timeline describes just a few of the hundreds of atrocities and crimes committed by the CIA. (1)
CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us.” The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories ...
This text was first published on March 8, 2015,
The Islamic State is not only protected by the US and its allies, it is trained and financed by US-NATO, with the support of Israel and Washington’s Persian Gulf allies.
Al Qaeda Affiliated Entities are “Intelligence Assets. Instruments of US Intelligence. The Global War on Terrorism is a fabrication used to justify a war of conquest. The Jihadist terrorists are “Made in America”. They are instruments of US intelligence, yet they are presented to public opinion as “enemies of America”.
The Obama administration has embarked upon the ultimate war crime, a Worldwide military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.
The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.
This military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously, resulting in millions of civilian deaths and countless atrocities. More recently, U.S. and NATO ground forces have been deployed in Eastern Europe including Ukraine on ...
Chris Hedges is on vacation and will return to writing his weekly Truthdig column on Sept. 5. While he is on break, we are republishing some of his past columns. This one originally appeared Nov. 10, 2008
We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically ...
The conditionality of the Soviet Union’s agreement to allow East Germany to be taken by West Germany and for the Cold War to end, was that NATO would not expand «one inch to the east». This was the agreement that was approved by the Russian President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, a great man and a subsequent hero to democrats around the world.
He agreed then to end the Soviet Union and abandon communism and thus to end the entire Cold War; he agreed to this because he had been promised that NATO would expand not «one inch to the east,» or «one inch eastward,» depending upon how the promise was translated and understood — but it has the same meaning, no matter how it was translated. He trusted American President George Herbert Walker Bush, whose friend and Secretary of State James Baker made this promise to Gorbachev. With this ...
The facile and indiscriminate use of the term fascism has led to a widespread misunderstanding and misuse of its meaning. Asked to define fascism, most people would respond in terms such as dictatorship, anti-Semitism, mass hysteria, efficient propaganda machine, mesmerizing oratory of a psychopathic leader, and the like.
Such a pervasive misconception of the meaning of the term fascism is not altogether fortuitous. It is largely because of a longstanding utilitarian misrepresentation of the term. Fascism is deliberately obfuscated in order to sanitize capitalism. Ideologues, theorists and opinion-makers of capitalism have systematically shifted the systemic sins of fascism from market/capitalist failures to individual or personal failures.
Thus, the origins, the rise and the ravages of the classic European fascism are blamed largely on Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, not the socio-economic circumstances that gave rise to those instrumentally “useful” characters. An obvious flaw of this interpretation of fascism is that it cannot ...
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.” ...
Miloš Zeman said in an interview for the Serbian newspaper Večernje novosti, that recognition of Kosovo’s independence has opened a Pandora’s Box and called the Kosovo deputy Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi a war criminal.
Zeman, among other things, confirmed that he will travel to Moscow for the celebrations of the end of the Second World War because the Soviet army liberated most of the former Czechoslovakia.
The Czech president has openly expressed himself on Kosovo in the past, for example he labeled the country a very strange state with a strong narco-mafia influence.
This article originally appeared at Hospodářské Noviny. Translated for RI by Anthony Grulich
The recognition of the independence of Kosovo has opened up a Pandora’s Box and unleashed a dangerous process of redrawing borders around the world said Czech president Miloš Zeman in an interview published by the Serbian newspaper Večernje novosti. He reiterated that he himself did not recognize the independence of Kosovo and called ...
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 ...
U.S. jets are bombing Syria again this month, part of an overall pattern of military expansion during the Obama administration that’s seen military involvement in dozens of conflicts.
As the United States renews a bombing campaign against ISIS forces in Syria, it seems like America’s penchant for waging war knows no bounds. During the first seven years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the U.S. bombed seven countries while supporting other destabilizing military actions throughout the Middle East.
Here’s a look at these seven countries and the effects of bombing:
Afghanistan — Despite the announced “end” of the Afghanistan War, significant U.S. military presence in Afghanistan remains. Drones are a frequent presence in Afghan skies. One strike earlier this month killed 12 people, according to Iran’s PressTV.
Iraq — The Obama administration has conducted over 5,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in just the past year, David Lerman reported for Bloomberg Business. Despite ongoing U.S. military ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Since the end of the Cold War, the United States of America has systematically violated the prohibition against the threat or use of force contained in the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. It has carved out a regime of impunity for its crimes based on its UN Security Council veto, non-recognition of international courts and sophisticated "information warfare" that undermines the rule of law with political justifications for otherwise illegal threats and uses of force.
Former Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz has compared current U.S. policy to the illegal German "preemptive first strike" policy for which senior German officials were convicted of aggression at Nuremberg and sentenced to death by hanging.
In 2002, the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy described post-September 11th U.S. doctrine as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept." And yet the U.S. government has succeeded in assembling alliances ...
From Brussels we hear here in Serbia, the signing of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) is a "new phase in relations with NATO." While Ivica Dacic and Bratislav Gasic issue PR proclamations applauding themselves though, many Serbians are dissenting. Here's the other side of the coin.
The dictatorial government that rules Serbia is leading our people into ruin. Slowly but surely we leave military neutrality and become just another puppet state, a pawn in the greater game of western hegemony. We’re a puppet country with a puppet government. Unfortunately for us, the government can defend its argument that NATO membership was chosen by the vast majority of our people, but here with us, many are now ashamed to be Serbs.
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and Defense Minister Bratislav Gašić signed the so-called IPAP, or the Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO. It should be carved in stone here that ...
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. ...
This article was first published in September 2014. Can we believe Hollande and Cameron? Evidence confirms that NATO is behind the recruitment of “jihadist terrorists
While NATO leaders in Newport Wales [September 2014] debate the Atlantic Alliance’s role “in containing a mounting militant threat in the Middle East”, it is worth recalling that in 2011 at the outset of the war in Syria, NATO became actively involved in the recruitment of Islamic fighters.
Reminiscent of the enlistment of the Mujahideen to wage the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war, NATO headquarters in Brussels in liaison with the Turkish High command, according to Israeli intelligence sources, was involved in the enlisting of thousands of terrorists:
“Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish ...
Israeli Military General Compares Israel To Nazi Germany At Holocaust Remembrance Day Event
An Alternative View Of The Destruction Of The Former Yugoslavia In The 1990s
U.S. Presidential Lying Is Nothing New
A Timeline Of CIA Atrocities (Up To 1993)
The Ultimate War Crime: America’s “Global War On Terrorism”
How America Double-Crossed Russia and Shamed West
Distorting Fascism to Sanitize Capitalism
Czech President Zeman: Deputy PM of Kosovo is a war criminal
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
NATO: Proudly Delivering Death Since 1949 – A Book Review
Barack Obama: The Nobel Peace Prize Winner Who Bombed Seven Countries
“Putinism” In American History: Lincoln, Roosevelt, And The Fight Against ISIS
The Strategy of the Intermarium
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
Appeal from U.S. to World: Help Us Resist U.S. Crimes
A Serb View Of Partnership Action Plan With NATO
NATO Announces War Policy Against Russia
The Atlantic Alliance’s “Holy War” Against The Islamic State (ISIS): NATO’s Role In The Recruitment Of Islamic Terrorists (According To Israeli Intelligence News Source)
Tags: Obama, USA, Washington