Tag Archives: NATO

Western Hubris and Regime Change Obsession: From Iran to Latin America and back to the Middle East…….

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Regime change has been an American obsession in the post-war era.

In 1953, the CIA (and British MI6) did not like the elected government of Mossadegh in Iran. There were issues of Iran taking their oil industry back, and worries about the strong Tudeh (communist) Party being legal. So they staged a play where the petulant young shah left for Europe, mobs of paid agents provocateurs were brought into the streets, and the generals staged a coup d’etat (to bring order). That was the beginning of the torturous love affair between the Iranian people and the United States government (as represented by the CIA). It set the stage for the Revolution of 1979, the US Embassy affair in Tehran, and the continued rancor. It could lead to another endless American war in yet another Muslim land, if the warmongers in the Republican Party (and some Democrats) have their way with Donald Trump.


Easy early success in Iran encouraged the CIA, which quickly shifted to another elected “leftist” regime, in Guatemala. President Árbenz was overthrown, and the rest of Latin America knew who was boss, until Fidel Castro and Che Guevara broke the mold.
But there were other “incidents” in Latin America: the Dominican election of 1965 was followed by the usual military coup and Lyndon Johnson’s invasion; the Brazilian military coup; the bloody overthrow of the elected Allende regime in Chile and the mass murders that followed (Nixon, Kissinger).
Those were all successful coups and invasions with the goal of regime change. The attempts in Cuba failed.


But the Western attempt at regime change with the bloodiest long-term consequences for the West was in a Muslim country: Afghanistan. The mistake of intervention in Afghanistan would come to haunt the West, especially the USA, for decades later. It started the ball rolling on Islamic Jihad and terrorism:

After the Communists took over in Kabul in 1978, through a counter military coup, the USA and its Saudi allies started encouraging a tribal insurrection. In 1979 Moscow did its own version of regime change in Kabul, but eventually ended up paying a heavy price. Afghanistan became a battlefield for competing regime changes: the Soviet Russians supporting the ruling secular Communists, and the West and Wahhabi Arabs supporting the reactionary tribal Afghan Mujahideen (Islamist Fundamentalist) rebels. We all know how that story evolved: the Wahhabi Taliban Jihadists eventually took over in Kabul, Al Qaeda found a safe haven, 9/11 happened, then ISIS, and all that. And the longest endless futile war in American history that nobody has the courage to end, apparently not yet.

In the Arab World, Saddam Hussein opened the door to direct American military intervention and regime change. His failed attempted invasion of Iran bankrupted Iraq and led him to the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, perhaps to recoup his losses. That set the stage for George W Bush and the neocons to invade Iraq in 2003, after the September 11 attacks.

Then there was the NATO operation that culminated in regime change in Libya. The dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown, tortured, and murdered along with one of his sons. Libya is now a divided failed state, exporting more terrorism than it did even before 2011.
The Syrian war is another example. One can just imagine what will happen when tens of thousands of Jihadis from Arab lands (mostly from Saudi Arabia and North Africa) and from European cities go back home to roost.

But wait, it is not over yet. Some old unrepentant Republican Necons and paid Democrats and lobbyists of generous despotic un-elected Arab princes are again taking up the old call of regime change in Tehran. Using a former terrorist group that acts as a Saudi surrogate.  Some of these folks actually believe they will be received with flowers and cheers in Tehran and other places. Will they ever learn? Apparently not. I think they should leave any regime change to the Iranian people.

Most people in the Middle East consider these continuous Western (mainly American) interventions as a return of Western colonialism, probably correctly so. The more Islamist fundamentalist peoples in the Middle East, some among the Arab Salafis, consider these interventions a new Crusade.

Right now some American politicians might want to focus on regime change closer to home, if you get my meaning….

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Cross My Heart on Barbary Coast: the Fourth Western Liberation of Libya?……..

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Libya, or some version of it, used to be a Roman province way back when. It was liberated by Arab Muslims in the seventh century AD, along with Egypt and the rest of North Africa. Ever since, Europeans have been trying to get back in, not just into Libya, but also the rest of North Africa (the Arab Maghreb). Come to think of it, Europeans have been trying to get into any vacuum to the south of their continent. The Americans were also forced to get involved during the early years of the Republic, under John Adams and Jefferson. During the wilder days of Barbary Coast (not the one in San Francisco, the one in North Africa). Hence the U.S. Marines on the “Shores of Tripoli“.

1911: Italy invaded Libya with with a view to expanding her African “empire”, like the French and British. Benito Mussolini later became dictator of Italy. He had read somewhere that Libya used to be a Roman province. He escalated the fight against the natives in order to secure the occupation, killing many thousands. During WWII, the Germans also entered the place in support of their Italian allies against the British who were entrenched in Egypt.

1943: The Western Allies liberated Libya from the Axis forces in 1943. But they stayed on for a while until invited by Colonel Gaddafi to leave after 1969.

2011: The Western allies, NATO, in conjunction with French pop-philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and David Cameron and Gaddafi’s old pal Tony Blair and Joe Liberman, liberated Libya once again. They took it from Colonel Gaddafi and his family, handed it to the disparate militias and Jihadists who control so much of it now. Remember the Republican political battle cry of recent years “Benghazi, Benghazi“?

2015: NATO and Arab leaders are hankering to liberate Libya again. Especially now that it is being threatened by the ISIS Salafi cutthroats. Will Libya be liberated one more time by the West? Will that be the last time, absolutely the last liberation of Libya, cross my heart and hope to die?

(FYI: Arab leaders can’t liberate Libya or any other place, mainly because you’ve got to have something in order to give it to others).

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Now I Have Seen It All: Sudan Saving Libya………..

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“Sudan said Thursday it is organizing a December 4 meeting of Libya’s neighbors, as the North African country continues to be plagued by lawlessness and violence. The foreign ministers of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger and Tunisia have been invited to the meeting in Khartoum, the foreign ministry said. Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi and the organisation’s envoy to Libya, Nasser al-Qidwa, were also invited………….”

Now I have seen it all, und warum nicht? Everything is topsy turvy in the region now. If absolute tribal princes and potentates can claim to bring freedom and democracy to Syria, why can’t Sudan bring stability to Libya? Anything is possible these days.

Go for it, Omar. You must be serious: you have no more sense of humor than your ancient namesake did.

I have some concern about the list of invitees. I don’t mean to show any disrespect, but Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Tunisia and the Arab League don’t cut it. Not alone. Didn’t Qatar and the UAE join Bernard-Henri Levy and Senator McCain in bombing Libya and overthrowing Qaddafi? Why not invite them too?

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

France Joins McCain and Arab Qumquats: Libyan Strategy to be used in Syria……..

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“(French President Francois Hollande backed the idea following a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier in the day. “(The president) insisted on the need to avoid massacres in the north of Syria. He gave his support to the idea proposed by President Erdogan to create a buffer zone between Syria and Turkey to host and protect displaced people,” read a statement from Hollande’s office. It added that the two countries also agreed on the need to give more support to the moderate Syrian opposition to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State group (IS), also known as ISIS or ISIL………………”

Remember that old song that goes “A Fool Never Learns…….“?
NATO created such a bloody Jihadi mess in Libya, while abusing a loophole in the UN Security Council resolution about that country in 2011. Libya is out of the clutches of the Gaddafi police state, but it is now a divided excuse for a country with multiple little civil wars, complete with various Wahhabi Jihadi cutthroats vying for power. Courtesy of France and other NATO powers and the ruling brothers of the United Arab Emirates of Disneyland (UAE) and the Qumquats of Qatar. What can you expect when you invite absolute tribal ruling families to help “liberate” a country and bring it the freedom and democracy that they never allow within their domains?
Now the Arab potentates and their eager Western arms merchants want a repeat in Syria. Only a bloodier and messier one and in the heart of the more vital Eastern Mediterranean. A no-fly zone that will almost certainly be expanded and used to favor the “moderate Wahhabis” among the Syrian opposition. Which is why it will never pass a United Nations smell test, a vote: it will have to be unilateral NATO action with some trumped-up foreign Arabs for window-dressing.

FYI: effectively there are now only three classes of Syrian opposition: bad plain-vanilla Wahhabis, badder Wahhabis, and the baddest (truly murderous) Wahhabis. Remember the Hobson’s Choice analogy.

Brilliant, Francois, you deserve to be up there with Sarkozy and Hillary and Blair and McCain and the oil princes. I would have thought you were concerned about the new crop of Beaujolais Nouveau arriving next month more than about Gulf royal weapons contracts.
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Speculative Chemical Assertion about Syria: Prelude to a Bombing Campaign?……..

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“Syria May Have Hidden Chemical Arms, U.S. Says. Ambassador Samantha Power asserted that Syria might not have handed over all its chemical arms supplies for destruction, and that they could fall into the hands of militants………..”

I suspect that Ambassador Power was not trained as a lawyer. The ambassador “asserted” that Syria “might” have hidden chemical weapons, and that they “could” fall into Jihadist hands. Dunno what exactly to make of this rather “speculative assertion” at the fluid court of the United Nations. That the Syrian government’s behavior raised “skepticism” (FYI: most Middle East governments’ behavior on any issue should always raise skepticism, be they Arab, Israeli, Iranian, Turkish, or Sumerian).

Could this be part of a spin, a prelude to start the bombing campaign over Syria? Will it be a bombing campaign targeting only the Wahhabi terrorist groups of ISIS and A-Nusra? Or will it, as no doubt some of the Arab princes and potentates hope, expand to target the Syrian armed forces and their facilities? Will there be a loophole in Mr. Obama’s coming “Syrian” speech that could open the door for a “Libyan” style expansion of the expected American and NATO mission over the Caliphate of Mosul and Al-Raqqa?
Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

The Angry Euro-Centric International Community: Torn Between Ukraine and Gaza…….


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Headline today in the Huffington Post: “Global” anger at Russia grows……..

Odd: I look around the globe, the media in several languages, and I don’t see worldwide intense anger. There is sympathy and a desire to uncover the culprit(s), but no anger. I see some regional real anger and some regional pretend anger, and I see mostly some politics mixed with anger, and it is focused on a particular part of the globe. In recent years, it seems that the world has gone back to the old Euro-centric order, just as it did during the eighteenth and nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Apparently when the angry “international community” or “the world” is mentioned the acronyms that matter are NATO and EU. Forget about UNO and BRICS and PIGS and TRICKS and SCO and WTF and the rest.

No wonder the angry “international community” is never angry when third world airlines are shot down, especially when shot down by NATO missiles (Iran Air 655, Libyan Air).

I guess “global” here means the West: “European Union” or “North American”. The Rest Of the World, almost 85% of it,  are just that, ROW, and not part of the “global community”, since we don’t see much if any of the same “outrage” across Asia (outside Malaysia) or Africa or Latin America, or the Middle East. The same applies to “The International Community” that we often see in Western headlines. The Int’l Community is often angry at someone or the other (Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Freedonia, etc). The “Int’l Community” is never ever angry at the European Union or the USA or Canada. And why should they?

Now speaking of “global” outrage, and speaking of Gaza……….

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com