How Americans provoked civil war in Iraq- A lesson for Pakistan

January 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm (Governance, Politics) (, , )

By Robert Frisk

iraq civil war picture

In Syria, the world appears through a glass, darkly. As dark as the smoked windows of the car which takes me to a building on the western side of Damascus where a man I have known for 15 years – we shall call him a “security source”, which is the name given by American correspondents to their own powerful intelligence officers – waits with his own ferocious narrative of disaster in Iraq and dangers in the Middle East.

 His is a fearful portrait of an America trapped in the bloody sands of Iraq, desperately trying to provoke a civil war around Baghdad in order to reduce its own military casualties. It is a scenario in which Saddam Hussein remains Washington’s best friend, in which Syria has struck at the Iraqi insurgents with a ruthlessness that the United States wilfully ignores. And in which Syria’s Interior Minister, found shot dead in his office last year, committed suicide because of his own mental instability.

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Divide and Fool

January 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm (Education, Global Issues, Governance, History, Pakistan, Politics) (, , , , , , , )

By Komal Hashmi

T

he Divide and Conquer Strategy enables one power to break another into smaller, more manageable pieces, and then take control of those pieces one by one. It generally takes a very strong power to implement divide and conquer strategy. In order to successfully break up another power or government, the conqueror must have access to strong political, military, and economic machines. In reality, it often refers to a strategy where small power groups are prevented from linking up and becoming more powerful, since it is difficult to break up existing power structures.

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An Ugly Peace- What changed in Iraq

January 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , , , )

By Nir Rosen

The first of a two-part series on counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. The second is Something from Nothing.

In December 2008 I flew Royal Jordanian from Amman to Iraq’s southern city of Basra. Because of the Muslim holiday of Eid, embassies were closed; a contact in the British military promised to obtain visas for me and a colleague upon arrival. The Iraqi customs officials were offended that we did not follow procedure, but a letter from the British commander got us in. It might not have been necessary: when the five Iraqi policemen who examined luggage at the exit saw my colleague’s copy of Patrick Cockburn’s excellent book on the Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr, they turned giddy. One of them kissed the picture of Muqtada’s face on the cover and asked if he could keep the book. It was not their sentiment that surprised me, but rather their comfort expressing it publicly.

Since the occupation began, Muqtada has been the most controversial public figure in Iraq. A populist anti-American leader, he came from a lineage of revolutionary Shia clerics who opposed the Saddam’s regime and who gave voice to Iraq’s poor Shia majority. Capitalizing on his slain father’s network of mosques and the family name, Muqtada and his followers, called Sadrists, seized control of Shia areas in Iraq when Baghdad fell, especially the slums of Basra and the capital. He rallied marginalized Shias against the occupation, its puppet government, and eventually against Sunni extremists as well. His movement provided social services, and his militia, Jeish al Mahdi—the Mahdi Army or JAM—fought the Americans and defended Shias from extremist Sunni terrorism.

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A sign of empire pathology: More US soldiers commit suicide than killed in action

January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , )

By Finian Cunningham
Source: Gulf Daily News

British soldiers on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan

Here is a shocking statistic that you won’t hear in most western news media: over the past nine years, more US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action in either the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are official figures from the US Department of Defence, yet somehow they have not been deemed newsworthy to report. Last year alone, more than 330 serving members of the US armed forces committed suicide – more than the 320 killed in Afghanistan and the 150 who fell in Iraq (see wsws.org).

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Interview with John Perkins, The Author of ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’

January 10, 2010 at 5:30 pm (Economics, Global Issues, Governance, Interview, Islam, Politics) (, , , , , , , , )

part 1

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It’s Israel’s proxy war, not America’s for oil

December 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm (Global Issues, Politics) (, , )

By M. Shahid Alam

Solidarity

It has been apparent to all but the purblind – a defect in understanding assiduously cultivated by America’s mass media – that the war the United States is ready to wage against Iraq has almost nothing to do with its security.

In an age when the people believe that their voices must be heard, the United States must sell its wars the way corporations sell their products. In the past, the people were asked to lay down their lives for visions of glory; now, governments appeal to their self-interest. The first Gulf War had to be fought to protect American jobs. If Saddam Hussain stayed in Kuwait, he would raise the price of oil, and Americans would lose their jobs.

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