At a press conference the morning after the 13/11 attacks in Paris, French President Francois Hollande said an investigation would establish this was an act of war by the “jihadist army”, Islamic State. Less than an hour later IS claimed responsibility for a “blessed invasion”. Landmarks across the world glowed in solidarity – blue, white and red – as the victims and French children were harnessed to a chariot of propaganda.
President Hollande righteously declared war on the uncivilised jihadist menace of Islamic State. A year earlier President Obama had proposed military action to stop the spread of the IS “cancer”. Following suit UK Prime Minister David Cameron declared “a country like ours will not be cowed by these barbaric killers.”
Author Nafeez Ahmed observed:
Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS). Since 2003, Anglo-American power has secretly and openly coordinated direct and indirect support for Islamist terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda across the Middle East and North Africa. This ill-conceived patchwork geostrategy is a legacy of the persistent influence of neoconservative ideology, motivated by longstanding but often contradictory ambitions to dominate regional oil resources, defend an expansionist Israel, and in pursuit of these, re-draw the map of the Middle East.
In brief the Islamic State which replaced Al Qaeda last year as the new bogeyman of the global war on terror has been created, funded and supported by the US and its allies. The Caliphate is the pet project of the West.This is openly admitted in a 2012 US Department of Intelligence Agency (DIA) report.
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
Going after Islamic State is merely a pretext for bombing Syrian President Bashar Al Assad out of power – and perhaps provoking a nuclear confrontation with Russia. This treacherous game plan is crucial for context. But as author Elias Davidsson notes:
A gross violation of human rights gives rise to a set of state obligations, including that of providing remedies to the victims. Among such remedies is the duty to establish the true circumstances surrounding the violation and ensuring the identification and punishment of those responsible for it.
This right to truth – linked to the need to combat impunity – in turn imposes a duty under international law to effectively investigate arbitrary killings. A failure to do so amounts to a human rights violation. To be considered effective an investigation must be prompt, thorough, impartial, independent and transparent. Previous investigations of major ‘terror attacks’ suggest it is unlikely that family and friends of the French victims, or the public, will ever learn the truth.
Paris 13/11 has been compared repeatedly with 26/11, the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. Officially ten young men resisted hundreds of highly trained commandos for three days and killed 162 civilians. Davidsson says there is a false impression that all the facts have been reported. Here are some of the unsettling questions that remain.
- Media reports of a substantially larger number of terrorists, many of whom are said to have escaped, have not been reconciled.
- The authorities claimed to have captured 9 of the attackers before eventually and suddenly insisting only one had been taken alive.
- The identities of the 9 attackers allegedly killed and of ‘Kasab’ who was captured have never been proven.
- The claim of ten attackers landing on the Mumbai seashore rests on the testimony of a single witness who was coached by police for his court performance and whose credibility is questionable.
- Evidence of the circumstances in which the nine ‘terrorists’ and their victims died is negligible and nebulous at best.
There is a staggering number of anomalies and contradictions in the official account. The court that presided over the trial of the “sole remaining terrorist” ignored numerous substantive witnesses, accepted at face value testimonies by manifestly unreliable witnesses, failed to establish the circumstances of death of most of the 162 victims and who killed them and relied on a confession made behind closed doors. The authorities failed to explain how 10 young “terrorists”, divided into four locations could for three days keep at bay more than 1,000 elite commandos and police forces. I also considered the question of motive and discovered that the major loser in this operation was Pakistan, while the Indian and the US governments, the Indian military as well as the Indian business community, gained substantially from the attacks.
The right to truth has also been treated with contempt by a grudgingly conceded and completely orchestrated 9/11 inquiry into the spectacular 2001 airplane attacks on New York. To illustrate the point it is enough to note that even the identity of the attackers remains a mystery. And Davidsson says the standard is not much better when it comes to the 7/7 London bombings.
First, the four alleged London terrorists were no phantoms, as were the 19 individuals who allegedly carried out the hijackings of 9/11. The four were identifiable persons, whose families were interviewed. Secondly, the British authorities finally allowed an Inquest to take place, which did look at the forensics of the case and published its hearings, verbatim. In that respect, they showed a higher degree of accountability than their US colleagues. The Indian authorities did not carry an open inquiry, let alone an inquest, and no verbatim reports of court proceedings are available. Yet, with respect to the London Transport Bombings of 2005, my conclusions are that the official account cannot be true. It contains far too many incongruities, anomalies, and omissions. There is, as with 9/11, sufficient evidence to presume the complicity of state agencies in the mass-murder.
Next summer the Chilcot Inquiry will reveal why the UK went to war in Iraq, what happened and the lessons to be learned. Sir John Chilcot’s report (more than two million words and four times the length of ‘War and Peace’) covers the 8 year period from the 9/11 attacks to the launch of the inquiry in July 2009.
The report will confirm:
- Former Prime Minister Tony Blair struck a secret deal with George Bush to invade Iraq in March 2002, a year before the war began.
- Claims that Saddam Hussain was linked to 9/11 and possessed WMDs were lies.
- There was no real concern about Iraqi human rights.
- Intelligence was culled and cobbled from the internet to deceive the UN Security Council.
- Advice that the war was illegal was trashed.
- Britain’s moral and military support contributed to the death of more than 650, 000 Iraqis by 2006.
The inquiry will be bound to ask whether the 9/11 attacks were similarly an excuse for an illegal war on Afghanistan. It’s no secret that Bin Laden denied any involvement in 9/11 and the FBI has admitted it has no evidence implicating him in the crime. The Taliban offered to deport Bin Laden on two occasions if the US authorities provided evidence of his guilt. George Bush refused the deal.
In March 2011 Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons that three weeks after streets protests began in Libya, Colonel Gaddafi responded by attacking and brutally crushing his own people. His armed forces, backed up by mercenaries, were preparing a violent assault on the city of Benghazi and no pity or mercy would be shown. MPs voted overwhelmingly (557 to 13) for military action.
Six months later Cameron could announce a starring role in preventing Libyans from being hunted down like rats and slaughtered.
Britain has been at the forefront of the military operation to protect the Libyan people. Our planes and attack helicopters have made 2,400 sorties across Libya carrying out one fifth of all NATO airstrikes, against some 900 targets in Qadhafi’s war machine. Our warships have supported this effort, helping enforce the UN arms embargo, and bringing aid to those in need. At its peak, some 2,300 British service men and women were deployed on Operation ELLAMY with 36 aircraft including 16 Tornados, 6 Typhoons, 5 attack helicopters, tankers and specialist surveillance aircraft and helicopters supported over the course of the operation by 8 warships and a hunter-killer submarine.
Like Iraq the attack on Libya was primed by bloodthirsty deception and a campaign of disinformation that was institutionalised within the “Western propaganda system”. Thousands were not slaughtered (24 people were killed in the three days, February 15-17, according to Human Rights Watch) and there was no mass surge of Viagra induced rape. Reviewing Maximilian Forte’s book ‘Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa’, Edward Herman also notes:
- The imperial powers from day one violated UN Resolution 1973 calling for an immediate ceasefire, an end to violence and efforts to find a peaceful solution. They were determined to exploit the ‘no fly zone’ also sanctioned by the resolution to carpet bomb Libya. The plea for a cease fire made by by Gaddafi and the African Union was ignored. The bombing to “protect civilians” followed almost immediately.
- Civilian protection was a “figleaf” for regime change and the murder of Gaddafi. The imperial powers served as the rebels’ air force but also provided them with arms, training and propaganda support.
- Civilians were deliberately and indiscriminately targeted by the bombers and the rebels were merciless in brutalizing and slaughtering people viewed as Gaddafi supporters.
- There has never been any evidence to show Gaddafi planned to attack Benghazi, let alone engage in a civilian slaughter. But the rebels massacred innocent black African migrant workers and black Libyans falsely accused of being ‘mercenaries’ close to the city. The lynching of Gadaffi and the destruction of Sirte (his base) elicited no Western concern about human rights or the racist character of this war.
- Gaddafi was a central figure in the organization of the African Union, served as its chairman, and called repeatedly for a United States of Africa, and for African lending and judicial authorities that could free Africa from subservience to the IMF, World Bank and international justice. He also invested substantial sums in African institutions. Regime change and Gaddafi removal dealt a major blow to African unity.
- The UN and International Criminal Court (ICC) and human rights organisations displayed their subservience to the imperial powers and their facilitation of Western aggression and war crimes. The early figure of 6,000 Gaddafi government killings, which was influential in shaping UN action and media (and liberal-left) opinion, was passed along by the rebels and swallowed by the mainstream with no independent confirmation required.
- Gaddafi was strongly opposed to Al Qaeda and Islamic extremism and sought to interest U.S. officials in their threat.
But of course he was wasting his breath trying to warn the puppet masters. The ‘rebels’ used against him by the West included Al Qaeda affiliates like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. With the dirty work done mercenaries and weapons flooded out of Libya for a repeat performance in Syria.
Syria was targeted for regime change by the US in May 2002. More recently and in pursuit of that objective the West has been arming IS while pretending to bomb its fighters. In doing the real thing Russia is effectively confronting the US. The murder of innocents paves the way for France to join the proxy war.
It has also raised David Cameron’s hopes of dragging Britain into the fray. He claims Russia is helping the “butcher Assad” by attacking the moderate rebels supported by the West. But of course there are no moderate rebels. The claim that yet another country must be destroyed to save its people from a tyrant rings increasingly hollow.
The attacks on Paris follow a sinister pattern of intrigue and demand a proper and public inquiry. The victims and French society have a legal right to the truth.
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