Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Return of the US Supported Death Squads - The Iraq Hidden News Exposed

Return of the US Supported Death Squads - The Iraq Hidden News Exposed
4 May 2006


In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the the difference between Iraq as seen on the corporate news and the real news, such as the return of US-trained and armed death squads, reminiscent of Central America and Vietnam.

The lifts in the New York Hilton played CNN on a small screen you could not avoid watching. Iraq was top of the news; pronouncements about a "civil war" and "sectarian violence" were repeated incessantly. It was as if the US invasion had never happened and the killing of tens of thousands of civilians by the Americans was a surreal fiction. The Iraqis were mindless Arabs, haunted by religion, ethnic strife and the need to blow themselves up. Unctuous puppet politicians were paraded with no hint that their exercise yard was inside an American fortress. And when you left the lift, this followed you to your room, to the hotel gym, the airport, the next airport and the next country. Such is the power of America's corporate propaganda, which, as Edward Said pointed out in Culture and Imperialism, "penetrates electronically" with its equivalent of a party line.
The party line changed the other day. For almost three years it was that al-Qaeda was the driving force behind the "insurgency", led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a bloodthirsty Jordanian who was clearly being groomed for the kind of infamy Saddam Hussein enjoys. It mattered not that al-Zarqawi had never been seen alive and that only a fraction of the "insurgents" followed al-Qaeda. For the Americans, Zarqawi's role was to distract attention from the thing that almost all Iraqis oppose: the brutal Anglo-American occupation of their country.

Now that al-Zarqawi has been replaced by "sectarian violence" and "civil war", the big news is the attacks by Sunnis on Shia mosques and bazaars. The real news, which is not reported in the CNN "mainstream", is that the Salvador Option has been invoked in Iraq. This is the campaign of terror by death squads armed and trained by the US, which attack Sunnis and Shias alike. The goal is the incitement of a real civil war and the break-up of Iraq, the original war aim of Bush's administration.
The ministry of the interior in Baghdad, which is run by the CIA, directs the principal death squads. Their members are not exclusively Shia, as the myth goes. The most brutal are the Sunni-led Special Police Commandos, headed by former senior officers in Saddam's Ba'ath Party. This was formed and trained by CIA "counter-insurgency" experts, including veterans of the CIA's terror operations in central America in the 1980s, notably El Salvador. In his new book, Empire's Workshop (Metropolitan Books), the American historian Greg Grandin describes the Salvador Option thus: "Once in office, [President] Reagan came down hard on central America, in effect letting his administration's most committed militarists set and execute policy. In El Salvador, they provided more than a million dollars a day to fund a lethal counter-insurgency campaign... All told, US allies in central America during Reagan's two terms killed over 300,000 people, tortured hundreds of thousands and drove millions into exile."

Although the Reagan administration spawned the current Bushites, or "neo-cons", the pattern was set earlier. In Vietnam, death squads trained, armed and directed by the CIA murdered up to 50,000 people in Operation Phoenix. In the mid-1960s, in Indonesia, CIA officers compiled "death lists" for General Suharto's killing spree during his seizure of power. After the 2003 invasion, it was only a matter of time before this venerable "policy" was applied in Iraq.

According to the investigative writer Max Fuller (National Review Online), the key CIA manager of the interior ministry death squads "cut his teeth in Vietnam before moving on to direct the US military mission in El Salvador". Professor Grandin names another central America veteran whose job now is to "train a ruthless counter-insurgent force made up of ex-Ba'athist thugs". Another, says Fuller, is well-known for his "production of death lists". A secret militia run by the Americans is the Facilities Protection Service, which has been responsible for bombings. "The British and US Special Forces," concludes Fuller, "in conjunction with the [US-created] intelligence services at the Iraqi defence ministry, are fabricating insurgent bombings of Shias."

On 16 March, Reuters reported the arrest of an American "security contractor", who was found with weapons and explosives in his car. Last year, two Britons disguised as Arabs were caught with a car full of weapons and explosives; British forces bulldozed the Basra prison to rescue them. The Boston Globe recently reported: "The FBI's counter-terrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering that some of the vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior government officials."

As I say, all this has been tried before - just as the preparation of the American public for an atrocious attack on Iran is similar to the WMD fabrications in Iraq. If that attack comes, there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no truth. Imprisoned in the Hilton lift, staring at CNN, my fellow passengers could be excused for not making sense of the Middle East, or Latin America, or anywhere. They are isolated. Nothing is explained. Congress is silent. The Democrats are moribund. And the freest media on earth insult the public every day. As Voltaire put it: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." 


US Wars Kill Mostly Civilians
May 5th, 2015



by Stephen Lendman


Washington, like Israel, considers noncombatant civilians legitimate targets. International law calls killing them a war crime.Post-9/11 alone, millions of civilians perished in US direct and proxy wars. They were either in harm's way, deliberately targeted, or perished from war related violence, preventable diseases or deprivation.

Obama's Iraq war and Syria bombing aren't against IS terrorists. They're US recruited proxy foot soldiers, supported by American air power.

Washington's Friday's Aleppo area bombing murdered dozens of noncombatant civilians - not a single IS terrorist. None were targeted.

Noncombatant civilians alone were in the Birmahle area struck - no IS terrorists. No clashes were reported.

US CENTCOM lied reporting "no indication that any civilians were killed in these strikes." It claimed "several ISIL fighting positions (were) destroy(ed)." It said "more than 50 ISIL fighters" were targeted.

It bears repeating, ONLY civilians were killed - no IS terrorists. None were present - nor any IS "fighting positions."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) issued a statement "condemn(ing) in the strongest terms this massacre committed by the US led coalition under the pretext of targeting the IS in the village, and we call the coalition countries to refer who committed this massacre to the courts, as we renew our calls to neutralize all civilians areas from military operations by all parties."

Since US warplanes began terror-bombing Syria last September, mostly noncombatant civilian men, women and children died.

Reuters said US attacks "had little impact on the hardline Islamic State group…(It) fail(ed) to weaken it in areas it controls."

Bombing supports its US proxy force mission to topple Bashar al-Assad. Obama wants a convenient US stooge replacing him.

Washington' strategy includes murdering civilians in all its wars. In the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Ukraine, endless so-called humanitarian wars murdered millions of noncombatants advancing America's imperium.

Horrific war crimes go unreported or are denied. When investigations are conducted they whitewashed.

High-level government and Pentagon culpability doesn't matter. Millions of corpses attest to America's barbarity.

During US-led NATO's terror-bombing of Libya, British Civilians for Peace (BCP) spokesman Dale Roberts said he "witnessed the effects of bombing on civilians."

"This has included schools, hospitals, infrastructure and (other) civilian areas" unrelated to military sites.

So-called Pentagon "Kill Teams" murder with impunity. US death squads have been used since WW II.

In Korea, tens of thousands were murdered in cold blood. In Vietnam, Operation Phoenix was the most indiscriminate mass slaughter campaign since Hitler's death camps - exceeded in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

US terror-bombing since America entered WW II killed millions of noncombatants. Sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858 - 1917) once said "(t)he immorality of war depends entirely on the leaders who willed it."

If alive today, he'd have Bush and Obama in mind. Immanuel Wallerstein calls America "the most dangerous loose gun."

In his opening Nuremberg address, Justice Robert Jackson denounced the "men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberative and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched."

He called them "men of station and rank (who don't) soil (their) hands with blood."

They use "lesser folk" to commit crimes of war and against humanity to enhance their status, privilege, wealth and power.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, Pentagon commanders ordered US forces to kill all military-aged men on sight.

During training, enemies are vilified, dehumanized to make killing easy. Recruits are programmed (brainwashed) to feel guiltless about cold-blooded murder - on the ground, from offshore or from 30,000 feet.

Yet international and US laws are clear. US Army Field Manual incorporates Nuremberg Principles as well as the 1956 Law of Land Warfare.

FM's paragraph 498 states any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.

Paragraph 499 defines a war crime. Paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it and complicity with respect to international crimes.

Paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime.

Paragraph 510 denies the defense of an "act of state" as absolution for war crimes.

These provisions apply to all US military and civilian personnel to the highest levels, including the president, defense secretary and joint chiefs chairman.

It doesn't matter. American forces commit horrific atrocities and other war crimes in all US wars.

Mass murdering noncombatant civilians is standard operating procedure.

Obama claims he has moral authority to attack any nation he wishes on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.

Commenting on US-led NATO's rape of Yugoslavia, the late Harold Pinter said:

"When they said '(w)e had to do something,' I said: Who is this 'we' exactly that you're talking about?"

"Under what heading do 'we' act, under what law? And also, the notion that this 'we' has the right to act,' I said, presupposes a moral authority of which this 'we' possesses not a jot! It doesn't exist!"

The same holds for all US wars - lawless imperial ones pursued for global conquest and dominance.

Lunatics in Washington make policy - waging endless wars on humanity, raping one country after another, murdering millions, claiming a divine right to rule.

International laws, norms and standards don't matter - nor US constitutional and statute laws.

No nation in world history threatens world peace more than America. None more risk ending life on earth.

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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III".

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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