Tag Archives | Middle East

CIA Acknowledges Role In 1953 Overthrow Of Iran’s Democracy

iran_map1Via George Washington University’s National Security Archive:

Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States’ role in the controversial operation.

American and British involvement in Mosaddeq’s ouster has long been public knowledge, but today’s posting includes what is believed to be the CIA’s first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup.

The explicit reference to the CIA’s role appears in a copy of an internal history, The Battle for Iran, dating from the mid-1970s. The agency released a heavily excised version of the account in 1981 in response to an ACLU lawsuit, but it blacked out all references to TPAJAX, the code name for the U.S.-led operation. Those references appear in the latest release. Additional CIA materials posted today include working files from Kermit Roosevelt, the senior CIA officer on the ground in Iran during the coup.

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The Baby and the Baath Water

syria-attack475-2_2In a piece for the BBC, Adam Curtis gives short history of American intervention in Syria, consisting largely of misguided attempts to foster democracy via military coup. In my opinion, this is essential context as we debate further involvement in that country:

What is happening in Syria feels like one of the last gasps of the age of the military dictators. An old way of running the world is still desperately trying to cling to power, but the underlying feeling in the west is that somehow Assad’s archaic and cruel military rule will inevitably collapse and Syrians will move forward into a democratic age.

That may, or may not, happen, but what is extraordinary is that we have been here before. Between 1947 and 1949 an odd group of idealists and hard realists in the American government set out to intervene in Syria. Their aim was to liberate the Syrian people from a corrupt autocratic elite – and allow true democracy to flourish.… Read the rest

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Is The Western Media Promoting War on Syria? Are All The Facts in? Does It Matter?

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile -cropAs the United States threatens to target Syria militarily, how can we expect the military strikes to be covered?

First, there are very few US or western journalists stationed in Syria,  and many of the citizen reporters on the ground have become casualties, and/or have been intimidated and forced to leave.

That assures poor coverage of  those who will be hurt or become predictable and disposable “collateral damage.”

A front page New York Times article on Friday reporting on Syria, carries no dateline and was filed from Beirut. The Times explains that mainstream journalists cannot work freely in Syria, and contends that social media offers better coverage.

The paper quotes Absi Smesem, Syrian journalist, as saying,

“There are no objective sources of information on either side, neither with the regime nor the rebels .We need to get out of this Facebook phase, where all we do is whine and complain about the regime.”

Writing on Salon, in a piece picked up by Mediachannel.org, Patrick L Smith indicts western “lapdog media,”  asking,

“When was it that journalists began thinking of themselves as national security operatives?

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Syria Intervention Plan Fueled by Oil Interests, Not Chemical Weapon Concern

oil-barrelNafeez Ahmed writes:

On 21 August, hundreds – perhaps over a thousand – people were killed in a chemical weapon attack in Ghouta, Damascus, prompting the U.S., UK, Israel and France to raise the spectre of military strikes against Bashir al Assad’s forces which, they say, carried out the attack.
To be sure, the latest episode is merely one more horrific event in a conflict that has increasingly taken on genocidal characteristics. The case for action at first glance is indisputable. The UN now confirms a death toll over 100,000 people, the vast majority of whom have been killed by Assad’s troops. An estimated 4.5 million people have been displaced from their homes. International observers have overwhelmingly confirmed Assad’s complicity in the preponderance of war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Syrian people. The illegitimacy of his regime, and the legitimacy of the uprising against it, is clear.
But the interests of the west are a different matter.
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Who Are The Experts Urging Us To Bomb Syria?

Waterwheels_in_Hamma,_SyriaLawyers, Guns & Money points out that we should no longer be listening to these people:

The Weekly Standard has an open letter explaining that blowing up lots of stuff in Syria is a great idea: The signatories on the letter addressed to President Obama inlcude Senator Joe Lieberman, Bernard-Henri Levy, Karl Rove, Bill Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Leon Wieseltier, and many others.

The “other people” include Max Boot, Paul Berman, Dr. Clifford D. May, Marty Peretz, and Danielle Pletka. I suppose it’s not literally true that the endorsement of these people means that bombing and/or invading Syria is a bad idea, but…let’s just if there was some way of betting that these people would be wrong you could be living in your own $32 million apartment complete with $160,000 wine cellar and million-dollar apartments for your many domestic servants.

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One, Two, Three, Four, When Are We Going to Go to War? Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Are You Out of Your F__king Mind! (What We Should Know Before Waging War on Syria)

via chycho

Syria_Topography

I. Introduction

Everything is politics, from what we eat to what we drink, from what society deems acceptable behavior to what it considers a criminal offence, from who we interact with to how we interact with them. Politics decides if we are free or if we live as slaves in bondage.

Politics determines what our children are taught in school, how we treat the ecosystem, what theories scientists investigate, how art is perceived (video), what version of history we recall, and how the future will remember us.

In essence, politics governs our thoughts, our understanding of reality, and how we and our society evolve. It is, therefore, essential that we participate in the political process, may it be through demonstrations, whistleblowing, elections, activism, disobedience or a myriad of other forms of direct action, or may it be through simple analysis so that we have a full understanding of what is being done in our name.… Read the rest

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The Daily Mail’s Retracted Story On A U.S. False Flag Chemical Attack In Syria

syria

In January, the Daily Mail reported that leaked emails suggested that the United States was planning to stage a chemical weapons attack which would be blamed on the Assad regime and justify military action against Syria.

The article was subsequently deleted, with the Mail apologizing and explaining that the emails had turned out to be fabricated.

Is this a case of a hoax and shoddy tabloid reporting? Or a possible conspiracy? The original article can be viewed via the Internet Archive:

Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.

A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme ‘approved by Washington’ is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.

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Understanding The Continuing Egyptian Revolution

Egyptian Revolution - Wall ArtDespite the January 2011 popular uprising that ultimately led to the ouster of former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak, today US policy towards Egypt continues to be characterized by inconsistent efforts to promote democracy, while simultaneously supporting dictatorships in the region.

Nearly a year and a half before the initial uprising in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, I traveled to Egypt in the fall of 2009 to make a film about the fledgling democracy movement. The film, entitled, “We are Egypt”, was intended to document the efforts of the democracy movement and to explore how Egyptians perceived the longstanding US support for Mubarak’s military regime over the previous 30 years. At the time, neither I nor the subjects of the film had foreseen the massive outpouring of support for change that would unfold in Tahrir Square in 2011.

After Mubarak was forced to step down, the Egyptian military maintained its grip on power and ushered in what were ostensibly Egypt’s first democratic elections in 2012.… Read the rest

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Syrian Atrocities, Deception and the Road to Nuclear War

Via orwellwasright:

Syrian “rebels” have allegedly carried out another massacre of civilians, all in the name of “freeing” civilians from the yoke of “evil dictator” Bashar al-Assad. The Al-Alam News Network reported that mercenaries from the al-Nusra Front – a ruthless group believed to have ties to the CIA and Turkish intelligence – murdered 120 Kurdish children and 330 men and women in the town of Tal Abyad located in a district of northern Syria.

It is the latest in a string of atrocities carried out by groups opposing the Syrian government, which include dozens of civilian massacres, beheadings (including an incident in which opposition forces cheered on as a 14 year old boy beheaded a Syrian soldier) and a gruesome incident with a rebel cutting out and eating a soldier’s heart (who was kind enough to grant the BBC an interview).

That these violent mercenaries and extremists are backed by the West should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed events in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya (indeed, many of the mercenaries currently carrying out atrocities in Syria were involved in the proxy war to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi).… Read the rest

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U.S. Embassies Closing In Middle East Due To Terrorism Threat

You might think that the putative terrorists would just adjust their plans for Saturday or Monday in response, but in any event the United States is closing its embassies on Sunday reports ABC News:

U.S. embassies in a slew of Muslim countries will close on Sunday due to a credible and serious security threat.

Us-embassy.close

The embassies will close in response to “a specific threat against a U.S. embassy or consulate,” according to a senior U.S. official, who called it a “concerted effort” to target an embassy or consulate in a Muslim country.

“We just don’t know which one,” the official told ABC News.

“There could be other targets, not just embassies,” another U.S. official said. The threat is considered to be throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

Some of the biggest U.S. embassies will close, including those in Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, where tens of thousands of U.S.

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