US-led coalition against ISIL: Front for regime change

Finian Cunningham

Listening to American and British leaders this week one would think that Barack Obama and David Cameron are knights in shining armor on an epic crusade to defeat global evil.

Of course, that is exactly what Washington and London are trying to inculcate in popular perception – that the US and Britain are the saviors of the world leading a military campaign to destroy the extremist network known as so-called Islamic State (IS, or ISIL/ISIS).

This is a massive public relations scam to burnish the image of America and Britain – the two countries that, rightly, are most associated with illegal war making over the past decade, from Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011) to ongoing deadly drone warfare in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. Between them, Washington and London are responsible for the deaths of more than 1.5 million people over the past 13 years.

What better way to rehabilitate the war criminals than to present them now as leading a moral crusade to defeat a global evil? Unbelievably, too many states seem to be going along with this ridiculous charade, as can be gleaned from the way Obama and Cameron’s posturing was indulged this week at the United Nations General Assembly.

And now, over the weekend, we hear of more countries – Australia, Belgium, Denmark and Netherlands – sending munitions and warplanes to join the US-led bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria.

David Cameron, the British premier, had the gall to regale the UN with these sanctimonious words: “My message today is simple. We are facing an evil against which the whole world must unite. And, as ever in the cause of freedom, democracy and justice, Britain will play its part.”

Yes, you heard right, the country that helped to destroy Afghanistan and Iraq based on wholesale lies, is telling you that it will do its part for “the cause of freedom, democracy and justice – as ever.” Note the way Cameron links – incredibly – the supposed defeat of IS “evil” with the supposed virtues of Britain.

Meanwhile, Obama also exhorted the world to unite – implicitly under America’s leadership – to confront “this network of death.” Obama set the militarist agenda by saying: “There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”

Earlier, Obama greeted the participation of certain Arab states in the bombing campaign that expanded this week from Iraq into Syrian territory as evidence that “America is not acting alone.” This betrays how sensitive the issue is for Washington not to be seen for what it truly is – the leader of a criminal mob. In order to disguise that criminal enterprise, the US and its trusty British sidekick are making the anti-IS coalition sound like a noble service to mankind and world security.

But here are at least seven reasons for why this Anglo-American enterprise can be identified as a fake front to conceal an ulterior agenda:

First: the extremists in the “network of death” are the creation of American and British intelligence, evolving out of the covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the 1980s when al-Qaeda was formed. That network was the brainchild of people like presidential National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, and was further deployed by CIA director William Casey to destabilize Russia during the 1990s with proxy wars in Central Asia. This has been all scrupulously documented by Peter Dale Scott and several other respected authors. The latest incarnation of the West’s proxy terror army is IS which was spawned during the American and British occupation of Iraq post-2003. Conclusion: you can’t defeat something that is an integral creation of your own geopolitical machinations.

Second: the “evil” that Washington and London have so pontificated about in self-serving moralistic terms can best be illustrated by the destruction of Syria over the past three years. IS and related Western-sponsored proxy armies have terrorized the entire Syrian population by waging a war that would not have happened without the overarching direction of Washington and London. Nearly 200,000 people have been killed, millions wounded and millions more turned into refugees. Estimates of infrastructure damage are put at over $100 billion – a debt that would cripple most European states. This “evil” has been inflicted on Syria by the geopolitical directors of IS and the mercenary network – Washington and London. Former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, for example, testified last year that he was approached by British government figures in 2009 to join the Syrian project of regime change that began in March 2011. Conclusion: you can’t fight against evil when you are the source of that evil.

Third: the US-led anti-IS coalition is not coordinating with the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. This is in spite of the glaring reality that the Syrian armed forces are the most effective combat force against IS in the actual field. The Syrian army has proven itself over the past three years in holding off, and indeed rolling back, IS and a myriad other such terror groups. If Washington and London were serious about destroying this network then surely they would be enlisting the support of the Syrian government. The underlying reasons for why they are not, from the aforementioned points, should be obvious. But, taken on face value, the lack of consultation or consent from the Assad government means that the US-led bombing of that country has an ulterior purpose. Furthermore, it is illegal under international law and, to boot, the intervention does not have a UN Security Council mandate. The US notified Damascus of the air strikes in a high-handed way, warning Syria not to engage foreign warplanes operating over its skies. That’s an ultimatum and it has no legal substance. Russia and Iran appear to be among the few countries that have clearly spoken out against the illegality of American-led actions in Syria, and they are correct in their assessment. Conclusion: the anti-IS coalition is illegal and lacks integrity.

Fourth: Washington and London are also not enlisting the support of another logical ally Iran – the region’s power house. Grudgingly, the US and Britain are saying that “Iran may have a role” in the purported campaign against IS. But, again, if Washington and London were genuinely trying to wipe out the IS as a threat to world peace and security, then why aren’t they trying to liaise with Iran? Conclusion: Iran has correctly rebuffed the anti-IS coalition as disingenuous, in part because Washington and London are acting as pretend-firemen who are at the same time going out to not use water to put out a fire.

Fifth: American and British ally, NATO-member Turkey, is clearly not interested in taking effective action against IS. The Turk army is preventing Kurdish fighters crossing its border with Syria. These Kurdish forces want to help defend their compatriots in Syria who are being assailed by IS around the city of Kobani. But the Turk military is preventing this vital support reaching the Syrian side much to the consternation of the Kurds who are asking the obvious question: why not? Also, as Kurdish fighters point out, the Turk military is passively viewing IS brigades operating in Syria within firing range. Why aren’t senior NATO members, the US and Britain, telling Turkey to use its firepower to damage IS on the ground? Conclusion: the with-holding of a key tactical strike against IS, as witnessed by Turkish inaction, shows that the anti-IS coalition is derelict in its stated purpose.

Sixth: what about the genocide against Palestinians in Gaza? Where is Washington and London’s concern over that “evil”? It is by no means a digression to question the integrity of Obama and Cameron when it comes to the pressing issue of evil perpetrated against Palestinians by the Israeli regime. Some 2,100 people – mainly women and children – were slaughtered by the Israeli military over two blood-soaked months this summer. This was a campaign of relentless, indiscriminate murder on a besieged civilian population that involved decapitation of children not with crude knives but with a panoply of sophisticated American-supplied weaponry. Yet all the while, Washington and London sat on their hands and said nothing to stop the carnage. Conclusion: If Obama and Cameron have not the moral fiber to condemn and counter such a glaring case of “evil” as in Gaza, then there is no way that their protestations for world action against IS can be viewed as having a scintilla of sincerity.

Seventh: Obama has called for not only the destruction of IS extremism but also for the elimination of extremist ideology. Laughably, he made that declaration while sharing a dinner table this week with key Arab states lending the US-led anti-IS coalition such crucial “international image.” These states are Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. They are all unelected monarchial dictatorships that have ruthlessly suppressed their own people’s demands for democratic freedom. Saudi Arabia in particular has publicly decapitated hundreds of its citizens and expatriate workers in recent years under official penal policy. While Bahrain continues to lock up hundreds of political prisoners who have done nothing more than call for the Khalifa regime to be replaced with an elected government. These feudalistic regimes are key logistical components in American military power in the Middle East. That is why their warplanes are riding shotgun with American F-16s and F-22s in bombing Syrian territory – not because their participation is in any way borne out of international legitimacy or solidarity. But the really bitter irony is that these despotic Arab regimes – that Obama is “so proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with” – are the material and ideological sponsors of the IS and related extremists groups operating in Syria and Iraq. Washington and London may be the ultimatum authors of the proxy network of death, for their regime-change strategy, but it is the reactionary Arab monarchies who are the immediate conduits of weaponry to that network. And, crucially, it is the extremist Wahhabi fundamentalism of Saudi rulers and the other Persian Gulf dictatorships that fuels the IS ideology. Washington and London are careful to conceal it, but in these despotic regimes other religions, including Shia Islam and Christianity, are deemed “heretical” and punishable by death or imprisonment. When IS militants chop off the heads of “infidel” Muslims and Christians in Syria and Iraq, they are doing so in accordance with the extremist ideology of America’s and Britain’s closest Arab allies. Conclusion: The Arab component of the anti-ISIS coalition is the material and ideological wellspring for IS and related extremist groups; so while America’s despotic Arab friends may be bombing their surrogates on the ground – for now – such action does not bestow any integrity or lawfulness. Far from it. The Arab despots are now using warplanes instead of their head-chopping mercenaries on the ground.

Our final conclusion is this: Obama and Cameron are using simplistic moralizing rhetoric about “defeating evil” in order to: 1) conceal their own criminal legacy; 2) pressure the rest of the world into endorsing their presumed but ill-deserved authority; and 3) promote their criminal agenda of regime change under a moral cover.

However, no law-abiding or morally conscious state should have anything to do with the US and British-led anti-IS coalition. It is fraudulent in its stated aims, as the above points testify. The so-called coalition is nothing but a criminal mob run by arch-criminal states – the US and Britain.

The campaign against IS is a front for the criminal agenda of regime change in Syria and the region. This real, criminal agenda should be exposed and condemned at every opportunity. To consort with this mob is to corrupt international law and morality.

Moreover, the international case should be forthrightly made for the arrest and prosecution of the mob’s chief protagonists in Washington and London for their serial crimes against humanity and peace.

Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring. He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio.

Source: PressTV. URL:


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