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Archive for September 18th, 2010

A Night Raid By US “Non-Combat Troops” Murder 8 Iraqi Civilians

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September 18, 2010: Bill Van Auken / WSWS via – September 18, 2010

Two weeks after President Barack Obama proclaimed the end of the US “combat mission” in Iraq, a night raid by US troops in the city of Fallujah has claimed the lives of at least eight Iraqi civilians.

Wednesday’s raid provided one more indication that the US occupation of Iraq continues and American troops are still battling to suppress Iraqi resistance. While the US military has reduced its deployment in the country, the nearly 50,000 troops that remain are prepared for and are engaged in combat, the August 31 [2010] official deadline for an end to combat operations notwithstanding.

American military officials claim that the raid was aimed at killing or capturing a leading member of Al Qaeda of Mesopotamia, an insurgent group. Those killed, they say, were insurgents who fired on the joint US-Iraqi raiding party as it approached a house where the targeted individual was believed to be.

Both residents and local officials, however, strongly dispute this account. Fallujah’s police chief Brig. Gen. Faisal al Essawi told the AFP news agency that eight civilians were killed, including two women and two children. The casualties were confirmed by a local hospital. The New York Times cited Iraqi police and area residents reporting that “Four of the dead were brothers between the ages of 10 and 18.” Iraqi police said that four US Army helicopters provided support during the 1 a.m. operation.

Local residents reported a scene of “chaos and fear as American soldiers and Iraqi security officers moved through the area in the darkness,” the Times reported. “They accused the Iraqis of firing indiscriminately, often at people who represented no threat.”…”I was sleeping when I was awakened by gunfire and explosions,” a resident told the Times. “I went out to see what was happening and they shot at me. They missed, but I went back inside and stayed there.”

Fallujah, 43 miles west of Baghdad, is located in the predominantly Sunni Anbar Province, a center of resistance to the US occupation since the 2003 invasion. In November 2004, the US military subjected Fallujah to a brutal siege, in which thousands were killed and more than half of the city’s buildings reduced to rubble. The population of 600,000 was reduced by half due to the killings and the forced exodus of those who fled the assault. The siege involved some of the worst war crimes of the US occupation, including the summary execution of prisoners and the use of white phosphorus shells to burn insurgents and unarmed civilians alive.

This week’s murderous raid has reawakened the deep-seated rage of the local population over the suffering inflicted by the US occupation forces. “The security situation in Fallujah may deteriorate because of what happened today,” Abdulfattah Izghear, a city council member, told the Washington Post. “We asked US troops and the Iraqi government to explain this unjustified action and this naked aggression against civilians.”

On Thursday, the city’s Municipal Council declared three days of mourning for the victims of the raid. A statement issued by the council read, “The people of Fallujah denounce this terrorist operation … motivated by the deep hatred of this city and its people.” Offices, schools and shops were shut down in protest over the killings.

Condemnation of the raid also came from officials in Ramadi, the capital city of Iraq’s western Anbar Province. The governor of the province Qassem al-Fahdawi demanded that the regime in Baghdad conduct an investigation into the raid. Officials reported that President Nouri al-Maliki has agreed to set up a commission to investigate the killings. “All the casualties were civilians, including the owner of the house the troops targeted,” the governor said.

The US military faced protracted resistance in Anbar Province, which it was never able to subdue by force. Relative calm was restored only by the Pentagon paying former insurgents to form tribal militias known as the Awakening Councils or Sons of Iraq, which took charge of local security.

One thing that the formal end of the US “combat mission” has meant is that responsibility for these militias has been handed over to the Shia-dominated central government in Baghdad, which has failed to pay many of the militiamen. While disarming some of the militias, the government has reneged on pledges to provide their members with government jobs or integrate them into the security forces.

Al Qaeda has increasingly targeted the leadership of the “Awakening” groups, while seeking to recruit its members into the insurgency. “The Sahwa [Awakening Councils] are finished and we see the truth that the stability they supposedly brought was an illusion, it was never really there,” Harith al Dhari, the exiled chairman of Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni opposition group, told the Abu Dhabi-based daily, the National. “He insisted tribal leaders in the Sahwa Councils now viewed their decisions to join with the government and US as a mistake,” the paper reported. “They are like loyal slaves who get killed for that loyalty,” he said.

Unrest in the region has intensified in the context of the continuing failure of Iraq’s discredited sectarian political parties to form a new government, six months after parliamentary elections last March. The new 325-member parliament has met only once since the election, for a 20-minute session.

Iraq 2007: Collateral Murder – WikiLeaks

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: How do you feel about that “yellow ribbon” on American cars now?! – SJH

Link to original article below…

The Imperial Anatomy Of Al-Qaeda: 9/11 And The War On Terror

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September 18, 2010: Andrew Gavin Marshall / Global Research – September 10, 2010

This is Part III of the three-part series, The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda…

Anticipating An Attack

For several years prior to the events of 9/11, top American strategists had been acknowledging the necessity of what they oft-termed a “new Pearl Harbor”, a momentous attack upon America itself, in order to mobilize the American populace for a new global war of domination.

As Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard, “America’s primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space [of Central Asia] and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it.”[1] Brzezinski acknowledged in his book that, “the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being.”[2] He also wrote that, “The public supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”[3]

In 1999, Andrew Krepinevich, Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments testified before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He stated that the US faces an “unprecedented challenge”:

[T]he need to transform our armed forces into a very different kind of military from that which exists today, while sustaining the military’s ability to play a very active role in supporting U.S. near-term efforts to preserve global stability within a national security strategy of engagement and enlargement.[4]

After advocating a massive re-imagining of the role and nature of US military might, pushing the notion of a “revolution in military affairs” and an acceleration of imperial ambitions, he told the Senate Committee:

There appears to be general agreement concerning the need to transform the U.S. military into a significantly different kind of force from that which emerged victorious from the Cold and Gulf Wars. Yet this verbal support has not been translated into a defense program supporting transformation. [. . . ] While there is growing support in Congress for transformation, the “critical mass” [i.e., public support] needed to effect it has not yet been achieved. One may conclude that, in the absence of a strong external shock to the United States—a latter-day “Pearl Harbor” of sorts—surmounting the barriers to transformation will likely prove a long, arduous process.[5]

In 1999, Graham Fuller, former Deputy Director of the CIA’s National Council on Intelligence, advocated using Muslim forces to further US interests in Central Asia. He stated that, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against [the Russians]. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”[6]

In June of 2000, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Pentagon released Joint Vision 2020, outlining the American military strategy that the Department of Defense “will follow in the future.” The emphasis in the report was put on the notion of “Full Spectrum Dominance,” which means “the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations”:

Joint Vision 2020 addresses full-spectrum dominance across the range of conflicts from nuclear war to major theater wars to smaller-scale contingencies. It also addresses amorphous situations like peacekeeping and noncombat humanitarian relief.[7]

The neoconservative think tank the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) released a report in September of 2000 called Rebuilding America’s Defenses in which they advocated for a massive expansion of America’s empire and “full spectrum dominance” as well as the necessity to undertake a “Revolution in military affairs,” and undertake multiple simultaneous wars in different regions of the world. Several members of the think tank and authors of the report would go on to enter key policy positions within the Bush administration several months later (including, but not limited to Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Zalmay Khalilzad). While acknowledging the massive undertaking this “project” would be, the report stated:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”[8]

In January of 2001, the Rumsfeld Commission, which was set up to analyze the US National Security Space Management and Organization, chaired by incoming US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (who had also been a signatory to and member of the Project for the New American Century at the same time). It advocated an expansion of military capabilities in Space and a total reorganization of the armed forces and intelligence agencies of the United States. The report stated that:

History is replete with instances in which warning signs were ignored and change resisted until an external, “improbable” event forced resistant bureaucracies to take action. The question is whether the US will be wise enough to act responsibly and soon enough to reduce US space vulnerability. Or whether, as in the past, a disabling attack against the country and its people – a “Space Pearl Harbor” – will be the only event able to galvanize the nation and cause the US Government to act.[9]

As early as 1998, the President was warned in his CIA daily briefing that, “bin Laden and his allies are preparing for an attack in the US, including an aircraft hijacking.” NORAD, the “North American Aerospace Defense command also conducted an exercise to counter a terrorist attack involving smashing an airplane into a building.” In August 1999, “the Federal Aviation Administration’s intelligence branch warned of a possible “suicide hijacking operation” by Osama Bin Laden.”[10]

In October of 2000, the Pentagon undertook an emergency response exercise in which “there was a mock terrorist incident at the Pentagon Metro stop and a construction accident,” and it further envisioned a “downed passenger aircraft” in the Pentagon courtyard.[11]

For years, NORAD had been conducting military exercises and drills in which it envisioned planes being hijacked and flown into buildings in the United States.[12] One of the intended targets in the NORAD drills was the World Trade Center:

In another exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon — but that drill was not run after Defense officials said it was unrealistic.[13]

As the Guardian revealed in April of 2004: Five months before the September 11 attacks, US military planners suggested a war game to practise a response to a terrorist attack using a commercial airliner flown into the Pentagon, but senior officers rejected the scenario as “too unrealistic”.[14]

In May of 2001, an exercise involving U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Joint Forces Command took place in which the military establishment “forecasted” the first war of the 21st century so closely that, “Nostradamus couldn’t have nailed the first battle of the next war any closer than we did,” as articulated by a former top official with the exercise, Dave Ozolek. The exercise, Unified Vision 2001:

[G]rew out of the realization that the threat was changing. Ozolek said the scenario was a major regional threat emanating from the Middle East. The scenario called for global deployment into a landlocked country with hostile terrain and a lack of basing and agreements with neighboring countries for U.S. access. [. . . ] The threat we portrayed was an unstable and hostile state, but the primary enemy was not the state itself but a transnational actor based out of that area, globally connected, capable and willing to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. as part of that campaign.

[. . . ] “Many of the participants in Unified Vision, 100 days later, were war planners,” Ozolek said. They took their experiences in Unified Vision back to their commands and put them to use as the commands created plans for operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle, he said. They had an idea of the tactics, techniques and procedures needed to operate against such an enemy, he noted.

Ozolek said Unified Vision refutes the pundits who make a living out of critiquing the Department of Defense. “The first thing they like to talk about is that we always dwell on the last battle of the last war,” he said. “What we’re showing them is that this time we got it right: We really were looking at the first battle of the next war, and we nailed it pretty darned close.”[15]

After 9/11, in May of 2002, Condoleezza Rice stated that, “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that … they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.”[16] So Condi is a fool or a liar, because that statement is nothing if not entirely and utterly false. The national security apparatus had fully anticipated, and even war gamed and drilled this very scenario. It was expected, planned for, and no less with war plans waiting in the wings… [read more below]

The New American Century

Part 1: The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda. The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis”

Part 2: Empire, Energy and Al-Qaeda: The Anglo-American Terror Network

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Continue reading Part III of this excellent three part series below – SJH

Link to entire article below…