Continued American Occupation of the Middle East Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It 300

Even the neo-con warmongers’ house journal The Guardian, furious at Trump’s attempts to pull US troops out of Syria, in producing a map to illustrate its point, could only produce one single, uncertain, very short pen stroke to describe the minute strip of territory it claims ISIS still control on the Iraqi border.

Of course, the Guardian produces the argument that continued US military presence is necessary to ensure that ISIS does not spring back to life in Syria. The fallacy of that argument can be easily demonstrated. In Afghanistan, the USA has managed to drag out the long process of humiliating defeat in war even further than it did in Vietnam. It is plain as a pikestaff that the presence of US occupation troops is itself the best recruiting sergeant for resistance. In Sikunder Burnes I trace how the battle lines of tribal alliances there today are precisely the same ones the British faced in 1841. We just attach labels like Taliban to hide the fact that invaders face national resistance.

The secret to ending the strength of ISIS in Syria is not the continued presence of American troops. It is for America’s ever closer allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to cut off the major artery of money and arms, which we should never forget in origin and for a long time had a strong US component. The US/Saudi/Israeli alliance against Iran is the most important geo-political factor in the region today. It is high time this alliance stopped both funding ISIS and pretending to fight it; schizophrenia is not a foreign policy stance.

There has been no significant Shia Islamic terrorist or other threat against the West in recent years. 9/11 was carried out by Saudi Sunni militants. Al Qaida, ISIS, Al Nusra, Boko Haram, these are all Sunni groups, and all Saudi sponsored. It is a matter of lunacy that the West has adopted the posture that it is Iran – which has sponsored not one attack on the West in recent memory – which is the threat in the Middle East.

The origin of this stance appears to lie in the fact that the Shia group Hezbollah proved to have the only military force among Israel’s neighbours capable of halting an Israeli invasion. After the disastrous invasion of Iraq resulted in an Iran friendly regime in Baghdad, the US decided for balance of power reasons to back Saudi regional power plays, only for Saudi Arabia to fall into the hands of the psychopathic warmonger Mohammed Bin Salman who escalated an already flawed policy to breaking point.

The chaos of this incoherent and counterproductive strategy is, peculiarly enough, what the neocons actually want. Perpetual war and destabilisation in the Middle East is their goal. One of the findings I had not expected to discover in writing Sikunder Burnes was that the British had been deliberately exploiting and exacerbating the Shia/Sunni divide as early as 1836 to the Imperial purpose. Today, by keeping Arab populations poor and politically divided, the neo-cons believe that they enhance the security of Israel, and they certainly do facilitate the access of western companies to the oil and gas of the region, as we see in destabilised Iraq and Libya.

The Clintons and Blair were the apotheosis of the capture of the mainstream “left” political parties by this neo-con Imperialist agenda in the Middle East. Sanders, Trump and Corbyn were the first politicians with any chance of power for many decades who did not pay lip-service to the neo-con agenda. Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for Cold War politics has been neutralised from any possible action on his part by the ludicrous lie that Russia hacked his election. Furthermore his greed has led to deals with Saudi Arabia which have largely undercut his declared preference for non-interventionism. And now in Syria, the very hint that Trump may not be fully committed to the pursuit of perpetual war has the entire neo-con establishment, political media and NGO, screaming in unison, both sides of the Atlantic.

I have written before that Trump may be a rotten President for Americans, but at least he has not initiated a major war; and I am quite sure Hillary would have done by now. For a non-American, the choice between Hillary and Trump ended up in balancing on one side of the scale the evil of millions more killed and maimed in the Middle East and the launching of a full on, unreserved new Cold War, against on the other side of the scale poorer Americans having very bad healthcare and social provision and America adopting racist immigration policies. I do hope that the neo-con barrage today arguing for more American troops in the Middle East, will help people remember just how very unattractive also is the Hillary side of the equation.

It is also very helpful in revealing the startling unanimity of our bought and paid for political, media and NGO class here in the UK.

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300 thoughts on “Continued American Occupation of the Middle East Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It

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  • Piers Talbot

    Bernie Sanders is a sell out, a fraud a phoney a liar and just as much of a shill for the moneyed elite as Hillary and Trump.

  • michael norton

    Banker Jailed

    Judge Christine Laing said Ms Abbotts would have experienced “unimaginable terror” during the attack, which was of “extraordinary ferocity”.

    Zahid Naseem was convicted of murder after a trial at Lewes Crown Court and jailed for life with a minimum of 19 years.

    Jurors heard Ms Abbotts had suffered more than 13 wounds to her head and 20 other injuries.
    most bankers are scum but this one is even worse that Gideon.

  • Tatyana

    Sacked Der Spiegel reporter Claas Relotius returns awards.
    Claas Relotius wrote fake stories ‘on a grand scale’

    He won European Journalism prize in 2017, his story about two Syrian orphanes who fled from bombed Aleppo to Turkey, desperate to ever get to Europe.
    His last prize was annual prize of German Journalism, story about Syrian boy, refugee.

  • Adrian Evitts

    A dark but nevertheless very compelling analysis of what is really going on in the Middle East. I’d always accepted Chomsky’s observation on the choice in the last presidential election, namely “Hold your nose and vote for Clinton” – and yet as a Brit, I am inclined to agree with Craig that Trump foreign policy has been more benign than Clinton’s would have been. It is just a shame that Trump is such a pathological liar and a slimeball.

  • JohninMK

    Over the past few weeks Erdogan has moved a lot of gear to launching points along his border plus moving his proxy forces in Afrin (NW Syria) into position to strike east..

    He stated that their purpose was to attack the SDF Kurds who he believed are in cahoots with the Turkish PKK ‘terrorists’. There is no reason to doubt that that plan was going to be activated.

    Without realizing it Trump could well have saved many US lives and/or egg on face.

    The reason is that US forces are at the sharp end and embedded with SDF units and logistics chains. In the event of a Turkish strike the US forces either had to be pulled out, quickly, of they would have had to be protected, mainly by airstrikes on the attacking Turks which would have led to the first war between NATO countries.

    So, either a clear example of the US running and abandoning its allies in the event of real danger or a war against another of its allies. That would really have gone down well in DoD or Pentagon.

    Instead we have Trump probably unknowingly pulling a diplomatic masterstoke, getting out of the trap that Obama’s move into Syria was inevitably going to be sprung with minimal collateral damage. None, or very few US deaths and sighs of relief from countries around the world. Plus a Christmas present to all those with sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, you get the point, who will now be safer.

    Now, if he can pull the same trick in Afghanistan he will go down in history quite different from how some would like.

    • michael norton

      I am sure Trump knew all this, well in advance.
      Trump plays the country Bumpkin but is as keen as a hunting knife.
      The war in Syria has been almost been won by Russia/Syria,
      why continue with more grief, China is now firmly in The Donald’s sights
      as the new target.

      • Dungroanin

        I’ve never seem a photo op with Trump handling firearms or dressing up as a soldier – just a awkward geeky salute.

        • michael norton

          The Donald does not have much beef with Russia, nobody really thinks he gives a shit for Syria or Georgia or Ukraine, it’s all show for the folks back home /MIC money people, the real show-down will be between China and America.

    • Dungroanin

      The MoA has a detailed piece, with eyewitness report from the room where Erdogan and the neocons had the Changer do his trick on them.

      It is funny – yet another neo-aristo walks the plank i hear. Not long before Bolton get his tache burnt.

      • Dave

        Trump wants to pull US troops out of Syria. Syrian government wants US troops out of Syria. Hence the need for a short notice announcement to leave, before Syrian government launches another chemical attack forcing US to stay!!!

  • mary dejevsky

    “It is also very helpful in revealing the startling unanimity of our bought and paid for political, media and NGO class here in the UK.”
    well, maybe. but my independent column and associated tweets supported trump’s withdrawal announcement, and asked why UK, EU, and practically everyone were so opposed to a move that could lead to less bloodshed and eventual peace in Syria.. (then again, i’m not part of the ‘bought and paid for’ … class.)

    • Dennis Revell


      Yes, very well done.

      It seems the Independent has kinda sorta become the Guardian of old as I remember it; or may be that’s just how I imagine I remember it.

      I’ve noticed that its articles more generally are of a saner and more rational tone than the Guardian’s, and for quite some time.


  • Joe Mellon

    I imagine the Kurds are in urgent contact with the Syrian government for support against the coming Turkish attack.
    If one wants the utter defeat of Sunni jihadis no parties have been keener or more effective than Syria/Russia.
    Turkey, Saudi and the US have been or are active supporters of Sunni jihadis.

  • Dennis Revell


    The heading caught my attention:

    “Continued American Occupation of the Middle East Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It”

    – Others here may have made this point, but :

    Continued American Occupation of the Middle East IS Terrorism.

    – and this ‘Western,‘ Terrorism is of a far worse and almost infinitely destructive nature than the ‘Eastern‘ Terrorism which it very largely provokes.

    Moreover unlike the planners and instigators of the relatively minuscule levels of Eastern Terrorism – who are always in great danger – even their non-combatants, such as Al-Awaki (sp?) and his son, the planners and instigators of Western Terrorism tragically remain untouchable rather, as with the case with serial War-Criminal Tony Blair, of having been long ago and thoroughly deservedly hung by the neck until in a FAR more satisfactory condition, Nuremberg Style; or failing such de jure justice – and as these heinous examples of the human race pretty much OWN the courts (including the ICJ – previous examples the ICTY and the ICTR) – the de facto justice of being unceremoniously dragged out of their various parliament/government buildings and deservedly strung up from the nearest lamp-posts.


    • Rowan Berkeley

      I have discovered that the blockage seems to be specific to Safari. It’s OK in Firefox. My bad.

      • michael norton

        It would seem The Donald has duped Erdogan into thinking Syria would be his, as America gets out.
        Looks like the future will be Syrian, in Syria.
        Erdogan must be rather cross?

        • Dennis Revell


          I hope so. The whole damned murderous atrocity should never have happened; the deep-state and Clintonian Gorgon serial War-Mongers thinking they were being “clever” in subverting and perverting the so-called “Arab Springs”.

          – Of course the Arab Springs never got off the ground in the places they were most needed: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait – were they were “dispensed” with with a crushing brutality – about which there was barely a peep from the Western mainstream media. Even where an ‘Arab Spring’ appeared to get off the ground, in Egypt, the West eventually managed to engineer the return of its preferred anti-democratic authoritarian pro-Israeli militaristic Mubarakites .


          • michael norton

            There is now in-fighting in Idleb Province, the enclave adjacent to Turkish held Hatay Province.
            Hatay Province was stolen by Turkey from Syria, less than 40% of the population of Hatay are Turks.
            Turkey hopes to also take Idleb Province.

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