The Paris and Brussels attacks are blowback from what Islamic State terrorists see as betrayal by Western benefactors who thought using jihadists could bring “regime change” in Syria, says Pakistani analyst Nauman Sadiq.
By Nauman Sadiq
France under President Nicolas Sarkozy played a lead role in fomenting the insurgency against the Gaddafi regime in Libya in 2011, and Sarkozy’s successor, Francois Hollande, has been on the forefront of supporting the Sunni militants in Syria against the Alawite-Shi’a regime of Bashar al-Assad.
This arrangement of an informal pact between the Western powers and the Sunni jihadists of the Middle East against the Shi’a-Iranian axis worked well – at least for the Western powers and the Sunni jihadists – up to August 2014, when Obama Administration made an about-face on its previous “regime change” policy in Syria and started conducting air strikes against one group of Sunni jihadists battling against the Assad regime, the Islamic State.
The Islamic State had transgressed the prescribed mission of “regime change” in Syria and overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq. The Islamic State also threatened the capital of another steadfast American ally: Masoud Barzani’s Erbil in the oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan — and began decapitating Western hostages.
(However, other Sunni jihadist forces, such as Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its close ally, Ahrar al-Sham, continued to focus on ousting Assad and thus continued receiving Western weapons, including U.S.-made TOW missiles that were crucial for last year’s successful offensive by the Saudi-backed Army of Conquest in Syria’s Idlib Province.)
After the West’s 2014 shift in the Syrian strategy (bombing Islamic State forces both in Iraq and Syria) and the Russian military intervention in 2015 on the side of Syria’s Alawite-Shi’a regime, the momentum of Sunni jihadists’ expansion in Syria stalled. Many now feel that their Western “allies” betrayed the Sunni jihadist cause, engendering bitterness and a desire for revenge.
If we look at the chain of events, the timing of Paris and Brussels attacks is critical: Islamic State overran Mosul in June 2014; the Obama administration started bombing Islamic State’s targets in Iraq and Syria in August 2014; and the first Islamic State incident of terrorism on Western soil took place at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, followed by the November 2015 Paris attacks and the March 2016 Brussels bombings.
Moreover, the declassified Defense Intelligence Agency’s report of 2012 that presaged the imminent rise of a Salafist principality in northeastern Syria was not just overlooked, it was deliberately suppressed, not only the report but the view in general that a civil war in Syria would give birth to radical Islamists. That warning was forcefully stifled in the Western policy-making circles under pressure from the Zionist lobbies, which wanted “regime change” in Syria.
So, the Western powers were fully aware of the consequences of their actions in Syria but kept pursuing the policy of financing, training, arming and internationally legitimizing the so-called “Syrian opposition” to weaken the Syrian regime and to neutralize the threat that its Lebanon-based proxy, Hezbollah, posed to Israel’s regional security, a fact that has alarmed the Israeli defense community since the 2006 Lebanon war during which Hezbollah fired hundreds of rockets into northern Israel.
Those rockets were unguided but it was a wakeup call for the Israeli military strategists about what could happen if Iran passed guided-missile technology to Hezbollah whose area of operations lies very close to the northern borders of Israel. The Western interest in the Syrian civil war is primarily about ensuring Israel’s regional security (by creating a break in the so-called “Shiite crescent” running from Tehran through Baghdad and Damascus to Beirut).
In the wake of the Ghouta chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, the stage was all set for yet another “humanitarian intervention” like the one against Gaddafi’s Libya in 2011; the war hounds were waiting for the finishing strike against Assad. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan shuttled between the Western capitals to lobby for military intervention. Francois Hollande had already announced his approval and David Cameron was also onboard.
Here it should be remembered that even during the Libyan intervention President Obama’s policy was a bit ambivalent and France under the leadership of Sarkozy had taken the lead role. In the Syrian case, however, the British parliament forced Cameron to seek a vote for military intervention in the House of Commons before committing British troops and Air Force to Syria.
Taking this cue from the British parliament, the U.S. Congress also pressed Obama to seek approval before another military intervention; and since both those administrations lacked the requisite majority in their respective legislatures and because public opinion was also against another Middle Eastern war, Obama and Cameron dropped their plans of bombing Assad’s military and imposing a no-fly zone over Syria. (Obama also was confronted with U.S. intelligence analysts doubting that Assad’s forces were responsible for the sarin attack.)
In the end, France was left alone as the only Western power still in favor of intervention; at this point, however, the seasoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov staged a diplomatic coup by announcing that the Syrian regime was willing to ship its chemical weapons’ stockpiles out of Syria and subsequently the issue was amicably resolved.
Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf Arab states – the main beneficiaries (and benefactors) of the Sunni jihad in Syria, however, had lost a golden opportunity for dealing a fatal blow to the Shi’a alliance comprising Iran, Syria and their Lebanon-based proxy, Hezbollah.
Then, the Islamic State, one of the numerous Sunni jihadist outfits fighting in Syria, exceeded its mandate in Syria and overran Mosul in northern Iraq in June 2014 and threatened the capital of America’s most steadfast ally in the oil-rich region – Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani’s Erbil. (The Islamic State also engaged in high-profile decapitations of U.S. and Western hostages.)
The U.S. had no choice but to adopt some countermeasures to show to the world that it was still sincere in pursuing its schizophrenic and hypocritical “war on terror” policy; at the same time, it assured its Turkish, Jordanian and Gulf Arab allies that despite fighting a symbolic war against the maverick jihadist outfit, the Islamic State, the Western policy of training and arming the so-called “moderate Syrian rebels” would continue apace and that Bashar al-Assad’s days were numbered, one way or the other.
Moreover, declaring war against the Islamic State in August 2014 served another purpose – in order to commit the U.S. Air Force to Syria and Iraq, Obama Administration needed the approval (or at least the acquiescence) of Congress, but by declaring war against the Islamic State as a designated terrorist organization, the Obama Administration could avail itself of the “war on terror” provisions that had existed since the 9/11 attacks.
(So, while the U.S. and its allies launched aerial assaults against the Islamic State, TOW missiles and other weapons systems were still being delivered to the Saudi-organized Army of Conquest for its 2015 offensive against the Syrian army in Idlib Province, which also helped enable the Islamic State to seize Palmyra and surrounding Syrian territory.)
But then Russia threw a wrench into this scheme of NATO and its Gulf Arab allies. In September 2015, Russia pulled off a military buildup in its Syrian base at Latakia that had an element of surprise unheard of since Rommel, the Desert Fox. (The Russians then launched an air offensive against Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and other rebel forces, including the Islamic State, enabling Assad’s Syrian army to regain the offensive.)
Turkey, Jordan, the Gulf Arab states and their Sunni jihadist proxies in Syria found themselves on the receiving end in the Syrian civil war. Turkey’s shooting down of the Russian jet in November 2015 seemed like a desperate attempt by a NATO member to provoke Russia into a military encounter against Turkey and thus invoke NATO’s treaty obligation of “collective defense” in the face of “aggression” against any of NATO’s member states.
Structure of Islamic State:
The only difference between the Afghan jihad back of the 1980s, which spawned an Islamic jihadist movement with the Taliban and Al Qaeda for the first time in history, and the Libyan and Syrian jihads since 2011 is that the Afghan jihad was more overt – with the Western political establishments and their mouthpieces in the mainstream media openly bragging about how the CIA was providing all those AK-47s, RPGs and Stingers to the Pakistani ISI which then forwarded them to the Afghan mujahedeen to combat Soviet troops trying to bolster the pro-Moscow secular regime in Kabul.
After the 9/11 attacks, however, the Western political establishments and corporate media have become a lot more circumspect. Therefore, this time around they instigated covert jihads against the Gaddafi regime in Libya and the Assad regime in Syria, selling the Islamic jihadists to the Western audience as “moderate rebels” with secular and nationalist ambitions.
Since the “regime change” objective in those hapless countries went against the established mainstream narrative of “the war on terror” – after all, Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad ran largely secular regimes and claimed to be fighting Islamic jihadist terrorists – the Western political establishments and the mainstream media had to muddle the reality by offering color-coded schemes to identify gradations of militant and terrorist outfits that have operated in those countries – like the “red” militants of Islamic State which the Western powers want to eliminate; the “yellow” militants of the Army of Conquest, which includes Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, with whom NATO can collaborate under certain circumstances; and the “green” militants of Free Syria Army (FSA) and a few other inconsequential outfits which together comprise the so-called “moderate Syrian opposition.”
It’s an incontrovertible fact that more than 90 percent of the militants who are operating in Syria are either the Islamic jihadists or armed tribesmen, and less than 10 percent are those who have defected from the Syrian army or otherwise have secular and nationalist goals.
As far as the infinitesimally small secular and liberal elite of the developing countries is concerned, such privileged classes can’t even cook breakfasts for themselves if their servants are on a holiday and the corporate media has us believing that the majority of the Syrian militants are “moderate rebels” who constitute the vanguard of the Syrian opposition.
Notwithstanding, it is a fact that morale and ideology play an important role in the battle; moreover, we also know that the Takfiri brand of most jihadists these days has been directly inspired by the Wahhabi-Salafi ideology of Saudi Arabia, but ideology alone is never sufficient to succeed in the battle.
Looking at the Islamic State’s spectacular gains in Syria and Iraq in the last couple of years, one wonders where its recruits get all the training and sophisticated weapons that are imperative not only for hit-and-run guerrilla warfare but also for capturing and holding vast swathes of territory? Even the Afghan National Army, which has been trained and armed by NATO’s military instructors, is finding itself in trouble these days trying to hold territory in Afghanistan in the face of the unrelenting Taliban insurgency.
Apart from the CIA’s training and arms that are provided to the Islamic jihadists in the training camps located on the Turkish and Jordanian border regions adjacent to Syria in collaboration with the Turkish, Jordanian and Saudi intelligence agencies, another factor that has contributed to the spectacular success of the Islamic State is that its top cadres are comprised of the former Baathist military and intelligence officers of the Saddam regime.
According to a highly informative August 2015 Associated Press report, hundreds of ex-Baathists constitute the top-tier command structure of the Islamic State, planning all the operations and directing its military strategy.
Moreover, the U.S. State Department appears to be quite “worried” these days about where Islamic State jihadists get all the sophisticated weapons and especially those fancy, white Toyota pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns, colloquially known as “The Technicals” among the jihadists?
I think that I have found the answer to this riddle in an unprecedented December 2013 report: “Syrian rebels get arms and advice through secret command center in Amman,” from a website affiliated with the UAE government which is highly biased in favor of the Syrian opposition: it clearly mentions that along with AK-47s, RPGs and other military gear the Saudi government provides machine gun-mounted Toyota pick-up trucks to every batch of five jihadists who have completed their training in the border regions of Jordan or Saudi Arabia.
Once those jihadists cross over to Daraa and Quneitra in Syria from the Jordan-Syria border then those Toyota pick-up trucks can easily travel all the way to Raqaa and Deir ez-Zor and thence to Mosul and Anbar in Iraq.
While we are on the subject of Islamic State’s weaponry, it is generally claimed in the mainstream media that the Islamic State came into possession of those sophisticated weapons when it overran Mosul in June 2014 and seized huge caches of weapons that were provided to the Iraqi armed forces by the Americans during the occupation years.
On empirical grounds, however, is it not a bit paradoxical that Islamic State conquered large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq before it overran Mosul, when supposedly it did not have those sophisticated weapons, and since allegedly coming into possession of those weapons it has been losing ground?
The only conclusion that can be drawn from this fact is that the Islamic State had those cutting-edge weapons, or equally lethal weapons, before it overran Mosul and that those weapons were provided to all the Sunni jihadist groups in Syria, including the Islamic State, by the intelligence agencies of the Western powers, Turkey and the Gulf Arab states.
In order to create a semblance of objectivity and fairness, the American policy-makers and analysts are always willing to accept the blame for the mistakes of the distant past that have no bearing on the present and the future. However, any fact that impinges on their present policy is conveniently brushed aside.
In the case of the formation of the Islamic State, for instance, U.S. policy analysts are willing to concede that invading Iraq back in 2003 was a mistake that radicalized the Iraqi society, exacerbated the sectarian divisions and gave birth to a Sunni insurgency against the heavy-handed and discriminatory policies of the Shi’a-dominated Iraqi government; similarly, the “war on terror”-era political commentators “generously” accept that the Cold War-era policy of nurturing Al Qaeda, the Taliban and myriads of other Afghan “freedom fighters” against the Soviets may have been a bit of a mistake. But these admissions have little or no bearing on the present policy.
The corporate media’s spin doctors conveniently forget that the formation of Islamic State and the new generation of Sunni Arab jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq have as much to do with the unilateral invasion of Iraq back in 2003 under the previous Bush administration’s policies as they have to do with the Obama administration’s Syrian policy of funding, arming, training and internationally legitimizing the Sunni militants against the Syrian regime since 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
If the Obama administration stops providing money, arms and training to the so-called “moderate rebels” and declares them terrorists (Islamic jihadists) – and makes sure its Mideast “allies” do the same – the insurgency in Syria would likely fizzle out within months, at least, in the densely-populated urban Syria from Damascus and Homs to Hamah, Idlib and Aleppo and the coastal Latakia. Northern Syria will likely remain under the control of the Kurds (who are seeking an autonomous zone in a federated Syria).
But central and eastern Syria from Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor which is dominated by the Islamic State, is a different ball game. It will take years to subdue the insurgency in those rural-tribal areas of Syria, if at all.
Beyond funding, training and arming these insurgencies, there is the international legitimacy that the West can bestow on these rebel or jihadist movements, as was done for the Afghan “freedom fighters” during the Cold War and for the “moderate and democratic” Libyan and Syrian insurgencies of today.
It is simply beyond the power of minor regional players and their nascent media, with their geographically and linguistically limited audience, to cast such brutal insurrections in a positive light, to give them international legitimacy. Only the Western mainstream media with its global audience – serving as the mouthpiece of the Western political establishments – has perfected this absurdist game of selling satans as saviors.
Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitics’ analyst who has a particular interest in the politics of Af-Pak and MENA regions, neo-colonialism and petro-imperialism.
truly,i share and cherrish ur views!
This article stresses Israel’s role in instigating the Syrian civil war. However I was under the impression that the moving force was actually Qatar, which wanted to thwart Iran’s planned gas pipeline to the Mediterranean and build its own gas pipeline to Turkey instead, through Syrian territory. Supposedly the motive for Qatar’s approaches to Hamas in 2011 or so was to inveigle Hamas into providing troops for a war against Assad, but Hamas prudently declined, whereupon Qatar dropped Hamas like a hot potato.
What evidence is there that Israel was the main unstigator?
In a scenario where two countries present their wish list to international bullies, who do you think has highest chances to succeed – Isreal or Qatar?
To call the Paris and Brussels attacks “blowback” seems to imply that people from the Middle East went to Paris and Brussels to avenge imperialist crimes committed against their nearest and dearest. But all the terrorists in Paris and Brussels were natives to those cities. Their only link to the Middle East was religious and/or ideological. Specifically, the terrorists were people of Moslem background who chose to ally themselves with enemies of their native countries principally because those enemies were Moslems.
Consequently, these instances of “blowback” would never have occurred if there were not a Moslem fifth column in Europe willing to do the bidding of foreign terrorists.
The attacks on Paris and Brussels could only occur because those cities have large Moslem populations.
Therefore it seems reasonable to conclude that the principal cause of terrorism in Europe is not blowback but Islam.
After you’ve slipped that sentence into the mix, it’s all downhill to your pre-ordained conclusion.
Revenge can be inspired by other stuff besides the “personal” sort.
“Revenge can be inspired by other stuff besides the “personal” sort.”
You’re quite right. When revenge is not of the personal sort, it’s generally of the ideological sort.
There are many cases of Moslem violence that can only be explained by ideological motives.
In the 1990s the US saved Bosnian Moslems from brutal Bosnian Serb aggression.
In this scenario the blowback hypothesis would predict that Bosnian Serbs are more likely to threaten the US than Bosnian Moslems.
Since then several Bosnians have been convicted for terrorism in the US. None of them were Bosnian Serbs. All of them were Bosnian Moslems.
Consequently in this case the blowback hypothesis fails to explain Islamic terrorism. On the contrary, this is a clear case of terrorism generated by purely ideological motives.
Britain and France should have known better than to poke their noses back in the Middle East and North Africa. They both have a boody and sordid history especially in Syria and Algeria. In Algeria, the French murdered around 1.7 million people during the brutual war of resistance and French colonization was taking place on an even larger scale than the Jewish colonization of Palestine.
In Greater Syria (which included Lebanon), France hanged thousands of ordinary civilians who refused to be dictated to and displaced by foreigners; but often it massacred people for no other reason than to demonstrate its power. It divided Maronite Christian against Druze, Sunni against Druze, and so on just to maintain its rule. Somehow all those communities, who have never fought wars of religion against each other, managed to live together again…Until a civil war broke out in 1976, thanks to foreign meddling revolving around the security of–guess what–Israel. Israel invaded in 1982 to destroy the Palestinian movement.
Before that, France and Britain had succeeded in dividing the Middle East into little zones rubber-stamped by the League of Nations. Back then, they owned the League in everything but name. The United States had not yet become the superpower it is today on the international scene. But the British and French had also been preparing the ground for the transference of European Jews to Palestine as a new foreign race colony. That land, as you know, had already been inhabited and owned by another people.
They stumbled on the perfect excuse for the later recognition of Israel’s unilateral gesture of independence: the murder of Jews in Europe by the Nazis, whose racist model was lifted directly from Zionist ideology, their direct ancestor. The official documentation that has survived the war, mostly German records and Israeli court transcript, shows the depth and breadth of Zionist-Nazi collaboration before and during WWII, often against the occupying British forces in Palestine themselves. They collaborated in the expulsion–and in numerous cases the murder–of Jews.
At any rate, the result–as you and so many other analyists and specialists in the last few years have observed–is today’s chaos. Most of it is indeed blowback. But this term is too Hollywoodian to fit the historical dimensions of this calamitous situation, which appears to be shaping up into more than just blowback, because the EU house has been lit from the inside. Turkey, which sits at its doorstep and has been expected to play janitor for Europe as usual, is deeply entangled with international terrorists inside Syria and Iraq.
Azerbaijan, which is on the European subcontinent, has been at war with Armenia for many years, and now Turkey has relit the fit the conflict thanks to Erdogan’s addle-brained rivalry with Russia. Erdogan fantacizes about destablizing Russia’s frontiers and Russia itself. But the record of megalomaniacs is clear: they lie six-feet underground. I am counting the minutes before his demise at the hands of either the Turkish military or some other political element strong enough to stem the political and social collapse of Turkey. This time the military, if it intervenes (and there is constant talk of that), will play for keeps like everyone else. No house arrest. The fate of Erdogan and his strange sidekick Davutoglu, are sealed.
Whatever happens to Turkey at the doorstep, things will never be the same inside the European Union itself. Not because of a “Muslim population” you intolerantly designate as a fifth column, but because western Europe is brain dead.
Islam gave western Europe civilization and the foundations of the sciences we have today when western Europe was still a sparsely populated, barbarian hell hole of endless bloodletting. And what did England and France do with this civilization and science? How did they thank the Muslims and eastern Christians who had built Islamic civilization in the first place? It refashioned its knowledge into weapons and began to assault and demolish the large mosaic that was the Islamic world, where the world’s major religions had lived for centuries under the aegis of a tolerant Islamic civilization. We now know what the fate of eastern Christianity will be at the hands of the Wahhabi terrorists sponsored by the West. No one really cares for them in the West, because religion itself is dead, and it deadest in the eyes of those Zionist fundamentalist Christians who have played havoc with American politics.
Given its historical and strategic significance, Syria may well prove the unmaking of western Europe. Destroying it is like removing the cog in the machine.
Excellent article. There has never been much doubt about where the trail of terrorism ultimately leads. It is the US that started organizing the training (on Jordanian soil) of the bulk of the “rebel” terrorist units, many of which were composed of Baathist remnants from Saddam Hussein’s barbaric regime. (Déjà vu, when we recall how the US used Nazi agents and scientists after WWII.)
Several intelligence agencies (including EU member states and Israel) have been involved in these illegal activities. Although the Iraqi elements were already quite skilled in military technology, logistics and, of course, chemical warfare (practiced against Iranian soldiers), their new training had a specific objective best expressed by the Neocons themselves (including Hillary Clinton): overthrowing the Syrian government that stood in the way of Israel hegemony over the entire region.
But the Syrian elements in this terrorist network appear to have come under Western aegis to some degree or other as far back as 2003. In fact, it all began with the Muslim Brotherhood uprising of 1982, which was designed to soften Syria up before Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. That armed uprising predated the invasion by only a few months, and practically preempted any response from Syrian forces stationed inside Lebanon.
But it is all about Iran, which in 1979 booted out the US’s nightmare Shah regime of torture and cultural annihilation. Since then, everyone has been busy plotting against that country: the US because it lost its third leg (after Israel and Saudi Arabia); Wahhabi Saudi Arabi because it meant to bring a fictious “Arab” world under its heel before its own house of cards collapsed, even though “Arabs” live mostly on the Arabian Peninsula and the rest ony speak the language.
And third is Israeli hegemony. Israeli designs on the region are the core reason why Israel decided to go for the jugular with Iran in the first place…and lost miserably. Iran has an educated population, a real (iffragile) economy, and a long history older than that of every other nation in the region. Israel has been lobbying incessantly for years for action against Syria just to get at Iran, with handsome Saudi contributions.
The campaign to destroy Syria began in earnest In 2006. The US answer to the Syrian government’s overtures about revisiting the peace negotiations with Israel, over the occupied Golan, was a deafening, hostile silence. Bush had decided to give the green light to Israel to attack Lebanon that year. Both he and Saudi Arabia entrusted Israel with the mission to destroy Hezbollah.
Failing that Israel tried to cripple Lebanon. And that too failed. But now Israel is left standing in front of a dam that is about to break if it continues to poke at it with two other sponsors of international terrorism: a rabid Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and the flailing Islamist government of Turkey.
This conflict’s expansion beyond Syria was also predictable from the very beginning, given Syria’s geopolitical and cultural significance. It became clear with Turkey’s downing of the Russian plane, whether with Western connivance or not. I saw then that something would be afoot with Russia if Western support for international terrorists did not end immediately. But Putin changed the game again by sending his air force to Syria. The conflict is now passing through Azerbaijan, which is an intelligence hub for both US and Israeli intelligence spying on Iran and Russia.
Let’s see what NATO will deal with conflict that has just erupted there thanks to Turkish prodding. Given the West’s belligerent tone with Russia, I have a feeling everyone is going to lose, especially the West…again!
The conflict in Syria keeps morphing, and in a very predictable way. I truly fear for the future if the Western states (US, Britain and France) refuse to alter the self-destructive course on which they, brain-dead, have set themselves.
They are all standing before a dam. What strange irony that the US should suddenly take interest in the precarious situation of a dam in Iraq. When the water breaks through, it’s all over. There is precious little that anyone will be able to do about it. Israel, which is currently contemplating another devastating assault on Lebanon, is the first in line.
The Middle East will be looking very different in a few short years, because the present phase may well be the end-game for several regimes. These are the rotten pillars of a Western domination coming to an end.
Not exactly the outcome that the Neocons have been counting, but history is always merciless with the foolish and the immoral…in this world, not in the next.
Excellent article! Well written and succinct, it was informative and enlightening. Mr Sadiq’s breath and depth of knowledge helps make these chasms of International politics come alive on the geo-polical chess board. I am looking forward to more visits from our esteem author. Thank you my good Sir for this gem of an article!
Brilliant post indeed!
Good point that the Paris & Brussels attacks are the blowback that I and others predicted from US support of terrorizing groups like AlQaeda in Syria, as 9/11 was blowback from US attacks on the USSR in Afghanistan.
And it is good to point out that these were the policies of US right wing politicians, attacking anyone denounced by Israel to get Israeli bribes, and any socialist government, ignoring all evidence that this would lead to disasters, and controlling US opinion by lies in the mass media.
I don’t like to do I-told-you-so, so I’ll try this route instead. US society has become so ridiculously illegitimate.
You can be tortured for no reason and nobody gives a damn.
You can be a rightful authority and people will invent ways to make sure you’ve been undermined.
Malicious deceptiveness is valued more highly than being right in the interests of humanity.
Merit is a penalty rather than a boon – by earning something, you’ll no longer get credit because now you’re “different” than everyone else, yet you’ll open yourself up to jealousy-based reprisal.
You can be a national hero and you’ll sooner be sent on a wild goose chase than recognized for it.
You can be against a policy that’s obviously totally wrong for the country in some significant way, and speak out against it for months or years, but you’ll be next to invisible.
But hey, there are extended stretches when you’re not completely miserable, and you get to pretend that the government isn’t able to take everything away on a whim, so that makes it legitimate, right? And hey, there’s always lots of people standing up for the country, because that’s what makes a democracy legitimate, ya know? And sure, the country will honor its deals, but for as long as they’re consistent with some totally non-democratic political narrative.
While I was growing up, I’d have never guessed that one day I’d be saying something like this in the presence of CIA agents and be totally in the right. Can I get some kind of award for novelty? :)
Meanwhile, the Panama Papers have been sprung upon the World (go read about it at Common Dreams). Those folks of great wealth, and therefore, great influence and power, have been very busy with their secretive meetings at Davos, Mt Pelerin, Bilderberg confabs, Tavistock, Trilateralist confabs, CFR meet-n-greets, etc… They’ve been at it continuously since The RoundTable Group (Cecil Rhodes, Milner, et al) and the Synarchist Movement for Empire (SME) from the mid-late 19th century. They’ve been busy formulating “Modernization Upgrades” for the hoary old concept of Empire (Fascist/NAZI movements are the resulting fruit of their labors…now, since “Plan A”/WWII failed, HOW to take it into covert, stealth mode?…via Deep State machinations). This is Class Warfare pitting powerful Imperialists against sovereign citizens pursuing republican Democracy and equitable economic practices. The objective of these chaotic wars in the Middle East are probably meant to erect de facto “National Security/Emergency” dictatorships in the former Imperial nations AND within their Realms of influence (such as former colony USA, via Wall Street/Deep State machinations…this has been operating since the time of Lincoln, who was killed for his Greenback policy, which was a threat to City-of-London influence via Wall Street). An so the World goes…
P.S. Even though the Panama Papers appear to be a limited hangout operation (tarring some reputations, not mentioning other likely perps), the implications are that this is the way the “Establishment” works, Its’ M.O….business-as-usual.
Sad isn’t it? The big bully wants to exercise hegemony without the worry of having its own people in harm’s way. So encourage whatever regime that harbours a beef against those regimes that will not toe the bully’s line, to do their fighting for them, and then attempt to put them back in their place when their usefulness has become an irritant. If the bully needs some actual involvement, cowardly deploy drones and other air power, such that they have no physical “skin in it”. Deploy massive amounts of propaganda, lies and misrepresentations to fool your own citizens, and those of countries that seek safety under the bully’s umbrella, into believing that right is on their side, and that the other side is inspired by the devil itself, until useful to the bully at some future date.
All the time those European regimes, that once enjoyed relevance via their Empires, like to pretend that they have a continuing right to determine the status and policies of those peoples it, at one time, believed they owned. Unable to do so directly, they retain the dream of relevance, by hitching themselves to the coat-tails of the Big Bully. Makes them feel important!
Sort of behaviour common in a lot of school playgrounds. However each bully lasts only until the next bully displaces him. I don’t know who will be the next Big Bully, but I am sure that the current one is on the way out!