The US Hand in the Libyan/Syrian Tragedies

Exclusive: The Obama administration’s “regime change” debacles in Libya and Syria are spreading terrorist violence into Europe, but they have inflicted vastly more bloodshed in those two tragic nations, writes Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

Police investigations and media reports have confirmed that two of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in Western Europe — the coordinated bombings and shootings in Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 people, and the May 2017 bombing of the arena in Manchester, England, which killed 23 — trace back to an Islamic State unit based in Libya known as Katibat al-Battar.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at a United Nations Security Council Session on the situation in Syria at the United Nations in New York on Jan. 31, 2012. [State Department Photo]

Since those attacks, a number of analysts, myself included, have characterized them as a form of “blowback” from NATO’s disastrous campaign to depose Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. By turning Libya into an anarchic staging ground for radical Islamist militants, that intervention set in motion the deadly export of terror back into Western Europe.

But such a Eurocentric critique of NATO’s intervention misses the far greater damage it wreaked on Syria, where nearly half a million people have died and at least 5 million refugees have had to flee their country since 2011. U.S., British, and French leaders helped trigger one of the world’s great modern catastrophes through their act of hubris.

A decade ago, Libya was a leading foe of radical jihadis, not a sanctuary for their international operations. A 2008 State Department memo noted that “Libya has been a strong partner in the war against terrorism.” It gave the Gaddafi regime credit for “aggressively pursuing operations to disrupt foreign fighter flows,” particularly by veterans of jihadist wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

All that came to an end in 2011, when armed rebels, including disciplined members of al-Qaeda and Islamic State, enlisted NATO’s help to topple Gaddafi’s regime. Western leaders ignored the prescient warnings of Gaddafi’s son Seif that “Libya may become the Somalia of North Africa, of the Mediterranean. . . .You will see millions of illegal immigrants. The terror will be next door.” Gaddafi himself similarly predicted that once the jihadis “control the Mediterranean . . . then they will attack Europe.”

Subsequent terrorist attacks in Europe certainly vindicated those warnings, while discrediting the so-called humanitarian case for waging an illegal war in Libya. But the predicted jihadi efforts to “control the Mediterranean” have had far graver repercussions, at least in the case of Syria.

A recent story in the New York Times on the genesis of recent terror attacks on France and Britain noted in passing that the Islamic State in Libya, composed of “seasoned veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan,” was “among the first foreign jihadist contingent to arrive in Syria in 2012, as the country’s popular revolt was sliding into a broader civil war and Islamist insurgency.”

A former British counter-terrorism analyst told the newspaper, “some of the baddest dudes in Al Qaeda were Libyan. When I looked at the Islamic State, the same thing was happening. They were the most hard-core, the most violent — the ones always willing to go to extremes when others were not. The Libyans represented the elite troops, and clearly ISIS capitalized on this.”

Extremist Violence in Syria

These Libyan jihadists leveraged their numbers, resources, and fanaticism to help escalate Syria’s conflict into the tragedy we know today. The mass murder we now take for granted was not inevitable.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, 2013, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

Although Syria’s anti-government protests in the spring of 2011 turned violent almost from the start, many reformers and government officials strove to prevent an all-out civil war. In August 2011, leaders of Syria’s opposition wisely declared that calls to arms were “unacceptable politically, nationally, and ethically. Militarizing the revolution would . . . undermine the gravity of the humanitarian catastrophe involved in a confrontation with the regime. Militarization would put the revolution in an arena where the regime has a distinct advantage and would erode the moral superiority that has characterized the revolution since its beginning.”

Largely forgotten today, the Assad regime also took serious steps to deescalate the violence, including lifting the country’s state of emergency, disbanding the unpopular National Security Court, appointing a new government, and hosting a national dialogue with protest leaders.

But on August 18, 2011, the same Western leaders who were bombing Gaddafi announced to the world that “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Further energizing Syrian militants, Libyan rebels were just then in the midst of conquering Tripoli with NATO’s help.

“That is an ominous sign for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad,” reported the Wall Street Journal. “Already there are signs Libya is giving inspiration to the rebels trying to oust Mr. Assad. . . . Syrian protesters took to the streets chanting ‘Gadhafi tonight, Bashar tomorrow.’ . . . The Libyan episode may serve simply to sharpen the conflict in Syria: both spurring on the dissidents and strengthening Mr. Assad’s resolve to hold on.”

Stoking war in Syria was not an unintended consequence of the Libyan campaign, but a conscious part of the longstanding neoconservative ambition to “remake the map of the Middle East” by toppling radical and anti-American regimes. The same Journal article described the grandiose aims of some Washington interventionists:

“Beyond Syria, a new dose of energy provided by Libya’s uprising could ripple out to other nations in the region. In particular, U.S. officials hope it will reinvigorate a protest movement that arose inside Iran in 2009 to challenge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election. . . Syria has served for 30 years as Iran’s closest strategic ally in the region. U.S. officials believe the growing challenge to Mr. Assad’s regime could motivate Iran’s democratic forces.”

Instead of motivating Iran’s democrats, of course, the Syrian conflict motivated Iran’s hardliners to send Revolutionary Guard units and Hezbollah proxy forces into the country, further destabilizing the region.

Following the gruesome murder of Gaddafi in the fall of 2011, Libyan zealots quickly began fueling other terrorist conflicts, ranging from Mali to the Middle East, with arms looted from Gaddafi’s vast stocks.

“The weapons proliferation that we saw coming out of the Libyan conflict was of a scale greater than any previous conflict — probably 10 times more weapons than we saw going on the loose in places like Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan,” observed an expert at Human Rights Watch.

A United Nations investigation determined that “Transfers of arms and ammunition from Libya were among the first batches of weapons and ammunition to reach the Syrian opposition.” It also stressed that Libyan weapons were arming primarily “extremist elements,” allowing them to gain territory and influence at the expense of more moderate rebel groups.

Spreading the War

As early as November 2011, Islamist warlords in Libya began offering “money and weapons to the growing insurgency against Bashar al-Assad,” according to the Daily Telegraph. Abdulhakim Belhadj, commander of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an al-Qaeda affiliate, met secretly with Syrian rebel leaders in Turkey to discuss training their troops. (In 2004, he had been the victim of a CIA kidnap plot and rendition from Malaysia to Libya.)

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

The commander of one armed Libyan gang told the newspaper, “Everyone wants to go (to Syria). We have liberated our country, now we should help others. . . This is Arab unity.”

In April 2012, Lebanese authorities confiscated a ship carrying more than 150 tons of arms and ammunition originating in Misrata, Libya. A U.N.-authorized panel inspected the weapons and reported finding SA-24 and SA-7 surface-to-air missiles, anti-tank guided missiles, and a variety of other light and heavy weapons.

By that August, according to Time magazine, “hundreds of Libyans” had flocked to Syria to “export their revolution,” bringing with them weapons, expertise in making bombs, and experience in battlefield tactics.

“Within weeks of the successful conclusion of their revolution, Libyan fighters began trickling into Syria,” the magazine noted. “But in recent months, that trickle has allegedly become a torrent, as many more have traveled to the mountains straddling Syria and Turkey, where the rebels have established their bases.”

A Syrian rebel told the newsweekly, “They have heavier weapons than we do,” including surface-to-air missiles. “They brought these weapons to Syria, and they are being used on the front lines.”

A month later, the London Times reported that a Libyan ship carrying more than 400 tons of weapons bound for Syria, including SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, had docked in Turkey. Such weapons particularly compounded the suffering of civilians caught up in the war.

As France’s foreign minister told reporters that October, rebel-held anti-aircraft missiles were “forcing (Syrian government) planes to fly extremely high, and so the strikes are less accurate.”

According to later reporting by journalist Seymour Hersh, most such Libyan weapons made their way to Syria via covert routes supervised by the CIA, under a program authorized by the Obama administration in early 2012. Funding and logistics support came from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The CIA supposedly avoided disclosing the program to Congress by classifying it as a liaison operation with a foreign intelligence partner, Britain’s MI6.

Word of the operation began leaking to the London media by December 2012. The CIA was said to be sending in more advisers to help ensure that the Libyan weapons did not reach radical Islamist forces.

Of course, their efforts came too late; U.S. intelligence officials knew by that time that “the Salafist(s), the Muslim Brotherhood, and (al-Qaeda)” were “the major forces driving the insurgency.” The influx of new arms simply compounded Syria’s suffering and raised its profile as a dangerous arena of international power competition.

Libya’s arms and fighters helped transform the Syrian conflict from a nasty struggle into a bloodbath. As Middle East scholar Omar Dahi noted, “the year 2012 was decisive in creating the present catastrophe. There were foreign elements embroiled in Syria before that date . . . but until early 2012 the dynamics of the Syrian conflict were largely internal. . . . Partly in . . . appropriation of weapons pumped in from the outside and partly in anticipation of still greater military assistance, namely from the West, the opposition decided to take up arms.

“The decision—militarization—had three main effects. First, it dramatically increased the rate of death and destruction throughout the country. . . . By mid-2012, the monthly casualties were almost in excess of the total in the entire first year of the uprising. Militarization gave the Syrian regime a free hand to unleash its full arsenal of indiscriminate weaponry. . . Perhaps most fatefully, the advent of armed rebellion placed much of the opposition’s chances in the hands of those who would fund and arm the fighters. . . . It was then that the jihadi groups were unleashed.”

The collateral victims of NATO’s intervention in Libya now include 6 million Libyans attempting to survive in a failed state, millions of people across North Africa afflicted by Islamist terrorism, 20 million Syrians yearning for an end to war, and millions of innocent Europeans who wonder when they might become targets of suicidal terrorists. There is nothing “humanitarian” about wars that unleash such killing and chaos, with no end in sight.

Jonathan Marshall is a regular contributor to Consortiumnews.com.

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44 comments for “The US Hand in the Libyan/Syrian Tragedies

  1. mike k
    June 9, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Fruits of the evil warmakers exposed. This is our US government in action, destroying the lives of people all over the planet. Do the American people want to know about this atrocity done in their name? No, it might interfere with their daydreams about being the exceptional nation. In this way the American public is the enemy of all that is good and true in the world. Of course they would not like to admit that. Is it possible to despise your fellow citizens” Yes it is.

    • Virginia
      June 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      We are despised when we try to expose these US atrocities.

  2. Bill Bodden
    June 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    “The Truth About US Involvement in Syria” by Robert Fisk – https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/09/the-truth-about-us-involvement-in-syria/

  3. Abe
    June 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    “The Syrian proxy war has provided fertile ground for the rise of ISIS and other extremist groups, with ISIS claiming responsibility for the last three terror attacks in Britain; namely, the London Bridge attack, the Manchester Arena attack and the Westminster attack. Britain has been part of a nefarious troika that have supported an array of terrorist groups in Syria for years now […]

    “Britain has a long history of wanting to force regime change in Syria, and install a regime that would be subservient to the Anglo-American (and by extension, Israeli) establishment. In 1957, the British Prime Minister at the time, Harold MacMillan (no relation by the way), approved a joint CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents in order to provide a justification for an invasion of Syria, and the assassination of prominent Syrian political figures. Although this plan was never acted upon – mainly due to resistance from Syria’s Arab neighbours – it illustrates how long Britain has had Syria in its sights.

    “In more modern times, there is strong evidence to support the notion that Britain was one of the main architects of the engineered Syrian ‘civil war’ that began in 2011. In an 2013 interview, the former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roland Dumas, stated that he was approached in the UK ‘two years before the violence’ erupted in Syria, to see if he would like to participate in organizing ‘an invasion of rebels’ into the country:

    ‘’’I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me…

    “‘This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… In the region, it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance. Consequently, everything that moves in the region – and I have this from the former Israeli prime minister who told me: ‘we’ll try to get on with our neighbours, but those who don’t agree with us, will be destroyed.’

    “Interestingly, even the BBC admitted that there was a plan circulating around the British establishment in 2012 to ‘train and equip a 100,000-strong Syrian rebel army’ to fight against Bashar al-Assad. The BBC tried to spin the story by saying the plan was deemed too risky by the Prime Minister and ultimately rejected, but considering that is exactly what happened (was happening, and is happening), albeit in conjunction with the US, France and Britain’s Middle Eastern allies, it hardly seems the plan was rejected.”

    How Britain Helped Create ISIS
    By Steven MacMillan
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/06/09/how-britain-helped-create-isis/

    • john wilson
      June 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      You are right about we Brits being involved in the Libyan regime change, Abe, we were up to our necks in it. As I have written below, The most disgusting outcome of this war was seeing Prime Minister Cameron and his fool court jester William Hague rushing down to Libya, hugging themselves in glee, wreathed in smiles on a march of triumph and glory to shake hands with the terrorists there, who had murdered Gaddafi and destroyed the country. Ironically, the recent terrorist attack in the UK was by people linked to those very same terrorists.

      • druid
        June 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        And that fpunt of hypocrisy and mediocrity – Bernard Henri Levy and his side-kick Killary!

        • Helen Marshall
          June 13, 2017 at 5:43 pm

          Yes, it is shameful that this account omits the names of Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power, who promoted the removal of Gaddaffi as an act under “Reponsibility to Protect” doctrine…and then Clinton chortled with glee on a TV program when she was informed that Gaddaffi had been disemboweled with a bayonet. And if Obama had any doubts he quickly suppressed them…the operation might be described as a NATO campaign, but nothing happens at NATO if the US does not approve, if not initiate, the idea.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Abe since you are always providing us with something interesting here is a link to an article describing where the terrorist come from….I’ll give you a hint, Zbigniew is the first name.

      http://journal-neo.org/2017/06/07/lets-face-it-radical-islamists-are-dangerous/

    • CitizenOne
      June 9, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Syria and Israel have a long history of military offensive and political agitation between the two nations. Syria is an enemy of Israel and Israel is an enemy of Syria. The geopolitical stage was set up as part of the USSR which set up Iraq and Syria as secular socialistic states based on USSR style governments and the USA which helped along with Britain to create the Israeli state as a western ally had a western style government. The military assistance to both countries can be seen in the type of weapons each state was supplied with. Syria had Russian weapons and Israel had American weapons. Syria always was a Russian protectorate and Israel was always an American and British protectorate.

      The decades long stalemate between Syria, the avowed enemy of Israel and Israel, the avowed enemy of Syria was upset by the Iraq war II which resulted in the Sunni leadership of Iraq being kicked out of power by the Shia majority in an American style democracy with lots of American support for the new Iraqi government.

      The dispossessed former Sunni leaders formed ISIS in an attempt to form a new Caliphate in the Levant region where they would conquer land held by Syria and eventually Israel and Lebanon and whatever they could grab.

      They had a lot of help from other Arab nations which viewed the USA involvement in the middle east as a clear and present danger to their sovereignty and also wanted to support a group who had as its aims the destruction of Israel, The west and any government which was not aligned against the west.

      We have not come to grips with the blow back which resulted from the Iraqi war and which helped to create ISIS.

      The displaced leadership of Iraq and what they would do after they were displaced was not figured into Bush’s war and frankly they did not care. They knew that any new threat would only mean more reasons to supply arms and money to those who wanted to escalate the violence.

      Obama’s mistake was to take the bait offered by the military establishment and support these former Iraqi leaders in an attempt to use them to go after Syria and its Soviet supported government as an agitant toward Russia.

      Obama went along with the official propaganda that an Arab Spring style revolution was underway in Syria fueled by angry Syrians aligned against the Syrian regime and agreed to find “reliable” partners who would help to unseat Assad and end the decades long cold war between Syria and Israel. The problem was the “reliable” allies were in fact ISIS which had no intentions of forming a compliant western friendly government. We ended up empowering a group who had as its aim the complete takeover of the middle east and driving western influence out of the region.

      It was a huge blunder and the USA underestimated the strength of the Syrian government and its willingness to use brute military force on its own population to keep it in power. The resulting civil war has ended the lives of around half a million Syrians and has created a mass war refugee migration out of Syria.

      It is important to realize that all of this war making has been done with lots of false intelligence and propaganda which further inflames not only the government of Syria and the Russians who supported Syria but the Syrian people and the ISIS fighters who use the violence to justify their terrorist plots in the name of justice and revenge against the West.

      The West has been responsible for igniting carnage on a vast scale in cities in Syria like Aleppo being bombed to the point it resembles a World War II city after a massive bombing campaign. The city is in ruins. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or have fled. Yet Assad remains in power and there is little doubt that the actions by the the West in Syria will make the CIA coup which deposed the president of Iran and replaced their leader with the USA backed Shah of Iran look like a lost poker game compared with the hundreds of thousands of martyrs we created in Syria,

      All up, the USA and its allies have promoted military actions which have killed around one million people since the second Iraq war.in Iraq and Syria. Millions more have fled their homelands and a new virulent strain of Islam has been given every reason to want to exact revenge on the West. That is what we are seeing now with the recent terrorist attacks.

      We are kept in the dark about the horrible atrocities we helped to create or when a particularly sensational terrorist attack does make the nightly news we are told it was the work of terrorists with no context provided as to why they might be motivated to carry out these attacks.

      As long as we do not care how many people die in the middle east in our never ending quest to rid it of former Soviet influence and reform their governments into western friendly governments we cannot possibly hope to eliminate the people who want to bring the war in their countries to the west.

      History will not be kind to the USA’s blind eye toward massive death and destruction in pursuit of a fake hope that these actions will somehow have some benefit for the west, for democracy, for freedom or for peace. None of it will be delivered to the region at the tip of a spear. What will result is an emerging front of middle eastern nations that view the west as a war mongering war waging enemy against Muslims.

      Bush and Obama and HRC have all been willing accomplices of the neocons who only have one tool in their international diplomacy bag of tricks which is war. Basically it is the Cheney doctrine that diplomacy is useless and only all out war will bring those nations we oppose to heel. Such egomaniac plans to utterly crush other foreign nations with the brute force of military aggression were the stated values of the neocons.

      What has resulted from this plan is a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions, an increasingly isolated stance on the world stage and lots of enemies who have joined forces to fight western aggression.

      It remains to be seen how Trump’s attempts to reverse this disastrous course by forging alliances with the Russians, trying to forge economic relations with Russia rather than a military arms race and a new cold war and backing away from more military interventions in the middle east will pan out.

      So far the reaction from republicans and the press have been to paint him as a conspirator in bed with the enemy although no evidence has been provided and the testimony of Comey revealed little.to support the allegations that Trump and his cabinet members are Soviet moles.

      There is little doubt that is Hillary Clinton were elected she would continue the path laid down by Bush and Obama and continue to support military action in the middle east in support of the neocon plan to find peace through war. It remains to be seen if Trump can remain true to his inclinations that our plans are all wrong and that forging alliances can be more productive than waging wars.

      Right now he is being made out as a Russian sympathizer and co conspirator for his efforts.

      Unfortunately Americans are as ignorant as Gary Johnson was when he failed to know “What is Aleppo?”. and have no appreciation of the horrible violence which has turned Syria into a modern Germany after the allied victory. A bombed out wasteland littered with the dead and the refugees.

      If only the media would allocate equal airtime for the atrocities committed in Syria with the time they allocate to cover every terrorist attack, we might have a better sense of what is really going on. But that is not about to happen and Americans will continue to be schooled in a one sided story all about the struggle against terrorism without ever examining the root causes for it.

      But then, there is a lot lacking in the media which we are steeped in and which for all of its proclamations of freedom and truth reveals a cold hatred of foreigners and promoting war mongering to create in ourselves the will to hate an enemy they present to us every day.

      The utter lack of coverage in the media about what is going on in Syria should give every American the creeps about how powerful and willful the media have become in trying to control the message and keep the other side of the story from our eyes.

      Liberal press? What liberal press? Such a thing does not exist here at all.

      • CitizenOne
        June 9, 2017 at 11:07 pm

        Aleppo Images which we do not see in the news. Simply horrifying what we have unleashed.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=aleppo&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjL1ZmyorLUAhXKcj4KHfD6BfgQ_AUIDCgD&biw=1280&bih=871

        The USA has unleashed B 52 and B 2 bombers on Syria and Libya

        https://www.google.com/search?q=B+52+bombers+over+Syria&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjnxMOUo7LUAhVMFj4KHWWHB2oQ_AUICSgE&biw=1280&bih=871

        Russia intercepted a B 52 three days ago bound for a bombing run in Syria and B 52s have been deployed to bomb ISIS targets in Syria, Libya and other targeted sites:

        https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201703161051627659-pentagon-b52-syria-iraq/

        Of course these massive bombing campaigns were under-reported by the press. You probably are not even aware the USA has deployed B 52 bombers to strike at ISIS. Why should they tell you anything? It’s a free press after all. They are free to ignore anything they want to ignore.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 10, 2017 at 12:49 am

        CitizenOne you have a healthy humanitarian focus on the Syrian War problem, and it isn’t all about pipelines or Israeli Saudi hegemony, it’s about the ‘People’.

        You said it, and I reflected in my head that DOD 2012 terrorist report….that said it all.

        We are moving into an age where the terrorist of Zbigniew’s era, are now the parents of these young homegrown terrorist who Europe and England are experiencing now. I think the general public does get it better than the polls will say…but everyone knows that there is something wrong with America’s War on Terror, but the real money is on the war….so what to do about it?

        Helpless comes in varieties, and we the people individually fit into at least one category of this massive helpless file…no biggie just don’t give up.

        Liked reading your perspective…Joe

      • mike k
        June 10, 2017 at 7:19 am

        Excellent summary CitizenOne. The lies of the media include all the things they do not cover or present to the public. Their sins of omission are in many ways the most damaging.

        • CitizenOne
          June 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm

          First of all, thanks for the support. I also agree with you a lot. As in this case.

          The media’s sin of omission is absolutely their greatest sin. Hands down number one. In this case, imagine back to an era where the Vietnam War was placed in front of every American on the nightly news. The blow by blow. The daily body count of American kids killed for nothing other than showing the Chinese we were willing to throw our young lives away just as much as they were and to satisfy the urges of the military industry to spur demand for ever more dollars from Uncle Sam.

          But have you ever seen a recounting of Vietnam by the press? No you have not. How about a recounting of a more recent war in Iraq. Any exposes on how come we got it all wrong with WMDs or mobile weapons labs or yellow cake or centrifuges etc.

          We now live in a media system which would have horrified people just 50 years ago. A “free” press which has figured out that their freedom really means the freedom to lie, to deceive, to manipulate and to control the population of the United States.

          Where freedom does exist as in my ability to type these words for anyone to see, the new Director of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai former Verizon lawyer appointed by Trump has proposed ending net neutrality claiming that Internet Service Providers “free speech” rights, as granted to corporations by the Supreme Court in the 1800’s, are being violated if they are not free to censor the content they provide.

          We have a current situation where a director of a national government agency which was enacted to prevent the abuse by media organizations for the last several hundred or hundred thousand years which has a mandate and a charter to defend the public interest has abandoned that mission and has replaced their mission with the protection of corporate interests.

          Most folks do not know anything about it because…………………….here it comes………………………..wait for it……………………….. The Sin Of Omission!!! by our “free” press (translate that to free to keep silent what the don’t want you to know).

          There is a lot of back and forth on the matter by the entities who are aware of this but you will never hear it aired in the main stream press. Absolutely never! Why? Well if the rules which state that Internet Service Providers must deliver the internet unfiltered and not charge different fees based on different price plans to receive more or less of the internet (think of Cable TV here where you fork over the big bucks for the premium content)are eliminated then you can rest assured they will do just that. Net neutrality prevents that from happening and is a matter of law. When the law is ended, then the other thing will happen. All the rest is BS.

          There are so many acts of coordinated omission in the “free” press it could fill volumes.

          But, if it looks like we are all resigning (what they want you to think) and accepting the inevitability of it (which is what they want you to think) and either to lazy or uninformed to really care.

          https://www.google.com/search?q=the+end+of+net+neutrality+is+probably+inevitable&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

          You can read all about all of the many diverse perspectives on ending net neutrality. Here the term “diverse” means BS and obfuscation.

          Remember. It is real simple. Right now your Internet Service Provider is not allowed by the laws governing the Internet Service Providers to censor your ability to freely roam the internet. Once their “freedom” is restored which is the freedom to censor, we will all by stages grow to be even more deprived of any side of any story other than what is satisfactory and appropriate according to the owners of the companies who offer the service. That is it.

          As for the FCC, here is their justification for removing “control of the Internet by the government” (Oh Nooooo!) and restoring it to the godly hands of the companies who provide us our daily bread. Amen:

          April 27, 2017

          FACT SHEET*
          Restoring Internet Freedom
          Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – WC Docket No. 17-108

          Background: For almost twenty years, the Internet flourished under a light-touch regulatory approach.
          During this time, the Internet underwent rapid, and unprecedented, growth. Internet service providers
          (ISPs) invested approximately $1.5 trillion in the Internet ecosystem, and American consumers
          enthusiastically responded. Businesses developed in ways that government officials could not have
          fathomed even a decade ago. The Internet became an ever-increasing part of the American economy,
          offering new and innovative changes in how we work, learn, receive medical care, and entertain
          ourselves. The Commission’s 2015 decision to subject ISPs to Title II utility-style regulations risks that
          innovation, serving ultimately to threaten the open Internet it purported to preserve.

          The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a Notice of Proposed
          Rulemaking (NPRM) to end the utility-style regulatory approach that gives government control of the
          Internet and to restore the market-based policies necessary to preserve the future of Internet Freedom, and
          to reverse the decline in infrastructure investment, innovation, and options for consumers put into motion
          by the FCC in 2015. To determine how to best honor our commitment to restoring Internet Freedom, the
          NPRM also evaluates the existing rules governing Internet service providers’ practices.

          • CitizenOne
            June 10, 2017 at 9:37 pm

            I forgot that “restoring Internet freedom” and the “Restoring Internet Freedom” notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) by the newly appointed FCC Chairman and former Verizon employee Ajit Pai means the end of internet freedom for you and me and probably this website since it will no doubt be viewed by the owners of the Internet Service Provider corporations as not copacetic with their interests and will exercise their freedom of speech rights to censor it.

            Freedom of speech was also used as an argument to pass other laws favoring the free speech rights of wealthy corporations over the free speech rights of individuals.

            See the following:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCutcheon_v._FEC

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC

            None of the Supreme Court decisions were covered at all by the main stream “free” press.

            So if you were wondering, which you probably not, or were concerned about our democracy in the light of these Supreme Court decisions, which you were probably not, you can most assuredly conclude that your lack of concern coincided with the lack of coverage of these Supreme Court decisions which shipped our democracy up the river and placed the public interest at the back of the bus to grant newly minted preferred citizens of our country the right to exercise their “free” speech “rights” as granted by former US Supreme Court decisions https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

            Also the recent Supreme Court decisions have had the effect of reigning in an era of corporate money in elections.

            See Corporatocracy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy

            If you feel like the wool is being pulled down over your eyes and the sin of omission is part of the power play you would be correct.

      • Dave P.
        June 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm

        Very Good, Citizen One. But I would add to it. Today’s, Russia is not USSR. It is true that Syria always looked to USSR for protection, especially after 1967 War, when they lost Golan Heights to Israel, where Israel is pumping Oil now from it’s oilfields. Regarding Libya, Russia and China went along with Security Council resolution for no fly zone over the Mediterranean. But the West had a different game plan – regime change in Libya. After what NATO/The West did to Libya, Russia opened its’ eyes. It is clear to Russia, after Syria and Afghanistan, they are next in line. That is why they are defending Syrian Sovereignty. Also, We are not getting out of Afghanistan any time soon, it is very important strategically. After Afghanistan, all the Central Asian Nations are next.

        There will be no Peace.

  4. June 9, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I believe: “The War Gangs and War Criminals of NATO…” are up to their bloody treacherous necks “in the Libyan/Syrian Tragedies”
    [Much more information at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/05/the-war-gangs-and-war-criminals-of-nato.html

  5. john wilson
    June 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I may have related this piece I found in a UK newspaper on this site before but I think its worth another airing. It goes as follows;
    The French proposed UN Security Council Resolution 1973 claimed that a no fly zone imposed over Libya was to protect civilians but a 2011 email sent to Hillary Clinton – subject; Frances’s client and Gaddafi’s gold – suggests less noble motives. The email identifies ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five goals in mind; to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence. increase Sarcozy’s reputation at home, assert French military power, and to limit Gaddafi’s influence in ‘Francophone Africa’ There’s a lengthy section outlining the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves – estimated at 143 tons of gold and a similar amount in silver, posed to thye French Franc circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding mantra of protecting civilians fed to the public there’s a confidential explanation of what was really driving the Libyan attack. This gold and silver was accumulated before the revolt against Gaddafi started and was to be used to establish a pan – African currency based on the Libyan dinar. this was intended to provide Francophone African countries with an alternative to the French Franc and the almighty dollar. The question is, “who got the gold and silver” ? The American involvement in the Libyan assault was based around their ever expanding Africom military empire and the fact that Gaddafi didn’t want to sell his oil in petro dollars. There never was a genuine uprising in the country as most of the agitators were shipped in and armed by the West. Perhaps the most obscene thing to take place in this fiasco was seeing prime minister Cameron and his court jester William Hague rushing down to Libya after the appalling murder of Gaddafi, hugging themselves in glee, wreathed in smiles on their way to shake hands with the terrorists.

    • druid
      June 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      well said

    • BannanaBoat
      June 9, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      One more very important factor, Gaddafi was establishing three Banks in three African nations which would serve Africa with the three major functions The IMF served except in a much more equitible manner. Mandela stated Gaddafi was Africa’s best friend .

      • D5-5
        June 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm

        And again we see the essential cutthroat capitalism in operation, as competition must be subdued and eliminated.

  6. mike k
    June 9, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    What an ugly world we have made. No wonder people prefer not to look at it, much less acknowledge their responsibility for it. The moral and ethical bankruptsy of the “first world” populace is the foundation of the nightmare we are enacting. Unless there is a widespread awakening of conscience, our slide towards extinction will continue to accelerate.

  7. June 9, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    This is “the dirty work” of the “respectable” War Criminals.
    —————————————-
    Millions:

    Millions are dead, others are still alive
    Millions of people are just trying to survive
    Millions are refugees wandering the earth
    Most have nothing left, of any real worth

    Once they had homes and some had businesses too
    Then there arrived, the warring hellish crews
    They bombed and blitzed a number of countries
    Will they ever pay for their evil obscenities?

    So called “leaders” of the “democratic” west
    “The dogs of war,” that think they know best
    War criminals that planned hell and destruction
    Blood soaked villains oozing satisfaction

    Proud of their crimes of “bringing democracy”
    A hellish sight is their unctuous hypocrisy
    Their partners in war crimes are the monetary villains
    Who financed and paid for the missiles from the “heavens”

    The assassins in the sky are just obeying orders
    Is the madness of militarism definitely a disorder?
    Conditioned to obey their bemedaled “superiors”
    No matter that the motives are bloody ulterior

    Countries destroyed and reduced to smoking rubble
    The plotters and planners caused all this hellish trouble
    The peoples of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries too
    Are the suffering and dead victims of this evil hellish crew…

    [read more at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/millions.html

  8. June 9, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    You all don’t understand. This isn’t a military matter. The world’s Banker Elite just HAD to get a Central Bank into Libya……which it did immediately after Qaddafi was sodomized and murdered. And they just MUST get a Central Bank into Syria. The goal of world financial control MUST be accomplished in order to create the NWO.

  9. D5-5
    June 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks to Jonathan for this useful info, including Syria’s efforts early on to deal with political opposition, which then became appropriated into the hideous violence.

    The reference to Seymour Hersh I believe relates to his 2016 book titled The Killing of Osama Bin Laden, the first chapter (on killing Bin Laden) in itself very interesting and convincing, and the second chapter of this book titled, The Red Line and the Rat Line, which details the movement of arms out of Libya into Syria to “the moderates” authorized by Obama.

    pp 64-65

    “The full extent of US cooperation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line,’ a backchannel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorized in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false’.)”

  10. Realist
    June 9, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and both the Clintons, along with their top minions like Dick Cheney, deserve to be on the docket at the Hague, and nowhere near the White House. Frankly, a fair trial for their war crimes is much better than they deserve. They won’t receive it but they deserve the same fate they meted out to Saddam, Gadaffi, Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, and are trying to deliver to Assad. The millions they killed or displaced as refugees never had a hearing, were never able to file an appeal against American imperial injustice. The only reason these bastards have not had their own Nuremberg experience is that they refuse to allow international law or the international courts to touch any American so our war machine can ravage at will. Unfortunately, given their ages, all these scoundrels will be long dead before any of that changes.

    • Dave P.
      June 9, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      It pains me when I look at the pictures of two thousand years old city Alleppo in ruins. Half million dead, five million refugees, and untold suffering. Bringing them to Justice, as you suggest? Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron – the Monsters are still loose, all over the Earth, having vacations in palatial settings, and fancy dinners, still plotting more destruction.

      Paraphrasing opening lines of V.S. Naipaul’s novel “Bend in the River” ; World is, what it is! the Weak have no place in it.

  11. hillary
    June 9, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    It’s all in the PNAC plan ( Project for a New American Century ) put together by the well known neocons in successive US Administracions.

    It started out as a plan for ” Israel to secure the realm” but Netanyahu had Richard Pearl , Paul Wolfowitz et al morph it into the PNAC.

    Their ” Arab” Spring mayhem was preplanned & was the long term plan UNLESS some “Pearl Harbor” event ( 9/11) occured !

  12. Mark Thomason
    June 9, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    “the far greater damage it wreaked on Syria, where nearly half a million people have died and at least 5 million refugees have had to flee their country since 2011”

    Far less was threatened by Gaddafi, and gave rise to the R2P doctrine for intervention there. Well, who’s R2P to protect Syria from the US and friends?

  13. Curious
    June 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I think, with the history of US amnesia what is often forgotten are the 2011 phone calls between Gaffafi and Tony Blair.
    Excerp in quotes:
    “In the first call, at 11.15am on 25 February 2011, Gaddafi gave a warning in part borne out by future events: “They [jihadis] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.”

    In the second call, at 3.25pm the same day, the Libyan leader said: “We are not fighting them, they are attacking us. I want to tell you the truth. It is not a difficult situation at all. The story is simply this: an organisation has laid down sleeping cells in north Africa. Called the al-Qaida organisation in north Africa … The sleeping cells in Libya are similar to dormant cells in America before 9/11.”

    Gaddafi added: “I will have to arm the people and get ready for a fight. Libyan people will die, damage will be on the Med, Europe and the whole world. These armed groups are using the situation [in Libya] as a justification – and we shall fight them.”

    NATO, the pretend defensive organization, with the the advantage of US officials, UK, and media lies, began bombing Lydia three weeks later.

    They turned the most progressive and literate country in Africa into dust for their own sick and evil plans.

  14. Joe L.
    June 10, 2017 at 1:07 am

    It seems to me that if the War on Terror is about ending terrorism (which I don’t believe it is) then these invasions are having the exact opposite effect. We have witnessed Iraq not having Al Qaeda until after the US overthrew Hussein and I believe the same with Libya. It just seems to me that wherever the US, and the West invades, Al Qaeda and ISIS expand and grow into. Also given that our allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey etc. seem to have been arming and funding these terrorists meanwhile they are still our allies when supposedly we are fighting them – is truly twisted.

  15. John Gilberts
    June 10, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Just a reminder because it is often forgotten, NATO’s airwar and bombing campaign against Libya was commanded by a Canadian RCAF general, Charles Bouchard, who was honoured and decorated by Canada, whose parliament unanimously supported the war, and is now the CEO of Lockheed-Martin Canada.

    • Brad Owen
      June 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

      The “Five Eyes” (the intelligence communities of Britain, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), operate as one cohesive, Deep State, unit that apparently implements policy for the English-speaking half of the Synarchist Movement for Empire (SME)… we can call it the New Western Roman Empire, and the European Continental Oligarchy will manage the New Eastern Roman Empire, just like in the days-of-old. Mr. Gibbons, of “Decline and Fall…” fame, would be proud that the European (and, by extension, the North American, South American, Australian,etc…) Oligarchy followed his warnings and advice. He was commissioned by the combined Anglo-Dutch East India Company to produce this Magnum Opus to “get it right” next time around. So, since their plans went so horribly awry in WWII, Hitler being the unreliable monster that he was, the rat lines delivered the agents of Synarchy into USA, in the post-war forties, to firmly take hold, via the intelligence community after flushing out any FDR loyalists, of America’s economic and military might, and using it for another go at Synarchist Empire. First, establish the beach head (Israel)…check. Second, come to its defense, since it was obviously placed in the middle of hostile Muslim territory, and there by harass and assault the Muslim territory (the Roman Empire’s North African and M.E. Provinces)…check. Third, be sure to provoke them severely enough (regime-change wars, after having funded and trained the terrorist soldiers doing the regime changing) to cause the inevitable counter offensive, euphemisicly called “blow-back”…underway. Forth, be sure the people of the soon-to-be-born Synarchist Empire (in both the west-roman and east-roman halves) experience enough ” blow-back”, combined with enough economic immiseration (debt austerities) that they will welcome the Return of the New Emporer of the Synarchist Empire, restoring security, stability, order, prosperity, perhaps even recovering its North African and M.E. Provinces…of course there will be wars-to-be-fought, to get this all accomplished. I built this scenario from using EIR’s search box, typing into it “return of the Monarchs”, and next, typing ” Anton Chaitkin” one of EIR’s historian investigators, with his article “Synarchy against America”. I’m not sure what we the people can do to counter this counter-revolutionary Restoration Project. It seems unstoppable.

      • Realist
        June 10, 2017 at 10:09 am

        Totally plausible. It probably IS unstoppable because the general populace (the 99%) are i) not aware of the problem because of who owns and controls the media and educational systems, and ii) do not possess the means (the necessary wealth) to effectively oppose them in the political or economic arenas. They own government, the police, the courts, the financial institutions, the natural resources, the means of production, the utilities, transportation, health care delivery, food production, the military and every other essential requirement for life in this country and its vassal states. They might compete against one another for power and turf but they are united in their intent on keeping the rest of us under their boot heel. The game for you, me and the rest of the riff-raff is to compete every day against our fellow prols for the scraps they see fit to toss our way (but only if it benefits them).

  16. mike k
    June 10, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Capitalism and democracy are phony fig leaves to cover the operations of a world wide Mafia called the United States of America. All the constant propaganda about how great and pure this country is constitute outrageous lies to keep the population unaware of the constant atrocities perpetrated by their Rulers. The sad part of this is that the populace prefers to look the other way and remain ignorant of what is really going on. To look at the truth is just too upsetting! This intentional ignorance is actually complicity. Human beings have the duty to discover the truth as best they can. I have no sympathy for those unwilling to find out the truth, and live by it. I have great respect for those who gather on this and other investigative sites in pursuit of the truth about our world and ourselves.

    • Realist
      June 10, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Your reproaches are appropriately directed at those on the right side of the bell curve who should know better, but our overlords employ lackeys that are quite polished at easily hoodwinking the half of us with only double-digit IQ’s. Add these sheep together with the sell-out technocrats, the deluded true-believers, the would-be millionaires (who just know their boat will come in!) and the just-damned-lazy (whatever be their intellectual gifts) and you have a working majority of voters to rubber stamp the planned agenda.

      Consider how easy it has been for the American media to convince the populace that we have a party of the right and a party of the left in this country, and that Hillary is a “leftist,” specifically a self-described “progressive” who wants what’s best for the “people” rather than the rich and powerful (who just happen to contribute 99% of the money she rakes in). Wasn’t that a hoot! Mitt Romney may or may not have been correct about his 47% who always vote for “free stuff,” but the problem is that neither major party operates on their behalf, i.e., from the “left.” There is no “left” in this country, except for Bernie Sanders who was sabotaged by the thoroughly corrupt and mercenary DNC. Yet, every 2 years at least half the voters think they are supporting liberal causes and sending people to Washington who will deliver “hope and change” when, in fact, the system is structured precisely to preclude that. So, even if you were one of the smart studious voters “in the know,” all that afforded you was the awareness of being snow jobbed by the establishment. Hence all the irate posts on this site every day.

      Really, I love what you write, Mike. You are certainly carrying out your self-prescribed duty, even if the majority of others remain oblivious for whatever the reason.

  17. June 10, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    No, mike, you did not make that ugly world! We were born into a country that could have remained good and decent, but evil beings took over and they do seem unstoppable at this point. I completely agree with everything you say other than “we” did this, and it is good to read comments from aware people on CN in this disheartening time. America will pay an ugly price, though, and we will all be caught in it. Perhaps Mother Nature will send us, US, the mother of all earthquakes. Or something else. An economic collapse is very possible. Will there be much sympathy for the US if and when that happens?

    • mike k
      June 10, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      It is bitterly ironic Jessica, that having entertained such beautiful dreams for all of us, now at a more advanced age, I begin to wonder if it would not be better for all beings if we just ended our unsuccessful and hugely damaging stay on planet Earth.

      Then again the sun comes up on the wonderful forest my home is nestled within, and breathing the fresh morning breeze, I begin to think again of some impossible scheme to save us from the horrible failure we seem determined to perpetrate. La speranza e sempre verde……

      • Dave P.
        June 10, 2017 at 11:48 pm

        It feels good to read your beautiful words mike. I was thirteen during 50’s, I started reading Newspapers in English (brought to the village by my cousin, who worked in the city some distance away), during the era of first Indian Prime Minister Nehru’s idealism. Always dreaming, and very optimistic about a new peaceful, and Free World. Things started getting sour starting with Vietnam War, and afterwards. And now we are, where we are.

        But beautiful sun comes out in the morning, and blue Pacific just close by here, and I am up every morning optimistic that all the Evil forces will meet their end one day.

  18. Zachary Smith
    June 11, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    “The US Hand in the Libyan/Syrian Tragedies”

    This is a fine essay, and at first glance has only one major problem: nowhere in either the title or the main body of the piece is there any mention of Israel.

    Both Obama and Hillary have massive amounts of blood on their hands for their activities, but it ought to be at least mentioned that the two of them were following “His Master’s Voice“© – doing the dirty work of the little outhouse nation-state.

    It’s a shame that a person has to go to the comments for first mention of that name.

    • Helen Marshall
      June 13, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Too right and thank you for this comment!!!

  19. Markgm
    June 12, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Thank you. There was also a nice recap of the Libya job put together at Newsbud…
    https://www.newsbud.com/2017/05/30/the-humanitarian-destruction-of-libya-part-1-real-invented-war-crimes/
    And Ben Swann’s “CIA origin of ISIS”:(re: Iraq/Syria)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORYL8jPtpQU

  20. June 12, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Memo by Jake Sullivan, State Department to Hillary Clinton

    “AQ is on our side in Syria.”

    February 12, 2012
    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/23225#efmAGIAHu

    AL-ZAWAHIRI URGES MUSLIM SUPPORT FOR OPPOSITION (U) Al-Qaida leader al-Zawahiri called on Muslims in Turkey and the Middle East to aid rebel forces in their fight against supporters of Syrian President Asad in an interne video recording. Al-Zawahiri also urged the Syrian people not to rely on the AL, Turkey, or the United States for assistance.euters)

  21. June 12, 2017 at 8:00 am
  22. Michael Kenny
    June 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    If, when carrying out works on your house, you mistakenly weaken the structure and the house then falls down, it’s all very well to say that you should have known better than to weaken the structure, but that doesn’t rebuild your house. What’s done is done and can’t be undone. Lamenting about past mistakes in Libya and Syria, by whoever committed, doesn’t solve the present problem represented by either of them. Americans always seem to think that by striking their breasts and saying “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” but then just sitting back and letting the problem fester, that they have somehow “solved “the problem. Mr Marshall needs to stop lamenting and start proposing workable solutions for both Libya and Syria, if he has any. Kadaffi cannot be brought back to life and, by intervening in the Syrian civil war, Putin has made that conflict part and parcel of his wider conflict with the US, NATO and the EU over Ukraine and any other European country he may have on his “shopping list”. Thus, what next, Mr Marshall?

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