FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Supporting al-Qaeda a Week Before 9/11

In a twist of irony that has escaped mainstream commentators, one week away from 9/11, the US is considering a course of action that will empower al-Qaeda; i.e., bombing Syria. As terror expert Evan Kohlmann put it, “two of the most powerful insurgent factions in Syria are al-Qaeda factions.” (Kohlmann is an authority on the topic, having worked as a consultant in terrorism matters for the DoD, DOJ, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies.) These rebel factions will be the immediate beneficiaries of a strike against the Assad regime.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the intelligence community expected a US military operation to increase the likelihood of terror attacks against the US. As a letter from CIA Director George Tenet to the Senate Intelligence Committee chair revealed, it was anticipated that Bush’s invasion of Iraq would lead Saddam Hussein to be “much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions”; moreover, the invasion of Iraq was expected to raise the threat of attack by WMD from “low” to “pretty high”. And the intelligent experts were correct. Earlier this year, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told the FBI that he and his brother carried out the Boston Marathon bombing because they “were angry about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq”.

We can only hope the intelligence experts like Evan Kohlmann won’t be correct this time around.

If we had an authentic democracy—rule by the people—an attack wouldn’t happen, because strong majorities oppose intervening in Syria. Polls conducted by Reuters almost daily between May 31st and September 3rd indicate without exception that a strong majority of Americans are opposed to intervening in Syria—even if Syria used chemical weapons. Similarly, a poll conducted by the BBC shows that, in the UK, “71% of people thought Parliament made the right decision” to reject military action against Syria. Two thirds of respondents said they wouldn’t care if Parliament’s decision harmed UK-US relations.

Another poll shows that a stunning 80% of Americans believe that Obama should seek congressional approval for a strike on Syria. The Obama administration has interpreted this rather narrowly, having scheduled a congressional vote, but still insisting that Obama “has the right to [attack Syria] no matter what Congress does”, as Secretary of State John Kerry remarked. Obama said the same thing, albeit somewhat more tactfully: “I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization”.

The polls pertaining to the prospective strike on Syria differ significantly from those regarding the US and UK support for the Iraq War. Back in 2003, a series of polls found that a majority of Britons supported the invasion of Iraq; Americans at the time supported the invasions by even larger majorities.

Simply put, there’s less support for a strike on Syria than there was for the invasion of Iraq—and we know how well the Iraq War turned out.

Yet public opinion and the threat of provoking terror attacks are not persuasive to the unfathomable wisdom of the Obama administration. As John Kerry said, a strike on Syria “is of great consequence to…all of us who care about enforcing the international norm with respect to chemical weapons.” Apparently Kerry is more concerned with international norms than international law, since attacking Syria without a U.N. Security Council resolution would violate the latter. In Obama’s words, the Security Council is “paralyzed”—which, by definition, means it won’t do what he tells it to do.

Matthew Waxman, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations—hardly a radical outfit—observes that, “despite treaties outlawing chemical weapons use, there is no precedent for using military intervention as a response to violations.”

To be fair to the Obama administration, we should listen to what US leaders have to say about chemical weapons; they’re experts on the matter. In Iraq alone, they used white phosphorous and depleted uranium munitions, which coincided with an explosion of birth defects throughout Iraq that “surpassed those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the nuclear attacks at the end of WWII”.

Ken Klippenstein lives in Madison, WI, USA, where he edits whiterosereader.org He can be reached via email at kenneth.klippenstein@gmail.com or on Twitter @kenklippenstein

 

More articles by:

Ken Klippenstein is an American journalist who can be reached on Twitter @kenklippenstein or by email: kenneth.klippenstein@gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
August 23, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Notes on Inauthenticity in a Creeping Fascist Nuthouse
Andrew Levine
Recession Now, Please
Rob Urie
Mr. Trump Goes to Kensington
Jeffrey St. Clair
Deep Time and the Green River, Floating
Robert Hunziker
Earth 4C Hotter
Kenneth Good
Congo’s Patrice Lumumba: The Winds of Reaction in Africa
Pete Dolack
The Realism and Unrealism of the Green New Deals
David Rosen
The White-Nationalist Great Fear
Kenn Orphan
The War on Indigenous People is a War on the Biosphere Itself
L. Michael Hager
What Netanyahu’s Travel Ban Has Revealed
Ramzy Baroud
Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, But at What Price?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Is Environmental Protection Possible?
Josue De Luna Navarro
What It’s Like to Grow Up Hunted
Ralph Nader
They Don’t Make Republicans Like the Great Paul Findley Anymore!
Gary Olson
Whither the Resistance to our Capitalist Overlords?
Dean Baker
On Those Downward Jobs Revisions
Rev. William Alberts
Beware of the Gun-Lover-in-Chief
Helder F. do Vale
Brazil: From Global Leader to U.S. Lapdog
Laura Finley
Educators Actually Do “Work” in the Summer
Jim Goodman
Farmers Need a Bill of Rights
Tom Clifford
What China’s Leadership is Really Worried About: Rising Debt
Daphne Wysham
Saving the Planet Means Fighting Bipartisan Corruption
Tierra Curry
Amazon Fires Put the Planet at Risk
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Decentralize Power and Revive Regional Political Institutions
John W. Whitehead
American Apocalypse
George Wuerthner
How Agriculture and Ranching Subvert the Re-Wilding of America
Daniel Murphy
Capital in the 21st Century
Jessicah Pierre
400 Years After Slavery’s Start, No More Band-Aids
Kim C. Domenico
Finding the Comrades: Maintaining Precarious Sanity In Insane Times
Gary Leupp
“Based on the Fact She Won’t Sell Me Greenland, I’m Staying Home”
John Kendall Hawkins
The Chicago 8 Trial, Revisited
Rivera Sun
Tapping into People Power
Ted Rall
As Long as Enemies of the State Keep Dying Before Trial, No One Should Trust the State
Jesse Jackson
The Significance of the “1619 Project”
Thomas Knapp
“Nuance” in Politics and Public Policy? No Thanks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and Endangered Species, Wildlife and Human
Mel Gurtov
China’s Hong Kong Nightmare, and the US Response
Ron Forthofer
Sick of Being a Guinea Pig
Nicky Reid
Why I Stopped Being White (and You Should Too)
Jill Richardson
As the School Year Starts, I’m Grateful for the ADA
Seth Sandronsky
Rethinking the GDR
Adolf Alzuphar
Tears / Ayizan Velekete
Stephen Cooper
General Jah Mikey: “I Just Love That Microphone, Man”
Louis Proyect
Slaves to the Clock
David Yearsley
Moral Cantatas
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail