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The US: Feeding the War Machine

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Recent revelations show conclusively that the United States’s government’s desire to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad let it to support radical militants who are now ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), who the U.S. is now also fighting. This is not a new phenomenon; the U.S. is forever creating and arming deadly monsters, and then fighting them. This is excellent business for both U.S. weapons manufacturers, and undertakers around the world.

Let’s look at a just two earlier examples.

*In the late 1950s, the U.S. supported Abdel Karim Kassem in Iraq. However, by 1961, he had fallen into disfavor with the U.S., mainly because he was beginning to challenge U.S. dominance in the Middle East. So the U.S. armed Kurdish rebels, and in 1963 Mr. Kassem was overthrown and executed. With the government and media still portraying Communism as the big, bad wolf, the U.S. decided to support and arm the anti-Communist Ba’ath party, working closely with an up and coming party member, Saddam Hussein. Forty years later, the U.S. launched its deadly and illegal war to replace Mr. Hussein.

*When Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S., not wanting the Soviets to expand their influence, supported radical Islamic extremists with training and weaponry. After several years, the mujahedeen (fanatical Islamic ‘holy warriors’) were successful in defeating the Russians. Yet, having done the U.S.’s dirty work, they were not willing to turn the country over to a U.S.-appointed puppet government. The mujahedeen evolved into the Taliban, which the U.S. has now been fighting in the longest war in its history.

The public reason for supporting these radical groups is always that they are freedom fighters, innocent men and women who only want to live in a free, democratic society, and who are prevented from doing so by a cruel, oppressive government. Were that the case, the U.S. would have been arming the Palestinians and not the Israelis, but that is a topic for another essay. Let’s look at a quotation from a recently-declassified Pentagon report: “… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

The risks of such an action were not unknown: “ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of territory.”

But is unifying Iraq and protecting the territory ever what the U.S. wanted? The concept of peace is anathema to policy makers, who garner so much support from weapons manufacturers. By supporting the radicals attempting to overthrow the Syrian government, and then fighting them at the same time, weapons can be sold to all and sundry. No need to take sides; let the weapons flow out, and the money flow in!

Lest one be horrified at the suggestion that the U.S. doesn’t take sides, and that it is willing to make a buck from anyone it can, regardless of whose blood that buck is soaked in, let us look at just some of the business dealings the U.S. government approved of when it was fighting the Nazis during World War II, as reported by Charles Higham in Trading with the Enemy: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933 – 1949.

* ITT: Provided support throughout the war to improve Germany’s communications equipment, including submarine and ship phones, and aircraft intercoms.

* Ford Motor Company: Provided supplies for the 5-ton trucks that were the backbone of Germany army transportation.

* Standard Oil of California: In 1940, its chairman, Torkild Rieber, said this: “If the Germans ever catch [any of my ships] carrying oil to the Allies they will have my hearty permission to fire a torpedo into her”.

These business dealings required U.S. government approval, as designated by an amendment to the 1917 ‘Trading with the Enemy’ act. The agreement, in part, reads thusly: “A general license is hereby granted, licensing any transaction or act proscribe by Section 3(a) of The Trading with the Enemy Act, as amended, provided, however, that such transaction or act is authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury by means of regulations, rulings, instructions, licenses or otherwise, pursuant to the Executive order No. 8983, as amended”.

So while U.S. soldiers were fighting German atrocities, U.S. companies were helping to kill them.

Today, U.S. bombs are killing people in the Middle East who are rampaging across the area with weaponry provided by the U.S. They have forgotten that their role was to overthrow Mr. Assad, so the U.S. could install a puppet government in Syria. One has to wonder if the U.S. will ever learn that arming radical groups to overthrow governments is never a good idea. Of course, for the U.S., it may be fine, considering the huge profits in weapons dealings when one is arming both sides. And with the corporate-owned media encouraging hatred of Muslims, bombing them doesn’t bring about much resistance in the U.S.

So history, as it is wont to do, once again repeats itself. And U.S. terrorism continues to rack up both phenomenal profits and untold suffering.

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Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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