September 14, 2016

Getting Fooled on Iraq, Libya, Now Russia

After the British report exposing falsehoods to justify invading Iraq in 2003, a new U.K. inquiry found similar misconduct in the 2011 attack on Libya, but no lessons are learned for the West's new propaganda about Russia

by Robert Parry

A British parliamentary inquiry into the Libyan fiasco has reported what should have been apparent from the start in 2011 -- and was to some of us -- that the West's military intervention to "protect" civilians in Benghazi was a cover for what became another disastrous "regime change" operation.

The report from the U.K.'s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that the U.S. and other Western governments exaggerated the human rights threat posed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and then quickly morphed the "humanitarian" mission into a military invasion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi, leaving behind political and social chaos.

The report's significance is that it shows how little was learned from the Iraq War fiasco in which George W. Bush's administration hyped and falsified intelligence to justify invading Iraq and killing its leader, Saddam Hussein. In both cases, U.K. leaders tagged along and the West's mainstream news media mostly served as unprofessional propaganda conduits, not as diligent watchdogs for the public.

Today, we are seeing an even more dangerous repetition of this pattern: demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, destabilizing the Russian economy and pressing for "regime change" in Moscow. Amid the latest propaganda orgy against Putin, virtually no one in the mainstream is exercising any restraint or finding any cautionary lessons from the Iraqi and Libyan examples.

Yet, with Russia, the risks are orders of magnitude greater than even the cases of Iraq and Libya -- and one might toss in the messy "regime change" projects in Ukraine and Syria. . . .


The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. . . . What Israeli military leaders really worry about - but cannot talk about - is losing their nuclear monopoly.--"NEW IRAN AND SYRIA 2.DOC," U.S. Dept of State, January 1, 2001 (WikiLeaks, November 30, 2015)

"List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War," Wikipedia

Enver Masud, "A Clash Between Justice and Greed, Not Islam and the West," The Wisdom Fund, September 2, 2002

[Former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, chief U.S. prosecutor at the first Nuremberg trial, called waging aggressive war "the supreme international crime"--Enver Masud, "Iraq War: 'Supreme International Crime'," The Wisdom Fund, June 29, 2005]

[This project, . . . consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.--Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, "Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a 'New Middle East',", November 18, 2006]

["This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."--Wesley Clark, "
Seven Countries in Five Years," Democracy Now, March 2, 2007]

[Russia is being encircled by US and Nato bases and missiles in violation of a pledge by the United States not to expand Nato "one inch to the east".--John Pilger, "The New World War -- The Silence Is A Lie,", September 24, 2008]

[During 17 years of assault on a defenceless civilian population, veiled with weasel monikers like "sanctions" and "no fly zones" and "building democracy", more people have died in Iraq than during the peak years of the slave trade.--John Pilger, "Iraq: The Crime of the Century," New Statesman, December 10, 2009]

"America's, Britain's Libyan Rebels," The Wisdom Fund, August 28, 2011

Thierry Meyssan, "'John McCain, Conductor of the 'Arab Spring' and the Caliph,", August 18, 2014

Nafeez Ahmed, "Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern,", August 30, 2013

"ISIS Created by Qatar, Saudis, U.S.," The Wisdom Fund, September 24, 2014

Robert Parry, "The Neocon Plan for War and More War,", November 11, 2014

[All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia - when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.--John Pilger, "War by Media and Triumph of Propaganda -- Secrecy, Surveillance and Censorship," counterPunch, December 5, 2014]

"Western-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Hit by Russian Air Strikes," The Wisdom Fund, September 30, 2015

Virginia Senator Richard Black tells the truth about Syria and Libya, May 17, 2016

White Helmets Infographic Vanessa Beeley, "Who are Syria's White Helmets,", June 21, 2016

[the American propaganda system, the one that supposedly doesn't exist, has gone berserk - targeting RT America (formerly Russia Today).--Andrew Levine, "America's New Demons and the Second Coming of the Neocons,", September 16, 2016

[It says: "The [British] government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated, and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element. By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change."--Jonathan Marcus, "An obituary for the age of intervention?,", September 17, 2016]

[In the case of Russia, some American leaders actually believe a potentially nuclear war can be won and should be considered while at least one general has taken steps to bring about such a conflict.--Philip Giraldi, "Deep State America,", September 20, 2016]

[The end of the Cold War changed everything. . . . NATO lost its essential purpose, since the U.S. no longer needed to shield Western Europe from Moscow.--Doug Bandow, "Say No To NATO's Expansion Parade: Adding Georgia, Finland, And More Would Make America Less Secure,", September 22, 2016]

[The final blow apparently came from the Russian-Syrian side, but what provoked the decision to end the ceasefire was the first ever US strike against Syrian government forces on 17 September.

That convinced the Russians that the US Pentagon had no intention of implementing the main element of the deal that was most important to the Putin government: a joint US-Russian air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) militant group and al-Qaeda through a "Joint Implementation Centre". . . .

The Pentagon was motivated by an overriding interest in heading off such high-profile US-Russian cooperation at a time when it is pushing for much greater US military efforts to counter what it portrays as Russian aggression in a new Cold War.--Gareth Porter, "How the Pentagon sank the US-Russia deal in Syria - and the ceasefire,", September 23, 2016]

Vanessa Beeley, "The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake 'White Helmets' as Terrorist-Linked Imposters,", September 23, 2016

[British parliamentarians released a report which condemned the U.K. government under David Cameron for its role in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya.--James W Carden, "How Libyan 'Regime Change' Lies Echo in Syria,", September 25, 2016]

Gary Leupp, "Hillary Clinton's Campaign Against Russia,", September 26, 2016

Diana Johnstone, "The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War,", September 26, 2016

[Bell Pottinger's output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.--Crofton Black & Abigail Fielding-Smith, "Pentagon Paid for Fake 'Al Qaeda' Videos,", October 1, 2016]

[The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with USAID's Office of Transitional Initiatives - the wing that has promoted regime change around the world - and have been provided with $23 million in funding from the department. USAID supplies the White Helmets through Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC that has become notorious for wasteful aid imbroglios from Haiti to Afghanistan.--Max Blumenthal, "How the White Helmets Became International Heroes While Pushing U.S. Military Intervention and Regime Change in Syria,", October 2, 2016]

[The Syria Campaign is registered in England as a private company called the Voices Project at an address shared by 91 other companies. Aside from Asfari, most of The Syria Campaign's donors are anonymous.

Looming over this opaque operation are questions about its connections to Avaaz, a global public relations outfit that played an instrumental role in generating support for a no-fly zone in Libya, and The Syria Campaign's founding by Purpose, another PR firm spun out of Avaaz.--Max Blumenthal, "'Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That's Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria,", October 3, 2016]

[Not since the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq has Official Washington's political/punditry class clamored more single-mindedly - and openly - for the U.S. government to commit a gross violation of international law, now urging a major military assault on the government of Syria while also escalating tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.

. . . there are two key facts about Syria that Americans are not being told: one, U.S. regional "allies" have been funding and arming radical jihadist groups, including Al Qaeda terrorists, there almost since the conflict began in 2011 and, two, the claim about "moderate" Syrian rebels is a fraud; the "moderates" have served essentially as a P.R. cut-out for the U.S. and its "allies" to supply Al Qaeda and its allies with sophisticated weapons while pretending not to.--Robert Parry, "New 'Group Think' for War with Syria/Russia,", October 5, 2016]

[consider what the reaction in this country would be if an alliance dominated by another major power, say China, began to add the Caribbean countries, the Central American countries, and the northern tier powers of South America to a military alliance that it controlled. Consider further the probable reaction if the Chinese equivalents of neoconservatives campaigned to bring Canada and Mexico into such an alliance and deploy Chinese military forces in those countries. Would any U.S. leader - indeed, any prudent American - not consider that a threat to the nation's security?--Ted Galen Carpenter, "Why Russia Fears NATO,", October 10, 2016]

"'Schizophrenic & incoherent': US vows to fight Al-Qaeda but refuses to battle offshoot Al-Nusra,", October 13, 2016

Graham E. Fuller, "Syria -- What Is the Cost of 'Victory',", October 13, 2016

Robert Fisk, "After Mosul Falls, ISIS will Flee to Syria. Then What?,", October 18, 2016

[Evidence now suggests that we are seeing a replay of Curveball and the Iraqi WMD in 2003 and the bogus hysteria about stopping a Libyan "genocide" in 2011--Rick Sterling, "The 'White Helmets' Controversy,", October 19, 2016]

Tyler Durden, "Russia Is Deploying The Largest Naval Force Since The Cold War For Syria: NATO Diplomat,", October 19, 2016

[The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. . . .

The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an "agreement" that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy.

. . . it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.--John Pilger, "Inside the Invisible Government; War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump,", October 28, 2016]

Robert Parry, "The De Facto US/Al Qaeda Alliance,", October 29, 2016

[Raqqa to be established as the de facto capital of so-called moderate Syrian forces--John Wight, "Understanding Aleppo,", November 2, 2016]

Jan Oberg, "Just How Gray Are the White Helmets of Syria?,", November 4, 2016

TRANSCRIPT: So in late 2011 there is an internal document called the Libya Tick Tock that was produced for Hillary Clinton, and it's the chronological description of how she was the central figure in the destruction of the Libyan state, which resulted in around 40,000 deaths within Libya; jihadists moved in, ISIS moved in, leading to the European refugee and migrant crisis.--"Julian Assange Speaks About Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Election and the Litany of Charges Against Him,", November 5, 2016

Tyler Durden, "Did The BBC Get Caught Fabricating News To Start A War?,", November 29, 2016

Western media lies about Syria exposed by Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett, December 10, 2016

Robert Fisk, "Our political masters are in league with the Syrian rebels, and for the same reason as the rebels kidnap their victims - money,", December 13, 2016

[al-Qaeda in Syria has changed its name to al-Nusra and then to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and - well, it's al-Sham (alias Nusra, alias al-Qaeda) that's been fighting against the Syrian regime in eastern Aleppo.--Robert Fisk, "It was bizarre to watch Samantha Power at the UN conveniently forget to mention all the massacres done in America's name,", December 15, 2016]

[But the blunder was not in staying out of Syria's civil war, but in going in--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Lessons of Aleppo - for Trump,", December 16, 2016]

Guy Taylor, "Obama hoped to use ISIS as leverage against Assad, John Kerry reveals,", January 10, 2017

Israel: "as long as Sunni and Shia are at each other's throats, . . . Israel has nothing to fear" @ 24 min CIA Analyst Ray McGovern, LPAC, January 16, 2017

[For instance, you could release what the U.S. government actually knows about the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria; what the files show about the origins of the Feb. 22, 2014 coup in Ukraine; what U.S. intelligence analysts have compiled about the July 17, 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. And those are just three examples of cases where U.S. government propagandists have sold a dubious bill of goods to the American and world publics in the "information warfare" campaign against the Syrian and Russian governments.--Robert Parry, "Trump's Foreign Policy at a Crossroads,", February 9, 2017]

CIA and Mossad work in tandem with British intel. The goal for the CIA was to replace Assad with a puppet and to topple Iran so we could access their oil. Israel works closely with it's "sister", Saudi Arabia, to help this dark cause. . . .

The travel ban included 7 countries chosen by both Jared Kushner and Rudy. Why did it not include Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan, or Turkey or other countries that hate us? The seven nations mentioned were chosen by Israel, that's why. . . .

Understand that if Trump and Putin work together to defeat Isis, they are actually defeating a CIA/Mossad creation, and furthermore, Syria and Iran grow stronger, which the Saudis and the Israelis fear.--Tyler Durden, "DHS Insider Warns 'It's Spy Versus Spy',", February 17, 2017]

[it comes without Congressional authorization, without UN authorization, and without the authorization of the government of Syria.--Daniel McAdams, "Trump Invades Syria,", March 8, 2017]

[Villainizing the Kremlin - without much evidence - for crises from Washington and Europe to Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan is increasing the possibility of a US-Russian war.--Stephen F. Cohen, "Mounting Incitements to War With Russia,", April 26, 2017]

[NATO has doubled in size, despite a U.S. quid-pro-quo promise in early 1990 to Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev in early 1990 not to expand NATO "one inch" to the east of Germany. The quid required of Russia was acquiescence to a reunited Germany within NATO and withdrawal of the 300,000-plus Russian troops stationed in East Germany.--Ray Mcgovern, "Europe May Finally Rethink NATO Costs,", May 30, 2017]

[the boy's father has revealed that the photo was nothing more than a clever photo op taken by the White Helmets for the purpose of demonizing the Syrian government.--Brandon Turbeville, "Christiane Amanpour Challenged by Russia to Interview Syrian Boy She Exploited for War Propaganda,", June 13, 2017]

Patrick J Buchanan, "After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?,", June 20, 2017

Philip Giraldi, "The Fraud of the White Helmets,", July 4, 2017

James W. Carden, "Refusing to Learn Lessons from Libya,", August 17, 2017

[Western media can't admit they were wrong in their portrayal of the White Helmets, Guy Mettan, head of the Swiss Press Club, told RT--"Reporters Without Borders demand that Swiss Press Club cancel press conference critical of White Helmets,", November 30, 2017]

Andrew J. Bacevich, "When Washington Assured Russia NATO Would Not Expand,", December 20, 2017

[The White Helmets are a mostly British funded propaganda organization embedded with Hayat Tahreer Al-Sham, the current incarnation of al-Qaeda in Syria which rules Idleb governorate.--"Syria -- New 'Chemical Weapons' Fake Planned,", February 15, 2018]

John Pilger, "Skripal case is a carefully-constructed drama," RT, March 18, 2018

The Silence Of The Skripals - Government Blocks Press Reports - Media Change The Record,", April 28, 2018

[Not only do they only operate in rebel-controlled areas but they are a source of propaganda about the war, indeed their very existence is an element in the larger propaganda campaign to rally international support for a "regime change" war in Syria. The "White Helmets" brand was conceived and directed by a New York-based marketing company named "The Syria Campaign," which itself was "incubated" by a larger politically oriented marketing company called Purpose.--Rick Sterling, The 'White Helmets' Controversy,", July 22, 2018]

Jon Basil Utley, What Everyone Seemed to Ignore in Helsinki,", July 25, 2018

[During a staged chemical attacks in Syria, people dressed like White Helmets as part of a plan to film videos clips for the Middle East and English-language media--Russian MoD: Foreign Specialists Arrived in Syria to Stage Chemical Attack,", August 26, 2018]

[Trump had entered the White House with a clear commitment to ending U.S. military interventions--Gareth Porter, Could Trump Take Down the American Empire?,", October 2, 2018]

John Laforge, Worse than Obsolete: NATO Creates Enemies,", December 31, 2018

xxx, U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia's Power Grid,", June 15, 2019

[a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee--John Solomon, 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall,", August 20, 2019]

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