Are US-backed Iraqi militias committing ethnic cleansing under the cover of fighting Daesh?

From Sputnik

25.05.2016) Get short URL
Iraqi forces and affiliated Shiite militias are accused of ethnic cleansing and mass atrocities in Iraq, under the cover of fighting to liberate territory from Daesh.

On Monday, the Iraqi Army announced plans to begin an offensive to retake the city of Fallujah from Daesh forces. The heavily-populated Iraqi city was the first to fall to the extremist group in 2014, but in recent months Iraqi forces have been able to sharply reduce the militants’ stronghold over the city.

The city also played site for one of the bloodiest battles following the US-led invasion of Iraq, leading to mass casualties of US service members and leaving a once-prominent city in ruins.

Following the ouster of Saddam Hussein, Fallujah, like many other multicultural cities in the country, descended into sectarian strife leading then-Senator Joe Biden to call for the partitioning of Iraq in 2006.

The Sunni-dominated city faced the worst of the systematic effort to expunge loyalists of Saddam Hussein’s secular Ba’ath Party, in a process now known as de-baathification, from positions within the Iraqi government, including ordinary social sector positions in education, medicine, and engineering.

The once prominent Sunni middle class found themselves the subject of persecution at the hands of the Shia-led government, and violent Shiite militias, notably Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

The widespread alienation of Sunnis and the repeated violent tides of ethnic cleansing by Shiite militias forced many secular Sunnis into league with the violent Daesh extremist group, whose Iraqi branch is now dominated by a cadre of former Saddam Hussein loyalists.

With the government unravelling in Iraq, and the violent Mahdi army once again threatening to seize control of the country, the situation has been described as waves of ethnic cleansing by competing and increasingly extremist sectarian militias – the Mahdi Army, supported by Iraqi forces on the Shia side, and Daesh, along with al-Qaeda, on the Sunni side.

In this descent into social cataclysm, the Iraqi army, along with loosely-affiliated Shia militias, looks to ‘liberate’ Fallujah, using American weapons and support, but with many residents of the Daesh-occupied city fearing another violent round of ethnic cleansing. On Tuesday, Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker sat down with Iraqi-American and foreign policy analyst Raed Jarrar to discuss the latest offensive.

Has the offensive on Daesh-controlled Fallujah begun?

“The news coming from Iraq indicates that there are no signs that the offensive has begun yet, but the Iraqi government has announced its intentions to start an offensive,” explained Jarrar. “US sources have been denying that any operations have started taking place so there is some confusion about that.”

The foreign policy analyst observed that people remaining in Fallujah are frightened by the Iraqi forces and affiliated militias, who they believe will use the presence of Daesh as a cover for ethnic cleansing.

“Militias affiliated with the Iraqi forces have made shocking announcements of late, calling Fallujah a cancer that has to be cut out, and these proclamations are concerning because the militias have committed war crimes when they attacked towns controlled by ISIS in the past,” said Jarrar. “There is a real concern that the anticipated attacks on Fallujah will follow the pattern of abuses committed by Iraqi forces and affiliated militias in the past.”

What do they mean by ‘liberating’ Fallujah? Ramadi was ‘liberated’ but there was nothing left.

“There was a report by Human Rights Watch that came out last year that was titled ‘After Liberation Came Destruction.’ The word liberation is a very problematic word in this context,” said Jarrar. “Human Rights Watch reported the premeditated and systematic way that Iraqi forces and militias took towns back from ISIS and destroyed towns, committing ethnic cleansing. They targeted some ethnicities against other ethnicities, demolished homes of some sects and kept homes of other sects.”

“I expect that this is just another campaign of ethnic cleansing and they are using ISIS as a pretext to enter these towns and bombard them,” said Jarrar. “This is a premeditated policy of destruction and ethnic cleansing that the Iraqi government has been following since 2003.”

Where should forces attack to get a handle on the unravelling situation in Iraq?

“From my point of view, that is not the discussion that we should be having. It is not about which city to bombard first or what city to allow the US and its allies to bomb first,” said Jarrar. “That is why I wanted to comment on the word ‘liberate,’ because it implies that there is a legitimate force that will come in to kick out an illegitimate group. That is not the situation in Iraq. Iraq has many extremist and violent groups, including the government forces.”

“If the United States wants to give good advice to Iraq, then we need to start by stopping support to groups and the Iraqi government, that have been committing mass violations of human rights, funding these groups is illegal under US and international law,” said Jarrar. “We continue to give funds and weapons to groups committing atrocities in Iraq.”

Jaraa claimed that a more meaningful solution to the ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq and throughout the region, would be to focus on policies of division and persecution that pit groups against each other, likening the violence committed by Shia militias to that committed by Daesh, which he referred to as a similar force on the Sunni side.

“The idea of getting rid of all these things will not include dropping more bombs on Iraq, it will not make the country more peaceful and it will not make these groups more moderate. It will actually make more death and destruction and that is what the US has been doing in Iraq since 1991,” stated Jarrar.

Daesh is blocking Fallujah residents from leaving while the Iraqis demand that they leave – what will happen to the civilians?

“They are the ones that pay the hefty price and many of them have been paying a heavy price, not as a consequence of violence, but because that is the actual goal of violence – displacement,” explained Jarrar. “The Iraqi militias, especially those affiliated with the Iraqi government, have been implementing a plan of systematic displacement to gain more territory for their own group.”

“This is a different analysis than you receive in the mainstream media that the violence is part of the medicine, part of the solution, and the US has to support attacks on Fallujah and Mosul because this is the way to get rid of the bad guys and liberate these towns,” explained Farrar.

“That is not what is going on in the real world. In the real world this is more violence that has illegitimate agendas to displace more Iraqi and create more sectarian enclaves,” he said.

http://sputniknews.com/news/20160525/1040198115/iraq-shia-sunni-daesh-fallujah.html

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Fallujah is being slaughtered silently

Global Research, December 13, 2015
Middle East Monitor 7 December 2015

The daughter of Anbar, the Baghdadian city that rests on the banks of the Euphrates, barricaded itself every morning and learned to survive the abrasive nature of war and bombings. The Americans believed that their repeated shelling would extinguish the city’s flame but they were wrong. The beginning of a major liberation movement swept Iraq and ended with the expulsion of its twenty-first century invaders. They left with their tails between their legs in disappointment, reminding them of the failures they experienced in Vietnam, and perhaps even more.

Fallujah: what is unknown about this city is that it differs from the majority of other Iraqi cities and that it is located approximately 40 kilometres west of Baghdad. The mosques have found their place among the houses of the city and they are so great in number that Fallujah is now known as the “mother of mosques”, being home to more than 100 mosques; the perimeter of the city does not exceed 30 kilometres.

When the Americans invaded Baghdad in the spring of 2003 the shock was intense for all, whether it was the Iraqis who set eyes on a tank headed for their capital for the first time, or even the rest of the Arab and Islamic world as they saw the occupation of one of the region’s most influential capitals. While it is true that Iraqi resistance was quick to form in the face of the new invaders — many have called it the fasted growing resistance in history —it was still not enough to revive and protect the dignity of the Iraqi and Arab peoples when American tanks entered Baghdad on 9 April 2003.

The people of Fallujah protested against the occupation of Iraq for nearly a year in an effort to regain the balance of everyday life and the dignity of the city. At the time of the invasion of Iraq, the plan to divide the country was already on the invader’s table. Nothing was missing, not even the means to implement the project. Twenty-five million Iraqis were subsequently divided into Sunni, Shia, Kurds and other minorities. Even so, Fallujah stood as a reminder to all Iraqis that the path to resistance was ongoing and that national unity remained a goal. In the spring of 2004, Fallujah was the first Iraqi city to free itself from the US occupation after a battle that lasted 33 days. American forces used all of their energy to try to reclaim the city and failed.

On that day, men were truly men as America was forced to sit down at the negotiating table with the rest of the city’s inhabitants. All the US wanted to do was break Fallujah’s will but on that day Iraq was united behind the city. Songs praising Fallujah were broadcast from north to south of Iraq. There was no disagreement among any of the Iraqis as to what Fallujah stood for. The city was a thorn in the side of anyone who wanted to swallow Iraq whole.

Months went by and Fallujah became a liberated city within an occupied country. It became a bubble that governed itself. It frustrated all of the invaders who stood beyond the city boundary, subjecting them to humiliation and shame. The US used all of its forces and brought Tony Blair’s forces with it, including those who were trained in Iran. All of them wanted to take revenge on the city by testing out weapons that had never been used before. The results left the bodies of the victims completely destroyed or melted; not even their bones remained.[see NOTE]

Today, years later, Fallujah finds itself, once again, the prey of evil beings who wish to retaliate for its steadfastness. They continue to use the same argument time and again; that the city is harbouring terrorists. This has been the excuse for everything since 2004 when it was believed that Fallujah was harbouring Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Since the beginning of 2014, Fallujah has been transformed into the city of death. Every day it is bombarded under the pretext of fighting Daesh. What the media and the international community continue to ignore is the fact that the city is home to 150,000 civilians who refuse to leave the city out of fear that they will be subject to government blackmail in Baghdad.

Despite today’s constant violence in the city, many of the inhabitants of the neighbouring city of Ramadi have sought refuge in Fallujah. From the perspective of those fleeing, it is more dignified to go to Fallujah then to stand on the bridge to Baghdad awaiting mercy. Today Fallujah is being bombed and the world continues to see only what it wants to see. It is important for us to remind the people across the Arab and Islamic world that this city, which is bombed every day, was once a symbol of honour and resistance. It is in need of more than a prayer or a loaf of bread because the people of Fallujah are fighting for their lives and paying the price with the blood of their children. That is the dearest thing that can be offered to this steadfast city.

Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadid, 1 December, 2015

US-led coalition supposedly against ISIS, yet warplanes “mistakenly” strike Iraqi bases in Fallujah, killing 6 Iraqi soldiers

FARS News Agency 6 June 2015
Global Research, June 07, 2015

Fighter jets of the US-led coalition against ISIL once again struck the Iraqi forces’ positions in the province of Anbar, in Western Iraq, on Saturday.

The US-led coalition warplanes hit the bases of Iraqi army’s Hezbollah battalions in Fallujah in Anbar province, killing 6 soldiers and injuring 8 others.

In early May, the anti-ISIL coalition forces struck the position of Iraq’s popular forces near Baghdad, killing a number of volunteer forces.

The US-led coalition warplanes hit an arms production workshop of the popular forces near the Iraqi capital, destroying the workshop and its ammunition completely.

Two members of Iraq’s popular forces were killed in the attack.

The US has repeatedly struck the popular forces’ positions in different parts of Iraq.

On March 29, the US fighter jets struck the positions of Iraq’s popular forces during their fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists near Tikrit, injuring a number of fighters.

The US and coalition forces conducted eight airstrikes near Tikrit, but they hit the popular forces’ positions instead of ISIL.

In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.

“The US planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places,” Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.

He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the US airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.

“Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control,” Al-Jaberi said.

Meantime, Head of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

In January, al-Zameli underlined that  the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA at the time.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940316001210

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-led-coalition-against-isis-warplanes-mistakenly-strike-iraqi-army-bases-in-fallujah-kill-iraqi-soldiers/5454005

Hideous acts — ISIS, Fallujah, Iraq, George W., (and Ukraine, Syria, Libya) — and U.S. candidates who support them

By William Blum
Posted on Global Research, May 24, 2015

anti-US-bombing-syria-iraq-isil-isis

She was a redheaded rebel, the singer in the family, a trash-talking, tattooed 21-year-old wrapped up in a hip-hop dream of becoming Holland’s Eminem. Then Betsy found Allah. After her sudden conversion to Islam last summer, Betsy began dressing in full Muslim robes. By January, the once-agnostic Dutch woman, raised in a home where the only sign of religion was a dusty Bible on a shelf, began defending homegrown terrorists. … Denis Cuspert, a German hip-hop artist known as Deso Dogg who converted in 2010 and later joined The Islamic State [ISIS], delivers a rap-like chant portraying the path to jihad as a chance for empowerment, spiritual fulfillment, vengeance and adventure. … ‘The door to jihad is standing there waiting for you,’ says a Swedish convert to Islam in a video. ‘It is the fastest way to paradise.’ “

Tales told many times in recent years, all over Europe, at times in the United States. Parents and authorities are deeply distressed and perplexed. How can young people raised in the West – the freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled West – join the Islamic State and support the public cutting off of the heads of breathing, living human beings? Each of us in our own way are lost souls searching for answers to the awful mysteries of life. But THIS? What life-quest does The Islamic State satisfy that our beloved West can’t satisfy? ISIS is unique in the world in making US foreign policy look good. The Defense Department and the State Department have special task forces studying the new enemy; the latter regularly puts out videos to counteract the many Islamic State videos.

I hope those researching the question look inwardly as well as at ISIS. How do young people raised in the West – the same West we know and love – coldly machine-gun to death more than a dozen Iraqis, men, women, children, reporters, absolutely in cold blood, in the video made famous by Chelsea Manning; but this of course is nothing compared to Fallujah with its two-headed babies, even three-headed, an eye in the middle of the forehead. The Islamic State has done nothing compared to what the United States did to the people of Fallujah. Can anyone name a horror in all of history more gruesome? Yes, there are some, but not many; and much of Fallujah was personally executed by nice, clean-cut, freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled made-in America young men.

Here’s US Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, in his memoir, April 6, 2004, the time of Fallujah, in video teleconference with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly,” said Powell. “There has to be a total victory somewhere. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” Then Bush spoke:

“At the end of this campaign al-Sadr must be gone. At a minimum, he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out. Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. … There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!”

“Years from now when America looks out on a democratic Middle East, growing in freedom and prosperity, Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima” in World War II. – George W. Bush, 2006

Well, George, it’s either that or Fallujah was one of the key reasons for the rise of ISIS.

My point here is not that United States foreign policy is as barbaric and depraved as The Islamic State. It’s not. Most of the time. I simply hope to make it a bit easier to understand the enemy by seeing ourselves without the stars in our eyes. And I haven’t even mentioned what the United States has led the world in for over a century – torture.

The ever-fascinating and ever-revealing subject of ideology

Jeb Bush has gotten himself into trouble because, like all politicians running for office, he is unable to give simple honest answers to simple straightforward questions, for fear of offending one or another segment of the population. How refreshing it would be to have a politician say only what s/he actually believes, even if it’s as stupid as usual.

The brother of the previous president has been asked repeatedly: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” At first his answer was “yes”, then at times “I don’t know”, even “no” at least once, or he’s refused to answer at all. Clearly he’s been guessing about which reply would win him points with the most people, or which would lose him the least.

This caused a minor uproar, even among conservatives. Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham was moved to make a rare rational remark: “You can’t still think that going into Iraq, now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to. If you do, there has to be something wrong with you.”

Such discussions always leave out a critical point. Why did millions of Americans, and even more millions abroad, march against the war in the fall of 2002 and early 2003, before it began? What did they know that the Bush brothers and countless other politicians didn’t know? It was clear to the protesters that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were habitual liars, that they couldn’t care less about the people of Iraq, that the defenseless people of that ancient civilization were going to be bombed to hell; most of the protesters knew something about the bombings of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan; and they knew about napalm, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, etc. Those who marched knew that the impending war was something a moral person could not support; and that it was totally illegal, a textbook case of a “war of aggression”; one didn’t have to be an expert in international law to know this.

Didn’t the Brothers Bush, Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war in the Senate), et al know about any of these things? Of course they did. They just didn’t care enough; supporting the empire’s domination and expansion was a given, and remains so; no US politician gets very far – certainly not to the White House – questioning the right of American Exceptionalism to impose itself upon humanity (for humanity’s sake of course).

Consider the darlings du jour of the American Left, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They very seldom speak out critically about US foreign policy or even the military budget. The anti-war/anti-imperialist segment of the American left need to put proper pressure on the two senators.

Mr. Sanders should also be asked why he routinely refers to himself as a “democratic socialist”. Why not just “socialist”? It’s likely a legacy of the Cold War. I think that he and other political figures who use the term are, consciously or unconsciously, trying to disassociate themselves from communism, the Soviet Union, Marxism, etc., all those things that are not good for you. (The word “socialist” once connoted furtive men with European accents, sinister facial hair, and bombs.)

It would be delightful to hear Sanders openly declare that he is simply a “socialist”. Socialism can be democratic; indeed, a lot more so than capitalism, particularly concerning the distribution of wealth and all the ramifications of that. Presented here are some relevant thoughts on these issues, from myself and others:

It’s only the socialists who maintain as a bedrock principle: People before Profit, which can serve as a very concise definition of socialism, an ideology anathema to the Right and libertarians, who fervently believe, against all evidence, in the rationality of a free market. I personally favor the idea of a centralized, planned economy. (Oh my God, a damn Commie!) Modern society is much too complex and technical to leave its operation in the hands of libertarians, communitarians, or anarchists seeking to return to a “community” or “village” level.

“Washington has always regarded democratic socialism as a greater challenge than totalitarian Communism, which was easy to vilify and made for a handy enemy. In the 1960s and ’70s, the favored tactic for dealing with the inconvenient popularity of economic nationalism and democratic socialism was to try to equate them with Stalinism, deliberately blurring the clear differences between the world views.” – Naomi Klein

“If it is true, as often said, that most socialist regimes turn out to be dictatorships, that is largely because a dictatorship is much harder to overthrow or subvert than a democracy.” – Jean Bricmont, Belgian author of “Humanitarian Imperialism” (2006)

Without a proclaimed socialist vision, radical change becomes too many different things for too many different individuals and groups.

“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.” – Martin Luther King

The United States is so fearful of the word “socialism” that it changed the “social sciences” to the “behavioral sciences”.

If for no other reason than to save the environment, the world needs to abandon the capitalist system. Every day, in every spot on earth, in a multitude of ways, corporations are faced with a choice: to optimize profits or to do what’s best for the planet.

The great majority of people in any society work for a salary. They don’t need to be motivated by the profit motive. It’s not in anyone’s genes. Virtually everybody, if given the choice, would prefer to work at jobs where the main motivations are to help others, improve the quality of life of society, and provide themselves with meaningful and satisfying work. It’s not natural to be primarily motivated by trying to win or steal “customers” from other people, no holds barred, survival of the fittest or the least honest.

And what about this thing called “democracy”, or “majority rule”? Many millions marched against the invasion of Iraq before it began. I don’t know of a single soul who marched in favor of it, although I’m sure there must have been someone somewhere. That lucky soul was the one they listened to.

Finally, the question being asked of Jeb Bush and others is not the best one. They’re asked: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” A more important question would be: “Knowing what we knew then, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” And the answer should be “no”, because we knew that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction. This is very well documented, from diverse sources, international and Iraqi, including Saddam himself and his chief lieutenants.

The American Mainstream Media – A Classic Tale Of Propaganda

“When an American warplane accidentally struck the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign …”

These words appeared in the Washington Post on April 24, 2015 as part of a story about US drone warfare and how an American drone attack in Pakistan in January had accidentally killed two Western aid workers. The Post felt no need to document the Belgrade incident, or explain it any further. Almost anyone who follows international news halfway seriously knows about this famous “accident” of May 7, 1999. The only problem is that the story is pure propaganda.

Three people inside the Chinese embassy were killed and Washington apologized profusely to Beijing, blaming outdated maps among other problems. However, two well-documented and very convincing reports in The Observer of London in October and November of that year, based on NATO and US military and intelligence sources, revealed that the embassy had been purposely targeted after NATO discovered that it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. The Chinese were doing this after NATO planes had successfully silenced the Yugoslav government’s own transmitters.  The story of how the US mainstream media covered up the real story behind the embassy bombing is absolutely embarrassing.

Over and above the military need, there may have been a political purpose served. China, then as now, was clearly the principal barrier to US hegemony in Asia, if not elsewhere. The bombing of the embassy was perhaps Washington’s charming way of telling Beijing that this is only a small sample of what can happen to you if you have any ideas of resisting or competing with the American juggernaut. Since an American bombing campaign over Belgrade was already being carried out, Washington was able to have a much better than usual “plausible denial” for the embassy bombing. The opportunity may have been irresistible to American leaders. The chance might never come again.

All of US/NATO’s other bombing “mistakes” in Yugoslavia were typically followed by their spokesman telling the world: “We regret the loss of life.” These same words were used by the IRA in Northern Ireland on a number of occasions over the years following one of their bombings which appeared to have struck the wrong target. But their actions were invariably called “terrorist”.

Undoubtedly, the US media will be writing of the “accidental” American bombing of the Chinese embassy as long as the empire exists and China does not become a member of NATO.

P.S On May 20 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a list of 39 English-language books recovered during the raid that reportedly killed Osama bin Laden. Noam Chomsky and I are the only two authors on the list with two books.

As some of you may remember, in January, 2006 bin Laden, in an audiotape, recommended that Americans read my book Rogue State. This resulted in the US media discovering my existence for a week. You can read the full story in my book America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy (pp. 281-84).

Notes:

  1. Washington Post, May 7, 2015
  2. Ricardo Sanchez, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story (2008), pages 349-350
  3. Associated Press, November 11, 2006
  4. William Blum, America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy, pp. 61-2
  5. The Observer (London), October 17, 1999 (“Nato bombed Chinese deliberately”), and November 28, 1999 (“Truth behind America’s raid on Belgrade”)
  6. Extra! Update (magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR], New York), December 1999; appeared first as solitary article October 22, 1999 (“U.S. Media Overlook Expose on Chinese Embassy Bombing”)

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/their-precious-young-minds-and-our-precious-young-minds/545142

    http://williamblum.org/aer/read/139

The Fallujah option for East Ukraine; why the US feels threatened by Russia

Tell me; what choice does Zakharchenko really have? If his comrades are killed in future combat because he let Kiev’s army escape, who can he blame but himself?

There are no good choices.

By Mike Whitney, February 6, 2015
Posted on Counterpunch

I want to appeal to the Ukrainian people, to the mothers, the fathers, the sisters and the grandparents. Stop sending your sons and brothers to this pointless, merciless slaughter. The interests of the Ukrainian government are not your interests. I beg of you: Come to your senses. You do not have to water Donbass fields with Ukrainian blood. It’s not worth it.”

Alexander Zakharchenko,  Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic

Washington needs a war in Ukraine to achieve its strategic objectives. This point cannot be overstated.

The US wants to push NATO to Russia’s western border. It wants a land-bridge to Asia to spread US military bases across the continent.  It wants to control the pipeline corridors from Russia to Europe to monitor Moscow’s revenues and to  ensure that gas continues to be denominated in dollars. And it wants a weaker, unstable Russia that is more prone to regime change, fragmentation and, ultimately, foreign control. These objectives cannot be achieved peacefully, indeed, if the fighting stopped tomorrow,  the sanctions would be lifted shortly after, and the Russian economy would begin to recover. How would that benefit Washington?

It wouldn’t. It would undermine Washington’s broader plan to integrate China and Russia into the prevailing economic system, the dollar system. Powerbrokers in the US realize that the present system must either expand or collapse. Either China and Russia are brought to heel and persuaded to accept a subordinate role in the US-led global order or Washington’s tenure as global hegemon will come to an end.

This is why hostilities in East Ukraine have escalated and will continue to escalate. This is why the U.S. Congress  approved a bill for tougher sanctions on Russia’s energy sector and lethal aid for Ukraine’s military. This is why Washington has sent military trainers to Ukraine and is preparing to provide  $3 billion in  “anti-armor missiles, reconnaissance drones, armored Humvees, and radars that can determine the location of enemy rocket and artillery fire.” All of Washington’s actions are designed with one purpose in mind, to intensify the fighting and escalate the conflict. The heavy losses sustained by Ukraine’s inexperienced army and the terrible suffering of the civilians in Lugansk and Donetsk  are of no interest to US war-planners. Their job is to make sure that peace is avoided at all cost because peace would derail US plans to pivot to Asia and remain the world’s only superpower. Here’s an except from an article in the WSWS: Continue reading