Saturday-Monday, May 5-7, 2007
By Malcom LAGAUCHE
At a press conference in November 2001, George Bush stated:
A coalition partner must do more than just express sympathy. A coalition partner must perform. All nations must do something. It’s important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity. You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.
He then went on to explain that any country that gives safe haven to a terrorist, even if it does not support the terrorist’s intent, is just as guilty as a nation that sponsors terrorism. There was no ambiguity in his message.
Since that time, Bush has coerced countries to perform duties against their own will in the guise of fighting terrorism. He has made up terrorists that don’t exist and threatened countries because of mythical figures. Thousands of people worldwide are in secret prisons because of Bush’s "war on terror."
Despite the tough talk about abetting terrorists, Bush is a collaborator with terrorists. There are two world-class terrorists who will never come to justice because they are protected by the U.S. Most U.S. citizens have never heard of one: Luis Posada. The other, Ilyad Allawi, is vaguely remembered as a former prime minister of the "new" Iraq.
Posada’s list of actions is long and comprehensive. His career highlight was orchestrating the blowing up of Cubana Flight 45 on October 6, 1976, in which all 73 people on board died, including 24 members of the Cuban national fencing team.
Other atrocities attributed to Posada include the planning of the bombing of Cuban hotels, cafés and dancehalls. In cahoots with portions of the Cuban exile community in Miami, Florida, Posada has been involved with bombings and assassinations against Cuban interests in Venezuela, Guatemala and other countries.
It appeared that Posada was going to be brought to justice when he was arrested and put on trial in Venezuela. He escaped and was on the run until 2005, when he was arrested in the U.S. Posada claimed asylum and a judge ruled he could be deported, but not to Venezuela or Cuba. Both countries want to incarcerate him for the destruction of the airliner, but the U.S. administration did not allow this to happen.On April 26, 2006, Posada applied for U.S. citizenship. He has a good chance of becoming a U.S. citizen, allowing him to spend the rest of his life outside a jail cell.
The U.S. "war on terror" does not apply to terrorists who work on the side of the U.S. Luis Posada was a CIA asset for years. He and the CIA worked hand-in-hand on many projects. When asked if he felt any guilt about his hotel and café bombings, he replied, "I sleep like a baby."
Let’s take a look at another terrorist who eventually became Iraq’s prime minister. On May 28, 2004, when the U.S. government announced that Ilyad Allawi would become Iraq’s interim prime minister, most people asked, "Who?" Before this time, he was unknown to the U.S. public
Ilyad Allawi was an Iraqi exile living in London. When he first moved to London, he was a member of Iraq’s Ba’ath Party. Shortly after, he changed sides and sold his services to the British spy agency MI6. Later on, he collaborated with the CIA as well.
In the mid-1990s, the Clinton administration had placed the assassination of Saddam Hussein at the top of its agenda, albeit in a covert manner. The plan was for Iraqi dissidents to meet in the north of Iraq (at the time under the protection of U.S. forces) and march to Baghdad. The U.S. was to supply air power and weapons.
Allawi was the man for the job. He was in charge of a U.S.-sponsored Iraqi expatriate group called the Iraqi National Accord (INA). The first part of the operation was to create havoc in Baghdad. For about six months in 1996, INA agents blew up bus stops, cinemas and stores in Baghdad. At least 150 civilians were killed and many more injured.
Syndicated columnist Eric Margolis of the Toronto Sun was one of the few journalists who wrote about the plan. In his column, "The Bay of Camels," of August 25, 1997, he stated, "Terrorism is bad, it seems, when used against Americans or Israelis, but fine when used against Iraqis."
The title of Margolis’ column was a mockery of the "Bay of Pigs" invasion by Cuban dissidents backed by the U.S. that turned into an embarrassing defeat. The Iraqi debacle in 1996 had similar implications, yet gained little publicity.
The Iraqis discovered who was behind the terrorist attacks and arrested INA agents in Baghdad. In addition, Iraqi special agents had already infiltrated the would-be insurgents. The scheduled invasion was doomed before it began. The infiltration of Iraqi government assets, along with a decision by the U.S. not to supply air cover, made it a non-starter.
At the time, a civil war was raging in the north of Iraq between the two largest Kurdish factions. One of their leaders, Barzani, asked Saddam Hussein for help in putting down his rivals. The payoff for Iraq was that Barzani alerted the Iraqis to the huge CIA operation in Irbil, in the north of Iraq. The Iraqi troops destroyed the CIA program and helped Barzani take over Irbil, then they returned to Baghdad.
After the failed coup, Allawi was protected by the U.S. and he fled to England. He still was a major behind-the-scenes player involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Many know of the escapades of Ahmed Chalabi and his group, the INC, but Allawi continued his work for the CIA after the failed strategy to get rid of Saddam.
On November 13, 2004, The Spectator, a British publication, ran a feature by Andrew Gilligan called "The Strongman of Baghdad." According to the article:
Unlike his main rival in Iraqi exile politics, the banker Ahmed Chalabi, he (Allawi) was low-key and persuasive, hinting at highly placed contacts inside the regime who were ready to turn the West’s way. Not for the last time, Ilyad Allawi was telling the British, and later the U.S. government exactly what they wanted to hear, and the CIA millions started to pour in.
The INA’s most controversial operation during this period was a campaign of what can only be termed terrorism against civilians. In 1994 and 1995, a series of bombings at cinemas, mosques and other places in Baghdad claimed up to 100 civilian lives …
In 1996, with massive CIA backing, Mr. Allawi finally got to mount his coup. It was a complete fiasco, not entirely helped by his decision to announce the supposedly top-secret operation to the Washington Post. Even before this, Saddam’s secret police had secretly seized the sophisticated encrypted satphone sent into Iraq to communicate with the coup plotters and were using it to feed disinformation to the CIA. Once the coup had been crushed and all the plotters arrested, the special line came to life one last tie. It was the Iraqis, kindly ringing up the CIA to let them know it was all over.
The "ringing up the CIA" to which Gilligan refers consisted of an Iraqi officer calling a CIA agent in Amman, Jordan, who was anxiously awaiting word of how the operation was progressing. When the CIA operative answered, the Iraqi officer said, "Gotcha!"
Allawi continued to rake in the revenues from the British and American intelligence agencies. He, like Chalabi, continued to turn out the most outrageous allegations about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. The more preposterous, the better. Gilligan added:
Undaunted, Mr. Allawi kept up his contacts (and income) with the spooks and an even thirstier less discriminating audience, the British press. At top-secret meetings in London hotels, murmured conversations with selected extra-gullible hacks would produce exciting headlines in top right-wing newspapers. It was the INA, in July 2000, which fed the Sunday Telegraph the sensational scoop that Saddam had deployed crack "Mata Hari" teams of killer belly-dancers to Britain to assassinate his political opponents, a story which continues to be remembered with tears of real joy whenever Iraq-watching journalists gather to reminisce.
Allawi’s acts of terrorism, lying, and bilking the U.S. and Britain of millions of dollars were well-rewarded: he was appointed Iraq’s prime minister. If any non-governmental citizen of the U.S. or Britain had performed similar acts, he/she would be imprisoned for life. If an administration official of these nations did likewise, it would be considered in "the best interest of national security."
As prime minister in a quisling government, Allawi had virtually no support. The people of Iraq did not respect him. Even Saddam Hussein’s opponents who lived in Iraq their whole lives despised Allawi.
The U.S. spent millions of dollars listening to peoples’ advice on Iraq. But, those they asked for information always gave them the wrong advice. Not one penny was spent on listening to the opinion of Iraqis in Iraq, not exiles living in luxury who had no idea of Iraqi attitudes. Gilligan summed it up:
The trouble, you see, with wafting in a British passport-holder from Wimbledon as your chosen leader is that he has no genuine political capital in Iraq to spend, no popular support to withstand the inevitable crises.
Let’s go back to the 1996 "Bay of Camels" debacle and look at how then President Bill Clinton handled the affair. He had to take some military action against Iraq, yet he could not admit that the U.S. had the world’s largest CIA operation in Irbil and that it had been completely knocked out.
On September 3, 1996, Clinton told the press:
Three days ago, despite clear warnings from the United States and the international community, Iraqi forces attacked and seized the Kurdish-controlled city of Irbil in northern Iraq. The limited withdrawals announced by Iraq do not change the reality. Saddam Hussein’s army today controls Irbil and Iraqi units remain deployed for further attacks.
These acts demand a strong response and they have received one. Earlier today, I ordered American forces to strike Iraq. Our missiles sent the following message to Saddam Hussein: when you abuse your own people or threaten your neighbors you must pay a price.
Clinton appealed to the sensitivities of the U.S. public by saying that Saddam again was abusing his own people. There was not one word about the CIA operation or that the Iraqi army defended against an assassination attempt. The most curious aspect of Clinton’s explanation was the area in which the missiles were sent. If Iraqi troops were "abusing" the Iraqi people in Irbil in the north of Iraq, logic would say that a military response would have been conducted in the north.
But, Clinton added:
First, we are expanding the no-fly zone in southern Iraq. This will deny Saddam control of Iraqi airspace from the Kuwaiti border to the southern suburbs of Baghdad and significantly restrict Iraq's ability to conduct offensive operations in the region. Second, to protect the safety of our aircraft enforcing this no-fly zone, our cruise missiles struck Saddam’s air defense capabilities in southern Iraq.
Clinton mentioned that the strike was to "restrict Iraq’s ability to conduct offensive operations in the region." Iraq did not conduct offensive operations in the south. It was in the north. Even a few reporters asked why the south of Iraq was whacked when the Iraqi troops were in the north. Clinton gave a feeble excuse and the press bought it.
The reason Clinton sent any cruise missiles was because of the outcry from Congress to retaliate. But, he could not tell the truth. At the time, the press had no information about the huge CIA operation that had been destroyed.
The operation was not un-noticed by Congress. Most members knew of the CIA operation, but were tight-lipped. After the fiasco, the Democrats tried to downplay the event, while the Republicans went for the jugular.
A document from the House Republican Policy Committee, called "U.S. Intelligence Debacle Worst Since the Day of Pigs," was released on October 8, 1996. The report was primarily an attack on Bill Clinton’s "weakness" on Iraq.
But, much information was included of which the U.S. public was unaware. According to the report:
In early 1996, President Clinton signed a secret directive authorizing a covert CIA operation to unseat Saddam Hussein. He and his CIA director, John M. Deutch, pinned their hopes on a cadre of Kurdish and Iraqi agents operating inside Iraq with undercover U.S. support. In America’s largest covert operation since the successful CIA campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan, Deutch personally promised the effort would succeed "within a year."But the Clinton-Deutch scheme in Iraq began to come apart in June 1996.
First, the CIA attempt to infiltrate the Republican Guard was uncovered. Reminiscent of the "exploding cigar" fiascoes targeting Fidel Castro in the early 1960s, one of the missions that Clinton approved was to plant a small bomb in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces. It went off, but not while Saddam Hussein was there. The fact that the bomb at least detonated was the only success of the infiltration. Through late June and early July 1996, Iraqi security forces systematically exposed every one of the U.S.-backed officers and agents in the ranks of the Republican Guard …
… With hundreds of American-supported Kurds and Iraqis dead or imprisoned, Bill Clinton dishonestly declared victory before a credulous American public who did not know (and could not have known) what actually happened in Iraq.
Though it was the Republicans who brought out the real facts about the debacle in Irbil, they did not do so for altruistic reasons or to enlighten the U.S. public about situations in Iraq. The report was a partisan swipe at a Democrat president. In fact, before the situation turned sour, most Republicans supported the idea of trying to have Saddam Hussein overthrown from within.
The main U.S. asset, Allawi, was quickly transported out of Iraq with most of the U.S. agents. The Iraqi stooges, who thought they were being well-protected, were left defenseless against the Iraqi troops and they paid a hefty price.
Posada and Allawi are in the major leagues of terrorists. But, the U.S. has protected both. Posada probably will become a U.S. citizen and Allawi now splits his time between an expensive, well-guarded house in Jordan, and another residence in London. Some working class Moslem may get arrested in his house in the U.S. and accused for being a terrorist because of his reading material. But, two of the world’s most notorious terrorists are protected by the same administration that said there will be no safe haven for any terrorist in the world.
Coincidentally, the FBI has downgraded the Mother of All Terrorists, Osama Bin-Laden. The current explanation of crimes for his being on the FBI Most Wanted list is:
Osama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998 bombing of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.
What about 9-11? The reason for the invasion of Afghanistan was that the country would not hand over Osama Bin-Laden, the mastermind of 9-11, to U.S. authorities. Now, the FBI says it does not have enough evidence to charge him with that crime.
Afghanistan was invaded and occupied by foreign troops because it was the home of Osama Bin-Laden. Iraq was invaded and occupied by foreign troops because Saddam Hussein and Bin-Laden were in cahoots with each other.
A 2006 U.S. government report stated that there was no link between Saddam and Bin-Laden. It added that Saddam Hussein held Bin-Laden in contempt and assured that no Al-Qaida operatives were allowed to enter Iraq. The FBI admits it has no proof that Bin-Laden was behind the 9-11 attacks in the U.S. But, the truth is immaterial. Iraq and Afghanistan are still both under brutal occupations.