For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
After Paris: What Needs to Be Changed? * Interventions * Saudi
WASHINGTON - President Obama, speaking from Turkey Monday claimed: “What’s been interesting is, in the aftermath of Paris, as listened to those who suggest something-else-needs-to-be-done, typically, the things they suggest-need-to-be-done are things we’re already doing. The one exception is there have been a few who suggested we put large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground.” [Video at 3:15.] But these analysts point to continuing Western interventions and support for Saudi Arabia as major problems in destabilizing the region and being among the root causes of the spiral of violence:
CHRIS WOODS, freelance.woods at gmail.com, @chrisjwoods
Woods is with airwars.org, which monitors “the international coalition’s airstrikes against Islamic State (Daesh) in Iraq and Syria.” While many are calling for more bombing of Syria in the past 466 days the group has documented that there have been over 2,800 strikes in Syria and another 5,300 in Iraq.
JAMES PAUL, james.paul.nyc at gmail.com
Author of Syria Unmasked, Paul was executive director of Global Policy Forum, a think tank that monitors the UN, for nearly 20 years. He was also a longtime editor of the Oxford Companion to Politics of the World and executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project. He just wrote the piece “Grasping the Motives for Terror,” for Consortium News which states: “In 2003, the U.S. (in partnership with the United Kingdom) attacked Iraq, seeking regime change from the former ally Saddam Hussein. Washington stayed for eight years until 2011, creating fiendish Islamic militias as part of a vicious counter-insurgency program created by much-admired U.S. General David Petraeus and later turned into doctrine at the Harvard Kennedy School.
“There was round-the-clock bombing, huge prison camps, torture and ongoing military operations throughout the country, leading to a tremendous loss of life among Iraqis (more than a million perished) and complete destabilization of the country.
“In 2011, the U.S. and various allies intervened again, this time in Libya, using air strikes and special operations forces to produce another ‘regime change.’ The CIA and its Persian Gulf friends armed Islamic militias opposed to the Gaddafi government, while U.S. and allied air forces bombed the capital and other cities, overthrowing the government and creating internal violence and political chaos that continues down to the present.
“In short order, Washington again intervened in Syria — in yet another ‘regime change’ project. A peaceful Arab Spring protest was transformed by the Western powers and their regional allies as they armed and financed rebel groups (including Islamic groups). Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other regional allies had a hand in the conflict. …
“The evidence is clear. Decades of violent Western policies in the Middle East have caused state collapse, political chaos, civil war and immense human suffering. These policies must change if the terror threat is to decline and the peoples of the region are to enjoy a decent life again.”
ALI AL-AHMED, alialahmedx at gmail.com, @AliAlAhmed_en
The French interior minister stated Sunday he would start the “dissolution of mosques where hate is preached.” Al-Ahmed is director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, which just released a report on “the Saudi government school in Paris and the content of its schoolbooks that promote terrorism and hatred.” He said today: “The solution for this tragedy is not to go around shutting down mosques in France. A huge problem has been the support and weapons the Saudi regime has gotten from France, the U.S. and other countries. Virtually no major political figure in the U.S. has spoken out about this. During the Democratic debate on Saturday, Hillary Clinton said: ‘Turkey and the Gulf nations have got to make up their minds. Are they going to stand with us against this kind of jihadi radicalism or not?’ which was somewhat interesting given how compromised she is by money she’s taken from despotic Saudi and GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] monarchies. Bernie Sanders called on the Saudis to get even more involved in Syria — that they should ‘get their hands dirty.’ The Saudis have through a variety of means fueled the tragedy in Syria and are now bombing Yemen, killing thousands. Their hands are plenty dirty and it’s past time to address that.” See: “France: Saudi Arabia’s New Arms Dealer.”
DAN LAZARE, dhlazare at aol.com
Lazare, author of numerous books including The Frozen Republic, just wrote the piece “How Saudi/Gulf Money Fuels Terror” for Consortium News, which states: “In the wake of the latest terrorist outrage in Paris, the big question is not which specific group is responsible for the attack, but who’s responsible for the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in the first place. The answer that has grown increasingly clear in recent years is that it’s Western leaders who have used growing portions of the Muslim world as a playground for their military games and are now crying crocodile tears over the consequences.
“This pattern had its beginnings in the 1980s in Afghanistan, where the Central Intelligence Agency and the Saudi royal family virtually invented modern jihadism in an effort to subject the Soviets to a Vietnam-style war in their own backyard. It was the case, too, in Iraq, which the United States and Great Britain invaded in 2003, triggering a vicious civil warfare between Shi‘ites and Sunnis. …
“In December 2009, Hillary Clinton noted in a confidential diplomatic memo that ‘donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.’ In October 2014, Joe Biden told students at Harvard’s Kennedy School that ‘the Saudis, the emirates, etc. … were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war … [that] they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of military weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad- except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda.’ …
“In April 2003, Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 commission’s neocon executive director, fired an investigator, Dana Leseman, when she proved too vigorous in probing the Saudi connection. [See Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation (New York: Twelve, 2008), pp. 110-13.]
“Strangest of all is what has happened to a 28-page chapter in an earlier joint congressional report dealing with the question of the Saudi complicity. While the report as a whole was heavily redacted, the chapter itself wound up entirely suppressed. Although Obama promised 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser shortly after taking office to see to it that it was made public, it remains under wraps.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.
A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.