Some people may take me as a “conspiracy theorist” for what i’m about to say, so let me make this clear:
It doesn’t matter to me whether or not 9/11 was an “inside job”. Nor does it matter to me whether or not the moon landing was fake, or whether Stanley Kubric was the one who filmed it. I don’t care whether or not Jay Z, Rhianna or even Obama are members of Satanic cults. I don’t even really care whether or not reptilian aliens from the other side of the galaxy have been secretly running all human civilisations for the past 130,000 years.
But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter if powerful people are secretly doing things which lead to the deaths of civilians that they then lie about. Killing civilians is not acceptable by most people’s standards of morality, and what’s more it goes against the Geneva convention, as does torture and the mistreatment or prisoners of war. If a government which has signed the Geneva convention does these things, the officials responsible are War Criminals.
Not lizards, or satanists or members of whatever New World Order you think is going on, but War Criminals. War Criminals who don’t want to be brought to justice, and would rather hide their tracks. If possible, they would rather be remembered as heroes, not criminals, or failing that not remembered at all.
If the West is at war against Islamist Terrorism, that’s one thing. Of course, “terrorist” is a slightly meaningless label given that most of the West’s enemies would call it’s leaders terrorists as well. Whenever someone uses violence to achieve their political goals, then their opponents will probably call them a terrorist. It’s a subjective definition.
So let’s just stick with the term “War Criminal”, because that’s a lot more clear-cut. If a rebel group attacks a nation state, even killing military personnel in the process, they are not necessarily war criminals. In fact they may be completely dedicated to achieving a lasting peace and a democratic system of government, only resorting to violence because their enemies are so despotic and brutal that they are ensuring perpetual conflict.
However, anyone, whether they are a Nation-State, a rebel group or a mercenary squad, who kills civilians, tortures people or mistreats/kills prisoners of war, is a War Criminal, whatever their ideology, nationality or size.
The leaders of the West (broadly speaking, the NATO powers) are War Criminals. The mistreatment of prisoners of war at Guantanamo Bay is well known, and this is only one site at which prisoners of the “war against Terror” are tortured. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq due to Western bombs and bullets are also well known. Again Iraq is only the most famous recent example: Western bombs killed plenty of civilians in Libya, Mali, Afghanistan and Pakistan too, to name just a few examples.
Also War Criminals are the leaders of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Boko Haram, Al Nusra and any other Islamist militant group that targets civilians, torture’s people or kills or mistreats prisoners of war. So in this “War of Terror” both “sides” are War Criminals. Both can be called terrorists too, if you like that term. But it is of course more complicated than that, because there are not just two sides. There are too many “Islamist groups” in the world for anyone to be able to count them all, and they are not all united in common cause, with common leadership or even with a common ideology.
The West gets around this complexity by simply referring to them all as if they were the same, much as they used to refer all leftists and serious labour organisers around the world “Communists”, and for much the same reason. So that they can kill them, and their citizens will not object to it because the majority of those citizens have been convinced that “Communists”, or “Islamists” are a deadly threat.
But this lumping of all Islamic militants in the same category plays another function as well, which is to disguise the fact that the West is only really at war with some of these groups, and is in fact funding or operationally supporting others. This is the point at which some people will say i’m a conspiracy theorist, so i guess i’d better name drop some respected journalists and academics who have collected a wealth of empirical evidence for these claims: Michel Chossudovsky and Jeremy Scahill are good places to start.
I am going to focus on the bigger picture of the basic theory. Lets start with three basic assumptions: 1. Imperialism is a lot easier if the imperialist nations don’t have to fight all their own wars but can instead get the people who have already been conquered to fight them instead. 2. Imperialism is also a lot easier is the people who are being conquered are too busy fighting ethnic wars against one another instead of uniting against their colonisers. 3. Imperialism is even easier if the colonised people don’t even see themselves as such but instead are deluded into thinking they are citizens of independent sovereign nations.
Today we have a world divided between three major imperialist powers (Russia, China and the West) with a few countries led by governments who at least try to maintain a degree of independence (e.g. Iran, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela). Most of the world’s supposedly independent sovereign nations are actually Western proxy governments, since the West is the most militarily superior imperialist power.
Instead of ruling these countries’ peoples directly as colonial subjects, the West installs pseudo-democratic governments. These governments hold elections, but if the population elects a candidate the West doesn’t like, they will either be assassinated by agents working for the west, or their entire government will be overthrown by rebels armed by the West.
Two important books documenting this overall pattern are “War is a Racket” by Major General Smedley Butler and “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins, both of whom were actually heavily involved in this process and who later choose to expose it through their writings.
If the colonised people happen to vote for pro-Western candidates in their fake elections then they stand a chance of being able to live in peace. If not, and if they organised armed rebellion against whatever government the West imposes on them by force, they will most likely be drawn into a civil war that takes on ethnic dimensions.
Their revolutionary army will be infiltrated by Western agents who will do all they can do split the organisation into rival warring factions on ethnic lines, or the West will simply form a new “rebel” group to fight against them from the outside. Western propaganda, and the propaganda of the Western proxies on the ground, will constantly emphasise the ethnic dimensions of the conflict.
This could be done for example by forming a rival rebel group comprised of members of only one ethnic group to attack the genuine revolutionaries. This would be likely to inflame passions all across the country and perhaps lead to the spontaneous formation of other rebel armies representing only one ethnic group. Then the war will appear to outsiders and even to the citizens of the country to be an ethnic war rather than one between an imperialist country and it’s subjects.
Sometimes Russia, China, Iran or some other anti-western power will also be funding one of the other rebel armies, or perhaps the government the rebels are fighting itself. This is what’s going on in Syria: Russia is supporting the Assad regime, Iran are supporting Hezbollah, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar are supporting various other rebel groups. It must be pretty annoying (to say the least!) to be a genuine Syrian revolutionary and having to work with all these imperialists!
The interesting this is that the NATO powers do not directly fund the rebels, instead they fund Saudi Arabia and Qatar and let them fund rebels, though CIA, M16 and other western secret service agencies are almost certainly playing more direct roles than the Western governments are publicly letting on. Nonetheless, it is an example of the kind of long twisted hierarchies of power in modern Imperialism.
The interesting by-product of this complexity is that the West finds itself actually funding groups who share the kind of Islamist ideology that the West declared war against after 9/11. Some of the Syrian rebels, like Al Nusra are openly in allegiance with “Al Qaeda”, as the West itself admits and complains about. But they don’t tell Saudi Arabia or Qatar to stop funding them.
“Al Qaeda” itself is not the most coherent of organisations, but rather many different organisations pursuing different objectives in different parts of the world with different leadership structures. This is how it is possible for some Al Qaeda groups to be working with the West, as in Syria, and some working against the West, as in most places.
The point is, all of this should be enough to show that the West do not really care about fighting Al Qaeda or Islamist militancy per se. They will support or fight against these groups depending on other factors, as to whether or not it seems to suit their short term geopolitical interests.
So what are these interests? Well, the financial system or the western world (by which we mean all it’s quasi colonies in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Australasia as well as simply the imperial heartlands of Europe and North America) is still dominated by the US dollar. The value of the US dollar, and thus the integrity of the whole system, is based on it’s link to energy supplies, especially Oil and Gas. If Oil and Gas are sold in dollars at a good price, then the West is happy. If not, it’s not.
This is why we always hear about war or tense diplomatic relations concerning the West in countries where there are Oil and Gas reserves under the ground: (e.g. Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Mali, DRC, Venezuela), or where Oil or Gas pipelines would have to be built (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia).
For the rest of the Western colonies in the world the explanation is slightly simpler. There’s no point going to all that trouble ensuring the ratio of value between US Dollars to Oil is OK if no workers are being exploited to turn natural resources into commodities for those dollars to be spent on. So the West makes sure that the countries with the raw materials are run by regimes who’ll sell them to the West cheaply, and the countries with the workers will be run by regimes who’ll keep wages down by violently repressing trades-unions and other social movements of the poor.
The companies making money off of the cheap labour power and raw materials, are of course all based in the West and their owners go to the same parties as Western military and political leaders, since they are members of the same social class- the ruling class.
So there you go. It’s not all an Evil conspiracy. It’s just plain, good old-fashioned Imperialist War crimes being covered up behind a smokescreen of democracy for the benefit of capitalists.