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The Islamist State :  Information Clearing House - ICH

The Islamist State :  Information Clearing House - ICH

The Islamist State

William Blum

October 17, 2014 "ICH"

You can’t believe a word the United States or
its mainstream media say about the current
conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).

can’t believe a word France or the United
Kingdom say about ISIS.

can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia,
Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab
Emirates say about ISIS. Can you say for sure
which side of the conflict any of these mideast
countries actually finances, arms, or trains, if
in fact it’s only one side? Why do they allow
their angry young men to join Islamic
extremists? Why has NATO-member Turkey allowed
so many Islamic extremists to cross into Syria?
Is Turkey more concerned with wiping out the
Islamic State or the Kurds under siege by ISIS?
Are these countries, or the Western powers, more
concerned with overthrowing ISIS or overthrowing
the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad?

can’t believe the so-called “moderate” Syrian
rebels. You can’t even believe that they are
moderate. They have their hands in everything,
and everyone has their hands in them.

Hezbollah and Syria have been fighting ISIS or
its precursors for years, but the United States
refuses to join forces with any of these
entities in the struggle. Nor does Washington
impose sanctions on any country for supporting
ISIS as it quickly did against Russia for its
alleged role in Ukraine.

groundwork for this awful mess of political and
religious horrors sweeping through the Middle
East was laid – laid deeply – by the United
States during 35 years (1979-2014) of
overthrowing the secular governments of
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. (Adding to
the mess in the same period we should not forget
the US endlessly bombing Pakistan, Somalia and
Yemen.) You cannot destroy modern, relatively
developed and educated societies, ripping apart
the social, political, economic and legal
fabric, torturing thousands, killing millions,
and expect civilization and human decency to

Particularly crucial in this groundwork was the
US decision to essentially throw 400,000 Iraqis
with military training, including a full officer
corps, out onto the streets of its cities,
jobless. It was a formula for creating an
insurgency. Humiliated and embittered, some of
those men would later join various resistance
groups operating against the American military

It’s safe
to say that the majority of armored vehicles,
weapons, ammunition, and explosives taking lives
every minute in the Middle East are stamped
“Made in USA”.

And all
of Washington’s horses, all of Washington’s men,
cannot put this world back together again. The
world now knows these places as “failed states”.

Meanwhile, the United States bombs Syria daily,
ostensibly because the US is at war with ISIS,
but at the same time seriously damaging the oil
capacity of the country (a third of the Syrian
government’s budget), the government’s military
capabilities, its infrastructure, even its
granaries, taking countless innocent lives,
destroying ancient sites; all making the
recovery of an Assad-led Syria, or any Syria,
highly unlikely. Washington is undoubtedly
looking for ways to devastate Iran as well under
the cover of fighting ISIS.

good can be said about this whole beastly
situation. All the options are awful. All the
participants, on all sides, are very suspect, if
not criminally insane. It may be the end of the
world. To which I say … Good riddance. Nice try,
humans; in fact, GREAT TRY … but good riddance.
ISIS … Ebola … Climate Change … nuclear
radiation … The Empire … Which one will do us in
first? … Have a nice day.

Is the
world actually so much more evil and scary today
than it was in the 1950s of my upbringing, for
which I grow more nostalgic with each new
horror? Or is it that the horrors of today are
so much better reported, as we swim in a sea of
news and videos?

seeing several ISIS videos on the Internet,
filled with the most disgusting scenes,
particularly against women, my thought is this:
Give them their own country; everyone who’s in
that place now who wants to leave, will be
helped to do so; everyone from all over the
world who wants to go there will be helped to
get there. Once they’re there, they can all do
whatever they want, but they can’t leave without
going through a rigorous interview at a
neighboring border to ascertain whether they’ve
recovered their attachment to humanity. However,
since very few women, presumably, would go
there, the country would not last very long.

The Berlin Wall – Another
Cold War Myth

November 9 will mark the 25th anniversary of the
tearing down of the Berlin Wall. The extravagant
hoopla began months ago in Berlin. In the United
States we can expect all the Cold War clichés
about The Free World vs. Communist Tyranny to be
trotted out and the simple tale of how the wall
came to be will be repeated: In 1961, the East
Berlin communists built a wall to keep their
oppressed citizens from escaping to West Berlin
and freedom. Why? Because commies don’t like
people to be free, to learn the “truth”. What
other reason could there have been?

of all, before the wall went up in 1961
thousands of East Germans had been commuting to
the West for jobs each day and then returning to
the East in the evening; many others went back
and forth for shopping or other reasons. So they
were clearly not being held in the East against
their will. Why then was the wall built? There
were two major reasons:

1) The
West was bedeviling the East with a vigorous
campaign of recruiting East German professionals
and skilled workers, who had been educated at
the expense of the Communist government. This
eventually led to a serious labor and production
crisis in the East. As one indication of this,
the New York Times reported in 1963:
“West Berlin suffered economically from the wall
by the loss of about 60,000 skilled workmen who
had commuted daily from their homes in East
Berlin to their places of work in West Berlin.”

should be noted that in 1999, USA Today
reported: “When the Berlin Wall crumbled [1989],
East Germans imagined a life of freedom where
consumer goods were abundant and hardships would
fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they
were happier with communism.”

polls would likely have shown even more than 51%
expressing such a sentiment, for in the ten
years many of those who remembered life in East
Germany with some fondness had passed away;
although even 10 years later, in 2009, the
Washington Post
could report: “Westerners
[in Berlin] say they are fed up with the
tendency of their eastern counterparts to wax
nostalgic about communist times.”

It was
in the post-unification period that a new
Russian and eastern Europe proverb was born:
“Everything the Communists said about Communism
was a lie, but everything they said about
capitalism turned out to be the truth.”

should be further noted that the division of
Germany into two states in 1949 – setting the
stage for 40 years of Cold War hostility – was
an American decision, not a Soviet one.

During the 1950s, American coldwarriors in West
Germany instituted a crude campaign of sabotage
and subversion against East Germany designed to
throw that country’s economic and administrative
machinery out of gear. The CIA and other US
intelligence and military services recruited,
equipped, trained and financed German activist
groups and individuals, of West and East, to
carry out actions which ran the spectrum from
juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything to
make life difficult for the East German people
and weaken their support of the government;
anything to make the commies look bad.

It was
a remarkable undertaking. The United States and
its agents used explosives, arson, short
circuiting, and other methods to damage power
stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public
buildings, gas stations, public transportation,
bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains,
seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a
freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses
of others; used acids to damage vital factory
machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory,
bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a
tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs
in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a
co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap
to powdered milk destined for East German
schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a
large quantity of the poison cantharidin
with which it was planned to produce poisoned
cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off
stink bombs to disrupt political meetings;
attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in
East Berlin by sending out forged invitations,
false promises of free bed and board, false
notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out
attacks on participants with explosives,
firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged
and distributed large quantities of food ration
cards to cause confusion, shortages and
resentment; sent out forged tax notices and
other government directives and documents to
foster disorganization and inefficiency within
industry and unions … all this and much more.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars, of Washington, DC, conservative
coldwarriors, in one of their Cold War
International History Project Working Papers
(#58, p.9) states: “The open border in Berlin
exposed the GDR [East Germany] to massive
espionage and subversion and, as the two
documents in the appendices show, its closure
gave the Communist state greater security.”

Throughout the 1950s, the East Germans and the
Soviet Union repeatedly lodged complaints with
the Soviets’ erstwhile allies in the West and
with the United Nations about specific sabotage
and espionage activities and called for the
closure of the offices in West Germany they
claimed were responsible, and for which they
provided names and addresses. Their complaints
fell on deaf ears. Inevitably, the East Germans
began to tighten up entry into the country from
the West, leading eventually to the infamous
wall. However, even after the wall was built
there was regular, albeit limited, legal
emigration from east to west. In 1984, for
example, East Germany allowed 40,000 people to
leave. In 1985, East German newspapers claimed
that more than 20,000 former citizens who had
settled in the West wanted to return home after
becoming disillusioned with the capitalist
system. The West German government said that
14,300 East Germans had gone back over the
previous 10 years.

also not forget that while East Germany
completely denazified, in West Germany for more
than a decade after the war, the highest
government positions in the executive,
legislative, and judicial branches contained
numerous former and “former” Nazis.

Finally, it must be remembered, that Eastern
Europe became communist because Hitler, with the
approval of the West, used it as a highway to
reach the Soviet Union to wipe out Bolshevism
forever, and that the Russians in World War I
and II, lost about 40 million people because the
West had used this highway to invade Russia. It
should not be surprising that after World War II
the Soviet Union was determined to close down
the highway.

For an
additional and very interesting view of the
Berlin Wall anniversary, see the article “Humpty
Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin’s Wall
” by
Victor Grossman. Grossman (née Steve Wechsler)
fled the US Army in Germany under pressure from
McCarthy-era threats and became a journalist and
author during his years in the (East) German
Democratic Republic. He still lives in Berlin
and mails out his “Berlin Bulletin” on German
developments on an irregular basis. You can
subscribe to it at
. His
autobiography: “Crossing the River: a Memoir of
the American Left, the Cold War and Life in East
Germany” was published by University of
Massachusetts Press. He claims to be the only
person in the world with diplomas from both
Harvard University and Karl Marx University in

Al Franken, the liberal’s

receive a continuous stream of emails from
“progressive” organizations asking me to vote
for Senator Franken or contribute to his
re-election campaign this November, and I don’t
even live in Minnesota. Even if I could vote for
him, I wouldn’t. No one who was a supporter of
the war in Iraq will get my vote unless they
unequivocally renounce that support. And I don’t
mean renounce it like Hillary Clinton’s nonsense
about not having known enough.

Franken, the former Saturday Night Live
comedian, would like you to believe that he’s
been against the war in Iraq since it began. But
he went to Iraq at least four times to entertain
the troops. Does that make sense? Why does the
military bring entertainers to soldiers? To lift
the soldiers’ spirits of course. And why does
the military want to lift the soldiers’ spirits?
Because a happier soldier does his job better.
And what is the soldier’s job? All the charming
war crimes and human-rights violations that I
and others have documented in great detail for
many years. Doesn’t Franken know what American
soldiers do for a living?

A year
after the US invasion in 2003, Franken
criticized the Bush administration because they
“failed to send enough troops to do the job

What “job”
did the man think the troops were sent to do
that had not been performed to his standards
because of lack of manpower? Did he want them to
be more efficient at killing Iraqis who resisted
the occupation? The volunteer American troops in
Iraq did not even have the defense of having
been drafted against their wishes.

has been lifting soldiers’ spirits for a long
time. In 2009 he was honored by the United
Service Organization (USO) for his ten years of
entertaining troops abroad. That includes Kosovo
in 1999, as imperialist an occupation as you’ll
want to see. He called his USO experience “one
of the best things I’ve ever done.”

has also spoken at West Point (2005),
encouraging the next generation of imperialist
warriors. Is this a man to challenge the
militarization of America at home and abroad? No
more so than Barack Obama.

Hayden wrote this about Franken in 2005 when
Franken had a regular program on the Air America
radio network: “Is anyone else disappointed with
Al Franken’s daily defense of the continued war
in Iraq? Not Bush’s version of the war, because
that would undermine Air America’s laudable
purpose of rallying an anti-Bush audience. But,
well, Kerry’s version of the war, one that can
be better managed and won, somehow with better
body armor and fewer torture cells.”

in Iraq to entertain the troops, Franken
declared that the Bush administration “blew the
diplomacy so we didn’t have a real coalition,”
then failed to send enough troops to do the job
right. “Out of sheer hubris, they have put the
lives of these guys in jeopardy.”

was implying that if the United States had been
more successful in bribing and threatening other
countries to lend their name to the coalition
fighting the war in Iraq the United States would
have had a better chance of WINNING the war.

Is this
the sentiment of someone opposed to the war? Or
in support of it? It is the mind of an American
liberal in all its beautiful mushiness.


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