Tagged: Libya

Homeland

I have recently been catching up on the US TV series ‘Homeland’, prior to the start of the new series last Sunday. Whatever you think of the big TV companies, and the output of US programme makers, this series actually manages to show some of the possible behind the scenes goings-on of the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security. In so doing, it does not show them in a good light, and raises many issues about the way that they imprison, torture, and murder suspects. Based on the original Israeli TV show, with an identical theme, it tells the story of a former captive, returned from his incarceration after eight years. During his time as a prisoner, this soldier has been ‘turned’ by radical Muslims, and even converted to their religion. He becomes a ‘sleeper’, an agent waiting to be used for a terrorist attack in mainland America.

One of the CIA operatives does not believe his story, and suspects that he may well be planning something. As this is a TV series, she eventually falls for him, and despite finally exposing him as a potential attacker, offers him a deal to be a double agent. To cut a very long story short enough for this post, he is eventually ‘framed’, when his car is used to detonate a huge bomb, wiping out most of the CIA in their own headquarters. He goes on the run, assisted by his CIA lover. Now, the new series begins.

The powers that be, decide to get their revenge, by a coordinated attack on six top terrorists, all taking place at the same time, over three continents. This revenge operation is a great success, and restores the credibility of the CIA, FBI, and all other agencies, from the public viewpoint. Watched by satellite, the ‘operations’ all go smoothly, and are completed in a very short time, with no repercussions on those involved in the killings. Drone strikes, ground teams, and individual assassins are all deployed, with complete success.

I then watch the news. ‘Real life’, so I am assured by the BBC. The actual government of the US has announced two operations against terrorist suspects, in Somalia and Libya. The objective was to capture these individuals, and presumably hold them for questioning, or put them on trial. I immediately got the feeling that they had watched this episode of the TV series, and thought,’that looks like a good idea’. They managed to seize the man in Libya, despite not telling the Libyan government what they were doing. However, the team of Navy Seals that attempted to do the same in Somalia, were beaten back by well-armed militia soldiers, and had to escape empty handed.

Life imitating Art? Perhaps next time, the US government should get some tips from the producers of ‘Homeland’.

It all went off a lot easier on that TV programme.

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Interests abroad

“We are literally backing the same people in Syria that we are fighting in Afghanistan and that have just killed our ambassador in Libya! We must finally abandon the interventionist impulse before it is too late.” – Congressman Ron Paul, September 16, 2012

http://prolecenter.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/the-anti-empire-report-117-2/  William Blum

I read the above quote on another blog. It was in an article by William Blum, link above, that I can recommend as an interesting read. I just felt that this one quote sums up the complete nonsense of American foreign policy, and by default, the foreign policy of all their allies too.

When the Soviet Union was fighting the Taliban in the 1980’s, the West embraced the same religious fanatics we are currently castigating (and bombing). Arms were supplied, advisors sent off to assist, and their leaders, including Osama Bin Laden, and Abu Hamza al-Masri, were hailed as heroic freedom fighters. Thirty years later, and those Western allies are dumping the body of one in the ocean, (supposedly) and extraditing the other to face trial in the USA. During the Iran/Iraq war, spread over eight years during the same 1980’s, we were in no doubt who the West wanted to win. Iraq was hailed as the sensible aggressor, and their army would save the region from the excesses of the Ayatollahs, and fundamentalist Muslim fanatics. It is fair to say, that whilst no side actually won, the West was pleased that the Iraqis were not defeated, and that Iran had lost the flower of its manhood, in an relatively pointless conflict.

By 1990, the same country that we had supported for so long, including the supply of most of the weapons we later accused them of concealing, had become a sworn enemy, and the First Gulf War was the outcome. By 2003, the Iraqis had still not learned their lesson, and a laughable implication of their supposed role in the 9/11 attacks, ended with the destruction of the regime, and much of the country along with it. Not long after, those same Western allies invaded Afghanistan, ostensibly to help the legitimate government get rid of the Taliban, and to introduce freedoms for women, and non-fundamentalist Muslims there. Strangely enough, this was almost exactly the same reason the Soviets had given for their intervention, twenty years earlier.

Saudi Arabia, long held to be a friend of the West, is now beginning to be criticised. They are suspected of harbouring terrorists, and not doing enough to bring peace to the region. Their laws are too strict for ‘our’ taste, and they are controlling a cartel of price-fixing OPEC countries, making us pay too much for our oil. Iran is close to achieving the manufacture of a nuclear weapon, we are told. They are not friends of the West, and do not allow the necessary freedoms in their country. They also charge too much for their oil, and also choose who to sell it to. This huge country, with a population of 80,000,000, is written off by the West, with no regard to its former power and influence, as the once mighty Persian Empire. It is treated like a naughty schoolboy in the classroom that is the world, simply because it refuses to play the game with the Western Powers. Crippled by sanctions, reviled, and misrepresented, is it any wonder that it has become isolationist, suspicious, and unfriendly?

Being a former friend of America, Britain, and France, has become decidedly dangerous. Those countries that have never sought, or been granted this boon, are succeeding where others have failed. Cuba, China, North Korea, to name but a few, have escaped invasion by foreign powers, (at least in modern times) and in many cases are courted as business opportunities, or at the very least, tolerated, even ridiculed; but not bombed. The outcome of being a friend, enlisting support, and often taking power as a result, is plain to see. Give it a few years, and America, and their allies, will be back to take it all away again. Countries like Syria, Libya, and Somalia, would be wise to look at these examples, and change direction accordingly.