You could hardly make this up: two countries sitting side-by-side, sharing the same border and sharing the same kind of horrific violence against their civilian populations.
Yet, Western governments and their dysfunctional news media defy rational thinking – and the glaring truth – by referring to the perpetrators in one country in positive tones as “rebels” while in the other country the pejorative term “terrorists” is permitted in discourse. That is what you call “doublethink” – an absurd inability to see or tell the truth.
We are talking, of course, about Syria and Iraq – two countries that share so much of humanity’s heritage of ancient civilization – that are now each being ripped apart by mercenaries with guns and bombs who have no value for human life. It’s not just that the exact same heinous methodology of indiscriminate violence against civilians is being used in both countries. The protagonists of terror have themselves declared unity in organization, personnel, and ideology – the Al Nusra Front in Syria and al-Qaeda in Iraq.
So there’s no need to beat around the bush. These self-styled Jihadist groups are the ones waging war on Syria and Iraq. In Syria, the so-called Free Syrian Army that the West has elevated with grandiloquent nonsense is merely the window-dressing to prettify the cutthroats and rapists of Al Nusra/al-Qaeda.
But, laughably, the Western governments and media call the vile operators in Syria “rebels” and are busting to find a legal loophole by which they can begin overtly sending assault rifles, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank mines.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, the Western media report that violence is perpetrated by, well, “terrorists.” The way that this common violence is being reported in news bulletins – sometimes back-to-back this week – is an exercise in consummate doublethink and mental somersaulting. A bomb goes off in Baghdad and, plainly, it is terrorist. But a bomb goes off in Damascus, and it somehow is acceptable or at least excusable.
One can imagine the public paroxysm if Washington, London or Paris proposed to fund the al-Qaeda car bombers in Iraq or were soliciting for their participation in future political negotiations with the government in Baghdad. Even though that, in essence, is what the Western governments are proposing to do in Syria.
The only way that the Western governments and their servile media can square the circle of illogic (and immorality) on Syria and Iraq is by asserting without any foundation that the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria is illegitimate. For the past two years, the Western governments and their dutiful media have tried every trick to malign Assad and to traduce him as a despot who has no mandate from his people. But the problem for the Western regime-changers is that Assad has a mandate, and it is only the Syrian people who have the sovereign right to decide otherwise, when the country goes to national elections next year.
The risible quality about doublethink is that those who suffer from the condition cannot see how absurd they are.
Advocating the illegal Western regime-change agenda in Syria are the Persian Gulf dictatorships, which have never had an election in their entire history as artificial colonial states ruled by absolute despots and corrupt family cronies.
Furthermore, it is these Western-backed Persian Gulf tyrants who are behind the awful re-ignition of sectarian violence in Iraq, as they have been all along in Syria for the past two years.
Iraq’s violence has returned with a vengeance after some years of relative quiet. Last month saw some 700 people killed in bombings and shootings – the highest monthly death toll in five years and reminiscent of the sectarian bloodbath during the criminal American-led military occupation of that country between 2003-2012.
This week, more than 80 people were killed in Iraq on one day alone when 10 bombs blasted the capital, Baghdad, on Monday and two explosions ripped through the southern port city of Basra. As usual, no group claimed responsibility for the mass murder. But the callous killings have all the hallmarks of extremists operating under the franchise of al-Qaeda. The indiscriminate, no-warning bombings targeted mainly Shia Muslim districts.
As we know, al-Qaeda in Iraq, as in Syria and elsewhere, is driven by the extremist Wahhabi ideology, whose adherents view Shia as heretics with a pathological death wish.
Few people would claim that Iraq’s mainly Shia government of Nouri al-Maliki is perfect.
But the sectarian bloodlust and indiscriminate terrorism that has rebounded in Iraq is way out of proportion to any ostensible political grievance that the minority Sunni population may harbour against the mainly Shia central authorities in Baghdad.
As with Syria, the violence in Iraq is being driven by external forces with an agenda of subversion and regime change.
The common linkage here is the money, weapons, and Wahhabi ideology that is flowing from the Persian Gulf dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates into Iraq and Syria.
During the American-led occupation of Iraq, the Saudis in particular were major sponsors of the Jihadist groups that gravitated under the rubric of al-Qaeda. That relationship goes back to the Saudi sponsoring of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1980s against the Soviet Union. American and British military intelligence also share in the creation of that terrorist network that has since become a global utility for Western powers, for example in destabilizing Libya or the Russian Caucasus – despite all the spurious rhetoric about “war on terror.”
That the Americans and the British military were confronted in Iraq partly by terror groups that they had previously engineered, and which their Saudi allies were sponsoring, is one of the ironic intrigues of blowback. But for the American and British ruling elite, they could hardly care less if some of their cannon-fodder troops were being killed and maimed when their corporate interests had one of world’s richest oil countries – Iraq – to gain. And besides the Western counterinsurgency doctrine of setting up counter terror gangs and sectarian conflict is a central part of imperial control and justification.
It is no secret, however, that the Saudis were not happy with the outcome of the American and British so-called nation-building (regime-change) project in Iraq, when the new governing apparatus that took over from Saddam Hussein reflected the majority Shia population.
That Saudi peevishness has only grown deeper since the American military departure at the end of 2011 and the Maliki government has shown some backbone in its foreign policy, by developing Iraqi cordial relations with Iran and Syria – all three of which share a common Shia heritage.
This is why the terrorist flames are consuming Iraq again. The Saudis and their Persian Gulf autocrats are trying to mould Syria, Iraq, and the region to suit their twisted agenda of sectarian control. We can be sure that Saudi and Qatari blood money is flowing again into Iraq since at least last year, fuelling the apparently mindless violence and attempting to turn Iraq into a failed state, as in Syria.
It is anathema to these illegitimate Persian Gulf despots for Iran to enjoy the regional kudos that it deserves based as it is on Tehran’s independence and democratic governance, vast energy resources, just foreign policy towards neighbours, and defiant resistance to Western imperialist aggression and in particular the Zionist garrison terror-state of Israel. That is why the insanely jealous and insecure Houses of Saud and Al Thani, which are nothing more than country-selling Western dependencies, want to tear down Syria and Iraq with the most despicable violence, chaos, and mayhem – to open up the bigger assault path on Iran.
That is ultimately, of course, exactly what the Western powers want as well. And to that end, these powers are content to unleash the hounds of hell across the Middle East. But, in order to conceal the obvious criminality of this regime-change project, the Western governments and their media have to indulge in the most absurd illusions. Hence Syria and Iraq, as indeed the entire Middle East, is a morass of Western duplicity and doublethink.
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