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News ::
A History of Folly
30 Nov 2001
Before we celebrate the bombings of Afghanistan with hope of their expansion to other countries, let's pause and take a look back on the past fifty years of U.S. folly in the Middle East.
I wonder if our latest venture into the Middle East will be any more successful than our previous 50 some year history. Please take a look at my nonprofit website exposing the cancer racket. Thanks. Gavin.
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A History of Folly

by Adam Young

Click Here

"How do I respond when I see that in some Islamic
countries there is vitriolic hatred for America? I'll
tell you how I respond: I'm amazed. I just can't
believe it, because I know how good we are."
--President George W. Bush¬

Before we celebrate the bombings of Afghanistan with hope of their expansion to other countries, let's pause and take a look back on the past fifty years of U.S. folly in the Middle East.

1949--Syria
Defeat in the war against Israel discredits the ruling
French-allied civilian regime. American agents and
interests take the opportunity to provide support to
Colonel Husni az-Zaim in a coup against the civilian
regime. American agents call az-Zaim "our boy" and
"Husni," but when they arrive to inform the new
dictator whom to appoint as his ambassadors and
cabinet, az-Zaim orders them to "stand at attention"
and to address him as "His Excellency." Syria turns
against the U.S. and descends into a series of coups
and counter-coups and police-state government by
quasi-military regimes.

1952--Egypt
American influence and assistance backs the conspiracy
of Gammal Abdel Nasser's Free Officers to oust the
Egyptian royal family, the British post-colonial
client regime in Egypt. The U.S. expects Nasser to
support Washington's anti-Soviet alliance in the
Middle East, dubbed the Baghdad Pact, but he turns
against the U.S.¬ U.S. agents support Colonel Mohammad
Naguib’s attempt to overthrow Nasser, as well as
later assassination attempts.

In 1956, U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
rescinds pledges of foreign aid for the Aswan Dam
project. In response, Nasser uses this as a pretext to
nationalize the Suez Canal, and uses its toll revenue
to fund the dam. Britain, France, and Israel in
response launch a joint invasion of Egypt with plans
to occupy the Suez Canal. Arab support for the U.S.
reaches its highest point when President Eisenhower,
out of a distaste for European colonialism and
European intervention in the Middle East, pressures
the¬ invading forces to abandon their invasion of
Egypt.

1953--Iran
After the government announces plans to grant the
Soviet Union a territorial oil franchise in Northern
Iran, modeled on the British one in the south for the
British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a local
leader named Mohammed Mosaddeq leads the successful
popular movement to oppose the grant to the Soviets
and pushes further to nationalize all foreign oil
facilities. Mosaddeq's popularity and influence
increase to the degree that the shah appoints him
prime minister.

Faced with economic and political turmoil, the shah
attempts to remove Mosaddeq but is met with mobs and
mass public demonstrations, causing the shah to flee
the country. The CIA then backs Mosaddeq's opponents,
who then overthrow his administration and sentence him
to house arrest for the rest of his life. The shah is
restored and becomes America's best friend and now
controls the nationalized British oil facilities as
well. Eventually, opposition to the shah's autocracy
and U.S. political domination, as well as the
Savak--the U.S.-trained Iranian secret police--grows
into a nationalist revolution to oust the shah and the
West, and in 1979, Iran too turns against the U.S.

1958--Iraq
In opposition to the British-client Iraqi regime, and
in opposition also to Nasser's growing influence in
Iraq, the bloodthirsty Colonel Kassem spearheads the
American-supported military coup to overthrow the
Iraqi royal family. The king and crown prince and most
of the royal family are executed, and the prime
minister is murdered by a mob. Years later, after
Kassem has alienated all his allies except the Soviet
Union and¬ is overthrown and¬ executed in 1963, United
States support swings to a small group called the
Ba'th Socialist Party. After many twists and turns,
coups and elections, coups and revolutions, Saddam
Hussein emerges as¬ president of Iraq in 1976 after
leading the coup that, with American insistence,
installed that regime in 1968.

1958--Lebanon
After the Iraqi monarchy is overthrown, the president
of Lebanon requests U.S. military intervention to save
his tottering regime from insurrections of United Arab
Republican sympathizers. U.S. Marines arrive the next
day in Beirut. Lebanon enters into a thirty-five-year
period of instability and civil war.

1969--Libya
In 1959, oil is discovered, which transforms the
country. To elbow out the British, American support
flows to a young reformist colonel in the Libyan army,
Muammar al-Khadafy,¬ who, once in power, turns against
his U.S. sponsors, under the pretext of Western
exploitation of Arab oil. He confiscates and
nationalizes oil facilities and assets, including
those of the local Jewish and Italian communities.

1980--Iraq
With the Islamic revolution in Iran, the U.S. tilts
toward Iraq and Saddam Hussein as its proxy against
the Iranians. Iraq and Hussein become America’s
front line in its attempt to crush the Islamic
revolution in Iran. Armed and financed by Uncle Sam,
Saddam invades Iran in 1980. The war would last for
eight years and kill nearly a million people. Iraq is
given advice and intelligence from the CIA and the
Pentagon, and U.S. and British administrations provide
Iraq with chemical and biological weapons-making
knowledge and materiel to use against the Iranians. We
all know how this turned out, but this time was
different. The U.S. turned on Saddam.

1983--Lebanon
With the country invaded by Israel and under threat of
Syrian domination, American Marine "Peacekeepers" are
shipped to Beirut. Opposition to their presence leads
to the suicide bombing of the barracks. Some 309
Americans are killed, including the CIA's Mideast
staff. In 1985, Lebanese CIA agents detonate a truck
bomb in Beirut in an attempt to assassinate Sheikh
Fadlallah, leader of the Hezbollah faction suspected
of blowing up the American barracks two years earlier.
Eighty-three civilians are killed and 240 wounded;
Sheikh Fadlallah walks out of¬ the mosque fifteen
minutes later.

1986--Libya
In retaliation for the terrorist bombing of a Berlin¬
nightclub that killed a U.S. soldier, President Reagan
bombs Libya, causing 130 deaths, including civilians
near the French embassy. Khadafy's own residence is
targeted, killing his adopted infant daughter, in an
attempt to assassinate him. Libya is deliberately
chosen as the target because it lacks defenses against
air bombing.¬ A few months later, the¬ U.S. admits to
arms-trading with Iran, a state that the U.S. openly
calls an instigator of "international terrorism," and
one that is an ally of Libya. Arab cynicism about U.S.
intentions and trustworthiness could only increase.
The bombing of Pan Am 103 is considered revenge for
these attacks on Libya.

1991--Iraq & Kuwait
After the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie,
informs Saddam that the U.S. would have no opinion on
Iraq's occupation of its "nineteenth province," the
U.S. seizes the opportunity to justify its post-cold
war internationalism by dubbing Saddam the "new
Hitler." After mass slaughter and defeat, crippling
sanctions and daily bombardment follow to persuade the
Iraqi people that perhaps they would be better off
without Saddam. Other observers, however, believe that
the sanctions exist to prop up the price of oil.


1995--Afghanistan
The U.S. covertly aids the Taliban militia in its
drive to end the post-Soviet-Afghani civil war. The
U.S. sides with fundamentalist forces in
Afghanistan--but not in Egypt, Algeria, or Saudi
Arabia, where they are tortured and suppressed--in a
foreign theater of the U.S. drug war. The U.S.
government and the fundamentalist opposition to drugs
would conjoin in an alliance to drive out Central
Asian¬ opium production.


1996--Iraq
President Clinton instructs the CIA to support and aid
the Iraqi opposition forces in an operation to finally
do away with Saddam Hussein. Iraqi exiles and refugees
are trained and armed in the northern no-fly zone to
descend on Baghdad. Sympathetic army generals within
the regime are cultivated to assassinate Hussein, and
efforts to destabilize Iraq begin--such as random car
bombings as well as bombings of civilian public
places.This plot collapses, however, as Saddam's spies
have infiltrated the Kurds. Many Kurds back Saddam and
turn on the U.S.-Kurdish faction. CIA agents in
Kurdistan run for their lives, abandoning allies and
tons of equipment and documents, and the network
within Iraq is exposed and eliminated. This
catastrophic failure leads to the firing of CIA chief
John Deutch. Commentator Eric Margolis dubs this
"Clinton's Bay of Camels," after JFK's Bay of Pigs
fiasco.

1998--The Sudan¬ & Afghanistan:
President Clinton, in the midst of impeachment, rocket
attacks camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical
plant in the Sudan, ostensibly to punish suspected
terrorist Osama bin Laden for his involvement in the
bombing of two American embassies in Africa.

After 1945, the U.S. schemed to eject the bankrupt
British and French colonial empires in the Middle
East--to elbow out Soviet influence, but, more likely,
to secure political control over its oil. America's
Oil Raj, as some commentators call the interdependent
network of political, monetary, and military
relationships--mirroring Britain's collection of
territories and petty kingdoms on the Indian
subcontinent--consists of the old imposed artificial
colonial client states created by Britain and France.
Outside of this "Oil Raj" exists a trade-sanction
regime that the U.S. maintains on Iran, Iraq, Syria,
Yemen, Libya, Algeria, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and,
until recently, India and Pakistan--all some of the
poorest places in the world.

The Cycle Continues
The U.S. sends billions in financial and military aid
to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan each year to prop
up these regimes against "fundamentalist" popular
Islamic movements (which are the only way dissent can
be expressed in these regimes, since Islam is the only
thing these rulers can't outlaw). The U.S. also gives
political support to corrupt and oppressive
dictatorships, such as exist in Algeria and Tunisia.
Everywhere, the U.S. favors and aids the status quo of
political repression and dictatorship. This hypocrisy
is what fuels Arab and Muslim anger.

Foreign Affairs commentator Eric Margolis¬ noted
recently the continuing cycle of American political
involvement in the Middle East. He points out that in
nearly every decade since the mid-fifties, a president
of the United States has faced a challenge of a Muslim
peril, an Arab or Muslim bogeyman that is everywhere
and nowhere--Nasser, Khomeni, Khadafy, Saddam, and,
now, bin Laden.¬ And every time, the results have
been the same: U.S. demonizes this single man, only to
watch him grow into a popular hero of the Arab
masses--the Arabic or Islamic David that dares to
stand up and confront the U.S. oil dominion over the
Arab world and the economic¬ and political distortion
that the US¬ leaves in its wake.

Now, the¬ cycle is beginning again with Bill Clinton,
George W. Bush, and Osama bin Laden.¬ And it has been
reported that in¬ the Middle East over the past few
years, Osama has become the most common name for
newborn boys.
See also:
http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=818&FS=A+History+of+Folly+
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