Skip to content

Obama’s Middle East Legacy: “A Complicated Disaster” Interview with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. KGNU Boulder. “Hemispheres Program – Middle East Dialogues.” October 25, 2016: Part Two

November 2, 2016
Syria unified. According to the Doha Protocol - the U.S. political map for dividing the country into enclaves - Syria as shown on this map would no longer exist. The northern region would be controlled by Turkey, which has long had expansionist ambitions in both Syria and Iraq; the eastern area would be dominated by ISIS-Al Nusra types and the south, near the Israeli and Jordanian borders, controlled by rebels manipulated by these two countries. "Syria" itself would reduced to a small region around Damascus. It is this plan that the United States is intent on pursuing, come hell or high water

Syria unified. According to the Doha Protocol – the U.S. political map for dividing the country into enclaves – Syria as shown on this map would no longer exist. The northern region would be controlled by Turkey, which has long had expansionist ambitions in both Syria and Iraq; the eastern area would be dominated by ISIS-Al Nusra types and the south, near the Israeli and Jordanian borders, controlled by rebels manipulated by these two countries. “Syria” itself would be reduced to a small region around Damascus. It is this plan that the United States is intent on pursuing, come hell or high water

Part Two: Iraq and Syria: Classic Examples of Failed Policy

Rob Prince: That’s a nice segue into talking about what is going on in Syria and Iraq.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: And then the Doha Protocol and everything else came to mind. As soon as I read it, the situation became clearer, that in all these initiatives, building democracy played no part. Anybody can look at Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrein, Egypt, Gaza-Occupied Palestine, Libya and the rest and see for themselves what is happening in the region.

The region is in crisis.

Jim Nelson: At this point I want to just question: what can the legacy be? The region is in extreme turmoil especially with Yemen and Syria. Then there are all the years of war in Iraq and before that the sanctions under Bill Clinton, Afghanistan. It’s been a long, long process. These are the longest wars in the history of the United States.

Rob Prince: Yes. If you look regionally, it’s nothing less than none-stop war. You can even pick your date: 1967? 1948? Since the end of World War II.

Moving on, Ibrahim, can you perhaps begin with an explanation of the wars taking place in Syria and Iraq by explaining to listeners once again, what is the Doha Protocol and why is it important?

Ibrahim Kazerooni: I think that to begin with, let’s look at Iraq. By any human measure the situation in Iraq is a U.S. made disaster of historic proportions. I’ll give you some examples. This is now 2016, thirteen years, close to fourteen years after the invasion.

1. Just last week a bomb exploded in Kirkuk first; thirty-one people killed.
2. A suicide bomber charged the gate of a security building in Baghdad killing eleven.
3. A Sunni mosque in Diala was attacked leaving sixty dead
4. A car bomb in Karbala killed twelve
5. Another car bomb killed eleven in Hella

This goes on and on…

By any human measure the situation in Iraq is a U.S. made disaster of historic proportions

Now everybody who looks at Syria or looks at Iraq puts the blame fairly and squarely at the feet of the United States. Even here, analysts and pundits are talking this way. Now within the Administration that are those who are saying that it is U.S. policy is the reason for Al Qaeda, ISIS, for everything else that happened in Iraq and now in Syria.

The Situation in Iraq on the Eve of the Offensive Against ISIS in Mosul

Let’s look at Iraq first

By now this notion that the Bush Administration put forward that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction is a laughable proposition. Nobody accepted it then and nobody accepts it now. Then the administration tried to change the goal posts and say “well, the information we received was faulty, etc. Essentially nobody is buying this explanation either. I certainly am not swallowing it. It was clear from the beginning by 1996 already, seven years prior to the U.S. led invasion, that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam’s son-in-law was in charge of the Mukhabarat (Iraqi secret police under Saddam), after he defected to Jordan before going back to Iraq and being killed. Along with others, he made it clear that Iraq had destroyed all its weapons of mass destruction. Even the so-called “curved ball” – the name given to a certain Iraqi security agent in Germany after the fourth or fifth year of the occupation of Iraq – even he came out publicly admitting that he had made up, concocted all these ideas (weapons of mass destruction) because he wanted Saddam removed.

Concerning Iraq at the moment.

I have seen and I have read a number of articles, including one by a former C.I.A. officer, saying that for most of the countries in the Middle East, the Sykes Picot Agreement of 1915 is no longer valid and it is necessary to break up these countries into smaller enclaves exactly for the resources which are under their ground that Kissinger once said “by an accident of history” it’s under their feet – otherwise it’s ours.”

For the United States, the goal has remained unchanged; it is the same: the control of the region’s natural resources. Iraq has been divided literally into three parts: the Kurds control the north, the Sunnis in the middle and the Shia’s in the south so that no remnants of what we call a functional state exist. This war of attrition has been going on between one side or the other.

For the United States, the goal has remained unchanged; it is the same: the control of the region’s natural resources. Iraq has been divided literally into three parts: the Kurds control the north, the Sunnis in the middle and the Shia’s in the south so that no remnants of what we call a functional state exist.

Nearly two years ago, in 2014, suddenly out of the blue, it was declared that a group of ISIS mercenaries walked into Mosul and took control of Iraq’s second major city with a population of between 1.5-to-2 million. Where they came from the United States claims ignorance. When we look at the route that they took from Syria, they had to travel for a hundred or so miles, in literally broad daylight, across a desert.

I have been to Baghdad and seen these huge listening devices that the United States has created in what is possibly the large U.S. embassy certainly in the region and possibly anywhere. From there, the U.S. authorities claim to be able to listen to the telephone conversation of (Iranian President) Hassan Rouhani and his wife or (Turkish President Tayyip) Erdogan’s conversations with his mistress but this vast communications network couldn’t find this huge convoy of ISIS trucks moving from Syria into Iraq, approaching Mosul. It’s again, farfetched.

Since ISIS took Mosul, the United States have bombarded more Iraqi positions than those of ISIS or Al Qaeda. A few days ago, at the onset of the military operations against ISIS positions at Mosul, there is a picture taken, available on internet, the first batch of over 350 trucks left Mosul to go towards Syria following the same route that they came in two years ago.

Did anybody attack them? No. As a matter of fact, there were Apache helicopters above, providing air cover so that the convoy could travel safely to return to eastern Syria; there was a dispute as to whether they were American or Turkish.

So looking at what is going on, listening to what is taking place regarding the U.S. position vis-a-vis Al Qaeda, ISIS, in Iraq, it is purely double talk. The United States wants to break Iraq down into three minor countries all of which they can control The only way it can be done is to literally drain the Iraqi government so that Baghdad will not be able to do anything to prevent the effective partition. This is clearly stated; it can be seen in the case of Iraq.

Response to Call-in Questions

Jim Nelson: Ibrahim, I’m going to break in here; we do have a couple of callers. Johnny from Lakewood, you are on the air.

Caller Johnny from Lakewood (CO) – Yes, I agree with your guests that the Iraqi war was/is a disaster and I wanted to ask if there is any evidence that the Americans are using any WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction), specifically EMP’s (electronic pulses) that they use to destroy buildings. They use this for crowd control in the USA as well. Supposedly this is the same technology and that somehow this is related to the same technology for the footprint left at ground zero. One of the conspiracy theories of 9-11 (September 11, 2001) was that it was some kind of a secret weapon because there was very little rubble left at ground zero and everything turned to dust before it hit the ground and somehow that’s all connected to weather warfare. I was wondering if there is any evidence that the United States is using that in Iraq, using some kind of super technology to destroy buildings in Iraqi cities.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: I’m grateful to the caller; it’s strange that he posed this question. If you look at Iraqi newspapers, particularly with the recent attack in Kirkuk in which somehow some kind of sophisticated weapon was used to suddenly blow up a whole building. There were a number of claims that these sophisticated technologies being supplied to these mercenaries, ISIS and others, and even people debate a phosphorous plant was blown up with some kind of laser rather than traditional, classic TNT or the like.

There is certainly a debate on this subject and there are people who are claiming that the United States is providing its mercenaries with very, very sophisticated technology and this (EMPs) could be one of them but this needs to be further researched for verification.

Kurdish women have turned out to be particularly disciplined, effective fighters against ISIS units in Syria and Iraq

Kurdish women have turned out to be particularly disciplined, effective fighters against ISIS units in Syria and Iraq

Jim Nelson: Moving on to our next caller, May from Netherland. May, you’re on the air.

Caller: May from Netherland (CO): Good evening and thank you for the discussion. I’m enjoying the detail you are providing but I’d like to put a slightly different lens on the subject for just a second and see if your and your guests have any perspective you’d like to share. We talk a lot about resource extraction in the Middle East. We are aware of the role of the banks, the press, our military actions. There is an action going on right now in North Dakota against this pipeline that would go underneath the Missouri River three times and potentially endanger the water supply for about 20 million people downstream. There is a historic gathering of tribes up there over the summer which continues. I was just wondering if you can make any comparison to the way we view our native Americans and the Middle East – and the role of the banks and the press in that.

Rob Prince: Thanks for a nice easy question. Ibrahim, I’ll try to make a couple of points. Those people, worldwide, who are challenging the dependence that our country and our world has on fossil fuels, are, objectively working for Middle East peace. Certainly in the forefront of that, here in the United States, are the two hundred plus tribes of Native Americans that have come together for the first time in more than two hundred years at Standing Rock to challenge the Dakota Access pipeline proposal along with thousands of others that have come from elsewhere.

So there is that connection: to work for new renewable energy sources is, concretely, to work for Middle East peace. To reduce the dependence on fossil fuels is to lessen the strategic importance of the Middle East region as a focus of political intrigue and war. That is what is driving so much of American policy there.

In terms of comparing the situation of Native Americans with those people in the Middle East there are broadly speaking many valid comparisons that exist. In both cases, the peoples, Native Americans, Palestinians in particular, are victims of what is referred to as settler colonialism. The Native Americans are among those indigenous peoples of the world that have suffered one of the greatest genocides that has ever taken place; in terms of the Palestinians, they have suffered both displacement and what is the longest military occupations of the 20th century Whether Native Americans and Palestinians think of themselves in these terms I don’t know, but objectively, they are natural allies.

There is something else to add. Actually, it is not 200 tribes, but as many as 280 tribes that are at Standing Rock opposing the pipeline there, an unprecedented development. Just as unprecedented are the alliances that are being made with the environmental movement, some elements of the labor movement. How appropriate, that leading the charge for a better country and a better world, for a more environmentally safe country and world, are Native Americans.

Do you want to add anything Ibrahim?

Ibrahim Kazerooni: As far as the comparison goes, the same way that the water, the natural resources, the overall environment has been poisoned for native nations here, similar kinds of things are happening to the Iraqis. In the 1991 attack against the Iraqi soldiers the Plain of Bathra was bombed by depleted uranium so much that now they say either the Iraqi government has to deal with cancer and deformity in children, similar to what happened in Vietnam for many decades to come or literally quarantine that area completely because the radioactive pollution has effected the water table, soil, environment. It will cost billions of dollars to try to clean up the affected areas. I don’t believe that the Iraqi government has such sums of money nor do I believe that the Iraqi government intends to quarantine that fertile land because that will create other difficulties for them.

The consequence of this is that Iraqis are suffering from leukemia, all kinds of peculiar cancers. This is particularly true of children, deformities in childbirth and the like. The same issues that were inflicted upon Vietnam are now being repeated in Iraq as we see now not only in the way that the U.S. has poisoned, or at least, polluted the waters of the native nations in the United States.

In the 1991 attack against the Iraqi soldiers the Plain of Bathra was bombed by depleted uranium so much that now they say either the Iraqi government has to deal with cancer and deformity in children, similar to what happened in Vietnam for many decades to come or literally quarantine that area completely because the radioactive pollution has effected the water table, soil, environment. It will cost billions of dollars to try to clean up the affected areas…The consequence of this is that Iraqis are suffering from leukemia, all kinds of peculiar cancers. This is particularly true of children, deformities in childbirth and the like. The same issues that were inflicted upon Vietnam are now being repeated in Iraq as we see now not only in the way that the U.S. has poisoned, or at least, polluted the waters of the native nations in the United States

U.S. plans to dismantle Syria into Enclaves Continue

Jim Nelson: Thank you. Getting back to the situation on the ground in Iraq and Syria

Rob Prince: Ibrahim, the last time that we were on the air, a month ago, what we saw were the forces of the Syrian government and its allies, surrounding Aleppo which meant the military end of these mercenary rebel groups supported by the Saudis, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and ultimately, the United States.

Since then there has been a shift in tactics on the part of the United States. Faced with the collapse of these mercenary forces, first there was the Turkish incursion and now, with ISIS, Al Qaeda leaving Mosul, they are entering eastern Syria in large numbers. Are these the early stages for the plan to partition Syria (Doha Protocols) that we have been talking about?

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Yes it is when you look at it. By the way the Turks are trying to do the same thing in Iraq, in northern Iraq. There they have sent a number of battalions deep into Iraqi territory. The Iraqi representative at the United Nations have asked repeatedly for the Security Council to convene and take up the matter, in order to stop or press Turkey to get out of Iraq but their call has fallen on deaf ears. What Turkey is doing in northern Iraq and northern Syria is part of that overall partition plan.

In Syria the goal is not to allow the Syrian government to gradually get back major areas of its land and isolate only a corner of it and eventually overtake that corner. In the northern areas of Syria now, there are the Turks, as well as the Americans providing them with weapons trying to break the siege (Assad government siege around Aleppo). Every few weeks they agree to some kind of a cease-fire so they can use the pretext of the cease-fire to supply ISIS – or the terrorists – with more weapons.

This whole partition plan, the way it is unfolding, was exposed by a member of the so-called Syrian resistance, a part of his London remarks I read on an earlier broadcast a couple of months ago, in which he commented that “we have been tricked; although on the one hand we have been told (by Washington) that the United States is prepared to support the opposition to work for democracy, etc.”

By the way the Turks are trying to do the same thing in Iraq, in northern Iraq. There they have sent a number of battalions deep into Iraqi territory. The Iraqi representative at the United Nations have asked repeatedly for the Security Council to convene and take up the matter, in order to stop or press Turkey to get out of Iraq but their call has fallen on deaf ears. What Turkey is doing in northern Iraq and northern Syria is part of that overall partition plan

Once they (Washington) realized that the goal was to break up Syria is not going to happen, what Washington is now proposing – Kerry’s proposal to Lavroff that was rejected by the latter – was to have a cease-fire “as we are now on the ground.” What does that mean? It means in the north a group of terrorists supported by the Turkish government, the southern part, close to the Golan Heights by the Jordanian border will be under a different type of terrorist organization that the Jordanians, Israelis and Saudis support; and the eastern part will be again, up for negotiation but at this stage, let’s leave it for the time being. What is left for “Syria” is a little slice in the middle to be left for Bechar Al Assad and the Syrian government.

Jim Nelson: What about the Kurds? Along with the integrity of the Assad government, wouldn’t they also be “the big time losers” in this situation?

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Although the Kurds in northern Iraq have been calling for some kind of independence but the Kurds in northern Syria have so far not called for independence. Instead they are asking for a federal relationship. Whether it’s a federal relationship or independence, as you said, it matters little to Turkey. They are not prepared to accept any kind of government in which the Kurds have the authority, or power, to do anything. This is the Turkish excuse.

Recently, suddenly the Turkish government has been arguing that “Mosul is ours; we were deceived by the British in 1915.” So Turkey is now extending its claim, not only over parts of Syria, but also over northern Iraq up to Mosul. But I don’t believe, once you understand the regional policy of occupying more and more land from Syria and Iraq, that the Turkish excuses hold up. Remember that in the 1930s the Turks took part of Syria (around Alexandretta) by force so it is no mystery that the Turkish government wants to take more and more of Syrian territory. It has nothing to do with the Kurds or anybody else.

If the Kurds sign a deal that once they (the Kurds) take over these lands, that they will turn them over to the Turkish government, they would be more than happy to do so. This is the nature of the regional politics, the corrupt politics – you work with the devil as long as there is an interest for you in it. American foreign policy does it as do the rest of U.S. regional allies.

The United States has repeated said that they want to divide it; Iraq, they have repeatedly said that they want to divide it; Libya, defacto division has already taken place; the crisis in Egypt’s Sinai deepens; Yemen is being broken down into two or three enclaves; the rest of the Middle East is the same.

Why was it that the United States was pressuring Iraqi government not to attack Mosul, giving ISIS a chance for their forces to leave in tact? The U.S. was essentially stalling for time, so that the United States could relocate all these mercenaries in eastern Syria; they are nothing else but the pawns that can be used in their regional game.

Unfortunately I don’t see anything coming out of the recent election – as Rob said in the beginning. Neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton are going to substantially change American foreign policy in such a way that will lead to peace in the region.

______________

Part One

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: