Fascinating interview by Scott Horton of Gareth Porter.
— Libertarian Pros (@LibertarianPros) January 30, 2017
If you know this topic well, it means that you follow Scott Horton or Gareth Porter or Anti-war.com, which is where you want to be if you want to know what is actually going on in the Middle East.
What follows are a few of my notes on the interview:
PORTER: David Ignatius. who is in touch with people in the CIA. He’s getting signals from the CIA who no longer feel that they can use the non-jihadist fighters to try to influence the civil war against Assad or Al Qaeda. It’s not viable. CIA program of aiding the armed opposition was phrased in the past tense, signalling that something has changed.
HORTON: No mention of Al Qaeda. It mentions ISIS and Iran. We have this very schizophrenic policy under Obama and under Trump now. “Radical Islam” is the term telling everyone to not differentiate the different sects fighting so that we can continue to arm all sides of the conflict. America is on the Sunni side against the America/Israel/Turkey/Sunni-Arab axis against the Russian, Iran/Syrian/ Lebanon/Hezbollah in Lebanon axis which includes Iraq where America is on Iran and Russia’s side fighting for the Shiites against the Islamic state there which they had helped to build up as John Kerry has admitted and as Joe Biden has admitted, allowing it to grow up . . . into a Sunni insurgency, aka, Al Qaeda in Syria insurgency to grow up and check Iran and it blew back huge into Iraq in the form of the Islam state which we’ve been fighting for two years. And so when they say radical Islam what they mean is stop differentiate between who’s fighting on which side of the sectarian war over there so that we can continue fighting for both sides.
PORTER: National Security state is the permanent war state is permanently tied up in knots because its interests require it to conduct contradictory policies in the Middle East. Heavy, heavy invested interest in maintaining presence in Iraq. Now justified in fighting the Islamic state. Can’t afford not to cooperate with Iran, Shiites, all the people who are supposed to be dangerous to the Middle East. How dangerous is Iran as part of this Islamic extremism? This is all opposed because Iran is part of the meal ticket for the U.S. military and the CIA always will be, always will be since the Islamic Republic in Iran, 1953. One of the pieces to fill the vacancy from the Soviet Union in the U.S.’s Cold War with the Soviet Union.
HORTON: ISIS turned and ran in Fallujah. Most decided to stay and fight. The Iraqi government conceded that they loss. Danny Davis, the Lt. Colonel, the Iraqi army that this coalition may not hold together to finish the battle. ISIS has 20,000 men and they’re still holding out. Policy of backing jihadists to check the Iranians has only expanded Iranian power and influence.
PORTER: Everything that the United States has done in Iraq since the beginning has merely been a de facto assistance to Iran in supporting its fundamental interests there. “Taking on Iran in Iraq.” In the end, the Iranians were the ones who really controlled the government of al-Maliki. Bush administration actually believed its own propaganda that al-Maliki was leaning toward the United States. Iran was the primary factor or primary ally of the al-Maliki government., and it was with the al-Maliki government that Iran who cooked up the agreement that got U.S. troops out of Iraq, which of course, the U.S. news media ignored.
The U.S. is far over its head, having no understanding in any country in the middle east. And the results are dependably disastrous. That has to be repeated over and over again.
Manufactured Crisis, Porter’s book.