The U.S. and Its Comrade in Arms, Al Qaeda

And other tales of an empire gone mad

Armed rebels in Syria. The U.S. has admitted that al-Qaeda has joined the ranks of rebel forces against the Assad regime. (Photo: Press TV)
Armed rebels in Syria. The U.S. has admitted that al-Qaeda has joined the ranks of rebel forces against the Assad regime. (Photo: Press TV)

Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s … Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s … Libya 2011 … Syria 2012 … In military conflicts in each of these countries the United States and al Qaeda (or one of its associates) have been on the same side.[1]

What does this tell us about the United States’ “War On Terrorism”?

Regime change has been the American goal on each occasion: overthrowing communists (or “communists”), Serbians, Slobodan Milosevic, Moammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad … all heretics or infidels, all non-believers in the empire, all inconvenient to the empire.

Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, has the United States invested so much blood and treasure against the PLO, Iraq, and Libya, and now Syria, all mideast secular governments?

Why are Washington’s closest Arab allies in the Middle East the Islamic governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain? Bahrain being the home of an American naval base; Saudi Arabia and Qatar being conduits to transfer arms to the Syrian rebels.

Why, if democracy means anything to the United States are these same close allies in the Middle East all monarchies?

Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did the United States shepherd Kosovo — 90% Islamist and perhaps the most gangsterish government in the world — to unilaterally declare independence from Serbia in 2008, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it?

Why — since Kosovo’s ruling Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic) — has the United States been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union? (Just what the EU needs: another economic basket case.) Between 1998 and 2002, the KLA appeared on the State Department terrorist list, remaining there until the United States decided to make them an ally, due in no small part to the existence of a major American military base in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, well situated in relation to planned international oil and gas pipelines coming from the vast landlocked Caspian Sea area to Europe. In November 2005, following a visit to Bondsteel, Alvaro Gil-Robles, the human rights envoy of the Council of Europe, described the camp as a “smaller version of Guantánamo”.[2]

Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did the United States pave the way to power for the Libyan Islamic rebels, who at this very moment are killing other Libyans in order to institute a more fundamentalist Islamic state?

Why do American officials speak endlessly about human rights, yet fully support the Libyan Islamic rebels despite the fact that Doctors Without Borders suspended its work in prisons in the Islamic-rebel city of Misurata because torture was so rampant that some detainees were brought for care only to make them fit for further interrogation?[3]

Why is the United States supporting Islamic Terrorists in Libya and Syria who are persecuting Christians?

And why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice — who daily attacks the Syrian government on moral grounds — not condemn the assassination of four Syrian high officials on July 18, in all likelihood carried out by al Qaeda types? RT, the Russian television channel broadcast in various parts of the United States, noted her silence in this matter. Does anyone know of any American media that did the same?

So, if you want to understand this thing called United States foreign policy … forget about the War on Terrorism, forget about September 11, forget about democracy, forget about freedom, forget about human rights, forget about religion, forget about the people of Libya and Syria … keep your eyes on the prize … Whatever advances American global domination. Whatever suits their goals at the moment. There is no moral factor built into the DNA of US foreign policy.


[1] For a summary of much of this, see: Peter Dale Scott, “Bosnia, Kosovo, and Now Libya: The Human Costs of Washington’s Ongoing Collusion With Terrorists“, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, August 7, 2011

[2] Camp Bondsteel entry on Wikipedia

[3] Washington Post, January 27, 2012

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William Blum

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of numerous books, including "Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower". 

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  • Voices in the Wilderness, Called America

    My dear William Blum,

    I am Sid Harth.

    Whatever are your personal opinions or mine, for that matter, American foreign policy would remain, pretty much the same. It cannot be changed or suitably modified for each and every instance. You quoted several of such examples and wondered as to which side of American foreign policy is bad on moral grounds.

    Governments do not run on moral or spiritual grounds, unless such variations are fundamentalists of one or other kind. Islam is roundly blamed for their treatment of the women, Human Rights and separate and different religious jurisprudence.

    In the history, we find many such instances where religious fundamentalists not only denied free speech but also freedom of religious beliefs, freedom of secular or religious association.

    Communists never trusted the Church and the very fact caused countries like USA and their European allies fight cold wars for good half a century or so.

    America has a formula, that works for their own version of democracy, Bill of Rights and Wrongs, separation of the Church and the State. This model, however whacked it may look to you and I, is still the only working model.

    Unless, you and I start a two person rebellion or something to that effect.

    Is tomorrow, good enough for you?

    …and I am Sid

  • Mark

    You ask so many Whys. The reason is because Albanians are peace loving people unlike how you portray them. Serbs killed as tortured thousands of them and killed even more Croats Bosnians and Slovenians. Albanians have had land taken from them by Serbia Greece Macedonia and Montenegro and have been abused for hundred year or more. They have nothing in common win Slavic people. And …. What USA did – to provide freedom to the people is the right thing to do.

    That is why.

    If you want to see drug dealings, human trafficking etc go to any country in the world including US and you will find that.

    • George

      Mark, there are peace loving people in Serbia as well, it’s not just a trait exclusive of the Albanians(ask the Serbians living in Kosovo how peace loving they are). Their are Serbian Churchs in kosovo that have been their for more than 100 years.The Balkan wars are much more complicated then you marginalizing who the bad guys were. The western media plagued the airways with mis-information and outright lies regarding Serbian actions. And yes the puppets government in Kosovo is amongst the most corrupt in the world, by their own actions. If Albanians have nothing in common with the slavic people, then instead of breaking up a Sovergn nation, move back to Albania.

  • osama

    why your media support your regime?

  • mo

    osama you can see Dr adnan artical for media and why they support.

    W blum has not confined the (why) to you local text. Libyan will have the view same as you. Kurdish about Iraq and Syrian about shia regime.

    what he mean is do you really support a monarch in saudia Arabia
    and why not al asad then in Syria?

    and how Obama can do a photo shoot and can set aside with Kazakhstan president Nazarbayev after Zhanaozen massacre.

    who is monopolizing the transition in Egypt.who suppressed Bahrain uprising.
    multinational + monarch + oil > democracy, human rights,transparent, tolerant society.

    the causality is Truth.

  • Derp

    American governnent doesn’t support the falls of those people simply because they are against them, it’s more like they turn a blind eye toward their allies to preserve relations. Meanwhile they don’t care about any of the others and have no reservations about publicly acting the way the people in their position are expected to act. I won’t deny the interests in Iraq, Libya and Iran are obvious, though.

  • Geronimo

    Go, jump into the waters of the real Boston Tea Party and swim back to Europe. You don’t belong here. It’s Indian Land.
    HOMELAND SECURITY – Fighting Terrorism Since 1492