Our thanks to Andre Vltchek for allowing us to repost this informative article about the Afghanistan few or no Westerners know.
Afghanistan is here. You love it or hate it, or anything in between. But you cannot cheat: you are here and if you know how to see and feel, then you slowly begin to know. Or you are not here, and you cannot understand or judge it at all. No book can describe Afghanistan, and I’m wondering whether even films can. Maybe poetry can, maybe a theatre play or a novel can, but I’m not sure, yet.
All I know is that it is alive, far from being finished. Its heart is pulsating; its body is warm. If someone tells you that it is finished, don’t trust him. Come and see for yourself; just watch and listen.
by ANDRE VLTCHEK
It often appears that “true Afghanistan” is not here in Kabul and not in Jalalabad or Heart either; not in the ancient villages, which anxiously cling to the steep mountainsides.
Many foreigners and even Afghans are now convinced that the “true” Afghanistan is only what is being shown on the television screens, depicted in magazines, or what is buried deep in the archives and libraries somewhere in London, New York or Paris.
It is tempting to think that the country could be only understood from a comfortable distance, from the safety of one’s living room or from those books and publications decorating dusty bookshelves and coffee tables all over the world.
“Afghanistan is dangerous,” they say. “It is too risky to travel there. One needs to be protected, escorted, equipped and insured in order to function in that wild and lawless country even for one single day, or just a few hours.”
When it comes to Afghanistan, conditioned Western ‘rational brains’ of tenure or emeritus professors (or call them the ‘regime’s intellectual gatekeepers’) often get engaged, even intertwined with those pathologically imaginative minds of the upper class ‘refugees’, the ‘elites’, and of course their offspring. After all, crème de la crème‘refugees’ speak perfect English; they know the rules and nuances of the game. The results of such ‘productive interaction’ are then imprinted into countless books and reports.
Books of that kind become, in turn, what could be easily defined as the ‘official references’, a ‘certified way’ to how our world perceives a country like Afghanistan. Their content is being quoted and recycled.
How often I heard, from the old veteran opinion makers (even those from the ‘left’) – people that I actually used to respect in the past:
“The Soviet era in Afghanistan was of course terrible, but at least many girls there had access to the education…”
It is no secret that ‘many girls had access to education’ in those distant days, but was it really “terrible”, that era? Was it “of course, terrible?” Baseless clichés like this are actually shaping ‘public opinion’, and can be much more destructive than the hardcore propaganda.
Most of those old gurus never set foot in Afghanistan, during the Soviet era or before, let alone after. All their ‘experience’ is second or third-hand, constructed mainly on sponging up bitterness from those who betrayed their own country and have been collaborating with the West, or at least on the confusion and mental breakdowns of their children.
Based on such recycled unconfirmed ‘facts’, bizarre theories are born. According to them, Afghanistan is ‘officially’ wrecked; it is hopelessly corrupt; it is beyond salvation and repair. It is ‘so divided, ethnically and otherwise’, that it can never function again as one entity.
Then come liberals, and the children of corrupt Afghan diplomats and exiled ‘elites’, who commonly justify their passivity by blaming the entire world for the destruction of their nation: “every country in the world just wants to harm Afghanistan, take shamelessly advantage of it.”
Naturally, if everybody is responsible, than nobody truly is. Therefore, as expected, ‘the grand conclusion’ is – “There is absolutely no hope.” Everyone who can is trying to leave; who in his or her right mind would want to dwell in such mayhem?”
Let’s just write the entire place off! Chapter closed. One of the greatest cultures on Earth is finished. Nothing can be done about it. Goodbye, Afghanistan! Ciao, bella!
For some, especially for those who left the country and slammed the door, it is a tempting and ‘reassuring’ way of looking at the state of things. It justifies their earlier decision. If one accepts such views, than nothing has to be done, because no matter what, things would never improve, anyway. For many, especially for those who are benefiting (even making careers) from doing absolutely nothing to save Afghanistan, such an approach and such theories are actually perfect. Very little of it matters to them, that almost all of this is total rubbish!
I never saw any of those professors from the MIT or Cornell University anywhere near the dusty roads cutting through Samar Khel or Charikar. I never saw any reporters from the Western mass media outlets here, in the deepest villages that keep changing hands between Taliban and the government forces, either. If they were here, I’d definitely spot them, as they tend to travel ‘in style’, like some buffoons from bygone eras: wearing ridiculous helmets, bulletproof vests, and PRESS insignias on all imaginable and unimaginable parts of their bodies, while being driven around in armored vehicles, often even with a full military escort.
It would be quite difficult to talk to Afghan people looking like that. There is not much one could actually even see from such an angle and perspective, but that’s the only one they are choosing to have, that is if they come here at all.
Let me back-track a bit: in case my readers in the West or elsewhere have never heard about Samar Khel. Well, it is a dusty town not far from Jalalabad, a former ‘grave’ for the Soviet forces and the National Afghan Army. During the “Soviet era”, the US and the Saudi-backed Mujahedeen used to fire between 500 and 1,000 missiles from here, all directly towards the city of Jalalabad, day after day.
It is very hard to imagine what went on and what went wrong in Afghanistan during the 1980’s, without feeling that 430C heat of the desert, without chewing dust, without facing those bare, hostile mountains, and without speaking to people who used to live here during ‘those days’, as well as people who have been existing, barely surviving here now.
It is also absolutely impossible to understand the Soviet Union and its ‘involvement’ in Afghanistan, without driving through the countryside and all of a sudden spotting in some ancient and god-forsaken village, a mighty and durable water duct built by Soviet engineers several decades ago, with electricity towers and high voltage wires still proudly spanning above.
By now I know that I don’t want to write another academic book. I wrote two of them, one about Indonesia and one about that enormous sprawl of water dotted with fantastic but devastated islands and atolls of the South Pacific – “Oceania”. To write academic books is time consuming and it is, in many ways, ‘selfish’. The true story gets buried under an avalanche of tedious facts and numbers, under footnotes and recycled quotes. Once such a book is read and returned to its place on a shelf, no one is really inspired or outraged, no one is terrified and no one is ready to build barricades and fight.
But most academic books and are never even read from cover to cover.
I see no point in writing books that wouldn’t inspire people to raise flags, to fight for their country and humanity.
I don’t work in Afghanistan in order to compile indexes and footnotes. I am there because the country itself is a victim of the most brutal and ongoing imperialist destruction in modern history. As an internationalist, I’m not here only to document; I’m here to accuse and to confront the venomous Western colonialist narrative frontally.
Afghanistan is bleeding, assaulted and terribly injured. Therefore it deserves to be fought for and not just to be analyzed and described. No cold and detached historic accounts, no texts written from a safe distance, can help this beautiful country to stand on its own feet, to regain its pride and hope, and to fly as it used to in the not so distant past.
It doesn’t need more and more nihilism. On the contrary, it is thirsting for optimism, for new friends, for hope.
Not all countries are the same. Even now, Afghanistan has friends, true friends, no matter how much this fact is being obscured by the Western propagandists, no matter how much pro-Western Afghan elites are trying to prove otherwise.
This is not what you are supposed to be reading. All remembrances of the “Soviet Era” in Afghanistan have been boxed and then labeled as “negative”, even “toxic”. No discussion on the topic is allowed in ‘polite circles’, at least in the West and in Afghanistan itself.
Afghanistan is where the Soviet Union was tricked into, and Afghanistan is where the Communist superpower received its final blow. ‘The victory of capitalism over communism’, the official Western narrative shouted. A ‘temporary destruction of all progressive alternatives for our humanity’, replied others, but mostly under their breath.
After the horrific, brutal and humiliating period of Gorbachev/Yeltsin, Russia shrunk both geographically and demographically, while going through indescribable agony. It hemorrhaged; it was bathing in its own excrement, while the West celebrated its temporary victory, dancing in front of the world map, envisioning the re-conquest of its former colonies.
But in the end Russia survived, regained its bearings and dignity, and once again became one of the most important countries on Earth, directly antagonistic to the global Western imperialist designs.
Afghanistan has never recovered. After the last Soviet combat troops left the country in 1989, it bled terribly for years, consumed by a brutal civil war. Its progressive government had to face the monstrous terror of the Western and Saudi-backed Mujahedeen, with individuals like Osama bin Laden in command of the jihadi genocide.
Socialists, Communists, secularists as well as almost all of those who were educated in the former Soviet Union or Eastern Block countries, were killed, exiled, or muzzled for decades.
Most of those who settled in the West simply betrayed; went along with the official Western narrative and dogma.
Even those individuals who still claimed to be part of the left, repeated like parrots, their pre-approved fib:
“Perhaps the Soviet Union was not as bad as the Mujahedeen, Taliban, or even the West, but it was really bad enough.”
I heard these lines in London and elsewhere, coming from several mouths of the corrupt Afghan ‘elites’ and their children. From the beginning I was doubtful. And then my work, my journeys to and through Afghanistan began. I spoke to dozens of people all over the country, doing exactly what I was discouraged to do: driving everywhere without an escort or protection, stopping in the middle of god-forsaken villages, entering fatal city slums infested with narcotics, approaching prominent intellectuals in Kabul, Jalalabad and elsewhere.
“Where are you from?” I was asked on many occasions.
“Russia,” I’d reply. It was a gross simplification. I was born in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, but an incredible mixture of Chinese, Russian, Czech and Austrian blood circles through my veins. Still, the name “Russia” came naturally to me, in the middle of Afghan deserts and deep gorges, especially in those places where I knew that my life was hanging on a thin thread. If I were to be allowed to utter one last word in this life, “Russia” was what I wanted it to be.
But after my declaration, the faces of the Afghan people would soften, unexpectedly and suddenly. “Welcome!” I’d hear again and again. An invitation to enter humble homes would follow: an offer to rest, to eat, or to just drink a glass of water.
‘Why?’ I often wondered. “Why?” I finally asked my driver and interpreter, Mr. Arif, who became my dear friend.
“It’s because in this country, Afghans love Russian people,” he replied simply and without any hesitation.
“Afghans love Russians?” I wondered. “Do you?”
“Yes,” he replied, smiling. “I do. Most of our people here do.”
Two days later I was sitting inside an armored UNESCO Land Cruiser, talking to a former Soviet-trained engineer, now a simple driver, Mr. Wahed Tooryalai. He allowed me to use his name; he had no fear, just accumulated anger, which he obviously wanted to get out of his system:
“When I sleep, I still sometimes see the former Soviet Union in my dreams. After that, I wake up and feel happy for one entire month. I remember everything I saw there, until now…”
I wanted to know what really made him so happy ‘there’?
Mr. Wahed did not hesitate:
“People! They are so kind. They are welcoming… Russians, Ukrainians… I felt so much at home there. Their culture is exactly like ours. Those who say that Russians ‘occupied’ Afghanistan have simply sold out. The Russians did so much for Afghanistan: they built entire housing communities like ‘Makroyan’, they built factories, even bakeries. In places such as Kandahar, people are still eating Russian bread…”
I recalled the Soviet-era water pipes that I photographed all over most of the humble Afghan countryside, as well as the elaborate water canals in and around cities like Jalalabad.
“There is so much propaganda against the Soviet Union,” I said.
“Only the Mujahedeen and the West hate Russians,” Mr. Wahed explained. “And those who are serving them.”
Then he continued:
“Almost all poor Afghan people would never say anything bad about Russians. But the government people are with the West, as well as those Afghan elites who are now living abroad: those who are buying real estate in London and Dubai, while selling their own country…those who are paid to ‘create public opinion.’”
His words flowed effortlessly; he knew precisely what he wanted to say, and they were bitter, but it was clearly what he felt:
“Before and during the Soviet era, there were Soviet doctors here, and also Soviet teachers. Now show me one doctor or teacher from the USA or UK based in the Afghan countryside! Russians were everywhere, and I still even remember some names: Lyudmila Nikolayevna… Show me one Western doctor or nurse based here now. Before, Russian doctors and nurses were working all over the country, and their salaries were so low… They spent half on their own living expenses, and the other half they distributed amongst our poor… Now look what the Americans and Europeans are doing: they all came here to make money!”
I recall my recent encounter with a Georgian combatant, serving under the US command at the Bagram base. Desperate, he recalled his experience to me:
“Before Bagram I served at the Leatherneck US Base, in Helmand Province. When the Americans were leaving, they even used to pull out concrete from the ground. They joked: “When we came here, there was nothing, and there will be nothing after we leave…” They prohibited us from giving food to local children. What we couldn’t consume, we had to destroy, but never give to local people. I still don’t understand, why? Those who come from the US or Western Europe are showing so much spite for the Afghan people!”
What a contrast!
Mr. Wahed recalled how the Soviet legacy was abruptly uprooted:
“After the Taliban era, we were all poor. There was hunger; we had nothing. Then the West came and began throwing money all around the place. Karzai and the elites kept grabbing all that they could, while repeating like parrots: “The US is good!” Diplomats serving Karzai’s government, the elites, they were building their houses in the US and UK, while people educated in the Soviet Union couldn’t get any decent jobs. We were all blacklisted. All education had to be dictated by the West. If you were educated in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, East Germany or Bulgaria, they’d just tell you straight to your face: Out with you, Communist! At least now we are allowed to at least get some jobs… We are still pure, clean, never corrupt!”
“Do people still remember?” I wonder.
“Of course they do! Go to the streets, or to a village market. Just tell them: “How are you my dear?” in Russian. They’d immediately invite you to their homes, feed you, embrace you…”
I tried a few days later, in the middle of the market… and it worked. I tried in a provincial town, and it worked again. I finally tried in a Taliban-infiltrated village some 60 kilometers from Kabul, and there it didn’t. But I still managed to get away.
I met Mr. Shakar Karimi in Pole Charkhi Village. A local patriarch, he used to be a district chief in Nangarhar Province.
I asked him, what the best system ever implemented in modern Afghanistan was?
First he spoke about the Khan dynasty, but then referred to a left-wing Afghan leader, who was brutally tortured and murdered by Taliban after they entered Kabul in 1996:
“If they’d let Dr. Najib govern in peace, that would have been the best for Afghanistan!”
I asked him about the Soviet invasion in 1979.
“They came because they were given wrong information. The first mistake was to enter Afghanistan. The second, fatal mistake was to leave.”
“What was the main difference between the Russians and Westerners during their engagement in Afghanistan?”
“The Russian people came predominately to serve, to help Afghanistan. The relationship between Russians and Afghans was always great. There was real friendship and people were interacting, even having parties together, visiting each other.”
I didn’t push him further; didn’t ask what was happening now. It was just too obvious. “Enormous walls and high voltage wires,” would be the answer. Drone zeppelins, weapons everywhere and an absolute lack of trust… and the shameless division between the few super rich and the great majority of the desperately poor… the most depressed country on the Asian continent.
Later I asked my comrade Arif, whether all this was really true?
“Of course!” He shouted, passionately. “100% true. The Russians built roads, they built homes for our people, and they treated Afghans so well, like their brothers. The Americans never did anything for Afghanistan, almost nothing. They only care about their own benefits.”
“If there would be a referendum right now, on a simple question: ‘do you want Afghanistan to be with Russia or with the United States, the great majority would vote for Russia, never for the US or Europe. And you know why? I’m Afghan: when my country is good, then I’m happy. If my country is doing bad, then I suffer! Most people here, unless they are brainwashed or corrupted by the Westerners, know perfectly well what Russia did for this country. And they know how the West injured our land.”
Of course this is not what every single Afghan person thinks, but most of them definitely do. Just go and drive to each and every corner of the country, and ask. You are not supposed to, of course. You are told to be scared to come here, to roam through this “lawless” land. And you are not supposed to go directly to the people. Instead you are expected to recycle the writings of toothless, cowardly academics, as well as servile mass media reports. If you are liberal, you are at least expected to say: “there is no hope, no solution, no future.”
At Goga Manda village, the fighting between the Taliban and government troops is still raging. All around the area, the remnants of rusty Soviet military hardware can be found, as well as old destroyed houses from the “Soviet era” battles.
The Taliban is positioned right behind the hills. Its fighters attack the armed forces of Afghanistan at least once a month.
Almost 16 years after the NATO invasion and consequent occupation of the country, this village, as thousands of other villages in Afghanistan, has no access to electricity, and to drinking water. There is no school within walking distance, and even a small and badly equipped medical post is far from here, some 5 kilometers away. Here, an average family of 6 has to survive on US$130 dollars per month, and that’s only if some members are actually working in the city.
I ask Mr. Rahmat Gul, who used to be a teacher in a nearby town, whether the “Russian times” were better.
He hesitated for almost one minute, and then replied vaguely:
“When the Russians were here, there was lots of shooting… It was real war… People used to die. During the jihad period, the Mujahedeen were positioned over there… they were shooting from those hills, while Soviet tanks were stationed near the river. Many civilians were caught in the crossfire.”
As I got ready to ask him more questions, my interpreter began to panic:
“Let’s go! Taliban is coming.”
He’s always calm. When he gets nervous, I know it is really time to run. We ran; just stepping on the accelerator and driving at breakneck speed towards the main road.
Before we parted, Mr. Wahed Tooryalai grabbed my hand. I knew he wanted to say something essential. I waited for him to formulate it. Then it came, in rusty but still excellent Russian:
“Sometimes I feel so hurt, so angry. Why did Gorbachev abandon us? Why? We were doing just fine. Why did he leave us? If he hadn’t betrayed us, life in Afghanistan would be great. I wouldn’t have to be a UN driver… I used to be the deputy director of an enormous bread factory, with 300 people working there: we were building our beloved country, feeding it. I hope Putin will not leave us.”
Then he looked at me, straight into my eyes, and suddenly I got goose bumps as he spoke, and my glasses got foggy:
“Please tell Mr. Putin: do hold our hand, as I’m now holding yours. Tell him what you saw in my country; tell him that we Afghans, or at least many of us, are still straight, strong and honest people. All this will end, and we will send the Americans and Europeans packing. It will happen very soon. Then please come and stand by us, by true Afghan patriots! We are here, ready and waiting. Come back, please.”
A son of the super elite Afghan ‘exiles’ living in London, once ‘shouted’ at me, via Whatsapp, after I dared to criticize one of the officially-recognized gurus of the Western anti-communist left, who happened to be his religiously admired deity:
“I’m completely amazed that you’d do such a thing. Then again, you’re Russian… And Russians held a strange superiority complex about dominating the whole Asian & African continents – even when nobody invited or asked them to. Historical examples are plenty… Don’t go to a country to report about what’s actually going on when you can’t even speak the language!”
This was his tough verdict on Russia and on my work; a verdict of ‘Afghan man in London’, who never even touched work in his entire life, being fully sustained by his morally corrupted family. He never travelled much, except when his father took him on one of the official diplomatic visits. He has been drinking, taking drugs and hating everything that fights, that defies the Empire. From President Duterte in the Philippines, to Maduro in Venezuela, and Assad in Syria. After he was taken out of Afghanistan at an extremely early age, he never set foot on its soil.
All of his knowledge was accumulated ‘second-hand’, but he is quick to pass endless moral judgments, and he is actually taken seriously by one of the most influential and famous ‘opposition’ figures in the West. It is because he is an Afghan, after all, and because he has a perfect English accent, and his ‘conclusions’ are ‘reasonable’, at least to some extent acceptable by the regime, and therefore trustworthy. He and others like him know perfectly well when to administer the required dose of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian sentiments, or when to choose well-tolerated anarcho-syndicalism over true revolutionary fervor.
Again in London, a lady from an Afghan diplomatic circle, who still takes pride in being somehow left-leaning (despite her recent history of serving the West), recalled with nostalgia and boasting pride:
“Once when I got sick, I travelled with my husband from Kabul to Prague, for medical treatment. It was in 80’s, and we took with us 5,000 dollars. You know, in those days in Czechoslovakia this was so much money! Our friends there never saw so much cash in their lives. We really had great time there.”
I listened politely and thought: ‘Damn, in those days, my two Czech uncles were building sugar mills, steel factories and turbines for developing countries like Syria, Egypt, Lebanon. I’m not sure whether they also worked in Afghanistan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. It was their internationalist duty and they were hardly making US$500 per month. The salary of my father, a leading nuclear scientist, who was in charge of the safety of VVR power plant reactors, was at that time (and at the real exchange) well under US$200 a month. These were very honest, hard-working people, doing their duty towards humanity. And then someone came from Kabul, from the capital of one of the poorest countries in Asia, recipient of aid and internationalist help from basically all Soviet Block countries, and blows 5.000 bob in just a few days!’
In those days, socialist Czechoslovakia was helping intensively, various revolutionary and anti-colonialist movements, all over the world. Even Ernesto Che Guevara was treated there, between his campaign in Congo, and his final engagement in Bolivia.
But the lady did not finish, yet:
“Once we crossed the border and travelled to the Soviet Union by land. You cannot imagine the misery we encountered in the villages, across the border! Life was much tougher there than on our side. Of course Moscow was different: Moscow was the capital, full of lights, truly impressive…”
Was that really so? Or was this official narrative that has been injected through the treasonous elites into the psyche of both Afghans and foreigners?
I listened, politely. I like stories, no matter from which direction they are coming. I took mental notes.
Then, back in Afghanistan, I asked Mr. Shakar Karimi point blank:
“You were travelling back and forth, between Afghanistan and the former Soviet Union. Was life in the Afghan countryside better than in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan?”
He stared at me, shocked. When my question finally fully sank into his brain, he began laughing:
“Soviet villages were so much richer, there could not be any comparison. They had all necessary facilities there, from electricity to water, schools and medical posts, even public transportation: either train or at least a bus. No one could deny this, unless they’d be totally blind or someone would pay them not to see! Of course Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, was totally different story: it was a huge and very important Soviet city, with theaters, museums, parks, hospitals and universities. But even the villages were, for us, shockingly wealthy. Culture at both sides of the border was, however, similar. And while the Soviets were engaged here in Afghanistan, things began developing at our side of the border, too.”
But who would listen to Mr. Shakar Karimi from Pole Charkhi Village, on the outskirts of Kabul. He hardly spoke English, and he had no idea how to be diplomatic and ‘acceptable’ to Londoners or New Yorkers. And what he was saying was not what was expected from the Afghans to say.
During my previous trip to Afghanistan, over the phone from Kabul, I suggested to my friend, another ‘elite’ Afghan exile, that the next time she should come with me, at least for a few days, in order to reconnect, to breath the air of the city that she has been claiming she missed so desperately, for so many years. Reply was curt, but somehow predictable:
“Me, coming back like this; incognito? You don’t understand, my family is so important! When I finally go back, it will be a big, big deal!”
It is very strange, but Afghans that I know from Afghanistan are totally different from those I meet in Europe and North America. So are Afghans who are going back, regularly, to their beloved country, and who are ‘connected’, even engaged.
In Rome, I met Afghan Princess Soraya. I was invited to Italy by several left-wing MP’s representing 5 Stelli (‘5 Star Movement’) and during our lunch together, when learning about my engagement in Afghanistan, they exclaimed: “You have to meet ‘our’ Afghan Princess!”
They called her on a mobile phone. She was in her 60s, but immediately she jumped on her bicycle and pedaled to the Parliament area in order to meet me. She was shockingly unpretentious, and endlessly kind. With her, nothing was a ‘big deal’. “Come meet me in the evening in the old Jewish Ghetto,” she suggested. “There will be an opening of a very interesting art exhibition there, in one of the galleries.”
We met again, in the evening. She was very critical of the occupation of her country by the NATO forces. She had no fear, nothing to hide. She had no need to play political games.
“I’m going back to Kandahar, in couple of weeks. Please let me know when you are going back to my country. I’ll arrange things for you. We’ll show you around Kandahar.”
In the meantime, I got used to Afghanistan; to its terrain, its stunning beauty, to its bitter cold in the winter and stifling heat of the summers, to its curtness, its exaggerated politeness and even to its hardly bearable roughness, which always surfaces at least once in a while. But I never got used to all of those upper-class ‘refugees’, people who have left Afghanistan permanently; to those who later betrayed, and then betrayed again, spreading false information about their country, serving Western media/propaganda outlets or as diplomats of the puppet state abroad, making a lucrative living out of their treason and out of the misery of their own people. I don’t think that I will ever get used to them. In a way, they are even worse than NATO, or at least equally as bad, and more deadly and venomous than the Taliban.
There are many ways how one can betray his or her country. There are also countless reasons and justifications for treason. Historically, Western colonialists developed entire networks of local, “native” collaborators, all over the world. These people have been ready and willing to run down their devastated countries, on behalf of the European and later, US imperialists, in exchange for prominent positions, titles and ‘respect’. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is not an exception.
On 21 January 2010, even Kabul Press had apparently enough, and it published damning article “Afghan UN Ambassador’s $4.2 million Manhattan apartment”
(https://www.kabulpress.org/article4590.html), referring to the super-luxury residence of then Afghan UN Ambassador, Zahir Tanin:
“Among the billions of dollars being spent propping up the Karzai government are some choice bits of New York City real estate. Number 1 is a 2,400 sq. ft. 3-bedroom corner apartment in the Trump World Tower, one of the world’s most expensive addresses. It was chosen by Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, who lives there with his wife.”
“According to Kabul press sources, eight other diplomats working in the Mission’s offices live about one hour away. The average rent for them is over $20,000 per month—extremely pricey even for Manhattan real estate. The previous Ambassador, Mr. Farhadi paid only $7,000 per month for all rent and expenses.”
“Other ambassadors, like Taib Jawad (Afghan Abmassador to the U.S.) are living in luxury residences, why not me?” our source quotes Tanin as saying.”
So many Afghans have left, many betrayed, but others are refusing to bend, remaining proud and honest.
During my previous visit to the country, I worked along the road separating the districts 3 and 5 in Kabul, photographing literally decomposing bodies of drug-users.
In June 2017 I returned, but this time I dared to film the people living under the bridges, and in deep infested hovels. Later I walked on the riverbank, trying to gain some perspective and to film from various angles.
Someone was making threatening gestures from the distance; someone else aimed a gun at me. I ducked for cover.
“Not very welcoming place, is it?” I heard loud laughter behind my back. Someone spoke perfect English.
I turned back. A well-dressed man approached me. We exchanged a few words. I explained what I was doing here and he understood immediately.
“Here is my card,” he said. Muhammad Maroof (Sarwan), Vice-President of the Duniya Construction Company,” it read. He continued:
“I came to this warehouse here to deliver my products, and I saw you filming. You’re lucky you were not hit by a bullet.”
“I want to talk,” he said, pointing his hand at the bridge. “Don’t film me, just take notes. You can quote me, even use my name.”
He explained that he used to work for the US military, as an interpreter.
Then he began speaking, clearly and coherently:
“The biggest mafias here are directly linked to both UK and US. The West lies that they want to stop trade with drugs in Afghanistan; they never will allow it to stop.”
“My brother is a writer and he has images of the U.S. army giving water pumps, studs and other basic stuff, for the growth of poppies. The biggest supporter of drugs production in Afghanistan, and the export, is the UK government. They are dealing directly with the locals, even giving them money… The UK is also the major market for the export. Helmand, Kandahar, you name it, from there, directly, transport planes are taking off and going straight towards Europe, even the US. The Westerners are people who physically put drugs into the airplane at our airports.”
“My relative was an interpreter for the British… He was killed by them, after he had been witnessing and interpreting at a meeting between the UK officials, and the local drug mafias.”
I was wondering whether he was certain he wanted to speak on the record. My interpreter was standing by, apparently impressed by what he was witnessing. Mr. Maroof did not hesitate:
“I have nothing to hide. They are destroying my country right in front of my eyes. What could be more horrifying than that? The Western occupation is ruining Afghanistan. I want the world to be aware of it, and I don’t care what could happen to me!”
Not all the opposition to the present regime in Kabul is fighting for true independence and progressive ideals. Some have close links with the West, or /and with the Mujahedeen.
In Kabul, in June 2017, inside a makeshift camp built near the site of a devastating explosion which in May killed at least 90 people, injuring 400, I met with Ramish Noori, the spokesperson of Haji Zahir Qadir’s “Uprising for Change”. The powerful “Uprising” counts on at least a 1,000-men strong militia, one which is locked in brutal combat with ISIS (Daesh), and which has already beheaded several terrorist fighters in ‘retaliatory’ actions.
Mr. Noory clearly indicated that the goal of his group is to force the present government to resign, even if that would have to happen with the help of foreign countries:
“We were shot at in Kabul and 6 protesters were killed, 21 injured. Professional Special Forces of Ashraf Ghani shot those who were killed point blank, in the face. Instead of killing terrorists, this government is killing innocent protesters; people who came to demand security after that barbaric terrorist attack which took lives of 90 people. We actually believe that many government officials are responsible for the killings. We also think that the government is helping to coordinate attacks of the terrorists.”
Mr. Samir, one of the protesters, began shouting in anger:
“The government is killing its own people, and so we want both Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to resign. We want an entire reset of the Afghan system. Look what is happening all around the country: killings, bomb blasts and unbridled corruption!”
But when I press them hard, I feel that behind their words there is no sound ideology, just geographically swappable ‘civil society talk’. And perhaps some power struggle as well.
I don’t know who is supporting them, who is behind them, but I feel that someone definitely is. What they say is right, but it is how they say it that worries me.
I ask Ramish Noori about the NATO occupation of Afghanistan, and suddenly there is a long pause. Then a brief answer in a slightly uncomfortable tone of voice:
“We are ready to work with any country that is supporting our position.”
“Can I stop by later today?” I ask.
“Of course. Anytime. We’ll be here till the morning. We are expecting the Mujahedeen to join us in the early hours.”
Next time I will investigate further.
I visited the British Cemetery in Kabul. Not out of some perverse curiosity, but because, during my last visit, I was given this tip by a Russian cultural attaché:
“See how patient, how tolerant Afghan people are… After all that has been done to them…”
I’m glad that I went. The cemetery puts the events of the last 2 centuries into clear perspective. To a clear British perspective…
Full of patriotic sentimentality, The Telegraph once described this place as: “Afghanistan: The corner of Kabul that is forever England.”
There was no repentance, no soul-searching, no questions asked, like: What was England doing here, thousands of miles away from its shores, again and again… and again?”
Above the names of fallen English soldiers, there was a sober but unrepentant dedication:
“This memorial is dedicated to all those British officers and soldiers who gave their lives in the Afghan wars of the 19th and 20th Century. Renovated by the officers and soldiers of the British Contingent of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul. February 2002. “We Shall Remember Them””
The cemetery is well kept. There is no vandalism and no graffiti. In Afghanistan, the death of Englishmen, Spaniards and other foreigners is respected.
Unfortunately, the death of Afghan people is not even worth commemorating, anymore.
How many Afghans did those British troops massacre, in two long centuries? Shouldn’t there be a monument, somewhere in Kabul, to those thousands of victims of British imperialism? Perhaps there will be… one day, but not anytime soon.
Again I drove to Bagram, filming the monstrous walls of the US military and air force base.
Again I saw children with toy guns, running and imitating landing combat helicopters.
Again I saw misery, right next to the gates of the base; poor women covered by burkas, babies in their arms, sitting in stifling heat on speed bumps, begging.
I saw amputees, empty stares of poor local people.
All this destitution, just a few steps away from tens of billions of dollars wasted on high-tech military equipment, which has succeeded in breaking the spirit of millions of Afghan people, but never in ‘liberating the country from terrorism’, or poverty.
I drove to the village of Dashtak, in Panjshir Valley, to hear more stories about those jihadi cadres who were based here during the war with the Soviet Union.
I was stopped, detained, interrogated, on several occasions, sometimes ten times per day: On the Afghan-Pakistani border which has recently experienced fighting between two countries, in Kabul, Jalalabad, Bargam. I lost track of who was who: police, army, security forces, local security forces, or militias?
In front of Jalalabad Airport I tried to film an enormous US blimp drone, on its final approach before landing. I asked my driver to make a U-turn, my drift HD camera ready. One minute later, the military stopped the car, aiming its guns at us. I had to get out, put my hands on a wall, and surrender my mobile phones. After our identity was verified from Kabul, one of the soldiers explained:
“Yesterday, exactly the same Toyota Corolla drove by, made the same U-turn and then blew itself up, next to this wall…”
In Jalalabad, I spoke to a police officer wounded at the national Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) station, during a terrorist attack.
It all felt surreal. The entire country seems to be dissolving; yet it is refusing to fall, to collapse. It is still standing. And despite rubble, fighting and the insane cynicism of the elites, there is still hope, and even some optimism left.
I’m trying to understand.
“Afghans living abroad keep spreading false rumors that we are finished, that everybody wants to leave,” explains Arif, my driver and interpreter. “But it’s not true. More and more people want to stay home, to improve things, to rebuild our motherland. She is beautiful, isn’t she?”
We are passing through a winding road, enormous mountains on both sides, and a river with crystal-clear water just a few meters away.
“She is,” I say. “Of course she is.”
We stopped near a small mosque, almost clinging to a cliff. It was the month of Ramadan. Arif was diligent; he went to pray. I also left the car and went to look into a deep and stunning ravine. Another car arrived; an off-roader, most likely an armored vehicle. The driver killed the engine. Three heavily armed men descended. They left their machine guns near the entrance to the mosque, washed their feet, and then went inside to pray.
Before they entered, we all nodded at each other, politely.
Surprisingly, I did not feel threatened. I never did, in Afghanistan.
The scenery reminded me of South America, most likely of Chile – tremendous peaks, a deep valley, serpentines and powerful river down below.
I felt strong and alive in Afghanistan. Many things have gone wrong in this country, but almost everything was clear, hardly any bullshit. Mountains were mountains, rivers were rivers, misery was misery and fighters were fighters, good or bad. I liked that. I liked that very much.
“Arif,” I asked, sipping Argentinian jerba mate from my elaborate metal straw, as we were gradually approaching Kabul. It was Malta Cruz, a common, harsh mate, but a decent one.
“Do you think I can get Afghan citizenship if we kick out Yanks and Europeans, defeat Taliban and Daesh, and rebuild socialist paradise here?”
I was joking, just joking, after a long and exhausting day of work around Jalalabad.
However, Arif looked suddenly very serious. He slowed the car down.
“You like? You like Afghanistan that much?”
“Hmmm,” I nodded.
“I think, if we win, they’ll make sure to give you Afghan nationality,” he finally concluded.
We were still very far from winning. After returning me to my hotel, he categorically refused to take money for his work. I insisted, but he kept refusing.
It all felt somehow familiar and good. Back in my hotel room, exhausted, I collapsed onto the bed, fully dressed. I fell asleep immediately.
Then, late at night, there were two loud explosions right under the hill.
Afghanistan is here. You love it or hate it, or anything in between. But you cannot cheat: you are here and if you know how to see and feel, then you slowly begin to know. Or you are not here, and you cannot understand or judge it at all. No book can describe Afghanistan, and I’m wondering whether even films can. Maybe poetry can, maybe a theatre play or a novel can, but I’m not sure, yet.
All I know is that it is alive, far from being finished. Its heart is pulsating; its body is warm. If someone tells you that it is finished, don’t trust him. Come and see for yourself; just watch and listen.
More articles by:ANDRE VLTCHEK
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.
Just today, we read that the Pope is part of the grand scheme to keep people under the delusion that Russia is the problem and not the solution in Syria and that China should not help to moderate between the West and North Korea in the interest of peace. And in keeping with the Western reporting format, no reasons whatsoever are given for his conclusions. The CIA issues accusations against Russia assuming the reader will bow to its expertise and the pope perhaps assumes his audience knows he is God’s spokesman.
Below is our translation from the Italian of Pope Francisco's statement to journalist Eugenio Scalfari of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
“Pope Francisco told me was very concerned about the G20 summit. ‘I’m afraid there are rather dangerous alliances between the powers that have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Putin and Assad in the war in Syria’.”
There he goes again, mixing geopolitics and religion. We shall analyze the problem with Mr. Bersoglio’s meddling, but first let us preface our remarks by saying that, while we respect titles, we must respectfully decline to use the term “his Holiness” when referring to the pope. Traditional Protestants generally adhere to the Bible first, above any church, and they recall the words “God is no respecter of persons.” Nowhere in the scriptures do we read of a human other than Christ being holy, whereas, in Orthodoxy, “his Holiness” refers to the patriarch, and to no one else. But back to our analysis.
Firstly, there are some (hopefully not too many) Catholics who believe that the pope is God’s mouthpiece in all matters, even those in which he has no expertise, such as, oh say, international relations and geopolitics.
These naïve souls will unthinkingly assume that God is talking through Jorge Bertoglio when he brays about Russia, Assad and other things he simply fails to comprehend.
Secondly, there are skeptics amongst us, such as Protestants and non-believers, who will instantly recall in this context the Great Schism of 1054 and the untoward influence it had on Byzantium and what is now called Eastern Orthodoxy – which today includes, for example, Russian Orthodoxy and Syrian Orthodoxy. We refer here to two savage attacks, the first by the Byzantines, ie, the 1182 Massacre of the Latins, where the Roman Catholics from Italy (the West) were on the receiving end of the violence triggered by their alleged arrogance and refusal to heed Byzantine laws; and the second, the Sack of Constantinople in 1204 when the Catholics turned the tables on the Byzantines (Easterners) and massacred them.
This crusade against what we now call the Eastern Orthodox resulted indirectly in such a weakening of the Christians in that region that they soon fell prey to Muslim invaders, and today, since Christians could not get along with each other, the Turks are still there and are a thorn in the side to all of Europe.
The resounding message from those tragic events for all of Christendom today is that peaceful coexistence and tolerance in the Christian world is essential for the survival of the faith and Western culture.
So is the pope hearing this message?
Incredibly, there has been no substantive change in the West in its attitude toward the East. Religious intolerance is still the order of the day.
Far from an attempt at reconciliation, the pope’s statement is a clear harsh condemnation of the East – Russia, Assad and ally China.
Now note that when asked once about a matter of morality defined in the Bible, a matter clearly within his purview, Jorge demurred: “who am I to judge?” (one is tempted to ask: Well, you are the pope, aren’t you?).
Yet in matters of geostrategic import, Jorge, whose specialty is preaching and administering wafers and wine glasses to the faithful, is only too willing to offer an unsolicited opinion.
The fact that he declines to explain why the US-Russia alliance or the Russia-Assad alliance is dangerous, suggests that the old anti-Eastern prejudice is as operative today as it was a millennium ago and that religion is still the blessed tie that separates. By warning of the Russia-Assad alliance, Mr. Bersoglio is warning against the legitimately elected president of Syria, who is seen by Orthodox Christians in Syria as the only obstacle to the eradication of their kind in the region. Interviews with Syrian Christians constantly confirm this. They fear US intervention and pray fervently that Russia will prevail (which, thank God, it has so far). In condemning the Russia-Assad alliance, and without providing a rationale for this condemnation, the pope is suggesting to historically aware Protestants, Catholics and non-believers alike that he is simply supporting the age-old papal antipathy of the East and all it stands for. While hoping that his remarks will be taken as a sage warning (of what?), he is in fact doing nothing more than nakedly promoting corrosive religious bigotry. Silly us. We thought such papally inspired persecution was confined to the Middle Ages.
But what about Putin? Is he not doing likewise, simply favoring the East and bashing the West?
Let us consider the following:
In November 2015 a Turkish fighter shot down a Russian jet and the Turkish government justified this attack – an act of war – on the allegation that the jet had grazed the Syrian-Turkish border on the Turkish side. No matter how you look at it, since both sides were supposedly united in the common cause against terrorism, the act was not in any way morally justified. Of course, the US government was delighted at the shootdown and said nothing.
But the Turks were at that time close to concluding a lucrative deal with Russia for laying a gas pipeline through Turkey. This fact may have been the reason that Erdogan later apologized to Putin for the shootdown and claimed it was not done on his orders. More importantly, in the meantime, a coup was attempted against Erdogan, including a murder plot to kill him. Once the coup was put down, a rumor surfaced that it was Putin who had warned Erdogan about the attempt, enabling him to avoid landing his plane at the airport where the plotters waited with their long knives.
Whether the story of Putin saving Erdogan’s life is true or just a rumor, Putin did in fact tell Erdogan that the US was behind the coup, and thanks to this sincerity on Putin’s part, the two leaders made up and fully restored the relations between their countries, thanks to Putin’s willingness to forgive. Whilst there have been hitches and glitches in Turkey-Russia relations, the reconciliation has held. We are tempted to call Putin’s behavior applied Christianity.
Further, we note that US officialdom and msm abuse Putin constantly, frequently call him a thug but without a shred of evidence to support this title, while Putin invariably turns the other cheek, always referring to the US as a partner. You can’t help but think of Jesus.
So here is a man who was educated in law and trained in the art of strategic intelligence behaving suspiciously like a devout Christian in his public life.
Contrast this with a man who was educated in the outward performance of Christian religious rites and rituals but who still bears a grudge against Christians with a different style of worship because of a conflict that occurred a thousand years ago. He just can’t seem to get over it.
Washington as a Wahhabi missionary team
This just in: Expert opinion further confirms Saudi terror support and warns of impending disaster under new power crazed Saud ruler:
There are, of course, other theories put forth by armchair analysts who hypothesize, for example, that the US government either simply hates Muslims or has ulterior economic motives involving energy pipelines. The latter is not necessarily preposterous.
Of course, the US government never saw itself as being at war with Islam. It’s worse than that. The US is persistently on the side of the violent and intolerant Sunni Wahhabists (though please note that even Wahhabists are not all violent) and against the more-tolerant persecuted Shiites, and is steadfastly against secularist leaders in the Middle East, not for personal or rational reasons but because it fawns to the Saudis. Unfortunately for Bashar al-Assad, he falls into both of the latter categories, incurring the ire of the Saudis and their allies. For quick reference, note that there are 600 Christian churches in Shiite Iran but none in Sunni Saudi Arabia, where Christian worship is banned (again, ordinary Sunnis, even the Wahhabists, are quite peaceful, despite Neocon propaganda). Further, there is a rising trend of women taxi drivers in Iran, whereas the Saudis forbid women to have drivers’ licenses. And of course, despite the preposterous Neocon propaganda, it would be theologically impossible for Shiite-majority Iran to support the 100% Sunni-Wahahbist ISIS or al-Qaeda. Hence the need for a constant storm of lies – e.g., the whopper that Iran is the “biggest terror sponsor” – from the Atlanticist press and from politicians like Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson and General Mattis, but also from most Democrat pols. All of these war hawks know that the average Westerner knows next to nothing about Middle Eastern cultures and cares even less, and are pleased to see “Muslims” killed, even mild-mannered ones like the Syrians – because for them there is no nuance, just black and white. Thus, for them, there is no Shiite vs Sunni, no secular vs radical, just Muslims vs Americans. Thus, many of them buy into Donald Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric and even blithely accept his unprecedented sale of arms to the Saudis, which, thanks to their leader’s behavior, many now view as “good” Muslims who support Israel and are therefore honorary Christians. So what if Syrian Christians must be sacrificed to make America great again? If our government wants them dead, then so be it. Christians are supposed to suffer persecution anyway. As long as they are foreigners. America first, Jesus second.
Jesus’ words were prophetic:
“…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8
Thus the petrodollar agreement with the Saudis perfectly suits the needs of the US deep state, being not only anti-Christian but also designed to prop up the dollar. It is a perfect set of circumstances for the elites, who imagine themselves to be enlightened, and a perfect storm for Middle Eastern Christians and other minorities.
The deep state thought that by sacrificing Christian culture and lives on the Saudi altar, it could maintain the high value of the US dollar indefinitely, even without backing the USD with precious metals and a sound economy and fiscal policies. But this policy of trading large numbers of human lives and Christian culture for an artificially high value of the dollar may have a shelf life since an increasing number of countries outside Washington’s orbit are now actively practicing a dedollarization policy. Iran, for example, generally no longer accepts dollars in its foreign trade, realizing that the dollar is a potential albatross around its neck (BTW, this means they have crossed a red line as far as the elites are concerned). Other countries committed to eroding dollar dominance include the world’s biggest exporter, China, its partner Russia, and to a lesser extent other strong economies as well, including BRICS countries. The EU is also now trading mostly in euros, something that US politicians and officials are naturally viewing with a jaundiced eye – one likely reason why Trump thunders against European elites.
Thanks largely to the petrodollar agreement described above, American foreign policy is in perpetual shambles, by design. There is absolutely no academic rigor in the thinking and actions of our foreign policy “experts,” who are nothing but glorified propagandists, as evidenced by their obtuse, obnoxious statements regarding Iran and Russia on national primetime news and in the UN. The notion that Islam per se (and not Saudi Wahhabism) is the cause of terror is the most resilient of myths, crafted by US Neocons to foster perpetual war. Trump leads in the promotion of this myth, even as he coddles the Saudis. To put it succinctly, there are truly no experts in high government places with an in-depth knowledge of the cultures, religious beliefs and languages of their areas of specialty. The few Americans who possess knowledge of Middle East history, cultures and languages, or at least keen analytical skills, are kept safely away from positions of influence and power in government and media. After all, knowledge and facts are an acid which would quickly dissolve all the lovingly nurtured myths and lies about the world beyond our borders that hold Americans’ minds in thrall and paralyze any sincere attempt by the People to sort things out.
Further, while Trump criticized US Neocons like McCain and the Bush family during his campaign, oddly, his cabinet picks talk just like these Neocons (with the trivial twist that Russophobia is held somewhat in check in this administration), and his idea to institute “safe zones” in Syria (since abandoned), is old-school Neocon bullying that many supporters had hoped he would be the first president to abandon.
The most distasteful aspect of this idea is that Trump asked the Saudis--the biggest terror supporters on earth and the ones who financed most of the chaos in Syria – for their permission to invade this third country and set up “safe zones” and he wanted to use their acquiescence as an excuse to do so. He didn’t ask the US voters or the Syrians, mind you, but a group of brutal religious fanatics that, on the campaign trail, he hinted he would keep at bay (even taunting a Saudi prince in tweets).
To make sure no one would doubt his solidarity with the Saudis, Trump omitted their country from his list (since squashed by federal judges) of those that do not qualify for visas based on the likelihood of introducing terrorists. Odd enough since 15 of the 19 terrorists that killed 3000 of us on Sept. 11, 2001, were Saudis, and one of the bloodier terror attacks on US soil was subsequently committed in San Bernardino during his primary campaign by a married couple with ties to Saudi Arabia. In fact, the relatives of the terrorist pair’s better half, Tashfeen Malik, told authorities that she had been radicalized while living in that country. When a Saudi official denied this, US msm seized upon his statement to dismiss that family’s claim and never mention it again (the report survives in alt and foreign sources). Yet who would know better than the family? And who would be more disposed to lie than the impugned country? Indeed, Malik professed the Wahhabi brand of Islam, which, as we have seen, originated, and is dominant, in Saudi Arabia, where she spent much of her life, according to a NYT article.
The 3 major terror organizations, Taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS, all adhere to this most violent and intolerant of all sects. None belong to the milder Shiite sect dominant in Iran.
Ironically, it was this San Bernardino terror act, whose perpetrators had ties to Saudi Arabia, that gave rise to Trump’s famous speech on Dec. 7, just 5 days after the attack, wherein he had called for a “complete and total shutdown” of the US borders to Muslims. This uninformed attribution of terror to Muslims per se, rather than to the Wahhabists of the Saudi variety (which he now welcomes into the US with open arms), is, as I said above, precisely the sly Neocon ruse by which ignorant Americans can be swayed to accept any war against any Muslim group in the Middle East, including against mild-mannered Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, who belongs to the Alawite sect (of the Shiite branch), the most tolerant of the Muslims. So much so that many Muslims refuse to accept that Alawites are even Muslims. But please don’t spread this around or the US government might lose its excuse to invade any Muslim country at will with the people’s tacit uninformed approval in their frenzy to save the dollar.
If we connect the dots to the Bush administration, we see an interesting replicating pattern. At that time, after the US was stunned by a terror attack on the World Trade Center, GW Bush stood at ground zero and, with his arms draped around 2 firemen, announced on national TV: “the people who knocked down these buildings are going to hear from us.” It didn’t happen and he knew it wouldn’t. It was a bait-and-switch trick (Note: the Truther theory is beyond the scope of this discussion). When magicians do sleight of hand, we are told to “watch the other hand.” Instead Americans cheered.
If they had watched the other hand, they would have noticed the clear-cut Saudi link in a US propaganda build-up to war. To summarize, the attackers were mostly Saudis and their leader, Osama bin Laden, was a Saudi. They were all members of the Saudi sect of Wahhabism and for years had received arms, money and training from Wahhabist-majority Saudi Arabia. Yet Dubbya sent US troops to fight and die not in Saudi Araba, America’s true enemy by sound logic, but in Afghanistan, where the Taliban had threatened to unseat the Saudi royals. In other words, the US was actually aiding and abetting the Saudis, 15 of whom had just killed 3000 Americans, with the blessings of the US president. Just ignoring the Saudi role in 9-11 would have been in itself a double cross. But aiding and abetting the enemy to boot was a double double cross. A few months later, the US invaded Iraq, where they laid waste to the country and allowed the ancient community of Assyrian Christians (anathema to the Wahhabis) to be murdered or banished in the very birthplace of Christianity, and Saddam Hussein, another enemy of the Saudi royals to be captured and ultimately hanged. While this military action was taking place, Bush was busy covering for the Saudi role in 9-11, refusing to allow law enforcement to investigate clear cut links between the terror and the Saudi embassy. The New York Post covered the story. And megachurches stood shoulder to shoulder with GW Bush. Franz Kafka would have blushed to write something this grotesquely surreal.
Thus the US undertook 2 costly campaigns at a cost of over $1 trillion and thousands upon thousands of American and Iraqi lives, mostly “collateral damage” (many times more than that which Obama and Trump condemned when the Russians bombed in Syria), in order to secure the safety of America’s arch-enemy from a country whose people were not an enemy, though, of course, many predictably became enemies as a result of US “help” and some later founded ISIS to avenge themselves of the invaders.
Not only did “the people who knocked down these buildings” not “hear from us,” but in fact, the US boosted their power and weakened their enemies to their benefit. The Saudis, many of whom had sponsored Al-Qaeda, won the war (Americans seem poised to repeat that foolishness, encouraged by an unsubstantiated story of Assad’s “death camps,” promulgated by the people whose propaganda gave us the death and chaos of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Kosovo).
The Iraq fiasco was in effect an intelligence test and many Americans failed it. Only a few saw the ominous pro-Saudi pattern and their voices were drowned out in the victory celebration.
Examples of non-military actions of the US government that also help spread Saudi Wahhabism include allowing the Saudis to finance and build mosques and madrassas (schools) in the US. The New York Post reports that the Saudis are funding Wahhabist mosques in the US that are radicalizing previously-moderate Muslims.
“…estimates are that the Saudis fund up to 80% of American mosques, at least in part.”
The article goes on to show how the Saudis fund Koran classes in parts of Africa where undernourished children desperately need practical education but are forced to spend most of their day memorizing Surahs, and how it funds the building of hundreds of mosques in Germany that teach Wahhabism and radicalize moderate Muslims.
But because the Saudis are our de facto rulers – thanks to the petrodollar agreement – even the strongest leaders, including US presidents and lawmakers, in the US and the German government don’t dare sully them. Like Trump, Merkel keeps selling them guns galore to do with as they please, while hypocritically urging them to stop the war in Yemen. And although Western politicians scream about human rights, threaten Shiite and secular leaders in the Middle East with sanctions, and send war planes to their countries at will, when it comes to the Saudis, they see no problem with their murderous attacks on the poorest country in the region, Yemen. Because Yemen’s rebels are Shiites, and the West tacitly allows the most brutal persecution of the already downtrodden Shiites, thanks to the unholy alliance with their masters in the Arabian Peninsula.
Further, the US stood idly by as Saudi ally Israel bombed Iran’s Osirak reactor in 1981, almost 10 years after the petrodollar agreement was signed. It also stands idly by when Israel bombs targets in Syria. By its silence, Washington supports these acts of aggression against the already-persecuted Shiites.
The whole anti-Iran propaganda war is designed to please the Saudis and the Israelis alike. Yet no journalist or politician in the West dares to give the Shiites of Syria and Iran the credit they deserve for bravely fighting terrorists, even as they now launch the final battles against ISIS.
What lies ahead?
US, and hence, Western, foreign policy is driven by the unproven theory that the Saudis are needed to defend the US dollar. Yet the only reason such a prop is needed for the currency is because, unlike China, for example, the US produces and exports diminishing amounts of goods and services, and the use of the dollar in world trade for non-energy items, while not really necessary, I mandated by the US. Nor is the dollar backed by precious metals. In a sense, therefore, the USD really can be said not to deserve its status as the world reserve currency since the death of the gold standard. Of course, there is a certain inertia in world markets, which use the dollar because of its convenience and its bank backing, and out of habit.
Meanwhile, China’s RMB (yuan) is holding its value, and it is surmised this is because it has a real production-based economy to back it up – whereas the US has nothing more than debt, which investors started noticing a while back necessitating quantitative easing.
However, there is nothing stopping the current administration or future administrations from turning back to a production based economy and gradually phasing out runaway financialization, Saudi smoke and mirrors, and war as the mainstays. These are short-sighted approaches.
In the long run, nothing else will work but production because since turning over US production to the Chinese it has becoming more and more difficult to find buyers for US debt. There simply are not enough suckers who believe the US will ever pay it down. Meanwhile, China and Russia are attracting investors because they are seen as being willing and able to
pay off what they borrow.
This quaint notion of paying off debt goes back a long ways. It’s in the DNA. A Chinese proverb goes:
Hăo jiè, hăo huán,
Zài jiè bù nán
Borrow well, pay well,
Borrow again, not hard.
It may, of course, be too late for a country with a bankrupt soul. But so far, no one in the US is even trying to restore confidence in the economy. It’s as if they are stuck in a rut: war, more war, suck up to the Saudis, print and pray. Just selling military hardware to the Saudis is not the answer either because firstly, this amount is less than 1/40th of the US debt, no moe than half is profit, and only a fraction will be collected in taxes, once it is paid in full by the Saudis, over 10 years, the debt will have grown exponentially, and secondly, because their economy is also in trouble. Thirdly, it is a one-time opportunity that will not be repeated.
After all, how many guns does it take to exterminate all the Houthis?
Finally, what will the shysters in power do if Americans ever wake up, grow a conscience and realize that all of these games are just plain wrong?
The views of the author are his own and are not necessarily those of New Silk Strategies.
Please leave your comments in our Disqus discussion forum above (the light colored link that says “x comments”). For example, if you happen to think of a US military policy or action whose outcome you believe did not benefit the Saudis and the spread of their Wahhabist religion, please let us know and we will respond. If you enjoyed this article, let us know that too. We receive a lot of emails from readers expressing their views but we would encourage you to post in this forum as well. Disqus lets you sound off and also lets you make friends online.
Washington as a Wahhabi missionary team
This just in: Expert opinion further confirms Saudi terror support and warns of impending disaster under new deranged Saud ruler:
Let’s look at my “blood for religion” theory detailed in Part 1, in light of an analogy to help you understand that, to understand what is going on, we do not need to see the petrodollar agreement itself if we closely examine the fruits it has borne in US foreign and military policy. After all, if the US had not been complying with Saudi wishes, the royals would have backed out of the agreement long ago, so obviously, Washington’s seemingly absurd and brutal foreign and military policies and the anti-Iran and anti-Russia hysteria in the political class are just fine with the Kingdom.
Suppose you have a reclusive neighbor who keeps to himself and is believed by many to be a drug dealer.
One night when you are star gazing with a pair of binoculars, a car with tinted windows pulls up in front of this neighbor’s house. Your neighbor, dressed in a trench coat and wearing shades, looks around both ways, slowly gets up from his seat on the porch and walks nonchalantly toward the darkened car. The window on the driver’s side comes down just far enough for the neighbor to insert a clear plastic pouch into the car. With your binoculars you can make out what appears to be a white powder in the pouch. The driver takes the pouch and swaps it for a bulging letter size envelope.
Your neighbor slips the envelope into his trench coat and ambles back to the house.
Clearly there was some sort of agreement between your neighbor and the driver of that car. Was the agreement in writing? No. It may have been made by phone or via a third party. But neither you nor the other dear readers will doubt from this description that there was an agreement prior to the encounter between the two. Why? Because the outcome of the agreement that you are viewing through your binocs clearly shows what it must have contained, and therefore no police department would require a copy of such an agreement as evidence to support an investigation of your neighbor. Likewise, the outcome of the US agreement with the Sauds makes it crystal clear what the US must have agreed to, because all US military engagements outside of the New World since Nixon’s visit to Saudi Arabia have benefitted the Saudis but not the US public, on whom all their effects were negative, in terms of US blood and treasure spilt and of US prestige. Informed people everywhere know that the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department and the political class have behaved like thugs abroad.
Nor will many readers assume that the two men in our story were acting legally or doing something totally harmless. Based on what you have seen through the binoculars, though you could not prove that you had witnessed a drug deal going down, such a scenario would be the default explanation for the actions of these 2 men and you will not need further proof to convince at least yourself. For now, unless you are a drug user yourself, you have seen enough not to trust your neighbor’s integrity.
So let’s look at the above-referenced Saudi-US petrodollar agreement in light of this analogy.
As in the case of your suspicious neighbor, rumors have long been flying that the Saudis are misbehaving (supporting terror and threatening, for example, the Shiite, Christian and Yazidi world) with US support, and moreover, unlike the neighbor’s case, much concrete evidence has surfaced documenting their, and Washington’s, ties to the 3 main terror groups, ie, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS – all Sunnis Wahhabists, that plague the West and are destroying the Middle East. Just in case you missed the details…
The NYT exposes pertinent details, eg, here
The Washington Times even indicts the Saudi government itself.
Astoundingly, Politico has reported that the Saudi top officials are admitting their support of terror to US journalists. And again, this support, and their public confession thereof, could probably be explained by a desire on the royals’ part to appease their populace, while also embarrassing the US, where a New York court recently decided it would be fair to sue the kingdom for damages to the 9-11 families.
There is also abundant evidence that the US government, via the CIA, for example, has played a key role in the creation of these terror groups. The Strategic Culture Foundation tells us that US State Department officials are now boldly admitting US support of terror, and that Green Berets sent to train Al-Nusra fighters are sick and tired of aiding and abetting Al-Qaeda and affiliates.
This is reminiscent of the kind of spontaneous glasnost’ evident throughout Soviet institutions and the arts when it was apparent to all that the USSR was about to crack apart. During that time, I viewed Soviet movies on video and tape openly critical of the government for all sorts of corrupt policies. No one could stop the deluge and no one was trying any longer. Everyone was waiting with baited breath for the dam to burst.
Further, analogously to the case of your mysterious neighbor, whose agreement with his client was not known, nothing in the agreement published by Bloomberg particularly incriminates anyone. And that is to be expected given the traditional secrecy that the Saudi government typically insists upon for its agreements with the US. However, since my theory is that the agreement – mostly unwritten in my view – relates to other more incriminating matters such as the use of the US military to actually aid the Saudis in spreading their terror-promoting Wahhabism/Salafism, the US government side would have even much more reason than the Saudis to keep the unwritten parts of the agreement a tight secret.
So how good is our “blood for religion” theory so far in comparison to the above analogy?
As we see from the above details, we have much more-abundant evidence about an unholy Saudi-US alliance in support of Wahhabism than we do that your neighbor is dealing drugs, even though it is crystal clear he is guilty. And as we shall see, a cursory analysis shows that my Blood for Religion theory is the default one of the main theories concerning the motivation for US-waged wars. In brief, I believe that the wars initiated and waged by the once-Christian USA are aimed mainly at satisfying the Saudis’ desire to see their violent and intolerant Wahhabi sect (Salafism) become the dominant world religion, supplanting the Shiite branch in the Muslim world as well as Christianity in the West (as evidenced by the coddling of trouble makers among Muslim immigrants in Europe, by the exodus of Christians from Middle Eastern regions ravaged by US bombs and US-backed terror groups, etc). Need I ask the reader whether Henry Kissinger, the original author of the petrodollar agreement, would have qualms about seeing Christianity driven out of the areas where it is now dominant?
So why do I say my theory of an ideology-driven foreign and war policy, can be seen as the default theory among the rest?
Let’s look at the others to compare.
The oil-for-blood theory
While many analysts and amateur theorists think US wars are about oil, as stated at the outset, oil had not yet been discovered in Kosovo at the time of the war. But lo and behold, that war, cheerfully promoted and waged by President Clinton, satisfied the Saudis by carving a Sunni Muslim country out of a country that had been arguably the most Christian in Europe. The Saudis have been sending aid to Kosovars ever since, in the form of funding to build Wahhabist mosques, that, according to this Esquire article, are providing the ideological ground work that prepares young men for a career in ISIS in Syria and elsewhere.
“Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars—including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children—who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe. They were radicalized and recruited, Kosovo investigators say, by a corps of extremist clerics and secretive associations funded by Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab gulf states [my highlighting] using an obscure, labyrinthine network of donations from charities, private individuals and government ministries.”
As for the oil-exporting countries where the US has engaged militarily, the US never required any country in which the US waged war, to pay the US in oil, or any other good for that matter, as compensation for exorbitant military expenses. The US was left with trillions of dollars in debt, no free oil. And with the focus on shale oil as a potential mainstay of the US economy, oil trade with the Middle East was hardly a reason to wage war there (although the fracking industry has been failing recently). Clearly, the US Deep State was counting on the Saudi support of the USD to enable them to print money ‘til kingdom come.
The Israel-done-it theory
While it is true that Israel and the Saudis have a symbiotic relationship, and much of US warmongering is aimed at opposing Iran, Israel’s arch enemy, it is hard to say whether Israel’s war drums against Iran are intended more for Israel or for the pleasure of its close ally Saudi Arabia. After all, if the Saudis are keen on spreading their Wahhabist gospel above all else and on defeating their rivals the Shiites and Christians, then their alliance with Israel against Shiite Iran and the Shiite (and specifically Alawite) government of Syria is made to order since the Israeli governing party (Likud) is at perpetual war with both and would like nothing better than a green light from the US to bomb Shiite Iran—despite the impracticality and extreme danger of war with either one of these Russian allies. Naturally, due to this essentially Shiite alliance, the Saudis also generally consider Russia a dangerous enemy (despite recent friendly negotiations with Moscow). And of course, the US sides with the Saudis against this Shiite-Christian axis, made up chiefly of Iran, Syria, Russia and their allies while the opposing Sunni axis is essentially Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, the US and Israel, while Turkey is a wild card, currently allying itself with Russia and its Shiite allies even though it is majority-Sunni. This is thanks to the skill, patience and iron will of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and is evidence that his dream of a multipolar world is a possibility.
Thus while Israel has traditionally sided with the Saudis (even rescuing ISIS militants, as reported here), it cannot be said to play a bigger role than its other allies in the Sunni terror and in US-led warmaking.
The Illuminati and allied groups
Many Western conspiracy theorists have a rather simplistic view of the “Illuminati,” believing them to be an organized secret society united in evil mischief. Indeed, who can say that such a secret society does not exist? Proving non-existence of anything is impossible.
At any rate, the word illuminati came into the vogue in Italy during the Risorgimento (unification movement) and commonly referred to all activists who wanted a united Italy. It comes from illuminismo, the Italian word for the Enlightenment, because the Risorgimento, like the French Revolution, was imbued with the ideas of the Enlightenment.
In fact, however, the Enlightenment was originally a divided movement. On the one hand the Enlightenment movement included hardcore anticlericals taking their cue from radical philosophers like Voltaire, while on the other hand, you had a more conservative, less radical group inspired by the ideas of Pascal, for example, who wished to reform, rather than abolish, Christianity. The radicals gained and kept the upper hand from the start and their ideas now dominate intellectual, political and media circles in Europe and the US, just as they dominated the France of mass murderer Bonaparte and the Russia of the brutal Joseph Stalin. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia, having groaned under the yoke of radical leftists for 7 decades, has been challenging the anti-Christian ideas of these “enlightened ones,” and it is this battle of ideas, radical vs conservative, leftist vs traditionalist, that fuels the East-West clash raging around us, with Western media everywhere denouncing almost everything that Russia, Iran (via Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guard Corps) and Syria do, even though they are the only ones powerfully breaking the back of ISIS in Syria and regaining lost territory and sociopolitical stability. Astoundingly few see the irony in a Christian country like the US backing an axis that supports or at least tolerates terror and then preposterously referring to the most valiant anti-terror fighters as “terrorists.” You might think only a populace with a collective screw loose could tolerate such a situation.
The Saudis are natural allies of the radical “enlightenment” figures among US elites, which are perfectly comfortable with Saudi anti-Christian views. Through craft and cunning, and by judicious use of uninformed Christians’ views on Israel, they have enlisted US Christians by the millions, who are proud to repeat the slogan “I stand with Israel” but have little notion that the bloc they thereby support has its blades aimed at the throats of Syrian Christians. One can literally speak of Christians killed by unsuspecting Christians amid this madness.
Meanwhile, the Western public misses the obvious. Sly (or naïve?) historians assure us that the Enlightenment was an 18th Century movement, ie, a thing of the past that has long run its course. They also paint it as a real enlightenment that unfolded liberty and democracy and was a bold step forward for humanity. But this movement neither ended in the 18th century nor did it signal a bold step exclusively toward human progress, though it could have. The trouble is, it contained the aforementioned 2 basic philosophical streams. The latter ideology had as its central pillar the complete elimination of Christianity (admittedly, "Christians" were in fact largely to blame. The church leadership had tried to force their theology down everyone's throat and was thoroughly corrupt). The other wanted to keep the baby but throw out the dirty bath. In the West, the radicals won out and the moderates lost. The battle is ongoing today. The Russians represent these moderates who are in fact bringing progress to their people even as the West drowns in debt and chaos.
This ongoing war between the virulent and intolerant "enlightened" ones and the true enlightened ones is precisely what is being played out between Russia and the West. Ephesians 6:12 interprets this from a Christian standpoint.
Ironically, those who reflexively repeat the saw “I stand with Israel,” are in fact unwittingly supporting the less religious Jews of the Likud Party whose policies are hardly Biblical. Orthodox Jews, whose views are much more in line with Christian views, bitterly oppose the attacks on Palestinian land, the illegal settlements and the warlike policies promoted by the Likud.
To be continued.
The views of the author are his own and are not necessarily those of New Silk Strategies.
Please leave your comments in our Disqus discussion forum (the light colored link above that says “x comments”). For example, if you happen to think of a US military policy or action whose outcome you believe did not benefit the Saudis and the spread of their Wahhabist religion, please let us know and we will respond. If you enjoyed this article, let us know that too. We receive a lot of emails from readers expressing their views but we would encourage you to post in this forum as well. Disqus lets you sound off and also lets you make friends online.
Making Saudi Arabia great again. Part 1
Washington as a Wahhabi missionary team
copyright@ New Silk Strategies
Let me just say it, no apologies either: For years I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about the Saudis and each news report convinces me further that the US government is not only a mercenary for the Saudis but also, incredibly, a missionary for the gospel of Wahhabism. I am amazed that there is anyone on this planet who has not come to this same conclusion.
Let’s look at the facts.
Bloomberg recently published some details of a secretive agreement signed between President Nixon and King Faisal in the early 70s which is sometimes called the petrodollar agreement. Nixon did this out of desperation because he had just taken the US off the gold standard, which had existed since the Bretton Woods agreement that made the US dollar the world reserve currency. It was a breach of a sacred promise to back the dollar with gold at a standard price per ounce. The trouble is, foreign governments were demanding that the US actually provide them with the physical gold instead of the dollar denominated paper, eventually making it infeasible to continue keeping this promise.
Now whenever you make a deal with someone out of desperation, you lose big time. But Nixon felt cornered. What if the dollar collapsed on his watch? We have long known that the petrodollar agreement with the Saudis was a promise that the US would defend the Saudi royal family in exchange for their accepting only payments in dollars for their oil. This was intended to peg the dollar to the oil price, hopefully keeping it stable.
But the hitch was that this enabled the Saudis to blackmail the US, and judging by US military and foreign policies since then, it ought to be clear to anyone that this is exactly what happened. Contrary to reports, the US military is not just defending the royal family from their enemies. They are involved in some sinister machinations and it is obvious.
The document published by Bloomberg was harmless enough. After all, if the Saudis were willing to backstop our unbacked dollar, the US should be willing to protect them and defend their oil fields. But there was nothing stopping them from going much further and demanding of an amoral government that they betray their own people. They went further. A lot further. And the US became their vassal. And so did the rest of the West, as pointed out here.
Thus the amoral clique in Washington and Wall Street did the unthinkable. All evidence shows that they secretly agreed to help the Saudis export Sunni Wahhabism (Salafism), the most vicious, intolerant and dangerous religious sect on the planet in exchange for propping up the dollar. The evidence is everywhere. It’s been hiding out in the open for over 40 years. Yet people everywhere have been pulling theories out of their hats that ignored the evidence. No one had the heart to confront the truth head on, even if they had the gray matter needed for the task.
There was the popular oil for blood theory that emerged after the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns, according to which the US fought to acquire or maintain interests in oil fields. Yet no one ever paid with oil for the loss of US blood and treasure. In Syria, despite the US’s huge investments in guns for “moderate” terrorists and the cost of aerial bombing raids, many of the oil fields soon found themselves in the hands of ISIS and for many years, ISIS terrorists sold the oil to finance their slaughter of innocents. The US did nothing to stop these monsters – after all, they were the Saudis’ monsters – until Russia intervened and then, suddenly, to save face, they showed intensified interest in defeating them in certain areas, but continued to show little or no interest in the oil fields until Russia bombed ISIS oil trucks headed for markets in Turkey, after which the US reluctantly followed suit to save face. And by the way, the Russians knew exactly what the US Deep State was up to. Even as they called the US “partners.” They were playing a cat and mouse game with Washington.
Now, of course, Obama’s foreign policy was a mess – because, like Nixon, he was at the mercy of the Saudis – and Americans expected Trump to fix it. But his supporters had no idea that Trump was over the same barrel as all previous presidents and for the same reasons. Trump has no policy whatsoever, and this is all understandable if you realize that the Saudis have us by the short hairs over this petrodollar agreement. Thus no US president would ever dream of telling Christian America the truth: “Fellow Americans, sorry but the Saudis control our money. We are therefore obliged to support terrorism to keep the dollar from crashing. Thank you for understanding.”
So each president must think up a new excuse for supporting the Saudis, who have, as we know, founded and funded all three of the world’s most dangerous terror groups, all Wahhabists, every single one. Each president must pretend to fight terror to keep the public on the string, but at the same time, support the Saudis’ Frankenstein. After all, no one wants to preside over a collapse of the currency that would make the fall of the Soviet Union look like a dress rehearsal.
And American citizens wanted to do their part, so they made up theories.
Another popular theory was that the US government was in the hands of madmen who simply took a sadistic pleasure in sowing chaos and destruction. This theory was at least plausible because chaos was always the main result of US-waged wars. But the theory raised more questions than answers.
Still another theory was that the US military suppliers had an unscrupulous alliance with the government and needed a constant supply of hostilities of any kind to maintain their wealth. This too was plausible but it failed to address the fact that the outcome of US wars always benefitted the Saudis and their infernal religion, causing their influence to expand at the expense of hapless Shiites, Yazidis and Christians.
However, ever since Bloomberg uncovered details of the Nixon-Faisal agreement, forums and web sites have started chattering about the petrodollar agreement as the real motivator for war, theorizing that the US has been fighting proxy wars for the Saudis in exchange for the Saudis charging only dollars for their oil and also investing the profits in US sovereign bonds to maintain the value of the USD. Indeed, such a conclusion is compelling and judging by the opinions appearing on news and financial web sites, a growing number of knowledgeable Americans now accept it. Those who take an interest in world politics also note that the theory is gaining ascendency in Europe and elsewhere as well. They are now a step closer to the ugly truth. But until now, no one has taken the last step.
As accurate as this theory is, it misses the fact that the US is a mercenary and a missionary for Wahhabism. There are three issues that must be addressed.
1—Although the agreement unearthed by Bloomberg provided insight, actual fine points of the agreement may never come to light and they must not be sought by exploring for more paper copies with juicy details. Based on a cursory examination of US wars and their outcomes, the US obviously goes much further than just defending the royals and it is these outcomes that must be explored to reach conclusions. Most likely the agreement is still evolving and the US is periodically agreeing to new terms to meet new Saudi demands. To find out what these terms are, assuming they were either never set down on paper or the relevant documents are veiled in perpetual secrecy, one must examine closely what the US has done militarily to the benefit of the Saud family since the signing of that agreement, things that have nothing to do with the safety and security of this family (nor with the interests of the American people, of course) – because only US military policies and the fruits of these policies can shed light on what was actually hammered out between the Sauds and the US.
Unfortunately, an in-depth discussion of the US-invented “rebel” or “moderate” groups and their ancillary groups such as the White Helmets falls outside this discussion. We more or less assume that the reader is sufficiently well informed to know that these groups are US and Saudi creations indistinguishable from ISIS in theology and, to a significant extent, terror methods, that the Syrian people generally reject them, and that many of their members have passed US weapons on to ISIS or have even ultimately joined ISIS. The deconstruction of these groups is fully documented in both the msm and the alternate press, but for those who have missed the details, here is a brief reading list to update you:
How US and Saudis-Israelis create and fund terrorist plots:
Wikileaks as quoted by Mint Press: http://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-us-israel-and-saudi-arabia-planned-overthrow-of-syrian-govt-in-2006/221784/
Please see this video of a clear and straightforward expose by Ben Swann on Reality Check showing that the West was behind the terrorism in Syria that spilled over into Europe (Swann was almost fired for presenting this but the information came from the Pentagon itself and was leaked to Judicial Watch):
The CIA origin of ISIS (the US equipped them):
And those White Helmets you are led to believe are heroes?
They are in fact a Western creation and are allied with terrorists:
2—The monetary theory that increased use of the dollar in world trade would inevitably bolster the value of the currency had no precedence and was really only a theory that needed, and still needs, testing. Donald Trump seemed to have swallowed this theory unquestioningly when he made the decision to promise sale of $400 billion worth of arms to the people who seem intent on perpetrating genocide against the Houthis and the world’s persecuted Shiite population. And yet, amid the declining oil prices and Saudi Arabia’s inability to keep investing US dollars (as detailed here), or even remotely maintain the former US-debt backed portfolio, we are now in the midst of a momentous test of that theory. The outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion. Why would Trump be so unconditionally supportive of the Saudis? Because he is their hostage: either do as they say or the US economy dies.
3—While the petrodollar agreement and the policies based on it are naturally dependent on the Saud family’s continued internal stability and their support by the local population, there are signs that the Sauds are in trouble. A US professor with insider insight (he had worked for the Saudis on a high advisory level) recently stated in an interview that the arms sale bonanza that the Saud family is poised to receive from the US is in fact insurance against a possible revolt within the kingdom. This interview appeared at New Silk Strategies on May 26. Further, The Atlantic had reported back in 2003 on troubles within the Saud family, none of which have since been resolved as far as we know.
The CFR reported on May 15:
“…the latest Fragile States Index in 2017, a commonly cited assessment of weak and unstable states produced by the Fund for Peace, a nongovernmental organization, ranked Saudi Arabia 101st out of 178 countries.”
In assessing the way the royals are perceived by their fanatical fundamentalist Muslim populace, details of their personal lives are of interest. As it turns out, many of the Saudi royals may not be as devout as they pretend to be for their subjects and their efforts to spread Wahhabism may be driven in large part by a fear of their own people rather than by their own personal piety. Indeed there are several problems with the royal family from the standpoint of devout Muslims, namely, their coziness with the US and Israel, and their lack of devotion to Islam in their private lives (as reported by Time, for example).
Indeed, Saudi officials’ cooperation with the US pursuit of Osama bin Laden was undoubtedly due mostly to the fact that Al-Qaeda was targeting the royal family for ouster in his native Saudi Arabia. Yet for the royals, reports of their cooperation with the US had to be muffled for local consumption.
The Muslim opposition from a moral standpoint is understandable. Indeed, there have been numerous reports of Saudi officials running amok in the US, for example, here.
Elsewhere, devout Muslims have been outraged by the royal family’s lack of devotion to Islamic rules, as detailed here.
The story of a Saudi Princess ordering her body guards to beat up a painter in Europe, as reported here, clearly shows a lack of the humility required of Muslim women.
Saudi diplomats misbehaving in Australia, as reported here, would also have sullied the Muslim sensibilities of many Saudi Sunnis.
The result of the Saudi royal family’s perceived lack of devotion to Sunni Islam is an undercurrent of resentment that occasionally surfaces in the form of violent plots, for example, as described here. In view of Saudi misbehavior abroad it is amazing that there is some semblance of stability at all in the ultraconservative kingdom. The royals have kept a lid on discontent by generously sharing oil revenues with their subjects, but in recent years, due to the collapsing oil prices, there has not been as much money with which to buy the subjects into restfulness.
But supposing the Sauds overcome the unrest both in the royal family and among Saudi citizens. There is still a problem that seems to have no solution in the immediate future, and that is the bottom line of Saud Incorporated. An article in the oil-market site SRSRocco Report shows that Saudi investments in foreign reserves intended in part to support the US dollar have fallen drastically in recent years and the oil market does not hold much hope for recovery in the foreseeable future.
All in all, this does not bode well for the future of the House of Saud on which the fate of the US dollar rests.
Thus the petrodollar agreement could have been aimed in large part at projecting an image of devotion to Islam and a perception that the Saudi government was capable of spreading violent Wahhabism (also called Salafism) throughout the world. Whatever the case may be, it is almost certain that some of the fine details of the agreement first forged between President Richard Nixon and King Faisal and/or subsequent related agreements were conveyed purely orally because should they ever come to light, the embarrassment to both countries would be devastating and the whole sickening plot of US bureaucrats signing away all the sacred values of the American people would be exposed. Indeed, the Saudis typically keep their dealings with the West secret, as we can read, for example, here, here (Britain-SA) and here (Israel-SA).
Let’s look at my “blood for religion” theory, in light of an analogy to help you understand that we do not need to see the agreement itself if we closely examine the fruits it has borne in US foreign and military policy.
To be continued.
All three parts of this article copyright@ New Silk Strategies
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