By Paul Craig Roberts, CounterPunch.org
March 2, 2010
Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shiites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control. Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, and for the US to invade Iraq, threaten Iran and rule much of the region, notes Paul Craig Roberts.
Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shiites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control. Muslims cannot even play together. The Islamic Solidarity Games, a regional version of the Olympics, which were to be held in April in Iran, have been cancelled, because the Iranians and the Arabs cannot agree on whether to call the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf.
Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the US to invade Iraq, and for the US to rule much of the region through puppets. For example, in exchange for faithful service, Egypt receives $1.5 billion a year from Washington, which enables President Mubarak to buy off opposition. The opposition had rather have the money than support the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt cooperates with Israel and the US in the blockade of Gaza.
Another factor is the willingness of some Muslims to betray their own kind for US dollars. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman, head of the Foundation for Democracy, which describes itself as “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”
By now we all know what that means. It means that the US finances a “velvet” or some “colour revolution” in order to install a US puppet. Just prior to the sudden appearance of a “green revolution” in Tehran primed to protest an election, Timmerman wrote that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘colour’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques. Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.” So, according to the neocon Timmerman, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, it was US money that funded Mousavi’s claims that Armadinejad stole the last Iranian election.
During President George W. Bush’s regime it became public knowledge that American money is used to purchase Iranians to work against their own country. The Washington Post, a newspaper sympathetic to the neocon’s goal of American hegemony and war with Iran, reported in 2007 that Bush authorized spending more than $400 million for activities that included “supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s ruling clerics.”
This makes the US government a “state sponsor of terrorism.” For confirmation, one of the US paid operatives, who conducted terror operations in Iran, has ratted on his terrorist supporters in Washington. Abdulmalek Rigi, leader of the Baloch separatist group responsible for several attacks, was recently arrested by the Iranians. Rigi admitted that the Americans in Washington assured him of unlimited military aid and funding for waging an insurgency against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Possibly he was tortured into confession. It is the American way. If the “light of the world,” the “indispensable people,” and the “shining city on the hill” tortures people, perhaps the Iranians do as well. Rigi’s younger brother, himself on death row in Iran, has said that the US provided direct funding to the separatist group and even ordered specific terrorist attacks inside Iran.
The US and its NATO puppets have been killing Afghan women, children, and village elders since October 7, 2001, when the US military invasion “Operation Enduring Freedom,” a proper Orwellian title for a self-serving war of aggression, was launched. The US installed puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is bought and paid for with US dollars.
The money that Washington gives Karzai finances the corruption that supports him. Karzai’s corruption and his treason against the Afghan people encourage the Taliban to keep fighting in order to achieve a government that serves Afghans instead of Washington, D.C.
Without the puppet Karzai selling out Afghans to Washington, the US would have already been driven out of the country. With Karzai paying Afghans with American money to fight Afghans for the Americans, the war drones on into its ninth year.
Feminists, liberals, and naive American flag-wavers will say that what is written here is utter rot, that Americans are in Afghanistan to bring women’s rights and birth control to Afghan women and to bring freedom, democracy and progress to Afghanistan, even if it means leveling every village, town, and house in the country. We, “the indispensable people,” are only there to do good, because we care so much for the Afghan people who live in a country that most Americans can’t find on a map.
While this collection of naifs rants on about America “saving” Afghans from whatever, the White House and the Congress are conspiring against the American people to cut $500 billion dollars out of Medicare in order to give the money to private insurance companies. Jobless benefits are about to run out for millions of Americans, whose jobs have been moved offshore in order to make the rich richer. The US Senate failed on Friday, Feb. 26, to extend jobless benefits. A single Republican Senator, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, was able to block the bill because it would cost a measly $10 billion and “would add to the budget deficit.”
The “fiscally responsible” Bunning supports blank checks for wars of aggression (war crimes under the Nuremberg standard) and payoffs to investment banks for wrecking the retirement plans of most Americans. Bunning sends the bills to the unorganized and unrepresented Americans, whose jobs have been stolen by corporate offshoring of jobs and whose retirements have been stolen by the endless greed of the Wall Street investment banks.
What fool believes that the US government, which is totally indifferent to the fate of its own citizens, cares so much about Afghanistan that it will spend blood and treasure to bring “progress” and “women’s rights” to a country half a world away, while it drives its own citizens into the ground?
At Washington’s behest, the government of Pakistan is conducting war against its own people, killing many and forcing others to flee their homes and lands. The Pakistani government’s war against its own citizens has caused military expenses to soar, putting Pakistan’s budget deep in the red. Deputy US Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin ordered the Pakistani government to raise taxes to pay for the war against its own people. The puppet ruler, Asif Ali Zardari, complied with his American master’s orders. Zardari declared a broad-based value added tax on virtually all goods and most services in Pakistan. Thus, Pakistanis are forced to finance a war against themselves.
The “cakewalk war” in Iraq has lasted 7 years instead of the promised 6 weeks, and the violence is still ongoing with Iraqis killed and maimed nearly every day. The reason Americans are still in Iraq is because the Iraqis hate each other more than they hate the American invader. The vast majority of the violence in “the Iraq war” was committed between Iraqi Sunnis and Iraqi Shiites as they cleansed one another from neighbourhoods.
The majority Shiites regarded the American invasion of Iraq as an opportunity to gain power over the minority Sunnis, who ruled under Saddam Hussein. Therefore, the Shiites never engaged the American invading forces. The minority Sunnis (20 percent of the population) gave most of their effort to fighting the Shiite majority, but in their spare time a few thousand Sunnis were able to inflict serious losses on the American superpower.
Finally realizing the power of lucre in the Arab world, the Americans put 80,000 Sunnis on the US military payroll and paid them to stop killing Americans.
This is how the US won the war in Iraq. Iraqis sold out their independence for American dollars.
Considering that a few thousand Sunnis were able to prevent superpower America from successfully occupying Baghdad or much of Iraq, had the Shiites joined with the Sunnis against the invaders, the US would have been defeated and driven out. This outcome was not possible, because the Shiites wanted to settle the score with the Sunnis, who had ruled them under Saddam Hussein.
This is the reason that Iraq today is in ruins, with one million dead, four million displaced or homeless, and the professional class having fled the country. Iraq, under the American puppet Maliki, is an American protectorate.
As long as Muslims hate and fear one another more than they hate their conquerers, they will remain a vanquished people.
Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury. His latest book, "HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST", has just been published by Counter Punch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com