THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
October 10, 2006
The Wisdom Fund

Iraq: Divide and Rule, 'Ethnic Cleansing Works'

Sunni, Shia violence, death squads, and civil war in Iraq

by Enver Masud

Polls by the State Department and independent researchers show that Iraqis favor an immediate U.S. pullout, meanwhile, an "independent commission", according to the Sunday Times, "may recommend carving up Iraq into three highly autonomous regions".

regions We believe that the commission's recommendation will have little to do with the welfare of the Iraqis. Their recommendations will have much to do with expanding U.S. control of the energy resources of the Middle East and Central Asia.

In a letter to President Clinton in 1998, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) -- the global domination project of the neoconservatives, which includes elements of Israel's "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" -- urged him to remove Saddam Hussein from power in order to secure "our vital interests in the Gulf" that holds "a significant portion of the world's supply of oil." This probably wouldn't happen, they said, unless "some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor" took place.

September 11, 2001 became the new Pearl Harbor.

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, issued by the Bush administration in September 2002, said: "The events of September 11, 2001, opened vast, new opportunities." But the decision to invade Iraq had been made much earlier.

White House counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke revealed in 2004 that on September 11, 2001 -- while he was briefing President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and other high officials -- "the Bush administration was considering bombing Iraq in retaliation. . . . Rumsfeld was saying we needed to bomb Iraq," Clarke said. "We all said, 'But no, no, al-Qaida is in Afghanistan.'"

Thus began a campaign to deceive the world, and in particular the American people -- the high point of which was Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous presentation to the UN Security Council in February 2003.

To justify the invasion of Iraq "evidence" of Iraq's possessing weapons of mass destruction was conjured up by the neocon-established Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon.

In May 2005, the Sunday Times revealed the secret Downing Street memo: "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

In June 2005, the Sunday Times revealed: "MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal."

Now a U.S. commission is about to recommend carving up Iraq as the solution to Iraq's "sectarian violence".

Iraq's sectarian bloodshed is "Made in the USA" say Erik Leaver and Raed Jarrar. Writing in Asia Times they say, "Iraq never had a history of sectarian conflicts. U.S. policy choices provided a perfect road map for starting one."

The policy choices appear to have been calculated, and deliberate.

Thomas H. Henriksen wrote in the Hoover Digest:

From the founding of the United States, the federal government has relied on subterfuge, skullduggery, and secret operations to advance American interests. . . . The post-invasion stage in Iraq also is an interesting case study of fanning discontent among enemies, . . . Like their SOG predecessors in Vietnam, U.S. elite forces in Iraq turned to fostering infighting among their Iraqi adversaries on the tactical and operational level.

Investigative reporter and author James Bamford writes in "A Pretext for War":

Oddly, among the things they were trained to do at Harvey Point was practice blowing up busses -- Palestinian-terrorist style. "We made a school bus disappear with about twenty pounds of U.S. C-4," said former CIA officer Robert Baer. . . . "We were also taught some of the really esoteric stuff like E-cell timers, improvising pressurized airplane bombs using a condom and aluminum foil, . . . By the end of the training, we could have taught an advanced terrorism course."

Pepe Escobar writing in Asia Times says:

Pentagon financing of these myriad [Iraqi] militias and the active involvement of Allawi in all these operations suggest that the Pentagon itself is destabilizing the country it is supposed to control. Destination: civil war.

Robert Dreyfuss, who covers national security for Rolling Stone, says:

I have repeatedly written about Shiite death squads and about abuses by the paramilitary Badr Brigade, the secret army trained and run by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Iraqi Sunnis and opposition leaders . . . have charged that the Iraqi government has been running assassination teams.

The U.S., with its advisors, control of finances, and by the security it provides, controls the Iraqi government.

Journalist, author, film-maker, John Pilger, writing in the New Statesman says:

. . . in contrast to the embedded lie that the killings are now almost entirely sectarian, 70 per cent of the 1,666 bombs exploded by the resistance in July were directed against the American occupiers and 20 per cent against the puppet police force. Civilian casualties amounted to 10 per cent. In other words, unlike the collective punishment meted out by the US, such as the killing of several thousand people in Fallujah, the resistance is fighting basically a military war and it is winning. That truth is suppressed, as it was in Vietnam.

According to a poll released last month by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, "Six in 10 Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, . . . Nearly eight in 10 say the U.S. presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it's preventing".

And it is clear that it is chiefly the U.S. installed government, not the Iraqi people, that would like the U.S. to stay longer. "Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, has asked for a long-term US military presence in Iraq, saying his country needs two permanent US air bases to deter what he calls foreign interference." These bases are under construction.

So now we have this "independent commission" -- the Iraq Study Group, that wants to carve up Iraq into three regions.

The Iraq Study Group is led by co-chairs James A. Baker, III, a former Secretary of State, and Lee H. Hamilton, former Congressman. Other members of the study group include: Robert M. Gates, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Edwin Meese III , Sandra Day O'Connor, Leon E. Panetta, William J. Perry, Charles S. Robb, and Alan K. Simpson.

None among this group would appear to have a real appreciation for Iraq's culture and history, and the needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people. The group does have experience in covert operations, and in increasing profits for multinational corporations, and the military-industrial complex. In doing so, some have enriched themselves.

History leads us to believe that the recommendations of this "independent commission" will be designed to further the interests of their constituencies, and not of the Iraqi people.

Most of today's conflicts in present day Asia and Africa may be traced to imperial/colonial powers that occupied these lands, and carved them up for the benefit of the conquering Europeans. Carving up Iraq will continue this policy of divide and rule.

"The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing", wrote Ralph Peters in the U.S. Army War College Quarterly in the Summer 1997.

In June 2006, Ralph Peters, writing in the Armed Forces Journal, recommended:

As for those who refuse to 'think the unthinkable,' declaring that boundaries must not change and that's that, it pays to remember that boundaries have never stopped changing through the centuries. Borders have never been static, and many frontiers, from Congo through Kosovo to the Caucasus, are changing even now (as ambassadors and special representatives avert their eyes to study the shine on their wingtips).

"Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works", says Peters.

The Iraq war has taken the lives of well over 100,000 Iraqis and Americans, maimed and wounded countless others, and the unexploded bombs and depleted uranium will continue to take their toll.

The Iraq war's cost to the American taxpayer "is likely to be between $1 trillion and $2 trillion," according to a report written by Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize-winning economist, and Linda Bilmes, a Harvard budget expert.

For the sake of the Iraqi people, the American soldier, and the American taxpayer, the U.S. should leave Iraq. A reasonable plan with timeline -- say 10 months, prepared with the assistance of the international community -- should be presented to the Iraqis so that they may prepare as best they can.

No doubt, there will be chaos and more killing, but in the long run the continued U.S. presence will do more damage than the damage the Iraqis may do to themselves -- there's no way of avoiding that after the destruction of their society, institutions, and infrastructure.

And one more thing. Iraq paid for its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the U.S. should pay reparations for its war of aggression against Iraq -- the "Supreme International Crime".



Enver Masud, "Holocaust Remembrance Veils Criminal Policies," The Wisdom Fund, April 22, 2001

Enver Masud, "Deadly Deception, Pretexts for War," The Wisdom Fund, July 30, 2001

Robert Fisk, "All This Talk of Civil War, and Now This Carnage. Coincidence?," Independent, March 3, 2004

Michael Hirsh and John Barry, "'The Salvador Option'," Newsweek, January 10, 2005

Muhammad al-Baghdadi, "Lies About Saddam's Oppression of the Shia," AlBasrah.net, March 25, 2005

Enver Masud, "Basra: Were the 'British' Undercover Agents Carrying Explosives? Why?," The Wisdom Fund, September 28, 2005

Robert Dreyfuss, "Our Monsters In Iraq," TomPaine.com, November 18, 2005

[Ayatollah Khamenei blamed the intelligence services of the US and Israel for being behind the bombs in Samarra.--Patrick Cockburn, "Destruction of Holiest Shia Shrine Brings Iraq to the Brink of Civil War," Independent, February 23, 2006]

[The real news, which is not reported in the CNN "mainstream," is that the "Salvador Option" has been invoked in Iraq. This is the campaign of terror by death squads armed and trained by the U.S., which attack Sunnis and Shias alike. The goal is the incitement of a real civil war and the breakup of Iraq, the original war aim of Bush's administration.--John Pilger, "The Return of the Death Squads," New Statesman, May 8, 2006]

VIDEO: Jon Snow: "Iraq: The Hidden Story," Channel 4 News, May 12, 2006

[Seymour Hersh's recent revelations that the Israeli government is encouraging Kurdish separatism in Iraq, Iran, and Syria should ring a bell for anyone who has followed the long history of English imperial ambitions.--Conn Hallinan, "Divide and Rule," Irish Democrat, July 19, 2006]

Erik Leaver and Raed Jarrar, "Iraq's Sectarian Bloodshed 'Made in the USA'," Asia Times, August 10, 2006

[The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.--David Brown, "Study Claims Iraq's 'Excess' Death Toll Has Reached 655,000," Washington Post, October 11, 2006]

"Iraqi parliament approves federal law," Reuters, October 11, 2006

[The president, in referring to a war he launched, is marveling at the Iraqi society's willingness to tolerate the violence he has in effect brought to their country-willingness and tolerate of course being the operative words. Perhaps he should next wonder why they don't ask for cake. The breadth of his misunderstanding and naivety is simply astounding.--Ximena Ortiz, "W. The Man," The National Interest, October 12, 2006]

VIDEO Interview: We think about 650,000 extra people have died because of this invasion, and about 600,000, some 90%, are from violence. . . . this cluster survey approach, is the standard way of measuring mortality in very poor countries where the government isn't very functional or in times of war. And when UNICEF goes out and measures mortality in any developing country, this is what they do. When the U.S. government went at the end of the war in Kosovo or went at the end of the war in Afghanistan and the U.S. government measured the death rate, this is how they did it. And most ironically, the U.S. government has been spending millions of dollars per year, through something called the Smart Initiative, to train NGOs and UN workers to do cluster surveys to measure mortality in times of wars and disasters.--"Co-Author of Medical Study Estimating 650,000 Iraqi Deaths Defends Research in the Face of White House Dismissal ," democracynow.org, October 12, 2006

Stephen Fidler, James Blitz and Guy Dinmore, "UK presence 'worsening Iraq situation'," Financial Times, October 13, 2006

[No, what will likely bring on the coup is the December deadline for crafting a new oil law, which was imposed on Iraq by the International Monetary Fund, . . . which essentially opens up Iraq's oil wealth to decades of despoliation by U.S. and European energy conglomerates. The Maliki government - already weak, incompetent and despised, as are all puppet regimes - could not possibly survive the political backlash that such a move would provoke.--Chris Floyd, "Why Bush Smiles: Victory is at Hand in Iraq," Information Clearing House, October 17, 2006]

Colin Brown and Rupert Cornwell, "Bush and Blair isolated as criticism of war grows," Independent, October 18, 2006

[Muslims, whether Sunnite or Shiite, will thus stand united in protecting the independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Iraq--" MAKKAH AL-MUKARRAMAH DECLARATION ON THE IRAQI SITUATION," Organization of Islamic Conference, October 21, 2006]

Jim Lobe, "Endgame coming, ready or not," Asia Times, October 21, 2006

[Out of the population of 26 million, 1.6 million Iraqis have fled the country and a further 1.5 million are displaced within Iraq, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.--Patrick Cockburn, "The Exodus: 1.6m Iraqis have fled their country since the war," Independent, October 23, 2006]

VIDEO: Sean Smith and Teresa Smith, "Iraq: The Real Story," GuardianFilms and BBC Newsnight, October 23, 2006

John O'Neil, "Iraq Agrees to New Security Timetable, U.S. Officials Say," New York Times, October 24, 2006

Simon Jenkins, "We have turned Iraq into the most hellish place on Earth," Guardian, October 25, 2006

Anne Penketh, "Kuwaitis still getting payouts for damage of 1990 Iraqi invasion," Independent, October 27, 2006

[ . . . the death squads are the result of US policy. At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". The policy, exposed in the US media, was called the "Salvador Option" after the American-backed counter-insurgency in Latin America more than 20 years ago, which led to 70,000 deaths and countless instances of human rights abuse.--Kim Sengupta, " Operation enduring chaos," Independent, October 29, 2006]

Anthony Shadid, "This is Baghdad. What could be worse?," Washington Post, October 29, 2006

[Only a complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops - within six months and with no preconditions - can break the paralysis that now enfeebles our diplomacy.--William E. Odom, "How to cut and run," Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2006]

VIDEO: "The Death Squads," Channel 4 News, November 7, 2006

Ray McGovern, "Don't Look for Much From the "Bipartisan" Iraq Study Group," truthout.org, November 14, 2006

David Montoute, "The Strategy of Disintegration: False flags, dirty tricks and the dismemberment of Iraq," israelshamir.net

Robert Fisk, "Like Hitler and Brezhnev, Bush is in denial," Independent, December 1, 2006

AUDIO: Juan Cole, "Early Divisions at Root of Sunni-Shia Conflict," NPR News, December 3, 2006

Antonia Juhasz, "It's still about oil in Iraq," Los Angeles Times, December 8, 2006

VIDEO: "Authors of Lancet Study, Middle East Analyst Juan Cole Testify at Kucinich Hearing on Civilian Casualties in Iraq," democracynow.org, December 15, 2006

Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Saad Fakhrildeen, "Sistani rejects U.S. plan, supports Sadr," Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2006

[ . . . the triggering of sectarian divisions and "civil wars" is contemplated in the process of redrawing of the map of the Middle East--Michel Chossudovsky, "The 'Demonization' of Muslims and the Battle for Oil," globalresearch.ca, January 4, 2007]

[With some two million of its citizens having fled to other countries and another 1.7 million internally displaced, Iraq has become one of the world's biggest and fastest growing humanitarian crises--Jim Lobe, "U.S. Offers Scant Help to Fleeing Refugees," IPS, January 17, 2007]

[The Pentagon's ever-expanding secret armies are deeply enmeshed in such efforts as well. As Sy Hersh has reported ("The Coming Wars," New Yorker, Jan. 24, 2005), after his re-election in 2004, George W. Bush signed a series of secret presidential directives that authorized the Pentagon to run virtually unrestricted covert operations, including a reprise of the American-backed, American-trained death squads employed by authoritarian regimes . . .

Bush's formal green-lighting of the death-squad option built upon an already securely-established base, part of a larger effort to turn the world into a "global free-fire zone" for covert operatives, as one top Pentagon official told Hersh. For example, in November 2002 a Pentagon plan to infiltrate terrorist groups and "stimulate" them into action was uncovered by William Arkin, then writing for the Los Angeles Times. The new unit, the "Proactive, Pre-emptive Operations Group," was described in the Pentagon documents as "a super-Intelligence Support Activity" that brings "together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception."

. . . as investigative reporter Max Fuller has pointed out in his detailed examination of information buried in reams of mainstream news stories and public Pentagon documents, the vast majority of atrocities then attributed to "rogue" Shiite and Sunni militias were in fact the work of government-controlled commandos and "special forces," trained by Americans, "advised" by Americans and run largely by former CIA agents.--Chris Floyd, "Assassinations, Terrorist Strikes and Ethnic Cleansing: Bush's Shadow War in Iraq," TruthOut.org, February 15, 2007]

[Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader . . . went on, "I can say that President Bush is lying when he says he does not want Iraq to be partitioned. All the facts occurring now on the ground make you swear he is dragging Iraq to partition. And a day will come when he will say, 'I cannot do anything, since the Iraqis want the partition of their country and I honor the wishes of the people of Iraq.'"--Seymour M. Hersh, "THE REDIRECTION," New Yorker, February 25, 2007]

chart CHARTS: INSURGENT AND MILITIA ATTACKS / AVERAGE DAILY CASUALTIES--"Civil War: Lost in Transition," Mother Jones, March 1, 2007

[Our guilt in this sectarian game is obvious. We want to divide the "other", "them", our potential enemies, from each other, while we - we civilised Westerners with our refined, unified, multicultural values - are unassailable. I could draw you a sectarian map of Birmingham, for example - marked "Muslim" and "non-Muslim" (there not being many Christians left in England - but no newspaper would print it. I could draw an extremely accurate ethnic map of Washington, complete with front-line streets between "black" and "white" communities but The Washington Post would never publish such a map.

Imagine the coloured fun The New York Times could have with Brooklyn, Harlem, the East River, black, white, brown, Italian, Catholic, Jew, Wasp. Or the Toronto Globe and Mail with French and non-French Canadian Montreal (the front line at one point follows the city Metro) or with Toronto (where "Little Italy" is now Ukrainian or Greek), and colour the suburb of Mississauga green for Muslim, of course. But we don't draw these Hitlerian maps for our societies. It would be unforgivable, bad taste, something "we" don't do in our precious, carefully guarded civilisation.

Passing a book stall in New York this week, I spotted the iniquitous Time magazine and there on the cover - and this might truly have been a 1930s Nazi cover - were two cowled men, one in black, the other largely hidden by a chequered scarf. "Sunnis vs Shi'ites," the headline read. "Why they hate each other." This, naturally, was a "take-out" on Iraq's civil war - a civil war by the way, that America's spokesmen in Baghdad were talking about in August 2003 when not a single Iraqi in his worst nightmares dreamt of what has now come to pass.--Robert Fisk, "How easy it is to put hatred on a map," Independent, March 3, 2007]

"The Americans planned to make him a suicide-bomber," uruknet.info, March 18, 2007

Sudarsan Raghavan, "Sadr Accuses U.S. of Dividing Iraq Through Violence: Radical Shiite Cleric Calls on Iraqis to End U.S. 'Occupation' in Iraq," Washington Post, April 8, 2007

Robert Fisk, "Divide and rule - America's plan for Baghdad," Independent, April 11, 2007

[Occupation has left no room for any initiative independent of the officially sanctioned political process; for a peaceful opposition or civil society that could create networks to bridge the politically manufactured divide. . . .

According to Brookings, the independent US research institute, 75% of recorded attacks are directed at occupation forces, and a further 17% at Iraqi government forces.--Haifa Zangana, "The Iraqi resistance only exists to end the occupation," Guardian, April 12, 2007]

[I remember Baghdad before the war - one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were - we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia?--"The Great Wall of Segregation," riverbendblog, April 26, 2007]

["The terrorists claim that they are fighting the forces of occupation, while the occupiers justify their presence under the pretext of the war on terror. Therefore, this axis of occupation-terrorism is the root of all problems in Iraq."--"Quote of the Day," IHT, May 4, 2007]

[ . . . the defining battle for Iraq at the political level today is between nationalists trying to hold the Iraqi state together and separatists backed, so far, by the United States and Britain.--Raed Jarrar and Joshua Holland, "Majority of Iraqi Lawmakers Now Reject Occupation," alternet.org, May 10, 2007]

[The former collaborator said that "operations of planting car bombs and blowing up explosives in markets are carried out in various ways, the best-known and most famous among the US troops is placing a bomb inside cars as they are being searched at checkpoints. Another way is to put bombs in the cars during interrogations.--"Former collaborator discloses details of US-ordered assassinations, sectarian bomb attacks targeting Iraqi civilians," Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq, May 11, 2007]

[This obsession with sects informed the U.S. approach to Iraq from day one of the occupation, but it was not how Iraqis saw themselves -- at least, not until very recently. Iraqis were not primarily Sunnis or Shiites; they were Iraqis first, and their sectarian identities did not become politicized until the Americans occupied their country, treating Sunnis as the bad guys and Shiites as the good guys. There were no blocs of "Sunni Iraqis" or "Shiite Iraqis" before the war, just like there was no "Sunni Triangle" or "Shiite South" until the Americans imposed ethnic and sectarian identities onto Iraq's regions.--Nir Rosen"What Bremer Got Wrong in Iraq," Washington Post, May 16, 2007]

[Gen. Petraeus: "The fundamental source of conflict in Iraq is competition among ethnic and sectarian communities for power and resources."--Raj Chohan, "Petraeus Iraq Report Contained Few Surprises," cbs4denver.com, September 11, 2007]

Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters, "Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m," Guardian, September 16, 2007

[The Bosnia-style plan "would add new complications to the already difficult Iraqi situation," GCC chief Abdel-Rahman al-Attiyah said in a statement. "Instead of calling for division, the causes that led to the current situation should be addressed. These include the [US-led] occupation, the sectarian and ethnic quota system, absence of law and security and the paralysed administration."--"Baghdad fumes over 'federalism' plan passed by US Senate," Daily Star, September 19, 2007]

[We've basically Balkanized the place, building walls and walling off Sunnis from Shiites. And in Anbar Province, where there has been success, all of the Shiites are gone. They've simply split.--INTERVIEW WITH INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST SEYMOUR HERSH: "'The President Has Accepted Ethnic Cleansing'," Spiegel Online, September 28, 2007]

["Dividing Iraq is a problem, and a decision like that would be a catastrophe."--Qassim Abdul-Zahra, "Al-Maliki Criticizes Senate Proposal," Associated Press, September 29, 2007]

Ned Parker and Raheem Salman, "A divided Iraq unites against partition plan," Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2007

[Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of "occupying forces" as the key to national reconciliation, according to focus groups conducted for the U.S. military last month.--Karen DeYoung, "All Iraqi Groups Blame U.S. Invasion for Discord, Study Shows," Washington Post, December 19, 2007]

[The occupation has always depended on 'divide and rule'.--Patrick C. Cockburn, "Who's Actually Winning in Iraq," counterpunch.org, June 26, 2008]

[One Iraqi oil company manager previously employed by Shell told her, "I see the future of Iraq as the United Arab Emirates... separate states."--Nancy Wohlforth and Fred Mason, "The Draft Iraqi Oil Law: Making a Mockery of Sovereignty," Jurist, September 9, 2008]

[But all this means is that the next sectarian government will hold power according to the percentage of Shia, Sunni and Kurdish communities in Iraq.

The West has always preferred this system in the Middle East, knowing that such "democracy" will produce governments according to the confessional power of each community. We've done this in Northern Ireland. We did it in Cyprus. The French created a Lebanon whose very identity is confessional, each community living in suspicious love of each other lest they be destroyed.--Robert Fisk, "Democracy doesn't seem to work when countries are occupied by Western troops," Independent, March 8, 2010]

[Edmonds said that Feith and Wolfowitz were involved in plans to break Iraq into U.S. and British protectorates months prior to 9/11.--Brad Friedman, "Sibel Edmonds: The Traitors Among Us," Hustler Magazine, March 2010]

[A dead family member, killed accidentally by US forces, would result in a cash handout of $2,500, the maximum amount allowed for each claim. A blown-up house might merit $1,300, a damaged door $50. . . .

Since 1994, Iraq has paid $30.15bn in reparations to Kuwait, with an additional $22.3bn still outstanding.--Nizar Latif and Phil Sands, "Iraqis outraged at payout for US victims of Saddam," The National, September 15, 2010]

[Gen. David Petraeus was a key figure in developing the strategy of using Shi'a and Kurdish forces to suppress Sunnis in 2004-2005.--Gareth Porter, "Torture Orders Were Part of US Sectarian War Strategy," antiwar.com, November 2, 2010]

[First, that we are an empire, and that all empires are, without exception, brutally and programmatically self-seeking.

Second, that one of the prime goals of every empire is to foment ongoing internecine conflict in the territories whose resources and/or strategic outposts they covet.

Third, that the most efficient way of sparking such open-ended internecine conflict is to brutally smash the target country’s social matrix and physical infrastructure.

Fourth, that ongoing unrest has the additional perk of justifying the maintenance and expansion of the military machine that feeds the financial and political fortunes of the metropolitan elite.--Thomas S. Harrington, "The Brutal Logic of a Self-Seeking Empire -- Is Open-Ended Chaos the Desired US-Israeli Aim in the Middle East?," counterpunch.org, June 17, 2014]

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