Empire’s Murderous Fruits

Earlier this week, jihadists loyal to the "Islamic State" – a self-proclaimed Caliphate in eastern Syria and northern Iraq – ritually beheaded American journalist James Foley, their captive since last year. The gruesome film of the execution was posted online, of course; the IS has eagerly embraced social media as a way of preaching jihad, seeing no irony therein.

Empire’s Feral Friends

Foley’s executioner is reportedly British – a UK citizen, rather, who went to Syria to join the jihad. And why wouldn’t he? The British government has actually supported the Syrian "rebels" that ended up becoming ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Sham), along with the United States – sent them weapons, even. It was supposed to be a pretext for yet another evil little war, until it went off the rails last September. Now these jihadists – once advertised as "freedom fighters for democracy and human rights" – are beheading journalists, butchering Christian children, and putting people’s heads on spikes.

It isn’t the first time the Empire is in bed with murderers and terrorists: prominent Washington politicians have praised the "Kosovo Liberation Army" as fighting for "human rights and American values." In fact, one such politician – John McCain – has heaped praise on both the KLA and the ISIS. The KLA-run "Republic of Kosovo" has even helped the Empire "train" Syrian jihadists, back in 2012. Maybe that explains why so many Albanians (aka "Kosovars") are killing and dying in Syria and Iraq today.

Of course, the Imperial media claim the Albanians are "outraged" that one of theirs would behead people. Yet why would they be, when the KLA had no problem beheading Serbs or committing other atrocities in 1998-99? Jihadist beheadings were also common during the Bosnian War, but the media narrative of "Good Muslims" vs. "Evil Serbs" insisted on burying that inconvenient fact. The Empire continues to cover for the KLA even today.

Now Imperial officials are saying ISIS is a threat greater than Al-Qaeda, and arguing not just for a new invasion of Iraq, but also of Syria! It is a white-knight gambit: first one creates the problem, then rides in to "solve it", reaping applause and adulation. Except that it never actually works, and failure leaves countless corpses in its wake.

A Hell of Their Own Making

The devastation of Iraq, the war in Syria, and now the rise of ISIS, all stem from the 2003 invasion of Iraq – a crime, based on a lie. Amidst the calls for renewed invasion – sorry, "liberation" – of Iraq, remember that the whole mess is due to the U.S. invading in the first place.

Nor would this be the first time. In the 1970s, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s dream of a "Soviet Vietnam" resulted in the creation of a jihadist insurgency in Afghanistan. Fifty years of near-constant warfare has reduced this country to abject barbarism, unleashing the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the warlords.

Earlier this month, an American general was killed in a "green-on-blue" attack at an Afghan military academy. Now, even if they wanted to extricate themselves from Afghanistan at this stage, Empire’s troops are stuck: their avenues of retreat are either controlled by the Taliban, or depend on Russia – which the Empire has done its best to antagonize over the past six months.

"Humanitarian" Murder

When the government of Ukraine rejected the EU’s predatory loans and costly, destructive "reforms" last fall – in favor of free trade with Russia – the Empire launched a coup. The power in Kiev was seized by militant nationalists and outright Nazis, previously on the fringe of politics.

In reaction, the overwhelmingly Russian population of Crimea chose to secede (and joined Russia a few days later), as did the two industrial regions in the east of the country, Donetsk and Lugansk. The Kiev junta responded by sending in the tanks, torching protesters in Odessa, and massacring civilians in Mariupol. Donetsk and Lugansk took to arms, and have been successfully resisting the government troops and Nazi militia ever since – though the unhinged Kiev regime has used everything in its arsenal against the "rebels", including heavy artillery, airstrikes and even ballistic missiles, all while screaming about a phantom "Russian invasion."

Not surprisingly, all this has been done with the full support of the Empire. Washington’s spokescritters proclaim it’s perfectly fine for a government to bomb its own people, because that’s just "defending sovereignty." Except, when Serbia actually defended its sovereignty in 1999, with far less force, NATO screamed "genocide" (which it wasn’t) and launched a war of aggression. When the Serbs bombed civilians (allegedly or actually), the West howled "genocide." But when the Empire, or its clients, do it – that’s "democracy."

Residents of Ferguson, take note.

Of Lies and Laws

All along, the Western media have parroted Kiev’s claims of "Russian aggression" and "invasion." When Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, the media frenzy went up to eleven: "PUTIN’S MISSILE", "PUTIN"S KILLED MY SON," screamed the typical headlines. When the Russians presented radar records and maps showing the airplane was most likely shot down by the Ukrainians, Washington claimed it had "evidence" it was otherwise – but never produced it. All mention of MH17 simply stopped, as if the plane and its passengers had never existed.

Now the media are again parroting claims of "invasion," after a convoy of Russian humanitarian aid – inspected multiple times, escorted by the Red Cross, held on the border for a week – finally crossed into Lugansk over Kiev’s objections. So, while Empire’s jihadist and Nazi "freedom fighter" clients carve a path of death and destruction wherever they go, Russia’s "invaders" bring food and water to the victims. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world today.

Imperial hubris has created the Taliban and ISIS, and "fighting" them will only ensure the "Caliphate" thrives. Accusations that Russia or China somehow seek world domination are merely a projection of the Anglo-American mind. Had the government in Moscow actually wanted to invade the Ukraine, it could have done so at any point over the past six months. But the brief emotional satisfaction of seeing Russian tanks crush Nazi banners beneath their treads wouldn’t have been worth compromising Russia’s core value of respecting international law.

That is the major, perhaps key, difference between the rest of the world, and the Atlantic Empire – which recognizes no law but force, and then only its own.

Author: Nebojsa Malic

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia, and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for Antiwar.com debuted in November 2000.