TMR 180: Adeyinka Makinde: The Pan-Islamic Option (Part One: Recent Years)
The first part of a wide-ranging interview with Julian Charles of The Mind Renewed about my essay, “The Pan-Islamic Option: The West’s Part in the Creation and Sustaining of Islamist Terror”. This segment focused in recent policies followed by the West through which weaponised Islam is used as a tool in seeking geo-political advantage. But this has come with huge moral, financial and security costs.
Julian Charles: Hello everybody! Julian Charles here of The Mind Renewed dot Com coming to you as usual from the depths of the Lancashire countryside here in the UK, and today I’m delighted to welcome back to the programme the lawyer and university lecturer Adeyinka Makinde, who joined us last year to discuss his academic article, “Can the British State Convict Itself?” Adeyinka trained for the law as a barrister and lectures in criminal law and public law at a university in London, and has research interests in intelligence and security matters. He is regularly published online writing on international relations, politics and military history, and has served as a program consultant and provided expert commentary for BBC World Service Radio, China Radio International and the Voice of Russia. Adeyinka, thank you very much for coming back on the programme.
Adeyinka Makinde: Thank you; it’s a pleasure Julian.
JC: Well, it’s great to have you on for a second time; I’m glad that I didn’t put you off the first time. Well, this time we’re going to be talking about the subject of one of your recent articles on your blog, and indeed published at globalresearch.ca. I’ll just mention your blog while we’re in passing –Adeyinkamakinde.blogspot.co.uk – and the article which caught my eye you called “The Pan-Islamic Option : The West’s Part in the Creation and Development of Islamist Terrorism”, which is obviously a very disturbing subject, but one that I’m sure the majority of people listening to this program will have some familiarity with given the coverage of themes like this in the Alt Media in general, and, indeed, our previous conversations with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and, of course, James Corbett, who talked to us about the rise of ISIS a couple of years back, and perhaps I should also mention, because I was very pleased with this particular conversation, Dr. Daniele Ganser on Operation Gladio. So I do recommend people do go and check that out, because I’m quite sure that Gladio will come up in this conversation. What struck me about your article, Adeyinka, is that it is extremely helpful in pointing out with many, many examples just how long this problem – the West’s cultivation of Islamist terror for various geopolitical purposes– has been going on. So, before we get onto the detail of this, perhaps you could tell us what your motivation was for penning an article like this?
AM: Well, the immediate motivation was discovering a meme, which had been circulating on social media, declaring Obama, the “Muslim President”, as being responsible for ISIS and that Hilary Clinton is the “godmother” of ISIS, and I thought I doubt very much that Mr. Obama is a Muslim, but I can see it’s part of this ideological and cultural warfare in America where people seek to blame each party for the ills associated with the American Republic in contemporary times, but how narrow it is. People should know better given the access to media they have to show that this was more of a long-standing issue, an over-arching issue, which transcends the politician who holds power of the day. It may also be a deep state issue, and also it was really an accumulation of writings I had been doing for some time.
JC: Yes, as you say there is this polarization of opinion in the media and in the public as to whether the Right is to blame for what’s going on in the world today or the Left is to blame, and as you mention in the article a lot of debate about the nature of Islam itself, and you write in the article: “While each aspect of these debates are important in their own right, the compartmentalized nature of the discourse arguably serves as a useful device which distracts the public from grasping the broader picture.” And I’m putting together your mention a moment ago of this phrase “the deep state” with the word that you use:”device”. Do you see this compartmentalization that we see in public discourse on these matters as a deliberate device by the deep state to divert people’s attention away from the real nature of these problems?
AM: Oh, I think it does serve that purpose and it’s possibly, very possibly an intended device. Certainly, whether migrants of Islamic persuasion from the Middle East are assimilable into Western Society is a genuine issue, maybe a sensitive one, but a genuine one nevertheless. We can, as we are mature people, separate the discourse of the rank racist from those who are interested in the whole economics of the matter about absorbing large amounts of immigrants or of cultural defence even, but the sad fact is that that aspect of the discourse succeeds in obfuscating the root cause of this wave of migrants on two levels, whether you’re talking about economic migrants, who are not affected by wars in the Middle East, or those who are affected by the wars in the Middle East, and the obfuscation is that the West has been involved in a prolonged policy of using Islamist militias to overthrow governments in the Middle East. So the West is responsible for wrecking whole nations and enabling the displacement of whole groups of people, and the idea is that if you in America and the United Kingdom and the rest of Western Europe can just focus on that problem that has been prevailing for some time, you will sort out these issues related to economic migration and other displaced persons seeking refuge in the EU. Stop bombing these lands, stop overthrowing governments and overturning societies. Therein we shall find some measure of a solution.
JC: So the two things you want people to be aware of is this long history of Western support for militant Islamic groups, and also to question very seriously when we hear of terrorists having been monitored by intelligence agencies, and you helpfully delve back into history in the West to find many examples that give us a broader picture of all this, and we’ll come to some of that history in a bit, but first let’s pause to consider some of the indications in more recent times of Western support for Islamist terror groups, or at least support by allies of the West, we’ll talk about to what extent each one of those applies: direct Western support and/or support by allies of the West. Let’s talk around that for a moment. You mention quite well known facts, but I think it’s important never to forget these facts, so they’re very much worth repeating. Remarks by former US Vice-President Joe Biden speaking at Harvard in 2014 and the words of General Wesley Clark interviewed on CNN in 2015. Now in a moment I’m going to be asking you for your reaction to those comments, but let’s just refresh people’s memories about those remarks by playing back a couple of clips, and in fact I’m going to be including quite a few clips during the course of this interview because I think it’s a good idea to have the words fresh in our minds while they’re being discussed, so the first clip here is of Joe Biden speaking at Harvard on October 2nd, 2014, and the second clip is of General Wesley Clark, who is a 4-Star US General and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000, and he’s being interviewed on CNN in February 2015.
Joe Biden: What my constant cry was that our biggest problem was our allies. Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks are our great friends, and I have a great relationship with Erdogan who I’ve just spent a lot of time with, the Saudis, the Emiratis et cetera. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of Jihadis coming from other parts of the world. Now, if you think I’m exaggerating, take a look. Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening all of a sudden everybody is awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was al-Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space and territory in eastern Syria, worked with al-Nusra, who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.
Wesley Clark: Look, it just got started through funding from our friends and allies because, as people will tell you in the region, if you want somebody who’ll fight to the death against Hezbollah you don’t put out a recruiting post or say sign up for us, we’re going to make a better world, you go after zealots and you go after these religious fundamentalists – that’s who fights Hezbollah – it’s like a Frankenstein.
JC: OK, so having listened to those again, what do you say they reveal? What do they tell us?
AM: Well, I think they tell us that there is an underlying policy, which is consistent regardless of who is in power. We’ll go back into the history in a moment, but in the recent history, say in the Cold War era, a policy that’s been consistent from the time of Bill Clinton, definitely from the George Bush era, and although Barak Obama was pledging to make a break with the past, he essentially continued those policies intact. Now, we really see those policies still continuing under Donald Trump. That does suggest there is an agenda that appears to be played out regardless of ideology, regardless of politics, and it does also have serious investigative journalistic confirmation. It also has serious academic research backing. There was a paper just a few years ago, which was turned into a small book called National Security and Double Government by an academic from Tufts University (named) Michael J. Glennon, and he was borrowing the phrase ‘Double Government’ from the famous British Constitutionalist from the 19th century Walter Bagehot, who spoke about effectively a parallel government, a government of self-interested civil servants and power interests, who control an agenda regardless of who is in power, and so what Michael J. Glennon did was to compare the policies of the Bush administration - Bush Jr. – and the Obama administration, and what did he find? No change. And I think that segues into this issue of the West’s support and connivance with its allies over the use of Islamist proxies to overthrow Governments who do not meet Western approval.
JC: Do you think that’s something that happens pretty much everywhere? I mean, you know, when you talk about ‘Double Government’ or ‘Parallel Government’ of course I immediately think of things like the ‘Continuity of Government’ provisions in the US that people often talk about in relation to 9/11, and of course Operation Gladio itself here in Europe, which on this program that Daniele Ganser described as a kind of shadow NATO or hidden, parallel NATO. Do you think these kinds of power structures are to be found pretty much everywhere?
AM: I think it’s fair enough to say that there are always power brokers in every society. I think in every government set up that word ‘Deep State’ – it’s derived from a Turkish term – this fusion of military officials and gangsters dictated the way the government ran, much in the way that Propaganda Due, the pseudo-Masonic Lodge, operated in Italy. You go to literally any society. For instance in Nigeria, where I originate from, you had something called the ‘Kaduna Mafia’, which is the northern Muslim elite, who through successive military governments and the first civilian government played a huge part in the decision-making process in Nigeria, so I think in most societies you are likely to find this sort of set-up and arrangement.
JC: So, going back to those remarks we heard a few moments ago: they’re out there, they’re in the open, we have access to documents that talk about this kind of thing, which we’ll talk more about in a few minutes I’m sure, and we have other things like the Clinton emails, some of which again point in this kind of direction. Now this material is out there and yet very little seems to change, which makes me want to ask – I guess it’s more a statement of frustration than a question really – what’s been done to stop any of this?
AM: Well, from what I can tell very little. If you recall from the issue of Gladio when it was exposed by the then Prime Minister of Italy, Giulio Andreotti, there were only a few parliamentary enquiries in Europe, and then they were only limited – that’s to do with Gladio – so very little there, and in regard to what General Clark has said, despite the overwhelming evidence, press reports and position papers, the same can be said for Western Europe – the United States and Britain – there’s been absolutely no enquiry, but that evidence is there. Wesley Clark after all was the man who revealed that there was this plan, just days after 9/11 when he was revisiting the Pentagon, to take out seven countries in five years and that was going according to the neo-conservative agenda, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
JC: Yes, absolutely indeed. I found that really quite eye-opening when I first heard that, and I still do even though I’ve heard it many times; I still find it very, very striking, and we’ve referred to that several times over the years here at TMR. But, let’s hear it once again, because I think it’s really important to continue refreshing our memories about these kinds of things. So this is Wesley Clark in conversation with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! speaking on March 2nd, 2007.
Wesley Clark: About ten days after 9/11 I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, and I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the joint staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in and he said: “Sir, you’ve gotta come in and talk to me a second.” And I said: “Well, you’re too busy.” He said: “No, no”, he says, “We’ve made the decision to go to war with Iraq”. This was on or about 20th September. I said: “We’re going to war with Iraq, why?” He said: “I don’t know.” (general laughter from the audience). He said: “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” (more laughter) So, I said: “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said: “No, no”, he says: “there’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said: “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments”, and he said “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.” So, I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan, and I said: “Are we still going to war with Iraq?”, and he said: “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk, he picked up a piece of paper and he said: “I just got this down from upstairs from the Secretary of Defense’s office today, and this is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off with Iran. I said: “Is it classified?” He said: “Yes, Sir!” I said (yet more laughter from the audience) “Well, don’t show it to me.” I saw him a year or so ago and I said: “Do you remember that?” He said: “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo; I didn’t show it to you!”
AM: And we see those position papers actually predicting, and we see their fulfillment to this very day in terms of the countries that have been taken out: Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, an ongoing quest in which it looks as if they’ve being frustrated, but in all situations all roads lead to Iran. We talk about position papers, apart from the Project for a New American Century, and these two revelations by General Clark, you also have a paper from 2008 by the Rand Corporation, which is a well-known Right-wing think-tank long in existence. They produced a paper which was sponsored by the Pentagon, which was about the unfolding of the ‘Long War’, the role of the US Army and this ‘Long War’ that had to be waged in the Middle East, which had to do with preserving American power, and it’s very, very specific that one way in which the United States can maintain its power is to give support to these conservative monarchies in the Gulf – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, for instance, and the other pliable nations presumably like Egypt and Jordan. You give support to them, but also make use of Salafists, Islamic radicals, and play upon the sectarian divide of Sunni and Shia. It actually says “fomenting”. I’m not quoting it word for word, but fomenting these problems in these zones where you can pit the Salafists against the Shias, that will keep them busy and will likely prevent terrorist outrages in the West as occurred on September 11th, and so all the signs are there. There are many others we could make a use of. Those who formulated the Project for a New American Century papers were also responsible for the document known as the Securing the Realm document that was presented to Binyamin Netanyahu in his first tenure as the Israeli Prime Minister in the mid-1990s, and it called for the rolling back of Syria and co-operation with “moderate” Arab and Muslim states like Jordan, which is effectively a protectorate of Israel, and Turkey, to challenge these recalcitrant regimes who are anti-West and anti-Israel. So, it’s out there, but, alas, there’s no sort of concerted conscientious move among the political classes, the society, to actually examine the realities of this policy, this overarching policy, and challenge it.
JC: And something of this Western support for Salafists did come out, did it not, into the mainstream media with the US Defense Intelligence Agency document 2012 that was obtained by Judicial Watch in 2015, and of course Mike Flynn had been in charge of the DIA during that time, 2012 to 2014, and he was challenged on this document in an interview? But, this document does say that the Gulf States, Turkey and the West desired to have a Salafist State develop in the Middle East, essentially for the purposes of going against Assad, for going against Syria. And let me quote it here. So, Section 8c headed: The Effects on Iraq, reads: “If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in Eastern Syria, Al Hasaka and Der Zor, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian Regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion, Iraq and Iran, and then to define what is meant by the ‘supporting powers’ we go to Section 7b, and there they are defined as: “On the other hand ‘Opposition Forces’ are trying to control the eastern areas – Al Hasaka and Der Zor – adjacent to the western Iraqi provinces of Mosul and Anbar, in addition to neighbouring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf States, and Turkey are supporting these efforts.” So there we have a definition of what the “supporting powers” means, so there it is. It seems, though, that Mike Flynn, as head of the DIA at the time, did flag this up to the Obama Administration, but they pretty much ignored it. In fact, he was asked in that interview if he thought that they turned a blind eye to his analysis and he replied: “I don’t know whether they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision, a willful decision.” So, let’s hear that. It’s quite a long excerpt, but I think it’s worth persevering with, because I think it’s very instructive. This is Mike Flynn interviewed on Al Jazeera in 2015 by Mehdi Hasan.
Mehdi Hasan: Many people would argue that the US actually saw the rise of ISIL coming and turned a blind eye, or even encouraged it as a counterpoint to Assad, and a secret analysis by the agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, in August 2012, said and I quote: “There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist -though it’s not secret anymore; it was released under FOI- Principality in eastern Syria and this is exactly what the Supporting Powers to the Opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian Regime.” The US saw the ISIL Caliphate coming and did nothing.
Mike Flynn: Yeah, I think that where we missed the point, where we totally blew it, I think, was in the very beginning. I mean we’re talking four years now into this effort in Syria. Most people won’t even remember it’s only been a couple of years of the Free Syrian Army – that movement – and where are they today? Al Nusra? Where are they today and how much have they changed? When you don’t get in and help somebody, they’re going to find other means to achieve their goals. And I think right now, what we have allowed is these extremist militants to come in.
Mehdi Hasan: Why did you allow them to do that General? You were in post; you were the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Mike Flynn: Yeah, right, right, those are policy issues.
Mehdi Hasan: This is a memo I quoted from . . . did you see this document in 2012? Did this come across your table?
Mike Flynn: Yeah, yeah, I paid very close attention to all . . .
Mehdi Hasan: So, when you saw this, did you not pick up the phone and say: “What on earth are we doing supporting the Syrian rebels?”
Mike Flynn: Sure, that kind of information is presented and...
Mehdi Hasan: And what did you do about it?
Mike Flynn: …those become argued about it.
Mehdi Hasan: Did you say: “We shouldn’t be supporting these groups?”
Mike Flynn: I did. I mean we argued about the different groups that were there, and we said, you know, who is it that’s involved here, and I will tell you that I do believe that the intelligence was very clear, and now it’s a matter of whether or not policy is going to be as clear and as defining and as precise as it needs to be, and I don’t believe it was.
Mehdi Hasan: Just a moment, you’re saying, just to clarify here, you’re saying today, today my understanding is, we should have backed the rebels. You’re saying in government you agreed with this…
Mike Flynn: We should have done more earlier on in this effort, you know, than we did. We…
Mehdi Hasan: But in 2012, three years ago, let’s just be clear for the sake of our viewers, in 2012 your agency was saying, quote: “The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda in Iraq are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” In 2012, the US was helping co-ordinate arms transfers to those same groups. Why did you not stop that if you’re worried about the rise of quote/unquote ‘Islamism’.
Mike Flynn: I hate to say it’s not my job, but my job was to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be, and I will tell you that it goes before 2012 when we were in Iraq and we still had decisions to be made before there was a decision to pull out of Iraq in 2011. I mean it was very clear what we were going to face.
Mehdi Hasan: Well, I admire your frankness, General. Let me just say before we move on, just to clarify once more, you are basically saying that even in government at the time, you knew those groups were around, you saw this analysis and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?
Mike Flynn: I think the Administration.
Mehdi Hasan: Did the Administration turn a blind eye to your analysis.
Mike Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision, I think it was a willful decision.
Mehdi Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafist, al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood amongst it?
Mike Flynn: A willful decision to do what they’re doing.
JC: He’s right there; it seems very clear that the Obama Administration was basically saying leave that alone, just leave that alone, that is policy.
AM: Absolutely, it’s all out there, and I think also that that particular document you mentioned, the DIA document that was discovered through the Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, also refers to the methodologies that would be used, so we can look to the past and we can actually look to the present. In other words, this whole idea about creating ‘safe zones’. Any time you hear that word ‘No Fly Zone’, we should be aware that that is a code for protecting Salafist insurgents and enabling their growth to overthrow a government, because that very technique, which was referred to in that paper, was used under the Right-to-Protect doctrine, so it was called when Gaddafi was overthrown when that uprising occurred in Benghazi, so the whole idea was that if the Libyan Air Force gets within range they will be bombed out of existence. And then we see it again being threatened while the Russians are there in Syria, it’s broached ‘No Fly Zone’, Aleppo ‘No Fly Zone’, using human suffering, genuine human suffering, as a fait accompli, but actually, really, it’s part of a devious plan to give these Salafists, Jihadists, the opportunity to wreak havoc and to overthrow governments not to the liking of the West. Let’s also be aware that there are interests that coalesce here, but ultimately it’s the West that is the deciding influence in things, so the Saudis, the Turks will not act without Western approval much in the same way as the Israeli Government, which has an interest in the destruction of Syria and the balkanization of the Arab world, also tends to rely … For instance, they don’t want to attack Iran independently, they want America to help them do that, so that coalescence of interests, which, for the Saudis, is about extending their realm of influence. That fight they had over the years with secular Pan-Arabism, which they effectively won after the Six Day War and the demise of Gamal Abdel Nasser and now the overthrow of Libya as Gaddafi and the Baathists ruler-ship in Iraq, they want to extend their influence, and also there was the issue of the oil pipeline going through Syria. There’s also that interest I mentioned about Israel being fundamentally predicated on the balkanization of the Arab world. Even before its creation, a necessary condition was the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, and then after the implementation of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, wherein the British and the French divided the Middle East into these artificial nation states, Israel has sought to have these nations further divided, and then of course you have Turkey; the Turks are interested in the oil pipeline because obviously they want to be the conduit between the Gulf and Western Europe.
JC: So this is the pipeline going from Qatar up through Syria into Turkey, rather than the alternative, which is going from Iran through Syria servicing Europe through that way?
AM: Absolutely. That’s right. So the Turks wanted to be involved with that, but Assad refused, and also it links into something I believe we’re going to discuss later on in terms of the connection between Turkey and its Ottoman predecessor with Germany, and that is to do with Turkish ambitions to establish some form of a pan-Turkic sphere of influence through central Asia right up to the border with China.
JC: Yes, indeed we will come to that. We will talk about Germany and the fact that it has had these kinds of relationships in the past. You mention Gaddafi and his overthrow in 2011, and that brings up the role of France and even Britain in this action. Do you want to say something about that?
AM: Absolutely. I think right from the beginning my understanding was that the action to overthrow Gaddafi was initiated by French intelligence, and I think that has been actually to a certain degree confirmed. Nicolas Sarkozy was involved in that, but also once that decision was made, and Britain became involved with America acting as a guarantor and its naval power in the Mediterranean supported operations; once that was agreed upon and things fell into place and the overarching issues of overthrowing certain governments then came into play, so the French were involved there, particularly with the use of their air force, but also the British were involved there in a way which is fairly clear-cut compared to some of these other insurgencies we will talk about, because we know for a fact that Britain sent Special Forces to train members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, and they were embedded within them, they trained them, and directed operations in the battle against the Libyan forces of Colonel Gaddafi.
JC: And we have this confirmed by one of the Clinton emails.
AM: We not only have that, we have the BBC confirm it. And, if you recall, at the beginning of the conflict, near its beginning in the early part of 2011, there was this episode where a certain Libyan insurrectionist, a militia, caught British officials who were being accompanied by Special Forces. These were, I think, people from the Foreign Office, but obviously MI6, being accompanied by a detachment of SAS troops, and so I think that was a shaky introduction. But, I think things were sorted out because obviously they were released and the subsequent relationship we’ve just mentioned about British forces, Special Forces, helping them did come about.
JC: Yes, going back to France’s role in this, the accusation that’s often made against Sarkozy seems to be borne out by one of the Clinton emails that France was very worried, or I suppose the elite of France was very worried, that Libya was going to establish a pan-African currency based on Libyan gold, and that they had billions, apparently, in gold and a similar amount in silver, and there were various other reasons why France was concerned that Libya would be going its ‘own way’. Again, let me quote from that email. So this is email No. C05785522, which you can read at FOIA.state.gov -and I shall put links into the show notes of course. So this is Sidney Blumenthal to Hilary Clinton dated April 2nd 2011, and the subject is: “France’s Client and Gaddafi’s Gold.” O.K., and I’m quoting here: “According to sensitive information available to these individuals” -and I’ve just explained that sources with access to one of Gaddafi’s sons- and I’m continuing with the quote now: “According to sensitive information available to these individuals, Gaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold and a similar amount in silver. This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion, and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan gold dinar. This plan was designed to provide the francophone African countries with an alternative to the French franc CFA”, and there’s a source comment here: “According to the knowledgeable individuals, this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than 7 billion dollars. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicholas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. According to these individuals, Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:
A. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
B. Increase French influence in North Africa,
C. Improve his internal political situation in France,
D. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
E. Address the concern of his advisors over Gaddafi’s long-term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in francophone Africa.
So, it does seem that there’s very good evidence here that it was in France’s interest to push all of this.
AM: Oh, absolutely. It was under Nicolas Sarkozy’s watch that France became integrated into NATO’s military structure. General Charles De Gaulle had withdrawn France from NATO’s military structure back in the 1960s. In fact he’d evicted NATO from its Paris Headquarters, and was later forced to relocate to Brussels, and Nicolas Sarkozy’s intention was, as you stated, to reinforce France’s power, and we saw that in the way France intervened in the Ivory Coast, and also in Central West Africa around Mali. But what you mentioned there about the creation of the gold dinar by Col. Gaddafi is very, very important, because again that was something that was broached, but there wasn’t some sort of official confirmation. At times you really feel that definitely was the case, but we need the evidence, and, you know, due to WikiLeaks and things like that, and admissions by the likes of Roland Dumas and Wesley Clark, we do get confirmation and if we look at that economic angle to the overthrow of Gaddafi, we can see precedents elsewhere: Syria is an example of a country that wasn’t a member of certain western banking institutions. And also Saddam Hussein: One of the reasons he was overthrown is because he threatened not to use the dollar in terms of trading in oil; he wanted to use the euro, and so it does seem that those nations from the so-called developing world, or other parts of the world actually, any part of the world, who do not toe the line with Washington are earmarked for destruction.
JC: I want to return to Iran. You mentioned Iran a little while ago, and I want to throw into the conversation yet another one of these pieces of documentary evidence, because I think it’s a very striking piece of information, so this is the Brookings Institution publishing their “Which Path to Persia” document from 2009, their so-called analysis paper, which is subtitled “Options for a New American Strategy towards Iran”, an interesting title there that seems to connect with the Project for a New American Century in my mind, and they have various suggestions as to how regime change could take place in Iran, and they actually go so far as to suggest inspiring an insurgency – this is in chapter 7 – and using groups like Mojahedin-e-Khaiq, which, at the time, were designated as terrorists by the US, and here is the Brookings Institution, which is very well-known think-tank and one of the most widely quoted think-tanks in Washington DC, actually suggesting yes, we could use these people to conduct terrorist operations against Iran. What’s your reaction to the fact that we have a document like that, and yet this information is not widely known by people?
AM: It’s not widely known presumably because there can be that fallback position that, “Oh well, this is just merely a think-tank, they’re putting things out into the open and it’s up to the policy makers and the deciders of Government to rely on it or not”.
JC: And yet, at the time, they were designated as terrorists. You would think that that would be unacceptable, or you would think should be unacceptable even to be mentioned by such a supposedly august institution.
AM: That’s absolutely true. Again, being an august institution obviously it will not be well known to the general public, but, time and again, we see these issues in these documents. Let me put it this way: think about Senator John McCain, the Chairman of the Arms Services Committee in the Senate, who made visits while that Libyan insurrection was ongoing in the early part of 2011, just a month or two after it began. It may not have been widely known to the public at the time, although Col. Gaddafi in one of his speeches, which was reported in the West, but discounted as the ravings of a mad man, he said, “you’re supporting al-Qaeda”. Here’s John McCain walking through the streets of Benghazi and basically giving succor to Islamist belligerents, people who subscribe to the ideology of al-Qaeda, the very people who were said to have perpetrated the 9/11 atrocity, the people who were supposed to be the enemies of the West. You can look at the same thing with John McCain’s illegal visits to Syria, and meeting so-called ‘moderates’, who, later on, turn out to be members of hardline Islamist groups, and you also see John McCain fraternizing with people with neo-Nazi sympathies like the leader of Svoboda in Ukraine. So, putting the Brookings Institute and these think-tanks to one side, we do actually see confirmation between that sort of contact between a prominent serving western politician and these proscribed organizations, so not surprising.
JC: No, not surprising really, and under the surface we can imagine all sorts of links making a quite coherent policy towards all this in fact, and linking back into history, and of course this is where your article I think is so important is where you show this way of thinking is nothing new; it’s been going on for a long time, and in many different places, and one of the first places that you go to in your discussion here is Germany, and you start by looking at Heinrich Himmler giving a 1944 speech where he is basically saying that Islam is ideal: If you’re going to be a soldier, well why not be an Islamist? And you also go back beyond that to Kaiser Wilhelm’s views of Muslims as good for guerilla warfare, so do you want to tell us about Germany’s cultivation of Islam, Islamism, for the purposes of war?
And I’m afraid the rest of that interview with Adeyinka Makinde will have to wait till next week, because my time for editing this week has simply come to an end. I wish it were not so, but it is, so the next part, as I say, looking into some of the history of this phenomenon will be next week, not a fortnight from now, but as I always have to say: “All being well.”
© The Mind Renewed and Adeyinka Makinde (2017).