Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 22 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/24/19

Savagery and Its Promoters and Profiteers

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   4 comments
Author 9
Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Swanson
Become a Fan
  (141 fans)

http://davidswanson.org
davidswanson.org
(
Image by davidswanson.org)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Max Blumenthal's new book, "The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump," is over 300 pages and wastes not a word. It also does far more than it claims.

"This book," Blumenthal writes, "makes the case that Trump's election would not have been possible without 9/11 and the subsequent military interventions conceived by the national security state. Further, I argue that if the CIA had not spent over a billion dollars arming Islamist militants in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, empowering jihadist godfathers like Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden in the process, the 9/11 attacks would have almost certainly not taken place. And if the Twin Towers were still standing today, it is not hard to imagine an alternate political universe in which a demagogue like Trump was still relegated to real estate and reality TV."

My reaction to this was: "Yeah, no kidding. I'd like others to know all the obvious things they don't, including these, so hopefully they'll read and get something new out of this book." But I myself got a mountain of new things out of this book, especially from its early chapters. It not only does what it sets out to do in a way that has not been done before, but goes beyond that to establish through numerous surprising details a portrait of cynical political- / financial- / career-profiteering from mass killing that deserves to be examined carefully.

- Advertisement -

To consider the thousands of details in this book, you'll have to read it. But here are a few.

The U.S. government in the 1980s gave the University of Nebraska $1 million to produce millions of third-grade text books to prepare children in Afghanistan to gouge out the eyes and amputate the legs of Soviet soldiers books still used by the Taliban today.

While the U.S. government armed and trained jihadists in Afghanistan, refugees fled to Europe, stimulating fascist groups unheard from in decades. Norway saw its first right-wing terror attack (on a mosque) in 1985.

- Advertisement -

In 1987, Ronald Reagan's Immigration and Naturalization Service drafted plans to imprison Arab Americans at a concentration camp in Oakdale, Louisiana.

The top U.S. recruitment center for fighters to send to Afghanistan in the 1980s was in a storefront on Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue. It was a branch of the Services Bureau funded by Osama bin Laden.

Al Qaeda member and U.S. terrorist-watch-listee Ali Abdel Saoud Mohamed joined the U.S. Army and gave lessons to its officers. "We have to establish an Islamic state because Islam without political domination cannot survive," he told them. He also made use of documents he gained access to, translating them into Arabic, highlighting the U.S. embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, and Yemen, and smuggling them to jihadists.

U.S. secret agencies and the Saudi kingdom developed a closer relationship through their warmaking in Afghanistan that kicked off U.S. weapons dealing to Saudi Arabia in a major way. The Afghan operation had results around the world for years to come.

A Filipino who fought alongside bin Laden in Afghanistan took his CIA and ISI training back to the Philippines to "harass, attack, and murder Christian priests, wealthy non-Muslim plantation owners, and merchants and local government in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao."

Afghanistan was the beginning of a continuing policy of supporting Islamic extremist fighters in various parts of the world, a policy with direct blowback, with vicious cycles kicked off by the movement of refugees, and with the rapid transfer of people and groups from lists of partners to lists of enemies and vice versa, the only constant being weapons sales.

- Advertisement -

Osama bin Laden's approach to the United States after the Gulf War was essentially the same as had been his earlier U.S.-funded-and-trained approach to the USSR. Bin Laden aimed to bring down the U.S. empire by provoking it into lashing out in self-destructive ways that would destroy itself. He had many successes, including attacks on U.S. embassies making use of CIA training. One of bin Laden's chief partners has been Saudi Arabia.

Over and over again, a tangled web has been further tangled, in apparent attempt to avoid embarrassment. Terrorists have been freed and left free and unaccountable rather than risk public awareness of their ties to the U.S. government. This has meant decades of avoiding indictments and testimony that would have embarrassed the CIA, FBI, and others. And that has meant new crimes by the same people.

As one reads "The Management of Savagery," it is not the "why do they hate us?" idiocy that looms largest, but rather the question "How did they manage to express their opposition to U.S. policies with such deadly force?" The answer, in large measure, is U.S. arming and U.S. training.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

David Swanson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feith Dares Obama to Enforce the Law

Obama's Open Forum Opens Possibilities

Public Forum Planned on Vermont Proposal to Arrest Bush and Cheney

Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

Eleven Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

Holder Asked to Prosecute Blankenship

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

3 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments


Devil's Advocate

Become a Fan
Author 500650

(Member since Nov 9, 2014), 9 fans, 2542 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

"...Blumenthal addresses and properly dismisses 911-Trutherism."

With everything else, Blumenthal is always a "must read", yet he denies the obvious with 9/11. This has always been a bone of contention for me, and I don't understand him for that.

And, Swanson agrees with that stance as well, and describes the practice as "proper".

Two otherwise brilliant men who saw through the RussiaGate scam, but fail to recognize the even more blatant OBL scam. Disappointing.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 25, 2019 at 5:16:55 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (3+)
Help
 
Indent

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 71 fans, 309 articles, 3490 quicklinks, 15928 comments, 180 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Devil's Advocate:   New Content

Beyond disappointing. I was just reading and rereading that to check my eyesight and sanity. Trying to compose a response, when I was grateful to see you did it for me. I am promptly reminded of Chomsky, Zinn,and Hedges.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 25, 2019 at 5:57:33 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 
IndentIndent

Devil's Advocate

Become a Fan
Author 500650

(Member since Nov 9, 2014), 9 fans, 2542 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Daniel Geery:   New Content

Nothing wrong with your sight, and your sanity will never be a question here.

I've been seeing Blumenthal do this over the years. His treatment of "9/11 trutherism" completely conflicts with the logic he demonstrated with RussiaGate, which centered on EVIDENCE. Drives me crazy.

I actually don't know what Chris Hedges really thinks about 9/11. I don't see him making any pronouncements on the subject, and I've always suspected there's an underlying reason he needs to keep it that way. So, I try not to pass judgment on Hedges.

I like to think Chomsky certainly knows better than he's letting on, and that Zinn did as well. Why some choose not take a direct, oppositional stand on 9/11 is a "conspiracy theory" of its own, I guess.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 25, 2019 at 6:20:40 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (3+)
Help
 

Fred W

Become a Fan
Author 8452

(Member since Oct 30, 2007), 1 fan, 176 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

The facts revealed are super-interesting, and I want to praise what sounds like an important book.

But, like the other commenters, I disagree with the Blumenthal's ideas about 9-11. A point not mentioned in previous comments is that implicit in most theories of "Truthers" about what happened on 9-11 is the theory that supporters of radical Islam, including the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia, may have worked together with the US to make 9-11 happen, something most people, to this date, have never considered, which is consistent with Blumenthal's overall theme, except for the case of 9-11.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 26, 2019 at 11:05:38 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment