By Dr Elie HATEM
Doctor of law
lawyer at the Paris Bar Association
and before the International Criminal Court (The Hague)
Vice President of the International Movement of Russophiles (MIR)
Officer in the Order of the Cedar
Knight in the Order of Academic Palms
Knight in the Order of the Star of Mohéli
Following the end of World War II, the world gradually divided into two blocs: the “Free World” in the West and the “Totalitarian World” in the East. The latter was characterized by a lack of freedom and private initiative, with public authorities controlling all private activity. Individuals were monitored and their freedom of expression was controlled by the dictatorship of a single thought, including the media.
As someone who could not support this totalitarian concept, I fought against it as a member of the World Anti-Communist League and supported movements such as Solidarnosc in Poland. I was thrilled to see the fall of the Soviet Union and the disappearance of the Totalitarian World.
However, my excitement was short-lived. The end of bipolarity did not lead to the liberation of society, as a unipolar world emerged with a hidden dictatorship. The former “Free World” betrayed its values, as societies became robotic and disconnected from their identities due to globalization. This phenomenon deprived individuals of their specificities and freedoms, leading to a planetary totalitarianism similar to what was opposed during the bipolar period. States gradually lost their sovereignty to supranational norms imposed without consent. Events such as the 9/11 attacks in the US were used to strengthen control over globalized society.
Today, financial operations, commercial transactions, and economic activities of individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises are carefully tracked, while the large-scale trafficking and laundering of cartels and tax evasion of multinational companies continue without consequences. Globalization and technological developments (such as GAFA) have also affected individual liberties, leading to a sense of fear and submission to a strict control system, particularly in the former “Free World” and its dominant countries.
“GOD CONQUEROR WILL BECOME SATAN, SATAN CONQUEROR WILL BECOME GOD” (Anatole France)
The end of bipolarization has resulted in a global imbalance and the rise of a hegemonic power, which imposes its dictatorship on the entire planet by leveraging its position as the former leader of the “Free World” and victor of the old “Totalitarian World”. This power is the United States of America, which has self-proclaimed itself as the “World’s Policeman” since the Dayton Accords that ended the war in Yugoslavia. Washington provoked the war in Yugoslavia, as well as the current situation in Ukraine, to prevent its alliance with the Russian Federation and thus prevent Moscow’s return to the international scene.
This strategy, which has been reinforced by the successful manipulation of religion for political purposes, particularly in Afghanistan, has also been employed by the US to achieve the same objective in Chechnya, Bosnia, Dagestan, and other regions.
The idea of an “Islamic Emirate” first emerged in Dagestan, and was then adopted and developed by the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS), under the influence of the Salafist movement and the Muslim Brotherhood. ISIS succeeded Al Qaeda, which was structured and developed under the supervision of US services, as a response to their strategy of using religious factors for political purposes.
The links between the American CIA and Osama Bin Laden are well-documented, as his codename within the agency was “Tim Osman”. His mission was to spread a political ideology by leveraging the Muslim religion, particularly the Salafist school, for political purposes. This strategy allowed the Americans to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
Following the war in Afghanistan and the fall of the Soviet Union, Osama Bin Laden quickly moved to countries that were previously part of the USSR, where the majority of the population was Muslim (or, to be precise, of Muslim tradition since most of these populations did not practice their religion under the communist regime). It should be noted that the Muslim rite practiced by these populations before their conquest by the Soviet Union was Sufi. The Salafist propaganda, meticulously guided by the American services at the time, provoked their radicalization and their shift towards Hanbalism, which is opposed to Sufi practices.
Furthermore, it should be noted that Afghan “Mujahideen,” who were trained in warfare in Afghanistan by “Maktab Al Khadamat,” the precursor to Al Qaeda, and supervised by the American CIA, were sent to fight in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Thus, the Americans, who have succeeded the British as the leaders of the “Anglo-Saxon World” since the end of World War II, have experimented with and developed a strategy of leveraging religion or community and ethnic factors for political purposes in various parts of the world.
DIVIDE AND RULE
In 1963 and 1974, the United States provoked a conflict in Cyprus between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, after Mgr Makarios had become one of the emblematic figures of the Non-Aligned Movement, considered at the time as a satellite movement of Moscow. The American secret services, along with the Israeli Mossad, sparked a series of conflicts in Lebanon in 1975, taking advantage of its political and social model, turning it into a testing ground to destabilize all the countries of the Near and Middle East.
They began by fomenting a conflict between Palestinian refugees deported from Israel since 1947 and the Lebanese. The American-British services had whispered false information to King Hussein about a project to overthrow the Hashemite monarchy by the Palestinians, causing a similar conflict between Palestinians deported to Jordan and King Hussein. In Lebanon, similar propaganda was carried out by the American secret services and agents of the Israeli Mossad to provoke fear, generated by the rumor of a project to drive the Lebanese out of their country, which would then become the substitute Palestinian homeland.
This Lebanese-Palestinian military conflict led to the destabilization of Lebanon, weakening the state and its institutions and spreading weapons in the hands of civilians and political parties that became militias. During bipolarization and in the midst of the Cold War, the Palestinians received weapons from the Soviet bloc, while the Lebanese political parties, transformed into militias, received weapons from the American CIA through its agents, including a Lebanese-Armenian then married to the daughter of the commander of the 6th fleet American.
A large propaganda campaign led, on the one hand, by rumors spread among the different communities, and on the other hand, by media infiltrated by “journalists” who were actually agents of the Israeli Mossad, managed to sow discord among the Lebanese communities. When the civil war broke out in Lebanon, many of these leading journalists migrated to France and found identical roles in the French media. They sowed discord in France with the same methods and rhetoric they had used in Lebanon.
The objective of the Americans and Zionists was to weaken the states in this region of the world by creating communal or ethnic conflicts. The emergence of these conflicts could only serve the interests of Israel, the main ally of the Americans, and demonstrate the inability of multi-confessional and multi-ethnic societies to establish themselves as states. The sense of fear generated by this unstable and belligerent situation was exploited by the Zionists to create social cohesion within the entity they imposed in Palestine.
In 1979, the Americans succeeded in instrumentalizing the religious factor both in Afghanistan and Iran, using the same strategy adopted in Lebanon, through propaganda and intrigues of their secret services. The fall of the Shah of Iran, a faithful ally of the West, was supposed to allow, in their eyes, the establishment of an Iranian theocratic regime, subservient to Washington but also capable of sowing tension between Sunni and Shia Muslims to destabilize the entire Middle East. The Iranian monarchy was overthrown, and an “Islamic Republic” was proclaimed, but the final result was not expected, and Khomeiny came into conflict with Washington. The latter had difficulties in creating tensions on a communal and religious basis. Moreover, the Iran-Iraq war prevented the exportation of the Islamic revolution to other countries, notably in the Gulf countries.
PROPAGANDA AND SOFT POWER
After becoming the world’s superpower following the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States of America adopted a new method of propaganda known as soft power. This approach utilized extensive financial and technological resources to exert influence on a global scale. Eastern European countries without communal assets, such as the Baltic states, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, and Macedonia, were particularly targeted with this strategy, along with the manipulation of religious factors for political purposes in order to sow discord. This region has a history of both communal and religious conflicts, especially in the Balkans and countries with different religious or ethnic communities.
In order to dislocate Yugoslavia and prevent it from forming a strong alliance with Russia, the US instrumentalized religious, communal, and ethnic factors. This resulted in conflicts between Serbs of Orthodox faith and Croats of Catholic faith, as well as between Serbs (of Christian religion) and Bosnians (of Muslim religion). The US also used an ideological current based on certain precepts of Salafism to destabilize predominantly Muslim countries like Chechnya, Dagestan, and Kyrgyzstan.
In addition, the US has paid for the manipulation of religious and ethnic-communal factors in conflicts between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia in the Caucasus region. American services have also used figures to carry out propaganda for internal destabilization and dislocation of societies, including the George Soros Foundations. The financing of this machine has operated through the interlocking of the structures of these foundations, and American secret services have benefited from agreements with Qatar to use legal structures in this country to finance the nebulae of political Islam. This method will be further discussed in subsequent developments.
Washington employed “soft power propaganda” in various countries including Poland, a Catholic country with a history of Soviet occupation and a view of Moscow as the capital of political Orthodoxy, as well as in Finland, the Baltic countries, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and especially Ukraine, which has been used as a base for soft power in Western Europe with the help of groups such as Femen.
Since the end of World War II, the Americans have wanted to establish a grip on the European continent and launched the Marshall Plan for Europe before overtaking the European Economic Community. The hybrid status of the European Union, which succeeded the EEC, allowed for the dilution of internal power in European countries that ceded their sovereignty to the Union, facilitating the American strategy through lobbying.
The United States has recognized the importance of lobbying in Brussels since the 1970s to protect their interests, establishing their Chamber of Commerce (AmCham EU) and expanding their networks of influence through the ERT (European Round Table), UNICE (Business Europe), ICCF (International Council for Capital Formation), ACCF (American Council for Capital Formation), and others.
At a higher political level, they relied on their Anglo-Saxon partners, primarily Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, and Norway, and exerted pressure on influential members of NATO. Through soft power, they also encouraged projects aimed at weakening societies in member countries of the Union in order to control them, including legislative measures, ideological and social currents, instrumentalization of sexual tendencies for political purposes, advocacy for and encouragement of the opening of borders to a large number of immigrants despite the inability of these states to integrate them into their respective societies. Interestingly, left-wing parties and movements have favored this politico-social propaganda, which is close to American ideals, despite their former proximity to the ex-Soviet Union.
It’s worth noting the significant efforts of American propaganda worldwide, particularly targeting Western European societies through various media channels, including mainstream media and cinema, as evidenced by the Blum-Byrnes agreements between the United States and France, and later the GAFAM. As a result, the United States has wielded considerable cultural influence over European societies. Western European countries, members of the European Union (with the exception of the United Kingdom, which left in 2021), have become fully subservient to the United States, as the leader of NATO, which is the Union’s only armed wing. Over time, their societies have become increasingly culturally and ideologically Americanized due to a gradual transformation of their respective cultures, internal legal orders, and demographic components. This has been driven, in part, by the migratory phenomenon encouraged by globalization and the post-colonial policies of their governments, which have resulted in the loss of their national sovereignty.
Western societies have become, like the United States of America, a melting pot of communities mostly from third-world countries. Indeed, the often brutal and revolutionary decolonization phenomenon, which occurred during the period of East-West rivalries, led to the seizure of power by despotic personalities or those who became despotic to control the institutions and societies of the new independent states, which also witnessed a phenomenon of corruption in the circles of power. This situation has led to popular misery, and immigration to Western countries was a way out.
This context has facilitated the destabilization of Western European societies. After encouraging their deculturation and the loss of their national identities, a fringe of immigrants, those of Muslim religion, was radicalized. In search of an identity to assert their existence within these societies, whose states were incapable of integrating them, let alone assimilating them, this category of the population became prey to a propaganda, meticulously orchestrated and widely financed, with the aim of radicalizing them. The religious factor was thus instrumentalized in Western countries to sow discord and sow conflict on the European continent.
Indeed, the global phenomenon of the radicalization of a fringe of Muslims served this strategy, both in Europe and in other regions of the world, notably in Arab countries and later in Africa. This phenomenon is the result of the success of the experimentation of the instrumentalization of the religious factor for political purposes, both in Afghanistan and in the countries of Eastern Europe and those that were previously part of the ex-Soviet Union.
In the mid-1990s, a new form of political and military groups that used Islam as a tool emerged during the Bosnian war. This phenomenon was dubbed “political Islam” and was subtly encouraged by well-financed soft power. This period saw the rise of groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as the resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood was officially founded in 1928 by Hassan Al Banna, an Egyptian official who was inspired by Wahhabism, a school of thought founded in the 13th century by Mohamed Abdel-Wahhab, who was influenced by the ideas of Ibn Taymiya. The British secretly encouraged Al Banna’s creation of this society to control King Farouk’s power. Al Banna also received financial assistance from the Rothschilds’ Suez Canal Company to create the organization, which was structured into cells and sections with a logo of two crossed swords. Its goal was to establish an Islamic state based on Sharia law and bring about an Islamic renaissance.
However, the Brotherhood’s ideological foundation predates the 20th century. In the 19th century, several religious-looking brotherhoods, some linked to secret societies like Freemasonry, emerged within Muslim communities. Many of them were of Sufi obedience, and personalities like Emir Abd el Kader and Sayyed Jamal Eddine Al Afghani were part of these brotherhoods. Al Afghani was considered the instigator of the Muslim Brotherhood’s organization, and he advocated a reformed Islam before Al Banna’s creation of the Brotherhood. Sayyid Qoutb, who joined the Brotherhood in 1953, led a new trend within the organization.
It is noteworthy that the Brotherhood borrows from Freemasonry’s initiatory rites and principles. Additionally, membership in the Muslim religion is not a prerequisite for joining the organization, as it counts among its members Christians and Jews. Members must be primarily devoted, available, assiduous, and provide financial support regularly by contributing financially, allowing meetings to be held in their homes, showing courage, obedience, and commitment, following current events, and commenting on them, among other things.
The Brotherhood was fought in several Arab countries in the 1970s, becoming almost non-existent. However, it reappeared in the 1990s with significant financial means and settled mainly in London.
In parallel to this organization and taking advantage of the growth of satellite TV channels, an ideological propaganda emerged, inculcating Muslim societies with a culture and way of life inspired by their religion, but in reality, diverted from Islam with ostentatious practices and an interpretation of religious precepts that pushed them towards extremism and confusion between religion and politics. This propaganda targeted not only Muslim countries but also the European continent, taking advantage of technological developments and communication tools. Salafist preachers roamed Western Europe to preach this “new faith.”
This propaganda was successful among immigrant populations whose parents came from Muslim culture countries and settled in the suburbs of large cities in very modest conditions and therefore less educated. In addition, these populations were in search of an identity that Western countries had not been able to provide them since they had lost it themselves. But this propaganda also succeeded in “converting” others in search of spirituality, or those who feel isolated within the robotic Western consumer societies, devoid of the spirit of family and social solidarity. It also succeeded in recruiting a certain number of delinquents, by establishing a phenomenon of fashion and group belonging.
Thus was born the ideology of a “revolutionary Islam,” based both on Salafism and on the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, calling for an uprising against regimes in Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, and against Western societies. This ideology is indeed that of Al Qaeda, which, at the instigation of US intelligence services, preached military “Jihad” and transformed itself into a “jihadist international” to fight against the Soviet infidels.
Two countries were involved in financing this “world Islamic awakening”: Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Under American influence since the Quincy Accords, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had become involved in financing US operations in Afghanistan to defeat the Soviets and ensure its protection by the United States in the event of an attack by the new Iranian regime, following the revolution of 1979. Later, Wahhabi religious institutions as well as wealthy Saudi individuals continued to finance Salafist groups responsible for spreading this “Islamic awakening” around the world.
In his book “Partners in Time,” Charles Cogan, a former CIA officer, recounts a statement from Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former advisor to the US President, who courageously revealed the following: “This secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of luring the Russians into the Afghan trap, and you want me to regret it? On the day the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially saying, ‘We now have the opportunity to give the USSR its Vietnam War.’ In fact, Moscow was forced to fight an unbearable war for almost ten years, a conflict that led to demoralization and ultimately the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”
Brzezinski did not regret promoting the new ideology of “revolutionary Islamism,” providing weapons, ideologically training opinion leaders, and conducting propaganda to achieve this end. He argued that the fall of the Soviet Empire was more important in world history than the rise of the Taliban or the emergence of Islamic extremism. He believed that the West did not need a global policy towards Islamism, as there was no such thing as “global Islamism.” Instead, he urged people to look at Islam rationally, without resorting to demagoguery or emotionalism. He pointed out that the Islamic world was diverse and complex, with different countries having different political and social systems.
In summary, Brzezinski’s revelations shed light on the complex and often cynical geopolitical games that are played behind the scenes, where religion and ideology are often used as tools to further national interests.
The successful experiment with religious factor in Afghanistan was later instrumentalized worldwide. This engineering was carried out with great finesse and skill by the US intelligence services, involving the actors and even the victims of this Machiavellian enterprise. In other words, the Americans extended shovels to these populations, leading them to dig their own graves.
This propaganda machine, which exploits religious factors for political gains, has received support from another Gulf country that follows the Wahhabi doctrine – Qatar.
With a surface area of 12,000 km², this country has a population of 1.8 million people, including 1.5 million foreigners. Its wealth stems from the exploitation of hydrocarbons since the 1930s, initially by the Standard Oil of New Jersey, owned by the Rockefeller family (later becoming Exxon-Mobil), which held the monopoly on oil exploitation with BP (or BP/Amoco) and Royal Dutch Shell, partly owned by the Rothschilds. Over time, and with the creation of the Qatar Petroleum company by the Qatari government, Exxon-Mobil became the main oil company participating in the capital of Qatar Petroleum. It sits on the Qatari Trade Council as well as the Board of Directors of Qatar Petroleum, along with Northrop-Grumman, a defense company directly linked to the U.S. Pentagon.
During the reign of Emir Khalifa Ben Hamad Al Thani, his son, Hamad, went to study in the United Kingdom before returning to his country, where he overthrew his own father and took power. Gradually, under his rule, Qatar moved closer to the United States, who built their largest military base (outside of the United States) in this tiny state. A flagship television channel was created, inspired by CNN: Al Jazeera. This channel succeeded in attracting the attention of public opinion in the Arab world because it began to emerge as a defender of freedom of expression in the Arabic-speaking world. It broadcast programs and debates that criticized the leaders and governments of Arab countries. Later, it gained international notoriety, both during the Gulf War, covering military offensives on the ground, and especially since the September 11, 2001 attacks, when it broadcast exclusive messages from Osama Bin Laden.
In a second stage, and after successfully becoming the media reference in the Arab-speaking world, it changed its editorial line and proceeded to a radicalization of Arab-Muslim societies. This approach was encouraged by one of its directors, Wadah Khanfar, whose brother is an activist within Hamas, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Curiously, in 2011, Khanfar resigned from his position following the revelation of his contacts with CIA officials, according to The Guardian.
Despite its good relations with Israel and the United States, Qatar, like Saudi Arabia, has been accused of financing revolutionary groups proclaiming Islam, as well as Islamist propaganda institutions in the West. The Qatari government has always refuted these accusations, attributing certain financing to individuals or even uncontrollable sources.
Indeed, Qatari legislation, notably the Commercial Companies Law (CCL), has allowed for the creation of companies where shares or stocks can be held by nominees, managed by a local director. Individuals or legal entities can thus hold shares, through bearer (nominee), within these companies. They can then open bank accounts and make transfers abroad, benefiting from this system that allows for the concealment of economic beneficiaries.
Complicated and opaque structures can thus benefit from this legal system, despite the 2010 AML (Anti-Money Laundering Law), whose provisions do not conflict with those of the CCL. As a result, these structures can allow companies located in Delaware to participate in their Qatari share capital.
Thanks to this system, and in addition to Qatari oil wealth, these local law structures can participate in financing operations or projects. Officially, these sources of financing are considered Qatari, ruling out any suspicion of involvement by foreign individuals or entities in financing propaganda or terrorism. This also explains why the amounts invested and spent officially by Qatar exceed the revenues of this country.
It is necessary to conduct thorough investigations, with the cooperation of the countries whose nationals (both legal entities and individuals) are involved in this process, in order to determine the origin of these Qatari funds. This task is delicate as it may involve different intelligence services, as evidenced by the legal actions taken in the United States that have provided clues about the involvement of intelligence services in drug trafficking and revealed the Lansky system, which will be discussed in the following developments. Unfortunately, most of these cases have not resulted in any convictions. Some of the individuals mentioned or prosecuted invoked national security reasons to avoid investigation. Therefore, we must wait for the declassification of archives and public documents in order to shed light on the interaction between different intelligence services and determine their role in the machine of terror that aimed to manipulate public opinion to achieve these political projects.
Political Islam, which involves exploiting religion for political purposes, was successfully tested by defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan and supporting the Islamic revolution in Iran against the US-backed Shah. This approach became the United States’ weapon of choice for destabilizing societies and state institutions, using it to create internal tensions within states and between religious communities, especially Sunni-Shia conflicts in the Middle East. The US created chaos in Muslim-majority countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union, before expanding it into an international phenomenon that served as a pretext for hegemonic military operations and population monitoring and control.
In response to the 9/11 attacks, regulations were implemented to control global circulation of goods, people, and capital, and surveillance measures were legitimized. In addition, NASA monitors a significant portion of the world’s population, with assistance from the GAFAM companies.
ILLEGAL FINANCING OF AMERICAN POLITICAL PROJECTS
The public funding of intelligence agencies often falls short of what’s necessary to carry out large-scale operations. As a result, most agencies resort to parallel financing methods. The former KGB of the Soviet Union, for example, required a budget well beyond what was officially allocated to carry out its operations discreetly, including providing secret subsidies to communist parties, delivering weapons to destabilize political regimes, and infiltrating political leaders’ inner circles.
Similarly, the 16 American intelligence agencies, including the CIA, require a much larger budget than their official allocation to carry out extensive international operations. These operations include destabilizing regimes through a variety of networks, subsidizing and compensating both direct and indirect agents, and conducting propaganda campaigns in a covert and insidious manner, with the assistance of parallel organizations.
Intelligence agencies sometimes resort to subversive methods to secure a larger budget than what is authorized by the government or parliament. For example, in the 1990s, the CIA claimed to need more funds from Congress to support organizations involved in destabilizing Iraq and Syria, but only a small portion of these funds were intended for these institutions. Most of the funds were transferred to shell companies owned by the CIA, located primarily in Delaware. These funds were intended to be used more discreetly, both in these countries and others, including Western Europe, to promote the spread of “political Islam”.
Parallel to official methods of funding, intelligence services including the CIA resort to other means to obtain funds and maximize their assets. Some of these methods are illegal, but they are covered up to obscure this aspect, such as drug trafficking or money coming from drug trafficking.
In fact, most intelligence services in the world use this market to discreetly obtain funds outside the purview of official state bodies. For instance, during the Vietnam War, the CIA developed networks to ship and distribute massive amounts of heroin manufactured from opium in the “Golden Triangle” in South Asia to the United States and Europe. This was the method of the “Lansky syndicate,” named after its instigator, Meyer Lansky, a structure that allowed the CIA to direct and control the harvest and processing of opium into heroin, to transport it, and distribute it in Europe and the United States.
Furthermore, without being directly involved in directing and managing trafficking, the CIA benefited from financing from drugs by facilitating the activity of drug trafficking networks for a percentage fee. This process particularly developed during the Contra war in Latin America.
Through complicated and intertwined structures of screen companies, the CIA provided cargo planes to drug traffickers and also allowed them to launder money from this trafficking. In 1998, the Frederick Hitz report accused the American intelligence agency, revealing the existence of links between American services, including the CIA, and drug traffickers from South America.
It was the bank accounts revealed during the “Iran Gate” (or “Iran-Contras”) scandal on which the sale price of arms to Iran was paid, which allowed these operations to be revealed. Iran was then under embargo. Additionally, Afghanistan also allowed American services to obtain the exorbitant sums necessary for their operations.
In fact, the Afghanistan War officially cost over six billion dollars, half of which was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia. However, alongside this official budget, occult sources contributed to the financing of both this war and the establishment of the Taliban and later Al Qaeda. This was the drug trade that resurfaced in this region called the “Fertile Crescent,” which earned between 100 and 200 billion dollars a year.
Indeed, the Central Asia region constitutes a strategic platform for the drug trade, particularly of opium, alongside its oil reserves. Heroin production, which was reduced in Afghanistan before the war, resumed in the 1990s. Territories near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border became the main supplier of heroin on the global market. Under the impetus of the CIA, the Mujahideen ordered peasants to cultivate opium on the plots they controlled. Heroin manufacturing laboratories from opium were established through the intermediation of Afghan businessmen and leaders with the collaboration of secret services in Pakistan.
In 1995, the CIA’s Director of Operations in Afghanistan, Charles Cogan, admitted that “the CIA in Afghanistan had sacrificed the war on drugs to focus on the Cold War…(our) main mission was to inflict as much damage as possible on the Soviets. We didn’t really have the resources or time to investigate the drug trade.”
As a result, opium production had increased by 15 times since the start of the Afghan War in 1979 and continued to rise. The trade benefited from both the Taliban’s support (before they banned its cultivation in 2000, one year before the attacks in the United States) and that of Osama bin Laden’s fighters in a chaotic, lawless area. Once processed in laboratories, heroin was then transported through networks to Europe and the United States, benefiting from protection ensured by cooperation between certain branches of the intelligence services. Once on the market, the drug was distributed and sold in a very discreet manner, making it impossible to determine the leaders of the networks. This was the Lansky syndicate system, also known as the “clandestine arts” system.
The profits from sales were then laundered in secret bank accounts, with some funds deposited in safes and others placed on the New York Stock Exchange with the complicity of certain US financial institutions. A cascade of CIA-owned shell companies, headquartered in Delaware, benefited from these investments to both launder money and legally and transparently earn even more dividends. The funds generated by these schemes were used to finance the intelligence agencies’ “black budgets” outside institutional legal channels and to evade the scrutiny of parliamentarians and politicians, ensuring the utmost secrecy and discretion in their operations, though they sometimes received the complicity of certain politicians and high-ranking individuals to facilitate the transportation, distribution, and collection of profits from drug sales or trade.
These operations were revealed through judicial investigations, such as the aforementioned CIA Inspector General’s report in 1998. The report highlighted the contacts between the CIA and certain institutions in the US government apparatus that facilitated these operations, including links with drug manufacturers in South America, as well as humanitarian organizations, to camouflage this trafficking.
These methods, which had already been exposed through judicial investigations, were used in Afghanistan where US agencies provided not only logistical but also financial support to Jamiat-e-Islami and later to the Mujahideen, to counter the Soviets. This dirty drug money also financed the Bosnian Muslim Army since 1990, as well as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The secret nerve of the war, this trade was associated with other official and clandestine funding sources, contributing to military operations as well as propaganda efforts and the establishment of operational groups or “movements,” such as “Al Qaeda” and “ISIS”.
Therefore, American services have colossal funds to finance their political projects around the world, operated through soft power or through organizations and movements they control.
In fact, the armada of George Soros’s foundations has funds exceeding his income and fortune, which serves as a front for American services. Through soft power, they do not hesitate to destabilize and control not only their adversaries but also their own allies, like Great Britain or Israel.
Likewise, according to the New York Times of March 14, 2015, the “Islamic international” of Al Qaeda benefited from financial assistance from the CIA. According to the newspaper, this organization was funded by Osama Bin Laden’s own funds, but his entire fortune alone could not finance this enterprise and its ramifications.
In this same context, it is interesting to recall Donald Trump’s statements during his first election campaign, especially those of August 10, 2016, where he indicated that ISIS was created by the Obama Administration, which sowed chaos in the Middle East: “He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS, OK? He’s the founder. He founded ISIS. And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”
Moreover, the latter revealed the instrumentalization of political Islam by the American administration for political purposes in her book “Hard Choices,” published in 2014. She textually stated, “it was indeed the American administration that created ISIS (…) with the aim of conducting a new “partition” in the Middle East region,” affirming that “coordination took place on this subject between Washington and the Muslim Brotherhood to create this “state” in Sinai. In this work, she stated, “We infiltrated the war in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and everything was going well, and then suddenly a revolution took place in Egypt and everything changed in 72 hours (…) We agreed with the Brothers in Egypt to announce the Islamic state in Sinai and hand it over to Hamas and a part to Israel to protect it, add Halayeb and Challatine to Sudan, and open the Libyan borders towards Salloum. There was even talk of announcing the birth of the Islamic State on July 5, 2013, and we were waiting for the announcement to recognize, us and Europe, this new state.”
CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS, ARAB SPRING AND CHAOS
The United States has employed the strategy of chaos after the bipolarization period to destabilize multiple continents by utilizing religious and/or ethnic factors for political gains. This has been particularly evident in the Middle East, Asia (including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Dagestan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Xinjiang), Africa (such as AQMI), and even in Europe.
There have been serious allegations that the United States is instrumentalizing the Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group in China’s Xinjiang region, to destabilize China politically and economically and advance its own geopolitical agenda. Some experts argue that the U.S. sees the Uyghurs as a potential ally in countering China’s growing influence in Central Asia and the Middle East and is providing financial and logistical support to Uyghur separatist groups. This is not the first time that the U.S. has been accused of supporting separatist and extremist groups in China, including the Uyghur separatist movement seeking an independent state of East Turkestan in Xinjiang. The U.S. has also been accused of using political Islam or Islamism as a means of advancing its interests and destabilizing countries it perceives as adversaries, including China. The mainstream media in the U.S. have been highly critical of China’s treatment of the Uyghurs, accusing China of human rights abuses and genocide. In response, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on Chinese officials and companies involved in the Uyghur issue and has called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
While it is important to address human rights abuses wherever they occur, it is also essential to question the motives behind the actions of powerful nations such as the United States. The Uyghur issue must be understood within the broader geopolitical context of U.S.-China relations and its use of political Islam as a tool of foreign policy.
In Europe, and as previously discussed, a political effort has been made to lead the countries of Western Europe to surrender their national identities and respective sovereignties by submitting to total subordination to the European Union and its regulations. This has led to a phenomenon of massive immigration from south to north due to economic problems in southern countries, as well as military conflicts that have caused a wave of refugees to flee to the European continent, presented by mainstream media as prosperous and offering these populations a better future.
This situation has been exploited to create tensions within Western countries, encouraged by a wave of attacks attributed to Islamist movements (or political Islam). France has been particularly affected by this wave, both because it is the historical adversary of the “Anglo-Saxon world” and because it offered the necessary ingredients for experimenting with a civil war pitting immigrants against natives, as an extension of the Algerian War. This phenomenon has been fueled by the theory of the “great replacement” and that of the “clash of civilizations”, with the aim of creating chaos on the European continent.
The theory of the clash of civilizations was proposed by Samuel P. Huntington in 1993 in an article published in the journal Foreign Affairs. Huntington argued that with the end of the Cold War, global conflicts would no longer be driven by ideological differences between the United States and the Soviet Union, but rather by cultural and religious differences between civilizations.
According to Huntington, the world’s major civilizations include Western, Islamic, Confucian, Japanese, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American, and possibly African. He argued that the interaction between these civilizations would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. In particular, he believed that the Islamic and Western civilizations were on a collision course, citing historical and contemporary examples of conflicts between the two.
Huntington’s theory gained popularity and was widely discussed in academic and political circles. It has been further developed and adapted by other scholars and public figures, including Bernard Lewis, a British-American historian of the Middle East. It continues to provide a useful framework for creating fear in the complex and interconnected world.
Simultaneously, another concept, the one of a “Great Replacement”, has been introduced in Western Europe. This is a contentious and largely discredited theory that asserts the existence of a deliberate plan to replace white Europeans with non-European immigrants. This theory is based on the notion that a “demographic war” is being waged against the white population of Europe, which is part of a broader plot to undermine Western civilization.
Despite a lack of supporting evidence, this theory has gained some traction among individuals who fear immigration and feel that their societies are falling apart, resulting in a loss of identity. At the same time, they observe immigrant populations on their soil who are deeply connected to their own cultures and original identities.
Recent reports suggest that certain American intelligence agencies may be using the “Great Replacement” theory to instill fear and provoke conflict in Western Europe. The idea is that by promoting the theory, these agencies can create an environment of fear and mistrust that will ultimately benefit their own geopolitical interests.
While the extent to which this theory is actually being used by American intelligence agencies is unclear, there is little concrete evidence to support the notion. However, it is evident that the “Great Replacement” theory is a harmful and divisive idea. Some politicians use it to fuel socio-cultural conflicts in the West, such as those that erupted in Ukraine and were stoked by Volodymyr Zelensky. It is coincidental that the adoption of this theory has been done by politicians whose surnames begin with the letter “Z,” in Ukraine (Zelensky) and in France with Eric Zemmour (or Zammour, with the correct translation)…
These two theories, that of the clash of civilizations and the great replacement, have been supported by a political strategy aimed at destabilizing a large part of the Arab countries and causing a wave of migration to the European continent. This strategy sought to undermine the state structures of Arab countries by provoking the fall of their political regimes and the establishment of chaos. At the same time, it led their respective societies towards economic, social, and cultural regression. This regression, in fact, makes it easier for populations to embrace extremist and radical political currents, as it is easy to shape the minds of those who lack culture or individuals who are in poverty. Therefore, instead of carrying out external military operations to overthrow these regimes, it seemed more judicious for US services and their allies to provoke social uprisings against their governments, supporting them through NGOs using soft power. However, in the event of the failure of these uprisings and facing the resistance of state institutions, external coups became the only alternative. This was the case for Iraq, invaded by the US military in 2003, or for Libya attacked by NATO in 2011, causing the fall of the regime and the assassination of President Gaddafi.
In other countries, US soft power was sufficient to overthrow the governments in power and lead to chaos but also to bring about the emergence of Islamic political currents, as Hillary Clinton indicated in her aforementioned book, Hard Choices.
Indeed, the role of George Soros in the Tunisian “Revolution” highlights the important role that American intelligence services played in supporting this movement. While it is clear that the revolution was primarily driven by Tunisians themselves and that various factors
contributed to it, the support provided by these actors cannot be overlooked. They helped the movement amplify their voices and accelerate their momentum. Soros had been funding Tunisian groups for several years leading up to this “revolution”. His Open Society Foundations provided grants to civil society organizations, human rights groups, and media outlets in Tunisia, all of which played a key role in mobilizing opposition to the government. Some of the groups supported by Soros included the Tunisian Human Rights League, the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, and the Tunisian Association of Magistrates.
In addition to Soros, the US government and its intelligence agencies also played a significant role in supporting the opposition to the Tunisian government. WikiLeaks cables revealed that the US had been closely monitoring the situation in the country and had been providing assistance to groups and demonstrators. The US Embassy in Tunis had established contacts with activists and opposition figures, and had been providing them with funding and training. Additionally, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) had been providing grants to civil society groups and independent media outlets in Tunisia.
The US government’s support for this “revolution” in Tunisia was part of a broader strategy aimed at promoting “democracy and human rights” and manipulating the population. Protesters were provided with social media and independent media outlets to spread their messages and mobilize more supporters.
Immediately after these events in Tunisia, the same scenario unfolded in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and other Arab countries. Mainstream media immediately labeled these movements as the “Arab Spring,” motivated by the desire of populations to promote democracy and human rights. These slogans were used by American soft power to provoke popular uprisings.
Like Tunisia, George Soros played a significant role in the revolution in Egypt, which ultimately led to the downfall of President Mubarak. Soros, through his Open Society Foundations, had been providing funding to various groups in Egypt for several years leading up to the “revolution”. These groups included human rights organizations, media outlets, and civil society groups, in a similar way like in Tunisia. The funding provided by Soros played a critical role in mobilizing an opposition to the Mubarak government. Soros also used his personal influence and connections to rally support for this movement. In addition to Soros’ support, the US government and its intelligence agencies also played a crucial role in Egypt. Leaked diplomatic cables revealed it. The US Embassy in Cairo had established contacts with activists and opposition figures, and had been providing them with funding and training. Additionally, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) had been providing grants to civil society groups and independent media outlets.
The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the so-called “Arab Spring”, which were initially driven by the desire for freedom and democracy, had unintended consequences that significantly impacted the future of these countries. In the aftermath of these revolutions, Islamist groups rose to power, undermining the original slogans of the revolution and the aspirations of the people.
The rise of Islamist groups in these two countries resulted in significant political and social changes. In Tunisia, the Islamist party Ennahda came to power after the overthrow of President Ben Ali in 2011. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood won the country’s first
democratic elections after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2012. However, the Islamist parties’ policies and actions contradicted the slogans of the revolution, and many Tunisians and Egyptians felt that their voices had been silenced once again.
The Islamists’ policies and actions, including the imposition of strict Islamic law and restrictions on individual freedoms, caused considerable controversy and unrest, leading to protests and divisions among the populations. These events demonstrated that the revolutions had failed to achieve their original goals of democracy and freedom.
The rise of Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt was not a surprise to everyone. In her book HARD CHOICES, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed that she had warned of the dangers of Islamist groups coming to power in the wake of the Arab Spring. Clinton argued that the Islamists’ arrival to power could undermine the progress made by the revolutions and cause further instability in the region.
The “Arab Spring” that took place in Tunisia and Egypt was supposed to bring positive changes in terms of political and economic reforms, as well as greater freedoms and rights for the populations. However, the arrival to power of Islamist groups, who are under the influence of the Freemason brotherhood of the Muslim Brotherhood, led to a regression in various domains.
Economically, these countries have been affected by the decline of tourism, which is a key source of income. The instability and insecurity created by the Islamist movements have deterred tourists from visiting these countries. This has led to a drop in revenues for hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that depend on tourism, leading to a decline in the overall economy.
Socially, the arrival to power of the Islamist movements has led to the marginalization and discrimination of certain groups, such as women, minorities, and secularists. Women’s rights, in particular, have been severely curtailed, with the implementation of strict dress codes and restrictions on their mobility and participation in public life. This has led to a backlash from women’s rights groups and civil society organizations, who see these measures as a setback to the gains achieved in terms of gender equality.
Culturally, the Islamist movements have sought to impose their conservative views on society, leading to a restriction of artistic and cultural expression. Many artists and writers have been censored, and certain works have been banned, leading to a decline in the cultural scene and a loss of diversity.
The populations of these countries have been disappointed and disillusioned with the Islamist movements that took power, as they have failed to deliver on their promises of greater freedoms, rights, and prosperity. This was revealed by Hillary Clinton in her book “Hard Choices”, where she admits that the US government was mistaken in supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
In Libya, while the U.S. intelligence agencies and NATO initially sought to overthrow Gaddafi through internal revolutionary movements, they ultimately resorted to military action to achieve their goals. The intervention was facilitated by the involvement of the French
president, who was keen to distance himself from his former ally. However, the outcome of the intervention was a protracted conflict that led to the downfall of Gaddafi’s regime and the subsequent destabilization of Libya.
Indeed, there is a widely held belief that the U.S. intelligence agencies and NATO had planned to topple Colonel Gaddafi through an internal revolutionary movement as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings. However, these efforts did not bear fruit, as Gaddafi’s regime managed to crush the initial protests in Libya. Therefore, the U.S. and its allies resorted to a military strike via NATO to remove Gaddafi from power.
The NATO-led operation was made possible by the involvement of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had been previously compromised by his financial dealings with Gaddafi. The Libyan leader had allegedly provided funds for Sarkozy’s presidential campaign, and the French president was eager to distance himself from his former ally.
The NATO-led military intervention began in March 2011, with the goal of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Gaddafi’s military from attacking the civilian population. However, the intervention soon escalated into a full-blown military campaign aimed at toppling Gaddafi’s regime. NATO forces conducted airstrikes against key military targets and provided assistance to Libyan opposition groups.
Despite the international efforts, Gaddafi’s forces managed to hold on to power for several months, leading to a protracted and bloody conflict. Eventually, in October 2011, Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebel fighters in his hometown of Sirte.
The fall of Gaddafi’s regime led to a period of instability in Libya, as various factions and militias struggled for power. The country descended into chaos, with a breakdown in law and order and the rise of extremist groups. The people of Libya, who had hoped for a brighter future after the fall of Gaddafi, were left disillusioned by the ensuing turmoil and violence.
The Libyan scenario can be compared to the one adopted in Iraq, where the government and power were able to resist American and Western abuses, including the inhumane embargo which heavily affected the civilian population. Therefore, the Americans and the British had to carry out a military operation to overthrow the regime, introduce chaos, and create inter-communal tensions, particularly between Shiites and Sunnis. This situation allowed the Americans to once again use their experimentation of politicizing and weaponizing political Islam for political and military purposes by creating ISIS, which they also projected into Syria in the context of the “Arab Spring” phenomenon. This had also led to the downfall of the government of President Ali Abdallah Saleh in Yemen before dragging this country and its neighbor, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, into a fratricidal war, under the underlying pretext of a Sunni-Shiite conflict (the Zaydi Yemenis being a branch of Shiism) also involving Iran, whose majority population practices Twelver Shiism.
The revolutionary scenario of the “Arab Spring” was transposed to Syria. As indicated, this strategy aims to destroy the state institutions of Arab and Middle Eastern countries, including Israel at the moment, and to create endless internal and regional tensions, with inter-communal and ethnic clashes (between Sunni, Shiite, Alawite, Zaidi, Orthodox Christian, Catholic, Sephardic, Ashkenazi and Falasha Jews, Kurds, Arabs, Turks, Persians, etc.).
Thus, the conflict that began in Syria in 2011 was not a simple uprising against the government but a complex situation involving many foreign actors. The destabilization of Syria began with popular demonstrations that were incited and funded by foreign actors with the aim of destabilizing the regime and destroying state institutions. Some of the demonstrations were initially peaceful and driven by grievances related to political and economic issues. However, they quickly escalated into violence as armed groups, consisting of foreign mercenaries, emerged and the Syrian government responded with force. The role of foreign mercenaries in Syria cannot be overstated. They were responsible for a significant amount of violence and destruction, exacerbating the already complex political and social situation in the country. Chechen mercenaries and “Mujahidin” (who had previously fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia) were particularly effective in 2011 and 2012. Their skills in guerrilla warfare and ability to carry out surprise attacks made them a formidable force against the Syrian army, and they also instigated violence against peaceful protesters, creating a sense of insecurity among the population.
The foreign involvement in the conflict is well documented, with reports of support from a range of countries including the United States, Turkey, Qatar, and Israel. These countries provided financial and military support to the so – called opposition groups, with the aim of weakening the Syrian government and ultimately toppling the regime.
President Bashar Al Assad was left with no other option but to seek Iran’s help during the early stages of the Syrian conflict. The fact that no other Arab nation came to his aid is regrettable, especially given the support that somes arab States, under the American diktats, were providing to the Islamist revolutionaries. Nevertheless, Iran’s assistance has played a crucial role in maintaining Syria’s stability and preventing the country from descending into total chaos.
However, during the summer of 2014, a new paramilitary group similar to Al-Qaeda emerged in the Middle East. In reality, it was founded in 2006 in Iraq, as a result of the American strategy adopted to foment a Sunni-Shiite conflict in this country, which was long ruled by a Sunni President: Saddam Hussein. By intervening and invading Iraq, the American occupation forces propelled Shiite policies to power and pushed for the marginalization of Sunnis, thus sweeping away the efforts of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party, which, like its Syrian branch, had managed to build a secular state without distinction between religious and ethnic communities. It should be recalled that the former Iraqi Vice President and Foreign Minister under President Saddam Hussein was Tarek Aziz, a Christian. Similarly, during the Iran-Iraq war instigated and encouraged by the West, Saddam Hussein managed to bring together the entire Iraqi population under the same Arab banner. However, since 2003 and under the impetus of American geopolitical experts, a communal and ethnic distinction has been provoked in this country. Sunni Iraqis have been marginalized and mistreated by Shiite leaders installed in power by Americans and receiving orders from them. The Kurds have been pushed to secede and proclaim the autonomy of a Kurdish province. It is in this context that Islamist ideology (or Salafist political Islam) has spread among Sunnis, especially among former army members.
In this context, on June 24, 2014, a Sunni Iraqi, Ibrahim Awwad al-Badri al-Samarraï, appeared on stage, proclaiming himself as Caliph under the name of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and calling for the establishment of an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
There are many claims and rumors regarding the links between Abou Bakr Al Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph, and the CIA. While some of these claims are unsubstantiated and lack evidence, there are some facts that suggest a connection between the two.
One of the most significant claims is that Al Baghdadi was a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay detention camp. While this claim has been disputed by some experts, there is evidence to suggest that he was indeed held there. According to leaked documents, Al Baghdadi was arrested by US forces in 2004 and held in detention in Iraq. He was then transferred to Camp Bucca, a US detention center in Iraq, before being released in 2009. It is unclear what happened to him after his release.
There are also claims that Al Baghdadi had links to the CIA during his time in Iraq. Some experts suggest that he may have been recruited by the agency as an informant or asset. While there is no concrete evidence to support this claim, it is possible that he had some kind of relationship with the CIA.
Finally, there are the links between Al Baghdadi and the Salafist movement. Salafism is a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that seeks to return to the practices and beliefs of the early Muslim community. Al Baghdadi was known to be a Salafist, and it is likely that he had connections with other Salafist groups in the region.
Overall, while there is no definitive proof of a connection between Al Baghdadi and the CIA, there are enough circumstantial links and rumors to suggest that there may have been some kind of relationship between the two. Additionally, Al Baghdadi’s links with the Salafist movement highlight the complex web of relationships that exist between extremist groups in the Middle East with American secret agencies, just like the obvious links between the CIA and Al Qaeda.
Since 2014, ISIS has been a significant threat to Syria and the wider Middle East. This group quickly established control over large parts of Syria and Iraq, creating what it called the “Islamic State.”
One of the reasons why ISIS was able to grow so quickly in Syria was its ability to attract foreign fighters to its ranks. The group’s sophisticated propaganda machine played a key role in this, appealing to disenfranchised individuals and exploiting their grievances. With its slickly produced videos and social media campaigns, ISIS was able to convince many young men from around the world to travel to Syria and fight for its cause. To achieve this, ISIS required significant financial resources and the support of various intelligence agencies. The group generated revenue from a range of sources, including the sale of oil, extortion, and kidnapping for ransom. However, it is widely believed that some intelligence agencies provided financial support to ISIS in the early days of the conflict.
In addition to attracting foreign fighters, ISIS also managed to co-opt local Sunni Arab tribes in Syria. The group promised to establish a Sunni-dominated caliphate and presented itself as the only viable alternative to the Syrian secular republic. This appeal, coupled with the group’s brutal tactics, helped it to gain control over large parts of the country and to threaten the stability the wider Middle East.
Interestingly, the absence of hostility between ISIS and Israel was noted. For example, Abu Muslim Al Turkmani, the deputy of Abou Bakr Al Baghdadi, posted a tweet on his organization’s official account, in which he stated that “in the Holy Quran, Allah did not command us to fight against Israel or the Jews.” Additionally, at a conference held in Tel Aviv in January 2016, the Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Yaalon, did not hesitate to affirm that “if I had to choose between Iran and Daesh, I would choose Daesh.” This same Israeli official had insinuated in April 2017 that there were links between his government and Daesh, embarrassing the political circles of his country. He had indicated that Israel had received “official apologies from Daesh for having accidentally fired some rockets at Israel.”
Furthermore, in 2016, the American newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, revealed Israeli military aid to the paramilitary group of Daesh, going so far as to train a special military unit charged with assisting this organization by providing “weapons and ammunition” and “salaries for its members” in a “good neighborly” objective, according to journalist Ehud Yaari. In the same newspaper, the spokesperson for the armed group called “the Golan fighters” paid a “vibrant tribute” to Israel for “bravely standing by our side: if it were not for Israel’s help, we would never have been able to stand up to the Syrian army,” said Moatassem Al Gholani, while his companion in combat, Abu Sahil, revealed the amount paid by Israel as a salary: “As a commander, I receive an annual salary of $5,000 paid by Israel. And my group has been working with Tel Aviv since 2013, since a first major offensive by the Syrian army against our positions. We asked the Israelis for help, to welcome our wounded in their hospitals. (…). Tel Aviv sent us money and ammunition not only to our group but also to other groups fighting alongside us in the Golan.”
This israeli behavior would confirm the coincidence between the work done by ISIS on the ground and a plan revealed by the Israeli professor, Israel Shahak, according to which Israel would favor the creation of antagonistic mini-states in the Arab world that are too weak and too divided to effectively oppose it: “The fragmentation of Syria and Iraq into regions determined on the basis of ethnic or religious criteria should be a long-term priority for Israel, the first step being the destruction of the military power of these states. […] Rich in oil and torn by internal struggles, Iraq is in Israel’s crosshairs. Its dissolution would be more important for us than that of Syria, as it represents the most serious short-term threat to Israel.”
Finally, it is not uninteresting to recall the links between Israel and the Al Nosra Front denounced by the United Nations. Thus, on December 11, 2014, in his quarterly report to the Security Council, the former Secretary-General of the World Organization revealed these links “for more than 18 months, facilitating the medical treatment of wounded combatants.” Additionally, in May 2017, another United Nations report documented a series of meetings (16 meetings) between Israeli military representatives and Daesh leaders near the Syrian border, particularly in the Quneitra region and in the central heights of the Golan, between November 18, 2016 and March 1, 2017. It is also worth noting that Israel has never attacked Daesh in Syria, while it has bombed positions of the Syrian army in Damascus, particularly in the vicinity of the international airport of the Syrian capital under the pretext of the presence of Iranian military elements. However, if the presence of such elements was real, it was aimed at helping the Syrian regular army and Russian forces present in Syria at the request of the Syrian government to fight against Islamic military groups.
Facing the complexities of the conflict and the emergence of Daesh, President Bashar Al Assad has officially requested military intervention from Russia to assist in safeguarding the institutions and territorial integrity of Syria. Indeed, the war had been raging for several years and the emergence of the terrorist group, known as ISIS, further complicated the situation. The Syrian government was struggling to maintain control of its territory and institutions in the face of intense opposition from various rebel groups and extremist factions.
Given the complex nature of the conflict and the presence of foreign actors, President Al-Assad had no other option but to seek this military assistance from his ally, Russia. The intervention was meant to help the Syrian army regain control of key areas and protect the country’s territorial integrity. This intervention was the last resort to protect the Syrian people and the country’s institutions from further harm.
The Russian military intervention in Syria began in September 2015 and included air strikes and ground operations in support of the Syrian government. This intervention helped turn the tide of the war and allowed the Syrian army to regain control of key areas previously held by rebel and extremist groups.
Thanks to the efforts deployed by Russia and Iran, Syria has been able to preserve its institutions despite a terribly bloody war where civilians and innocents paid the price of foreign interference aimed at creating tensions not only in this country but throughout the Middle East region. Today, Syria is on the path to regaining its place within the Arab League, in this new era that is opening up in relations between different countries in the Middle East region (such as the normalization of relations between some Arab countries and Israel, reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the resolution of the fraternal and bloody conflict between the latter and Yemen).
These efforts and the success of Russia’s enterprise in Syria, which thwarted American political projects in this region of the world and their extension into the European continent, have upset Washington. Russia is now a powerful player on the international stage and has managed to maintain good relations with other powers in this region, including Iran, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, and Egypt. Since 2014, it has quickly become a target for the United States, much like China, with the aim of bringing it down.
As the Americans see China and the Asian world as an economic and technological threat, they see Russia as another danger: the challenge to globalization and the defense of cultural and national identities, as well as the defense of state sovereignty and efforts to revive public international law, which has long been marginalized in favor of political opportunism
THE HIBERNATION OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW
The present state of international affairs is akin to a chaotic and lawless jungle. This is, in part, the result of the steady decline of public international law, which has been replaced by political opportunism that governs the international society since the end of bipolarization. The previous era, however, had the merit of preserving a delicate balance and allowing for the use of law to restore conflict situations. It is true that the application of public international law was never perfect due to the fragility of the subject, which mainly developed during the 20th century. Nevertheless, there was hope that it would be applied and respected by States, the main actors of international relations. The United Nations Charter provided a glimmer of hope by codifying the fundamental principles that should guide the international society, including the sovereignty and equality of States (Article 2(1) of the Charter), non-interference in their internal affairs (Article 2(7) of the Charter), the non-use of violence in international relations (Article 2(4) of the Charter), and the peaceful settlement of international disputes (Article 2(3) of the Charter).
However, since the end of bipolarization and the rise of the United States as the world’s policeman, public international law has been subjected to an increased and continuous violation. Political opportunism has replaced the rule of law, with partial use of certain provisions in an interpretive manner that serves to mask the subjective violation of the law.
The principal body responsible for monitoring and ensuring the execution of international norms by sanctioning any violation of these norms and principles, the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies, has become ineffective due to the structure of these bodies and their mode of operation. For instance, the International Criminal Court only exercises partial jurisdiction due to the non-adherence to its statute by a number of states, including the United States. The US has perfected the process of exempting itself from the jurisdiction of this international judicial body by concluding bilateral treaties with states subject to the Rome Statute that established the Court in 1998. Under these treaties, individuals accused and prosecuted by the International Criminal Court have remained untroubled. States that have adhered to the statute of this Court have committed, in application of these bilateral treaties, not to surrender American citizens to this jurisdiction.
Since 1989, the date of the fall of the former Soviet Union, the United States has multiplied its direct military operations, in violation of the principles of non-use of violence in international relations and non-interference in the internal affairs of states. We can cite some of these interventions: the invasion of Panama in 1989, the intervention in the Arab-Persian Gulf in 1990 and 1991, the military intervention in Somalia in 1992 and 1993, the various interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, the intervention in Afghanistan following September 11, the operations carried out in Libya under the cover of NATO in 2011, but especially the invasion of Iraq in 2003, as well as the ongoing military interventions in that country and in Syria since 2014…
However, the most spectacular intervention that demonstrates the blatant and arrogant violation of international public law by the United States remains the invasion of Iraq in 2003 with false pretenses. Although these false pretenses were discovered, the American occupying forces maintained their occupation of the country.
It is not uninteresting to compare this situation with that of Ukraine.
The United States and their allies, particularly Great Britain, claimed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that posed a threat to international peace and security in order to justify their military intervention.
However, it should be noted that the Iraqi territory is very distant from the United States. Therefore, even if Iraq had these weapons, this situation did not threaten American territory.
Moreover, no illicit act was committed by the Iraqi government that could justify a “preventive intervention” by the United States without obtaining the approval of the United Nations Security Council. In fact, France, although an ally of the United States within NATO, was opposed to this operation, which was nothing more than a pure invasion without justification. It is totally contrary to international law, which provides that in cases of exceptional recourse to force as provided for in the Charter (under the authorization of the Security Council or the General Assembly, or in the case of individual or collective self-defense to deal with an aggression or an imminent threat of such aggression), the intervention must end as soon as the threat of an internationally illicit act, in this case aggression or a threat of aggression, is resolved.
By analogy with the Russian operation in Ukraine, it should be emphasized that this country borders Russia. Since 2012, it has been destabilized by American soft power, like many countries in Eastern Europe, including Poland, the Baltic countries, Macedonia, etc. It has become a satellite link of Washington, as demonstrated by secret notes exchanged between Ukrainian and American authorities, including correspondence between George Soros and President Petro Poroshenko and his Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in 2013 and 2014. The arrival of comedian Volodymyr Zelensky in power has only reinforced this American position at the gates of Moscow.
Military abuses against the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine increased, in violation of the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014. These abuses were committed by ultra-radical and nationalist groups, with Volodymyr Zelensky positioning himself as the leader of this fringe in Ukraine, similar to Eric Zemmour in France, who has emerged as a leader of a large part of the French nationalist movement. Ukraine was on the brink of joining NATO or its satellite, the European Union, and a real threat weighed not only on Russian-speaking Ukrainians, but also on Russia bordering Ukraine. The latter was considering a military operation to deport its Russian-speaking population to Russia.
These hypothetical fears for some, before the operation launched by the Russian army on February 24, 2022 to thwart this project, turned out to be real. More than a year after this operation, the Russian army has not been able to eliminate this danger due to the sophistication of Ukrainian weapons and the support that Ukraine receives from NATO in this American-Russian conflict on Ukrainian soil. It should be noted that some former leaders of European Union countries, such as the former French President who was totally subservient to Washington, François Hollande, and Angela Merkel, did not hesitate to reveal that the Minsk Agreement I was just a delaying tactic to give Ukraine more time to prepare militarily.
Unlike Iraq in 2003, the threat against Russia and Russian-speaking Ukrainians proved to be real. The blatantly illegal actions of radical Ukrainian military and paramilitary groups have not ceased. Russia’s use of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, based on aggression and/or the threat of aggression by these groups, appears to justify this operation until the threat is eliminated.
Unfortunately, the United Nations Security Council is unable to take measures to end this manifestly illegal disturbance and restore peace and security, due to its structure and functioning, particularly with the use of the veto power of five countries.
Can we qualify Russia’s military operation in Ukraine as an occupation? It is necessary to wait for its outcome, particularly the end of the actions that led to its initiation, to see if Russia will maintain its presence in this territory, as the Americans did in Iraq, or if it intends to carry out a purely defensive operation to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians and put an end to the threat to its security, given its proximity to Ukraine’s border.
Unfortunately, this legal argument has eluded Western countries and servile allies of the United States who have participated in this conflict by continuously supplying sophisticated weapons to Ukraine and imposing a series of sanctions.
Since the end of bipolarity, the practice of international individual sanctions, including extraterritorial ones, has become commonplace. Emboldened by their dominant position in finance and commerce, the United States has systematically resorted to this practice to increasingly assert their hegemony. Under Washington’s sway, the European Union has followed suit by systematically taking similar measures and echoing the same justifications put forth by the United States. It is worth noting that in terms of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing surveillance and control, the European Union has aligned itself with the U.S. Financial Action Task Force’s initiatives.
Interestingly, the allies of the United States, even when they commit obvious internationally unlawful acts, have never been concerned about being subjected to sanctions imposed by either the United States or the subservient European Union. This is the case with Turkey, which has occupied northern Cyprus since 1974. This act has been condemned at the international level, particularly through a plethora of resolutions from the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly. Since 2004, the island has joined the European Union, with a portion of its territory under Turkish occupation. Yet, the European Union has not imposed any sanctions against Turkey.
Similarly, there exist over a thousand resolutions adopted by both the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly against Israel, which has occupied Palestine since 1948, following the deportation of the Palestinian population and massacres of 1947. Israel has been committing crimes against humanity, including the gradual extermination of Palestinians and internationally unlawful acts, on a permanent basis. Despite this, Israel has not received any sanctions due to its alliance with the United States.
This unjust situation and the plight of Palestinians, which must be resolved imminently and prioritized over other international situations, are summarized in a recent United Nations General Assembly resolution to which we must refer: resolution 77/247 of December 30, 2022.
Therefore, the resurgence of sanction measures since the fall of the Berlin Wall and their drift, where the practice of global embargo becomes a means of suffocating certain states and does not hide the deliberate intention to destabilize them for purely political reasons, leads us not only to criticize this new regime of international sanctions but to condemn them and question their legal basis.
Indeed, the imposition of sanctions through the United Nations Security Council has become completely outdated. It is subject to political opportunism and the predominance of the United States. The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, eager to give more independence to this global organization and to remove it from political hegemony, particularly that of the United States, which had prevented his re-election as Secretary-General, stated in his “Agenda for Peace” that the measures provided for in Article 41 of the Charter should not aim to punish a state but to modify the behavior of a party that threatens international peace and security. He strongly recommended the peaceful settlement of disputes, particularly through the International Court of Justice, which would allow for an objective respect of the principle of proportionality of the sanction to the offense.
Unfortunately, since the end of bipolarization, we have witnessed a drift in the practice of international sanctions: that of extraterritorial sanctions. This practice violates international legal order, questioning the principle of state sovereignty and freedom of trade and international transactions, particularly with regard to the establishment of so-called “secondary” sanctions. These acts infringe upon the diplomatic and economic independence of third-party states and thus on their sovereignty.
The sanctions imposed by the United States against non-American actors who operate outside of US territory apply if they do not comply with the boycott rules set by the US against a third state. This affects companies, large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, and financial institutions that are not based in the US and do not have US nationality. These entities are forced by this legislation to abandon markets, suspend others, and incur enormous expenses to develop compliance services to determine their degree of attachment to the United States. Failure to comply may result in financial penalties or retaliation against their assets or activities in the United States, as seen with French companies such as Technip, TOTAL, ALSTOM, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, and Société Générale, who have faced hefty fines and penalties for corruption or violating US sanctions.
Thus, the extraterritorial effect of US national laws designed to sanction a third state or situations contrary to the US internal public order infringes on the independence of third states. These laws place the law at the service of political objectives and economic interests, leading to a power struggle on the international stage with the use of countermeasures and retaliation taken by the victim states of the secondary effects of extraterritorial sanctions. The aim of these measures is to exert pressure on the state responsible for the countermeasures, in this case the United States, to reverse the measures taken by its legislative apparatus.
Having enjoyed unilateral dominance of the international community for three decades, the United States has asphyxiated public international law and international organizations, mainly the United Nations headquartered in New York. The former Secretary-General of this organization, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, hoped that after the bipolarization of the world, this global organization would fulfill its role of safeguarding law and its global implementation. But he was heavily fought against by the United States, who not only wiretapped him in his office at the UN but also at his home in New York, exerting constant pressure on him and especially preventing his reelection as head of the organization, especially since he denounced the massacres in the city of Cana in southern Lebanon by the Israeli army. Madam Madeleine Albright prevented him from condemning this act in writing, to which he replied that he would “condemn it orally or not at all.”
As a professor of public international law for several decades at various universities, I found myself in a very difficult situation with the upheaval of the international legal order in a unipolar world dominated by the United States, who hold their allies hostage. I was no longer able to answer my students’ questions because the practice of public international law no longer corresponded to its theory. I stopped teaching this subject, but that did not stop me from denouncing the chaotic situation that dominates the world. I did so in an interview with Free West Media on September 25, 2018, by calling on the international community to wake up, revive public international law, and defend universal freedoms by creating a “New Free World” (https://freewestmedia.com/2018/09/26/the-project-of-world-chaos/).
I have observed the reaction of some political leaders, sometimes timid due to this global hegemonic situation, such as the statements of French President Emmanuel Macron, who declared in 2019 that NATO is “brain dead,” or by threatening the United States in a veiled manner to withdraw from this organization during the diplomatic crisis that occurred in 2021 over the submarines ordered by Australia, who unilaterally terminated the contract at the request of Washington. However, I only saw my wishes come true during the unfortunate Ukrainian conflict, which I regret for its violence, especially the victims and the material damage.
A NEW FREE WORLD IN TURNOIL
As with the fall of the Soviet Union, which allowed the international community to evolve by causing the end of bipolarity, the regrettable conflict in Ukraine nevertheless has the merit of pulling the unipolar world out of the hegemony of the United States. What some Western countries call the “international community,” by invoking the seat of the United Nations and its main subsidiary organs in the United States, is a pure illusion. It is a minority that claims this status, composed of the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and a number of EU member states.
Faced with this coalition, the majority of countries and nations on the planet oppose it in an ostentatious manner, expressing their desire to end the unipolarity of the international community. These are the states of Latin America, those of the African continent, those of the Asian continent, including countries and major powers such as China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, the countries of the Middle East and the Gulf, a large part of the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, but also certain EU member states such as Hungary or, discreetly, France, Italy, and Portugal. Even France is waiting for the opportune moment to join this “New Free World.” This was evidenced by the statement of French President Emmanuel Macron upon his return from an official visit to China, where he spoke of “American hegemony” and announced the emergence of a multipolar world.
As someone close to the late Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and my mentor, I observe that this global organization is facing the same fate as the League of Nations. It no longer fulfills its mission of maintaining peace and international security and safeguarding public international law.
The UN needs to be restructured, with its headquarters relocated to a neutral location, as suggested by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, such as an island, far from the dominant powers on the international scene. Likewise, all its subsidiary bodies, particularly the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are controlled by Washington and used as a bargaining tool against borrower countries in need, must be reformed.
A mechanism for decision-making and the adoption of equitable international regulation must be established, respecting the sovereignty, equality, and respective cultural and social identities of states, to break free from the globalization to which human societies are enslaved. It is time to restore freedom – freedom of expression, freedom of movement for people, capital, and goods. It is time to break free from the enslaving instruments of the GAFAM, their monopolies, and their systematic control of people’s actions and words. The world is undergoing profound change, in search of a new balance, but above all, the return of international law and equity.
The sad and regrettable conflict in Ukraine also has the merit of allowing for the emergence of new, bustling mechanisms of exchange. It is therefore time to establish a parallel system to SWIFT to facilitate commercial and financial exchanges, as well as global financial institutions, particularly those of the BRICS, to enable the development of poor or struggling countries. It is also necessary to establish an effective, genuine, and fair mechanism to combat corruption and money laundering.
We are pleased with the positive developments currently unfolding on the global stage. The dominance of the US dollar in transactions is declining, particularly since Saudi Arabia, the world’s second-largest oil producer and the primary supplier of this commodity to China, has agreed to receive payment in yuan. Additionally, Russia, the world’s largest gas exporter, has secured agreements for payment in rubles from its partners. The financial power of the United States appears to be in decline, evidenced by the Federal Reserve’s move to lend $12 billion to the banking sector following the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank. Meanwhile, the BRICS bloc is continuing to gain momentum, now contributing 31.5% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 30.7% from the G7. Experts anticipate this trend will continue to grow in the coming years. Furthermore, the BRICS Development Bank, established in 2014 and headquartered in Shanghai, is becoming a significant player in the global finance arena.
It is also imperative to develop an international judicial system that can impartially and objectively enforce sanctions against any violation of international law, while also imposing appropriate penalties against states, organizations, and individuals who have disregarded international principles and norms or assisted in such internationally prohibited actions.
Thus, hopes are placed on this new multipolar international free society to restore this broken imbalance.