“Daddy, what is blowback?”
Here’s a fable to tell our children, by the fire, in a not so-distant post-apocalyptic, dystopian future.
Once upon a time, during George “Dubya” Bush’s “war on terra”, the Forces of Good in Afghanistan captured – and duly tortured – one evil terrorist, Abu Yahya al-Libi.
Abu Yahya al-Libi was, of course, Libyan. He slaved three years in the bowels of Bagram prison near Kabul, but somehow managed to escape that supposedly impregnable fortress in July 2005.
At the time, the Forces of Good were merrily in bed with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – whose intelligence services, to the delight of the Bush administration, were doing their nastiest to exterminate or at least isolate al-Qaeda-style Salafi-jihadis of the al-Libi kind.
But, then, in 2011, the Forces of Good, under new administration, decided it was time to bury the oh so passe “war on terra” and dance to a new, more popular groove; humanitarian intervention, also characterized as “kinetic military action”.
So al-Libi was back from the dead – now fighting side by side with the Forces of Good to topple (and eventually snuff out) “evil” Col Gaddafi. Al-Libi had become a “freedom fighter” – even though he was openly calling for Libya to become an Islamic Emirate.
The honeymoon didn’t last long.
In September 2012, for the first time in three months, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, aka The Surgeon, released a 42-minute video special to “celebrate” the 11th anniversary of 9/11, finally admitting the snuffing out of his number two.
His number two was none other than Abu Yahya al-Libi – targeted by one of US President Barack Obama’s cherished drones in Waziristan on June 4.
An immediate effect of al-Zawahiri’s video was that an angry armed mob, led by Islamist outfit Ansar al Sharia, set fire to the US consulate in Benghazi. The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed. It didn’t matter that Stevens happened to be a hero of the “NATO rebels” who had “liberated” Libya – notoriously sprinkled with Salafi-jihadis of the al-Libi kind.
Stevens was rewarded by Washington with the ambassadorial post only after “evil” Gaddafi was finally sodomized, lynched and killed by, what else, an angry mob.
So finally the blowback serpent was able to bite its own tail.
Terra, terra, terra
What happened in Benghazi may have been just an out-of-control protest against a crude, amateur, made-in-California movie produced and directed by an Israeli-American real estate developer and certified Islamophobe (an identity now being reported as a guise), financed with US$5 million from unidentified Jewish donors, depicting Islam “as a cancer” and Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer, a pedophile and most of all, a fraud. The movie was duly promoted by wacko Florida pastor and Koran-burning freak Terry Jones.
Yet the killing of the US ambassador in Libya is just an hors d’oeuvre to what may happen in Syria – where scores of “freedom fighters” supported by the CIA, the Turks and the House of Saud are al-Qaeda-linked, either via the supposedly reformist Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) or acronym-infested subcontracting gangs such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM).
So how will Washington “bring the perpetrators to justice” in Libya? After all this is the same gang that was hailed as “heroes” when they sodomized, lynched and snuffed out “evil” Gaddafi.
Asia Times Online has been warning for over a year about blowback in Libya – and potentially in Syria, where medieval Saudi sheikhs frantically issue fatwas legitimating a widespread massacre of “infidel” Alawites. This is all a rerun of the same old 1980s’ Afghan jihad movie; first you call them “freedom fighters”, but when they attack us they revert to being “terrorists”.
Now we have NATO-armed Salafi-jihadis in Libya, and House of Saud-financed and Turkey-based Salafi-jihadis in Syria – deploying “terra” antics such as suicide bombers to bring down the Assad regime – all wired up and ready to roll. It certainly adds a new meaning to Obama’s “kinetic action” gig.
Blowback – as in Afghanistan – might have taken years. This time Mr Blowback reared its ugly head in only a few months. And that’s just the beginning.
So what now? Who’re you gonna bomb? Who’re you gonna drone to death? What about bombing Benghazi a year after condemning Gaddafi to death because he might have threatened to … bomb Benghazi?
Ask US Secretary of State Hillary “We came, he saw, he died” Clinton, who claims to talk on behalf of the “Libyan people”. Maybe she will come up with a policy of retroactively aligning the US with Gaddafi.
And since this is an electoral year, why not ask invisible former president Bush himself? After all, he proclaimed on September 20, 2001 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terra-rists.”
Well, Mr Blowback would say, beware of what you get when you are in bed with the terra-rists.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).Show