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December 30, 2015

Invasion by Terror is easier, but not better

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Elmasry

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Western powers have achieved dominance over other countries through IBA (Invasion by Army). But before doing so, as democracies they must today build public opinion, gain approval from their elected representatives, budget for war, create alliances, and persuade the United Nations to at least approve, if not support, their plans. The alternative method is IBT, Invasion by Terror. It does not need any of the above and no body bags coming home.

IBTs are covert operations conducted by the aggressor country's intelligence agencies.

But when Western countries venture into the shadowy realm of IBT, they run the risk of losing control of the terrorist organizations they co-opt; sooner or later, the recruits become unemployed militants with few skills apart from weaponry. Once the original terror operation is over, their home countries refuse to accept them back into society.

The US and other NATO countries chose IBT in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, but opted for IBA after 9/11, since public opinion gave them an excellent pretext for traditional armed invasion. Similarly, the same powers went the IBA route in Iraq in 2003.

Today, the methodology of choice in the Middle East is IBT, with Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt as prime examples.

It's a blueprint whose success depends on making full use of Muslim fanatics and their extremist ideologies; where else can you find people who long to die for the heavenly reward of fighting "infidels" and eventually create a pure Islamic state?

During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the American CIA recruited Muslims from many countries to help their Afghani colleagues combat the "infidel" Russians.

Wealthy Muslim countries and entrepreneurs (including the prominent Saudi Bin Laden construction empire) provided behind-the-scenes financing while the US supplied arms, ammunition, media coverage, intelligence and technology, as well as concocting a massive public relations campaign to celebrate "heroes" dying in the cause of overthrowing Soviet oppression. Numerous editorials, commentaries, essays and books were written; today many of them are still fascinating reading.

Everything seemed to go according to plan; the Soviets eventually cut their losses and left Afghanistan.

But in the aftermath, what could the CIA do with their extremist "freedom fighters"? Their countries didn't (and still don't) want them; there's little demand in everyday life for trained suicide bombers. The result a volatile army of unemployed mercenary fanatics hailing from at least a dozen countries.

These Afghani Arabs, as they came to be called, soon turned to planning terrorist operations in their countries of origin. Some failed, but some succeeded, including a major one in eastern Saudi Arabia.

This turn of events went against the American master plan of co-opting Islamist extremism for its own purposes. The Bin Laden organization Al-Qada, for example, became too independent and turned against its American bosses.

Immediately after 9/11, the US turned to Invasion by Army (IBA) in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as they had the willing consensus of world opinion, plus a Western and Arab-supported coalition to do so. The supposed rationale was to rid the world of so-called weapons of mass destruction. We now know that the WMD threat was a lie manufactured for global consumption by the CIA.

Inevitably, hundreds of American, British, French and Canadian soldiers (among others) were sent back home in body bags. They were considered heroes in the "war on terrorism" who died to safeguard Western freedom and democracy.

Fast forward to 2011.

Following the "Arab Spring" uprisings the US adopted Invasion by Terror (IBT) in the cases of Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia and Libya; the same plan, with the same predictable results. Divided into episodes, it looks like this:

1. The Plan: The CIA conducts a covert operation, recruiting a mercenary army of Muslim and non-Muslim terrorists, called ISIS. It recruits NATO countries such as Turkey, as well as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, into an alliance of support to pay the bills while America supplies the armaments, provides political cover and manipulates the media. All this, with no body bags returning to Western countries.

2. The Results (Part I): Initially there is great success. The armies of Syria and Iraq cannot defeat ISIS. In Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia and Libya, both their armies and security forces still struggle against ISIS.

3. The Results (Part II): Just as happened with the Bin Laden corporation, ISIS becomes too independent and begins to turn its terrorist operations against the West.

4. The Challenge: America and its allies invested a great deal into ISIS, but to satisfy public opinion they now must show that they are fighting the terrorist organization. This led to the ongoing air campaign to bomb ISIS.

5. The Russians: They expose the American fight against ISIS in Syria as nothing but PR and start their own air campaign.

The final chapter of modern IBT methods will not play out to its conclusion for years, even decades, to come. But with so much death, destruction, and sheer human misery already upon us (the influx of refugees from Syria half its population being the most publicly visible), this has gone beyond anything like it in modern history.

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