America Funded Terrorism and Backed Terrorists
The U.S. has sponsored and backed terror groups from Latin America to the Middle East while portraying itself as the defender of freedom.
The United States has engaged in various conflicts portraying the “enemy” to be savage, brutish, and not caring for humanity. While depicting themselves as the defenders of freedom, liberty, and all that is good in the world.
But in many cases, this narrative that Washington spins is only to ensure public and political support for the overthrowing of regimes which they are not fond of.
Take the Gulf War as an example. The propaganda that the American public was seduced by was to magnitude unseen before, with media censorship reigning supreme as the military was trying to overcome the issues experienced with public opinion during the Vietnam War.
The information many journalists received came directly from military organised events and only certain journalists were allowed to interview military personnel, with senior officers present of course. The media freedom surrounding the Gulf War was carefully managed to ensure public support for the war remained and that no opposition formed.
All the while, Iraqi people were being pummelled with bombs dropped by coalition forces and starved to death by grotesque U.S. sanctions. Reports conducted by UNICEF in 1999, have stated that around 500,000 Iraqi children died as a consequence of the sanctions. And the once, relatively, stable and secular Iraqi state was demolished and sent back to the stone age, laying the foundations for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, when asked about her thoughts on the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children and asked if it was worth it? Responded with:
“I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”
U.S. Support for the Mujahideen
Washington has supported radical religious and political groups all over the globe in order to secure their economic and military hegemony, as well as, maintain their number one spot on the world stage. This has occurred time and time again, take the U.S. backing of the mujahideen against the Soviet Union towards the end of the 20th century as an example.
The CIA program was codenamed Operation Cyclone and lasted from 1979 to 1989. This covert operation conducted by the U.S. was one of the most expensive and longest in CIA history, at one point reaching above $600 million per year. The plot was concocted by National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who sought to bleed the Soviet Union from their underbelly by arming and funding various mujahideen groups in Afghanistan through Pakistan’s (Washington's ally at the due to the issues with Iran) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). This proved to be majorly problematic as ISI provided most of the funding to groups which espoused radical Islamic beliefs and who were also favoured by the Pakistani government.
These covert operations saw the backing of some unsavoury characters like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who met directly with CIA officials and was responsible for various atrocities, such as the killing of civilians and the shelling of Kabul with American weapons, resulting in 2,000 causalities. Furthermore, Hekmatyar was known to hold good relations with the global face of terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, who benefitted indirectly from CIA funding of Arab-Afghan training camps in Pakistan. One of Bin Laden’s closest associates in 1980s was Afghan war leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, who received direct cash payments from the CIA and Haqqani’s network also played a crucial role in the creation and formation of al-Qaeda.
These covert ventures led to serious blowbacks for Washington as political scientist Chalmers Johnson has suggested, asserting that the U.S. backed mujahideen played role in the 9/11 attacks. And even former secular Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, criticised Washington, telling then-President George H. W. Bush, that: “You are creating a Frankenstein.”
The U.S. support of radical Islamic groups which worked with Bin Laden and gave birth to a movement, which would of otherwise not of had global reach were it not for Washington and led to a magnitude of issues, one of which being the unlawful spying on law-abiding American Muslims under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. And the catastrophic “War on Terror” which only led to further death and destruction, with the final bill of Operation Cyclone costing U.S. taxpayers some $3 billion dollars.
One of the engineers of this covert operation, Zbigniew Brzezinski, when asked how he felt about sponsoring known religious zealots and causing untold misery to a nation which previously was secular had free education and healthcare, Brzezinski replied with: “What was more important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold war?”
The Backing of Right-Wing Terrorism
Washington, as we have noted, played a significant role in fostering much of the radical Islamic groups we have commonly seen blasted across headlines and cited as the reason for the “War on Terror”. But the history of America’s involvement in sovereign nations is as old as the nation itself, as is seen by Washington’s continuous involvement in Latin America.
The U.S. continues to be on the wrong side of history, as we see, with the backing and funding of the right-wing terrorist group, Contra, in Nicaragua throughout the latter part of the 20th century.
The Contras were engaged in a guerrilla war against the socialist government of Nicaragua, even after the Sandinista’s (the socialist party) won democratically in 1984, the result was also supported by various non-governmental organisations, declaring the results as legitimate, despite Washington claiming otherwise.
The U.S. backed the Contras because they saw the rise of the Sandinista’s as a threat to their economic interests in the country as well as getting caught up in a larger political issue of the times — the Cold War. The Contras were heavily depended upon the United States and if Washington did not sponsor the right-wing terror group, financially or militarily it's safe to say it would cease to exist.
The U.S. supplied the terrorist group with military training, teaching the groups how to engage in guerrilla warfare and how to utilise terrorist tactics, as well as, weaponry, intelligence, and target kill lists. Washington also provided substantial financial aid, in 1982 Congress the thumbs up to the CIA for a $19 million military aid package.
Then in 1984, Congress gave another green light for further aid packages to the Contras, this one costing $24 million. Also, the danger posed by Nicaragua was practically non-existent as a report by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research reiterated, finding Reagan’s statements about Soviet influence in Nicaragua to be exaggerated.
The Regan administration's staunch support for this terrorist organisation led to a major political scandal known as, the Iran Contra Affair 1985–87 (in short, the illegal sale of arms to Iran and using the proceeds to fund the Contras, without Congressional approval) and wider illegal covert operations, bringing in tens of millions of dollars.
The Contras were engaged in countless human rights violations and despite this Washington knowingly continued to support this terrorist organisation. The atrocities committed by the U.S. backed group consisted of mass executions of civilians, with Washington even encouraging the murder of civilians in some cases, as well as, the use of terrorist tactics.
In 1985 an article published by Newsweek outlined the crimes being committed by the Contras. The article was entitled “Execution in the Jungle” and written by conservative student admirer of the Contras, Frank Wohl, who was travelling with them at the time in the jungle.
Wohl states: “The victim dug his own grave, scooping the dirt out with his hands… He crossed himself. Then a contra executioner knelt and rammed a k-bar knife [an American military knife] into his throat. A second enforcer stabbed at his jugular, then his abdomen. When the corpse was finally still, the contras threw dirt over the shallow grave — and walked away.”
But much of these atrocities were downplayed by the Reagan administration and U.S. media, who were engaging in white propaganda, in hopes, of legitimising their efforts of backing a right-wing terror group; a tactic Washington has continued into the 21st century.
The actually reason, according to Oxfam, that Washington initiated a trade embargo against Nicaragua, and painted the Central American nation as an immediate security risk was because the nation posed “the threat of a good example”. This is a line that Kermit D. Johnson also took in his 1997 study on low-intensity U.S. warfare. Johnson declared: “It was alarming that in just a few months after the Sandinista revolution, Nicaragua received international acclaim for its rapid progress in the fields of literacy and health.
It was alarming that a socialist-mixed-economy state could do in a few short months what the Somoza dynasty, a U.S. client state, could not do in 45 years! It was truly alarming that the Sandinistas were intent on providing the very services that establish a government’s political and moral legitimacy.” The operations conducted in Nicaragua by the U.S. were found by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1986, after the Nicaraguan government took Washington to court, to of broken international law by supporting the Contras and that the U.S. should be held responsible for the human rights abuses.
The operations pursued to the South of the American border was part of a larger mission, codenamed, Operation Condor. This program lasted from 1968 to 1989 and targeted those on the left of the political spectrum, resulting in at least 60,000 deaths, with over 400,000 being imprisoned, and at least 30,000 disappearances. The primary aim of this operation was the overthrow of regimes which did not align to U.S. interests, with Washington engaging in massive levels political repression and state terror, especially once right-wing dictators were successfully installed.
Indirectly Sponsoring ISIS and al-Qaeda
More recently, however, with the crisis that arose in Syria following the alleged “Arab Spring” those that wanted regime change eyes lit up with joy. As soon as the disturbances began to occur within Syria, Western powers like the U.S. began rubbing their hands, in hopes, of overthrowing Bashar al-Assad and installing a government more favourable to their interests.
The way in which Washington sought to do this was by supporting questionable rebel groups, who were, more often than not, affiliated with al-Qaeda and other terrorist factions, to beat Assad into submission and destroy the once, relatively, stable and secular nation.
The U.S. covert operation was codenamed, Timber Sycamore, and was launched in 2012 and officials have suggested it phased out in 2017. The primary goal of this program was to provide militant rebels who opposed Assad’s regime, most of whom had affiliations with radical religious groups (like ISIS or al-Qaeda) or were religious zealots themselves (such as with Al-Nusra Front which is a part of al-Qaeda), with military training and $7 billion dollars' worth of weaponry.
Washington backed “moderate” groups like Jaysh al-Islam (who are also supported by Saudi Arabia), whose leader Zahran Alloush, son of a Salafi cleric from Saudi Arabia, had stated that the ideological differences between him and al-Qaeda are only skin deep and insisted on his commitment to an Islamic state.
Alloush has even declared that he intended on ethnically cleansing Syria of Shi’ites and Alawites, once he consolidates control, as he sees these groups as “enemies of Islam”. Alloush and his team of jihadi bandits also committed various human rights abuses. In 2015, Alawite hostages were taken and placed into cages on the back of pick-up trucks and used as human shields, to deter Syrian government bombing.
Other alleged “moderate” groups which the U.S. backed was the major radical Islamist group, Ahrar al-Sham, which had been founded by Abu Khalid al-Suri. Al-Suri had fought alongside Bin Laden in Afghanistan and has been referred to by a Spanish court of playing a central role in al-Qaeda’s 2004 Madrid train bombings. But despite all this, Washington continued to back Al-Sham, with national security “professionals” describing the group as:
“an al-Qaeda linked group worth befriending.” Another group which benefitted, substantially, from operation Timber Sycamore was Al-Nusra Front, who are a part of al-Qaeda. Al-Nusra gained large amounts of weaponry, including U.S. assault rifles, mortars, and other explosives like grenades, from this covert operation initiated by Washington. As these groups that America backed were, quite frequently, fighting side by side with these al-Qaeda affiliated radicals and sold, even in some instances, exchanged weaponry with these groups.
The U.S. also aided various radical religious zealots in pursuit of their aim, the overthrow of Assad, even the West’s alleged arch-nemesis, ISIS. This is made clear by an admission made by Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who suggested that Washington used ISIS as a tool in subduing the Syrian government and applying the necessary pressure to negotiate Assad’s eventual removal.
A similar tactic was used by the U.S. in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War.
The events that unfolded led to many critics questioning Washington's role in the region, such as American journalist Max Blumenthal, who suggested that:
“No matter how far the Syrian armed opposition lurched toward jihadism, there always seemed to be foreign policy pundits in Washington eager to promote them.”
Since the inception of the United States, it has proceeded to meddle in sovereign nations and undermine democracy and freedom, something the goliath allegedly cares so much for.
Be it the Middle East, Latin America, or even Europe for that matter, Washington has been hell-bent on constructing a global order where they are on top. In the process of forming their global hegemony, the U.S. has funded terrorism in the far corners of the globe, and in the maintaining of their power continue to do so.