'US seeks to Balkanize Mideast'
Thu May 5, 2011 9:37AM
Interview with political observers Stephen Lendman from Chicago and Webster Tarpley from Washington
US President Barack Obama has ruled out a need for the release of photos of Osama bin Laden's body, while the news of the al-Qaeda leader's killing has raised questions worldwide.
In an interview with Press TV, Stephen Lendman, a research associate of the Center for Research on Globalization in Chicago, and Webster Tarpley, an investigative journalist from Washington, expressed their comments on the death of bin Laden. The following is a rush transcript of the interview:
Press TV: Bin Laden was blamed for being the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. According to the FBI, however, there is not even evidence showing such a connection. What are your comments on the connection between Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks -- a connection which was made by the Bush-Chaney administration?
Lendman: There is no connection whatsoever. Think of it this way: we have two topics today, 9/11 and the Sunday raid allegedly killing Bin Laden. We are talking about the big lie of our time, 9/11, and the lie of the moment: killing Bin Laden last Sunday... He died of natural causes in mid-December 2001. Who said it? Well for one thing, a Taliban official who attended his funeral years ago made the statement; former president of Pakistan, Musharraf; Benazir Bhutto before she was killed; the former FBI head of counter-intelligence; [and] other people made the same statement.
In 2002 George Bush was interviewed about Bin Laden. He [said] he did not even care about him anymore. The CIA a few years later shut down its search agency supposedly looking for Bin Laden. Why look for a dead man? So we have the big lie about 9/11. Bin Laden of course had nothing whatsoever to do with it. He gave interviews to al Jazeera several times saying he had no knowledge and no involvement in 9/11. Yet, al Jazeera twisted his statement, claiming that he admitted responsibility for it. He did not; he had nothing to do with 9/11. Your President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is right. It was an inside job.
Press TV: There are doubts about the release of the photos and images of Bin Laden's death. Obama has recently decided not to release them. Why do you think the United States decided not to release the video or photos?
Tarpley: I do not think it is profitable to try to enter too much into the details and the contradictions of this piece of theater that we have been presented with. This is an exercise in mass brainwashing. I think it is a very serious attempt to push the world in the direction of general war. The one think we can say about this pseudo-Bin Laden -- if that is really who he was -- [is] that he was not the biological Bin Laden as has been pointed out. The biological Bin Laden has not been with us for a long time. The original Bin Laden -- while he was alive -- was variously described as a dreamer, a fanatic, an ideologue, a psychotic, a bungler, a misfit...
I think the one thing we can say for sure is that this staged and manufactured incident is of course just like everything else in Bin Laden's life - or the so-called Bin Laden's life. Nothing is proven; there is no proof of any aspect of this entire story, but the one thing you can see from the intent is this is designed to create a strategic confrontation between the United States and Pakistan, and it is already gone very far in that direction. Looks like this was at least on some level not approved by the Pakistani government; we have former President Musharraf protesting against that. We have the human cry here in Washington against Pakistan. We have the Chinese government yesterday strongly stating that they are going to support Pakistan in this crisis.
We should remember that American policy in that part of the world has absolutely nothing to do with the so-called global war on terror, which is really a strategic pretext manufactured by the United States. The goal of this all is the dismemberment of Pakistan. Pakistan could serve as an energy corridor between Iran and China or between India and Europe.
Afghanistan is not enough [to act as that corridor.] The Pakistan energy corridor could be created and the goal of the US policy remains to take the Afghan civil war and to export that into Pakistan and to promote the division along the well-known lines of Punjabis, Baluchestan, [Abdolmalek] Rigi supported by NATO and so forth, and then of course Pashtunistan, which is the epicenter of all this.
So this is what we can see and I think the real question is: will this story now manufactured about Bin Laden be the equivalent of the Sarajevo assassination of June 22 1914? All we know in a six or eight or ten-week period [is] between an incident and some cataclysmic geostrategic event; a general war that might grow out of the United States overplaying this attack on Pakistan when you see that the Chinese are coming forward to offer support. I think the world situation is much more dangerous than most people are aware of.
Press TV: Ten years looking for the world's most wanted man, and his body was deposed 24 hours later into the sea. Why do you think they were too quick to get rid of the body and what was the reasoning behind this?
Lendman: You understand Islamic law. The US public believes anything the president says. Look what happened right after the incident: within 24 hours Obama got a nice bump in popularity. I think there was also an issue that he was sagging a little bit; we have a very weak economy at home; so these events are always strategically timed, whatever they may be. So supposedly getting Bin Laden is a very big event, but Obama is getting a boost distracting people from their economic woes.
It is hard to believe he is doing this for the 2012 election, because that is a year and a half away and when that election rolls around, people will not be voting some guy halfway across the world, whoever he is. My feeling is the Americans may change tactics in Afghanistan, who can know? But I honestly do not see America leaving Afghanistan.
In fact I think Afghanistan is a perfect war for America; a war that never ends, because America has a permanent war agenda. The war profiteers, the defense contractors and the private military contractors need wars to run their businesses, so Afghanistan is perfect; keep that thing going! Weapons, munitions, PMCs on the ground; this thing goes on and on, and of course Iraq is still going, and now we have got Libya, there is a possibility America could get into Syria, maybe something is brewing against Lebanon again against Hamas, and I think maybe the ultimate Middle East prize is to isolate Iran from its allied countries; the ones I just mentioned. And that would be the grand prize, but I think America is trying to reshuffle the Middle East, North Africa, Eurasian deck...
I think America wants to balkanize the whole region; just split them up in much easier controllable divisions; control the whole region with no challenge whatsoever: the resources; exploit the people; privatize everything. It is a ruthless agenda and of course the American people are harmed by this too, because we have an austerity program at home. Vital benefits are cut, so we can wage these imperial wars.
Press TV: So far there have been at least half a dozen things about the killing of Osama bin Laden that have turned out to be false. What are your comments regarding US explanations on this?
Tarpley: In terms of why Bin Laden had to be liquidated and not captured, I would read here in my book “9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA” that on November 21, 2001, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld announced that the orders were Bin Laden has to be taken dead not alive, so dead or alive was never the case. From the point of view of US imperialism, you now have a strange situation; you do not have an enemy image; you do not have this classic find field as Samuel Huntington and others talked about. It used to be the Soviets; then it was Bin Laden; who is it going to be now? I look for this to be manufactured in the coming period.
We have already heard from various voices of the CIA here that there will be revenge attacks against the United States or Europe, and he said that it would not be coming so much from al-Qaeda which is decimated, but rather from the Pakistani inter-services intelligence. Whether that is going to work as an enemy image I do not know, but we are now in a period of acute danger of these false-flag terror attacks. How might they come?
We saw the Ray Davis case in Pakistan; a CIA contractor, claimed to be a diplomat [who] really was not. According to various Pakistani sources, this person was delving into the world of terrorism including the possibility of a radiological dirty bomb. Now the radiological dirty bomb would be the pretext for the United States to cease control of the Pakistani nuclear forces. I believe that has a good chance of leading towards a general war between the two countries, and in the middle of that we have to remember that the supply line for the invaders in Afghanistan goes from Karachi across Pakistani territory for the best part of a thousand miles... Imagine the strategic insanity of a US leadership that wants to attack Pakistan at the very moment when the Arab main supply line runs through Pakistan.
This shows what the problem is, and again the occasion for this has nothing to do with the war on terror. It has everything to do with the fact that prince of Saudi Arabia went to Pakistan and set up a strategic alliance between these two countries. If the US tries to overthrow Saudi Arabia with a color revolution launched from Bahrain or more likely from Yemen, the Saudis will get a division or more of Pakistani troops and it is possible that Saudi Arabia is already under the Pakistani nuclear umbrella. So this is the real cause. That is geopolitics, and the alignment of that combined with China and to some extent with Russia.