Saturday, October 24, 2015

Russia and Syria on the Offensive

    Russia and Syria are on the Offensive

    The last time I wrote about Syria (In My September 2015 Article Russia Defends Syria, Yemen Resists) Russia had only just begun to make it's presence clear to the world in Syria. This in itself was cause for celebration as it foiled US and Turkish plans to expand their bombing campaign creating a No-Fly Zone in northern Syria to protect their terrorist bridgehead there. Since then however Russia has launched an all out air offensive destroying the massive terrorist infrastructure that has been built up weapons depots and command centers exploded across Syria. However this offensive proved only the opening move and as predicted once the terrorists had been softened up the SAA (Syrian Arab Army) went on the offensive with the aid of their allies from Hezbollah, Iran and Iraq and the brave civilian militias of the NDF (National Defense Forces.) The balance has already completely shifted in Syria and this only the beginning. Russia has not only helped to turn around the situation in Syria. With this bold move they have destroyed Washington and Israel's decades long schemes to create a "new middle east". Indeed Russia has completely shattered the US plans for global hegemony which sought to prevent the emergence of any rivals to it's power. This was known first as the Wolfowitz doctrine publicly disavowed when leaked in the New York Times in the early 90's it was secretly followed being officially adopted after 9/11 as the Bush Doctrine. With the enormous economic growth of China and now Russia's demonstration of it's military capabilities which clearly rival NATO's and have sent the pentagon into an absolute panic it is clear that the age of American hyper power is at an end. There will be no "New American Century" and the wonderful thing is that Russia could never have accomplished this without america's imperialist rampage. It was the US which forced long time enemies Russia and China into an alliance. The 35 year attempt to destroy Iraq may well lead to an Iraq allied not only with Iran but now with Russia. A new power bloc is forming in the middle east what Pepe Escobar has dubbed the "p4 + 1" composed of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia.

    The Russian Offensive exceeded all expectations instead of a repeat of subtlety of the war in Ukraine it resembled Russia's war in Georgia which managed to smash a country that NATO had armed to the teeth in a manner of days after it launched an unprovoked attack on Russian peacekeepers in the Breakaway region of South Ossetia. In other words Russia launched an all out air offensive targeted ISIS, Al Nusra, and the hundreds of other terror groups who adopt a hundred different names to create confusion but are all Al Qaeda death squads. Russia wisely choose to ignore the myth of the "moderate" rebels which is nothing more then a propaganda term meant to confuse the western public. The FSA for example are the ones who filmed themselves eating a human liver. Al Nusra carried out the chemical weapons attacks. Actually the west had a whole propaganda campaign lined up to brand Al Nusra ( Which is Al Qaeda's Syria Branch) as moderate rebels. Oh the Irony they claimed they were destroying Iraq to prevent terrorists from getting "weapons of mass destruction" now they are openly allied with terrorists who carry out chemical weapons attacks. They have even gone so far as to start praising the original Al Qaeda putting out the myth that they were horrified by the excesses of Al Qaeda in Iraq. This is nonsense all the horrors we see today in Syria were present in Afghanistan back in the 80's the torture and beheadings began then but since it was the soviets and their progressive afghan allies who were the victims no one in the corporate media bothered to report it. Wherever the CIA and special forces train their death squads you will see the same horrors from the Philippines, to Indonesia, To Vietnam to El Salvador, to Syria today. It's all part of "Psychological Operations" Thankfully this campaign to brand Al Nusra as "moderate rebels" is now rather useless. Russia intends to bomb any group that is waging war against Syria. I could only laugh as the corporate media howled in outrage about Russia bombing the wrong terrorists. Russia used the opportunity for a little diplomatic comedy  first it asked for a list of who the moderates are. If the US had complied doubtless within the hour Syrian intelligence would doubtless have provided a long an embarrassing account of each "Moderates" terrorist career and war crimes. Next Russia asked the US for a list of ISIS targets in Syria. Another joke meant to expose the US phony war on terror. If they had actually provided accurate information Russia could bomb america's terrorists proxies while wondering aloud why the US had failed to do so. If they provided fake info Russia could have made a laughingstock of US intel as Syria is now under constant Russian Drone and Satellite surveillance. Next Russia requested a list of places the US didn't want it to bomb. Russia's long suffering diplomatic corps exemplified by the long suffering Lavrov is clearly enjoying their revenge for all the lies, insults, and threats they have been subjected to since the US backed coup in Ukraine. They managed to completely fool the US state department who thought all the Russian talk about diplomatic solution in Syria meant Russia was ready to sacrifice Assad when in reality Russia was building a coalition that will both save Syria and reshape the region and the world.

   Thus despite the Media war and the childish tantrums of the imperialists in Washington Russia continued it's methodical air campaign. Terrorists bases and arms depots were targeted. The whole country was under their surveillance their goal was to destroy the terrorists weapon supplies while cutting off any attempts to resupply them. But this was only the first part of their plan. Once they had the terrorists softened up Russia the SAA, Iran, and Hezbollah began to plan a major ground offensive aimed at finally securing Homs, Aleppo, and Damascus. The terrorists are about to get a taste of what the Ukrainian Fascists suffered last summer and the Germany Nazi's experienced long ago. They are about to learn the meaning of the word Cauldron. They are about to be surrounded cut off from supplies and merciless shelled until they die or surrender. In fact there are rumors floating around that the Novorossians may show up. Of course it's best to wait until things actually happen before believing anything these days.  Russia and it's enemies are having fun spreading all sorts of rumors. First supposedly the Chinese were coming, then the Belorussians, then the Chechens, now the Novorossians. I think Russia will send land forces as Douglas Valentine once explained from a military perspective it is highly advantageous to have ones troops always engaged so they gain combat experience becoming "battle hardened" as they say. Thus I suspect that Russia and the other CSTO (CSTO Collective Security Treaty Organization the Russian NATO) countries will send troops to Syria on a permanent basis. They are already expanding their bases to accommodate Naval, Air, and Ground Forces and both Russia and Syria have been dropping hints. First Russia said it would send troops if asked. Then Syria said it would ask if it needed to.  Thus I wouldn't be surprised if one day soon the pentagon wakes up to a nasty surprise a CSTO army in Syria.

   However in the Meantime it is the Heroes of the Syrian Arab Army and their allies who are fighting a slow but steady offensive on many fronts. It is the SAA who are the true heroes of the war on Syria for four years they have fought to defend their country always managing to fight on  against the endless stream of foreign death squads poring into the country from Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. 75,000 of them have already given their lives. These numbers show that the myth of the Ruthless Syrian army is nonsense as Eva Bartlett explains their casualties are so high because in order to spare civilian lives they choose  a more dangerous form of house to house fighting to slowly liberate towns instead of merely obliterating towns that had become terrorist strongholds.Nearly every family in Syria has lost a brother, a father, or a son in this war fighting on the front line. Of course Syria's women are equally brave many are fighting on the front lines to defend their country. If it had not been for so many people ready to bravely sacrifice their lives to save Syria the country would have been destroyed long before Russia decided to decisively intervene. Now with Russian assistance they are again on the offensive. Damascus the long suffering capital was finally free of the sound of being shelled by the terrorists. Homs is nearly pacified. Aleppo is being encircled. They are on the offensive in Latakia. Kuweires Airbase which has been surrounded and under siege for over 2 Years is about to be rescued as the SAA and NDF slowly force their way into ISIS territory opening a route towards the base which has been solely supplied by helicopter up to now. To me this base symbolizes the whole war in Syria surrounded on all sides by enemies but bravely resisting no matter what. Fighting with the SAA of course are Hezbollah who earned undying Glory for their two victories over Israel. First they forced Israel to Withdraw from most of southern Lebanon which it had been Occupying since the 1982 Israeli  invasion. That took years but when Israel tried to invade again in 2006 Hezbollah forced them to withdraw in weeks. That was when the plan to destroy Syria was set into motion when it refused to cut ties with Iran or Hezbollah. However as Mahdi Nazemroaya reminds us the US actually considered invading Syria in 2003 using their chemical weapons as an excuse. Hezbollah's heroic assistance to Syria will never be forgotten. Iran is also fighting alongside Syria the bravery of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp generals is amazing. While western generals usually operate far from the front lines in almost complete safety the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp sends it's generals to the front lines to act as advisers and quite a few have died on the dangerous front lines of Syria's war. Most recent to die was Brigadier General Reza Khavaru.  He died only days after General Hossen Hamedani was killed. Thus amidst all the excitement of the Russian air offensive we shouldn't forget all the brave Syrians, Iranians, and Hezbollah fighters who have given their lives and who are still giving their lives in defense of Syria.

    Thanks to the coordinated Offensive by Russia, Syria and Hezbollah the tide of the war is already shifting. The terrorists and their sponsors are in a panic. One Hilarious headline claimed hundreds of jihadi's were shaving their beards and disguising themselves as women to flee. Qatar threatened to attack Russia but unless it wants to be renamed Gazprom Peninsula I'd advise them against launching an attack on Russia. As Pepe Escobar quoting Bandar Bin Sultan aka Bandar Bush explained "Qatar is 300 people and a television station." (Al Jazeera) Although Russia is usually pragmatic while it is in the middle east it may as well make the GCC monarchs worst fears come true. I say it is time for a string of revolutions in the gulf monarchies. They should start by aiding Yemen it would be the perfect opportunity to give the saudis their own little Afghanistan as revenge. Plus Yemen is of vital geostrategic importance and South Yemen was once allied to the Soviet Bloc. Then a tiny bit of help and encouragement is all the people in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the rest of the GCC need to rebel. The perfect revenge for Ukraine. It is time these corrupt monarchs got a taste of their own medicine. "Off with their heads!" Of course that would probably push the US over the edge as it would mean all the world's biggest oil producers united in one bloc under Russian protection. Still I'm glad to help give imperialist war planners sleepless nights worrying about it.

   Russia's offensive is meant not only to crush the NATO death squads occupying the country. It is also meant to send a clear signal to the west not to mess with Russia. America spends more on weapons then the rest of the world combined but that is in part because the whole thing is a swindle. For example it spent a fortune developing the disastrous F-35 fighter plane. It builds huge expensive aircraft carriers that would last about 5 minutes in the event of war with Iran, Russia or China. Hence Russia's other main goal is to demonstrate to the world it's military might. Thus it hopes that whatever madman or madwoman America selects will be restrained by a now humbled pentagon. It has used the war in Syria to unveil some nasty surprises first unleashing 26 Cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea which flew over Iran and Iraq hitting targets in Syria. In response the US media made up claims that a missile had crashed in Iran but failed to produce any evidence. The important thing was that the US had no idea Russia had such long range Cruise missiles. The next nasty surprise the Russians had in store was to set up anti-air defenses effectively sealing the country off from NATO planes. Finally according to Pepe Escobar they unleashed their EM weaponry capability completely blinding NATO not just in Syria but even in Ukraine. Again the US had no idea Russia had this capability. And again their was utter panic in the Pentagon. No doubt Russia has even more nasty surprises in store for the pentagon.

    History will probably see this as the Stalingrad moment of World War 4. Stalingrad was the moment the tide turned forever against the Nazis during World War 2. World War 4 is the war that immediately began with the end of the "Cold War" which I prefer to call World War 3 the war on the "Third World." While the US justified fighting this war based on their embarrassing propaganda of an "international communist conspiracy" and presented it as resisting "Soviet Aggression." However as soon as  the USSR collapsed the US literally re-doubled it's war on the planet killing millions in places like Iraq and the DRCongo. This is actually statistically provable the number of wars doubled after the end of the cold war. This proved that the soviets had been right all along it was always about American Imperialism and the USSR had been a restraining influence on the american empire. This is why I see most of the various wars of the past 25 years as one single war a World War 4 for total US dominance in reality the dictatorship of a few hundred billionaires over the billions of people living on this planet. While much of the world lives on less then a dollar a day, with no access to health care or even drinkable water millions have been slaughtered to keep it that way. No doubt America's soft power has killed far more people then even it's bloody wars through the forced imposition of America's forced austerity policies that have forced hundreds of millions into poverty, and spread hunger, disease, and ignorance. Few in the "1st world" realize the sheer scale of horror that has been created around the planet. Only the wise economic planning of China and the move towards socialism of Latin America inspired by the late great Hugo Chavez have seen these trends move in the opposite direction. China has lifted 500 Million people out of poverty it should be said in their honor since few seem willing to sing their praises. To return to my point since the fall of the soviet union we have all been living though World War 4. In Most countries this war is primarily economic as the global oligarchs attempt to destroy all the gains made during the cold war by the people. A subtle war on hospitals, schools, pensions, all in the name of producing pure capitalism. However in many places it has been a much bloodier war an attempt to destroy any state that opposes them to destabilize the planet as excuse to further expand the scope of America's overstretched military power. To give a partial list Panama was the first victim of World War 4, then Iraq, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, DRCongo, Colombia, Sudan, Somalia. This was all before 9/11 when America was attacked by it's allies from Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia the infamous Al Qaeda. I don't have time to go into it here but obviously 9/11 was carried out by US allies with funding from other US allies and the co-operation of elements of the american government. This is when World War 4 quickly became all too Obvious. Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Mali, Nigeria along with  dozens of unknown little dirty wars across the planet in fact many of the 90's war are still going on like DRCongo and Somalia. World War 4 is the largest ugliest war in history. The goal is not to create stable little right wing dictatorships like during the cold war(See My October 2015 Article "Operation Condor") Instead the goal is to create "Balkanization" and failed states. Yugoslavia was shattered into a bunch of tiny NATO EU colonies it's once vibrant socialist economy dismantled. Fascists(Croatia), Gangsters(Kosovo), Wahhabi terrorists(Bosnia & Kosovo) and neoliberal puppets (Serbia) were installed in newly destroyed Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was the lucky one the true goal is best revealed in places like Libya and DRCongo where Death Squads wage endless war on the populace. This is what the Empire of Chaos hoped for in Syria and still hopes for.

   Sorry to repeat all this history but to truly see the importance of Putin's move into Syria we must view world war 4 in all it's scope. No one knows how many millions have died so far in this war which reaches all the way from Western Africa across Eurasia. It is being fought in the middle east and in central Asia, In Ukraine, In caucuses, southern Russia and Eastern China. The Central Front on this war is currently Syria an important Geopolitical Pivot point. Those familiar with geopolitics will know that Central Asia is the Key area for controlling eurasia which is why the US is so pleased to have an endless war to fight in Afghanistan once a vital link in the silk road which China is attempting to recreate with it's new silk road strategy. However there are other very important Geopolitical points according to Mackinder, Central Africa is another heartland for example. The Balkans are another area of vital strategic importance the original heartland. Notice the pattern all these spots were chosen for US wars (DRCongo in Central Africa and Yugoslavia in the Balkans )Finally there is what was then called Greater Syria which then included territories the french and British split off to form Lebanon and Israel/Palestine. This Area is vital for controlling the Mediterranean. Russia has a naval base there at Tartous. This is doubtless one of the reasons Syria has been targeted for destruction by the Empire Of Chaos. But it is also one of the reasons Russia has refused to abandon it's ally Syria. By intervening in Syria however Russia has not only acted to save Syria it has also disrupted the entire balance of power in the region. Iraq is already being sucked into the Russian orbit since they are no fools they know full well that ISIS is controlled by the US and it's allies. Any goodwill the nuclear deal bought the US in Iran has been completely overshadowed by this timely reminder of who their true friends are. Even the Puppet government in Afghanistan is now dreaming of Russian support and the Vice president of Afghanistan actually met with Ramzy Kadyrov the colorful leader of Chechnya. Kadyrov is someone else who doesn't get enough appreciation he is doubtless the first truly 21st Century Politician and was recently in the news with his offer to lead 20,000 Chechen troops into the war on ISIS in Syria. Next he released a video of himself catching a snake in mid air strongly resembling a movie Ninja. It's only a matter of time before he becomes a Pop culture Icon.

   Last year I made a wild prediction that Iraq might one day be allied to Russia ( in my July 2014 article "Fall of Slavyansk, End of Iraq") . This was because Russia had provided vital military aid to Maliki in the aftermath of ISIS's big offensive in Iraq last Summer. Of course Maliki was quickly ousted in his place the cypher Haidar al-Abadi became the new prime minister. Yet now it is time for Maliki's revenge his old allies are calling for a vote to ask Russia to replace the US. Iraq is disgusted by America's phony war on terror and US, NATO, GCC, and Israeli support for ISIS are well known facts in the region even if the west still lives in a fantasy world. Iraq's US trained army remains a joke. the ruthless Iraqi Shia Militias veterans of the CIA terror campaign aimed at ethnicly cleansing Iraq's once diverse populace along strictly sectarian lines are the main force willing to fight ISIS but the US refuses to cooperate with them. It's a murky topic but clearly these militias originally which were created by Iran like the Badr Brigade, then controlled by the CIA and used as death squads and torturers in the so Called "Salvador" Option which was really a continuation of the phoenix program developed in Vietnam (See my April 2015 article "The Phoenix Program") These forces are now once again allied to Iran and Iraq's central government so the US has refused to work with them. Also of course the US wants to carve a Sunni state out of western Iraq and Eastern Syria and so was never serious about stopping ISIS at all. As predicted their territory in Iraq proved a base for further attacks on Syria like the one that captured the Ancient City of Palmyra. Thus Maliki's party still the largest in Iraq is now calling for a vote in Iraq's parliament on requesting Russia's aid. Even if this vote is unsuccessful as the US is threatening Iraq not to allow Russia to expand it's air campaign into Iraq it's to late to prevent a de-facto alliance. Russia Iran Iraq and Hezbollah have already set up an intelligence sharing center their first big success was to hit ISIS's figurehead leader Omar al-Baghdadi who rumor has it is now in a hospital in Turkey. Iran is already deeply involved in Iraq and with it's strengthened cooperation with Russia due to the war in Syria Russian influence is bound to grow in Iraq (a former soviet ally.) What an irony 35 years of Imperialist scheming to destroy Iraq beginning with the Iran-Iraq War, then the Gulf War, the sanctions, then the Iraq War which together killed millions of Iraqis and yet despite it all Iraq is now not only allied with Iran but now with Russia as well.

   Russia's intervention in Syria is the greatest example of Internationalist solidarity since Cuba intervened in Angola, foiled a South African invasion and helped bring down apartheid in both Namibia and South Africa ending the last vestige of old style colonialism in Africa. I believe it may be the most decisive historical moment since Stalingrad. From this moment on the American empire is on the decline. World War 4 is far from over but a decisive shift has already occurred in the world balance of power. The return of a Multi Polar world long hoped for has finally and decisively arrived. This grim age of horror and Austerity that began between 1989-1991 is over. A new era has dawned in the world. The resistance of tiny Syria, against so many enemies may end in finally freeing the world from the empire of chaos.
Death to Imperialism!
Long Live the Resistance!


You Can read about  war in Angola in my 4 part series of Articles First From September 2014 there is "Che Guevara in the Congo" and "Castro vs Kissinger in Angola" and from February 2015 "The CIA in Africa" and "Cuba fought to free South Africa"

Pepe Escobar Wrote some Great articles on the War in Syria Below are his in 3 depth accounts of the pentagon's 3 Nasty surprises

Eva Bartlett posted the definitive article debunking the anti-syrian propaganda spewed out nonstop book mark it so you can give it to people who still believe the transparent myths about the war on Syria

To follow the war in Syria day to day Syria 360 is the place to go

At Syria 360 there is a daily compilation of reports on the war here is the most recent example

Putin Gave a Historic speech at the Valdai meeting which I didn't have time to discuss but is well worth reading

Follow the further adventures of Ramzan Kadyrov and other events in the Caucuses and Central Asia at Christoph Germann's New Great Game Round Up

Friday, October 9, 2015

Operation Condor

   Operation Condor: The CIA, Fascism, and Murder in Latin America

   The US has spent the past 100 Years (and longer) installing murderous dictatorships throughout Latin America. Operation Condor was thus the logical outgrowth of American Foreign Policy dating back to the Monroe Doctrine. Operation Condor was a CIA backed plan to kidnap and torture and kill exiles who had escaped the (CIA installed) fascist military dictatorships in their South American home countries. It was also a secret multinational network operating throughout South America involved in coups, drug dealing, False Flag Terror, and above all massive state terror against their own people. This article is closely related both to my previous articles on the CIA like My February 2014  "Inside the CIA" and My April 2015 "The Phoenix Program" as well as my series on the CIA and Fascism from March 2014 "America, The CIA, and Fascism" and From June 2014 both "Operation Gladio" and "Nazis and the CIA" This is because Operation Condor was closely related to and grew out of both GLADIO in Europe and The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. I am basing this article on the brilliant book by J. Patrice McSherry "Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America" It is a must read both for understanding the Cold War and the War on Terror. McSherry discusses not just Operation Condor but the US covert war on the planet what I today and Condor's operatives back then called World War 3 ("the Cold War"). I Re-Read this book for a third time for this article yet this book manages to blow my mind every time read it. Thanks to all the research I've done for this blog I now know far more then I did at the time about the CIA and covert wars and this made re-reading the book an explosive experience because of all the connections of Operation Condor to other "Dirty Wars" and CIA programs.

   McSherry herself does a masterful job of explaining the parallels pointing out the connections to the Phoenix Program and Operation Gladio. She points out that Operation Condor was part of a global pattern of the creation of "Parallel State" structures to serve what she calls the "National Security State." By "parallel state" she means the network of intelligence, police, military, and paramilitary death squads who's actions are kept secret and unaccountable. "GLADIO" (technically GLADIO was only the name of Italian branch but it has since been applied to describe the whole network of secret armies in Europe founded in every NATO and even most neutral countries) GLADIO was one such network, so was the Phoenix Program which terrorized not just Vietnam but Cambodia and Laos as well. Operation Condor was not only modeled on these programs it was directly connected to them. Phoenix program veterans in a renamed program called "Project X" taught torture at the "School of the Americas" where many Condor operatives were trained and indoctrinated in Fascist US national security doctrine which taught them to see anyone whether, revolutionary or reformist as a threat, to view the people of their countries as the enemy. Their goal was not to stamp out acts they didn't like but dangerous thoughts. As General Jorge Videla of Argentina put it "A terrorist is not just someone with a gun or a bomb but also someone who spreads ideas that are contrary to Western and Christian Civilization" All this was carefully taught to them for decades by US advisers from USAID, the CIA, Military, and Special Forces. American Special Forces were largely made up of european fascist veterans of world war 2 in their early days I should mention. Operation Condor was also directly connected to GLADIO it subcontracted the attempted murder of Latin American exiles like Bernardo Leighton and his wife in Rome out to infamous fascist GLADIO operatives like Stefano Delle Chiaie. Also like GLADIO Condor carried out false flag assassination pretending it's victims had been killed by the left. In one case the Pinochet regime in Chile attempted to portray 119 of it's murdered Condor victims as having killed each other during an attempted invasion. Also like GLADIO (which was behind 1 coup in Greece and 2 in Turkey) the operation Condor Network would carry out coups in their countries installing dictatorships in Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Like the Phoenix Program Gladio was primarily an attempt to conduct a campaign of Kidnapping, torture, and finally murder. If you read McSherry's book you'll also learn about Condors connections to the Wars in Algeria and Angola, P-2 in Italy, the Iran- Contra affair, the World anti-Communist League, and to the CIA's secret army of Cuban exile terrorists (who were equally connected to a lot of covert wars and deep events they too were outgrowths of GLADIO). More importantly you will begin to see a terrifying pattern as in the name of freedom and democracy all over the world the US actually installed dictators and trained death squads to make war on the planet. From Africa to Asia to Latin America the Same pattern takes place  often with the same network of US officials famous names like Henry Kissinger, as well as lesser known figures like Vernon Walters and Duane Clarridge, all three were involved in running both Gladio and Condor as Mcsherry points out. It was the same story all over the world because the American Empire used the same methods all over the world. Operation Condor was both the "Cold War" and the "War on Terror" in Miniature. It typified the cold war with it's paranoid anti-communist crusade against any resistance to poverty and injustice. And with it's black sites for torture and Assassination programs it like the Phoenix Program formed the template for the war on Terror. Actually Condor Operatives falsely claimed to be battling "terrorists" as a means to justify their atrocities and manipulated the media to create panic over phony stories concocted as part of their PsyWar. Also with it's creation  of parallel state of death Squads who's actions were both visible and deniable and which conducted a terror campaign against the populace it prefigured the wars on Iraq, Libya and Syria. (The book was written before this strategy of using terrorist death squads as US proxies  became obvious  these are my views not necessarily McSherry's) This was no accident as Condor operatives helped train the contras in the war on Nicaragua as well as the Death Squads of El Salvador that both formed the model for US backed death squads in Iraq who have since expanded across Africa and Eurasia. Of course the war covert war on Afghanistan that gave birth to Al Qaeda was also connected to Condor through the Iran Contra Scandal.

   Latin America was in desperate need of revolution or at least reform. The majority lived in poverty while a tiny and brutal oligarchy owned everything. All over Latin America people were trying to organize change. The Cuban revolution of 1959 had provided an example of heroic defiance. Even elements of the catholic church were beginning to demand social change and liberation theology was spreading across the continent. Workers and peasants were demanding change. Communists and Socialists were working for a better future. This is what had the Pentagon and the CIA concerned. They were determined that there would be "no more Cubas". In order to prevent any form of social change a whole generation of revolutionaries, reformers, even moderates who wanted to merely to maintain democracy would be wiped out. Latin America was set back 40 years and aside from the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua in 1979 the world would have to wait until 1999 and the Election of Chavez before Latin America could finally become the beacon of hope it would have been long ago if not for the US and it's murderous operation Condor. As McSherry explains The main targets would be elected leaders, priests, nuns, supporters of governments they had overthrown, as well as Union members, students, peasants, and other activists. They then moved to "obliterate all traces of leftist thought in their societies." It was terror on a mass scale meant to terrorize whole societies into submission.

   McSherry points out that the roots of Condor began well before the official program began in the 70's. It had it's roots in the long practice of installing dictators like Somoza in Nicaragua and training ruthless armies like the Nicaraguan National Guard to keep them in power all in service of corporate capitalism of course. The forces that would grow into Condor were further strengthened during the Cold War with the creation of the CIA and with programs to train and indoctrinate the military and police of the country in their new counter-insurgency role. The French played a large role in formulating counter-insurgency theory during their Dirty wars to maintain control of Indochina and Algeria. They would be involved in training both the American Military and their Latin American Counterparts. Former Nazis would also train the americans and Latin Americans. However the US would play the primary role. Guatemala was their early laboratory for Counter-Terror after Overthrowing Arbenz they began training death squads there and it was there where the disappearances began. To disappear meant to be kidnapped  tortured then killed with the body buried in secret or left out to send a message. Tens of thousands of people in Latin America would be disappeared in coming decades. Colombia would also become an important area to test out theories of counter-insurgency and death squads. Sadly both Colombia and Guatemala both still live under death squad terror today. Colombia is still being used as a model for covert war (Plan Colombia) resulting in a a terrifying "Drug War" in Mexico that is seldom mentioned despite more then 50,000 people being killed in recent years.

   However it was the 1964 Coup in Brazil that really set the Condor network in motion. Goulart the reformist president was ousted, a military dictatorship was installed and the secret police went on a rampage of torture and murder forming death squads and coordinating police, military, intelligence in a war on the people of Brazil. Goulart may have later been killed using Sarin to induce a heart attack McSherry points out. I was definitely reminded of the death of Hugo Chavez and the many left wing Latin American leaders who have come down with cancer in recent years. Sometimes condor attempted to stage accidents to eliminate their victims and it's most secret aspect were it's "Phase III" operations it's international assassination campaign which targeted prominent political and military figures who were in exile most infamously killing former chilean diplomat and Pinochet critic Orlando Letelier in Washington DC with a car bomb. (Fun film trivia fact this incident was fictionalized in Scarface where Tony Montana's refusal to go along leads to his downfall) Unfortunately I'm skipping ahead again so to return following the coup in Brazil the system of state terror there which developed with the advice of the CIA, AID, and the pentagon was to influence the military and the police of the whole region. The CIA would send Brazilian death squads and their state terror apparatus to train the military, police, and intelligence of the other countries. Thanks to the CIA, the Defense department, and the school of the Americas, and the Conference of American Armies, there was already an integrated approach to the Police, military and intelligence forces of the whole region. The Police were intentionally militarized their role changed from fighting crime to hunting down subversives and they along with the police of much of the world were trained by the americans in brutal methods including torture at their International Police Academy. A multinational network of military and intelligence were formed they heads met regularly in Panama at the school of the America's. Brazil would play a role in the coups in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The terrible results of this influence were best exemplified in Uruguay which would undergo a slow motion coup. From being known as the Switzerland of Latin America Uruguay became the torture capital. The Uruguayan security forces were trained in torture by Dan Mitrione who had earlier trained the Brazilian forces in torture. Mitrione a small town policeman recruited by the CIA was an expert in torture his motto, the precise amount of pain, in the precise place, for a precise amount of time and he viewed himself as a "technician" not a sadist. He would later meet a well deserved fate at the hands of Uruguay's Tupamaro Guerrillas who kidnapped and later executed him. (Costa Gravas made a movie about it "State of Siege") Back in America Mitrione was portrayed as a Hero murdered by senseless terrorists.

 It was after the coup in Chile on September 11, 1973 which overthrew the socialist Allende and Installed the Neo-Liberal Fascist Pinochet regime that Condor would truly begin. A Proto Condor would begin immediately after the coup. Exiles who had fled from brutal regimes were kidnapped tortured and sent back to their home countries for more torture and usually death. With American permission and on their advice they even kidnapped and killed two US citizens radical journalists. Charles Horman and Frank Terrucci who had discovered too much about the CIA role in the coup. Condor was closely connected to surveillance of Americans as McSherry points out. At Fort Holabird in Maryland where Latin American military and intelligence were trained the army also kept files on 10 million American Subversives. Horman and Terrucci had long been under surveillance for Anti-War, Left wing activities and their is strong evidence the US gave their files to Chile's CIA created DINA spy agency and gave the green light for their deaths. (Costa-Gavras made a movie about it called "Missing") Chile became the new center for spreading state terror through Latin America. In 1974 a meeting was held to further increase cooperation in hunting down and killing exiles. Throughout 1974 the number of kidnappings and murders conducted by Condor Steadily increased. At an Abandoned garage called Orletti Motors what we would call today a black site had been set up. It was a veritable torture factory staffed by a multinational force of torturers. Many were veterans of the Argentine fascist death Squad triple A. It was a hell on earth an McSherry gives many horrifying tales of the rape and torture that went on there. Children were tortured in front of their parents. People were starved for weeks. Some went insane from their torture. Most would then be sent back home for further torture and execution although Uruguay preferred to let it's victims live.

   Finally it was in Nov 28, 1975 that Operation Condor was officially established it was named in honor of the Chilean Hosts of the meeting the Condor is their national bird. Colonel Contreras head of Chile's DINA (and on CIA payroll since 73) Was known as Condor one and Signed the Secret Charter on behalf of Chile. Colonel Benito Guanes Serrano signed for Paraguay. Captain Joses Casas of Argentina, Major Carlos Mena of Bolivia and Colonel Jose a Fons of Uruguay all signed. Ecuador and Peru would later join as well. They agreed they needed a secret communications network and a computer database which the US military provided as a front for the CIA. Thus they could all share their massive lists of subversives. Within each country Condor formed a parallel state a secret network of operatives. In Argentina for example Within each military regiment for example their would be a couple of members who answered only to the high level Condor Operatives that headed the military or intelligence. GT (Grupo De Tarea) "task forces" (death squads) were assigned to hunt down subversives.

    McSherry explains that Condor had three levels of activity. First Mutual cooperation among military intelligence agencies to coordinate surveillance and share intel. Exiles were constantly tracked and spied upon. Second covert action to detain and disappear exiles then transfer them to their home countries for torture and likely death. The third level was the top secret "phase III" their international assassination program in which teams of assassins traveled worldwide eliminating their opponents mainly politicians they feared could mobilize opposition to them. Many phase III operations were GLADIO style operations meant to blame the left for their crimes. For example One victim  General Joaquin Zenteno who was also deeply involved in waging the dirty war but who was considered a threat by Bolivian dictator Hugo Banzer was killed by the fictitious "Che Guevarra International Brigade." Phase III was also closely connected to the CIA's and secret army of cuban exiles and the fascist Gladio network both of whom were subcontracted to carry out phase III assassinations. Famous Phase III victims included Zelmar Michelini and Hector Guiterez Ruiz two politicians from Uruguay. Chilean General Carlos Pratts and his wife Sofia Cuthbert killed in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1974. the attempted assassination Chilean politician Bernardo Leighton and His wife Ana Fresno in Rome (1975) which was subcontracted to Italian fascists linked to GLADIO. Orlando Letelier former former minister of Chile under Allende, and a fierce critic of the Pinochet regime was killed in Washington DC in 1976 along with Ronni Moffit a US citizen in a car bombing carried by DINA (chilean intelligence) and cuban exiles with the probable involvement of then CIA Director George H.W. Bush. Finally Bolivia's former president Jose Torres killed in Buenos Aires in 1976. They may have killed even more famous victims as they had the ability to induce heart attacks (using Sarin) and stage accidents. As I pointed out earlier this aspect of condor seems to have lived on doubtless now under direct CIA control with a wave of cancer striking Latin America's progressive new leaders which has already killed that revolutionary giant Hugo Chavez. Just my own and many others speculation of course but it should be remembered that the CIA had it's own evil scientific genius head of "technical services" Sidney Gotlieb more well known for his role in MK-Ultra but who also made a deep study of toxins poisons and diseases as tools of assassination both Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba nearly became victims. Thus way back in the 50's and 60's the CIA could already cause heart attacks and cancer and far more exotic diseases no one knows what they are capable of today.

    McSherry Describes what she sees as the six defining characteristics of Operation Condor. First it specialized in cross border and foreign operations against exiles. It was thus only a part of the much broader repression carried out by the militaries of their own countries. Operations were conducted by specialized units  within the intelligence agencies of the region. In Chile for example DINA's Foreign department. In Argentina the extraterritorial task force of Battalion 601. Condor operatives were posted as military attaches in neighboring countries. Condor allowed exiles to be targeted with impunity. To give one example there is the tale of a talented Brazilian Pianist Francisco Tenorio Junior known as "Tenorinho". He was picked up on a random search in downtown Buenos Aires because his beard made him a suspected guerrilla. When they found out he was a musician he became  even more suspect in their eyes. Worse still they considered his Conductor Vincius de Moraes to be a communist. He was beaten, then tortured with electric shocks on what his torturers jokingly called the barbecue. Then he was waterboarded already a CIA favorite. Meanwhile his friends were desperately searching for him and trying to get him released. Unfortunately for him he learned that the highest levels of his government  were involved when they came by to question him and he was shot for knowing to much. He was only one of thousands of victims. I selected his story merely to show the tragic absurdity and horror of Operation Condor.

The Second defining feature of Operation Condor was it's multinational character. It united militaries that had formerly seen themselves as adversaries with long histories of suspicion and conflict. On the operational level Condor Units were made up of men from two or more countries organized on the model of US special forces specializing in unconventional warfare, psychological operations and "counter terror" i.e. terrorism. Captives were interrogated by a multinational force of torturers. Thus a prisoner would often be interrogated on their activities in every country they had ever visited by paranoid fascists who saw dangerous subversion in the most harmless activities. As mentioned earlier condor attacks were often carried out as false flags and falsely blamed on the left. Condor units reported to top army and intelligence commanders outside of ordinary military command channels.

    The third characteristic according to McSherry is the the "precise and selective targeting of dissidents." It differed from the broader more arbitrary disappearances conducted by these US installed national security states. Condor was meant to decapitate the leadership both of Revolutionary, popular and leftist organizations but also any leaders who opposed military dictatorship. Thus it was very similar to operation phoenix meant to be the surgical arm of the counter insurgency. It targeted not just revolutionary forces (who are entitled under international law to due process, and freedom from torture and arbitrary execution) As McSherry explains "It Also targeted union leaders, social democrats, Christian democrats, nationalists, dissident generals, former presidents and congressional representatives, and others who were opposed to military dictatorship and repression in their countries."

The Fourth Characteristic was it's "parastatal structure." I'll let her explain "I define Parastatal structures as the forces and infrastructure of "Black World" special operations. This Hidden part what I term the parallel state includes parapolice and paramilitary forces harbored and directed by the state, with access to a vast shadow infrastructure including secret prisons, fleets of unmarked cars and unregistered aircraft, unofficial cemeteries, secure communication systems, and other parallel structures funded by "black budgets." In Latin America the parallel state augmented the lethal capabilities of the military dictatorships while allowing them the appearance of legality and a certain legitimacy" In other words the parallel state allowed them to get away with murder and a host of other crimes. Thanks to the parallel state the crimes of the military dictatorship were both visible and deniable. Once kidnapped by the parallel state a victim was held in complete secrecy, tortured, killed their body burned or thrown out to sea. The victims family had no way of knowing what had happened and most still don't know the exact details all these decades later.

  The fifth characteristic of Operation Condor was it's "Advanced Technology" and access to huge resources. Condor employed a computer database of thousands of individuals suspected of subversion. The CIA helped them set one up it was similar to the ones the CIA set up during the phoenix program in Vietnam or for the Fascist colonels in Greece after their coup. Condor  also used a top secret advanced communications system part of the US militaries communication system doubtless supplied on CIA advice. It was called Condortel. They used it to track their victims and order their death squads into action. Thus throughout all Condors murderous operations which the US officially generally tried to deny or downplay the US government knew everything they were doing since they were obviously able to listen in on their own system.

   The sixth Characteristic of Condor was it's "use of criminal syndicates and extremist organizations and networks to carry out operations, especially Phase III assassinations. while Condor was an alliance among military states, it employed civilians and paramilitaries, another aspect of it's parallel nature." Highly sensitive phase III Style assassins were usually carried out by people not in the military but by "special agents." Of course I've already discussed their use of cuban exiles and Italian fascists to carry out high profile assassinations. McSherry introduces  the shadowy figure of Michael Townley an American who worked for DINA and probably the CIA although they deny it because of his role in the infamous Orlando Letelier assassination. In addition to his jobs for DINA and the CIA Townley was also connected to Latin American fascist groups. Townley worked within the Chilean fascist paramilitary organization Patria y Libertad during the Allende years(DINA was only founded after the coup). He also worked closely with Argentinian death squads Milicia, Libertadores de America and Triple A. Triple A was the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance composed of police right wing military and gangsters and it appears again and again throughout McSherry's book committing the most horrifying tortures and murder. For example at the infamous Black site Orletti Motors many of the torturers were recruited from Triple A. Between 1973-76 Triple A conducted a GLADIO style campaign of terror and psychological operations to help facilitate the 76 coup. After the coup Triple A was integrated into the state terror apparatus and spun off into new death squads.  Townley is  worthy of an article or a book in his own right he along with James Blystone were two probable CIA advisers to condor. In addition to working with fascists Condor also worked with Gangsters and drug dealers. No doubt you could also write a whole book on the role of Condor in drug trafficking. McSherry concentrates instead on it's role as a torture and assassination program but as with GLADIO and phoenix these parallel structures were also perfect for smuggling drugs. Thus Condor operatives along with notorious Nazi exile Klaus Barbie would carry out the infamous 1980 "Cocaine Coup" in Bolivia which McSherry discusses.

    One fascinating chapter of the book called "condor commanders and operatives" gives fascinating details of the careers of some of the top Condor members.  Claudia Vallejos for example was trained by both the Nazi exiles in Argentina, the Brazilians and the US special forces. Infamous sadist Osvaldo Romo Mena worked closely with the nazis in Colonia Dignidad (another infamous black site where many were tortured and killed) . Another Juan Battista was trained by the Navy Seals served in Vietnam and was Condors man in New York city spying on the exiles there before being transferred to central America to train death squads he was a close associate of Oliver North. America was the secret extra member as this story, the Orlando Letelier assassination and CIA deputy director Vernon Walters mysterious trip to Asuncion(you'll have to read the book) make clear. I don't have time to go into it here but clearly Condor was also related to infamous programs like Cointelpro and the CIA's operation Chaos, as well as military intelligence programs that surveilled american subversives. At least three americans were killed by condor.

  Condors final expansion was into Central America. As I pointed out in many ways it was a return home since south america's dirty wars owed much to the template of Guatemala. Central America even had it's own proto-condor dating back to 1963 called Condeca. However with the 1979  Sandanista revolution in Nicaragua Condor was brought into central America. In 1976 With the Letelier assassination Chile was under the spotlight and so the center of Condor moved to Argentina which had just had a recent coup. Argentina waged the most brutal dirty war on it's people in South America  30,000 people were disappeared in a few years. Argentina became a CIA proxy used to train the already brutal central American death squads to be more efficient. After Somaza's fall they also began training the nicaraguan contras and they had already been training Somoza's brutal forces. Rene Aubisson infamous God Father of Death Squads asked for Argentinian help training his death squads at an infamous 1980 meeting of the World Anti-Communist league. At first they trained the death squads in Argentina but later switched to sending advisers out to central America. After the falklands war Argentina cut their level of assistance in revenge for the US siding with Britain and the CIA was forced to take a more direct hand leading eventually to the Iran Contra scandal. The brutal wars waged with the help of condor would be incredibly bloody. In Honduras 2,000 would die, In Guatemala 150,000 were disappeared, in El Salvador 100,000 while in Nicaragua despite their valiant resistance to the invading death squads or "Contras" 50,000 would be killed. During this Period the governments of the region formed their own Central American Condor called CREM which united the governments and the contras in the same centralized cooperation adopted in the southern cone.

   During the "Cold War" aka World War 3 as the Condor network referred to it America claimed to be fighting to spread freedom an democracy. However when it was a choice between democracy that might lead to reform and a loss of corporate profits for the multinational corprations or Dictatorships that would ruthlessly maintain inequality they choose the latter. Thus just like today they were lying outrageously claiming to be fighting "tyranny" while in reality they imposed it everywhere. In Africa, in Latin America, in Asia, even in parts of Europe they imposed brutal military dictatorships that waged an ugly war on their people. Condor was merely one example one network of dangerous fascists, one program of mass murder of torture among many. The best members of a whole generation were systematically wiped out either for daring to dream of a better world or for daring to oppose the nightmare that the Military dictatorships sought to impose. Unfortunately Condor like GLADIO and Phoenix became the blueprint for the future. As McSherry points out every element of Condor was openly adopted as part of the war on terror. Kidnappings now called extraordinary rendition. Torture at black sites. and Hunter killer teams of assassins currently US special forces and CIA drones. Plus a massive system of tracking and surveillance that with advances in technology now spies on every single person on the planet. Somewhere lists are still being stored of subversives. America's war on the planet continues.  This is why it is important to study Operation Condor, the Phoenix Program, GLADIO, and the many other ugly programs in the history of counterinsurgency. All these programs are still being replicated today and as McSherry reveals they were also closely connected although taking place across the world from each other. They reveal the truth behind the propaganda the ugly face of the American Empire of Chaos which rules through terror torture and murder while portraying itself as benevolent.

But there is another much happier lesson to be learned from Operation Condor. Despite their attempt to murder all progressive thought to terrify the people in submission people continued to resist. Operation Condor failed. Today Latin America is a beacon of hope for the world because it is there that people are determined to create a better world and they have already made great strides despite CIA subversion and the resistance of local elites who still control the media. Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador Nicaragua and the still defiant Cuba represent a hope for the world. They are determined to raise their people out of poverty to finally address the inequalities, to improve health care and education. to use their resources to benefit their people and not just multinational corporations. Never again must the US gain control of the continent never again should it be allowed to impose it's operation condor there to terrorize a continent. So remember Operation Condor next time some state department liar is criticizing Venezuela on Human Rights. What insane hypocrisy to criticize them for locking up fascist murderers and coup plotters when the whole continent remembers the bloody reign of terror the US so recently conducted there. Long live a Latin America free of America's brutal rule.

I relied mostly on J. Patrice McSherry's "Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America" which I highly recommend you read for yourself. I also recommend a Great Documentary about the CIA called "On Company Business" It does a great job of explaining the various coups in Latin America and includes extensive interviews with CIA whistleblowers John Stockwell and Phillip Agee. The section on Mitrione is excellent. The Same director also did a great documentary on GLADIO on 1992  for the BBC just search for BBC and Gladio on youtube. For more on the dirty wars in Central America and the Iran Contra Scandal check out my April 2014 Article "Israel Supported El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua." UNITA in Africa were very similar to the Contras I discuss them in my February 2015 "CIA in Africa" I couldn't resist mentioning these articles as McSherry's work is connected to so many other topics I have studied and written about but with her own razor sharp brand of analysis. She also Wrote a book called "Military Power and Democracy in Argentina" that I look forward to reading. For more on the Condor and Drugs read "Cocaine Politics" By Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall.

You can read one of her Academic papers on Operation Condor here