Category Archives: Videos

VIDEO: Libya’s Destabilization Serves Western Political Agenda

Originally aired on Russia Today, September 12, 2012

 

Washington continues to support militant Islamist groups as long as it’s politically expedient to do so, says global affairs researcher Benjamin Schett.

US military adventurism, and the war crimes committed by the country’s forces, impoverish the entire region and ultimately lead to a rise in the number of Islamic militant groups, he told RT. Such groups, he says, can end up posing a threat to US citizens.

Schett spoke to RT about the killing of American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff in Libya.

RT: Ambassador Stevens was responsible for building Washington’s relations with the Libyan post-revolution interim leadership. Does that indicate that the people behind the attack are of a very different mindset to Libya’s current rulers?

Benjamin Schett: Not necessarily. The United States supported militant extremist Islamic groups in order to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi last year. And one example is the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. It is, according to the Washington Post, a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, in 1996, they received support from British Secret Service MI6 to kill Gaddafi, which did not work out, as we know. After 9/11, in 2001, they still got support from Western powers during the so-called uprising in Libya last year and the NATO bombing campaign. They got support from the US and Saudi allies, so obviously the US never stopped supporting militant Islamist groups as long as it’s in their geopolitical interests.

RT: What does this attack say about the authorities’ grip on security in post-Gaddafi Libya?

BS: It shows that Libya is part of a broader balkanization of the Middle East and South and Central Asia, which is a direct result of US policies. We saw what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq after the US invasion – the clashes between Sunnis and Shias. We see what’s happening now in Syria, where the sectarian violence is being supported from the outside – from the Gulf states, from the US, and from France. And it’s what’s happening in Libya – all these different militias that received support in order to fight against Gaddafi are now turning against each other and are pushing for a tribalization of Libya.

RT: It’s believed the attacks were a response to this US film deemed offensive to Islam. But could it also be a side effect of US foreign policy in the region?

BS: Definitely. The whole story of the clash of civilizations and Christianity versus Islam – all these stories, they don’t show the real picture. The real picture is that the majority of Muslims are as peaceful as the majority of Christians or Jews or whoever. The policy of supporting militant extremist Islamist groups as long as it serves geopolitical interests and fighting secular independent governments in the Middle East, or direct military intervention and war crimes, impoverishing of the whole region – certainly this leads to an increase of Islamic militant movements, which can turn out to be a threat to US citizens, as we’ve just seen.

RT: It’s the first death of a high-profile US diplomat on duty abroad since 1979. Could this killing affect future policymaking in the State Department?

BS: The US official propaganda has a very cynical term regarding civilian deaths during a bombing campaign, called “collateral damage.” Of course, they wouldn’t use this term when it comes to the death of a US citizen. But I think in the mindset of the US establishment, in a certain way this also was collateral damage because it won’t make them stop their policies in the Middle East, even if it threatens the lives of American citizens.

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VIDEO: Syrian Opposition Studies Terror Tactics in Kosovo

Originally aired on Russia Today, May 4, 2012

The same horrors that were witnessed during the war in Kosovo are now apparently being prepared for the multi-confessional Syrian population by Islamist Syrian Liberation Army trained in Muslim Kosovo in the middle of Europe.

The Syrian Liberation Army group that actually formed the delegation to Kosovo has been fighting with the Syrian government for over a year now. This stand-off has claimed well over 9,000 lives, about half of them Syrian servicemen, law enforcers and officials.

Lately, the militants have been squeezed out of the Syrian cities and their positions along the Syrian-Turkish border. Being unable to turn the tide independently, the Syrian Liberation Army has been addressing to its foreign sponsors to start a military intervention into Syria to topple President Bashar Assad.

However, researcher and GlobalResearch.ca contributor Benjamin Schett told RT the Syrian rebels would not learn much in terms of military tactics from the KLA.

“The so-called Kosovo Liberation Army — this terrorist group — had in fact already been defeated by the Serbian army in 1998.”

Schett says that once Serbia agreed on a ceasefire, pulled back troops, and let in OSCE observers, the KLA used this situation to intensify their attacks so as to provoke a military reaction.

He continued that by presenting themselves as freedom fighters and victims to the Western media, the KLA secured a Western intervention in March 1999 after they staged a fake massacre in Račak.

Schett believes the Syrian rebels would go to Kosovo for knowledge in public relations techniques. He says despite their lack of military prowess, they were adept at making the Western public believe they were fighting for a justified cause amid reports they had committed a slew of war crimes and human rights abuses.

In 1998-1999 Kosovo separatists started an armed conflict with Belgrade to split the Kosovo region from Serbia. The war in the region was marked with mass atrocities and executions of the civilian population. Most of the Serbs that used to live in Kosovo became refugees.

In 2008, 10 years after the beginning of armed conflict with Serbia, Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Belgrade. Kosovo’s independence has been recognized by leading Western countries, most members of NATO and countries associated with the bloc.

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VIDEO: Iran P5+1 Talks: Last Chance for Diplomacy?

Originally aired on Press TV, April 14, 2012

Interview with Phil Wilayto, Chris Bambery and Benjamin Schett

After over a year hiatus, talks between Iran and the P5+1 group will be taking place in Istanbul on Sat. Going into the talks, it was reported that the White House officials were confident that Iran is not engaged in making nuclear weapons. This is while prior to that, the US had opted to sanction Iran’s oil exports, not that it was successful. Fast forward one week: Iran has answered US-led sanctions with counter sanctions against countries like Germany and Spain, prior to that France and the UK and Greece. And it is within this context that the stage was set for these talks.

For transcript, visit http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236228.html

 

 

 

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VIDEO: US/NATO Proxy War in Syria Follows Precedent Set in Bosnia

Interview on Russia Today, March 19, 2012

In the wake of recent violent clashes in the Syrian capital Damascus, the country’s government has accused Western powers of assisting Qatar and Saudi Arabia with supporting and financing terrorism and further militarizing the region. While accusations abound on purported weapons shipments and the training of insurgents, it is clear that Western involvement in Syria appears to follow a precedent set years ago during NATO intervention in the war in Bosnia, when weapons were being covertly shipped into the region despite an official arms embargo.

According to Benjamin Schett, an independent political researcher based in Vienna, “It might be a repetition of this game in Syria.”

This proxy war with Western powers is being waged amid speculation that Syria is being turned into a terrorist hub and as Schett confirms, “There is an interest in turning Syria into big chaos.”

But claims that Syria’s government is bombing its own people and security buildlings don’t add up. As Schett explains, “I think that doesn’t sound very plausible because the ongoing destablization and increase of sectarian violence in Syria is not so much in the interest of Assad but more in the interest of the insurgents in order to provoke harsh reactions from the Syrian government troops, which finally could provoke foreign intervention.”

 

 

 

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VIDEO: Obama Desperate for Excuse to Attack Iran

Interview on Russia Today, March 7, 2012

RT: Israel says it is unlikely Iran will give up its controversial nuclear activity without “a real military alternative.” The statement comes from the PM’s top adviser after the six powers agreed to resume talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

“It should be clear that without a real military alternative, the Iranians will not relent in the negotiations. And without there being a serious alternative, they will not enter the negotiations, and in any event there has to be readiness for the negotiations failing,” Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, said on Wednesday.

Although he added that there “will be no one happier” than Israel “if it emerges that in these talks Iran will give up on its military nuclear capability.”

Speaking during a news conference in the White House, US President Barack Obama said there is a “window of opportunity” to solve the tension around Iran’s nuclear program peacefully.

However, some, like global affairs researcher Benjamin Schett, are skeptical about this. He believes the U.S. could be waiting for an excuse to attack.

“It seems to be some kind of theater that the Israeli or American officials are playing,” Schett told RT.

He adds that “Obama’s soft power that he is using to meddle in Iran’s interior affairs probably will not succeed, not with economic sanctions. Although they will hit Iran hard, there are still countries like China, India, even Japan and South Korea and others who are still importing Iranian oil. “

“So, probably at some point the American administration will say well, we tried everything in diplomacy and they will of course support Israel’s attacks,” Schett speculates.

On Tuesday the EU foreign policy head, Catherine Ashton, said that the six big powers, the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, had agreed to resume talks on Iran’s nuclear program and hope negotiation will help to restore “international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, while respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

Also on Tuesday Tehran said it would also allow nuclear inspectors to visit a secret military Parchin site, which is yet to be arranged.

“It is not the first time Iran tries to find some kind of compromise with the West. Iran always tried to please the US side,” Schett concluded.

Previous visits by UN atomic officials could not reach any conclusion on the existence of weapons because they were denied access to key facilities.

Source: Russia Today, March 7, 2012

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