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Australia Rolls out the Red Carpet for Arizona Reptile John McCain

John McCain says Putin is a greater threat to global security than his Islamist mates in the Middle East

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Following a news bulletin in which it was announced with due solemnity that MI5 would be investigating whether it may have “missed” information related to the Manchester bomber, the ABC screened an interview with the very person who could have provided some – John McCain.

By chance McCain is visiting Australia this week, talking to Government ministers and media and giving a presentation on US policy at Sydney University. He is, they say – ‘Australia’s favourite US senator’ – and is seen as a useful intermediary in dealing with the difficult Trump administration.

<figcaption>John 'Songbird' McCain</figcaption>
John 'Songbird' McCain

Given this strange perception of one of the neo-cons’ chief war-strategists and trouble-makers, it might not be a real surprise that the ABC interviewer failed to ask McCain what he could tell us about “the Libyan Connection”. It is even possible that Leigh Sales – a sensible and experienced commentator who spent years in the US as the ABC correspondent – didn’t know that this was a question she could ask, and in fact really needed to ask.

Perhaps out of some misplaced respect for McCain, Sales remained polite and non-confrontational, in what was more of a fireside chat than an interview. Even when the man delivered a classic line that surpassed even the worst ravings of his colleagues she seemed unmoved; “Putin is a greater threat to global security than Islamic State” he said, following up with some bizarre stuff about “the Russians trying to destroy the fundamental of democracy – to change the outcome of an American election.”

But maybe fewer people than one imagines are familiar with “the Libyan Connection” – even amongst the better-informed followers of alternative and non-Western media. There are also two branches to this connection – or rat-line if you prefer, and only one seems to involve John McCain. But the Manchester bombing has drawn the two lines together into one unholy conspiracy – as has already been noted.

So to explain what we are talking about here.

The friends and relatives of the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi, were members of the Al Qaeda linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose origins appear to lie in an MI6 plot to assassinate Muammar Qadhafi in the ‘90s. Following the failure of that plot, LIFG members were given refuge in Manchester, but then later put on control orders after the tables turned in 2004. Following the NATO attacks on Libya in 2011 and the Islamist rebellion against Qadhafi supported by the West and Gulf Arab states however, the Manchester Libyans’ fortunes changed again – MI6 gave them back their passports, and let them have a second go at killing the Libyan leader.

But the UK’s mercenary killers didn’t stop in Libya; Qadhafi’s blood only whetted their appetites, and stoked their enthusiasm for the CIA’s scheme to use them in Syria against Qadhafi’s ally Bashar al Assad. And that of course is where John McCain comes in.

Although McCain’s role in supporting the “rat-line” from Benghazi to Turkey of fighters and weapons to fight for the CIA in Syria is “unclear”, his support for those mercenary extremists is all too clear – we have the photos! Not only did McCain pose proudly with the “FSA”/Al Qaeda taking R&R in Turkey and stocking up on ammo, but he also featured in an award ceremony for the most notorious Libyan Rat – LIFG head Abdulhakim Belhadj. What this award was for strains the imagination, but McCain, with fellow senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal clearly thought Belhadj was very good at something the US Republicans like. Killing perhaps.

While more information seems to be emerging every day on the sordid details of the collusion between – chiefly – MI6 and the CIA, and selected Islamist groups, it is already quite clear that the strident tones of NATO leaders, including Theresa May, ring extremely hollow.

Suspicion must also fall on Australia’s government and intelligence services, who are part of the ‘Five Eyes’ agreement on intelligence sharing with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. It was this agreement that saw the giveaway intelligence on the Manchester bomber’s identity shared with the US, and subsequently “shared” with a million other eyes reading the New York Times.

Australia also has strong links with the Gulf Arab states involved in the attack on Libya, and keenly advocated the ‘No Fly Zone’ proposal that tricked Russia – in particular – into consenting to the NATO destruction of Libya’s military assets, flying and non-flying. Australian media including the ABC played their part in spreading the lies about an impending massacre in Benghazi, and in the character assassination of poor Muammar Qadhafi. Following his barbaric slaughter, and Libya’s descent into an Al Qaeda haven, those media never acknowledged the truth of Qadhafi’s warnings – that these “rebels” were infiltrated by Al Qaeda – leave alone apologised for the atrocities they had effectively condoned.

It leaves us with no faith that we can rely on our State media and mainstream press to give us an accurate picture of what is happening now in Libya, where a new war seems to be rapidly developing along similar lines to the one being fought in Syria. Currently Australian media don’t seem to be giving us any picture at all on Libya, and only the US-friendly one on Syria. You won’t find any mention here of Russia’s destruction of the IS convoy ‘released’ from Raqqa by the SDF, nor of the Syrian Army’s progress towards its destination – Deir al Zour, or sensible analysis on its significance.

And of course you won’t hear any US senators or analysts being asked awkward questions about “the Manchester Fighters” of 2011, and 2017.

Rather we have today a story about an Australian Iraqi girl killed in Baghdad when going to buy an ice-cream for ‘iftar’; a tragedy indeed for her family, and afforded due tribute in the Australian parliament. Not so the pain shared by the families and relatives of the “17 other people” killed in this one Salafist car bomb attack – one amongst thousands of similar sectarian attacks on Shia communities in Baghdad by the “friends of Al Qaeda”.

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