'If the US wanted to fight against terrorism, they would support the secular regime of President Assad in Syria, not Al-Qaeda, investigative journalist Neil Clark told RT.
RT: How much of the turmoil and violence we’re currently seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan can be directly blamed on NATO interventions?
Neil Clark: I think they can all be directly blamed on the NATO interventions. Because we think back at the so-called interventions, I mean they all were built as humanitarian ventures, weren’t they? It was NATO the benign, NATO the powers led by the United States. We are going to these countries to liberate the people from these wicked dictators like Saddam Hussein, Mullah Omar or Colonel Gaddafi. And in every instance of the so-called interventions the result has been death and destruction, it has been absolute chaos. In Iraq, a new study said that at least 500,000 people have been killed since the invasion and it could be even more. So, I think the consequences of these interventions have been anything but humanitarian. They’ve been war crimes. I think for people living in these countries it has been a nightmare what has happened since these NATO interventions. So, I think, yes, NATO is to blame.
RT: Iraq is in the middle of its worst spike of violence in years…. Has the war in neighboring Syria further destabilized Iraq?
NC: Absolutely. I think there is no coincidence. There has been a huge spike in violence in Iraq since the destabilization of Syria has taken place since 2011, of course, because the US has been helping the Islamist terrorists there to try to topple the secular, independently-minded government of President Assad. There is no coincidence that there has been a huge spike in violence in Syria and in Iraq at the same time. Al-Qaeda groups are going from Iraq to Syria, and from Syria to Iraq. The whole region is in turmoil because of US policies. And this is not a mistake. Well, it is a mistake to think it is a mistake, if you like, because whenever the Neo-Cons come on to talk about Iraq, and of course they are rarely ready to talk about Iraq, they always like to claim that Tony Blair and George W. Bush wanted well, but they made a few mistakes along the way. That is nonsense. The whole aim of the exercise was to destroy Iraq as a functioning country, to make sure it will never again be a threat to regional powers that the US backs in that region. The same is with Syria. I think this is all deliberate. What we are talking about is a deliberate destruction of independently-minded countries in that region.
RT: Western powers claim to be fighting against international terrorism, and yet they’ve supported rebels in both Libya and Syria… How would you explain this apparent contradiction?
NC: It is the biggest myth in the whole of international relations. The biggest myth is that the United States and its allies are implacably opposed to terrorist groups around the world, and particularly Al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorist groups. They are not. They all use Al-Qaeda and terrorist groups like them to help them to topple secular independently-minded governments like President Assad in Syria, Gaddafi in Libya and elsewhere, but they would also use the presence of Al-Qaeda groups in order to intervene in the countries where they want a regime change, like Mali, for example, or Afghanistan. So, in fact, the West uses Al-Qaeda, uses Islamic groups and is not implacably opposed to them. That is a great myth. Nobody has done more to boost the rise of Al-Qaeda in the last 20 years than the United States. That is a fact.
RT: Al-Qaeda seems to be expanding its network and becoming more organized – is there any way to stop this trend?
NC: It goes back to the US. I don’t think the US wants to stop it. Al-Qaeda serves a very useful purpose for American foreign policy and for Israel, too, and for Saudi Arabia. The fact is that if Al-Qaeda did not exist, it should have been invented. It serves for a lot of good purposes for the Unites States to push its agenda around the world. I think there is going to be a sea-change in the US. If the US was really serious about Al-Qaeda and wanted to deal with it, they would do, they would not be supporting Al-Qaeda in Syria, they would not be wanting a secular regime in Syria to be toppled. They would be actually supporting President Assad in Syria. They would not want a regime change in Libya, would they? So, to answer the question, I think that the future Al-Qaeda depends on the US. They US helped create Al-Qaeda, this Islamic terrorism. It is up to the US to stop it if it really wanted to. But their policy show that they are not really interested in doing it, I am afraid.’