Tag Archives: terrorism

Dance of the Macabre

We are now treated to the spectacle of President Trump  dancing a sword dance with  Saudi  princes after signing  a multi  billion dollar arms deal  with  the Saudi  regime..
We  have indisputable evidence that  the Saudis and Qataris are not only funding training and even  providing  jihadist manpower to  terrorists in  the Middle East  ( including both  Al Qaeda and ISIS), but that  the Saudi  regime is also  the sole source of the Wahhabist  ideology  that drives foolish young men to commit terrorist crimes,  both in the West  and as  jihadist  mercenaries in  the Middle East.
We know also  that  Britain  (remember Lawrence of Arabia) and now the United States, have continued to  prop  up  this brutal  sectarian and misogynist regime on the Arabian  peninsula for the past 100  years,  because it serves their interest  to do  so. Interests that include  oil of course and the sale of superfluous  armaments , but also  the capacity to combat  those states in  the Middle East  who  do  not bow down  to  Western interests;  eg Iraq, Libya, Syria,  and the ultimate prize,  Iran.
Thus, as academic Christopher Davidson  meticulously records in  his 2016 book, “The Shadow Wars”; ongoing U.K.  and U.S.  support for the Saudi regime and its terrorist activities is very  much in  their interests.
For how much longer will  this macabre dance continue?

The Rogue State that is the United States of America

As  one more US aircraft  carrier  steams  off to  confront the North Koreans and threaten nuclear war once again , it is timely to  recall  that  60  years ago  the United States and its allies (including a very  compliant New Zealand) began  a genocidal  bombing of every  town  and city in  the north of Korea.  Millions of Koreans died. Since that  war ended,  the largest and nuclear superpower in  the world has refused to  sign  a peace treaty  with  North Korea,  has stationed thousands of troops  and weapons along its South Korean border and has regularly  threatened to nuke North  Korea,  applied  annual  large scale attack  manoeuvres along the border with North Korea, as well  as  implementing  sanctions that in  several years since the war,  caused mass starvation in  the north.   Small  wonder that the North  Korean  regime might be considered  paranoid and unstable!
Ironically, the United States has absolutely no  interest  in  the Korean peninsula and its peoples;  its sole rationale for  maintaining the ongoing conflict  with North Korea is to justify  maintaining the extensive military  bases encircling China, with the support of the Japanese. China has recently  proposed “As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” but  this eminently reasonable offer has been  once again  refused by  the United States because it would reduce the threat to  China.
While the latest  American  President is  also  considered unstable and unreliable, it is  important to  recognise that every American president’s  foreign  policy  since the 1900s   has almost entirely consisted of  a psychopathic policy of violence and war and repeated acts of genocide:-  in  the Philippines,   at  Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  in  Korea, Vietnam and Laos,   in Iraq,   and Libya,  as well  as support for unspeakable acts of murder and  terror in South  America .  Its  full logistical and weaponry  support for the starvation of millions of Yemen ‘s children by  Saudi Arabia  because they do  not share the Saudi regime’s  extremist  and sectarian Wahhabist views,  (ably supported in  this war of terror by  its sycophantic ally, the United Kingdon),  tells you exactly where the United States’ current moral  and ethical  foreign policy stands.
The old fiction of the “Shining City Upon  a Hill”  –  an American beacon of hope, democracy,  liberty and freedom ,  has been ceaselessly trotted out by American  Presidents  over the years and regurgitated by  the American mainstream  media. Now the facade of that  shining city is falling away;-exposing the house of horrors within.
United States  foreign policy  does not recognise the international  rules of war or human rights obligations;   it stands above any necessity for humanity or compassion or  peaceful  solution to  conflicts.  It is in fact,  a rogue state.

Links

The Genocide that is Yemen

Based on the latest United Nations estimates;   ‘as of 1 November 2016 , health facilities reported more than 7000 people killed and more than 43,000 injured since mid-March 2015, including more than 3,200 children killed or injured. (UNOCHA) (out of an estimated totally Yemeni population of 27,913,984).

Medical materials are in chronically short supply, and only 45 per cent of health facilities are functioning. As of October 2016, at least 274 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed in the conflict, 13 health workers had been killed and 31 injured. 

Saudi intervention in what was till 2015 a relatively low-level civil war between rival Yemen factions, began in March 2015, to support one of the pro-Saudi  factions, and it would appear, to successfully strengthen the hold of Al Qaeda in the south of Yemen.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) states that as of March 2017:

The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate almost one and a half years after the escalation of conflict in March 2015.The escalation amplified an already existing protracted crisis, which was characterised by widespread poverty, conflict, poor governance and weak rule of law, including widely reported human rights violations.

Yemen was already the poorest county in the Middle East when the crisis escalated.  Men, women, and children were already facing a humanitarian crisis, stemmed from years of poverty, poor governance, and instability, including widespread violations of human rights. The situation has only worsened in the past year and the speed and scale of the deterioration is alarming. The economy is near collapse, public and private services have all but disappeared, and Yemenis have lost most of their livelihoods and have depleted most of their saving.  Yemen has turned into a protection crisis where the average citizen is facing tremendous hardships and the most vulnerable populations are struggling simply to survive.

More than 19 months since conflict escalated have left an estimated 18.8 million people in need some kind of assistance or protection in order to meet their basic needs, including 10.3 million who are in acute need. This represents an increase of almost 20 per cent since late 2014 and is driven by increases across key sectors. The 18.8 million people in need estimation is lower than the 21.2 million cited for 2016. These changes do not reflect an improvement in the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen, but rather a further tightening around priorities based on a rigorous analysis of evidence. 

Even Human Rights Watch, a notoriously Western biased “human rights’ organization committed to western ‘human rights interventions’ (read ‘invasions of countries of people who are not white’), has stated that ‘With help from former President Saleh, Houthis, the Zaidi Shia group, took control of the capital and much of the north in late 2014. President Hadi and his cabinet fled to Saudi Arabia in early 2015 and in March, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched air strikes against the Houthis. Dozens of the airstrikes appeared to violate the laws of war. Houthi forces laid landmines and used other indiscriminate weapons in unlawful attacks . The UN reported in January 2016 that the conflict had claimed 2,795 civilian lives in 2015.

Not only is Saudi Arabia deploying the largest arsenal in the Middle East  courtesy of the United States and the U.K.) against the impoverished country of Yemen, but it has financed armed and trained their Wahabbhi ‘rebels’ like Al Qaeda and Al Nusra in Syria along with Qatar, to a massive degree over the past few years. The vicious sectarian ideologies of the Saudi ‘kingdom’s’ Wahabbists; long supported and bolstered by the U.K. , are the rationale for killing anyone who does not espouse those extremist Sunni views. The 40-45% of Yemenese who follow the  Zaidi order of Shia Islam- many of whom are supporters of the Houthis, are therefore regarded as apostates for extermination by the Wahabbists. Small wonder that Saudi pilots are clearly under order to attack Shi-ite civilian centres. It should however be noted   that  given  the U.K.’s longstanding  and extensive role in human rights abuses and war crimes in Yemen  (particularly in 1964 supporting the Saudis)  as detailed in  Christopher Davidson’s book “The Shadow Wars: the Secret  Struggle for the Middle East” , as well  as the huge investment by the UK war machine and the incompetence of the Saudi military, it is highly likely that, as in 1964, “retired’  RAF pilots are engaged in the aerial  bombardment of civilians in Yemen and other atrocities.

As supposedly democratic and humanitarian Western governments usually do in times like these, the U.K. government has contracted lawyers to concoct grotesque legal arguments that their massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and their support of U.S. drone killings in Yemen, do not constitute an equally massive violation of the rule of international law. The U.K. Government, its foreign policy advisors and its hand-in-glove armaments manufacturers are once again undoubtedly guilty of horrifying war crimes.

Middle East Eye notes that The UK government licensed arms exports worth £3.3bn ($4.2bn) to Saudi Arabia during the first 12 months of the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, a campaign group has revealed. The Campaign Against Arms Trade’s analysis of government figures, released this week, shows the total is at least £500m more than previously thought.

From April 2015, the UK approved exports including so-called smart bombs, components for combat aircraft, armoured vehicles and communications equipment.

The government in Riyadh is the UK arms industry’s biggest customer and the figures show that the Middle East is the UK’s largest overall export market for weapons, including Eurofighter Typhoon jets that have dropped devastating 2,000-lb bombs in urban areas in Yemen.

Note only has the UK been supplying the corrupt regime in Riyadh with massive amounts of military hardware over many many years , but it also has (as do the Americans) personnel on the ground assisting the Saudis in their genocide.

The U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia however, dwarfs the U.K.’s historical complicity with the brutal Saudi regime. Since 2009, the Obama administration’s has signed Saudi Arabia up to $57 billion worth of arms sales.

Manifestly internationally illegal U.S. drone murders in Yemen have been targeting Al Qaeda there for the past 15 years. Supposedly these drone strikes target Al Qaeda leaders in Yemen, yet mysteriously Al Qaeda has steadily grown in power and influence; particularly and predictably since the Saudis launched their war against the Houthis, supported by the U.S. and the U.K. Now the Trump administration is once again increasing the Yemen drone strikes.

In  addition, the Saudis,  despite their denials,  are enforcing a  naval  and air blockade of Houthi  held areas of Yemen,  further  exacerbating an already  dire humanitarian  situation on the ground. The Saudis  and United States and the mainstream media claim,  without any evidence,  that  the Iranians  are militarily supporting the Houthis.  Should this have been  the case,  we would have seen  satellite imagery  of Iranian  planes and  ships  trying to  break  the blockade, if not Iranian  seized vessels and arms.

The reality is that  the Houthis have more than enough  weaponry  through  the Yemen army that have  largely backed  the Houthis,  and through  seized armaments from the Saudis. While a different branch of Shi-ism,  the Iranian  government is clearly sympathetic to  the  Houthis and is likely to  have at  least supplied  the Houthis with the technical  now-how for their devastating missile attacks on  Saudi  troop deployments.

The sad reality is that Western democracies have cloaked their barbarities in pursuit of profit and power under labels of ‘ bringing the true religion’, ‘civilisation’, ‘democracy’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’, since long before the rise of capitalism. Western governments cannot kill their own populations in large numbers as they would no longer be in power at the next election!: instead they are licensed to kill the ‘other’, the ‘dark races’, the ‘uncivilized’, the ‘un-Christian’ in ‘foreign’ countries. Yemen is the epitome of ‘foreign’ to the West.   For not only are they of significant interest to the West’s pawns in Riyadh, the Saudis; they are also tribal, dark skinned, and at the bottom of the heap in terms of poverty and far away from the gaze of Western publics.  An ‘ideal’  testing ground for Western  weapons.

The Gulf potentates are therefore none better for the West to sell vast amounts of weapons to, and watch their incompetent new owners destroy them in vast numbers in the vicious war with the Houthis and their allies in Yemen. It makes little difference to their Western minders that the Saudis are committing genocide in Yemen; aided with targeting facilities and refueling of aircraft by the United States and U.K trainers..

The current application of the rule of law in international politics and conflict is a complete farce. It is grounded purely in ‘right is might’;  which for this current and previous century at least, has been the prerogative of Western powers against ‘The South’.  That dynamic is now of course changing rapidly with the rise of China and the resurgence of Russian military power.

Should we see the control of the International War Crimes Tribunal pass from Western judges who have been consistently ‘pressured’ by Western governments to take certain political stances, to Russian or even Chinese adjudicators; we may finally see some justice in bringing the long line of Western politicians and military leaders responsible for more than a century of horrendous war crimes around the world, to justice.

Finally, while the removal of suffering of Yemen’s humans should be the priority of our fellow humans; there is no-one and nothing that protects the devastation to the other species that were already struggling to survive before this brutal war erupted.

While we have likely already passed the point of no return in having a relatively liveable climate on this planet; we still, as the sole cause of this destruction in this world, have an obligation to try and save what remains of the other species on this precious Earth. Our constant futile human wars are doing a great deal to speed up that process of planetary destruction.


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemeni_Civil_War_(2015%E2%80%93present)

http://www.unocha.org/yemen/crisis-overview

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/03/10/saudi-airstrike-kills-26-mostly-civilians-in-yemen-market/

https://www.hrw.org/middle-east/n-africa/yemen

https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/countries/saudi-arabia

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-03/66440

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/372979-british-collusion-sectarian-violence/

http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2016/01/15/data-how-guns-and-oil-dominate-uk-saudi-arabia-relationship/

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uk-approves-33bn-arms-sales-yemen-126867279

http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/uk-bases-used-targeting-secret-us-drone-war-documents-indicate/

https://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/reading-elisabeth-webers-kill-boxes/

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2017/march/09/bomb-the-shstart-out-of-them-trump-drones-yemen-more-in-one-week-than-obama-in-a-year/

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/blowback-americas-disastrous-policy-yemen-will-be-profound-18698

Christopher Davidson:  “The Shadow Wars: the Secret  Struggle for the Middle East” 

http://christopherdavidson.net/BaseHub/2017/01/22/shadow-wars-video-trailer/

Lies, Damn Lies, and Propaganda

My apologies to Benjamin Disraeli for abusing his wonderful quote about statistics in my blog title.
In essence, any information, however factual, can be used to manipulate opinion; and is most frequently used in that manner. The recent barrage of U.S. media reports on ‘fake news’, of Facebook getting mainstream media to, laughably, monitor what is fake and is not fake in Facebook posts, the accusations of Russian (sorry Putin) manipulation of the US media for his  own nefarious ends…. the list of ‘factual’ reports goes on and on.

What we do know as fact is that the media has frequently and knowingly, lied to their respective publics about news; particularly news about ‘foreign’ wars.
For instance, we know the media lied on behalf of the U.S. State Department about the reasons for war with North Korea in the 50s, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was  supposedly the rationale for war with “North’ Vietnam, the war in Kosovo against Serbia, the war in Iraq, the war in Libya, the war in Syria….and so on..

And U.S. media is not alone in blindly reporting press releases from government agencies- the U.K. media is amazingly compliant for one which espouses a ‘free press’, in reporting as ‘fact’  what  is churned out from  government  reporting channels.
So , one might think that the world public would by now recognize that media tells lies and half-truths, or ‘selective truths’ – incessantly- for political ends. But for some reason; time after time; the public believes the next new set of ‘facts’.
And I am not for a minute suggesting that the Russian media is in any way free of the propaganda and lies that Western media indulge in daily; the difference for western publics, is that they are a new set of lies- or ‘half-truths’, or simply a different perspective. Hence they are extremely valuable in helping Westerners determine what the possible ‘real’ reality might be.

We have seen increasingly hysterical and far-fetched outbursts from Western politicians and their mainstream media (MSM) allies about ‘fake news ‘ because MSM is failing to deliver the goods to them. The public is slowly but increasingly becoming aware of other perspectives on international events;  the  open internet  plays a very  significant role in  this. ‘Brexit’ was a prime example where enormous resources were poured into convincing the UK public that exiting the EU would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to them-and yes the majority of voters voted for Brexit! In the U.S., the presidential election saw an astonishingly powerful alignment of MSM , politicians, celebrities etc lined up against Trump- and yes- using the archaic electoral college system, he won! The constantly repeated refrain about evil Assad and Putin in Syria  and  Aleppo has become to fray at the edges as many westerners see the Aleppan public dancing in the streets as the rebels are ‘evacuated’ to other places, and the true savagery of the ‘moderate rebels’ unveiled.
There is panic in Western political circles. What if the public really could make up its own mind, using multiple and divergent sources of information?
Russia therefore becomes a convenient bogey-man- haven’t we always feared the barbaric, savage and primitive Russian Bear? The consequence of using ‘external’ bogey-men is that politicians and media therefore imply that if you dont agree with their version of events, you must have been subtly manipulated by Communist (whoops!) I mean Russian, propaganda. The dangerous next implication, is that we have a fifth column in our midst; people who are not ‘true patriots’ because they dont believe the ‘correct’ party line..

This fear-mongering by MSM and politicians is therefore , a deliberate and direct attack on our democratic freedoms and rights.

The other  hugely significant implication of the U.S Intelligence  fear-mongering, is that if a a  foreign  media outlet indicates any  support for one  side or other of a political  debate  or election it is somehow undermining that  country’s democracy. The implication being that  all  foreign media  should have slavishly endorsed the Hilary  campaign ( 99% of which  did so as ordered)

 

Postscript

The recent accusations by  President Obama , the Democrat  Party and others that  Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin)   hacked   Democrat  emails to discredit  Hillary  Clinton in the presidential  election  are outlined in  the State Department media  release . The very  reputable US based WordPress  IT website ‘Wordfence’    concludes  that  the State Dept information  provided is implausible in its intent to  show that the hacking (if it occurred) , was Russian, and that the sources quoted in the State Dept memo  are in  fact outdated Ukrainian malware)
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

Overall Conclusion
The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

Rinf.com argues that Cloudstrike–  the company  contracted by  the Democrat Party to investigate the ‘hacks” ,  and also  the sole source of the State Dept info on  the ‘hacks’,  is  strongly connected to  the Ukrainian regime in Kiev ,  which  is strongly  ant-Russian  for obvious reasons. We appear to  be seeing,  as we have time and time again,  the U.S.  ‘intelligence’  community  being easily or (willingly )  conned  by  hostile vested interests determined to  create hostilities where none are needed:  think   the Kuwaiti  scam  on  Saddam’s Iraqi soldiers bayoneting incubator  babies,  the Libyan  scam on  Ghadaffi’s forces using   viagra to  rape  civilians… the list  goes on  and on. Combine the lack  of inteligence and  analytical  skills of the U.S. intelligence community with  a deeply ingrained  psyche that  considers violence and war as the solution to  everything,  we have a problem….The  current massing of hundreds of American  tanks and other weaponry  in  the Baltic states is signalling that the U.S.  war  machine intends to  strike soon .

The latest   surreal  reports of Trump  being  manipulated and blackmailed by  Putin  get even  more scary. This is now evidence that  the current US administration  under Obama is trying to  subvert the results of the US Presidential  election so  that they  can continue in  the buildup  to  war with Russia ..There is now overwhelming feedback  from  a multitude of specialist  sources that  these accusations by a  ‘former’  MI6 agent are simply  porkies.

Craig Murray provides a very  clear insight into why  the ‘former’  MI6 agents ‘dossier’  is  rubbish.


Links

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/the-deep-state-versus-donald-trump-new-smears-and-a-ukrainian-connection.html#more

Trump Sex Blackmail, New Twist in Witch-Hunt  By Finian Cunningham

The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections ( Office of the Director of U.S.  National  Intelligence)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/12/britain-dragged-donald-trump-dirty-dossier-row-amid-claims-whitehall/

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_real_purpose_of_the_us_governments_report_on_alleged_hacking_by_russi

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/deep-state-35-pages-attack-against-trump-fails-foreign-and-domestic-losses.html#more

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/the-dodgy-trump-dossier-reminds-me-of-the-row-over-saddams-wmds/

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/

The Syrian Propaganda War: (Stage Two)

Now that Eastern Aleppo has been  finally retaken by  Syrian government troops and their allies  after 4 years of war there, we see a curious phenomenon in  the Western press. Rather than applauding the  return to  peace for the millions of civilians  in Western  Aleppo  and a  potential  return to  some normalcy   for the few remaining in Eastern  Alleppo,  we are instead  treated to   ongoing accusations  from ‘rebel’  sources  of massacres; statements that  cannot be verified in  any way because  the reporters  are not on the ground in  Syria, and statements which  are intended to  undermine the Assad victory. We are also told in  each of these mainstream  reports that ‘the war will  go  on regardless’-  one might be forgiven for thinking that those journalists and media  outlets  are actually wanting the war to continue?
We know that  Western  governments  and the Gulf State dictatorships have poured  millions of dollars,  not only into arming and training the ‘rebels’ of any affiliation  in Syria over the past five years-  but also  poured millions into  a  huge propaganda network designed to  convince the Western  public that  Al Qaeda  in Syria is in  fact moderate and cuddly and that  only the Syrian  government forces do  terrible things.
This is a brutal  war   without question. Both sides have committed atrocities  and enormous devastation: to pretend otherwise is to  be blind to the costs of war.
But  it is absolutely clear that without the ongoing  Western  government resourcing of salafist extremists in Syria this war would have been long over.
This war was not inevitable; it was a deliberate decision by  Western governments to overthrow Assad;  firstly ,  because the Syrian  government opposes the ongoing  Israeli  occupation of Palestine and the Syrian  Golan  Heights  heights  and secondly because their allies; the Gulf dictatorships of  Saudi Arabia , Qatar and UAE  see a secular Syria  under Assad as a threat  to  their support for the  Wahhabist sunni  extremist  doctrine espoused by  Al Qaeda and ISIS, and thereby  alters their power  play against shi-ite Iran.
I for one,  hope that peace will  prevail over the dogs of war.
Postscript
As of 15th December, mainstream media are  now reporting that Chinese green buses are now transporting some of the remaining  East  Aleppo  rebels and their families to Idlib province  and possibly Turkey. This is going to make the ongoing reporting of massacres and  pictures of carefully  cement dust covered babies, that much harder for Western PR  agencies to make plausible for the western public. The ruthless evil  dictator Assad granting amnesty to  the poor defenceless rebels?- that doesnt  quite add up…? hmmm

White Helmets and Western Governments call for Bloodbath in Syria..

As the Syrian  government forces and its allies prepare for the final  advance  to  push  the jihadists  from the small  part of  Aleppo  still held by the jihadists, Western  governments and their propaganda arm,  the White Helmets, are upping the PR campaign to push  for the  establishment of  a no-fly zone  across Syria- effectively banning the Syrian  and Russian airforces from the skies.
The PR campaign  alleges that  the only  people  killed in this evil  war  are civilians  killed by  the bombs  from  the sky. For some  reason, the truck-bombs,  tank fire,   artillery, mortars, missile barrages, sniper fire and suicide attacks  from  the jihadist  side, do  not cause any civilian casualties  for the vast majority (1.5  million) of Aleppo civilians sheltering on the government side of the warzone in Aleppo. Part of the issue is that Western media only report on casualty figures provided by  the ‘rebel’  side;  so  we are left to  assume  that  the SAA; -the Syrian  Army, is entirely responsible for all  civilian  casualties;  which,   given the enormous amounts of  firepower provided by  Western  governments, Turkey  and the Gulf dictatorships to the ‘rebels’, would be somewhat  unusual!
The U.S. military  is well  aware that  Al Qaeda affiliates are the major force on the ‘rebel’ side in East Aleppo, and that  Western   interventions against  the Assad government  only strengthen Al Qaeda.
Western governments are also well  aware that  a no-fly zone-  as in  Libya ,  will  create the perfect  opportunity for  Al Qaeda affiliates  and their ‘moderate’  allies  to  defeat  the Syrian  government forces , over-run Damascus in a blood-bath, and  establish  a jihadist  centre of power in  Syria and  the elimination of the more than 26% of the Syrian  population who  are not Sunni  arabs or who do  not subscribe to  the medieval  views of their Gulf state sponsors.
Just  as in  Iraq, with the fictional  incubator babies on Iraqi  bayonets in Kuwait saga, the fictional  viagra supplied to  Gaddaffi’s soldiers in Libya to rape civilians; we are now sold endless fictional  stories of the “last hospital in Aleppo”,  well- framed photos of young men carrying babies through  war-torn  streets,  or babies and young children immaculately  covered  in concrete dust .
Yes, this is a brutal  war;  civilians will  and are dying in  immense suffering on both  sides of the ever shifting frontlines . But the most effective mechanism  to   stop  the barbarity is for Western  governments and their Gulf dictatorship proxies,  to  stop  arming  jihadist  rebels.. The hypocrisy of Western leaders-  particularly the ‘socialist’  premier Hollande, knows no  bounds it would appear.
Go  figure….

Links

Aleppo Media Center ( Western backed media support for jihadists) (use Google translate)

The Self-destruction of Western Societies?

The recent  ‘terrorist’ bombings in European  cities  may need to be  looked at from  a wider  perspective. Is this increasing wave of violence on urban  communities a signal of a deeper malaise?

The ‘terrorists’  who  have perpetrated these attacks  over the past few years ( ie not just  “ISIS’  inspired  killings);  have inevitably be enacted by  dispossessed angry young men   who  predominantly  have no  clear ideology of much  longstanding.  While they  have often attributed the rationale for their attacks to  some formal ideology  like ISIS, I suspect  that   any ideological  excuse would have sufficed for them. The recent killings by  those who  stated their motivations  were in  the name of Allah  and ISIS, were almost all by young men  who  had lacked any consistent  commitment to  Muslim  practice; ie not regularly attending a mosque, and indulged in drinking, drugs , gambling etc.

This indicates that  the rationale for the killing did not come from  idealogical  sources, but rather from their own anger and hurt about their own life experiences.  Undoubtedly however, the  last few years  of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other similar extremist  groups espousing the glories of  the killing of innocents,  have provided a focus  and a ‘rationale’   for that  anger and blood-lust.

This process might be likened to  the Christian  crusades   to  the “Holy Lands” in mediaeval  times, when  Europeans  from  all  walks of life joined  armies  to  supposedly ‘free”  the Holy Lands from  Saracen tyranny, but in  fact used that  license  to indulge in  vast  amounts of rape, pillage and  terror  of  local  populations,   both on their journeys to  Palestine through  Europe and the Middle East , but also  within  Palestine  itself.

What is different this time around however, is that  this is an internal  self-immolation of societies and almost a global  one: predominantly by  young men  who  were born  within European  societies, but at  the same time alienated from them.

What  we see then, is a political  response to these multiple deaths  which labels them as “terrorists’  attacks rather than  an  epidemic of murder/-suicides by  young angry  and hurting men.

Instead of addressing the root causes of that anger;  alienation from  society,  loneliness, poverty,  drugs and perceived inequalities and injustices;  Western  governments have increasingly focussed on more and more draconian responses to  these murders;  an action which   further legitimizes the  imaginary  ideological  fervour of more and more  young men.

As in  the United States, the  political  response is to further  militarise police forces and restrict  human rights and freedoms, and thereby  increase the likelihood of inappropriate and unjust responses by  the ‘authorities’  to  legitimate  community  conflict  situations. It is plain  that such  actions lead only to  community disintegration.

One might therefore  argue that  the actions by  both parties are symptomatic of a global  community in decline; in  a state of self-immolation, as it  unconsciously acknowledges the  multiple absurd paradoxes of our  global consumer society whilst  we inexorably head towards   an unliveable over-heated  and species depleted  planet.

 

 

Obama and the Baseball Cards

Obama’s legacy; and  this may  well be his prime legacy- and  one he may  remember in his  older years as he stands before the International War Crimes Tribunal, (once its decisions are no  longer controlled by  the U.S.  State Department), was his omnipotent capacity to  decide who shall  live and who  shall   die by  drone anywhere in  the world,  based on  limited pieces of information  provided on baseball  cards. (a kind of  Roman Emperor  type role: – thumbs- up  or down at  the Coliseum)

Baseball Card Kill List DEPICTION
Lawfareblog.com notes ‘This is a mock-up/depiction of what an actual kill-list baseball card looks like. It is not a real baseball card and is not based on any classified information.’

 

Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over-reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront. The Intercept 

One might almost be forgiven therefore  for coming to  the conclusion that  the intent of the U.S. targeted killing process is  not to  eliminate the sources of terror, but to  exacerbate them.

drone operator
Drone operator cabin- Daily Mail Australia

As we have seen in many a colonial  war, those who  ‘hand in’ terrorists to  the colonial  power inevitably have their own  agendas;  feuding families and clans, or perhaps financial   or property interests, but rarely because they  are in  fact  ‘terrorists”.  In addition we  can be certain  that  US military  and State Dept claims of minimal   ‘collateral  damage’ (accidental  killing of civilians who  get in the way  of a  drone  missile’s large detonation area)  are complete fabrications. And we can be certain too  that drone operators have less than minimal  knowledge of foreign cultural  issues- e.g. the difference between a  wedding party celebrating by firing automatic weapons into  the air and a  terrorist  group in weapons training , let alone  their drone “eyes” having sufficient  definition to  pick  up  who  is who  on the ground.

So,  when  dear President Obama  gives the thumbs down  on that particular baseball  card, he really has no  idea what  he is agreeing  to; other than that  his decision will  kill  someone or more likely , quite a few  people, out there . But of course, if  that Hellfire  missile with  its 9kg warhead  just  happens to  kill a few other  ‘military-age males’  in the vicinity of the explosion,  all  to the good.  By  using  remote killing mechanisms  the US president can appear to  take a Herod-like hands-off approach  to  the art of murder, with  the added benefit of limited  capacity of verifying what  carnage has  actually occurred on the ground.

In addition the United States’  penchant for targeting  supposed ‘leaders’ of terrorist  groups, rather than  their supply lines, infrastructure or financial  backers, means that  drones can be used over and over to  kill  the next leader who  takes the deceased’s  place in  the leadership line; or as in  many cases , the United States simply ‘kills’ the same person  over and over again; such  is the usefulness of remote unverified killing.

United States government lawyers have in  the past contorted themselves in  all  sorts of unusual  positions to justify  remote murder by  executive order,  much as their  contracted psychiatrists  managed to  create a lofty argument that  putting  prisoners through  ‘stress positions’  was not in  fact  totally illegal,  inhumane  torture and contravened  international  human  rights on  a grand scale.

President Obama has even been known  to joke publicly about his life and death  decision-making powers, not too  dissimilar from his psychopathic Secretary  of State ,  Hilary Clinton.

I hope I will  be around to  see  them  stand before the International  tribunal.


Links

https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/the-assassination-complex/

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-presidents-kill-list

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/2013.05.23_fact_sheet_on_ppg.pdf

https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-comment-presidents-national-security-speech

https://www.aclu.org/issues/national-security/targeted-killing

https://www.aclu.org/foia-collection/targeted-killing-foia-database

https://www.aclu.org/foia-document/joint-targeting-cycle-and-collateral-damage-estimation-methodology

https://theintercept.com/document/2015/10/14/geolocation-watchlist/

https://www.lawfareblog.com/kill-list-baseball-cards-and-targeting-paper-trail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249252/Brandon-Bryant-Drone-operator-followed-orders-shoot-child–decided-quit.html

Patriotism: The Refuge of Scoundrels

The blog heading is one of Mark Twain’s quotes. But here is  a much  better one from Mr Clemens.

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth.
– “The Lowest Animal”- Mark Twain

Today, in my little part of the world; it is once again  Anzac Day, originally  commemorated to  mark  the bloody  failure  of the  British  Empire’s coordinated attack on Turkish  positions in the Dardanelles at  Gallipoli   in World War One, but now, ( supposedly) it ‘acknowledges the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare, and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Strangely however  this commemoration of all  who  have died in  wars is marked by   artillery salutes, marching uniformed men and much  fanfare about  this country’s patriotism. We are encouraged to  believe that Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country we live in. (New Zealand Government).

I for one,  am  appalled  that  the majority consensus in New Zealand appears to  be that  ‘plucky little New Zealand’  became a real  country  with its own  identity, and not just  a member of the British  Empire, by  maiming and killing its way through  a series of foreign “adventures”.  The one possible exception to this catastrophic jingoistic litany of murder and mayhem, is New Zealand’s very  real  contribution to  the war  against  Nazi Germany and  Japan  during the Second World War, when  a New Zealand invasion by  the Japanese Imperial Army was a high  probability at  one point.

Every  other war  we have fought, we have fought at  the behest  of others-  from  the genocide inflicted on the Boers during the Boer Wars as part of the British  Imperial  Army’s need to maintain  control of South African assets, the First  World War’s bizarre clash of European monarchies , the  staggering level  of genocide  inflicted on Koreans  by  the “Allies’ (including New Zealand naval  bombardment  of civilian areas) during the Korean War, our implicit involvement in American  genocide in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our explicit connection to  rendering of Afghan suspects to   U.S. torture centres in Afghanistan, and our ongoing  complicity in the Five Eyes  intelligence project,  which  currently serves American  and U.K. interests in  promoting terrorism  around the world and destroying  human rights.

All in all,  it is not a record I for one am proud of.  Our ongoing subservience to  the  paranoid and psychopathic American  war machine and its  business interests, serves no-one’s interests  on this planet, other than  a few  crazed right wing  American  idealogues and the military/industrial  complex.

I was proud of my country  when our prime minister of the time, Norman Kirk, sent frigates to  Muroroa Atoll  in the south Pacific,  to protest  the French  destroying that island with nuclear bombs and contaminating the environment for thousands of miles.  I was proud when  our prime minister of the day,  David Lange, announced we would henceforth  be a nuclear-free nation, and even a little proud when prime minister Helen Clark refused to send   significant ground troops to Iraq  to  support the American  invasion there.  But we have sunk to new lows since those times, in obsequiously following our U.S.  masters into Iraq once more, to   fight a stupendously foolish  war  in Afghanistan,  and to  mouth support for America’s duplicitous  ‘war on terror’   while  unconditionally  supporting the key  centres of terror in the world; Saudi Arabia and Turkey,  along with support for the 60  year  old  brutal  Israeli  occupation of Palestine .

Despite successive  New Zealand governments’ posturings that  we are now a sovereign nation  because of Anzac Day, when are we truly going to be a proud and  independent nation  who  stands in truth  for peace and international justice?

 

 

The Brussels Bombers

The Brussels nail  bombing  attacks occurred on  the morning of March  22nd 2016;  two in the departure area of Brussels international airport near  the town of Zaventem seven miles from Brussels and one in the Maelbeek metro station in the centre of the city.  28 victims and three suicide bombers were killed, and 330 people were injured. Another bomb was found during a search of the airport. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

We now know that  Turkey   ‘deported’ the presumed key  instigator of  the Brussel’s attack  to  Amsterdam in the Netherlands,  rather than to Belgium.  Which  meant,  that  rather than being detained as a terrorist in Belgium upon  leaving the plane, he was instead permitted to   drive back  to  Belgium  from  Amsterdam’s  Schiphol  Airport because he was not on any Netherlands wanted list.  Poor bad luck? or was it-as has been  suggested, a cosy arrangement between  Turkey  and the   Israeli   owned  security firm   ICTS International  (owned by ‘former’ Shin Bet intelligence agency  personnel) managing the  security at  the airport.  You will  perhaps recall  that  ICTS International  is the same security agency  that  escorted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas Day  2009 , without a passport or ticket, to  a  First Class seat on  Northwest flight 253  at  Schiphol Airport, and who  then  attempted to   detonate  plastic explosives hidden inside his trousers.

But the  key issue that Western  media consistently ignore, is  their and their political  masters’ support for anti-Assad  rebel  groups;  who are in  fact,   terrorists. Their ‘moderate’  terrorists have been trained  by Western  intelligence  and sited in Jordan and Turkey  to  inflict  terror on Syrian  populations.  Hillary  Clinton’s  psychopathic need to  kill  and destroy  is reflected in her  weird emails using agents like Google and the Qatari terrorist supporting Al Jazeera media outlet.  Now that , with a little help  from  Russian bombers,  Assad ‘s military is inflicting serious losses on these terrorists groups in Syria- many are rushing  ‘home’ to  safety. But with all  that  training and nowhere to go-whats a good terrorist  to  do  but blow up  something  close to home?

This all  suits the US vacuous political  and military   establishment  very  well. Heightening fear and loathing  about these ‘Islamic’ groups  in European communities, and encouraging right wing imbecilic xenophobia, is incredibly useful  to ensure  that  the Eurozone limits its citizens freedoms, expands its military  and supports NATO  weirdness.

To ensure we all  believe that America is in fact  attempting to  destroy terrorists ( ie the long long looong war!)    the US military   prioritises  killing  heads of terrorist organizations-  the  key advantage  of such vaunted actions is that they can never be corroborated – (unless  of course ISIS agrees that  their man has been killed)!, as opposed to  destroying terrorist supply lines, banking activities, training camps, weapons supply  routes etc,  which can all be independently  verified. The evidence  is mounting that  these fundamentalist Islamic   terrorists are in  fact nothing but mercenaries who  can   conveniently use the  fear of Islamism to  increase their impact on  gullible Western populations.

As Pepe Escobar notes, NATO headquarters is less than  2 kilometers from the  site of the Brussels  terror;  why  choose a metro  station to  create an impact , rather than  the  central supposedly core of Western values sited at  NATO headquarters? Soft targets are of course easy  targets, but they  clearly have less impact  on Western  political  actions than hard targets….

If we are to believe the quoted media response from  ISIS,  that; ‘let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake part in the crusader campaign … [with] their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets.’, then  this soft target response to  the ‘11,111 air strikes launched by Western and Gulf states against targets in Syria and Iraq’, then this supposed  ISIS response is certainly  a circuitous route to conquering the crusaders.

Sibel Edmonds, ex-FBI operative, argues however that  the proximity of the  attacks   to  NATO headquarters is no coincidence, and simply forms part of a long sequence  of CIA/NATO sponsored Gladio  attacks in Europe-  or in Belgium, the ‘stay-behind’ Gladio  units were known  as S.D.R.A. VIII , with  strong connections to  far-right organisations.

Despite his  genetically ingrained Russophobic  tendencies, Craig Murray makes the very  good point that  terrorists can in  fact attack  any soft target  at will. Current  anti-terrorist measures , such as at  airports are a complete farce, largely useless,  and result in  long, vulnerable to  attack,  queues.

We live in  a bizarre world of lies, disinformation, half-truths and extraordinary  events where   individuals with  limited intelligence  have accumulated great power,  and  are quite prepared to kill any number of innocents for their own  foolish  ends.


Links

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/03/25/erdogan-to-belgium-screw-you-we-will-do-it-again/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/03/roundup-of-current-news-on-syria.html

ICTS https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICTS_International

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jordans-king-accuses-turkey-sending-terrorists-europe-1687591648

http://www.haaretz.com/israeli-firm-blasted-for-letting-would-be-plane-bomber-slip-through-1.261107

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2016/03/24/probable-cause-with-sibel-edmonds-belgium-bombing-the-missing-context-facts-interests/

http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk/operation_gladio.htm