Tag Archives: western intelligence

Brothers in Arms – Saudis and Israelis

On July 10th  2017  the U.K. High  Court rejected a bid by  the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that ‘Britain’s multi-billion-pound arms sales to Saudi Arabia should be halted because they were being used in Yemen in violation of international humanitarian law. ‘

The British  High  Court judges claimed that the Saudis had “sought positively to address concerns about International Humanitarian Law”…..”Saudi Arabia has been, and remains, genuinely committed to compliance with International Humanitarian Law; and there was no ‘real risk’ that there might be ‘serious violations’ of International Humanitarian Law (in its various manifestations) such that UK arm sales to Saudi Arabia should be suspended or cancelled,” the court said. “

One wonders whether judges can be indicted for perjury? Those judges would have known  full  well  that  their legal  judgement  was a total  and outright lie. The Saudis have in  fact  done everything possible to  exacerbate the suffering  of the Yemen population over the past two years,  with  massive starvation and typhoid outbreaks the consequence of  Saudi bombing of civilian  infrastructure and a blockade of aid and food to Yemen (using British  and U.S. aircraft  ordinance, guidance and coordination) .

One might put this ruling alongside the  eagerness of the U.K. to   continue to  pour millions into  the Israeli  military, which  has for the past 60  years engaged in  a war of not-so- slow motion genocide of the Palestinian  people, for whom  it has  legal  responsibilty as the occupying entity . One has only to  read John Pilger’s account  of the horrendous ordeal  of the Palestinian  people, to be shamed  by  our complicity in  Israeli  war crimes. What  do  these two  delightful  pariah  states have in  common?-  firstly an overweaning desire for  expansion and power; secondly the destruction of the Iranian state,  and thirdly the use of religion to  justify  their  expansionist  goals; with  the Saudis using  their  Wahhabist dogma  to  promote sectarian violence against those who  do  not subscribe to  their bizarre version of  the muslim faith,  while the Zionists use the Jewish  religion as a weapon  against  all  those who  defy  their expansionist  policies and  appropriation of other people’s lands.   As the Boycott,  Divestment Sanctions  (BDS) movement gathers steam  against  the  Israeli  entity, having at least some friends  Israel  can  rely on, may prove rather useful…

It is no  wonder then that  the long-standing secret  alliance between the Saudis and Israel  is now becoming visible, as  political  and moral  pressure  continues to  escalate against  both of them. The Saudi ‘princes’ have continued to  publicly preach  their opposition to  Israeli  occupation of Palestinian  lands , whilst  clandestinely supporting Israel. As the article in Investigaction notes: With some exceptions, support for the Palestinian cause in the Arab world is overwhelming. And regimes like Saudi Arabia have happily betrayed the Palestinian cause over and over again because they are aware that key to their survival is subservience to the United States, and that an alliance with Israel may boost their regional hegemony prospects. But because their legitimacy to rule is incredibly thin to say the least, royals and officials need to keep pretending in public that they are defending and fighting for the Palestinians.

As the economic and military  power of Iran continues to grow,  (despite the best efforts of most of the Western world; with sanctions and  attempted coups and assassinations and wars), the  anti-Iran hysteria within  the ruling classes in these two  regimes continues to  escalate. For the Saudis,  Iran , a largely Shi-ite theocracy ( i.e.  decidely more democratic than  the Saudis,  but  with brutal  political  oversight by  its religious governing bodies) is  a complete anathema to  Saudi Wahhabist  Sunni  ideology,  which holds that all  non-Sunni  muslims are in  fact not muslim  at  all.  In addition  Iran’s rapid development of an internal  arms industry (particularly in  missile development) totally unreliant on  Western imports, along with an economic  structure largely  independent  from  the West ( largely as a result of Western  sanctions based on  fraudulent claims of its  development of nuclear weapons) has allowed it to pursue a totally independent foreign policy line-  unlike the Saudis who  remain completely reliant on  U.K.  and U.S.  weaponry  and therefore required to  be  largely compliant  to U.S.  and U.K military   and political  objectives in  the Middle East.

For the Israelis,  Iran  remains the one  major threat   to its goals of a larger and all-powerful  Israel;  the Middle East  country with the largest  military (courtesy  of the United States)  and  a nuclear arsenal . Iran continues to  support fund and train  Hezbollah  in Lebanon,  and to some degree Hamas  in  the Occupied Territories of Palestine itself. Both Hezbollah,  with its devastating victory over the Israeli  Army in  Lebanon in 2006, and to  a smaller degree Hamas, with its ongoing resistance to  Israel’s brutal military incursions into  the West  Bank, have been  a thorn in  the side of Israeli  expansionism, and hence have been deemed ‘terrorist  organisations’  by the West.  Hezbollah  has again  played a significant role  against  Al Qaeda (Al Nusra) and ISIS ( funded and armed by  the Saudis and to  some degree by  Turkey, Qatar   and Israel in  the Syrian  war, with coordination and logistics provided by  British and United States intelligence agencies).  And while Israel  knows that  Iran is not going to  acquire nuclear weapons,  it is fearful  of the increasingly advanced home-grown missile technology  that Iran  posseses which now poses a significant deterrant to Israeli  expansion.

Thus  Israel  and  the Saudi  regimes; both rapidly becoming pariah states,  have  increasingly cosied up to each other, (just  as Israel  did with  apartheid South  Africa in  the 1960s) with Israel  providing overt  support to  the Saudi  war  in Yemen,  along with the British and Americans,  on the premise that somehow/somewhere  the Iranians must  be supporting the Yemenese Houthi forces there.  This most un-holy of alliances will  inevitably be the undoing of both  regimes…


Links

https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/stop-arming-saudi/judicial-review

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-saudi-arms-idUKKBN19V0YR

http://johnpilger.com/articles/palestine-is-still-the-issue

http://wolvestuc.org.uk/index.php/local-campaigns/wolves-palestine-solidarity/256-wolverhampton-link-to-arms-exports-to-israel

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Israel and Saudi Arabia: a match made in heaven (or in Washington)

 

 

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Qatari questions…

As Donald Trump  has announced: ‘Qatar has  been funding terrorism  at a very high level”. Trump is of course correct;  Qatar has been funding training and arming  jihadists across the Middle East  and the Western world for many years. However, funding  terrorists is not Qatar’s sin  for the Saudis ,  the Americans and the British.  Qatar’s crime is that they not only support Hamas to    respond to Israeli  terror against  the  Palestinians ,  but they also have a  distant alliance with  Iran promarily via  their shared Pars field gas resource; and,  to cap  it all  off, are  now agreeing to sell some gas  in non-US dollars!

The reality is that   a few  deaths on  London  Bridge  or somewhere else in  Europe are simply collateral  damage;  worth it,  in  the bigger interest of huge kickbacks  from  the Saudis,  and Israel’s backers in  the States  and the U.K. .. This is purely and simply about money. The  festering cesspool  of  British/American  mainstream  politics and their respective ‘intelligence’  units , is all  about money- what’s a few blown-up  innocent citizens compared to  the billions that  can be made through arms deals,   oil  deals and kickbacks?-with  the added benefit of  de-stabilising the one final   disruptor  to  Israel’s’ plans  to  once and for good  ‘solve’  the Palestinian question-  by removing Iran  and their allies Hezbollah and to some degree Hamas.

As Angry Arab notes:  If Western media want to really serve their readers in their (lousy) coverage of the Gulf crisis, they would adhere to those two basic standards of professional journalism:
1) they would tell their readers while interviewing academics, journalists, or “citizens” in UAE or Saudi Arabia or Qatar that opposition the government or disagreeing with the government in tweets or in retweets would land you in jail for up to 15 years with a hefty fine. They would tell them people in those countries are not free to express views different form the government.
2) they would tell readers when they cite “experts” at DC think thanks that those think tanks are all funded by UAE and/or Saudi Arabia (except Brookings which is funded by Qatar).  These are basics.’

 


Links

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/qatar-linked-terror-list-issued-saudi-arabia-allies/

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320000109

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/391853-qatar-riyadh-plan-backfires/

https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/buying-silence

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iraq-reinforces-border-saudi-arabia-amid-deepening-qatari-saudi-rift-video/

http://angryarab.blogspot.co.nz/

 

Saudi Arabia: the Useful Idiots

As Christopher Davidson makes clear in his 2016 book ‘The Shadow Wars’; the extremist ideology of wahhabism – an ‘offshoot’ of Islam, is deeply imbedded in the Saudi regime. That sectarian brutal regime could not have come to power and retained  its military domination over the Arabian peninsula, without the unconditonal support of first the British and latterly the United States. Their Wahhabist dogma states that all who don’t believe in their version of Islam are heretics and should be forcibly converted or put to death.

This dogma is the foundation of Al Qaeda and ISIS ; and these groups, along with fanatical wahhabist ideology promoted  in many Saudi  funded  Sunni mosques around the world, has been actively promoted by those in power in Riyadh since they were effectively installed by the British in the First World War to counter the Turkish Ottoman Empire’s reach..

As Davidson meticulously notes in his book, the support of the British and then the Americans for this fanatical regime, has never wavered; even after the 9/11 terror attack and now the genocide occuring in Yemen. The ongoing U.S. and British support for wahhabist terror to further Western agendas can be taken as a given.

As Human Rights Watch notes (2017) Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam and systematically discriminates against Muslim religious minorities, notably Twelver Shia and Ismailis, including in public education, the justice system, religious freedom, and employment. Government-affiliated religious authorities continued to disparage Shia Islam in public statements and documents.

And now we see a Saudi  attempt to completely eliminate any Shia  influence within the  ‘kingdom’  in  their ongoing brutal  crackdown  of the minority Shia population in Awamiya  on the Arabian peninsula.

Because of the huge amounts of money flowing from the Saudis into Washington and other Western ‘think-tanks’ ( ie propaganda outlets) , both Western media mainstream media and the Washington and London ‘intelligence’ communities are largely  uncritical of this despotic regime and its outpourings of hatred and violence to any Muslims and other Middle Eastern religions who do not espouse their Wahhabist ideology. As long as the Wahhabists remain useful in the cause of eliminating any threats to Israel, countering an independent Iran  or eliminating other Middle Eastern states critical of the United States or the United Kingdom- then that is all good!- regardless of the loss of lives or the devastation left behind…The destruction of the Shi-ite state of Iran is a priority of both the Saudis, Israel, as well as the U.S. and U.K. The re-appropriation of Iranian assets and oil by Western interests is looked upon longingly.

Saudi Arabia funds many wahhabist sect mosques throughout the Western world; whose aim is to preach hate and sectarian discord and promote the killing of others who do not accept their extremist views. Given that this sectarian dialogue is visible open and blatant, how is it that those western mosques have not been closed and the Saudi funnelling of money towards Wahhabists has not been blocked?

Or is this ‘minor’ irritant of localised terrorism and hate in Western states ‘worth it’, when the majority of the mosques’ gullible and disenfranchised indoctrinated young adherents can be shunted off to the Middle East with the assistance of Western intelligence agencies, so that Shi-ite or non secular non U.S. aligned states can be destroyed?

We have reached a rather surrealist situation where the previously hidden long term ‘agreement’ to divide the Middle East according to their respective spheres of influence between Israel and Saudi Arabia has now become completely visible, and now means that ISIS has needed to apologise to Israel for their unintended attack on Israeli ‘Defence’ forces. For many Arabs this apology is a clear signal of the betrayal by the Saudis of the Palestinians and their 60 year brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel military forces. Taken in conjunction with their genocidal war against the impoverished Yemen people by massive Saudi military forces, and with the total support of the U.K. and U.S., Saudi credibility has reached an all time low amongst Arab populations across the Middle East.

Once can only hope that the end of the brutal ‘reign’ of the House of Saud is nigh.


Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/saudi-arabia

https://off-guardian.org/2015/12/10/saudi-arabia-leads-the-jihadist-nations-u-s-assists-them/

https://www.sott.net/article/308121-Investigating-Saudi-Arabias-sponsorship-of-Turkish-politics-terrorism-and-the-frenzied-conflict-in-Syria

http://intpolicydigest.org/2015/11/29/why-isis-exists-the-double-game/

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Shadow Wars-The Secret Struggle for the Middle East, Christopher Davidson 2016

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/christopher-davidson-ian-sinclair/christopher-davidson-interview-what-is-role-of-west-in-middle-e

http://thesaker.is/who-are-the-sunnis-a-lamentation/

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/war-with-iran-seems-likely-as-trump-cosies-up-with-saudi-arabia/


Postcript  Links

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201705201053811797-abu-trump-al-amriki/

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/manchester-attack-salman-abedi-salafi-jihadism-wahhabism-isis-al-qaeda-islam-muslim-suicide-bombing-a7754301.html

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

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/

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

Syrian Blowback?

The attacks by  Islamist extremists  in Paris on 13th and 14th   November  are one of a long series of terrorist attacks in France. The characteristics of those supposedly involved are interesting:  young males in  their late 20s, association with  drug-dealings, one whose  recent  employment was  destroyed by  a Police decision to  shut down his part-owned café because of suspected drug-peddling, poverty and refugees- yet not a strong connection to  an Islamic tradition  of the extremist  Wahhabist  sect  that  espouses asceticism and the  hatred of other non Sunni sects.

As with  many other  civilian  targeted  terrorists attacks around the world , they occurred the same day  as a   major Paris medical response drill to a terrorist attack; coincidence? -probably…

We need to  acknowledge  that  Western intelligence  services, particularly those governments heavily involved in  destabilising Syria -eg France, have turned a blind eye to   young men   going to  Syria to fight in  the extremist  Takfiri    groups against  the Assad government regime there. Small  wonder then  that  France’s intelligence agencies were fully aware of the main perpetrators of the Paris attacks , and did nothing.

Despite  some attempts, particularly by  American mainstream  media, to portray  those joining ISIS and the other Al Qaeda offshoots in Syria as dedicated to  Islamic values and a return  to  a ‘golden age’ of a caliphate; the reality appears very  different.  These are predominantly  angry  young men, dispossessed,  poor with  few prospects to make money  or a career in  the West, lured by  promises of glory, violence and a new world where they  are the rulers of destiny.  Western Intelligence and Gulf State governments’ cynical manipulation of these dispossessed, has resulted in  the catastrophe  that  is the Middle East.  Over the past few years, the United States’ half-hearted attempts to   destroy  ISIS with  limited bombing runs  and a focus on destroying extremist leaders’ rather than  extremist  infrastructure, has led ISIS and the other Al  Qaeda affiliates in Syria and Iraq, to believe they  are impervious to  Western threats of force.

The recent  extremely intensive  aerial  bombardment by   Russian  air-force  and  missiles of  terrorist infrastructure in Syria,  has  changed the strategic balance. No  more is it likely, as the Americans would have it, are we in  for a ‘long war’ against  ISIS.  The militant groups are fast  approaching the point where  keeping  large concentrations of  militants  on  the ground and thereby  ‘holding ground’, will be impossible. A resort to guerrilla tactics is therefore likely, but with  vastly less impact  on the Syrian population and landscape.

Small  wonder the that  France and the other colonialist  governments in  the West  are concerned about the impacts of Russian attacks in  Syria. Where else do  the militants go;  but home?  We are likely therefore to  see many more attacks  in the West by  disenfranchised Muslim youth, skilled in  the use of explosives and  weapons, in the months to  come.

Postscript

The shooting down  of a  Russian SU24 bomber  close to  the Syrian/Turkish  border  by  a Turkish  Airforce  F16 on November 24th, has been downplayed in most media as something that is kind of unfortunate and will  ‘blow over’.

The reality is somewhat  different. This is the first  time that  a state agency (the Ankara Erdogan government) has explicitly  supported its ISIS and Al Qaeda allies, along with  the Turkmen mujaheddin  allied with  Al  Qaeda: a state agency  that has apparently ‘pretended’ to  support the war  against  ISIS and now shows its colours- hence the ‘stab in the back ‘ statement by  President Putin

The   shooting down   in what  appears to  be Syrian airspace is a serious violation , along with the not unexpected violation of the Geneva Conventions by  the Turkmen ‘insurgents’ killing the parachuting ejected pilots in  the air.  NATO, while urging  caution in the Russian  response, clearly does not wish  to  see itself allied with  such  reckless actions by  President Erdogan of Turkey, and has indicated its belief that  the shootdown occurred in  Syrian air-space.

The ramifications of this act are enormous, and will  likely lead to  significant internal  rumblings by  the Turkish military  against  this further slide of  the Erdogan  government towards   Islamic extremism within  and without Turkey. There are also  clear lines of accountability to  senior Turkish politicians benefiting from  the sale of ISIS oil .

While the Russian government has requested the immediate discontinuation of Russian  tourists visiting Turkey, the trade  sanctions responses to  Turkey  are likely to be severe  in an already  vulnerable Turkish  economy. The ongoing deployment of S300  and S400  anti-air batteries by  the Syrians and Russians, along with the deployment of fighter air cover for Russian bombers is likely to  result in a shootdown of Turkish fighters if Erdogan is not restrained. How will  NATO respond?  Whatever happens, the  long term   outcomes of this reckless  action spell  disaster for Turkey.

See the interesting and informative article by  Gareth  Porter on his interpretation of Turkey’s recent actions in Syria here


Links

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2015/11/30/the-real-reason-for-turkeys-shoot-down-of-the-russian-jet/

http://atimes.com/2015/12/is-the-west-turning-syria-into-a-new-afghanistan-in-the-mediterranean/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/12/putin-announces-war-on-tayyeep-bin-ardogan-over-fighter-shoot-down-and-bosphorus-blockade.html#more

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/12/03/more-coming-out-on-isis-kingpin-bilal-erdogan/

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2015/12/09/elephant-room-terrorism-and-us-gulf-states-alliance

http://thesaker.is/erdogan-the-trojan-horse-of-terror/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06s0qy9

The Farcical “War on Terror”

Reports are now  coming thick and fast  from  both the Middle East  and from the  United Stated sources of the  role the United States  and its key allies have played in  first  establishing and  then maintaining   ISIS, Al Qaeda and numerous other salafist  affiliates, under the  flimsy  guise of them being  “moderate” jihadists.

As one more instance of this support, the  recent  debacle of a defeat for Iraqi troops against  ISIS in Ramadi points to  the clear decision by United States  forces not to  conduct  airstrikes  against  ISIS  positions, when there was every   opportunity to  do  so., and the US recommendation to  the Iraqi government not to deploy Shi-ite militias in Ramadi The United States is now  aggrieved that Iranian military players are now directly involved in  the re-taking of Ramadi for the Iraqi government .

The consistent intent  for   United States policy  since the Iranian revolution in1979,  has been to  contain and eliminate any potential threat from Shi-ite groups that might negatively impact on the US supported Persian Gulf (Sunni) dictatorships. The Gulf State dictatorships have consistently demonstrated  their unconditional  support  and loyalty  for  US and Israeli  imperial  policies  in  the region; unlike the Shi-ite  states of Iran, Syria and now Iraq, who  foolishly prefer a path of self-determination for their peoples.

The usual   pack of neocon  psychopaths , with John Bolton  snarling in  the lead, has been  to  attempt to  ramp up the non-existent Iranian nuclear weapon threat, to provide unconditional  support for Israeli genocide in  Palestine and to support   anything , regardless of international law or the rights of humanity, that  will extend the United State’s power internationally. If that means  using delusional  Saudi  and Qatari “princes”  to  find and resource even more psychotic ISIS military leaders,who  believe that  all Shi-ites must  be exterminated;  then so be it.

There is clear evidence of an ongoing policy by  the neocons to destroy secular Middle East  governments ( ie not specifically Sunni  oriented governments) like Saddam’s  Iraq, Libya, Syria, which  can lead  on to the ultimate goal  for the US, Israel  and the Saudis; the destruction of Shi-ite  Iran. The  Saudi bombardment of Yemen’s Houthi movement and all  Yemeni  civilians , is  just  a minor diversion  in  the larger game plan.

The recent public announcement by the US that  it wil  be funding training  and arming  “moderate” Syrian opposition forces to  fight the Syrian Assad regime , is one more step  in this bizarre and farcical journey of creating  monsters to  kill them. As has  been clearly demonstrated; there is in fact no  “moderate” opposition fighters. It is possible that  at  the beginning of the fight against  Assad in the “spontaneous” Arab Spring uprising against  him , that  there were a few  secular   and moderate voices, but they have long gone.  As this Department of Defence report for 2012 clearly indicates,   the US knew well  (even 3 years ago) that  the Syrian opposition  fighters that it supported and continues to  support, were  almost entirely composed of extremist jihadists and salafist ( anti-Shiite and anti  any other non-Sunni sect)

Additional  little snippets of the tight connection between Western governments and Middle East  terrorist  groups can  be  found in Seamus Milne’s account here.  Or the recent post  in  the Levant Report documenting how  the ISIS Leader Omar al-Shishani Fought Under U.S. Umbrella as Late as 2013

But even  in these accounts, Western  reporters are  extremely cautious in ascribing  a direct  linkage between  terror and the West ; one  which  now undoubtedly exists. Note how key Western governments are now happy to pay ISIS good prices for their stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil.

Or note ex-President of  Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai’s view that  the U.S is actively taking a two  sided approach  to  creation and  destruction of jihadist  groups to  serve its power interests.

Time and time again  we are seeing reports in  the mainstream U.S. and U.K. media that  ISIS is here to  stay  for  the long term; how hard it will be  to eliminate them; and really, things are such  a lot better for those people in Iraq, Libya and Syria now that  ISIS and its Western  subsidised offshoots are there.  After all  we have “law and order”-never mind that this “law” is an obscene  psychopathic one  As a “delightful ” example of this  obscene  Western view on  that”Isis isn’t really that bad” -read this article in the U.K. Independent by   Richard Barrett (who) was head of counter-terrorism at MI6 before spending nine years as the co-ordinator of the UN’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team.

What  you sow, so  shall  you reap……

 Postscript

A great  article on where all  that wonderful  hardware comes from  that ISIS  uses at  Antiwar.com http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/15/where-does-isis-get-those-wonderful-toys/, which rather begs the question; who is training those little psychopaths in all  this new hi-tech  equipment?

And some additional information from  Andrew P Napolitano  at  antiwar. com brings to  the sunlight  at  least one war equipment  ratline managed by  Secretary  of State Clinton to  terrorists in Libya and Syria .

And from Sibel Edmonds, ex-American intelligence operative; a podcast  on  the role of the U.S. Black-ops community in  establishing and maintaining  various international   terrorist  groups


Links

http://journal-neo.org/2015/05/25/washington-confesses-to-backing-questionable-actors-in-syria/

http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/08/the-us-governments-not-so-secret-support-for-al-qaeda-and-isis/

http://rt.com/op-edge/265474-isis-syria-iraq-rebels/