Oil, Power, And Psychopaths

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James F. Gibson Tent of A. Foulke, Horse Artillery, Brandy Station, Virginia 1864

Courtesy of Raul Ilargi Meijer @ Automatic Earth Blog:

Iran has a – very – long running dispute with the US about its nuclear technology. The US wants Assad (Bashar Al-Assad) out of Syria, while Iran and Russia support Assad (Russia’s sole proper base in the Middle East), who’s an Alawite (a Shi-ite branch), a people historically persecuted by Sunni’s. ISIS (or Daesh in the region) is Sunni. So are the Saudi’s. Iran is Shi’ite. Bahrain is ruled by Sunni but has a majority Shi’ite population. And I could go on for a while. A long while.

All this plays into the oil game, the falling oil prices. Blaming OPEC for the recent price fall is seeing the world from a child’s perspective. OPEC and its major voteholder, Saudi Arabia, are no more to blame for the plunge than the US, Russia or other non-OPEC producers. Everybody produces as if there’s no tomorrow, and the Saudi’s have merely concluded that their only choice is to do the same. It’s a race to the bottom.

The reason is the fast declining demand for oil; China is nowhere near as mighty as we seem to think, Europe is a basket case, emerging economies are being strangled as we speak by the surging dollar and the Fed taper, and we’re just getting started. It’s cute and all that nobody wonders how much virtual money has vanished into the great beyond as both oil itself and the companies that get it out of the earth have lost half of their ‘values’ in Q4 2014, let alone the countries that depend on oil for their very existence. But cute doesn’t cut it.

Oliver Stone talks about ‘Ukraine: The CIA Coup’. I’ve talked about exactly that all of last year. While on vacation, Obama declares new sanctions on North Korea for hacking a Japanese company only the FBI claims it was guilty of. While US sanctions against Iran are ongoing.

America is trying to control the world by throwing it into confusion, emboldened by poorly understood theories about military superiority, and creating conflicts all over the place that look like they will never be solved. Whereas all it would need to do is make sure it secures itself, its own territory, not control the entire planet. Continue reading

Is Open-Ended Chaos the Desired US-Israeli Aim in the Middle East?

Courtesy of Counterpunch:

During the last week we have seen Sunni militias take control of ever-greater swathes of eastern Syria and western Iraq. In the mainstream media, the analysis of this emerging reality has been predictably idiotic, basically centering on whether:

a) Obama is to blame for this for having removed US troops in compliance with the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) negotiated and signed by Bush.

b) Obama is “man enough” to putatively resolve the problem by going back into the country and killing more people and destroying whatever remains of the country’s infrastructure.

This cynically manufactured discussion has generated a number of intelligent rejoinders on the margins of the mainstream media system. These essays, written by people such as Juan Cole, Robert Parry, Robert Fisk and Gary Leupp, do a fine job of explaining the US decisions that led to the present crisis, while simultaneously reminding us how everything occurring today was readily foreseeable as far back as 2002.

What none of them do, however, is consider whether the chaos now enveloping the region might, in fact, be the desired aim of policy planners in Washington and Tel Aviv.

Rather, each of these analysts presumes that the events unfolding in Syria and Iraq are undesired outcomes engendered by short-sighted decision-making at the highest levels of the US government over the last 12 years.

Looking at the Bush and Obama foreign policy teams—no doubt the most shallow and intellectually lazy members of that guild to occupy White House in the years since World War II—it is easy to see how they might arrive at this conclusion.

But perhaps an even more compelling reason for adopting this analytical posture is that it allows these men of clear progressive tendencies to maintain one of the more hallowed, if oft-unstated, beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon world view.

What is that? Continue reading

How The US Is Arming Both Sides Of The Iraqi Conflict

It looks like Iranian forces are going to have to enter the foray and what better way to stretch the Iranians, who are also involved in Syria against the same set of US backed and trained heart eating jihadists. It’s also a good way to test the Iranians with their war machines, provided to help create a destabilised region where millions have and will be slaughtered, impoverished and displaced. It’s all an agenda and it’s all going to plan, truly abhorrent behaviour. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Waziristan, , Ukraine and coming to a town or country near you. Courtesy of Zerohedge:

Recall a week ago we wrote “US Begins Delivering F-16s To Iraq This Week, A Decade After It Wiped Out Iraq’s Air Force” in which we said:

… the US will deliver the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq in what Baghdad’s envoy to the United States called a “new chapter” in his country’s ability to defend its vast borders with Iran and other neighbors.

….the US earlier in March provided Iraq with some 100 Hellfire missiles as well as assault rifles and other ammunition. Then in April the US sent more arms, providing Iraq with 11 million rounds of ammunition and other supplies.

It is unknown how many of these have fallen into Al Qaeda/ISIS hands (we do know that at least one Iraqi Black Hawk chopper was captured during the rush for Mosul). What is known is that as PBS Frontline reported two weeks ago, while the administration has denied arming Syrian “rebels”, i.e. the same ISIS militants that have crossed the border and are now fighting in Iraq…

… the reality is that it has. From: “Obama Says Not Arming Syrian Rebels, Syrian Rebels Say He Is”

… the Syrian rebels themselves say they are already armed and trained by US in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, “how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.” The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels, as PBS notes “it appears the Obama administration is allowing select groups of rebels to receive US-made anti-tank missiles.”

The commander of the unit also told Ali that their American contacts had asked him to bring 80 to 90 members of his unit to Ankara for training.

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One of the fighters said they received three weeks of training in how to conduct ambushes, conduct raids and use their weapons. They also said they received new uniforms and boots.

“They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road,” said the fighter, who is identified only as “Hussein.” “They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

To summarize: the US was arming and training the same Al Qaeda/ISIS groups of Jihadists, that it concurrently gave Iraq weapons to fight. And since the Iraq army has so far proven utterly incapable of any resistance, it is now up to US drones to “fight” the same “rebels” that the US itself was collaborating with until a month or so ago.

The clear winner here? The US military-industrial complex, of course, as well as the banks who lend money to the governments to fight wars provoked by various “developed nation” spy agencies.

Collateral damage? Millions of innocent people on the ground in Syria and Iraq, and everywhere else too.

Iran, Russia Ruffle US Feathers with Oil Swap Deal

Courtesy of Oilprice.com:

Reports are emerging that Iran and Russia are in talks about a potential $1.5 billion oil-for-goods swap that could boost Iranian oil exports, prompting harsh responses from Washington, which says such a deal could trigger new US sanctions.

So far, talks are progressing to the point that Russia could purchase up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods, according to Reuters.

“We are concerned about these reports and Secretary (of State John) Kerry directly expressed this concern with (Russian) Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov… If the reports are true, such a deal would raise serious concerns as it would be inconsistent with the terms of the P5+1 agreement with Iran and could potentially trigger US sanctions,” Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, told Reuters.

Russian purchases of 500,000 bpd of Iranian crude would lift Iran’s oil exports by 50% and infuse the struggling economy with some $1.5 billion a month, some sources say.

Since sanctions were slapped on Iran in July 2012, exports have fallen by half and Iran is losing up to $5 billion per moth is revenues. Continue reading

Israel Working With Saudi Arabia On Iran “Contingency” Attack

America is faltering and they need a war, they almost had it in Syria but now they have 2 proxy’s to instigate…Saudi Arabia and Israel. They need that war and Iran is set firmly in their sights. With the Israeli propaganda machine beating the hypocritical drum that Iran want a nuclear weapon, even though they are the only ones with them in the ME. Iran has not attacked any country for 300 years, since its inception in 1946, how many wars and international laws have Israel broken? Courtesy of The Hedge:

When last week’s Iran nuclear talks were blocked by France, it provided a useful glimpse into just who it was that would benefit politically from a continuation of the regional confrontation. But while the French sabotage was an amusing distraction, it revealed a curious shift in middle-east alliances, namely old “enemies” Israel and Saudi Arabia, both feeling shunned by Big Brother, suddenly becoming the best of buddies. It was only a matter of time before this novel alliance moved beyond just paper and tested how far it could go in real life. Said test may come far sooner than expected: according to the Sunday Times, Israel’s Mossad and Saudi Arabia are planning an attack against Iran if negotiations and talks don’t come to an agreement, and that Saudia Arabia will permit Israel to use their air space for an attack on Iran including full technical support. Continue reading

Iran and the Petrodollar Threat to U.S. Empire

With the Western war machine stopped from liberating bombing/invading Syria for now, hawkish eyes are turning to Iran. We are told by our media that they are trying to develop a nuclear bomb, which they aren’t but that doesn’t stop Israel et al from pushing the narrative. If Team America attempted to intervene in Syria it would have invoked Iran to intersect due to the defence pact they have with the Syrians. Now cue the Netanyahu and Obomber memes of Iran having a bomb….a country to have invaded no-one in over 300 years, oh the irony. Courtesy of NewLeftProject:

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Iran poses a far more serious threat to the U.S. than its disputed nuclear aspirations. Over the last few years, Iran has unleashed a weapon of mass destruction of a very different kind, one that directly challenges a key underpinning of American hegemony: the U.S. dollar as the exclusive global currency for all oil transactions.

It began in 2005, when Iran announced it would form its own International Oil Bourse (IOB), the first phase of which opened in 2008. The IOB is an international exchange that allows international oil, gas, and petroleum products to be traded using a basket of currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Then in November 2007 at a major OPEC meeting, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for a “credible and good currency to take over U.S. dollar’s role and to serve oil trades”. He also called the dollar “a worthless piece of paper.” The following month, Iran—consistently ranked as either the third or fourth biggest oil producer in the world—announced that it had requested all payments for its oil be made in currencies other than dollars.

The latest round of U.S. sanctions targets countries that do business with Iran’s Central Bank, which, combined with the U.S. and EU oil embargoes, should in theory shut down Iran’s ability to export oil and thus force it to abandon its nuclear program by crippling its economy. But instead, Iran is successfully negotiating oil sales via accepting gold, individual national currencies like China’s renmimbi, and direct bartering.

China and India are by far the most significant players, with Russia playing a supporting role. China is Iran’s number one oil export market, followed by India. Both have been paying for at least part of their Iranian oil imports with gold, and according to the Financial Times, have also been paying in their own currencies, the Chinese renmimbi and Indian rupee.[1] As neither currency is easily convertible as international currency, they will be used to pay for Chinese and Indian imports. And on 22 June, Russian media reported that China imported almost 524,000 barrels per day in May, a whopping 35% jump from the previous month.[2]

There is only so much the U.S. can do if China continues to do business with Iran. China holds $1 trillion dollars of U.S. debt, and the U.S. is utterly dependent on cheap Chinese manufacturing. Significantly, just as the newest and toughest round of U.S. sanctions kicked in at the start of July, Iran’s PressTV announced that China would be investing at least $20 billion to develop the north and south Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields which will produce 700,000 barrels per day. Azadegan is estimated to contain 42 billion barrels, making it one of the world’s largest oil deposits.[3]

America has more leverage with India, but with the “BRICs”—Brazil, Russia, India and China—showing increasing solidarity in dealing with the U.S. and Europe, U.S. options are still limited. In January Bloomberg reported that all Russian trade with Iran was being conducted in Russian rubles and Iranian rials, and not U.S. dollars.[4]

Instead of shunning Iran as per U.S. dictate, many countries are simply finding ways around the sanctions. On 20 June, ten days before the tougher sanctions came into place, Turkey and Iran announced that they would trade in their local currencies and bypass dollar transactions.[5] Turkey is Iran’s fifth largest oil market. Local currency that has little convertible value internationally is one thing. Gold is quite another, and on 9 July, the Financial Times reported that Turkey had paid $1.4 bn in gold for Iranian oil in May.[6]

In January, Fars, Iran’s state run media, reported that all Iranian trade with Japan, Iran’s third biggest oil importer, was dollar free.[7] The Tehran Times reported in July that South Korea, Iran’s fourth largest oil market, was considering bartering manufactured goods for Iranian oil,[8] and Reuters reported that Indonesia was considering doing the same for palm oil.[9] Sri Lanka and Vietnam were also considering dropping the dollar to guarantee ongoing access to Iranian oil.[10]

How the Petrodollar System Works

In a nutshell, any country that wants to purchase oil from an oil producing country has to do so in U.S. dollars. This is a long standing agreement within all oil exporting nations, aka OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The UK for example, cannot simply buy oil from Saudi Arabia by exchanging British pounds. Instead, the UK must exchange its pounds for U.S. dollars. The major exception at present is, of course, Iran.

This means that every country in the world that imports oil—which is the vast majority of the world’s nations—has to have immense quantities of dollars in reserve. These dollars of course are not hidden under the proverbial national mattress. They are invested. And because they are U.S. dollars, they are invested in U.S. Treasury bills and other interest bearing securities that can be easily converted to purchase dollar-priced commodities like oil. This is what has allowed the U.S. to run up trillions of dollars of debt: the rest of the world simply buys up that debt in the form of U.S. interest bearing securities.

The flip-side of this are the countries that produce and export oil, in particular Saudi Arabia and the other Arab producers. The only way the system can possibly work is if oil producers refuse to accept anything other than U.S. dollars as payment for their oil. This they have done since the Nixon Administration’s manipulation of the OPEC oil crisis in the mid-1970’s, which succeeded in getting Saudi Arabia, traditionally the world’s dominant producer, to agree to accept only dollars for oil. The Saudis used their influence to get the rest of OPEC to agree as well. In return, the U.S. offered to militarily defend not so much Saudi Arabia, but the horrifically repressive monarchy that ruled it.[11]

But there was a kicker: Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger also got the Saudis to agree to invest their mega oil profits in the U.S. economy. In addition to buying interest bearing U.S. government securities, the Saudis also invested in New York banks. Because the OPEC oil embargo had quadrupled global oil prices, the Saudis and other Arab producers suddenly had a great deal of money to invest. The money parked in those New York banks then became available to be loaned to the rest of the world, which faced major financial crises due to—yes, you guessed it—the sudden quadrupling of oil prices. By the year 2000 and Iraq’s dramatic switch to selling Iraq’s oil in euros, Saudi Arabia had recycled as much as $1 trillion, primarily in the United States. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates recycled $200–300 billion.[12] And because those loans were in U.S. dollars, they had to be paid back in U.S. dollars. When U.S. interest rates skyrocketed to 21 percent in the early 1980’s, interest on the loans also skyrocketed. This in turn precipitated a third world debt crisis, which was mercilessly exploited by Wall Street and the U.S. In this case, the exploitation came in the form of requiring countries to “structurally adjust” their economies along neoliberal lines in return for World Bank and IMF bailout loans. By 2009, the total debt owed on these bailouts and other loans was an astounding $3.7 trillion. In 2008, they paid over $602 billion servicing these debts to rich countries, primarily the United States.[13] From 1980 to 2004, they paid an estimated $4.6 trillion.[14]

The history of how this came about is fascinating, and I discuss it in detail in Making the World Safe for Capitalism. The short version is that from the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement which set up the International Monetary Fund and the precursors to the World Bank and World Trade Organisation, the dollar was accepted as the international currency for all trade. Crucially though, the dollar was backed up by gold, which was fixed at $35 an ounce. This meant the U.S. had to have enough gold on hand to back up any and all dollars it printed.
Faced with escalating costs from the Vietnam War, in the early 1970s Nixon abandoned the gold standard and replaced it with the petrodollar system described above. Almost simultaneously, he abolished the IMF’s international capital constraints on American domestic banks, which in turn allowed Saudi Arabia and other Arab producers to recycle their petrodollars in New York banks.

The petrodollar system, and U.S. ability to manipulate the dollar as the global reserve currency and hence global debt, has been the bedrock of American economic power. But since the global financial crisis, U.S. policy has been to keep interest rates extremely low to stimulate borrowing. This has meant that the rate of return on those interest bearing securities that the rest of the world has invested in to enable them to buy oil exclusively priced in dollars is also now extremely low. In other words, there is no longer any real financial incentive for the rest of the world to sell its oil in dollars. Nor, crucially, is there as much incentive for OPEC and staunch U.S. ally Saudi Arabia to continue to kowtow to the petrodollar recycling system. After all, the U.S. invaded Iraq and has now de facto control of enough oil production to render reliance on the Saudis potentially irrelevant. And thanks to decades of American military training and hardware procurement, the Saudi military certainly has the capacity to defend itself and even to project its power, as it exhibited last year by invading Bahrain to help suppress the uprising against the equally repressive Al Khalifa monarchy.

In October 2009, veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk of Britain’s Independent newspaper broke the story that Gulf oil-producing countries, along with China, Russia, Japan and France, were planning a new system to replace the dollar as the de facto currency for global oil sales by 2018. The dollar would be replaced by a basket of different currencies including a yet-to-be-released new currency for the Gulf Co-operation Council countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.[15] Other currencies would include the euro, the Chinese yuan [renmimbi] and Japanese yen. Gold would also be included in the mix. That long-term allies like Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf states, along with Japan, were involved suggests that U.S. leadership is being seriously questioned, if not outright challenged.

U.S. Protection of Dollar Dominance

By accepting and encouraging countries to pay for its oil in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, Iran has deliberately taken the same action that, I argue in Making the World Safe for Capitalism, led directly to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In September 2000, Saddam Hussein announced that Iraq would no longer accept the “currency of its enemy”, the U.S. dollar, and from that time onwards any country that wanted to purchase oil from Iraq would have to do so in euros. I further argue that the motivation for the United States’ invasion of Iraq was to eliminate the threats a post-U.N. sanctions Iraq posed to the key underpinnings of American economic hegemony, and to install a pro-U.S. client state and permanent American military presence in the region. The book examines how a post-U.N. sanctions Iraq either directly threatened the ongoing success of American economic power, or provided enormous opportunities to extend it.

All the same considerations are in play with Iran, starting with Iran’s direct threat to the dollar as the dominant global reserve currency. But that is just one aspect of the much larger issue: that Iran openly defies U.S. neoliberal hegemony. Like Iraq pre-invasion, Iran is not a member of the WTO, has not had any dealings with the IMF since 1984, and does not have any debt with it or the World Bank. Like Iraq before it, and evidenced by China’s oil development contracts, the U.S. and its oil companies are cut out of any future oil development in Iran. Like a post-sanctions Iraq, Iran has the potential to be the dominant power in the region and to provide development assistance on a vastly different model to that imposed by the WTO, World Bank and IMF, against which so much of the Middle East is rebelling.

The U.S. has shot itself in the foot. Far from isolating Iran, the sanctions are potentially speeding up the demise of the dollar’s dominance by forcing Iran to explore alternative currencies. That so many other countries are so willing to support Iran in direct defiance of the sanctions is what the U.S. clearly bet against. It might end up as the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history. Either that, or yet another war.

Christopher Doran is the author of ‘Making the World Safe for Capitalism: How Iraq Threatened the US Economic Empire and had to be Destroyed’. A long-time activist and writer, he teaches in the department of labor studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and the department of Political Sociology at Indiana University, Columbus.

The Terrible Future Of The Syrian War

I read this article by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog and it reinforces what I believe about the Syrian conflict. It is a proxy war and no one will win, it is clear aggression by the global elite to start a world war but we must not let them. Not only for our own salvation but the salvation of all men, woman and children who will be killed, maimed, misplaced, regardless of what side they support. We need to highlight the false information they are are perpetuating and hold these ignorant, narcissistic and sociopathic poor excuses for human beings to account.

I do not wish for my children or their children to inherit an earth in which we allowed a certain 1% faction of our own society to ruin and desecrate it. We are the 99% and it is time we awoke to take back our lives and our natural right to freedom, happiness and liberty. Regardless of race, religion, colour or creed we are one species and we need to work together to remove our shackles or we will commit our children to live a life of blatant slavery. I for one will not stand for this, I ask anyone who reads this to make the right decision and hold those in power to account because if we don not make a stand, we are letting ourselves and our future friends and families down.

Full Article:

The last war America fought openly through proxy was the Vietnam War. The idea was not necessarily “new”; General Smedley Butler’s exposé on his career as a conqueror-for-hire, titled War is a Racket, uncovered a long history of bloodshed by U.S. government and corporate interests in third world countries designed to destroy sovereign nations and plunder their resources. This was done through the use of mercenaries for hire, military men acting covertly or guerrilla forces with a pre-existing agenda supplied through back channels.

After our defeat in Vietnam, our government set forth on a program of private warfare. The “School of the Americas” was formed, also known as the School of Assassins, in Fort Benning, Georgia. The combat academy churned out some of the most unstable monsters in third world politics. The U.S. trained and conditioned agents for violent social change and military overthrow, who were then implanted around the world (mostly in Central and South America). These agents then initiated war fever in the name of cementing U.S. interests around the globe. Their horrifying methods were seen as a means to an end.

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The sad and disturbing reality is that most wars fought by our country over the course of the past century have not been fought on principle. Instead, they have been fought for profit and for the consolidation of power and oligarchy.

Vietnam was a break in the tradition of secret puppet conflicts, sending the U.S. into the realm of openly admitted proxy. The establishment wanted the American people to know that we were supplying funding and weapons to the South Vietnamese nationalists, meddling in a civil war which had absolutely no bearing on U.S. international relations or domestic policy. The rationalization then was that America had to stop the spread of communism. Ironically, the communists of North Vietnam were a minimal threat compared to the elitist communists within our own borders sitting in positions of political power.

Ultimately, the Vietnam War had nothing to do with fighting communism, and everything to do with manipulating the public into accepting the concept of foreign intervention. That is to say, we were being conditioned to think of interventionism as a perfectly normal U.S. policy.

The war in Vietnam was achieved in stages. First, the U.S. aided then abandoned the government of Ngo Dinh Diem, who was assassinated during a military coup inspired partly by Diem’s despotic mistreatment of the Vietnamese populace. Money was then sent to cement the power of the military junta in the name of countering the rise of the communist North. Soon, weapons and heavy ordinance were being shipped to the South. Then, U.S. “advisors” were sent to train South Vietnamese soldiers.

Full intervention was successfully avoided by the John F. Kennedy Administration until his assassination, after which President Lyndon B. Johnson launched into a full-spectrum U.S. invasion which the mainstream referred to as a “police action.” This invasion was facilitated by the “Gulf of Tonkin event”, which is now openly admitted by officials of the day, including Robert McNamara, as a false flag incident entirely fabricated by the U.S. government in order to engineer a validation for outright war. Simultaneously, Chinese and Russian interests began supplying the North, though their involvement never officially led to boots on the ground.

I rehash this history because I think it is important to note that the Vietnam theatre seems to have been recycled in Syria today, though the cast of characters has been rearranged slightly. This time, the U.S. and Europe has supported the insurgency. The government of Bashar al-Assad has been cast as the “villain”. Russia and China are now playing the role of mediators and peacemakers, while the West now sends men like Senator John McCain to throw money and weapons into the hands of a rebellion permeated with members of Al Qaeda, who decapitate and eat the hearts of prisoners on video, and who, last time I checked, were supposedly our enemy.

The process and escalation of the conflict has been very similar to our adventures in Southeast Asia. Money has been openly sent to the rebels. Weapons have likely been covertly sent (evidence suggests that this program was perhaps a part of the reason for the Benghazi incident and subsequent cover-up). Now, certain parties within the U.S., Israel, and the EU have suggested open armament of the insurgency, while destabilization of the region is blamed on Assad by the Western media. A false flag event seems to have already been fabricated in the form of a chemical weapons attack. Samples of a particular Sarin gas incident have allegedly been collected by French journalists from the La Monde newspaper, and have been supplied to the UN. The UN of course has identified the samples as Sarin and has immediately led the public to believe that the Syrian government was involved, though they have been forced to acknowledge that the insurgents may also have access to similar chemical weapons. My question is, who the hell is La Monde? Are we really supposed to believe that random embedded journalists with no agenda have supplied the UN with substantial proof of chemical weapons by the Assad regime? Where are these samples? Where were they taken? Where is the proof that they were taken during a combat incident? I smell an Iraqi setup special all over again…

In response to the accelerated armament of what many now consider an entirely fabricated revolution, Russia, Iran, and Lebanon have offered aid to Assad. Russia has supplied Syria with weaponry for years, though shipments have increased in recent months, including a new shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles which has infuriated Israel (Israel has claimed it has no intention to escalate, even thought it has twice used airstrikes within Syria’s borders — their anger over S-300 shipments only shows that they intend to continue such aggression).

Iran has a longstanding mutual defense pact with Syria and has stated that any further direct incursions by the West will result in Iranian involvement (though I think it likely that they are already involved sending arms and advisors of their own). Lebanon has supplied actual ground troops to Assad through Hezbollah. They are aiding the Syrian army in what appears to be a successful campaign against the insurgency. Hezbollah was very effective in repelling an invasion by Israel in 2006, causing the United Nations to step in to provide face-saving resolutions and an excuse for Israeli retreat. I believe their involvement in Syria will be a game changer.

I have been writing and warning about Syria’s potential as a catalyst for an expanded global war for years, long before most people had ever heard of Assad, and much of what I have predicted in the past is now coming true. Whether you believe the Assad regime is good or evil, it is important to realize that our government’s involvement in the region has nothing to do with Assad. This conflict is about setting off chain reactions in the Middle East, and, perhaps, even triggering a world war. You can read more about this in my article “Syria And Iran Dominos Lead To World War.”

Using Vietnam and other proxy wars as a reference, here is how I believe the war in Syria is likely to progress over the coming months:

Heavy weapons will be supplied to the insurgency, including anti-aircraft weapons, leading to increased casualties, especially civilian casualties.

Assad will respond with expanded and deadly airstrikes and ground troops will advance with the aid of Hezbollah.

Iran will begin openly supplying arms, and step up covert supplies of advisors and ground troops.

Russia will increase arms shipments even further, including anti-ship, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles in order to dissuade U.S. and Israeli interests from sending their own forces into the area.

Syrian insurgents will begin losing ground quickly. The UN will offer to “mediate” a ceasefire, but this will only be designed to allow the insurgents time to regroup, and for the U.S., EU and Israel to position themselves for attack.

The UN ceasefire talks will be a wash, if they even take place. Israel will begin regular airstrikes in the name of stopping Iran and Hezbollah from interfering in the war, or to stop them from obtaining “chemical weapons.” The strikes will be aimed at Syrian military facilities and Syrian infrastructure. There will be many civilian casualties.

Syria will respond with ground to air and ground to ground missiles. Israeli cities will see far more precise targeting than the scud missiles used by Iraq during Gulf I and Gulf II. Civilian deaths will be much higher than expected, despite common claims that Israeli missile defenses are the most advanced in the world (Israel has never faced the threat of advanced Russian missile systems).

A no-fly zone will be announced over Syria, enforced by U.S. and Israeli planes, along with anti-aircraft batteries.

A violent attack will take place in Israel, likely against a civilian population center (I would not be surprised if chemical weapons are involved). The attack will be blamed on the Assad government, or affiliated allies. It might be a real attack or it might be a false flag. In either case, the result will be the commitment of Israeli ground troops.

I think it highly probable that Israel will be the first Western country to invade Syria. However, their involvement will immediately draw a declaration of war from Iran, and, increased ship movements from Russia, which maintains a strategic naval base off the coast of Tartus.

Israel will be swallowed up in a strategic quandary, and will demand U.S. military action. The U.S. will supply that action. Combat will spread into cross-border battles in countries not directly engaged in the fight (as it did in Cambodia during Vietnam).
China will respond with economic retaliation, dumping the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. Russia will respond by reducing petro-product exports to Europe and staging a massive naval presence in the region. From this point, all bets are off…
Now, the temptation here is for one to immediately take sides and to look at this conflict through the lens of “East vs. West.” This would be a mistake. The Syrian government has in the past acted in tyrannical fashion (though much of the latest accusations appear to be propaganda designed to lure the American public into rallying around another war).

Russia is just as restrictive an oligarchy as the U.S. or the EU. China’s society is a communist nightmare state and the average globalist’s aspiration for what they want America to become one day. Iran has many oppressive policies and is certainly not the kind of country I would ever want to live in. The Syrian insurgency is a mixture of immoral and unprincipled death squads and paid covert wet-work agents. The U.S. government is immorally supplying the cash and weapons for them to operate in the name of fighting the same kind of tyranny that is being instituting here at home.

The point is, there are no “good guys” in this story. There are no heroes; only the insiders, the outsiders, and the general public. It has been the habit of the public to ignore most past proxy wars and then flip on the patriotism switch during the rare occasions that American troops are actually deployed. Given time for adequate contemplation (as well as significant American losses), the citizenry eventually turns sour against the paradigm and demands a change. This time, however, there may be no time for such contemplation. I believe that any forward ground action in Syria on the part of the U.S. or Israel will result in a very fast moving global war.

Such a war would seem like insanity, but it serves a vital purpose for certain special interests. It would provide perfect cover for a global economic crash which is about to occur anyway, except in the midst of war, international bankers can divert blame away from themselves. It would provide a rationalization for overt domestic security and the reduction of civil liberties in the name of public safety. It would allow an excuse for a government crackdown on activist groups, who can be labeled “traitors” who aid the enemy simply by speaking ill of government policy. It would give credence to the ideology of globalization and centralized governance. The elites could claim that sovereignty must be erased and all nations must come together under a single banner so that such a “terrible catastrophe” will never happen again.

The war in Syria will not be about Syria. It will not be about the freedom of the people. It will not be about dethroning Assad or establishing democracy. It will not be about defusing violence in the region. Syria will not be the target; we will be the target — our society, our rights, our nation.

America is in the middle of the most insidious consolidation of power in history and Syria is merely a stepping stone in the game. If we cannot maintain our vigilance and allow ourselves to be sucked into the proxy war façade, the elites will get their global conflict with little to no home opposition. The globalists will win, and everyone else lose.