War has and always will be a racket….
Courtesy of Far News:
TEHRAN (FNA)- The US-led anti-ISIL coalition’s fighter jets once again struck the positions of Iraq’s popular forces near Baghdad, killing a number of the volunteer forces.
The US-led coalition warplanes hit an arms production workshop of the popular forces near the Iraqi capital, destroying the workshop and its ammunition completely.
Two members of Iraq’s popular forces were killed in the attack.
The US has repeatedly struck the popular forces’ positions in different parts of Iraq.
On March 29, the US fighter jets struck the positions of Iraq’s popular forces during their fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists near Tikrit, injuring a number of fighters.
The US and coalition forces conducted eight airstrikes near Tikrit, but they hit the popular forces’ positions instead of ISIL.
In February, an Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that the US airplanes still continue to airdrop weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists.
“The US planes have dropped weapons for the ISIL terrorists in the areas under ISIL control and even in those areas that have been recently liberated from the ISIL control to encourage the terrorists to return to those places,” Coordinator of Iraqi popular forces Jafar al-Jaberi told FNA.
He noted that eyewitnesses in Al-Havijeh of Kirkuk province had witnessed the US airplanes dropping several suspicious parcels for ISIL terrorists in the province.
“Two coalition planes were also seen above the town of Al-Khas in Diyala and they carried the Takfiri terrorists to the region that has recently been liberated from the ISIL control,” Al-Jaberi said. Continue reading
Courtesy of Nafeez Ahmed @ Counterpunch:
Part 1 – OUR TERRORISTS
“This is an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated,” Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon press conference in August.
Military action is necessary to halt the spread of the ISIS “cancer,” said President Obama. Yesterday he called for expanded airstrikes across Iraq and Syria, and new measures to arm and train Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces.
“The only way to defeat [IS] is to stand firm and to send a very straightforward message,” declared Prime Minister Cameron. “A country like ours will not be cowed by these barbaric killers.”
Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).
Since 2003, Anglo-American power has secretly and openly coordinated direct and indirect support for Islamist terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda across the Middle East and North Africa. This ill-conceived patchwork geostrategy is a legacy of the persistent influence of neoconservative ideology, motivated by longstanding but often contradictory ambitions to dominate regional oil resources, defend an expansionist Israel, and in pursuit of these, re-draw the map of the Middle East.
Now despite Pentagon denials that there will be boots on the ground – and Obama’s insistence that this would not be another “Iraq war” – local Kurdish military and intelligence sources confirm that US and German special operations forces are already “on the ground here. They are helping to support us in the attack.” US airstrikes on ISIS positions and arms supplies to the Kurds have also been accompanied by British RAF reconnaissance flights over the region and UK weapons shipments to Kurdish peshmerga forces.
Divide and Rule in Iraq
“It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs,” said one US government defense consultant in 2007. “It’s who they throw them at – Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” Continue reading
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
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.
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.
What I find most frustrating is economic obfuscation and how statistics are manipulated to sell a paradigm. In a nutshell, lying leads to a misallocation of resources and therefore handicaps us in the future. The sustainable output of fracking is debatable, decline rates on wells are not publicised, it is highly subsidised through tax breaks and the environmental effects are unknown and more than likely, lethal. Courtesy of Andy Hall at Astenback Capital Management:
The speed with which an interim agreement was reached with Iran was unexpected. Equally unexpected was the immediate relaxation of sanctions relating to access to banking and insurance coverage. This will potentially result in an increase in Iranian exports of perhaps 400,000 bpd. Beyond that it is hard to predict what might happen. The next set of negotiations will certainly be much more difficult. The fundamental differences of view that were papered over in the recent talks need to be fully resolved and that will be extremely difficult to do. Also, Iran’s physical capacity to export much more additional oil is in doubt because its aging oil fields have been starved of investment.
As to Libya, it seems unlikely that things will get better there anytime soon. The unrest and political discontent seems to be worsening. Whilst some oil exports are likely to resume – particularly from the western part of the country (Tripolitania), overall levels of oil exports from Libya in 2014 will be well below those of 2013. Continue reading
Hypocrisy is rife within Western political circles, when we say there is a line that can’t be crossed with chemical weapons we conveniently forget that the US and UK crossed that line in previous illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A docile population and the media acting as the propaganda arm for the government ensures we forget the crimes that we commit to further the narrative. With depleted uranium, white phosphorus and napalm used in previous and current theatres of war, who are we to judge other regimes? I don’t believe the Assad regime used chemical weapons, it has the most to lose from doing this but the narrative must be furthered.
If the UK, US and Israel are concerned over the humanitarian issue of 5,000,000 displaced Syrians, where is the help for these vulnerable men, woman and children? Instead of dropping £2,000,000,000 worth of ordnance on Syria, spend it on helping the refugees, not lining the pockets of the military industrial complex.
Courtesy of Washingtons blog:
We condemn all use of chemical weapons.
But the U.S. used chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq in 2004. Evidence here, here, here, here, here, here.
Israeli also used white phosphorous in 2009 during “Operation Cast Lead” (and perhaps subsequently). Israel ratified Protocol III of Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (“Protocol III”) – which outlaws the use of incendiary devices in war – in 2007. So this was a war crime.
Moreover, the 1925 Geneva Protocol (which is different from Protocol III) prohibits “the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases”.
The use of White phosphorus (“WP”) may also be a war crime under other international treaties and domestic U.S. laws. For example, the Battle Book, published by the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, contains the following sentence: “It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.”
The U.S. National Safety Council states that “White phosphorus is a poison . . . If its combustion occurs in a confined space, white phosphorus will remove the oxygen from the air and render the air unfit to support life . . . It is considered a dangerous disaster hazard because it emits highly toxic fumes. The EPA has listed white phosphorus as a Hazardous Air Pollutant.
Indeed, it is interesting to note that the U.S. previously called white phosphorous a chemical weapon when Saddam used it against the Kurds. Interestingly, it has just come out that the U.S. encouraged Saddam’s use of chemical weapons.
Moreover, the U.S. and Britain have been dropping depleted uranium in virtually every country they fight, which causes severe health problems. See this, this, this and this.
University of California at Irvine professor of Middle Eastern history Mark LeVine writes:
Not only did the US aid the use of chemical weapons by the former Iraqi government, it also used chemical weapons on a large scale during its 1991 and 2003 invasions of Iraq, in the form of depleted-uranium (DU) ammunition.
As Dahr Jamail’s reporting for Al Jazeera has shown, the use of DU by the US and UK has very likely been the cause not only of many cases of Gulf War Syndrome suffered by Iraq war veterans, but also of thousands of instances of birth defects, cancer and other diseases – causing a “large-scale public health disaster” and the “highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied” – suffered by Iraqis in areas subjected to frequent and intense attacks by US and allied occupation forces.
And Israel has been accused of using depleted uranium in Syria.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. But it is hypocritical for the U.S., Britain and Israel to say that we should bomb Syria because the government allegedly used chemical weapons.
Note: The U.S. sprayed nearly 20,000,000 gallons of material containing chemical herbicides and defoliants mixed with jet fuel in Vietnam, eastern Laos and parts of Cambodia. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of its use. The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that up to 1 million people are disabled or have health problems due to Agent Orange. But that was some 50 years ago.
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.
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.
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.