Hmmmm

War has and always will be a racket….

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US Warplanes Strike Iraqi Popular Forces’ Position near Baghdad

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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

How the West Created the Islamic State

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

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.

The Shale Oil Party Won’t be an All-Nighter, Phibro’s Andy Hall Warns

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:

Oil Supply

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

The U.S., Britain and Israel have Used Chemical Weapons within the Last 10 Years

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.

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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.