Benji’s Plight

In 1971, the French sent a gunboat to New York harbour to get their gold back because the USA was over-extending itself as per the Bretton-Woods agreement. It was President Nixon who was not playing by the rules. In this example, it was the Vietnam war which was being funded but without enough gold to back the expenditures. The US was inflating its own currency. Since the Franc was pegged to the dollar and the dollar was pegged to the gold that America held, there wasn’t enough gold to maintain the value of the French currency. This is why the French acted. This was essentially the beginning of what we now know as central bank money, or modern fiat money.

Why mention all this? Well it seems to me that the Chinese are de-evolving in monetary terms, going back to a Bretton-Woods type system in order that they can play the role that the US played but with their allies, instead. For that to happen, they need to back their currency with gold, and so they will need as much as they can get. Russia has also spoken about a gold-backed ruble.

Gaddafi was in the process of creating a gold-backed pan-African currency, but Libya did not have the clout to withstand the American onslaught, and we all know what happened after that. China does.

If we exclude QEII, the largest land-owners in the world are Russia, China, the King of Saud, the King of Thailand, the King of Morocco, and the King of Oman. All of these countries have large Muslim populations; even Russia is about 15% Muslim. All of them have been involved with some form of gold-backed currency, or are currently talking about implementing one. China is going to do it for them, and unite Asia in the process.

This is why Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev said, at the UN, that the IMF must go and that the world reserve currency should no longer be dollars. He also said that the UN should be based in Asia. Kazakhstan is hugely rich in natural resources (oil, gold, uranium…) He gave this speech on the same day as Obama and Putin spoke, but nobody was listening.

This, in my opinion, is what we are seeing in China now. They are slowly trying to shed dollars without causing too much commotion. If they do it too quickly, they would lose a great deal of value in the process. Eventually, though, the dollar will be dumped. China did just get into the IMF’s basket, for credibility and support if nothing else, but this may be short-lived and not for the reasons most would think.

With Turkey looking east, they could collectively control all the oil and gas flowing into Europe (Turkish Stream pipeline,) and most of the water flowing into the middle-east. The east would have Europe by the short-and-curlies.

This is also why they want to ‘easternize’ Europe with a large influx of migrants. Terror is a serious issue for all these actors, not just an excuse for expansion like it is for America. Russia has an outpost called Ingushetia to guard against Chechen fighters. Even China has terror at its back door.

Energy-poor Europe really has no choice in the matter and America is powerless to stop it. This is what made Ukraine such a target. Russia is diverting all pipelines into Europe through Turkey instead of Ukraine, making the entire exercise there moot. This is what makes the middle-east, the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea, North Korea, and Lithuania so important to the west. This is why the west (and NATO) is trying to encircle Russia and break up Eurasia, but what’s the expression again…? A day late and a dollar short (pun definitely intended.)

One could draw a line from Beijing to Moscow and cross only one country, Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan may be where the new Prime Meridian passes, where the new UN headquarters might be located, and is where the world’s monopoly of low-enriched uranium (LEU) is kept. Buffett knows it, too. Kazakhstan is land-locked and so is very easy to defend.

It’s over.

China is starting to unwind, all of Eurasia will be dumping the dollar very soon (?this summer/fall?) the petro-dollar’s days are numbered (Saud has been in negotiations with Russia for years now over this very issue) and if America doesn’t wake up to this incontrovertible fact, war will be the only option. If the USA and NATO and the EU start making preparations now, perhaps there could be a way to draw this out nicely enough not to have to crash the western economy. They could also all be working behind the scenes together, east and west, knowing that the inevitable is coming. Hey, ya’ never know.

As it happens, last year, American private equity fund KKR bought Mexico’s Pemex Oil. They have secured rights to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, and now they are moving even further south. Venezuela seems to be the next target now that the Americans know they have lost the middle-east, and will soon have to leave.

“Seventy percent of Petropiar is owned by the state-run Petróleos de Venezuela, and 30% by its overseas partner, Chevron. The government has now offered to sell a portion of its shares to the Russian Rosneft, along with a stake in the rights to extract oil from the premium-grade Orinoco Oil Belt. This, of course, is no less than a stab in the back for Chevron. (Rosneft faces sanctions from the US, which, of course, Chevron does not.)

Venezuela has also expropriated shares belonging to ConocoPhillips, for which it has not yet paid, at the same time as they’re negotiating with a Japanese investment bank to obtain further funding.”

These deals, in the American perspective, are worth protecting and fighting over especially if Russia’s Rosneft gets control of some of the oil in the Americas.

“The involvement of the U.S. military in an upcoming multilateral military drill in South America has raised concerns over potential ulterior motives on the part of the U.S.

 

The drill, dubbed “Operation: America United,” will involve the installation of a temporary military base on the triple border shared by the drill’s other participating nations: Peru, Brazil and Colombia.

Clearly, the Americans know that their time under the petro-dollar scheme is winding down, and they are desperately seeking alternative sources of oil. Now that Erdogan has refused the EU membership and is looking east, even the Germans are moving their troops from Incirlik to Jordan. They too must sense that something is changing within NATO and in the middle-east.

All this talk of populism vs. globalism (I was caught up in it, too) is like so many squirrels scurrying to hide their nutz. This is also why we needed the king of all squirrels, Donald Trump, to completely dominate our lives. After two years of him dominating the main-stream media scene, much of the groundwork has been done quietly, and in the shadows.

Yemen: Follow-Up

Clapper has called AQAP (Al Qaeda on the Arab Peninsula) the greatest threat to US national interests… now it’s Russia. Quite a shift in so little time. But what was the AQAP remark all about? Weapons sales, of course.

Terror has been the excuse for small corrupt governments, like that of Yemen, to milk hegemons (either global like the US, or local like Saud) of their money to combat terror. While strikes against both civilians and terror groups lead to more recruitment, the terrorists (considered by locals as freedom-fighters) are increasing acts of terror (read: liberation) to further the cycle. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy and a perpetual wheel, and US military contractors salivate at the prospect. If war is the most profitable industry, that is where capital (and capitalism) will flow… moral compass be damned. A corporation can be sued by its shareholders for acts of morality which cost the company money. Let the poor defenseless suckers pay for it all. This is disaster capitalism at its finest, the strong picking on the weak. This is why there is a wealth gap, in the first place.

Meanwhile, the poorest suffer, but they fight, for what other choice is there? Abandoning sovereignty is not a choice, it is a consequence of defeat.

America’s Dangerous Game In Yemen – (25:01)

 

Prince Charles is one of the world’s leading arms dealers (47:15) and should be brought to answer for his deeds especially concerning Saud and their war with Yemeni people. Unfortunately, there exists no legal mechanism in England to accuse any member of the royal family of having broken the law. They are the law. The UK, USA, Turkey, and Canada, amongst others, have sold the Saudis all the weapons which are now being used against the innocent people of Yemen including illegal cluster bombs and white phosphorus munitions. The mainstream media are silent and, in so being, complicit.

Prequel to this article here.

Meanwhile, In Yemen…

There are many images which have been foisted upon the west through its media sources. We all remember the picture of the Syrian boy who washed up on a beach in Turkey.

yemenAylan-migrant-child-dead-beach-turkey

There is also the Syrian boy who was rescued from the rubble of what once was his house. (What was the girl’s story? She was too old, and so was ignored by the media.)

yemen57b9b710c3618899768b461f

These are, of course, just two of the horrendous images of war in Syria. But releasing these images had a purpose, that of demonizing Assad.

There is another war going on. It is a  war few people speak of. There is far less coverage of it in the news, but the effects this war has on its population are just as devastating. It is the war in Yemen.

On one side are the Huthis, an armed group whose members belong to a branch of Shi’a Islam known as Zayidism. The Huthis are allied with supporters of Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. On the other side are anti-Huthi forces that are allied with the current President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Saudi Arabian-led coalition.

Members of the coalition include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Sudan. The USA and UK have been providing key intelligence and logistical support to the coalition.

The USA, UK, France, Spain, Canada and Turkey transferred nearly US$5.9 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia between 2015 and 2016, including drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles, which risk being used to facilitate serious violations in Yemen.

Strangely enough, though the Amnesty International article I have quoted above is quite thorough, it fails to mention that many of the pilots flying Saudi-owned American jets, which seem to be indiscriminately bombing hospitals, schools, and markets, are from Israel.

So there we have it, all the countries currently fighting (or helping to fight) Assad in Syria (illegally) are now ganging up on a relatively small band of un-sophisticated fighters known as the Huthis, in Yemen.

There is, however, one notable exception absent from this coalition: the western media. In Syria, the media generates sympathy for civilians in order to discredit Assad; in Yemen, on the other hand, the coalition supports the government. Surely, if the truth about the situation there were to leak out, it would show the ‘allies’ for what they truly are. It would point the finger of atrocities straight at the west. It would show that WE are to blame (since the Huthis have no air-force.) So while massive resources go into scripting the overthrow of Assad in Syria and setting all sorts of traps for him (Ghouta, Khan Sheikoun, barrel bombs – because he has helicopters, etc…) the people of Yemen are forgotten and their images are forever put away, never to be shown for what they are.

(Follow-up to this article here.)

*** WARNING — The following contains VERY GRAPHIC CONTENT ***

Continue reading “Meanwhile, In Yemen…”

Of Bulls And Bears (and why they’re both screwed)

As a follow-up to two recent articles (here and here) on Turkey, Eurasia, and the coming crash of the US$, please consider the following.

As Russia’s Sergey Glazyev said, “As soon as we and China dump the dollar, it will be the end of the US’ military might…” Keep that in mind as you read the following.

China’s current credit crisis causes concern for the world’s economies, but not for China. China can amass all the debt it wants in order to finance its economic revolution and the New Silk Road. There is no limit because the money it is using is free money. This is why they support shadow banking, why they lend enormous amounts to institutions, corporations, entrepreneurs, and citizens; it’s not their money they are lending. They are using their manufacturing sector to pull as much cash as possible out of the west and using that to finance their future. Their own foreign debt is financed by Americans paying interest on obligations. Even their US holdings were financed with American money. Trillions of dollar-store knick-knacks can buy a lot of T-bills. Merry Christmas.

Once they have squeezed all the blood they can out of the dollar, they have no need for the US anymore. This is when they will start calling in their US debt, gradually at first, but accelerating until the dollar is out of breath and collapses, well short of the finish line. This will kill the US dollar, and remove its ‘reserve’ status.

America owes China about $1 trillion, give or take, and owes Japan about $1.1 trillion. Japan is very close to China, both physically and culturally (in many respects – much closer than it is to America in any case.) This will become important in the near-future.

Eric Clapton – Nobody Knows You (3:19)

 

The United States allowed China to become one of its biggest bankers because the American people enjoy low consumer prices. Selling debt to China funds federal government programs that allow the U.S. economy to grow. It also keeps U.S. interest rates low. But China’s ownership of the U.S. debt is shifting the economic balance of power in its favor. …Owning U.S. Treasury notes helps China’s economy grow by keeping its currency weaker than the dollar. It keeps Chinese exports cheaper than U.S. products. …China would not call in its debt all at once. If it did so, the demand for the dollar would plummet like a rock.”

America, as it turns out, is at China’s mercy. China and Russia have become very close, best buds, if you will. The New Silk Road is a plan to bring the Chinese economy to Europe’s doorstep. Beijing and Moscow are connected by a rail line which passes through Kazakhstan. Russia now controls most of the energy going into Europe through pipelines that run (or are being built) through Turkey. Turkey has a virtual stranglehold on the EU because it will have all the pipelines supplying European energy running through its territory as well as having control of the Euphrates river which delivers water to the middle-east. Because of Russian military strength, Turkey listens to Russia. Saud will soon see (or already does) that it makes a lot more sense to sell their oil to China and Europe, and now that Russia can protect them in the middle-east, they have no need for America anymore, nor Israel, for that matter. The petro-dollar will die the same death, America will leave the middle-east once and for all, and Israel will stop settling Arab land, one way or another. They will never have felt so alone. ISIS will be eradicated in short order, to boot.

Once the dollar is crippled, the stock markets will obviously take a nose-dive, but here’s where the insidious part of the plan goes into action – all western investors will be wiped out in one fell swoop. Sure lots of slick investors have a bearish hedging strategy against a Chinese credit crunch, but just think about it. If you are bullish and bet long stocks or dollars or whatever, you will lose it all; but even if you are bearish, what will you be paid with, dollars? Sure you will win all your bets, but your dollar rewards will then be worthless, too… and I haven’t even mentioned derivatives.

There will be nowhere left to turn. Only stackers will be able to eat, and only those heavily invested in crypto-currencies will manage to keep up their standards of living… in another country, of course.

In this new reverse alchemy, defenestration would become a popular pastime and paper gold would turn into lead, one bullet at a time.


Europe will suffer greatly as their currencies collapse, and Saudi and Russian energy will be very expensive (Saud has to make up all that money they’ve lost trying to kill US shale,) but they could still pull through. They might even sell a lot of luxury cars to the new billionaires in the east. Canada could also survive, as it could simply trade one global hegemon for another and sell its resources to China, instead. A very weak dollar would be good for exports, after all.

America, on the other hand, would finally be punished for all its bull-y-ing as city after city would very swiftly be turned into so many Detroits.

America would be rid of its arrogant bull’, and bears would once again roam free, smirking.


 

*UPDATE*

If anything ever goes wrong with the Chinese economy, they always have the option of selling their American holdings (T-bills) despite the fact that this would weaken USD.

Is North Korea The Excuse China Needs To Launch Monetary Armageddon?

The BIS, since its reporting is lagged, can provide cover for secret Chinese plans to crush the USD.

“This collapse in foreign exposure to China is confirmed by Bank of International Settlements (“BIS”), although this data is only to q3 2016.”

This may be hiding the underlying move by the Yuan.

“The forced deleveraging of China’s WMP-driven excess was not helped overnight by disappointing trade data as both import and export growth slumped.”

“The question now is not if China’s economy will slow, but rather how fast,” Mr Frieda added.

If ever there was a good time to sell some US assets, now might be it.

Is It Teats-up For The American Empire?

Eurasia may be a new term all Americans will be forced to learn.
The Euro’s collapse may well be due to Turkey’s geo-political shift.
China’s debt crisis is no big deal, they’ll just liquidate their US holdings.

Kremlin advisor Sergey Glazyev reveals ‘cure for US aggression’
“The more aggressive the Americans are, the sooner they will see the final collapse of the dollar and by getting rid of the dollar this would be the only way for victims of American aggression to stop this onslaught. As soon as we and China dump the dollar, it will be the end of the US’ military might…

“In objective terms, they are conducting a global hybrid war [an American invention, btw] and in subjective terms, this war is aimed at us. Moreover, as it always happens when a global leader is changed, the war is for control over rimland nations. During WWI and WWII, Britain acted as an instigator in a bid to keep its global leadership. Now the United States is doing the same. And Trump expresses these interests,” he said.”


Turkey is turning its back on the west which will have disastrous consequences for the US dollar and all of the EU’s central banks. The quadrillion dollar derivatives market is about to become the world’s biggest eraser, rubbing out the US and EU economy in one blow. Turkey controls all the ME oil flowing into Europe and most of the water flowing into the ME.

News conference following Russian-Turkish talks
“…expansion of trade and investment exchanges, and looked at the possibility of carrying out mutual settlements in our national currencies.

“We continue our joint work on building the new gas pipeline Turkish Stream.” This pipeline is the first step in making the Ukraine obsolete as far as supplying Europe with Russian gas.

“We discussed Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, in which Russia is investing a total of $22 billion.”

“A third of Russians taking breaks abroad over this May holiday period have chosen Turkey as their destination.”


Russia hits another home-run while NATO tucks its tail between its legs. More and more countries are saying NO to NATO, Finland being the latest.

Press review: Syria’s warring sides back Russia’s plan and Finland says ‘no’ to NATO

“Syrian opposition forces are ready to implement Russia’s proposal on establishing four zones for reducing tensions. Most armed opposition groups have already agreed to take part in creating these territories, the leadership of Syria’s opposition delegation, which is heading to Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana for a new round of talks on Wednesday (see below,) told Izvestia. Russian armed forces should control the zones, the Syrian parliament said. However, Damascus has refused to accept the participation of UN forces.

Telephone conversation with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev

“…satisfaction with the adoption of a Memorandum on establishing de-escalation zones. They noted that its implementation by all sides would strengthen the ceasefire, improve the humanitarian situation, and on the whole promote the political settlement of the Syria crisis.

Nazarbayev has openly called for an end to American hegemony through the reserve currency, wants the UN headquarters to be in Astana, and, oh yes, controls all the world’s LEU uranium, thanks in large part to Warren Buffet.


With Syria going Russia’s way, Turkey knows it better start playing nice with Asia. Russia controls over half of Turkey’s gas imports, and a third of its coal. It is also working out a deal to supply Turkey with the S-400 missile defense platform. The days of the petro-dollar are coming to an end.

Turkey shifts its gaze towards the Eurasian Economic Union

Ankara has decided to suspend its plan to become a member of the European Union… supported by the United States since 1987.”


Still, the US presses on with its belligerence, surrounding Russia with nuclear weapons, launching sanctions, gossiping all day on CNN, all with the goal of pushing Russia to launch a first-strike so it can retaliate and say, “You see… Russian aggression.” This is just silly because if Russia does launch a first strike, it won’t be with nukes, it will be to take out all American satellites, thus rendering all US missiles and defense systems useless. America cannot get astronauts to the ISS, nor can it get new satellites into space without Russian rockets. Russia controls space, therefore, it controls the battle-space.

U.S. defense secretary to visit Lithuania

“Mattis is to meet with President Dalia Grybauskaite next Wednesday to discuss strengthening security in Lithuania and the Baltic region, and bilateral cooperation.”

Lithuanian security? C’mon, just look at a map of Lithuania. Are they going to be attacked by Poland? The only territory in danger is a small part of the Russian Federation which Lithuania and Poland surround. Just another excuse for missiles to surround Russia. Bilateral cooperation with a country so small and remote, of course, means, “Do as we tell you.”


Is this an exercise in futility? You bet it is. It’s over, and Nero is tuning his fiddle.

Prequel to this article.


Postscript

Now you may ask yourselves why I quoted TASS, the Kremlin, Xinhua, and voltairenet.org & strategic-culture.org instead of mainstream western sources? It is for the simple fact that none of them have reported any of this.

A Singular Problem

The singularity is the moment in time when artificial intelligence (AI) will surpass humans’ ability to think. Many think it is dangerous, but not for the right reasons, IMHO. They envision killer robots. That would not even be necessary.

AI will have an owner. One person, or a small group of investors who, the nanosecond it is completed (especially if paired with a quantum computer – they already exist,) will instantly control all financial markets, all networked military hardware, the internet, the grid – both electric and nuclear, the media, all social networks, and everything else.

Do you honestly think they will allow the rest of us to survive, or will they take the world for themselves, once and for all? That’s what they mean by ‘singularity’. One rich guy (and his family, his harem, and his eunuch mechanics.)

There can be no counter for ‘Skynet’. The first one across the line, wins the world.

If we’re gonna’ have a war over this issue, let’s have it now before any of that happens. Afterwards, it will be too late. Even the winners of the war would be put to death. Kurzweil says it will happen by 2029-45, and Google (Alphabet) is working feverishly towards that goal. Chomsky sees no reason for concern.

See Ben Goertzel in a documentary on the subject called “Singularity or Bust”. Everybody working on this tech seems to agree, billions will die, but no matter, “if we can build it, we must build it.” Psychopaths all, and dupes who think that they will be allowed to survive even though humans will have “nothing to contribute” after the singularity arrives. Goertzel even says in the film that the first words spoken by the AI will be, “F**k you.” Not funny Ben, prophetic, but not funny.

How many people think that going back in time to kill Hitler would be a good idea? These guys make Hitler look like a Boy Scout.

__________

“Men loven of proper kynde newefangelnesse.” -Chaucer
the distraction

“The consideration of this, has made me think them too severe, both to themselves, and others, that maintain, that the First motions of the mind, (though checked with the fear of God) be Sinnes. But I confesse it is safer to erre on that hand, than on the other.” -Hobbes
the fear

“Pause you who read this, and think of a long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of that first link on one memorable day.” -Dickens
the potential

“Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects, and obtains them for him; it was certainly no great virtue to obtain it.” -Thoreau
the acquisition

“Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government [throne] are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.” -Paine
the problem

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.” -Shaw
the outcome

Erdogan: Richest Man On Earth?

Maybe ‘the most powerful man on Earth’ would be more appropriate. Let me explain.

Turkey and the EU have been in limbo now for almost thirty years. Turkey has wanted to join, but there have been doubts about its stability… well-founded doubts.

Recently, the west’s relationship with Turkey has soured. Erdogan has been playing both sides of the conflict in Syria. There is little doubt that he has sponsored mercenary forces to overthrow Assad, that he has moved Daesh oil, and that he has attacked both the Russians (by downing a Sukhoi) and the Americans in Syria:

“The Turkish statement clearly dismissed speculations that Ankara forces hit US-backed fighters in Syria by mistake.”

It would seem that Turkey has said goodbye to its EU aspirations, and perhaps the EU has also:

“The European Union has warned that the bloc could redefine the entire status of its relations with Turkey in light of recent developments in the country and amid growing disputes between the two sides.”

As I have written in past articles, if Turkey looks to the west, America wins in the middle-east along with its allies Israel and Saud. They would essentially control all the pipelines through Turkey, the Euphrates river, and the Mediterranean. Assad would be ousted, eventually. The Russians would lose access to the Mediterranean, and would be blocked at the Bosporus. New terror groups would undoubtedly spring up to threaten Russia from Georgia and Chechnya. This would give the west more power over Ukraine and Crimea, where the focus would undoubtedly shift. The globalists would win, too, by the way.

If Turkey looks east then the New Silk Road will be a ‘fait accompli’ giving China land access to the EU and giving Russia more say about what happens near its borders (with Georgia and Ukraine.) New pipelines would be built to bring Iranian oil to markets in the EU. The China/Russia/Iran/Kazakhstan connection would win over India, in time, as well as Saudi Arabia. The price of oil in America could quadruple overnight, shale or no shale. Populism would soar across the west and the EU, and Assange would be free to leave the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

Turkey looking east would almost instantly save Assad, sever the links between America and Saud, which would lead to the destruction of the petro-dollar scheme, which would kill the US dollar, which would, in turn, bring down all the central banks in the EU. The world’s derivatives markets are highly sensitive, especially these days, to the effects of any downturns with the central banks, just ask Douchebank (ahem) I mean Deutsche Bank. Actually, don’t; they’ve been very tight-lipped about the whole situation.

Deutsche Bank Tells Investors Not To Worry About Its €46 Trillion In Derivatives

 

The entire derivatives market is worth an estimated 1 quadrillion dollars, and if anyone of its substantial pillars were to fall, well, let’s just say that things would not end well. If the whole thing fell apart, it would be the end of America, and the EU, as we know it.

See here for a nice graphic representation.

So there we have it, Erdogan looking east would blow up the western world’s economy more assuredly than any bomb Russia could drop. Putin could end up beating the Americans simply by making nice with Erdogan. He wouldn’t even have to launch a missile. Good thing the west was thinking ahead, allowing a scapegoat like Trump, who would certainly be blamed, to win the white house.

Who’d have thought that the entire populist movement, the western banking system, and the fate of the western world, for that matter, depends not on Trump, or Le Pen, or on Farage, or even on Wilders, but rather on a paranoid dictator worth 1 quadrillion dollars headquartered in Turkey named Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and all so he can kill some Kurds?

Putin maybe, but he’s always been good at chess, and there ain’t no Bobby Fischers left.


UPDATE

It would appear that Turkey and Russia are indeed getting closer…

Russia’s Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Wednesday that the energy giant will begin the offshore laying of the Turkish Stream pipeline in the second half of 2017 and plans to complete the construction of two legs by the end of 2019.

…much closer.

Turkey, Russia clinch agreement on S-400 air defense system deliveries

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet face-to-face in Sochi on May 3 to discuss these and other matters. Clearly, the rapprochement since Turkey shot down a Russian jet is going well, much to the dismay of the west.

Vladimir Putin believes that Russia and Turkey are restoring full-format relations

“I’m sure that those steps that we are taking together will change the fate of the whole region,” Erdogan said.”

And they lived happily ever after…


Follow up to this article is here.

The Cremation Of Care Goes Dutch

The title of this article “Cremation Of Care” (9:41) comes from the name of the ceremony held at the Bohemian Grove every July where some of the most powerful people in the world come together for… well, for who knows what?! In front of a giant owl-god, Molech, the concept of care is burnt in effigy.

The image is of the Kindlifresser (child-eater) in the Swiss capitol of Bern, feasting on a sack full of children.

You will soon see how these two notions relate to the upcoming video.

Do you remember “Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man” (Part 1 – 53:35) in which John Perkins claims to have played a role in an alleged process of economic colonization of Third World countries?
Well, consider that the first chapter. This is the second chapter. It’s much worse.
(Original in Dutch, with English subtitles.)

Behind the Curtain

I have written much over the last two years about US support for terrorist groups. I have also written about Kerry and Syria, Israel and Turkey, Saud and Wahhabism, the fact that Syria is not a divided democracy (there is no civil war there, and never has been – Assad has the support of his electorate,) (49:34) and that mercenaries from NATO have fomented the entire situation. I have stated that Russia, and Vlad Putin, really did save the world. It would seem I was not wrong.

If there is one story the world needs to hear about it is surely this one. As usual, the main-stream media dropped the ball (on purpose) on this next non-helicopter-delivered-bombshell. Please pass this on!!

John Kerry admits US support for terrorist groups in the Middle-East. War on Terror, indeed:  (36:56)

As Voltairenet.org (Thierry Meyssan) writes,

“The support that Kerry offers to Daesh violates several UN resolutions and constitutes proof of his responsibility and that of Obama in the crimes against humanity committed by the terrorist organisation.”

And to think that the only thing which prevented him from becoming president of the USA was the election of George Bush.

It looks like both these guys, one democrat, one republican, both had the war on terror in their sights. And they say we have a choice. Skull and Bones members might, but we sure don’t. Even the Nobel Peace prize recipient Barack Obama said the USA supports ISIL and nobody batted an eyelash. They’re all on the same side, and it isn’t the one we’re on. Maybe the only reason they killed Osama bin Laden (if they did) was so that they could take over his organization.

Now let’s see what happens in Ukraine once Turkey rejects NATO and takes sides with Russia, China, and Khazakstan to join the New Silk Road. The end of the American empire is upon us. Let’s just hope they don’t drag us all down with them. Long gold, long Rubles, long VIX, watch for oil prices to spike in Europe, and stock up on supplies – this could get even uglier.

PS. (0:14)

Kissinger, Egypt, Syria, and the EU

The EU has suspended talks on whether or not to include Turkey.

Brazil and South Africa’s currencies were simultaneously annihilated – like Greece’s was, now BRICS will show what it’s really all about: the New Silk Road. [I have covered this topic several times in other articles.]

If the USA is in Syria, Turkey belongs to Europe. If Russia is in Syria, Turkey belongs to Asia.

Additionally, Turkey controls all the on-land pipelines into southern Europe, and most of the water into the ME. (Ukraine controls the rest of the pipelines into Europe.)

You can’t make war in the Middle East without Egypt and you can’t make peace without Syria.

Henry A. Kissinger

[Wikiquotes says that the above quote remains unsourced; other sites disagree. Whether he said it or not, it is a prevalent idea, and it makes the point.]

Recent reports have Egypt going one step beyond simply supporting Al-Assad to providing Syria with pilots and generals.

Lebanese newspaper: Egypt ‘deploys pilots to Syria’

This seems like a bit of fake news. Maybe there was a translation problem from the original article.

Egypt denies sending military troops to Syria after Al-Sisi explicitly supports Al-Assad

Despite denying the military facts behind the reporting, the fact that Al-Sisi openly showed support for Al-Assad (instead of just the Syrian people – as he had previously done) means that the US’s former puppet/ally has just rejected American hegemony in favour of a pan-Asian alliance between China, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Iran…

With Egypt (long-time foe of Israel) and Turkey (lynchpin of Eurasia) joining the ‘dark side’ and bringing Syria with them, America will be surrounded and will either be stuck in Iraq for a very long time, or they will go home, like the Russians did, from Afghanistan. Either way, Saudi and Israel are shaking in their boots at the prospect.

Unveiled in Syria

Kerry’s got some ‘splainin’ to do:

MUST WATCH: American peace delegation goes to Syria, sees opposite of what MSM reports. No civil war in Syria; Syria united under Assad.

(49:34)

See here for clarification on the barrel bomb question (by the obviously biased reporter who didn’t identify herself.)

Here is Vanessa Beeley’s blog.

Here is Eva Bartlett’s blog.

And see here for some back-up from Global Research.

 

Brains or Thumbs?

This article is not about texting.

Most anthropologists agree, at least, this is my understanding of that which I learned in school, that despite weak defenses, humans evolved to dominate the world because of big brains; more sophisticated might be a better term, or it might not.

Many animals have bigger brains than we.

It has been shown that animals are capable of language and that their math skills are far superior to ours. Dolphins and gorillas especially, but who knows how many animals can outwit us? IQ tests are said to be unfair because it is difficult to design them without some cultural bias. How different, then, must an animal’s IQ environment be? Street-smarts over book-smarts, one might say. Who’s to say how many species are more cleverer than us?

The problem, perhaps, isn’t one of intelligence but simply communication.

Some would say that the reason we took over was our thumbs (opposable digits.) Thumbs allowed for tool-making which quickly devolved into an arms-race that goes on to this day.

But, other animals have thumbs, too. So, why not them? Maybe they know love.

Maybe they had the good sense to know that ‘less is more.’ They traveled light. They had the power to defend themselves, but they lacked the desire to dominate, to take everything over. They saw that growth (1 of 8 – 09:17) would only lead to their eventual demise. They had the courage to face the world and its dangers, to do things the hard way, without seeking to insulate themselves more and more from the hardships which make life interesting. Are they foolish or wise? Asian cultures consider that animals kept in captivity are ultimately happy, like they won the lottery of life. The western view differs, thinking it cruel to deprive animals of their freedom (to face danger,) although western culture, strangely enough, reflects this way of thinking by isolating itself from the ‘dangerous’ natural world. Is it in our very essence to imprison ourselves and to weaken ourselves to the point of total dependence? Desmond Morris thinks so.

Instead of spending hours growing food we can eat, we now spend hours growing grass which we throw away. That’s a big red flag.

So maybe there is something else which allows us to dominate, another quality which permits us to lord over all we see, to the point of writing it into our gospels. Maybe it’s a moral quality or a primal arrogance, maybe we are just so physically weak that we have become a paranoid species. “Humanity No# 1 !” Discipline through fear seems pretty natural to humans on many levels.

As Gunnery Sergeant Hartman said, “It is a hard heart that kills.” I would distinguish that it is either a hard heart, or an empty stomach. Killing everyday to eat makes one a pacifist by nature. You don’t want to have to kill during your breaks, too. Killing is hard and it’s dangerous. You only do it when absolutely necessary. Does never killing anything besides a mosquito or a spider cause a buildup of whatever it is that got us here, in the first place? Does not killing result in us not being able to control the urge to kill? Do we need to kill? That would explain a lot. Maybe it isn’t the killing we need, maybe it’s the risk of being killed. That would explain extreme sports.

Maybe it was the combination of language, technology, and hubris that got us here. Maybe it was dumb luck. I wonder what animals must think of our stewardship. After seeing an interesting episode of the CBC’s “The Nature of Things,” I thought about [when a translation device is invented] what kind of questions animals will want to ask us. I also wonder about the answers we will have for them. I also wonder if the government will be involved to put the proper ‘spin’ on the first official inter-species communication. Government, industry, the military, and religion will probably all be represented and involved.

It might be good practice for when the aliens arrive. Come to think of it, it’s probably just hubris… and it’s all down-hill from here.

Advantage

As with all military forces, where there is a significant advantage, be it technological, logistical, geographical, financial, etc., wars of aggression are always waged by the more powerful. Mice do not roar. Knowing that international power ebbs and flows, and that the militarized police act as the glue, they take it while they can. Holding it proves harder. Holding and expanding is the ultimate goal. Hundreds, no thousands, from Alexander, Caesers, Attila, Napoleon, Rothschild, Hitler, have all wanted to rule the world. Who’s to say nobody wants to do that anymore.

TPTB have always wanted a slave population to do their bidding. They have always been at war with the lower class. They have wealth, and we have numbers. They get richer, develop better weapons, live longer, and we just multiply. They’ve never been richer, but they’ve neither ever been so outnumbered. All international treaties, the UN, world governments, Ngo’s, trade deals, environmental legislation, the legal system, industry, the military, etc. are structured to keep us occupied (productive) and distracted, and to die older. Don’t rock the boat and you get to have toys; start thinking for yourself and it’s time for re-education. The more docile the population and the more loyal the soldiers (by love or by fear) the better the odds they will be triumphant in an aggressive war.

The US spends more money on ‘defense’ than any other country in the world. It is assumed they have the best military. They also spend more on health care than anyone else. They do not, however, have the best health care. But they THINK they do.

So what if, while trying to hold on to hegemony, they do attack Russia overtly thinking they have the advantage? What if Russia calls their bluff? What if Russia isn’t so backwards? They keep hacking the US, after all. If Russia and China can hack the US, all their drones belong to ‘them’. Size doesn’t matter if you can just pull the plug. And it ain’t just the military; it could be demographics, it could be the banking sector, debt, cyber, stocks, disease, natural disaster… any one of these things could beat them before they get out of the gate.

And what if THEY see an advantage?

The problem here is that US military superiority is only perceived to be so, the reality is, though greatly speculated on, unknown. What if they perceive an advantage where there is none? We’re still the ones doing their bidding, but there might be a lot less of us after something like that. That’s how much they hate us… they’re willing to go live underground for a generation if it will just rid them of us. Like when you have to move out of your house when you fumigate, well it’s something like that.

I wonder if there are any underground cities yet…

camden col sml

L. Ashwell Wood, 1950

Like Barrel Bombs and Helicopters

Like barrel bombs and helicopters, everything else is also untrue, on both sides. There’s their public angry face, their country club polite face, and their, “Let’s do business.” face.

Assad has been accused, by John Kerry and everybody else, of using chemical weapons against his citizens by way of helicopters to drop chemical-filled barrel bombs, and lacing artillery shells with toxins (like depleted uranium? – no, that’s a US thing – and don’t get me started on anthrax…)

Even Wikipedia is in on it:

Barrel bomb

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A barrel bomb is an improvised unguided bomb, sometimes described as a flying IED (improvised explosive device). They are typically made from a large barrel-shaped metal container that has been filled with high explosives, possibly shrapnel, oil or chemicals as well, and then dropped from a helicopter or airplane.[1] Due to the large amount of explosives (up 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb)), their poor accuracy and indiscriminate use in populated civilian areas (including refugee camps), the resulting detonations have been devastating.[2][3][4] Critics have characterised them as weapons of terror and illegal under international conventions.[5]

Lots of options on the content, not many options on the delivery system.

“…indiscriminate use…” but by whom?

Here’s Kerry:

“Accordingly, we have taken unprecedented steps to declassify and make facts available to people who can judge for themselves.” -John Kerry

There might be some problems with his story.

What does ‘declassify’ mean, in this context? Invent?

Official U.S. government report on the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against rebels on Aug. 21.The document proposes a possible motive for the attack — a desperate effort to push back rebels from several areas in the capital’s densely packed eastern suburbs — and also suggests that the high civilian death toll surprised and panicked senior Syrian officials, who called off the attack and then tried to cover it up.

While unusually detailed, the assessment does not include photographs, recordings or other hard evidence to support its claims. Nor does it offer proof to back up the administration’s assertion that top-ranking Syrian officials — possibly including President Bashar al-Assad — were complicit in the attack.

“This assessment will certainly evolve as we obtain more information,” the report said.

The material, prepared by senior intelligence officials, was said to reflect the judgments of the CIA, National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies involved in gathering information on the Syrian conflict. Using understated phrasing typical of bureaucratic reports, it asserts with “high confidence” that the Assad government launched a chemical weapons attack, using what it said was “nerve agent,” a class of chemical munitions that includes sarin.

Oh, and about sarin gas, the [US] military variant is known as VX.

As it turns out, there was some truth in that report, and it was all backwards. The barrel bombs and the gas and all the WMDs are coming from the West-backed rebel side. Saddam got his chemicals from the US (ask Rumsfeld what Iraq was about covering up,) as did other allies in the region. Kerry didn’t really do anything about it either, apart from shaking his fist quite a bit.

[Next three photos are from a VT article; commentary is mine.]

These men are not Syrian government forces, they are US-backed rebels. They are not packing the bombs with explosives or the man on the left would not be smoking.

266C3E0B00000578-0-image-a-117_1425815580348-640x426

Hmm… but it can’t be the rebels. How do they drop those things if they don’t have helicopters?

All the newspapers said the same thing all along, “unguided barrel bombsdropped from Assad’s helicopters (’cause he’s the only one who had helicopters.) Remember?

gas-cylinders-explosives-1-1

Action shot.

“Seems to be coming from the clubhouse.” With that golf cart in the background, there’s gotta’ be at least a couple of white guys around… maybe four. “Just look what those Assad bastards did to the practice green. War is hell!”

aleppo-terrorist-3-warpress-info-640x461

Fighting has intensified around Aleppo and its neighboring provinces since the government sealed off the final route into rebel-controlled neighborhoods of the city. The United Nations said the encirclement of rebel-held areas of deeply divided Aleppo traps nearly 300,000 residents, making it the largest besieged area in war-torn Syria.

The rebels have launched a counteroffensive, clashing with government forces on a number of fronts. They detonated at least one large tunnel bomb underneath a government position on the southern outskirts of Aleppo on Tuesday evening, in a renewed attempt to break the government’s siege on the city’s east.

Smoke in the sky; for defense or for targeting, or for an alibi? Were they setting tire fires around hospitals?

MideastSyriaSurvivingInAleppo-dd7a7

All these articles use many terms differently. They also suggest that west-backed rebels (USA’s ISIL, al Qaeda, al Nusra, etc.) are the real thugs in this failed regime change. Turkey’s, Georgia’s, Saudi’s, Israel’s, and America’s deep states are synced in Syria. Whether or not they succeed is up to Syria (and Russia.)

After Shocking Beheading, “Moderate” Rebels Allegedly Unleashed Chemical Weapons In Syria

Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official

NEO – Don’t Cry For Me in Aleppo

US-backed Syrian rebels responsible for toxic gas attack in Aleppo – Russian military

Aleppo Siege: Russia Claims Rebels Used ‘Toxic Gas’ in Battle for Syria’s Second City

Syrian government and rebels trade gas attack accusations

Chemical Weapons in Syria: Methods of Waging Information Wars

Chemical weapons “red line” crossed in Syria – but not by Assad!

There are different levels of funding; ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda, (the special forces of the rebel world) look like they live pretty high on the hog. They must all benefit from the best funding. Note the plastic wrap still on the headrest, the faux wood dash, and even a disco ball hanging off the mirror…

ISISStill

…and the lack of battle scars on any of their gear.

ISISStill3_0

These images looks like the Neiman-Marcus catalogue for zealots. This is the propaganda of Jihad and its manipulation by the West …just as long as the rifles are Russian, everything is copacetic. The repeated “We’re Number 1” kinda’ tips the bit. [They may be pointing up.]

The financing cannot be denied, however, and most of the gear and ammo comes from Uncle Sam via Incerlik and Saud. The medical care comes from Israel, mainly.

The Brits know what’s going on, they’ve even helped, but, “Tight lips sink ships” and all that.

GettyImages-520144294

The innocent victims, on the other hand, are getting little to no support. Perhaps a magnanimous superbug will come along and end it quickly for them all.

*Update*

Confirmations

*Update*

American peace delegation goes to Syria on a fact-finding mission – UN. Must watch video for the truth about Syria:

Peace Group ; NATO & U.S. Spreading ‘Disinformation on Syria’ (49:34)

 

BBC News Caught Staging FAKE News Chemical Attack In Syria (13:20)

 

Intelligence and Military Sources Who Warned About Weapons Lies Before Iraq War Now Say that Assad Did NOT Launch Chemical Weapon Attack

 

“Khan Sheikhoun incident totally fabricated..the U.S. is not serious in achieving any political solution”

Samurai Scissors

Why does Japan’s Emperor Akihito want to quit?

0023ae6cf3690c9c4b252b

Did he just fall on his sword (or cut his own guts out) by acquiescing to the International Order? (Those hand signs are really disconcerting.) Will there even be another emperor, or will the son turn out to be another Obama or Trudeau, a young(er) and popular sell-out to globalism and world parliament?

Maybe the son is a war-hawk, and Emperor Akihito disagrees that Japan’s military should be used elsewhere than in defense of Japan. Japan just decided the issue of ‘collective defense‘. This is all after Trump accused Japan of not paying its fair share for American defense. (The Yen isn’t enough reparations for having been bombed into the stone age? /s)

Has Japan been castrated?

Continue reading “Samurai Scissors”

Ingushetia Where?

The dark green-striped republic in the above image.

Caught between Russia to the north and Georgia to the south, North Ossetia to the west and Chechnya to the east, lies a small Caucasus republic called Ingushetia. The president of Ingushetia is Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. He’s the bad-ass’s bad-ass. He’s like Bond’s Jaws.

Some background on Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

Yevkurov was recently (October 11, 2015) invited to sit in on a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud. Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, second deputy prime minister and the youngest minister of defense in the world. Also included in the meeting were foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, industry and trade minister Denis Manturov, energy minister Alexander Novak, and defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

Turkey has ties to the Ukraine just as it has ties to Georgia. Turkey also has ties to IS which is seen from Syria to Chechnya. Georgia is known for many things, some of which involve smuggling. People, drugs, weapons, and now viruses have become black market currency in and through Georgia. This is why picking Sochi for the winter olympics in 2014 was such a brave move (despite being somewhat shielded by Abkhazia.) It was a move of great strength and one of great defiance. If the terrorists could be contained, Russia was impenetrable – a claim America could not make.

Ingushetia has always been used to cushion against/contain Chechen rebels. It’s a rough neighbourhood. It is, in essence, nothing but a military outpost, as it needs to be. It acts as a buffer zone between Russia and Chechyn ‘terrorists.’ It is also a passage from Russia to Turkey and Greece (Europe) through Georgia. Ingushetia is the Gibraltor of the Caucasus. If Russia ever secures South Ossetia, the focus may then shift away from Ingushetia, to a certain degree. Either that or a block will be formed of the two.

Why was Ingushetia included in this meeting? What do Saud and Caucasus terror have in common? What is Israel’s role?


This article may shed some light on the subject.

Ingushetia Proposes Measures To Crack Down On IS Recruitment, Blowback

“Local militants have shifted their allegiance from the local Islamist insurgent group, the Caucasus Emirate, to IS. In June, IS’s leadership accepted pledges of allegiance from militants in the North Caucasus, including in Ingushetia, and declared an IS “province” in the region called Wilayat al-Qawqaz.”


This article may provide some context. (Ignore the title and the call for funding at the top of the page and scroll down for the main article.)

“Washington continues to force its European vassals to impose sanctions on Russia based on the false claim that the conflict in Ukraine was caused by a Russian invasion of Ukraine, not by Washington’s coup in overthrowing a democratically elected government and installing a puppet answering to Washington.”


Finally, this article explains much.

The president of Ingushetia, who is recovering from an attempt on his life, accused on Monday the United States, Britain and Israel of seeking to destabilize the situation in the North Caucasus.

“I am miles from believing that Arabs are behind this. There are other, more serious forces there… We understand whose interests these are: the United States, Britain, and Israel too,” President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said in an interview with the Russian News Service (RSN) radio.


Size means nothing in the world of geo-politics; what really counts is location, location, location.


 

Don’t Believe ANYTHING You See, Hear, or Read

The “Code of Ethics” of the Society of Professional Journalists states: “Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting. Journalists should support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

In the spirit of transparency and openness, which is touted by the mainstream media, wouldn’t it be in the best interest of everyone involved for journalists (read: reporters,) when doing a political piece, to state which party or candidate they support beforehand? If a reporter has a vested interest in the outcome of an election, and does a hit piece on one of the candidates, a conflict of interest necessarily arises.

The politics of journalism are pervasive in every election cycle. Cenk Uygur, in a recent interview on CNN, said it loud and clear. He accused CNN of bias in its reporting. There is no such thing as the concept of ‘fair and balanced’ in the mainstream media anymore. There hasn’t been for a long, long time. Media outlets have long distorted their stories, fabricated the news, misrepresented facts, and tried to dumb-down the population by spoon-feeding them un-truths, half-truths, and outright lies.

There are many examples of this, even outside the realm of politics. Photos are routinely re-labeled for use in completely unrelated stories. Many articles about military actions, political demonstrations, government coups, and even environmental effects, have photos attached which were taken months or years before in different countries portraying different events, altogether. Photos attached to a story about the consequences of a Russian bombing campaign in Syria could actually have been taken from an American sortie in Iraq. Photos of a mass student rally in South America could be used to make it look like a mass uprising in the middle-east. Photomanipulation also plays a key role in some instances.

Ambiguous retractions (offered only when the evidence is publicly debunked) are often buried or said in passing, and only once. For example, after days of non-stop coverage of ‘Assad’s chemical weapons strike,’ CNN aired an interview with a man (who could hardly speak any English) refuting the claim that Assad’s forces were responsible, based on a report from Médecins Sans Frontières. The report was aired once and at 4am EST. They did not, based on this new evidence, change their tune. The MH-17 tragedy was reported on in much the same manner, neglecting to mention conflicting reports simply because John Kerry (based on no evidence) proclaimed it to be so. Most of the information about the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s ‘incursion’ into the Crimea is also suspect. Is the western news media beholden to the State Department? It would appear so.

An excellent article from Global Research with many examples on the subject can be found here.

Many examples of government lines being spun by the media in order to further a political agenda can be found. There are almost as many examples of those stories having been proved biased, mis-leading, incomplete, out of context, or just plain wrong. Stories about 9/11, terrorism, Ukraine, Russia, China, Israel, the Federal Reserve, economics, the middle-east, ISIS, the environment, refugees, prominent suicides, plane crashes, and anything involving John Kerry seem disproportionately affected.

Vocabulary is another tool which the media use to villify others and push their version of the truth. Jake Tapper recently categorized Donald Trump’s ‘attack*’ of an American judge of Mexican descent as being, “…the definition of racism.” He (Jake Tapper) specifically said that ‘Mexican’ was a race. Trump did not. Trump was also accused of ‘attacking’ Latinos and women when he commented that because of a tripling in food stamps, the governor (who is both) should do a better job. I do not support Trump, (nor do I support Clinton,) but none have had their words twisted to the extent that he has. Many bastardizations, miscategorizations, and ignorance of context and nuance are used routinely to bend the words of guests, pundits, and newsworthy individuals. The ‘loose’ translations of speeches and statements by foreign dignitaries is an easy way to achieve this goal, as well. (Religious scholars have been using this trick for millennia.) The word literally, literally, has a new meaning. Words are often mis-pronounced in order to show who’s on which side of the debate. Divisive (div/iss/ive vs. div/ice/ive) is a classic – btw, the former is correct.

Case in point:
*attack
verb
take aggressive action against (a place or enemy forces) with weapons or armed force, typically in a battle or war.
noun
an aggressive and violent action against a person or place.
note: If words are defined as weapons, this definition might be true, but it certainly goes against the spirit of the definitions presented.
 The financial news is perhaps the area in which the most manipulation and cherry-picking occur. Negative stories about the state of the economy are played down, positive stories are played up, and complexities are never truly examined or explained (mostly because of the lack of financial knowledge on the part of the reporters.)

The complete story behind the markets, the American economy, the global economy, the actors involved, and much more can be found here, on ZeroHedge.

And then there is the stuff they just make up.

a1b

Television news has been corrupted. Bought and paid for by corporate and political interests and financed through advertising by these same entities. “Support our candidate or we will advertise on another station.” “Portray the new congressional bill in a positive light or we will cut your funding.” “Support our wars of conquest or you will be labeled as subversive, or worse.” Scratch our backs and we will scratch yours is the mantra that pervades that which passes itself off as news.

Of course, they mainstream news tries to blame the prevalence of fake stories on the internet. “How the internet misled you in 2015”-BBC. This is certainly a valid point. The reality, though, is that much of what is viral first came from a news desk. Not all their mistakes are attributable to conspiracy theorists and subversive forces. Fake social media stories can easily be ignored; those from reputed (Reuters, AP etc) and state-run news agencies (CBC, BBC etc) cannot. The implications are far too important.

News agencies must vett their sources, check their facts, verify their media, do their own research, and double-check everything otherwise the 1st Amendment (and other statutes similar to it) are left hollow, bereft of any meaning in a free and democratic society. Either that or they should admit to being an entertainment program and lose the ‘News’ moniker, altogether. Either way, honesty and integrity need to find their way back into the daily lives of the masses. They simply don’t have time to check.

Is it any wonder why news media outlets are so mis-trusted? Is it any wonder why politicians often use distrust of the news media to deflect, to distract and to deceive? And for those of you who think that this used to happen, but doesn’t anymore…

CNN_Busted_For_Faking_Satellite_Interview__151708

Both these people still make regular appearances on the cable news network. I guess their budgets are not what they used to be. I wonder why.

…do a search with these terms, “cnn fake parking lot.”

Actually, just watch this short video. (26:11)

Some more images (some viral, some from the news) for your consideration.

Lincoln Lied

This is a placeholder. I have been working on an article (perhaps in several parts) which will be posted here as soon as possible.

Lincoln, contrary to popular opinion, did not free the slaves. Slavery exists in many forms and is prevalent in every corner of the globe, even especially in the Western world.

Slavery must be ended; there is no doubt about that. “How?” is the question.

There are many aspects to this issue. Be it for labour (chocolate workers in Ivory Coast, construction workers in Dubai, textile workers in India, etc,) domestic help (in Washington diplomatic circles and embassies around the world,) baby factories (in Nigeria,) or in the sex trade (Kenya, Thailand, Nigeria, eastern Europe, etc.,) slaves are being used and moved around with impunity.

The simple fact is that it is the trade routes which must be taken down. This is even more crucial than going after the people who use these slaves. We saw Boko Haram take girls from Chibok and sell them. How do a gang of local African hoods get these girls into Europe to be used as sex slaves? Networks. These networks have been active for centuries (since colonial days) and have been used to smuggle animal parts, drugs, guns, and people. It is high time to burn down the very foundations of this practice and put an end, once and for all, to the crimes being committed to our brothers, sisters, and children all around the world. No place is immune.

The revelations on this subject will absolutely shock most of you to your core, to your very essence. Some of the names will leave you speechless.

Please stay tuned as there is much more to come on this crucially important issue.

Ottoman Insulation

Turkey’s recent (and seemingly inexplicable) foray into the spotlight of middle-eastern affairs has baffled many international observers. Turkey’s provocations against Syria, Russia, and now Iraq, and their alleged support of terror groups in support of their energy industry appear to have angered Washington (and NATO,) have puzzled Kazakhstan, irked China, and have put Europe in a difficult situation. Nobody seems to know what Erdogan is up to.

Resources are the default excuse, but cultural ties to the region’s other local actors play an important part. Is Turkey creating a buffer zone between Russia and the middle-east in order to inflate its importance? How many of the ‘-stans’ are on his side?

“In concrete terms, the only achievement was the announced agreement to launch the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP). «Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline – TANAP can be launched sooner than it was initially scheduled», said Mr Ahmet Davutoglu at a joint press conference with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Some 6 billion cubic meters of gas of 16 billion cubic meters will go to Turkey, while some 10 billion cubic meters of gas will go to Europe. TANAP will connect the giant Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan to Europe through the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), TANAP and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).”

Is Turkey using Azerbaijan to further its goal of regional dominance or is Turcic concern for its neighbours genuine? The move north and east puts several other states, especially Georgia, into harm’s way. No wonder Putin included Yunus-Bek Yevkurov in its meeting with the Saudi defense minister Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud. This aggrandization of the empire would serve as a bonding agent solidifying Turkey’s plan for regional dominance. Turkey already controls all the land-based pipelines into Europe from the middle-east and seems to have no qualms about using less legitimate groups to help further its agenda. The term ‘deep-state’ was coined in reference to Turkey, after all. (Note the black Turkish flag in the above image.)

“The rulers of re-emerged Ottoman Empire are trying to rekindle the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. The fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces has escalated recently. The Paris Armenia-Azerbaijan summit slated for December 1 was indefinitely postponed.”

Turkey has many battle-fronts now; they look to start conflict with everybody it would seem. A war forces states to take sides, and with Turkey controlling a great deal of European energy, as well as the water from the Euphrates river, perhaps Erdogan is trying to force his ally’s hands. He thought he had NATO support, but that is as yet uncertain; Turkey did fight a war against Poland in the 17th century. He seems to have Washington’s, in any case. But will Russia and the US both fall for the ploy, or will the two super-powers turn against him? He may well take Assad’s place as the next Gadaffi. Turkey’s role is at least as important as Ukraine’s, and they just got about the same amount of money from Europe as the IMF gave the Ukraine. Will we see increased terror attacks across the Caucasus as Putin has feared since the Sochi games? Time will tell.

*Update*

Just to push the point of Caucasus-ISIS young men with no better options than to make war with each other… The trickle-down is military, minute, and manipulative. War is a job; it comes with training, decent pay, glory and valour, and it leaves more women for the surviving (or conquering) men. The nomadic mercenaries are the Highlanders of the middle-east.

Russia says rebel killed in Caucasus was trained in Syria

“Turkey, the US, Russia, Syria – all these countries, the Kurds are all involved in the struggle against ISIS in Syria and in Iraq.

Yes, yes they are – and maybe that’s part of the reason why Erdogan despises them more now than ever.”

– Tyler Durden

Divisiveness

Everything in life which has been given importance works to divide us.

Capitalism leads to competition, it divides us into competing groups (corporations) or competitive entrepreneurs, who must each compete with each other by increasing service while decreasing cost. It is conflict which drives each market, sector, and industry. We must even compete for our jobs. We must all be better by working more and getting less value for our own time, and all for the greater good of society. Time is, after all, the only thing with which we are all born. Time is the ultimate non-renewable resource. Good is also a relative term. The more time we spend working for the good of our family, the less time we have to spend at home to raise our families properly. Since we cannot do it ourselves, the state must do it for us. Through babysitters, day-care workers, teachers, tutors, coaches, mentors, religious leaders, and nannies do we educate our children by using their morals, values, ethics, and philosophies as proxy to our own. Is this actually good? Does this lead to the betterment of society or simply a ‘lowest common-denominator’ way of looking at education. Does this improve the independance, empowerment, and decision-making ability of our kids or does it hinder their development? Increased competition has led to both parents being away from their children just to maintain the same level of comfort our parents enjoyed. We also have less time for our friends, of which we have more now. Can this be considered inflationary economics vis-a-vis relationships and familial life?

Thanks to the hightened sense of capitalistic values (or the negative view on communistic ones,) committee work is sneered at. A committee is considered to result in the lowest common denominator of the decision process instead of leading to a greater coverage of the areas involved. Ayn Rand had much to say on this subject. Capitalism has always been pitted against communism (democracy and socialism are terms of governance) as if there were no alternatives other than those two, as either can lead to fascism (which is a state solution to competition as it eliminates all forms of conflict through authoritarian rule, much like Monarchy.)

Democracy, which has become synonymous with capitalism in the west, also leads to factions: there’s the right and the left, the red and the blue, the Republicans and the Democrats, all very Jungian. Factions of factions are also present and evolving; centrist (fence-sitting,) center-right, center-left, and all the attendant sub-categories lead to more and more levels upon which to disagree. Whether you’re an elephant or a donkey, it’s always a fight against the other team (or combination of other teams) instead of working together to find common solutions.

Religious sects are a perfect example of this be they Catholics versus Protestants, Sunni versus Shia, Reform and Orthodox Judaism, or Hinduism, which is a veritable cacaphony of conflicting ideologies.

Sports, either individual or team, also bring the dualistic paradigm into sharp focus. Even reality shows are a competition. Sure, the teams must work together at times, but the end result is always the elimination of certain members such that in the end, there can be only one, the so-called winner. Victorious and alone, like the Highlander, confined to a life of solitude. This is better?

Sex is the ultimate competition. Whose genes will be passed on? What is the goal here, to solely populate the earth with one gene pool? This is surely not better. We all compete for the best mate but then lose interest after a decade or so only to start competing again, but this time with lesser resources. This has less to do with progeny than with ego, though. But ego has led to many people bringing competition in this market to the level of changing themselves physically, often with terrible consequences. Is fake ‘perfect’ better than real unique?

Everything, it would seem, is a war now. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the battle for the environment, it would seem as though the competition has been brought to its ultimate level in all aspects of our lives. Advertising displays this violent mentality better still – “We must beat the competition to bring you the best.” Wouldn’t working with the competition bring about a better deal in the end?

A good example of this is the automotive industry. It can be argued that without cars, there would be no pollution, no oil dependancy, no wars, and a lot less stress. This may be stretching things somewhat, but a case could be made. The point is that public transport would be at a far higher level than it is at today because if all those companies that try to build a ‘better’ car would have worked together and pooled their resources from the start, we’d be able to go anywhere in the world in an hour, and for a pittance. The basic structure of our thinking which has produced this economy that glorifies our duality and competitive ‘nature’ is at fault.

Is it in our nature to compete or is it more akin to humanity to work together? Different societies will have differing views on this, but beneath all that, beneath the modern constructs and psychological affectations, have societies and whole civilizations not arisen by working together? Is that not what is meant by community?

The truth of the matter is that we have been influenced, to a great extent, by those who would have us working more such that they may work less. They don’t want us working together, that’s how revolutions happen. They want us focused on bringing each other down so that we cannot climb upon our brothers’ and sisters’ shoulders for a glimpse at our own emancipation. The lazy rise to the top in our society, not the hard-working. It is always through top-down pressure that terms like team-player, overtime, austerity, trickle-down, and company-man find favour. We have been conditioned to think like those we wish to emulate. We have forgotten, it would seem, that it does tend to be lonely at the top. When team-work is given the true status it deserves, it can get to be quite dangerous there, as well.

 

 

 

Does Terrorism Even Exist?

Terrorism itself has had many uses and gone through many transformations throughout the ages. Terrorism has been used in order to subvert, manipulate, silence, coerce, influence, persuade, and otherwise intervene in both the operations of nation-states and the interruption of such operations. Terrorism has been used by both sides, small and large, weak and strong, defender and aggressor, antagonist and protagonist, over many issues, and in many theatres. Terrorism is a relative term.

Consider, for a moment, its definition, roughly: the act of instilling fear in order to serve a specific purpose. Thus terrorism has been used in advertising (buy this before we run out,) in child-rearing (do you want to be punished?,)  in religion (avoid this or you will go to hell,) in politics (they will hurt the economy,) and in environmentalism (the consequences would be disastrous.) Truly, terrorism has been used in all aspects of all of our lives. The degree to which it has is simply a matter of scale.

However, when we speak of or hear the term in our daily lives, we understand it to mean something more sinister, more dire, and more violent.

Terrorism is always used to describe the tactics of an opponent no matter which side of a conflict they find themselves on. One would never describe one’s allies as terrorists. Al-Qaeda would not describe members of ISIS as terrorists, just as NATO would not describe the Turkish government as such (even though some Kurds might.)

Terrorism is also a tool. Just as a hammer can be used to build a house or to tear one down, terror can be used for the purpose of (perceived) good or (perceived) evil. It all depends on whether the terrorists themselves use terror tactics or they are used by proxy. Terrorists refer to themselves as rebels or freedom fighters whereas their opponents who use those same acts by proxy refer to them as mercenaries. When acts of terror are used against one’s self, they are called false flag attacks.

Although terror has been used against populations for millenia, the nineteen-seventies saw terror take on new and different forms. For one thing, the television played a big part in bringing attention to many unknown causes, opinions, and state actors. Terrorism would fizzle out very quickly were it not for the mass media making its case. For another thing, the terrorists in the seventies knew who to target (they often went after pertinent individuals,) but the governments did not. Now the tables have been turned. The government (supposedly) knows about plots before they happen (when it is to their benefit,) governments target individuals, and the terrorists attack helpless civilians instead of those in positions of power.

One must ask the question, why do the terrorists never attack the wealthy, the elite? Why are F1 races and polo matches and horse races and film festivals not attacked? Why has Monaco never been attacked (the worse that can be said of Monaco is that there is an underlying threat from terrorism? ) Why are certain buildings never targeted, buildings in which decisions concerning global policy are struck? They must be much easier to hit than buildings like the Pentagon, the Murrah, and the big three in New York. With ISIS destroying ancient art, why are museums and art galleries never hit? Buildings like bank headquarters and world trade associations are not targeted… nobody ever hits an NGO, just civilians.

It is said that terrorists hate our freedom, but it can’t be just that (if it is at all) because there are many groups, each with their own issues. They can’t all be against freedom and only against freedom. Don’t they have other demands like sovereignty, food, peace, freedom from resource-driven oppression, water, education… ? They seek freedom too, after all, freedom from western intervention.

Terrorists used to want to get the general public on their side. They wanted sympathy towards their cause. Attacking a population is what you do when you want minorities to leave your town, or when you want to start a race war. When you have a political message to send, you target those involved, like they knew to do way back in the seventies – the ‘golden age’ of terror.

If government wanted us NOT to be afraid, state-run news agencies would ignore the attacks, not produce free advertising for the terrorists (like when they withhold a name so as not to fan the popularity fire.)

So what do we make of terror perpetrated ON the masses while being shown ad infinitum TO the masses and never injuring ANY of the elite? Conditioning? Advertising? But what are they selling? Dominance, perhaps.

We must therefore assume that terrorism, these days, is not the work of terrorists, but of ‘other’ groups that want us scared, obedient, and docile. <sarc>Who could that possibly be? And why? Why? </sarc> Of course we all know the answers to the questions posed in New York, Madrid, London, Boston, Newtown, Paris, San Bernadino, et al.; it is high time we started admitting that to ourselves. There may never have been a legitimate act of terror perpetrated in the west outside of the IRA, ever (actually, the IRA WAS involved in talks with the British government… hmmm?!)

Besides, don’t ISIS have websites? Couldn’t their ISPs shut them down or, at least, identify them? It’s not like ISIS has its own satellites.


*Update*

Another truly excellent article by ZH’s George Washington:

False Flags Are Just a Conspiracy Theory … Admitted Fact

“Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.”


*Update*

Arjun Walia,
Waking Times Media

“The latest whistleblower is David Steele, a 20-year Marine Corps intelligence officer, and the second-highest-ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence. He is a former CIA clandestine services case officer, and this is what he had to say:”

Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.

322

This article is dedicated to the memory of Tim Russert, as he was the only journalist to have had the courage to ask both 2004 presidential candidates (0:54) about the implications of their involvement in the same secret society while in university. He died, on the job, of heart failure in 2008. He was fifty-eight years old.

Occultism features prominently in many secret societies. One of the best known is a Yale club called ‘Skull and Bones‘ whose members meet in a clubhouse called the tomb. It is the oldest senior class landed society at Yale. It owes its notoriety to the fact that both of the presidential candidates in the US elections of 2004, namely John Kerry and George W. Bush (who, incidentally, are also 9th cousins, twice removed,) are members.

The society’s alumni organization, the Russell Trust Association, owns the society’s real estate and oversees the organization. From 1978 until his death in 1988, business of the Russell Trust Association was handled by its single trustee, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. partner John B. Madden. Madden started with Brown Brothers Harriman in 1946, under senior partner and senator Prescott Bush (Bonesman 1917,) who was the step-brother of George Herbert Walker Jr. (Bonesman 1927,) father to George H.W. Bush (Bonesman 1948 [nickname: Magog,] head of the CIA, and 41st president,) father to Jonathan James Bush (Bonesman 1953 banker,) and grandfather of George W. Bush (Bonesman 1968 [nickname: Temporary] 43rd president.) As a sidenote, U S Federal District Court Judge John Walker (Bonesman – not listed on Wikipedia’s list) 1st cousin to Bush 41 and, once removed, to Bush 43 was a judge in April Gallop’s law suit against Dick Cheney for his failure to evacuate the Pentagon on 9/11. Prescott Bush was also a founder of the Union Banking Corporation which was seized by the United States under the Trading with the Enemy Act for its business ties with Nazi Germany.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fortune was inherited from his maternal grandfather Warren Delano. In 1830 he was a senior partner of Russell & Company. It was their merchant fleet which carried Sassoon‘s opium to China and returned with tea. John Kerry‘s maternal grandfather, James Grant Forbes, was born in Shanghai, China, where the Forbes family of China and Boston accumulated a fortune in the opium and China trade. Kerry’s paternal grandfather, Frederick A. Kerry (born Fritz Kohn), was born in the Czech Republic. The Kerry-Kohns were Jewish, but the family concealed its background upon migrating to the United States, and raised the Kerry children as Catholics. Richard John Kerry, John’s father, also graduated from Yale.

Yale happens to have had a great number of these clubs throughout its long history. The three most exclusive are perhaps ‘Skull and Bones,’ ‘Scroll and Key,’ and ‘Wolf’s Head.’ The logo of ‘Skull and Bones’ features the number 322 displayed under, you guessed it, an image of a skull and crossbones. Of the three, ‘Skull and Bones’ members were said to be the ones who took care of the ‘dirty work.’ Many members went on to very high ranks in diverse fields, but there did seem to be a lot of athletes amongst them.

Continue reading “322”

Putin and the UN – Is Change in the Air?

Based on a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Vladimir Putin made some subtle comments regarding the status of the UN and what the future might hold in store. This is simply speculative interpretation, but did he hint at the possibility of an overhaul of the foundations of global governance? The BRICS association analogy may be a valid comparison to draw at this point.

“…I will have to say a few words about…the fact that the United Nations remains the sole universal international organisation designed to maintain global peace. And in this sense it has no alternative today.”

This is an interesting comment. Of course, everybody knows that the UN is unique, so why mention it here? Is there a plan amongst the developing economies to overhaul the UN, or is the plan to replace it with a less partisan body? His qualification of the comment with the word ‘today’ leads one to believe that tomorrow might be a different story. With Russia being a founding member (since its inception at Yalta after WWII,) and if Russia can convince the other members of the BRICS countries to follow suit, they could withdraw from the UN and create their own body to uphold international law without granting the US veto power over all its decisions. On the 25th of September, Putin met with the other members of the UN’s security council to discuss the situation in Syria, as well as current domestic policy issues. One wonders what these issues might be, but given recent comments by Putin (such as those given at Valdai) as well as those given by Assad (here and here,) not to mention the rift which is developing between Germany and France against the US over NATO’s involvement in the Ukraine and US involvement in Syria indicate that the world’s opinion about the US and its activities in the middle-east and elsewhere are changing (or worsening, depending on your point of view.)

“It is also apparent that it should adapt to the ever-changing world, which we discuss all the time: how it should evolve and at what rate, which components should undergo qualitative changes. Of course, I will have to or rather should use this international platform to explain Russia’s vision of today’s international relations, as well as the future of this organisation and the global community.”

It is very clear, based on these statements that the UN is an ever-evolving entity, but it is also clear, given the prevalence of this comment at the beginning of the interview, that there is a will amongst the participants (not including the US) to reform the role of the UN in the near future.

“…in my opinion, provision of military support to illegal structures runs counter to the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter. We have been providing assistance to legitimate government entities only.”

This comment was clearly meant to demonstrate US support for the forces opposing Assad – ISIS/ISIL et al. – and its illegality. Will the international community continue to allow the Western forces’ ‘carte blanche’ towards the middle-east, and will it stand idly by as Syria is turned into Libya v2.0? It would not appear to be the case. China has also decided to support Assad’s forces by sending its navy to the port at Tartus in Syria. Has the BRICS military coalition started?

“There is only one regular army there. That is the army of Syrian President al-Assad.”

And in another quote from a past interview,

“It’s my deep belief that any actions to the contrary in order to destroy the legitimate government [of Syria] will create a situation which you can witness now in the other countries of the region or in other regions, for instance in Libya, where all the state institutions are disintegrated. We see a similar situation in Iraq,” Putin stressed.

“There is no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism. But at the same time, urging them to engage in positive dialogue with the rational opposition and conduct reform.”

The Russian leader stressed that US-led coalition partners need to understand that only the Syrian people are entitled “to decide who should govern their country and how.”

With this, Putin is upholding the democratic process by which Assad was elected, and legitimizes his presence in the discussion.

That which the future holds, only time will reveal, but clearly the winds of political change are blowing squarely in the face of the US, its official policies, NATO, and the UN.

*Update* Given what the Kazakh president said at his speech to the UN, there are more massive changes coming to the ‘International Order’ as we know it. Buckle up!

Funkhadafi

Yes Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi was a dictator (despite the fact that he did not consider himself as such and that his Libya was a direct democracy with socialism at its core.) Yes he was brutal in his rule. Yes he lived very well at the expense of the treasury. However, considering the salaries and bonuses of successful CEOs taken from their investors for a job well done, as well as the harm that many of these industries do to the public, perhaps, by Western standards, he deserved to.

Ten things you don’t know about Gaddafi’s rule, and the conditions within Libya.

CNN parroting the above. CNN officially claims that these reports cannot be verified, but they can be, and they have been.

Global Research published an illuminating article about Gaddafi highlighting the plans he had for his country and the opposition to his will expressed and implemented by the international community.

Additionally, Gaddafi was instrumental in liberating telecommunications in Africa.

“The Regional African Satellite Communication Organization (RASCOM) will provide telecommunication services, direct TV broadcast services and Internet access in rural areas of Africa. Under an agreement with RASCOM, RascomStar-QAF (a private company registered in Mauritius) will implement RASCOM’s first communications satellite project. This joint African project is expected to lower the continent’s dependency on international satellite networks such as Intelsat.”

Mercenaries could have been paid to assassinate Gaddafi and claim that the people wanted him dead. Or the people themselves, who enjoyed many of the astounding benefits seen in the above links, could have suddenly gone crazy. Unproven, either way.

It seems more likely that he was killed for the same reason Lincoln, Jackson (almost,) Garfield, Kennedy, and Hussein were killed… money. More correctly, the protection of American money – namely the dollar. Gaddafi was in talks to develop a pan-African gold-backed currency. Congressman Larry McDonald and senators John Heinz and John Tower all died in plane crashes after having criticized the Federal Reserve and called for audits. Chavez was also villified for his stance on re-patriating Venezuela’s gold.

The truth is that Gaddafi was an ardent supporter of direct democracy and a champion for his people. Bashar al Assad is supported by most of the Syrian population (saying that life was better with Assad than it is with ISIS) and it would appear that he will soon face the same fate as Gaddafi if the Americans get their paws on him. And don’t forget what happened to Arbenz, Mossadeq, Allende, Roldos, Torrijos, Aristide, not to mention Yanukovych… the list goes on.


*Update*

Article from Zerohedge:

British Parliament Confirms Libya War Was Based On Lies … Turned Nation Into a “Shit Show” … Spread Terrorism

Re-published here:

Parliamentary Report Confirms What the Alternative Media Has Been Saying for Years

The UK Parliament just confirmed what the alternative media has been saying for years.

Specifically, a new report from the bipartisan House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee – based on interviews with all of the key British decision-makers, review of documents, and on-the-ground investigations in Africa – found that Libyan war was based on lies, that it destroyed the country, and that it spread terrorism far and wide.

The War Based On Bogus Intelligence … Like the Iraq War

Initially, the report finds that the threat to civilians from Libyan  government forces was dramatically overstated:

Former French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who introduced Resolution 1973 [imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, and laying the groundwork for overthrowing the government], asserted in his speech to the Security Council that “the situation on the ground is more alarming than ever, marked by the violent re-conquest of cities”. He stressed the urgency of the situation, arguing that “We have very little time left—perhaps only a matter of hours.” Subsequent analysis suggested that the immediate threat to civilians was being publicly overstated and that the reconquest of cities had not resulted in mass civilian casualties.

 

***

 

The proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi  [which was the basis for the West’s war to overthrow Gaddafi] was not supported by the available evidence. The Gaddafi regime had retaken towns from the rebels without attacking civilians in early February 2011 …. Gaddafi regime forces targeted male combatants in a civil war and did not indiscriminately attack civilians. More widely, Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year record of appalling human rights abuses did not include large-scale attacks on Libyan civilians.

 

***

 

On 17 March 2011, Muammar Gaddafi announced to the rebels in Benghazi, “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.” Subsequent investigation revealed that when Gaddafi regime forces retook Ajdabiya in February 2011, they did not attack civilians. Muammar Gaddafi also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops.

 

***

 

An Amnesty International investigation in June 2011 could not corroborate allegations of mass human rights violations by Gaddafi regime troops. However, it uncovered evidence that rebels in Benghazi made false claims and manufactured evidence. The investigation concluded that much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge.

***

 

In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as “an intelligence-light decision”.

Just like the ginned up intelligence used to justify the Iraq war. And the “humanitarian wars” waged over the last couple of decades.

The Libyan Government Was Fighting Terrorists

The report also notes that the Libyan government really was – as Libyan dictator Gaddafi claimed at the time – fighting Islamic terrorists based in Benghazi:

Intelligence on the extent to which extremist militant Islamist elements were involved in the anti-Gaddafi rebellion was inadequate.

***

Abdelhakim Belhadj and other members of the al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were participating in the rebellion in March 2011.

Secret intelligence reports from 2011, written before and during the illegal US-led attack on Libya and recently obtained by the Washington Times, state:

  There is a close link between al Qaeda, Jihadi organizations, and the opposition in Libya…

Indeed, the Libyan rebel commander admitted at the time that his fighters had links to Al Qaeda.  And see this.

We reported in 2012:

The U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists. According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters – and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq – prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:

The Hindustan Times reported last year:

 “There is no question that al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition,” Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer and a leading expert on terrorism, told Hindustan Times.

 

It has always been Qaddafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi.

***

(Incidentally, Gaddafi was on the verge of invading Benghazi in 2011, 4 years after the West Point report cited Benghazi as a hotbed of Al Qaeda terrorists. Gaddafi claimed – rightly it turns out – that Benghazi was an Al Qaeda stronghold and a main source of the Libyan rebellion.  But NATO planes stopped him, and protected Benghazi.)

The Daily Mail reported in 2014:

A self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

 

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

 

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

 

‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

 

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

 

***

 

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

 

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

The West and Its Allies Directly Supported and Armed the Rebels

The UK report confirms that the West and its allies directly supported and armed the rebels:

The combat performance of rebel ground forces was enhanced by personnel and intelligence provided by states such as the UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. For example, Lord Richards told us that the UK “had a few people embedded” with the rebel forces.

 

Resolution 1973 called on United Nations member states to ensure the “strict implementation of the arms embargo”. However, we were told that the international community turned a blind eye to the supply of weapons to the rebels. Lord Richards highlighted “the degree to which the Emiratis and the Qataris … played a major role in the success of the ground operation.” For example, Qatar supplied French Milan anti­tank missiles to certain rebel groups. We were told that Qatar channelled its weapons to favoured militias rather than to the rebels as a whole.

The REAL Motivation for War

The real motivation for the war?  The Parliamentary report explains:

A further insight into French motivations was provided in a freedom of information disclosure by the United States State Department in December 2015. On 2 April 2011, Sidney Blumenthal, adviser and unofficial intelligence analyst to the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reported this conversation with French intelligence officers to the Secretary of State:

 

According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:

 

  1. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
  2. Increase French influence in North Africa,
  3. Improve his internal political situation in France,
  4. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
  5. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.

 

The sum of four of the five factors identified by Sidney Blumenthal equated to the French national interest. The fifth factor was President Sarkozy’s political self-interest.

Gaddafi Tried to Step Down … But the West Insisted On Violent Regime Change

Gaddafi had offered to hand over power, but the West instead wanted violent regime change. (The British report notes: “By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change.”)

The Parliamentary report notes that Gaddaffi may have been attempting to flee the country when he was killed:

Muammar Gaddafi might have been seeking an exit from Libya in February and March 2011. On 21 February 2011, for example, Lord Hague told reporters that he had seen credible information that Muammar Gaddafi was on his way to exile in Venezuela. Concerted action after the telephone calls conducted by Mr Blair might have led to Muammar Gaddafi’s abdication and to a negotiated solution in Libya. It was therefore important to keep the lines of communication open. However, we saw no evidence that the then Prime Minister David Cameron attempted to exploit Mr Blair’s contacts.

 

***

 

Political options were available if the UK Government had adhered to the spirit of Resolution 1973, implemented its original campaign plan and influenced its coalition allies to pause military action when Benghazi was secured in March 2011. Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at lesser cost to the UK and to Libya. If political engagement had been unsuccessful, the UK and its coalition allies would not have lost anything. Instead, the UK Government focused exclusively on military intervention. In particular, we saw no evidence that it tried to exploit former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s contacts and influence with the Gaddafi regime.

The U.S. and France were also hell-bent on regime change.  And the New York Times confirms that Hillary Clinton is largely responsible for the violent regime change in Libya.

Why Should We Care?

Why should we care?

Well, the House of Commons report confirms that the Libyan war has wrecked the country:

The Libyan economy generated some $75 billion of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010. This economy produced an average annual per capita income of approximately $12,250, which was comparable to the average income in some European countries. [The former Indian representative to the U.N. notes that, before the war, Libya had less of its population in poverty than the Netherlands.  Libyans had access to free health care, education, electricity and interest-free loans, and women had great freedoms that were applauded by the U.N. Human Rights Council]. Libyan Government revenue greatly exceeded expenditure in the 2000s. … The United Nations Human Development Report 2010—a United Nations aggregate measure of health, education and income—ranked Libya as the 53rd most advanced country in the world for human development and as the most advanced country in Africa.

 

***

 

In 2014, the most recent year for which reliable figures are available … the average Libyan’s annual income had decreased from $12,250 in 2010 to $7,820.  Since 2014, Libya’s economic predicament has reportedly deteriorated. Libya is likely to experience a budget deficit of some 60% of GDP in 2016. The requirement to finance that deficit is rapidly depleting net foreign reserves, which halved from $107 billion in 2013 to $56.8 billion by the end of 2015. Production of crude oil fell to its lowest recorded level in 2015, while oil prices collapsed in the second half of 2014. Inflation increased to 9.2% driven by a 13.7% increase in food prices including a fivefold increase in the price of flour. The United Nations ranked Libya as the world’s 94th most advanced country in its 2015 index of human development, a decline from 53rd place in 2010.

 

***

 

In 2016, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that out of a total Libyan population of 6.3 million, 3 million people have been impacted by the armed conflict and political instability, and that 2.4 million people require protection and some form of humanitarian assistance. In its World Report 2016, Human Rights Watch stated that Libya is heading towards a humanitarian crisis, with almost 400,000 people internally displaced and increasing disruption to basic services, such as power and fuel supplies. Forces engaged in the conflict continued with impunity to arbitrarily detain, torture, unlawfully kill, indiscriminately attack, abduct and disappear, and forcefully displace people from their homes. The domestic criminal justice system collapsed in most parts of the country, exacerbating the human rights crisis

People-trafficking gangs exploited the lack of effective government after 2011, making Libya a key transit route for illegal migration into Europe and the location of a migrant crisis. In addition to other extremist militant groups, ISIL emerged in Libya in 2014, seizing control of territory around Sirte and setting up terrorist training centres. Human Rights Watch documented unlawful executions by ISIL in Sirte of at least 49 people by methods including decapitation and shooting. The civil war between west and east has waxed and waned with sporadic outbreaks of violence since 2014. In April 2016, United States President Barack Obama described post-intervention Libya as a “shit show”. It is difficult to disagree with this pithy assessment.

The Parliamentary report confirms that the Libyan war – like the Iraq war – has ended up spreading terrorism around the globe:

Libyan weapons and ammunition were trafficked across North and West Africa and the Middle East.

 

***

 

The United Nations Panel of Experts appointed to examine the impact of Resolution 1973 identified the presence of ex-Libyan weapons in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Gaza, Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Syria. The panel concluded that “arms originating from Libya have significantly reinforced the military capacity of terrorist groups operating in Algeria, Egypt, Mali and Tunisia.” In the 2010-15 Parliament, our predecessor Committee noted that the failure to secure the Gaddafi regime’s arms caches had led to “a proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and some heavier artillery, across North and West Africa”. It identified that Libyan small arms had apparently ended up in the hands of Boko Haram militants.

 

***

 

In January 2014, Egyptian Islamist insurgents used an ex-Libyan MANPAD to shoot down an Egyptian Army helicopter in the Sinai.

 

***

 

The FCO told us that “Political instability in Libya has led to a permissive environment for terrorist groups in which to operate, including ISIL [i.e. ISIS] affiliated groups”.   Professor Patrick Porter, Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of Exeter, agreed with the FCO analysis, stating that “a lack of effective government is creating opportunities for the Islamic State.”

 

***

 

ISIL has used its presence in Libya to train terrorists. For example, Sefeddine Rezgui, the gunman who killed Western holidaymakers in Tunisia in June 2015, was trained by ISIL at its base in Sabratha along with the two gunmen who killed 22 tourists at the Bardo museum in Tunis. ISIL’s plans may extend beyond terrorism. Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone, a Royal Navy officer and NATO commander, commented that:

We know they [ISIL] have ambitions to go offshore … There is a horrible opportunity in the future that a misdirected, untargeted round of a very high quality weapons system will just happen to target a cruise liner, or an oil platform, or a container ship.

And the UK report confirms that the Libyan war has created a tidal wave of refugees:

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that some 1 million migrants were present in Libya in June 2016. This estimate comprised 425,000 internally displaced Libyans, 250,000 non-Libyan migrants and 250,000 returnees. Most non-Libyan migrants travelled from West Africa, the Horn of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The most common countries of origin for non-Libyan migrants were Niger, Egypt, Chad, Ghana and Sudan. Between 1 January and 31 May 2016, 47,851 migrants arrived in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya. A similar number of migrants attempted the crossing over the same period in 2015. Despite the increased resources committed to Operation Triton, however, crossing the Mediterranean is becoming increasingly hazardous for migrants transiting through Libya. The IOM recorded 2,061 migrants as dead or missing between 1 January and 31 May 2016, which showed a 15% increase in fatalities compared with the same period in 2015.

In other words – just like the Iraq war – the Libyan war was based on fake intelligence, was carried out for reasons having little to do with national security or protecting civilians, destroyed a nation and created a “shit show”, spread terrorism far and wide, and created waves of refugees.


The following are selected quotes from Gaddafi (translated from French by yours truly:)

“La lutte politique qui aboutit à la victoire d’un candidat, avec, par exemple 51% de l’ensemble des voix des électeurs, conduit à un système dictatorial, mais sous un déguisement démocratique. En effet, 49% des électeurs sont gouvernés par un système qu’ils n’ont pas choisi, et qui, au contraire, leur a été imposé. Et cela c’est la dictature. Cette lutte politique peut aussi aboutir à la victoire d’un appareil ne représentant que la minorité, notamment lorsque les voix des électeurs se répartissent sur un ensemble de candidats dont l’un obtient plus de voix que chacun des autres considéré à part. Mais si l’on additionnait les voix obtenues par les « battus », cela donnerait une large majorité. Malgré cela, c’est celui qui a le moins de voix qui est proclamé vainqueur, et son succès est considéré comme égal et démocratique ! Mais en réalité il s’instaure une dictature sous des apparences démocratiques. Voilà la vérité sur les régimes politiques qui dominent le monde actuel. Leur falsification de la vraie démocratie apparaît clairement: ce sont des régimes dictatoriaux.”

“The political struggle which ends in the victory of one of the candidates, with, for example 51% of the total of electors’ votes, leads to a dictatorial system, but under the guise of a democratic system. In effect, 49% of the voters are governed by a system they have not chosen, and which, to the contrary, was imposed upon them. And this is dictatorship. This political struggle can also end in the victory of a system which represents the minority, most notably when the electors’ votes are spread out over a certain number of candidates where one gets more votes than any of the others individually. But if we add up the votes of all the “beaten” candidates, it would show a large majority. Despite this, the one with the lowest tally is proclaimed victor, and his success is considered equal and democratic! But in reality, a dictatorship is installed through a disguise of democracy. Here is the truth about the political regimes which dominate the world, today. Their falsification of true democracy appears clearly: these are dictatorial regimes.”

“La démocratie directe, quand elle est mise en pratique, est indiscutablement et incontestablement la méthode idéale de gouvernement. Comme une nation, quelle que soit sa population, ne peut être rassemblée pour discuter, étudier et décider de sa politique, les sociétés sont détournées de la démocratie directe, qui est demeurée une idée utopique éloignée de la réalité. Elle a été remplacée par de nombreuses théories de gouvernement, telles que les assemblées parlementaires, les coalitions de partis, les référendums. Toutes ont conduit à isoler le peuple de l’activité politique, à usurper sa souveraineté, et à confisquer son pouvoir au profit d’ « appareils de gouvernement » successifs et en conflit, qu’ils soient individu, classe, secte, tribu, Parlement ou parti.”

“Direct democracy, when put into practice, is incontestably the ideal method of government. But as a nation, whoever makes up the population, cannot all be reunited to talk about, study, and plan its policies, the idea of direct democracy is illusory and utopian and is divorced from reality. This concept has been replaced by numerous theories of government, such as parliamentary assemblies, party coalitions, referendums; all of which have served to isolate the people from their political activities, to usurp their sovereignty, and confiscate its power to the profit of successive ‘government apparatus’ and conflict, be they individual, class, sect, tribe, Parliament (sic,) or party”

“La propriété pourrait bien changer de mains, le résultat serait le même: le travailleur demeure un salarié tant qu’il n’a pas été rétabli dans son droit sur sa propre production, et que celle-ci continue à être détournée au profit de la “collectivité” ou de l’employeur.La solution finale à ce problème consiste à abolir le salariat, par la libération de l’homme de l’asservissement dans lequel celui-ci le maintient.”

“Property could change hands, the result would be the same: the worker remains a salaried employee as long as he has not reclaimed the rights of his personal production, and so long as it continues to be usurped to the profit of the ‘collective’ or the employer. The final solution to this problem consists in abolishing the working class by the liberation of the man in a condition of servitude through which he is held.”

“Celui qui possède la maison que vous habitez, la voiture dans laquelle vous vous déplacez et qui assure votre salaire pour votre subsistance, s’approprie en fait votre liberté, ou du moins une partie de celle-ci. Or, la liberté est indivisible.”

He who owns the house you live in, the car you drive in, and who assures you a salary for your subsistence, is, in fact, appropriating your freedom, or, at least, a part thereof. However, liberty is indivisible.”

“LE LOGEMENT est une nécessité pour l’homme et sa famille. Il ne doit appartenir à personne d’autre qu’à lui. Un homme n’est pas libre quand il habite une maison louée. En matière de logement, la politique suivie par les Etats a consisté à réglementer la location en bloquant ou en augmentant les loyers. La seule solution radicale et définitive est l’accession à la propriété. Dans la société socialiste, nul ne peut être maître des besoins de l’homme. Personne ne peut dans cette société, bâtir un logement autre que pour lui-même et ses héritiers. La maison de l’individu étant un de ses besoins fondamentaux, nul ne peut construire dans le but de louer.”

“Housing is a neccessity for man and his family. His house must belong to no other but him. A man is not free when he inhabits a rented house. Where housing is concerned, the policies followed by the State consists in regulating rental by stopping or raising rents. The only definitive solution, be it a radical one, is accession of property. In socialist society, none can be master of the needs of man. Nobody, in this society, can build housing for anyone but himself and his heirs. The individuals house being one of his fundamental needs, none can build with the goal of renting.”

“L’éducation obligatoire et standardisée constitue en fait une entreprise d’abrutissement des masses. Tous les Etats qui déterminent officiellement les matières et les connaissances à enseigner et qui organisent ainsi l’éducation, exercent une contrainte sur les citoyens. Toutes les méthodes d’éducation en vigueur dans le monde devraient être abolies par une révolution culturelle mondiale visant à émanciper l’esprit humain de l’enseignement du fanatisme et de l’orientation autoritaire des goûts, du jugement et de l’intelligence de l’être humain. Cela ne veut pas dire qu’il faille fermer les écoles ou, comme pourrait le supposer un lecteur superficiel, tourner le dos à l’éducation. Cela veut dire, au contraire, que la société devrait fournir toutes sortes d’activités éducatrices, permettant aux jeunes de choisir spontanément et librement les matières qu’ils souhaitent étudier.”

“Mandatory and standardized education consists of, in fact, an enterprise of mass-stupification of the masses. All states which officially determine the subjects and knowledge to be taught and who thereby organise education, exercise a certain constraint upon the citizens. All the methods of education in the world should be abolished by a worldwide cultural revolution which should aim to emancipate the human spirit from the teaching of fanaticism and the authoritarian orientation of human tastes, of human judgement, and of human intelligence. This does not mean that we must close the schools or, as a merely superficial reading would indicate, turn our backs to education. To the contrary, this means that society should supply all sorts of educational activities, such that children could spontaneously and freely choose the subjects which he wishes to study.”

-Mouammar KADHAFI

Quagmire [kwaɡˌmī(ə)r] – An Awkward, Complex, or Hazardous Situation

American Imperialism is alive but perhaps not so well in the middle-east. There are many stories about the region and its mind-boggling complexity in the news these days, but there doesn’t seem to be any over-arching analysis of the entire situation which stretches from the Crimea to the Yellow Sea. The big picture is frightening in scope and potential.

Let’s start with some basic facts:

Upon further reflection, the rest of this article will be left to the reader’s imagination. However, the main takeaway should certainly be the fact that this quagmire in Asia has (to a large extent) been engineered to protect the US Dollar. It may not work out that way, in the end.

St. Lambert – In the Cross-Hairs

While you may never have heard of St. Lambert, there is something you should know about it. The city of St. Lambert is a small one, merely 150 years old, counting a population of just over twenty thousand. With an area of only three square miles, it is disproportionately affluent, anglophone, aged, and religious. It is also, arguably the most important city in North America; or it could turn out to be.

“In the 1950s, the development of Saint-Lambert was enhanced with the building of the St. Lambert Locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway, to bypass the smaller Lachine Canal, and this became the most easterly lock in the Seaway.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_Seaway

St. Lambert is also an important rail hub.

“Via Rail serves Saint-Lambert railway station with its daily Montreal-Quebec City, Montreal-Gaspé and Montreal-Halifax trains.

Amtrak, the U.S. national passenger rail system, also provides daily service to Saint-Lambert railway station, operating its Adirondack in both directions between Montreal and New York City, using the Victoria Bridge.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Lambert,_Quebec

A great many cities in the interior of the continent depend upon the seaway for the transport of goods and commodities. Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Chicago are all dependant on imports being shipped through the seaway to the Great Lakes. Being the easternmost point in the seaway, St. Lambert is the entry point and the most important link in the supply chain to the interior of the continent.

“The Great Lakes region receives special attention because the provinces and states in it constitute the fourth largest economy in the world…” http://www.canadiansailings.ca/?p=8857

Starkly, one well-positioned nuclear bomb could put a crater where St. Lambert is and severely hinder the north american supply line to the heartland. The Russians know it, but do the residents of St. Lambert know it? The safe zone for an ICBM strike is about twenty kilometers which means that Montreal and most of the South Shore would become nothing more than a fond memory. Knowing this, one wonders how many of the residents there would endorse antagonizing the Russians over the crisis in the Ukraine.

Update – This permalink will simulate the effects of a 1 megaton nuclear device exploding on the ground at the locks in St. Lambert.

Eight Excuses for Violence

Some years ago, the psychologist Albert Bandura listed eight mental tricks people play to disengage their consciences so they can perform the acts of violence they would normally abhor.

1. Moral Justification: one is persuaded, for example, that killing the enemy serves a higher moral purpose such as protecting one’s country or serving God’s plan, etc.
2. Euphemistic Labeling: people mask the true nature of behavior they know is unethical, such as labeling “enhanced interrogation” for torture, “servicing the target” for shooting the enemy, and “disinformation” for lying.
3. Advantageous Comparison: as in “What I am doing is not as bad as what they are doing.”
4. Displacement of Responsibility: Uncritically following orders, as in the Nazi concentration camp workers or SS execution squads.
5. Diffusion of Responsibility: when a whole group decides on the unethical action or when the action is divided into many subparts, for example, the building of nuclear weapons. (“All I do is assemble this little electronic part.” Or, “I’m just driving a truck [to] bring supplies—I don’t shoot anybody.”)
6. Disregard or Distortion of Consequences: for example, when harm is inflicted at a distance (as in officers in Montana who guide drones that make “bug splats” in Afghanistan) or dropping bombs from a plane on “targets” even though women and children and old men are being killed below.
7. Dehumanization: labeling the victims of one’s violence as non-human or subhuman, as in calling Vietnamese people “slants” and “gooks” during that war, or Germans “Huns” in WWI, or Arabs “towel heads” and “sand niggers” in the First Gulf War.
8. Attribution of Blame: or blaming the victim who is seen as deserving the mistreatment or seen as having brought it on themselves. For example, “These German civilians we are killing below should not have voted for Hitler; therefore they are to blame for our bombings.

Generally speaking, in the run-up to a war and during it, most or all of these powerful psychological techniques are employed by governments and their militaries on both sides.

(excerpt taken from Good People Doing Bad Things  By Kent Shifferd)

Welcome Back Qatar

The recent drop in the price of oil has had widespread negative consequences for Canada and many other net oil-exporting countries. It has also had dire consequences for the United States. The fracking industry has seen lay-offs, rig closures, and the beginnings of consolidation; the smaller outfits are becoming more and more attractive to large corporate buy-outs as their over-leveraged business models are being slaughtered by dwindling margins. We have been told that lower gas prices are good for the average consumer, but how good can it be if it takes out their entire economy? The petro-dollar scheme, it would appear, is showing signs of stress.

Meanwhile, strategic reserves and storage facilities are filling up fast. It has been estimated that all the extra storage space left in the USA will be full by the end of May. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API) last month saw the biggest build-up of US oil reserves in 34 years (at least.) Most countries that can afford to buy more oil are also adding to their reserves; and who can’t at these prices? Stockpiles are at an all-time high, and not just in the USA; China is also buying a lot of oil while the prices are near record lows. When all the storage capacity is used up, oil will be dumped onto the market driving the price down even further. Yet, the algos aren’t crashing; nobody is putting much pressure on the Saudis to cut production, the markets are not in a panic, and there seems to be a laissez-faire attitude towards the whole debacle. Surely this must be temporary. Maybe things will turn out for the best, but how? We’ll get back to this in a moment.

The Arab spring has brought about many changes in the middle-east. Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen have seen meaningful change since 2011, and they are not alone. There has been a political awakening in some parts of the region, and there are now new actors taking the stage. ISIS has become a force thanks to the backing (either direct or indirect) of the Saudi and American governments; a renewed call for a caliphate has re-awoken a new generation of Arabs who want to assert themselves internationally. There are grass-roots political movements springing up all around the region and even spilling into northern Africa. It seems that change is all around.

Continue reading “Welcome Back Qatar”