For years, NATO has relied upon tough talk and promises of support for its member nations in order to reinforce an image of invincibility.
That image is supported by the implicit backing of the US military and Washington has been keen to perpetuate it in the past 48 hours by presenting the straw man argument that Moscow is set to inexplicably bomb Turkey (and if you follow geopolitics you know that that makes absolutely no sense at all) and so the West must do it what it has to in order to support its friends in Ankara in the face of “Soviet” (and we use that term on purpose because that’s how this is being pitched now by Western media) aggression. Continue reading »
On Monday, we learned that global “leaders” had come to an agreement on the infamous Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP. While discouraging, this doesn’t mean the game is over – far from it.
Although politicians have come to a secret agreement, this democracy killing, corporate monstrosity still has to pass the U.S. Congress. So it’s now up to all of us to create an insurmountable degree of opposition and make sure this thing is dead on arrival. Continue reading »
Tests on the Pentagon’s troubled F-35 fighter jet have exposed a potentially life-threatening blunder as its ejection seat could snap a slender pilot’s neck when attempting to save his life, Defense News reports, citing a source close to the program.
Ejection tests performed in slow flying speed mode in August revealed that the pilot’s US16E seat constructed by contractor Martin-Baker has an excessive forward rotating momentum, which – combined with the force of the ejected seat shot out of the aircraft – snapped a lightweight dummy’s neck. Continue reading »
With Russia now effectively controlling the skies over Syria and with the US chiding Moscow for “targeting” America’s CIA-trained proxy armies, everyone is anxious to know how long it will be before NATO’s F-16s have an actual, live fire run-in with Russian Su-34s.
As we noted on Monday, the biggest threat here is the close proximity at which everyone is now operating: “What happens next? Well, with the previously discussed Russian naval blockade of Syria as a likely next step, and with both US and Russian warplanes already flying back and forth above Syria, and now both superpowers having a legitimate, if only in the eyes of their own media, justification to dispatch land troops, what was until now a mere proxy war is about to become full blown land combat on Syrian soil, one which will soon involve both Russian and US ground, sea and airborne forces.”
California Mayor Forced to Hand Over Electronics and Passwords at Airport – Compares U.S. to Nazi Germany
“I think the American people should be extremely concerned about their personal rights and privacy. As I was being searched at the airport, there was a Latino couple to my left, and an Asian couple to my right also being aggressively searched. I briefly had to remind myself that this was not North Korea or Nazi Germany. This is the land of the Free.
– Anthony Silva, Mayor of Stockton, California
Just in case you’re still under the infantile illusion that you reside in a free country.
In particular, MSF (Doctors Without Borders) quickly publicized numerous facts that cast serious doubt on the original U.S. claim that the strike on the hospital was just an accident. To begin with, the organization had repeatedly advised the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of the hospital. They did so most recently on September 29, just five days before the strike. Beyond that, MSF personnel at the facility “frantically” called U.S. military officials during the strike to advise them that the hospital was being hit and to plead with them to stop, but the strikes continued in a “sustained” manner for 30 more minutes.
– From Glenn Greenwald’s article: The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification
By now, all of you will have read about the U.S. military’s recent bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. What you may not be aware of, is how much the official story has changed in the days since this inexcusable act of barbarism became public.
Doctors Without Borders has been calling the attack a “war crime,” which to the average American sounds outlandish and impossible. The justification for this claim is simple — that the airstrike wasn’t an accident at all, and that the U.S. military intentionally targeted the hospital. As the days go by, it becomes increasingly clear that this is indeed the case, and the Pentagon is now scrambling to justify the intentional targeting of a hospital. Continue reading »
We have just witnessed one of the most significant steps toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been completed, and if approved it will create the largest trading bloc on the planet. But this is not just a trade agreement. In this treaty, Barack Obama has thrown in all sorts of things that he never would have been able to get through Congress otherwise. And once this treaty is approved, it will be exceedingly difficult to ever make changes to it. So essentially what is happening is that the Obama agenda is being permanently locked in for 40 percent of the global economy. Continue reading »
In the aftermath of Saturday’s tragic and unprecedented bombing of an Afghanistan hospital by the US air force, one which killed 22 and continued for 30 minutes after mission command has been allegedly notified of the “error” which the US initially claimed was “collateral damage”, the Doctors without Borders physician group in charge of operating the hospital has come out swinging and has equated the US bombing of a hospital to engaging in nothing short of a war crime. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“After his UN speech, I guess this response was inevitable. Iraq was invaded and destroyed on dubious excuses which have subsequently been proven false. This has resulted in the gradual realisation by Iraqis that they’ve been truly screwed by the US, and it’s puppet Rothschild allies.
Libya, Afghanistan, Iran and now Syria join the club.
Now, the prospect of Russia being asked to protect Iraq from ISIL says it all.”
The Iraqi military has taken a brutal beating in its battles against ISIL. Even with the support of American and coalition airpower, the Iraqis have lost untold material and territory since ISIL overran much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland these last months. News now that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi welcomes Russian airstrikes may not be what the Obama administration foresaw, but it may well spell the end of ISIL in the region. Here’s a look at the situation on the ground. Continue reading »
Oct 5, 2015
Financial writer and analyst Bix Weir is not surprised by the Federal Reserve’s policies because it is all part of the long term plan. Weir explains, “The goal, since we went off the gold standard in 1971, has been to run the financial system as long and as hard as possible, sucking up all the benefits of fiat money, and there are very few attempts to slow this mess down. The idea is to put as much money as you can . . . until you have printed so much money the system implodes. This was a Nobel Prize winning paper in the 1960’s called “On the Road to the Golden Age.” It basically says if you have this freedom and flexibility with the monetary system, run it as hard as you can until people stop accepting the unbacked fiat money, then crash the system and go back to something safe and sound after it all blows up. . . . What they need is a big enough bubble so when it crashes, it take out all the derivatives, the malfeasance of the banks, the good guys and the bad guys and all the things going on behind the scenes. They need the bubble so big, and that’s what they are doing right now is blowing the bubble so big everybody feels the effect of a crash.”
When is the next crash coming? Weir says it will all unwind before “the end of this year.” Weir contends, “The decision will need to be made this year. The banks will, once again, come to Congress and say we need money for a bailout. That decision will be made by the U.S. people, not by Congress, not by the Fed and not by the banks. It’s going to come to the people, and I believe they will say no to bailouts.” Continue reading »
Moscow is supporting both countries (Syria and Iraq) in their proxy war against the ISIL which is supported by the US and its allies.
Amply documented but rarely mentioned in news reports, the ISIS is a creation of US intelligence, recruited, trained and financed by the US and its allies including Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.
Until recently, the ISIS was known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). In 2014, it was renamed the Islamic State (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). Continue reading »
While the US has certainly made some epic strategic blunders in Syria that raise serious questions about just how “intelligent” US intelligence actually is, there’s little doubt that if one were to look behind all of the media parroting, the Pentagon and Langley understand all too well what’s going on in the Middle East.
That is, the significance of the Russia-Iran “nexus” in Syria isn’t lost on anyone in the US military and you can bet there have been quite a few high level discussions over the past 72 hours about the best way to counter Moscow and Tehran’s powerplay before it spills over into Iraq and ends up degrading Washington’s influence in Baghdad. Continue reading »
By way of excuse for what President Obama called “a tragic incident,” (and The UN called a ‘war crime’) US officials have claimed that the Taliban were fighting from within the Kabul hospital (which was destroyed by a US air strike yesterday killing at least 19 including 3 children) using aid workers as “a human shield.” However, this justification for the ‘collateral damage’ has been vehemently denied by Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) who have issued a statement dismissing the US claims, “the gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened…” but, the US strike has done one thing, as one local health official concluded, “this city is no longer for the living.” Continue reading »
Earlier today, we ventured to characterize the breakdown of Washington’s strategy in Syria as the worst US foreign policy blunder since Vietnam.
To be sure, that’s a bold claim, but it’s supported by the sheer number of missteps, bad outcomes, and outright absurdities that have developed in the Mid-East as a result of the effort to oust Bashar al-Assad.
At the most basic level, the support provided by Washington, Riyadh, and Doha for the various Sunni extremist groups battling for control of Syria has created a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead and millions are displaced. As tragic as the situation already is, the conditions are ripe for it to get even worse if the move by Brussels to force recalcitrant EU countries into accepting a migrant quota system they are opposed to ends up triggering a dangerous bout of xenophobia in the Balkans. Continue reading »
When President Obama spoke in reaction to the heinous October 1 attack on Umpqua Community College, he went beyond his usual calls for more gun control and suggested instead that America consider following the path blazed by Australia and Great Britain.
In the mid-1990s Australia and Great Britain both instituted what were virtually complete bans on firearm possession.
Obama referenced the bans thus:
We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.
And Obama is not the only one who suggested taking a gun-free approach to American life. The anti-Second Amendment message was also pushed by Slate, Vox, and Dan Savage. Continue reading »
Update 2: the death toll has risen to 16, including 9 hospital staffers and 3 children.
UPDATE: At least 16 people died- nine MSF staff, 7 patients from Intensive care unit, among them three children http://t.co/5puRbAlgXS
— Doctors w/o Borders (@MSF_USA) October 3, 2015
Update: and now the UN is getting involved, which means the US will have to spend even more taxpayer funds on bribes to make the “international community” forget this collateral damage incident and refocus on evil Russia.
#BREAKING: Kunduz air strikes ‘inexcusable’, ‘possibly criminal’: UN rights chief
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) October 3, 2015
* * *
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for US foreign policy, or for the credibility of the US state department to slide further, it got much worse. Continue reading »
On Thursday, in “Mid-East Coup: As Russia Pounds Militant Targets, Iran Readies Ground Invasions While Saudis Panic”, we attempted to cut through all of the Western and Russian media propaganda on the way to describing what Moscow’s involvement in Syria actually portends for the global balance of power. Here are a few excerpts that summarize what’s taking shape in the Middle East:
Putin looks to have viewed this as the ultimate geopolitical win-win. That is, Russia gets to i) expand its influence in the Middle East in defiance of Washington and its allies, a move that also helps to protect Russian energy interests and preserves the Mediterranean port at Tartus, and ii) support its allies in Tehran and Damascus thus preserving the counterbalance to the US-Saudi-Qatar alliance.
Continue reading »
One of the United States’ strongest allies is currently inflicting as much carnage as any other nation in the world. Instead of being vilified for their part in a staggering amount of human rights atrocities, the critics go mute and the bloodshed is rewarded. The news regarding Saudi Arabia this week is too abundant to include in any one headline.
According to UNICEF, the ongoing attacks by a U.S.-backed, Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen have resulted in the deaths of at least 505 children since March 26, 2015. Another 710 have been left injured, and 1.7 million are at risk of malnutrition. As Daniel Johnson with the U.N. pointed out, the grievous numbers are equivalent to eight children killed or maimed in Yemen every day for six months. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“There really is no comment necessary for this sad case of irony.”
Up to 20 civilians were killed by U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan early Saturday morning that hit a hospital in Kunduz. According to reports, another 37 people have been injured and many more remain unaccounted for. The hospital is operated by a French affiliate of Doctors Without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières (MFS), and was the only functioning health facility in the area.
According to The Guardian, “The hospital was hit during an aerial bombardment on Saturday morning in the besieged city of Kunduz, destroying a large portion of the facility. An MSF source told the Guardian that up to 20 Afghan members of staff and patients were killed and dozens more injured. They said the death toll could rise further. Among the killed were nine MSF staff and seven patients from the intensive care unit, including three children.” Continue reading »
“Personally I believe Barry is a classic case of a Manchurian Candidate.
He has no birthright, but does have mysterious educational ‘absences’ which would be easily part of ‘the programme’.
Nevertheless, I cannot help thinking that the total catastrophically disorganised mess that was initiated by the 9/ll and now manifests in the middle east & Ukraine, just might be part of the plan.
Russia, under Vlad has risen like a Phoenix with the support of almost everyone pissed off with the US hegemonic interference in other people’s affairs.”
We are now two days into Russia’s air campaign against anti-regime forces in Syria and both Moscow and the West are rushing to spin the narrative.
The frantic attempt from both sides to shape public opinion has been truly amazing to behold and the sheer amount of coverage speaks to what we said on Thursday about just how important the conflict really is for the Mid-East balance of power.
For the US, portraying Russian airstrikes as supportive of a murderous regime and as an imminent threat to civilians is key, as it allows Washington to explain away the fact that the US and its allies haven’t coordinated their efforts with Moscow. Take the following from CNN for instance, who reports that Russia has made a “strategic blunder” and that by opening an air campaign, Russia risks raising the spectre of the Soviet-Afghan war in the minds of potential jihadists who will supposedly rush into Syria to join the fight: Continue reading »
One narrative that’s parroted constantly when the US moves to bring about regime change in the Mid-East is that it’s necessary for the good of the people.
Typically, the citizenry is characterized as suffering under the brutal oppression of an autocratic regime which is sometimes accused of committing crimes against humanity in order to maintain an iron grip on power and ensure that the seeds of democracy cannot grow.
Of course this narrative is never wholly true and is rarely even partially so.
More often than not, the US has ulterior motives for covertly usurping Mid-East strongmen and the overarching goal is almost always to achieve some narrow geopolitical end. Continue reading »