Just when you thought you had seen it all, Islamic State militants turn up the amplifier of terror to 11. As The Mirror reports, ISIS is launching bombs containing live scorpions as the latest terror weapon in Iraq. Canisters of the creatures are being blasted into towns and villages, according to a British military expert who has just returned from the country. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, ex-head of chemical and biological weapons for the Army and Nato, said: “it’s madness. IS have improvised devices to launch them.”The weapon harks back to the scorpions stuffed into pots and launched by Iraqis thousands of years ago – in 198 AD.
On the wall of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth from his novel 1984 there were three slogans:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
It occurred to me that these apply just a little bit too well to the way the Washington, DC establishment operates.
War certainly is peace: just look at how peaceful Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine have become thanks to their peacemaking efforts. The only departures from absolute peacefulness which might be taking place there have to do with the fact that there are some people still alive there. This should resolve itself on its own, especially in the Ukraine, where the people now face the prospect of surviving a cold winter without heat or electricity.
Freedom is indeed slavery: to enjoy their “freedom,” Americans spend most of their lives working off debt, be it a mortgage, medical debt incurred due to an illness, or student loans. Alternatively, they can also enjoy it by rotting in jail. They also work longer hours with less time off and worse benefits than in any other developed country, and their wages haven’t increased in two generations.
And what keeps it all happening is the fact that ignorance is indeed strength; if it wasn’t for the Americans’ overwhelming, willful ignorance of both their own affairs and the world at large, they would have rebelled by now, and the whole house of cards would have come tumbling down.
But there is a fourth slogan they need to add to the wall of Washington’s Ministry of Truth.
On Friday, the US Ambassador in Iraq, Stuart Jones revealed that Washington and Baghdad had an agreement on prosecution granting privileges and immunity to US forces, promising the tribes to obtain an integrated role with Iraqi security forces in the battle against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and stressing the importance of militias supported by Iran under the supervision and control of the Iraqi state.
Jones said in an interview with the ‘Associated Press Agency ‘ followed by IraqiNews.com, “Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi assured that US forces would have immunity from prosecution,” pointing out that, “these forces will have a different role.” Continue reading »
“This last 1900 point Dow Jones push upwards – and the Ebola events leading into it – it was so orchestrated and heightened at critical points but the ascent and push straight up in price, and sideways nonreaction after was completely unlike anything I’ve seen before. After going up for a record-breaking amount of time the last five or so years, in a nonlinear exponential mania type of ascent, there should normally be tremendous volatility that follows… After this year and especially this last 1900 point Dow run up in October, and post non-reaction, that I am 100 percent confident that that one buyer is our own Federal Reserve or other central banks with a goal to “stimulate” our economy by directly buying stock index futures.”
American Epidemic? NYPD cop shoots dead unarmed man ‘without warning':
The global financial system has come unglued. Everywhere the real world evidence points to cooling growth, faltering investment, slowing trade, vast excess industrial capacity, peak private debt, public fiscal exhaustion, currency wars, intensified politico-military conflict and an unprecedented disconnect between debt-saturated real economies and irrationally exuberant financial markets.
Yet overnight two central banks promised what amounts to more monetary heroin and, presto, the S&P 500 index jerked up to 2070. That is, the robo-traders inflated the PE multiple for S&P’s basket of US-based global companies to a nose bleed 20X their reported LTM earnings.
I’ve long written about how the percentage of sociopaths within a group of humans becomes increasingly concentrated the higher you climb within the positions of power in a society, with it being most chronic amongst those who crave political power (see: Humanity is Rising).
The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed.
Two newspaper executives have told the Observer that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security – when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. One executive said he had been accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle.
Ah, national security. Remember that the next time you are lectured that we need to give up our civil liberties in the name of “national security.” Think about what that really means. It really means the security of the status quo to continue to behave like insane criminals with zero accountability.
It is unclear whether the person in charge of the Lois Lerner “disappeared IRS emails” strategy was also Dr. Gruber, but whoever conceived of the idiotic idea that the fatal failure of a local hard disk means that emails which are stored on at least one server miles away, and subsequently downloaded via POP3, IMAP or some other protocol, have vaporized, clearly also relied on the stupidity (and laziness) of the American people. And like in the case of Obamacare, the lies worked, if only for a short period of time. And because when it comes to lies coming from the very top, there is never just one cockroach, and they always inevitably scatter, the latest headache for a scandal-ridden president is that Lois Lerner’s email, supposedly gone in perpetuity, have mysteriously reappeared, and as the Washington Examiner reports, “up to 30,000 missing emails sent by former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner have been recovered by the IRS inspector general, five months after they were deemed lost forever.”
In the wake of the failure of the U.S. Senate to move forward on the USA Freedom Act, many activists and civil liberties advocates have come to the conclusion that we can’t rely on the feds to do anything decent on the subject. One of the proposed grassroots ways to fight back has been an emphasis on increased use of encryption (recall my pre-Snowden era post, Bitcoin and Kim Dotcom: Why it’s Time to “Encrypt Everything”). Another obvious solution is for people to revolt at the local level. It appears that the citizens of Utah are doing just that.
I am a United Sates Army general, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism. It’s like Alcoholics Anonymous; step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem, to wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry.
“The situation has become so bad… that a middle-aged investor, fearing that a local developer wouldn’t be able to make his promised interest payments, threatened to commit suicide in dramatic fashion last summer. After hearing similar stories of desperation, city officials reminded residents that it is illegal to jump off the tops of buildings.”
As The West shows its fortitude (and apparent philanthropy) with mere 32-degree Fahrenheit ice-bucket-challenges, Russian chemistry professor Yury Zhdanov goes 290-degrees better…
Nikolay Novosyolov, founder of a science popularization project, poured a bucket of liquid nitrogen, which temperature was minus 322 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 197 Celcuis), as part of the #IceBucketChallenge campaign, taking the world’s social media charity craze to a whole new level.
The ultimate goal of the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by some Western nations is to stir public protests and oust the government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“Western leaders publicly state that the sanctions must hurt [Russia’s] economy and stir up public protests. The West doesn’t want to change Russia’s policies. They want a regime change. Practically nobody denies that,” he told a leading think-tank in Moscow.
Lavrov said that the tensions between Russia and the West had been brewing for years before the Ukrainian crisis, adding that now the Europeans had decided to go for all-or-nothing and play chicken with Russia. But at least the positions have been made clear, Lavrov said.
German police used pepper spray and clashed with anti-EU protesters, who stormed and vandalized the new European Central Bank building, which is under construction now in central Frankfurt.
Calling themselves Blockupy, thousands of activists gathered in the city center on Saturday and marched to the goal of their protest, the new ECB office, which is to be inaugurated next March.
The cost of the new office is almost 1.3 billion euros and this fact has caused a lot of criticism while the policy of austerity is applied all over Europe.
“While our colleagues, friends and comrades in Southern Europe continue to rebel against the depletion and impoverishment policies of the Troika, the ECB moves into its new palace,” Blockupy website says. “Blockupy moves on to the road. We will make our own move to the new building and give back to the ECB the garbage – in and with many moving boxes – that should have been thrown into the dustbin of history: racist and sexist division, impoverishment, privatization of public funds and goods and wars to secure resources.”
The news this week of China’s largest corporate bankruptcy - Haixin Iron & Steel Group – amid crashing iron ore and steel prices was followed by analysts noting it “will be followed by others,” as the major flaw of producers of iron ore, the most traded commodity after oil, is they tend to be “over-bullish.” Distressed debt funds are starting to circle in preparation for what they expect to be a bloodbath as Bloomberg reports, bad debts in China are well underestimated because authorities persist in propping up weak companies and bailing out local investors, according to DAC Management, “we’ve yet to see it because if you look at corporate defaults, they keep getting covered by the government. At some point, they can’t cover every single one.” Most worryingly though, as KPMG points out, “when you see restructuring advisers getting hired by SOEs… you know it’s coming.”
Healthcare workers at Hope Assisted Living & Memory Care Center in Dacula, Georgia, whose identities have not been made known as of this writing, have informed Health Impact News that on November 7, 2014, five residents of the center received flu vaccinations, only to die one week later.
Once a market leader among Western 24-hour news channels, CNN has now become infamous for its slipshod mislabeling of maps across the world. This week the network hit a new low, transforming a synagogue into a mosque.
Are you in better shape financially than you were last Thanksgiving? If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate because most Americans are not. As you chow down on turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce this Thursday, please remember that there are millions of Americans that simply cannot afford to eat such a meal. According to a shocking new report that was just released by the National Center on Family Homelessness, the number of homeless children in the U.S. has reached a new all-time high of 2.5 million. And right now one out of every seven Americans rely on food banks to put food on the table. Yes, life is very good at the moment for Americans at the top end of the income spectrum. The stock market has been soaring and sales of homes worth at last a million dollars are up 16 percent so far this year. But most Americans live in a very different world. The percentage of Americans that are employed is about the same as it was during the depths of the last recession, the quality of our jobs continues to go down, the rate of homeownership in America has fallen for seven years in a row, and the cost of living is rising much faster than paychecks are. As a result, the middle class is smaller this Thanksgiving than it was last Thanksgiving, and most Americans have seen their standards of living go down over the past year.
In 2014, there are tens of millions of Americans that are anonymously leading lives of quiet desperation. They are desperately trying to hold on even though things just keep getting worse. For example, just consider the plight of 49-year-old Darrell Eberhardt. Once upon a time, his job in a Chevy factory paid him $18.50 an hour, but now he only makes $10.50 an hour and he knows that he probably would not be able to make as much in a new job if he decided to leave…
If you like your boots-on-the-ground, you can keep them… and have some more. Whether a strawman or not, Reuters reports that according to US officials, the U.S. military has drawn up plans to significantly increase the number of American forces in Iraq, which now total around 1,400, as Washington seeks to bolster Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State.
*OBAMA AUTHORIZES 1,500 MORE U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL FOR IRAQ
*OBAMA REQUESTING $5.6 BILLION MORE TO FIGHT ISLAMIC STATE
*WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY SAYS TROOPS WON’T BE IN COMBAT ROLE
*PENTAGON TO SET UP NEW OPERATIONS, TRAINING CENTER IN IRAQ
Hundreds of US-led airstrikes and daily multi-million dollar military operations have failed to stem the tide of foreign fighters entering Iraq and Syria, who continue to pour in by their thousands, according to multiple reports.
“The flow of fighters making their way to Syria remains constant, so the overall number continues to rise,” a US intelligence official told the Washington Post. Continue reading »
Iraq’s Sunnis won’t fight ISIS for the U.S. says NIQASH, a non-profit media organization operating out of Berlin. Without Sunni support, America’s war in Iraq cannot succeed. Here’s why.
According to NIQASH, a source at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad said there have been secret negotiations between various Sunni Muslim armed factions, via Arab and Iraqi Kurdish intermediaries, for the past three months. At the request of U.S. diplomats and military personnel, Shia officials from the Iraqi government have also been meeting with the leaders of these groups in Erbil, Kurdistan and Amman, Jordan.
At the same time General John Allen, the Obama’s appointed coordinator of U.S. efforts in Iraq, has been trying to contact the Sunni tribal leaders he worked with in Anbar during the previous war’s “Awakening.” “But it was surprising,” a NIQASH source reported, “Most of General Allen’s former allies refused to cooperate with us. And some of them are actually now living outside of Iraq because of the Iraqi government’s policies.” Continue reading »
In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out. Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.
The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows: Continue reading »
The U.S. Air Force says it is not halting its use of Depleted Uranium weapons, has recently sent them to the Middle East, and is prepared to use them.
A type of airplane, the A-10, deployed this month to the Middle East by the U.S. Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing, is responsible for more Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination than any other platform, according to the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). “Weight for weight and by number of rounds more 30mm PGU-14B ammo has been used than any other round,” said ICBUW coordinator Doug Weir, referring to ammunition used by A-10s, as compared to DU ammunition used by tanks. Continue reading »
“They know Baghdad. They’ve lived in Baghdad,” said Lt.Col Oliver North, warning over the weekend that sources in Iraq believed ISIS was planning a “major attack” against the embassy in Baghdad. Yesterday we get some confirmation – via ISIS – that they did in fact reportedly strike the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. As Inquisitr reports, on Tuesday the Islamist militant group took credit for a mortar attack against the embassy in Baghdad. The group bragged about the attack on social media, claiming that there were likely casualties – “Four rockets strike Green Zone in #Baghdad; helicopters hovering over the Green Zone; ambulances heading that way after strikes!!” one ISIS militant noted on Twitter. As North concludes, “They are at the gates of Baghdad. They’re coming for us.”
American soldiers discovered more than 4,990 chemical munitions in Iraq, according to Iraqi and US officials and previously classified intelligence documents, which may now be in the hands of Islamic State militants.
For much of the duration of the Iraq War, which saw US soldiers open a military invasion against the Ba’athist country in March 2003 amid tremendous international outcry, US forces “repeatedly encountered, and on six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons” leftover from the Iraq-Iran War, reported the New York Times. Continue reading »
The top ten recipients slated to receive US foreign assistance in 2014 all practice torture and are responsible for major human rights abuses, according to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other major human rights organizations.
The violators and degree of aid they are expected to receive are: 1. Israel – $3.1bn, 2. Afghanistan – $2.2bn, 3. Egypt – $1.6bn, 4. Pakistan – $1.2bn, 5. Nigeria – $693m, 6. Jordan – $671m, 7. Iraq – $573m, 8. Kenya – $564m, 9. Tanzania – $553m, 10. Uganda -$456m
Each of the listed countries are accused of torturing people in the last year, and at least half are reported to be doing so on a massive scale. Continue reading »
As President Obama’s attention has now drifted from the ‘humanitarian’ mission in Iraq (which initially saw major initial inflows of Jihadists from around the world) to his real goal, we thought the following, somewhat disturbing, map of foreign fighter inflows to Syria would serve to provide context for just what local ‘moderate’ terrorists will be fighting (for the US) against. Welcome to The New Normal Crusades…
Islamic State’s offensive on the Iraqi capital intensified as the jihadist fighters advanced as far as Abu Ghraib, a suburb only 8 miles away from Baghdad’s international airport.
The outer suburb of Abu Ghraib is also the site of the infamous prison the US military used to humiliate and torture Iraqi detainees.
There are reports by the Iraqi military that the militants are in possession of MANPAD anti-aircraft missiles. The short-range, shoulder-fired missiles can shoot down airplanes within a range of 15,000 feet. Continue reading »
Two Austrian teenage girls who ran away to Syria to join Islamic State fighters are beginning to regret their decision. Security service insiders told Austrian media that the girls have managed to contact families and one wants to go home.
The pair left home to join Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL) in April. Little information was immediately known, aside from that one had been 16 and one 14 at the time of their departure. Both reportedly married Chechen fighters after their arrival in Syria and became pregnant.Continue reading »
Peaceful protests against IS in Syria and Iraq organized by Kurdish nationals in several German cities ended with serious clashes with pro-jihadist Muslims in Hamburg and Celle. Police had to request reinforcements to restore order.
Police in Hamburg, a port city of 1.8 million people, used water cannons, batons and pepper spray late Tuesday to disperse crowds of warring Kurds and pro-jihadist Muslims, armed with knives and brass-knuckles, following a protest against Islamic State militants who are attacking the Kurdish town of Kobani in Syria near the Turkish border.
At first, on Tuesday afternoon about 80 Kurdish protesters occupied Hamburg’s central train station for an hour, NDR.de reported. The Kurdish protesters left the railways voluntarily after 6pm, a police spokesman said.
A bigger group of about 500 Kurdish demonstrators marched through downtown Hamburg. On their way, they damaged several cars and Turkish snack bars, breaking panes of glass and throwing around plastic chairs. Police detained 14 rioters. Continue reading »