For the better part of a year, Turkey remained on the sidelines in the “fight” against ISIS.
Then, on July 20, a powerful explosion ripped through the town of Suruc. 33 people were killed including a number of Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) and Socialist Youth Associations Federation (SGDF) members who planned to assist in the rebuilding of Kobani.
The attack was promptly attributed to Islamic State who took “credit” for the tragedy the next day. Continue reading »
Vladimir Putin speaking with the King of Jordan …
Watch from 5:48 into the video:
“…a stab in our back by the accomplices of terrorism…”
“…our plane was shot down over Syrian territory…”
A MUST-SEE …
Moments ago a big black geopolitical swan landed when newswires lit up with headlines that a Turkish F-16 shot down what was initially said to be an unidentified warplane near the Syrian border after it violated Turkey’s airspace on Tuesday, a Turkish military official said, but the nationality of the downed aircraft was not immediately clear.
The Russian jet crashed in the mountainous Jabal Turkmen area of Latakia, where air strikes and fighting between rebels and Syrian government forces were reported earlier on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, Turkish F16s warned the jet repeatedly over the airspace violations before shooting it down.
Mass surveillance at home and endless military projection abroad are the twin sides of the same coin of national security, which must simply be maximized as much as possible.
Conspicuously missing from President Hollande’s decisive declaration of war however, was any mention of the biggest elephant in the room: state-sponsorship.
A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”
ISIS, in other words, is state-sponsored — indeed, sponsored by purportedly Western-friendly regimes in the Muslim world, who are integral to the anti-ISIS coalition. Which then begs the question as to why Hollande and other Western leaders expressing their determination to “destroy” ISIS using all means necessary, would prefer to avoid the most significant factor of all: the material infrastructure of ISIS’ emergence in the context of ongoing Gulf and Turkish state support for Islamist militancy in the region.
There are many explanations, but one perhaps stands out: the West’s abject dependence on terror-toting Muslim regimes, largely to maintain access to Middle East, Mediterranean and Central Asian oil and gas resources.
– From the excellent Nafeez Ahmed article: NATO is Harbouring the Islamic State
With the way the French government’s cracking down on the civil liberties of its own citizens, you’d think the general public was supporting and funding ISIS as opposed to the French government allies who actually are.
On Sunday, we highlighted a keynote speech delivered in California last week at the Reagan National Defense Forum by a man who isn’t afraid to venture into the “danger zone” (so to speak):
Yes, that’s Ash Carter in a V-22 Osprey hovering above the USS Theodore Roosevelt and that rather hilarious snapshot was taken just days before the Pentagon boss warned that Moscow may intend to nuke the US (and no, that’s not us being hyperbolic, he actually suggested that) and that Washington needs to be careful to monitor China’s “rise.” Continue reading »
From the article:
“NATO military planning generates confrontational approaches to security issues that in our view should belong to the past. The creeping increase in NATO’s military presence on our frontiers [is] testing [our] patience.”
Russia’s dramatic intervention in Syria has served to push the conflict in Ukraine (a country that is now partially governed by Star Wars characters) to the back of the world’s collective mind. After all, separatists exchanging fire with government forces and/or far-right “volunteer” battalions every couple of days against a dreary backdrop of rundown Eastern European towns isn’t nearly as exciting as Sukhois dropping bombs on sword-waving desert bandits and so, Ukraine’s crisis has gradually receded into the background.
That said, it’s important to remember that one of the principal reasons for deteriorating relations between Moscow and the West is the conflict in Ukraine. Continue reading »
A remarkably candid analysis by U.S. Navy Commander Garrett I. Campbell (also a fellow at the Brookings Institution) concludes that not only has Russia’s military shown incredible competency in Syria, it has also done more with less — using “outdated” naval vessels to fire state-of-the-art cruise missiles with no western equivalent, for example. Some highlights from his article:
Russia’s Air Power Is Nothing to Sneeze At
According to Campbell:
The Russians are flying a significant number of sorties with recognizable successes. Current estimates range from 48 to 96 daily. This is a lot…
Can Russia sustain this level of air campaign? Maybe. Almost none of our NATO allies could match what Russia has done so far in the skies. Continue reading »
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 »
As the propaganda “war” between East and West intensifies ahead of what might ultimately transform into an actual war in the skies above Syria, the world is transfixed with the scope of Russia’s week-old military campaign in support of the Assad regime.
Thanks to the fact that the West selected Islamic militants as its anti-Assad weapon of choice, Putin gets to pitch the entire effort as a “war on terror” which means The Kremlin effectively has a license to brag and sure enough, slickly-produced ISIS videos of beheadings have now been definitively replaced by slickly-produced videos of Russian warships launching cruise missiles at terrorist targets. Continue reading »
The power elite has WW3 planned for us (and we are on our own).
But the really troubling thing is that in the war games being played, the United States keeps losing.
For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. Department of Defense is reviewing and updating its contingency plans for armed conflict with Russia. Continue reading »
– Goldman Hires Former Head Of NATO To Deal With DONG Scandal (ZeroHedge, Aug 9, 2015):
Back in January 2014, we reported that Goldman’s merchant banking unit rushed to buy an 18% in Denmark’s DONG Energy (that would be Danish Oil & Natural Gas) company for $1.5 billion. The result was an immediate grassroots resistance campaign, as hundreds of thousands of Danes refused to hand over their DONG to the vampire squid for various reasons, not the least of which was granting Goldman veto rights over changes to DONG’s leadership and strategy, a right usually reserved for buyers of 33% of an entity. A bigger reason for the Danish anger at the Goldman DONG deal, was that as The Local reported a few months later, the sale “did not include a massive deal that both parties knew was imminent, shortchanging the company’s value by as much as 20 billion kroner.”
Now that is a “coincidence” …
Just a day ago somebody has sent me an interesting ebook.
The book is not available in English and I’ve only ‘scanned’ through it so far.
More on that down below for those who are interested.
“There’s a saying, ‘if there’s peace, it will start from Cizre, and if there’s war, it will start from here as well.’ And we can say we have a civil war in Turkey.”
– “We Have A Civil War”: Inside Turkey’s Descent Into Political, Social, And Economic Chaos (ZeroHedge, Aug 8, 2015):
Deflecting criticism surrounding Ankara’s anti-terror air campaign, Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last week told state television that strikes against ISIS targets would pick up once the US had its resources in place at Incirlik which will supposedly serve as a hub for a new “comprehensive battle.”
Turkey has had a difficult time explaining why, after obtaining NATO support for a new offensive campaign to root out “terrorists”, its efforts have concentrated almost solely on the PKK and not on ISIS. As we’ve discussed in great detail (here, here, and here), and as the entire world is now acutely aware, Ankara’s newfound zeal for eradicating ISIS is nothing more than a cover for its efforts to undermine support for the PKK ahead of snap elections where President Tayyip Erdogan hopes to win back AKP’s absolute majority in parliament which it lost last month for the first time in 12 years. Continue reading »
– Turkey Permits U.S. To Use Its Airbase For Air Strikes Against Syria (ZeroHedge, July 23, 2015):
Earlier we reported that in an apparent retaliation against Monday’s alleged suicide bombing and today’s follow up killing of a Turkish soldier on the border with Syria, the Turkish army launched what under normal conditions would be deemed a land invasion of Turkey when four of its tanks entered Syrian territory. Rhetorically, we asked in “one may wonder if NATO-member Turkey’s land invasion of Syria, which many have said was long overdue following months of rhetoric and belligerent posturing, under the pretext of ISIS “liberation”, has just begun.”
A following report from the WSJ largely answers our question: citing unnamed defense officials, WSJ reports that after months of negotiations, “Turkey has agreed to let the U.S. military carry out airstrikes against Islamic State fighters from a U.S. air base near the Syrian border.” Continue reading »
– Lavrov Reminds US: European Missile Defense Needless as Iran Deal Reached (Sputnik, July 14, 2015):
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reminded that US President Barack Obama said in April 2009 in Prague that if the Iran’s nuclear issue was solved, there would be no need to create an air defense system in Europe.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is expecting a reaction from the United States on comments that the agreement with Iran should resolve concerns about the European missile defense system, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday. Continue reading »
– Nuland’s Nemesis: Will Greece Be Destroyed to Save Her From Russia, Like Ukraine? (Dances With Bears via Blacklisted News, July 6, 2015):
By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears
A putsch in Athens to save allied Greece from enemy Russia is in preparation by the US and Germany, with backing from the non-taxpayers of Greece – the Greek oligarchs, Anglo-Greek shipowners, and the Greek Church. At the highest and lowest level of Greek government, and from Thessaloniki to Milvorni, all Greeks understand what is happening. Yesterday they voted overwhelmingly to resist. According to a high political figure in Athens, a 40-year veteran, “what is actually happening is a slow process of regime change.” Continue reading »
– US deploying 250 military vehicles ‘incl. Abrams tanks’ near Russian border (RT, June 23, 2015):
Washington plans to station hardware, including tanks and armored vehicles, in a number of European countries, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday. Nukes withdrawn in the 1980s will not return to Europe.
Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania will be hosting the new hardware, and it will be possible to move it around for exercises, Carter said as he stood with his Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts on a visit to Tallinn. Continue reading »
– Moscow Furious After Both Belgium And France Freeze Russian State Assets (ZeroHedge, June 18, 2015):
Russia has summoned the Belgian ambassador to Moscow and threatened to “respond in kind” after bailiffs instructed nearly 50 Belgian companies to disclose Russian state assets, a move which reportedly sets the stage for the seizure of Russian property in connection with the disputed $50 billion Yukos verdict. Essentially, Russia was required to submit a plan for a €1.6 billion payment pursuant to the ECHR decision by June 15, and because Moscow did not do so, Belgium will attempt to extract the payment on its own. Continue reading »
– Russia Condemns “Aggressive” US Weapons Deployment; Will Send Troops To Protect Border (ZeroHedge, June 14, 2015):
Cold War 2.0 is heating up week by week. In Ukraine, the fragile ceasefire struck four months ago in Minsk looks set to break down entirely with both the Ukrainian army and the Russia-backed separatists accusing each other of deploying heavy artillery in contested areas.
Meanwhile, GOP presidential candidates in the US are getting set to hit the campaign trail with foreign policy at the forefront in terms of the issues voters are likely to focus on in the primaries. All candidates seem prepared to attack the Obama administration’s handling of what is predictably being billed as “Russian aggression”, with Hillary Clinton’s 2009 “reset” button media spectacle serving as the tie-in between the current administration and the presumed Democratic nominee. As for The White House, the President is looking to dust off the Cold War playbook by implementing a modern day “containment” policy in the face of what the West claims are illegitimate attempts by the Kremlin to redraw European borders by violating territorial sovereignty.
As if all of this wasn’t enough to bring back memories of a bygone bipolarity, over the weekend we learned that the US is now set to “store” heavy weapons in Eastern Europe in an attempt to ensure NATO can respond quickly in the event Russia decides to do a bit more annexing. To recap (via NY Times): Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
Vlad not happy with Barrie’s plan to set up NATO weapons arsenal along Russian border.”
– Moscow Warns US Not to Store Military Hardware Near Russian Border (Sputnik, June 15, 2015):
Washington was planning to store some 1,200 pieces of heavy military equipment in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Estonia and, possibly, in Hungary, according to media reports.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Reports pointing out at US plans to store military equipment on NATO’s “eastern flank” near the Russian border indicate that Washington is aiming to undermine a key provision of the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday. Continue reading »
– NATO Goes “Back To The Future”, Will Store Tanks, Heavy Weapons Near Russian Border (ZeroHedge, June 14, 2015):
For the first time since the Cold War, the US is set to store heavy military equipment in Eastern Europe in a stepped up effort to deter ‘Russian aggression.‘ While this marks a very meaningful escalation in the standoff between Moscow and the US, one former NATO commander was quick to point out that “nothing is as good as troops stationed full time on the ground.”
H/t reader squodgy:
“Still expanding NATO into former USSR satellites in total contradiction to the agreement between Baker and Gorbachev.”
– NATO Breaks Treaty to Establish Permanent Forces in Baltic (Sputnik, May 28, 2015):
NATO is set to break a 1997 treaty it signed with Russia by establishing permanent forces in Latvia, as it piles in more troops to the Baltic States.
Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved a request to ensure a permanent NATO military presence in the country following a review of Latvia’s NATO membership. Latvian Prime Minister, Laimota Straujuma, told the Baltic Times that government ministers were evaluating how plans proposed during the NATO Wales Summit in September 2014 to reverse the decline in military spending were progressing.He said generals from Lithuania and Estonia will also request NATO deploys several thousand ground troops in their countries. Lithuanian military spokesman Captain Mindaugas Neimontas said: Continue reading »
– Senior NATO Official Claims We’ll Be at War by Summer (The Daily Sheeple, May 25, 2015):
Last week, former NSA intelligence analyst John Schindler posted a rather disturbing tweet. With a statement that one could only assume to be a reference towards Russia, Schindler wrote “Said a senior NATO (non-US) GOFO to me today: “We’ll probably be at war this summer. If we’re lucky it won’t be nuclear.” Let that sink in.”
So who is John Schindler? As a ten-year veteran of the NSA, he was in the news a bit more when Snowden was making frequent headlines. He used to be a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, and is currently a frequent contributor to Business Insider. According to his biography on Business Insider, he used to teach classes on security, strategy, intelligence, and terrorism, and he has “collaborated closely with other government agencies who would probably prefer he didn’t mention them.” It’s safe to say that Schindler probably brushes shoulders with high-ranking officials from time to time, so his tweet should be taken seriously. Continue reading »
– NATO & allies stage thousands-strong drills across Europe (RT, May 4, 2015):
Three sets of military exercises kicked off in Europe on Monday, involving thousands of servicemen from a variety of NATO nations and their allies, amid a wave of similar action across the area.
Estonia is holding its largest-ever military drills. Named Siil-2015 (Hedgehog), the maneuvers involve about 13,000 personnel. The number includes about 7,000 reservists, along with members of the volunteer Estonian Defense League.
Siil-2015, scheduled to last until May 15, also involves forces from the US, the UK, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands. American troops, who are staying in Estonia as part of the massive training operation Atlantic Resolve, will bring four Abrams main battle tanks to the exercise. British, Belgian and German air defense units, as well as several NATO warplanes, will also take part. Continue reading »
Surely Polish taxpayers will be happy to pay $9 billion for a missile defense system.
– Sabre-Rattling Soars: Poland Buys US Patriot Air Defense System, Gold Pops (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2015)
Just days after Russia lifts sanctions on Iran and prepares to send its S-300 missile defense system, it appears Washington has retaliated. As TASS reports, Poland – on Russia’s doorstep – has decided to buy the US Patriot air-defense system (made by Raytheon) for a total cost of around $9bn: “The US proposal has been found to be more profitable from the viewpoint of Poland’s security and implementation of commitments within NATO framework.” Washington, keen to ensure Warsaw signed up with Raytheon, has decided to loan Poland a battery of Patriots until the deal is signed.
– S-400 missile defense strength doubled in Russia’s far east (RT, April 20, 2015):
Another top notch S-400 missile defense system has been deployed to Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. The new generation weapons with a range of up to 400 kilometers can bring down small planes and nuclear charged ballistic missiles.
Thirty-six units of military hardware that make up one S-400 ‘Triumph’ (NATO codename SA-21 Growler) regiment were delivered to Kamchatka in the Far East from Southern Russia by sea. The Defense Ministry says it’s already been unloaded and taken to its permanent location near the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Continue reading »
Hope coming from Greece?
I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
– Hope on the Horizon and It Comes from Greece — Paul Craig Roberts (April 12, 2015):
Washington in its arrogance, seeing itself as “indispensable,” poses a continuing threat to the lives of hundreds of millions of people. The extraordinary number of dead that Washington has murdered in the 21st century–”The American Century”–is dismissed as “collateral damage” in the “war on terror.”
The war on terror is a hoax. It is a creation of the evil neoconservatives who intend Washington’s world hegemony and Israel’s hegemony from the Nile to the Euphrates. The rest of mankind has realized that Washington’s drive for world hegemony means the entire human race will be dismissed as “collateral damage” as Washington establishes itself as the “exceptional, indispensable country,” the country whose will is above the rule of law and whose morality is non-existent. Continue reading »
– French military intelligence rules out ‘Russian invasion plans’ for Ukraine (RT, April 11, 2015):
France’s intelligence chief has questioned NATO’s claims of Russia preparing to attack Ukraine as their agents failed to spot any activities signaling this – either before or after the crisis began.
A statement by the chief of France’s military intelligence, General Christophe Gomart, was published on the National Assembly’s website.
“NATO announced that the Russians were about to invade Ukraine. But, according to French intelligence, there is nothing to corroborate this hypothesis – we determined that the Russians were deploying neither command posts nor logistical facilities, including field hospitals, needed for a military incursion,” General Gomart told a parliamentary hearing. Continue reading »
In other words: NATO could deploy troops to counter Russian “aggression” within 2 days.
“The previous NATO standard times for that were between 10 and 80 days.”
– NATO Conducts First Test Of “Russia Rapid Response Force” (ZeroHedge, April 9, 2015):
As Russia decries Washington’s “anti-Russian” foreign policy and alleged efforts by the US to undermine the global nuclear power balance — and as Congress and NATO do their best to confirm Moscow’s fears by voting to provide lethal aid to Kiev and by conducting military exercises along the Russian border, respectively — NATO is now set to test a new “Very High Readiness Joint Task Force,” which will see soldiers from the Czech army ready for deployment within two days. The latest NATO sabre rattling also involves German and Dutch forces and, as AP reports, is set to ramp up in the coming months:
NATO is completing a first testing of its new force created to face new challenges from Russia.
Some 150 soldiers from the Czech army’s 43rd airborne battalion have been training to be ready for deployment within 48 hours “as NATO reevaluates the risks,” Maj. Gen. Jiri Baloun said Thursday. The previous NATO standard times for that were between 10 and 80 days, Baloun said.
In the Netherlands, 900 German and 200 Dutch soldiers have been doing the same. The units will be moved for further trials to Poland in June while some 25,000 NATO troops will complete the exercise of the new force in Italy, Portugal and Spain in October and November.
The units belong to NATO’s new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
And here’s what NATO itself has to say about the endeavor:
NATO completed the first military drills for its new rapid reaction force, on Thursday (9 April 2015). From Tuesday (7 April 2015) through Thursday, more than 1,500 troops took part in exercise “Noble Jump,” designed to test whether troops assigned to NATO’s new Spearhead Force, or Very High Joint Readiness Task Force, could be ready to deploy 48 hours after receiving an order-to-move. Continue reading »
– NATO is Building Up for War (Ron Paul Insitute, April 4, 2015):
The German city of Frankfurt is continental Europe’s largest financial center and host to the country’s Stock Exchange, countless other financial institutions, and the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) which is responsible for administering the monetary policy of the 18-nation Eurozone. The place is awash with money, as demonstrated by the plush new ECB office building which is costing a fortune.
The original price of the bank’s enormous palace was supposed to be 500 million euros, about 550 million dollars, but the bill has now been admitted as €1.3 billion (£930 m; $1.4 bn). This absurdly over-expensive fiasco was directed by the people who are supposed to steer the financial courses of 18 nations and their half billion unfortunate citizens. If the ECB displays similar skill sets in looking after Europe’s money as it has in controlling the cost of constructing its huge twin-tower headquarters, then Europe is in for a rocky time.
Intriguingly, the Bank isn’t alone in contributing to Europe’s bureaucratic building boom. There is another Europe-based organization of equal ambition, pomposity and incompetence which is building a majestically expensive and luxurious headquarters with a mammoth cost overrun about which it is keeping very quiet indeed. Continue reading »