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Ukraine; Backs off on EU brokered Gas deal & US Counterinsurgency ops deployed

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 17:17
I am playing catchup here so....

Read about the EU brokered gas deal yesterday, it was certainly being touted as a win/win/win for all parties- Ukraine, Russia and the EU. And then I see this!?

Ukraine backs off from EU-backed gas deal
This had to have had the blessing of the US! How else to explain this chaos & chill inducing decision?
War-torn Ukraine on Saturday distanced itself from an EU-brokered agreement with Russia that would have restored its gas supplies during winter and helped rebuild trust between the neighbouring foes.The European Union’s energy commissioner emerged from hours of acrimonious negotiations in Berlin on Friday to pronounce the three month dispute on the verge of being resolved.
“We have developed a workable design for a winter package,” Mr Guenther Oettinger said. Both he and Russia’s energy minister added that a final agreement could be signed after consultations in Moscow and Kiev next week. A compromise would not only save the westward leaning nation from adopting drastic energy savings measures in freezing weather but also make sure that Russian gas flowed uninterrupted to European homes.Clearly some party wants Europe to go without gas!
Yet the meeting came with trust between all sides lacking and any remaining good will between Moscow and Kiev dependent on the fate of a fragile truce in a pro-Russian uprising that has claimed more than 3,200 lives. And Ukraine’s top energy officials vowed on Saturday to keep fighting over both the gas price and Moscow’s claim that Kiev owed it billions of dollars in debt.“No final decision was adopted. Not a single document was signed period,” Naftogaz state energy firm chief Andriy Kobolev wrote in a Facebook post.The deal’s interpretations in Moscow and Kiev diverged on almost every point that led to the original freeze of Russian deliveries in June. Oettinger said the compromise would see Russia ship at least 5.0 billion cubic metres of gas to Ukraine over a six month period in exchange for an early payment of $3.1 billion. The volume roughly covers the amount of gas Ukraine says it needs to make it safely though the winter. That translates into a price rate of $385 per 1,000 cubic metres, 20 per cent less than the figure Russia began charging Ukraine.
Russia gave the Ukraine a price break and the Ukraine still chooses to screw there own people & Europe!


U.S. counterinsurgency operatives deployed to Ukraine

The Pentagon has dispatched eight military personnel to Kiev this week to provide tips to Ukrainian security forces on counterinsurgency and military planning tactics.Military staff will share with the Ukrainians some of the Pentagon’s planning tactics, techniques and procedures while collecting data on the needs of its security forces, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez. Staff arrived in Kiev, the country’s capital, on Thursday and Friday and are beginning to assess the operations of the Ukraine Ministry of Defense, Ms. Lainez told The Washington Times.The eight military personnel have been split up into two teams, according to Ms. Lainez. One team has been told to assess the security needs of the Ukrainian government and look for ways that the U.S. can supply military equipment to the country, Ms. Lainez said. “With support from Ukraine and the State Department, the security assessment team will also explore the potential of expanding our current Office of Defense Cooperation in Keiv, to enhance Ukraine’s military capabilities and interoperability,” she said. “Please understand me, blankets and night vision goggles are also important, but one cannot win the war with blankets,” he told lawmakers.
So, for Kiev, the war is still on

Don't Miss!
US Considers a no fly zone to 'protect civilians' from SAA in North/Eastern SyriaAir Force Missions over “hostile” Syria require this newest jet  
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US Considers a no fly zone to 'protect civilians' from SAA in North/Eastern Syria

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 15:03
Here is the latest!

-The Obama administration has not ruled out establishing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria to protect civilians from airstrikes by the Syrian government

-Mr. Hagel and General Dempsey indicated they are open to considering the request of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for a buffer zone.

  Refute By Exposing the Contradiction/s
 Show that a statement is false or at least unreliable by exposing a contradiction with other statements or facts. Official narrative or conspiracy

-The US and co. claim that they are bombing north/eastern Syria to get ISIS or Khorasan
*U.S.-Led Airstrikes Target Oil Refineries In Northeast Syria
*Syria: US begins air strikes on Islamic State targets
The strikes targeted Raqqa, an IS stronghold in eastern Syria* Finally a map, from BBC, that clearly shows us the US strikes, in North Eastern Syria

Concluding that yes, the US strikes are most definitely in the north and the east of Syria.

If as the US, UK, France, Israel, Turkey claim this is ISIS held territory and ISIS is the enemy, exactly why is it that Turkey and the US are talking about a no fly zone to stop the Syrian army from bombing these same ISIS terrorists?
Of course the US and Turkey are selling their lie, as a measure to ‘protect civilians’. We can of course be absolutely certain that the US & Turkey are absolutely unconcerned about civilians. Ever. Anywhere. Are we supposed to believe American bombs are morally superior? Of course, they are not! We know America has already killed Syrian civilians in their recent bombing runs.
 So we know with certainty the protection of civilians is yet another outright lie from the US.

What scenario is more sensible, logical and realistic?

 Obviously ISIS has been the pretext I have stated  all along. Since we are all aware that ISIS is affiliated with the western intelligence apparatus and we also understand ISIS is not the real target. We can expose the lie, by demonstrating the contradiction in the claims made by the US & the coalition of the killing.

And the biggest contradiction is a no flyzone to protect civilians, which intentionally & purposefully,  protects ISIS/ NATO/Israel's terror group, from being taken out of Syria by the Syrian Arab Army.

Continuing on with the buffer/ no fly zone news
General Dempsey added that “a buffer zone might at some point become a possibility,” but he said it was not imminent. Creating a buffer, or no-fly zone, would require warplanes to disable the Syrian government’s air defense system through airstrikes.
 Definitely connected into news of  the F-22
Air Force Missions over “hostile” Syria require this newest jet As to the effectiveness of airstrikes in eradicating ISIS? I don't get the impression the US is trying very hard.-NYT'sSeparately, United States Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, said that American warplanes conducted 10 more airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Thursday and Friday. The warplanes destroyed three Humvees and one vehicle, disabled two armed vehicles and damaged one mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP, in five airstrikes south of Kirkuk.Airstrikes west of Baghdad destroyed a guard shack, an armed vehicle and a bunker. An airstrike near Al Qaim destroyed four armed vehicles, a command and control position and a checkpoint.In Syria, three strikes south of Deir al-Zour destroyed four tanks and damaged another, according to the Central Command. US bombed empty buildingsOH, dear!Damon revealed on air early Wednesday that ISIL terrorists who were held up in the town may have been tipped off weeks in advance to the US airstrikes on Tuesday. According to Damon:

“15-20 days before the airstrikes, (ISIL) buildings were evacuated, and fighters then mixed in with the local population”U.S. blowing up its own HumveesHow sweet is that for the war profiteers?

 The U.S has hit 41 Humvees since attacks began in August, according to data from United States Central Command.
The U.S. is sending $30,000-bombs to destroy Humvees ($250,000 a piece) that were left accessible to ISIS, intentionally. The military industrial complex will then have to reproduce and resupply to Iraq. At a huge costs to taxpayers. Win/win for the war machine

Of course, the environment does not win. The civilians don't win. US taxpayers don't win.
Planet earth and humanity don't win.
And yes, I am still waiting for the protests from Greenpeace. UN. Sierra Club. WWF.
Any day now.....

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The Russian response to a double declaration of war

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 11:00
The context: a double declaration of war

Listening to Poroshenko a few days ago and then to Obama at the UNGA can leave no doubt whatsoever about the fact that the AngloZionist Empire is at war with Russia.  Yet many believe that the Russian response to this reality is inadequate.  Likewise, there is a steady stream of accusations made against Putin about Russia's policy towards the crisis in the Ukraine.  What I propose to do here is to offer a few basic reminders about Putin, his obligations and his options.

First and foremost, Putin was never elected to be the world's policeman or savior, he was only elected to be president of Russia.  Seems obvious, but yet many seem to assume that somehow Putin is morally obliged to do something to protect Syria, Novorussia or any other part of our harassed world.  This is not so.  Yes, Russia is the de facto leader of the BRICS and SCO countries, and Russia accepts that fact, but Putin has the moral and legal obligation to care for his own people first.

Second, Russia is now officially in the crosshairs of the AngloZionist Empire which includes not only 3 nuclear countries (US, UK, FR) but also the most powerful military force (US+NATO) and the world's biggest economies (US+EU).  I think that we can all agree that the threat posed by such an Empire is not trivial and that Russia is right in dealing with it very carefully.

Sniping at Putin and missing the point

Now, amazingly, many of those who accuse Putin of being a wimp, a sellout or a naive Pollyanna also claim that the West is preparing nuclear war on Russia.  If that is really the case,  this begs the question: if that is really the case, if there is a real risk of war, nuclear or not, is Putin not doing the right thing by not acting tough or threatening?  Some would say that the West is bent on a war no matter what Putin does.  Okay, fair enough, but in that case is his buying as much time as possible before the inevitable not the right thing to do?!

Third, on the issue of the USA vs ISIL, several comment here accused Putin of back-stabbing Assad because Russia supported the US Resolution at the UNSC.  

And what was Putin supposed to do?!   Fly the Russian Air Force to Syria to protect the Syrian border?   What about Assad?  Did he scramble his own air force to try to stop the US or has he quietly made a deal: bomb "them" not us, and I shall protest and do nothing about it?  Most obviously the latter.

In fact, Putin and Assad have exactly the same position: protest the unilateral nature of the strikes, demand a UN Resolution while quietly watching how Uncle Sam turned on his own progeny and now tries to destroy them.

I would add that Lavrov quite logically stated that there are no "good terrorists".  He knows that ISIL is nothing but a continuation of the US-created Syrian insurgency, itself a continuation of the US-created al-Qaeda.  From a Russian point of view, the choice is simple: what is better, for the US to use its forces and men to kill crazed Wahabis or have Assad do it?  And if ISIL is successful in Iraq, how long before they come back to Chechnia?  Or Crimea?  Or Tatarstan?  Why should any Russian or Syria soldier risk death when the USAF is willing to do that for them?

While there is a sweet irony in the fact that the US now has to bomb it's own creation, let them do that.  Even Assad was clearly forewarned and he obviously is quite happy about that.

Finally, UN or no UN, the US had already taken the decision to bomb ISIL.  So what is the point of blocking a perfectly good UN Resolution?  That would be self-defeating.  In fact, this Resolution can even be used by Russia to prevent the US and UK from serving as a rear base for Wahabi extremists (this resolution bans that, and we are talking about a mandatory, Chapter VII, UNSC Resolution).

And yet, some still say that Putin threw Assad under the bus.  How crazy and stupid can one get to have that kind of notion about warfare or politics?  And if Putin wanted to toss Assad under the bus, why did he not do that last year?

Sincere frustration or intellectual dishonesty?

But that kind of nonsense about the Syria is absolutely dwarfed by the kind of truly crazy stuff some people post about Novorussia.  Here are my favorite ones.  The author begins by quoting me:
"This war has never been about Novorussia or about the Ukraine." and then continues:
That statement is too vacuous and convenient as a copout. Do you really mean to say that the thousands of people murdered by shelling, the thousands of young Ukrainian conscripts put through the meat grinder, the thousands of homes destroyed, the more than 1 million people who have turned into refugees... NONE of that has anything to do with Novorussia and Ukraine? That this is only about Russia?  Really, one would wish you'd refrain from making silly statements like that.The only problem being, of course, that I never made it in the first place :-)

Of course, it is rather obvious that  I meant that FOR THE ANGLOZIONIST EMPIRE the goal has never been the Ukraine or Novorussia, but a war on Russia.  All Russia did was to recognize this reality.  Again, the words "do you really mean to say that" clearly show that the author is going to twist what I said, make yet another strawman, and then indignantly denounce me for being a monster who does not care about the Ukraine or Novorussia (the rest of the comment was in the same vein: indignant denunciations of statements I never made and conclusions I never reached).

I have already grown used to the truly remarkable level of dishonesty of the Putin-bashing crowd and by now I consider it par for the course.  But I wanted to illustrate that one more time just to show that at least in certain cases an honest discussion is not the purpose at all.  But I don't want to bring it all down to just a few dishonest and vociferous individuals.   There are also many who are sincerely baffled, frustrated and even disappointed with Russia's apparent passivity.  Here is an excerpt of an email I got this morning:
I guess I was really hoping that perhaps Russia, China The BRICS would be a counter force. What I fail to understand is why after all the demonisation by the U.S and Europe doesn't Russia retaliate. The sanctions imposed by the West is hurting Russia and yet they still trade oil in euros/dollars and are bending over backwards to accommodate Europe. I do not understand why they do not say lift all sanctions or no gas. China also says very little against the U.S , even though they fully understand that if Russian is weakened they are next on the list. As for all the talk of lifting the sanctions on Iran that is farcical as we all know Israel will never allow them to be lifted. So why do China and Russia go along with the whole charade. Sometimes I wonder if we are all being played, and this is all one big game , which no chance of anything changing.In this case the author correctly sees that Russia and China follow a very similar policy which sure looks like an attempt to appease the US.  In contrast to the previous comment, here the author is both sincere and truly distressed.

In fact, I believe that what I am observing are three very different phenomena all manifesting themselves at the same time:

1) An organized Putin-bashing campaign initiated by US/UK government branches tasked with manipulating the social media.
2) A spontaneous Putin-bashing campaign lead by certain Russian National-Bolshevik circles (Limonov, Dugin & Co.).
3) The expression of a sincere bafflement, distress and frustration by honest and well-intentioned people to whom the current Russian stance really makes no sense at all.

The rest of this post will be entirely dedicated to try to explain the Russian stance to those in this third group (any dialog with the 2 first ones just makes no sense).

Trying to make sense of an apparently illogical policy

In my introduction above I stated that what is taking place is a war on Russia, not hot war (yet?) and not quite an old-style Cold War.  In essence, what the AngloZionists are doing is pretty clear and a lot of Russian commentators have already reached that conclusion: the US are engaged into a war against Russia for which the US will fight to the last Ukrainian.  Thus, for the Empire, "success" can never be defined as an outcome in the Ukraine because, as I said previously, this war is not about the Ukraine.  For the Empire "success" is a specific outcome in Russia: regime change.  Let's us look at how the Empire plans to achieve this result.

The original plan was simplistic in a typically US Neocon way: overthrow Yanukovich, get the Ukraine into the EU and NATO, politically move NATO to the Russian border and militarily move it into Crimea.  That plan failed.  Russia accepted Crimea and the Ukraine collapsed into a vicious civil war combined with a terminal economic crisis.  Then the US Neocons fell-back to plan B.

Plan B was also simple: get Russia to intervene militarily in the Donbass and use that as a pretext for a full-scale Cold War v2 which would create 1950's style tensions between East and West, justify fear-induced policies in the West, and completely sever the growing economic ties between Russia and the EU.  Except that plan also failed - Russia did not take the bait and instead of intervening directly in the Donbass, she began a massive covert operation to support the anti-Nazi forces in Novorussia.  The Russian plan worked, and the Junta Repression Forces (JRF) were soundly defeated by the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) even though the latter was suffering a huge deficit in firepower, armor, specialists and men (gradually, Russian covert aid turned all these around).

At this point in time the AngloZionist plutocracy truly freaked out under the combined realization that their plan was falling apart and that there was nothing they could really do to rescue it (a military option was totally impossible as I explained it in the past).  They did try economic sanctions, but that only helped Putin to engage in long overdue reforms.  But the worst part of it all was that each time the West expected Putin to do something, he did the exact opposite:
  • Nobody expected that Putin would use military force in Crimea in a lightening-fast take-over operation which will go down in history as at least as amazing as Storm-333
  • Everybody (including myself) expected Putin to send forces into Novorussia.  He did not.
  • Nobody expected Russian counter-sanctions to hit the EU agricultural sector.
  • Everybody expected that Putin would retaliate after the latest round of sanctions.  He did not.
There is a pattern here and it is one basic to all martial arts: first, never signal your intentions, second use feints and third, hit when and where your opponent doesn't expect it.

Conversely, there are two things which are deeply ingrained in the western political mindset which Putin never does: he never threatens and he never postures.  For example, while the US is basically at war with Russia, Russia will gladly support a US resolution on ISIL if it is to Russia's advantage.  And Russian diplomats will speak of "our American partners" or "our American friends" while, at the same time, doing more than the rest of the planet combined to bring down the AngloZionist Empire.

A quick look at Putin's record

As I have written in the past, unlike some other bloggers and commentators, I am neither a psychic not a prophet and I cannot tell you what Putin thinks or what he will do tomorrow.  But what I can tell you is that which Putin has already done in the past: (in no particular order)
  • broken the back of the AngloZionist-backed oligarchy in Russia.
  • achieved a truly miraculous success in Chechnia (one which nobody, prophets included, had foreseen).
  • literally resurrected the Russian economy.
  • rebuilt the Russian military, security and intelligences forces.
  • severely disrupted the ability of foreign NGOs to subvert Russia.
  • done more for the de-dollarization of the planet than anybody before.
  • made Russia the clear leader of both BRICS and SCO.
  • openly challenged the informational monopoly of the western propaganda machine (with projects like RussiaToday).
  • stopped an imminent US/NATO strike on Syria by sending in a Russian Navy Expeditionary Force (which gave Syria a full radar coverage of the entire region).
  • made it possible for Assad to prevail in the Syrian civil war.
  • openly rejected the Western "universal civilizational model" and declared his support for another, a religion and tradition based one.
  • openly rejected a unipolar "New World Order" lead by the AngloZionists and declared his support for a multi-polar world order.
  • supported Assange (through RussiaToday) and protected Snowden
  • created and promoted a new alliance model between Christianity and Islam thus undermining the "clash of civilization" paradigm.
  • booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in the Caucasus (Chechnia, Ossetia).
  • booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in Central Asia (Manas base in Kyrgyzstan)
  • gave Russia the means to defend her interest in the Arctic region, including military means.
  • established a full-spectrum strategic alliance with China which is at the core of both SCO and BRICS.
  • is currently passing laws barring foreign interests from controlling the Russian media.
  • gave Iran the means to develop a much needed civilian nuclear program.
  • is working with China to create a financial system fully separated form the current AngloZionist controlled one (including trade in Rubles or Renminbi).
  • re-establised Russian political and economic support for Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua and Argentina.
  • very effectively deflated the pro-US color-coded revolution in Russia.
  • organized the "Voentorg" which armed the NAF.
  • gave refuge to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
  • sent in vitally needed humanitarian aid to Novorussia.
  • provided direct Russian fire support and possibly even air cover to NAF in key locations (the "southern cauldron" for example).
  • last but not least, he openly spoke of the need for Russia to "sovereignize" herself and to prevail over the pro-US 5th column.
and that list goes on and on.  All I am trying to illustrate is that there is a very good reason for the AngloZionist's hatred for Putin: his long record of very effectively fighting them.  So unless we assume that Putin had a sudden change of heart or that he simply ran out of energy or courage, I submit that the notion that he suddenly made a 180 makes no sense.  His current policies, however, do make sense, as I will try to explain now.

If you are a "Putin betrayed Novorussia" person, please set that hypothesis aside for a moment, just for argument's sake and assume that Putin is both principled and logical.  What could he be doing in the Ukraine?  Can we make sense of what we observe?

Imperatives Russia cannot ignore

First, I consider the following sequence indisputable:

First,  Russia must prevail over the current AngloZionist war against her.  What the Empire wants in Russia is regime change followed by complete absorption into the Western sphere of influence including a likely break-up of Russia.  What is threatened is the very existence of the Russian civilization.

Second, Russia will never be safe with a neo-Nazi russophobic regime in power in Kiev.  The Ukie nationalist freaks have proven that it is impossible to negotiate with them (they have broken literally every single agreement signed so far), their hatred for Russia is total (as shown with their constant references to the use of - hypothetical - nuclear weapons against Russia).  Therefore,

Third, regime change in Kiev followed by a full de-Nazification is the only possible way for Russia to achieve her vital objectives.

Again, and at the risk of having my words twisted and misrepresented, I have to repeat here that Novorussia is not what is at stake here.  It's not even the future of the Ukraine.  What is at stake here is a planetary confrontation (this is the one thesis of Dugin which I fully agree with).  The future of the planet depends on the capability of the BRICS/SCO countries to replace the AngloZionist Empire with a very different, multi-polar, international order.  Russia is crucial and indispensable in this effort (any such effort without Russia is doomed to fail), and the future of Russia is now decided by what Russia will do in the Ukraine.  As for the future of the Ukraine, it largely depends on what will happen to Novorussia, but not exclusively.  In a paradoxical way, Novorussia is more important to Russia than to the Ukraine.  Here is why:

For the rest of the Ukraine, Novorussia is lost.  Forever. Not even a joint Putin-Obama effort could prevent that.  In fact, the Ukies know that and this is why they make no effort to win the hearts and minds of the local population.  If fact, I am convinced that the so-called "random" or "wanton" destruction of the Novorussian industrial, economic, scientific and cultural infrastructure has been intentional act of hateful vengeance similar to the way the AngloZionists always turn to killing civilians when they fail to overcome military forces (the examples of Yugoslavia and Lebanon come to mind).  Of course, Moscow can probably force the local Novorussian political leaders to sign some kind of document accepting Kiev's sovereignty, but that will be a fiction, it is way too late for that.  If not de jure, then de facto, Novorussia is never going to accept Kiev's rule again and everybody knows that, in Kiev, in Novorussia and in Russia.

What could a de facto but not de jure independence look like?

No Ukrainian military, national guard, oligarch battalion or SBU, full economic, cultural, religious, linguistic and educational independence, locally elected officials and local media, but all that with Ukie flags, no official independence status, no Novorussian Armed Forces (they will be called something like "regional security force" or even "police force") and no Novorussian currency (though the Ruble - along with the Dollar and Euro - will be used on a daily basis).  The top officials will have to be officially approved by Kiev (which Kiev will, of course, lest its impotence becomes visible).  This will be a temporary, transitional and unstable arrangement, but it will be good enough to provide a face-saving way out to Kiev.

This said, I would argue that both Kiev and Moscow have an interest in maintaining the fiction of a unitary Ukraine.  For Kiev this is a way to not appear completely defeated by the accursed Moskals.  But what about Russia?

What if you were in Putin's place?

Ask yourself the following question: if you were Putin and your goal was regime change in Kiev, would you prefer Novorussia to be part of the Ukraine or not?  I would submit that having Novorussia inside is much better for the following reasons:
  1. it makes it part, even on a macro-level, of the Ukrainian processes, like national elections or national media.
  2. it begs the comparison with the conditions in the rest of the Ukraine.
  3. it makes it far easier to influence commerce, business, transportation, etc.
  4. it creates an alternative (Nazi-free) political center to Kiev.
  5. it makes it easier for Russian interests (of all kind) to penetrate into the Ukraine.
  6. it removes the possibility to put up a Cold War like "wall" or barrier on some geographical marker.
  7. it removes the accusation that Russian wants to partition the Ukraine.
In other words, to keep Novorussia de jure, nominally, part of the Ukraine is the best way to appear to be complying with AngloZionist demands while subverting the Nazi junta in power.  In a recent article I outlined what Russia could do without incurring any major consequences:
  1. Politically oppose the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc.
  2. Express political support for Novorussia and any Ukrainian oppositionContinue the informational war (Russian media does a great job)
  3. Prevent Novorussia from falling (covert military aid)
  4. Mercilessly keep up the economic pressure on the Ukraine
  5. Disrupt as much as possible the US-EU "axis of kindness"
  6. Help Crimea and Novorussia prosper economically and financially
In other words - give the appearance of staying out while very much staying in.

What is the alternative anyway?

I already hear the chorus of indignant "hurray-patriots" (that is what these folks are called in Russia) accusing me of only seeing Novorussia as a tool for Russian political goals and of ignoring the death and suffering endured by the people of Novorussia.   To this I will simply reply the following:

Does anybody seriously believe that an independent Novorussia can live in even minimal peace and security without a regime change in Kiev?  If Russia cannot afford a Nazi junta in power in Kiev, can Novorussia?!

In general, the hurray-patriots are long on what should be done now and very short any kind of mid or long term vision.   Just like those who believe that Syria can be saved by sending in the Russian Air Force, the hurray-patriots believe that the crisis in the Ukraine can be solved by sending in tanks.  They are a perfect example of the mindset H. L. Mencken was referring to when he wrote "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong".

The sad reality is that the mindset behind such "simple" solutions is always the same one: never negotiate, never compromise, never look long term but only to the immediate future and use force in all cases.

But the facts are here: the US/NATO block is powerful, militarily, economically and politically and it can hurt Russia, especially over time.  Furthermore, while Russia can easily defeat the Ukrainian military, this hardly would be a very meaningful "victory".  Externally it would trigger a massive deterioration of the international political climate, while internally the Russians would have to suppress the Ukrainian nationalists (not all of them Nazi) by force.  Could Russia do that?  Again, the answer is that yes - but at what cost?

I good friend of mine was a Colonel in the KGB Special Forces unit called "Kaskad" (which later was renamed "Vympel").  One day he told me how his father, himself a special operator for the GRU, fought against Ukrainian insurgents from the end of WWII in 1945 up to 1958: that is thirteen years!  It took Stalin and Krushchev 13 years to finally crush the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents.  Does anybody in his/her right mind sincerely believe that modern Russia should repeat that policies and spend years hunting down Ukrainian insurgents again?

By the way, if the Ukrainian nationalists could fight the Soviet rule under Stalin and Krushchev for a full 13 years after the end of the war - how is it that there is no visible anti-Nazi resistance in Zaporozhie, Dnepropetrivsk or Kharkov?  Yes, Luganks and Donetsk did rise up and take arms, very successfully - but the rest of the Ukraine?  If you were Putin, would you be confident that Russian forces liberating these cities would receive the same welcome that they did in Crimea?

And yet, the hurray-patriots keep pushing for more Russian intervention and further Novorussian military operations against Ukie forces.  Is it not about time we begin asking who would benefit from such policies?

It has been an old trick of the US CIA to use the social media and the blogosphere to push for nationalist extremism in Russia.  A well know and respected Russian patriot and journalist - Maksim Shevchenko - had a group of people organized to track down the IP numbers of some of the most influential radical nationalist organizations, website, blogs and individual posters on the Russian Internet.  Turns out that most were based in the USA, Canada and Israel.  Surprise, surprise.  Or, maybe, no surprise at all?

For the AngloZionists, supporting extremists and rabid nationalists in Russia makes perfectly good sense.  Either they get to influence the public opinion or they at the very least can be used to bash the regime in power.  I personally see no difference between an Udaltsov or a Navalnii on one hand and a Limonov or a Dugin on the other.  Their sole effect is to get people mad at the Kremlin.  What the pretext for the anger is does not matter - for Navalnyi its "stolen elections" for Dugin it's "back-stabbed Novorussia".  And it does not matter which of them are actually paid agents or just "useful idiots" - God be their judge - but what does matter is that the solutions they advocate are no solutions at all, just pious pretexts to bash the regime in power.

In the meantime, not only had Putin not sold-out, back-stabbed, traded away or otherwise abandoned Novorussia, it's Poroshenko who is barely holding on to power and Banderastan which is going down the tubes.  There are also plenty of people who see through this doom and gloom nonsense, both in Russia (Yuri Baranchik) and abroad (M. K. Bhadrakumar).

But what about the oligarchs?

I already addressed this issue in a recent post, but I think that it is important to return to this topic here and the first thing which is crucial to understand in the Russian or Ukrainian context is that oligarchs are a fact of life.  This is not to say that their presence is a good thing, only that Putin and Poroshenko and, for that matter, anybody trying to get anything done over there needs to take them into account.  The big difference is that while in Kiev a regime controlled by the oligarchs has been replaced by a regime of oligarchs, in Russia the oligarchy can only influence, but not control, the Kremlin.  The examples, of Khodorkovsky or Evtushenkov show that the Kremlin still can, and does, smack down an oligarch when needed.

Still, it is one thing to pick on one or two oligarchs and quite another to remove them from the Ukrainian equation: the latter is just not going to happen.  So for Putin any Ukrainian strategy has to take into account the presence and, frankly, power of the Ukrainian oligarchs and their Russian counterparts.

Putin knows that oligarchs have their true loyalty only to themselves and that their only "country" is wherever their assets happen to be.  As a former KGB foreign intelligence officer for Putin this is an obvious plus, because that mindset potentially allows him to manipulate them.  Any intelligence officer knows that people can be manipulated by a finite list of approaches: ideology, ego, resentment, sex, a skeleton in the closet and, of course, money.  From Putin's point of view, Rinat Akhmetov, for example, is a guy who used to employ something like 200'000 people in the Donbass, who clearly can get things done, and whose official loyalty Kiev and the Ukraine is just a camouflage for his real loyalty: his money.  Now, Putin does not have to like or respect Akhmetov, most intelligence officers will quietly despise that kind of person, but that also means that for Putin Akhmetov is an absolutely crucial person to talk to, explore options with and, possibly, use to achieve a Russian national strategic objective in the Donbass.

I have already written this many times here: Russians do talk to their enemies.  With a friendly smile.  This is even more true for a former intelligence officer who is trained to always communicate, smile, appear to be engaging and understanding.  For Putin Akhmetov is not a friend or an ally, but he is a powerful figure which can be manipulated in Russia's advantage.  What I am trying to explain here is the following:

There are numerous rumors of secret negotiations between Rinat Akhmetov and various Russian officials.  Some say that Khodakovski is involved.  Others mention Surkov.  There is no doubt in my mind that such secret negotiations are taking place.  In fact, I am sure that all the parties involved talk to all other other parties involved.  Even with a disgusting, evil and vile creature like Kolomoiski.  In fact, the sure signal that somebody has finally decided to take him out would be that nobody would be speaking with him any more.  That will probably happen, with time, but most definitely not until his power base is sufficiently eroded.

One Russian blogger believes that Akhmetov has already been "persuaded" (read: bought off) by Putin and that he is willing to play by the new rules which now say "Putin is boss".  Maybe.  Maybe not yet, but soon.  Maybe never.  All I am suggesting is that negotiations between the Kremlin and local Ukie oligarchs are as logical and inevitable as the US contacts with the Italian Mafia before the US armed forces entered Italy.

But is there a 5th column in Russia?

Yes, absolutely.  First and foremost, it is found inside the Medvedev government itself and even inside the Presidential administration.  Always remember that Putin was put into power by two competing forces: the secret services and big money.  And yes, while it is true that Putin has tremendously weakened the "big money" component (what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists") they are still very much there, though they are more subdued, more careful and less arrogant than during the time when Medvedev was formally in charge.  The big change in the recent years is that the struggle between patriots (the "Eurasian Sovereignists") and the 5th column now is in the open, but it if far from over.  And we should never underestimate these people: they have a lot of power, a lot of money and a fantastic capability to corrupt, threaten, discredit, sabotage, cover-up, smear, etc.  They are also very smart, they can hire the best professionals in the field, and they are very, very good at ugly political campaigns.  For example, the 5th columnists try hard to give a voice to the National-Bolshevik opposition (both Limonov and Dugin regularly get airtime on Russian TV) and rumor has it that they finance a lot of the National-Bolshevik media (just like the Koch brothers paid for the Tea Party in the USA).

Another problem is that while these guys are objectively doing the US CIA's bidding, there is no proof of it.  As I was told many times by a wise friend: most conspiracies are really collusions and the latter are very hard to prove.  But the community of interests between the US CIA and the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchy is so obvious as to be undeniable.

The real danger for Russia

So now we have the full picture.  Again, Putin has to simultaneously contend with

1) a strategic psyop campaign run by the US/UK & Co. which combines the corporate media's demonization of Putin and a campaign in the social media to discredit him for his passivity and lack of appropriate response to the West.
2) a small but very vociferous group of (mostly) National-Bolsheviks (Limonov, Dugin & Co.) who have found in the Novorussian cause a perfect opportunity to bash Putin for not sharing their ideology and their "clear, simple, and wrong" "solutions".
3) a network of powerful oligarchs who want to use the opportunity presented by the actions of first two groups to promote their own interests.
4) a 5th column for whom all of the above is a fantastic opportunity to weaken the Eurasian Sovereignists
5) a sense of disappointment by many sincere people who feel that Russia is acting like a passive punching-ball.
6) an overwhelming majority of people in Novorussia who want complete (de facto and de jure) independence from Kiev and who are sincerely convinced that any negotiations with Kiev are a prelude to a betrayal by Russia of Novorussian interest.
7) the objective reality that Russian and Novorussian interests are not the same.
8) the objective reality that the AngloZionist Empire is still very powerful and even potentially dangerous.

It is very, very, hard for Putin to try to balance these forces in such a way that the resulting vector is one which is in the strategic interest of Russia.  I would argue that there is simply no other solution to this conundrum other than to completely separate Russia's official (declaratory) police and Russia's real actions.  The covert help to Novorussia - the Voentorg - is an example of that, but only a limited one because what Russia must do now goes beyond covert actions: Russia must appear to be doing one thing while doing exactly the opposite.  It is in Russia's strategic interest at this point in time to appear to:

1) Support a negotiated solution along the lines of: a unitary non-aligned Ukraine, with large regional right for all regions while, at the same time, politically opposing the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc. and supporting both Novorussia and any Ukrainian opposition.
2) Give Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs a reason to if not support, then at least not oppose such a solution (for ex: by not nationalizing Akhmetov's assets in the Donbass), while at the same time making sure that there is literally enough "firepower" to keep the oligarch under control.
3) Negotiate with the EU on the actual implementation of Ukraine's Agreement with the EU while at the same time helping the Ukraine commit economic suicide by making sure that there is just the right amount of economic strangulation applied to prevent the regime from bouncing back.
4) Negotiate with the EU and the Junta in Kiev over the delivery of gas while at the same time making sure that the regime pays enough for it to be broke.
5) Appear generally non-confrontational towards the USA while at the same time trying as hard as possible to create tensions between the US and the EU.
6) Appear to be generally available and willing to do business with the AngoZionist Empire while at the same time building an alternative international systems not centered on the USA or the Dollar.

As you see, this goes far beyond a regular covert action program.  What we are dealing with is a very complex, multi-layered, program to achieve the Russian most important goal in the Ukraine (regime change and de-Nazification) while inhibiting as much as possible the AngloZionists attempts to re-created a severe and long lasting East-West crisis in which the EU would basically fuse with the USA.

Conclusion: a key to Russian policies?

Most of us are used to think in terms of super-power categories.  After all, US President from Reagan on to Obama have all served us a diet of grand statements, almost constant military operations followed by Pentagon briefings, threats, sanctions, boycotts, etc.  I would argue that this has always been the hallmark of western "diplomacy" from the Crusades to the latest bombing campaign against ISIL.  Russia and China have a diametrically opposed tradition.  For example, in terms of methodology Lavrov always repeats the same principle: "we want to turn our enemies into neutrals, we want to turn neutrals into partner and we want to turn partners into friends".  The role of Russian diplomats is not to prepare for war, but to avoid it.  Yes, Russia will fight, but only when diplomacy has failed.  If for the US diplomacy is solely a means to deliver threats, for Russia it is a the primary tool to defuse them.  It is therefore no wonder at all the the US diplomacy is primitive to the point of bordering on the comical.  After all, how much sophistication is needed to say "comply or else".  Any petty street thug know how to do that.  Russian diplomats are much more akin to explosives disposal specialist or a mine clearance officer: they have to be extremely patient, very careful and fully focused.  But most importantly, they cannot allow anybody to rush them lest the entire thing blows up.

Russia is fully aware that the AngloZionist Empire is at war with her and that surrender is simply not an option any more (assuming it ever was).  Russia also understands that she is not a real super-power or, even less so, an empire.  Russia is only a very powerful country which is trying to de-fang the Empire without triggering a frontal confrontation with it.  In the Ukraine, Russia sees no other solution than regime change in Kiev.  To achieve this goal Russia will always prefer a negotiated solution to one obtained by force, even though if not other choice is left to her, she will use force.  In other words:

art: Josetxo EzcurraRussia's long term end goal is to bring down the AngloZionis Empire.  Russia's mid term goal is to create the conditions for regime change in Kiev. Russia's short term goal is to prevent the junta from over-running Novorussia. Russia's preferred method to achieve these goals is negotiation with all parties involved.  A prerequisite to achieve these goals by negotiations is to prevent the Empire from succeeding in creating an acute continental crisis (conversely, the imperial "deep state" fully understands all this, hence the double declaration of war by Obama and Poroshenko.)

As long as you keep these basic principles in mind, the apparent zig-zags, contradictions and passivity of Russian policies will begin to make sense.

It is an open question whether Russia will succeed in her goals.  In theory, a successful Junta attack on Novorussia could force Russia to intervene.  Likewise, there is always the possibility of yet another "false flag", possibly a nuclear one.  I think that the Russian policy is sound and the best realistically achievable under the current set of circumstances, but only time will tell.

I am sorry that it took me over 6400 words to explain all that, but in a society were most "thoughts" are expressed as "tweets" and analyses as Facebook posts, it was a daunting task to try to shed some light to what is turning to be a deluge of misunderstandings and misconceptions, all made worse by the manipulation of the social media.  I feel that 60'000 words would be more adequate to this task as it is far easier to just throw out a short and simple slogan than to refute its assumptions and implications.

My hope that at least those of you who sincerely were confused by Russia's apparently illogical stance can now connect the dots and make better sense of it all.

Kind regards to all,

The Saker
Categories: Blogroll feed

Air Force Missions over “hostile” Syria require this newest jet

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 08:47
Hostile Syria?!

Since the US started bombing Syria- I have been trying to understand, why it is that  Damascus has  remained mostly silent on the raids. Bombing  the areas that have been under siege for so long can do nothing but assist Syria in their fight against the takfiri- But, what about the very obvious fact that the US& Israel want Assad gone. And will inevitably try to fire on Syrian targets.

Perhaps Syria does indeed have very superior air defences? And those air defences are cause for concern?  The audio isn’t available yet, but, will soon be. Regardless I am posting it for your enjoyment, when it does become accessible

For Missions Over Hostile Syria, Air Force Unwrapped Its Newest Jet
Audio for this story from Weekend Edition Saturday will be available at approximately 12:00 p.m. ET.
Available since 2005, the $90 million F-22 fighter was simply more machine than the military had needed - until there were worries about whether Bashar Assad's air defenses would stand down.
Syria's air defence systems would definitely explain why it was the US rolled this stealth fighter out ostensibly against ISIS, when the jet was very clearly overkill. This fact is noted by the Spencer Ackerman @ the Guardian
F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet makes combat debut against Isis in SyriaThe most sophisticated and expensive warplane in the US arsenal joins assault against foe with minimal anti-air capacity
So, in just over a couple of hours from now, this audio will be available, I will be glued to my computer speakers! :)
Categories: Blogroll feed

Speech delivered by Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on September 23rd, 2014

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 08:08
I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Seal of Prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad, on his chaste and pure Household, on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.

Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.

Frankly tonight I have more than one point to tackle: the situation in Lebanon, the situation in the region in general, and the events which are moving faster. However, I will commit myself to the available time limit. So I might not be able to cover all of these topics. Consequently, if I did not tackle some points, that does not mean that they are not important. There are several important points; however, the available time may not be enough to cover them.

Well, we will see within the available time what points I will be able to tackle.

First: The issue of the military men who are kidnapped by the armed groups in the barren mountains of Irsal, the repercussions of the cause, the stance from it, and the track it has taken.

Usually in similar causes – we will tackle a cause which was similar to it; I mean the cause of Aazaz kidnapped men – we avoid taking overt stances or discussing such issues publicly. That's because after all the other side which is kidnapping and detaining these dear men has its mentality and calculations. We usually are alert and a bit precautious. As far as Aazaz cause was concerned, you would have noticed that we did not talk openly. We used to offer whatever possible assistance. Hizbullah played important roles which remained unannounced. That's because what was important to us was to set these hostages and detainees free.

The media is not important. What is important is what we say and what we offer.

Today the same applies. This cause is of much importance, and it is very critical too. Still and though the event had taken place some two month ago by now, we have always preferred to tackle the issue in the cabinet with the concerned officials away from the media. However, today I find myself obliged to talk.

As I said, the cause is very critical and important whether as far as the kidnapped and detained military men are concerned, or as far as their families are concerned, or as far as the military institution and the official security institutions are concerned. The families of the detainees are being subject to massive psychological, emotional, moral, and political pressure. After all, they are military men and soldiers in these institutions, and consequently, the dignity, future, and integrity of these institutions are at stake as well. The rest of the military men are looking at this sample which they are facing now from this perspective and unfortunately, from the campaign of political and media distortion and falsification which is being waged daily on this cause.

First, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the families of the oppressed military martyrs, who were slaughtered by the terrorist kidnappers: martyr Ali Ahmad Sayyed, martyr Abbass Ali Midlij, and martyr Mohammad Maarouf Hamieh. We highly evaluate the stances of the fathers and families of these martyrs. In fact, theirs were national, moral, and humanitarian stances, and we hope that several political sides and personalities would rise to the level of the fathers and families of the martyrs. We also offer our condolences to the families of all the National Lebanese Army martyrs in the recent events in Irsal the last of whom were martyr Ali Ahmad Hamade and martyr Mohammad Assem Daher as well as the martyr who was oppressively killed today in Tripoli - martyr soldier Mohammad Khaled Hussein. We also stand sincerely by the families of the kidnapped military men who are still living in the sphere of threat.

We understand and share with them these feelings. In fact, we understand best the feelings and emotions of the families of the detainees, the missed, and the martyrs because of our long experience in the resistance. To understand this, we do not need time. We have been part of this sufferance for decades. We salute the sacrifices of the Lebanese Army and the security forces especially the army for its leadership, officers, and soldiers' steadfastness and bravery.

After this salutation, allow me to usher into the issue.

All the Lebanese know that for almost two months by now the terrorist armed groups inside Irsal and in the barren mountains of Irsal staged an aggression against the Lebanese Army check points and offices in Irsal and its neighborhood as well as against the offices of the Internal Security Forces and the security apparatuses under the pretext of the army detaining so called Imad Jomaa. This led to the broad aggression which was not coincident at all. Everyone who is acquainted with military action knows that following an accidental incident such as arresting this man, it is impossible that such a broad and wide attack take place against all check points and offices in such a broad area leading to the martyrdom of several officers and soldiers, the injury of others, the detention of tens besides the destruction of vehicles and offices.

The army strongly confronted the armed forces and restored its check points and offices. As a result of this confrontation – this is the point we want to reach – a number of military men – members in the army, the security forces, and the security institutions – were taken hostages by these groups. Why? How? This is another point of discussion.

After all, all the Lebanese and all of Lebanon came to be before such a cause called the cause of the military men kidnapped by terrorist armed groups in the barren mountains of Irsal. In itself, this is a humanitarian, national, and moral cause that does not concern a definite region, side, party, sect, or faction. It is rather a cause that concerns all of the Lebanese. It concerns Lebanon as a state, people, army, and institutions. It concerns all the Lebanese. It does not only concern their families or the military or security institutions.

From the very beginning, all the political forces, the people, the media, the elites, and especially the political forces whether in the government or outside the government must have dealt with this cause according to its national, moral, and humanitarian level.

It was and is still supposed that the aim of everyone be to restore the kidnapped military men and return them to their families as soon as possible. From the very first moment, this must have been the goal and this must still be the aim, and it will remain the aim until it is achieved. From the very first moment, all those who must have and are still supposed to join efforts must have exploited whatever means and offered every possible help to achieve this goal and put an end to this cause.

Unfortunately, some have turned this national cause to a subject for argument, false accusations, settling political calculations, causing factional feuds, igniting daily sectarian incitements, and even distorting facts, falsifying, and lying. Even more, some went even further. They raised the ceiling of the demands even more than the demands of the terrorist kidnappers themselves. Some people in Lebanon did not only adopt the demands of the terrorists. They even raised the ceiling of the demands higher than what the armed groups aspired to. So instead of condemning those who staged an aggression against the army and the security forces and killed, wounded, ruined, kidnapped, slaughtered, and stole, they accused and condemned other sides in the Lebanese internal. Some even justified what the terrorists did and even defended them. Anyway, today, I will try to put things in their place especially as far as we are concerned and I will not open the files of the others' performance and conduct because the situation in the country does not bear that.

There is much to say, and we are able to say much, and we need to say much; however, I do not like to do what I criticize others for doing. I want to say that this cause must be not a matter for argument and away from the subjects of mutual accusations, struggle, and settlements. I do not like to tackle that.

It is note-worthy that what have been taking place in the past few weeks - since the beginning of cause until now - is very painful and sorrowful, and it indicates the level of dealing with this cause that concerns all the Lebanese. Perhaps the cause of Aazaz did not concern all of the Lebanese, according to some. However, it is supposed that this cause mean all of the Lebanese. Still, I will not tackle this point because I do not want to cause an argument. Should I open all the files from the very beginning until now, that will not serve the cause of the kidnapped military men.

First: From the very beginning, we dealt, and are still dealing – as it is correct to deal – with this cause as primarily being the responsibility of the Lebanese government and the Lebanese authority in the first place, and everyone must support, cooperate, and back the Lebanese government in addressing this cause.

The second point has to do with the principle of negotiations. It is normal that in the cases of hostages, captives, and kidnapped detainees, that the concerned sides carry negotiations. This is very normal around the world. This takes place. We do that, and we did that. We carried indirect negotiations at several occasions to restore captives and the bodies of martyrs. We have done this, and we do this every day. We did it in Syria, and we do that every day. Now we have missed fighters and martyrs since a period of time – several months. What is said in the media is true. We seize any chance to carry negotiations. This is the right track. This is normal. This is logical. Thus we never rejected the principle of negotiations. Here, I would like the families of the kidnapped military men to be listening to me: If any one of the deputies or the politicians or article writers would tell you that Hizbullah – as we are placed in the front and messages are being sent to us – refuses the principle of negotiations, he would be lying on you for political goals and not because he cares for your children to be restored. We never refused the principle of negotiations. The political authority has the right to negotiate too. The officers have contacted us, and we made discussions with them. This is normal. The normal choice is that the political authority negotiate with terrorists, terrorist groups, and Takfiri movements. There is no difference. As far as the issue of captives is concerned, when it came to "Israel", indirect negotiations used to take place. As it is a humanitarian issue, no such political remarks are taken into consideration. After all, the authority in Lebanon is the side which is to decide whether to negotiate directly or indirectly. It specifies the mediator; but there was never any debate on the principle of negotiations.

Third: From the very first day, we have said that negotiations should be conducted from a position of strength.

Aren't you saying that Lebanon must negotiate like other states which have captives and hostages and negotiate to restore them? Well, no one in the world begs or deals with the kidnappers from a helpless position. There is nothing of this sort as some are trying to impose on the Lebanese government and Lebanon. Whoever wants to negotiate must search for all cards of strength and put them on the table and take a previous decision that he might resort to them and let the kidnappers understand that he might resort to them. Afterwards, he would head to negotiations. This is what we are calling for. The cards of strength exist. PM Salam had talked about them, and the government knows the cards of strength it owns. It is not right to talk about this in the media. It is not right that the media tackles this. The mediator as well as the kidnapper must be informed of the cards of strength so that they would be beneficial for the negotiations and so that other gates which I will tackle later on would be opened.

Well, is there anything wrong in that? I am asking the families of the captives and the Lebanese people. Is there anything wrong if a political side calls on the government to negotiate from the position of strength and not to beg? Do not present the Lebanese Army, the Lebanese government, and the Lebanese people as weak and frail before small armed groups all what it is able to do is to put the sword on the neck of the soldiers and consequently, threaten Lebanon, the Lebanese Army, the Lebanese people, and the families of the military men in such a brutal way.

If we want to restore them alive, we negotiate strongly as a state. This is what we call for. Is there anything wrong in that?

Here I am telling you that negotiating from a weak position would lead to a catastrophe on the military men. If there is hope – and God willing there is a big hope – that these military men return to their families and institutions, that is only possible through a strong, dignified, noble, and responsible stance.

Fourth: I am talking as Hizbullah as we have a long experience in this field. None of the two negotiating sides must announce something and commit itself to it openly. There is nothing of this sort in the world. Well, yes openly, one might raise the ceiling while the other might start from zero. Later on, they would reach a common place. All negotiations over swap operations in the world take place as such except this cause. Why? It's because it has become part of political bargains, and every political side or personality or whatever would say "we accept" and 'we don't accept". Well brother! Tell your government, the authority, or the side entitled to carry negotiations and is responsible of addressing this cause whether you accept or not. However, when such a cause becomes a subject for argument in the media one side would raise the ceiling while the other would lower the ceiling. As such the government would be lost as well as the families of the captives, while the kidnappers would feel as if they are manipulating the country. They are playing with the country. Let's be frank. Lebanon is living true humiliation since weeks because of this political performance by several political forces. Let no one say in the media whether he rejects or does not reject. The concerned side, the government, and the entitled side is the side which must raise or lower the ceilings, act, and convey messages. As such if an announcement is made it would be in the framework of a negotiating plan and not in the framework of the plot of bargains that is present in the country. If such bargains are to carry on as such, I do not believe that any side would be able to negotiate seriously and reach a result as far as this cause is concerned.

As for us, all what was said by politicians is incorrect. It is mere lying. We did not say that the gate of negotiations is locked or that the gate of discussing demands is shut. We talked with the officials in the cabinet, the PM, and the concerned sides and told them that as a side which has ministers in the government our stance is the following. Here I find myself obliged to announce our stance as a result of what is taking place. Our stance is as follows: The negotiating side – whether negotiations are taking place directly or through mediators – must examine the demands of the kidnappers. No one may say I do not want to examine, listen and discuss. If we say negotiations, you have to listen, discuss and examine.

Among these demands which are presented via channels, arguments, and discussions, some points might be acceptable and possible while others are unacceptable and impossible. After all, all of these things are discussed, and there are methodologies to take a decision. However, no one is allowed to say we do not want to negotiate or to listen or to discuss. This is our stance from the very first point and whoever says otherwise would be a deceiver, a liar, and a hypocrite. Allow me to say so because there is political brutality as far as this issue is concerned. Anyway, indeed as a result of killing, the government announced that negotiations are stopped not because it wants to stop negotiations altogether but because it wants to guarantee halting the act of killing. In fact, the Lebanese government and the Lebanese PM have the right to say that they won't negotiate under the pressure of killing and slaughter. Nobody negotiates as such.

Anyway, if such a thing is guaranteed, and the government returned to negotiations, it is logical that negotiations would take place again. It is normal that friends and even foes may be sought. There is no problem in that. There is no problem in listening to demands and discussing them in negotiations. However, succumbing or being threatened by saying "you have 24 hours or the outcome would be slaughter" as they are doing is unacceptable. I do not believe that there is a state or a government or a people or an army or an institution in any place in the world which accepts things to carry on as such. This is for the safety of the military men and not at their expense. Yes, it is for their safety. Yet, they are threatening by slaughtering to make the other side kneel and beg, or else in 24 hours they would slaughter, and this scenario is repeated again and again. Do we want to reach here? Is it the wish of the families to reach here for example?

The last point in the track of addressing this cause is that all around the world – as long as you are saying that we want to deal with this cause as other states and governments – no one deals with a cause of this kind in one track or with one option. He would put forward several options on the table. He sets several scenarios. In case this scenario does not work, he would go for the other. As such he sets several scenarios which he is not concerned in discussing in the media. So he does not resort to one scenario and say that we are not able to do anything. There is nothing of this sort around the world. He must continuously be working and searching. Does Lebanon have other choices? Is it possible to find other scenarios? Well, simply and clearly yes. However, this is not also to be discussed in the media. But because of the bargains in Lebanon, we must go and tell the terrorist kidnappers what we want to do and what we must do. This is not correct in any administration in the world. This is incorrect.

I will go back later to the means of addressing the reactions in a couple of words. However, before this title, I call today to do what we must have done weeks ago. For the sake of the dear kidnapped military men, for the sake of the emotions and dignity of their families, for the sake of the army and the security institutions, for the sake of the country, and for the sake of this people, we must put this cause outside the sphere of bargains, settlements, and point scoring on each other. What was the reason? Who was wrong? Let's put this aside. If we are to open such files, let's talk about the barren mountains of Irsal. Since when are these mountains occupied by them? That took place even before we went to Qusair, to Qalamoun, and Syria. What is the position of this geographical area? What is the role it plays? Who stands behind it? Who is with it? That is a long research. Let's keep this aside. Let's put all bargains aside. Let's say: These men are our brothers, children, fathers, and dear ones. No matter to which family they belong, from which region they are, or to what side they belong, they are the children of the national institution and the state. Let's – all of us as Lebanese – come together and cooperate and take it for granted that there is a definite side with which we may discuss any point we have. Let's not overbid each other and cause sectarian and factional instigations. No one would win anything as such. Let no one believe that through what he is doing he is achieving political and media goals. I am saying so from our concern to the families and the military men. If anyone believes that through distortion, falsification, misleading, and deception they have been practicing in the past few weeks against Hizbullah, they have achieved any political and media achievements, they are mistaken. They have not made any achievements in fact. I wanted to say so not to defend Hizbullah. In fact, I talked as such to say: Let's stop this to work in a proper way to serve this goal and this cause. Let's stand together and support the government in its negotiations, in discussing the demands, in seeing what gates may be opened, and also in putting ready scenarios to confront any unexpected events or developments.

Well, there is something which has to do with wrapping this issue. It has to do with the reactions. Indeed, we have tackled these issues previously. I am not talking about anything new, and I am not making a new call. Following the bombing that took place in Rweiss which led to the martyrdom and injury of scores or people – and not killing one or two soldiers – we tackled this issue. The issue is not that of a number. All of them are our people, our men, our women, and our children. Following that bombing we addressed all of the Lebanese and advised that no one harm any Syrian immigrant as no one is to be punished for the sin of another. No one must be held responsible for the crimes of the terrorists and the Takfiri groups. Following the second, third, and fourth bombing and following the bombing in Hermel we said so too. So this is not something new. Today, I want to assert this point: No innocent person or Syrian immigrant must be harmed. It is not allowed to hold anyone responsible for the crimes of these criminals. This does not need any assertion. This is not allowed by all norms whether humanitarian, moral, religious, legitimate, legal…

I hope that everyone takes what I am saying into consideration. That's because from among the goals of slaughtering and killing the soldiers is that such popular reactions take place against the Syrian immigrant to exploit that politically in sectarian and factional instigation. This must not be allowed to take place. Between parentheses, I would like to say that Hizbullah and Amal Movement - with the cooperation of the apparatuses, the scholars, and tribal and social dignitaries – have exerted industrious efforts to protect the immigrants and pull danger away from them. Still those whom I was talking about a while ago held Hizbullah responsible at a time Hizbullah was protecting and defending the immigrants as well as appeasing the people. Still there comes he who overbids and accuses you as far as this issue is concerned.

The other point I want to tackle as far as reactions are concerned is that in case there is any security suspicion against anyone – this is not limited to the Syrian refugees or immigrants – provide such information thankfully to the security apparatuses which would burst into any suspicious place. Here the security institutions hold fully their responsibilities.

The other point concerning the reaction is counter-kidnapping. Indeed some kidnapping operations take place at times without having anything to do with the kidnapped military men or anything with the reactions on the kidnapping of the military men as what took place some time ago. Such operations have to do with ransoms, stealing, and robbery. These are criminals. These are highwaymen and corruptors. Frankly speaking, it is they who are carrying such operations.

Well, there is another kind of impermissible kidnapping operations. Anyway, there is not permissible and impermissible kidnapping; however, that might at times take place as a reaction as some families do.

Besides saying that such kidnapping is impermissible religiously and legally, I want to tell our people that it is fruitless too. With whom are you dealing? At times there are sides which might be pressured in case you detained or kidnapped. At other times the side might not be concerned with the people, the people of Irsal, the family of so and so, Sunnites, Shiites, Muslims, Christians or the Druze. They do not care for anyone. They kill even each other and slaughter each other, rob each other, and take each other's womenfolk as detainees. So they do not care for what you do? Thus it is fruitless to kidnap so and so to practice pressure on these armed groups. As far as this issue is concerned we have a long experience in Syria and in the cause of Aazaz detainees. I do not want to go far into details. This issue must remain covert. Thus counter-kidnapping is impermissible religiously and legally besides being fruitless. That does not lead anywhere. This is true concerning harming the Syria immigrants as well as concerning counter-kidnapping. Where to do such acts lead? They achieve the goals of the armed forces. The speech of these armed groups is sectarian, factional, instigating, and Takfiri. They seek a sectarian strife in Lebanon; they want a factional ordeal in Lebanon; they want people to fight each other in Lebanon; and they want to bring the battle into Lebanon. It is they and not we. Between parentheses some are saying that Hizbullah is pushing the army into the battle in Irsal. Never! It is they who aggressed against the army soldiers who were in their barracks, cross points, and offices. I also want to tell you that the roads are open, the barren mountains are open, food supplies are reaching there, medicine is reaching there, and the wounded of the armed fighters are submitted to the hospitals in Irsal and thereof they are conveyed to hospitals inside Lebanon. Funds are available; arms are being conveyed to Irsal; facilitations are available; no one is holding anyone responsible or trying anyone. Do you want us to remind you of all of these issues? These want to transfer the battle to Lebanon. Here I want to reiterate and to assert to the families of the military men and to all of the Lebanese: What we say in the cabinet we say in the media, and what we say to all officials we say in the media. We do not have double languages, double speeches, double faces, and double tongues. When I say I am with that means that I am with. When I say that I am against, that means that I am against. Since the very first day when we went to Quseir, I made an announcement of that. Some presidents and officials blamed me saying that if you want to go to Quseir go without making an announcement. But no we want to announce. Why shouldn't we announce? At that day, I said whoever wants to fight let him go to Syria where there is a battlefield. Let's fight there. Let's keep Lebanon aside. However, some argued this logic. Well no! This is a well-calculated and well-considered logic because we do not want a problem in Lebanon and we do not want fighting in Lebanon. We do not want the war to be transferred to Lebanon. It's the armed forces which want to transfer the war to Lebanon and are seeking day and night to transfer the war to Lebanon. It is not we at all who are doing so. That's why we never opened the file of Irsal. We never tackled the issue of the armed forces, the facilitations offered to the armed men, or the position of Irsal regarding what is taking place in the region. Well yes, when the booby-trapped cars started coming from Irsal, we called on the army and the security forces to take the necessary procedures: Just prevent the booby-trapped cars from coming from there. We never ignited any instigation. We do not want such a battle. We hope that no battle would ever take place inside the Lebanese territories. We can tolerate much to observe this commitment. Thus when any counter-kidnapping or any aggression takes place against the immigrants or any such problems take place that would be achieving the goals of the terrorists and the killers. That's because they are seeking sedition and moving the battle to Lebanon. It is not to the interest of the Lebanese that the fighting be moved to Lebanon.

In general, what is required is controlling emotions, feelings, and reactions, avoiding harming the innocent, and guarding the social and national composition. Thereof, everyone is responsible and a partner in sharing the responsibility. As for the military men and what they are being subject to, there are concerned sides, a state, officials, and the court. These sides are concerned about trying and punishing, and we are concerned in being behind the state and supporting it on this perspective.

This is the first point which I wanted to tackle. Briefly to benefit from the available time, I want to wrap this point saying really Lebanon is before a true challenge. Well, let's see how this state, this government, and these political forces would act. This is what we call for today. Later on and when this cause would come to an end and the military men return safe and sound other things may be said. Whether we would talk or not has to do with the atmosphere and the developments. That's because being responsible we do not act in reaction. We are not talking in reaction of what is taking place. We talk to rectify things because it is wrong and dangerous to move along as such as far as this humanitarian, national, and moral issue is concerned.

The second topic has to do with the developments in the region and the stance from the international coalition – the so called international coalition to fight the "ISIL".

Indeed we are concerned in specifying our stance from it - our stance as a resistance and as a side – via our ministers in the Lebanese government. We also have to specify our stance to wipe away the distortion and falsification that have come upon this stance. In case some people were not able to understand and to comprehend, this would be their own problem and not ours. Still, we will clarify and explain our stance because this too is a historical and critical moment.

First: Everyone knows that Hizbullah is against the "ISIL". Some two months ago I have talked extensively on this. We are against those Takfiri movements, and we are fighting them too. We are offering sacrifices in fighting them. So first we must put aside what some are saying to the effect of our stance from the international coalition as being to defend or to protect "ISIL". This is simplification and misleading of the facts. So it is either simplification because of ignorance or intended misleading of facts. No, that is not the case. I have tackled the issue of "ISIL" extensively at several occasions in the past. As for us, "ISIL" are groups that kill and slaughter merely because of intellectual and political or organizational disparity. They pose a threat to all the peoples, governments, and sects. So they do not pose a threat to the minorities only but rather to all the peoples of the region. Thus our stance from these Takfiri terrorist groups is clear, firm, and final. It is obligatory to fight them, confront them, and push their danger away from the peoples of the region and the region too.

However, the issue of the US military intervention or the formation of an international coalition led by the USA is another issue. This issue must be tackled from several perspectives.

First, we have a primary stance whether America came to attack "ISIL" or to attack Taliban or to attack the former Iraqi regime or to attack any other place. In principle, we are not like the others who say they are with the US intervention and call for the US intervention to topple the so and so regime for example. However, if the US intervention was solely to attack "ISIL" or to attack their groups, they are against it. No, we are against the US military intervention and against the international coalition in Syria, whether the target is the regime – as was the case a year and a half again - or the "ISIL" or other groups. Primary, there is a principle called the US intervention whether under the cover of an international coalition or the cover of the NATO or the cover of multi-national troops.

We have a primary stance based on rules and pillars, and it does not change from one arena and another. As a result of our commitment to this primary stance, we were harmed by some in previous incidents and cases. Thus first because of our primary commitment we do not agree on this coalition. We have said so in the cabinet via our ministers and other friends. So when we are to vote in the cabinet, as Hizbullah, we will say that we do not accept that Lebanon be part of this coalition.

However, if Lebanon partakes in conferences and meetings, that would be something else. That would be the concern of the government, the President of the Republic, the Premier, and the foreign minister. However, the commitments are discussed in the cabinet. We say that we have a primary principle. Why do we have this primary principle?

Let's take the developments into consideration:

First: America is the mother of terrorism. Whoever wants to argue, we are ready for argument. America is the source of terrorism in the world. If there is terrorism in this world, search for the US administration behind it. Indeed, we are not talking about the US people.

Second: America is the ultimate supporter of terrorist Zionist entity. The source of terrorism in our region is the existence of (the State of "Israel") which attains absolute US support whether militarily, security, political, economic, financial, or legal. In the Security Council, even condemning or the right of veto is not allowed when it comes to "Israel".

Third: The US fabricated or played a role in fabricating these terrorist Takfiri movements.

Fourth: America is not in the moral position that entitles it to lead a war against terrorism. In fact, it never once had a moral position. The side that struck Japan with nuclear bombs, committed atrocities in the Vietnam War, has all of this dark history, stood next to Netanyahu in the 50-day-war against Gaza and the people of Gaza, demolishes, kills thousands, wounds thousands, and displaces tens of thousands from their houses is not morally eligible to present itself as a fighter of terrorism or as a leader of an international coalition to target terrorism.

The issue has nothing to do with fighting terrorism.

Fifth: Based on all of Obama's statements, this coalition aims at defending the US interests. What have we to do with defending the US interests especially that most of these interests – if not all of the US interests come at the expense of the interests of the region and the peoples of the region and the governments of the region.

Are we, Lebanon, or other states to be a part of a coalition led by the USA in a war to defend the US interests in the region? This is what Obama says. I am not fabricating lies against him.

He did not say we came here to defend the minorities or the Muslims or the Christians. Never! This never took place before the eyes of the entire world. For years by now – and not only in the past few months – he did not take any action.

Well yes, when the situation became dangerous enough to the extent of harming the US interests, the US administration came to create a cover and an international coalition. We are not concerned in fighting in an international coalition of this kind or to support an international coalition of this kind that serves the US interests apart from the interests of the peoples.

Sixth: The Lebanese, Iraqis, Syrians, as well as all the peoples of the region have the right to question the US intentions through this awareness and this awakening. He wants to gather the world and form an international coalition. In fact, he had formed an international coalition and wants to lead the war, and today he started this war.

Is it true that now the Americans woke up and their humanitarian emotions got moved thus they were shocked by the slaughtering, the massacres, the displacement of people from their homes, the demolishing of churches, mosques, and shrines, and the crucifixion of people? Did they wake up now? Did their humanitarian emotions lead them to this coalition or this is a pretext or an excuse for America to occupy the region again or to form military bases the Iraqis had refused previously and now it is its chance to restore to Iraq again or to the region in some states again or to impose such choices?

I only want to remind the Lebanese that this issue was evoked previously. On the first days of July 2006 War, when we used to receive messages and there were mediators to stop the war, we were made this offer: Hand all of the arms of the resistance, hand the two "Israeli" captives unconditionally, and thirdly – which is most important - accept the existence of multinational forces – not the UNIFIL or the UN - in the south, along the Lebanese-Palestinian borders, along the Lebanese-Syrian borders, in the airport, at the ports, and on the Lebanese territories. We rejected this in July War and toppled this scheme with blood, martyrs, patience, tears, wounds, sorrows, and solidarity.

Who says they do not want to impose this again when we become part of the international coalition? As soon as you become part of this international coalition, your airport, ports, skies, waters, and territories would be open for them to make military bases for NATO and the USA? What would become of Lebanon then?

Don't the Lebanese have the right to be suspicious as the Iraqis are very much suspicious that the goal from this awareness and from this concern expressed by the Americans is the return to impose military bases – what the Iraqis refused previously? The Americans want to return and form military barracks, bases, and airports. They want to impose their conditions and achieve immunities to their soldiers and officers as what they did in South Korea and other places.

For all of these reasons and others too we say that we do not support and we also refuse that Lebanon be part of the international coalition led by the USA. Lebanon does not need to be part of this coalition. First that is not to the interest of Lebanon. Lebanon would be subject to dangers in case it became part of this international coalition. I am not talking pursuant to the principle of staying away so that they won't say that this is inappropriate. No! This is a totally different idea. The disintegration among them is clear. There are dangers in case Lebanon becomes part of this coalition. Second, Lebanon does not need this coalition. It does not need to be part of this coalition. It has no interest in that.

It might be said that we are facing this danger now in Lebanon. The Lebanese are able to face this danger. As Lebanese we are able to confront the terrorists and terrorism. Despite the political division, the political overbids, instigations and all of what I talked about in the future, Lebanon is still able to confront this danger. With the least degree of harmony and with the least degree of cooperation within the Lebanese government – this current government – Lebanon is able to confront this danger through its army, military apparatuses, people, steadfastness, and patience. In the future too, we as Lebanese are able to confront this danger.

What are we in need of? If anyone is to call on the international community or the USA or the members of the new coalition, we would call for the following:

First, I call on everyone and not only on them to stop financing and arming the terrorist groups which are targeting Lebanon and the Lebanese interior. I do not want to talk about Syria and Iraq. I am talking about Lebanon. I am talking on the Lebanese national level.

Stop arming, funding, training, and dispatching fighters who are targeting Lebanon. This is still taking place to our day and from among states in this coalition. Let this stop if you want to serve Lebanon. Do you want to serve Lebanon? Is your heart aching for the Lebanese and the Lebanese people? Do you want to defend Lebanon against terrorism? First do this.

Second: Speed up in supporting the Lebanese Army and the security forces because we bargain on them. This is the responsibility of the state in the first place.

Third: Help Lebanon in resolving the crisis of the refugees. When the crisis of the refugees is addressed, the danger of the terrorists and terrorism would be kept off to a great extent. It would also spare Lebanon many ordeals and crises.

If anyone wants to help Lebanon, let him help Lebanon in the framework of these three topics.

First: Stop funding and arming the terrorists.

Second: Speed up in supporting and arming the Lebanese Army and the security forces.

Third: Address the crisis of the refugees.

As for the Lebanese, they are able to confront any danger which may target them.

In the near past, they gathered the military hostages in one place and a person stood among them and bragged saying: "If we want, we can be in Beirut within days." No! You can't be in Beirut or in any other place. I do not want to name villages and regions. Through the state, army, solidarity, national emotions, and national responsibility, the Lebanese can protect all the Lebanese regions. All the Lebanese areas will be protected against any terrorism danger, and I mean what I say.

Any Lebanese region does not concern a definite sect, faction, or side. This is a Lebanese territory; this is Lebanese people; these are Lebanese people. All the Lebanese must be one hand to prevent the expansion of terrorism to any of the Lebanese regions.

I reiterate saying that in the first place the government, the state, the army, and all of us must be one hand against the state, the government, and the army. It is not allowed to act according to the principle that "we are not concerned" in case the terrorism military expanded towards any region under the pretext that this is not our sect, this is not our region, and this is not our political side. This is a mistake. It is a fatal mistake in fact.
The Lebanese must come together, unite, and be one hand. In fact, they can push the threat of the terrorists and the Takfiri groups away from their country. The Lebanese are strong. We are not weak. No one can threat us by invading, controlling, or reaching Beirut or any other region. We are still alive, and no one can intimidate the Lebanese in such a way. We will assume our responsibilities as I used to tell you in the past.

In the remaining few moments, I will briefly tackle definite topics though these topics deserve some elaboration.

No doubt the region is moving towards important developments in the coming few weeks. What is taking place in Iraq? What is taking place in Syria? The new military operation was launched. We in Lebanon and in the region are concerned in following all of this precisely and cautiously and consequently assume our responsibilities.

Praise be to Allah! Summer is over. No one is to say he wants to take a vacation to spend the summer somewhere. Everyone must be alert, aware, and follow the developments because it is not known where these developments would lead to. We have our analysis and views on these events, but we do not have enough time to explain that. I will only call for being aware, cautious, alert, follow the events, and assume responsibilities.

Second: As it is the first time I talk since a period of time, I offer my felicitations to the heroic resistance in Gaza, the Palestinian people, the people of Gaza as well as its martyrs, injured, and brave fighters, and the prisons of the Palestinian people on this great victory which was achieved. No doubt, it is an absolute strong, great, important military victory. It is also a great political victory because it crippled all the covert and overt targets of the "Israeli" aggression against Gaza.

We felicitate them on this victory which we view as a victory for the entire nation, for all the Palestinian people, for all the peoples of the region, and for all the resistance movements in the region.

Third: Before these recent developments which took place in Yemen, we also must felicitate the dear Yemeni people for this reconciliation. The National Peace and Partnership Agreement – as I believe they called it - is an exceptional opportunity before the Yemeni people. It is a historic opportunity to pull Yemen out of its complicated problems as it eliminates those who were behind the domestic war and aggressions. The regional states have also welcomed this agreement. We are glad when any people reach an agreement, a national reconciliation, and a political resolution. We listen to this marvelous, great national address made by responsible Yemeni leaderships. Praise be to Allah! That really is promising. We hope Inshallah that no one seeks to cripple this agreement, and that all the Yemenis and all those who care for Yemen would seek to help the Yemeni people to implement and enforce this agreement.

Fourth: We hail the Bahraini people's continuing peaceful movement and their tolerance of all the repercussions and sacrifices. We hope that this people will achieve their goals and that the regional and international developments which may advance in some places would help this people in achieving their aspirations and targets. As a part of the peoples of the region, as part of this nation, as part of this body that aches when any other part aches, that feels happy when the others are happy and suffers when the others suffer, we as a political side has an aspiration. We hope that the Lebanese people, the Syrian people, the Iraqi people, the Bahraini people, the Yemeni people, and all the peoples of the region - I will not name all the peoples of the region. Though I try not to approach some places in my political speech or discussion because of the existing sensitivities, however at least I specify those with whom we share geographical proximity – would be able to transcend their catastrophes and sufferings. We hope that through their leaderships, historic awareness, assumption of responsibilities, sacrifices, perseverance, and steadfastness, these peoples would be able to turn these threats into opportunities. Today, the region is before a great threat. This threat may be turned to a great opportunity. However, that is dependent on the determination, awareness, and assumption of responsibility. Allah has men who when they wish He wishes.

Peace be upon you, and Allah's mercy and blessings.
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East Mediterranean Gas: what kind of a game-changer?

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:01
A 37 page pdf, that you can read through in under half an hour.
Stumbled across this today.  Excellent reference.

Good for getting a sense of what's at stake in this part of the world. Ya know, why all the interest?
Though the East Mediterranean is quite far  from the US, the US is going to embed itself in the region for many years to come.  Clearly these 'game changer' gas reserves are a big part of the reasoning. It certainly isn't ISIS or humanitarianism or even terrorism. Not when the US, UK, Israel are the kingpins of global terrorism.
 This information ties into so very many posts here at the blog. But, one three part series comes to mind, as being particularly relevant-  I will relink all three below the pdf.

PDF East Mediterranean Gas: what kind of a game-changer?

 Three part series relinked-

March 28/2013: Part 1: Cyprus, Israel,Turkey, Syria: NATO and global resource diversion/control

March 28/2013: Part 2: Cyprus, Israel,Turkey, Syria: NATO and global resource diversion/control

April 1, 2013: Part 3:Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, Syria: NATO and global resource diversion/control
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Iraq SITREP Update 26th September: Enemy of my enemy

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 09:52
NB: These SITREPs that Saker allows to be posted here will now be twice a week. Significant news events will be posted, recurring ones like the repeated failed attempts to take back a city, like Tikrit by the Iraqi military, will be avoided; unless there are other repercussions to that event. Also body counts are too depressing to keep reporting and there are other sources that list the everyday dead of Iraq.

The Saker has been very kind to allow these SITREPs from the start. I am grateful for his efforts and his commitment.

As always these are compilations of news stories from the MSM and non MSM sources. If I express an opinion commentators are welcome to question them, and in some extreme 'Takfiri' cases, my faith as well.

30th Aug: The Iranians claim progress is being made on developing an indigenous alternative to the S300:
The Israelis finger Belarus:
17th Sep: The Islamic practices of Daash: Four minor Yazidi girls are transferred to Mosul Hospital after sever Uterine Bleeding. The girls were reported to have been subjected to repeated sexual assault by "brave" Daash terrorists.
18th Sep: There will be blood: Daash vehicles roam the streets of Mosul calling for blood donations as Daash casualties mount.
20th Sep: Daash releases 49 Turkish hostages including the counsel general of Turkey in Iraq. However, Turkey refuses to participate in coalition airstrikes on Daash.
21st Sep: More than a 100000 Kurds are reported to be fleeing a Daash onslaught in north east Syria with the Kurdish city of Kobani coming under attack. The refugees head north towards Turkey.
22nd Sep: The US and its alliance of the willing (GCC excluding Kuwait and Oman, and non GCC member Jordan, a total of 30 countries) start to bomb Daash targets in Syria. Prior warning is given to the Government of Bashar Al Assad and an Iranian lawmaker states that Iran was also informed about the air assaults on Daash.
US airplanes also target Al Nusra Front positions and also those of the "Khorrasan" terrorist group.
The US authorities state that a female pilot from the UAE also participated in the airstrikes on Daash.
Belgium and The Netherlands send their F16 fighters and Belgium asks its military personnel not to wear their uniforms when not on duty out of fears of retaliatory attacks.
22nd Sep: Daash tries and executes Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, a lawyer and rights activists, on charges of Apostasy for having criticised the DI of Daash's destruction of shrines and mosques in Mosul. Torture marks are clearly visible on her corpse.
23rd Sep: Brigadier General, Ahmad Reza Bordstan, of the Iranian Ground Forces clarifies that Iran will launch a much more penetrating assault on Daash positions in response to any attack on Iran's border with Iraq.
24th Sep: Daash carries out a heavy assault on Baiji refinery. It involves three car bombings and blow up tankers using a suicide bomber. The military personnel protecting the refinery are backed by the Iraqi Airforce but suffer heavy casualties. Senior military commanders warn of a repeat of Spykar if the government does not degrade Daash's capability to assault the refinery.
24th Sep: The US led coalition starts to bomb Daash positions on the outskirts of Kobani in Northern Syria.
24th Sep: Kurdish forces warn of the fleeing of Daash fighters from Syria to Iraq and ask the US led coalition to bomb Daash convoys entering Iraq.
24th Sep: Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmergas work in coordination in Qara Tapa, north east of Baqouba, Diyala to clear villages of Daash presence
24th Sep: Hassan Nasrallah states that he is opposed to the US led coalition that is bombing Daash. He stated that the Hezbollah fought the "infidel" Daash and will continues to do so, but referred to the US as the "mother of terrorism"
24th Sep: German ammunition, anti tank weapons and assault rifles arrive in Iraqi Kurdistan
24th Sep: An Algerian terrorist group with links to Daash beheads French hiker Herve Gourdel after the Afrench Government refuses to stop its participation in the coalition of the willing.
25th Sep: Rouhani blames the West and it's allies (certain intelligence agencies: CIA) of creating Daash, refers to it as a global threat and asks the west to stop supporting dictators.
25th Sep: Two bombings in Baghdad leave 6 dead and 18 wounded
25th Sep: France confirms that it has carried out its first airstrikes on Daash positions in Iraq. The UK is expected to join the coalition of the willing soon.
25th Sep: The UAE claims that its woman pilot, Mariam Al -Mansouri, took part in its raid on Daash positions. Daash vows revenge.
25th Sep: Kurdish forces in Syria repel an assault on Kobani.
25th Sep: Jassim Mohammed Hassan al-Attiyah of the Salah al Din provincial council states that over 13000 US troops are expected at the Speicher Military Base. This is contrary to what Obama has stated, what Prime Minister Abadi has asked for, and what Sadr and Sistani have clearly opposed.
25th Sep: Daash blows up the historic Al Arbain mosque in Tikrit.
26th Sep: Bombing of Daash positions to the North and to the West of Mosul: Sinjar and Zammar has continued for three days ands ongoing. The "coalition of the willing" is bombing the monster it helped create.
26th Sep: Iranian expert refers to US assault on Daash as America's plan B:

Arabian Nights, night 2: the downfall of Ali Duba:

Reports suggest that Ali Duba was sidelined to make way for Bashar to take over power in Syria. However, a Syrian tale goes like this:

Hafiz Al Assad was having trouble with a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood and asked his intelligence chief to get rid of the man. Ali Duba however, was made an offer of a large sum of money to let the man slip into exile. Duba took the money and the brotherhood man fled to Germany. Hafiz was assured that the man was with his maker.

Years later, the same man was terminally ill and dying. Away from home, he longed to return. His people approached Ali Duba and offered an even larger pot of gold to the let the man die in Syria. For this, Ali Duba had to approach Hafiz and it is then that Hafiz learnt of his instructions not being carried out. Ali Duba was no longer a trusted man.

Short Analysis: Are the Houthis linked to Iran?

Some commentators suggested that Iran is in no way involved in the Houthi uprising in Yemen, or in Bahrain. Although claims and allegations that Iran is backing rebels in Yemen and Bahrain play into the hands of the Empire, there is a grain of truth to them.

Iran has come under attack, with its embassy staff being kidnapped and shot in Yemen. The now deposed President had also accused Iran of meddling, which Iran denied. Saudi Arabia has also at one point in history been allied to the Zaidis in Yemen against the communist South. Saudi Arabia has more recently been paranoid and accused Iran of backing the Houthis. So why say Iran is siding with them now?

1) A religious argument

Islam in General, and the Shia faith in particular underwent a transformation with the events of Karbala. The Sacrifice of the Grandson of the Prophet reminds the Shia to oppose oppression, and to refrain from it too. While the Sunnis have generally been more pro establishment throughout history, it is the Shia that have resisted over time and over geographic distances. A reading of Shia history after the events of Karbala will show that in every few decades a Shia uprising has taken place against oppressive government.

Iran, perceiving itself to be the centre of the Shia faith, backs its co-religionists in, to name a few places, Kashmir, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. It even backs opposition to oppression against Muslims in General (Sunnis) in other places: Sudan, Bosnia, Kurds in Iraq, and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. It sees this as a religious purpose. Although, the Iranian revolutionary "Islamic" state was more aggressive in the past it has become much more pragmatic, but also a lot more tenacious and politically astute.

So why would Iran not back the Houthis and Bahraini Shias, in the latter case morally if not with material aid (physical, geographic restrictions, the invasion of the island by Saudi troops, and the US Naval base prevent Iran from giving more direct support; However, if Bahrain shared a land border with Iran, weapons would be smuggled across). Not supporting them on Iran's part would be contrary to common sense.

2) A practical understanding

No guerrilla movement survives for long against a government backed by foreign powers for long without external support. A case in point is the Hezbollah. Even though it is a very powerful, if not the most powerful, resistance militia, it cannot survive or wield as much power as it does without Iranian/Syrian support. Similar examples are the Taliban, which no one can defeat as long as the Pakistani state continues to back it.

Although the Houthis may be a majority in the north, how long can they sustain a conflict without material help? Yes everybody in Yemen is armed, but where do you replenish stocks from and sustain an offensive? Why would Saudi Arabia allow the deposed President to negotiate a deal if did not feel threatened?

Now consider the Tibetan resistance against China that withered away after all India did was provide vocal support. The North Vietnamese had Chinese and Soviet support, the rebels in Syria have petrodollars backing them, the MEK had US/Israeli support after Saddam was overthrown. In fact it's hard to point out to any opposition group that can last without external backing.

3) Coincidence: there are none

The first coincidence is the timing of the Houthi takeover. It conveniently occurred after Daash has taken over most of Sunni Iraq.
The second coincidence is form. In this 2010 article by Bhadrakumar: He mentions that the Houthi armed groups are being modelled on the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Finally, to cut things short, I will agree that there is a remote possibility, a completely illogical one, that Iran is not involved in some way with the Houthis. But it is possible.

Further Reading:

US intelligence flying blind when it comes to the Hezballah
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"The information war for Ukraine" - Satirical German program "Die Anstalt" (Eng Subs)

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 17:57
(press on the 'cc' button on the lower right to see the subtitles)

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The Threat of War and the Russian Response

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 17:29
by Sergey Glazyev for Russia in Global Affairs

How to Lead a Coalition and Avoid a Global Conflict 
Sergei Glaziev is an Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Summary: The world needs a coalition of sound forces advocating stability – a global anti-war coalition with a positive plan for rearranging the international financial and economic architecture on the principles of mutual benefit, fairness, and respect for national sovereignty.

U.S. actions in Ukraine should be classified not only as hostile with regard to Russia, but also as targeting global destabilization. The U.S. is essentially provoking an international conflict to salvage its geopolitical, financial, and economic authority. The response must be systemic and comprehensive, aimed at exposing and ending U.S. political domination, and, most importantly, at undermining U.S. military-political power based on the printing of dollars as a global currency.

The world needs a coalition of sound forces advocating stability —in essence, a global anti-war coalition with a positive plan for rearranging the international financial and economic architecture on the principles of mutual benefit, fairness, and respect for national sovereignty.


This coalition could be comprised of large independent states (BRICS); the developing world (most of Asia, Africa, and Latin America), which has been discriminated against in the current global financial and economic system; CIS countries interested in balanced development without conflicts; and those European nations not prepared to obey the disparaging U.S. diktat. The coalition should take measures to eliminate the fundamental causes of the global crisis, including:
  • the uncontrolled issuance of global reserve currencies, which allows issuers to abuse their dominant position, thus increasing disproportions and destructive tendencies in the global financial and economic system;
  • the inability of existing mechanisms regulating banking and financial institutions to ward off excessive risks and financial bubbles;
  • an exhausted potential for growth within the prevailing technology-based economic system and lack of conditions for creating a new one, including insufficient investment for the broad use of basic technological solutions.
Conditions must be created to allow the national fiscal authorities to lend money for building an economy based on new technologies and carrying out economic modernization, and to encourage innovation and business activities in areas of potential growth. The issuers of reserve currencies must guarantee their stability by capping the national debt and payment and trade balance deficits. Also, they will have to use transparent mechanisms for issuing currencies and ensure free exchange for all assets trading in their countries.

Another important requirement issuers of global reserve currencies should meet is compliance with fair rules of competition and non-discriminatory access to financial markets. Other countries observing similar restrictions should be able to use their national currencies as an instrument of foreign trade and currency and financial exchanges, and allow their use as reserve currencies by partner countries. It would be advisable to group national currencies seeking the status of global or regional reserves into several categories depending on the issuers’ compliance with certain standards.

In addition to introducing rules for issuers of global reserve currencies, measures should be taken to strengthen control over capital flows to prevent speculative attacks that destabilize international and national currency and financial systems. Members of the coalition will need to forbid transactions with offshore jurisdictions and make refinancing inaccessible to banks and corporations created with offshore residents. The currencies of countries that fail to follow these rules should not be used in international settlements.

A major overhaul of international financial institutions is necessary to ensure control over the issuers of global reserve currencies. Participating countries must be represented fairly, on objective criteria, such as their share in global production, trade, and finances; their natural resources; and population. The same criteria should be applied to an emerging basket of currencies for new SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) that can be used as a yardstick for determining the value of national currencies, including reserve currencies. Initially, the basket could contain the currencies of those coalition members that agree to observe these rules.

Such ambitious reforms will require proper legal and institutional support. To this end, the coalition’s decisions should be given the status of international commitments; and UN institutions, relevant international organizations, and all countries interested in reforms should be broadly involved.

In order to encourage application of socially important achievements of a new technological mode globally, countries will have to devise an international strategic planning system of socio-economic development. It should provide long-term forecasts for scientific and technological development; define prospects for the global economy, regional associations and leading countries; look for ways to overcome disproportions, including development gaps between industrialized and emerging economies; and set development priorities and indicative targets for international organizations.

The U.S. and other G7 countries will most likely reject the above proposals for reforming the international currency and financial system without discussion out of fear that they could undermine their monopoly, which allows them to issue world currencies uncontrollably. While reaping enormous benefits from this system, leading Western countries limit access to their own assets, technologies, and labor by imposing more and more restrictions.

If the G7 refuses to “make room” in the governing agencies of international financial organizations for the anti-war coalition, the latter should master enough synergy to create alternative global regulators.
  • The BRICS could serve as a prototype and take the following measures to maintain economic security:
  • create a universal payment system for BRICS countries and issue a common payment card that would incorporate China’s UnionPay, Brazil’s ELO, India’s RuPay, and Russian payment systems;
  • build an interbank information exchange system similar to SWIFT and which is independent from the United States and the European Union;
  • establish its own rating agencies.

Russia will have a leading role in building a coalition against the U.S. since it is most vulnerable and will not succeed in the ongoing confrontation without such an alliance. If Russia fails to show initiative, the anti-Russian bloc currently being created by the U.S. will absorb or neutralize Russia’s potential allies. The war against Russia the U.S. is inciting in Europe may benefit China, because the weakening of the U.S., the European Union, and Russia will make it easier for Beijing to achieve global leadership. Also, Brazil could give in to U.S. pressure and India may focus on solving its own domestic problems.

Russia has as much experience of leadership in world politics as the U.S. It has the necessary moral and cultural authority and sufficient military-technical capabilities. But Russian public opinion needs to overcome its inferiority complex, regain a sense of historical pride for the centuries of efforts to create a civilization that brought together numerous nations and cultures and which many times saved Europe and humanity from self-extermination. It needs to bring back an understanding of the historical role the Russian world played in creating a universal culture from Kievan Rus’, the spiritual heir to the Byzantine Empire, to the Russian Federation, the successor state of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire. Eurasian integration processes should be presented as a global project to restore and develop the common space of nations from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and from St. Petersburg to Colombo, which for centuries lived and worked together.


A new world order could be based on a concept of social-conservative synthesis as an ideology that combines the values of world religions with the achievements of the welfare state and the scientific paradigm of sustainable development. This concept should be used as a positive program for building an anti-war coalition and establishing universally understandable principles for streamlining and harmonizing social, cultural, and economic relations worldwide.

International relations can be harmonized only on the basis of fundamental values shared by all major cultures and civilizations. These values include non-discrimination (equality) and mutual acceptance, a concept declared by all confessions without dividing people into “us” and “them.” These values can be expressed in notions of justice and responsibility, and in the legal forms of human rights and freedoms.

The fundamental value of an individual and equality of all people irrespective of their religious, ethnic, class, or other background must be recognized by all confessions. This stems, at least in monotheistic religions, from the perception of the unity of God and the fact that every faith offers its own path to salvation. This outlook can eliminate violent religious and ethnic conflicts and permit every individual to make a free choice. But there must be legal mechanisms in place to enable confessions to participate in public life and resolve social conflicts.

This approach will help neutralize one of the most destructive means of chaotic global warfare employed by the U.S.—the use of religious strife to incite religious and ethnic conflicts that develop into civil and regional wars.

The role of religion in molding international politics will provide the moral and ideological basis for preventing ethnic conflicts and resolving ethnic contradictions using national social policy instruments. Various religions can also be engaged in charting social policy, thus providing a moral framework for government decisions, restraining the attitude of permissiveness and laxity that dominates the minds of the ruling elites in developed countries, and bringing back an understanding of the authorities’ social responsibility to society. As the shaken values of the welfare state gain strong ideological support, political parties will have to acknowledge the importance of moral restrictions that protect the basic principles of human life.

The concept of social-conservative synthesis will lay the ideological groundwork for reforming international currency, financial, and economic relations on the principles of fairness, mutual respect for national sovereignty, and mutually advantageous exchanges. This will require certain restrictions on the freedom of market forces that constantly discriminate against most people and countries by limiting their access to wealth.

Liberal globalization has undermined the ability of countries to influence the distribution of national income and wealth. Transnational corporations uncontrollably move resources that were previously controlled by national governments. The latter have to trim back social security in order to keep their economies attractive to investors. State social investments, the recipients of which no longer have a national identity, have lost their potency. As the U.S.-centered oligarchy gets hold of an increasingly greater part of income generated by the global economy, the quality of life is dwindling in open economies and the gap in access to public wealth is widening. In order to overcome these destructive tendencies, it will be necessary to change the entire architecture of financial and economic relations and restrict the free movement of capital. This should be done in order to prevent transnationals from evading social responsibility, on the one hand, and to even out social policy costs shared by national states, on the other.

The former means eliminating offshore jurisdictions, which help evade tax obligations, and recognizing the nation states’ right to regulate transborder movement of capital. The latter would mean establishing minimal social criteria to ensure accelerated improvement of social security in relatively poor countries. This can be done by creating international mechanisms for balancing out living standards, which, in turn, will require proper funding.

Acting along the concept of a social-conservative synthesis, the anti-war coalition could move to reform the global social security system. A fee of 0.01 percent of currency exchange operations could provide funding for international mechanisms designed to even out living standards. This fee (of up to $15 trillion a year) could be charged under an international agreement and national tax legislation, and transferred to the authorized international organizations which include the Red Cross (prevention of and response to humanitarian catastrophes caused by natural disasters, wars, epidemics, etc.); the World Health Organization (prevention of epidemics, reduction of infantile mortality, vaccination, etc.); ILO (global monitoring of compliance with safety regulations and labor legislation, including wages not less than the subsistence level and a ban on the use of child and compulsory labor; labor migration); the World Bank (construction of social infrastructure facilities – water supply networks, roads, waste water disposal systems, etc.); UNIDO (transfer of technologies to developing countries); and UNESCO (support of international cooperation in science, education and culture, cultural heritage protection). Spending should be made according to the budgets approved by the UN General Assembly.

Another task to tackle is the creation of a global environmental protection system financed by polluters. This can be done by signing an international agreement establishing across-the-board fines for pollution and earmark them for environmental protection under national legislation and under the supervision of an authorized international organization. Part of this money should be committed to global environmental activities and monitoring. An alternative mechanism can be based on trade in pollution quotas under the Kyoto Protocol.

An important aspect is the creation of a global system for eliminating illiteracy and ensuring public access to information and modern education throughout the world. This will require standardizing minimum requirements for comprehensive primary and secondary education and subsidizing underdeveloped countries with revenue generated by the tax mentioned above. There must be a universally accessible system of higher education services provided by leading universities in major industrialized countries. The latter could assign admission quotas for foreign students selected through international contests and paid for from the same source. Simultaneously, the participating universities could set up a global system of free distance learning for all individuals with secondary education. UNESCO and the World Bank could commit themselves to creating and supporting the necessary information infrastructure, while drawing funds from the same source.


The growing gap between rich and poor countries is threatening the development and the very existence of humanity. The gap is created and sustained by national institutions in the U.S. and allied countries that arrogate certain international economic exchange functions proceeding from their own interests. They have monopolized the right to issue the world’s currency and use the revenue for their own benefit, giving their banks and corporations unlimited access to loans. They have monopolized the right to establish technical standards, thus maintaining technological supremacy of their industry. They have imposed upon the world their own international trade rules that require all other countries to open up their markets and limit substantially their own ability to influence the competitiveness of their national economies. Finally, they have forced the majority of countries to open up their capital markets, thus ensuring the domination of their own financial tycoons, who keep multiplying their wealth by exercising a currency monopoly.

It is impossible to ensure a sustainable and successful socio-economic development without eliminating the monopoly on international economic exchange used for private or national interests. Global and national restrictions can be imposed to support sustainable development, harmonizing global public affairs, and eliminating discrimination in international economic relations.

In order to ward off a global financial catastrophe, urgent measures need to be taken to create both a new, safe, and efficient currency and a financial system based on the mutually advantageous exchange of national currencies. This new system would exclude the appropriation of global seniority in private or national interests.

To level out socio-economic development opportunities, emerging economies need free access to new technologies, conditioned on their promise not to use them for military purposes. Countries that agree to such restrictions and open up information about their defense budgets will be exempted from international export control constraints and receive assistance in acquiring new developmental technologies.

An international mechanism to prevent multinational companies from abusing their monopoly power on the market could ensure fair competition. The WTO could exercise anti-trust control under a special agreement binding for all member states. This would allow economic entities to demand elimination of monopoly power abuses by transnational corporations and seek compensation for losses from such abuses by imposing sanctions against the entities at fault. Apart from overstated or understated prices, quality falsifications, and other typical examples of unfair competition, the payment of wages below the ILO-defined minimum regional subsistence level should also be regarded as an abuse. In addition, there should be reasonable price regulation for the products and services of global and regional natural monopolies.

Because of unequal economic exchanges, countries should be allowed to retain the right to regulate their national economies in order to equalize socio-economic development levels. In addition to WTO mechanisms protecting domestic markets from unfair foreign competition, such equalizing measures could also be achieved by encouraging scientific and technological progress and providing state support to innovation and investment activities; establishing a state monopoly on the use of natural resources; introducing currency controls to limit capital flight and prevent speculative attacks on national currencies; retaining government control over strategic industries; and using other mechanisms to boost competitiveness.

Fair competition in the IT sector is essential. Access to the global information networks must be guaranteed to all people throughout the world as both information consumers and suppliers. This market can be kept open by using stringent antitrust restrictions that will not allow any one country or group of countries to become dominant.

To ensure that all parties to the global economic exchange observe international and national rules, there must be penalties for violators under an international agreement that would enforce court rulings regardless of their national jurisdiction. However, one should be able to appeal a ruling in an international court whose judgment will be binding on all states.

Binding rules and penalties for non-compliance (alongside penalties for breaking national laws) would give international agreements priority over national legislation. Countries that break this principle should be restricted from participating in international economic activities by excluding their national currencies from international settlements, imposing economic sanctions against residents, and limiting those operations on international markets.

In order to enforce all of these fundamental changes in international relations, a strong coalition will have to be created, capable of overcoming the resistance of the U.S. and G7 countries, which reap enormous benefits from their dominance on global markets and in international organizations. This coalition should be ready to use sanctions against the U.S. and other countries that refuse to recognize the priority of international obligations over national regulations. Rejecting the U.S. dollar in international settlements would be the most effective way to coerce the U.S. into being cooperative.

The anti-war coalition should offer a peaceful alternative to the arms race as a means of encouraging a new round of technological development. This alternative would lie in broad international cooperation geared towards solving global problems that require concentration of resources for creating cutting-edge technologies. For example, there is no ready-made solution to protect the planet from threats stemming from deep space. Developing such solutions will require technological breakthroughs that can be achieved by combining the efforts of leading countries and by sharing costs.

The paradigm of sustainable development rejects war as such. Instead of confrontation and rivalry, it is based on cooperation and collaboration as a means of concentrating resources in promising areas of scientific and technological research. Unlike the arms race provoked by geopolitics, it can provide a better scientific and organizational basis for managing a new technological mode. The latter will drive the development of healthcare, education, and culture, which can hardly be spurred by defense expenditures. These non-productive sectors and science will account for as much as a half of GDP in major industrialized countries in upcoming years. Therefore, a forward-looking solution would include shifting the focus of government attention from defense spending to humanitarian programs, primarily in medicine and bioscience. Since the state pays more than half of health, education, and science expenditures, such a shift would facilitate systematic management of socio-economic development and curb destructive trends.

* * *

A new election cycle will begin in the U.S. in 2017 that is likely to be underscored by anti-Russian rhetoric as the ideological basis for the world war Washington is trying to unleash in a bid to retain its power. By that time, the crisis in the American financial system may have resulted in budget spending cuts, devaluation of the dollar, and declining living standards.

Domestic problems and foreign policy crises will cause the U.S. government to ramp up its aggressive tactics, while at the same time weakening its positions. If Russia mobilizes its intellectual, economic, and military potential, it will have a chance to get through conflicts in 2015-2018 in view of the fact that the U.S. and its allies will still not be prepared for direct aggression.

Russia will face the most dangerous period in the early 2020s when industrialized countries and China are expected to begin their technological modernization and the U.S. and other Western countries will emerge from financial depression and make a technological leap forward. But Russia may dramatically fall behind technologically and economically in 2021-2025, which will impair its defense capabilities and spur internal social and ethnic conflicts in much the same way as what happened in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. These conflicts will be fomented both from outside and inside, using social inequality, development gaps between regions, and economic problems. In order to avoid the worst possible scenario leading to the disintegration of the country, Russia will need to adopt a systemic domestic and foreign policy for strengthening national security, ensuring economic independence, improving international competitiveness, boosting economic development, mobilizing society, and upgrading the defense industry.

By 2017, when the U.S. starts threatening Russia openly and on all fronts, the Russian army should have modern and effective weapons, Russian society should be consolidated and confident of its strength, intellectuals should be in control of the new technological mode, the economy should be growing, and Russian diplomacy should succeed in building a broad-based anti-war coalition capable of pooling efforts in order to stop American aggression.
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Remember " War against Iraq, Syria & Iran? " ISIS wants Saudi Arabia?

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 12:25
I am packing a heck of a lot of info into this post! It has to be done. 
Sit down for a spell and read.
The US strikes ISIS oil targets? Lots of news outlets presenting the US air strikes as strikes on ISIS assets.. Let’s be straight on this. These aren’t ISIS oil assets. These are Syria’s oil assets.
And there is no doubt in my mind that ISIS ‘took over’ these oil assets so the US could take these same oil assets out!
 Recall this?

War against Iran, Iraq and Syria?

Pepe published a piece that coincided with everything I had found for that long ago post, so I used it as a back bone.  You really should reread that post and all the external links
My comments in italics
“Pipelinestan  is one of the fundamental reasons (but, not the only reason) for the proxy war in Syria. Against the interests of Washington (and Israel), for whom integrating Iran is anathema, the pipeline bypasses two crucial foreign actors in Syria - prime "rebel" weaponizer Qatar (as a gas producer) and logistical "rebel" supporter Turkey (as the self-described privileged energy crossroads between East and West)” The US$10 billion, 6,000 kilometer pipeline is set to start in Iran's South Pars gas field (the largest in the world, shared with Qatar), and run via Iraq, Syria and ultimately to Lebanon. Then it could go under the Mediterranean to Greece and beyond; be linked to the Arab gas pipeline; or both. Considering how opposed the US/Israel crowd was to the pipeline that bypassed both Turkey and Qatar, along with Israel? And, what of the Kurds?  Were they going to be players in the Arab pipeline? So, I have to question just how convenient is it that ISIS took over the Syrian oil assets? Necessitating the US bombing  of that oil infrastructure?  The infrastructure that would be needed and used to construct and support this very hated pipeline? That surely worked out well for some parties, but, definitely not all parties- Iraq (under the had to go Maliki) Syria (under the has to go Assad) And Iran (next target of the US/Israeli/UK/Kurdish hitlist

So, is the US bombing ISIS oil?  No. 

Is the  US taking out the supply and infrastructure, that could have joined the Shiite led nations? Yes. 

Is the US taking out the assets that would have excluded Turkey, Qatar, Israel & the Kurdish petrol state? -Yes

A war strategy develops

Obama and his advisers, led by his special envoy, Gen. John Allen, have focused on five main lines of operation against the Islamic State: direct military action; counterterrorism operations against foreign fighters; disruption of financing; humanitarian assistance; and media activities to “de-legitimize” the extremists.

Military action is the centerpiece. The U.S. will lead air attacks on the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Perhaps more important, the U.S. will train and assist Iraqi forces and the amorphous Syrian “moderate opposition.” Obama wants most of the trainers to be overt, uniformed U.S. military personnel, operating under standard Title 10 legal procedures, rather than troops detailed to the CIA under Title 50 “covert action” authority. The White House believes the coalition will work better under these more transparent rules.Deja vu!
Throwing good money after bad, the US plans to do exactly that which they have done previously! Including using the same planners and trainers to do the job. What's the definition of insanity?
I actually do not consider them insane. The chaos only appears insane to people like me and you.
This planning worked for them and they are simply continuing what works. Cause if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
I will highlight the policy continuation and relink the posts that reference these very same past endeavours

Previous posts:

ISIS- A US created "stay behind" using Iraqs plundered wealth.

Al Qaeda + "Awakening Councils" = ISIS
“The Iraqis to be trained will include members of the existing military that collapsed so ignominiously in Mosul. The U.S. will also lead the training of about 10,000 Sunni “national guard” troops, drawn from tribal fighters. These Sunni forces will act as a local gendarmerie, to keep order in their home regions once Islamic State fighters have been cleared. Training camps are already under construction in Jordan and northern Iraq, and are expected to be ready in three to six months”

The U.S. military will also lead the training of Syrian forces, but this will take longer because the opposition there starts from a low base of readiness. The hope is that by sometime next year, a well-vetted force of at least 5,000 Syrians, trained in Saudi Arabia and other countries, will be ready. It will move into areas in southern and northern Syria where the Islamic State and al-Qaida affiliates are now dominant. The big Syrian ground battles may be a year away.Obama has tapped Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata to head the training mission. He's an Army special forces officer with many sensitive combat assignments, as well as a stint commanding U.S. military activities in Islamabad, Pakistan. Like Allen, a retired Marine who helped oversee the “Sunni Awakening” in Iraq, Nagata has experience in tribal cultures such as those where U.S. trainers will be operating.The same plan undertaken previously in Iraq. The same Sunni awakening groups. The same trainer. Expanded to Syria. Guaranteeing easier overthrows should they become necessary in the future.
As we saw with the recent pushing out of democratically elected Maliki, in Iraq, whose removal was  completed just a couple of months back. So we understand the terror states of US,Israel,UK are planning for the future- No incompetence. No blowback.

And while I am reveling in flashbacks, recall this?  ISIS seizes Saddam era chemical facility - US reassures . Just in case something happens...................

-Costs rack up in ISIS fight- Costs rack up in pipeline control wars
The United States launched nearly 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Islamic militant targets in Syria on Tuesday, each of which cost about $1.5 million to replace.

The military also used F-22s, F-16s and B-1 bombers to pound Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positions, which cost between $20,000 and $65,000 per flying hour.

The figures highlight how President Obama’s campaign against the terrorist network will have high fiscal costs for the nation.

The average cost of sending a single soldier to the region would be $1 million per year, Biddle said.

Even without putting boots on the ground, Adams estimates the fight against ISIS could cost between $15 to 20 billion annually — something he said was a conservative estimate.Bloomberg changed the headline to this article, I am leaving the url as it was originally published!
US drops, in one Arabian night, a month of bombs on Syria
The U.S. dropped almost as many bombs and missiles on Islamic State positions in Syria over the past two days as were used in the first month of attacks on the extremist group in IraqInteresting, no? Give us an interesting insight into the agenda

 - A very rare link over to commondreams- only because they mention Syrian civilian casualties and how much the besieged Syrians detest ISIS

Kurdish forces push back Islamic State in northern Syria

How do the Kurdish fighters keep doing it? ISIS allegedly moves in, Kurdish fighters also move in and very quickly secure the territory- Without the benefit of aerial bombings? This same scenario occured in Iraq.  Did ISIS just melt away when the Peshmerga and PKK fighters came to secure the territory that ISIS had so conveniently cleared for them?
“Although all ISIS positions and their heavy armaments, including tanks and armored vehicles around Kobani, are clear and within view for everyone on the front line, it is worth noting that these targets have not been bombed yet,” YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said.It's very symbiotic.

U.S., coalition forces hit oil refineries in Syria

Where are the environmental NGO’s? The protestors?  I read and hear nothing. Except for my own complaints. The silence from the usual mouthpieces is deafening!

Feds name 12 backers of terrorism in Syria and beyond

Shishani etcI find there number once choice so interesting. Especially since he is supposed to be dead. 
Ya know, killed by the Kurds?! If the Kurds really did kill him, the US/Israel crew would surely be aware. Of course, I didn't believe the Kurds had killed him- But, perhaps they helped relocate him?
With the help of Turkey. That seems to me to be the more plausible, logical explanation- He will show up back in Pankisi Gorge soon enough

One Khorasan leader dead?  And look at the connections?

U.S. missile strikes against an obscure al-Qaeda cell in Syria killed at least one of the group’s leaders, delivering what U.S. officials described as a significant but not decisive blow to a terrorist group accused of plotting attacks against Europe and the United States.“The Khorasan group” is the name U.S. intelligence uses to refer to dozens of al-Qaeda-
affiliated foreign fighters who have moved into Syria over the past two years from Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere in the region.U.S. officials said late Wednesday that American intelligence agencies had not confirmed reports that the leader of al-Qaeda’s Khorasan group, Mushin al-Fadhli, was the senior operative killed in the barrage of strikes west of AleppoAlthough Obama administration officials described the group as “nearing the execution phase” of a potentially major terrorist plot, other U.S. officials on Wednesday said there was no indication that it had selected targets, deployed operatives or otherwise set a specific plan in motion.Among the rebels, the foreigners are referred to as “Khorasani,” a reference from early Islamic texts to a geographic area primarily in western Afghanistan but also including parts of eastern Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The online magazine of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is called “Vanguards of Khorasan.”The administration’s use over the past week of the previously unknown “Khorasan group” label has puzzled some experts. “Jihadis themselves haven’t used it,” said Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism expert at the New America Foundation said he believes that “these are elements of the logistics network stood up” by al- Qaeda leaders some years ago “to move information back and forth between Iran and Afghanistan.”“Publicly,” Fishman said, “there hasn’t been a declaration or any indication that this is a separate organization” in Syria.I guess the US and company created a new brand for us all! Sweet! Imagine the marketing campaign?!
ISIS prisoners, won't go to Guantanamo
Likely due to the fact there won't be any ISIS prisoners

No worries for oil and gas- Amply supply is shielding the prices
Long article, but, good. Worth reading.

And for the commenter/s that suspect KSA is next on the hit list.....Two interesting items I came across just today

Video- ISIS points fingers at Saudi Arabia in Strikes
ISIS’s Ultimate Goal: Saudi Arabia’s Oil WellsSimilarly, IS knows that it will only feel secure once Saudi Arabia is part of the Caliphate, and its oil fields are under IS control — which is why the group has two logical next steps. First, to capture and secure the most important country in the Muslim world: Saudi Arabia.The authors dispute the widely believed notion that Saudi Arabia created IS and is funding it. “Saudi Arabia is not the source of ISIS — it’s the group’s primary target,” they write. Hmmmm... it didn't occur to me that ISIS was funded or created by KSA?
 I looked to US/UK/Israel.
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Is peace in the Ukraine possible?

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 23:27
by M.Khazin

translation by "G' of М.Хазин, "Может ли быть мир на Украине?"

The devaluation of the Ruble and the Yevtushenkov affair have so saturated our mass media that it would seem desirable to stand aside and address a more substantial theme. Namely; under what conditions can the Ukraine know peace? Not just any ‘peace’ but a peace without wholesale disintegration of the country into petty fiefdoms, without a bloodstained dictatorship, without ethnic cleansing and without genocide. In order to answer this question, it is necessary, above all, to look at Kiev and Donetsk.

They should be part of one state. However the 10s of thousands killed and the open exhortations to genocide which have been issued by the dominant political forces in Kiev (for example: the phrase ‘Russians, clear off back to Moscovy’, which is directed at people who are not only currently inhabiting Lugansk and Donetsk but who have lived there for centuries, could be considered, formally from the point of view of international legal norms to fit the definition of genocide and, without doubt, that of ethnic cleansing) render such ‘cohabitation’ within the framework of a usual state simply impossible. The people of Donetsk and Lugansk (we include the Odessa massacre, even though it differs, in part from the others ) will never relinquish their right to justice against those who are guilty of the massacre of civilians and, similarly, the Kievan nationalists are unlikely to stop uttering phrases of the sort: ‘ We’ve barbecued that [Colorado Beetle] bitch.’ or other such endearments.

In theory the only way that Kiev can go back to normal would be in the context of sustained economic growth. In that case it might be possible to brush the nationalist slogans back under the carpet and for everyone to benefit from the resultant financial in-flows, but here Kiev has fallen into a trap of its own making. It is a simple fact that economic growth is only possible in collaboration with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. There is simply no other option. There is not even any real perspective for the development of agriculture; one would just need look at the example of Bulgaria, where the climate is noticeably more clement than that in Ukraine. Ukraine finds it impossible to compete with Turkey. Once the European Union association agreement comes into force there will be no means of regulating the influx of Turkish agri-business and the only profitable way to engage in agriculture will be in a vegetable garden. It is sufficient to look at the example set in that neighbouring former Soviet state, Moldova.

Insofar as Kiev has adopted a radically anti-Russian model, the chances of growth in that country are precisely zero. The European Union has no money and judging by the way that the crisis is developing the prognosis is not positive, and even if we were to look, more optimistically, into the medium term at the global economic situation, the European Union is most likely to help out the Eastern European Countries and the Baltic States before it bails out Ukraine. Nothing personal, just business.

And this means that Kievan Nationalism is going nowhere. It has no choice as it will be impossible for it to maintain its grip on power otherwise. Moreover it has achieved some success insofar as the United States has enacted sanctions against Russia and coerced its allies in Europe and the wider world to do likewise. There is only one problem: For how long will they be willing to prosecute these sanctions for the sake of Ukraine? Kiev’s issues will continue to mount, insofar as the only way that it can deal with the growth of democratic sentiment in the South East (it is clear that the struggle is for freedom and democracy, regardless of how discordant that sounds from the point of view of the contemporary Western mass media) is by the use of military force. It is far from certain that this particular problem can be resolved by military force.

In summary we can say that, judging by the development of negative economic trends, the intensity of internal confrontation in Kiev will constantly grow. In turn those wishing to live under their guardianship will become fewer and fewer. The cohesion of the Ukrainian state will melt like snow in the heat of the summer sun. As that happens the state will become more and more aggressive So we expect to see a contradiction in answer to the question that we posed. Is it possible to establish peace in the Ukraine?

I intentionally have not referred in general to Ukrainian nationalists, rather specifically to Kievan Nationalists. The fact is that Galician Nationalists and Kievan Nationalists are not the same. The latter always had significant sources of income (be it the budget of the USSR, Ukraine etc.), however the former have been forced to be much more pragmatic. Furthermore they have been unable to understand that they cannot hold Kiev. This is because any government in Kiev, in correspondence to their stability, will in the first instance, fall not upon the Russians in the Donbass, but rather upon the genuine committed nationalists. Today this is what Poroshenko is doing. This was clear earlier and I wrote about this earlier in the year.

Rather than being an idea (which moreover is distinctly un-appealing to the EU), Nationalism for Kiev is an instrument. There is no requirement for committed nationalists. The requirement is for cynics, who are happy to articulate nationalists’ slogans in order to gain control over the budgetary and gas revenue flows. Thus, regarding the situation in recent months, committed nationalists(which for our purposes we shall name ‘Right Sector’) have come to look more and more seriously at breaking away from Kiev. Moreover, Kiev earlier distributed budgetary money to them (received from Donbass and other regions) and now there is no more budgetary money to distribute.

However Galicia by itself cannot breakaway from Kiev. Kiev, for whom the slogan (‘for the unity of the Ukraine’) has become totemic, will never agree to it. This means that, as well as the rebels in the Donbass, there is also appearing a new force, which is also interested in the collapse of the country. In this way, from the above, we can formulate the picture below of the future Ukraine.

Should the Rebels from the South-East reach an agreement with the Galician nationalists, then they will take power in Kiev. In that case, the insurgents, proponents of the former Soviet Union and the slogan ‘friendship of the Peoples’ will, through the creation of a multi-ethnic ethnic state, put an end to nationalism and re-establish peace in the Ukraine. Galicia, as it were, in gratitude for its assistance, would receive either independence, probably as part of a confederation or quite possibly full independence as a separate state. It is clearly difficult to imagine a state where in some schools they teach that Bandera is a fascist criminal and in others – that he is a hero. But that remaining part of the Ukraine will be a peaceful, unified state, entering, one would imagine the European Economic Area.

Should agreement not be reached and the insurgents not achieve victory (either by circumstance or by result of foreign intervention), then the intensifying confrontation in Kiev will inescapably lead to the break-up of the country into petty fiefdoms with a correspondingly low quality of life and norms of governance. At present we enumerate 5 of these; Novorossiya, Hetmanshina (Cossak, with Kiev as its capital), New Khazaria (under the control of the oligarch Kolomoiski) and Galicia. We also consider one more statelet, Transcarpathia which is likely to be dissected and integrated into neighbouring countries.

But nobody has said that the process of disintegration will stop there. Anyone who doubts it should read Bulgakov. The mentality of the people in the Ukraine has not significantly changed since then. It is difficult to even conceive how a normal man can live in these conditions.

If we believe that the best outcome is a united (that is relatively united, without either the Crimea or Galicia) Ukraine, a Ukraine which is peaceful and prosperous, it is essential that the insurgents take control of Kiev. Until this happens, the war will continue. Unfortunately, there is simply no way of stopping the war and preserving Ukraine until Kiev falls to the insurgents.
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Obama places Russia between the Ebola virus and international terrorism

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 13:31
Full speech here.
Video of speech here.

This is the except in which Russia and the Ukraine are mentioned:
(...)  Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge this post-war order. Here are the facts. After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt President fled. Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed. Russia poured arms into Eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands. When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days. When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.

This is a vision of the world in which might makes right – a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future.

These are simple truths, but they must be defended. America and our allies will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy. We will reinforce our NATO allies, and uphold our commitment to collective defense. We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and counter falsehoods with the truth. We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.

Moreover, a different path is available – the path of diplomacy and peace and the ideals this institution is designed to uphold. The recent cease-fire agreement in Ukraine offers an opening to achieve that objective. If Russia takes that path – a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people – then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges. That’s what the United States and Russia have been able to do in past years – from reducing our nuclear stockpiles to meet our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to cooperating to remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons. And that’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again—if Russia changes course
. (...)Basically, this is the same line as Poroshenko (which is really unsurprising since they used pretty much the same speechwriters).  The message to Russia is simple:"surrender or we will mobilize the entire planet against you".

Foreign Minister Lavrov commented: “As for the U.S. President’s speech, we earned the second place among the threats to international peace and stability: number one is the Ebola virus, number two is the so-called Russian aggression in Europe and ISIL and other terrorists who are now taking hold of the Middle East and primarily of the countries, which have evidenced U.S. interventions, are ranked as number three.

Feel the love :-)

The Saker
Categories: Blogroll feed

God's Finger and open thread

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 10:18
Today I am taking care of personal and administrative matters.  God willing, I should be back tomorrow.  I leave you with the latest artwork by Josetxo Ezcurra and an open thread.


The Saker

Categories: Blogroll feed

The Kurds: Israel's not so improbable ally

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 09:58
Interesting article from Standpoint magazine

Focusing on the history between the Khazars and the Kurds............
While Israel's relations with its neighbours remain deeply problematic, its ties with the Kurds have for years helped nurture a military force that has proved itself more resilient than the US-funded Iraqi army. For years Israel's relationship with the Kurds was kept secret, but gradually the issue has cropped up more and more in interviews in Israeli media and in academic reports.The Kurds constitute the world's largest stateless people. There are 30 million Kurds, mostly spread across Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey. They have been seeking a state of their own for centuries.Although the links between Jews and Kurds go back centuries, the substantive roots of the relationship go back to the 1930s, when a Jewish journalist stationed in the Kurdish part of Iraq and writing for the Palestine Bulletin began making contacts with local activists.Years later, that journalist, Reuven Shiloah, became the first director of Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency.By the early 1960s, following the outbreak of the Kurdish rebellion against the Iraqi Ba'ath party's Arabisation policies, Molla Mustafa Barzani, father of the current Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, held talks with Israeli officialsThese meetings were facilitated by Savak, the Shah of Iran's notorious intelligence service, whose agents had been trained by Israel, the US and the UK.These days, the Israeli officials involved in those talks paint the relationship as a marriage of convenience that somehow blossomed into a love story. But in reality, realpolitik demanded cooperation. Israeli cooperation with the Kurds was motivated by the fact that Iraq had been an enemy state since Israel's founding in 1948. The ability to gather intelligence from inside Iraq was too good to pass up.More broadly, cooperation with the Kurds was part of Israel's general foreign policy direction during the 1950s, the principles of which were articulated well before the establishment of Israel by its future leader, David Ben-Gurion. The Arabs were "the primary enemy of the Zionist movement", wrote Ben-Gurion in the 1930s, and in order to counter-balance this, Israel would need to form other allies from among those who oppose "Arab nationalism".Ben-Gurion also deemed it important to make allies from those minorities who had been oppressed by the Arabs. After 1948, his ideas evolved into policies, as Israel sought allegiances with non-Arab countries which bordered the Arab world — Iran, Turkey, Ethiopia — as well as those beyond, including countries in Asia and Africa. The Kurds fitted the criteria.For Israel, one of the other key benefits of co-operation with the Kurds was the human link. As a result of the relationship, Israel was able to ensure the safe passage of several thousand Jews fleeing Iraq. Meanwhile in Israel more than 100,000 Kurdish Jews pressured the government to help their brethren and relatives.I have always come away with a feeling of  the concept of the Kurds as a stateless people, being contrived, in the same way as the Jews were alleged to be stateless and in need of a theocratic state just for them. The Kurds are NOT stateless. They live in a number of states. Iraq. Iran. Syria. Turkey. So they are not stateless. I find the claims of them being 'stateless' suspect and convenient for the creation of a new nation state from the destruction or theft of others. Everything I read, just reinforces that suspicion. Of course, I could be mistaken....
Professor Ofra Bengio of Tel Aviv University, an expert on Israeli-Kurdish relations, notes in a recent article for Middle East Quarterly that military supplies were delivered from the late 1950s. In the early 1960s, a permanent Israeli representative was dispatched to Kurdish Iraq. A field hospital was tentatively established. As relations increased, so did military cooperation. Weapons supplies, ranging from small arms and ammunition to anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, began streaming into the region, often through Iran which, together with Turkey, was the first Muslim majority state to recognise Israel when it was established and continued being a close ally until 1979.In time, Israel also began providing military training to the Kurds, and helped establish Kurdish intelligence cells, information which proved very useful for strategic planners in Jerusalem. But in 1975 disaster struck, in the form of political betrayal. Saddam Hussein, then Iraq's vice-president, reached an agreement with the Shah of Iran which put an end to Iran's arming of the Kurds and by extension to Israel's, as the latter relied on the Iranian land route for transport. The Kurdish rebellion was halted. Iran's reasons for agreeing were that Baghdad promised to define the international border between the two neighbouring countries — who less than six years later would become embroiled in a long and bloody war."The Shah had sold the Kurds out, like Chamberlain in Munich," said Eliezer Tzafrir, the Mossad bureau chief in Iraqi Kurdistan, who was left with just hours to make a hurried getaway. "We were in a big hurry to burn papers," Tzafrir recalled in a recent interview with the US magazine Tablet. "I had to get out of there before the Iraqi army turned me into a kebab."Whether Israel's support of the Kurds stopped completely in 1975 and when exactly it resumed is not clear. But in 2005 Sargis Mamikonian, a scholar at the Caucasian Centre for Iranian Studies in Yerevan, Armenia, wrote that information provided by Savak and from Kurdish sources may have furnished Israel with intelligence used to carry out one of its most daring missions — to destroying Iraq's nuclear reactor."It is plausible to conclude that Israeli intelligence, thanks to its contacts with Kurdish sources and former Savak agents, had obtained valuable location and identification data (although aerial reconnaissance was more important in this particular case) for the Iraqi Tammuz-1 nuclear reactor at Osirak, which the Israeli Air Force bombed in June 1981," wrote Mamikonian.Such cooperation turned to ashes following the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the ousting of the Shah. In a grand role reversal, the Kurdish territories of Iraq and Turkey may have been used to conduct operations in the newly-established Islamic State of Iran, notes Mamikonian, citing papers from the US embassy in Tehran.Israel's cooperation with the Kurds in other countries also proved problematic after 1979. The Kurdish guerrilla leader Abdullah Öcalan fled from the Turkish authorities and was granted asylum by the then president of Syria, Hafez al-Assad. Öcalan allied himself closely with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, which was at the time in a state of war with Israel. Even if Öcalan had proved to be amenable to Israeli overtures, Turkey — at the time a close ally of Israel — regarded Öcalan's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as its number one enemy.After 1979, Israel was largely unable to cultivate open relations with Kurds in Iran and Syria. The Israeli-Kurdish ties had remained a well-kept secret until 1980, when Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin openly declared that Israel was supplying the Kurds with military advisers, weapons systems and humanitarian aid.The next known major manifestation of the ties at the human level came a decade later, following Saddam Hussein's brutal crushing of Kurdish uprisings in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Saddam's chemical weapons attacks killed thousands, and Israel's Kurdish community launched protests, demonstrations and relief operations for their brethren in Iraq.

For a short while, the Kurds and Israelis even faced missiles from the same source when both were subject to Saddam Hussein's attacks, just before and during the First Gulf War in 1991. The missiles were deflected from Israel's economic and business capital Tel Aviv by the prematurely operationalised American Patriot system and hit the nearby town of Ramat Gan instead. The irony escaped no one: Ramat Gan boasts a large Iraqi population, which led many wryly to conclude that Saddam Hussein was once again bombing his own people.Since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent establishment of a de facto Kurdish state, relations between Israel and the Kurds have become easier and more open. Writing in the New Yorker, the well-known American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that he was told that in 2003 the Israeli government, under the premiership of Ariel Sharon, decided to expand "its long-standing relationship with Iraq's Kurds and established a significant presence on the ground in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan", in order to "minimise the damage that the war was causing to Israel's strategic position".

As a result extensive ties have flourished, Hersh maintains, with Israel training Kurdish forces to operate to the level of its most secretive commando units, the Mistaravim. "Some Israeli operatives have crossed the border into Iran, accompanied by Kurdish commandos, to install sensors and other sensitive devices that primarily target suspected Iranian nuclear facilities," wrote Hersh. He then quoted a former Israeli officer as saying: "Look, Israel has always supported the Kurds in a Machiavellian way — as balance against Saddam. It's realpolitik." He added: "By aligning with the Kurds, Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran, Iraq, and Syria."

Although Hersh's claims have been vociferously denied by Israeli officials, Kurdish leaders have come out publicly to confirm the existence of a relationship with Israel. In 2005, the Kurdish regional government president Massoud Barzani stated publicly: "Relations between the Kurds and Israel is not a crime since many Arab countries have ties with the Jewish state."  Three years later, the Iraqi president and head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Jalal Talabani, shook hands with the then Israel defence minister Ehud Barak.

In recent years, the Middle East has undergone dramatic changes, from the Syrian civil war to  the recent spread of the radical jihadist Islamic State in the region, which have indirectly resulted in the Iraqi Kurds gaining a wider independence for the Kurdish state. In Syria, the Kurds, for the first time in the country's history, have created a Kurdish-controlled area.

Developments have been even more dramatic in Iraq. In June 2014, the Iraqi army was chased out of the Sunni-held area of Iraq by the oncoming IS militants, who quickly took over the country's second biggest city, Mosul. More than 300,000 refugees from Mosul and beyond have fled to the Kurdish region. At the same time the Iraqi Kurds managed to gain control of and begin administering the oil-rich Kirkuk region.

Even before the rise of IS, neighbouring countries had been quick to identify business and economic opportunities. After IS appeared, this expanded into other areas. "These states' pragmatism and realism had told them that the spectre of another non-Arab, non-Turkish and non-Persian entity in the region pales against the real dangers emanating from their Arab and Sunni brethren," wrote Professor Bengio.

"Paradoxically enough, the country that went the farthest in embracing the Kurdish entity was also the one that had been the most vociferous against it: Turkey, which has become the midwife for a Kurdish state in Iraq with oil and gas as foundations for a strategic partnership that Turkey seems to see as a stabilising force on its own borders," Bengio noted in a recent article in Tablet.

In June 2014, Turkey agreed an unprecedented 50-year deal with Kurdistan in order to allow the passage of two oil pipelines and one gas pipeline through its territory, enabling the independent export of energy. In June, crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was delivered to Israel, and there are reports of a further delivery in August.

In the same month, Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu openly declared his support for an independent Kurdish state. "We need to support the Kurdish aspiration for independence. They deserve it," he said. Israel's then president Shimon Peres and foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman have also reportedly raised the issue in meetings with President Barack Obama and secretary of state John Kerry.

While the Iraqi army proved itself to be merely a "hollow shell", the Kurdish military force, the peshmerga, with more than 350,000 troops, has proven itself to be "a vastly more capable partner", says Dr Jonathan Spyer, senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzlia. "That is why so many countries are now queuing up to try and supply the peshmerga with arms, because they think that if someone has to try and stop the continued eastern advance of the Islamic State, then the peshmerga would be a good candidate for that."

While Baghdad sweats over IS fighters carving up its territory, new shopping malls sparkle in Erbil as international businesses continue to flock to the region's de facto capital. A referendum may soon follow. Describing a recent trip to the Kurdish region in Iraq, Dr Spyer notes "an inevitable sense of moving towards [a referendum] that was almost palpable and tangible". Regardless of the outcome, Israel seems set to continue to play a role behind the scenes.

Despite the recent setbacks occasioned by IS, most notably in the crisis around Mount Sinjar, for the first time the Kurds have achieved self-determination in two out of the four states in which they are present .

The quick-moving sands of the Middle East have shifted once again. Now Turkey and Israel stand once again at odds with one another, the Iraqi government is an Iranian proxy, and the US and Iran appear to be edging closer together. Out of the rubble of devastation in the region we may yet witness the birth of a Kurdish state, to which Israel has been a helpful, if self-interested, midwife.
Categories: Blogroll feed

US defends inexcusable airstrikes in letter to UN- no concern for climate change?

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:12
The Nobel peace prize winning- planet loving, environmentally concerned President and his sick sidekick at the UN have no qualms about destroying the environment when it comes to making war.

Deal with the cognitive dissonance that has taken hold of your mind. Obama doesn't care about the environment- He is not a peace president. A spell has been cast upon you. Break it!
Stop believing the lies you are spoon fed and look at the reality.
Witness the lies of the war whores, humanity crushers, soul destroyers and environment destroyers

US Ambassador to the UN says Syrian regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront ISIS safe havens effectively
The United States told the United Nations on Tuesday it led airstrikes against ISIS militants in Syria because President Bashar Al Assad’s government had failed to wipe out safe havens used by the group to launch attacks on Iraq.No thanks to the US/Israel and company
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power wrote: “The Syrian regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront these safe havens effectively itself.”No thanks to the US/Israel and company
The strikes were needed to eliminate a threat to Iraq, the United States and its allies, she wrote, citing Article 51 of the UN Charter, which covers an individual or collective right to self-defence against armed attack. “States must be able to defend themselves ... when, as is the case here, the government of the state where the threat is located is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory for such attacks,” Power wrote in the letter obtained by Reuters. No thanks to the US/Israel and company
“Accordingly, the United States has initiated necessary and proportionate military actions in Syria in order to eliminate the ongoing threat to Iraq,” she wrote, adding that action was taken also against Al Qaeda elements in Syria known as Khorasan to address terrorist threats that they pose to the United States and our partners and allies.” Lies
Ban circulated the letter to the UN Security Council, diplomats said. Under Article 51, the 15-member body must immediately be informed of any action that states take in self-defence against armed attack.Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told Reuters on Tuesday that Power informed him in person of imminent US and Arab airstrikes against ISIS targets on Syrian territory on Monday hours beforehand.Ja’afari said: “We’re in close coordination with Iraq.” The US mission confirmed that Power had informed Ja’afari.Power wrote in her letter to Ban on Tuesday that the Iraqi government asked the United States “to lead international efforts to strike ISIS sites and military strongholds in Syria in order to end the continuing attacks on Iraq.”I see, so it was Iraq that requested the US act on it's behalf ? Sure!
Ban told reporters on Tuesday that ISIS militants pose a serious threat to international peace and security, echoing language that the UN Security Council has used in the past to greenlight military interventions.Ban Ki Moon war monger, fresh of his stint as environmental preacher advocates for more destruction of people, of the environment. All good for big oil, banks and the military industrial complex-
“I’m aware that today’s strikes were not carried out at the direct request of the Syrian government but I note that the government was informed beforehand,” he said.
“I also note that the strikes took place in areas no longer under the effective control of that government,” he added. “It is undeniable and the subject of broad international consensus that these extremist groups pose an immediate threat to international peace and security.”
Problem, reaction, solution
Categories: Blogroll feed

While the "MANHUNT" For Eric Frein Is Going On, How Many Citizens Have The Cops Murdered?

bigdanblogger - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 20:42
Have you seen this man...on your lottery machine???

We all know the Pennsylvania State Police are searching for Eric Frein whom they accuse of shooting two Pennsylvania State Policemen, killing one of them. But while the "MANHUNT" for Eric Frein is going on, how many citizens in that time period have police murdered, beaten, tazed, and brutalized and how many Constitutional laws have the police broken while doing their "MANHUNT"?

(I will update this post DAILY, as police murder citizens DAILY, as long as this "MANHUNT" is going on. There is a "MANHUNT" on for Eric Frein, accused of shooting 2 Pennsylvania State Policemen, killing one. Keep in mind, this has not been proven and Eric Frein has not seen a court of law. It seems since 911, everyone is tried in the media, not in court. Keep in mind, THESE ARE ONLY RECENT POLICE MURDERING CITIZENS STORIES GOING ON ONLY WHILE THIS MANHUNT FOR ERIC FREIN IS GOING ON. I'm not posting any stories beyond about the last 2 weeks. YES...police are out of control.)

Watch for this: whenever cops shoot unarmed citizens, they literally get away with murder when they say one of the following:




- I THOUGHT HE HAD WHAT LOOKED LIKE A GUN AND HE WAS GOING FOR ITI believe we are at a point in history with the HIGHEST HATRED OF COPS by citizens. I have never seen so many people say they are GLAD when a cop gets shot. In fact, in my life I've never seen ANYBODY until recently say they were glad a cop got shot. And I have never seen so many people in my life side with the cop-shooter, no questions asked.

Whose fault is this? It's the POLICE's fault! Look at all these posts of police brutality and murder of American citizens. Of course people are going to hate cops. What else would you expect? Add to it the MILITARIZATION of the police, which is unconstitutional. There is no doubt the highest percentage of U.S. citizens HATE COPS is right now.

Question to police: DO YOU REALLY WANT U.S. CITIZENS TO HATE YOU? If you DON'T, then stop giving U.S. citizens REASONS to hate you. And I'm talking about LAW ABIDING citizens hating you, as well as criminals who have always hated you. Do you REALLY want law-abiding citizens SIDING WITH THE CRIMINALS? You have yourself to blame.

Question to the wives and families of police: do you really want law abiding citizens hating cops more and more by the day? Do you really want law abiding citizens siding with the "bad guys" instead of the cops more and more each day? Then you better have a talk with your husband/brother/father/relative/friend who is a policeman.

The days of beloved town cops that everyone knows and who treat citizens like there friends are OVER. And it's the POLICE's fault.

WATCH: Cops pummel man in traffic stop in video that contradicts official story

California man shot to death by police while outside smoking, checking Facebook

Police Shoot and Kill Man Just 5 Minutes After He Makes a Cheerful Post on Facebook

Witnesses: Officer stepped back, gunned down California man outside liquor store

New Hampshire grandma shot by cops after reaching for infant during DEA raid

Florida Deputies Gun Man Down as His Son Tries to Explain that He’s Deaf

Man Shoots at Intruders, Turns Out it was a No-Knock Raid. Now He Faces the Death Penalty

Police Chief Asked Medical Examiner to Change Autopsy Report To Match Officer Testimony, He Does

Pittsburgh cops Tased man while he was praying for his dead son in ER: lawsuit

Cops tell unarmed man at gas station to get his license, when he reaches in the car for his license, they shoot him, then while he's lying shot, they tell him "put your hands behind your back", and, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, "seat belt violation"


In America a Cop Can Beat a Student to a Pulp, Be Convicted for it, then Have it Magically Disappear: “If they can get away with beating me up on national TV for doing nothing, it really makes me scared for what’s going to happen to those in a dark alley when the cameras aren’t shining.”

EXCUSE ME...but when someone shoots a cop (Eric Frein) there's a "MANHUNT", 24x7 media blitz, I see Frein's picture on the lottery ticket machine, can't turn on the radio without hearing about it, schools closed, constitutional rights suspended.....

In August, US police killed 104 people nationwide, according to a compendium of local press reports compiled by volunteers on Wikipedia. Dozens more have been killed in the first half of September alone as the wave of police violence continued.

Do you think of THIS anymore when you think of cops:

.......or this:

The history of police militarization in the US in 12 minutes:

These are just the latest police murdering citizens stories only while this "MANHUNT" for Eric Frein is going on. If you want to check out MORE police brutality, go to these websites:

Police State USA

Free Thought Project

Chris Cantwell

This is pretty hardcore, but Chris Cantwell is hardcore about how much he hates cops and how much they are out of control. Read this, see if you agree with it:

Chris Cantwell: PA Troopers Got Off Easy


Queen of the FAKE Bin Laden videos Rita Katz/SITE is the "source" for the fake ISIS "beheading" usual

Speaking of cops murdering unarmed civilians:

You Can Be Assured That Agent Provocateurs Are "LOOTING" And Throwing "MOLOTOV COCKTAILS" In Ferguson

Categories: Blogroll feed

Time To Take Their Toys Away (UPDATED September 24)

freedominourtime - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 17:29

Yes, this is how we live now: Ada County SWAT arrests a man for "disturbing the peace."

When Daniel Webster warned that there will always be men who “promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters,” he most likely had in mind people like Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney. 
Ironically, Webster’s brand of nationalism would have harmonized with Raney’s federal supremacist view of law enforcement, in which local police and sheriffs are duty-bound to carry out policies ordained by the central government, even when doing so pits them against the populations they supposedly serve. Not surprisingly, Raney is an ardent drug warrior, a proponent of civilian disarmament, and a stout defender of police militarization.
In June 2013, as nearly all of Idaho’s 44 sheriffs publicly pledged not to enforce any new federal anti-gun measures, Raney used an op-ed column in the Idaho Statesman to lecture the public that the Constitution’s “supremacy clause” means that “every state shall abide by the laws passed by our Congress.” Raney accused his colleagues in Idaho and neighboring states of being “indulgent” toward their misinformed constituents and “making hollow promises to protect you from the intrusions of the federal government.”
If and when Washington decrees that the helotry must be disarmed, Raney – while emitting great gusts of mournful reluctance, no doubt – would carry out the mission, displaying the same devotion to duty exhibited by his 19th Century predecessors as they enforced the Fugitive Slave Act: “[D]espite the fact that I personally oppose some of the gun control measures currently under consideration, my oath requires me to uphold the laws that are passed by our federal and state representatives.”

In carrying out that mission, Raney would certainly make use of the hardware transferred to his department by the Pentagon under the 1033 program. That prospect is obvious to observant Gem State residents, whose concerns prompted Raney to disgorge another op-ed column to assure local residents that his department has taken note of public concerns regarding police militarization.
Raney’s op-ed was published in the wake of the militarized police rampage in Ferguson, Missouri, during which the police focused their attention on protesters, while looters were left free to pillage local businesses. He admitted that the behavior of police officials in Ferguson was “abysmal,” and criticized them for responding to public protests “like a military unit defending Fallujah.” 
Here Raney makes dishonest use of an expression that has become a cliché: No American military unit ever “defended” Fallujah; the defenders of that city were the ones shooting at the armored vehicles carrying an unwelcome foreign army of occupation. Raney’s linguistic subterfuge here is significant, because the language of his op-ed column is that of an occupier striving to win the “hearts and minds” of the subject population. 
The real problem with what happened in Ferguson, from Raney’s point of view, is that it incited public disapproval of the Pentagon’s weapon-transfer program.

“The events in Ferguson have … called into question the militarization of police across the country and led the media to report local stories about that concern,” observed Raney or, more likely, his ghostwriter. “Here in Treasure Valley, law enforcement agencies have been given armored vehicles and other equipment.” 
The actions of militarized police in Ferguson shouldn’t disturb residents of Boise and the surrounding cities: “This is Ada County where we use those tools to keep people safe,” Raney insists, echoing assurances offered by kindred officials elsewhere – including Ferguson, Missouri. 
The real issue, Raney concludes, is “communication” – which for him and others of his ilk is a process in which the public dutifully takes dictation from its self-appointed overseers, accepts their pronouncements uncritically, and celebrates their wisdom and restraint in exercising their power over us. 
Harboring or expressing dissenting views displays “ignorance” – a word Raney used just a few days later in  an interview with Boise’s CBS affiliate while denouncing a proposed bill that would place the most modest imaginable restrictions on the transfer of military hardware to the police. 
The measure, which is co-sponsored by Idaho Republican Congressman Raul Labrador and Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson, is grandly entitledthe “Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.” If enacted, the bill would forbid transfer of some battlefield-grade offensive weaponry to police departments, such as armed drones and combat-configured aircraft. Most of its provisions would merely tighten up the bookkeeping involved in Pentagon transfers. The most laudable element of the bill would remove a requirement that agencies receiving those assets use them within a year – a provision that creates a perverse incentive for unnecessary paramilitary operations by police. 
Rep. Labrador describes the bill as an effort to re-draw the “clear line between the military and civilian policing.” 
Just days after appearing to concede that police in Ferguson had behaved like an occupying army, Raney sneered that the Labrador-Johnson bill “is bred out of ignorance.”“I wish that the congressman would have talked to his constituency, and asked us here in law enforcement: how do you use that?” Raney complained. “This is something that helps keep our deputies, our officers, and our troopers safe. The military equipment many times can save taxpayers money. It’s not something to be afraid of.” 
Labrador’s mistake, apparently, was listening to those who are being plundered through taxation, not enriched by it. Such people are not his “constituency,” according to Raney, and their concerns aren’t worthy of the congressman’s attention. 
At this point it’s worth remembering Raney’s resolute statement that he would “uphold the laws that are passed by our federal and state representatives,” even if those enactments require the disarmament of the citizenry. The sheriff can countenance the idea of being commanded to confiscate guns from the public, but condemns congressional action to place negligible restrictions on his ability to get combat-grade hardware from the Pentagon.
Similar disapproval dripped from an op-ed published by Idaho Statesman editorial page editor Robert Ehlert. In the fashion of an “exhorter” following a circuit-riding preacher, Ehlert reiterated the main points made in Raney’s column, while heaping scorn on any stiff-necked unbelievers who persisted in thinking for themselves. 
“I have no problem with Treasure Valley law enforcement agencies accessing these tools,” writes Ehlert. “I like the fact that the Ada County sheriff and Boise Police Department…have used their equipment responsibly.” Ehlert’s unqualified approval of Raney and his comrades contrasted with his frigid disdain for those who spread “suspicion about this equipment when we have no record of abuse in Idaho.” 

Despite the assurance with which he pontificates on our local problems, Ehlert only arrived in the Gem State in April 2013. A little less than twenty years earlier a heavily militarized law enforcement contingent tried to annihilate an entire family at Ruby Ridge. One of the assailants, FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi, murdered a nursing mother by shooting her in the head while she held her infant. 
In February 2013 – just a few weeks before the much-traveled “journalist” Ehlert was hired by the Statesman, a SWAT team terrorized an entire apartment complex in Caldwell during a midnight no-knock raid that was carried out on the basis of an unsubstantiated claim – made by a woman with a criminal record– that one resident had “threatened” her. David and Connie Johnson, whose home was the first to be invaded, were thrown to the ground and cuffed at gunpoint – despite the fact that the raiders had kicked in the wrong door, and none of the victims residing in the apartment resembled the suspect. 

Michael Gibbons and Marcella Cruz didn’t receive the full-fledged SWAT treatment during the illegal raid of their home in Letha, Idaho in August 2012. They nonetheless were menaced by Gem County Sheriff’s Deputies clad in body armor and carrying assault rifles. 
Marcella was assaulted by Detective Rich Perecz, and left with bruises across the left side of her body. Michael was forced to kneel with gun barrels trained at the back of his head while the deputies – along with Sheriff Chuck Rolland – conducted an illegal search of the couple’s home.
This raid was supposedly carried out because of an anonymous (and maliciously false) report of “domestic violence,” which would have justified a brief and unobtrusive “welfare check.” The military posture was deemed necessary because Michael Gibbons had been politically profiled as a “constitutionalist.”

I grant that it may be unfair to expect someone who helps edit a newspaper to stay abreast of local news, but Ehlert really should have been aware that on August 12 a SWAT team was deployed in Caldwell in an effort to apprehend a single suspected gang member, who escaped and was subsequently arrested through less dramatic means
Six days later, the oh-so-responsible Boise/Ada County SWAT team was deployed in an MRAP to arrest a man suspected of pointing a gun at a pedestrian. This raid, which took place late in the evening, resulted in an arrest on a single misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace, which is the sort of thing that happens when police carry out a military-style raid at midnight.
On August 26, another midnight SWAT deployment took place just a few blocks from my home in Payette.The target was a 37-year-old man named Billy Palmer. According to the Incident Report, Palmer was the subject of warrants in nearby Malheur County, Oregon for “Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer” and “reckless driving” – neither of which is a violent felony. His previous record in Idaho consisted of a single $47.00 speeding citation. 
What apparently happened is that Palmer, seeking to avoid a traffic stop in Oregon, slipped across the Snake River – only to find himself on the receiving end of a midnight SWAT raid.
The Payette Police received an anonymous tip that Palmer had rented a room in a local motel and that he might have a gun.  Rather than staking out the facility and waiting to arrest the less-than-menacing fugitive in a low-key fashion, the SWAT team was deployed. A spotlight was directed into Palmer’s room, and a PA system was used to order Palmer to surrender. When Palmer declined to do so, the SWAT team stormed the room and took him into custody without other violence. Although Palmer was unarmed a rifle and a single box of ammunition was found in his vehicle. 
This is a case in which Mayberry-level misconduct provoked a Fallujah-style response. Although it may seem trivial to statist scribes like Ehlert, overkill of this kind is abusive, commonplace, and representative of the gratuitous militarization of routine warrant service that results from the “use it or lose it” provision of the 1033 program. 
Ehlert and the newspaper that employs him were directly implicated in at least one criminal abuse of power by Sheriff Raney – the exploitation of legally protected personal information in an FBI file to retaliate against one of the sheriff’s political rivals, former State Rep. Mark Patterson. 
In early 2013, Rep. Patterson proposed legislation that would make it a misdemeanor for an Idaho peace officer to enforce federal gun confiscation measures. Raney, as head of the Idaho Sheriffs Association, opposed that bill, warning legislators that it would imperil federal agreements permitting police and sheriffs to conduct “asset forfeiture” operations.
After the measure was defeated, Patterson sent a letter to  Raney demanding information on the sheriff’s potentially illegal lobbying efforts against a gun rights bill he opposed. The following day Raney sent notice to Patterson announcing the revocation of his concealed weapon license, claiming that Patterson had lied on his application by failing to disclose a withheld judgment on a felony charge nearly 40 years ago.
The news of the CWL revocation, along with privileged information from Patterson’s NCIC background check, were leaked to Dan Popkey, who at the time was a reporter at the Statesman. (He has since been hired as a press spokesman, ironically, by Rep. Labrador.) Both the retaliatory use of the FBI information, and its provision to the Statesman, were criminal acts committed either by Raney or someone in his office. (I have previously examined this story in greater detail.)  Playtime for the privileged: BSU coaches get their SWAT freak on. A withheld judgment is not a conviction, and once a term of probation ends the charge is expunged from the individual’s criminal record (although a residual record is still available through the NCIC system). An Idaho resident subject to a withheld judgment who applies for a CWL is eligible to receive one, and is not legally required to disclose the matter in any case. This was made clear by the Idaho Attorney General’s office in response to an inquiry by State Rep. Judy Boyle. Sheriff Raney reacted to Boyle’s inquiry by filing a spurious ethics complaint against her and publicly accusing her of criminal behavior.
This criminal misuse of protected information in a federal database to carry out an East German-style act of political retaliation revealed that Raney has the disposition of a commissar, which amply justifies public misgivings about allowing him to have access to Pentagon-provided war-fighting equipment. This conclusion is buttressed by a less grievous – but, in a way, more aggravating – abuse that took place earlier this year.

In late August, the Boise State University football team proudly released a video showing its coaching staff participating in a “team-building exercise” with the Ada County SWAT team. 

The clip depicted Coach Bryan Harsin (who, as the beneficiary of a five-year, $7.5 million contract, is the highest-paid employee of the Idaho state government) and his staff being ferried to a training site in an armored vehicle, followed by simulated gunfire and flash-bang explosions.

Granted, no injuries resulted from that episode, apart from the routine plunder involved in all government operations. This little cosplay exercise underscores the fact that SWAT operators see their presents from the Pentagon as toys, rather than tools – and they should be taken away before more innocent people get hurt. 

                                                         Update: As if to prove my point...

... Ada Metro SWAT carried out a raid at a yard sale in Meridian on September 22.

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David Cameron to recall Parliament- strikes in Iraq? Or mostly Syria

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 17:04
Rather then updating an already lengthy post, I started anew-
US/Israel & GCC nations strike Syria- Khorasan and Updates David Cameron- strikes on Syria, cause let's face it the strikes in Iraq have been mostly for show. Once the regime change was taken care of in Iraq. Syria was going to be the target.
This news ties in quite nicely with a comment from Marie, earlier today

September 23, 2014 at 8:20 AM
Hi Penny

I am greatly saddened by the news. It was inevitable, as we say. I must tell you that the president of Cyprus (who is by all accounts in the pockets of the US) went to the UK and then on to NY to meet Joe Biden AND John Kerry AND elSisi, then onto the UN for the meeting. It seems obvious he was told (yesterday) that Akrotiri British base was about to be used. We're told that the US Vice President will visit here very soon for the first time ever....this is all bad news..image borrowed from here
Parliament could be recalled as soon as Friday to authorise Britain’s participation in air strikes against Isis militants in Iraq, it has emerged. David Cameron is due to meet the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, at the fringes of the United Nations meeting in New York on Wednesday. Downing Street sources said they expect Mr Abadi to request UK assistance for air strikes against Isis in his country. The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, has strongly hinted that British involvement might be extended to air strikes in Syria. “The government of Iraq is entitled to argue that it is under attack from Isil [Isis] forces in Syria or coming from Syria,” he told The Spectator. “Iraq is under attack not just from terrorists inside its own borders but it is under attack from terrorists in the north of Syria and if Syria continues to be unwilling or unable to deal with Isil then at least the question arises as to whether we shouldn’t assist Iraq in doing so.” He added: “I hope Parliament now will have the courage shown by our armed forces already, [and] will  have the mental strength to take on this challenge, but we’ll see.”
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