Damascus – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—along with certain Arab League countries, plus Turkey and Israel, have this past week reportedly committed themselves to raising nearly $6 billion to “beef up” the just-hatched Islamic Front (IF) in Syria. These “best friends of America” want the Obama administration to sign onto a scheme to oust the Syrian government by funding, arming, training, facilitating and generally choreographing the movement of fighters of this new front, a front formed out of an alliance of seven putatively “moderate” rebel factions.
Representatives of Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan reportedly told staff members on Capitol Hill that committing several billions to defeat the Assad regime by supporting the IF makes fiscal sense and will cost much less than the six trillion dollar figure tallied by the recent study by Brown University as part of its Costs of War project. According to the 2013 update of the definitive Brown study, which examined costs of the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the total amount for all three topped six trillion dollars. This never before released figure includes costs of direct and indirect Congressional appropriations, lost equipment, US military and foreign contractors fraud, and the cost of caring for wounded American servicemen and their families.
Among the Islamist militia joining the new GCC-backed coalition are Aleppo’s biggest fighting force, Liwa al-Tawhid (Tawhid Brigade), the Salafist group Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Sham, al-Haq Brigades, Ansar al-Sham and the Islamic Army, which is centered around Damascus. The Kurdish Islamic Front also reportedly joined the alliance.
IF’s declared aim is to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, whatever the human and material cost it may require, and replace it with an “Islamic state.” Abu Firas, the new coalition’s spokesman, declared that “we now have the complete merger of the major military factions fighting in Syria.”
Formally announced on 11/22/13, the IF includes groups from three prior umbrella organizations: the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), and the Kurdish Islamic Front (KIF). From the SIF, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya (HASI), Kataib Ansar al-Sham, and Liwa al-Haqq all joined, as did the KIF as a whole, and former SILF brigades Suqur al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, and Jaish al-Islam. None of these groups have been designated foreign terrorist organizations by the US, and therefore, as an Israeli official argued in a meeting with AIPAC and Congress this week, nothing stands in the way of US funding and support for them. The Israeli official in question is the country’s new national security advisor, Yossie Cohen, who assures key congressional leaders that the tens of thousands of rebels making up the IF will all support “one policy and one military command.” Cohen also pledges that the new group is not as “insane” as other Muslim militia—Daash or al-Nusra or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for instance—that comprise the IF’s chief rivals. Cohen and AIPAC are further telling Congress members and congressional staffers that the emergence of the IF is one of the war’s most important developments, and he vows that the new organization in effect brings seven organizations into a combined force that will fight under one command, a force estimated by the CIA to number at around 75,000 fighters. Reportedly the objective will link the fight in the north with that in the south in a manner that will stretch loyalist forces, and the Saudi-Israel team is also asking the Obama Administration to more than double the monthly “graduation class” of CIA-trained rebels in Turkey, Syria and Jordan—from its current level of 200 per month, up to 500 a month.
What the GCC/Arab League/Israeli team is asking of its western allies (meaning of course mainly the US) is to immediately fund the IF to the tune of $ 5.5 billion. This, Israeli security officials argue, is pocket change compared to the $6 trillion spent in US terrorist wars of the past decade. Plus it will have the presumed “benefit” of toppling the Assad regime and truncating Iran’s growing influence. The plan has reportedly been dismissed by some in the Obama administration as “risible and pathetic.” Nonetheless, Tel Aviv, the US Congressional Zionist lobby, and to a lesser extent Ankara, are pressing ahead under the assumption that linking with the IF now makes sense and that they can take their chances will al-Qaeda later. Ironically these are some of the same voices from AIPAC’s Congressional Team who four years ago were claiming that al-Qaeda was “on the ropes and will soon collapse.” Yet they are optimistic that if Assad goes, “we can deal with the terrorists and it won’t cost six trillion dollars.”
One House member who strongly agrees with AIPAC is Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who recently declared that “in my heart I am a Tea Party guy.” A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter believes the US should use nuclear weapons against Tehran. In a Fox TV interview this week he declared his opposition to any talks with Iran, insisting that US policy should include a “massive aerial bombardment campaign” utilizing “tactical nuclear devices” to set Iran “back a decade or two or three.”
According to sources in Aleppo and Damascus, the IF’s top leadership positions have been parceled out among five of the seven groups. This at least is as of 12/5/13. Four days after the IF was announced, the organization released an official charter. In terms of its basic architecture, the document is similar to that put out by the SIF in January, but the new version is filled with more generalities than other militia proclamations, and seems designed to accommodate differing ideas among member groups. The charter calls for an Islamic state and the implementation of sharia law, though it does not define exactly what this means. The IF is firmly against secularism, human legislation (i.e., it believes that laws come from God, not people), civil government, and a Kurdish breakaway state. The charter states that the group will secure minority rights in post-Assad Syria based on sharia, which could mean the dhimma (“protected peoples”) system, or de facto second-class citizenship for Christians and other minorities. According to Saudi officials in Lebanon, the IF seeks to unify other rebel groups so long as they agree to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Given this ‘moderate’ wording, the expectation of some is that that the southern-based Ittihad al-Islami li-Ajnad al-Sham will join the IF.
According to the Netanyahu government, the IF’s leading foreign cheerleader, this new coalition gives substance to that which states who have been wanting regime change in Syria have been calling for. One analyst on the Syrian conflict, Aron Lund, believes a grouping of mainstream and hardline Islamists, excluding any al-Qaeda factions, is significant. “It’s something that could be very important if it holds up,” he explained. “The Islamic Front’s formation was a response to both regime advances and the ‘aggressive posture’ of jihadists against other rebels, plus a good deal of foreign involvement, not least of which is Saudi and GCC pushing to unify the rebels.”
Contrary to reports out of Occupied Palestine that the Netanyahu regime is not worried about or much interested in the crisis in Syria, a measure of delight seems to be felt in Tel Aviv that Muslims and Arabs are once more killing each other, along with smugness over Hezbollah’s loss of key mujahedeen as it faces, along with Iran, its own “Vietnam experience.” Yet all this notwithstanding, near panic is reported to have been felt in Israeli government circles over Hezbollah’s achievements in Syria. Truth told, Tel Aviv knows that despite manpower losses by Hezbollah, the dominant Lebanese political party is bringing about major enhancements of its forces. It also knows that there is no substitute for urban battlefield experience with regard to effecting such force regeneration, and Israeli officials have also stated their belief that the Resistance is organizing non-Hezbollah brigades that share one goal in common despite disparate beliefs. That sacred goal is liberating Al Quds by any and all means.
A US Congressional source summarized the Obama administration’s take on this week’s assassination of a key Hezbollah commander as part of a major new Netanyahu government project to weaken Hezbollah. Hassan Houlo Lakkis’ assassination on the night of December 3-4 is deemed in Washington to be particularly significant since Lakkis was in charge of strategic files related to Israel and the Palestinians and also oversaw a number of key operations. The Resistance commander was deeply involved in the development of drones for Hezbollah, as well as smuggling weapons to Gaza via Egypt. He also had good relationships with the Palestinian factions in Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon. Lakkis was known by Washington to be a highly important cadre and a second rank Hezbollah official. According to one analyst “Israel appeared as if it was telling Hezbollah, come and fight me. Israel is upset over the Western-Iranian agreement. It is also upset over the new position that the West has concerning Hezbollah whereby the West is now viewing the party as a force that opposes the Takfiris. Thus, Israel’s objective behind the assassination is to lure the party into a confrontation thus allowing Tel Aviv to tell the West: Hezbollah is still a terrorist organization.”
According to sources on the US Foreign Relations Committee, the White House is being heavily pressured by the US Zionist lobby and the Netanyahu government to take “remedial measures” for the “catastrophic historic mistake” it made in defusing the Iranian nuclear issue and refusing to bomb Damascus. The measures being pushed for, of course, are funding and support for the IF, though doubts persist in Washington as to how “remedial” they will in fact be. The $5.5 billion “investment” is to be paid in large part by GCC/Arab League countries, with US and Zionist contributions. Cash from the latter two sources will come directly and indirectly out of the pockets of American taxpayers—with Israel paying nothing.
Some Washington officials and analysts are wondering if US participation would help unify notoriously hostile rebel ranks and curtail the growing power of al-Qaeda in Syria, or whether it is simply another zany Bander bin Sultan-concocted project, the latest of many—in this case to create a hierarchical revolutionary army with the aim of fighting the Syrian regime essentially alongside al-Qaeda? Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed his personal suspicions this week that “the Israel-Saudi team is trying to drag the US back into a potentially deepening morass,” alluding to what apparently is an effort to head off any plans the Obama administration may have of living with the Assad government until such time as Geneva II happens, that is if it happens, according to one congressional staffer.
Many among the American public also have doubts because they have been told that their government was ‘winding down’ its Middle East wars in favor of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, roads, health care and education systems, all of which, especially the latter, appear to be suffering dramatically. According to the most recent international survey, released this week, the average Chinese student, aged fifteen in Shanghai, is two full years ahead of America’s best students surveyed in Massachusetts. Recent top scores among secondary school youngsters, particularly in math, reading and science, were considerably lower than those achieved by students in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Japan. The US is far down the list and declining, and the survey suggests that the gap is widening.
It’s too early to say whether this latest Saudi-Israel-Arab League collaboration will fail as others have recently, but given the continuing Obama administration efforts at taking back US Middle East policy from Tel Aviv, plus the perceptible movement away from support for the Netanyahu government along with growing angst among American taxpayers over funding the occupation of Palestine, it just might collapse.
Should we trust Obama to be honest in his peace talks with Iran and Syria? His lightning shift from warmonger to peacemaker surprised everyone, including his closest regional allies — Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — not to mention the entire U.S. congress, many of whom seem intent on sabotaging the Iran peace talks by imposing more war-provoking sanctions.
Let’s not forget that Obama was minutes away from blasting Syria into the Stone Age, but as he stared into the abyss of war he blinked at the last moment. Obama hid the consequent humiliation behind a hastily agreed upon chemical weapons deal proposed by Russia, which served to buy him time to think about the regional war he damn near started.
And now suddenly Obama is acting uncharacteristically rational. He’s agitating for peace among his anti-Syria coalition of close regional allies, namely Turkey and the Gulf Monarchy Sunni Islam dictatorships (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, etc.). Obama is pressuring them to stop sending money, arms, and Sunni Islamic extremist fighters into Syria to topple Assad, so that peace can be pursued instead, a 180 degree shift in strategy. This has already seemed to have had an effect with Qatar and Turkey.
It’s crucial to remember that Obama could have pursued a peaceful path for well over a year, when Russia and Syria first proposed peace talks. Obama ignored the proposals and John Kerry publicly ridiculed them, so confident they were that the U.S.-backed rebels would topple Assad. This strategy pushed Syrian civilization into barbarism, and peace talks were again proposed last spring — but Obama’s rebels boycotted the talks, since Obama had a plan to help the rebels topple the regime via a Libyan-style U.S. military bombing campaign.
So Syrian blood was allowed to keep flowing. For at least two years Obama oversaw and coordinated — via the CIA — the Syrian “arms trafficking pipeline” — as The New York Times called it — which has helped drive the death count to over 100,000 and made millions more refugees.
Without the massive support from the U.S., its allies, and “private donors” (oil-rich “royalty” from the Gulf state monarchies), this “civil war” would have unquestionably ended long ago.
It was only after Obama decided not to bomb Syria — and shifted towards peace talks — did his prized Syrian rebels agree to go to the negotiating table (keep in mind that Obama’s rebels are mostly talking heads with no real power on the ground; the Islamic extremist rebels dominate the ground and continue to boycott negotiations).
Obama had long insisted that “Assad must go,” but Assad is still in power and stronger than ever, with large sections of the population — though especially the ethnic and religious minorities — choosing him over the Islamic extremist rebels who would come to power in his place — the same rebels who are fighting to transform Syria into a Taliban-era Afghanistan.
The rebels already have a mini-Afghanistan in portions of the “liberated” areas of Syria where Raqqa is considered to be the largest city ever administered by al-Qada-style Islamic extremists. Shockingly, there remain some stubborn holdouts among the political left who consider these extremist-controlled areas to be “liberated” proof of a “revolution” in Syria.
Now, the U.S.-Russia initiated “Geneva II” Syria peace accords appear to be serious negotiations, not only because Obama’s rebels were finally encouraged to participate, but also because Obama’s regional allies are furious, Saudi Arabia and especially Israel, who expressed its anger by using fighter jets to yet again bomb Syria, the fourth time this year.
Ultimately, Obama will have to prove via action that he is sincere in peace talks. It’s entirely possible that the peace talks are a mere tactic intended to engage in a more strategic war.
For example, if the Syrian government can be blamed for the possible failure of the Geneva II peace talks, a new war motive will be ready-made for Obama to sell to the American public, more convincing than the prior chemical weapons attack.
How will we know Obama is pursuing peace talks with good intentions? If he puts forth proposals that are universally accepted as reasonable, as opposed to provocative.
If he makes unreasonable demands on the Syrian government, we’ll know he intends to bait Assad into rejecting the proposal in an attempt to prime the U.S. and European public for war. Identifying such a provocative proposal will be easy: the purpose of such peace negotiations would be to copy the conditions on the battlefield and paste them to a peace treaty; the side winning the war wins the peace.
The Syrian government is in the dominant position on the battlefield, and thus has huge leverage in sincerely conducted peace talks. But if Obama demands that a precondition to any talks is the removal of President Assad, this will be an obvious provocation to ruin the talks. Obama has recently implied that he’s backing off of this proposal that’s popular among the rebels, but it’s still possible that he may make a similarly unrealistic proposal with the intention of provoking a rejection, with the intention to wage war.
It’s possible that Obama recently attempted this aggressive negotiating tactic against Iran during the ongoing nuclear talks. The initial peace deal that was offered — that Iran was willing to accept — was a bad deal for Iran, proving that Iran was overeager for peace and sanctions relief.
It is also possible that by offering such a lousy deal Obama meant to provoke Iran — as Peter Lee recently suggested in an excellent article — but the failure of the talks fell on the French, who at the last minute ruined the deal by making additional unreasonable demands which the Iranians did not accept. This suggests that events didn’t go as Obama intended, since he’d prefer that Iran be blamed for any failure rather than the French.
If Obama is acting honestly about completing peace talks with Iran and Syria, the entire Middle East will have to change as a consequence, since U.S. allies in the region went “all in” against Syria at Obama’s request, upsetting their domestic populations via massive war-immigration flows and fighting that spilled over the borders of Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.
Political and social tension rose throughout the Middle East, infecting several countries with heavy doses of religious sectarianism, the main weapon used against the Syrian Government. Even if peace is secured for the moment, the thousands of foreign fighters in Syria will return home as heroes to many, destabilizing their countries as happened after the Afghanistan Jihad that gave birth to al-Qada and the Taliban — also backed by the U.S. and the Gulf monarchies.
Shifting the entire Middle East back to a peaceful status quo won’t be easy; Obama used U.S. foreign power as a lever that pivoted the entire Middle East against Syria and Iran, and pivoting back isn’t so simple. Close allies have lost faith in the promises of the U.S. and will be less willing in the future to follow Obama into wild adventures that destabilize the Middle East with absolutely nothing to show for it, except blood, corpses, and general misery.
Obama’s peace talks could be easily sabotaged — even if he is acting with sincerity. Several recent events in the region were likely conducted with the intention of undermining the talks. The recent terrorist bombing near the Iranian embassy in Lebanon, the continued Israel airstrikes against Syria, and the possibility of more U.S. sanctions against Iran could undermine any potential peace, while strengthening the right wing of Iran, Israel, and the U.S, which would inevitably lead back to yet another pivot, shifting back to the path of war and a resumption of a U.S. bombing campaign against Syria.
Even if talks are successful, the Middle East will remain a turbulent region, as long as competing world powers — the U.S., EU, China, and Russia — are competing for raw materials, markets, and other profitable business activity. In fact, the shift in strategy is only a different means to accomplish the same end: to push Russian and Chinese influence out of the region all the while maintaining U.S. hegemony.
If Obama is serious about peace talks, he must prove it by pressuring his regional allies publicly and privately to do what’s necessary for peace, as well as condemning Israel in front of the world stage if it continues to act provocatively, while also publicly denouncing the Democrats and Republicans if they try to provoke war with fresh sanctions.
Only this kind of consistency is capable of ensuring a temporary peace with Iran and Syria, and anything less will prove that Obama is implicitly pursuing the path of war by other means.
The double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian embassy in Beirut – with at least 23 people killed and 170 wounded – was a de facto terror attack happening on 11/19. Numerology-wise, naturally 9/11 comes to mind; and so the case of the Washington-declared war on terror metastasizing – largely conducted by oozy forms of Saudi “intelligence”.
Yet don’t expect the “West” to condemn this as terror. Look at the headlines; it’s all normalized as “blasts” – as if children were playing with firecrackers.
Whether carried out by a hazy al-Qaeda-linked brigade or by Saudi spy chief Bandar bin Sultan’s (aka Bandar Bush’s) goons, the Beirut terror attack is essentially configured as a major, Saudi-enabled provocation. The larger Saudi agenda in Syria implies getting both Hezbollah and Iran to be pinned down inside Lebanon as well. If that happens, Israel also wins. Once again, here’s another graphic illustration of the Likudnik House of Saud in action.
Nuance also applies. Bandar Bush’s strategy, coordinated with jihadis, was to virtually beg for Hezbollah to fight inside Syria. When Hezbollah obliged, with only a few hundred fighters, the jihadis scurried away from the battlefield to implement plan B: blowing up innocent women and children in the streets of Lebanon.
While Hezbollah welcomes the fight, wherever it takes place, Tehran’s position is more cautious. It does not want to go all out against the Saudis – at least for now, with the crucial nuclear negotiation on the table in Geneva, and (still) the possibility of a Geneva II regarding Syria. Yet the House of Saud is not welcoming Geneva II anytime soon because it has absolutely nothing to propose except regime change.
On Syria, the main pillar of Bandar Bush’s strategy is to turn the previously “Free” Syrian Army into a “national army” of 30,000 or so fully weaponized hardcore fighters – mostly supplied by the “Army of Islam”, which is nothing but a cipher for the al-Qaedesque Jabhat al-Nusra. King Playstation of Jordan, also known as Abdullah, collaborates as the provider of training camps near the Syrian border. Whatever happens, one thing is certain; expect Bandar Bush’s goons to be carrying out more suicide bombings on both Lebanon and Syria.
The Zionist/Wahhabi/Salafi axis
The dodgy al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades in theory exist since 2005, placing the odd bomb here and there. One sheikh Sijareddin Zreikat tweeted responsibility for the Beirut terror attack. Curioser and curioser, the claim was “discovered” and translated into English by the Israeli disinformation website SITE. 
Yet another Israeli intelligence disinformation site, DEBKAfile, claimed the terror attack was an Iran/Hezbollah false flag, based on a “Saudi warning” reaching “Western intelligence agencies, including Israel”.  The rationale, according to “Saudi intelligence”, was “to convince Hezbollah fighters consigned against their will to the Syrian battlefield”.
This does not even qualify as pathetic. Hezbollah is basically defending the Lebanese-Syrian border, and has only a few hundred fighters inside Syria. Moreover, no string of suicide bombings will deter Hezbollah and Tehran from regaining control of what really matters in the Syrian strategic context; the Qalamoun area.
Qalamoun, ringed by mountains, is a 50-kilometer stretch bordering the Bekaa valley in Lebanon, between Damascus and al-Nabk, and right on the absolutely critical Damascus-Homs corridor of the M5 highway. The Syrian army is on the offensive in Qalamoun. Recapturing the whole area is just a matter of time. This means controlling the northern approach to Damascus. Hezbollah is helping in the offensive out of Bekaa valley. This does not mean they will camp out in Syria afterwards.
Now for the false flag accusation. As far as real false flags are concerned, one just has to re-examine three recent international bombings that supposed victimized Israel. In India the bomb had no projectiles; it barely injured an Israeli attache. In Azerbaijan the bomb was miraculously “discovered” before it went off. And in Thailand, the bomb exploded too soon, injuring only a nearby Iranian.
Crass Israeli disinformation is unmasked when it leaps into this conclusion:
If Tehran is capable of such atrocities merely as a diversionary tactic, then perhaps Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin ought to take a really hard look at their negotiating partner across the table before signing a major deal Wednesday, Nov. 20, which leaves Iran’s nuclear program in place.
So this neatly ties up with the current Israeli hysteria about the Geneva negotiations, which also includes the umpteenth report by a News Corporation outfit, London’s Sunday Times, that Saudi Arabia will help Israel to attack Iran. 
It also ties up with the proverbial US shills spinning, gloating rather, that, “strategically, this de-facto Israeli alliance with the Saudis is an extraordinary opportunity for Israel”. 
Even such shills have to admit that the House of Saud is “blocking formation of any government in Lebanon, for example, to obstruct Iran’s ally, Hezbollah”. “Blocking” of course is a euphemism to normalize suicide bombing.
And then comes the ultimate wishful thinking disguised as “analysis”; Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu “bidding to replace the United States as military protector of the status quo”. Translation; the Likudniks dreaming of becoming the new military Mob boss of petrodollar Wahhabis.
Bandar Bush’s strategy – weaponizing and providing cover to Salafis, jihadis and every patsy or mercenary in between – will go on unabated. After Bandar Bush convinced Washington to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Qataris, the Saudis are the supreme warfare go-to channel. The Bandar Bush machine has ties with virtually every jihadi outfit in the Levant.
It certainly helps that Bandar has the perfect cover; the fact that he knows and has cajoled every significant player in Washington. In the US, Bandar Bush remains a dashing hero, even eliciting fawning comparisons with Gatsby.  Right. And my name is actually Daisy.
Even with its own embassy attacked in Lebanon, Iran is maintaining an extremely calibrated approach. The number-one priority is the nuclear negotiations in Geneva with the partner that really matters, the US. This explains Iran blaming the Beirut terror attack on the proverbial “Zionists”, and not Saudi-enabled jihadis posing as “rebels” and part of the whole Bandar Bush nebula.
For the moment though, enough of Orwellian newspeak. What happened in Beirut was a terror attack, cheered by Israel, and fully enabled by Saudis; a graphic display by the Likudnik-House of Saud axis.
1. Al-Qaida-linked group claims responsibility for deadly Beirut attack, Ha’aretz, November 19, 2013.
2. Incredible! Beirut bombings killing 25 people were self-inflicted by Iran and Hizballah as a diversionary tactic, DEBKAfile, November 19, 2013.
3. Israel, Saudi Arabia Unite For Attack On Iran, RT, November 17, ’13.
4. The stakes of an Iranian deal, Washington Post, November 15, 2013.
5. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s Gatsby, Master Spy, The Daily Beast, November 16, 2013.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Asia Times
In my last column I emphasized that it was important for American citizens to demand to know what the real agendas are behind the wars of choice by the Bush and Obama regimes. These are major long term wars each lasting two to three times as long as World War II.
Forbes reports that one million US soldiers have been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
RT reports that the cost of keeping each US soldier in Afghanistan has risen from $1.3 million per soldier to $2.1 million per soldier.
Matthew J. Nasuti reports in the Kabul Press that it cost US taxpayers $50 million to kill one Taliban soldier. That means it cost $1 billion to kill 20 Taliban fighters. This is a war that can be won only at the cost of the total bankruptcy of the United States.
Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes have estimated that the current out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars is at least $6 trillion.
In other words, it is the cost of these two wars that explain the explosion of the US public debt and the economic and political problems associated with this large debt.
What has America gained in return for $6 trillion and one million injured soldiers, many very severely?
In Iraq there is now an Islamist Shia regime allied with Iran in place of a secular Sunni regime that was an enemy of Iran, one as dictatorial as the other, presiding over war ruins, ongoing violence as high as during the attempted US occupation, and extraordinary birth defects from the toxic substances associated with the US invasion and occupation.
In Afghanistan there is an undefeated and apparently undefeatable Taliban and a revived drug trade that is flooding the Western world with drugs.
The icing on these Bush and Obama “successes” are demands from around the world that Americans and former British PM Tony Blair be held accountable for their war crimes. Certainly, Washington’s reputation has plummeted as a result of these two wars. No governments anywhere are any longer sufficiently gullible as to believe anything that Washington says.
These are huge costs for wars for which we have no explanation.
The Bush/Obama regimes have come up with various cover stories: a “war on terror,”
“we have to kill them over there before they come over here,” “weapons of mass destruction,” revenge for 9/11, Osama bin Laden (who died of his illnesses in December 2001 as was widely reported at the time).
None of these explanations are viable. Neither the Taliban nor Saddam Hussein were engaged in terrorism in the US. As the weapons inspectors informed the Bush regime, there were no WMD in Iraq. Invading Muslim countries and slaughtering civilians is more likely to create terrorists than to suppress them. According to the official story, the 9/11 hijackers and Osama bin Laden were Saudi Arabians, not Afghans or Iraqis. Yet it wasn’t Saudi Arabia that was invaded.
Democracy and accountable government simply does not exist when the executive branch can take a country to wars in behalf of secret agendas operating behind cover stories that are transparent lies.
It is just as important to ask these same questions about the agenda of the US police state. Why have Bush and Obama removed the protection of law as a shield of the people and turned law into a weapon in the hands of the executive branch? How are Americans made safer by the overthrow of their civil liberties? Indefinite detention and execution without due process of law are the hallmarks of the tyrannical state. They are terrorism, not a protection against terrorism. Why is every communication of every American and apparently the communications of most other people in the world, including Washington’s most trusted European allies, subject to being intercepted and stored in a gigantic police state database? How does this protect Americans from terrorists?
Why is it necessary for Washington to attack the freedom of the press and speech, to run roughshod over the legislation that protects whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, to criminalize dissent and protests, and to threaten journalists such as Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and Fox News reporter James Rosen?
How does keeping citizens ignorant of their government’s crimes make citizens safe from terrorists?
These persecutions of truth-tellers have nothing whatsoever to do with “national security” and “keeping Americans safe from terrorists.” The only purpose of these persecutions is to protect the executive branch from having its crimes revealed. Some of Washington’s crimes are so horrendous that the International Criminal Court would issue a death sentence if those guilty could be brought to trial. A government that will destroy the constitutional protections of free speech and a free press in order to prevent its criminal actions from being disclosed is a tyrannical government.
One hesitates to ask these questions and to make even the most obvious remarks out of fear not only of being put on a watch list and framed on some charge or the other, but also out of fear that such questions might provoke a false flag attack that could be used to justify the police state that has been put in place.
Perhaps that was what the Boston Marathon Bombing was. Evidence of the two brothers’ guilt has taken backseat to the government’s claims. There is nothing new about government frame-ups of patsies. What is new and unprecedented is the lockdown of Boston and its suburbs, the appearance of 10,000 heavily armed troops and tanks to patrol the streets and search without warrants the homes of citizens, all in the name of protecting the public from one wounded 19 year old kid.
Not only has nothing like this ever before happened in the US, but also it could not have been organized on the spur of the moment. It had to have been already in place waiting for the event. This was a trial run for what is to come.
Unaware Americans, especially gullible “law and order conservatives,” have no idea about the militarization of even their local police. I have watched local police forces train at gun clubs. The police are taught to shoot first not once but many times, to protect their lives first at all costs, and not to risk their lives by asking questions. This is why the 13-year old kid with the toy rifle was shot to pieces. Questioning would have revealed that it was a toy gun, but questioning the “suspect” might have endangered the precious police who are trained to take no risks whatsoever.
The police operate according to Obama’s presidential kill power: murder first then create a case against the victim.
In other words, dear American citizen, you life is worth nothing, but the police whom you pay, are not only unaccountable but also their lives are invaluable. If you get killed in their line of duty, it is no big deal. But don’t you injure a police goon thug in an act of self-defense. I mean, who do you think you are, some kind of mythical free American with rights?
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
Iran to Follow?
Damascus – Additional easing of Syrian sanctions is expected by mid-November according to staff at the US Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Asset Control (OFAC).
Pressure on Obama from Putin is part of the ‘price tag’ for Russia’s role in bailing out the American president, whose chemical weapons ‘redline’ became something of an albatross. But another reason for the relaxation is that the White House believes it needs to communicate to Damascus that prospects for better relations, and possibly even some cooperation, are not completely dead, despite the 32-month crisis still raging in the Syrian Arab Republic.
This second easing of sanctions will show more balance and neutrality than those of last June, which were perceived as supporting Saudi and Gulf aid to the rebels while weakening the Assad government just as the Syrian Army had begun gaining back ground from the rebels. At that time, licenses for exports of certain goods related to reconstruction of infrastructure were allowed in areas held by the rebels. Specifically, OFAC indicated that license applications would be accepted for commodities, technology and software related to water supply and sanitation, agricultural production and food processing, power generation, oil and gas production, construction and engineering, transportation, and educational infrastructure. Most benefited would be rebel-controlled areas.
No doubt it is with a deep patriotic spirit of wanting to help out their fellow Americans, that the US Treasury Departments heavily pro-Zionist OFAC asks US citizens to “consult our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to find answers to your most commonly-asked questions about how Syrian and Iranian sanctions may affect your own families and your business.”
That is unlikely to be easy given the obfuscatory legalize of the sanctions texts.
There are currently three types of sanctions that the U.S. government has imposed against Syria. The most comprehensive sanction, called the Syria Accountability Act (SAA) of 2004, prohibits the export of most goods containing more than 10% U.S.-manufactured component parts to Syria. Another sanction, resulting from the USA Patriot Act, was levied specifically against the Commercial Bank of Syria in 2006. The third type of sanction contains many Executive Orders from the President that specifically deny certain Syrian citizens and entities access to the U.S. financial system due to their participation in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, association with Al Qaida, the Taliban or Osama bin Laden; or destabilizing activities in Iraq and Lebanon.
Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act
In May 2004, the President signed E.O. 13338 implementing the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act (SAA) which imposes a series of sanctions against Syria for its support for terrorism, involvement in Lebanon, weapons of mass destruction programs, and the destabilizing role it is playing in Iraq.
In addition, the Treasury Department’s Statement of Policy indicated that OFAC would consider on a case-by-case basis applications to permit certain services in the agricultural sector, as well as in the Syrian telecommunication industry, enabling private citizens better access to the Internet, while certain petroleum transactions benefiting rebel forces were also authorized. OFAC also revised Syria General License 11 and replaced it with General License 11A authorizing NGOs to engage in activities to preserve the cultural heritage of the country, including museums, historic buildings and archaeological sites.
The new lifting of sanctions, tentatively scheduled to be announced next month, will help the Assad government because international banking and trade prohibitions are expected to be reduced. At the same time, US officials are discussing with their Russian “partners” a number of proposals that would acknowledge the right of the Syrian people to choose who to support in next year’s Presidential elections without Washington insisting that Syrian President Bashar Assad step down as part of a “transition to democracy.”
In addition, the White House is telling Congressional leaders, loudly enough for all to hear, that the president’s recent waiving of restrictions on supplying arms to Syrian rebels was much more limited than depicted in mainstream media reports. In fact, the waiver—on certain portions of the Arms Export Control Act—authorizes only specific transfers to “vetted” members of the opposition and to NGOs in Syria. The defense items to be provided are described as those “necessary for the conduct of …operations inside or related to Syria, or to prevent the preparation, use, or proliferation of Syria’s chemical weapons.” Who was to be responsible for “vetting” the opposition members was not specified, nor were the particular articles detailed. But significantly the White House claims this is not a general waiver, but rather one with regard to a single specific contemplated transaction. Defense companies do not now have a blanket license to ship their wares to the Syrian opposition. This is because Section 40(g) of the Arms Export Control Act, 22 U.S.C. § 2780 (g), specifically gives the President authority to waive the provisions of the Act with respect to a specific transaction should he find that the waiver is “essential to the national security interests of the United States” and should he make the requisite report on the waiver to Congress. His determination on that finding directs the Secretary of State to make the required report to Congress.
The main opposition to White House plans to lessen the civilian targeting sanctions comes, as usual, from the US Congressional Zionist lobby. Israel’s supporters in Congress seek to prevent any lessening of US sanctions—against Iran first, and Syria second. Two days of talks are about to begin in Vienna between experts from the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) and their Iranian counterparts, who will discuss technical issues relating to Tehran’s nuclear program and international sanctions. The meeting will help lay the groundwork for the next round of diplomatic negotiations, scheduled to take place in Geneva on November 7-8, and it is anticipated that the White House will accede to EU and Russian proposals to send a reciprocal good faith response to Tehran by lifting some of the sanctions targeting Iranian civilians. Although the P5+1 and Tehran have agreed to keep the contents of their negotiations secret, the general aim of the talks has been for Iran to reduce its capacity to enrich uranium and certain other nuclear activities in return for relief from the sanctions regime, which is strangling the nation’s economy. The main hurdles include verification of any concessions Iran makes and the sequencing of any reduction in sanctions.
Signs of progress were visible earlier this week in comments made after separate talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. In a rare joint statement, both sides called the talks “very productive”—a significant departure from eleven previous meetings in recent years, all of which failed to achieve progress in resolving what the IAEA has called the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program. The new joint statement also indicates that a document discussed in past meetings has been set aside and a new approach taken.
Eager as it is for negotiations to succeed, the Obama administration has also echoed the Zionist lobby’s contention that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” Yet if the talks fail, international support for sanctions will likely begin to fall apart, reducing U.S. leverage even further.
The world is watching, particularly U.S. allies in Europe and Asia, as well as regional “friends” like Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Though reportedly interested in lifting some of the sanctions on Syria and Iran, the White House is facing stiff opposition from Tel Aviv and Riyadh, with both governments criticizing the US for its lack of resolve in Syria and its presumed conciliatory attitude toward Iran.
Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly slated to continue meetings with Saudi-Israeli officials in an attempt to tamp down their growing angst.
Torture, or what our government calls “enhanced interrogation”, is not a tactic so much as a darkly artistic process. The subject of this process has something that the torturer wants; it might be information, or a forced confession to a crime the subject did not commit, but most often, torture is designed to gain nothing more than psychological compliance.
The goal is to manipulate the subject into believing that submission is the only possible future, and that such submission is inevitable regardless of the will of the victim. The torturer often builds himself up as a kind of parent figure for the subject – becoming the only entity that can supply shelter, water, food, and comfort. The torturer is taskmaster and abuser, but also caregiver in the twisted relationship dynamic. A schizophrenic balance is struck in which the subject longs for the outside world and a return to the pleasures of the past (making him desperate and malleable), but he also partially accepts his prison walls as home (giving him a false faith that compliance will lead to a safer and more predictable tomorrow).
Until this compliance is achieved, the subject is exposed to endless and erratic crisis events in which his body is damaged, his mind is deprived of sense, perception, and sleep, and his life is overtly threatened. He may receive brief moments of rest, but these are designed only to make the next torture session even more raw and painful. If the subject does not understand how the process works, or if he doesn’t have a strong sense of his own identity, then he will quickly lose track of reality. Every moment becomes a waking nightmare, a warped and gruesome carnival, and life becomes nothing more than an absurd and obscure experiment barely worth living.
It is my belief based on substantial evidence that America, as a nation and a culture, is now being held hostage and tortured into submission on a grand scale using economic terror by the elitist establishment which dominates BOTH major political parties. The goal? To push our society to conform completely with the concepts of globalization, bureaucratic micro-management, and greatly reduced living standards. We are being conditioned to accept defeat and failure, and like children, to cry out for a parental authority to save us in our state of helplessness and fear, even if that authority was the cause of our fear from the very beginning.
The Thin Thread Of The American Economic Fantasy
In the past three months the U.S. has flirted with total fiscal collapse three times. The first event came in August with market rumors that the Federal Reserve was nearing a “consensus” on plans to cut QE stimulus measures, causing panic amongst investors who now realize that the ONLY pillar still holding our fiscal edifice together is endless fiat currency creation by the Fed. Markets began a paradigm which is now the “new normal”; plummeting whenever good economic news hits the mainstream on the fear that the central bank will tighten policy, and skyrocketing when bad economic news hits the mainstream on the assumption that the Fed will continue printing. It is official – lackluster employment reports are something to cheer, and overall systemic crisis is good for stocks:
The possibility of a Fed taper has shown us clearly that any action by the private bank to reduce or remove quantitative easing will result in a market panic and implosion. If the globalists within the Fed apparatus decide one day soon that they want to bring the U.S. to its knees, destroy the dollar, and introduce a new world reserve currency, they can do it with little more than a word proclaiming QE over, or unsuccessful. So far, they keep the life support machine running…
The second event came with the drive by the Obama Administration to turn their covert war in Syria into a full blown invasion. Despite presumptions by many naysayers that Russia and China wouldn’t lift a finger to aid the Assad regime, both nations staunchly opposed action by the U.S. in the region and tensions neared critical mass. Make no mistake, a WWIII level event could have easily erupted, and some Americans seem to remain oblivious to the danger.
China and Russia maintain vast influence in global markets. The EU, for instance, is utterly dependent on Russian natural gas exports for their energy needs. The U.S. economy could be annihilated within weeks by an announcement by China to dump their treasury holdings or the dollar as the world reserve currency. This is just a taste of the financial risks associated with a new war in the Middle East, and military risks add even more potential calamity. Anyone who believes that Chinese or Russian views on American political or military behavior “do not matter” is living in a deluded cartoon-land.
The third event came with the recent debt ceiling debate and government shutdown. One-third of the U.S. population is disturbingly dependent on scraps from the government’s table, and any mention of cuts to entitlement programs (or social security, which government treats exactly like an entitlement program) causes immediate and militant finger pointing. Democrats have been especially vicious in their accusations and rhetoric, consistently referring to Constitutional conservatives and “Tea Party” legislators as “extremists”, “traitors”, and even “domestic enemies”:
I happen to take a slightly different view to a majority of independent analysts in that I believe the establishment is just as likely to push America into deliberate default as it is to push America into infinite debt and inflationary collapse. The end result will be exactly the same regardless of the path taken, and we have yet another opportunity to dance on the edge of oblivion coming in three to four months when the debt debate starts all over again.
The point is, our financial system has become so unbalanced and internally diseased that if ANY event follows through to culmination, whether political, economic, or international, the economy WILL shatter. The past three month are a resounding testament to this fact.
The “De-Americanization’ Of The Global Economy
In my article ‘How The Dollar Will Be Replaced’, published in 2012, I summarized the Catch-22 nature of America’s debt problem which I have been warning about since 2006, and how this will eventually end in the abandonment of the dollar as the world reserve currency. To this day, and in the face of overwhelming evidence that the dollar is doomed, some people still refuse to grasp reality.
In the midst of the latest debt debate China has made clear it’s intentions through state run media to end its relationship with the greenback, not just to form a Chinese-centric reserve currency system, but a global currency system centered on a “new world order”:
Last year China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest importer and exporter, making its currency, the Yuan, more desirable than the greenback as a reserve in the long term. Since 2010, China has been quietly but quickly establishing multiple bilateral trade agreements with numerous countries dropping the dollar as the primary purchasing mechanism. China has accumulated massive gold stores and is set to become the world’s largest holder of gold in the next two years. In the past year, China has also surpassed the U.S. as the number one importer of oil, making it a more valued market for the Middle East and causing many to question the dollar’s relevance as the petro-currency:
Saudi Arabia, America’s primary ally and foothold in the global oil market, is now openly calling for an end to traditional agreements and a separation from the U.S. because of the lack of military action in Syria. This too does not bode well for the dollar’s petro-status. Like a chess maneuver, it would seem we have been cornered by the globalists on oil. If we invade Syria or Iran we risk losing petro-status. If we do not invade Syria or Iran, we still risk losing petro-status:
In response to the dismal debt ceiling extension and the uncertainty underlying the new debate coming in the next few months, China’s ratings agency, Dagong, has downgraded U.S. treasury bonds yet again:
Three near-crisis events in only three months have signaled a severe acceleration in what the Chinese call the “de-Americanization” of the global economy. All of the financial shifts taking place since the derivatives implosion of 2008, as well as those rushing like white-water rapids through the global system in the wake of the debt ceiling debate, are gravitating towards ONE outcome – the destruction of the dollar, and the introduction of a new global currency (the SDR) controlled the the IMF.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin has called for a global currency run by the IMF to replace the dollar:
China has called for a global currency run by the IMF to replace the dollar:
Elitists within the U.S. have called for a global currency run by the IMF to replace the Dollar:
Hell, even the Vatican has called for a global currency run by a “global public authority” to replace the dollar:
There is a world-wide strategy in motion to end the dollar, and with it, America as we know it today. The only question is, how many more near-disasters will we have to experience before the trigger event takes place?
The Torture Continues
With so many near misses culminating so close together, it may be wise to consider what could happen in the the next three months while we wait for debt debate theater part duex. Like a prisoner in Abu Ghraib, America is trapped, waiting for the next humiliation, the next degradation, or the next session of pain. Are we merely being acclimated to the idea of incessant crisis? Are we learning to become apathetic at the edge of the chasm? Or, are we being driven to madness, mass-madness, by a concert of elitist interrogators seeking our acquiescence?
Again, the central purpose of torture is to acquire consent. Not just extorted consent, but voluntary consent. It is not enough for the torturer to force the subject to obey, he wants the subject to EMBRACE his servitude. To gladly abandon all hope. To see his captor as his only salvation.
The globalist establishment wants us to beg them to save us from the tortures they create. If we never give them this, they will never win.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. Who’s still utterly, terrifyingly human.
From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his console, the image showed the midwinter landscape of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province—a palette of browns and grays, fields cut to stubble, dark forests climbing the rocky foothills of the Hindu Kush. He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional shalwar kameez, long shirts and baggy pants. He knew nothing else about them: not their names, not their thoughts, not the thousand mundane and profound details of their lives.
He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he knew, they were shepherd’s staffs. Still, the directive from somewhere above, a mysterious chain of command that led straight to his headset, was clear: confirmed weapons. He switched from the visible spectrum—the muted grays and browns of “day-TV”—to the sharp contrast of infrared, and the insurgents’ heat signatures stood out ghostly white against the cool black earth. A safety observer loomed behind him to make sure the “weapon release” was by the book. A long verbal checklist, his targeting laser locked on the two men walking in front. A countdown—three…two…one…—then the flat delivery of the phrase “missile off the rail.” Seventy-five hundred miles away, a Hellfire flared to life, detached from its mount, and reached supersonic speed in seconds.
It was quiet in the dark, cold box in the desert, except for the low hum of machines.
He kept the targeting laser trained on the two lead men and stared so intently that each individual pixel stood out, a glowing pointillist dot abstracted from the image it was meant to form. Time became almost ductile, the seconds stretched and slowed in a strange electronic limbo. As he watched the men walk, the one who had fallen behind seemed to hear something and broke into a run to catch up with the other two. Then, bright and silent as a camera flash, the screen lit up with white flame.
Airman First Class Brandon Bryant stared at the scene, unblinking in the white-hot clarity of infrared. He recalls it even now, years later, burned into his memory like a photo negative: “The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg, and it’s hitting the ground, and it’s hot. His blood is hot. But when it hits the ground, it starts to cool off; the pool cools fast. It took him a long time to die. I just watched him. I watched him become the same color as the ground he was lying on.”
That was Brandon Bryant’s first shot. It was early 2007, a few weeks after his twenty-first birthday, and Bryant was a remotely-piloted-aircraft sensor operator—a “sensor” for short—part of a U.S. Air Force squadron that flew Predator drones in the skies above Iraq and Afghanistan. Beginning in 2006, he worked in the windowless metal box of a Ground Control Station (GCS) at Nellis Air Force Base, a vast sprawl of tarmac and maintenance hangars at the edge of Las Vegas.
The airmen kept the control station dark so they could focus on controlling their MQ-1B Predators circling two miles above the Afghan countryside. Bryant sat in a padded cockpit chair. He had a wrestler’s compact build, a smooth-shaved head, and a piercing ice blue gaze frequently offset by a dimpled grin. As a sensor, his job was to work in tandem with the drone’s pilot, who sat in the chair next to him. While the pilot controlled the drone’s flight maneuvers, Bryant acted as the Predator’s eyes, focusing its array of cameras and aiming its targeting laser. When a Hellfire was launched, it was a joint operation: the pilot pulled a trigger, and Bryant was responsible for the missile’s “terminal guidance,” directing the high-explosive warhead by laser to its desired objective. Both men wore regulation green flight suits, an unironic Air Force nod to the continuity of military decorum in the age of drone warfare.
The Air Force’s go-to drone: The MQ-1 Predator.
Since its inception, the drone program has been largely hidden, its operational details gathered piecemeal from heavily redacted classified reports or stage-managed media tours by military public-affairs flacks. Bryant is one of very few people with firsthand experience as an operator who has been willing to talk openly, to describe his experience from the inside. While Bryant considers leakers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden heroes willing to sacrifice themselves for their principles, he’s cautious about discussing some of the details to which his top-secret clearance gave him access. Still, he is a curtain drawn back on the program that has killed thousands on our behalf.
Despite President Obama’s avowal earlier this year that he will curtail their use, drone strikes have continued apace in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. With enormous potential growth and expenditures, drones will be a center of our policy for the foreseeable future. (By 2025, drones will be an $82 billion business, employing an additional 100,000 workers.) Most Americans—61 percent in the latest Pew survey—support the idea of military drones, a projection of American power that won’t risk American lives.
And yet the very idea of drones unsettles. They’re too easy a placeholder or avatar for all of our technological anxieties—the creeping sense that screens and cameras have taken some piece of our souls, that we’ve slipped into a dystopia of disconnection. Maybe it’s too soon to know what drones mean, what unconsidered moral and ethical burdens they carry. Even their shape is sinister: the blunt and featureless nose cone, like some eyeless creature that has evolved in darkness.
For Bryant, talking about them has become a sort of confessional catharsis, a means of processing the things he saw and did during his six years in the Air Force as an experimental test subject in an utterly new form of warfare.
Looking back, it was really little more than happenstance that had led him to that box in the desert. He’d been raised poor by his single mom, a public-school teacher in Missoula, Montana, and he struggled to afford tuition at the University of Montana. In the summer of 2005, after tagging along with a buddy to the Army recruiting office, he wandered into the Air Force office next door. His friend got a bad feeling and bailed at the last minute, but Bryant had already signed his papers. In short order he was running around at Lackland Air Force Base during Warrior Week in the swelter of a Texas summer. He wasn’t much for military hierarchy, but he scored high on his aptitude tests and was shunted into intelligence, training to be an imagery analyst. He was told he would be like “the guys that give James Bond all the information that he needs to get the mission done.”
Most of the airmen in his intel class were funneled into the drone program, training at Creech Air Force Base in the sagebrush desert an hour north of Las Vegas. Bryant was told it was the largest group ever inducted. His sensor-operator course took ten weeks and led into “green flag” exercises, during which airmen piloted Predators and launched dummy Hellfires at a cardboard town mocked up in the middle of the desert. The missiles, packed with concrete, would punch through the derelict tanks and wrecked cars placed around the set. “It’s like playing Dungeons & Dragons,” says Bryant. “Roll a d20 to see if you hit your target.” His training inspector, watching over his shoulder, would count down to impact and say, “Splash! You killed everyone.”
Within a few months he “went off” to war, flying missions over Iraq at the height of the conflict’s deadliest period, even though he never left Nevada.
His opening day on the job was also his worst. The drone took off from Balad Air Base, fifty miles outside Baghdad in the Sunni Triangle. Bryant’s orders, delivered during a pre-shift mission briefing, were straightforward: a force-protection mission, acting as a “guardian angel” over a convoy of Humvees. He would search out IEDs, insurgent activity, and other threats. It was night in the U.S. and already daylight in Iraq when the convoy rolled out.
From 10,000 feet, Bryant scanned the road with infrared. Traffic was quiet. Everything normal. Then he spotted a strange circle, glowing faintly on the surface of the road. A common insurgent’s technique for laying IEDs is to douse a tire with gasoline, set it afire on a roadway, and dig up the softened tar beneath. The technique leaves a telltale heat signature, visible in infrared. Bryant, a fan ofThe Lord of the Rings, joked that it looked like the glowing Eye of Sauron.
Flying a drone can feel like a deadly two-person video game—with a pilot (left) and sensor (right).
Bryant pointed the spot out to the pilot, who agreed it looked like trouble. But when they tried to warn the convoy, they realized they couldn’t. The Humvees had activated their radio jammers to disrupt the cell-phone signals used to remotely detonate IEDs. The drone crew’s attempts at radio contact were as useless as shouting at the monitor. Brandon and his pilot patched in their flight supervisor to brainstorm a new way to reach them. They typed frantically back and forth in a group chat, a string of messages that soon included a cast of superiors in the U.S. and Iraq. Minutes passed, and the convoy rolled slowly toward the glowing circle. Bryant stared at the screen, heart pounding, scarcely breathing. The lead Humvee rolled across the eye. “Nothing happens,” says Bryant. “And we’re kind of like, maybe it was a mistake. Everyone’s like Whew, good on you for spotting it, but we’re glad that it wasn’t what you thought it was.” He remembers exhaling, feeling the nervous tension flow out of him.
“And the second vehicle comes along and boom.…”
A white flash of flame blossomed on the screen. Bryant was zoomed in as close as he could get, toggling his view between infrared and day-TV, watching in unblinking horror as the shredded Humvee burned. His headset exploded with panicked chatter from the ground in Iraq: What the fuck happened? We’ve got guys down over here! Frantic soldiers milled around, trying to pull people out of the smoldering wreckage. The IED had been tripped by either a pressure plate or manual detonation; the radio jammers would have done nothing to prevent it. Three soldiers were severely wounded, and two were killed.
“I kind of finished the night numb,” Bryant says. “Then you just go home. No one talked about it. No one talked about how they felt after anything. It was like an unspoken agreement that you wouldn’t talk about your experiences.”
The pace of work in the box unraveled Bryant’s sense of time. He worked twelve-hour shifts, often overnight, six days a week. Both wars were going badly at the time, and the Air Force leaned heavily on its new drone fleet. A loaded Predator drone can stay aloft for eighteen hours, and the pilots and sensors were pushed to be as tireless as the technology they controlled. (Bryant claims he didn’t get to take leave for the first four years he served.)
Even the smell of that little shed in the desert got to Bryant. The hermetically sealed control center was almost constantly occupied—you couldn’t take a bathroom break without getting swapped out—and the atmosphere was suffused with traces of cigarette smoke and rank sweat that no amount of Febreze could mask. One bored pilot even calculated the number of farts each cockpit seat was likely to have absorbed.
Mostly the drone crews’ work was an endless loop of watching: scanning roads, circling compounds, tracking suspicious activity. If there was a “troops-in-contact” situation—a firefight, ground troops who call in a strike—Bryant’s Predator could be called to the scene in minutes with its deadly payload. But usually time passed in a haze of banal images of rooftops, walled courtyards, or traffic-snarled intersections.
Sitting in the darkness of the control station, Bryant watched people on the other side of the world go about their daily lives, completely unaware of his all-seeing presence wheeling in the sky above. If his mission was to monitor a high-value target, he might linger above a single house for weeks. It was a voyeuristic intimacy. He watched the targets drink tea with friends, play with their children, have sex with their wives on rooftops, writhing under blankets. There were soccer matches, and weddings too. He once watched a man walk out into a field and take a crap, which glowed white in infrared.
Bryant came up with little subterfuges to pass the long hours at the console: sneaking in junk food, mending his uniforms, swapping off twenty-minute naps with the pilot. He mastered reading novels while still monitoring the seven screens of his station, glancing up every minute or two before returning to the page. He constructed a darkly appropriate syllabus for his occupation. He read the dystopian sci-fi classic Ender’s Game, about children whose violent simulated games turn out to be actual warfare. Then came Asimov, Bryant pondering his Three Laws of Robotics in an age of Predators and Hellfires. A robot may not injure a human being….
Bryant took five shots in his first nine months on the job. After a strike he was tasked with lingering over a site for several haunting hours, conducting surveillance for an “after-action report.” He might watch people gather up the remains of those killed and carry them to the local cemetery or scrub the scene by dumping weapons into a river. Over Iraq he followed an insurgent commander as he drove through a crowded marketplace. The man parked in the middle of the street, opened his trunk, and pulled two girls out. “They were bound and gagged,” says Bryant. “He put them down on their knees, executed them in the middle of the street, and left them there. People just watched it and didn’t do anything.” Another time, Bryant watched as a local official groveled in his own grave before being executed by two Taliban insurgents.
Keepsakes from Bryant’s service are proudly displayed in his mother’s classroom.
In the early months Bryant had found himself swept up by the Big Game excitement when someone in his squadron made “mind-blowingly awesome shots, situations where these guys were bad guys and needed to be taken out.” But a deep ambivalence about his work crept in. Often he’d think about what life must be like in those towns and villages his Predators glided over, like buzzards riding updrafts. How would he feel, living beneath the shadow of robotic surveillance? “Horrible,” he says now. But at first, he believed that the mission was vital, that drones were capable of limiting the suffering of war, of saving lives. When this notion conflicted with the things he witnessed in high resolution from two miles above, he tried to put it out of his mind. Over time he found that the job made him numb: a “zombie mode” he slipped into as easily as his flight suit.
Bryant’s second shot came a few weeks after targeting the three men on that dirt road in Kunar. He was paired with a pilot he didn’t much like, instructed to monitor a compound that intel told them contained a high-value individual—maybe a Taliban commander or Al Qaeda affiliate, nobody briefed him on the specifics. It was a typical Afghan mud-brick home, goats and cows milling around a central courtyard. They watched a corner of the compound’s main building, bored senseless for hours. They assumed the target was asleep.
Then the quiet ended. “We get this word that we’re gonna fire,” he says. “We’re gonna shoot and collapse the building. They’ve gotten intel that the guy is inside.” The drone crew received no further information, no details of who the target was or why he needed a Hellfire dropped on his roof.
Bryant’s laser hovered on the corner of the building. “Missile off the rail.” Nothing moved inside the compound but the eerily glowing cows and goats. Bryant zoned out at the pixels. Then, about six seconds before impact, he saw a hurried movement in the compound. “This figure runs around the corner, the outside, toward the front of the building. And it looked like a little kid to me. Like a little human person.”
Bryant stared at the screen, frozen. “There’s this giant flash, and all of a sudden there’s no person there.” He looked over at the pilot and asked, “Did that look like a child to you?” They typed a chat message to their screener, an intelligence observer who was watching the shot from “somewhere in the world”—maybe Bagram, maybe the Pentagon, Bryant had no idea—asking if a child had just run directly into the path of their shot.
“And he says, ‘Per the review, it’s a dog.’ ”
Bryant and the pilot replayed the shot, recorded on eight-millimeter tape. They watched it over and over, the figure darting around the corner. Bryant was certain it wasn’t a dog.
If they’d had a few more seconds’ warning, they could have aborted the shot, guided it by laser away from the compound. Bryant wouldn’t have cared about wasting a $95,000 Hellfire to avoid what he believed had happened. But as far as the official military version of events was concerned, nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The pilot “was the type of guy to not argue with command,” says Bryant. So the pilot’s after-action report stated that the building had been destroyed, the high-value target eliminated. The report made no mention of a dog or any other living thing. The child, if there had been a child, was an infrared ghost.
The closest Bryant ever got to “real” combat—the roadside bombs and mortar fire experienced by combat troops—was after volunteering to deploy to Iraq. He spent the scorching summer and fall of 2007 stationed at the airfield in Balad, flying Predators on base-defense missions—scanning the area for insurgents. Some troops thanked the drone crews for being “angels in the sky,” but more often they were the butt of jokes, mocked as “chair-borne rangers” who would “only earn a Purple Heart for burning themselves on a Hot Pocket.”
Bryant struggled to square the jokes with the scenes that unfolded on his monitors. On one shift, he was told by command that they needed coordinates on an insurgent training compound and asked him to spot it. There was a firing range, and he watched as a group of fighters all entered the same building. One of the issues with targeting insurgents was that they often traveled with their families, and there was no way to tell who exactly was in any given building. Bryant lasered the building as he was ordered. Moments later, smoke mushroomed high into the air, a blast wave leveling the entire compound. An F-16, using Bryant’s laser coordinates as guidance, had dropped a 1,000-pound bomb on the building—ten times the size of a Hellfire. “They didn’t actually tell us that they were gonna blow it up,” says Bryant. “We’re like, ‘Wow, that was nice of you to inform us of that.’ ”
In 2008, Bryant was transferred to a new post in “the shittiest place in the world,” a drone squadron out of Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico, where, Bryant says, “the air is not oxygen, it’s basically cow shit.” He continued as an operator for several more years, but his directive had changed. He was now mainly tracking high-value targets for the Joint Special Operations Command—the same secret-shrouded branch of the service that spearheaded the hunt for Osama bin Laden. “We were going after top dudes. They started showing us PowerPoint presentations on who these people are,” he says. “Why we’re after him, and what he did. I liked that. I liked being able to know shit like that.”
Bryant has never been philosophically opposed to the use of drones—he sees them as a tool, like any other, that can be used for good ends, citing their potential use to fight poachers, or to monitor forest fires. For him it’s about who controls them, and toward what ends. “It can’t be a small group of people deciding how they’re used,” he says. “There’s got to be transparency. People have to know how they’re being used so they’re used responsibly.”
Transparency has not been the defining feature of U.S. drone policy over the last decade. Even as Bryant was being trained to operate drones in our very public wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a parallel and clandestine drone war was being waged in places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Since 2004, the CIA has carried out hundreds of strikes in Pakistani territory, cutting secret deals with Pakistani intelligence to operate a covert assassination program. Another covert CIA drone base was operated from Saudi Arabia, launching strikes against militants in the lawless and mountainous interior of Yemen. While Bryant never flew for the CIA itself, their drone operators were drawn directly from the Air Force ranks.
While stationed in Clovis, among the highest-value targets Bryant’s squadron hunted was Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born Yemeni imam and Al Qaeda recruiter. Al-Awlaki was ultimately killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen in September 2011 (as was his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a few weeks later). But Bryant claims his Air Force squadron “did most of the legwork” to pinpoint his location.
By 2011, Bryant had logged nearly 6,000 hours of flight time, flown hundreds of missions, targeted hundreds of enemies. He was in what he describes as “a fugue state of mind.” At the entrance to his flight headquarters in Clovis, in front of a large bulletin board, plastered with photographs of targets like al-Awlaki, he looked up at the faces and asked: “What motherfucker’s gonna die today?”
It seemed like someone else’s voice was speaking, some dark alter ego. “I knew I had to get out.”
By the spring of 2011, almost six years after he’d signed on, Senior Airman Brandon Bryant left the Air Force, turning down a $109,000 bonus to keep flying. He was presented with a sort of scorecard covering his squadron’s missions. “They gave me a list of achievements,” he says. “Enemies killed, enemies captured, high-value targets killed or captured, stuff like that.” He called it his diploma. He hadn’t lased the target or pulled the trigger on all of the deaths tallied, but by flying in the missions he felt he had enabled them. “The number,” he says, “made me sick to my stomach.”
Total enemies killed in action: 1,626.
Since speaking out about drones, Bryant has been a target.
“After that first missile hit, I didn’t really talk to anyone for a couple weeks.” Bryant spoke to me while driving his beat-up black Dodge Neon in looping cursive circles around his hometown of Missoula. A yellow support-the-troops sticker on his bumper was obscured by a haze of road salt. The car’s interior was festooned with patches from the different units he’d served with; in the back seat was a military pack stuffed with equal parts dirty laundry and bug-out gear. The gray midwinter sky weighed on a procession of strip malls and big-box stores; the snowy crenellations of the Bitterroot Range stretched far away to the south. He stared ahead as though watching the scene of his shot on an endless loop. “I didn’t know what it meant to kill someone. And watching the aftermath, watching someone bleed out, because of something that I did?”
That night, on the drive home, he’d started sobbing. He pulled over and called his mother. “She just was like, ‘Everything will be okay,’ and I told her I killed someone, I killed people, and I don’t feel good about it. And she’s like, ‘Good, that’s how it should feel, you should never not feel that way.’ ”
Other members of his squadron had different reactions to their work. One sensor operator, whenever he made a kill, went home and chugged an entire bottle of whiskey. A female operator, after her first shot, refused to fire again even under the threat of court martial. Another pilot had nightmares after watching two headless bodies float down the Tigris. Bryant himself would have bizarre dreams where the characters from his favorite game, World of Warcraft, appeared in infrared.
By mid-2011, Bryant was back in Missoula, only now he felt angry, isolated, depressed. While getting a video game at a Best Buy, he showed his military ID with his credit card, and a teenage kid behind him in line spoke up. “He’s like, ‘Oh, you’re in the military; my brother, he’s a Marine, he’s killed like thirty-six dudes, and he tells me about it all the time.’ And I turn around and say, ‘If you fucking ever talk like this to me again, I will stab you. Don’t ever disrespect people’s deaths like that ever again.’ ” The kid went pale, and Bryant took his game and left.
At the urging of a Vietnam veteran he met at the local VA office, Bryant finally went to see a therapist. After a few sessions, he just broke down: “I told her I wanted to be a hero, but I don’t feel like a hero. I wanted to do something good, but I feel like I just wasted the last six years of my life.” She diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
It was an unexpected diagnosis. For decades the model for understanding PTSD has been “fear conditioning”: quite literally the lasting psychological ramifications of mortal terror. But a term now gaining wider acceptance is “moral injury.” It represents a tectonic realignment, a shift from a focusing on the violence that has been done to a person in wartime toward his feelings about what he has done to others—or what he’s failed to do for them. The concept is attributed to the clinical psychiatrist Jonathan Shay, who in his book Achilles in Vietnam traces the idea back as far as the Trojan War. The mechanisms of death may change—as intimate as a bayonet or as removed as a Hellfire—but the bloody facts, and their weight on the human conscience, remain the same. Bryant’s diagnosis of PTSD fits neatly into this new understanding. It certainly made sense to Bryant. “I really have no fear,” he says now. “It’s more like I’ve had a soul-crushing experience. An experience that I thought I’d never have. I was never prepared to take a life.”
In 2011, Air Force psychologists completed a mental-health survey of 600 combat drone operators. Forty-two percent of drone crews reported moderate to high stress, and 20 percent reported emotional exhaustion or burnout. The study’s authors attributed their dire results, in part, to “existential conflict.” A later study found that drone operators suffered from the same levels of depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcohol abuse, and suicidal ideation as traditional combat aircrews. These effects appeared to spike at the exact time of Bryant’s deployment, during the surge in Iraq. (Chillingly, to mitigate these effects, researchers have proposed creating a Siri-like user interface, a virtual copilot that anthropomorphizes the drone and lets crews shunt off the blame for whatever happens. Siri, have those people killed.)
In the summer of 2012, Bryant rejoined the Air Force as a reservist, hoping to get into the famed SERE program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape), where he would help train downed pilots to survive behind enemy lines. After so much killing, he wanted to save people. But after a severe concussion in a training accident, he dropped out and returned once more to Missoula. He walked with a cane, had headaches and memory lapses, and fell into a black depression.
During the worst of it, Bryant would make the rounds of Missoula’s dozens of roughneck bars and drink himself to blackout on whiskey and cokes, vanishing for days or weeks on end. Many of those nights he would take his government-issued minus-forty-degree sleeping bag and pull into a parking lot in the middle of town next to the Clark Fork river. There’s a small park with a wooden play structure there, built to look like a dragon with slides and ladders descending from it. He would climb to the little lookout deck at the top, blind drunk, and sleep there, night after night.
He doesn’t remember much of that hazy period last summer, but his mother, LanAnn, does. Several times he had left a strange locked case sitting out on the kitchen table at her house, and she had put it back in the closet. The third day she woke to find the case open, with a loaded Sig Sauer P226 semi-automatic pistol lying out. Terrified that he might kill himself, she gave it to a friend with a locked gun safe. She’d only told her son about it a week earlier. He had no memory of any of it.
“I really thought we were going to lose him,” LanAnn Bryant says now.
Something needed to change. Bryant hoped that by going to the press, people would understand drone crews’ experience of war, that it was “more than just a video game” to them. In the fall, he spoke to a reporter for the German newsweekly Der Spiegel. The story was translated into English, and the British tabloid Daily Mail picked it up, posting it with the wildly inaccurate headline drone operator followed orders to shoot a child…and decided he had to quit. The story went viral.
The backlash from the drone community was immediate and fierce. Within days, 157 people on Bryant’s Facebook page had de-friended him. “You are a piece of shit liar. Rot in hell,” wrote a former Air Force comrade. In a sort of exercise in digital self-flagellation, Bryant read thousands of Reddit comments about himself, many filled with blistering vitriol and recrimination. “I read every single one of them,” he says. “I was trying to just get used to the negative feelings.” The spectrum of critics ranged from those who considered drone warfare a crime against humanity to combat veterans who thought Bryant was a whiner. He’d had death threats as well—none he took seriously—and other people said he should be charged with treason and executed for speaking to the media. On the day of one of our interviews, The New York Times ran an article about the military’s research into PTSD among drone operators. I watched as he scanned a barrage of Facebook comments mocking the very idea that drone operators could suffer trauma:
>I broke a fucking nail on that last mission!
>Maybe they should wear seatbelts
>they can claim PTSD when they have to do “Body Collection & Identification”
And then Bryant waded in:
>I’m ashamed to have called any of you assholes brothers in arms.
>Combat is combat. Killing is killing. This isn’t a video game. How many of you have killed a group of people, watched as their bodies are picked up, watched the funeral, then killed them too?
>Yeah, it’s not the same as being on the ground. So fucking what? Until you know what it is like and can make an intelligent meaningful assessment, shut your goddamn fucking mouths before somebody shuts them for you.
Bryant’s defense—a virtual battle over an actual war—left him seething at his keyboard. He says that when flying missions, he sometimes felt himself merging with the technology, imagining himself as a robot, a zombie, a drone itself. Such abstractions don’t possess conscience or consciousness; drones don’t care what they mean, but Bryant most certainly does. Now he plans to study to be an EMT, maybe get work on an ambulance, finally be able to save people like he always wanted. He no longer has infrared dreams, no longer closes his eyes and sees those strange polarized shadows flit across them.
Bryant closed his laptop and went out into the yard, tossing a tennis ball to his enormous bounding Japanese mastiff. Fingers of snow extended down through the dark forests of the Bitterroot, and high white contrails in the big sky caught the late-afternoon sunlight. The landscape of western Montana, Bryant observed, bears a striking resemblance to the Hindu Kush of eastern Afghanistan—a place he’s seen only pixelated on a monitor. It was a cognitive dissonance he had often felt flying missions, as he tried to remind himself that the world was just as real when seen in a grainy image as with the naked eye, that despite being filtered through distance and technology, cause and effect still applied. This is the uncanny valley over which our drones circle. We look through them at the world, and ultimately stare back at ourselves.
First and foremost we should be governed by common sense. ~ Vladimir Putin (Time Magazine, 2007)
President Vladimir Putin is audaciously attempting to remove the brush covering from atop the common sense rabbit hole, which is not only a truly rare and subversive act in the eyes of the Con, but a potentially great gift to humanity – if only humanity had the sensitivity to appreciate it.
Nonetheless, this will no doubt prove to be a thrilling ride for those willing to take up the challenge. Russians are fortunate to have such a sane leader, and the West would be wise to follow his lead, but what exactly does Mr. Putin mean by Common Sense?
Here’s a quick peek at a couple of dictionary definitions:
1) Sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge; native good judgment.
The ability to soundly judge is important to understanding what common sense is all about, as is the fact that judgment is not an isolated act made according to individuated, specialized knowledge, but of something that is of a more general nature that is shared, common or native to the species as a whole.
To better understand how common sense operates as a cognitive process, Aristotle provides a clear and useful description:
The reason for having several senses is in fact that it increases the chances that we can distinguish and recognize things correctly.] Each sense is used to identify distinctions, such as sight identifying the difference between black and white, but, says Aristotle, all animals with perception must have “some one thing” which can distinguish black from sweet.]
see section on “Aristotelian Common Sense” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
This shared or common sense, as opposed to a two-step Stimulus-Response model, appears to operate, according to Aristotle’s description, as a three-step process:
B) Understanding (through comparative analysis)
Why is something as fundamental and basic to humanity’s existence operating according to a three-step rather than two-step process?
If you look around the world today, everything is presented in opposing, pairs: A-B. Not A-B-C.
As such, critical A-B-C thinking, aka Common Sense is fundamental to the evolution of awareness, consciousness, cooperation and love which seems to occur with great frequency in nature, but not nearly as much in most human societies.
The Con understands this reality quite well, and they exploit it to their benefit. The Con does everything it can to lock humanity into a system characterized by dualism, stimulus-response programming, isolation, separation, competition, narcissism and egotism.
According to Aristotle’s logic, while each individual is inseparable from the whole, without common sense,i.e. a shared vision of the whole, perception of reality is too narrow, distorted and false.
Aristotle also said:
Common sense is where comparison happens, and this must occur by comparing impressions or symbols or markers of what the specialist senses have perceived. This is therefore also where consciousness originates, “for it makes us aware of having sensations at all”
see section on “Aristotelian Common Sense” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
Aristotle emphasizes the act of comparison as critical to Understanding (Step B) the three-step A-B-C Common Sense-making process.
After perceiving an object, the perceiver compares and contrasts that object in relation to similar objects found within the perceiver’s experience. Finally, based on that understanding, the perceiver, in a creative act of synthesis, finds the true center or third way derived from the act of comparison and projects that decision out into the world.
In 2006, after carefully analyzing and deconstructing Vladimir Putin’s year 2000 Millennium Manifesto, author Gavin Slade from the Central European University in Budapest, an affiliate of The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS), affirms the Russian leader’s propensity for utilizing in the political arena the type of Hegelian common sense widely discussed in this article:
In the 1990s Russia’s political discourse was framed in terms of good and evil. There was little compromise or synthesis.
The rejection of revolution and change shows that Putin is effectively trying to establish a discourse focused on unity and stability knowing that the binary oppositions of politics during the Yeltsin era had created a situation where the state was unable “to muster a critical mass of leaders who articulate[d] one or another political discourse that resonate[d] in political society.
Rare among today’s world leaders, Vladimir Putin appears to well understand the evolutionary necessity of this third way approach to governance based on common sense-derived synthesis, and leverages that knowledge to promote unity, social cohesion and commonality of purpose on a national and international scale.
Aristotle even goes as far as to say that common sense is where consciousness originates. So if a society is lacking in common sense, and there’s little to no conscience, morality, empathy, consciousness, creativity, taste, discernment or love, how does one propose to govern such a population? This no doubt created a quandary for the rulers of large populations in the past, and clearly still presents governance challenges today.
The system’s time-honored, traditional answer to the problem of populations lacking in common sense was to oppress them into submission, with increased submission leading to an ever more constrictive cycle of dominance, oppression and abuse. It’s not outrageous to consider both parties to be at fault for this social dynamic that still exists and thrives today.
The cognitive process of common sense is part of humanity’s spiritual endowment and is similar to the Greek idea of knowledge or nous, which is the divine spark or knowledge within that is shared or common to all.
While nous may be common to all, it seems at present to be buried deep within the human psyche, and as such, unfortunately, is largely inactive.
Humanity’s drive to separate, exceptionalize and specialize (such groveling at the feet of society’s beloved specialists), is but a tiny sliver of the whole spoon-fed matrix. These absurd, self-destructive values are automatically downloaded at face value and parroted aloud as that which everybody knows.
These automatic, pre-programmed responses demonstrate the process of individual and social decay which epitomizes dualistic A-B programming, and as such represents an evolutionary dead-end. And yet despite its flaws, this system, while abhorrent to many not only does have value in populations largely lacking in common sense, but also provides stark contrast to utopian social visions, as well as important motivation for those who wish to overcome its glaring inadequacies.
So cheer up, the news is not entirely bleak. To find oneself, one must first lose oneself, and so humanity has intentionally (if not consciously), led itself astray. The capacity for auto-correction is built into the natural system of the Earth and undoubtedly woven into the very fabric of cosmic existence itself. And yet in order to auto-correct, one must first dare to walk down dark paths leading to destinations unknown.
Compliance with Globalist diktat is ensured by the Con’s ability to provide endless streams of mindless distractions and short-term pleasures quick as you can afford them. And if you can’t afford them but still crave them, you get a gold star for being a motivated world citizen.
But try inducing people to step off that wheel, swallow the red pill and slide down the rabbit hole. Just see how that works out.
Of course this makes no sense. Why choose isolated, short-term pleasures over long-term ones? Freedom is sold cheap in exchange for a handful of trinkets and beads. But as the late great George Carlin once said: “nobody seems to notice; nobody seems to care.”
The average person, lacking common sense, is unable to step outside his bubble and recognize the divinely entangled oneness of reality.
How many times do you have to read in the alternative media about the daunting lack of empathy on the part of the Globalist controllers, and this is true, but how about the lack of empathy among the masses? Without common sense, there is no empathy, and the masses are sorely lacking in common sense.
The inability to put themselves in the shoes of others keeps the un-awoken strapped to the bed of their own egotistical, narcissism. Good luck getting through to them. They are simply incapable of being awakened in anything less than a repeatedly rough manner.
Russian history is chock-full of examples of these rough awakenings, and it therefore should not be so surprising that today’s Russian population is relatively more awake than those still snoozing in the pampered, declining West.
Perhaps this is why those cast in the role of Controllers – along with their robotic minions – are as nasty and brutish as they are, since it falls on them to rouse Joe Sixpack in the only way he seems to understand: by shoving his face deep down into the toilet bowl of an unexamined life. Spend enough time down there, and you may finally see that all your dreams of wealth, success and material gain have just been so much meaningless crap.
And so the seemingly endless stream of futile chatter in the alternative media referring to the slumbering masses and how if they just had the right information is, sorry to say, nothing but pure fantasy, wishful thinking and projection on the part of the awakened, common sense minority.
The Great Awakening that many feel today, and it is palpable, is not widespread; it’s actually emanating from a very small, scattered fraction of the global population. It’s just that this small but slowly growing group of A-B-C common sense types, specialists in their own right, have a tendency, despite their incessant utilization of the common sense process, largely due to a lifetime of incessant “all men are created equal” propaganda, to erroneously project their common sense values on to the masses, and as a result are time and time again disappointed when their best intentions to rouse the herd are not taken seriously. Boo-hoo.
If the world was in fact brimming over with common sense, which currently it is not, reality would appear quite different than it does. No, the prison planet has been specially designed to serve the masochistic masses precisely what they need in order to evolve. It wouldn’t actually be so bad if it weren’t so damn destructive. If anything, it’s not dull.
As it is presented today, the Con’s “reality” is designed to stroke the mass ego consciousness with just enough happy endings to keep the machine humming and its occasionally unruly parts alternately motivated, sedated and restrained. This seems to be an unfortunate yet necessary design for an emotionally immature, Id-raging majority.
On the other hand, within an awakened community, no matter how small, which is not characterized by delusion but common sense, the rules of the game could not be more different. Within such a community, you can always choose another path and consciously create what you want. Life there is no longer an either/or A-B equation. You can finally transcend childish dualism as you take a quantum leap into the common sense adult world of contemplation, awareness, empathy, consciousness, comparative analysis, and synthesis. In this vitally thrilling world, A + B = C.
The goal of discourse is to create the transcendental, a higher centre of meaning outside the plurality of visions and interpretations, ‘to arrest the flow of differences, to construct a centre. ‘Thus, ‘at the base of Putin’s policies and what we shall describe as his “third way” lies the idea of a grand transcendence of so many of the conflicts that had both shaped and torn Russia in the modern era.’ -http://www.sras.org/deconstructing_the_millennium_manifesto
Mr. Putin has tirelessly and with increasing success preached his neo-Gnostic common sense gospel to a Russian population that has in the not-so-distant past become familiar on an unprecedented scale with such intense suffering and pain that an increasingly large portion of them now appear eager to listen to and act upon Putin’s challenge to reclaim their common heritage as intelligent, discerning and consciously evolving individuals in a country of rich heritage and national achievement. This development on a national scale is uncommon.
The economic prosperity that Putin’s leadership has helped generate, impressive as it is, pales in comparison to the raising of individual consciousness en masse in Russia, which is what can happen to a nation when real common sense is applied to governance. That requires rare leadership qualities on a level that few in other countries have experienced in a long while.
What many in the West often fail to comprehend (because they lack empathy) is that when you’re the leader of a 9 time zone wide, 17 million square kilometer (6.6 million sq mi) Eurasian land mass comprised of a wide range of European, Caucasian, Asian and Indigenous cultures, in order to successfully lead and inspire such a diverse group, you must possess a Yin Yang-balanced, personal and diplomatic Swiss Army-like skill-set.
This mixing of Western and Russian ideas is only a part of a blend of inter-discursive features adopted by Putin. It is in his co-optation of different discourses and ideas that Putin attempts to suture rifts in identity and win the war of position within discourse. It is, as some have said, a ‘third way.’
As an individual, Vladimir Putin displays many attributes of the modern Renaissance Man. He’s a vigorous yet contemplative gentleman of refinement and culture with an admiration for various art forms and a genuine appreciation for the diverse beauty and splendor of nature.
Although Mr. Putin enjoys hunting and fishing, it’s not part of some macho power trip to defeat and kill defenseless animals, but rather as a way for him to feel vitally connected to the natural world that we share with each other and are invited to explore if only we dare.
Here’s a striking passage from a May, 2011 Outdoor Life Magazine interview where Mr. Putin candidly describes his experience obtaining a whale biopsy:
OL: In August 2010, you helped scientists obtain skin samples from a whale off Russia’s Pacific Coast by darting one with a crossbow. I imagine that has to be one of the more incredible of your wildlife encounters.
VP: That was indeed an unforgettable experience, and I remember very well how impressed I was.
First, all that surrounded me—the low sky, the stormy sea and, of course, the whales—was magnificent. Besides, these elegant giants showed us a real performance, leaping out of the water in front of our boat.
Second, I was really thrilled. I do not want to offend your feelings as a hunter, but, by its intensity, its dynamics, that was a real hunt. But without killing the animal. And this was a special pleasure. This is not a melodramatic statement. That’s the way it really was.
We left not just to see the whales, but to take a biopsy—in other words, to dart one of the animals with a crossbow arrow, which can rip off a small part of whale skin necessary to make a special analysis. It was not that easy; three times I failed, and only the fourth attempt was successful. Of course, I could justify myself that the boat was tossing badly and that it was the first time for me to handle a crossbow, but the main reason I see was my anxiety, because participation in the scientific experiment is a very important undertaking.
OL: After you successfully darted a whale, a reporter asked you if it was dangerous. You replied that, “Living, in general, is dangerous.” Do you have any comment on that?
VP: I think what I meant by that is obvious. Despite all the achievements of civilization, the human being is still one of the most vulnerable creatures on earth. None of us is protected from crimes, epidemic outbreaks, natural and technogenic disasters. What I am saying is not a fatalistic view of the world, it is a realistic one.
Mr. Putin, with obvious empathy for the whale and a humble appreciation for the magnitude of the moment, describes in a nutshell the fragility of the human experience within a natural world that is both nurturing and fraught with risk. Unlike his ego-driven political counterparts who can never admit to any weakness, it’s a feather in his cap that he does not appear to be afraid to convey his fear and anxiety at being in the middle of what most would agree was an unsafe situation.
Mr. Putin seems to be implying that you might as well take risks because risk is inherent to life. To therefore feel some degree of anxiety when taking bold steps is natural, and nothing to be afraid of. Taking those bold steps is part of a personal and national awakening process.
Having repeatedly put his personal safety in jeopardy for the sake of the greater good, as demonstrated by his biopsy of whales, soaring with endangered cranes and tranquilizing tigers…
…it should come as no surprise when Mr. Putin applies a calculated risk approach to diplomacy, as demonstrated by his swift response to an extraordinary early August 2013 meeting with the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar, an event first reported in the UK Telegraph and widely acknowledged in the Russian press as well as a number of other sources.
This colorful September 30th, 2013 recapitulation of that same fateful meeting comes courtesy of an approving Pravda opinion column, “Come the Day, Come The Hour”:
Essentially, Bandar Bush went to Putin – purportedly with the full backing of the US, and offered to cut a secret deal to carve up the oil profits if Russia would back off on Syria and allow a regime change. Putin quietly and politely offered a nyet. He was not for sale and neither were his principles. Bandar went on to then threaten Russia by turning loose Chechen terrorists to cause havoc in the Winter Sochi Olympics. Saying that all terrorists groups are under their control and that they can turn them on or off as they like. Well, it appears that at this stage, the negotiations moved from being polite – Putin warned Bandar that if Syria is attacked, Russia would bomb Saudi Arabia. At last, someone with balls. This threat was communicated to senior members of the Armed Forces with instructions to prepare to strike Saudi Arabia. Obviously, this was leaked.
The now famous and universally acclaimed accord on chemical weapons aside, wouldn’t it be more than likely that President Putin’s declaration of intent to bomb Saudi Arabia if Syria was attacked is the real, under-reported reason why a near-certain U.S. strike on Syria was called off? Just a theory…
President Putin, a man of principle and a strong advocate of International Law, rejected out of hand Bandar’s pathetic bribe, since unlike many other politicians, he has principles, and can’t just be bought off.
Nonetheless, upon digesting Prince Bandar’s incredible admission of he and his country’s direct support for state-sponsored terrorism, despite his usual placid demeanor, President Putin’s jaw must have dropped when he received a not-so-thinly veiled threat of Olympic terrorist attack if cooperation on the Syria question was not forthcoming. President Putin rightly determined that this was not only a direct threat to Russia, but to the entire civilized world, and so he did what he had to do: stand up to the bully.
Only a leader so level-headed and eminently comfortable in his own skin could stare the impudent Saudi down and call his bluff in terms that were crystal clear and absolutely appropriate to the threat. Exercising his capacity for A-B-C common sense, Mr. Putin perceived, understood and decided what to do without hesitation.
When threatened with force, sometimes the only way to get the other party to take you seriously is to threaten them right back. That took guts and is deserving of recognition.
World War III was averted (for now), and Putin’s stock has deservedly risen to such a high level around the world that he was in serious contention for the Nobel Prize. The fact that he didn’t win is probably better PR than if he had won, since Obama won it for bailing out the bankers. Putin is probably ok then with an honorable mention.
When an individual like Vladimir Putin, who both at home and abroad is recognized as having an authentic character, repeatedly demonstrates sane, balanced actions, as he declares the rule of law and common sense governance as the goals of the nation and backs it up with corresponding actions, he naturally enjoys widespread support and trust.
Sadly, these common sense leadership qualities, which should be essential prerequisites for every political leader, are sorely lacking in the West, where there seems to be a permanent disconnect between common sense and politics.
Often unfairly lampooned in the press for his bare-chested macho man image, Mr. Putin also appears to genuinely be in touch with his feminine side.
As a Judo master, Putin is adept at using his opponents’ momentum against them, which can only be done by respecting the power of each “adversary,” as well as being sensitive to the flow of energy emanating from that person. A perfect example of a real world application of that principle is how President Putin “flipped” and redirected the Saudi Prince’s malevolent, threatening, violent energy right back at the Prince and synthesized the product of that energy for the purpose of creating peace.
Check out Putin’s judo moves here:
Sometimes Presidents really do need to act like car salesmen, but the car that Putin is selling is built to last and runs efficiently on common sense, common law (i.e. as long as you’re not hurting anyone, you’re acting within the law), and community. And that’s a vehicle more and more Russian citizens are being convinced by Putin to buy, since he drives one himself.
Putin’s manifesto is rich in inter-discursivity, appropriating elements from competing ideologies and rejecting binary oppositions in order to win the war of position within the discursive field thus creating ‘an all-national spiritual reference point that will help to consolidate society, thereby strengthening the state. This reference point, a new Russian idea, helps construct an image of the state as a nation of people represented by a spokesperson, the president.
Those of the awakened minority who are frustrated and at odds with Globalist domination strategies should find solace in the fact that the dream of a New World Order, of which much of the world is presently dreaming into reality, must according to its unnatural and unsustainable underlying principles, much like its Soviet system predecessor, inevitably collapse under the weight of its excessive absurdity.
And if you’re one of the small but proud members of the common sense minority community, if you haven’t already done so, please do yourselves a big favor and cease all efforts aimed at trying to wake up humanity, because it can’t be done. Instead, continue waking yourselves up.
Humanity can only wake itself up one individual at a time. The newly awakened, in their own time, will make connections with others without your incessant nudges. So try to let go. You’ll feel better if you do.
In stark contrast to the West’s current political downward slope, it’s fascinating to observe the progress of Vladimir Putin in his quest to help instill and nurture a return of common sense to the realm of politics. It makes one hopeful that new leadership possessing similar strength of character will follow President Putin’s lead.
Unlike Mr. Putin, we can’t all play the part of hero in this movie, although there’s no character too minor and no act too small.
Continue speaking your truth, get along with others, and have a good time. The rest will take care of itself.
That’s just plain old common sense.
And to close the show, Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of all ages, live from the internet, the one, the only…:
Source: Waking Times
The international crisis may be over, but the multisided war in Syria is continuing. On Friday government planes bombarded rebel positions in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor after heavy clashes claimed the life of one of President Bashar al-Assad’s top military intelligence officers. In the long-contested city of Aleppo, a renewed rebel assault on the city’s central prison has run out of steam. The Syrian Army is preparing an offensive in the Qalamoun region east of Damascus and secure the key road connecting the capital with Homs, near the border with Lebanon. Last Wednesday dozens of fighters were reported killed in clashes between the Kurdish YPG militia and al-Nusra Front jihadists in the oil-rich Hasake province in northeastern Syria.
The fighting will continue, but no strategically decisive event is on the horizon. A military stalemate is taking shape. The rebels are controlling large areas in the north and east of the country, while government forces have extended control over their strongholds in Damascus, the coastal strip, and the areas along the border with Lebanon. The capture of the town of Qusair in June and the failure of the U.S. military intervention to materialize in September have given the government a major boost, while accentuating political divisions among the rebels.
On October 16 dozens of rebel groups in southern Syria announced that they have severed links with the Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition, the political arm of the Free Syrian Army. Only weeks earlier several powerful rebel factions in the north of the country broke with the Coalition and declared support for the introduction of Sharia in the country. The rebels’ foreign backers are increasingly exasperated at the fighting groups’ failure to conceal their Jihadist agenda and their inability to present a coherent front. A major snag for the Obama Administration is the opposition’s reluctance to attend a peace conference in Geneva, tentatively scheduled for November 23-24 and jointly sponsored by the U.S. and Russia. The discord in opposition ranks casts serious doubts over whether any credible representatives will turn up. The Western powers and the Arab Gulf states are promising fresh assistance if they do attend, but no opposition leader seems willing to allow the possibility of a transitional government in which President Bashar al-Assad would play a role.
The rebels’ insistence on Bashar’s exclusion is unrealistic, now that the American military intervention is no longer on the cards and the Syrian government’s cooperation is essential in the process of dismantling the country’s chemical weapons arsenal. Unfortunately for the rebels, the program is proceeding smoothly and Washington is not interested in jeopardizing its success by supporting the rebels’ unreasonable demands. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced last Wednesday that its inspectors have so far visited 11 of more than 20 sites linked to the chemical weapons program. The team destroyed “critical equipment” at six sites as well as unloaded chemical weapons munitions, said the OPCW. At the same time there have been fresh calls on the rebels to provide inspectors with unhindered access. On Friday The New York Times quoted a Western diplomat as saying that “however divided the opposition might be, it would look very bad if the government was seen to be cooperating fully, while inspections were held up because of problems with the opposition.”
The U.N. peace envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, insists that the Geneva conference is needed because everyone in Syria is at military and political dead-end. “Geneva is a way out for everyone: the Americans, Russia, the Syrian regime and the opposition,” he said in a veiled warning to Bashar’s foes to get their act together. “Whoever realizes this first will benefit. Whoever does not realize it will find himself overboard, outside the political process.” The International Crisis Group (ICG), which has advocated robust U.S. engagement in the past, now says that the Syrian opposition “should develop a realistic strategy towards what remains the best hope for ending the war,” including “reaching internal consensus on workable negotiation parameters.” The Guardian, long an advocate of Western intervention, now notes that “mainstream opposition figures are alarmed at the growing success of the Syrian government’s argument that the country now faces a stark choice between Assad and al-Qaida.”
The rebels’ behavior in those areas they control has given ample credence to that argument. Cold-blooded executions of captured government soldiers have been going on for months, but the mass murder of unarmed villagers is a novelty. Proportionate to their numbers, the Christians are the main victims, as we have repeatedly warned they would be. According to Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III, more than 450,000 Christians out of a total population of 1.75 million had been displaced or left the country. Similar warnings came from Archbishop Cyril Karim of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in the United States, who last summer led protests against the possibility of an American military strike on Syria.
Feeling abandoned by the West, Syria’s Christians are turning to Russia for protection. Tens of thousands want to apply for Russian citizenship, not in order to flee Syria but to be “under the protection of Russia if we face the threat of being physically eliminated by terrorists.” Over 50,000 Syrian Christians signed the address, including doctors, engineers, lawyers and businessmen from the Kalamoun area near Damascus. Their appeal follows President Vladimir Putin’s strong attack last July on the infringement of the rights of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.
The United States, in the meantime, continues to supply the rebels with arms and training, directly or by proxy. The Administration is also preparing a new massive arms shipment to our good friends in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—$13 billion worth of “various munitions and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.” This comes at a time of ongoing sabre-rattling from Gulf leaders who “threaten to stand steadfast to the cause—in spite of US ‘weakness’—determined to remake the Middle East in their authoritarian image.”
“U.S. hopes of winning more influence over Syria’s divided rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed political opposition coalition and announced the formation of an alliance dedicated to creating an Islamist state. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group.” 1
Pity the poor American who wants to be a good citizen, wants to understand the world and his country’s role in it, wants to believe in the War on Terrorism, wants to believe that his government seeks to do good … What is he to make of all this?
For about two years, his dear American government has been supporting the same anti-government side as the jihadists in the Syrian civil war; not total, all-out support, but enough military hardware, logistics support, intelligence information, international political, diplomatic and propaganda assistance (including the crucial alleged-chemical-weapons story), to keep the jihadists in the ball game. Washington and its main Mideast allies in the conflict – Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have not impeded the movement to Syria of jihadists coming to join the rebels, recruited from the ranks of Sunni extremist veterans of the wars in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, while Qatar and the Saudis have supplied the rebels with weapons, most likely bought in large measure from the United States, as well as lots of of what they have lots of – money.
This widespread international support has been provided despite the many atrocities carried out by the jihadists – truck and car suicide bombings (with numerous civilian casualties), planting roadside bombs à la Iraq, gruesome massacres of Christians and Kurds, grotesque beheadings and other dissections of victims’ bodies (most charming of all: a Youtube video of a rebel leader cutting out an organ from the chest of a victim and biting into it as it drips with blood). All this barbarity piled on top of a greater absurdity – these Western-backed, anti-government forces are often engaged in battle with other Western-backed, anti-government forces, non-jihadist. It has become increasingly difficult to sell this war to the American public as one of pro-democracy “moderates” locked in a good-guy-versus-bad-guy struggle with an evil dictator, although in actuality the United States has fought on the same side as al Qaeda on repeated occasions before Syria. Here’s a brief survey:
Afghanistan, 1980-early 1990s: In support of the Islamic Moujahedeen (“holy warriors”), the CIA orchestrated a war against the Afghan government and their Soviet allies, pouring in several billions of dollars of arms and extensive military training; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year; pressuring and bribing Pakistan to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary.
It worked. And out of the victorious Moujahedeen came al Qaeda.
Bosnia, 1992-5: In 2001 the Wall Street Journal declared:
It is safe to say that the birth of al-Qaeda as a force on the world stage can be traced directly back to 1992, when the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic issued a passport in their Vienna embassy to Osama bin Laden. … for the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. 2
A few months later, The Guardian reported on “the full story of the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims – some of the same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in “the war against terrorism”. 3
In 1994 and 1995 US/NATO forces carried out bombing campaigns over Bosnia aimed at damaging the military capability of the Serbs and enhancing that of the Bosnian Muslims. In the decade-long civil wars in the Balkans, the Serbs, regarded by Washington as the “the last communist government in Europe”, were always the main enemy.
Kosovo, 1998-99: Kosovo, overwhelmingly Muslim, was a province of Serbia, the main republic of the former Yugoslavia. In 1998, Kosovo separatists – The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – began an armed conflict with Belgrade to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA having contact with al-Qaeda, getting arms from them, having its militants trained in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against the Serbs. 4
However, when US-NATO forces began military action against the Serbs the KLA was taken off the US terrorist list, it “received official US-NATO arms and training support” 5 , and the 1999 US-NATO bombing campaign eventually focused on driving Serbian forces from Kosovo.
In 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it. But the United States was the first to do so, the very next day, thus affirming the unilateral declaration of independence of a part of another country’s territory.
The KLA have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic). The United States has naturally been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union.
Nota bene: In 1992 the Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs reached agreement in Lisbon for a unified state. The continuation of a peaceful multi-ethnic Bosnia seemed assured. But the United States sabotaged the agreement. 6
Libya, 2011: The US and NATO to the rescue again. For more than six months, almost daily missile attacks against the government and forces of Muammar Gaddafi as assorted Middle East jihadists assembled in Libya and battled the government on the ground. The predictable outcome came to be – the jihadists now in control of parts of the country and fighting for the remaining parts. The wartime allies showed their gratitude to Washington by assassinating the US ambassador and three other Americans, presumably CIA, in the city of Benghazi.
Caucasus (Russia), mid-2000s to present: The National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House have for many years been the leading American “non-government” institutions tasked with destabilizing, if not overthrowing, foreign governments which refuse to be subservient to the desires of US foreign policy. Both NGOs have backed militants in the Russian Caucasus area, one that has seen more than its share of terror stretching back to the Chechnyan actions of the 1990s. 7
“Omission is the most powerful form of lie.” – George Orwell
I am asked occasionally why I am so critical of the mainstream media when I quote from them repeatedly in my writings. The answer is simple. The American media’s gravest shortcoming is much more their errors of omission than their errors of commission. It’s what they leave out that distorts the news more than any factual errors or out-and-out lies. So I can make good use of the facts they report, which a large, rich organization can easier provide than the alternative media.
A case in point is a New York Times article of October 5 on the Greek financial crisis and the Greeks’ claim for World War Two reparations from Germany.
“Germany may be Greece’s stern banker now, say those who are seeking reparations,” writes theTimes, but Germany “should pay off its own debts to Greece. … It is not just aging victims of the Nazi occupation who are demanding a full accounting. Prime Minister Antonis Samarass government has compiled an 80-page report on reparations and a huge, never-repaid loan the nation was forced to make under Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1945. … The call for reparations has elicited an emotional outpouring in Greece, where six years of brutal recession and harsh austerity measures have left many Greeks hostile toward Germany. Rarely does a week go by without another report in the news about, as one newspaper put it in a headline, ‘What Germany Owes Us’.”
“The figure most often discussed is $220 billion, an estimate for infrastructure damage alone put forward by Manolis Glezos, a member of Parliament and a former resistance fighter who is pressing for reparations. That amount equals about half the country’s debt. … Some members of the National Council on Reparations, an advocacy group, are calling for more than $677 billion to cover stolen artifacts, damage to the economy and to the infrastructure, as well as the bank loan and individual claims.”
So there we have the morality play: The evil Germans who occupied Greece and in addition to carrying out a lot of violence and repression shamelessly exploited the Greek people economically.
Would it be appropriate for such a story, or an accompanying or follow-up story, to mention the civil war that broke out in Greece shortly after the close of the world war? On one side were the neo-fascists, many of whom had cooperated with the occupying Germans during the war, some even fighting for the Nazis. Indeed, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, acknowledged in August 1946 that there were 228 ex-members of the Nazi Security Battalions – whose main task had been to track down Greek resistance fighters and Jews – on active service in the new Greek army. 8
On the other side was the Greek left who had fought the Nazis courageously, even forcing the German army to flee the country in 1944.
So guess which side of the civil war our favorite military took? … That’s right, the United States supported the neo-fascists. After all, an important component of the Greek left was the Communist Party, although it wouldn’t have mattered at all if the Greek left had not included any Communists. Support of the left (not to be confused with liberals of course) anywhere in the world, during and since the Cold War, has been verboten in US foreign policy.
The neo-fascists won the civil war and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency, named and modeled after itself, the KYP. For the next 15 years, Greece was looked upon much as a piece of real estate to be developed according to Washington’s political and economic needs. One document should suffice to capture the beauty of Washington’s relationship to Athens – a 1947 letter from US Secretary of State George Marshall to Dwight Griswold, the head of the American Mission to Aid Greece, said:
During the course of your work you and the members of your Mission will from time to time find that certain Greek officials are not, because of incompetence, disagreement with your policies, or for some other reason, extending the type of cooperation which is necessary if the objectives of your Mission are to be achieved. You will find it necessary to effect the removal of these officials. 9
Where is the present-day Greek headline: “What The United States Owes Us”? Where is the New York Times obligation to enlighten its readers?
The latest step in the evolution of America’s Police State
“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”
So say many Americans. And many Germans as well.
But one German, Ilija Trojanow, would disagree. He has lent his name to published documents denouncing the National Security Agency (NSA), and was one of several prominent German authors who signed a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to take a firm stance against the mass online surveillance conducted by the NSA. Trojanow and the other authors had nothing to hide, which is why the letter was published for the public to read. What happened after that, however, was that Trojanow was refused permission to board a flight from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, to Miami on Monday, September 30. Without any explanation.
Trojanow, who was on his way to speak at a literary conference in Denver, told the Spiegel magazine online website that the denial of entry might be linked to his criticism of the NSA. Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has contacted US authorities “to resolve this issue”. 10
In an article published in a German newspaper, Trojanow voiced his frustration with the incident: “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free’.”11
Further irony can be found in the title of a book by Trojanow: “Attack on freedom. Obsession with security, the surveillance state and the dismantling of civil rights.”
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., who oversees the NSA and other intelligence agencies, said recently that the intelligence community “is only interested in communication related to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.” 12
It’s difficult in the extreme to see how this criterion would apply in any way to Ilija Trojanow.
The story is a poignant caveat on how fragile is Americans’ freedom to criticize their Security State. If a foreigner can be barred from boarding a flight merely for peaceful, intellectual criticism of America’s Big Brother (nay, Giant Brother), who amongst us does not need to pay careful attention to anything they say or write.
Very few Americans, however, will even be aware of this story. A thorough search of the Lexis-Nexis media database revealed a single mention in an American daily newspaper (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch), out of 1400 daily papers in the US. No mention on any broadcast media. A single one-time mention in a news agency (Associated Press), and one mention in a foreign English-language newspaper (New Zealand Herald).
- Washington Post, September 26, 2013 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 ↩
- The Guardian (London), April 22, 2002 ↩
- RT TV (Moscow), May 4, 2012 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 ↩
- New York Times, June 17, 1993, buried at the very end of the article on an inside page ↩
- Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs Post, “Barbarians at the Gate: Terrorism, the US, and the Subversion of Russia”, August 30, 2012 ↩
- Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, October 16, 1946, column 887 (reference is made here to Bevin’s statement of August 10, 1946) ↩
- Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947, Vol. V (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 222-3. See William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, chapter 3 for further details of the US role in postwar Greece. ↩
- Associated Press, October 2, 2013 ↩
- Huffington Post, “Ilija Trojanow, German Writer, Banned From US For Criticizing NSA”, October 1, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, October 5, 2013 ↩
“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”–Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The definition of what makes an “enemy” may vary from person to person. But I would say that, generally, an enemy is one who has an active ability to do irreparable harm to you or your essential values. He is motivated by destruction, the destruction of all that you hold dear. He is capable and unrelenting. He is a legitimate threat. He will not compromise. He will not waver. He will do anything to wound you. He will not stop. He is possessed.
Americans have spent the better part of a century being told who their enemies are with very little explanation or substantiation. We have blindly rallied around our patriotic prerogative without knowing the root cause of the conflict or the nature of the target we are told to annihilate. We have been suckered into war after war, conjured by international interests in order to lure us into accepting greater centralization and concentrated globalism. As a culture, I’m sorry to say, we have been used. We are a tool of unmitigated doom. We are the loaded gun in the hand of the devil.
This paradigm has done irreparable harm to our standing in the eyes of the peoples of the world. But until recently, it has done very little harm to us as a society. We have allowed ourselves to be used like a bloody club, but we have not yet felt the true pain or the true cost. We have been insulated from consequence. However, this comfortable situation is quickly coming to an end.
When one applies the above definition of “the enemy” to Syria, one comes away with very little satisfaction. The Syrian government poses absolutely no immediate threat to the United States. In fact, the civil war that now rages within its borders has been completely fabricated by our own government. The insurgency has been funded, armed, trained and ultimately directed by the U.S. intelligence community. Without U.S. subversion, the civil war in Syria would not exist.
So, the question arises: If Syria is not the real enemy, who is?
I point back to the core issue. That is to say, I would examine who pose a legitimate threat to our country and our principles. The Syrian government under Bashar Assad clearly has no capability to threaten our freedom, our economic stability, our social stability, or our defensive capabilities. There is, though, a group of people out there who do, in fact, pose a significant threat to the American way of life on every conceivable level. These people do not live on the other side of the world. They do not wear foreign garb or speak another language. Most of them do not have pigmented skin or Asian features. They look just like you and I, and they live in Washington D.C.
If the so-called “debate” over a possible military strike in Syria has done anything, it has certainly brought the American public’s true enemies frothing to the surface like so much sewage. Men who posed as liberal proponents of peace not long ago now salivate over the prospect of bloodshed. Men who once posed as fiscal conservatives now clamor for more Federal funding to drive the U.S. war machine. Men who claimed to represent the citizenry now ignore all calls for reason by the public in the pursuit of global dominance.
I have warned of the considerable dangers of a war in Syria for years — long before most people knew or cared about the Assad regime. Being in this position has allowed me to view the escalating crisis with a considerable amount of objectivity. In the midst of so much chaos and confusion, if you know who stands to gain and who stands to lose, the progression of events becomes transparent, and the strategy of the actual enemy emerges.
So what have I observed so far?
If you want to know who has malicious intent toward our Constitutional values, simply move your eyes away from the Mideast and focus on our own capital. The ill will toward liberty held by the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties is obvious in the Congressional support of the banker bailouts, the Patriot Acts, the National Defense Authorization Act, the President’s domestic assassination directives, the hands-off approach to National Security Agency mass surveillance, etc. But even beyond these litmus tests, the Syrian debate has unveiled numerous enemies of the American people within our own government.
The catastrophe inherent in a Syrian strike is at least partially known to most of the public. We are fully aware that there will be blowback from any new strike in the Mideast (limited or unlimited), economically as well as internationally. So if the average American with little political experience understands the consequences of such an action, the average politician should be more than educated on the dangers. Any representative who blatantly ignores the calamity ahead is either very stupid or has an agenda.
I find it fascinating that politicians and bureaucrats from both sides of the aisle are now coming out of the woodwork to cheerlead alongside each other for war and the state.
For those who are predominantly preoccupied with Barack Obama as the source of all our ills, I would gladly point out that Republican leader and House Speaker John Boehner has also thrown his support behind a Syrian strike, even before the U.N. investigative report on Syrian chemical weapons use has been released.
In the meantime, self-proclaimed Republican stalwarts like John McCain (R-Ariz.) have argued that Obama’s “limited strike” response is “not enough.” This is the same man, by the way, who has been instrumental in the monetary and military support of Al Qaeda in Syria. McCain has recently called for avid pursuit of the new Russian proposal for chemical disarmament in Syria, not because he wants to find a peaceful solution to the situation, but because he believes the deal can be used as a bargaining chip to convince Congress to VOTE FOR military force, in order to “keep pressure on Assad”.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who not long ago ran for President on the platform of being an anti-war Democrat, now regularly begs the American people to back further war based on the same dubious evidence for which he once criticized the George W. Bush Administration. In fact, Kerry has made it clear that even if Congress votes “no” against a strike, he believes Obama has the right to set one in motion anyway.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), the man who openly admits in mainstream interviews that he believes the President has the right to indefinitely detain or assassinate American citizens without trial or oversight, has loudly indicated his support for a war on Syria. His criticisms parallel McCain’s in that he believes the Obama Administration should have attacked without Congressional approval or should commit to an all-out military shift into the region. That is to say, he believes the goal of the White House should be invasion and regime change, not just disarmament. Graham consistently fear mongers in the mainstream media, often warning that without a hard, immediate strike against Syria, catastrophe will befall Israel, and chemical andnuclear weapons will rain on America.
All I have to say to Graham is, if chemical or nuclear weapons are used against the American people, it will be because the establishment ALLOWED it to happen — just as it has allowed numerous attacks in the past to occur in order to facilitate pretext for a larger war. (The Gulf of Tonkin is a fitting example considering the many similarities between the Syrian debacle and Vietnam, the only difference being that this time the establishment is throwing its support on the side of the insurgency, rather than the prevailing government).
For those out there in the movement who are hoping for reason and logic to prevail during a Congressional debate on the Syrian issue, I would suggest that they do not hold their breath. This vote was decided before Obama ever allowed it to go to the Hill. The vote has been cast. The debate is a sideshow designed to make the American people feel as if their system of government still functions as it should. Remember, no Congress in the history of the United States has ever refused the request of a President to make war.
The more than 150 Congressmen who demanded a vote on the Syrian crisis did so because they wanted to be included in the process, not because they necessarily opposed a war. That leaves nearly 300 representatives who had NO PROBLEM whatsoever with Obama attacking Syria unilaterally without any checks or balances. The Senate panel that initiated the voting process on the strike plan passed the initiative 10-7. I have no doubt that Obama has the votes to confirm the use of force, even with all the talk of uncertainty in evidence or planning.
The Russian offer of organizing chemical disarmament has barely made a dent in the White House’s war rhetoric, as was evident in Barack Obama’s address to the nation yesterday. When asked in an interview with NBC if he has made up his mind whether or not he will forge ahead with military action if Congress votes his proposal down, Obama stated:
“It’s fair to say that I haven’t decided…”
Putting on the airs of a Roman Emperor, Obama’s thumb remains in the neutral position over the gladiator pit of Syria, but as he clearly points out, he can give the thumbs down anytime he chooses. If anything, the White House and the elitist machine are simply using the next few weeks (the approximate time being discussed for chemical disarmament) to establish further precedent, or conjure new atrocities, in order to garner a minimal public backing for violent action in the region.
And, let’s not forget our friendly enemies in the mainstream media. The MSM is in rare form the past week, fabricating numerous arguments as to why the average American “just doesn’t get the Syrian situation”. The latest disinformation campaigns seem to be revolving around generating alternative motivations for a strike -
Obama’s “red line” was crossed and we must strike in order to save face amongst our allies.
A refusal to strike Syria will “embolden Iran” and lead them to use their own WMD’s in terrorist acts (WMD’s which are still not proven to exist).
And my favorite argument: That refusing to strike would mean “abandoning” the Syrian rebelsin their war on Assad. You know, the same rebels permeated with psychopathic Al Qaeda operatives that our government trained and funded.
The mainstream media steamroller is barreling forward, searching for ANY talking point that will hook the American populace into rationalizing an attack. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pencil-necked weaklings call for so much blood. The strategy seems to be an attempt to shift America’s attention away from the alleged chemical attack alone, and discombobulate us with multiple sales pitches of death in case Congressional support turns sour (which I doubt).
But let’s say Obama does not get his Congressional approval; as stated earlier his office has asserted on numerous occasions that he has the authority to trigger war regardless. A “no” vote in Washington means nothing today due to war powers granted after 9/11. The probable scenario, though, is the most common scenario. Congress will likely authorize the “use of limited military force” without directly declaring war on the Assad regime. This is exactly what Congress did in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no evidence of an Al Qaeda support structure and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but war exploded nonetheless. Congress gave Bush a blank check to do whatever he saw fit, and I believe Congress will do the same for Obama.
America is being set up to look like the bad guy or the fool, but why?
Our political leadership is devoted to the ideology of globalization, not sovereignty or U.S prosperity. A Syrian strike places the United States in tremendous peril, the likes of which have not been seen since the Cuban missile crisis. Syria itself is a vacuum of suffocating calamity; a black hole swirling in a void of economic and sociological interdependency. Where the United States enters, so follows Iran, so follows Israel, so follows Saudi Arabia, so follows Lebanon, so follows Jordan, so follows Egypt, so follows Russia, so follows China and on and on.
In my analysis of Syria over the years, I have exposed this domino effect of war as well as the possible calamities of an economic chain reaction. Escalating conflict in Syria will eventually lead to the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the collapse of the U.S. financial system. Knowing that this is the ultimate result of a strike in the region, many people would ask WHYthe White House and so many prominent figures in Congress would be so hell-bent on setting such wheels in motion. I would stand back from the chaos and ask what I always ask: Who gains the most from the disaster?
The demise of American currency dominance and the degradation of the American spirit do indeed benefit a select few. For the most part, central banks and globalists have taken a hands-off approach to the Syrian debacle. Perhaps that’s because doing so makes it easier for them to survey the inevitable collapse from a distance and swoop in later as our “saviors,” ready to rebuild the world according to their own ideals. Having a debased and desperate U.S. populace certainly makes the transition to total globalization and centralization much easier.
My original query was: Who is the real enemy? No matter what happens in the coming months and years, never forget that question. Who poses the greatest threat to our freedom: Syria or the political ghouls trying to convince us to decimate Syria?
Who claims the power to take everything we have? Who claims the power to take our liberty and our lives at a whim? Who claims the power to kill innocents in our name? Who disregards the checks and balances of Constitutionalism at every turn? Who truly threatens our future and the future of our children?
Do not be distracted by stories of foreign monsters far away when the real monsters lurk so quietly under your bed. Even if we can find a successful strategy to pressure Congress into avoiding a Syrian conflict, I say remain vigilant. America is one global hiccup away from oblivion. And if this is what the establishment wants, they will find a way to make it happen. The threat of continuous U.S. catastrophe will only end when the poison is removed from our very veins, and that process of purification begins with the removal of the criminal political structures and banking structures in Washington.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Washington has been at war for 12 years. According to experts such as Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, these wars have cost Americans approximately $6 trillion, enough to keep Social Security and Medicare sound for years. All there is to show for 12 years of war is fat bank balances for the armament industries and a list of destroyed countries with millions of dead and dislocated people who never lifted a hand against the United States.
The cost paid by American troops and taxpayers is extreme. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Erik Shinseki reported in November 2009 that “more veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than we have lost on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Many thousands of our troops have suffered amputations and traumatic brain injuries. At the Marine Corps War College Jim Lacey calculated that the annual cost of the Afghan war was $1.5 billion for each al-Qaeda member in Afghanistan. Many US and coalition troops paid with their lives for every one al-Qaeda member killed. On no basis has the war ever made sense.
Washington’s wars have destroyed the favorable image of the United States created over the decades of the cold war. No longer the hope of mankind, the US today is viewed as a threat whose government cannot be trusted.
The wars that have left America’s reputation in tatters are the consequence of 9/11. The neoconservatives who advocate America’s hegemony over the world called for “a new Pearl Harbor” that would allow them to launch wars of conquest. Their plan for conquering the Middle East as their starting point was set out in the neoconservative “Project for the New American Century.” It was stated clearly by Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz and also by many neoconservatives.
The neocon argument boils down to a claim that history has chosen “democratic capitalism” and not Karl Marx as the future. To comply with history’s choice, the US must beef up its military and impose the American Way on the entire world.
In other words, as Claes Ryn wrote, the American neoconservatives are the “new Jacobins,” a reference to the French Revolution of 1789 that intended to overthrow aristocratic Europe and replace it with “Liberty, equality, fraternity,” but instead gave Europe a quarter century of war, death, and destruction.
Ideologies are dangerous, because they are immune to facts. Now that the United States is no longer governed by the US Constitution, but by a crazed ideology that has given rise to a domestic police state more complete than that of Communist East Germany and to a warfare state that attacks sovereign countries based on nothing but manufactured lies, we are left with the irony that Russia and China are viewed as constraints on Washington’s ability to inflict evil, death, and destruction on the world.
The two pariah states of the 20th century have become the hope of mankind in the 21st century!
As Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick prove in their book, The Untold History of the United States, the American government has never deserved its white hat reputation. Washington has been very successful in dressing up its crimes in moralistic language and hiding them in secrecy. It is only decades after events that the truth comes out.
For example, on August 19, 1953, the democratically elected government of Iran was overthrown by a coup instigated by the US government. Sixty years after the event declassified CIA documents detail how the secret CIA operation overthrew a democratic government and imposed Washington’s puppet on the people of Iran.
The declassified documents could not have spelled it out any clearer: “The military coup that overthrew Mossadeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/19/politics/cia-iran-1953-coup
In the 21st century Washington is attempting to repeat its 1953 feat of overthrowing the Iranian government, this time using the faux “green revolution” financed by Washington.
When that fails, Washington will rely on military action.
If 60 years is the time that must pass before Washington’s crimes can be acknowledged, the US government will admit the truth about September 11, 2001 on September 11, 2061. In 2013, on this 12th anniversary of 9/11, we only have 48 years to go before Washington admits the truth. Alas, the members of the 9/11 truth movement will not still be alive to receive their vindication.
But just as it has been known for decades that Washington overthrew Mossadeq,
we already know that the official story of 9/11 is hogwash.
No evidence exists that supports the government’s 9/11 story. The 9/11 Commission was a political gathering run by a neoconservative White House operative. The Commission members sat and listened to the government’s story and wrote it down. No investigation of any kind was made. One member of the Commission resigned, saying that the fix was in. After the report was published, both co-chairmen of the Commission and the legal counsel wrote books disassociating themselves from the report. The 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail,” they wrote.
NIST’s account of the structural failure of the twin towers is a computer simulation based on assumptions chosen to produce the result. NIST refuses to release its make-believe explanation for expert scrutiny. The reason is obvious. NIST’s explanation of the structural failure of the towers cannot survive scrutiny.
There are many 9/11 Truth organizations whose members are high-rise architects,
structural engineers, physicists, chemists and nano-chemists, military and civilian airline pilots, firemen and first responders, former prominent government officials, and 9/11 families. The evidence they have amassed overwhelms the feeble official account.
It has been proven conclusively that World Trade Center Building 7 fell at free fall which can only be achieved by controlled demolition that removes all resistance below to debris falling from above so that no time is lost in overcoming resistance from intact structures. NIST has acknowledged this fact, but has not changed its story.
In other words, still in America today official denial takes precedence over science and
known undisputed facts.
On this 12th anniversary of a false flag event, it is unnecessary for me to report the voluminous evidence that conclusively proves that the official story is a lie. You can read it for yourself. It is available online. You can read what the architects and engineers have to say. You can read the scientists’ reports. You can hear from the first responders who were in the WTC towers. You can read the pilots who say that the maneuvers associated with the airliner that allegedly hit the Pentagon are beyond their skills and most certainly were not performed by inexperienced pilots.
You can read David Griffin’s many books. You can watch the film produced by Richard Gage and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 truth. You can read the 9/11 Toronto Report, International Hearings on 9/11. http://www.amazon.com/9-11-Toronto-Report/dp/1478369205/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376960447&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Toronto+Report You can read this book: http://www.international.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9319:hijacking-americas-mind-on-911-counterfeiting-evidence&catid=66:oped&Itemid=151
Actually, you do not need any of the expert evidence to know that the US government’s story is false. As I have previously pointed out, had a few young Saudi Arabians, the alleged 9/11 hijackers, been capable of outwitting, without support from any government and intelligence service, not only the CIA and FBI, but all sixteen US intelligence services, the intelligence services of Washington’s NATO allies and Israel’s Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Traffic Control, and defeat Airport Security four times in one hour on the same morning, the White House, Congress, and the media would have been demanding an investigation of how the National Security State could so totally fail.
Instead, the President of the United States and every government office fiercely resisted any investigation. It was only after a year of demands and rising pressure from the 9/11 families that the 9/11 Commission was created to bury the issue.
No one in government was held accountable for the astonishing failure. The national security state was defeated by a few rag tag Muslims with box cutters and a sick old man dying from renal failure while holed up in a cave in Afghanistan, and no heads rolled.
The total absence from the government for demands for an investigation of an event that is the greatest embarrassment to a “superpower” in world history is a complete give-away that 9/11was a false flag event. The government did not want any investigation, because the government’s cover story cannot stand investigation.
The government could rely on the mega-media corporations in whose hands the corrupt Clinton regime concentrated the US media. By supporting rather than investigating the government’s cover story, the media left the majority of Americans, who are sensitive to peer pressure, without any support for their doubts. Effectively, the American Ministry of Propaganda validated the government’s false story.
Common everyday experiences of Americans refute the government’s story. Consider, for example, self-cleaning ovens. How many American homes have them? Thirty million? More? Do you have one?
Do you know what temperature self-cleaning ovens reach? The self-cleaning cycle runs for several hours at 900 degrees Fahrenheit or 482 degrees Celsius. Does your self-cleaning oven melt at 482 degrees Celsius. No, it doesn’t. Does the very thin, one-eighth inch steel soften and your oven collapse? No, it doesn’t.
Keep that in mind while you read this: According to tests performed by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), only 2% of the WTC steel tested by NIST reached temperatures as high as 250 degrees Celsius, about half the temperature reached by your self-cleaning oven. Do you believe that such low temperatures on such small areas of the WTC towers caused the massive, thick, steel columns in the towers to soften and permit the collapse of the buildings? If you do, please explain why your self-cleaning oven doesn’t weaken and collapse.
In Section E.5 of the Executive Summary in this NIST reporthttp://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=101019 it says: “A method was developed using microscopic observations of paint cracking to determine whether steel members had experienced temperatures in excess of 250 degrees C. More than 170 areas were examined . . . Only three locations had a positive result indicating that the steel and paint may have reached temperatures in excess of 250 degrees C.” Analysis of steel “microstructures show no evidence of exposure to temperatures above 600 degrees C for any significant time.”
In section 3.6 of the NIST report http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=860495NIST states: “NIST believes that this collection of steel from the WTC towers is adequate for purposes of the investigation.”
How did these truths get out? My explanation is that the NIST scientists, resentful of the threat to their jobs and future employment opportunities and chaffing under the order to produce a false report, revealed the coerced deception by including information that their political masters did not understand. By stating unequivocally the actual temperatures, NIST’s scientists put the lie to the coerced report.
The melting point of steel is around 1,500 degrees C. or 2,600 degrees F. Steel can lose strength at lower temperatures, but the NIST scientists reported that only a small part of the steel was even subjected to moderate temperatures less than those obtained by the self-cleaning oven in your home.
If you need to think about this a bit more, obtain a copy of The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Have a look at the streetcar in photo 108. The caption reads: “The Hiroshima fireball instantly raised surface temperatures within a mile of the hypocenter well above 1,000 degrees F.” Is the streetcar a melted lump of steel? No, it is structurally intact, although blackened with burnt paint.
Washington would have you believe that steel that survived intact the atomic bomb would melt from low temperature, short lived, isolated office fires. What do you think of a government that believes that you are that stupid?
Who would support a government that lies every time it opens its mouth?
The three WTC buildings that were destroyed were massive heat sinks. I doubt that
the limited, short-lived, low temperature fires in the buildings even warmed the massive steel structures to the touch.
Moreover, not a single steel column melted or deformed from softening. The columns
were severed at specific lengths by extremely high temperature charges placed on the columns.
On this 12th anniversary of 9/11, ask yourself if you really want to believe that temperatures half those reached by your self-cleaning oven caused three massive steel structures to crumble into dust.
Then ask yourself why your government thinks you are so totally stupid as to believe such a fairy tale as your government has told you about 9/11.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
“The European race’s last three hundred years of evolutionary progress have all come down to nothing but four words: selfishness, slaughter, shamelessness and corruption.”
It only took the rest of the world 300 years to catch on to the evil that masquerades as “western civilization,” or perhaps it only took the rise of new powers with the confidence to state the obvious. Anyone doubtful of America’s responsibility for the evil needs to read The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.
The “New American Century” proclaimed by the neoconservatives came to an abrupt end on September 6 at the G20 meeting in Russia. The leaders of most of the world’s peoples told Obama that they do not believe him and that it is a violation of international law if the US government attacks Syria without UN authorization.
Putin told the assembled world leaders that the chemical weapons attack was “a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one.” In other words, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Washington–the axis of evil.
China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Argentina joined Putin in affirming that a leader who commits military aggression without the approval of the UN Security Council puts himself “outside of law.”
In other words, if you defy the world, obama, you are a war criminal.
The entire world is waiting to see if the Israel Lobby can push obama into the role of war criminal. Many are betting that Israel will prevail over the weak american president, a cipher devoid of all principle. A couple of decades ago before the advent of the american sheeple, one of the last tough Americans, Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly declared that “no US president can stand up to Israel.” America’s highest ranking military officer could not get an honest investigation of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.
We are yet to see an american president who can stand up to Israel. Or, for that matter, a Congress that can. Or a media.
The obama regime tried to counter its smashing defeat at the G20 Summit by forcing its puppet states to sign a joint statement condemning Syria. However the puppet states qualified their position by stating that they opposed military action and awaited the UN report.
Most of obama’s bought-and-paid-for “supporters” are impotent, powerless. For example obama counts the UK as a supporting country because of the personal support of the discredited UK prime minister, david cameron, despite the fact that cameron was repudiated by the British Parliament in a vote that prohibits British participation in another of Washington’s war crimes. So, although cameron cannot bring the British people and the British government with him, obama counts the UK as a supporter of obama’s attack on Syria. Clearly, this is a desperate count of “supporting countries.”
The Turkish puppet government, which has been shooting its peacefully demonstrating citizens down in the streets, with no protest from obama or the Israel Lobby, supports “holding Syria accountable,” but not itself, of course, or Washington.
The puppet states of Canada and Australia, powerless countries, neither of which carry one ounce of world influence, have lined up to do the bidding of their Washington master. The entire point of having the top government job in Canada and Australia is the payoff from Washington.
The obama cipher also claims the support of Japan and the Republic of Korea, another two countries devoid of all diplomatic influence and power of any kind. Helpless Japan is on the verge of being destroyed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, for which it has no solution. As the radiation leaks spread into the aquifer upon which Tokyo and surrounding areas rely, Japan is faced with the possibility of having to relocate 40 million people.
Saudi Arabia, implicated in the transfer to al-Nusra rebels of the chemical weapons used in the attack, supports Washington, knowing that otherwise its tyranny is toast. Even the neoconservatives headed by obama’s shrill National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, want to overthrow the Saudis.
Obama claims also to have support from France and Germany. However both Hollande and Merkel have stated clearly that a diplomatic solution, not war, is their first choice and that the outcome rests on the UN.
As for Italy and Spain’s support, both governments are hoping to be rewarded with the Federal Reserve printing enough dollars to bail out their indebted economies so that both governments are not overthrown in the streets for their acquiescence to the looting of their countries by international banksters. Like so many Western governments, those of Italy and Spain, and, of course, Greece, support the international banksters, not their own citizens.
The president of the European Commission has declared that the European Union, the central overlord over Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, does not support a military solution to the Syrian Crisis. “The European Union is certain that the efforts should be aimed at a political settlement,” Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters at the G20 meeting. The EU has the power to issue arrest warrants for the heads of EU governments that participate in war crimes.
What this reveals is that the support behind the liar obama is feeble and limited. The ability of the Western countries to dominate international politics came to an end at the G20 meeting. The moral authority of the West is completely gone, shattered and eroded by countless lies and shameless acts of aggression based on nothing but lies and self-interests. Nothing remains of the West’s “moral authority,” which was never anything but a cover for self-interest, murder, and genocide.
The West has been destroyed by its own governments, who have told too many self-serving lies, and by its capitalist corporations, who offshored the West’s jobs and technology to China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, depriving the Western governments of a tax base and the support of its citizens.
It is difficult to know whether citizens in the West hate their corrupt governments any less than do Muslims, whose lives and countries have been devastated by Western aggression, or than do citizens of third world countries who have been impoverished by being looted by predatory First World financial organizations.
The idiot Western governments have pissed away their clout. There is no prospect whatsoever of the neoconservative fantasy of US hegemony being exercised over Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, South America, Iran. These countries can establish their own system of international payments and finance and leave the dollar standard whenever they wish. One wonders why they wait. The US dollar is being printed in unbelievable quantities and is no longer qualified to be the world reserve currency. The US dollar is on the verge of total worthlessness.
The G20 Summit made it clear that the world is no longer willing to go along with the West’s lies and murderous ways. The world has caught on to the West. Every country now understands that the bailouts offered by the West are merely mechanisms for looting the bailed-out countries and impoverishing the people.
In the 21st century Washington has treated its own citizens the way it treats citizens of third world countries. Untold trillions of dollars have been lavished on a handful of banks, while the banks threw millions of Americans out of their homes and seized any remaining assets of the broken families.
US corporations had their taxes cut to practically nothing, with few paying any taxes at all, while the corporations gave the jobs and careers of millions of Americans to the Chinese and Indians. With those jobs went US GDP, tax base, and economic power, leaving Americans with massive budget deficits, a debased currency, and bankrupt cities, such as Detroit, which once was the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
How long before Washington shoots down its own homeless, hungry, and protesting citizens in the streets?
Washington represents Israel and a handful of powerful organized private interests. Washington represents no one else. Washington is a plague upon the American people and a plague upon the world.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
In a stern tone, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to indulge any one-sided military action against Syria amid increasing fears that Washington is preparing to put this sinister idea into practical shape in cahoots with regional puppet regimes.
In an interview with Channel One television, Putin clarified his stance on the issue, saying that only the “UN Security Council can give approval for the use of force against another state,” and warned against any such move which would be considered as an act of “aggression.”
“Any other ways to justify the use of force against another sovereign and independent state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression,” Putin said.
Yet, in a not-too-clandestine move, US Secretary of State John Kerry has formed a union with regional puppet regimes including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey and marshaled up their servile support for military action against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad with the express intention of sending Assad’s ‘regime’ straight to the morgue.
The realities on the ground clearly indicate that Washington’s former partners have been replaced by new ones in its warmongering pursuits. The vocal support of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar plus their dollar aids to those who persevere in fermenting chaos and commotion in Syria have sufficed to convince the Americans that they do not need to worry about the potentially colossal financial losses in case of a military strike as they would be taken care of. This fact, which strikes hard across the face of truth, was also reflected in the words of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Key partners, including France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other friends in the region, have assured us of their strong support for US action,” Hagel said.
On Tuesday, the White House won backing for military action from two powerful Republicans e.g. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor.
In the midst of all this came a joint missile test by the US and Israel conducted on Tuesday in the eastern Mediterranean where they fired a missile from the sea toward the Israeli coast “to test the tracking by the country’s missile defense system.”
Strangely enough, the missile test fire was initially denied by the US. However, a statement released later by the Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed US involvement in the exercise.
Pentagon press secretary George Little told CBS that the US “provided technical assistance and support to the Israeli Missile Defense Organization flight test of a Sparrow target missile over the Mediterranean Sea.”
“The United States and Israel cooperate on a number of long-term ballistic missile defense development projects to address common challenges in the region,” added Little.
Apart from the regional allies, France seems to be a stalwart supporter of aggression against the Arab country. In Paris, French President Hollande said, “A large coalition must therefore be created on the international scale, with the United States — which will soon take its decision — (and) with Europe … and Arab countries,” Hollande said.
Mitigating all irritating doubts, he made it clear that even a no-vote by the Congress would entail no changes in France’s attitude towards Syria.
If Congress votes no, France “will take up its responsibilities by supporting the democratic opposition (in Syria) in such a way that a response is provided,” he added.
In a naked lobbying effort, three pro-Israel groups i.e. by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) urged American lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize President Barack Obama to launch an attack on Syria.
In the ADL’s statement, National Chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher and National Director Abraham Foxman said that “any nation that violates international norms and obligations which threaten the peace and security of the world must face the consequences of those dangerous acts.”
As a major beneficiary to an invasion of Syria, Tel Aviv may end up a bad loser in the eventuality of a war on Syria.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad has warned that it would lob rockets at Israel if it enters the war. A high-ranking official from Islamic Jihad told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Up until now, there has been no decision within Islamic Jihad to bomb Israel in response to an aggression on Syria. But that may happen in one circumstance: if Israel joins that war as a principal party.”
This warning aside, Israel will have to brook the ire of the entire Muslim world for partaking of the consequential chaos and for shedding the blood of innocent Muslim blood.
Despite all the intimidating techniques of the West and the lavish Zionist lobbying against the government of Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not appear to want to waver an inch from his position as he says he has acquired conviction that those who fight against his government are but al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and that he does not have the least intention of abandoning his country into the hands of those terrorists.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro published on Monday, Mr. Assad said, “In the beginning, the solution should have been found through a dialogue from which political measures would have been born.”
“That is no longer the case,” he said, repeating his constant refrain that 90 percent of the opposition fighters are terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda. “The only way to cope with them is to liquidate them,” he said. “Only then will we be able to discuss political measures.”
This collective effort to bring Syria down to its knees stems to a large extent from the fact that the country has always been viewed by the West as a hotbed for dramatic changes which could be geared towards the supremacy of imperialist powers if they ever seized their grasp upon the country. It is unfortunate to note that this goal is being advanced by some regional countries harnessed by the West in the course of time.
The bipolarization of the world into the West and the Rest is not a new story and an invasion of Syria is only to be seen as a continuation of that accursed legacy which has lingered since time immemorial.
A US drone has just taken a photo of Mullah Omar riding on a motorcycle through the streets of Damascus. 1
So what do we have as the United States refuses to rule out an attack on Syria and keeps five warships loaded with missiles in the eastern Mediterranean?
- Only 9 percent of Americans support a US military intervention in Syria. 2
- Only 11% of the British supported a UK military intervention; this increased to 25% after the announcement of the alleged chemical attack. 3
- British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote August 29 endorsing military action against Syria 285-272
- 64% of the French people oppose an intervention by the French Army. 4 “Before acting we need proof,” said a French government spokesperson. 5
- Former and current high-ranking US military officers question the use of military force as a punitive measure and suggest that the White House lacks a coherent strategy. “If the administration is ambivalent about the wisdom of defeating or crippling the Syrian leader, possibly setting the stage for Damascus to fall to Islamic fundamentalist rebels, they say, the military objective of strikes on Assad’s military targets is at best ambiguous.” 6
- President Obama has no United Nations approval for intervention. (In February a massive bombing attack in Damascus left 100 dead and 250 wounded; in all likelihood the work of Islamic terrorists. The United States blocked a Russian resolution condemning the attack from moving through the UN Security Council)
- None of NATO’s 28 members has proposed an alliance with the United States in an attack against Syria. NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he saw “no NATO role in an international reaction to the [Syrian] regime.” 7
- The Arab League has not publicly endorsed support of US military action in Syria; nor have key regional players Saudi Arabia and Qatar, concerned about a possible public backlash from open support for US intervention. 8
- We don’t even know for sure that there was a real chemical attack. Where does that accusation come from? The United States? The al-Qaeda rebels? Or if there was such an attack, where is the evidence that the Syrian government was the perpetrator? The Assad regime has accused the rebels of the act, releasing a video showing a cave with alleged chemical-weapon equipment as well as claiming to have captured rebels possessing sarin gas. Whoever dispensed the poison gas – why, in this age of ubiquitous cameras, are there no photos of anyone wearing a gas mask? The UN inspection team was originally dispatched to Syria to investigate allegations of earlier chemical weapons use: two allegations made by the rebels and one by the government.
- The United States insists that Syria refused to allow the UN investigators access to the site of the attack. However, the UN request was made Saturday, August 24; the Syrian government agreed the next day. 9
- In rejecting allegations that Syria deployed poison gas, Russian officials have argued that the rebels had a clear motivation: to spur a Western-led attack on Syrian forces; while Assad had every reason to avoid any action that could spur international intervention at a time when his forces were winning the war and the rebels are increasingly losing world support because of their uncivilized and ultra-cruel behavior.
- President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq’s WMD, but Bush’s bogus case for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike what the Obama administration released August 29 on Syria’s alleged chemical attacks – no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no named sources, nothing but “trust us,” points out Robert Parry, intrepid Washington journalist.
So, in light of all of the above, the path for Mr. Obama to take – as a rational, humane being – is of course clear. Is it not? N’est-ce pas? Nicht wahr? – Bombs Away!
Pretty discouraging it is. No, I actually find much to be rather encouraging. So many people seem to have really learned something from the Iraqi pile of lies and horror and from decades of other American interventions. Skepticism – good ol’ healthy skepticism – amongst the American, British and French people. It was stirring to watch the British Parliament in a debate of the kind rarely, if ever, seen in the 21st-century US Congress. And American military officers asking some of the right questions. The Arab League not supporting a US attack, surprising for an organization not enamored of the secular Syrian government. And NATO – even NATO! – refusing so far to blindly fall in line with the White House. When did that last happen? I thought it was against international law.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that if the United States did not respond to the use of chemical weapons the country would become an international “laughingstock”. Yes, that’s really what America and its people have to worry about – not that their country is viewed as a lawless, mass-murdering repeat offender. Other American officials have expressed concern that a lack of a US response might incite threats from Iran and North Korea. 10
Now that is indeed something to laugh at. It’s comforting to think that the world might be finally losing the stars in their eyes about US foreign policy partly because of countless ridiculous remarks such as these.
United States bombings, which can be just as indiscriminate and cruel as poison gas. (A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.)
The glorious bombing list of our glorious country, which our glorious schools don’t teach, our glorious media don’t remember, and our glorious leaders glorify.
- Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
- Guatemala 1954
- Indonesia 1958
- Cuba 1959-1961
- Guatemala 1960
- Congo 1964
- Laos 1964-73
- Vietnam 1961-73
- Cambodia 1969-70
- Guatemala 1967-69
- Grenada 1983
- Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
- Libya 1986
- El Salvador 1980s
- Nicaragua 1980s
- Iran 1987
- Panama 1989
- Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
- Kuwait 1991
- Somalia 1993
- Bosnia 1994, 1995
- Sudan 1998
- Afghanistan 1998
- Yugoslavia 1999
- Yemen 2002
- Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular no-fly-zone basis)
- Iraq 2003-2011 (Second Gulf War)
- Afghanistan 2001 to present
- Pakistan 2007 to present
- Somalia 2007-8, 2011 to present
- Yemen 2009, 2011 to present
- Libya 2011
- Syria 2013?
The above list doesn’t include the repeated use by the United States of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and other charming inventions of the Pentagon mad scientists; also not included: chemical and biological weapons abroad, chemical and biological weapons in the United States (sic), and encouraging the use of chemical and biological weapons by other nations; all these lists can be found in William Blum’s book “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”.
A story just released by Foreign Policy magazine, based on newly-discovered classified documents, reports how, in 1988, the last year of the 8-year Iraq-Iran War, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks by Iraq far more devastating than anything Syria has seen. 11 Indeed, during that war the United States was the primary supplier to Iraq of the chemicals and hardware necessary to provide the Saddam Hussein regime with a chemical-warfare capability. 12
Now, apparently, the United States has discovered how horrible chemical warfare is, even if only of the “alleged” variety.
Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stopthis “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a Serbian reaction to it, born of extreme anger and powerlessness. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, and the few days after. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:
… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would NOW vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation.
On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that sort.
But the propaganda version is already set in marble.
If you see something, say something. Unless it’s US war crimes.
“When you sign a security clearance and swear oaths, you actually have to abide by that. It is not optional.” – Steven Bucci, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, speaking of Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley) 13
Really? No matter what an individual with security clearance is asked to do? No matter what he sees and knows of, he still has to ignore his conscience and follow orders? But Steven, my lad, you must know that following World War II many Germans of course used “following orders” as an excuse. The victorious Allies of course executed many of them.
Their death sentences were laid down by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, which declared that “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”
Nuremberg Principle IV moreover states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
Manning, and Edward Snowden as well, did have moral choices, and they chose them.
It should be noted that Barack Obama has refused to prosecute those under the Bush administration involved in torture specifically – he declares – because they were following orders. Has this “educated” man never heard of the Nuremberg Tribunal? Why isn’t he embarrassed to make this argument again and again?
I imagine that in the past three years that Manning has had to live with solitary confinement, torture and humiliation, adding mightily to her already existing personal difficulties, the thought of suicide has crossed her mind on a number of occasions. It certainly would have with me if I had been in her position. In the coming thousands and thousands of days and long nights of incarceration such thoughts may be Manning’s frequent companion. If the thoughts become desire, and the desire becomes unbearable, I hope the brave young woman can find a way to carry it out. Every person has that right, including heroes.
The United States and its European poodles may have gone too far for their own good in their attempts to control all dissenting communication – demanding total information from companies engaged in encrypted messaging, forcing the closure of several such firms, obliging the plane carrying the Bolivian president to land, smashing the computers at a leading newspaper, holding a whistle-blowing journalist’s partner in custody for nine hours at an airport, seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists, threatening to send a New York Times reporter to jail if he doesn’t disclose the source of a leak, shameless lying at high levels, bugging the European Union and the United Nations, surveillance without known limits … Where will it end? Will it backfire at some point and allow America to return to its normal level of police state? On July 24, a bill that would have curtailed the power of the NSA was only narrowly defeated by 217 to 205 votes in the US House of Representatives.
And how long will Amnesty International continue to tarnish its image by refusing to state the obvious? That Cheleas Manning is a Prisoner of Conscience. If you go to Amnesty’s website and search “prisoner of conscience” you’ll find many names given, including several Cubans prominently featured. Can there be any connection to Manning’s omission with the fact that the executive director of Amnesty International USA, Suzanne Nossel, came to her position from the US Department of State, where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations?
A phone call to Amnesty’s office in New York was unable to provide me with any explanation for Manning’s omission. I suggest that those of you living in the UK try the AI headquarters in London.
Meanwhile, at the other pre-eminent international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, Tom Malinowski, the director of HRW’s Washington office, has been nominated by Obama to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Is it really expecting too much that a high official of a human rights organization should not go to work for a government that has been the world’s leading violator of human rights for more than half a century? And if that designation is too much for you to swallow just consider torture, the worst example of mankind’s inhumanity to man. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of torture centers in much of the world, kidnaping people to these places (“rendition”), solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!
One of the reactions of the United States to Russia granting asylum to Edward Snowden was reported thus: “There was a blistering response on Capitol Hill and calls for retaliatory measures certain to infuriate the Kremlin. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), long one of the Senate’s leading critics of Moscow, blasted the asylum decision as ‘a slap in the face of all Americans’ and called on the administration to turn up the pressure on Moscow on a variety of fronts, including a renewed push for NATO expansion and new missile-defense programs in Europe.” 14
But we’ve long been told that NATO expansion and its missiles in Europe have nothing to do with Russia. And Russia has been told the same, much to Moscow’s continuous skepticism. “Look,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO in 2001, “this is a military organization. It’s moving towards our border. Why?” 15 He subsequently described NATO as “the stinking corpse of the cold war.” 16
We’ve been told repeatedly by the US government that the missiles are for protection against an Iranian attack. Is it (choke) possible that the Bush and Obama administrations have been (gasp) lying to us?
America’s love affair with Guns
Adam Kokesh is a veteran of the war in Iraq who lives in the Washington, DC area. He’s one of the countless Americans who’s big on guns, guns that will be needed to protect Americans from their oppressive government, guns that will be needed for “the revolution”.
On July 4 the 31-year-old Kokesh had a video made of himself holding a shotgun and loading shells into it while speaking into the camera as he stood in Freedom Plaza, a federal plot of land in between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. This led to a police raid of his home and his being arrested on the 25th for carrying a firearm outside his home or office. The 23-second video can be seen on YouTube. 17
I sent Kokesh the following email:
“Adam: All your weapons apparently didn’t help you at all when the police raided your house. But supposedly, people like you advocate an armed populace to protect the public from an oppressive government. I’ve never thought that that made much sense because of the huge imbalance between the military power of the public vs. that of the government. And it seems that I was correct.”
I received no reply, although his still being in jail may explain that.
Kokesh, incidentally, had a program on RT (Russia Today) for a short while last year.
- The three preceding jokes are courtesy of my friend Viktor Dedaj of Paris ↩
- Reuters/Ipsos poll, August 26, 2013 ↩
- Sunday Times (UK), YouGov poll, August 25 ↩
- Le Parisien, August 30, 2012 ↩
- Christian Science Monitor, August 29, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, August 29, 2013 ↩
- The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, August 31, 2013 ↩
- UN Web TV, August 27, 2013 (starting at minute 12:00) ↩
- The Washington Post, August 31, 2013 ↩
- Shane Harris and Matthew M. Aid, “CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran”, Foreign Policy, August 26, 2013 ↩
- William Blum, “Anthrax for Export”, The Progressive (Madison, Wisconsin), April 1998 ↩
- Washington Post, August 22, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, July 31, 2013 ↩
- Associated Press, June 16, 2001 ↩
- Time magazine, December 2007 ↩
- Washington Post, August 13, 2013 ↩
The British Parliament does not buy the lies of the Obama administration which have been invented as a pretext to take America to war with Syria and drag its allies into the conflict. The American people, by a 9 to 1 margin are not in favor of attacking Syria. As a result, Putin is laughing at the clown that now occupies the presidency.
If at first we don’t succeed, lie, lie, again, should become the slogan for the criminal administration that is inhabiting the White House.
Once again, Obama has been caught with his “false flag hand” in the cookie jar. With increasing doubt over the “official story” that Assad crossed the “red line” and used chemical weapons against his own people has been called into question. The Obama administration has responded by releasing the following unclassified U.S. intelligence report disseminated on August 30th by the White House which concluded that there was “high confidence” that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons several times in the last year, including the August 21st attack in the suburbs of Damascus.
“We have identified one hundred videos attributed to the attack, many of which show large numbers of bodies exhibiting physical signs consistent with, but not unique to, nerve agent exposure. The reported symptoms of victims included unconsciousness, foaming from the nose and mouth, constricted pupils, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. Several of the videos show what appear to be numerous fatalities with no visible injuries, which is consistent with death from chemical weapons, and inconsistent with death from small-arms, high-explosive munitions or blister agents. At least 12 locations are portrayed in the publicly available videos, and a sampling of those videos confirmed that some were shot at the general times and locations described in the footage. physical symptoms verified by medical personnel and NGOs, and other information associated with this chemical attack.”
How does a YouTube video demonstrate “rapid heartbeat?” These murderous criminals cannot even concoct a believable cover story.
In a case of “it is as we say it is,” the intelligence report went on to state that the Syrian opposition, who is in actuality, the CIA backed al-Qaeda forces in the region, does not have the “capability to manufacture 100 videos” of gas attacks upon the Syrian people. Really? The Syrian people cannot find and use 100 videos and upload them to YouTube? And even if Obama was telling the truth, the CIA could certainly have created 100 YouTube videos on their own.
… and Muslim Brotherhood = MI6 …
If the US intelligence community had this information on August 21st, then why did it take nine days to become publicly available? If Obama’s goal was to prevent the further loss of innocent life in Syria, shouldn’t this information been immediately made publicly available? Shouldn’t a copy of the report have been made immediately available to the United Nations Security Council? If Obama wanted British support and participation in the upcoming American massacre of innocent Syrians, shouldn’t Obama have immediately made this information available to Parliament BEFORE they voted to not help Obama start WWIII?
If Obama was telling the truth in the August 21st report, shouldn’t every media outlet in world should have been immediately provided a copy of the evidence? Why is this evidence only now being made available AFTER the British rejection of our failed Syrian policies?
America, you are being asked to believe the fiction and accept the fact that we are going to commence WWIII based on series of YouTube videos. This kind of evidence would even be admissible in traffic court.
Obama Thinks the World Is Dumber Than a Box of Rocks
Falsely using videos to mislead the American people as well as the rest of the world are not new behaviors consistent with the past behaviors of this administration.
I seem to recall that a rogue video was given as the reason that this administration used in order to fabricate an excuse as to why al-Qaeda would move to kill Ambassador Stevens and his security team nearly a year ago. Let’s reflect back to the early days following Ambassador Stevens assassination as the administration was clumsily attempting to establish a case for plausible deniability for their involvement in the murder.
September 16 — Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley:
“There was a hateful video that was disseminated on the Internet. It had nothing to do with the United States government, and it’s one that we find disgusting and reprehensible. It’s been offensive to many, many people around the world. That sparked violence in various parts of the world, including violence directed against Western facilities including our embassies and consulates.”
On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Rice also said that, “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.” Subsequently, Susan Rice was asking the American people to buy the fiction that Stevens was killed by a flash mob over a video that nobody watched in the Middle East.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Obama is caught, once again, dipping into his false flag playbook in order to justify more murder and more crimes against humanity.
Even if Assad did use chemical weapons against his people, and he did not, who cares? This is an internal matter for the Syrian people to deal with. Syria has done nothing to the United States. Syria poses no threat to anyone outside of Syria.
Has Obama appointed himself to become the judge, jury and executioner of the world? The United States has no right to enter into Syria no matter how many false flag attacks that Obama manufactures.
A Bad Omen for the American People
If Obama is foolish enough to go it alone in Syria, the American people need to be forewarned about what could lie ahead in order that our people can move to protect themselves from the consequences of living under this lunatic administration.
When and if Obama attacks Syria, I have had multiple sources inform me that Putin is prepared to strike Saudi Arabia. This could potentially stop the flow of oil from the Middle East. The United States government would immediately move to restrict private access to fuel in this country in order to conserve the reserves inside of the United States. This would paralyze our economy as our grocery stores and major retail outlets, which operate on real time delivery principles, would be virtually empty in matter of days. Our American way of life would end on this note.
America is facing the distinct possibility that Obama will use multiple false flag attacks on American soil in which Syria and possibly Iran take the blame. This would provide Obama with the pretext and the moral high ground from which to prosecute his war in the Middle East that he is so determined to engage in.
The false flag option is the most likely outcome of all the scenarios I have considered. This simply means that some of you who are reading these words might have to perish in order for Obama to pursue his mandate to eradicate Syria and Iran.
We should consider that the use of a false flag event against the American people fits the demonstrable mentality of this administration. Secondly, Obama needs a quick and decisive excuse to attack Syria and eventually Iran because he has some damning skeletons trying to get out of the closet. Obama has multiple scandals hanging over his head which were brought out in one short time frame in the mainstream media during a 30 day period in May and June.
It is apparent to all that the release of this information on these multiple scandals was orchestrated because the release of information occurred in such a tight time frame. Any one of the following events could be grounds for impeachment and are far worse than anything ever done by Richard Nixon.
These scandals include but are not limited to the following:
- The IRS spying on Obama’s political enemies.
- The NSA spy scandal.
- More damning information on the murder of Chris Stevens.
- The AP reporters spy scandal.
- Rumblings of resurfacing the Fast and Furious scandal in which Obama and Holder shipped guns to the Mexican cartels which have been used to kill tens of thousands including Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.
- The Michael Hastings murder.
Who Is Blackmailing Obama?
Who would have released this damning information on Obama and then made it virtually disappear from the mainstream media? It had to be some interest who already controls the media and this would be the banksters. These are the same banksters who desire to preserve the Petrodollar which Iran threatens to destroy by selling oil for gold. I predict that unless Obama can quickly get us into a war in the Middle East, which would save the almighty Petrodollar, he will not complete his second term and will be removed as a result of the aforementioned scandals which are being used to blackmail Obama and force his hand in the Middle East.
I have said it before and bears repeating, store the essentials elements that you will need to survive what is coming. America, we are in for some very dark days.
Source: Dave Hodges | The Common Sense Show