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The Myth Of The “Clean War”

via The Myth Of The “Clean War”

The Myth Of The “Clean War”

By Paul Rogers

Trump’s worldview promises low-cost military success. The blasting apart of civilian lives in Iraq says otherwise.

November 26, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Many previous columns in this series focus on the transition in the western way of war since 9/11 from tens of thousands of “boots on the ground” to “remote warfare”. This has mainly involved a much more intensive use of air-power, including armed-drones; the utilisation of long-range artillery and ground-launched ballistic-missiles; and the much wider use of special forces and privatised military corporations.

The change has been consistently analysed by a few non-government organisations, most notably the Remote Control project and Drone Wars UK, whose specific concern is armed drones.

The states pursuing this kind of offensive war see three advantages, two military and one political:

* Their own forces take minimal casualties, meaning fewer bodybags and funeral corteges

* They believe that the tactic works in practice

* There is very little media coverage of this type of war, and in the case of some countries, most notably Britain, there has been a long-term political convention that the role of special Forces should not be subject to public debate or even scrutiny.

The U.S. Air Force is on track to triple the number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year compared with last year.

Warfare by “remote control” also seems to be working, not least in the three-year war against Islamic State. It is now clear that Donald Trump’s policy of devolving more authority to the United States military in the wars it is fighting is having a much wider effect. For example, the Pentagon has quietly increasing its forces in Somalia by adding several hundred special-forces troops (as Politico reports) and ratcheting up airstrikes (as Military Times reports), while airstrikes against an al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen are continuing.

In Afghanistan, the build-up of forces is even more substantial. More US troops have arrived amid concern over the Taliban’s ability to extend its territorial control. But less noted is the substantial increase in the US use of air-power and armed-drones since Trump took office. A US media outlet states:

“The U.S. Air Force is on track to triple the number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year compared with last year, new figures reveal as the White House opens a new front in America’s longest war. The military dropped 3,554 weapons against the Taliban as of Oct. 31 – already nearly three times the 1,337 dropped in 2016 and nearly four times as the 947 fired in 2015.”

Operation Jagged Knife, a recent offensive by the US airforce, included B-52 strategic bombers and – for the first time in Afghanistan – the advanced F-22 stealth strike-aircraft.

Promise and reality

All this is in the context of the presumed defeat of ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, which is seen within the Trump team as proof of victory. Since 2014, the Pentagon believes it has killed over 60,000 ISIS fighters, but acknowledges fewer than 500 civilian casualties. This is the way to fight future wars, it believes. The expanded operations in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia are further examples of the path to be taken.In this Trumpian worldview, “clean wars” will be the order of the day. But a closer look shows that things are not so simple, in two distinct aspects: the outcomes of the “war on terror“, and its more recent reality. A brief digest of principal events since 2001 illustrates the first point:

* On 29 January 2002, George W Bush’s state-of-the-union address was akin to a victory speech in the wake of the termination of the Taliban regime and the suppression and dispersal of al-Qaida after 9/11 – yet the war in Afghanistan has just entered its seventeenth year

* On 1 May 2003, the US president  gave his “mission accomplished” speech after the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq – yet that very month a nascent insurgency began to spread across the country, which would also last years

* In 2008, when Barack Obama was elected, the war in Iraq looked sufficiently under control for him to order wholesale troop withdrawals, but in 2014-17 the US has again been at war in the country

* In 2011, Nato chiefs thought that the downfall of Libya’a Muammar Gaddafi they had engineered would be followed by peace and stability, but it provoked more conflict, while the US’s SEAL-team killing of Osama bin Laden that year didn’t mark the end of al-Qaida, a scion of which the US is now bombing in Yemen.

On the ground

The dangerous myth of the “clean war” should be seen in a second aspect. The results of military action in the last three years illustrate the second point, and expose the dangerous myth of the “clean war”. Airwars, the monitoring group, finds the US-led wars in Iraq and Syria have involved over 28,000 airstrikes, split more or less evenly between the two countries, using over 103,000 bombs and missiles. Airwars has done its best to assess the likelihood of civilian casualties, and currently puts these at a minimum of around 6,000 – far larger than any Pentagon figures. Where Iraq is concerned,  Iraq Body Count says that over 179,000 civilians have died in the last fifteen years.

ISIS’s loss of most of its territory has been followed by reports of a concentrated air-war ranged against its forces, whose effects include the widespread destruction of both western Mosul and Raqqa. The extent of damage is hardly surprising. In the last part of the Raqqa campaign, Airwars says:

“Between October 1st and 17th – when the last strike was reported – the US-led alliance says it fired 2,384 munitions at Raqqa, much of it the result of US artillery strikes. Between 266 and 355 more civilians were credibly reported killed in the city as a result according to local monitors – including more than 90 women and children.”

One in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition.Yet it has been hard for analysts to assess the more general claim of the “clean war” with any accuracy, in that they were dependent largely on data provided by US Central Command (USCC). The best efforts of NGOs like Airwars and Iraq Body Countnotwithstanding, their findings could be discounted or ignored.

That is at last beginning to change, as these groups’ work is supported by on-the-ground assessments from experienced journalists who have gone at great pains to travel to areas now controlled by government forces after ISIS’s retreat. Their reports confirm sceptics of the “clean war” myth. The most substantive account available so far is a long report in the New York Times (see Azmat Khan & Anand Gopal, “The Uncounted”, NYT, 16 November 2017).

Over a fourteen-month period to July 2017, they visited 150 sites of attacks across northern Iraq, and interviewed hundreds of witnesses, survivors and family members. They later compared their findings with data from USCC itself. In all, they were able to coordinate data from 103 airstrikes. Their conclusions warrant a longish extract:

“We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history. Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all. While some of the civilian deaths we documented were a result of proximity to a legitimate ISIS target, many others appear to be the result simply of flawed or outdated intelligence that conflated civilians with combatants. In this system, Iraqis are considered guilty until proved innocent.”

The fighting against ISIS, especially in the densely packed streets of Raqqa and western Mosul, was intense. In Mosul in particular, the Iraqi army’s special forces took very heavy losses. It was not just the utter determination of the ISIS paramilitaries to fight, but their willingness to die for their cause that proved so difficult to counter. It was in those circumstances that air-power was used relentlessly. In an objective sense it may be what you would expect, even if you may question the war as a whole.

That, though, is not the point, which is that the entire air-war has been presented as a “clean” operation – which it evidently was not. If we think that remote warfare is the way to go because it kills neither “our” people nor innocent civilians, then we are deluding ourselves. And that delusion in turn makes it even less likely that we will get the kind of scrutiny and political debate we need on the direction and long-term consequences of this new way of war.

Paul Rogers is professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He is openDemocracy’s international security adviser, and has been writing a weekly column on global security since 28 September 2001; he also writes a monthly briefing for the Oxford Research Group. His latest book is Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins (IB Tauris, 2016), which follows Why We’re Losing the War on Terror (Polity, 2007), and Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century (Pluto Press, 3rd edition, 2010). He is on Twitter at: @ProfPRogers

This article was originally published by OpenDemocracy –

Why So Many Mass Killings? Look in a Mirror

NB Commentary: Think about it. Whether real or contrived, the idea that it happens should cause one to pause and think. Why does this country thrive on this type of fanfare, violence, false flags, hoaxes or whatever you wish to call them? Over and over again, we see people die, or maybe not, killed or maybe not, but whatever the case may be, DEATH is the calling card and then the other is GUN CONTROL. Ironically, the Powers that Shouldn’t Be feel that if they do this enough times they will beat the public down so far they will cry for  two things.

1. More protection from the PTB, which is ironically not being very protective
And
2. Gun Control, which these events just make the sale of guns skyrocket.


So what is the real agenda here? Do they do this to keep the stock market booming with the gun sales, the consumers fear purchases, the media hype and tons and tons of views while they parrot the same story? Somebody is getting over like a fat rat and these events are milking the public of their sensibilities and wreaking havoc on the mental, emotional and physical health of the populace.
Please read this article, it says it all. Whether these events are true or false, the fact that they even happen says a lot about the American Psyche.

Why So Many Mass Killings? Look in a Mirror

By Joe Clifford
June 27, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – We will never understand the mass killings in Orlando, Aurora, Newtown, or any of the many others, until we take a long hard look at ourselves in a mirror. Why does this happen so frequently, and why is it such a rare occurrence in other industrialized nations?  We cannot comprehend this because we fail to come to grips with certain very hard realities about who we are as a nation and a people.
There are cries for gun control every time a massacre occurs, and never once has anyone pointed out the hypocrisy of trying to stop the flow of guns to the US public, while the US government floods the entire world with weapons.  We are the undisputed leader in selling killing weapons around the world, and no ever questions the hypocrisy of a government trying to take guns from its people, while our government and military industrial complex inundates the world with weapons. Government always sets the model for the people, and here we have a great example. 
Mass murderers have absolutely no regard or respect for law, and once again it is the US government who sets the example for its people, by defying international law and invading and bombing anyone in callous contempt of the law.  Government officials huddle secretly once a week to decide what individuals must be “taken out,” paying no attention to the legality of murder without charges, evidence, or a trial. Currently, Secretary of State John Kerry, the nations’ chief diplomat, is calling for regime change in Syria.  What gives the US the legal right to decide who will rule Syria? Nothing; there is no legal right that gives the US the power to determine leadership of another nation.  The US has sponsored untold numbers of illegal coups of democratically elected leaders, but again, so much for the law.  If the US government is so callous about law, and constantly sends the message that we don’t care about law, why would it be a surprise when citizens do the same? The government sets the example and the people follow.
The hardest thing for citizens to reconcile, is just how violent a nation we are. Our government is a mass killer.  The first people to get in our way were exterminated. We ethnically cleansed the American Indian from his own land. We then enslaved a race of people.  More recently, we killed 3 million people in southeast Asia.  Can you explain why?  We have killed about one million over the past 20 years in Iraq.  Do you know why?  We invaded Iraq based on a series of lies claiming they had WMD; a hoax that led to a needless slaughter. Iraq was a war of choice, which is illegal, but who cares about law?
Do you know how many nations the US is currently bombing? We have killed untold innocents in Afghanistan over the last 20 years. Can you explain why?  Do you know why we bombed Libya for 7 months, turning it into a completely failed terrorist state? Media, pundits, and presidential candidates, condemn Muslims, but the US government has bombed 14 Muslim nations, and perhaps has killed as many as 4 million Muslims in our never ending wars.  War has become the American pastime.  We are always looking for new enemies, and when none are around our government creates them up by demonizing leaders who might challenge our authority such as North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and China. We are dangerously provoking both Russia and China almost daily. The State Department has been taken over by war crazy neocons who are risking a nuclear holocaust.  It is no wonder that in a poll of 68 nations, the US was named the biggest threat to world peace.
Weapons of war are the leading export.  The military consumes the lion’s share of the US budget, and everything else is sacrificed to pay for the largest military in the history of the planet.  We spend more on security, war, and defense, than the rest of the world put together.  There is no money left for anything else, so kids go to college and acquire a mortgage, while college is free in most industrialized nations.  We have the worst health care in the industrialized world, paying huge sums for poor health care compared to the rest of the world.  Health care is a right in most civilized nations, but they don’t have the enormous cost of never ending wars that we do. They have luxuries such as free college, excellent government health care, high speed trains, great airports, and infrastructure. Other nations, because they have better health care, treat mental illness. We cannot afford it, as all money goes to support the military. Just about all of the mass murderers have been emotionally troubled, but because we do not treat mental illness, they take up arms and kill. We give lip service to our veterans, but let them live under bridges as homeless troubled people. Other nations, offer treatment to troubled individuals.
The murder rate in this country is light years ahead of other nations. We have an industrialized prison system with more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. War is glorified and neither the military nor the police can do anything wrong.  An entire new generation has known only war in their lifetime. African Americans are shot down in cold blood by police, with more than 1000 killed last year, with 50% being unarmed, and none of their killers are held responsible.  Without cell phone videos, those deaths would be swept under the proverbial rug.
So take a long thoughtful look in a mirror.  Government sets the example and we follow.  Our government’s prime concern is making war on others and killing those who get in the way.  We are a cold blooded violent nation led by a cold blooded government, so when all too frequently the blood of our citizens flows in the streets, why are we shocked?

‘ISIS managed to sell oil to Turkey on black market at less than 50% of global prices’ – Iraqi MP

‘ISIS managed to sell oil to Turkey on black market at less than 50% of global prices’ – Iraqi MP

NB Commentary:
A member of the Iraqi Parliament, Dr Mowaffak al Rubaie, tells RT how ISIS manages to earn millions of dollars selling oil on the black market in Turkey and reveals that wounded terrorists are being treated in Turkish hospitals.
Dr. Mowaffak al Rubaie appears to be exposing Turkish complicity but falls very short of exposing them completely.  It has been reported fairly widely that they are also giving military support as well.
This is turning out to be rather stinky. Folks are telling in each other.  The rats are being flooded out of their hiding places by the very ones who hid them. If only it could now be over. But, alas, human beings have war cells for brains so they will simply find something else to drop bombs on each other for.

Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire by MIKE WHITNEY

    NOVEMBER 24, 2015
  1. Email
  2. On Tuesday, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that was carrying out military operations against jihadi groups in Northern Syria. The downing of the Su-24 fighter jet is part of a broader plan by the administration of Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan to topple the secular government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and to establish “safe zones” on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border. Erdogan needs the safe zones to provide a sanctuary for the militant extremists who are the footsoldiers in his war against Syria. The downing of the Russian fighter is a desperate attempt by Erdogan to incite a reaction from Russia that will draw either NATO or the United States deeper into a conflict which has dragged on for 4 and a half years and killed 250,000 people.
    Unlike the Obama administration, that has been willing to arm and train jihadi groups to conduct its proxy-war against Assad in Syria, Erdogan is a true believer, a committed Islamist who has done everything in his power to roll back democracy in Turkey, to establish one-man rule, to destroy the independent judiciary, to silence the free press, and to establish a conservative and intolerant Islamic state. Erdogan is what many would call a “Koolaid drinker”, a man who believes that his support for disparate and vicious terrorist groups that have decimated Syria, laid its civilian infrastructure to waste, and displaced more than half the population is “God’s work”. Make no mistake, the Turkish government is the modern-day Caliphate. The fact that its government officials dress in nicely-tailored suits rather than black pajamas, is merely a way to divert attention from their extreme fanaticism and their covert support for liver-eating fundamentalist savages.
    In the seven weeks since Russia began military operations in Syria, nearly all of the gains of the US-Turkey-Saudi-Qatar jihadi coalition have been wiped out. The decisive battle took place more than a week ago at Kuweris airbase east of Aleppo. This was the tipping point for the war although the imminent fall of Aleppo is bound to attract more notoriety. It’s clear now that the Russian-led coalition is winning the war, has foiled US attempt to remove Assad, and that the bulk of the foreign mercenaries will either be killed or captured. The Obama administration realizes that the current phase of the war is hopeless and has started to implement a fallback plan to control territory in E Syria that is critical for future pipeline corridors. In contrast, the Turkish government is completely unwilling to accept the fact that its plan has failed which is why it has embarked on this risky strategy to draw either NATO or Washington deeper into the fray. Check this out from a Tuesday battlefield report from South Front:
    “The Syrian forces backed up by the Russian warplanes, pushed back the militant groups from nearly 200 kilometers of land in the coastal province of Lattakia, military sources said Monday. On Sunday, the Syrian army and popular forces purged the terrorists and advanced to areas near the Turkish borders. The ground reports argue that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) took control of Zahia heights, 2km from the joint borders with Turkey.”
    Can you see what’s going on? The Russian-led coalition is closing in on the Syria-Turkish border which will put an end to Erdogan’s dream of toppling Assad or continuing to fuel the war with terrorists that are provided a safe haven on Syrian soil. This is why the Su-24 fighter was shot down on Tuesday. It is a desperate attempt to salvage the failed strategy of toppling a secular government and replacing it with friendly Islamic extremists who hew to Erdogan’s twisted worldview.
    By the way, readers should take a minute and review the video of the “moderate” headchoppers that the US supports in Syria paying special attention to their moderate treatment of prisoners. The Russian pilot was captured by these “freedom fighters”, shot twice in the chest and then his clothes were ripped off so he could be moderately photographed. These are the fine fellows that Uncle Sam would like to see in Damascus heading the government because, as we all know, “Assad has lost legitimacy.” (See here.)
    For the last three days, I have been following a fast-evolving plan by the Turkish Terrorist Government (TTG) to create a false flag operation that would draw either the US or NATO deeper into the war in Syria reversing Obama’s recent commitment NOT to deploy ground troops to the warzone. On Saturday, Turkish newspapers reported that 1,500 Syrian Turkmen had fled to the Turkish border for safety. The reasons that were given were that the Russian warplanes were bombing areas where ISIS was not located. True, ISIS is not located in these Turkmen villages by the border; rather the barbarians that you see in the video are located there. These men belong to the jihadi groups that that have been funded, armed and trained by Turkey and the US and who are fighting to topple Assad. Reasonable people who would like to see an end to terrorism, should feel supportive of Putin’s efforts to annihilate these monsters. Instead, the Turkish government has been trying to make the case that Russia is bombing innocent civilians. Now check out this story (from Monday) in Turkey’s leading newspaper Hurriyet:
    “Turkey has called for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighboring Syria, according to Prime Ministry sources, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu saying his government will “not hesitate” to take the required measures on Syrian soil to protect the Turkmen people…
    Turkey is in discussions with the United States and Russia over the bombing of the villages and has sent a letter to Britain, the current holder of the U.N. Security Council’s presidency, asking for the subject to be taken up, sources from Davutoğlu’s office told Reuters on Nov. 23…
    Speaking to reporters late on Nov. 22, Davutoğlu recalled that he was engaged in constant contact with both Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan over the weekend concerning alleged Russian air raids on Turkmen villages near the Syrian-Turkish border. Sources, meanwhile, told Reuters that Davutoğlu had consulted on the intelligence dimension of the issue with Akar and Fidan.
    “Our security forces have been instructed to retaliate against any development that would threaten Turkey’s border security,” the prime minister said. “If there is an attack that would lead to an intense influx of refugees to Turkey, required measures would be taken both inside Syria and Turkey,” he added.
    “Looking at background of these attacks, in a region where very clearly there is no element of Deash (ISIS), where there is no terrorist element, first Russian airplanes come and then with support from foreign fighters.
    “We will also take the required measures diplomatically for the protection of our brothers and sisters in the place where they are located and for the protection of their human rights in the face of any threat,” he also stated.” (Turkey urges UN to act to protect Turkmens in Syria, Hurriyet)
    So is the Turkish PM correct in saying the Russians are bombing the Turkmen civilians forcing them to flee from their homes. Not according to Turkmen leader Ali Türkmani. Here’s what he said:
    “There is a perception operation that is being waged over the Turkmens. The regime will of course attempt to maintain its territorial integrity. As such, threats from al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army are being targeted [by Russian air strikes]. It’s not correct to say the Turkmens are being targeted.”
    So civilians are not being targeted, but the Turkish government is supplying weapons and ammo to the terrorists as this article in the Turkish Daily Zaman proves:
    “Several trucks bound for Syria were stopped at the beginning of last year by Turkish gendarmerie forces upon instructions by a prosecutor. It turned out they contained weapons.
    The AK Party government claimed for months that the trucks only included humanitarian aid, but a report published by the Cumhuriyet daily in May last year revealed that the trucks contained weapons.
    According to the daily’s report, a truck, which is thought to be one of many, contained 1,000 artillery shells, 50,000 machine gun rounds, 30,000 heavy machine gun rounds and 1,000 mortar shells.
    The government was accused of sending the weapons to radical Islamist groups in Syria, but Davutoğlu swore in June that the trucks were bound for Turkmens. In contrast, Turkmens had earlier denied receiving any weapons from Turkey.” (Turkey calls on UN Security Council to convene for Turkmens in Syria, Today’s Zaman)
    So what is the game-plan here? What is Turkey really up to?
    Well, first of all, they are trying to set up a safe zone on sovereign Syrian territory so they can continue to spread terror across Syria. Check out this clip from the Daily Sabah and you’ll see how these Turkmen radicals who are allies of Ankara are seizing villages to create the safe zone:
    “Syrian opposition groups supported by Turkish and US warplanes took control of two Turkmen towns in Northern Syria early Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported….The operation was supported by six Turkish F-16s, four US F-15s and an AC-130 joined the offensive along with three drones.
    Security sources added that this success in the fight against DAESH that can be defined as the first step for the creation of a DAESH-free zone in Northern Syria….
    Speaking about Turkey’s stance on the recent developments in Northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a live broadcast on Wednesday that declaring no-fly and safe zones is crucial to resolve the Syrian Crisis….Erdoğan further stated that Turkey will continue to carry out anti-terror operations until concrete results are achieved and peace is restored.” (First step for the safe zone in N. Syria: opposition groups take two Turkmen towns from DAESH, Daily Sabah)
    Whether you call it an ISIS-free zone or not is irrelevant. The fact is, the Turkish government (with US air support) is trying to annex Syrian territory for its own nefarious purposes. That much is clear.
    The downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter fits perfectly with the way in which the Turkish government has been ratcheting up tensions on the border, using its jihadi allies to seize Syrian territory, and trying to incite a violent reaction that will force greater NATO or US involvement. I seriously doubt that Putin is gullible enough to take the bait and overreact to this obvious and pathetic provocation in Ankara. He will exact his pound of flesh at some other time, a time of his own choosing.
    MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.
    More articles by:MIKE WHITNEY
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A Game Worth the Candle: Terror and the Agenda of our Elites | Articles

A Game Worth the Candle: Terror and the Agenda of our Elites

Chris Floyd

Published: 14 November 2015 
People see the carnage in Paris, and cry, “When will this end?” The hard answer is that it is not going to end, not any time soon. We are living through the horrific consequences of decisions and actions taken long ago, as well as those of being taken right now. The currents and movements set in motion by these actions cannot be quelled in an instant — not by wishing, not by hashtags of solidarity or light shows on iconic buildings … and certainly not by more bombing, destruction, repression and lies, which are the main drivers of our present-day hell.

There will be no end to rampant terrorism soon because our leaders are not really interested in quelling terrorism. This is simply not a priority for them. For example, in the past 12 years they have utterly destroyed three largely secular governments (Iraq, Libya and Syria) and turned them into vast spawning grounds for violent sectarianism. They did this despite reports from their own intelligence services and military analysts telling them that the spread of violent extremism would almost certainly be the outcome of their interventions. But for our leaders — both the elected ones and the elites they serve — their geopolitical and macroeconomic agendas outweighed any concerns over these consequences. Put simply, to them, the game was worth the candle. They would press ahead with their agenda, knowing that it would exacerbate extremism and terrorism, but doubtless hoping that these consequences could be contained — or better yet, confined to nations seen as rivals to that agenda, or to remote places and peoples of no worth to our great and good.
Our leaders are not opposed to terrorism, neither as a concept nor as a practical tool. Over the past several decades, our leaders and their allies and puppets around the world have at times openly supported terrorist violence when it suited their aims. The prime example is in Afghanistan, where Jimmy Carter and his Saudi allies began arming and funding violent jihadis BEFORE the Soviet incursion there. In fact, as Carter’s own foreign policy guru, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has openly stated, the United States began supporting Islamist terrorism in Afghanistan precisely in order to draw the Soviet Union into the country. Despite fierce internal opposition in the Kremlin, the Soviets finally took the bait, and sent in troops to save the secular government it was backing from the fundamentalist rebellion.
Ronald Reagan continued and expanded this policy. The same type of men now in charge of ISIS and al Qaeda were welcomed to the Oval Office and praised by Reagan as “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.” They were given arms, money and training in terrorist tactics by our military and intelligence services. They were given textbooks — prepared, financed and distributed by the US government — to indoctrinate schoolchildren in violent jihad. The creation of this worldwide network of Islamic extremists was aimed at weakening the Soviet Union. This was the overriding geopolitical concern of the time. Any other consequences that might flow from this policy — creating a global infrastructure of sectarian extremism, seeding a radical minority with arms, funds and innumerable contacts and connections with state were considered unimportant. But we are now living with those consequences.
These are not the only examples of course. For instance, the United States supported — and went to war for — the KLA in Kosovo, a group that it had earlier condemned as terrorists for years. The cultish terror group MEK —which not only carried out deadly terrorist attacks in Iran but also murdered American government officials — is now honored and supported by top politicians from both parties in Washington. The United States now calls al Qaeda associates in Syria “moderate rebels” and provides arms to their allies. The United States is deeply involved in Saudi Arabia’s horrific attack on Yemen against the Houthis, who had been bottling up al Qaeda in the country. Now, thanks to US bombs and guidance — and participation in a blockade of Yemen that is driving the country to starvation — al Qaeda is thriving there again. The violent extremists that the West knowingly and openly helped in NATO’s destruction of Libya are now exporting weapons and terrorists throughout Africa and the Middle East.
Again, in almost all of these cases, Western leaders were specifically warned by their own experts that their actions would exacerbate extremism and violence. And again, with this knowledge, they decided that their geopolitical agendas were more important than these consequences. This agenda — maintaining and expanding their political and economic dominance, and preserving the power and privileges that a militarist empire gives to those at the top — was more important than the security and welfare of their own people.
In this, they are as one with the leaders of ISIS and al Qaeda. They too know that the chief victims of their actions will not be the elites of the West but the ordinary Muslims going about their lives in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and elsewhere. But their own similar agenda — power, privilege, domination — outweighs any concerns for innocent human lives.

This is the abysmal, despairing tragedy of our times. Our lives, and the lives of our children and descendants, do not really matter to our leaders; certainly not more than the agendas they pursue. And so despite the horrors we’ve seen in the past few weeks — and yes, the bombing of the Russian airliner, the mass murders in Beirut and Baghdad are every bit as horrific and grievous as the attack on Paris — nothing is likely to change. Our leaders are not even beginning to take the steps necessary to even begin addressing the consequences of their morally demented agenda and at last begin the long process of reversing the current of violence and extremism that assails us. Instead, at every turn, they are adding to the flow of death and madness, despite the stark, undeniable evidence of the consequences of their actions.
They say they are at war with terrorism. It’s a lie. They use terrorism and terrorists when it suits their agenda. They say they are “at war” with ISIS, an enemy which they tell us represents an existential threat to human civilization, and whose destruction is now our “highest priority.”  It’s a lie. In a real war against such a threat, you would make common cause against the common enemy, even if you find your allies distasteful. Thus the mutually loathing capitalists of the West and communists of the Soviet Union (and elsewhere) made common cause against Nazi Germany.
If we were really “at war” with ISIS, if its military defeat really was an overriding concern, then the West would form a military coalition with Iran, Russia, Turkey, the Syrian government and others to carry out this goal. It is obvious that for the West, the overthrow of the Assad government is far more important than defeating ISIS or bringing the conflict in Syria to an end by diplomatic means.

Instead, our leaders give every indication that they will continue the policies that have brought us to this dark and evil place. With the near-total ignorance and amnesia of our media class, there is little hope that public opinion can be mobilized to insist on a new course. And so, at some point soon, we will see more iconic buildings bathed in the colors of a Western nation (but never one from the Middle East, whose peoples suffer more, by several orders of magnitude, from the decades of extremism fostered by the West). And this will go on, year after year, until we decide that human life, human dignity, human freedom are more important than our leaders’ agendas of greed and domination.

US Media Shows Footage of Russian Airstrikes Passed Off as American

US Media Shows Footage of Russian Airstrikes Passed Off as American

Nana’s Commentary:
It appears that everyone is rejoicing in Russia’s efforts to cause the downfall of “ISIS” which is ironically being call DAESH for some reason and it’s notable that the “ISIS” people hate that name and would rather be called “IS” but that is not really the crux of this commentary.

Yes, Russia has entered with flying colors, the so-called “War On Terror” and supposedly that is a good thing but for some reason it does not feel good at all. In fact, it is reminiscent of what happens when you exterminate roaches. You may definitely get them out of your house or apartment, but they migrate, pardon the pun, to the house next door, or the apartment above or below, only to wait out their time for when they can return. We have seen this throughout history over and over and over again. Where do these dissidents actually go in the long run? Without justice there’s no peace but is justice merely the bombing of the militants? Can you actually “kill” them all? Why do Militants exist in the first place? Drugged up, gunned up and escaping poverty, these Mercenaries are of a certain ilk that cannot be destroyed by bombing their predecessors. In fact, those they kill will become heroes to their progeny.
We are we so short sighted when it comes to resolving our differences that we impose death and destruction instead of mediation and resolve? Why haven’t those countries that support the militants after seeing the damage come to an agreement to cease and desist in propping them up? Do they have two faces? One that appears to be against them militants and one that is hidden that supports them because they help their imperial plans?

I do think they have gotten in a little over their heads this time. This is not 50 years ago, 100 years ago. Technology has advance so much in the past 20 years that for sure these folks can communicate quickly and with ease across wide swaths of the planet and mobilize within days. Guerrilla warfare is second nature to them. Boots on the ground is their clarion call. They are not flying through the air with bombs and missiles and yet they are hard to exterminate. Why is this? What do they want, and why do they fight so hard for it?
Am I being too sensitive to think that these folks have families and loved ones? Am I being to naive to think of the karmic and spiritual impact of killing thousands more, destroying more territory and infrastructure and as one journalist mentioned, hiking the price of oil? Is this what this is really all about or has this “War On Terror” become a flashpoint for the whole world to get a piece of the action, either for or against the terrorists.
Our world and its global politics is in a shambles. It’s a marriage made in hell, where nobody really wins but that doesn’t stop the fighting. And of course, it’s Russia’s turn to avenge its demise in Afghanistan via the help, support and assistance of the Mujahideen funded by the US. Shortly after which, Russia’s control over a large area and several countries came to a screeching halt. Countries left the USSR and Russia was left weak and ineffectual in a region in which it had reigned supreme for decades, posing as a Global power and threat to the tiny US military might. Russia has done what the 33rd Hexagram in the I Ching Oracle talks about. It retreated and gained in strength so that it could come back even more powerful on the international scene and take back control or at least gain some Western Allies.
How ironic is that? Now the West is supporting Russia and while the US propaganda machine and talking heads attempted to vilify Russia at every opportunity, the fact that Russia has taken out more IS militants in a few months than the US and its allies have done in 4 years is notable. It reminds me of how I would tell my children (sons) to go clean up their room and hours later it looked like nothing had been done, and yet I could go in there and within 30 minutes get the job done.
In essence, Russia has made the US and NATO look like chumps in this “War On Terror.” But is that a good thing?
I feel very uneasy about this. Part of it has to do with the whole barbarism of war and bombing and blowing shit up. But the other part has to do with the reign of destruction and its impact on the ethereal level. That level that we cannot see with our naked eye but that part of reality that tells us that we are all connected. So every death and destruction and destitution and abandonment that hits those folks hits us too even if we don’t see it or experience it personally. So I am wondering if drawing Russia into this, well I guess they didn’t exactly draw them in, Russia has had enough of the BS playing around and supporting the militants and in fact, it is getting quite close to home and affecting Russia’s sovereignty and while other countries look the other way as this occurs, Russia saw the shenanigans that the US and its allies pulled with the Ukraine and that was a bit too much and taking things a bit too far.
As one journalist mentioned, the US is not even part of that part of the world, so why are they even meddling in the business of those people? The US considers itself apart of the West but in actuality it is not. This explains the adage the US and it’s Western allies because quite frankly, the US is in North America and pretty darned far from the European Nations. It cannot be part of the EU and frankly Russia has more right to be.
Russia is flexing its muscles, it is pulling away from the USD, it is forming a strong alliance with Brazil and China, it supporting Syria and standing with it against a  gas pipeline going through its country to the West. It is making a comeback!
Yet, it feels ominous to me. I am not sure if Putin is NOT part of the NWO (which I call the Old World Order with a New Face). I am not sure if this new presence of Russia on the scene is going to bring these terroristic threats and creations of terroristic threats to a close or if, like roaches, they will simply escape to a quiet arena and begin strategizing for their next assault. Will the US and the 40 other nations that have been funding IS and other groups simply stop and give up their plan for world hegemony or will they devise another plan, create an alternative, design another scare to strike fear into the heart of the masses. Is it now time for the so-called “Last Card” the “Alien Threat?”
Although Putin is doing the “Job” in Syria, I am reticent to applaud it. Personally, I cannot imagine living somewhere that has been bombed tens of thousands of times!!! Maybe if Putin works with his allies to help rebuild Syria so that the Syrian people can come back home, I may feel a little better about this, but I am having a hard time adjusting to this level of violence and seeing it as a good thing.

© PHOTO: YOUTUBE/PBS NEWSHOUR
© Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation
21:18 21.11.2015(updated 03:54 22.11.2015) Get short URL
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PBS NewsHour, a daily US television news program shown on the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), used footage of Russian airstrikes against ISIL targets, claiming that they were US airstrikes, an Information Clearing House article revealed.
Earlier this week, the US government said it would intensify anti-ISIL airstrikes and bomb the terrorist organization’s oil infrastructure, which is ISIL’s primary source of income.
After that, on November 16, the US military said it destroyed 116 trucks carrying illegal oil in ISIL-controlled territories.
“On Monday, 295 trucks were in the area, and more than a third of them were destroyed, United States officials said. The A-10s dropped two dozen 500-pound bombs and conducted strafing runs with 30-millimeter Gatling guns. The AC-130s attacked with 30-millimeter Gatling guns and 105-millimeter cannons,” the New York Times colorfully described the US military operation that allegedly took place on November 16.
Well, it sure sounded like a major anti-ISIL operation in the wake of the Paris attacks. But so far, these are just claims, not backed by any evidence.
Two days later, on November 18, the Russian Air Force destroyed 500 oil trucks that had been illegally transporting oil from ISIS-controlled territories.
Unlike the US Air Force, which didn’t provide any video evidence from their alleged operation, the Russian Defense Ministry promptly released videos of what exactly happened to terrorists and how the operation unfolded.
On November 19, PBS NewsHour ran a program on ISIL and “showed” how their oil trucks were destroyed by US airstrikes.
It’s all fine and dandy, but the US public broadcaster used the footage of Russian airstrikes, passing them off as US airstrikes, without revealing the true source.
“For the first time the US is attacking oil delivery trucks,” the voice-over said between 2:30 — 2:35, while showing a clip of exactly the same video published by the Russian Defense Ministry the day before.
The PBS shows footage of Russian airstrikes against ISIL targets, passing them off as US airstrikes. The PBS program neither mentioned the Russian military operation nor revealed the source of the footage.
What the US channel did was just outright lying, because millions of viewers would certainly think the video footage showing the explosions of oil trucks was from US airstrikes about which the New York Times ran an article on Monday.    

About 500 terrorists’ fuel trucks that had been illegally transporting oil from Syria to Iraq were destroyed by Russian aviation in a few days, Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said.
“Just in the first few days, [Russian] aviation destroyed about 500 fuel tankers. This greatly hampered the militants’ possibility to illegally export energy resources and, accordingly, their income from oil smuggling.”
“Just in the first few days, [Russian] aviation destroyed about 500 fuel tankers. This greatly hampered the militants’ possibility to illegally export energy resources and, accordingly, their income from oil smuggling.”

Read more: 

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151118/1030342846/su-34-oil-isil-infrastructure.html

6 Painful Truths About the War on Terrorism

6 Painful Truths About the War on Terrorism

Dylan CharlesEditor

If you were 4 years old when 9/11 occurred in 2001, then you’re now old enough to enlist and fight in the war on terror. Recent geo-political events suggest that this conflict may endure for some generations to come, so, regretfully, your children may also get to participate. The war on terrorism is apparently part of our culture and part of our lives now.

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for peace in our time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are at war now — with somebody — and we will stay at war with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.” – Hunter S. Thompson

By no means a prophet, Hunter S. Thompson was just an eccentric observer with a knack for connecting the dots between political events and the ongoing mainstream media narrative that supports and manufactures consent for the oligarchy. When taken at face value, the terror script is indeed a rather convincing and motivating story, but when you dismantle the official fiction and bring the hidden pieces into the picture, the truth about the war on terror is just too heavy for conscious people to ignore any longer.
As it persists, international terrorism is guaranteed to increase, and as time goes by, we learn more and more about the real reasons why we’ve been forced into this apocalyptic conflict. After nearly 15 years of kicking down doors, drone bombing villagers, shattering societies, and mourning our own senselessly dead, here are 6 things we now know for sure about the war on terrorism.

“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”  – Hiram W. Johnson

1.) The war on terror was never about ensuring the security of Americans at home or abroad, nor was the current situation the result of foreign policy blunders.
The conflict was engineered from the onset to break up, destroy and destabilize most of the oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The war on terrorism is about control of oil, about conquering national economies and turning them over to ‘foreign investors,’ about demonizing Muslim nations, about creating a lawless territory in which to develop Western controlled mercenary armies like ISIS, about protecting Israel’s interests in the region, aboutdestabilizing Europe, about opening access to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, and about punishing those nations which dared to defy the international banking cartel by moving to avert the petro-dollar.
The war on terrorism is also about radically altering the legal framework of Western governments to allow for greater surveillance, control and the militarization of once free societies. The aim is to continually broaden the definition of terrorism so that any act of defiance against the state or the corporate oligarchy, whether advocating for human rights, the environment, or any other issue of popular concern, can be persecuted without due process. The war on terror will be used to target American citizens who support the idea of limited government and strive to maintain the protections afforded by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States of America.
Additionally, the war on terror is about creating new markets for the security industry and opening steady income streams for war profiteers and arms manufacturers, so that a relative minority can profit heavily from the continuance of the war and the waste, swindling and destruction involved.

2.) The war on terror doesn’t stop terror, because it is terror.
The Western nations most heavily invested in the war on terror are also the nations most heavily involved in global arms trading, which gives advanced weaponry to any despotic tin pot dictator with an oilfield. And France just happens to be the world’s number one exporter of arms per capita.The Western ‘coalition’ regularly kills civilians in other nations directly and indirectly, which is in and of itself a very real type of terrorism.

“You cannot have freedom or peace in a country whose government is engaged in the global wholesale of advanced military arms and weaponry to national governments.”Stefan Molyneux

Regional arms sales by the UK.
3.) Our worst terrorist enemies are the products of government, the military industrial complex and Western intelligence agencies.
The Mujahideen was originally organized, funded, trained and supplied by the CIA to oppose the Soviet Union. The Mujahideen became Al Qaeda with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and American training, arms and financial aid. Al Qaeda has morphed into, or been replaced with ISIS, who is the creation of the military industrial complex, the US, Israel, the UK and France, and is supported by some 40 other nations who knowingly trade and deal with ISIS.

“They tax you in order to create weapons to sell to foreigners to attack you.” –Stefan Molyneux

ISIS, the new Islamic Caliphate as they call it, is the most barbaric, cruel and inhumane social movement to come about in some number of centuries, perhaps even a millenia or more. ISIS was given birth and nurtured into being by the West, and now, primarily Muslim people are suffering horribly in their own homelands while the war intensifies and extends into Europe in acts of urban terrorism.



Video from November 2015 of an ISIS fighter in Syria using an American TOW missile to waste an American Humvee.


4.) The mainstream media plays a crucial in perpetuating the war on terrorism.
The primary role of the corporate-owned and government-controlled mainstream media is to transform selected acts of terror into enduring symbols that can be used again and again to reinforce the war on terror narrative. Their secondary role is to keep the level of tension and stress as high as possible by ceaselessly over-reacting to non-events and over-reporting on non-issues, thereby keeping the public captivated and hypnotized by an ongoing drama so that when a major event does occur it has the greatest possible psychological impact.
Reporting on global terrorism is duplicitous and hypocritical because certain events have more franchise than others in influencing public support for government policy changes and military actions. In the practical world of marketing, French flags pictured draped over national monuments at night-time will go much further in promoting the war on terror than Kenyan flags draped over African monuments.
The media uses shock and awe in a war of psychological attrition against the public. The objective is to incapacitate and sideline people from participating in dissent, while scaring people into acquiescence to any imposed government authority or security measures.

5.) State-sponsored False flag attacks still work to achieve political objectives.
There is a tremendous continual international effort underway to expose the true facts behind each new terror attack, terror plot, and major government lie. The alternative media is growing in reach and effectiveness, however, the reality is that the Hegelian dialectic of problem, reaction, solution still works on a shell-shocked public.

6.) Suicide is more deadly to our soldiers than any terrorist organization.
The war on terrorism represents the first time in US history that suicide has been the leading cause of death of US soldiers. The psychological impact of this type of conflict is unique and the suicide rate of returning soldiers may be our best evidence that the war is unwinnable.

Final Thoughts
The goal of the war on terror is transform people into willing participants in chaos, mayhem and murder, or to turn them into collateral damageNobody is born a terrorist, and we are all being set up as dispensable pawns in an orchestrated clash of civilizations.
The truth is out there. When you cut through the propaganda, emotional triggers, and the divisive nature of discourse today, what’s left is the truth that the war on terror is something that we must end. The rise in global consciousness and our willingness to speak out may be our only hope.

Read more articles from Dylan Charles.
About the Author
Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. He may be contacted at wakingtimes@gmail.com.
This article (6 Painful Truths About the War on Terrorism) was originally created and published byWaking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dylan Charles and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
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