Assad

Bourgeois Bossman

TriangleofDoomgc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Steve Ludlum

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Published on the Economic Undertow on May 10, 2016

March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)[/caption]

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In our times of trouble, our nation turns its lonely eyes to …

… a fat guy who cheats at golf:

One morning in the mid-1990s, Mark Mulvoy was on the sixth hole of Long Island’s Garden City Golf Club with Donald Trump when the skies opened, and they ducked for cover under a nearby awning. The rain let up a few moments later, and Mulvoy, then the managing editor of Sports Illustrated, returned to the green. When he got there, he found a ball 10 feet from the pin that he didn’t remember seeing before the storm.

 

 

 

 

“Who the hell’s ball is this?” he said.

“That’s me,” the real estate mogul said, according to Mulvoy.

“Donald, give me a fucking break,” Mulvoy recalls telling him. “You’ve been hacking away in the weeds all day. You do not lie there.”

“Ahh, the guys I play with cheat all the time,” he recalls Trump replying. “I have to cheat just to keep up with them.”

“The worst celebrity golf cheat?” the rock star Alice Cooper said in a 2012 interview with Q magazine. “I wish I could tell you that. It would be a shocker. I played with Donald Trump one time. That’s all I’m going to say.”

“I’ve never played with Alice Cooper,” Trump said. “That’s a terrible thing to say about people, especially me.”

 

 

 

How sinister! Goldfinger is running for president of the United States!

How will James Bond save us from ourselves this time? Nobody knows. Oscar Wilde famously remarked “life imitates art”; that was in a more genteel time when the world actually had ‘art’. Fast forward to the twenty-first century and life imitates commercials

… our ‘alternative’ candidate: unstoppable, mechanistic, can’t be reasoned with, doesn’t feel pity, etc. So far, no horror flick about an Ebbets Field era political cliché-slash-fall guy … no doubt Hollywood’s best minds are hard at work on a concept right at this moment.

Pop culture’s leadership program offers a range of stupid-psychotic characters to run our vital systems … so that we might gain the thieves’ return. Systems include governments, militaries, big businesses and religions. Thieves’ return is exactly what it sounds like; it costs the robber almost nothing to steal compared to the expenses borne by his victims whose relative good nature (they are the slower moving thieves) makes them deserving of their fate. The Cortezes and Napoleons, Goldmans and Sachses (and Madoffs), Trumps and their ilk are not accidents or outliers, they are integral components of modernity like the printing press or Hans Wegner chairs … iPhones and battleships. Our precious system cannot function without them.

The idea, to paraphrase Lewis Mumford, is “to maim and kill with more expert precision than one’s neighbor … “ but, to do so out of sight, without making a scene or scaring the horses, to kill and maim in another country. With a certain je ne sais quoi;

Bourgeois

/bo͝orˈZHwä

  • A part of, relating to, or characteristic of the social middle class,
  • Marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity,
  • Dominated by commercial and industrial interests; capitalistic.

In the beginning, the maiming and killing process ‘worked’: gold and riches flowed from Spanish conquests in the New World toward Europe, then from South Asian, African and Chinese colonies toward England other European powers. When the most productive parts of the world were divided the Europeans turned against each other; the rot had begun to set in. America emerged from its century of isolation and European carnage and turned toward colonizing nature itself. With machines, complexity and fossil fuels, Americans and their imitators were able to achieve a level of prosperity and comfort unimaginable in earlier times.

Yet, nothing lasts forever. Analogous to Hyman Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis; prosperity carries with it the germ of its own undoing. Comfort and vanity are corrupting. The parade of thieves across history is evidence that ill-gotten gains are the only kind to be had. Labor, art and creativity are time-wasting hobbies and/or marketing. Innovation and technology are useful only as far as they leverage more efficient theft. Sorry dreamers: facts on the ground speak for themselves: we plunder therefor we are. If any of us chooses to do otherwise someone else steps up to plunder in our place. The iron laws of nature insist that humans pillage or die trying, it is either us… or rabbits and kangaroos: life is a contest with only one winner.

We have made it our destiny to spread our multitudes across the universe, to discover other worlds so we might empty them as we have done with this one … to reduce everything to accounting entities, to turn capital into waste, to replace value with ‘Made in China’ brand poison cat food and and the ‘magic of free parking’.

“Omelets are not made without breaking eggs,” right?

What keeps the various rogues in check is readiness of others to do the same thing. There are too few ‘fools in the market’ able to absorb costs and thereby support the enterprise. Our theft-based economy hiccups because of a shortage of victims solvent enough to justify the expense of stealing from them … or without resources to extract. Those making their way up the economic ladder of deprived of gains they feel entitled to … which in turn amplifies the increasingly vicious pillaging cycle.

Managers’ first and only job is to promote the interests of big business, to stand aside and allow those with most invested to run things. Leadership is a matter of role playing; the leader’s job is to conform to the public’s collective imagination and provide distractions. Managers are employed strictly by how they look, dress, speak, where certified and whom they ‘know’; where they live and work and how they travel. This is how Goldfinger becomes a presidential nominee: he’s a billionaire … or at least looks and acts like one. This is suggestive to his legions of supporters who see something of themselves within him. Under the circumstances, actual competence or capacity is unnecessary, only fashion.

Forms that require labor, skill, difficulty or do not present a marketing opportunity are penalized with diminished status. Because our scams are divorced from reality the scam managers are expected to be incompetent even as they are fashionable! There is no penalty for stupidity in America.

Competence is intolerable except where it allows for the proper internal functioning of the enterprise. The ostensible scam- masters might be buffoons but those who tend the boilers must know what they are about.

Actual or ‘real’ phenomena which take on pop culture’s forms are treated by the culture as if they are scams irrespective of logic: “Buy the fiction, sell the fact.” Because our institutions are acknowledged to be fraudulent and this is winked at it is not hard for marketing to promote what it wishes as frauds. This is how energy companies can falsely accuse climate science of being a scam and have a large part of the public accept it.

The Hollywood villain vicious cycle runs off the rails …

Assad2

… to maim and kill with more expert precision than one’s neighbor.

Whether they intend to be or not, managers are First Law change-agents. The First Law relates to the costs associated with ballooning surpluses (see the upper right corner of this page). The sensible change-agent voluntarily reduces surpluses before management costs spiral out of control. Our bourgeois bossmen are not sensible, they are actors reading from scripts. In boardrooms and in offices, in central banks and strategy sessions verything possible is done in order to maximize surpluses, to gain them by force if need be. Costs rush through the back door and around corners, the surpluses evaporate.

Whoever wins the election later this year will be ill-equipped to do more but dodge responsibility for the country’s (the world’s) accelerating troubles. If the managers were to tell the truth they would discuss overpopulation, permawar, water- and petroleum depletion, loss of topsoil fertility, diminished waste-carrying capacity; resource constraints that will never ‘disappear’. Instead, candidate Trump blames Mexicans for the American working-man’s plight. He does not understand why Mexicans are at our door in the first place … changes in Mexican agriculture. With climate change and other self-amplifying costs of American industrial surpluses, there are more Mexicans and others certain to come.

We are up against thermodynamic entropy, evidence for this is everywhere a person chooses to look. Entropy is not subject to payoffs, PR or force; it does not negotiate. It is a consequence not an option. We had our chance: Instead of adapting, we were offered supply-side fantasies paid for with the charge card … leaving us with an overwhelming mess and hapless Hollywood villains who do not have a clue.

Good luck on us, we will need it.

Assad photo credit: Joseph Eid/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Is There a US-Russia Grand Bargain in Syria?

Jetsgc2smFrom the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Jets

Originally published in Sputnik on March 17, 2016

 


It’s spy thriller stuff; no one is talking. But there are indications Russia would not announce a partial withdrawal from Syria right before the Geneva negotiations ramp up unless a grand bargain with Washington had been struck.

Some sort of bargain is in play, of which we still don’t know the details; that's what the CIA itself is basically saying through their multiple US Think Tankland mouthpieces. And that's the real meaning hidden under a carefully timed Barack Obama interview that, although inviting suspension of disbelief, reads like a major policy change document.

Obama invests in proverbial whitewashing, now admitting US intel did not specifically identify the Bashar al-Assad government as responsible for the Ghouta chemical attack. And then there are nuggets, such as Ukraine seen as not a vital interest of the US – something that clashes head on with the Brzezinski doctrine. Or Saudi Arabia as freeloaders of US foreign policy – something that provoked a fierce response from former Osama bin Laden pal and Saudi intel supremo Prince Turki.

Tradeoffs seem to be imminent. And that would imply a power shift has taken place above Obama — who is essentially a messenger, a paperboy. Still that does not mean that the bellicose agendas of both the Pentagon and the CIA are now contained.

Russian intel cannot possibly trust a US administration infested with warmongering neocon cells. Moreover, the Brzezinski doctrine has failed – but it’s not dead. Part of the Brzezinski plan was to flood oil markets with shut-in capacity in OPEC to destroy Russia.

That caused damage, but the second part, which was to lure Russia into an war in Ukraine for which Ukrainians were to be the cannon fodder in the name of “democracy”, failed miserably. Then there was the wishful thinking that Syria would suck Russia into a quagmire of Dubya in Iraq proportions – but that also failed miserably with the current Russian time out. 

The Kurdish factor

A Kurdish man waves a large flag of the Democratic Union Party (PYD)

© AFP 2016/ DELIL SOULEIMAN

Kurds Sign Declaration on Creating Federal Region in Northern Syria

Convincing explanations for the (partial) Russian withdrawal from Syria are readily available. What matters is that the Khmeimim air base and the naval base in Tartus remain untouched. Key Russian military advisers/trainers remain in place. Air raids, ballistic missile launches from the Caspian or the Mediterranean – everything remains operational. Russian air power continues to protect the forces deployed by Damascus and Tehran. 

As much as Russia may be downsizing, Iran (and Hezbollah) are not. Tehran has trained and weaponized key paramilitary forces – thousands of soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan fighting side by side with Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). The SAA will keep advancing and establishing facts on the ground.

As the Geneva negotiations pick up, those facts are now relatively frozen. Which brings us to the key sticking point in Geneva – which has got to be included in the possible grand bargain.

The grand bargain is based on the current ceasefire (or "cessation of hostilities") holding, which is far from a given. Assuming all these positions hold, a federal Syria could emerge, what could be dubbed Break Up Light.

Essentially, we would have three major provinces: a Sunnistan, a Kurdistan and a Cosmopolistan.

Sunnistan would include Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa, assuming the whole province may be extensively purged of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Kurdistan would be in place all along the Turkish border – something that would freak out Sultan Erdogan to Kingdom Come.

And Cosmopolistan would unite the Alawi/ Christian/ Druze/ secular Sunni heart of Syria, or the Syria that works, from Damascus up to Latakia and Aleppo.

 

Kurdish people carry flags as they march during a protest in the city of al-Derbasiyah, on the Syrian-Turkish border, against what the protesters said were the operations launched in Turkey by government security forces against the Kurds, February 9, 2016

© REUTERS/ RODI SAID

Syrian Kurds are already busy spinning that a federal Syria would be based on community spirit, not geographical confines.

Ankara’s response, predictably, has been harsh; any Kurdish federal system in northern Syria represents not only a red line but an “existential threat” to Turkey. Ankara may be falling under the illusion that Moscow, with its partial demobilizing, would look the other way if Erdogan orders a military invasion of northern Syria, as long as it does not touch Latakia province.

And yet, in the shadows, lurks the possibility that Russian intel may be ready to strike a deal with the Turkish military – with the corollary that a possible removal of Sultan Erdogan would pave the way for the reestablishment of the Russia-Turkey friendship, essential for Eurasia integration.

What the Syrian Kurds are planning has nothing to do with separatism. Syrian Kurds are 2.2 million out of a remaining Syrian population of roughly 18 million. Their cantons across the Syria-Turkey border —Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin – have been established since 2013. The YPG has already linked Jazeera to Kobani, and is on their way to link them to Afrin. This, in a nutshell, is Rojava province. 

The Kurds across Rojava – heavily influenced by concepts developed by imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan — are deep into consultations with Arabs and Christians on how to implement federalism, privileging a horizontal self-ruled model, a sort of anarchist-style confederation. It’s a fascinating political vision that would even include the Kurdish communities in Damascus and Aleppo.

Moscow – and that is absolutely key – supports the Kurds. So they must be part of the Geneva negotiations. The Russian long game is complex; not be strictly aligned either with Damascus or with the discredited “opposition” supported and weaponized by Turkey and the GCC. Team Obama, as usual, is on the fence. There’s the “NATO ally” angle — but even Washington is losing patience with Erdogan.

The geopolitical winners and losers

Only the proverbially clueless Western corporate media was caught off-guard by Russia’s latest diplomatic coup in Syria. Consistency has been the norm.

Russia has been consistently upgrading the Russia-China strategic partnership. This has run in parallel to the hybrid warfare in Ukraine (asymmetric operations mixed with economic, political, military and technological support to the Donetsk and Lugansk republics); even NATO officials with a decent IQ had to admit that without Russian diplomacy there’s no solution to the war in Donbass.

In Syria, Moscow accomplished the outstanding feat of making Team Obama see the light beyond the fog of neo-con-instilled war, leading to a solution involving Syria’s chemical arsenal after Obama ensnared himself in his own red line. Obama owes it to Putin and Lavrov, who literally saved him not only from tremendous embarrassment but from yet another massive Middle East quagmire.

 

Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft leave Hmeimim airbase in Syria

RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY

Farewell to Arms: Real Results of Russia's Air Campaign in Syria

The Russian objectives in Syria already laid out in September 2015 have been fulfilled. Jihadists of all strands are on the run – including, crucially, the over 2,000 born in southern Caucasus republics. Damascus has been spared from regime change a la Saddam or Gaddafi. Russia’s presence in the Mediterranean is secure.

Russia will be closely monitoring the current “cessation of hostilities”; and if the War Party decides to ramp up “support” for ISIS/ISIL/Daesh or the “moderate rebel” front via any shadow war move, Russia will be back in a flash. As for Sultan Erdogan, he can brag what he wants about his “no-fly zone” pipe dream; but the fact is the northwestern Syria-Turkish border is now fully protected by the S-400 air defense system.

Moreover, the close collaboration of the “4+1” coalition – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – has broken more ground than a mere Russia-Shi’te alignment. It prefigures a major geopolitical shift, where NATO is not the only game in town anymore, dictating humanitarian imperialism; this “other” coalition could be seen as a prefiguration of a future, key, global role for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

As we stand, it may seem futile to talk about winners and losers in the five-year-long Syrian tragedy – especially with Syria destroyed by a vicious, imposed proxy war. But facts on the ground point, geopolitically, to a major victory for Russia, Iran and Syrian Kurds, and a major loss for Turkey and the GCC petrodollar gang, especially considering the huge geo-energy interests in play.

It’s always crucial to stress that Syria is an energy war – with the “prize” being who will be better positioned to supply Europe with natural gas; the proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, or the rival Qatar pipeline to Turkey that would imply a pliable Damascus.

Other serious geopolitical losers include the self-proclaimed humanitarianism of the UN and the EU. And most of all the Pentagon and the CIA and their gaggle of weaponized “moderate rebels”. It ain’t over till the last jihadi sings his Paradise song. Meanwhile, “time out” Russia is watching.

 


PepePepe 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).

Why The ‘Sultan of Chaos’ Is Freaking Out

sultan erdogan gc2smOff the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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sultan erdogan

Originally published in Information Clearing House  on February 5, 2016

 


Picture sleepless nights at ‘Sultan’ Erdogan’s palace in Ankara. Imagine him livid when he learns the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), backed by Russian air power, started a preemptive Battle of Aleppo – through the Bayirbucak region – cutting off Ankara’s top weaponizing corridor and Jihadi highway.

Who controls this corridor will control the final outcome of the war in Syria.
Meanwhile, in Geneva, the remote-controlled Syrian opposition, a.k.a. High Negotiations Committee, graphically demonstrated they never wanted to meet with the Damascus delegation in the first place – “proximity” talks or otherwise, even after Washington and Moscow roughly agreed on a two-year transition plan leading to a theoretically secular, nonsectarian Syria.

The Saudi front wanted no less than Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam and all Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, collaborators at the table in Geneva. So the Geneva charade, quicker than one can say “Road to Aleppo!” was exposed for what it is.

And forget about NATO

Notorious Saudi intel mastermind Prince Turki, a former mentor of one Osama bin Laden, has been to Paris on a PR offensive; all he could muster was an avalanche of non-denial denials – and blaming the whole Syria tragedy on Bashar al-Assad.

The bulk of the Syrian ‘opposition’ used to be armchair warriors co-opted by the CIA for years, as well as CIA Muslim Brotherhood patsies/vassals. Many of these characters preferred the joys of Paris to a hard slog on Syrian ground. Now the ‘opposition’ is basically warlords answering to the House of Saud even for bottles of water – regardless of the suit-and-tie former Ba’ath Party ministers handpicked to be the face of the opposition for the gullible Western corporate media.

Meanwhile, the ‘4+1’ – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – is now winning decisive facts on the ground. The break down; there won’t be regime change in Damascus. Yet no one broke the news to the Turks and Saudis.  

‘Sultan’ Erdogan is wallowing in a sea of desperation. He continues to divert the gravely serious issues at stake to his own war against the PYD – the umbrella organization of the Syrian Kurds – and the YPG (People's Protection Units, their military wing). Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu wanted the PYD not only banned from Geneva but they want it smashed on the ground, as they see the PYD/YPG as “terrorists” allied to the PKK.

Yet what is ‘Sultan’ Erdogan going to do? Defy the recently arrived 4G++ Sukhoi Su-35S fighters – which are scaring the hell out of every NATO Dr. Strangelove? The Turkish Air Force putting its bases on “orange alert” may scare the odd vagrant dog at best. The same applies to NATO Secretary-General, figurehead Jens Stoltenberg, pleading to Russia “to act responsibly and fully respect NATO airspace.”

Moscow is going after the Turkmen with a vengeance and at the same time providing air support to the PYD west of the Euphrates. That hits the ‘Sultan’ in his heart of hearts; after all Erdogan has threatened multiple times that a PYD/YPG advance west of the Euphrates is the ultimate red line.

An already scared NATO won’t support the folly of an Erdogan war against Russia – as much as US and UK neocons may crave it; as NATO decisions must be unanimous, the last thing EU powers Germany and France want is yet another Southwest Asia war. NATO may deploy the odd Patriot missiles in southern Anatolia and the odd AWACs to support the Turkish Air Force. But that’s it.

Pick your favorite regime change

ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, meanwhile, continues to profit from its own Jihadi highway across a 98 kilometer stretch of Turkish/Syrian border, especially in Jarablus and Al Rai across from Gaziantep and Kilis in Turkey.

Taking a cue from Israel, Ankara is building a wall – 3.6 meters high, 2.5 meters wide – covering the stretch between Elbeyli and Kilis, essentially for propaganda purposes. Because the Jihadi Highway, for all practical purposes, remains open – even as Turkish Armed Forces may apprehend the odd trespasser (always released). We're talking about a monster smuggler/soldier scam; as much as $300 change hands for each night crossing and a noncommissioned Turkish officer may earn as much as $2,500 to look the other way for a few minutes.

The real question is why Gaziantep is not under a curfew imposed from Ankara, with thousands of Turkish Special Forces actually fighting a “war on terra” on the spot. That’s because Ankara and provincial authorities couldn’t give a damn; the real priority is Erdogan’s war on the Kurds.

This brings us to the only leverage the ‘Sultan’ may enjoy at the moment. From Brussels to Berlin, sound minds are terrified that the EU is now actually hostage to Erdogan’s Kurd “priority”, while Ankara is doing next to nothing to fight massive migrant smuggling.

When Davutoglu went to Berlin recently not only did he make no promises; he re-stressed Erdogan’s vow to "annihilate" the Syrian Kurds.

And that explains German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own desperation. How could the alleged most powerful politician in Europe falls for such a crude extortion racket? The ‘Sultan’ wants a lot of cash, a lot of concessions, and even a further shot at entering the EU. Otherwise, he won’t turn off the tap on the grim refugee flood.

No wonder the regime change rumor mill is frantic. In Ankara? No; in Berlin.


Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. He 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).

Syriasly

 Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assadgc2smFrom the keyboard of James Howard Kunstler
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Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad
 
Originally Published on Clusterfuck Nation October 5, 2015
 

Senior administration officials say the new offensive holds promise and may change the dynamics on the ground.
— The New York Times

Whew…. That’s reassuring. Finally, a Middle East policy you can believe in.

It’s apparently based on a joint Kurdish-Arab army that our side (the USA) is pretending to assemble around the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, near the Turkish border. We’re informed also that American military officials have screened the leaders of the Arab groups to ensure that they meet standards set by Congress when it approved $500 million last year for the Defense Department to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels. Thank God we have a functioning HR department over there.

Is it safe to say that the table is now set for World War Three? King Salman of Saudi Arabia is itching to mix it up. Of course, the moment he sends official KSA ground troops in there, he will be eligible to have his oil terminal at Ras Tanura in the Persian Gulf blown up. Imagine what that would do to the S & P index. The Turks, too, are none too happy with their currency imploding and their economy falling apart, and perhaps view a widened war as politically refreshing. And let’s not forget Iran — having concluded the long, torturous negotiations to make America feel better about their nuke program, Iran is eager to put an end to this barbaric (Sunni-flavored) ISIS nonsense. Oh, did I leave out Israel. Probably a good idea since so many people just want to hate on it if the subject even comes up. But suffice it to say they are in the mix, too, with the ability to turn their adversaries into ashtrays, should it come to that.

As the old song goes: someone left the cake out in the rain.

You had to at least admire the forthrightness of Mr. Putin. His economy of motion is breathtaking. He goes to the UN and says: “The situation in Syria is intolerable and we’re going to do something about it,” and a few days later they did. Russia commenced bombing groups that the US had labeled “the moderate opposition” to Bashar al-Assad. The quandary for the US, of course, as Mr. Putin pointed out at the UN, is that we keep on arming and training “moderate oppositions” to this regime and that regime and abracadabra (to use an old Middle Eastern term-of-art) they break bad on us. They use the Humvee’s we give them to control the landscape and they blow stuff up with the ordnance we give them, and cut off the heads of Americans on video in the rudest and cruelest manner imaginable. So, might we ask ourselves: is there anything to the US’s complaint that Russia is not bombing the right ISIS?

I suspect world opinion is not buying our claim that Bashar al-Assad has to go because he bombed his own citizens and used gas on them. I mean, we say that a lot, but is it actually true? US officials say a lot of things a lot that happen not to be true (e.g. the Federal Reserve’s claim that the US economy is humming.) In fact, we’re in this predicament precisely because we have squandered our credibility. We go into one country after another and destroy the institutions that held these places together, and leave a train of death and chaos behind. Iraq, Libya, Somalia, now Syria.

Maybe we just ought to step aside for a while and see what happens. The Russians could shoot themselves in the foot over there, of course. They did it before in Afghanistan. But that was back in Soviet times, with its clunky leadership. Mr. Putin proved pretty nimble in Georgia. Whatever else you can say about that little war, the region has been stable for years now. They’re not cutting off people’s heads on TV there. Similarly, you don’t hear much about Chechnyans perpetrating terrorist acts anymore.

Ukraine, for all its faults and troubles, was a stable country until the US decided to pull off regime change there. The deposed president Yanukovych was pressed into choosing between NATO and the Russian-backed Eurasian Custom’s Union and he chose wrong. The US pulled a few levers and abracadabra: civil war.

So, Assad still heads a government in Syria. We don’t like him because he is cozy with Iran, and their proxy war machine, Hezbollah. But will eliminating him make the situation any better?

 

James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

Peace in Syria? It’s Putin’s fault

russia syriagc2smOff the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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russia syria

Originally published in Asia Times on September 18, 2015

 


All one needs to know about the intellectual caliber of the Obama administration is that it is still pondering whether to persist in “ignoring” Russian President Vladimir Putin, or invest in a real partnership to solve the Syrian geopolitical/humanitarian drama. After all, when in doubt between diplomacy or chaos, the Beltway weapon of choice still veers towards the simplistic group think uniting neocons and neoliberalcons: regime change.

 Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad shake hands in Moscow in 2006

 

 

Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad shake hands in Moscow in 2006

And then there’s the non-stop The Russians Are Coming! hysteria — the Cold War 2.0 remix, now switching from the invasion/military occupation of Ukraine to the invasion/military occupation of Syria. The White House — which, same as the Pentagon, does not do irony — actually appealed to the Kremlin to behave in a “more constructive” way side-by-side with the spectacularly inefficient coalition of the dodgy opportunists which is in thesis fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest clarified that when Obama decides that the Sisyphean task of picking up the phone and dialing K for Kremlin is actually in America’s interests, he will do it. The Shakespearean doubt may last days — even as Putin reaffirmed, via Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, he was always open to dialogue.

The White House at least is mulling an offer from Moscow to actually discuss the Russian buildup in Syria via direct military-to-military talks. The Pentagon will do the talking, seeking the “clarity” that so eludes the Obama administration.

Ankara’s double game

Diplomacy, meanwhile, has been hectic. Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu went to Sochi to talk Syria – and Ukraine – with the Russians. Ankara’s position remains fossilized; any support for Bashar al-Assad equals more civilian casualties.

They also talked Pipelineistan – as in Turkish Stream; unlike apocalyptic US corporate media reports, the pipeline has not been ditched by Ankara; the problem is Ankara cannot even form a coherent government after the June elections.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’s superstar commander Qasem Soleimani also went to Moscow this week to promote Damascus-Moscow cooperation. Wait; he didn’t, because Moscow flatly denied the visit. Soleimani was in Russia actually three months ago. The next important meeting to discuss Syria is actually on Monday, between Iranian deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Bogdanov.

A quick recap is essential. The Syrian Arab Spring chapter was sponsored/financed/weaponized mostly by Ankara – totally reversing its previous “zero problems with our neighbors” geopolitical doctrine — with backing by Doha, substantial House of Saud involvement and full led-from-behind support by the Obama White House.

After over four and a half years and immeasurable tragedy, the real face of this “Assad must go” regime change operation is the refugee crisis. Over 2 million out of 4 million Syrians fled to Turkey; Ankara recently released them en masse from holding camps on their way to the Balkans and the Teutonic Promised Land.

So Ankara is right at the center of the largest refugee crisis in Europe in 70 years. And so is Ankara-supporting Washington; ISIS/ISIL/Daesh captured all the weapons delivered with CIA help to that pathetic “Free Syrian Army” – as well as tanks and Humvees from the disjointed US-trained Iraqi Army. Any possible solution for relieving the refugee crisis while fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh must include cutting off Ankara’s myriad direct and indirect forms of “support” for the fake “Caliphate.”

The problem is Ankara is part of the supremely inefficient US coalition. The glaring paradox at least has been identified by some adults in Washington. Yet the Obama administration is still besotted by a dominatrix Ankara playing wag the dog. Team Obama still believes “Assad must go” is responsible not only for the creation of the fake “Caliphate” — an absurdity gleefully repeated by David of Arabia Cameron and General Hollande — but he’s also responsible for the abysmal failure of the US coalition to smash it. It’s actually Ankara that rules what passes for a no-fly zone along the Turkish-Syrian border, and what Ankara wants to fight is Syrian Kurds or PKK Kurds, not al-Baghdadi’s goons.

Damn, where’s my ground intel?

Meanwhile the Pentagon machine, were they to focus on the “mission,” could shock and awe the “Caliphate” goons on a weekend binge. Yet considering how much they did not learn in Iraq, it’s unlikely the Pentagon has minimally decent ground intel.

It’s all about an over 400 kilometer-long desert strip alongside the Sykes-Picot-in-disarray Syrian-Iraqi border — between al-Baaj in northern Iraq and Rutba near the Jordanian border. Some call it the Iraqi Tora Bora; yes, it does look a bit like Afghanistan, only with more desert.

ISIS/ISIL/Daesh rules over the provinces of Ninive, Dijla, Ifrit and Al-Jazeera in Iraq, Abu Kamal and Deir ez-Zor in Syria, and most of all in Iraqi Furhat, around al-Baaj; that’s where the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh command and control center is located. If some Pentagon analyst took the trouble to contact Iraqi analyst Hisham al-Hashemi, he would tell him that al-Baghdadi himself is holed up in al-Baaj, along with his two wives. But who’s actually in command for the moment is the emir for Syria and Iraq, Abu Alaa al-Afari.

The US never managed to control these desolate lands – not to mention, previously, Saddam Hussein. Local tribes are extremely hardcore and excel in smuggling. “Caliphate” goons married tribal women and are totally integrated. All Shi’ites are derided as evil heretics, even worse than Christians. Guess who indoctrinated the tribals? Saudi Arabian imams.

Yet the coalition could easily bomb to smithereens five ISIS/ISIL/Daesh special batallions – up to 500 jihadis each, divided by nationality and specialization, and all concentrated locally; GCC and Maghreb nationals assure the protection of the commanders, for instance, while Eastern Europeans and Asians collect the loot, taxes and take care of weapons transportation. The key brigade is the one that “liberated” Mosul; 80% are Iraqis, and they are now fighting in Hassake, in Syria.

There may be up to 125,000 “Caliphate” goons in action, including up to 15,000 foreigners. But the hydra-like heads of the snake are in al-Baaj. Raze it to the ground, and we got Perseus Obama slaying the jihadi medusa.

Instead, we have the pitiful spectacle of four – I repeat, four – US-trained “moderate rebels” left to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Syria, as admitted by US General Lloyd Austin at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this past Wednesday. Everyone remembers those “rebels” out of a hefty group of 54 who were attacked by Jabhat al-Nusra in July. That is, al-Qaeda in Syria – paraded as “moderate” by neocons and US corporate media — reduced the “moderate rebel” Obama administration chimera (15,000! Well trained and well equipped!) to … well, a chimera.

Aaaaand now, heeere’s Putin

The Obama administration – duly followed by the European minions – simply won’t listen. Already in 2014 former UN-Arab League representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, was saying the Russian analysis of the whole Syrian puzzle was right from the beginning.

Now, Nobel peace prize winner and former negotiator Martti Ahtisaari is saying that already in early 2012 a Russian proposal was floated that included Assad stepping out of power after peace negotiations with credible, non-jihadi opposition interlocutors.

What Moscow has done now is to step up the diplomatic game – trying to bridge the gap between Damascus and the credible opposition (not exactly a huge crowd) while cobbling up a real coalition to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh; as far as Moscow is concerned, this is a major national security threat, what with jihadis slouching towards “Syraq” from the Volga to the north Caucasus.

And here we find an important distinction; Russia’s national security interests do not necessarily converge with Iran’s national security interests (as in Syria offering a bridge to Hezbollah and also a Mediterranean projection for Iran.)

Still, Moscow’s is the only diplomatic game in town because Washington’s Plan A continues to be regime change, and there’s no coherent “Western” road map which simultaneously guarantees smashing ISIS/ISIL/Daesh while preventing the catastrophic dismemberment of the Syrian state.

Assad’s position, in detail, is here. Putin’s position, in detail, is here. It’s up to any informed, unbiased observer to draw the necessary conclusions. Meanwhile, the enormity of the refugee crisis is open to scrutiny practically next door to EU headquarters; no summit-addicted Eurocrat even bothered to go there and talk to the asylum seekers.

As it ramps up the diplomatic front, Moscow obviously pays attention to facts on the ground – as in the expanded infrastructure at Latakia’s air base where Russian advisers are stationed. US Think Tankland’s concerted hysteria denouncing the build up “greatly complicates” the US-led coalition campaign do not even qualify as a kindergarten prank.

There won’t be a “direct clash” between coalition F-16s and Russian jets – and the Pentagon knows it. What the Pentagon cannot possibly admit is that the Russian build up necessarily prevents funny ideas such as the coalition pulling a Turk – as in bombing Assad’s forces instead of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. And by the way, Ankara’s clout in Washington continues to drop – as in the US not being part of a much-hyped no-fly zone to be established over northern Aleppo.

Turkey and GCC coalition members have been indirectly warned; forget about targeting Russian advisers opposing “moderate rebels” using lethal weapons supplied by Turkey, GCC and the US. “Complicating” the coalition “efforts”, in US Think Tankland newspeak, means one cannot bomb Assad’s forces with impunity. Damn, it’s tough to deliver regime change under so many constraints.

Back to pre-Bismarck?

The EU, meanwhile, pays the price for the regime change obsession, convulsed and torn apart by endless divisions provoked by the refugee crisis coupled with the specter of the eternal recurrence of jihad in the streets – and trains – linking major European capitals. But then, as the EU may desperately want a solution to the tragic Syrian puzzle, we have David of Arabia Cameron and General Hollande getting ready to deliver puny air strikes that will hardly cause “Caliphate” goons to shake in their designer desert boots.

No wonder pan-Europe public opinion is increasingly considering it’s actually the Obama administration which is perpetuating the Syrian tragedy — as long as it sticks to the mirages of regime change, a non-existent “Free Syrian Army,” “moderate rebels” (of the al-Qaeda in Syria kind), not to mention demonizing any support offered by Russia and Iran to Damascus.

Putin could not have been more crystal clear — and adults from Washington to Brussels did get the message; “Without an active participation of the Syrian authorities and the military, it would be impossible to expel the terrorists from that country and the region as a whole … Without Russia’s support for Syria, the situation in the country would have been worse than in Libya, and the flow of refugees even bigger.”

So if there’s any chance of a peace deal in Syria, it’s Putin’s fault.

But there’s another possible scenario being actively discussed for the near future. That would be the “surge’ of multiple microstates across the Middle East – as a counterpunch to internecine carnage. So we would have, among others, Allawistan, Kurdistan, Druzistan, Yazidistan, Houthistan – with borders that are already reasonably clear on the ground.

Talk about a 21st century remix of pre-Bismarck Europe princely states. The precedent is what the EU created in the Balkans; the break up of Yugoslavia across religious lines even as the bulk of the population is Slavic.

A Middle Eastern remix would only work if Turkey and Iran would agree to a Kurdistan. It won’t happen. Most Iraqis and Syrians, for their part, have also developed a strong national identity; 70% of Syrians, in a recent poll, oppose the partition of the country (while 82% view ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as a US and/or foreign made concoction.) Yet Syria arguably could still be split in three, depending on where the US-Russia power play will lead. But as we stand, the struggle for a unified, pacified, secular Syria is the only realpolitik game in town.


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).

Either you’re the Butcher or the Cattle

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on October 16, 2014

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I know many people have no interest in watching the boob tube because 99% of the programming is either mindless drivel or government sanctioned propaganda. It’s the 1% that reflects the deeper themes and moods engulfing our society. Television shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead reflect the darkening mood of this intensifying Fourth Turning. I wrote one of my more pessimistic articles called Welcome to Terminus in April regarding the season four finale of the Walking Dead series. I essentially argued we are approaching the end of the line and the world is going to get real nasty.

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In the six short months since I wrote that depressing article, we’ve seen men beheaded on Youtube videos by terrorists no one had ever heard of at the beginning of this year. Somehow a ragtag band of 30,000 Muslim terrorists, using American military equipment supplied to fight Assad in Syria and taken from the Iraqi Army when they turned tail and ran away, have been able to defeat 600,000 Iraqi and Kurd fighters with air support from the vaunted U.S. Air Force. Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan descend into never ending religious based warfare. We’ve even had passenger planes mysteriously disappear in Asia with no trace.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and rejoined Russia, initiating a plan to punish Russia by the western powers. America supported and planned the overthrow of a democratically elected government in the Ukraine, with a predictable push back response by Russia, leading to a bloody civil war in the Eastern Ukraine. We’ve had a false flag shooting down of an airliner over the Ukraine by the Ukrainian government, blamed on Russia and Putin by Obama and his EU co-conspirators. The American corporate media mouthpieces have ignored the cover-up of missing controller transmissions, black box recordings, and physical evidence regarding the murder of hundreds of innocent people by western politicians. Israel and Hamas resumed their endless religious war in Gaza, with thousands of casualties and destruction.

UK fear mongering and financial threats barely averted the secession of Scotland from the UK. Cantalonia continues to push for a secession vote to leave Spain. Violent protests have broken out in Spain, Italy, France and even Sweden. Turmoil, protests and riots in Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico have been driven by anger at political corruption, high inflation, and general economic dysfunction. Saber rattling between China and Japan has increased and young people in Hong Kong have been protesting the lack of democratic elections being permitted by China. The world economy, undergoing central bank monetary stimulus withdraw, is headed back into recession as Germany, China and the U.S. join the rest of the world in economic decline. And now the Western Africa outbreak of ebola has gone worldwide, with predictions of an epidemic potentially causing worldwide economic chaos.

What’s happening in the real world makes the dystopian zombie world of Walking Dead seem almost quaint. The writers of this show brilliant use of symbolism and imagery captures the violent, chaotic, inhumane, darkening, brutal world we inhabit as the Fourth Turning crisis period we entered in 2008 deepens on a daily basis. There is a good reason why the first episode of their fifth season drew the biggest cable TV audience in history. The show is clearly tapping into the mood of the masses. Early in the latest episode you realize Terminus has become a processing center run by cannibals. The line between victim and criminal, killer and prey, good and evil, madness and sanity, and moral and immoral is blurred. Everything is relative in the post-pandemic world of the Walking Dead.

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Seeing Wall Street cannibals walk away unscathed after devouring the worldwide economic system in 2008 with their fraudulent financial schemes, corrupt politicians enriched by throwing taxpayers under the bus, militarized police forces trampling the Fourth Amendment, the NSA spying on every American, a private central bank enriching their owners by funneling trillions into their bank vaults, a president trampling on the Constitution by issuing executive orders to bypass the other branches of government, and billions of welfare and tax fraud from the urban ghettos to the penthouse suites in NYC, has convinced a large swath of Americans that everything is relative and nothing matters in our warped dystopian world. Right and wrong no longer matter. Morality is an antiquated concept. Adhering to the Constitution is an outmoded notion. Our society celebrates and condones our dog eat dog economic paradigm. Or zombie eats anything world in the case of Walking Dead.

The Terminus complex is reminiscent of the concentration camp in Schindler’s List. It is complete with railroad cars to hold the prisoners, gates with barbed wire, armed guards, and extermination facilities to “process” the prisoners. Thick black smoke belches into the air. There is a room stacked full of booty, teddy bears, watches, clothes – everything except the gold fillings.The Nazi like precision and attention to detail is reflected in the almost business-like method in which the Terminus administrators go about gutting their prey. The bone chilling efficiency and antiseptic processing facility evoke memories of the holocaust gas chambers. The opening sequence when Rick, Daryl, Glenn and Bob are among a group of men lined up to be gutted like pigs over a trough in place to collect their spilled blood, might have been the most brutal scene ever put on non-premium cable TV.

The callous and dispassionate way in which the prisoners (cattle) are lined up in front of a stainless steel trough is disconcerting and bone chilling. The victims are hit with a baseball bat and then their throats are slit over the trough by men in protective suits. They have become nothing but cattle to be butchered and consumed by the Terminus cannibals. You see another part of the processing plant where human remains are hanging from hooks like sides of beef. Gareth, the leader of Terminus, supervises the operation like a CEO, berating the butchers for not meeting quotas and following standard operating procedures. Not much different than how our mega-corporations are run today.

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The other fascinating similarity between the dystopian “nightmare of want” setting of Terminus and our modern day dystopian “empire of excess” is the use of false advertising and propaganda to lure “customers” into their web. Their version of billboard advertising was plywood with the hand written messages of “Sanctuary for All”, “Community for All”, and “Those Who Arrive Survive”. The Terminus cannibals would have fit in well on Madison Avenue with the highly paid spin artists, propagandists, and whores for the corporate oligarchs.

The signs along train tracks and radio transmissions from a call center like facility showed the calculated business-like efficiency of the cannibals in systematically and methodically luring victims to their slaughterhouse. It is the same techniques used by the apostles of Edward Bernays to consciously and intelligently manipulate the habits, opinions, tastes, ideas and actions of the masses, in order to control and influence their buying habits, voting decisions, and support of their rulers. The unseen men who constitute the “invisible government” use these techniques to keep the cattle docile, fed, and ignorant, as they are led to slaughter.

The government and lack thereof is always lurking in the murky background of how and why the United States has devolved into an infected world of the walking dead. This episode provided some clues about government labs producing viruses as weapons to be used against some unexplained enemy. The insinuation is that the government somehow lost control of the virus and the ensuing pandemic destroyed our modern world and left the survivors to battle the biters and each other for the remaining scraps. The Federal government caused the societal collapse and is nowhere to be found in rebuilding the nation.

It is unclear how the apocalypse went down, but you can assume it began with fear, which led to panic, chaos, economic collapse, violent upheaval, war, and total breakdown of governmental authority and control. It is ironic that today fear of a worldwide ebola pandemic is coinciding with an inevitable economic implosion, wars raging in the Middle East, violent protests raging around the globe, and trust in governmental authority plunging to all-time lows. The Walking Dead has wittingly or unwittingly captured the ambiance of our turbulent times.

When you are faced with desperate circumstances you can either do whatever you need to survive or you can submissively accept your fate and die. Gareth and his cannibalistic cohorts had been in the same situation as Rick and his posse, but they had somehow turned the tables on their captors. Gareth’s survival of the fittest creed was “either you’re the butcher or you’re the cattle”. Human beings react to intense pressure and life threatening situations in different ways. Some people snap and turn into monsters, like Gareth. Some people snap and lose their minds. Others, like Rick and Carol, summon an inner strength to do whatever it takes to survive while barely maintaining their humanity. Others turn into blind followers of a strong forceful leader, not questioning the morality, legality or humanity of what they are ordered to do. The line between right and wrong, necessary versus unnecessary, vengeance versus justice, and butcher versus cattle is blurred in a world without rules, government or accepted norms.

I believe the “butcher or cattle” analogy is sadly a valid meme for the world we currently inhabit. In the Walking Dead world, individuals must choose to be butcher or cattle. It’s a Darwinian world of kill or be killed. Like minded individuals with common values and goals form communities to protect themselves, provide for themselves, and attempt to bring a semblance of order in a chaotic world. The community of Westbury, led by the governor and the community of Terminus, led by Gareth, are founded upon a foundation of evil and ultimately destroyed. Rick’s community of liberty minded freedom fighters do whatever is necessary to survive, but retain their humanity, decency and desire to create a better world.

Our present day world may not be as brutish as the Walking Dead world, though the line between reality and fiction is often indistinguishable when you turn on the news, but the distinction between butchers and cattle is clear. The elected and non-elected rulers of the deep state are the butchers, sending young men off to die for oil companies and arms dealers, impoverishing the masses through inflation and their control of the currency, and enriching themselves through their complete control of the political, financial, judicial, and economic systems. This establishment, or invisible government as Bernays described, is committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. Its scope, financial resources, and global reach put it in a predator class all by itself.

The common people are the cattle being led to slaughter. We are kept docile with incessant propaganda from the mainstream media; marketing messages to consume from Madison Avenue; filtered, adjusted, manipulated economic data fed to us by government agencies; an endless supply of iGadgets and other electronic distractions; government education designed to keep us ignorant; 24/7 reality TV on six hundred stations to keep us entertained; corporate toxic processed food to keep us obese and tame; and an endless supply of Wall Street supplied debt to keep us caged in our pens with no hope of escape. The butchers of the deep state have maintained control for decades, but we’re entering a new era.

Fourth Turnings result in the tables being turned on the butchers. Some cattle are awakening from their stupor. They can see the bloody writing on the slaughterhouse wall. Anyone who isn’t sensing a dramatic mood change in this country is either a mindless zombie or a functionary of the deep state. The financial shenanigans of the ruling class are again being revealed as nothing but a Ponzi scheme built on a foundation of debt and propped up by delusions and ignorance. When the house of cards collapses in the near future, the tables will turn. When people have nothing left to lose, they will lose it. The butchers will become the cattle. There will be no sanctuary for these evil men. Their reign of terror will be swept away in a whirlwind of retribution, death and destruction. It might even make the Walking Dead look like a walk in the park.

 

Preempting Syrian War Propaganda

Off the keyboard of Anthony Cartalucci

Published on Land Destroyer September 14, 2013

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Preempting The Next Round of Lies Against Syria

What the UN report on Syria will say & what the liars in the West will claim it says.September 14, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) – The bottom line regarding the UN’s upcoming report regarding the August 21, 2013 chemical weapons attack in Damascus, Syria is best summed up by the BBC’s article, “Syria crisis: UN report to confirm chemical arms attack” [emphasis added]:

Ban Ki-moon made no comment on who was to blame for the 21 August attack in the Ghouta area of Damascus, as that is not part of the report’s remit.

Despite this, the United States and its axis of collaborators are already trying to spin the report as confirmation that the Syrian government was responsible.

Relying entirely on the momentum of its massive media networks and their ability to “will” reality into any shape they please, headlines such as “United Nations’ Syria chemical weapons report “overwhelming,” shamelessly attempt to link two out of context statements by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon regarding the Syria government’s “crimes against humanity” and the confirmed use of chemical weapons in Damascus Syria, to place in the mind of readers assigned blame for the attacks.

In reality, the UN inspectors that were stampeded out of Damascus in the middle of their work, fearing an impending unilateral US military attack, were only attempting to determine how victims in eastern Damascus died, not who killed them. Independent assessments of who was responsible for the attack have not been carried out. The best the US has been able to do is suggest terrorists operating in Syria were incapable of such an attack, leaving only the Syrian government as a possible suspect.

Of course this single point of contention is dispelled by the US’ own policy in the region. CNN’s “Sources: U.S. helping underwrite Syrian rebel training on securing chemical weapons,” reported that:

The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday.

The training, which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

Militant groups operating inside Syria with Western “contractors” (read: mercenaries, see: Blackwater) are more than capable of handling and deploying the weapons, and therefore more than capable of carrying out the attacks in question. The only argument left for the US is whether or not these militants, aligned with Al Qaeda, possess the will or motivation to do so. That doing so and framing the Syrian government would serve as impetus for direct US military intervention and therefore the salvation of the crumbling militant offensive, is more than motivation enough.

UN’s Complicity in Ongoing Syrian Bloodbath

And while Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s comments were taken out of context, that he has seemingly failed to also call for accountability of Syria’s so-called “opposition” smacks of partiality – partiality exhibited by the UN throughout the Syrian conflict. Additionally, the UN’s failure to question who in fact is arming, funding, and logistically supporting verified terrorist organizations within and around Syria’s borders is equally troubling.

Al Qaeda has been active in Syria since the conflict began, and according to the US State Department’s own assessment titled, “Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusrah Front as an Alias for al-Qa’ida in Iraq:”

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

Could the UN be so out of touch with reality that it doesn’t realize an operation of this scale surely is state-sponsored, and that the question of who is funding, arming, and otherwise supporting such an extensive operation never seemed important enough to publicly ask?

Examining the UN’s role in the Syrian crisis must also include its 2011 UN Human Rights Council’s report (full text .pdf), and its most recent report published August of this year (.doc).  These are nothing more than a collection of “interviews” conducted abroad with “witnesses” provided by Syrian “opposition groups” and alleged defectors, augmented with fabrications and biased spin provided by Western-funded “NGOs” openly working for armed militants inside Syria.

Image: Screenshot from the Washington D.C.-based Middle East Policy Council’s board of directors from which the UN has drawn Karen Koning AbuZayd as head of their recent “expert panel” on Syria. With fellow board members representing the collective interests of the American and Gulf State corporate-financier interests currently underwriting armed militants inside Syria, the conflict of interest resigns the legitimacy of the report – based entirely on “interviews” – as well as the legitimacy of the UN itself. (click image to enlarge) 

….

The UN panel for the 2011 report and the more recent 2013 report were co-headed by Karen Koning AbuZayd, a director of the US Washington-based corporate think-tank, Middle East Policy Council. Its board of directors includes Exxon men, CIA agents, representatives of the Saudi Binladin Group (Osama Bin Laden’s family business), former ambassadors to Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar, US military and government representatives, and even the president of the US-Qatar Business Council, which includes amongst its membership, AlJazeera, Chevron, Exxon, munitions manufacturer Raytheon (who supplied the opening salvos during NATO’s operations against Libya), and Boeing.


Image: Just some of the corporate members of the US-Qatar Business Council, whose president just so happens to sit on the same board of directors of the Middle East Policy Center as Karen AbuZayd, co-author of, now multiple, conveniently timed UN reports on Syria.

….

In other words, the very underwriters of the armed militancy that is consuming Syria, US, Saudi, Qatari, and Israeli interests, are sitting along side the head of the UN commission producing reports portraying the Syrian government as guilty of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The UN is a diverse organization with both impartial and overtly biased interests busily at work. The utility of the UN’s statements, reports, and investigations must be determined not by the rhetoric that surrounds them, spun either by the Secretary General himself or by media organizations abroad, but rather by whatever solid, verifiable evidence that may be present, if it is indeed even present. The 2011 and 2013 UNHRC reports are throw-away propaganda based solely on biased hearsay. The most recent UN report regarding the August 21, 2013 chemical attacks in Damascus, according to the UN itself, DOES NOT ASSIGN BLAME, but merely confirms that chemical weapons were used – a point that is not contended by either side of the conflict.

This point above all else, must be kept in mind ahead of a predictable barrage of propaganda by faltering Western interests determined to use the UN report to “confirm” their wholly rejected conclusions and prescribed solutions regarding Syria.

Syria’s “Rebels” Threaten UN – Will Use US Weapons

Terrorists operating in Syria have threatened to “block” UN inspectors, any bloodshed will be on the hands of the US who is now openly arming them.

September 15, 2013 (Tony Cartalucci) – In Reuters’ “Syrian Rebels Slam U.S.-Russia Deal, Say Assad Is Moving Chemical Weapons To Lebanon And Iraq,” Qassim Saadeddine of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” rejected the recent Syrian-Russian proposal to turn over Syria’s chemical weapons for independent verification and destruction, vowing to block UN inspectors should they enter Syria to carry out the task.

Reuters reported:

Qassim Saadeddine, said: “Let the Kerry-Lavrov plan go to hell. We reject it and we will not protect the inspectors or let them enter Syria.”

In carrying out these overt threats, the terrorist front will be using US-provided arms, equipment and vehicles, as admitted by US officials in recent weeks. The Washington Post’s article, “U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels,” reported:

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

Of course, while this is the first openly admitted, direct military aid the US has provided terrorists operating within and along Syria’s borders, the US and its axis partners have been pouring fighters, weapons, and cash into Syria via Lebanon, NATO-member Turkey, Al Qaeda-saturated northern Iraq, and Jordan for over two years – intentionally into the hands of Al Qaeda and other sectarian extremists.Not only is the US now openly admitting its role in purposefully perpetuating a clearly sectarian-driven conflict the US is documented to have itself engineered as early as 2007, it is also now responsible for the crimes carried out by these terrorists they are admittedly arming, including the harassment, obstruction, injury, capture, or death of UN inspectors and those charged with their protection.Reports of sniper fire targeting UN inspectors attempting to investigate an alleged August 2013 chemical weapons attack in Damascus, Syria already give a troubling indication of the dangers future inspectors face amongst a landscape plagued with dangerous, lawless terrorists the West has purposefully empowered and is currently perpetuating in Syria.Exposing America’s culpability in any attack upon UN weapon inspectors inoculates the public from fabricated justifications for future US military intervention based on the UN’s “failure,” including plans to use US troops to “secure” Syrian chemical weapons.  Realizing that the Syrian-Russian plan is already in the process of being purposely sabotaged by US support for terrorists within Syria ensures that America is excluded entirely from participating in any future solution to the Syrian crisis, or any other crisis for that matter.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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Knarf’s Knewz

How does standing up for the National Anthem in mo [...]

More Americans want a robust social safety net tha [...]

Consumers’ efforts to be eco-friendly go to waste [...]

Diner Newz Feeds

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Doomstead Diner Daily June 25The Diner Daily is av [...]

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QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

How does standing up for the National Anthem in mo [...]

More Americans want a robust social safety net tha [...]

Consumers’ efforts to be eco-friendly go to waste [...]

In November 2018, a 66-year-old man named Tommy Th [...]

Dear Readers, Things in Venezuela are getting mess [...]

Quote from: Golden Oxen on April 27, 2019, 01:49:4 [...]

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Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

The Brainwashing of a Nation by Daniel Greenfield via Sultan Knish blog Image by ElisaRiva from Pixa [...]

A Window Into Our World By Cognitive Dissonance   Every year during the early spring awakening I qui [...]

Deaf, Dumb and Blind Who Is Better at Conceding They Are Wrong - Conservative or Liberal Extremists? [...]

The Apology: From baby boomers to the handicapped generations. by David Holmgren Re-posted from Holm [...]

Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix. By Caitlin Johnstone Orig [...]

Event Update For 2019-06-23http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-06-22http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-06-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-06-20http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-06-19http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

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Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Riding the Whale’s Tail"Our biological and cultural blinders are equal in every way to those worn by Material Evangeli [...]

Carbon in the Dale"Rather than put back the coal mines, we should seriously think about putting back the forests. [...]

Farewell to the Fishes"Ninety percent of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or dep [...]

Climate Change Reversal at Whole Village"During the burn people were taken around the farm to see the 40,000+ trees we have planted, ou [...]

Pitching Seaweed Straws"Kelp-based straws will beat the price of paper straw competitors later this year and could und [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

Why has it taken so long for the climate movement to accomplish so little? And how can we do better [...]

To fight climate change, you need to get the world off of fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

As a rule of thumb, I'm allowing for a superficial status quo 2019-2025 - in reality eroding an [...]

Apart from the ever-growing domination of giant agri-business and the elimination of mixed medium-sc [...]

I discovered this in my private 'models: I tried to be very pessimistic, but in retrospect I ca [...]

They appear to have omitted to test the healthiest diet of all. This is a diet: a) High in saturated [...]

Hi Steve. I recently found what I believe is a little gem, and I'm quite confident you'd a [...]

The Federal Reserve is thinking about capping yields? I don't know how long TPTB can keep this [...]

As some one who has spent years trying to figure out what the limits to growth are. let me say that [...]

Peak oil definitely happened for gods sake. Just because it isn't mad max right now is no indic [...]

@Volvo - KMO says he made some life choices he regrets. Not sure what they were. And I don't th [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

The South Atlantic Ocean is currently undergoing significant alterations due to climate change. This [...]

This paper assessed the variability and projected trends of solar irradiance and temperature in the [...]

Following the impact of droughts witnessed during the last decade there is an urgent need to develop [...]

A “nadir-only” framework of the radiometric intercomparison of multispectral sensors usi [...]

A fuzzy random conditional value-at-risk-based linear programming (FCVLP) model was proposed in this [...]