Libya without peace


Libya without peace

At the roar of the cannon we had to wave our flag in a foreign land, not for the success of the Italian genius that to look good is nothing else except the inventiveness of the poor. And against a defenseless nation whose army could not even compete with the Italian.

Tripoli, beautiful land of love, sweet comes to you this my song! The flag be flown in your towers at the roar of the cannon!

So sang Italy in the early twentieth century, when she imagined herself being something of important and instead she picked up only the crumbs that others had left on the street. So she illuded herself and carefree ran toward the carnage of World War I that a little later would burst.

At the roar of the cannon we had to wave our flag in a foreign land, not for the success of the Italian genius that to look good is nothing else except the inventiveness of the poor. And against a defenseless nation whose army could not even compete with the Italian.

In more recent times and after being closed the historical parenthesis of Colonel Gaddafi and the Jamahiriyya he had founded without firing a shot, Italy thought she could cash in for the betrayal that it had achieved once again. This forgetting that the traitors never have a real say in the harmful actions to which they lend themselves, especially when they are only poor bullies.

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This is what is left of Sirte one of many cities. We have to thank the Allies for destroying a sovereign country

It’s of these days the news appeared that ISIS is rampant in Libya. Killing dozens of Christians. Sentencing to death and slaughtering anyone who opposes its distorted view of Islam. There have even have been addressed to Italy threats of bombing with Scud missiles. According to some rumors, the members of ISIS are already in our area, not far from Rome.

Aside from the dead with their throats cut for their religious diversity, we can say that some are hotshot propaganda. It is not clear by whom, however.

Our Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the man with an ice cream in hand, immediately offered to send a contingent of troops to defend freedom, poetry and all the beautiful things that make life worth living in the West. Not least that slice of booty oil that Italy is so determined to get for herself by law for the role she has played in the bombing campaign. But shortly after Renzi backtracked: someone has explained to him that it was not the case, that would not be a victorious short ride and that in fact to Italy was not for nothing.

There is no peace in Libya but it was natural to finish so. Only fools could and can still believe that more than eight months of fierce bombardments have been put in place to defend a who knows what freedom and democracy in the post-Gaddafi Libya.

Libya found herself slaughtered and fallen into a Somalia condition and used as a forerunner for the war against Syria and Iran. And yet, perhaps for an example of historical justice, not only the Green Jamahiriyya disappeared but Italian democracy too.

Sure, it was not a thing blatant and flashy as for Libya. Of course, the process was already in place by many and too many years and therefore no one has noticed it, let alone the Italian people, but the fact remains that the disappearance there has been.

The point that interest us directly is that the Italian Prime Minister in those days, Silvio Berlusconi, literally fell from the clouds when began the facts which led to the destruction of Libya and the assassination of brother leader Muhammad Gaddafi.

It became apparent that Silvio Berlusconi knew nothing of what was brewing against Tripoli. But Italy had hosted Gaddafi in Rome a year before signing on that occasion a treaty of friendship and non-interference, as well as numerous other trade agreements.

Italian oil company ENI, founded by Enrico Mattei bemoaned and died in circumstances that someone goes back to a murder done by the Italian mafia but commissioned by the CIA, was at home in Libya. His presence was so important that almost excluded other foreign companies. And there was an entire galaxy of small and medium-sized Italian companies that traded with the Libyans and many of these companies had factories on Libyan soil too. We can not forget the great business in the Libyan public constructions, including all the major Italian manufacturers. And finally how to ignore the rescue of Italian bank Unicredit? Twenty million euro paid ready cash by Gaddafi thanks to which his failure and a dangerous domino effect on the entire Italian banking system was avoided.

So a lot of money run and yet the old Berlusconi was still surprised and shocked by the outbreak of hostilities.

You cannot think that there were no Italian intelligence agents in Libya, given the number and nature of the business that our country had with Tripoli. But our intelligence services apparently have not seen or heard anything that was worth reporting to our government.

Similarly our diplomats in the United States, France, England and other chancelleries of Europe have not been able to grasp even the slightest clue, even something of indirect that would put our leaders on notice.

Our generals and colonels have never heard any rumor during their meetings with NATO colleagues, no whisper, no allusive sentences dropped without conclusion. Nothing at all.

The reality is different: the Italian rulers have always been perfunctory, some less than others but all subjected to the command of the US. With Silvio Berlusconi the situation has reached a higher level, however. Always obsessively dominated by those his sexual instincts that so filled with ridiculous our country in the eyes of the world. Always on the run from a huge number of judicial investigations, for crimes that in another country, even just a little more civilized of contemporary Italy, would have cost the political career for even a mere suspicion.

And is natural that to such a person is given only enough rope to hang himself and not be allowed instead of governing a Nation with dignity. Notwithstanding that, it is hard to believe that the word “dignity” find place in the personal vocabulary of Berlusconi and in general in that of the Italian politicians.

The Italian Democratic Party and the remnants offal of the Italian left urged the government to go to war in the name of democracy and freedom mantra, loyalty to the Atlantic ally and NATO. Retaliation came when Berlusconi and his puppets did the same in reversed roles during the ignoble war against Serbia of Milosevic and the Balkan tragedy. Berlusconi managed to withstand a week and then capitulated, as expected.

Once again to pay for the filth of the Italian domestic politics were a foreign country and a foreign people who had not done anything against Italy but that on the contrary we Italians had already tormented much in the past.

And yet you should remember one thing well: i.e. a Nation that does not know how to express a government worthy of this name nor control her army and her secret police, is a Nation without a future. Therefore I wonder when History will make a pair with us and Italy will end up dismembered and removed, to the political games of foreign States that they said our friends until a few moments before. Maybe soon.

by Costantino Ceoldo

The Sixth Crusade


The Sixth Crusade

by Jim Kirwan

In 1095 the first of five Crusades were initiated against the Muslim world, by the Pope, to wipe out the Muslim world for Christendom.

The first five fake Crusades all failed.

This time the Khazarian Supremacy together with their lackeys have now declared their privatized version of a Sixth Crusade against the planet:

But this time they’ve created their own “Conquest Army” to wipe out both Christianity and the Muslim World in today’s global blood-bath that has never before been seen, much less experienced. Those who have tried to rewrite all of ancient history are now trying to erase the past for all of us still living today. This is what has been behind the ongoing attempt to liquidate the many thousands of years that remain in the ruins of all the ancient civilizations that once marked the rise and fall of man throughout time from the eleventh century to the present day…

All of this to supposedly pave the way for their one-world wet dream of a privatized corporate oligarchy to enslave every man woman and child on the planet. The wholesale slaughter of the nations of the world has already begun.

The crucible for all of this, this time, has been shifted after already having moved on from Afghanistan and Iraq through Libya to have arrived in Syria for a struggle to the last drop of blood, that will supposedly be achieved by the current global-army of Conquest, which supposedly cannot be stopped. But for the record that “war” has been going on now for over four years, and the ‘Conquest-Army’ is still failing to crush their must-conquer-targets which have always been first Syria and then Iran. CrossTalk http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/258701-syria-civil-war-is/

Since the Irresistible-force still refuses to factor in Russia or the global failures of the EU, it’s more than likely that they will lose this confrontation once again ­ but that could easily force the Barbarians to shift the whole process over into nuclear war. The creatures in the global-supremacy cabals are fixated on the money, and that addiction has blinded them to all the real facts of life, which are in total opposition to the ‘Full Spectrum Dominance which they continue to seek: While the world did nothing!

All of this became crystal clear to the world when we blatantly murdered Libya and denounced both Gadhafi and his works as “evil”.

Thanks to David Dees for these excellent illustrations ­ We can now see what we did to Gaddafi, and what we got in return was nothing but ruination:

This time around there’s yet another redevelopment of a very old idea: Their semi-eternal Death Squads which they used to get this far in the first place. These same ‘death-squads were used to start the wars in what used to be Yugoslavia, and now what is being prepared in Romania as well as Ukraine, where of course they’re beginning to be forced into another massive collapse because the whole structure of the failed state of Ukraine that’s been a star-crossed failure, from the day it was artificially begun, with the lies beneath the murders in the Maidan-slaughter that lacked all legitimacy from the very beginning. And that farce must come to an ignoble end within the next few months ­ because there’s no way out of the Labyrinth they’ve built for themselves, from the very beginning, with no facts at all behind any of their continuing and wildly bizarre proclamations that have no basis in any reality – anywhere except in the Dreams of Madness to which the fake leadership of Kiev still clings.

The Death Squads worked. so long as they were only used against smaller nations, but in the wider world they’re as transparent as glass, by whatever name they are used and they cannot be successfully used against major nations no matter how degraded those states might be at the moment. The fact that another attempt is being made now to restart the Kosovo wars to block the next European pipeline, from Russia, will not succeed, once the world can see what the endgame there is really all about. Because while “Sanctions” are only impacting the EU states and refugees are now flooding Europe, country by country: Not even Death Squads can stop the natural movements of millions of people, towards freedom and away from global-slavery, that was set in motion by the first thirty or so “Color-Revolutions” that have finally lost the ‘cloaking-devices’ they once enjoyed:. Because all of this is going the same way now, just as the U.S. refuses to count the fifty-plus millions of immigrants which the government is bringing in to undermine this country, the same thing is coming up for all the Western-leaning people that supported the slaughter of Libya, just as they supported the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq in the last fifteen years of this global war. This is happening because the victims of those wars did not all die and far too many have survived to create the latest aspect to the global-nightmare that will not end until the Oligarch’s pay for their crimes against humanity ­ on the guillotine or in the streets where they will be stripped and murdered for what they thought they had protected themselves from; with a fake global-government where they and only they would remain immune to the rage and outrage that’s beginning to make its comeback now.

This lawless and barbaric place cannot survive in this condition where such a miniscule few can control all the life upon this planet ­ any more than they can actually control the winds, the weather or the planet that has been awakened to the crisis from which no one will remain unscathed. . . The human race needs the earth, the seas and the skies to survive, but nature has no need of mankind in order to continue. Nature will adapt where mankind will probably perish. That lesson is something that no Oligarch, Banker or Khazarian Supremacist has ever been able to understand, much less the global-military-industrial-complex that will be the first victim of this world without a functioning currency.

The reason that all of this will and indeed must fail is because the Global-Supremacy’s that have decided to “own” the world, have never had any plans to rebuild the ruins they have left to the survivors. They create nothing. They destroy everything they touch, while they promise freedom & democracy while bringing torture, dismemberment, rape and the chains of eternal slavery.

These ‘sages’ that ‘determine’ everything now by money, money, and only money, are about to get that rude awakening that always follows whenever ‘global-leadership’ disappears or becomes addicted to the fallacy’s of power without vision or humanity to guide whatever passes for “power” – in whichever world we end up dying in. Like it or not the world of humanity demands that people pursue their desire “to thrive as well as to survive” – because there is far more to this life than just money, or as someone once said: “We have become so poor, that the only thing we have is money”. All of that is what is about to be put on the public chopping block, once more ­ ask yourself where will you be once this begins to happen, because each of us must choose which side we want to defend?

Islamic State is the Cancer of Modern Capitalism


Islamic State is the Cancer of Modern Capitalism

By Nafeez Ahmed
Islamic State is the Cancer of Modern Capitalism

The brutal ‘Islamic State’ is a symptom of a deepening crisis of civilisation premised on fossil fuel addiction, which is undermining Western hegemony and unravelling state power across the Muslim world

Debate about the origins of the Islamic State (IS) has largely oscillated between two extreme perspectives. One blames the West. IS is nothing more than a predictable reaction to the occupation of Iraq, yet another result of Western foreign policy blowback. The other attributes IS’s emergence purely to the historic or cultural barbarism of the Muslim world, whose backward medieval beliefs and values are a natural incubator for such violent extremism.

The biggest elephant in the room as this banal debate drones on is material infrastructure. Anyone can have bad, horrific, disgusting ideas. But they can only be fantasies unless we find a way to manifest them materially in the world around us.

So to understand how the ideology that animates IS has managed to garner the material resources to conquer an area bigger than the United Kingdom, we need to inspect its material context more closely.

Follow the money

The foundations for al-Qaeda’s ideology were born in the 1970s. Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden‘s Palestinian mentor, formulated a new theory justifying continuous, low-intensity war by dispersed mujahideen cells for a pan-Islamist state. Azzam’s violent Islamist doctrines were popularised in the context of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

As is well-known, the Afghan mujahideen networks were trained and financed under the supervision of the CIA, MI6 and the Pentagon. The Gulf states provided huge sums of money, while Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) liaised on the ground with the militant networks being coordinated by Azzam, bin Laden, and others.

The Reagan administration, for instance, provided $2 billion to the Afghan mujahideen, which was matched by another $2 billion from Saudi Arabia.

In Afghanistan, USAID invested millions of dollars to supply schoolchildren with “textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings”, according to the Washington Post. Theology justifying violent jihad was interspersed with “drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines”. The textbooks even extolled the heavenly rewards if children were to “pluck out the eyes of the Soviet enemy and cut off his legs”.

The conventional wisdom is that this disastrous configuration of Western-Muslim world collaboration in financing Islamist extremists ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. As I said in Congressional testimony a year after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, the conventional wisdom is false.

Protection racket

A classified US intelligence report revealed by journalist Gerald Posner confirmed that the US was fully aware of a secret deal struck in April 1991 between Saudi Arabia and bin Laden, then under house arrest. Under the deal, bin Laden could leave the kingdom with his funding and supporters, and continue to receive financial support from the Saudi royal family, on one condition: that he refrain from targeting and destabilising the Saudi kingdom itself.

Far from being a distant observer of this covert agreement, the US and Britain were active participants.

Saudi Arabia’s massive oil supply underpins the health and growth of the global economy. We could not afford it to be destabilised. It was pro quid pro: to protect the kingdom, allow it to fund bin Laden outside the kingdom.

As British historian Mark Curtis documents meticulously in his sensational book, Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, the US and UK government continued to covertly support al-Qaeda-affiliated networks in Central Asia and the Balkans after the Cold War, for much the same reasons as before – countering Russian, and now Chinese, influence to extend US hegemony over the global capitalist economy. Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil hub, remained the conduit for this short-sighted Anglo-American strategy.

Bosnia

A year after the 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) bombing, Curtis reports, Osama bin Laden opened an office in Wembley, London, under the name of the Advice and Reformation Committee, from which he coordinated worldwide extremist activity.

Around the same time, the Pentagon was airlifting thousands of al-Qaeda mujahideen from Central Asia into Bosnia, in violation of the UN’s arms embargo, according to Dutch intelligence files. They were accompanied by US special forces. The “Blind Sheikh”, convicted of the WTC bombing, had been deeply involved in recruiting and dispatching al-Qaeda fighters into Bosnia.

Afghanistan

From around 1994, all the way until 9/11, US military intelligence along with Britain, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supplied arms and funds to the al-Qaeda-harbouring Taliban.

In 1997, Amnesty International complained about “close political links” between the incumbent Taliban militia, who had recently conquered Kabul, and the US. The human rights group referred to credible “accounts of the madrasas (religious schools) which the Taleban attended in Pakistan,” indicating that “these links may have been established at the very inception of the Taleban movement.”

One such account, reported Amnesty, came from the late Benazir Bhutto – then Pakistan’s Prime Minister – who “affirmed that the madrasas had been set up by Britain, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan during the Jihad, the Islamic resistance against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan”. Under US tutelage, Saudi Arabia was still funding those madrasas.

US government-drafted textbooks designed to indoctrinate Afghan children into violent jihad during the Cold War, now approved by the Taliban, became part of the Afghan school system’s core curriculum, and were used extensively in militant madrasas in Pakistan being funded by Saudi Arabia and the Pakistani ISI with US support.

Both the Clinton and Bush administrations were hoping to use the Taliban to establish a proxy client regime in the country similar to its Saudi benefactor. The vain hope, clearly ill-conceived, was that a Taliban government would provide the stability necessary to install a Trans-Afghan pipeline (TAPI) supplying Central Asian gas to South Asia, while side-lining Russia, China and Iran.

Those hopes were dashed three months before 9/11 when the Taliban rejected US proposals. The TAPI project was subsequently stalled due to the Taliban’s intransigent control of Kandahar and Quetta, but has been shepherded along by the Obama administration and is now being finalised.

Kosovo

NATO continued to sponsor al-Qaeda-affiliated networks in Kosovo by the late 1990s, reports Mark Curtis, when US and British special forces supplied arms and training to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) rebels who included mujahideen recruits. Among them was a rebel cell headed by Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman, who now leads al-Qaeda.

In the same period, Osama and Ayman coordinated the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania from bin Laden’s office in London.

There was some good news, though: NATO’s interventions in the Balkans, accompanied by the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia, paved the way to integrate the region into Western Europe, privatise local markets, and establish new regimes supportive of the Trans-Balkan pipeline to transport oil and gas from Central Asia to the West.

The Middle East redirection

Even after 9/11 and 7/7, US and British addiction to cheap fossil fuels to sustain global capitalist expansion led us to deepen our alliance with extremists.

Around the middle of the last decade, Anglo-American military intelligence began supervising Gulf state financing, once again led by Saudi Arabia, to Islamist extremist networks across the Middle East and Central Asia, to counter Iranian Shiite influence in the region. Beneficiaries of this enterprise included al-Qaeda-affiliated militant and extremist groups from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon – a veritable arc of Islamist terror.

Once again, Islamist militants would be unwittingly fostered as an agent of US hegemony in the face of rising geopolitical rivals.

As Seymour Hersh revealed in the New Yorker in 2007, this “redirection” of policy was about weakening not just Iran, but also Syria – where US and Saudi largess went to support the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, among other opposition groups. Both Iran and Syria, of course, were closely aligned with Russia and China.

Libya

In 2011, NATO’s military intervention to topple the Gaddafi regime followed hot on the heels of extensive support to Libyan mercenaries who were, in fact, members of al-Qaeda’s official branch in Libya. France had been reportedly offered 35 percent control of Libya’s oil in exchange for French support to insurgents.

After the intervention, European, British and American oil giants were “perfectly poised to take advantage” of “commercial opportunities”, according to Professor David Anderson of Oxford University. Lucrative deals with NATO members could “release Western Europe from the stranglehold of high-pricing Russia producers who currently dominate their gas supply”.

Secret intelligence reports showed that NATO-backed rebels had strong ties to al-Qaeda. The CIA also used Libya’s Islamists militants to funnel heavy weapons to rebels in Syria.

A Canadian intelligence report from 2009 described the rebel stronghold of eastern Libya as an “epicentre of Islamist extremism”, from which “extremist cells” operated in the region – the same region, according to David Pugliese in the Ottawa Citizen, that was being “defended by a Canadian-led NATO coalition”. Pugliese reported that the intelligence report confirmed “several Islamist insurgent groups” were based in eastern Libya, many of whom were also “urging followers to fight in Iraq”. Canadian pilots even joked privately that they were part of al-Qaeda’s air force, “since their bombing runs helped to pave the way for rebels aligned with the terrorist group”.

According to Pugliese, Canadian intelligence specialists sent a prescient briefing report dated 15 March 2011 to NATO senior officers just days before the intervention began. “There is the increasing possibility that the situation in Libya will transform into a long-term tribal/civil war,” they wrote. “This is particularly probable if opposition forces receive military assistance from foreign militaries.”

As we know, the intervention went ahead regardless.

Syria

For nearly the last half-decade at least, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Jordan and Turkey have all provided extensive financial and military support primarily to al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant networks that spawned today’s “Islamic State”. This support has been provided in the context of an accelerating anti-Assad strategy led by the United States.

Competition to dominate potential regional pipeline routes involving Syria, as well as untapped fossil fuel resources in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean – at the expense of Russia and China – have played a central role in motivating this strategy.

Former French foreign minister Roland Dumas revealed that in 2009, British Foreign Office officials told him that UK forces were already active in Syria attempting to foment rebellion.

The ongoing operation has been closely supervised under an on-going covert programme coordinated jointly by American, British, French and Israeli military intelligence. Evidence in the public record confirms that US support alone to anti-Assad fighters totalled about $2 billion as of the end of 2014.

While the conventional wisdom insists that this support to Islamist extremists was mistaken, the facts speak for themselves. Classified CIA assessments showed that US intelligence knew how US-led support to anti-Assad rebels through its Middle East allies consistently ended up in the hands of the most virulent extremists. But it continued.

Pentagon officials were also aware in the year before IS launched its campaign of conquest inside Iraq, that the vast majority of “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels were, in fact, Islamist militants. It was, officials admitted, increasingly impossible to draw fixed lines between “moderate” rebels and extremists linked to al-Qaeda or IS, due to the fluid interactions between them.

Increasingly, frustrated FSA fighters have joined the ranks of Islamist militants in Syria, not for ideological reasons, but simply due to their superior military capabilities. So far, almost all “moderate” rebel groups recently trained and armed by the US are disbanding and continuously defecting to al-Qaeda and IS to fight Assad.

Turkey

The US is now coordinating the continued supply of military aid to “moderate” rebels to fight IS, through a new arrangement with Turkey. Yet it is an open secret that Turkey, throughout this entire period, has been directly sponsoring al-Qaeda and IS as part of a geopolitical gambit to crush Kurdish opposition groups and bring down Assad.

Much has been made of Turkey’s “lax” efforts to curb foreign fighters crossing its territory to join IS in Syria. Turkey has recently responded by announcing that it has stopped thousands.

Both claims are mythical: Turkey has deliberately harboured and funnelled support to IS and al-Qaeda in Syria.

Last summer, Turkish journalist Denis Kahraman interviewed an IS fighter receiving medical treatment in Turkey, who told him: “Turkey paved the way for us. Had Turkey not shown such understanding for us, the Islamic State would not be in its current place. It [Turkey] showed us affection. Large number of our mujahedeen [jihadis] received medical treatment in Turkey.”

Earlier this year, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military (the Gendarmerie General Command) were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services (MIT) had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation” in Syria.

“Moderate” FSA rebels are involved in the MIT-sponsored Turkish-Islamist support network. One told the Telegraph that he “now runs safe houses in Turkey for foreign fighters looking to join Jabhat al-Nusra and Isil [Islamic State].”

Some officials have spoken up about this, but to no avail. Last year, Claudia Roth, deputy speaker of the German parliament, expressed shock that NATO is allowing Turkey to harbour an IS camp in Istanbul, facilitate weapons transfers to Islamist militants through its borders, and tacitly support IS oil sales. Nothing happened.

The US-led anti-IS coalition is funding IS 

The US and Britain have not only remained strangely silent about the complicity of their coalition partner in sponsoring the enemy. They have tightened up the partnership with Turkey, and are working avidly with the same state-sponsor of IS to train “moderate” rebels to fight IS.

It is not just Turkey. Last year, US Vice President Joe Biden told a White House press conference that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey among others, were pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons, of weapons” into “al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis” as part of a “proxy Sunni-Shia war”. He added that, for all intents and purposes, it is not possible to identify “moderate” rebels in Syria.

There is no indication that this funding has dried up. As late as September 2014, even as the US began coordinating airstrikes against IS, Pentagon officials revealed that they knew their own coalition allies were still funding IS.

That month, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by Senator Lindsay Graham during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing whether he knew of “any major Arab ally that embraces Isil [IS]?” He said: “I know major Arab allies who fund them.”

Despite this knowledge, the US government has not merely refused to sanction these allies, but rewarded them by including them in the coalition that is supposed to fight the very extremist entity they are funding. Worse, the same allies continue to be granted ample leeway to select fighters to receive training.

Key members of our anti-IS coalition are bombing IS from the air while sponsoring them behind the scenes – with the knowledge of the Pentagon.

The arc of Muslim state-failure

In Iraq and Syria, where IS was born, the devastation of society due to prolonged conflict cannot be underestimated. Western military invasion and occupation of Iraq, replete with torture and indiscriminate violence, played an undeniable role in paving the way for the emergence of extreme reactionary politics. Before Western intervention, al-Qaeda was nowhere to be seen in the country.

The continual input of vast quantities of money to Islamist extremist networks, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of material resources that no one has yet been able to quantify in its totality – coordinated by the same nexus of Western and Muslim governments – has over the last half century had a deeply destabilising impact. IS is the surreal, post-modern culmination of this sordid history.

The West’s anti-IS coalition in the Muslim world consists of repressive regimes whose domestic policies have widened inequalities, crushed legitimate dissent, tortured peaceful political activists, and stoked deep-seated resentments. They are the same allies that have, and are continuing to fund IS, with the knowledge of Western intelligence agencies.

Yet they are doing so in regional circumstances that can only be described as undergoing, in the last decade, escalating converging crises. As Princeton’s Professor Bernard Haykel said: “I see ISIS as a symptom of a much deeper structural set of problems in the Sunni Arab world… [It has] to do with politics. With education, and the lack thereof. With authoritarianism. With foreign intervention. With the curse of oil … I think that even if ISIS were to disappear, the underlying causes that produce ISIS would not disappear. And those would have to be addressed with decades of policy and reforms and changes – not just by the West, but also by Arab societies as well.”

Yet as we saw with the Arab Spring, these structural problems have been exacerbated by a perfect storm of interlinked political, economic, energy and environmental crises, all of which are being incubated by a deepening crisis of global capitalism.

With the region suffering from prolonged droughts, failing agriculture, decline in oil revenues due to domestic peak oil, economic corruption and mismanagement compounded by neoliberal austerity, and so on, local states have begun to collapse. From Iraq to Syria, from Egypt to Yemen, the same nexus of climate, energy and economic crises are unravelling incumbent governments.

Alienation in the West

Although the West is far more resilient to these interconnected global crises, entrenched inequalities in the US, Britain and Western Europe – which have a disproportionate effect on ethnic minorities, women and children – are worsening.

In Britain, nearly 70 percent of ethnically South Asian Muslims, and two-thirds of their children, live in poverty. Just under 30 percent of British Muslim young people aged from 16-24 years are unemployed. According to Minority Rights Group International, conditions for British Muslims in terms of “access to education, employment and housing” have deteriorated in recent years, rather than improving. This has been accompanied by a “worrying rise in open hostility” from non-Muslim communities, and a growing propensity for police and security services to target Muslims disproportionately under anti-terror powers. Consistently negative reporting on Muslims by the media, coupled with grievances over justifiable perceptions of an aggressive and deceptive foreign policy in the Muslim world, compound the latter to create a prevailing sense of social exclusion associated with British Muslim identity.

It is the toxic contribution of these factors to general identity formation that is the issue – not each of the factors by themselves. Poverty alone, or discrimination alone, or anti-Muslim reporting alone, and so on, do not necessarily make a person vulnerable to radicalisation. But together these can forge an attachment to an identity that sees itself as alienated, frustrated and locked in a cycle of failure.

The prolongation and interaction of these problems can contribute to the way Muslims in Britain from various walks of life begin to view themselves as a whole. In some cases, it can generate an entrenched sense of separation and alienation from, and disillusionment with wider society. This exclusionary identity, and where it takes a person, will depend on that person’s specific environment, experiences and choices.
Prolonged social crises can lay the groundwork for the rise of toxic, xenophobic ideologies on all sides. Such crises undermine conventional mores of certainty and stability rooted in established notions of identity and belonging.

While vulnerable Muslims might turn to gang culture, or worse, Islamist extremism, vulnerable non-Muslims might adopt their own exclusionary identities linked with extremist groups like the English Defence League, or other far-right extremist networks.

For more powerful elite groups, their sense of crisis may inflame militaristic neoconservative ideologies that sanitise incumbent power structures, justify the status quo, whitewash the broken system that sustains their power, and demonise progressive and minority movements.

In this maelstrom, the supply of countless billions of dollars to Islamist extremist networks in the Middle East with a penchant for violence, empowers groups that previously lacked any local constituency.

As multiple crises converge and intensify, undermining state stability and inflaming grievances, this massive input of resources to Islamist ideologues can pull angry, alienated, vulnerable individuals into their vortex of xenophobic extremism. The end-point of that process is the creation of monsters.

Dehumanisation

While these factors escalated regional vulnerability to crisis levels, the US and Britain’s lead role after 9/11 in coordinating covert Gulf state financing of extremist Islamist militants across the region has poured gasoline on the flames.

The links these Islamist networks have in the West meant that domestic intelligence agencies have periodically turned blind eyes to their followers and infiltrators at home, allowing them to fester, recruit and send would-be fighters abroad.

This is why the Western component of IS, though much smaller than the number of fighters joining from neighbouring countries, remains largely impervious to meaningful theological debate. They are not driven by theology, but by the insecurity of a fractured identity and psychology.

It is here, in the meticulously calibrated recruitment methods used by IS and its supporting networks in the West, that we can see the role of psychological indoctrination processes fine-tuned through years of training under Western intelligence agencies. These agencies have always been intimately involved in the crafting of violent Islamist indoctrination tools.

In most cases, recruitment into IS is achieved by being exposed to carefully crafted propaganda videos, developed using advanced production methods, the most effective of which are replete with real images of bloodshed inflicted on Iraqi, Afghan and Palestinian civilians by Western firepower, or on Syrian civilians by Assad.

The constant exposure to such horrifying scenes of Western and Syrian atrocities can often have an effect similar to what might happen if these scenes had been experienced directly: that is, a form of psychological trauma that can even result in post-traumatic stress.

Such cult-like propaganda techniques help to invoke overwhelming emotions of shock and anger, which in turn serve to shut down reason and dehumanise the “Other”. The dehumanisation process is brought to fruition using twisted Islamist theology. What matters with this theology is not its authenticity, but its simplicity. This can work wonders on a psyche traumatised by visions of mass death, whose capacity for reason is immobilised with rage.

This is why the reliance on extreme literalism and complete decontextualisation is such a common feature of Islamist extremist teachings: because it seems, to someone credulous and unfamiliar with Islamic scholarship, to be literally true at first glance.

Building on decades of selective misinterpretation of Islamic texts by militant ideologues, sources are carefully mined and cherry-picked to justify the political agenda of the movement: tyrannical rule, arbitrary mass murder, subjugation and enslavement of women, and so on, all of which become integral to the very survival and expansion of the “state”.

As the main function of introducing extreme Islamist theological reasoning is to legitimise violence and sanction war, it is combined with propaganda videos that promise what the vulnerable recruit appears to be missing: glory, brotherhood, honour, and the promise of eternal salvation – no matter what crimes or misdemeanours one may have committed in the past.

Couple this with the promise of power – power over one’s enemies, power over Western institutions that have purportedly suppressed one’s Muslim brothers and sisters, power over women – and the appeal of IS, if its religious garb and claims of Godliness can be made convincing enough, can be irresistible.

What this means is that IS’s ideology, while important to understand and refute, is not the driving factor in its origins, existence and expansion. It is merely the opium of the people that it feeds to itself, and its prospective followers.

Ultimately, IS is a cancer of modern industrial capitalism in meltdown, a fatal by-product of our unwavering addiction to black gold, a parasitical symptom of escalating civilisational crises across both the Muslim and Western worlds. Until the roots of these crises are addressed, IS and its ilk are here to stay.

 

The World’s Most Widely Used WMD: Depleted Uranium


The World’s Most Widely Used WMD: Depleted Uranium

In the light of ongoing reports of a huge rises in the incidence of birth defects in Iraq we investigate one of the likely causes, depleted uranium.

Depleted uranium is the world’s most widely used weapon of mass destruction, and yet because it does not come with an associated mushroom cloud, this deadly killer goes largely unreported. However its effects last for centuries and it is currently used indiscriminately used by the major armies of the world with little or no research as to its effects long after the initial explosion. This is especially so in the countries in which they have been most extensively used, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. So what is depleted uranium and why should it be considered a weapon of mass destruction?

The Science:

  • The uranium remaining after removal of the enriched fraction contains about 99.8% 238U, 0.2% 235U and 0.001% 234U by mass; this is referred to as depleted uranium or DU.

  • The main difference between DU and natural uranium is that the former contains at least three times less 235U than the latter.

  • DU, consequently, is weakly radioactive and a radiation dose from it would be about 60% of that from purified natural uranium with the same mass.

  • The behaviour of DU in the body is identical to that of natural uranium.

  • Spent uranium fuel from nuclear reactors is sometimes reprocessed in plants for natural uranium enrichment. Some reactor-created radioisotopes can consequently contaminate the reprocessing equipment and the DU. Under these conditions another uranium isotope, 236U, may be present in the DU together with very small amounts of the transuranic elements plutonium, americium and neptunium and the fission product technetium-99. However, the additional radiation dose following intake of DU into the human body from these isotopes would be less than 1%.

The History:

  • Enriched uranium was first manufactured in the 1940s when the US and USSR began their nuclear weapons and nuclear power programs. It was at this time that depleted uranium was first stored as an unusable waste product. There was some hope that the enrichment process would be improved and fissionable isotopes of U-235 could, at some future date, be extracted from the depleted uranium. This re-enrichment recovery of the residual uranium-235 contained in the depleted uranium is no longer a matter of the future: it has been practiced for several years. Also, it is possible to design civilian power reactors with unenriched fuel, but only about 10 percent of reactors ever built utilize that technology, and both nuclear weapons production and naval reactors require the concentrated isotope.

  • In the 1970s, the Pentagon reported that the Soviet military had developed armor plating for Warsaw Pact tanks that NATO ammunition could not penetrate. The Pentagon began searching for material to make denser bullets. After testing various metals, ordnance researchers settled on depleted uranium.

  • The US and NATO military used DU penetrator rounds in the 1991 Gulf War, the Bosnia war, bombing of Serbia, the 2003 invasion and subsequent war in Iraq, in Afghanistan since 2001 and Libya in 2011.

APPLICATIONS OF DEPLETED URANIUM

  • Due to its high density, about twice that of lead, the main civilian uses of DU include counterweights in aircraft, radiation shields in medical radiation therapy machines and containers for the transport of radioactive materials. The military uses DU for defensive armour plate.

  • DU is used in armour penetrating military ordnance because of its high density, and also because DU can ignite on impact if the temperature exceeds 600°C.

In just a three week period of conflict in Iraq during 2003 it was estimated over 1000 tons of depleted uranium munitions were used, mostly in cities

EXPOSURE TO URANIUM AND DEPLETED URANIUM

  • Under most circumstances, use of DU will make a negligible contribution to the overall natural background levels of uranium in the environment. Probably the greatest potential for DU exposure will follow conflict where DU munitions are used.

  • A recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report giving field measurements taken around selected impact sites in Kosovo (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) indicates that contamination by DU in the environment was localized to a few tens of metres around impact sites. Contamination by DU dusts of local vegetation and water supplies was found to be extremely low. Thus, the probability of significant exposure to local populations was considered to be very low.

  • A UN expert team reported in November 2002 that they found traces of DU in three locations among 14 sites investigated in Bosnia following NATO airstrikes in 1995. A full report is expected to be published by UNEP in March 2003.

  • Levels of DU may exceed background levels of uranium close to DU contaminating events. Over the days and years following such an event, the contamination normally becomes dispersed into the wider natural environment by wind and rain. People living or working in affected areas may inhale contaminated dusts or consume contaminated food and drinking water.

  • People near an aircraft crash may be exposed to DU dusts if counterweights are exposed to prolonged intense heat. Significant exposure would be rare, as large masses of DU counterweights are unlikely to ignite and would oxidize only slowly. Exposures of clean-up and emergency workers to DU following aircraft accidents are possible, but normal occupational protection measures would prevent any significant exposure.

POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE TO DEPLETED URANIUM

  • Kidney Disease

  • Lung Cancer

  • Erythema (superficial inflammation of the skin)

  • Reproductive or developmental effects

  • Issues in the central nervous system (CNS) tissue.

  • Gulf War syndrome and soldier complaints

WHO RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Following conflict, levels of DU contamination in food and drinking water might be detected in affected areas even after a few years. This should be monitored where it is considered there is a reasonable possibility of significant quantities of DU entering the ground water or food chain.

  • Where justified and possible, clean-up operations in impact zones should be undertaken if there are substantial numbers of radioactive projectiles remaining and where qualified experts deem contamination levels to be unacceptable. If high concentrations of DU dust or metal fragments are present, then areas may need to be cordoned off until removal can be accomplished. Such impact sites are likely to contain a variety of hazardous materials, in particular unexploded ordnance. Due consideration needs to be given to all hazards, and the potential hazard from DU kept in perspective.

  • Small children could receive greater exposure to DU when playing in or near DU impact sites. Their typical hand-to-mouth activity could lead to high DU ingestion from contaminated soil. Necessary preventative measures should be taken.

  • Disposal of DU should follow appropriate national or international recommendations

NOTE: NONE OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN OR LIBYA

NATO is Building Up for War


NATO is Building Up for War

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The German city of Frankfurt is continental Europe’s largest financial center and host to the country’s Stock Exchange, countless other financial institutions, and the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) which is responsible for administering the monetary policy of the 18-nation Eurozone. The place is awash with money, as demonstrated by the plush new ECB office building which is costing a fortune.

The original price of the bank’s enormous palace was supposed to be 500 million euros, about 550 million dollars, but the bill has now been admitted as €1.3 billion (£930 m; $1.4 bn). This absurdly over-expensive fiasco was directed by the people who are supposed to steer the financial courses of 18 nations and their half billion unfortunate citizens. If the ECB displays similar skill sets in looking after Europe’s money as it has in controlling the cost of constructing its huge twin-tower headquarters, then Europe is in for a rocky time.

Intriguingly, the Bank isn’t alone in contributing to Europe’s bureaucratic building boom. There is another Europe-based organization of equal ambition, pomposity and incompetence which is building a majestically expensive and luxurious headquarters with a mammoth cost overrun about which it is keeping very quiet indeed.

The perpetrator of this embarrassing farce is NATO, the US-Canada-European North Atlantic Treaty Organization which is limping out of Afghanistan licking its wounds, having been fighting a bunch of sandal-wearing rag-clad amateur irregulars who gave the hi-tech forces of the West a very hard time in a war whose outcome was predictable. But the debacle hasn’t dimmed the vision of the zealous leaders of NATO who are confronting Russia in order to justify the existence of their creaking, leaking, defeated dinosaur. Their problem is not only do they lose wars, but they then look for another one to fight — to be directed from a glittery new and vastly expensive building whose cost has soared above all estimates.

Just like NATO’s wars.

NATO’s operation “Unified Protector” to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi involved a massive aerial blitz of 9,658 airstrikes which ended with the gruesome murder of Gadhafi — and caused collapse of Libya into an omnishambles where fanatics of the barbarous Islamic State are now establishing themselves.

In spite of the horror of NATO’s Libyan catastrophe one does have to have a quiet smile about Ivo H. Daalder and James G Stavridis whose deeply researched analysis in the journal Foreign Affairs in 2012 was titled “NATO’s Victory in Libya.” These sages declared that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention . . . NATO’s involvement in Libya demonstrated that the alliance remains an essential source of stability . . . NATO may not be able to replicate its success in Libya in another decade. NATO members must therefore use the Chicago summit to strengthen the alliance by ensuring that the burden sharing that worked so well in Libya — and continues in Afghanistan today — becomes the rule, not the exception.”

Not much is working well in either Libya or Afghanistan two years after the Daalder-Stavridis advocacy of “burden sharing” and it is obvious that NATO has been the opposite of a “source of stability” in both unfortunate countries.

In October 2005 I wrote that “NATO is to increase its troop numbers in Afghanistan to 15,000 and its secretary-general states that instead of acting as a peacekeeping force it will assume the combat role of US troops, which is insane . . .  The insurgency in Afghanistan will continue until foreign troops leave, whenever that might be. After a while, the government in Kabul will collapse and there will be anarchy until a brutal, ruthless, drug-rich warlord achieves power. He will rule the country as it has always been ruled by Afghans: by threats, religious ferocity, deceit, bribery, and outright savagery when the latter can be practiced without retribution. And the latest foreign occupation will become just another memory.”

The number of US-NATO troops in Afghanistan has been reduced from a high of 130,000 to 13,000, of which some 10,000 are US, but NATO’s new headquarters building in Brussels is expanding in both size and cost. The budget for the immense complex was approved at 460 million Euros (500 million US dollars) in 2010 but has now surged to over 1.25 billion Euros, about 1.4 billion dollars.

Germany’s Der Spiegel reported in January that the scandal of the cost overrun was being kept secret by all governments contributing to this redundant organization. A leaked cable from Germany’s ambassador explained that at a meeting of NATO representatives last December they “pointed to the disastrous effect on the image of the alliance if construction were to stop and if NATO appeared to be incapable of punctually completing a construction project that was decided at the NATO summit of government leaders in April 1999 in Washington. The risk of a further cost increase is already palpable.”

The solution to NATO’s self-imposed image problem was simple : the people responsible for managing the affairs of a military alliance involving 28 countries, 3.5 million combatants and 5,000 nuclear weapons decided, as asked by the staff of its Secretary General, to deal with the matter “confidentially.” In other words, the cost overruns and delays in construction are being deliberately concealed from the public in the hope that NATO’s executives will not appear incompetent.

Meantime, while trying to conceal their flaws, faults and failings in management of basic administrative affairs, NATO’s chiefs are squaring up to Russia in an attempt to persuade the world that President Putin is about to mount an invasion from the east. The focal point of NATO’s contrived alarm is the corrupt and chaotic regime in power in Ukraine, which has serious disagreements with Russia and is therefore energetically supported by the United States to the point of distortion, menace, and mendacity.

As reported in the UK’s Daily Telegraph on March 4, the commander of US troops in Europe, General Frederick “Ben” Hodges, has accused Russia of having 12,000 troops inside eastern Ukraine, which was irresponsible nonsense.

Hodges was formerly the army’s Congressional Liaison Officer in Washington where he obviously acquired a taste for political grandstanding, as in a political speech of the sort that generals have no right to make he declared that “We have to raise the cost for Putin. Right now he has 85 per cent domestic support. But when mothers start seeing their sons come home dead, when the price goes up, domestic support goes down,” which was as offensive as it was hostile.

In February the Wall Street Journal reported Hodges as saying “I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years—not that they’re going to start a war in five or six years, but I think they are anticipating that things are going to happen, and that they will be in a war of some sort, of some scale, with somebody within the next five or six years.” Just what President Putin was supposed to make of that is anyone’s guess — but it is certain that Hodges’ bellicose meanderings did nothing to persuade Moscow that there would be any attempt by the US-NATO coalition to modify its policy of uncompromising enmity.

Other pronouncements by NATO leaders have been equally threatening and intended to convince the public of western Europe that Russia attacked Ukraine.

But even if Russia had indeed invaded Ukraine, it would have had nothing whatever to do with anyone else.

The US-NATO coalition willfully ignores the fact that Ukraine is not a member of either the European Union or NATO and has no treaty of any sort with any nation in the world that would require provision of political, economic or military support in the event of a bilateral dispute with any other country. Yet NATO has seized upon the Ukraine-Russia discord to justify its policy of unrelenting hostility to Moscow.

NATO should have been disbanded at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union because that threat was the sole reason for its existence; but it decided to multiply membership and extend its military presence closer and closer to Russia’s borders. There is little wonder that Russia is apprehensive about NATO’s intentions, as the muscle-flexing coalition lurches towards conflict.

NATO’S Supreme Commander, US General Breedlove, has also contributed greatly to tension and fear in Europe by issuing dire warnings about Russia’s supposed maneuvers. On March 5 he indulged in fantasy by claiming, without a shred of evidence and no subsequent proof, that Russia had deployed “well over a thousand combat vehicles” along with “combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” within Ukraine. This pronouncement was similar to his downright lie of November 18, 2014, when he told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that there were “regular Russian army units in eastern Ukraine.”

The swell of anti-Russian propaganda, confrontation and attempted intimidation by NATO has increased, and if it continues to do so it is likely that Moscow will take action, thereby upping the stakes and the danger even more. It is time that NATO’s nations came to terms with the reality that Russia is a major international power with legitimate interests in its own region. Moscow is not going to bow the knee in the face of immature threats by sabre-rattling US generals and their swaggering acolytes. It is time for NATO to forge ties rather than destroy them — and to build bridges rather than glitzy office blocks.