Current Top Picks
Recent MoA Posts
Syria – As Rebels Break Ceasefire Army Gathers For New Campaign
April 05, 2016
Syria – As Rebels Break Ceasefire Army Gathers For New Campaign
The ceasefire in Syria held for some five weeks but is now about to end. During the ceasefire Russia reduced its forces in Syria and the Syrian Arab Army made significant progress against the Islamic State. But the opposition and their sponsors abused the ceasefire to rearm. They prepared and executed new attacks against the Syrian government and Syrian civilians.
The sponsors of the opposition, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. deliverednew arms and munition to the “moderate” opposition. It is known that up to half of all supplies the “moderates” receive is inevitably delivered to al-Qaeda in Syria. The sponsors also broke a long-standing taboo and introduced portable anti-air missiles (MANPADs) onto the battle field. Several fighters of the U.S. and Turkey supported Al Hamza brigade posted pictures showing off their new toys. The U.S. claims that these fighters are supposed to only fight the Islamic State. But the Islamic State has no aircraft and these weapons are clearly to be used against the Syrian government and its supporters.
Today Ahrar al-Sham, a Salafist group near to al-Qaeda, downed (video) a Syrian Su-22 ground-attack plane with a MANPAD near the city of Tal Eis, south of Aleppo city. The pilot, Lt. Col Musad Zayed Hirani, was taken prisoner by al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al Nusra). This incident shows that MANPADs immediately proliferate on the battle field and beyond and may soon be used against civilian planes in the Middle East and around the world.
Also today “moderate” rebels launched improvised artillery attacks on the mostly Kurdish Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood in the government held parts of Aleppo city. At least 17 civilians were killed and more than 50 were wounded.
The “moderate” opposition in Syria which is receiving official U.S. support isnot willing to distance itself from al-Qaeda:
Al-Qaeda in Syria was, like the Islamic State, not part of the ceasefire agreement. The U.S. officially regards al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist entity and enemy. Al-Qaeda has zero interest in any negotiated peace and is therefore doing its best to sabotage it. During the last weeks it succeeded in convincing the “moderates” to join it in renewed fighting:
On Saturday several U.S. supported “moderate” rebel groups joined al-Qaeda in an attack on the government held city of Tal Eis in the south Aleppo countryside:
It is obvious now that the “moderate” rebels have broken the ceasefire and are openly in full cooperation with al-Qaeda.
Unless the opposition sponsors manage to immediately reign in their proxies, all out war in Syria will soon be back. The Syrian government and its allies are now mobilizing more forces to regain the lost areas in the southern Aleppo country side. For the first time ‘advisors’ of the regular Iranian army (not the Revolutionary Guard) will take part in the fighting. The Russian air force is likely to reintroduce some parts of its Syria contingent that had been withdrawn.
The Russian side had agreed with the U.S. to stop the fighting and to take the political walk through negotiations in Geneva. This decision was made against the wishes of the Syrian government and its Iranian allies. They would have preferred to at least free Aleppo city of all opposition forces before any talks.
But even if the ceasefire now breaks down the Russian move was valuable. It showed that it is able to hold its allies to a ceasefire when promised. It also demonstrated that the U.S. side is either not able, or not willing to implement and keep a ceasefire but abuses such period to rearm its proxies for new fighting.
The coming Syrian government campaign, with full support of its allies, will likely be at a more intense level than its last offensive. That attack had the rebels on the run, defeated and in parts fleeing the battle field when it was stopped by the ceasefire agreement. The coming attack will be more intense and will not stop until the opposition has taken very significant damage.
Today the Syrian army issued a statement asking all civilians to leave the areas held by the opposition within the next 48 hours. It promises that the new campaign will “give a lesson” to al-Qaeda and its followers.
April 04, 2016
Selective Leaks Of The #PanamaPapers Create Huge Blackmail Potential
A real leak of data from a law firm in Panama would be very interesting. Many rich people and/or politicians hide money in shell companies that such firms in Panama provide. But the current heavily promoted “leak” of such data to several NATO supporting news organization and a US government financed “Non Government Organization” is just a lame attempt to smear some people the U.S. empire dislikes. It also creates a huge blackmail opportunity by NOT publishing certain data in return for this or that desired favor.
Already some 16 month ago Ken Silverstein reported for Vice on a big shady shell company provider, Mossak Fonseca in Panama. (Pierre Omidyar’sIntercept, for which Silverstein was then working, refused to publish the piece.) Yves Smith published several big stories about the Mossak Fonseca money laundering business. Silverstein also repeated the well known fact that Rami Makhlouf, a rich cousin of the Syrian president Assad, had some money hidden in Mossak Fonseca shell companies. He explains:
A year ago someone provided tons of data from Mossak Fonseca to a German newpaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The Munich daily is politically on the center right and staunchly pro NATO. It cooperates with theGuardian, the BBC, Le Monde, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and some other news organization who are all known supporters of the establishment.
The Sueddeutsche claims that the “leaked” data is about some 214,000 shell companies and 14,000 Mossak Fonseca clients. There is surely a lot of hidden dirt in there. How many U.S. Senators are involved in such companies? Which European Union politicians? What are the big Wall Street banks and hedge funds hiding in Panama? Oh, sorry. The Sueddeutsche and its partners will not answer those questions. Here is how they “analyzed” the data:
Essentially the Sueddeutsche compiled a list of known criminals and people and organizations the U.S. dislikes and cross checked them with the “leaked” database. Selected hits were then further evaluated. The outcome are stories like the annual attempt to smear the Russian president Putin, who is not even mentioned in the Mossak Fonseca data, accusations against various people of the soccer association FIFA, much disliked by the U.S., and a few mentions of other miscreants of minor relevancy.
There is no story about any U.S. person, none at all, nor about any important NATO politician. The highest political “casualty” so far is the irrelevant Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson who, together with his wife, owned one of the shell companies. There is no evidence that the ownership or the money held by that company were illegal.
So where is the beef?
As former UK ambassador Craig Murray writes, the beef (if there is any at all) is in what is hidden by the organizations that manage the “leak”:
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is part of theOrganized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) which is financed by the U.S. government through USAID.
The “leak” is of data selected by U.S. friendly organization out of a database, likely obtained by U.S. secret services, which can be assumed to include much dirt about “western” persons and organizations.
To only publish very selected data from the “leaked” data has two purposes:
The engineered “leak” of the “Panama Papers” is a limited hangout designed to incriminate a few people and organization the U.S. dislikes. It is also a demonstration of the “torture tools” to the people who did business with Mossak Fonseca but have not (yet) been published about. They are now in the hands of those who control the database. They will have to do as demanded or else …
April 02, 2016
U.S. CentCom History: “2014 – Syrian Terrorist Group ISIS Invades Iraq”
Significant parts of the U.S. military, its secret services and its politicians want to deny any culpability in the creation of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Thus they resort to extreme falsifications of historical facts. They create fantasy narratives that completely leave out their own mistakes.
The U.S. Central Command created a coalition of several countries’ military to wage war on ISIS. The operation is known under the the moniker “Inherent Resolve”. CentCom created a website that propagandizes the operation. On the About page of that website we find this “History” of ISIS:
This is not only far away from the truth but an outrageous fabrication to deny and distort what really happened. ISIS was not created in Syria but in Iraq, it existed way before 2014 and its existence has nothing to do with war on Syria. To state that ISIS somehow came from Syria and in 2014 invaded Iraq is like claiming that Hitler invaded Germany in 1944.
ISIS was created in Iraq due to the U.S. war on Iraq. The leading ISIS members, former Al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters, found each other and planned the creation of ISIS Caliphate in 2006 in the U.S. prisoner camp Bucca in Iraq:
It is undeniable that ISIS started in Iraq years before the war on Syria:
The above CNN timeline jumps over 2011 when the Al-Nusra’s leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani was sent by al-Baghdadi to Syria from Iraq to reorganize Al-Qaeda cells that were secretly established in Syria long before the first demonstrations there took place. Al-Jawlani, who had also been imprisoned in Camp Bucca, came to Syria in March 2011 when the first demonstrations against the Syrian government just started:
Like Ahrar al-Shams, Jabhat Al-Nusra cells were secretly establishing themselves even before the “revolution” in Syria began:
To claim that the Islamic State somehow started in Syria, as CentCom does, is to claim the opposite of what really happened. The Islamic State under Baghdadi sent fighters and leaders to Syria to created and prop-up the “revolution” against the Syrian state. The religious and philosophical roots of ISIS are grounded in Wahhabism and are of Saudi, not Syrian or Iraqi, origin.
Another fake history story is build by the CIA elements and U.S. politicians who launched the war on Syria from the “color revolution” side. Witness this astonishingly false CBS headline: Obama Nixed CIA Plan That Could Have Stopped ISIS: Officials
Overthrowing the Syrian government would have created more chaos in Syria which very likely the Islamic State, already established in Syria at that time in the form of Jabhat al-Nusra, would have used to take Damascus and to gain primacy in Syria. Everything else is pure wishful thinking which ignores the military superiority the Takfiri groups like Ahrar, Nusra and ISIS have always had compared to the “moderate” Jihadist rebels that have direct U.S. support. The CBS piece is also about the former CIA man who was the original author of the covert action plan. He seems to disagree with what the CBS headline claims:
It is frightening to think that Central Command, which is supposed to fight the Islamic State, might believe its own propaganda, that ISIS came from Syria. One can not successfully fight ISIS when one does not know its real origin: the U.S. war on Iraq and CentCom’s own meager to ignorant performance during that war.
April 01, 2016
Open Thread 2016-13
News & views …
March 31, 2016
Chicken Propaganda (Graphic)
This circulates as the picture of a Sunni boy slaughtered by Iran led Shia militia in Fallujah, Iraq.
But like many pictures and videos from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere this one does not show the full extend of the massacre.
More pictures of the boy …
March 30, 2016
How The U.S. Continues To Arm al-Qaeda
March 29, 2016
Libya – Tribes, Militia, Interests And Intervention – by Richard Galustian
The extensive piece below on the situation in Libya is by Richard Galustian, a long time Middle East and North African security specialist and author. In February we discussed the whitewash U.S. media is giving Hillary Clinton and the U.S., British and French 2011 war on Libya. In March we borrowed from Richard Galustian’s work in and on Libya for a look at some curious personal interests in the current build up to a sequel of the earlier war.Galustian discusses the situation on the ground in Libya, the details of the various local groups and interests involved and the continuing and coming international interference in Libya. He analyses possible alternative steps forward. His thoughts on the subject are based on his extensive on-the-ground knowledge of the tribes and militias of Libya. This presents a unique insight into the most complex labyrinth of inter-connected Libyan and foreign interests.
—Libya – Tribes, Militia, Interests And Intervention
by Richard Galustian
It is something that had never happened in any country since the formation of the United Nations. The UN has, without an election, created unilaterally its own government for a country, and then immediately recognized it. The Government of National Accord, the GNA for Libya is a government based in exile and not elected but chosen by the “International Community”.
A concerted effort over Easter for the GNA in exile in Tunis to ‘take power’ in Tripoli failed completely despite the spin and false optimism of the UN and the U.S. and UK in particular.
Let’s rewind a little.
The recent United Nations plan to bring peace to Libya and eliminate ISIS was/is a two stage process fraught with great risk, uncertainty and is poorly thought out.
First is to persuade Libya’s factions to unite under a Government, the GNA while it is in exile. Second, to provide weapons, training and air support for a newly united Libyan army to attack ISIS.
These are totally unrealistic expectations that will never happen.
The background needs to be understood. The critical fact being that Libya’s main factions are divided into two very loose camps.
One camp supports the elected parliament, the House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk. The other is made up of the previous parliament, the General National Congress (GNC) and supports ‘Libya Dawn’, an Islamist-led coalition of militias that include the extremist elements of the Muslim Brotherhood and former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) revolutionaries. The LIFG is an al-Qaeda offshoot.
Civil war began in July 2014 when ‘Libya Dawn’ seized Tripoli by force after the elections saw sharp losses for the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies including notably former leader of the LIFG, the infamous Abdel Hakim Belhadj, currently suing in the London Courts the then Foreign Minister and MI-6.
The HoR won international recognition straight after the UN announced its election was free and fair, but under intimidation (that’s when Islamists destroyed Tripoli International Airport etc) from militias, the HoR fled east to Tobruk.
To further complicate the situation one must realize that within these two camps are a lattice work of rivalries and tribal divisions.
Libya has no ‘third force’ of police or army acceptable to all sides. The militias are the third force! Essentially they represents ‘guns for hire’. The army and police are first and second.
The problem for the international community is while destroying ISIS is their stated priority, both Libya’s rival camps see each other as the greater threat. ISIS is a threat, but neither camp believes it is an existential threat, so the priority for both camps is fighting each other.
1.1 In Derna,1.2 In Sirte,1.3 In Sabratha
2 Tobruk (HoR) Government Forces
2.1 Regular forces, 2.2 Petroleum Facilities Guard, 2.3 Zintan + Warshefa militias
3 ‘Libya Dawn’
3.1 ‘Libya Dawn’ – Pro GNA militias, 3.2 ‘Libya Dawn’ – Anti-GNA militias
4 Prospect of a Divided Country
5 Deployment of International Military Forces
6 Divisions among Outside Powers
7 Military Training
8 Other Factors
8.1 Sanctions – stop and search ships and planes, 8.2 Muslim Brotherhood, 8.3 Libyan Institutions, 8.4 Benghazi
Bases: Derna, Sirte, Sabratha; Strength: 6,000 (Pentagon estimate)
1.1 In Derna
ISIS arrived in Libya in the summer of 2014 and established control of the eastern town of Derna, aided by a Yemeni preacher and a group of 200-300 ISIS fighters, many of them Libyan, includes many of the Al Badr Brigade, which had fought in Syria and Ansar Al Sharia whom some credit for killing the US Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi.
In June 2015 a mixed force of regular army and an Al Qaida affiliated militia, Omar Mukhtar Brigade, pushed ISIS out of the town to its base in the forested green mountains to the south, the only high ground in the East.
March 28, 2016
Syria – How The Palmyra Victory Changes the Narrative
The liberation of Palmyra is a decisive turning point in the war on Syria. While there were earlier military successes by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, the publicity value of securing the valued Roman ruins of Palmyra is much higher than any earlier victory. It will change some of the false narratives of the conflict.
The Syrian government is no longer “the Assad regime” and the Syrian Arab Army no longer the “Assad forces”. Ban Ki Moon, the head of the United Nations, congratulated the Syrian government to its success:
One important part of liberating Palmyra was the use of Russian electronic warfare equipment to interfere with electromagnetic signals around Palmyra. The Islamic State rigged the ruins with improvised explosive devices but was unable to remotely detonate them.
The myth that the Syrian and Russian government are in cahoots with the Islamic State, told by various propagandist as well as the British and U.S. government, has now proven to be false. But other false claims are still made:
That depiction of the battle is pure nonsense. The Islamic State offensive that ended with its occupation of Palmyra took thirteen days from May 13 to May 26 2015. Heavy fighting and several Syrian army counter offensives took place during those days. After the Islamic State finally captured the city, the Syrian army immediately prepared for a larger operation to regain the city. This was launched successfully in July 2015 but for lack of air support the gains made were again lost a week later.
Throughout the 2015 fighting around Palmyra the U.S. air force, which claimed to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, did not intervene at all. ISIS was free to resupply through the open east-Syrian desert.
The sole reason that the Islamic State could successfully attack Palmyra was a very large ongoing attack by al-Qaeda Jihadists and CIA mercenary forceson the Syrian government forces in Idleb governate. The Syrian army moved troops from Palmyra to defend Idleb and Latakia and the forces left behind were no longer large enough to repel the Islamic State attack.
The attack on Idleb, for which the CIA allowed its proxy forces to directly cooperated with al-Qaeda, was supported by electronic warfare from Turkey which disrupted the Syrian military communication. The attack and the obvious cooperation between the Jihadists and Turkish and U.S. secret services was the reason that Russia and Iran decided to intervene in the conflict with their own forces. It had crossed their red line.
What followed was the roll up of all “rebels” that posed an immediate danger to the Syrian government. After Turkey ambushed a Russian jet all “rebel” forces supported by Turkey became priority targets. When the success of large scale offensives in Latakia and around Aleppo was established, Russia imposed a cease fire on the U.S. supported forces and on the Syria government. This cease fire freed up the Syrian, Iranian and Russian forces needed to successfully take back Palmyra. From there on the attack will progress eastward to Deir Ezzor and later on to Raqqa.
Congratulations, though still with loads of obligatory anti-Assad rhetoric, are now coming from unexpected corners like the conservative mayor of London:
March 27, 2016
Palmyra’s Liberation, Ishtar’s Resurrection And The Easter Walk
The Syrian Arab Army and its allies have taken the Palmyra ruins and Tadmor city next to them from the Islamic State. To the chagrin of the U.S. State Department (vid), the Islamic State occupiers pulled back into the eastern desert after losing some 500 men. The Syrian government can now use the air base in Palmyra and from there regain control of the eastern desert country up to Deir Ezzor and the Syrian/Iraqi border in the east and towards the Jordan border in the south.
The Easter holidays and the fertility symbols of the hare and the eggs are said to be derived from the Germanic goddess Eostre or Ostara. But it is probably more likely that they derive from the older Mesopotamian goddess of Ishtar:
Interestingly the myth of Ishtar includes her descent into the underworld of death and her resurrection and return to life after higher divine intervention:
Ishtar brings us back to Palmyra which hails from the same age:
Today there is a hotel named Ishtar just a two minute walk away from the ruins of Palmyra. Book it for your next years Easter holiday.
For me Easter (or Ishtar?) is no Easter without rereading Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Easter Walk from his Faust I opus:
The people of Syria, of Palmyra/Tadmor, have good reason to celebrate today. And to take a happy Easter walk. Happy Easter!
March 26, 2016
The Wahhabis’ War On Yemen One Year On – When Will Riyadh Fall?
One year ago the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, supported by the U.S., the Brits and several Gulf states, launched a war against Yemen:
A year later the Houthis are no longer in Aden. Saudi proxy troops, which include “western” mercenaries, “liberated” it. But Aden is now infested with Al Qaeda and Islamic State militants who launched several suicide attacksover the last days killing many more people than were recently killed in Belgium. It is known that at least Al Qaeda in Yemen has direct Saudi support and is fighting on its side.
But despite all its proxies, massive bombing and many announcements the Saudis did not get anywhere near the capital Sanaa. Instead Houthi forces attacked Saudi forces within Saudi Arabia and destroyed several hundred Saudi tanks and armored vehicles.
The Saudis and the U.S. and British military supporting them are guilty of war crimes willfully targeting hospitals, schools and civilian infrastructure as well as many people who were not involved in the war. Haykal Bafanatalked to BBC Newshour today from Sanaa in Yemen about the war and the Saudi crimes.
Shortly before the war started Pat Lang wrote:
That is as right today as it was a year back. Here are some pictures from Yemen today.
A pro-Saudi demonstration in Yemen as published by Saudi media:
Half of the anti-Saudi demonstration on Sabaeen Square in Sanaa (video) today. Saleh’s GPC party had called for it. Former president Saleh attended and the crowd sang the national anthem. Saleh is baaaackk!:
A separate anti-Saudi demonstration in Rawdah Sanaa. The Houthi had called for this one. Many women attended:
The Saudis managed to bomb the Yemenis back to Saleh! If the Saudis continue with their war on Yemen, Yemen will survive. But it will be Saudi Arabia that will at the end be destroyed. Riyadh, not Sanaa, will fall.
March 25, 2016
Roundup Of Current News On Syria
In January the Jordan King Abdullah talked to a bunch of U.S. lawmakers behind closed doors. He accused Turkey of willfully transferring “refugees” and terrorists to Europe and of doing oil business with ISIS.
Those well founded accusations is not new for anyone who actually followed the issue. What is new is that some U.S. lawmaker felt a need to leak this now:
That Turkey is supporting Jihadis not only in Syria but also in Libya and in the Balkans has been documented but was missing from main stream news. We can hope that some of the bigger media will now pick up on this.
In Syria the Syrian Arab Army is proceeding to envelope the Islamic State held city of Tadmur/Palmyra. It is systematically taking the heights around the city but has not yet brought the fighting deeper into the city. The Islamic State fighters have defended well so far but have no means to counter the heavy Syrian and Russian air strikes that support the ground troops. They are losing a lot of men. There are strong sandstorms announced for the next 72 hour which will make further air support impossible. The Syrian troops would be well advised to hunker down along defensible lines for now and to only take on the city once the sandstorms are over and air support is again available.
In south-west Syria, right next to the Israeli and Jordan border, Shuhada al-Yarmouk is fighting and making gains (map) against U.S. supported insurgents. Shuhada al-Yarmouk is believed to be part of the Islamic State. It has never officially announced such but is led by a known Islamic State commander. One wonders how the group, completely cut off from other Islamic State held areas in east-Syria, can resupply and take care of its wounded. In the past Israel had supported and supplied Jabhat al-Nusra fighters on the Golan heights against the Syrian army. Is it now supporting the Islamic State against U.S. supported insurgents in south Syria?
The talks between Secretary of State Kerry and The Russian President and Foreign Minister have brought no immediate new results. But it is important to see that the U.S. now has to admit that its attempt to “isolate” Russia has failed:
Both parties confirmed the UN timetable for steps to be taken by the Syrian government and the opposition. The Russians again emphasized that the Kurdish people in Syria must be involved in the talks. At the same time theywarned the Syrian Kurds that any element of autonomy or federation will likely be much less than they envision:
One should ignore all the claims that Russia wants to federalize Syria. I see no evidence for that and I believe that Russia knows well that any federalization would be more troublesome than a centralized Syrian state.
Open Thread 2016-12
Judas: Still on for Friday?
News & views …
March 24, 2016
Clinton’s Plan To “Defeat ISIS” Is A Threat
Hillary Clinton’s three part plan to defeat ISIS is to:
That plan, to me, seems similar to George W. Bush’s plan to defeat the Taliban which was to defeat the Taliban. Or maybe more like Nixon’s plan to defeat drugs which had nothing to do with drugs but was actually a plan to criminalize blacks and antiwar hippies.
The real motive behind the above Clinton nonsense may be the interest of the powers-that-are to keep the war on ISIS going forever. Obama already did his best to establish ISIS. He refrained from fighting it in its infancy in 2012, refrained from holding it back in Iraq to “regime change” Prime Minister Maliki and kept its revenues flowing until Putin shamed him into finally bombing its oil infrastructure.
Clinton’s plan, which declares only aims without any steps to reach them, would mean endless wars in this or that Middle East country and/or in Africa or Asia. It means further suppression of any privacy and opposition at home.
It is not a plan but a threat. Will she win votes with such nonsense?
March 22, 2016
Mr. Trump Goes To Washington
Donald Trump toured Washington yesterday for backroom meetings with Republican party bigwigs, for pandering to the Israel lobby and for an examination by the neoconned Washington Post editors.
The Republican party has given up its resistance to Trump. See for example the Republican functionary John Feehery who opined on February 29 that Trump is an authoritarian, and:
The same guy only twenty-two days later:
That, in short, is the revised position of the Republican party. It has given up on fighting Trump and will now propel him into the White House. What will happen thereafter? Who knows?
Trump is pure marketing. A salesperson throughout. This video explains how his linguistics works – words with only very few syllables, strong buzzword at the end of the sentences. It is fourth grade reading level language. Exactly the level needed to sell his product to the U.S. public and the Republican party. He is an expert in doing this.
But what product does Trump sell? Does he know it? Does he know how that product functions? Is he serious in what he claims that product to be. I have my doubts.
So has Par Lang. He remarks on yesterday’s Trump appearance at the U.S. Zionists beauty contests:
Trump probably does not even care what political product he sells. For now he is selling the salesman himself. Buy Trump and all problems will be solved. He does this convincingly. Most of what he said so far is just nonsense and solely for marketing purpose. There are only few consistent political lines that did not (yet) change over time. These are the lines that rilethe Washington Post editors:
To this the editors opine:
But who are the real radicals, the real radical risk? The salesperson Trump or the neoconned Washington Post publisher and editors? You may judged that from this excerpt at the end of the talk’s transcript:
The salesperson stopped there. Instead of answering that question Trump asked for personal introduction to the people taking part in the event. To nuke some lunatics in Toyota technicals is not Trumps idea of his product. He would not sell that. Not even for gaining the support of the WaPo neocons.
Buying Trump is buying a pig in a poke. One does not know what one might get. But I find it unlikely that he would pursue an interventionist policy. Then again – George W. Bush also pretended to be a non-interventionist – until that changed.
But Trumps current non-interventionist position is a big contrast to Hillary Clinton. She unashamedly offers her well known toxic brew of neo-liberal and neo-conservative orthodoxy. She will wage war, Trump may. As a foreigner that is the decisive difference to me.
But if I were a voter in the U.S. my position would be based on economic policies. There Bernie Sanders is surely preferable to Trump and very much preferable to Clinton.
March 21, 2016
How Do Weekly Demonstrations Indicate A Lack Of Free Speech?
This sentence, in a typical Guardian human rights sniveler piece about Cuba, has me confused:
What actual “freedom of expression” do these people claim to lack? It is obviously not the freedom to publicly demonstrate each week. So what is it?
My hunch is that these are the typical rabble rousing agitators who accompany each and every U.S. “regime change” attempt. By promoting these the Guardian is propagandizing the weaponization of human rights. “Regime change”, chaos and atrocities are allowed if done behind the veil of promoting a few selected human rights like some freedom of expression. Indeed, the U.S. government co-opted “human rights” (vid, start at ~10min) as pretext for nefarious deeds.
But what about the human right to work, the human right to equal pay, the human right to just and favorable remuneration, the human right of an adequate standard of living or the human right to free education? Cuba is a champion of promoting these rights while the U.S. is shunning all human rights whenever it fits its purpose. When was the last time Human Rights Watch, or the Guardian, has called out for economic and social human rights? Would they ever support “moderate rebels” who fight for those?
March 19, 2016
A U.S. 2016 (S)Election Circus Threat
Your likely choices:
Pics via Billmon
March 18, 2016
The Islamic State Is Pretext To Again Mug Libya
There are currently two governments in Libya. A “moderately Islamist” one in the west in Tripoli and one in the east in Tobruk. The eastern one is internationally recognized and “secular” but also supported by some Salafist groups. Both governments have their own parliament and various supporting militia. In the middle of the long east-west coastline the Islamic State led by some cadres from Iraq and Syria has taken a foothold in Sirte. It is recruiting followers from north Africa and moving to capture nearby oilfields to finance its further expansion.
The “west” is alarmed about this development and wants to intervene with military force. Special forces from several countries are already on the ground. But both governments and their parliaments do not want such foreign intervention.
The UN or someone came up with the glorious idea of creating a third government which is supposed to supersede the two existing ones. The task of this third government will be to “invite” foreign forces and to rubber-stamp whatever they will do. That third government is now constituted in Tunisia and has zero power on the ground in Libya:
Naturally the Libyans hate that idea of a foreign imposed government. They will likely fight any third force that tries to usurp their sovereignty. Confronted with a foreign imposed government and foreign military forces more Libyans will join the Islamic State to fight the intruders. The shortsightedness of the UN and the “western” governments on this issue is breathtaking.
But there is still a lot of money to be made in Libya and especially the French and British governments want to keep robbing the country blind. This requires some feet on the ground. The “brain” and a likely main profiteer behind all this seems to be one well known figure.
A revealing piece in the Times of Malta describes some of the astonishing political-business connections behind the scenes:
Libya is awash with weapons and munitions of all kinds and these are bought and sold in open markets. With the right amount of money one can easily buy powerful anti-tank weapons or anti-air guns readily installed on the ubiquitous Toyota technicals. But Britain also wants to sell, not buy weapons:
Here now comes the real business part with the most valuable piece being the Libyan Investment Authority with some $65 billion in assets. This fond is owned by the Libyan people but whoever controls it will be able to siphon off tons of money:
March 17, 2016
Open Thread 2016-11
News & views …