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Mon, 08 Feb 2016
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Pepe Escobar: Russian intervention in Syria shatters Pentagon dream of Full Spectrum Dominance

No wonder Full Spectrum Dominance practitioners in the Beltway and beyond are consumed by deep denial.

They look at the Syrian chessboard and as power projection goes, they see Russia comfortably settling down, with a serious land and air base, to conduct all sorts of operations across MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) in the near future. The Pentagon obviously never saw it coming.

And that's just the beginning. Further on down the road there's bound to be increased military interaction between Russia, China and Iran across Southwest Asia. The Pentagon qualifies Russia, China and Iran - the key nodes of Eurasia integration - as threats.

Russia getting deeper into Syria - and in the long run MENA - progresses just as Moscow insists on dealing with assorted NATO members as «partners» in the war against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. Some stab Moscow in the back, like Turkey. Some may share sensitive military intel, like France. Some may profess the desire to collaborate, like Britain. And some are a geyser of ambiguity, like the US.

Amidst all the ambiguities, «partners» could not be a more delightfully diplomatic way to mask what is a stunning fact in the skies: with its current mix of sophisticated surface-to-air, sea-to-air and air-to-air defenses, from cruise missiles launched out of submarines to the S-400s, the de facto no-fly zone over Syria is now decided by Moscow - not Washington and much less Ankara.


Western media brought to you by state-sponsored terrorism

© Fotolia/ Karelin Dmitriy
Multi-million-dollar advertising money has long been suspected as an unspoken filter for Western news media coverage. If the news conflicts with advertising interests then it is simply dropped. Western complicity in Yemen's conflict is a case study. Add to that the celebrity sheen of Hollywood stars Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman. What we then have is an illustration of how ugly realities of killing and war crimes are cosmetically air brushed from public awareness.

Let's take three major Western media outlets — BBC, CNN, France 24. All are notable for their dearth of news coverage on the bloody conflict in Yemen. On any given day over the past nine months, these channels have rarely given any reports on the daily violence in the Arabian Peninsula country. Yemen is heading into peace talks in Geneva this week, so there might follow some desultory reports on the said channels. But over the past nine months when the country was being pummelled in an appalling onslaught by foreign powers, the same channels gave negligible reportage.

It also turns out — not coincidently — that major advertisers on these same news channels include Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines and Etihad. The latter two advertisers feature screen celebrities Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman, posing as satisfied customers of these Gulf state-owned companies.


Pepe Escobar: Is Washington letting Cold War 2.0 escalate?

© Nour Fourat / Reuters
Raqqa, Syria
The FSB, SVR and GRU in Russia, while drawing all the right connections, cannot help but conclude that Washington is letting Cold War 2.0 escalate to the boiling point.

Imagine Russian intel surveying the geopolitical chessboard.

A Russian passenger jet is bombed by an affiliate of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. A Russian fighter jet is ambushed and downed by Turkey; here is a partial yet credible scenario of how it may have happened.

Ukrainian right-wing goons sabotage the Crimean electricity supply. A Syrian army base near Deir Ezzor - an important outpost against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in eastern Syria - is hit by the US-led Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO). The IMF "pardons" Ukraine's debt to Russia as it joins, de facto, Cold War 2.0.

Comment: As the moves on the grand chessboard in Syria are being played out, will the West/NATO up the ante to the point of a full blown world war?


Sinai jet plot thickens: Egyptians say 'no evidence of terrorism or illegal intervention in Russian plane crash'

© Associated Press
Debris from the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt.
Preliminary report into downing of Russian airliner says nothing indicates a crime, despite Isis claiming responsibility

Egyptian investigators have said they have found no evidence of terrorism or foul play behind the crash of a Russian airliner, in a statement at odds with Russia's view that the plane was downed by a bomb.

The civil aviation ministry in Cairo said a preliminary report into the Metrojet crash that killed 224 people on 31 October had been completed on Sunday. Nearly all the victims were Russian holidaymakers returning from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. "The technical investigative committee has so far not found anything indicating any illegal intervention or terrorist action," the ministry said.

Russian and western intelligence agencies have, however, indicated they believe an improvised explosive was smuggled aboard the plane at Sharm airport, with Britain leading a halt of flights to the resort over security fears.

Comment: Aha! We have a discrepancy! And if there's anything we love here at Sott.net, it's discrepancies, inconsistencies and paradoxes!


Because they point to the man behind the curtain.

The crash occurred on October 31st, yet Russia didn't come out with a statement agreeing - rather lukewarmly - with the 'ISIS terrorist' scenario until over a week later, on November 9th. It was the Brits and the Yanks who led the charge on 'ISIS did it'.

So what do we have here? Egypt says there's no evidence of such happening. What do both the West and Russia know about what really happened to that plane?

Want to know what we think?

Read this:

Was an 'exotic energy weapon' used to down Russian plane in Sinai?


'Turkey behaves like ISIS ally, should not be EU member', says Czech president Milos Zeman

© Petr Josek / Reuters
Czech President Milos Zeman.
Turkey should not become an EU member, said Czech President Milos Zeman, adding that Ankara sometimes behaves like an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) ally, even though Turkey is part of NATO. "I think Turkey is indeed a member of NATO, but sometimes behaves as if it's more an ally of Islamic State. It removes oil from Syria which finances Islamic State," Zeman said, as quoted by Czech newspaper Parlamentni Listy.

The president's remarks came on Tuesday while addressing voters at the end of a three-day visit to the Czech town of Kadan, North Bohemia, local media reported. Zeman suggested Turkish policy stems from the principle "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," referring to Turkey's suppression of the Kurds, "who are the only ones who have fought effectively with Islamic State," the newspaper reported.

The president maintained this is the reason why Turkey should be approached with caution and has no reason to be an EU member. President Zeman also dismissed the EU's intention to pay €3 billion (US$ 3.28 billion) to Ankara in order to better cater for the needs of 2.2 million Syrian refugees in the country. "The Roman Empire, before it collapsed, also paid tribute money to barbarians for them not to pilfer its territory. Turkey, on its part, is able to accept these refugees not only because they make up a mere fraction of its overall population, but also because they share the same religion [with Turks]," he said.

He added that he does not see "danger in Islam as such" but in "transferring these [Muslim] habits to Europe."In November, Turkey signed an agreement with the EU at a summit in Brussels in which the country will help stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for €3 billion in support and the re-establishing of talks on EU accession.

Comment: Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President.

Turkey Helped ISIS in Battle for Kobani: On September 30, 2014, a CHP delegation visited Kobani, where locals claimed that everything from the clothes ISIS militants wear to their guns comes from Turkey. (See HERE and HERE.)
See also:

Arrow Down

Pepe Escobar: Crippled in Syria, Turkey goes for a 'Sunnistan' in Iraq

© Fatih Saribas/Reuters
Turkey's "incursion" into Iraq is a cold, calculated move. And once again, the name of the game is - what else? - Divide and Rule.

Turkey sent to Iraqi Kurdistan - which is part of the state of Iraq - no less than a 400-strong battalion supported by 25 M-60A3 tanks. Now the Turkish boots on the ground at Bashiqa camp, northeast of Mosul, have reportedly reached a total of around 600.

The short breakdown: this is not a "training camp"- as Ankara is spinning. It's a full-blown, perhaps permanent, military base.

The dodgy deal was struck between the ultra-corrupt Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and then-Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu in Erbil last month.

Torrents of Turkish spin swear this is only about "training" Peshmergas to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Absolute nonsense. The crucial fact is that Ankara is terrified of the "4+1" alliance fighting Islamic State, which unites Iran, Iraqi Shiites and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as Hezbollah, with Russia.

In Syria, Ankara is virtually paralyzed, after the "stab in the back" downing of the Su-24; the Russian revelations of complicity between Turkey's first family and stolen Syrian oil (Bilal Erdogan, a.k.a. Erdogan 'Mini Me', denies everything); and the Russian Air Force relentless pounding of Turkey's fifth column Turkmen. Not to mention the deployment of S-400s and even a third-generation submarine complete with Kalibr cruise missiles.

So Ankara now switches the attention to Iraq with a "counter-alliance", made up of Turkey; the KRG (which - illegally - sells oil to Turkey); and Sunnis in northern Iraq under the supposed leadership of the sprawling Nuceyfi tribe in Mosul.


Why is a Western hate campaign being waged against Muslims?

Why is a hate campaign being waged against Muslims?

Why are Muslims increasingly categorized as terrorists?

Why is this hate campaign part of the US presidential election campaign?

Why is Donald Trump calling for police state measures directed against American Muslims?

Why are Muslims the object of ethnic profiling and job discrimination?

Why has France's president Francois Hollande suspended civil rights coupled with a hate campaign directed against France's Muslims, which represent 7.5 percent of the country's population?

Why is the West waging a war against Muslim countries?

Why is Islam regarded as evil?


Israeli military showcases 3-year-long medical support operations for Islamic State terrorists

© Israeli Defense Forces
A wounded Islamic State/al-Qaeda terrorist receives urgent medical treatment from Israeli troops at the Syrian border.
Under cover of darkness, an Israeli armoured car advances down the potholed road that leads to Syria. As it crests a small hill, the driver picks up the radio handset and tells his commanding officer that the border is in sight. He kills the engine. Ten heavily-armed commandos jump out and take cover, watching for signs of ambush. Then five of them move up to the 12ft chainlink fence that marks the limit of Israeli-held territory. On the other side, on the very edge of Syria, lies an unconscious man wrapped like a doll in a blood-drenched duvet. The commandos unlock the fence, open a section of it and drag him onto Israeli soil.

The casualty - who doesn't look older than 20 - is losing blood fast. He has been shot in the intestines and the liver, and has a deep laceration in his left ankle. After putting him on an emergency drip, the commandos stretcher him back to the armoured car and head back to Israel. But this wounded man is not an Israeli soldier, or even an Israeli citizen. He is an Islamic militant. And his rescue forms part of an extraordinary humanitarian mission that is fraught with danger and has provoked deep controversy on all sides.

Comment: What a time for Israel to come out of the closet about supporting the head-choppers in Syria for the last 3 years.

Between this and the exposure of Turkey's "deal with the devil", does anyone doubt that the terrorist attacks in Western cities are the result of Western governments' ongoing support for those terrorists?

See also:

The man behind the curtain: Israeli colonel captured among ISIL terrorist forces in Iraq


Does fear lead to fascism? A culture of fear and the epigenetics of terror

"No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."—Edward R. Murrow, broadcast journalist
© iStock
America is in the midst of an epidemic of historic proportions.

The contagion being spread like wildfire is turning communities into battlegrounds and setting Americans one against the other.

Normally mild-mannered individuals caught up in the throes of this disease have been transformed into belligerent zealots, while others inclined to pacifism have taken to stockpiling weapons and practicing defensive drills.

This plague on our nation—one that has been spreading like wildfire—is a potent mix of fear coupled with unhealthy doses of paranoia and intolerance, tragic hallmarks of the post-9/11 America in which we live.

Everywhere you turn, those on both the left- and right-wing are fomenting distrust and division. You can't escape it.

We're being fed a constant diet of fear: fear of terrorists, fear of illegal immigrants, fear of people who are too religious, fear of people who are not religious enough, fear of Muslims, fear of extremists, fear of the government, fear of those who fear the government. The list goes on and on.

The strategy is simple yet effective: the best way to control a populace is through fear and discord.

Fear makes people stupid.

Confound them, distract them with mindless news chatter and entertainment, pit them against one another by turning minor disagreements into major skirmishes, and tie them up in knots over matters lacking in national significance.

Most importantly, divide the people into factions, persuade them to see each other as the enemy and keep them screaming at each other so that they drown out all other sounds. In this way, they will never reach consensus about anything and will be too distracted to notice the police state closing in on them until the final crushing curtain falls.

This is how free people enslave themselves and allow tyrants to prevail.

Arrow Down

Soviet history paints a picture of the future of the West

© Unknown

The Hegemon's quest for world domination is made possible by an unquestioning public

This week's selection is a text from the updated edition of Alexander Zinoviev's semi-autobiographical 'Confessions of a Renegade', published in Russian in 2008. The earliest version of this work was first published in 1990.

In the publisher's note to this 2008 edition the work is described as having the qualities of a) a novel of adventure, b) a deeply scientific tract. The text in question has features of b) rather than a).

At the time of writing I am unable to put an exact date on when the text was written, but I suspect from the contents that it was written probably before he returned to Russia in 1999. I have chosen it because it briefly outlines a twin theme that runs like a thread through his entire output, namely the nature of Soviet communism and the West's inability to understand it.

Comment: The west is plagued by wishful thinking and so inundated with lies that the masses struggle with their critical faculties and critical thinking. While many may be content with the "alibi" of ignorance (potentially even willful ignorance), they will eventually be hit with the reality of the situation that we're all in and will not be prepared for it. Those with understanding, then, who no longer have the "alibi" of ignorance, have the responsibility to help bring that understanding to as many others who are looking for it as they can.