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Thu, 11 Feb 2016
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Blackbox

Pepe Escobar on the Paris attacks: Who profits?

There's no evidence this is a false flag - at least for now. What this seems to be proving is that Daesh is a certified pro ops with badass connections.

Scouring a ton of reports, I found a Danish citizen describing one of the attackers to a Paris café; ultra-pro, black-clad head to toe, AK-47, very well trained. These are not your usual al-Zawahiri underwear bombers; these are precision killers. This one left the scene undisturbed, and contrary to French police, may not have been captured. He wore no suicide vest.

French intel swears they are monitoring at least 200 nationals who came back from "Syraq". Talk about a lousy job. Paris is hyper-policed. The mind boggles thinking of at least 8 jihadis promenading at will on a Friday night dressed as pro killers.

For me, this is also personal. Jihad came to my hood in Paris. I left Paris last week on my usual commute back to Asia. I have always mocked Fox News describing my hood as a "no-go" area - obviously for the wrong/stupid reasons.

They picked a small Cambodian restaurant, cheap and cozy, where the habitués are young and relatively hip. This means the quartier may have been carefully researched for months.

They picked a mix of heavily symbolic venues.

Comment: ISIS has allegedly claimed responsibility for the attacks. According to French police officials a Syrian passport was found on one of the suicide bombers, while a witness told BFMTV that another of the terrorists was white and appeared to be European. Eight of the attackers are reported dead, 7 by suicide bombing, and at least 1 more is possibly at large. Hollande called the attacks an "act of war ... prepared and planned elsewhere, with outside involvement which this investigation will seek to establish".

If ISIS is responsible, Escobar may be right: ISIS is not a ragtag bunch of homegrown terrorists. They have training, weapons, support, operational intelligence, and organization. How did they develop such capacities? That's the question. But one thing is certain: they would not exist if the U.S. had not spearheaded a campaign to destroy the Middle East. Destruction in Iraq, destruction in Libya, from where ISIS and other Syrian 'rebels' received tons of weapons and thousands of fighters. Unfortunately, France is suffering as a result of the U.S.'s mad policies.


Pirates

What is ISIS? A U.S. smokescreen for regime change and war ops

© AFP 2015/ Tauseef Mustafa

Comment: Nazemroaya pretty much sums it up with this article. Just look at the Islamic State's latest propaganda (warning: disturbing images). Remarkably, ISIS's goals seem to always match up with the U.S.'s goals: Assad must go, attack Russia. Funny, it was the same with al-Qaeda...


Ahead of a meeting scheduled between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama and their speeches to the United Nations General Assembly in late September, the Russian President branded Washington's support for the insurgent forces in Syria as both illegal and ineffective in an interview with Charlie Rose for the U.S. CBS and PBS television networks. Aside from saying that U.S. support to the insurgents was a "provision of military support to illegal structures" that violates "the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter," Putin pointed out that the militants being trained and armed by the U.S. were actually joining the so-called Islamic State.

Washington is fighting a multi-dimensional global war on several fronts using proxies. In Europe it is using the Ukrainian government and the European Union to confront the Russian Federation while in Arabia it is using Saudi Arabia and a group of Arab regimes to gain control over Yemen. In East Asia, the U.S. is using tensions between the People's Republic of China and its neighbours to confront Beijing. In this context South Korea is being used to confront the North Koreans as a means of ultimately targeting the Chinese.

The so-called Islamic State or ISIL/ISIS is a creation of the U.S. It has been incubated by Washington as a proxy to wage the very same multi-dimensional war that has been described above. In fact, the U.S. military build-up in Iraq and Syria that the U.S. is leading is a smokescreen for regime change and war operations in Southwest Asia that target Syria, Iran, and their regional allies. The U.S. has been using parallel tracks of engaging these players while it continues to build-up the means for war and regime change. This is why mission creep is setting in and the U.S., along with Canada and France, has been bombing Syria and its infrastructure under the pretext of bombing ISIL/ISIS. The fact that the U.S. and its allies are engaging with Iran or Syria is only a repeat of the scenario of what happened to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; while the U.S. engaged with Muammar Qaddafi, it built-up the means for regime change against him. Moreover, it is precisely due to these regime change plans that Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria have setup a coordinating cell in Baghdad to fight the ISIL/ISIS and that the Russians are reinvigorating their military presence inside Syria.

Document

The astonishing amount of data being collected about your children

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© Alan Brandt/AP
Big data is no longer a tool reserved solely for big businesses.
Remember that ominous threat from your childhood, "This will go down on your permanent record?" Well, your children's permanent record is a whole lot bigger today and it may be permanent. Information about your children's behavior and nearly everything else that a school or state agency knows about them is being tracked, profiled and potentially shared.

During a February 2015 congressional hearing on "How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy," Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin asked the panel to "provide a summary of all the information collected by the time a student reaches graduate school." Joel Reidenberg, director of the Center on Law & Information Policy at Fordham Law School, responded:

Eye 2

Syria's civil war and the uprising against Assad was engineered in Washington

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A terrific news report by Jonathan Marshall at Consortium News provides the first-ever presentation in the West of the event that sparked the demonstrations that sparked the Syrian civil war, and of the entire origin of that war.

Unlike so many online 'news' reports that are merely authoritarian trash because they don't link to any of their sources (they rely instead upon dumb readers' faith or trust in the 'reporter' or in the publisher, such as The New York Times or Fox News), this one from Marshall is top-notch: not only does it provide intelligently skeptical readers with instantaneous access to documentation for each one of its key points, but those sources are credible ones. Taken all together, the sources, and Marshall's presentation of them, constitute a solid historical account of how the war to bring down Syria's leader, Bashar al-Assad, actually started.

It didn't start by Assad's dumping (as U.S. President Barack Obama loves to claim) "barrel bombs," upon merely peaceful protesters in Syria. It started actually in Washington, years before that. The Obama Administration itself was taking advantage of not only the "Arab Spring" protests throughout much of the Arab world, but, specifically, of an ongoing economic catastrophe in Syria that had started five years before the anti-Assad demonstrations did: an extended drought. Here is how the source that Marshall linked to describes it, two years before the "Arab Spring" even began:
In the past three years, 160 Syrian farming villages have been abandoned near Aleppo as crop failures have forced over 200,000 rural Syrians to leave for the cities. This news is distressing enough, but when put into a long-term perspective, its implications are staggering: many of these villages have been continuously farmed for 8000 years.
That source had been published on 16 January 2010. The drought continued on; the situation only got even worse right into 2011 and up through the public demonstrations in Aleppo that started the war. There were no "barrel bombs" then. There was instead surging economic dislocation. Obama merely took advantage of it. He knew that it was coming, and he planned so as to exploit it.

Attention

Hysterical demonization campaign of Putin and Russia - The Pentagon's empire of whining

© Yuri Gripas
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Donald "known unknowns" Rumsfeld was a nasty piece of work ("iron-ass," as Daddy Bush would have it). Fellow neocon and current Pentagon supremo Ash Carter - whose job will last shortly over a year - now runs the risk of forging a reputation as a discount diva on the lam.

After eight days traveling in Asia, Ash hit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California sounding like a stray ballistic whining missile. And he hit where it hurts: the Russia-China strategic partnership. How dare they? Don't you step on my blue Pentagon shoes.

So Russia is guilty of undertaking "challenging activities" at sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace. Not to mention "nuclear saber-rattling."

Ash once again enumerated all those "pillars of the international order" that Russia-China are allegedly violating; peaceful resolution of disputes, freedom from coercion, respect for state sovereignty and freedom of navigation. Considering Exceptionalistan's recent record in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and myriad assorted latitudes, one can always count on the Pentagon to bolster the annals of hyper-unrealism.

Dr. Strangelove, sorry, NATO supremo Gen. Philip Breedlove, had already blurted out on the record he has no clue what Putin is up to in Syria. Ash, his boss, doubled down; Putin "hasn't thought through very thoroughly" his objectives in Syria, and his approach is "way off track". Certainly because one month of Russian air strikes did way more to debilitate ISIS/ISIL/Daesh than over a year of the "track" followed by the Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO) led by the US and featuring Salafi-jihadi/"moderate rebel" enablers such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

V

Alternate reality? US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher stands up to State Department, tells the truth about US policy in Syria and Russia

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© Shuji Kajiyama / Reuters
U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca)
US double standards towards Russia and refusal to work with President Putin in the Middle East and elsewhere have resulted in an Islamist takeover in Libya and bloodshed in Syria, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) has told senior US diplomats.

"The double standard that we have been judging Russia with, and basing our policy on that double standard, has caused us great harm," Rohrabacher said at a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday morning. "Had we been working with the Russians all along in good faith, I believe the situation in the Middle East would have been totally different, and better, more stable."

The California lawmaker took exception to Russia-bashing by his colleagues, as well as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and her colleague Anne Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Nuland and Patterson were at the House committee hearing to brief lawmakers on US policies in the wake of Russia's intervention in Syria against Islamic State militants.


Comment: This is the second US politician who has gone on record denouncing US foreign policy in Syria and Russia. Is there a shift occurring where even those working within the US government are standing up against the lies and brutality of the American Empire?

Alternate reality? CNN broadcasts U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard telling the truth about Syria


Evil Rays

Will Europe's refugee crises hysteria save NATO's Syrian war?

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After over a decade of war and destabilization waged by NATO stretching from North Africa to Central Asia, with the recent destruction of Libya and the 4-year war NATO and its regional partners have waged against Syria, an influx of refugees, following the trail of their conquerors back West was all but inevitable.

The Influx is Engineered

However, evidence suggests that the latest influx of refugees is more than a mere predictable consequence of destroying entire regions of the planet with war and state-sponsored terrorism. In Turkey, where the US, EU, and Ankara itself have inexplicably invested billions of dollars in the construction of refugee camps of unprecedented scale, reports indicate that torrents of refugees have been intentionally organized and sent onward to Europe.

Comment: Imagine, also, that on top of this powder keg of mass migration, lack of humanitarian support, and an instigated racist and xenophobic response that is largely manufactured, that agents of ISIS/terrorism are also planted into the mix. What a perfect recipe for destabilizing the governments of Germany and others in order to shore up US-planned goals towards hegemonic control of Europe's power centers. US and Saudi-created ISIS mercenaries are just hired guns. They get deployed and relocated wherever they happen to be needed to do the Empire's dirty work:

"Ok Headchopper Unit 11, wanna get out of harm's way with Russia dropping bombs on your heads - how would you like to go to Europe for a little while? Go to the Camps in Turkey for a week where you'll receive more detailed instructions. Just lay low for a while, then find a way to join the next stream of refugees into Europe. Make sure you look pathetic and desperate and have a good story about losing your family. In a couple of months we'll locate you and give you instructions for the next operation."

And the reason to do this - straight from the horse's mouth:
The issue, to which we don't have the answers, what will Germany do? So, the real wild card in Europe is that as the United States builds its cordon sanitaire, not in Ukraine, but to the west, and the Russians try to figure out how to leverage the Ukrainians out; we don't know the German position. Germany is in a very peculiar position. Its former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is on the board of Gazprom. They have a very complex relationship to the Russians. The Germans themselves don't know what to do. They must export, the Russians can't take up the export. On the other hand, if they lose the free trade zone, they need to build something different.

For the United States the primordial fear is Russian capital, Russian technology ... I mean, German technology and German capital, Russian natural resources, Russian manpower, as the only combination that has for centuries scared the hell out of the United States. So how does this play out? Well, the US has already put its cards on the table. It is the line from the Baltics to the Black Sea.

For the Russians, their cards have always been on table. They must have at least a neutral Ukraine, not a pro-Western Ukraine. Belarus is another question. Now, whoever can tell me what the Germans are gonna do, is gonna tell me about the next 20 years of history, but unfortunately the Germans haven't made up their mind, and this is the problem of Germany always. Enormously economically powerful, geopolitically very fragile, and never quite knowing how to reconcile the two. Ever since 1871 this has been the German question, the question of Europe. Think about the German question, because now it's coming up again. That's the next question that we have to address and we don't know how to address it, we don't know what they are going to do.



Stop

US State Department lies and backtracks on accusations of Russian airstrikes hitting civilian infrastructure in Syria

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Bought and paid for State Department liar, Elizabeth Trudeau
Corporate media and the US government first accused Russia of attacking Syrian civilians before the airstrikes had even begun a month ago. Now, their latest scheme is accusing Russia of bombing hospitals in Syria (and ignoring the actual bombing of hospitals by the west's "moderate" terrorists... like the Kindi Hospital, for example, and (as of January 2014) "NATO-backed armed groups have systematically attacked more than two thirds of Syria's public hospitals, and have murdered, kidnapped or injured more than 300 health workers.") (Syria's Hospitals targeted by NATO-backed Armed Groups)

Take a look and listen to their evidence when asked by Russia Today (RT) and then by journalist Matt Lee for details on the alleged bombing and on targeting civilian infrastructure.

Comment: Just another classic instance of the U.S. State Department or government representative getting caught up in another shameless lie about Russia's actions and intentions. You'd think by now they'd realize that any journalist worth their salt would catch them in their combustible bullshit, but they just keep churning it out to no end. Its a wonder that the State Department even allows a few real journalists into their press conferences these days; real journalists ask questions and try to verify stuff - they don't sit there recording and regurgitating the war party's line like mindless zombies.

Must read: U.S. scrambling to save face in Syria

And see also:

The delusional conspiracy theories of the State Department

The world according to Time magazine - mouthpiece of the U.S. State Department


Vader

Middle East confusion? Can we sort it out?

© www.4thmedia.org
The scars and swipes forever.
Are you confused by the Middle East? Here are some things you should know. (But you'll probably still be confused.)

The US, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the Gulf monarchies have all in the recent past supported al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State (ISIS) with arms, money, and/or manpower. The first example of this was in 1979 when the United States began covert operations in Afghanistan, six months before the Russians arrived, promoting Islamic fundamentalism across the southern tier of the Soviet Union against "godless communism". All the al-Qaeda/Taliban shit then followed.

In addition to Afghanistan, the United States has provided support to Islamic militants in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, the Caucasus, and Syria. The United States overthrew the secular governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya and is trying to do the same with Syria, thus giving great impetus to the rise of ISIS. Said Barack Obama in March of this year: "ISIS is a direct outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion. Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot."

More than a million refugees from these wars of Washington are currently over-running Europe and North Africa. God Bless American exceptionalism.

The Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish Kurds have all fought against ISIS, but Turkey - close US ally and member of NATO - has fought against each of them.

Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanese factions have each supported the Syrian government in various ways in Damascus's struggle against ISIS and other terrorist groups, including the (much celebrated but seldom seen) "moderate" ones. For this all four countries have been sharply criticized by Washington.

The United States has bombed ISIS in Syria, but has used the same occasions to damage Syria's infrastructure and oil-producing capacity. Russia has bombed ISIS in Syria, but has used the same occasions to attack Syria's other enemies.

The mainstream media almost never mentions the proposed Qatar natural-gas pipelines - whose path to Europe Syria has stood in the way of for years - as a reason for much of the hostility toward Syria. The pipelines could dethrone Russia as Europe's dominant source of energy.

In Libya, during the beginning of the 2011 civil war, anti-Gaddafi rebels, many of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were protected by NATO in "no-fly zones".

US policy in Syriain the years leading up to the 2011 uprising against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, which began the whole current mess, was designed to promote sectarianism, which in turn led to civil war with the goal of regime change. US Secretary of State John Kerry declared on October 22 that in resolving Syria's civil war the country "should not be broken up, that it must remain secular, and that Syrians should choose their future leader." (All of which actually describes Syria under Assad.) Then Kerry said: "One thing stands in the way of being able to rapidly move to implement that, and it's a person called Assad, Bashar Assad."


Comment: Don't think, Mr. Kerry. You are not terribly good at it.


Comment: Props for attempting to enlighten on the diabolical policies and heinous actions of the US. There is no sane explanation to address the depth and despicableness to which the US has plummeted. The wolf within the mask is bent on consuming all in its path.


Target

Even the UN gets it: Ban Ki-moon condemns US position on Syria, endorses Putin

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Even Ban Ki-moon - usually solidly in US' pocket - thinks Washington's insistence that Assad 'must go' before a solution can be sought is mad

In an interview with Spanish newspapers that was published October 31st, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon condemned U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be removed from office, and Moon said: "The future of Assad must be determined by the Syrian people."

Here is the entire quotation:
"The future of President Assad must be decided by the Syrian people. Now, I do not want to interfere in the process of Vienna, but I think it is totally unfair and unreasonable that the fate of a person [diplomatese here for: U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that Assad be removed from the Presidency of Syria] to paralyze all this political negotiation.

This is not acceptable. It's not fair. The Syrian government insists that Assad should be part of the transition. Many Western countries oppose the Syrian government's position. Meanwhile, we lost years.

250,000 people have been killed. There are 13 million refugees or internally displaced. Over 50% of hospitals, schools and infrastructure has been destroyed in Syria.

You must not lose more time. This crisis goes beyond Syria, beyond the region. It affects Europe. It is a global crisis."
The U.N. Secretary General is here implicitly blaming all of this — lots of blood and misery — on U.S. President Obama, and on the "many Western countries" who ally with him and have joined with him in demanding regime-change in Syria.