Puppet Masters

Eye 2

New details on CIA role in 1953 Iran coup - Historical model of regime change?

The 1953 coup remains a topic of global interest because so much about it is still under intense debate. Even fundamental questions — who hatched the plot, who ultimately carried it out, who supported it inside Iran, and how did it succeed — are in dispute.[1]

The issue is more than academic. Political partisans on all sides, including the Iranian government, regularly invoke the coup to argue whether Iran or foreign powers are primarily responsible for the country's historical trajectory, whether the United States can be trusted to respect Iran's sovereignty, or whether Washington needs to apologize for its prior interference before better relations can occur.

© Ali Rahnem
This map shows the disposition of bands of "ruffians," paid to demonstrate by coup organizers, early on August 19, 1953. The bands gathered in the bazaar and other sections of southern Tehran, then moved north through the capital. Thug leaders' names appear at left, along with the estimated size of their groups, and their targets.
The 1953 coup remains a topic of global interest because so much about it is still under intense debate. Even fundamental questions — who hatched the plot, who ultimately carried it out, who supported it inside Iran, and how did it succeed — are in dispute.[1]

The issue is more than academic. Political partisans on all sides, including the Iranian government, regularly invoke the coup to argue whether Iran or foreign powers are primarily responsible for the country's historical trajectory, whether the United States can be trusted to respect Iran's sovereignty, or whether Washington needs to apologize for its prior interference before better relations can occur.

© Ali Rahnema
Pro-Shah police, military units and undercover agents became engaged in the coup starting mid-morning August 19


Crimea one year later - The difference between NATO invasions and Russian interventions

NATO calls Crimea "invaded" and "occupied." NATO has taught the world well what invasion and occupation really looks like, and Crimea isn't it. In 2001, NATO invaded and began the occupation of the South-Central Asian country of Afghanistan. The invasion and occupation has left tens of thousands dead, many more displaced, and has resulted in continued chaos and violence up until and including present day. Throughout the conflict, revelations of abuses, mass murder, and other atrocities including systematic torture have been exposed, perpetrated by invading NATO forces and their Afghan collaborators.

The war has also resulted in the use of armed drone aircraft which regularly kill men, women, and children indiscriminately along the Afghan-Pakistani border - a campaign of mass murder ongoing for nearly as long as the conflict has raged.

In 2003, NATO-members joined the United States in the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. An estimated 1 million people would lose their lives, including thousands of Western troops. For nearly a decade the United State occupied Iraq, and during its attempts to prop up a suitable client regime, laid waste to the nation. American forces in their bid to exercise control over the Iraqi population would conduct sweeping assaults on entire cities. The city of Fallujah would be leveled nearly to the ground, twice.

The US also maintained prison camps across the entire nation. Some vast and spanning, others dark and secret, including the infamous Abu Ghraib prison and the atrocities carried out there. In addition to Western armed forces, a significant number of paid mercenaries participated in both the occupation and the atrocities carried out during it, including the mass killing of civilians resulting in criminal cases still reverberating through Western legal systems and undermining Western credibility worldwide.

Comment: It is important to remember that the U.S. is engaged in a propaganda war against Russia. Part of that battle is spreading the lie that Russia "invaded and occupied" Crimea even though the reality is that the people of Crimea chose to annex themselves from Ukraine. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan were never given that choice.

Mr. Potato

Government propaganda, automated bots, and Internet trolls - The battle to control public opinion and manipulate social media

Rampant Disinformation

NATO has announced that it is launching an "information war" against Russia. The UK publicly announced a battalion of keyboard warriors to spread disinformation.

It's well-documented that the West has long used false propaganda to sway public opinion. Western military and intelligence services manipulate social media to counter criticism of Western policies.

Such manipulation includes flooding social media with comments supporting the government and large corporations, using armies of sock puppets, i.e. fake social media identities. See this, this, this, this and this.

In 2013, the American Congress repealed the formal ban against the deployment of propaganda against U.S. citizens living on American soil. So there's even less to constrain propaganda than before.


Russia puts Northern Fleet on full alert amid NATO war games

As the U.S. and several Eastern European NATO countries conduct a series of military exercises near Russia's border, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his Northern Fleet "to full alert in a snap combat readiness exercise" in the Arctic, state-run media reported Monday.

At least one Russian leader described the drill as routine and unrelated to the "international situation."

The fleet got its orders at 8 a.m. Monday, according to Sputnik, launching a land, sea and air drill that will involve 38,000 troops, 41 ships, 15 submarines and 110 aircraft.

"The main task of the (combat readiness drill) is to assess the armed forces from the Northern Fleet's capabilities in fulfilling tasks in providing military security of the Russian Federation in the Arctic region," Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergey Shoigu told the media outlet. "New challenges and threats of military security demand the further heightening of military capabilities of the armed forces and special attention will be paid to the state of the newly formed strategic merging (of forces) in the North."

The drills will run through Friday, Sputnik reported.

Bad Guys

Kiev's poison pill for Minsk 2.0

The Ukraine government's latest maneuver - undermining the Minsk-2 agreement with a requirement for a rebel surrender - is likely to drive the country back into a full-scale civil war and push the U.S. and Russia closer to a nuclear showdown, reports Robert Parry.

By adding a poison pill to legislation implementing the latest Minsk agreement, the Ukrainian government has effectively guaranteed a resumption of the civil war, which U.S. hardliners and the mainstream U.S. media will no doubt blame on ethnic Russian rebels and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. media has focused on the so-called Minsk-2 agreement's cease-fire component, first claiming it was being sabotaged by the rebels and Russia but now acknowledging that it is shaky but relatively successful. But the larger point of Minsk-2 was that it would provide for a political settlement of the civil war by arranging talks between Kiev and authorities in the east that would lead to giving those areas extensive self-rule by the end of 2015.

But the implementing law that emerged this week from the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev inserted a clause requiring the rebels to first surrender to the Ukrainian government and then letting Kiev organize elections before a federalized structure is determined.

Comment: It couldn't be clearer that it is Kiev that wants war. They will not negotiate. They will not cease fire. They will not remove all their heavy weaponry. They will not grant any reasonable level of self-government. They are the Israel of Eastern Europe. The fact that Western politicians and media continue to blame Russia and Putin is completely insane. How far the West has fallen...

War Whore

Western provocation: NATO launches war games near Russian border

© Reuters
Washington looks to be throwing more than the full faith and credit of the US government behind Ukraine. On the heels of news that the US is set to guarantee a Ukrainian international bond issue (while Greek pensioners implicitly subsidize the country's natural gas exports), NATO is in the midst of conducting large scale military maneuvers along the Russian border in a move Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says encourages "Kiev to pursue a military solution." Over the course of 10 days, NATO will parade 120 combat vehicles across the region in an effort to prove how quickly the West can confront perceived Russian aggression. Here's more from Military News:
The [Russian] ministry warned that it hopes Europe "does see the risk of unconditionally following advice from U.S. generals and will not opt for approaches that will rule out the risk of a slide towards a military confrontation between Russia and NATO."

While the U.S. Army acknowledges the convoy's movement is "a highly visible demonstration of U.S. commitment to its NATO allies," Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of U.S. Army Europe, insists "the focus should be on what is the desired end state, and can we get there using diplomatic and economic pressure and support."
So basically, the US is saying the following: "...although we're intent on showing just how quickly we can deploy our forces in the event an armed confrontation becomes necessary, we hope you'll see this for what it is which is our best effort to demonstrate that we long for a peaceful solution." We'll let you judge for yourself how committed the West is to a peaceful resolution (note the US soldier teaching the small child how to fire a high caliber weapon):

Eggs Fried

Czech government warns population not to throw tomatoes or eggs at travelling U.S. military convoy

© Ruptly
US military convoy parades through Eastern Europe
Czech people were told not to throw tomatoes and eggs at a US military convoy rumbling through Eastern Europe, the local media said, citing the laws of the land. Those in love with egg & tomato hurling may get up to three years if convicted.

"Should anyone emerge with the intent to attack the convoy, with [items] such as tomatoes or eggs, it would qualify as disorderly conduct according to Czech legislation (up to 2 years without parole, in recidivist cases up to 3 years) or damage to property (sentences in the range of 6 months to 3 years)."

This statement was aired on Czech TV Nova and cited by the Russian Insider last week, ahead of the planned US military convoy.

Operation 'Dragoon Ride', a convoy of US military vehicles, mostly IAV Stryker APCs, started on Saturday. The convoy will make its way through Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, with its final destination being Germany. It will cross the Czech Republic between March 29 and April 1 on its way to a base in the German city of Vilseck.

Comment: Well, the law doesn't seem to say anything about rotten cabbage or cow manure! It's somehow perfectly fitting that the people protest this sickening display of U.S. military domination and European subservience. As usual, the politicians boot-lick while the people complain.

U.S. leaders, please take a look at a map. Notice where your borders end. The rest of the world would prefer it if you stayed within those borders.


Poking the bear: Norwegian military drill buzzes Russian border

© Reuters/Ints Kalnins
Norwegian army soldiers attend a NATO military exercise "Saber Strike" ceremony in Adazi June 9, 2014
Unprecedented war games, involving 5,000 Norwegian troops and 400 vehicles, have started in Norway's northernmost province, bordering Russia. The biggest exercises since Cold War days will last for a week, amid growing tensions between Russia and NATO.

Joint Viking, Norway's biggest military training exercise in nearly 50 years, is being held in the country's far northeast Finnmark County, above the Arctic Circle. The region borders Russia's Kola Peninsula.

The last time a similar military exercise was conducted in Finnmark was in 1967.

"Today the army will transport their vehicles and crews to Finnmark and begin exercise Joint Viking. This is an operative exercise with all weapons and branches involved," Norwegian Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Aleksander Jankov said. "To illustrate the magnitude of this, I can mention that if we put the vehicles one after another on the road it will stretch 6km."
MT @vpkivimaki #Norway plans largest military ex in #Finnmark in nearly 50 yrs w/ 5k soldiers http://t.co/DKPIOivvey pic.twitter.com/DitrukoUd2

— hp (@2111015) December 6, 2014
Apart from the ground troops involved, the exercise (which will last until March 18) has put Norway's Navy submarines and surface vessels off the coast of Finnmark and Air Force fighter jets on alert. All types of weapons are promised to be put to use, reports the Barentz Observer.


Washington blinks: Will seek partnership with China-led AIIB

Don't look now, but Washington just blinked. As we've documented exhaustively over the past week, pressure has been building steadily for the US to strike some manner of conciliatory tone towards China with regard to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a China-led institution aimed at rivaling the US/Japan-backed ADB. Britain's decision to join China in its new endeavor has prompted a number of Western nations to throw their support behind the bank ahead of the March 31 deadline for membership application. Because the AIIB effectively represents the beginning of the end for US hegemony, the White House has demeaned the effort from its inception questioning the ability of non-G-7 nations to create an institution that can be trusted to operation in accordance with the proper "standards." Now, with 35 nations set to join as founders, it appears Washington may be set to concede defeat. Here's more, via WSJ:
The Obama administration, facing defiance by allies that have signed up to support a new Chinese-led infrastructure fund, is proposing the bank work in a partnership with Washington-backed development institutions such as the World Bank.

The collaborative approach is designed to steer the new bank toward economic aims of the world's leading economies and away from becoming an instrument of Beijing's foreign policy. The bank's potential to promote new alliances and sidestep existing institutions has been one of the Obama administration's chief concerns as key allies including the U.K., Germany and France lined up in recent days to become founding members of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The Obama administration wants to use existing development banks to co-finance projects with Beijing's new organization. Indirect support would help the U.S. address another long-standing goal: ensuring the new institution's standards are designed to prevent unhealthy debt buildups, human-rights abuses and environmental risks. U.S. support could also pave the way for American companies to bid on the new bank's projects.

"The U.S. would welcome new multilateral institutions that strengthen the international financial architecture," said Nathan Sheets, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs. "Co-financing projects with existing institutions like the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank will help ensure that high quality, time-tested standards are maitained."

Comment: Could this have provided the impetus: ADB, IMF, World Bank To Cooperate With China-Led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Leaders Say?

Penis Pump

Republicans defend Netanyahu, exacerbate tension between White House and Israel

John McCain brushes off Israel PM's campaign comments on two-state solution, saying Obama 'has his priorities so screwed up it's unbelievable'
© www.theguardian.com
Senator John McCain, The Prioritizer.
Republicans flocked to Binyamin Netanyahu's defense on Sunday, seizing on the soured relations between Barack Obama and the prime minister as ties between the US and Israel strain to their weakest point in decades. Obama has either let acrimonious feelings for Netanyahu cloud his decisions "or he's delusional", Senator John McCain said on CNN's State of the Union, referring to the president's comments on Friday that Netanyahu's recent disavowal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict makes it "hard to find a path forward".

Waging a close and bitter re-election campaign, Netanyahu had ruled out a two-state solution the day before polls opened last week. Two days after they closed, he attempted to walk back his comments, saying, "I don't want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change."

McCain criticized Obama for taking issue with Netanyahu's statement: "The least of your problems are what Bibi Netanyahu said in a political campaign. If every politician was held to what they said in a political campaign, obviously that would be a topic of long discussion. The president has his priorities so screwed up that it's unbelievable." The former Republican presidential candidate said Obama should not even consider backing a UN resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state, adding the concern to a list of grievances that include a "Faustian bargain with the Iranians" over their nuclear program.

McCain and Republican senator Lindsey Graham have threatened to withhold US funds to the UN should the White House not intervene on the issue of Palestinian statehood.

Comment: Sounds and fury signifying noise. Meanwhile, Israel is "getting away with murder." IS terrorists think of McCain as "Uncle John." Obama is sulking. No wonder Netanyahu is so effective...the level of political idiocy in the US is off the chart.