Puppet Masters


"Successful" US-led bombing in Syria: Only civilians were among the dead

© Reuters
The ruins of an al Nusra base hit by U.S.-led airstrikes.
While U.S. military sources claimed the latest airstrikes were a success, a human rights monitor has reported only civilians were among the dead.

As the United States continued airstrikes against the Islamic State (I.S.) group on Sunday, Republican house speaker John Boehner has warned the U.S. may have "no choice" but to deploy ground forces to battle the militants.

"At some point, somebody's boots have to be on the ground," Boehner told ABC News on Sunday. Describing I.S. fighters as "barbarians," the top House Republican claimed "at the end of the day, I think it's gonna take more than air strikes to drive them outta there."

"They intend to kill us. And if we don't destroy them first, we're gonna pay the price," he stated.

President Barack Obama has claimed no U.S. ground troops will be sent to Iraq and Syria to battle I.S, though the Pentagon has already dispatched over 1000 U.S. troops to Iraq. It says the troops will only provide support to Iraqi security forces.

However, Boehner's warning that ground troops could soon be inevitable is just the latest in a wave of Republican outcry against Obama's pledge to keep the United States from entering another Middle Eastern quagmire.

Earlier in September, Republican senator Lindsey Graham warned I.S. is an "army" that is "intending to come here." Graham claimed that if U.S. ground troops aren't sent to battle I.S., "we all" could be "killed" by the militant group.

"If they survive our best shot ... then they will open the gates of hell to spill out on the world," Graham warned.

Currently, I.S.'s operational capacity is largely limited to Iraq and Syria, where they were hit with another wave of U.S.-led airstrikes on Sunday. At least three oil refineries were hit by airstrikes near the I.S. stronghold Raqqa.
Gold Seal

U.S. trying to prevent Eurasian integration under the guise of fighting ISIL

© AFP Photo
People walk past destroyed houses in the northern Syrian town of Azaz
The ISIL or IS threat is a smokescreen. The strength of the ISIL has deliberately been inflated to get public support for the Pentagon and to justify the illegal bombing of Syria. It has also been used to justify the mobilization of what is looking more and more like a large-scale US-led military buildup in the Middle East. The firepower and military assets being committed go beyond what is needed for merely fighting the ISIL death squads.

While the US has assured its citizens and the world that troops will not be sent on the ground, this is very unlikely. In the first instance, it is unlikely because boots on the ground are needed to monitor and select targets. Moreover, Washington sees the campaign against the ISIL fighters as something that will take years. This is doublespeak. What is being described is a permanent military deployment or, in the case of Iraq, redeployment. This force could eventually morph into a broader assault force threatening Syria, Iran, and Lebanon.

US-Syrian and US-Iranian Security Dialogue?

Before the US-led bombings in Syria started there were unverified reports being circulated that Washington had started a dialogue with Damascus through Russian and Iraqi channels to discuss military coordination and the Pentagon bombing campaign in Syria. There was something very off though. Agents of confusion were at work in an attempt to legitimize the bombardment of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The claims of US-Syrian cooperation via Russian and Iraqi channels are part of a sinister series of misinformation and disinformation. Before the claims about US cooperation with Syria, similar claims were being made about US-Iranian cooperation in Iraq.

Earlier, Washington and the US media tried to give the impression that an agreement on military cooperation was made between itself and Tehran to fight ISIL and to cooperate inside Iraq. This was widely refuted in the harshest of words by numerous members of the Iranian political establishment and high-ranking Iranian military commanders as disinformation.

After the Iranians clearly indicated that Washington's claims were fiction, the US claimed that it would not be appropriate for Iran to join its anti-ISIL coalition. Iran rebutted. Washington was dishonestly misrepresenting the facts, because US officials had asked Tehran to join the anti-ISIL coalition several times.
Magic Wand

Washington think tank hires Call of Duty creator to envision various threats US could face

© Unknown
Screenshot from "Call of Duty"
You would think war-themed video games copy real life, and not the other way around. Not this time. A Washington think tank has hired the maker of the acclaimed "Call of Duty" game to envision the kind of future wars the US could be fighting.

The key reason for this, according to the Atlantic Council think tank, is that, with all its money and capabilities, America really isn't thinking creatively about the various threats it could face in the 21st century.

Comment: Correction: Psychopaths in power are thinking about various threats that they could manufacture in the future, since they are slightly below average in intelligence, with no instances of the highest intelligence or creativity they need some help.

Dave Anthony, the creator of the billion-dollar Call of Duty franchise, will be joining other authors, screenwriters and entertainment figures in an initiative called 'The Art of Future War Project,' set to launch next week, according to AFP.

The idea came rather suddenly, when former Pentagon official Steven Grundman walked in on his son playing 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II,' which depicts a 2025 cold war between China and the United States. In it, the two superpowers are vying for rare earth elements in secret missions.

"He was struck how realistic our portrayal in 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II' was of a future conflict," Anthony told the news agency.

"It occurred to me that the perspective of artists on this question is compelling and insightful, and it's also different," Grundman was cited as saying by the Washington Post. "One feature that struck me was the combination of both familiar technologies and novel ones."

"I didn't want to satisfy myself with an approach everyone was doing," he added. "It's a crowded field of ideas," Grundman said, explaining his belief why military think tanks alone aren't up to the task.

According to Anthony, the game itself was the result of brainstorming by a number of creative professionals of all sorts, including Batman screenwriter David Goyer, as well as Oliver North, the former marine who later became a TV personality at the height of the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s, when US officials secretly sold weapons to the Islamic state, despite there being an arms embargo.

"You get everybody in a room like that, and all the different perspectives come together," Goyer said. "That combination was fascinating. What I would like to bring to Washington is that kind of thinking."

Anthony himself also believes that the real-world Pentagon could benefit from fantasy-based thinking for the simple reason that the US isn't preparing even for the scenarios it knows it might face, often on the pretext that there isn't adequate funding, or that certain bridges can be crossed when reached.

Comment: Judging by the earth changes, the Universe doesn't agree.

Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection

2 + 2 = 4

Another US sponsored "revolution": Hong Kong student leader accused of U.S. government ties

© European Pressphoto Agency
Student leader Joshua Wong speaks during a protest outside of the Hong Kong Chief Executive’s Office on July 1, 2014.
The face of Hong Kong's student democracy movement came under furious attack by a pro-Beijing newspaper today, upping the ante in the fight over the former British colony's political future.

On Thursday, Wen Wei Po published an "expose" into what it described as the U.S. connections of Joshua Wong, the 17 year-old leader of student group Scholarism.

The story asserts that "U.S. forces" identified Mr. Wong's potential three years ago, and have worked since then to cultivate him as a "political superstar."

Evidence for Mr. Wong's close ties to the U.S. that the paper cited included what the report described as frequent meetings with U.S. consulate personnel in Hong Kong and covert donations from Americans to Mr. Wong. As evidence, the paper cited photographs leaked by "netizens." The story also said Mr. Wong's family visited Macau in 2011 at the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce, where they stayed at the "U.S.-owned" Venetian Macao, which is owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp.

When asked about Wen Wei Po's allegations that he was being manipulated by U.S. forces, Mr. Wong denied the idea. "Of course it's false," Mr. Wong told China Real Time. In a subsequent statement posted online, Mr. Wong denied every detail in Wen Wei Po's story. The American Chamber of Commerce said no spokesperson was available to comment. The U.S. consulate in Hong Kong also declined to comment.

Mr. Wong came to local fame in 2012 after his Scholarism group, made up of secondary school students, protested against a plan by the Hong Kong government to implement "patriotic education" classes in Hong Kong schools. The plan was later shelved. Now, the group is at the forefront of a student movement protesting against a decision by Beijing last month that said that future candidates for Hong Kong's top post must be vetted by central authorities.

Send in the troops: Obama changes the deal, again

Comment: Watch as this warmonger tries to lamely pull a fast one and do exactly what we said he was gonna do only days after assuring everyone it was going to be a quick 'in and out, just a couple of airstrikes' deal.

Obama, lying
© Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
O-Bomber: You know he is lying because his mouth is moving.
Publicly announcing that US intelligence agencies "underestimated" the presence and activity of Islamic State militants in Syria, US President Barack Obama in an interview with CBS called the country a "ground zero" for international jihadists.

"Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos," Obama said in an interview made on Friday but aired on Sunday.

Comment: Maybe it's because the NSA (which seems to be all powerful) spends all its time spying on Americans instead of real terrorists. Does anyone actually buy that they didn't know? We have a word for that: Incompetence.

Comment: What a surprise. We think we will have a heart attack and die, from that surprise.

Light Saber

Lavrov points out US hypocrisy and double standard: Western bloc headed by Washington rejects UN principle that all states are equal

The US-led Western block rejects the principle of the equality of sovereign states secured by the UN Charter while advocating democracy in the international arena, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressing the UNGA.

"The US-led Western alliance, while acting as an advocate of democracy, rule of law and human rights in individual countries, is acting in the international arena from the opposite position, rejecting the democratic principle of the sovereign right of states enshrined in the UN Charter and trying to decide for others what is good and what is bad," Lavrov said at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday.

The Russian foreign minister elaborated that there was an "increasingly obvious contradiction between the need for collective action by partners to produce proper responses to common challenges and some countries' drive for dominance and revival of the archaic bloc mentality based on barrack-like discipline and flawed 'us and them' logic".

Smoking gun evidence that the New York Fed serves the interests of Goldman Sachs

New York Fed
© The Economic Collapse Blog
For years, many people have suspected that the New York Fed is more or less controlled by the "too big to fail" banks. Well, now we have smoking gun evidence that this is indeed the case. A very brave lawyer named Carmen Segarra made a series of audio recordings while she was working for the New York Fed. The 46 hours of meetings and conversations that she recorded are being called "the Ray Rice video for the financial sector" because of the explosive content that they contain.

What these recordings reveal are regulators that are deeply afraid to do anything that may harm or embarrass Goldman Sachs. And it is quite understandable why Segarra's colleagues at the New York Fed would feel this way. As a recent Bloomberg article explained, it has become "common practice" for regulators to leave "their government jobs for much higher paying jobs at the very banks they were once meant to regulate." If you think that there is going to be a cushy, high paying banking job for you at the end of the rainbow, you are unlikely to do anything that will mess that up.

To say that the culture at the New York Fed is "deferential" to big banks such as Goldman Sachs would be a massive understatement.

​Another mass grave reportedly found in Donestk, Ukraine

© Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
An unmarked grave at Savur-Mohyla, a hill east of the city of Donetsk.
Another mass grave has been found in eastern Ukraine by the Donbass self-defence forces near Nyzhnia Krynka village, days after the OSCE confirmed the discovery of 3 mass burials in areas recently abandoned by Kiev forces.

The new site of suspected murders is not far from the town of Makeevka, Donetsk People's Republic first deputy Prime Minister Andrey Purgin told Itar-Tass. The number of bodies and their identities have yet to be determined.

"Another grave discovered ... How many bodies and how these people died will be established during the exhumation," Purgin said.

An international monitoring mission has arrived at the new burial site, including experts from France and Russia, which insist on an immediate investigation of the suspected war crimes, RIA reports.

Several weeks ago, before a ceasefire was agreed, this area of Ukraine was under the control of the Ukrainian army and the National Guard's Aidar battalion. Earlier this month, an Amnesty International report has confirmed that war crimes including abductions, executions and extortion were committed by this particular Ukrainian battalion.

Last week RT crew went to investigate the previously discovered site where four bodies have been found buried in shell craters behind a burnt-out coal mine, days after the OSCE confirmed that three mass graves, allegedly with many bodies, have been found near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Comment: RT witnesses exhumation of mass graves in village outside Donetsk, Ukraine - 'hands taped, gunshots to head and body'

Snowflake Cold

Winter is coming and Ukraine can't afford it

Ukraine is broke, and that's the sad legacy of this year's tumult. The question now is: will its western "friends" and Russia save Kiev from the abyss?
Ukraine factory destroyed
© Reuters / Marko Djurica
People stand inside a steel art factory that was recently shelled in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, September 16, 2014
One day, during the credit-fueled economic madness of the early Noughties, I got a credit card in the post. I hadn't ordered it: the bank had just forwarded it without any prompting. That sounds crazy now, but was considered normal back then. I was a student and it wasn't Christmas, but it sure felt like it. Armed with my plastic pal and its €3,000 limit, I hit Dublin's luxury Brown Thomas store and purchased designer gear with all the intent of a puppy on amphetamine.

A few raucous nights out followed, "More champagne? No bother!" and a trip to Paris. Then reality dawned and I had to pay it back. That wasn't fun - in fact, it was extremely difficult. However, while grazing on baked beans and toast, I had my memories of the "good times."

Countries often experience similar short-term periods of paper wealth, followed by a humongous hangover when the debt collectors come calling. There are a myriad of current examples in Europe: Greece, Spain and my own Ireland for starters. Others didn't have much of a party, but still got the furry tongue - Hungary, Cyprus and Portugal spring to mind.

Ukraine gas plant
© Reuters / Konstantin Grishin
Nevertheless, there is one European state that bucks all trends by having had no shindig at all before getting its medicine from the markets - Ukraine. That is, unless you count a civil war, a violent revolution and a horrifically divided nation as a party. Incredibly, some in Ukraine actually do. To them, Maidan and its consequences is all a big celebration. Well, the hijinks are over now and the DJ has just played "My Way."

Ukraine is broke. It was already treading water before the "revolution" - helped by corruption that ranged from the small scale to the incredibly large. Now, however, it's completely banjaxed. Meanwhile, the "do-gooders" in the mainstream media ignore this while they crack on about "nation building" and "reforms."

Comment: Ukraine was broken by design to fulfill the Neocon dream of subduing Russia, one way or the other.

Saker analysis: The Russian response to a double declaration of war
"The original plan was simplistic in a typically US Neocon way: overthrow Yanukovich, get the Ukraine into the EU and NATO, politically move NATO to the Russian border and militarily move it into Crimea. That plan failed. Russia accepted Crimea and the Ukraine collapsed into a vicious civil war combined with a terminal economic crisis. Then the US Neocons fell-back to plan B.

Plan B was also simple: get Russia to intervene militarily in the Donbass and use that as a pretext for a full-scale Cold War v2 which would create 1950's style tensions between East and West, justify fear-induced policies in the West, and completely sever the growing economic ties between Russia and the EU. Except that plan also failed - Russia did not take the bait and instead of intervening directly in the Donbass, she began a massive covert operation to support the anti-Nazi forces in Novorussia. The Russian plan worked, and the Junta Repression Forces (JRF) were soundly defeated by the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) even though the latter was suffering a huge deficit in firepower, armor, specialists and men (gradually, Russian covert aid turned all these around).
Mr. MacDonald' is right not to hold his breath on any partnership to relieve the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Russia will likely do what it can, but it must hold the larger picture in view. The article above outlines the various dilemmas facing Vladimir Putin in his quest for a fairer, multi-polar world.

Alarm Clock

Fracking trespass law changes move forward despite huge public opposition

Comment: This got buried by the govt. by announcing it on the eve or the attack Iraq vote. Despite 92% rejecting proposals, we get this: "Fracking will take place below Britons' homes without their permission after ministers rejected 40,000 objections to controversial changes to trespass laws." Notification to British citizens: you no longer own your land or the land on which your house is built. It can be destroyed with impunity by the government and corporate psychopaths to enrich themselves. You are a slave.

Psychopath, liar, all round sniveling creep for the elite classes - Prime Minister David Cameron.
Ministers reject 40,000 objections to allow fracking below homes without owners' permission

Fracking will take place below Britons' homes without their permission after ministers rejected 40,000 objections to controversial changes to trespass laws.

The UK government argued that the current ability for people to block shale gas development under their property would lead to significant delays and that the legal process by which companies can force fracking plans through was costly, time-consuming and disproportionate.

There were a total of 40,647 responses to a consultation on the move to give oil and gas companies underground access without needing to seek landowners' permission, with 99% opposing the legal changes. Setting aside the 28,821 responses submitted via two NGO campaigns, 92% of the remaining responses objected to the proposals.