Puppet Masters


Defense industry to benefit most by the "war on ISIS"

© Ethan Miller—Getty Images
An MQ-9 Reaper drone takes flight at an Air Force base in Nevada.
Makers of munitions and unmanned aircraft top the list of private-sector beneficiaries.

It's far too soon to tell how the American escalation in the sprawling, complex mess unfolding in Iraq and Syria will play out. But this much is clear: As our military machine hums into a higher gear, it will produce some winners in the defense industry.

New fights mean new stuff, after all. And following the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan - and the belt-tightening at the Pentagon imposed by steep budget cuts - military suppliers are lining up to meet a suddenly restored need for their wares. Presenting his vision for expanding the confrontation with the terrorist group ISIS in a speech to the nation on Wednesday night, President Obama outlined a program of intensified airstrikes designed to keep American troops away from the danger on the ground. So defense analysts are pointing to a pair of sure-bet paydays from the new campaign: for those making and maintaining the aircraft, manned and unmanned, that will swarm the skies over the region, and for those producing the missiles and munitions that will arm them.

​ISIS and moderate Syrian rebels strike truce... with Al Qaeda's help - reports

syrian rebels
© Reuters/ Osama Al-dulaimi
The militants of Islamic State have reportedly struck a deal with moderate Syrian rebels not to fight each other and focus on toppling the government. Some reports say the deal was brokered by the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda branch in Syria.

The IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL, is preparing its forces in Syria for likely bombings by the US, which now considers itself at war with the extremist movement. In addition to spreading out from their known facilities, the group that took over portions of Syria and Iraq to build a caliphate is apparently seeking to safeguard itself from attacks of other armed groups in the war-torn country.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based conflict watchdog, the IS has signed a non-aggression pact with moderate fighters, who control the Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood of Damascus.

Under the deal, "the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime," AFP reported. "Nussayri" is a derogatory name for the Shiite Alawite sect, to which Syrian President Bashar Assad and many of his officials belong.

According to Orient Net, the truce is meant to stop fierce fighting that engulfed the neighborhood for over 40 days and was brokered by the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate that has frequently clashed with the Islamic State, which itself splintered from the terrorist network to pursue an independent struggle for power in the region.

The moderate rebels who signed the deal include four distinct groups, including the US-backed Syria Revolutionary Front, reported Charles Lister, an analyst at the Brookings Institute. The SRF was considered moderate enough to merit the West's support and a part of the Free Syrian Army, a loose coalition of secular and moderate groups fighting to topple the Assad government with the blessing of Washington.
Eye 2

UK not playing ball: Islamic state claims execution of UK hostage David Haines, releases video

Islamic State jihadists have released a video which they claim shows the beheading of a 44-year-old British aid worker, David Haines, who has been held hostage since his abduction last year.

The masked man in the latest video released across social media on Saturday night claims that Haines was killed because of UK Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge to arm Kurdish forces in order to battle the jihadist group, according to reports.

"This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State," the executioner said, according to liveleak.

"My name is David Cawthorne Haines," the hostage reportedly said before the execution.

"I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution. You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as your predecessor, Tony Blair, did, following a trend amongst our British Prime Ministers who can't find the courage to say no to the Americans."

The footage could not be immediately verified. However, the video footage was similar to that of the executions of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, by Islamic State militants.
Stock Down

Fall of an empire: the 'de-dollarization' chart that China and Russia are banking on

History did not end with the Cold War and, as Mark Twain put it, whilst history doesn't repeat it often rhymes. As Alexander, Rome and Britain fell from their positions of absolute global dominance, so too has the US begun to slip. America's global economic dominance has been declining since 1998, well before the Global Financial Crisis. A large part of this decline has actually had little to do with the actions of the US but rather with the unraveling of a century's long economic anomaly. China has begun to return to the position in the global economy it occupied for millenia before the industrial revolution. Just as the dollar emerged to global reserve currency status as its economic might grew, so the chart below suggests the increasing push for de-dollarization across the 'rest of the isolated world' may be a smart bet...

Comment: Also keep history in mind that when these types of geopolitical events increase, the universe also responds in various ways including weather, Earth changes and comets to name but a few.

Che Guevara

Igor Strelkov: From swimming with Piranhas to swimming with Great White sharks

Comment: The following analysis of Igor Strelkov's first press conference after resigning as commander of the Donetsk militia contains some very important information regarding the behind-the-scenes struggle against Russia - from without and within. If anything, it shows what Putin is really up against, and puts many of his policies and decisions in a new light. For our readers who have yet to see Strelkov's briefing, see: Igor Strelkov on Novorossiya, the Russian Spring, war against the West, and the Russian Fifth Column

© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky
Igor Strelkov

Yesterday's press conference by Strelkov is, I believe, a historical moment because it marks the move of Strelkov from the Novorussian military struggle into the much larger, and far more dangerous struggle, the struggle for the political future of Russia. This in itself is not necessarily unexpected, but the way he did it was a surprise, at least for me. But before I zoom out to the bigger picture, I think that it would be helpful to try to summarize some of the key points of his presentation (thanks to Marina, you can download the full English transcript by clicking here and the Q&A is here). Here is how I summarized what I saw as the key elements of his presentation:

External factors (staging) - symbolic message:
  • He is clearly alive and well
  • The reason for his departure was infighting inside the Novorussian leadership and the fact that he was told that supplies would only be delivered if he left
  • The photo of Putin in the back on the wall
  • He is sitting behind a Russian monarchist flag on the table and a Russian and Novorussian flag in the back (no Soviet or Communists symbols)
His view about the ceasefire agreement:
  • This ceasefire has now created a military situation that is now worse than this spring
  • What is disgraceful is not the ceasefire by itself but "the conditions which are now being discussed in Minsk"
  • There is plan to blame the betrayal of Novorussia on Putin
  • There are powerful interests which want a never ending war which would create a bleeding ulcer for Russia

US propaganda fail: Satellite images of alleged Russian artillery in Ukraine come a-cropper

Comment: Is this the US scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to find something to hang on Russia? They must be counting on decades of dumbing down the population to make this whopper fly.

grain harvester propaganda

Combines or cannons? From 100 miles up, Washington's 'clear evidence' of Russian heavy artillery in the Ukraine starts looking a little 'corny'. Are these mobile heavy artillery pieces or harvesting combines in a field of maize
Washington's seedy propaganda campaign

In the ongoing propaganda campaign mounted by the Obama administration to claim that Russia has "invaded" Ukraine from the east, it offered up some grainy black-and-white satellite images purporting to show heavy Russian military equipment inside the Ukraine.

I earlier noted how unlikely it was that heavy mobile artillery pieces would be set up in a perfect line in what appeared to be a field of crops, with, as the government claimed, cannons aimed towards Ukrainian positions in toward the west. As I pointed out, there was no sign of piles of ammunition alongside these "units" as we routinely see in closeups of heavy mobile artillery -- for example in photos of IDF pieces positioned outside of Gaza. I also noted the unlikelihood that such equipment would have been set up in an open field, unprotected by trees or other cover, and lined up to make for easy targeting by enemy artillery or air attack.

Now an alert reader from the agricultural state of Texas (Laredo, TX to be precise), has sent a note suggesting out that what the supposedly incriminating images most likely show are combines in a field of grain or some other crop planted in rows. He sent along photos showing harvesters, which of course feature a long, straight "cannon-like" tube which is used to shoot the harvested grain up and into an accompanying truck to be hauled off to market or to a storage silo.

Combines or cannons? From 100 miles up, Washington's 'clear evidence' of Russian heavy artillery in the Ukraine starts looking a little 'corny'. Are these mobile heavy artillery pieces or harvesting combines in a field of maize?

As he points out, these harvesters are typically run in groups which often work in parallel, an explanation that does a much better job of explaining the precision alignment of the machines visible in the US government's image than do mobile artillery units.

Now maybe the released satellite images do show Russian artillery, but given Washington's extensive history of abject lying in the interest of promoting its war agenda (think Gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMDs and mobil poison gas factories, Assad gas attacks in Damascus, etc.), it's worth taking the claim with a "grain" of...well, in this case actual grain.

French ex-minister suffers from "administrative phobia" - i.e. fear of doing paperwork

© Observatoiredessubventions.com
Thomas Thévenoud
As more and more revelations of financial ineptitude come out relating to ex-minister Thomas Thévenoud, he excuses himself today in Le Canard Enchaîné by claiming to suffer from "administrative phobia" - ie. fear of doing paperwork.

Holding his post as a minister for exports, development and tourism for a record short time - just nine days - before stepping down due to scandals revealed in the French media, Mr Thévenoud has also resigned from the Socialist Party, but, controversially, says he plans to stay on as an independent MP.

Initially the Elysée cited "personal reasons" for his resignation, however failures to fill out his tax forms soon came to light as the main reason in reports by sources including Médiapart.

iTélé states he had not been declaring his income for three years, while Médiapart and L'Express have added that the tax office even started a procedure to force him to pay tax.

The ex-minister, meanwhile, said in a written statement that "the problems that I had with late declaration and payment have now been completely resolved now, including the relevant penalty payments" and "I have never been subject to legal action" over them.

Now, Le Canard Enchaîné says he also failed to pay his rent on his Paris apartment for a three-year period at one stage, and was threatened with eviction.

Questioned on Europe 1 radio yesterday, he admitted this was "not a shining example", but that "it happened before I was elected as an MP (ie. before June 2012) and it's all sorted out since then".
Eye 2

FARC accuses the axis of evil US, UK, Israel of prolonging Colombia war

FARC negotiator Marcos Calarca
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has accused the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel of prolonging Colombia's guerilla war.

FARC negotiator Marcos Calarca leveled the accusation on Saturday at a news conference ahead of another round of peace talks with a delegation of the Colombian government in the Cuban capital Havana.

He pointed to "the responsibility of the government of the United States, of companies involved in the business of war, various intelligence agencies, especially the British and Israeli, whose involvement throughout the conflict encouraged its continuation, escalation and intensification."

Comment: Not surprising that the real "Axis of Evil" US, UK and Israel are involved in prolonging yet another conflict. Business is good for these war hungry psychopaths.


Russia denies media reports of Russian military satellite exploding over US

© RIA Novosti. Anton Denisov
The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday denied media reports of a Russian military satellite that allegedly exploded above the United States.
The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday denied media reports of a Russian military satellite that allegedly exploded above the United States.

Earlier in the day, the American Meteor Society published more than 30 reports from alleged eyewitnesses, who claimed they observed a blast of Russia's Kosmos-2495 imaging reconnaissance satellite.

Comment: The reports from the American Meteor Society are general observations of fireball sightings, not specific sightings where people claim they have seen 'a blast of Russia's Kosmos-2495 satellite'.

"The Russian satellite group functions normally and is being constantly monitored by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces," ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Kosmos-2495 was launched on May 6, 2014. It is also known as Kobalt-M reconnaissance satellite, an operational member of the Yantar series of Russian satellites. It weighs 6.6 tonnes, operates on Low Earth Orbit and is equipped with a film camera.

Comment: See also:US Strategic Command blames crashed Russian satellite for observed fireball sighting


US Strategic Command blames crashed Russian satellite for observed fireball sighting

Russian reconnaissance satellite Kosmos-2495 re-entered the atmosphere and crashed last week, a spokesman for the US Strategic Command told RIA Novosti
Russian reconnaissance satellite Kosmos-2495 re-entered the atmosphere and crashed last week, a spokesman for the US Strategic Command told RIA Novosti on Friday.

"US Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Space [JFCC Space] through the Joint Space Operations Center [JSpOC] assesses with high confidence that Kosmos-2495 re-entered the atmosphere and was removed from the US satellite catalog as a decayed object on September 3," the spokesman said.

The Russian Defense Ministry previously denied media reports of a Russian military satellite allegedly exploding over the territory of the United States.

On September 3, the American Meteor Society published more than 30 reports from alleged eyewitnesses who claimed to observe a big fireball streaking across the sky. The spaceflight101.com website, dedicated to covering spaceflight events with special focus on the technical aspects of space flight, suggested it could have been Kosmos-2495.

Comment: As the information war on Russia continues, readers may want to keep in mind what British astronomer, Victor Clube wrote in a report commissioned by the U.S. Air Force, "We do not need the celestial threat to disguise Cold War intentions; rather we need the Cold War to disguise celestial intentions!"