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For some 10-15 years, the 'Iranian nuclear issue' has been a recurring 'crisis' in world politics. Media focus on this topic appears to wax and wane as US-Israeli bellicosity rises and falls - one day, war is a sure thing; the next, Iran is 'our partner'. Recently, a 'framework agreement' was agreed between Iran and the permanent UN Security Council member-states: Iran will 'reduce its uranium enrichment capacity' in exchange for 'phased sanctions relief'.

As the world goes from crisis to crisis, we wonder; what makes Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology such a critical issue? This week on Behind the Headlines we're hoping to get to the heart of the matter, taking into account Saudi Arabia's invasion of Yemen, a parallel theater of 'conflict management', and Greece's 'pivot' towards Russia.

We're live this Sunday, 12 April 2015, from 2-3:30pm EST / 11am-12.30pm PST / 7-8.30pm UTC / 8-9.30pm CET.

The Behind the Headlines talkshow takes place each Sunday on the SOTT Radio Network, the radio network of, your media source for independent news and commentary on world events. Analyzing global impact events that shape our world and future, and connecting the dots to reveal the bigger picture obscured by mainstream programming, Behind the Headlines is current affairs for people who think.

Running Time: 01:47:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Niall: Welcome to another episode of Behind the Headlines. I'm Niall Bradley. With me as usual, Joe Quinn.

Joe: Hi there.

Niall: This week, we're going to be looking back at a few recent events in world politics. Notably, the event I want to begin with tonight is,... you could say it's the biggest news of the last couple of weeks; it doesn't really get the headlines like it used to; you'd think it would, given that it's been going on for ten to fifteen years and is now, at least in theory, resolved: I'm speaking here of the Iranian nuclear power issue.

On April 3rd, or so, a deal was more or less brokered after the umpteenth round of talks in Switzerland, whereby Iran agreed to massively reduce its ambitions to enrich uranium for the use of nuclear energy, for civilian use of energy - in other words, nuclear power plants - in return for a simultaneous reduction of sanctions - mainly US imposed sanctions - against Iran, which would be phased out as Iran's nuclear power comes online.

So, is that it? Is that the end of ten or fifteen years of a number of calls of near-Armageddon, where it seemed like at one point, in 2008 especially, a major, Western, US-led bombing war was going to hit Iran. It wasn't the only occasion of course. And, has it been resolved? Was it ever really such a big issue? Why was it such a big issue?

With so many crises going on in the world, you'd think the potential of one particular action - in this case, Iran acquiring nuclear capabilities, maybe leading to another crisis later on - you'd think that would be lower down on the scale of priorities, given that there are actual crises with millions of people dying in them taking place.

So, what was it about this one that made it such a prolonged affair and, more importantly, why international cooperation is so uniformly of one mind on this? For all of the last year's Cold War hype between the USA and Russia - or East and West, if you want to put Russia together with China - they cooperate to the point of sending ministers, diplomats, representatives, to these meetings on Iran's nuclear programme. And there they are, you know, smiling for the camera, "We're discussing important, international business together. Mind you, tomorrow, we're going to threaten to retaliate against each other. But today, here we are, smiling about this issue; we're cooperating."

I don't understand this discrepancy. Joe, help me out, here.

Joe: Well, I think it speaks to the complete and utter duplicity and psychopathic nature of our political leaders - particularly in the West - since they're the ones that usually instigating wars, etc.

Niall: And crises like this one.

Joe: And crises and threats against other countries and stuff. But it's amazing to see it. I think that example actually points directly to just how little the ordinary people of this world are told or know about how the world really works and what goes on behind the scenes, type of thing, when, like you just said, for years, Iran has been presented to the Western population as this dire threat.

Niall: Oh, 'Pariah State'; the 'Axis of Evil', right? Remember?

Joe: Exactly. It was the Axis of Evil and then that goes on for at least seven or eight years now, or more - probably almost ten years, now - and then...

Niall: Oh, it goes back to PNAC.

Joe: Well, yeah. But, I mean, after 9/11 it was Iraq, Afghanistan and stuff, and then Iran was ushered in onto the scene, type of thing, around maybe 2005. And then 2007, you had the whole hostages... the British sailors who were captured on a spying mission. The British claimed they were on a little jaunt around the Persian Gulf, you know? And they were unceremoniously attacked and captured by the Iranians.

Niall: That's right; and there were American tourists, as well, crossing from Iraq into Iran who I think later were in some way confirmed by the US to have been spies.

Joe: Yeah. So, Iran was demonised and since then has been demonised and obviously, Israel has been a major exponent of the "Bomb, bomb, bomb... bomb, bomb Iran" as John McCain said in true diplomatic style - such a diplomat, that man, who sings about bombing Iran. He's so funny. It's kind of like Bush joking about the weapons of mass destruction or Obama talking about predator drones, jokingly, saying he's going to send them after this boy band that his daughters like, etc.

It's not very funny, you know, death and mayhem. But, it's funny to them.

Niall: Just to spell it out; just to be clear: What made this a critical issue was the supposition that if Iran gets nuclear capabilities to make nuclear power plants, which all the countries telling it it can't do/have, therefore Iran will start making nukes and therefore it will lob them at Israel, ASAP.

Joe: Right; exactly.

Niall: Okay.

Joe: Which is obviously nonsense, because there has never been any suggestion that Iran would do that. So they've had to hype up the crazy madness of the Mullahs in Iran, or whatever way they describe them; the crazies in Iran are going to bomb everybody, and particularly Israel, as soon as they get The Bomb, you know, when there's no reason to think that at all.

And of course, the idea that Iran would make one bomb and then throw it at Israel - and Israel has maybe four hundred nukes or something like that - it would be an exercise in self-destruction for Iran to do that.

So, you really had to stretch to buy into their narrative here that Iran was going to do this, that it had any intentions of launching a nuclear war against Israel or anybody else.

So obviously, there's something else going on behind the scenes there, all along; there has been something else going on all along and it kind of comes back to our old friend, Russia, really, and Eurasia and the geopolitics of all of that in the sense that it's about the US attempting to maintain control of that Middle-Eastern region, primarily for oil.

As we've mentioned before, a deal was struck with the Saudis by the US in the mid-1970s to sell Middle-Eastern oil only in dollars - it's called the petrodollar and it is a massive advantage to the US and the US economy that most other countries around the world that need to buy oil have to, first of all, buy dollars - i.e., buy pieces of paper, and for that they usually exchange goods, tangible assets for those pieces of paper from the US: The US gets a free ride, essentially; and so they buy dollars to them buy oil from Middle-Eastern countries.

So they struck this deal with Saudi Arabia in the mid-1970s to create this petrodollar and the Saudis then, and their OPEC organisation, they kind of encouraged other oil producing and exporting countries in the Middle East to do the same. So, they all got together - OPEC got together mainly Arab oil-producing, oil-exporting countries - to sell only in dollars as a deal with the US and they got lots of kickbacks from the US for that. So, that's a major advantage.

Iran, just in terms of oil, there's a few things people need to understand about oil. There's four different parameters about oil.

► One is the list of oil producing countries; that's just countries that can produce oil.

► The second one is a country's oil consumption. So, you can be a country that produces oil, but your consumption can exceed your production or be less than your production. So you can be self-sufficient in oil if you produce your own and you don't need as much as you produce, that makes you an oil exporting country; so you would have extra left over to sell around the world.

► And then, that's the third one: Oil exporting countries, or the oil exports.

► And then, the fourth one is oil importing, obviously - countries that need to buy the oil because they don't have any themselves or they don't have enough to cover their consumption.

So, on those lists, Iran is basically number three in the world, I think. I don't actually have it here... but yeah, Iran is the third-largest oil exporting country - that means it produces more than it needs; it can be an exporting country.

The top is Saudi Arabia; second, is Russia; and third is Iran. So, Iran's right there in the top three in terms of countries in the world that have oil that they can sell.

The US needs a lot of oil. It produces about nine million barrels per day but it needs almost nineteen. So it needs to import almost ten million barrels of oil a day from somewhere. And if you do the math, between the countries that need to import oil into their countries for their economies... It makes countries great, right? This is what makes these countries developed nations, is that they have the oil to tool up their industry and stuff.
Compare some Western European or America or other First World - as they call it - country, with countries in Africa and stuff, what you notice is, in terms of the infrastructure and the buildings and basically the facilities and the resources required to make a country a First World country is that it has lots of infrastructure - lots of buildings; lots of roads and factories and facilities to grease the wheels of industry and make it a strong country that, that it produces things. Obviously a lot of African countries don't. Relatively speaking, they're impoverished that way, and those are the countries that basically have been kept that way because they haven't been given access - among other things - to oil, because the oil that's available is mostly sucked up by Western-European or let's say EU countries, and America and Canada and Australia and Japan and China, primarily. There are very few countries, if you look at the list there's a relatively small number of countries, and these are all the world leaders - the big industrialised countries in the world - they're the ones that eat all the oil, basically.

So, the point of all this is that a major reason for this focus on Iran is that Iran's position, potentially, as a key player making oil available, and if it was to restrict that or to use oil sanctions to turn the tables on the US or the EU by Iran's oil - to turn the tables on them and say, "We're not selling our oil to you, we have China" for example; Iran does a lot of business and sells an awful lot of its oil to China. And obviously, this idea of availability of oil is extremely important to America and to Western European countries.

Niall: So, when the Iranian diplomats - their foreign minister, for example - is there in Switzerland, meeting his counterpart from the UK, the US, I could understand that they would have the same party line going into the meetings, but then there's also his Chinese counterpart, the Russian, French and German, I believe; they are all skirting around the issue by pretending that this is the issue: Iran's nuclear programme; how fast it can develop; under what conditions and terms; etc., etc.

It's like there's an unspoken acknowledgement going on for a decade, now, that we're all going to pretend that this is really the issue, but actually, it's something else; you see what I mean?

So, in some respect, China, for example, has an interest in this in the outcome of Iran's nuclear programme to be; but it isn't its nuclear programme that it's interested in, it's the share of the spoils of Iran's vast resources - its oil.

Joe: It's basically being able to do business with Iran; to not have Iran bombed on some sort of trumped-up pretext that it's going to...

Niall: As the Brits said about the new Asian Development Bank - I'm speaking here as a Chinese representative - we would like to be in on the ground-floor when this deal is brokered; not because we give a damn about the actual issue...

Joe: That's the British representative, yeah.

Niall: That's what he says, yes, about the new Asian bank set up by China, but the concept I'm getting at: The British government doesn't care about the distribution of development funds to projects in China, per se, into central Asia; it wants to be in on the ground floor...

Joe: To try and control how.

Niall: it goes.

Joe: But that's futile, because they're not going to be allowed to do that. The reason that the IMF and the World Bank, for example, has largely served Western interests and Western political strategies and objectives is because it is controlled by the West and by Western European individuals and countries.

So, the same applies: The Chinese have set up a rival to the IMF or rival to the World Bank for the purpose of controlling that themselves. They'll have the same position as China, for example, has: The British will have the same say in the new Asian Development Bank as the Chinese have with the IMF because they're underlings - "You didn't start this; it's our bank; it's our deal, so you can come in if you like," but I can't imagine they're going to have any say, you know?

So, the whole point about Iran here is that, yes, the tables have been slowly turning over the past maybe ten years; they've been demonising Iran, trying to put pressure on Iran. It's a way just to try and strong arm them or to twist their arms. It's a battle for control over Iran and its resources, essentially, and they've tried for many years to threaten them and Israel has been the attack-dog in the Middle East, threatening Iran with invasion and the US will probably have been there at some point as well if they had gone ahead with it. And now, it's kind of turned a little bit.
It turned when Ahmadinejad - the last president - resigned or left and this new guy came in and suddenly you saw this change in attitude from the West: "We can do business, here." This was like in 2012 wasn't it? or 2013 maybe? 2012.

Niall: Suddenly, David Cameron was meeting Iran's leader, whereas four years ago, that would have been unheard of.

Joe: Right. So, I think what changed there was that they saw that the march of Russia and China in particular and the business connections and deals that they had been making with Iran were already a kind of done-deal and it's almost as if saner heads prevailed in that sense; or they simply saw the writing on the wall and they realised that it was no longer, 'My way or the highway', they were now going to have to engage in sweeteners and other diplomatic overtures to try and get what they wanted to get previously through threats - which is, to stop Iran joining a kind of integration of Eurasian countries.

It's the old problem of, whenever you rule something, whenever you own or control a situation and are getting all the best cuts, type of thing, from a specific situation, it makes you very nervous and anxious when you see that your control in that situation is slipping away; you get a bit desperate. But, that's a perennial problem for those who try to control everything completely. It can only go on for so long until the wind starts to change.
But it's interesting, because amongst the top ten... you notice that these worlds biggest consumers of oil are all the main industrialised nations, right? There's no Angola's in there or Tanzania or some other Second or Third World country - even if they have a large population, the percentage per capita doesn't compare at all and they've got smaller populations.

As an example, the US consumes twice as much oil as China does, but China has four times the population. So it's got nothing to do with number of people, here. It's about being an energy-hog, essentially, and living the high-life - from an industrialisation point of view - at the expense of other people: "All the greedies for me and whatever scraps are left, you can have them." And there's this clique of countries that are engaged in that and are consuming all of the oil.

And it's interesting to compare those top ten or fifteen consumers of oil - all the richest nations in the world - and then you have the top ten or fifteen exporters, and once you get down below that, you're getting into countries that don't produce very much at all. Say it's a list of forty oil producing countries in the world, the last thirty produce only a fraction of what the top ten do. So it's the top ten or fifteen that are very important.

And if you look at those top ten or fifteen, most of those countries are the richest nations in the world that consume all the oil, they're the ones that are 'buddy-buddy' with each other: We're talking Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, obviously the US produces its own - it gets a bit complicated; but the point being that the top ten or fifteen industrialised, richest nations in the world need more or less ALL of the oil that's available for export by these other countries. And like we said, the major exporters are: Top of the list is Saudi Arabia, then Russia, then Iran.
So, any of those that were taken away - if you remove Russia or remove Iran or have them move off into their own little group and start using their resources as sanctions, it's very bad for these top richest, Western countries because their whole nation and industry is greased with oil. So Iran, in that respect, is very important, you know?

And up until now - over the past twenty, thirty, forty years - they've been able to... Years ago - fifty, sixty years ago - it was British Petroleum that basically owned Iranian oil. But that' no longer the case, and with backers like Russia and China now, the whole situation is very different; the Brits and the Anglo-American empire can no longer dictate... they don't have a death-grip, basically, on oil producing countries; they can't call the shots no matter what happens. The wind is changing and they're afraid that they'll be cut-off - that there's a possibility that certain countries in the world could decide, "Well, listen: We have enough customers for our oil that we don't need to sell to you."

Niall: "And we can get good terms for them. We're no longer reliant on getting dollar payments for them."

Joe: "Let's call it 'sanctions'. You're not getting any oil." That would be hard for the 'sanction maker'.

Niall: What began then as a lever to use against Iran, much in the same way as you bash countries for their human rights record or the quality of their elections or something; they would bash Iran for its nuclear programme, but now, with the tables turning, they're having to close a deal on it and follow the charade through to its logical conclusion and actually say, "Oh, well, I guess things are better now, so we're just going to tie this up," but it's still part of the charade. Originally it was the lever, and now it's, "You see, Iran's normal. We're normalising relations and they're less of a Pariah State now. They're no longer in the 'Axis of Evil'. They're only 'Axis of Maybe', or whatever they come up with.

Joe: Yeah, they're 'Axis of Naughty'.

Niall: But, I tell you, it's producing some bizarre contradictions. To start with, inside Iran, the reaction is - at least as it's being mediatised or broadcast to Iranians - they were out on the streets, celebrating the news. So, they're all sort of in on the charade as well.
Okay, but maybe they're going to give your masses a story; okay, so, they follow the story and it's a good thing for Iran - it means, "We're on the up". Okay.

Joe: Well, I wouldn't underestimate the extent to which Iranian people know. They may be celebrating on the streets, but they're not necessarily celebrating for what the official story is - they're not celebrating that, "Oh, they're going to let us have a nuclear programme." They know what's going on behind the scenes and they know that this is, effectively, a victory - a backing down - by the West, from their aggressive, "You'll do what we say, or else," stance, to, "Okay, let's do some deals, here; let's do some business."

Iran has been sanctioned repeatedly over the past ten or fifteen years by the West and that's taken a bit of a toll, but not a lot, I don't think, on Iran and the Iranian people. But during that period of time, both China and Russia have strengthened their ties with Iran and have made the impact of those American sanctions much more bearable, and it's continuing and it's getting to the point now where those American sanctions don't really matter any more.

America is going to the point of getting rid of sanctions on Iran, not because their being magnanimous and being very good diplomats, or they've turned a new leaf; it's because their sanctions don't work any more. But rather than say, "Our sanctions have run their course and we've been screwed over, basically; we can't beat them with a stick any more," they'll try and spin it into 'diplomacy' and "Look how peace-loving we are, and we want to be friends with Iran," and stuff. That's bullshit. They're doing it because they're being forced to do it because of Iran's development of ties and business deals and particularly resource deals with China and Russia.

Niall: Okay. And at the same time, it's all nicey-nicey smiles to the camera in Lausanne, Switzerland, and yet, at the same time, this other conflict in Saudi Arabia and Yemen: Iran has been accused - out of the blue, it seems - of being the backer of the Houthi rebels in Yemen on the basis of zero evidence that I can see so far.

Joe: Yeah. Well, I mean, the Saudis have been...

Niall: This comes back to the regional conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Joe: Yeah. Saudi Arabia have echoed or they represented the fears of the West, to some extent, in the Middle East for a long time, you know? It's more personal for Saudi Arabia because the threat from Iran to Saudi Arabia is that a new economic and political structure might develop in the Middle East that would see the end of the Saudi royals - bunch of corrupt, pseudo-Muslim, head-choppers. And they have every right to be concerned, because that's what they are and they fear a change in the political climate and the social climate in the Middle East and they want to hold on. And that's why, for the same reason that America has always feared a Russian-led, Eurasian expansion, in a microcosm of that, Saudi Arabia have feared an Iranian-led, Middle-Eastern integration on a new footing that gets rid of the Saudi royals.

And of course, Iran is Shia and Saudi's are supposedly Sunni, so that they've stoked this religious/sectarian conflict and Saudi Arabia has a big part to play in the Jihadis and ISIS and all that kind of stuff. A good example of what scares the Saudis is the Houthis in Yemen - that's why they're bombing them, and that's why Iran called for a ceasefire today, in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia rejected it, because they've been saying, "Well, Iran's behind this and blah, blah, blah; they're backing the Houthis." The Houthis just simply want a change from the long-term corruption and tin-pot sultans that were put in power in Yemen and in Saudi Arabia and in other Gulf states by the Anglo-American, imperial, empire-builders long ago.

The Houthis are a representation of a people who want to see an end that kind of corrupt elite in the Middle East and it would serve Iran very well, also, to see a change of guard in Saudi Arabia - someone a little bit less head-choppy, let's say, or more to the point, a bit less aligned with America: A bit less Western-looking and a bit more Eastern-looking.

Niall: It's bizarre when reality starts to fit as a result of all of their previous actions, say, in this case, Saudi Arabia. The reality starts to fit the very thing they didn't want to happen, which is, essentially, a Shia-led government to their south. And then, they immediately have to project it onto the enemy that they've been so paranoid about; EVEN when that 'enemy' never did anything to back or to instigate it, in such, that, when Iran says, "Well, let's just have a ceasefire, at least, just to stop for a second," Saudi Arabia can go, "Oh, well, you see, that's them playing their games. We know they're behind this.

It's like the reality hits them square in the face, so they go full-steam in the opposite direction. Where have we seen that before? Well, that's United States foreign policy writ large.

You see an outcome that does suit Russia's interest, but there's no evidence that Russia actually worked to bring it about; it naturally happened because of underlying processes of economics and international relations over history and over time.

Joe: It's a balancing act, you know? A rebalancing of nature, essentially. There's a natural way that the normal human being who wants to do business and interact with each other, naturally it's not based on, "I'm top dog and you'll all do what I say, or else I'll bomb you back to the Stone Age; that's unnatural. So, you can only do that for so long before, it seems, there's some natural process where that more cooperative spirit and nature in human beings starts to spread again, because it's the natural order of things, you know?

Hezbollah have been fighting with the Houthis in Yemen; I mean, they're Shia as well.

Niall: But Saudi Arabia is still very much 'top dog'; it's got a coalition of - I've just read - ten countries. Egypt signed up right away. I mean, what the hell? I thought for a second there that Egypt might have been making deals with Putin. The last thing it would do is jump to the Saudi Arabians tune.

Joe: Yeah, it's kind of a problem. You've got stuff working at cross-purposes, there. Former General el-Sisi is someone who I think of as being in a similar mould as Erdogan in Turkey: People who are kind of in it for themselves, you know? On the one hand, you've got the ideologues - the black hats, the empire-builders; "We rule the world," the white, Anglo-Saxon protestants, type thing - the Brits and Americans who want to rule the world; and on the other hand, the other polarity would be, say - not completely on the other end of the spectrum, but - the Russians and the Chinese who don't have that kind of mentality. But then all the countries in between that, which includes the Middle East and some of Eastern Europe and even African countries and stuff, it comes down to individual leaders and what their inclinations are, and they can vary a lot. It's a real process of trying to convince... there's a battle for those countries between those two, between East and West, essentially - the countries in between East and West, there's a battle for the 'hearts and minds' of the political leaders which is a bit of a messy game, obviously, because some of them probably don't have any hearts and have severely ponerised minds. So, it's not very clear and allegiances are very fickle things, in that sense; they can be very temporary things, you know? From one week to the next, you'll see conflicting attitudes and moods coming out of places like Turkey or Egypt. Like you just said: Signing deals with Russia but at the same time, jumping...

But I think it just comes down to the ideology, not of one particular person in those countries, but the ideology of the ruling regime that's behind those leaders and stuff, and which ideology holds sway, because a lot of them are obviously in it for the power and the rule and they're authoritarians, you know? They want to rule over the people and they have an elitist viewpoint, you know? But even those kinds of people can be forced to see what side their bread's buttered on. Even if they're not really genuinely men or women of the people, they'll be forced, they'll go with that ideology for their own interests, you know what I mean?

Like I said, there are these conflicting motives and it seems to be that at times, they're working at cross purposes - which they are, so it's all a big mess.

Niall: It's a big mess, but the situation in Yemen is... well, I just feel for them. I mean, it's a small country, but it's actually got a pretty sizeable population: It's got the same population as Syria. I do not want to spend the next four years watching what happened in Syria happen in Yemen. Mind you, it's not that long ago that they had pretty much that situation in Yemen in the '90s.
The country is under siege by air and land; Saudi jets are just bombing at will; all you hear about it in the US is, "Are we gonna send carriers in to pick up the Americans we've abandoned there?" That's amazing, that they're not going to. But the Russians today did.

Joe: The Russians did it not just today, they started several weeks ago when the conflict actually began; the Russians started evacuating their own nationals, but the Russians more recently have been continuing in that mission of getting people out of there, but recently, they took a bunch of different people: Like, people from all nationalities were allowed to get on Russian ships and get out of there - including Americans.
I was going to say that I'm amazed there's not uproar about this in the US, but I shouldn't be surprised. But it's a real example of the nature of the people, of the leadership of the politicians in the US, where they just said, "No. We're not going to do it. Don't care," and the Russians had to come in.

It's another example of the difference in attitude. The Russians came in and the Russians are effectively removing, in part, American citizens from Yemen while the American government goes, "Hmph, whatever."

Niall: Who are being bombed from jets that Finian Cunningham - and others are reporting - are being refuelled mid-air by US fuel tankers.

Joe: Well they're all made in America and given to Saudis by the US. But it's worse than that. It's been several weeks that the US has actually been involved and they've fired Tomahawk cruise missiles from ships, off the Gulf of Aden at targets in Yemen. The US has been actively involved in the bombing.

Niall: While they're pretending to be hands-off, not involved in this conflict. It's disgusting. All this stuff. I mean, for God's sake, for a whole year we heard about, "Russian invasion of Ukraine." "Russian invasion of Ukraine." "Russian invasion of Ukraine," and then here, we have a clear, actual, straight-up invasion of one country against its neighbour because it doesn't like what it sees happening there - it's just bombing at will, and nobody bats an eyelid.

Joe: Yeah, it's ridiculous. You know, the US has obviously got military bases around the world, but there's one called Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, right across the kind of opening of the Red Sea, there, right across from Yemen in Djibouti. They've got hundreds or thousands of US military personnel with ships and planes and boats, all stationed there, and they're just not doing anything to respond to the requests of US citizens in Yemen to come and take them out. They're just like, "Meh, you'll be alright," and leave it up to the Russians.

You'd hope that the Americans in Yemen...

Niall: Would remember that.

Joe: Well, remember it, or at least see it in the moment today as kind of like, "Our government has forsaken us and the Russians came to our aid." How does that square with what we've been hearing about how evil Russia is? But then, cognitive dissonance: people don't do too well with that, you know?

Niall: Just to go back, briefly, to our discussion of how the Iranian nuke programme is, more or less, a cover; previously it was a lever and now it's coming to a close insofar as making sure Iran is 'cooperative' and not disturbing the world order.

Now and then, you get a little gem from a Western diplomat or government official that helps put things in perspective. This is from the British Foreign Office Minister, Kim Howells, in 2007 - direct quote:
"We want Iran to be much more engaged...," engaged - I guess that means 'part of the world order as we see it'. He goes on, "because Western Europe needs Iranian gas very badly. We need to break the Russian monopoly on supplies of gas to Western Europe. This is a pretty controversial statement to make, but the Russians need rivals."
That's back in 2007 and this management of the resources in the Middle East is what we see going on here.

Joe: Yeah. Well, what's happening as well as the oil, Iran is a major gas supplier; to China and to other countries; and like you just said, they're seeing the writing on the wall. The march of Russia and China over the past ten years or so has made these Western countries - the Anglo-American empire and the EU - start to desperately try to find ways to thwart that march, to stop that march in its tracks, and part of that is, "Let's be friends with Iran and let's stop threatening them and see if we can take them away from the Russian orbit, type thing." But, I'm sorry, Russia - and China, as well - are much better positioned, because they've been doing this for a lot longer WHILE the West was threatening Iran with a big stick and with annihilation from Israel, Russia and China were establishing a relationship with Iran. So this is a bit late in the game for them to try and sidle up them and, "Let's be buddies," type thing, you know? And they're not very very good at it, anyway, and no one trusts them, so they have a major problem and it's of their own making.

You can see how Iran is pretty much on the border of Turkey, there; and this new South Stream from Russia, through Turkey and into Greece, and then into Western Europe from there for Russian gas, is a problem. I mean, they tried to thwart it by stopping it from going under the Black Sea and through Bulgaria, so the Russians said, "Okay, well let's just go through Turkey," and Turkey said, "Cool." Greece is obviously the black sheep at the moment and it's going to be happy to do it.

It's ridiculous; it went further afield, you know? Turkey's closer to Western Europe than... "But we don't want Russian gas because Putin's going to come and enslave us all and throw us all in the Gulag. It's nonsense; none of it makes any sense. It's like, if the guy has something to sell, just buy it; he's giving you a good price for it: "No, for ideological reasons, on principle, I won't do that."

But it's not about principle, it's about this... well, it is principle, but it's a kind of maniacal, not-so-principle, where the US and the British simply cannot conceive or allow for the idea that Russia and Eurasia as a whole would become the powerhouse of the world, type thing, you know? Particularly America has always wanted to stop that from happening, and that's what's driving this - it's ridiculous. It's cutting off your nose to spite your face, you know? But they're very good at that, these crazies. They're "Effing crazies" as someone once called them - I think it was Colin Powell called them, "Effing crazies". Yeah, that's who they are; they're effing crazies and I don't know where it's all going to end - probably down the toilet, the whole lot.

Niall: Speaking of Greece, new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras went to Moscow to get his marching orders.

Joe: Um hmm. He was told to launch a full ground invasion of Europe from Greece, by Putin.

Niall: I read a Washington Post (CIA)...

Joe: He's got a shipment of BUK missile launchers - that's what he went to Moscow for.

Niall: He had it in the cargo hold.

Joe: He took it back to Greece - a bunch of BUK missile launchers.And they're going to use them to shoot down lot's of European commercial airliners as a message.

Niall: Yes.

Joe: As a symbol.Of Russian intentions.

Niall: This Washington Post article on these two-day meetings; the headline was something like, it was a complete flop because he didn't get the money. I mean, they dressed it up as, "He's going to Moscow to get all the money he needs to go and pay-off Western creditors. As if that was ever on the cards.

Joe: Two Hundred and Sixty Billion - yeah.

Niall: Ah, no; that wasn't why he went to Moscow. I'd like to think that they went with a view to thinking ahead, post-dollar collapse and that it went something along the lines of Putin saying to him, "Look, don't do anything rash just yet. Things are going a certain way. Just prepare yourself to make any moves post-crash."

Joe: Maybe.

Niall: It was largely symbolic. I mean, I'm sure they discussed the immediate South Stream issue.

Joe: Well, exactly. The pipeline - the South Stream - that they want to go through Greece, that's probably on the agenda. But I think that may be already a done deal, you know, assuming Western European leaders don't decide that, "No. Even if it comes through Greece, we're not buying it. We're going to let our people freeze just so we can say F U Russia! We don't like you; you're naughty!"

This is a situation where, like I said, eventually, more rational, sane heads prevail, because it's like, "Listen - we need the gas. Just effing buy it!" Eventually, that is the final conclusion. They try to avoid it: "No, no, let's not do that. Let's find some other way, some other solution," and eventually, obviously other solutions don't work because it's pretty simple: If you need gas, buy it.

So someone will begrudgingly say, "Listen, let's just go ahead and buy it, okay? Is that alright?", after like six months or six years of negotiations; "Yeah, let's just buy it. Don't tell anybody, though."

Niall: Keep it on the QT.

Joe: "Don't say we're buying Russian gas."
So all of this is obviously going to come to nothing, but there's a lot of toing and froing and so-called 'diplomacy' going on between East and West and fighting over these different countries; trying to court the Turks and the Iranians and keeping the Iraqis on side and trying to get rid of Assad and appeasing the Saudis and helping the Saudis, calming them down - because those Saudi royals, they're hysterical, you know? I've been a fly on the wall; they're just like screaming Madonna's, type thing, you know? When they don't get their way, the skirts go up and they start flailing around in a whirl...

Niall: The swords come out...

Joe: The swords come out and they start slashing at the walls and manservants and things like that, if they don't get their way, they just chop off some heads to make themselves feel better, you know? It's very hysterical, you know?
Audio clip: "Off with his head!"

Joe: Off, with his head, yes.

Niall: Something like in that movie, Hunger Games, the second one, where the new games master is trying to keep the evil President Snow, you know, calm; "I'm dealing with the situation - here's what I propose. So, we have a little celebrity wedding for the two protagonists in the story, and then, BOOM, we show a whole bunch of executions, and then, BOOM, what dress is she going to be wearing on the wedding day? BOOM, floggings; some more executions..." And I don't know what it's like in Saudi Arabia right now, but if they're at war abroad, chances are good that they're increasing their repression back home, as well.

Joe: Yeah. Like you said, they have floggings and beheadings. That's their main way of keeping control, apart from major repression across the country; women aren't allowed to drive and stuff like that. It's amazing; I don't know, even people in... Fox News talks about it, so it's at that level of obviousness where the question of, "Why is Saudi Arabia our friend? They cut people's heads off for stealing and they won't let women drive. Why are they our friends again?" "Ah, nobody really knows; it's a mystery. Let's just go with it."
So, yeah. The whole thing is just a farce; it really is... beyond a farce, really.

Niall: The entire American 'way of life' depends on it.

Joe: Yeah, absolutely; it depends on it - yeah.

Niall: It depends on this relationship with Saudi Arabia. And the same goes for the city of London and its casino capitalism for recycling the petrodollars; the three of them are really integrated in this way that there cannot be a change, or they're all screwed.

Joe: They're all going down, and that's the problem. They've backed themselves into a corner, effectively; put themselves in a position that is no longer tenable - is becoming increasingly untenable - as a new kind of order and a balance reasserts itself. And they will, like rats trapped in a corner - if it's even true that rats do that; I don't know if they do, but it's a good analogy, because they are rats; on the evolutionary ladder, they're at the level of rats; in fact, rats are above them - and when they're trapped in a corner, they attack, like the Saudis are doing, all they know is violence because they simply cannot accept the idea of them not being rulers of the world - either of the world itself or in their own little region.

So, sad, but there it is, you know?

Niall: It could be an interesting summer in the US. Recent article, I think it was in US press as well because it came to my attention from one of our American forum members, but it's an article on RT: Undercover special forces to sweep US South West. Some massive exercise taking place this summer: Operation JADE HELM, kicking off in July for eight weeks involving 1200 Green Berets, Navy Seals and special operations personnel.
They will be simulating battlefield conditions soldiers may face in foreign countries. It's an eight week long exercise, they designated I think small towns off the map, more or less, in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, four other states. But the purpose of the 'exercise', they're going to be considered, "hostile territory".

Some of these special ops personnel will be operating incognito amongst civilians.


That's freaky, because how easy would it be to just, mid-operations, say, "Well, it was an exercise; it's kind of live, now. Sorry about that but circumstances were forced on us,"?

Joe: Yeah; "Somebody shot at us."

Niall: "Somebody shot at us," or "A riot broke out."

Joe: Um hmm. They've been going on a few years, but the few videos I've seen of those kinds of operations - those... what are they called? They're not called operations.

Niall: Ahh... something, '........ military training'. Where they reconstruct... they actually built entire sets; I mean, they don't necessarily go into a town - they'll build a fake town in the desert in Arizona somewhere, bring in props, actors.

Joe: Yeah, those kind of manoeuvres and the videos I've seen of them are pretty freaky, because a lot of them happen at night time with these black helicopters flying over a downtown city centre and guys, all in black, repelling out of... I mean, there's something very freaky about it, you know? Very strange. It really gives you a flavour of a kind of police state, you know what I mean? Where you have the military in helicopters flying over your city and dropping down into populated areas and running around the streets and stuff. I mean, that doesn't happen really anywhere else except maybe in war-torn countries or countries in civil wars or something, you know? It's kind of like as close as you can get to simulating a war-type environment, imposing that on the people without any good reason. What, for training purposes? Really? In downtown big city? There's something very disturbing about it; to me, anyway.

Niall: It goes back a while, doesn't it? Alex Jones has been going on about it over a decade, into the Nineties he was talking about black helicopters and people repelling down. He was brushed off for the longest time, but clearly, it is going on, and it's got to the point now where it's openly reported; it's no longer like something that's just brushed off, "No, you didn't see what you just saw."
Why do all of this if you're not braced for something that will require...

Joe: Of course, the justification for it is that you need this kind of open training in an urban setting.

Niall: Well, as they've reported here, they need this training because they're going to need it in foreign countries.

Joe: Right, yeah. So, there are loads of foreign countries that are... I think one of them was in Tampa, if I'm not mistaken? So, the idea is that there's lots of places where the US military would go around the world where it would be on active military operations - possibly live-fire situations, you know? There's lots of places where they would be doing that elsewhere in the world that are just exactly the same as Tampa. Aren't there?

Niall: Um, no.

Joe: Right.

Niall: Absolutely not.

Joe: Yeah, I mean, where have they been? Afghanistan. Look at Afghanistan; go on Google Maps, Google Earth, and maybe look at Kandahar, or pick any other decent-sized town or city in Afghanistan; and then have a walk around the streets; and you'll see it's exactly the same as Tampa, Florida. The buildings, you know, there's lots of Starbucks, McDonald's is everywhere, Burger King, the parks; all that kind of stuff. It's just exactly the same. So, I'm buying it.

Niall: Well, one place they're going is Syria. The debate all over the media in Canada is, "To what extent are our boys today in special forces in Syria?" Well, they've been there six months; but the government's trying to say, "Oh, they're not involved with anything on the front lines." Alas, a month ago or so, one of these special forces guys was killed.

"Okay, we're on the the ground. But, they're not actually involved in any combat."

Joe: That's the kind of place they have to go. And the Americans, too, are doing the same thing that the Canadians are doing. The Canadians always play second fiddle to the Americans from a military perspective.

Have a look at Homs, for example. It's probably not on Google Maps, but have a look at some pictures of Homs right now, where some American troops might be and you'll just see fricking Tampa all over it. Exactly the same. Palm trees everywhere; that's about it. That's where the similarity ends.

Niall: I'm not sure it's on the map any more; it's been obliterated.The reason I mention Canadian special forces is because they're being sent to Ukraine.

Joe: Yep.

Niall: They're now acknowledging that they're going to be sent to Ukraine. For all we know, they went six months ago.
THERE's a similar city-setting, insofar as it's modern cities; that's one application of being trained in real situations back home.

Joe: You mean they're being sent to Eastern Ukraine?

Niall: They didn't say; they just said Ukraine.

Joe: Yeah; where are they going to go?

Niall: Well, they could be anywhere, because Ukraine is threatening to break apart.

Joe: Um hmm. I think they're going to Ukraine as military advisors. I mean, there have been some Americans involved, but a small number, probably private military contractors, also known as 'serial killers'.

Niall: In a badge.

Joe: Well, they don't even have badges. Serial killers in a baseball cap; those private military contractors have been involved, reportedly, in fighting in Eastern Ukraine and in Donbass and Lugansk.

Niall: It's not just in military; they're also tapping up city police forces in the US - I kid you not. Cops from Reno, Nevada have been going out to Ukraine as part of a programme that's, like, five or six years old.

Joe: Yeah, to train local police.

Niall: Train; advise; yeah...Some council of local MPs in Odessa apparently issued some kind of declaration of independence for the Odessa Oblast (or province) to break away. At the same time, another region further North, Transcarpathia, which is kind of ethnic-mixed, but it's kind of old, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Slavic, but in Western Ukraine; so they're surrounded by people who would probably be the main base or support base of the Kiev junta.

So there's a region within there which is saying, "We're not happy with this at all." So, I don't know how far advanced it is, but Ukraine could break up - there could be other regions that will flare up this year.

Joe: Well, I think that's been their main fear - the puppet powers in Kiev - their main fear has been that other parts of Ukraine might go a similar way if Eastern Ukraine - Donetsk and Lugansk and stuff - if they broke away. That's always the power the be's fear. Unless it's on their terms, they don't like breakaway parts of countries because it can spread, you know? It's like, "Hey, that's a good idea!"

So, I haven't really checked in just the last day or two, but a couple of days ago, on the Germanwings crash, it was kind of an "Oh my God" moment - for me, anyway - because in the second article that I wrote on the Germanwings crash, I quoted them saying that they had checked Andreas Lubitz', - the co-pilot's Ipad, and seen that he had done a search online for "how to commit suicide".

Niall: With an Airbus.

Joe: No; just how to commit suicide.

Niall: Oh, the general brochure, yeah.

Joe: That's what they said - that they had found that. Who found it, we don't know. Whether or not they did the search themselves and then said, "Oh, look; he did it," we don't know. But anyway. (That's how easy it would be do that, obviously, or just make it up all together.)

But anyway, they said that he had searched for "how to commit suicide", and at the time in that article that I wrote, I'm kind of waiting for them to then say that he had also searched for "how to crash a plane into a mountain", and also "how to make someone go to the toilet".

And I said that obviously facetiously, you know? It was because it was so ridiculous to me that after this long process of building this ridiculous narrative that he was a suicide pilot, they said, "Oh, yes; he searched online." I was half-expecting them to come out with something like that; so I was making fun of what they might next come up with, you know? Finding searches for "How do you make someone go to the toilet?"

And then, two days ago, Fox News - and it was spread around a few other websites, actually; it wasn't just Fox News - the mainstream media basically were saying that he had searched online for information about diuretics, which is things that make you need to go to the toilet. And they speculated that he may have put such a thing in the captain's drink to make him go to the toilet.

Niall: Oh.. my...

Joe: So I was like, "Really? I was joking!"

Niall: You weren't meant to take that idea and....!

Joe: I didn't mean for anybody to take that seriously. No, no, no; you can't DO that! I was joking. I was being completely... you know... ridiculous, and just positing this, you know, outrageous scenario just to make a point! You're not meant to go there because... that's the only thing that keeps me sane. But if you start to do that - if the mainstream media starts to do that - I WILL go insane. Because really, I thought I had plumbed the depths of the ridiculousness of these people's lies, but apparently, I haven't.

So, yeah, it was kind of shocking to me to see that they would actually go there. And also, they actually put this out, and it ties in very well with the way that they've been building this narrative, which has largely been on the basis of nothing - the narrative that they have built; the long, drawn-out, day-by-day story - building up the story that he was a suicide pilot and all the associated "evidence", that wasn't evidence, to back it up. This is just the icing on the cake, because not only did they say that he had searched online for diuretics and that he may have put it in the captain's drink; they said that "But it seems that this is just based on speculation.

I'm like, what? You mean that you're speculating that he may have looked online for diuretics and then may have put it in the drink? So, what you're saying is, you're just throwing that out there as part of the narrative that you just threw out over the past two weeks that now everybody in the world knows to be the hard truth and facts about this case? And it's down more or less in history, in the kind of public history, as "This is how it happened: he was a suicide pilot; he did searches online for how to commit suicide; he told his girlfriend that he was going to "do something that everyone will remember him by".

So, you're saying that this is all just....? well, all of it IS just speculation, but my question is, how did this happen, where everybody in the world, if you ask anybody, "Did you hear about the Germanwings air crash?" "Yes." "Do you know what happened?" "Yeah. That crazy pilot, he crashed the plane into a mountain because he was suicidal and wanted to make his mark."

I'm like, how did that happen where everybody knows that, when the investigation has not finished and hasn't produced any results yet. Do people realise that? That the actual investigation into that crash has not actually concluded anything?

How do you reconcile that with the fact that the entire world knows that it was a crazy co-pilot who wanted commit suicide and kill everybody else with him? So, he's a mass murderer, by definition, because certainly, he could have chosen to kill himself if it was just himself that he was interested in, but he wanted to kill 150 other people.

Niall: The crash is only three weeks old, and it can take years. In other cases it's taken them years.

Joe: Yeah. It's just sickening to me.

Niall: You need to watch what you say from now on, or your name is going to end up as a source on investigative reports into everything you write about.

Joe: I know, yeah; because I said it!

Niall: Yeah, because you said it. ""And yes, then the co-pilot spiked the pilot's drink with a diuretic," - source:, Joe Quinn".

Joe: Yeah, exactly; because I was there, you know?No, the whole thing just sickens me, to be honest; it sickens me the way that they've gone about it; and it apparently, it sickens a lot of other airline pilots because as I mentioned previously - I think last week - there's 38,000 pilots in an association called the (European) Cockpit Association in Europe - 38,000 European pilots - and they released a statement saying that they were, more or less, horrified at this so-called investigation, where they had concluded that the co-pilot did it, within 24 hours.

I mean, it's absolutely inappropriate and contravenes all the rules, effectively, of an investigation, you know? It's not that the media isn't going to speculate and stuff, but the way the media was coming out with these authoritative statements AND the investigators were not saying anything to reign them in shows that this was deliberately set up as a 'trial by media'. In fact, the fact that it was deliberately set up from the beginning as a trial by media - intended to be a trial by media and that was the way this was going to go - is evidenced by the fact that some unnamed, French military official called the New York Times on the evening of the crash and told the New York Times that it was the co-pilot, based on cockpit voice recorder, supposedly. Yet, the morning after he did that, the very next day, the official investigative authority in France, the BEA, the chief of it said that he had listened to the cockpit voice recorder and he said that there was nothing on it that would give any explanation as to what happened.

So before he could say that, some unknown French military official was talking to the New York Times spreading a rumour, and that rumour spread and has continued to spread and been built on by the media only. I mean, the media these days, it's all the 'weekly world news'; it's all the trash-tabloid kind of "Bat boy found on the moon" type-thing; and that is what people around the world are believing - that is their source for what happened to Germanwings. Apparently, that's as good as it gets, in this case, for an investigation.
Not very scientific.

Niall: Yeah. It's an echo chamber. "Echo... echo..."

Joe: Exactly.

Niall: The advantage of having media cross-owned and all getting their stories from the same pool, or from the next biggest media corporation up the food chain is the authoritarians, unconsciously or just part of their nature, pick up whatever the next one up is saying and repeat it in contravention to how you'd think they'd behave.

If they're looking to authorities to tell them how things are, you'd think they'd wait for the investigative authority - the BEA in France in this case, for example - to give them a clear direction as to which way they should think something for the explanation of this crash.

But, no, there's something else that intervenes and it has far greater power, largely because people just repeat it over and over again. It doesn't matter who said it, you could put the words in Mickey Mouse and as long as it's begun by someone big - the New York Times, AP - and then repeated enough times, well, that's the truth.

It completely flies in the face of basic logic.

Joe: Um hmm. I'd say that about maybe ten percent of commercial airliner crashes in the past thirty years - in ten percent of those cases, the truth has been told. Most other cases have been...

Niall: Something unusual they don't want you to know about.

Joe: Exactly. Something unusual and a significant percentage of them have been caused by people/someone deliberately causing the crash - some human agency deliberately causing the crash.

I mean, there's Lockerbie - such a clear-cut, obvious situation where someone put a bomb on the plane, and it wasn't 'terrorists' unless you broaden your definition of 'terrorists'. And there was also Swissair, Flight 111 in 1998 that was going from New York to Geneva, full of UN diplomats, a Saudi Prince, lots of other important people, and it was carrying about half a billion dollars in diamonds and cash and gold, and it crashed into Canadian waters. So, the Canadians conducted the investigation and one of the RCMP guys, the lead investigator, his whole problem with the crash was, was it an accident or was it sabotage - a criminal act? If it's an accident, then civilian authority does the investigation; if it's very quickly determined to be a criminal act, well then it's a police matter because it's homicide - it's mass-murder.

So, they always play that one. Depending on what's most expedient or most in their interests at the time, they'll either say it was an accident or say it was a terror attack or a criminal attack.

In this case, there's cockpit voice recordings of the pilot saying that they had smoke or fire in the cabin and that they suspected some kind of explosion above them or behind them in the cockpit and there was a fire and they had smoke in the cabin and they had crashed into the sea killing everybody - 228 I think.

But this lead investigator with the RCMP - because both of them were on this case at the time, the civilian authority, the NTB I think it's called, and the RCMP were involved - and this one guy who was leading the investigation - a police officer - he did a really good job; he was very, very thorough about it, but he was repeatedly stonewalled because he found, with the help of some samples of wiring that he gave to a scientist, the scientist found ten times the amount of magnesium that would be expected in a normal electrical fire, which when you see that amount of magnesium, it points directly to an incendiary device placed in a specific area behind the cockpit to burn up very hot and very quickly and to effectively destroy a specific set of wiring that would make the plane basically a rock - you know, it's not flyable.

And that seems to be what happened but this guy did an amazing investigation; he collected thousands of photographs and hours of video and thousands of memos and he had hundreds and hundreds of pages of his field-notes, and he tried to present them and they said, "No. It's an accident. Go away." And they even tried to get him to produce a second set of notes that said it was an accident, even though all of his notes suggested that it was a criminal case - that someone had deliberately set fire to the plane - and that was the end of it.

And that was 1998, officially, Swissair 111 has gone down as an accident, you know, just faulty wiring. But there was clear evidence: The only real evidence you needed was the fact that there was a massive amount of magnesium on the wiring.

Niall: Any idea why someone would want that particular plane to come down?

Joe: There were so many people on that plane. Like I said, there was a Saudi prince; there was loads of different UN; because it was a flight used regularly, every day - it was twice a day - between Geneva and New York and it was full of UN because you had the UN headquarters in New York and people going over to other UN missions in Switzerland, Geneva.

But, apparently, there was five-hundred million dollars-worth of - mainly - diamonds, but also gold and money, and in all the records, they supposedly never found a single jewel.

Niall: Jesus. Do you think that could have just been a heist?

Joe: Maybe.

Niall: Well, that could be a nice payoff for it.

Joe: Absolutely. Yeah.

Niall: "We need him or her 'out', and by the way..."

Joe: Well, considering the type of people we're talking about - we mentioned this last week, you're talking about people who are willing to cause a Germanwings flight to crash into a mountain for their own reasons and shoot up an elementary school and stuff - these kind of people would do that for fun. So for five-hundred millions involved in it: Yeah, they'd do it for five dollars. The people on board are not really a consideration, to be honest. If there's a little motivation there, then...

Niall: Freaky.So, there have been many accidents that were not... They're easy targets because they're in the air. I mean, it's horrible how many ways there are to bring down a plane.

Joe: Exactly.I mean, the thing is, statistically speaking, planes are very safe.

Niall: All things being equal, if they're allowed to do what they can do.

Joe: Yeah. There's tens of thousands of planes flying through the air around the world, all day, every day, so the amount that have fallen out of the sky in the past year or whatever - six, or so - five or six doesn't even alter the stats, really. that much. Although, psychologically, for people, it has an effect.

But, the thing is, the ways that a plane can crash and kill everybody on board - a catastrophic crash where everybody dies - there are several ways, but amongst those 'causes' of airliner crashes, there's only really one explanation the powers that be are willing to allow to be known. So, right there, your chances are at least, if we say: one is deliberate sabotage; two is atmospheric anomaly; and the third is terrorism, which hasn't really happened in the last... 9/11 is the notable one, but the airline hijackings and stuff were a thing of the '80s - we haven't seen them very much in recent years.

So, the powers that be, themselves, or some faction of them deliberately bringing it down is one, atmospheric anomaly is two, and these days it's a 'suicide pilot' and there's been very few actual suicide pilots, obviously.

Niall: Or any.

Joe: Or any, even."Human error". The only thing they're willing to go with is human error. The chances of human error on those planes is very small as well. So, the vast majority of airline crashes that we know about have been caused by deliberate sabotage, mostly by the powers that be themselves, and atmospheric anomalies. And those two can never be spoken about. Which means that the true reason for most of the crashes can never be spoken about.

So what you get, mostly, from most crashes in recent decades, is a line of bullshit, either about suicide pilots or a pilot that made a very bad decision. And the suicide pilot one is - like you said - probably non-existent, and the human error one is very, very rare.

Niall: Yeah, that's interesting. Because after the Germanwings crash, I started looking at related events, see if there's any pattern. The only pattern I could see was that I couldn't get a straight answer for happened in all these plane crashes. I realised that I was looking at many possible causes. I gave up there because, Jesus, you need to actually look in detail at each one. But that's a logical was of deducing it down to the basic fundamentals of it: That most of the time, what we're told happened, didn't happen.

Joe: Most of the time, yeah. I mean, you have to understand that that....

Niall: Applies to everything else...

Joe: It applies to everything else, yeah. And there's a lot of stuff in other areas that people would accept that to be true, in other areas, politicians and what they say, that they don't tell you what happened. I mean, there's enough evidence out there publicly to allow people to accept that as factual.

One example is the Iraq war, and people in the UK, for example, know that Tony Blair lied about the threat from Iraq to justify an invasion and occupation, so it's in the public consciousness that what we're told is very often not the truth.

But the problem is that it's the degrees of the seriousness of the crime that people have a problem going to, in terms of going further along the spectrum of the egregiousness of the crime, you know? There's people that are particularly very annoyed because they don't like Tony Blair in general and across the board, but they're very annoyed about the Iraq war, but they know about the Iraq war, so they're willing to go there and say, "Well, yeah, he was a liar and blah, blah, blah." But that doesn't affect them directly. Maybe some of them - families of military personnel and stuff - but generally speaking of the population, it doesn't affect them directly.

But the idea that someone among Tony Blair's circle, or above him or whatever, might be involved in deliberately killing a few hundred people on a commercial airliner just for some spurious reason is hard for them to accept that level of deceit, you know? And so, all they're left with is 'suicide pilot', who searched the internet for diuretics.

Niall: The 'lone wolf' - it often goes back to that.

Joe: Yeah.Alright, we've got a caller on the line, here; it's Bahar.

Hi Bahar. Welcome to the show.

Bahar: Hi guys.

Niall: Welcome.

Bahar: I would like to ask about the situation in Syria. Do you think that Assad will succeed in getting rid of ISIS and be able to strengthen his country again? Or do you think that won't happen?

Joe: Well, the people behind this ISIS organisation, who've been funding them and training them and giving them weapons, are very persistent, you know? They don't seem to be backing down very much. They've hit on an interesting variation on the proxy-group or sending in a proxy army to fight your war for you, to attack your enemy, in that they've kind of spread it out to this ideological, extremist Islam interpretation of Islam and spread it across borders - spread it from Syria into Iraq so that they can come and go from Iraq to Syria freely and they have control to some extent over the Iraqi government because they've destroyed Iraq over the past ten or twelve years.

So there's a freedom of movement for them there. And they haven't just used them like they usually use them, which is like, just send them in and try to get them to try and do a job over a relatively short period of time and then disband them. They seem to have cut them loose and set them free and let them kind of grow organically as best they can - although, they're still continuing to fund them and send them British schoolgirls and things like that.

Bahar: Do you think it will be like Libya?

Joe: Well, that's the thing: It's drawing out right now in a pretty horrible kind of tiring and frustrating kind of way - trying to wear us down through attrition by keeping it going and pumping out these ISIS videos trying to scare the population. But it seems that there's no option like there was in Syria for a NATO involvement and that's why it's taking longer, because NATO can't go in and just bomb Assad's palace, largely because of Russian influence.

Niall: He doesn't live in a palace.

Joe: Yeah, but bomb wherever he is; bomb him and declare victory. And Libya was eleven months, but it was relatively short. Syria has been going on for almost four years, you know, or about that. But, it's hard to tell. I mean, certainly the Syrian government and Assad and the Syrian military are being supported by Russia and I think Hezbollah plays a kind of important role there as well.

Niall: And, if Hezbollah does, Iran does. You see, they can't just be done with Assad, because Assad has got Iran behind him, and ultimately, in part, Russia as well. That's why it's dragging out differently.

The actual Syrian state's army had successfully 'won', if you like, against the initial wave of proxy forces: the so-called Free Syrian Army that became then a blurred line of al-Nusra Front/maybe al-Qaeda types - you could see about two years ago, that they were starting to bring in some of the people who had been in Libya and in Iraq - "al- Qaeda in Iraq", adding them into the mix. That was like the second wave, and it's dragging out in the most horrible way possible. Like Joe said, they won't just take Assad out because I can probably bet that among the discussions, when it comes to, for example, Iran's nuclear programme, that's not discussed in isolation; all of the other topics are connected to it.

So, the US knows it can't just have its ISIS people simply go into Damascus and take them out. There's a management of the conflict that they're trying to hold up.

Joe: I think what you might see in the near-future is that ISIS will just kind of fizzle-out or, up and kind of disappear as quickly as they came on the scene, you know? It's possible that that might happen because if a decision is made in these talks with Iran over Iran's supposedly nuclear programme, but in reality about the whole management of strategic relationships in the Middle East; if as part of those negotiations, there's a decision to kind of leave Syria alone and allow Assad to change the script, well then ISIS can be made to disappear literally overnight, almost.

Bahar: Okay. Hopefully that will happen.

Joe: Absolutely, yeah.

Bahar: Alright.

Niall: Okay. Thanks for your question.

Joe: Alright. Thanks Bahar.

Bahar: Thank you. Bye.

Niall: Recently the full-scale ground war against ISIS in Iraq took a weird turn, where there were thousands of ISIS fighters holed-up in Tikrit, to the north. And a combination of actual Iraqi army soldiers and militias from the south of Iraq - they're semi-endorsed by the central authority in Iraq; semi-Iranian funded and quasi/semi-endorsed by the US and the UK - had a united front and they surrounded these guys in Tikrit and they had them. And they were like, "Well, tomorrow, we're going to wrap this up". And that day, US jets started coming and bombing; "Oh, we accidentally bombed some of the positions taken up by the anti-ISIS fighters. Sorry about that!"

But, the Iraqis were like, "No effing way! This cannot be a coincidence. We know how precise you can be with these things." And they said, "Forget it. We're walking away; we're walking out of here. We're on strike." And for some reason this got out and was reported in the West. Apparently it lasted a day, and then the airstrikes stopped and they did move in and retake Tikrit. I don't know what happened to all those ISIS fighters, but there's this kind of thing going on where they don't trust the American planes: "Are they coming to bomb ISIS targets or are they coming to bomb the people actually taking out ISIS?"

And from day to day, I think they just manage it: "Oops. This airdrop of weapons/medical supplies/food, happened to get into ISIS hands. Sorry about that." "Ooh, it looks like ISIS is winning a bit too fast here on this front. Okay, let's remove supplies for them."

I think it is some kind of absurdly managed theatre like that. This is why Canadian Special Forces are being shot in Syria. This is the beauty of something like 'friendly fire' - they can just say, "Oh. That shouldn't have happened." Because the folks back home have no clue one way or the other. But, now and then, I suspect at least some of the Special Forces for Canadian or US or British, the reason they get killed is because on this day, they're playing the role of ISIS, in some respect. They're either calling in an airstrike against the "good guys", or they are themselves shooting Kurdish Peshmerga or Iraqi militias trying to fight ISIS.

It's this kind of dirty, dirty war.

Joe: It's an unbelievably dirty kind of business.

Niall: You can see what the end conclusion will be.

Joe: Well, it's just complete chaos, really, is the end conclusion, you know?

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: And they think they can manage it, but ultimately, when you set that kind of chaos loose, it's very difficult to control it. And especially when there are forces like we've been talking about, involved, working against you, it can all get beyond your control very quickly, you know?
I mean, those people don't care if they lose control of it. Ultimately, they don't care. They try to maintain control, but ultimately they can all just walk away and say, "Well, we tried."

Of course, they'll keep trying until they put as many people in the ground as possible.

Niall: But the thing is, if they did just walk away, things would naturally return to a normal equilibrium. That is the irony. It's not that if they lost control of the situation it would break out in chaos.

Joe: No.

Niall: The chaos would have to be constantly...

Joe: Fuelled.

Niall: Even if temporarily, you had ISIS in some new Islamic State, how long would it last without popular support?

Joe: It would never last.Yeah, anyway. I think it's time for a change of script here.

Niall: Joe, I just want to get your opinion before we move on.

Joe: Okay.

Niall: Are you excited that Hillary's running?

Joe: Well, Obama said that she would make a great president, so whatever Obama says is good for me, you know? He's the Commander in Chief, so he knows what's up and, sure, she's a democrat like him, but he's not biased or anything. There's no bias in American politics: it's all just about the hard up truth and...

Niall: How does it make you feel to know that you could have eight years of Hillary?

Joe: Eight years of Hillary? I don't know. I'd rather not say how it makes me feel.

Niall: You might get sick. Alright.

Joe: Yeah. Hillary... whatever. I don't know. I think the Universe is going to intercede on that one, you know? That's just a bridge too far - Hillary as president.

Niall: It won't actually even happen!

Joe: No. The Universe is coming down to have a say on that particular topic, I reckon.

Anyway, as I was about to say, I think it's time to change script and go with our latest word from our pop culture expert, on the shores of Lake Canada, here's Relic.

Niall: Take it away, Relic.

Relic: Well, good evening, everyone. It's your old friend Relic here with another hot off the presses edition of Pop Culture Roundup, where we examine all the latest shenanigans of Hollywood's super-elite as they go about their award winning, extra-special lives.

And as usual, I'm reporting from you today from my isolated, backwoods log cabin on the sub-zero shores of upper Lake Canada. And, as in the movie, Castaway, where Tom Hanks' only friend was a volleyball named "Wilson", my only companion here is a seventeen foot-high snowman, built back in 1962. His name is Boris and he still has yet to melt.

Our first story for this week, coming from Sputnik News, it concerns our very own, under-populated, overly-apologetic, and oh so polite country of Canada.

We have a larger city, somewhere on the southern coast where all the people with suits and ties and shiny cars live, called Toronto.
Now, this city's famous, Toronto Sympharmonic Orchestra recently cancelled a performance by a Ukrainian-American concert pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, because they didn't like some of the things she was writing on her Twitter account.

Born in Kiev, Valentina has been quite vocal in her opposition to the Western-backed, neo-Nazi lead regime currently in power in Ukraine and apparently, the cabal of corporate-sponsored shills, currently in charge of the TSO have accused her of being provocative and deeply offensive and of inciting hatred on the interweb.

Well, it seems now that free speech in Canada only applies when one supports the pre-established government propaganda, like "Je suis Charlie" or "Putin's an evil dictator" or "Drive through and get a 'Double Double at Tim Hortons and RRRoll Up the Rim to Win".

Apparently, any form of expression that does not align with the status quo of the powers that be is instantly marginalised and squashed. And for all those slightly under-educated Canucks out there, imagine it's like being sent to the penalty box for a lifetime suspension.

Anyways...Keeping in line with the politically correct times, the Toronto Sympharmonic Orchestra have just announced that they will replace Valentina's concert with one by Barry Manilow, Nicki Minaj and an Elvis impersonator, singing a four hour medley of the Star Spangled Banner and God Save the Queen.

Bless their crooked little hearts.

In other news, also coming from Canada this week, Global TV is reporting that gothic superstar, Marilyn Manson, was sucker-punched in the face by a complete stranger at a Denny's restaurant in Lethbridge, Alberta, after posing for a picture with two unidentified females.

Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

Now, dear listeners, in case you're unfamiliar with this shock-rocker, rumour has it that Marilyn Manson is the demonic lovechild of buxom Hollywood actress, Marilyn Monroe, and satanic cult leader and serial killer, Charles Manson.

He obviously inherited the long, flowing blonde hair and ample bosom from his mother and the crazy psychotic eyes and swastika forehead tattoo from his father, whom, I understand, he still visits in the hoosegow from time to time.

Anyways... back to the story in question.

Manson claims that he was just minding his own business, doing random $500-a-pop celebrity photo ops in open all night breakfast joints, as industrial metal rock stars are known to do, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, some dude just comes up and wallops him right in the face in an unprovoked attack.

Now, old Relic here has a theory as to why all this happened.Now, normally I don't really condone violence in any form, but, well, I figure some people just seem to have a face that lends itself to punching and, well, I believe that Marilyn Manson is in possession of such a face. Personally, I don't think his attacker had any choice. It's scientific, like pheromones in nature - that kind of thing.

The newly-formed, black eyeliner-wearing prince of the underworld simply has a face that cries out for being punched, and the story pretty much writes itself.

And, whatever the case may be, to make reparations to the alternative metal singer for this unfortunate fracas, this particular Denny's restaurant location will be renaming itself as "IGHOP", the International Gothic House of Pancakes.
Audio clip: "Would you like some more... PANCAKES?" (Tense music)
"Would you like some more... SYRUP?" (Tense music)
Relic: Our last story of the evening comes from Tribute Online, reporting that Spider Man onscreen couple, Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield are going their separate ways after a three year, committed relationship.

This is very bad news coming from the web, if you catch my drift, as they seemed like quite a nice couple.

You know, I even had a celebrity name already picked out for them, like "Brangelina" or "Bennifer"; I was going to called them, "Emgarstonefield", but alas, it was not to be.

Well, that's all we got for now, kids. It's Relic here with a soup can full of water slowly coming to a boil on the cast-iron stove. Time to make me a nice cup of tea before retiring for the evening. And until next time, always remember: Keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars.

Joe: So, there you go. Thanks to Relic for that latest update. We will leave it there for this week, folks. Thanks to our listeners and to Bahar, our caller, and our chatters. We will see you next week, same time, same place. Don't forget our Health and Wellness show tomorrow night.

Niall: And next Saturday, The Truth Perspective, 2pm Eastern time.

Joe: Bye.

Niall: See y'all.