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Fri, 28 Oct 2016
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Iraq Launches Major Op to Retake Daesh-held Mosul - Baghdadi Escapes in Nick of Time! - Suicide Attack Kills 70+ Iraqi Troops

© REUTERS/ Stringer/Files
The U.S.'s most successful export.
The operation to retake northern Iraq's city of Mosul from the Islamic State terrorist organization began this morning. Anti-Daesh "coalition" commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said the battle could last for weeks, "possibly longer", and "may prove to be a long and tough battle." An Iraqi military source says it could be completed in two weeks (just in time for the U.S. elections!). CENTCOM says 19 nations are participating, which basically means Iraq, the U.S., and a bunch of hangers-on to cheer lead and maybe ride shotgun during an airstrike or two.

Daesh overtook and occupied the city in June 2014, causing half its population to flee and leaving 1.3 million civilians. The number of estimated anti-Daesh forces ranges anywhere from 30,000 to 65,000 to 80,000, with 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga and 24,000 militiamen, not to mention around 6,000 U.S. troops. (The Kurds have agreed with the Iraqi government not to enter the city, however.) They are set to battle an estimated 3,000-4,500 Daesh militants (according to U.S. military estimates).

Back in February 2015, there were rumors that as many as 30,000 Daesh fighters were in Mosul - a number dismissed by one Iraqi officer as Daesh propaganda, the real number being closer to 12,000 fighters. In March 2016, CNN reported an estimate of "up to 10,000 ISIS fighters" there. And just four months ago, in June, Osama al-Nujaifi, head of United Coalition in Iraq, confirmed that there were 12,000 militants in the city and its suburbs. At the same time, U.S. coalition Col. Christopher Garver said ISIS had "less than 10,000" fighters in Mosul.

In other words, for a year and a half, the number of Daesh militants in Mosul has been estimated by Iraqi and American sources at around 10,000-12,000. Now the Americans are saying there are only 3,000-4500. (And that probably includes the various local Baathists and Sufist Naqshbandi Army insurgents.) By those numbers, that means that anywhere from 5,500 to 9,000 Daesh fighters are MIA. Where did they go?

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Behind the Headlines: The 2016 US Presidential Race at the End of Murica's Imperial Reign

It's ugly. It's fascinating, And it's fascinating in its ugliness. The 2016 US presidential race has seen so many sensational twists and turns, and its implications are so clearly horrendous for the United States and for the rest of the world, that we can barely turn away from the next statement, scandal or knock-on effect that this contest of wills presents us with. King Kong v. Godzilla doesn't even begin to describe it. But describe it we will, because whoever "wins," everyone loses.

Join us this week on Behind the Headlines as we delve deeply into these and other major stories of the day.

Running Time: 01:49:59

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The Health & Wellness Show: The medical and social implications of gender multiplicity

He, her, ze, zer, gender queer, androgynous, person of transgender experience, two-spirited. It seems that, while gender was once such a simple non-issue, in our crumbling world it's become ridiculously complicated. Phrases like "boys and girls" no longer accepted in classrooms, "men" getting pregnant, $250000 fines for calling someone the wrong gender pronoun and toddlers transitioning to the opposite sex - it's never been more confusing to use a bathroom than in the 21st century. On the other hand, violence, bullying, suicides and even murder of transgendered people is at an all time high. Has political correctness gone too far? Are transgendered people being unfairly discriminated against? Is there a physiological component to gender dysphoria or is it a result of childhood trauma?

Join us as we explore the social, psychological and medical issues surrounding gender fluidity.

And, as always, stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be animal reproduction.

Running Time: 01:10:12

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SOTT Earth Changes Summary - September 2016: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

© Sott.net
Super-typhoon Meranti damages an ancient temple in Taiwan
As the Empire crumples under its own hubris, and as the flames of discontent spread amid rumors of world war, planetary upheaval continues unabated. This month's Hurricane Matthew will probably be remembered as the year's worst storm event in the US (and elsewhere), but in September two other storms, Hermine and Julia - one of them Florida's first hurricane since 2005, and the other the first such storm to ever form directly over the Sunshine State - inundated the coastal US Southeast.

A series of cyclones also brought wave after wave of flooding to southeastern Australia, breaking rainfall records dating back to the country's foundation in the 19th century, and bringing the country as a whole its third wettest winter on record. Meanwhile multiple typhoons in the northwest Pacific battered the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan. 50% stronger today than 40 years ago, the strongest of these cyclonic storms - Category 5 Meranti - was the strongest anywhere in the world so far this year, and second only to 2013's Typhoon Haiyan in the record books.

In addition to the walls of water brought by these large storms, local downbursts brought record-breaking rainfall, causing severe flash-flooding that washed away cars, homes and people in parts of the US, Mexico, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, India, Indonesia, and China. Oklahoma, which never experienced earthquakes until recently, last month felt its strongest yet. A record-strong earthquake also hit South Korea, while a strong quake in Skopje, Macedonia, damaged buildings and sent residents into a panic.

Multiple volcanic eruptions, mass fish kills, whale beachings and meteor fireball events round off another eventful month of Earth Changes...

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The Truth Perspective: Thirty-plus years of Visas for Al-Qaeda: Interview with J. Michael Springmann

© www.presstv.ir
J. Michael Springmann worked for the State Department in the 1980s, in Saudi Arabia. What he witnessed and experienced did not make much sense at the time, but what he later learned put it all in context, and helped to explain the entire course of U.S. foreign policy for the next 30 years. In short, just as the CIA provided funding and training for radical Mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, they have been doing the same thing ever since. Prior to 9/11, this legion of foreign fighters was used to destabilize and destroy Yugoslavia. Afterward, Iraq, Libya, and today Syria.

For this entire period of time, al-Qaeda has been a fighting force for America, a fact that has been known for years, but which is only now going mainstream due to American failures and Russian successes in Syria.

Today, we interview Mr. Springmann about his time at the consulate in Jeddah, and the events that led him to blow the whistle and expose the reality of the U.S.'s creation and support of terrorism around the globe.

You can visit Mr. Springmann's website here: michaelspringmann.com

His book is Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World

In the second hour of the show, we discussed the latest Trump and Clinton leaks, and how they reveal what everyone should have already known: politicians are two-faced and corrupt, and fairly unsavory individuals. Brent closed the show with another Police State Round-up on police un-accountability.

Running Time: 02:04:03

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The Health & Wellness Show: When the body says, 'Whoah!': Rare diseases and strange ailments

© Unknown
There are a number of people currently living around the world who are experiencing the weirdest, rarest diseases known to man. Some are genetic, some are caused by injury and practically all of them leave the most learned medical professionals scratching their heads in confusion. When the human body works as it should it can be a wonder to behold, but what about when things go wrong? Gustatory auditory synaesthesia, polydactyly, misophonia, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive, hirsuitism and spontaneous human combustion are just a few of the conditions we'll talk about. What causes these strange ailments? A cruel mishap in the genetic lottery, karma, poverty and malnutrition, a disturbance in the morphic field?

Join us on this episode of the Health and Wellness Show as we discuss these rare diseases.
Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be strange animals.

Running Time: 01:25:38

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Airplane Paper

Russia Checkmates US in Syria: Expect More Terrorism, Not Nuclear War

© Sputnik/Andrey Stenin
If you happen to be a member of the 'international community' - i.e., if you live in North America, Europe or Australia/New Zealand - you may have noticed a subtle shift in recent years in what you 'know' about Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. From being just another country that you might like to visit one day, Russia and its leader have been transformed into the source of much of the world's problems.

From 'Russian aggression in Europe' to 'annexing Crimea and fomenting civil war in Ukraine' to 'shooting down passenger planes' to 'hacking American democracy' to 'bombing innocent civilians and hospitals' (and bunny rabbits) to 'creating the European refugee crisis' to having a monopoly on 'state-sponsored doping' and 'supporting terrorists in Syria', there doesn't seem to be much that Russia hasn't done to royally screw up the planet.

Of course, the astute reader will have noticed that most of these allegations come from American politicians, political pundits and newspapers.

In recent weeks, the level of anti-Russian vitriol coming out of places like the US State Department has reached such a pitch that we all might be excused for taking up yoga in anticipation of the moment when we must perform the necessary maneuver to kiss our collective arse goodbye in a global nuclear conflagration.

But the existential threat of a 'hot war' between Russia and the USA is more the stuff of nightmares and propaganda than reality. The reality is that the 'exceptional' USA is all out of options, including nuclear, when it comes to impeding Russia's emergence as a major world power with global influence.

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A new kind of war: Russian journalist and war expert on what they learned in Syria

Syrian National Defense Forces - the first line of defense against terror warfare for Syrian towns and villages.
Syria is currently fighting a war that is unprecedented. That's according to Vasily Pavlov and Andrey Filatov - a Russian journalist and a Russian military man. As they describe in the lecture below, the type of war the Syrian army is fighting is unconventional to say the least. But "terror warfare" probably isn't as new and unheard-of as they imply - you can already see aspects of it in the Allies' firebombing of German and Japanese cities in WWII, the use of death squads in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and most recently in the terror wars on Iraq and Libya. But the terror warfare in Syria has arguably gone on longer than intended - Assad and his army have proved more resilient than anticipated, especially after Russia intervened - and the war has morphed into something new simply by virtue of the fact that it takes the black-ops/death-squad approach to another, all-encompassing level.


Escalations in the war on Syria: Russia sends in S-300 missile defense system, Syrian Army advances in Aleppo

A Russian surface-to-air S-300 missile system during a military drill by Russian forces last year.
First, a brief recap of events leading up developments in the last couple of days. The September 9th ceasefire failed because the U.S. couldn't or wouldn't convince its moderate jihadis to separate from its radical jihadis. Those same jihadis:
  1. refused to accept the ceasefire,
  2. refused to accept humanitarian aid unless it was on their terms (not those outlined in the U.S.-Russia agreement),
  3. reaffirmed their allegiance to al-Qaeda, and
  4. continued their attacks on Syrian troops and civilians.
On top of this, the U.S. bombed Syrian troops, and it (or its jihadis) bombed a humanitarian aid convoy, both of which they then blamed on the Syrian and/or Russian military.

All of this proved two things:
  1. the U.S. and their proxies were responsible for the failure of the ceasefire,
  2. the moderates are no different than the extremists.
Both of which justified the revivified offensive on eastern Aleppo, which is held by designated terrorist group al-Nusra/al-Qaeda, and their affiliates. Like it or not, this is the logic of war. If one side refuses a truce, the other side cannot be expected to unilaterally cease fire and expose themselves and their civilians to undefended attacks.

Rather than take responsibility, the U.S. then went on the information warfare offensive, conveniently sidestepping the fact that its own failure justified the renewed offensive. Instead, it focused on allegations that the Russians and Syrians targeted civilians in eastern Aleppo, in the vain hope that moral outrage would be enough to demonize Russia and Syria... and make them stop? By doing so, the Americans also conveniently deflected attention from their own double standards, hypocrisy, and deliberate omissions and falsifications.


New York Times whitewashes al-Qaeda, accuses Russia of deliberate murder in Aleppo

Max Fisher: NYT/Al-Qaeda propagandist.
I took time out from reading the news on the war on Syria to read the latest piece of fiction in the New York Times, this one woven together by Max Fisher, who provocatively titled it "Russia's Brutal Bombing of Aleppo May Be Calculated, and It May Be Working".

Max was just getting warmed up with the title, launching into a full-frontal assault on Russia, accusing it of deliberately murdering civilians in Aleppo in order to discredit the so-called opposition, scuttle the last remaining hopes of diplomacy, and, if not win the war, then at least prolong it endlessly.

Fisher then takes us on his magic carpet ride of delusion, telling us that so-called "moderate" rebels have had to turn to extremists or starve and that the US has genuinely tried to convince these moderates to separate from the extremists:
The northern Syrian city is one of the few remaining strongholds for non-jihadist rebel groups. But months of siege forced them into a terrible choice: turn to extremists for help, or starve. It was no choice at all, and groups such as the jihadist-linked Ahrar al-Sham helped briefly break the siege in August...

The United States has tried to counteract this by persuading rebels to reject jihadists, in part by promising support for the opposition and by targeting jihadist militants.
Fisher is well advised not to elaborate on who the rebel groups are who control east Aleppo, as it will reveal it is the Jihadist hardliners who run the show there.