Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:45 UTC
Many people knew the real reason for the scramble for Iraq, but do they know the reason for the scramble for Syria? And what about Russia? Is Putin fighting a purely ideological war against terrorists and helping Russia's long-term ally Assad to stay in power? Is that reason enough to launch modern Russia's first-ever large-scale military deployment abroad?
In an October 2015 essay, I outlined the realpolitik behind the war in Syria at that time. It was then, and still is, all about natural resources, specifically oil and especially natural gas. Intricately linked to the development of these two resources, and to the future configuration of the world economy, is Eurasian integration and the 'new Silk Road', i.e. a network of land links between Asia and Europe (more about that below).
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 23:16 UTC
Continuing our coverage of the Mosul offensive (see: Iraq Launches Major Op to Retake Daesh-held Mosul), the U.S. coalition envoy Brett McGruk says the "steady advance towards Mosul" is continuing. The combined forces of the Iraqi army, Kurds, and PMU are reaching their objectives ahead of schedule, despite some losses on all sides (including a Daesh military commander, Dwud Abdul Wahab, and a Kurdish commander, Fahmi Mohamed Qadir). Despite the fact that most Daesh fighters have already left the city, Obama still says "Mosul will be a difficult fight, and there will be advances and there will be setbacks." We guess that means the coalition will drop a few bombs here and there and pretend they're facing massive resistance on the ground. But there's a point to such rhetoric. Obama is talking up the Mosul offensive in advance of creating 'facts on the ground' through US participation in the offensive itself. The point being, if the US is directly involved in or has a controlling stake in the operation, it will be in a position to influence the future geopolitical game of competing oil and gas pipelines that this entire conflict and ISIS is all about.
The Kurdish Peshmerga cleared nine villages (200 square kilometers), moving the front line 8km closer to Mosul, Iraqi troops retook Nimrud and recaptured 50+ oil wells, and coalition jets hit 17 targets (destroying four explosive-rigged vehicles), the main obstacle being booby traps and "suicide bomber trucks" - vehicles packed with explosives that some brainwashed jihadi deliberately drives towards enemy troops before detonation. One Peshmerga major told AP his fighters are afraid to step out of their vehicles due to the dangers. While the Kurds agreed not to enter Mosul itself, they have apparently been given permission to retain control of the villages they liberate. The spoils of war...
Meanwhile, despite all their bluster, the Turks still haven't involved themselves in the operations. I guess that means Erdogan plans to move to "Plan B", whatever that is.
Iraq Launches Major Op to Retake Daesh-held Mosul - Baghdadi Escapes in Nick of Time! - Suicide Attack Kills 70+ Iraqi Troops
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 15:20 UTC
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?
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 16:00 UTC
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
Download: OGG, MP3
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:00 UTC
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
Download: OGG, MP3
Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:17 UTC
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...
The Truth Perspective: Thirty-plus years of Visas for Al-Qaeda: Interview with J. Michael Springmann
Sun, 09 Oct 2016 16:00 UTC
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
Download: OGG, MP3
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 14:00 UTC
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
Download: OGG, MP3
Thu, 06 Oct 2016 22:58 UTC
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.
Thu, 06 Oct 2016 21:13 UTC