ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Twit Facing Lawsuit Over Aiding and Abetting ISIS

twit centralRevived lawsuit says Twitter DMs are like handing ISIS a satellite phone

the verge

 

A long-standing lawsuit holding Twitter responsible for the rise of ISIS got new life today, as plaintiffs filed a revised version of the complaint that was struck down earlier this month. In the new complaint, the plaintiffs argue Twitter’s Direct Message service is akin to providing ISIS with physical communications equipment like a radio or a satellite phone.

It’s the plaintiffs’ third attempt, after two previous complaints were struck down by the judge. In each instance, the judge gave the plaintiffs 20 days to file a new complaint responding to the reasoning of the dismissal.

The latest complaint is largely the same as the one filed in January, but a few crucial differences will be at the center of the court’s response. The complaint still centers around David Shields, a military contractor killed in Jordan by an ISIS-linked attack, but now Shields’ family is joined by the family of James Damon Creach, a fellow contractor who was killed in the same attack.

The plaintiffs also offer new arguments for why Twitter might be held responsible for the attack. In the dismissal earlier this month, District Judge William Orrick faulted the plaintiffs for not articulating a case for why providing access to Twitter’s services constituted material aid to ISIS. “Apart from the private nature of Direct Messaging, plaintiffs identify no other way in which their Direct Messaging theory seeks to treat Twitter as anything other than a publisher of information provided by another information content provider,” the ruling reads. At the same time, the judge found that the privacy of those direct messages “does not remove the transmission of such messages from the scope of publishing activity.”

The new complaint includes some language that might address that concern, explicitly comparing Twitter to other material communication tools. “Giving ISIS the capability to send and receive Direct Messages in this manner is no different than handing it a satellite phone, walkie-talkies or the use of a mail drop,” the new complaint reads, “all of which terrorists use for private communications in order to further their extremist agendas.”

The clearest legal distinction between a Twitter account and a satellite phone comes from the Safe Harbor clause, which generally protects service providers from liability for data hosted on their network. After the earlier dismissal, Brookings Institute scholar Benjamin Witters argued against protecting Twitter under the Safe Harbor clause, claiming that the current reasoning would also protect companies that actively offer services in support of terrorists. It remains to be seen whether that argument will find favor with the court.

In a post earlier this month, Twitter claimed to have suspended 235,000 accounts over a six-month period for connections to violent extremism. Reached by The Verge, the company declined to comment.

Russia Took Credit For Killing ISIS Spokesman and the Pentagon Is Pissed

US doubts Russia’s claim it killed ISIS spokesman

siouxland

Up to 40 ISIS militants killed by a Russian bomber

Russia said one of its airstrikes in Syria killed ISIS spokesman Mohammad al-Adnani — a claim that a US official called preposterous.

On Wednesday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced it killed the terror leader on the ministry’s official Facebook page. It said Adnani was one of up to 40 ISIS militants killed by a Russian bomber in Aleppo province.

But a US defense official slammed Russia’s assertion.–[Claim that Russian Airstrike Killed IS Spokesman is ‘Garbage’]

“It would be laughable but for the very real humanitarian suffering Russia has inflicted,” the defense official said Wednesday. “We stand by the statement we made yesterday. We conducted a strike that targeted al-Adnani. We are assessing the results of that strike.”

On Tuesday, ISIS announced Adnani’s death in a rare public statement. His death marks the highest-profile killing yet of an ISIS member.

A key deputy to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he was floated to be his successor should anything happen to Baghdadi.

A statement from ISIS’ Amaq news agency on Tuesday said Adnani died while inspecting military operations in the area of Aleppo. ISIS has not revealed his cause of death and said it was “determined to seek revenge” for the killing.

“After a journey filled with sacrifice and fight against non-believers, the Syrian Gallant knight, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, joined the convoy of martyr leaders,” ISIS said.

“To the filthy and coward nonbelievers and to the holders of the Christ emblem, we bring the good news, which will keep them awake, that a new generation in the Islamic State … that loves death more than life … this generation will only grow steadfast on the path to Jihad, stay determined to seek revenge and be violent toward them.”

‘Significant blow’

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Tuesday that while the results of the US-led coalition’s airstrike against Adnani were not clear, his “removal from the battlefield would mark another significant blow to ISIS.”

“Al-Adnani has served as principal architect of ISIS’ external operations and as ISIS’ chief spokesman. He has coordinated the movement of ISIS fighters, directly encouraged lone-wolf attacks on civilians and members of the military and actively recruited new ISIS members. The U.S. military will continue to prioritize and relentlessly target ISIS leaders and external plotters in order to defend our homeland, our allies and our partners, while we continue to gather momentum in destroying ISIL’s parent tumor in Iraq and Syria and combat its metastases around the world.”

More than a spokesman

As spokesman, Adnani was the group’s most prominent face, the first to announce the ISIS caliphate even before Baghdadi did.

But he was much more than a spokesman, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.

Adnani was well-known for ordering operatives to attack countries participating in the coalition against ISIS. Western intelligence believes he had command responsibility for the November 2015 Paris attacks.

He is believed to have carried out those orders as one of the ISIS leaders overseeing its security service, known as Amniyat, which includes the external operations unit tasked with international attacks on the West. As such, the external operations unit reported up to Adnani.

A number of ISIS followers and members captured and questioned in the last two years, including French jihadists Faiz Bouchrane and Reda Hame, have attested to Adnani as head of the Amniyat.

“In some ways he’s a more dangerous figure than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, because he’s believed to be overseeing the external operations division of ISIS, and that’s the part of ISIS which threatens the West, which carried out the attacks in Paris, which could one day carry out an attack in the US on a significant scale,” Cruickshank said.

First to declare ISIS caliphate

Adnani has been with ISIS since its beginnings and was close to Baghdadi, CNN’s Nic Robertson said. In June 2014, he was the first to declare a caliphate for parts of Syria and Iraq, indicating ISIS’ aim to become a governing entity and not just a terrorist group.

Born in Syria in 1977, Adnani was the most senior Syrian in ISIS, a trait that some analysts say may have counted against him in a leadership bid among the Iraqi-led terror group.

The US State Department officially labeled Adnani a terrorist in August 2014 and put a $5 million bounty on his head. It described him as “the official spokesman for and a senior leader” of ISIS, a position he obtained after becoming one of the first foreign fighters to oppose US-led forces in Iraq.

He was arrested in May 2005 in Anbar province and is believed to have spent some time between 2005 and 2010 at the US detention facility Camp Bucca.

After his arrival in Syria, he was appointed deputy of Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq for the northern province, then as the security leader before assuming a key role in external operations for ISIS, according to the UN Security Council.

‘Crush their heads with rocks’

“He was the mouthpiece of ISIS. He said things like, ‘If you can’t shoot them, then stab them, and if you can’t stab them, then crush their heads with rocks. If you can’t do that, then drive your cars, your vehicles, to kill them,” Robertson said.

“He absolutely tried to maximize every opportunity to instill fear in Syria and Iraq and the international community and send fighters overseas to attack.”

Adnani said ISIS supporters in the West had a religious duty to launch lone-wolf attacks, a move analysts call a game changer that may have inspired attacks in North America, Europe and Australia.

“He was the strategic leader of the organization, especially when it comes to attacks on the West,” said journalist Graeme Wood, Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “To have that voice destroyed is a serious blow to the organization, probably the most significant kill that the enemies of the Islamic State have perpetrated since its declaration of the caliphate.”

Doctors ‘too scared to tell Karimov he’s dead’

Doctors ‘too scared to tell Uzbek despot he’s dead’

times london.svg

Uzbek authorities insist that President Karimov, 78, is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage Natruskin/Reuters

Is Islam Karimov, the ruthless dictator who has ruled Uzbekistan for 25 years, dead or alive?

Uzbek authorities insist that President Karimov, 78, is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering a brain haemorrhage at the weekend, reportedly after drinking vodka toasts to the country’s Olympic medallists.

Yet a host of well-informed regional experts and analysts, citing insider sources, are equally adamant that Mr Karimov is dead. Analysts are concerned that his death could trigger instability in Uzbekistan, a mainly Muslim country of 32 million people that borders Afghanistan.

“It’s a fact,” Daniil Kislov, editor of the well-respected Ferghana

US Loses-Out On Attempt To Arrest Russian In Armenia, Mironov Released To Fly Home

[Armenia Follows American Orders To Arrest Young Russian IT/Video Tech For Gun-Running]

Russian citizen released from detention in Armenia plans to return home tomorrow

public radio armenia

Russian citizen Sergei Mironov, who was detained in Armenia following a request by the United States and later released, will return to his home country on August 31, his lawyer Karen Nersesyan said Tuesday.

On Saturday, Mironov, 33, was detained in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. US authorities suspect Mironov of laundering $50,000 and of an illegal technology transfer.

“Mironov has a round-trip ticket. He has a return ticket for tomorrow, for August 31. If the prosecutor’s office does not summon him, we will leave for Russia,” Nersesyan told RIA Novosti, adding that no summons has been received so far.

On Monday, the court denied the request of the prosecutor’s office for Mironov’s provisional detention. The prosecutor’s office may file an appeal against the court ruling within five days.

Africa`s First Coltan Processing Plant – Lies, Betrayal and Genocide

Bisie Mine, congo
Africa`s First Coltan Processing Plant – Lies,  Betrayal and Genocide

african perspective

by africanagenda.net

untitled

image-Skulls & skeletons in Bogoro, Orientale Province, DRC. Photo: c. keith harmon snow 2007.

It has been confirmed that by next year Rwanda will become the first African state to process coltan on an industrial scale. Canadian AB Minerals Corporation will be undertaking the venture in partnership with the Rwandan goverment. The following are excerpts from the article on cnbcafrica that broke this news.   http://www.cnbcafrica.com/news/east-africa/2016/08/24/africa%E2%80%99s-first-coltan-separation-plant-to-be-built-in-rwanda/

“Rwanda is currently the largest exporter of Coltan, providing 50% of tantalum worldwide. Coltan is a mineral dull metal that is a combination of columbite and tantalite, refined for the production of tantalum”. [ an essential component of computers and cell phones]

Rwanda does not have  reserves of coltan. All the coltan that it has been exporting is from Kivu in the Eastern Congo. This is one of the most war-torn regions in the world. Since 1996 between 8-11 million people have lost their lives in an on-going scene of murder. How is it that Rwanda fares so well with its coltan exports when the area from where it is mined,  is a scene of chaos?

Because since 1996 the Congo has been occupied by the governments of its neighbours – Rwanda and Uganda. These countries in compliance with their proxy government in Kinshasa lead by Joseph Kabila, have infiltrated and manipulated  Congolese establishments and institutions, primarily the military. Congo functions for the benefit of its political elite and that of Rwanda and Uganda.

Many cottage industries and small companies and mining cooperatives, which represent nearly 80% of minors in the country, will be able, for the first time, to directly sell their minerals to a local foundry instead of agents,” says -he. (Frank Balestra, CEO of AB Minerals Corp)

“The reason most African mineral resources are exported in the raw state is the low level of industrialization in the local area. Bringing  coltan treatment  directly to the region will raise the country’s industrialization and the mining industry in Rwanda and East Africa. “

The coltan mines are not in Rwanda or East Africa. The mines are in the Congo. This is typical of the lies from the mainstream media.

The excerpt above misleads you to think of unindustrialized Africa, small scale/artisanal mining operations conducted by hand. That is not the case. Nor is it the case that local communities will benefit from this enterprise. Most of the local communities are already dead.

The following is from a journalist, Keith Harmon Snow, who has spent several years on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo :

Similarly, there is also no mention by Reuters of the vast tracts of mineral-rich land that have been stolen and cleared of Congolese people by western mining companies like Banro Gold Corporation [5], Metallurg [6],l Casa Minerals [7], or Alphamin [8], the western mining firm that has captured massive concessions in North Kivu……

There are allegations that Mai Mai Cheka [warlord] has colluded with Alphamin Resources Corporation to terrorize and displace artisanal Congolese miners.[22] Meanwhile, several of the concessions stolen from Congolese people by Alphamin remain under ‘Force Majeure’ — a formal declaration, agreed to by the Congolese government in Kinshasa, establishing that the mining operations cannot proceed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Alphamin Resources Corporation is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and staffed with all white directors from North America, Europe and South Africa. Alphamin controls vast tracts of North Kivu, mining concessions rich with tin, gold, coltan and copper, the largest of which is the Bisie Mine.[23] The foreign control would not be possible without first neutralizing and/or eliminating the Congolese landowners. Western mining companies achieve pacification and land control by any means necessary.

Thousands of Congolese artisanal miners have suffered loss of livelihood or life due to the occupation of large mining concessions by Alphamin, and the concomitant pacification of the communities through direct violence. Artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin mining operations, and Cheka forces have attacked artisanal mining camps, and artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin operations after being themselves attacked by Cheka forces (that they believe to be aligned with Alphamin).[24]

“Of course, many local miners have to leave their communities since those big companies come with papers and authorizations from Kinshasa.” The unnamed Congolese official has visited many Kivu mining areas over the past 20 years. “In North Kivu it is Mining Processing of Congo, and just like with Banro Gold in Twangiza in South Kivu: they claim the right to receive ‘security’ assured by FARDC.”[25] (FARDC are the Congolese Military Forces)

Source: http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2015/06/war-without-end-in-central-africa-1

 The conflict in the DRC is presented as confusing- who is killing who and who are the good guys and who are the bad guys and are the guys who started out good, now run by the bad guys.There are over  10 names of fighting factions in Kivu. But in reality the majority of these groups are a name changing game where a group is re-branded and presented as the new threat after the` good `guys have defeated the  bad .  This is a British military tactic of counter-insurgency which was written about in 1960 in a book titled Gangs and Counter Gangs by General Sir Frank Kitson who describes the British infiltration of the Mau-Mau during the Kenyan rebellion.

Source : UK Column News 25 July https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKaB9ETViOO

discussion on UK defence strategy starts at 40:59

The same tactics are being used today in Syria with the re-branding of terrorist militias who were originally created, trained and funded by the CIA and British Intelligence. Source: http://21stcenturywire.com/

As is the case in Syria,  Western backed `humanitarian` NGOs produce propaganda and lies for the press and deceive the Western public into supporting humanitarian interventions ; the same is happening in the Congo.Hollywood film stars act for the billionaire `philanthropists` who fund the US State Department and its War Machine.

Source: http://www.nancybanksmd.com/index.php/articles/121-africa/571-george-clooney-the-new-pretty-face-for-more-genocide-on-the-african-continent

The Rwandan coltan processing plant is the culmination of 25 years of political machinations that have had one primary goal. That goal is the annexation of Kivu by Rwanda and the balkanization of the largest and most -resources rich country on Earth whose people are officially the second poorest nation . The estimated un-tapped wealth of the Congo stands at $24 trillion.That figure does not include revenue from agriculture, water or hydro-electric which has the potential to provide power for all of southern Africa and to be the continent`s bread basket.

President Mobutu Sese Seko who was placed in power by foreign hands after the assassination of the country`s first and last genuinely democratically elected leader – Patrice Lumumba- was famous for saying : “Apres moi,La Deluge.” ( After me, The Flood.)He was spot-on.

Rwanda has been used as an axis of control and the conduit for for the privatization of Congo`s resources.Rwandan President Paul Kagame is a puppet of the financial cabal who operate from Westminster and Washington. The extractive industries whether they are Canadian or Australian are all satellite corporations for the City of London and invariably directly linked to the Rothschild family.

The Rothschilds also control BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, the two biggest global miners, as well as Royal Dutch/Shell, BP and Bank of America …..Anglo-American is the world’s third largest mining company. It is controlled by the Rothschilds and South Africa’s Oppenheimer family. It owns both Engelhardt – which enjoys a near monopoly in global gold refining – and the DeBeers diamond monopoly. [ Source: https://hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/the-house-of-rothschild/]

The sheer horror of Congo`s last years are mirrored in other African states such as Somalia and The Sudan. There is a pattern of genocide by warlords, mass starvation and `humanitarian` occupation by the UN. The Sudan has already been balkanized and the phony state South Sudan  was officially recognized in 2011.

Within days of declaring itself a sovereign nation, South Sudan’s state oil company, Nilepet formed a joint venture with Glencore International Plc to market its oil. Glencore is controlled by the Rothschilds. The PetroNile joint venture will be 51 percent controlled by Nilepet and 49 percent by Glencore. Source: https://hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/rothschilds-glencore-south-sudan-oil-grab/

Somalia has also been balkanized with the formation of phony Somaliland and Puntland, both strategic oil-rich regions.

In 2011 Herman Cohen gave an interview which outlined the agenda for the Congo. In the interview he predicted that Kivu would be annexed by Rwanda. Herman Cohen does not have a crystal ball, he is a part of the System – the financial criminal empire.

APARECO is the largest Congolese political party outside of the DRC. It has been documenting Congo`s occupation since 1996. In their Political Declaration they attest to the US Government`s role in the Congo. The following is an automatic translation from French :

The statements of Mr. Herman Cohen, former American Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs, made in 2011, affirming that “the American State Department already considered the Kivu as being part of Rwanda.” These words of Mr. Cohen were supported by a confidential note from the American Embassy in Kinshasa relayed by Wikileaks confirming that “the American diplomatic mission is in the process of identifying those who are for or against this theory (of the Balkanization) that the United States is listed among those who support the aggressors of the DRC and that American interests are supposed to support the efforts of Rwanda to annex Kivu and monopolize the resources of the region. »

In November 2012, some diplomats at the UN as well as a part of the international press reported undeniable acquaintances and even some proven duplicities between senior officials of the Obama administration and the Rwandese government.

Also, during the debates in the Security Council, Susan Rice and Mr. Anthony Lake, member of the National Security Council and former head of the CIA, have never hidden the American administration’s position in favor of the regime of Paul Kagame.

 In fact, Madam Rice has more than once blocked or delayed the publication of the report of UN experts describing, with great details, the support of the Rwanda to militias operating in the Kivu , in the sole purpose of preventing Paul Kagame and his regime to be explicitly accused by the Security Council . And in his article of December 10, 2012, journalist Helene Cooper of The New York Times explained the existence of a conflict of interest because Susan Rice had Paul Kagame as a “client” when she worked for the firm for strategic intelligence “intelligence” at the same time as Anthony Lake.

Johnnie Carson, another former American Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs had thrown a big spanner in the works before The Brookings Institute in February 2013 affirming that the recipes of peace applied in Yugoslavia and Sudan should also be applied in the DRC (sic).

 Finally in 2007, French President Nicolas Sarkozy , in his turn made a troubling statement supporting the thesis of the balkanization of the DRC saying that ” Rwanda is the country with the dynamic demography and has a small area while the issue of DRC is of being a country of vast size and the strange organization of border wealth. How , in this region of world , we share space, resources are shared and we agree to understand that geography has its rules , that countries rarely change addresses and must learn to live side by side to the others? “

For APARECO , it is obvious that all these statements and allusions made by senior American and European politicians who have had to hold high responsibility in treating burning issues such as the multiform conflicts of African Great Lakes , reveal unequivocally the active complicity of the West in the plot in place for balkanization of DR Congo.

Source :http://apareco-rdc.com/index.php/83-nouvelles/la-resistance-en-marche/1927-declaration-politique-de-l-apareco.html

The final strategy of chaos and lies

( see books by Patrick Mbeko  –Stratégie du chaos et du mensonge: Poker menteur en Afrique des Grands Lacs https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strat%C3%A9gie-chaos-mensonge-menteur-Afrique/dp/2981491008 )

is to replace the now de- populated Eastern congo with foreign nationals who will have an allegiance to the Tutsi government of Rwanda. The Tutsi elite consider themselves Semitic but in an extremist manner that mirrors the Zionist elite of the Israeli government and that of prominent financiers and political figures in America. Paul Kagame has recently done a deal with Benjamin Netanyahu. Rwanda will be paid to take in unwanted African Jews from racist Israel. These immigrants  will replace the depleted population of Kivu.

The following in bold is automatic translation :

On the other hand, the presence of the Falashas in Kivu would serve as a political cover for the Rwandan occupation will be sidelined. Car, sous l’influence des lobbies juifs internationaux, toutes les actions de revendication et de résistance de la part des Congolais contre l’occupation de leurs terres seront présentées au monde comme étant la manifestation de l’antisémitisme primaire qui entraineraient des sanctions des Nations Unies! For under the influence of international Jewish lobbies, all industrial action and resistance from the Congolese people against the occupation of their lands will be presented to the world as the manifestation of primary anti-Semitism that would result in United Nations Sanctions! On verrait alors le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU très hypocritement pour cautionner la balkanisation qui en résulterait de toutes ces manœuvres méphistophéliques, prendre des résolutions pour créer des zones tampons entre le reste de la RDC et la partie balkanisée en arguant vouloir protéger la sécurité des Falachas qui serait gravement menacée par des Congolais. We then see the UN Security Council to endorse hypocritically Balkanization that would result from these mephistophelic maneuvers, pass resolutions to create buffer zones between the rest of the DRC and the balkanized part by arguing wanting to protect the safety the Falashas would be seriously threatened by the Congolese. Et, selon un scénario désormais classique, quelques années plus tard, le même Conseil de sécurité sanctionnerait définitivement par résolution, l’autodétermination des pans entiers du territoire national occupés. And, according to a now classic scenario, a few years later, the same Security Council sanction by finally solving, self-determination of large parts of the occupied territory. On assistera alors à l’émergence soit d’une fédération ou d’une confédération entre le Rwanda et le (nouveau) « pays des Falachas » soit encore à l’émiettement voire la disparition pure et simple de l’actuelle RDC réduite en portion congrue du fait des sécessions successives proclamées çà et là par les différentes provinces, sous la pulsion des mêmes lobbies mafieux. There will then be the emergence of a federation or confederation between Rwanda and the (new) “country of Falashas” is still in the crumbling even the complete disappearance of the current DRC reduced portion congruous because of the successive secessions proclaimed here and there by the provinces, under the impulse of the same mafia lobbies.

http://apareco-rdc.com/index.php/a-la-une/le-fil-de-linfo/2869-l-installation-des-falachas-ou-des-juifs-noirs-au-kivu-quelles-consequences-pour-la-rdc.html

Now That We Are Looking Elsewhere, the Invasion of Central Asia Can Get Underway

ABADAN AMMO DUMP EXP

Manufacturing Justification for the NATO Takeover of Central Asia–Smashing Greater Central Asia – (Part One)–July 21, 2011

Smashing Greater Central Asia—Part II

Smashing Greater Central Asia—Part III, Phantom Threats

Smashing Greater Central Asia – (Part IV)–Smashing Systematically

 


Token Blast At Security Gate To Chinese Embassy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Various Media Report the Death of Islam Karimov, President of Uzbekistan
Armenia Follows American Orders To Arrest Young Russian IT/Video Tech For Gun-RunningAug 28, 2016
Four people allegedly plotting terror attacks detained in Kazakhstan
–August 23, 2016
Kazakhstan: Security Services Claim More Terror Plots Quashed–August 22, 2016, “detained members of the group, who are citizens of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
US Ready to Cooperate With Kazakhstan on Anti-Terror Operations–August 18, 2016

Token Blast At Security Gate To Chinese Embassy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Chinese embassy blast: Car bomb attack in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

[This seems to be the only video of the attack which wasn’t disabled by someone.]

Blast

Chinese embassy shook after a powerful explosion took place in the southern part of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

terpos2
[The only apparent damage to the Chinese Embassy from 6-7 kg. of dynamite.  Casualties…one dead bomber…two wounded teenage groundskeepers.]

 

Various Media Report the Death of Islam Karimov, President of Uzbekistan

islam karimovPresident of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has died — the media

its ukraine

In Tashkent on 29 August 2016 on 79 year of life has died the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, who ruled the country for over 26 years.

The death of Islam Karimov, according to news Agency «Fergana», came in at 15-16 hours Tashkent time (13.30 CET).

No information from the official authorities of Uzbekistan on this account has not yet been reported.

As reported, on the morning of 27 August, Islam Karimov suffered a stroke.

«In order to avoid misunderstandings here on the page I want to tell you about the sad events that occurred in our family with my father last weekend. Because of the brain hemorrhage, which happened on Saturday morning he was hospitalized and is in intensive care unit. His condition is estimated as stable», — noted the politician’s daughter Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva.

On admission Karimov said yesterday the Cabinet of Ministers. The report stated that the President of Uzbekistan «in-patient treatment».

Uzbekistan is unusual to talk about the health problems of the leader. The state television of Uzbekistan has reported on the hospitalization of President for the first time in its history.

Chief editor of the portal «Fergana.<url>, expert for Central Asia Daniel Karimov, told, who can become a receiver of the President of Uzbekistan: «the Authoritarianism of the state will crumble. A successor will have no problems. He has long defined».

«My version is that the future of the Uzbek leader is the current Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Shavkat mirzijaev. It is close to the President’s family and has the highest position in the elite groups. However, if the change of ruler will be held in accordance with the Constitution, the President will be the Chairman of the Senate of Uzbekistan, and it is non-public and unknown political figure,» he added.

Recall that in September 2015, a well-known Uzbek political scientist Usman people. said that Islam Karimov has named its successor. This is his younger daughter Lola.

Pak Media Plays “Mullah Rasoul” Game, Just Like They Played “Mullah Baradar” Game Before Him

[SEE: Pakistan Arrests Mullah Rasoul After He Outs CIA/ISI Taliban Mansour ; US Claims Proof of Indian Pathankot Base Attackers Linked To Dadullah Group ; Dadulluh’s Nephew Assumes Reins of Breakaway Mahaaz-e-Dadullah Faction ]

Breakaway Taliban faction mired in uncertainty

express tribune

https://i2.wp.com/www.khaama.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Mullah-Rasool.jpgThe group’s chief Mullah Rasool is thought by some to have been arrested inside Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: A breakaway faction of the Afghan Taliban is struggling to survive due to the uncertain fate of its chief, Mullah Muhammad Rasool.

Rasool was arrested in Pakistan after he fled infighting in the southern and western parts of Afghanistan,  in March this year.

Mullah Abdul Rahman Niazi, a spokesman for the rebel group, confirmed last week that Rasool had been missing. Niazi, who now lives somewhere near Kabul and is accessible to the Afghan media, had earlier denied such reports.

Pajhwok news agency had quoted Niazi as saying that his splinter group has appointed Mullah Abdul Rauf Arif as the new chief last week. However, Niazi later dismissed the report as false.

Arif, a former governor of Khost, is among the few Taliban, who have not yet declared allegiance to Haibatullah. Another leader, who is known by the name of Ghazi, is also associated with the breakaway faction, a Taliban leader says.  He is of the view that the remaining dissident leaders are reluctant to declare support for Haibatullah.

Taliban loyal to Haibatullah claim that the Afghan security establishment fully supports the rebel group, a charge the dissidents deny.

The rebel group faced a major blow this month when its deputy Maulvi Baz Muhammad quit and declared allegiance to Haibatullah.  He was one of the few prominent dissident leaders who had refused to support Mullah Akhtar Mansoor until his death in May and Habiatullah.

In a series of interviews, Niazi claimed that former deputy foreign minister Mullah Abdul Jalil and Anwarul Haq Mujahid, son of senior former Mujahideen leader Maulvi Younas Khalis, are part of the dissidents. However, both had rejected Niazi’s claims. Jalil had supported Mansoor days before he was killed in a US drone strike.

Taliban suicide bombers kill 27, wound 40 in attack on Afghan police

The anti-Haibatullah Taliban faced another setback when the father and brother of Mansoor Dadullah declared support for Haibatullah that ended another breakaway faction – the Dadullah Mahaz (Front). Dadullah led the group until his death in late November last year, when fighters loyal to Mansoor attacked him in Zabul.

A section of the media had reported this month that the Dadullah had appointed Mullah Emdadullah Mansoor, nephew of Mansoor Dadullah, as the new leader of the faction. However, the group’s spokesman, Rehbarmal told The Express Tribune that he does not know Emadullah and that now the father, brother and family of Mansoor Dadullah support Haibatullah.

Another Taliban leader said Emadullah is not the nephew of Mansoor Dadullah.

Haji Abdullah, father of Mansoor Dadullah and his son, Mullah Ehsan, said in a video message said their family supports Haibatullah and that they have no relations with any other group and all claims are baseless.

Escalating Threats and Choosing Sides In the S. China Sea

[Yesterday’s threat came from the Chinese/Pakistani side, delivered by another “Expert”, predicting “united steps” to any hostility which jeopardizes the CPEC project (China, Pakistan may counter any Indian disruption to CPEC). Considering the ongoing provocations by the US Navy in the S. China Sea, and the following report on the relocation of US forces, China may be giving some serious thought to some sort of military preemption right now.]

“The U.S. Navy plans to deploy 60 percent of its surface ships in the Indo-Pacific in the near future. “

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India in June. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)

Around August 30, in Washington, India and the U.S. will sign a major war pact that makes them logistical allies against, among others, the superpower China currently making a bold power grab in the South China Sea.

Specifically, Indian Defense Mister Manohar Parrikar will sign the deal during a two-day visit in Washington. The deal is the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), a foundational agreement for India and the U.S..  In this instance, the agreement provides for each to use the other globally for supplies, spare parts, services and refueling.  Effectively, U.S. armed forces can operate out of Indian bases, and vice versa, on a simple basis.

For the U.S., this is part of the “pivot” to Asia intended by President Obama to meet a rising China. The U.S. Navy plans to deploy 60 percent of its surface ships in the Indo-Pacific in the near future.  Instead of having to build facilities virtually from the ground up, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. has the benefit of simple arrangements for the tremendous Indian facilities.

For Prime Minister Modi, it is a major step for India away from its Cold War alliance with Russia, toward a new alliance with the U.S. (and Japan and Australia) to protect the Indian Ocean and the seas off Southeast Asia, especially from China. India remains on hostile terms with China from border disputes dating back to a war in the 1960s.  And, the gigantic engines of their economies are, for the most part, rivals.

For both the U.S. and India, LEMOA responds to the powerful challenge of Xi Jinping’s artificial islands – with air bases — in the South China Sea. It may also matter against the common enemy of the U.S. and India in radical jihadists.

For example, ISIS recently carried out a terror bombing in Bangladesh. What if ISIS got a substantial ground effort going, not as much as their “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, but on the substantial scale of their effort in Egyptian Sinai and Libya?  Having LEMOA makes it much simpler for American naval and air forces to fight there.  The U.S. does not have actual bases in India.  But, it has the next best thing – a simple way to use India’s bases.

LEMOA is the key way-station on agreements still to come of military technology sharing of tremendous importance for India, again, primarily to help it stand up to the emerging superpower of China. One upcoming deal is the Communications and Information Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA).  Another, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Intelligence (BECA).

With prior pacts, thru LEMOA, ultimately to CISMOA and BECA, India increasingly can either buy (and use), from the U.S or others, or make itself, top-of-the-line technology for its air force and navy to stand up to China’s, particularly in the Indian Ocean. Pakistan, it must not be forgotten, is making itself a base for Beijing’s forces to operate in its region. Modi has made India a tremendous buyer of advanced weaponry.  The U.S. is by far the world’s largest seller of weapons.

There are prior deals and policies here. The U.S. recognized India as a Major Defense Partner.  It brought India into the Missile Technology Control Regime.  Among other aspects, the various deals expedite India obtaining the keys to the kingdom, namely, licenses for top U.S. defense technology.  In other words, U.S. contractors are getting, through LEMOA as through prior deals, a much better launching pad from which to sell many billions of dollars of top-of-the-line armament to India.  Conversely, India often requires a degree of coproduction domestically, so LEMOA and other deals will help India grow as a gigantic weapons dealer itself, selling to the rest of the world.

All these arms matter in many friction points. Take the nasty Islamist terrorist organization, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM).  Pakistan’s powerful and dangerous intelligence arm, ISI, uses JEM against India, but it is also among a group of organizations backed by ISI that the U.S. considers a U.S. enemy, too.  JEM’s chief is Masood Azhar.   India tried unsuccessfully to tag Azhar at the United Nations as a terrorist.  Who blocked it?  China.  So while the South China Sea may seem far off from India, China is breathing down India’s neck, up close and personal

The U.S. did not make the bellicose move in the South China Sea. Xi Jinping did.  There are many downsides to an arms races.  But if we do not move, we lose. We have little choice but to play catchup.

US Claims Proof of Indian Pathankot Base Attackers Linked To Dadullah Group

[By identifying the anti-Mansour faction, the Mullah Dadullah Group as the Pathankot attackers, the US has taken another step towards giving Pakistan an easy out (as it lays the blame onto the Taliban group which opposes Pakistan), and provided the Pak Army another path which conveniently leads to potentially successful peace talks in Afghanistan (SEE:  US Drone Killing of Mansour Made Taliban Unification Possible, For Good Or For Bad).]

Pathankot attack: US gives new information on Pakistan hand

times of india

(File photo of Pathankot Air Force base)
(File photo of Pathankot Air Force base)

NEW DELHI: Even as the NIA is examining the option of filing a chargesheet against Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar in the Pathankot terror attack case, the US has handed over proof confirming that the strike emanated from Pakistan.

The US has informed the NIA that IP addresses of Facebook accounts of JeM handlers who masterminded the January attack and IP address of the website of the outfit’s financial arm, Al Rahmat Trust, are located in Pakistan. The probe revealed that FB groups accessed by friends of JeM handler Kashif Jaan were related to jihad and JeM and contained photos of the four killed terrorists – Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum.

At the time of the attack, the webpage of Al Rahmat Trust was uploaded on rangonoor.com and alqalamonline.com, which are administrated by one Tariq Siddiqui with a common email for both sites, and its address is in Rafah-e-Aam Society in Malir, Karachi. “The US has confirmed that all these websites and IP addresses originated in Pakistan and these were uploaded around the time of the Pathankot attack,” an official said.

It was found that Jaan was using a FB account connected to the same mobile number which the attackers called from Pathankot after abducting Punjab police SP Salwinder Singh. The terrorists had also called another number in Pakistan connected to the FB account of “Mulla Daadullah”. These accounts were accessed around the time of the attack using IP addresses of Pakistan-based telecom firms (Telenor and Pakistan TeleCommunications Company Ltd).

women opt out of combat units

Pentagon having trouble finding women for combat units

WND.logo.white

More than 9 of 10 want ‘nothing to do with infantry’

FILE - JANUARY 23, 2013: According to reports, Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta has removed the ban on women serving combat roles January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The bans removal was reportedly recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturning a 1994 rule keeping women out of ground combat units. . CAMP DELARAM, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 10:  (SPAIN OUT, FRANCE OUT, AFP OUT)  Sargent Crystal Groves US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II stands in formation during a ceremony for the 235th birthday of the Marines on November 10, 2010 at Camp Delaram in Helmand province, Afghanistan. There are 48 women presently working along the volatile front lines of the war in Afghanistan deployed as the second Female Engagement team participating in a more active role, gaining access where men can't. The women, many who volunteer for the 6.5 month deployment take a 10 week course at Camp Pendleton in California where they are trained for any possible situation, including learning Afghan customs and basic Pashtun language.  (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
FILE – JANUARY 23, 2013: According to reports, Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta has removed the ban on women serving combat roles January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The bans removal was reportedly recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturning a 1994 rule keeping women out of ground combat units.

. CAMP DELARAM, AFGHANISTAN – NOVEMBER 10: (SPAIN OUT, FRANCE OUT, AFP OUT) Sargent Crystal Groves US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II stands in formation during a ceremony for the 235th birthday of the Marines on November 10, 2010 at Camp Delaram in Helmand province, Afghanistan. There are 48 women presently working along the volatile front lines of the war in Afghanistan deployed as the second Female Engagement team participating in a more active role, gaining access where men can’t. The women, many who volunteer for the 6.5 month deployment take a 10 week course at Camp Pendleton in California where they are trained for any possible situation, including learning Afghan customs and basic Pashtun language. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The Pentagon should benefit from the wisdom of the Olympians, according to experts on military policy, and allow men to have certain responsibilities and women others.

After all, the worldwide games every four years have specific competitions like male gymnasts suspending themselves in a “T” between the rings, a stunt demanding “testosterone-powered muscles” that is not expected of women.

The issue is the combat, “tip-of-the-spear” units that the Obama administration now has opened for women, despite the evidence that makes that a questionable decision.

The suggestion comes from the Center for Military Readiness, run by Elaine Donnelly.

She argued against the move when it was proposed, while it was under consideration, and even now, after the Obama administration has adopted it.

And there are problems, she noted.

“Now that their social experiment is under way, Pentagon officials are having trouble finding women who want to participate,” this week’s commentary said.

“The Army’s top enlisted man. Sgt. Maj. Dan Dailey, recently found it necessary to get female non-commissioned officers to ‘step up’ and transfer into combat arms units such as the infantry,” it said, noting the problem could have been seen coming.

“Smart women won’t put their careers and health at disproportionate risk just to prove bogus theories about ‘gender equality,’” the report said.

The CMR report pointed out there’s a clear different between being “in harm’s way,” where women “have served with courage,” and the physically demanding direct ground combat units.

“In an official survey, 92.2 percent of Army women said they wanted nothing to do with the infantry. Last year three women made it through Ranger school after multiple attempts, but more aspirants haven’t shown up since. Another female Marine officer recently became the 30th candidate who failed on the tough Infantry Officer Course, and no more have signed up to try.”

The report continued, “Meanwhile, six of seven female enlisted Marine recruits failed to qualify with sufficient strength, stamina, and running speed for direct ground combat assignments. Their 86 percent failure rate on revised ‘gender-netural’ basic training tests, compare to 3 percent of men who failed, did not meet expectations that hundreds of women soon would qualify for the combat arms.”

It’s unlikely they’ll be given a choice. After all, the military operates on orders, and Navy Secretary Raby Mabus has announced that one-in-four Marine recruits should be women.

The military will focus on physically strong high school girls who are in sports such as wrestling, and they’ll hope for a better result than in 2008. That’s when the Marines launched a similar campaign, and got 1,000 “qualified leads.” But only two of those turned into enlistments, and one already was interested because of her Navy brother, the CMR reported.

And then there are the facts obtained from tests of combat troops, Donnelly’s organization noted.

“In scientifically monitored combat field tests, all-male units outperformed gender-mixed ones 69 percent of the time, and women experienced two- to six-times more injuries,” the report said.

 

Pak Army Nabs 100 TTP In Quetta, But Cannot Find One Afghan Taliban

[Pak Army has no trouble finding 100 TTP Taliban in Quetta to arrest, but they still cannot find even one Afghan Taliban hiding there.]

 

100 Afghan Taliban arrested in Quetta operation

dunya newsDUNYA

The madrassa has also been sealed after the operation.

QUETTA (Dunya News) – At least 100 Afghan nationals belonging to banned Tehreek-i-Taliban group were arrested in an operation carried out by security forces in Quetta s adjoining Eastern Bypass area on Sunday.

According to details, the search operation was conducted in Abdullah bin Zubair madrassa located in Bhosa Mandi area.

The Afghan Taliban who were residing in the madrassa have been shifted to various police station of the metropolis and are under interrogation.

The madrassa has also been sealed after the operation.

Armenia Follows American Orders To Arrest Young Russian IT/Video Tech For Gun-Running

[It looks like the US has grabbed the wrong Mironov to embarrass Russia with, in order to use him as a wedge between Armenia and Moscow.  They probably mistook the young man arrested for the Russian nationalist politician by the same name.]

Миронов СергейSergey-Mironov synesis

Armenia detains Russian citizen after US request

Russian pros detained in Yerevan for the transportation of weapons on US demand

bloknot

Russian pros detained in Yerevan for the transportation of weapons on US demandOleg Mironov accused of money laundering and the transfer of sensitive information, although in the US it was once – in 2013.

In Yerevan airport detained a citizen of the Russian Federation Oleg Mironov. As it turned out, the man wanted the US government and demand his extradition – that information has already confirmed the detainee’s lawyer Karen Nersisyan. With this matter has already taken the Russian Embassy.

Oleg Mironov, 30 years old, he is an expert in the field of IT. Russians arrested in the airport Zvartots next wife was with him, which immediately appealed to the Russian Embassy. According to her, she and her husband came to Armenia to rest. Oleg Mironov headed the department at the Russian-Belarusian company. The woman claims that he was in the United States only once – in 2013 for a week. At Interpol’s website it is not, and the Schengen him recently issued without any problems.

– Husband accused of very serious crimes, and it is only a programmer for a large IT-companies, he is a good citizen, – says Julia. – He is charged with trafficking and transporting weapons and that a money laundering. My husband is installing video analytics company “Synesis” – serves the Moscow Metro, Russian Railways facilities and much more. No relation to the charges, he can not have.

The lawyer Karen Nersisyan is going to meet with his client tomorrow, and while collecting data to convince the court that there is no need to keep the Russians in custody. The meeting is likely to take place as early as Monday.

Earlier it was reported that of the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, located in Cuba, released only Russian prisoner . He stayed in the establishment of 14 years without trial, and in July of this year, management has concluded that it does not threaten US security.

Pak Army Finds No Proof of Its Own Guilt In University Attack–SURPRISE!

rahel-sharef-27-aug-16

Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif has told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that no “technical traces” of telephonic contact between the Kabul university attackers and people on its side of the border could be found, Pakistan media reported.

According to Dawn news, this information was conveyed during a telephone conversation between Ghani and Sharif.

This comes after Ghani said there was credible evidence that the university attack, which claimed the lives of at least 16 people, was planned by insurgents from across the border.

Dawn news reported that a Pakistan security source said the Afghan government shared three mobile phone numbers allegedly operating on the Pakistani side of the border, which it claimed had remained in contact with the attackers.

The report stated that the Pakistani army initiated a combing operation along the Afghanistan- Pakistan border near Chaman to find the suspected persons.

“We searched, but no-one was found during the operation,” the security source told Dawn news.

A Pakistan intelligence agency statement, meanwhile, said: “Our evaluation of the evidence provided and outcome of Combing Operation so far, has shown that all Afghan SIMs used during the attack were from a network owned and operated by an Afghan company whose spillover signal affects some areas along the Pak-Afghan border.”

Pakistani intelligence agencies are, however, continuing with the evaluation of the intelligence shared by Afghanistan after the attack.

Pentagon Has Flooded Iraq and Afghanistan with More Than One Million Guns

[Obama: Global arms dealer-in-chief]

The Pentagon has shipped more than a million small arms to Iraq and Afghanistan’s defense forces

center for public integrity

The quantity of arms contracted for export – worth several billion dollars – is greater than the number of personnel in their security forces and far more than the Pentagon has routinely indicated

AP_479649699267

An Afghan Army soldier picks up his weapon at a training facility in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.  Anja Niedringhaus/AP

The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars since 2001 funneling roughly more than a million assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, and machine guns into Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to fuel lasting conflict there, according to a new report by a London-based nonprofit research and advocacy group Action on Armed Violence.

At least 949,582 of these small arms were given to security forces in Iraq, and at least 503,328 small arms were given to local forces in Afghanistan, the group said. They called this an “under-estimate” based on the information they were able to acquire.

If the figures are correct, the US exports amounted to more than one small arm for each member of Afghanistan’s security forces, which totaled roughly 355,000 soldiers, police, and airmen in February 2015, according to a NATO operational update on the force. The number of armaments sent to Iraq also vastly exceeded the current size of that country’s active military and paramilitaries – 209,000, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 2016 Military Balance report.

Until now, the Pentagon hasn’t published such a tally of its own, so the group’s researchers spent a year scouring multiple databases to arrive at its estimate: a general Pentagon contract list, a government-wide contracting list, and multiple government reports on military spending. They finally calculated that the overall value of the contractually-agreed small arms shipments, just to those two countries, was roughly $2.16 billion.

U.S. intelligence reports and eyewitnesses have previously said that a significant fraction of the U.S.-financed arms were either lost or stolen, and that many wound up in the hands of forces opposed to US interests, including terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, or ISIS.

In 2007, for example, the General Accountability Office said the coalition forces in Iraq could not account for 190,000 U.S.-supplied weapons. A July 2014  audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction sharply criticized the Pentagon for not paying adequate attention to the fate of weaponry sent to Afghanistan, citing rampant discrepancies in records of gun serial numbers and other problems. In many instances over the past two years, U.S.-advised forces in those two countries have engaged in protracted clashes with terrorists equipped with captured caches of U.S. small arms, as well as U.S. tanks, artillery, and armored personnel carriers.

“There are direct and real consequences,” said Iain Overton, a veteran investigative journalist who is the group’s director, including “a destabilized Middle East.” He said Americans believe “that good guys with guns will get rid of bad buys with guns but that system doesn’t work when you throw guns into lawless, anarchic societies.” His group says its funding comes from “governments, institutions, and foundations,” and that it has a “partnership” with Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The report was released as international discussions are under way in Geneva about how to improve the implementation of a 2013 accord meant to provide transparency about small arms transfers, known as the Arms Trade Treaty. While the treaty does not restrict the number or type of weaponry that can be exported, it asks signatories not to sell arms that will create an overwhelming risk of negative consequences, including war crimes and attacks on civilians. The United States has signed the treaty but has not ratified it and is not a state party. As a result, it has not submitted annual reports of its arms transfers to others, as the treaty requires.

Indeed, finding information on arms exports to Iraq and Afghanistan is like trying to “[put] together a jigsaw puzzle with only half the pieces,” Nic Marsh, a researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway who has worked on this issue since 2008 said in an email. Overton’s first attempts to gather information from the Pentagon about U.S.-financed exports of AK-47’s to Afghanistan, using the Freedom of Information Act, produced documents that he said were completely redacted.

KALISHNIKOV USA [USG procures its own AK47 factory just as US sanctions block purchases of Kalashnikovs from Russia.]

It’s clear that the Pentagon has not been eager to make the size of its small-arms exports as clear as it could. The Pentagon’s public announcements of contracts related to small arms exports to Iraq and Afghanistan, overseen by its press office, only list 19,602 of the 1.45 million small arms, or roughly 1 percent of the guns the department actually sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, the group’s report said. Of those publicly-disclosed contracts, a third were either mis-numbered or contained different information than versions of the same contracts that were listed in the Federal Procurement Database System, the report said.

When asked about the discrepancies, Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesperson, responded in an email to the Center for Public Integrity that the two public accounts are based on different definitions, “which if not clearly understood, can lead to incorrect conclusions.”

Wright gave a slightly smaller overall tally: “We have a total of about 1.1 million weapons that DOD either provided or assisted in providing to Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said, noting that in some cases, individual contracts might have spelled out the maximum number of arms authorized to be shipped, rather than the number actually sent.

Overton said he stood by his larger tally, and that the team scoured their information for inaccuracies after carefully examining the differences between various databases.

Asked whether or not the Pentagon attempts to track where the guns it sells wind up, Wright responded that speed was “essential” in the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “As a result, lapses in accountability of some of the weapons transferred occurred,” Wright wrote in an emailed statement also provided to other reporters asking about the group’s report. He said that the department now “tracks the origin, shipping, and in-country distribution of all weapons” it exports to Iraq and Afghanistan.

But even if such measures are carried out with great care – an unlikely event in Afghanistan, given the documented low literacy rates among local security personnel there, they cannot prevent U.S. armaments from being seized by others on the battlefield. The United States is not the only country that provided weapons to Iraq and Afghani forces that went missing over the past fifteen years, and not the only one to have exported weapons that specifically ended up in the hands of terrorists. In 2014, the Center for Public Integrity reported that fighters associated with the Islamic State had acquired or seized weapons from at least 21 countries, including the United States, China, Russia, and several Balkan states.

“A significant percentage of these weapons will go into the environment and eventually end up in the hands of the Taliban, ISIS” and other non-state actors, says Ed Laurance, an expert on armed violence and professor of international policy and development at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “Ammunition comes in, it goes out. Terrorists can get it, civilians can get it…it’s impossible to keep track of [small arms]” because the environments are so insecure.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Resisting Implementation of China Pak Econ. Corridor

[Corridor Front to stage protest against KP govt]

KPCCI to lodge protest against Infrastructure Development Cess

the news international

PESHAWAR: The business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Thursday reiterated its decision to reject the imposition of Infrastructure Development Cess levied by the provincial government.

“We want to apprise the government that levy of this taxation is totally unjust and is unacceptable to business community,” said Zulfiqar Ali Khan, President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI).

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he said Infrastructure Development Cess is already collected by Sindh government and levy of the same tax by KP government is double taxation and businessmen have decided not to pay it.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a militancy affected province and business in this province is already under great stress due to poor law and order situation,” Zulfiqar said, adding, “In the prevailing circumstances imposition of double taxation is very unjust with the businessmen of the province.”

In order to flourish business in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has to provide incentives instead of further burdening the already pressed businessmen, Zulfiqar remarked. The KPCCI president said the business community would oppose the tax and avail all available option for its withdrawal.

“We can release advertisements in press, lodge protests, close our industries and finally approach the court, if our demand is not met,” he warned.

Speaking on the occasion, Industrial Association Peshawar (IAP) President Ghazanfar Bilour said the Sindh government is charging 0.9 percent cess on import and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had decided to charge additional one percent tax over the same consignment of goods.

 

Rights Don’t Come From Governments

Hinckley Walks–the Bush Connection

Bush Angle to Reagan Shooting Still Unresolved as Hinckley Walks

A Story I Had to Leave Out of My Book

who what why

Ronald Reagan, Bush Family

President Reagan with the Bush family. Left to right: Neil Bush, Marvin Bush, Reagan, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Jeb Bush.  Photo credit: Reagan Library
Why did George H.W. Bush and his cabinet determine that John W. Hinckley Jr. — the man who in 1981 tried to kill the newly inaugurated President Ronald Reagan — was a lone nut, and no conspiracy, foreign or domestic, was involved? How did they arrive at this conclusion just five hours after the shooting, without any thorough examination?

And why won’t the Federal Bureau of Investigation release its documents on the shooter?

Hinckley, who was released from a federal psychiatric facility on August 5 after 35 years, remains a mystery, and that’s the way the government prefers it. Among the documents the Bureau withholds are those that reveal organizations linked to him — and the names of his associates.

One noteworthy individual will not even acknowledge knowing of Hinckley beforehand, someone associated with the shooter’s family, and an even longer history of dissociation — George H.W. Bush.

Most Americans have never heard about this — and even those who have will be intrigued by some little-known aspects. One is the rather unique way the Bush clan has dealt with or sought to dismiss such peculiar situations — and this is hardly the only one in which the family has been enmeshed.

Here’s an amazing example: Bush Senior, known to family and friends as “Poppy,” claimed he could not remember where he was when he heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. I discovered a good reason why he should have remembered — because he, himself, had been in Dallas that morning.

I learned this while researching the Bush dynasty for what would become the book Family of Secrets. I came upon one odd “coincidence” after another, weird ones that would make anyone’s eyebrows soar.

I also saw an FBI memo showing that the man who would later become Bush 41 had secretly called the FBI shortly after the shooting of President Kennedy with information on a man he said might be involved. It turned out that not only was the man not involved, but that Bush knew him personally — and even, via a subordinate, gave the man an alibi.

Too weird.

I also learned that Poppy Bush was a longtime acquaintance/friend of George de Mohrenschildt, the mysterious Russian “baron” who was perhaps the closest person to Lee Harvey Oswald in the year before Kennedy’s death.

Imagine my interest when I learned of de Mohrenschildt’s connections to American intelligence — and then that Bush Senior himself had covertly served the CIA for decades before being named CIA director as a purported “outsider” in 1976.

Indeed, he’d been secretly mucking around with the spy agency before, during, and after Kennedy was killed.

The CIA, of course, was later revealed by the Senate’s Church Committee investigation to be in the business of arranging the removal — or even the murder — of  national leaders in various parts of the world.

Imagine my fascination, then, to learn that John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot and nearly killed President Ronald Reagan in 1981 — an attempt which, if successful, would have resulted in then-Vice President George H.W. Bush moving up to the top spot — was none other than a friend of the Bush family.

How strange is that? So strange that it literally caused NBC News’s anchor John Chancellor’s eyebrows to arch as he reported the curious connection.

The story was broken by the now-defunct Houston Post, and then picked up briefly by the AP and UPI wire services, and some newspapers, plus Newsweek.

Then it vanished without a trace or further inquiry or comment in the mainstream media.

The story was so baffling and off-putting that even I, in writing Family of Secrets more than a quarter-century later, did not mention it. I was preparing to publish a book with so many shocking elements that the publisher and I worried about whether the mainstream media would even dare cover it, or review it fairly; in that context, the Hinckley-Bush connection seemed one provocation too far.

***

Fast forward to early August of this year, when news came that a federal judge had ordered John Hinckley released from captivity. Hinckley had already been granted partial freedoms over the years, including extended stays with his family outside the mental facility where he has been incarcerated. But now he is effectively “out,” albeit with some supervision.

Word of Hinckley’s release was met with pregnant silence, including from entities and individuals that bray about “law and order” — who routinely support jail time with no possibility of parole for all manner of individuals, particularly the poor and the unconnected.

Neither description, of course, fits Hinckley.

The Hinckleys and the Bushes have been friendly for decades, going back to the days when both families set down stakes in the dusty town of Midland, Texas, a magnet for the children of wealthy, East Coast families seeking to cash in on the oil boom.

The Hinckleys were donors to Poppy Bush’s political campaigns over the years, and they gave to support the first, unsuccessful bid for Congress of the young George W. Bush, in 1978. The families lived close to each other, they socialized; I saw indications that, at one point, they may have shared the same lawyer.

Even more strangely, Neil Bush, son of the vice president, was scheduled to have dinner with Hinckley’s brother, Scott, the day after the shooting.

The shooting took place on Monday, March 30, 1981. Neil and his wife, Sharon, were to have dinner with a girlfriend of hers who brought along Scott Hinckley as her date. Scott had supposedly been invited to round out the foursome.

Neil and his wife, and Scott, all lived in Denver at the time. Scott’s father’s oil company, Vanderbilt Oil, had its headquarters in Denver at that time. Scott was a company vice president.

Meanwhile, the shooter, John W. Hinckley Jr., lived from time to time with his family in a small town outside Denver. In fact, at the time he shot Reagan, he was living with his parents.

This put Neil Bush, the senior Hinckleys, Scott Hinckley, and would-be presidential assassin John W. Hinckley Jr. in close quarters over an extended period.

Neil might reasonably have been aware that John Jr. was having serious problems, and was in psychiatric care. And — given the Bush family’s politically-driven strategy of tracking and staying in touch with huge numbers of family friends and acquaintances, plus a fondness for sharing the doings of their network among themselves — the probability that Neil would have relayed to his parents John Jr.’s mental problems, and psychiatric treatments, is not remote.

In the fall of 1980, Hinckley was arrested at Nashville airport carrying three guns on the very day that then-president Jimmy Carter arrived in that city. (He is believed to have been stalking Carter, against whom the Reagan-Bush ticket was locked in combat) He was neither fingerprinted nor charged.

Notwithstanding the commonness of guns in Tennessee, once he was in custody, nobody seems to have discovered his troubled background and psychiatric problems or expressed any concern that a gun-toting non-local was arriving in the same city at the same time as the president.

(It’s interesting to note that just as Hinckley stalked candidates of both parties with widely differing political philosophies, authorities claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald took shots not only at President Kennedy, but also at General Edwin Walker, a Kennedy nemesis on the hard right.)

In late 1980 and early 1981, Hinckley was also stalking the actress Jodie Foster. He said that he had been hearing “voices” in his head — and became convinced that he and Foster had a special bond.

Interestingly, notes by Hinckley describing a conspiracy to assassinate a president were found in a search of his prison cell, according to Breaking Points, a memoir written by his parents. They said the notes referred only to “an imaginary conspiracy” and his lawyers dismissed them as far-fetched. They have never surfaced publicly.

The FBI declined to release 22 pages of documents that included the names of  associates and organizations linked to Hinckley, and details of his finances..

A jury bought the story that the Hinckley case was strictly one of a deranged individual obsessed with an actress and he was found guilty and packed off to the Washington-area St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital — an institution with a fascinating history of involvement with the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program, which focused on mind control experiments — and efforts to study the possibility of “programming” killers. Psychiatrists played a crucial role in recruiting subjects for these experiments. (Documents on Hinckley’s psychiatric records are among those kept secret.)

Congressional hearings in the 1970s revealed the existence of MK-ULTRA and these mind-control programs. Five years before the Reagan shooting, at the time of those hearings, the new CIA director was…. Poppy Bush.

John Hinckley Sr. (“Jack” Hinckley) was deeply involved with World Vision, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that receives heavy funding from USAID, the government organ that has historically been closely associated with the Central Intelligence Agency. He was close with the head of World Vision’s ministries, a former State Department official who worked, among other things, as an adviser in Vietnam.

Interestingly, another “lone nut” who changed the global landscape, Mark David Chapman, who shot and killed John Lennon, had been an employee of World Vision.

***

Vice President Bush seems never to have personally commented on his connections with the Hinckleys. In a typical non-response — which I noted in Family of Secrets is a Bush family tactic in dealing with sensitive information — a Bush aide, press secretary Peter Teeley, told a UPI reporter the day after the arrest: “I don’t know a damn thing about it. All I know is what you’re telling me.”

Of course, the issue was not what the British-born Teeley knew, it was what his boss knew. Asked whether Bush had mentioned knowing the Hinckleys, Teeley replied that the veep “made no mention of it whatsoever.” So there we have it: no actual comment from Poppy Bush himself.

Neil Bush, at a press conference the day after the shooting, did admit to one connection with the Hinckleys: he mentioned, in passing, that Scott Hinckley had also been at his house a couple of months earlier, at his surprise birthday party. Ostensibly he was there as the “date” of the same “close” female friend who was scheduled to dine with the Bushes the day after the shooting.

The apparent use of the woman friend of Sharon Bush to explain any connection between the families, despite an already existing direct connection between the families, warranted more attention.

This was again a typical pattern I had noted with the Bushes: stress another person, in this case, the female friend, as if she were the only connection between the Bushes and the Hinckleys, thereby diverting attention from the central fact: the Bushes and Hinckleys were themselves longtime friends. (Neil did claim he had never met the gunman or the gunman’s father — a claim that would be hard to disprove — and that would in any case hardly matter given the family-to-family connections.)

In any event, no evidence has ever surfaced that any of the Bushes were so much as questioned about their relationship to the Hinckleys by the FBI, Secret Service, or any other entity, and no investigation, informal or formal, appears to have taken place.

Meanwhile, the media’s focus was on the highly unpopular Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, whose statement that “I’m in charge here” in the minutes after Reagan’s shooting was turned into a meme that is remembered to this day, despite the fact that Haig had merely stated that he was in charge as the third in succession, “pending the return of the vice president and in close touch with him.”

Thus, the Haig story became a sensation, and successfully distracted just about everyone from the weird Bush-Hinckley connection.

1Poppy would have become president if Reagan died, rather than waiting eight long years. He had engaged in a bitter primary campaign against Reagan, who then surprised many people by taking Bush as his running mate. (Richard Nixon, once asked by an aide why he took such an unappealing and unpopular figure as Spiro Agnew as his vice president, reportedly answered, “assassination insurance.” It’s interesting to note that George H.W. Bush similarly chose Dan Quayle, a figure widely considered a “lightweight” ill suited to the presidency, as his running mate.)

In any case, although Reagan survived, Bush for a time served as de facto president — and after Reagan’s resumption of “power,” Bush remained an astonishingly influential vice president, to many, the real power in the country in many respects ever after.

***

Around the time of the shooting of Kennedy in Dallas, the Hinckleys were operating out of Dallas, with offices in the Republic Bank Building, a tower which housed many entities and individuals connected by varying degrees to intelligence activity, including the offices of the mysterious Russian “baron” George de Mohrenschildt (an old friend of George H.W. Bush), who was perhaps the principal influence in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald in the year leading up to the shooting of Kennedy.

In 1978, not long before Poppy Bush’s presidential bid, his son George W. was making his first bid for elective office (with donations from the Hinckley clan). Neil Bush was W’s campaign manager, living in the city of Lubbock.

Another person living there at that time was… John Hinckley Jr. Asked about that by a newspaper reporter, W. commented that it was “conceivable” Neil would have met Hinckley during that period.

As for himself, W. said at the time, “It’s certainly conceivable that I met him or might have been introduced to him. I don’t recognize his face from the brief, kind of distorted thing they had on TV and the name doesn’t ring any bells. I know he wasn’t on our staff. I could check our volunteer rolls.”

Was there any follow-up? Did Bush ever seek to learn more about Hinckley or explain what ways they were or were not acquainted? Not that I can find.

And then there is this: The very day that Reagan was shot, the Reagan-Bush Department of Energy notified the Hinckley family at Vanderbilt oil that the government might be forced to penalize the family business to the tune of $2 million. (AP, April 1, 1981) Was Scott coming to dinner with Neil to try to sort it out? Whatever happened, after John Hinckley shot Reagan, the penalty never materialized.

Neil never did provide a more satisfying explanation of why the shooter’s brother was coming to his house for dinner than that he was filling in as a date for a friend of his wife’s. But who had suggested the dinner in the first place, and who had recommended Scott be one of the foursome? That remains murky.

As for the shooter, here’s what Neil said about whether he knew or had met him: “I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t recognize any pictures of him. I just wish I could see a better picture of him.”

***

In a memoir, Bush aide Chase Untermyer, who accompanied Bush to the unveiling, writes:

I washed up and went to bed for a nap before writing this entry. Around 1:30, I was awakened by a call from Art Wiese of the Houston Post. Art related the possibility that Neil Bush (the VP’s son) may be acquainted with the alleged assailant, John W. Hinckley Jr. Neil and Sharon do know Hinckley’s brother (in Denver) and were planning to have dinner with them tomorrow night. The Hinckleys are a prosperous family, and John Sr. may have been a Bush contributor. Art wanted to know if this connection was known by GB…

As Art pointed out, even a slight Bush connection in this shooting could set off the conspiracy freaks.”….

“What’s up?” GB asked, seeing us all there.

“Did you talk to Neil last night?” Pete asked as we entered the West Basement.

“No; is it about this guy?”

“Yes.”

“Jesus.”

We all went into the VP’s office, where Pete related the story that Wiese had been working on and which was being played big in Houston and over the wires. GB appeared only mildly concerned, so little in fact that he didn’t think to call Barbara or ask any of us to do so.

This should have been one of the most investigated, most heavily reported stories for years after. Certainly, in contrast to the email scandal, Benghazi, Travelgate, and other complex and somewhat esoteric matters that became media rages, lasting on and on and dominating the public conversation, this peculiar Hinckley matter — which by any measure passes all the tests for something worthy of interest by law enforcement — just vanished.

Even when Neil Bush’s involvement in the massive Savings and Loan collapses that dominated headlines in the 1980s was widely reported, no mention was made of the fascinating Bush-Hinckley connection.

To sum up: John W. Hinckley’s brother attends a surprise birthday party at Neil Bush’s house in a period when John Hinckley was suffering serious mental problems. The government exerts financial pressure on the Hinckley family business. Hinckley shoots President Reagan, nearly making Neil Bush’s father the president. The financial pressure on the Hinckleys disappears, George H.W. Bush is in charge of the “investigation” of the shooting, the Hinckleys chalk it all up to their son’s demons, everyone focuses on Jodie Foster, and that’s the end of that.

Coincidence? Sure. Anything, after all, is possible.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Neil Bush (Reagan Library) and John Hinckley (FBI / Wikimedia)

155 of Saddam’s and Obama’s MEK Terrorists Shipped To Albania


Bosnian El Mujahedeen Unit–The Republican Policy Committee, January 16, 1997 Report on Clinton and Bosnian Islamists

[Obama repeating Clinton’s mistakes in Albania, then Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia (SEE: The Mujahedin and Islamists in Bosnia ; Our terrorists ). ]

Large Group of MKO Terrorists Leave Iraq for Albania: Report

tasnim news

بدرود بغداد

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – 155 members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) are believed to have flown from Iraq to Albania on a civil aircraft, according to reports suggesting that the transfer was in coordination with American military forces and Saudis.

The MKO members had been residing in Camp Liberty near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and are said to be among the highest-ranking members of the terrorist group, including some of the aides and closest assistants of the group’s ringleader, Massoud Rajavi.

The early Thursday’s flight was bound for Tirana, Albania, the reports noted, saying it was planned to fly to Europe via a special flight path.

Informed sources in Iraq said the terrorist were scheduled to get out of the camp at 5 a.m. local time, Thursday.

A charter flight was expected to land in Baghdad’s airport, apparently in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to transfer the MKO terrorists, but the US military forces and Saudis are believed to be involved as well.

Just a couple of days ago, an MKO ringleader, Sorayya Shahri, along with several other members of the terrorist group fled from Camp Liberty, a former US military camp outside Baghdad.

The MKO – listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community – fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq and was given a camp by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

They fought on the side of Saddam during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-88). They were also involved in the bloody repression of Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq in 1991 and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.

The notorious group is also responsible for killing thousands of Iranian civilians and officials after the victory of the Islamic revolution in 1979.

More than 17,000 Iranians, many of them civilians, have been killed at the hands of the MKO in different acts of terrorism including bombings in public places, and targeted killings.

Rule By the Elite, the “Natural Order,” Or A Pre-Revolutionary State?

[The following article would not normally merit posting on this site, considering its Pro-Democrat slant…Nonetheless, despite this shortcoming (which I attribute to the author being an Indian writer transplanted to the City of London, who is trying hard to turn his piece into another commentary on the American election), some very important and relevant issues are raised therein.  The “Pareto principle,” on control by the elite (20% control 80% of the wealth, 20% are troublemakers, who create 80% of the problems, etc.), vs-powder-keg politics, which teaches that an explosive rebellion by the oppressed 80% is inevitable.

ANY THOUGHTS?]

America’s New Normal is Threatening the ‘Naturalness’ of Elite Rule

wire

Bernie Sanders' popularity represents Americans' unhappiness with the elite who run the country and Hillary Clinton can feel it too. Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

Bernie Sanders’ popularity represents Americans’ unhappiness with the elite who run the country and Hillary Clinton can feel it too. Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

“Looks like the Pareto principle has been proven to be correct once again … Don’t mean to sound cynical but whether people are becoming poorer and desperate or expressing deep discontent, nothing is going to change. The [top] 20% are still going to dictate terms with their immense control over media and money.”

The quote above is one thoughtful reader’s response to the US presidential election campaign. Donald Trump appears to be losing ground – largely through his own off-the-cuff bigotry and xenophobia – and Bernie Sanders’ leftist challenge seems to have fizzled out as the Democratic Party unifies behind Hillary Clinton, all to defeat their common enemy: Trump.

The Pareto principle – named after the work of Italian political sociologist, Vilfredo Pareto, is part of a larger theory that may be summed up as the inevitability and ‘naturalness’ of elite power. The history of power in all societies everywhere is one of elites – some fox-like and cunning (elite democracy), others leonine and masculine (rule by force) – circulating in an endless series of births, deaths and re-births. And quite right too, as ‘elitists’ assert.

So whatever the political label or rhetoric, elites always rule. The Pareto principle contends that about 20% of any population basically produces 80% of the desired results – whether we refer to police officers fighting crime or teachers educating students, or the ownership of wealth and the earning of income. Adding to this tradition, other major elite theorists, such as Robert Michels, have argued for an iron law of oligarchy: whichever political party – revolutionary or reactionary, fascist, communist or democratic, conservative or liberal – gains power, it is bound to be ruled by an elite minority that is better organised, more gifted, and effective, justly easing out the masses from real power.

Elitism certainly confirms the cynical belief that nothing ever truly can or ever will change. But its take on reality suggests that the future looks just like the past, effectively defying radical historical shifts in power be it between classes or races or nations.

Elitists like Pareto seemed to revere hereditary aristocracies where the ‘talents’ reigned supreme and democracy posed a threat, and Marxism threatened complete annihilation. Pareto’s birth in 1848 – a year of democratic revolutions in Europe as well as the publication of the Communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – and his death in 1923 in an era of rising fascism, tells its own story of the fear of change and the desire to return Italy to the past glories of the Roman empire.

The end point of Pareto’s predictions is also open to question and worth exploring in the US context. The change that Sanders and Trump represent is explicable only in the context of recent political history – increasing dissatisfaction with elites on the right and left exemplified by insurgencies from the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement, respectively. The Occupy movement spread across the nation, involved millions of people and expressed deep public discontent and anger – much of it shared among tea partiers on the right – especially in the areas of military spending, corporate welfare and opposition to special interests, especially the big banks that were bailed out by taxpayers after the 2008 financial meltdown.

Those movements were the tinder-wood for the Trump and Sanders insurgencies against their respective party elites in the 2016 primaries. According to American sociologist Alvin Gouldner, that means where there is an iron law of oligarchy, there is an equal and opposite law of struggle for democracy, an axiom especially true in the modern era. It is just a matter of time before the democratic eruption comes.

It might be worth considering another Italian thinker – Antonio Gramsci – who wrote about intellectual hegemony, political power, and political transformation: hegemony is almost always contested more or less openly and maintaining hegemony is no easy process. Gramsci offers hope through struggle and exposes the superficiality and inherent instability of elite domination, its openness to challenges from below.

Gramsci died in one of Benito Mussolini’s prisons but practised what he preached – “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” – and his work inspired millions to keep pushing for change, because change itself is inevitable, given time and the balance of power between the status quo and change makers, those who make real history.

Apply that principle to history and we see that things do change even if the change is partial, incomplete and unsatisfactory to many – the end of apartheid in South Africa, political independence for the colonial world, relative peace in Northern Ireland, major advances in racial power relations in the US, the transformation in women’s rights across (most of) the world. And if we apply Gramsci to American politics today, perhaps we might see a more complex picture – movements for change albeit tempered by a reassertion by status quo forces, the tentative, uncertain steps towards the domestication of a radical agenda with the original impulse hardly extinguished.

Hence, we see that Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine have been forced to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement due to the power of the Sanders movement and because of its appeal to rust-belt white workers, a portion of which are die-hard Trump supporters.

Clinton may not be a fully convinced opponent of Wall Street and big money politics – after all, she and former President Bill Clinton make millions annually in speaking fees paid by the likes of UBS and Goldman Sachs – but she does feel the direction of the political wind changing. We may see some movement on instituting a financial transaction tax on speculative behaviour, the strengthening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – that senator Elizabeth Warren fought to establish – and action against corporate concentration.

Warren’s reputation has been enhanced by her stream of effective attacks on Trump and her campaign to rein in the power of the big banks seems to have been renewed by the Sanders movement. Sanders is acting as a major sponsor of the Warren-John McCain bill to restore key provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act – passed in the wake of the Wall Street crash of 1929 but repealed 70 years later during Bill’s presidency. The Act prevented banks from speculating with ordinary peoples’ hard-earned savings. Clinton is committed to pushing a modernised version of Glass-Steagall.

The necessity of higher wages – backed by a new federal minimum wage of $15 per hour – was forced on Clinton by Sanders’ representatives on the Democratic platform committee at the national convention.

Clinton was also forced to flip-flop on the abolition of college tuition fees – she is now committed to making state universities and colleges free for students from families earning less than $125,000 annually – over 80% of all students.

From significant plans for an infrastructure bank to lead the renewal of the US’ roads, railways, ports and bridges, to higher taxes on the 0.1% of top income earners, to a public option for healthcare cost reduction, to greater intra-party democracy, including reforming the super-delegates system, Sanders’ legacy may yet live on should Clinton win the White House.

As professor Bastiaan van Apeldoorn of the Free University of Amsterdam argues, “The old order may no longer be sustainable; but we may be witnessing an interregnum, with the old order dying and a new one struggling to be born. The choice may increasingly [have to] be one between a real radical (left) reformism or fascism or Trumpism” or whatever form white ethno-nationalist bigotry may take.

“These are critical, transformative, times,” Apeldoorn comments. “With the (still likely) election of Clinton the neoliberal, Open Door, elite will get another lease of life but I cannot imagine it will be a sustained return to normalcy. Both the Trump and Sanders campaigns have made that clear.”

It may not be quite the political revolution Sanders demanded, but it is a major step away from the Trump counter-revolution, and an important nod towards the demands of the Sanders movement and parts of Trump’s working class political base and possibly a slightly fairer society. Things could be a lot worse.

But the cost to the American people will have to be paid in energetic vigilance – to ensure a level of political mobilisation to guard against a smooth return to ‘normalcy’ and the Pareto principle.

Inderjeet Parmar is the head of the International Politics department at the School of Social Sciences, City University, London.  

Pentagon Records Account for Less Than Half of U.S. Arms Transfers to Iraq, Afghanistan

Pentagon Records Account for Less Than Half of U.S. Arms Transfers to Iraq, Afghanistan

Iraqi security forces fire at ISIS militants positions from villages south of Mosul /

Iraqi security forces fire at ISIS militants positions from villages south of Mosul / AP

BY:

The Pentagon has records for fewer than half of the firearms the United States dispensed to partner forces in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

A compilation of Pentagon contract records related to the proliferation of rifles, pistols, machine guns, and associated attachments and ammunition found that the Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq over a 14-year span. Those transfers were part of Defense Department small arms contracts totaling $4 billion. The Pentagon issued over $40 billion in total contracts, according to the report.

The transfers included more than 978,000 rifles, 266,000 pistols, and nearly 112,000 machine guns, according to the data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. The report was compiled by Iain Overton, a former BBC reporter who is now the executive director of Action on Armed Violence, a London-based charity group that advocates against weapons proliferation.

Pentagon data shows that the U.S. transferred over 700,000 small arms to Iraq and Afghanistan—an amount accounting for only 48 percent of the total arms supplied by the U.S. government.

The Pentagon said the gap between the counts is in part because the U.S. military was attempting to build up two governments that were both at war in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Speed was essential in getting those nations’ security forces armed, equipped, and trained to meet these extreme challenges,” Mark Wright, a Pentagon spokesman, wrote in an email to the Times. “As a result, lapses in accountability of some of the weapons transferred occurred.”

Wright said the Pentagon’s practices have since improved, and that to confirm “that equipment is only used for authorized purposes,” its representatives “inventory each weapon as it arrives in country and record the distribution of the weapon to the foreign partner nation.”

Still, Wright said that once a U.S. weapon is distributed to another force, “It is their responsibility to account for that weapon.”

The New York Times noted, “Anyone who has served in a military unit knows that documenting who received what weapon is both a fundamental task and a habit that fits easily into a routine. It takes no more time than issuing a uniform to a soldier or feeding him a meal. But often the Pentagon did not require these steps.”

American University Under Attack in Kabul

attacks-24

The American University of Afghanistan in Darul Aman Road in Kabul city came under attack just after 7pm on Wednesday.

Dozens of students and staff are believed to be trapped inside the university building.

According to sources, there was an initial explosion followed by gunfire.

One student said he managed to escape along with other students but that many are still trapped inside the building.

A number of gunmen reportedly entered the building after blowing open an entry point into the heavily guarded compound.

Reports also indicate that there are casualties but no official confirmation has as yet been received.

This comes just two weeks after two of the university’s professors were kidnapped. One was an American and the other an Australian.

Clinton Contributors Linked To Turkish Coup Plot, Hard Evidence Piling-Up

[It is really difficult to get a handle on this breaking story, since everything is in Turkish, and Goog Trans does a terrible job translating Turkish to English.  Despite that impediment, I have waded into to the story, nonetheless.  It seems that the air force imam,” and a partner was accused of transporting “Orphans” to the US each year as cover for the plotters and their American handlers.  One of them was able to make a call in a restroom, before removing and hiding the memory card from that phone in a stack of towels.  The next guy in found the card.  It appears that they are obtaining hard evidence of US sponsorship of “Orphan’s putsch night.”]

Turkey hunts alleged coup plotter who was Clinton donor

usa_today_long

Play Video

The State Department says it is reviewing nearly 15,000 previously undisclosed emails recovered as part of the FBI’s now-closed investigation into the handling of sensitive information that flowed through Hillary Clinton’s private home server. Time

WASHINGTON — An Istanbul-based college professor, who has been accused by the Turkish government of coordinating last month’s failed coup attempt, is at the center of a group of suspicious 2014 contributions to a super PAC supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

Adil Oksuz is the subject of a massive manhunt in Turkey. Two years ago, an apparently fictitious company that Oksuz created made a $5,000 donation to the Ready for Hillary PAC, a group preparing for Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The Clinton campaign did not provide a response to USA TODAY’s questions about the donations. The campaign did not control the operations of the super PAC.

A company called Harmony Enterprises gave $5,000 to the PAC on June 27, 2014, campaign finance records show. Oksuz registered Harmony in New Jersey in 2010, according to state corporate records. It is the only campaign donation the company had ever made. The company website suggests it is a paper manufacturing business, but the address listed on the corporate records is a used-car lot on a highway in Lodi, N.J. Harmony’s phone number is disconnected.

Foreign nationals are not allowed by law to make campaign donations, but foreign-owned companies are allowed to donate as long as they are using U.S.-generated profits and the decision to donate is made by U.S citizens who work for the company, according to election lawyer Charlie Spies. There is no public information showing whether the Harmony donation complied with campaign finance laws.

The donation was one of a half-dozen donations made to Ready PAC that same day totaling more than $62,000 from Turkish Americans in and around Lodi. Much of that money came from companies that no longer exist or may have never existed, or from donors who cannot be located, campaign and corporate records show. Other donors in the group were also donors to the Clinton presidential campaign as well as the Clinton Global Initiative.

Most of the donors have clear ties to the religious movement led by a cleric named Fethullah Gülen, who lives on a compound in the Pennsylvania countryside.

The Turkish government believes Gülen is running a worldwide network that is trying to overthrow the regime there. Turkish President Recep Erdogan has repeatedly called on the United States to extradite Gülen. In the wake of the July 15 coup attempt, the Turkish government declared that Oksuz was the “imam of the Air Force” and a leader of the plot in Turkey. He was briefly detained and then released after the coup but is now being hunted by the government.

Gülen denounced the coup attempt and told USA TODAY that he and his movement had nothing to do with it. “I condemn and reject in the strongest terms the attempted coup,” he said in an interview with USA TODAY and several other reporters in July.

The Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet, has been active in American politics. A network of Gülen-affiliated organizations provided members of Congress and staff hundreds of free trips to Turkey, many of which USA TODAY discovered were secretly funded by Turkish entities in violation of congressional travel rules.

Gülen-affiliated Turkish Americans have also provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in suspicious donations to political campaigns in the United States. The donations often arrive in groups of five to 10 high-dollar contributions from first-time political donors whose employment declarations provide no evidence they can afford the checks they are writing.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., returned $43,100 in Turkish-American donations last year after USA TODAY’s reporting indicated that some of the contributors were unaware even of basic facts about Ayotte — such as the fact that she is a woman.

The pattern re-emerges in the donations to Clinton’s PAC on June 27, 2014. Along with Oksuz’s Harmony Enterprises, a second business at the Lodi, N.J., address — Under 70 Auto Sales, also a used-car lot — donated $7,500 to Ready PAC that day. That company was owned by Abdulhadi Yildirim, whom Turkish news reports identify as Oksuz’s U.S.-based brother-in-law. Yildirim’s LinkedIn page lists him as “Executive Director at Harmony Enterprises.” The phone number at Under 70 Auto Sales is disconnected.

Bergen County land records indicate that a company called Sansun USA LLC, owned by Adbulhadi Yildirim, sold the car lot for $510,000 the day before the donations were made.

Two other used-car lots on that same stretch of U.S. Highway 46 made donations to Ready PAC on the same day, totaling $12,500. Both lots were registered to do business in New Jersey by Mustafa Urgulu; one appears to have closed, the other was sold. Neither company has ever made another political donation, but Urgulu is a regular Democratic contributor. He did not respond to messages left at the number he lists on his LinkedIn page.

That same day in 2014, two leaders of the Gülen-affiliated Turkish Cultural Center of New York made large donations to Ready PAC.

Recep Ozkan, who served as the center’s president a decade ago, donated $20,000 to Ready PAC. He served as a national finance co-chairman for the PAC. He has also given nearly $5,000 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and earlier this year he gave between $500,000 and $1 million to the Clinton Global Initiative. Ozkan is variously listed on campaign finance records as president of Baharu Inc. and chairman of Everglobe Partners LLC, but neither company has a functioning telephone number or email address. Ozkan could not be reached for this story.

Gokhan Ozkok — also listed as a past president of the TCC and a finance co-chairman of Ready PAC — gave $5,000 to the PAC that day and in March 2014, and he has given $8,000 to Clinton’s campaigns over the years. He is also a donor to the Clinton Global Initiative. His company, White Tulip Global, has a website, but the phone number rings to an answering machine and an email inquiry was returned as undeliverable. Its listed address is a “virtual office” in New York that serves as a mail drop. Ozkok could not be reached for this story.

Ozkan and Ozkok both corresponded with Clinton aide Huma Abedin via Clinton’s personal email server, according to new emails released by the State Department to the watchdog group Judicial Watch. After Clinton broke her elbow in a fall in 2009, Ozkok sent best wishes via Abedin and added, “I would also like to convey the prayers of Mr. Gülen.”

Contributing: Herb Jackson, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record

Crying Suicide Bomber Doesn’t Want To Die

Tears of a suicide bomber – Twisted footage shows crying teen’s last moments

express sunday

A TWISTED video has emerged showing a crying teenage suicide bomber’s last moments before he blows himself up in an attack on a Syrian village.

boy cryingIG  Jafar is seen with tears down his face in the armoured vehicle

Jafar al-Tayyar, an Uzbek national, is seen emotionally hugging family and friends in a scene more akin to sending a child off to university for the first time.

A big difference is Jafar, who is not old enough yet to grow a beard, is wearing a bullet-proof vest and instead of getting into a Volkswagen Polo, he clambers into a giant explosive-packed armoured vehicle – with tears streaming down his face.

Before reluctantly heading off on his mission, another jihadi can be heard reassuring him, saying: “Jafar, my brother, don’t be afraid. When you are scared, remember Allah.”

Sobbing at the realisation of what he is about to do, Jafar said: “I’m just scared I won’t succeed.”

He then raises his right index finger in the air – a gesture used by jihadis which means “Allah is the highest”.

Moments later the film, which was meant to glorify him as a martyr, shows a massive mushroom cloud shooting into the air over the villages of Fua and Kafriyeh as other militants from the Uzbek-led Imam Bukhari Jamaat militant group – which fights alongside al Qaeda in Syria – attack the villages.

His suicide mission was a small part of a large attack last Friday when more than 200 rockets and seven other suicide bombers ‘martyred’ themselves against defences in Fua.

Following the assault led by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Nusra Front a ceasefire has now been declared.

boy cryingIG  Jafar is seen struggling to deal with the daunting task ahead

boy being huggedIG  Jafar is hugged by his family and other jihadis before setting off

The footage of Jafar comes as the Division 30 group of 70 rebels trained by the US military in Turkey recently returned to Syria to fight alongside anti-ISIS forces.

They said they are investigating reports of one of its members defecting and giving his weapons to Nusra.

In a post on Facebook this morning Division 30 said if allegations are true it will refer the defected officer to a military tribal on charges of treason.

So far they have not been able to contact him.

boy pinting upIG  Jafar points his finger up in support of Allah

smokeIG  The smoke after the suicide mission

US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Never A Real Option

The director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, Zafar Bangash, joined Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker to discuss the current situation in troubled Afghanistan, as reports suggest that the Taliban have become more active across the nation, following the 2001 US invasion.

According to Bangash, the governing body of Afghanistan is on the verge of breakdown, as a 2014 coalition, formed after US-brokered elections is about to crumble due to a bitter struggle between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

“It is an American arrangement, resulting in that they created a donkey with two heads,” Bangash said of the US-brokered political climate in Afghanistan, in an interview with Loud & Clear. “You can’t have a donkey that has a head on its actual place, and a head on its tail place, and expect this animal to make progress.”

The swift and apparently successful 2001 US military invasion into the country is now stuck in a quagmire, Bangash said, offering that Washington disregarded two key problems.The first, and seemingly the most obvious, is that Afghans will never tolerate foreign occupation. In 2001, “the Taliban had no sufficient equipment like an air force to counter American intervention,” and they fled to countryside, creating the illusion of a US victory.

“[Afghans] will never accept foreign domination or occupation. If there are foreign fighters in the country, they will fight foreigners.”

 

The second issue is that Afghan society is “deeply divided,” appearing to be “a patchwork of tribes,” consisting of Pashtuns, Uzbeks and Hazara, among others. The “fact that tribes have to be accommodated in any political arrangement” makes it extremely difficult to form consensus.

A fragile balance of power was nearly brought into being in the country just before the 1978 coup. “The people [behind the coup] wanted to reform the country,” Bangash offered, but the culture is deeply conservative, and “when you try to impose [reforms], even if they are well-meaning, they are not going to succeed.”

“The US got deeply involved there in 1979,” he said, suggesting that “The US wanted revenge on the USSR for America’s humiliation in Vietnam. And they thought, it’s a good opportunity to settle scores. But the price of course was paid by the Afghan people.”In 2001, Washington used a pretext of human rights abuse, particularly that against women, to invade, he suggested.

“Why are Americans there? Are they there because of women’s education or girls’ rights? It would make much more sense if Americans turned their attention to Saudi Arabia,” where women are much more oppressed than in Afghanistan, he opined.

After having poured over $2 trillion into an arduous Afghanistan campaign for the last 15 years, Washington has not seen an improvement in the quality of life in the country, primarily because that was not the true objective of the US invasion.

“The root of the problem is that Afghanistan is extremely rich in natural resources,” Bangash said, adding, “There are estimates that say that the country contains $4 trillion worth of natural resources. The country is also very rich in cadmium, a metal that is widely used in modern technology like cellphones. That is really driving American policy.”

The constant military invasions and world policing by the US are driven by a military industrial complex that cannot leave any profitable stone unturned, he said, adding that corporate greed, whether in the hands of a weapons supplier or a commodities broker, will prevent any resolution of the crises.

“I do not see any American leader willing to withdraw from Afghanistan,” despite the loss of US lives, he said.

US Claims Dominion Over A Slice of Syrian Air Space

Pentagon: US ready to down Syrian, Russian jets

almasdar_logo-5

The Pentagon has announced that the USA is ready to down Syrian and Russian planes that they claim threaten American advisers who by international law are illegally operating in northern Syria.

On Friday, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis claimed that US jets attempted to intercept Syrian planes to protect the American advisers operating illegally with Kurdish forces in Syria after Syrian government jets bombed areas of Hasakah when Kurdish police began an aggression against the National Defense Force.

On Monday, another Pentagon spokesman, Peter Cook, said, “We would continue to advise the Syrian regime to steer clear of those areas.”

“We are going to defend our people on the ground, and do what we need to defend them,” Cook told reporters.

He said, “it’s not a no-fly zone,” but added that “the Syrian regime would be wise to avoid areas where coalition forces have been operating.”

Cook is making demands for the Syrian government to not operate within its own sovereign airspace.

When pushed further about Russia, Cook made it clear that the US would make the same aggression against Russian jets who are operating legally with the Syrian government’s approval and coordination.

“If they threaten US forces, we always have the right to defend our forces,” Cook said.

There Must Be War To Preserve the American Way

[Can an Ex KGB General Save America From Itself?]– Aug 12, 2008

To Preserve the American Way: There Must Be War

Phil Butler

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I remember my uncle Duke well. A tall and handsome figure he cut, in his Air Force blue uniform. Silver oak leaves he wore on his lapels, back when I was a kid in El Paso, Texas. A member of an elite corps, Duke Wolfe went to work each week at Biggs Air Force Base. In 1962 the B52 pilot-navigator for the Strategic Air Command (SAC) was a major and in his prime, just like America was. Back then preserving our “American Way” meant fending off the threat of nuclear annihilation from the Soviet Union. Since then not a lot has changed, except the truth of the matter, that is.

Understanding the crises in the world today requires understanding the truth of how we got here. Not many experts are willing to tell you the real truth of world conflict though. The gist of the matter is stunningly simple though, only it’s always seemed unpatriotic for any American to utter it. The world is in crisis for the defense of an impossible American Dream. It’s the same dream of conspicuous consumption and want we were deluded by back in the 60s, the vision of endless possibility. However idyllic that dream may have been, it was the endlessness of want that was impossible. Americans benefitted back then, largely for their innovation and hard work, it is true. But the elites in charge never told us the bitter cost of their “cut” of the economic pie. Growth, you see, is a finite master. Let me elaborate.

The simplest equation I can give you to prove my assertion here is this – in the last 70 years Americans have consumed 25% of everything used on this planet. Food, oil, coal, copper, tin, forests, iron ore, titanium, you name the commodity, and we’ve used it up. Once you come to grips with this fact, it will be far easier to see the truth in any news. In a bit, I will explain the impossibility of our economics, but for now quoting a most conspicuous US President George H. W. Bush will frame it for you. At the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro back in 1992, Bush the senior said:

“The American way of life is not up for negotiation.” 

While you ponder the significance of this, let me fast forward you to 2014 and the ideas of billionaire Tom Perkins, a man fittingly symbolic of our difficult times. Perkins is one of the founders of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, or the people who have funded and fuelled the biggest money shell game the world has ever known. By “shell game” I mean the largely useless Silicon Valley technology mega-structures consumers waste trillions on today. AOL, Google, and a hundred other hollow ventures have made Perkins and others filthy rich, while providing only a flash in the pan value for the world. Perkins is the poster boy for all that is wrong with this American Dream.

A Wall Street Journal Perkins wrote certifies all that I am saying here. In a letter to the editor about the growing dissent over the 1% and their unsustainable profits in Silicon Valley, Perkins wrote:

“I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’”

The growing concern among Americans that the 1% is taking too much, it solicits the same old rhetoric used to protect human kind’s most ghastly policies. “If you criticize us, you are anti-Semitic, a jew hater, a Nazi,” or whatever guttural label can be placed upon the needy, the downtrodden, the people. Outrage at Perkins’ assertions was predictable, but it has died down now. Ironically, his comparison of current events in America with the horrible Kristallnacht, (Night of Crystal) in Nazi Germany is probably valid. Kristallnacht , for those unfamiliar, was when a wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms took place on November 9 and 10, 1938 in Germany. In the same way Perkins ignored the root causes of causes of Kristallnacht, the new billionaires of this world trudge blindly toward unlimited growth.

Moderate capitalists called Perkins’ letter vulgar and disgraceful, as it set the wall in between haves and have-nots even higher in their estimation. But this was not the real reason for their admonitions. AdWeek and all the other Silicon Valley owned media leaped on Perkins for his diatribe. They called him the “village idiot” and distanced his ideas from theirs. As disdainful as the upper crust criticisms of Perkins may have seemed, these too were contrived. Perkins set the idea, and the owned media cemented just how “evil” the 99% can be. Subterfuge is not a word for nothing, I remind you. AdWeek, as an example, is owned by Prometheus Global Media, which is owned by Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners. I will not delve into the collusion and control in between big money and media here, for the economics are more crucial to understand.

The “Night of Crystal” in 1938 led to the most horrific inhumanities ever undertaken on this world. The internment and extermination of millions of innocent human beings by the Nazis is a stain darker than any in our history. It is a horror well publicized, but its horrors are also a tool. I won’t get into the Holocaust in propaganda here. The point of Kristallnacht in a 21st century context is crucial to understand. The distribution of wealth in Germany that allowed Adolf Hitler to enrage an entire people, it mirrored then what we see happening now in America and the world. The cause of the “Night of Crystal” was not an inherent hatred of Judaism or any religion or race. The root cause was inequality, disparity, the gulf in between the fabulously wealthy and the utterly poor. The Jews were the easiest catalyst for the Nazis.

 “A child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil.” – Dave Tilford, Sierra Club –

Today, as we see resources grow more and more scarce, as economies struggle, the “margins” of profit for these billionaires tighten. Growth, the American Dream, they are no longer possible without squeezing more from those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Dr. Brian Czech of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy explains in this report. How structural economics foretell of the coming crises. Czech says Perkins’ Kristallnacht is actually an uncovering of a kind of new Lebensraum, the Nazi plan to conquer Russia and the east for “the people”. And he is correct, Perkins’ rant, and the likes of the Guggenheims astonishment tells us how afraid the 1% are that history will repeat. Reading Czech we find some answers:

“To understand the logic of Lebensraum, we need a quick review of structural economics. The economy has three basic sectors: agricultural/extractive, manufacturing, and services. (The “financial sector” is fairly distinct, but falls within the general category of services.) It seems like this basic structure ought to be conventional wisdom, but in the age of the Internet, economic wisdom is disappearing by the bitcoin. If we’re not careful we’ll end up like King Midas, a foolish one percenter if there ever was one.”

Is Thomas James Perkins’ “Progressive Kristallnacht” upon us after all? Well, Perkins did not live to see it, but I believe his seeming madness was more lucid than his contemporaries would have us believe. Perkins died in June of this year at age 84, but the fearful message he sent from the land of the elites resonates. I began my report with a personal note about America at its zenith. Since then I have observed much, as have my contemporaries. I had three cars once, my attic was full, as was my garage, with the fruits of this American Dream. I know ordinary middle class Americans with boats, cars, motorcycles, jet skis, vacation homes, and extra storage rooms rented just to hold all of their American Dream.

“Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last 40 years.” – 2014 Living Planet Report –

5645645654The Ad men back then told us the world’s wealth was unlimited. Our leaders waged war with our lives, wasting our blood like there were vast rivers of it for the risking. We built monuments to ourselves, and wasted enough food, oil, and trees to last 10,000 years in a reasonable world. Let’s return now to former President Bush’s assertion that Americans will never give up on “the dream”. Now let’s assume this is a function of the 1% being forced to supply that dream, while at the same time providing growth and profits to stockholders.

Assuming all I have suggested is true so far, understanding Perkins’ fear, and the fear of the 1% becomes crystal clear. For one thing there is no ordinary “Jew” to blame for the world going broke. No synagogue is populated by the resident evil Hitler ranted about. The elites have no scapegoat this time. Well, except for Russia or Iran or some other distant Cold War nemesis. So there is only one way to preserve this convoluted American Dream…

Will there be a Progressive Kristallnacht, or will we be in a perpetual war to end all wars? This is the anxious moment most of us sense. This is the reason 100% of western media propagandizes us. This is why we have the choice of two narcissist puppets for president. We have reached the zenith of conspicuous consumption and growth, there is no more leeway. And the choices come down to dragging the perpetrators of all this before the people, or feeding their coffers forever more in a useless struggle against inevitability. The billionaires are afraid we’ll finally drag them into the streets and empty their vaults to feed the poor of this world. I for one am afraid that we won’t, and that World War III will leave a scarce few alive, a little tribe led by their savior elites. In 1962 I thought my uncle and his comrades protected a place that was the light of the world. We all did. 54 years later I am wondering who is helping us protect us from ourselves.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
http://journal-neo.org/2016/08/19/to-preserve-the-american-way-there-must-be-war/

Russia-China-Iran Alliance Could Push the US out of Much of the Middle East

putxi-1024x632New Russia-China-Iran Alliance Could Push the US out of Much of the Middle East

antimedia

Darius Shahtahmasebi

(ANTIMEDIA) When the current Syrian conflict first erupted in 2011 — and then enflamed in 2012 — a small minority of the American public probably wondered why President Obama was not intervening to help the Syrian people as he had done in Libya (they were likely completely unaware the president had already been interfering heavily in Syria since the conflict began). However, some pundits speculated that Obama would eventually intervene directly, and that this intervention would be the beginning of the end of the American empire as we know it.

What started out as a seemingly hollow prediction has become as true a statement as any. First, American involvement began with funding, arming, and training violent rebels to try to overthrow the Syrian government. Then came attempts to misrepresent so-called “intelligence” to justify military intervention against Assad in 2013. And finally, like a dream come true, Washington was then able to capitalize  on the growth of ISIS in Syria, a growth predicted by their own security establishment in 2012, which then became an excuse to start bombing Syrian territory in 2014. By interfering so forcibly in the affairs of Syria, the U.S. has forced a number of countries  — notably Iran, China and Russia — to step up and strike back at U.S. efforts to destabilize the region.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Iran has been heavily involved due to the fact Syria is an important ally to the Islamic republic, bound by a mutual defense agreementMuch to the anger of the U.S., just this week, Iran allowed Russia to strike Syrian territory from its Hamadan air base. Iran is supplying ground troops, advisement, and high level training to Syrian pro-Assad forces. They are also providing a credit line, and Iranian involvement is growing in tandem with the two nuclear powers also working in defense of the Syrian regime.

Russia has a history of being involved in Syria, but following its direct military intervention last year, they have shown they can set up their own no fly zone within the country at any moment (note that the Russian intervention is arguably legitimate given that they have received authority from the Assad regime to do so). Despite this, they have continued to extend a hand to Washington to achieve their stated goals of defeating ISIS together.

China has sided with Russia and Syria for some time now, using its veto power at the U.N Security Council levelto block resolutions on Syria — after Russia and China were completely duped by the Security Council resolution on Libya in 2011. China has warned the U.S. against attacking Syria and Iran, and now, they have officially stated they are looking to join the fight on the side of the Syrian government, further complicating the issue from Washington’s standpoint.

Unless the U.S. wants to confront these players directly, it has no choice but to accept that they have lost a war they directly and indirectly started through covert CIA operations that began in 2011 (and as some would argue, well before that). This isn’t a loss in the Iraq or Vietnam sense — which are arguably victories in the eyes of the elite class. Rather, the Syrian war is an operation that has left them with less influence in the region than when the Syrian crisis began (cue picture of John Kerry dining with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus in 2009).

It will be back to the drawing board for Washington, whose only real move is to continue arming and funding fanatical jihadists or encourage Saudi Arabia and Turkey to deliver on their threat to send ground troops into Syria. This will only delay the inevitable, however, and eventually they will have to either admit they have completely lost influence in the Shia-Crescent region of the Middle East — which has, in turn, been snatched up by Russia and China — or directly confront these nuclear powers in an all-out war.

Or they can just wait until Hillary is elected president.

Gilgit Baltistan’s Legislature passes resolution Condemning Modi’s statement

Resolution passed against Modi’s Gilgit statement

the nation pakistan

Resolution passed against Modi’s Gilgit statement

Gilgit Baltistan’s Legislative assembly has passed a resolution against Indian Prime Minister Modi’s statement regarding the people of Gilgit, reported Waqt News.

This has been done in response to Modi’s statement in which he mentioned that the people of Gilgit, Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and Blochistan had “thanked” him and sent the people of India messages of gratitude.

On 15th of August, which marked India’s 70th independence from British rule, Prime Minister Modi gave a speech which included certain provocative comments about Pakistan, “The people of Balochistan, the people of Gilgit, the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have thanked me in such a manner, from places that I have never been and never had a chance to meet, they have sent wishes to the people of India and thanked us”.

The speech caused quite a stir in Pakistan particularly in Balochistan where some praised and some held rallies in response to Modi’s speech. The resolution termed Narendra Modi’s statements to be madness and an attempt to divert attention from the atrocities taking place in Kashmir. Every child in Gilgit Baltistan is ready to fight for the defense and security of Pakistan, the resolution added. Protests erupted in different cities of Gilgit Baltistan today against Narendra Modi’s statement. Students as well as the general public expressed their anger and raised slogans against the Indian prime minister. Participants stressed that they were and will remain Pakistani’s and that they were proud of their nationality. The participants added that Narendra Modi should be ashamed of speaking about Gilgit Baltistan when he is responsible for the atrocities in Kashmir.

The Deputy Speaker, Jafferullah Khan and Iqbal Hassan a member of the legislative assembly were also present in the protest.

US Air Force Flies B-52 Bombers in Afghanistan for First Time in Decade

US Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein announced in a media release Tuesday that Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers have completed airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan for the first time in ten years.

He stated, “We got the B-52 back in the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq,” adding, “We have the B-52 contributing to a significant ground effort and employing weapons in close proximity of friendly troops who are under attack [and] who are preparing the battlefield in new ways.

Godfein’s news release indicated that the Air Force’s B-52H detachment at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar has flown nearly 270 sorties since April, dropping over 1,300 bombs in more than 325 strikes, in Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria.

The aging bomber also flew two sorties in Afghanistan recently, dropping 27 bombs in two counter-terrorism strikes. The Air Force did not specify when B-52H operations resumed in Afghanistan.

The USAF has conducted more than 140 strikes and flown over 800 sorties since June, when US President Barack Obama ordered air power to be used more proactively in the country.

Covert Indian Chaos Unit “carried out eight specific covert operations in a foreign country” (Pak?)

Secret military intelligence unit ran 8 covert operations abroad?

“According to sources, among the most sensational claims in the report is that the TSD carried out eight specific covert operations in a foreign country.”

“The report prepared by director general military operations Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia has claimed that Rs 1.19 crore was given to Ghulam Hassan Mir, agriculture minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to topple the Omar Abdullah government.”

 

[ Info on disbanded covert unit set by V K Singh to be withheld ]

Secret military intelligence unit ran 8 covert operations abroad?

times of india

 

The secretive military intelligence unit set up by Gen VK Singh, has claimed to have carried out eight successful covert operations in a foreign country.
The secretive military intelligence unit set up by Gen VK Singh, has claimed to have carried out eight successful covert missions in a foreign country.

NEW DELHI: Technical Support Division (TSD), the secretive military intelligence unit set up by former Army chief General V K Singh which is accused of trying to overthrow the Omar Abdullah government, has claimed to have carried out at least eight successful covert operations in a foreign country.

But the claims are so sensitive and sensational that it would be a key reason why the government will not hand over the inquiry report into the functioning of TSD to an external investigation agency.

Sources said though the Army has recommended an independent investigation by an agency such as the CBI, the defence ministry has not fully endorsed the suggestion. In fact, official MoD notings have said the investigation won’t move forward because of lack of concrete evidence even if it is handed over to an external agency.

Gen Singh has already dismissed all allegations, saying it was the Congress-led UPA government’s vendetta politics. “This is simple vendetta as some people are not comfortable with me sharing the dais with Narendra Modi to espouse the cause of ex-servicemen in the country,” Gen Singh had said over the weekend.

Sources said the inquiry report also doesn’t conclusively prove that the money claimed to have been paid to various people reached the intended beneficiaries. “These are all based on statements of TSD officials, former DGMI (director general of military intelligence) and others. There is no concrete evidence that can stand the scrutiny of law,” a senior official.

According to sources, among the most sensational claims in the report is that the TSD carried out eight specific covert operations in a foreign country. It has claimed to have spent a few crores on those operations. There is no corroborative evidence for the claims, but if it were to emerge in public, it would be a major embarrassment for New Delhi.

Besides, the report prepared by director general military operations Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia has claimed that Rs 1.19 crore was given to Ghulam Hassan Mir, agriculture minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to topple the Omar Abdullah government.

The report also claimed that Rs 2.38 crore was given to Hakikat Singh who set up an NGO called ‘Jammu and Kashmir Humanitarian Service Organisation’ that was in turn linked to ‘Yes Kashmir’ which filed a PIL against Army chief Gen Bikram Singh in the alleged fake encounter case in Jangalat Mandi when he was a brigadier.

Bhatia’s report has also claimed that TSD spent Rs 8 crore to buy interception equipment from a Singapore-based company in November 2010. Though this was officially for Srinagar-based 15 Corps, it was misused for tapping into phone calls in New Delhi. In March 2012, the equipment was destroyed in Jammu and Kashmir. Then director general of military intelligence Lt Gen D S Thakur told the inquiry that he ordered destruction on instruction from the top brass.

The report also said that at least three retired lieutenant generals, including an Army commander, were aware of some of the payoffs of military intelligence funds for TSD activities.

Sources said the MoD recommendation was to look at closing structural gaps in the system. Among them was to ensure that the intelligence agencies do not overlap in their function. “Why should MI have such operations in foreign countries,” a source asked.

Dadulluh’s Nephew Assumes Reins of Breakaway Mahaaz-e-Dadullah Faction

Breakaway Taliban faction names new leader in Afghanistan

new jersey herald

By MIRWAIS KHAN and RAHIM FAIEZ

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A breakaway Taliban faction in Afghanistan has appointed a new leader for the group, the nephew of the faction’s longtime leader who was killed in fighting with rivals last year.

The development reflects the complex layers of the insurgency in Afghanistan, where though dominant, the Taliban are not the only militant group waging war.

At a gathering Monday in southern Zabul province, Mullah Emdadullah Mansoor was named leader of the faction known as Mahaaz-e-Dadullah. The meeting was attended by tribal and religious leaders, as well as the group’s local commanders.

Associated Press video of the gathering shows Mansoor accepting the leadership position among a crowd of gunmen, mostly young guards. He is the nephew of Mullah Mansoor Dadullah who was killed in Khak-e-Afghan district of Zabul last year, fighting with rival Taliban.

“I accept the leadership of these men, based on the decision of the clerics,” said Mansoor, promising to “fight foreign forces” and exact revenge for the group’s slain leader.

Before Mullah Mansoor Dadullah was killed in Zabul, the founder of the group, Mullah Dadullah, was also killed in an ambush, possibly by one of his bodyguards in southern Helmand province. He was also an uncle of the newly named leader.

At the Monday gathering, several armed men in white-colored clothing with black balaclavas who call themselves suicide bombers said they were ready to carry out attacks against the rival Taliban as well as foreign forces in the country.

“I announce that I will take … revenge from Mullah Haibatullah’s group,” said Mansoor. And of his rivals, he said “it is time for them to pay the price.”

Mansoor was referring to the current head of the rival Taliban, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, a religious extremist who replaced Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in May.

The Mahaaz-e-Dadullah group, known for its fighting skills and suicide attacks, virtually disappeared from the Afghan killing fields after the death of Mansoor’s uncles. Their re-emergence could create a headache for the Taliban as the faction is present in various parts of the Taliban heartland in the south.

“Now we are back on track with our mission” said Mullah Nematullah Samim, Mansoor’s deputy.

Another would-be suicide bomber, Qari Misbah, said at Monday’s gathering that he has been “waiting for my turn for a long time ago and now it’s the time for me, I can give my body and soul.”

Samim denied that Mahaaz-e-Dadullah has been uniting forces in Zabul with Afghanistan’s branch of the Islamic State group, which emerged last year, mainly in the country’s east, close the border with Pakistan.

“We don’t want to be weak or depend on others,” he said.

___

Faiez reported from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Big Insurers Bailing-Out On Obamacare’s Healthcare Exchanges

Now we know the real reason Aetna bailed on Obamacare

business insider aus

obama loretta lynch President Barack Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the White House. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

On Monday night, news broke that one of the five largest insurers in the US, Aetna, was leaving 70% of the counties in which it offers insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s public healthcare exchanges.

The move was seen as a huge blow to the future of the act, making Aetna the third large insurer, after United Healthcare and Humana, to significantly reduce its Obamacare business.

Aetna cited the large losses that the company has incurred from the exchange business — $200 million in the second quarter alone — when explaining its decision to roll back its business.

These statements, however, appeared to be a dramatic turnaround from the company’s first-quarter earnings call in April, when CEO Mark Bertolini said the firm planned to stay in the exchanges and that the company was “in a very good place to make this a sustainable program.”

Now, however, it appears a large reason for the shift in tone was the Department of Justice’s lawsuit to block Aetna’s merger with rival Humana.

A July letter, acquired by The Huffington Post, outlined Aetna’s thinking on the public exchanges if the deal with Humana were blocked. The letter from Bertolini to the DOJ outlined the effect of a possible merger on its Affordable Care Act business.

For one thing, Bertolini notes that the cost savings from the Humana deal would allow the companies to further expand coverage into parts of the US.

“As we add new territories, given the additional startup costs of each new territory, we will incur additional losses,” the letter said. “Our ability to withstand these losses is dependent on our achieving anticipated synergies in the Humana acquisition.”

Additionally, the letter seemed to foretell the move on Monday. Here’s the key passage (emphasis added):

“Our analysis to date makes clear that if the deal were challenged and/or blocked we would need to take immediate actions to mitigate public exchange and ACA small group losses. Specifically, if the DOJ sues to enjoin the transaction, we will immediately take action to reduce our 2017 exchange footprint.

“We currently plan, as part of our strategy following the acquisition, to expand from 15 states in 2016 to 20 states in 2017. However, if we are in the midst of litigation over the Humana transaction, given the risks described above, we will not be able to expand to the five additional states.

“In addition, we would also withdraw from at least five additional states where generating a market return would take too long for us to justify, given the costs associated with a potential breakup of the transaction. In other words, instead of expanding to 20 states next year, we would reduce our presence to no more than 10 states.”

In other words, the cost of fighting the DOJ would make Aetna unable to sustain the losses incurred from the public exchanges.

According to a letter from the DOJ provided by Aetna, the DOJ asked the company what the effect would be on the firm’s Affordable Care Act business if the merger were not completed. Thus, Aetna responded with its letter.

A spokesperson for Aetna said the decision to roll back the coverage was not because of the DOJ’s lawsuit, but rather realizing the full details of the losses. The statement from the spokesperson reads, in part:

“In the time since we submitted our written response to DOJ and provided a courtesy copy to [the Department of Health and Human Services], we gained full visibility into our second quarter individual public exchange results, which — similar to other participants on the public exchanges — showed a significant deterioration. That deterioration, and not the DOJ challenge to our Humana transaction, is ultimately what drove us to announce the narrowing of our public exchange presence for the 2017 plan year.

“If the Humana transaction is eventually blocked, which we don’t believe it will be, the underlying logic of our written response to DOJ would still apply with regard to the public exchanges where we will participate in 2017.”

In the original letter from Aetna to the DOJ, Bertolini said that if the company lost the lawsuit and the deal were eventually scuttled, Aetna would drop its remaining Affordable Care Act business and leave the public exchanges entirely.

The DOJ declined to comment.

The DOJ blocked the merger between Aetna and Humana, along with the merger of fellow big-five insurers Anthem and Cigna, on the grounds that consolidating the industry would lead to lower competition and higher costs for consumers.

“They would leave much of the multitrillion health insurance industry in the hands of just three mammoth companies, restricting competition in key markets,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said when announcing the lawsuit to block the mergers.

Typically the number of independent options available to consumers is correlated with lower costs.

“If the big five were to become the big three, not only would the bank accounts of the American people suffer, but the American people themselves,” Lynch said.

The companies countered that the merger would not affect consumers and would allow the combined firms to be more cost-efficient and sustainable.

Read the full letter from Bertolini, via The Huffington Post, here »

Modi’s Admission of Guilt In Balochistan and Gilgat

[SEE: Blinding Kashmiris and Sowing Sectarian and Anti-CPEC Tensions In Gilgat]

“I want to express my gratitude to some people — the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir — for the way they whole-heartedly thanked me, the way they expressed gratitude to me, the way they conveyed their goodwill to me recently,” Modi said in his speech.

Modi Sends Warning Shot to China, Pakistan on Territory Spat

Bloomberg Business

1471383565_Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he delivers his Independence Day speech from The Red Fort in New Delhi on Aug. 15, 2016. Photographer: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

From the sandstone walls of the 17th-century Red Fort in India’s capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a warning shot this week to his counterparts in Islamabad and Beijing.

Modi’s reference to disputed territories on Monday during his annual Independence Day speech — his most high-profile appearance of the year — signaled that India would become more aggressive in asserting its claims to Pakistan-controlled areas of Kashmir. The region is a key transit point in the $45 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor known as CPEC that will give Beijing access to the Arabian Sea through the port of Gwadar.

“This is a recalibration” after Modi’s overtures to Pakistan and China failed to yield results, says Harsh V. Pant, a professor of international relations at King’s College London. It’s also a message to China: “You may be investing a lot in Pakistan, and think that CPEC is a done deal, but without India’s approval you might find it difficult to follow through.”

A more vocal India threatens to raise tensions in a region rife with deep-seated historical animosity that has made South Asia one of the world’s least economically interconnected regions. Various insurgents and militant groups threaten both China’s investments in Pakistan and progress in India-controlled Kashmir, where recent violence has killed about 60 people.

While India is more likely to redouble efforts on developing transport links with Iran and Afghanistan than sabotage China-Pakistan projects, the saber-rattling may deal a setback to investor confidence in the region, according to Michael Kugelman, senior associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.

“The bottom line is that in a volatile region like South Asia, you don’t need actual aggressive actions to cause economic consequences,” he said. “Mere threats can have a very real effect on the economic state of play as well.”

In a bold rhetorical move on Monday, Modi overtly referred to the region of Balochistan, a resource-rich, insurgency-riven Pakistani province that is home to the strategic deep-water port of Gwadar. He also mentioned Gilgit, a Pakistan-administered region that borders China and Afghanistan — the northernmost edge of the planned economic corridor.

‘Expressed Gratitude’

“I want to express my gratitude to some people — the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir — for the way they whole-heartedly thanked me, the way they expressed gratitude to me, the way they conveyed their goodwill to me recently,” Modi said in his speech.

The mention of Balochistan was particularly provocative. Pakistan has long accused India of backing rebels in the region, a charge governments in New Delhi routinely denied even while they blamed Pakistan for backing militants in Kashmir. While Pakistan condemns Indian security forces in Kashmir, human rights groups have expressed concern about disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan by Pakistan’s military, intelligence and paramilitary forces.

Modi’s comments prove Pakistan’s contention that Indian intelligence agencies are “fomenting terrorism in Balochistan,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday. It also said the remarks were meant to divert attention from protests in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, where dozens of protesters have been killed in the past month.

Talks Possible

On Wednesday, in response to an invitation from Pakistan, India’s foreign secretary conveyed his willingness to travel to Islamabad for bilateral talks on cross-border terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir, according to an official with knowledge of the matter.

China has long played a role in developing parts of Kashmir in Pakistan. It helped build a highway through the region that opened in the 1970s, and recently conducted joint patrols with Pakistan in the area.

China’s foreign ministry didn’t reply to faxed questions on Modi’s comments. The ministry has repeatedly said that China hopes India and Pakistan can resolve Kashmir territorial disputes through peaceful means.

‘Not a Zero-Sum Game’

“The CPEC is not a zero-sum game where Pakistan gains and India loses,” Global Times, a state-owned Chinese newspaper, said on Tuesday. “If economic cooperation between China and Pakistan can improve infrastructure in the region, including in the Kashmir area, India will have an opportunity to expand trade routes to Central Asia.”

Modi’s remarks tap into historic grievances in a sensitive and contested part of Asia.

The dispute over Kashmir dates from the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. Like Kashmir, the Khanate of Kalat — which makes up much of modern day Balochistan — didn’t immediately choose to join India or Pakistan at the time of partition. Gilgit-Baltistan, which borders Jammu and Kashmir, is a majority Shia area in Sunni-majority Pakistan, and has in recent years seen sectarian strife.

Indian and Pakistani armies fought over Kashmir and settled into a stalemate with a de-facto border along the so-called Line of Control. In 1948, Pakistan forcibly annexed Balochistan, and its army has in recent years “crushed” several insurgencies and revolts there, according to Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former envoy to Washington.

‘Modi Has Upped The Ante’

“By speaking of human rights violations in Balochistan, Prime Minister Modi has upped the ante in India’s tense relations with Pakistan,” Haqqani wrote in an e-mail. While Modi probably hopes his comments will dissuade Pakistan from doing the same thing in Indian-controlled Kashmir, such rhetoric is only likely to “exacerbate the paranoia that has characterized Pakistan’s attitude towards India.”

Modi’s remarks are the clearest signal yet of Indian concern over Pakistan-China economic cooperation, according to Ashok Malik, head of the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation’s Neighbourhood Regional Studies Initiative.

“When a prime minister says something of this nature on Independence Day, he’s not floating a balloon,” Malik said. “It means India will use its muscle, its propaganda muscle at least, to talk about Balochistan and trouble in Balochistan.”

Afghan Taliban Splinter Group, Mullah Dadullah Front, Ends Their Rebellion

[With this move ISI/CIA, the Taliban rebellion has been brought to a close  finally putting end to the British PSYOP called the “Taliban split”(SEE: Minister’s Visit Hints at Taliban Split).  What follows for us, in so-called “reconciliation” Peace Talks, will be the last chance for “Flipping the Taliban”.]

[Pakistan Arrests Mullah Rasoul After He Outs CIA/ISI Taliban Mansour]

Taliban Splinter Faction Pledges Allegiance to Main Group

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KABUL—Top members of the main Taliban splinter group that broke away last year have reversed course and pledged allegiance to the main group, despite the efforts of the Afghan government to exploit divisions in the insurgency.

The move by the splinter group’s top political deputy and a battlefield commander is another sign the insurgency is consolidating under the new leader, Maulavi Haibatullah Akhundzada, who has sought to reunite the group’s warring factions.

The Taliban announced the move back into the fold of the splinter group through a statement published on its website. The move came after talks among senior leadership figures, it said. “[They] decided following a detailed discussion to maintain the unity of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban),” the Taliban said in a statement.

The defections are expected to weaken remaining opposition to the Mullah Haibatullah, allowing the group to focus its energy and resources on fighting the U.S.-backed government.

Members of the breakaway Taliban faction didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

The Taliban splintered when it emerged last year that their supposed leader had died two years before and his death had been kept secret.

The Afghan government sought to exploit these divisions by paying off breakaway commanders to fight the main group, The Wall Street Journal reported in May, as part of a secret plan to sow rifts within the insurgency, according to some Afghan and coalition officials.

The breakaway faction coalesced behind Mullah Mohammad Rasool, but the splinter group is currently run by his political and military deputies, according to Afghan government officials and sources close to the Taliban. Mullah Rasool was allegedly arrested in Pakistan earlier this year, according to local news reports in Pakistan. The Pakistani government hasn’t commented on the allegation.

Mullah Rasool’s top political deputy, Mullah Baz Mohammad Haris, has now rejoined the main Taliban group along with a breakaway commander in southern Uruzgan, according to the statement by the Taliban.

“He was the strongest and most influential person in Rasool group,” said a person who maintains close contacts with both factions.

The defections are another sign the new Taliban leader, Maulavi Haibatullah Akhund, is succeeding in repairing ties within the group. The more inclusive approach marks a break from Mullah Mansour, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in May. Mullah Mansour had attempted to stamp out opposition to his leadership, after rival factions battled for control of the group.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the defections would impact Afghan government efforts to support breakaway Taliban commanders. The Afghan government has continued to deny the program existed, despite U.S. and Afghan officials as well as Afghan army sources who said they were supporting the group.

“The Afghan government doesn’t support any group of the Taliban but is eliminating all terrorists and terrorist groups engaged in terrorist activities against the state and the people of Afghanistan,” said National Security Council spokesman, Tawab Ghorzang.

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan said it was aware of Taliban efforts to reconcile elements within the group, but these were failing.

“We’ve seen evidence that suggests efforts to reconcile have failed and that there may be renewed fighting between the Taliban and Islamic Emirate High Council (splinter group),” spokesman Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland said. He declined to say who those efforts concerned.

Write to Jessica Donati at Jessica.Donati@wsj.com

“We assured safety of flight” For Russian Bombers Coming From Iran

“They informed us they were coming through” with Tu-22M3 long-range bombers, known as “Backfires” by NATO, and Su-34 tactical bombers, Garver said. “We assured safety of flight as those bombers passed through the area and toward their target and then when they passed out again”, said Army Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Russia Gave US Short Notice of Syria Bombing Run from Iran

military dot com

In this frame grab from video, Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3, right, flies during a strike above an undisclosed location in Syria on Aug. 14, 2015. (Russian Defence Ministry press service photo via AP)
In this frame grab from video, Russian long range bomber Tu-22M3, right, flies during a strike above an undisclosed location in Syria on Aug. 14, 2015. (Russian Defence Ministry press service photo via AP)

Russia gave the U.S. military brief notice that its bombers were coming from a base in Iran for the first time to hit targets in Syria, an American military spokesman in Baghdad said Tuesday.

“The Russians did notify the coalition” under the memorandum of understanding on flight safety over Syria that was agreed to by the two countries, said Army Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

“They informed us they were coming through” with Tu-22M3 long-range bombers, known as “Backfires” by NATO, and Su-34 tactical bombers, Garver said. “We assured safety of flight as those bombers passed through the area and toward their target and then when they passed out again,” he said.

Garver declined to say how much warning the U.S. had of the Russian overflights. “We knew in time,” he said, adding that it was “not a lot of time but it was enough.”

The spokesman also declined to say whether U.S. and coalition aircraft over Iraq and Syria had to alter their own flight plans to accommodate the Russians. He repeated that the Russian route in and out “did not impact coalition operations.”

The Russian bombers took off from a base near the Iranian city of Hamedan, about 175 miles southwest of Tehran, in what was believed to be the first use of an Iranian airfield by a foreign power to bomb a third country since the Iranian revolution of 1979.Iran’s Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said the use of the airfield was a sign of the growing strategic alliance between Russia and Iran. He said that Moscow and Tehran “enjoy strategic cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria and share their facilities and capacities to this end,” official state media reported.

The Russian airstrikes into Syria from Iran came as the U.S. and Russia were still at odds over a possible agreement brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry to cooperate in a campaign against ISIS in Syria.

A day before the airstrikes, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the proposed agreement would “allow us to find common ground and start fighting together for bringing peace to that territory.”

Shoigu added Russian negotiators were “in a very active stage of talks with our American colleagues” but there was no confirmation from the American side that an agreement was near.

In a video briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon, Garver said that the Russian bombers hit targets in northern Aleppo and Idlib, and also in eastern Deir al-Zour. Garver said there was a presence of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters in Deir al-Zour but not in Aleppo or Idlib. “We don’t see a concentration of ISIS in those areas,” he said.

Also in Syria, Garver confirmed that a convoy of hundreds of ISIS fighters using civilians as human shields was allowed to exit the key northeastern stronghold of Manbij, which fell last weekend to forces of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

The convoy proceeded to the north, but Garver declined to say whether it crossed the Turkish border. He said U.S. warplanes tracked the convoy but “they let the convoy continue to travel. They couldn’t engage it” because of the presence of the civilians, he said.

— Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

CIA’s Syrian Army Allows Over 100 ISIS Toyotas To Flee Manbij Siege

[This is exactly the same Pentagon thinking that has characterized every aspect of the so-called “war on terror”.  Why risk embarrassing ourselves trying to eliminate Islamist terrorist outfits if we end up looking bad for killing a few “too many” civilians in the process, especially if we later find-out that we needed a few radical Islamists to start a revolution or a civil war? 

CIA always prevents the complete elimination of its Islamist assets.  Beginning with Tora Bora and the epic escape of bin Laden, followed in short order by Pakistan’s application of the doctrine in every “Operation” its ISI launched to eliminate terrorists in its Tribal Region.  The evidence is all over Afghanistan today, where you see terrorist remnants of every variety of outfit, which Pakistan has claimed to have eliminated from Pakistan.  They were all chased full-circle, back into Afghanistan.  Afghanistan has always belonged to the CIA.  That is why it is in the terrible shape that it is in, because that is exactly the way they wanted it to be. 

As a result of the Afghan destabilization, India and Pakistan stand as close to all-out nuclear war as they have ever been.  Iraq and Syria remain in the same fixed, devastated condition, as well, just like the CIA wanted there also.  Now that we have Russia’s help, we have the chance to rub-out this mistake, the creation of ISIS from the remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq (SEE:  What is the truth about ISIS? ). 

If 100 beige Toyota pick-ups were knowingly en route from Manbij to Raqqa because the CIA’s Syrian joke allowed that to happen, then that meant that there were 70.7 miles of desert to trap or scrap them in.  The civilians who might be unwillingly traveling with them WOULD be in great danger…but that WOULD NOT be our problem.]

[SEE: NUKE ISIS—save the bullets]

U.S. official: Large convoy of ISIS fighters allowed to leave Syrian city

cbsnews

isisAn Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighter waves a flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014.

WASHINGTON D.C. — A couple hundred vehicles of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters were allowed to leave the northern Syrian city of Manbij as U.S.-backed forces seized the town in recent days because the militants had civilians with them, according to a U.S. military official.

The official said Tuesday that some of the ISIS fighters may have already made their way into Turkey, but many are still in Syria. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, told Pentagon reporters that the decision to let the convoy leave the city was made by commanders of the Syrian Democratic Forces. He said there were civilians in each of the vehicles, and the military wanted to avoid casualties. He added that he doesn’t know how many of the civilians may have been in the cars voluntarily, but some were likely hostages.

It’s not clear if the militants left under a pre-arranged agreement between the SDF and the ISIS fighters. During the offensive, the SDF had offered fighters a safe route to leave the town but they refused.

ISIS has repeatedly used civilians as human shields, including in recent battles in Iraq.

“They kept throwing civilians to basically walk into the line of fire, trying to get them shot to use that potentially as propaganda, we think,” said Garver.

Garver said the coalition has been tracking and watching the vehicles as they headed north, but he declined to say where they were.

Syrian Democratic Forces seized control of the city on Friday and are now clearing the neighborhoods, looking for militants and bombs. Garver said that a “significant number” of explosive devices were left in the city by IS insurgents as they retreated.

Manbij is a key victory for the SDF and the coalition, because it lies on a major supply route between the Turkish border and the city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the ISIS group’s self-styled caliphate.

PM Modi Discards India’s Western Media Immunity To Admit Meddling in Balochistan

[SEE:  The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army–Mar 1, 2005]

[Pakistan Claims It Arrested 6 Afghan Agents In Balochistan Pakistan Names Afghan Generals As “Master Handlers” of NDS Agents Captured In Balochistan]

Omar Abdullah“6 protestors dead in Kashmir in 24 hours but WTH let’s go sort out Balochistan since we are doing such a good job in J&K at the moment!” Omar Abdullah Former Chief Minister of the State of Jammu and Kashmir

Why PM Modi’s Balochistan barb changes the India-Pakistan game

hindustan

Prashant Jha, New Delhi

PM Narendra Modi addresses the nation during the 70th Independence Day function at the Red Fort in New Delhi. (ARVIND YADAV/HT PHOTO)

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged the gratitude of the people of Balochistan and Gilgit, and nodded at their struggles in his Independence Day speech on Monday, he ended a long period of shadow-boxing in India-Pakistan ties.

This is a game-changer, but its consequences are not clear just yet.

Modi’s reference to Gilgit is significant but can be understood. There is an Indian parliamentary resolution that all of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. It is, as the strategic analyst Manoj Joshi noted, based on a simple principle – ‘In a dispute, express your maximal position, rather than the one you will compromise on.’ India has, in the past, responded to reports of the presence of Chinese soldiers and workers in the region. National security adviser Ajit Doval, in 2015, spoke of India’s 106-km long border with Afghanistan – which was a reference to Gilgit-Baltistan border.

The real shift is Balochistan.

To understand the leap, let us go back to Sharm-el-Sheikh in 2009. After a meeting between the Indian and Pakistani PMs, a joint statement said that Pakistan has ‘some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas’.

Note the context. Pakistan has repeatedly accused India of supporting insurgents in Balochistan, where it has been facing a long separatist struggle. Islamabad has specifically claimed that Indian diplomats and spies in Afghanistan keep in touch and finance these militants. For Pakistan, it served three ends – it was able to pass off an internal domestic issue into an externally-backed conspiracy; it lobbied with the West to keep India out of the Afghanistan equation with this accusation; and when India pointed to its role in Kashmir, it had a ready-made response on how India is intervening in its internal affairs.

Delhi has always refuted and rubbished the allegations, and asked for proof, which Islamabad was unable to offer convincingly.

It was for this reason that the 2009 statement provoked a huge domestic backlash in India. The opposition, as well as sections of the ruling Congress, saw Sharm-el-Sheikh as a sellout. India was viewed as almost admitting that it has a role in Balochistan. Parliament erupted, and questions were asked why a reference to Balochistan was included in a joint statement. This eroded India’s moral high ground. The government back-tracked and Manmohan Singh’s negotiating hand with Pakistan weakened, almost irreversibly, to the extent that he could not even visit the country despite his deep desire to do so.

Now, look at what Modi has done.

He has, in some senses, embraced the perception pushed by Pakistan, converted it from an accusation to a possible lever, and claimed a role for India in Balochistan.

The thinking is clear – if Pakistan can use internal Indian vulnerabilities (read Kashmir), India can use internal Pakistani vulnerabilities. If Pakistan can internationalise what India considers its problem, India can internationalise what Pakistan thinks falls solely within in its remit. If Pakistan can build a domestic political opinion on human rights excesses in Kashmir, India can build a domestic political opinion on human rights excesses in Balochistan. If Pakistan can cultivate a Kashmiri separatist constituency within India, India can cultivate a separatist Baloch constituency in Pakistan.

There is a big difference so far.

Pakistan has offered tangible financial, moral, political support to Kashmiri separatists. It has, as India says, ‘exported terror’. Whether Indian support will remain confined to a few utterances, or whether it will grow to more tangible forms, is to be seen. What these forms take will be as crucial to India’s reputation. This will also be a test of Indian commitment and give us a sense of whether Modi’s statement is merely rhetorical or there is more to it.

Needless to say, the form of Indian support will determine the Pakistani reaction and the subsequent geopolitical games. There is an additional subtext to it. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will pass through both Balochistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Modi’s statement is meant as much for Beijing as for Islamabad. It will not remain quiet as India ups its game in Balochistan.

What’s, as significant as the statement, is the occasion on which it was made. If it was merely a tactical manoeuvre, India could have left it to a mid-level diplomat, or an official foreign ministry statement or even a pronouncement by a cabinet minister. The fact that India’s Prime Minister has spoken of Balochistan – and from the ramparts of the Red Fort – signifies a level of political sanction and commitment that has not been seen so far on the issue. It also means that once Delhi has taken the plunge, it cannot hop out at will.

A new game is about to commence.

DynCorp Gets Govt Contract To Train ICE Agents How To Look For Terrorist Immigrants (Trump’s Idea)

[Last month the US Dept of Justice filed suit against DynCorp for the way it fucked-up the training of the Iraqi Police forces (United States Files Suit against DynCorp International Alleging Submission of False Claims under State Department Contract), this month they award them a contract to train immigration agents in the skills needed to effectively question would-be immigrants, in search of terrorist sleeper agents (Trump’s idea).]

DHS Taps DynCorp Subsidiary for Elicitation, Deception Detection Training Contract

executive biz

Scott Nicholas

dynacorp A DynCorp International subsidiary has been awarded a potential $700,000 contract by the Department of Homeland Security to provide elicitation and detecting deception training services to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement‘s office of international operations.

The company said Tuesday its Phoenix Consulting Group will train the department’s visa security program agents to identify applicants who could be a potential threat to the U.S.

“enhance the trainees’ understanding of interpersonal communications while emphasizing cultural, political and economic diversities, with the ultimate goal of identifying, validating, and denying entry of applicants who pose a potential threat to the United States.”

“We are excited at the opportunity to provide this critical training through our Phoenix Consulting Group to assist DHS/ICE agents in keeping our country safe,” said Randy Bockenstedt, senior vice president of DynLogistics.

The subsidiary will conduct up to five week-long training sessions each year and develop associated curriculum intended to increase ICE personnel’s interviewing skills to support visa applicant screening missions at embassies and consulates worldwide.

Phoenix Consulting Group won the contract through a competitive acquisition and will also teach agents about interpersonal communications with an emphasis on cultural, political and economic diversities.

The contract contains 10 base months and four option years.

Deutsche Bank Confirms That the Global Economy Must Collapse, Before It Can Be Fixed

[Whenever a major European bank, like Deutsch Bank confirms what many of us in the alternative universe have been saying for so many years, it feels somewhat like validation, except for the apocalyptic undercurrents driving that conclusion.  I wrote the following articles, at this link, in 2007, but I only spoke of truths which the authorities and their think tanks had already understood for decades—that an American economic collapse was inevitable, but they chose to let it happen, without doing anything to forestall the event.  Much like the previous revelations which were strained from the Benghazi hearings by Judicial Watch, revealing Obama Admin. documents that predicted the rise of the Islamic State “Caliphate” along the Syrian/Iraqi border but they just let it happen, or the 911 attacks before that, when they also just let happen (in order to reap the police state opportunities therein)…the “Powers That Be,” who have made all of these previous bad decisions for us, do not see things the way normal humans do. In disaster they see opportunity, human suffering is simply motivation.  Where normal humans seek an end to all preventable suffering, the monsters who secretly rule over us want human suffering to multiply, in order to serve as a “force multiplier,” a tool to guide the human herd (the part which survives) to acceptable, profitable outcomes. 

A Just God, if He exists at all, would NOT put His children into chains and march them lockstep into the abyss…but He might also overlook our suffering, if it were only a temporary phase through which the human race had to pass.  He too, might understand the power of suffering to bend human nature into a necessary direction, a direction which the entire race must learn to accept, if most of us are to survive.  The power of massive suffering can force us all to enter the same path together, at least for a while. 

Let us hope that the leaders, who are forcing suffering upon the world, in order to better organize the world, have learned from their mistakes and the plan is to make that common path for us, the one which moves us all closer to the end of most human-caused suffering.]

A Stunning Admission From Deutsche Bank Why A Shock Is Needed To Collapse The Market, And Force A Real Panic

zero hedge

Tyler Durden's picture

In what may be some of the best, and most lucid, writing on everyone’s favorite topic, namely “what happens next” in the evolution of the financial system, Deutsche Bank’s Dominic Konstam, takes a look at the current dead-end monetary situation, and concludes that in order for the system to transition from the current state of financial repression, which has made a mockery of all asset values due to central bank intervention, to a semi-credible system driven by fiscal stimulus, there will have to be a crash, one which jolts policymakers out of their stupor that all is well simply because stocks are at all time highs.

And since a legitimate fiscal stimulus is what is needed to re-ignite the economy, US and global GDP will continue declining, even as stocks keep rising to new all time highs, not on fundamentals (which are all pointing in the opposite direction), but due to even more central bank intervention and financial repression, thus a Catch 22, which ultimately – according to DB – ends in the only possible way: with a major crash.

As Konstam puts it, “the status quo could continue for several years yet – if nothing “breaks” in the system” but “without an external economic shock it is hard to see policymakers being prepared to take dramatic, fiscal action to jumpstart the global economy and bounce it out of a financial repression defined by low and falling real yields to one that at least initially is defined by rising nominal yields through higher inflation expectations.”

As for the conclusion, or why a financial shock is long overdue, KOnstam says that “ironically the shock that is needed would require a collapse in risk assets for policymakers to then really panic and attempt dramatic fiscal stimulus.

This is critical – and inevitable – as only a shock can lead to an “unwind of the falling yield/rising equity market where all financial assets trade badly.

In other words the end of financial repression will see price levels fall so that yields once again look attractive, or said otherwise, there will be a demand for Treasuries, even without the perpetual implicit backstop of central bank purchases.

For such a move to be sustainable itself requires the economic fundamentals to shift – inflation needs to be more secure against an underlying backdrop of robust real growth. Most people now understand that this is not a job for monetary policy alone. Yet the current reach for yield simply prolongs the status quo for policy disappointment.

Which brings us full circle: recall that over the past few months virtually every prominent investment bank, from JPMorgan to Goldman Sachs have warned clients that a selloff is coming. Now, Deutsche Bank has taken it to a whole new level, explaining why a financial crash has to happen to purge the system from the toxic aftereffects of 7 years of financial repression, and to kickstart a fiscal stimulus that will not happen unless markets tumble in the first place.

And while Konstam’s line of reasoning is absolutely correct, we doubt just how his employer would look upon a market plunge that wipes out 30%, 40%, or even 50% of global equity values: would Deutsche Bank even survive such a crash? As such we doubt that the strategist’s analysis and forecast, correct as it may be, will be endorsed by his employer, even if by now it is clear to all that only a major crash, i.e. a global reset, can kick start the world out of its zombie-like, centrally-planned existence, into the long overdue phase of whatever it is that comes next.

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Below is Konstam’s full must read analysis:

Stocks must fall for yields to rise – but unlikely to happen anytime soon

It is pretty much understood that we are in full on financial repression mode, as witnessed by super benign core yields lead by lower real yields with more recently the further downward drift in euro peripheral yields, including the UK. The new high in equities is consistent with our view of financial repression that necessarily has yield returns on all assets being incrementally replaced by price returns – stretched relative valuations follow already increasingly stretched absolute valuations. The last round of economic data does little to suggest any change in this dynamic. As we highlighted last week the conundrum for the US is how an overly strong labor market without meaningful wage inflation resolves itself against markedly weak productivity data with a GDP cake that if anything seems to be stagnating.

With the current status quo, it is clear to us that US yields if anything are still too high – we think they are near the upper bound of a range that pivots closer to 1.25 percent with real yields in particular too high. This probably still reflects a reluctance of investors to get meaningfully long the market although much of the short base has been covered and this in turn reflects a still fairly strong consensus on the economics front that the labor market strength can still resolve itself through higher wages and a virtuous circle of rising demand and productivity – a scenario we would not rule out but not our central view.

More importantly however are what prospects there may be to jolt us out of this financial repression and to what extent regardless of proactive policy, is there a natural end to financial repression – at some point does something have to break in the system. On the former the most likely candidate is obviously some form of global fiscal stimulus. Despite optimism around this in early July we have not exactly had the green light on either helicopter money in Japan or Italian bank bailout. It is still too early to call the US election and stimulus prospects here but the general sense is that it is still difficult to sense the urgency when equities make new highs. Policymakers aren’t used to dealing with financial repression and that unfortunately is one of the defining characteristics of stagnation.

We suspect the fall will be defined by markets looking for dramatic policy news that somehow “responds” to super low bond yields and underwrites rising risk asset prices but only to be disappointed precisely because policymakers don’t bide the urgency. The result is that yields can fall still further even with risk assets still trading well – hanging onto their relative valuation rationale.

The failure of a policy response allows for more financial repression. We are anyway already beyond the point of preemptive policy since preemption is supposed to recognize and avoid looming problems beforehand. It is clear that the nature of those problems are already material including squeezed interest margins for banks, insurance solvency issues etc. But to be fair, the lack of a fiscal response itself bears witness to the perceived fiscal stress during the 2008 crisis and the need to insulate taxpayers. Additional fiscal burdens can be thought of as a variant of financial repression where future inflation and negative real rates do the redistribution as opposed to the structure of the fiscal regime. Helicopter money fuses financial repression from the money side with the fiscal response in a potentially dramatic way whereby the would be spenders get to spend a lot more directly at the expense of the ongoing savers. And while it may have its own political hurdles that ultimately are insurmountable, it offers a perfectly reasonable alternative equilibrium option where the goal is to raise the price level as well as improve the real growth outlook by overcoming excess savings. The fusion of fiscal with monetary policy can also be appreciated in the context of the fiscal theory of price where monetary policy can offer infinite paths for money growth and potential nominal growth but fiscal policy effectively selects which path is realized based on an equilibrium condition that the NPV of all future budget deficits needs to sum to zero.

* * *

The status quo could continue for several years yet – if nothing “breaks” in the system. There are ways of course for either avoiding breaks or at least patching them – mitigating the impact of negative rates on banks is now in vogue with subsidized bank loans for on lending. And we may yet see soft forms of bank bailout still being allowed. This is similar to the use of alternative yield curves for discounting insurance liabilities.

The conclusion is that without an external economic shock it is hard to see policymakers being prepared to take dramatic, fiscal action to jumpstart the global economy and bounce it out of a financial repression defined by low and falling real yields to one that at least initially is defined by rising nominal yields through higher inflation expectations. Ironically the shock that is needed would require a collapse in risk assets for policymakers to then really panic and attempt dramatic fiscal stimulus.

The logic would also fit with the same correlation structure for financial assets – an unwind of the falling yield/rising equity market where all financial assets trade badly. In other words the end of financial repression will see price levels fall so that yields once again look attractive. For such a move to be sustainable itself requires the economic fundamentals to shift – inflation needs to be more secure against an underlying backdrop of robust real growth. Most people now understand that this is not a job for monetary policy alone. Yet the current reach for yield simply prolongs the status quo for policy disappointment.

German intelligence agency records Islamists recruiting refugees

German intelligence agency records Islamists recruiting refugees

Eagle-Online

 

 

 

 

Hans-Georg Maassen, Head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said on Sunday in Berlin that there are more than 340 incidences on record. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says it has recorded hundreds of attempts by radical Islamists to recruit immigrants hosted in the country’s refugee centres.

Hans-Georg Maassen, Head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said on Sunday in Berlin that there are more than 340 incidences on record.
Maassen said: “But these are the only the cases known to us. Presumably there are even more.”
Maassen said workers at German refugee centres have already been made aware of the situation.
He said: “It worries us that Salafists and other Islamists are promoting their cause in asylum centres.
“We know that there are very many young men of the Sunni denomination among asylum seekers.”
The intelligence agency chief said such often come from a conservative Islamic background and want to go to an Arabic-speaking mosque every Friday.
Maassen also noted that there were also numerous radical Salafist mosques in Germany.
He said the Arabic-speaking mosques in Germany are not regulated and from the perspective of the state, there is very little the agency can influence.
Maassen said Islamist-motivated attacks had also taken place before a recent spate of violence in the past month in Germany, and that a policeman in the city of Hanover as well as a Sikh temple in Essen had also been targeted.
He said: “The lesson to learn from this is that we should not concentrate only on Islamic State, which may be sending terrorist units to Europe, as with Paris or Brussels.
“Instead it could be that individuals that are radicalized on their own or are given orders.”
Dpa/NAN. Copyright The Eagle Online.

Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.theeagleonline.com.ng as the source.

US Drone Killing of Mansour Made Taliban Unification Possible, For Good Or For Bad

[Mullah Zakir/Rasoul was arrested by Pakistan in March, leaving his deputies in charge of the opposition.  The American killing of Akhtar Mansour opened the door to this reconciliation of the Afghan Taliban, evidently the result the CIA/Pentagon was looking for.]

Powerful jihadist faction reconciles with the Taliban

Long war journal

Dadullahs Daddy Haji Abdullah“DADULLAH’S DADDY”Haji Abdullah, the father of Mullah Dadullah Akhund and Mullah Mansour Dadullah. Image from Voice of Jihad.

A powerful Taliban faction that broke away from the main group has reconciled and swore allegiance to the Taliban’s new emir, Mullah Haibatullah. The reunion of the faction, known as the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz or Mullah Dadullah Front, is the latest success in the Taliban’s effort to bring wayward groups and commanders back into the fold after divisions over the death of its founder and first emir, Mullah Omar.

The Taliban announced that family of Mullah Dadullah Akhund, a revered commander, and his brother, Mullah Dadullah Mansour, as well as a group of commanders and fighters rejoined the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan late last week, according to a statement released on Voice of Jihad. The reconciliation was spearheaded by Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund, a brother of Mullah Omar.

“On Thursday [Aug. 12], the respected father (Haji Abdullah), sons and brothers (Sher Agha and Gran Agha), nephew (Mullah Ihsanullah), family members, commanders (Mullah Muhammad Dawood Akhund, Mullah Muhammad Sadiq Akhund) and a number of fighters of the hero of Islamic Emirate, the martyr Mullah Dadullah Akhund and Mansoor Dadullah pledge their allegiance to the leader of Islamic Emirate, Amirul Mumineen Sheikhul Hadith Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada (HA) after coming to an understanding with the officials of Islamic Emirate and brother of the late Amirul Mumineen Mullah Muhammad Umar Mujahid (RA).

“The family pledged that they shall completely obey and continue their services in the sacred united ranks of the Islamic Emirate and will strive to the best of their abilities to all plots of the enemies of Islam and motherland,” the statement continued.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that the Dadullah family and commanders mentioned in the statement effectively make up the senior leadership of the Mullah Dadullah Front.

The Mullah Dadullah Front (also known as the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz and Mullah Dadullah Lang Allegiance) is named after Mullah Dadullah Akhund, a popular but brutal and effective commander who was killed by British special forces in Helmand province in May 2007. Dadullah was responsible for embracing al Qaeda’s ideology of waging global jihad, and incorporated al Qaeda tactics, including the use of suicide bombers, on the battlefield.

After Mullah Dadullah Akhund was killed in 2007, his brother, Mullah Mansour Dadullah, and Mullah Adbul Qayoum Zakir assumed top leadership roles in the group.  Mullah Adbul Qayoum Zakir is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who has served as the Taliban’s military commander and is now a member of the executive council, which is better known as the Quetta Shura. The Mullah Dadullah Front operates largely in the southern Afghan provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, and Uruzgan, as well as in Zabul, and is considered one of the most effective and dangerous Taliban groups in the region. It has sabotaged negotiations between the Afghan government and both lower-level Taliban leaders and fighters in the south.

Mullah Mansour Dadullah has always had a rocky relationship with the Taliban’s top leadership. After his brother was killed, he was named as the Taliban’s military commander. But within seven months after taking command of forces in the south, Mullah Omar expelled Dadullah for violating the group’s rules and barred him from the Taliban. Months after he was ousted from the Taliban, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate detained him up until his release in 2013. [See LWJ report, Dissident Taliban commander claims Pakistani intel ordered him to conduct assassinations, attacks in Afghanistan.]

Just prior to the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar in July 2015, the Mullah Dadullah Front publicly questioned whether the Taliban’s leadership was hiding Mullah Omar’s death. After it was revealed that the Taliban hid Omar’s death from April 2013 until July 2015 (he apparently died of natural causes in a hospital in Quetta), the Taliban appointed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour as its emir. He had effectively served as the Taliban’s emir after Omar died in 2013. While the Mullah Dadullah Front remained rebellious, Mullah Zakir and a cadre of his followers remained loyal to the Quetta Shura.

Mullah Dadullah Front and the Dadullah family reconciled with Mullah Haibatullah and the Taliban despite the fact that the Taliban killed Mullah Mansour Dadullah. In September 2015, Mullah Mansour Dadullah rejected Mansour’s leadership of the Taliban, and joined with Mullah Rasul, another influential Taliban commander who created the rival High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate. Mullah Mansour Dadullah’s opposition to the established Taliban was short lived. Taliban fighters loyal to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour killed him and a number of his followers during fighting in Zabul province in November 2015.

The Taliban have had a string of successes in bringing recalcitrant leaders back into the fold. In April 2016, Mullah Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund, and son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, were given senior leadership positions after swearing allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour. They were handsomely rewarded. Mullah Manan was named the chairman of the influential Dawat wal Irshad,” or the Preaching and Guidance Commission, while Mullah Yacoub was given a seat on the Quetta Shura, “as well as the military chief of 15 provinces” within the structure of the Taliban’s Military Commission. And after the US killed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour in a drone strike in Pakistan in May 2016, Yacoub was named one of the two deputy emirs of the Taliban. This puts him in the running to eventually succeed Mullah Haibatullah. [See LWJ report, Taliban appoints Mullah Omar’s brother, son to key leadership positions.]

Earlier last week, the Taliban announced that Mullah Baz Mohammad, who served as a deputy to Mullah Rasul, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Akhond, a commander in Uruzgan, and their followers had reconciled.

Ironically, the US military’s killing of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the Taliban’s last emir, may have paved the way for rebellious Taliban commanders to rejoin the group. Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was resented for the way he assumed the leadership of the Taliban in the wake of Mullah Omar’s death as well as his maneuverings while leading the Taliban before Omar’s death was announced. However, the Taliban have deftly leveraged influential leaders, such as Sirajuddin Haqqani (he was named one of Haibatullah’s two deputy emirs), Zakir, Manan, Yacoub, and others to woo disaffected leaders.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal.

Syria’s “Revolution/Civil War” Actually An International Conflict Arranged By US State Dept/CIA

There are so many foreign backers in the Syrian war that nothing is changing

– rebels hope that Hillary Clinton could change that

the independent

Patrick Cockburn

Since the end of 2012, little has changed on the ground in western Syria. But the east, it’s a different story, with Isis, and later the Syrian Kurds, making huge advances

rebels lose 500Rebel fighters are reported to have lost as many as 500 lives in their recent offensive Reuters

The Syrian army and its militia allies from the Shia world are preparing a counter-offensive to cut the recently-opened corridor connecting East Aleppo to rebel territory. Syrian and Russian aircraft pound the ruins of this corner of Aleppo through which also runs the main supply road to the government-held west side of the city.

The strengths and weaknesses of all sides in the Syrian war are on show in the present battle. First there was a victory by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, which cut the enemy’s supply line to East Aleppo on 28 July. But this was balanced within a few days by a rebel success in another part of the city, which shows how equally the two sides are balanced. Claims of decisive victories in local offensives dribble away because neither side can keep up the momentum after initial advances. Each side has a limited number of effective combat soldiers of which they cannot afford to lose too many. The rebels are reported to have lost 500 individuals in their recent offensive.

Each side responds to any setback on the battlefield by asking and getting greater support from foreign backers. In this case, the Syrian government is looking to Russia, Iran and Shia militias from Lebanon and Iraq for reinforcements and air strikes. As they have shown repeatedly since 2011, none of these allies can afford to see Assad defeated and have a great deal riding on his staying in power. They were caught by surprise on 1 August when the rebel umbrella group Jaish al-Fatah, of which the main fighting component is the salafi-jihadi al-Nusra Front, broke through government lines in south west Aleppo. Rebel fighters, numbering between 5,000 and 10,000 men, are supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. The Syrian army, battered by suicide bombers, retreated and their commander has been sacked.

UN pushes for pause in fighting as battle for Aleppo ramps up

We have seen this before. The Syrian army has enough combat troops to launch successful offensives backed by airstrikes. But it does not have the manpower to hold fixed position, often manned by soldiers who do little aside from manning checkpoints, harassing civilians and keeping out of danger. This has been a feature of the war since 2012: it is striking how few military units one sees on the roads or even in the front line. This makes each side vulnerable to surprise attack.

Pro-Assad forces are reported to have been reinforced by 2,000 fighters from Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iraqi Shia militias – their military experience, training and morale often making them superior to the regular army. If these units backed by heavy airstrikes cannot regain the small but crucial piece of territory lost earlier this month, it will show that the Assad government is weaker than was thought, but it does not mean that it is anywhere near defeat.

The stalemate in the war is demonstrated by the fact that both East Aleppo and government-held West Aleppo are now under siege. Water supplies are scant and little food can get in from the outside. UNICEF said on 11th August that “two million people in Aleppo are left with no access to running water as fighting intensifies.” Nobody quite knows how many people remain in Aleppo, but there are probably around 250,000 in the rebel half of the city and the rest on the government side.

It is striking how little real change there has been on the ground in western Syria since the end of 2012. This contrasts with the vast but under-populated spaces of eastern Syria where Isis and later the Syrian Kurds have made sweeping advances.

A further factor reinforcing the stalemate in the war is that much of the fighting in Iraq and Syria is conducted on all aides by criminalised warlords with no interest in the well-being or even survival of the civilian population. But such cynicism, while usually realistic, can also be deceptive because it fosters a belief that nobody has a core of firm believers who will fight to the end.

Every fight in Syria takes place in political, sectarian, ethnic and social landscapes so distinct that they falsify generalisations about the course of the conflict. Fabrice Balanche of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy makes the point that “in Aleppo, the major divide between rebels and pro-government factions is not based on sectarian opposition – except for the pro-government Christian minority – but mainly on social class divisions and the historic urban-rural cleavage. Therefore, the chances for an anti-Assad uprising in western Aleppo are non-existent. If the rebels want to conquer the government-held portion of Aleppo, it will be with a hard fight.”

But Balanche remarks that any siege of East Aleppo by the government will be more difficult and prolonged than the eighteen month-long siege of the Old City of Homs. This was held by about one thousand rebel fighters occupying half a square mile of shattered buildings, while in East Aleppo there are an estimated 10,000 rebel fighters holding eight square miles. Moreover, “Aleppo is located in an Arab Sunni area very hostile to the Assad regime” while in Homs the surrounding rural areas were mostly loyal to the regime because they were Christian, Alawite or Shiah and because Hezbollah was able to close the border with Lebanon.

Indigenous factions in Syria are not going to bring an end to the war except by victory on the battlefield and this is a long way off. But the conflict has become progressively internationalised with the US starting its air campaign against Islamic State in September 2014 and Russia doing the same in defence of Assad a year later. Could the geopolitical environment be turning against the rebels after a rapprochement between Russia and Turkey? Turkish support or tolerance has always been crucial for the rebel cause. The meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin on 9 August sparked speculation that Turkey might do a U-turn in Syria, reconcile itself to Assad staying in power and abandon its anti-Assad rebel protégés.

It is not very likely. It is true that Turkey’s policy in Syria since 2011 has been a disaster. It has failed to displace Assad and establish a Sunni regime, but it has opened the door to a Syrian Kurdish de facto state ruled by the local branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) against whom Ankara has been fighting a guerrilla war since 1984. Worse, the Syrian Kurds are the main military ally of the US in Syria.

Turkey is likely to be absorbed by its domestic affairs in the aftermath of the failed coup of 15 July. But switching sides in Syria, even if politically feasible, would not necessarily win Erdogan many friends while alienating Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It may be, however, that Turkish capacity and willingness to help the anti-Assad rebels will be more limited in future. The rebels will hope this does not happen and wait to see if they will be rescued by a Hillary Clinton Presidency. More hawkish towards Assad than President Obama, she might shift from giving priority to destroying Islamic State, but more likely she will stick with his policies.

A Proxy War Between India And Pakistan Is Under Way In Afghanistan

US Claims, Once Again, Drone Kill of Leader of Afghan ISIS

[Below are reports from the same mainstream news bureau and the same reporter, with almost identical stories, yet, he fails to even mention the previous year’s report, which preceded today’s report by one year, almost to the day.  Just another example of the willingness of mainstream news sources, like NBC, to parrot anything govt sources tell them.  Nothing demonstrates the moral degeneracy of “the Nightly News” better, or proves the total lack of “journalistic integrity” of their reporters and other talking heads to the unsuspecting American sheeple quite like examples such as this.  Nothing shows the act of news bureaus “lying by omission” to the simple-minded more clearly than seeing both examples side-by-side.]

Afghan Govt Claims To Have Re-Killed Yet Another Dead Taliban Leader–Both “Rekills” Dadullah’s Anti-Taliban

Afghanistan Govt Claims To Have Killed Taliban Leader With Multiple Lives
Killed, Then Rekilled, Then Killed Again–the truth about OBAMA’S MURDER BY DRONE IN YEMEN

Former Spook Claims Abbottabad Raid a Fraud–Bin Laden’s Remains Dug-Up and His Corpse Re-Killed

U.S. Strike Reportedly Kills Senior ISIS Militant Hafiz Saeed Khan

NBC News.svg

Jul 11 2015

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The leader of ISIS in Afghanistan and Pakistan was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, Afghan officials told NBC News — although U.S. officials said they are doubting reports of his death.

Hafiz Saeed Khan is the head of an area called Khorasan, comprised of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, according to Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security.

 

Leader of ISIS in Afghanistan Killed in U.S. Drone Strike: Pentagon

NBC News.svg

Aug 12 2016

The Pentagon said Friday that a U.S. drone strike late last month killed the leader of ISIS’s branch in Afghanistan.

Hafiz Sayed Khan was killed in a July 26 strike in Nangarhar province, the Pentagon said.

Kurdish Coalition Key To Liberation of Manbij

Analysts: Manbij liberation shows SDF as most effective force to defeat ISIS

ARA NEWS

Analysts: Manbij liberation shows SDF as most effective force to defeat ISIS

Kurdish female fighters of the YPJ joining the fight against ISIS north Raqqa. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

ALEPPO – The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Friday liberated the city of Manbij from ISIS militants after a campaign of 73 days. According to analysts, the liberation of Manbij shows that the SDF is the most effective anti-ISIS force working with the US-led coalition. However post-ISIS administrative challenges remain.

“The capture of Manbij is a crucial victory for the anti-ISIS coalition. It proves that the SDF can be the ‘local capable forces’ the Americans are relying on to defeat ISIS,” Barak Barfi, a research fellow at the New America Foundation told ARA News. “Tactically, the city’s capture deprives the organisation [ISIS] of its key transit point in and out of the country since it has moved fighters through it.”

“As for the Turks, the Americans have eased their concerns and Ankara has approved the operations. This is the reason President Erdogan has been silent on the issue in contrast to his blistering attacks when the YPG took Tel Abyad,” he added.

ISIS grows weaker

Furthermore, analysts consider the loss of Manbij as a huge setback for ISIS.

“The capture of Manbij would be a significant milestone in the U.S.-led Coalition campaign to defeat ISIS in Syria,” said Nicholas A. Heras, a Bacevich Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

“Losing Manbij would weaken the ISIS war effort, particularly by making it more difficult for ISIS to move reinforcements and supplies from Raqqa to the Aleppo area frontline,” Heras told ARA News.

“Over time and combined with ISIS’ territorial losses in other areas of Syria, the would-be Caliphate will be placed under greater and greater pressure.”

“(…) the capture of Manbij, and subsequently the area around Manbij, is strategic territory because it provides ISIS with a route of reinforcement and resupply from Turkey into Syria, and to stage offensives in the vicinity of Aleppo city,” Heras added.

SDF as Crucial Partner 

Michael Stephens, a Research Fellow for Middle East Studies and Head of RUSI Qatar, told ARA News that the liberation of Manbij is a sign of the confidence of the US-led coalition in the SDF forces.

“The liberation of Manbij is a display of the ongoing confidence the United States in particular holds for the SDF as the most capable actor in Syria to defeat ISIS,” he said.

“Although it took longer than expected, the operation has largely been successful in further pushing Isis away from the Turkish border and isolating their heartlands further south,” Stephens said.

Speaking to ARA News, Aron Lund, a nonresident associate in the Carnegie Middle East Program, said that the defeat of ISIS in Manbij is important for the Pentagon and will be a test for the US strategy in Syria in the future.

Post-ISIS challenges

“Manbij will be an important bellwether for the war on the Islamic State and US strategy in Syria more generally,” Lund said.

“The Pentagon has sought to develop the SDF into a multiethnic umbrella capable of transcending Arab-Kurdish disputes and other fault lines, if not completely then at least to an extent that would allow this coalition to deliver additional, critical blows to the jihadi state-building project,” he added. “I think the test rather begins now, with establishing a new administration in the area,” he stated.

For this reason, the SDF created the Manbij Civilian Council in April that is providing aid to civilians now in the small town of Abu Qalqal, and will administrate the city in the near future. On Monday, the official liberation will be announced. However, the aid the council received from the international community is very limited, to almost non-existent. That’s why Kurdish and Arab officials have called for more aid support.

ISIS collapse

The researcher at the Center for a New American Security Nicholas A. Heras said the Manbij battle could have lead to the collapse of ISIS.

“Sensing a lost cause, this could spur communities under ISIS control throughout eastern Syria to begin to look toward a post-ISIS future. That would start to collapse the would-be Islamic State from within,” Heras told ARA News.

“It [the fall of Manbij] would provide the SDF, and the U.S.-led Coalition, the opportunity to demonstrate that it can hold, provide security for, and govern newly-won territory from ISIS. Particularly demographically diverse areas of northern Syria that will need inclusive government structures post-ISIS,” he said.

“The Coalition and its local partner forces on the ground in Syria will need to demonstrate that they can present a better alternative to ISIS. If the Coalition backed forces can not govern better than ISIS, there is the great risk of its resurgence in these hard-won areas,” he warned.

After Manbij

Now that the SDF forces have recaptured Manbij, the question remains what would the next station be, since the SDF seems determined to continue combatting ISIS in northern Syria. Observers wonder about the future involvement of the SDF in fighting in other key ISIS positions in Syria, such as al-Bab, Jarabulus and Raqqa. Most sources suggest that the next target is al-Bab city.

“The question now is whether SDF will continue to push westward towards Aleppo, Azaz and ultimately Afrin, or look to turn south and finish ISIS before the Assad regime does,” researcher Michael Stephens stated.

“At the present time it appears the SDF will consolidate their gains in the ‘Manbij pocket’ rather than look to finish off ISIS. The fight still has a long way to run,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

If You Find One of These In Your Car, You Are A “high-value asset that need to be tracked.”

edn europe

By Graham Prophet
u-blox’ small-form-factor EVA-M8Q IC-style module delivers, the company says, the highest acquisition and tracking sensitivity for applications with small antennas.

Swiss company u-blox positions the EVA-M8Q GNSS receiver as completing its lineup of receivers in the miniature and cost-effective EVA 7x7mm form-factor package. The EVA-M8Q is TCXO-based and is optimized to provide the highest acquisition and tracking sensitivity, for use with small antennas either in covert applications such as asset tracking and stolen vehicle recovery, or in portable devices.

“The key differentiator of the EVA-M8Q to the other cost effective EVA variants is the sensitivity,” said Stéphane Vincent, Product Strategy Director, Positioning, at u-blox. “This, along with the accuracy provided by concurrent reception of three GNSS constellations, enables an end-system and its antennas to be easily hidden within a vehicle or other high-value asset that need to be tracked.”

Pentagon Reveals Trickle of Truth About the Flood of Private Contractors Washing Away Low-Paying Intel and Combat Jobs

[For once, I’d like to hear someone admit that this is what all of this private army bullshit is about, to pay people enough to risk their lives in war scenarios, by converting high-risk work from military into civilian jobs.  The Pentagon calls it “Hybrid Warfare” when Russia does it with their “Little Green Men,” but it is all the same in the Big Picture.  Big Money jobs become available through various underworld sources, and soldiers retire to take them.  In our crippled capitalist economy, this is increasingly becoming the new model for employment, involving travel, lots of travel, whether it is civilian construction workers here, traveling great distances to find fair pay for fair work, or former soldiers who are willing to travel to jobs where they can fight, or do spy stuff, for the right money.]

Spies like us: Pentagon taps private intel contractors to fight ISIS in Syria

Russia-Today

A no-bid $10 million contract announced in late July is possibly the first instance in which the Pentagon has publicly acknowledged using private military contractors alongside American special operations forces fighting Islamic State in Syria.

In a public announcement on July 27, the Department of Defense said it awarded an intelligence analysis contract to private contractor Six3 Intelligence Solutions, a cyber and signals intelligence and surveillance firm that is a subsidiary of CACI International Inc. The contract will require Six3 to assist US forces working against Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL) within Syria.

Six3 Intelligence Solutions Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $ 9,578,964 modification (P00001) to contract W564KV-16-C-0058 for intelligence analysis services.  Work will be performed in Germany, Italy, and Syria, with an estimated completion date of June 29, 2017.  Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $6,370,000 were obligated at the time of the award.  Army Contracting Command, Kaiserslautern, Germany APO AE, is the contracting activity.

Six3’s work pursuant to the contract will occur over the next year in Syria, as well as Germany and Italy, the Pentagon said. The DOD and CACI would not expand on the “intelligence analysis services” involved in the contract, The Daily Beast reported.

“This is no ordinary contractor,” Sean McFate, a former private contractor and author of Shadow War, told the Beast. “Six3 Intelligence Solutions is a private intelligence company, and the fact that we outsource a good portion of our intelligence analysis creates a strategic dependency on the private sector to perform vital wartime operations.”

According to US officials, there are about 300 US military special operations soldiers in Syria to “advise and assist” US allies fighting Islamic State, the militant group that holds territory in Iraq and Syria. In November, the Pentagon first announced that 50 US troops would operate in Syria. In April, the Obama administration said that around 250 more troops would be sent in “advisory” roles. The CIA has long operated and armed militants in Syria.

While the Six3 contract is likely the first public acknowledgment of private contractors assisting the US in Syria, experts suggest it is probably not the only contractor involved.

“I’ve long said, the military looks at professional services contractors like the old American Express commercial, i.e., they dare not leave home without them,” David Isenberg, a private security contractor analyst, told the Beast.

Four weeks prior to the Syria contract announcement, the Pentagon revealed that it had awarded Six3 a $28.61 million contract to provide intelligence services to US forces in Afghanistan.

CACI, the parent company of Six3, has been one of the top 30 contractors for the US government by amount of contract funds awarded in fiscal years 2012 through 2015. According to US military investigators, CACI employees were involved in interrogation and torture of prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, more than a decade ago. Images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib were released in 2004, becoming one of the biggest scandals associated with the US invasion and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003.

Operation Inherent Resolve is the name given to military’s operation to combat IS in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. As of July 27, the US-led operation had conducted a total of 14,093 airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria. Of that total, the US conducted 10,826 of the strikes, according to the Pentagon.

From August 8, 2014, when airstrikes targeting the terrorist group began, to July 15, 2016, the operation has cost a total of $8.4 billion, or an average of $11.9 million a day.

India’s Man, Abdullah Abdullah, Slanders Afghan Pres. Ghani

[Northern Alliance perennial troublemaker and perennial candidate for president, Abdullah Abdullah, is firing (one of) the first shot(s) in the next presidential campaign, which may turn into a war between India and Pakistan, fought from Afghanistan to India.  To be fair to Pres. Ghani, Abdullah declared war upon his previous “partner in govt,” Hamid Karzai (SEE: Karzai rival Abdullah to quit Afghan run-off  , 31 October 2009).  Another explosion in govt, at this time, will likely guarantee success to the Afghan Taliban, in their ongoing summer offensive. 

And exactly how would that benefit India?]

Afghanistan’s Ghani ‘unfit for presidency’: chief executive

al arabiya

In this Tuesday, July 12, 2016 photo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AFP)

Afghanistan’s chief executive has castigated his ally Ashraf Ghani as “unfit for the presidency”, in a public outburst highlighting bitter internal divisions that threaten their US-brokered power sharing agreement.

Abdullah Abdullah’s comments come ahead of a September deadline for the government to honour the fragile agreement signed after the fraud-tainted presidential election in 2014, which both leaders claimed to have won.

By then the government is expected to enact sweeping election reforms and amend the constitution to create the position of prime minister for Abdullah. Observers say that deadline is unlikely to be met, effectively tipping Afghanistan into a political crisis.

“Electoral reforms were one of the promises made when the National Unity Government was formed. Why weren’t these reforms brought?” Abdullah told a small gathering in Kabul late Thursday.

“Mr President, over a period of three months you do not have time to see your chief executive face-to-face for even an hour or two? What do you spend your time on?

“There are arguments in every government but if someone does not have patience for discussion, then he is unfit for the presidency.”

The acrimony comes as Taliban insurgents are threatening to overrun Lashkar Gah, capital of the strategic poppy-growing southern province of Helmand.

Abdullah also accused Ghani of monopolizing power and not consulting him over key government appointments.

Divisions between the two leaders are an open secret in Kabul but Abdullah’s public outburst is a prelude to what analysts are calling “political fireworks” if the agreement brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry is not honored.

Aside from election reforms, under the agreement the government is also expected to hold parliamentary elections by the end of September.

Political opposition groups, including former president Hamid Karzai, are mounting pressure to hold a grand assembly of elders from around Afghanistan to decide the government’s legitimacy.

“The National Unity Government deal is in danger,” Jawed Kohistani, a Kabul-based political analyst, told AFP.

“Electoral reforms, parliamentary elections, loya jirga (grand assembly of elders) will almost definitely not happen anytime soon. This could plunge the government into crisis.”

The potential crisis could destabilize the government at a time when it is struggling to rein in an emboldened Taliban insurgency.

Fighting has been raging in Helmand as Afghanistan rushed military reinforcements to beat back Taliban insurgents advancing on the besieged capital of the province.

The US and Afghan officials insist they will not allow the city to fall, but the fighting has sent thousands of people fleeing to Lashkar Gah, sparking a humanitarian crisis as officials report food and water shortages.

Ghani’s office declined to comment on Abdullah’s remarks.

But Hamidullah Farooqi, a senior Ghani advisor, said Abdullah’s outburst had left him “very disappointed”.

“There are differences in every administration but lashing out publicly at the president at such a sensitive time will damage the public perception about the government,” he told AFP.

‘We Have No Idea What (Real) War Is’ anymore

An aerial view of the Pentagon Jason Reed / Reuters

‘We Have No Idea What War Is’

The Atlantic

Rosa Brooks discusses her tenure at the Pentagon, and the ever-expanding role of the American military.

Kathy Gilsinan

Just days after I interviewed the legal scholar Rosa Brooks about her book on her time as a civilian advisor in President Barack Obama’s Pentagon, the United States bombed Libya again. This was the third such strike in the U.S. campaign against ISIS there, but this time, Reuters reported, U.S. officials said it “marked the start of a sustained air campaign.”

Still, it was hard to tell how much of a turning point it really was. Small numbers of American special-operations forces have been active in the country since late last year, ostensibly to support local partners against ISIS, though details are vague. By launching more airstrikes at the beginning of August, America was not so much opening up a new front in its war on the group as maintaining an existing one. And it wasn’t so much changing tactics as amplifying them. Did this mean that the United States somehow became more “at war” in Libya last week than it had been the week before? For that matter, as U.S. planes have accelerated their bombing campaign against militants in Afghanistan this summer, and President Obama has vowed to leave some 8,000 troops there through the end of his term, is the United States any less “at war” there than when U.S. combat operations in the country officially ended in December 2014? What about in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, where U.S. drones have killed thousands of people outside of what the government considers “areas of active hostilities”?
Related Story

The Drone War Crosses Another Line

Brooks’s new book, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, is about the limits of categories like these, just as much as it’s about war and the American military. Brooks, a writer and law professor at Georgetown University, bases her account in part on her two-plus years at the Defense Department, where she observed the blurring of the line, in her words, “between war and not-war.” The Pentagon, she writes, is on the one hand a “vast, bureaucratic, death-dealing enterprise;” on the other, the U.S. military operates in “nearly every country on earth” and in many cases its activities have nothing to do with shooting at bad guys. Its personnel, she notes, have been involved in everything from Ebola response in Liberia to agricultural reform in Afghanistan to health care in Malaysia. The range of their work is as remarkable as it is unsettling. If the U.S. military’s job is to protect America’s own security, why is it doing all of these things?

Brooks contends that the amorphous nature of modern security threats—conflict and terrorism, but also things like climate change and financial collapse—have made it “increasingly difficult to define a uniquely ‘military’ role and mission.” It’s not just that the Bush and Obama administrations’ pursuit of terrorists around the world have pushed the geographic boundaries of the so-called war on terror beyond the more formal battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s also that, as the military has sucked up an increasing share of America’s foreign-policy resources in the post-9/11 era, the Pentagon has become “like a Super Walmart with everything under one roof,” as retired General David Barno tells Brooks. “Like Walmart,” she writes, “the military can marshal vast resources and exploit economies of scale in ways impossible for mom-and-pop operations. And like Walmart, the tempting one-stop-shopping convenience it offers has a devastating effect on smaller, more traditional enterprises—in this case, the State Department and other civilian foreign policy agencies.”

I spoke to Brooks recently about war, peace, and the space in between. What follows is a condensed and edited transcript of our conversation.

Kathy Gilsinan: The lines between “war and non-war are growing indistinct,” as you say. As a very basic question, what is war? And do you know it when you see it?

Rosa Brooks: I think we have absolutely no idea what war is. I think everything that frightens us, we now label war, more or less. And that’s a problem. As an analytic category, [war] has lost any clarity it might once have had.

Gilsinan: Are there any common features to things that are war-like?

Brooks: They run the gamut, and they have fewer and fewer common features. We look at Syria and we say, “Oh look, there’s war.” And that’s the sort of traditional understanding of war. Lots of people who are shooting each other, blowing each other up, generally killing each other.

But we also are thinking of cyber [operations], more and more, primarily through the framework of war. We look at terrorism through the framework of war. Already some of our thinking about what we call “illicit transnational actors”—not terrorists, but groups like narco-smugglers and traffickers—[is] beginning to get framed as part of war and war-like stuff.

When we think of sort of the classic understanding of war that we’ve had in Western society, it owes a huge amount to [Carl von] Clausewitz, the 19th-century Prussian military strategist whose very famous definition of war was: “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” But Clausewitz was really clear what those “other means” had to include, and Clausewitz’s understanding of war was that it had several defining facts that differentiated it from other kinds of competitions or conflicts that weren’t war. So, to Clausewitz, war is organized, it’s violent, it’s on a mass scale—not an individual scale—and it is for the pursuit of political ends. For Clausewitz, a game of chess is not war, because it’s individual, not violent, and it has no political ends. A rugby match where people end up with bloody noses and broken arms is not war, because although it’s organized, it also has no political ends. A barroom brawl is not war, because it’s not organized, and it has no political ends. Economic competition between states, however fierce, is not war, because it’s not bloody—it’s mass, it’s organized, and political—but it’s not violent.
“We live in a world where technology has enabled individuals to cause a level of disruption that it might once have taken war to achieve.”

In the terms of Clausewitz, where you have mass armies of thousands and thousands of people, and single battles that are killing tens of thousands of people, terrorism is small potatoes. But increasingly, we’ve got these things that, they’re not mass, they may not be organized, the political ends are sometimes unclear, and yet we’re calling them war. It’s not completely crazy that we want to, since we now live in a world where technology has enabled both states and even individuals to cause a level of disruption that it might once, 100 years ago, have taken war to achieve. So on some level, why not call it war if it sort of does what war does? On the other hand, Clausewitz would not have recognized [it], if you said “We’re at war with terrorism.” He would have just said, “Whatever you’re doing is not war.”

Gilsinan: I see how terrorists aren’t, under the Clausewitzian definition, doing acts of war on the United States, but the United States’s “war on terror” is organized, violent, on a mass scale, and for the pursuit of—

Brooks: We’re certainly responding with something that looks more like war. It’s just not all that clear that it’s entirely reciprocal. Could you have a war if only one party knows it’s a war? I don’t know how that fits into the Clausewitzian framework.

Gilsinan: Do you have in mind a glory era in which the lines were totally clear—[an American] war started when Congress declared it and ended with a signed peace agreement between the combatants? Or are there ways in which we’ve seen this continuum, rather than binary, between war and not war? There was never a peace agreement when the fighting stopped after the Korean War in 1953.

Brooks: The line between war and not war has never been as clear as international lawyers sometimes like to pretend it is—that we have this nice, neat framework that says wars have beginnings and ends; there are places that are at war; there are places that are neutral. There are combatants; there are civilians. You can kill the combatants, you can’t kill the civilians, end of story. And it’s never been that neat, obviously. On the margins at least, there have always been actors who didn’t quite fit—partisans, guerrillas, countries that were technically not at war but where there was a lot of proxy war activity going on. The categories were never perfect; they were always somewhat arbitrary. But now the exceptions have kind of overwhelmed the rule.

Gilsinan: “Now” being in the post-September 11th era?

Brooks: Very much so. September 11th itself didn’t create this world, but it’s both the symbolic beginning and a dramatic acceleration of a lot of trends that had been out there already.

Gilsinan: Which is interesting, because that era, in terms of the U.S. response, was kicked off with the more classic, interstate wars. You invaded Afghanistan, you invaded Iraq.

Brooks: Absolutely. And it was in some ways an illustration of our difficulty in thinking beyond the framework of traditional state-on-state conflict. Like there we were, confronted by something very different—an attack that didn’t involve traditional weapons, by a non-army, from multiple different nationalities. But the only thing we could figure out how to do to respond was go and invade a bunch of states.

Gilsinan: Then it sounds like the categories weren’t necessarily a good thing.

Brooks: They certainly limited our imagination, but I don’t know if I’d characterize it quite that way, because we had a choice. It was not inevitable that the 9/11 attacks would be categorized as starting a war in a legal sense. They could have been categorized as crime, they could have been categorized as in between—it’s not quite a war, not quite a crime, [so] we’re going to do some stuff that’s in between. It was not that there were no alternative categories available, it was that the Bush administration was not interested in using them. And I am not sure of the extent to which they themselves thought through the long-term implications of choosing to call it war—I think some did, some didn’t—but they sent us down one path, when other paths were available.
“All these categories we’ve been talking about—war, peace, conflict, combatant, military—we made them up.”

Gilsinan: When you went in [to the Pentagon] versus when you came out, what would you say was the biggest difference in your thinking about what war means?

Brooks: I was both impressed and somewhat terrified by the dawning awareness that the Pentagon does everything. If you go in with a bit of a stereotype of, the military shoots guns and blows stuff up, and then you find yourself in meetings with military officials who are talking about running a program to prevent sexual violence in the Congo, and doing a big research project on how you most effectively dissuade foreign militaries from using sexual violence during conflict, and then you walk into another meeting and people are talking about how to promote micro-enterprise among Afghan women, it’s both kind of amazing and inspiring—that there’s this unbelievably diverse set of talents and people [and] projects. It’s amazing that the U.S. can still marshal so much talent and idealism. At the same time, it’s kind of scary, because you think, “Wait, whoa, is this the right place? Do we know what we’re doing? And what happens to the military as an institution when we’re asking it and expecting it to be all things to all people?”

Gilsinan: What does happen?

Brooks: Well, we’ll find out. It’s a big experiment, and I think there are several possibilities. There’s a bad for the military, bad for the world possibility, and here’s what that one looks like: The U.S. military does everything, but it’s doing a lot of stuff that people weren’t trained to do, does it badly, that has bad effects on the lives of human beings all over the world. It also decreases U.S. credibility, because what the world sees as the face of the U.S. is the military. It’s a uniformed figure, which has bad ramifications for civil-military relations worldwide and for democracy. Meanwhile, the military as an institution is demoralized and less effective because we’re trying to force one institution to do too many things.

[There is a] more interesting possibility. All these categories we’ve been talking about—war, peace, conflict, combatant, military—we made them up. They didn’t come down from a divine power. This invites us to radically rethink what it is we want from our institutions, and how to organize them. And if the military is not doing these things well, but we think the United States needs to do them, and if we think it’s not realistic that the State Department or USAID starts doing them again or doing them well, it invites us to say, why shouldn’t we have a radically different military that combines within it a whole spectrum of activities, from traditional war-fighting to things that we think of as more peace-building and development? Why not really change how we think of the military, and change how we recruit, change our training, to make this an institution that does those things, does them well, and does them accountably? And that would be really hard. I think most people both in the military and outside of it sort of recoil at that and tend to want to go back to the much simpler “Well, shouldn’t the military just fight?” I don’t know if that’s even possible anymore.

Gilsinan: [We’re discussing] the dangers of this blurring of the line between war and not war. And yet there are fewer people dying in wars now than in the World War II era, when the boundaries were pretty clear, even if not completely clear. So on the one hand, the U.S. military is in maybe more countries than ever before, almost every country on earth. On the other, the worldwide level of killing going on is substantially lower than [at] almost any time in history. If the long-term trend is in this positive direction, how much should we worry about the categories?

Brooks: I think those are separate questions. I don’t think they necessarily have a whole lot to do with each other. But I also would question whether we have a long-term trend. In the sweep of human history, 50 or 60 years is not a long-term trend, and I do worry about that. Of course it’s good that we, over the last few decades, have seen a reduction in the number of people dying in violent conflict around the globe, but on the other hand, the world we live in remains extraordinarily dangerous in many, many ways, including some quite new ways, driven by technology—the speed at which epidemics can move around the world has increased due to changes in transportation technologies, the speed at which economic disruption can move around the globe because of changes in electronic technologies, et cetera. And, by the way, there are very many thousands of nuclear warheads and old-fashioned sources of destruction.

So I’m not all that comfortable when people say, “Oh, happy, happy news, interstate conflict and death have dropped in the last few decades.” There have been plenty of other decades in world history where you’ve gotten a few decades, a hundred years, or a few hundred years of relative cessation in violence, only to have new catastrophes. I am very, very skeptical of claims that what we have is a long-term trend, as opposed to saying we have no idea whether this continues or not, and lots of things could destabilize it.
“The Russians have been very creative about operating in that space between war and peace in ways that have been very hard for the West to respond to.”

Gilsinan: One of the things that could destabilize it is the expansion of the U.S. military all over the world and the tendency to view everything that scares us, as you say, in terms of war.

Brooks: When you build up a national and international legal system where our ability to constrain power and coercion are very much linked to the creation of this particular set of legal and political categories—armed conflict, foreign, domestic, military, civilian—then when those categories get blurry, you lose your ability to effectively constrain power. But that’s not the same thing as saying the answer is necessarily to shore up the categories again. The categories themselves are arbitrary—what’s important is their relationship to a much broader system of consensus, of institutions, of laws, and so forth. We didn’t create these categories because there’s something magical about [them], we created these categories because they were part of a system that helped us achieve certain normative goals that have to do with the rule of law, with promoting stability and peace and so forth, and if the categories aren’t doing it, then maybe the categories don’t make sense anymore. Maybe we now live in a world in which we need an in-between category, something that’s in between war and peace, with a set of in-between implications for law and for power and for rights.

Gilsinan: Are those categories Western-invented? To what extent is, say, Russia observing those categories? To what extent is China?

Brooks: Every culture in the world has had some concept of war and some notion of what should be permissible and what should be prohibited during wartime, and what the distinctions are between warriors and non-warriors. In that sense, there’s nothing Western about it. In a narrower sense, sure they’re Western—the Geneva Conventions [are] what we think of the modern law of armed conflict, [and they] very much arose out of conflicts between Western states in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. I think Russia and China—partly because they’re authoritarian, which gives them the ability to move a little more rapidly because they don’t have to worry about debate or argument, and they’re less scrupulous, frankly—have been much more quick than Western states to look at the issues we’ve been talking about and say, “These categories don’t make any sense anymore, and that is an opportunity for us. We can exploit the West’s continuing insistence that the categories do make sense while we do whatever we want.”

Gilsinan: The “little green men” and turning off the electricity in Ukraine.

Brooks: Absolutely, the Russians have been very creative about operating in that space between war and peace in ways that have been very hard for the West to respond to, in part because they sort of confound our categories. We want to look and say, is there a war? Or is there not a war? And the answer is, well, hard to say.

Gilsinan: And that opens up space—potentially dangerous space—because I think some of what constrains American policymakers is saying “Look, do we really want to start a war with Russia over Crimea?” But if there’s some in-between option, of combating Russia in Crimea or contesting the annexation of Crimea, without resorting to war but resorting to some sort of in-between category—do you see that happening already?

Brooks: Not very much. I think that particularly in the special-operations community within the military, [there are] conversations about [how] we’re probably permanently in some kind of gray area between war and peace. Our adversaries are operating with comfort and creativity in that world. How do we operate in that world? I think the question is, if we’re going to be operating in that world, how do we do so while preserving our commitment to rule of law and democracy?

Gilsinan: The drone war is one of these issues where you could say it represents an in-between category—we’re not at war with Pakistan, we’re not at war with Somalia. There’s a long history of soldiers trying to kill at a distance, stretching back to the ages of throwing spears and longbows and up through the age of cruise missiles. And you mention that you’re troubled by the innovation of drones but that you had trouble articulating what it is about drones in particular that was disturbing. Can you try to articulate it?

Brooks: The drone war both highlights what is promising and what is frightening about some U.S. efforts to kind of operate in that in-between space. Start with the promising part: Yes, of course, we’ve always tried to find ways to kill the bad guys from a distance without risking the lives of our people. It’s not a bad thing to want to do that. It’s a good thing. Nobody thinks our troops should be engaging in hand-to-hand combat with terrorists because it’s more chivalrous or something. And also the drone strikes represent part of a trend towards the individualization of warfare, where instead of firebombing Tokyo or Dresden, which kills thousands upon thousands of people from soldiers to infants indiscriminately, we now have a technology that enables us, combined with our intelligence and surveillance resources, to be really focused in who we target and say, we’re not going to drop a bomb on cities in Syria, we’re going to bomb this guy over here. And we are pretty amazingly good at hitting that guy and nobody else—not always, no question. And I sometimes say to my friends who say “I don’t like targeted killing,” “Would you prefer untargeted killing?” Because that’s what World War II was most of the time, with catastrophic results for civilian populations.

But here’s the dark side: Because it’s individualized, because it operates below the radar and it’s a technology that enables covert use of force across borders, it becomes invisible and shielded from meaningful democratic accountability, and shielded to some extent from international laws because of the deniability. This is our way of exploiting categories. The Russians use the little green men, when we use covert targeted strikes by unmanned vehicles. We then get to say, “Hey, this is just lawful wartime targeting combatants, there’s nothing new here, so leave us alone.” And yet at the same time, normally in a traditional war you know who the enemy is, you know where the battle is, and we don’t know any of those things. The claims the U.S. makes about these targeted strikes are completely non-falsifiable because they’re really not saying anything, and what little they say says, “Well, we can’t tell you who we targeted, we can’t tell you why, it’s a secret, trust us.” And that’s very, very frightening.

Coming Full Circle with Return of Iranian Assets Seized in 1979, by Jimmie Carter

[Reading the following paragraph in the NYTimes in 1979 was my original motivation for entering the world of political activism.  Seeing with my own eyes the proof that the American President had the authority, under certain conditions, to seize all of your assets held in the US, or in any US bank overseas.]

“The President may…confiscate any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, of any foreign person, foreign organization, or foreign country that he determines has planned, authorized, aided, or engaged in such hostilities or attacks against the United States; and all right, title, and interest in any property so confiscated shall vest, when, as, and upon the terms directed by the President, in such agency or person as the President may designate from time to time, and upon such terms and conditions as the President may prescribe, such interest or property shall be held, used, administered, liquidated, sold, or otherwise dealt with in the interest of and for the benefit of the United States, and such designated agency or person may perform any and all acts incident to the accomplishment or furtherance of these purposes.”50 U.S. Code § 1702 – Presidential authorities, in section 1701 of this title

Executive Order NO. 12170

Blocking Iranian Government Property

Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C.A. sec. 1701 et seq., the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. sec. 1601 et seq., and 3 U.S.C. sec. 301,

I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States, find that the situation in Iran constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

I hereby order blocked all property and interests in property of the Government of Iran, its instrumentalities and controlled entities and the Central Bank of Iran which are or become subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or which are in or come within the possession or control of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to employ all powers granted to me by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to carry out the provisions of this order.

This order is effective immediately and shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.

Jimmy Carter

The White House
November 14, 1979

https://i0.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/08/05/17/36E7DDD300000578-3725770-image-a-18_1470413299219.jpg
Iranian state television broadcast this image of a shipping pallet stacked with cash in February

Why the U.S. Owed Iran That $400 Million

time

 

 

The money was part of a hostage deal, but not the one some might think

Answer: The actual hostage deal that in fact accounts for the cash payment, which President Obama said on Thursday was not a ransom.

The currency shipped to Iran in the dead of night drew attention from presidential candidate Donald Trump this week, who on Friday appeared to walk back an earlier assertion that he had seen a payment being delivered. But that money was owed to the Islamic Republic since 1979, the year the U.S. froze all the Iranian funds in American banks as retribution for seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, as revolution swept that nation.

What was universally known as the Iran hostage crisis went on for more than a year, and finally ended with a bargain: In exchange for the release of 52 American diplomats and citizens, both sides agreed to resolve the question of money through international arbitration. The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal has trudged along for almost four decades now, and the money has flowed both ways. By 1983, Iran had returned $896 million to U.S. banks, which in turn had returned hundreds of millions in frozen funds to Iran. Today, private claims from the U.S. side have been resolved to the tune of $2.1 billion.

But still at issue as Obama began his second term was $400 million that Iran in the late 1970s had paid for U.S. fighter jets, while Tehran was still a U.S. ally. After it turned into an enemy in 1979, Washington was not about to deliver the jets. But, all these years later, Iran wanted its money back—and with interest.

Blinding Kashmiris and Sowing Sectarian and Anti-CPEC Tensions In Gilgat

[WHERE ARE THE PICTURES OF PROTESTORS IN GILGAT-BALTISTAN

WITH THEIR EYES SHOT OUT?]pellet-victimindia-kashmir-pakistan-unrest_d597a4fe-5fa2-11e6-9978-9f336ca1cc3ekashmir women2016_8$largeimg211_Aug_2016_011414893[The following is a snapshot of Indian “limited warfare” operations intended to agitate for war in Kashmir.

In addition to the following piece of purely psychological warfare agitation, we have a concentrated effort by the Hindutva press to agitate Kashmiris and others in a CPEC-specific (Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor) form of limited warfare (SEE:  Resentment mounts against growing Chinese presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan), intended to create and magnify social tensions (especially sectarian hostilities in this Shia-dominated area) pertaining to press-generated rumors that the Kashmir/Gilgat areas will receive limited economic windfall from this Chinese/Pakistani bonanza, or nothing at all.]

“Raising “anti-Pakistan” slogans, angry protesters took to the streets in Gilgit town, Astore, Diamer and Hunza of the the Gilgit- Baltistan region, which is only Shia-dominated area in Sunni-dominated Pakistan.”

People stage a protest against Pakistan army in Gilgit.(Photo: ANI
People stage a protest against Pakistan army in Gilgit.(Photo: ANI

GILGIT CITY: Protesters have taken to the streets in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK) against human rights abuses and crackdown by the Pakistani security forces.

Over 500 youth, including Gilgit‘s top political activist Baba Jan, have been taken into custody by the Pakistani security forces.

Angry protesters said these young men were imprisoned for demanding political rights and asking the Pakistani army to leave Gilgit’s soil.

Raising “anti-Pakistan” slogans, angry protesters took to the streets in Gilgit town, Astore, Diamer and Hunza of the the Gilgit- Baltistan region, which is only Shia-dominated area in Sunni-dominated Pakistan.

The political crackdown and arrests in Gilgit were made against people protesting against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which they said would only benefit China and Pakistan’s Punjabi traders.

The youth of Gilgit are not being involved in any manner with the CPEC and those who are protesting are being harshly dealt with, protesters said.

“PoK is ours”

During an all-party meeting called to discuss the recent violence in Kashmir on Friday, PM Narendra Modi asserted that “PoK is ours” and added that there was a need to track persons who had fled the PoK so that their accounts could be publicised.

“Foreign ministry should take initiatives to develop contact with citizens of PoK settled abroad and apprise them about how their family and friends are treated there,” Modi said.

Is Hillary Clinton Brain-Damaged?

Is Hillary Clinton Medically Unfit to Serve?

Is Hillary Clinton Medically Unfit to Serve?  By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

Some Republicans as well as Democrats have used the term “unfit to serve” about Donald Trump, based on things he said, and what they assume he might have meant.

Surely his style can be abrasive and blunt. But a huge number of ordinary Americans cheer him, probably because he said what they were thinking. They don’t have an evil, ungenerous, uncompassionate, racist, bigoted heart, and they assume he is like them.
They are sick of being pushed around and disrespected by the politically correct crowd who are hypersensitive about almost everything–but constantly spew profane, obscene, and vulgar language that demeans American and Christian culture and blames it for all the world’s evil.

In the past, others have spoken forcefully and unapologetically about things nobody wanted to hear about: Winston Churchill, for example. A lot of proper Englishmen thought he was unfit—until they saw the truth of his words.

With Trump, some people are even tossing out psychiatric diagnoses. But keep in mind that a lot of them think conservatives, Christians, and pro-life advocates are crazy too.

Strangely silent is the mainstream media about the fitness of the Democrat candidate. And causes for concern are growing. Without considering any statements she has made or positions she has taken, and without presuming to speculate on psychiatric diagnoses, one can point to certain observations.

hillary
There’s the photograph of Secretary Clinton’s difficulty walking up some steps.

Now inability to climb stairs does not necessarily disqualify a person for public office. However, neither she nor people with her apparently anticipated a problem. The people helping her seem to be preventing a fall. Did she simply trip? Or was it a seizure or a stroke?

Videos widely circulated on the internet are, if authentic, very concerning. One shows prolonged, inappropriate laughter;

 

another, strange head movements.

 

In a third, she appeared momentarily dazed and confused, and lost her train of thought.

Reportedly, she has a volcanic temper. (This is probably not new.)

 

A man who stays close to her, who is reportedly not a Secret Service officer, was photographed carrying something in his hand that purportedly might have been an autoinjector of Valium.

 

While we don’t have Mrs. Clinton’s medical records, it is widely stated that she experienced a fall that caused a concussion. Since then, she is sometimes seen wearing eyeglasses with prisms, as are used to correct double vision.

Concussions often cause traumatic brain injury, which might not be visualized on standard CT or MRI. Many of our veterans who experienced blast injury from improvised explosive devices suffer from it. These are some symptoms: difficulty thinking, attention deficits, confusion, memory problems, frustration, mood swings, emotional outbursts, agitation, headaches, difficulties with balance and coordination, and seizures. Many veterans with such an injury cannot hold a job or interact normally with their families.

Obviously, it would be very dangerous for a person subject to symptoms like this to be dealing with foreign leaders or making critical decisions. The President of the United States may have to make world-changing decisions on a moment’s notice. For example, should we launch nuclear-armed missiles? And if the Commander in Chief is confused, who will make the call?

The U.S. has had problems with incompetent leaders in the White House before. Mrs. Woodrow Wilson (the “First First Lady President”) was effectively President for the last year and a half of her husband’s term after he suffered a disabling stroke. She managed to conceal the seriousness of Wilson’s condition for a long time. This was the reason for the 25th amendment to provide for replacing the President in case of disability.

While the U.S. government knows more and more about our medical histories and other aspects of our lives, many details about the President are a secret. The press appears to care more about the tax returns of Republican candidates than the medical records of Democrat Presidents or candidates. And Secretary Clinton’s public appearances have been rather carefully controlled.

Is it conceivable that Hillary supporters would really be voting for Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top aide, or for the First First Husband President, Bill Clinton? The American people are entitled to know the objective medical facts about Secretary Clinton.

Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Since 1988, she has been chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Pima County (Arizona) Medical Society. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fourth editions of Sapira’s Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis, published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Using ISIS and the Afghan Taliban to fight for us

General Raheel discusses RAW’s involvement in Balochistan with Rouhani
Rouhani denies discussing ‘RAW’s involvement in Balochistan’ with Pakistani leadership

 

So what we have is, China and Pakistan are using the half of the main Afghan Taliban who followed Mullah Mansour, to prevent President Gilani from carrying-out American plans for peace talks and pipelines, while Afghan Vice Pres. Abdullah Abdullah leads the “Northern Alliance” (and those foreign powers which it represents) covert operations to fight Pakistani terror with Afghan terror.  “Afghan terror” refers to moles and those co-opted, Afghan-friendly terrorists and terrorist outfits, which probably include the Zakir/Rasoul Taliban, who fight both Taliban and ISIS, who can be persuaded or bought, to attack Pakistani interests in Afghanistan.

China has set a course which can only succeed by solving the problems of others, subduing old enemies like Afghanistan and Pakistan, and ending hostilities between Pakistan and India with bribes, threats or promises, at least for long enough to complete its ambitious, gigantic CPEC project.

Pakistan has successfully cleared most hostile terrorists from its Tribal Region, chasing them all into Afghanistan. The Pak Army is on a quest to civilize Pakistan through gigantic development projects paid for by others. The Generals cannot afford to miss this great opportunity to have China build it an infrastructure which will connect it to the rest of the world.  In order to build the economic corridor, the Army will have to let peace come to Kashmir, to facilitate China’s plans, if India will do the same there and in Gilgat-Baltistan.  The Army will stop supporting the Afghan Taliban if Afghanistan and Indian intelligence will stop using groups like ISIS and BLA (Baloch Liberation Army) to fight the Pak Army indirectly.

The Army’s strategy is “if they build it they will come” back to the “pacified” areas.  That remains to be seen.

Mainstream Lies About Taliban/ISIL Marriage Falling Apart

[CIA/ISI Rumor Mill Claiming Mortal Enemies Taliban and ISIS Working Together]

Alliance or War? Taliban Contradicts Itself on Islamic State Stance

breitbart

An Afghan Taliban spokesman reportedly told an Iranian state-controlled media outlet that his fellow jihadists are “committed” to the annihilation of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) branch in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region known as the Khorasan Province (IS-KP/ISIL-K).

The Taliban spokesman’s comments come after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing Afghan officials, reported last weekend that they have reached a truce with the Khorasan Province in eastern Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, Afghanistan Times now reports, “As Daesh [ISIL-K] is making all-out efforts to gain a stronghold in Afghanistan, the Taliban declared full-scale war against the Islamic State.”

Video: Opinion Journal: Obama’s Afghan Reversal

Iranian proxies have been fighting ISIS jihadists in their so-called caliphate of Iraq and Syria since the terrorist group declared an Islamic State in the region back in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Taliban has been combating ISIL-K for territory and fighters since the Khorasan Province announced its presence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region back in January 2015.

Their mutual disdain towards ISIS has reportedly pulled Shiite state-sponsor of terrorism Iran and the Sunni Afghan Taliban closer.

“It is widely believed that some countries in the region are backing the Taliban against Daesh—a terrorist organization with global designs,” reports Afghanistan Times.

Moreover, Iran’s ally Russia, which has also been fighting ISIS in Syria along armed groups backed by the Shiite country, has allegedly been supporting the Taliban in their fight against ISIS in Afghanistan, a claim that the Kremlin denies.

WSJ noted that ISIL-K and the Taliban have decided to shift their focus to the U.S.-backed Afghan security forces, which launched an offensive in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province against the Khorasan Province in late in July.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, suggested that his terrorist group is fighting ISIL-K in coordination with the U.S.-backed Afghan government, a claim that Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) seemingly denied.

“Our fighters [Taliban] are committed and ready to eliminate Daesh from Afghanistan. We will fight them [ISIL-K] in cooperation of Afghan nation,” Mujahid told Iran’s state-controlled Tasnim News Agency, according to Afghanistan Times.

The Afghan news outlet points out that “Mujahid expressed the Taliban’s support for the Afghan nation in the battle against ‘foreign occupation’ and the presence of Daesh.”

“Taliban is aware of the threat of Daesh and in cooperation with the nation, has prevented the terrorist group from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan,” declared the Taliban spokesman, adding that the majority of ISIL-K fighters are non-Afghans who do not belong in Afghanistan.

The eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, which lies along the country’s border with Pakistan, is considered ISIL-K’s primary stronghold in the region.

“They [ISIL-K] have presence in a small area in Afghanistan,” noted the spokesman, indicating, “Daesh fighters are not present in other areas of Afghanistan, and the Taliban will not allow such presence.”

The U.S. military has said that the number of ISIL-K fighters in Afghanistan has dropped dramatically from its peak of about 3,000 to between 1,000 and 1,500 now.

ISIL-K has always been a much smaller terrorist group than the Taliban, which has been in Afghanistan for decades.

WSJ pointed out that the ideologies between ISIL-K and the Taliban are different.

It reports:

The Taliban want foreign forces to leave Afghanistan and Shariah law to be established, while Islamic State wants to create a global caliphate. Neither wants to relinquish control to the other group.

Referring to the alleged cessation of hostilities between the Afghan Taliban and ISIL-K, U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said the ceasefire “didn’t reflect a broader agreement.”

The Afghan MoD denied the suggestion that it was backing the Taliban in its fight against ISIL-K.

Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a ministry spokesman, is quoted by Afghanistan Times as saying:

All those who are fighting in Afghanistan and killing innocent people are our enemies. We will fight every terrorist group.

Afghanistan Times notes that Gen. Waziri refused to explicitly comment on “secret support” for the Afghan Taliban.

Waziri was asked whether China, Russia, and Iran are backing the Taliban in the fight against ISIL-K.

Without naming any country, he responded:

Afghanistan will not consider those countries as friends who are supporting militants. We want them [foreign countries] to support Afghanistan instead of insurgents. We want them to help Afghan security forces to fight both Daesh and Taliban.

Russia and China have coordinated military support for the U.S.-backed Afghan security forces.

In October 2015, Gen. John Campbell, then-top commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, warned:

If we’re not there [in Afghanistan] to provide influence, somebody else is going to be there, whether it’s Russia, China, Iran — you name it.

Mullah Baradar led a Taliban delegation to Kabul

Taliban Consigliere Mullah Barader’s Interview

Pak Army Relieves Pakistani Taliban of Their Mi-17 Hostages

Crew of Pakistan’s Mi-17 Helicopter Kidnapped by Taliban in Afghanistan Freed

sputnik

The crew of Pakistan’s Mi-17 helicopter, held hostage by Taliban in Afghanistan, has been released, local media reported Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to the GEO TV channel, the crew, five Pakistani nationals and a Russian technician, have been relocated to Pakistan. Earlier reports indicated that seven people were onboard the aircraft.

The indcident occurred when the helicopter made an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan, and, according to the channel, was en route to Russia for a routine overhaul. Other media outlets claimed that the aircraft was heading from Peshawar to Uzbekistan’s city of Bukhara.

Senior Taliban leader Qari Saifullah Mehsud told Pakistani media that his group was behind the incident.

President Erdogan says US must choose: ‘FETO or Turkey’

President Erdogan says US must choose: ‘FETO or Turkey’

anadolu agency turk state

Turkish president addresses crowds at last night of daily pro-democracy rallies since July 15 coup attempt

President Erdogan says US must choose: 'FETO or Turkey'

 

By Diyar Guldogan and Ilgin Karlidag

ANKARA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday gave the U.S. an ultimatum following Ankara’s repeated requests for the extradition of US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, accused of orchestrating the July 15 defeated coup.

“Sooner or later the U.S will make a choice. Either Turkey or FETO,” Erdogan said.

“Either the coup-plotting terrorist FETO or the democratic country Turkey. It has to make this choice,” he said, referring to the Gulen-led Fetullah Terrorist Organization that Ankara says mounted the bloody coup attempt through rogue elements within the military.

The president’s remarks came as he addressed a mass crowd in front of the Presidential Palace in the capital – one location attacked on the night of the coup attempt.

The gathering in Ankara was the last night of daily pro-democracy rallies which has been held since July 15, Erdogan announced.

The daily gatherings, which have attracted hundreds of thousands wishing to show their opposition to the foiled July 15 coup, culminated Sunday in a rally in Istanbul that 5 million people are thought to have attended, according to local officials.

Erdogan warned citizens, however, to stay constantly vigilant as “betrayal can come from anywhere and anyone.

“We want to finalize it here [Ankara]. But, I see that our people do not want to leave the squares,” he said.

“Democracy watch cannot be only kept in certain hours, in certain places,” he added, and called on Turks to protect “democracy, freedom, the state, and the future” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Turkish president once more suggested he sees no difference between terrorist groups such as the PKK, Daesh and U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen’s FETO.

“Those who follow the Pennsylvania-based charlatan who sold his soul to the devil, or Daesh, which shed Muslim blood, or the PKK that also has shed blood for 30 years to divide the country and the nation, will all lose in the end.”

He stressed his “one nation, one flag, one homeland, and one state” slogan.

Erdogan to approve death penalty if parliament approves

About a possible reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey for those involved in the defeated coup, Erdogan reiterated his stance that the decision would be left up to Turkish lawmakers in the parliament.

He said he would approve reinstating the death penalty if the parliament approves.

Such a penalty could be imposed on Gulen as well, who is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the “parallel state”.

Turkey’s government said the foiled putsch, which left 240 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, was organized by followers of Gulen, who has lived in a self-imposed exile Pennsylvania since 1999.

“We will certainly call the murderers to account [for their crimes]. We will impose the heaviest penalty,” said Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who took the stage late Wednesday to address the crowd before Erdogan.

Praising Turks as “the hero of democracy,” Yildirim added: “Coup plotters believed that they would defeat the nation, but they were mistaken.”

On the night of the attempt, Erdogan urged Turks to swarm the streets in opposition to the coup, a call that was met with an overwhelming response from thousands who went to defy tanks and bullets in major cities and millions who took part in anti-coup demonstrations across the country.

 *Humeyra Atilgan Buyukovali contributed to this report from Istanbul.

Lying Pentagon Claim of 45,000 ISIS Terrorists Killed

[Pentagon bragging about killing 45,000 ISIS in Iraq and Syria, without taking into account Russia’s more conservative estimate of 28,000 of the buggers killed in their own, more intensive, Syrian bombing.  Are we really being asked to believe that Daesh had more than 73,000 terrorist-soldiers at any point?  Pentagon spokesman Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland must have been on some powerful drugs, when he claimed that “Syrian democratic forces” will defeat IS in Manbij, Syria within one or two weeks. 

So why hasn’t the Pentagon started bombing Daesh HQ in Mosul, yet?  They have been allowed to keep the city since 2014!  If Pentagon death estimates are correct, how many IS fighters could be in the city?  A few thousand, or a few hundred? 

Rule of thumb that always holds true…Pentagon spokesmen are always there to lie to the people.]

US: 45,000 Islamic State Fighters Taken off Battlefields

abcnews_logo_v2

By lolita c. baldor, associated press

The military campaigns in Iraq and Syria have taken 45,000 enemy combatants off the battlefield and reduced the total number of Islamic State fighters to as few as 15,000, the top U.S. commander for the fight against IS said Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland said that both the quality and number of IS fighters is declining, and he warned that it is difficult to determine accurate numbers. Earlier estimates put the number of Islamic State fighters between 19,000 and 25,000, but U.S. officials say the range is now roughly 15,000 to 20,000.

Saying that “the enemy is in retreat on all fronts,” MacFarland said U.S.-backed local forces in both Iraq and Syria have been gaining ground. And he said the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria has decreased and that many people pressed into fighting for the Islamic State group are unwilling or untrained.

“All I know is when we go someplace, it’s easier to go there now than it was a year ago. And the enemy doesn’t put up as much of a fight,” he told Pentagon reporters in a video conference.

MacFarland said Syrian democratic forces are on the brink of defeating IS in Manbij, Syria, in a matter of weeks. The city, he said, is largely in the hands of the Syrian democratic forces and the pockets of enemy resistance are shrinking daily.

“I don’t give it very long before that operation is concluded, and that will deal a decisive blow to the enemy,” he said. Asked how long it will take, he said possibly a week or two, but noted that there are still a lot of enemy foreign fighters there battling hard to keep control of the city.

MacFarland said that Iraqi forces are in a position to begin to retake the northern city of Mosul. But he added that the U.S. still has quite a bit of work to do at the Qayyarah Air Base in northern Iraq before it can be used as a hub for the battle to retake Mosul.

President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of 560 more U.S. troops to Iraq to help transform the air base into a staging area for the eventual battle to oust IS from Mosul. The group has held Mosul since June 2014 and has used it as a headquarters.

The U.S. troops will include engineers, logistics personnel, security and communications forces. Some teams of U.S. forces have been in and out of the base to evaluate it and the work that must be done, but officials say large numbers of troops have not yet arrived.

MacFarland cautioned that while there have been successes in both countries, IS will continue to be a threat.

“Military success in Iraq and Syria will not necessarily mean the end of Daesh,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. “We can expect the enemy to adapt, to morph into a true insurgent force and terrorist organization capable of horrific attacks like the one here on July 3 in Baghdad and those others we’ve seen around the world.”