American Resistance To Empire

Obama’s “Shock and Awe”—Skeletonized Human Beings Line the Beach Near Tripoli, Libya

EXCLUSIVE: The Mediterranean’s grim tide – shocking never before seen pictures of migrants’ bodies washed up on beach in Libya

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  • Bodies of hundreds of migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe by sea are washing up on Libyan beaches
  • Volunteers from the Libyan Red Crescent Society collect the remains every day along a 100-mile coastline stretch 
  • Remains, some just piles of bones, handed to authorities who record the deaths and bury them in unmarked graves

The dead bodies of desperate migrants who were bundled onto overcrowded boats destined for Europe, which capsized killing those on board, are washing up on Libya’s beaches.

Their bones, half submerged in the sand, will be buried in unmarked graves, their relatives unaware their loved ones have perished.


Volunteers from Libyan Red Crescent Society collect the bodies which were swallowed and spat out by the Mediterranean Sea as they risked their lives on the perilous journey from Libya bound for the island of Lampedusa off the Italian coast.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 men, women and children who were able to survive treacherous journeys to Europe continued to be rescued off the coasts of Italy and Greece each day.

Remains: Some of the bodies have been reduced to just piles of bones after they were swallowed and spat out by the Mediterranean sea

Bodies: Migrants desperate to reach Europe take on the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean but hundreds of their bodies have washed up on the beaches of Libya

Heartbreaking: Many migrants are forced to board dilapidated boats with their children, knowing that they may not reach their destination

Buried: The migrants’ bones poke out from under the sand after they drowned while desperately trying to flee their war-torn homelands

Shocking new photographs taken in Zuwara, on the west coast of Libya close to the Tunisian border, show the true extent of the migrant crisis.

Bodies, some of which are barely more than a pile of bones, are being picked up on a 100-mile stretch of the war-torn country from Garaboli to Zuwara.

One heartbreaking picture is of a skeleton, which has been washed up on the beach with the still wearing the pair of yellow trousers and black leather belt they set off in.

Taha Sultan, head of health at Libyan Red Crescent Society, an organisation working on the ground to help the country’s vulnerable population, said hundreds of bodies had been washing up over the past year.

Speaking to MailOnline from Benghazi in the east of the country, he said: ‘We have been dealing with this for more than a year along the west coast.

‘It happens every day. These kind of things happen all the time in Libya.’

Desperate: More than 1,000 people are rescued off the coasts of Italy and Greece every day, but many don’t manage to finish their journeys

Unidentified: Bodies of the migrants are collected by volunteers along the Libyan coastline and are buried by authorities in the country

Record highs: The number of migrants who have successfully arrived in Europe by sea so far this year is already approaching 250,000

Explaining the mindset of the people who board the boats, sometimes with their young families, Mr Sultan said: ‘People are desperate to leave because it’s dangerous, or they fear for their lives.

‘We have war – people get killed and there is no help coming. We also have ISIS here now. It’s very dangerous to live here.’

Libya is split between two governments backed by armed factions fighting each other but which control limited territory.

Islamic State and other armed groups have exploited a growing security vacuum on the ground to expand.

Libya Dawn, an alliance of armed groups, drove the internationally recognised government out of the capital, Tripoli, and declared its own government a year ago, leaving the oil-rich country on the verge of anarchy.

Libya: Bodies are washing up on a 100-mile stretch of the west of the war-torn country from Garaboli to Zuwara, near the Tunisian border

Volunteers: Workers from the Libyan Red Crescent Society, an organisation working on the ground, are collecting more bodies every day

Tragedy: Many of the migrants attempting to gain access to Europe are fleeing violence, natural disasters and poverty in their homelands

Mr Sultan said that those who try to leave the country by legal means are unable to get visas, so opt for dangerous trips across the sea on rickety ships.

Migrants who have arrived in Italy say human traffickers based in lawless Libya charge them between £770 and £1,150 for a place on the deck of boats. Those crammed in the hold pay about half as much as those above.

On Saturday, more than 40 migrants died in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast after suffocating below the deck of an overcrowded boat.

The vessel was carrying around 400 people when it was intercepted south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Footage of the rescue showed two navy vessels helping men, women and children off the dangerously overcrowded ship.

The boat was ‘starting to sink’ when it was spotted by an Italian navy helicopter, around 21 miles off the Libyan coast.

Rescuers discovered the dead migrants when the boarded the boat.

Collected: The bodies are removed from the beaches and are handed over to the authorities in the country to be buried in unmarked graves

Deaths: On Saturday, 40 migrants died off the Libyan coast after suffocating below the deck of an overcrowded boat, carrying 400 people

Frequent loss: Hundreds of bodies of migrants have washed up on the beaches of the western coast of Libya over the past year

Survivors of such hazardous journeys have told of how traffickers lock migrants who paid less for the journey in the hold underneath.

These people endure extreme heat in the ship’s hold and there is a high risk of death if it capsizes.

And around 200 migrants were presumed killed earlier this month off the coast of Libya when their boat capsized.

According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of migrants and asylum seekers who have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year is approaching 250,000.

The death toll has risen to at least 2,300, but the figure is likely to be higher because some of the dead are never recovered.

Mr Sultan explained that the bodies are handed over to authorities, which photograph them and document the deaths before burying them.

More than 100,000 migrants have crossed the Channel of Sicily from Libya to reach safety in Italy so far this year.

Death toll: At least 2,300 migrants are known to have died this year while trying to reach Europe by sea, but the real figure will be higher

Frequent fatalities: About 200 migrants were presumed killed earlier this month off the Libyan coastline when their boat capsized

Route: An estimated 102,000 migrants have successfully crossed the Channel of Sicily from Libya to reach safety in Italy this year

The Impulse Towards Fascism and the Homogenized Society

Why aren’t we living in H.G. Wells’ scientific dictatorship?


Rick Searle

By Rick Searle
Utopia or Dystopia


One of the more depressing things to come out of the 2008 financial crisis was just how little it managed to effect our expectations about the economy and political forms of the future. Sure, there was Occupy Wall Street, and there’s been at least some interesting intellectual ferment here and there with movements such as Accelerationist Marxism and the like, but none have really gone anywhere. Instead what we’ve got is the same old system only now with even more guarantees and supports for the super rich. Donald Trump may be a blowhard and a buffoon, but even buffoons and blowhards can tell the truth as he did during last Thursday’s debate when he essentially stated that politicians were in the pocket to those with the cash, such as himself, who were underneath it all really running the show.

The last really major crisis of capitalism wasn’t anything like this. In the 1930’s not only had the whole system gone down, but nearly everyone seemed convinced that capitalism, (and some even thought the representative democracy that had emerged in tandem with it) was on the way out.

Then again, the political and economic innovation of the early 20th century isn’t the kind of thing any of us would wish for. Communists, which to many born after 1989 may seem as much like antiquated creatures from another world as American revolutionaries in powdered wigs, was by the 1930’s considered one of the two major ways the society of the future would likely be organized, and its’ competitor over the shape of the future wasn’t some humane and reasoned alternative, but the National Socialism of Hitler’s dark Reich.

things to come

If one wants to get a sense of the degree to which the smart money was betting against the survival of capitalism and democracy in the 1930’s one couldn’t do much better than that most eerily prescient of science-fiction prophets – H.G. Wells. In many ways, because he was speaking through the veneer of fiction Wells could allow himself to voice opinions which would have led even political radicals to blush. Also, because he was a “mere” fiction author his writings became one of the few ways intellectuals and politicians in liberal societies could daydream about a way out of capitalism’s constant crises, democracy’s fissiparousness and corruption, and most importantly for the survival of humanity in light of the nation-state’s increasingly destructive wars.

Well’s 1933 The Shape of Things to Come,

published not long after the Nazis had come to power in Germany, is perhaps his best example of a work that blurs the boundaries between a work of fiction and a piece of political analysis, polemic, and prediction. In the guise of a dream book of a character who has seen the future of the world from the 1930’s to the middle of the beginning of the 22nd century, Wells is able to expound upon the events of the day and their possible implications- over a century into the future.

Writing six years before the event takes place Well’s spookily imagines World War II beginning with the German invasion of Poland. Also identifying the other major aggressor in a world war still to come, Wells realizes Japan had stepped into a quagmire by invading China from which much ill would come.

These predictions of coming violence (Wells forecast the outbreak of the Second World War to be 1940- one year off) are even more chilling when one watches the movie based upon the book, and know that the bombings of cities it depicts is not some cinematographer’s fantasy, but will no doubt have killed some of those who watched the film in theaters in 1936- less than five years later.

Nevertheless, Wells gets a host of very important things, not only about the future but about his present, very wrong. He gets it ass backwards in generally admiring the Soviet Union and seeing its’ problem not being the inhuman treatment by the Communist regime of its citizens, but the fact that they have wed themselves to what Well’s believes is an antiquated, dogmatic theory in Marxism.

Indeed, Wells will build his own version of dictatorship in The Shape of Things to Come (though versions of it can be seen in his earlier work) using the ideas of two of Soviet communism’s founders- Trotsky’s idea of a global revolutionary movement which will establish a worldwide government and Lenin’s idea of an intellectual nucleus that will control all the aspects of society.

Nor, did Wells really grasp the nature of Nazism or the strange contradiction of a global alliance of fascist regimes that ostensibly worship the state. Wells saw Hitler as a throwback to a dying order based on the nation-state. His only modernity being

“…control by a self-appointed, self-disciplined élite was a distinct step towards our Modern State organization.” (192)

Wells therefore misses the savagery born of the competition between world shaping ideologies and their mobilization of entire societies that will constitute the Second World War and its aftermath.

Ironically, Wells mistakenly thinks WWII will be short and its fatalities low because he gets his technological predictions right. He clearly foresees the role of the importance of the tank, the airplane, and the submarine to the future war and because of them even anticipates the Nazi idea of blitzkrieg. At one point he seems to have a glimmer of the death spirit that will seize over humankind during the war when he compares the submarine to a sacrificial altar:

The Germans supplied most of the flesh for this particular altar; willing and disciplined, their youngsters saluted and carried their kit down the ladder into this gently swaying clumsy murder mechanism which was destined to become their coffin. (70)

Nevertheless, he fails to see that the Second World War will unleash the kinds of violence and fanaticism formerly only seen in religious wars.

Two decades after Wells’ novel many would think that because of the introduction of nuclear weapons wars would be reduced to minutes. Instead conflict became stretched out across multiple decades. What this is should teach us is that we have no idea how any particular technology will ultimately affect the character of war – especially in terms of its intensity or duration- thus those hoping that robotic or cyber weapons will return us to short decisive conflicts are likely seeing a recurrent mirage.

Wells perhaps better understood than other would be revolutionaries and prophets of the time just how robust existing societies were despite their obvious flaws. The kind of space for true political innovation had seemingly occurred only during times of acute stress, such as war, that by their nature were short lived. A whole new way of organizing society had seemingly revealed itself during World War I in which the whole industrial apparatus of the nation was mobilized and directed towards a particular end. Yet the old society would reassert itself except in those societies that had experienced either defeat and collapse or Pyrrhic victory (Italy, Japan) in the conflict.

Wells thus has to imagine further crises after economic depression and world war to permanently shatter Western societies that had become fossilized into their current form. The new kind of war had itself erased the boundary between the state and the society during war, and here Wells is perhaps prescient in seeing the link between mass mobilization, the kinds of wars against civilians seen in the Second World War and insurgency/terrorism. Yet he pictures the final hammer blow not in the form of such a distributed conflict but coming in the form of a global pandemic that kills half of the world’s people. After that comes the final death of the state and the reversion to feudalism.

It is from a world ruled by warlords that Wells’ imagined “Air Dictatorship” will emerge. It is essentially the establishment of global rule by a scientific technocracy that begins with the imposition of a monopoly over global trade networks and especially control over the air.

To contemporary ears the sections on the Air Dictatorship can be humorously reminiscent of an advertisement for FedEx or the US Navy. And then the humor passes when one recalls that a world dominated by one global straddling military and multinational corporations isn’t too far from the one Wells pictured even if he was more inspired by the role of the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages, the Hanseatic League or the what the damned Bolsheviks were up to in Russia.

Oddly enough, Wells foresaw no resistance to the establishment of a world-state (he called it The Modern State) from global capitalists, or communists or the remnant of the security services of the states that had collapsed. Instead, falling into a modernist bias that remains quite current, Wells sees the only rival to the “Modern State” in the form of the universal religions which the Air Dictatorship will therefore have to destroy. Wells’ utopians declare war on Catholics (Protestants oddly give no resistance) forcefully close Mecca and declare war on Kosher foods. And all this deconstruction to be followed by “re-education” Wells thinks could be done without the kinds of totalitarian nightmares and abuses which are less than two decades away from when he is writing The Shape of Things.

I am not particular fan of the universal confusion called post-modernism, but it does normally prevent most of us from making zingers like Wells’ such as this:

They are going to realize that there can be only one right way of looking at the world for a normal human being and only one conception of a proper scheme of social reactions, and that all others must be wrong and misleading and involve destructive distortions of conduct. (323)

Like any self-respecting version of apocalypse, Wells imagines that after a period of pain and violence the process will become self sustaining and neither will be required, though most honorably for the time Wells thinks this world will be one of racial equality that will never again suffer the plague of extreme want.

Analogous to the universal religions, after the establishment of the Modern State all of humankind will become party to ultimate mission of the scientific endeavor which the protagonist in the movie version sums up manically in this crazy speech at the end of the film:

For man, no rest, he must go on. First this little planet and its’ winds and ways, and then all of the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets above and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he conquers all the depths of space and all of time still he will not be finished.

All the universe or nothing! Which shall it be?

(As a side note Ken Stanley Robinson seems to think this modernist’s dream that the destiny of humanity is to settle the stars is still alive and kicking. In his newest novel he is out to kill it. Review pending. )

To return to our lack of imagination and direction after 2008: we, unlike Wells, know how his and similar modernist projects failed, and just how horribly they did so. Nevertheless, his diagnosis remains largely sound. It might take a crisis the scale none of us would wish for to engender real reform let alone the taking of radically new directions. Given historical experience such crises are much more likely to give rise to monsters than anything benign.

Anarchists seem to grasp the shape of the time but not its implications. In a globalized world power has slipped out of the grasp of democratic sovereignty and into the hands of networked organizations- from multinational corporations, to security services, to terrorists and criminal groups able to transcend these borders. Yet it is tightly organized “machine like” organizations rather than decentralized/anarchic ones that seem to thrive in this feudal environment, and whereas that very feudalism and its competition makes achieving a unified voice in addressing urgent global problems even more difficult, and where despite our current perceptions, war between the armed groups that represent states the gravest existential threat to humanity, we, unlike Wells, know that no one group of us has all the answers, and that it is not only inhumane but impossible to win human unity out of the barrel of a ray gun

Rick Searle, an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET, is a writer and educator living the very non-technological Amish country of central Pennsylvania along with his two young daughters. He is an adjunct professor of political science and history for Delaware Valley College and works for the PA Distance Learning Project.

Obama Throws Coal States Under the Bus To Appease Environmentalists

[SEE:  Wind, Solar Cheer as Coal Vows Battle on Obama’s Energy PlanObama ignores California’s green power experience]

article-imageAbandoned Solar Two Tower (photograph by Marcin Wichary)

Like the vanished, money making dreams that spawned them, it can be hard to find abandoned solar and wind farms.

The most impressive are in the United States, where investors slammed up wind turbines and solar panels in the aftermath of the 1970s energy crisis. Everyone expected oil to get even more expensive, and government subsidies and tax breaks for renewable energy were easy to get. But oil prices didn’t climb as anticipated, and as the subsidies went away, so too did many developers of wind and solar farms, no longer interested when the money wasn’t right. Projects were sold, or left in the sun and wind.

Solar panels and wind turbines are not brick, concrete, or stone. They’re relatively easy to remove, and most are built with a plan to tear them down at some point. But there are a few places you can still go to wander among abandoned dreams of wind and light.

Tehachapi and Altamont Wind Energy Areas

article-imageTehachapi wind turbines (photograph by TomSaint11/Wikimedia)

Tehachapi and Altamont are the granddaddies of them all — sites of a 1970s-1980s wind energy rush gone wrong. Federal subsidies sparked developers into action, crowding what are now considered antique, poorly functioning turbines into particularly windy areas of California.

At Tehachapi in hapless Kern County, north of Los Angeles, officials had no provision in law requiring developers to cover the future tear-down costs of the wind turbines. At first, that may not have seemed like a big deal. But the federal tax breaks soon dried up and the developers vanished, leaving behind thousands of rusty, cranking turbines standing in rows like soldiers on the windy plain outside Tehachapi.

article-imageTehachapi Pass Wind Farm (photograph by Ikluft/Wikimedia)

Estimates vary on how many of the turbines in the Tehachapi area are defunct. Some range as high as 4,000, but others are lower. No matter how many are abandoned, Tehachapi is definitely a wind turbine boneyard.

To get there:
For a loop drive with great view of the area’s turbines, drive south from Tehachapi on Tehachapi Willow Springs Road, hang a left on Oak Creed Road heading east to Mojave. Take Highway 58 north and west back toward Tehachapi to complete the loop.

article-image Altamont Pass Wind Farm (photograph by David J Laporte)

In Altamont, one hour’s drive east of San Francisco, California, there are approximately 5,000 wind turbines. All were installed in the early 1980s in the wake of generous federal and state subsidies for renewable energy. Subsequent decades have brought larger, more efficient wind turbines, but there are plenty of aged turbines in the Altamont area, with their telltale lattice-work towers.

The older, smaller turbines are unfortunately efficient bird slicers, and will soon get upgraded by operators in the area to larger, slower speed turbines under a deal to avoid more bird deaths.

article-image Altamont Pass Wind Farm (photograph by David J Laporte)

To get there:
For a good view of the Altamont area wind turbines, drive east from Livermore, California, on Interstate 580. Take the West Grant Line Road exit and either go north to make a left and head east on Altamont Pass Road, or better, go south to wander among the turbines that stretch between the interstate and Patterson Pass road that runs east-west to the south.

Solar One/Solar Two
Daggett, California

article-imageSolar Two tower (via

The Department of Energy’s Solar One plant was based on a simple if somewhat wild idea: line up nearly 2,000 mirrors to reflect sunlight on a focal point to heat water, make steam, and generate power.

The plant was completed in 1981, in cooperation with Southern California Edison, L.A. Dept. of Water and Power, and the California Energy Commission. It spread across 126 acres 10 miles east of Barstow, California, generated about 10 megawatts of power, and was in operation from 1982 to 1986. In 1995, additional mirrors were added to the site, which now heated a molten salt solution that could store energy while clouds passed overhead.

article-imageSolar Two heliostat (via Wikimedia)

Solar One proved the viability of the molten salt energy storage concept. The site was decommissioned in 1999 and converted by University of California-Davis into a kind of telescope that measures gamma rays hitting the atmosphere.

To get there:
Drive on Interstate 40 east of Barstow, take the Daggett exit, skip past historic Highway 66 and instead take Santa Fe Street east for about three miles. Solar One/Solar Two will be on your left, to the north.

Kamaoa Wind Farm
Hawaii’s Big Island, Southern tip

article-imageKamaoa Wind Farm in 2006 (photograph by Rebecca Stanek)

A cluster of 37 wind turbines formerly marked the spot of the Kamaoa Wind Farm, at the far south end of Hawaii’s Big Island. The small wind farm opened in 1987 and was decommissioned 20 years later after a deal for the turbines’ power expired.

Yet the Mitsubishi turbines cranked on, became an ever-worse eyesore, and maddened those who wanted good views of the coast and Pacific Ocean. The farm’s owner, Apollo Energy Corp., finally removed the turbines in 2012 and sold them as scrap to China.

article-imageKamaoa Wind Farm in 2007 (photograph by Christian Razukas)

ARCO Carrizo Plain Solar Farm
San Luis Obispo County, California

article-imageAbandoned Carrizo Plain’s solar power plant (via Center for Land Use Interpretation

There’s nothing left of an ambitious plan to generate power from the sun at one of the sunniest places in California, about 70 miles west of Bakersfield. But for 11 years — from 1983 to 1994 — Carrizo Plain hosted a 5.2 megawatt solar farm built by Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO).

ARCO, traditionally an oil company, was a pioneer in solar power after the 1970s energy crisis. It built its own solar cells and deployed them on Carrizo Plain. ARCO sold the 177-acre solar farm to Carrizo Solar Corp. in 1990, which dismantled the farm in 1994.

PG&E Pilot Solar Plant
Kerman, California

Near the town of Kerman, California, sits the new Five Points Solar site, the direct descendent of Pacific Gas & Electric’s pilot solar plant in Kerman, demolished in 2011. The 10-acre site was built in 1992, retired in 1997, and its panels were removed 14 years later after neighbors complained.

Does Saudi Immunity For 911 Somehow Transfer Guilt To Iran?

[SEE:  Saudi Royals Request Removal From 911 Lawsuit ]

Michael D. Goldhaber, The Am Law Daily

Photo by Sander Lamme via Wikimedia Commons

Victims of September 11, who seek to hold funders of the 2001 terror attacks accountable in court, came to Manhattan federal court in Foley Square on Thursday with serious evidence that Saudi Arabia supported the al Qaeda bombers. U.S. District Judge George Daniels promised to decide within 90 days whether to put the Kingdom on trial.

Saudi Arabia chided the 9/11 families that this hearing was “not a political seminar.” It was, however, a seminar on history and epistemology. After 12 years of halting progress against Saudi charities, the 9/11 plaintiffs have revived a powerful claim against the Kingdom. But the quest for historical truth threatens to founder on the judge’s futile desire for direct knowledge of espionage.

Much of the day turned on what exactly we know about a February 2000 chat between alleged Saudi spies Omar al Bayoumi and Fahad al Thumairy. Judge Daniels had no time for Saudi’s contention that it didn’t “technically” employ Bayoumi when it paid his salary for a no-show cover job. But at the heart of the Saudi spy plot posited by the 9/11 families, the judge seemed to struggle with the obvious.

“You don’t have any evidence as to what conversations [Thumairy] had with Bayoumi,” said Daniels. “What’s the factual basis for you to allege that when he met with Bayoumi he said, ‘Give lodging to the hijackers, assist them and give financial support to the hijackers so that they can carry out the 9/11 attacks?’”

What one spy said to the other can be inferred from the full circumstantial evidence, replied 9/11 attorney Sean Carter of Cozen O’Connor—and must be. Consider the timing and sequence of these events, as laid out by the plaintiffs.

Osama bin Laden sent the 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar to Los Angeles in mid-January 2000 knowing that they didn’t speak a word of English and would be helpless on their own. Two weeks later, the Saudi spy Bayoumi met with the Islamist diplomat-imam Thumairy at the Saudi consul’s Islamic Affairs section, which the FBI knew to serve as Saudi Arabia’s radical Islamist fifth column.

Bayoumi drove straight from this not-so-mysterious chat to meet the two hijackers at Thumairy’s mosque. Three days later, Bayoumi moved the two hijackers into his own family apartment in San Diego. Bayoumi proceeded to open bank accounts and rent new apartments for the hijackers with his own money. Bayoumi connected the hijackers with another alleged Saudi agent who procured them fake IDs and admission to language and flight school. Bayoumi’s wife allegedly channeled $150,000 in support payments from a Saudi princess to the hijackers. In early 2000 Bayoumi received a promotion at his no-show cover job, and a significant raise in the salary and stipend covered by the Kingdom. Over the same three months, he talked repeatedly by phone with Saudi diplomats in L.A. and D.C., not to mention the hijackers’ San Diego imam Anwar Aulaqi, who went on to become a senior al Qaeda leader.

When questioned by the 9/11 Commission under the watchful eye of the Saudi secret police, Thumairy clumsily denied knowing Bayoumi, and Bayoumi pretended to be surprised that Thumairy worked at the consulate.

Add it all up, and the two spies in L.A. were not chatting about the traffic on the Santa Monica Freeway. The judge must understand that historical intelligence doesn’t get any stronger. We go to war with Iraq over yellowcake, and we won’t go to a jury with two bad guys twirling their mustaches at Wahhabi central?

According to the complaint, a top FBI official has stated that “We [the FBI] firmly believed that he [Bayoumi] had knowledge [of the 9/11 plot], and that his meeting with them [Hazmi and Mihdhar] that day was more than coincidence.” It’s “implausible,” adds 9/11 commissioner John Lehman, “that the broad spectrum of evidence developed by the 9/11 Commission concerning the relationships among Omar al Bayoumi, Fahad al Thumairy, the Islamic Affairs Department of Saudi diplomatic missions, and 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar can be explained away as merely coincidental.”

To 9/11 victims like Matthew T. Sellito, who flew in for the hearing from Florida, the evidence is clear. Sellitto, whose 23 year-old son Matthew C. of Cantor Fitzgerald was the youngest victim of the twin towers, said it pained him that the U.S. held the wrong country accountable in the Iraq War.

What about the 9/11 Commission itself? According to Carter, the staffers who studied the evidence concluded that Saudi Arabia was implicated—but that conclusion was removed from the 9/11 Report at the eleventh hour because senior staff wanted 100 percent certainty for such politically explosive allegations.

Michael Kellogg of Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel, arguing for the defense, prefers the final draft of the 9/11 Report. Even after 12 years, he says the 9/11 families can’t meet the high standard of evidence required by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. He also argued that the case against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Comission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina must be dismissed because they do not satisfy the “whole tort” exception, the “discretionary functions” clause, or the causation requirement of the FSIA. Those legal arguments are likely to be resolved at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit—unless Congress steps in to resolve them first. But this case ain’t going to trial against Saudi unless Judge Daniels is willing to connect the dots.

The irony is that Judge Daniels already entered a $6 billion default judgment against Iran on far weaker evidence. The allegations that Iran helped Hezbollah to cooperate with al-Qaeda, and let al-Qaeda terrorists pass through Iran, would seem to fail the test that the whole tort occurred on U.S. soil.

Yet after 3 hours of agonizing over the Saudi spy evidence, the judge treated the contention that Iran is liable for another $150 billion as an afterthought.

At the end of Thursday’s hearing, James Kreindler of Kreindler & Kreindler announced that the 857 members of his 9/11 plaintiff group, headlined by the Ashton family, had a claim against Iran. And therefore, they were entitled to the same default judgment received in 2011 by the 47 members of the plaintiff group headlined by the Havlish family. Kreindler said that the $6 billion awarded in Havlish implied damages of $150 billion for the Ashton plaintiffs . But for fear of disrupting diplomacy, Kreindler said he was only seeking a finding of liability—to stake a claim in the political settlement likely to resolve Iranian terror claims. The judge said he’d hold a Jan. 14 conference and “see where we are.”

In the meantime here’s free advice from The Global Lawyer. Iran should show up in court before a mega-judgment jeopardizes its historic deal. And Judge Daniels should let a jury see the evidence against the nation that actually bears blame for 9/11. We owe it to Matthew T. and Matthew C. Sellitto.

Turkey Feigns Fight Against ISIS, Just As We Pretend To Fight “Al-Qaeda”

“Nobody ever knew what really happened. How many fighters or civilians killed to what effect…nobody knew any facts. In other words, it all seemed like theater for public consumption.”

[Is the quotation above about Turkish airstrikes or American drone strikes?  How do we know that any “legitimate media” war report is true?]

Instead Of Fighting ISIS, Erdogan Pushes Turkey Toward Chaos And Despotism

Untitled Melik Kaylan

I cover conflicts, frontiers and upheavals mired in history.

In Turkey, an ISIS suicide bomb kills 30 and wounds many more in the Kurdish area town of Suruc. The Kurdish insurgent terrorists, the PKK, then start killing Turkish policemen and soldiers while ISIS attacks a Turkish military border post. Peace demonstrations ensue in some cities which police put down with the, by now, familiar methods of severity against civilians. Ankara and Washington reach an agreement allowing the US to use its bases inside Turkey against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Erdogan’s spokesmen announce that Turkey’s air force has conducted raids against both PKK and ISIS targets across the border. Turkish authorities arrest some 900 people nationwide, mostly Kurds, for allegedly belonging to terror networks. Turkish tanks shell Kurdish villages in Syrian borderlands near Kobani. Meanwhile, news leaks that the US has solid evidence of Turkish collusion with ISIS in months past. Let us pause here and dispel some of the fog.

First, let us remember that Turkey conducted a national election on June 7 and still hasn’t formed a government. All these decisions in a time of crisis are being taken by somebody. Someone’s running the country. We’ll get to the full implications later but initiatives are being taken, orders given. The air raids for instance. Worth a little scrutiny. For example, you have to wonder, since the Turkish air force knew of PKK targets in Iraq, so quickly and easily neutralized, why didn’t it act before? And why attack Syrian Kurds near Kobani who, after all, are busy fighting off ISIS? Especially if you’ve declared ISIS the enemy because it has killed 30 people in a suicide bomb inside Turkey.

On the ISIS front, it’s worth viewing the video put out by Ankara of the air strikes against several sites by F-16s using laser-guided munitions. All the targets seem to have one thing in common: they’re each at a safe distance from residential complexes in ISIS territory. They’re set apart in open fields. They betray no marks of military activity. Now, humanitarian though this might seem – which itself begs the question – you still have to wonder. Does ISIS keep strategic targets clear of population centers? And, if so, why were such targets still so manifestly available. The US has waged its air war against ISIS since last September. They left a few for the Turks? The skeptic might ask if these were meaningful targets at all.

I remember during the Iraq war that Ankara would announce with fanfare various bombing sorties to hit PKK camps nestled in the Zagros mountains in retaliation against one or other PKK atrocity inside Turkey. Nobody ever knew what really happened. How many fighters or civilians killed to what effect? The PKK never slowed down. Barzani grumbled about territorial integrity. The White House mumbled about Turkey’s right to self-defense. I queried Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan, from both Suleymaniah and Erbil, during those years about any publicly mooted information about those recurrent air strikes. While they expressed outrage at territorial violation by Turks, nobody knew any facts. In other words, it all seemed like theater for public consumption in Turkey.

Let’s keep firmly in mind the overarching attribute of Turkey’s AKP leaders throughout the last decade: they’re invariably long on demagogy and short on solutions. The goal always is to stay in power, mute criticism, corrupt all necessary institutions, suppress dissent, play the populist card. And play it so unscrupulously that the country polarizes step by step. Protestors are terrorists. Critical journalists are atheists. Gulenists serve a foreign power. Kurdish politicians are fronting for the PKK. The mayor of Ankara, a top Erdoganista, sued a journalist for accusing him of – wait for it – being Armenian!

Much of the time nobody knows what’s really going on after any eruption of internal conflict first gets reported – they only get exposed to propaganda and polemics. The media gets muzzled and social media suspended. It happened after two gas cylinder bombs exploded at a HDP Kurdish party rally ahead of the elections killing two and wounding over 100.

It has happened after the Suruc horror by ISIS. Erdogan’s main objective, to befog with theater when he can’t hide the reality, hasn’t wavered. Hence the display of signing the Incirlik Airbase deal with the White House. Hence the bombing runs against ISIS. These add up to a manifest U-turn as he and his party have publicly abetted ISIS in myriad snide ways, even giving cover to its foremost vociferous advocate in Turkey, the noisy and sinister Halis Bayancuk whom they’ve just re-arrested. Previously arrested in 2014, he was released by the authorities while the prosecutor and judge who had moved against him were demoted. The government then defended him publicly as a victim of the ‘deep state’ conspiracy, one of Erdogan’s favorite polemical bogeys.

Meanwhile, as many domestic commentators now say, Turkey is hovering on the brink. Similarly, others are pointing out that the country now faces total crisis not accidentally but in line with Erdogan’s plan to monopolize power, become the indispensible figure amid chaos. In the old days, when fractured elections led to paralysis and conflict, the military would step in and tidy up the mess, acting as last-chance custodians of the Republic. These days their role resides, democratically, with the President. Alas, the ‘honest-broker’ is also a dishonest protagonist in the fray, namely Erdogan himself. The office of the Presidency requires him to stand above politics. He hasn’t – even though the country voted away his party’s parliamentary majority for that reason, as a rebuttal of his ambition to make the Presidency paramount. He planned to re-enact the Putin/Medvedev tango, Turkish-style, moving between the position of PM and President to avoid term limits.

As I wrote here after the election produced no winner six weeks ago, Turkey has never fared well with coalitions. In this case, the coalition didn’t even materialize. While the various parties continue to negotiate on forming a government, they’ve left Erdogan in charge by default. What I warned then, is coming to pass (even quicker than expected) when I said, “and here’s the most scary part: as things deteriorate it will be up to the President to impose order by one means or another” and “a fundamental player in the equation (Erdogan) has no interest but to let things get very bad indeed”.

And so here we are. For Erdogan it’s even better that there’s no government. He rules by diktat. To do so, he needs crises. He’s busy creating them. Stoking the Kurdish conflict simply polarizes the country further, catalyzes civil war Assad-style. He will call a sudden election when things are bad enough. There’s some chance he might have miscued though. After all, he has no coalition to blame. Instead of seeing him as the indispensable strongman, the country might hold him responsible for all the chaos. If there is still a country by then.

UN Capitulation To Saudi Demands Equals Partnership In Ethnic-Cleansing of Middle East

“the U.N. de facto institutionalized aid segregation by allowing humanitarian relief to be conditional to certain criteria: political affiliation and religious orientation.

With Yemen set as a precedent, who’s to say that a similar setup will not be replicated in other countries in the region — mainly, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Libya?”


[This is the standard by which Middle Eastern human beings will be granted the right to eat by the Royal Saudi Caliphate.  Anyone who can’t see the real “Sunni Caliphate” by now has not been paying attention to Saudi aggression in the region.  War-mongering king Salman has been arrogantly open about his intentions to cleanse the Middle East of Shiites and other religious apostates (this would include Christians, obviously). even whike he pretends to be fighting against the Caliphate of ISIS.  The Saudi royals and their Gulf subordinates have been creating a Saudi Caliphate, right before our eyes.  The fact that the world’s only hope for humanitarianism, the United Nations, would allow a tribal Arab king to enforce Draconian standards on simple aid intended to keep civilians alive (amidst a hot, desert war), is proof that human compassion is just another commodity that can be bought and sold like anything else. 

Such is the human condition, when laid bare before us. 
Where is God in this equation?]

Saudi Arabia opened its checkbook in response to a U.N. appeal for funds to cover the most urgent humanitarian aid to Yemen. But that aid would come at a steep price and with more than a few strings attached.

A Yemeni man looks at a World Food Program ship at the port of Aden, Yemen, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The WFP ship carrying badly needed aid arrived in Yemen's war-torn southern city of Aden on Tuesday, the first vessel chartered by the U.N. agency to berth there since Saudi-led airstrikes on Shiite rebels in the country began in March. (AP Photo/Ahmed Sameer)

SANAA, Yemen — Five months have passed since Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen, and for all its might, political resolve and military arsenal, the kingdom has yet to bring the poorest nation on the Arabian Peninsula to heel.

Its institutions in tatters, its military apparatus reduced to rubbles, and with no economy to speak of, Yemen’s imminent collapse has been foretold time and time again by experts and state officials. Yet these predictions have not quite come to fruition.

In its match against Goliath, David is resisting. In rallies, demonstrations and even an open letter signed by 18 Yemen scholars and experts living in the United States and Britain, tens of thousands of Yemenis and others around the world have decried Riyadh’s actions, calling for an end to all violence.

Yet this dedication to opposing Riyadh’s actions doesn’t mean Yemenis aren’t suffering. The World Health Organization issued a statement in June, warning that a “major health crisis is unfolding in Yemen, where hospitals have been destroyed, health workers killed and critical shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel are causing large-scale suffering.”

In early July, the United Nations declared the situation in Yemen to be the highest level of humanitarian emergency. According to a U.N. report published July 7, over 1,500 civilians have been killed, 3,600 have been injured, and over a million have been displaced in the ongoing conflict.

A “major health crisis is unfolding in Yemen, where hospitals have been destroyed, health workers killed and critical shortages of food, medical supplies and fuel are causing large-scale suffering.”

-World Health Organization

By U.N. estimates, about 80 percent of all Yemenis — more than 20 million people — are in need of humanitarian aid.

In late March, Amnesty International confirmed the deaths of at least six children under the age of 10 during a Saudi-led air raid that killed 25 people. The report read: “The organization spoke to medical personnel at four different hospitals where the dead were taken after being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighbourhood near the city’s international airport.”

Already the poorest and most vulnerable population in the Peninsula and arguably the Greater Middle East, Yemenis have seen their livelihoods and freedom of movement disintegrate under Saudi Arabia’s war momentum. In late April, Saudi Arabia bombed Sanaa International Airport, effectively trapping civilians within Yemen’s borders.

Despite mounting evidence of abuses and war crimes, it would take the international rights community several months to stand up to the oil giant. On July 27, Human Rights Watch unequivocally slammed Saudi Arabia for a litany of human rights violations. The report reads:

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members.”

With fierce battles raging across Yemen, and as warplanes continue to rain lead onto heavily populated areas, Saudi Arabia has been looking for innovative ways to exert pressure onto the resistance movement. It is now withholding humanitarian aid to Yemen’s civilians to tame the growing insurrection movement against its rule and thus secure victory in the face of international law — all under the guise of the United Nations.

The kingdom is holding hostage not just Yemen but to some extent the international community, using the United Nations’ humanitarian institutions to wage war. It’s using institutions meant to offer relief as a means of weaponizing aid.

Hassan Jayache, a senior leader of the Houthi movement, which took control of Yemen earlier this year, told MintPress News that local NGOs have found themselves caught in a political web, forced to surrender their neutrality to secure not just funding but access to areas where aid is needed.

“The Saudis have exerted political pressures onto local NGOs and international aid organizations, demanding that aid be restricted to pre-approved segments of the population, based on political affiliations and according to religious criteria,” Jayache said.

“In other words, Al Saud has decided to starve the Shias of Yemen, hoping to break the Houthis’ momentum.”

Turning aid agencies into weapons of war

Mohammed Al-Emad, a Yemen-based journalist and political commentator, says Saudi Arabia called on several media organizations in the Middle East, the United States and Europe, demanding that “coverage on Yemen be sanitized and in keeping with Riyadh’s chosen political narrative.”

Wikileaks Comic While Al-Emad’s claims could be considered bias, WikiLeaks published a series of confidential cables pointing to systematic media/PR manipulation on the part of the Saudis.

But if the international community had been standing silent before Saudi Arabia’s war crimes, exploiting what Al-Emad describes as a convenient media blackout to avoid addressing some sticky legal points, Riyadh’s move against the U.N. might prove one indiscretion too many for anyone to ignore.

The work of King Salman and his allies to sabotage U.N.-organized aid to Yemen started on April 17 in the wake of a U.N. emergency flash appeal for $274 million to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs over the following three months.

Speaking on Yemenis’ hardship, Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van Der Klaauw stressed:

“The devastating conflict in Yemen takes place against the backdrop of an existing humanitarian crisis that was already one of the largest and most complex in the world … Thousands of families have now fled their homes as a result of the fighting and airstrikes. Ordinary families are struggling to access health care, water, food and fuel – basic requirements for their survival.”

Saudi Arabia immediately volunteered the exact amount requested. But the aid would come with strings attached.

Vice News reported in June that Saudi officials leaned on U.N. officials to sabotage aid deliveries, threatening to close the kingdom’s checkbook should U.N. agencies deny Riyadh’s requests.

Based on a U.N. memo obtained by Vice, the media outlet reported that the Saudi government imposed unprecedented conditions on aid agencies, demanding that assistance be limited to Saudi-approved areas and confined to strictly Sunni civilian populations.

A Yemeni volunteer carries bags of rice to displaced people

“If such despicable logic can somehow be expected from a power which has wielded sectarianism to sow discord and from chaos rise a tyrant, what of the UN, an institution which claims itself impartial and fair?” Hasan Sufyani, a leading political analyst at the Sana’a Institute for Arabic Studies, asked MintPress.

He added:

If humanitarian organizations are to be subjected to the rules of realpolitik then truly the world has reached a dark chapter in its history and reverted back to organized barbarism.

Still, no well-thinking Western powers has thought to challenge Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen. In a world system where capitalism reigns king, the rich and haughty stand above the pettiness of the rule of law.”

As a rule of thumb, and to avoid political entanglements, humanitarian organizations tend to shy away from donations which come with strings attached, especially when they fall under the umbrella of the OCHA.

Meant as a supranational institution, OCHA was never intended to be manipulated as an instrument of pressure, legal absolution or, in the case of Yemen, a weapon of war.

$244M, split nine ways

Playing aid as both a military tactic and a PR exercise to redeem its atrocious human rights record and whitewash its war crimes in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has held the U.N. hostage to its policies.

Such shadowing and lobbying on the part of Saudi Arabia had Yemeni officials waving the political red flag.

Ali al-Bukhaiti, a prominent member of the Houthis’ political arm, told MintPress his office has vehemently denounced Riyadh’s attempts to “buy the U.N. out to better corner Sana’a government and foil the resistance movement.”

Yet it appears the train was already far too out of the station for anyone to hit the brakes.

By late June, amid reports of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, the Saudi government finally announced that out of its initial pledge of $274 million, $244 million would be divided among nine U.N. agencies.

On the heels of this announcement Stephen O’Brien, the U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, sent a letter to the Interagency Standing Committee, a global humanitarian coordinating body, which includes both U.N. humanitarian agencies and outside NGOs.

Vice News confirmed the letter was attached to a Saudi press release announcing the nine-way cut, explaining how the funds would go through the recently created King Salman Center for Relief Humanitarian Works (KSC).

“Having agreed to the overall envelopes, however, the KSC would like to negotiate individual Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with each recipient agency,” O’Brien told Vice, openly admitting to Riyadh’s lobby.

Boys carry relief supplies to their families who fled fighting in the southern city of Aden, during a food distribution effort by Yemeni volunteers, in Taiz, Yemen.

“Interestingly few media outlets picked up on this Orwellian development! After unilaterally and, let’s be frank, after illegally declaring war on Yemen, the Saudi government wants also to dictate how humanitarian relief is distributed in the very country it is attacking,” Sheikh al-Matari, the head of Yemen’s Rasoul Akram Foundation, an aid organization, told MintPress.

Vice News quoted a U.N. aid official in Yemen as saying: “The UN has punted and handed off the problems to these agencies. I’ve never seen that before.”

The official continued:

“The charitable way of saying it is this is a compromise — the less charitable way of saying it is that they folded. It’s really unusual for a single donor to have any substantive role once they contribute funds, let alone negotiate individual MoU’s with agencies.”

When asked about this very public U.N. capitulation before Al Saud’s millions, O’Brien attempted to rationalize the situation by arguing a massive deficit funding gap.

O’Brien wrote: “With regard to NGOs, I am aware that there are sensitivities in receiving funding directly from the KSC and we therefore must work actively to mobilize additional funds to be allocated directly, or via the Pooled Fund, to our front-line partners.”

Yet, as al-Matari noted:

“That’s only half of the story. What O’Brien is not telling is that by accepting Saudi Arabia’s conditions on aid distribution and aid funding in relation to Yemen, the U.N. de facto institutionalized aid segregation by allowing humanitarian relief to be conditional to certain criteria: political affiliation and religious orientation.

With Yemen set as a precedent, who’s to say that a similar setup will not be replicated in other countries in the region — mainly, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Libya?”

‘Institutionalizing war crimes’

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, left, meets with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, right

“From the onset of this conflict King Salman has walked outside international law. There is nothing remotely legal about attacking a sovereign nation. The argument Saudi Arabia aimed to preemptively strike Yemen in order to stop the so-called ‘Shia crescent’ from further strengthening its hold on the region is both legally erroneous and redundant. What is troubling is the speed at which the kingdom is institutionalizing war crimes,” Al-Emad, the journalist and political commentator based in Yemen, told MintPress.

Al-Emad added: “It is one thing to declare war against a country and another to select a segment of population for annihilation. How long before Saudi Arabia’s ill intentions against all Zaidis and Shias in Yemen are understood for what they are? Genocidal.”

Although no legal action has been taken against Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s humanitarian and human rights violations in Yemen have come to define the very nature of its war on the tiny, impoverished nation.

Even the sectarian aspect of Riyadh‘s wrath has transpired in official reports, giving weight to Yemenis’ mounting accusations of ethnic cleansing. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights raised concerns in this area, as well, as a U.N. report issued in July notes: “The UN rights office is also acutely worried about increasing attacks against places of worship, pointing to the targeting of five Zaydi mosques with car bombs over the past few weeks as an alarming trend to create sectarian divisions.”

Additionally, Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the OHCHR, confirmed mounting abuses against civilians when she explained: “Since 17 June, there has been further destruction of civilian infrastructure, with at least 36 buildings, including hospitals, schools, court houses, power generation facilities and communications institutions partially or totally damaged in the governorates of Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Al-Jawf, Al-Mahwit, and Hajjah.”

The Saudis have not been alone in violating international law, though. The Houthis have also committed their share of war crimes. In May, for example, Human Rights Watch accused pro-Houthi forces of killing civilians and holding aid workers hostage in the southern seaport of Aden. But it is the sectarian intent and systematicity behind Riyadh’s military campaign which has rights activists ringing the alarm.

Speaking to MintPress, Hussain Abu Salem, a human rights activist based in Saada, a northern province of Yemen, located south of Saudi Arabia, who personally documented Saudi air raids against identified Zaidi-targets in northern Yemen, compared Riyadh’s actions against Yemen’s Zaidi community to Israel’s attacks against Palestinians:

“Saudi Arabia knowingly and willingly targets Zaidi villages and Zaidi monuments. It seeks the destruction of Yemen Zaidi heritage. It wants to surgically remove all Zaidi Yemenis from political, religious, economic and social life. The kingdom is following in the footsteps of Israel in all impunity. It is exactly the same logic, the same methods and of course the same justifications.”

“This is the thing about right violations,” he added, “when the world does nothing to impose the law, when the powerful can oppress the weak, then injustice becomes the rule of law.”

imagine a ‘nuclear war’ of information

Russia vs. US: Total War is the Obliteration of Reality

fort russ blog
By: Joaquin Flores
When the methods of Information War in Fourth Generation Warfare are used in Total War, it results in a war upon the psyche, a war upon cognition, a war upon our very conception and understanding of reality.  This will be an increasing feature of our relationship with reality.
As global conflict increases qualitatively and quantitatively, it is important to understand the new methods of warfare in which the conflict in Ukraine serves as an excellent case study.  Understanding these methods, in combination with a syncretic approach to various competing schools and across several otherwise or previously unrelated fields, has been the key to our ability to accurately forecast any number of events and dynamics in the situation in Ukraine.
The struggle between the Atlanticist and Eurasianist spheres not only acquires forms in the traditional areas of diplomacy, trade, intelligence, and military strength – but also in the increasingly dominating realm of synthetic, manufactured hyper-reality.  These are important elements of fourth generation warfare (4GW) in the realm of information war and also what is termed ‘hybrid warfare’ – a feature of 4GW which blurs the lines between civilian and military groups, and allows power groups to dissemble the reality of their role in support.  This creates the element of plausible deniability, that power groups are not involved when in fact they are.
Following the various media reports and statements from the various official spokespeople of the groups involved in the Ukrainian conflict, it is problematic to take these at face value and equate statements about their role or position as being the actual role or position.
In a manner similar to ISIS or Al Qaeda – which are largely US-Saudi-Israeli joint projects, it is typical to hear statements from the Pravy Sektor that they oppose NATO, imperialism (whether US or Russian), and propose instead other elements of platform which confuse the discourse and disguise their actual supporters.  Of course, like with ISIS and the like, most all of the commanders and all of the rank and file supporters and fighters completely believe they are opposed to the very power groups which support them.  It only requires one or two decision makers at the very top to align the actual activities with US control or influence.
Naturally like ISIS, Pravy Sektor and similar are also developed to be self-sustaining projects to a large extent, can subsist for long periods of time using the standard methods of apparent self-funding, including organized crime or the seizure of businesses and enterprises. They can also, as we have written previously, be used and swayed by other actors not including the US, and in certain moments may act – willingly or unwillingly – against the US’s actual interests (not just stated interests).  This may occur for reasons which are complex but imaginable.
US and Russian approaches to the conflict in Ukraine are based in discernible desired positions, but the strategies change in various stages based upon real-world changes and results, push-back, and the actions of the other players. Thus, strategies are employed in relation to changes, and tactics evolve in real-time.   This is why many contingency plans are built into general planning.  Indeed, the various and even contradictory contingencies themselves should be considered ‘the plan’.
The US exerts degrees of control and influence upon several distinct power groups in Ukraine, such as various volunteer battalions, the government itself, mainstreamed opposition to that government, and Pravy Sektor related groups up to and including Yarosh himself.  These wane and wax in relation either to the US’s need or to the US’s ability to exert its power.  These are not unidirectional; US attempts to exert influence or control do not necessarily result in a success in that endeavor: the targets of influence and control may be compelled to act – either in an instance or in a general pivot – contrary to the needs of the US for reasons of their own survival, and/or as a result of Russian successes to exert influence and control.
Difficulties in assessing the situation then arise from this: an established method in 4GW as it works through media and new-media (information war) is to dissemble actual reality, and to manufacture a new reality.  The US can exert fluctuating degrees of influence and control over its proxies.
It is difficult to use language to describe reality because words have definitions which often exclude that which they are contrasted with. Reality on the other hand is fluid and real situations can be simultaneously described by more than one word, even if such words when counterpoised to each other may seem to have opposite meanings.  Reality can morph into conditions that are better described by some words, only to shift at any time later into a condition which is better described otherwise.  Thus, without special care, a syllogistic or axiomatic approach will usually fail.
In October of 2014, we wrote:
“From the syncretic work we have produced on this subject, drawing from numerous schools such as Baudrillard’s post-structuralism and Kuhn’s theory of the structure of scientific revolutions […] we have attempted to explain both some features of the information war and how the present schema or paradigm is constructed, and how that construct contains certain features which can be manipulated and exploited through the use of simulacrum and hyper-reality.”
“More to the point, we have based much of our understanding on the premise that societies composed of managers and the managed must create a paradigm which has exploitable features for the purpose of social control.  The Ukraine civil war is the first war in history in which both actual sides (US and Russia) struggle for supremacy using similarly derived theories of new media and their connection to 4GW.  While the use of proxies has long been a feature of war, that both sides use proxies in the sense of 4GW doctrines, and that the ‘stories’ being told extend from new media, is a new phenomenon.”
“There are some problems, however, for both the US and Russian information and reality managers.  Being able to create hyper-reality does not, in the first place, require having a solid footing in the actual reality.  In many ways, ‘actual reality’ may be an ever-elusive thing which can never fully be grasped.  We are, as human beings, a species which is already born into a reality comprised of the previous generation’s interwoven combination of actual reality and hyper-reality.”
“Our society, a social construct, is an outgrowth of our genetic potential.  The creation of various primitive forms of hyper-reality is as natural to humanity as the bird constructing its nest.  But just as the invention of the train or automobile changed forever our relationship with distance, and even the relative size of the earth, the invention of new media has changed our relationship with actual reality and the kinds of reality and hyper-reality we construct. “
“It is not difficult, then, for even the agent of social control, working at the think tank, to lose sight of reality itself.  What was that individual’s origin point?  Everyone working today on these projects was already born into a world of machines, production of the means of creation and destruction, automated wars, electricity, and mass media.”
“From an analytic point of view, this creates a conundrum.  Analysis, discourse, map-drawing etc. are themselves a form of hyper-reality creation.  Analysis is done in the mind of the analyst, and is drawn from, at best primary sources, but are generally not the primary source itself.  It must go through the medium of language and contrived/presented imagery (photos, etc.) before it gets to the analyst.  Additionally, even when the analyst is the witness percipient, their interpretations and written or spoken analysis reflect their prior biases, beliefs, prejudices, and thought processes; which in short can be described as defective by way of their subjectivity.”
“Thus from the analyst:  all words, language; things signifying and signified; which pertain to actual reality, are themselves indistinguishable from hyper-reality.  Analysis based on interpreting actual reality and analysis based in interpreting the simulacrum are both, in many ways, hyper-real presentations.  The map is not the terrain.”
“To problematize ‘objective’ reporting and analysis, is really to lay-out the problems with the concept of objectivity, which leaves us with only a remaining intersubjective agreement [20].  Therefore we can see the power of new-media (which is based on the echoing of information through many subjects, peer to peer), and the transformation of the simulacrum from being a distinct hyper-reality unto itself, into a totalizing entity which subsumes, devours, and overtakes reality into itself.  It becomes, then, within the liberal, emotional state, of the Popperian ‘critical rationalist’ paradigm, most appropriate and ‘reasonable’ to uphold the hyper-reality as the actual reality [21]. “
In conclusion, we might imagine a ‘nuclear war’ of information. The fall-out also contaminates information managers and builders.  In an increasing way, even the reality and information managers themselves are suffering from the ‘radiation poisoning’ of information war; they can no longer distinguish between the reality they are creating, or that was created by their opponent, from the reality which they began to work from.  It increasingly becomes one and the same.
If this is true for them, who have access to much more real information than we do, then it is even more true for us; we who have all along been working largely with information which by definition is manufactured and itself is a social construct.
Understanding the world then becomes increasingly difficult and creates very real epistemic problems.
Liberalism and its sub-ideology of pragmatism is steeped in anti-intellectualism and a misuse of Ockham’s razor or lex parsimoniae (law of parsimony).  It is wrongly used as an arbiter between two theories, in which the simplest theory is viewed as more accurate even when not accounting for all the information, as opposed to a heuristic technique in the development of a model.
It is an attractive idea that the complexities of war and strategy can be explained away as being the product of random accidents; that the divergence between stated aims and actual results are a product of blunder and incompetence and not intrigue and dissemblance.
Analyzing the motives of conscious actors is not like observing other phenomena in a few important ways; conscious actors may have a strong motivation to conceal their real aims or methods, whereas basic physical, chemical, or biological processes can be observed empirically and claims made about these are falsifiable.
Rather, we must look at circumstantial and other non-physical evidence; known theories, past practice, the body of scholarly work on the subject, and instead approach the questions from a prosecutorial perspective.
To understand one epistemic dilemma in the use of Ockham’s Razor to describe phenomena, let us look at these well known quotes about this heuristic tool.
“Entities should not be multiplied without necessity.” (William of Ockham)
“Nature operates in the shortest way possible.” (Aristotle)
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” (Albert Einstein)
Warfare does not generally operate on the basis of ‘nature’ in the sense that Aristotle describes – as there are consciously acting players being observed who do not want to be accurately observed, nor upon the economy of modeling that Ockham proposes.
In warfare, most entities should be multiplied and made as complex as possible for a number of reasons.  One radar tower may cover an entire area, but many radar towers for a single area are preferable because then radar coverage is not lost when the opponent successfully neutralizes one of them.
Likewise in strategy:  a simple strategy may at first seem preferable in terms of viability and execution,  but in the context of a conscious opponent, the complexity of a strategy will aid tremendously in keeping it from being understood and unraveled.  In that sense, as with the radar example, more layers are better.
The science of economy and efficiency takes on entirely different applications in the context of a struggle between strategic players.  One aspect of victory in a war is production, but not only physical production of soldiers and hardware, but in the production of complex strategy, relying on more virtual resources, theories, etc.  The side which can afford more inefficiencies has a strategic advantage in any number of scenarios.
We must not approach reality at face value, but as a consciously created illusion itself which is constructed specifically with the aim of pursuing a long-term strategic objective, one that includes both the accidental and intentional creation of a false, distorted, manufactured hyper-reality built upon layers of both real and hyper-real foundations.
Joaquin Flores is a Mexican-American expat based in Belgrade. He is a full-time analyst and director at the Center for Syncretic Studies, a public geostrategic think-tank and consultancy firm, as well as the co-editor of Fort Russ news service, and President of the Berlin based Independent Journalist Association for Peace. His expertise encompasses Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and he has a strong proficiency in Middle East affairs. Flores is particularly adept at analyzing ideology and the role of mass psychology, as well as the methods of the information war in the context of 4GW and New Media. He is a political scientist educated at California State University. In the US, he worked for a number of years as a labor union organizer, chief negotiator, and strategist for a major trade union federation.
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