Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 16, 2014
The truth at any cost lowers all other costs
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 16, 2014
Isis cannot be beaten as long as there is civil war in Syria
BY PATRICK COCKBURN
CounterPunch • SEPTEMBER 11, 2014
A letter printed at the bottom of this article was emailed by a friend soon after her neighbourhood in Mosul was hit by Iraqi airforce bombers. This was some hours before President Barack Obama explained his plan to weaken and ultimately destroy Isis, which calls itself Islamic State, by a series of measures including air attacks. The letter illustrates graphically one of the most important reasons why American air power may be less effective than many imagine.
I started out today writing a short essay on my views about this new war, then came across this, with which I agree. It makes my main point: You would think after 11 years of war in the Islamic world, we would learn something about the culture and how to work with it. Apparently not. I think one really has to ask now: Cui bono? Who benefits?
Why Obama Will Lose His Endless War in Syria and Iraq
STEVE WEISSMAN – Reader Supported News
Never bet on another man’s game,” my father loved to say. It’s a lesson Barack Obama never learned, especially in his military strikes against Islamic State.
Islamic State, or ISIL, has only one way to keep the support of Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen and former Baathist supporters of Saddam Hussein. The blood-thirsty ‘fools of God” need to be seen defending their people against a Western invasion, which is precisely what Obama gives them.
He plays the role they purposely provoked with their brutal beheadings, summary executions, and sickening use of mass rape to keep their fighters happy. He becomes the foreign, Christian crusader defiling a Muslim land, and he does it in company with Iranian as well as Iraqi Shiites, whom Islamic State despises as heretics, and with the blessing of Sunni Arab leaders it correctly sees as outrageously corrupt.
In other words, the more jihadis Obama kills, the more Sunnis that Obama recruits to their ranks. Not a winning strategy.
If you embark on something with your eyes half-open, you are likely to lose sight of reality
Financial Times, 14 September 2014
The reality is the US war on terror has succeeded where it was supposed to. Mr Bush’s biggest innovation was to set up the Department of Homeland Security. If you chart domestic terror attempts in the US since September 11 2001, they have become increasingly low-tech and ineffectual. From the foiled Detroit airliner attack in Mr Obama’s first year to the Boston marathon bombings in his fifth, each attempt has been more amateur than the last. The same is true of America’s allies. There has been no significant attack in Europe since London’s July 7 bombings nine years ago. Western publics have acclimatised to an era of tighter security.
If this is the balance sheet of the US war on terror, why lose sleep? Chiefly because it understates the costs. The biggest of these is the damage an undeclared war is doing to the west’s grasp on reality. Myopic thinking leads to bad decisions. Mr Obama pointedly avoided using the word “war” last week. Although there are more than 1,000 US military personnel in Iraq, and more than 160 US air strikes in the past month, he insisted on calling his plan to destroy Isis a “campaign”. Likewise, the US uniforms are those of “advisers” and “trainers”. These kinds of euphemism lead to mission creep. If you embark on something with your eyes half-open, you are likelier to lose your way.
Follow the Money, Follow the Oil
Counter-Punch, 12-14 September 2014
Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).
. . . . . . .
In other words, US forces will pursue public legitimacy through conventional social welfare while simultaneously delegitimising local enemies by escalating intra-insurgent violence, knowing full-well that doing so will in turn escalate the number of innocent civilians “caught in the crossfire.” The idea is that violence covertly calibrated by US special operations will not only weaken enemies through in-fighting but turn the population against them.
CIA-trained intelligence officer confirms Infowars analysis
In this incredibly powerful interview with Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, a wealth of info is mined regarding the real parties involved in the Benghazi stand down and the truth behind the to be released 9/11 report of which 28 pages have not been released to the public for obvious reasons.
Intelligence Budget Data
On March 4, 2014, the Administration submitted its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, including a base funding request of $45.6 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), and a base funding request of $13.3 billion for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP). On June 30, the DNI submitted an updated FY2015 budget request of $49.4 billion for the NIP including funding for overseas contingency operations. An updated budget request figure for the MIP has not yet been disclosed.
Phi Beta Iota: We consider these figures to be severely deceptive and roughly 70% of the actual combined total budget for green and black intelligence capabilities that are secret, toxic, and a mix of benignly worthless (standing armies of ignorant analysts, collection that is not processed) and pathologically dangerous (drones, renditions, covert operations, subsidies to foreign intelligence services). Our best guess of the actual total US secret intelligence budget remains US$100 billion per year, inclusive of thousands of private sector “intelligence” capabilities (many of them “open source” and extremely mediocre) that are embedded within acquisition and other contracts, all out of control and of dubious value.
The Intercept, 8 September 2014
What kind of country goes around bombing people with no strategic purpose and with little motive other than to “flex muscles” and “show toughness”? This answer also seems clear: one that is deeply insecure about its ongoing ability to project strength (and one whose elites benefit in terms of power and profit from endless war). … Is it even possible to imagine more potent evidence of systemic media failure than that (or systemic success, depending on what you think the media’s goal is)? But in terms of crazed irrationality, how far away from that false belief is the current fear on the part of Americans that there are ISIS sleeper cells “living in the United States”? … For those who keep running around beating their chests talking about the imperative to “destroy ISIS”: will that take more or less time than it’s taken to “destroy the Taliban”?
Foreign Policy, 9 September 2014
“You’re still a superpower,” a top diplomat from one of America’s most dependable Middle Eastern allies said to me in July of this year, “but you no longer know how to act like one.” He was reflecting on America’s position in the world almost halfway into President Barack Obama’s second term. Fresh in his mind was the extraordinary string of errors (schizophrenic Egypt policy, bipolar Syria policy), missteps (zero Libya post-intervention strategy, alienation of allies in the Middle East and elsewhere), scandals (spying on Americans, spying on friends), halfway measures (pinprick sanctions against Russia, lecture series to Central Americans on the border crisis), unfulfilled promises (Cairo speech, pivot to Asia), and outright policy failures (the double-down then get-out approach in Afghanistan, the shortsighted Iraq exit strategy).
Being read in Europe.
The brutal murder of the brave American journalist James Foley is meant to directly terrorize the world’s media, the international community, and the United States. If all the actions of the Islamic State, or IS, to date weren’t sufficiently reprehensible, this act and the potential for other similar acts will snap American attention with laser-like focus onto the real danger IS poses to the existence of Iraq, the order of the region and to the homelands of Europe and America.
By Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, U.S. Army retired and
Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik, U.S. Army retired
Army Magazine, 15 August 2014
No political or military leader responsible for the lives of citizens who become soldiers ever wants to give the order to put American service members at risk. That desire is even more present after more than a decade of waging and fighting war. The decision to employ American forces should be based upon U.S. interests and an objective assessment of what kinds of forces are needed to achieve the outcome the nation’s interests require, not merely what its leaders desire. The U.S. sustains its military forces to defend itself and its interests. These forces exist to provide options for political leaders. The current “no boots on the ground” mantra is a policy, not a strategy; moreover, it is problematic from five important perspectives: strategically, operationally, institutionally, historically and morally.