Patrick Cockburn: Letter from Arabia — ISIS is the Lesser of All Evils — And Most Certainly Less Evil Than an Invading Occupying USA…

Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Cockburn

The Impossible War

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.

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Sep 15

SchwartzReport: Why Obama Will Lose to ISIS — Indeed, How He Will Empower and Enlarge ISIS…

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

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.

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Sep 15

Nafeez Ahmed: How the West Created the Islamic State (ISIS) — Jordan Hosts the Command Center — Chalabi and NeoCons Ride Again…

Nafeez Ahmed

Nafeez Ahmed

How the West Created the Islamic State

Follow the Money, Follow the Oil

Nafeez Ahmed

Counter-Punch, 12-14 September 2014

EXTRACTS

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.

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Sep 14

Berto Jongman: Fake ISIS Beheading Videos — Blatant False Flag Fraud to Deceive the US Public — PBI Comment on War for the Soul of US Intelligence UPDATED: Bomb Syria or Control Ebola? Duh!

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Both beheading videos are questionable. Both were probably made by the same people following the same script and using the same format. I find it strange that the second video was distributed to subscribers of SITE before ISIS itself had the video made public. A SITE analyst had discovered the video on a filesharing site.

In both videos you don’t see the actual beheadings which is uncommon for many other jihadi beheading video’s. The two video’s have become the trigger for the Obama speech in which he announced a new war. To me it is not clear at all why these two videos became ‘ trigger events’ as there are execution video’s almost on a weekly basis which are much more gruesome. Maybe it was because of the fact that the victims were allegedly well known US and Israel journalists. Phi Beta Iota posted the item by two US students showing how easy it is to produce a beheading video that looks quite genuine.

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Sep 13

Steven Aftergood: US Intelligence Budget Data — PBI: Understated but on the Record

Steven Aftergood

Steven Aftergood

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.

IC Budget Table Cropped

Click on Table to Enlarge

Click to access Office of the Director of National Intelligence Budget Justifications

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Sep 11

Berto Jongman: Pfaff on US Doing Stupid Stuff in Ukraine Plus Chuck Spinney & Pat Buchanan on Bluster, Bluff, Corruption and More Stupidity in Estonia…

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Doing Stupid Stuff in the Ukraine

William Pfaff

EXTRACT

President Obama said not long ago that his foreign policy principle was “not doing stupid stuff.” At about the same time his State Department and CIA were conspicuously guiding and supporting a coup d’etat in Ukraine that was the exact contradiction to the Obama policy statement. The Ukrainian Parliament’s first post-coup act was to pass a resolution outlawing the use of the Russian language in the Ukraine, which is the native language of more than a fifth of the population of a country that has always been intimately involved in the history, religion and culture of the Russian nation. Nothing could have been more stupid.

[Until Obama's next move...]

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Chuck Spinney and Pat Buchanan below the fold.

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Sep 11

Berto Jongman: Greenwald on ISIS, Rothkopf on National Insecurity Plus Spinney, Polk, Cockburn, and Steele on How ISIS and Hamas Have Won and Everything We Plan to Do Will Deepen Our Losses

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Americans Now Fear ISIS Sleeper Cells Are Living in the U.S., Overwhelmingly Support Military Action

Glenn Greenwald

The Intercept, 8 September 2014

EXTRACTS

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”?

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National Insecurity: Can Obama’s foreign policy be saved?

David Rothkopf

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).

Read full article.

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Sep 10

Berto Jongman: Fake Beheading Interview

Categories: IO Deeds of War
Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Man Fakes Beheading Video, Fools Global Media

Astounding story a reminder of how easily war propaganda can be staged

Paul Joseph Watson

InfoWars, 8 September 2014

Robbie Martin tells the astounding story of how he and his friend faked a beheading video and fooled the global media.

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Sep 9

Berto Jongman: Foley Execution a Fake? UPDATED

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

There are a number of other stories that suggest the entire video was faked, with many inconsistencies.

Experts: James Foley Beheading Video Likely Fake

Wrong Head: ‘Beheaded James Foley is NOT James Foley’

Staged Foley Beheading Used as Poster Child For Syria Attack

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Aug 24

Edward Snowden with Jim Bamford in WIRED: Next NSA Revelations “Would Be the Death of All of Them Politically”

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

The most wanted man in the world

Jim Bamford

WIRED, 13 August 2014

EXTRACTS

“It’s like the boiling frog,” Snowden tells me. “You get exposed to a little bit of evil, a little bit of rule-breaking, a little bit of dishonesty, a little bit of deceptiveness, a little bit of disservice to the public interest, and you can brush it off, you can come to justify it. But if you do that, it creates a slippery slope that just increases over time, and by the time you’ve been in 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, you’ve seen it all and it doesn’t shock you. And so you see it as normal. And that’s the problem, that’s what the Clapper event was all about. He saw deceiving the American people as what he does, as his job, as something completely ordinary. And he was right that he wouldn’t be punished for it, because he was revealed as having lied under oath and he didn’t even get a slap on the wrist for it. It says a lot about the system and a lot about our leaders.”

Read full article with many new revelations.

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Aug 13