Mini-Me: Ghani Named Winner in Afghanistan — US Overrides Afghan Constitution and Forces Him to Accept Panjshiri Mob As “Partners”

Who?  Mini-Me?

Who? Mini-Me?

Ghani named winner of Afghan election, will share power with rival in new government

Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani was declared the winner of Afghanistan’s contested presidential election Sunday, setting the stage for President Hamid Karzai’s departure from office and a security agreement allowing American troops to remain in the country after this year.

Ghani, 65, will become Afghanistan’s second president since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and will face the continued threat of Islamist militancy, a severe budget shortfall that threatens to bankrupt the government, and rampant public corruption.

But before he was declared the winner in Afghanistan’s grueling year-long election process, Ghani agreed Sunday to share power with the second-place finisher, Abdullah Abdullah.

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Sep 21

Berto Jongman: Clint Watts on Seven Flaws in US Strategy to Counter ISIS

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Seven Flaws In the U.S. Strategy to Counter ISIS

(Editor’s Note: This blog post is derived from Clint Watts’ Ginsburg Lecture delivered at the National Liberty Museum on September 16, 2014.)

The past week’s debate on how to counter ISIS has proven just how effective terrorism is as a tactic for extremist groups.  Two videos showing the beheading of American hostages have provoked the largest U.S. response since the attacks of 9/11, compelling President Obama to hastily gather up a strategy to counter ISIS. Aside from the general confusion over what to call the group, there is even greater disagreement over what to do.  Overall, I don’t disagree with most of the actions the U.S. is taking to counter ISIS, but I am baffled why ISIS, America’s third or fourth most pressing national security concern right now, requires such a reaction.  The lesson for other extremist groups scattered from Morocco to Malaysia is clear – fly a black flag, film an atrocity and post it on the Internet and you too can capture the American media cycle and provoke a U.S. response.

LIST ONLY

1. Syrian Civil War
2. Turkish Border
3. Double-Edged Sword of Saudi Arabia
4. Arab Partner Nations
5. Iran is a bigger adversary to the US than ISIS
6. Sunni partners in Iraq
7. Shi’a dominated Iraqi Government

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See Also:

ISIS @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 20

White House: Ebola Rescue Summary

white house logoThe White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

September 16, 2014

FACT SHEET: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

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Sep 17

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: Tony Shaffer on Benghazi and 9/11

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Retired Lt. Col. Reveals Secrets Of The 28-Page 9/11 Report

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.

See Especially:

Graphic: Benghazi Fiasco Master Post with Links to All Posts, Map of DoD Assets Ordered to “Stand Down,” + RECAP Updated 11 May 13

Mini-Me: 9/11 Convergence + NEW Information + Comment by Robert Steele + List of Advance Warnings from Over 13 Countries

See Also:

9/11 @ Phi Beta Iota

Benghazi @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 12

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

Yoda: Ukraine = China Wins, Central Asia Arms

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Interesting.

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

By

By Mike Eckel

Thousands of miles away from the Ukrainian battlefields of Donetsk and Novoazovsk sits the country that may end up being the largest beneficiary of the turmoil along Russia’s southwest border: China.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin rewriting the playbook on security in post-Cold War Europe, Beijing has watched warily 3,700 miles to the east, though without protest or interference.

Its abstention from a U.N. Security Council resolution vote in March that condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea was unusual, given Beijing’s traditional stance on such votes, but it comes as bilateral ties have been on the upswing for years now.

Two generations ago, ties between Leonid Brezhnev’s Russia and Mao Zedong’s China were fraught. The two fought small-scale skirmishes in 1969 along the Ussuri River border (the Wusuli in Chinese) that almost resulted in war.

That’s a distant memory now.

“China may win out” from the Ukraine crisis? asked Martha Brill Olcott, a longtime scholar of Russia and Central Asian politics. “I think the word is ‘will.’ China ‘will’ absolutely benefit.”

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Sep 3