NATO

Episode: 20 Years in Prison for Boycotting a Foreign Government

I wasn’t planning on this episode. But an article over at The Intercept prompted me to drop everything and dive into this story: The US Congress has a bill, with support, to make it a felony to join any movements with the purpose of boycotting Israel. It carries a fine of 250k and up to 20 years in prison. Such a violation of the 1st Amendment.

So in this episode I break down this law, and the influence of the Israeli lobby behind it. I give some backstory of the Israel lobby in this country and how it’s interests are not Americans interest. No matter what DC tells you.

I also follow up on the Turkey-NATO split and the revenge killings in Mosul.

Episode link

Picture source

Content sources:

Revenge Attacks Grow in and Around ‘Liberated’ Mosul

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

AIPAC Still Our Biggest Foreign Agent

US Imperils Nuclear Deal With New Iran Sanctions

Why Isis Fighters Are Being Thrown Off Buildings in Mosul
Netanyahu: Israel Opposes Cease-fire Deal Reached by U.S. and Russia in Southern Syria

Pentagon Furious After Turkey Leaks U.S. Base Locations In Syria

Episode: Turkey-NATO & Gaza in the Dark

Quick update on the situation in northern Iraq, how it relates to Turkey’s turn towards Russia, and how a population of 2 million people are in the dark with no place to go.

Episode link

Photo credit

Sources:

Darkness in Gaza as last power plant shuts down
House Approves $696 Billion Military Spending Bill

Trump Wants Authority to Build New Bases in Iraq, Syria

Turkey Ousts Over 7,500 More, Mostly Troops, as Post-Coup Purge Continues

US cannot prove IS chief is dead: Mattis

Ankara denied German lawmakers permission to visit Bundeswehr troops stationed at a NATO base near the Turkish town of Konya

Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense

Trump envoy announces Israeli-Palestinian water deal

Business As Usually for the US Empire Under Trump

Now I know it is shocking to read an article title such as this with a Republican in the White House. With all of Trump’s talk of trying not to get bogged down in Middle East conflicts and business of empire, he is doing a terrible job so far.

Save maybe his stance toward Russia, Trump’s administration is continuing to signal that not much is going to change in the next four years.

Starting with his first week in office, Mr. Trump signed off on the raid in Yemen without any intelligence which left civilians dead, including the young daughter of previously slain Anwar Al-Awlaki. This raid was a sloppy mess, producing no usable intel and included even a US casualty; the US Navy Seal Trump attempted to use as a political chess piece at his first speech to Congress.The target of the raid was not even killed, as in early March he released audio taunting the president.

Trump’s next Clinton-like idea came in the form of “safe zones” in Syria. An idea which much like Clinton’s “no-fly zone” would need to be administered over sovereign Syrian terrorist. All to help destabilize the hold the government has on it’s own country there.

Moving to this week, we see the rest of the policy coming into form. I previously wrote about the US airstrikes in Mosul that killed dozens of civilians. Well, that number is now in the HUNDREDS and has been confirmed by coalition forces. Any idea that Trump would be shifting policy in Iraq seemed to go out the window when the man that Trump defers to on all things military, General Mattis, stated that US troops will need to stay in Iraq “for years”. This will not be nation-building Mattis says, but just “stabilization”. We don’t know to pull out like that wimp Obama and create another vacuum for ISIS to fill…

As we move to the African continent, we are introduced to the great military mind US African Commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser. This genius is petitioning the president to keep US forces in Libya to help combat ISIS, which has a presence of 200 total men in a country the size of the Northeast. This is to help “stabilize” the nation, and also to keep Russia from influencing the government there. Something that is supposed to the job of the United States.

Commander Walhauser also wants expanded presence in Somalia. Doubling down on the Syria-type engagement strategy here. Arming rebels, embedding US Special Forces, airstrikes and drones. This keeps the Marines off the ground and allows for some PR space back home.

As you can see from the laundry list of bad ideas, not much is going to change under Trump. Not that this is shocking to anyone. If anything, it helps to highlight how the empire works. No matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, the policy stays the same.

The only saving grace with Trump was supposed to be his views on Russia and NATO. But even that seems to just be window dressing. Yes, he is annoying our NATO and EU allies with his brash behavior during his meeting with German Chancellor Merkel and his applause for Brexit. But this isn’t keeping his underlings from moving the status quo forward.

Newly confirmed Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley can be found on video threatening sanctions on Russia unless they “give back” Crimea and “leave” Ukraine:

Lets not forget about the rouge-element within Congress in the form of John McCain. Sen. McCain has been cheer-leading for more NATO expansion in eastern Europe, including the welcoming of Montenegro into the alliance. A move that will surely be approved by Congress and the president, no matter what Rand Paul’s feelings are on the subject.

Sen. McCain has become the leading voice for Neo-Conservative, Liberal-Internationalist wing of Washington with Trump in office. Just this Friday, McCain spoke out in Brussels repeating his support for more EU and NATO cooperation in the region. Going as far as to say that the world “cries out for American and European leadership” and that “The New World Order is under enormous strain”. Music to my ears but disaster in McCain’s eyes.

As the Trump presidency continues to unfold, focus at least some of your attention away from the dumpster-fire which is domestic politics, and watch to see if there is any change in the foreign policy of the Empire.

This is What Propaganda Looks Like

Russia Masses At Ukrainian Border, As “Sabre Rattling” Putin Prepares for War

This is what propaganda looks like. The US, EU and NATO overthrow the elected government of Ukraine in 2014 (after failed tries in the early 00′), arm right-wing Nazi-types, take over national gas companies in the country, plan to place anti-nuclear missiles 90 miles from Moscow, mass troops at the Polish border with Russia, call Putin “Hitler” and choke off the country economically.
And the US media discusses none of this. It simply fear mongers that Russia is out to take over the world and banks on Americans lack of grip on reality and their irrational fear of Russia to pull this all off.

P.S, this is Hillary Clinton’s game plan, not Trump’s. She is the one who has no problem putting Americans in danger for forgein interests and pointless global aggression.

Is the Conflict in Ukraine About More Than Just Natural Gas: Coal Reserves?

I’ve talked about the natural gas reserves under Eastern Ukraine and how this conflict begins and ends with the control of resources.

Well now ZeroHedge is reporting on another type of energy resource may also be at play. Coal.

Linking to Reuters, Zerohedge has the story, along with a map that makes it pretty clear why people seem to any give a shit about the “rebel” area of Ukraine:

image

Memo to Angela Merkel From Veteran Intelligence Officers to Avoid All-out Ukraine War

Via AntiWar and ConsortiumNews

 

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

 

We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.

 

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian “invasion” of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the “intelligence” seems to be of the same dubious, politically “fixed” kind used 12 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift.”

 

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on “intelligence” that was dubious, at best.

 

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

 

Experience With Untruth

 

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know.”

 

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.

 

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were “increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence” and told him flatly, “Powell’s presentation does not come close” to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to “widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

 

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can “shock and awe.” In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

 

If the photos that NATO and the US have released represent the best available “proof” of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

 

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

 

Lavrov warned pointedly of “fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.” Burns gave his cable the unusual title, “NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES,” and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that “Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO.”

 

Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev. “Yats is the guy,” said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, “Fuck the EU.”

 

Timing of the Russian “Invasion”

 

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.

 

According to the “press service of the President of Ukraine” on August 18, Poroshenko called for a “regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives,” said Poroshenko, adding, “we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances.”

 

If the “new circumstances” meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to “regroup,” to “rearrange” the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the “Russian invasion.” That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that “the Russians are coming.” (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)

 

No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support

 

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

 

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

 

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

 

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

  •     William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

  •     David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

  •     Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

  •     Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

  •     Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)

  •     Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

  •     Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

Pentagon Moving More Tanks into Caves in Norway Just in Case of Viking Return

The real reason for the new influx of military hardware into Norway is for NATO “defense” and war games. I just think the whole thing is ridiculous. Norway gives up its national sovereignty to the UN and NATO, providing no national defense of its own. A great example of the waste the military-industrial complex creates on the American dime. Some of the equipment there is over 30 years old. The decommissioned vehicles will surely go to domestic policy departments or rebel groups in oil rich countries.

“In the heart of Norway’s countryside, the U.S. military is bolstering its arsenal of weapons with tanks, gun trucks and other armored vehicles along with hundreds of containers of equipment.

The Marine Corps is overseeing the effort, which expands the existing Marine Corps Prepositioning Program. It stashes weapons, vehicle and armor in several locations across the world, including Norway, which first signed an agreement with the United States to do so in 1981, Marine officials said.

The equipment is kept in climate-controlled caves in central Norway, giving the Marines equipment that is closer than the East Coast to use in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Much of what stored in the caves was pulled out and sent to the Middle East ahead of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Source

US To Send 600 Troops to Eastern Europe

The US will send 600 ground troops to four eastern European nations. The troops will be split between Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to help the nations deal with the threat of “Russian aggression” in the region. The NATO allies seem to be upset over the small amount of troops sent. For example, Poland wants up to 10,000 troops from NATO. I’m sure most of those will be American.

Of course no state officials from any country have asked everyday Americans if we want our men and women sent to Poland after just getting home from the Middle East. But fuck us right? This is NATO we’re talking about though. An out of date treaty that trumps the sovereignty of each individual within its member states. The foreign policy hawks within the Washington establishment in both parties loves to use NATO as it’s tool of empire building.

 I find this movement of troops without Congressional approval distasteful, but I find the arrogance of the allied European nations asking for MORE of our troops even more so. This is nature of states. Criminal cartels using free individuals as pawns in their game. Just ask the Ukrainians.

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/american-troops-eastern-europe-ukraine-russia-105910.html?hp=l6

Hours After Geneva Meeting, The West Escalates It’s “De-escalation”  

The Foreign Minister of Ukraine stated just minutes after the meeting was over that the military operations in the southeast of the country would continue and the troops “can remain where they are”. Other than this statement, all signs points to come cooperation between the two sides involved. The West and Ukraine are looking for any “de-escalation” from Russia. Of course, in typical imperial style, the US and its allies under the banner of NATO announced this gem:

NATO Sending 5 Ships to Baltic Sea Due to Ukraine Crisis

 NATO members are sending part navy ships to the Baltic Sea to increase the security of the alliance’s eastern European allies in response to the Ukraine crisis. NATO’s Maritime Command said Thursday it is sending four minesweepers and a support vessel to the Baltic Sea. The ships are from Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Estonia. The alliance said Thursday it does not intend to escalate the situation in Ukraine, but rather to “demonstrate solidarity” and ramp up NATO’s readiness. NATO has made clear it does not want to get involved militarily in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member.

War is peace.

Source

Scottish Independence Would Be “Cataclysmic for the World”. ?

This is what a clueless authoritarian sounds like.

“The loudest cheers for the break-up of Britain would be from our adversaries and from our enemies. For the second military power in the West to shatter this year would be cataclysmic in geopolitical terms,” Lord Robertson said.

“If the United Kingdom was to face a split at this of all times and find itself embroiled for several years in a torrid, complex, difficult and debilitating divorce, it would rob the West of a serious partner just when solidity and cool nerves are going to be vital.

“Nobody should underestimate the effect all of that would have on existing global balances, and the forces of darkness would simply love it.”

Source