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em·pire
ˈemˌpī(ə)r/
noun
an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

Which country has more foreign military bases than any country in world history?

Which country spends more on violence and domination than the rest of the world combined?

Which country has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of them democracies?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

US Considering Openly Arming Syrian al-Qaeda Faction, al-Nusra

As reported at Antiwar.com, the US and some of its regional client dictatorships are prodding the major al-Qaeda faction operating in Syria, a brutal terrorist group called al-Nusra, to “re-brand” so the US can openly arm it.
Wikipedia notes that al-Nusra
…is a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria…
The group has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Turkey.
This group is generally made up of native Syrian mujahideen who adhere to Sunni Islam. Its goal is to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria and create an Islamic Emirate under Sharia law.
Members of the group have referred to the United States and Israel as enemies of Islam, and warned against Western intervention in Syria.
al-Nusra is also, according to both the United States government and ISIS itself, affiliated with ISIS, formerly known as AQI – al Qaeda in Iraq.
The Council on Foreign Relations notes:
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a predominantly Sunni jihadist group, seeks to sow civil unrest in Iraq and the Levant with the aim of establishing a caliphate—a single, transnational Islamic state based on sharia. The group emerged in the ashes of the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
And Wiki continues:
The United States accused it [al-Nusra] of being affiliated with al-Qaeda in Iraq; in April 2013, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq [later known as ISIS, as noted by CFR above], released an audio statement affirming this connection.
But it still gets better:
al-Nusra may have been the very group that carried out the sarin gas attack in Ghoutta, Syria, which Obama then dishonestly tried to use as a pretext to wage a full on US war of aggression against UN member state Syria.
Pulitzer winning journalist Seymour Hersh:
For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’
On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusramaintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarinplot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’. (According to a Defense Department consultant, US intelligence has long known that al-Qaida experimented with chemical weapons, and has a video of one of its gas experiments with dogs.)
Last May, more than ten members of the al-Nusra Front were arrested in southern Turkey with what local police told the press were two kilograms of sarin. In a 130-page indictment the group was accused of attempting to purchase fuses, piping for the construction of mortars, and chemical precursors for sarin.
The DIA paper took the arrests as evidence that al-Nusra was expanding its access to chemical weapons.
In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability. ‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line.
This means the US, after having worked out a deal with Russia to get Assad to dismantle his chemical arsenal (because of massive US public opposition to aggression against Syria), would now be openly aiding (having long been knowingly “indirectly” aiding) the terrorist group that killed 3,000 US citizens (hence the need to “re-brand”), likely carried out the Ghoutta sarin attack that killed hundreds of civilians, and is working on expanding its chemical weapons capabilities in Syria and the wider area.
It was after Muammar Gaddafi naively partially disarmed himself that the US struck, planting and detonating high explosives in support of al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups, and got Gaddafi lynched,turning Libya into a failed state.
It appears the strategy is being re-applied to Syria, with the US again showing its eagerness to be act as a dishonest broker.
The US has recently been working closely with “re-branded” neo-Nazi party Svoboda, which was originally called the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, named in honor of Hitler’s National Socialist party.  In 2012, the EU officially designated Svoboda an anti-democratic, “racist”, “anti-Semitic” group, and the World Jewish Congress then designated it a “neo-Nazi” group.
Aiding these kinds of groups is standard operating procedure for the United States and its original home-country, imperial Britain.  The US has been working closely with non-state jihadist groups on a regular basis since the mid to late 1970s, with Britain having backed them through the 1940s and 50s (here discussed by British historian Mark Curtis).  Prof. Noam Chomsky noted in 1992 that the “US has always been involved in international terrorism, massively”.
US international terror has included, for example, huge aid to Saddam Hussein through the 1980s (through his internationally condemned gassing of the Kurds and Iranians) and into 1990.  Aid includedconventional weapons (ie attack helicopters), a “witch’s brew” of chemicals for manufacturing chemical weapons, and blueprints for building chemical weapons manufacturing facilities.
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Two Pieces of US Mass Media Propaganda (on Russia, Tamir Rice) Have Revealing Correlation

US mass media outlets such as CBS, NBC, CNN, knowing that consumers are irrational, are attempting to lead viewers to conclude that Putin assassinated the Russian politician who was killed yesterday, or, at the very least, make them suspect as much.  This is part of what veteran journalists John Pilger and Robert Parry have both said is the most stunning display of propaganda they have seen in their careers, both of which have spanned several decades.
Another telling and interestingly related case is currently being displayed at NBC, which is headlining:Fatal Shooting of Cleveland Boy Tamir Rice Was Caused by His Own Actions: City
So, while NBC (like the others) is nefariously peddling the conspiracy theory, based on zero evidence, that Putin is responsible for the killing in Russia, it is simultaneously trying to shift the blame for the execution of a twelve year old boy off the US government.
The reasons for this are: 1) shifting blame onto Putin for a killing, with zero evidence, serves US propaganda which is working to prep the US public for further assault on Russia, and 2) shifting blame off of the violent US domestic police forces for the execution of a twelve year old boy entirely captured on video hurts US propaganda by exposing US brutality.
Here’s where it gets even more interesting:
When you look at the NBC site, it has the video of the Tamir Rice shooting, but the video starts after the shooting, while the police are mulling around. 
Why?
Because if you watch the video of the shooting, then it you see that the police pull up and, literally as fast as humanly possible (see for yourself below), shoot the twelve year old black child to death.
That kind of thing exposes the US for what it is, thus hurting the cultivated self-image of “superiority” that, as Pilger points out, fascist countries so covet and rely on to justify their mass murder and looting campaigns.
Here is the actual video of the police shooting of Tamir Rice.  The shooting takes place just after the 7 minute mark.

I recently spoke to an attorney who represents victims of police violence.  A US military veteran and serious conservative, he looks at these cases from a purely legal standpoint.  He told me that he would love to represent the Rice family against the Cleveland police, solely because it is such a slam dunk.
When you watch the video, you don’t need to have decades of legal experience under your belt, as he does, to understand why.
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

US Again Considering “Leave it to Bibi” Option on Bombing Iran?



While on the surface it may appear that Obama is trying to slow down US aggression towards Iran (the US hasalready been an accomplice in aggressively killing literally hundreds of thousands of people in Iran), only those who put religious faith in the pronouncements of “their leaders” could say they know for sure that this is indeed what is happening.
As a review of declassified internal US documents will show, people in and linked to government spend their entire careers figuring out how to do things deceptively.
What appears to be happening is that Obama is easing off the US aggression throttle towards Iran, while Israel is simultaneously on the precipice of teaming up with Saudi Arabia (another close US client/ally) to aggressively bomb Iran – the top international crime.  See “Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran“, by Robert Parry.  (Netanyahu is currently being widely exposed as a major liar regarding Iran’s nuclear program, though this was always known to those who follow world affairs by reading broadly, not confining themselves to US/Western mass media propaganda.)
However, evidence illustrates that we cannot accept this as the only possibility for what is happening.
In June, 2009, around the beginning of Obama’s presidency, a US think-tank called Brookings, considered the most influential think tank in the world, published a strategy guide for conquering Iran: “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran“.
One of the chapters is titled “Leave it to Bibi: Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike” (Bibi is the nickname for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.)
Right away, we see that US strategists thought of this approach at least ~6 years ago: let Israel attack Iran while the US pretends to be a helpless bystander.  So we know Obama has been aware of this “policy option” (of course illegal) for years.
One way the US, if it actually wanted to, could discourage an Israeli strike against Iran (or any other Israeli crime) would be to tell Israel that if it does not cease its illegal threats of force against Iran (terrorism) or if it actually goes through with them, Israel will be completely cut off from receiving US support, which is already illegal anyway, since Israel is a war-criminal and illegal occupier state (settlements in Palestine, for example, in addition to regular massacres, are legally classed as war crimes).  Israel is the single biggest recipient of US support (meaning in amount of cash and lethal weaponry, but support also includes political – ie UN vetoes, etc. – and promised military backing).
Here is a brief look at the “Leave it to Bibi” section of the Brookings strategy report:
The section begins by admitting that “Iran has never been and almost certainly never will be an existential threat to the United States. It harbors no territorial designs on the United States, has never conducted a terrorist operation aimed at the American homeland, and, even should it acquire nuclear weapons, lacks the delivery systems to threaten the United States directly.”
In listing pros and cons of allowing an Israeli strike on Iran, the report states:
  • …the most salient advantage this option has over that of an American air campaign is the possibility that Israel alone would be blamed for the attack. If this proves true, then the United States might not have to deal with Iranian retaliation or the diplomatic backlash that would accompany an American military operation against Iran.
  • It would presumably be easier to convince Israel to mount the attack than it would be to generate domestic political support for another war in the Middle East (let alone the diplomatic support from a region that is extremely wary of new American military adventures). At least some important Israelis want to conduct such an attack and would welcome Washington’s encouragement.
  • [The single major advantage of this approach would be] the possibility that Israel would bear the entire burden for the strike…
It must be noted that while this is listed as a possibility, there are many others.  Here are some of the options from the table of contents:
“An Offer Iran Shouldn’t Refuse: Persuasion”
“Going All the Way: Invasion”
“Airstrikes”
“Toppling Tehran: Regime Change” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“Inspiring an Insurgency: Supporting Iranian Minority and Opposition Groups” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“The Coup” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“Containment” (The US is already doing this:)
Stars are US Attack Bases
It is made painfully clear that the US is not sorry for overthrowing Iran’s democracy in 1953 and installing a tyrannical king who, as Amnesty International reported, was tied for being the world’s worst human rights violator.  The US is only sorry that it lost control over its conquered territory, and it wants it back.
It must also be noted that while Washington’s puppet king, a top human rights violator and mass torturer, was in power, the US was assisting Iran in achieving nuclear power (and the US later cut a deal with Pakistan, an Islamic fundamentalist US ally, to help it become a nuclear weapons state, and Saudi Arabia has a deal with Pakistan to procure nukes when it deems fit, so we know the US doesn’t care about that, and, as has long been known, that US and Israeli intelligence do not accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons.  Only politicians do that, for the purpose, as noted in the quote above, of prepping the public mind for an attack to reconquer Iran.)
Also note this passage from the Brookings strategy guide:
…any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require theproper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback [ie 9/11/01] from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is awidespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer[Obama has already tried to create this scenario several times] —one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons [US intelligence says if Iran ever did go for nukes, they would be for a deterrent against the US and Israel] would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” [note desired adoption of batterer’s logic] by refusing a very good deal.
Thus, it may well be the case that Obama is again strategically setting up a “deal” for Iran to reject, manufacturing the “proper international context”, which could then be followed by an Israeli strike.
We don’t know exactly what is going on, but we do know that we don’t know; ie, we know that governments and their collaborators scheme, perpetrate ruses, and lie, and that their public proclamations carry zero value, and often reveal the opposite of what they profess (ie famous saying, “Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied”).
We know that Israeli and US intelligence do not accuse Iran of pursuing nukes and that only untrustworthy politicians do, and we know that the US does not care if an Islamic or rogue state has nukes (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel).  We know that the US is not sorry about having been part of killing and torturing hundreds of thousands of Iranians for their resources and strategic location, that the US will do it again if it feels it can get away with it, and that the US is only sorry that its bloody puppet tyrant was overthrown.
The US may currently be again considering and feeling out the “Leave it to Bibi” option that Obama has known about for years.
Also see:
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.