you know all this

ISIS is the cancer of modern capitalism
Nafeez Ahmed, Middle East Eye, Mar 27 2015M

Debate about the origins of ISIS has largely oscillated between two extreme perspectives. One blames the West. IS is nothing more than a predictable reaction to the occupation of Iraq, yet another result of Western foreign policy blowback. The other attributes ISIS’ emergence purely to the historic or cultural barbarism of the Muslim world, whose backward medieval beliefs and values are a natural incubator for such violent extremism. The biggest elephant in the room as this banal debate drones on is material infrastructure. Anyone can have bad, horrific, disgusting ideas. But they can only be fantasies unless we find a way to manifest them materially in the world around us. So to understand how the ideology that animates ISIS has managed to garner the material resources to conquer an area bigger than the UK, we need to inspect its material context more closely.

The foundations for AQ’s ideology were born in the 1970s. Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden‘s Palestinian mentor, formulated a new theory justifying continuous, low-intensity war by dispersed mujahideen cells for a pan-Islamist state. Azzam’s violent Islamist doctrines were popularised in the context of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As is well-known, the Afghan Mujahidin networks were trained and financed under the supervision of the CIA, MI6 and the Pentagon. The Gulf states provided huge sums of money, while Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) liaised on the ground with the militant networks being coordinated by Azzam, bin Laden, and others. The Reagan administration, for instance, provided $2b to the Afghan Mujahidin, which was matched by another $2b from Saudi Arabia. In Afghanistan, USAID invested millions of dollars to supply schoolchildren with “textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings,” according to the Washington Post. Theology justifying violent jihad was interspersed with “drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines”. The textbooks even extolled the heavenly rewards if children were to “pluck out the eyes of the Soviet enemy and cut off his legs.” The conventional wisdom is that this disastrous configuration of Western-Muslim world collaboration in financing Islamist extremists ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. As I said in Congressional testimony a year after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, the conventional wisdom is false.

A classified Pindosi intelligence report revealed by journalist Gerald Posner confirmed that the US was fully aware of a secret deal struck in Apr 1991 between Saudi Arabia and bin Laden, then under house arrest. Under the deal, bin Laden could leave the kingdom with his funding and supporters, and continue to receive financial support from the Saudi royal family, on one condition: that he refrain from targeting and destabilising the Saudi kingdom itself. Far from being a distant observer of this covert agreement, the UKUSA were active participants. Saudi Arabia’s massive oil supply underpins the health and growth of the global economy. We could not afford it to be destabilised. It was pro quid pro: to protect the kingdom, allow it to fund bin Laden outside the kingdom. As British historian Mark Curtis documents meticulously in his book, Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, the UKUSA governments continued to covertly support AQ-affiliated networks in Central Asia and the Balkans after the Cold War, for much the same reasons as before – countering Russian, and now Chinese, influence to extend Pindosi hegemony over the global capitalist economy. Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil hub, remained the conduit for this short-sighted UKUSA strategy.

A year after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Curtis reports, Osama bin Laden opened an office in Wembley, London, under the name of the Advice and Reformation Committee, from which he coordinated worldwide extremist activity. Around the same time, the Pentagon was airlifting thousands of AQ Mujahidin from Central Asia into Bosnia, in violation of the UN’s arms embargo, according to Dutch intelligence files. They were accompanied by US special forces. The “Blind Sheikh”, convicted of the WTC bombing, had been deeply involved in recruiting and dispatching AQ fighters into Bosnia.

From around 1994, all the way until 9/11, Pindosi military intelligence along with Britain, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supplied arms and funds to the AQ-harbouring Taliban. In 1997, Amnesty International complained about “close political links” between the incumbent Taliban militia, who had recently conquered Kabul, and Pindostan. The human rights group referred to credible “accounts of the madrasas which the Taliban attended in Pakistan,” indicating that “these links may have been established at the very inception of the Taleban movement.” One such account, reported Amnesty, came from the late Benazir Bhutto, then Pakistan’s Prime Minister,- who “affirmed that the madrasas had been set up by UKUSA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan during the Jihad, the Islamic resistance against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan”. Under Pindosi tutelage, Saudi Arabia was still funding those madrasas. Pindosi government-drafted textbooks designed to indoctrinate Afghan children into violent Jihad during the Cold War, now approved by the Taliban, became part of the Afghan school system’s core curriculum, and were used extensively in militant madrasas in Pakistan being funded by Saudi Arabia and the Pakistani ISI with Pindosi support. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations were hoping to use the Taliban to establish a proxy client regime in the country similar to its Saudi benefactor. The vain hope, clearly ill-conceived, was that a Taliban government would provide the stability necessary to install a Trans-Afghan pipeline (TAPI) supplying Central Asian gas to South Asia, while side-lining Russia, China and Iran. Those hopes were dashed three months before 9/11 when the Taliban rejected Pindosi proposals. The TAPI project was subsequently stalled due to the Taliban’s intransigent control of Kandahar and Quetta, but has been shepherded along by the Obama administration and is now being finalised.

NATO continued to sponsor AQ-affiliated networks in Kosovo by the late 1990s, reports Mark Curtis, when UKUSA special forces supplied arms and training to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) rebels who included mujahideen recruits. Among them was a rebel cell headed by Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman, who now leads AQ. In the same period, Osama and Ayman coordinated the 1998 Pindosi embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania from bin Laden’s office in London. There was some good news, though: NATO’s interventions in the Balkans, accompanied by the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia, paved the way to integrate the region into Western Europe, privatise local markets, and establish new regimes supportive of the Trans-Balkan pipeline to transport oil and gas from Central Asia to the West. Even after 9/11 and 7/7, UKUSA addiction to cheap fossil fuels to sustain global capitalist expansion led us to deepen our alliance with extremists. Around the middle of the last decade, UKUSA military intelligence began supervising Gulf state financing, once again led by Saudi Arabia, to Islamist extremist networks across the Middle East and Central Asia, to counter Iranian Shi’ite influence in the region. Beneficiaries of this enterprise included AQ-affiliated militant and extremist groups from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon, a veritable arc of Islamist terror. Once again, Islamist militants would be unwittingly fostered as an agent of Pindosi hegemony in the face of rising geopolitical rivals. As Seymour Hersh revealed in the New Yorker in 2007, this “redirection” of policy was about weakening not just Iran, but also Syria – where US and Saudi largess went to support the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, among other opposition groups. Both Iran and Syria, of course, were closely aligned with Russia and China.

In 2011, NATO’s military intervention to topple the Gaddafi regime followed hot on the heels of extensive support to Libyan mercenaries who were, in fact, members of AQ’s official branch in Libya. France had been reportedly offered 35% control of Libya’s oil in exchange for French support to insurgents. After the intervention, European and UKUSA oil giants were “perfectly poised to take advantage” of “commercial opportunities”, according to Professor David Anderson of Oxford University. Lucrative deals with NATO members could “release Western Europe from the stranglehold of high-pricing Russia producers who currently dominate their gas supply.” Secret intelligence reports showed that NATO-backed rebels had strong ties to AQ. The CIA also used Libya’s Islamists militants to funnel heavy weapons to rebels in Syria. A Canadian intelligence report from 2009 described the rebel stronghold of eastern Libya as an “epicentre of Islamist extremism,” from which “extremist cells” operated in the region: the same region, according to David Pugliese in the Ottawa Citizen, that was being “defended by a Canadian-led NATO coalition.” Pugliese reported that the intelligence report confirmed “several Islamist insurgent groups” were based in eastern Libya, many of whom were also “urging followers to fight in Iraq”. Canadian pilots even joked privately that they were part of AQ’s air force, “since their bombing runs helped to pave the way for rebels aligned with the terrorist group.” According to Pugliese, Canadian intelligence specialists sent a prescient briefing report dated Mar 15 2011 to NATO senior officers just days before the intervention began. They wrote:

There is the increasing possibility that the situation in Libya will transform into a long-term tribal/civil war. his is particularly probable if opposition forces receive military assistance from foreign militaries.

As we know, the intervention went ahead regardless.

For nearly the last half-decade at least, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Jordan and Turkey have all provided extensive financial and military support primarily to AQ-linked Islamist militant networks that spawned today’s ISIS. This support has been provided in the context of an accelerating anti-Assad strategy led by Pindostan. Competition to dominate potential regional pipeline routes involving Syria, as well as untapped fossil fuel resources in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean, at the expense of Russia and China, have played a central role in motivating this strategy. Former French foreign minister Roland Dumas revealed that in 2009, British Foreign Office officials told him that UK forces were already active in Syria attempting to foment rebellion. The ongoing operation has been closely supervised under an on-going covert programme coordinated jointly by UKUSA, French and Israeli military intelligence. Evidence in the public record confirms that US support alone to anti-Assad fighters totalled about $2b as of the end of 2014. While the conventional wisdom insists that this support to Islamist extremists was mistaken, the facts speak for themselves. Classified CIA assessments showed that US intelligence knew how Pindosi-led support to anti-Assad rebels through its Middle East allies consistently ended up in the hands of the most virulent extremists. But it continued. Pentagon officials were also aware in the year before ISIS launched its campaign of conquest inside Iraq, that the vast majority of “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels were, in fact, Islamist militants. It was, officials admitted, increasingly impossible to draw fixed lines between “moderate” rebels and extremists linked to AQ or ISIS, due to the fluid interactions between them. Increasingly, frustrated FSA fighters have joined the ranks of Islamist militants in Syria, not for ideological reasons, but simply due to their superior military capabilities. So far, almost all “moderate” rebel groups recently trained and armed by the US are disbanding and continuously defecting to AQ and ISIS to fight Assad.

Pindostan is now coordinating the continued supply of military aid to “moderate” rebels to fight ISIS, through a new arrangement with Turkey. Yet it is an open secret that Turkey, throughout this entire period, has been directly sponsoring AQ and ISIS as part of a geopolitical gambit to crush Kurdish opposition groups and bring down Assad. Much has been made of Turkey’s “lax” efforts to curb foreign fighters crossing its territory to join ISIS in Syria. Turkey has recently responded by announcing that it has stopped thousands. Both claims are mythical. Turkey has deliberately harboured and funnelled support to ISIS and AQ in Syria. Last summer, Turkish journalist Denis Kahraman interviewed an ISIS fighter receiving medical treatment in Turkey, who told him:

Turkey paved the way for us. Had Turkey not shown such understanding for us, ISIS would not be in its current place. It showed us affection. Large number of our Mujahedin received medical treatment in Turkey.

Earlier this year, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military (the Gendarmerie General Command) were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services (MIT) had been caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition via truck to AQ in Syria. ‘Moderate’ FSA rebels are involved in the MIT-sponsored Turkish-Islamist support network. One told the Telegraph that he “now runs safe houses in Turkey for foreign fighters looking to join Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS.” Some officials have spoken up about this, but to no avail. Last year, Claudia Roth, deputy speaker of the German parliament, expressed shock that NATO is allowing Turkey to harbour an ISIS camp in Istanbul, facilitate weapons transfers to Islamist militants through its borders, and tacitly support ISIS oil sales. Nothing happened. The UUKUSA have not only remained strangely silent about the complicity of their coalition partner in sponsoring the enemy. They have tightened up the partnership with Turkey, and are working avidly with the same state-sponsor of ISIS to train moderate’ rebels to fight IS.

It is not just Turkey. Last year, US Vice Pres Biden told a White House press conference that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey among others, were pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons, of weapons” into “al-Nusra and AQ and the extremist elements of Jihadis” as part of a “proxy Sunni-Shia war”. He added that, for all intents and purposes, it is not possible to identify “moderate” rebels in Syria. There is no indication that this funding has dried up. As late as Sep 2014, even as Pindostan began coordinating airstrikes against ISIS, Pentagon officials revealed that they knew their own coalition allies were still funding ISIS. That month, JCoS Dempsey was asked by Senator Lindsay Graham during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing whether he knew of “any major Arab ally that embraces ISIS.” He said: “I know major Arab allies who fund them.” Despite this knowledge, the Pindosi government has not merely refused to sanction these allies, but rewarded them by including them in the coalition that is supposed to fight the very extremist entity they are funding. Worse, the same allies continue to be granted ample leeway to select fighters to receive training. Key members of our anti-ISIs coalition are bombing IS from the air while sponsoring them behind the scenes, with the knowledge of the Pentagon.

In Iraq and Syria, where ISIS was born, the devastation of society due to prolonged conflict cannot be underestimated. Western military invasion and occupation of Iraq, replete with torture and indiscriminate violence, played an undeniable role in paving the way for the emergence of extreme reactionary politics. Before Western intervention, AQ was nowhere to be seen in the country. In Syria, Assad’s brutal war on his own people boilerplate propaganda continues to vindicate ISIS and attract foreign fighters. The continual input of vast quantities of money to Islamist extremist networks, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of material resources that no one has yet been able to quantify in its totality, coordinated by the same nexus of Western and Muslim governments, has over the last half century had a deeply destabilising impact. ISIS is the surreal, post-modern culmination of this sordid history. The West’s anti-ISIS coalition in the Muslim world consists of repressive regimes whose domestic policies have widened inequalities, crushed legitimate dissent, tortured peaceful political activists, and stoked deep-seated resentments. They are the same allies that have, and are continuing to fund IS, with the knowledge of Western intelligence agencies. Yet they are doing so in regional circumstances that can only be described as undergoing, in the last decade, escalating converging crises. As Princeton’s Professor Bernard Haykel said:

I see ISIS as a symptom of a much deeper structural set of problems in the Sunni Arab world… to do with politics, with education, and the lack thereof, with authoritarianism, with foreign intervention, with the curse of oil … I think that even if ISIS were to disappear, the underlying causes that produce ISIS would not disappear. And those would have to be addressed with decades of policy and reforms and changes, not just by the West, but also by Arab societies as well.

Yet as we saw with the Arab Spring, these structural problems have been exacerbated by a perfect storm of interlinked political, economic, energy and environmental crises, all of which are being incubated by a deepening crisis of global capitalism. With the region suffering from prolonged droughts, failing agriculture, decline in oil revenues due to domestic peak oil, economic corruption and mismanagement compounded by neo-liberal austerity, and so on, local states have begun to collapse. From Iraq to Syria, from Egypt to Yemen, the same nexus of climate, energy and economic crises are unravelling incumbent governments.

Although the West is far more resilient to these interconnected global crises, entrenched inequalities in UKUSA and Western Europe which have a disproportionate effect on ethnic minorities, women and children, are worsening. In Britain, nearly 70% of ethnically South Asian Muslims, and two-thirds of their children, live in poverty. Just under 30% of British Muslim young people aged from 16-24 years are unemployed. According to Minority Rights Group International, conditions for British Muslims in terms of “access to education, employment and housing” have deteriorated in recent years, rather than improving. This has been accompanied by a “worrying rise in open hostility” from non-Muslim communities, and a growing propensity for police and security services to target Muslims disproportionately under anti-terror powers. Consistently negative reporting on Muslims by the media, coupled with grievances over justifiable perceptions of an aggressive and deceptive foreign policy in the Muslim world, compound the latter to create a prevailing sense of social exclusion associated with British Muslim identity. It is the toxic contribution of these factors to general identity formation that is the issue, not each of the factors by themselves. Poverty alone, or discrimination alone, or anti-Muslim reporting alone, and so on, do not necessarily make a person vulnerable to radicalisation. But together these can forge an attachment to an identity that sees itself as alienated, frustrated and locked in a cycle of failure.

The prolongation and interaction of these problems can contribute to the way Muslims in Britain from various walks of life begin to view themselves as a whole. In some cases, it can generate an entrenched sense of separation and alienation from, and disillusionment with wider society. This exclusionary identity, and where it takes a person, will depend on that person’s specific environment, experiences and choices. Prolonged social crises can lay the groundwork for the rise of toxic, xenophobic ideologies on all sides. Such crises undermine conventional mores of certainty and stability rooted in established notions of identity and belonging. While vulnerable Muslims might turn to gang culture, or worse, Islamist extremism, vulnerable non-Muslims might adopt their own exclusionary identities linked with extremist groups like the English Defence League, or other far-right extremist networks. For more powerful elite groups, their sense of crisis may inflame militaristic neoconservative ideologies that sanitise incumbent power structures, justify the status quo, whitewash the broken system that sustains their power, and demonise progressive and minority movements. In this maelstrom, the supply of countless billions of dollars to Islamist extremist networks in the Middle East with a penchant for violence, empowers groups that previously lacked any local constituency. As multiple crises converge and intensify, undermining state stability and inflaming grievances, this massive input of resources to Islamist ideologues can pull angry, alienated, vulnerable individuals into their vortex of xenophobic extremism. The end-point of that process is the creation of monsters.

While these factors escalated regional vulnerability to crisis levels, the US and Britain’s lead role after 9/11 in coordinating covert Gulf state financing of extremist Islamist militants across the region has poured gasoline on the flames. The links these Islamist networks have in the West meant that domestic intelligence agencies have periodically turned blind eyes to their followers and infiltrators at home, allowing them to fester, recruit and send would-be fighters abroad. This is why the Western component of ISIS, though much smaller than the number of fighters joining from neighbouring countries, remains largely impervious to meaningful theological debate. They are not driven by theology, but by the insecurity of a fractured identity and psychology. It is here, in the meticulously calibrated recruitment methods used by ISIS and its supporting networks in the West, that we can see the role of psychological indoctrination processes fine-tuned through years of training under Western intelligence agencies. These agencies have always been intimately involved in the crafting of violent Islamist indoctrination tools. In most cases, recruitment into ISIS is achieved by being exposed to carefully crafted propaganda videos, developed using advanced production methods, the most effective of which are replete with real images of bloodshed inflicted on Iraqi, Afghan and Palestinian civilians by Western firepower, or on Syrian civilians by Assad.

The constant exposure to such horrifying scenes of Western and Syrian atrocities can often have an effect similar to what might happen if these scenes had been experienced directly: that is, a form of psychological trauma that can even result in post-traumatic stress. Such cult-like propaganda techniques help to invoke overwhelming emotions of shock and anger, which in turn serve to shut down reason and dehumanise the “Other”. The dehumanisation process is brought to fruition using twisted Islamist theology. What matters with this theology is not its authenticity, but its simplicity. This can work wonders on a psyche traumatised by visions of mass death, whose capacity for reason is immobilised with rage. This is why the reliance on extreme literalism and complete decontextualisation is such a common feature of Islamist extremist teachings: because it seems, to someone credulous and unfamiliar with Islamic scholarship, to be literally true at first glance. Building on decades of selective misinterpretation of Islamic texts by militant ideologues, sources are carefully mined and cherry-picked to justify the political agenda of the movement: tyrannical rule, arbitrary mass murder, subjugation and enslavement of women, and so on, all of which become integral to the very survival and expansion of ISIS.

As the main function of introducing extreme Islamist theological reasoning is to legitimise violence and sanction war, it is combined with propaganda videos that promise what the vulnerable recruit appears to be missing: glory, brotherhood, honour, and the promise of eternal salvation, no matter what crimes or misdemeanours one may have committed in the past. Couple this with the promise of power: power over one’s enemies, power over Western institutions that have purportedly suppressed one’s Muslim brothers and sisters, power over women, and the appeal of ISIS, if its religious garb and claims of Godliness can be made convincing enough, can be irresistible. What this means is that ISIS’s ideology, while important to understand and refute, is not the driving factor in its origins, existence and expansion. It is merely the opium of the people that it feeds to itself, and its prospective followers. Ultimately, ISIS is a cancer of modern industrial capitalism in meltdown, a fatal by-product of our unwavering addiction to black gold, a parasitical symptom of escalating civilisational crises across both the Muslim and Western worlds. Until the roots of these crises are addressed, ISIS and its ilk are here to stay.

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something cheerful, can’t identify the source

Screenshot from 2015-03-31 10:43:18

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lies, truth, who cares? the day of global massacre has come, nothing can stop it

This is another of those days when the mass media and what used to be called the ‘underground’ media, disgust me equally, with their verbal tics and mannerisms. Anything I post today will be, as far as possible, shorn of journalistic or pseudo-journalistic accoutrements – RB

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IMHO, the only thing that can save russia is an army coup (not a “democratic”, pro-western coup, an army coup)

Putin lit a candle for Donbass and cried one tear. I’m sure you remember: it was on YouTube – RB

Yarosh Wants Donbas Residents Deported
Sputnik News, Mar 29 2015

Rada MP and leader of Ukraine’s Right Sector Dmitri Yarosh said in an interview for Ukrainian newspaper Obosrevatel published on Sunday:

Much of southeast Ukraine is populated by Sovoks, real Sovoks. And they should be deported. We have to deal with those who do not want to live by the rules and the laws of the state in a very harsh manner. This includes deportation, the deprivation of civil rights, and so on. Without force, it will not be possible to do anything with the region, to turn the tide so to speak. If we get rid of the unruly ones, everything will be fine, quiet and peaceful. And then of course a program of affectionate Ukrainianization can begin. The events in Konstantinovka are an example of what I mean. If we had shown even a little bit of weakness… Right from the beginning a whole bunch of ‘heroes’ began crawling out of the woodwork, using the tragedy in their own separatist interests. And when our guys came out and began shooting into the air and arresting the instigators of riots, everything ceased at once. This is the rule. Our guys from Donetsk and Lugansk regions should become the elite, on whose basis a qualitatively new society can be built… And those vatnik, criminal oligarchic attitudes sitting in the minds of ordinary people for one reason or another must be removed.

Poroshenko is said to have offered Yarosh a post in the Ministry of Defense. Yarosh noted that he has accepted the president’s invitation, adding that he has chosen to do so on a volunteer basis. Speaking about the Ukrainian army’s recent losses on the battlefield, Yarosh said:

We faced a rout near Ilovaisk… On the one hand, we have learned to fight, with morale at a high level. But things are very bad when a pride of lions is led by sheep. They cannot lead us to victory, and only roll us back… Our forces are still threatened by several encirclements. And I don’t know, again, whether the sheep will react to this, or whether they are playing some sort of geopolitical game.

Yarosh Predicts New Maidan, Larger and Bloodier Than Before
Sputnik News, Mar 30 2015

In a recently released excerpt from his Sunday interview with Ukrainian newspaper Obozrevatel, Rada MP and Right Sector Leader Dmitri Yarosh said:

In Ukraine, everything is possible, a new Maidan all the more so. People have dignity. And when they are pushed to the limit, they come out for new Maidans. Of course, the next one will be, let’s say, different. People are so heavily armed now that no one is going to sit in tents and wait for a month or two, singing songs or waving flashlights. And this is just something that we don’t need. Our position is that we must walk on a knife’s edge. On the one hand we must maintain the state, but on the other, we must make it so that parasites do not drink the blood of the Ukrainian people, as they did before the revolution. We have among us radicals who are already shouting ‘let’s do it now!’ Especially the youth, which has taken a breath of this spirit of freedom, and now they are ready, at a moment’s notice, to take the parliament, the presidential administration, to kick everyone out of there. We are trying to explain to them that in such a case we would lose our state, and that Putin would immediately send his troops to Kiev, to save the country from the worst kind of junta. Because this ‘juntlet’ we have now is relatively sweet, and not very scary, compared to the most bloodthirsty Banderites. Therefore even this process must be tempered. Whether I am correct or not only time will tell.

In a separate interview published Sunday on Ukrainian news site, Yarosh said:

Poroshenko still does not understand what country he lives in, and the underlying realities. Our politicians, who became statesmen at the cost of blood spilled on the Maidan and in this war, are far too dependent on the opinions of those from abroad. After the signing of the ceasefire, I called up an aide to the president and told him to warn Poroshenko that we removed Yanukovych, and we can remove him too.

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interesting that obama couldn’t remember the name of afghan puppet du jour

The New Great Game Round-Up #91
Christoph Germann, Mar 31 2015

In recent weeks, Uyghur terrorists have been making headlines in several countries, ranging from Turkey to Indonesia and of course China. The Chinese authorities are increasingly concerned that Uyghur would-be terrorists who travel to the Middle East could return and fuel the insurgency in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Xinjiang’s party chief Zhang Chunxian revealed during a meeting at the annual session of the National People’s Congress that local authorities “have broken up terror groups who were plotting violent attacks on Chinese soil after fighting in battles in Syria with ISIS.” Although ISIS’s threat to China is often exaggerated, Beijing’s concerns are not unfounded. As discussed in a recent episode of Porkins Great Game, efforts are underway to smuggle Uyghurs out of China and turn them into Jihadi mercenaries for Pindosi-NATO terror operations. In order to nip the threat in the bud, Beijing wants to prevent Uyghurs from fleeing the country and catch those who have left:

China’s Secret Plan to Track Militants and Bring Them Home
Days after Indonesia arrested four Uighur terrorism suspects in September in the country’s east, China dispatched three intelligence officers to ask authorities to hand them over. While Indonesia initially demurred, China has now secured a preliminary agreement for the men to be returned after a trial in Jakarta, according to Irfan Idris, a senior official at Indonesia’s anti-terrorism agency. The four, who are yet to be charged, face potential execution if repatriated. China pressed for the deal as part of a global operation begun last year to return terrorism suspects to Chinese soil, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the initiative is confidential. Many of the suspects are members of the Turkic-speaking Uighur Muslim minority, they said.

The suspects in question are believed to be part of the group that carried out the horrific knife attack at Kunming’s railway station in March of last year. Given that China just executed three men for leading the Kunming attack, it is safe to assume that the arrested Uyghurs will be executed if the Indonesian authorities hand them over. The four men and five other Uyghurs, who managed to escape, had entered Indonesia from Malaysia with Turkish passports, posing as asylum seekers. This has become a preferred strategy among Uyghur insurgents. Turkey’s role in all of this was exposed at the beginning of this year in the course of the ongoing tug-of-war between Beijing and Ankara over Uyghur refugees in Thailand. While Turkey is playing the benevolent guardian of all Uyghurs, China is trying to convince the rest of the world that not all Uyghurs leaving the country are innocent refugees:

South China now favoured way out of country for ISIS recruits: terrorism expert
China’s southern seaboard has replaced the mountainous and tightly guarded western frontier as the preferred route for Islamic extremists to slip recruits out of the country, according to a leading expert on terrorism. Rohan Gunaratna, the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (and author of “inside Al-Qaeda,” a seminal contribution to the previous pseudo-gang’s bogus mythology – RB), said: “Over 400 Uygurs have left to join ISIS, mostly through Hong Kong via Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.” Gunaratna’s claim comes as a leaked Guangdong police document revealed that the authorities broke up a Pearl River Delta syndicate that smuggled at least six Uygurs to Macau on Feb 18 and 24. The document said the syndicate was planning to smuggle more Uygurs hiding in Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhongshan to Macau before police busted the ring on Mar 2.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong Police Force played down the issue, saying that the city’s terrorist threat level remained moderate, but the recent emergence of ISIS flyers in Hong Kong suggests that there might be something to Gunaratna’s claim. Citing Hong Kong news reports, Pindoatn-based Chinese political news outlet Duowei News pointed out that Indonesian domestic helpers in Hong Kong have been receiving leaflets encouraging them to join ISIS. Even more interesting is the flyer’s assertion that recruits will be sent to “carry out missions” in Xinjiang. The authorities in Hong Kong are clearly alarmed by the ISIS flyers and the same is probably true of the authorities in mainland China. As the above-mentioned break-up of another smuggling operation shows, China’s fight against terrorists and would-be terrorists is not confined to Xinjiang and southern China is becoming an increasingly important part of the battlefield. Uyghurs who are hiding in and around Guangzhou, the capital and largest city of Guangdong province, have caused a lot of trouble in recent weeks:

Police shot dead two Uygur women before railway knife attack in Guangzhou
Police shot dead two ethnic Uygur women who resisted arrest and detained more than a dozen Uygur men during a late-night raid in a village outside Guangzhou just hours before the knife attack at the city’s main railway station on Mar 6, which left 13 people injured, witnesses said. Residents of Xiniujiao village who witnessed the police raid told the Sunday Morning Post that more than 100 officers, some of them armed, had swooped on the suspects during the Lantern Festival on Mar 5. Three knife-wielding men attacked passers-by and passengers at random in the rail attack earlier this month. Police have been tightlipped about the ethnicity of the assailants, saying only that one had been shot dead and another arrested.

According to Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, the perpetrators of the knife attack at Guangzhou’s railway station had planned to be smuggled to Macau before traveling to the Middle East via Southeast Asia to join ISIS. But they were forced to stay in Guangzhou after the boat they had arranged sank late last month. Four days after the break-up of the above-mentioned smuggling ring and hours after police raided a group of 40 Uyghur terror suspects from Xinjiang hiding in an apartment in Guangzhou’s Baiyun district, the men launched the attack, resembling the Kunming attack in many ways. Guangzhou appears to be the new hot spot in China’s fight against smuggling and terrorism. A few days ago, the South China Morning Post broke the very interesting story of a self-claimed “Pindosi scholar,” who visited South China Normal University to recruit Uyghurs and smuggle them to Malaysia:

Terrorists ‘recruited Uygur students at Guangzhou university’
Uygur students in Guangzhou have been warned to stay away from “outsiders” after several were recruited by a suspected religious extremist and had been missing since last year, various sources told the South China Morning Post. A man claiming to be a Pindosi national conducting social science research visited the campus of the South China Normal University last year. Sources said the man recruited several Uygur students, gave them money and arranged for them to flee to Malaysia. It is not clear if Malaysia was their final destination, or whether they were headed for Turkey or Syria, as some believe.

As usual, the NED-funded World Uyghur Congress lost no time in playing down the issue, but this story highlights that the Chinese authorities have to be on their guard. And although “China’s southern seaboard has replaced the mountainous and tightly guarded western frontier as the preferred route for Islamic extremists,” the situation in neighboring Afghanistan gives reason for concern as well. On Mar 22, Afghan Pres Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah traveled to Washington for a five-day visit. The two Afghan leaders met with Obama and senior Pindosi officials to discuss the troop withdrawal, reconciliation talks with the Taliban and other important issues. Ghani began the visit by thanking the Pindosis “who have sacrificed continuously since 9/11 to bring us freedom and hope,” before asking Obama to keep more troops in Afghanistan. Obama didn’t know exactly which Afghan President he was talking to, but he needed no second invitation:

Obama slows withdrawal of Pindosi troops in Afghanistan
Obama on Tuesday granted Afghan requests to slow the drawdown of Pindosi troops from Afghanistan and said he would maintain a force of 9,800 through the end of 2015 while sticking to a 2017 exit plan. Capping a day of VIP treatment for Afghan Pres Ashraf Ghani at the White House, Obama said the Pindosi force would be kept at its current strength to train and assist Afghan forces, who took over responsibility for the fight against Taliban and other Islamic militants at the start of the year. Obama said the pace of the Pindosi troop reduction in 2016 would be established later this year and the goal remained to consolidate Pindosi forces in the country in a presence at the Kabul embassy at the end of 2016.

It remains to be seen whether Pindostan will really retain only a small force at the Kabul embassy after 2016. There are already some doubts, and Ghani has expressed a need for foreign troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2016. Since taking office in September of last year, Ghani has been doing Washington’s bidding and this has finally paid off. During his visit to Washington, the Afghan President received the “Distinguished Leadership Award” from the Atlantic Council and the Pindosi Institute of Peace, presumably for being a better puppet than predecessor Hamid Karzai. Ghani also secured more Pindosi funds for the Afghan security forces who are suffering from a number of problems, including “serious combat losses” and desertions. But Pindosi taxpayers will be relieved to hear that Afghanistan will be able to pay for its own security forces within a decade: at least this is what Ghani promised the Congress critturs. Possibly, the problem will resolve itself when the Taliban take over:

Slowing down of Pindosi pullout to affect peace efforts: Taliban
Obama’s decision to slow the withdrawal of Pindosi troops from Afghanistan would hamper peace efforts, the Taliban said on Wednesday, vowing to continue fighting. Taliban spokesman Zabih’ullah Mujahid said: “Obama’s announcement to continue to keep troops in Afghanistan is a response to the peace efforts. This damages all the prospects for peace. This means the war will go on until they are defeated.”

Not everyone was happy with Ghani’s visit and the news from Washington. It is to be feared that Obama’s decision to slow the “withdrawal” will undermine the peace talks, which had seen some progress due to China’s efforts. Ghani attracted a lot of criticism for pushing for Pindosi troops to stay longer. The Afghan High Peace Council, the official body overseeing the Afghan peace process, and other influential players in the region warned that Ghani is sending the wrong message to the Taliban. The statement by Taliban spokesman Zabuh’ullah Mujahid proves them right. Perhaps Ghani was too busy hyping the ISIS threat to recognize that there is a downside to keeping Pindosi toops in the country. Just ahead of his visit, the Afghan President acknowledged for the first time that ISIS is gaining influence in Afghanistan and by the time he got to Washington, Ghani was hyping the threat like none other:

Ghani: ISIS ‘terrible threat’ to western, central Asia
Afghan Pres Ashraf Ghani told Congress critturs on Wednesday that ISIS and its allies pose a “terrible threat” to the countries of western and central Asia. In a speech to a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives, Ghani said ISIS are already sending advance guards to southern and western Afghanistan “to test for vulnerabilities.”

Nobody is going to deny that ISIS flags are becoming more popular in Afghanistan, but ISIS doesn’t pose a “terrible threat” to Central Asia. Furthermore, the links between ISIS in Afghanistan and the “original” ISIS in the Middle East are tenuous at best. Some insurgents who have previously fought for the Taliban, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) or other groups are now pledging allegiance to ISIS. This has prompted a lot of fearmongering in Central Asia and Russia. As previously discussed, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have every reason to be worried in light of the deteriorating security situation along their borders and the massing of fighters in northern Afghanistan, but ISIS is not going to conquer Central Asia anytime soon. Turkmenistan is arguably the country which has been affected the most by the volatile situation in northern Afghanistan:

Four Said Killed By Police In Violence Near Afghan-Turkmen Border
A local leader in an ethnic Turkmen village near Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan says police killed at least four people and wounded at least seven others while dispersing a protest. The head of Qarqeen village council, Gulam Rasul Qaryadar, told RFE/RL that police fired shots on Mar 16 after ethnic Turkmens gathered in front of the district administration building, demanding help from the authorities to stop what they say are efforts by Turkmenistan to take land they claim as their own. The villagers have said that Turkmen forces are grabbing their land on an island that was formed several years ago in the Amu River, which serves as part of the border between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

Territorial gains by the Taliban and other groups prompted Turkmenistan last year to “invade” Afghanistan, and the situation on both sides of the border has been highly volatile ever since. While ethnic Turkmens in northern Afghanistan are urging the Afghan authorities to investigate the deadly shooting by police, the Turkmen authorities are reportedly using the Taliban/ISIS threat to arrest would-be protesters. But Ashgabat doesn’t take the situation lightly. General Lloyd Austin, the head of CENTCOM, revealed during a recent Congress hearing that Turkmenistan has approached him asking for military aid to address the instability on the Turkmen-Afghan border. And if the Turkmen exile website Chronicles of Turkmenistan is to be believed, even foreign troops have already been deployed to the border:

Report: Troops From Uzbekistan And Russia Deployed To Turkmenistan-Afghanistan Border
Troops from Russia and Uzbekistan are helping Turkmenistan guard its border against militant incursions from Afghanistan, an Turkmenistani exile website reports, citing residents of border areas. According to the report on Chronicles of Turkmenistan: “Residents of Afghan border villages have recently noticed the presence on Turkmen territory border units from Uzbekistan. About a month ago, military instructors from Russia also appeared on the border. Obviously, the Turkmen authorities appealed to the Russian leadership for help guarding the border with Afghanistan, a situation which has begun to heat up with the arrival of warm weather.”

The report should be taken with a grain of salt, because there have not been any independent verifications of the information, but it underlines concerns about the situation on the Turkmen-Afghan border and Ashgabat’s ability to deal with the threat on its own. Turkmenistan is now experiencing the disadvantages of its neutrality. Neither Pindosi nor Russian help will come with no strings attached. It is not unlikely that this will affect Turkmenistan’s pipeline politics. Unperturbed by the chaos in Afghanistan, Turkmen Pres Berdimuhamedow just instructed his country’s oil and gas leaders to accelerate the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Turkmenistan plays a decisive role in two major Pindosi-backed pipeline projects, TAPI and the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which is now back on the table despite vehement Russian opposition:

EU wants to revive gas pipeline project from Turkmenistan
The EU is seeking to revive a gas pipeline project from Turkmenistan to Europe and involve European energy companies, an EU diplomat in Turkmenistan said. Denis Daniilidis told Reuters that Maros Sefcovic, the EU’s head of energy union, was going to visit Turkmenistan in coming months to restart talks about the Trans-Caspian pipeline. While he did not provide other details, Turkmen officials said earlier this month that “active” negotiations were under way to supply Europe with between 10 and 30 bcm/yr of gas.

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poroshenko drunk endless loop

Drunks are easy to roll:

Poroshenko signs decree for international exercises, Mar 30 2015

Poroshenko signed the law and the decree on the conduct of multinational exercise involving units of the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine and abroad for 2015 and the admission of units of the armed forces of other states on the territory of the country. As the press service of the President, Poroshenko said during the extended meeting on the issues of legislative support of the military and security sector, with the participation of heads of security agencies of the Ministry of defence, General staff and representatives of volunteer organizations. Press service informs that in the territory of Ukraine to 2015 provides a series of Ukrainian-Pindosi exercises:

  • “Fearless Guardian 2015″ (total participants 2,200 people, of which up to 1,000 Pindosi military),
  • “Sea Breeze 2015″ (2,500 participants, including 1,000 Pindosi military and up to 500 troops from NATO or “Partnership for peace”), and
  • “Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015″ (2,100 participants, up to 500 Pinsosi military and up to 600 troops from NATO or “Partnership for peace”).

Also in 2015, Ukraine will admit the Ukrainian-Polish teaching aviation units:

  • “Safe Skies 2015″ (a total of 350 participants, including 100 Polish military units and military police), and
  • “Law and Order 2015″ (100 participants, 50 of Polish military).

The statement adds:

This presidential decree shall be permitted on the territory of Ukraine for participation in multinational exercises units of the armed forces of Pindostan, member states of NATO and the states-participants of the program “Partnership for peace”, Poland with weapons, military equipment, ships, submarines, aircraft and helicopters on the date and in the amount approved by decision.

In addition, approved the plan of Ukrainian participation in multinational military exercises abroad.

    Provided training group military police in Germany (up to 30 soldiers APU),
  • “Sea Shield 2015″ (anti-submarine training of BSEC countries, up to 500 Ukrainian military and multinational training corps), and
  • “Coalition Endeavor/Combined Endeavor 2015″ in Germany (up to 40 servicemen).

It is also planned participation of Ukrainian troops in multinational exercises:

  • “Maple Arch 2015″ in Lithuania (up to 120 servicemen),
  • “Avalanche Light 2015″ in Hungary (up to 30 soldiers from the APU), and
  • “Trident Cancer 2015″ in Spain and Portugal (up to 50 Ukrainian military).

In addition, it is planned to participate in the certification training combat tactical group of the European Union:

  • “Common Challenge 2015″ in Germany (up to 60 servicemen).

As reported on Mar 17, 305 votes in the Verkhovna Rada supported the presidential bill on admitting units of armed forces of other States on the territory of Ukraine in 2015 to participate in five multinational military exercises. Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Groysman signed this document on Mar 19. On Mar 29, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov informed that on Apr 20, 290 Pindosi military personnel will arrive at Jaworowski Polygon (Lvov region), where they will spend a joint exercise training units of the National Guard of Ukraine. Avakov said that the trainings will be held with the participation of 900 national guard soldiers. “Three streams of 300 national guardsmen. Three streams of eight weeks. Then joint exercises,” he announced.

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i think this shows that benny is an unexpectedly bad liar

I can’t claim to be a fluent russian reader, but I can claim to have read just about every permutation and variation of the news stories about the seizures of the companies, and Benny’s role in organising those seizures, from multiple sources both Ukrainian and Russian, and a great many more or less dismissive analyses, again by both Ukrainian and Russian media, and I am quite sure that the remarks by Benny below bear no relation to anything reported by anyone else, either at the time or afterward. Also, at least one of the statements below is absurd on its face: namely, the claim that 100 unidentified people were in the process of capturing Ukrnafta on the night of Mar 22, and Benny just heard about it and rolled up with a few friends and drove them off, then and only then bringing in his workers to barricade the offices. This is plainly absurd. He doesn’t seem to care what he’s saying. This is, I believe, a rather characteristically Jewish behaviour: namely, nonsensical blather in a tight spot. It is a form of bluff, and relies upon body language expressive of confidence and good faith, inviting trust, in the hope that even though the listeners cannot make head or tail of it, they will assume it has some truth.
The passages I have chosen are part of a Mar 26 WaPo interview of no great interest – RB

Q: … But you have been accused of using your minority stake in oil extraction company Ukrnafta to block the government’s decisions.

A: It’s 100% a lie that Kolomoisky didn’t pay dividends and that there were problems inside of the company. This is a conflict between insiders. Naftogaz owns 51% of Ukrnafta, but for many years, they stole the natural gas Ukrnafta produced. They took our gas into the pipeline and didn’t document it, writing in their books that it’s gas from an “unknown” origin. We’re talking about 10.5 bcm, worth about $4b. The case went all the way up to the high court, and we won everything.

Q: If you were winning in the courts, why start marching into buildings with armed guards?

A: Last week, while the prime minister and the director of Naftogaz were in Brussels, Pasichnik, who works for deputy Yeremeev, and Savchenko made an illegal order, without any decision of the cabinet of ministers. And with some well-equipped security guys, not politicians and not special police but private security, they entered Ukrtransnafta and started making changes. Lazorko was locked down in his office. He was a hostage. He called the police, and they didn’t lift a finger, so he called me. And I went over there with four private security guys. I recommended Lazorko for this position, and he was in a bad situation, so I knew what I had to do. They wanted to steal oil resources that were in the company … and when I asked where are the documents from the cabinet of ministers to be there, they couldn’t show me anything.

Q: That didn’t go so well for you in the press. So why bring out more-heavily armed guards just a few days later?

A: On Sunday night, the deputy security director of Ukrnafta said a group of unknown people, approximately 100, had gathered around Ukrnafta, preparing for something. And there was a TV crew. I called my personal deputy director and said I need support. The private security unit came, no battalions, no militias, just a private security company working for Ukrnafta, they came, and workers started to close the fence. Leshchenko and Mustafa (Mustafa Naem, the shaven-headed celebrity TV interviewer – RB) saw the support teams and started this scandal that Kolomoisky is taking over Ukrnafta. But really now, Kolomoisky shouldn’t need to take it over, because he’s already part of Ukrnafta! And I can go inside the building. I’m a member of the board of directors. Why would I need to take it over?

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