Monday, October 31, 2011

The economics of polarization and A (self-)graduation speech for the occupiers of Zuccotti Park....

The economics of polarization and A (self-)graduation speech for the occupiers of Zuccotti Park....

By Spengler

Has America become irrational? Not since the 1930s have politics been so polarized, from the Tea Party movement on one side of the spectrum to the Occupy Wall Street protesters on the other. Why does the right object so vehemently to government spending? And why does the left attack private capital with parallel passion? The answer lies not in the American psyche, but in the statistics.

America is engaged in class war, but not of the sort one reads about in the mainstream press. The truly indigent - young African-American men, for example, most of whom are now unemployed - have little to do in this war. Large corporations for the most part are bystanders as well; they will make their peace with the victor. This is a war of survival between the productive middle class on

one hand, and the dependents of the state on the other.

The Tea Party's aversion to government spending is as pure an expression of rational self-interest as we have seen in American history. Like any new movement, it attracts more than its fair share of oddballs. The fact that a movement led by amateurs continues to wield so much power proves that it has good reason to be there.

The Tea Party is a middle-class movement, older, better educated and wealthier than average, but it is not a party of the very wealthy, who are conspicuously absent among its activists. They know from personal or family experience that taxation is destroying the American middle class. They are approaching retirement, and most of their wealth is in the family home, as it is for the great majority of Americans:

Exhibit 1: Home equity as a percentage of net worth, by income (2004)

Source: Federal Reserve

The American tax burden has shifted drastically away from the federal government, and on to states and localities. And property taxes are bearing an increasing share of the total burden. That is killing the residential property market.

Federal tax revenues remain about 10% below the pre-crisis peak, but state and local tax collections continue to rise. In part, that is because states and localities cannot run budget deficits, unlike the federal government, and must raise taxes to cover their expenses, even while they cut spending. State and local employment has fallen by more than half a million since August 1998, and the layoffs continue.

But a great deal of state and local spending is tied to federal entitlement programs, especially in health care. States receive block grants from the federal government and, in return, take on responsibility for funding public health care and other programs in return. Unfunded mandates push states further into fiscal trouble.

Exhibit 2: Federal vs local tax collections

Census Bureau

With income and sales depressed, state and local governments rely on property tax revenues more than ever.

Exhibit 3: Property taxes as percentage of total state and local revenues

Source: Census, Case-Schiller 20 City Index

Property tax collections have continued to rise, even while home prices have collapsed. Local property assessments lagged behind actual prices during the bubble years, but have not fallen to reflect the 40% decline in home prices.

Exhibit 4: Property tax revenues vs home prices

Source: Census Bureau

Property taxes have risen so far that a prospective homebuyer today will pay as much in real estate taxes as on mortgage interest.

Exhibit 5: Property taxes vs home mortgage interest (mortgage debt outstanding multiplied by current mortgage rate), in $US billions

Source: Census Bureau, Federal Reserve

The average homebuyer today, the chart shows, will pay almost as much in property taxes as in mortgage interest. (Mortgage interest is calculated on the basis of the current mortgage rate, reflecting the costs to prospective homebuyers rather than existing homeowners).

That is an astonishing outcome; in the past, mortgage interest typically was two or three times the property tax bill. Put another way, the combined cost of mortgage interest and property taxes is close to a trillion dollars a year today, about the same as at the peak of the housing bubble. Rising property taxes have just about wiped out the impact of lower interest rates and lower home prices on households. The property tax data include commercial as well as residential taxes, to be sure, but more than two-thirds of total property tax collections are from households.

That explains why the middle class compares its revolt to the American revolutionaries who dumped East India Company tea into Boston Harbor. Their modest wealth embedded in household equity and prospective retirement are at risk. Tea Party activists seem amateurish because they are newcomers to politics. For the most part they are the kind of people who lived their lives quietly before the crisis came to their front door. Many things radicalized this part of the political spectrum, but taxation pushed them out of the front door.

On the other side of the spectrum we have the dependents of the state. Not all of them are poor. As a 2011 Heritage Foundation study [1] showed, the federal government is paying much higher wages for construction workers on projects funded by the 2009 economic stimulus package than prevail in the marketplace. The Davis-Bacon act sets an arbitrary floor under union wages, and the Obama administration paid between 30% and 60% more than the reported market rate as a favor to its trade-union backers.

Exhibit 6: Federal government pays 30% to 60% above market for construction work

Source: Heritage Foundation

The swelling of state and local budgets has created a new kind of pseudo-middle class, that is workers who earn more than $100,000 year with a bit of overtime. The generosity of government pensions has become a scandal; the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility claims that more than 6,000 retired California government workers receive pensions in excess of $100,000 a year; about half were policemen, firemen, and prison guards. States cannot afford this largesse. The American Enterprise Institute calculated American states' excess pension liabilities amount to $2.8 trillion, given the present return on investments.

Public sector employees unions rode the real estate bubble along with homeowners, and local governments awarded them unsustainable concessions in the form of pay, pensions and health benefits. Their political power waxed with state and local spending power. Today the public sector unions are the backbone of the Democratic Party. They man the phone banks, staff polling stations, and round up voters to the polls.

The prospect of default on state debt has increased borrowing costs for errant states. Europe has Greece, Ireland and Portugal; America has 11 states whose budget deficit exceeds 16% of the total budget.

Exhibit 7: Worst US state budget deficits

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Bonds issued by American states and cities bear the widest risk premium on record. Their yield is not taxed by the federal government, so that the tax-adjusted yield is usually reckoned at 28% below that of comparable Treasuries. After tax adjustment, the Bond Buyer Index of 20-year US municipal bonds paid just 35 basis points (0.35%) above the 20-year Treasury bond. Today it pays 230 basis points more.

Exhibit 8: Yield on 20-Year Municipal Bonds vs. 20-year Treasury

Source: Bond Buyer, Federal Reserve

At the peak of the debt crisis in early 2009, the tax-adjusted spread was about 400 basis points, roughly the difference today between German and Italian government debt. American states have to cut their deficits, or the market will refuse to finance them.

State and local governments, though, have exhausted their tax base, and the continuous rise in property taxes through the crash in property prices has kept the real estate market more depressed than economic conditions otherwise might indicate. A further increase in tax rates would yield less revenue. In effect, the government would have to proceed from taxing private capital to expropriating it, de facto or de jure - for example, nationalizing banks and directing them to make loans to politically-favored projects, after the fashion of Latin American banana republics.

The alternative is to renegotiate pension and health benefits already promised to public sector unions.

In either case, households that considered themselves comfortably middle class, and looked forward to a comfortable and secure retirement, find themselves on the edge of calamity. During the bubble years of 1998-2007, when America imported $6 trillion of overseas capital, the ride was easy.

When the whole world brought its savings to the United States, people of mediocre skills and slack work habits could afford big houses, expensive vacations, and (at taxpayer expense) generous pensions. Why Americans expected to live well indefinitely on the largesse of foreign investors is a question for the psychiatrists, not the economists.

The crisis has called into being a political movement of the exasperated middle class, namely the Tea Party. It has erased the image of the government unions as champions of progressive causes, and exposed them as an "aristocracy of labor" (in Marx's phrase) parasitizing the public revenue.

The outcome inherently favors the Republicans. Debt - the catchall name for the crushing tax burden - has become a hot button issue even for many Democrats. But this election will be fought more desperately, and nastily, than any other that comes to mind during the past century. This is an existential struggle, a political war of survival for the American middle class. If the government unions go down in the fight, the Democratic Party of Barack Obama will cease to exist in its present form - and that would be a beneficial outcome for the United States.

1. See
A (self-)graduation speech for
the occupiers of Zuccotti Park...
By Tom Engelhardt

Once the Arab Spring broke loose, people began asking me why this country was still so quiet. I would always point out that no one ever expects or predicts such events. Nothing like this, I would say, happens until it happens, and only then do you try to make sense of it retrospectively.

Sounds smart enough, but here’s the truth of it: whatever I said, I wasn't expecting you. After this endless grim decade of war and debacle in America, I had no idea you were coming, not even after Madison.

You took me by surprise. For all I know, you took yourself by surprise, the first of you who arrived at Zuccotti Park and, inspired

by a bunch of Egyptian students, didn't go home again. And when the news of you penetrated my world, I didn't pay much attention. So I wasn't among the best and brightest when it came to you. But one thing's for sure: you've had my attention these last weeks. I already feel years younger thanks to you (even if my legs don't).

Decades ago in the Neolithic age we now call "the Sixties," I was, like you: outraged. I was out in the streets (and in the library). I was part of the anti-Vietnam War movement. I turned in my draft card, joined a group called the Resistance, took part in the radical politics of the moment, researched the war, became a draft counselor, helped organize an anti-war Asian scholars group - I was at the time preparing to be a China scholar, before being swept away - began writing about (and against) the war, worked as an "underground" printer (there was nothing underground about us, but it sounded wonderful), and finally became an editor and journalist at an antiwar news service in San Francisco.

In that time of turmoil, I doubt I spent a moment pondering this irony: despite all those years in college and graduate school, the most crucial part of my education - learning about the nature of American power and how it was wielded - was largely self-taught in my off-hours. And I wasn't alone. In those days, most of us found ourselves in a frenzy of teaching (each other), reading, writing - and acting. That was how I first became an editor (without even knowing what an editor was): simply by having friends shove their essays at me and ask for help.

Those were heady years, as heady, I have no doubt, as this moment is for you. But that doesn't mean our moments were the same. Not by a long shot. Here's one major difference: like so many of the young of that distant era, I was surfing the crest of a wave of American wealth and wellbeing. We never thought about, but also never doubted, that if this moment ended, there would be perfectly normal jobs - good ones - awaiting us, should we want them. It never crossed our minds that we couldn't land on our feet in America, if we cared to.

In that sense, while we certainly talked about putting everything on the line, we didn't; in truth, economically speaking, we couldn't. Although you, the occupiers of Zuccotti Park and other encampments around the country, are a heterogeneous crew, many of you, I know, graduated from college in recent years.

Most of you were ushered off those leafy campuses (or their urban equivalents) with due pomp and ceremony, and plenty of what passes for inspiration. I'm ready to bet, though, that in those ceremonies no one bothered to mention that you (and your parents) had essentially been conned, snookered out of tens of thousands of dollars on the implicit promise that such an "education" would usher you into a profession or at least a world of decent jobs.

As you know better than I, you got soaked by the educational equivalent of a subprime mortgage. As a result, many of you were sent out of those gates and directly - as they say of houses that are worth less than what's owed on their mortgages - underwater.

You essentially mortgaged your lives for an education and left college weighed down with so much debt - a veritable trillion-dollar bubble of it - that you may never straighten up, not if the 1% have their way. Worse yet, you were sent into a world just then being stripped of its finery, where decent jobs were going the way of TVs with antennas and rotary telephones.

Lost worlds and Utopia
Here's a weakness of mine: graduation speeches. I like their form, if not their everyday reality, and so from time to time give them unasked at, speeches for those of us already out in the world and seldom credited for never stopping learning.

In this case, though, don't think of me as your graduation speaker. Think of this as a self-graduation. And this time, it's positives all the way to the horizon. After all, you haven't incurred a cent of debt, because you and those around you in Zuccotti Park are giving the classes you took. First, you began educating yourself in the realities of post-meltdown America, and then, miraculously enough, you went and educated many of the rest of us as well.

You really did change the conversation in this country in a heartbeat from, as Joshua Holland wrote at, "a relentless focus on the deficit to a discussion of the real issues facing Main Street: the lack of jobs... spiraling inequality, cash-strapped American families' debt-loads, and the pernicious influence of money in politics that led us to this point" - and more amazingly yet, at no charge.

In other words, I'm not here, like the typical graduation speaker, to inspire you. I'm here to tell you how you've inspired me. In the four decades between the moment when I imagined I put everything on the line and the moment when you actually did, wealth and income inequalities exploded in ways unimaginable in the 1960s. For ordinary Americans, the numbers that translated into daily troubles began heading downhill in the 1990s, the Clinton years, and only a fraudulent bubble in home values kept the good times rolling until 2008.

Then, of course, it burst big time. But you know all this. Who knows better than you the story of the financial and political flim-flam artists who brought this country to its knees, made out like bandits, and left the 99% in the dust? Three years of stunned silence followed, as if Americans simply couldn't believe it, couldn't take it in - if, that is, you leave aside the Tea Party movement.

But give those aging, angry whites credit. They were the first to cry out for a lost world (while denouncing some of the same bank bailouts and financial shenanigans you have). That was before, in a political nano-second, the phrase "Tea Party" was essentially trademarked, occupied, and made the property of long-time Republican operatives, corporate cronies, and various billionaires.

That won't happen to you. Among your many strengths, the lack of a list of demands that so many of your elders have complained about, your inclusiveness, and your utopian streak - the urge to create a tiny, thoroughly democratic new society near the beating financial heart of the old one - will make you far harder to co-opt. Add in the fact that, while any movement taking on inequity and unfairness is political, you are also, in the usual sense of the term, a strikingly apolitical movement. Again, this is, to my mind, part of your strength. It ensures that neither the Democratic Party nor left sects will find it easy to get a toehold in your environs. Yes, in the long run, if you last and grow (as I suspect you will), a more traditional kind of politics may form around you, but it's unlikely to abscond with you as those Republican operatives did with the Tea Party.

Actuarially, the Tea Party is a movement of the past in mourning for a lost world and the good life that went with it. All you have to do is look at the sudden, post-2008 burst of poverty in the suburbs, that golden beacon of the post-World War II American dream, to know that something unprecedented is underway.

Once upon a time, no one imagined that an American world of home ownership and good jobs, of cheap gas and cheaper steaks, would ever end. Nonetheless, it was kneecapped over the last few decades and it's not coming back. Not for you or your children, no matter what happens economically.

So don't kid yourself: whether you know it or not, young as you are, you're in mourning, too, or Occupy Wall Street wouldn't exist. Unlike the Tea Party, however, you are young, which means that you're also a movement of the unknown future, which is your strength.

Self-education U
Let me fess up here to my fondness for libraries (even though I find their silence unnerving). As a child, I lived in the golden age of your lost world, but as something of an outsider. The 1950s weren't a golden age for my family, and they weren't particularly happy years for me. I was an only child, and my escape was into books. Less than a block from where I lived was a local branch of the New York City public library and, in those days before adult problems had morphed into TV fare, I repaired there, like Harriet the Spy, to get the scoop on the mysterious world of grown-ups. (The only question then was whether the librarian would let you out of the children's section; mine did.)

I remembering hauling home piles of books, including John Toland's But Not in Shame, Isaac Asimov's space operas, and Desiree (a racy pop novel about a woman Napoleon loved), often with little idea what they were and no one to guide me. On the shelves in my small room were yet more books, including most of the Harvard Five Foot Shelf, a collection of 51 classic volumes. My set had been rescued from somebody's flooded basement, their spines slightly warped and signs of mildew on some of them. But I can still remember taking them off my shelf with a certain wonder: Dana's Two Years Before the Mast (thrilling!), Darwin's The Origins of the Species (impenetrable), Homer's The Odyssey (Cyclops!), and so on.

Books - Johannes Gutenberg's more than 500-year-old "technology" - were my companions, my siblings, and also my building blocks. To while away the hours, I would pile them up to create the landscape - valleys and mountains - within which my toy soldiers fought their battles. So libraries and self-education, that's a program in my comfort zone.

Though my route seemed happenstantial at the time, it's probably no accident that, 35 years ago, I ended up as a book editor on the periphery of mainstream publishing and stayed there. After all, it was a paid excuse to retreat to my room with books (to-be) and, if not turn them into mountains and valleys, then at least transform them into a kind of eternal play and self-education.

All of which is why, on arriving for the first time at your encampment in Zuccotti Park and taking that tiny set of steps down from Broadway, I was moved to find myself in, of all things, an informal open-air library. The People's Library no less, even if books sorted by category in plastic bins on tables isn't exactly the way I once imagined The Library.
Still, it couldn't be more appropriate for Occupy Wall Street, with its long, open-air meetings, its invited speakers and experts, its visiting authors, its constant debates and arguments, that feeling when you're there that you can talk to anyone.

Like the best of library systems, it's a Self-Education U, or perhaps a modern version of the Chautauqua adult education movement. Your goal, it seems, is to educate yourselves and then the rest of us in the realities and inequities of 21st-century American life.

Still, for the advanced guard of your electronic generation to

commit itself so publicly to actual books, ones you can pick up, leaf through, hand to someone else - that took me by surprise. Those books, all donations, are flowing in from publishers (including Metropolitan Books, where I work, and Haymarket Books, which publishes me), private bookstores, authors, and well, just about anyone. As I stood talking with some of you, the librarians of Zuccotti Park, I watched people arriving, unzipping backpacks, and handing over books.

Of the thousands of volumes you now have, some, as in any library, are indeed taken out and returned, but some not. As Bill Scott, a librarian sitting in front of a makeshift "reference table" in muffler and jacket told me, "The books are donated to us and we donate them to others."

A youthful-looking 42, Scott, an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, is spending his sabbatical semester camped out in the park. His book, Troublemakers, is just about to be published and he's bubbling with enthusiasm. He's ordered a couple of copies to donate himself. "It's my first book ever. I've never even held it in my hands. To shelve the first copy in the People's Library, it's like all the strands of my life coming together!"

Think of it: Yes, your peers in the park were texting and tweeting and streaming up a video storm. They were social networking circles around the 1%, the mayor, the police, and whoever else got in their way. Still, there you all were pushing a technology already relegated by many to the trash bin of cultural history. You were betting your bottom dollar on the value to your movement of real books, the very things that kept me alive as a kid, that I've been editing, publishing, and even writing for more than three decades.

'I wanted something productive to do'
That library - in fact, those libraries at Occupy Boston, Occupy Washington, Occupy San Francisco, and other encampments - may be the least commented upon part of your movement. And yet, you set your library up not as an afterthought or a sideline, but almost as soon as you began imagining a society worth living in, a little world of your own. You didn't forget the books, which means you didn't forget about education. I mean, a real education.
This was both generous of you and, quite simply, inspiring. Who would have expected that the old-fashioned, retro book would be at the heart of this country's great protest movement of a tarnished new century?

When asked how the library began, librarian "Scales" (aka Sam Smith), an unemployed, 20-year-old blond dancer still in shorts on a chilly fall day, responded, "Nobody knows exactly who started it. It was like an immaculate conception. It was just here." If the movement itself were a book, that might stand as its epigraph. Even if Occupy Wall Street indeed did start somewhere (as did its library), the way it has exploded globally in a historical nanosecond, does give it exactly the feeling Scales described.

When asked why he himself was here, he simply said, "I wanted something productive to do."

In an economy where "production" is gone with the wind, that makes the deepest sense to me. Who doesn't want to be productive in life? Why should a generation that Wall Street and Washington seem perfectly happy to sideline not want to produce something of their own, as they now have?

I was no less touched, while listening in on a long meeting of the Library Working Group one Saturday afternoon amid the chaos of Zuccotti Park - crowd noise all around us, a band playing nearby - when the woman standing next to me interrupted your meeting. She identified herself as an elected legislator from an upstate New York county who had driven down to see Occupy Wall Street for herself. She just wanted you, the librarians, to know that she supported what you were doing and that, while her county was still funding its libraries, it was getting ever harder to do so, given strapped state and local budgets.

In other words, as education is priced out of the reach of so many Americans and in many communities library hours are cut back or local libraries shut down, you've opened for business.

Here are just a few things that you, the librarians of Zuccotti Park, said to me:

Bill Scott: "Part of the reason we're down here is because we live in a society which promotes the idea that education should be bought and sold on the open market. We want to establish it as a human right. What the People's Library proves is that books belong to the people, as does education. People with student-loan debt find their freedom and options limited. It severely limited my options. I'm still crawling out from under a ton of debt."

Zachary Loeb, who in what passes for real life is an actual librarian: "I'm working part time, so I wake up every morning and spend two hours sending out resumes, but the work isn't out there. My training's in archiving, but nobody's hiring. I got a degree in library science, not philosophy, which I wanted to go into, to be on a job track. Obviously, I'm not. Lots of people are here because the work situation is abysmal.

"I've been an activist for a long time. I read [the magazine] Adbusters and saw the call to occupy Wall Street. I was down here on the first day. I think we've changed the conversation in this country. We've given people permission to stand up, to talk to each other, test their ideas out against each other, and consider decisions that shouldn't simply be made by the powerful in Washington."

Frances Mercanti-Anthony, out-of-work actress ("my last play closed in August") and comic writer: "Knowledge is the greatest weapon we have. What we're doing is offering knowledge to people who have been disenfranchised. Our online database of books [in the People's Library] stands as a great symbol of the movement, of democracy, of knowledge, and sharing."

Lighting up the landscape
Here's what you've done: your anger and your thoughtfulness - what you don't know and don't mind not knowing, as well as what you do know - has lit up a previously dismal landscape. And every move made by those who want to get rid of you has only spurred your growth.

I'm a pretty levelheaded guy, but call me a little starry-eyed right now and I don't mind at all. It's something to feel this way for the first time in I don't know how long, and whatever happens from now on, I can thank you for that - and for the sudden sense of possibility that goes with it.

Only six weeks into your movement, with so little known about where you're going or what will happen, it's undoubtedly early for graduation ceremonies. Still, let's face it, you've been growing up fast and, for all we know, these could have been the six weeks that changed the world. Anyway, there's no limit out here, where you can make your own traditions, on how often you can graduate yourself.

So I say, go for it. Mark your progress thus far. Self-graduate. You don't need me. I'll stay here and borrow a book from your library - and later, when I'm done, just as you suggest, I'll donate it to someone else.

Shoulder your handmade signs. Lift them high. Chant your chants. Let the drummers play as you march. Head out toward Wall Street, toward the future, looking back over your shoulder, remembering exactly what your elders squandered, the world they left you, the debts they piled on you. And the next time they start telling you what you should do with your movement, take it with a grain of salt. The future, after all, is yours, not theirs. It may be the only thing you have, exactly because it's so beautifully unknown, so deeply unpredictable. It's your advantage over them because it's one thing that Washington and Wall Street have no more way of controlling than you do.

In a world of increasing misery, you carry not just your debts, but ours too. It's a burden no one should shoulder, especially with winter bearing down, and that 1% of adults waiting for the cold to make tempers short, hoping you'll begin to fall out, grow discouraged, and find life too miserable to bear, hoping that a New York winter will freeze you out of your own movement.

I take heart that last weekend, on a beautiful fall day, you, the librarians, were already discussing the need to buy "Alaska-style" sleeping bags and a generator which would give you heat; that you, like the mayor, are looking ahead and planning for winter. This, after all, could be your Valley Forge. As actress-librarian Mercanti-Anthony told me: "We have the whole world behind us at this point. We want to stand our ground for the long haul. If we can make it through the winter, this occupation is here to stay."

And she just might be right. So head out now, and whatever you do, don't go home. It's underwater anyway, and we need you. We really do. The world's in a hell of a mess, but what a time for you to take it in your own hands and do your damnedest....

Sarkozy, Obama and the Enlightenment, NATO settles down in Libya...

Sarkozy, Obama and the Enlightenment, NATO settles down in Libya...

Without using physical violence, can you make someone spit out the chewing gum he is so obviously enjoying?Russia has shown you can. That is how its diplomacy in the UN Security Council on Thursday over Resolution 1973 on Libya could be understood.

Russia’s formidable envoy to the Nato [North Atlantic Treaty Organization], Dmitry Rogozin, who has a way with words that only gifted politicians have, said once in August that the western alliance was using R 1973 like chewing gum to deliberately display its disregard for the UN SC. The R 1973 provided for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya and the West went ahead to bomb the daylight out of Libya killing thousands of innocent civilians and ending up sodomizing Muammar Gaddafi with a knife before putting out his miserable life. (Don’t watch those 28 horrific pictures unless you have a stony heart.)
By the way, I begin to wonder what is this famous “Enlightenment” in the history of western civilisation was all about when they could perpetrate such barbarism? Isn’t Enlightenment a myth? Did they ever really come out of the Middle Ages - Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama, et al?
Anyway, Russian diplomacy in the post-Soviet period never served the cause of peace so brilliantly as when it tabled a resolution in the UN SC calling for an end to the Nato mission in Libya. The initiative was taken at the nick of time when Nato was gearing up to prolong its mission in Libya on one pretext or the other and was arranging the charade of political legitimacy for it by making it look like the Libyan people collectively desired the presence of the western troops.
The Russian move was impeccably logical since the Libyan skies are now free of Gaddafi’s killer-aircraft, after all, and there is no more need of a ‘free-fly zone’. Funnily, the Russian resolution was passed unanimously. Sarkozy and Obama were left with no alternative. Now, isn’t that creditable - to get the unwilling bully take out the chewing gum he is enjoying by himself, and actually made to use use his own manicured finger to do it?
In geopolitical terms, this puts Nato in an awkward spot. Its whole agenda to spread wings and move into Africa was predicated on consolidating its toehold in Libya. So, will Washington and Brussels give up so easily? One thing is clear: Russia and China won’t fall into a R-1973 trap in the Syrian context.
By M K Bhadrakumar

The role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Libya opens a new chapter in international security. Its so-called Operation Unified Protector (OUP) was shrouded in controversy insofar as it unilaterally insisted that its Libyan intervention enjoyed the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, while Russia and China disputed the alliance's assumption that Resolution 1973 mandated the kinds of activities that the alliance undertook in Libya.

The way NATO is ending OUP is equally controversial. The announcement by NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels on Friday to this effect contains many nuances and sets not a few precedents for the future in regional conflicts such as Syria.

First and foremost, Rasmussen's statement insisted that OUP

was in compliance of the "historic mandate" given by the UN Security Council to "protect the people of Libya". But it pointedly failed to take note of the unanimous resolution passed by the Security Council in New York only the previous day calling for the lifting of the "no-fly zone" over Libya. In essence, Rasmussen's statement stressed that the alliance suo moto took the decision to end the operation for Libya on October 31.

Indeed, right up to that cut-off date on October 31, he insisted haughtily that NATO "will continue to monitor the situation. And if needed, we will continue to respond to threats to civilians."

Playing both ways
On the other hand, Russia, which tabled Thursday's Security Council resolution (2016) maintains that the "ban on the use of Libyan airspace has long since become an anachronism ... [and] unilateral action in this area is unacceptable and in contradiction with Resolution 1973."

However, the United States ambassador at the UN, Susan Rice, firmly countered the Russian accusation. She said on Thursday:
And indeed, it was very clear, as we discussed and negotiated Resolution 1973, what the authorization of the use of force to protect civilians would entail. And we discussed it very concretely and plainly - we described thoroughly that this would entail active use of air power and air strikes ... And so there was no question that the members of the Security Council knew what they were voting for.

Now, undoubtedly, as this unfolded and occurred over the course of some months, there were those that found increasingly uncomfortable what it was they had agreed to. But to suggest that somehow they were misled is false.
Rice has a point. After having acquiesced with Resolution 1973 and unable or unwilling (or both) to make the Libyan crisis a factor in their wide-ranging relationship of cooperation-cum-competition with the US, Russia and China merely sat on the fence dangling their feet and resorted to seeking some propaganda mileage. A feature of the Libyan case is that Russia (and to an extent China) played it both ways.

The curious part is that Russia tabled its draft for Resolution 2016 knowing beforehand that the Libya Contact Group (LCG) was already in the process of winding down NATO operations and had taken a decision to terminate the OUP by end-October. (Rasmussen spoke the truth.)

In short, Russia was doing some timely grandstanding, but was actually harmonizing its diplomatic posturing with that of the LCG. From NATO's viewpoint, therefore, Resolution 2016 is a bit of a sideshow, as it were. The alliance cannot be faulted, either, since Resolution 2016 turned out to be, finally, a joint Russian-British resolution. (So much for the much-vaunted Russia-China "coordination" in the Security Council.)

Equally, at the time of Resolution 1973, there were pretensions of something in the nature of a common BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) position on Libya. (Brazil, India and South Africa also happen to be represented at the Security Council at present.)

Simply put, a chip "BIS" has dissociated from BRICS, as the "BIS" countries felt disillusioned that ultimately the DNA of Russia and China is of the permanent five of the Security Council rather than of BRICS.

The "BIS" have now decided to act on their own within their own exclusive forum known as IBSA on the situation around Syria rather than be the poodles of Russia and China. Ironically, Russia used to be the most vocal enthusiast of the BRICS until not long ago. Libya may have lethally undermined the BRICS's credibility to emerge as a forceful political voice on the international stage. BRICS will need time to resurrect, if at all, and may remain a mere "talking shop" for the foreseeable future.

Having said that, Russia's motives in showing such day-to-day pragmatism over the Libyan problem cannot be faulted. It acted all through in its self-interest. And Russia now wants to leave behind the Resolution 1973 controversy as a small relic of big-power diplomacy in the cloistered chambers in Turtle Bay and, perhaps, may keep revisiting it now and then if the need arises for propaganda.

But essentially, Moscow doesn't want to complicate its dealings with the new Libyan regime or with the West or with the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf that ganged up with the Western powers. (Russia's ruling party turned down a move for the Duma (parliament) to adopt a resolution condemning the gruesome murder of Muammar Gaddafi.)

Shades of Abyssinia
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in fact, left Moscow at the weekend to participate in the first ministerial meeting of the Russia-Gulf Cooperation Council (Russia-GCC) Strategic Dialogue taking place in the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the cooperation with the GCC met Moscow's "long-term interests, and helps strengthen the position of our country in the Arab Muslim world". The spokesman added that cooperation with the GCC was "an integral part of Russian activity in the Islamic sector", advancing "business interests in the Islamic world and attracting its funds into the Russian economy".

In sum, Rasmussen's statement is spot on while suggesting implicitly that important decisions on Libya are no longer going to be taken in the UN Security Council but will be something between "democratic Libya" and NATO. He put it bluntly, "And NATO stands ready to help, if needed and requested, to help Libyans reform the security and defense institutions that all democracies need to remain free and safe."

Unsurprisingly, the chairman of the National Transitional Council in Triploi, Mustafa Abdul-Jallil, has demanded that he would like NATO to continue its activities in Libya "at least up to the end of the year".

What is in the cards is that NATO forces will remain in Libya for a long time to come. In immediate terms, no matter Resolution 2016, NATO warplanes will continue to patrol Libyan skies, while NATO trainers will create the Libyan armed forces, which will adopt the alliance's standards in training and will buy weapons (with its petrodollars) that make them "inter-operable" with NATO.

All this goes parallel with the creation of a new regime in Tripoli. For all purposes, Libya is becoming a NATO protectorate.

The Libyan experience becomes the first test case of NATO's new "strategic concept" adopted at the Lisbon summit one year ago, which turned the alliance into a new international security presence in the 21st century capable and willing to intervene in global "hotspots" with or without a mandate from the UN.

Thus, what we may expect in Libya is that technically, NATO operations cease on October 31, but nothing actually changes on the ground. The mission will be labeled as some sort of mission of the Friends of Libya coalition. (In any case, the NATO mission in Libya itself is a novel experience, being a "coalition of the willing" among member-countries.)

Behind-the-scenes parleys are going on to put together a band of countries, including the US, which will continue with the NATO mission under a new rubric. It could well be that the flag-carrier of the coalition may be a little, non-controversial fellow like Qatar, which is neither a Western country nor a NATO power nor a big power and doesn't evoke strong feelings on the political or ideological spectrum.

From the Western viewpoint, what matters is that Qatar is a Muslim Arab country, whose regime has a strong congruence of interests with the West in fashioning the transition in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East, and is willing to continue to generously bankroll the transition in Tripoli.

Looking back, what has been unfolding in Libya is of deep significance for the international system. There was nothing that Russia or China or the BRICS or the IBSA or the world community as a whole (minus the Friends of Libya) could do in what is often called the "multi-polar world" to arrest NATO in its tracks in Libya. A strong precedent has been created.

For historians, the Libyan case file presents a comparative study of "great-power diplomacy" and cynical appeasement of aggression. In many ways, the Libyan war harks back to the Abyssinia crisis of 1934. The big question is, if appeasement over Abyssinia ultimately didn't arrest the aggressor (Italy) from future excursions, can it be otherwise now as we turn eyes toward Syria?

UNDER WESTERN EYES....- Interests of energy security should drive India’s foreign policy...

UNDER WESTERN EYES....- Interests of energy security should drive India’s foreign policy...

PAKISTAN = Anglo-Saxon project gone rogue....
S.L. Rao

American policy in Asia has been governed by the desire to control hydrocarbon reserves, protect Israel at all costs, contain terrorism of the Islamic kind, and act as a check on Chinese expansionism. India’s policies at last appear to be moving in the direction of our self-interest, though we continue to be persuaded by propaganda of Western governments and media against many hydrocarbon rich Muslim countries and those who are apparent threats to Israel. We supported the invasion of Iraq. Under American pressure, we have kept our trade and investment relations with Iran at a low level and dithered on the pipeline to carry Iranian oil to India. So far we have not actively supported the invasion of Libya and abstained from voting in the United Nations on the preparations for attacking Syria.

We should be clear that our interests and those of the United States of America and European countries in West and Central Asia are not the same and we should not allow ourselves to join them in policies hostile to the region. Our interest must be to develop close relations with all neighbours, especially with the Muslim countries. That many of them own vast hydrocarbon reserves that are essential for our economic development is an advantage, along with the solidarity that we would show as the second most populated Muslim country. Access to Central Asian hydrocarbon resources located in moderate Muslim countries demands closer relations of India with Iran and Afghanistan that can give access.

We made a mistake in not opposing the Western invasion of hydrocarbon-rich Libya by North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces supported by the US and the subsequent murder of Muammar Gaddafi. The opposition to Syria is not so much about eliminating an oppressive dictatorship as about curbing any threat to Israel. American policy is not about eliminating dictators or preventing the exploitation of the people and the denial of their human rights. If that were the case, Saudi Arabia, the most autocratic and repressive of all these countries, and an exporter of Wahabi fundamentalist Islam and terrorism, should have been the first to see change at the barrel of European and American guns. But the Americans own Saudi Arabia and have no interest in changing its rulers.

India has, in past years, passively bought Western media stories about these countries and, in the process, strained its relations with them. We had excellent relations with Iran. Iraq under Sadam Hussein was close to India. Libya spoke for Pakistan but was important as a hydrocarbons supplier and the employer of thousands of Indian workers. India’s interest in these countries should have been in building our trade, investment and energy security, not kowtowing to American wishes.

Indeed, Iraq and Libya were the most liberal Muslim countries, with considerable freedom for women, education and social services. (In the Shah Bano case, Iraq was appreciatively quoted in our court for its attitude to women.) So is Syria a modern country in social policy. Iran is a theocratic state and has had problems with its neighbours. But Iran is also our gateway to Afghanistan, now that the die has been cast and India is keen to exercise influence there and get a share of its reportedly vast mineral resources.

The Americans would like to destabilize Syria because Syria is a threat to Israel and also controls Lebanon through the Hezbollah. Syria is also an advanced Islamic country with more human development and rights than, say, Saudi Arabia. India appears at last to have recognized that the US’s interests are not congruent to ours and has not supported the American attempt to destabilize Syria.

We need to be close to Muslim countries. Their energy riches, geographical proximity to us, trade and investment potential, as well as religion, make them important for India. We must protect our interests, not those of the US. We do not have to join the West in condemning rulers of Islamic countries for being undemocratic, not respecting human rights or rule of law, for keeping their women subjugated, and so on, even if all that were the case.

India also has to review and improve relations with its immediate Islamic neighbours, Bangladesh and Pakistan. With Bangladesh, minor border disputes appear to have been resolved, but not on river waters, which might be expedited after the impending Bengal municipal elections. Bangladesh has potential for gas exploration and providing gas imports to India.

Pakistan is also a reservoir of energy and other mineral resources in Baluchistan and Sindh — coal, gas, limestone, copper and others, apart from being a route to Afghanistan and Iran. India could help Pakistan in resource exploration, exploitation and as market. Cement factories we set up in Baluchistan could bring cement to Punjab. Adequate road and rail communications must be developed to bring them into India but the situation is a win-win one with Pakistan getting sizeable investment and employment and India considerable additions to its energy and minerals from a short distance.

Pakistan is also important as a transit route for oil and gas from the rich Central Asian countries and from Iran. It is essential that India have a friendly Afghanistan and Pakistan if these resources are to come to India. These overland imports will be much cheaper than if they had to come by sea on ships or through undersea pipelines. As a transit route Pakistan also stands to gain greatly from rental income from India. Importing oil from Iran can also serve as security against Pakistan interfering with supplies. The effect of these supplies will transform the energy economy of India. These considerations must drive all our disputes with Pakistan.

This logic must extend to other developing countries — among the Bric nations and the whole of Africa and Southeast Asia. It is good that some action has begun but our foreign service must be trained in trade, investment and energy issues.

We must not be mere followers of Western policies, primarily the US, and Western media propaganda. Our vital interest is to improve future oil and gas supplies from countries in our neighbourhood. Since many of the nations are Muslim with a history of anti-Israel feeling, we must ensure that our relations with Israel are not overly publicized. We do not have to join the West in condemning rulers of Islamic countries for being undemocratic, whether or not such is the situation. We have made a beginning recently by not voting for the resolution condemning Syria. We should have done the same with Libya and prevented Gadaffi’s murder. A Libyan government that is overly dependent on European countries and the US may not be in our economic interest.

At the same time we must have an active blue water Indian navy in the Arabian Sea. Asia, especially South and West Asia, and Africa, should be important postings for anyone who wants to rise in our foreign service. Energy cells must be created in each embassy that will constantly survey and report opportunities for India. Private investment must get all possible help in acquiring assets and setting up refineries, fertilizer plants, petrochemical plants and so on in oil rich countries.

Energy and resource security must be the driver of our foreign policy, not moral preaching or subservience to Western interests.

The author is former director general, National Council for Applied Economic Research .
The more I try to learn about South Asia, the more I am convinced that Pakistan is an Anglo-Saxon project gone rogue! (something like!

Geopolitics of Durand Line, Questionable status as international border....

by G. Parthasarathy AS the “end game” of American withdrawal from combat operations in Afghanistan begins, there is increasing resort to bluff, bravado and bluster challenging American power and influence, in Pakistani pronouncements. The Pakistan Army’s grandiose schemes for “strategic depth” in Afghanistan have been premised on ensuring that Afghanistan is ruled by an internationally isolated Pariah regime, which would result in it becoming a de facto client state of Pakistan. Given its pretensions to power and influence in Afghanistan, the brief period of Taliban rule was regarded by the Pakistan military as its golden age. But behind this bluster and bravado lies a key strategic calculation. A Pariah regime in Kabul would have neither the influence nor power to aggressively assert Afghanistan’s historical claims to territories seized from defeated Afghan rulers by Imperial British power. No Afghan Pashtun ruler has ever accepted the Durand Line, which divided and separated Pashtuns between Afghanistan and British India, as its international border with Pakistan.

The Prime Minister’s Special envoy to Af-Pak, Mr Satinder Lambah, has recently published a study of the Imperial machinations that led to the Durand Line being imposed as the “frontier line” between British India and Afghanistan in 1893 following negotiations between Afghanistan’s then Amir, Abdur Rahman Khan, and Sir Mortimer Durand, the then Foreign Secretary of British India. With Tsarist Russia extending its empire across Central Asia and into Persia, the 1893 agreement also set the limits of British territorial ambitions in the “Great Game,” after Imperial Britain and Tsarist Russia had agreed on the limits of Russia’s sphere of influence in 1873.

Sandwiched between an expansionist Russia and Imperial British power, the hapless Afghans had no choice but to accept the inevitable. The British sought to widen the terms of their rule over what later became parts of the Northwest Frontier and Baluchistan provinces of Pakistan. The “frontier line”’ became the “frontier” after the then Amir, Amanullah Khan, was compelled to accept a peace treaty with the British in 1919. But the flames of Pashtun nationalism could not be extinguished. No Afghan ruler ever accepted the legitimacy of the division of historical and traditional Pashtun homelands.

The first time that the Durand Line was referred to as an “international boundary” was in a statement by Pakistan in 1947. The British Government, thereafter, referred to the Durand Line as the “International Frontier” between Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1950. This was not surprising. Egged on by its erstwhile Governor of the Northwest Frontier Province, Sir Olaf Caroe, the British, who had developed a distinct distaste for Prime Minister Nehru’s left-oriented nonalignment, decided to adopt a pro-Pakistani tilt. Caroe, who was an ardent admirer of Jinnah, persuaded American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that it was essential for the Western allies to support Pakistan as a Muslim state which was to be designated to safeguard Western access to the “wells of power” — the oilfields of the Persian Gulf.

The Afghans held that the disputed Pashtun region should not only have been given the option of joining either India or Pakistan, but also the additional option of becoming an independent state joining Afghanistan through a referendum. The Afghan position remains that the areas that historically and legally formed a part of Afghanistan were forcibly taken away between 1879 and 1921 and subsequently made a part of Pakistan. Afghanistan’s claim that territories extending till the River Indus constituted its frontier, together with its demand for the inclusion of the port of Karachi in Afghanistan, was voiced in secret negotiations with Nazi Germany. Thereafter, in November 1944, the Afghans urged the British that Pashtun tribal areas under British rule should be given the choice of independence or reuniting with their “motherland”. They also urged the British that Afghanistan should be given a “corridor” to the sea through Baluchistan. The Afghan National Assembly passed a resolution in July 1949, rejecting all “unequal” treaties signed with the British and denouncing the description of the Durand Line as the international frontier with Pakistan. The Afghan government also staunchly opposed the grant of UN membership to Pakistan.

Under pressure from Afghanistan over the Durand Line, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto retaliated by inviting the fundamentalist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to organise cross-border insurgency to destabilise the Daoud regime in Afghanistan. Gen Zia-ul-Haq thereafter used the opportunity of the ill-advised Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to put together an alliance of Wahabi-oriented parties, to wage an armed struggle against the Soviets and, with Western backing, to seize power in Afghanistan. According to a German journalist who interviewed him the day before he died, Zia was beset with delusions of grandeur and spoke of Pakistani influence extending from the ramparts of Delhi’s Red Fort, across Afghanistan, to Central Asia. Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid asserts: “Zia’s vision of a Pakistani influenced region extending into Central Asia depended on an undefined border with Afghanistan, so that the army could justify interference in that country and beyond, as a defined frontier would have entailed recognising international law and the sovereignty of Afghanistan.”

Pakistan thereafter entered into a dangerous game of imperial overreach into Afghanistan and Central Asia, by challenging the international community, through support for what Ahmed Rashid describes as “surrogate regimes such as the Taliban”. It has left virtually no space for backing off on this score. While the Punjabi-dominated Pakistani military may have brutalised lightly armed Baluchis and Bangladeshis, it fears the Pashtuns. General Kayani thus has a difficult choice. If he chooses to try and fulfil Zia’s ambitions, he will have to confront American and Western wrath amidst concern in Iran, Central Asia and Russia. Even if the Taliban succeed in capturing substantial parts of the Pashtun areas in Southern Afghanistan, they will find that unlike in the past they will be faced with determined resistance from the non-Pashtuns in the country, backed by Western powers, Russia, Iran and the neighbouring Central Asian states.

In the ensuing turmoil, the already dwindling writ of the Pakistani state in its Pakhtunkhwa Province and tribal areas will be further eroded. We will then have a de facto Talibanised “Pakhtunistan” on both sides of the Durand Line. Have General Kayani and his Corps Commanders seriously thought through what would happen as a consequence of their ill-advised swagger, bluff and bluster? I think not. Historically, apart from the foray of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s brilliant Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa, Punjab’s rulers have never prevailed over the Pashtuns. General Kayani would be well advised to remember this.

Reggie Sinha

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Manama, Bahrain, the 'Capital of Arab Culture' for 2012'....

Manama, Bahrain, the 'Capital of Arab Culture' for 2012'....LOL, can't Stop from LOL!!!

The real "Culture Gem" is the ultra-Zioconned Wahhabi crazies kingdom in KSA...and the ZIO_GCC band of thugs... LOL

A real gold-mine of informatiton....and Dis-information....LOL :

US and Islamists: It takes two to tango

US, UK, France and Islamists: It takes two to tango...

Brahma Chellaney

When Libya’s interim government announced the official “ liberation” of the country on October 23, it also declared that a system based on the Islamic sharia, including polygamy, will replace the dictatorship that Col Muammar Qaddafi ran for 42 years.

“We as a Muslim nation have taken Islamic sharia as the source of legislation, therefore any law that contradicts the principles of Islam is legally nullified,” declared interim leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

Swapping one evil for another may seem a cruel political comedown after seven months of relentless NATO air strikes in the name of promoting democracy in Libya - an air war that enabled the ragtag rebel militias to triumph but left a vast trail of death and destruction.

The Western powers that militarily effected the regime change in Libya, in fact, have not sought to stop its new rulers from establishing a theocratic system founded on Islamic jurisprudence. For these powers, such a political turn is an unavoidable price to pay to have their own men in power. The Islamist embrace indeed helps protect the credibility of men who otherwise may be seen as foreign puppets in their own society.

This is the same reason why the US, Britain and France have condoned the rulers of the oil sheikhdoms for their longstanding alliance with radical clerics. For example, the US-backed House of Saud not only practices the century-old political tradition of Wahhabi Islam but also exports this fringe form of Islam, with the result that the more liberal Islamic traditions elsewhere are being gradually snuffed out. The plain fact is that the US-led strategy is driven by narrowly defined geopolitical interests. The imperative to have pliant regimes in oil-rich countries trumps other considerations.

With the US support they enjoy, the most-tyrannical regimes – the monarchies – have been able to ride out the Arab Spring, emerging virtually unscathed. Libya has the world’s largest reserves of light sweet crude – the top-notch oil that American and European refineries prefer – and the NATO-scripted regime change there was clearly not about ushering in an era of liberal democracy. Having been born in blood, the new Libya faces uncertain times. The only certain element is that its new rulers will remain beholden to those that helped install them.

More fundamentally, America’s troubling ties with Islamist rulers and groups was cemented in the 1980s when the Reagan administration openly employed Islam as an ideological tool to spur the spirit of jihad against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan . It was at a White Houseceremony attended by some “holy warriors” from the Afghanistan-Pakistan belt in the mid-1980 s that Reagan proclaimed the mujahideen as the “moral equivalent of America’s Founding Fathers.” Two such moral equivalents, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, later became America’s nemesis.

Make no mistake: international terrorism and the modern-day Frankenstein’s monsters are the haunting byproducts of the war against atheism and communism that the US was supposed to have won. Yet the lessons from that war have already been forgotten, including the need to keep the focus on long-term goals and not be carried away by political expediency. The current attempt to strike a Faustian bargain with the Taliban, for example, ignores the very lesson from the creation of this evil force.

It has been argued by exponents of the US policy approach that because a war runs on expediency, with strange bedfellows involved as partners, unsavory allies are unavoidable. Paradoxically, the US practice of propping up malleable but Islamist rulers in the Middle East creates a street-level situation not only laden with strong anti-US sentiment but also support for more authentically Islamist and independent forces. So, if elections are held, it is such autonomous Islamists that often emerge as winners, as the diverse cases of Gaza and Tunisiaattest.

Let’s be clear: The global fight against terrorism can succeed only by ensuring that states do not harbour militants or contribute in any way to the rise of virulent Islamic fundamentalism extolling violence as a sanctified religious tool. Yet today, history is in danger of repeating itself.

The brutal killing of Gaddafi by his NATO-backed captors and the macabre public display of his body for several days were redolent of the manner former Afghan President Najibullah was dragged out of the UN compound in Kabul by the Taliban in 1996 and hung from a traffic barricade. What followed was unending bloodletting. So, it is fair to ask: Will Libya become another jihadist haven?

Brahma Chellaney is the author of ‘Asian Juggernaut’ and ‘Water: Asia’s New Battleground’

By: Peter Chamberlin

By following the trail of militant terrorists US forces and American interests have gained access deep in Central Asia, where oil companies have had little luck gaining a foothold on their own.

To students of American foreign policy in Afghanistan and throughout the world, it is common knowledge that the United States military and Central Intelligence often act in a manner that is contradictory to the words of American leaders. To those who care to look behind the curtain of American duplicity, which casts a veneer of benevolence over our actions, it becomes readily apparent that “Islamic militants” tend to show-up wherever American oil companies have expressed an interest. America’s historical usage of the same militant groups in the past casts suspicion on their reappearance today, all along the pathway of the projected pipelines.

It is much more than mere serendipity that militant actions usually target American adversaries, such as China, Russia and Iran. In addition, “Islamists” seem to also target disobedient American allies, such as Pakistan, who have fallen out-of-line, or otherwise failed to meet American expectations. Given our use of Islamist militants in Afghanistan to attack Russian forces, as well as in Bosnia, to attack Russia’s allies, the Serbians, it takes a very small leap of the imagination to see that the US is logically supporting the very militants our forces are fighting in the field.

The key to understanding American foreign policy is the Hegelian dialectic—the policy of taking certain actions that will cause reactions that are the polar opposite of what you really claim to wanted in the first place:

“The Hegelian Dialectic is, in short, the critical process by which the ruling elite create a problem, anticipating in advance the reaction that the population will have to the given crisis, and thus conditioning the people that a change is needed. When the population is properly conditioned, the desired agenda of the ruling elite is presented as the solution. The solution isn’t intended to solve the problem, but rather to serve as the basis for a new problem or exacerbate the existing one.”

To study the Afghan Islamists is to conduct a forensic dissection of a psyop. From the very beginning, before the Soviets even invaded, the Afghan revolution was manufactured by a coalition of foreign powers led by the CIA. Even the political form of Wahabi “Islam” which was taught to combatants in local madrassas, using American-created “Islamic” textbooks from the University of Nebraska, was really a deviation from true Islam that incorporated behavioral modification techniques. “Suicide bombers” are a CIA mind-control phenomenon.

All the militant Islamists dance to the Wahabi tune, or that of its closest cousin, the equally bankrupt Deobandi movement. Saudi Arabia spreads this false religion wherever oil and gas fields beckon American corporations. Pakistan merges Wahabbism with the Deobandi faith in its Islamists who receive training in the tribal region. The radicalism that arises thereafter from either branch is the desired bi-product that is sought by American military and intelligence planners. The radicalism and the terrorism which it brings, all in the name of Allah, provide excuses for American military trainers to penetrate targeted nations.

In central Asia, Hizb ut-Tahrir radicalizes young minds and prepares the path for the more radical Wahabi imports. Saudi-built mosques in the former Soviet republics that were previously cleansed of all formal religion by the communist overlords provide very fertile ground where young minds can fill their hunger for both knowledge and religion.

Former government translator Sibel Edmonds recently gave testimony in the court case of Turkish Islamic leader Fetullah Gulen, who was seeking a green card, which confirmed US/Saudi sponsorship of radical mosques and Islamists in central Asia. She described American government documents which she had transcribed during her government service

“Now we come full circle to the current operations in Central Asia which are at the core of the gagging of Sibel Edmonds. As outlined in my recent article, “Court Documents Shed Light on CIA Illegal Operations in Central Asia Using Islam & Madrassas,” the CIA has been funding an illegal covert operation to ‘Islamicize’ the Central Asian region in order to wrest control away from Russia and secure the vast energy resources of the region. The US has been using Turkey as a proxy to carry out this operation, for reasons that Sibelexplained:

Given the history, and the distrust of the West, the US realized that it couldn’t get direct control, and therefore would need to use a proxy to gain control quickly and effectively. Turkey was the perfect proxy; a NATO ally and a puppet regime. Turkey shares the same heritage/race as the entire population of Central Asia, the same language (Turkic), the same religion (Sunni Islam), and of course, the strategic location and proximity.

This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam.

This is why I have been saying repeatedly that these illegal covert operations by the Turks and certain US persons dates back to 1996, and involves terrorist activities, narcotics, weapons smuggling and money laundering, converging around the same operations and involving the same actors.

And I want to emphasize that this is “illegal” because most, if not all, of the funding for these operations is not congressionally approved funding, but it comes from illegal activities.

And one last thing, take a look at the people in the State Secrets Privilege Gallery on my website and you will see how these individuals can be traced to the following; Turkey, Central Asia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – and the activities involving these countries.

As part of this operation, Turkish organizations such as the Gulen ‘movement,’ a $25 billion economic powerhouse, reportedly financed by the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, has been establishing madrassas and mosques across Central Asia – including Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – for the past decade.

The construction and operation of these madrassas and mosques appear to serve a number of purposes:
1. Indoctrination and radicalization of students
2. Providing a front for CIA and State Department-sanctioned ‘teachers’ to operate with the protection of Diplomatic passports.
3. Laundering money for a variety of purposes.”

Thanks to these successful psyops, terrorist drug-runners from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) find more willing recruits than they can employ to sow terror, crime and drug addiction throughout all of the fertile, though uranium rich, Ferghana Valley, which connects to all of the “Stans.”

“The IMU is best understood as an amalgam of personal vendetta, Islamism, drugs, geopolitics, and terrorism…Only the IMU had a network of contacts on all sides of the Afghan conflict, which enabled it to freely move across Afghanistan and Tajikistan unlike any other known organization.”—The Drugs-Crime-Radical Islamist Nexus.

There is every reason to believe that the IMU itself, is a CIA creation. According to the definitive history on this topic, given by author Steve Coll in Ghost Wars,:

CIA Director William Casey, in a move exceeding his authority, decided to extend destabilizing propaganda measures inside the borders of the Soviet Union. To this end, the CIA promoted the Muslim religion in Uzbekistan, by CIA commissioning a translation of the Qu’ran into Uzbek by an Uzbek exile living in Germany, and then commissioning Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence to deliver 5,000 copies.”

If the CIA did, in fact, supply the corrupted Islamic jihadi textbooks to the madrassas where IMU foot soldiers were indoctrinated in Uzbekistan, then it follows that whatever arose from them is also a product of the CIA. At this point, it is necessary to quote from official US military doctrine—from US Air Force doctrine paper Irregular Warfare, under “Support to Insurgencies”–

“Various US government organizations are postured to recruit, organize, train, and advise indigenous guerrilla or partisan forces. These operations usually consist of supplying equipment, training, and advisory assistance to non-state actors. They may also involve US direct-action operations supporting specific campaign goals.”

American military and drug-interdiction missions in hot pursuit of IMU terrorists and drug-dealers provide cover for Special Forces operatives, who scout-out local leadership for further development, or termination. The “Irregular Warfare” document deals with leadership becoming targeted by both drone and PSYOP, as well. The Partnership for Peace programs open the door for an influx of thousands of American and NATO trainers, giving them bases for operations for “direct-action” missions, while it transfers tons of surplus military equipment to oil rich customers and sets the stage for joint military war games.

The new anti-terror training center at Batken, Kyrgyzstan will train the “Scorpion” Special Forces units for drug-interdiction and anti-terrorist operations. Batken is the axis point for American operations, the point where dominion over former Soviet states formally transfers out of Russian hands, into greedy American hands. The Russians passed-up the chance to build a military facility at Batken. IMU terror convinced the Kyrgyz government that the center was needed to deal with IMU terror operations, after 800 IMU agents penetrated the Ferghana Valley:

“The incursions by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in the Batken Oblast of Kyrgyzstan in August 1999 exposed fundamental weaknesses in the Kyrgyz armed forces. Coordinated activities by the groups of armed insurgents confirmed that the state security bodies were unable to cope adequately with the tactics of guerrilla war…Despite the official claims made by the MoD, neither Kyrgyz security nor military units conducted successful combat engagements with the insurgents. This lack of success underscored a number of critical Kyrgyz military shortfalls that hampered their ability to effectively find, fix, and engage the hostile groups”

The recent sudden realignment of Taliban and Pakistani interests (represented in the string of Taliban “arrests”) is intended to provide the US and NATO with an excuse to open this new front in their terror war, by shifting the emphasis to protecting the new Northern Distribution Network (NDN) that parallels anticipated pipeline routes to the irresistable underground wealth that waits to be pumped from underneath the fertile Caspian basin soil. This attempted realignment on interior Asia was only made possible because American and Pakistani leaders decided to take advantage of Pakistan’s continued friendly relations with the Taliban, instead of working at cross-purposes with each other.

Now it is possible to plan for an American “exit from Afghanistan,” which will firmly place total control of Afghanistan back into Pakistan’s hands (if only India and Russia can be persuaded to go along). The sad part of the story is that now, when America needs Indian cooperation more than ever, the David Headley case is threatening to blow Indo-American relations asunder. If possible, America is attempting to allow India limited access to Headley, if it can be done without exposing the American hand behind the Mumbai attack. (SEE: Mumbai Mystery: American Designs on Pakistan and India )

The new Afghan paradigm will free American forces for the central Asian expedition, so that American oil companies can get the oil that everybody will want piped to the outside world. India has a vested interest in making all of this happen.

If all the players really wanted to ensure that the oil and gas flowed out of Asia, then they would now support turning back the clock in Afghanistan, to the former arrangements that prevailed before 2001. Friend of Pakistan (and formerly the US) Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has led the way by taking the first steps to introduce the new Afghan paradigm—a rapid American pull-out, based on Pakistan reeling-in the Taliban and Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami effectively challenging the Taliban and renegade Uzbeks around Kunduz.

A Pakistani-engineered peace deal between the Karzai government and Hekmatyar, for northern Afghanistan only, is clearly in the cards, but that also depends upon whether or not the Indian/Russian-allied Northern Alliance wants to play the role of spoiler. A return to pre-2001 conditions could turn the clock all the way back to 1996 and the civil war in Afghanistan between Taliban and Northern Alliance. If that happens, then look for India to increase support to resistance (terrorist) groups in Balochistan. If that path is chosen, then we should also expect a surge in Taliban-related violence in Balochistan, as Gen. Musharraf’s MMA militant/mullah alliance is revived, and Taliban are once again imported to take on the BLA and other foreign-supported resistance groups.

Either way, by handing Afghanistan off to Pakistan, in short order, US forces will be freed-up to move northward, to secure territory around the new Northern Distribution Network (NDN) and the clearing of the way for the planned pipelines. Pakistan will be given a free hand to pacify its own territory, including Balochistan, with American air power available if needed. Pakistan will clear Balochistan to the port at Gwadar, if everything works out as anticipated. It will be expected to anchor this end of the supply chain, a position it has gotten used to in its service to America in the past.

But there is a very large credibility hurdle that both Pakistan and America must get past—the ease with which Pakistan has been able to round-up so many of the “Quetta Shura” gives rise to multiple questions about what other lies have been issued from Islamabad.

If Pakistan can effortlessly sweep-up half of the Taliban leadership, after giving American Predator pilots guidance to so many key militant leaders in a very small timeframe, then it proves that they have known where all the militants were all along. It disproves the lie that the link between mullahs and military had been broken, but does it likewise disprove the American contention that its use of Islamists is also a thing of the past? The recent capture of IMU-trained Jundullah terrorist leader Abdolmalek Rigi, and the possible resultant upsetting of US plans to merge IMU terrorists into Jundullah’s ranks (as recently revealed by researcher Wayne Madsen), are strong circumstantial evidence that there is a deep connection still active between the CIA and their militant spawn.

From The color of money in Afghanistan has a chemical signature

“Holbrooke has apparently not learned from his experience with Jundallah and Karzai’s drug trafficking family. WMR has learned that the Rigi-Holbrooke meeting at the Manas airbase was also to include a pre-arranged meeting between Rigi and captured members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), who have been converted from adherents of Osama Bin Laden’s “Al Qaeda” to pipeline saboteurs, Holbrooke wanted to see an alliance between Jundallah and the reformed IMU guerrillas to plan operations targeting the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China (TUKC) gas pipeline that recently began operations. The United States used Jundallah to attack the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline in Baluchistan and Holbrooke was hoping that Rigi’s experience would benefit the turned IMU terrorists who operate in the Fergana Valley of Tajikistan.”

The American use of Islamic militants as elements of its covert foreign policy is a fact, known to governments and their spy agencies all over the world. The only people who do not suspect that the American government is creating the very militants it claims to be at war against, are the American people and Western audiences. It is common knowledge to everyone in the Middle East region. In fact, nearly every government with its hands in the Afghan/Pakistan chaos uses “Islamists,” warlords and criminal types to advance their agendas in the conflict; it is the only way to be effective.

The greatest part of the multitude of problems that American planners must overcome is the enormous multi-faceted balancing act between armies and militants, between partners in the war coalition, between thresholds and breaking points, between militarizing the citizens of the United States without provoking them into violent revolution. Of these multiple balancing acts, the trickiest task of all for the Obama Administration will involve that of maintaining Russian and Indian assistance in the Afghan fight against militants and opium, without overplaying their hand or revelations about Islamist destabilization operations against their interests being revealed.

It is my hope in writing this, that it will help a little to reveal the awful knowledge that is being covered-up. No amount of oil or gas is worth the price that is being extracted from thousands of innocent human beings to pay for the war crimes that are being committed in this aggression.

If American diplomats can maintain this precarious balancing act long enough, and if they work quickly enough to get some kind of peace/exit agreement in place, American forces might become able to openly move the pipeline plans forward, while they covertly militarize central Asia under the cover of fighting drugs and militancy. The former Soviet republics have very little, if any, independent news sources to let us know what crimes are being committed once the action slips into Krygzstan. Whatever happens next will be far beyond the eyes and ears of the world community....

Friday, October 28, 2011

A graveyard for US war strategies...And the Way Out of Afghanistan ....

A graveyard for US war strategies...And the Way Out of Afghanistan ....

The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, And the Way Out of Afghanistan
by Bing West

Reviewed by Geoffrey Sherwood

When a United States president's wartime strategy comes under fire, his supporters often deflect critics by asserting that the president is prudently following the advice of his generals. But as Bing West shows in his latest book, The Wrong War: Grit and Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan, it was president

George W Bush who embarked on a nation-building effort in Afghanistan, and Barack Obama who has followed suit.

The generals meekly went along for the ride. They gamely authored, or resuscitated, a series of ever-changing, failed strategies to achieve "victory" on the military and nation-building fronts. Since 2006, these strategies have been variations on a counter-insurgency doctrine to protect populations and provide services first, while focusing only secondarily on the enemy.

Nothing, according to West, has worked. Afghanistan has diminished the military careers and grandiose strategies of American generals even more efficiently than it has bogged down the American military machine.

West, a US Marine Corps combat veteran, and former assistant secretary of defense, has written a fascinating, disturbing account of the ill-conceived American war-making and nation-building effort in Afghanistan. He severely takes to task the US military leadership for not resisting the Bush administration when it added nation-building to the mandate of US soldiers, in a futile attempt to build democracy in the backward, tribal society that is Afghanistan.

This double-duty strained the military's resources, forced soldiers into responsibilities beyond their expertise, and damaged their fighting spirit. After seven years of floundering nation-building, Bush left office with the Taliban reinvigorated and spreading over vast areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama has done no better. In December 2009 he announced that he would send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan. To West, Obama was sending hopelessly mixed messages: the surge went hand-in-hand with a commitment to begin reducing troop levels in 18 months.

Although West's primary objective is to describe why US strategies in Afghanistan have failed, and to prescribe a remedy, the brunt of the book focuses on how the various strategies have played out at the tactical level. This is where West shows his strength as a boots-on-the-ground chronicler of the daily grind, and occasional mayhem, of life at the company and platoon level.

His disdain for some military leaders, like former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen (he characterizes Mullen's quote "we can't kill our way to victory" as "political drivel", and calls him "the master of incomprehensible syntax"), is matched by a personal fondness and admiration for the combat soldiers, whose professionalism and resilience are the "Grit" in the book's title.

West's vivid account of the futile, years-long American effort to secure the Korengal and Waigal valleys in northeastern Afghanistan's Kunar province, and to win over the support of the locals, is a microcosm of much that has gone wrong in Afghanistan.

The valleys are close to the border with Pakistan, the critical safe haven for the Taliban, who can sneak into Afghanistan, take potshots at US military outposts from the high ground, then skedaddle back over the border, knowing that US soldiers are forbidden from pursuing them into Pakistan.

West quotes Lieutenant Eric Malmstrom, a platoon leader: "I patrolled there [Waigal Valley] constantly. It was like watching a Greek tragedy play out. We went into the Waigal to help where there was no government. But our presence drew in outside fighters and the local people got hurt. When I left the Waigal after a year, the people had turned cold. They wanted us out of their lives."

The lukewarm, sometimes outright hostile, attitude of the Afghan people and their government toward the American war in Afghanistan against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other insurgents, has been one of the primary reasons for the failure of US strategy, by West's reckoning.

The Korengal and Waigal valleys are capillaries of the Pech River Valley, where the Afghanistan government prevented the Americans from organizing local militias to defend themselves against insurgents and Pakistanis infiltrating Afghanistan.

The lack of a central government presence in much of rural Afghanistan has made it very difficult for the Americans to convince locals to throw in their lot with them. The locals see no evidence that either the Americans, or the Afghanistan government, will maintain a long-term presence that can protect them from the insurgents.

They know the price to be paid for cooperating with the US military can be steep. West recounts an incident where an 11-year-old boy showed US Marines a path that was occasionally used by the Taliban. A few weeks later, the Taliban executed the boy and his entire family.

Throughout the war, the majority of civilian casualties have been caused by the insurgents, which is remarkable considering how few insurgents there are relative to American and allied forces. It is a testament to their brutality. Every Afghan understands how the Taliban can easily terrorize a local population, which helps explain why there is no groundswell of support for them, even among Pashtuns, which comprise the vast majority of the Taliban.

West shows a good understanding of the complexity of the insurgency. He warns that one should not equate the insurgency only with the "Taliban". While Taliban advocates are the core of the rebellion, anti-infidel and anti-foreigner sentiment motivates the groups run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Sirajuddin Haqqani in the northern provinces.

West refers to the Taliban as an "evil" enemy, but also gives them grudging respect for their dedication and fighting ability, both of which are far superior to that of the "askars", the Afghan soldiers who fight under the tutelage of the US military.

The American combat soldiers in Afghanistan, according to West, are exemplary, highly skilled and disciplined. There are exceptions, but they are weeded out quickly by their peers, who don't want their backs protected by incompetent or whining soldiers. One of the bitterest complaints of the soldiers is that their hands have been tied by risk-averse Washington politicians and generals.

Most are forced to wear body armor and lug around so much gear that it is nearly impossible to engage in hot pursuit of a far nimbler enemy. And strict rules of engagement prohibit US soldiers from opening fire on structures when it is known that civilians are inside.

Firing on mosques is also forbidden. The Taliban know all of these rules from experience, and make good use of them. Hiding behind women and children is a cowardly way to fight, but it is also a pragmatic way to offset superior American fighting skill and firepower.

In addition to strategic and tactical problems of the US's own making, West describes a number of seemingly insurmountable problems that come with the Afghanistan-Pakistan territory: The cronyism and corruption of the Hamid Karzai government; Pakistan as a permanent safe haven for the insurgents; the Afghan military's inability to recruit a meaningful number of Pashtuns; and the perception in many parts of Afghanistan that the Americans and the Kabul government are invaders.

West does not shy from describing all these daunting problems in stark terms. Which leads to the only puzzling part of his book - his prescription for victory.

West devotes nearly the entire book to describing the many reasons for the failure of America's military and nation-building strategies in Afghanistan, and then in a mere three pages he describes his strategy for achieving victory. It's brevity alone betrays its fundamental flaw - it doesn't address the majority of the daunting problems that he has painstakingly described, not the least of which are Pakistan as a safe haven (earlier in the book he says that the war cannot be won as long as the Taliban can use Pakistan as a redoubt), and the endemic corruption and unpopularity of the Kabul government.

West's strategy is simply to continue building up the Afghan military in the hope that they can one day take responsibility for the brunt of the counter-insurgency. This, it seems obvious, will not result in any "victory", no matter how loosely defined. It is a prescription for interminably extending a war that was doomed at the outset by hopelessly ambitious, elusive objectives.

Although West's idea for a "way out of Afghanistan" is very disappointing, the rest of the book is informative and superbly written. West does a marvelous job of giving voice to the combat soldiers, some of whom are always among the first to sense the tragic nature of the wars they fight, whether in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan.

It brings to mind the well-known quote from British statesman Winston Churchill (though he had no premonition of America's growing obsession with military force): "We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities." Sadly, America has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of military possibilities.

The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan by Bing West. New York: Random House, 2011. ISBN-10: 1400068738. Price US$28, 336 pages.

Geoffrey Sherwood is a veteran of the US Air Force, a Chinese-Mandarin linguist and a Vice President in the New York branch of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

A sample of stories that concern a dying Zioconned Empire, the good old US of A.....

  • Pentagon's next stop: Pakistan. Obama's war express moving in on Pakistan.
  • Francis Biden, Joe's bro, says white powder mailed from India. But, Francis, after your brother told those Miami rabbis that Jonathan Pollard would be released to Israel "over my dead body," it was easy for those Chabad House gangsters to mail a little gift from Mumbai and send Joe a message through your own mailbox. Remember, our Vice President was showered with broken shards of glass from Bibi Netanyahu as a warning.
  • Biden to Florida rabbis: Obama will release Israeli spy Pollard "over my dead body." Hey, Joe, you should know that with the Israelis, that option always remains. Keep your head down, Joe, and watch out for white vans.
  • Now that didn't take long for the Mossad boys to react: Francis Biden, Joe Biden's brother, receives suspicious package containing white powder. Francis Biden lives in Ocean Ridge, Florida: 30 miles north of Fort Lauderdale and right inside "Ground Zero" for those Israeli art students active prior to 9/11. Two unidentified people taken to the hospital. Joe Biden was visiting south Florida at the time of the incident involving his brother's home.
  • Certain neo-colonialist nations fear recognition of Palestinian independence will open door for recognition of Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Somaliland, South Ossetia, Transnistria, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Western Sahara. Israel has pushed these fears in its lobbying blitzkrieg.
  • Pepper-spraying Tony Baloney cited in GOP convention police brutality. Mayor Bloomberg makes no move to discipline or restrain cops. Well, Bloomberg, you should know that undefined and your gilded sorry ass should be hanging from it!
  • Israel continues to rely on polemics. Netanyahu's shameful UN speech.
  • Legendary singer Tony Bennett forced to apologize after 9/11 remarks. Bennett: "They flew the plane in, but we caused it." Don't apologize Tony. You, I, and millions of Americans know who caused 9/11 and who carried it out." Tony Bennett, "The Good Life," 1963, the year that fascism gained its first major toehold in America on one autumn day in Dallas.
  • 9/11 and the Strategy of Tension. Cui bono from 9/11?

    9/11: Unanswered Questions. Biggest conspiracy theory is the now-discredited 9/11 Commission Report.

  • Hebrew FBI translator Shamai Leibowitz gets 20 months in prison for revealing FBI wiretaps of Israeli spies in America. Leibowitz, like Thomas Drake, tried to warn of criminal conduct inside the US government. In the case of Leibowitz, he was trying to blow the whistle on Israeli espionage at the highest levels of the US government and the failure of the FBI to prosecute the perpetrators (because of that pesky "Jewish" thing that gives the perps a "get-out-of-jail-free" card). Leibowitz also appears to have been lured into a trap by a blogger (shades of Bradley Mannking being entrapped by Adrian Lamo). The blogger decided to burn the FBI transcripts on how pervasive Israeli spying is inside the United States. On this 9/11 tenth anniversary week, let us not forget the role that Israeli spies played in the attacks. Leibowitz, Drake, and Manning all deserve full presidential pardons and presidential freedom medals but they won't even get close with the CIA's biological and psychological chimera Obama in the White House.
  • Per above story, one of the greatest threats to America now as it was on 9/11/01 is Israel. Not our opinion but that of the US embassy in Tel Aviv.
  • Baburam Bhattarai, Maoist deputy leader, becomes Nepal's new Prime Minister. State Department neocon spokes-shrew Victoria Nuland congratulates Bhattarai. Nuland will wet her panties when she finds out who Bhattarai reads: "Dr. Bhattarai refers to an important web article by Wayne Madsen, CounterPunch columnist and a former naval officer who used to work for the NSA."
  • Rupert meets the spymasters. Murdoch's criminality conducted with a wink and nod from his intelligence and law enforcement pals.

  • Sacking of Turkish top military officers appears to have been something more serious -- perhaps the suppression of an attempted military coup by Ergenekon holdouts. Reuters/Rothschild calls Ergenekon an "alleged conspiracy." There's nothing alleged about the Rothschild/Israeli connection to Ergenekon and the Turkish Donmeh. Turkey's situation linked to Breivik and his Zio-Nazi network: Breivik had a keen interest in Ergenekon's tactics. A European-wide set of coups appears to have been in the Zio-Nazi playbook -- Breivik also sought to launch a coup against Norwegian government and King Harald V. Breivik refuses to divulge other cells but he had traveled to several countries: Sweden, Denmark, UK, Germany, Poland, Belarus (where he underwent paramilitary training), France, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Switzerland, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, US (where he allegedly visited for two months last year Lake Elmo, Minnesota, the home of Bachmann & Associates, the "de-gaying" clinic owned by Marcus Bachmann, husband of GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann), Turkey, Mexico, China, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia. Cyprus has seen political instability since a massive explosion of a weapons cache at its main naval base, which also destroyed Cyprus's main power plant forcing blackouts. President Demetris Christofiasis the first president from the Communist AKEL Party. From Norway to Turkey and Cyprus, a connected network, with links to Israel, appears to be targeting nations that support Palestinian sovereignty.
  • Jackie Kennedy believed LBJ was involved in conspiracy to assassinate her husband. That makes Mrs. Kennedy a "conspiracy theorist," a term used by the elites to criticize those who expose the truth. For WMR, the "CT" charges have never carried any weight. Those who throw around the "CT" term are pathetic and annoying drones for the national security state and they and their Internet postings and articles deserve only derision and condemnation.
  • Meet the new sheriff of Asia. This sheriff wears five stars....