As world leaders gather in Paris this week to address climate change, they will labor under the shadow of recent attacks by Islamic State. Yet as they think about climate issues, they should remember that the connection between climate change and Islamic State — and more broadly, between climate change and political instability — is not just a coincidence. It may instead be the key reality of the 21st century.
The rise of IS was a direct result of the failure of the Syrian regime, as it was beset by urban uprisings in 2011. Yet those uprisings did not come out of nowhere, and were not merely inspired by protests in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Syria was an increasingly prosperous country in the 1990s, with its various ethnic and religious groups working together in cities.
Yet between 2006 and 2009, Syria was crippled by its worst drought in modern history. A recent article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that this drought was not natural. Rather, hotter temperatures and the weakening of winds that bring moisture from the Mediterranean were likely the region’s reflection of rising greenhouse gas emissions, according to computer simulations.
Combined with poor water management and government neglect of farm conditions, the drought caused a collapse of farming in northeastern Syria. Seventy-five percent of farmers suffered total crop failure, and 80 percent of livestock died. Around 1.5 million farming families migrated to cities to look for work and food, joining millions of refugees from Palestine and Iraq. The added burden these refugees placed on Syria’s cities, and the distress of the farmers who lost their lands due to the drought, helped fuel the spread of rebellion against the Assad regime.
To be sure, climate change is never the single most important cause of conflict; it is what academics call a “structural threat.” Governments that can respond to such threats — because they have popular and elite support, have resources to respond to challenges, are willing to deploy those resources to distribute food and aid to the needy, and have diversified economies that can produce jobs — are not going to be shaken because of global warming. If we lived in a world where all regions were led by such governments, then climate change might be an economic burden and force changes in our lifestyle, but it would not bring the threat of state breakdown and civil war.
MISRATA, Libya—Even as foreign powers step up pressure against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the militant group has expanded in Libya and established a new base close to Europe where it can generate oil revenue and plot terror attacks.
Since announcing its presence in February in Sirte, the city on Libya’s Mediterranean coast has become the first that the militant group governs outside of Syria and Iraq. Its presence there has grown over the past year from 200 eager fighters to a roughly 5,000-strong contingent which includes administrators and financiers, according to estimates by Libyan intelligence officials, residents and activists in the area.
Between early January and late March 1991, the distinguished French philosopher Jean Baudrillard published three essays in the French daily Liberation, which he sequentially titled, "The Gulf War will not take place", "The Gulf War: Is it really taking place?" and finally, "The Gulf War did not take place".
He subsequently published the three essays in a 1991 book, of which an English translation appeared in 1995 as The Gulf War did not take Place.
The dates of these essays are important if we remember what is now called the "Gulf War" occurred between August 2, 1990 (when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait) and February 28, 1991 (when a US-led coalition forced him out). Inside Story - Are efforts to tackle 'radicalisation' misplaced?
In other words, Baudrillard was writing and publishing these essays precisely at a time when the war was taking place, when the US and its allies were raining death and destruction on Iraq, and soon after it had just ended.
An unfolding media event
The temptation that Baudrillard could not resist in writing these essays with these deliberately provocative titles was the manner in which the unfolding events leading up to, during, and soon after the Gulf War provided him with a perfect example for his ideas of "simulacra", "simulation" and "hyperreality".
He wished rhetorically to register the fact that the Gulf War was an unfolding media event, a virtual reality, with simulated reactions masquerading for the real human experience of being at war. In the midst of this hyperreality, the reality of the Iraq war was drowned.
According to the story, the plummeting living standards forced on the Greek people by German chancellor Merkel and the European banks have forced large numbers of young Greek women into prostitution.
The large increase in the number of women offering sexual services has dropped the price to 4 euros an hour. According to this cynical report in The London Times, that’s $4.24, enough for a cheese pie or a sandwich, the value that bankster-imposed austerity has placed on an hour’s use of a woman’s body.
When one reads a story such as this, one hopes it is a parody or a caricature. Although the London Times has fallen a long way, it is not yet the kind of newspaper that can be purchased at grocery store checkout counters.
The story gains credence from the websites in the US on which female university students advertise their availability as mistresses to men who have the financial means to help them with their expenses. From various news reports, mistress seems to be a main occupation of female students at high-cost universities such as NYU.
For years, NATO has granted impunity to convoys packed with supplies bound for ISIS and Al Qaeda. Russian airstrikes have stopped them dead in their tracks. If a legitimate, well-documented aid convoy carrying humanitarian supplies bound for civilians inside Syria was truly destroyed by Russian airstrikes, it is likely the world would never have heard the end of it.
Instead, much of the world has heard little at all about a supposed “aid” convoy destroyed near Azaz, Syria, at the very edge of the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor through which the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda’s remaining supply lines pass, and in which NATO has long-sought to create a “buffer zone” more accurately described as a Syrian-based, NATO-occupied springboard from which to launch terrorism deeper into Syrian territory.
The Turkish-based newspaper Daily Sabah reported in its article, “Russian airstrikes target aid convoy in northwestern Syrian town of Azaz, 7 killed,” claims:
At least seven people died, 10 got injured after an apparent airstrike, reportedly by Russian jets, targeted an aid convoy in northwestern Syrian town of Azaz near a border crossing with Turkey on Wednesday.
Daily Sabah also reported:
Speaking to Daily Sabah, Serkan Nergis from the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said that the targeted area is located some 5 kilometers southwest of the Öncüpınar Border Crossing.
Nergis said that IHH has a civil defense unit in Azaz and they helped locals to extinguish the trucks. Trucks were probably carrying aid supplies or commercial materials, Nergis added.
Daily Sabah’s report also reveals that the Turkish-Syrian border crossing of Oncupinar is held by what it calls “rebels.” The border crossing of Oncupinar should be familiar to many as it was the scene of Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s (DW) investigative report where DW camera crews videotaped hundreds of trucks waiting at the border, bound for ISIS territory, apparently with full approval of Ankara.
The report was published in November of 2014, a full year ago, and revealed precisely how ISIS has been able to maintain its otherwise inexplicable and seemingly inexhaustible fighting capacity. The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” included a video and a description which read:
Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The haulers believe most of the cargo is going to the “Islamic State” militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.
The report, and many others like it, left many around the world wondering why, if the US is willing to carry out risky military operations deep within Syrian territory to allegedly “fight ISIS,” the US and its allies don’t commit to a much less riskier strategy of securing the Turkish-Syrian border within Turkey’s territory itself – especially considering that the United States maintains an airbase, training camps, and intelligence outposts within Turkish territory and along the very border ISIS supply convoys are crossing over.
Ideally, NATO should have interdicted these supply convoys before they even crossed over into Syria – arresting the drivers and tracking those who filled the trucks back to their source and arresting them as well. Alternatively, the trucks should have been destroyed either at the border or at the very least, once they had entered into Syria and were clearly headed toward ISIS-occupied territory.
That none of this took place left many to draw conclusions that the impunity granted to this overt logistical network was intentional and implicated NATO directly in the feeding of the very ISIS terrorists it claimed to be “fighting.”
A ground-breaking milestone in the study of peace. For the first time, an Index has been created that ranks the nations of the world by their peacefulness and identifies some of the drivers of that peace.
La cadena rusa LifeNews informó este miércoles que el petróleo robado del Emirato Islámico, que transita desde Siria hacia Turquía en camiones-cisterna pertenecientes a Bilal Erdogan, el hijo del presidente turco, puede ser la verdadera causa del derribo del bombardero ruso en el norte de Siria. «Turquía está interfiriendo deliberadamente en la operación militar rusa en Siria, donde el Emirato Islámico transportaba crudo barato a Ankara», según la cadena rusa LifeNews. Tras acusar a Bilal Erdoga
A coisa toda começou quando o presidente da França, Monsieur François Hollande, logo após os ataques em Paris, teve a ideia temerária de trabalhar lado a lado com a Rússia, naquela mesma coalizão que luta de verdade contra o Estado Islâmico na Síria.
O presidente da Turquia, Sr. Recep Tayyip “sem desculpas” Erdogan pensou que a estas alturas, a OTAN e a Rússia já estariam um na garganta nuclear do outro, uma espécie de Guerra Fria 2.0, já que Washington rebateu a ideia de Hollande com a costumeira torrente de platitudes e distorções.
Pois em menos de 17 segundos o Primeiro Ministro turco Ahmet “eu mesmo dei a ordem” Davutoglu tinha autorizado a derrubada do bombardeiro russo SU-24 – apenas algumas horas antes de Hollande se encontrar com o presidente Obama.
Tudo parecia se encaixar às mil maravilhas. Nada parecia indicar uma nova détente entre as potências atlanticistas e a OTAN. Pelo contrário. Erdogan já tinha como favas contadas que havia sabotado uma reunião produtiva tête-à-tête entre Putin e Hollande em Moscou.
Four former Air Force drone pilots have gone public saying that Obama's drone strikes kill people Indiscriminately, and that the strikes have nothing to do with fighting terrorism. The pilots have had their bank accounts and credit cards frozen by the Obama administration since... #dronepilots
Em 2011, Barack Obama comandou uma intervenção de aliados contra a Líbia, sem consultar o Congresso dos EUA. Em agosto passado, depois de um ataque com gás sarín em Ghouta, subúrbio de Damasco, estava pronto para ordenar ataque aéreo de norte-americanos e aliados, dessa vez para castigar o governo da Síria por, supostamente, ter infringido uma “linha vermelha” que Obama demarcara em 2012 sobre uso de armas químicas.
Então, faltando menos de dois dias para o planejado ataque, Obama anunciou que pediria a aprovação do Congresso para a intervenção. O ataque foi adiado para que o Congresso realizasse audiências e, na sequência, foi cancelado, quando Obama aceitou a oferta, por Assad, de entregar seu arsenal químico, em negociação intermediada pela Rússia.
Por que Obama adiou e depois cancelou o ataque à Síria, se não teve cuidado algum no momento de atacar a Líbia?
A resposta está na disputa dentro do governo Obama, entre os que queriam fazer valer a “linha vermelha” e os líderes militares que entendiam que ir à guerra seria ao mesmo tempo injustificável e potencialmente desastroso.
A mudança, em Obama, começou em Porton Down, o laboratório que a Defesa britânica mantém em Wiltshire, Inglaterra. A inteligência britânica obtivera uma amostra do gás sarín usado no ataque do dia 21, e análises demonstraram que o gás não era o mesmo que se sabia que existia no arsenal químico sírio. A mensagem de que os sírios não mentiam e que o caso contra o exército de Assad logo seria desmontado, chegou rapidamente aos chefes do Estado-Maior dos EUA. O relato britânico fez aumentar as dúvidas dentro do Pentágono; os chefes militares já preparavam para avisar Obama de que seus planos para atacar com mísseis e bombas a infraestrutura síria levaria a guerra muito mais ampla no Oriente Médio. Consequência da notícia recém-chegada, os militares norte-americanos apressaram-se a levar ao presidente mais aquele alerta de cuidado, o qual, na visão dos militares, levou o presidente a cancelar o ataque.
Há muitos meses os altos comandantes militares e a comunidade de inteligência preocupa-se com o papel da guerra na convivência com os vizinhos da Síria, especialmente o papel da Turquia. Sabia-se que o Primeiro-Ministro Recep Erdoğan estava apoiando a Frente al-Nusra, grupo jihadista incorporado à oposição rebelde, e a outros grupos rebeldes islamistas.
Sabíamos que havia alguns, no governo turco, disse-me um ex-alto funcionário da inteligência dos EUA, com acesso à inteligência atual, que acreditavam que poderiam enredar Assad, provocando um ataque com gás sarín dentro da Síria – o que forçaria Obama a fazer valer a ameaça da ‘linha vermelha.
Os altos chefes militares também sabiam que o que o governo Obama andava dizendo, que só o exército sírio tinha acesso ao sarín, era falso. As comunidades de inteligência norte-americana e britânica já sabiam, desde a primavera de 2013, que algumas unidades rebeldes na Síria estavam desenvolvendo armas químicas. Dia 20/6, analistas da Agência de Inteligência da Defesa dos EUA [orig.DIA] distribuíram documento altamente secreto de cinco páginas, dos “pontos de conversa” [(orig. talking points): são os itens que podem ser falados à imprensa e discutidos em público e os que não podem], para atualizar o vice-diretor da Agência DIA, David Shedd, no qual se lê que a Frente al-Nusra mantinha célula de produção de gás sarín; o programa, dizia o documento, era:
(...) o plano mais avançado para uso de sarín desde o esforço da al-Qaeda antes de 11/9. (Segundo um consultor do Departamento de Defesa, a inteligência dos EUA sabia, há muito tempo, que a al-Qaeda estava trabalhando em testes com armas químicas, e tem um vídeo de um de seus testes, com cachorros).
O documento da Inteligência da Defesa prosseguia:
Antes, o foco da comunidade de inteligência se mantivera quase completamente fixo sobre as armas químicas sírias; agora já sabemos dos esforços da Frente al-Nusra para produzir suas próprias armas químicas (...) A relativa liberdade de operação da Frente al-Nusra dentro da Síria nos leva a estimar que, no futuro, será difícil conter as ambições desse grupo.
Terroist group Islamic State earns millions of dollars selling oil on the black market in Turkey, Iraqi MP and former national security adviser, Mowaffak al Rubaie told RT. He also revealed that wounded terrorists are being treated in Turkish hospitals. Trends Islamic State, Syria-Turkey
“In the last eight months ISIS has managed to sell ... $800 million dollars worth of oil on the black market of Turkey. This is Iraqi oil and Syrian oil, carried by trucks from Iraq, from Syria through the borders to Turkey and sold ...[at] less than 50 percent of the international oil price,” Mowaffak al Rubaie said in an interview with RT.
“Now this either get consumed inside, the crude is refined on Turkish territory by the Turkish refineries, and sold in the Turkish market. Or it goes to Jihan and then in the pipelines from Jihan to the Mediterranean and sold to the international market.”
In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish pipeline oil was being unloaded in Israel. “Securing the first sale of oil from its independent pipeline is crucial for the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) as it seeks greater financial independence from war-torn Iraq,” Reuters noted at the time, adding that “the new export route to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, designed to bypass Baghdad's federal pipeline system, has created a bitter dispute over oil sale rights between the central government and the Kurds.”
A week earlier, the SCF Altai received the Kurdish oil in a ship-to-ship transfer from the The United Emblem off the coast of Malta. The United Emblem loaded the crude at Ceyhan where a pipeline connects the Turkish port to Kurdistan.
The Kurds’ move to sell crude independent of Baghdad stems from a long-running budget dispute. Without delving too far into the details, Erbil is entitled to 17% of Iraqi oil revenue and in return, the KRG is supposed to transfer some 550,000 bpd to SOMO (Iraq’s state-run oil company). Almost immediately after the deal was struck late last year, Baghdad claimed the Kurds weren’t keeping up their end of the bargain and so, only a fraction of the allocated budget was sent to Erbil during the first five months of the year.
This was simply a continuation of a protracted disagreement between Erbil and Baghdad over how much of the state’s crude revenue should flow to the KRG. For its part, Iraq has threatened to sue anyone that buys independently produced Kurdish oil. For instance, when The United Kalavrvta - which left Ceyhan last June - prepared to dock in Galveston, Texas a month later, a SOMO official told Reuters that Iraq’s foreign legal team was “watching closely the movement of the vessel and [was] ready to target any potential buyer regardless of their nationality.”
You get the idea. Erbil wants a bigger piece of the pie, Baghdad doesn’t want to give it to them, and so some time ago, the KRG decided to simply cut the Iraqi government out and export crude on its own. The dispute is ongoing.
MUSIC is no longer played here and the first public beheadings have already taken place.
But this isn’t Iraq or Syria. In fact, this city is thousands of kilometres away on Europe’s doorstep — but Islamic State is fully in control.
Local radio stations blast the benefits of IS terror group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic police stations are operating and commanders from Syria and Iraq are already on the ground.
Now fears are growing that Sirte, a coastal town on the Mediterranean Sea, could become the next IS major stronghold as its leaders look for a “fallback option” away from the Middle East according to the New York Times.
Tensions between Russia and Turkey over the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria may challenge freedom of navigation through the Bosphorus Strait, a major pathway for Russian ships. However, a Turkish unilateral ban on the passage of Russian ships is unlikely since it would violate international law.
Àngel Ferrero: It has been 10 years since Humanitarian Imperialism appeared in Spanish. What made you write the book?
It started as a reaction to the attitude of the Left during the 1999 Kosovo war, which was largely accepted on humanitarian grounds and to the rather weak opposition of the peace movement before the 2003 invasion of Iraq: for example, many “pacifists” have accepted the policy of sanctions at the time of the 1991 first Gulf war and even after it, and were favorable to inspections in the run-up to the war, without realizing that this was just a maneuver to prepare the public to accept the war (this became even public knowledge through later leaks, like the Downing Street memos).
It seemed to me that the ideology of humanitarian intervention had totally destroyed, on the left, any notion of respect for international law, as well as any critical attitude with respect to the media.
Àngel Ferrero: What do you think it has changed in this last 10 years?
A lot of things have changed, although, I am afraid, not because of my book. It is rather reality that has asserted itself, first with the chaos in Iraq, then in Libya and now in Syria and Ukraine, leading to the refugee crisis and a near state of war with Russia, which would not be a “cakewalk”.
The humanitarian imperialists are still busy pushing us towards more wars, but there is now a substantial fraction of public opinion that is against such policies; that fraction is probably more important on the right than on the left.
The four USAF military drone operators who recently blew the whistle and exposed the callousness and complete lack of concern for civilian casualties of the US drone assassination programme, (and received very little mainstream media exposure), yesterday found their bank accounts and credit cards all blocked by the US government. The effects of that on daily life are devastating. My source is their lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, through the Sam Adams Associates (of which we are both members).
No criminal charges have been brought against any of the men, despite numerous written threats of prosecution. Their finances appear to have been frozen by executive action under anti-terrorist legislation. This is yet a further glaring example of the use of “anti-terror” powers against people who are not remotely terrorist.
More whistleblowers have been jailed under Obama than under all previous US Presidents combined. Even so, the US authorities seem wary of the publicity that might surround prosecution of these servicemen, who only spoke of the effect upon their own health of having repeatedly to carry out heartless and often untargeted killings.
It may be surprising to hear, but it is a plain historical fact that modern international jihad originated as an instrument of US foreign policy. The “great menace of our era” was built up by the CIA to wage a proxy war against the Soviets.
A 1973 coup in Afghanistan installed a new secular government that, while not fully communist, was Soviet-leaning. That was a capital offense from the perspective of America’s Cold War national security state, at the time headed by Henry Kissinger.
Conveniently for Kissinger, the dirt poor country was sandwiched between two US client states: Pakistan to the east and Iran (then still ruled by the CIA-installed Shah) to the west. Immediately after the coup, the CIA and the clandestine security agencies of Pakistan (ISI) and Iran (SAVAK) began regime change operations in Afghanistan, orchestrating and sponsoring Islamic fundamentalist insurrections and coup attempts.
Due to these efforts, as well as the government’s own oppressiveness, a widespread rebellion broke out in Afghanistan in 1978. In July 1979, US President Jimmy Carter, on the advice of National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, officially authorized aid to the puritanical Mujahideen rebels, to be delivered through the CIA’s “Operation Cyclone.” This was on top of the unofficial aid that the CIA had already been funneling to Afghan Islamist insurgents for years through Pakistan and Iran.
Logo no dia seguinte dos ataques em Paris, o 'ocidente' tentou alavancar o que esperava que viesse a ser um renovado clamor público por mais e mais guerra longe de casa. Com esse objetivo, EUA e Turquia anunciaram uma operação que visaria a 'securitizar' os últimos 98km da fronteira turco-síria – área compreendida entre a margem esquerda do rio Eufrates perto de Jarabulus, até Afrin e Ad Dana mais para oeste.
É a "Zona Segura" da OTAN de 2012, em neoembalagem
Os que acompanham o conflito sírio logo verão que esse trecho da fronteira turco-síria é precisamente a área daquela tão buscada e ansiada "zona segura" que EUA, OTAN e o Conselho de Cooperação do Golfo (CCG) tentam estabelecer desde 2012. Os ataques em Paris e vários incidentes de fronteiras menores, noticiados recentemente, parecem ser apenas a mais nova série de provocações que o tal 'eixo' tenta, para implementar aquele plano já concebido há anos.
It all started with French President Francois Hollande, after the Paris attacks, having the temerity to advance the idea of France working together with Russia in the same coalition against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip “no excuse” Erdogan thought NATO and Russia by this time would be at each other’s – Cold War 2.0 – nuclear throats, while Washington had brushed off Hollande’s idea with a cascade of platitudes and distortions.
And in less than 17 seconds, Prime Minister Ahmet “I ordered it myself” Davutoglu had authorized Turkey to shoot down a Russian Su-24 - only a few hours before Hollande met with President Obama.
So everything seemed to be falling into place. No chance of a new détente between the Atlanticist powers and NATO. On the contrary. Erdogan was sure he had sabotaged for good the Hollande-Putin face-to-face meeting in Moscow.
A French journalist has said that Turkey is essentially an Islamic Caliphate. The Islamic fundamentalist side of Turkey is strong and present and the country isn't on the same page as the the EU, says Pascal Celerier writing for Boulevard Voltaire. Celerier suggests that Europe needs to... #isil
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