"...at the very moment the number one nation has perfected the science of killing, it has become an impractical instrument of political domination." - Richard Barnet, Roots of War, 1972
France and Russia’s military responses to mass murders in Paris and Egypt echo the United States’ response to mass murders in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania in 2001. As Oxford University researcher Lydia Wilson told Democracy Now on November 17th, Islamic State (IS) is "seemingly delighted" by this warlike response to its latest atrocities.
In several interviews, Lydia Wilson has cited Abu Bakr Naji's The Management of Savagery as a "playbook" that IS appears to be following closely. Naji called for mass murders in foreign cities and tourist destinations as part of a strategy to draw foreign powers into unwinnable wars that would spread chaos, fuel jihadism and leave Muslim fundamentalist groups in control of more and more of the Muslim world.
This builds on Al Qaeda’s original strategy, which counted on an aggressive response to September 11th to expose the iron fist inside the velvet glove of U.S. "soft power" and the hollowness of the U.S. government's commitment to civil liberties, human rights and the rule of law. Al Qaeda astutely turned its enemy’s military superiority into a liability by provoking the U.S. to unleash disastrous wars on Muslim countries. The US invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and the concentration camp at Guantanamo became the most valuable assets in Al Qaeda's propaganda and recruiting campaigns, now complemented by the terror of drone strikes and bombing campaigns in Syria and Iraq.
As the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Prince Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan, told the Council on Foreign Relations on November 16th,
"...it seems that the defenses against chaos and bloodshed that states erected at the close of the Second World War, the laws they wrote and swore to abide by, the agreements and treaties they signed, are giving way to increasing action bound by no principle or any foresight... Much of the Middle East and North Africa is gripped in deadly conflict with constant, now almost routine, violations of the norms that should protect civilians, and even proxy warfare with greater powers engaged in combat rather than in making peace."
To briefly take stock of 14 years of war, which our leaders launched and continue to justify as a response to terrorism:
- The U.S. and its allies have conducted over 120,000 air strikes against seven countries, exploding fundamentalist jihadism from its original base in Afghanistan to an active presence in all seven countries and beyond.
- We have invaded and occupied Afghanistan for 14 years, Iraq for over 8 years, and destroyed Libya, Syria and Yemen for good measure.
While there is a coalition of big powers set up exclusively to bomb Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS) in Syria and to a lesser extent in Iraq, Daesh in Libya roams free with no such coalition of the strong threatening its members. Because the West has taken its eyes off the Libyan ball, the result has been the series of bloody attacks in Tunisia claimed by Daesh this year, from the National Bardo Museum in Tunis to the hotel resort of Sousse to last week’s suicide bombing of a bus in which 12 presidential guards died.
These attacks were all planned in neighboring Libya, as Tunisia’s government recently announced. In fact, the gunman who killed 38 tourists in Sousse was trained at the same Libyan jihadist camp as the two suicide gunmen who attacked the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March which killed 21. It is consequently almost certain then that those behind the bus bombing were trained in the same camp, although the attackers themselves in all three incidents were apparently all Tunisians.
Daesh has exploited the chaos that spread across Libya after Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and killed in the 2011 revolution. Because Daesh in Libya has been left unchecked, it does not look like Tunisia’s decision to close its land border with Libya for 15 days, to give authorities time to plan what they should do next, will work. Before the bus attack, Tunisia had already built trenches and other obstacles along more than 200 kilometers of the 500-kilometer-long border with Libya, reinforcing land and sea surveillance. Obviously, that did not do the trick, nor will the hiring of 6,000 more recruits for security forces. Thousands of Tunisians have traveled to Libya, as well as to Iraq and Syria, to fight alongside Islamic extremists. Some return to Tunisia, with the devastating results seen this year.
On November 26, 2015, two journalists, Can Dundar, the editor of Cumhuriyet and Erdem Gul, Ankara editor of the same daily, arrested in Turkey. They are charged with the crime of publicizing government secrets and aiding terror organizations. In June, Cumhuriyet had published photographs and footage of a convoy heading to Syria carrying weapons hidden underneath boxes of medicine. According to Cumhuriyet, some 1,000 mortar shells, grenade launchers and ammunitions of Soviet origin were found
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree imposing a package of economic sanctions against Turkey following its downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria. The measures include banning several Turkish organizations and the import of certain goods.
Both the American and Turkish air forces halted their strikes on Syrian territory around the time Russia deployed S-400 air defense complexes at the Khmeimim airbase, from which it stages its own incursions against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Análise cuidadosa das longas declarações russas nos últimos três dias sobre as tensões com a Turquia sugere que Moscou descartou (pode-se dizer, praticamente) a teoria conspiracional de que Ancara teria tomado a desgraçada decisão de derrubar o jato russo na 3ª-feira passada com tácito encorajamento dos EUA.
Dado o clima prevalecente nos laços russos com o ocidente, não deve ter sido surpresa para Moscou que o secretário-geral da OTAN Jen Stoltenberg tenha manifestado o apoio rotineiro à integridade territorial da Turquia, ou que o presidente Barack Obama tenha visto o incidente da 3ª-feira pelo prisma do jogo que se vai consumando na Síria. Importante, Moscou com certeza observou que ambos, a OTAN e Obama aconselharam a Turquia a 'des-escalar' com a Rússia e deixaram claro que se trata de assunto entre Ankara e Moscou. (Ver no meu blog, US, OTAN tell Turkey to ‘deescalate’ with Russia.)
Moscou logo depois invocou o recente memorando Rússia-EUA sobre garantir a segurança das aeronaves de combate que operam na Síria "pelo qual os EUA assumiram a responsabilidade de que todos os participantes da coalizão liderada pelos EUA observarão regulações relevantes".
Moscou concluiu, depois de consideração meticulosa das evidências circunstanciais do caso, que a Turquia cometeu ato premeditado. Há muitas explicações acessíveis do por que a Turquia ter agido como agiu, mas Moscou parece ter-se concentrado em duas delas principalmente: a) a Turquia tentou precipitar uma confrontação entre a Rússia e a aliança ocidental, que desnortearia as operações militares russas na Síria; b) a Turquia tentou fazer descarrilar a operação russa em curso em áreas altamente sensíveis de fronteira pelas quais passam as principais rotas de suprimento para os grupos extremistas (como para a Frente Nusra).
De fato, pela avaliação que os russos estão fazendo, as relações russo-turcas nunca mais serão as mesmas de antes. Há profundo senso de traição que teria sido cometida no nível da liderança turca. No mínimo, o Kremlin esperava que o presidente Recep Erdogan manifestasse alguma lástima ou arrependimento pelo incidente. (Moscou ainda deu bom tempo para o Sultão pedir desculpas se quisesse, adiando a decisão final sobre as medidas de retaliação contra a Turquia.)
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.
Not so fast, Sultan.
In Moscow, Hollande and Putin confirmed that France and Russia will not be torn apart. The French leader declared: "What we agreed, and this is important, is to strike only terrorists and Daesh and to not strike forces that are fighting terrorism. We will exchange information about whom to hit and whom not to hit."
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When the Libyan arm of ISIS first raised the group's black flag over the coastal city of Sirte almost one year ago, it was just a bunch of local militants trying to look tough.
Today Sirte is an actively managed colony of ISIS, crowded with foreign fighters from around the region, according to residents, local militia leaders and hostages recently released from the city's main prison.
"The entire Islamic State government there is from abroad — they are the ones who are calling the shots," said Nuri al-Mangoush, the head of a trucking company based here in Misrata, about 65 miles west of the ISIS's territory around Sirte. Many of its employees live in Sirte, and five were jailed there recently.
As ISIS has come under growing military and economic pressure in Syria and Iraq, its leaders have looked outward.
One manifestation of the shift is a turn toward large-scale terrorist attacks against distant targets, including the massacre in Paris and the bombing of a Russian charter jet over Egypt, Western intelligence officials say. But the group's leaders are also devoting resources and attention to far-flung affiliate groups that pledged their loyalty from places like Egypt, Afghanistan, Nigeria and elsewhere. There are at least eight in all, according to Western officials, who spoke to the New York Times on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.
Of those, by far the most important is based in Sirte, a Libyan port city on the Mediterranean about 400 miles southeast of Sicily. Western officials familiar with intelligence reports say it is the only affiliate now operating under the direct control of ISIS leaders. In Libya, residents of Sirte and local militia leaders say the transformation of ISIS here has been evident for months.
A series of attacks in Tunisia claimed by ISIL was planned in neighboring Libya, a top official said Friday.
ISIL has said it was behind a suicide bombing in the centre of Tunis on Tuesday in which 12 presidential guards died. They have also claimed two attacks earlier this year at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis and on a hotel near the Mediterranean resort of Sousse that killed a total of 60 people, all but one of them foreign tourists.
“Everything is being planned in Libya,” Tunisia’s secretary of state for national security, Rafik Chelly, told private Mosaique FM radio.
“The commanders of Tunisian terrorist groups are in Libya,” he added.
Authorities in Tunisia have detained 30 people suspected of having extremism links after the bombing, and identified the bomber as a local street vendor.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that forensic police identified the attacker as 27-year-old Houssam ben Hedi ben Miled Abdelli by his DNA. It said he was from a working class neighborhood on the edge of Tunis.
ISIL claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack on a bus in central Tunis, which left 12 dead plus the attacker.
This American government is the most incompetent government that has ever walked the earth. Those people don’t have any sense at all. Just look at what they’ve done. In 14 years they’ve destroyed 7 countries, killed millions of people, and displaced millions of people. And where are those displaced people? They are overrunning Europe.
This is all because those Europeans were stupid enough to enable our wars.
Vladimir Putin has authorized Russia's military to bring down the current Turkish government, which includes plans to rid Turkey of its leader President Recep Erdogan, in response to Turkey's shooting down of the Russian Su-24 warplane. According to the Ministry of Defence, the shooting... #putin
Rand Paul started asking questions to Hillary at the Hearing in 2013 on Benghazi and explicitly referenced the article above - somebody obviously told him to shut up about it, because he (and nobody else) asked any more.
The CIA annex a mile or so from the rented villa that Chris Stevens was using as a "Consulate" had over 30 CIA agents and Special Forces. This was the Black Operation to smuggle assorted weapons including Manpads and RPG's to the Syrian terrorists using Libyan extremists as the couriers.
As reported by Jake Tapper, CNN, the survivors of the Benghazi attack were transported to a military base in Germany, subjected to monthly polygraph tests and kept incommunicado to try and ensure nothing of the CIA gun running operations out of Benghazi was leaked.
"Dozens of CIA operatives were on the ground in Benghazi"
They are subject to monthly or bi-monthly polygraph tests to make sure they aren't leaking what the CIA was doing in Benghazi.
One of Turkish president Recep Erdogan's key contentions in the ongoing diplomatic spat with Russia is that everything that Russia has accused Turkey of doing, from funding the Islamic State's oil purchases, to providing weapons for Syrian "rebels" intent on eradicating the Assad regime, is unfounded slander without a shred of evidence.
Here is the problem: evidence does exist, as we showed two days ago, when we presented the role Erdogan's son Bilal has played in ISIS oil transit, and not only that but also proof that Turkey has been smuggling weapons to Syria as the editor and a reporter from Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper showed some time ago.
And in order to eradicate the evidence against him, yesterday Erdogan did what every dictator does when feeling threatened: he had the editor and his reported detained, jailed and accused of espionage precisely over the controversial story about an alleged arms shipment from Turkish intelligence to Syrian rebels.
The two Cumhuriyet journalists were accused of “political or military spying” by reporting “classified information” and “deliberately aiding a terrorist organization."
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