Saturday, December 5, 2015

Today's Links

Fascist National Golgotha

1--Russian FM: We May Link up With Kurds to Seal Turkey-Syria Border
Russia's chief diplomat confirms cordoning off Turkey from Syria is a real possibility

Kurds and US army special reaction teams may be engaged on the ground to close Syria’s border with Turkey, but only with the consent of Damascus, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, the current Chair of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)....

Given terrorists will hamper creation of these barriers on the way to replenishing the ISIL (former name of the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia), I am sure Russia’s air group in Syria jointly with the US-led coalition forces can and will be ready to provide support in the air so that the terrorists would not interfere when the border will be closed both ways - for illegal supplies of crude oil and reverse flows of weapons and militants,” he said

2--Bill Gates war on public education

I often re-read this amazing article in the New York Times to remind me of the agenda of the Gates Foundation.
It has a double agenda, like all the corporate reform groups it supports. It publicly speaks of support and collaboration with teachers, but it funds organizations that actively campaign against any job protections for teachers.
Gates himself has said that class size is unimportant and that he would rather see larger classes with higher-quality teachers (but not, we can be certain, for his own children). The same sentiment is often echoed by Michael Bloomberg, who said that if he had his way (which he already does), he would fire half the city’s teachers, double class size, and have only high quality teachers. What makes him think that a high quality teacher with a class of 24 would be equally effective with a class of 48?
Gates’ anti-union, pro-testing groups are made up of young teachers–with names like TeachPlus and Educators for Excellence–who are paid handsomely to advocate against due process rights and in favor of tying teacher evaluations to test scores. Since few intend to make a career of teaching, why should they care?

3---Think Before You Rush to War

This week, Pentagon chief Ash Carter, announced the US would send about 200 more special forces troops to Iraq and Syrian to fight the Islamic State. After vowing not to send troops to the Mideast, President Obama has by now deployed 3,500 new US soldiers to Iraq for “training.”
The best way to lose or at least prolong a war is by committing penny packets of troops. The US did precisely this in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan – and lost all these wars. Now, we’re on to more half-measures in the Levant.
President Barack Obama’s first instincts to avoid any more wars were absolutely correct. But the course of political events and the Paris massacre have dragged him into more rather than less military misadventures in the Mideast and Afghanistan. Obama’s senior strategic advisors, Susan Rice and Samantha Power, have been steadily providing wrong-headed, even calamitous advice

BAGHDAD: Iraq called on Turkey to “immediately” withdraw forces, including tanks and artillery, it has deployed in the country’s north without Baghdad’s consent, the premier’s office said on Saturday.
“The Iraqi authorities call on Turkey to... immediately withdraw from Iraqi territory,” the statement said.
“We have confirmation that Turkish forces, numbering about one armored regiment with a number of tanks and artillery, entered Iraqi territory... allegedly to train Iraqi groups, without a request or authorization from Iraqi federal authorities,” it said.

Earlier Friday, activists said that a Russian airstrike the previous day wounded a senior commander of al-Qaida's branch in Syria, a preacher from Saudi Arabia, but that his injuries are not life-threatening. ...A Saudi citizen, al-Mheisny had been fighting in northern Syria for months, serving both as a senior religious and military commander with the al-Qaida branch, known as the Nusra Front....
This "Turkmen" is from Chechnya but his death was not confirmed.
Hassan Ridha ‏@sayed_ridha
Pic of Muslim Al-Shar'i, commander in Ansar Al-Sham killed by #SAA near Arafit #Latakia countryside

5--‘Hostile act:’ Iraqi PM denounces US ground forces deployment on Iraq’s territory
Iraq has not requested that any country send ground troops into its territory and will regard any such move as a “hostile act,” the country’s prime minister, Haider Al-Abadi, said in view of a US decision to deploy special forces in the country.
Iraq “will consider any country sending ground combat forces a hostile act and will deal with it on this basis,” Al-Abadi said in a statement published by the prime minister’s office on Thursday, adding that “the Iraqi government is committed to not allowing the presence of any ground force on the land of Iraq.”
“The Iraqi government confirms its firm and categorical rejection of any action of this kind issued by any country [that] violates our [Iraq’s] national sovereignty,”Al-Abadi also said in the statement.
Baghdad “did not request any side... to send ground forces to Iraq,” he added, thus refuting reports that the Iraqi government had called for deployment of foreign troops to help Iraqi forces fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS?ISIL).
Iraq does not need any foreign forces from any state or international coalition, it only needs weapons, ammunition and training from its partners and allies in the fight against IS, the prime minister’s statement says [...]

6--Israeli Colonel Caught with IS Pants Down
First appeared:

7---US Looks to Circumvent Iraqi PM’s Objection on New Troops
           Unclear if US Can Escalate Without Further Undermining Abadi
When Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the latest US deployment of ground troops into Iraq, he set in motion a chain reaction within Iraq’s political leadership that has other US officials scrambling to protect PM Hayder Abadi’s increasingly precarious situation.

Abadi was quick to object to the US deployment, and it’s clear why. A huge number of Shi’ite militias, many of them hugely politically powerful, are blasting the deployment and demanding the Abadi government do something to prevent them, warning they’ll shift from fighting ISIS to fighting US troops instead.
US officials are pretty sure they can circumvent Abadi’s objections, but are trying to figure out the best way to do it without further weakening Abadi, who they still see as a vital ally. As one US official noted, “there are ways to make these things work

8--The Brookings Plan: Occupation by other means

Build a new Syrian opposition army, train it outside of the country and then bring it back in when ready.
The key to this strategy is the combination of American Air Power, American Special Forces and a newly trained military force to beat the other players on the ground in Syria. This new army, doesn’t need be too strong since it would engage ISIS, Al Nusra and Assad’s army.
Pollack does note eventually that this new military power would have to be big, real, conventional, disciplined and able to hold territories.

Next would be to deploy it back into Syria, after a period of training, to deal with the political situation. It would have to fight and gain territories from Assad/IS/Al Nusra, receive support from the US and transform these new achievements into safe havens. In this way, they would be able to demonstrate that there is an alternative to Assad/Daesh/Al Nusra and that they can feed and protect their people. Finally, this new army/military would act as an ‘institution’ that can remain in Syria for years to “stabilize the situation”.

The end game being clearly to divide Syria into different ethnical parts, as Brookings has always pushed for, to destroy the Syrian Arab Republic and redraw its boundaries

9--Turkey Breaking Loose? Su-24 Downing Followed by 'Invasion' of Iraq

10--Russia Surprised by US 'Blindness' to Trucks Delivering Daesh Oil to Turkey

11--Gold-Backed Ruble, Yuan to Trigger Global De-Dollarization

12--Turkish pro-govecolumnist: these lands belonged to us; we have the right to take part in their fate
No Secret Self-Made Oil Pipes Stretch Between Turkish, Syrian Villages’

This ‘black’ propaganda has been carried out for the last three years. We are beginning to wake up and say: In the past, these lands belonged to us; we have the right to take part in their fate. Moreover, our relatives live in those regions. We are concerned as to what is happening to them,” (pro-government) columnist for A Haber, Cemil Barlas, told RT.

According to Cemil Barlas, Turkey has a right over Syrian and Iraqi’s natural resources and he thinks that people living there are not profiting from selling oil as it all goes to the ‘dictator.’
Harry Fear reminded him that according to the released documents Erdogan and his relatives are making a profit from such oil deals with the militants.

To that notion, Barlas said, “But in Turkey since the rule of Erdogan per capita income has tripled. So everyone is getting his share,” exclaimed the columnist.
Such statements demonstrate that as long as the economy is growing, it does not bother anyone that Turkey is stealing oil from its war-ravaged neighbor. The journalists who expose such crimes of its government are arrested and punished, noted RT.

Not in the least surprised. Our colleagues, who were on the spot, saw everything with their own eyes. Even today, if you go to the border you will see self-made oil pipes stretched between Turkish and Syrian villages. These are recorded facts, not rumors and speculation,” columnist Ibrahim Varley told RT.
13--Incursion’: Baghdad demands Turkey withdraw ‘training’ troops from northern Iraq

While officially Baghdad is now considering whether there is enough evidence of Turkey’s involvement in oil trade with IS to file a formal protest at the UN Security Council, an Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman, Naseer Nuri, told Sputnik on Wednesday that “general information about the smuggling of Iraqi oil by trucks to certain countries, including Turkey” is already available to them, and “this oil is used to fund Daesh.”

Other Iraqi officials have openly accused Turkey of knowingly trading with the terrorists.

There is “no shadow of a doubt” that Ankara knows about the oil smuggling operations, Iraqi MP and former national security adviser Mowaffak al Rubaie told RT.

“The merchants, the businessmen [are buying oil] in the black market in Turkey under the noses – under the auspices if you like – of the Turkish intelligence agency and the Turkish security apparatus… There are security officers who are sympathizing with ISIS in Turkey. They are allowing them to go from Istanbul to the borders and infiltrate ... Syria and Iraq,” he said.

“Money and dollars generated by selling Iraqi and Syrian oil on the Turkish black market is like the oxygen supply to ISIS and it’s operation,” Rubaie added. “Once you cut the oxygen then ISIS will suffocate.”

14---The prospects for a global war now loom large

According to the initial scenario implemented by the West, ISIS and other militant groups, deceitfully called the moderate opposition, were to carry out a Libya-like scenario in Syria and oust or preferably kill Assad and plunge the whole country into chaos. Then the US-led coalition would start a full-scale military operation to stop the terrorists threatening the “moderate opposition” in Syria, deploy NATO forces on the ground and take control of the crucial oil and logistic infrastructure. Western oil corporations supported by NATO would then restore the state of affairs as it existed more than 40 years ago. Syria would fall victim to total exploitation by overseas powers. The Mediterranean would become Alliance’ internal lake.

Now it’s clear that Syria won’t fall under terrorist group pressure. The Syrian forces backed by Russia and Iran are gaining momentum, recapturing cities and facilities earlier controlled by militants. The NATO allies urgently need a new plan to hold control at least of the northern oil corridor from Iraq and try to take advantage of this opportunity to involve Russia in a long expensive war, in other words, to accomplish that which they failed to do in Ukraine. It means that the NATO contingent must occupy crucial infrastructure including oilfields before the Syrian government forces liberate it. Anti-government, meaning anti-Russian and anti-Iranian, forces would be established in parts of divided Syria. The need for an excuse to implement the changed approach could be the reason why the Nov.13 Paris attack wasn’t prevented by the Western special services.
The implication of the Western plan to divide Syria in a number of vassal entities leads to 3 main scenarios:

1)   Military buildup and escalation in the region could lead to open military conflict between NATO and the alternative anti-ISIS coalition that is led by Russia. This regional conflict could easily lead to a global war. Moreover, Turkey, a NATO member state, has already shown that it’s ready to escalate the situation to defend its illegal oil business linked with ISIS

2)    If the Syrian Arab Army with support by militia forces, Iran, and Russia isn’t able to show a significant success on the battlefield, Syria could be easily divided by the Western-backed ground forces supported by NATO airpower and intelligence assets. A direct military intervention to take control of the oil structure and crucial logistical points also remains possible.

Even if NATO and its regional allies successfully take control of a significant part of the country, this escalation is unlikely to be avoided. The situation will become more acute due to the establishment of an aggressive puppet regime on the Syria’s territory. Considering that the alternative anti-ISIS coalition won’t lay down its arms, an open conflict could be easily provoked by the interested powers.

3)   If the Syrian government forces supported by Russia and Iran take control of the country’s key areas, the US-led coalition will face the fact that Syria is de-facto liberated from terrorist groups. It could prevent a direct military intervention by NATO. In this case, the NATO countries would strengthen their presence in Iraq and use it as a foothold to launch further destructive actions against Syria. However, it’s the safest scenario most likely to avoid a global escalation.

15--The significance of the elevation of the Chinese renminbi

The elevation of the Chinese currency must be seen within this context. Rather than providing a new foundation for stability and order, it is an expression of the deepening instability and disorder that increasingly characterise the global economy, flowing from the erosion of the foundations on which it was based—unchallenged US economic hegemony.
Faced with this situation, the US is not planning to fade away peacefully into the background, but is seeking to counter its economic decline by military means. This is the meaning of its ever-increasing bellicosity towards Russia and its pivot to Asia, aimed at the subjugation of China.
The overriding tendency in the historical integration of China into the framework of world capitalism has been the drive by the imperialist powers to dominate and subjugate it.
This started with the Opium Wars initiated by Britain in the mid-19th century. By the end of the 19th century, there was not only a scramble for Africa, but also the carve-up of China, as all the imperialist powers, including the emerging ones—the US, Japan and Germany in particular—sought to establish their own economic zones and spheres of influence. The US announced its emergence on the world scene with the declaration that it sought an “open door” policy in China—in other words, it was not to be excluded from exercising its burgeoning interests.

When that perspective was challenged by Japan in the 1930s, first with the invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and then the attempted conquest of the whole country in 1937, the US set itself on a path of war against its Asian rival, which erupted with the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 and concluded with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945.
However, US plans for domination of the Chinese landmass were thwarted by the Chinese Revolution of 1949, which threw off the yoke of imperialism. But the nationalist policies and program of the Maoist regime, based on the Stalinist dogma of “socialism in one country,” meant that the country’s economic problems could not be resolved, erupting in a series of crises such as the “Great Leap Forward” of the 1950s and the “Cultural Revolution” in the 1960s

16--Putin state of state speech

Terrorism is a growing threat today. The Afghanistan problem has not been resolved. The situation there is alarming and gives us no optimism, while some of the yet recently stable and rather well-doing countries in the Middle East and North Africa – Iraq, Libya and Syria – have now plunged into chaos and anarchy that pose a threat to the whole world.
We all know why that happened. We know who decided to oust the unwanted regimes and brutally impose their own rules. Where has this led them? They stirred up trouble, destroyed the countries’ statehood, set people against each other, and then “washed their hands”, as we say in Russia, thus opening the way to radical activists, extremists and terrorists.

The militants in Syria pose a particularly high threat for Russia. Many of them are citizens of Russia and the CIS countries. They get money and weapons and build up their strength. If they get sufficiently strong to win there, they will return to their home countries to sow fear and hatred, to blow up, kill and torture people. We must fight and eliminate them there, away from home.
This is why it has been decided to launch a military operation there based on an official request from the legitimate Syrian authorities. Our military personnel are fighting in Syria for Russia, for the security of Russian citizens.

17---The most immoral country on earth?  CIA runs shadow war with Afghan militia implicated in civilian killings, WA Post

Afghan government officials acknowledge that the KPF has killed civilians and committed other abuses. ...

In Khost, the KPF is more influential than the Afghan army and police, and is unaccountable to the provincial government, often acting outside normal chains of command....

One commander, who left the force last month, said that CIA operatives regularly hold planning sessions and that in October he received his salary directly from them. “The orders came from the Americans,” he said. They were “the real bosses.”
“Only in name is the KPF linked to the NDS,” said Mohammad Qadin Afghan, a provincial council member and former KPF fighter who maintains close ties to the force. “They still work for the CIA"

They are accountable to no one but the Americans,” Zadran said....
“They capture anyone they want for no reason,” recalled a local storekeeper, ....

The CIA is not bound by the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and Washington that, among other rules, limits the ability of U.S. military forces to enter Afghan homes. The night raids, for the most part banned in 2013 by former president Hamid Karzai, were quietly reinstated by the U.S.-brokered coalition government of President Ashraf Ghani in an effort to better combat the Taliban. But Afghans consider the intrusions offensive.
Months after the Obama administration declared combat operations over in Afghanistan, the CIA continues to run a shadow war in the eastern part of the country, overseeing an Afghan proxy called the Khost Protection Force, according to local officials, former commanders of that militia and Western advisers.
The highly secretive paramilitary unit has been implicated in civilian killings, torture, questionable detentions, arbitrary arrests and use of excessive force in controversial night raids, abuses that have mostly not been previously disclosed....

On Oct. 15, as President Obama announced that 5,500 U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan past next year, he stressed that they would have just two missions: training Afghan forces and fighting al-Qaeda. Yet, throughout this year, there has been an aggressive American effort to stem Taliban territorial gains.....

The CIA is not subject to human rights vetting procedures under the Leahy Law, which proscribes the use of American taxpayer dollars to assist, train or equip any foreign military or police unit perpetrating gross human rights violations.
The KPF was one of several large paramilitary forces created by the CIA in the months after the Taliban was ousted following the 9/11 attacks

18--Colonel James Steele: From El Salvador to Iraq: Washington's man behind brutal police squads
In 2004, with the war in Iraq going from bad to worse, the US drafted in a veteran of Central America's dirty wars to help set up a new force to fight the insurgency. The result: secret detention centres, torture and a spiral into sectarian carnage

19---Iraq calls on Turkey to 'immediately' withdraw its troops in Mosul

20--Turkey has not flown any coalition air missions in Syria against ISIL since the Nov. 24 incident, two U.S. officials said.

The pause is the latest complication over Turkey's role to have tested the patience of U.S. war planners, who want a more assertive Turkish contribution, particularly in securing a section of border with Syria.

21--Turkish military to have a base in Iraq's Mosul
For more than two years, Turkey has had a group of soldiers in Bashiqa, located 32 kilometers north of Mosul, which is under Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) control. The soldiers have been training the Peshmerga forces and other anti-ISIL groups.

Some 150 Turkish soldiers and 20 tanks were deployed to the base to take over the mission from the 90 soldiers who have been in the region for two years.

With the increased number of Turkish soldiers deployed to the base, an increase is expected in the number of militia trained...
A statement from the Iraqi prime minister's media office confirmed that Turkish troops numbering "around one armed battalion with a number of tanks and cannons" had entered its territory near Mosul without request or permission from Baghdad authorities. It called on the forces to leave immediately.

In a separate statement flashed on state TV, the Iraqi foreign ministry called the Turkish activity "an incursion" and rejected any military operation that was not coordinated with the federal government, Reuters reported.

In Washington, two U.S. defense officials said that the United States was aware of Turkey's deployment of hundreds of Turkish soldiers to northern Iraq but that the move is not part of the U.S.-led coalition's activities

22--The Russian crisis vs. the official ideology

the official ideology of the past 2.5 years, since the Gezi Park protests of June 2013, has focused on the West’s endless conspiracies against the “New Turkey.” Accordingly, the Western world was very worried about the independent, powerful and defiant country that President Tayyip Erdoğan was building. It was “them” who destroyed the Ottoman Empire a century ago (and not any flaw of the Ottomans themselves), and it was again “them” who were alarmed to see the reincarnation of Ottoman majesty under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

This official ideology came from the very top and trickled down as relentless propaganda by the ever-growing pro-government media. Accordingly, the West’s conspiracies against Turkey were most heinous because of the fifth columns inside the country: The Gezi Park protestors, the Gülen Movement, the liberals and even the Kurdish nationalist. All these opposition circles were merely pawns of a vague Western cabal formed by Zionists, Orientalists, bankers, Islamophobes, freemasons, etc. Hence, the argument went on, and the government had the right to crack down on all the “traitors” to save Turkey’s “independence.”

Meanwhile, the proponents of the same official ideology tended to sympathize with other authoritarian regimes (or illiberal democracies) with a similarly conspiratorial worldview and a hierarchical political culture. Putin’s Russia was at the top of the list. Putin was praised by pro-government writers, even official advisors, as a tough leader who does not bow down to the masters of the universe. Putin, in reverse, hailed Erdoğan, as the latter recently reminded, as “brave and bold.”

With respect to Turkey, I have had repeated conversations with President Erdogan about the need to close the border between Turkey and Syria.  We’ve seen some serious progress on that front, but there are still some gaps.  In particular, there’s about 98 kilometers that are still used as a transit point for foreign fighters, ISIL shipping out fuel for sale that helps finance their terrorist activities.

The poll showed that 78% of respondents believed that Daesh sells its oil to Erdogan's Turkey.

Read more:

why haven't the Saudis been more involved?

The International Business Times reported in its article, “Turkey YouTube Ban: Full Transcript of Leaked Syria ‘War’ Conversation Between Erdogan Officials,” that (emphasis added):

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ban of YouTube occurred after a leaked conversation between Head of Turkish Intelligence Hakan Fidan and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu that he wanted removed from the video-sharing website.
The leaked call details Erdogan’s thoughts that an attack on Syria “must be seen as an opportunity for us [Turkey]”.
In the conversation, intelligence chief Fidan says that he will send four men from Syria to attack Turkey to “make up a cause of war”.

Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Yaşar Güler replies that Fidan’s projected actions are “a direct cause of war…what you’re going to do is a direct cause of war”.
With respect to Turkey, I have had repeated conversations with President Erdogan about the need to close the border between Turkey and Syria.  We’ve seen some serious progress on that front, but there are still some gaps.  In particular, there’s about 98 kilometers that are still used as a transit point for foreign fighters, ISIL shipping out fuel for sale that helps finance their terrorist activities. :

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