Sunday, March 15, 2015

The IS Shock, the ‘New Cold War,’ and the Unmentionable History of US Empire

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Thanks to the childishly ahistorical and amnesia-inducing narratives disseminated by dominant US corporate media, the origins of contemporary issues and dilemmas go back much further in time than is generally understood in the United States. Look at the abominable fundamentalist Sunni-Salafist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — also known as the Islamic State group, which holds de facto state power across much of western Iraq and Syria. In reigning US mass media, ISIS is presented as a great cloud of Islamo-extremist evil that mysteriously and shockingly arose out of thin air last year.  And that is how it is widely misconstrued in the US.
With its horrifying snuff films, its genocidal practices towards Shiite Muslims, Christians, and “polytheists,” and its arch-reactionary social codes imposed through whippings, limb-chopping, beheadings, stoning, eye-gouging, the shooting of children for minor infractions, and its sexual enslavement of women, ISIS is most definitely extremist and perversely evil. But in reality, as numerous left and other commentators have noted, ISIS, is among other things, a predictable “blowback” consequence of the brazenly criminal, mass-murderous United States invasion and occupation of Iraq between March of 2003 and 2011. “Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003,” John Pilger recently noted on TeleSur English, “almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery.”
Quite so. ISIS, a spin off and mutation of al Qaeda, is very much “the child of war.” As the brilliant British foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn notes, “the movement’s toxic but potent mix of extreme religious beliefs and military skill is the outcome of the war in Iraq since the U.S. invasion of 2003 and the war in Syria since 2011.” The first war collapsed Iraq state authority and took the lid off the nation’s fierce ethno-religious and sectarian divisions. The US fueled those divisions and Sunni uprisings against the corrupt and sectarian Shia government it set up in Baghdad. It produced droves of martyrs killed by US “Crusaders” in places like Fallujah, a Sunni city the US Marines targeted for near destruction (replete with the bombing of hospitals and the use of radioactive ordnance that created an epidemic of child cancer and leukemia) in 2004 – a town ISIS took over last year.
But just as the sectarian war that fed ISIS’s horrific emergence was retreating in Iraq, it was reignited when al Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor to ISIS, found new soil in which to blossom in neighboring Syria. The US, Europe, and their Middle Eastern allies (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates) kept a vicious civil war going against Syria’s Assad regime going though it was clear from 2012 on that Assad was not going to fall anytime soon. The US-sponsored war in Syria became the fertile, blood-soaked breeding ground for ISIS’s expansion on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, something the crooked and incompetent US-backed government in Baghdad was powerless to prevent.
Other recent US policies have fed the extraordinary growth of extreme jihadism modeled on al Qaeda and ISIS. The US-led NATO bombing of Libya in 2011 helped turn that country into a breeding ground for ISIS and related jihadist movements. Thanks in no small part to Obama’s deadly drone, bomb, and other attacks around the Muslim world (the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has bombed at least seven Muslim countries so far), the US has helped advance civil war and Sunni, al Qaeda- and ISIS-inspired jihad across the Middle East and North Africa. Washington has generated an expansion of Salafist terror and extremism beyond the wildest dreams of Osama bin-Laden, who was irrelevantly killed by Obama’s beloved Special Forces in May of 2011.
In reality, though, the United States’ complicity, along with its satellites and allies, in the rise of ISIS, goes back at least to the late Cold War era. As Cockburn notes in his indispensable book The Rise of the Islamic State; ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution(Verso, 2015), the key moment for the rise of political Sunni jihad was 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution turned Iran into a Shia theocracy. In the summer of 1979, the Jimmy Carter White House secretly granted massive military support to fundamentalist tribal groups known as the mujahidin, direct forebears of al-Qaeda and ISIS.  During the 1980s, a critical and remarkably durable partnership was formed between the United States, Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan’s military and intelligence services. This alliance has been a leading prop of US power in the Middle East. It has also “provided a seed plot for jihadist movements, out of which Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qaeda was originally only one strain” (Cockburn, The Rise, p. 100).
Among the many fundamentalist Sunnis recruited to fight in Afghanistan by the CIA and Pakistan’s intelligence agency (the ISI) was none other than Osama bin-Laden. A son of the Saudi elite, bin-Laden was the architect of the 9/11/2001 jetliner attacks, a predictable “blowback” from the United States’ longstanding mass-murderous actions and presence (Google up “Highway of Death” and “Iraqi children killed by US economic sanctions”) in the Arab and Muslim worlds. The al Qaeda attacks on the US “homeland” gave the George W. Bush administration cover and false pretext for the invasion that ironically brought jihadist Sunni rebellion and ultimately ISIS to Iraq (where al Qaeda had no real presence under Saddam). By Cockburn’s expert account, “The shock of 9/11 provided a Pearl Harbor moment in the U.S. when public revulsion and fear could be manipulated to implement a preexisting neoconservative agenda by targeting Saddam Hussein and invading Iraq. A reason for waterboarding al Qaeda suspects was to extract confessions implicating Iraq rather than Saudi Arabia in the attacks” (“bad information” was precisely the point of the torture).
The full history of the United States’ role in the creation of ISIS goes back further. Since the dawn of the Cold War, the United States has lent its considerable power to the defeat of left and secular nationalism across the Middle East.  As Left Middle East expert Gilbert Achcar noted nine years ago, “when Arab nationalism, Nasserism and similar trends began to crumble [under US pressure] in the 1970s, most governments used Islamic fundamentalism [with US encouragement and assistance] as a tool to counter whatever remnants there were of the left or of secular nationalism.” Along with this came “the neoliberal turn of the last quarter century” – the spread of alienating capitalist and commercial forces and values. “Neoliberal globalization,” Achcar explained, “has brought about the disintegration of the social fabric and of social safety nets.”  This led to widespread social disarray and anxiety, fueling “violent assertions of ‘identity,’ extremism or fanaticism….religious [and/] or political…”
It was an example of what Achcar rightly called “the classic tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Washington “let some kind of genie out of the bottle, but they can’t control it and, after a while, it turns against them.” Further: “The combination of their own repression of progressive or secular ideologies and the subjective failure – the bankruptcy of these ideologies, aggravated by the collapse of the Soviet Union – left the ground open to the only the ideological channel of anti-Western protest available, which was Islamic fundamentalism” – itself long “tolerated and even used and encouraged by the local regimes and by the United States.”
None of this significant history makes it into the “mainstream” US media and politics culture. That makes it impossible for anyone who relies on that culture for information on world events to respond to the rise of ISIS with anything but clueless surprise and astonished horror of the kind that supports yet more of the very imperial US policy that has done so much to create the terrible mess.
The same problem plagues US “mainstream” coverage of the “new Cold War” that has arisen between the US and Russia in connection with the Ukraine crisis. As far as anyone might tell from the usual ahistorical and decontextualized US coverage and commentary, the current crisis dates from Russia’s seizure of Crimea in late February and early March of 2014, widely portrayed in US media as an unprovoked outrage explained by little more than the rapacious imperialism of yet another new “Hitler”: Russian premier Vladimir Putin. There’s nothing in this account about how Crimea’s mostly Russian population voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia a voluntary popular referendum. Or about how the United States masterminded and sponsored a right-wing coup in Ukraine’s capital Kiev in February of 2014, hatching a toxic new pro-US regime that includes numerous highly placed neo-Nazis and relies on neo-fascist shock troops whose leaders call for the liquidation of “the Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum,” including leftists, feminists, trade unionists, environmentalists, and gays. Washington was happy to work with such unsavory elements in its determination to enlist Ukraine in the western-imperial military alliance (the so-called North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO), to seize control of Ukraine’s abundant natural gas resources, and to displace Russia as the leading supplier of Europe’s gas. There’s nothing in the US media, of course, about Russia’s longstanding legitimate sphere of national interest in Eastern Europe, especially in Ukraine, or about the long history of foreign military powers invading Russia, with disastrous consequences, through that country.
In reality, the “new cold war” goes back to the early 1990s, when, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a key debate occurred within the first administration of US President Bill Clinton. One side in this debate called for a Russian policy similar to the US Marshall Plan in Western Germany after WWII. It advocated providing significant economic and social assistance to assist Russia on the path to recovery, modernization, and solid reintegration into the world as a proud and independent player in the global community of nations. The other and victorious side argued that Boris Yeltsin’s Russia should still be humiliated and ostracized and treated as a potential enemy and obstacle to America’s quest for “unipolar” global hegemony. This was the position argued by the grand US-imperial geopolitical strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose acolytes in the Clinton White House included US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Adviser Anthony Lake.  It informed the US decision (contrary to George HW Bush’s promise to former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev) to expand NATO into Eastern Europe, even and even quite provocatively into the former Soviet Baltic republics – no small humiliation on top of an IMF-imposed economic “shock therapy” that slashed Russia’s GDP to a smaller size than the US “defense” (empire) budget.
This naturally generated a nationalist reaction among Russians, who observed that Washington was still treating them like hated adversaries even after they got rid of “communism” – the supposed basis for the United States’ Cold War hostility to Russia. Russian nationalist sentiments only increased with the Balkan Wars and the US decisions to wage a NATO war in Kosovo and to bomb Serbia – this over Russia and China’s opposition and despite Yeltsin’s offer to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the Kosovo conflict.
That was the rich historical die in which was cast the ascendancy of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and a new Cold War marked among other things by a resumed, reckless armaments build up between the two nuclear powers.
There are common threads in this unmentionable history.  One is the long shadow of the militant Russia-hater Brzezinski, a key architect behind both the original US Cold War policy of sponsoring Islamic fundamentalism and the “new Cold War” policy of humiliating post-Soviet Russia. Another is US hostility to anything smacking of socialism, social democracy, and independent popular nationalism in other nations, be it in Nasser’s Egypt, Soviet-allied Afghanistan (a bastion of human and women’s rights compared to the periods before and after),  Russia (a great nation that developed with some real accomplishments outside capitalism between through the 1970s), Milosevic’s Serbia (which antagonized the US with its resistance to Western dictates of neoliberal privatization and “free market” fundamentalism).
Another common theme is Washington’s endless quest to control global fossil fuel resources, long understood by US policy makers as a strategically hyper-significant form of critical imperial leverage over other nations. The United States wouldn’t have been deeply involved in the Middle East since World War II but for that region’s unmatched oil reserves.  Today, US elites lust over the vast gas and oil resources found not just in Ukraine but also in Russia itself, which Washington would love to dismember after somehow collapsing Putin’s regime.
Careful observers will note that the same imperial, anti-democratic, and petroleum-obsessed themes run though US policy towards oil-rich Venezuela, where Washington under Obama as under Bush has recently supported another attempted military and business coup to overthrow the democratically elected Chavista government. The Bolivarian state in Caracas has committed what US policymakers consider the unpardonable sins of national independence, popular democracy, and egalitarian wealth distribution, including the use of fossil fuel revenues for the related purposes of reducing poverty, inequality, and autonomous national and regional development beyond and against the dictates of US planners.

The paramilitary occupation of America

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It is necessary to call things by their right names. The obscene regularity of police murders in the United States has reached the point where it is appropriate to speak of the police as an occupying army, whose daily violence and brutality can best be described as a war against the country’s poor and working people.
Practically every day brings a new outrage. The death toll mounts relentlessly, against the backdrop of harassment and beatings that are daily facts of life in much of the country. The government does not publish figures on police killings; however, according to statistics compiled from media reports, some 1,000 people lose their lives as a result of police violence every year in the United States. That averages out to almost three fatalities a day.
The list of victims reported just over the past three weeks includes:
  • Anthony Hill, 27, Atlanta, Georgia. Unarmed, naked, suffering from mental illness, reportedly seen hanging from his balcony and crawling on the ground. Shot dead by a police officer on March 9.
  • Anthony Robinson, Jr., 19, Madison, Wisconsin. Unarmed. Shot dead by a police officer who forced his way into the victim’s apartment building on March 6.
  • Naeschylus Vinzant, 37, Aurora, Colorado. Unarmed, wanted on an arrest warrant. Shot and killed by a heavily armed paramilitary SWAT team on March 6.
  • Derek Cruice, 26, Volusia County, Florida. Unarmed, killed in his home. Victim in a drug raid that turned up a few ounces of marijuana. Fatally shot in the face on March 4.
  • Ernest Javier Vanepa Diaz, 28, Santa Ana, California. Unarmed, killed in his car. Father of four, working two jobs. Shot dead on February 27 after, in the words of the local police chief, he “did not cooperate.”
  • Ruben Garcia Villapando, 31, Euless, Texas. Unarmed, killed in his car. Shot dead on February 20 after he allegedly disobeyed an officer’s commands during a traffic stop.
  • Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, Pasco, Washington. Unarmed. Accused of throwing rocks at police. Shot dead as his hands were raised on February 10.
These names must be added to a list that includes Akai Gurley and Eric Garner in New York; twelve-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; and many others.
The mind-boggling level of police violence in the United States far exceeds that of any other major industrialized country. In Germany, there were eight police killings in 2013 and 2014 combined. In Canada, about a dozen people are killed by police each year.
In the past year, more people were killed by the police in Pasco, Washington (population of 68,000) than in all of Great Britain (population of 64,000,000) over the past three years.
Some of these killings are captured on videotape and become national news. Many more are barely reported or go unmentioned.
One web site that compiles local media reports, “Killed by Police,” documented 212 police killings in the first 70 days of this year, including at least seven on Wednesday alone. One brief media account is indicative: “A suspect has been fatally wounded after a brief police pursuit… The sheriff’s deputy discharged his weapon at the car after it finally stopped. The suspect was pronounced dead…”
The above incident could have happened in Iraq or Afghanistan. Such atrocities against civilians are commonplace in the countries occupied by the American military. There have been countless reports over the past 14 years of cars shot up by US military patrols because their drivers did not follow orders; of homes raided by American troops, their occupants beaten, arrested or shot.
Like the military, the police are trained to see the population as a hostile force. They demand that anyone they encounter act with complete submissiveness. Failure to obey is punishable by a beating, a jolt of electricity, arrest or summary execution.
The local police have intimate ties with the uniformed military and Pentagon. The latter has transferred billions of dollars in heavy weapons and military-grade equipment—including armored vehicles, helicopters and automatic weapons left over from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—to police departments across the country, in a program fully endorsed by President Obama.
Aurora, Colorado, for example, where Naeschylus Vinzant was killed last week, has received $500,000 in military equipment since 2006, including a Mine Resistant (MRAP) vehicle, shields, and dozens of automatic rifles.
Volusia County, where Derek Cruice was shot, has received $1,251,000 in military equipment, mainly in the form of automatic rifles, a $250,000 personnel carrier, and a MRAP valued at nearly $700,000.
To account for the militarization of domestic policing over the past half-century, one must examine the far-reaching changes in the structure of American society that have occurred. While police violence—overwhelmingly directed against the working class and its struggles—has long been a basic feature of American life, the systematic militarization of the police has developed alongside the transformations that have taken place since the 1960s.
Heavily armed SWAT teams first made their appearance in the latter years of that decade, in response to the urban uprisings and social upheavals of the period. By the end of the decade, the ruling class was repudiating the policy of social reform it had followed since the New Deal of the 1930s.
At the end of the 1970s, the political establishment launched an offensive against the jobs, wages and living standards of the working class that has continued ever since. “Law and order” politics became the political cover for a rapid buildup of the police powers of the state, including a vast expansion of the prison system and the transformation of the police into a paramilitary force.
These processes were intensified after 9/11 under the banner of the “war on terror.” The police were integrated more directly into the massive military-intelligence apparatus—the FBI, CIA, NSA and Pentagon. The local police today are tied by a million threads to the national system of repression and control.
This is what underlies the Obama administration’s insistent interventions in defense of the police, including Obama’s statement supporting the exoneration of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown, and his declaration last week that “the overwhelming number of law enforcement officers” do their job “fairly, and they do it heroically.”
The political establishment views the whitewash of Wilson not as a local question, but as a national necessity. In defending the police, in ensuring that there is no accountability for their crimes, Obama is upholding a critical part of the apparatus of repression.
The police carry out “heroic” work not in the service of the people, but in defense of the capitalist system and the ruling corporate-financial oligarchy. As social struggles develop, the police are called on to ever more directly use the violent methods honed by the military abroad against the working class at home.
Police violence is not fundamentally a question of racism, as claimed by the various organizations that orbit the Democratic Party. Whatever role racism may play in any given act of brutality, police violence is embedded in the irreconcilable conflict between the interests of the capitalist class and those of its opposite—the working class. This basic class division of society has grown all the more explosive with the colossal growth of social inequality.
This is why the fight against police violence must be rooted in the unification and mobilization of the working class, and the working class must see the fight against police violence as central to its own interests.
In drafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson included among the “long train of abuses and usurpations” of the British King the following: “Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us” and “protecting them, by mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they commit.” Then it was a question of overthrowing the British monarchy. Today it is a question of overthrowing the capitalist system.

The ISIS-US Empire – Their Unholy Alliance Fully Exposed

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Let’s be perfectly clear. The United States is not actually at war with ISIS. As Global Research director, economist and author Michel Chossudovsky plainly points out recently, Obama is simply waging “a fake war” against the Islamic State forces, putting on another propaganda show for mainstream media to keep his flock of American sheeple asleep in echo-chambered darkness. With a mere cursory review of recent historical events, one can readily realize that virtually everything Big Government tells us is happening in the world, you can bet is a boldface lie.
For over three and a half decades the US has been funding mostly Saudi stooges to do its dirty bidding in proxy wars around the world, beginning in Afghanistan in the 1980’s to fight the Soviets with the mujahedeen-turned al Qaeda that later would mutate into ISIS. Reagan and Bush senior gave Osama bin Laden his first terrorist gig. Our mercenary “Islamic extremists” for-hire were then on the CIA payroll employed in the Balkans during the 1990’s to kill fellow Moslem Serbs in Kosovo and Bosnia. For a long time now Washington’s been relying on the royal Saudi family as its chief headhunters supplying the United States with as needed terrorists on demand in order to wage its geopolitics chessboard game of global hegemony, otherwise known by the central banking cabal as global “Theft-R-Us.”
The Bush crime family were in bed with the bin Ladens long before 9/11 when that very morning George H W Bush on behalf of his Carlyle Group was wining and dining together with Osama’s brother at the posh DC Ritz Carlton while 19 box cutting Saudi stooges were acting as the neocon’s hired guns allegedly committing the greatest atrocity ever perpetrated on US soil in the history of this nation. And in the 9/11 immediate aftermath while only birds were flying the not-so-friendly skies above America, there was but one exception and that was the Air Force escort given the bin Ladens flying safely back home to their “Terrorists-R-Us” mecca called Saudi Arabia. On 9/11 the Zionist Israeli Mossad, Saudi intelligence and the Bush-Cheney neocons were busily pulling the trigger murdering near 3000 Americans in cold blood as the most deadly, most heinous crime in US history. If you’re awake enough to recognize this ugly truth as cold hard fact, then it’s certainly not a stretch to see the truth behind this latest US created hoax called ISIS.
Renowned investigative journalist and author Seymour Hersh astutely saw the writing on the wall way back in 2006 (emphasis added):
 To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
The US Empire along with its international partner-in-crime Israel has allowed and encouraged Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to be the primary financiers of al Qaeda turned ISIS. Even Vice President Joe Biden last year said the same. If Empire wanted to truly destroy the entire Islamic extremist movement in the Middle East it could have applied its global superpower pressure on its allied Gulf State nations to stop funding the ISIS jihadists. But that has never happened for the simple reason that Israel, those same Arab allies and the United States want a convenient “bad guy” enemy in the Middle East and North Africa, hiding the fact that al Qaeda-ISIS for decades has been its mercenary ally on the ground in more recent years in the Golan Heights, Libya, Iraq and Syria.
As recently as a month ago it was reported that an Islamic State operative claimed that funding for ISIS had been funneled through the US. Of course another “staunch” US-NATO ally Turkey has historically allowed its territory to be a safe staging ground as well as a training area for ISIS. It additionally allows jihadist leaders to move freely in and out of Syria through Turkey. Along with Israel and all of US Empire’s Moslem nation states as our strategic friends in the Middle East, together they have been arming, financing and training al Qaeda/ISIS to do its double bidding, fighting enemies like Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria while also posing as global terrorist boogie men threatening the security of the entire world. Again, Washington cannot continue to double speak its lies from both sides of its mouth and then expect to continue having it both ways and expect the world to still be buying it.
A breaking story that’s creating an even larger crack in the wall of the US false narrative is the revelation that Iraqi counterterrorism forces just arrested four US-Israeli military advisors assisting (i.e., aiding and abetting) the ISIS enemy, three of whom hold duel citizenships from both Israel and America. This latest piece of evidence arrives on the heels of a Sputnik article from a couple weeks ago quoting American historian Webster Tarpley saying that “the United States created the Islamic State and uses jihadists as its secret army to destabilize the Middle East.” The historian also supported claims that the ISIS has in large part been financed by the Saudi royal family. Interviewed on Press TV the critic of US foreign policy asked why NATO ally Turkey bordering both Iraq and Syria where the Islamic State jihadists continue to terrorize, why can’t Turkey simply use its larger, vastly superior army to go in and defeat the much smaller ISIS, especially if the US and NATO were serious about destroying their alleged enemy. Again, if ISIS is the enemy, why did the US recently launch an air strike on Assad’s forces that were in process of defeating ISIS? The reason is all too obvious, the bombing was meant to afflict damage to stop Assad’s forces from beating back ISIS that the US is clearly protecting.
Finally, Tarpley reaffirmed what many others have been saying that chicken hawk Senator John McCain is actual buddies with ISIS kingpin Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Of course photos abound of his frequent “secret” meetings with ISIS leadership illegally conducted inside Syria. This confirmed fact provides yet one more obvious link between the high powered criminal operative posing as US senator and the so called enemy of the “free world” ISIS.
Recall that iconic photo from June last year of American supplied trucks traveling unimpeded in the ISIS convoy kicking up dust in the Iraqi desert fresh from the Syrian battlefields heading south towards Baghdad. It was no accident that they were equipped with an enormous fleet of brand new Toyota trucks and armed with rockets, artillery and Stinger missiles all furnished by US Empire. Nor was it an accident that the Iraqi Army simply did an about face and ran, with orders undoubtedly coming from somewhere high above in the American Empire. The Islamic State forces were allowed to seize possession of 2500 armored troop carriers, over 1000 Humvees and several dozen US battlefield tanks all paid for by US tax dollars. This entire spectacle was permitted as ISIS without any resistance then took control of Mosul the second largest city in Iraq including a half billion dollars robbing a bank. Throughout this process, it was definitely no accident that the United States allowed the Islamic State forces to invade Iraq as with advanced US airpower it could have within a couple hours easily carpet bombed and totally eliminated ISIS since the Islamic State possessed no anti-aircraft weapons. And even now with the hi-tech wizardry of satellites, lasers, nanotechnology and advanced cyber-warfare, the US and allied intelligence has the means of accurately locating and with far superior firepower totally eradicating ISIS if the will to do so actually existed. But the fact is there is no desire to kill the phantom enemy when in fact it’s the friend of the traitors in charge of the US government who drive the Empire’s global war policy.
Washington’s objective last year was to purposely unleash on already ravaged Iraq the latest US-made, al Qaeda morphed into the Islamic monster-on-steroids to further destabilize the Middle Eastseek a regime change to replace the weak, corrupt, Sunni persecuting Maliki government in Baghdad and ‘balkanize” Iraq into three separate, powerless, divisive sections in similar vein of how the West tore apart and dissected Yugoslavia into thirteen ineffectual pieces. The globalist pattern of bank cabal loans drowning nations into quicksand debt and transnationals and US Empire posts predatorily moving in as permanent fixtures always replace what was previously a far better off sovereign nation wherever King Midas-in-reverse targets to spreads its Empire disease of failed-state cancer. After Yugoslavia came Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine. It goes on and on all over the globe. The all too familiar divide and conquer strategy never fails as the US Empire/NWO agenda. But the biggest reason ISIS was permitted to enter and begin wreaking havoc in Iraq last June was for the Empire to re-establish its permanent military bases in the country that Maliki had refused Washington after its December 2011 pullout.
With 2300 current US troops (and rising up to 3000 per Obama’s authorization) once again deployed back on the ground in Iraq acting as so called advisors, Iraq is now the centerpiece of US military presence in the Middle East region. Before a doubting House Armed Services Committee last Tuesday, CENTCOM Commander General Lloyd Austin defended Obama’s policyinsisting that ISIS can be defeated without use of heavy ground forces, feebly claiming that they’re on the run because his commander-in-chief’s air strike campaign is actually working. How many times before have we heard generals’ glowing reports to Congress turn out to be lies?
As far as PR goes, it appears the lies and propaganda are once again working. With help from the steady stream of another beheading-of-the week posted like clockwork on Youtube for all the world to shockingly see, not unlike when traffic slows down to look for bloodied car victims mangled on the highway. Apparently this thinly veiled strategy is proving successful again on the worked over, dumbed down, short attention-spanned American population. According to a poll released just a few days ago, 62% of Americans want more GI boots on the ground in Iraq to fight the latest made-by-America enemy for Iraq War III. Incredibly only 39% believe that more troops on the ground would risk another long, protracted war. Again, short attention spans are doomed to keep repeating history as in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
This polling propaganda disinformation ploy fits perfectly with prior statements made a few months ago by America’s top commander General Martin Dempsey that the US military presence in both Iraq and Syria must be a long term commitment as the necessary American sacrifice required to effectively take out ISIS. With US leaders laying the PR groundwork for more Empire occupations worldwide, of course it’s no accident that it conveniently fits in with the Empire’s agenda to wage its war of terror on a forever basis. Efforts by Washington to “prep” Americans for these “inevitable,” open-ended wars around the globe are designed to condition them into passive acceptance of lower intensity, “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” conflicts specifically to minimize and silence citizens from ever actively opposing yet more human slaughter caused by more US state sponsored terrorism in the form of unending imperialistic wars.
Every one of these “current events” have been carefully planned, coordinated, timed and staged for mass public consumption, none more so than those beheadings of US and British journalists, aid workers and Middle Eastern Christians along with the desecration of ancient Iraqi history with dozens of destroyed museums, churches and shrines. Obama and the Empire want us all to be thoroughly horrified and disgusted so we fear and hate the latest designated Islamic enemy. Hating your enemy to the point of viewing them as the lowest of the lowest, sub-human animal is an old psyops brainwashing trick successfully employed in every single war from the dawn of violent man. It effectively dehumanizes the enemy while desensitizing the killing soldier. For over a year now we’ve seen this same MSM game being relentlessly waged to falsely demonize Putin. The sinister, warped minds of the divide and conquer strategists from the ruling class elite don’t mind the resultant hating of Moslems around the world either. That’s all by diabolical design too.
If only six organizations control the entire planet’s mass media outlet that feeds the masses their daily lies like their daily bread, another winning bet would be that in a heartbeat they could also effectively shut down the internet pipeline that showcases ISIS horror show theatrics on the global stage. But by design, they are willingly, cunningly disseminated for worldwide mass consumption.
In fact the only consistent group that’s even been able to militarily hold their own and actually challenge ISIS, the Kurds, are watching UK ship heavy arms to the same losing team the Iraqi army that ran away from defending Mosul. The last time the West gave them weapons and supplies, they handed them right over to ISIS.
In a recent Guardian article, a Kurdish captain said that the Kurds offered to even buy the second hand weapons from the British used in Afghanistan. But because the West is afraid the heavy arms might empower Kurdish nationalism into demanding their own sovereign nation for the first time in history, the US wants to ensure that Iraq stays as one nation after implanting its latest Baghdad puppet regime. The fiercely independent Kurds are feared if they were granted autonomy that they might refuse to allow their homeland to be raped and plundered by the US unlike the corrupt current Iraqi government. The Kurdish fighters could sorely use the bigger guns as they plan to launch an offensive in April or May to take back Mosul from ISIS. But when permitting an ancient ethnic group its proper due by granting political autonomy risks interfering with the Empire’s rabid exploitation of another oil-rich nation, all bets are off in doing the right thing.
The mounting evidence is stacking up daily to unequivocally prove beyond any question of a doubt that ISIS is in fact a US mercenary ally and not the treasonous feds’ enemy at all. From mid-August 2014 to mid-January 2015 using the most sophisticated fighter jets known to man, the US Air Force and its 19 coalition allies have flown more than 16,000 air strikes over Iraq and Syria ostensibly to “root out” ISIS once and for all. Yet all this Empire aggression has nothing to show for its wasted phony efforts as far as inflicting any real damage on the so called ISIS enemy. Labeled a “soft counterterrorism operation,” a prominent Council on Foreign Relations member recently characterized Obama’s scheme as too weak and ineffectual, and like a true CFR chicken hawk, he strongly advocates more bombs, more advisers and special operations forces deployed on the ground.
But the records show that all those air strikes are purposely not hitting ISIS forces because they are not the actual target. Many air strike missions from both the US Air Force as well as Israeli jets have been designed to destroy extensive infrastructure inside Syria that hurts the Syrian people, causing many innocent civilian casualties, while not harming ISIS at all. This in turn ensures more ISIS recruits for America’s forever war on terror. Repeatedly oil refineries, pipelines and grain storage silos have also been prime targets damaged and destroyed by the West. Because in 2013 Obama’s false flag claim that Assad’s army was responsible for the chemical weapons attack was thwarted by strong worldwide opposition and Putin’s success brokering the deal that had Assad turning over his chemical weapons, a mere year later ISIS conveniently provided Obama’s deceitful excuse to move forward with his air offensive on Syria after all.
Finally, on numerous occasions the US was caught red-handed flying arms and supply drops to the Islamic jihadists on the ground. According to Iraqi intelligence sources, US planes have engaged regularly in air drops of food and weapons to ISIS. These sighting began to be observed after one load was “accidentally” dropped last October into so called enemy hands supposedly meant to go to the Kurdish fighters. Realizing the US has betrayed them, as of late Iraqi security forces have been shooting down US and British aircraft engaged in providing supplies and arms to their ISIS enemy. This is perhaps the most incriminating evidence yet in exposing the truth that ISIS is being supported, supplied and protected by the US Empire more than even the Iraqi government forces the US claims to be assisting in this phony war against the militant Islamic jihadists.
Clearly the unfolding daily events and developments in both Iraq and Syria overwhelmingly indict the United States as even more of “the bad guy” than the supposed ISIS terrorists. Recently the US was caught financing ISIS and has all along supported Arab allies that knowingly fund Islamic extremism. During the six months since Obama vowed to go after them and “root them out,” countless times the US and allies have maintained the so called enemy’s supply line with regularly scheduled air drops. Meanwhile, in both Syria and Iraq after a half year of alleged bombing, ISIS forces are reported to be stronger than ever. The air strikes have not been hitting jihadist targets because the American and coalition forces’ actual targets in Syria have been vital infrastructure and civilians that are clearly attacks on Assad. All of this irrefutable evidence piling up is backfiring on the American Empire. The world is now learning just how devious, diabolical and desperate the warmongering, pro-Zionist powerbrokers who are the war criminals controlling the US rogue government really are. Their evil lies are unraveling their demonic agenda as the truth cannot be stopped.

The Shocking Tax Loophole for Corporations that Commit Crimes

This is how taxpayers end up subsidizing corporate criminals.

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"Do the crime, do the time," the old saying goes. Unless, of course, the criminals are corporate executives. In those cases, the culprits are practically always given a "Get out of jail free" card.

        Even the corporate crimes that produce horrible injuries, illnesses, death, massive pollution, consumer ripoffs, etc. are routinely settled by fines and payoffs from the corporate treasury, with no punishment of the honchos who oversee what amount to crime-for-profit syndicates. The only bit of justice in these money settlements is that some of them have become quite large, with multibillion-dollar "punitive damages" meant to deter the perpetrators from doing it again. Yet the same bad corporate actors seem to keep at it.


        What's going on here is a game of winkin' 'n' noddin', in which corporate criminals know that those headline-grabbing assessments for damages they've caused have a secret escape hatch built into them. Congress has generously written the law so corporations can deduct much of their punitive payments from their income taxes! As Sen. Pat Leahy points out, "This tax loophole allows corporations to wreak havoc and then write it off as a cost of doing business."
 

        For example, oil giant BP certainly wreaked havoc with its careless oil rig explosion in 2010, killing 11 workers, deeply contaminating the Gulf of Mexico and devastating the livelihoods of millions of people along the Gulf coast. So, BP was socked with a punishing payout topping $42 billion. But -- shhhh -- 80 percent of that was eligible for a tax deduction, a little fact that's been effectively covered up by the bosses and politicians.
 

        This crazy quirk in America's laws to deter corporate crime forces victims to help subsidize criminals. Follow the bouncing ball here: First, a court orders a corporation to pay punitive damages to a victim of its criminal acts; second, the corporate offender pays up, and then merrily subtracts a big chunk of that payment from its income tax, effectively taking money out of our public treasury; third, while the criminal is counting its tax break, the victim is notified that the punitive damage money he or she received from the corporation will be taxed as "regular income;" fourth, that means a big chunk of the victim's payment goes into the treasury to replenish the public money the corporate villain subtracted.
 

        This is nothing but shameful pandering by government officials to rich and powerful criminals. It's bad enough that corporate-financed lawmakers legalize such encouragement of criminality, but corporate-coddling judges are playing the same disgraceful game -- drastically reducing the amounts that juries order corporations to pay. In a Montana case, for example, a jury awarded $240 million in punitive damages to the families of three people, including two teenagers, killed in a car crash. The deaths were blamed on a steering defect that South Korean automaker Hyundai was found to have known about and "recklessly" ignored for more than a decade. But a district judge has since supplanted the jury's ruling with her own. While declaring that Hyundai's "reprehensibility" certainly warrants a sizeable punishment, she cut the corporation's punitive payment down to $73 million.
 

        Hello -- that's not punishment to a $79-billion-a-year car giant, it's pocket change. Why would Hyundai executives quit putting corporate profits over people's lives if that's their "punishment"?
 

                Plus, we taxpayers and the victims' families are still lined up to subsidize whatever "punishment" Hyundai ultimately pays. With subsidies and wrist-slaps, the corporate criminal whirligig will continue to spin, making a mockery of justice.        Fortunately, Sen. Leahy has had the good sense to introduce legislation to lock down this escape hatch for thieves, killers and other executive-suite villains. For more information on the moral outrage of ordinary taxpayers being forced to subsidize corporate criminals, contact U.S. PIRG at www.uspirg.org

Guess What Happened The Last Two Times The S&P 500 Was Up More Than 200% In Six Years?

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Just a few days ago, the bull market for the S&P 500 turned six years old.  This six year period of time has been great for investors, but what comes next?  On March 9th, 2009 the S&P 500 hit a low of 676.53.  Since that day, it has risen more than 200 percent.  As you will see below, there are only two other times within the last 100 years when the S&P 500 performed this well over a six year time frame.  In both instances, the end result was utter disaster. And as you take in this information, I want you to keep in mind what I said in my previous article entitled “7 Signs That A Stock Market Peak Is Happening Right Now“.  What we are witnessing at this moment is classic “peaking behavior”, and there is a long way to go down from here.  So if historical patterns hold up, those with lots of money in the stock market could soon be in for a whole lot of trouble.
According to Societe Generale analyst Andrew Lapthorne, there was an S&P 500 bull market run of more than 200 percent over a six year time period that ended in 1929.
We all know what happened that year.
And there was another S&P 500 bull market run of more than 200 percent over a six year time period that ended in 1999.  In the end, all of those gains were wiped out when the dotcom bubble burst.
And now we are near the end of another great bull market for the S&P 500.  The following is an excerpt from a recent Business Insider article
“Such a strong six year run up in US equities has only been seen twice since 1900, i.e., back in 1929 and 1999, neither of which ended well,” Lapthorne wrote.
It’s anyone’s guess what happens next. But Lapthorne and his colleagues have slanted bearish.
Best Six Year Performance
So how will this current bull market end?
Needless to say, a lot of people are not very optimistic about that right now.
And there was another very interesting bull market that ended in 1987
On Aug. 12, the S&P 500 dipped to 102.42, setting the stage for the third-biggest bull market in stocks since 1929. Inflation and unemployment fell. In 1984, President Reagan would cruise to reelection with an ad telling voters “It’s morning again in America.” By 1987, the stock market had tripled. Shareholders who were able to see beyond the gloom of the early 1980s reaped a huge return.
Of course a lot of those huge stock market returns were eliminated in a single day.  On October 19th, 1987 the Dow declined by more than 22 percent during a single trading session.  That day is still known as “Black Monday” up to this present time.
Markets tend to go down a lot faster than they go up.  So if your stock portfolio has gone up substantially over the past few years, good for you.  But keep in mind that all of your gains can be wiped out very rapidly.  Millions of people experienced this during the last financial crisis, and millions more will experience this during the next one.
And as I keep reminding people, so many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the last great stock market collapse are happening once again.
For example, just yesterday I explained that there has been only one other time over the past decade when we have seen the U.S. dollar surge in value in such a short period of time.
That was in 2008, just prior to the last financial crisis.
Another example is what has happened to the price of oil.  Since the middle of last year, the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 dollars a barrel.
In all of history, that has happened only one other time.
That was in 2008, just prior to the last financial crisis.
I could go on and on.  I could talk about margin debt, price/earnings ratios,industrial commodities, etc.
But you know what?  Despite all of the warning signs there are still people out there that are eagerly pouring money into the stock market.
Back in 2005 and 2006, I knew people that were hurrying to buy homes before they got “priced out of the market”.  So they did everything that they could to scrape together down payments and they took on mortgages that were larger than they could really afford.
And in the end they got burned.
Today, people are doing similar things.  For instance, my friend Bob recently sent me an article that I could hardly believe.  It turns out that an “expert” on CNBC is encouraging people “to take out a 7 year loan with a rapidly amortizing asset as collateral in order to buy stocks.”
Yikes!
Let me be clear.  The really, really, really dumb money is jumping into the stock market right now.  Those that are pouring money into stocks today are really going to get hit hard when the crash comes.
And it isn’t just me saying this.
Mr Odey is best known for his big macroeconomic calls, including foreseeing the 2008 global credit crisis; piling into insurers in the wake of September 2001 attacks; and picking the recent oil price rout. He famously paid himself £28 million in 2008 after shorting credit crisis casualties, including British lender Bradford & Bingley. Mr Odey’s fund returned 54.8 per cent that year.
“The market’s reaction to all of this is leave it to the professionals, leave it to those great guys, the central bankers, because they saved the day in 2009,” he said. “These guys are kind of relying on central banks pulling a rabbit out of a hat.”
The risk is that this time, monetary policy may be ineffective: “We need the crisis to reformulate policy. Central banks are not all singing and all dancing, they cannot basically avoid the natural consequences of what we are doing.”
An inadequate supply-side response to the plunge in commodity prices as the resources industry declines to reduce production was in effect stimulating supply into falling demand.
“The trouble is today the players, whether they are the miners or the oil companies or the Saudis or anybody else, they are not doing the right things. This is the first time in my career where economics 101 doesn’t work at all.”
But it was also true that the world has not had a major recession for 25 years and thanks to frequent interventions, “there is a sensation we don’t have a business cycle”. Stocks are enjoying a six-year bull market but he also hinted at liquidity issues bubbling under the surface.
I just think that you and I have got grandstand seats here [to an imminent market shock] and my point is having found myself in the second quarter of last year selling a lot of equities and starting to go short, I found out just how illiquid it all was. You never actually see it until people try and get out of these things.”
It was unclear to Mr Odey what central banks could do to prevent a crash.
The warning signs are clear.
Soon the time for warning will be over and the crisis will be here.
I hope that you are getting ready.