Mike Whitney: Irreversible Decline? — Did the U.S. and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices?

Are falling oil prices part of a US-Saudi plan to inflict economic damage on Russia, Iran and Venezuela?
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to think so. In a recent interview that appeared in Reuters, Maduro said he thought the United States and Saudi Arabia wanted to drive down oil prices “to harm Russia.”
Bolivian President Evo Morales agrees with Maduro and told journalists at RT that: “The reduction in oil prices was provoked by the US as an attack on the economies of Venezuela and Russia. In the face of such economic and political attacks, the nations must be united.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the same thing,with a slightly different twist: “The main reason for (the oil price plunge) is a political conspiracy by certain countries against the interests of the region and the Islamic world … Iran and people of the region will not forget such … treachery against the interests of the Muslim world.”
U.S.-Saudi “treachery”? Is that what’s really driving down oil prices?

This post was published at Counterpunch

Transcending The Soul Hackers

With the closing of another year marked by media hysteria, the narrative that the crazed hermit North Korean regime orchestrated the hacking of the Japanese-owned Hollywood company Sony, thereby assaulting our precious freedom to crank out cultural subversion, has quickly begun to fall apart.
From the beginning the story never held neither consistency nor any forensic evidence. Yet the notion that ruthless Korean dictator Kim Jong Un wants to keep them from the movies, the modern substitute for the West’s emptying churches, has sent cable news consumers into a panic.
Elusive North Korean hackers have joined ISIS, Ebola, and a resurgent Russia on the ever- lengthening list of threats that government and media tell us we must fear. As it stands now, with the script quickly breaking down, the media and government (really two tentacles of the same power structure) are bound to quickly divert attention elsewhere; a new national security villain will be constructed and dangled in front of the attention-deficit public.
DEAR LEADER: ‘The trap is set, comrades!’
Meanwhile in France, several young radical Muslims have been attacking their host society, attempting to murder French police officers and Christmas shoppers. As has become standard fare in our era of political correctness, the French government quickly sought to dismiss thecosplay jihadists as having nothing to do with terrorism, casting them instead as a random assortment of mentally ill individuals senselessly lashing out. Similar ISIS-inspired escapades by marginal, ressentiment-driven characters have transpired in recent months, not only in France, but also in Canada, the United States, and Australia. Government authorities in these nations were equally quick to dismiss such attacks by self-styled holy warriors as aberrations that should not be seen as part of some wider pattern, lest the West’s entire secular multicultural project come under deeper scrutiny.
It is in this environment that the 20th century German philosopher Josef Pieper observed that while modern man is ‘looking out for the powers of corruption in a mistaken direction,’ the lords of the technocracy ‘establish their rule before his eyes.’ Modern man is diverted down a multitude of false paths toward dead ends, but he remains all too often oblivious to what is happening right under his very nose. His ignorance, often willful, lends strength to those who would seek even more power to control and manipulate him.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JANUARY 1, 2015.

US Ally, Saudi Arabia Beheads 87 In 2014, Up Over 10% From 2013

It was a good year for those long ‘beheadings’. After a solid 79 head-removals in 2013, 2014 surged 10% higher with a recent record 87 beheadings overall (following a surge since August for crimes such as “drug smuggling, witchcraft, or sorcery”). The ‘State’ responsible for all these executions… not ISIS, but US ally, Saudi Arabia…
As BNO News reports,
A Pakistani man convicted of smuggling a large amount of heroin has been decapitated by sword in Saudi Arabia, the government reported on Wednesday, disregarding concerns raised by human rights activists and raising the number of people executed there this year to 87.

‘The Interior Ministry reminds the public that the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) – may Allah protect him – continues the fight against drugs of all kinds as it inflicts serious harm on the individual and society,’ the ministry said in its statement. ‘The most severe penalties on the perpetrators are derived from the righteous approach of Sharia law.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/31/2014.

Libya 3.0: NATO’s Failed ‘Vichy’ Gov’t Now Waging Against Itself

Another war is brewing in Libya.
When the current Libya government was hand-picked by the Washington-London-Paris axis in 2012-2013, anyone who was actually paying attention knew that it would eventually end in tears, and so it has.
Since the beginning of Washington’s regime change operation in Libya in 2011, the whole affair has been one long unbridled disaster. This week the violence has escalated – with car bombs in Tobruk, Coptic Christians being killed, and the government launching airstrikes against its own cities. The broken nation of Libya has officially descended into a full-blown Civil War.
The west’s hand-picked regime in Libya has extended beyond the pale – finally launching airstrikes against its own people (see article below)…
Back in 2011, NATO demanded regime change and the immediate removal of Libya’s head of state, Muammar Gaddafi, before bombing Libya into the stone age under the disguise of a ‘humanitarian Intervention’. Back then the rhetoric was ber confident, with British PM David Cameron boasting at the time that he would not rule out ‘the use of military assets’, as Britain ‘must not tolerate this regime using military forces against its own people’. Back then, the Club of NATO managed to hoodwink the UN Security Council in order to pass one of the most deceptive resolutions in the history of the United Nations. Hungry to decapitate the nation of Libya, western double-talkers insisted that UN Resolution 1973 formed the ‘legal basis’ for military intervention in Libya’s internal conflict.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 30, 2014.

REVEALED: Churchill Wanted to Convert to Islam

21st Century Wire says…
How close was Churchill to converting?
During his service overseas as a young man, Winston Churchill was exposed to the religion of Islam during his foreign service in Sudan and India, circa 1910. His rapid movement towards the faith was such that his future sister-in-law was called by the family to intervene in this ‘fight against’ Winston’s desire to convert (see report below).
Other written passages tell another story – of his views towards Islam. In his book, The River War, published in 1899, and written during the Anglo-Egyptian conquest of the Sudan, Churchill writes off Islamic civilization as ‘backward’:
‘The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.
No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.’
Of course, it was Winston Churchill – who pioneered the use of deadly chemical weapons against Arabs in 1919 in countries like Iraq, keen to flex newly acquired British airpower and dropping poison gas against the ‘uncivilised tribes’, which he referred to as ‘a lively terror’. Churchill’s racist genocidal fervor was backed up by David Lloyd George, who famously said of the Arabs, ‘We insisted on reserving the right to bomb niggers…’, explaining the British government’s demands made at the 1932 World Disarmament Conference, further reserving the Crown’s right to use WMD’s and bomb for ‘police purposes in outlying places’.
More on Churchill’s adventures in Islam…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 30, 2014.

The Islamization of American Public School Children

Many historians have compared our current plight to that of the Roman Empire in its fall-apart days. Like the Romans, we are falling because we became complacent and stopped doing the things that build a powerful civilization. We, as Americans, are failing to see where we are at in our own history. Our government has been hijacked by the banksters along with their endless bailouts. Additionally, our culture is being eaten away by the tenets of Sharia Law and increasingly, our schools are being propagandized by this political doctrine, which is disguised as religious dogma. Unfortunately, America has not learned and applied her place in history and compared it to the Romans because we are witnessing the beginning of the Islamization of our public schools and very few people have the courage to speak out for fear of being marginalized as an extremist.
The Silent Invasion Carol Brown recently released an article in which she alleges that ‘Muslim Brotherhood front groups have been, and continue to be, integrally involved in the development of Common Core curriculum. They make sure a false picture of Islam is integrated into lessons, from K – 12. Our children are exposed to all manner of ‘educational’ activities that amount to Islamic propaganda, which is now endemic in the school system.’
In here article Brown invites the read ‘To get a taste of what’s going on, please take the abbreviated tour below. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,
here, here, here, here, here, and here).’
The tour as Carol Brown describes it, is very disturbing. It parallels what I wrote about earlier this year in which Sharia Law is the political enforcement arm for radical Muslim extremists.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on December 29, 2014.

A Trip to Elephant Nature Park – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant imagery is ubiquitous in Thailand. The animal takes on the form of the god Ganesh in Hinduism, and while Thailand is 95% Buddhist, Indian religious influence is clear. The sad irony of the situation is that the Asian elephant is in dire straights in Thailand. It is estimated that at the turn of the 20th Century, there were 100,000 elephants in Thailand. That number has plunged dramatically to an estimated 5,000 today. Of these, about 2,000 are in the wild and 3,000 in captivity as domestic elephants. A dismal situation became even worse following the Thai ban on logging in 1989, when many of the working domestic elephants were suddenly out of a job. With a fixed cost and an income stream suddenly threatened, elephant owners either abandoned their animals or brought them into big cities such as Bangkok where they would entertain tourists on the loud, crowded streets for change. These elephants didn’t eat enough, didn’t bathe enough, they walked on polluted city streets, and breathed congested air. It was a horrible existence for these majestic beasts that are meant to naturally roam the forests. This practice has since been banned, and fortunately, Thai cities are essentially elephant free today.
My girlfriend loves elephants. From the first day I met her, this passion was apparent. Her dream in life has always been to see an elephant in the wild, or within a humane environment. Trying to find a conscious place to see and interact with these animals was no easy task. Ultimately, we found a wonderful place called Elephant Nature Park, started by an exceptional woman, Lek Chailert. She was born in one of the many hill tribe villages around Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, and became close with elephants after her grandfather, who was a shaman, received one as a gift for helping a local person through sickness. Cognizant of the plight of Thai elephants, Lek started Elephant Nature Park in 1996 to rescue abused, old, abandoned and orphaned elephants. The park is now home to 43 of these magnificent animals, some more than eighty years old, along with some babies. In fact, five elephants have been born in the park since it opened.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Dec 28, 2014.

The Sharia Law Invasion of the United States and Western Europe

There are some very dangerous immigration trends taking in place in Western Europe and the United States. Both regions of the world beg the question: How many third world immigrants can a nation absorb until that nation ceases to be what it once was?
Invading Western Europe and the United States My heart goes out to most any immigrant group. Even the immigrants which are being used for political purposes, frequently do not even realize they are political pawns. They are simply looking for a better way of life for themselves and their family members. Despite the fact that immigrants of all types are generally hard working people in search of opportunities does not mean that we owe them our country, our culture and the sacred traditions we hold dear.
If the European Union and the United States do not act now to stem the tide of Sharia Law inspired immigration, there will cease to be a Western Europe, and possibly a United States, as we know it and the transformation will reach the tipping point in a few short years.
The major threat facing the West, does not lie in the fact that it is primarily Muslims who are moving into Western countries and supplanting the host country’s traditions with their own. The major threat facing Western Europe and the US lies in the fact that Muslims are coming to their country armed with Sharia Law and their religious leaders plan to take over according to the mandates of this governing doctrine.
The Sharia Threat
I have no objection to Muslims, or anyone else, practicing their religion. However, anyone’s right to practice their religion ends at the tip of my Constitutionally protected nose. From what I read about the tenets of Sharia Law, the intent is for the religion to elevate itself above all others and force compliance in terms of worshiping the beliefs of Islam or suffer extreme circumstances.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on 28 December 2014.

Embedded with IS group: West ‘underestimates the danger’

German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer, who recently spent 10 days with Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria, tells FRANCE 24 they buy Western weapons from Syrian rebels and envision a future that includes a massive "religious cleansing".
Todenhofer, 74, said he spent several months negotiating a deal with IS militants that would allow him to visit their self-proclaimed "caliphate", which the group has carved out of vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, leaving behind a trail of death, rape and pillage.
The German reporter said he encountered numerous foreign fighters who had joined the jihadist cause, including dozens of Frenchmen, US citizens from New Jersey and "the son of one of the richest bankers [in] London".
He described IS fighters as tough, well-trained, and convinced they are achieving "something great, something historic".
Islamic State group militants share a world view that calls for a massive “religious cleansing” and which envisions a future with only three religions – a “very rigid” form of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
“All the other religions have to be killed, have to disappear,” Todenhofer said, adding that the militants envisage this would involve the elimination of “hundreds of millions, even billions” of people.

This post was published at France24

Tsunami Keynesianism Sharia Law = Stagnation

After the peace came $7.2bn of relief funds from international donors and the Indonesian government in one of the world’s biggest and most complex disaster reconstruction efforts.
It left Aceh with some of the country’s best roads and hospitals, 140,000 new homes and 1,400 new schools.
The funds also gave a big boost to the economy, turning Banda Aceh, the regional capital, into a boomtown with new hotels, two shopping malls and coffee shops full of students working on laptops and smartphones.
However, the province’s young population is more concerned about the future than the past. Corruption, economic stagnation, environmental degradation and the politicisation of Islam are threatening Aceh’s prospects.
Like the rest of Indonesia, southeast Asia’s biggest economy, Aceh is finding out the limits of an economy built on consumption and natural resource extraction. But its problems are more acute. While Indonesia’s economy grew at 5 per cent in the third quarter, Aceh grew at just 2.7 per cent, the second slowest rate of the country’s 34 provinces. About 18 per cent of Acehnese live below the official poverty line of $0.95 per person a day, well above the national average of 11 per cent.
Rather than tackling the province’s problems, the former fighters who run the local government under a special autonomy deal with Jakarta squabble over contracts, politics and Islamic dress codes for women.
In Aceh’s many mountainous hamlets and fishing villages, people are struggling to make ends meet, facing new threats from floods and droughts, and harassment from the sharia police, who uphold Islamic law.
‘After the tsunami, people made a lot of money from the international NGOs but that ran out after five years,’ says Teuku Ahmad Dadek, the head of planning for the local government of West Aceh, which incorporates Meulaboh. He argues that physical reconstruction was successful but that infrastructure alone does not generate economic growth.
‘Now we have beautiful roads thanks to American and Japanese money but we don’t have any new jobs.’

This post was published at Tea Party Economist on December 26, 2014.

Christmas Column

Dear Readers, thank you for your support in 2014. Although you have kept me working yet another year past retirement age, I find it encouraging that there are some Americans who can think independently and who want to know. As Margaret Mead said, it only takes a few determined people to change the world. Perhaps some of you will be those people.
My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious or otherwise. The United States has democratic institutions and legal institutions to protect civil liberties. Nevertheless, we now have a police state. Shall I argue that democracy and civil liberty are the causes of police states?
Some readers also are confused about hypocrisy. There is a vast difference between proclaiming moral principles that one might fail to live up to and proclaiming immoral principles that are all too easy to keep.
Liberty is a human achievement. We have it, or had it, because those who believed in it fought to achieve it. As I explain in my Christmas column, people were able to fight for liberty because Christianity empowered the individual.
The other cornerstone of our culture is the Constitution. Indeed, the United States is the Constitution. Without the Constitution, the United States is a different country, and Americans a different people. This is why assaults on the Constitution and assaults on Christianity are assaults on all of us. There is not much that we can do about these assaults, but we should not through ignorance enable the assaults or believe the government’s claim that safety requires the curtailment of civil liberty.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on December 24, 2014.

We Have Much More to Fear Than Fear Itself

‘The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.’
Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
To paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, ‘We have more to fear, than fear itself’. Even the sheep are beginning to know that things are not just quite right. You are reading this article for the same reason.
Because of the blessings bestowed upon me by the spirit of Jesus Christ, I have lived an absolutely blessed life. I have been fortunate enough to have successfully pursued four major career interests, I have wonderful friends, a beautiful family and everyday is a fun adventure. In the course of my day, I have the honor to help people and I make money by having fun. Believe me, when I say that I do not need to write articles, appear on 3-4 talk shows per week and to broadcast my own radio show in order to have a blessed life. My writing and my broadcasting are an anathema to my professional and private life. I pray for the day that I do not feel compelled to do what I am doing. My son asked me yesterday what I would with my free time when ‘we win’. I could not think of a coherent ‘in the world’ answer because right now humanity is getting its butt kicked on so many fronts.
A Paradigm Shift The vast majority of people do not handle paradigm changes very well. Infamous globalist and co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in his book, Between Two Ages…, that when a society transitions from one societal form to another (e.g. agricultural to industrial), the people go through ‘hell’. America and for that matter, the world, is in that position and we are about to go through hell.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on December 24, 2014.

ANARCHY DIVIDED IS JUST NOISE

I appreciated Jeff’s recent succinct and thought provoking post. Prince Ea hits the nail on the head in his video (profanity warning).
There’s been a lot of division lately, which should be expected. What shouldn’t be expected, however, is how much of it is happening among those who claim to be anarchists. As we see various perspectives posted, not on just Ferguson but many of the issues plaguing western culture, few seem to be aware of how much they too have been conditioned by their rulers and the media to think certain ways. A few examples
Acceptance that “racism” is even a valid term. Since I am white, I must be part of the problem, right? Actually, there is rumor in our family of a mulatto in our ancestry, so I guess I’m conflicted. I’m of Irish decent too, so now I’m really in trouble. My wife is of Jewish descent… ugh, what a mess. No matter what someone’s supposed “racist” prejudice is about, I’m part of the problem. I love how Morgan Freeman handled it, “making it a bigger issue than it needs to be is the problem here.” The media is leading the masses around by the nose at the behest of the state, with very few recognizing it. The fact is, there is but one human race. The very term “racism” is asinine. It’s simply another way of saying humans are prejudiced against humans.


This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on December 23, 2014.

Immigration Control: Federal Social Engineering

Central planning by the federal government is officially opposed by conservatives until you show them a marker that says “United States” on one side, and “Mexico” on the other. Then: “Congress needs to build a fence!”
The believers in fences offer many arguments. Some of them say this: “Those people want to get free government welfare. We cannot afford it.”
The defender of liberty replies in two ways: “First, these programs should be abolished. They are based on government planning and coercive wealth redistribution. They are the main problem, not any immigrants who may sign up. Second, the sooner they go bankrupt, the better. Let immigrants sign up.” The problem is this: most conservatives approve of these welfare programs in theory and practice. The big ones are Social Security, Medicare, and tax-funded education. Conservatives do not want these programs de-funded. They see them as part of the American way of life.
Second, the conservative says this: “These immigrants will undermine our social way of life. They’re just too different. The American way of life cannot survive open immigration. Change will overwhelm the American way of life.”
The defender of liberty responds: “The free market changes America every day. Innovations undermine our way of life, moment by moment. Innovation makes our lives better.” Second, he replies: “Why do you think Congress can pass a law restricting freedom of travel and freedom of contract, and thereby preserve the good parts of our way of life? Why do you trust the federal government’s good judgment in matters social and economic? Why have you become an apologist for central planning? Why have you become an advocate of social engineering by federal politicians and bureaucrats?” Conservatives remain silent. They have never thought of this, and they don’t want to have to re-think what they say they believe in, namely, that Congress cannot safely be trusted on matters economic. They are saying that Congress can provide a Goldilocks solution: not too much social change, but not too little. The defender of liberty asks: “When has Congress ever legislated a Goldilocks solution? When has the federal bureaucracy ever enforced it as written, let alone as justified by members of the voting bloc in Congress that passed it?”
Third, the conservative says this: “Immigrants will get jobs here. They will take jobs away from Americans.”
I want to focus on this argument, for it is the most common one. It invokes nationalism over liberty. It equates nationalism with restrictions on the freedom of contract. It says: “Not everyone should have the legal right to bid on jobs inside our borders. Only those who are legally inside our borders already, or who will be born to those already inside our borders, should possess this right.” It says: “Our ancestors go here before there were any immigration laws. We deserve the right to bid. Outsiders don’t. It’s first come, first served.”
MAY WE HELP?
This attitude is in direct opposition to both Christianity and the free market. A fundamental principle of Christianity is the principle of service to God by service to our fellow men. This is made clear in Matthew 25. “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (v. 40). The context is the final judgment. The principle of service is also basic to free market economics, which teaches that income derives from service to the customer. This goes back to Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations (1776).

This post was published at Gary North on December 22, 2014.

Sydney Siege: Was Aussie ‘Terror Sheikh’ an Informant or Just Mad?

21st Century Wire
SPECIAL REPORT
They called it the ‘Sydney Siege’, suggesting it was something much bigger than it actually was.
It ended in rather dramatic fashion: after a near 16 hour ordeal inside, Australian police finally stormed a chocolate shop in Sydney’s Martin Place district in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
As is expected, the media moved to simultaneously paint the event as a ‘heroic act’ by the security services, and a shocking ‘terrorist-related attack’, but was it really?
Just seconds before the raid finally went down, five to six hostages were seen running out of the Lindt chocolatiers. A flurry of loud bangs could be heard, followed by a hail of bullets as a group of heavily armed police stormed the tiny venue where a gunman was said to be holding an unknown number of people hostage. The end result: one dead mentally ill gunman, and two dead hostages. It’s still unclear who shot whom.
We are told that the celebrated ‘Sydney Siege’ standoff was the work of a ‘lone wolf’; 50-year-old self-styled, Iranian-born Muslim ‘cleric’, Man Haron Monis (real name Manteghi Bourjerdi).
NOTE: The dramatic scene unfolded shortly after the gunman’s apparent identity was unveiled by local media…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 17, 2014.

FOX Upset, Demanding Australians Call Sydney Siege a ‘Terrorist Attack’

21st Century Wire says…
The Sydney Siege has come and gone, with what looks like another example of a known nut case who let out on the streets by the Security Services, only to reek havoc on the community.
Australian riot police ended the 16-hour hostage standoff started by 50-year-old self-styled, Iranian-born Muslim ‘cleric’, Man Haron Monis, as police did a blitz-style assault on the Lindt chocolate store in Martins Place in Sydney.
Monis is said to have a very long and disturbing criminal rap sheep which includes among other things, multiple counts of sexual assault, and an accessory to murder charge. He was also a local media darling, well known to local press and on social media playing the role of ‘Sheikh’, which raises questions as to whether or Sydney police intelligence unit were involved in ‘managing’ Monis, or whether or not he was being supervised by a government psychologist and taking SSRI anti-psychotic medication.
Incredibly, Monis was allowed to roam the streets on bail instead of being detained in a security criminal or mental facility – where he clearly belonged.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 15, 2014.

New Evidence That US Government Intentionally Lied Us into Iraq War

Alleged Meeting Between 9/11 Hijacker and Iraqi Official Was Debunked by U. S. Intelligence Agencies Before It Was Trumpeted As War Justification … U. S. Pressured Czech Government to Lie
There is extensive evidence that the U. S. government intentionally lied us into the Iraq war.
Here’s a quick refresher:
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind reported that the White House ordered the CIA to forge and backdate a document falsely linking Iraq with Muslim terrorists and 9/11 … and that the CIA complied with those instructions and in fact created the forgery, which was then used to justify war against Iraq. And see this The entire torture program was geared towards obtaining false confessions linking Iraq and 9/11 Everyone knew that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. More

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on December 15th, 2014.

Russia sees promise in energy ties with India

Bilateral efforts to expand cooperation in the oil and gas sector between Russia and India hold "great promise," the Kremlin said Thursday.
"We are paving the way for long-term, true and mutually beneficial cooperation," Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a state visit to New Delhi.
Russia is examining its energy options as Western sanctions take their toll on its economy. In July, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin told Indian business newspaper The Hindu the Kremlin was interested in spending as much as $40 billion to build a natural gas pipeline for India.
The pipeline would run along the southern border of Russian to India through the Himalayan region or mirror the route of the planned pipeline from Turkmenistan.

This post was published at UPI

American Inquisition

Torture is a crime under both American and international law. The Bush administration repeatedly broke the law from 2002 to 2006 by unleashing a wave of torture, kidnapping, and murder, all under the banner of its faux ‘war on terror.’
‘Terror’ is a wonderfully useful propaganda term developed by the Israelis and adopted by the Bush administration to dehumanize and delegitimize America’s violent enemies who were opposing US presence in much of the Muslim world.
The US Central Intelligence Agency, created to gather and assess information, was turned into a ruthless paramilitary hunter of America’s real or imagined enemies. Of course, America had to be protected from another 9/11-type attack. But, just as much, the Bush administration was seeking revenge for the 9/11 attacks that caught the tough-talking president asleep on guard duty. CIA was given the dirty job and then chivvied without relent by Vice President Dick Cheney.
Muslims had to be taught a dire lesson. The Guantanamo gulag, the freezing rooms, beatings, contorted positions, waterboarding – all tortures favored by the old Soviet secret police – were to serve as a stark warning to disobedient miscreants in America’s Mideast Empire, which I call, the ‘American Raj.’ Humiliation and degradation techniques developed by Israel to turn Arab prisoners into informers were applied full force by US military jailers at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 13, 2014.

The New Great Game Round-Up: December 8, 2014

Kadyrov Targets Ukraine-Turkey in Response to Grozny Attack, Exposure of Georgian Crimes Inconvenient for NATO & More!*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U. S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.
At the beginning of October, a suicide bombing struck the Chechen capital Grozny, reminding the Chechen and Russian authorities that the foreign-backed insurgency in the North Caucasus, which has been largely confined to Dagestan in recent years, could also rear its ugly head again in Chechnya. Although Chechen police stopped the suicide bomber in time to prevent a far more devastating attack, the bombing sent a strong message because it happened in peaceful Grozny on October 5, when Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was celebrating his birthday, residents of Grozny were celebrating City Day and Muslims around the world were celebrating Eid al-Adha. After the attack in October, which left five police officers dead and twelve wounded, things returned to normal in Chechnya but this week, on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address, Grozny was again the center of attention as heavy fighting rocked the city, calling to mind the violence in the 1990s:
Gun Battle Breaks Out In Grozny, Chechnya, Leaving At Least 19 Dead
Security forces in the capital of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya stormed two buildings, including a school, in fierce gun battles with militants early Thursday that left at least 19 dead, authorities said.
The National Anti-Terrorist Committee said militants traveling in three cars entered the republic’s capital, Grozny, at 1 a.m., killing three traffic police at a checkpoint, and then occupied the 10-story Press House in the center of the city. The federal agency said six gunmen were killed inside the building, which was gutted in a blazing fire that also spread to a nearby market.
More gunmen were later found in a nearby school and security forces were sent to ‘liquidate’ them, the agency said. No students or teachers were in the school when it was seized by the militants, RIA Novosti quoted vice principal Islam Dzhabrailov as saying.

This post was published at Boiling Frogs Post on Christoph Germann | December 8, 2014.