Two United States MQ-1 Predator drones have crashed in Turkey within four days, possibly cutting the Air Force’s operational fleet of drones at NATO’s main Turkish base down to half. This comes at a moment when the future of US drone operations in the region remain in question due to heightened political tensions with the Erdogan government and the uncertain future of the war in Syria. On Monday Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, which hosts US and other NATO personnel conducting operations over Syria and Iraq, released a statement confirming the crash of the drone in southeast Turkey at around 11:50 a.m. (0850 GMT), with no further details given. Incirlik had confirmed an earlier Predator drone crash just last Thursday (8/17) near the air base. Last week’s statement quoted a US military spokesman as saying: ‘At this time the safety of our host nation civilians and the recovery and security of our asset is paramount,’ said Col. David Eaglin, commander of the 39th Air Base Wing. ‘Our Airmen train continuously to respond to incidents such as this, and we are working closely with our host nation partners to ensure this is resolved without conflict.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 22, 2017.
Focus Economics posted a neat and timely blog post on the topic of potential economic impacts of mass forced migration that has been sweeping across Europe in recent years, driven by the civil war in Syria and botched ‘democratization’ efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the less-discussed dismantling of Libya. The link to the post is here: In my opinion, the key here is the following issues: “In the longer term, the picture becomes far murkier. This isn’t just because little is known about the current cohort of refugees, such as their average level of education or how long they will remain in their host countries. It is also because the long-term economic impact of refugees rests largely on how successful countries are at weaving them into the economic fabric of their societies.” Yes, long term viability of all positive assessments of the current migration crisis is questionable. And the problem rests on both sides, the migrants’ quality of human capital, and the host countries quality of labor markets.
This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
Roughly around the time Trump started his Afghanistan speech, Ron Paul tweeted out a cautiously optimistic note: “Hoping for the best in tonight’s @realDonaldTrump speech but fearful that foreign intervention is only going to get worse. #Afghanistan.” Alas it was not meant to be, and over 20 tweets later in what proved to be the angriest tweetstorm of the night, Ron Paul had come to a conclusion: Trump is now nothing more than the latest neocon, one whom even Lindsey Graham applauded. Below is a chronological rundown of Ron Paul’s progressively angier tweets, as he was live commenting on Trump’s speech: Hoping for the best in tonight’s @realDonaldTrump speech but fearful that foreign intervention is only going to get worse. #Afghanistan Steve Bannon brakes removed. Neocons feeling their oats. The military personnel are the victims of bad foreign policy. Sad that these wars the politicians argue for are unconstitutional yet we are told we are over there defending the Constitution. Mr. President it’s too bad you do not follow your instincts. Planned in Afghanistan? What about Saudi Arabia?? What’s wrong with rapid exit? We just marched in we can just march out. So far very discouraging. Sounds like pure neocon foreign policy. The promoters of war win. The American people lose. #Afghanistan Remember: there was no al-Qaeda until our foolish invasion of Iraq based on neocon lies. The American people deserve to know when we are going to war and MUST give you permission through their representatives in Congress! Emphasis on Pakistan just means the war going to be expanded! Emphasis on military alliance with India may well lead to more vicious war between nuclear states Pakistan and India. Smart? Terrorism is one thing, but what about massive collateral damage? Killing civilians creates more terrorism. Round and round we go. Shorter Trump: “Afghanistan: give us your minerals!” Nothing new. More of the same. Obama was wrong. This is NOT the good war. Sooner we get out the better. More killing is not the road to peace. The emphasis on the “grave danger” of terrorism is greatly exaggerated. But more intervention surely creates more terrorism. How many Americans are really sitting around worrying about an Afghan terrorist coming over and killing them? So many of our problems are self-inflicted by a deeply flawed foreign policy. US troops – and the family members – suffer the consequences. Big issue of the night: US expanding the war into Pakistan. Could precipitate more conflict between nuclear India and Pakistan. If Americans are tired of 16 year war, how will they feel about another decade or two? When will they wake up? Our ultimately “hasty” departure from Vietnam finally ended a lot of grief. Even if it came way too late. Beware! @LindseyGrahamSC loves Trump’s speech! Why are arch-neocons celebrating so much? Very telling! There’s nothing hasty about ending America’s longest war. @POTUS bowed to military-industrial establishment; doubled down on perpetual war.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.
As we detailed last night, President Trump will unveil his long-awaited new strategy for Afghanistan tonight. Will he, as Ron Paul suggests, do the sensible thing and end the failed longest war in history? Or will he continue doing the same thing and expect that somehow he will “win” the war? Does America even know what “winning” looks like in Afghanistan? Here’s Ron Paul’s preview (which may be a post-mortem)… *** With the anti-neocon Steve Bannon out, and nobody left in Trump’s inner circle to halt the simmering push for war, we suspect we know the answer, and as The Hill details, here’s what to look for in his speech… How many more troops? The United States has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Trump gave Mattis the authority in June to send more troops there, but Mattis has held off deploying any more until Trump finalized a strategy. ‘I was not willing to make significant troop lifts until we made certain we knew what was the strategy, what was the commitment going in,’ Mattis told reporters traveling with him on Sunday. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U. S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has said he needs a ‘few thousand’ more troops to break the stalemate against the Taliban. That few thousand is said to equal about 4,000 U. S. troops. Those troops would be used to embed with conventional Afghan forces closer to combat – at the battalion level – and improve the capabilities of the Afghan air force and special operations forces. Nicholson assured the Afghans on Sunday that the U. S. commitment to the country will continue. ‘I assure you we are with you in this fight. We are with you, and we will stay with you,’ Nicholson said during a ceremony at Camp Morehead, a training base for Afghan commandos southeast of Kabul.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.
In a widely anticipated national address, President Donald Trump on Monday announced that he will not pull out U. S. troops from Afghanistan, saying he’s committed to a new strategy aimed at winning the nation’s longest war, now in its 17th year. Admitting that his “original instinct was to pull out” of Afghanistan – Trump’s core campaign pledge was to reduce US intervention in offshore conflicts – Trump effectively admitted he had been wrong, and said he’s arrived at three “fundamental conclusions” about America’s core interests in Afghanistan: U. S. “must seek an honorable and enduring outcome” in which American troops “deserve a plan for victory” The consequences of a rapid exit would be “predictable and unacceptable” adding that “a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11” The security threats U. S. faces “are immense”; and “we cannot repeat the mistake in Afghanistan our leaders made in Iraq.” Trump also promised to the soldiers gathered for the speech that “One way or another, these problems will be solved. I am a problem solver. And in the end, we will win.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.
The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 21, 2017 CNN and the rest of the corporate media are pushing the idea that Trump is mentally ill and needs to be removed under the 25th Amendment. American’s didn’t elect Trump for war, they elected him to stop the wars. What will Trump do will he send more troops or will he stop the war in Afghanistan. USS McCain crashed into an oil tanker and the US has halted sea operations. Russia warns that the drug situation in Afghanistan has gotten worse not better since the US has been involved in this country. Iran wants the US to pay millions for using chemical weapons during the Iraq/Iran war. US paid mercenaries had to fall back on the Jordanian border. Assad says that there is no role in Syria as long as the US supports terrorists.
Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation *** Improving the dangerously unstable U. S.-Russia relationship will be very difficult, but it is important for U. S. national security. Current mutual hostility threatens an explosive confrontation that could destroy American (and Russian) civilization as we know it. Short of that, Russia can do much more than it is today to damage U. S. interests and values without taking extreme risks. Accordingly, the United States should explore normalizing its interaction with Russia. Washington should do so without illusions, and from a position of strength. Today, America and Russia are adversaries with different approaches to key international issues, different systems of government and, in many respects, different values. Each confronts domestic obstacles to efforts to establish better relations. These obstacles are particularly challenging in the United States, where Congress, the mainstream media and much of the American public view Vladimir Putin’s Russia as a vicious enemy akin to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, if not Hitler’s Germany. Unlike China, Russia has only limited economic interaction with America – and therefore few Americans see a practical positive side to contacts with Russia. President Putin has much greater latitude in shaping his country’s foreign policy, including exploring a new beginning with Washington. Yet in a period of economic difficulty before Russia’s 2018 presidential election, Putin is loath to appear weak under foreign pressure.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 16, 2017.
Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation, By suggesting that he might order a U. S. regime-change invasion of Venezuela, President Trump has inadvertently shown why North Korea has been desperately trying to develop nuclear weapons – to serve as a deterrent or defense against one of the U. S. national-security state storied regime-change operations. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Venezuela and, for that matter, other Third World countries who stand up to the U. S. Empire, also seeking to put their hands on nuclear weapons. What better way to deter a U. S. regime-change operation against them? Think back to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The U. S. national-security establishment had initiated a military invasion of the Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, had exhorted President Kennedy to bomb Cuba during that invasion, and then had recommended that the president implement a fraudulent pretext (i.e., Operation Northwoods) for a full-scale military invasion of Cuba. That’s why Cuba, which had never initiated any acts of aggression against the United States, wanted Soviet nuclear missiles installed in Cuba. Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro knew that there was no way that Cuba could defeat the United States in a regular, conventional war. Everyone knows that the military establishment in the United States is so large and so powerful that it can easily smash any Third World nation, including Cuba, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Venezuela.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 16, 2017.
By now everyone is thoroughly inundated with information regarding the stances and standoff between President Trump and the U. S., and Kim Jong-Un and North Korea. This is where ‘oversaturation’ can lead to ignoring what is going on, followed up by complacency. Americans in general have low attention spans and become easily bored with or tired of a situation that is ongoing. The Vietnam war is a prime example of this, and that was followed with the second war in Iraq. In both instances, growing public dissension and the time factor were the two biggest ‘death rattles’ for both conflicts being discontinued prior to completion. The point here is that the American people had more ‘patience’ with World War II…a clear and real danger on all fronts by numerous enemy nations. The standoff with North Korea is not anything new: it has been in full gear, now, for about ten years. It was only through the intentional ‘laissaiz-faire’ policy of Obama that North Korea has been able to reach its present state, where it constitutes a real threat: ‘real’ meaning that it can strike the United States with a nuclear attack. In the past three to four years, that capability has increased exponentially, and now their response (if we attack) or their own first strike is viable. There is an important article that was submitted to All News Pipeline on August 12, 2017. As a matter of fact, the article is so important that it truly eclipses all the different pieces previously released. Stefan Stanford and Susan Duclos of All News Pipeline have been tireless and undaunted in their efforts to release as much information as they have over the years concerning North Korea, EMP Strikes against the U. S., and the current march toward a second Cold War. I am printing it here because this time right now is almost a ‘limbo’ period…awaiting the two nations and their leaders’ decisions whether there will be a war or whether it will be avoided. The bottom line: there are people who need this information, and it just may help them to make the decision to prepare or not. Stefan and Susan should receive an award for their timely and accurate reporting on such a subject as this potential war with North Korea. I have also written this before, and I stand by it now:
This post was published at shtfplan on August 15th, 2017.
Alarm bells ringing as rampant speculation breaks out over Pyongyang’s ‘possible’ miniaturized nuclear warheads. *** Beware the dogs of war. The same intel ‘folks’ who brought to you babies pulled from incubators by ‘evil’ Iraqis as well as non-existent WMDs are now peddling the notion that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead able to fit its recently tested ICBM. *** That’s the core of an analysis completed in July by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Additionally, US intel believes that Pyongyang now has access to up to 60 nuclear weapons. On the ground US intel on North Korea is virtually non-existent – so these assessments amount to guesswork at best.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 10, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… It’s no longer any secret that the US have planned and orchestrated ‘regime change’ in dozens of developing countries over the last century. Washington’s primary tool is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which has ousted democratically elected governments like Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1982), Haiti (2006), Honduras (2009), Libya (2011), Ukraine (2014) and still working on Syria (2011-present), to name only a few. Next is Venezuela.
So why is this level of ‘meddling’ justified by the US media and most of its public? This month sees some significant anniversaries in the struggle against old-style colonialism. The trouble is that colonialism didn’t go away after countries in the developing world formally achieved their independence from Europe’s ‘Great Powers.’ It was replaced by a new form which proved to be more destructive and immeasurably more dishonest than what went before. At least the British Empire – which at its peak covered almost a quarter of the world’s land surface, acknowledged it was an Empire. Today’s more shadowy Empire of Globalized Monopoly Finance-Capital does no such thing. Entire countries, such as Yugoslavia, Libya, and Iraq, are destroyed for not toeing the line, while those which continue to defy the neocon/neoliberal elites, such as Venezuela, are under a state of permanent siege.
Robert Mueller is used to dirt. He was complicit in pushing the non-existent Iraq connection to 9-11, which was a lie concocted by Vice President Dick Cheney. (The power behind George W. Bush’s throne). It was a fabrication that led to the death of a half million people. He defended the Patriot Act, torture and unlimited surveillance of the American people. He didn’t question the phony, ‘official’ 9-11 narrative. Like his corrupt associate Comey, Mueller is a Deep State collaborator. He’s also a bag man who easily bends to political pressure–another similarity he shares with Comey.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 10, 2017.
One of the most controversial aspects of the Iraq war was the heavy use of defense contractors, who were in many cases paid vast sums of money to do jobs that you’d think an ordinary soldier could do. When it was all said and done, defense contractors had reaped $138 billion dollars by providing security, logistics, and construction services. Among the most notorious of these contractors was Blackwater, whose employees gained a reputation for reckless behavior that caused many unnecessary deaths. Fast forward to today, and now Blackwater’s founder, former Navy Seal Erik Prince, is pushing for a plan to win the war in Afghanistan by replacing the soldiers with defense contractors. Prince first suggested the plan last May in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, where he described this idea in colonial terms. The private military units would be based on units that were deployed by the British East India Company, and would be lead by a single person who he referred to as an ‘American Viceroy,’ that would report directly to the president. As strange as it may sound, Trump appears to be taking the idea seriously. It’s hard to blame him. Afghanistan is now America’s longest running war, and no matter how many soldiers, generals, aid, or money we throw at the country, nothing seems to bring stability. Which is why this radical new plan probably looks very enticing to Trump right now.
This post was published at shtfplan on August 8th, 2017.
In a highly unusual decision sure to open old wounds among Iraqis and further prolong an already protracted legal saga, a US appeals court has thrown out the murder conviction of an ex-Blackwater security guard and ordered three co-defendants to be resentenced for their roles in the deadliest incident involving the controversial private security firm to date. The men were responsible for the September 16, 2007 Nisour Square shooting in Baghdad, which killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians and wounded 17 others, and threatened to inflame tensions at the height of what was an already bloody and volatile coalition occupation. On Friday afternoon a three-judge panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that Nicholas Slatten should be given a new trial which would allow for fresh testimony concerning his 2014 first-degree murder conviction. Among the four ex-Blackwater employees sentenced in the 2014 trial, Slatten was the only one convicted of murder as it was believed that he fired on the unarmed civilians first. The other three men – Evan Liberty, Paul Slough, and Dustin Heard – were each given 30-years for manslaughter and other related charges (Slatten had been given a life sentence). Friday’s decision also directed that the three men be given new sentences because it deemed the previous 30-year sentences to constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.” However, Iraqi family members of the slain (who in some instances lost children) are sure to disagree.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.
The American media specializes in fake news. Indeed, since the Clinton regime the American media has produced nothing but fake news. Do you remember the illegal US bombing and destruction of Yugoslavia? Do you remember ‘war criminal’ Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian president branded ‘the butcher of the Balkans,’ who was compared to Hitler until Hillary passed the title on to the President of Russia? Milosevic, not Bill Clinton, was arrested and placed on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal. He died in prison, some say murdered, before he was cleared of charges by the International Criminal Tribunal. Do you remember the destruction of Iraq justified by the orchestrated propaganda, known by the criminal George W. Bush regime to be an outright lie, about Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ weapons that the UN arms inspectors verified did not exist? Iraq was destroyed. Millions of Iraqis were killed, orphaned, widowed, and displaced. Saddam Hussein was subjected to a show trial more transparent than Stalin’s trial of Bukharin and then murdered under the pretext of judicial execution. Do you remember the destruction of Libya based entirely on Washington’s lies and the criminal misuse of the UN no-fly resolution by turning it into a NATO bombing of Iraq’s military so that the CIA-armed jihadists could overthrow and murder Muammar Gaddafi? Do you remember the killer bitch Hillary gloating, ‘we came, we saw, he died!’
21st Century Wire Last month, UN war crimes investigators described the situation in Raqqa, Syria resulting from US airstrikes as a ‘staggering loss of civilian life.’ This from the US-led Coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve – which the US has been trying to ‘resolve’ (rather unsuccessfully) since 2014. US officials are now claiming that they have only killed around 600 civilians during its ‘anti-ISIS’ operations in Iraq and Syria, but that does not square with data collected by independent groups which brings the total to around 4,354 civilians (conservatively) who have been killed as a result of US-led coalition bombing campaigns since June 2014.
As ISIS has shown in their own magazine, they’ll probably never try to pull off a massive terror attack on American soil. Instead, they’ll indoctrinate useful idiots who already live here, and convince them to engage in numerous small attacks, similar to the bombings, knifings, and shootings that have plagued Europe in recent years. It’s a strategy that is far less likely to be foiled, costs significantly less, and can be maintained long after ISIS is overrun in the Middle East. And what also makes this strategy so enticing is that these small attacks, which are so much more difficult to prevent, is that they can add up over time. They have the potential to accumulate death tolls that dwarf previous terror attacks, and there is little doubt that groups like ISIS are working to make that happen right now. For instance, a 22-year-old man named Amer Sinan Alhaggagi from Oakland, California was indicted on terror related charges last week, after he allegedly ‘attempted to provide services and personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).’ However, that justice department statement is a very sanitized version of what he’s actually being accused of. His plans, which were unearthed by undercover agents working for the FBI, suggest that he intended to kill as many as 10,000 people in the Bay Area with a wide variety of attacks; which included bombings, mass poisonings, and arson.
This post was published at shtfplan on July 31st, 2017.
America has been a discouraging landscape ever since the neoconservatives took over US foreign policy during the Clinton regime and started the two decades of war crimes that define 21st century America and ever since US corporations betrayed the US work force by moving American jobs to Asia. The outlook became darker when the Obama regime resurrected the Russian Threat and elevated the prospect of military conflict between the nuclear powers. As Europe is caught in the middle, in normal circumstances European countries would have insisted that Washington cease the gratuitous provocations of Russia. But normal circumstances have not existed. Since the end of WW2, European countries have been vassals without independent economic and foreign policies. Europe hosts US military bases that threaten Russia. Europe has backed Washington’s wars of aggression against Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Washington’s air attacks on provinces of Pakistan, and Washington’s use of Saudi Arabia to fight its proxy war against Yemen.
The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 24, 2017 The corporate media is pushing their agenda on Russian collusion, the problem there is no facts for evidence for this. The real story is the Clinton email scandal, the DNC server and the crushed hard drives the FBI confiscated from the democrats. Trump is now dismantling everything the globalists wanted to do by bringing in refugees into Europe and the US. Duterte will no longer allow minerals to be mined in the Philippines and then ship them off to be processed, he wants it done in the Philippines. France wants to legitimize Haftar to get the fake government in place. Iraq moving closer to Russia. US coalition does not want to leave Syria even when the IS is defeated.
For the past few days, news outlets have been reporting on the Trump Administration and CIA’s announcement to end the controversial covert program to arm and train ‘moderate rebels’ fighting to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad. While many who want peace in Syria see this move as a step in the right direction, others still doubt that the underlying goal of ousting Assad has been abandoned completely. The decision may serve a number of purposes, but the long-term goals of the US and its close coalition allies do not change easily, and removing President Assad from power has a centerpiece their regional restructuring plan for a very long time. Does the announcement really mean that Trump is going to leave Assad alone? Is the US turning a corner in Syria and finally learning from the mistakes it made in Iraq and Libya? Is it really a concession to Russia? Is Trump finally actualizing his campaign rhetoric that seemed to reject America’s foreign wars? Not likely. Of course, it’s possible that Trump is at odds with other factions in the US government’s military and foreign policy establishment, possibly because he recognizes the danger of arming terrorists and the political damage this might do to his own reputation as a leader who is ‘tough on terror.’ Such a belief however, might be extremely generous to Trump, especially considering how under his authority the US military has dangerously escalated several wars, not just in Syria, but also in Yemen, and probably soon in Afghanistan. A more likely explanation is that the Trump administration and a complicit mainstream media are trying to manage public perceptions regarding six years of troublesome US involvement in Syria. In a bait-and-switch type PR deception, Washington might be attempting to generate the perception of de-escalation – even as the US increases its presence in Syria.