Via Southfront.org, 2017 presented the world with a number of crises, among which were the continued wars in the Middle Ease and the spread of terrorism, the humanitarian crises in Africa and Asia, the rising military tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and the militarization of both the South China Sea and eastern Europe. Throughout the past year regional and global powers have repeatedly been on the verge of open military conflict, any of which may yet still lead to large regional wars. *** In the Middle East the war on ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal, the crisis in Lebanon, and Israeli-Arab tensions took center stage. By the end of the year, the self-proclaimed caliphate of ISIS had fully collapsed in both Syria and Iraq. Thanks to the efforts of the alliance between Syria, Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah, along with the Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition, this group was driven out from almost all of the areas it had held in the two countries. ISIS has lost control of such strategic locations as Mosul, al-Qaim, Raqqah, al-Tabqah, Deir Ezzor, al-Mayadin, al-Bukamal, as-Sukhna, Deir Hafer, Maskanah, and al-Resafa.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/30/2017.
This latest move by America’s notorious Transportation Security Authority (TSA) seems to be step one in a move towards a national ID Card, complete with biometrics and embedded RFID technology. By forcing residents of nine states to get passports in order to board domestic flights, the TSA is de facto pushing those states towards the implementation of a new state-of-the-art ID card system. This will help to give real teeth to the ‘The Real ID Act’ It’s just the next phase in the further militarization of US society.
In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has. *** Among the most enduring political images of the 20th century was the military junta. It was a group of grim-faced officers – usually three – who rose to control a state. The junta would tolerate civilian institutions that agreed to remain subservient, but in the end enforced its own will. As recently as a few decades ago, military juntas ruled important countries including Chile, Argentina, Turkey, and Greece. These days the junta system is making a comeback in, of all places, Washington. Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men: General James Mattis, the secretary of defense; General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff; and General H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser. They do not put on their ribbons to review military parades or dispatch death squads to kill opponents, as members of old-style juntas did. Yet their emergence reflects a new stage in the erosion of our political norms and the militarization of our foreign policy. Another veil is dropping.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.
Authored by Alex Gorka via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation, Much has been said about NATO reinforcements in the Baltic States and Poland perceived in Moscow as provocative actions undermining security in Europe, while very little has been said about gradual but steady militarization of Scandinavia. The theme does not hit headlines and it is not in focus of public discourse but one step is taken after another to turn the region into a springboard for staging offensive actions against Russia. rland in southern Norway is being expanded to become Norway’s main air force base hosting US-made F-35 Lightnings – the stealth aircraft to become the backbone of Norwegian air power. Norway has purchased 56 of such aircraft. F-35 is an offensive, not defensive, weapon. The nuclear capable platforms can strike deep into Russia’s territory. Providing training to Norwegian pilots operating the planes carrying nuclear weapons, such as B61-12 glider warheads, constitutes a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968. Article I of the NPT prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons from NWS (nuclear weapons states) to other states: Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices. Article II requires NNWS (non-nuclear weapons states) not to receive nuclear weapons: Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices. How can Russia be sure that these aircraft don’t carry nuclear weapons when there is no agreement of any kind in place to verify compliance with the NPT?
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… In 1983, US President Ronald Reagan launched the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a space-based anti-missile system which came to be known as ‘Star Wars.’ At the time, SDI was meant to give the US a nuclear first-strike against advantage against its geopolitical rival the Soviet Union by using various weaponized technologies including lasers, to intercept Soviet ICBM missiles in space. In the end, the program proved to be too costly, too complicated for a practical role out, and ineffective against non-space faring weapons like cruise missiles, submarine based missile batteries and long range bombers. Now in 2017, as the Cold War is being re-heated again, the West is potentially looking at the complete militarization of outer space. This time the US nemesis is both Russia and China. But what really driving this new ‘space race’ agenda? Consortium News Exclusive: As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much U. S. taxpayer money to pour into space warfare, explains Jonathan Marshall… There’s a civil war being fought on our nation’s soil, right in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the United States in space.
Authored by Ted Galen Carpenter via The Strategic Culture Foundation, For at least three decades, experts have noted the growing militarization of America’s police forces. The proliferation of Special Weapons and Tactics forces, or SWAT forces, is the most obvious example of that trend. Originally, such units were designed to deal with exceptionally dangerous situations (such as mass hostage incidents) in which lightly armed police would be outgunned. Not surprisingly, the first SWAT contingents originated in America’s largest and most dangerous cities. That situation has changed dramatically. Small cities and even some modest-sized towns now have such heavily armed units utilizing military hardware and traveling in armored vehicles. They look – and act – far more like military combat units than anyone’s traditional conception of police. And the missions of SWAT forces have greatly expanded since their original formation. Increasingly, local authorities use them in routine matters that involve little or no danger of major violence from the targets of police action. A recent incident in Hutto, Texas, a sleepy, outlying suburb of Austin, illustrates just how dangerously promiscuous the utilization of SWAT teams has become. On June 26, local police conducted a raid to implement a search warrant on a house in a low-crime, middle-class neighborhood. The alleged crime? Police suspected that some residents of the target house were involved in gambling. Investigators were backed up by a SWAT unit with nearly a dozen officers in full combat regalia pouring out of an armored vehicle. Needless to say, the neighbors were both stunned and alarmed to see such an operation take place in their quiet community. One mother stated: ‘I went to my daughter’s room and looked outside their window to see if I could get a better view of what was going on, and there was a man in fatigues with a sniper rifle laying in my neighbor’s driveway.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2017.
This is not true. DHS also confirms it is 100% false — Sean Spicer (@PressSec) February 17, 2017
AP reported that according to a draft 11-page memo, the Trump administration is considering mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants. However, the White House quickly slammed the agency’s report is ‘false.” In yet another leak-counterleak example of “spot the fake news” , moments after the AP report hit, the White House denied everything As reported earlier (see below), the AP said an ‘unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement’ would affect locations as far north as Portland, Oregon and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana, according to the 11-page document, purportedly written by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. The proposal would four states bordering on Mexico – Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas – as well as the seven neighboring states of Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah. Governors in the eleven states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate in the round-up, according to AP. But the White House responded to the news with only one word: ‘False,’ according to Reuters.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 17, 2017.
In what was shaping up to be a relatively drama-free day, moments ago the AP reported that the Trump administration is considering the mobilization of as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants. The move is part of an alleged “surge” in detention of illegal immigrants, as discussed last weekend. A draft memo obtained by The Associated Press outlines a Trump administration proposal under consideration to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants. Millions of those who would be affected in 11 states live nowhere near the Mexico border. The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. If the proposal is implemented, governors in the affected states would have final approval on whether troops under their control participate. Developing.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 17, 2017.
Some troubling observations from the last leader of the USSR, first posted in Time. The world today is overwhelmed with problems. Policymakers seem to be confused and at a loss. But no problem is more urgent today than the militarization of politics and the new arms race. Stopping and reversing this ruinous race must be our top priority. The current situation is too dangerous. More troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are being brought to Europe. NATO and Russian forces and weapons that used to be deployed at a distance are now placed closer to each other, as if to shoot point-blank. While state budgets are struggling to fund people’s essential social needs, military spending is growing. Money is easily found for sophisticated weapons whose destructive power is comparable to that of the weapons of mass destruction; for submarines whose single salvo is capable of devastating half a continent; for missile defense systems that undermine strategic stability. Politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 27, 2017.
Editor’s Note: This is happening right now. The government is deploying these systems against the American people in the face of the First Amendment. This is the level we are at. North Dakota – The militarization of law enforcement at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline has apparently reached a whole new level. On Monday, independent journalist John Ziegler posted photos and video on Facebook showing what appears to be an Avenger Air Defense System, or AN/TWQ-1, deployed near the Standing Rock Indian reservation in Cannonball, North Dakota. The Avenger is a humvee-mounted, low altitude surface-to-air missile system. Standing Rock Rising, an official support group of the NoDAPL movement, also confirmed the presence of the Avenger surface-to-air missile system: ‘Confirmed: Avenger ‘surface to air’ vehicles spotted near Oceti Sakowin camp. The Avenger is used to fire 8 stinger rockets, mostly used for shooting down drones. The vehicle is also commonly equipped with a 50 cal machine gun.’
Editor’s Note: So, all of a sudden with all this talk of World War III on the horizon, Japan is reigniting its military? What a surprise… The days of post-World War II pacifism in Japan are more or less over. The Japanese government has announced it will bolster its coast guard capabilities to defend disputed islands in the East China Sea. China also claims and regularly patrols these islands. The coast guard budget is expected to reach a record of 210 billion yen (approximately $1.8 billion), adding eight new ships and more than 200 law enforcement officials. Japan’s government also just approved a record defense budget of 5.1 trillion yen (approximately $44 billion), with a focus on China and North Korea. The budget is set to include six new submarines equipped with improved sensor technology, which is to be used to deter the challenges presented by the Chinese. The increased funds will also go toward an upgraded missile defense system.
Jeff interviews Derrick Broze, topics include: Derrick was at the Dakota access pipeline project protests, the Standing Rock Sioux resistance movement, a collision of cultures, sacred burial sites, stopping the pipeline, water is life, the biggest indigenous solidarity movement in history, the red power movement, property rights, the state is working with the oil companies, the land was never ceded, Iowa farmers also resisting, stateless environmental protection, first hand account of the protests including provocateurs, state violence and police militarization, freedom cells, agorism, spiritual ties to the land, a better life for all.
Live from #StandingRock #NoDAPL prayer ceremony/drum circle on road blocked by police for DAPL workers- making clear who they serve&protect pic.twitter.com/tD3iUzcm3g — NYC Revolution Club (@NYCRevClub) October 29, 2016
The struggle to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline has been mired in police brutality and militarization. In fact, many have likened the atmosphere in Standing Rock, North Dakota, to a war zone. The corporate media initially refused to cover the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, though the ongoing story’s virality on social media eventually forced it into the mainstream. Even now that the #NoDAPL movement has developed into a national political narrative, the media continues to whitewash the severity of the crackdown against the Native American protesters, who call themselves ‘water protectors.’ Below are 10 images I have come across (while closely following the Dakota Access Pipeline protests for Anti-Media) that narrate the struggle at Standing Rock:
As the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, the 9/11 Truth movement is preparing to host protests and conferences around the United States. Fifteen years of lies. Fifteen years of ‘War on Terror.’ Fifteen years of warrantless domestic surveillance. Fifteen years of increasing militarization of the police. Fifteen years of manufactured terrorists and false flag terror attacks. Each of these dilemmas can be traced back to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City. From the moment the news pundits decided that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for bringing down the World Trade Center towers, attacking the Pentagon, and other attempted attacks – the American people have been fed a lie. For the last 15 years thousands of documentaries (a few of higher quality than others), researchers, firefighters, architects, engineers, pilots, psychologists, and 9/11 victims’ family members have analyzed, questioned and challenged the official version of events. The growth of the movement seeking truth about 9/11/01 has manifested in a wide range of alternative theories about what may have actually taken place that day. Some of these theories examine the physical aspects of the collapse of the Twin Towers and the lesser-known World Trade Center 7, which also collapsed despite not being hit by a plane or consumed by a burning inferno as originally reported. These theories encompass a wide set of beliefs, including the idea that nuclear weapons, military explosives, or some type of ‘directed energy’ or exotic weapons were used to drop the towers at nearly free fall speed.
Earlier this week the German government leaked a frightening 69-page memo entitled ‘Concept for Civil Defense.’ Citing multiple terrorist attacks, cybercrime, and a host of other threats, the report states that Germans should prepare for an event that could ‘threaten our existence.’ Yikes. The report proposes a number of mandatory countermeasures, including that Germans should stockpile food and water. There’s also peculiar language about ‘civil support for the armed forces’ suggesting a possible return to mandatory military service, in addition to potential plans for emergency nationalization of food production and distribution. We’ve received numerous emails from friends and readers in Germany asking if it’s time to ‘get out’. Let’s be honest – most of the West is in the same boat right now. Despite hundreds of billions spent on homeland security, aerial surveillance, police militarization, and spying on absolutely everyone… … despite all the laws they’ve passed to award themselves even more authority and destroy citizens’ individual freedoms…
The quiet German militarization continues to escalate. One day after Germany’s DPA broke the news that the Merkel government is considering “bringing back nationwide conscription in times of crisis”, such as situations in which the country needs to “defend NATO’s external borders”, strongly hinting at the possibility of a future war, which in turn followed this weekend’s shocking announcement that Germans should prepare to stockpile several days of food and water “in case of an attack of catastrophe” as part of the country’s revised “Civil Defense Concept, today NBC reports that “Germany Debates Putting Troops on Streets to Protect Against ISIS.” To be sure, plans to involve soldiers in counterterrorism operations. and the suggestion troops could also be used to beef up security in public places, have proved controversial in a country only seven decades “removed from totalitarian rule that’s still grappling with guilt from the Nazi era.” However, Wolfgang Bosbach, a lawmaker from Merkel’s CDU party, dismissed an such concerns. “During the recent terror threat in Munich the German armed forces, and also the military police, were put on alert,” he told NBC News. “They have been deployed in other crises, so why should the military not help with domestic security as well?”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 24, 2016.
Acquaintances of my generation are puzzled by the disappearance of the American left. They remember when there was far less war, far less monopoly capitalist theft, a less rich and powerful elite, less police violence against civilians, less militarization, less privatization and deregulation, fewer attacks on the social safety net, less propaganda from the media, and yet, despite the milder state of affairs, the leftwing was present raising hell about it all. For fifteen years, and more if we go back to the Clinton regime’s destruction of Yugoslavia, the US has been engaged in wars on populations in seven – eight counting Yugoslavia/Serbia – countries, causing millions of deaths, disabled, and dislocated peoples. A police state has been created, the US Constitution stripped of its protective features, and massive crimes committed under both US and international law by three administrations. These crimes include torture, transparant false flag events, naked aggression (a war crime), spying without warrants, and murder of US citizens. Yet, the leftwing’s voice is barely heard. Clearly, my acquaintances are beginning to miss the challenge to explanations and the country’s direction that the left formerly provided. I know how they feel. We used to be pushed along by biases and stereotypical thinking, and the left was there to rattle our cage. Now we are pushed along by propaganda and there is no countervailing force except a few Internet voices.
On Thursday 7 July 2016 during a Dallas protest of the killings ofPhilando Castle and Alton Sterling an attack on officers tasked to watch left five dead and an additional seven hospitalized. Politicians offered up meaningless platitudes and appear to use the attack as a method to gain exposure, offering up little in the way of understanding or real solutions. Additionally, media outlets are also missing the boat, claiming this attack is caused by racial tension. However, the truth is far deeper than this and is, in fact, a natural consequence of the militarization of American police forces which in turn is the natural progression of police forces operated by the state. The state, with greater concern of protecting its own power base and its own agents, have begun to outfit small rural towns with heavy military equipment, such as hotbeds of violence like Ames, Iowa, homicide rate of 0 last year and Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, homicide rate 0. This is not including the rapid expansion of such military ordinance in larger cities around the country. The Department of Defense has looked to distribute 13,000 Mine Resistant military vehicles around the United States.
Some more facts that don’t match the hero narrative. Police deaths while on duty are on pace to be at a record low in 2016, down 60% from the peak in 1974. Gun related homicides are also trending towards the lowest levels since 1900. In 1991 there were 24,700 homicides in the U. S. Last year there were just over 16,000 homicides, down 35% while the population grew by 26%. The number of guns owned by American citizens has tripled since 1991. Does this match the anti-gun narrative of the left and the popos? Does the government want to confiscate our guns because of crime or because they are worried we will use them against a tyrannical establishment? The militarization of police forces isn’t to protect us. It’s to protect them from us.
In response to my request for information on US police training (readers have sent in a variety of information that seems to fit together. I am going to assemble it as best I can as a working hypothesis or provisional account. Perhaps a former or current police officer concerned about the change in the behavior of US police, or an expert on police training and practices, will come forward and verify or correct this provisional account. First, we know that the police have been, or are being, militarized. They are armed with weapons of war that hitherto have been used only on battlefields. We don’t know why police are armed in this way, as such weapons are not necessary for policing the American public and are not used in police work anywhere except in Israeli-occupied Palestine. There is an undeclared agenda behind these weapons, and neither Congress nor the presstitute media have any apparent interest in discovering the hidden agenda. Nevertheless, the militarization of the police fits in with what we know about police training. There are sourced reports that US police are receiving training from Israel, both from traveling to Israel and in the US from Israeli training firms or from US firms using Israeli methods. See, for example, andThe training of American police by Israeli occupation forces is not an Internet rumor or ‘conspiracy theory.’ It is a fact acknowledged by the Israeli press: Israeli police practices arose from decades of occupying a hostile Palestinian population while stealing the Palestinians’ land and isolating the population in ghetto enclaves. Essentially, Israeli police practices consist of intimidation and violence. We know from innumerable news reports over many years the behavior of the occupying Israeli Army toward the Palestinian population. In four short words: it is extremely brutal.