Is ISIS Using Alibaba To Buy Mobile Refineries From Turkey?

It all started with a Pentagon tweet showing a before and after picture of a “modular oil refinery” used by ISIS:
.@PentagonPresSec re #Syria: Before & after photos of #Jeribe modular oil refinery – targets of coalition attacks. pic.twitter.com/pfpSJhxPwa
— U. S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) September 25, 2014

By “modular” the Department of Defense meant “mobile.” CNN had more:
U. S. and coalition warplanes pounded ISIS positions in eastern Syria on Wednesday, targeting what a Pentagon official described as mobile oil refineries being used by the so-called Islamic State terror group to help finance its operations.
The latest round of airstrikes were aimed at cutting off money flowing to ISIS, which makes up to $2 million a day from oil produced by the mobile refineries, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, told CNN.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/27/2014.

The Airwaves Are Still Heaving With Spin Two Days After US Airstrikes Against Syria

Undoubtedly the attacks were timed to occur on the eve of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, so ‘Coalition’ partners could cluster behind the decision to bomb a sovereign state, uninvited. The irony, of course, is that they are doing so at the UN – the global political body that pledges to uphold international law, peace and stability, and the sanctity of the nation-state unit. The goal this week will be to keep the ‘momentum’ on a ‘narrative’ until it sinks in. On day one, heads of state from Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the UK and France were paraded onto the podium to drum in the urgency of American strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra and other militant groups inside Syria. Every American official – past and present – in the White House rolodex was hooked up to a microphone to deliver canned sound bites and drive home those ‘messages.’ In between, video-game-quality footage of US strikes hitting their targets was aired on the hour; clips of sleek fighter jets refueling midair and the lone Arab female fighter pilot were dropped calculatingly into social media networks. The global crew of journalists that descends annually on the UN for this star-studded political event, enthused over US President Barak Obama’s ability to forge a coalition that included five Arab Sunni states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE. Few mentioned that these partners are a mere fig leaf for Obama, providing his Syria campaign with Arab and Muslim legitimacy where he otherwise would have none. Not that any of these five monarchies enjoy ‘legitimacy’ in their own kingdoms – kings and emirs aren’t elected after all – and two of these Wahhabi states are directly responsible for the growth and proliferation of the Wahhabi-style extremism targeted by US missiles. Even fewer spent time dissecting the legality of US attacks on Syria or on details of the US ‘mission’ – as in, ‘what next?’

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 26, 2014.

Welcome To Barack Obama’s Syrian Gong Show

Folks, this war is only three days old and its already a gong show. Its become at least a four-front affair – with Obama’s ‘broad’ coalition amounting to little more than a few stealth Arab nations renting back to Washington the equipment and American trained pilots it had earlier provided them.
The President’s shock-but-not-awe campaign apparently incepted not with bombs on the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqah but via a tomahawk barrage on some Nusra Front rebels in northwestern Syria. These were anti-regime fighters of the not-so-moderate persuasion who had been recently driven there after a bloody struggle with ISIS. As explained by the WSJ:
In July, the Islamic State routed its rivals including the Nusra Front and allied Islamist rebels from eastern Syria and they are now concentrated in the western half of the country, where they are fighting the regime along with other factions…
So these folks were fighting both of Washington’s declared enemies – – the Assad regime and ISIS – but it obliterated them anyway, and some of their women and children, too. That apparently makes for a three-front war, as the WSJ further explained:
Many Islamist rebel groups are allied to the Nusra Front and these factions are the dominant force in non-Islamic State territories in Syria, wielding more power than the moderate groups backed by the U. S……. further civilian casualties or targeting of fighters affiliated with the Nusra Front could…..’ turn it into a real enemy of all the other forces’ such as the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, said Mohammad al-Salloum, an activist from Idlib previously held hostage by Islamic State and currently based across the border in neighboring Turkey.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 25, 2014.

The Erupting U.S. Armageddon in the Middle East and Beyond

Every day there are major new developments in this erupting Armageddon.
Just yesterday the Houthi Shia of Yemen allied with Iran overthrew the Sunni tyranny in the capital of Yemen and seized the major buildings, weapons, and much of the capital, even traffic control in the streets. The Shia army and party have signed a temporary agreement of transition with the remnants of the U. S. supported Sunni tyrants, but this is clearly meant to try to avoid counter attacks. Yemen is on the Southern border of Saudi Arabia. The nearly 10 million Houthi are obviously a very effective fighting force and are being compared to the super-guerrila army of Hizbollah.
The Shia armies of Moqtada al Sadr in Baghdad are now highly mobilized and fighting IS on the outskirts of Baghdad, pushing them back from Shia Baghdad.
IS has just released the Turkish diplomats they took hostage in N. Iraq. They are making peace with the Turks, not cutting off their heads, to protect their northern borders. IS has seized the Kurd areas of Syria and about 1.5 million Kurds have poured into bordering Turkey for protection, which is frightening to Turkey because of their long civil war with Kurds. All of this helps to pin down the Turks and Kurds to the North of IS…

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on September 24, 2014.

The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria

The administration’s response to the conjunction of this weekend’s People’s Climate March and the International Day of Peace?1) Bomb Syria the following day, to wrest control of the oil from ISIS which gained its foothold directly in the region through the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan funding and arming ISIS’ predecessors in Syria.2) Send the president to UN General Assembly, where he will inevitably give a rousing speech about climate and peace, while the destruction of the environment and the shattering of world peace is on full display 5,000 miles away. Nothing better illustrates the bankruptcy of the Obama administration’s foreign policy than funding groups that turn on the US again and again, a neo-con fueled cycle of profits for war makers and destruction of ever-shifting “enemies.”The fact can’t be refuted: ISIS was born of Western intervention in Iraq and covert action in Syria. This Frankenstein-like experiment of arming the alleged freedom-seeking Syrian opposition created the monster that roams the region. ISIS and the US have a curious relationship — mortal enemies that, at the same time, benefit from some of the same events:

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 24, 2014.

A Nation Dividing: Mapping The World’s Significant Separatist Movements

The Scottish referendum and waves of secession movements – from Spain’s Catalonia to Turkey and Iraq’s ethnic Kurds – are working in different directions to the world’s status quo sustaining leaders’ hopes for increased centralization and ‘planned’ economic growth. More than half a century after World War II triggered a wave of post-colonial nationalism that changed the map of the world, buried nationalism and ethnic identity movements of various forms are challenging the modern idea of the inviolable unity of the nation-state, not just in Europe, but across the entire world…
SOURCE

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/24/2014.

The New Great Game Round-Up: September 22, 2014

Washington’s Futile Efforts to Destabilize Russia, Azerbaijan & Turkey Push Southern Gas Corridor
*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.
On September 20, 1994, Azerbaijan’s President Heydar Aliyev and nine foreign oil companies signed the ‘Contract of the Century’ for the exploration and exploitation of three offshore oil fields in the Caspian Sea. This is hailed as the ‘beginning of independent Azerbaijan’s policy of energy diversification’ by the United States and other Western powers. A few days ago, Azerbaijan’s embassy in the U. S., state-owned oil and natural gas corporation SOCAR, supermajor BP and the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC), which boasts advisors such as James Baker III, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ‘Contract of the Century’ in Washington. The key role of Azerbaijan in the Southern Gas Corridor was one of the major topics during the celebrations and the Aliyev regime is doing its best to satisfy the expectations:
Turkey, Azerbaijan break ground for Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline Turkey’s energy minister has declared a gas pipeline a ‘peace corridor’ linking the Caucasus with the Balkans. ‘We open the project as a peace corridor that is the result of 15 years hard work by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Through the South Caucasus pipeline and its backbone, the Trans-Anatolia pipeline, we connect the Caucasus with the Balkans. I wish every country could understand the true value of these projects and contribute with us,’ Taner Yldz said while speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the South Caucasus pipeline in Baku on Sept. 20.
Azerbaijan & Turkey Push Southern Gas Corridor…

This post was published at Boiling Frogs Post on September 22, 2014.

Strange Bedfellows: To Fight ISIS, US Now Supports Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Other Terror Groups

Strange Bedfellows
US Mideast relationships get stranger every day. The US has come to the defense or has given aid to three rather unlikely groups in the past few weeks.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which directly supports the YPG, on Washington’s list of proscribed terror groups “Moderates” fighting to overthrow Syrian president Assad. Those moderates just signed a non-agression pact with ISIS 70,000 Kurds Seek Refuge in TurkeyThe Guardian reports Kurds Flee into Turkey to Escape Isis Offensive
More than 70,000 Kurds fled from northern Syria into Turkey at the weekend and tens of thousands more are trying to cross the border as the terror group Islamic State (Isis) intensified its assault on a crucial Kurdish safe haven near the border.
Previous attacks have targeted Yazidis, Christians, Kurds and Shia Turkomans in Iraq, and Alawites, Shias and Christians in Syria, forcing most to flee. Those captured have been given the stark choice between converting to the jihadists’ hardline view of Sunni Islam or being killed.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Monday, September 22, 2014.

ISIS Slams “Mule Of The Jews” Obama, Demands Killing Of “Disbelievers” Especially “Filthy French”

Having released some 46 Turkish hostages, because “Turkey refused to agree to the US demand for ‘active support of the coalition‘,” ISIS has come out swinging in its first ‘official’ statement since President Obama unveiled his ‘strategy’ for “degrading and destroying” them, with a call for all followers of Allah to make the coalition campaign the “last crusader campaign,” and calls Obama “vile”, more foolish than Bush, and a “mule of the Jews.” Warning Americans and Europeans that “you will pay a great price, when your economies collapse,” ISIS blasts Kerry, “the uncircumcised old geezer,” for his “false arguments.” The statement concludes by telling ISIS followers, “if you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be.”
As Al-Monitor reports, Forty-nine staff members of the Turkish Consulate in Mosul (three of whom are Iraqi nationals) who were taken hostage June 11 by the Islamic State (IS) were freed at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 20. Details of the operation are slowly emerging.
Interesting reports surfaced on the Takvahaber news website, which is identified as the IS mouthpiece in Turkey. According to one Takvahaber report, which was based on the Twitter account of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS caliph, the decision to release the hostages was personally approved by Baghdadi after Turkey refused to agree to the US demand for ‘active support of the coalition.’ …
In addition to the key question of whether the hostages were rescued through an operation or handed over by IS to Turkish officials, another question that gained prominence is, ‘Why now?’ Why did IS give up the strategic ace it was holding against Turkey just now that the United States is setting up a coalition and is about to launch a military offensive?
And then ISIS issues its first post-Obama Strategy statement…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/21/2014.

VIDEO: ISIS TERRORISTS OPENLY COMMUTE ON SUBWAY IN ISTANBUL, TURKEY

A new video shows alleged Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists using public transportation in Istanbul, Turkey, without fear of local authorities, emphasizing the support ISIS enjoys in the NATO country.
Filmed in an Istanbul subway, the video shows the two men wearing ISIS gear while commuting through the Turkish city of over 14 million people.
The men appear calm and relaxed in public, which would be expected given that not only are stores within the NATO country selling ISIS merchandise, but the Turkish government has also trained ISIS militants to fight in Syria.
‘At least one clothing shop was found in Bagcilar, a working class district near the outskirts of Istanbul, selling T-shirts, hats, cargo pants and bandanas with Islamic State imagery,’ Fox News reported.
Turkey is one of the largest sources of foreign fighters for ISIS and many of these militants received training and equipment from the Turkish government near the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, where American personnel and equipment are located.


This post was published at Info Wars on SEPTEMBER 20, 2014.

The U.S. Has Already Completed Regime Change In Syria (1949), Iran (1953), Iraq (Twice), Afghanistan (Twice), Turkey, Libya and Other Oil-Rich Countries

Syria Everyone knows that the U. S. and its allies have heavily backed Islamic terrorists in Syria in an attempt to implement regime change in that country.
But did you know that the U. S. previously carried out regime change in Syria?
The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes:
As early as 1949, this newly independent Arab republic was an important staging ground for the CIA’s earliest experiments in covert action.
The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949.
The reason the U. S. initiated the coup? Little explains:
In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U. S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.
In other words, Syria was the sole holdout for the lucrative oil pipeline.
(Indeed, the CIA has carried out this type of covert action right from the start.)
In 1957, the American president and British prime minister agreed to launch regime change again in Syria. Historian Little notes that the coup plot was discovered and stopped:

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 17, 2014.

BUILDING A NEW BARN

I sure have missed Hardscrabble Farmer’s wisdom, perspective and truth over the last few weeks. But it was worth the wait. Enjoy.
Last night I dreamed of buildings. In the dream they were on our farm- a church, a small theater, a haunted house we had once looked at before we bought our place. I went from one to the other examining the flaws and estimating for repairs; rotten framing, new coat of paint, leaky pipes that ran inside the walls. I was overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of me and in each building were groups of people I didn’t know, a cluster of young girls waiting to dance at a recital, college boys gathered in knots by a fire escape, old men and women in recliners on the porch watching the evening sky. Everyone nodded at me as I made my way from job to job and at one point an old friend I haven’t seen in years asked me to help him move a fawn across a large field to the safety of the forest before someone accidentally hit it with their car. I remember clearly the mood of the dream- it was neither ethereal nor fantastic, but mundane and simple. I was required to fix what was broken, to make the repairs and work while others went about their lives doing what was expected of them. I recall my work clothes and tools, the turkey leg someone offered me to eat, the fact that nighttime was approaching and there was still so much work left undone.
When I came downstairs this morning it was not quite light but you could see the water vapor ascending from the surface of the pond like a pillar of smoke, obscuring the lower pasture in a lavender haze. I made my coffee and thought about my dream while it was fresh in my mind.
A couple of years ago while we were visiting our family for Christmas the barn burned down. The shock of that loss has long since passed, but the memories of what people did for us remains the clearest and most profound artifact of that event. It took me six hours of driving at speeds that should have landed me in jail to reach the smoldering ruin of what had once housed innumerable possessions and lives. The firemen were wrapping things up, a few of them were hosing off the last of the smoking hay bales that continued to burn, and where that beautiful barn had once stood was nothing more than a blackened pile of ash…

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 17th September 2014.

U.S. Targets Islamic State’s Lucrative Oil Smuggling Operations

With U. S. President Barack Obama’s announcement of an open-ended plan for airstrikes on the Islamic State (IS), the U. S. and its allies will need to degrade the power and influence of the Sunni jihadist group, and that means reducing its incoming flow of oil money.
And the Obama administration seems aware of that, according to a New York Times article that reports that the President and U. S. diplomats are pressuring Turkey to cut off the stream of oil smuggled across its border.
IS controls territory in central and northern Iraq, and is thought to be producing between 25,000 and 40,000 barrels per day (bpd). Since they cannot sell this oil legitimately, they smuggle it and sell it on the black market. Some energy analysts think IS could be pulling in between $1.2 and $2 million per day.
‘The key gateway through that black market is the southern corridor of Turkey,’ Luay al-Khatteeb, a fellow at the Brookings Institute’s Doha Center, told the Times. ‘Turkey is becoming part of this black economy.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/16/2014.

Petrodollar Panic: EU Officials Admit Buying Oil From ISIS

We recently explained how ISIS remains so well funded but what was unclear was who exactly what purchasing their ‘recently-provisioned’ oil reserves? The assumption being some desperate third-world nation or some scheming offshore hedge-fund arbitrageur; however, as Sott.net reports, a senior European Union official has revealed that some EU member states have purchased oil from ISIL Takfiri militants despite their rhetoric against the group. The official declined to disclose any names but Turkey remains a front-runner (having already shunned President Obama) andpotentially France (after their recent anti-Petrodollar comments).
As The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness ( @kelseyjharkness ) notes,

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/15/2014.

“Moderate” Syrian Rebels Sign Non-Aggression Pact With ISIS; Iraq Defies US

First it was the ‘broad coalition’ that appeared a little narrower than President Obama explained to the world last week. Today, 2 more crucial aspects of the ‘strategy’ appear to be faltering. Despite the promise of $500 million to train “moderate” Syrian terrorist/rebels to fight ISIS, GlobalPost reports Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State have agreed a non-aggression pact for the first time. Under the deal, “the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime.” Not exactly what Obama and Kerry had in mind. But it is John Kerry’s trip to Iraq that appears to have had blowback already as Reuters reports the newly installed US-friendly PM al-Adadi ordered his air force to halt strikes on civilian areas, “even in those towns controlled by ISIS,” just a day after Kerry’s visit (which left Turkey explaining how it would not support US airstrikes either). So far, so good?!
So, to sum up…
First, Germany and UK (and Australia) – the USA’ broad coalition of allies to strike ISIS – will not support airstrikes on ISIS in Syria.
As The WSJ reports, Germany and the U. K. on Thursday ruled out carrying out air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria, a day after President Barack Obama authorized the start of U. S. air strikes there.
“We haven’t been asked, nor will we do it,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters when asked about German participation in air strikes against the Islamic State, known as ISIL or ISIS, in light of Mr. Obama’s speech.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/13/2014.

Obama, Speak Plainly: This is War!

President Obama, Wednesday night, provided further details on his plans to meet the challenge of ISIS, relying on a broad coalition of partners to degrade and destroy the Islamic State. He said he would rely on US airstrikes, not combat troops, and would work with other nations to cut off ISIS funding. He warned there would be no safe haven for any organization that threatened America, implying that military operations in Iraq could spread to Syria and perhaps to neighboring countries, including Turkey and Jordan. What President Obama did not acknowledge is that what began several months ago as ‘targeted’ airstrikes ‘limited in scope’ had developed into a commitment that could last several years, stretching into the next administration. There is no reason to believe that an effective operation against ISIS can be restricted to airstrikes. US troops are already on the ground and he will add ‘an additional 475 service members to Iraq.’ It does not matter whether we call them ‘boots on the ground.’ US military efforts will combine air and ground forces. The objective, Obama said, is to attract a broad coalition, including Arab nations. Thus far, there have been some commitments from allies to provide humanitarian aid and military equipment but not military forces. If this turns into an essentially US effort, jihadists can claim that the battle is essentially the United States against Islam, even if many Moslems find ISIS thoroughly repugnant. By providing the leadership he has, Obama risks taking ownership of another war that has no clear end, breadth, or cost.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 12, 2014.

As Turkey Refuses To Join “Anti-ISIS” Coalition, John Kerry Comes Begging

It appears the ‘broad coalition’ that President Obama so confidently described just two days ago is crumbling faster than the Iraqi army. First UK and Germany deny support for airstrikes in Syria and now Turkey refuses to allow a U. S.-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official. US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Ankara this morning to ‘build the coalition’ but, as AFP reports, Turkish officials have already made their position clear, “Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations.” Their ‘excuse’: “our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages,” but follows PM Erdogan’s recent shunning of Obama.
As AFP reports,
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Ankara Friday for talks aimed at building a coalition against Islamic State jihadists, a visit that comes after Turkey said it would not allow its air bases to be used for strikes on the extremists. The top US diplomat, touring the Middle East to establish a coalition of more than 40 countries, is to meet with Turkey’s leaders including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks on measures to defeat the militants in Iraq and Syria.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/12/2014.

Turkey Refuses to Take Part in U.S.-led Attacks in Iraq, Syria: Reports

Turkey will not allow a U.S.-led coalition to launch attacks in Iraq and Syria from its air bases and will not take part in combat operations against militant groups, a government official told Agence France Presse Thursday.
"Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations," the official said on condition of anonymity.
The announcement comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is holding talks in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to encourage Middle Eastern countries to create an international coalition to fight terrorism, particularly the Islamic State (IS) group.

This post was published at RAI Novosti

Obama’s False Flag Speech Tonight

Tonight, on the eve of another anniversary for 9-11, the current President of the United States will be giving a speech about the threat of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or IS for short) where a new American strategy for dealing with this terrorist army will be outlined after he stated several days ago that he didn’t have one. Several months ago in fact, the President called ISIS the ‘JV team’ in one of his numerous infamous quotes and since that time they have carved out what amounts to a small nation in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq.
The issue of ISIS however, is not the key point to the speech tonight. If ISIS were truly a serious threat to US interests, aka, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, then our ‘allies’ in the region would request that the United States position more troops into Kuwait and Jordan to protect those kingdoms and to cut off any advance towards the House of Saud. Meanwhile, many questions about this speech and American policy towards ISIS will not be answered by this administration nor our ‘allies’ in the region:
1. If the United States is aware that ISIS is now in possession of approximately 30 M1 Abrams tanks, why have we not destroyed them with an air strike by now? Theoretically one would hope that the U. S. would install a ‘kill switch’ such as those used by American rental car companies just in case a vehicle is stolen, or at least some type of GPS tracking at a minimum once the weapons were left for the Iraqi military.
2. Why are Western governments in Europe and including the United States announcing any types of sanctions for those countries aiding and abetting the ISIS cause? There is ample evidence within the mainstream media that Qatar is acting as the finance and banking arm for the Islamic State yet not one word has been uttered about cutting off trade or even a small threat of sanctions from any nation except for Saudi Arabia (see: Saudi threatens to block Qatar’s land, sea borders from this posting about Saudi-Qatari relations: Is Saudi Arabia Preparing to Invade Qatar?).
3. There is demonstrable evidence that Turkey, a NATO member nation, has also been arming and training ISIS forces yet the silence from Brussels, London, and Washington has been deafening. Will President Obama announce an initiative to cut off the supply of arms and soldiers migrating from Turkish territory into Iraq and Syria tonight? I seriously doubt it.

This post was published at John Galt Fla on September 10, 2014.

Western Doublethink on Blind Path to War

In October 1962, the United States threatened to go to war with Russia over the Cuban missile crisis. That high-stakes drama came about after Washington learned that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had overseen the installation of ballistic missiles on the Caribbean island, some 90 miles from the US mainland. Never mind that the nascent military alliance between Moscow and the socialist government of Fidel Castro was a inviolable matter between two sovereign states – Washington was apoplectic that Soviet missiles were permitted anywhere near its territory. The then US President John F Kennedy was impelled to go to war over the issue, even if that meant igniting an all-out thermonuclear conflagration. In the end, the standoff was resolved, in part through a mutual personal understanding between Kennedy and Khrushchev that such a catastrophic war had to be avoided at all costs. The Soviet Union eventually withdrew its missiles after receiving a guarantee from the White House that there would no follow-up US invasion of Cuba, as in the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs assault of April 1961. In addition, Kennedy gave a commitment to reciprocate US missile withdrawal from Turkey’s territory bordering with the former Soviet Union.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 3, 2014.