Patriotism: The Refuge of Scoundrels

The blog heading is one of Mark Twain’s quotes. But here is  a much  better one from Mr Clemens.

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth.
– “The Lowest Animal”- Mark Twain

Today, in my little part of the world; it is once again  Anzac Day, originally  commemorated to  mark  the bloody  failure  of the  British  Empire’s coordinated attack on Turkish  positions in the Dardanelles at  Gallipoli   in World War One, but now, ( supposedly) it ‘acknowledges the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare, and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Strangely however  this commemoration of all  who  have died in  wars is marked by   artillery salutes, marching uniformed men and much  fanfare about  this country’s patriotism. We are encouraged to  believe that Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country we live in. (New Zealand Government).

I for one,  am  appalled  that  the majority consensus in New Zealand appears to  be that  ‘plucky little New Zealand’  became a real  country  with its own  identity, and not just  a member of the British  Empire, by  maiming and killing its way through  a series of foreign “adventures”.  The one possible exception to this catastrophic jingoistic litany of murder and mayhem, is New Zealand’s very  real  contribution to  the war  against  Nazi Germany and  Japan  during the Second World War, when  a New Zealand invasion by  the Japanese Imperial Army was a high  probability at  one point.

Every  other war  we have fought, we have fought at  the behest  of others-  from  the genocide inflicted on the Boers during the Boer Wars as part of the British  Imperial  Army’s need to maintain  control of South African assets, the First  World War’s bizarre clash of European monarchies , the  staggering level  of genocide  inflicted on Koreans  by  the “Allies’ (including New Zealand naval  bombardment  of civilian areas) during the Korean War, our implicit involvement in American  genocide in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our explicit connection to  rendering of Afghan suspects to   U.S. torture centres in Afghanistan, and our ongoing  complicity in the Five Eyes  intelligence project,  which  currently serves American  and U.K. interests in  promoting terrorism  around the world and destroying  human rights.

All in all,  it is not a record I for one am proud of.  Our ongoing subservience to  the  paranoid and psychopathic American  war machine and its  business interests, serves no-one’s interests  on this planet, other than  a few  crazed right wing  American  idealogues and the military/industrial  complex.

I was proud of my country  when our prime minister of the time, Norman Kirk, sent frigates to  Muroroa Atoll  in the south Pacific,  to protest  the French  destroying that island with nuclear bombs and contaminating the environment for thousands of miles.  I was proud when  our prime minister of the day,  David Lange, announced we would henceforth  be a nuclear-free nation, and even a little proud when prime minister Helen Clark refused to send   significant ground troops to Iraq  to  support the American  invasion there.  But we have sunk to new lows since those times, in obsequiously following our U.S.  masters into Iraq once more, to   fight a stupendously foolish  war  in Afghanistan,  and to  mouth support for America’s duplicitous  ‘war on terror’   while  unconditionally  supporting the key  centres of terror in the world; Saudi Arabia and Turkey,  along with support for the 60  year  old  brutal  Israeli  occupation of Palestine .

Despite successive  New Zealand governments’ posturings that  we are now a sovereign nation  because of Anzac Day, when are we truly going to be a proud and  independent nation  who  stands in truth  for peace and international justice?

 

 

Syrian Blowback?

The attacks by  Islamist extremists  in Paris on 13th and 14th   November  are one of a long series of terrorist attacks in France. The characteristics of those supposedly involved are interesting:  young males in  their late 20s, association with  drug-dealings, one whose  recent  employment was  destroyed by  a Police decision to  shut down his part-owned café because of suspected drug-peddling, poverty and refugees- yet not a strong connection to  an Islamic tradition  of the extremist  Wahhabist  sect  that  espouses asceticism and the  hatred of other non Sunni sects.

As with  many other  civilian  targeted  terrorists attacks around the world , they occurred the same day  as a   major Paris medical response drill to a terrorist attack; coincidence? -probably…

We need to  acknowledge  that  Western intelligence  services, particularly those governments heavily involved in  destabilising Syria -eg France, have turned a blind eye to   young men   going to  Syria to fight in  the extremist  Takfiri    groups against  the Assad government regime there. Small  wonder then  that  France’s intelligence agencies were fully aware of the main perpetrators of the Paris attacks , and did nothing.

Despite  some attempts, particularly by  American mainstream  media, to portray  those joining ISIS and the other Al Qaeda offshoots in Syria as dedicated to  Islamic values and a return  to  a ‘golden age’ of a caliphate; the reality appears very  different.  These are predominantly  angry  young men, dispossessed,  poor with  few prospects to make money  or a career in  the West, lured by  promises of glory, violence and a new world where they  are the rulers of destiny.  Western Intelligence and Gulf State governments’ cynical manipulation of these dispossessed, has resulted in  the catastrophe  that  is the Middle East.  Over the past few years, the United States’ half-hearted attempts to   destroy  ISIS with  limited bombing runs  and a focus on destroying extremist leaders’ rather than  extremist  infrastructure, has led ISIS and the other Al  Qaeda affiliates in Syria and Iraq, to believe they  are impervious to  Western threats of force.

The recent  extremely intensive  aerial  bombardment by   Russian  air-force  and  missiles of  terrorist infrastructure in Syria,  has  changed the strategic balance. No  more is it likely, as the Americans would have it, are we in  for a ‘long war’ against  ISIS.  The militant groups are fast  approaching the point where  keeping  large concentrations of  militants  on  the ground and thereby  ‘holding ground’, will be impossible. A resort to guerrilla tactics is therefore likely, but with  vastly less impact  on the Syrian population and landscape.

Small  wonder the that  France and the other colonialist  governments in  the West  are concerned about the impacts of Russian attacks in  Syria. Where else do  the militants go;  but home?  We are likely therefore to  see many more attacks  in the West by  disenfranchised Muslim youth, skilled in  the use of explosives and  weapons, in the months to  come.

Postscript

The shooting down  of a  Russian SU24 bomber  close to  the Syrian/Turkish  border  by  a Turkish  Airforce  F16 on November 24th, has been downplayed in most media as something that is kind of unfortunate and will  ‘blow over’.

The reality is somewhat  different. This is the first  time that  a state agency (the Ankara Erdogan government) has explicitly  supported its ISIS and Al Qaeda allies, along with  the Turkmen mujaheddin  allied with  Al  Qaeda: a state agency  that has apparently ‘pretended’ to  support the war  against  ISIS and now shows its colours- hence the ‘stab in the back ‘ statement by  President Putin

The   shooting down   in what  appears to  be Syrian airspace is a serious violation , along with the not unexpected violation of the Geneva Conventions by  the Turkmen ‘insurgents’ killing the parachuting ejected pilots in  the air.  NATO, while urging  caution in the Russian  response, clearly does not wish  to  see itself allied with  such  reckless actions by  President Erdogan of Turkey, and has indicated its belief that  the shootdown occurred in  Syrian air-space.

The ramifications of this act are enormous, and will  likely lead to  significant internal  rumblings by  the Turkish military  against  this further slide of  the Erdogan  government towards   Islamic extremism within  and without Turkey. There are also  clear lines of accountability to  senior Turkish politicians benefiting from  the sale of ISIS oil .

While the Russian government has requested the immediate discontinuation of Russian  tourists visiting Turkey, the trade  sanctions responses to  Turkey  are likely to be severe  in an already  vulnerable Turkish  economy. The ongoing deployment of S300  and S400  anti-air batteries by  the Syrians and Russians, along with the deployment of fighter air cover for Russian bombers is likely to  result in a shootdown of Turkish fighters if Erdogan is not restrained. How will  NATO respond?  Whatever happens, the  long term   outcomes of this reckless  action spell  disaster for Turkey.

See the interesting and informative article by  Gareth  Porter on his interpretation of Turkey’s recent actions in Syria here


Links

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2015/11/30/the-real-reason-for-turkeys-shoot-down-of-the-russian-jet/

http://atimes.com/2015/12/is-the-west-turning-syria-into-a-new-afghanistan-in-the-mediterranean/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/12/putin-announces-war-on-tayyeep-bin-ardogan-over-fighter-shoot-down-and-bosphorus-blockade.html#more

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/12/03/more-coming-out-on-isis-kingpin-bilal-erdogan/

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2015/12/09/elephant-room-terrorism-and-us-gulf-states-alliance

http://thesaker.is/erdogan-the-trojan-horse-of-terror/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06s0qy9

The Farcical “War on Terror”

Reports are now  coming thick and fast  from  both the Middle East  and from the  United Stated sources of the  role the United States  and its key allies have played in  first  establishing and  then maintaining   ISIS, Al Qaeda and numerous other salafist  affiliates, under the  flimsy  guise of them being  “moderate” jihadists.

As one more instance of this support, the  recent  debacle of a defeat for Iraqi troops against  ISIS in Ramadi points to  the clear decision by United States  forces not to  conduct  airstrikes  against  ISIS  positions, when there was every   opportunity to  do  so., and the US recommendation to  the Iraqi government not to deploy Shi-ite militias in Ramadi The United States is now  aggrieved that Iranian military players are now directly involved in  the re-taking of Ramadi for the Iraqi government .

The consistent intent  for   United States policy  since the Iranian revolution in1979,  has been to  contain and eliminate any potential threat from Shi-ite groups that might negatively impact on the US supported Persian Gulf (Sunni) dictatorships. The Gulf State dictatorships have consistently demonstrated  their unconditional  support  and loyalty  for  US and Israeli  imperial  policies  in  the region; unlike the Shi-ite  states of Iran, Syria and now Iraq, who  foolishly prefer a path of self-determination for their peoples.

The usual   pack of neocon  psychopaths , with John Bolton  snarling in  the lead, has been  to  attempt to  ramp up the non-existent Iranian nuclear weapon threat, to provide unconditional  support for Israeli genocide in  Palestine and to support   anything , regardless of international law or the rights of humanity, that  will extend the United State’s power internationally. If that means  using delusional  Saudi  and Qatari “princes”  to  find and resource even more psychotic ISIS military leaders,who  believe that  all Shi-ites must  be exterminated;  then so be it.

There is clear evidence of an ongoing policy by  the neocons to destroy secular Middle East  governments ( ie not specifically Sunni  oriented governments) like Saddam’s  Iraq, Libya, Syria, which  can lead  on to the ultimate goal  for the US, Israel  and the Saudis; the destruction of Shi-ite  Iran. The  Saudi bombardment of Yemen’s Houthi movement and all  Yemeni  civilians , is  just  a minor diversion  in  the larger game plan.

The recent public announcement by the US that  it wil  be funding training  and arming  “moderate” Syrian opposition forces to  fight the Syrian Assad regime , is one more step  in this bizarre and farcical journey of creating  monsters to  kill them. As has  been clearly demonstrated; there is in fact no  “moderate” opposition fighters. It is possible that  at  the beginning of the fight against  Assad in the “spontaneous” Arab Spring uprising against  him , that  there were a few  secular   and moderate voices, but they have long gone.  As this Department of Defence report for 2012 clearly indicates,   the US knew well  (even 3 years ago) that  the Syrian opposition  fighters that it supported and continues to  support, were  almost entirely composed of extremist jihadists and salafist ( anti-Shiite and anti  any other non-Sunni sect)

Additional  little snippets of the tight connection between Western governments and Middle East  terrorist  groups can  be  found in Seamus Milne’s account here.  Or the recent post  in  the Levant Report documenting how  the ISIS Leader Omar al-Shishani Fought Under U.S. Umbrella as Late as 2013

But even  in these accounts, Western  reporters are  extremely cautious in ascribing  a direct  linkage between  terror and the West ; one  which  now undoubtedly exists. Note how key Western governments are now happy to pay ISIS good prices for their stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil.

Or note ex-President of  Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai’s view that  the U.S is actively taking a two  sided approach  to  creation and  destruction of jihadist  groups to  serve its power interests.

Time and time again  we are seeing reports in  the mainstream U.S. and U.K. media that  ISIS is here to  stay  for  the long term; how hard it will be  to eliminate them; and really, things are such  a lot better for those people in Iraq, Libya and Syria now that  ISIS and its Western  subsidised offshoots are there.  After all  we have “law and order”-never mind that this “law” is an obscene  psychopathic one  As a “delightful ” example of this  obscene  Western view on  that”Isis isn’t really that bad” -read this article in the U.K. Independent by   Richard Barrett (who) was head of counter-terrorism at MI6 before spending nine years as the co-ordinator of the UN’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team.

What  you sow, so  shall  you reap……

 Postscript

A great  article on where all  that wonderful  hardware comes from  that ISIS  uses at  Antiwar.com http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/15/where-does-isis-get-those-wonderful-toys/, which rather begs the question; who is training those little psychopaths in all  this new hi-tech  equipment?

And some additional information from  Andrew P Napolitano  at  antiwar. com brings to  the sunlight  at  least one war equipment  ratline managed by  Secretary  of State Clinton to  terrorists in Libya and Syria .

And from Sibel Edmonds, ex-American intelligence operative; a podcast  on  the role of the U.S. Black-ops community in  establishing and maintaining  various international   terrorist  groups


Links

http://journal-neo.org/2015/05/25/washington-confesses-to-backing-questionable-actors-in-syria/

http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/06/08/the-us-governments-not-so-secret-support-for-al-qaeda-and-isis/

http://rt.com/op-edge/265474-isis-syria-iraq-rebels/

 

Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight It: The Intercept

We learned recently from Paris that the Western world is deeply and passionately committed to free expression and ready to march and fight against attempts to suppress it. That’s a really good thing, since there are all sorts of severe suppression efforts underway in the West — perpetrated not by The Terrorists but by the western politicians claiming to fight them.

Read more here

What more do I need to say?

Link

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/05/13/greatest-threat-free-speech-comes-terrorism-claiming-fight/

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/05/us-intelligence-predicted-us-support-for-rebels-in-syria-would-lead-to-fall-of-ramadi.html

Judicial Watch download of State Dept document 2012

U.S. Dept of Defence classified report on Syria 2012
U.S. Dept of Defence classified report on Syria 2012 (page 1)