Category Archives: GWOT

Headline of the day III: An American legacy


From the Los Angeles Times:

Long after most U.S. troops have left Iraq, civilians are dying in ‘obscene’ numbers

It’s a place where the daily grind — the office commute, a quick trip to the neighborhood market — could end in death, abduction or torture.

Islamophobia, one thing still made in the U.S.A.


The current U.S. electoral debate on Islamophobia ignores a foundational fact: The role of the U.S. in directly propagating the rise of violent Islamism.

Extremism is the product of extreme conditions, just as the rise of Nazi Party was directly produced by a Wall Street collapse. [If you want to play anyone for the rise of Third Reich, look no further than the board rooms of America’s unregulated big banks]. Sure, Germany had a hard core of fascists starting with the Treaty of Versailles ending WWI.

But it was the collapse that generated the anger the Nazis needed to channel as fuel for their rise.

And it was the U.S., either directly or through its crew of Usual Suspects in Europe and Down Under, which created the conditions for the rise of the violent Islamists, first through overt and covert State Department- and CIA-orchestrated organization of dissidents in oil rich and strategically positioned nations of the Mideast and North Africa, then by a wave to post-9/11 military campaigns, and followed by still more Washington-led political organization that created the conditions for the current wave of violence in the Mideast, Africa, Europe, and the U.S.

With the complicity of the mainstream media, all this context is ignored in the current electoral season, ensuring that the continuation of a set of policies that are very rewarding for the nation’s defense contractors and their plutocratic and institutional shareholders, always reliable sources of contributions and future jobs for the politicians who write the laws [or, more realisitically, who allow corporate lobbyists to write the laws].

And with that by way of preface, here’s the latest edition of The Empire Files, Abby Martin’s series for teleSUR English, featuring an interview with Deepa Kumar, Associate Professor of Media Studies and Middle East Studies at Rutgers. She also an author, most recently of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire.

From teleSUR English:

The Empire Files: The Most Dangerous Year for Muslims in America

Program notes:

Abby Martin interviews Dr. Deepa Kumar, professor of media studies at Rutgers University and author of *Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire*, about the roots of this alarming situation. From confronting right-wing arguments, to examining the reality behind Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims, to how Islamophobia is a reinforcement and basis for the structures of Empire, the first Empire Files episode of 2016 gives essential context to the wave of anti-Muslim hate in America and beyond.

New revelations about the overthrow of Gadaffi


During the lead-up to the West’s bombing campaign to force the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, we noted that, in our belief, a major reason for the eagerness of France, Britain, and the U.S. to force the overthrow was to gain control of Libya’s light sweet crude oil, the world’s cleanest.

Well, guess what.

We were right.

And there was yet another reason cited by Clinton, the would-be president: To gain control of Libya’s gold reserves, which Gadaffi intended to use as the basis of a new pan-African currency designed to end the domination of the continent by the American dollar.

And for proof we will turn to those Hillary Clinton emails.

But first, yet another revelation: Gadaffi himself warned former British Prime Minister that a direct result of his ouster would be a surge in Islamist violence which would invariably lead to attacks on the European continent itself.

The story, from RT:

‘Greater share of oil production’ Hillary Clinton emails reveal motives of Libya intervention

Program notes:

Newly declassified emails belonging to Hillary Clinton reveal some new possible motives behind the intervention in Libya.

Transcripts of phone conversations from 2011 between then-Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair have been made public. During the calls, the pair discussed the threat of jihadi and extremist attacks in Europe if Gaddafi’s regime collapsed. RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky takes a look at the dialogue.

Meanwhile, the violence in Libya continues, with armed contingents representing ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other radical Islamists battling it out for control.

On Thursday, at least two truck bombs claimed more than 50 lives in Libya, with the greatest number of casualties coming at a police training in Zliten, killing at least 47 and injuring score more.

That blood is on the hands of Hillary Clinton and Brack Obama.

The latest revelations, then, are simply validation of what Mark Twain wrote in 1916 in The Mysterious Stranger:

There has never been a just one, never an honorable one — on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful — as usual — will shout for the war. The pulpit will — warily and cautiously — object — at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, “It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.” Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers — as earlier — but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation — pulpit and all — will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

Headlines of the day III: Wild cars, upping antes


First, from the London Daily Mail:

BREAKING NEWS: North Korea confirms it has launched a ‘successful’ HYDROGEN BOMB test causing 5.1 magnitude man made earthquake

  • Pyongyang confirms that a thermonuclear weapon was detonated today
  • Explosion triggered 5.1 magnitude earthquake which was felt for miles
  • Chinese and South Korean officials speculated tremor was man-made
  • North Korean state TV then confirmed hydrogen bomb had been triggered
  • The ‘successful’ explosion took place at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site
  • Epicentre was 30 miles north west of Kilju city in north east of the country

Next, from The Independent:

Isis develop sophisticated new weaponry ‘capable of shooting down passenger jets’

Newly-developed technology could allow Isis to use redundant and decomissioned surface-to-air missiles to attack aircraft

More of the ISIS arsenal from Sky News:

Exclusive: Inside an Islamic State Terror Weapons Lab

Program notes:

From a “jihadi university” in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the scientists have stunned western weapons experts by producing a homemade thermal battery for surface-to-air missiles.

Disaster capitalism: Reaping profit from misery


The this latest edition of The Laura Flanders Show, the British journalist interviews Australian journalist and author Anthony Lowenstein, whose most recent book is Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe.

Their discussion focuses on the transformation of international human catastrophes into profit centers exploited by multinational corporations, buttressed by the governments of major economic powers.

Among the disasters examined are those following the 2009 catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti, the parceling out of the national resources of Afghanistan, and the privatization of the Greek commons in the wake of the Wall Street collapse of 2007-2008.

And there’s more. . .

From teleSUR English:

Laura Flanders Show – Antony Loewenstein and M. Jacqui Alexander

Program notes:

Six years ago this week, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake. Billions of dollars in aid were pledged, but little made it to the people in need. Why did that happen? To find the answers to that question and more, Laura talks to Anthony Loewenstein about disaster capitalism, and M. Jacqui Alexander discusses anti-colonial movements. Antony Loewenstein is an Australian independent freelance journalist, author, documentarian and blogger. Among his books are My Israel Question, The Blogging Revolution, and Profits of Doom. His newest book is Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe. M. Jacqui Alexander is a writer, teacher, creator and founding director of the Tobago Center for the Study and Practice of Indigenous Spirituality. All that and a commentary from Laura on truth in labeling and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.

When America’s proteges commit mass murder


In the latest edition of his TeleSUR English series, journalist and author Chris Hedges interviews a fellow member of the Fourth Estate about the murderous ways of America’s proteges in the Third World.

Allan Nairn, an independent and much-honored journalist, has reported on the violence perpetrated by American-taught death squads in Latin America, Indonesia, and the Mideast.

While covering a massacre by Indonesian death squads in East Timr in 1991, he was assaulted by soldiers, his skull fractured by the butts of American-supplied M16s.

In their discussion, Nairn and Hedges cover the bloody deeds of death squads as well as the inevitable blowback, most recently in the form of ISIS.

From TeleSUR English:

Days of Revolt: America’s Death Squads

Program notes:

In this episode of Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges sits down with investigative journalist Allan Nairn to discuss his experience covering wars across the globe, and the U.S.’s role in fueling such conflicts. The two discuss the mechanics of Western intervention, and the consequences that are still unraveling today.

Chart of the day: D.C. feared more than ISIS


From Gallup, a chart of the changing look of America’s high anxieties:

BLOG Gallup