Category Archives: Military

US Coalition Cooperates With Al-Qaeda In Yemen, Associated Press Confirms, by Tyler Durden

Seventeen years after Al-Qaeda supposedly blew up the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, the US is cooperating with them in Yemen…as it did in Syria and Iraq. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Perhaps we could simply shrug our shoulders and say it’s better late than never for the mainstream media.

A new Associated Press report confirms what was long ago detailed by a number of independent investigative journalists, and even in some instances buried deep within sporadic mainstream reports of past years: the US-coalition in Yemen is actually cooperating with al-Qaeda terrorists in the campaign to dislodge Shia Houthi militants.

The AP report begins dramatically as follows:

Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

And contrary to the normative response of US officials to such allegations, which as in the case of US support to jihadists in Syria typically runs something like “we didn’t know” while hiding behind a system of ‘plausible deniability’  in the case of Yemen officials involved have now admitted to the AP that coalition allies knowingly allowed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to survive and flourish. 

Somewhat surprising for the AP, its report underscores this with zero ambiguity, even illustrating for the reader the terrorists’ linkage to 9/11:

These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes.

To continue reading: US Coalition Cooperates With Al-Qaeda In Yemen, Associated Press Confirms

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Why the Boomers Are Going Broke, by Bill Bonner

It’s hard to accumulate wealth when the value of the supposed store of value is whatever central bankers and politicians say it is. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

POITOU, FRANCE – We were taken aback on Friday by the ferocity of our dear readers’ comments. [Read more in today’s Mailbag.]

What were they so sore about? we wondered.

Son of Satan

Of course, we are frequently wrong about a great number of things. When connecting the dots, we are bound to draw a few stray lines. And we will no doubt be proven wrong in many of our opinions and predictions.

Will The Donald’s trade war pay off for Americans? We don’t think so.

Will the tax cut really boost the U.S. economy and reduce the deficit? There is no sign of it.

Will Mr. Trump really make America great again? The odds, based on what we’ve seen so far, seem very, very slim.

But what do we know? And we’d be happy to be proven wrong.

What was surprising – to us – was that readers did not write to correct us or help us get the lines in the right place.

Instead, they seemed to suggest that we were a son of Satan, sent to destroy all that the good patriots of the United States of America hold most dear.

In other words, the discussion seems to have hit a religious nerve… like setting fire to a cathedral; the faithful fear their most sacred relics will be incinerated.

We have no remedy for this condition, so we will cheerfully ignore it. Besides, cross readers may be right. And those who have a better idea of how the dots connect are invited to send their thoughts by clicking right here.

Goldilocks Report

So, what do we see today?

What we see is an economy staggering under the weight of phony wars and phony finances.

It took more than 200 years for the country to reach its first $1 trillion in debt; now, it adds that much every 12 months. In addition, the Fed increased the base money supply by roughly 400% over the past decade.

What do you get for that kind of money? The feds got the weakest recovery in history… with no real gains in per-hour wages… and GDP growth rates only half those of the 1950s and ‘60s.

In 1821, John Quincy Adams described American foreign policy: “She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy…”

Here we are, nearly 200 years later, and U.S. troops are looking for monsters in every godforsaken sh*thole in the world. And where none can be found… they create one.

To continue reading: Why the Boomers Are Going Broke

Two Knockout Blows to US Imperialism: De-Dollarization and Hypersonic Weapons, by Federico Pieraccini

Much of the rest of the world doesn’t take a shine to US notions of unipolar dominance…and they’re doing something about it. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:

Two Knockout Blows to US Imperialism: De-Dollarization and Hypersonic Weapons

In the current multipolar world in which we live, economic and military factors are decisive in guaranteeing countries their sovereignty. Russia and China seem to be taking this very seriously, committed to the de-dollarization of their economies and the accelerated development of hypersonic weapons.

The transition phase we are going through, passing from a unipolar global order to a multipolar one, calls for careful observation. It is important to analyze the actions taken by two world powers, China and Russia, in defending and consolidating their sovereignty over the long term. Observing decisions taken by these two countries in recent years, we can discern a twofold strategy. One is economic, the other purely military. In both cases we observe strong cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. The merit of this alliance is paradoxically attributed to the attitude of various US administrations, from George Bush Senior through to Obama. The special relationship between Moscow and Beijing has been forged by a shared experience of Washington’s pressure over the last 25 years. Their shared mission now seems to be to contain the US’s declining imperial power and to shepherd the world from a unipolar world order, with Washington at the center of international relations, to a multipolar world order, with at least three global powers playing a major role in international relations.

The Sino-Russian strategy has shown itself over the last two decades to consist of two parts: economic clout on the one hand, and military strength on the other, the latter to ward off reckless American behavior. Both Eurasian powers have their respective strengths and weaknesses in this regard. If Russia’s economy can hardly be compared to China’s, China plays second fiddle to Russia’s conventional and nuclear deterrents, and is quite some way behind Moscow in terms of hypersonic weapons. The cooperation between Moscow and Beijing aims to synergize their respective strengths.

To continue reading: Two Knockout Blows to US Imperialism: De-Dollarization and Hypersonic Weapons

Revolving Door: How Security Clearances Perpetuate Top-Level Corruption in the United States, by Philip Giraldi

A security clearance can be a valuable asset to a high ranking official after he or she leaves the government. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

President Donald Trump is threatening to take away the security clearances of a number of former senior intelligence and security officers who have been extremely critical of him. Most Americans were unaware that any ex-officials continued to hold clearances after they retired and the controversy has inevitably raised the question why that should be so. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.

A security clearance is granted to a person but it is also linked to “need to know” in terms of what kind of information should or could be accessed, which means that when you are no longer working as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency you don’t necessarily need to know anything about China’s spying on the United States. Or do you? If you transition into a directorship or staff position of a major intelligence or security contractor, which many retirees do, you might need to retain the qualification for your job, which makes the clearance an essential component in the notorious revolving door whereby government officials transit to the private sector and then directly lobby their former colleagues to keep the flow of cash coming.

At top levels among the beltway bandit companies, where little work is actually done, some make the case that you have to remain “well informed” to function properly. The fact is that many top-level bureaucrats do retain their clearances for those nebulous reasons and also sometimes as a courtesy. Some have even received regular briefings from the CIA and the office of the Director of National intelligence even though they hold no government positions. A few very senior ex-officials have also been recalled by congress or the White House to provide testimony on particular areas of expertise or on past operations, which can legitimately require a clearance, though it such cases one can be granted on a temporary basis to cover a specific issue.

To continue reading: Revolving Door: How Security Clearances Perpetuate Top-Level Corruption in the United States

 

Trump’s Peace Train: Next Stop, Afghanistan, by Justin Raimondo

Trump has an opportunity to do what the two presidents before him couldn’t do: get the US out of Afghanistan. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

The Christmas truce of 1914 was something truly miraculous. There, in the midst of a vicious war – really the first modern war, in which air power and advanced gunnery both played a part for the first time – the two sides not only laid down their arms, but they also consorted and celebrated the pause in the senseless interminable slaughter. When it was over, they went back to destroying European civilization, but for a moment there a vision of what peace would be like if people took their fate into their own hands was readily apparent. Yes, we always drag out this example, every Christmas, as a lesson in what might be and should be – but could anything like that legendary truce happen today?

Well, it has happened, and in the most unlikely place imaginable – the wilds of Afghanistan, whose stony landscape has absorbed so much blood that I’m surprised the earth itself hasn’t liquefied. As the Washington Post reports:

“A first possible breakthrough in the 17-year Afghan conflict came in June, when a brief cease-fire during a Muslim holiday produced a spontaneous celebration by Afghan troops, civilians and Taliban fighters. The nationwide yearning for peace became palpable.”

Unlike the World War I version, however, it looks like something may come of this spontaneous rebellion against a long and futile war:

“Now, in a development that could build on that extraordinary moment, a senior American diplomat and Taliban insurgent officials have reportedly held talks for the first time, meeting in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar and agreeing to hold further sessions. According to Taliban officials, they discussed reprising the truce in August.”

The US, bypassing the barely functional Afghan “government” — which controls only the territory around Kabul – is negotiating directly with the Taliban, whose leaders are enthusiastic about the talks. While the White House is laconic about the negotiations, the insurgents are more forthcoming: one described the talks as “very positive,” and averred that “We agreed to meet again soon and resolve the Afghan conflict through dialogue.”

To continue reading: Trump’s Peace Train: Next Stop, Afghanistan

VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the group that warned George W. Bush that the Iraq intelligence was cooked, is issuing a similar warning to Trump concerning the Iran intelligence. From VIPS at consortium news.com:

As drums beat again for war — this time on Iran—-the VIPS’ warning is again being disregarded as it was before the Iraq debacle and this time VIPS fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: 
Intelligence on Iran Fails the Smell Test

Mr. President:

As the George W. Bush administration revved up to attack Iraq 15 years ago, we could see no compelling reason for war.  We decided, though, to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt on the chance he had been sandbagged by Vice President Dick Cheney and others.  We chose to allow for the possibility that he actually believed the “intelligence” that Colin Powell presented to the UN as providing “irrefutable and undeniable” proof of WMD in Iraq and a “sinister nexus” between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

To us in VIPS it was clear, however, that the “intelligence” Powell adduced was bogus.  Thus, that same afternoon (Feb. 5, 2003) we prepared and sent to President Bush a Memorandum like this one, urging him to seek counsel beyond the “circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

We take no satisfaction at having been correct — though disregarded — in predicting the political and humanitarian disaster in Iraq. Most Americans have been told the intelligence was “mistaken.” It was not; it was out-and-out fraud, in which, sadly, some of our former colleagues took part.

Five years after Powell’s speech, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee minced few words in announcing the main bipartisan finding of a five-year investigation. He said:  “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.  As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

Iran Now in Gunsight

As drums beat again for a military attack — this time on Iran, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and other experienced, objective analysts are, by all appearances, being disregarded again.  And, this time, we fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC — in comparison with the catastrophe of Iraq.

To continue reading: VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

How BRICS Plus clashes with the US economic war on Iran, by Pepe Escobar

The BRICS plus nations aren’t going to be the US’s most helpful allies imposing sanctions on Iran, and most of them will help Iran evade those sanctions. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Rhetorical war has far-reaching consequences, including a potential economic slump via the disruption of global oil supplies

China's President Xi Jinping, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrive for a group picture during the 10th BRICS summit on July 26, 2018 in Johannesburg. Photo: AFP/Gianluigi Guercia

China’s President Xi Jinping, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin arrive for a group picture during the 10th BRICS summit on July 26, 2018 in Johannesburg. Photo: AFP/Gianluigi Guercia