We’re all ignorant; few recognize it.
Aubrey’s deployment order came a week later. A conflict had waxed and waned in Syria and Iraq for the better part of three years. It was the typical Middle Eastern fracas: hapless governments and their armies; not-so-hapless sectarian brigades with colorful names waging guerrilla war, detonating bombs, promoting mayhem; shifting alliances; endless intrigue; diabolical duplicity; rampant disinformation; appearances masking antipodal realities; and machinations by outside string pullers, money honeys, and intelligence agencies who never seemed to realize—or if they did, never acknowledged—that they were the puppets, not the puppeteers. Despite the seeming complexity, the war boiled down to the usual two issues: oil and the centuries-old question of Muhammad’s rightful heir.
Governments couldn’t resist throwing matches on the gasoline. Sunni nations—Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the rich little monarchies scattered around the Persian Gulf—as well as a variety of sectarian brigades with colorful names, launched massive and coordinated maneuvers to “restore order” (Middle Eastern–speak for replacing a government with one more to your liking) to Shiite Syria and Iraq. The Shiite governments were not without friends. Russia, Iran, and various sectarian brigades with colorful names would not let them go down without a fight. So in a very short time, the corner of the world with the highest per capita concentrations of troops, terrorism, weapons, and warfare saw exponential increases in all four.
The US government urged all parties to come to the negotiating table. No parties came to the negotiating table. The US government consulted with its European allies. A resolution was submitted at the United Nations. The war intensified. The war lobby screamed: this was World War III, and the United States was not there! It was like missing your senior prom! The Europeans screamed. Refugees were streaming to Europe. Despite welcoming gestures, the only assimilating they seemed to be doing was slurping up government benefits. It was getting expensive. Some Europeans didn’t like their new guests. Some of their new guests didn’t like the Europeans, but they did like blowing people up. Voters were getting mad. Something had to be done!
The US government ultimately did what the US government does best: came up with a catchy name (Operation Restoration of Peace, Freedom, Hope, Democracy, and Dignity in the Middle East), parked aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, dropped bombs, and deployed thousands of troops to “advise and assist” without a clear idea of whom they would be advising and assisting. It implored the Europeans to join its efforts, to staunch the refugee flow by making war, blowing things up, and creating more refugees. Back in the States, the groups that reflexively cheered every war distributed more Support Our Troops bumper stickers.
Prime Deceit, Robert Gore, 2016
This is satire, although not obviously so. Prime Deceit is dedicated To all those grown bone weary of the bulls**t. The novel’s main shortcoming is that it isn’t satirical enough. Only brutally savage satire is within field goal range of capturing the reality of the Middle East. Almost all of the mountain of journalism and propaganda focused on or emanating from that part of the world is pure twaddle, bulls**t that bone wearied most of us long ago. You can instantly recognize those who don’t have the first clue about the Middle East by their claims to understand it, especially if they claim they’re experts.
Posted in Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Horseshit, Imperialism, Intelligence, Media, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Hubris, Ignorance, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Prime Deceit, Qassem Soleimani assassination
If the globalists have their way, a ramped-up war in the Middle East is on tap. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:
In 2016 during the election campaign of Donald Trump one of the primary factors of his popularity among conservatives was that he was one of the first candidates since Ron Paul to argue for bringing US troops home and ending American involvement in the various elitist fabricated wars in the Middle East. From Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Syria and Yemen and beyond, the Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs at the behest of their globalist masters had been waging war oversees unabated for over 15 years. The time was ripe for a change and people felt certain that if Hillary Clinton entered the White House, another 4-8 years of war were guaranteed.
There was nothing to be gained from these wars. They were only dragging the US down socially and economically, and even the idea of “getting the oil” had turned into a farce as the majority of Iraqi oil has been going to China, not the US. General estimates on the costs of the wars stand at $5 trillion US tax dollars and over 4500 American dead along with around 40,000 wounded. The only people that were benefiting from the situation were globalists and banking elites, who had been clamoring to destabilize the Middle East since the day they launched their “Project For A New American Century” (PNAC). Truly, all wars are banker wars.
Posted in banking, Collapse, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged globalists, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Neocons, President Trump
Iran has shown itself to be quite adept at inflicting pain on its enemies. Scott Ritter details possible retaliation scenarios. From Ritter at lewrockwell.com:
Unless Trump is ready to drop a tactical NUKE
Iran has promised retaliation for the assassination of Qassem Suleimani. Donald Trump said this will lead to a disproportionate response from the US. One side can deliver on its threats, the other can’t, unless it goes nuclear.
Iran means business
“Our reaction,” Iranian general Hossein Dehghan said at the weekend, “will be wise, well considered and, in time, with decisive deterrent effect.”
Dehghan also noted that Iran was not seeking a wider confrontation with the US.
“It was America that has started the war. Therefore, they should accept appropriate reactions to their actions. The only thing that can end this period of war is for the Americans to receive a blow that is equal to the blow they have inflicted.”
Dehghan is no run-of-the-mill former Iranian general officer, but was one of the major decision makers within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during the Iran-Iraq War, and later went on to command the IRGC Air Force, before eventually being appointed Iran’s minister of defense. After stepping down from that position, Dehghan became a special advisor to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ali Khamenei.
One week into the new year and we may be looking at both financial fireworks and a hot war in the Middle East. Could be an interesting year. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
An almighty bafflement befogs the nation as the first full business week of 2020 commences and events pile up like smashed vehicles on a weather-blinded highway. Before we even smoked that Iranian bird on the Baghdad airport tarmac, something ominous was tingling away in the financial markets, in fact, has been since way back in September. Perhaps one-in-100,000 Americans has the dimmest clue as to what the repo mechanism stands for in banking circles, but it has been flashing red for months, with klaxons blaring for those who maybe missed the red flashes.
The repo market represents trillions of dollars in overnight lending in which bonds (or other “assets”) are used as collateral for ultra-short-term loans between large banks. Theoretically, this flow of supposedly secured lending acts as mere background lubricant for the engine of finance, like the motor oil circulating in your Ford F-150. You don’t notice it until it’s not there, and then all of a sudden you’re throwing rods and sucking valves, and the darn vehicle is a smoldering goner in the breakdown lane.
US wars are almost always fought for reasons their promoters don’t want to admit. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:
The Washington Post, through documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, has published a long investigation into Afghanistan. Journalists have collected over 400 testimonies from American diplomats, NATO generals and other NATO personnel, that show that reports about Afghanistan were falsified to deceive the public about the real situation on the ground.
After the tampering with and falsification of the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), we are witnessing another event that will certainly discomfit those who have hitherto relied on the official reports of the Pentagon, the US State Department and international organizations like the OPCW for the last word.
There are very deliberate reasons for such disinformation campaigns. In the case of the OPCW, as I wrote some time back, the aim was to paint the Syrian government as the fiend and the al-Qaeda- and Daesh-linked “moderate rebels” as the innocent souls, thereby likely justifying a responsibility-to-protect armed intervention by the likes of the US, the UK and France. In such circumstances, the standing and status of the reporting organization (like the OPCW) is commandeered to validate Western propaganda that is duly disseminated through the corporate-controlled mainstream media.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Imperialism, Investigations, Media, Military, War
Tagged Afghanistan Papers, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, OPCW scandal
Nobody has been a bigger beneficiary of the US’s Middle East misadventures than Iran. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Intelligence documents reveal how Tehran took advantage of US blundering
The American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of that nation’s government in 2003 has rightly been described as the greatest foreign policy disaster in the history of the United States. Eight thousand one hundred and seventy five American soldiers, contractors and civilians have died in Iraq since 2003 as well as an estimated 300,000 Iraqis. By some more expansive estimates the so-called “global war on terror,” of which Iraq was the major component, may have directly killed 801,000, of which at least 335,000 were civilians. Other estimates indicate that the total dead from collateral causes, to include disease and starvation, could exceed 3 million, overwhelmingly Muslims.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone have also cost, according to the same Brown University study, an estimated $6.4 trillion and still counting as the money to pay for it was borrowed.
Posted in Debt, Economy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Iran, Iraq, Middle East, President Trump, Syria
Trump’s actual foreign policy, as opposed to his bombast, is virtually no departure from the policies of his predecessors. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
I’ve been publishing antiwar material for more than five years now. Seeing as I only retired this past February, I did most of my dissenting while still on active duty, and much of it during the Obama years. During that time, the overwhelming majority of hate mail in my inbox – and sometimes my actual mailbox – almost always came from the political right. Then Trump was elected, occasionally said some modestly prudent things about ending endless war in the Middle East, and when I dared write approvingly about those words, my hate mail began to change. Now it invariably emerges from the mainstream “left,” my own ostensibly ideological compatriots. (More on this phenomenon in my Nov. 6 column at Antiwar.com). Now, despite spending almost all of my adult life in uniform, I’m labeled a “Putin apologist,” a “traitor,” an “asset” and a “useful idiot.”
It’s ironic; maddeningly so, in fact. A cursory glance at my body of work since January 2017 reveals a consistent propensity to challenge this president. Nonetheless, I’ve felt of late a professional, and ethical, obligation to occasionally (if cautiously) cheer Trump’s more prudent critiques of the forever wars I once waged. My more thoughtful critics note that all that Trump-talk hasn’t been backed by much follow-through, and they ain’t wrong. As I’ve been long apt to point out, the distance between Trump’s anti-interventionist “rhetoric” and his actual actions in the greater Middle East remains, for now, wide enough to drive a semi-truck through.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Israel, Middle East, President Trump, Saudi Arabia, Syria