Friday, September 05, 2014

Will NATO liberate Jihadistan? By Pepe Escobar

Will NATO liberate Jihadistan?
By Pepe Escobar 

Drive your cart and your plow
Over the bones of the dead … 

William BlakeThe Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Caliph Ibrahim, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-declared leader of Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, really sports a mean PR vein. When the show seemed scheduled for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to save Ukraine and Western Civilization - at least rhetorically - from that Evil Empire remixed, Russia, The Caliph, accessing his expensive watch wisdom, intervened with - what else - yet another "off with their heads" special. 

Eyebrows were properly raised until the United States' intel alphabet soup solemnly concluded that Islamic State (IS) really beheaded yet another American journalist on video (US President Barack Obama: "An horrific act of violence"). 

And then, out of the blue, The Caliph doubled down, proclaiming to the whole world his next target is none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Was he channeling the recently ostracized Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, aka Bandar Bush? 

In thesis, everything would be settled. The Caliph becomes a contractor to NATO (well, he’s been on to it, sort of). The Caliph beheads Putin. The Caliph liberates Chechnya - fast; not the usual, deeply embarrassing NATO quagmire in Afghanistan. The Caliph, on a roll, attacks the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The Caliph becomes NATO’s shadow secretary-general. And Obama finally stops complaining that his calls to Putin always end up on voicemail. 

Ah, if geopolitics was as simple as a Marvel Comics blockbuster.

Instead, The Caliph should know - even as he is largely a Made-in-the-West product, with substantial input from Gulf Cooperation Council petrodollar cash - that NATO never promised him a rose garden. 

So, predictably, those ungrateful Obama and David Cameron, the British Prime Minister - oh yes, because the "special relationship" is all that matters in NATO, the others are mere extras - have vowed to go after him with a broad (well, not that broad) "coalition of the willing" with the usual GCC suspects plus Turkey and Jordan, bombing Iraqi Kurdistan, parts of Sunni Iraq and even Syria. 

After all, Syrian President "Bashar al-Assad must go", rather "Assad brutality" in Cameron’s formulation, is the real culprit for The Caliph’s actions. 

And all in the name of the Enduring Freedom Forever-style Global War on Terror. 

Now get me that Slavic Caliph 
NATO’s outgoing secretary-general Anders "Fogh of War" Rasmussen was somehow rattled. After all, this was supposed to be the "crucial moment", at the NATO summit in Wales, when NATO would be at its Cold War 2.0 best, rescuing "the allies", all 28 of them, from the dark gloom of insecurity. 

One just had to look at the replica of a glorious Eurofighter Typhoon deployed in front of the NATO summit hotel in the southern Welsh town of Newport. 

To round it all off, that evil Slavic Caliph, Vlad Putin himself, designed a seven-point peace plan to solve the Ukrainian quagmire - just as Kiev’s appalling army has been reduced to strogonoff by the federalists and/or separatists in the Donbass. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - who until virtually yesterday was screaming "Invasion!" at the top of his lungs - breathed long sighs of relief. And as an aside, he disclosed Kiev was receiving high-precision weapons from an unnamed country that could only be the US, the UK or Poland. 

The whole thing posed a problem, though. What is NATO to defend Western Civilization from when all that threat embodied by "Russian aggression" dissolves into a road map to peace? 

No wonder the 60 heads of state and government with their Ministers of Defense and Foreign Relations who performed a soft invasion/breaching of the "ring of steel" protecting Newport from protesting hordes were also somehow dazed an confused. 

Over 11 years after Shock and Awe, we are still living in a Rumsfeldian world. It was the former Pentagon head David Rumsfeld under George "Dubya" Bush who conceptualized "Old Europe" and "New Europe". "Old" were Venusian sissies; "New" were vigorous Martians. 

"New" totally supported Shock and Awe, and the subsequent invasion/occupation of Iraq. Now they support, in fact beg, for NATO to stare down Russia. 

"Old", for its part, was trying at least to save a negotiating space with Putin. And in the end dear prudence, especially by Berlin, was rewarded with the Putin peace plan. 

Just in case, not to rattle the Empire of Chaos too much, Paris announced it won’t deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carrier battleships to Moscow according to schedule. And of course NATO strongly condemned Russia on Ukraine, and the European Union followed up with yet more sanctions. 

As for Fogh of War, predictably, he kept juggling his "Mars Attacks!" rhetoric (see Asia Times Online, September 3, 2014). It was all Moscow’s fault. NATO is nothing but an innocent force of appeasement - powerful and solid. At the same time, NATO would not be foolish to start depicting Russia as an enemy outright. 

So, as Asia Times Online reported, NATO at best will help train Kiev’s forces; the Donbass performance showed they badly need it. But there will be no Ukraine "integration" - for all the hysteria deployed by Kiev and well as Poland and the Baltic states calling for permanent bases. The new element will be the remixed NATO Response Force (NRF) which, by the way, was never used before. 

NRF even comes with a catchy slogan: "Travel light and strike hard". An 800-strong battalion will be able to strike in two days, and a 5,000-strong brigade between five and seven days. Well, by those "travel light" standards it would hardly be enough to prevent The Caliph from annexing larger parts of Jihadistan with his gleaming white Toyota combo. As for "strike hard", ask Pashtuns in the Hindu Kush for an informed opinion. 

So Wales yielded NRF; permanent "rotation" and permanent forward bases to "protect" Central and Eastern Europe; and everybody shelling out more cash (no less than 2% of their GDP each, for all 28 members, from here to 2025). All this in the middle of the third European recession in five years. 

Now compare the astonishing combined NATO military budget of US$900 billion (75% of all expenses monopolized by the US) with only $80 billion for Russia. Yet Moscow is the "threat". 

Needless to add, even under so much sound and fury, Wales did not yield NATO sitting on a Freudian divan - analyzing in an endless monologue its abject failure in both Afghanistan and Libya. 

In Afghanistan, the Taliban basically run rings around NATO’s bases and "strike hard" movements, demoralizing them to oblivion. That was NATO in GWOT mode. 

And in Libya, NATO created a failed state ravaged by militias and called it "peace". That was NATO in "Responsibility To Protect" mode. 

NATO liberating Jihadistan? The Pentagon couldn’t care less. The Pentagon wants eternal GWOT. US Think Tankland is ecstatic at NATO finding a "renewed purpose" and its long-term survival now assured by a "unifying threat". Translation: Russia. 

So The Caliph is not exactly quaking in his Made-in-USA desert boots. He’s even dreaming of taking on the Slavic Caliph himself. How come Marvel Comics never thought about that? 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Hillary carried out Libyan operation started by Kissinger and Reagan by wayne Madsen

 Hillary carried out Libyan operation started by Kissinger and Reagan
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, carried out a policy started in earnest during the Ronald Reagan administration and implemented by the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department Counselor Robert C. McFarlane in 1981 to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and bring about the fracture of the Libyan state. This plan is revealed in a November 17, 1981 memorandum written by McFarlane to a CIA official named "Chuck." The memo was discovered in the CIA's archives. McFarlane would later become National Security Adviser under Reagan and become immersed in the Iran-contra scandal. The memo discusses several policy options brought to McFarlane's attention by Henry Schuler, who is described as a "former foreign service officer now in business." In fact, Schuler, who had been assigned as a U.S. diplomat in Libya prior to the 1969 Libyan coup, served as the W. R. Grace and Company representative in Libya during the coup, had been a naval intelligence officer in North Africa in the 1950s, was the director for Energy Planning and Development for Deloitte Haskins and Sells in Washington, DC. He was also the former representative for Hunt Oil Company in Libya after Qaddafi's coup. Schuler's background appears to have been the perfect resume for a CIA officer and his easy entry into McFarlane's office at State would suggest that the Libya expert was no mere ex-diplomat and businessman.

Schuler, in succeeding years, became the point person who the press, including the always-dubious Washington Post, would interview every time there was a need to falsely link Qaddafi to some terrorist incident, kidnapping, plane hijacking, or other crime. Eventually, Schuler found a nest at the Henry Kissinger-initiated Center for Strategic and International Studies, an outfit that is separated from the CIA by only the Potomac River.

Today, Libya is governed by a least two rival governments. One Islamist rebel faction called Libya Dawn, which sounds very much like Odyssey Dawn, the name of the U.S.-led military intervention in Libya that toppled Qaddafi, is now in control of the capital Tripoli. The group, which ransacked the abandoned U.S. embassy compound in Tripoli, receives its spiritual guidance from the Grand Mufti of Libya, Sheikh Sadik al-Ghariani, who broadcasts radio messages to Libya with the support of the Britain's MI-6 intelligence service. Meanwhile, the Libyan government, including acting Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni and the Libyan Parliament, have fled to exile in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk, near the Egyptian border. Egyptian and United Arab Emirates war planes recently bombed Islamist rebel-held areas of Tripoli, earning a stern warning from the U.S., British, French, and Italian governments.

hillary clinton
Hillary Clinton's puff piece article in Newsweek, under the headline "The Liberation of Timbuktu." It was Clinton's transformation of Libya from a moderate Sufi society to rule by radical Salafi Wahhabists that saw half of Mali, including Timbuktu, fall to Islamist radicals spurred on by their benefactors in Libya. Clinton "came, saw, and the Islamists conquered."

In 1981, Schuler successfully convinced McFarlane that Qaddafi was linked to the Islamic Jihad group that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The information, of course, was false but there was always an attempt by the CIA to link Qaddafi to Islamist extremists. Qaddafi, a pan-Arab socialist, was anathema to Islamists and the Libyan leader's support for the Soviet Union and other Communist states was considered heretical by Islamists. The Egyptian Islamists who killed Sadat would become a major recruiting ground for the CIA in hiring Arab mujaheddin to travel to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. Out of their ranks came Al Qaeda's number two man, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the man convicted of planning the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Omar Abdel Rahman, otherwise known as the "Blind Shaikh." Both Zawahiri and Rahman assisted the CIA in identifying Egyptians who, after fighting in Afghanistan, would swear allegiance to Saudi millionaire Osama Bin Laden. Qaddafi, on the other hand, would issue the very first Red Notice, or international arrest warrant, for INTERPOL to apprehend Bin Laden. As usual, the CIA blamed the wrong person, in this case Qaddafi, for supporting Islamic Jihad, which would later morph into Al Qaeda. The chief promoter of Qaddafi as a supporter of Jihadists was none other than Schuler, who was also working for Western oil companies that had production facilities in Libya.

In the Memo sent by McFarlane to the CIA, Schuler warns of years of vacillation by preceding administrations emboldening Qaddafi's moves in Africa and the Middle East. This was clearly an attempt to demonize Qaddafi as a threat to what Schuler referred to as the "energy heartland."

Schuler does provide one fascinating rationale for the hostility of the Saudi Arabians and their Western allies toward Qaddafi. In the memo, he states that "although the bedouin tribes which dominate Cyrenaica and Tripolitania are the purest Arabs outside the Arabian Peninsula, Libya does not fall into the domain of experts who study the Mashriq of Arab East because they are physically separated by non-Arab Egypt with its totally distinct culture and history." Essentially, the Saudis and other Gulf Arabs despised Qaddafi because only he, a member of one of the "pure Arab" bedouin tribes, was as much an Arab as any Saudi king or prince or Gulf emir and was in a position to claim leadership over the pan-Arab "nation." The threat posed by Qaddafi's "Arabness" to the House of Saud and al-Thani family in Qatar was a major reason why the Saudis and Qataris financed and armed the Libyan Islamists who would eventually take over Libya and assassinate Qaddafi while he was being held their prisoner. Clinton laid the ground for the assassination of Qaddafi and then boasted of it when she said, "We came, we saw, he died."

Schuler and his State Department and CIA friends were wrong when they painted Qaddafi as an Islamic fundamentalist. Libyan Islam rests on the Sanussian Sufi tradition established by the Algerian-born cleric Mohammed Ibn Ali al-Sanussi in the 1830s. Sanussi, also known as the Grand Sanussi, founded the Sanussian religious order in the Hejaz of Arabia and it became a counterweight to the extremely radical Wahhabist order of the Nejd. Sanussi moved his headquarters to Cyrenaica. Eventually, Libyan Islam would be based on the trans-border Sufi Islamist philosophy of Sanussi while the Saudi Arabians established the extreme Wahhabism as the state religion of Saudi Arabia. The Grand Sanussi's grandson would become King Idris I of Libya. Although Qaddafi ousted Idris in a 1969 coup that ended the monarchy, the charismatic Libyan colonel was an adherent of the Sufi Sanussi tradition, and, therefore, a sworn enemy of the Wahhabism practiced by the Saudis and the Arab Gulf potentates.

The Islamist groups that ousted Qaddafi with Saudi, Qatari, and NATO support are Salafists who practice Wahhabism. At the outset of the Libyan rebellion that started in Cyrenaica, Qaddafi told the world that "Al Qaeda" was behind the revolt. The world laughed. But Qaddafi was right.

From the very moment Reagan was sworn into office, the CIA and interlocutors in the oil business like Schuler, began to criticize the policies of Jimmy Carter toward Qaddafi. Singled out was Secretary of State Cyrus Vance for telling Libya's UN representative that the U.S. desired better relations with Qaddafi and Carter, himself, for offering to receive a Libyan representative in the Oval Office. Of course, the lobbying deal that Libya had with Carter's brother, Billy Carter, gave the Reaganites all the ammunition they needed to deep-six the Carter olive branches to Qaddafi. Schuler, McFarlane, and their ilk convinced the Reagan administration that the "radical" Qaddafi was a threat to the "moderate" regimes of the Arabian Peninsula. The definition of "moderate" was what set the United States off on the dangerous path that has now seen Libya fall prey to the radical Islamists supported by those "moderate" regimes of the Arabian Peninsula. The fact remains that within Islam, Qaddafi and his Sufi Sanussian brand of Islam was far more moderate than the Saudi Wahhabist variety. But the Reagan administration then, as with the Obama administration now, was spoon fed daily does of misinformation and disinformation on the Middle East, courtesy of another fanatic religious sect, Zionist Judaism, and its myriad of well-funded think tanks and policy institutes in Washington, DC.

The other reason why Qaddafi was considered a threat was his advising the Palestinians not to trust negotiated peace agreements with Israel involving the Saudis. The 1981 peace proposal tabled by Saudi Prince Fahd, which would provide for Arab and Palestinian recognition of Israel in return for the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem was rejected by Qaddafi as a trap. It turns out that Israel never intended to abide by any of its agreements with the Palestinians, including the Madrid and Oslo agreements, which means Qaddafi was right on the money again. However, Qaddafi was pilloried by Schuler and his friends at the State Department and CIA as the leader of the Arab "rejectionist" camp. Considering the secret military and intelligence agreements between Israel and Saudi Arabia, information that Qaddafi must have certainly been briefed on by his own intelligence service, any peace plan from Saudi Arabia would be a raw deal for the Palestinians.

What Schuler and his oil industry friends eventually sold the Reagan administration was a policy of "American-sponsored subversion" of Qaddafi. In fact, a number of Libyan exiles who originally were funded by the CIA to overthrow Qaddafi ended up as leaders of the Salafist forces who took over Libya. One of these was a former Qaddafi general, Khalifa Hifter, who defected to the CIA and lived in northern Virginia near his CIA benefactors and was used by Langley to launch a number of revolts against Qaddafi inside Libya. In 2011, he returned to Libya to lead the rebel armed forces.

The Reagan administration was also sold on punishing technology and equipment sanctions against Libya. Also on the table was an embargo on Libyan oil exports; withdrawal of all U.S. citizens from Libya, particularly those working in the oil industry; and severing all commercial and financial links to Libya.

What Texas oil men George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush could not or did not want to accomplish with Qaddafi and what Bill Clinton did not view as a priority, was finally carried out by Hillary Clinton and her "Responsibility to Protect" groupies at the State Department. Her legacy is 11 commercial airliners now in the hands of radical Islamist terrorists and a Libya wracked by civil war. Mrs. Clinton managed to drive out a moderate Sufi Sanussian Islamic tradition from Libya and replace it with a radical Salafi Wahhabist brand. It was Reagan's plan that Hillary fulfilled and the Saudis and Qataris still applaud and a legacy that Democratic voters should be reminded of time and time again as Mrs. Clinton, the "Madame Defarge" of Libya, seeks another presidential "coronation."

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Beheading videos, SITE, and journalist "freedom fighters" by Wayne Madsen

Beheading videos, SITE, and journalist "freedom fighters"

For the second time in a little over two weeks, a video of the beheading by a British-accented Islamic State jihadist of a U.S. journalist captured in Syria was distributed by the same organization. The most recent video images of orange jump suit-clad U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff being beheaded were released by the Search for International Terrorist Entities or "SITE," which also initially discovered and released the video beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley of

As with the Foley video, U.S. intelligence initially refrained from validating the authenticity of the Sotloff video until it completed an examination of the Sotloff video. Obviously, the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are well-versed on SITE's Israeli pedigree. As previously revealed by WMR, SITE is a Washington, DC-based research institute with links to Israeli right-wing Likud elements and Mossad. SITE is operated by Israeli intelligence asset Rita Katz and was also the source for a number of dubious videos of Osama Bin Laden, including one that only showed the Al Qaeda's lips moving but the rest of his body inanimate. In 2008, SITE released a video purportedly of Al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri. A number of experts determined the video was a fake.

WMR reported on September 9, 2007 that Katz is "an Iraq-born Jew who moved to Israel after her father was executed by Saddam Hussein's government for spying for the Mossad. She emigrated to the United States from Israel in 1997. Katz worked for the U.S. Treasury Department in its pursuit of Muslim charity funds in the United States in Operation Green Quest and as a consultant for the FBI. The main coordinator for Green Quest was the then-head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, Michael Chertoff."

In addition, WMR reported: "Katz once served as Research Director of the Investigative Project, another neocon outfit run by noted Arab and Muslim demonizer Steven Emerson, who was one of the first past the post to blame the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing on Arab terrorists."

Our report from 2007 continued: "[The latest 30-minute Bin Laden video] was obtained by the SITE Institute, a Washington-based group that monitors terrorist messages, and provided to the Associated Press."

The Israeli Foreign Ministry revealed that Sotloff was an Israeli citizen after his death. Moreover, Israel admitted going to great lengths to remove from the Internet any references to Sotloff's Israeli citizenship. However, after Sotloff's death was confirmed, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official sent out the following Twitter message: "Cleared for publication: Steven Sotloff was Israel citizen RIP." The Jerusalem Post reported that Sotloff worked for the Temple Beth Am in Florida. The synagogue is a Reformed Judaism day school in Pinecrest, south Miami-Dade County. Sotloff also worked for theJerusalem Report, a publication of the pro-Netanyahu governmentJerusalem Post, and which was formerly owned by arch-neocon Conrad Black's Hollinger Corporation and funded by multi-billionaire Zionism supporter Charles Bronfman. Sotloff also worked for Media Line and briefly lived in Israel in 2008. While there, Sotloff studied international relations at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzilya.

Herzilya is also the headquarters of Israel's Mossad. Media Line is a non-profit Israeli news website whose advisory board members include Marvin Kalb, formerly of CBS News; PBS's Judy Woodruff; Dean Patrick, former newsman for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and current Regent University Dean of the School of Communications; former CBS News reporter Murray Fromson; and Columbia Journalism School professor Ari Goldman.

Questions still surround what Foley and Sotloff were actually doing in Syria. Moreover, Foley had been embedded with jihadist guerrillas fighting against Muammar Qaddafi's government in Libya prior to his embedded status with Syrian Jabhat al Nusra-linked Islamist guerrillas fighting against Bashar Assad's government in Syria. In both cases, the CIA was training, arming, and funding the Libyan and Syrian guerrilla forces. Sotloff also was embedded with CIA-supported Islamist guerrillas in Libya and Syria. He also reported as a freelancer from Yemen and Egypt. Foley was embedded with U.S. military units in Afghanistan and Iraq. A photograph of Sotloff shows him embedded with Libyan Islamist fighters at the Al Dafniya front line on June 2, 2011. Getty Images copyright restrictions prevent WMR from including the photograph.
Concerns previously raised by WMR about the CIA's renewed use of journalists as spies were not assuaged after an American "film maker" friend of Foley and Sotloff appeared on various news programs to eulogize Foley and Sotloff after their beheading. The film maker, Matthew VanDyke told Al Jazeera on September 2 that he fought on the side of the Libyan rebels against Qaddafi as an armed combatant and was taken prisoner and held by the Libyan government forces for six months, as was Foley, before being released and given a one-year suspended sentence for illegally entering Libya. In VanDyke's case, he used his claim of being a journalist to enter Libya to fight as a combatant for the anti-Qaddafi guerrillas. It is exactly the type of situation, which puts every foreign correspondent in danger, that led to the CIA's ban on the use of journalists as spies. VanDyke also visited Iraq where he was reportedly "helping Christians," as was the U.S. military and CIA, against the Islamic State. VanDyke is said to be a resident of Baltimore and a native of Fenwick Island, Delaware. VanDyke describes himself not only as a "film maker" but also a "revolutionary."

According to Syrian State Television, VanDyke also fought with Free Syrian Army, which included the Jabhat al Nusra guerrillas affiliated with Al Qaeda. Most Jabhat al Nusra forces have now sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. Syrian TV described VanDyke as a terrorist who was fighting the Syrian government on behalf of the jihadist forces. VanDyke was, according to Syrian state TV, fighting alongside Islamist guerrillas in Aleppo. VanDyke calls himself an "Arab Spring freedom fighter" on his personal website. In August 2012, VanDyke announced he was going to join the Syrian uprising against Assad and "capture it all on film." After VanDyke began raising thousands of dollars on the Kickstarter on-line donation website, the company kicked him off. There were reports at the time that Kickstarter was being used by anti-Assad Syrian terrorist groups to also raise funds. Syrian state TV apparently nailed VanDyke in its description.

Matthew VanDyke's [above] association with Foley and Sotloff in Libya and Syria tarnishes the "journalism" credentials of both executed Americans.

More noteworthy is VanDyke's Master's degree in Security Studies fromGeorgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service. Georgetown is and always has been a prime recruiting center for the CIA. VanDyke, like Foley, was embedded with U.S. military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unusually, he traveled by motorcycle through Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq (where he lived from 2008 to 2009), Iran, and Afghanistan, countries not normally associated with motorcycle treks.

VanDyke has laughingly been described as a modern-day Che Guevara or a member of Spain's anti-fascist International Brigade. However, neither Guevara nor any self-respecting member of the International Brigade would ever have fought for CIA-sponsored guerrillas. In fact, VanDyke more resembles an off-beat Blackwater mercenary or a CIA provocateur like David Atlee Phillips or Frank Carlucci.

VanDyke's friendship with Foley and Sotloff on U.S.-sponsored battlefields embedded with CIA-enabled Islamist guerrilla groups raises the specter that one or more of these so-called "journalists" were performing missions not in keeping with the Journalist's Creed, particularly the following proviso:

"I believe that bribery by one’s own pocketbook is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends."

VanDyke has been honored with all sorts of journalist awards, many from "concern" groups funded by global hedge fund tycoon and troublemaker George Soros. However, there is but one problem with giving awards for journalism to someone like VanDyke. He's not a journalist. At worst, he is a CIA operative using journalist credentials for covert purposes. At best, he is an agent provocateur who has put every legitimate journalist in the gravest of danger. As the case may be with VanDyke's friends Foley and Sotloff, such provocation of using journalists as U.S. intelligence agents likely cost both of them their lives.

NATO attacks! By Pepe Escobar

NATO attacks!
By Pepe Escobar 

First thing we do, let's kill all the myths. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is nothing but the Security Council of the Empire of Chaos. 

You don't need to be a neo-Foucault hooked on Orwellian/Panopticon practices to admire the hyper-democratic"ring of steel" crossing average roads, parks and even ringing castle walls to "protect" dozens of NATO heads of state and ministers, 10,000 supporting characters and 2,000 journalists from the real world in Newport, Wales - and beyond. 

NATO's summit in Wales also provides outgoing secretary-general Anders "Fogh of War" Rasmussen the chance to display his full attack dog repertoire. It's as if he's auditioning for a starring role in a remake of Tim Burton's epic Mars Attacks! 

Fogh of War is all over the place, talking "pre-positioning of supplies, equipment" - euphemism for weapons; boosting bases and headquarters in host countries; and touting a 10,000-strong, rapid reaction "spearhead" force to respond to Russian "aggression" and deployable in a maximum of five days. 

Meanwhile, in a bad cop-bad cop routine, outgoing president of the European Commission, outstanding mediocrity Jose Manuel Barroso, leaked that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him over the phone later last week he could take Kiev in a fortnight if he wanted. 

Well, Putin could. If he wanted. But he doesn't want it. What matters is what he told Rossiya state TV; that Kiev should promote inclusive talks about the future statute of Eastern Ukraine. Once again, the Western spin was that he was advocating the birth of a Novorossiya state. Here, The Saker analyzes in detail the implications of what Russia really wants, and what the Novorossiya forces really want. 

With Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite predictably spinning that Russia is "at war with Europe", and British Prime Minister David Cameron evoking - what else - Munich 1938 (Chamberlain appeasing Hitler), Fogh of War has had all the ammo he needs to sell his Einsatzgruppen. Cynics are excused to believe NATO's spearhead force is actually The Caliph's IS goons raising hell in "Syraq". 

Warmongering, though, is not an easy sell in a crisis-hit EU these days. Not only Germany, but also France, Italy, Spain, Romania, Hungary and even Poland have expressed "reluctance" one way or another to back NATO's strategy of a more "robust" presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltic. Moreover, the Empire of Chaos and its Brit junior partner in the "special relationship" want everyone to shell out more cash (a minimum of 2% of GDP). Even as the EU is facing no less than its third recession in five years. 

The bottom line is there will be no more rotation on NATO's Eastern front. Legally, the set up cannot be defined as "permanent", because it will go against a 1997 NATO-Russia pact. But it will be permanent. That applies to Szczecin, in Poland, near the Baltic, and the so-called multinational Corps Northeast - land, air and sea. Estonia and Latvia for all practical purposes are being touted as "Putin's next targets". And defending them from "Russian aggression" is NATO's new red line. 

Additionally, Finland and Sweden may sign NATO Host Nation agreements. This implies NATO forces may use Swedish and Finnish territory in the future on the way to what's hazily referred to as "operations". At least deployment of foreign troops still needs parliamentary approval - and Swedes and Finns are bound to raise eyebrows. 

No R2P for you, buddy 
Even with all this Mars Attacks! hysteria, NATO in thesis won't discuss Ukraine in depth in Wales - or an imminent R2P ("responsibility to protect") Ukraine from the remixed "Evil Empire" (copyright Ronnie Reagan). But there will be "military consultations" and a bit of cash shelled out to the Kiev military - who are having their (bankrupt) collective behind solemnly kicked by the federalist/separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine as much as NATO had theirs kicked by a bunch of Pashtuns with Kalashnikovs in Afghanistan. 

By the way, the latest US$1.4 billion the International Monetary Fund shelled out to Ukraine - the Mobster-style interest will hit much later - will be used by an already bankrupt Kiev mostly to pay for a bunch of T-72 tanks it bought from Hungary. Money for nothing, tanks for free. 

Ukraine, it must be stressed, is not a NATO member. Technically, every NATO bureaucrat in Brussels admits that a candidate country must request membership. And countries with regions mired in an international dispute are not accepted. So Ukraine would only be considered if Kiev gave up Crimea. It's not going to happen. 

Still, Washington's obsessive play to annex Ukraine to NATO will keep marching on (in the matter of accession, by the way, the European Union would issue a firm "no"). Outgoing Prime Minister Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk as well as President Poroshenko, are desperate for a NATO intervention, or at least Ukraine being accepted as some form of privileged ally. Yats expects "monumental decisions from our Western partners at the summit". In vain. 

NATO somehow is already in Ukraine. A NATO cyber center group has been in Kiev since March, operating in the building of the Council of National Security and Defense. So it is a bunch of NATO bureaucrats who actually determine the news agenda in Ukraine - and the non-stop demonization of all things Russia. 

Ukraine is all about Germany now. Berlin wants a political solution. Fast. Berlin wants Russian gas flowing via Ukraine again. Fast. Berlin does not want US missile defense in Eastern Europe - no matter what the Baltic states scream. That's why Poroshenko's latest "Invasion! Invasion! Invasion!" craze is nothing but pure desperation by a lowly, bankrupt vassal of the Empire of Chaos. Of course that does not prevent Fogh of War - who got the NATO job because he was an enthusiastic cheerleader of the rape of Iraq - to keep crying "Invasion!" till all Danish retrievers come home. 

Real deal
And then there's NATO's recent record. An ignominious defeat in Afghanistan. A "humanitarian" bombing that reduced once-stable Libya to a miserable failed state immersed in total anarchy and ravaged by rabid militias. Not exactly fabulous PR for NATO's future as a coalition assembly line with global "vocation", capable of pulling off expeditionary wars all around the world by creating the appearance of a military and political consensus unified by - what else - an Empire of Chaos doctrine: NATO's "strategic concept" approved at the 2010 Lisbon summit. (See US a kid in a NATO candy store, Asia Times Online, November 25, 2010.) 

Since those go-go "Bubba" Clinton years; through the "pre-emptive" Dubya era; and now under the R2P dementia of Obama's warring Medusas (Rice, Power, Hillary), the Pentagon dreams of NATO as global Robocop, dominating all the roles embodied by the UN and the EU in terms of security. This has absolutely nothing to do with the original collective defense of NATO signatories against possible territorial attacks. Oh, sorry; we forgot the attacks by those (non-existent) nuclear missiles deployed by evil Iran. 

The Ukraine battleground at least has the merit of showing the alliance is naked. For the Full Spectrum Dominance Pentagon, what really matters above all is something that's been actually happening since the fall of the Soviet Union; unlimited NATO expansion to the westernmost borders of Russia. 

The real deal this September is not NATO. It's the SCO's summit. Expect the proverbial tectonic shifts of geopolitical plaques in the upcoming meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - a shift as far-reaching as when the Ottoman empire failed at the gates of Vienna in 1683. On the initiative of Russia and China, at the SCO summit, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia will be invited to become permanent members. Once again, the battle lines are drawn. NATO vs SCO. NATO vs BRICS. NATO vs Global South. Therefore, NATO attacks! 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

For the CIA, blood is not thicker than water (Did the CIA assassinate Eduardo Campos?) by Wayne Madsen

For the CIA, blood is not thicker than water
The CIA is relishing in the fact that its nemesis, President Dilma Rousseff, is on the political ropes following the very suspicious plane crash that took the life of Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos. Campos was replaced on the ticket by the "Green-washed" George Soros-trained and -financed Marina Silva. Rousseff had a commanding lead in polls before the plane crash. Rousseff and Silva, a fundamentalist Pentecostal Christian and former Green Party presidential candidate, are running even at 34 percent each in the first round of elections, with conservative Social Democratic Party candidate Aecio Neves trailing at 15 percent. Neves has stated that should he finish third, he will throw his support behind Silva for the final round, which polls show Rousseff losing to Silva by 50 to 40 percent.

Neves's father, Tancredo Neves, was elected President of Brazil in 1985 as the candidate of the anti-military regime Brazilian Democratic Movement. Neves was to replace the military dictator João Baptista de Oliveira Figueiredo. However, shortly before he was to be sworn into office on March 15, 1985, Neves became ill with a severe abdominal problem. Rather than visiting foreign heads of state witnessing Neves being sworn in an president, that honor went to Neves's vice president-elect Jose Sarney, who lacked the long experience and charisma of Neves. While Neves was recovering from illness, reported to have been diverticulitis, the president-elect died. Sarney became the permanent president and the United States no longer had to worry about Neves's promise to launch an "independent" foreign policy and reduce the high American profile in the Brazilian economy. That sort of talk worried Wall Street and the CIA as described in an item from April 1985 recovered from the CIA archives. The CIA, according to a confidential newsletter called "Early Warning," which largely reflected CIA opinion, was worried that Neves would dismantle Brazil's military intelligence service, the Serviço Nacional de Informanções (SNI), an ally of the CIA in repressing the Brazilian left. The CIA was also concerned that the Soviet KGB would make inroads in Brazil during a Neves presidency.

tancredo neves  aecio-neves-no-poder-e-politica-1335496814091_1920x10801.jpg
Tancredo Neves [left] worried the CIA to the degree they assassinated him by poison ushering in the non-threatening presidency of his vice president, Jose Sarney. Aecio Neves [right], Tancredo's son, is prepared to support the vice presidential-turned-presidential candidate of the globalists, Marina Silva, who ascended to the top job as a result of a suspected CIA assassination of Eduardo Campos. The target now is President Dilma Rousseff and in 1985 it was Tancredo Neves. For the CIA, lightning does strike twice in Brazil by manipulating VP candidates into office through political assassination.

All that changed when Neves suspiciously died after his aborted inauguration. The CIA ensured that Neves, who was the political heir to João Goulart, overthrown by the CIA in a 1964 coup, would not appoint like-minded progressives to government positions. That would not come until the president of left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003. Rousseff is Lula's designated political heir.

Rather than see the plane crash death of Campos as just another in a series of CIA elimination of Brazilian leaders who threaten U.S. hegemony over the hemisphere, Aecio Neves, whose own father may have fallen victim to CIA poisoning, stands ready to propel Silva, someone with the familiar Soros pedigree of "civil society" championing and foreign "donor" funding, into the presidency of Brazil. Such an occurrence would drive a stake deep into the heart of the BRICS alliance and its new development bank, as well as sound the klaxon for a resumption of U.S. domination of Latin America through puppet leaders approved by Wall Street.

It is a familiar story for the CIA, which has promoted the off-spring of leaders it suppressed, overthrew, and even assassinated in return for Faustian deals with the U.S. military-intelligence-financial complex. Other examples are the austerity-supporting George Papandreou of Greece who was nothing like his father, the anti-NATO leftist Andreas Papandreou, imprisoned after the CIA Greek coup in 1967, and Martin Torrijos, the pro-U.S. former president of Panama and the son of the Panamanian nationalist leader Omar Torrijos, killed in a CIA-engineered plane crash in 1981. For the CIA, Latin America is seen as a continent where blood is not thicker than water, as witnessed most recently by the opportunism of Aecio Neves.

The CIA archived article also expresses the CIA's angst over Soviet understanding that the agency's greatest reservoir of support in Brazil came from the "estimated 15,000 retired army officers . . . currently employed in state-owned companies." In other countries, including Venezuela and Mexico, the CIA has always viewed retired and often, U.S.-trained, military officers serving in para-statal companies as a recruiting ground for fifth columnists. A number of retired military CIA coup plotters were successfully recruited from Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the COMIBOL tin mining company of Bolivia, CENTROMIN copper company in Peru, and Petrobras in Brazil.

Note: WMR's coverage of the suspicious nature of the plane crash that killed Campos is receiving wide coverage in the Brazilian media and we have received a number of messages from Brazilian journalists and bloggers thanking us for our reports on the circumstances surrounding the plane crash that has tipped the Brazilian presidential election on its head.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Obama's 'stupid stuff' legacy By Pepe Escobar

Obama's 'stupid stuff' legacy
By Pepe Escobar

But whether people see what's happening in Ukraine, and Russia's aggression towards its neighbors in the manner in which it's financing and arming separatists; to what's happened in Syria - the devastation that [President Bashar al-]Assad has wrought on his own people; to the failure in Iraq for Sunni and Shia and Kurd to compromise - although we're trying to see if we can put together a government that actually can function; to ongoing terrorist threats; to what's happening in Israel and Gaza - part of peoples' concern is just the sense that around the world the old order isn't holding and we're not quite yet to where we need to be in terms of a new order that's based on a set of different principles, that's based on a sense of common humanity, that's based on economies that work for all people. - President Barack Obama

Looks like US President Barack Obama made a royal mess of what his mentor Dr Zbigniew "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski taught him.

Dr Zbig always quotes Sir Halford John Mackinder's three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy; to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals; to keep tributaries pliant and protected; and to keep the barbarians from coming together.

After dabbling briefly with "leading from behind" - a non-starter - Obama finally went Mackinderesque with his stellar "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" foreign policy doctrine.

Nevertheless, an always alert former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said "Don't do Stupid Stuff" isn't a "foreign policy organizing principle". Yet "Stupid Stuff" is all that the Obama foreign policy team knows how to do.

Starting with Obama treating Russia under President Vladimir Putin the way Hillary's husband treated Russia under vodka container Boris Yeltsin. Then came the decision - without any public debate - to start bombing Iraq all over again. And soon Syria. Bombs Away in Syraq!

So "protect" Yazidis, yes. Protect Gazans, no. "Protect" Kiev's bunch of neo-Nazis, fascists and shady oligarchs, yes. Protect Russophones in Eastern Ukraine, no.

It all started with protecting Irbil - already protected by Sumerian goddess Ishtar for millennia. Then protecting Irbil and Baghdad. Then protecting all "strategic" sites in Iraq.

Retired General Carter Ham of AFRICOM/"We came, we saw, he died" fame, was adamant that it will be "very difficult" to pull off so much protecting with only a few fighter jets. So drones will be needed. And troops on the ground.

From protecting ExxonMobil and Chevron to double bombing in Syraq. No wonder the Return of the Living (Neo-Con) Dead are so excited. It's the Greater Middle East all over again. And guess who will be part of the coalition of the willing to fight the Caliph? Britain, Australia, Turkey, Jordan and Gulf Cooperation Council stalwarts Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Almost the same bunch (five among seven) that enabled the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the first place, from "Assad must go" to "good" and "bad" jihadis, and finally to ISIS (now the Islamic State) configured as the sprawling abode - complete with flush private army - of Caliph Ibrahim.

And no, there's no strategy. Hee haw!

Bye bye petrodollar 
Now let's see the dividends of "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" as applied to Ukraine.

Back to the Mackinderesque Dr Zbig. Some vassals - the usual NATO/GCC suspects, but not all of them - may still believe they profit from "security dependence", while others remain nervously pliant and, in theory, feel "protected" by the Empire of Chaos.

But then the Empire of Chaos "encouraged" a de facto coup. And gave the green light for the new Kiev mob to do in Eastern Ukraine roughly what Israel does in Gaza. The idea in Ukraine was to bog down Russia in its western borderlands and cut off the economic/trade link between Russia and Germany. Cut Eurasia in half.

But then Obama launched a Cold War 2.0 that could easily turn hot. He destroyed the relationship with chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany and amplified the strategic embrace between the Bear and the Dragon, with the result that Beijing started paying less attention to the "pivoting to Asia" because now it enjoys even more backing from Moscow. Meanwhile, Moscow further stalls Washington's advances in Central Asia.

Sanctions on Russia not only reinforce its internal market but also boost its foreign trade - way beyond European shores. Yet still it was not enough to totally sell out to Wall Street and totally wreck US foreign policy. With aides/advisors like National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who needs enemies?

Obama's sanctions hysteria is leading the way to the progressive end of the US dollar as reserve currency, and the end of the petrodollar.

Witness this - the most important news of these last few months after the Russia-China "gas deal of the century".

Obama is accelerating the now uncontrolled collapse of the Empire of Chaos. The new axis of the future - Beijing, Moscow, Berlin - is slowly but surely coming together. There's nothing "barbarian" about them. And the bulk of the Global South supports them.

"The old order isn't holding" - indeed. "The Caliph is evil. So I'm applying more sanctions on Russia." How's that for Empire management? Good boy. Now pivot. With yourself. And with no strategy.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at 

Monday, September 01, 2014

The Omidyar/Greenwald Redaction Team by Wayne Madsen

The Omidyar/Greenwald Redaction Team
Ever since eBay/PayPal multi-billionaire Pierre Omidyar sank $250 million into Glenn Greenwald's "First Look," the guardian of the tens of thousands of classified files procured by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the extent of the redactions being made to the original documents by Greenwald and his team of alleged "investigative journalists" has been staggering. However, the most recent set of redactions made by Greenwald, in concert with Der Spiegel are on the scale of any familiar to Freedom of Information Act requesters of classified documents. In the case of NSA documents on the agency's relationship with Turkey's two signals intelligence agencies, GES (General Electronic Service)(military) and ETI (Electronic and Technical Intelligence, also known as Signals Intelligence Directorate) (part of the civilian-led Turkish National Intelligence Organization (TNIO or "MIT"), entire pages have been blacked out by Greenwald and his team of so-called "investigative reporters."

The most recent redactions call into question who Greenwald is actually working for. When the First Look deal was announced, many questioned a deal between Greenwald, a self-described libertarian journalist who once legally represented Matt Hale, the neo-Nazi white supremacist, and Omidyar, an Iranian-American who comes out of the largely right-wing Iranian diaspora that still waxes nostalgic for the regime of the Shah.

The latest heavily-redacted "document drip" Greenwald is a series of NSA and British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) memoranda and newsletter items that point to Turkey as not only a target of the FIVE EYES signals intelligence alliance of NSA, GCHQ, and three other English-speaking countries, but also a Third Party partner of the FIVE EYES. Turkey is described as NSA's oldest "Third Party" partner in a relationship that began in 1949, which precedes NSA's establishment by three years.

Much of the content of what was released in the documents deals with NSA support to Turkish SIGINT gathering targeting the Kurdistan People's Congress or Kongra Gel, which is formerly known as Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and other Kurdish separatist groups. This support is funneled through the Senior U.S. Liaison Adviser Turkey (SUSLAT) based in Ankara.

One redaction made by Greenwald and company is the description and location of a former NSA High-Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) site on the Black Sea coast of Turkey.

What Greenwald saw fit to delete is the SIGINT site at Sinop, which the NSA turned over to the Turks after the Cold War. Sinop remains part of the NSA's worldwide HFDF network codenamed CROSSHAIR. He also redacted NATO member Greece as one of the Turkish SIGINT targets for interception of "military air, naval, ground, and paramilitary" targets. The Turks also monitor America's new friends and prospective NATO members -- Ukraine and Georgia -- on behalf of NSA.

Greenwald believes he is being clever by his redactions, thus earning him points with the FIVE EYES alliance. However, a simple Google Earth search reveals the presence of the active Turkish SIGINT site at Sinop, complete with its tell-tale SIGINT base "radomes" housing satellite dishes.

An egregious example of Greenwald's redactions of the latest documents released to Der Spiegel is not unlike those documents that are heavily redacted by NSA, the CIA, and the State Department pursuant to FOIA requests.

The following document deals with NSA and GCHQ tapping of the fiber-optic cable between Belgium and Jordan through BELGACOM facilities. The redaction is so draconian, there should be every suspicion that Greenwald has cut a "deal," possibly via Omidyar, to release Snowden documents only after they have been carefully screened and redacted by NSA legal and FOIA specialists. The Washington Post has previously redacted Snowden documents in its possession in concert with consultations with NSA. Greenwald has shown that his particular brand of "investigative journalism" is for sale to the highest bidder.

Although Greenwald revealed that NSA targets Turkey's Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Treasury Minister Ali Babacan for surveillance, he chose to redact the names of other officials, including Turkish Treasury and Central Bank officials, including a Turkish Treasury G20 "Sherpa." The first name of the Governor of the Central Bank, Durmus, is included, but his last name, Yilmaz, is redacted. That may be a problem for Greenwald and company if they decide to moonlight as redaction editors for the NSA. Energy Minister Hilmi Guler's name is also included but the name of the head of the MIT, Dr. Hakan Fidan, who is suspected of ties to Iran in an April 15, 2013 TOP SECRET NSA memo, is redacted.
Snowden Belgeleri
Ironically, the NSA considers MIT to be its oldest Third Party ally while suspecting its chief of links to the Iranian government.

By way of comparison, the following is a former Confidential CIA Information Report from June 26, 1950, which remains heavily-redacted. It concerns CIA intelligence-gathering operations in Bhutan and Sikkim. Ironically, part of the fiber-optic tapping document heavily redacted by Greenwald and his cohorts in covering up, deals with NSA interception of communications to and from Bhutan.