Friday, November 30, 2012

Syria Offline: Who benefits? Friends of Muslim Brotherhood meet in Japan

UPDATED-SCROLL DOWN: /DAMASCUS ONLINE-SYRIA ONLINE

First, Syria offline???
Would the Syrian government undertake this action?
Would NATO and it’s ilk undertake this action?
Who was the most to gain?
Who has the most to lose?
What other factors are at play?

As of this moment, I can’t see the gain to the Syrian government in denying internet and cell phone access to it’s people. I can, however, see the benefit accruing to the NATO brigade, particularly, if a NATO attack is on the horizon.
Quoting from CNN and the NYT's

A few points to consider before reading from the msm articles

1- As an act of psychological terror against the Syrian people, denying them their outside contact.
 This does not benefit the Syrian government but plays into the hand of the NATO mercs
2-The shutdown has made it possible to scrutinize how the Syrian government stays on line.
 and work to get them shutdown-
This benefits the NATO world army
3- The shutdown does not really affect the NATO mercs, who have been provided with all manner of satellite communications. This does not benefit Syria
“Right now, the Internet is not working in any part of Syria, but most activists use satellite Internet connections and own satellite phones, so all is well. This operation won’t affect activists’ work much.”

Speaking via Skype, which he said he was using with a satellite connection, Mr. Abdul Rahman said fighters with the Free Syrian Army were battling government forces about a mile from the airport. “It’s a hit-and-run kind of battle,” he said. “The Free Syrian Army is using mortar shells without getting close to the airport, which the regime is firmly gripping now.”

The U.S. government has been providing Syrian rebels with "non-lethal equipment," including communication tools to get around Internet outages.

Despite the Internet blackout on Thursday, people outside the country could still access Syrian government Web sites for much of the day because they were hosted in foreign countries, including the United States. After being contacted by The New York Times on Thursday, several host companies said they were taking down those sites, including those for the Syrian state news agency, SANA; the Syrian General Authority for Development; and the Ministry of Religious Affairs. All three were down on Friday.
After being contacted by the NYT's the host companies were taking Syrian government sites down?
Interesting? Curious? How is it that the NYT's is so authoratative?

4-Had most of Syria not gone offline, might it have been more difficult to track who and where the Syrian government sites were being hosted? Since “host companies are taking down those sites” That certainly does not benefit Syria......................... More about the Syrian internet drop off here
quoting the latest update:

Update (01:00 GMT, 30 Nov):

The last 5 networks belonging to Syria, a set of smaller netblocks previously advertised by Tata Communications, have been torn down and are no longer routed. These blocks survived today's Internet blackout in Syria, but 12 hours after the onset, they, too are off the air. Traceroutes to these blocks now die on Tata's network in New Jersey, and websites hosted in these blocks are no longer responding.

It seems the NYT's does indeed have authority 



If the NYT's can't get the job done. Anonymous is always there to help....their NATO masters


Lebanese citizens/NATO mercs, killed in Syria

 Syrian security forces killed as many as 20 Lebanese gunmen who were fighting alongside rebels in Syria on Friday, raising tensions amid mounting fears that the Syrian civil war is enflaming the region.

Syrian state-run media also reported that Lebanese gunmen were killed. But the SANA report said there 17 — not 20 — fighters. The discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled.

The airport road had reopened by Friday and the head of the Syrian Civil Aviation Agency, Ghaidaa Abdul-Latif, said the airport was operating “as usual.” A day earlier, heavy fighting forced the closure of the road and airlines canceled international flights to Damascus.

 Meanwhile The “friends” of Syria are meeting in Japan
I like this headline -Friends of Syria rebels meet in Japan
Not friends of the Syrian people. Friends of the terrorist NATO mercenaries
  • The Friends of Syria group has previously organised four such meetings -- in Paris in April, Washington in June, Doha in July and The Hague in September.
  • The fifth 'sanctions working group' meeting in Tokyo saw the first participation from four countries -- Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Indonesia and Bangladesh, a foreign ministry official said.
  • On Thursday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was weighing what further help it could give the Syrian opposition rebels.
  • 'We are going to carefully consider what more we can do,' Clinton told a Washington forum, saying the United States was constantly evaluating the situation and adding: 'I'm sure we will do more in the weeks ahead.'
  • But she stopped short of saying whether the United States would recognise the newly-formed Syrian National Coalition, which is seeking to oust Assad, as the sole representative of the Syrian people, as several European countries have done.
  • Privately, US officials have said the Obama administration will likely go ahead and recognise the group at some point.

Of course the Obama administration will recognize their terrorists!
Recall some time ago, I had mentioned that the new coalition was just the same old, same old Muslim Brotherhood stooges.This article simply validates that claim that the new council and plan was a rebrand of the Muslim Brotherhood in charge, as has been the case since this council was created way back in Turkey

Syria's so called revolution is in desperate need of a REBRAND.
Hillary Clinton is going to make dam sure that happens- quoting from a previous post



Syria opposition government nears, Brotherhood flexes muscle


 The Syrian opposition made progress on Thursday toward forming a transitional government at the first meeting of their new coalition in Cairo and the Muslim Brotherhood emerged as an overwhelmingly powerful kingmaker, delegates said.

In a sign of its strength within the leadership of the opposition, the Brotherhood and its allies pushed for the adoption of an internal constitution that allows choosing the prime minister and the cabinet with a simple majority, rather than a two-thirds majority.

Since the coalition was set up in Qatar earlier this month with Gulf and Western support, the Brotherhood has swiftly assembled a de facto majority bloc, according to insiders keeping tabs of changes in the membership of the coalition.

But independent delegates at the Cairo meeting said the process by which a transitional government is being pushed through does not bode well for a democratic future for Syria.

"The West is sending a signal that it is ready to accept the Brotherhood as the only guarantee of stability other than Assad.
In other words, secular Syria is going to be turned into an Islamist state and Israel can continue it's perpetual victim, "only democracy" in the ME charade.

Conspicuously absent from the Cairo discussions was Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib, the coalition's president, a popular Damascene preacher who is increasingly seen as a religious figurehead who is respected inside Syria and an interlocutor with outside powers, rather than a hands-on leader.

But Michel Kilo, a veteran Christian opposition campaigner and a member of the coalition has not attended the Cairo meeting. The main Kurdish political bloc, the Kurdish National Council, has also refused to join.
BBC REPORTING: Damascus internet back
 Internet services around Damascus have resumed after a two-day blackout.
CNN REPORTING: Internet and phone services restore for most of Syria 

Internet and cell phone coverage were restored Saturday to most Syrian provinces



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Syrian rebels take two military bases in heavy fighting

Interesting report from the Washington Post


Rebel fighters took over two military bases in Syria after heavy fighting Tuesday, an additional sign that the ragtag force may finally be breaking a weeks-long stalemate and making progress in its battle against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Making progress? Maybe, but keep reading.
No doubt Turkey had a big role in the taking of the hydro electric dam

Both of the bases taken Tuesday were used by the Syrian air force, one of the deadliest threats to rebel fighters, according to opposition groups. The Syrian military has regularly blasted rebel positions, as well as residential neighborhoods, with jets and helicopters in recent months, killing thousands.

The deadliness of the Syrian military’s air power was on bloody display Tuesday after an air raid on an olive press in Idlib province killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens of others, according to the Local Coordination Committees, an activist network.

In a video posted online Tuesday, which reportedly showed one of the captured bases, fighters affiliated with the Free Syrian Army stomped on a bust of Assad’s father, Hafez, at the 666th air force battalion base south of Damascus.
 The second base, southeast of Aleppo, was overrun by fighters from Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Both are religious extremist groups suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda. 
 That the two air bases were taken over by such radically different groups among the opposition indicates that the recent rebel gains may not have been coordinated by any sort of unified leadership. It also hints at potential problems ahead if Islamist and secular groups begin to fight one another for control of territory.
Some observers note that while rebel fighters have been successful in taking over military bases, it is much less certain how long they will be able to hold them.
 Rebel groups have been losing territory to the Syrian military at the same time that they have been making gains.

“They’ve lost many areas in eastern Syria and near Aleppo recently,” said Rami Abdul Rahman, the director of the Syrian Observatory. “It’s difficult to see a serious change.”

It's difficult to see a serious change. And still sounds like a stalemate
Stay tuned..

Monday, November 26, 2012

Syria: NATO's mercs stalemated or advancing? Updated

 Since one has to constantly wade through the cesspool of lies, to fish out the bits of truth, it is hard to judge exactly what is going on with NATO's mercs. It seems I am  not alone, the NYT's is treading carefully
 For the time being, like the NYT’s,  I am going to take the claims of gains and advancement with a grain of salt.

Rebels claimed they have seized airbases and a hydro-electric dam

Notice that the NYT’s did not say “Rebels have seized” ? Rather the headline states the rebels are claiming they have seized airbases and a hydro electric dam.Whenever one comes across this language, one must realize these are unverified claims and despite all the spinning the corporate media engages in for the cause, the media always leaves itself some room to deny if necessary. All information for this story comes from the ‘activists’. Quoting from the article.....

The capture of the air base near Damascus, Marj al-Sultan, could be significant ...

Could be?

Still, despite videos of rebels seizing weapons caches, analysts said the recent successes appeared unlikely to produce a sudden shift in the balance of power, since the government seems to be consolidating its forces to defend core areas.
Striking at government air power is militarily and psychologically important for the rebels, for whom aircraft pose a significant threat because of their firepower and unlimited reach. Yet the rebels have so far been unable, because of international reluctance and opposition disunity.
 In a video said to have been shot there, the voice of a man off camera trembled with excitement as he showed a row of armored vehicles, which he said were Russian-made “Shilka” antiaircraft weapons. In the dark it was unclear if the weapons were what the rebels claimed or whether they could use them.
The rebel claims were impossible to verify because of the Syrian government’s restrictions on journalists.
The corporate media has repeatedly said they cannot verify claims yet they have  reported on and promoted claims that have turned out to be untrue, repeatedly.

While the rebels are making claims of gain it looks as if Syria is hitting or attempting to hit merc bases, near Turkey, in Syria.

The attack on the Free Syrian Army base in Atima, 2 km (1 mile) from the border, came a day before Turkish and NATO officials were due to start assessing where to station surface-to-air missiles close to the 900 km (560 mile) border.

Turkey, a major supporter of insurgents fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, has repeatedly scrambled jets along the joint border and responded in kind when Syrian shells have landed inside Turkey.

But Ankara, rejecting Syrian complaints that the Patriots were "provocative", stressed they would be used only to defend Turkish territory, not to create a no-fly zone inside Syria that rebels want to neutralise Assad's massive air power.

Turkey’s leadership in Ankara is lying. The positioning of the Patriots is provocative and is intended to enforce a no fly zone.

 "I think the reason for the raid may have something to do with increased weapons movements (from Turkey)," Ahmed said.
Turkey, what a good neighbour. -zero problems (facetious)

Yesterday the Christian Science Monitor reported an entirely different perspective on the Syrian destabilization

Stalemate in Syria? Army short on loyalists, rebels short on guns
How does the reporting in one day go from stalemate to big gains?

After months of brutal fighting, the conflict appears stalemated in many areas, without any side making significant progress. 
While daily clashes continue, much of the violence now taking place in Aleppo is the result of long-range weapons, such as artillery, airplanes, tanks, and snipers that inflict damage while minimizing the risk of contact and defection.

The contact and defection angle fits the spin tone of the entire article despite this sentence near to the end of the article, which makes clear the many are loyal to their homes and families

“For the most part, however, those still fighting on the front lines of Aleppo for the Syrian government tend to be hardened loyalists more likely to trade insults than talk of defection”

I wanted to address the possible reasoning behind the use of long range weapons that have nothing to do with defection. A narrative that is very emotional and is useful to draw a reader in, but as the above quoted sentence makes clear -For the most part, Syrian troops are loyal and are more likely to trade insults with the mercs.

The more likely reason for long range weapons usage are
-most civilian Syrians have left the target areas, fleeing before the mercs lay siege or once the mercs force them out of their homes
- to keep soldiers alive, to minimize casualites

Update and a curious one- Why is the mainstream media spinning about Russia printing Syria's currency? Why now?
It is old news. Reported on SANA August 3/2012
Is this just a standard propaganda move? Seems to be.

Internal Trade Minister: The U.S. and EU Sanctions on Syria Target the Livelihood of the Syrian People

Regarding the printing of Syrian currency in Russia, said that this is a triumph since there were those who through that if they ceased printing money for Syria, it would cause it an economic and financial crisis, adding that Syria's isn't alone in this battle.

In turn, Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jleilati pointed out that Syria had contracts with a European country to print currency, and due to the sanctions this country refrained from delivering this currency which is why Syria turned to Russia and printed currency and stored in to replace damaged notes, in addition to introducing extra currency according to changes in the GDP, affirming that the printing of currency has no effect on inflation.

Syria can have it's currency printed by whomever it so chooses.

A reflection on Government, Corporations and their social contracts ?

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral cold that glorifies it.

Frederic Bastiat

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Banksters & Business: Pillaging Syria with US 'direction'

That isn't all. Going long, so stick around. Eyes have been diverted to Israel/Gaza but the destabilization of Syria hasn't let up at all.

Syria is providing, yet again, to the UN a list of confirmed terrorists attacking the country
Syria has presented the UN Security Council a list of 143 foreign citizens killed in Syria fighting government troops. Damascus hopes the move will force the UN to declare the presence of foreign nationals in Syria to be international terrorism.

Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, wrote a letter the Security Council requesting they register the list of mercenaries as an official document on the UN’s agenda of “measures to combat international terrorism.”

The UN Security Council has not yet officially recognized Syria as a country confronting international terrorism

The new list contains the names of citizens from 19 countries accused of joining Syria’s rebels: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Chad, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen and Chechnya.

The list consists of the names of people who were positively identified through ID or documents found on their bodies that helped establish their nationality. The bulk of the dead mercenaries in Syria are apparently still unidentified.
We may recall a  certain proclivity amongst the NATO mercs that makes identification difficult?
If not, I will refresh your memory! If you have been following along, hopefully you recall numerous reportings that  when the mercs flee from Syrian troops the mercs burn their ‘brethren’ to make impossible their identification.




Now onto the NATO opposition ensconced in, of all places, Cairo.

Syria opposition to make Cairo its HQ

“There is a decision by the coalition to make Egypt its main headquarters”

Reminding us all that Morsi/Mursi is a tool of the West. As is the new leader of the NATO created opposition.Turkey had previously recognized the coalition as had the GCC nations. Then France the UK and Italy...The US has not formally recognized their affront to the Syrian people. But, they will.

Think for a moment how very unreal or surreal an undertaking, that another group of nations ‘create’ a government, allegedly for Syria, then install them in another nation entirely, Egypt. Yet recognize them as the legitimate representative government of the chosen targeted country. All done without the consent or vote of the Syrian populace... How very freedom loving and democratic? How very bizarre. Insane. Upside down.
Pick your descriptor?





While the freedom loving western ‘democracies’ are falling over themselves recognizing their frankenstein monster. Others are not so enamoured of the new coalition

The Islamists and the Kurds have both rejected the new coalition

Syrian Islamists reject Western-backed opposition

Syria's increasingly powerful Islamist rebel factions rejected the country's new Western-backed opposition coalition and unilaterally declared an Islamic state in the key battleground of Aleppo

Syria Kurdish leader rejects new opposition coalition
 Saleh Muslim, head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), said he had not been invited to talks in Doha this month in which the Syrian National Coalition was formed, and he labeled the group a proxy of Turkey and Qatar.


This past weekend there had been a meeting in Iran to resolve the Syrian issue
 The NYT’s was spinning like an out of control whirling dervish, as usual.

In Tehran, Iran held a meeting on Sunday of about 200 members of the officially sanctioned opposition, but no members of the new coalition were invited. It was unclear who those attending actually represented

Did you catch it? The NYT’s should really ask this question. Who is actually represented by the NATO coalition, of largely foreigners, in Cairo, Egypt. Not the regular Syrians. Not the Kurds. Not the Islamists. Instead the NYT’s asks who the internal opposition, resident on the ground in Syria, represents? (Black is White)

I am thinking this is the same internal opposition that walked out on the coalition a couple of weeks back. The same internal opposition that has all along been against external intervention. The same internal opposition that held meetings with Russia on previous occasions

It would appear, quite obvious, no matter how the western media spins it there is no unified Syrian opposition

Which makes no difference to the NATO created coalition in Cairo, Egypt.

They are looking for money from the banking elites, to ‘rebuild’ Syria. Syria has it’s OWN public central bank. It does not need help from the international bankster scum. However, the NATO created coalition will happily make deals for money to indebt Syrians, turn them into serfs in their own country, make them debt slaves... to the banking elite. And waiting on the sidelines, the US to direct the ‘rebuilding’. To assign contracts to partners in crime.Seriously!
Woe to the Syrians if this goes through. This is exactly what was done to Libya. Horrible. This is the system we in the West think is the “right” system. Thanks to spin, propaganda and lies. Sigh

Image borrowed from here

Let’s get back to plunder of Syria. The serfdom for Syrians

Syria Opposition Aims to Raise $60 Billion for Rebuilding

A coalition of groups battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seeking to raise $60 billion from allied nations to help rebuild the country when fighting ends, an opposition leader said.

“We will raise the funds through aid and loans,” Sabra said. “We depend on the friends of Syria and the international community, which has an obligation toward Syria.”

Who is directing the cash in?? Who is drooling over the exploitation of resources? Of Syrians? None other then the nations that participated in the destruction.

U.A.E. companies, including Mubadala Development Co., Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA), Masdar and DP World are interested in investing in postwar Syria, the country’s Economy Minister Sultan Al-Mansouri told reporters in Dubai.

Drydocks World LLC, a Dubai-based operator of bulk carriers, cargo vessels and ship-repair services, is also interested in working in the country when the conflict ends, Chairman Khamis Buamim told reporters in Dubai. “When you go to a place like Syria, there’s a lot of opportunities on the coastline, in the trade side.”

Investors ready to go to Syria- this is sickening stuff. The level of exploitation.
. Drooling over the profits to be made from the destruction created by the highlighted nations.
"Free trade" No
Vulture Capitalism? Disaster Capitalism? At it's most glaring. At it's worst.
War is a profit making venture. For the very few. For the ultra rich.
War is misery for everyone else.
 The US Ambassador in the UAE, Michael Corbin, told Gulf News: “The US is partner in this process and our role is strong support from the US government to this initiative by the UAE and Germany.”

He said: “ Any new Syrian government have to rebuild Syria’s economy and it is never too early to start rebuilding an economy and there are many of the brilliant gifted Syrians who are working to trail and salvage their country from the horrors.”

Emirati businessmen expressed their interest to reinvest in Syria after the collapse of the current regime.

Volkmar Wenzel, personal envoy of the German Federal Foreign Minister for the change in the Arab world, said: “The Germen and the UAE governments are determined to fully execute the responsibilities. We took upon our shoulders in co-chairing the group of economic development within the group of the friends of the Syrian people.

Syria is a rich and potential pool for investments that will attract a lot of businesses to rebuild its infrastructure and regain economic stability, Belhasa added.

That’s all folks. Destroy Syria. Rid the nation of it’s national bank. Indebt the people. The culprits enrich themselves.

It’s sick. This is not about freedom, democracy, humanitarianism or any of those so called high ideals.
This is enrichment of the elites, subjugation of the masses. It is that in your face!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Libya- All In? Failed NATO Mission Exposed

An extensive article. Worth a read, entirely

Author: Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University. He is also a Special invited Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of the forthcoming book, ‘Global NATO and the catastrophic failure in Libya’.
Yes, I am posting the entire piece with a link back to the original article also recognizing the work put into this piece by the author Horace Campbell

Introduction-
Carter Ham has been removed as head of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). General Petraeus resigned from the CIA on November 9. Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette was reassigned on October 26 as the commander of the USS John C. Stennis strike group. These three changes at the top of the US military establishment are all related to the failed NATO intervention in North Africa and the subsequent war and killings that have been unleashed by militias in Libya, especially in Benghazi. These changes exposed the new autonomy and war fighting capabilities that were being experimented where the CIA and the leaders of the military command structures such as AFRICOM and Central Command (CENTCOM) made policy independent of the executive branch and civilian leadership. This experiment shattered with devastating consequences for the entire military apparatus ensnaring generals, financial speculators, media specialists on the military and politicians. 

Details....

On October 18, 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command. Carter Ham had taken over as commander of AFRICOM from General William ‘Kip’ Ward on March 8, 2011 and had been placed before the international news as the person in charge of the NATO-led intervention in Libya, when it was assumed that the intervention would be over in one month. This war dragged on for more than one year, and a year later, after the NATO forces announced ‘success’ in Libya, the battles with the sponsored militias led to the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya on September 11, 2012. One month after the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others, (one State Department high tech specialist and two CIA operatives) in the US ‘facility’ in Benghazi, the internal investigations into the US military response led to the nomination of General David Rodriquez. If and when David Rodriquez is confirmed by the US Senate, AFRICOM will have been led by three different commanders in less than four years.

Two days after Barack Obama was re-elected the President of the United States, on November 9, it was announced that General David Petraeus, a retired four-star general and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was resigning from his position. David H. Petraeus, who had courted the press and academia to build a reputation as a successful soldier-scholar, resigned suddenly as C.I.A. director after evidence of an extramarital affair began to come into the public arena. Inside Washington, the extramarital affair was an open secret that there was a relationship with the biographer who had written, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. This book was published in January 2012 and when Paula Broadwell appeared on the Daily Show in January to promote her biography of General Petraeus, she was full of innuendo so that those who could read the subtext of her message could discern what she was attempting to communicate.
The corporate media reported that the extramarital affair had been uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and that it reflected ‘poor judgment’ on the part of the general. Between October 18, when the Commander of Africom was relieved, and November 9, when General Petraeus resigned, there had been a major effort to present information on Benghazi that would influence the outcome of the presidential elections of November 6. In military parlance, this effort of the neo-conservatives to place responsibility for the Benghazi debacle on the White House would have been a military information operation. The very close and intimate relationship between the US media, academia and the military had been refined in the new war fighting template that had been experimented since the passing of the Patriot Act and the integration between the media, high tech companies and robotic unmanned weapons of death, called drones. In this war fighting template, grand failures such as the complete fiasco in Iraq and the massive drug war in Afghanistan had been covered up with journalists and academics serving the interests of one branch of the military. This cover-up has been buttressed by partisan accounts of the role of differing Generals. The most recent book, by Thomas Ricks, The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today, was one representation of the new embrace between the media and sections of the military establishment. In that book, numerous generals were critiqued for their incompetence and lack of vision. Tom Ricks was joining an argument that many of these Generals should have been fired. Of General Petraeus, Tom Ricks was full of praise noting that, Petraeus showed ‘ real independence of thought … he is an adaptive general.’ In that book, Petraeus was one with good judgment while others such as Tommy Franks and General Casey were compared to General William Westmoreland, poster general of failure in Vietnam.

The double speak and web of sex/intrigue/corruption in the military is now blown wide open for the world to see where generals such as John Allen, Commander of the US military in Afghanistan who was supposed to be in the midst of a war, had time and space to send 20-30,000 pages of email to Jill Kelley, the woman in Tampa, Florida, who was seen by. General Petraeus’s mistress as a rival for his attentions. Media hype about ‘inappropriate communication’ with Jill Kelley cannot divert attention from the realities of the current state of warfare and insecurity in Libya where over 50,000 have lost their lives, since NATO intervened with the ’responsibility to protect.’

For the peoples of Libya, the United Nations and the peace community, this unfolding Petraeus scandal is of particular interest because of the close relationships between the oil companies, western intelligence/military agencies and the marauding militias that are now coercing Libyan citizens. The failure of the counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan had now come out in Libya. It is All in. When the information about the attack on the US ‘facility’ in Benghazi was first brought to light, there had been confusion. Was the space that was attacked a ‘consulate,’ a State Department ‘facility, ’a CIA safe house, or indeed a prison for captured militias? This confusion took attention away from the reality that elements in the military had formulated a policy to align with certain militia groups in Eastern Libya and that these militias (sometimes called jihadists) had in the past been linked to groups that the US called ‘terrorist organizations.’ France, the CIA, and the AFRICOM had aligned with these jihadists to destabilize Libya, freeze billions of dollars of assets, execute Gaddafi and kept the alliance going using Libya as a rear base in the current drive for regime-change in Syria.

The Republicans had sought to benefit from the confusion and disinformation that had been spun by the intelligence and the military about what were the real causes of the death of the ambassador in Benghazi. There had been hearings called before the Republican-controlled Congress, the State Department issued statements, the CIA issued a timeline of the events in Benghazi on the night of September 11 and the conservative media sought to politicise the events to present a picture of incompetence on the part of the Obamas Administration. With every press release and timeline that was presented there was information that posed new questions about the rot and web of corruption of the US military. After General David Petraeus resigned, it was reported in the US press that he had travelled to Libya at the end of October to carry out his own investigation (some would say cover-up). No sooner had this information came out than it was revealed that the CIA had been holding Libyan militias as prisoners in the CIA annex in Benghazi. This information, which was delivered by Paula Broadwell in a speech before the University of Denver on October 26, deepened the intrigue about what was going on in Libya.

Petraeus had been the commander of the US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan at a moment in the history of the United States when military information operations were as important as weapons. According to the US military doctrine in this new kind of warfare there had been the struggle to control the narrative. The US military could never control the narrative on Africa because the history of white supremacy and chauvinism precluded a clear understanding of the dynamics of self-determination in Africa. In the ten years of the absolute failures of the US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, this effort to control the narrative had involved a massive disinformation campaign against US citizens. In the specific case of Libya, the corporate media had presented the ‘end of the war’ as a victory for the forces of NATO. The truth was never divulged that there is still fighting going on in Libya with the most recent battles at Bani Walid an explicit statement on the ongoing war.

This ‘successful’ NATO intervention had been sold as the narrative until the death of Ambassador Stevens unfolded the layered nature of the war. Between the removal of General Carter Ham and the resignation of General Petraeus there had been the replacement of Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette as the commander of the USS John C. Stennis strike group. The full back story relating to Petraeus and Libya is still unfolding, but for this week we want to focus on how structures, such as the US Africa command, sought to function in a world as if the Command was a parallel government with its own access to AID resources, financing, health providers, private military contractors, and access to aircraft carrier strike groups such as the John Stennis. This was a military and intelligence integration, independent of the executive that was out of control and establishing policy.

Carter Ham selected by the Crusaders in the US military

When the U.S. Africa Command was launched in October 2007, William E. ‘Kip’ Ward, a United States Army four-star general, served as Commander from October 1, 2007 to March 8, 2011. General Ward, an African American, was demoted to a three-star Lieutenant General, and is now scheduled for retirement. Lt. General William Ward had been quickly removed from AFRICOM after the passing of Resolution 1970 in February 2011 when the NATO top brass and the U.S. intelligence agencies knew of the plot against the people of Libya which was to be routed through AFRICOM. As an African American Ward had developed very close relationships with African generals and politicians, even those who had been publicly opposing the US AFRICOM. Ward had been removed and demoted on the charge that he had spent excessive amounts of money allowing his family members to fly on government planes. Here was an officer who had been flying with his wife and family, disgraced by the army high command at the same moment while General Petraeus was exhibiting ‘poor judgment’ with Paula Broadwell. In November 2012, General William ‘Kip’ Ward was stripped of one of his four stars for misuse of military funds when he was head of the US Africa command. He was also ordered to repay $82,000.

General Carter Ham had been confirmed by the US Senate in November 2010 to become the next Commander of U.S. Africa Command but the revolutionary upsurge in Tunisia and Egypt hastened the emplacement of General Ham and he assumed the post on March 8, 2011. At that moment, the US military had been divided between those who I termed the Rocks and the Crusaders. See ‘US Military and Africom: Between the rocks and the crusaders.’ Pambazuka News, March 31, 2011 http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/72174

In that article I had argued that the new head of the US Africa Command was based on the selection by the Crusaders. The term Crusaders (Going on recall, didn't George Bush JR use the term Crusade?) first appeared for a wider audience beyond the peace and social justice forces when Seymour Hersh used the term in an article in Foreign Policy Magazine. Then Seymour Hersh revealed that there was a faction of the US military known as ‘Crusaders, that had taken over the army.’ Hersh asserted that these Crusaders were bent on intensifying a war against Islam, and viewed themselves as protectors of Christianity. According to the article, Hersh maintained that these neoconservative elements dominate the top echelons of the US military, including figures such as former commander of US forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal and Vice Admiral William McRaven. Hersh said, ‘What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over.’

In May 2009, four months after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Harper’s magazine carried a lengthy report that placed General David Petraeus at the heart of the Crusaders. The magazine carried a very detailed article on the role of the Crusaders in the military, entitled, ‘Evangelical Proselytization Still Rampant in U.S. Military.’ In this article we are alerted to the numerous fronts of the Crusaders. The information in the magazine article discussed a book published in 2005 by Lieutenant Colonel William McCoy, titled Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel. According to the article this book outlined an ‘anti-Christian bias’ in the US, and sought to counter it by making the case for the ‘necessity of Christianity for a properly functioning military.’ McCoy’s book was endorsed by General David Petraeus, who said: ‘Under Orders should be in every rucksack for those moments when soldiers need spiritual energy.’

The war in Libya gave the Crusaders the opportunity to destroy a stable society in North Africa and unleashed 1,700 militias in the society. Not only did the Libyan invasion enable the Crusaders an opportunity to create havoc, but it placed great strains within Africa with the fallout from Libya unleashing instability all across northwest Africa. Carter Ham had been handed the responsibility to be the commander in the US Africa Command after Gen. Stanley McChrystal had been sacked. Petraeus was nurturing the media and academics to realize his ambitions and we now know that the arrogance and haughtiness of Petraeus ensured a high tolerance for ideas of European exceptionalism and the innate superiority of US citizens of European descent.

The US Africa Command deepened the strategic concepts of General Petraeus to mobilize ‘dark’ forces to fight wars. This was based on the mobilization of financial resources and personnel outside the formal structures of the US military with the heavy use of the Central Intelligence Agency and Private Military Contractors. Nick Turse has chronicled this new direction in the planning and fighting plan of the military establishment in the book, The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare, (Haymarket Books, 2012). Earlier this year Turse was been involved in a debate with Col Davis of AFRICOM over whether the US military presence was growing very fast in Africa. See ‘Fast-growing U.S. military presence in Africa.’ The debate with director of the U.S. Africa Command Office of Public Affairs, disputing in some detail a number of Turse’s points, illustrated just how sensitive the AFRICOM bureaucracy had become about the new forms of warfare with proxy fighters, special ops and drones. (See basic debate http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175574/

General Petraeus found the perfect space to set up an alternative military/intelligence policy-making unit when he requested that he be placed as head of the Central Intelligence Agency when he sought to flee the web of drugs and corruption in Afghanistan in 2011. According to the New York Times, Petraeus had blurred the lines between spies and soldiers in secret missions abroad.

‘The appointments of General Petraeus and Mr. Panetta were the latest evidence of a significant shift over the past decade in how the United States fights its battles — the blurring of lines between soldiers and spies in secret American missions abroad. …. General Petraeus aggressively pushed the military deeper into the C.I.A.’s turf, using Special Operations troops and private security contractors to conduct secret intelligence missions. As commander of the United States Central Command in September 2009, he also signed a classified order authorizing American Special Operations troops to collect intelligence in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran and other places outside of traditional war zones.’ See http://tinyurl.com/c8olk9f

CARTER HAM FIRED OVER BENGHAZI

It was the alliance of the Crusaders that had ensnared the State Department and the US diplomatic forces in the war in Libya. Ambassador Stevens had become a cheerleader for this cooperation between Special Operations Command and private military contractors. Christopher Stevens had left his position in the embassy in Tripoli in February 2011 to coordinate this kind of warfare in Benghazi. When NATO declared victory in October 2011, Christopher Stevens was selected as ambassador to Libya and by May 2012 he was back in Libya. However, the principal base for the Special Ops and private security intrigue was in Benghazi where the CIA was running a base for the recruitment of ‘extremists’ to fight in Syria. Stevens was caught in a battle between militias and the CIA. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith and CIA agents Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11-12. When the news was first reported, Woods and Doherty had been identified as private Security contractors in order to divert attention away from the CIA in the Benghazi battle.

Sean Smith, the information manager of the State Department, was a symbol of the geeks who had been mobilized for the new kind of military posture of the United States. After his passing there was mourning in the wired community. According to the New York Times, ‘Mr. Smith was an avid player of an online multiplayer game called Eve Online, in which hundreds of thousands of participants across the globe took on roles like pirates or diplomats in a science fiction setting. Mr. Smith’s online name was ‘vile rat.’ His experience was indicative of how the US military had mobilized Smith’s experience in both real and virtual worlds. Coded messages were shared in this virtual world to serve the interests of the military intelligence forces that were operating outside of the policy framework of the government.

Sean Smith has been called a maven by his fellow gamers who have been mourning his passing. Drawing from the book by Malcolm Gladwell on The Tipping point, Smith was compared to those mavens or connectors who are ‘information specialists’, or ‘people we rely upon to connect us with new information.’ These mavens or connectors had become crucial for the new forms of warfare where the lines between the virtual war and real wars are blurred. Increasingly, the gamers draw extensively from real situations so that many of the video games are actual simulations of possible battle scenarios. The conservative militarists who conceive the masculinist forms of entertainment only recently brought out Call of Duty: Black Ops II that featured a computer animated David Petraeus as Secretary of Defense.

Sean Smith found out tragically that real war is not a game.


From the books of Bob Woodward we do know that former General Jack Keane (now of the Board of the Institute for the Study of War) is one of the most energetic forces aligned with the Petraeus wing of the military/intelligence establishment. The fact that Jack Keane came forward as the chief explainer for the National Public Radio (NPR), about the CIA timeline of the events in Benghazi (where Sean Smith and Christopher Stevens) died gave away the fact that Petraeus was heavily involved in the events of September 11/12 , 2012. http://m.npr.org/news/World/164207549

It was in this interview on November 2 that Jack Keane told the world of the decision of General Carter Ham to ask for the National Mission Response Force to be deployed to Benghazi. The NMRF is a classified force based on the East Coast of the United States, 24/7 on alert, the shortest alert string we have to go anyplace in the world. In this interview Keane told the US public,

‘Now, those were ground forces and there were no other forces that were available and that’s why he had to request forces from outside of AFRICOM’s command and control. General Ham also requested a similar force that is part of the European command that – this is a classified force, special operations again. They were in central Europe training. They moved them to a base, got them equipped for combat and moved them to Sigonella. And when they arrived there, they also were told that the CIA annex had been evacuated. The problem we have is AFRICOM has no assigned forces stationed in anywhere near Libya. So we had to depend – he had to depend on alerting forces to come from the continent of Europe and the continent of North America to participate in a firefight.’

This information on the deployment of forces by the Commander of AFRICOM was veiled but there is enough in the interview to grasp the fact that Carter Ham was drawn into a battle which the US Africa Command was not equipped for. When the Pentagon carried out its investigation about what happened in Benghazi, Carter Ham was relieved of his post as commander of AFRICOM. He had not served the usual three years. General Petraeus journeyed to Libya after Carter Ham was relieved of his post hoping to save his reputation and the forms of warfare and destruction that he had refined.

RISE AND FALL OF PETRAEUS: MAKING BENGHAZI AN ELECTION ISSUE

General Petraeus had been an ambitious officer from the US military who had achieved international notoriety based on how he harnessed the resources of the media to burnish his image. Petraeus was known as an ambitious officer from the time that he was at West Point when he grasped that marrying the daughter of the superintendent of the WestPoint military academy would enhance his career. Holly Knowlton was from a historical military family in the USA whose father Gen. William A. Knowlton had been serving as head of West Point military academy when Petraeus was a cadet. Petraeus graduated in 1974 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. , and two months before his graduation, he married Holly. Petraeus fancied himself as a soldier scholar so he pursued advanced degrees at Princeton writing a doctoral dissertation on ‘The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam.’

Petraeus became adept at mobilizing academics, especially social scientists, to abet his ‘ambitions.’ It was the relationship with one such publicist that brought out the full extent of the ambitious maneuvering of General Petraeus. Inside the US military, Petraeus had been known by the traditional officers as one who would do anything to ‘advance’ his career. His close relationship with George W. Bush and the ‘success’ of the surge in Iraq now stands as part of his reputation. Petraeus was a figure of disunity within the military, especially because of his close relationship to the neoconservatives. One retired officer posed the question in this way, ‘Was General David Petraeus the heroic figure his press releases suggested or a piece of fiction created, packaged and presented to the American people by the Bush Administration and its Neocon allies in the media and academia as the poster boy for counterinsurgency? (See Col. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR, Ret., The Petraeus Saga: Epitaph for a Four Star, http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/14/epitaph-for-a-four-star/)

The full history of General David Petraeus is now in full display but what is not widely known is how he was really a work of fiction created, packaged and promoted to the American people. Most citizens in the United States are not aware of the immense suffering imposed on the peoples of Iraq based on the ‘surge’ of General Petraeus. Inside the military there had been great differences among the officer corps and efforts to understand the experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq led to the publication of the major study entitled Decade of War. The Joint Staff study of the post-9/11 wars had been an effort by the military to understand why the US military had been a failure caught in the quagmire of corruption and drug wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There had been no shortage of scholarly texts that had explored in great detail how the United States corrupted Afghanistan. One writer from the Washington Post was explicit when he wrote, ‘Afghan corruption, and how the U.S. facilitates it,’:

‘It is time that we as Americans — in government, in the media, and as analysts and academics — took a hard look at the causes of corruption in Afghanistan. The fact is that we are at least as much to blame for what has happened as the Afghans, and we have been grindingly slow to either admit our efforts or correct them.’ http://tinyurl.com/befw7p5

Other established military specialists such as Anthony Cordesman had written extensively on theft and waste in Afghanistan. It was left to the peace writers such as Alfred McKoy to write on ‘Can Anyone Pacify the World’s Number One Narco-State? The Opium Wars in Afghanistan.’ http://tinyurl.com/yzmuu8q

While the name of Petraeus did not explicitly surface in these reports on drugs and corruption, his high profile as the top commander in Afghanistan and as head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) brought a focus on him. As an adept manipulator of the media in the refinement of Military Information Operations, Petraeus nurtured the press and one of the clearest expression can be found in the new book, by Thomas Ricks, The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today. In this book, generals such as Tommy Franks were assailed in the same vein as Petraeus was venerated. Petraeus was mobilizing the same fawning relationship with Paula Broadwell. Petraeus had met Broadwell in 2006 while she was operating between US military intelligence and Harvard, but this relationship could not be deepened until after the passing of Gen. William A. Knowlton in 2008.

GENERAL PETRAEUS AND THE DISRESPECT FOR BARACK OBAMA

Petraeus had endeared himself to neocons and the Christian fundamentalists as a good example of the West Point’s Cadet Honor Code. The Honor Code reads simply that, ‘A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.’

Because of his endorsement of Lieutenant Colonel William McCoy’s Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, Petraeus was on the radar of the right. It is not by accident that of the top politicians calling Petraeus at this time was George W. Bush. Bob Woodward in his book Obama’s Wars documented facts of the disrespect exhibited from a section of the military (Crusaders) to Obama. It is important for readers to grasp the deep arrogance of Petraeus in relation to Obama. Much of this has come out in the formulation that Petraeus attempted to ’box in’ the president over the deployment of troops to Afghanistan. Bob Woodward has recounted for history the back and forth between Obama and Petraeus and General Stanley A. McChrystal. Stanly Mc Chrystal had engineered his exit from the corruption of Afghanistan by making explicit comments about Obama which he knew would get him out of the opium war in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama immediately appointed General Petraeus to this position as Commander in Afghanistan. Petraeus understood the stakes of the legacy of generals and it was based on his sense of history that he supported the project of Paula Broadwell to write his biography. Douglas MacGregor described the two in this way, ‘Broadwell and Petraeus were simply two people with converging agendas.’

Between the biography of Broadwell and the book of Thomas Ricks, Petraeus was of the view that his historical legacy was secure. Inside the military there had been a major debate among the officer corps on whether officers such as Petraeus should be held accountable. Lt. Col. Paul Yingling had written a widely discussed article in the Armed Forces Journal, ‘A failure in generalship.’ With the Crusaders taking over the military, officers who followed the line of Petraeus were looked upon favourably.

According to the profile of Petraeus by the New York Times, ‘Mr. Petraeus had been the most prominent American military commander over the past decade, the architect of the 2007 troop surge in Iraq. He stepped into Gen. Colin L. Powell’s shoes as the face of the military, and became a figure extolled on both sides of Washington’s partisan divide.’ The New York Times was fully aware of the divide between the Rocks and the Crusaders and how Obama had relied on Colin Powell to rally the Rocks to checkmate the Crusaders.

We now know that the Obama team was not complacent as the activities of General Petraeus were being monitored. Top operatives in the administration had kept an eye on the presidential ambitions of Petraeus and Petraeus had assured Rahm Emmanuel that he was not planning to run for president in 2012. In the supportive profile of General Petraeus provided by the New York Times we are told,

‘Ms. Broadwell became a fixture around the Kabul headquarters of the American-led coalition in Afghanistan soon after General Petraeus assumed command in June 2010. She was seen as ambitious and as a striver who aimed to join Washington’s national security elite, and she drew resentment from officers for playing up her connection to their boss.’

Six months after General Petraeus assumed command in Kabul and was mentoring his biographer the administration appointed Holly Knowlton Petraeus as an assistant director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, charged with advocating on behalf of service members and their families. History will later reveal the extent of the contacts between Michele Obama and Holly Knowlton at a moment when insiders in Washington understood fully the innuendos of Paula Broadwell when she had appeared on the Daily Show.

BENGHAZI AND LIBYA BECOME AN ELECTION ISSUE
Weeks after the battles between the competing militias in Benghazi that claimed the lives of the CIA operations and the US ambassador, sections of the US media sympathetic to the Crusaders ‘seized on a series of reports by conservative media outlets to make the incendiary charge shortly before the election that four Americans had died because of the administration’s negligence.’

General Petraeus said nothing publicly, but from the reports in the media and from his quick trip to Libya, it was manifest that there was a big project of damage limitation. Sections of the Conservative media had been so secure that the narrative of the adminstration’s negligence had taken hold that William Kristol, the conservative editor of The Weekly Standard, concluded that the agency was pointing its finger at the White House, which he suggested must have refused the requested intervention. ‘Petraeus Throws Obama Under the Bus’ was the headline on the Weekly Standard’s blog.

With the timeline of the Benghazi incident presented by the CIA, the blog of William Kristol and the spin presented to National Public Radio by Jack Keane, there was only one more event that would protect General Petraeus from being exposed completely. This was the elections on November 6, 2012.

Benghazi and Libya did not become the issue in the election in the way that the Conservatives and Crusaders had hoped. The alliance of peace and justice forces re-elected Barack Obama on November 6. Two days after the re-election Petraeus resigned.

We are told by the media that the first time the president learnt of the investigation of the relationship between Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus was on Thursday November 8 when Petraeus offered his resignation. How would Eric Cantor know the full details of the Broadwell/Petraeus saga while the President did not know? Press reports are that the Attorney General Eric Holder had been notified as far back as the summer. It defies credibility to read that Barack Obama did not know of the FBI probe of General David Petraeus,

‘White House officials said they were informed on Wednesday night that Mr. Petraeus was considering resigning because of an extramarital affair. On Thursday morning, just before a staff meeting at the White House, President Obama was told. That afternoon, Mr. Petraeus went to see him and informed him that he strongly believed he had to resign. Mr. Obama did not accept his resignation right away, but on Friday, he called Mr. Petraeus and accepted it.’

Military historians will, however, understand why the President of the United States had to sleep on the decision to accept the resignation of the most renowned general in the United States. After all, the influence of Petraeus among journalists and the Crusaders was well known. Petraeus had served as Commanding General of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) located there. As commander of CAC, Petraeus had been responsible for oversight of the Command and General Staff College and 17 other schools, centers, and training programs as well as for developing the Army’s doctrinal manuals, training the Army’s officers, and supervising the Army’s center for the collection and dissemination of lessons learned.

‘During his time at CAC, Petraeus and Marine Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis jointly oversaw the publication of Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency, the body of which was written by an extraordinarily diverse group of military officers, academics, human rights advocates, and journalists who had been assembled by Petraeus and Mattis.’

This writer will maintain the healthy skepticism that Obama’s decision to withhold the acceptance of the resignation of Petraeus was based on the calculated step by step approach with the military that had been adopted since 2009. This writer will also withhold judgement on the recent effusive praise of Obama for Petraeus at his press conference on November 14,2012.

There were many serving Generals who were linked militarily and socially to General Petraeus and the fallout of the web of Petraeus is now becoming more known. The information that the top commander in Afghanistan, John Allen, had ‘inappropriate communication’ with Jill Kelly, with 20-30,000 pages of email has only served to entice citizens in relation to the unfolding story. What is of importance is that John Allen followed the military doctrines of Petraeus in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even more significantly, is the fact that Allen was a supporter of the new Counterinsurgency form of destabilization that involved private military contractors.

LIBYAN WAR AND THE NEED TO DISBAND PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS
The Petraeus affair has served to focus on the salacious details of the extra-marital affair of General Petraeus overlooking the more fundamental question of the forms of military destruction that have been unleashed on Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya. Within the US military establishment there had been a raging debate on whether generals should be accountable to civilian leadership. The resignation of General Petraeus, the removal of Carter Ham of Africa Command and the redeployment of Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette have now brought back the question of civilian control over the military. Despite the new book by Tom Ricks that had been crafted to save the reputation of Petraeus and the biography which was supposed to place Petraeus on the same platform as historic US generals, the new forms of unchecked warfare brought down the top officers of the COIN strategy of Petraeus and the Crusaders.

Within a democratic society, the military is supposed to provide advice to military leaders and military officers are not supposed to deploy troops to engage with militias without the authorization of the civilian leadership. The NATO intervention in Libya and the subsequent CIA base in Benghazi had been an expensive experiment in new forms of warfare that brought about destruction and the deaths of thousands. After the information on CIA detention centers during the war in Iraq there had been an outcry about CIA private prisons. There are citizens in Libya who can come forward to get out the truth about the charges of Paula Broadwell that the CIA was holding prisoners in its ‘facility’ in Libya.

US foreign policy makers had resisted the call by sections of the United Nations Security Council for a review of the NATO military operations in Libya. Through the United Nations Human Rights Council there has been a major effort by peace activists from the global south to bring private military contractors under international oversight. The Human Rights Council has established an ‘open-ended intergovernmental working group to consider the possibility of elaborating an international regulatory framework on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of private military and security companies.’ http://tinyurl.com/cubkbwl

The United States and Britain took the lead in opposing oversight of private military contractors. Commanders of CENTCOM and AFRICOM have operated over the past five years as if they were running parallel government. The war on terror had inspired the intellectual climate on counter-terror and the rationale for the bureaucratic structure of the unified command which enabled the military to also be a source of ‘independent’ policy creation.

There was no oversight when the military budget placed unlimited resources under the control of military commanders. Why would the US AFRICOM dig wells in East Africa or hand out school books? These activities were all part of the public relations exercise to plant the idea that the US Africa Command was doing humanitarian work in Africa. The confirmation hearings for General Rodriquez will provide another opportunity to expose the CIA/Africom failure in Libya. It is well publicized by African scholars that the US Africa command has been deployed as an auxiliary force to protect US oil companies. In this protection game, there had been some sections of the top military apparatus who ventured to state explicitly that the role of Africom was supposed to check Chinese influence in Africa. General Petraeus had aggressively pushed the military deeper into the C.I.A.’s turf, using Special Operations troops and private security contractors to conduct secret intelligence missions and for fighting. As commander of the United States Central Command Petraeus had refined the trick of fighting with one group and then turning against them later. This double-cross game was taking hold in Libya in order to set back peace and reconstruction in Libya for decades so that Libya would morph into another Somalia.

With the millions of dollars available for suborning journalists and academics and with the complicit media, the narrative about the success of AFRICOM had been widely sold within the United States. It is this attempt to control the narrative that had led to the widespread view in the United States that the NATO operation in Libya was a success. The death of Ambassador Stevens shattered this myth. The firing of Carter Ham uncovered the ways in which the CIA and sections of the military were making decisions running policy independent of the civilian leadership.

When one connects the financial dots between CIA front companies such as IN –Q-Tel, oil companies and oil producers, one can see that global capital is also a partner with the military industrial complex and the need for perpetual war on terrorism. That is the circle which must be broken by those who seek peace.
Petraeus and his supporters had been confident that the circle of war and destruction would continue for generations. With the support of the media Petraeus had been confident that the full details of the destruction in Libya and alliance with the militias could be kept out of the public domain. The full story is unfolding. The peace and justice forces must intensify the call for the disbandment of the US Africa Command. Africa needs cooperation and support for reconstruction. Libya needs the support of the entire international community to rein in the militias and to rebuild the society. It is time for the peace movement to refocus on the real activities of Petraeus, not on the so called extramarital affair. In fact, some commentators in Europe have commented that in Europe some generals place such information on the gossip circuit to enhance their reputation. The peace and justice forces need to focus on the interconnections between the departure of Petraeus, Carter Ham and Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette

Axe wielding Israeli man stabs security guard at US embassy in Tel Aviv

How differently would this news story have been reported had the assailant been an Arab?





Where is his shirt?



An Israeli man wielding an ax and a knife attacked and lightly wounded an Israeli security guard at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Would the wound have been described as "life threatening" of the assailant had been an Arab?
Would the assailant have been apprehended alive, had it been an Arab?


The man, in his early 40s, attacked the guard outside the embassy gates, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. He said the man’s motive was unknown, but political motives were not suspected and the incident had nothing to do with Israel’s battle with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
 If the motive is not known, why are political motives not suspected? Because he is an Israeli follower of Judaism?


“A Mazda car stopped next to the U.S. embassy and a man got out carrying a red bag and a pitchfork,” said David Cohen, 48, who told Reuters he witnessed the incident while jogging along Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean promenade.
“He began to run toward the security guards. They saw him, took their guns out and told him to get down on the ground,” Cohen said.
“He continued running and then they fired in the air and ordered him again to lie down. He continued to advance. They jumped on him and took his bag away.”
Interesting law enforcement response. Fired into the air and ordered him to lie down. Would this have been the response if this individual were an Arab? Is this how Israeli law enforcement or IDF act in Gaza?
Or the West Bank?

“It appears he was mentally unbalanced,” Tel Aviv police chief Yoram Ohayon told reporters.

Hm, the Tel Aviv chief is a diagnosing doctor ??
How does he know he wasn't on drugs? Intoxicated?

Is the US going to send in the Marines? After all their embassy was attacked!!



Monday, November 19, 2012

Israeli aircraft strike crowded Gaza areas, civilian death toll climbs

A Palestinian man kisses the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.



Thought I had better get this one up before the headline changes? Or the entire story changes? 
Or it simply disappears. The article has an adequate amount of factual reporting, despite the western media perception management.
Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip on Monday, driving up the civilian death toll and in one case devastating several homes belonging to one "clan" western media perception management that is one FAMILY - the fallout from a new tactic in Israel's six-day-old offensive
There is no new Israeli tactic. This is the same tactic as always. Terrorize civilians on a massive scale
Escalating its bombing campaign, Israel on Sunday began attacking homes of activists (more spin. CIVILIANS) in Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza. These attacks have led to a sharp spike in civilian casualties, killing 24 civilians in less than 24 hours
The rising civilian toll was likely to intensify pressure on Israel to end the fighting
In Monday's violence, a missile struck a three-story home in the Gaza City's Zeitoun area, flattening the building and badly damaging several nearby homes. Shell-shocked residents searching for belongings climbed over debris of twisted metal and cement blocks in the street.

The strike killed two children and two adults, and injured 42 people, said Gaza heath official Ashraf al-Kidra.

Residents said Israel first sent a warning strike at around 2 a.m. Monday, prompting many residents in the area to flee their homes. A few minutes later, heavy bombardment followed
 Ahed Kitati, 38, had rushed out after the warning missile (Firing missiles to warn the civilians that they will be fired upon with more missiles) to try to hustle people to safety. But he was fatally struck by a falling cinderblock, leaving behind a pregnant wife, five young daughters and a son, the residents said.
Sitting in mourning with her mother and siblings just hours after her father's death, 11-year-old Aya Kitati clutched a black jacket, saying she was freezing, even though the weather was mild. "We were sleeping, and then we heard the sound of the bombs," she said, then broke down sobbing.

 Ahed's brother, Jawad Kitati, said he plucked the lifeless body of a 2-year-old relative from the street and carried him to an ambulance. Blood stains smeared his jacket sleeve.

Another “clan” FAMILY member, Haitham Abu Zour, 24, woke up to the sound of the warning strike and hid in a stairwell. He emerged to find his wife dead and his two infant children buried under the debris, but safe.

“Clan” FAMILY elder Mohammed Azzam, 61, denied that anyone in his family had any connections to Hamas.

"The Jews are liars," he said. "No matter how much they pressure our people, we will not withdraw our support for Hamas."

Late Sunday, an Israeli missile killed a father and his eight-year-old son on the roof of their Gaza City home. The father, a Hamas policeman, (Western media spin. A Gaza policeman would or should be the correct wording) was on the roof to repair a leaking water tank, his relatives said.

 In another area of Gaza City, the patriarch of the Daloo family, Jamal, sat in mourning for 11 members of his family killed in a missile strike on his home Sunday. Among the dead were his wife, his son, daughter-in-law, his sister and four grandchildren. His face swollen from crying, he embraced relatives and neighbors paying their condolences.
In the paragraph above we notice that CTV propaganda department has stopped using clan and is using the correct term, family. Knowing that the vast majority of gullible readers will not read this far along, the perception management is not necessary.

The mourners sat in plastic chairs just meters away from bulldozers clearing the ruins of Daloo's home. His 16-year-old daughter Yara was still missing and believed under the rubble, family members said.

Daloo, who is left with two sons, tried to take comfort in the belief that the loss of his family was God's will and that the dead are now in paradise. He vehemently disputed Israel's initial claim that a senior operative of Islamic Jihad, a smaller sister group of Hamas, was hiding in his house. He said his son Mohammed, one of those killed, was a policeman in the Gaza police, but not an activist.
Five farmers were killed in two separate strikes, al-Kidra said, including three who he said had been mistakenly identified earlier by Hamas security officials as Islamic Jihad fighters.
In addition to 91 Palestinians killed over the past six days, some 720 were wounded, al-Kidra said.

The civilian death toll climbs in Gaza, as was the intent.
On the Israeli side, three civilians have died from Palestinian rocket fire and dozens have been wounded

In all, 1,350 targets (homes, media outlets, government buildings etc.) in the Gaza Strip have been struck since the Israeli operation began.

"If we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza, the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future," Obama said.

Obamba, “peace” president. A two state solution, pushed way into the future??

Well, well, well..... isn’t that the intent of this attack? 
To push the two state solution completely out of the picture? 
Yes, that is the intent!
And, who exactly does that benefit? 
Israel, of course!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Anonymous "hacks" Israel- Yawn. The Wolves meet in Cairo

Admittedly, I have not been following the Israeli attack on Gaza as closely as others on line.
However.... Anonymous was in the news. I just had to make the time to look into the big news of Anonymous attacking Israel. Despite reams of coverage,  This hack by Anonymous  seems to be much ado about nothing.
As it pretty typical of Anonymous, unless they are hacking NATO targeted nations, that is another story all together
The hack attack on Israel, as characterized by Forbes, is a picking of low fruit.
That seems about right

Anonymous’ attacks, as usual, achieve more as propaganda than in actual damage. Most of its target sites seem to have remained online, and several downed and defaced sites seemed like random low-hanging fruit: A manufacturing an export company and a real estate law firm, for instance.
 Check it out for yourself (A list of target sites)
This appears to be promotion of “Anonymous” as something it is not. An enemy of state.
Also a distraction, from what is obviously, wanton killing on the part of Israel.
Israel made a mistake that will cost the lives of 'innocent people on both sides.'

A mistake or a calculated risk?




I question the role of Morsi in all this? Never mind Erdogan!!!
(Nope, don't trust either tool) Anyone else?
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said at a news conference, Saturday, with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan there were indications a ceasefire could soon be reached in Gaza, but there were still “no guarantees.”

Erdogan is in Cairo for 4-way talks as regional parties desperately try and push Hamas and Israel towards a truce and avert an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu told foreign leaders Saturday that he would agree to a ceasefire if Hamas agrees to stop rocket fire from Gaza.

Also present at the talks were Quatari Emir Haid Bin Khalifa al-Thari and several Palestinian leaders.

A senior advisor to Palestinian authority president Mahmoud Abbas praised the Egyptian efforts to broker peace while deploring the Israeli actions.

“President Abbas has consistently offered negotiations for a two state solution, but Israel has shown no interest in these negotiations. So this is the result. And the Palestinian people pay the price.” The advisor told Al-Monitor, a website specializing in Middle East coverage.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil El Araby said after the talks,”We need to start taking effective steps to push influential countries to take the issue back to the UN Security Council.”
What concessions will be made by the Palestinian leadership, with the encouragement of the wolves in sheeps clothing Morsi and Erdogan???

Will the Palestinian leadership throw away Palestinian statehood to gain a ceasefire?
Interesting that the Qatari Emir is present at the meeting.
He appears to be a very special friend of Israel. What with Israel waiting to strike and strike hard until he left Gaza. Despite  the Emir's  really big show in Gaza
Thanks to Freethinker for this. Quite curious.

Hamas is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Israel and the European Union, while Qatar is an ally of the United States and maintains a cordial relationship with Israel. Tuesday’s visit constitutes a bold step out of line for the emir.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “quite strange” that Qatar would so visibly support its enemy, according to the Associated Press.

“By hugging Hamas publicly, the emir of Qatar has thrown peace under the bus,” he said.

If Israel really believed that Qatar had “thrown peace under the bus” Why not strike while the Emir is in Gaza? After all were supposed to believe he was cavorting with the enemy.

Israeli television said military actions were put on hold until Qatar's Sheikh Hama bin Khalifa al-Thani had left.

                                                        The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani waves to the crowd upon his arrival at a cornerstone laying ceremony for a Qatari funded rehabilitation center in Gaza City October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Hatem Moussa/Pool                                                                          


Something is just not sitting right here..........