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9/11 – A Cheap Magic Trick

How false flag attacks are manufactured by the world's elite.

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Archive for November, 2014

Nov. 17, 2014
Doug Bandow
Forbes

In 2009 President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize before doing much of anything. Since then he has initiated two wars, first in Libya and now in Iraq and Syria, and escalated another, in Afghanistan. Alas, he has demonstrated that it is bad to start wars unnecessarily, but even worse to wage wars foolishly.

The administration appears to have lost its collective mind. The president has added ground forces to the battle in Iraq and the military has suggested introducing thousands more. His officials reportedly have decided to focus on overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the name of fighting the Islamic State.

It is hard to know which of these ideas is worse.

The U.S. has been back at war in the Middle East for more than two months. The results have not been pretty.

The administration claims to have created a vast coalition of 60 nations, roughly 30 percent of the world’s countries. Alas, as in the past the celebrated gaggle assembled by Washington turned out to be mostly a PR stunt. The U.S. accounts for about 770 of the roughly 900 strikes on Iraq and Syria. The Arab states have done little in the air and nothing afoot. Only Iran, which Washington fears almost as much as ISIL, has put boots on the ground.

Most flagrantly AWOL is Turkey, which has tolerated radical fighters transiting through and even operating on its territory. Many of the Islamic State’s combatants came from Turkey and ISIL has targeted Turkish territory for its caliphate. Yet Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan only cares about the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, once a close friend. And Erdogan expects the U.S. do the job for him.

Nor has the administration’s scattershot bombing campaign had much effect. Iraq’s Baghdad has not fallen. That was never likely, however. Kurdistan’s Irbil remains in danger. Syria’s Kobani is unconquered but in ruins, and thousands of its residents have fled.

The Islamic State quickly adjusted its tactics to minimize the vulnerability of its forces. By one count U.S. strikes have killed 464 Islamic State personnel and 57 fighters for Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate. However, the estimated number of ISIL fighters trebled to as many as 30,000 just a couple weeks into Obama’s war.

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by Patrick J. Buchanan
November 18, 2014

“How do you like the Journal’s war?”

So boasted the headline of William Randolph Hearst’s New York flagship that week in 1898 that the United States declared war on Spain.

While Hearst’s Journal, in a circulation battle with Joe Pulitzer’s World, was a warmongering sheet, it did not start the war.

Yet the headline comes to mind reading the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial pages seem to have concluded that on Nov. 4 America voted for new wars in the Middle East, and beyond.

On Nov. 13, the Journal’s op-ed page was given over to Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Assuming nuclear talks with Iran conclude unsuccessfully by the Nov. 24 deadline, they write, we have four options.

Two involve continued or tougher sanctions. The other two are a preemptive war featuring U.S. air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, or a U.S. attack to bring down Bashar Assad’s regime.

“Taking Mr. Assad down would let Tehran know that America’s withdrawal from the Middle East and President Obama’s dreams of an entente with Iran are over.”

It would surely do that.

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November 16, 2014
Paul Craig Roberts

Glenn Greenwald has revealed that Hillary Clinton is the presidential candidate of the banksters and warmongers. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/14/despite-cynicism-genuine-excitement-hillary-clinton-candidacy/ Pam and Russ Martens note that Elizabeth Warren is the populist alternative. http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/10/hillary-clintons-continuity-government-versus-elizabeth-warrens-voice-for-change/ I doubt that a politician who represents the people can acquire the campaign funds needed to run a campaign. If Warren becomes a threat, the Establishment will frame her with bogus charges and move her aside.

Hillary as president would mean war with Russia. With neocon nazis such as Robert Kagan and Max Boot running her war policy and with Hillary’s comparison of Russia’s president Putin to Adolf Hitler, war would be a certainty. As Michel Chossudovsky and Noam Chomsky have written, the war would be nuclear.

If Hillary is elected president, the financial gangsters and profiteering war criminals would complete their takeover of the country. It would be forever or until armageddon.

To understand what we would be getting with Hillary, recall the Clinton presidency. The Clinton presidency was transformative in ways not generally recognized. Clinton destroyed the Democratic Party with “free trade” agreements, deregulated the financial system, launched Washington’s ongoing policy of “regime change” with illegal military attacks on Yugoslavia and Iraq, and his regime used deadly force without cause against American civilians and covered up the murders with fake investigations. These were four big changes that set the country on its downward spiral into a militarized police state with massive income and wealth inequality.

One can understand why Republicans wanted the North American Free Trade Agreement, but it was Bill Clinton who signed it into law. “Free trade” agreements are devices used by US corporations to offshore their production of goods and services sold in American markets. By moving production abroad, labor cost savings increase corporate profits and share prices, bringing capital gains to shareholders and multi-million dollar performance bonuses to executives. The rewards to capital are large, but the rewards come at the expense of US manufacturing workers and the tax base of cities and states.

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By Eric Margolis
November 15, 2014

A full century after World War I we still cannot understand how generals sent so many soldiers to be slaughtered. Ten million soldiers died on all sides; millions more were left maimed or shell shocked. Seven million civilians died. 20 million horses died.

The image we have of hapless soldiers being forced to climb out of their sodden trenches and attack across a hellish no-man’s land pock-marked by water-filled shell holes, deep mud, thickets of barbed wire and rotten bodies is quite accurate for the Western Front. Waiting for them were quick-firing guns, heavy artillery, the greatest killer or all – machine guns – and, later, poison or burning gases, and flamethrowers.

How could the generals of that era have been stupid enough to send waves and waves of their soldiers to almost certain death? Trench warfare in the West quickly became siege warfare in which decisive victories became almost impossible.

Only in the East did the brilliant German generals Hindenburg and Max Hoffman achieve a war of movement in which they destroyed two Russian armies attacking East Prussia. Their triumphant battles at Tannenburg and Masurian Lakes were partly based on Hannibal’s battlefield tactics at Cannae in 216 BC.

But on the Western Front, generals on all sides kept sending their men on suicidal bayonet charges across dense wire in the face of interlocking machine gun fire and shrapnel. How could they have been so foolish?

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November 14, 2014
Paul Craig Roberts

As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy.

So why has Japan adopted the policy? Since the heavy duty money printing began in 2013, the Japanese yen has fallen 35% against the US dollar, a big cost for a country dependent on energy imports. Moreover, the Japanese economy has shown no growth in response to the QE stimulus to justify the rising price of imports.

Despite the economy’s lack of response to the stimulus, last month the Bank of Japan announced a 60% increase in quantitative easing–from 50 to 80 trillion yen annually. Albert Edwards, a strategist at Societe Generale, predicts that the Japanese printing press will drive the yen down from 115 yen to the dollar to 145.

This is a prediction, but why risk the reality? What does Japan have to gain from currency depreciation? What is the thinking behind the policy?

An easy explanation is that Japan is being ordered to destroy its currency in order to protect the over-printed US dollar. As a vassal state, Japan suffers under US political and financial hegemony and is powerless to resist Washington’s pressure.

The official explanation is that, like the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan professes to believe in the Phillips Curve, which associates economic growth with inflation. The supply-side economic policy implemented by the Reagan administration disproved the Phillips Curve belief that economic growth was inconsistent with a declining or a stable rate of inflation. However, establishment economists refuse to take note and continue with the dogmas with which they are comfortable.

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By Pepe Escobar
Nov. 14, 2014
Asia Times Online.com

If there were any remaining doubts about the unlimited stupidity Western corporate media is capable of dishing out, the highlight of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing has been defined as Russian President Vladimir Putin supposedly “hitting” on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s wife – and the subsequent Chinese censoring of the moment when Putin draped a shawl over her shoulders in the cold air where the leaders were assembled. What next? Putin and Xi denounced as a gay couple?

Let’s dump the clowns and get down to the serious business. Right at the start, President Xi urged APEC to “add firewood to the fire of the Asia-Pacific and world economy”. Two days later, China got what it wanted on all fronts.

1) Beijing had all 21 APEC member-nations endorsing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) – the Chinese vision of an “all inclusive, all-win” trade deal capable of advancing Asia-Pacific cooperation – see South China Morning Post (paywall). The loser was the US-driven, corporate-redacted, fiercely opposed (especially by Japan and Malaysia) 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). [See also here.

2) Beijing advanced its blueprint for “all-round connectivity” (in Xi’s words) across Asia-Pacific – which implies a multi-pronged strategy. One of its key features is the implementation of the Beijing-based US$50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. That’s China’s response to Washington refusing to give it a more representative voice at the International Monetary Fund than the current, paltry 3.8% of votes (a smaller percentage than the 4.5% held by stagnated France).

3) Beijing and Moscow committed to a second gas mega-deal – this one through the Altai pipeline in Western Siberia – after the initial “Power of Siberia” mega-deal clinched last May.

4) Beijing announced the funneling of no less than US$40 billion to start building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Predictably, once again, this vertiginous flurry of deals and investment had to converge towards the most spectacular, ambitious, wide-ranging plurinational infrastructure offensive ever attempted: the multiple New Silk Roads – that complex network of high-speed rail, pipelines, ports, fiber optic cables and state of the art telecom that China is already building across the Central Asian stans, linked to Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Indian Ocean, and branching out to Europe all the way to Venice, Rotterdam, Duisburg and Berlin.

Now imagine the paralyzed terror of the Washington/Wall Street elites as they stare at Beijing interlinking Xi’s “Asia-Pacific Dream” way beyond East Asia towards all-out, pan-Eurasia trade – with the center being, what else, the Middle Kingdom; a near future Eurasia as a massive Chinese Silk Belt with, in selected latitudes, a sort of development condominium with Russia.

Vlad doesn’t do stupid stuff

As for “Don Juan” Putin, everything one needs to know about Asia-Pacific as a Russian strategic/economic priority was distilled in his intervention at the APEC CEO summit.

This was in fact an economic update of his by now notorious speech at the Valdai Club meeting in Sochi in October, followed by a wide-ranging Q&A, which was also duly ignored by Western corporate media (or spun as yet more “aggression”).

The Kremlin has conclusively established that Washington/Wall Street elites have absolutely no intention of allowing a minimum of multipolarity in international relations. What’s left is chaos.

There’s no question that Moscow pivoting away from the West and towards East Asia is a process directly influenced by President Barack Obama’s self-described “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” foreign policy doctrine, a formula he came up with aboard Air Force One when coming back last April from a trip to – where else – Asia.

But the Russia-China symbiosis/strategic partnership is developing in multiple levels.

On energy, Russia is turning east because that’s where top demand is. On finance, Moscow ended the pegging of the rouble to the US dollar and euro; not surprisingly the US dollar instantly – if only briefly – dropped against the rouble. Russian bank VTB announced it may leave the London Stock Exchange for Shanghai’s – which is about to become directly linked to Hong Kong. And Hong Kong, for its part, is already attracting Russian energy giants.

Now mix all these key developments with the massive yuan-rouble energy double deal, and the picture is clear; Russia is actively protecting itself from speculative/politically motivated Western attacks against its currency.

The Russia-China symbiosis/strategic partnership visibly expands on energy, finance and, also inevitably, on the military technology front. That includes, crucially, Moscow selling Beijing the S-400 air defense system and, in the future, the S-500 – against which the Americans are sitting ducks; and this while Beijing develops surface-to-ship missiles that can take out everything the US Navy can muster.

Anyway, at APEC, Xi and Obama at least agreed to establish a mutual reporting mechanism on major military operations. That might – and the operative word is “might” – prevent an East Asia replica of relentless NATO-style whining of the “Russia has invaded Ukraine!” kind.

Freak out, neo-cons
When Little Dubya Bush came to power in early 2001, the neo-cons were faced with a stark fact: it was just a matter of time before the US would irreversibly lose its global geopolitical and economic hegemony. So there were only two choices; either manage the decline, or bet the whole farm to consolidate global hegemony using – what else – war.

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November 11, 2014

Exclusive: A major test for President Obama is whether he will – in the face of the Republican midterm victories – submit to neocon demands for more wars in the Middle East and a costly Cold War with Russia or finally earn the Nobel Peace Prize that he got at the start of his presidency, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Buoyed by the Republican electoral victories, America’s neocons hope to collect their share of the winnings by pushing President Barack Obama into escalating conflicts around the world, from a new Cold War with Russia to hot wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and maybe Iran.

The new menu of neocon delights was listed by influential neocon theorist Max Boot in a blog post for Commentary magazine, an important outlet for neocon thinking. Boot argued that the Republicans – and thus the neocons – have earned a mandate on national security policy from the electoral repudiation of Obama’s Democratic Party.
President Barack Obama uncomfortably accepting the Nobel Peace Prize from Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009. (White House photo)

President Barack Obama uncomfortably accepting the Nobel Peace Prize from Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009. (White House photo)

“I am convinced [national security policy] was as important a factor in this election as it was in the 2006 midterm when, in the midst of Iraq War debacles, the Republicans lost control of the Senate,” wrote Boot, who then blamed Obama for pretty much everything that has gone wrong:

“The president did himself incalculable damage when he set a ‘red line’ for Syria last year but failed to enforce it. That created an image of weakness and indecision which has only gotten worse with the rise of ISIS and Putin’s expansionism in Ukraine.”

Boot’s recounting of that history is, of course, wrongheaded in several ways. It may have been foolish for Obama to set a “red line” against chemical weapons use in Syria, but there is growing evidence that the Syrian government was not behind the lethal sarin attack of Aug. 21, 2013, and that it was instead a provocation by rebel extremists. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”]

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Adelson-Saban tag-team underscores Israel lobby’s power

by Justin Raimondo
November 12, 2014
Antiwar.com

When Pat Buchanan described the American Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” in the run up to the first Gulf war, he clearly underestimated the problem. Although Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban didn’t mean to underscore and enlarge Buchanan’s point, this they surely did at the first national conference of a new pro-Israel lobbying group, the Israeli-American Council (IAC), where the two multi-billionaires appeared together on stage. It was an enlightening colloquy.

Adelson, whose casinos have made him one of the richest people in the world, pumped $150 million into the Republican Party in 2012, and is expected to give at least as much in the 2016 campaign. Saban who made his fortune on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has given a comparable amount to the Democrats, including the money to build Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington: he has pledged to donate “whatever it takes” to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016.

On stage together, the duo engaged in a bit of a contest to see who could be more brazen about their desire to force US policy into a “pro-Israel” template. Both expressed intransigent opposition to current US-Iran talks over the latter’s nuclear energy program, with Adelson averring that if he were Prime Minister of Israel and the US sealed a deal with Iran that didn’t meet with his approval he “would not just talk, I would take action” – against whom, it wasn’t quite clear.

Saban, for his part, pushed well beyond that frontier, declaring that if he were in Netanyahu’s position “I would bomb the daylights out of these sons of bitches!”

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An anonymous U.S. official caused a dustup when he called the Israeli prime minister “chickenshit.” Others might have said worse

Adil E. Shamoo and Peter Certo
November 11, 2014
Antiwar.com

images

Last month, an anonymous US official stirred a tempest in a teapot when he called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a chickenshit” in comments to the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. The insinuation was that while Netanyahu will happily rile up his right-wing base on issues related to Palestine or Iran, he lacks the political courage to take meaningful steps to resolve either conflict.

State Department officials scurried to disavow themselves of the remark. But the incident revealed an increasingly common conclusion in Washington: Netanyahu’s foot-dragging on Middle East peace is not only frustrating for the United States – it’s dangerous.

Once a taboo subject in Washington, the value of the U.S.-Israeli alliance has increasingly come under scrutiny among even leading members of the foreign policy establishment.

As Anthony Cordesman – a Mideast expert at the center-right Center for Strategic and International Studies – observed, “It is time Israel realized that it has obligations to the United States, as well as the United States to Israel, and that it become far more careful about the extent to which it test the limits of US patience and exploits the support of American Jews.”

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Germans Abandon Major News Sites in Anger Over Slanted Russia Coverage

November 10, 2014
Russia Insider

Triggered by reader disaffection, internet traffic has collapsed for half a dozen major German media websites

What’s going on in the German media is huge. It is one of the most popular subjects on our site. The US and UK media have been hugely biased in their coverage of Russia, but German media has been far, far, worse, to the point which strains credulity.

Now it turns out that part of the reason is CIA fiddling with German media outlets. Coming on the heels of the Snowden revelations, this has Germans seriously ticked-off. Here’s the latest revelation from our correspondent in Germany.

They call it the Ulfkotte-effect. And it’s beginning to resemble an avalanche.

Since the publication of Udo Ulfkotte’s “Gekaufte Journalisten“ in September – now a #1 Amazon bestseller, in which he charges that the CIA regularly bribes top German journalists, himself included, – German readers’ disaffection towards their mainstream media appears to have crossed a point of no return.

Granted, sales of newspapers and magazines have fallen everywhere, not just in Germany. But this is different. This is a boycott that is affecting web traffic. Germans are steering clear of mainstream media websites.

Many Germans have not been too shy to announce their intention on social networks. Some have uploaded videos calling for a boycott on YouTube. Others have created groups calling for the same on Facebook.

The other visible result of reader disaffection has been that throughout September the number of unique visitors to six major German newspapers and magazines was falling steadily.

In October, it simply sank.

Yet up until early summer these same websites had been generating a large and stable amount of traffic. This is an unprecedented trend, and one that is wholly distinct from the fall in newspaper sales generally.

[Google analytics provided by Alexa, a company that specializes in analytics for the web, shows a collapse of readership for spiegel.de, zeit.de, stern.de, welt.de, faz.net, and focus.de.] Six different media sites – and they are all going down.

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