The War on Terror Is Based on Lies Told by Elites Who Actually WANT War


By G.Edward Griffin | NeedtoKnownews

This week’s news is disturbing for several reasons. It certainly is sad to witness the escalation of terrorism and war, particularly now in Libya, Tunisia, and Syria, but it is the element of contradiction that shouts from the headlines of those stories that is, perhaps, the most disturbing of all.

Related Article: 1984 and Our Modern Surveillance Society

The contradiction in the stories in the Middle East is that it is almost impossible to tell who is fighting terrorism and who is protecting terrorism. A recurring thread is that the US is leading a great military campaign against ISIS but it also delivers weapons to ISIS, provides aid to ISIS, attacks ISIS with powder-puff blows, and does everything to prevent Russia from knocking the hell out of ISIS.

Turkey and Egypt, allies of the US, are performing similar roles. In the name of fighting terrorism, they somehow manage to do more harm to those who genuinely are fighting ISIS than to ISIS itself. If you haven’t yet picked up on this consistent contradiction, this week’s news will make it abundantly clear.

Related Article:Sen Rand Paul Explains How Orwell’s 1984 is Happening Now

Whenever there is a consistent contradiction, it is a sign that it isn’t a contradiction at all but that our expectations are based on wrong assumptions. That clearly is the case with the war on terrorism.

To resolve the contradiction, we must discard the assumption on which it is based. The assumption is that Western nations are fighting terrorism because they want to put an end to violence, death, and destruction. The replacement assumption is that they are fighting terrorism precisely because doing so creates violence, death, and destruction. In other words, terrorists are essential and must not be eliminated. Otherwise, there would be no one to fear and no justification for war.

Absurd as that may seem, you will find that it removes the contradiction and explains literally all aspects of the war on terrorism – and more. But, why would any normal person want war?

The answer is that the people making these decisions are not normal. They belong to a small, elite core of global financiers and politicians who have an agenda that fires their imaginations and dreams, but it requires the complete restructuring of society. They want to replace nationalism with a global government based on the model of collectivism. They believe that the way to bring that about is to destroy all existing systems that do not fit that model and then build a “new world order” on top of the rubble.

This strategy was dramatically illustrated in a stained-glass window in the Beatrice Webb house in Surry, England, former headquarters of the Fabian Society. The Fabians are a highly influential organization promoting global collectivism since 1884. Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was a Fabian.

Across the top of the stained-glass window appears the last line from Omar Khayyam:

Dear love, couldst thou and I with fate conspire
To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire,
Would we not shatter it to bits, and then
Remould it nearer to the heart’s desire!

Beneath this line, the mural depicts George Bernard Shaw, one of the better known Fabians, and Sidney Webb striking the Earth with hammers.*

Once you understand the concept of deliberate destruction as a strategy for preparing the way for something that is “to the heart’s desire”, you will find that there are very few contradictions in the news.


14 Years of Censored News Has Denied Citizens Context For ISIS Attacks

By Arva Hassonjee, Jeffrey Simmons & Ellen Fallon | Project Censored

Fourteen years ago, after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the United States government initiated its “war on terror,” with the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001, which expanded into Pakistan, and of Iraq in 2003. The conventional methodology of American politics emphasizes American financial, strategic, and human costs. Since then, the corporate media has occasionally acknowledged the 6,800 American soldiers, and the 7,000 contractors who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, corporate media and the American government have consistently ignored Iraqi and Afghani deaths, which exceed one million. Without acknowledging this modern “reign of terror,” the western public has no context to understand the current attacks lead by the Islamic State in Syria and Levant (ISIL).

Civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are about ten times greater than the number the British-based Iraq Body Count (IBC) reports. IBC statistics are not reliable because they are chiefly collected from media reports written in English. Considering the majority of Iraqi media sources are written in Arabic, IBC coverage excludes a high percentage of civilian deaths. The US corporate media, including CNN and Fox News, relies on IBC numbers.

A study authored by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, along with the Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Physicians for Global Survival, “conservatively, estimates that at least 1.3 million people have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan from direct and indirect consequences of the U.S. ‘war on terrorism’,” wrote Al Jazeera’s Lauren Carasik. Moreover, over one million lives were lost in Iraq alone, about 5 percent of the country’s population. The report also describes the three million “internally displaced” Iraqis and approximately 2.5 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.

The under-reporting of the human toll of the US “war on terror” has led to an uninformed American public. A poll conducted in 2007 discovered that Americans estimate the Iraqi death toll at 10,000. A 2011 from researchers at the University of Maryland found that 38 percent of Americans still believe that the US received strong confirmation that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al-Qaeda, which is blatantly false. This is relevant because taxpayers believe that the wars that the government used billions of their dollars for were successful.

Almost fourteen years after the initial invasion of Afghanistan, neither the US government nor corporate media supply statistics on casualties and deaths among enemy combatants and civilians. At the end of 2014, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported that the year 2014 saw the highest rate of civilian deaths and injuries in the five years the organization has kept statistics. Furthermore, Iraq is facing a public health crisis due to chemical and incendiary weapons, depleted uranium, and burn pits. A correlation between the use of weapons and the rates of disease in Iraq indicates unmatched spikes in birth defects, infant mortality, and pediatric cancer. Dr. Chris Busby, a chemist from the University of Ulster, said the studies in Iraq revealed “the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied.” Furthermore, a report by health experts from the US, Canada, and Iraq exposed that 500,000 Iraqi deaths were from indirect causes of war, such as failures of health, sanitation, transportation, communication and other systems which continue to impact the population today.

The million or so casualties of war are crucial to understanding the rise of ISIL, which took root as American forces withdrew from an unstable Iraq in 2011. The US invasion of and subsequent partial retreat from Iraq has stimulated violent sectarian conflicts that have escalated within the past few months.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “14 Years of Censored News Coverage Denies Americans Context to Understand ISIL Attacks”


“Iraq: The Human Cost,” MIT Center for International Studies, no date, https://web.mit.edu/humancostiraq/.

Lauren Carasik, “Americans Have Yet to Grasp the Horrific Magnitude of the ‘War on Terror’,” Al Jazeera America, April 10, 2015, https://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/4/americans-have-yet-to-grasp-the-horrific-magnitude-of-the-war-on-terror.html.

“Study: U.S. Wars Have Left Over 1 Million Dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.” Democracy Now! March 25, 2015, https://www.democracynow.org/2015/3/25/headlines/study_us_wars_have_left_over_1_million_dead_in_iraq_afghanistan_pakistan.

Sarah Lazare, “Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror,” Common Dreams, March 26, 2015, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/03/26/body-count-report-reveals-least-13-million-lives-lost-us-led-war-terror.

Jack Serle and Abigail Fielding-Smith, “Monthly Drone Report: Total Drone Strikes under Obama in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen Now 491 after September Attacks,” Bureau of Investigative Journalism, October 5, 2015, https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2015/10/05/monthly-drone-report-total-drone-strikes-under-obama-in-pakistan-somalia-and-yemen-now-491-after-september-attacks/.

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail


Nearly 9 out of 10 Pakistani Drone Victims Were Not Militants (Project Censored #3)

By Jordan Nakamoto, Dylan Morrissey, Susan Rahman, & Andy Lee Roth

Editor’s Note: We are almost done with our countdown of the latest Project Censored Top 25. Here is #3. As always, please share with your family and friends these important, largely overlooked stories so that we can all be more well-informed citizens. Thank you.

Since President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, an estimated 2,464 people have been killed by drone strikes targeted outside of the United States’ declared war zones; this figure was posted in February 2015 by Jack Serle and the team at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who maintain a database of all known strikes—based on fieldwork, media reports, and leaked documents—which provides a clearer picture of the scale and impact of the US drone program than the episodic reporting provided by corporate media.

According to Bureau data, al-Qaeda members comprise only 4 percent of the total 2,379 people killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan as of October 2014, just over ten years after the first such strikes. Of the total killed, about 30 percent could be identified and 11 percent were defined as militants. Little is known about the remaining 1,675 unnamed victims. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported these numbers after conducting a yearlong investigation that compiled information from various sources to provide an overview of drone strike casualties.

US drone missions are flown mainly over Pakistan, where the CIA aims to weaken al-Qaeda and limit its movement into neighboring Afghanistan. The use of unmanned drones is seen as a way to minimize involvement and resentment in a country that is characterized by the New Yorker as “unstable” and that is known to possess over a hundred nuclear weapons. While the unofficial drone war for control over the Pakistan–Afghan border ended in mid-2013, the drone campaign continued with five strikes recorded in January 2015, the most since July of 2014. In the month of January, additional strikes were reported to kill at least forty-five in Somalia and three in Yemen, where a twelve-year-old child was among the casualties.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s findings undermine the validity of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that “the only people we fire a drone at are confirmed terrorist targets at the highest level.” Regardless of whether or not those killed were in fact dangerous, the inability to account for their identities invites skepticism toward US military operations and raises moral concerns about basic respect for human dignity.

In April 2015, Jeremy Scahill reported that a US military base in Ramstein, Germany, is the “the high-tech heart of America’s drone program.” Top-secret US documents obtained by the Intercept, Scahill reported, provide “the most detailed blueprint seen to date of the technical architecture used to conduct strikes with Predator and Reaper drones.” Most drone pilots operate in the US, but depend on Ramstein to control their aircraft.

Corporate news coverage of US drone strikes tends to rely heavily on official government sources, many of whom are not authorized to know about those strikes, much less to discuss them publicly.  (“Congress members have been muzzled by executive claims of secrecy to protect national security and/or co-opted by lobbyists representing drone manufacturers.” Andy Lee Roth, “Framing Al-Awlaki: How Government Officials and Corporate Media Legitimized a Targeted Killing,” Censored 2013: Dispatches from the Media Revolution, eds. Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth [New York: Seven Stories Press, 2012], 353–54.) Exceptional occasions sometimes force government officials to reveal more about the killing programs. For instance, in April 2015, President Obama publicly apologized for a January drone strike in Pakistan that had accidentally killed two al-Qaeda hostages, including an American aid worker, Warren Weinstein. The New York Times’ coverage included front-page news analysis by Scott Shane that included criticism of the drone strike program. For example, the article quoted Micah Zenko, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, on how Obama’s statement “highlights what we’ve sort of known: that most individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names.” Notably, Shane’s analysis made use of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s research to show the scope of US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas since 2004.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “#3 89 Percent of Pakistani Drone Victims Not Identifiable as Militants”


Jack Serle, “Almost 2,500 Now Killed by Covert US Drone Strikes Since Obama Inauguration Six Years Ago,” Bureau of Investigative Journalism, February 2, 2015, https://www.thebureauinvestigates

Jack Serle, “Get the Data: A List of US Air and Drone Strikes, Afghanistan 2015,” Bureau of Investigative Journalism, February 12, 2015, https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2015/02/12/us-drone-war-afghanistan-list-american-air-strikes-2015/#AFG009.

Steve Coll, “The Unblinking Stare: The Drone War in Pakistan,” New Yorker, November 24, 2014, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/24/unblinking-stare.

Abigail Fielding-Smith, “John Kerry Says All those Fired at by Drones in Pakistan are ‘Confirmed Terrorist Targets’—But with 1,675 Unnamed Dead How Do We Know?” Bureau of Investigative Journalism, October 23, 2014, https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/10/23/john-kerry-says-all-those-fired-at-by-drones-in-pakistan-are-confirmed-terrorist-targets-but-with-1675-unnamed-dead-how-do-we-know/.

Jack Serle, “Only 4% of Drone Victims in Pakistan Named as al Qaeda Members,” Bureau of Investigative Journalism, October 16, 2014, https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/namingthedead/only-4-of-drone-victims-in-pakistan-named-as-al-qaeda-members/?lang=en.

Jeremy Scahill, “Germany is the Tell-Tale Heart of America’s Drone War,” Intercept, April 17, 2015, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/17/ramstein/.

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail

Why Do All of the Pentagon’s ‘Successes’ in Iraq Look More Like Failures?

By Nick Turse | The Nation


The only thing the US military has succeeded at is believing its own propaganda. Nick Turse

There’s good news coming out of Iraq… again. The efforts of a 65-nation coalition and punishing U.S. airstrikes have helped local ground forces roll back gains by the Islamic State (IS).

Government forces and Shiite militias, for example, recaptured the city of Tikrit, while Kurdish troops ousted IS fighters from the town of Sinjar and other parts of northern Iraq. Last month, Iraqi troops finally pushed Islamic State militants out of most of the city of Ramadi, which the group had held since routing Iraqi forces there last spring.

In the wake of all this, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter touted “the kind of progress that the Iraqi forces are exhibiting in Ramadi, building on that success to… continue the campaign with the important goal of retaking Mosul as soon as possible.”  Even more recently, he said those forces were “proving themselves not only motivated but capable.”  I encountered the same upbeat tone when I asked Colonel Steve Warren, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, about the Iraqi security forces.  “The last year has been a process of constructing, rebuilding, and refitting the Iraqi army,” he explained. “While it takes time for training and equipping efforts to take effect, the increasing tactical confidence and competence of the ISF [Iraqi security forces] and their recent battlefield successes indicate that we are on track.”

“Progress.”  “Successes.”  “On track.”  “Increasing tactical confidence and competence.”  It all sounded very familiar to me.

By September 2012, after almost a decade at the task, the U.S. had allocated and spent nearly $25 billion on “training, equipping, and sustaining” the Iraqi security forces, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.  Along the way, a parade of generals, government officials, and Pentagon spokesmen had offered up an almost unending stream of good news about the new Iraqi Army.  Near constant reports came in of “remarkable,” “big,” even “enormous” progress for a force that was said to be exuding increasing “confidence,” and whose performance was always improving.  In the end, the U.S. claimed to have trained roughly 950,000 members of the “steady,” “solid,” Iraqi security forces.

And yet just two and a half years after the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, that same force collapsed in spectacular fashion in the face of assaults by Islamic State militants who, by CIA estimates, numbered no more than 31,000 in all.  In June 2014, for example, 30,000 U.S.-trained Iraqi troops abandoned their equipment and in some cases even their uniforms, fleeing as few as 800 Islamic State fighters, allowing IS to capture Mosul, the second largest city in the country.

Blaming the Victim

“When U.S. forces departed Iraq in 2011, it was after helping the Iraqi government create an entirely new Iraqi Security Force following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime,” Major Curtis Kellogg, a spokesman with U.S. Central Command, explained to me last year.  It almost sounded as if the old regime had toppled of its own accord, a new government had arisen, and the U.S. had generously helped build a military for it.  In reality, of course, a war of choice — based on trumped up claims of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction — led to a U.S. occupation and the conscious decision to dissolve Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein’s military and create a new army in the American mold.  “[T]he Iraqi security forces were a fully functioning element of the Iraq Government,” Kellogg continued, explaining how such an Iraqi military collapse could occur in 2014.  “However, the military standards established and left in place were allowed to atrophy following the departure of U.S. troops.”

More recently, Colonel Steve Warren brought up another problem with Iraq’s forces in an email to me.  “The Iraqi army that we left in 2011 was an army that had been trained for counterinsurgency. That means route clearance, checkpoint operations, and IED [improvised explosive device] reduction, for example.  The Iraqi army that collapsed in 2014 was… not trained and… not ready for a conventional fight — the conventional assault that ISIL brought to Mosul and beyond.”

Both Kellogg and Warren stopped short of saying what seems obvious to many.  Kalev Sepp, the adviser to two top American generals in Iraq and a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and counterterrorism, shows no such hesitation. “We had 12 years to train the Iraqi Army… We failed.  It’s obvious.  So when this lightly-armed insurgent group, the so-called Islamic State, invaded the country, the Iraqi army collapsed in front of it.” 

It’s taken billions of dollars and a year and a half of air strikes, commando raids, advice, and training to begin to reverse the Islamic State’s gains.  According to Warren, the U.S. and its partners have once again trained more than 17,500 ISF troops, with another 2,900 currently in the pipeline.  And once again we’re hearing about their successes. Secretary of Defense Carter, for example, called the fight for Ramadi “a significant step forward in the campaign to defeat this barbaric group,” while Secretary of State John Kerry claimed the Islamic State had “suffered a major defeat” there.

Still, the tiny terror group seems to have no difficulty recruiting new troops, is ramping up attacks in the district of Haditha, carrying out complex attacks in Baghdad and the town of Muqdadiya, and continues to hold about 57,000 square miles of Syrian and Iraqi territory, including Mosul. With questions already being raised by Pentagon insiders about just how integral the Iraqi security forces were to the retaking of Ramadi and doubts about their ability to clear cities like Mosul, it’s worth taking a look back at all those upbeat reports of “progress” during the previous U.S. effort to build an Iraqi Army from scratch.

Nothing “Succeeds” Like “Success”

After the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein’s government in April 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Bush administration began remaking the battered nation from the ground up.  One of the first acts of L. Paul Bremer III, the top American civilian official in the occupied country, was to dissolve Iraq’s military.  His plan: to replace Saddam Hussein’s 350,000-man army with a lightly armed border protection force that would peak at around 40,000 soldiers, supplemented by police and civil defense forces.  In an instant, hundreds of thousands of well-trained soldiers were unemployed, providing a ready source of fighters for a future insurgency.

“In less than six months we have gone from zero Iraqis providing security to their country to close to a hundred thousand Iraqis… Indeed, the progress has been so swift that… it will not be long before [the Iraqi security forces] will… outnumber the U.S. forces,” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld suggested in a cheery assessment in October 2003.

Major General Paul Eaton, tasked with rebuilding the Iraqi Army, similarly articulated his upbeat vision for the force.  Schooled by Americans in “fundamental soldier and leadership skills” and outfitted with all the accoutrements of modern Western troops, including body armor and night-vision equipment, the new military would be committed to “defend[ing] Iraq and its new-found freedom,” he announced at a Baghdad briefing in January 2004.  Soon, Iraqis would even take over the task of instruction.  “I would like to emphasize that this will be an Iraqi Army, trained by Iraqis,” he said. “As Iraq is reborn,” he added, “we believe that her armed forces can lead the way in unifying” the country.

“Paul Eaton and his team did an extraordinary amount for the Iraqi Security Force mission,” his successor Lieutenant General David Petraeus would say a couple of years later.  “They established a solid foundation on which we were able to build as the effort was expanded very substantially and resourced at a much higher level.”

Retired Special Forces officer Kalev Sepp, who traveled to Iraq as an adviser five times, had a different assessment. “General Eaton was direct in letting me know that he wanted to be remembered as the father of the new Iraqi Army,” he told me. “I thought his approach was conceptually wrong,” Sepp recalled, noting that Eaton “understood his mission was to create an army to defend Iraq from foreign invasion, but he completely overlooked the internal insurgency.” (A request to interview Eaton, sent to the American Security Project, a Washington D.C.-based think tank with which the retired general is affiliated, went unanswered.)

General Eaton would later blame the Bush administration for initial setbacks in the performance of the Iraqi Army, thanks to poor prewar planning and insufficient resources for the job.  “We set out to man, train, and equip an army for a country of 25 million — with six men,” General Eaton told the New York Times in 2006.  He did, however, accept personal responsibility for the most visible of its early failures, the mutiny of a freshly minted Iraqi battalion en route to its first battle in April 2004.

In the years that followed, America’s Iraq exploded into violence as Sunni and Shiite militants battled each other, the U.S. occupiers, and the U.S.-backed Baghdad government.  On the fly, U.S. officials came up with new plans to build a large, conventional, heavily armed force to secure Iraq in the face of sectarian strife, multiple raging insurgencies, and ultimately civil war.  “The Iraqi military and police forces expanded rapidly from 2004 to 2006, adapting to the counterinsurgency mission,” according to a report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.  As chaos spread and death tolls rose, estimates of the necessary numbers of Iraqi troops, proposals concerning the right types of weapons systems for them, and training stratagems for building the army were amended, adjusted, and revised, again and again.  There was, however, one constant: praise.

In September 2005, as violence was surging and more than 1,400 civilians were being killed in attacks across the country, General George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multinational Force-Iraq, reported that the security forces were “progressing and continuing to take a more prominent role in defending their country.”  He repeatedly emphasized that training efforts were on track — a sentiment seconded by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.  “Every single day, the Iraqi security forces are getting bigger and better and better trained and better equipped and more experienced,” he said.

“I think we did a very effective job of training the Iraqi military recruits that were brought to us,” Casey told me last year, reflecting on U.S. efforts during his two and a half years in command.  The trouble, he said, was with the Iraqis.  “The political situation in Iraq through 2007 and even to this day is such that the leadership of the Iraqi government and the military never could instill the loyalty of the troops in the government.”

At the time, however, American generals emphasized progress over problems.  After Petraeus finished his own stint heading the training effort, he was effusive in his praise. “The bottom line up front that I’d like to leave with you today is that there has been enormous progress with the Iraqi security forces over the course of the past 16 months in the face of a brutal insurgency,” he boasted in October 2005, adding that “considerable work” still lay ahead. “Iraqi security force readiness has continued to grow with each passing week.  You can take a percentage off every metric that’s out there, whatever you want — training, equipping, infrastructure reconstruction, units in the fight, schools, academies reestablished — you name it — and what has been accomplished… would still be remarkable.”  (Messages seeking an interview sent to Petraeus at Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co., the investment firm where he serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute, were not answered.)

In November 2005, President Bush voiced the same sentiments.  “As the Iraqi security forces stand up, their confidence is growing,” he told midshipmen at the Naval Academy.  “And they’re taking on tougher and more important missions on their own.”  By the following February, General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was similarly lauding that military, claiming “the progress that they’ve made over this last year has been enormous.”

The next month, Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey, who succeeded Petraeus as commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I) and later served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, chimed in with glowing praise: “What we’re seeing now is progress on a three-year investment in Iraq’s security forces.  It’s been a big investment, and it’s yielding big progress.”

I asked retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations emeritus at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, how so many American officials could have seen so much progress from a force that would later collapse so rapidly and spectacularly.  “I think there’s a psychological need to see progress and, of course, it’s helpful to parrot the party line.  I do think that, psychologically, you need to be able to persuade yourself that your hard-earned efforts — this time spent away from home in lousy conditions — actually produced something positive.”

Kalev Sepp, who traveled all over Iraq talking to the commanders of more than 30 U.S. units while conducting a seminal counterinsurgency study known simply as the “COIN Survey,” told me that when he asked about the progress of the Iraqi units they were working with, U.S. officers invariably linked it to their own tour of duty. “Almost every commander said exactly the same thing.  If the commander had six months left in his tour, the Iraqis would be combat-capable in six months.  If the commander had four months left, then the Iraqis would be ready in four months.  Was a commander going to say ‘I won’t accomplish my mission.  I’m not going to be done on time’?  All the other units were saying their Iraqis were going to be fully trained.  Who was going to be the one commander who said ‘I don’t think my Iraqi unit is really ready’?”

Official praise continued as insurgencies raged across the country and monthly civilian death tolls regularly exceeded 2,000, even topping 3,000 in 2006 and 2007.  “The Iraqi security force continues to develop and grow, assisted by embedded transition teams,” Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, commander of the Multinational Corps-Iraq, announced to the press in May 2007.  “Yes, there are still problems within the Iraqi security forces — some sectarian, some manning, and some to do with equipping.  But progress is being made, and it’s steady.”  A 2008 Pentagon review also indicated remarkable progress with 102 out of 169 Iraqi battalions being declared “capable of planning, executing, and sustaining counterinsurgency operations with or without Iraqi or coalition support,” up from just 24 battalions in 2005.

Years later, Odierno, still in charge of the command, then known as United States Forces-Iraq, continued to tout improvement.  “Clearly there’s still some violence, and we still need to make more progress in Iraq,” he told reporters in July 2010. “But Iraqi security forces have taken responsibility for security throughout Iraq, and they continue to grow and improve every day.”

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, was also upbeat, noting in 2010 that the $21.3 billion already spent to build up the then-660,000-man security force had “begun to pay off significantly.”  Don Cooke, head of the State Department’s Iraq assistance office, agreed.  “We have built an Iraqi security force which is capable of maintaining internal security in Iraq… And four or five or six years ago, there were people who were saying it was going to take decades.”

In October 2011, as U.S. forces were preparing to end eight years of occupation, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta offered up his own mission-accomplished assessment.  “You know, the one thing… we have seen is that Iraq has developed a very good capability to be able to defend itself.  We’ve taken out now about a hundred thousand [U.S.] troops [from Iraq], and yet the level of violence has remained relatively low.  And I think that’s a reflection of the fact that the Iraqis have developed a very important capability here to be able to respond to security threats within their own country,” he said of the by then 930,000-man security forces.

Winners and Losers

As the U.S. was training recruits at bases all over Iraq — including Camp Bucca, where Iraqi cadets attended a U.S.-run course for prison guards — another force was also taking shape.  For years, U.S.-run prison camps were decried by many as little more than recruiting and training sites for would-be insurgents, with innocents — angered by arbitrary and harsh detentions — housed alongside hardcore militants.  But Camp Bucca proved to be even more dangerous than that.  It became the incubator not just for an insurgency, but for a proto-state, the would-be caliphate that now lords over significant portions of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

[Read more here]

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty.

The Hypocrisy of Politicians With Armed Security-Who Wish it For No One Else

By Jon Rappoport |* No More Fake News


Logic, polemic, non-sequiturs, popcorn, and burning-ass syndrome

If you can’t have guns, you can have mind control

Who is the ‘we’ in ‘we have to stop killing each other’

“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.” (William Burroughs, Grand Street no. 37, 1992)

Let me state, for the record, that I’m not in favor of selling guns at 7-Elevens or from street vending machines. There are, however, a few nagging questions about gun ownership I want to scratch, claw, and flagellate, so follow along as I try to take apart a weird, wacky, and wonderful subject.

We’ve all heard this one: if a politician wants to disarm the public, he should give up his own security protection. See how he likes it.

What is it about politicians that gives them a special right to have armed professionals stalk their perimeter and mumble into their collars?

I can think of two reasons. One, pols are important. We need them. We need them more than we need, say, electricians or plumbers or pizza delivery boys or dentists.

I fail to admire the class distinction. And that’s putting it generously. In the overwhelming number of cases, the wounding or killing of a politician would result in another pol, very much like him, moving in to take his place. The new entry would vote along party lines, at the instruction of his superiors. He would commit the same unconscionable actions. He would display the same level of incompetence. Or, if you believe politicians are honorable and even insightful, then surely a pol who is taken out of action could be replaced by another who is endowed with the same admirable qualities.

The second reason: top-tier politicians are very visible. They’re widely known. They’re celebrities. As such, they attract crazies. Therefore, they need security.

Ah, but wait. It starts to get tricky here. What about famous actors and athletes? They, too, have many fans, a small percentage of whom are nuts. These private-sector celebs hire their own guards. They can afford to.

But…many politicians don’t have that kind of money. Therefore, they need government to pay for the hired guns, who are other government employees.

So follow this…if money, no-money is the only distinction here, then rich politicians should certainly pay for their own private guards.

In which case, government regulations should be issued that spell out the level of wealth, the demarcation line. A politician who has at least X assets to his name must hire his own protection. Anything below that and he can avail himself of government help. That makes sense, or am I missing something?

I’d like to see John Heinz Kerry sweep into town with his own private muscle. You know, guys with heavy auto-weapons held across their black undershirts. Maybe a band, too, blasting a Springsteen cover. Just for show. Hillary, on the other hand, could go with an all-girl phalanx of Amazons packing sawed offs. With a few drones overhead. I suspect the President has enough cash stashed away by now to afford his own security. He could go straight Sinaloa, or maybe he’d do a mix of cartel soldiers and Syrian “moderate rebels.”

Of course, there’s always the argument that politicians are under extraordinary threat from foreign enemies, and that’s why they require the kind of government protection plain citizens don’t need. As a counter to that, I would simply offer the gun-violence statistics of America. For some esoteric reason, it turns out that people no one has ever heard of are most likely to become shooting victims.

In any case, no one is supposed to protect himself. That’s for sure. It would be vile, ugly. We expect criminals to shoot people. We’re ready for that. But if a law-biding citizen suddenly fires a weapon, in order, for example, to stay alive, it’s an offense to our sensibilities. It looks bad. He could have been shooting bullets for the wrong reason, and even though he wasn’t, the mere suggestion of it is enough to disturb us. We’ve been “triggered,” psychologically. We are the victims. And we must demand justice.

Sidebar: Maybe celebrity actors should have Secret Service protection. Turn the tables. Just for fun, award the actor with the highest grossing film of the year Secret Service minders. Throw in a few Seals and Deltas for good measure. Army Rangers live in a house next to his house. Marines do double shifts at the local Whole Foods. A bad review of his next movie, and a CIA media specialist places a call to the newspaper’s publisher.

Here’s something that would highlight a point. Choose one of the adamant reporters or columnists who want to disarm all private citizens everywhere, and set him up in a small apartment in a high-crime area. Let him test the response time of the local police. Just a random idea.

Sidebar: How about this? The President and his cabinet, armed to the teeth, guard LeBron James night and day.

I know I’m wandering off-subject a bit, but possibilities are blooming. For example, instead of an actual (phony) Presidency, make the Office into a blockbuster movie, and in the movie the commander-in-chief has a bevy of film tough guys at his beck and call. Jason Statham, Stallone, The Arnold. Now you can have assassination attempts, attacks on the White House, bombs exploding, and car chases. Show some serious action. It’s what the people want.

Or in real life, just go straight for the throat. Declare a national state of emergency, forbid anyone from going outside after 6pm, require all Americans, at the age of 18, to serve seven years in militarized police forces across the land. Do ongoing house to house searches, remove all guns. Close gun shops. Shut down weapons manufacturers. Only the cops and the military have guns. Well, the criminals do, too, but we need them to justify the existence of the expanded national police.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “Politicians’ class-privilege: armed security”

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty.

Why Did Ted Cruz’s Mass Murder Proposal Win Him Higher Poll Numbers?

By Rick Shenkman | * The Nation

'Perpetrators of hate crimes often take their cues from what they hear in the media,' writes Reich. 'And the recent inclination of some politicians to use inflammatory rhetoric is contributing to a climate of hate and fear.' (Photo: CBS News)

Editor’s Note: Ex-President Richard Nixon gave orders that ultimately killed close to 1 million Cambodians & Laotians just because the Viet Cong might have been there during the Vietnam War. Candidate Ted Cruz brought back the ugly & pathological notion of carpet bombing in a recent debate. While not necessarily surprising in the midst of Donald Trump’s candidacy, seemingly working out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook as well as our sitting president’s use of daily drone strikes in numerous countries and a disregard for Due Process in the War on Terror; it is shameful to see Cruz’s poll numbers nonetheless on the rise. How can Americans become more in touch with their humanity and not cave in to fear which could allow genocide to happen again? This article explores this important issue.

Storytelling happens to be in every human’s toolkit. We are all born storytellers and attentive listeners. Biology may incline us to turn a cold eye on the suffering of people we can’t see and don’t know, but stories can liberate us. Ted Cruz may be able to build up his poll numbers by promising to carpet bomb foreigners in the Middle East of whom we are fearful, but at least we know that biology doesn’t have to dictate our response. Our brains don’t have to stay in the Stone Age. Stories can change us, if we start telling them. Rick Shenkman

After Senator Ted Cruz suggested that the United States begin carpet bombing Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria, the reaction was swift. Hillary Clinton mocked candidates who use “bluster and bigotry.” Jeb Bush insisted the idea was “foolish.” Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, tweeted: “You can’t carpet bomb an insurgency out of existence. This is just silly.”

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.

When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer objected that Cruz’s proposal would lead to lots of civilian casualties, the senator retorted somewhat incoherently: “You would carpet bomb where ISIS is—not a city, but the location of the troops. You use air power directed—and you have embedded special forces to direction the air power. But the object isn’t to level a city. The object is to kill the ISIS terrorists.” PolitiFact drily noted that Cruz apparently didn’t understand what the process of carpet (or “saturation”) bombing entails. By definition, it means bombing a wide area regardless of the human cost.

By almost any standard, Cruz’s proposal was laughable, and his rivals and the media called him on it. What happened next? By all rights, after such a mixture of inanity and ruthlessness, not to say bloody-mindedness against civilian populations, his poll numbers should have begun to sag. After all, he’d just flunked the commander-in-chief test and what might have seemed like a test of his humanity as well. In fact, his poll numbers actually crept up. The week before the imbroglio, an ABC opinion poll had registered him at 15 percent nationally. By the following week, he was up to 18 percent, and one poll even had him at a resounding 24 percent.

How to explain this? While many factors can affect a candidate’s polling numbers, one uncomfortable conclusion can’t be overlooked when it comes to reactions to Cruz’s comments: by and large, Americans don’t think or care much about the real-world consequences of the unleashing of American air power or that of our allies. The other day, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that, in September and October, a Saudi Arabian coalition backed by the United States “carried out at least six apparently unlawful airstrikes in residential areas of the [Yemeni] capital,” Sana’a. The attacks resulted in the deaths of 60 civilians. Just about no one in the United States took notice, nor was it given significant media coverage. More than likely, this is the first time you’ve heard about the HRW findings.

You might think that this is because the conflict in Yemen is off our national radar screen. But how much attention have Americans paid to US air strikes and bombing runs in Iraq? Washington has literally been bombing Iraq on and off for twelve years and yet few have taken much notice. That helps explain why bombing is such an attractive option for Washington any time trouble breaks out in the world. Americans don’t seem to care much what goes on when our bombs or missiles hit the ground. As pollsters found recently, a surprising number of Americans even want to bomb places that can’t be found on a map. When Public Policy Polling asked GOP voters in mid-December if they favored bombing Agrabah, 30 percent said they did (as did 19 percent of Democrats), while only 13 percent opposed the idea. Agrabah is the fictional city featured in the Disney movie Aladdin.

Would you support or oppose bombing Agrabah?
Support bombing Agrabah: 30%
Oppose bombing Agrabah: 13%
Not sure: 57%

That 57 percent were “not sure” might be considered at least modestly (but not wildly) reassuring.

Why Cruz’s Numbers Rose

History suggests that this blanket bloodthirstiness or at least lack of empathy for those on the other end of America’s bombing campaigns isn’t new. In March 1951, nine months into the Korean War, Freda Kirchwey, a crusading liberal journalist at The Nation, expressed bewilderment at American indifference to the fate of Korean civilians killed by our bombs. The destruction was awful. Little was left standing, structurally speaking, in North Korea. Nothing, she complained in a column, “excuses the terrible shambles created up and down the Korean peninsula by the American-led forces, by American planes raining down napalm and fire bombs, and by heavy land and naval artillery.” And yet few seemed bothered by it.

Because she was an optimist Kirchwey expressed the hope that Americans would eventually come to share her own moral anguish at what was being done in their name. They never did. If anything, the longer the war ground on, the less Americans seemed interested in the fate of the victims of our bombing.

Why did they show so little empathy? Science helps provide us with an answer and it’s a disturbing one: empathy grows harder as distances—whether of status, geography, or both—increase. Think of it as a matter of our Stone Age brains. It’s hard because in many circumstances an empathic response is, in fact, an unnatural act. It is not natural, it turns out, for us to feel empathy for those who look different and speak a different language. It is not natural for us to empathize with those who are invisible to us, as most bombing victims were and are. Nor is it natural for us to feel empathy for people who have what social scientists call “low status” in our eyes, as did the Korean peasants we were killing. Recent studies show that, faced with a choice of killing a single individual to save the lives of several people, we are far more apt to consider doing it if the individual we are sacrificing is of such low status. When subjects in an experiment are told that high-status people are being saved, the number willing to let the low-status victim die actually increases.

Another social science finding helps us understand why empathy is often in short supply and why Ted Cruz is capable of cavalierly recommending we carpet bomb Syrians living under the control of the Islamic State. Once we have convinced ourselves of the necessity and correctness of bombing the hell out of a country—as Americans did during the Korean War and as we are now doing in our war against IS—the wiring in our Stone Age brain helps us overcome any hint of guilt we might be inclined to feel over the ensuing loss of life. It quite naturally acts to dehumanize the distant victims of our air strikes.

This is a classic case of cognitive dissonance. Our brain hates to feel torn between conflicting emotions. Instead it rationalizes doing what we want to do by discounting any feeling that gives rise to negative emotions, in this case, guilt. An extreme example of this was what happened when the Nazis decided to stigmatize Jews and later wipe them out. From the moment they began their ruthless anti-Semitic campaigns, they used hideous imagery to convince other Germans that Jews were not, like them, human at all, but little different than rats. It is, of course, far easier to kill someone, or to sit by while others do the same, if you dehumanize them first. Rather than feeling empathy for the downtrodden Jews, many Germans felt contempt and disgust, strong emotions that swamped whatever other feelings they might have had.

[Read more here]

* Originally entitled: “Ted Cruz’s Poll Numbers Rose After He Proposed Carpet Bombing. How do we explain Americans’ lack of empathy for those on the other end of our bombing campaigns?”

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty.

U.S. Dropped 23,144 Bombs in 2015 Under Command of Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Obama

U.S. bombs middle east

By Adam Johnson | AlterNet

Council of Foreign Relations resident skeptic Micah Zenko recently tallied up how many bombs the United States has dropped on other countries and the results are as depressing as one would think. Zenko figured that since Jan. 1, 2015, the U.S. has dropped around 23,144 bombs on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, all countries that are majority Muslim.

Related Article: Atrocities Committed in the Name of the American Empire (Chris Hedges)

The chart, provided by the generally pro-State Department think tank, puts in stark terms how much destruction the U.S. has leveled on other countries. Whether or not one thinks such bombing is justified, it’s a blunt illustration of how much raw damage the United States inflicts on the Muslim world:

Sources: Estimate based upon Combined Forces Air Component Commander 2010-2015 Airpower Statistics; Information requested from CJTF-Operation Inherent Resolve Public Affairs Office, January 7, 2016; New America Foundation (NAF); Long War Journal (LWJ); The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

It does not appear to be working either. Despite the fact that the U.S. dropped 947 bombs in Afghanistan in 2015, a recent analysis in Foreign Policy magazine found that the Taliban control more territory in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001. The U.S. has entered its 16th year of war in Afghanistan despite several promises by the Obama administration to withdraw. In October of last year, President Obama reversed his position and decided to keep American troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2017.

Related Article: The West’s Latest Phony Military Narrative Is Aimed Directly At You

The last four U.S. presidents have bombed Iraq, and that includes the current one since airstrikes were launched on Aug. 7, 2014. The war against ISIS was originally framed as a “limited,” “humanitarian” intervention. Since then, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has insisted it will be a “30-year war” and the White House has spoken vaguely of a “long-term effort” in both Iraq and Syria.

Related Article: MUST SEE VIDEO: Former Drone Pilots Blow Whistle On “Morally Outrageous” Program


Atrocities Committed in the Name of the American Empire (Chris Hedges)

 As Indonesia’s former President Suharto lay ill in 2008, a supporter displayed a portrait of him outside the Jakarta hospital where the military dictator died two weeks later. It was in Suharto’s brutal three-decade reign that Indonesia invaded East Timor, where investigative journalist Allan Nairn covered atrocities the general’s troops committed. (Vincent Thian / AP)

As Indonesia’s former President Suharto lay ill in 2008, a supporter displayed a portrait of him outside the Jakarta hospital where the military dictator died two weeks later. It was in Suharto’s brutal three-decade reign that Indonesia invaded East Timor, where investigative journalist Allan Nairn covered atrocities the general’s troops committed. (Vincent Thian / AP)

By Chris Hedges | Truth Dig

Terror, intimidation and violence are the glue that holds empire together. Aerial bombardment, drone and missile attacks, artillery and mortar strikes, targeted assassinations, massacres, the detention of tens of thousands, death squad killings, torture, wholesale surveillance, extraordinary renditions, curfews, propaganda, a loss of civil liberties and pliant political puppets are the grist of our wars and proxy wars.

Related Article: ‘I Helped Create ISIS’: Iraq War Veteran Says US policy Caused ‘Blowback’ in Middle East

Countries we seek to dominate, from Indonesia and Guatemala to Iraq and Afghanistan, are intimately familiar with these brutal mechanisms of control. But the reality of empire rarely reaches the American public. The few atrocities that come to light are dismissed as isolated aberrations. The public is assured what has been uncovered will be investigated and will not take place again. The goals of empire, we are told by a subservient media and our ruling elites, are virtuous and noble. And the vast killing machine grinds forward, feeding, as it has always done, the swollen bank accounts of defense contractors and corporations that exploit natural resources and cheap labor around the globe.

There are very few journalists who have covered empire with more courage, tenacity and integrity than Allan Nairn. For more than three decades, he has reported from Central America, East Timor, Palestine, South Africa, Haiti and Indonesia—where Indonesian soldiers fractured his skull and arrested him. His reporting on the Indonesian government massacres in East Timor saw him branded a “threat to national security” and officially banned from occupied East Timor. Nairn returned clandestinely to East Timor on numerous occasions. His dogged reporting of torture and killing of civilians by the Indonesian military contributed to the U.S. Congress suspending military aid to Jakarta in 1993. He exposed U.S. complicity with death squads and paramilitary organizations carrying out murderous rampages in El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti. During the 2014 presidential elections in Indonesia, where he spends much of his time, Nairn was threatened with arrest for exposing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s role in atrocities. Nairn’s reporting on army massacres was an important component in the trial of former Guatemalan President Efrain Ríos Montt. Gen. Montt ordered the killing of over 1,700 people in the Ixil region of the country in the early 1980s and was convicted in 2013 of genocide and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison. The conviction was later overturned.

Related Article: Ripping Up the Rulebook: Israel’s Unlawful Killings

Nairn, whom I spoke with in New York, reaches back to the genocide carried out against Native Americans, the institution of slavery and the murder of hundreds of workers and labor union organizers in the 19th and early 20th century to explain the roots of American imperial violence. He noted that, although wholesale massacres have become taboo on American soil in recent generations, the FBI was carrying out selective assassinations of black radicals, including Fred Hampton, in the 1960s. And police show little constraint in gunning down unarmed people of color in poor communities.

But overseas there are no restrictions. The indiscriminate slaughter of real or imagined opponents is considered a prerogative of imperial power. Violence is the primary language we use to speak to the rest of the world. Equivalents of Wounded Knee and My Lai take place beyond our borders with an unacknowledged frequency.

“To this day,” Nairn said, “it is politically permissible for U.S. forces to carry out or sponsor assassinations of civilians—students, journalists, religious leaders, peasant organizers, whomever. In fact, in U.S. politics, if presidents are reluctant, or seem reluctant to do this, they get castigated. They get called a wimp. George Bush Sr. came under vicious attack when he attempted through covert means to mount a coup in Panama against [Manuel] Noriega and it failed. And there was a cover [of Newsweek, with the headline ‘Fighting the “Wimp Factor” ’] where they were attacking Bush Sr. for not being strong enough.”

Related Article: The West’s Latest Phony Military Narrative Is Aimed Directly At You

“I think it was within a week after that he invaded Panama formally, an invasion that included the burning of the neighborhood called El Chorrillo, where hundreds were killed, a poor neighborhood. The New York Times then ran a front-page analysis by R.W. Apple which said that Bush Sr. had completed his presidential initiation rite by demonstrating his willingness to shed blood,” Nairn went on. “Not his own blood, but the blood of foreigners, including of foreign civilians.”


ISIS: The ‘Enemy’ the US Created, Armed, and Funded

ISIS tank - who funded it

By Robert Fantina | The Anti Media

To delve into Daesh’s convoluted money trail, one must first explore its equally convoluted origins. And in both areas, the role of the U.S. and its allies can not be ignored.

(MINTPRESSOut of nowhere, it seems, Daesh, also commonly referred to as ISIL or ISIS, spontaneously formed, a group that perverts aspects of Islam for its own violent ends, and threatens, we are told, all that the civilized world holds dear.

The “war on terror,” governments inform their citizens, has a new front. And that front is Daesh.

Let us not be too hasty. Things are not always what they appear. Daesh is well-financed, and that money must be coming from somewhere other than a ragtag band of malcontents. Daesh soldiers have advanced weaponry and sophisticated communications methods. They have tanks and Humvees. None of these can be obtained without significant funding. Though the source is quite illusive, there is some evidence that will lead to a trail.

Related Article: ‘I Helped Create ISIS’: Iraq War Veteran Says US policy Caused ‘Blowback’ in Middle East

First, we must look at Daesh’s origins, and even that is not easily discernible. Writing for The Guardian in August 2014, Ali Khedery suggests:

“Principally, Isis is the product of a genocide that continued unabated as the world stood back and watched. It is the illegitimate child born of pure hate and pure fear – the result of 200,000 murdered Syrians and of millions more displaced and divorced from their hopes and dreams. Isis’s rise is also a reminder of how Bashar al-Assad’s Machiavellian embrace of al-Qaida would come back to haunt him.

Facing Assad’s army and intelligence services, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iraq’s Shia Islamist militias and their grand patron, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Syria’s initially peaceful protesters quickly became disenchanted, disillusioned and disenfranchised – and then radicalised and violently militant.”

It is interesting that Mr. Khedery says that Assad’s “embrace of al-Qaida” came back to haunt him. It brings to mind a parallel situation in the United States. (Actually, there are many, but we will look at only one.)

Examining the theories of the origins of Daesh

In the early 1960s, when the U.S.-supported leadership of Iraq was becoming just a bit too big for its britches — at least in the United States’ view — in wanting to challenge Israel as a major player in the Middle East, the U.S. decided that its leader, Abdel Karim Kassem, had to go. Selecting a virulent anti-communist party to throw its support to, the U.S. worked closely with a young man named Saddam Hussein. We all know how well that ultimately worked out. The source of much, but not all, of the unrest in the Middle East today can be traced back to that U.S. decision.

Other theories on the formation of Daesh are also worth considering. Yasmina Haifi, a senior employee of the Dutch Justice Ministry’s National Cyber Security Center, asserted that Daesh was created by Zionists seeking to give Islam a bad reputation. “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name,” she wrote on Twitter in August 2014.

And finally, it has been more than suggested that Daesh “is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region,” as Garikai Chengu, a research scholar at Harvard University, put it in September 2014.

Yet if the United States’ role wasn’t that blatant, it certainly existed, according to Seumas Milne, a columnist and associate editor at The Guardian. He argued in a June opinion piece:

“[T]he U.S. and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of ‘Islamic state’ – despite the ‘grave danger’ to Iraq’s unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.”

No matter how one looks at it, there are many possible causes that spawned Daesh. As we look at its funding sources, it may all become clearer.

Related Article: UN Calls on World to Fight ISIS

Funding and materiel, courtesy of Uncle Sam and his friends

In Daesh’s role as opposing Syria (just one of its many roles) the terrorist outfit is believed to have received funding from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as part of their opposition to the Assad regime.

But it also generates its own income, having taken control of local businesses, taxing others, and selling oil. Among its customers, incredibly, is Syria. Since Daesh controls much of the oil-production infrastructure in the country, Syria has little choice but to purchase oil from the very group that seeks to overthrow its government.

Reports also indicate that Israel is a main buyer of Daesh oil. The sale is not direct; oil is smuggled by Kurdish and Turkish smugglers, and then Turkish and Israeli negotiators determine the price. As a result of these oil sales, Daesh has annual revenues estimated at $500 million, according to data compiled by the U.S. Treasury.

In November of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Daesh is being financed by at least 40 countries — including G20 members. With such widespread financing, it will be difficult to defeat Deash.

The U.S., in its misguided and destructive foreign policy toward the Middle East (its misguided and destructive foreign policies toward the rest of the world are topics for a separate discussion), also provided Daesh with a vast arsenal.

Last year, the Department of Defense, bragging about advances against this new “enemy” in Iraq, issued a press release: “The three strikes destroyed three ISIL armed vehicles, and ISIL vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft artillery gun, an ISIL checkpoint and an IED emplacement.” Commenting on that statement in Alternet, Alex Kane wrote:

“What went unmentioned by the Pentagon is that those armed vehicles and artillery guns they bombed were likely paid for with American tax dollars. The arms ISIS possesses are another grim form of blowback from the American invasion of the country (Iraq) in 2003. It’s similar to how U.S. intervention in Libya, which overthrew the dictator Muammar Gaddafi but also destabilized the country,  let to a flood of arms to militants in Mali, where France and the U.S. waged war in 2013.”

The U.S. left untold amounts of weaponry in Iraq, and as that country descended into civil war following the United States’ odd salvation of it, that weaponry was free for the taking.

So even if, as suggested above, the U.S. didn’t give birth to Daesh, it has certainly nourished it.

A merry-go-round that never stops spinning

It is interesting to note that U.S. taxpayers are spending $615,482 every hour to fight a “war” in which the “enemy” is being well-financed by countries with whom the U.S. has full diplomatic relations. Does this not make it appear that “victory” over this enemy is not the goal? With many countries financing and supplying Daesh, might the world’s largest supplier of weaponry, the U.S., not be too interested in losing such a lucrative market? It’s worth noting that the United States’ “foreign military sales rose to a record high of $46.6 billion for fiscal 2015.” With such a healthy cash cow, would the country’s power-brokers really want to end war? Why kill the goose that is laying such pretty golden eggs?

As the U.S. and its hapless allies continue this “war on terror,” an ill-defined and nebulous “enemy” if ever there was one, Syria and Yemen seem to be bearing the brunt of the violence. As in every modern war at least since World War I, innocent men, women and children are the most frequent victims, suffering unspeakably and dying horrible deaths. And, somehow, the world’s most powerful military machine, owned and operated by the U.S., is unable to defeat Daesh. It must, therefore, continue to arm its allies, which are arming Daesh. So the U.S. provides funding to countries to fight Deash; some of those countries transfer money and armaments to Daesh, who the U.S. is bombing. And it seems that this deadly merry-go-round will continue its endless spinning.

Related Article: Operation Save ISIS? U.S. Special Forces to Invade Syria As “Advisers” to “Rebels”

And why shouldn’t it? The U.S. can, with ever-decreasing credibility, pretend to stand as a beacon of freedom and liberty, arming revolutionaries and destabilizing governments that displease it, while arming allies of the country in revolution, which in turn assist that country. So this “war on terror” never ends, and neither do the abundant profits from war-making. And when possession of the moral high ground is just an illusion, when rhetoric spewed from the mouths of hypocritical politicians to get the citizenry to wrap themselves in the flag and shed a tear for apple pie, motherhood and Old Glory, and when the almighty dollar is always the bottom line, nothing is going to change.

This article (ISIS: The ‘Enemy’ the US Created, Armed, and Funded) originally appeared on MintPressNews.com and was used with permission. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Read more great articles at The Anti Media.

‘I Helped Create ISIS’: Iraq War Veteran Says US policy Caused ‘Blowback’ in Middle East


Source: RT.com

Saying he had “helped create ISIS,” an Iraq War veteran and US Marine is speaking out about the atrocities and criminal activities he and his fellow soldiers engaged in during the Iraq War, claiming he knew it would lead to “blowback” in the Middle East.

RELATED ARTICLE: Here’s Proof That the U.S. Government Wanted ISIS To Emerge In Syria

Former Marine Vincent Emanuele’s acknowledgement of responsibility comes in an article that was posted on TeleSUR’s English website, in which he hoped to answer the often raised question of “Where did ISIS come from?”

“When I was stationed in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 2003-2005, I didn’t know what the repercussions of the war would be, but I knew there would be a reckoning,” he wrote at TeleSUR. “That retribution, otherwise known as blowback, is currently being experienced around the world (Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, France, Tunisia, California, and so on), with no end in sight.”

Speaking with RT, Emanuele said his enlightenment came on his second tour to Iraq and was the result of a simple question.

“I saw my fellow Marines kill innocent people, torture innocent civilians, destroying property, mutilating dead bodies, running over dead corpses, laughing and photographing people while doing so,” he said. “For me it was very simple. I sat there in Iraq and I asked myself ‘How would I behave?’ ‘What would I think if I was in the shoes of the Iraqi people?’”

In his article, Emanuele described how he and his platoon literally trashed Mesopotamia by throwing garbage out of their Humvee, and pelting children with Skittles, water bottles full of urine, rocks, and debris. He remembers stories told by soldiers of torture carried out on detainees in makeshift detention facilities.

“I vividly remember the marines telling me about punching, slapping, kicking, elbowing, kneeing and head-butting Iraqis. I remember the tales of sexual torture; forcing Iraqi men to perform sexual acts on each other while marines held knives against their testicles, sometimes sodomizing them with batons,” wrote Emanuele.

This would have been at the height of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2003, which came to public attention when Amnesty International published reports of human rights abuses by the US military and its coalition partners at detention centers and prisons in Iraq. One former prisoner of the US who survived was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is now the leader of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Emanuele said he began educating himself during his second tour by talking to family and friends and engaging in the work of anti-war activists and intellectuals like Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Amy Goodman, as well as learning about the activities of groups such as Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Vietnam Veterans against the War. This helped him contextualize his anecdotal experience.

“I knew what I was seeing was wrong, I knew it was immoral, I knew it was unjust, I knew it was illegal,” said Emanuele to RT, “and I knew that we would pay severe consequences in the form of the blowback as we are seeing with groups like ISIS. I knew those things were going to happen back then just from being a self-conscious person.”

He said he had to come to terms with what he had participated in, and that he viewed the war as part of a long history of US aggression that wasn’t just about Iraq and Afghanistan, or the wars in Vietnam or Korea. It goes back to the genocidal practices employed against Native Americans, African-American slaves, and people in South and Latin America.

Emanuele told RT he hoped his article would better inform people – especially in the US – about what the US was doing and is doing around the world. He also said the article had a cathartic purpose.

“A lot of what I write, a lot of what I think about, is done not only for political reasons, not only to hopefully educate and better inform people, but also to help myself. In a very selfish way to keep myself alive and motivated and interested,” said Emanuele.

“All too many victims of war and veterans, particularly these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the broader Middle East, in North Africa and the drone strikes – they are destroying people’s lives. I think the more veterans can come out, particularly veterans in the US and also veterans across the broader West, if they can come out and speak openly and honestly about their experiences overseas, I think the less likely we will be to engage in these wars of aggression.”

Article Source: RT.com

Featured Image Source: “M-14 rifle demonstration” by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, U.S. Army. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

Ron Paul: Let’s Demand Peace in 2016!

Video Source: minnesotachris

By Ron Paul | Ron Paul Institute

Each year more than one trillion dollars goes up in smoke. More accurately, it is stolen from the middle and working classes and shipped off to the one percent. I am talking about the massive yearly bill to maintain the US empire. Washington’s warmongers have sold the lie that the military budget has been gutted under President Obama, but even when the “Sequester” was in effect military spending continued to increase. Only the pace of increase was reduced, not actual spending.

Related Article: The West’s Latest Phony Military Narrative Is Aimed Directly At You

None of this trillion dollars taken from us is spent to keep us safe, despite what politicians say. In fact, this great rip-off actually makes us less safe and more vulnerable to a terrorist attack thanks to resentment overseas at our interventions and to the blowback it produces.

The money is spent to maintain existing conflicts and to create new areas of conflict overseas that in turn feeds the demands for more military spending. It is an endless cycle of theft and deceit.

Billions were spent not long ago overthrowing an elected government in Ukraine and provoking Russia. A new Cold War is a bonanza for the military industrial complex, the pro-war think tanks, and the politicians. NATO is on the move in Eastern Europe, placing heavy weapons right on Russia’s border and then blaming the Russians when they complain about the rising militarism. NATO military exercises on Russia’s border have increased and become more confrontational.

Related Article: Drone War Exposed: Jeremy Scahill on U.S. Kill Program’s Secrets & the Whistleblower Who Leaked Them

In the Middle East, more billions have been spent attempting to overthrow the secular government of Syria over the past five years. The big winners in this grand scheme have been the Islamist extremists, who are funded directly and indirectly by the US and its allies. NATO is planning to go back into Libya, an admission that its 2011 “liberation” of that country has been a disaster.

In Asia, the US empire challenges and provokes China, sending military ships and aircraft into territory China claims in the South China Sea. How much will they continue to escalate before China gets fed up?

The more money sent to the Pentagon and other parts of the Washington war apparatus, the more danger we are in.

Meanwhile, almost all of the presidential candidates promise more military spending and more war if they are elected. Did no one tell them we are broke and making enemies fast with our interventions? Do they think Fed-created money will really continue to fuel the US empire indefinitely?

What are the prospects for a u-turn toward peace and prosperity in 2016? We must be realistic. Presently the numbers are not on our side. But the good news is we do not need a majority to succeed in our fight for peace and liberty. We need only a dedicated and uncompromising critical mass to make great headway.

What can we do to work for peace in 2016? First we must tune out the lying propaganda served up by the US mainstream media. We must educate ourselves so that we can help educate others. We can be sure to tune in and support alternative sources of news and analysis like the Ron Paul Liberty Report, LewRockwell.com, Antiwar.com, and many others. We can tell others about the wealth of truth available to those who seek and question. We must not compromise and never accept the lesser of two evils.

Related Article: What We are Doing Wrong in the Quest For Peace

If the people demand peace, the politicians will follow. Let’s demand peace in 2016!

Read more great articles at The Ron Paul Institute.

Pentagon and NATO Encircle Russia & China (Project Censored #13)

By Jacob Crabtree & Peter Phillips | * Project Censored


In service of corporate capital and with vested interests in the regions’ natural resources, the Pentagon and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have been encircling Russia and China with military bases and missile defense systems, Bruce K. Gagnon reported.

The US has established military bases in Romania and Bulgaria with plans for another in Albania, in an attempt to surround Russia. Bases with missile defense systems are located in Turkey, Poland, and Romania, while US Navy destroyers with comparable capabilities operate in the Black Sea. Similarly, NATO has expanded into Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia on Russia’s border, with talk of Georgia, Sweden, Ukraine, and Finland joining NATO and thus adding to the potential for encirclement. US and NATO deployment is designed to “safeguard oil and gas fields in the [Caspian Sea] region,” according to General James Jones in 2006 when he was NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander.

The US Navy is also preparing to increase its presence in the Arctic, officially to “protect shipping.” However, Senator Angus King (Independent-ME) has observed that previously inaccessible fossil fuels in the Arctic will now be accessible, suggesting that, as in the Caspian Sea region, protection of sea lanes is linked to the potential for increased oil extraction in the Arctic.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: #13 Pentagon and NATO Encircle Russia and China


Bruce K. Gagnon, “The Pentagon’s Strategy for World Domination: Full Spectrum Dominance, from Asia to Africa,” Plymouth Institute for Peace Research, August 20, 2014, https://www.pipr.co.uk/all/the-pentagons-strategy-for-world-domination-full-spectrum-dominance-from-asia-to-africa/.

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com

MUST SEE VIDEO: Former Drone Pilots Blow Whistle On “Morally Outrageous” Program

Video Source: NBC News

Three former Air Force airmen spoke out against the USA’s military drone program in a damning NBC special last week. The men, who have over 20 years’ experience between them, claim the use of drones is “one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world,” and branded them “morally outrageous.”

Related Article: Chilling Testimony from Air Force Drone Operator Compares U.S. Killings to Nazi War Crimes

“People think it’s a video game. But when you fire that missile, there’s no re-start,” says former sensor operator Stephen Lewis, who was active in the Drone Program between 2005 and 2010.

“It weighs on your conscience, it weighs on your soul, it weighs on your heart. Because of your actions, some child is not going to see their mother or father.”

Stephen was so affected by his role in the program that he drank himself to sleep, every single night. His colleagues did the same, saying:

“It was the culture there. After every shift, you’d consume a lot of alcohol…to take the edge off, so you didn’t have to think about what you did.”

Michael Haas was a technician and instructor between 2005 and 2011. “These drones are very, very good at killing people,” he says. “We were very callous about any collateral damage.” Haas reveals they would often kill people simply because they were associated with a guilty person, and “we didn’t consider other people on-screen.” He also spoke frankly about the de-humanization of targets:

“The less they can get you to think of the thing you’re shooting at as human, the easier it becomes for you to just follow through.”

Related Article: Drone War Exposed: Jeremy Scahill on U.S. Kill Program’s Secrets & the Whistleblower Who Leaked Them

Haas reveals the use of code phrases that detract from the real cost of the Drone Program: ‘Cutting the grass before it gets too long,’ for example, is a euphemism for killing people before they become a problem-  and the sickening part is, even children are not exempt from this philosophy.

Cian Westmoreland, a technician who served the program between 2006 and 2010, seems mentally and emotionally wiped out in this interview. He says the program is “politically expedient in the short-term” and like the other men, he’s eaten up with guilt about what he did.

“I started having nightmares about kids and mothers dying, and I’m trying to help them, but I couldn’t. I just feel helpless, I knew it was my fault.”

Cian, visibly upset, feels cheated by his country. “People who join the military…we join because of things we learned in school,” he says. “We learn about our Government, and the great things [the USA] was founded on.” Cian reveals he voted for Obama, who stood for change and human rights, but now he regrets supporting the President.

“We learn about our Constitution, and we learn that Americans are always afforded due process. They haven’t honored the Constitution. They should be fighting for that more than anything.”

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates the USA has conducted between 544 and 568 drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. The New America Foundation claims these strikes have killed between 2,736 and 4,169 ‘militants.’ But how many innocent people have died as a result? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism warns the figure may be as high as 1,000.

Related Article: U.S. Drones Are Responsible For More Civilian Deaths in Yemen than Al Qaeda

Another former drone pilot has spoken of his shame at personally killing over 1600 people. These heartbreaking testimonies come as the Pentagon plans to increase drone strikes worldwide by over 50% in the coming years. However, official research suggests the US-led coalition’s foreign policy will never stop terrorism: it simply fuels more hatred towards the West and encourages the radicalization of young Muslim men.

Please consider sharing this video clip to raise awareness of the true cost of the Drone Program, and its devastating impact on both civilians and military personnel alike.

This article (Former Drone Pilots Blow Whistle On “Morally Outrageous” Program) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

Read more great articles at True Activist. 

5 Outrageously Expensive and Useless Defense Projects We’re All Paying for


By Larry Schwartz | AlterNet

Republican candidates for president have all sang out in less-than-beautiful harmony about cutting taxes for the very rich and miraculously balancing the budget at the same time. They have also sworn they will increase military spending. Many of them are urging a full-scale war on ISIS and Donald Trump is even ready to commit war crimes in order to defeat them. Carly Fiorina has been banging the drum as hard or harder than most. “We need the strongest military on the face of the planet, and everyone has to know it,” she said at the Republican presidential debate in September: “More ships, more brigades, more nukes, more battalions.” Not a peep about how much her proposals would cost ($500 billion or so). Cuts in the safety net and closing loopholes will, they claim, make up for the gaping budget hole their bellicose plans would create.

Related Article: The Pentagon Is Spending Your Tax Dollars to Keep You in the Dark About Its Sprawling Empire

The proposed recipient of all that GOP chickenhawk largesse, the Defense Department, is already busy spending billions and billions on projects that even some Republicans think are the equivalent of flushing cash down a gold-plated toilet (the 2014 Defense budget, including money for the various wars we are waging in the Middle East and Asia, was more than half a trillion dollars). And what do we get for all that dough? In part, ongoing military projects that have long been designated as pipe dreams, yet continue to suck money down a black hole. These projects have been referred to as “zombie” defense projects because of their refusal to die. Meanwhile, a fraction of that money would undoubtedly save and improve the lives of many Americans.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed,” Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1953, sounding suspiciously like Bernie Sanders today.

Here are five zombie military projects that are currently wasting American taxpayer dollars.

1. F-35 fighter jet

Produced by Lockheed Martin, which began designing the jet in the 1990s, the F-35 is scheduled to replace practically all of the tactical jets in the Air Force, the Marines and some of the Navy. The jet is composed of thousands of parts, and those parts are produced separately in 46 different states (come on, Republicans, call it what it is: a national jobs program). Several of these jets have already been delivered. Meanwhile, the software has malfunctioned, jets have caught fire on the runway and in June 2014, the entire fleet was grounded. Since 2007, the F-35 fleet has been grounded 13 times. The design of the plane may have become overly complex, as all the military branches demanded more and more features on the basic design. Serious structural flaws may be the result.

Related Article: President Eisenhower on How the Military Industrial Complex Steals from the Hungry and the Homeless

The F-35 “is a dog …overweight and underpowered,” said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight in Washington. According to a 2008 Rand Corporation analysis, the F-35, “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run.” Defense analyst Richard Aboulafia told the publication Intelligent Aerospace, “The F-35 is coming to eat us all alive, there’s no way to sugar-coat it.” Despite all these early reviews, the F-35 refuses to die, and is on track to become the military’s standard warplane. The Pentagon expects to order nearly 2,500 of them in the coming decades at a cost of over $400 million. Lockheed-Martin has been accused of conspiring with the Defense Department to jack up the cost of the plane, leading Sen. John McCain to observe, “It is the kind of cronyism that should make us all vigilant against… the military-industrial complex.”

2. M-1 Abrams Tank

In February 2012, Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno told Congress that the U.S. had plenty of M-1 Abrams tanks. “Our tank fleet is in good shape and we don’t need to [make repairs] because of the great support that we have gotten over the last two years.” Six months later, in August 2012, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said the M-1 was, “vital to our country’s national security and military readiness, but is critically important to the economy of Lima and Allen County.” You can’t get more direct than that. The Army says it doesn’t need the tanks, which are built in Ohio using parts from all over the country. The Ohio senator, with support from senators where the parts are made, says, That’s nice, let’s build more of them. And so a couple thousand tanks are parked in the desert and over half a trillion dollars has been spent since 1994 to build these vehicles.

Related Article: Don’t Ask the Pentagon Where Its Money Goes – It Won’t Tell

To make it worse, the tanks are outmoded. General Odierno says, “We don’t believe we will ever see a straight conventional conflict again in the future.” Instead he envisions conflicts like Iraq, where the use of weapons like IEDs make the M-1 vulnerable. General Dynamics, which produces the tank in Ohio, has, unsurprisingly, contributed a great deal of money to many members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (over $5 million through its PAC). Taxpayers forked over almost $200 million in 2014 for the M-1. In 2015, only $120 million. This zombie may die eventually, but not anytime soon.


US Military Is Sexually Assaulting Colombian Children (Project Censored #16)

By Madeline Pajerowski & Rob Williams (Burlington College) | * Project Censored

According to an 800-page report commissioned by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), US military personnel raped at least fifty-four children in Colombia between 2003 and 2007. Adriaan Alsema, writing for Colombia Reports, was first to report the story in the English-language press on March 23, 2015.

Alsema’s article highlighted the subsection of the report authored by scholar Renan Vega, who documented that US military contractors sexually abused more than fifty underage girls in the town of Melgar in 2004. Vega reported “abundant information about the sexual violence” as well as the US contractors’ “absolute impunity” due to “bilateral agreements and the diplomatic immunity of United States officials.” According to Vega, the US military contractors also “filmed [the abuse] and sold the films as pornographic material.”

His report documented additional instances of sexual abuse, including the drugging and rape of a twelve-year-old girl by Sergeant Michael Coen and defense contractor César Ruiz in 2007. Despite warrants issued for the arrest of Coen and Ruiz by Colombian prosecutors, the warrants were not executed due to diplomatic immunity granted to US military personnel and civilian contractors. In fact, Alsema reported, no arrests have been made in any of the cases regarding children raped by US military contractors.

Three days after Columbia Reports published Alsema’s article, Adam Johnson of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting quoted extensively from it and noted the lack of coverage in major US outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times, among others. Johnson concluded, “There’s a virtual media blackout in America over the case.” Noting that these “aren’t fringe claims, nor can the government of American ally Colombia be dismissed as a peddler of Bolivarian propaganda,” Johnson wrote, “a blistering report about systemic US military child rape of a civilian population should be of note—if for no other reason than, as the report lays out, it undermined American military efforts to stop drug trafficking and fight leftist rebels.” (Also see a later Al Jazeera opinion piece by Jonathan Levinson, who wrote: “The United States has little interest in drawing more attention to its controversial assistance to Colombia, much of it covert, and its support for a regime that has almost entirely disregarded human rights and accountability. But in turning a blind eye to crimes committed by its troops, the U.S. is essentially validating corruption and indifference in the Colombian military and ensuring Plan Colombia’s failure.”)

* Originally entitled: “#16 US Military Sexual Assault of Colombian Children”

[Read more here]

Sources: Adriaan Alsema, “At Least 54 Colombian Girls Sexually Abused by Immune US Military: Report,” Colombia Reports, March 23, 2015, https://colombiareports.co/more-than-54-colombian-girls-sexually-abuses-by-us-military-report/.

Adam Johnson, “Colombian Report on US Military’s Child Rapes Not Newsworthy to US News Outlets,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, March 26, 2015, https://fair.org/blog/2015/03/26/colombian-report-on-us-militarys-child-rapes-not-newsworthy-to-us-news-outlets/.

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com