The Mess in the Middle East was Planned Long Ago…

Plan for the New Middle East with Yinon Plan for Greater Israel Superimposed

Newsbud Exclusive- The Balkanization of Syria & Iraq: The Roadmap to US-Israeli Hegemony in the Middle East

We are often told that the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the war in Syria are disastrous failures of Western foreign policy. This article, however, argues that the architects of these wars were, and are, well aware of the destabilising consequences of their military efforts, and in fact, had always regarded the breakup of Iraq and Syria along sectarian lines as a desirable outcome. The millions of deaths and injuries resulting from these horrific wars, as well as the displacement of several more millions, then, are nothing more than “collateral damage” to achieve US-Israeli hegemony in the region. Viewed from this perspective, post-9/11 Western Middle East policy in retrospect is not a failure, but a success.

Part I: Partition, the only solution?

“Let’s look at the reality on the ground in the Middle East: Iraq and Syria are effectively partitioned along sectarian lines. […] In the current, chaotic moment, we see two post-imperial systems collapsing at once: the state boundaries drawn by the Versailles Treaty in 1919 to replace the Ottoman Empire […], and a U.S.-led system that kept the region in a rough balance [which has been shattered] by America’s failed intervention in Iraq. The ‘line in the sand’, as author James Barr called the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement to partition the region, is dissolving before our eyes, and the primary beneficiaries are ruthless Islamic terrorists.”[1]-David Ignatius, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, in a 2014 article in the Washington Post

In early 2016, then US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that “it may be too late to keep [Syria] as a whole,” and that “I know that [partition] is the best way to try to end the war and it is the only alternative available to us if indeed we are going to have a political settlement.”[2] Kerry coined the possible breaking up of Syria as “plan B,” making it sound like the proposal was a desperate move to save the peace. Both the Syrian government and the armed opposition rejected federalism, let alone partition, however,[3] and even the Kurdish National Council strongly denounced the federalism declaration of its PYD rivals in the wake of Kerry’s statement.[4] In addition, Maram Susli has pointed out that partitioning Syria would happen along sectarian lines instead on whether or not any particular state would be able to sustain its population. Therefore, as Syria’s scare water resources, as well as its agriculture and oil, would end up in the hands of only a small percentage of the population, perpetual war between divided Syrians would be the likely result.[5] So, if breaking up Syria is a recipe for endless conflict between weakened enclaves and is opposed by almost all Syrians, why did Kerry brought it up? Was it just a hastily mistake in his otherwise brave humanitarian endeavour to save the Syrian populace, or are there other agendas at play?

Actually, Kerry’s plan B sounds an awful lot like the plan A of various Anglo-American policy makers, strategists, think tanks and imperialist organs. Six months prior to Kerry’s statement, the Brookings Institute argued for the establishment of Western-backed “safe zones” that would eventually develop into more or less autonomous areas.[6] In October 2015, the author of the Brookings article, Michael O’Hanlon, specified his vision of Syrian balkanisation in an op-ed for Reuters as follows:

“One largely Alawite (Assad’s own sect) [sector], spread along the Mediterranean coast; another Kurdish, along the north and northeast corridors near the Turkish border; a third primarily Druse, in the southwest; a fourth largely made up of Sunni Muslims; and then a central zone of intermixed groups in the country’s main population belt from Damascus to Aleppo.”[7]

From 2013 onwards, variations to this plan have repeatedly been proposed by US establishment figures, such as Henry Kissinger for instance, who in June 2013 contended that he preferred “an outcome in which the various nationalities agree to co-exist together but in more or less autonomous regions.” Interestingly, he also claimed that although he supported the expulsion of Assad, he prioritised balkanising Syria.[8] John Bolton, another neocon war-hawk, advocated for the creation of an American-backed Sunni state, which he admitted would be “unlikely to be a Jeffersonian democracy for many years,” in an op-ed for the New York Times. This would counteract “the vision of the Russian-Iranian axis and its proxies,” he asserted, because “their aim of restoring [the] Iraqi and Syrian governments to their former borders is a goal fundamentally contrary to American, Israeli and friendly Arab state interests.”[9]

Most proponents of balkanisation imagine a threefold partition into an Alawitestan – perhaps ruled by Assad, but perhaps not – and Kurdistan aside from a Sunni heartland.[10] A year before ISIS declared its caliphate, Robin Wright, scholar at two Washington-based think tanks, even proposed a Sunni state crossing the Sykes-Picot border into Iraq:

“Syria has crumbled into three identifiable regions, each with its own flag and security forces. A different future is taking shape: a narrow statelet along a corridor from the south through Damascus, Homs and Hama to the northern Mediterranean coast controlled by the Assads’ minority Alawite sect. In the north, a small Kurdistan, largely autonomous since mid-2012. The biggest chunk is the Sunni-dominated heartland. Syria’s unraveling would set precedents for the region, beginning next door. Until now, Iraq resisted falling apart because of foreign pressure, regional fear of going it alone and oil wealth that bought loyalty, at least on paper. But Syria is now sucking Iraq into its maelstrom. […] Over time, Iraq’s Sunni minority – notably in western Anbar Province, site of anti-governments protests – may feel more commonality with eastern Syria’s Sunni majority. Tribal ties and smuggling span the border. Together, they could form a de facto or formal Sunnistan.”[11]

Barak Mendelsohn, in an article in Foreign Affairs – the quarterly of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – bluntly called “Divide and conquer in Syria and Iraq: why the West should plan for a partition,” also argued for a US-backed “independent Sunni state that would link Sunni-dominated territories on both sides of the border.”[12] Although most of the time this dramatic measure is promoted as a solution to the only recent threat posed by ISIS, disclosed DIA documents reveal that the US and their allies desired a Sunnistan based on the principles of Salafi Islam at least since 2012, prior to ISIS’s emergence. “If the situation unravels,” the documents obtained by Judicial Watch show, “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality [aka Islamic State] in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition [defined elsewhere in the document as the West, the Gulf countries and Turkey] want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”[13]

For Iraq, division was of course already longer on the table. Plans to split the country into three parts have often been advocated by US officials since the 2003 invasion of the country. Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the CFR, was the first to officially propose a three-state solution – “Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south” – in an op-ed for the New York Times a mere eight months after the US and Britain had entered Iraq.[14] Three years later he adjusted his plan to try to get all parties on board, reformulating it as “unity through autonomy” by way of decentralisation in an article published in the same newspaper, which he co-authored with Joe Biden, future Vice President under Obama and likewise a CFR member.[15] Also in 2006, retired Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters outlined a map comprising a divided Iraq that circulated widely in US and NATO military circles,[16] and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice provisioned the rise of a “new Middle East” out of the ashes of Israel’s aggressive assault on Lebanon.[17] By 2007, amid rising sectarian violence, many Anglo-American strategists and think tanks that would years later push for the balkanisation of Syria began to argue that breaking up Iraq into three statelets would be the only viable solution to the conflict their governments had created. Indeed, in January 2007, John Bolton, one of the leading architects of the 2003 invasion, stated that the US had no strategic interests in keeping Iraq united,[18] and later that year, the Brookings Institute’s Saban Center produced a paper calling for the “soft partition” of Iraq.[19] Interestingly, the report was co-authored by Michael O’Hanlon, who in 2015 was one of the first to call for the establishment of “safe zones” in Syria, which essentially is just a stepping stone towards partition.

Although officially the above-mentioned map for a “new Middle East” envisaged only the loss of Syria’s upper northeastern part in favour of a “Free Kurdistan,” leaked Wikileaks cables show that the US was as far back as 2006 already working on fomenting a civil war in the country. William Roebuck, at the time chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Damascus, clearly expressed hostility towards the Syrian leadership, focusing an entire briefing assigned to both Washington and Tel Aviv to possible actions to destabilise the Assad government. Aside from highlighting Kurdish complaints, he advised his superiors to coordinate more closely with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to fan the flames of sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims inside the country.[20]

Although plans to break up Iraq and Syria into microstates based on religion or ethnicity are always presented as humanitarian efforts, they completely ignore the fact that it is Western post-9/11 policy that created much of the problems to which NATO strategists and officials are now offering self-serving solutions. In Syria, balkanisation proponents suggest that their ideas are the only solution to a civil war that has naturally unfolded after the Syrian people rose up against the dictatorial and tyrannical Assad government in the wake of the “Arab Spring” protests in northern Africa. They fail to mention, however, that rather than a civil war, the six-year debacle is actually an artificial proxy war on Syria; a war that likely would not have happened – or at least would not have raged on for so many years and killed so many people – absent 1) the financial, logistical, ideological and armaments-support that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and NATO provided from the very onset of the conflict to the armed insurgency, and 2) the influx of foreign jihadis from all around the world from 2012 onwards, who were allowed to cross the borders into Syria by the Turkish and Jordanian governments and were often trained by the CIA in advance.[21]


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[1] David Ignatius, “Piecing together the shattering Middle East,” Washington Post, 17.06.2014,

[2] Patrick Wintour, “John Kerry says partition of Syria could be part of ‘plan B’ if peace talks fail,” Guardian, 23.02.2016,

[3] Sharif Nashashibi, “Is a federal Syria desirable or feasible?”, Al-Jazeera, 17.03.2016,; “Syria government, opposition reject federal system: de Mistura,” Press TV, 17.03.2016,

[4] Wladimir van Wilgenburg, “Kurdish National Council in Syria condemns federalism declaration by Kurdish rival,” ARA News, 19.03.2016,

[5] Maram Susli, “Kerry’s plan at balkanizing Syria,” New Eastern Outlook, 29.03.2016,

[6] Michael O’Hanlon, “Deconstructing Syria: a new strategy for America’s most hopeless war,” The Brookings Institute, 30.06.2015,

[7] Michael O’Hanlon, “Syria’s one hope may be as dim as Bosnia’s once was,” Reuters, 06.10.2015,

[8] Paul O’Neill, interview with Henry Kissinger, Ford School (interview, New York, 13.06.2013), 26m00 to 29m05,

[9] John Bolton, “To defeat ISIS, create a Sunni state,” New York Times, 24.11.2015,

[10] E.g. James Stavridis, “It’s time to seriously consider partitioning Syria,” Foreign Policy, 09.03.2016,; James Dobbins, Philip Gordon and Jeffrey Martini, A Peace Plan for Syria (RAND Corporation, 2015),

[11] Robin Wright, “Imagining a remapped Middle East,” New York Times, 28.09.2013,

[12] Barak Mendelsohn, “Divide and conquer in Syria and Iraq: why the West should plan for a partition,” Foreign Affairs, 29.11.2015,

[13] Defence Intelligence Agency, “Pgs. 287-293 (291) JW v DOD and State 14-812,” Judicial Watch, 18.05.2015,

[14] Leslie Gelb, “The three-state solution,” New York Times, 25.11.2003,

[15] Joseph Biden and Leslie Gelb, “Unity through autonomy in Iraq,” New York Times, 01.05.2006,

[16] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “Plans for redrawing the Middle East: the project of a ‘new Middle East’,” Global Research, 18.11.2006,

[17] Toby Harnden, “Death and despair amid US pursuit of ‘new Middle East’,” Telegraph, 30.07.2006,

[18] “French report: former U.N. envoy Bolton says U.S. has ‘no strategic interest’ in united Iraq,” International Herald Tribune, 29.01.2007, as cited in Jonathan Cook, Israel and the clash of civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the plan to remake the Middle East (London: Pluto Press, 2008), 138.

[19] Edward Joseph and Michael O’Hanlon, The case for soft partition in Iraq (Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute, analysis paper no. 12, June 2007),

[20] William Roebuck, “Influencing the SARG in the end of 2006,” 13.12.2006 (Wikileaks, Cable 06 Damascus 5399 a),

[21] Bas Spliet, “The proxy war on Syria,” Scrutinised Minds, 03.01.2017,


The Cost of Illegal Immigration

migrants in Germany

  • “At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens.” — Matt O’Brien and Spencer Raley.
  • It is also rather more than the single payment of $25 billion that it will cost to build a wall — five and a half times more, and every year.
  • “Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes…” — John R. Lott.
  • In 2015, included in the DEA’s drug-threat assessment was the fact that drug overdoses killed more people in the United States than car accidents or guns. Many of these drugs [were] smuggled in large volumes by drug cartels.”

In his State of the Union address on January 30, US President Donald J. Trump referred to the brutal murder of two 16-year-old girls from Long Island in December 2016 by members of the “savage MS-13 gang,” responsible for a spate of other gruesome killings in the area, as well.

Many of these gang members, he explained, had entered the United States illegally. “For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities,” he said.

Calling on Congress “to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed… criminal gangs to break into our country,” he listed the four pillars of his immigration-reform proposal:

  • A path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought to America by their parents.
  • The construction of a “great wall on the southern border” and enforcement by agents patrolling and securing the border.
  • Ending the visa lottery, “a program that randomly plans out green cards without regard for skill, merit, for the safety of American people.”
  • Ending the “current, broken system” of chain migration of distant relatives, and limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.

Although he did not specify this in his speech, Trump reportedly is seeking $25 billion from Congress to fund the wall. Opponents of the wall have been arguing that illegal immigrants do not commit crimes at a higher rate than legal immigrants or native-born Americans; that illegal immigration has been a boon to the economy, rather than a drain on it; and that the cost both of deportation and a wall far exceeds the benefits of both. These claims are repeatedly voiced by the Trump administration’s detractors, as part of their campaign to accuse the president of racism; but what are the facts?

To set the record straight, let us take a look at a number of those that have been obscured or ignored by the media.

As far as the cost of the wall is concerned, a study released in September 2017 by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reveals that, “At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens.” This, the report says, is a nearly $3 billion increase in the cost since 2013. It is also rather more than the single payment of $25 billion that it will cost to build a wall – five and a half times more, and every year.

The same goes for the cost of deporting illegal immigrants. According to Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies,

“…The average cost of a deportation is much smaller than the net fiscal drain created by the average illegal immigrant,” in part due to the fact that “illegal immigrants overwhelmingly have modest levels of education — most have not completed high school or have only a high school education…creating more in costs for government than they pay in taxes.”

The question of the rates of criminality among illegal aliens vs. those of legal immigrants and American-born citizens has been examined by John R. Lott, Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, using Arizona’s prison population as a microcosm for study. According to Lott, the ability to measure the crime-rate among illegal immigrants in the U.S. has been difficult, due to many factors, including the lack of a national data base and “primitive” methodology – such as “simple, cross-sectional analysis to see whether areas with higher immigrant populations have higher crime rates,” and “a purely time series approach… look at the United States as a whole and note that crime has decreased since 1990 as immigration has increased.” The advantage of the Arizona Department of Corrections study, Lott says, is that

“over our 32.5-year period, we know each prisoner who entered the prison system, their criminal convictions history, and whether he is a documented or undocumented immigrant. The only mystery is why this type of data has not been utilized until now.”

Peter Kirsanow wryly solved the mystery in National Review, writing:

“Unfortunately, almost every public official not named Jeff Sessions guards against disclosure of illegal-immigrant crime data more tenaciously than disclosure of nuclear launch codes.”

According to Lott, whose research spans 1985-2017:

“Arizona’s prison population data allow us to compare undocumented immigrants’ share of the prison population with their estimated share of the state population…For the first time, we break down the data to examine differences between US citizens, undocumented immigrants, and legal permanent residents. One advantage of using convictions rather than just reported crimes is that convictions depend on a ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard of evidence and thus are much less likely to count innocent people.”

The findings are unequivocal, as the following summary illustrates:

“Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens…There are dramatic differences between in the criminal histories of convicts who are U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants…

“[Y]oung undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes. If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries.”

These numbers do not even include the cost to American taxpayers of the toll taken on America’s children by illegally imported drugs. Although available information on this is at best spotty, the key finding from the DEA’s 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment is that the “most commonly reported greatest drug threat was heroin, at 44.1 percent of law enforcement responses… This was followed by 29.8 percent of respondents indicating methamphetamine was their greatest drug threat, 9.3 percent reporting controlled prescription drugs…”

This tells us something about the extent of the problem, but not enough. The 2010 drug-threat assessment, released a year after the previous administration took office, revealed that,

“From January through November 2009, U.S. seizures of illegal drugs in transit exceeded 1,626 metric tons, indicating that DTOs succeed in moving several thousand tons of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, and MDMA into the United States annually. There are unique smuggling and transportation methods…”

In 2015, included in the DEA’s drug-threat assessment was the fact that drug overdoses killed more people in the United States than car accidents or guns. As was noted by the BBC at the time, “Many of these drugs are smuggled in large volumes by drug cartels…”

The late Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” His successors in Congress would do well to remember this while debating the issue of illegal immigration. They certainly need to keep it in mind when voting on the administration’s proposed plan.

Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.'”

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The US is Executing a Global War Plan


Washington is moving inevitably on a global war plan. That’s the grim conclusion one has to draw from three unfolding war scenarios.

Ultimately, it’s about American imperialism trying to assert hegemony over the international order for the benefit of US capitalism. Russia and China are prime targets for this global assault.

The three unfolding war scenarios are seen in Syria, North Korea and Ukraine. These are not disparate, disassociated conflicts. They are inter-related expressions of the American war plans. War plans which involve the moving of strategic military power into position.

Last week’s massacre of over 100 Syrian government forces by American warplanes near Deir ez-Zor was an audacious overt assault by the US on the Syrian state. The US, along with other NATO allies, have been up to now waging a seven-year proxy war for regime change against Russia’s ally, President Assad. The massacre last week was certainly not the first time that US forces, illegally present in Syria, have attacked the Syrian army. But it seems clearer than ever now that American forces are operating on the overt agenda for regime change. US troops are transparently acting like an occupation army, challenging Russia and its legally mandated support for the Syrian state.

Heightening international concerns are multiple reports that Russian military contractors were among the casualties in the US-led air strike near Deir ez-Zor last week.

Regarding North Korea, Washington is brazenly sabotaging diplomatic efforts underway between the respective Korean leaderships in Pyongyang and Seoul. While this inter-Korean dialogue has been picking up positive momentum, the US has all the while been positioning nuclear-capable B-52 and B-2 bombers in the region, along with at least three aircraft carriers. The B-2s are also reportedly armed with 14-tonne bunker-buster bombs – the largest non-nuclear warhead in the American arsenal, designed to destroy North Korean underground missile silos and “decapitate” the Pyongyang leadership of Kim Jong-un.

American vice-president Mike Pence, while attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea, opening last week, delivered a blunt war message. He said that the recent detente between North Korea and US ally South Korea will come to an end as “soon as the Olympic flame is extinguished” – when the games close later this month. This US policy of belligerence completely upends Russia and China’s efforts to facilitate inter-Korean peace diplomacy.

Meanwhile, the situation in Eastern Ukraine looks decidedly grim for an imminent US-led invasion of the breakaway Donbas region. Pentagon military inspectors have in the past week reportedly arrived along the Contact Zone that separates the US-backed Kiev regime forces and the pro-Russian separatists of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Donetsk’s military commander Eduard Basurin warned that the arrival of Pentagon and other NATO military advisors from Britain and Canada indicate that US-armed Kiev forces are readying for a renewed assault on the Donbas ethnic Russian population.

Even the normally complacent observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), charged with monitoring a nominal ceasefire along the Contact Zone, have lately begun reporting serious advancement of heavy weapons by the Kiev forces – in violation of the 2015 Minsk Peace Accord.

If the US-led Kiev forces proceed with the anticipated offensive next month in Donbas there are real fears for extreme civilian casualties. Such “ethnic cleansing” of Russian people by Kiev regime forces that openly espouse Neo-Nazi ideology would mostly likely precipitate a large-scale intervention by Moscow as a matter of humanitarian defense. Perhaps that is what the US planners are wagering on, which can then be portrayed by the dutiful Western news media as “another Russian aggression”.

US-based political analyst Randy Martin says: “It is undeniable that Washington is on a war footing in three global scenarios. Preparation for war is in fact war.”

He added: “You have to also consider the latest Nuclear Posture Review published by the Pentagon earlier this month. The Pentagon is openly declaring that it views Russia and China as targets, and that it is willing to use nuclear force to contest conventional wars and what the Pentagon deems to be asymmetric aggression.”

Martin says that it is not clear at this stage what Washington wants exactly.

“It is of course all about seeking global domination which is long-consistent with American imperialism as expressed for example in the Wolfowitz Doctrine following the end of the Cold War,” says the analyst.

“But what does Washington want specifically from Russia and China is the question. It is evidently using the threat of war and aggression as a lever. But it is not clear what would placate Washington. Perhaps regime change in Russia where President Putin is ousted by a deferential pro-Western figure. Perhaps Russia and China giving up their plans of Eurasian economic integration and abandoning their plans to drop the American dollar in trade relations.”

One thing, however, seems abundantly clear. The US is embarking on a global war plan, as can be discerned from the grave developments unfolding in Syria, the Korean Peninsula and Ukraine. Each scenario can be understood as a pressure point on Moscow or China to in some way acquiesce to American ambitions for global dominance.

To be sure, Washington is being reckless and criminal in its conduct, violating the UN Charter and countless other international laws. It is brazenly acting like a rogue regime without the slightest hint of shame.

Still, Russia and China are hardly likely to capitulate. Simply because the US ambition of unipolar hegemony is impossible to achieve. The post-Second World War order, which Washington was able to dominate for nearly seven decades, is becoming obsolete as the international order naturally transforms into a multipolar configuration.

When Washington accuses Moscow and Beijing of “trying to alter the international order to their advantage” what the American rulers are tacitly admitting is their anxiety that the days of US hegemony are on the wane. Russia and China are not doing anything illegitimate. It is simply a fact of historical evolution.

So, ultimately, Washington’s war plans are futile in what they are trying to achieve by criminal coercion. Those plans cannot reverse history. But, demonically, those plans could obliterate the future of the planet.

The world is again on a precipice as it was before on the eve of the First and Second World Wars. Capitalism, imperialism and fascism are again center stage.

As analyst Randy Martin puts it: “The American rulers are coming out of the closet to show their true naked nature of wanting to wage war on the world. Their supremacist, militarist ideology is, incontrovertibly, fascism in action.”

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Johan Norberg: The Truth about Swedish Socialism

Johan Norberg (born 27 August 1973) is a Swedish author and historian. He regards himself as a classical liberal. He is arguably most known as the author of “In Defense of Global Capitalism” (2001) and as a fellow of the Cato institute. In this clip, he talks about the myth of Swedish socialism. Interview quoted under fair use at…

The White Helmets Are A Propaganda Construct


Contrary to what its multi-million dollar international PR campaign would have you believe, the “White Helmets” are not a group of volunteer search-and-rescue workers that sprang spontaneously out of the Syrian soil.

When you peel back the layers of foreign financing and reveal the foreign intelligence operatives and murky lobbying groups at the heart of the organization, what you find is that the White Helmets are, in fact, a propaganda construct.

Why We’re Underestimating American Collapse

Fragmented States of America

The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State

When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history. They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline — shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on —we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

Let me give you just five examples of what I’ll call the social pathologies of collapse — strange, weird, and gruesome new diseases, not just ones we don’t usually see in healthy societies, but ones that we have never really seen before in any modern society.

America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days. That’s one every other day, more or less. That statistic is alarming enough — but it is just a number. Perspective asks us for comparison. So let me put that another way. America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days, which is more than anywhere else in the world, even Afghanistan or Iraq. In fact, the phenomenon of regular school shootings appears to be a unique feature of American collapse — it just doesn’t happen in any other country — and that is what I mean by “social pathologies of collapse”: a new, bizarre, terrible disease striking society.

Why are American kids killing each other? Why doesn’t their society care enough to intervene? Well, probably because those kids have given up on life — and their elders have given up on them. Or maybe you’re right — and it’s not that simple. Still, what do the kids who aren’t killing each other do? Well, a lot of them are busy killing themselves.

So there is of course also an “opioid epidemic”. We use that phrase too casually, but it much more troubling than it appears on first glance. Here is what is really curious about it. In many countries in the world — most of Asia and Africa — one can buy all the opioids one wants from any local pharmacy, without a prescription. You might suppose then that opioid abuse as a mass epidemic would be a global phenomenon. Yet we don’t see opioid epidemics anywhere but America — especially not ones so vicious and widespread they shrink life expectancy. So the “opioid epidemic” — mass self-medication with the hardest of hard drugs — is again a social pathology of collapse: unique to American life. It is not quite captured in the numbers, but only through comparison — and when we see it in global perspective, we get a sense of just how singularly troubled American life really is.

Why would people abuse opioids en masse unlike anywhere else in the world? They must be living genuinely traumatic and desperate lives, in which there is little healthcare, so they have to self-medicate the terror away. But what is so desperate about them? Well, consider another example: the “nomadic retirees”. They live in their cars. They go from place to place, season after season, chasing whatever low-wage work they can find — spring, an Amazon warehouse, Christmas, Walmart.

Now, you might say — “well, poor people have always chased seasonal work!” But that is not really the point: absolute powerlessness and complete indignity is. In no other country I can see do retirees who should have been able to save up enough to live on now living in their cars in order to find work just to go on eating before they die — not even in desperately poor ones, where at least families live together, share resources, and care for one another. This is another pathology of collapse that is unique to America — utter powerlessness to live with dignity. Numbers don’t capture it — but comparisons paint a bleak picture.

How did America’s elderly end up cheated of dignity? After all, even desperately poor countries have “informal social support systems” — otherwise known as families and communities. But in America, there is the catastrophic collapse of social bonds. Extreme capitalism has blown apart American society so totally that people cannot even care for one another as much as they do in places like Pakistan and Nigeria. Social bonds, relationships themselves, have become unaffordable luxuries, more so than even in poor countries: this is yet another social pathology unique to American collapse.

Yet those once poor countries are making great strides. Costa Ricans now have higher life expectancy than Americans — because they have public healthcare. American life expectancy is falling, unlike nearly anywhere else in the world, save the UK — because it doesn’t.

And that is my last pathology: it is one of the soul, not one of the limbs, like the others above. American appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways above. They just don’t appear to be too disturbed, moved, or even affected by the four pathologies above: their kids killing each other, their social bonds collapsing, being powerless to live with dignity,or having to numb the pain of it all away.

If these pathologies happened in any other rich country — even in most poor ones — people would be aghast, shocked, and stunned, and certainly moved to make them not happen. But in America, they are, well, not even resigned. They are indifferent, mostly.

So my last pathology is a predatory society. A predatory society doesn’t just mean oligarchs ripping people off financially. In a truer way, it means people nodding and smiling and going about their everyday business as their neighbours, friends, and colleagues die early deaths in shallow graves. The predator in American society isn’t just its super-rich — but an invisible and insatiable force: the normalization of what in the rest of the world would be seen as shameful, historic, generational moral failures, if not crimes, becoming mere mundane everyday affairs not to be too worried by or troubled about.

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French President Macron Demands Anti-Fake-News Law “To Protect Democracy”

SO the best way to protect democracy is censorship?

Europe is gone.

Welcome to tyranny!

War is Peace - Freedom is slavery - ignorance is strength

Following Germany’s (and Brussels) lead to tyrannical repression of any free speech in Europe, French President Macron said on Wednesday he would overhaul French media legislation this year to fight the spread of “fake news.”

As Reuters reports, since he was elected last year, Macron has criticized Russian media in particular, openly accusing TV channel RT of sowing disinformation about him via its website and social media during the presidential election.

“If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must have strong legislation,” Macron told a news conference.

Macron said the legislation would concern social media platforms, especially during election periods, and deeply change the role of France’s media watchdog CSA.

One can’t help but read Macron’s quote and think Orwellian utopia…

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Watchdog Report: Most ISIS Weapons Illegally Supplied by US Government

Just Watering the Patsies

International arms watchdog finds that most ISIS weaponry was purchased by the United States and Saudi Arabia before being shipped to opposition forces in Syria and Iraq.


A damning report by the EU-funded Conflict Armament Research has found that the majority of weapons that ended-up in the hands of Daesh/ISIS were purchased from Eastern European stockpiles by the United States or Saudi Arabia and transferred to opposition militias in Syria. In many cases there is clear evidence to suggest that the arms were transferred into ISIS possession in less than a month, as US-backed groups amalgamated into ISIS or the weapons were sold on a thriving black market.

A significant proportion of the weapons examined were unauthorised for retransfer, meaning that they had End User Clauses for US and Saudi military or police use that were quickly violated, not even being shipped to their country of authorised usage in many cases.

One item inspected by CAR in May 2015 was a Bulgarian PG-7T 40 mm rocket. The Government of Bulgaria confirmed that it exported the item to the US Department of the Army through the US company Kiesler Police Supply. The application for the export licence was accompanied by the original EUC issued by the US Department of the Army (with a non-re-export clause) as well as a delivery verification certificate. The rocket ultimately ended up with IS forces near Al Hasakah, before YPG forces liberated the town and sent the rocket to CAR for examination.

Cases like this go on and on with various rocket launchers, explosives and assault rifles of predominantly Bulgarian and Romanian manufacture, but with one US importer coming up every time: Kiesler Police Supply.

According to the report:

Kiesler Police Supply was incorporated in the US state of Indiana in 1975 as Kiesler Hardware & Supply. The company changed its name to Kiesler Police Supply in 1980 in order to begin dealing primarily in firearms and ammunition. On its website, Kiesler Police Supply only advertises itself as providing equipment to US national law enforcement agencies. However, the company has been contracted in the past to supply weapons to Iraq. In 2004, Kiesler Police Supply was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to provide weapons such as AK-pattern assault rifles and ammunition to Iraqi security forces.36 On 4 October 2016, CAR called Kiesler Police Supply to request further information regarding the multiple weapon transfers described in this report. The company declined to comment. On 20 October 2016, CAR emailed and faxed an information request for all the items traced to Kiesler Police Supply. The company has yet to respond to CAR’s request for information.

As CAR beautifully put it, their ‘findings are a stark reminder of the contradictions inherent in supplying weapons into armed conflicts in which multiple competing and overlapping non-state armed groups operate.’ In other words, only a fucking moron would be unable to predict that pumping weapons into the hands of farmers living in ISIS territory would result in anything other than ISIS militants gaining possession of shiny new toys. Or, more conceivably, this wasn’t a strategic error on behalf of the US, and arming ISIS in order to destabilise the regime of the uncooperative Bashar Al-Assad was part of the plan all along.

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