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The Saudi-Qatar rift has elements of world war potential

The Saudi-Qatar rift has elements of world war potential

The First and the Second World War were the culmination of rivalries that go as far back as over a thousand years, when Charlemagne subjugated the Saxon tribes inhabiting modern Germany, and creating the Carolingian Empire. The political successors of Franks, France, and Saxons, the latter morphing into the Holy Roman Empire, then Prussia, then Germany, would continue to fight border wars until the bloodiest of them all, World War 2, inflicted enough destruction to both to force them to give up military means for the reciprocal arrangements.

The First World War was triggered by a regional episode, the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, by Serb nationalists that put in motion the alliance of the German world, Austria and Prussia against the British, French and Russian one.

Just like the two world wars in Europe were triggered by a single event, so can long standing, unresolved rivalries for power and influence over the Middle East result in the mother of all wars.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have collaborated in the recent years to overthrow the Assad presidency in Syria and replace it with a Sunni Muslim leader that would allow the creation of a pipeline from Qatar to Europe, for the benefit of the Gulf countries.
The failure of the American-Saudi-Qatari coalition however re-opened old wounds. In the recent weeks, the Saudi-led bloc, including Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain has broken all ties with Qatar, accusing it of working with terrorist groups and having too close ties with Iran. Since then, having cashed in on the support of US President Trump, Saudis have given a list of 13 demands to Qatar, which the latter has no intention to comply with.1)

In the meanwhile, very much like WW1 preparations, the game of alliances has started: Qatar, having lost the protection of the Arab world, sought it elsewhere, and found in Turkey.2)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NATO Chief Says Recent Cyber Attack Could Spark Mutual Defense Response

Jens Stoltenberg

A major global cyber attack which struck particularly hard in Ukraine on Tuesday could potentially trigger NATO’s Article 5 mutual defense commitment, according to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

On Tuesday, computer systems around the world were subjected to ransomware cyber attacks that spread from Ukraine and Russia, across Europe to the United States and then on to Asia.

The attack appeared to be a modification of the “WannaCry” cyber attack in May which hit more than 200,000 users in more than 150 countries.

According to NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg, the attack means that the NATO alliance must step up its defense against cyber attacks and that the military alliance’s Article 5 mutual defense commitment could potential be sparked over such an event.

Article 5 provides that if a NATO Ally is the victim of an attack, each and every other member of the Alliance will consider the attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the ally attacked.

Stoltenberg said the “attack in May and this week just underlines the importance of strengthening our cyber defenses and that is what we are doing.”

“We exercise more, we share best practices and technology and we also work more and more closely with all allies,” he told reporters ahead of a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

In July 2016, NATO allies reaffirmed defensive mandates and recognized cyberspace as a domain of operations in which NATO must defend itself as effectively as it does in the air, on land and at sea.

Interior Minister of Ukraine, MP Anton Gerashchenko was quick to place the fault of the attack on Russia, saying that “a huge cyber-attack at Ukrainian companies on Tuesday has been organized by Russian intelligence services and it is one of the elements of the hybrid war against Ukraine.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Most Dangerous Fake News of All is Peddled by the Corporate Media

The Most Dangerous Fake News of All is Peddled by the Corporate Media

This is not the sort of thing you see in a confident, brave, and civilized nation, it’s the sort of stuff you’d expect to see toward the end. It’s the stuff of craven war-mongers, of dishonest cowards, of a totally deranged and very dangerous media. The signs are everywhere; imperial decline is set to accelerate rapidly in the coming years.

– From the April post: Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U.S. Empire

Fake news, propaganda and garbage information is everywhere and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. That being said, the key thing to understand is fake news from obscure websites you’ve never heard of is not what represents the real, global danger of rampant dishonest information. The real danger of fake news is the stuff that’s consistently being vomited onto the pages of “respectable,” billionaire-owned corporate media.

Obscure blogs and independent thinkers such as myself aren’t influencing foreign policy, domestic policy or anything that really matters (look around you). While alternative media did indeed play a monumental role in the election of Donald Trump, how much really changed when it comes to the true power centers?

Not much, not much at all. Goldman Sachs and Wall Street are more in control than ever before, and neocons and other assorted interventionists seem to be running foreign policy.

All of this reminds me of the famous saying, “if voting made any difference, they’d make it illegal.” Indeed, the time has come for all of us to own up to the very real and present danger of corporate media, which seemingly exists to provide public relations for oligarchs and the foreign policy establishment.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?

After the ISIS War, a US-Russia Collision?

Sunday, a Navy F-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian air force jet, an act of war against a nation with which Congress has never declared or authorized a war.

Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing U.S.-backed rebels. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS.

Vladimir Putin’s defense ministry was direct and blunt:

“Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the U.N. are a massive violation of international law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.”

An ABC report appears to back up Moscow’s claims:

“Over the last four weeks, the U.S. has conducted three air strikes on pro-regime forces backed by Iran that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of Tanf in southwestern Syria, where there is a coalition training base for local forces fighting ISIS.”

Russia has now declared an end to cooperation to prevent air clashes over Syria and asserted an intent to track and target aerial intruders in its area of operations west of the Euphrates.

Such targets would be U.S. planes and surveillance drones.

If Moscow is not bluffing, we could be headed for U.S.-Russian collision in Syria.

Sunday’s shoot-down of a hostile aircraft was the first by U.S. planes in this conflict. It follows President Trump’s launch of scores of cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in April. The U.S. said the airfield was the base of Syrian planes that used chemical weapons on civilians.

We are getting ever deeper into this six-year sectarian and civil war. And what we may be witnessing now are the opening shots of its next phase — the battle for control of the territory and population liberated by the fall of Raqqa and the death of the ISIS “caliphate.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S-Led Coalition Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

U.S-Led Coalition Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

Update: U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying the plane was downed “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces near Tabqah. It is unclear if these particular “forces” were getting their funding from Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

And a quick situational take from Worldview:

A U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian government Su-22 fighter jet on June 18 that had dropped bombs on Syrian rebel forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, ABC News reported. The U.S.-led coalition said in a statement that its focus is on fighting the militant group, and not fighting the Syrian government or Russian forces, but it will defend coalition forces coming under attack. The incident occurred in a town south of Tabqa, Syria, which had been retaken from the Islamic State by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces, in preparation for the offensive on the stronghold of Raqqa.

The downing is the latest escalation between the U.S.-led coalition and pro-government forces in Syria. The United States has also recently conducted airstrikes at pro-Syrian government forces that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of at al-Tanf in southwest Syria, which is the location of a coalition training base for local forces fighting the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the Syrians are not happy with the US strike:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Massive Government Preparations and Stockpiling Point To One Thing: “An Event Is Going To Happen”

Massive Government Preparations and Stockpiling Point To One Thing: “An Event Is Going To Happen”

gov-collapse1

The question is subtly Malthusian in nature: how to deal with the world’s teeming billions in one fell swoop while maintaining the existing social and political orders in all of the countries?  That order needs only to have one facade now: as Draconian an order that can be accomplished without throwing the world into a revolution against every government in existence.  The Draconian nature is as follows: CCTV cameras monitoring and cross-referencing every purchase, every bank withdrawal or deposit, every movement, and every social engagement.  The Draconian nature is one of continuous monitoring, with a rise in prices and a steadily-declining world economy, as natural resources are quietly siphoned off by the politicos and the oligarchs to stockpile for their use when the plug is pulled.

As much Draconian repression and control under a “soft” police state with continuous monitoring…while those in power lay the groundwork to collapse the system and kill off most of the world’s population…while they remain safe, and in power.

The question of the existing social and political order being maintained is being addressed in all of the countries of the world.  In the 1990’s the oligarchs rose to power after the Soviet Union’s collapse: since Putin came to power, the oligarchs who delved in politics against the wishes of the Politburo were crushed.  Those who knuckled under were given a slice of the pie with impunity and the “sign off” of the politicos, and are “big” today, even with partial or complete nationalization of their private industries.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Germany’s Gabriel Warns Qatar Crisis “Could Lead To War” As Qatar Emissary Flies To Moscow

Germany’s Gabriel Warns Qatar Crisis “Could Lead To War” As Qatar Emissary Flies To Moscow

Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that the ongoing isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies could lead to a war in the Gulf region, according to an interview he gave to Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, although he added that he still saw a chance to defuse the tension.

“There is a danger that this dispute could lead to war,” Gabriel said citing what he called a “dramatic” harshness in relations between allied and neighbouring countries in the Gulf.

The foreign minister said personal talks this week with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, and phone calls with the foreign ministers of Iran and Kuwait underscored his concerns.

“After my talks this week, I know how serious the situation is, but I believe there are also good chances to make progress.”

Gabriel also said that he had a phone conversation with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the Gulf situation on Friday and said that Tillerson showed a “very wise and prudent attitude” that has contributed to calming the conflict.

Yet while Tillerson was “calming” the conflict, during a press conference on Friday Trump appeared to be adding fire to it, when the president accused Qatar of being a “high level” funder of terrorism even as the Pentagon and Tillerson cautioned against the military, commercial and humanitarian effects of a blockade imposed by Arab states and others.

As expected, on Saturday Saudi Arabia and Bahrain welcomed Trump’s demand for Qatar to stop supporting terrorism, but did not respond to a U.S. Department of State call for them to ease pressure on the Gulf state. After severing ties with Qatar on Monday, Saudi Arabia said it was committed to “decisive and swift action to cut off all funding sources for terrorism” in a statement carried by state news agency SPA, attributed to “an official source”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Venezuela Be The Battleground In The Next U.S.-Russia Proxy War?

Will Venezuela Be The Battleground In The Next U.S.-Russia Proxy War?

(MPNThere’s no denying that Venezuela is deeply embroiled in a significant crisis. While most are aware of the country’s recent string of violent protests, food shortages and government crackdowns on opposition protesters, few are aware of the opposition’s use of underhanded and downright illegal tactics, as well as the United States’ role in funding opposition forces.

The U.S. has long had its sights set on Venezuela, which possesses the largest proven oil reserves in the world, particularly following the “revolution” that began with the election of the late President Hugo Chávez and has continued under his successor Nicolás Maduro. But changing circumstances within Venezuela may soon push the U.S. to repeat a nefarious practice it has carried out elsewhere – funding a proxy war in order to prevent Venezuelan oil from falling into Russian and Chinese hands.

At first, the U.S. government seemed content to let Maduro’s administration run out of steam on its own. But the U.S. has already issued separate sanctions against the country three times this year alone, with more planned in the coming months, as evidenced by the introduction of a recent U.S. Senate bill that would target Venezuelan government officials. The bill, titled “Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act” (S.1018), would funnel $20 million to the Venezuelan opposition, which has already received an estimated $50 to $60 million since Chávez’s election in 1998.

And now, the stakes may now be too high for the U.S. to allow Maduro’s regime to collapse under the weight of economic sabotage. By all accounts, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA is already on the brink of collapse.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Escalates Syrian Proxy War

Trump Escalates Syrian Proxy War


Back in February, it was quietly reported that the CIA had discontinued its support program to rebels in Syria. A month later, a knowledgeable source from the region disclosed to me that the Trump administration and the Saudi defense minister, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had agreed during their meetings in mid-March for the Gulf states to re-open supply channels to their rebel proxies.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis welcomes Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman to the Pentagon, March 16, 2017. (DoD photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

This was done, the source said, to keep the Syrian government’s army and its allied Russian air force occupied so that the U.S. and its Kurdish allies could continue dividing northern Syria, establishing a zone-of-influence throughout the lands they recapture from the Islamic State.

Concurrent with this was a similar effort in the southeast, where U.S. and Jordanian backed forces have been battling ISIS while attempting to establish control over the border with Iraq. The strategy was to use the fight against ISIS as a pretext for establishing a de-facto occupation of Syrian territory, where in the Kurdish-held regions the U.S. has already establishedmultiple military bases and airfields.

A major motivation behind Russia’s push to establish de-escalation zones, now implemented after a deal was reached with Iran and Turkey, was to free up the Syrian army and Russian air force to launch operations eastward against ISIS and counter the US efforts.

After the agreement came into effect the Syrian army began operations aimed at reaching the Iraqi border at the al-Tanaf crossing along the Damascus-Baghdad highway and to recapture the ISIS-stronghold of Deir Ezzor further north.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gorbachev Warns of Growing Danger

Gorbachev Warns of Growing Danger

A group of Americans visiting Russia heard dire warnings from ex-Soviet President Gorbachev that the tensions between the U.S. and Russia are creating a dangerous situation for the world, reports Rick Sterling, who is on the trip.


The former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, is 87 years old but still sharp. He told a delegation of 30 Americans in a two-week visit to Russia organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives, “This is a time to be concerned. We should worry about relations between our two countries. … Things cannot continue as they are.”

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev

President Gorbachev recalled his initial meetings with President Reagan, which came after six years of poor relations and hostility. In the first summit meeting, Reagan issued a long list of accusations against the Soviet Union; Gorbachev responded with his own accusations against the U.S. After that meeting Gorbachev said “He’s not a hawk; he’s a dinosaur” while Reagan said about Gorbachev “He’s a die-hard communist.”

At the next summit meeting, Reagan continued lecturing Gorbachev. After listening for 15 minutes. Gorbachev stopped Reagan saying, “That’s enough. If you want to talk as equals we can go very far. Differences can be bridged. Problems can be resolved. But as equals.”

Reagan asked how the Soviet Union would respond if the United States was at risk because of some kind of natural calamity. When Gorbachev said his people would want to help, not take advantage, the mood changed.

Gorbachev recalled his own friendly experience talking with average Americans. He suggested that perhaps the U.S. needs its own perestroika. He reminded us that it was President John F Kennedy who said “We need peace but not a Pax Americana ….. not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Doug Casey on the End of Western Civilization

Doug Casey on the End of Western Civilization

Let’s talk about this trend.

Doug Casey: Western Civilization has its origins in ancient Greece. It’s unique among the world’s civilizations in putting the individual—as opposed to the collective—in a central position. It enshrined logic and rational thought—as opposed to mysticism and superstition—as the way to deal with the world. It’s because of this that we have science, technology, great literature and art, capitalism, personal freedom, the concept of progress, and much, much more. In fact, almost everything worth having in the material world is due to Western Civilization.

Ayn Rand once said “East minus West equals zero.” I think she went a bit too far, as a rhetorical device, but she was essentially right. When you look at what the world’s other civilizations have brought to the party, at least over the last 2,500 years, it’s trivial.

I lived in the Orient for years. There are many things I love about it—martial arts, yoga, and the cuisine among them. But all the progress they’ve made is due to adopting the fruits of the West.

Nick Giambruno: There are so many things degrading Western Civilization. Where do we begin?

Doug Casey: It’s been said, correctly, that a civilization always collapses from within. World War 1, in 1914, signaled the start of the long collapse of Western Civilization. Of course, termites were already eating away at the foundations, with the writings of people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx. It’s been on an accelerating downward path ever since, even though technology and science have been improving at a quantum pace. They are, however, like delayed action flywheels, operating on stored energy and accumulated capital.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Existential Question of Whom to Trust

The Existential Question of Whom to Trust

Special Report: An existential question facing humankind is whom can be trusted to describe the world and its conflicts, especially since mainstream experts have surrendered to careerism, writes Robert Parry.


The looming threat of World War III, a potential extermination event for the human species, is made more likely because the world’s public can’t count on supposedly objective experts to ascertain and evaluate facts. Instead, careerism is the order of the day among journalists, intelligence analysts and international monitors – meaning that almost no one who might normally be relied on to tell the truth can be trusted.

Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations on Feb. 5. 2003, citing satellite photos which supposedly proved that Iraq had WMD, but the evidence proved bogus. CIA Director George Tenet is behind Powell to the left.

The dangerous reality is that this careerism, which often is expressed by a smug certainty about whatever the prevailing groupthink is, pervades not just the political world, where lies seem to be the common currency, but also the worlds of journalism, intelligence and international oversight, including United Nations agencies that are often granted greater credibility because they are perceived as less beholden to specific governments but in reality have become deeply corrupted, too.

In other words, many professionals who are counted on for digging out the facts and speaking truth to power have sold themselves to those same powerful interests in order to keep high-paying jobs and to not get tossed out onto the street. Many of these self-aggrandizing professionals – caught up in the many accouterments of success – don’t even seem to recognize how far they’ve drifted from principled professionalism.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Meet Britain’s Nuclear Nutcase: Defense Secretary Micheal Fallon

Meet Britain’s Nuclear Nutcase: Defense Secretary Micheal Fallon

Michael Fallon’s recent claim that Britain under Theresa May’s leadership would be willing to launch a preemptive nuclear strike confirms what many suspected – namely that the British people are being ruled by a clutch of certifiable fanatics who will get us all destroyed unless they can be reined in, and soon. The Defence Secretary’s stupendously stupid statement came in the same week that the BBC’s Andrew Marr asked Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn in an interview if there were any circumstances in which he would launch nuclear weapons?

Both taken together suggest that the moral sickness that has long pervaded the country’s privately educated elite, when it comes to unleashing wars against poor countries abroad and attacking poor people at home, has progressed into the realms of actual insanity. Have we seriously now entered an age when nuclear weapons are considered anything other than an abomination that no civilized country or non-sociopathic human being would ever contemplate using for more than a second?

If the likes of Michael Fallon and Andrew Marr are to be believed, yes we have.

The willingness to trigger armageddon is, in the run-up to the general election on 8 June, being used as evidence of the Tories’ fitness to rule. In this regard, Mr Fallon wants us to believe that the British public are convinced that North Korea and Russia to be more of a threat to its security than than the Tories are. It really does bespeak ineffable arrogance, recklessness, and irrationality to wave the prospect of launching nuclear weapons as part of an electoral strategy. Within this strategy, the inference that Jeremy Corbyn is weak because he refuses to countenance a first-strike policy vis-a-vis Britain’s Trident nuclear arsenal, is more confirmation of the upside down world that these people inhabit.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Risk of ‘Accidental’ Nuclear War Growing, UN Research Group Says

Risk of ‘Accidental’ Nuclear War Growing, UN Research Group Says

In this photo taken June 24, 2014, 1st Lt. Phil Parentrau opens the first of two blast doors leading to the underground control room at an ICBM launch control facility near Minot, N.D.The warning comes as the Pentagon begins an extensive review of its nuclear arsenal.

On Sept., 26, 1983, shortly after midnight, the Soviet Oko nuclear early warning system detected five missiles launched from the United States and headed toward Moscow. Stanislav Petrov, a young lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Force, was the duty in the Serpukhov-15 bunker that housed the Oko command center. Petrov was the man in charge of alerting the soviets about a nuclear attack, which would trigger a retaliatory strike. He determined that the Oko had likely malfunctioned and the alarm was false. The Americans would not start World War III with a quintet of missiles (risking total annihilation.) It was a daring judgment call. He was, of course, right. As the U.S. prepares to undertake a new nuclear posture review to determine the future direction of the nation’s nuclear weapons, a report from a United Nations research institute warns that the risks of a catastrophic error — like the one that took place that early morning in 1983 — are growing, not shrinking. Next time, there may be no Lt. Col. Petrov in place to avoid a catastrophe.

On Monday, the U.S. Defense Department commenced a new, massive study into its nuclear weapons arsenal, looking at how weapons are kept, how the U.S. would use them in war and whether they present an intimidating enough threat to other countries not to attack us. The review was mandated by President Trump in a Jan 27, memo.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

They Have No Proof: MIT Professor Explains Why the Assad Gas Attack Was a Sham

They Have No Proof: MIT Professor Explains Why the Assad Gas Attack Was a Sham

syria-sarin-shell

The mainstream narrative surrounding the sarin gas attack in Syria simply doesn’t add up. Even if you assume that Assad is nothing but a vile monster who would have no problem with gassing his own people, the attack still doesn’t make sense. That’s because even monsters have a sense of self-preservation.

Just days before the attack, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a reversal of a longstanding policy in Washington. He said that the US was no longer absolutely determined to oust Assad. America’s six year war against his regime was basically over. So why would Assad reignite a conflict with the world’s preeminent superpower with a chemical weapons attack? A conflict that I might add, would greatly reduce the chances of him remaining in power?

Assad is by no means a good guy. He’s not even an okay guy. He is definitely a despot who relies on violence to suppress the population. But he’s never shown any signs of being suicidal. Six years of fighting to maintain his rule proves that. What’s much more likely is that Assad is being set up.

Don’t believe our government’s claims about satellite photography catching Assad’s aircraft dropping the sarin. In fact, the little evidence that has been provided falls on its face once you take a closer look. That’s the determination of Theodore Postol, a physicist and professor at MIT, who reviewed documents released by the White House regarding the gas attack.

Postol said: “I have reviewed the [White House’s] document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria at roughly 6am to 7am on 4 April, 2017.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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