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Bimillenary of the death of Germanicus: The Defeat of the Roman Deep State

Bimillenary of the death of Germanicus: The Defeat of the Roman Deep State

2,000 years ago, on Oct 10, 19 CE, Germanicus Julius Caesar died in Antioch, Asia Minor, perhaps poisoned by his uncle, Tiberius, then the ruling emperor. If we see Hillary Clinton in the role of Germanicus and Donald Trump in the role of Tiberius, you have an equivalent ongoing conflict. 
Most likely, the concept of “Deep State” existed in Roman times, just as in ours.

Germanicus had not gained his “agnomen” (victory name) because he was a friend of the Germans, but because he had managed to kill many of them in a series of military campaigns from 14 to 16 CE. Tacitus tells us many details of how the Romans engaged in what we would call today a Strafexpedition (“Punitive expedition”) to avenge the defeat they had suffered against the Germans in Teutoburg ten years before. 

The Romans attacked Germany with eight legions and plenty of auxiliary troops in what was probably the largest military expedition in history, up to that time. In military terms, it was a success: the Germans were defeated and forced to retreat, but the cost of the campaign was simply staggering. Reading Tacitus we can get a feeling of the enormous effort in which the Romans had to engage in order to keep their legions supplied of food, equipment (and money for the troops). Eight legions were about a third of the whole military strength of the Empire: imagine fielding them in a region having no roads and no supporting infrastructure! 

By 16 CE, it must have been clear that the effort was bankrupting the Roman state. That led to an undeclared conflict between the ruling emperor of the time, Tiberius, and his nephew, Germanicus. It was good that Germanicus could defeat the Germans (or, at least, claim victory over them).

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

The US-Iran Silent War is Transformed Into An “Iraq Uprising”

THE US-IRAN SILENT WAR IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN “IRAQ UPRISING”

The last four days have shown that the ongoing US-Iran war is acutely affecting the whole region. This is now evident in Iraq where more than 105 people have been killed and thousands wounded in the course of demonstrations that engulfed the capital Baghdad and southern Shia cities including Amara, Nasririyeh, Basrah, Najaf and Karbalaa. Similar demonstrations could erupt in Beirut and other Lebanese cities due to the similarity of economic conditions in the two countries. The critical economic situation in the Middle East offers fertile ground for uprisings that lead to general chaos.

Iraq has special status due to its position, since the 2003 US occupation of the country, as both an Iranian and as a US ally. Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi up to now has armed himself with article 8 of the constitution, seeking to keep Iraq as a balancing point between all allies and neighbouring countries, and to prevent Mesopotamia from becoming a battlefield for conflicts between the US and Iran or Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Notwithstanding the efforts of Baghdadi officials, the deterioration of the domestic economic situation in Iraq has pushed the country into a situation comparable to that of those Middle Eastern countries who were hit by the so-called “Arab Spring”. 

Fuelled by real grievances including lack of job opportunities and severe corruption, domestic uprisings were manipulated by hostile foreign manipulation for purposes of regime change; these efforts have been ongoing in Syria since 2011. Baghdad believes that foreign and regional countries took advantage of the justified demands of the population to implement their own agenda, with disastrous consequences for the countries in question.

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

India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 100 Million And Trigger Global Cooling

India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 100 Million And Trigger Global Cooling 

Every geopolitical analyst is currently observing and studying the developments that are occurring along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan. Any major flare-up in flighting between both countries could ignite a nuclear war that would kill hundreds of millions and trigger global cooling. 

The scenario for nuclear armageddon between India and Pakistan was highlighted in a report by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com titled Pakistani Kashmir Chief: Standoff With India May Spark Nuclear Armageddon.

Now, a new report in Science Advances, titled Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophehas modeled what a nuclear war could look like between both countries.

“Pakistan and India may have 400 to 500 nuclear weapons by 2025 with yields from tested 12- to 45-kt values to a few hundred kilotons. If India uses 100 strategic weapons to attack urban centers and Pakistan uses 150, fatalities could reach 50 to 125 million people, and nuclear-ignited fires could release 16 to 36 Tg of black carbon in smoke, depending on yield,” the study said.

Alan Robock, a professor in environmental sciences at Rutgers University who co-authored the paper, said more than 100 million deaths on both sides of the LoC could be seen, followed by global mass starvation and global cooling.

“The smoke will rise into the upper troposphere, be self-lofted into the stratosphere, and spread globally within weeks. Surface sunlight will decline by 20 to 35%, cooling the global surface by 2° to 5°C and reducing precipitation by 15 to 30%, with larger regional impacts. Recovery takes more than 10 years. Net primary productivity declines 15 to 30% on land and 5 to 15% in oceans threatening mass starvation and additional worldwide collateral fatalities,” the study continued.

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

The Art of War According to the Science of Complex Systems: The Seneca Cliff as a strategic weapon

The Art of War According to the Science of Complex Systems: The Seneca Cliff as a strategic weapon 

Music has always been part of the war effort: a way to build up network connections in such a way to make the fighting system more resilient and more effective. Here, an especially effective version: “The Sacred War” sung by Elena Vaenga. I wouldn’t say that the Soviets defeated the Germans in ww2 because they had better music, but it surely it must have helped.

On military matters described in terms of system science, see also the post on drone warfare published last week on “Cassandra’s Legacy” and also our study on the statistical patterns of conflicts in history


The science of complex systems turns out to be especially interesting and fascinating when applied to one of the most complex activities in which human beings engage: warfare. Below, you’ll find a revised and condensed excerpt from my book “The Seneca Effect” (2017). A more detailed and in-depth discussion of how the concept of Seneca Collapse may affect war is part of my new book “Before Collapse: A Guide to the Other Side of Growth” that should appear in print and on the web before the end of the year.

From “The Seneca Effect” (Springer 2017)
by Ugo Bardi
(revised and condensed)

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. (Sun Tzu, the Art of War)The idea that collapse can be a tool to be used in warfare may go back to the Chinese historian and military theorist Sun Tzu in his “The Art of War” (5th century BCE), where he emphasizes the idea of winning battles by exploiting the enemy’s weakness rather than by brute force.

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

Thucydides Trap & War Between China & USA

Thucydides Trap & War Between China & USA 

QUESTION: What do you make of Trump’s proposal to restrict US investment in China? Will this send the US economy into recession as everyone is saying?

DH

ANSWER: I have never seen the press so anti-president in the history of this nation. Every possible thing they claim will destroy the US economy. The US trade with China will by no means send the US economy into a deep recession. However, blocking US investment into China would send the Chinese economy down even harder.

This style of analysis always reduces the future trend to one simple event. The markets and the world economy are far more complex than a single event. This is the entire problem with Western Analysis – it is always linear and never cyclical. This is the same problem as Global Warming. They see a 1-degree rise, project that out for 50 years, and then assume the trend will remain the same – linear analysis. They always project the future in this manner and NEVER look at the trends in history to learn what are the “real” possibilities from similar events.

What you must understand is they often call this type of struggle between the current superpower (Financial Capital of the World) and the rising power to take that title, the Thucydides Trap. This is named after the ancient Greek historian Thucydides who wrote about a war that devastated the two leading city-states of classical Greece – Sparta & Athens.

Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.”

While Thucydides provided his opinion, there was another backdrop to this war which he did not cover. Looking at this from an economic issue, it was the ancient clash between Capitalism and Communism. Sparta never issued coins whereas the Athenian Owl coins became the international currency recognized even in barbarian regions.

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

Trump, FDR, and War

Trump, FDR, and War

President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran reminds me of President Franklin Roosevelt’s similar campaign against Japan prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After England declared war on Germany, owing to the latter’s invasion of Poland, the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to entry into the war. That was because they recognized that U.S. interventionism into World War I, which cost the lives and limbs of tens of thousands of American soldiers and severely infringed on the liberty of the American people, had accomplished nothing. 

Americans had no interest in doing it again. Their mindsets were similar to those of our American ancestors, whose founding foreign policy was to avoid involvement in Europe’s forever wars. 

In his 1940 campaign for president, Roosevelt told the American people that he was with them in their opposition to foreign wars. He said to them, “I’ve said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

The problem is that FDR was lying. In fact, his secret aim was to circumvent the will of the American people and somehow maneuver the United States into the war.

During that time, U.S. presidents were still complying with the provision in the Constitution that prohibits the president from waging war without first securing a declaration of war from Congress. FDR knew, however, that securing such a declaration was impossible, given the overwhelming sentiment against getting involved in another European war.

So, FDR, who is widely recognized as one of the craftiest politicians in U.S. history, began figuring out a way by which he could embroil the nation in the war despite the fierce opposition of the American people.

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

Pentagon to Present Trump, Aides With a ‘Range’ of Iran Military Options

Pentagon to Present Trump, Aides With a ‘Range’ of Iran Military Options

Gen. Dunford says US response is a ‘political judgment’

Though President Trump has downplayed the idea of war with Iran over the past couple of days, the actual decision is to be made at a high-profile meeting, either Thursday or Friday depending according to reports. 

Trump will be joined by a number of national security officials and other aides, and will be presented with a wide array of options by the Pentagon. Options are said to range from full-scale war to a simple cyberattack.

Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was very clear about the Pentagon not pushing any specific agenda on this matter, saying the response would be purely a “political judgement.”

Among Trump’s officials, Pompeo is seen as the one pushing hardest for a military response. He’s been in Saudi Arabia meeting with officials there, and probably will come back all the more hawkish. 

This response, whatever it will be, will be nominally over Iran attacking Saudi oil refineries with drones. The Iranians denied having done so, and Yemen’s Houthis said it was them, not the Iranians. 

Either way, Saudi oil output is virtually back to pre-attack levels as it is, not even a week later, which gives the appearance this whole thing was being hugely overplayed earlier in the week.

Trump has already announced that there will be sanctions against Iran, and those sanctions are set to be announced Friday as well. The timing of the two together could further reduce the pressure to take more extreme measures militarily. 

Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts “Limited Strikes”

Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts “Limited Strikes”

Just after on Friday Pentagon leaders presented Trump with numerous “military options” for a response to Iran following last week’s twin attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities, Iran has again put the US on notice that any “limited attack” will assuredly lead to major war.

The briefing on “options” for responding to Iran were followed by a late Friday Pentagon announcement that it is deploying US troops to Saudi Arabia as a “first step” which could be followed by additional “kinetic” moves down the road. “As the President has made clear the United States does not seek conflict with Iran. That said we have many other military options available should they be necessary,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in the briefing.

Iran on Saturday responded to the move by again declaring any potential “limited” US attack on Iran would certainly lead to rapid escalation. The head of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, said in remarks broadcast on state TV that no such limited strikes would actually remain ‘limited’.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, via AMN News

Gen. Salami said

“Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue any aggressor.”

Clearly understanding Trump’s deep reluctance to drag the United States into yet another costly Middle East quagmire, it appears the Iranians are telegraphing that if they can convince Washington that even a small, one-off strike on Iran could spark WW3, this could dissuade the US altogether from even limited, “kinetic” missions. 

It’s likely the administration could be spit-balling the idea of missile strikes similar to Trump’s two instances of bombing Syrian government facilities — each confined to a single night, not more than hours long, but going no further in terms of expanding the scope of originally defined objectives. 

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

Can Trump Still Avoid War with Iran?

Can Trump Still Avoid War with Iran?

Can Trump Still Avoid War with Iran?

A more fundamental question arises: If the United States was not attacked, why is it our duty to respond militarily to an attack on Saudi Arabia?

President Donald Trump does not want war with Iran. America does not want war with Iran. Even the Senate Republicans are advising against military action in response to that attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

“All of us (should) get together and exchange ideas, respectfully, and come to a consensus — and that should be bipartisan,” says Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch of Idaho.

When Lindsey Graham said the White House had shown “weakness” and urged retaliatory strikes for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Iran’s “act of war,” the president backhanded his golfing buddy:

“It’s very easy to attack, but if you ask Lindsey … ask him how did going into the Middle East … work out. And how did Iraq work out?”

Still, if neither America nor Iran wants war, what has brought us to the brink?

Answer: The policy imposed by Trump, Pompeo and John Bolton after our unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Our course was fixed by the policy we chose to pursue.

Imposing on Iran the most severe sanctions ever by one modern nation on another, short of war, the U.S., through “maximum pressure,” sought to break the Iranian regime and bend it to America’s will.

Submit to U.S. demands, we told Tehran, or watch your economy crumble and collapse and your people rise up in revolt and overthrow your regime.

Among the 12 demands issued by Pompeo:

End all enrichment of uranium or processing of plutonium. Halt all testing of ballistic missiles. Cut off Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Disarm and demobilize Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq. Terminate support for the Houthi rebels resisting Saudi intervention in Yemen.

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

Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Most human suffering is due to believed mental stories, from the psychological suffering of the individual to the large-scale suffering caused by international power structures who advance violence and oppression via propaganda. We must evolve a new relationship with narrative.

Most people’s lives are dominated by mental story, so whoever can control those stories controls the people. The good news is that all we need to do to reclaim our world from the controllers is to reclaim our stories. The barrier between us and freedom is as thin as a fairy tale.

I talk about fighting establishment narrative control a lot, not because it’s the best way to change things, but because it’s the only way. The public will never, ever use the power of their numbers to change things so long as they’re being successfully propagandized not to.

We are bulldozing a paradise while praying we go to Heaven when we die. We are killing off giant-brained leviathans in our own oceans whose mental lives we know little about while searching the stars for intelligent life. We are burning our home in our search for a sense of home.

The most condescending sound in the known universe is Bill Maher’s voice.

Joe Biden could slip into a coma tomorrow and they’d still wheel him out to the debates with the words “NOT TRUMP” scribbled on his forehead in sharpie. And he’d continue to poll in the mid-to-high twenties.

We are about three years from watching President Biden say he’s working with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to win the Cold War, soiling himself at the podium, and then CNN pundits earnestly discussing his similarities and differences to President Obama.

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

How the Houthis overturned the chessboard

How the Houthis overturned the chessboard

The Yemeni Shiite group’s spectacular attack on Abqaiq raises the distinct possibility of a push to drive the House of Saud from power

A Yemeni Shiite man holds his weapon and a flag with an Arabic inscription reading ‘Disgrace is far from us,’ as he takes part in a religious procession held by Houthi rebels to mark the first day of Ashura. Photo: Hani Al-Ansi/dpa

We are the Houthis and we’re coming to town. With the spectacular attack on Abqaiq, Yemen’s Houthis have overturned the geopolitical chessboard in Southwest Asia – going as far as introducing a whole new dimension: the distinct possibility of investing in a push to drive the House of Saud out of power.

Blowback is a bitch. Houthis – Zaidi Shiites from northern Yemen – and Wahhabis have been at each other’s throats for ages. This book is absolutely essential to understand the mind-boggling complexity of Houthi tribes; as a bonus, it places the turmoil in southern Arabian lands way beyond a mere Iran-Saudi proxy war.

Still, it’s always important to consider that Arab Shiites in the Eastern province – working in Saudi oil installations – have got to be natural allies of the Houthis fighting against Riyadh.

Houthi striking capability – from drone swarms to ballistic missile attacks – has been improving remarkably for the past year or so. It’s not by accident that the UAE saw which way the geopolitical and geoeconomic winds were blowing: Abu Dhabi withdrew from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s vicious war against Yemen and now is engaged in what it describes as a  “peace-first” strategy.

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

Will the Yemen War be the End of Saudi Arabia?

Will the Yemen War be the End of Saudi Arabia?

The attack on Saudi Arabia’s major oil processing station in Abqaiq over the weekend was a major turning point in global politics. It may be even bigger than many of us realize.

While forces within U.S. political circles, Israel and Saudi Arabia keep trying to shift the blame to Iran, the most likely scenario is that the Houthis in North Yemen were responsible for the attack as a follow up to last month’s hit which showed off the capabilities of their new drones

That attack set the stage for the latest one in a classic case of the past being prologue. By showing the world it was capable of throwing drones anywhere in Saudi Arabia rebels in Yemen created plausibility for last weekend’s attack.

And as I said the other day this attack begs a lot of questions. And the ham-fisted push to blame Iran for it, after President Trump all but ruled out a military response from the U.S. from all corners of the U.S. and Saudi establishment opens up even more.

If this was a swarm attack from Iraq and Iran, as claimed now (and supported by factless conjecture) then how did all the vaunted U.S. technology fail to account for it?

U.S. Naval CENTCOM is in Bahrain folks. Are these people blind as well as incompetent? 

No. I don’t think they are. Say what you want about U.S. political leadership and the nigh-treasonous bureaucracy supporting it, I don’t think our military is that fundamentally corrupt, lazy or stupid.

What are we spending all of the money on, after all? 

By continuing to spin this attack up as Iranian in origin people like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Saudi Arabian government are throwing the Pentagon under the bus.

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

Who Really Benefits From The “Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia” Narrative?

Who Really Benefits From The “Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia” Narrative?

After 9/11 the concept of the “false flag attack” gained prominence in American culture, and ever since, more and more people are starting to question the official narrative whenever new crisis events occur. It is possible that this is why there has not been another attack in the US on the scale of 9/11 since 2001; not because the government is doing a better job with security (there was ample security in operation on 9/11 that for some reason was not utilized), but because it’s harder for government agencies to get away fabricated disasters or scapegoating the wrong people as the culprits.

That said, sometimes governments don’t need to create a false flag from scratch. Sometimes disasters not of the government’s making can be turned into false flags, as long as they can pin the blame on the target they most want to attack.

The elites only need to get away with one major false flag every couple of decades to push the populace into a war or a cultural crisis which can be exploited. This was essentially the strategy outlined by the “Project For A New American Century”, a foreign policy think tank in the 1990’s made up of Neo-Cons and ghouls from the Council On Foreign Relations which called for a “new Pearl Harbor” that would give the US a rationale to enter the Middle East militarily and change the entire political landscape. As Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste…”

Of course, they got their Pearl Harbor, but contrary to popular opinion I think it’s wrong to assume that the PNAC was designed to open the door to American hegemony. Rather, I think the intention was to cause the opposite – the eventual fall of American geopolitical influence.

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

Questions, Not Answers Surround U.S. Push to War with Iran

Questions, Not Answers Surround U.S. Push to War with Iran

When President Trump fired National Security Adviser John Bolton last week rational people the world over cheered. 

When there was news that Trump would meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly with Iran’s President Rouhani in a few weeks there were sighs of relief.

When Benjamin Netanyahu goes to Moscow to get Vladimir Putin’s blessing to continue airstrikes in Syria and was told no, the world said, “Finally! Enough is enough.”

The problem is that there were also very powerful people who were not happy about these things. 

Moreover, there are a lot of nervous people out there worried that Tuesday’s election in Israel will not go the way they want it.

A lot of people have invested a lot of time and money in ensuring Netanyahu stays in power. And I don’t just mean Bibi himself, who will likely go to jail on corruption charges if he doesn’t win. 

I mean a lot of people in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and in Europe, all of the places where anti-Russian, anti-Iranian and pro-Israeli sentiments abound.

And this brings up the main question I always have in the wake of one of these major escalations of tensions with the country currently catching the Twin Eyes of Sauron in D.C. and Tel Aviv.

Why do they always seem to occur right after moments of de-escalation and there’s the threat of peace breaking out somewhere?

Why is it that every time President Trump tries to push the U.S. and the world away from war within a few days there’s an incident which pushes us right back to the brink of it?

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

Iran War Imminent? Trump Says US “Locked And Loaded” To Respond To Saudi Attack

Iran War Imminent? Trump Says US “Locked And Loaded” To Respond To Saudi Attack

Just as the price of oil was settling down from its record surge, it spiked once again, following a tweet by president Trump which has made war with Iran virtually inevitable.

Just before 7pm, Trump tweeted that “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”


Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!


Setting aside the implicit admission that US foreign policy in the middle-east is now inexplicably run by Saudi Arabia, what is far more troubling is Trump’s statement that the US military is “locked and loaded”, and set to attack the country which instigated the attack on Saudi facilities, which according to Mike Pompeo was not Yemen, and its Houthi rebels, but rather Iran.

Now, as Bloomberg’s Javier Blas correctly notes, Trump’s tweet has left Saudi crown prince MbS boxed: “if he doesn’t point to #Iran, he’s likely to dissapointing Trump, but he does, he could start an all-war with Tehran of unknown end.” Needless to say, it is clear which option Saudi Arabia – which has been needling for war with Iran for years – will pick.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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