Category Archives: Islamic State

‘Iraqi Kurdistan’ – Western Fifth Column in the Middle East, by André Vltchek

New front line in the fog ISIS holding the hills
New front line in the fog ISIS holding the hills

This report is dedicated to Serena Shim. Because both of us, had been covering an almost identical story. Because she is dead and I am still alive. Because she was brave. Because even as she was being threatened, and scared, she did not stop her dedicated quest for the truth, and as long as people like her live, work, struggle and die for our humanity, all is not lost, yet!

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The weather is gloomy; it is drizzling and heavy fog is covering the entire countryside. After leaving Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq, large and small military as well as police checkpoints appear; like ghosts, on both sides and in the middle of an old, dilapidated motorway, which was built during Saddam Hussein’s years.

There are huge Kurdish flags waving above the checkpoints. Small ones are attached to the bumpers of cars.

“We cannot slow down, unless the guards order us to stop”, explains my driver, as we pass by the mountains of sandbags and the aggressive black muzzles of machine guns. “They have orders to shoot without warning.”

We don’t stop, but I photograph whenever it is possible, even through the windshield.

We are driving on the road that leads straight to Mosul, the city that was taken by ISIS, or as it is known here, in Arabic, Da’ish, in June 2014.

My driver is scared. The entire region is tense and this time even the city of Erbil (also known as Arbil) has not been spared. On the 19th of November, a car bomb exploded in front of the Governor’s office, killing at least 6 people, and injuring dozens. Almost immediately, ISIS took responsibility, declaring their aim to spread insecurity in the Kurdish, which is pro-Western, enclave of northern Iraq.

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Who Makes Up the “Islamic Emirate”?, by Thierry Meyssan

In our continuing look at this artificial western construct, the Caliphate, we would like to bring as much informed opinion on the table as possible. Thierry does a marvelous job of getting to the heart of the matter.

While Pepe Escobar is roving the Eurasian plains and showing us the future, he has also talked to our featured analyst, Thierry Meyssan, on ISIS.

AE


While Western public opinion is fed information about the constitution of a purported international coalition to fight against the “Islamic Emirate”, the latter changes shape discreetly. Its principal officers are no longer Arab, but Georgian and Chinese. For Thierry Meyssan, this mutation shows that NATO ultimately intends to use the “Islamic Emirate” in Russia and in China. Therefore, both countries must act now against the jihadists before they return to sow chaos in their countries of origin.


The “Islamic Emirate” initially displayed its Arab origin. This organization sprang from “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” who fought not the US invaders, but Iraqi Shiites. It became the “Islamic Emirate in Iraq” and the “Islamic Emirate in Iraq and the Levant.” In October 2007, the US Army seized 606 records of foreign members of this organization near Sinjar. The records were inventoried and examined by experts from the Military Academy at West Point.

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ISIS is America’s Dream Rebel Army, by Tony Cartalucci

US policy paper reveals desire for construction of full-scale extraterritorial army to invade Syria. Such an army is being built in Iraq and Turkey and it’s called “ISIS.”

Brookings_SyrianOppositionArmyakaISIS

November 10, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, has served as one of several prominent forums documenting and disseminating US foreign policy. It would host in part the architects of the so-called “surge” during the nearly decade-spanning US occupation of Iraq, as well as battle plans for waging a covert war against Iran now well under way.

Part of this covert war against Iran involved the arming and backing of listed terrorist groups, and in particular, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) which has killed US servicemen, American civilians, as well as countless innocent Iranians over the decades. Among those signing their name to this plan found within Brookings’ “Which Path to Persia?” report, was Kenneth Pollack. Now, in efforts to overthrow the government of Syria, also a stated and integral part of undermining, isolating, and destroying Iran, Pollack has revealed another element of the plan – to create a full-scale proxy military force outside of Syria, then subsequently invading and occupying Syria with it.

In the report titled, “Building a Better Syrian Opposition Army: How and Why,” Pollack cites the so-called “Islamic State” or “ISIS” as the ultimate impetus for expanded US intervention. However, upon looking at Pollack’s proposal, it merely looks as if the US is using ISIS as a pretext to more overtly intervene in order to overthrow the government of Syria – not in fact neutralize ISIS.

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Lame-duck Obama’s brave new world, by Pepe Escobar

Fresh out of his latest Congressional election shellacking delivered by the minority who bothered to vote in the United States, the formerly most powerful leader in the world, US President Barack Obama, will star in a thriller this weekend, appearing in the same room with China’s Xi Jinping, Japan’s Shinzo Abe and – fasten your seat belts – Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

What a drag – the Bomber-In-Chief must be musing. The global economy is mostly a disaster. China, even growing at “only” 7% a year, keeps eroding his “indispensable nation” aura. Japan has decided to copy the Federal Reserve and embark on its own kamikaze version of quantitative easing. Numerous Southeast.

Asian nations keep freaking out about a few rocks in the South China Sea.

And last but not least, Obama’s nemesis, pesky Vlad “the Hammer” Putin, has just been crowned Most Powerful Leader in the world – even if for the most stupid reasons (“unpredictable” head of a “rogue state”) [1] – while he, the Nobel Peace Prize leader of the exceptionalist, indispensable nation, is now nothing but a pitiful lame duck.

The get-together, extended to Monday and Tuesday, will be the highlight of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing – actually, outside of Beijing, so presumably unpolluted blue skies may also have a chance at the photo op. This is APEC’s 25th birthday. And the 20th birthday of the Indonesian summit in Bogor – I happened to be there – which, under Bill Clinton’s flowery charm, set the 21-member APEC nations a goal of “free” and open trade and investment by 2020. “Free” as in US corporations dictating the rules, of course.

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Has Washington just shot itself in the oily foot?, by William Engdahl

US_Saudi_Oil

(William Engdahl – NEO) – By now even the New York Times is openly talking about the secret Obama Administration strategy of trying to bankrupt Russia by using its oil-bloated Bedouin bosom buddy, Saudi Arabia, to collapse the world price of oil. However, it’s beginning to look like the neo-conservative Russia-haters and Cold war wanna-be hawks around Barack Obama may have just shot themselves in their oily foot. As I referred to it in an earlier article, their oil price strategy is basically stupid. Stupid, as all consequences have not been taken into account. Take now the impact on US oil production as prices plummet.

The collapse in US oil prices since September may very soon collapse the US shale oil bubble and tear away the illusion that the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer. That illusion, fostered by faked resource estimates issued by the US Department of Energy, has been a lynchpin of Obama geopolitical strategy.

Now the financial Ponzi scheme behind the increase of US domestic oil output the past several years is about to evaporate in a cloud of fictitious smoke. The basic economics of shale oil production are being ravaged by the 23% oil price drop since John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah had their secret meeting near the Red Sea in early September to agree on the Saudi oil price war against Russia.

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The Caliph even has his own Chinatown

Hardly surprising. There’s a booming Chinatown in Raqqa, Syria – the capital of the Caliphate.

The absolute majority of these Chinese passport-holder jihadis are of course Uyghurs. They left China either to Cambodia or Indonesia and were regimented by – who else – Turkish intel, as in NATO, which facilitated their transit to Syria.

Over a thousand are being trained in the Waziristans, in Pakistan’s tribal areas. They are also Syria-bound – and afterwards they will be back to China.

When these jihadis return to East Turkestan – which China calls Xinjiang, its Far West – THIS is what happens: al-Qaeda-style bombings – such as the Urumqi market in May (31 dead) and a police station in Yarkand in July (96 dead).

The SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) is very much alert to all this.

No wonder, because the Caliphate’s long-term enemies are Russia and ultimately China. Sooooo convenient for the Empire of Chaos.

The frontline in Kirkuk: Kurdish peshmergas in the forefront, The Caliph's goons in the background. Brought from the Ether by: Pepe Escobar
The frontline in Kirkuk: Kurdish peshmergas in the forefront, The Caliph’s goons in the background.
Brought from the Ether by: Pepe Escobar

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The Caliph fit to join OPEC, by Pepe Escobar

Islamic State leader Caliph Ibrahim – aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – never ceases to amaze us – and most of all his powerful petrodollar-stuffed backers. The Caliph is for all practical purposes now an oil major worth of membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). His takfiri/mercenary goons – in theory – have for some time been extracting, refining, shipping and/or smuggling and clinching juicy deals involving vast quantities of oil, reaping profits of roughly US$2 million a day.

The Caliph’s oil prices are to die (be beheaded?) for; after all, he’s implementing the same low-price strategy concocted by the people he wants to dethrone in Mecca, the House of Saud. The caliphate’s GDP across “Syraq” has only one way to go: up.

And oh, the irony Top customers for The Caliph’s cheap oil happen to be “Sultan” Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Earthly paradise, aka Turkey – a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally – and that King “Playstation” Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein’s domain impersonating a country, aka Jordan.

Meanwhile, the awesome, immensely sophisticated military apparatus/intel agency acronym fest deployed by “free” US/NATO somehow is simply unable to register/intercept this racket.

Not surprising, when they somehow had not previously registered/intercepted The Caliph’s goons taking over large swaths of “Syraq” this summer with their cross-desert version of rolling thunder – that gleaming white Toyota promo ad.

As for the Empire of Chaos “solution” to intercept The Caliph’s oil profits, the only decision so far has been to bomb oil pipelines that belong to the Syrian Arab Republic, that is, ultimately, the Syrian people.

Never underestimate the capacity of US President Barack Obama’s “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” foreign policy doctrine to soar towards unreachable stupidity heights.

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The Anti-Empire Report #133, by William Blum

The Islamist State

You can’t believe a word the United States or its mainstream media say about the current conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).

You can’t believe a word France or the United Kingdom say about ISIS.

You can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab Emirates say about ISIS. Can you say for sure which side of the conflict any of these mideast countries actually finances, arms, or trains, if in fact it’s only one side? Why do they allow their angry young men to join Islamic extremists? Why has NATO-member Turkey allowed so many Islamic extremists to cross into Syria? Is Turkey more concerned with wiping out the Islamic State or the Kurds under siege by ISIS? Are these countries, or the Western powers, more concerned with overthrowing ISIS or overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad?

You can’t believe the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. You can’t even believe that they are moderate. They have their hands in everything, and everyone has their hands in them.

Iran, Hezbollah and Syria have been fighting ISIS or its precursors for years, but the United States refuses to join forces with any of these entities in the struggle. Nor does Washington impose sanctions on any country for supporting ISIS as it quickly did against Russia for its alleged role in Ukraine.

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A Caliph in a wilderness of mirrors, by Pepe Escobar

I’m aiming at you, lover
Cause killing you is killing myself

Orson Welles (director), The Lady from Shanghai,1947

The Lady from Shanghai: Rita Hayworth (Elsa 'Rosalie' Bannister) and Everett Sloane (Arthur Bannister) in the final scene in the mirror maze, where they shoot at each other (screenshot of the edition 2014 Blu-Ray)
The Lady from Shanghai: Rita Hayworth (Elsa ‘Rosalie’ Bannister) and Everett Sloane (Arthur Bannister) in the final scene in the mirror maze, where they shoot at each other (screenshot of the edition 2014 Blu-Ray)

He’s invincible. He beheads. He smuggles. He conquers. He’s the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. No Tomahawk or Hellfire can touch him. He always gets what he wants; in Kobani; in Anbar province; with the House of Saud (which he wants to replace) trying to make Putin (who he wants to behead) suffer because of low oil prices.

If this was a remake of Orson Welles’s noir classic The Lady from Shanghai, in the mirror sequence the lawyer (American?) and the femme fatale (Shi’ite?) would also get killed; but The Caliph of Islamic State would survive as a larger than life Welles, free to roam, plunder and “give my love to the sunrise” – as in a Brave Caliphate World shining in “Syraq” over the ashes of the Sykes-Picot agreement.

He’s winning big in Iraq’s Anbar province. The Caliph’s goons are now closing in on – of all places – Abu Ghraib; Dubya, Dick and Rummy’s former Torture Central. They are at a mere 12 kilometers away from Baghdad International. A shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile (or MANPAD) away from downing a passenger jet. Certainly not an Emirates flight – after all these are trusted sponsors.

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