Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 24, 2017

Phoenix 2.0 - CIA To Unleash Vietnam Era Terror Campaign On Afghanistan

Last week the new head of the CIA Mike Pompeo publicly threatened to make the CIA a "much more vicious agency". His first step towards that is to unleash CIA sponsored killer gangs onto the people of Afghanistan:

The C.I.A. is expanding its covert operations in Afghanistan, sending small teams of highly experienced officers and contractors alongside Afghan forces to hunt and kill Taliban militants across the country ...
...
The C.I.A.’s expanded role will augment missions carried out by military units, meaning more of the United States’ combat role in Afghanistan will be hidden from public view.

This will be mass murder campaign. People will be pulled from their houses at night and vanish - 'eliminated'. That has been happening in Afghanistan for years, but on a relatively small scale. So far the targets were 'al-Qaeda', a small terrorist group, not the local insurgency. The new campaign will target the Taliban, a mass insurgency against the U.S. occupation. Thus is will be a mass campaign and cause mass casualties.

It is not going to be a counter-insurgency campaign, even though some will assert it is. A counter-insurgency campaign combines political, security, economic, and informational components. It can only be successful in support of a legitimate authority.

The current Afghan government has little legitimacy. It was cobbled and bribed together by the U.S. embassy after wide and open election fraud threatened to devolve into total chaos. In August CIA director Pompeo met the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and likely discussed the new plan. But the now announced campaign has neither a political nor an economic component. Solely centered on "security" it will end up as a random torture and killing expedition without the necessary context and with no positive results for the occupation.

The campaign will be a boon for the Taliban. While it will likely kill Taliban aligned insurgents here and there, it will also alienate many more Afghan people. Some 75%  of the Taliban fighters are locals fighting near their homes. Killing them creates new local recruits for the insurgency. It will also give the Taliban a more sympathetic population which it can use to cover its future operations.

A similar campaign during the Vietnam war was known as Operation Phoenix. Then some 50,000-100,000 South-Vietnamese, all 'suspected communists', were killed by the CIA's roving gangs. The polished Wikipedia version:

[Phoenix] was designed to identify and "neutralize" (via infiltration, capture, counter-terrorism, interrogation, and assassination) the infrastructure of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF or Viet Cong). The CIA described it as "a set of programs that sought to attack and destroy the political infrastructure of the Viet Cong". The major two components of the program were Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) and regional interrogation centers. PRUs would kill or capture suspected NLF members, as well as civilians who were thought to have information on NLF activities. Many of these people were then taken to interrogation centers where many were allegedly tortured in an attempt to gain intelligence on VC activities in the area. The information extracted at the centers was then given to military commanders, who would use it to task the PRU with further capture and assassination missions.

The Phoenix program was embedded into a larger civil political and economic development program known as Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support. The civil part of CORDS partially failed over bribery and incompetence. It was too expensive and not sustainable. The accepted historical judgement is that the 'security' part, Phoenix, failed to achieve its purpose despite its wide conceptualization. Its utter brutality alienated the people. The passive support for the Viet Cong increased due to the campaign.

In recent years there have been revisionists efforts by the Pentagon's RAND Corporation to change that view. They claim that the campaign went well and was successful. But those who took part in Phoenix (Video: Part 1, part 2) paint a very different picture. The brutality of Phoenix, which enraged the public, was one of the reason that forced the U.S. government to end the war.

The now announced campaign looks similar to Phoenix but lacks any political component. It is not designed to pacify insurgents but to 'eliminate' any and all resistance:

The new effort will be led by small units known as counterterrorism pursuit teams. They are managed by C.I.A. paramilitary officers from the agency’s Special Activities Division and operatives from the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence arm, and include elite American troops from the Joint Special Operations Command. The majority of the forces, however, are Afghan militia members.

There are only a few dozen officers in the CIA Special Activities Division that can support such a campaign. The lede to the article suggests that 'contractors' will have a significant role. In August the former head of the mercenary outlet Blackwater, Eric Prince, lobbied the Trump administration for a contractor led war in Afghanistan. We can safely assume that Prince and some Blackwater offspring will be involved in the new CIA campaign. The major intelligence groundwork though will have to be done by the NDS.

The Afghan National Directorate of Security was build by the CIA from elements of the former Northern Alliance, the opponents of the original Taliban. In the late 1990s the Northern Alliance under Ahmed Shah Massoud was financed by the CIA. Shah Massoud's intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, a dual citizen, received CIA training. After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan Saleh headed the new intelligence service, the NDS. Then President Hamid Karzai fired Saleh in 2010 when he resisted Karzai's efforts to reconcile with the Taliban. In March 2017 the current President Ashraf Ghani appointed Saleh as State Minister for Security Reforms. Saleh resigned(?) in June after Ghani reached a peace agreement with the anti-government warlord and former Taliban ally Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Saleh is an ethnic Tajik and an unforgiving hardliner. He is wary of Pashtun who are the most populous ethnic group in Afghanistan and the base population for the Taliban. Saleh recently founded his own political party. He obviously has further ambitions. He always had excellent relations with the CIA and especially its hardline counter-terrorism center. I find it highly likely that he was involved in the planning of this new campaign.

In the ethnically mixed north of Afghanistan the involvement of NDS led local militia will probably cause large scale ethnic cleansing. In the Pashtun south and east it will lack all local support as such NDS militia have terrorized the country for quite some time:

For years, the primary job of the C.I.A.’s paramilitary officers in the country has been training the Afghan militias. The C.I.A. has also used members of these indigenous militias to develop informant networks and collect intelligence.
...
The American commandos — part of the Pentagon’s Omega program, which lends Special Operations forces to the C.I.A. — allow the Afghan militias to work together with conventional troops by calling in airstrikes and medical evacuations.
...
The units have long had a wide run of the battlefield and have been accused of indiscriminately killing Afghan civilians in raids and with airstrikes.

It is utterly predictable how the intensified campaign will end up. The CIA itself has few, if any, independent sources in the country. It will depend on the NDS, stuffed with Saleh's Tajik kinsmen, as well as on ethnic and tribal militia. Each of these will have their own agenda. A 'security' campaign as the planned one depends on reliable intelligence. Who, in this or that hamlet, is a member of the Taliban? For lack of trusted local sources the militia, under CIA or contractor command, will resort to extremely brutal torture. They will squeeze 'informants' and 'suspects' with the most brutal torture until these come up with names of a new rounds of 'suspects'. Rinse-repeat - in the end all of the 'suspects' will have been killed.

The new plan was intentionally 'leaked' to the New York Times by "two senior American officials". It is set into a positive light:

[T]he mission is a tacit acknowledgment that to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table — a key component of Mr. Trump’s strategy for the country — the United States will need to aggressively fight the insurgents.

That claim is of course utter nonsense. The U.S. already has for 16+ years "aggressively fought the insurgents". The insurgency grew during that time. The Taliban were always willing to negotiate. Their main condition for a peace agreement is that U.S. forces end their occupation end and leave the country. The U.S. is simply not willing to do so. Killing more 'suspect' Taliban sympathizers will not change the Taliban's demand nor will it make serious negotiations more likely.

Five years from now, when the utter brutality and uselessness of the campaign will come into full light, the NYT will be shocked, SHOCKED, that such a campaign could ever have happened.

Posted by b on October 24, 2017 at 06:43 AM | Permalink

Comments

They tried this in Northern Ireland against the IRA. Didn't work.

Posted by: Depth Charge | Oct 24, 2017 6:45:53 AM | 1

I wonder how much of the "OPIUM" production these "killer gangs" will receive. Of course, it's too late for the top dogs to use the U.S.A. as a dumping ground, but there's still potential within the 3rd world for expansion. It's just too lucrative to lose, which would probably happen if the Taliban were to regain control of Afghanistan. Makes one wonder just who the addicted really are.

Posted by: originalone | Oct 24, 2017 7:55:45 AM | 2

I do wish I could express shock, or even surprise, at Phoenix 2.0; but it's been obvious for decades that the U.S. is an outlaw empire not beholden to any and all laws on planet earth.
They (the U.S.) now own the planet and will rule as they see fit: End of discusion...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 24, 2017 8:36:56 AM | 3

The other things this illustrates are a complete lack of creativity and adaptation by the CIA. They have used the same playbook, passed down for 70 years and never changed anything but the jerseys the players wear. When a simple analysis like b has done indicates the result will not be what is desired (apparently), then maybe the CIA desires something else? Like maybe a big payoff by the mercs they contract out to?

One would think that heading for the hills, bugging out, would be the strategy the Taliban adopts - because it has worked when the invaders numbers are too low, even in the face of higher tech weapons and surveillance. This will likely happen once again, and then there will be a call for "moar, moar!" to finish the 'mission'. Which has no set goal other than to be a mission to spread the money around among the players.

The Taliban goal hasn't wavered and is simple and uniformly appealing - they want the Yanks to go home. It's amazing that the same pitfall setup by the CIA entangled Russia, and then the CIA and US military walked into their own old pit. Next they still stand about, unable to concede the mission is impossible?

So this looks to me like an OP to spend money and hide it by spreading it around yet again. Very similar to Iraq, only without any spoils to spread around. Unless, of course, opium production rises again, and the protection racket baksheesh rises with it for the mercs we send.

Posted by: Oilman2 | Oct 24, 2017 8:59:01 AM | 4

Good practice for domestic operations.

Posted by: Perimetr | Oct 24, 2017 9:04:37 AM | 5

The 3rd par of your commentary on the NYT text spells out the obvious flaw in this (same old) Full Spectrum Depravity scheme, b...

"The campaign will be a boon for the Taliban. While it will likely kill a some Taliban aligned insurgents here and there, it will also alienate many more Afghan people. Most of the Taliban fighters are locals. Killing them creates new local recruits for the insurgency. It will also give it better population cover for future operations."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 24, 2017 9:09:21 AM | 6

One of the arguments for having permanent bureaucracies as opposed to political appointments is to maintain a collective memory but we are in a cycle where we keep trying failed ideas over and over again. To add insult to injury, our 'watchdog' press never calls them out on this.

I know, let's use our air power to bomb ...
I know, let's have a counter-insurgency operation ...
I know, let's fund rebels in a foreign country ...
I know, let's have assassination teams ...
I know, let's have a surge ...

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Oct 24, 2017 9:13:38 AM | 7

@4 -- "They have used the same playbook, passed down for 70 years and never changed anything but the jerseys the players wear."

Hopefully they aren't using Monsanto's "Agent Orange" on the poppy fields this time round like they did in Vietnam and Cambodia etc -- that would really undermine the Black Budget and criminal opioid supply system.

Posted by: x | Oct 24, 2017 9:45:52 AM | 8

What’s for dinner?

Commenter Originalone @ 2 nails it. It’s all about the “OPIUM” trade.

And, they have misplaced the Memo. Afghanistan is where Empires go to die. Fast forward, as in Nam, the helicopter exits will be on the horizon.

Posted by: likklemore | Oct 24, 2017 10:03:21 AM | 9

Phoenix Program killed 135,000 Vietnamese.

The result was the US ran for its life, in disgrace, General Giap's tanks chasing them out of his country.

As for the Taliban negotiating. Something is going on with Russia and the Taliban. So the US is determined to disrupt it as severely as possible. This will make Putin and Lavrov's job easier.

This Afghan war will end when the Taliban hoist half a dozen dead SOF up on a bridge or overpass for the flies and buzzards to feast while the photos go viral.

Then America will stand down. And only then, when it is a PR nightmare and historical iconic image. Fallujah, Somalia, etc.

The Pentagon and CIA won't care. The American citizens will be the ones shocked by the denouement. They are already being primed for AFRICOM adventures. Niger Ambush. Those damn Frenchies didn't save our boys. Those Mirages (an apt name for imperial aircraft in the deserts of N.Africa) never opened fire. 'Twasn't our fault. Blame the Frenchies.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 24, 2017 10:07:42 AM | 10

b, that was a lot of information presented in an excellent piece of writing. As always, I admire your economy of words. Thanks for the take.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 24, 2017 10:34:47 AM | 11

You could have added a comparison to the Death Saquads of Central America. Same thing.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 24, 2017 10:47:12 AM | 12

This is not a continuation of the Afghan war by other means. This is a colonial occupation. We now have a forward base in the Far East that borders both China and Russia that we will never abandon. Defeating the Taliban is a non-issue in the broader strategic sense. In fact, engaging the Taliban justifies the long-term occupation under the banner of defeating terrorism. Death squads are the perfect way to keep a restive population restive. Since every place on earth is a sanctuary for terrorism, every place is now deserving of American occupation, and none more so than Afghanistan. Stirring up the locals is small price to pay to distract the American people and Congress from the long term goal of maintaining a military and prison colony in the path of the Great Silk Road for at least 1,000 years. Appointing an American Viceroy to rule the colony has already been publicly discussed. With sufficient CIA success, we may achieve enough cover to allow for resource extraction to benefit our strategic stockpile without any consideration for environmental standards. Only then, will Afghanistan achieve full 19th Century colony status.

Posted by: RenoDino | Oct 24, 2017 11:05:54 AM | 13

>>>> likklemore | Oct 24, 2017 10:03:21 AM | 9

FFS, it has absolutely nothing to do with opium.

Afghanistan is where Empires go to die.

Bollocks!

And which empires did?
British Empire? Nope.
Mongol Empire? Nope.
Russian Empire? Nope.
Qing dynasty? Nope.
Spanish Empire? Nope.
Second French colonial empire? Nope.
Abbasid Caliphate? Nope.
Umayyad Caliphate? Nope.
Yuan dynasty? Nope.
Portuguese Empire? Nope.
(Top ten empires of all time according to Wikipedia)
Looking through the entire list of fifty empires that controlled more than 2% of the earth's land surface, I couldn't identify one that had been destroyed by Afghanistan. However, Montgomery's Rules of War should be amended to include "Don't go anywhere near Afghanistan because the fly-infested shithole ain't worth anything".

It didn't even come close to defeating the Soviet Empire which wisely got out of the stalemate created by American and Saudi support of the jihadists. Americans need to get it into their pea-sized brains that the Soviet Union was not defeated in Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter but broke up because its leaders had woken up to the fact that Bolshevism doesn't really work in the long term. Once Americans understand this, they should be capable of understanding that realising they are in a stalemate and just getting the fuck out doesn't mean that the Taliban have defeated them because any time it wants the US can go back, kick the Taliban out at minimal cost and the Taliban knows that. Anybody who knows about the First Anglo-Afghan War should understand what I'm saying

Posted by: Ghostship | Oct 24, 2017 11:06:33 AM | 14

The US has also greatly increased the aerial bombing. This will be further increased. The additional troops being dispatched will be used by the Afghan Army at battalion level to call in air strikes.
news report excerpt:

The second R, “realignment,” will push U.S. advisors and trainers down to Afghan forces’ battalions, and the third, “reinforce,” means adding 3,000 or so U.S. troops to help do so, Mattis said. In recent years, U.S. advisors have been embedded only at the senior levels of the conventional Afghan military and with the Afghan special forces.
“Two levels down below is where the decisive action is taking place, and we didn’t have any advisors,” Dunford said. “So even though we had some aviation capabilities, some intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, it wasn’t being delivered to those Afghan units who were perhaps most relevant to the fight.”
That means more Afghan forces — there’s 300,000 all told today, both officials said — will have U.S. troops with them capable of requesting air strikes around the country.
And the targets they’ll be able to strike have expanded as well.
“At one time, sir, we could not help Afghan forces unless they were in extremis” — that is, under direct, urgent threat, Mattis said. “And then eventually that was rescinded, but they still had to be in proximity. They had to be in contact. Today, wherever we find them, the terrorists — anyone trying to throw the NATO plan off, trying to attack the Afghan people and the Afghan government — then we can go after them.”

President Trump has told us that the real policy change in Afghanistan is no longer to build needed infrastructure, but to destroy it. The US must destroy Afghanistan to save it. Excerpts from his August speech remarks:
> have the necessary tools and rules of engagement to make this strategy work
> I have already lifted restrictions
>we are already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat ISIS, including the liberation of Mosul in Iraq. (Mosul has been completely destroyed.)
> apply swift, decisive, and overwhelming force.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24, 2017 11:17:24 AM | 15

These american overseas missions seem to have several goals one of which is for criminal government representatives and their corporate masters to set up rat lines and pay to play schemes. Of course perpetuating "boogey man" propaganda for the american public's benefit has so far kept citizens quiet and deluded.
The USG has ceased having any accountability to american citizens.

Posted by: linda amick | Oct 24, 2017 11:38:28 AM | 16

CIA further grasping at straws. Eventually, the collective action of the SCO, of which Afghanistan will eventually become a full member, will finally drive the Yanks and their NATO lackeys out of South Asia, but it won't happen anytime soon. Adam Garrie at The Duran points out the "dissonance" in the Outlaw US Empire's policy (which is directly related to the reasons for Tillerson's ineffectiveness I wrote about yesterday) and well described in this excerpt:

"Making matters all the more awkward for the US, while the US continues to attempt and fight the Taliban while treating the group as a kind of terrorist organisation, in reality, the Taliban are in fact the 'moderate rebel' which the US once spoke about in Syria, even though in Syria, moderate rebels objectively do not exist. Yet in a country, where there is a 'moderate rebellion', the US continues to take a generally hard-line approach. This attitude goes against the grain of world opinion including that of Russia, Pakistan and China who each favour military de-escalation and a peace process that, once certain conditions are met, would include the more amiable factions of the Taliban."

Garrie also delves into the CIA's heroin program and links it to its strategy to derail China's One Belt, One Road project in his conclusion. http://theduran.com/rex-tillerson-says-us-ready-work-taliban-fighting/

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 24, 2017 11:45:50 AM | 17

Still lacking is sufficient rationale for why all this expensive destructive killing behavior is necessary in this landlocked illiterate tribal country on the other side of the planet. The old tired explanations didn't work sixteen years ago and they are less worthy now.
>eliminate safe haven
>disallow planning for future 9/11
Of course they can't use the real reasons:
>Prevent "losing" Afghanistan, maintenance of the empire
>Set the example for other countries thinking of slipping the reins (or US reign)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24, 2017 12:13:51 PM | 18

The only long-term interest the US has in Afghanistan is the TAPI pipeline route. Gotta get those stranded Central Asia oil & gas assets to global markets without going through Russian or Iranian pipeline routes. Chevron & Exxon just dumped another $37 billion into the Tengiz. And they're still flogging TAPI:

(2013) In a major development, the four countries that are part of the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project have selected two US-based energy giants for financing and operating the multi-billion-dollar pipeline.

. . . transnational-project-chevron-exxonmobil-keen-on-running-tapi-pipeline/

So the CIA has been tasked with making this possible. So they'll let one group of ethnic warlords run all the criminal drug rackets they like, in exchange for their cooperation with CIA and contractors, as in Laos with the Hmong and the opium cartel in Southeast Asia.

It's a broken record and has been for decades. First it was buy off the Taliban, open TAPI. Then it was defeat the Taliban, open TAPI. This is just another tired repeat of the same stupid imperial pet tricks. If you look back at the past decade in Afghanistan, it's obvious that every single U.S. military action has been focused on controlling the TAPI route - and this is obvious to the Afghan people, too. So they'll keep blowing up any pipeline effort. And Exxon and Chevron and the CIA and US military will keep trying to push it through.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Oct 24, 2017 12:37:07 PM | 19

No great mystery here:

http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-the-saudi-arabia-of-lithium-1747

b said:"The campaign will be a boon for the Taliban."

Absolutely true. Historical context proves this over and over again, but, the corporate empire will have their resources, no matter the cost in blood and treasure.

Ghostship @ 14: good post, nothing like reality to sober up thought.

Until the reserve currency problem is solved by the world, this BS will continue..

Posted by: ben | Oct 24, 2017 12:40:10 PM | 20

thanks b..

what is the reason the usa is in afganistan?

3 choices - could be 1, 2 or all 3..

feeding the war machine.
opium
pipelines.

regardless of the reason - none of them are valid reasons on the world stage and everyone knows this, including the contractors, corporations and profiteers off any or all of it..

the usa is a rogue nation that got taken over some time ago.. that much is obvious.. when will other countries step up and put a stop to this madness?

Posted by: james | Oct 24, 2017 1:00:27 PM | 21

Ghostship | Oct 24, 2017 11:06:33 AM | 14 wrote


FFS, it has absolutely nothing to do with opium.


FFS Ghostship. You are the one sporting Bollocks.. Ask the boys who manage the processing labs; load the coffins and the routing of said coffins. They are not ghosts but carriers, like pigeons. Pentagon vs. see aye a.

No? Why is production up since the “occupation”

At the start of the US Afghani war, NYT’s cartoon posted the list of empires defeated in Afghanistan. You may remain in denial, revising history. It’s your choice. Some of us are closer to the facts on the ground - first hand accounts.

A little background for starters: - also check out the Guardian and WSJ on subject.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan

Cruel Harvest in the gardens of Empire: Afghanistan, Garden of Empire: America’s Multibillion Dollar Opium Harvest
https://www.globalresearch.ca/afghanistan-garden-of-empire-americas-multibillion-dollar-opium-harvest/5324196

Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/afghanistan-the-making-of-a-narco-state-20141204

Also, within the R S link above, read the related article written Feb 10, 2012 by Michael Hastings’ ”The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read” – that Michael Hastings whose Benz, with Michael at the wheel, had a fiery end in a single vehicle accident on June 18, 2013.


Posted by: likklemore | Oct 24, 2017 1:32:28 PM | 22

Why Afghanistan?

China, Central Asia stans, Russia.

It is the perfect platform to use against all those nations.
As long as they can fly in what they need to supply their proxies and the small numbers of special forces and some CIA guys, it works like a massive aircraft carrier.

The other thing is the trillions in minerals. Not so much to rape and take, but to deny them to China.

This is part of containment and strangulation of China and destabilization of CSTO/SCO nations.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 24, 2017 1:49:39 PM | 23

The USA is out of tricks on Afghanistan. It now thinks that a CIA covert operations will be less deadly on US military.
Pompeo has been pressed by Trump to find something that would make the Taliban small.
History shows that CIA intervention blows back years after in a worse situation.
Neither Trump nor Pompeo will be there to feel the blow back...

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 24, 2017 1:58:01 PM | 24

Ghostship@14 - The costs of Iraq/Afghanistan are now estimated to be about $4.7 trillion in constant dollars. Most of that was on credit - we created IOU's and sold them to the highest bidder. Those $4.7 trillion of IOUs also have interest that will total $7.9 trillion (if rates remain low), and that's just from IOUs created up until 2013 and payable through 2053. None of the Syria/Iraq anti-ISIS operations after 2013 nor the cost of Afghanistan since 2013 have been counted in those numbers.

http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2016/Costs%20of%20War%20through%202016%20FINAL%20final%20v2.pdf

Unmanageable future national debt use to be controlled in the US by inflating it away. The Fed no longer has the power to do that anymore, and US inflation will just drive more US businesses and jobs out of the country. We might actually be the first empire to fall because of (at least in part) Afghanistan.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 24, 2017 2:19:14 PM | 26

James @ 21 said:"3 choices - could be 1, 2 or all 3.."

feeding the war machine.
opium
pipelines.

No doubt, there there are a myriad of reasons, all involve they making of profits. And that, is why some people refer to this current empire as a corporate driven one. But then, weren't they all?

Posted by: ben | Oct 24, 2017 2:36:39 PM | 27

I very strongly recommend that everyone read Douglas Valentine's newest book, "The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World." More than fulfilling its ambitious title, this book documents how the goals and tactics of Phoenix have been deployed in the US, and also makes clear the foundational funding of CIA from narcotics.

It builds on his excellent 2014 book, "The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam" in which he documents Phoenix through the eyes of the CIA, military and private contractors who designed and implemented it. He won the trust of former CIA Director William Colby, who gave him access to - and the trust of - these terrorists. So they not only admitted, but bragged about the program that became the blueprint for the modernization of COINTELPRO we see today.

Posted by: Daniel | Oct 24, 2017 3:05:24 PM | 28

I Heartily second Daniel's recommendation @28. Along with Prouty's The Secret Team, most definitely required reading.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 24, 2017 3:12:17 PM | 29

Paveway 26
I suspect Syria is the trigger for the fall of the US empire. Russia's entry into Syria opened many peoples eyes, and countries, to what the US is about. Now, US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else will be veiwed with Syria in mind.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 24, 2017 3:27:12 PM | 30

Difficult to agree with much that is being said, no one really knows the exact numbers of vietnamese murdered by amerika during operation phoenix but it was many tens of thousands of citizens and neither them, their families, nor Vietnamese people as whole regarded this sociopathic slaughter as some minor or peripheral easily dismissed event.

I think I've already posted here about meeting, getting to know and narrowly avoiding getting into a business relationship with an operation Phoenix 'manager' in Asia about a decade after the amerikan defeat. This guy was one of the crummiest blokes I have ever met. He had a big coke habit at a time when coke wasn't readily available in the country he was deployed into. In addition to using coke pretty much continuously (AFAIK by way of amerikan diplomatic pouches) the guy was a bully who regularly used intelligence he accessed via his station, to bully the local police if they had the gall to try and protect the local children from his raping. Although mostly this was done by remote control via CIA connections with the national police who regarded local cops as little more than parking wardens - they actually performed the most vital role in law enforcement one that amerikan policing methods appear to have long despised - that is as a community based service trying to protect people within their local community but that's another story.
How did I learn all this? From the arsehole's alcohol fuelled, coke crazed tirades that is how.
I was fairly unsurprised by it as what I heard just confirmed what I had already concluded about Operation Phoenix which up until that time was the subject of hushed horror stories, but unfortunately my business partner back then had bought into that 1980's greed is good nonsense and it took entirely too much work to persuade him to get as far away from the deal as poss - to just gtfo out until the arsehole came unstuck. That happened not long after but there was no great sense of schadenfreude cos he was just moved to another station still in South East Asia.

Anyway the point I wanted to make was that altho it is unlikely that cia bosses can be blind to boozing & snorting any more, the game remains the same, so they will be using contemporaneously acceptable sociopaths, as always.

The result will be devastating for afghans. As former State Department official Matthew Hoh puts it:

"Iraq’s campaign in the Euphrates and Tigris River valleys, the Kurdish campaign in western Syria and the Saudi and UAE campaign against the Houtis in Yemen have been devastating and vicious assaults on populations, critical infrastructure and housing, that coupled with nighttime commando raids that terrorize entire villages and neighborhoods, look not to bring a political settlement, reconciliation or peace, but rather subjugate, along ethnic and sectarian lines, entire population groups to achieve American political desires in the Muslim world.

This CIA program of using Afghan militias to conduct commando raids, the vast majority of which will be used against civilians despite what the CIA states, falls in line with American plans to escalate the use of air and artillery strikes against the Afghan people in Taliban-held areas, almost all of whom are Pashtuns.

Again, the purpose of this campaign is not to achieve a political settlement or reconciliation, but to brutally subjugate and punish the people, mostly rural Pashtuns, who support the Taliban and will not give in to the corrupt American run government in Kabul."

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 24, 2017 3:42:47 PM | 31

Peter Au 30
As I have said previously here - the failure of English policy in South Africa in 1899 showed the myth of the British Empire and contributed to the emboldenment of 'a rising ' Germany, challenging England for 'market' share in 1914 .
It is ironic , in the light of present events that the 1890's U S secret service warned England not to try military solutions against Paul Kruger at the horn of Africa .
I am sure the US / Anglo interests were warned in similar historical terms at this bloody juncture in the Middle East .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Oct 24, 2017 3:44:25 PM | 32

@31 Not saying your Phoenix guy wasn't the real thing but I've spent quite a bit of time in SE Asia and Central America, some of it in bars. Just about every American I met was some kind of CIA agent either active or retired. The Brits tended to be mostly ex-SAS.

Posted by: dh | Oct 24, 2017 4:01:50 PM | 33

Frankly, we're in the last days of the US occupation of Afghanistan. There's nowhere for them to go now, to improve their position. They're just waiting for the next Taliban attack. Sooner or later one will succeed.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 24, 2017 4:15:01 PM | 34

a rogue and grueling empire in slash-and-burn mode,

given to spite.

Posted by: john | Oct 24, 2017 4:17:12 PM | 35

>>>> likklemore | Oct 24, 2017 1:32:28 PM | 22

No? Why is production up since the “occupation”

Because the Taliban decided to suppress production and when the Taliban were kicked out the Afghan farmers needed to make an income so they went back to doing what they did best, growing opium poppies and paying off the American-backed warlors. Then the Taliban decided they needed a source of income so they moved into the opium trade to raise about 60% of their income. BTW, in the early days of the British occupation of Helmand Province, the price of wheat was higher than heroin in Afghanistan and many of the farmers asked for help to convert to growing wheat which never happened because American farmers wouldn't allow it.

At the start of the US Afghani war, NYT’s cartoon posted the list of empires defeated in Afghanistan. You may remain in denial, revising history. It’s your choice. Some of us are closer to the facts on the ground - first hand accounts.

A cartoon??????? Perhaps you could provide a link to back up your claim, but I expect one from 1979 when the United States started the American War in Afghanistan before the Soviet Union intervened in defence of modernity over medieval headchoppers aka KSA? Or perhaps you can name the empires brought low by Afghanistan but don't bother naming the British Empire.

As for the rest, I quite agree that Afghanistan is a narco-state but the trade is not controlled by the CIA, the Pentagon , the so-called American Deep State or even the Rothschilds. At most, the CIA and Pentagon turn a blind eye to its operation, and HSBC probably launder some of the money

>>>> PavewayIV | Oct 24, 2017 2:19:14 PM | 26

We might actually be the first empire to fall because of (at least in part) Afghanistan.

You could very well be right but I really hope it happens peacefully.

Anyway off to get my weekly dose of opium provided by the state to calm me down a bit.


Posted by: Ghostship | Oct 24, 2017 4:32:37 PM | 36

Afghanistan is another backyard to Iran. From Kabul, head west and slaughter lots of shia up to the border of Iran. Thats what Israel has requested and that's what the yankees will do. On the side they will grossly enrich the military industrial complex and all will be well in the world.

The kurdistan game has been foiled and the Iraq government will not play ball on the mindless Israeli hatred for shia and passion for divisive politics. So lets try Afghanistan.

Watch out Herat.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 24, 2017 4:40:05 PM | 37

@33 I forgot to mention....you can usually tell the real ones from their collection of dried Gook ears. They like to keep a couple in their pockets for show and tell.

Posted by: dh | Oct 24, 2017 4:50:45 PM | 38

www.thenation.com/article/bushs-faustian-deal-taliban

Published May 22, 2001

gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the United States the main sponsor of the Taliban...

Posted by: fastfreddy | Oct 24, 2017 4:54:14 PM | 39

On reading B's excellent post, I found myself thinking Israel has similar assassination units operating under the name Sayeret Matkal.

No doubt those Israeli units would only be too happy to give training and other support to the CIA's covert program of assassination units attached to Afghan forces.

How much respect and loyalty the Afghan government will have left among its people when the CIA starts its program of police state terror in earnest is another question.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 24, 2017 5:29:08 PM | 40

There are two US initiatives to counter China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy which is budgeted at about a trillion dollars, and way out of anything the US could afford. So the US has come up with these two plans, neither one showing any promise except as a reason to continue with the AfPak war. SecState Tillerson is the point man on these initiatives. They both include a new initiative to work closely with India, and one of them requires ownership of Afghanistan.

The US has revived two major infrastructure projects in South and Southeast Asia in which India would be a vital player, the 'New Silk Road" initiative and the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor linking South and Southeast Asia. The US New Silk Road Strategy is based upon the Silk Road Strategy Acts of 1999 and 2006. What port(s) would be used to get to Afghanistan at the doorstep of the -Stans? The US Silk Road products would have to come through the Iran port of Chabahar. That would be off limits to the US. India is supposed to be doing some development there, but it's slow. India has built a highway from Chabahar to Afghanistan. The nearby Pakistan port of Gwadar is now being developed by China and so is also off limits to the US. The US has put a major diplomatic and economic effort into the -Stans, including using USAID funds to train the locals to take over US jobs in conjunction with US companies in the International Chamber of Commerce, an offshoot of the US Chamber.

The second initiative is the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor, still at a very nascent stage. It would focus on the "economic corridors between South and Southeast Asia" which implies working with India and against China. The US naval challenges in the South China Sea are probably one example. Tillerson has talked about challenging Chinese financing -- good luck on that. Tillerson: "It is important that those emerging democracies and economies (in Asa-Pacific) have alternative means of developing both the infrastructure they need but also developing the economies. We have watched the activities and actions of others in the region . . .It is important that those emerging democracies and economies (in Asa-Pacific) have alternative means of developing both the infrastructure they need but also developing the economies. We have watched the activities and actions of others in the region" . .here

Finally, the inclusion of India in Afghan affairs is what drives Pakistan to oppose the US strategy. It hasn't matter that the US has given Pakistan billions of dollars, Pakistan still sponsors the Taliban fighters who kill US troops. The current US destruction of Afghanistan and its people is not a choice of Pakistan, but it's less important to Pakistan than having an Indian presence on both flanks. Pakistan does not want to become an Indian sandwich. The two countries are arch-enemies.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24, 2017 5:37:20 PM | 41

Posted by: dh | Oct 24, 2017 4:01:50 PM | 33

I know what you mean for sure, it seems like everybody esp amerikan or englander claims to be either a well known artist/writer or been a heavy in some 'special forces' unit, but this was no bar meeting. My partner, who I went through high school with still had a lot of family living in this country, we were introduced through what in england would be called the crown prosecutor or in amerika, the DA, who was my business partner's uncle, the scumbag was mos def the genuine article, & as I said the local law enforcement types backed right away from him after they tried to rescue the 12 year old son of a local merchant and it all went to shit for the police real fast.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 24, 2017 5:55:04 PM | 42

Apparently ISIS is now responsible for destroying Raqqa...
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/10/23/photos-islamic-state-leaves-former-capital-raqqa-complete-ruin/

And yet the "coalition" has dropped more bombs there than in Afghanistan...
https://airwars.org/news/raqqa-bombardment/

They can't even be bothered to try and hide the lies anymore!

Posted by: lies and statistics | Oct 24, 2017 6:37:48 PM | 43

More info here: CIA in Afghanistan: Operation Phoenix Redux?

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Oct 24, 2017 7:05:26 PM | 44

Peter AU1 @ 30

Agree wholeheartedly. Russian involvement in Syria MUST surely have opened the eyes of millions around the world to the reality of the actual "Evil Empire".

And looks as though Vlad has taken off at least one glove or taken off the other if one views Syria as the first glove removal.

Cut & pasted this Q&A from todays Xymphora.blogspot (Highlites mine)

Putin at Valdai uses questions to take the opportunity (to)address Europe on Ukraine.. . . Also:

"Sabine Fischer: Sabine Fischer, Science and Politics Foundation, Berlin.

Mr President, you were very critical about the West’s policy regarding its relations with Russia. Indeed, many aspects that you have touched upon call for an in-depth critical discussion. At the same time, we know that in any relationship – whether between countries or between people – both sides make mistakes. So I have a question. What political mistakes, in your opinion, has Russia made in its relations with the West over the past 15 years and what needs to be done, what conclusions need to be drawn for the future of these relations?

Vladimir Putin: Our most serious mistake in relations with the West is that we trusted you too much. And your mistake is that you took that trust as weakness and abused it. It is therefore necessary to put this behind us, turn the page and move on, building our relations on the basis of mutual respect and treating each other as equal partners of equal value."

Posted by: KiwiKris | Oct 24, 2017 7:22:34 PM | 45

Lets ALL go back to Sept 11, 2001 and use some COMMON SENSE. Did 19 drunken, cocaine snorting, lap dancing strippers REALLY bring THREE buildings in FREE FALL ACCELERATION, a MISSILE hits the Pentagon, and the "Lets Roll" call is a fake with a BLANK HOLE in Shanksville, an appropriate site since America got SHANKED by the Bushie - Cheney Administration. Take a quick peek at the 2nd video and tell me FIRE did the damage to the twin towers, take a look at the bowed OUTWARD images of the Pentagon, and also the Satellite image of the top of the Pentagon showing explosions all over that "enhanced wedge".
https://mycommonsenseparty.com/new_set_of_videos_about_911_and.html

Posted by: Robert Williams | Oct 24, 2017 8:12:21 PM | 46

This will be the beginning of the undoing of the CIA.

To paraphrase a wonderful description from the late, lamented Hunter S. Thompson - this marks the high water mark when the wave of covert insane murder broke, and rolled back.

Here a thing begins, and instead of everyone talking about the thing, everyone instead is talking about the scheme behind the thing.

All commentary everywhere is talking Phoenix. And perhaps the files on the JFK assassination will be released? Afghanistan no longer even figures in the thinking of the alt-thinking. Instead it is the true enemy, the CIA, ruled by its blood simple masters, whoever they are.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 24, 2017 9:49:01 PM | 47

@13 RenoDino, thank you for expressing my thoughts on the matter..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 24, 2017 9:50:12 PM | 48

The CIA has been doing this awhile. It was called the Khost Protection Force. They were hit by a Taliban bomb several months ago.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/27/world/asia/afghan-force-car-bomb.html

Posted by: Les | Oct 24, 2017 10:15:03 PM | 49

The CIA: 70 Years of Organized Crime

On occasion of the CIA’s 70th anniversary, Lars Schall talked with U.S. researcher Douglas Valentine about the Central Intelligence Agency. According to Valentine, the CIA is “the organized crime branch of the U.S. government”, doing the dirty business for the rich and powerful.

By Lars Schall and Douglas Valentine

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47873.htm


The CIA as Organized Crime

By Douglas Valentine

January 10, 2017
Following is a slightly edited excerpt from The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and The World (Clarity Press, 2016). Ryan Dawson interviewed Mr. Valentine in May 2014.
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/01/douglas-valentine/cia-organized-crime/

Posted by: mauisurfer | Oct 24, 2017 10:29:06 PM | 50

Ghostship listed empires that do not exist anymore. However, durability of more successful empires is comparable with "nation states". Rome achieved supremacy in the Mediterranean after defeating Hannibal, ca. 200 BC, six hundred years later was still in that position, although tottering. British empire had dominating position on the seas from 18-th century to mid-20-th. Before WWII, USA had rather smallish imperial reach, so we see less than 80 years.

So the problem is not so much the inevitability of imperial decline, but the fact that USA to some extend inherited imperial project from the British exactly when the British found that it is not profitable anymore. Additionally, the project was recast in the mode of Athenian democracy: each Greek statelet was in the hegemonic orbit of Athens, and ruled with democratic institutions copied from Athens, or in the orbit of Sparta, and ruled aristocratically. So the rationale for collecting tribute was defense of the social system against the opposing system. Eventually Sparta won, so Athenian mini-empire lasted about 100 years, but that collapsed the rationale of Spartan influence, and that hegemonic sphere collapsed too within a generation.

Classic education was a part of elite toolkit until recently. For example, President George Bush (the elder) attempted to quote Thucidites who chronicled exactly what I summarized above. Characteristically, his attempt was hindered by his inability to say "Thucidites". But his predecessors pondered the fate of Athens and Sparta, and arrived at a brilliant solution: USA shall be a BENEVOLENT hegemon. Nothing so crass as collecting the tribute and thus provoking rebelions. In that sense, Trumpian "America First" may bring the end of the project. More specifically, the richest of allies that exhibited "canine devotion" for two-three generations may raise with some opposition.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 24, 2017 10:41:48 PM | 51

All this discussion of empires and none about the tools/families of private finance that enabled/maintained at least both the British and American called such empires.

If I am Reading the entrails of owls correctly private finance is about to have a serious global contender.

Why is this not OT to this posting? Because, IMO, the CIA is going to lose it Reserve Currency funding base. While they maybe could survive on drug money and such, if/when countries stop buying US Treasuries and instead buy this new alternative, the fat lady sings for real on global private finance.....and those families owning it.....way past due.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 24, 2017 11:20:17 PM | 52

psychohistorian | Oct 24, 2017 11:20:17 PM | 52

Isn't this usually the time the US does something violent to the instigator/threat to its dollar hegemon?
The Chinese curse is alive and well: May you live in interesting times...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 25, 2017 2:53:45 AM | 53

Interesting... Now Iran will take over Afghanistan too. Thanks Israel. =\

Posted by: poshpotdllr | Oct 25, 2017 3:35:04 AM | 54

Of course the US won't leave Afghanistan. It is a springboard to Iran and then, the MINERALS. Imagine the money that can be made!

Posted by: Blanaid | Oct 25, 2017 6:25:50 AM | 55

my apologies if anyone's already stuck this on the thread.

"Since 2013 The Intercept (+WaPo?) hid NSA docs showing Saudi ordering 'rebel' attacks on Damascus. Now released."

https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/922897908256706561

Posted by: wendy davis | Oct 25, 2017 9:27:07 AM | 56

The fact that the US required a separate department for homeland security is a clear indication that the "defense" department is not concerned with national security, but rather on foreign aggression to support US world (corporate & political) interests.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25, 2017 10:26:47 AM | 57

from the Republican Platform 2016--p.41


After nearly eight years of a Democratic Commander-in-Chief who has frequently placed strategic and ideological limitations and shackles on our military, our enemies have been emboldened and our national security is at great risk. Our country faces a national security crisis, and only by electing a Republican to the White House will we restore law and order to our land and safety to our citizens.
We are the party of peace through strength. We believe that American exceptionalism — the notion that our ideas and principles as a nation give us a unique place of moral leadership in the world — requires the United States to retake its natural position as leader of the free world. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25, 2017 11:00:41 AM | 58

Does Washington rule Afghanistan? You betcha. The leader of the free world could do no less.
news report
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said there is space for members of the Taliban militant group in the Afghan government, despite Washington’s plan to ramp up its military action against the radical Islamist faction.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25, 2017 11:09:39 AM | 59

@57

There is also USNORTHCOM

""U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) was established Oct. 1, 2002 to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. USNORTHCOM defends America's homeland — protecting our people, national power, and freedom of action.

USNORTHCOM plans, organizes and executes homeland defense and civil support missions, but has few permanently assigned forces. The command is assigned forces whenever necessary to execute missions, as ordered by the president or secretary of defense.""

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 25, 2017 11:52:01 AM | 60

Thanks b and all the commentators who posted here.I hope that China as a counterpart will contain US imperialism.And Putin is right.The West and especially the NATO misused the Russian trust and broke agreements.

Posted by: Theo | Oct 25, 2017 2:19:19 PM | 61

Way past time for the EU and others to stop sucking up to the USA, NATO and its incessant belligerence. There must be dirty pictures from the Bilderberg Meetups.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Oct 25, 2017 2:34:44 PM | 62

Exposing Oz Katerji And The UK Based Pro FSA And White Helmets Terrorist Propaganda Networks Operating In The United Kingdom

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/10/25/exposing-oz-katerji-and-the-uk-based-pro-fsa-and-white-helmets-terrorist-propaganda-networks-operating-in-the-united-kingdom/

Posted by: Liam | Oct 25, 2017 2:51:00 PM | 63

Might seem OT but isn't actually. Russia's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement of clarification regarding its veto yesterday of the UNSCR forwarded by the Outlaw US Empire about Syria and chemical weapons containing the harshest language I've seen as RussiaGate escalated. The Meat:

"The Americans chose to proceed with a premature vote on the draft against basic logic and the long-established procedures of the Security Council. They were obviously guided by their own considerations that are far removed from the purpose of establishing the JIM [Joint Investigative Mechanism]. It has already become their trademark to rush headlong, crudely and brazenly imposing their position on others without bothering to make any sensible arguments. We see this clearly in how allegations of Russian interference in US domestic affairs are being imposed on US society. The same methods are used in the international arena. Damascus is groundlessly accused of crimes and Moscow is charged with allegedly providing cover. They lie without shame. They have seized the JIM, OPCW and the Security Council by the throat, and their intransigence is not tempered by international law, diplomatic rules or even common sense. [Emphasis mine.]

"This course of action is causing direct damage to the foundations of multilateral diplomacy, eviscerating the work of international bodies, including the JIM, and reshaping it to suit American interests." http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2920164

It's about time the brazen prevaricating is called out. Something of the sort was hinted at by Putin at the Valdai Club Conference--he used the term "facts" versus what his interlocutor chose to call "stereotypes."

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 25, 2017 3:22:06 PM | 64

The A-Team Killings

In the fall of 2012, a team of American Special Forces arrived in Nerkh, a district of Wardak province, Afghanistan, which lies just west of Kabul and straddles a vital highway. The members installed themselves in the spacious quarters of Combat Outpost Nerkh, which overlooked the farming valley and had been vacated by more than 100 soldiers belonging to the regular infantry. They were U.S. Army Green Berets, trained to wage unconventional warfare, and their arrival was typical of what was happening all over Afghanistan; the big Army units, installed during the surge, were leaving, and in their place came small groups of quiet, bearded Americans, the elite operators who would stay behind to hunt the enemy and stiffen the resolve of government forces long after America’s 13-year war in Afghanistan officially comes to an end.

But six months after its arrival, the team would be forced out of Nerkh by the Afghan government, amid allegations of torture and murder against the local populace. If true, these accusations would amount to some of the gravest war crimes perpetrated by American forces since 2001. By February 2013, the locals claimed 10 civilians had been taken by U.S. Special Forces and had subsequently disappeared, while another eight had been killed by the team during their operations. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25, 2017 4:45:46 PM | 65

@fm 60
re: USNORTHCOM plans, organizes and executes homeland defense and civil support missions, but has few permanently assigned forces. The command is assigned forces whenever necessary to execute missions, as ordered by the president or secretary of defense.""

Yes. "USNORTHCOM . . .provide command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts. . . has few assigned forces." The US doesn't even need a standing army (Canada and Mexico are benign) but it has an active ground force of half a million and is getting more. And what good are they if Washington doesn't use them somewhere in the world?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25, 2017 4:52:57 PM | 66

#64 karlof1

Amazing. The Foreign Ministry sounding even more forthright than the Defense Ministry. How long before Russia places evidence upon evidence of US war crimes before the world?

I don't think the US understands that Russia's words walk hand in fist with its actions. And since its actions are always aimed towards peace and reconciliation, its words are often taken as mild. Instead, they should be taken as exactly representative of policy.

Hard to say where this is on the Russian scale of escalation. Russia announces that its policy with regard to the US is now based on the understanding that the US lies without shame. This is not simply name calling. This foreshadows times of further actions, perhaps when Russia will accuse the US directly of war crimes, present the evidence at the UN, and demand a resolution. The US will veto, but the evidence will be globally viral by then. Something horrific and visual that breaks through the US domestic propaganda screen, perhaps.

Perhaps, too, the evidence is waiting to be created soon by that vicious agency and its death squads in Afghanistan...

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 25, 2017 5:27:52 PM | 67

Russia should haul the US into the UNSC with charges of repeated violations of the UN Charter.
>All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
>All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 25, 2017 5:45:22 PM | 68

@61 jkarlof1 and @64 grieved.... here is the key phrase from yesterdays daily press briefing from heather nauert... " The mandate of the JIM is to identify who used the chemical weapons. Russia had indicated that it would veto that measure. They say they wanted to wait until the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s forthcoming report that’s set to be released October the 26th. They said that they would do that before deciding on whether the mechanism should be extended or not. Russia and also Bolivia voted against the measure, China and Kazakhstan abstained, and 11 countries voted to extend.

In addition to that, I just want to make it clear that we are disappointed. We are very disappointed that Russia put what it considered to be political considerations over the Syrian people who were just so brutally murdered."

ps - i thought i would throw in that last paragraph so you and everyone else can see what a blatant propaganda outlet these usa daily press briefings are... have a little arsenic with your daily press briefing...

Posted by: james | Oct 25, 2017 6:11:57 PM | 69

Very insightful expose of Trump's strategy, just what I thought exactly:

Trump takes up again the fight against the US establishment, by Thierry Meyssan


Since the end of July, the US President has created the impression that he’s a blusterer, endangering world peace with his ill-considered declarations. In this article, Thierry Meyssan demonstrates that behind these sweeping interventions, Donald Trump has stuck to his foreign policy without making a song and dance of it. This is quite an achievement as almost every member of Congress opposes him. According to Meyssan, what you have here is what is known today as a “communication strategy” (previously known as “double-dealing”). It boils down the President trying to let his friends take control of the Republican Party. This would allow him to rationalize his communication and roll-out his anti-imperialist policy more swiftly.

Donald Trump dreamt of entering politics in reaction to the events of 9/11, the official version of which he challenged. It is only after his meeting with Steve Bannon that he decided to stand for US President. He made Steve his campaign director and once elected, his special adviser. Forced by members of Congress to sack him, he supports him on the sly to take control of the Republic Party. The two men intend to make the United States a Republic again.

During the last three months, the crisis that pits Donald Trump against the US ruling class has not stopped getting tougher. The Republican Party has no qualms about betraying the President, who was one of their own. Thus it has allied itself with Trump’s adversary, the Democratic Party, against the White House. On 27 and 28 July, the two parties had Congress adopt Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. What this Act does, is to divest the President of his foreign policy prerogatives [1]: no more, no less.

[..]

Barack Obama has been supported by his administration. So he would use his communications to let his decisions be adopted by his people and the world. Thus he developed a nuclear arsenal by claiming that he was going to dismantle it. He made the enlarged Middle East a bloody battlefield by announcing a new beginning with the Muslim world. Donald Trump is trying to do quite the opposite. He is trying to take back his country’s institutions from the ruling class and make them serve his people once again. Thus he communicates thus by changing his mind like his shirt, by sowing trouble and confusion. He fills his opponents’ minds with his disorderly gesticulations yet when he is out of their sight, he patiently follows through with his policy.

[..]

Go Trump! MAGA!

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 25, 2017 6:13:03 PM | 70

ps - here is the direct link to the extended blather... https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/10/275068.htm

Posted by: james | Oct 25, 2017 6:13:23 PM | 71

@wendy davis | Oct 25, 2017 9:27 Just in time when Saudi Barbaria started switching sides...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 25, 2017 6:18:57 PM | 72

Don @68--

Precisely why I've long called my nation the Outlaw US Empire for its gross, repeated violation of its Domestic and International Law. I'd argue that the actual intent of the 1947 National Security Act was the violation of the UN Charter since it established an entity meant to endanger international peace, security, ensure justice can never be served, serves as a constant threat to the territorial and political integrity of any nation, and is meant to destabilize the fundamental purpose of the United Nations as all events and actions undertaken by the Outlaw US Empire since 1947 proves beyond doubt.

Grieved @67--

Next up, IMO, is directly calling out the lie to the face of the liar, as in Haley at the UNSC, maybe even going as far as saying the person doing the lying is full of shit and knows it. I bet Putin really wanted to do something like that at Valdai but refrained. Actions speak louder than words, so I wonder what action Russia and/or China will initiate next; perhaps the total exclusion of the dollar in commerce or something similar in gravity?

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 25, 2017 6:36:16 PM | 73

- Erik Prince also talked to........Steve Bannon. Watch the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0PLKj4bBpg

At about 1:50 into the video we hear both Bannon and Prince.

- Erik Prince had a "3 point plan" to combat ISIS:

http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/07/27/blackwater-founder-erik-princes-three-point-plan-to-destroy-islamic-state/

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 25, 2017 6:44:04 PM | 74

@ PeacefulProsperity:

who was Pierre's Stable protecting before? so the 'why now?' is Herr Tee? but still, Maz is shilling for the anti-assadist Imperium...again. comments seem to be about half calling him out.

Posted by: wendy davis | Oct 25, 2017 6:44:30 PM | 75

james @69--

Thanks for providing that. I've stopped bothering listening to most crap emitted by Depravity Central. The governmental dysfunction might be hilarious if it wasn't so deadly to so many. I wonder how long it's been since one whole day passed with no person killed by any part of the US national, state or local government anywhere on the planet--decades, certainly.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 25, 2017 6:48:26 PM | 76

One of the results of operation Phoenix in Viet nam was to convince the liberation forces that compromise with the US and its S. Vietnamese puppet forces was not possible without their own capitulation. In 1954 during the Geneva convention after the Viet minh defeated the French, Ho Chi Minh was persuaded by the Soviets and the Chinese to compromise. That compromise resulted in the US puppet regime in S. Viet nam. By 1968 they had learned their lesson. No more compromises with the US imperialists.

I suspect that this latest CIA assassination program in Afghanistan will convince the Taliban that compromise is no longer a possibility. It will be victory or nothing for them. Too bad. When Obama was first elected it sounded like the Taliban forces were willing to enter into some kind of coalition government provided the US withdrew it forces. They would be fools to agree to that kind of agreement today.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 25, 2017 11:09:58 PM | 77

Stepping back a little ... there are two forces acting on the Afghanistan outcome.

Afghanistan is currently an observer and will soon become a member of SCO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Both Pakistan and India joined this year. SCO is often compared with NATO but its focus is not on troop movements but rather the collaboration of security forces to combat "terrorism, separatism and extremism." - SCO not NATO’s foe - East Asia Forum

I think it's important to consider that while CIA works the underbelly and the skies of Afghanistan, that country will look to the SCO members to help it throw the Yankees out. And for China, the US must step aside as the Road comes through. I think it will be the proving ground of Asian sovereignty against colonialism, and a major milestone in the rise and dominance of the multi-polar world. Afghanistan will throw the US out of Asia in the same way that Syria is throwing the US out of the Middle East.

As all of this happens, the US will continue to be a presence with spoiling and destructive tactics - just as it still is in Syria, coexisting with the sovereign cleanup, albeit in ever shrinking areas.

~~

Meanwhile, far from the visible battlefield, where in many ways all of the visible actions from both sides are somewhat tactical in nature - in the real theater, the asymmetric strategy moves relentlessly forward with de-dollarization, the new buzzword on everyone's lips.

Within a couple of months, within 2017, the Yuan-denominated oil futures contract will become a reality: "It's A Huge Story": China Launching "Petroyuan" In Two Months - Zero Hedge

This strike to the jugular cannot be over emphasized as a killing blow to the US empire. If you knew you were planning this, and figured you could pull it off over time, there might be many insults you would appear to tolerate while you readied your actions.

Since the Second World War, the world has abided by the Bretton Woods agreement, which formally made the US Dollar the reserve currency, convertible to gold. In 1971, Nixon took the US off that convertibility. The US dollar floated, but oil was priced in USD, so the Petrodollar was born. The US military was the force that guaranteed the flow of oil and the markets that moved it, and the hegemony of USD as the global currency of finance.

We live at the moment in time when the US military is simply unable to fight, and the world is seeing this - Russia's arms sales increase, while US sales decrease.

We also see that China's economy significantly rivals that of the US. The Yuan is convertible to gold, physical bars of bullion in Shanghai and with the new futures contract, in Hong Kong as well - which means the world.

By the end of this year, oil will have gone back to being convertible to gold, for the first time since 1971. Oil will go back on the gold standard. There can be no doubt that historians will mark this moment as a milestone in 20th Century history - i.e. last century. The 20th century finally ended, they will say, in late 2017 of the 21st Century, when oil returned to the gold standard.

~~

We speak of asymmetrical response, and this is it. Everything that moves forward now should be considered as part of the fall from reserve status of the US currency. Certainly, Russia and China and Iran (and Venezuela and the Philippines, and many others) are thinking this every day, in every calculation.

The US is a crazed man with its hands around the throat of the world, while the world's knife twists forcefully in its gut. Just keep breathing, world, and it will soon be over.

The IMF will probably step in to stop the pain with Special Drawing Rights as the next reserve currency. All of this will take time. The US will not collapse in a spasm (one hopes) but should withdraw increasingly into an America First™ re-focus on its internal economy, as foreign imports surge in price and inflation becomes the leading media concern. This would be okay for everyone.

What will happen to shitty little Israel, and shitty little CIA, during all these events, I don't know. But I thought it was important to add the currency war into the mix, because vastly more of Russia and China's response to the actions we see on the ground has gone into this effort than to respond to the provocations directly. They have chosen to win instead of to fight.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 26, 2017 1:51:21 AM | 78

Grieved 78 "If you knew you were planning this, and figured you could pull it off over time, there might be many insults you would appear to tolerate while you readied your actions."

I have been thinking on the frozen wars of eastern europe for some time. most recent, Ukraine - although not completely frozen, it has been wound down. Syria is heading the same way.
In watching Putin over the last few years, there must always be a completed end result for any actions taken. The frozen wars of east Europe all concern ethnic Russians that found themselves stranded when the USSR collapsed.
The only conclusion I can come to, is that these will be resolved when the hedgemon falls (not the US as a state, though it will suffer when the hegemon falls), and that Putin expects it to fall. Looking at Putins career as Russian president in this light, every move he has made, every chess piece he has put in place over the years, fit into this picture.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 26, 2017 2:23:12 AM | 79

@ Greived # 78

I made a similar claim in another comment but much less detail about the ZH link. I don't think that most folks understand that the currency war as you called it is the core basis for all existing world wide conflict. I say core basis because if money is not the purpose then it is the tool used to perpetuate the conflict of another purpose.

Finance needs to be a public utility and not the jackboot it is currently......maintained by programs of projected fear like Phoenix 2.0

I am just sad to note that most Americans I run into regularly are still in the brainwashed Russia is bad, Clinton II is still not a war criminal and the World Series is going on. mode......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 26, 2017 3:34:31 AM | 80

Nice little summary Grieved. Something along the lines you describe is going on. Right now Russia and Iran are being sanctioned by the US. They are working hard at freeing themselves from the domination of the US dollar. China knows they can be next and are working to establish a new currency system. Germany, France and the UK are certainly aware of the punishment that US sanctions can inflict on their economies and should become advocates for a new reserve currency. Legislation in the US congress most definitely is considering secondary sanctions against any European nation that defies US sanctions law. It only stands to reason that these European nations will support a new currency to defend themselves from secondary sanctions.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 26, 2017 4:31:33 AM | 81

b @ 25: "Spooks and Cowboys, Gooks and Grunts (Part 1)"

For those experiencing sound track issues with the video, 'The Duran' has Part 1 with very good quality sound, here:

Spooks and Cowboys, Gooks and Grunts (Part 1)

Great work; great site.

Herk

Posted by: Herk | Oct 26, 2017 7:52:56 AM | 82

Peter AU 1 | Oct 26, 2017 2:23:12 AM | 79

Good post, based in the present. I've come to the same conclusion; Putin is playing chess to US checkers (and badly played).
The US is in its own trap of MIC. There is no way out at this point in time.
Just keep the conflicts going, sell weapons; who cares about winning?
And they no longer do...win; just sow destruction and forever war ala 1984...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 26, 2017 8:51:32 AM | 83

Addendum: If and when that war comes to their continent/home; only then will the game change...maybe...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 26, 2017 8:53:28 AM | 84

@ V. Arnold

I see it very similar, but I doubt the wars will end when they come to the US mainland. Actually I think then it would go really crazy.

It will only end when it reaches the aggressor's homes. These aggressors are keeping themselve quite in the backgrounds and they know why. They use politicians and the militaries as their tools. The aggressors are the big capital owners, the big shareholders. As soon as they would get what they deserve and the whole inhuman and structural death-bringing capitalism system is replaced by a structural peace-evolving system the wars would end. Not before.

Posted by: noname | Oct 26, 2017 2:04:42 PM | 85

to Grieved (re: "Stepping back..."): A thought provoking post regarding events I was not aware of. With all the doom and gloom commentary about horrific US policy, your post is one of the few that actually gives me hope that change for the good may actually be coming. Thumbs up!

Posted by: Ian | Oct 26, 2017 3:50:50 PM | 86

A most logic step coming from a "new" US administration.
The crusade in Afghanistan is foremost founded on one asset; opium.
Keeping forces there, US, NATO or other Warkeeping Nations ensure the continued production of opium behind the smoke and mirrors of "fighing the insurgents".
How to continue this warfare?
The next logic step is for the Allies to increase the violence against the legimative protectors of their homeland; the "Taliban".
The response from Taliban will lead to support for more troops stationed in Afghanistan yielding the targeted perpetual war.
Leading to more heroine produced in Afganistan, or in any of the "allied" nations "combating" fake-war-on-terror.

Posted by: harald | Oct 29, 2017 12:12:25 PM | 87

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Working...
 

Site Meter