Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 12, 2014

Some Links On That "War On ISIS"

Just some snippets and headlines on that non-war on ISIS.

On training, arming the "moderate rebels" there is pessimism all around:

“We need to do everything we can to figure out who the non-ISIS opposition is,” said Ryan C. Crocker, a former United States ambassador to Iraq and Syria. “Frankly, we don’t have a clue.”

 That's right. No clue at all. From a White House Briefing by a "Senior Administration Official":

"ISIL has been I think a galvanizing threat around the Sunni partners in the region. They view it as an existential threat to them. Saudi Arabia has an extensive border with Syria."

These clueless folks can't even read a map. But we saw that before with those neocons who didn't know that there were Shia in Iraq before they invaded it. There is anyway not much difference between those and the "liberal interventionist" in Obama's administration. As Melkulangara Bhadrakumar notes:

Obama’s presidency has come full circle by reinventing the neocon dogmas it once professed to reject. On the pretext of fighting the IS, which the US and its allies created in the first instance, what is unfolding is a massive neocon project to remold the Muslim Middle East to suit the US’ geopolitical objectives. Call it by whatever name, it is an imperial war – albeit with a Nobel as commander-in-chief.

But the other side has its own ideas. Food for thoughts in three tweets by Peter Lee aka Chinahand:

Westerners mock pretensns of IS Caliphate bt it seems 2 strike chord among quite a few Muslims: effort to reestablish theocratic rule in 1/3
heartland of Umayyad/Abbasid caliphates, turn page on disastrus century of colonial/postcolonial rule, replace fragmented/corrupt states 2/3
w/ united Islamic power. West passivty validates the caliphate & its transnational strategy. May be PRC/Rus that try 2 draw the line. 3/3

Is ISIS an anti-Imperial movement?

Posted by b on September 12, 2014 at 17:51 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Sorrentine could never concede,among other things, incompetency is as criminal as competency in the American imperial context.
When Bacon outlines the initial plan for Iraq he then proceeds to outline contingency necessitated by incompetency.
Sunni-Shia tensions,contained and somewhat discouraged by Baathism, were grossly exacerbated by American intervention.
It is a question, frequently on emphasis and perhaps whether one believes, as per Todd and Wallerstein,
American imperialism's hegemony is in at least gradual decline.

Posted by: truthbetold | Sep 13 2014 21:26 utc | 101

I think the conclusion of McGehee's book (he was a high lever CIA officer who was active in covert operations) is the most important part. It makes you realize, too, that much of Obama's policy is just the extension of Reagans...

McGehee Deadly Deceptions:

The CIA is not now nor has it ever been a central intelligence agency. It is the covert action arm of the President's foreign policy advisers. In that capacity it overthrows or supports foreign governments while reporting "intelligence" justifying those activities. It shapes its intelligence, even in such critical areas as Soviet nuclear weapon capability) to support presidential policy. Disinformation is a large part of its covert action responsibility, and the American people are the primary target audience of its lies.

As noted in the Church Committee's final report, the Agency's task is to develop an international anti-communist ideology. The CIA then links every egalitarian political movement to the scourge of international communism. This then prepares the American people and many in the world community for the second stage, the destruction of those movements. For egalitarianism is the enemy and it must not be allowed to exist.

On the personality tests used for picking CIA officers:

Basically, the test analyzes three different aspects of personality-intellectual, procedural, and social. In the intellectual mode the Agency is looking for an externalizer rather than an internalizer. This individual is active, more interested in doing than thinking. He must exert considerable effort when compelled to work with ideas, to be self-sufficient, or to control his natural tendencies towards activity. He is practical and works by "feel" or by trial and error. In the procedural mode, the Agency prefers a rigid (regulated) person to a flexible one. This person can react only to a limited number of specific, well-defined stimuli. Such a person learns by rote because he does not insist upon perspective. He is psychologically insulated and his awareness is restricted, making him self-centered and insensitive to others. In the social mode the Agency wants the adaptive rather than the uniform individual. He is magnetic, charming, captivating, a person who moves easily in a variety of situations. He has an awareness of and the ability to express conventional or proper feelings, whether they happen to be his true feelings or not. He is chameleon-like, for he tends to be all things to all people and has the ability to spot weaknesses in others and use these to his advantage.

According to this personality portrait, the CIA wants active, charming, obedient people who can get things done in the social world but have limited perspective and understanding, who see things in black and white and don't like to think too much. The personnel selection process the CIA has set up has its advantages, of course, but it also has disadvantages. It tends to reject those who have perspective, those who can see subtleties, those who think before they act, those who remain true to themselves no matter what the outside social pressures.

Early CIA Activities in Eastern Europe. (It is interesting that in this book, even McGehee quotes a widly erroneous number of "30,000 killed in the 1956 Hungarian 'uprising'" when the fact is that is wrong by an order of magnitude. Point being that even within the CIA the in one department who know that theirs lies, believes the lies coming from another)

The Agency was sponsoring various intelligence-collection missions and resistance movements aimed at the countries of Eastern Europe. It established Radio Free Europe to broadcast to Eastern European countries and Radio Liberty aimed at the Soviet Union. The combined budgets of the two stations amounted to between $30 million and $35 million annually. Beginning in 1950 the Agency funded the Congress of Cultural Freedom, a private cultural organization which ultimately received more than $1 million. The Agency also was in contact with a resistance movement in the Soviet Ukraine. In the early 1950s it was providing men, gold, and military and communications equipment to the Polish Freedom Movement.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 13 2014 21:28 utc | 102

@ guest77 #95
If Obama obeyed truth in advertising:
"America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden. But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead. From Europe to Asia, from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East, we stand for corporate profits and corporate welfare. These are values that have guided our nation since its founding."

Or as Marine general Smedley Butler famously said in 1933:

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

During an anti-war rally & march ten or so years ago, an attendee noticed my Smedley Butler Society tee-shirt and, off the cuff, recited this whole paragraph to me. I was impressed, to say the least.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 13 2014 21:31 utc | 103

@ guest77 #101
It makes you realize, too, that much of Obama's policy is just the extension of Reagans.

Reagan was Obama's favorite politician. Obama: "I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what’s different are the times. I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 13 2014 21:35 utc | 104

re: CIA
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
from an Amazon review:
The incident which gives this book its title reveals something essential about its tone and direction. At the end of his two - terms of office President Eisenhower called into his office, the former legendary OSS officer and director of the CIA Allen Dulles, and said to him point- blank. " After eight years you have left me , a "legacy of ashes." In other words the institution whose task it was to provide vital intelligence to the U.S. Executive on world - affairs had not done its job. Eisenhower was concerned about what legacy would be handed on to his successor, President Kennedy. And surely enough some months later 'The Bay of Pigs' fiasco occurred in great part because of the faulty plan and information provided by the CIA's Richard Bissell.

And then, according to Weiner's book, it got even worse with every CIA director. We've seen a lot of evidence of CIA shortcomings, and how it results in US strategic floundering.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 13 2014 21:43 utc | 105

@95 guest77

Spot on.

Posted by: really | Sep 13 2014 21:50 utc | 106

@john No one got banned "john", but don't let that stop you from dropping a load of sanctimonious bs onto the blog here and taking a swipe at people.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 13 2014 21:52 utc | 107


Reagan was the original strawman-president. The 'old ranger', a B-movie man playing the president on TV. His only problem - from his handlers' point of view - was that he thought he actually was president ... was in charge of American policy.

Obama is the new! improved! version. He has no illusions of making policy, he's merely the implementor and apologist for the 1%, dancing at the ends of their strings. Mr. Bojangles. Just gotta dance till payday : 21 January 2014.

Only wrinkle - from his point of view - is that the policies he's being handed for implementation might affect the ability of his mob mentors to make good on their promises. 'Might' affect the real world, from which they think they've decoupled themselves, to such an extent that the sir will escape their balloon. The well-being of the real world has, of course, never entered their calculations.

So, with his declaration of WW III, it must be the case that he, too, thinks his mentors can get away with their plans. Of course, evaluating their plans was never his strong suit. That's 'above his pay grade'. Dancing at the ends of their strings is his one and only real accomplishment.

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 13 2014 21:55 utc | 108

@102 @104

Smedley Butler is often quoted as is his "War is a Racket", but I was just reminded of another Marine who was not shy about stating his views ...


I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own—and if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the "haves" refuse to share with the "have-nots" by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don't want and above all don't want crammed down their throats by Americans.

... Ike appointed him over a passel of more senior men as commandant.

Ike's problem was not his various laments on the way out of office ... it was his failure to clean house more thoroughly when he had the power to do so. He could have gone over the heads of them all and actually taken on the abuses he instead chose to 'warn about' on his way out the door.

Now, without a genuine democratic uprising in all 175,000 precincts of all 435 CDs in the US, one that sweeps the Republicrat/Demoblican machine away before it, there is no hope of (re)gaining control of the US government.

They are going to fly our plane into the ground, and we appear all to be buckled in and cozy, just awaiting the crash. It's 'god's will' I guess. Yeah. Right. Some of us still complaining all the way down, but none of us doing what it takes to avert it.

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 13 2014 22:16 utc | 109


21 January 2017

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 13 2014 22:18 utc | 110

@Don Bacon: "I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not."

It is true in lots of ways - the America that emerged from the Vietnam period was very nearly a changed America and much for the better. The Church Committee basically did for the US Security State what Khruschev's secret speech did for the legacy of Stalin.

After the upheavals that Vietnam caused - we had a the growth of the Civil Rights, anti-War, Women's Rights movements, and even a revitalization (or at least a stanch in the bleeding) of the labor movement. Big movements socially - including abortion rights, and advances in Affirmative Action. Then there was Watergate and that atmosphere - literally Congress laughing at the Executive - even jailing some of Nixon's henchmen and the ultimate: the impeachment of Nixon. Not that the US had "changed" - we were still doing dastardly things in Angola and other spots in the world - but the country was starting to. I don't know if I'd take it this far - but some argue it is as close as the US has ever come to a real revolution since 1776.

And Reagan put a dead stop to it.

He was the counter-revolution. From his speech a Philadelphia, Mississippi which basically announced no more ground would be given to the Civil Rights movement, to his attacks on unions, his aggressive and brutal foreign policy, his acceptance of the Religious right and the GOP taking the Equal Rights Amendment off of their platform - and his all around championing of the US oligarchy and economic inequality.

So if that's what Obama admires - the counter-revolution - then that says it all and he has certainly proved it again and again. What's "amusing' is that though he is a counter-revolutionary at heart - he presented himself as and swept to power as the ultimate "Hope" and "Change" revolutionary.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 13 2014 22:25 utc | 111

@John francis lee: "Just gotta dance till payday : 21 January 2017."

Exactly - its written all over his face and in all the reports that he hates being president and spends his time mostly golfing.

Who knows where this man will end up - with a "foundation" ala Clinton? In the pay of Goldman Sachs - a do nothing job for a couple of million a year?

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 13 2014 22:35 utc | 112

@Malooga - that video you posted is incredibly creepy. It's an interesting look at that software - Palantir being a huge government contractor at this point, and that really shows why. And of course as easy as one could use something like this for Syria, so could it be used in the United States for all manner of social engineering.

This kind of knowledge, for the most part, is behind very expensive paywalls. There are companies too that will mine the "firehose" of Twitter for marketing or other purposes - tracking the movement of different social phenomenon through the population.

I don't know if people will ever understand exactly how we can be manipulated by all of this stuff.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 13 2014 22:43 utc | 113

"NA)- The Syrian army seized back the strategic town of Helfaya in the Central province of Hama from the Al-Nusra Front terrorists after heavy clashes. Military sources in the region told FNA that over 1,500 Al-Nusra Front militants have fled to other nearby villages.

Also in the past 24 hours, Syrian military sources announced that Al-Dukhaniye district in Eastern Damascus has come under full control of the army..."

Posted by: really | Sep 13 2014 22:43 utc | 114

"...TEHRAN (FNA)- Over 50 terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group have turned themselves in to the Iraqi police in Al-Anbar province during the last few days, a provincia official announced on Saturday.

"Following a warning by the Iraqi Tribes Council to the Takfiri terrorists, 52 ISIL terrorists surrendered themselves through the mediation efforts of tribesmen in the past six days," spokesman of Iraq's Tribes Council Sheikh Ahmad Al-Zayabi told Eram news website today.

Earlier this week, the Iraqi army killed at least 70 ISIL members in Al-Anbar Province in the Western parts of the country A large number of Arab and foreign terrorists were among the ISIL militants killed in Al-Khafajia region in Anbar province.

The Iraqi army conducted its military operations in cooperation with the tribal forces in Al-Khafajia region...."

Posted by: really | Sep 13 2014 22:53 utc | 115

"...TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior border guard commander on Saturday emphasized his forces' ful preparedness to defend Iran's Western borders, and said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant(ISIL) terrorist group doesn’t dare to attack the country.

"There is no problem at the country's borders and Iranian borders enjoy full security," Commander of the Western province of Kermanshah's Border Guards Brigadier General Kiumars Sheikhi told FNA on Saturday.

He downplayed the military power of the terrorist groups, specially the ISIL, in the region, and said the foreign media have attempted to exaggerate their power.

"The ISIL doesn’t dare to approach the Islamic Republic of Iran's borders and is too small to make a move against us," Sheikhi underlined. "The Iranian military and Law Enforcement forces are prepared to give a crushing response to any threatening move against the security of our bordering areas," he added..."

Posted by: really | Sep 13 2014 22:59 utc | 116

"...HRAN (FNA)- Managing Director of Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company Alireza Qaribi announced on Saturday that his company will have a test-run of the gas pipeline to Iraq in early October and the official start of gas supplies to the neighboring country will be early next Iranian year (will start March 21, 2015)."The operations for the construction of Iran-Iraq gas pipeline is complete and we are now in the pre-startup tests phase after which the pipeline will be ready to initial test-run gas injection by early October," Qaribi told FNA on Saturday.

Asked about the date for the official start of Iran's gas supply to Iraq, he said, "As per the negotiations between Iran and Iraq, Iran's gas cannot be exported to Iraq under the current insecure conditions, hence it will be exported to Iraq early next year, yet this will be the senior officials who should make the final decision in this regard."..."

Posted by: really | Sep 13 2014 23:07 utc | 117

"MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) – The video of the execution of a British citizen David Haines by the Islamic State (IS) has appeared on the Internet, ABC News reported Sunday.

The video was posted on the website of the Search for International Terrorist Entities(SITE) Institute, which monitors the activity of Islamic terrorists on the Internet..."

Posted by: really | Sep 13 2014 23:13 utc | 118

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 13, 2014 6:25:01 PM | 110

The focus on Presidents might be the wrong-headed way to go. In terms of economics, it's likely more useful to watch who Wall Street appoints Federal Reserve chair. On that front, the neoliberal counterrevolution began with Paul Volcker. His key policy: "The Federal Reserve board led by Volcker raised the federal funds rate, which had averaged 11.2% in 1979, to a peak of 20% in June 1981. The prime rate rose to 21.5% in 1981 as well. Thus, the unemployment rate climbed up over 10%." This well-timed 'high-unemployment policy' introduced the neoliberal 'corporate profits uber alles' economic policy we've had ever since, crushed unions, and in effect got Ronald Reagan elected.

As for foreign policy that was a two-or-three decade process. Under Reagan the covert part was renewed. Direct war (disregarding tiny Grenada) began under Bush Sr., but with definite 'almost no US casualties' limits. The types of intervention just short of direct intervention and intervention generally expanded under Clinton, and he articulated the worldwide crusade for corporate globalization headquartered on Wall Street. Final steps of unrestrained use of direct military force were ushered in by Bush. Obama's administration has carried on Bush's legacy, turned our military focus more explicitly on Russia and China, and has massively expanded surveillance and drone murder. All of this looks, especially from 1980-2003, less President-centered and more the working out of a long-term plan, the PTB gradually increasing the intensity of our overseas interventions so as not to disturb the sleep of a couple generations freaked out by the Vietnam War carnage.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 13 2014 23:16 utc | 119

The recent execution of the UK hostage should not make UK lawmakers rush into in hot headed trigger happy revenge decisions to begin bombing in Syria. Although the killing of the UK hostage was horrible, the UK must not be pulled into making a thoughtless irrational decision. That is exactly what ISIL wants. The Iraqi army appears to be making gains against ISIL in Syria, Irans border with Iraq is secure and ISIL-free. In addition, assad's forces seem to be holding its own against al nusra front and ISIL.

Now is not the time to be fanning flames with revengeful bombing campaings in Syria. Smart planning is needed on all aspects of dealing with ISIL. Bloodlust revenge is gonna beget bloodlust revenge. Not to belittle the UK and US hostages deaths, if there is any left, proportional and rational decision making must be utilized by the US and UK governments.

Posted by: really | Sep 13 2014 23:32 utc | 120

@fairleft 118

It's all part of the bigger picture.

You can say that Reagan's presidency was the angry thrust of a resurgent deep state after they successfully shrugged off the Church commission, and got rid of Carter by manipulating Iran Contra, up to and including sabotaging the rescue mission.

Then that resurgent deep state partnered with the newly muscular financial industry post Vockler. Michael Milliken at Drexel Burnham's innovation of the market in junk bonds allowed nearly free money for the use in mergers and acquisitions, which rapidly de-industrialized the country, and sent the working class/middle class down the toilet. NAFTA finished off industry, all pensions were handed over to big corporations via the 401k, and here we are.

Posted by: Crest | Sep 13 2014 23:46 utc | 121

Well I have stated my opinion several times about this. This is just an attempt to get IS 'back on track', that is attack and overthrow the Syrian Govt and then attack Lebanon, not scare important people with all this Iraq stuff.

Carrots and sticks being offered on the table. If IS 'get with the program' the US will hammer the Syrian Army for them, give them money, weapons and training (over and above what they already get from the US, SA, Turkey, etc). If they don't comply and persist in doing 'what the big boys don't want them do' (like attack the Kurds), then they will be (pin pricked) bombed in Iraq.

Think of it an attempt at 'behavioural modification'. From the 'coalition of the stupids' point of view IS are just 'our boys' that have 'slipped the leash' a bit.

Trouble is I expect IS have their own plans and hopes, that might not coincide with what their 'creators' want, when has that ever happened before?

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Sep 14 2014 0:13 utc | 122

@121 oldskeptic

Yes you have said that before and I have thought the same thing. But I wonder if their monster is malfunctioning and is off the reservation or is it dormant like you say. I will tell you this, if they start bombing ISIL occupied populations they will create real ISIL supporters and fighters in Syria and that may be the plan to bolster the numbers. But that might boomerang big time and smack the empire and its allies on the tempal because those new ISIL supporters created by empire bombings may not turn their hostilities against Assad like the empire wants, but they may go after the US, UK, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Israel and any other allies of the empire. Could get real f'd up.

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 0:45 utc | 123

really #122. " Could get real f'd up." ... totally agree with you 100%, whatever finally happens it is going to be a total CF.

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Sep 14 2014 1:06 utc | 124

ISIS this:


Petromax, LLC,* Bay City, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $45,693,862
modification (CONTRACT INCREASE) (P00002) exercising the first option period on a
one-year base contract (SP0600-14-D-0451), with one one-year option period.
This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery
/indefinite-quantity contract for automotive gasoline

******for the country of Israel.**********

What does that +$45,693,862 fixed-price contract modification mean?

"The national average price of gas ended the month of January (2014) about four cents
**cheaper** than it began. Today’s national average is $3.28 per gallon."

"If we can get through September (2014) without any major refinery or overseas problems,
we should see more gas stations **drop below** $3.00 per gallon this fall.”

So if the 'economic price adjustment' for 2014 is +$45,693,862, when gasoline prices have
**FALLEN** from $3.28 to $3.00 (-10%), then HOW BIG IS THIS CONTRACT,(?1/2-BILLION?),

Posted by: ChipNikh | Sep 14 2014 1:29 utc | 125


Cheney and his future anonymous Energy Policy Committee met with the Afghan Taliban in Houston in 1997, while George Bush was Governor of Texas. The Taliban were put up on a NY penthouse near the UN (which did not recognize them, nor Afghan Ambassador Hamid Karzai), while Cheney's crew (e.g. Enron) pushed the Taliban to grant them a pipeline concession to India.

At some point in July 2001, now VP Cheney's State Department junior ambassador is alleged to have lost her patience (Nuland's 'F*ck UE' moment) and told the Taliban, "You can either have a carpet of gold, or a carpet of bmobs."

To their credit, the Taliban told the b*tch to bring them mint tea, and put on a shawl.

Planning and logistics for the US invasion began in August 2001, which if you know ANYTHING about US Military, could not POSSIBLY have begun in November without that advance logistics.

After Karzai was pushed through the Loya Jirga to Chief Executive by immense pressure and baaksheesh directly from Cheney, Karzai nevertheless awarded the fabulous Aynak and Hajigak strategic reserves to China and India respectively. The famous US 'Surge' was ordered by Cheney in rage and retaliation (executed by Obama), then Clinton is on the record bribing Karzai with $5B diverted from US humanitarian aid funds, (which Karzai lost in Dubai R/E speculation then Clinton had to rush back and back-stop Bank of Kabul with $3.5B more, to prevent an audit that would have revealed her betrayal to the American people.)

But to Karzai's credit, even though Cheney's EPC group wrote the Afghan Hydrocarbon and Strategic Minerals Laws IN ENGLISH and in NOVEMBER 2001 (before the new 'Afghan Government' even existed!), then Hillary bribed him with $8.5B (of which she received $50M and Karzai paid off her $-35M bankrupt presidential campaign, e.g. 1% standard water carrier fee) to Karzai's everlasting credit, he nevertheless awarded the Aynak copper to China, and Hajigak iron & coking coal, as well as the Oil & Gas concessions, to India.

Ha, ha. Everyone in the world knows how corrupt US Mil.Gov is, and their words are LIES.

So OEF-A was already planned BEFORE September 11th, then 'September 11th' was really about destroying Congressional records of Rumsfeld's $2.3 TRILLION IN MISSING FUNDS malfeasance stored at the Pentagon, with backup files at WTC 7. There must have been a lot of smoking guns, skeletons in closets, a lot of betrayal and treason in those files, to slam a cruise missile into the Pentagon at just the right spot, and 'pull' WTC7 with a demolition team, knowing, according to German and Israeli advance intel, that a diversion attack was coming.

It was the SAUDIS, and NOT the Afghans, who slammed two planes into the WTC as purely a diversion. The classic 'bitch slap' before the rape at the Pentagon. Planned by, funded by, executed by, Saudi Royals. This is all documented fact, and now look where we are today.

Oil was $15 a barrel under Clinton, then shot to $147 after Cheney's Holy Oil Wars, and remains around $100 today, castrating the US economy, 92,000,000 jobless or homeless or both, giving the Saudis ONE BILLION DOLLARS A DAY FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS in excess oil profits above ~$25 a barrel Prince Bandar publicly stated would be a 'reasonable price'.

It's also documented fact the Saudi Royals are sponsoring ISIS, and publicly declaring on their media in Riyadh that they are doing so, (whether they personally are or not), because Iraq just had the temerity and lack of humility and foresight to announce in July they were back to pre-war oil production levels and 'ready to go to 8MBPD, a hot dagger in Riyadh's TRILLION DOLLARS IN EXCESS OIL PROFIT HOT MONEY SLOSHING ENDLESSLY AROUND THE WORLD schema.

The Iraqi Gov's must not be too bright, and now Uncle Kerry-Kohn says they 'have to go'.

Photo-documentation has also surfaced showing John McCain meeting with Abu Bakr during a covert trip into Syria while on an 'inspection tour', promising to fund 'moderate' mercs, and pretending he didn't know who the people in the room were, as if that's not laughable.

It's all happening in plain view now, because we are SHEEP, and they know it. Panetta just lost ONE TRILLION DOLLARS on his shift. Nada. Mil.Gov just awarded $SEVEN BILLION to Spook Central WADC-NOVA for a New Global Intelligence Putsch. Nada. NOBODY SAYS A WORD, because that boy CIA plant in Russia and his Mossad ally Greenwald have everyone cringing in fear.

Subzero in Kiev in just 65 days from now, and they have no heating gas.

Tick tock.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Sep 14 2014 2:21 utc | 127

"...We are dealing with a diabolical project:   The architects of the Islamic State have informed the World that they are “going after” their own terrorists as part of a counter-terrorism operation While these actions are undertaken under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism”, the US has no intention to target its IS own terror brigades which are integrated by Western special forces and intelligence operatives. In fact the only meaningful and effective campaign against Islamic State terrorists is being waged by Syrian government forces Needless to say, US, NATO, Saudi and Qatari support and funding to the Islamic State will continue. The objective is not to destroy the Islamic State as promised by Obama. What we are dealing with is a US sponsored process of destabilizing and destroying both Iraq and Syria The campaign against the Islamic State is being used as a justification to bomb both countries, largely targeting civilians The endgame is to destabilize Iraq as a nation state and trigger its partition into three separate entities.

The broader US-NATO strategic objective is to destabilize the entire Middle East- North Africa -Central Asia South Asia region, including Iran, Pakistan and India."

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 2:48 utc | 128

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Sep 13, 2014 8:13:03 PM | 121

comedy now - AP!

The Obama administration has said that the Islamic State group, the target of more than 150 U.S. airstrikes in recent weeks, does not pose an imminent threat to the continental U.S. The Khorasan group, which has not been subject to American military action, is considered the more immediate threat. ... Khorasan refers to a province under the Islamic caliphate, or religious empire, of old that included parts of Afghanistan.

Yep.Sure. It just happens to be an Iranian province, and historically the center of the Persian empire. The black flags of Khorasan and the Mahdi army are Shiite.

It also just happens that the supposed Khorasan Jihadis dangerous to the US live in Syria.

Does ISIS hold a female US aid worker? I fear they need another PR move.

The way the article makes Obama distinguish between "continental US" and US citizens elsewhere is ominous.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 14 2014 3:41 utc | 129

To really and OldSkeptic at 122 & 123.

I would go so far as to venture "yet another CF." Mideast has long been FUBAR, DC hopes to generally extend this state, IMHO, esp. in the Ukr.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 14 2014 3:44 utc | 130

ISIS and Syrian "moderate" rebels reach cease fire

... will congress next week still agree to arm the "moderates" ...?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 14 2014 6:48 utc | 131

guest77 @ 106

"sanctimonious" might better describe yours and your friend Malooga's 'mastery' of the art of paraphrasing. so, keep up the good fight, guys, that is, for the longevity of the 'sacred blog.' i'll fight for free speech.

Posted by: john | Sep 14 2014 7:27 utc | 132

@130 somebody

You would think the US congress would not, especially after the american journalist James Foley was kidnapped by so called moderate terrorist group al Nusra Front and then sold to ISIL whom eventual beheaded him.

But then it seemS james foley was against war in general and possibly a dove...we can connect the dots from there...
Interview with american journalist James Foley

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 8:52 utc | 133

"...A Japanese man apparently captured by an Islamic militant group in northern Syria is believed to be a 42-year old who established a private military firm in January, sources said.

The man, believed to be Haruna Yukawa, was apparently taken in by the Islamic State at a location in the vicinity of Aleppo...

...A Twitter account allegedly tied to the Islamic State described the footage as the questioning of a Japanese mercenary soldier. It also said the man was executed "with divine judgment."

But the accuracy of that information could not be confirmed. So far, the Islamic State has not claimed responsibility for taking him prisoner nor demanded any ransom.

There is also a report that he was with the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group, which is pitted against the Islamic State.

Journalists familiar with conflict zones suspect that Yukawa was captured as a spy from a Western nation, as Syria’s civil war continues and the U.S. military starts conducting air raids in Iraq.

Sources within the Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Yukawa likely entered Syria illegally since there is no official record showing his entry..."

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 10:03 utc | 134

"...The officer stated already in August 2011 that the USA was actively preparing for at war on Syria, Lebanon and Iran, that US Special Forces were on the ground in Syria, supervising and cooperating with among other armed fighters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Al-Qaeda associated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a cohort of other terrorist organizations.

The officer further stated, that the training of foreign fighters, and the entire “operation” is planned and executed along the guidelines of a Special Forces Training Circular for Foreign Fighters and agents, called TC 18-01. The confidential Training Circular has been published in it´s entirety in a previous article on nsnbc. ( 2) When comparing the evolution of the crisis in Syria with the training manual in unconventional warfare it becomes evident that the development in Syria is cynically planned and executed by foreign powers.(ibid.

Western Main Stream Media has for more than one year neglected numerous witnesses, experts and analysts reports abou the presence of Special Forces in Syria. The fact that reports about Special Forces are being published now is most likely a function of the wider publics manipulation towards accepting, or even demanding a larger military intervention under the pretext of humanitarian principles..."

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 11:28 utc | 135

"...Of the countries Obama and Kerry approached for their coalition, two - Jordan and Turkey - said no to launching attacks on Syria from their territory. Even the United Kingdom said they would not participate in attacking ISIL positions in Syria. As many as 300 British citizens are said to be fighting for ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Due to pressure from the Israel Lobby in the United States, a group that always puts the interests of Israel ahead of the quite different and often opposing interests of the United States, Obama missed an opportunity to create a truly effective coalition that could carry ou Obama’s wish to «destroy» ISIL.

Obama and Kerry continue to cling to the notion that they can simultaneously destroy ISIL in Syria and vanquish the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the same time. Such ideas are fanciful and not grounded in reality. The Saudis were the source of the chlorine and sarin gas attacks on Syrian civilians and it was Saudi Arabia that nurtured Al Nusra and ISIL The notion that a few Syrian government defectors who live in expensive hotels in Istanbul on a Saudi credit card represent any sort of«army» is ludicrous…"

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 11:48 utc | 136

Oil was $15 a barrel under Clinton, then shot to $147 after Cheney's Holy Oil Wars, and remains around $100 today, castrating the US economy, 92,000,000 jobless or homeless or both, giving the Saudis ONE BILLION DOLLARS A DAY FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS in excess oil profits above ~$25 a barrel Prince Bandar publicly stated would be a 'reasonable price'.

Not too mention Putin and Russia. He and it would still be flopping around like a fish out of Soviet water were it not for this pure, adulterated profit. Russia wouldn't even be a regional power and Putin never would have ascended and consolidated so much power in such a short period of time. And finally, the folks at MOA wouldn't have as much to gripe about — and that would be tragic, so I guess we should thank our lucky stars for artificially high oil prices.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 14 2014 12:20 utc | 137

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 13, 2014 11:44:53 PM | 129

You know what still makes America great? The fact you're able to hate it in broad daylight without anyone harming a hair on your pompous red head. The fact you're able to coerce college students into accepting your version of history in order to pass your class. The fact you're able to hold a faculty position in an American University considering your views. The fact your insulting hypocrisy is tolerated at all.

America still has that — barely, but it still does. If you and your ilk were to have your way though, it wouldn't have it for much longer. You are abusing freedom of expression to end freedom of expression. That's worse than irresponsible — it's evil.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 14 2014 12:29 utc | 138

To Cold1 137 --

If I may paraphrase Carole King "It's Bloviation... Keeping my waiting."

Sue Patriotic Music, Ol' Glory flutter in the background. Maybe Goldwater on the crawl, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

Total ad hominem. Can't say we've done a good job in the Middle East, can you? So....

FYI, I tell the students on day 1 -- "You don't have to agree with me to do well. I have to order and present the material, can only speak from my own point of view. If you best me on any aspect of this material -- and with some time, maybe a little outside reading, it's possible, I don't know everything -- I will be a happy man, I will have done my job."

I break down my aim for the course to them pretty straightforwardly -- "I aim to give you a fully functional historical bullshit detector. You get folks making historical arguments to you all the time, you gotta be able to sort them out before you vote, agree, buy, etc." And hey, if they want to turn it on me, more power to 'em.

Anyway, your response is "only words," as I have seen you say any no. of times.

I am surprised you waited so long to go McCarthy on me. He would paid me proper for daring to dissent, wouldn't he? Another dodge.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 14 2014 12:46 utc | 139

re 117. The video was posted on the website of the Search for International Terrorist Entities(SITE) Institute, which monitors the activity of Islamic terrorists on the Internet..."

It's a funny thing but virtually none of the media this time around have admitted that it was SITE who published the video. Maybe too many questions were asked at the time of the Sotloff video.

I sometimes wonder how it is that SITE go about their monitoring. As far as I understand it, it is a very small organisation, not with serried ranks of researchers going through jihadi websites. I've always supposed they were just taking a feed from Israeli and/or US monitoring.

Plus of course fabricating their own videos. There's never any way of getting at the source sites.

Posted by: Alexno | Sep 14 2014 13:02 utc | 140

@ 68 Malooga

While I agree that the Empire's strategy includes balkanizing any country showing strength such as Yugoslavia, the paradox is that a many, many localized small states would challenge empire due to the cost involved with controlling them all.

Posted by: linda amick | Sep 14 2014 13:53 utc | 141

"You don't have to agree with me to do well. I have to order and present the material, can only speak from my own point of view. If you best me on any aspect of this material -- and with some time, maybe a little outside reading, it's possible, I don't know everything -- I will be a happy man, I will have done my job."

Ha! Nice plausibly deniable caveat but it doesn't change the fact you hold all the cards and can screw them over and do. Most academicians are authoritarian bullies who use their status and tenure within the University system to demand respect and obeisance from the student body. I have no doubt you're no different.

Still, I won't begrudge you your Napoleonic Complex. Some of your students will, and surely some already have learned, learn a valuable lesson about abuse of power and freedom of expression, and in that sense the old maxim applies that something good can come from something bad.

The fact you implored people not to view my latest blog post is all the proof I need to support my characterization of you as a professor. You should be ashamed, but of course, you have no shame.

You're good for one thing — you serve as an example of why responsibility is an absolute necessity to uphold freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is a responsibility that must be taken seriously and applied judiciously. Those who abuse it should be held up as examples of enemies of free speech and expression. By abusing free speech and expression in spreading venomous propaganda you seek to abolish free speech and expression and replace it with a Putin-like model of a highly-controlled and dictated narrative.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 14 2014 14:11 utc | 142

Posted by: linda amick | Sep 14, 2014 9:53:04 AM | 140

That is the reason they have to fight each other.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 14 2014 14:12 utc | 143

We are in the midst of a purge of liberal professors, radio djs and tv personalities.

Every successful student has had to get a feel for the politics of his teachers and dance around them. It has never been any other way.

I've tolerated my share of wingnuts and warmongers for teachers.

Today I find my child's writing assignment - an essay about the meaning of the flag (the word freedom is in parenthesis in case direction is needed).

I think that the red stripes represent the blood of millions of native inhabitants. Their souls were given freedom from their earthly vessels.

If my kid turned in a paper like that, God help him.

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 14 2014 14:30 utc | 144

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 14, 2014 10:30:26 AM | 143

I agree, it rubs both ways. Also, try freely expressing in a corporate environment. A pattern emerges. The greater the degree of hierarchy, the less freedom of expression. Academia, Corporations and Government are highly hierarchical and therefore highly authoritarian resulting in a smothering of free expression.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 14 2014 14:37 utc | 145

@139 alexno

Your assumptions are more than likely valid.

Site for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) = ISIL, ISIS, IS, AL QAEDA, ETC., ETC.....

They sure were in our face with the name huh? Talk about brazen...

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 14:38 utc | 146

@Malooga #22

You said: "It was obviously beneath you to follow my link to the Carter Center Syrian Project and watch the video: Using Technology to Map Conflict in Syria In reality, the conflict is mapped and tracked down to the street level. (You see, the West has discovered this thing called ”databases” -- like ‘Al Qaeda’ heh, heh...) Money is tracked just as carefully. Social media is used very effectively for verifiable reporting.

Someone smart could take that link, and a few others, and write something intelligent and revealing about how imperial destabilization really works."

A couple of notes:

1) The so called Palantir map is derived from news reports, press releases, and social media. Or in other words, much of what passes for 'intelligence gathering' these days. I personally would take it with a gigantic grain of salt.

2) Tracking of money, etc is both far more detailed and far less precise than you think.

Sure, every SWIFT transaction is recorded somewhere. But, this is no different than bank transfers in the Middle Ages: then too was every transaction recorded somewhere. There are far better tools to try and analyze such data, but the scale of the data has increased by multiple orders of magnitude. For a simple example: there are gigantic numbers of money transfers from guest workers in wealthier countries to relatives in poor countries. This can be fairly significant even at the individual level: a single hard working construction worker in the US can be sending hundreds of dollars a month home.

How do you know this is a real construction worker - when they can be both illegal and off the books? Equally, that the destination of the money is an actual family as opposed to a bagman?

Don't conflate pretty pictures as automatic reality. While Palantir certainly has its uses, ultimately its technology is nothing more than a scaled up version of this:
And note that we're not talking about a few hundred gentlemen in Boston - we're talking about literally the entire male population of the Middle East (and diaspora), 100 million? 50 million? A large number no matter how you look at it.

In fact, this is why Facebook, twitter, etc are so convenient: instead of someone having to manually enter organizations or individuals and their connections, social media has this all digitized and largely via the individual's own efforts.

But of course, if Paul Revere KNEW he was being looked for and how - he would not act the same as he actually did. The jihadis are already savvy enough to know to keep their communications limited - that and the daily 'survival of the drones' is evolving them in the most realistic school possible via LaMarckian means to improve.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 14 2014 14:42 utc | 147

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 14, 2014 10:30:26 AM | 143

So you are teaching your kid that he is not free when writing on freedom :-))

Actually, in school and university, kids usually can write what they want to write. It is just much more work and will cost them one or two grades.

Normally there is a choice of topics so you can find a neutral one. If I am not mistaken even in the GDR you had an alternative to the praise of Lenin.

In a company it will cost you promotion and extra money. And the quality of your work has to stand out.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 14 2014 15:09 utc | 148

Non special ops ground troop solution...smells like fallujah and a snuff video to a johnny cash track filmed in an SUV speeding through Iraq...wash, rinse , repeat.

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 15:20 utc | 149

Posted by: somebody | Sep 14, 2014 11:09:59 AM | 147

Are you joking? Another example of The Unintentional Satirist.

It's not free expression if you're punished for it. Receiving less of a grade and being passed over for promotions and or pay raises is a form of punishment. That's not freedom of expression if you're penalized for freely expressing.

One wonders considering your illogic, what would be an example of squashing freedom of expression?

Cutting out someone's tongue and amputating all their assorted appendages and for the cherry on top give them a lobotomy?

In Russia it's now against the law for a male to present with a limp wrist or a pink shirt, but in somebody's book, that's not squashing freedom of expression.

Maybe you should change your screen name to Outrageous.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 14 2014 15:22 utc | 150

And just to show you I practice equal opportunity opprobrium, I hold this Putin's Russia critic to the same standard — and get this, he's also a rufus magister (red-headed professor).

FYI, he banned me from his blog after only several blog posts, so despite b's motivation, at least he honors free expression unlike the nutty, street-walking professor at the following link.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 14 2014 15:27 utc | 151

regarding the comment by b - 'these clueless folks can't even read a map' - there is an article discussing this same idea with regard to all the msm pointing out why they think russia is trying to make a road from novorossiya to crimea.. as he points out - have they even looked at a map?

the point in pointing this out, as b rightly does, is it does reflect on the level of integrity / clarity - or not of usa leaders and the press that take up their talking points.. the dumbing down of the general public is the end result..

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2014 18:33 utc | 153

Holefield of course values the Zio-capitalist greed and culture-levelling effects of American imperialism more than Russian resistance, which Russian history shows, yes, often needs hierarchy to enforce, as I'm sure he realizes, being a student of historical Russophobia.

Posted by: truthbetold | Sep 14 2014 19:36 utc | 154

Someone calling himself salah posted a link at the whisky bar to an 'article' by someone calling himself Ralph Peters at a site called the 'Center for Democracy in Lebanon'

How a better Middle East would look.

The maps are interesting. Obama seems to have been handed the string ...

Sorry if you've seen it before.

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 14 2014 20:26 utc | 155

I wonder how Russia/ China/ Iran is going to react if US/UK and their allies bombs start falling falling on Assads military instead of .ISIL.

Posted by: really | Sep 14 2014 21:22 utc | 156

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 14, 2014 8:20:26 AM | 137

you really hate Putin like the good little aparatchik you are.

Posted by: brian | Sep 14 2014 22:06 utc | 157

"Damascus, SANA – Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said than alliances that exclude Syria, China, and Russia may have certain agendas in mind.

In a statement to al-Manar TV on Sunday, Mikdad said that the statements made in the past two days by the states that attended the meeting in Jeddah indicate that there is a real disagreement among those states, as some of them stated that they will not join the proposed alliance, while some said that they won’t arm or fund.

The Deputy Minister denied the existence of any secret contact with the United States, asserting that al the actions taken by the Syrian leadership are in the open and before the eyes of the Syrian people which is why it enjoys the people’s respect and it has credibility to them.

He said that talk of an independent Saudi role is a joke, because Saudi Arabia is subservient to the United States and its only role is to implement policies and pay money.

Mikdad stressed that the battle which Syria has been waging for three years is all about the refusal of President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian people to accept any interference or violation of Syria’s sovereignty."

Posted by: really | Sep 15 2014 0:39 utc | 158

In Russia it's now against the law for a male to present with a limp wrist or a pink shirt, but in somebody's book, that's not squashing freedom of expression.

Hey, Cold N. Holefield --

You stupid troll!

You know that you are either an ignorant fool intentionally spreading hate, or that you are pompous liar intentionally spreading hate.

My only question to you is, which is it?

How would you like to be ripped a new legal asshole? Because I’m going to do it right now in front of everyone who reads this blog, you little obnoxious mosquito.

How do you know what you are talking about? Do you have the relevant laws in front of you right now in a language that you can understand? Do you? Can you share with us the relevant Titles, Chapters, Parts, Sections, Paragraphs, and Clauses from this law you seem to be so familiar with? Huh? Huh?

Because I do.

These are the relevant laws: (46 pages of them)
Federal Law № 135-FZ, Federal Law № 124-FZ, Federal Law № 436-FZ, Federal Law № 139-FZ, Federal Law № 50-FZ, Code of Administrative Offenses.

And here’s the link to them in english:

Russian Federation Anti-Gay Laws: An Analysis & Deconstruction by Brian M. Heiss

Now, I challenge you: If you are not a troll, show me the law.

Here's a quote directly from the troll's own mouth on this very page:

By abusing free speech and expression in spreading venomous propaganda you seek to abolish free speech and expression and replace it with a Putin-like model of a highly-controlled and dictated narrative.

I don’t know why b or anyone else would allow provable serial liars to infest the pages of their blogs spewing falsehoods day and night. To my mind, it serves no positive purpose. Either the lies go unchallenged, or the whole blog is taken up in challenging them. Either way, it sucks all of the joy and energy out of honest, healthy debate. But its not my blog, so who cares. And yes, Mr. Pragma added a thousand times the value to the discussion that you do.

So, Cold N. Holefield, kindly tell us whether you are an ignorant fool intentionally spreading hate, or a pompous liar intentionally spreading hate.

We are waiting.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 15 2014 2:07 utc | 159

@ linda amick:

Yes, you are right. Resistance is eternal. (Thank God!) Running an empire is like being a five year old having fun playing whack-a--mole -- for your entire career! How utterly fruitless and boring. Being one one the moles, however, is personally challenging, socially and morally rewarding, and, at times, lots of fun! (It usually doesn't pay very well, though ;-))

Either the human race learns a better way of managing their affairs, or we will all be gone within 100 years.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 15 2014 2:19 utc | 160

First, a little quality control -- for the record, if you haven't figured it out, I am responding to 138, not 137. It's all word salad, just different ingredients.

guest77, malooga, et. al, you're moving to fast for me, guys. I've been thinking about early Russia (vs. Muscovy), prompted by discussion of the Saker's political taxonomy. May or not post on it, just reading on it for diversion.

Let's see what gets said vs. what gets done, in DC vs. Eur vs. among the regional clients, (meant as cats. of comparison, not actually adversaries).

And what the various "streets" in the world for to say, if they can.... As I have had occasion to say on this very thread, I think, FUBAR in Mid. East, it will take a bit to see what bad becomes of it. Or should I, bads, I guess that's the purpose of the exercise.

However it works out, I'll need another drink, innkeeper.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 15 2014 2:57 utc | 161

@Fast Freddy # 144

Today I find my child's writing assignment - an essay about the meaning of the flag (the word freedom is in parenthesis in case direction is needed).

The Flag and Freedom in Early America
by Malooga (with a tear in his eye)

The design of the US flag is directly descended from the designs of the flags of the British Charter Companies. The Origin and History of the American Flag pps. 220-223. That is why many maintain that we, as a nation, were born under a fascist flag, and that we will likely die under one. Let me explain.

As early as as early as 1704, the British East India Company had the exact same thirteen red and white stripes that we now have, although what they stood for is not recorded, and perhaps not known. (Note: This is the East India Company, tasked with trading and colonizing the area around what we now know as India. In addition to the black-and-white picture found in the link above, one can see a color picture of the flag on the East India Company wikipedia page, although in the interest of US patriotic propaganda, the flag is now incorrectly dated as being in service from 1801 on. As the link above shows, it actually predates the birth of America by many years.) The only difference between the two flags is that, in splitting with Britain, the Union Jack insert in the upper left corner was logically removed and replaced with the 13 stars, which symbolically represented the original 13 states. The stripes, which had not symbolized states, but perhaps investor groupings as their numbers varied from corporation to corporation, were left untouched.

Chartered Companies were the forerunner of todays corporations. A group of merchants were granted a charter for a specific area of the globe, and then pooled their investment resources and risks in setting up a trading company. The arrangement was mutually beneficial, as it gave the monarch foreign policy separation from commercial activity, as well as the loyalty of the new wealthy commercial class; the investors, in turn, were granted limited liability in the case of loss or bankruptcy, similar to what stock holders have today. In return, these investor/merchants paid a certain sum to the regent, and were required to pledge their loyalty. The story is told by Buckminster Fuller in chapter 3 (HEADS OR TAILS WE WIN, INC. ) of his remarkable book, The Grunch of Giants. (Free Download.) Much of British history was this battle between monarch and commerce.

Charter Companies represent the point in history when commercial capital began to have separate interests from the ruling regent. This came about do to the development of the stout-ribbed sailing ship, which for the first time in history was capable of carrying significant amounts of cargo or weaponry. This allowed the amassing of significant amounts of wealth. Concurrently, developments in finance and banking, education, science, warfare, philosophy and propaganda led to much of the modern world as we know it today.

Among the Charter Companies involved in the settlement and exploitation of America were the British Virginia Company (1606), Massachusetts Bay Company and Providence Island Company (1629); the French Compagnie de l'Occident (1664), and Compagnie du Mississippi (1717); the Dutch New Netherland Company (1614), and Dutch West India Company (1621); and the Swedish New Sweden Company (1638–1655), and Swedish West India Company (1786–1805).

This new legal construct, the Charter Company, accorded wealthy people many powerful new rights they never had before:
*They could invest as a group with legal standing.
*They were granted limited liability, meaning that they could not lose more than their original investment.
*They were granted vast territories (generally for free) where they had the exclusive right of trade or settlement.
*They could form their own banks.
*They had the right to own, manage and grant or distribute land under their charter.
*They had the right to raise their own police force and make their own laws (within reason).

It is easy to see from this description that Charter Companies combined many of the properties which today we attribute to government (control over a delimited physical territory, monopoly of power, legal rights, trade policy, banking policy), with those that we attribute to corporations (limited liability, investor rights, distribution of profits). Now what was that word that we use today to describe the marriage of government and corporations? I know it starts with an “F,” and while “Freedom” is resonating in an Orwellian way, I seem to remember there was a more accurate word. (Note to Fast Freddy: This is where your child might need to ask his teacher for help.)

At this point, we should briefly explore the difference between a Right and a Freedom. A right is a legal, moral, or social claim that people are entitled to, primarily from their government. A freedom is the right to conduct one’s affairs without governmental interference. In other words, a right is something the government gives to you, while a freedom is something a government does not take away from you. The wealthy investors had rights -- extensive ones -- granted by their government. The settlers’ had limited freedoms that their Charter Company did not take away from them. Let’s look at what life was like for the settlers.

While it may be true that certain groups of settlers belonged to persecuted religious sects in Europe, the relationship between the Chartered Company, who was investing money in the venture in the hope of earning a profit, and the settlers, was purely of a financial nature. There were any number of different financial schemes involved in getting things going, but once a settlement was established in what is now “America,” the settlers were responsible for finding and producing enough export crop (tobacco, rice, indigo, sugar etc.) to pay off the investors, and to pay for their extensive import needs (as they found no department stores in this new land). This could take many years, and often an entire lifetime. So their situation was technically one of debt bondage or peonage, or indentured servant -- the first category removed from absolute chattel slavery. After a colony’s debt was theoretically paid off, they remained a captive market for several generations, which gave them little, if any, economic bargaining power.

Freedom -- is a word we all love, but like the Supreme Court and pornography, none of us can define it. Were the settlers free? Economically, as I have described, they were not, often for several generations. Were they free to live long, healthy lives? Certainly not. Life was extraordinarily harsh and precarious. There were many settlements completely overrun by the local natives where a great number of people died and others where everyone died; in other settlements everyone died without leaving a record why. Most colonies lived in fear of native attack, especially as they expanded beyond their original settlements, taking over native land and breaking treaties. (Native peoples did not have our sense of individual land ownership and resource rights, and to put it generously, the settlers deep religious views allowed -- no, encouraged -- them to murder and screw over the natives every chance they got.) Finally, crop failure and starvation remained a threat for several generations. Also, settlers encountered both new and old diseases.

Settlements, due to their precarious nature, were very authoritarian hierarchical communities. There was relatively more freedom for the leaders of the community, and very little for the young and least skilled. Regardless of social position, all worked six days a week and spent half of their one day off in church.

Which brings us to the subject of religious belief and freedom. All people are, and have always been, free to believe whatever they choose within the confines of their own mind. It is true that a mere handful of original settlement communities, numbering far less than a thousand people in total, such as the Pilgrims and the Puritans, whose faiths had been persecuted in Europe, were free to follow those faiths in the New World.

But, while American history proudly trumpets a few cases of religious freedom, it willfully ignores the almost universal religious intolerance -- and America’s first communities were in most ways, far more intolerant than European societies of the same time period. American colonies were small and parochial, while Europe was large and diverse.

Smithsonian Magazine, in an article entitled “America's True History of Religious Tolerance,” relates:

The initial encounter between Europeans in the future United States came with the establishment of a Huguenot (French Protestant) colony in 1564 at Fort Caroline (near modern Jacksonville, Florida). More than half a century before the Mayflower set sail, French pilgrims had come to America in search of religious freedom.

The Spanish had other ideas. In 1565, they established a forward operating base at St. Augustine and proceeded to wipe out the Fort Caroline colony. The Spanish commander, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, wrote to the Spanish King Philip II that he had “hanged all those we had found in [Fort Caroline] because...they were scattering the odious Lutheran doctrine in these Provinces.” When hundreds of survivors of a shipwrecked French fleet washed up on the beaches of Florida, they were put to the sword, beside a river the Spanish called Matanzas (“slaughters”). In other words, the first encounter between European Christians in America ended in a blood bath.

In other words, the new settlers often treated those white people of another faith, which they happened to encounter, as cruelly as they treated the natives.

Again, it is notable that the famed Puritan fathers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony did not countenance tolerance of opposing religious views. Their “shining city upon a hill” theocracy, the ideological precursor of American Exceptionalism, brooked no dissent, religious or political -- and that sanctimonious, self-righteous tradition continues to this day. (“You are either with us, or with the terrorists.”)

The most famous dissidents within the Puritan community, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, were banished following minor disagreements over theology and policy. (These disagreements were often so theologically abstruse -- like Antinomianism -- as to be almost incomprehensible in our day.) From Puritan Boston’s earliest days, Catholics (“Papists”) were anathema and were banned from the colonies, along with other non-Puritans. Four Quakers were hanged in Boston between 1659 and 1661 for persistently returning to the city to stand up for their beliefs. And would any survey of religious freedom in early America be complete without mentioning the Salem Witch Trials -- perhaps the nation's most notorious case of mass hysteria -- where 20 people were tried and killed for no reason at all? Of course, people were accused of witchcraft and killed on a regular basis in early America, but doing away with 20 at once was so unique that it continues to make Salem one of America’s favorite and most popular tourist destinations.

Catholics and Jews were not accorded full civil rights until the 1800‘s, and there were large anti-Catholic movements and even sanctioned political parties all throughout the century. The most famous of those parties was the appropriately named “Know Nothings," whose mass intolerance helped provide us with one of our Presidents -- the somewhat-less-than illustrious Millard Fillmore. Mormons were evicted from Missouri en masse in 1838.

Because of this extensive violent and unforgiving history, one must question deeply what the relationship between freedom and tolerance is, and whether there any value in freedom without tolerance, and if so, what? Perhaps that is why we have always been schooled in the importance of freedom, and never of tolerance.

What freedoms did the settlers have?
*They had the freedom to set their own community laws, unless disallowed by their sponsoring Charter Company. These laws were often harsh, for many reasons: Life in the new colony was precarious and physical group survival was often at stake. Religion was taken seriously and the bible was interpreted literally, in a manner that we would now call extreme fundamentalism: no deviance of action or thought was allowed. There was always the threat of someone, or a group, “going native," that is, running away and joining the local natives, where survival was easier and life far less doctrinaire.
*They had complete freedom of religion as a community. In practice this meant that the community leaders practiced one single absolutist religion as interpreted by their religious leader in consultation with other community leaders. Any deviance from this practice was punished by ostracism (which often meant death), or severe capital punishment (which occasionally meant death).

So, to sum up, the American flag, in both design and meaning, descends from one used by a pre-corporate legal construct, which was accorded rights we now attribute to both corporations and government, prefiguring what we now call fascism; and America’s original European settlers had very limited freedoms (what nowadays would be recognized as slavery), and possessed almost no tolerance for other beliefs whatsoever. Challenges to this severe social order generally resulted in harsh capital punishment or death.

Sad as that sounds, that’s the unvarnished truth, and any other version is a fairy tale which, if learned, will cause much pain and suffering when unlearned as an adult. Now, where was that blue pill I had lying around on the table?

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 15 2014 8:17 utc | 162

@c1ue 147:

You are right that there are ways to subvert a system, and Palantyr is software that the public is allowed to see, not what intelligence uses.

Look, if I were funding ISIS, one of the requirements would be that you get a company issued 100% prepaid cool cell phone with all the bells and whistles for free, and in order to get paid (which is the whole point of being a mercenary) you must have the phone on you 24/7 (for your own safety and check-in purposes, of course). There, now with GPS database software -- which I have designed similar apps for the FAA -- you've got the locations of your entire army in real-time. Mandatory phone-ins of all missions, and you know everything. But what do I know.

Jeezus, now that I think of it, the fucking produce company I worked for five years ago had a similar system for its 250 drivers in 9 states. Its all pretty obvious.

Of course, that wouldn't work in a war against Russia, as in the Ukraine, because they have similar capabilities. But against Syria? Why not?

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 15 2014 9:28 utc | 163

So, Cold N. Holefield, kindly tell us whether you are an ignorant fool intentionally spreading hate, or a pompous liar intentionally spreading hate.

We are waiting.
Posted by: Malooga | Sep 14, 2014 10:07:50 PM | 159

I'm a satirist poking at Putin's crackdown on gays and all other forms of expression. The comment is obvious satirical hyperbole but it's not too far a stretch. Obvious to some, I guess, but not all.

As far as lying is concerned, it's all lies. It's just a matter of who does it better and for all the right reasons.

For a man of the people, Malooga, you sure have a lot in common with the Oligarchy. You and Bernie Ecclestone are both apologists for Putin's gay legislation. We know how things work in Russia. The legislation is purposely vague so as to be interpreted in a myriad of ways thus offering Putin plausible deniability ("that's not what I meant or intended") as he gives the green light and official sanction and license to go after gays.

Bernie Ecclestone ‘completely agrees’ with Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws, and so do ‘90 per cent of the world’, says F1 boss

Bernie Ecclestone has said that not only does he "completely agree" with Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay propaganda laws, but that he believes "90 per cent of the world" do too.

In an ill-advised move, the Formula One boss lent his support for Russia’s controversial legislation, which prohibits the publicity of what it calls "homosexual behaviour" in the country.

"He [Putin] hasn't said he doesn't agree [with homosexuality] just that he doesn't want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18," Ecclestone told CNN in an exclusive interview.

"I completely agree with those sentiments and if you took a world census you'd find 90% of the world agree with it as well."

"I've great admiration for him and his courage to say what he says," the 83-year-old added. "[It] may upset a few people but that's how the world is. It's how he sees [the world] and I think he's completely right."

More at link

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 15 2014 13:46 utc | 164


Sincere thanks for that well-written and thoughtful history lesson. I learned things I did not know. And my understanding of the things I did know has been refined. You should keep that essay on hand and and post it where others may enjoy it.

Were it not for your sparring with Colden, which sent me back to see Colden's reply, I might have missed it.

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 15 2014 14:25 utc | 165

Cold N. Holefield
"I'm a satirist poking at Putin's crackdown on gays and all other forms of expressio"

Poking fun? No but you are poking indeed, sorry this isnt a gay contact forum.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 15 2014 19:36 utc | 166

I just finished watching Crosstalk on RT and Peter Lavelle and Pepe Escobar were talking about the progressive demise of the petrodollar and laughing their arses off. They were laughing because they said if you look at the US headlines it it all ISIS, Iraq, war votes, geo political proxy wars, terrorism, and political grandstanding bullcrap for the mid terms and 2016 US presidential figurehead race, etc., etc.

Peter Lavelle said its like watching the passengers argue over deck chairs on the titanic. Actually I think arguing over a lounge seat on the doomed Hindenburgh dirigible would be a more appropriate analogy, considering that QE bloated wall street is going to burst and explode when yellen raises interest rates.

Meanwhile in in reality, Russia and China are carrying on with real business and taking care of their economies for the 21st century. Russia and China are even making lemonade out of lemons regarding the west sanctions over Ukraine, by working with south america.

Posted by: really | Sep 15 2014 20:14 utc | 167

@164 Cold and Hole in the head says:
'I'm a satirist poking at Putin's crackdown on gays and all other forms of expression'

In fact Cold is a liar in the Goebbels mould..keep lying about Putin and people will begin to believe you...its long past time he was buried.

and no Putin is not cracking down on gays, so youve no need to be worried Cold

Posted by: brian | Sep 15 2014 22:24 utc | 168

there are no anti gay laws in russia, but this country, Qatar, a US ally/servant, is making them:

Posted by: brian | Sep 15 2014 22:26 utc | 169

anyone get the idea Cold hates Putin and gays?

Posted by: brian | Sep 15 2014 22:27 utc | 170

@170 Well Putin does get photographed with his shirt off. The man is a monster. He drives feminists crazy.

Posted by: dh | Sep 15 2014 23:43 utc | 171

@Fast Freddy:

Glad you liked it. I wrote it for fun -- thinking it would only be a paragraph when I started. Writing is a good way of learning and it refined my understanding of things too. Now, Ive got about three more paragraphs to add -- Well, that how Proudhon worked. He took notes and put them in an envelope. When he had enough he wrote a short piece. Then he took that and put it in an envelope. He put criticisms and his further thoughts in the same envelope. Then when he had enough, he wrote a longer piece. Then he repeated the process once more and he had a book!

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 16 2014 3:21 utc | 172

To Cold1 @ 146 --

You're not a satirist, satirists are funny. They make cogent points with style and humour. They don't indulge in ad hominem attacks (well not too much) and they don't project their own authoritarian mindset upon others.

I asked folks not to give your foolish Jonestown pc. attn. Don't you recall, I've been criticized here for giving your view too much attention.

Hope you read this, but you don't do old threads....

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 17 2014 21:55 utc | 173

Just got more complicated

Peshmerga clash with Iranian soldiers

Shiite militia groups attack Kurds in Amerli

Posted by: somebody | Sep 18 2014 15:18 utc | 174

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