Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 17, 2016

The New U.S. Way Of War

A recommendable New York Times piece looks at the mostly hidden way the U.S. is now waging wars. The example is Somalia, where the U.S. has been at war with the people of that country for over 25 years. But, as the authors note, the same modus operandi applies elsewhere.

The Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia over the past year, using Special Operations troops, airstrikes, private contractors and African allies in an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.

Would that "anarchic" nation Somalia still be "anarchic" if the U.S. would end its endless fighting there? That is very unlikely. Without outer interference Somalia would have been peaceful again many years ago. But the war continues, run not with regular U.S. forces, but with mercenaries, proxies, drones and a few U.S. Special Forces.

Somalia is an example of the "failed states" the U.S. now creates wherever it goes. A "failed state" then justifies further involvement. The "model" applies around the world:

The Somalia campaign is a blueprint for warfare that President Obama has embraced and will pass along to his successor. It is a model the United States now employs across the Middle East and North Africa — from Syria to Libya — despite the president’s stated aversion to American “boots on the ground” in the world’s war zones. This year alone, the United States has carried out airstrikes in seven countries and conducted Special Operations missions in many more.

Such wars are mostly "off the book". Congressional oversight does not happen for them as the impact within the U.S. is too small. The media are practically excluded. The money comes out of secret CIA and special forces accounts or is shaken out of some friendly U.S. client state like Saudi Arabia. No one will find out what methods of force or "interrogation" are used and as those prisoners vanish in some local warlord's dungeon, no one is likely to ever find out:

About 200 to 300 American Special Operations troops work with soldiers from Somalia and other African nations like Kenya and Uganda to carry out more than a half-dozen raids per month, according to senior American military officials. The operations are a combination of ground raids and drone strikes.

The Navy’s classified SEAL Team 6 has been heavily involved in many of these operations.

Once ground operations are complete, American troops working with Somali forces often interrogate prisoners at temporary screening facilities, including one in Puntland, a state in northern Somalia, before the detainees are transferred to more permanent Somali-run prisons, American military officials said.

Force is applied willy-nilly. It doesn't matter much who gets hit or why. Lack of local knowledge, language and politics are the norm. No one ever gets punished for getting things wrong:

[A]n airstrike last month killed more than a dozen Somali government soldiers, who were American allies against the Shabab.

Outraged Somali officials said the Americans had been duped by clan rivals and fed bad intelligence, laying bare the complexities of waging a shadow war in Somalia.

The responsibilities that legally come with warfare are handed off to private parties. The use of mercenaries prevents accountability:

At an old Russian fighter jet base in Baledogle, about 70 miles from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, American Marines and private contractors are working to build up a Somali military unit designed to combat the Shabab throughout the country.

Soldiers for the military unit, called Danab, which means lightning in Somali, are recruited by employees of Bancroft Global Development, a Washington-based company that for years has worked with the State Department to train African Union troops and embed with them on military operations inside Somalia.

Michael Stock, the company’s founder, said the Danab recruits received initial training at a facility in Mogadishu before they were sent to Baledogle, where they go through months of training by the Marines. Bancroft advisers then accompany the Somali fighters on missions.

What the piece misses are the media measures - or propaganda - which accompanies all such U.S. campaigns. That is not unwittingly as the NYT is always an integral part of such campaigns. The usual justification is "terrorism" or the "moral" need to eliminate a "brutal regime". The piece accordingly list a few alleged terrorism incidents with origin in Somalia to justify the massive, decades long uprooting of a whole country.

The scheme visible in Somalia is the same one that is applied in Libya, in Syria and in the Ukraine. The U.S. hires some group willing to wage war for a decent pay, lots of weapons and a chance to - may be - reach a lot of power for itself. It sends some mercenary company to "train" those forces, PR agencies get hired to provide the necessary media background, U.S. military forces are silently involved but only from far away via drones, or in mini special force formation that train and direct the local proxies.

The CIA is usually in the lead with the U.S. military providing firepower as needed. The State Department handles the diplomatic hurdles, pampers the proxies and so called allies and, together with the Treasury, generously applies devastating sanctions to bend the people to its will.

The methods are not dissimilar to those used during the last century mainly in south America. But the wars are now more open with more brute force applied.

The big question for the rest of the world is how such mostly hidden wars can be countered. They are very difficult to win by force on the ground. The U.S. will not change course because a few of its mercenaries get eliminated. The obvious answer is to increase the price the U.S. directly has to pay. The hurt must be painful enough to raise above the public negligence level that usually applies. Terrorism within the U.S. can and has been used. But I expect new, more subtle methods to be a part of the future answer. The cyber realm is ideal for asymmetric forces. A few knowledgeable fighters are sufficient. To counter them is difficult. The U.S. is probable the most sensitive target for cyber mayhem while the nations the U.S. attacks are mostly insensitive to such attacks.

No matter of what new ways of war the U.S. applies. Those attacked will always find ways to hit back.

Posted by b on October 17, 2016 at 18:53 UTC | Permalink


Lesson from Soc 101 or visit any refugee camp: Human being will always resist tyranny, even US tyranny thinly disguised as "democracy, freedom, or humanitarian aid." Might is not right. #DiplomacyWithCompassion is only way 4 safer more secure world. Regime change, jets, bombs, mercenaries= more terror(ists), humanitarian disasters. Worst part is in the calculus of sick US neo con fucks, any blowback killing US civilians is just "cost of doing business." They should have been jailed long ago...

Posted by: Stephen | Oct 17 2016 19:03 utc | 1

One would be naive to expect a ragtag bunch of mercs and quasi-mercs to achieve results comparable to a professional military operation. Your best point is regarding the lack of peace as long as outside forces operate there. Thus the impasse in the ME, once Russian and Iranian professionals get involved, the locals rebadge or flee. Those that fight well are eventually betrayed, vis a vis the Kurds. Sadly, it's hard not to note the element of racism that permeates the entire US policy at home and abroad.

Posted by: stumpy | Oct 17 2016 19:19 utc | 2

stumpy @2

"it's hard not to note the element of racism that permeates the entire US policy at home and abroad."

And all this time I have falsely assumed that it'twas the Brits who coined the term 'wog.' Silly me.

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 17 2016 19:29 utc | 3

On 8 December 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (a mild Islam) claimed to have been involved in heavy fighting with Somali transitional government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops. On 21 December heavy fighting erupted between ICU forces and Ethiopian-backed forces. The battles happened initially in two areas - the military base of Daynuunay and the military base of Iidale

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 17 2016 19:42 utc | 4


Remember the people writing SitRep's and busy disappearing
-$6,000,000,000,000 of taxpayers' last life savings that They 'lost
track of', the good people doing God's work that Panetta once
promised he would audit and 'get a handle on', Black Ops folks
that Cheney diverted $35 billion to for domestic propaganda and
Kerry and Congress diverted $50 billion to for Ukraine, all those
Deep State Deplorables reside south of the Potomac on the VA side.

Every undeclared 'contingency operation' in every 3W hellhole is
just an opportunity for MIC to add moar pension-raising campaign
ribbons and disappear another -$50 billion of taxpayer last life
savings that are never coming back again...ever.

Until the Pol Pop Star and War Pron blog sites start following
the money instead of prurient !Chelsea watching!, you will be
forever chasing your tale over the rainbow.

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Oct 17 2016 19:45 utc | 5

TheRealDonald @ 5

I am aware of the US spending about five billion to "mould/bribe" Ukraine politicians prior to the US Coup in Ukraine. Obama has subsequently sent another couple billion in military aid and hundreds of trainers and stole all the Ukraine gold reserves. Do you have documentation on the other 45 billion of aid to Ukraine?


Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 17 2016 19:53 utc | 6

@ 6

Look in IMF fundings for advancing $50 Billions. That is if the books are still there. By the by, the IMF broke their own house rules to do so.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Oct 17 2016 19:59 utc | 7

Barack Obama seems to be taking revenge on the whole of Africa for his father's abandonment of him as a child. Obama's presidency has seen Africa being recolonized faster than before. At the moment, Africa is surrounded by the US Army, from Nigeria to Tunisia. Perhaps the only country, Libya, that aspired to assert its independence was brutally destroyed. Fake epidemic couple with subterfuge has become the modus operandi of the first "black president" of the USA. When soldiers are not being sent to Liberia and Senegal to fight Ebola! (Yeah to shoot ebola dead with AK 47) Boko Haram is being unleashed on a country with American needed oil reserve. All the time the black sister in the White House is carrying a placard which reads, "Bring Back Our Girls". That's cute.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 17 2016 20:00 utc | 8

Lesson from Soc 101 ...

Posted by: Stephen | Oct 17, 2016 3:03:33 PM | 1

Lesson from any schools: there are good students and bad students. The idea of training soldiers in effective warfare and democratic values seems sounds. In Mali, US military trained officers. The good students joined the northern rebellion. The bad students did not want to fight to good one (not necessarily out of friendship, riding jeeps in scorching heat of Sahara and getting killed when you can barely think is not universally accepted as fun) and stage a successful coup.

The West lost the ability to create enthusiastic followers, or it exhausted the opportunities.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 17 2016 20:03 utc | 9

Obama threat Ecuador apparently,

"We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton's Goldman Sachs speechs."

Posted by: Lima | Oct 17 2016 20:09 utc | 10

b, this is a very good article. I do take exception, however, to one statement:

"The methods are not dissimilar to those used during the last century mainly in south America. But the wars are now more open with more brute force applied."

If you look at El Salvador, Guatemala, the Contra wars against the people of Nicaragua, the coup and dictatorship of Pinochet in Chile, etc. it's hard to see these new wars being more open or having more brute force applied. The brute force may be spread over a larger area geographically now--aided by technology and drones--but the hurt applied to ordinary people is the same as it ever was. The US took the lead in destroying people in the 20th century after WWII and has simply maintained that lead in the 21st century.

When it comes to openness, I think the modern wars are even less open, as least as perceived by the American people. Ask anyone on the street about the war in Somalia and all you'll get are blank stares.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Oct 17 2016 20:12 utc | 12

another pathetique & lame but funny fairy tale lie in the ongoing drama of this cardboard cutout no talent poseur, unworthy to even bask in the shadow of the late great Binny.

Note the claim he's off to...RAQQA! That tells u where the next big action will be.

ISIL terror group ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has fled to Raqqa in Syria before the Iraqi army started its operations in Mosul, but his wife has been arrested, sources said on Monday.
17 October 2016 18:41
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Flees to Raqqa, Wife Arrested: Report

Posted by: schlub | Oct 17 2016 20:19 utc | 13

as predicted many places:
mon Oct 17, 2016 6:54
Hashd Al-Shaabi: US-Led Warplanes Ignore ISIL's Military Convoys Fleeing Mosul to Syria

Posted by: schlub | Oct 17 2016 20:49 utc | 14

#3 Alberto

Isn't "sand n***er" the rough American equivalent for a full-on "Wog" and isn't the former a tad harsher?

Us part and full Wogs down under have nearly emancipated the word Wog and wear it as a pride of honour and, why not admit, likely superiority over the skips, pakehas/palagis etc.

Posted by: Quadriad | Oct 17 2016 20:52 utc | 15

"Badge of honour" even... again, my definitely bad...

Posted by: Quadriad | Oct 17 2016 20:53 utc | 16

There is no business like war business.

London's empire have been waging wars, conflicts, coups, revolutions, turmoil all over the world for last 4 centuries with 1 goal only - to destroy competition.

That's why they destroyed rising powers of Poland, Egypt, Pakistan in the 70.

After collapsing USSR Their 9/11 attacks were supposed to launch the quest for total global domination under the guise of "war on terror" and bringing "freedom and democracy" - to establish eventually One World Government with the capitol in "Jewish" Jerusalem.

There will be no world peace until billions of people realize this simple truth.

Posted by: ProPeace | Oct 17 2016 20:56 utc | 17

US is going after the Taliban in Hemant Province with bombing raid and special forces on the ground, the same if true in Mosul. So why is the US so intent to Russian AF, and the Syrian AF on set Aleppo? Kerry: "US accuses Russia of 'barbarism' in Aleppo and war crimes.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 17 2016 20:57 utc | 18

These wars are managed and in the interest of "Business Round Tables" that prof. Carrol Quigley wrote about, and more recently Thierry Meyssan.

Want real change?

Boycott NOW Boeing, Raytheon, Halliburton, Monsanto/Bayer, Citibank, BoA, JP Morgan (just transferred 1.8 billion USD for the Clinton Foundation to Qatar), Morgan Stanley, BP/Amoco, ExxonMobile, SAIC, Bechtel, Mcdonalds, CocaCola, Pepsico, KFC, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Cargil, Nestle, Comcast, Netflix, ...

Posted by: ProPeace | Oct 17 2016 21:04 utc | 19

Bancroft are also buy up Somalian real estate including farmland while the country is in a mess so they can cash in later. "It's like getting in at the bottom of the stock market" says their founder Michael Stock. Quite the racket he has going.

His employees that engage in the warfare are typical private security charmers - "It's like an extreme sport" says one.

They are of course connected to the banks too

"[Michael Stock is] a fifth generation descendant of the investment bankers whose innovations provided inspiration for Bancroft’s methods and capabilities"

Pack of bastards the lot of them.

Posted by: Bob | Oct 17 2016 21:04 utc | 20

US infrastructure is so shot that it needs $3.5 trillion just to bring it up to scratch. No new stuff, just repairs to what is there. That does mean that the whole system is very precarious and it wont take much for example to induce nationwide electrical grid outages.

Posted by: Yonatan | Oct 17 2016 21:04 utc | 21

RT: NatWest to close Russian channel's UK bank accounts

Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan tweeted: "They've closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. 'The decision is not subject to review.'
The bank said the decision was "not taken lightly" and that the accounts were "still operative" at present.

RT says the entire Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group, of which NatWest is part, is refusing to provide its services.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 17 2016 21:05 utc | 22


You have to follow the money. Kerry promised to 'backstop the verticals' on the $35 IMF loans to the Israeli junta coup in Kiev, secured by the $35 in gold bullion looted from the Ukraine Treasury and moved to NYC.

Then as it appeared the $50 billion in junk bonds the Israeli junta coup issued to privatize and collateralize the best industrial and ag land properties would default, as they have, in July 2015 the Congress appropriated $50 billion for Ukraine and a 'war fund', which turns out to match the $15 billion balance the WB loaned the Israeli junta coup to fortify E Ukraine's roads and bridges to military load capacity.

Bada bing, bada boom, like taking candy from a zika baby, and now we get to choose red flavor or blue flavor from the same Deep State that made you believe two planes brought down three of the strongest steel skyscrapers ever built at freefall speed, and another plane that no video tape exists for blew a massive hole in the most fortified strongest structure in NOVA, then 'vaporized', they told us, and everyone bought it, just like everyone is going to buy the War in Crimea the Red-Blue Mil.Gov is softening us up for, as soon as those WB loans do their dirty work. See how easy it is to bring down a building with a plane?

The absolute pathos is that so few truly evil psychopath NeoCons can successfuuly gull so many ignorant, but otherwise ordinary schleps, people just trying to make rent and put food on the table, but now will be 'mobilized' by the elections charade and out marching in the streets under Red and Blue banners screaming Death to Brown People, Kill All the Muzzies and On to Crimea, as the national 'debt' ((sic) spikes to $25,000,000,000,000 and End of an Empire, as the BB, HP ... blogs post every little puerile FOB skirmish, like parking a zika baby in front of Tele-Tubbies, and as the caissons gp rolling along.

The absolute pathos isn't that George Orwell was so damned prescient, but that, being widely forewarned for so many decades, it didn't have to go down that way..

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Oct 17 2016 21:09 utc | 23

Nice posting b but you don't go back far enough like another commenter mentioned. You can call it Shock Doctrine, or Rape2Protect (R2P) or just plain war against other humans that might pose a threat.....and before the US it was the British empire and before that the nauseum.

And just what is being protected? Those of you following my comments know I am going to identify private finance as the control element in our world. The families that own private finance have been ruling our world for centuries . They push the Western ways of private finance, rule of law, foreign investment/stealing, and loads of foreign debt to keep control of any government attempts at sovereignty.

And I have anecdotal evidence from friends in the initial Peace Corps which says that along with killing JFK our country used (and probably still does use) Peace Corps volunteers as scouts for a counties young dissidents......and then we kill them or otherwise neuter them. The neocons would think that a fitting abuse of JFK's legacy.

End private finance and you destroy the underpinnings of the parasitic humans that rule our world. And those same parasites cause our world to bow to the god of Mammon instead of alternative incentives like cooperation and sharing.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 17 2016 21:59 utc | 24

#23 @charles drake

Another problem with that vid. I've watched the video and it's anything but obvious that the helicopter shown in the last 20 seconds or so is an Apache. If anything, it looked more like a Hind than anything else. It could have also been a Blackhawk. Such poor res, it was really hard to say.

My guess is it's one of the 2-3 helicopters captured by Daesh in their early easy wins in Iraq back in 2014.

Posted by: Quadriad | Oct 17 2016 22:17 utc | 25

It's a revealing article but still toes the empire's line. I loved this part: "But it carries enormous risks — including more American casualties, botched airstrikes that kill civilians and the potential for the United States to be drawn even more deeply into a troubled country that so far has stymied all efforts to fix it."

Ah, so it's Somalia's fault that it won't let itself be "fixed" by armed and violent foreign invaders with fake altruistic motives trying impose their will on people who obviously do not want their "help". Uncivilized savages! Can't they see it is for their own good?

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Oct 17 2016 23:16 utc | 26

Wow, this is a pretty amazing post.

But maybe it's time to re-think the Oct 12 post about Da'esh mildly tuning over Mosul w/out a fight and transferring their Iraiq affiliate to Dier Ezzor. Now that the attack is on, it's looking like it's going to be one hell of a dust up.

I really had a problem with that whole idea about Da'esh dashing cross 185 miles of desert to Dier Ezzor. And the idea of USG air-lifting them was borderline preposterous. Where were they going to land? SAA controls the airport.

Posted by: Denis | Oct 17 2016 23:24 utc | 27

Maybe the Empire might take a little time to ponder how so many of us who grew up in admiration of the great people and soft projection of power of the USA came to have doubts about its integrity, its values and the direction it seems to be going towards.

Posted by: Cortes | Oct 17 2016 23:51 utc | 28

There are also rumors of monkey business going on at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London; and RT reports that Assange's computer connection has been interrupted by a "state actor"


Posted by: Copeland | Oct 17 2016 23:57 utc | 29

Quadriad @14

Negro denotes "black" in Spanish and Portuguese, derived from the ancient Latin word, niger, meaning black, which itself is probably from a Proto-Indo-European root *nekw-, "to be dark", akin to *nokw-, night.
Google 'Golliwog'

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 17 2016 23:59 utc | 30

Soldiers for the military unit, called Danab, which means lightning in Somali, are recruited by employees of Bancroft Global Development, a Washington-based company that for years has worked with the State Department to train African Union troops and embed with them on military operations inside Somalia.
Inspired by the lightning bolt runes of SS sleeve flash, perhaps. The apple never falls far from the tree.

Posted by: Jay M | Oct 18 2016 0:33 utc | 31

#31 Golliwog = the black doll

Sorry dude. Done my due diligence on this ages ago.

Nothing wrong with the word "WOG", much less so with what it represents.

Wogs begin, and pussies end, at Calais.

Posted by: Quadriad | Oct 18 2016 0:42 utc | 32

Erdo continuing his plans to make north border Syria safe...for Turkeys.
It said that in the last 24 hours of clashes, nine Turkey-backed gunmen were killed and 24 were wounded while “many” ISIL militants were killed. The operation, dubbed “Euphrates Shield” was launched in late August.

Posted by: schlub | Oct 18 2016 1:23 utc | 33

@1 Stephen, 'They should have been jailed long ago...'

Yes. Death, devastation, destruction, and deceit are the USA's only remaining export products. It's too much, apparently, to hope that we Americans will do anything to reign in our government. We're spectators - 'Good Germans' - all. War as far as the eye can see is a given in the present campaign. The Europeans who are so incensed about others' transgressions of human rights ought to have a look at the leader they're following ... and refuse US leadership. The USA is itself the world's 'premier' transgressor of human rights, followed by the Europeans. It's an open secret, kept in complicity.

There are about 300 million Americans and 400 million Europeans. About ten percent of the worlds population. Like the slave-holders and slaves in the USA in the nineteenth century, the 1%-10% in the present. Those they murder and maim in pursuit of riches are 'talking tools' - instrumentum vocale - not human. Of no count to the ruling minority. Until they rise. One side or the other. Which side are you on?

Posted by: jfl | Oct 18 2016 1:44 utc | 34

#28 Denis

Not wishing to sound sarcastic, but have you ever heard of the word helicopter? The US Army has.

At about 11 fully armed troops a pop, it'd take about 500-600 UH-60 flights to evacuate them all and land them exactly wherever CENTCOM (of whoever's in charge of Daesh) may see useful.

I am not saying that's exactly what they did, just that if they wished to do it, it would be pretty darn easy.

Posted by: Quadriad | Oct 18 2016 2:09 utc | 35

ProPeace @16 said...

"There is no business like war business."

"London's empire have been waging wars, conflicts, coups, revolutions, turmoil all over the world for last 4 centuries with 1 goal only - to destroy competition."

I think London's empire and Washington's empire have merged into one evil empire, otherwise, I agree.

Destroying competition is the global goal. The "It's just business" mantra applies here, and always.

This paradigm will never change as long as the U$ dollar is the reserve currency of the globe.

Posted by: ben | Oct 18 2016 2:43 utc | 36

Posted by: charlesdrake | Oct 17, 2016 11:07:51 PM | 39

If one wants to understand the factors which made the City of London what it represents today, then the symbiosis between "Government" and "Private Capital" which made the East India "Company" a barbaric financial powerhouse is worth detailed examination. It's as good an example of the 1% owning the Government (for profit and impunity) as it's possible to find.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 18 2016 3:59 utc | 37

What did ya say?
A "New Way of War?" did ya say?
Balderdash! Bull-sh*t! Street Apples!

The US has always fought wars by proxy! The US almost never fights any war without proxies ... and the technique was refined by having a group of recently defeated native peoples fight along side, or blatantly for, the US troops to defeat the next native peoples group a war has been cooked up against.

The US has also always used mercenaries (contractors) when available ... and so ...
While I can excuse B for not being aware of how the history of the US reads, I can only say that anyone who was born and raised in DuhMurriKKKa should know better! That they obviously don't means that they are blatantly ignorant and evidently want to stay dumber than a box of rocks!

Posted by: rg the lg | Oct 18 2016 4:12 utc | 38


Banned "Charles Drake" aka "cdrake" aka "Chuck Mcqueer" aka ... aka ... aka ...
Deleted all comments from the relevant addresses.


Posted by: b | Oct 13, 2016 2:37:50 AM | 60"

apparently not, lol..

Posted by: james | Oct 18 2016 4:37 utc | 39

@ james about the rebirth of trolls at MoA

Hey b, it looks like you are "popular" with those that pay techies to get around banning from web sites. Keep up the good work and let me know if my techie and specifically network experience would help your fight with the trolls. If you can't ban them with strategies perhaps we can add TROLL to their Posted by name or at the top of their comments.

That said, sometimes I find other commenters exposing them as educational.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 18 2016 5:44 utc | 40

@26 "I've watched the video and it's anything but obvious that the helicopter shown in the last 20 seconds or so is an Apache. If anything, it looked more like a Hind than anything else."

Nah, none of the above. It's one of these:

Q: Who operates those helicopters?
A: Turkey.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 18 2016 6:04 utc | 41

@Yeah, Right | Oct 18, 2016 2:04:27 AM | 44

Again! Please look at the date posted in YouTube. "Published on Nov 11, 2015" Almost 1-yr ago.

As far as I know there are no videos - US provides cover. Dun blindly beleiev anything posted. However, "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has fled to Raqqa in Syria before the Iraqi army started its operations in Mosul. His wife has been arrested, sources said on Monday."

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 18 2016 6:49 utc | 42

Is this forum being poison pilled? The video with the chopper has been debunked.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 18 2016 6:49 utc | 43

Lybian army video.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 18 2016 7:17 utc | 44

Remember the USS Mason attack? Well maybe it wasn't really attacked after all.

"This post and headline have been updated with additional information from the Department of Defense. While Mason fired counter-measures to protect itself, it is yet unconfirmed if the suspected threats are cruise missiles or originated in Yemen.

A U.S. guided missile destroyer may have been attacked on Saturday off the coast of Yemen by anti-ship cruise missiles for the third time this week, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told reporters on Saturday.

“The latest is there has been recent activity today with the Mason once again. It appears to have come under attack in the Red Sea again from coastal defense cruise missiles fired from the coast of Yemen,” he said.
“So as you know this is the third such attack. We suffered one about a week ago. We also saw one in the middle of last week and now we see more activity.”...

The Story Changes: The Pentagon Is No Longer Sure Yemen Fired Missiles At A US Ship

"However, today - four days after the US "counterattack" - the story changes. According to Reuters earlier today the Pentagon declined to say whether the USS Mason destroyer was targeted by multiple inbound missiles fired from Yemen on Saturday, as initially thought, saying a review was underway to determine what happened.

"We are still assessing the situation. There are still some aspects to this that we are trying to clarify for ourselves given the threat -- the potential threat -- to our people," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told a news briefing."So this is still a situation that we're assessing closely."

Posted by: Dean | Oct 18 2016 8:08 utc | 45

b, you say: Somalia is an example of the "failed states" the U.S. now creates wherever it goes.

I'm not sure the US created this mess.
Also in the '70's and '80's there was a lot of intern trouble in Somalia.

Another point: Why are they over there?
Except the fun and profits of militar spending I don't see what is at stake.
Not a lot of minerals or raw meterials in Somalia.

Posted by: From The Hague | Oct 18 2016 9:23 utc | 46

@45 Dean - 'It appears to have come under attack in the Red Sea again from coastal defense cruise missiles. fired from the coast of Yemen,” he said.
“So as you know this is the third such attack. We suffered one about a week ago. We also saw one in the middle of last week and now we see more activity.”...'

Well now, correct me if I'm wrong here but 'coastal defense' and 'cruise missiles' don't usually go together - I think 'cruise missiles' (and I don't think the Yemeni's possess these) are unlikely weapons to emanate from the Yemen coastal defense!

Posted by: fredjc | Oct 18 2016 20:23 utc | 47

P.S. - 'We're still assessing the situation.' - A dead giveaway!!!

Posted by: fredjc | Oct 18 2016 20:31 utc | 48

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 19 2016 14:12 utc | 49

@49 That should have been the U.S.'s next response. No doubt the little people in South Sudan probably pray for a U.S. repose when it comes to neocon R2P'ers trying to 'fix' their fake nation, but we don't do that.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Oct 19 2016 14:16 utc | 50

When I first saw the 'Isil abandoning Mosul for Syria' news, I thought that few of them would survive the 100 mile trip across completely flat desert. Based on what I've seen of RU capability, nothing the Heg could do would prevent a massacre.

Seems I may have been right ; MSm's reporting 'RU's suspended bombing in Alepo and local ME news is reporting major bombing in Eastern Syria.

Unfortunately, ISil travels with their families - sex slaves and children too. :-(

Posted by: O'Coner | Oct 19 2016 14:17 utc | 51

Thans pIV for South Sudan
the light is on Syria, but things are moving in Libya too

Posted by: Mina | Oct 19 2016 16:46 utc | 52

Reading Daesh daily, it seems that Baghdadi 's wife was actually arrested by the IS police, not by the Iraqi police. And all the MSM broadcasted the news as if IS was just a news agency?

Posted by: Mina | Oct 19 2016 16:49 utc | 53

@49 paveway.. canada and israel have had their paws on all that as well..

Posted by: james | Oct 19 2016 17:01 utc | 54

PavewayIV | Oct 19, 2016 10:12:25 AM | 49

Thank all those celebrities behind the "Save Darfour" campaign for that...

Posted by: ProPeace | Oct 19 2016 18:31 utc | 55

After a 3 month drought, Steve Gowans is back to exposing Racist Supremacist Colonial Crusaders in all their Inglourious Basterdry.

Our Sieges and Theirs
October 20, 2016

"In Syria almost everybody is under siege to a greater or lesser degree,” observes the Independent’s Patrick Cockburn. [2] Most people, however, think the only siege in Syria is the one imposed on (East) Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces. But siege as a form of warfare is hardly uniquely embraced by the Syrian Arab Army and Russian military. On the contrary, the United States and its allies have been practicing siege warfare in the Levant and beyond for years, and continue to do so. It’s just that US-led siege warfare has been concealed behind anodyne, even heroic, labels, while the siege warfare of countries Washington is hostile to, is abominated by Western state officials crying crocodile tears.

Here’s how the deception works...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 21 2016 17:34 utc | 56

This is reasonably on topic if one accepts that Media bullshit and time wasting are as much a part of the New/Old US way of war as Violence, Cowardice, Deception, Bribery, Blackmail, Torture, Mass Murder and Genocide.

It's a link to the transcript of the October 14, 2016 Andrew Olle Media Lecture, delivered by Walid Ali, who could be described as an Insider Skeptic. He called his lecture
"Journalistic Values in an Age of Fast Thinking"
and it's his analysis of the problems faced by the News Media rather than a blunt and scathing critique. It rang a lot of bells for me. I hope I'm not alone...

The intro is quite long and some time can be saved by scrolling down about 11 paragraphs to the par which begins...

"I'm not here tonight to solve this or even to lend an easy coherence to it."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 21 2016 18:26 utc | 57

Steve Gowans rips into CounterPunch's recent Eric Draitser neocon horseshit about Syria.

The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t

Apparently, the US Left has yet to figure out that Washington doesn’t try to overthrow neoliberals. If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were a devotee of the Washington Consensus–as Counterpunch’s Eric Draitser seems to believe–the United States government wouldn’t have been calling since 2003 for Assad to step down. Nor would it be overseeing the Islamist guerilla war against his government; it would be protecting him.

By Stephen Gowans October 22, 2016

There is a shibboleth in some circles that, as Eric Draitser put it in a recent Counterpunch article, the uprising in Syria “began as a response to the Syrian government’s neoliberal policies and brutality,” and that “the revolutionary content of the rebel side in Syria has been sidelined by a hodgepodge of Saudi and Qatari-financed jihadists.” This theory appears, as far as I can tell, to be based on argument by assertion, not evidence.

A review of press reports in the weeks immediately preceding and following the mid-March 2011 outbreak of riots in Daraa—usually recognized as the beginning of the uprising—offers no indication that Syria was in the grips of a revolutionary distemper, whether anti-neo-liberal or otherwise. On the contrary, reporters representing Time magazine and the New York Times referred to the government as having broad support, of critics conceding that Assad was popular, and of Syrians exhibiting little interest in protest. At the same time, they described the unrest as a series of riots...

(Gowans' Draitser "roast" concludes with more than 60 Bibliography References)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 22 2016 16:45 utc | 58

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