ISIS: long range planning by the US?

US military to initiate operations in Syria

The Obama administration has ordered the start of US military operations inside Syria, in addition to ongoing air strikes and renewed troop deployments in Iraq. Officials from US Central Command in the Middle East informed the Wall Street Journal late Monday that “the Pentagon is preparing to conduct reconnaissance flights over Syria.” The surveillance missions would be aimed at gathering the necessary information to carry out air strikes and possible ground assaults.

The pretext for military operations into Syria is to curb the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Sunni-based Islamist force that has captured much of eastern Syria during the country’s three-year civil war and which this year seized large areas of western and northern Iraq. The US began air attacks on ISIS in Iraq earlier this month, claiming they would be limited to preventing the massacre of thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority. The air campaign soon escalated into providing air support to Kurdish offensives to retake Mosul Dam and pushing ISIS fighters back from positions they held within 30 kilometres of Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

Last week, General Martin Dempsey, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, laid out the justification for extending the air war into Syria, telling a press conference: “Can they [ISIS] be defeated without addressing that part of the organisation that resides in Syria? The answer is no.” The murder of American journalist James Foley, who was being held prisoner in Syria by ISIS, has been seized upon throughout the American political and media establishment to call for attacks to begin.

ISIS: Region-wide Genocide Portended in 2007 Now Fully Realized

It is clear that ISIS did not materialize from sand dunes in Iraq’s northern region, nor are they procuring immense armories of weaponry by picking Kalashnikovs from date trees. They are the visible materialization of years of material support openly reported by the Western media allegedly sent to “moderate rebels” who do not exist. If they did exist, there has been no plausible explanation to account for how ISIS has managed to procure more weapons, cash, fighters, and influence throughout the region than “moderates” receiving backing from the combined resources of the US, Europe, Turkey, the Saudis, Qataris, and Jordanians.

The logical conclusion to be drawn by those observing the last 3 years of immense funding, weapon deliveries, political, diplomatic, and even military training for terrorists fighting in Syria and now in Iraq, is that there were never any “moderates” to begin with. It was, as veteran journalist Seymour Hersh had warned in 2007, always sectarian extremists ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda that the West had planned to utilize against its enemies in the Middle East.

John McCain, Conductor of the “Arab Spring” and the Caliph

The object of his illegal trip to Syria was to meet the chiefs of staff of the Free Syrian Army. According to him, the organization was composed “exclusively of Syrians” fighting for “their freedom” against the “Alouite dictatorship” (sic). The tour organizers published this photograph to attest to the meeting.

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John McCain and the heads of the Free Syrian Army. In the left foreground, Ibrahim al-Badri, with which the Senator is talking. Next, Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses).

If we can see Brigadier General Idriss Salem, head of the Free Syrian Army, one can also see Ibrahim al-Badri (foreground on the left) with whom the senator is talking. Back from the surprise trip, John McCain claimed that all those responsible for the Free Syrian Army were “moderates who can be trusted” (sic).

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Friends and foes…

WAY: if you came here and didn’t find anything new, our apologies.  We lost normal internet access for a couple of days.  Will be up and running again.

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life among the Econ…

Economists – An Anthropological View

‘Life Among The Econ‘ is a satirical paper written by the economist Axel Leijonhufvud and published in 1973. In the paper Leijonhufvud refers directly the great work of cultural anthropology The Savage Mind by the French Structuralist anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. Before moving on to the paper it is probably best to understand something about Levi-Strauss’ work as I think that the content of the paper would otherwise be lost on many economics-oriented readers.

Levi-Strauss argued that cultural life in primitive societies rested on haphazard and rather arbitrary organisation. People would create symbols and systems of organisation the only purpose of which was to facilitate smooth social relationships. While the members of a tribe might imbue the symbols with seemingly enormous value — and people who violated them might be severely punished — looked at from the outside they seemed rather arbitrary and changed from tribe to tribe mainly based on chance.

Anthropologists had long recognised that tribal structures — indeed, all cultural structures — require norms and myths which to live by. Myths are stories that give life meaning, while norms are somewhat like laws or prohibitions. Perhaps the best way to think about this is to take a recent law in our own societies that now seems antiquated but which was taken seriously only a few decades ago: namely, laws against homosexuality.

Why were there laws against homosexuality throughout most of the 20th century? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Today I would say that most people would say that it does not. So, why the laws? Simply because our cultures developed in that way. Other cultures did not. In Ancient Greece, for example, homosexuality was by no means against the law. The laws that remained in place until the end of the 20th century mostly derived from the Judeo-Christian tradition that we inherited. There was nothing functional about them. Things just happened that way. (Indeed, readers of cultural history will know that our own culture is basically unique in attributing to homosexuality an actual sexual identity. In most cultures sexual activity is dealt with based on acts, not proclivities that are supposed to be immutable).

The point is that much of cultural organisation is arbitrary. It often serves no real purpose. Evolutionary psychologists might tell you otherwise, but they are just modern day myth-makers telling stories that try to give us meaning and, ultimately, justify certain cultural patterns that we hold dear by appealing to the narrative structure of evolutionary biology and imposing it on cultural development metaphorically much in the same way as marginalist economics transferred metaphors from physics to the social sciences. Levi-Strauss introduced the idea of the ‘bricoleur’ as the person who engages in such constructions.

Life Among the Econ

The Econ tribe occupies a vast territory in the far North. Their land appears bleak and dismal to the outsider, and travelling through it makes for rough sledding; but the Econ, through a long period of adaptation, have learned to wrest a living of sorts from it. They are not without some genuine and sometimes even fierce attachment to their ancestral grounds, and their young are brought up to feel contempt for the softer living in the warmer lands of their neighbours, such as the Polscis and the Sociogs. Despite a common genetical heritage, relations with these tribes are strained – the distrust and contempt that the average Econ feels for these neighbours being heartily reciprocated by the latter – and social intercourse with them is inhibited by numerous taboos. The extreme clannishness, not to say xenophobia, of the Econ makes life among them difficult and perhaps even somewhat dangerous for the outsider. This probably accounts for the fact that the Econ have so far not been systematically studied. Information about their social structure and ways of life is fragmentary and not well validated. More research on this interesting tribe is badly needed.

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“self-hating terrorists”…

WAY: I wrote a satiric commentary at another blog site.  Even if you have not been following events in Ukraine, I think you can grasp my targets. The Kiev regime and media most often refer to the Eastern rebels as “terrorists”.

“self-hating terrorists” (SHT)

Authorities first suspected such a phenomenon when Ukrainian media reported that rebels in so-called Novorossiya had frequently turned their guns around and attacked their own cities. See video at Vineyard of the Saker

The outbreak of SHT was confirmed on or around August 18th when, apparently, “self-hating terrorists” attacked a refugee convoy between Khryashchuvate and Novosvitlivka.

It’s purely speculative now but some think that a psychic break erupted when Russian speakers who “stood for themselves”, also became pro-Russian separatists.

A more political explanation is that SHT is the logical, extreme outcome of R2P, right-to-protect, favored by liberal interventionists. That is, rather than have others kill us, to protect our own, we have to kill ourselves.

Others are investigating whether this disease is related to the self-hating Jew, perhaps initiated in Israel by a non-European Jew and then spread by a wandering Jew. Gilad Atzmon emphatically ruled out even the possibility of such.

For now, Western observers are closely observing whether this particularly virulent, Ukrainian strain might spread to non-Russians, and perhaps even to oligarchic terrorists, a la Kolomoisky, or, worse yet, to state-sponsored terrorists.

It is believed that, just as oil and money and brutality are protective of war crimes, so, too, they will be protective of SHT. For a while, at least.

As an extreme measure, it’s rumored that ex-DPR PM, Borodai, is being consulted. Borodai, it might be remembered, described the early days of the MH17 crash, when air-crash experts took forever to arrive, as “nothing is happening (around the crash) so OSCE is observing nothing happening.”
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For English version military operations maps, consult SLAVYANGRAD

For updates and pictures, often with awkward English, see Colonel Cassad.

For analysis, and oftentimes good commentary, see Moon of Alabama, and Vineyard of the Saker, referenced in the intro.

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not a post-racial America…



Mike Brown and Our American Problem

But we cannot overlook that our present relationship with black men and black masculinity in this country is based on myths that are centuries old. On the one hand, we all want a piece of the mythical black masculinity (i.e. sexual and physical prowess) that has now been bottled and commodified and sold to us through hip hop culture. All American men seek to emulate this particular brand of masculinity, even though the real power lies in the economic and political prowess which black men are rarely permitted to possess.

On the other hand, we are taught to fear black men who are “dangerous” and violent.” That lesson has been internalized even by civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson who, when fearful of being robbed on the streets, admitted relief when the footsteps behind him were those of a white person.

So, if we are having this conversation, let’s be honest: We all internalize racism, just as we internalize sexism. We are all indoctrinated to fear and devalue black people. And, in particular we are taught to fear the danger of black men, whether they are Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin or Barack Obama. There are no accidents when it comes to racism and no such thing as an accidental racist. We live in a society where racism is both institutionalized and internalized so that discrimination on the basis of race persists on both a small and large scale. This is our American problem.

It is my hope that we can avoid more tragedies and more deaths and the devaluing of black people by recognizing how these myths about race and masculinity — these social constructs — literally color everything around us. It will take all of us talking and getting involved to repaint our world.

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