TBR News February 14, 2016

Feb 14 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. February 14, 2016: ”The squealing and mindless chatter that is characteristic of the current American political scene is far too mindless to bother commenting on but the military and, especially, political, actions in both the Pacific and Mid-Eastern areas are well worth watching. A dominant player on the global political scene for years, the United States is now being replaced by Russia. The American power structure is well aware of this slipping control and we see shrill attacks on Putin and futile “sanctions” coupled with wails in the US-friendly media. The CIA got rid of Gorbachev and replaced him with Yeltsin, a CIA stooge and when he proved to be too erratic, levered what that thought was a colorless bureaucrat, Putin, into power. Then major business entities, who had used the so-called Oligarchy in Russia to gain firm control of that country’s fund of natural resources, got a terrible shock when they discovered that Putin was not a puppet. He was always one step, or more, ahead of the bumbling schemers and now has firmly established Russia as a manor factor in an oil-rich area American lusted to totally control. A democracy, or republic, has its advantages but is run by vested interests and, worse, by committies. After all, as is said, a camel is a horse designed by a Congressional committee.”


Conversations with the Crow

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal , Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment. Three months before, July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md. After Corson’s death, Trento and his Washington lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever

After Crowley’s death and Trento’s raid on the Crowley files, huge gaps were subsequently discovered by horrified CIA officials and when Crowley’s friends mentioned Gregory Douglas, it was discovered that Crowley’s son had shipped two large boxes to Douglas. No one knew their contents but because Douglas was viewed as an uncontrollable loose cannon who had done considerable damage to the CIA’s reputation by his on-going publication of the history of Gestapo-Mueller, they bent every effort both to identify the missing files and make some effort to retrieve them before Douglas made any use of them.

Douglas had been in close contact with Crowley and had long phone conversatins with him. He found this so interesting and informative that he taped  and later transcribed them.

These conversations have been published in a book: ‘Conversations with the Crow” and this is an excerpt.





Conversation No. 70

Date: Thursday, February 27, 1997

Commenced: 6:15 PM CST

Concluded: 6:38 PM CST


RTC: Gregory? Have I interrupted your dinner?

GD: Not at all. I eat later, if I think about it that is. I thought you’d be in bed by now, Robert. A problem?

RTC: Actually, yes, there is…or might be. Do you have some time there?

GD: Sure. Not a problem.

RTC: It’s about that Atwood person we spoke of earlier. Remember the one? 

GD: Oh, yes, I do remember Atwood. Did old Critchfield off him?

RTC: No, not as I understand but there is unhappiness about Atwood’s proclivity to talk to the wrong people and you are certainly considered the wrong people. By Critchfield’s crowd. Jim does not like me any more over that Angolia business but one of our mutual friends was in touch with me yesterday about this and I thought I ought to discuss it with you. There are, or were, certain aspects to Atwood’s activities, both on and off the board, that there is some anxiety about. It’s known he had very dubious dealings with you six or seven years ago and you are considered to be a loose cannon. Atwood is considered to be a loose mouth and in my calling, that is not considered to be either wise or conducive of a long and happy life. Might I ask you what, if anything, Atwood discussed with you concerning his activities with the Company? Can you recall?

GD: My memory is very good, Robert, as you might have noticed.

RTC: I have. At times a great asset, Gregory, but at other times, a great liability. If you take my meaning?

GD: Oh, I do. Atwood? I got to know him while I was living in Munich in ’65. I was selling German militaria via the Shotgun News….

RTC: And that was….?

GD: Is. It’s a trade paper for gun and military collectors. In Hastings, Nebraska. I was a guest of Franzi von Otting and I used his name. Con premise and he got a percentage of the take. Anyway, Jimmy saw the advert and since he was in Germany, decided to look me up. He wrote and made an appointment and I met him in the lobby of the Vierjahrezeiten.

RTC: Pardon?

GD: A posh Munich hotel. He was staying there with two tarts. Bargirl types if you know what I mean. He was very polite and civil. Slight southern accent. Anyway, we had a long conversation about the collecting trade. Jimmy had written a book on Nazi daggers and was, as he admitted over a drink or two, having these made up in Solingen and selling them. He was making very good money and was highly ambitious. Made up Hermann Goering’s wedding sword and shoved it off on some stupid collector and, as I recall, Hitler’s suicide pistol. A Walther with ivory grips. Got it on the cover of Argosy magazine and sold it to another sucker in Canada. Anyway, we had a talk about creative selling and, as I recall, he was interested in my expertise on the historical aspects. I pointed out to him that in the picture of the alleged Hitler gun, the maker was Walther but their factory was in Ulm, not in what was now the DR. He laughed and said, as I remember, ‘well…you caught me….’ and on we went. I don’t drink very much but he certainly could put it away. And we went out to a restaurant and continued the talking. I learned a lot about him, the more he drank, but he learned nothing about me. Considering everything, that was just as well. I know he had a good opinion of me because in ’90 we went to Austria and dug up some buried Nazi concentration camp loot an SS general buried there in ’45.

RTC: And who might that have been?

GD: A Slovene named Globocnik. Had been the Gauleiter of Vienna until Hitler sacked him for stealing.

RTC: I was told about him. Not a nice person.

GD: No, but you used him after his faked suicide. The Brits sold him to you and you sent him down to Syria to help the rag heads.

RTC: Gregory, you are most interesting and informative. And I hope you are also discreet.

GD: Oh, I can be. Why the interest in Jimmy?

RTC: It has slowly dawned on certain exalted people that perhaps you might have gleaned some forbidden information about brother Atwood in the course of your wild career. Do go on

GD: Well, I don’t know what was, or is, forbidden, and what isn’t.

RTC: Why not just go on and let me be the judge of that. Please continue about Atwood.

GD: I will. Atwood was one of your people and was not only involved in merchandising and otherwise making a profit selling fake German militaria…

RTC: By German, you specifically mean Nazi, don’t you?

GD: Yes, of course. I’ll tell you about the market in a few minutes. Right now, I am going to fill you in on what I learned from James. I give you some background here on the very off chance that you know nothing about it. Since at least 1981 and probably earlier, there exists a worldwide network of ‘free-standing’, or especially and specifically. no direct U.S. government ties companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, set up that  have been put to good use by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras. And, of course, to smuggle people who can’t go by commercial airlines and, let us not forget, drugs

RTC: I rather wish you would forget about drugs. I don’t think brother Atwood was involved with drugs. Do go on.

GD: Yes. These companies were set up with the approval and knowledge of senior CIA officials and other senior U.S. government officials and staffed primarily by ex-CIA, ex-FBI and ex-military officers. I am correct here?

RTC: Yes. Go on.

GD: You will probably end up hating me if I do, Robert, but I note you asked me to continue.

RTC: I think I am above that, Gregory.

GD: OK. Now let’s look at the Iran Contra business. I know all about at least a part of this so we can go into it a little. Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to Merex. This was known officially as Merex International Arms and was, and is, based in Savannah. The Merex address was occupied by Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., controlled by Jimmy Atwood. He had been in the Army in MI and then went to work for your people. James was involved in major arms trades with your sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states. Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the Enterprise.   Now Merex was originally set up, after the war, by old Skorzeny co-worker, one Gerhard Mertins. Gerhard had been  a Hauptmann (captain to you, Robert) in the German paratroopers and got the Knight’s Cross in, I believe, ’45. After the war, Mertins went to work in Bonn and the Merex arms business was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Mertex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization. Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Cummings died in Monaco because he had looted his CIA employers and found that principality safer than Warrenton, Virginia. Also connected with Atwood’s firm were Collector’s Armory, run by one Thomas Nelson, whose nickname was ‘Red Nelson’ because of his hair color, not his politics, and a George Petersen of Springfield, Virginia, and one Manny Wiegenberg, a Canadian arms dealer. Jimmy was heavily involved in your support of Canadian separatists and I know something of his role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of your Canada Desk was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. I know for a fact that your people do not want ever to mention this little historical aside.

RTC: No, we do not, Go on.

GD:Also, I know all about Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing. I can give you chapter and verse on this one if you want it. One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979 and I have a file on this as well in some safe and private place You might also be aware of the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium. Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board, some of whom were wanted. I recall a former SS officer, Frederich Schwend who worked with your people and was down in Lima. Schwend had been trained by the OSS in the early 1940s after he had informed Allen Dulles that the German SS had hidden millions in gold, cash, and loot as the European war was winding down. Atwood knew about the Weissensee gold hoard that Müller told me about. Jimmy knew about it but I had the overlay so he courted me and we ended up, shovels in hand, in the beautiful mountains in ’90.

RTC: Thee are conflicting stories about that business. You murdered two British people as I understand it.

GD: No such thing, Robert. As I understand it, and I was there, they fell off the boat in the middle of the Caribbean. Such lies your people make up.

RTC: Well, there are always two sides to every story, Gregory. You are better than two cups of coffee, I must say. I think I ought to get some Pepto Bismol pretty soon. After the Treasure Island adventure, what happened next?

GD: To Atwood? Well, as Jimmy told me, about 1992, he and your Jimmy Critchfield, along with a Russian Jew, formed a partnership in order to obtain a number of obsolete Soviet atomic artillery shells which they then sold to the Pakistanis.  I think the two of them kept the money and no one ever saw the Jew again. If you don’t know this, I can tell you that both Critchfield and the Interarmco people had supplied weapons to the rebels in Afghanistan during their long and vicious guerrilla activities against the Soviet Union. Critchfield also worked with the Dalai Lama of Tibet in a guerrilla war against Communist China and headed a CIA task force during the Cuban missile crisis. He ran regional agency operations when the U.S. and the Soviets raced to secure satellites first in Eastern Europe, then in the Middle East. And note that in the early 1960s, Critchfield recommended to the CIA that the United States support the Baath Party, which staged a 1963 coup against the Iraqi government that the CIA believed was falling under Soviet influence. Critchfield later boasted, during the Iran-Iraq war that he and the CIA had created Saddam Hussein.

RTC: Gregory, where in the sweet hell did you get all of this?

GD: From Atwood when he was drunk.

RTC: You’ve just guaranteed that he will pass to his reward very soon. Does that bother you?

GD: I never liked him. He tried to rip me off once but he was so crude about it that I have no respect for him. Shall I go on?

RTC: I have approach-avoidance conflicts here, Gregory. You might as well ruin the rest of my evening. Proceed.

GD: Are you sure? You don’t sound too happy.

RTC: I am not but do go on.

GD: As you wish. When Arab oil became paramount, your Critchfield became your national intelligence officer for energy and was also an energy policy planner at the White House. He also fronted a dummy CIA corporation in the Middle East known as Basic Resources, which was used to gather OPEC-related intelligence for the Nixon administration. . Critchfield was the chief of the CIA’s Near East and South Asia division in the 1960s and a national intelligence officer for energy as the oil shortage crisis began in the early 1970s. Of course your people, along with the oil barons, forced the price of oil up and up. My, I wonder how much money you all made. Oh well, not important here. Critchfield retired in the mid ‘70s and ended up as both a consultant and the CEO of Tetra Tech International, a Honeywell Inc. subsidiary and which managed oil, gas, and water projects in the strategic Masandam Peninsula. This, in case your geography is weak, is located on the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the West’s oil is transported. And at the same time, Critchfield was a primary adviser to the Sultan of Oman, focusing on Middle East energy resources, especially those in Oman.

RTC: I should never have asked you about this.

GD: The Bible says ask and ye shall receive.

RTC: Yes. We can forget the Bible here. It has no part in the intelligence business. You mentioned Merex. Do you know of other friendly assets?

GD: Surely, Try Aero Systems, Arrow Air, Global International, and how about Zenith?

RTC: Did you get these names from Atwood?

GD: Of course I did. I told you Jimmy was not discreet while he was drinking. I listened to his tales of self-importance and remembered it all. Oh, and I write it up as well.

RTC: Gregory, for the Lord God’s sake, if not mine, or more important, yours, do not discuss any of this with anyone else, your son or people like Willis Carto. If you aren’t careful, Critrchfield will have you eliminated. I shall have to warn him off on that topic but…I mean why would Atwood tell you such terrible things and if he told you, who else could he have told?

GD: One of his German whores, probably. Jimmy goes on and on.

RTC: So I note. And we can ring the curtain down on that one ASAP.

GD: From your reaction, Robert, I assume Jimmy was accurate.

RTC: No comment but Atwood is a dead man.

GD: Well, I might have gotten my insights from the back of a Wheaties’ box but Jimmy is a better candidate. Do you know why I dislike Jimmy and would frame his death notice? His wife stuck with him when he was arrested for tax evasion in smuggling in the ‘60s and as a mark of his appreciation, he deserted her and his two daughters to run off with one of his bar girls. The rest of his activities are one thing but I do not tolerate such domestic treachery. Do you think I’m being too critical?

RTC: What a question. Who cares about his wife and children? This man has gone way beyond the bounds. Way beyond. Of course I believe you. You could never have made all that up and I can assure you it was never in the New York Times. They might know some of it but they wouldn’t dare publish it. No, you got it from Atwood or someone connected with him. Ah, well, I did ask and I did receive. They hate you Gregory, they hate you with a passion but at the same time, they are scared shitless of you. They would have killed you some time ago but others counseled them against it. Who knows what you put down on paper? If you were run over by a truck in the middle of a shopping mall or attacked and eaten by a leopard in your own living room, who knows what might find its way out of some hiding hole and into the public? The public is happy with its football games and beer so we had best not disturb them with such stories.

GD: They might make a good movie out of all this.

RTC: Never, Gregory, I can promise you that. A studio that even considered this would be bankrupt within a few months. No, none of this will ever see the light of day and if you want to continue walking around, remember that silence is golden.

GD: I have no problem with gold. Just think of all that looted concentration camp gold Jimmy and I dug up.

RTC: Yes and I understand you cheated him out of his share.

GD: When thieves fall out, Robert, honest men prosper.

RTC: Meaning no disrespect but do you consider yourself to be an honest man? GD: Selectively, Robert, selectively. And Jimmy?

RTC: Don’t make book on his seeing Christmas.


(Concluded at 6:38 PM CST)

Saudi Arabia Intervening in the Syrian Civil War Would Risk Russian Wrath

February 11, 2016

by Patrick Cockburn

The UNZ Review

The suggestion by Saudi Arabia that it send ground troops to Syria might mean the limited deployment of Saudi special forces alongside their US counterpart or a more ambitious intervention, probably in combination with the Turkish army.

The suggestion by Saudi Arabia that it send ground troops to Syria might mean the limited deployment of Saudi special forces alongside their US counterpart or a more ambitious intervention, probably in combination with the Turkish army.

It might also be a desperate last throw of the dice to rescue a bankrupt policy as it becomes clear that a five-year effort by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and the Gulf monarchies to overthrow Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, has failed. The Syrian army is advancing on all fronts, backed by Russian air strikes, and has cut off opposition forces in Aleppo.

Saudi policy has become more aggressive and proactive over the past year as it has come under the control of the deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seen as the power behind the Saudi throne. But much remains unclear about any proposed action by Saudi ground troops in the Syrian civil war, though the US has welcomed the idea of extra help from Saudi Arabia and anybody else who wants to join the fight against Isis.

If Saudi Arabia becomes involved in any more ambitious venture in Syria it is likely to be in association with Turkey; but Turkey’s policy towards sending its army across the border is ambivalent because to do so would be highly risky.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is appalled by the prospect that the war in Syria may conclude with Mr Assad still in power and the de facto Syrian Kurdish state of Rojava controlling half of the 550-mile long Syrian-Turkish border. Turkey particularly wants to prevent the Syrian Kurdish militia force, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), advancing west of the Euphrates and linking up with the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. This would cut the supply lines of Isis and the non-Isis opposition from Turkey to Aleppo.

Any move across the border into Syria by Turkey and allies such as Saudi Arabia has become more complicated, and potentially more costly, since the Russian military intervention on 30 September last year and the shooting down of a Russian bomber by a Turkish F-16 fighter on 24 November. A cross-border move might now provoke the use of Russian aircraft and anti-aircraft missile systems against the Turks and anybody else involved.

Armed intervention by the Sunni states could be presented as the creation of “a safe zone” for the tens of thousands of displaced people in the area, though it certainly would not be safe as it would be in the centre of a battle zone. There is the danger that any Saudi-Turkish ground assault would be in association with local opposition fighters grouped under the umbrella organisation Jaish al-Fatah; this is supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and is led by the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, and by the ideologically similar Ahrar al-Sham.

If Saudi Arabia does intervene in this part of Syria it will become yet one more combatant in the most complex and dangerous battlefield in the world.

5 reasons to believe Turkey wants no peace in Syria

February 14, 2016


The Turkish army’s latest shelling of Kurdish and Syrian army positions in northern Syria comes just days after a meeting of world powers in Munich settled on a plan to bring peace to Syria. Here are five reasons why the artillery attack was no coincidence.

The Syrian crisis is entering a crucial stage that could either end in world powers agreeing that peace must be given a chance in the war-torn country – or an all-out ground invasion by foreign troops, which has been threatened by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the US. There are grounds to believe, however, that Ankara will not tolerate any peace in Syria that brings about a defeat of the anti-government forces there.

Saudi jets move to Turkish base

Saudi Arabia has been deploying military jets and personnel to Turkey’s southern Incirlik Air Base. The latest move is said to be part of the US-led effort to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The base is currently being used by the US Air Force for their planes conducting sorties in Syria.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops to a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. The Gulf states, just as the Turkish government, want Syrian President Bashar Assad to be overthrown.

Middle East experts have warned that sending Turkish and Saudi troops into Syria would bring “catastrophic” consequences, while Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has said an intervention by foreign powers would result in “permanent” war in the region.

Turkey cracks down on Kurds, falls out with US over YPG

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started a diplomatic row with the US over Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State extremists in Syria. Ankara has branded the Kurds as terrorists, while the US maintains they are a helpful force in fighting Islamic State.

Kurds are seen as a formidable force in the border region. They have been simultaneously fighting IS and seeking more autonomy from Syria. The YPG took full control of the IS-besieged town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border late last June.

Meanwhile, Turkey has repeatedly been blamed for targeting Kurdish fighters in the border region rather than IS.

Ankara has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey, who are fighting for the right to self-determination and greater autonomy. Since the summer of 2015, the country has seen some of its worst violence in two decades. In one of the latest incidents, Turkish police fired tear gas at thousands of people protesting in the city of Diyarbakir, while in the town of Cizre dozens of civilians have reportedly been killed in Erdogan’s military crackdown, some of them whom had taken cover in basements.

Turkey threatens Syria op, says will defend ‘Aleppo brothers’

Turkey has already hinted that it could launch a ground invasion into Syria several times. The latest was Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu’s pledge to return a “historical debt” to Turkey’s “Aleppo brothers,” who helped defend the country in the early 20th century – just days after Russia had warned of Ankara’s intentions to invade Syria, as the rebels there falter.

The Turkish saber rattling comes as the Syrian army is successfully making gains on militant positions in the northern Aleppo Governorate and Kurds on the Syrian-Turkish border have been recapturing infrastructure from Islamists, including a military airport. Both offensives are said to be supported by Russian airstrikes.

Turkey sets up presence inside Syria

Turkey has begun building a refugee camp on Syrian territory not far from the Turkish-Syrian border.

Speculations on the development range from Ankara planning to create a “buffer zone” inside Syria, to allegations that the Turks are creating a “human shield” to prevent the recapture of border territories. Kurds are reportedly not being let into the grounds of the refugee camp.

Turkey needs ISIS oil?

Russia has repeatedly accused Turkey of benefiting from Islamic State’s illegal oil trade, which the UN is trying to crack down upon, with the Russian military directly implicating Erdogan’s family in the dirty business.

A report on IS’ illegal oil sales, compiled by Norway and leaked in December, has revealed that most of the IS-smuggled oil is trucked into Turkey, where it is sold off at very low prices.

George Soros: A psychopath’s psychopath

February 13, 2016

by Sam Gerrans


According to Soros, Russia’s strategy is to “avoid collapse by making the EU implode first – by exacerbating the migration crisis and stoking Islamophobia”.

On February 11, the Guardian ran an article by George Soros which had run a day earlier here entitled “Putin is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis.”

After a quick check of my vital signs, I confirmed that I was indeed awake and the article was real and in the Guardian not The Onion. Before I look at the tissue of untruths which make up the substance of Soros’ article, a few general words about psychopaths are in order.

I have met a few psychopaths in my life – a pernicious but small-time example is a real-estate “salesman” in Spain who cost my family a great deal of time and money. The real problem with psychopaths – big-time and small-time – is not primarily that they do bad things, but that we – non-psychopaths – are ill-prepared to deal with the fundamental difference between us and them.

We – people with operational consciences – think (wrongly) that everyone is like us. We are shackled to the assumption that just because we would not do unspeakably evil things – or would be unable to live with ourselves if we did – all other people work the same way.

They do not.

When a psychopath lies, or steals, or manipulates – or does whatever he thinks is required to get what he wants – he has no greater emotional connection with his actions than you or I have with yesterday’s lunch.

We, the non-psychopaths, tell little lies and do little wrongs. But we have a limit beyond which we will not go. For the psychopath, scale makes no difference. Stealing a family’s savings, or crashing an economy, or destroying a country is of no more consequence to the psychopath than deciding not to return ten bucks to a cashier who had made a mistake.

And no matter what evil the psychopath meticulously plotted and practiced against you, to him, what happens is your fault. Always.

Which brings me back to George Soros.

Soros: Putin is no ally in the fight against Islamic State

In the Guardian’s article, then, Soros claims “the US and the EU are making a grievous error in thinking that President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a potential ally in the fight against Islamic State.”

The assumptions here are based on pure falsehood. My colleague, the diligent and forthright journalist and writer Gearóid Ó Colmáin, laid an axe as sharp as any to the root of the notion that the so-called War on Terror (taken to include Islamic State) serves anything other than the interests of what Ó Colmáin rightly calls a “tiny and particularly tyrannical ruling elite”.

In an interview with RT, Ó Colmáin said, “There is no War on Terror. There is a war which is being waged using terrorist proxy groups and they are being used against nation states who are resisting US and Israeli hegemony. And they are also being used as a means of disciplining the work forces in Europe. In a period of mass unemployment and austerity, you now have terrorist attacks being committed by terrorists funded, armed and trained by Western intelligence agencies. There is no such thing as ISIS. ISIS is a creation of the United States.”

Soros and his ilk created and benefit from what Soros calls “Islamic State,” yet his argument not only disregards that fact, it kicks blame in the direction of the one major power – Russia – which has taken steps to deal with this US creation.

Soros goes on to make a number of other accusations against Russia, failing at any time to note that Russia alone has a mandate from the legitimate government of Syria, or that Russia is seriously engaged in cleaning house in Syria, a job the US was only simulating.

Acknowledgement of Russia’s successes in Syria comes from many quarters, including Seymour Hersh. Hersh is a high-profile American journalist, but one incapable of understanding the reasons for US policy towards Syria, bless him.

Soros: Putin working towards Europe’s demise

Soros’ next point is that “Putin’s aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood Europe with Syrian refugees.”

The truth is that Russia’s natural ally is Germany – and preventing that alliance is the primary aim of the US government – at least according to Stratfor, a US intelligence agency.

Germany’s efficiency and organizational abilities combined with Russia’s raw materials, inventive genius, and good relations with China, is the combination those funding and directing ISIS least want to see. By occupying Germany with an army of aggressive, unskilled, culturally insoluble economic migrants from Africa and elsewhere, the chess-players at the board of realpolitik are attempting to head off that natural outcome.

Soros’ part in destabilizing Europe is well attested. The Daily Mail reported back in November 2015 that Soros was busy telling the EU to take “at least a million” refugees every year.

In the same article, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban is quoted as saying, “This invasion is driven, on the one hand, by people smugglers, and on the other hand by those activists who support everything that weakens the nation-state.” Orban went on, “This Western mindset and this activist network is perhaps best represented by George Soros.”

Soros – described in the article as “a funder of pro-migration groups all over the world” – responded to Orban’s comments by arguing that his beliefs “uphold European values”.

I don’t know what Soros means by “European values,” but I assume it includes lots more immigration for us – unilaterally decided upon by Mr. Soros.

As prime minister of Hungary, Orban is a man with, perhaps, better access than most to the truth about George Soros, a Hungarian Jew who got his first business breaks collaborating with the Nazis in Hungary – the source for which information is his own father’s book Masquerade – Dancing Around Death in Nazi-Occupied Hungary. Thus, Soros has moved effortlessly from collaborating with the Nazis against his fellow Jews – an occupation (if you will excuse the pun) he makes little effort to hide – to telling indigenous European peoples what the ethnic make-up of their countries should be.

He was also instrumental in the destruction of Ukraine. As reported by New American, Soros “has a giant footprint in Ukraine. Similar to his operations in dozens of other nations, he has, over the past couple of decades, poured tens of millions of dollars into Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), ostensibly to assist them in transforming their country into a more ‘open’ and ‘democratic’ society.”

We have good reason to take George Soros seriously.

Soros: anticipates Russia’s collapse

Soros’ article downplays Putin’s strategic prowess before going on to anticipate regime change in Russia in 2017 as a result of bankruptcy forced upon it by Western sanctions and crushed oil prices.

He then appears to credit Putin with masterminding a “collapse” in Europe and of anticipating benefits for Russia in the aftermath. He notes, “As Merkel correctly foresaw, the migration crisis has the potential to destroy it.”

If you find yourself asking here: “Why then did she create that crisis?” that is because you are not a psychopath.

Soros’ article begins its descent with metaphysical and social observations, which from someone without billions of dollars behind them would be seen as merely subjective musings, before landing squarely on the runway of identifying Putin’s Russia as the real threat.

Textbook psychopathy

This is not simply chutzpah. The traits Soros exhibits are those of textbook psychopathy: blaming others for his own actions and attacking the victim is what the psychopath does.

Here, Soros disregards entirely his own extensive role in creating the problem he purports to seek to solve; meanwhile, he accuses Russia, the only country to man-up to the war on Syria, of being behind the “migration” Soros has spent millions engineering.

Soros is part of a cabal which plans the overthrow of countries at dinner. Psychopathy is the baseline requirement for membership. So if you think conscience will make him and his friends stop at some point before you and your family reach conditions materially identical to those experienced by the inhabitants of the Donbass region – or if you think that Western Europe is beyond the scope of their plans for engineered collapse just because you wouldn’t do something like that – you will find that you are wrong.

When Europe is in tatters, and its men (whom Soros’ money helped turn in one lifetime from actual men into effeminized liberal cultural lemmings) are squawking in disbelief as their pampered delusions are shattered in the “collapse” Soros envisages, Soros will not care. No matter that this is Europe and it is your life under attack this time, and not that of brown people or Eastern Europeans. It won’t make any difference.

For a psychopath it’s simple: you let him do it – it’s your fault.

Air pollution is ‘leading environmental risk factor’

Air pollution is one of the major causes of premature death in the world, scientists have told a major conference. Two countries account for more than half of the several million fatalities each year, they say.

February 13, 2016


Air pollution is the fourth highest risk factor for premature death worldwide, with more than 5.5 million people dying each year as a result of exposure to dangerous levels of particulate matter, scientists told a conference in Washington, DC.

“Reducing air pollution is an incredibly efficient way to improve the health of a population,” said Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver, Canada.

He told the conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that smog was responsible for about 10 percent of premature deaths annually worldwide.

Only high blood pressure, diet and smoking cause more premature fatalities, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

China and India worst affected

Of the yearly global deaths from air pollution, 55 percent occur in China and India, according to researchers. In 2013, about 1.6 million people in China and 1.4 million in India died of diseases related to poor air quality.

In China, the bulk of air pollution comes from burning coal,  and in India the main culprit is the burning of wood, dung and biomass for cooking and heating, in addition to road traffic. In February, the respective capitals, Beijing and New Delhi, typically see daily levels at or above 300 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter – or 1,200 percent higher than WHO guidelines, researchers said.

The researchers said more than 85 percent of the world’s population lived in areas exceeding the WHO guidelines of a maximum of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.

The AAAS conference is the world’s largest scientific conference. This year’s meeting will run until Monday, February 15.

Russia hit 1,888 targets in Syria in a week; U.S. count? Just 16

February 12, 2016

by Matthew Schofield


BERLIN — In the seven days before the announcement early Friday that a cease-fire might go into effect in Syria in another week, Russian forces hit more than 100 times as many targets within the embattled nation as a military coalition that includes the United States.

Exactly how the cease-fire proposed at an international conference in Munich would work is still being decided. The agreement announced by Russian and U.S. officials said “a nationwide cessation of hostilities . . . should apply to any party currently engaged in military or paramilitary hostilities” except the Islamic State, al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate – Jabhat al Nusra – “or other groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council.”

Since Russia considers any organization attacking the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad a terrorist group, the question arises of just how its efforts might change.

And those efforts are substantial, as a weekly report by the Russian Ministry of Defense makes clear. In a report posted Thursday on its website, the ministry noted that its jets flew 510 combat sorties and hit 1,888 “terrorist objects” in Syria. The previous week’s report claimed 464 sorties that hit a total of 1,354 “terrorist objects.”

Daily reports from the U.S. military for the same period indicate a much lower level of activity: 16 targets struck in Syria. The reports also said those forces hit 91 targets in Iraq.

The reports suggest Russia has been far more aggressive than the United States has leading up to the cease-fire proposal.

The most recent Russian report, for instance, notes, “During air duty mission, Su-25 attack aircraft detected three hardware columns transporting militants, armament and munitions along the highway al Qaryatayn-Homs. The strike resulted in elimination of nine heavy trucks with munitions and more than 40 militants.”

A Feb. 9 report from U.S. Central Command gave that day’s actions this way: “Near Kobani, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit. Near Manbij, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit. Near Mar’a, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.”

The reports also note, “Coalition nations which have conducted strikes in Syria include Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

The Russian reports refer to “aircraft of the Russian aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic.” The Russian Ministry of Defense, in a statement on its website, noted, “Terrorists are suffering significant losses caused by aviation strikes of the Russian Aerospace Forces.”

The pace of the Russian air campaign is thought to have changed the course of battle near Aleppo, once Syria’s business hub and largest city. The British newspaper The Guardian on Friday quoted Bahar al Halabi, described as a member of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army who was inside Aleppo, saying, “The regime is advancing quite quickly. . . . We have very little left. Nothing can change things now. I can’t lie and say that the position of the FSA is strong.”

Russia’s grip on Syria tightens as brittle ceasefire deal leaves US out in the cold

At the peace talks in Munich and on the ground in Aleppo, two things became clear last week: Moscow was running the show and Assad’s opponents felt abandoned by Washington

February 14, 2016

by Alec Luhn in Moscow, Martin Chulov in Gaziantep and Emma Graham-Harrison

The Guardian

Russia’s economy may be stumbling as oil prices fall, but in a week of extraordinary military and diplomatic turmoil over the war in Syria, President Vladimir Putin has proved that his global influence and ambitions have only been sharpened by financial troubles.

For now he seems to be calling all the shots in Syria’s civil war. Russian jets allowed Syrian government troops to break out of a stalemate in Aleppo, cutting supply routes into a city that has been a rebel stronghold for years.

With hundreds of thousands of people facing siege in the ruins of Aleppo, and Europe fearful that thousands more fleeing to the border could trigger a new influx of refugees, top diplomats gathered to agree a flimsy ceasefire deal.

Russia wrung so many concessions out of others around the table that the deal seemed more an endorsement of its role in Syria than a challenge to it. Hostilities would not stop for about two weeks and, even when they did, bombing campaigns against “terrorists” could continue.

That effectively allows Russia to continue bombing as before, since it has always claimed only to target extremists, while focusing more of its bombs on President Bashar al-Assad’s opposition than on Isis or al-Qaida’s Syrian operation, Jabhat al-Nusra.

Opposition groups have already said they cannot accept the ceasefire if it does not halt Russian airstrikes. “No negotiation can take place while Russia is bombing our people,” said a senior member of one major Islamist opposition group.

It is a certainty that Russia will continue to attack us while claiming to target al-Nusra. They claimed that their campaign in Syria was to fight Isis but, so far, 85% to 90% of their attacks were against the moderate revolutionary groups, with a high percentage of civilian targets.”

So when Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told the world’s diplomats this weekend that the ceasefire was more likely to fail than succeed, even fellow diplomats saw it as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Asked by the conference moderator to say how confident he was that weapons would be put down within a week, Lavrov estimated only a 49 out of 100 hope of success. British foreign secretary Philip Hammond, sitting alongside him, was quick to point out that Lavrov’s remarks made the chance of a temporary halt to fighting “somewhere close to zero”.

Unless Russia over the next days is going to stop, or at least significantly scale back that bombing, the moderate armed opposition will not join in this process,” Hammond said. “They cannot be expected to join in this process.”

What unfolded in Munich looks set to have put the seal on something that has become increasingly apparent over the past months. Moscow is back as a big player in the Middle East, while Washington looks humbled, a shadow of the great power that once dominated events in the region. The cold war is back, as the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said on Saturday – and for now Russia seems to be in the ascendancy.

Critics warned from the day the ceasefire was announced that Moscow had outmanoeuvred Washington and was simply using the negotiations and the deal to consolidate gains, a tactic honed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

The US may have lost more than political capital. The ceasefire risks costing them the trust of the few moderate opposition groups left on the ground, who feel abandoned by a country that promised support.“The people that the Americans had been trying to sponsor are now targets of an enemy that bombs without mercy or discretion, and the Americans don’t have a problem with that?” said one Free Syrian Army member in Aleppo, who declined to be named. “They never deserved our trust.”

Russia, by contrast, has doubled down on Assad. Around the time Lavrov was handing down his grim prognosis for the ceasefire, a missile cruiser left the naval base in Sevastopol in Crimea. It was heading towards the Mediterranean to join the Russian fleet there, a public shoring up of an already strong military presence. Refugees who had recently fled Isis rule said that the failure to challenge Assad and Russia could even put the west’s main goal in Syria – the routing of Isis – at risk. If other opposition groups are driven out, it will shore up the claim of Isis to be champions of the country’s Sunnis. “You will not find anyone in this camp, especially those who have arrived this month, who supports Isis,” said the man, who gave his name only as Jameel. “But most of them accept that at least they tried to protect us, Syrian Sunnis, who the world has abandoned. It is very dangerous to let them fill this role. And I think the world is blind to the immorality of it.”

And despite the terror inflicted by the group, which has prompted thousands to flee, many still say they would chose rule from Raqqa over rule from Damascus.

No matter what [Isis] does, no matter how bad they are, they are not as bad as the regime. They [the government] are the first enemy. They are why Syria is ruined, and they are why I am in this camp,” said 20-year-old Khalil Efrati, who had left his Raqqa home around three weeks earlier. “Yes, Isis are merciless and they do horrific things, but the regime does worse.”

Putin’s long-term aims are hard to assess, analysts said, in part because the Kremlin itself may not have a clear vision for Syria, beyond protecting Russian prestige and influence. The president is known as a clever tactician, rather than a strategist with a grand vision, hard-nosed in negotiations and quick to react to the situation on the ground.

The task of Russia is to preserve the Assad regime, not necessarily with Assad at the helm, but an acceptable regime that would protect Russian interests,” said analyst Alexei Makarkin, deputy director at the Centre for Political Technologies in Moscow. “If Russia doesn’t have an ally in the Middle East and influence there, then it’s not a great power, they think.”

Moscow is haunted by memories of the Nato bombing campaign in the former Yugoslavia, which led to the ousting of ally Slobodan Milošević and brought an abrupt end to its influence in the Balkans. “We don’t want to help dismantle Assad and then be told to leave, like what happened in Serbia,” Makarkin said. Reviving Assad’s campaign after months of setbacks is a show of Moscow’s power as a patron, its willingness to spend money on friends, and ability to sow problems for enemies. In practical terms it also secures the military port in Tartus, which Russia has operated since Soviet times, and its new Khmeimim airbase near Latakia, vital to Russian ability to project power in the Middle East.

Now Russia is viewed with hatred by most Sunnis, Assad would be perhaps irreplaceable as a regional ally. “He is changing the place of pieces on the board, and he’s searching for weak spots,” said analyst Masha Lipman. “I think the goal was larger, to make the world acknowledge that Russia is a strong player in the international arena, and then Russia’s possibilities change.”

Support for Assad also fits the Kremlin’s policy of opposing regime change around the world. Putin described the revolutions in post-Soviet states as western attempts to expand their influence, and argues that the Arab spring only led to bloody chaos. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Russia of planning to create a mini-state around Latakia, the Assad family’s ancestral homeland on the coast, and attacking Turkmen there.

But Russia, which is battling separatist movements at home, insists it does not want to split Syria; Assad himself in a rare recent interview also said he planned to recapture all the country, and recent advances in Aleppo make that seem more likely.

Moscow might support a restructuring that gives regions more autonomy, however, because once Assad is confirmed in power they are likely to seek some kind of long-term settlement. A “frozen war”, like the one that is destabilising Ukraine, would be expensive to maintain from a distance, and Russia sees Syria not as part of a traditional sphere of influence to be controlled at all costs, but as a site to confront the west, Lipman said.

Even if the west continues to shy away from direct confrontations, however, Russia’s dominance may not continue unchallenged.

Saudi and Emirati special forces troops are being sent to join opposition fighters on the ground, US defence secretary Ash Carter said on Friday, and Saudi Arabia is sending bombers to a Turkish airbase near the border.

Officially, the ground troops would be helping opposition groups trying to retake Raqqa from Isis, but those groups are also enemies of Assad and could be expected to turn their guns and expertise on Damascus if they are able to storm the Isis capital.

Turkey last year shot down a Russian jet that strayed into its airspace, and Medvedev called for Russia and the west to step up cooperation. “We have fallen into a new cold war,” he told the Munich conference. That may be underestimating the dangers, one Nato member and staunch US ally warned.

We are probably facing a hot war,” Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė told the conference. “Russia is demonstrating open military aggression in Ukraine, open military aggression in Syria. There is nothing cold about this; it is very hot.”

Turkey shells Syrian Kurds, Russia says will keep bombing anti-Assad rebels

February 14, 2016

by Tom Perry and Noah Barkin


Beirut/Munich-The Turkish army shelled Kurdish militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, while Russia made clear it would continue bombing Syrian rebel targets, raising doubts that a planned ceasefire would bring much relief.

Major powers agreed on Friday to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties – the Damascus government and numerous rebel factions fighting it.

Russian bombing raids directed at rebel groups are meanwhile helping the Syrian army to achieve what could be its biggest victory of the war in the battle for Aleppo, the country’s largest city and commercial hub before the conflict.

The situation has been complicated by the involvement of Kurdish-backed combatants in the area north of Aleppo near the Turkish border, which has drawn a swift military response from artillery in Turkey.

The Kurdish YPG militia, helped by Russian air raids, seized an ex-military air base at Menagh last week, angering Turkey, which sees the YPG as an extension of the PKK, a Kurdish group that waged a bloody insurgent campaign on Turkish soil over most of the past three decades.

Turkey began shelling while demanding that the YPG militia withdraw from areas it has captured from Syrian rebels in the northern Aleppo region in recent days, including the Menagh air base. The bombardment killed two YPG fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Syrian Kurdish PYD party rejected Turkish demands for withdrawal, while the Syrian government said Turkish shelling of northern Syria amounted to direct support for insurgent groups.

Other fronts were also active on Sunday.

Kurdish-backed forces were fighting with insurgent groups near Tel Rifaat in the northern Aleppo countryside, while further south, government forces renewed their shelling of rebel positions to the northwest of Aleppo city.

The Observatory also reported air strikes by jets believed to be Russian in areas east of Damascus, north of Homs, and in the southern province of Deraa.

Efforts to deliver humantitarian aid were being threatened by the latest escalation of violence.

Death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rocks US political scene

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has sent shock waves through the US political establishment. Both parties are now gearing up for a confirmation battle in the Senate in an acrimonious election year.

February 14, 2016


President Barack Obama has made clear that he intends to nominate a Supreme Court successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in his sleep at the age of 79 on Saturday.

But it remains to be seen whether any nominee can win confirmation in the Senate, where conservative Republicans hold a 54-46 majority.

Without Scalia the court loses its arch conservative, with the Republican-leaning judges losing their 5-4 advantage. An Obama appointee would likely give the court a liberal majority, which would impact all cases involving social issues, such as abortion rights and discrimination, as well as consitutional issues, such as gun control and health care.

After Obama praised Scalia as “one of the towering legal figures of our time,” he nonetheless vowed to fulfill his constitutional responsibility to name a successor and called on the Senate to do the same.

“I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. There will be plenty of time for me to do so, and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote,” he said. “These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone. They are bigger than any one party. They are about our democracy.”

Republicans vow to block

But the Senate majority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, wasted no time brushing aside the president’s plans.

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice,” McConnell said in a statement. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

But Obama has a folder full of potential nominees and is expected to act swiftly. What is unclear is the path he will take. He could nominate a demonstrably liberal candidate or go with a more moderate one.

The more liberal candidate is sure to be rejected by the Senate, but could be used as grist for the Democrats to inflame their base as they seek to hold on to the White House and win back the chamber.

To some extent, though, the same could be said for Republicans as they fight to hold on to their majority.

Obama’s options

A more moderate left-of-center candidate could possibly win confirmation if Obama can peel off four Republican senators, which is possible.

This year’s Senate election is a difficult one for Republicans. They have 24 seats to defend, including six in battleground states that Obama won twice.

Those senators could be at risk of losing re-election if they rejected a moderate Supreme Court nominee.

Scalia’s death occurred just hours before the latest Republican presidential debate, where there was virtual unanimity on what the Senate needed to do. Donald Trump, the former reality TV show host and current conservative frontrunner, summed it up succinctly.

“It’s up to Mitch McConnell and everyone else to stop it,” Trump said. “It’s called delay, delay, delay.”

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