A Pathological December

December GEOPOLITIC

It was a hot and dry end to the year in the antipodes — but it will be remembered as cold and glum, a despotic milieu too heavy to emulate in word: in a month of global relations’ rapidly cooling. It was a month which saw the retaking of Mosul stall; a month revelatory for building an imperial base in the Holy Land; and a month of missile installations in Russia. But it was mostly a month of United Nations’ abominations. It was the last month and the last Christmas — the last December before the Time of Jacob’s Trouble:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

It was a month to implore the podean to hold their head high, keep their hands warm and their oil-lamps full:

10 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

It was a month for abysmal weather and abysmal decrees at the United Nations —  having declared a day, as by some malevolent spirit, “Palestine Day”, adopting against Israel six resolutions — part of its annual rite of enacting 20 Arab-sponsored resolutions to single out the Jew. It was a month the Temple Mount came into sharp focus.

It was a month that saw the culmination of a post-Soviet Muslim revival in Russia, and a month of Russian revanchism:

And it was a month of something rotten in the state of Mosul [Nineveh]: 54,000 (Iraqi) troops and 5,000 (US) servicemen—supported by 90 warplanes and 150 heavy artillery pieces—could not defeat 9,000 jihadists. A month, apparently, when the god of mathematics slept in (or Apollyon got out).

And so it was a month of the inexplicable undeniable:

The failure of the US-backed Iraqi army offensive to liberate Mosul—nine weeks after it began—[can] no longer be denied when a delegation of ISIS chiefs arrived there Sunday, Dec. 4, traveling unhindered from Raqqa, Syria. … they arrived to discuss how to synchronize the operations of the two jihadist strongholds, after the Islamist leaders occupying Mosul changed course about leaving the city and decided to stay put.

It was a month of wonders and signs, of fire from heaven.

[Wikimedia Commons]
[Image source: SBS Australia. Original graphic by AFP]
It was a month when Apollyon came early—out of hell’s pit itself—to deliver a tranche of armaments to the assassins in Mosul … boosting their defensive posture as they drew tactics “from the Battle of the Trench, a story narrated from Islamic history texts in which the Islamic Prophet Muhammad led 3,000 defenders of Medina to prevail over 10,000 Arab and Jewish troops in 627 A.D”

Battle of Mosul, as at December 7, 2016 [Wikimedia Commons]
It was a month of bad news — a fateful December. It was a month of little hope and less reason. It was a month to be forsaken, abandoned, and left alone. It was a month of little light. So I write then, brethren, of Ihsan al-Shammari, of the Iraq’s Centre for Political Thought, who said that:

It is a matter of time before Daesh are defeated inside Mosul. Their ammunition and equipment are being depleted.

It was a month, then, of platitudes and wishful thinking. For a rose by any other name may still smell as sweet. Yet—as I say—something is rotten in the state of Nineveh.

It was a month of a Turk, a Turk, but not Ataturk, in Al-Bad, Syria, where he should not be. It was a month of fingers thick and thumbs numbed.

It was a month of waiting for some sense, some common sense, to come from Israel. Alas, but none. The US army—it’s a good army is it not—will use the Israeli coast as a military base against troops nearby [against the Russians in Syria?]. A month in which the news broke that the US National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) subsections, the US military is to establish a maritime base in the Israeli coastal city of Haifa in the coming years. Attack! Attack! A month in which the “Authorization of United States assistance to Israel”, under section 1259 of the National Defence Authorisation Act for 2017, says that:

The maritime security and maritime domain awareness in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea are critical not only to the security of Israel but also to US national security interests and encourage the Department of Defence to continue efforts to develop and improve capabilities in these areas.

It was a month to be told that this law is valid unto 2021. 2021! Will the world not end by 2021? I mean, literally, end? Will I still write in 2021? Will you still read?

It was a month to bewail Damascus a ruinous heap:

It was a month of going to London to London to buy a fat hen, to hear spies speak of “commies under the bed”:

Britain’s head of MI6, Alex Younger, said that Russia’s military operations in Syria may have tragic consequences and endanger the security of Britain. In particular, he denounced Moscow’s bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo, saying “Russia seeks to make a desert and call it peace”. The spy chief asserted that the British people “cannot be safe from the threats that emanate from that land unless the civil war is brought to an end.” Younger made the comments at a closed meeting with journalists invited to MI6 headquarters in London.

It was a month of Jerusalem, a trembling cup betwixt my fattened fingers:

Israel’s security forces have broken up a Hamas terror cell that plotted a combined shooting attack and kidnapping in the Gush Etzion area, south of Jerusalem. Six Palestinians, residents of the town of Dura, the village of Tzurif and the city of Hebron, were arrested on suspicion of setting up the network. They were found with many weapons including two Kalachnikov rifles, two M16 rifles, three handguns and a hunting rifle, as well as magazines and ammunition. The arrests have been extended until the conclusion of the legal proceedings against the suspects, with an indictment to be filed soon at a military court. The terror cell was broken up in a joint operation by the IDF, the border police and the Shin Bet domestic security service.

It was a month of elects making the most of the lamest of duck, while the dark king himself keeps running amuck:

US President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that retired Marine Gen. John Kelly is his nominee for secretary of homeland security. Kelly is the third retired general to be picked for Trump’s administration following Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis and National Security Advisor-designate Michael Flynn. The president-elect is considering choosing a fourth retired general, David Petraeus, as secretary of state. Trump also announced on Wednesday that he had tapped Linda McMahon as head of the Small Business Administration, after emphasizing the importance of the small business sector during the campaign. The 69-year-old McMahon, a billionaire who made her fortune as a co-founder of the World Wrestling Entertainment franchise, was one of the most significant contributors to Trump’s campaign.

It was a month of dalliances with the pleasant land:

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will meet Thursday in Jerusalem with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras and the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades. The three leaders previously met in Nicosia in January. The official announcement from Netanyahu’s office said the meeting is aimed at “strengthening stability and establishing a regular framework for countries with common interests. A trilateral research and development agreement will also be signed in order to advance joint projects.” DEBKAfile’s sources report that Netanyahu, Tsipras and Anastadiades will also discuss cooperation in defense of critical subsea infrastructure, namely a gas pipeline and optical communication lines placed near the bottom of the Mediterranean.

It was a month that saw men of war delivered by bird into battle:

Russia began to deploy Chechen Special Ops forces into Syria. These units have extensive experience in urban warfare, including recent combat experience in eastern Ukraine and against radical Islamic forces in Chechnya. Reporting to the Khankala base, east of the Chechen capital Grozny, the soldiers are being vetted for suitability aiming to recruit a one-thousand-man strong force to be flown the 1200km directly by Ilyushin-76 (NATO codename: Candid) transport planes to Russia’s Hmaimim Air Base in Syria. This will be Russia’s first deployment of ground troops of any substance in Russia.

[Image: Waazon]
It was a month of their fallen comrades— three Russian servicemen (including a colonel) in Syria. Russia had previously restricted herself to sending only small groups of Spetsnaz (special forces) troops, confined to guarding Russian military, air and missile facilities in Syria.

It was a month of locusts, retaking Palmyra:

It was a month of Turks, streaming into Syria:

It was a month that raised the spectre of Sino-Russian trigger-fingers:

Yoshkar-Ola is 600 km to Moscow’s east whilst Kozelsk is about 250 km to her southwest.

Here’s a map, with the two regions marked; it’s one I prepared earlier:

screenshot-547

And a scaled-down version of the same map, to more aptly reflect the “IC” nature of these BMs:

screenshot-548

It was a month of imminent financial Armageddon.

It was a month of the coming financial collapse:

It was a month, at last, of liberation Aleppo:

Short comfort, indeed, for it was a month of assassination in Ankara; of fires put out within Israel while a “rim of fire” surrounds her; of a renewed Ukraine offensive in Luhansk.

It was a month of a world asleep and a world awash, the post-festive flotsam and jetsam lapping the inhabitants comfortably numb. It was a month of migrant drownings — rounding off 5,000 in the Mediterranean for the year. It was a month of months. It was the very last month.

It was a month where the colours of sinful showed through.

It was a month diabolical, fiendish, pitch black. It was a month to say may G-d bless Israel, America, and all who love truth; a month for flagellation, sackcloth and ash.

It was a month of pleas of mercy in the throneroom of Him that liveth for ever and ever.


Annotations

I do not write this lightly. It is not a personal attack, it is not trial by social media, nor is it partisan political polemic. It is a spiritual revelation. I write it now to crystallize in our collectives just what it is that we are facing, and to galvanise our resolve against it. At some point, we are going to have to call a spade a spade here. We can ignore this no longer: the elephant in the Oval Office. (And were we to finally rid it from that office, its pathology is such that it will rear its ugly head in another guise — be it directly through the UN or somehow else. It is the pathology of self-aggrandizement. It will not go away.) History shows that when we fail to correctly label the problem, and in a timely manner, the consequences are incalculable. And we’ve been dancing around the eggshells of political correctness such that we’ve lost our ability to enunciate the truth of a matter, to put our finger on it. Somebody needs to make the call and if that somebody is me, so be it. (I’d hope to be proven wrong but I have enough training in the field to suspect that I am right. The elephant in the room is the display of distinct psychopathic tendencies.) I do not ask that anybody agree with me, but each of us has the moral responsibility, if and when we come to the same conclusion, to get the word out. Perilous days lie ahead, not excluding the potential for a global obliteration. And the time to act is now.

Psychopathic / Sociopathic traits

  1. A disregard for laws and social mores
  2. A disregard for the rights of others
  3. A failure to feel remorse or guilt
  4. A tendency to display violent behavior

“Psychopaths … are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature. When committing crimes, psychopaths carefully plan out every detail in advance and often have contingency plans in place. Unlike their sociopathic counterparts, psychopathic criminals are cool, calm, and meticulous. Their crimes, whether violent or non-violent, will be highly organized and generally offer few clues for authorities to pursue. Intelligent psychopaths make excellent white-collar criminals and “con artists” due to their calm and charismatic natures.”

References
Featured Image

Mosul, Iraq [Wikimedia Commons]

 

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East and West: when push comes to shove

It was some time in the bumbled, if not ill-advised intervention in Iraq, which was falling apart by 2003, and the Libyan and Syrian escapades of 2011-2012 that Putin’s view of the US as incompetent began to be replaced by a feeling of suspicion and mistrust – a feeling that what looked like ineptitude was a clever policy of destabilizing regions in order to gain control of them or garner some other unclear advantages, while saddling other states with the cleanup.

—The American Education of Vladimir Putin, Hill & Gaddy (2015)

We looked, a few days ago, at a number of short clips of Western officials talking tough (see You are Here), be it directly or tangentially, to Russia. Rounding out the picture, today we look at Russia and her reach. Despite her rhetoric, the United States is embedded in a unipolar world view (she cannot see beyond it). Russia and China appear equally adamant about their wish for multipolar global governance.

The Russian mindset is that NATO is surrounding Russia with a missile defense system (in eastern Europe) to neutralise any nuclear threat posed by Russia. By simultaneous naval containment of China’s east coast, America  can help entrench the West’s global preeminence — one which the West would use to erode Russian strength further and maintain a global power status quo for the remainder of the vaunted Asia century.

And we have now paved the way to what are early (somewhat beyond preliminary) tit-for-tat escalations.

An Asian century is hosting the rise of many middle-powers, all the while the West contends that it still can maintain its power of arbitration — it’s ability, as has been the case for most of the last century, to set the rules of commerce, diplomacy, and engagement. Yet among the rubble of the Middle East, the likes of Turkey, Israel, and Iran, are emerging from the plume as powers in their own right. It is no stretch of the imagination to see these three vying for regional honours. A Sunni conglomerate, led by Saudi Arabia and bound together as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), are doing their best to stymie, in particular, the ascent of Iran. For the moment, however, Iran seems to be regaining the upper hand — in Syria, in Iraq, and in Yemen.

For their part, Russia is looking to by-pass any NATO neutralising forces in order to maintain a deterrence position of her own. To their mind, this is borne out by observation of NATO missile movements into Baltic nations (Germany, Poland, Romania, and NATO talks with Estonia etc.) and her courting nations on Russia’s border — the Ukraine and Georgia among others. This is Russia’s great fear, President Putin has said so himself.

As push comes to shove, President Putin is well prepared to shove if he must.

When a fight is inevitable, you hit first.

The following videos discuss the defensive posture taken by Russia in Syria, visa-vis the S-300 and S-400 missile systems at Tartus and Khmeimim air base, as discussed here last week.

The bigger picture

NATO is working diligently toward full-spectrum dominance, recognising that war is fought on many fronts (battlespace) — Land, Sea, Air, Space, and Information. To that end, it has concentrated on restraining Russia and containment of China. And while gradually positioning itself to do just that, until now it has been content to embroil Russia in endless conflict and skirmish — “bait and bleed” — particularly with the mercenary du jour (Islamists) and in their cradle of chaos — the Middle East. The West is well aware of President Putin’s tendency for restraint until, finally, impetuousness win out. All the while, NATO is tightening the noose around Russia’s European border and at her underbelly.

[It’s unlikely that Russia will put up with this for much longer. President Putin saw the fins circling in the water some time ago. He is convinced that he has no other choice but to act.]

This game will go on until Russia takes the first major step — one that the West will use as pretext to commence their proceedings. Russia has no choice, she is being put in a choker hold. She will have to act. And that act can, and will, be used against her. Meanwhile, a war of attrition — the long war — is backed up by a missile system in eastern Europe that is felt, by the West, to negate a superior Russian nuclear ICBM threat. Against the somewhat weaker Chinese, on the other hand, the modus operandi is pure containment, and then mostly financial (consider, also the TPP, which included almost all Pacific nations bar one (no prizes for guessing which), through control of the seas. The other facet of the agenda against the Chinese involves the allied Pacific nations, such as Japan and the Philippines.

[Ed: President Duterte’s recent rhetoric must be of some consternation to Washington.]

Weaken and busy Russia until the choker-hold is on, bogging her in Middle East wars against mercenaries and fomenting unrest in her backyard nations. This is — as the East sees it — the Western mindset. The Russian counter to this strategy involves asymmetric warfare: launch unconventional attacks from outlying pockets (Kaliningrad exclave, Syria, Iran). Needless to say, a high-risk high-reward game is at play. One side cannot see beyond a unipolar world, the other is restive under the constraints of the same unipolarity. The global consequences, with these two nuclear giants at cross-purposes, are frightening.

Common sense says it’s folly to poke a bear in the eye. Neither do empires die wondering.

—♣—

highly recommended
Further Reading
Featured Image

American journalist Charlie Rose interviews Russian President Putin – President of Russia, September 29, 2015

Going in circles

NATO continues to push east, Russia is moving south, China is sweeping across to Africa, as central and south America press north into mainland United States. This is manifestly a clockwise rotation in the regional geostrategic. Are we, then, going in circles? And, as some have suggested, do all roads lead to Washington?

Destabilising the nations of the Middle East, upsetting a Sunni-Shiite status quo, and exploiting sectarian rivalries, it can be argued, is modus operandi of the West, from Arab Spring to eternal discontent. Sykes-Picot, Bernard-Lewis, Brzezinski, and Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters are all names in the step-wise progression from post-WWI to neo-colonial Middle East, the roadmap for its ‘Balkanization’ and ‘Finlandization’ laid out (see map below).

The%20Project%20for%20the%20New%20Middle%20East
Map of New Middle East (Credit: Global Research)

Yet U.S. foreign-policy focus has moved steadily northeast, from the Middle East into Eurasia. Fuss not over the ‘bit-player’ (or even the moderate power) to concentrate efforts on the big players — Russia and China, and remaining ‘BRICS‘ nations.

Enter, … stage West, NATO. Enter, stage South, ISIS and a disintegrating Middle East. And, enter stage East, Pacific nations and Japan. Encirclement —to the point of choking— is the name of this game, and it is being played at the highest level and for the highest stakes — and highest risk.

Aim to have positions —achieved already by NATO in Poland and Czechoslovakia, for instance, and those in planning for Ukraine and others— to nullify any potential for an immediate response to an American pre-emptive nuclear strike on Russia. More specifically, widespread loco-regional full spectrum dominance aims to re-exert hegemony by restraining opponents through minor skirmishes and forced resource bottlenecks and controls, without a resorting [hopefully] to tactical nukes and ICBMs.

That is, in effect, a global “Check-Mate” strategized for the prolongation of Anglo-American dominance of this Asian century, by applying a ‘choke-hold‘ to opponents, to forestall collapse of the USD as global reserve currency. Empire does not die wandering.

Consider the effect of the Libyan crisis on not just Middle-Eastern but the (obvious, yet less spoken of) north and central African geopolitic (take a moment to look at the image below), at a time when an emergent China is licentious in its courting of Africa for resources and economic cooperation.

libya_post-qaddafi_arms_and_population_flow_crop2

But to achieve this the West will need also to keep China busied closer to home — from unrest in neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan [“check”], uprisings in Xinjiang province [“check”], and disputes with its Pacific neighbours [“check”], for which the basis for significant local disruptions has been fomented. And add to this now also Hong Kong.

Russia will need to be preoccupied too. This is where the Middle East comes in. Flaming the Shiite-Sunni fire and keeping the likes of Iran and Turkey embroiled, using the ISIS mercenaries to run amok not only in the Middle East but spread and foment unrest at the Caucasus and up into Russia’s soft underbelly. (Many people are unaware of the number of Chechen and fighters of Central Asian origin recruited to ISIS ranks).

In this respect it has been said, by Zbigniew Brzezinski no less, that the Middle East is the lever through which to exert indirect control of the resource-rich crossroad and transportation hub that is Eurasia, with its geographic intimacy to the emergent eastern power base. Such a, albeit fantastic, scenario shines the spotlight onto the ISIS mercenary force (funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, aided and abetted by arms transfers through Turkey as well as Libya, via the proxy-war in Syria). How else to explain the dog-and-pony show otherwise known as the war on ISIS? Everywhere these Western-trained slaughterers turn, it seems, they stumble upon munitions, armour, or cash.

And all the while we have the Saudis playing oil games — flooding the OPEC market and plunging the price of a barrel to below the critical USD90 level, at which point it starts becoming uneconomic for Russian miners [much to U.S. delight], but also paradoxically to the U.S., ensuring ongoing political leverage in Washington by way of Saudi oil.

An LNG pipeline from the Pars field in Qatar through Syria, bypassing the Ukraine [Russian gas] pipeline to Europe, was blocked by President Assad. Qatari gas is significantly more profitable than Russian and consequently can be offered at a discount to the Russian. Aside from upsetting the delicate balance within the critical ‘Shiite crescent‘, this is a major reason for U.S. posturing against Assad. Obviously this would be detrimental to Shiite Iran, an ally of Russia whom the U.S. is also courting, in the potential for exchange of sanction relief and freedom to enrich uranium. Southern Europe’s Gas Wars confirm only that every man has his price.

syria_pipelines
Map of New Middle East [Image credit: Global Research]
Unlikely as it may seem — but short of crossing the Rubicon into conspiracy theory — perhaps Colour Revolutions, Arab Spring, Euromaidan, Sudanese fighting, civil war in Syria, and the crescendo in Israeli-Palestine unrest are, after all, more interwoven issues than is apparent at first blush. Eschatologists will think so. And the same eschatologists will also be interested to know that “D.C.“, as Rome (and Jerusalem for that matter), is a city that sits on seven hills …

This alternative [and at times compelling] counterpoint to the main news narrative is one of a fault line, where East meets West, and in which West is not necessarily best. And we are left going in circles.

Featured Image: Istanbul observatory, 1577 [Wikimedia Commons]

Take up your Cross and Take up your Arms?

A Police Officer has a risky job. But being oppressed is not a whole lot of fun either. Escalating violence create fear which create escalating tension creating more fear which create escalating violence. Thuggery is not limited to street thugs but comes in all guises, including uniformed. And it’s a vicious cycle. Is an armed public America’s great libertarian prerogative or her particle to a frightened absurdity? A frightened America becomes a frightening America. An armed nation begets a paranoid nation. And a paranoid nation is addicted to its arms — to the force, to the feeling of safety that they bring, and to the adrenaline-soaked fear they charge. Perhaps (legal) gun ownership should be limited to rural areas and away from the megacities where folk live on top of one another. Because the right to bear arms is a double-edged sword. The way man relates to his fellow man needs to change in a fundamental way, otherwise that right should become a privilege of the few. Of course that will not stop illegal ownership, but it may help assuage the all too frenzied street official’s “insurrection” upon the lay — a reverse form of insurrection that is too often informed only by its own fear. Meanwhile, the lay man would do well to be mindful that a police officer, no matter how calm the exterior, will always be “on edge”. But let us not live ever frightened of the officer but coexist in a state of mutual respect. Unfortunately, progressively less and less room is being made for such empathy. It’s the nature of the Beast.