On the way to Armageddon in Syria & Iraq

Bombing ISIS (AFP:Getty Images) Dec 2 2015

While we’re on our way to Armageddon in Syria & Iraq–turning the entire Middle East into a killing field–we ought to be able to make sense out of what is happening. But there isn’t one damn part of the story that stands up to interrogation–beginning with why Russia, Syria, & a US-led alliance of 13 nations are carrying out airstrikes & 29 other nations are engaged against ISIS on the ground.

We’ll begin with the obvious question: who the hell is ISIS? And how did they grow within months from a minor paramilitary operation into a force big enough to stand off 44 militaries? How did they get ahold of those oil fields? Who’s selling them armaments & heavy war equipment & how are they delivering it? According to the US, in July of this year ISIS had 31,000 fighters. If such a relatively small military force without fighter planes can hold off all that military might, conquer & hold all that territory, what are those 44 militaries doing wrong? What are they doing that ISIS continues to recruit, prosper, & gain territory with all that firepower directed at it?

US government analysts claimed ISIS rakes in $50 million a month from oil smuggling operations. Thirteen nations flying bombers over the region couldn’t take out that operation in a fortnight? Last month Russian bombers took out 500 oil tankers in just a few days. Is that what prompted US bombers to take out 280 of them a week later? If oil is what is bankrolling ISIS, then why was that operation allowed to go on for months? Or is it years now?

But the plot sickens: ISIS is delivering the oil to Turkey. Are they moving all those tankers through Syria & Iraq & past Turkish border patrols undetected? In a pig’s eye! Turkey, a US ally, is playing a dirty game here & the people of Syria & Iraq are paying the price of that treachery. The Pentagon doesn’t know this? Why don’t they google it & get the public information like the rest of us?

Once Russia took out those 500 oil tankers, it will be hard to sustain the narrative of ISIS surviving off oil smuggling. So now there’s a new dimension to the story: ISIS is surviving off drug trafficking & money laundering. ISIS has sophisticated telecommunications & an active social media presence but do they have banks now too? Are they actually now competing with CIA drug-smuggling operations? No wonder the US is bombing them. That narrative would make a lot more sense than the present one.

Finally, who is fighting who over there? Where is the Assad regime in all this? What about all those rebel groups like the Kurds & Free Syrian Army? At last count there were eight of them. What about the Taliban & al-Qaeda & the other “terrorist” groups? Who’s playing ball with who?

But there is one last question: ISIS has earned the world’s hatred & condemnation because of such practices as beheading people. Now we learned just last week that Saudi Arabia, a respected member of the US-led coalition against ISIS, has beheaded 151 people already this year & plans to behead at least 50 a day henceforward.

So here we are, headed to Armageddon, putting at peril the lives of millions of people in the Middle East, & there isn’t a single part of the story that makes a shred of sense. That’s because lying is the language of war & because those with bombers think they can do anything they please with impunity. They have their reasons for the treachery but our job is not so much to unravel all that as to stand publicly & oppose it.

The most imperative political task of our era remains: rebuild the international antiwar movement & stand steadfast against these monstrous wars.

(Photo is somebody bombing something in Syria under the guise of bombing ISIS; by AFP/Getty Images)

World War III or Armageddon in Syria & Iraq?

The UK is planning on deploying more warplanes to Syria, Russia is talking about deploying 150,000 ground troops, the US has sent 200 special forces (& who knows how many mercenaries & CIA operatives). Yet there is reportedly no collaboration between any of them, except between Israel & Russia, to avoid incidents like the shooting down of the Russian war plane over Turkish air space. What can possibly go wrong?

Henry Kissinger’s charity: the International Rescue Committee

International Rescue Committee logo

Once a year I make it my business to interfere with the fundraising efforts of the International Rescue Committee (IRC)–even though they use every opportunity from Mother’s Day to Christmas to shill for dough. The IRC must hire a top public relations firm because their public image of children is quite poignant & compelling. They purport to raise funds for prenatal & maternal health care, clean water, warm blankets for refugees, fighting Ebola in West Africa. Not unlike the appeals of the International Red Cross in Haiti which raised millions & built six houses after the 2010 hurricane with no accounting for the rest of the money.

Both the IRC and Red Cross are corporate-sponsored. The Red Cross has a leadership of magnates from Wall Street banks & credit card companies, Apple computer, Home Depot, & Target (the latter two ferociously non-union)–none of them usually wellsprings of compassion for human suffering but progenitors of it. You can’t tell it from its leadership body, but the Red Cross has always been associated with the highest levels of power–which is why media & people like Michelle Obama shill publicly in its fund appeals.

The IRC is a front group for lord-knows-what nefarious purpose. The board of directors includes people like its president David Miliband & Timothy F. Geithner (a protégé of Henry Kissinger & the Obama official who presided over the Wall Street bank bailouts). Its trustees include Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell (the war crimes of those four need no elaboration), Elie Wiesel (who publicly accused parents in Gaza of using their children as human shields to justify Israel’s carpet bombing siege in 2014), magnates from JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, including Felix Rohatyn (who presided over the dismantling of social services in NYC during the 1970s) & James Wolfensohn (past president of the World Bank who dismantled social services on several continents), & the usual cosmetic array of celebrities.

Kissinger Associates is a secretive company that won’t reveal it’s clients or activities on their behalf but appears to be a consulting outfit for corporate investors in neoliberal plunder. It’s absolutely excluded that a foul character like Kissinger would be moved by the suffering of children because he is on the record in favor of population control/eugenics & is responsible for the torture, suffering, & deaths of millions of people.

There are plenty of worthy humanitarian organizations to give money to but the Red Cross & particularly the IRC are not among them. I get plenty of fund appeals so if you’re looking for a place to give, let me know & I’ll suggest a few–including some for the people of Gaza.

(Photo is logo of IRC which pollutes up my newsfeed every time one of my friends likes them on FB.)

While French government cries crocodile tears for terrorist attacks in Paris, it terrorizes refugees at Calais

Calais tear gas attack (Jeff J Mitchell:Getty Images) Dec 2 2015)

The French regime (of the sewer-socialist kind) is squeezing out crocodile tears while it exploits the terrorist attacks in Paris to wipe out the democratic heritage of the great French Revolution against feudalism–including the rights of free speech, freedom of association, public assembly, & religion. Someone once said that when fascism arrives it will be draped in the flag of patriotism. It will also be wielding a billy club, hurling tear gas & stun grenades, & marching under the banner of racism & xenophobia. Refugees & immigrants–especially those of darker hue–will always be the first targets of a masterful & malignant divide & conquer strategy.

So it comes as no surprise that the French government is talking trash about refugees on the eastern borders of Europe, turning hundreds of thousands of people into likely terrorists. Many swooned when just after the terrorist attacks, Francois Hollande said it was France’s “humanitarian duty” to take in Syrian refugees. You bet your sweet ass it is! It’s also international law. But it’s on international issues that sewer-socialists get constipated. They always have since they first emerged supporting their own governments in the barbarisms of WWI fought over colonial division of the world.

What our man Hollande didn’t say is that his regime denies social services & housing to Syrians & other refugees from the Middle East & has been using riot police to break up & dismantle their encampments–precisely as it has long done with Roma citizens & residents.

For the past several months, the regime has also been attacking refugees at Calais with tear gas & grenades, breaking up & dismantling their encampments & forcing them to survive in frigid cold & winter rains with no social services or temporary housing–not even toilets or clean water. This isn’t just an abrogation of international refugee law & rights. It is an assault on every achievement of human civilization that recognizes a human being when it sees one & treats them with the dignity deserved. Only fascists would treat a dog in such a manner.

This photo is refugees–already beleaguered to the max as they repeatedly attempt passage to England–running from a tear gas assault at Calais. Reportedly, lorry drivers are angry when refugees try to mount their trucks & vandalize them if they don’t stop. More’s the pity. Marx was on to something essential when he said “workers of the world unite.” If the truckers simply stopped & picked up the refugees for safe passage through the tunnel, they wouldn’t just avoid vandalism; their solidarity with fellow working people would be the beginning of changing the world.

Immigration is a human right. Asylum is international law. Open the damn borders.

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)