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Monday, 31 August 2015

How the US Can Stop ISIS Without Setting Foot in Syria

Increasingly difficult to cover-up or spin, it is becoming apparent even in Western media coverage that the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS) is not sustaining its fighting capacity from within Iraq or Syria, but rather through supply lines that lead to and from adjacent nations. These nations include Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and most obviously, NATO-member Turkey.

It was in Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW)'s report, "

'IS' supply channels through Turkey,

" that hundreds of trucks destined for ISIS held territory were videotaped waiting at Oncupinar, Turkey to cross over into Syria with apparently no oversight by the Turkish government. Later, 

TIME magazine would admit

 ISIS' dependence on the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, just across the border from Turkey, for supplies and the significance of its loss to Kurdish fighters in sustaining their fighting capacity both at the border and beyond.

AP's June 2015 report, "

Kurds move to cut off ISIS supply lines in Syria

," would state:

Syrian Kurdish fighters closed in on the outskirts of a strategic Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-held town on the Turkish border Sunday, Kurdish officials and an activist group said, potentially cutting off a key supply line for the extremists' nearby de facto capital.  
Taking Tal Abyad, some 50 miles from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stronghold of Raqqa, would mean the group wouldn't have a direct route to bring in new foreign militants or supplies. The Kurdish advance, coming under the cover of intense U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in the area, also would link their two fronts and put even more pressure on Raqqa as Iraqi forces struggle to contain the group in their country.

And while US airstrikes are credited for Kurdish advances against ISIS, one wonders why the US, whose military including a US airbase at Incirlik, Turkey and US special forces as well as the CIA are operating along and across the Syrian border in Turkey - hasn't done more to interdict ISIS supply lines before they reach Syria and awaiting terrorists.

The Kurds and Syria's military both realize the importance of stemming terrorist armies within Syria by cutting them off from their supplies at Syria's borders. However, both the Kurds and Syrian forces are increasingly limited from securing these borders due to an ever-expanding "safe haven" the US and its regional allies are carving out of Syrian territory. Turkey and Israel have both attacked Syrian forces in these "safe havens" creating a virtual sanctuary for Al Qaeda affiliates including Al Nusra and ISIS.

Efforts to "assist" the Kurds appear only to have been a pretext to violate Syrian airspace first, then Syrian territory on the ground second. America's meager "Division 30" of less than 60 fighters trained in Turkey then sent to fight the thousands upon thousands of terrorists the US and its allies have been arming, training, and sending over Syria's borders for years was yet another attempt to make ISIS and Al Nusra's gains appear a result of Western folly rather than of Western design.

How the West Can Stop ISIS Without Setting Foot in Syria 

An old military maxim states: "an army marches on its stomach." Logic dictates that an army with empty stomachs is unable to march. Napoleon Bonaparte who is credited with this quote, found out first hand just how true these words were when his army found itself deep within Russia without supplies, leading to its ultimate and catastrophic defeat. 

Likewise, ISIS' fighting capacity depends entirely on its supply lines. Cutting these supply lines will lead to its inevitable defeat. For the United States, who is either allied with or has troops operating in all nations bordering Syria, cutting ISIS' supply lines would be a simple matter - that is - if the United States was truly interested in defeating ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates.

While the United States has assisted Turkey in erecting missile defenses along its border with Syria in order to create a defacto no-fly-zone providing Al Nusra and ISIS with an invaluable sanctuary, little to no effort has been spent in increasing border security - specifically the searching for and interdiction of terrorist fighters, weapons, and other supplies. As 

German DW's report illustrated

, it appears Turkey's borders are not only dangerously wide open, but intentionally so, with little or no effort at all by Turkey to stem the torrent of obvious ISIS supply convoys from passing through.

DW would likely videotape a similar situation unfolding in Jordan near its border with Syria, close to Syrian cities like Daraa which have become battle-torn as Syrian forces desperately try to stem the torrent of fighters and weapons flowing over the borders there, aimed ultimately at Damascus. 

The US Can Stop ISIS in One Month... If it Wanted

By cutting off ISIS from its money, supplies, additional fighters, weapons, and essential equipment, it would quickly be overwhelmed by Syrian and Iraqi forces. Without cash to pay fighters, and without new fighters to replace those lost in fighting, morale would quickly falter. Without a constant torrent of weapons, ammunition, and fuel, ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates would quickly lose their tactical capabilities. Fighters unable to flee would be encircled and destroyed as has happened deep within Syria's interior where Syrian forces have been able to cut supply lines to key cities and starve out terrorist armies.

Syria is intentionally prevented from securing its borders through an increasingly overt "buffer zone" or "safe haven" the US and its regional allies are creating for the purpose of sheltering clearly non-existent "moderate rebels." What these "safe havens" are in actuality doing, is ensuring ISIS' supply lines remain intact. With the Kurds - the only effective force near the Turkish-Syrian border able to threaten ISIS' supply lines - now being attacked by Turkish forces directly, what little obstacles supplies had in reaching ISIS through Turkey is being swiftly negated.

The US and its allies could easily increase security along Syria's borders and permanently cut ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates supply lines without having to enter Syrian airspace or cross onto Syrian soil. Just as easily as the US built a line of missile defenses facing Syria, it could create border checkpoints and patrols within Turkey to interdict and effectively stem all weapons and fighters flowing to ISIS. It could, but it intentionally doesn't. 

The implications are obvious. ISIS is both a creation and intentional perpetuation of US foreign policy. Just as the US so many years ago colluded with Saudi Arabia in the creation of Al Qaeda in the mountains of Afghanistan in the first place, it to this day colludes with its regional allies to use Al Qaeda and its various rebrandings - including ISIS - to fight wars Western troops cannot fight. This includes dividing and destroying Syria - the 

overtly stated, true objective of US policymakers


Could Syria and its allies create their own "buffer zone" in northern Syria? Could international troops be brought in, with the inclusion of UN observers to secure the Syrian border and put in check attempts by both Turkey and the US to engage Syrian and Kurdish fighters attempting to restore order there? 

The incremental strategy of carving out northern Syria, claiming to shelter "moderate rebels" while in reality securing further ISIS' supply lines and providing them an increasingly unassailable safe haven from which to launch operations deeper into Syria, is inching along and will inevitably pay off at the expense of Syrian territorial integrity, stability, and perhaps even its existence as a functioning state if no measures are taken to counter this conspiracy. 

The basics of logistics and the simple fact that the US can both fight and defeat ISIS by simply securing Turkey and Jordan's borders must be repeatedly brought up by non-Western media and diplomatic circles - highlighting the fact that Syria's conflict is one of foreign invasion, not civil war. The conflict can be brought to an end, along with all the horrors associated with it, by simply checking ISIS' bags at the Turkish border. If the US and Turkey refuse to do this, someone must check them on the other side, someone the US and Turks may hesitate to attack as they have the Syrians and Kurds.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.


China Rocked By Another Massive Chemical Explosion, People's Daily Reports

Seriously, what the f##k is going on over there?


This is the second explosion in Shandong, which both follow the huge and deadly explosion in Tianjin.

We'll await the details which we imagine will suggest that, as was the case in Tianjin, many more tonnes of something terribly toxic were stored than is allowed under China's regulatory regime which apparently only applies to those who are not somehow connected to the Politburo.

After the last Shandong explosion, The People's Daily reported that the plant contained adiponitrile, which the CDC says can cause "irritation eyes, skin, respiratory system; headache, dizziness, lassitude (weakness, exhaustion), confusion, convulsions; blurred vision; dyspnea (breathing difficulty); abdominal pain, nausea, [and] vomiting."

This clip has just been posted to a Weibo account - reportedly showing tonight's explosion (we are unable to confirm this is not the previous Shandong explosion though that was more twlight than dead of night)...

Mass Protests In Tokyo As Tens of Thousands Reject Controversial Security Bills

"Sitting in front of TV and just complaining wouldn't do," said Naoko Hiramatsu, a 44-year-old professor of French.

"If I don't take action and try to put a stop on this, I will not be able to explain myself to my child in the future," she added, holding a four-year-old son in her arms. While the organizers estimated that some 120,000 people took part in the Sunday protests, the police provided a far lower figure of 30,000.

Against the Grain

The rally was held in response to a legal initiative pushed by Abe's government. The military bills would allow Japanese soldiers to engage in overseas combat to protect Japanese interests. However, many scholars say the initiative clashes with the Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, which prohibits the use of force to settle international disputes.

Officially, Japan does not have an army, and its troops are known only as the Japan Self-Defense Forces. "For 70 years, thanks to Article 9 of our constitution, Japan has not engaged in war or been touched by any aggression. Article 9 is our foundation," said demonstrator Masako Suzuki.

Tension in the Region

Although the anti-war constitution was imposed by the US after World War II, many Japanese have grown attached to the country's pacifist position. The majority of people oppose the new military bills, surveys show. Obama's administration has welcomed Abe's initiative, which the Japanese government explains by safety concerns from North Korea and China. The bills cleared the lower house of parliament last month and are now being debated in the upper house. The lawmakers are expected to make their final decision in September.

Originally published by Deutsche Welle

Ukraine Reignites - 1 Killed, 50 Injured After Grenade Attack On Parliament

Amid the Ukraine government's vote for constitutional changes to give its eastern regions a special status (that it hopes will blunt their separatist drive) protests have turned deadly as RT reports 50 Ukrainian nation guards have been injured in a greande blast near parliament in Kiev.


The clashes began earlier in the day...


Following, as Reuters reports, Ukraine's parliament on Monday voted for constitutional changes to give its eastern regions a special status that it hopes will blunt their separatist drive...

At a rowdy session, a total of 265 deputies voted in favor in the first reading of a "decentralization" bill, backed by President Petro Poroshenko's political bloc and his government - 39 more than that required to go through.


But many coalition allies, including former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, spoke against the changes and it is open to question whether Poroshenko will be able to whip up the necessary 300 votes for it to get through a second and final reading later this year.


Approval of legislation for special status for parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are largely controlled by Russian-backed separatists, is a major element of a peace agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus, in February.


Though a ceasefire is under pressure from sporadic shelling and shooting which government troops and rebels blame on each other, Western governments see the deal as holding out the best possible prospect for peace and are urging Ukraine to abide by the letter of the Minsk agreement.

But they have not turned deadly as a greande attack leaves 50 national guard injured...

At least 50 Special Forces troops have been injured during clashes in front of the parliament in Kiev, the Ukrainian National Guard said. Crowds of protesters came to oppose amendments to the constitution that would provide for decentralization of the country.



"About 50 soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine have been injured during clashes near Ukrainian parliament, four of them in serious condition,” the National Guard said in a statement.

Tweets from journalists at the scene said supporters of the radical group Right Sector were brutally attacking police officers.

“A combat grenade has been thrown at the Ukrainian special forces. Some of the servicemen from [Ukraine] National Guard have been seriously injured. Their life is in danger,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Kiev’s Interior Ministry, wrote on his Facebook page.

Another video of the hostilities developing in Kiev:

US considered nuking Afghanistan after 9/11 – German diplomat

U.S. President George Bush (2nd R) is pictured with Vice President Dick Cheney (R) and senior staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center in Washington in the hours following the September 11, 2001. © U.S. National Archives

U.S. President George Bush (2nd R) is pictured with Vice President Dick Cheney (R) and senior staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center in Washington in the hours following the September 11, 2001. © U.S. National Archives / Reuters

A nuclear strike against Afghanistan was on the table in Washington in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, a senior German diplomat told Spiegel magazine.

Michael Steiner, the current German ambassador to India, served as foreign and security policy aide to then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

"The papers were written," he said, confirming that the nuclear option was under consideration. "They had really played through all possibilities."

There was a concern in Berlin that the Americans were so shocked by the attacks, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives, that they would overreact, Steiner told the magazine.

He added that he objected to Schroder's plan to express "unconditional support" for the United States, saying no nation should get carte blanche from Germany. The chancellor overturned his objections, Steiner said.

Washington's later war with Iraq, in which several European allies of the US, including Germany, refused to take part. 

The 9/11 attacks were a turning point for the post-Cold War world, sending the United States on a global war against Islamic terrorism. The invasion of Afghanistan and the ousting of the Taliban from power was the most direct consequence of the attack. It was globally welcomed as a just move, unlike Washington's later war with Iraq, in which several European allies of the US, including Germany, refused to take part.