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[Dec 22, 2015] Orwells Nightmare Is Here - China Just Gamified Obedience To The State (And Soon Itll Be Mandatory)

That's something new and pretty Orwelian : computerized score of "political correctness" made similar for FICO score and based on data about you in social media.
Notable quotes:
"... Among the things that will hurt a citizen's score are posting political opinions without prior permission, or posting information that the regime does not like, such as about the Tiananmen Square massacre that the government carried out to hold on to power, or the Shanghai stock market collapse. ..."
"... "Imagine the social pressure against disobedience or dissent that this will create." ..."
"... "very ambitious in scope, including scrutinizing individual behavior and what books people read. It's Amazon's consumer tracking with an Orwellian political twist." ..."
"... "Coming soon to a New World Order near you: social credit! Earn points by behaving like the government wants you to behave! Get penalized if you don't act like a doubleplusgood citizen! What could be more fun?" ..."
"... Applying for a passport? Buy my book and learn how to boost your patriotism score by 400 points in 6 months! We can even give you a spambot to do the work for you! ..."
"... At this point, any good developer can write a program that reads Twitter/Facebook/Renren/WeChat feeds, gives the posts to IBM's Watson (or some simpler algorithm), and have the program spit out a score. And this program would take at most a month to make. I know, I write similar stuff ;) ..."
"... What scares me is how the initial assumptions that go into querying data can give you radically different results at the end, and these intelligence agencies do not exactly explain what methods they are using to determine who is a 'bad guy.' ..."
"... Patriot Points. ..."
"... The article has taken some real, some proposed and some imaginary credit tracking programs and smushed them into one 'terrifying', freedom-destroying blob. In other words, it's irresponsible b.s. intended to make the Chinese government look even more diabolical and oppressive than our own. ..."
"... The underlying cultural truth, though, is that Chinese are willing to cooperate with – and trust – their government much more than we are. They've always respected and looked up to their national leaders and expected those leaders to actually lead – morally and practically. It works for them, as we see. ..."
"... Digital will end up being our worse nightmare and our undoing. It is the Perfect tool for the crazed sociopaths around us and the insane psychopaths that want to control our every breath (literally). ..."
"... The social networks are piped right into governments security complex. ..."
Dec 22, 2015 | Zero Hedge

As if further proof were needed Orwell's dystopia is now upon us, China has now gamified obedience to the State. Though that is every bit as creepily terrifying as it sounds, citizens may still choose whether or not they wish to opt-in - that is, until the program becomes compulsory in 2020. "Going under the innocuous name of 'Sesame Credit,' China has created a score for how good a citizen you are," explains Extra Credits' video about the program. "The owners of China's largest social networks have partnered with the government to create something akin to the U.S. credit score - but, instead of measuring how regularly you pay your bills, it measures how obediently you follow the party line."

Zheping Huang, a reporter for Quartz, chronicled his own experience with the social control tool in October, saying that

"in the past few weeks I began to notice a mysterious new trend. Numbers were popping up on my social media feeds as my friends and strangers on Weibo [the Chinese equivalent to Twitter] and WeChat began to share their 'Sesame Credit scores.' The score is created by Ant Financial, an Alibaba-affiliated company that also runs Alipay, China's popular third-party payment app with over 350 million users. Ant Financial claims that it evaluates one's purchasing and spending habits in order to derive a figure that shows how creditworthy someone is."

However, according to a translation of the "Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System," posted online by Oxford University's China expert, Rogier Creemers, it's nightmarishly clear the program is far more than just a credit-tracking method. As he described it,

"The government wants to build a platform that leverages things like big data, mobile internet, and cloud computing to measure and evaluate different levels of people's lives in order to create a gamified nudging for people to behave better."

While Sesame Credit's roll-out in January has been downplayed by many, the American Civil Liberties Union, among others, urges caution, saying:

"The system is run by two companies, Alibaba and Tencent, which run all the social networks in China and therefore have access to a vast amount of data about people's social ties and activities and what they say. In addition to measuring your ability to pay, as in the United States, the scores serve as a measure of political compliance.

Among the things that will hurt a citizen's score are posting political opinions without prior permission, or posting information that the regime does not like, such as about the Tiananmen Square massacre that the government carried out to hold on to power, or the Shanghai stock market collapse. It will hurt your score not only if you do these things, but if any of your friends do them."

And, in what appears likely the goal of the entire program, added, "Imagine the social pressure against disobedience or dissent that this will create."

Social pressure, of course, can be highly effective given the right circumstances. China seems to have found exactly that in the intricate linking of people's scores to their contacts, which can be seen publicly by anyone - and then upping the ante through score-based incentives and rewards. Rick Falkvinge pointed out a startling comparison:

"The KGB and the Stasi's method of preventing dissent from taking hold was to plant so-called agents provocateurs in the general population, people who tried to make people agree with dissent, but who actually were arresting them as soon as they agreed with such dissent. As a result, nobody would dare agree that the government did anything bad, and this was very effective in preventing any large-scale resistance from taking hold. The Chinese way here is much more subtle, but probably more effective still."

As Creemers described to Dutch news outlet, de Volkskrant,

"With the help of the latest internet technologies, the government wants to exercise individual surveillance. The Chinese aim […] is clearly an attempt to create a new citizen."

Chinese internet specialist at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Johan Lagerkvist, said the system is

"very ambitious in scope, including scrutinizing individual behavior and what books people read. It's Amazon's consumer tracking with an Orwellian political twist."

James Corbett has been tracking the implementation of Sesame Credit for some time. Introducing the ubiquitous tracking system for a recent episode of the Corbett Report, he mused:

"Coming soon to a New World Order near you: social credit! Earn points by behaving like the government wants you to behave! Get penalized if you don't act like a doubleplusgood citizen! What could be more fun?"

Indeed, because mandatory enrollment in Sesame Credit is still a few years away, its true effectiveness won't be measurable for some time. But even a reporter's usual wariness appears knocked off-kilter, as Zheping Huang summarized his personal experience,

"Even if my crappy credit score doesn't mean much now, it's in my best interest I suppose to make sure it doesn't go too low."

And that, of course, is precisely why gamifying State obedience is so terrifying.

Cornfedbloodstool

We just have FICO scores in the US, that measures how obidient you are to the banks, the true rulers of the country.

ToSoft4Truth

And Facebook 'Likes'. Can't get laid without the Likes, man.

CAPT DRAKE

It is already here. There is a thing called an "NSA Score", based on your habits, contacts, and email/posts. Fortunately, porn surfing, even addiction, is not a negative. Only anti state stuff counts, and no, most of the posts on ZH don't count as they are seen as venting and not actionable intel.

knukles

I love Big Brother...

Miffed Microbiologist

"The children and adults, including his own parents, tiptoe nervously around him, constantly telling him how everything he does is "good," since displeasing him can get them wished away into a mystical "cornfield", an unknown place, from which there is no return. At one point, a dog is heard barking angrily. Anthony thinks the dog is "bad" and doesn't "like [him] at all," and wishes it into the cornfield. His father and mother are horrified, but they dare not show it."

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Miffed

Old Poor Richard

You beat me to it on FICO score. If you're off the grid, out of the electronic money system or not paying sufficient fealty to banksters, you are NOT being obedient to the state.

NoDebt

I'm as off the grid as you can get and still live a middle class lifestyle with electricity and a cell phone. I assure you they still score me and I'm usually over 800. I don't use credit much these days but what I use says nothing but "pays as agreed".

Now, if you start to factor in the "slightly to the right of the John Burke Society" shit I post on ZH I'd be down around -500.

Uchtdorf

http://qz.com/519737/all-chinese-citizens-now-have-a-score-based-on-how-...

Dated October 9th of this year.

savagegoose

thats it, in the communist version of facebook you can vote on gov post's, ie you can like them.

Government needs you to pay taxes

Cmon its China, where numbers are faked everyday. Ya think this number will be any different? And even if its effective in China, when the US .govbots roll this out, how effective can it be when US .gov employees 'at the wheel'?

The US .gov can fuck ANYTHING up.

roisaber

It will be funny to see who gets a low citizen loyalty oath score for unpredictable reasons, or from hacks, and their increasing radicalization as their honest efforts to try to get themselves back into good standing only makes them register as more anti-social.

techpriest

The other question is, how many services are going to pop up to help you boost your score, just like there are books, guides, and services for your credit score currently?

"Applying for a passport? Buy my book and learn how to boost your patriotism score by 400 points in 6 months! We can even give you a spambot to do the work for you!"

SgtShaftoe

China doesn't have enough enforcers to control the population. They will lose control. That is only a matter of time. They may be able to delay the inevitable for a while but eventually reality will arrive. Keep pushing that volatility into the tail and see what happens. When it goes, it will blow your fucking socks off.

Tick tock motherfuckers, and that goes for the US as well...

tarabel

That is the (evil) genius of this scheme. It is collectively enforced by the proletarians themselves. If you do anti-social things, that will reflect badly on your friends and family so they will excoriate you and, if necessary, shun you until you get with the program. Really, it's just a crowd-sourced Communist Block Warden program gone digital.

I don't worry about the Chinese. They're fooked any which way you slice it. But China invents nothing, merely imitates. So where did they get this idea from, hmmm?

techpriest

At this point, any good developer can write a program that reads Twitter/Facebook/Renren/WeChat feeds, gives the posts to IBM's Watson (or some simpler algorithm), and have the program spit out a score. And this program would take at most a month to make. I know, I write similar stuff ;)

With that in mind, what would you be able to accomplish with a team of 40-50 developers and several months? What scares me is how the initial assumptions that go into querying data can give you radically different results at the end, and these intelligence agencies do not exactly explain what methods they are using to determine who is a 'bad guy.'


cherry picker

"I have nothing to hide"

Well, the bozos who coined the above term, have fun. You think keeping up with mortgage, car payments, Obama Care, taxes, raising kids and keeping a spouse happy is stressful, wait til .gov does a 'test' on you.

Me, I'm not worried. I'm a non conformist, live in the boonies and am too old. I tell my children and grandchildren they need to get rid of this 'evil eye' government encroachment.

They think I am crazy now, but I think they may be coming around.

techpriest

I would love to turn that "You shouldn't be afraid if you have nothing to hide" around by pointing out that the Fed shouldn't be afraid of an audit if they have nothing to hide.

Amish Hacker

Patriot Points.

Bopper09

Is this not what assface is? (facebook for people plugged in). I admit I went on it for the simple fact I couldn't find anything better for talking to my Russian fiance. But even a year before she got here, I said fuck it. Tried cancelling, but if you click a link that has something to do with facebook, your profile becomes active again. Fucking criminals. I left a computer for 3 weeks (not that I haven't done that before. TRY IT, no cell phone or computer for ONE WEEK. Take vacation days and see what's important in your life. Seriously, I've never owned a cell phone. Where I work I don't need one. Cell phones do not 'save your life'.

Consuelo

Interesting the references to FB, especially when one considers who's at the head and his position on censorship. Then again, what happened in Mao's China descended from the likes of Trotsky, so it kinda sorta follows...

Gantal

The article has taken some real, some proposed and some imaginary credit tracking programs and smushed them into one 'terrifying', freedom-destroying blob. In other words, it's irresponsible b.s. intended to make the Chinese government look even more diabolical and oppressive than our own.

The underlying cultural truth, though, is that Chinese are willing to cooperate with – and trust – their government much more than we are. They've always respected and looked up to their national leaders and expected those leaders to actually lead – morally and practically. It works for them, as we see.

The underlying lie is that the Chinese government needs to repress its people. It doesn't. Anyone purporting to be China 'experts' like Messrs. Lagerkvist and Creemers, should know that China's government is the most popular, most trusted government on earth.

By why let facts get in the way of a good story?

Fuku Ben

The score is created by Ant Financial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lcUHQYhPTE#t=36s

FedFunnyMoney

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer...Chinese style.

rejected

Digital will end up being our worse nightmare and our undoing. It is the "Perfect" tool for the crazed sociopaths around us and the insane psychopaths that want to control our every breath (literally).

Sure, it's cool, you can play games and other useless crap but even a blind man could see how governments are going to be useing it. The social networks are piped right into governments security complex. Wouldn't surprise me if everything we post even here on ZH is stored on some digital crap machine somewhere.

For sure it's on ZH servers and thus available to any Tom, Dick or Harry LEO. I myself am very close to going dark. This stuff isn't laughable anymore. It's getting DEADLY serious.

[Dec 17, 2015] US militarism is Alice in Wonderland

economistsview.typepad.com
anne, December 17, 2015 at 11:50 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/world/asia/navy-seal-team-2-afghanistan-beating-death.html

December 16, 2015

Navy SEALs, a Beating Death and Complaints of a Cover-Up
By NICHOLAS KULISH, CHRISTOPHER DREW and MATTHEW ROSENBERG

U.S. soldiers accused Afghan police and Navy SEALs of abusing detainees. But the SEAL command opted against a court-martial and cleared its men of wrongdoing.

ilsm said in reply to anne...

Too much training to send to jail.

While E-4 Bergdahl does in captivity what several hundred officers did in Hanoi and gets life!

US militarism is Alice's Wonderland!

[Dec 17, 2015] Please Don't Shut Down the Internet, Donald Trump

The New Yorker

Still, two interesting-and vexing-issues for the technology industry, and for the politicians who regulate it, emerged in the debate. The first came up in John Kasich's response to Trump's proposal. "Wolf, there is a big problem-it's called encryption," he said. "We need to be able to penetrate these people when they are involved in these plots and these plans. And we have to give the local authorities the ability to penetrate, to disrupt. That's what we need to do. Encryption is a major problem, and Congress has got to deal with this, and so does the President, to keep us safe."

The central question is whether American technology companies should offer the U.S. government, whether the N.S.A. or the F.B.I., backdoor access to their devices or servers. The most important companies here are Apple and Google, which, in the fall of 2014, began offering strong encryption on the newer versions of Android and iOS phones. If you keep your passcode secret, the government will be unable to, for instance, scroll through your contacts list, even if it has a warrant. This has, naturally, made the government angry. The most thorough report on the subject is a position paper put out last month by Cyrus Vance, Jr., Manhattan's district attorney. In the previous year, Vance wrote, his office had been "unable to execute approximately 111 search warrants for smartphones because those devices were running iOS 8. The cases to which those devices related include homicide, attempted murder, sexual abuse of a child, sex trafficking, assault, and robbery."

The solution isn't easy. Apple and Google implemented their new encryption standards after Edward Snowden revealed how the government had compromised their systems. They want to protect their customers-a government back door could become a hacker's back door, too-and they also want to protect their business models. If the N.S.A. can comb through iPhones, how many do you think Apple will be able to sell in China? In the debate, Carly Fiorina bragged about how, when she ran Hewlett-Packard, she stopped a truckload of equipment and had it "escorted into N.S.A. headquarters." Does that make you more or less eager to buy an OfficeJet Pro?

The second hard issue that came up indirectly in the debate-and, more specifically, in recent comments by Hillary Clinton-is how aggressive American companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google (with YouTube) should be in combatting the use of their platforms by ISIS. Again, there's no simple answer. You can't ban, say, everyone who tweets the hashtag #ISIS, because then you'd have to ban this guy. The algorithms are difficult to write, and the issues are difficult to balance. Companies have to consider their business interests, their legal obligations to and cultural affinities for free speech, and their moral obligations to oppose an organization that seeks to destroy the country in which they were built-and also kill their C.E.O.s.

[Dec 17, 2015] US militarism is Alice in Wonderland

economistsview.typepad.com
anne, December 17, 2015 at 11:50 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/world/asia/navy-seal-team-2-afghanistan-beating-death.html

December 16, 2015

Navy SEALs, a Beating Death and Complaints of a Cover-Up
By NICHOLAS KULISH, CHRISTOPHER DREW and MATTHEW ROSENBERG

U.S. soldiers accused Afghan police and Navy SEALs of abusing detainees. But the SEAL command opted against a court-martial and cleared its men of wrongdoing.

ilsm said in reply to anne...

Too much training to send to jail.

While E-4 Bergdahl does in captivity what several hundred officers did in Hanoi and gets life!

US militarism is Alice's Wonderland!

[Dec 17, 2015] US militarism is Alice in Wonderland

economistsview.typepad.com
anne, December 17, 2015 at 11:50 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/world/asia/navy-seal-team-2-afghanistan-beating-death.html

December 16, 2015

Navy SEALs, a Beating Death and Complaints of a Cover-Up
By NICHOLAS KULISH, CHRISTOPHER DREW and MATTHEW ROSENBERG

U.S. soldiers accused Afghan police and Navy SEALs of abusing detainees. But the SEAL command opted against a court-martial and cleared its men of wrongdoing.

ilsm said in reply to anne...

Too much training to send to jail.

While E-4 Bergdahl does in captivity what several hundred officers did in Hanoi and gets life!

US militarism is Alice's Wonderland!

[Dec 17, 2015] Please Don't Shut Down the Internet, Donald Trump

The New Yorker

Still, two interesting-and vexing-issues for the technology industry, and for the politicians who regulate it, emerged in the debate. The first came up in John Kasich's response to Trump's proposal. "Wolf, there is a big problem-it's called encryption," he said. "We need to be able to penetrate these people when they are involved in these plots and these plans. And we have to give the local authorities the ability to penetrate, to disrupt. That's what we need to do. Encryption is a major problem, and Congress has got to deal with this, and so does the President, to keep us safe."

The central question is whether American technology companies should offer the U.S. government, whether the N.S.A. or the F.B.I., backdoor access to their devices or servers. The most important companies here are Apple and Google, which, in the fall of 2014, began offering strong encryption on the newer versions of Android and iOS phones. If you keep your passcode secret, the government will be unable to, for instance, scroll through your contacts list, even if it has a warrant. This has, naturally, made the government angry. The most thorough report on the subject is a position paper put out last month by Cyrus Vance, Jr., Manhattan's district attorney. In the previous year, Vance wrote, his office had been "unable to execute approximately 111 search warrants for smartphones because those devices were running iOS 8. The cases to which those devices related include homicide, attempted murder, sexual abuse of a child, sex trafficking, assault, and robbery."

The solution isn't easy. Apple and Google implemented their new encryption standards after Edward Snowden revealed how the government had compromised their systems. They want to protect their customers-a government back door could become a hacker's back door, too-and they also want to protect their business models. If the N.S.A. can comb through iPhones, how many do you think Apple will be able to sell in China? In the debate, Carly Fiorina bragged about how, when she ran Hewlett-Packard, she stopped a truckload of equipment and had it "escorted into N.S.A. headquarters." Does that make you more or less eager to buy an OfficeJet Pro?

The second hard issue that came up indirectly in the debate-and, more specifically, in recent comments by Hillary Clinton-is how aggressive American companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google (with YouTube) should be in combatting the use of their platforms by ISIS. Again, there's no simple answer. You can't ban, say, everyone who tweets the hashtag #ISIS, because then you'd have to ban this guy. The algorithms are difficult to write, and the issues are difficult to balance. Companies have to consider their business interests, their legal obligations to and cultural affinities for free speech, and their moral obligations to oppose an organization that seeks to destroy the country in which they were built-and also kill their C.E.O.s.

[Dec 13, 2015] US military spending is currently $738.3 billion

Notable quotes:
"... military spending is currently $738.3 billion. ..."
"... Defense spending was 60.3% of federal government consumption and investment in July through September 2015. ..."
"... Defense spending was 23.1% of all government consumption and investment in July through September 2015. ..."
"... Defense spending was 4.1% of Gross Domestic Product in July through September 2015. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com

Economist's View

anne said...

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/in-paris-talks-rich-countries-pledged-0-25-percent-of-gdp-to-help-poor-countries

December 13, 2015

In Paris Talks, Rich Countries Pledged 0.25 Percent of GDP to Help Poor Countries

In case you were wondering about the importance of a $100 billion a year, * non-binding commitment, it's roughly 0.25 percent of rich country's $40 trillion annual GDP (about 6 percent of what the U.S. spends on the military). This counts the U.S., European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia as rich countries. If China is included in that list, the commitment would be less than 0.2 percent of GDP.

* http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html

-- Dean Baker

anne said in reply to anne...
"...about 6 percent of what the U.S. spends on the military...."

I do not understand this figure since currently defense spending is running at $738.3 billion yearly or which 6% would be $44.3 billion:

http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTableHtml.cfm?reqid=9&step=3&isuri=1&904=2014&903=5&906=q&905=2015&910=x&911=0

anne said in reply to anne...
Correcting Dean Baker:

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/in-paris-talks-rich-countries-pledged-0-25-percent-of-gdp-to-help-poor-countries

December 13, 2015

In Paris Talks, Rich Countries Pledged 0.25 Percent of GDP to Help Poor Countries

In case you were wondering about the importance of a $100 billion a year, * non-binding commitment, it's roughly 0.25 percent of rich country's $40 trillion annual GDP (about 7.4 percent ** of what the U.S. spends on the military). This counts the U.S., European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia as rich countries. If China is included in that list, the commitment would be less than 0.2 percent of GDP.

* http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html

** http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTableHtml.cfm?reqid=9&step=3&isuri=1&904=2014&903=5&906=q&905=2015&910=x&911=0

-- Dean Baker

anne said in reply to anne...
Dean Baker clarifies:

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/in-paris-talks-rich-countries-pledged-0-25-percent-of-gdp-to-help-poor-countries

December 13, 2015

In Paris Talks, Rich Countries Pledged 0.25 Percent of GDP to Help Poor Countries

In case you were wondering about the importance of a $100 billion a year, * non-binding commitment, it's roughly 0.25 percent of rich country's $40 trillion annual GDP (about 6 percent of what the U.S. spends on the military). This counts the U.S., European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia as rich countries. If China is included in that list, the commitment would be less than 0.2 percent of GDP.

(I see my comment on military spending here created a bit of confusion. I was looking at the U.S. share of the commitment, 0.25 percent of its GDP and comparing it to the roughly 4.0 percent of GDP it spends on the military. That comes to 6 percent. I was not referring to the whole $100 billion.)

* http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html

-- Dean Baker

djb said in reply to anne...
100,000,000,000/0.06 = 1.67 trillion
anne said in reply to djb...
$100 billion a year, ........about 6 percent of what the U.S. spends on the military

100,000,000,000/0.06 = 1.67 trillion

[ This is incorrect, military spending is currently $738.3 billion. ]

anne said in reply to djb...
http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTableHtml.cfm?reqid=9&step=3&isuri=1&904=2014&903=5&906=q&905=2015&910=x&911=0

January 15, 2015

Defense spending was 60.3% of federal government consumption and investment in July through September 2015.

(Billions of dollars)

$738.3 / $1,224.4 = 60.3%

Defense spending was 23.1% of all government consumption and investment in July through September 2015.

$738.3 / $3,200.4 = 23.1%

Defense spending was 4.1% of Gross Domestic Product in July through September 2015.

$738.3 / $18,064.7 = 4.1%

djb said in reply to djb...
oh never mind I get it

.25 % is 6 percent of the percent us spends on military

the 40 trillion is the gdp of all the countries

got it

anne said in reply to djb...
"I get it:

.25 % is 6 percent of the percent US spends on military."

So .25 percent of United States GDP for climate change assistance to poor countries is 6 percent of the amount the US spends on the military.

.0025 x $18,064.7 billion GDP = $45.16 billion on climate change

$45.16 billion on climate change / $738.3 billion on the military = 0.61 or 6.1 percent of military spending

anne said in reply to anne...
United States climate change assistance to poor countries will be .25 percent of GDP or 6% of US military spending.
anne said in reply to anne...
What the United States commitment to climate change assistance for poor countries means is spending about $45.2 billion yearly or .25 percent of GDP. Whether the President can convince Congress to spend the $45 billion yearly will now have to be answered.
anne said in reply to djb...
"I get it:

.25 % is 6 percent of the [amount] US spends on military."

[ This is correct. ]

anne said in reply to djb...
http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/in-paris-talks-rich-countries-pledged-0-25-percent-of-gdp-to-help-poor-countries

December 13, 2015

In Paris Talks, Rich Countries Pledged 0.25 Percent of GDP to Help Poor Countries

In case you were wondering about the importance of a $100 billion a year, * non-binding commitment, it's roughly 0.25 percent of rich country's $40 trillion annual GDP (about 6 percent of what the U.S. spends on the military). This counts the U.S., European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia as rich countries. If China is included in that list, the commitment would be less than 0.2 percent of GDP.

(I see my comment on military spending here created a bit of confusion. I was looking at the U.S. share of the commitment, 0.25 percent of its GDP and comparing it to the roughly 4.0 percent of GDP it spends on the military. ** That comes to 6 percent. I was not referring to the whole $100 billion.)

* http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html

** http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTableHtml.cfm?reqid=9&step=3&isuri=1&904=2014&903=5&906=q&905=2015&910=x&911=0

-- Dean Baker

anne said in reply to djb...
http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTableHtml.cfm?reqid=9&step=3&isuri=1&904=2007&903=5&906=q&905=2015&910=x&911=0

January 15, 2015

Defense spending was 4.1% of Gross Domestic Product in July through September 2015.

$738.3 / $18,064.7 = 4.1%

ilsm said in reply to anne...
UK is the only NATO nation beside the US that spend the suggested 2% of GDP. The rest run about 1.2%.

Small wonder they need US to run their wars of convenience.

More telling US pentagon spending is around 50% of world military spending and has not won anything in 60 years.

[Dec 09, 2015] Are Windows and OS X malware

May 26, 2015 | ITworld
Are Windows and OS X malware?

Richard Stallman has never been...er...shy about sharing his opinions, particularly when it comes to software that doesn't adhere to his vision. This time around he has written an opinion column for The Guardian that takes on Microsoft Windows, Apple's OS X and even Amazon's Kindle e-reader.

Richard Stallman on malware for The Guardian:

Malware is the name for a program designed to mistreat its users. Viruses typically are malicious, but software products and software preinstalled in products can also be malicious – and often are, when not free/libre.

Developers today shamelessly mistreat users; when caught, they claim that fine print in EULAs (end user licence agreements) makes it ethical. (That might, at most, make it lawful, which is different.) So many cases of proprietary malware have been reported, that we must consider any proprietary program suspect and dangerous. In the 21st century, proprietary software is computing for suckers.

Windows snoops on users, shackles users and, on mobiles, censors apps; it also has a universal back door that allows Microsoft to remotely impose software changes. Microsoft sabotages Windows users by showing security holes to the NSA before fixing them.

Apple systems are malware too: MacOS snoops and shackles; iOS snoops, shackles, censors apps and has a back door. Even Android contains malware in a nonfree component: a back door for remote forcible installation or deinstallation of any app.

Amazon's Kindle e-reader reports what page of what book is being read, plus all notes and underlining the user enters; it shackles the user against sharing or even freely giving away or lending the book, and has an Orwellian back door for erasing books.

More at The Guardian

As you might imagine, Stallman's commentary drew a lot of responses from readers of The Guardian:

JohnnyHooper: "The Android operating system is basically spyware, mining your personal information, contacts, whereabouts, search activity, media preferences, photos, email, texts, chat, shopping, calls, etc so Google can onsell it to advertisers. Nice one, Google, you creep."

Ece301: "What the free software movement needs is more than just the scare stories about 'capability' - without reliable examples of this stuff causing real-world problems for real people such detail-free articles as this are going to affect nothing.

I'm quite willing to make the sacrifice of google, apple, the NSA etc. knowing exactly where I am if it means my phone can give me directions to my hotel in this strange city. Likewise if I want the capability to erase my phone should I lose it, I understand that that means apple etc. can probably get at that function too.

Limiting_Factor: "Or for people who don't want to mess about with command lines and like to have commercially supported software that works. Which is about 99% of the home computer using population. You lost, Richard. Get over it."

CosmicTrigger: "Selling customers the illusion of security and then leaving a great gaping hole in it for the government to snoop in return for a bit of a tax break is absolutely reprehensible."

Liam01: "This guy is as extreme as the director of the NSA , just at the other end of the spectrum. I'd be more inclined to listen if he showed a hint of nuance, or didn't open with an egoistic claim of "invented free software"."

AlanWatson: "My Kindle doesn't report anything, because I never turn the WiFi on. Just sideload content from wherever I want to buy it (or download if there is no copyright), format conversion is trivial, and for the minor inconvenience of having to use a USB cable I'm free of Amazon's lock-in, snooping and remote wipes. Simple."

Rod: "Here's my crazy prediction: Stallman's diatribes will continue to have zero measurable impact on adoption rates of Free software. Time to try a different approach, Richey."

Quicknstraight: "Not all snooping is bad for you. If it enhances your experience, say, by providing you with a better playlist or recommendations for things you like doing, what's the big deal?

Consumers don't have it every which way. You either accept a degree of data collection in return for a more enjoyable user experience, or accept that no data collection means you'll have to search out everything for yourself.

The average user prefers the easier option and has no interest in having to dig away through loads of crap to find what they want.

They key question should be what happens to data that is mined about users, not whether mining such data is bad per se."

Bob Rich: "As an author, I LIKE the idea that if a person buys a copy of my book, that copy cannot be freely distributed to others. With a paper book, that means that the original owner no longer has access to it. With an electronic book, "giving" or "lending" means duplicating, and that's stealing my work. The same is true for other creators: musicians, artists, photographers."

Mouse: "Stallman's a hero and we wouldn't have the level of (low-cost) technology all we enjoy today without him. I remember reading an article by him years ago and he said that the only laptop he'd use was the Lemote Yeeloong because it was the only system that was 100% open, even down to the BIOS - he was specifically paranoid about how government agencies might modify proprietary code for their own ends - and at the time I thought "Jeez, he's a bit of a paranoid fruitcake", but post-Snowden he's been proven to be right about what the security services get up."

More at The Guardian

[Dec 09, 2015] Are Windows and OS X malware

May 26, 2015 | ITworld
Are Windows and OS X malware?

Richard Stallman has never been...er...shy about sharing his opinions, particularly when it comes to software that doesn't adhere to his vision. This time around he has written an opinion column for The Guardian that takes on Microsoft Windows, Apple's OS X and even Amazon's Kindle e-reader.

Richard Stallman on malware for The Guardian:

Malware is the name for a program designed to mistreat its users. Viruses typically are malicious, but software products and software preinstalled in products can also be malicious – and often are, when not free/libre.

Developers today shamelessly mistreat users; when caught, they claim that fine print in EULAs (end user licence agreements) makes it ethical. (That might, at most, make it lawful, which is different.) So many cases of proprietary malware have been reported, that we must consider any proprietary program suspect and dangerous. In the 21st century, proprietary software is computing for suckers.

Windows snoops on users, shackles users and, on mobiles, censors apps; it also has a universal back door that allows Microsoft to remotely impose software changes. Microsoft sabotages Windows users by showing security holes to the NSA before fixing them.

Apple systems are malware too: MacOS snoops and shackles; iOS snoops, shackles, censors apps and has a back door. Even Android contains malware in a nonfree component: a back door for remote forcible installation or deinstallation of any app.

Amazon's Kindle e-reader reports what page of what book is being read, plus all notes and underlining the user enters; it shackles the user against sharing or even freely giving away or lending the book, and has an Orwellian back door for erasing books.

More at The Guardian

As you might imagine, Stallman's commentary drew a lot of responses from readers of The Guardian:

JohnnyHooper: "The Android operating system is basically spyware, mining your personal information, contacts, whereabouts, search activity, media preferences, photos, email, texts, chat, shopping, calls, etc so Google can onsell it to advertisers. Nice one, Google, you creep."

Ece301: "What the free software movement needs is more than just the scare stories about 'capability' - without reliable examples of this stuff causing real-world problems for real people such detail-free articles as this are going to affect nothing.

I'm quite willing to make the sacrifice of google, apple, the NSA etc. knowing exactly where I am if it means my phone can give me directions to my hotel in this strange city. Likewise if I want the capability to erase my phone should I lose it, I understand that that means apple etc. can probably get at that function too.

Limiting_Factor: "Or for people who don't want to mess about with command lines and like to have commercially supported software that works. Which is about 99% of the home computer using population. You lost, Richard. Get over it."

CosmicTrigger: "Selling customers the illusion of security and then leaving a great gaping hole in it for the government to snoop in return for a bit of a tax break is absolutely reprehensible."

Liam01: "This guy is as extreme as the director of the NSA , just at the other end of the spectrum. I'd be more inclined to listen if he showed a hint of nuance, or didn't open with an egoistic claim of "invented free software"."

AlanWatson: "My Kindle doesn't report anything, because I never turn the WiFi on. Just sideload content from wherever I want to buy it (or download if there is no copyright), format conversion is trivial, and for the minor inconvenience of having to use a USB cable I'm free of Amazon's lock-in, snooping and remote wipes. Simple."

Rod: "Here's my crazy prediction: Stallman's diatribes will continue to have zero measurable impact on adoption rates of Free software. Time to try a different approach, Richey."

Quicknstraight: "Not all snooping is bad for you. If it enhances your experience, say, by providing you with a better playlist or recommendations for things you like doing, what's the big deal?

Consumers don't have it every which way. You either accept a degree of data collection in return for a more enjoyable user experience, or accept that no data collection means you'll have to search out everything for yourself.

The average user prefers the easier option and has no interest in having to dig away through loads of crap to find what they want.

They key question should be what happens to data that is mined about users, not whether mining such data is bad per se."

Bob Rich: "As an author, I LIKE the idea that if a person buys a copy of my book, that copy cannot be freely distributed to others. With a paper book, that means that the original owner no longer has access to it. With an electronic book, "giving" or "lending" means duplicating, and that's stealing my work. The same is true for other creators: musicians, artists, photographers."

Mouse: "Stallman's a hero and we wouldn't have the level of (low-cost) technology all we enjoy today without him. I remember reading an article by him years ago and he said that the only laptop he'd use was the Lemote Yeeloong because it was the only system that was 100% open, even down to the BIOS - he was specifically paranoid about how government agencies might modify proprietary code for their own ends - and at the time I thought "Jeez, he's a bit of a paranoid fruitcake", but post-Snowden he's been proven to be right about what the security services get up."

More at The Guardian

[Dec 06, 2015] Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama

hoocoodanode.org

merchantsofmenace

Here's a link to Horowitz's article "Left-wing Fascism":
http://www.google.com/books?id=Au_Ktn22RxEC&pg=PA209&dq=%22left-wing+fascism%22

Here's a link to Bale's article on "'Left-wing' Fascism":
http://www.google.com/books?id=kne26UnE1wQC&pg=PA267&dq=%22left-wing+fascism%22+bale

Here's an article about the phenomenon called "Rebranding Fascism" (although the term "left-wing fascism is not used):
http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v23n4/rebranding_fascism.html
The basic concept is that neo-fascist groups (who are extreme right-wing) disguise themselves as leftists, e.g., they say they are anti-zionist when they are anti-semitic.

Here's a link to Richard Wolin's chapter on "Left Fascism":
http://www.google.com/books?id=4H4BeyiYBuEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Seduction+of+Unreason:+The+Intellectual+Romance+with+Fascism+:+from+Nietzsche+to+Postmodernism#PPA153,M1

[Dec 06, 2015] The USA is number one small arms manufacturer in the world

peakoilbarrel.com
Glenn Stehle, 12/05/2015 at 2:54 pm
Ves,

There was an article in one of the Mexico City dailies today, written in response to the shootings in San Bernardino, that cited some numbers that were news to me:

1) The United States is the #1 small arms manufacturer in the world

2) 83% of small arms manufactured in the world are manufactured in the United States

3) The US's closest competitor is Russia, which manufactures 11% of the world's small arms

4) Small arms are the US's third largest export product, surpassed only by aircraft and agricultural products

5) The US market itself consumes 15 million small arms per year, and there are 300 million small arms currently in the posession of US private citizens

6) Saudi Arabia, however, is by far and away the largest small arms consumer in the world, and purchases 33.1% of all small arms produced in the world

7) Saudi Arabia then re-distributes these small arms to its allies in Syria, Lybia, etc.

8) So far in 2015, there have been 351 "mass shootings" in the United States in which 447 persons have been killed and another 290 wounded

9) The world's leading human rights organizations never speak of the bloodbath ocurring around the world due to the proliferation of small arms, much less the United Nations Security Council.

10) Both the United States and Russia seem quite content to keep any talk of small arms proliferation off the agenda.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/12/05/opinion/023a1pol

[Nov 28, 2015] The Perils of Endless War - Antiwar.com

Notable quotes:
"... John Quincy Adams, for his part, loved an America that "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy." ..."
November 28, 2015 | Antiwar.com
War tends to perpetuate itself. As soon as one brute gets killed, another takes his place; when the new guy falls, another materializes.

Consider Richard Nixon's intensification of the American war on Cambodia. In hopes of maintaining an advantage over the Communists as he withdrew American troops from Southeast Asia, Nixon ravaged Vietnam's western neighbor with approximately 500,000 tons of bombs between 1969 and 1973. But instead of destroying the Communist menace, these attempts to buttress Nguyen Van Thieu's South Vietnamese government and then Lon Nol's Cambodian government only transformed it. The bombings led many of Nixon's early targets to desert the eastern region of the country in favor of Cambodia's interior where they organized with the Khmer Rouge.

As a CIA official noted in 1973, the Khmer Rouge started to "us[e] damage caused by B-52 strikes as the main theme of their propaganda." By appealing to Cambodians who were affected by the bombing raids, this brutal Communist organization, a peripheral batch of 10,000 fighters in 1969, had expanded by 1973 into a formidable army with 20 times as many members. Two years later, they seized control of Phnom Penh and murdered more than one million of their compatriots in a grisly genocide.

The following decade, when war erupted between the forces of Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Iraq's Saddam Hussein, the United States hedged its bets by providing military assistance to both governments as they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people. But when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, ousted the emir, and ultimately assassinated about 1,000 Kuwaitis, the United States turned on its former ally with an incursion that directly killed 3,500 innocent Iraqis and suffocated 100,000 others through the destruction of Iraqi infrastructure. The US also maintained an embargo against Iraq throughout the 1990s, a program that contributed to the deaths of 500,000 Iraqis and that UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Dennis Halliday deemed "genocidal" when he explained his 1998 resignation.

The newly restored Kuwaiti government, for its part, retaliated against minority groups for their suspected "collaboration" with the Iraqi occupiers. The government threw Palestinians out of schools, fired its Palestinian employees, and threatened thousands with "arbitrary arrest, torture, rape, and murder." Beyond that, Kuwait interdicted the reentry of more than 150,000 Palestinians and tens of thousands of Bedoons who had evacuated Kuwait when the tyrant Saddam took over. Thus, years of American maneuvering to achieve peace and security – by playing Iran and Iraq off of each other, by privileging Kuwaiti authoritarians over Iraqi authoritarians, by killing tens of thousands of innocent people who got in the way – failed.

The chase continues today as the United States targets the savage "Islamic State," another monster that the West inadvertently helped create by assisting foreign militants. History suggests that this war against Islamism, if taken to its logical extreme, will prove to be an endless game of whack-a-mole. Yes, our government can assassinate some terrorists; what it cannot do is stop aggrieved civilian victims of Western bombings from replacing the dead by becoming terrorists themselves. Furthermore, even if ISIS disappeared tomorrow, there would still exist soldiers – in Al-Qaeda, for instance – prepared to fill the void. That will remain true no matter how many bombs the West drops, no matter how many weapons it tenders to foreign militias, no matter how many authoritarian governments it buttresses in pursuit of "national security."

So, what are we to do when foreign antagonists, whatever the source of their discontent, urge people to attack us? We should abandon the Sisyphean task of eradicating anti-American sentiments abroad and invest in security at home. Gathering foreign intelligence is important when it allows us to strengthen our defenses here, but bombing people in Iraq and Syria, enabling the Saudi murder of Yemenis, and deploying troops to Cameroon are futile steps when enemy organizations can constantly replenish their supply of fighters by propagandizing among natives who deplore Western intervention.

This understanding, though underappreciated in contemporary American government, reflects a noble American tradition. John Quincy Adams, for his part, loved an America that "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy." Decades later, Jeannette Rankin doubted the benefits of American interventionism, contending that "you can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake." Martin Luther King Jr. warned that "violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." These leaders adamantly rejected an American politics of unending aggressive war. It is time for us to do the same.

Tommy Raskin is a contributor to the Good Men Project and Foreign Policy in Focus.

[Nov 25, 2015] Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey accomplices of terrorists ?

Notable quotes:
"... You have to laugh when you hear Erdogan and that puppy he's got for a Prime Minister solemnly saying that their airspace is sacrosanct and that they would never do the same to another sovereign nation. Yet, every week or so Turkish jets violate Greek airspace over the Aegean. And their jets don't stay for 30 seconds either. Personally I wouldn't believe anything that the Turks say about this incident. ..."
"... Bravo. Pumping out endless western propaganda for the moronic. The Americans and NATO are the biggest warmongers in history: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/.../turkey-has-destroyed.../ ..."
"... Erdogan is a bad guy, who receives western political cover due to Turkey's NATO membership. ..."
"... According to Seymour Hersch it was Turkey that was behind the Ghouta gas attack (well it certainly wasn't Assad). There was also a plan to attack a Turkish shrine inside Syria to be used as a pretext for a full invasion. The video clip is available on youtube. In the recording you can hear the defence minister and the head of intelligence discussing the plan, agreeing to do it, even though they don't like the idea, while lamenting the fact that everything is politics in modern Turkey. Nobody ever talks about this. Erdogan's response to this was to shut down Youtube for a day. ..."
"... ISIS fighters move in and out of Turkey with ease, receive medical treatment there and selling their oil at very competitive prices to people close to the Erdogan regime. Because NATO have gone along with Turkey in the "Assad must go" mantra they've been stuck covering up for his antics. But shooting down a Russian jet that clearly wasn't threatening Turkey was extremely reckless - maybe regime change in Ankara may be on the cards. ..."
"... "Over the past two years several senior Isis members have told the Guardian that Turkey preferred to stay out of their way and rarely tackled them directly." ..."
"... Martin Chulov is certainly not biased in his reporting in favour of Russia or against Turkey. He has reported mostly in favour of the rebels in Syria and only recently realised what the outcome of all this is. ..."
"... His facts about the ISIS-Turkish connection are not imagination presented against reason. Isis i.e. was free to attack the Kurds inside Turkey and the government did nothing to stop them, even when they knew about them very well. ..."
"... Believing that Erdogan, whose country's human rights record is pretty unenviable (in particular with regard to journalists), fell out with Assad because he was appalled by the latter's repression is like believing that Mussolini's decision to aid Franco in the Spanish Civil War was largely motivated by his horror at the bad behaviour of Spanish Anarchists and Communists. ..."
"... Turkey is a conduit, the Turkish presidents son is buying the oil from ISIS, just like US Vice President Joe Bidens son joined the board of Ukraines largest Gas producer after Nato expanded into the Ukraine. ..."
"... Was the downing of the jet by Turkey a tit for tat exercise as Russia destroyed some of the hundreds of lorry oil tankers parked up in ISIS territory heading for Turkey 6 days ago? ..."
"... Al Qaeda was created and used by the usa to do terror on Russia. No reason tho think things have changed, when clearly they have not. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, all have fallen....more to come. There is no "wondering" at all about the orogon an dpurpose of the ISIS when they admit they are al qaeda re packaged ...When the US admits al qaeda has melded into the ISIS. ..."
"... Terrorists in the middle east are a western supported geo-political tool to allow us to bomb, invade, destabilizen and balkanize soverign nations who refuse globalist ideology and orders. ..."
"... All a bit too convenient with the film crew at the ready. Clearly Erdogan is looking to further his agenda and set his sights on expanding Turkey's borders and it looks as though he's using NATO's protection to do it. ..."
"... It's ironic that NATO affords Turkey so much protection given that Turkey funds ISIS, it trades with them, it allows IS fighters free travel across Turkish borders and it also fights IS enemies for them - the Kurds. Outside of the Gulf, Turkey is the jihadist's biggest ally. ..."
"... Well, at least we have seen that those K-36 ejection seats do work; they have reportedly never failed. Of course Turkey, and Western Europe for that matter, has been playing a double game. Just like in Afghanistan in the 1980s, they prefer the acid-throwers and head-choppers to a Russian-backed secular regime. ..."
"... Even the Western MSM has openly reported about and from the staging areas in Turkey, where the jihadists gather before entering Syria. The US-lead "coalition" is now boasting about bombing ISIL oil convoys, but where has it been for the past few years? Everybody with a single functioning grey cell knows that Turkey is involved in the ISIS oil smuggling business and allowing the jihadist to train on its territory. ..."
"... The Turkmen who Turkey is protecting have been attacking Kurds. The Turks have been bombing the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS. ..."
"... The Turks have been buying ISIS' oil and giving other funding. Weapons funded by Gulf States have almost certainly been crossing the Turkish border for ISIS. It is suspected the Turkey has been providing a safe haven for ISIS fighters. Tens of thousands have crossed Turkeys borders to join rebel groups, the chances that some of them have not joined ISIS is nil. ..."
"... Lest anyone forget, Al Qaeda are themselves have orchestrated huge scale terrorist attacks. But becausing they are fighting Assad in Syria, who is hated by the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel, unquestioned or criticised almost regardless what they do by the West allies of the West, apparently Al Qaeda are now fine. ..."
"... I wonder if the leaders of NATO were involved in anyway at all??? ..."
"... And - does this lend weight to those who have shown that ISIS is a result of the Libyan, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and that they are mercenaries who have formed an insurgency within Syria for a regime change? A war crime, definitely against international law. ..."
"... In the warnings at no point do the turks actually say the russians are in turkish airspace, just that they are heading towards it; they also do not threaten to fire upon the Russians like the RAF do over here when they issue a warning. Normally the defending plane would come alongside the transgressor to escort them out the airspace, here they just just shoot at the russians without issuing a warning. It also appears that there just so happened to be a tv crew there perfectly poised to film it - what a coincidence. There is no way we are getting dragged into a war over this. ..."
"... The whole rotten scam is coming undone. No one believes the mainstream media any more. I skip the articles and go straight to the comments. That's where you find out what's really going on. Thank you for all the insightful comments. The truth will set us free ..."
"... 'It is in West's interest that ISIS would spill into Russia one day and do the dirty job there for US and its associates.' ..."
"... Oh, and the "rebels" shooting the pilots as they made their descent is a war crime. ..."
"... "Turkey said one of its US-made F-16 fighters fired on the Russian plane when it entered Turkish airspace after having been warned on its approach to the Turkish border through a 13-mile no-fly zone inside Syria it had declared in July." ..."
"... By what right does Turkey declare a 13 mile no fly zone inside Syria? This is clearly grounds for believing that the Russian jet was in fact shot down over Syria and not Turkey. ..."
"... Turkey has overplayed its hand and Erdogan's strategy and tactics in respect of Syria are now in tatters. NATO will be scrambling to put the frighteners on Erdogan who is clearly a loose cannon and totally out of his depth. ..."
"... Quite interestingly, yesterday, Russians claimed that in the past two previous days they have made 472 attacks on oil infrastructure and oil-trucks controlled by ISIS, which is obviously the right thing to do if you want to derange their sources of financing - but, apparently, the 'training partners' of ISIS are reacting... ..."
"... Russia was invited into support Assad by Syrias leader whether we or Nato like it or not. Turkey France and US were not. Turkeys Air force will have to watch itself now as I suspect Russia will deploy fighter aircraft to protect there bombers and the Kurds. As for the original question I think Putin may be right and Turks do have a foot in both camps. Nato should be very aware of the consequences of playing the whose to blame game when the stakes are so high. ..."
"... So, Turkey downs a Russian bomber and immediately runs to its daddies ?!?! C'mon! What a joke!! ..."
"... Concerns continued to grow in intelligence circles that the links eclipsed the mantra that "my enemy's enemy is my friend" and could no longer be explained away as an alliance of convenience. Those fears grew in May this year after a US special forces raid in eastern Syria, which killed the Isis official responsible for the oil trade, Abu Sayyaf. A trawl through Sayyaf's compound uncovered hard drives that detailed connections between senior Isis figures and some Turkish officials. Missives were sent to Washington and London warning that the discovery had "urgent policy implications". ..."
"... Payback for the Russians bombing ISIS oil convoys? Would Turkey shoot down a Russian air force jet without the nod from allies? Situation getting very dangerous I would think. ..."
"... "the US could potentially extract a lot out of it " ..."
"... And even if something is extracted in return, at the end of the day, NATO and the US will be defacto protecting the islamists, which is Turkey's goal. You can say NATO and the US are fucked now because they will have to do what they didn't want to do at all. ..."
"... Attacking people parachuting from an aircraft in distress is a war crime under Protocol I in addition to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. ..."
"... From a Russian perspective the opening paragraphs of article speak for themselves. Russian entry into the 'game' meant Turkey became a second category power in a region they have sought to dominate, the strike is a sign of weakness and not strength and whoever sanctioned it (done so quickly you'd wonder if Ankara was aware) is an amateur player because it weakened Turkey and strengthened the Russian hand. ..."
"... Of course Putin is right but he only tells part of the story. The main accomplice of terrorists and other non-existent so called "moderate" head-choppers is the United States, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel are merely facilitating this policy on behalf of the US and in accordance to their independent regional pursuits, that converge however on the removal of Assad and the use of ISIS as a proxy army to remove Assad. ..."
"... Events like today's become a useful window on an otherwise murky, indecipherable geopolitics. In the fraught aftermath of the Paris attacks, we should do our best to see ISIS for what they are and have always been: the entree to the main course proxy war between Russia and Western allied interests. ..."
"... Today a Russian plane goes down and first of all it's Turkey's fault, but Turkey wouldn't have done that without explicit permission to do so from either NATO or the US, but then a few hours later as it all looks really bad for Turkey (and by association everyone else in the "coalition") it turns out to have been Turkmen, but which ones? There's two factions, one is a "rebel" group backed by the US, the other is a "terrorist" group (aligned with "ISIS") and backed by the US. They are both fighting Assad. ..."
"... Senator John McCain can be thankful the North Vietnamese were not as bad as these Turkmen Turks. "Turkmen militiamen in Syria claimed to have shot the pilots as they descended on parachutes from the stricken Su-24 bomber." What the Turkmen brag about having done is something neither the North Vietnamese nor the actual Nazis would have condoned. ..."
"... Let's assume that this lying ISIS loving terrorist, Erdogan, is speaking the truth. He says Russia has been attacking Syrian Turkoman who are defending their land. One should ask this blood-thirsty ape this question: What then are Kurdish people in Turkey doing? ..."
"... That's the whole problem. The banksters and corporations that run the US have too much to lose in Saudi Arabia and the Persian gulf. And they want that pipeline from the Gulf to the Levant but Syria (with its secular ruler, hated by the jihadists) won't play ball with the banksters. Hence, with American corporations' blessing, Turkey and Arabia loose the Daesh on them . And al-Qeada and al-Nusra and all the other "moderate" rebels supplied with modern weapons by American arms corporations. ..."
"... "Turkish businessmen struck lucrative deals with Isis oil smugglers, adding at least $10m (£6.6m) per week to the terror group's coffers, and replacing the Syrian regime as its main client." ..."
"... Why doesn't The Guardian grow a pair and investigate the role of Turkish President Erdogan in this illegal oil trade, specifically through his son Bilal Erdogan, whose shipping company (jointly owned with two of Erdogan's brothers) BMZ Group has a rapidly expanding fleet of oil tankers... ..."
www.theguardian.com

The relationship hinted at by Russian leader after warplane was shot down is a complex one, and includes links between senior Isis figures and Turkish officials

Wirplit 24 Nov 2015 20:43

Turkey under Erdogan is turning out to be a real problem for the West. Supporting Isis and other jihadist groups and attacking the Kurds. Maybe now the Russians will support the PKK. Tragedy for the liberal Turks that Erdogan won


Phil Atkinson moreblingplease 24 Nov 2015 19:57

The evidence is out there if you want to look for it. Erdogan's son runs a shipping company that transports - guess what? Oil.

Alexander Marne 24 Nov 2015 19:53

It is an obvious attempt of Turkey trying to make the European+American+Christian Civilization wage war against Russia with the NATO war pact argument. NATO at these times is the perfect ingredient needed for a Christian Winter, having Christian Nations disobey the whims of a secular NATO alliance that has everything bus dissolved since the Iron Curtain fell. We all know the radical Muslims and their cousins are our enemy now, not the Soviet WARSAW pact which NATO was created to defend against. NATO members that go to war against Russia would risk internal revolution lead by the Majority Christian Population that has grown evermore dissatisfied of their Frankenstein Secular Ethic governments and sellout leadership.

hfakos Fiddle 24 Nov 2015 19:51

No Russian gas pipeline and, thus transit fees, to Hungary either. Germany shut down SouthStream, only to sign a deal with evil Putin to double the capacity of NorthStream. Who wouldn't love an EU like that? We are all equal, but Germany and Western Europe are more equal than others.

Phil Atkinson -> marph70 24 Nov 2015 19:50

Agreed. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) is a misnomer, given its current membership (28 countries). NATO was formed by 12 countries in 1949 and today, is a tool for encirclement of Russia.

yianni 24 Nov 2015 19:47

You have to laugh when you hear Erdogan and that puppy he's got for a Prime Minister solemnly saying that their airspace is sacrosanct and that they would never do the same to another sovereign nation. Yet, every week or so Turkish jets violate Greek airspace over the Aegean. And their jets don't stay for 30 seconds either. Personally I wouldn't believe anything that the Turks say about this incident.

somethingbrite -> KevinKeegansYfronts 24 Nov 2015 19:46

I think we can probably ask that chap in his semi in Coventry where ISIS plan to attack next...the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is it? The man seems to have a hotline to Raqqa and every other ISIS held territory.

That said....the Guardian doesn't appear to have quoted him for a week or so....

Have they been unable to reach him since Paris?

Is he on the run? Hiding out in Belgium maybe?

SystemD 24 Nov 2015 19:40

I listened to Ashdown on Today yesterday. His comments about links between Gulf states and the Tories were extremely interesting and unexpected. The same questions should be asked regarding Turkey. Why has the report about the funding of jihadism in the UK not been published?

Phil Atkinson -> GemmaBlueSkySeas 24 Nov 2015 19:38

Would Turkey have shot down the SU-24 if Turkey wasn't a NATO member? Think on it.

camerashy -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:31

Yeah right, that's the western propaganda machine for you. They were saying the same thing last year ... Only misguided minds believe such nonsense!

Neutronstar7 -> Adrian Rides 24 Nov 2015 19:31

Bravo. Pumping out endless western propaganda for the moronic. The Americans and NATO are the biggest warmongers in history: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/.../turkey-has-destroyed.../

I cannot believe it, but I feel ashamed of my own country and all the other western governments and our proxy's involved in this vile conspiracy. Blow us up, we deserve it.

WankSalad 24 Nov 2015 19:30

All of this should just make us more furious about the Paris attacks.

The attackers; ISIS, are quite literally being armed, supported and facilitated by our "friends and allies" Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Meanwhile Turkey directs it's fire at the Kurds - a group of moderate Muslims and secularists who have only ever wanted independent statehood - whom we are supposed to be helping fight ISIS.

Saudi Arabia has also been quite clearly the source of most of the extremist Islamism that has repeatedly attacked our civil societies. They have funded and set up Islamist mosques all throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Are we really getting good value out of our relationships with these nations?

^Our leaders refuse to say any of this openly. It's infuriating. Sooner or later something has to give.

Omniscience -> James Brown 24 Nov 2015 19:30

How can a dictator, who took over from his father (a dictator) be called a legitimate government ? Even by a Russian...

hfakos -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:28

Sounds like everyday Western duplicity. Car bombs and suicide bombers are fine as long as they only target Damascus. But when the people the West has nurtured attack Paris, the world ends.

camerashy -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:27

You're such a feeble minded person! At least Puting didn't sell $hitloads of arms to Saudi Arabia enabling them to support and nurture Isis. Look in the mirror once in a while, will ya ...

camerashy 24 Nov 2015 19:19

There's nothing to worry about here ... Putin is one cool customer, he'll have his revenge when time is right, and it'll be nothing like a Cameroneasque thoughtless, hurried, knee jerk reaction. Turkey on its own wouldn't dare do anything like they've done, they're just being manipulated by NATO warmongers who are desperate to justify their existence.

DrKropotkin 24 Nov 2015 19:17

Erdogan is a bad guy, who receives western political cover due to Turkey's NATO membership. But he has strayed very far from the path of sanity and I think NATO will soon start looking for ways to get rid of him.

According to Seymour Hersch it was Turkey that was behind the Ghouta gas attack (well it certainly wasn't Assad). There was also a plan to attack a Turkish shrine inside Syria to be used as a pretext for a full invasion. The video clip is available on youtube. In the recording you can hear the defence minister and the head of intelligence discussing the plan, agreeing to do it, even though they don't like the idea, while lamenting the fact that everything is politics in modern Turkey. Nobody ever talks about this. Erdogan's response to this was to shut down Youtube for a day.

ISIS fighters move in and out of Turkey with ease, receive medical treatment there and selling their oil at very competitive prices to people close to the Erdogan regime. Because NATO have gone along with Turkey in the "Assad must go" mantra they've been stuck covering up for his antics. But shooting down a Russian jet that clearly wasn't threatening Turkey was extremely reckless - maybe regime change in Ankara may be on the cards.

KevinKeegans -> Yfronts 24 Nov 2015 19:17

"Over the past two years several senior Isis members have told the Guardian that Turkey preferred to stay out of their way and rarely tackled them directly."

So people in the Guardian are in contact with "senior" members of Isis? Was it a meeting over tea and scones? Perhaps you could stop being their mouthpiece and ask them which public area they intend to blow up next. After that you could give the authorities their contact details so that they can solve this issue quickly. That would be most helpful. Of course you might lose a couple of years worth of potential headlines.

moria50 -> Rubear13 24 Nov 2015 19:14

ISIS started back in 2009.Jordan has a Centcom underground training centre, and 2,000 US special Forces came to train them.Gen Dempsey oversaw this training camp.

Jordanian special forces were instructors along with the US.

James Brown 24 Nov 2015 19:10

Four years of providing money, transport, training, air and artillery cover against legitimate Syrian government forces to terrorists and Guardian asks this question? Turkey = #1 supporter of Islamic terrorism. Open your damn eyes.

hfakos -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:09

Given that ISIS was created with significant Western help, why would Putin do anything about it? He finally acted when the head-choppers got totally out of control and started to threaten Russia too. The downing of the Russian airliner, the several failed terror attacks in France, and the Paris massacre should have opened your eyes.

NATO has an abysmal foreign policy record. In a mere decade they managed to turn Europe into a place where one has to fear going to the Christmas market. Well done, "winners" of the Cold War.

pdutchman -> PMWIPN 24 Nov 2015 19:07

Martin Chulov is certainly not biased in his reporting in favour of Russia or against Turkey. He has reported mostly in favour of the rebels in Syria and only recently realised what the outcome of all this is.

His facts about the ISIS-Turkish connection are not imagination presented against reason. Isis i.e. was free to attack the Kurds inside Turkey and the government did nothing to stop them, even when they knew about them very well.

Once you see what is going on and what the results are, you have to consider the possibility Europe is threatened by fundamentalists, also inside Turkey and Turkish government.

Just read the political program of grand vizier Davutoğlu, or the speeches of Erdoğan on the glorious pas of the Ottoman empire when he visits former territory.

His vision is one of a regional Islamic state run by Turkey, that would be a superpower.

He detests western democracy and 'European' western humanitarian values and has not made a secret of this. He is a convinced islamist and his support for ISIS and Al Nusra has sadly enough been very successful.

elvis99 -> tr1ck5t3r 24 Nov 2015 19:06

I agree. Its all about the oil.
Not only that there is a huge fracking industry at risk. It costs approx. $80 a barrel to produce and it selling approx.$50 at present. They are running at a loss as most finance for these enterprises were secured when it was $120 a barrel. Yellen could not afford to raise interest rates as it would crush a fossil fuel industry within the USA. Get the war machine moving though and watch the price climb and save that profit margin

hfakos -> kohamase 24 Nov 2015 19:01

It's mostly the Western establishment, not the people. Hungary is not the West but we are in the EU and unfortunately NATO as well, and the vast majority of the population supports Russia on this imho. Russia made the mistake of trusting the West under Yeltsin. What you have to understand, and Putin has got it I think, is that Western Europe has a paranoid obsession to bring Russia to its knees. It's been like this for centuries, just think about how many times the civilized West has invaded your country. And old habits die hard. They prefer head-choppers and acid-throwers to having a mutually beneficial civilized relationship with Russia. But you are not alone, Eastern Europe, although formally in the EU, is also looked down upon by the West.

ID9793630 24 Nov 2015 19:01

It's possible Erdogan is rattled at the possibility that the Russians might be about to pull off a secretive realignment of external participants against ISIS - the possibility of unstated coordination between American, Russian and French armed actions in the air and on the ground, with various local allies - and this incident shooting down the jet, created for the cameras, is also intended to overturn that potential applecart.

underbussen -> DenisOgur 24 Nov 2015 19:00

Yeah, so what then, countries violate others airspace all the time - we don't see them downing each others aircraft do we? Maybe sometimes it happens, this is action by Turkey is outrageous, and very, very aggressive. Turkey will pay, one way or the other, lets see if that gas price goes up and now might they fare should they loose it?

Angelis Dania 24 Nov 2015 18:55

"The influx has offered fertile ground to allies of Assad who, well before a Turkish jet shot down a Russian fighter on Tuesday, had enabled, or even supported Isis. Vladimir Putin's reference to Turkey as "accomplices of terrorists" is likely to resonate even among some of Ankara's backers."

Assad's allies enabled and supported ISIS? Such an embarrassing thing to say.

"Assad, who had, until his brutal response to pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011, been a friend of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. "After that he became an enemy," said one western official. "Erdoğan had tried to mentor Assad. But after the crackdown [on demonstrations] he felt insulted by him. And we are where we are today."

Armed infiltrators in the protest groups fired first at police according to numerous eyewitnesses. How poor a journalist do you have to be to continue to write articles on the basis of widely debunked allegations? Lol, "Erdoğan tried to mentor President Bashar Al-Assad". What on Earth would motivate you to even quote that? Like an inferiority-complex ridden backwards terrorist supporter like Erdoğan can approach the sagacity and popularity of Dr. Bashar Al-Assad.

MelRoy coolGran 24 Nov 2015 18:55

He did use his spy power to find out the source of Isis funding and was told the funding was coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.


hfakos Gaudd80 24 Nov 2015 18:53

Because we, our governments that is, are not serious about tackling Islamist extremism. Scoring points against Russia is still the main motivation of the West. This strategy had a low cost for the West in 1980s far-away Afghanistan. But Syria is in our neighborhood and the world has become much more open. The yanks can still play this nasty game without repercussions, because they are an island protected by two oceans. But it's a mystery to me why Europeans are stupid enough to favor the nearby chaos of the head-choppers to secular regimes. ME oil and gas could be replaced to a large extent by Russia, but this again would go against the paranoid Western desire to see that crumble. So you see France, the UK, and the US bombing ISIS with one hand and giving it money through Saudi and Qatar with the other. It's insanity.

NotWithoutMyMonkey 24 Nov 2015 18:45

This is all you need to know:

Vice President Joe Biden stated that US key allies in the Middle East were behind nurturing ISIS

MelRoy 24 Nov 2015 18:43

Yes, I'm afraid he's right.

The problem is, nobody else is able to say it, because the Obama and Cameron administrations are up to their necks in it. They knew that Turkey was responsible for the gas attacks on civilians in Syria. They know (who doesn't?) that the Turks are killing the people who are fighting terrorists inside Syria. They know that the money, the weapons and the foreign fighters are being funnelled into Syria through Turkey, with the Turkish government's not just knowledge, but cooperation and even facilitation.

They can't say it, because over and over again they have bald-faced lied to the public. They can't say that the "good guys" in the fight against Isil are not just the Kurds, but the Iranians, Hezbollah, Assad and the Russians - our supposed "enemies", and the "bad guys" are the ones we are sending all the money and munitions to - our supposed "allies".

tr1ck5t3r northsylvania 24 Nov 2015 18:41

Oil.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Without oil, the Western economies would crash, we are so dependent on it, but the US military are the biggest dependents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_usage_of_the_United_States_military
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174810/

the Pentagon might consume as much as 340,000 barrels (14 million gallons) every day. This is greater than the total national consumption of Sweden or Switzerland.

Take away the oil and you will see the US military industrial complex die on its knees.

salfraser 24 Nov 2015 18:40

It would be as well to understand the ultimate motives of the current day Saladin. Look what was said in May this year.
27th. May 2015 : President Erdogan And The Prime Minister Of The Turkey Dovotogolu Just Made This Declaration To The Entire Islamic World:
'We Will Gather Together Kurds And Arabs, And All Of The Muslim World, And Invade Jerusalem, And Create A One World Islamic Empire' By Allah's will, Jerusalem belongs to the Kurds, the Turks, the Arabs, and to all Muslims. And as our forefathers fought side by side at Gallipoli, and just as our forefathers went together to liberate Jerusalem with Saladin, we will march together on the same path [to liberate Jerusalem]."

Erdogan and Dovutoglu at their speech in which they spoke of the revival of the Ottoman Empire and the conquest of Jerusalem The amazing speeches by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu were given at the inauguration ceremony at the country's 55th airport in Yuksekova district of southeastern border province of Hakkari, in which they made an entire declaration to the Islamic world, on their desire to conquer Jerusalem and form a universal Islamic empire.

Looks like our American friends are about to create yet another conflict of interest!


Rubear13 Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 18:39

ISIS was created in 2013-2014 and proclaimed itself chalifate after taking much territory in 2014. During this year russian had a lot of problems with crisis, civil war and ~2-3 millions of refugeers from Ukraine. And he did much. Both in terms of weapons and policy.
By the way, Assad was actually winning war during 2012-2013 before creation of ISIS in Iraq.


RudolphS 24 Nov 2015 18:37

So the jet flew allegedly for 17 seconds in Turkish airspace. As Channel 4 News' international editor Lindsey Hilsum accurately asked today 'How come a Turkish TV crew was in the right place, filming in the right direction as a Russian plane was shot down? Lucky? Or tipped off?'

R. Ben Madison -> leonzos 24 Nov 2015 18:35

I suspect that Erdoğan switched sides when the West began to look like it was going to impose 'regime change' on Syria and wanted to be on the winning side. It took a herculean, bipartisan effort here in the US to keep Obama from obtaining Congressional support for a war on Syria. At the time, I (and many others) condemned the normally warmongering Republicans for tying the president's hands purely out of hypocritical spite, but the Democrats were against it too and the whole effort collapsed.

Having taken an early lead in the "get rid of Assad" race, Erdoğan seems to have had the rug pulled out from under him. Sorry for the mixed metaphor.


johnmichaelmcdermott -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 18:33

How about evidence such as an article from the notorious 'troofer' site, The Jerusalem Post, quoting that other infamous conspiracy site, The Wall Street Journal?

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-Israel-treating-al-Qaida-fighters-wounded-in-Syria-civil-war-393862


Robert Bowen -> hfakos 24 Nov 2015 18:31

Gladio B.
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/whos-afraid-of-sibel-edmonds/


Celtiberico 24 Nov 2015 18:27

"Erdoğan had tried to mentor Assad. But after the crackdown [on demonstrations] he felt insulted by him. And we are where we are today."

Believing that Erdogan, whose country's human rights record is pretty unenviable (in particular with regard to journalists), fell out with Assad because he was appalled by the latter's repression is like believing that Mussolini's decision to aid Franco in the Spanish Civil War was largely motivated by his horror at the bad behaviour of Spanish Anarchists and Communists.


tr1ck5t3r 24 Nov 2015 18:25

Turkey is a conduit, the Turkish presidents son is buying the oil from ISIS, just like US Vice President Joe Bidens son joined the board of Ukraines largest Gas producer after Nato expanded into the Ukraine.

Was the downing of the jet by Turkey a tit for tat exercise as Russia destroyed some of the hundreds of lorry oil tankers parked up in ISIS territory heading for Turkey 6 days ago?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6oHbrF8ADs

Theres a pattern here.

Likewise Russia have released their version of events regarding the shot down jets route, claiming it didnt enter Turkish airspace.

Whats interesting is this Russian data was released at 8pm UK time, and yet the British press are still running with the rhetoric from this morning, where at 4am UK time a Russia jet was shot down according to Reuters..

So it would seem the UK press are sitting on this latest inconvenient news, perhaps trying to come up with a way to spin it or waiting for the UK Govt to advise how to spin it if its even to be mentioned so the Govt looks innocent in the eyes of the electorate.

Whilst the availability of data from Turkey was very quickly made available, perhaps it was fabricated and released too quickly in order to maintain momentum with todays news agenda?

All the while GCHQ and NSA sock puppets & other Nato countries flood various media outlets comments sections to drown out critical analysis.

I wonder if I'll be approached by more US and UK military personal "unofficially" whilst out walking the dog in Thetford forest, and be spoken to?

Its interesting watching the news from other countries, certainly watching Russia Today and their spin is interesting.

I can only conclude there will be another massive financial crisis coming for one or more countries, so in order to divert the masses a war is needed, as wars always boost economies.


Hyperion6 -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 18:24

Sensible people would realise that only one of ISIS and Assad can be brought to the negotiating table. Sensible people would realise that Turkey is playing the same duplicitous game that Pakistan played, namely supporting the most despicable fundamentalists while being an 'ally' of the West.

Frodo baggins -> Gaudd80 24 Nov 2015 18:24

Al Qaeda was created and used by the usa to do terror on Russia. No reason tho think things have changed, when clearly they have not. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, all have fallen....more to come. There is no "wondering" at all about the orogon an dpurpose of the ISIS when they admit they are al qaeda re packaged ...When the US admits al qaeda has melded into the ISIS.

Terrorists in the middle east are a western supported geo-political tool to allow us to bomb, invade, destabilizen and balkanize soverign nations who refuse globalist ideology and orders.

Jan Burton 24 Nov 2015 18:23

Cut the bullshit.

Turkey is little more than an ISIS and al Qaeda support base, and now they're even providing an Air Force.

Get these scumbags out of NATO now

kohamase 24 Nov 2015 18:19

I don't understand you western guys. Am Russian and not a big fun of Putin but in this situation Russia fights terrorists , same people who organized massacre in Paris . Why , why shoot them down??? What is the meaning of this ? We can disagree on many questions but we should agree on One : ISIS must GO !!! If you don't want to do it then at list don't stand on our way cleaning up the mess you've created!!!


Tiberius2 24 Nov 2015 18:17

Crystal clear, the Turks are profiteering from stolen oil, the whole Turkish establishment is involved on this corrupted trade namely : border guards, police and the military, all of them being involved, plus business men with political connections .

ISIS get also weapons and training, Jihadist from the world over, gets red carpet treatment and supply with passports.

The Jihadist can travel unmolested, to and from Syria via Turkey in order to carry out atrocities like Paris and Tunisia.

The West looks the other way to this situation and try to ignore it ,until it gets hit in the hearth, like Paris.

fantas1sta -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 18:17

Oh, I do think Russia was wrong to send troops into Crimea, but I also think the west was wrong to back the coup against Ukraine's democratically elected government. NATO gambled that they could interfere in Ukraine and lost, now they know that Putin is difficult to intimidate and that Russia defends its sphere of influence like the US defends its own. All powers are hypocrites, such is the nature of their global interests, but Turkey are both hypocrites and cowards, shooting down a plane and then hiding their heads under Uncle Sam's sweater.

grish2 Tommy Thrillbigger 24 Nov 2015 18:16

Majority of people in Europe support the Russians. The governments are making excuses for the turks. And the turks are with the head choppers.

theoldmanfromusa -> ID9309755 24 Nov 2015 18:15

You have a strange opinion of the situation. The major problem is that the ruling classes (politicians, imams, etc.) use the most inflammatory rhetoric to stir up the population (most of it) that is not intellectual and/or clever. These intellectual/clever types can then make obscene profits from their rabble rousing.

Apollonian 24 Nov 2015 18:12

All a bit too convenient with the film crew at the ready. Clearly Erdogan is looking to further his agenda and set his sights on expanding Turkey's borders and it looks as though he's using NATO's protection to do it.

It's ironic that NATO affords Turkey so much protection given that Turkey funds ISIS, it trades with them, it allows IS fighters free travel across Turkish borders and it also fights IS enemies for them - the Kurds. Outside of the Gulf, Turkey is the jihadist's biggest ally.

Gaudd80 24 Nov 2015 18:11

If we are really serious about tackling Islamic extremists, then why is it that we are allied those states directly aiding them? Cameron is demanding the right to bomb Syria, while at the same time he's grovelling to the Saudis, crawling to the Gulf States and defending Erdogan. Hammond nearly bust a blood vessel when Skinner said what everyone knows. The whole thing is an utter sham, you have to wonder if ISIS and the other extremist groups aren't actually hugely convenient for some.

ElDanielfire -> Canuckistan 24 Nov 2015 18:05

Yes the Saudi's created ISIS. but the west helped build them up thinking they were something else because the west kept their fingers in their ears because they had a gard -on for yet anotehr regime change in the middle east, despite none of the previous ones (Afghan, Iraq, Libya) having worked and become hell for the citixens of those countries. Also the west always let Saudi and Qutar get awya with anything, even if they fund groups who attack western citizens. It's tragic.

hfakos 24 Nov 2015 18:04

Well, at least we have seen that those K-36 ejection seats do work; they have reportedly never failed. Of course Turkey, and Western Europe for that matter, has been playing a double game. Just like in Afghanistan in the 1980s, they prefer the acid-throwers and head-choppers to a Russian-backed secular regime.

Even the Western MSM has openly reported about and from the staging areas in Turkey, where the jihadists gather before entering Syria. The US-lead "coalition" is now boasting about bombing ISIL oil convoys, but where has it been for the past few years? Everybody with a single functioning grey cell knows that Turkey is involved in the ISIS oil smuggling business and allowing the jihadist to train on its territory.

But Western Europe is complicit too. With all the spying reported by Snowden how is it impossible to prevent thousands of European citizens from traveling to Turkey and onward to Syria and getting radicalized? It is obvious that we have turned a blind eye to the jihadi tourism. Funny that only after the Paris attacks did Hollande and co. start to take this constant flow of Europeans into Syria seriously.

NATO says, two minutes after this incident, that Turkey is right and its airspace has been violated. But all powerful NATO countries cannot track the returning jihadists and the mastermind of the Paris attacks has just been reported to have mingled with Paris policemen after the Bataclan massacre. And one guy is still on the run. The first chickens have come home to roost and there will be more to follow. The West has been playing with fire and will get burned. This is a much more global world with open borders than what we had in the 1980s, when NATO was supporting the Bin Ladens and Gulbudding Hekmatyars in Afghanistan. These jihadists will cause more havoc in Europe for certain. And Russia is more right again than NATO, when it comes to jihadists in Syria.

ID9309755 24 Nov 2015 18:04

Turkey's territorial expansionist ambitions have backfired, just as the ambitions of their Islamism has. The emperor has no clothes and yet it's difficult to deal with this maniac Erdog effendy who is pushing Turkey towards chaos internally and internationally... A country which has intellectuals and clever people has fallen under the power of a group of thugs, the story of the region.

i_pray thinkorswim 24 Nov 2015 18:03

One actually feels sorry for Putin. He is bound by a Treaty he signed along time ago with Assad. He is doing what he is obliged to do under that Treaty and at
the same time he is helping to destroy ISIS.

Then he is attacked up by Turkey a member of NATO, who are supposedly also committed to destroying ISIS .

If I were Putin, I would just walk away and leave the West to sort the mess out . I am sure that Russia feels that it has already lost too many lives.


Wehadonebutitbroke -> Roland Paterson-Jones 24 Nov 2015 18:00

Erm, yes. The Turkmen who Turkey is protecting have been attacking Kurds. The Turks have been bombing the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS.

The Turks have been buying ISIS' oil and giving other funding. Weapons funded by Gulf States have almost certainly been crossing the Turkish border for ISIS. It is suspected the Turkey has been providing a safe haven for ISIS fighters. Tens of thousands have crossed Turkeys borders to join rebel groups, the chances that some of them have not joined ISIS is nil.

Many of the 'moderate' rebels are Al Qaeda by another name or Al Qaeda affiliates. The Turkmen are Al Qaeda affiliates. The line between Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria is vague and has been crossed both ways on numerous occasions.

Lest anyone forget, Al Qaeda are themselves have orchestrated huge scale terrorist attacks. But becausing they are fighting Assad in Syria, who is hated by the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel, unquestioned or criticised almost regardless what they do by the West allies of the West, apparently Al Qaeda are now fine.

anewdawn 24 Nov 2015 18:00

I wonder if the leaders of NATO were involved in anyway at all???

And - does this lend weight to those who have shown that ISIS is a result of the Libyan, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and that they are mercenaries who have formed an insurgency within Syria for a regime change? A war crime, definitely against international law.


Roland Paterson-Jones 24 Nov 2015 17:56

Dudes, Turkey is losing some valuable oil supply due to Russia's 'indiscriminate' bombing of ISIS oil-field territory.

Turkey has some real-politik collateral in the form of 'refugees' to mainland Europe. So Turkey, politically, is in a strong position - EU is shoving money towards them.

Will NATO stand behind Turkey's real-politik?

twosocks 24 Nov 2015 17:54

Just watched the videos and listened to the turkish warnings. The SU24 appears to have been heading south as requested by the turks and in syria when it was hit. It also looks like the turks entered Syrian airspace before they fired on the Russians - just like the 1000+ times they have entered greek airspace in the last year, including one time with 8 planes at the same time.

In the warnings at no point do the turks actually say the russians are in turkish airspace, just that they are heading towards it; they also do not threaten to fire upon the Russians like the RAF do over here when they issue a warning. Normally the defending plane would come alongside the transgressor to escort them out the airspace, here they just just shoot at the russians without issuing a warning. It also appears that there just so happened to be a tv crew there perfectly poised to film it - what a coincidence. There is no way we are getting dragged into a war over this.

Adrian Rides 24 Nov 2015 17:54

The whole rotten scam is coming undone. No one believes the mainstream media any more. I skip the articles and go straight to the comments. That's where you find out what's really going on. Thank you for all the insightful comments. The truth will set us free

rumelian -> kmw2402 24 Nov 2015 17:49

YES, and the lesson for the West should be: Please stop supporting Erdogan and his fellow islamists. Watching events for a decade and praising the relentless efforts of a single party and it's (now former) leader to suppress secular Turks and eroding the pillars of the secular Turkish Republic, in the name of stability in the region, you actually create much instability and threat, both for the region, and for Europe. Squeeze down these so called "moderate" islamists, and with real pro-European Turks taking lead again, you will not have unexpected and complicated acts from Turkey .

thorella -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 17:48

'It is in West's interest that ISIS would spill into Russia one day and do the dirty job there for US and its associates.'

Totally logical

jaybee2 24 Nov 2015 17:46

Well said Pres Putin and hats off to Denis Skinner in parliament!

Turkey is a disgrace and should be booted out of NATO.

It bombs the Kurds fighting lsis barbarians, buys oil from lsis, protects anti Assad terrorists from the Syrian army, helps finance various 'moderate' terrorists as to its shame does this Tory government!

As the 'heir to Blair' Cameron is drooling at the thought of joining in on the bloodlust!

Thank you Mr Skinner, and Hammond, what a silly man!


MatthewH1 24 Nov 2015 17:46

Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey 'accomplices of terrorists'?

Yes.

Oh, and the "rebels" shooting the pilots as they made their descent is a war crime.

quaidesbrumes 24 Nov 2015 17:43

Guardian reports:

"Turkey said one of its US-made F-16 fighters fired on the Russian plane when it entered Turkish airspace after having been warned on its approach to the Turkish border through a 13-mile no-fly zone inside Syria it had declared in July."

By what right does Turkey declare a 13 mile no fly zone inside Syria? This is clearly grounds for believing that the Russian jet was in fact shot down over Syria and not Turkey.

Turkey has overplayed its hand and Erdogan's strategy and tactics in respect of Syria are now in tatters. NATO will be scrambling to put the frighteners on Erdogan who is clearly a loose cannon and totally out of his depth.

lisbon_calling 24 Nov 2015 17:43

The answer to the question in the title is absolutely clear after reading the very informative text.

Quite interestingly, yesterday, Russians claimed that in the past two previous days they have made 472 attacks on oil infrastructure and oil-trucks controlled by ISIS, which is obviously the right thing to do if you want to derange their sources of financing - but, apparently, the 'training partners' of ISIS are reacting...

MrMeinung DavidJayB 24 Nov 2015 17:38

Turkish fighters are violating Greek airspace habitually since decades. And not for mere seconds. The Greeks intercept them but do not shoot them down. The Greeks have brought all kinds of electronic documentation to both NATO and EU - no result.

It is ironic that Turkey of all nations is raising such arguments.

This action is inexcusable and the barbarity that followed (by all information) - the execution of the pilot/pilots - by Turkish friendly fighters, even more so.

LordJimbo -> CommieWealth 24 Nov 2015 17:38

Countries are operating on the basis of their national interests, Assad and Kurds represent threats to Turkey, Russia wants Assad to remain and sees IS and rebel groups (some of whom are reportedly backed by Turkey) as threats, so we see a classic clash of national interests in an already complicated region of the world, topped off by a brutal civil war that has cost the lives of over 200,000 and seen one of the worst humanitarian crises since WWII. The very definition of a perfect political and military storm. I suspect the Russian position will eventually win out in Syria especially now that Hollande wants IS targeted by a 'grand coalition'. For Turkey the major headache has to be the Kurds who will get arms, training and are winning huge amounts of territory.

powercat123 24 Nov 2015 17:36

Russia was invited into support Assad by Syrias leader whether we or Nato like it or not. Turkey France and US were not. Turkeys Air force will have to watch itself now as I suspect Russia will deploy fighter aircraft to protect there bombers and the Kurds. As for the original question I think Putin may be right and Turks do have a foot in both camps. Nato should be very aware of the consequences of playing the whose to blame game when the stakes are so high.

ManxApe 24 Nov 2015 17:36

Which Turkish businessmen did they strike deals with? Specifically which Turkish businessman's shipping company had their oil tankers bombed the other day by Russia? Is this businessman actually a very close relative of Erdoğan? A clue perhaps?Allegedly the shipping company is BMZ.


196thInfantry -> Artur Conka 24 Nov 2015 17:35

The Russian plane was never in Turkish airspace. ATC systems have recorders that record voice communications, radar tracks and controller actions all synchronized. You can be sure that the Turks will not release the raw recorded data.

aLLaguz 24 Nov 2015 17:32

So, Turkey downs a Russian bomber and immediately runs to its daddies ?!?! C'mon! What a joke!!
This is the long awaited war for the Syria-Turkey border, a border that must be closed. Whether for stop jihadists joining ISIS or to stop oil sales.

No fly-zone in northern Syria ?! The only affected parties with this is Assad allies and it is the same reason.... the Syria-Turkey border. For Assad, It is a key region, Kurds must be stopped to reach the Mediterranean sea, the border must be closed to stop jihadists or rebels to join the fight, to stop the oil sales of ISIS, etc, etc, etc.
Russia will fight for the control of the border whether NATO like it or not. Once it is Russian, Kurds will be pushed back.

Cecile_Trib -> penguinbird 24 Nov 2015 17:32

Turkey must learn to stop invading Greece airspace. Or you think it's OK for them as a member of NATO to do that? Or will you say it's OK for Greece to down a couple of Turkish jets?

"In the first month of 2014 alone, Turkish aircraft allegedly violated Greek airspace 1,017 times, Gurcan reports."

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/07/17/turkish-fighter-jets-violate-greek-airspace-again/

vivazapata38 -> penguinbird 24 Nov 2015 17:31

Ha ha, your post is bordering on...no is, sheer arrogance and complete ignorance.The Russian planes are defined as entering "an area of our interest".Which is really vague and is really international airspace.Both the US and UK do the same but more often.Moreover Russia is being surrounded by NATO firepower,missile systems and US paid for coups!


NezPerce 24 Nov 2015 17:31

Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey 'accomplices of terrorists'? Yes

Turkey are directly linked to Al Qaeda as is Saudi Arabia yet they are our allies in the never ending war against terrorism, a war it seems we forgot about when the terrorists became repackaged as freedom fighters. Many of us have been warning that this would inevitably lead us to become victims of the Jihadists but Cameron would not listen, he has a mania to get rid of Assad and has been prepared to get into bed with some of the nastiest people in the world. A New take on the Nasty party.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11697764/Isil-reenters-key-Syria-border-town-of-Kobane-live.html

Turkey 'let Isil cross border to attack Kobane': as it happened

Today's early morning, a group of five cars, loaded with 30-35 of Isil elements, wearing the clothes and raising the flag of the FSA [Free Syrian Army rebels] has undertaken a suicide attack.

The nationalist Southern Front, which includes US-trained fighters, has confirmed that it is taking part in the fight for Daraa, alongside the powerful Islamist groups Ahrar al-Sham and the Al Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.


BigNowitzki -> BeatonTheDonis 24 Nov 2015 17:29

Turkish government giving military support to ethnic Turks in a neighbouring country = good.

Russian government giving military support to ethnic Russians in a neighbouring country = bad.

Good point. I imagine the Putinbots will try and rationalise it away via cognitive dissonance, or some other bogus reason. As I said, Russia's position would be much stronger had they not invaded and occupied part of Ukraine. They were warned....

MaxBoson 24 Nov 2015 17:26

Thanks to the author for pointing out the role Turkey has played in the rise of ISIS, and its instrumentalization of the conflict in Syria for its own ends. Taking this, and Turkey's support for the Turkmen rebels-or terrorists, or freedom fighters, depending on which alliance one is supporting-into account, it is pretty obvious that the main reason why Turkey shot down the Russian planes was that they were bombing Turkmen targets in what Turkey has the cheek to call a no-fly zone, not because their wings were in its airspace for a few milliseconds.

deathbydemocracy 24 Nov 2015 17:23

Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey 'accomplices of terrorists'?

Answer below.

Concerns continued to grow in intelligence circles that the links eclipsed the mantra that "my enemy's enemy is my friend" and could no longer be explained away as an alliance of convenience. Those fears grew in May this year after a US special forces raid in eastern Syria, which killed the Isis official responsible for the oil trade, Abu Sayyaf.

A trawl through Sayyaf's compound uncovered hard drives that detailed connections between senior Isis figures and some Turkish officials. Missives were sent to Washington and London warning that the discovery had "urgent policy implications".

That would be a 'Yes'.

Of course Turkey has a right to defend it's borders. In this case though, their borders were not under attack. The Russian plane strayed into Turkish air space for just a few seconds, and it was clearly not part of an attack force against Turkey. The correct move would have been to complain about the Russians, not shoot them down.

robitsme -> BillyBitter 24 Nov 2015 17:23

Most states would show some restraint under the tinderbox circumstances. Erdogan is either completely insane, or he is playing a game, he as an agenda to provoke Russia in some way

rumelian -> JaneThomas 24 Nov 2015 17:21

You are right. Erdogan with his "conservative" comerades is rapidly and relentlessly ruining the the pillars of the secular Turkey for more than a decade, and for much of this time he was actively aided by the Western powers, frequently praized and portrayed as a "moderate" islamist and a reliable partner. The more power he gained, the more he showed his real nature.

Dreaming of becoming a "leader" of the muslim world (in the Middle East), countless times he showed his sympathy towards the fellow "islamists" in the whole region. USA and Western European leaders, still assume that Erdogan is better option than anyone else in Turkey, providing stability and a "buffer zone" to Europe, they ignore the fact, that Turkey was indeed a reliable partner for decades, when ruled by secular governments ,backed by a secular army, but now that's not the case. Western governments now don't know how to deal with it. When you look at the photos of the current Turkish ministers, and their wives (almost all are headscarved) you realize that they had nothing in common with millions of Turkish people who embraced Western lifestyle and customs. Ataturk has created a secular nation, suppressed these islamists almost a century ago for good, knowing their true nature, but now Turkey needs a new Ataturk-style leader to eradicate this pestilence. Until then, Turkey will not be a stable and reliable partner in the Middlle East.

Darook523 24 Nov 2015 17:20

Payback for the Russians bombing ISIS oil convoys? Would Turkey shoot down a Russian air force jet without the nod from allies? Situation getting very dangerous I would think.

vr13vr -> WarlockScott 24 Nov 2015 17:19

"the US could potentially extract a lot out of it "

It could but at the end of the day, can't and won't. The US is not going to split NATO so it will have to offer its support for Turkey. Nor can Europeans do much as they have this "refugees" problem to which Turkey hold the key. And even if something is extracted in return, at the end of the day, NATO and the US will be defacto protecting the islamists, which is Turkey's goal. You can say NATO and the US are fucked now because they will have to do what they didn't want to do at all.


PaniscusTroglodytes -> MrConservative2015 24 Nov 2015 17:18

NATO has had no legitimate purpose for 25 years now. Will this finally give the nudge to wind it up? One can but hope.

Yarkob -> Gglloowwiinngg 24 Nov 2015 17:17

The first reports said it was a Turkish F-16 with an AA missile. Some reports are still saying that. Damage limitation or diversion by Erdogan? The 10th Brigade Turkmen that Debka said carried out the attack are aligned with the US. That conveniently shifts the blame from Turkey back to the US by proxy. Back stabbing going on. Julius Ceasar shit going down I reckon

vgnych 24 Nov 2015 17:10

It is in West's interest that ISIS would spill into Russia one day and do the dirty job there for US and its associates. Syria and Asad has been just a dry run of the concept.

Putin must be seeing it very clear at this point.

Yarkob Gglloowwiinngg 24 Nov 2015 17:07

Attacking people parachuting from an aircraft in distress is a war crime under Protocol I in addition to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

LordJimbo 24 Nov 2015 17:06

From a Russian perspective the opening paragraphs of article speak for themselves. Russian entry into the 'game' meant Turkey became a second category power in a region they have sought to dominate, the strike is a sign of weakness and not strength and whoever sanctioned it (done so quickly you'd wonder if Ankara was aware) is an amateur player because it weakened Turkey and strengthened the Russian hand.


Gideon Mayre 24 Nov 2015 17:05

Of course Putin is right but he only tells part of the story. The main accomplice of terrorists and other non-existent so called "moderate" head-choppers is the United States, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel are merely facilitating this policy on behalf of the US and in accordance to their independent regional pursuits, that converge however on the removal of Assad and the use of ISIS as a proxy army to remove Assad.


Michael Cameron 24 Nov 2015 17:05

Events like today's become a useful window on an otherwise murky, indecipherable geopolitics. In the fraught aftermath of the Paris attacks, we should do our best to see ISIS for what they are and have always been: the entree to the main course proxy war between Russia and Western allied interests.

The idea they're an imminent threat and immediate concern of Cameron and co suddenly hoves into view as hogwash on stilts. Their grandstanding over bombing ISIS while at once supporting their biggest enabler (Can anyone doubt Turkey's laissez-faire stance?) makes sense as an admission of complete powerlessness to resolve an issue above his pay grade i.e. taking on Putin. The extent to which all of these actors are clueless is terrifying. Foreign policy operations as fitful and faltering as anything this side of the Christmas board game.

fantas1sta 24 Nov 2015 17:04

Turkey has been looking for reasons to invade Syria for a long time:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/europe/high-level-leaks-rattle-turkey-officials.html?_r=0

Artur Conka 24 Nov 2015 17:03

A quote from Erdoğan about todays events.

"The reason why worse incidents have not taken place in the past regarding Syria is the cool-headedness of Turkey," Erdoğan said. "Nobody should doubt that we made our best efforts to avoid this latest incident. But everyone should respect the right of Turkey to defend its borders."

The arrogance of this man is beyond belief, as Al Jazeera reported that the plane, believed to be a Russian-made Sukhoi Su-24, crashed in Syrian territory in Latakia's Yamadi village and NOT in Turkish Airspace. What I love about this statement is the "cool-headedness of Turkey".

What about the headless act of supporting ISIS, and what about the fact that Turkey has some of the worst crackdown of journalist and freedom of speech of any country. Far worse then China.

I truly don't understand how Nato and Turkey's allies support its actions, especially the US. Could someone please explain.

WarlockScott 24 Nov 2015 17:03

Turkey is kinda fucked now, the US could potentially extract a lot out of it in return for 'protection'... For instance stop murdering Kurds or cut off all ISIS links, hell maybe even both. There's no way Erdoğan can play Putin as the counterbalance card now.


arkob 24 Nov 2015 17:02

Methinks the wheels are falling off the Syrian project and there is a scramble for the door and people are getting stabbed in the back all over the shop.

Look at the leaks over the last few weeks implicating the US DoD, Turkey, France and soon the UK, now Obama is telling us his intel assessments were "tainted" *cough*

Today a Russian plane goes down and first of all it's Turkey's fault, but Turkey wouldn't have done that without explicit permission to do so from either NATO or the US, but then a few hours later as it all looks really bad for Turkey (and by association everyone else in the "coalition") it turns out to have been Turkmen, but which ones? There's two factions, one is a "rebel" group backed by the US, the other is a "terrorist" group (aligned with "ISIS") and backed by the US. They are both fighting Assad.

More to come in the next few days, I reckon.

Branislav Stosic 24 Nov 2015 17:01

Cards can definitely be open to see :who wisely silent is on the terrorists side( read USA) and who is really against. There wont be some of the current uncertainties and media acting in this struggle. I hope that at least the European countries together wake up their unhealthy slumber after the terrorist actions in the neighborhood and together, not only in words ,start to put out the source of the fire and of terrorism in which some cunning players constantly topping oil on the fire.

madtoothbrush -> QueenElizabeth 24 Nov 2015 17:00

It's a well known fact that Turkey purchases oil from ISIS occupied territory. Not to mention they bomb Kurds that are fighting ISIS.

Vizier 24 Nov 2015 16:56

Perhaps Russia would like to provide air cover to the Kurds who are under murderous assault by Turkey in their own country. Carving about 20% off Turkey would be a good start.

Gglloowwiinngg 24 Nov 2015 16:55

Senator John McCain can be thankful the North Vietnamese were not as bad as these Turkmen Turks. "Turkmen militiamen in Syria claimed to have shot the pilots as they descended on parachutes from the stricken Su-24 bomber." What the Turkmen brag about having done is something neither the North Vietnamese nor the actual Nazis would have condoned.

NezPerce 24 Nov 2015 16:55

By then, Isis had become a dominant presence in parts of north and east Syria.

This is the problem, Turkey is in a struggle with Iran and the Kurds. Assad is seen as the enemy because he is closer to Iran.

It should be remembered that the Turks see the Kurds as biggest the threat and ISIS as an ally and that the U.S. not Russia has been arming the Kurds. It looks as if the Turks also want to send a message to the US and Europe, a message via air to air missile.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/world/europe/despite-crackdown-path-to-join-isis-often-winds-through-porous-turkish-border.html?_r=0

The issue has highlighted the widening gulf between Turkey and its Western allies, who have frequently questioned why Turkey, a NATO member with a large military and well-regarded intelligence service, is not doing more to address the jihadist threat.
In recent testimony in Washington before Congress, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, was asked if he was optimistic that Turkey would do more in the fight against the Islamic State.

"No, I'm not," Mr. Clapper said in an unusually blunt public criticism. "I think Turkey has other priorities and other interests."

Georwell -> musterfritz 24 Nov 2015 16:54

nop, just an pair of fighters patrolling the zone 24/7 , since the radars told them the russians daily pattern on bombing the terrorists, AND an green-card to kill a russian plane on first occasion, even if that mind to (again) enter on syrian air space, for the matter. Fact is, the russian pilots do not believe the turks will really open fire - now they know - in the hard way; Was that an planed ambush ? I bet was.

Was a war crime to execute on mid-air the pilots descending on parachute ? Yes it was. Was a war crime to assault the body of the dead pilot ? (are several pictures on the net showing the pilot body stripped and pieces of flesh missing) - yes, was another war crime. All on the line of liver-eaters and "moderate" terrorists.

Maybe when those animals will target another EU capital the peoples will realize who its the true enemy here. For (to many..) bigots here the tragedy on Paris was not enough to bring them the the real picture.

Aneel Amdani -> musterfritz 24 Nov 2015 16:50

Russia did coordinate with other coalition members of US so I suppose Turkey should have been aware of this. F-16 should have bene in air and giving 10 warnings is utter nonsense. Russia has said no warning was given and their plane was in Syria territory. Turkey has a rule of engagement that their territory and threat are well in 5 km of Syria itself. So they take it as a threat. Turkey has gone nuts. they have first increased terrorism and now officially become the Air Force of SIIS. or more, they should have shown a response to Russians for busting more than 1000 oil tnakers that supply cheap oil to Turkey.

rumelian -> jonsid 24 Nov 2015 16:49

Surely, Russia will respond to that incident. I supposed it was not at all expected by Russians, and they will figure out a strategy on what kind of response it will be. I think too, that consequences for Turkey could be serious . But maybe it is a destiny for a country where almost half of the population votes for the corrupt, backward islamists, and their megalomaniac leader.

copyniated 24 Nov 2015 16:48

Let's assume that this lying ISIS loving terrorist, Erdogan, is speaking the truth. He says Russia has been attacking Syrian Turkoman who are defending their land.
One should ask this blood-thirsty ape this question: What then are Kurdish people in Turkey doing?

HuggieBear -> Mindmodic 24 Nov 2015 16:47

"I get the impression that a greater proportion of people in the US are blinded by patriotism" - patriotism would actually require disengaging with the mediaeval oil monarchies of the Middle East and butting out of the world's hot spots. Something Pat Buchanan has advocated for aged.

Aneel Amdani 24 Nov 2015 16:44

the residents of France and Belgium should ask their governments why did they let it to happen in the first place. ISIS was created by West and funded extensively by the Saudis, Turley and Qatar. US is not a kid that after spending more than a 100 billion on intelligence and CIA networks globally, never knew ISIS was getting rich. And now so when everyone knows Turkey buys cheap Oil from ISIS, why aren't they being sectioned or why individuals donating funds to these terrorists being sanctioned.

US is very prompt in going and sanctioning nations that are not with them, but they never sanction dictators like the kings and presidents that support terrorism. the blood of those who died in Paris and those all along since the war in Iraq are all to be blamed on these war hawks in west. If even now Paris cannot ask questions on their governments involvement in destabilizing Libya now, then I guess they will again see Paris happen again. West should be stopped from using the name of terrorism and a Muslim Jihad for their own strategic gains.

jmNZ -> earthboy 24 Nov 2015 16:38

That's the whole problem. The banksters and corporations that run the US have too much to lose in Saudi Arabia and the Persian gulf. And they want that pipeline from the Gulf to the Levant but Syria (with its secular ruler, hated by the jihadists) won't play ball with the banksters. Hence, with American corporations' blessing, Turkey and Arabia loose the Daesh on them . And al-Qeada and al-Nusra and all the other "moderate" rebels supplied with modern weapons by American arms corporations.


fantas1sta Roger -> Hudson 24 Nov 2015 16:36

Turkey has spent a lot of time and money to cultivate an image of itself as a modern, secular, democratic state - it is none of those. It's an ally of the US like Saudi Arabia is an ally of the US, it's a marriage of convenience, nothing else. The US knows that both countries fund terrorists, but they need some kind of presence in that region. The Turks and Saudis need a customer for their oil and someone to run to when they need their autocratic regimes propped up.

Roger Hudson 24 Nov 2015 16:29

Turkey buys ISIL oil.
Turkey helps foreign terrorists to get to ISIL.
Turkey attacks Kurds fighting ISIL.
Turkey facilitates the route of people including terrorists into Europe.
Turkey is run by a megalomaniac.
Turkey got into NATO as a US/CIA anti -Russian (USSR) puppet.
What the sort of corrupt people like Hammond think of their people, fools. Of course Turkey is on the 'wrong side'.

fantas1sta -> MaryMagdalane 24 Nov 2015 16:29

There's no reason for the US to directly antagonize one of the few countries in the world that has a military strong enough to enact its policy goals without the backing of another power - see Crimea. Why would Obama order a Russian plane to be shot down and then call for de-escalation?


jonsid Budovski -> Ximples 24 Nov 2015 16:28

They do have history;-
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/europe/high-level-leaks-rattle-turkey-officials.html?_r=0


altergeist Pupkin 24 Nov 2015 16:23


Erm on balance, yes. Empirically, provably more repugnant. Russia hasn't killed well over a million civilians since 2001, nor laid waste to an entire region, causing untold misery and suffering, screwing allies and enemies alike and helping (both by accident and design) the rise of ISIS. I'm no fan of Putin, and let's be honest, there's no nice people at that level in politics, but the US is far and away ahead of Russia on the dick-ometer these last 20-30 years.


Budovski Ximples 24 Nov 2015 16:23

Yes, of course he's right. What's wrong is that its taken journalists this long to even dare to look at the relationship between Turkey and Islamic State. Or specifically, Erdogan and Islamic State.

Turkey has been directly dealing with various terrorist groups in Syria, supplying weapons, fighters, intelligence and arms as well as buying massive amounts of oil from ISIS refineries (which Russia just pulverized).

They have left their borders open, allowing terrorists to go in and out of Syria as they please.

Their claims to be fighting ISIS are a joke. In their first week of 'fighting ISIS' they did 350 strikes on the Kurds and literally 1 on ISIS.

The terrorist attack by ISIS, aimed at Erdogans opponents, was timed so perfectly to help Sultan Erdogan get elected that I'd go as far as suspect direct Turkish intelligence involvement.

Bonnemort 24 Nov 2015 16:21

Turkey are complicit in terrorism, but then so are the Gulf States/Saudis/US and UK. They're just a bit closer and their hands a bit bloodier. Putin is correct,

Just think, only two years ago Cameron wanted us to join the Syrian civil war on ISIS' side.

And also think - Cameron and Boris Johnson want Turkey to be a full EU member as soon as possible.

Roger Hudson -> Samir Rai 24 Nov 2015 16:21

Turkey was let (pulled) into NATO during the cold war just so US missiles and spy bases could get up on the USSR border. Turkey was run by a military junta at that time.
Same old CIA/US nonsense.

Turkey should be kicked out of NATO and never be allowed near the EU.

photosymbiosis -> kahaal 24 Nov 2015 16:04

Ah, the oil smuggling route to Turkey runs right through a zone controlled by these 'moderates' - perhaps middlemen is a better word? - and so you can't really cut off the flow of oil out of ISIS areas without bombing those convoys even if they are under the temporary protection of "moderates" - so it looks like Turkish oil smugglers and their customers (Bilal Erdogan's shipping company? commodities brokers? other countries in the region?) are working hand in hand with ISIS and the moderates to deliver some $10 million a week to ISIS - and that's how terrorists in Brussels can establish safe houses, purchase weapons and explosives on the black market, and stage attacks - isn't it?

Alexander Hagen 24 Nov 2015 16:02

That is interesting that Erdogan and Assad were on good terms previously. That is hard to fathom. I cannot imagine two people with more differing world views. I did not meet a single Turk while travelling through Turkey that had a kind word about Erdogan, so elevating him to a higher level (mentor) might require some qualification. Though it is true the Turkish economy grew enormously under Erdogan, "The lights of free expression are going out one by one" - paraphrasing Churchill.

cop1nghagen 24 Nov 2015 16:01

"Turkish businessmen struck lucrative deals with Isis oil smugglers, adding at least $10m (£6.6m) per week to the terror group's coffers, and replacing the Syrian regime as its main client."

Why doesn't The Guardian grow a pair and investigate the role of Turkish President Erdogan in this illegal oil trade, specifically through his son Bilal Erdogan, whose shipping company (jointly owned with two of Erdogan's brothers) BMZ Group has a rapidly expanding fleet of oil tankers...

photosymbiosis 24 Nov 2015 16:01

Would anyone be surprised to find that the accomplices of ISIS in Turkey - i.e. the oil smugglers who operate with the full knowledge of the Turkish government - are also transferring cash on behalf of ISIS to their 'recruiters and activists' (aka: 'terrorists') in places like London, Paris, Brussels, etc.?

The lure of oil profits make relationships with terrorists very attractive, it seems - kind of like how Royal Dutch Shell and Standard Oil kept selling oil to the Nazi U-boat fleet right up to 1942, when the US Congress finally passed the Trading With The Enemy Act.

[Nov 25, 2015] Turkish military releases recording of warning to Russian jet

www.theguardian.com

Konstantin Murakhtin, a navigator who was rescued in a joint operation by Syrian and Russian commandos, told Russian media: "There were no warnings, either by radio or visually. There was no contact whatsoever."

He also denied entering Turkish airspace. "I could see perfectly on the map and on the ground where the border was and where we were. There was no danger of entering Turkey," he said.

The apparent hardening of both countries' versions of events came as Russian warplanes carried out heavy raids in Syria's northern Latakia province, where the plane came down. Tuesday's incident – the first time a Nato member state has shot down a Russian warplane since the Korean war – risks provoking a clash over the ongoing conflict in Syria, where Russia has intervened to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

... ... ...

Later, in a telephone call with John Kerry, the US secretary of state, Lavrov said Turkey's actions were a "gross violation" of an agreement between Moscow and Washington on air space safety over Syria. The state department said Kerry called for calm and more dialogue between Turkish and Russian officials.

... ... ...

Russian officials made it clear that despite the fury the reaction would be measured. There is no talk of a military response, and no suggestion that diplomatic relations could be cut or the Turkish ambassador expelled from Moscow. However, the tone of relations between the two countries is likely to change dramatically.

... ... ...

A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, hit out at the US state department official Mark Toner, who said the Turkmen fighters who shot the Russian airman as he parachuted to the ground could have been acting in self defence. "Remember these words, remember them forever. I will never forget them, I promise," Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

[Nov 25, 2015] The shooting down of a Russian jet tangles the diplomatic web still further

Notable quotes:
"... Recently, Moscow's rapprochement with the Syrian Kurds, the PYD, only added to the huge complexity of the situation. ..."
"... any solution of the Syrian conflict will be based on a precondition that the US and Russia put aside their differences, ..."
"... At least one good thing has come from all of this. At least it took Putin to be the first leader to openly say exactly what turkey actually is. A despicable, Islamist supporting vile wolf in Sheep's clothing. ..."
"... well , just think for a second .... all the image - they were shooting him while he was in the air , shouting "Allah Akbar " then they showed a photo with dead pilot , being proud of that ..... Those ppl are the "hope" for a Syria post-Assad....don't you feel that something is wrong here ? ..."
"... Also as soon as the noble Turkman started shooting at the pilot and navigator once they'd bailed out of the plane they showed themselves to be the terrorists they are. Playing "no prisoners" against Russia. ..."
"... At the G20 Antalya summit of Nov 15, Putin embarrassed Obama publicly showing satellite pictures of ridiculously long tanker lines waiting for weeks to load oil from ISIS, as the coalition spared them any trouble. "I've shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil," said Putin. ..."
"... So there you have it. For 15 months, the US didn't touch the oil trade that financed ISIS affairs, until Russia shamed them into it. Then, the mightiest army in the world bombs 400 trucks, while Russia destroys 1000. Then Russia provides videos of its airstrikes, while the US doesn't, and PBS is caught passing off Russian evidence as American. ..."
"... Of course Turkey did not need to down this jet: well planned and a clear provocation to start the propaganda war against Russia which actually wants to stop this war before a transition without a pre-planned (US) outcome. ..."
"... With Saudi and Turkish support for ISIS , just who have they bothered saving and sending out into Europe amongst their name taking and slaughters ? Wahabists? How many cells set up now globally? ..."
"... The turkmen are illegally staging war. Russia is the only country legally in Syria. That's why CIA, Saudi, Turk, Israel etc etc etc operate clandestine. But they all enjoy bombing hotheads. A pity so many of them think their brands of religion or old stories from centuries ago of enemies have any bearing today. Or perhaps they just believe rich mens newspapers and media too much. Maybe all their educations and futures were lost by gangsters that were funded and protected and given country ownership for oil and now forces clean up their centuries long mess for newer deals. ..."
"... I thought Russia was INVITED by the Syrian Gov. to assist them in eradicating ALL rebel factions including a bunch of Turkmen rebels funded by Erdogan. No others operating in Syria are legitimate. Any cowards shouting Allah uakbar and killing POWs should be eradicated ..."
"... According to the BBC the Turkmen fight with Al Nusra. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34910389 UN Resolution 2249 calls not only for action against IS but also Al Nusra and other AQ associated groups. ..."
"... I also know Turkey has been "laundering" ISIS oil from Syria and Iraq to the tune of $2 million/day. ..."
"... Well, a US Air Force has now also suggested that the Turkish shooting down of the Russian had to have been a pre-planned provocation. Also US officials have said it cannot be confirmed that the Russian jet incurred into Turkish territory. And of course there is the testimony of the Russian pilot. ..."
"... What ethnic cleansing??? Assad has a multi sect and multi ethnic government. Meanwhile western and Turkish backed jihadist have openly said they will massacre every last Kurd,Christian,Alawi and Druze in the country. ..."
"... Shooting down the Russian plane was Turkey's way of flexing its muscles. The murder of the pilot in the parashoot was a cowardly act. These are the people the US are backing. They can be added to Obama's list of most favored and join the ranks of the Saudis who behead and crucify protesters ..."
"... Erdogan is playing both NATO and Russia for fools. Trying to create a wedge and sabotage the restoration of stability in Syria. ..."
"... It is all a giant make-believe. They are only using ISIS as a pretext to occupy and breakup Syria. And Western populations swallow all these lies without blinking and feel victimized by refugees. ..."
"... Now, I'd bet that Putin has no plans to exacerbate the current situation by shooting down any Turkish jets out of revenge for yesterday's incident. But it will be unsettling for Turkish flyboys and their bosses to know that a good chunk of their a airspace is totally vulnerable and they fly there only because Russia lets them. ..."
"... it's astonishing how many of the Putin hating NATObots from the Ukrainian-themed CIF threads turn out to be ISIS supporters. ..."
"... indeed, with the "stench" of US grand mufti all over them.. How far do you think Obama will bow on his next visit to Saudi. ..."
"... Yup the FT estimated before the Russians got involved that ISIS were producing between 30,000 and 40,000 barrels of oil a day. You would need over 2000 full size road tankers just to move one days output. Now its fair to assume after filling up it takes more than a day before it gets back to the pump. Surprisingly the US has neither noticed all these tankers and even more surprisingly the oil tanks and installations. ..."
"... The whole regime change plan is hanging in the balance and every day Russia solidifies Assad's position. If this continues for even another month it will be virtually impossible for the Western alliance to demand the departure of Assad. ..."
"... Their bargaining position is diminishing by the day and it is great to watch. Also good to read that the Russians have been pounding the shi*e out of those Turkmen areas. Expect those silly buggers to be slaughtered whilst Erdogan and the Turks watch on helplessly. If they even try anything inside the Syrian border now the Russians will annihilate them. ..."
"... Erdogan's reaction to Syria shooting down a Turkish jet in 2012. "Erdogan criticized Syria harshly on Tuesday for shooting down the Turkish fighter jet, saying: "Even if the plane was in their airspace for a few seconds, that is no excuse to attack." "It was clear that this plane was not an aggressive plane. Still it was shot down," the corrupt ISIS supporting scumbag said" ..."
www.theguardian.com

The nervousness displayed by the AKP administration, in Ankara, has a lot to do with Turkey's Syria policy being in ever-growing disarray, and its failure to set priorities to help resolve the conflict. As the Syrian quagmire deepened, old anti-Kurdish fixations in Ankara came to the surface, and clashed with the priorities of its allies, centred on Isis. Ankara's blocking moves against the only combat force on ground, the PKK-YPG axis, has impeded the fight against jihadists, and its constant redrawing of red-lines (Kurds, Turkmens, no-fly zone, Assad gone etc) may have been frustrating the White House, but does not seem to affect Moscow. Recently, Moscow's rapprochement with the Syrian Kurds, the PYD, only added to the huge complexity of the situation.

In the recent G20 summit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was once more keen to underline that "terror has no religion and there should be no our terrorist and your terrorist"

... ... ...

So, the tension now rises between one determined and one undecided, conflicted player – one lucid on strategy, the other lacking it. If any, the lesson to be drawn from this showdown is this: any solution of the Syrian conflict will be based on a precondition that the US and Russia put aside their differences, agree in principle on the future of the region, build a joint intelligence gathering and coordinated battle scheme against jihadists, and demand utter clarity of the positions of their myopic, egocentric allies. Unless they do so, more complications, and risks beyond turf wars will be knocking at the door

Eugenios -> André De Koning 25 Nov 2015 23:24

Assad is targeted because it is a necessary prelude to an attack on Iran. Pepe Escobar called that long ago. What is sought is a Syria in the imperialist orbit or in chaos.

Attack on Iran by whom--you ask? Actually several in cahoots, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, et al.

Lyigushka -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 23:22

BBC maps show ISIS controlled territory only a few miles from the Turkmen area where the shooting down took place.
Your not very good at this are you
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27838034

Lyigushka -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 23:11

A brief search on the internet shows many items referring to Turkish support for IS.

Now the SAA with Russian support is on the border dealing with the jihadist Turkmen, Turkey's duplicity is in danger of being revealed .

Hence the impotent rage and desperate pleas for support to its other US coalition partners and the strange reluctance of the complicit western MSM to fully reveal the lies and double standards of the western allies in this foul business.

Only the other day a US TV program was trying to con its viewers that the US was bombing ISIS oil trucks, with video from a Russian airstrike.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/11/pbs-uses-russian-airstrike-videos-to-claim-us-airstrike-successes.html

James H McDougall 25 Nov 2015 23:09

At least one good thing has come from all of this. At least it took Putin to be the first leader to openly say exactly what turkey actually is. A despicable, Islamist supporting vile wolf in Sheep's clothing. Who else was buying ISIS oil....the tooth fairy ? Never in my life did I think I'd be defending the red team yet here I am.

AtelierEclatPekin -> murati 25 Nov 2015 23:06

well , just think for a second .... all the image - they were shooting him while he was in the air , shouting "Allah Akbar " then they showed a photo with dead pilot , being proud of that ..... Those ppl are the "hope" for a Syria post-Assad....don't you feel that something is wrong here ?

Shankman -> ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 23:02

He was awfully quick to accept Turkey's version of events.

As for his Nobel "Peace" Prize, Alfred Nobel is probably still turning in his grave.

Lyigushka -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 23:02

Of course Turkey supports ISIS and has done for all its existence as part of an opposition to its main enemies, Assad and the Kurds.

A brief search of the internet provides countless articles on this without even having to quote Russian sources. Examples
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/research-paper-isis-turke_b_6128950.html
http://www.infowars.com/former-nato-commander-turkey-is-supporting-isis/

iusedtopost 25 Nov 2015 23:01

.....and the censors are out again.....SHAME on you Guardian.

I say again.....MSM now referring to "Turkmen" like they are cuddly toys FFS

They are head chopping....moon howling....islamo-terrorists.

Russia has the right idea....kill the lot them

ianhassall -> ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 22:56

Also as soon as the noble Turkman started shooting at the pilot and navigator once they'd bailed out of the plane they showed themselves to be the terrorists they are. Playing "no prisoners" against Russia.

And as for the US - they can bomb a Medicin sans Frontiers field hospital in Afghanistan for 37 minutes and the best excuse they come out with is "the plane's email stopped working, it didn't know where the target was, they didn't know where they were, so they just attacked something that looked like". So much for US military's navigation abilities.

NikLot -> LordMurphy 25 Nov 2015 22:44

Dear Lord, where did I defend it?!! How do you read that?!!! Of course it is appalling!!!

I wanted to point out that the 'good terrorist' Turkmen militia or whoever else did it would have done the same to NATO pilots and that the story should be explored from that angle too. Statement by Turkey's PM today, if true, confirms my concern:

"Davutoglu told his party's lawmakers on Wednesday that Turkey didn't know the nationality of the plane that was brought down on Tuesday until Moscow announced it was Russian."

ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 22:38

Its amazing that NATO have been bombing ISIS for 2 years and did very little to halt its progress.

Russia's been doing it for a month and have bombed ISIS, the military supplies NATO have been giving ISIS, and the illegal oil racket that Turkey's been running with ISIS - all at a fraction of the cost that's going into supporting ISIS and other Syrian terrorist groups.

I can see why Turkey's upset. Also anyone who thinks Turkey shot down this plane without the approval of NATO and Obama is kidding themselves. Obama has blood up to his armpits with what's been going on in Syria, despite his Peace Prize credentials.


luella zarf -> ArundelXVI 25 Nov 2015 22:28

OK I did some research and I was somewhat wrong, Russia did initiate the bombing of the oil delivery system, but at the G20 summit. This is the actual chronology:

At the G20 Antalya summit of Nov 15, Putin embarrassed Obama publicly showing satellite pictures of ridiculously long tanker lines waiting for weeks to load oil from ISIS, as the coalition spared them any trouble. "I've shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil," said Putin.

The next day, on Nov 16, the US bombed a truck assembly for the first time in the history of the coalition and then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers. In the meantime, Russia carried on its own airstrike campaign, destroying more than 1,000 tankers and a refinery in a period of just five days, and posting video footage of the airstrikes.

Because the US never made available any recordings, on Nov 19 PBS used footage of Russian fighter jets bombing an oil storage facility and passed it off as evidence of the US hits. The Moon of Alabama website was the first to notice. On Nov 23, a second American air raid claimed to have destroyed 283 oil tankers.

So there you have it. For 15 months, the US didn't touch the oil trade that financed ISIS affairs, until Russia shamed them into it. Then, the mightiest army in the world bombs 400 trucks, while Russia destroys 1000. Then Russia provides videos of its airstrikes, while the US doesn't, and PBS is caught passing off Russian evidence as American.

idkak -> John Smith 25 Nov 2015 22:17

Currently 18 aircraft are patrolling the area on a daily basis, they must have misread the memo.... Downing a Turkish plane over Turkish soil, or attacking a NATO aircraft on mission in Syria within the alliance that is currently bombing ISIS or other terrorist variants... won't be favorable for Russia or their forces in Syria. Even without NATO, Turkey has a very large military and the location we are talking about is about 2-5 minutes to bomb, and 1-2 minutes to intercept.. so the attack would be about the same level of strategic stupidity as attacking Russia from the Ukraine.

André De Koning -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 22:16

How naive: downing a jet who fights al-Nusra. Of course Turkey has supported terrorist there for a long time and left the border between Turkey and Syria porous, so the proxy war can be fought against Assad (just one man (?) always features in the multi-factorial warfare, which is easy on the ears of simpletons). There were already plans in 1957 and more modern ones in the US to ruin Syria and take the land and resources and use it for the oil pipelines from Saudi to Turkey (Assad did not sign off in 2009, so war was bound to happen).

André De Koning 25 Nov 2015 22:11

Imagine a US fighter being shot down? From the beginning of the war Russia and Syria said there were not just peaceful demonstrators, but people who were shooting and grew into ISIS and Al-Nusra and al-Qaeda. This did not fit the western propaganda and the Divide and Ruin policy (title of Dan Glazebrook's recent book of articles) which is that Syria was a on the Ruin-map for a long time. Turkey's Erdogan is intellectually an Islamist and together with Saudi they and the terrorists are fighting this proxy war the US can hardly afford.

In 7 weeks Russia destroyed more of ISIS infrastructure and oil tankers than the US did in a year (the superpower has managed to make ISIS increase seven-fold). The only objective is one man: Assad and the ruin of Syria to be 'rebuilt' (plundered) by western investments and domination of the entire region of the Middle East. The rest is lies to prop up propaganda and doing as if they bring democracy (like the West does in Saudi?! the biggest friend and weapons buyer. Just like Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, which did not play ball, it will be destroyed by the West. It gets harder with Russia actually wishing to stop the proxy war: Syria itself deciding what their future will be? No way as far as US and UK are concerned (and the weak EU following with their businessmen contingent to reap the benefits). Absolutely disgusting that the people have to suffer it.

Of course Turkey did not need to down this jet: well planned and a clear provocation to start the propaganda war against Russia which actually wants to stop this war before a transition without a pre-planned (US) outcome.

EightEyedSpy -> Eugenios 25 Nov 2015 21:59

Meanwhile, Turkey just gave the Russians a no-fly zone--against Turks.

Not true - unless Russia intends to breach the resolution unanimously passed by the UN Security Council authorising all member nations to fight against ISIS on territory controlled by ISIS in Syria.

Pursuant to the Security Council resolution, which Russia voted for, all member nations have the legal right to use Syrian airspace and traverse Syrian territory for the purpose of fighting ISIS in Syria.

If Russia attempts to impose a no-fly zone against Turkey in Syria, Russia will violate the Security Council resolution ...

btt1943 25 Nov 2015 21:59

Forget about whether Russian jet has infiltrated Turkey's airspace or not as claimed by one and denied by other, the bottom line is Turkey has been wanting to play a big and decisive role in Syrian conflict and ISIS's rise. Ankara does not wish to see Russian's growing influence and intervention in the messy region.


Jimmi Cbreeze -> Normin 25 Nov 2015 21:49

With Saudi and Turkish support for ISIS , just who have they bothered saving and sending out into Europe amongst their name taking and slaughters ? Wahabists? How many cells set up now globally?


Jimmi Cbreeze EightEyedSpy 25 Nov 2015 21:17

The turkmen are illegally staging war. Russia is the only country legally in Syria. That's why CIA, Saudi, Turk, Israel etc etc etc operate clandestine. But they all enjoy bombing hotheads. A pity so many of them think their brands of religion or old stories from centuries ago of enemies have any bearing today. Or perhaps they just believe rich mens newspapers and media too much. Maybe all their educations and futures were lost by gangsters that were funded and protected and given country ownership for oil and now forces clean up their centuries long mess for newer deals.

And then you have the Murdochs and the Rothchilds and the arms industries.

Because where the people are'nt divided by cunning for profit, they are too lunatic and gangster minded to live in peace with each other anyway.
The whole matter is a multi joint taskforce of opportunism. And wealth is going for broke stamping and taking as much corporate ground as possible worldwide.

What chance is there of calling peace? Where and when are all these lunatics going to live in peace and constructively? How would they with half the the globe shitstirring and funding trouble amongst them for profit and gain?

Turkey has attacked Russia on Syrian soil and Russia is the only country legally at arms in Syria. Makes you wonder that Turkey does'nt like Turkmen or consider them a problem. That they provoke getting them wiped out of Syria. How could Assad or anyone govern getting undermined from a dozen directions.

Who knows, the place is a mess. It's no use preaching peace inside the turmoil. It has to come from outside and above. But it appears with this lot-what peace ever.

Bosula trandq 25 Nov 2015 21:07

Since you can't or don't bother to actually read the Guardian or other papers you probably missed that UN Resolution 2249 calls not only for action against IS but also Al Nusra and other AQ associated groups in Syria. The Syrian Free Army is linked with these groups, particularly Al Nusra.

Now you have learned something.


Eugenios 25 Nov 2015 21:04

It seems more likely than not that the Russians will make an effort to capture and try the moderate terrorists who shot the Russian pilot parachuting. It is a war crime after all. The old Soviets would have dispensed with such niceties as trials, but the RF is more legalistic. Nicely enough the moderate terrorists identified themselves on video, don't you know?

There may also be several legal cases brought against Erdogan and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkey just gave the Russians a no-fly zone--against Turks.


ozhellene -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 20:57

I thought Russia was INVITED by the Syrian Gov. to assist them in eradicating ALL rebel factions including a bunch of Turkmen rebels funded by Erdogan. No others operating in Syria are legitimate. Any cowards shouting Allah uakbar and killing POWs should be eradicated


luella zarf -> ArundelXVI 25 Nov 2015 20:54

US air strikes destroys 283 oil tankers used for smuggling to fund terror group. You were saying? I don't know why some people around here just feel free to make things up.

Give us a break. The US hit ISIS oil tanks 6 full days after Russia released footage which showed its fighter jets targeting 200 oil trucks and a refinery. In 15 months of bombing ISIS, there were no American airstrikes on oil tanks until Russia came along and showed them how it's done. Even PBS pointed out when reporting the attack "For the first time, the US is attacking oil delivery trucks."

ozhellene 25 Nov 2015 20:35

will this be a "turkey shoot"? Big mistake Mr Erdogan! You just condemned you Turkmen buddies to be bombed by the Russian bears.
Turkey will never avoid the Kurdish finally taking back their rightful lands, stolen during the Ottoman rule.
Never forget that Kurds make up a lot of your population.....waiting for the right moment...

WalterCronkiteBot 25 Nov 2015 20:32

According to the BBC the Turkmen fight with Al Nusra. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34910389 UN Resolution 2249 calls not only for action against IS but also Al Nusra and other AQ associated groups.

These guys advertise and run jihadist training camps for children. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/09/uighur-jihadist-group-in-syria-advertises-little-jihadists.php

They might not be explicitly AQ affiliated or Al Nusra itself but they share similar doctrines and fight together. Attacking them may not be by the word of the resolution but its certainly in the spirit of it.


ianhassall -> ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 20:13

Whether I think the Turkman should be wiped out is generally irrelevent.

I just know in the past 24 hours I've seen Turkey shoot down a Russian plane over Syria to defend the Turkmen. I also saw the Turkmen shooting at 2 Russian pilots why they attempted to parachute to safety, and one was killed. And I've seen the Turkmen fire a Saudi Arabia-supplied TOW missile at a Russian rescue helicopter, destroying it and killing two pilots.

I also know Turkey has been "laundering" ISIS oil from Syria and Iraq to the tune of $2 million/day.

You reap what you sow.

nnedjo 25 Nov 2015 19:49

In the recent G20 summit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was once more keen to underline that "terror has no religion and there should be no our terrorist and your terrorist".

Yes, just when Erdogan says this, he thinks only on the Kurds, and wonder why the rest of the world considers the Kurds as freedom fighters, and only Turkey considers them as [its] terrorists.

However, the main message of this article is correct. In order to achieve peace in the Middle East, first the rest of the world must come to terms. The divisions in the world, inherited from the times of the Cold War were reflected also on the Islamic world, and so deepened or even provoked a new sectarian Sunni-Shia divisions and conflicts. So although it's "a chronic disease", it is fallen now into an acute phase in Syria and Iraq. And the urgency of the case requires that really has to come to some deal, primarily between the US and Russia, that it could reach the end of the civil war in Syria, but also in Iraq, because it's all inter-connected. Otherwise, this problem will become even more complicated and prolonged, with unforeseeable consequences.

Eugenios 25 Nov 2015 19:58

Well, a US Air Force has now also suggested that the Turkish shooting down of the Russian had to have been a pre-planned provocation. Also US officials have said it cannot be confirmed that the Russian jet incurred into Turkish territory. And of course there is the testimony of the Russian pilot. No doubt the Guardian will be covering these points, yes?

ianhassall -> EightEyedSpy 25 Nov 2015 19:47

Yes, I know. Why shouldn't Turkey defend terrorits and shoot down a Russian jet while its flying missions in Syria and not incur any wrath.

Russians have been fighting Islamic extremists for a bit longer than the West, who have generally only ever funded or armed them. I'd believe Putin 99 times out of a 100 before I'd believe Obama once.

illbthr22 -> EightEyedSpy 25 Nov 2015 19:21

What ethnic cleansing??? Assad has a multi sect and multi ethnic government. Meanwhile western and Turkish backed jihadist have openly said they will massacre every last Kurd,Christian,Alawi and Druze in the country.

Andrew Nichols -> Jeremn 25 Nov 2015 19:14

We don't have a clear, clear understanding of everything that happened today, okay? I've said that and I can keep saying it all day. We're still trying to determine what happened. It's easy to rush to judgments and to make proclamations and declarations after an incident like this.

Which is exactly what the US did - by supporting Turkeys side of the story. Dont you wish the journalist would point this out?

Cecile_Trib -> Spiffey 25 Nov 2015 19:12

Turkmen terrorists backed by Turkey (now from the air) are there not to fight with Assad but to wipe out Kurds in this region - Edorgan's sweet dream to get the political weight back.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/08/12/world/middleeast/turkey-kurds-isis.html?_r=0

spitthedog -> centerline 25 Nov 2015 18:43

Amazing how Russia attacking the ISIS oil operation can suddenly embarrass the Yanks into doing the obvious. Why didn't they do it before? If ISIS and their FSA buddies loses they can't get rid of Assad for Bibi, simples. The good old FSA, chanting Jihad and carrying white on black Al Qaeda flags. We have an interesting idea of what "moderate" is. Then again Blair was a moderate and he.... ummm....errrr....oops!

luella zarf -> TheOutsider79 25 Nov 2015 18:38

are France the only honest brokers in all of this, the only ones actually doing what they say they are doing - targeting ISIS

No, of course not. It's all spin. France, which was Syria's colonial master, is hoping to regain some of its former influence. ISIS is just a pretext, and they really have no incentive of destroying their only justification for being there in the first place.

When France launched its first airstrikes in Sep, Reuters wrote: "Paris has become alarmed by the possibility of France being sidelined in negotiations to reach a political solution in Syria. A French diplomatic source said Paris needed to be one of the "hitters" in Syria - those taking direct military action - to legitimately take part in any negotiations for a political solution to the conflict."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/27/us-mideast-crisis-france-syria-idUSKCN0RR07Y20150927

This is why they are participating - to get a seat at the table when the great powers break up Syria and hand out land rights for pipelines to big oil.

SallyWa -> HHeLiBe 25 Nov 2015 18:46

Turkey has no interest in the peaceful settlement to the conflict in Syria that world powers are negotiating. As it gets desperate, Turkey will attempt to bring focus back on the Assad regime and reverse the losses it has made both in Syria and geopolitically.


SallyWa -> FelixFeline 25 Nov 2015 18:45

Really? I guess I'll have to take your word for that.

Really. That's sort of your issue, not mine.

Do you have any links to support your claims about these lost ISIS territories?

For example http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/12/russian-airstrikes-support-syrian-troops-to-push-back-rebels-in-strategic-town
Article tried to call ISIS as rebels, though, it happens sometimes as those are always "good terrorists" or just "rebels" if they do what we need, like in this case if they are anti-Assad .


midnightschild10 25 Nov 2015 18:33

Although there has been a war of words between Greece and Turkey, with Turkey charging the Greeks with invading its air space, Turkey has yet to fire on a Greek plane. The turkmen are considered "moderates, and the US arm them to fight the Assad government. Shooting down the Russian plane was Turkey's way of flexing its muscles. The murder of the pilot in the parashoot was a cowardly act. These are the people the US are backing. They can be added to Obama's list of most favored and join the ranks of the Saudis who behead and crucify protesters, one upmanship over ISIS gruesome beheadings, and of course there is alSiSi, who executes all opposition. Petroshenko, wants to freeze the people of Crimea, and has over 6500 Ukrainian deaths notched on his belt since Nuland and Obama gave him the keys to Kiev.

Turkey feels feisty right now, but he obviously isn't aware of the talk coming from Washington about dividing up Syria among four leaders like they did to Berlin.

Turkey will have no part to play, and the US really wants to keep Russia out of the picture. They blame Assad for ISIS but the vacuum left by the US and the coalition left in Iraq is what gave birth to ISIS. Easy to depose governments, and then let chaos reign. Since Obama keeps bringing up the right of a sovereign nation to protect its borders, he should realize that the Syrian government never invited the US onto its soil. The Turkmen through their actions have shown they are terrorists, and Russia will treat them accordingly.

HHeLiBe 25 Nov 2015 18:32

Erdogan is playing both NATO and Russia for fools. Trying to create a wedge and sabotage the restoration of stability in Syria.

Branko Dodig 25 Nov 2015 18:26

The Russian plane was shot over Syrian airspace. Even if it had strayed over Turkish airspace, it was not shot down there. Basically, an act of revenge for bombing their "rebel" buddies.

SallyWa -> FelixFeline 25 Nov 2015 18:24

It is "Turkey screwed up and overreacted". Not confusing at all.

SallyWa -> FelixFeline 25 Nov 2015 18:23

Sorry, but I'm not Russian and also where have you been - Russia has been fighting ISIS in Syria better than US/coalition, though US/coalition did it like for a whole year.The result is that ISIS lost territories which it gained under US's "watch".

centerline 25 Nov 2015 18:12

Since the G20 meeting, Russia has photographed and destroyed the Turkish/ISIS oil convoys.

In the day or so since Turkey shot down the Russian plane in defence of al Qaeda, Russia has for the first time attacked a Turkish logistics convoy to ISIS and al Qaeda right at the main border crossing to Allepo. A number of trucks destroyed and 7 killed in that operation. turkey will pay dearly in the days to come, without Russia ever having to move into Turkish territory.

Any Turks running errands for AQ and ISIS within Syria will now be an endangered species. Or more to the point they will simply be eradicated like the vermin they are.

luella zarf -> TonyBlunt 25 Nov 2015 18:10

What a joke.

In one year of bombing, August 2014-July 2015, the coalition conducted 44,000 airstrikes in Syria-Iraq and killed 15,000 ISIS fighters, which comes at 3 sorties per terrorist!

It is all a giant make-believe. They are only using ISIS as a pretext to occupy and breakup Syria. And Western populations swallow all these lies without blinking and feel victimized by refugees.


pfox33 25 Nov 2015 17:49

The US and Israel were totally freaking when Russia first considered selling Iran S-300 systems, even though they're defensive. It would have taken the feasibility of bombing Iran's nuclear infrastructure to an unknown place. Russia sold these systems to select customers, like China. The S-400 is not for sale. Any search of Youtube will explain why.

When the S-400 is set up around Latakia they will effectively own the surrounding skies for 400 miles in every direction. That extends well into Turkey.

Now, I'd bet that Putin has no plans to exacerbate the current situation by shooting down any Turkish jets out of revenge for yesterday's incident. But it will be unsettling for Turkish flyboys and their bosses to know that a good chunk of their a airspace is totally vulnerable and they fly there only because Russia lets them.

So maybe the Turks pissed in the pickles. This little problem is keeping the Nato nabobs up at night. They haven't said a fucking word.


Geraldine Baxter -> SallyWa 25 Nov 2015 17:47

it's astonishing how many of the Putin hating NATObots from the Ukrainian-themed CIF threads turn out to be ISIS supporters.

indeed, with the "stench" of US grand mufti all over them.. How far do you think Obama will bow on his next visit to Saudi.


Liesandstats -> luella zarf 25 Nov 2015 17:47

Yup the FT estimated before the Russians got involved that ISIS were producing between 30,000 and 40,000 barrels of oil a day. You would need over 2000 full size road tankers just to move one days output. Now its fair to assume after filling up it takes more than a day before it gets back to the pump. Surprisingly the US has neither noticed all these tankers and even more surprisingly the oil tanks and installations.

jonsid 25 Nov 2015 17:33

An article about Syria is now infested with Banderites. They need to worry more about their own long-time disaster of a country instead of stalking every article mentioning Russia.

Anette Mor 25 Nov 2015 17:29

Russians spent all this time signing the rules of engagement and recognition of each other air crafts over Syria with the US, only to be shot by Turkey. Does NATO even exist as a unit other than in the headquarter offices? They constantly refer to the terms which could allegedly force then to support each other in case of external threat, while clearly they will fuck each other on technicalities for years before doing anything practically viable. Russia waste their time talking to NATO, instead had to bribe Turkey separately into a workable local deal. I am sure Turkey got just the same conclusion after wasting time in NATO talks. Corruption and complicity eaten away common sense in western politician and military heads. They only think how weak or strong they would look imitating one or another decision.

aretheymyfeet -> psygone 25 Nov 2015 17:22

Hilarious, checkmate Putin? The only reason the Turks took this drastic action is because the Western alliance has lost the initiative in Syria and they are desperately trying to goad Russia into overreacting. But, as we have seen time and again from the Russians (Lavrov is an incredibly impressive Statesman) that they are cool headed, and restrained.

The whole regime change plan is hanging in the balance and every day Russia solidifies Assad's position. If this continues for even another month it will be virtually impossible for the Western alliance to demand the departure of Assad.

Their bargaining position is diminishing by the day and it is great to watch. Also good to read that the Russians have been pounding the shi*e out of those Turkmen areas. Expect those silly buggers to be slaughtered whilst Erdogan and the Turks watch on helplessly. If they even try anything inside the Syrian border now the Russians will annihilate them. I'd say if anything, the Turks have strengthened the Russians providing them with the perfect excuse to close the Syrian air space to "unfriendly" forces. Check.


thatshowitgoes 25 Nov 2015 16:56

Erdogan's reaction to Syria shooting down a Turkish jet in 2012. "Erdogan criticized Syria harshly on Tuesday for shooting down the Turkish fighter jet, saying: "Even if the plane was in their airspace for a few seconds, that is no excuse to attack." "It was clear that this plane was not an aggressive plane. Still it was shot down," the corrupt ISIS supporting scumbag said"

SallyWa -> psygone 25 Nov 2015 16:56

means he's politically impotent, militarily boxed in a corner and incompetent for self-inflicting

You know you just described Obama and all his policies in a nutshell.

Bob Nassh -> keepithuman 25 Nov 2015 16:54

I believe there's conditions within the NATO treaty that prevent them from defending another member nation providing the conflict was instigated by war crimes committed by the member nation.


MRModeratedModerate 25 Nov 2015 16:50

But of course Turkey was exposed last year...Yet our governments continue to ignore and cover.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/research-paper-isis-turke_b_6128950.html?ir=Australia

luella zarf Jeremn 25 Nov 2015 16:45

The US doesn't bomb ISIS, only pretends it does. Actually nobody bombs ISIS there except Russia.

Only between August 2014 and July 2015 the coalition aircraft have flown nearly 44,000 sorties, according to USNews, and Airwars said the strikes have killed more than 15,000 Islamic State militants during this period.

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/07/21/stealthy-jet-ensures-other-war-fighting-aircraft-survive

So they needed 3 sorties per terrorist! I have no idea how they manage to be this ineffective unless a) they are world's worst airforce b) it's all make-believe. My money is on option b).

Yury Kobyzev -> Valois1588 25 Nov 2015 16:41

Now fact - turkey government is on ISIS side. Its simplifies situation. Russia now quite free to clean the Turkey border from interface with ISIS. It's half a job in fight.

I don't see why Russia can be damaged by so stupid current west policy. I think that clever part of west will change policy towards Russia in near future and will find there friends as it was during ww2. You can repeat mantra Pu... tin as I use Ooom ... but is he of your level?

Chummy15 25 Nov 2015 16:30

Turkey has made it pretty clear where its primary loyalties lie, with ISIS and the other anti-Assad elements. It was a foolish move shooting down the Russian plane which clearly was no threat to the security of Turkey whether or not it had violated Turkish airspace, something that happen around the world regularly. It adds a further dimension to an already complicated war

[Nov 25, 2015] Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey accomplices of terrorists ?

Notable quotes:
"... You have to laugh when you hear Erdogan and that puppy he's got for a Prime Minister solemnly saying that their airspace is sacrosanct and that they would never do the same to another sovereign nation. Yet, every week or so Turkish jets violate Greek airspace over the Aegean. And their jets don't stay for 30 seconds either. Personally I wouldn't believe anything that the Turks say about this incident. ..."
"... Bravo. Pumping out endless western propaganda for the moronic. The Americans and NATO are the biggest warmongers in history: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/.../turkey-has-destroyed.../ ..."
"... Erdogan is a bad guy, who receives western political cover due to Turkey's NATO membership. ..."
"... According to Seymour Hersch it was Turkey that was behind the Ghouta gas attack (well it certainly wasn't Assad). There was also a plan to attack a Turkish shrine inside Syria to be used as a pretext for a full invasion. The video clip is available on youtube. In the recording you can hear the defence minister and the head of intelligence discussing the plan, agreeing to do it, even though they don't like the idea, while lamenting the fact that everything is politics in modern Turkey. Nobody ever talks about this. Erdogan's response to this was to shut down Youtube for a day. ..."
"... ISIS fighters move in and out of Turkey with ease, receive medical treatment there and selling their oil at very competitive prices to people close to the Erdogan regime. Because NATO have gone along with Turkey in the "Assad must go" mantra they've been stuck covering up for his antics. But shooting down a Russian jet that clearly wasn't threatening Turkey was extremely reckless - maybe regime change in Ankara may be on the cards. ..."
"... "Over the past two years several senior Isis members have told the Guardian that Turkey preferred to stay out of their way and rarely tackled them directly." ..."
"... Martin Chulov is certainly not biased in his reporting in favour of Russia or against Turkey. He has reported mostly in favour of the rebels in Syria and only recently realised what the outcome of all this is. ..."
"... His facts about the ISIS-Turkish connection are not imagination presented against reason. Isis i.e. was free to attack the Kurds inside Turkey and the government did nothing to stop them, even when they knew about them very well. ..."
"... Believing that Erdogan, whose country's human rights record is pretty unenviable (in particular with regard to journalists), fell out with Assad because he was appalled by the latter's repression is like believing that Mussolini's decision to aid Franco in the Spanish Civil War was largely motivated by his horror at the bad behaviour of Spanish Anarchists and Communists. ..."
"... Turkey is a conduit, the Turkish presidents son is buying the oil from ISIS, just like US Vice President Joe Bidens son joined the board of Ukraines largest Gas producer after Nato expanded into the Ukraine. ..."
"... Was the downing of the jet by Turkey a tit for tat exercise as Russia destroyed some of the hundreds of lorry oil tankers parked up in ISIS territory heading for Turkey 6 days ago? ..."
"... Al Qaeda was created and used by the usa to do terror on Russia. No reason tho think things have changed, when clearly they have not. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, all have fallen....more to come. There is no "wondering" at all about the orogon an dpurpose of the ISIS when they admit they are al qaeda re packaged ...When the US admits al qaeda has melded into the ISIS. ..."
"... Terrorists in the middle east are a western supported geo-political tool to allow us to bomb, invade, destabilizen and balkanize soverign nations who refuse globalist ideology and orders. ..."
"... All a bit too convenient with the film crew at the ready. Clearly Erdogan is looking to further his agenda and set his sights on expanding Turkey's borders and it looks as though he's using NATO's protection to do it. ..."
"... It's ironic that NATO affords Turkey so much protection given that Turkey funds ISIS, it trades with them, it allows IS fighters free travel across Turkish borders and it also fights IS enemies for them - the Kurds. Outside of the Gulf, Turkey is the jihadist's biggest ally. ..."
"... Well, at least we have seen that those K-36 ejection seats do work; they have reportedly never failed. Of course Turkey, and Western Europe for that matter, has been playing a double game. Just like in Afghanistan in the 1980s, they prefer the acid-throwers and head-choppers to a Russian-backed secular regime. ..."
"... Even the Western MSM has openly reported about and from the staging areas in Turkey, where the jihadists gather before entering Syria. The US-lead "coalition" is now boasting about bombing ISIL oil convoys, but where has it been for the past few years? Everybody with a single functioning grey cell knows that Turkey is involved in the ISIS oil smuggling business and allowing the jihadist to train on its territory. ..."
"... The Turkmen who Turkey is protecting have been attacking Kurds. The Turks have been bombing the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS. ..."
"... The Turks have been buying ISIS' oil and giving other funding. Weapons funded by Gulf States have almost certainly been crossing the Turkish border for ISIS. It is suspected the Turkey has been providing a safe haven for ISIS fighters. Tens of thousands have crossed Turkeys borders to join rebel groups, the chances that some of them have not joined ISIS is nil. ..."
"... Lest anyone forget, Al Qaeda are themselves have orchestrated huge scale terrorist attacks. But becausing they are fighting Assad in Syria, who is hated by the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel, unquestioned or criticised almost regardless what they do by the West allies of the West, apparently Al Qaeda are now fine. ..."
"... I wonder if the leaders of NATO were involved in anyway at all??? ..."
"... And - does this lend weight to those who have shown that ISIS is a result of the Libyan, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and that they are mercenaries who have formed an insurgency within Syria for a regime change? A war crime, definitely against international law. ..."
"... In the warnings at no point do the turks actually say the russians are in turkish airspace, just that they are heading towards it; they also do not threaten to fire upon the Russians like the RAF do over here when they issue a warning. Normally the defending plane would come alongside the transgressor to escort them out the airspace, here they just just shoot at the russians without issuing a warning. It also appears that there just so happened to be a tv crew there perfectly poised to film it - what a coincidence. There is no way we are getting dragged into a war over this. ..."
"... The whole rotten scam is coming undone. No one believes the mainstream media any more. I skip the articles and go straight to the comments. That's where you find out what's really going on. Thank you for all the insightful comments. The truth will set us free ..."
"... 'It is in West's interest that ISIS would spill into Russia one day and do the dirty job there for US and its associates.' ..."
"... Oh, and the "rebels" shooting the pilots as they made their descent is a war crime. ..."
"... "Turkey said one of its US-made F-16 fighters fired on the Russian plane when it entered Turkish airspace after having been warned on its approach to the Turkish border through a 13-mile no-fly zone inside Syria it had declared in July." ..."
"... By what right does Turkey declare a 13 mile no fly zone inside Syria? This is clearly grounds for believing that the Russian jet was in fact shot down over Syria and not Turkey. ..."
"... Turkey has overplayed its hand and Erdogan's strategy and tactics in respect of Syria are now in tatters. NATO will be scrambling to put the frighteners on Erdogan who is clearly a loose cannon and totally out of his depth. ..."
"... Quite interestingly, yesterday, Russians claimed that in the past two previous days they have made 472 attacks on oil infrastructure and oil-trucks controlled by ISIS, which is obviously the right thing to do if you want to derange their sources of financing - but, apparently, the 'training partners' of ISIS are reacting... ..."
"... Russia was invited into support Assad by Syrias leader whether we or Nato like it or not. Turkey France and US were not. Turkeys Air force will have to watch itself now as I suspect Russia will deploy fighter aircraft to protect there bombers and the Kurds. As for the original question I think Putin may be right and Turks do have a foot in both camps. Nato should be very aware of the consequences of playing the whose to blame game when the stakes are so high. ..."
"... So, Turkey downs a Russian bomber and immediately runs to its daddies ?!?! C'mon! What a joke!! ..."
"... Concerns continued to grow in intelligence circles that the links eclipsed the mantra that "my enemy's enemy is my friend" and could no longer be explained away as an alliance of convenience. Those fears grew in May this year after a US special forces raid in eastern Syria, which killed the Isis official responsible for the oil trade, Abu Sayyaf. A trawl through Sayyaf's compound uncovered hard drives that detailed connections between senior Isis figures and some Turkish officials. Missives were sent to Washington and London warning that the discovery had "urgent policy implications". ..."
"... Payback for the Russians bombing ISIS oil convoys? Would Turkey shoot down a Russian air force jet without the nod from allies? Situation getting very dangerous I would think. ..."
"... "the US could potentially extract a lot out of it " ..."
"... And even if something is extracted in return, at the end of the day, NATO and the US will be defacto protecting the islamists, which is Turkey's goal. You can say NATO and the US are fucked now because they will have to do what they didn't want to do at all. ..."
"... Attacking people parachuting from an aircraft in distress is a war crime under Protocol I in addition to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. ..."
"... From a Russian perspective the opening paragraphs of article speak for themselves. Russian entry into the 'game' meant Turkey became a second category power in a region they have sought to dominate, the strike is a sign of weakness and not strength and whoever sanctioned it (done so quickly you'd wonder if Ankara was aware) is an amateur player because it weakened Turkey and strengthened the Russian hand. ..."
"... Of course Putin is right but he only tells part of the story. The main accomplice of terrorists and other non-existent so called "moderate" head-choppers is the United States, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel are merely facilitating this policy on behalf of the US and in accordance to their independent regional pursuits, that converge however on the removal of Assad and the use of ISIS as a proxy army to remove Assad. ..."
"... Events like today's become a useful window on an otherwise murky, indecipherable geopolitics. In the fraught aftermath of the Paris attacks, we should do our best to see ISIS for what they are and have always been: the entree to the main course proxy war between Russia and Western allied interests. ..."
"... Today a Russian plane goes down and first of all it's Turkey's fault, but Turkey wouldn't have done that without explicit permission to do so from either NATO or the US, but then a few hours later as it all looks really bad for Turkey (and by association everyone else in the "coalition") it turns out to have been Turkmen, but which ones? There's two factions, one is a "rebel" group backed by the US, the other is a "terrorist" group (aligned with "ISIS") and backed by the US. They are both fighting Assad. ..."
"... Senator John McCain can be thankful the North Vietnamese were not as bad as these Turkmen Turks. "Turkmen militiamen in Syria claimed to have shot the pilots as they descended on parachutes from the stricken Su-24 bomber." What the Turkmen brag about having done is something neither the North Vietnamese nor the actual Nazis would have condoned. ..."
"... Let's assume that this lying ISIS loving terrorist, Erdogan, is speaking the truth. He says Russia has been attacking Syrian Turkoman who are defending their land. One should ask this blood-thirsty ape this question: What then are Kurdish people in Turkey doing? ..."
"... That's the whole problem. The banksters and corporations that run the US have too much to lose in Saudi Arabia and the Persian gulf. And they want that pipeline from the Gulf to the Levant but Syria (with its secular ruler, hated by the jihadists) won't play ball with the banksters. Hence, with American corporations' blessing, Turkey and Arabia loose the Daesh on them . And al-Qeada and al-Nusra and all the other "moderate" rebels supplied with modern weapons by American arms corporations. ..."
"... "Turkish businessmen struck lucrative deals with Isis oil smugglers, adding at least $10m (£6.6m) per week to the terror group's coffers, and replacing the Syrian regime as its main client." ..."
"... Why doesn't The Guardian grow a pair and investigate the role of Turkish President Erdogan in this illegal oil trade, specifically through his son Bilal Erdogan, whose shipping company (jointly owned with two of Erdogan's brothers) BMZ Group has a rapidly expanding fleet of oil tankers... ..."
www.theguardian.com

The relationship hinted at by Russian leader after warplane was shot down is a complex one, and includes links between senior Isis figures and Turkish officials

Wirplit 24 Nov 2015 20:43

Turkey under Erdogan is turning out to be a real problem for the West. Supporting Isis and other jihadist groups and attacking the Kurds. Maybe now the Russians will support the PKK. Tragedy for the liberal Turks that Erdogan won


Phil Atkinson moreblingplease 24 Nov 2015 19:57

The evidence is out there if you want to look for it. Erdogan's son runs a shipping company that transports - guess what? Oil.

Alexander Marne 24 Nov 2015 19:53

It is an obvious attempt of Turkey trying to make the European+American+Christian Civilization wage war against Russia with the NATO war pact argument. NATO at these times is the perfect ingredient needed for a Christian Winter, having Christian Nations disobey the whims of a secular NATO alliance that has everything bus dissolved since the Iron Curtain fell. We all know the radical Muslims and their cousins are our enemy now, not the Soviet WARSAW pact which NATO was created to defend against. NATO members that go to war against Russia would risk internal revolution lead by the Majority Christian Population that has grown evermore dissatisfied of their Frankenstein Secular Ethic governments and sellout leadership.

hfakos Fiddle 24 Nov 2015 19:51

No Russian gas pipeline and, thus transit fees, to Hungary either. Germany shut down SouthStream, only to sign a deal with evil Putin to double the capacity of NorthStream. Who wouldn't love an EU like that? We are all equal, but Germany and Western Europe are more equal than others.

Phil Atkinson -> marph70 24 Nov 2015 19:50

Agreed. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) is a misnomer, given its current membership (28 countries). NATO was formed by 12 countries in 1949 and today, is a tool for encirclement of Russia.

yianni 24 Nov 2015 19:47

You have to laugh when you hear Erdogan and that puppy he's got for a Prime Minister solemnly saying that their airspace is sacrosanct and that they would never do the same to another sovereign nation. Yet, every week or so Turkish jets violate Greek airspace over the Aegean. And their jets don't stay for 30 seconds either. Personally I wouldn't believe anything that the Turks say about this incident.

somethingbrite -> KevinKeegansYfronts 24 Nov 2015 19:46

I think we can probably ask that chap in his semi in Coventry where ISIS plan to attack next...the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is it? The man seems to have a hotline to Raqqa and every other ISIS held territory.

That said....the Guardian doesn't appear to have quoted him for a week or so....

Have they been unable to reach him since Paris?

Is he on the run? Hiding out in Belgium maybe?

SystemD 24 Nov 2015 19:40

I listened to Ashdown on Today yesterday. His comments about links between Gulf states and the Tories were extremely interesting and unexpected. The same questions should be asked regarding Turkey. Why has the report about the funding of jihadism in the UK not been published?

Phil Atkinson -> GemmaBlueSkySeas 24 Nov 2015 19:38

Would Turkey have shot down the SU-24 if Turkey wasn't a NATO member? Think on it.

camerashy -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:31

Yeah right, that's the western propaganda machine for you. They were saying the same thing last year ... Only misguided minds believe such nonsense!

Neutronstar7 -> Adrian Rides 24 Nov 2015 19:31

Bravo. Pumping out endless western propaganda for the moronic. The Americans and NATO are the biggest warmongers in history: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/.../turkey-has-destroyed.../

I cannot believe it, but I feel ashamed of my own country and all the other western governments and our proxy's involved in this vile conspiracy. Blow us up, we deserve it.

WankSalad 24 Nov 2015 19:30

All of this should just make us more furious about the Paris attacks.

The attackers; ISIS, are quite literally being armed, supported and facilitated by our "friends and allies" Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Meanwhile Turkey directs it's fire at the Kurds - a group of moderate Muslims and secularists who have only ever wanted independent statehood - whom we are supposed to be helping fight ISIS.

Saudi Arabia has also been quite clearly the source of most of the extremist Islamism that has repeatedly attacked our civil societies. They have funded and set up Islamist mosques all throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Are we really getting good value out of our relationships with these nations?

^Our leaders refuse to say any of this openly. It's infuriating. Sooner or later something has to give.

Omniscience -> James Brown 24 Nov 2015 19:30

How can a dictator, who took over from his father (a dictator) be called a legitimate government ? Even by a Russian...

hfakos -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:28

Sounds like everyday Western duplicity. Car bombs and suicide bombers are fine as long as they only target Damascus. But when the people the West has nurtured attack Paris, the world ends.

camerashy -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:27

You're such a feeble minded person! At least Puting didn't sell $hitloads of arms to Saudi Arabia enabling them to support and nurture Isis. Look in the mirror once in a while, will ya ...

camerashy 24 Nov 2015 19:19

There's nothing to worry about here ... Putin is one cool customer, he'll have his revenge when time is right, and it'll be nothing like a Cameroneasque thoughtless, hurried, knee jerk reaction. Turkey on its own wouldn't dare do anything like they've done, they're just being manipulated by NATO warmongers who are desperate to justify their existence.

DrKropotkin 24 Nov 2015 19:17

Erdogan is a bad guy, who receives western political cover due to Turkey's NATO membership. But he has strayed very far from the path of sanity and I think NATO will soon start looking for ways to get rid of him.

According to Seymour Hersch it was Turkey that was behind the Ghouta gas attack (well it certainly wasn't Assad). There was also a plan to attack a Turkish shrine inside Syria to be used as a pretext for a full invasion. The video clip is available on youtube. In the recording you can hear the defence minister and the head of intelligence discussing the plan, agreeing to do it, even though they don't like the idea, while lamenting the fact that everything is politics in modern Turkey. Nobody ever talks about this. Erdogan's response to this was to shut down Youtube for a day.

ISIS fighters move in and out of Turkey with ease, receive medical treatment there and selling their oil at very competitive prices to people close to the Erdogan regime. Because NATO have gone along with Turkey in the "Assad must go" mantra they've been stuck covering up for his antics. But shooting down a Russian jet that clearly wasn't threatening Turkey was extremely reckless - maybe regime change in Ankara may be on the cards.

KevinKeegans -> Yfronts 24 Nov 2015 19:17

"Over the past two years several senior Isis members have told the Guardian that Turkey preferred to stay out of their way and rarely tackled them directly."

So people in the Guardian are in contact with "senior" members of Isis? Was it a meeting over tea and scones? Perhaps you could stop being their mouthpiece and ask them which public area they intend to blow up next. After that you could give the authorities their contact details so that they can solve this issue quickly. That would be most helpful. Of course you might lose a couple of years worth of potential headlines.

moria50 -> Rubear13 24 Nov 2015 19:14

ISIS started back in 2009.Jordan has a Centcom underground training centre, and 2,000 US special Forces came to train them.Gen Dempsey oversaw this training camp.

Jordanian special forces were instructors along with the US.

James Brown 24 Nov 2015 19:10

Four years of providing money, transport, training, air and artillery cover against legitimate Syrian government forces to terrorists and Guardian asks this question? Turkey = #1 supporter of Islamic terrorism. Open your damn eyes.

hfakos -> Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 19:09

Given that ISIS was created with significant Western help, why would Putin do anything about it? He finally acted when the head-choppers got totally out of control and started to threaten Russia too. The downing of the Russian airliner, the several failed terror attacks in France, and the Paris massacre should have opened your eyes.

NATO has an abysmal foreign policy record. In a mere decade they managed to turn Europe into a place where one has to fear going to the Christmas market. Well done, "winners" of the Cold War.

pdutchman -> PMWIPN 24 Nov 2015 19:07

Martin Chulov is certainly not biased in his reporting in favour of Russia or against Turkey. He has reported mostly in favour of the rebels in Syria and only recently realised what the outcome of all this is.

His facts about the ISIS-Turkish connection are not imagination presented against reason. Isis i.e. was free to attack the Kurds inside Turkey and the government did nothing to stop them, even when they knew about them very well.

Once you see what is going on and what the results are, you have to consider the possibility Europe is threatened by fundamentalists, also inside Turkey and Turkish government.

Just read the political program of grand vizier Davutoğlu, or the speeches of Erdoğan on the glorious pas of the Ottoman empire when he visits former territory.

His vision is one of a regional Islamic state run by Turkey, that would be a superpower.

He detests western democracy and 'European' western humanitarian values and has not made a secret of this. He is a convinced islamist and his support for ISIS and Al Nusra has sadly enough been very successful.

elvis99 -> tr1ck5t3r 24 Nov 2015 19:06

I agree. Its all about the oil.
Not only that there is a huge fracking industry at risk. It costs approx. $80 a barrel to produce and it selling approx.$50 at present. They are running at a loss as most finance for these enterprises were secured when it was $120 a barrel. Yellen could not afford to raise interest rates as it would crush a fossil fuel industry within the USA. Get the war machine moving though and watch the price climb and save that profit margin

hfakos -> kohamase 24 Nov 2015 19:01

It's mostly the Western establishment, not the people. Hungary is not the West but we are in the EU and unfortunately NATO as well, and the vast majority of the population supports Russia on this imho. Russia made the mistake of trusting the West under Yeltsin. What you have to understand, and Putin has got it I think, is that Western Europe has a paranoid obsession to bring Russia to its knees. It's been like this for centuries, just think about how many times the civilized West has invaded your country. And old habits die hard. They prefer head-choppers and acid-throwers to having a mutually beneficial civilized relationship with Russia. But you are not alone, Eastern Europe, although formally in the EU, is also looked down upon by the West.

ID9793630 24 Nov 2015 19:01

It's possible Erdogan is rattled at the possibility that the Russians might be about to pull off a secretive realignment of external participants against ISIS - the possibility of unstated coordination between American, Russian and French armed actions in the air and on the ground, with various local allies - and this incident shooting down the jet, created for the cameras, is also intended to overturn that potential applecart.

underbussen -> DenisOgur 24 Nov 2015 19:00

Yeah, so what then, countries violate others airspace all the time - we don't see them downing each others aircraft do we? Maybe sometimes it happens, this is action by Turkey is outrageous, and very, very aggressive. Turkey will pay, one way or the other, lets see if that gas price goes up and now might they fare should they loose it?

Angelis Dania 24 Nov 2015 18:55

"The influx has offered fertile ground to allies of Assad who, well before a Turkish jet shot down a Russian fighter on Tuesday, had enabled, or even supported Isis. Vladimir Putin's reference to Turkey as "accomplices of terrorists" is likely to resonate even among some of Ankara's backers."

Assad's allies enabled and supported ISIS? Such an embarrassing thing to say.

"Assad, who had, until his brutal response to pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011, been a friend of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. "After that he became an enemy," said one western official. "Erdoğan had tried to mentor Assad. But after the crackdown [on demonstrations] he felt insulted by him. And we are where we are today."

Armed infiltrators in the protest groups fired first at police according to numerous eyewitnesses. How poor a journalist do you have to be to continue to write articles on the basis of widely debunked allegations? Lol, "Erdoğan tried to mentor President Bashar Al-Assad". What on Earth would motivate you to even quote that? Like an inferiority-complex ridden backwards terrorist supporter like Erdoğan can approach the sagacity and popularity of Dr. Bashar Al-Assad.

MelRoy coolGran 24 Nov 2015 18:55

He did use his spy power to find out the source of Isis funding and was told the funding was coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.


hfakos Gaudd80 24 Nov 2015 18:53

Because we, our governments that is, are not serious about tackling Islamist extremism. Scoring points against Russia is still the main motivation of the West. This strategy had a low cost for the West in 1980s far-away Afghanistan. But Syria is in our neighborhood and the world has become much more open. The yanks can still play this nasty game without repercussions, because they are an island protected by two oceans. But it's a mystery to me why Europeans are stupid enough to favor the nearby chaos of the head-choppers to secular regimes. ME oil and gas could be replaced to a large extent by Russia, but this again would go against the paranoid Western desire to see that crumble. So you see France, the UK, and the US bombing ISIS with one hand and giving it money through Saudi and Qatar with the other. It's insanity.

NotWithoutMyMonkey 24 Nov 2015 18:45

This is all you need to know:

Vice President Joe Biden stated that US key allies in the Middle East were behind nurturing ISIS

MelRoy 24 Nov 2015 18:43

Yes, I'm afraid he's right.

The problem is, nobody else is able to say it, because the Obama and Cameron administrations are up to their necks in it. They knew that Turkey was responsible for the gas attacks on civilians in Syria. They know (who doesn't?) that the Turks are killing the people who are fighting terrorists inside Syria. They know that the money, the weapons and the foreign fighters are being funnelled into Syria through Turkey, with the Turkish government's not just knowledge, but cooperation and even facilitation.

They can't say it, because over and over again they have bald-faced lied to the public. They can't say that the "good guys" in the fight against Isil are not just the Kurds, but the Iranians, Hezbollah, Assad and the Russians - our supposed "enemies", and the "bad guys" are the ones we are sending all the money and munitions to - our supposed "allies".

tr1ck5t3r northsylvania 24 Nov 2015 18:41

Oil.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Without oil, the Western economies would crash, we are so dependent on it, but the US military are the biggest dependents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_usage_of_the_United_States_military
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174810/

the Pentagon might consume as much as 340,000 barrels (14 million gallons) every day. This is greater than the total national consumption of Sweden or Switzerland.

Take away the oil and you will see the US military industrial complex die on its knees.

salfraser 24 Nov 2015 18:40

It would be as well to understand the ultimate motives of the current day Saladin. Look what was said in May this year.
27th. May 2015 : President Erdogan And The Prime Minister Of The Turkey Dovotogolu Just Made This Declaration To The Entire Islamic World:
'We Will Gather Together Kurds And Arabs, And All Of The Muslim World, And Invade Jerusalem, And Create A One World Islamic Empire' By Allah's will, Jerusalem belongs to the Kurds, the Turks, the Arabs, and to all Muslims. And as our forefathers fought side by side at Gallipoli, and just as our forefathers went together to liberate Jerusalem with Saladin, we will march together on the same path [to liberate Jerusalem]."

Erdogan and Dovutoglu at their speech in which they spoke of the revival of the Ottoman Empire and the conquest of Jerusalem The amazing speeches by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu were given at the inauguration ceremony at the country's 55th airport in Yuksekova district of southeastern border province of Hakkari, in which they made an entire declaration to the Islamic world, on their desire to conquer Jerusalem and form a universal Islamic empire.

Looks like our American friends are about to create yet another conflict of interest!


Rubear13 Omniscience 24 Nov 2015 18:39

ISIS was created in 2013-2014 and proclaimed itself chalifate after taking much territory in 2014. During this year russian had a lot of problems with crisis, civil war and ~2-3 millions of refugeers from Ukraine. And he did much. Both in terms of weapons and policy.
By the way, Assad was actually winning war during 2012-2013 before creation of ISIS in Iraq.


RudolphS 24 Nov 2015 18:37

So the jet flew allegedly for 17 seconds in Turkish airspace. As Channel 4 News' international editor Lindsey Hilsum accurately asked today 'How come a Turkish TV crew was in the right place, filming in the right direction as a Russian plane was shot down? Lucky? Or tipped off?'

R. Ben Madison -> leonzos 24 Nov 2015 18:35

I suspect that Erdoğan switched sides when the West began to look like it was going to impose 'regime change' on Syria and wanted to be on the winning side. It took a herculean, bipartisan effort here in the US to keep Obama from obtaining Congressional support for a war on Syria. At the time, I (and many others) condemned the normally warmongering Republicans for tying the president's hands purely out of hypocritical spite, but the Democrats were against it too and the whole effort collapsed.

Having taken an early lead in the "get rid of Assad" race, Erdoğan seems to have had the rug pulled out from under him. Sorry for the mixed metaphor.


johnmichaelmcdermott -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 18:33

How about evidence such as an article from the notorious 'troofer' site, The Jerusalem Post, quoting that other infamous conspiracy site, The Wall Street Journal?

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Report-Israel-treating-al-Qaida-fighters-wounded-in-Syria-civil-war-393862


Robert Bowen -> hfakos 24 Nov 2015 18:31

Gladio B.
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/whos-afraid-of-sibel-edmonds/


Celtiberico 24 Nov 2015 18:27

"Erdoğan had tried to mentor Assad. But after the crackdown [on demonstrations] he felt insulted by him. And we are where we are today."

Believing that Erdogan, whose country's human rights record is pretty unenviable (in particular with regard to journalists), fell out with Assad because he was appalled by the latter's repression is like believing that Mussolini's decision to aid Franco in the Spanish Civil War was largely motivated by his horror at the bad behaviour of Spanish Anarchists and Communists.


tr1ck5t3r 24 Nov 2015 18:25

Turkey is a conduit, the Turkish presidents son is buying the oil from ISIS, just like US Vice President Joe Bidens son joined the board of Ukraines largest Gas producer after Nato expanded into the Ukraine.

Was the downing of the jet by Turkey a tit for tat exercise as Russia destroyed some of the hundreds of lorry oil tankers parked up in ISIS territory heading for Turkey 6 days ago?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6oHbrF8ADs

Theres a pattern here.

Likewise Russia have released their version of events regarding the shot down jets route, claiming it didnt enter Turkish airspace.

Whats interesting is this Russian data was released at 8pm UK time, and yet the British press are still running with the rhetoric from this morning, where at 4am UK time a Russia jet was shot down according to Reuters..

So it would seem the UK press are sitting on this latest inconvenient news, perhaps trying to come up with a way to spin it or waiting for the UK Govt to advise how to spin it if its even to be mentioned so the Govt looks innocent in the eyes of the electorate.

Whilst the availability of data from Turkey was very quickly made available, perhaps it was fabricated and released too quickly in order to maintain momentum with todays news agenda?

All the while GCHQ and NSA sock puppets & other Nato countries flood various media outlets comments sections to drown out critical analysis.

I wonder if I'll be approached by more US and UK military personal "unofficially" whilst out walking the dog in Thetford forest, and be spoken to?

Its interesting watching the news from other countries, certainly watching Russia Today and their spin is interesting.

I can only conclude there will be another massive financial crisis coming for one or more countries, so in order to divert the masses a war is needed, as wars always boost economies.


Hyperion6 -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 18:24

Sensible people would realise that only one of ISIS and Assad can be brought to the negotiating table. Sensible people would realise that Turkey is playing the same duplicitous game that Pakistan played, namely supporting the most despicable fundamentalists while being an 'ally' of the West.

Frodo baggins -> Gaudd80 24 Nov 2015 18:24

Al Qaeda was created and used by the usa to do terror on Russia. No reason tho think things have changed, when clearly they have not. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, all have fallen....more to come. There is no "wondering" at all about the orogon an dpurpose of the ISIS when they admit they are al qaeda re packaged ...When the US admits al qaeda has melded into the ISIS.

Terrorists in the middle east are a western supported geo-political tool to allow us to bomb, invade, destabilizen and balkanize soverign nations who refuse globalist ideology and orders.

Jan Burton 24 Nov 2015 18:23

Cut the bullshit.

Turkey is little more than an ISIS and al Qaeda support base, and now they're even providing an Air Force.

Get these scumbags out of NATO now

kohamase 24 Nov 2015 18:19

I don't understand you western guys. Am Russian and not a big fun of Putin but in this situation Russia fights terrorists , same people who organized massacre in Paris . Why , why shoot them down??? What is the meaning of this ? We can disagree on many questions but we should agree on One : ISIS must GO !!! If you don't want to do it then at list don't stand on our way cleaning up the mess you've created!!!


Tiberius2 24 Nov 2015 18:17

Crystal clear, the Turks are profiteering from stolen oil, the whole Turkish establishment is involved on this corrupted trade namely : border guards, police and the military, all of them being involved, plus business men with political connections .

ISIS get also weapons and training, Jihadist from the world over, gets red carpet treatment and supply with passports.

The Jihadist can travel unmolested, to and from Syria via Turkey in order to carry out atrocities like Paris and Tunisia.

The West looks the other way to this situation and try to ignore it ,until it gets hit in the hearth, like Paris.

fantas1sta -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 18:17

Oh, I do think Russia was wrong to send troops into Crimea, but I also think the west was wrong to back the coup against Ukraine's democratically elected government. NATO gambled that they could interfere in Ukraine and lost, now they know that Putin is difficult to intimidate and that Russia defends its sphere of influence like the US defends its own. All powers are hypocrites, such is the nature of their global interests, but Turkey are both hypocrites and cowards, shooting down a plane and then hiding their heads under Uncle Sam's sweater.

grish2 Tommy Thrillbigger 24 Nov 2015 18:16

Majority of people in Europe support the Russians. The governments are making excuses for the turks. And the turks are with the head choppers.

theoldmanfromusa -> ID9309755 24 Nov 2015 18:15

You have a strange opinion of the situation. The major problem is that the ruling classes (politicians, imams, etc.) use the most inflammatory rhetoric to stir up the population (most of it) that is not intellectual and/or clever. These intellectual/clever types can then make obscene profits from their rabble rousing.

Apollonian 24 Nov 2015 18:12

All a bit too convenient with the film crew at the ready. Clearly Erdogan is looking to further his agenda and set his sights on expanding Turkey's borders and it looks as though he's using NATO's protection to do it.

It's ironic that NATO affords Turkey so much protection given that Turkey funds ISIS, it trades with them, it allows IS fighters free travel across Turkish borders and it also fights IS enemies for them - the Kurds. Outside of the Gulf, Turkey is the jihadist's biggest ally.

Gaudd80 24 Nov 2015 18:11

If we are really serious about tackling Islamic extremists, then why is it that we are allied those states directly aiding them? Cameron is demanding the right to bomb Syria, while at the same time he's grovelling to the Saudis, crawling to the Gulf States and defending Erdogan. Hammond nearly bust a blood vessel when Skinner said what everyone knows. The whole thing is an utter sham, you have to wonder if ISIS and the other extremist groups aren't actually hugely convenient for some.

ElDanielfire -> Canuckistan 24 Nov 2015 18:05

Yes the Saudi's created ISIS. but the west helped build them up thinking they were something else because the west kept their fingers in their ears because they had a gard -on for yet anotehr regime change in the middle east, despite none of the previous ones (Afghan, Iraq, Libya) having worked and become hell for the citixens of those countries. Also the west always let Saudi and Qutar get awya with anything, even if they fund groups who attack western citizens. It's tragic.

hfakos 24 Nov 2015 18:04

Well, at least we have seen that those K-36 ejection seats do work; they have reportedly never failed. Of course Turkey, and Western Europe for that matter, has been playing a double game. Just like in Afghanistan in the 1980s, they prefer the acid-throwers and head-choppers to a Russian-backed secular regime.

Even the Western MSM has openly reported about and from the staging areas in Turkey, where the jihadists gather before entering Syria. The US-lead "coalition" is now boasting about bombing ISIL oil convoys, but where has it been for the past few years? Everybody with a single functioning grey cell knows that Turkey is involved in the ISIS oil smuggling business and allowing the jihadist to train on its territory.

But Western Europe is complicit too. With all the spying reported by Snowden how is it impossible to prevent thousands of European citizens from traveling to Turkey and onward to Syria and getting radicalized? It is obvious that we have turned a blind eye to the jihadi tourism. Funny that only after the Paris attacks did Hollande and co. start to take this constant flow of Europeans into Syria seriously.

NATO says, two minutes after this incident, that Turkey is right and its airspace has been violated. But all powerful NATO countries cannot track the returning jihadists and the mastermind of the Paris attacks has just been reported to have mingled with Paris policemen after the Bataclan massacre. And one guy is still on the run. The first chickens have come home to roost and there will be more to follow. The West has been playing with fire and will get burned. This is a much more global world with open borders than what we had in the 1980s, when NATO was supporting the Bin Ladens and Gulbudding Hekmatyars in Afghanistan. These jihadists will cause more havoc in Europe for certain. And Russia is more right again than NATO, when it comes to jihadists in Syria.

ID9309755 24 Nov 2015 18:04

Turkey's territorial expansionist ambitions have backfired, just as the ambitions of their Islamism has. The emperor has no clothes and yet it's difficult to deal with this maniac Erdog effendy who is pushing Turkey towards chaos internally and internationally... A country which has intellectuals and clever people has fallen under the power of a group of thugs, the story of the region.

i_pray thinkorswim 24 Nov 2015 18:03

One actually feels sorry for Putin. He is bound by a Treaty he signed along time ago with Assad. He is doing what he is obliged to do under that Treaty and at
the same time he is helping to destroy ISIS.

Then he is attacked up by Turkey a member of NATO, who are supposedly also committed to destroying ISIS .

If I were Putin, I would just walk away and leave the West to sort the mess out . I am sure that Russia feels that it has already lost too many lives.


Wehadonebutitbroke -> Roland Paterson-Jones 24 Nov 2015 18:00

Erm, yes. The Turkmen who Turkey is protecting have been attacking Kurds. The Turks have been bombing the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS.

The Turks have been buying ISIS' oil and giving other funding. Weapons funded by Gulf States have almost certainly been crossing the Turkish border for ISIS. It is suspected the Turkey has been providing a safe haven for ISIS fighters. Tens of thousands have crossed Turkeys borders to join rebel groups, the chances that some of them have not joined ISIS is nil.

Many of the 'moderate' rebels are Al Qaeda by another name or Al Qaeda affiliates. The Turkmen are Al Qaeda affiliates. The line between Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria is vague and has been crossed both ways on numerous occasions.

Lest anyone forget, Al Qaeda are themselves have orchestrated huge scale terrorist attacks. But becausing they are fighting Assad in Syria, who is hated by the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel, unquestioned or criticised almost regardless what they do by the West allies of the West, apparently Al Qaeda are now fine.

anewdawn 24 Nov 2015 18:00

I wonder if the leaders of NATO were involved in anyway at all???

And - does this lend weight to those who have shown that ISIS is a result of the Libyan, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and that they are mercenaries who have formed an insurgency within Syria for a regime change? A war crime, definitely against international law.


Roland Paterson-Jones 24 Nov 2015 17:56

Dudes, Turkey is losing some valuable oil supply due to Russia's 'indiscriminate' bombing of ISIS oil-field territory.

Turkey has some real-politik collateral in the form of 'refugees' to mainland Europe. So Turkey, politically, is in a strong position - EU is shoving money towards them.

Will NATO stand behind Turkey's real-politik?

twosocks 24 Nov 2015 17:54

Just watched the videos and listened to the turkish warnings. The SU24 appears to have been heading south as requested by the turks and in syria when it was hit. It also looks like the turks entered Syrian airspace before they fired on the Russians - just like the 1000+ times they have entered greek airspace in the last year, including one time with 8 planes at the same time.

In the warnings at no point do the turks actually say the russians are in turkish airspace, just that they are heading towards it; they also do not threaten to fire upon the Russians like the RAF do over here when they issue a warning. Normally the defending plane would come alongside the transgressor to escort them out the airspace, here they just just shoot at the russians without issuing a warning. It also appears that there just so happened to be a tv crew there perfectly poised to film it - what a coincidence. There is no way we are getting dragged into a war over this.

Adrian Rides 24 Nov 2015 17:54

The whole rotten scam is coming undone. No one believes the mainstream media any more. I skip the articles and go straight to the comments. That's where you find out what's really going on. Thank you for all the insightful comments. The truth will set us free

rumelian -> kmw2402 24 Nov 2015 17:49

YES, and the lesson for the West should be: Please stop supporting Erdogan and his fellow islamists. Watching events for a decade and praising the relentless efforts of a single party and it's (now former) leader to suppress secular Turks and eroding the pillars of the secular Turkish Republic, in the name of stability in the region, you actually create much instability and threat, both for the region, and for Europe. Squeeze down these so called "moderate" islamists, and with real pro-European Turks taking lead again, you will not have unexpected and complicated acts from Turkey .

thorella -> BigNowitzki 24 Nov 2015 17:48

'It is in West's interest that ISIS would spill into Russia one day and do the dirty job there for US and its associates.'

Totally logical

jaybee2 24 Nov 2015 17:46

Well said Pres Putin and hats off to Denis Skinner in parliament!

Turkey is a disgrace and should be booted out of NATO.

It bombs the Kurds fighting lsis barbarians, buys oil from lsis, protects anti Assad terrorists from the Syrian army, helps finance various 'moderate' terrorists as to its shame does this Tory government!

As the 'heir to Blair' Cameron is drooling at the thought of joining in on the bloodlust!

Thank you Mr Skinner, and Hammond, what a silly man!


MatthewH1 24 Nov 2015 17:46

Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey 'accomplices of terrorists'?

Yes.

Oh, and the "rebels" shooting the pilots as they made their descent is a war crime.

quaidesbrumes 24 Nov 2015 17:43

Guardian reports:

"Turkey said one of its US-made F-16 fighters fired on the Russian plane when it entered Turkish airspace after having been warned on its approach to the Turkish border through a 13-mile no-fly zone inside Syria it had declared in July."

By what right does Turkey declare a 13 mile no fly zone inside Syria? This is clearly grounds for believing that the Russian jet was in fact shot down over Syria and not Turkey.

Turkey has overplayed its hand and Erdogan's strategy and tactics in respect of Syria are now in tatters. NATO will be scrambling to put the frighteners on Erdogan who is clearly a loose cannon and totally out of his depth.

lisbon_calling 24 Nov 2015 17:43

The answer to the question in the title is absolutely clear after reading the very informative text.

Quite interestingly, yesterday, Russians claimed that in the past two previous days they have made 472 attacks on oil infrastructure and oil-trucks controlled by ISIS, which is obviously the right thing to do if you want to derange their sources of financing - but, apparently, the 'training partners' of ISIS are reacting...

MrMeinung DavidJayB 24 Nov 2015 17:38

Turkish fighters are violating Greek airspace habitually since decades. And not for mere seconds. The Greeks intercept them but do not shoot them down. The Greeks have brought all kinds of electronic documentation to both NATO and EU - no result.

It is ironic that Turkey of all nations is raising such arguments.

This action is inexcusable and the barbarity that followed (by all information) - the execution of the pilot/pilots - by Turkish friendly fighters, even more so.

LordJimbo -> CommieWealth 24 Nov 2015 17:38

Countries are operating on the basis of their national interests, Assad and Kurds represent threats to Turkey, Russia wants Assad to remain and sees IS and rebel groups (some of whom are reportedly backed by Turkey) as threats, so we see a classic clash of national interests in an already complicated region of the world, topped off by a brutal civil war that has cost the lives of over 200,000 and seen one of the worst humanitarian crises since WWII. The very definition of a perfect political and military storm. I suspect the Russian position will eventually win out in Syria especially now that Hollande wants IS targeted by a 'grand coalition'. For Turkey the major headache has to be the Kurds who will get arms, training and are winning huge amounts of territory.

powercat123 24 Nov 2015 17:36

Russia was invited into support Assad by Syrias leader whether we or Nato like it or not. Turkey France and US were not. Turkeys Air force will have to watch itself now as I suspect Russia will deploy fighter aircraft to protect there bombers and the Kurds. As for the original question I think Putin may be right and Turks do have a foot in both camps. Nato should be very aware of the consequences of playing the whose to blame game when the stakes are so high.

ManxApe 24 Nov 2015 17:36

Which Turkish businessmen did they strike deals with? Specifically which Turkish businessman's shipping company had their oil tankers bombed the other day by Russia? Is this businessman actually a very close relative of Erdoğan? A clue perhaps?Allegedly the shipping company is BMZ.


196thInfantry -> Artur Conka 24 Nov 2015 17:35

The Russian plane was never in Turkish airspace. ATC systems have recorders that record voice communications, radar tracks and controller actions all synchronized. You can be sure that the Turks will not release the raw recorded data.

aLLaguz 24 Nov 2015 17:32

So, Turkey downs a Russian bomber and immediately runs to its daddies ?!?! C'mon! What a joke!!
This is the long awaited war for the Syria-Turkey border, a border that must be closed. Whether for stop jihadists joining ISIS or to stop oil sales.

No fly-zone in northern Syria ?! The only affected parties with this is Assad allies and it is the same reason.... the Syria-Turkey border. For Assad, It is a key region, Kurds must be stopped to reach the Mediterranean sea, the border must be closed to stop jihadists or rebels to join the fight, to stop the oil sales of ISIS, etc, etc, etc.
Russia will fight for the control of the border whether NATO like it or not. Once it is Russian, Kurds will be pushed back.

Cecile_Trib -> penguinbird 24 Nov 2015 17:32

Turkey must learn to stop invading Greece airspace. Or you think it's OK for them as a member of NATO to do that? Or will you say it's OK for Greece to down a couple of Turkish jets?

"In the first month of 2014 alone, Turkish aircraft allegedly violated Greek airspace 1,017 times, Gurcan reports."

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/07/17/turkish-fighter-jets-violate-greek-airspace-again/

vivazapata38 -> penguinbird 24 Nov 2015 17:31

Ha ha, your post is bordering on...no is, sheer arrogance and complete ignorance.The Russian planes are defined as entering "an area of our interest".Which is really vague and is really international airspace.Both the US and UK do the same but more often.Moreover Russia is being surrounded by NATO firepower,missile systems and US paid for coups!


NezPerce 24 Nov 2015 17:31

Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey 'accomplices of terrorists'? Yes

Turkey are directly linked to Al Qaeda as is Saudi Arabia yet they are our allies in the never ending war against terrorism, a war it seems we forgot about when the terrorists became repackaged as freedom fighters. Many of us have been warning that this would inevitably lead us to become victims of the Jihadists but Cameron would not listen, he has a mania to get rid of Assad and has been prepared to get into bed with some of the nastiest people in the world. A New take on the Nasty party.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11697764/Isil-reenters-key-Syria-border-town-of-Kobane-live.html

Turkey 'let Isil cross border to attack Kobane': as it happened

Today's early morning, a group of five cars, loaded with 30-35 of Isil elements, wearing the clothes and raising the flag of the FSA [Free Syrian Army rebels] has undertaken a suicide attack.

The nationalist Southern Front, which includes US-trained fighters, has confirmed that it is taking part in the fight for Daraa, alongside the powerful Islamist groups Ahrar al-Sham and the Al Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.


BigNowitzki -> BeatonTheDonis 24 Nov 2015 17:29

Turkish government giving military support to ethnic Turks in a neighbouring country = good.

Russian government giving military support to ethnic Russians in a neighbouring country = bad.

Good point. I imagine the Putinbots will try and rationalise it away via cognitive dissonance, or some other bogus reason. As I said, Russia's position would be much stronger had they not invaded and occupied part of Ukraine. They were warned....

MaxBoson 24 Nov 2015 17:26

Thanks to the author for pointing out the role Turkey has played in the rise of ISIS, and its instrumentalization of the conflict in Syria for its own ends. Taking this, and Turkey's support for the Turkmen rebels-or terrorists, or freedom fighters, depending on which alliance one is supporting-into account, it is pretty obvious that the main reason why Turkey shot down the Russian planes was that they were bombing Turkmen targets in what Turkey has the cheek to call a no-fly zone, not because their wings were in its airspace for a few milliseconds.

deathbydemocracy 24 Nov 2015 17:23

Is Vladimir Putin right to label Turkey 'accomplices of terrorists'?

Answer below.

Concerns continued to grow in intelligence circles that the links eclipsed the mantra that "my enemy's enemy is my friend" and could no longer be explained away as an alliance of convenience. Those fears grew in May this year after a US special forces raid in eastern Syria, which killed the Isis official responsible for the oil trade, Abu Sayyaf.

A trawl through Sayyaf's compound uncovered hard drives that detailed connections between senior Isis figures and some Turkish officials. Missives were sent to Washington and London warning that the discovery had "urgent policy implications".

That would be a 'Yes'.

Of course Turkey has a right to defend it's borders. In this case though, their borders were not under attack. The Russian plane strayed into Turkish air space for just a few seconds, and it was clearly not part of an attack force against Turkey. The correct move would have been to complain about the Russians, not shoot them down.

robitsme -> BillyBitter 24 Nov 2015 17:23

Most states would show some restraint under the tinderbox circumstances. Erdogan is either completely insane, or he is playing a game, he as an agenda to provoke Russia in some way

rumelian -> JaneThomas 24 Nov 2015 17:21

You are right. Erdogan with his "conservative" comerades is rapidly and relentlessly ruining the the pillars of the secular Turkey for more than a decade, and for much of this time he was actively aided by the Western powers, frequently praized and portrayed as a "moderate" islamist and a reliable partner. The more power he gained, the more he showed his real nature.

Dreaming of becoming a "leader" of the muslim world (in the Middle East), countless times he showed his sympathy towards the fellow "islamists" in the whole region. USA and Western European leaders, still assume that Erdogan is better option than anyone else in Turkey, providing stability and a "buffer zone" to Europe, they ignore the fact, that Turkey was indeed a reliable partner for decades, when ruled by secular governments ,backed by a secular army, but now that's not the case. Western governments now don't know how to deal with it. When you look at the photos of the current Turkish ministers, and their wives (almost all are headscarved) you realize that they had nothing in common with millions of Turkish people who embraced Western lifestyle and customs. Ataturk has created a secular nation, suppressed these islamists almost a century ago for good, knowing their true nature, but now Turkey needs a new Ataturk-style leader to eradicate this pestilence. Until then, Turkey will not be a stable and reliable partner in the Middlle East.

Darook523 24 Nov 2015 17:20

Payback for the Russians bombing ISIS oil convoys? Would Turkey shoot down a Russian air force jet without the nod from allies? Situation getting very dangerous I would think.

vr13vr -> WarlockScott 24 Nov 2015 17:19

"the US could potentially extract a lot out of it "

It could but at the end of the day, can't and won't. The US is not going to split NATO so it will have to offer its support for Turkey. Nor can Europeans do much as they have this "refugees" problem to which Turkey hold the key. And even if something is extracted in return, at the end of the day, NATO and the US will be defacto protecting the islamists, which is Turkey's goal. You can say NATO and the US are fucked now because they will have to do what they didn't want to do at all.


PaniscusTroglodytes -> MrConservative2015 24 Nov 2015 17:18

NATO has had no legitimate purpose for 25 years now. Will this finally give the nudge to wind it up? One can but hope.

Yarkob -> Gglloowwiinngg 24 Nov 2015 17:17

The first reports said it was a Turkish F-16 with an AA missile. Some reports are still saying that. Damage limitation or diversion by Erdogan? The 10th Brigade Turkmen that Debka said carried out the attack are aligned with the US. That conveniently shifts the blame from Turkey back to the US by proxy. Back stabbing going on. Julius Ceasar shit going down I reckon

vgnych 24 Nov 2015 17:10

It is in West's interest that ISIS would spill into Russia one day and do the dirty job there for US and its associates. Syria and Asad has been just a dry run of the concept.

Putin must be seeing it very clear at this point.

Yarkob Gglloowwiinngg 24 Nov 2015 17:07

Attacking people parachuting from an aircraft in distress is a war crime under Protocol I in addition to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

LordJimbo 24 Nov 2015 17:06

From a Russian perspective the opening paragraphs of article speak for themselves. Russian entry into the 'game' meant Turkey became a second category power in a region they have sought to dominate, the strike is a sign of weakness and not strength and whoever sanctioned it (done so quickly you'd wonder if Ankara was aware) is an amateur player because it weakened Turkey and strengthened the Russian hand.


Gideon Mayre 24 Nov 2015 17:05

Of course Putin is right but he only tells part of the story. The main accomplice of terrorists and other non-existent so called "moderate" head-choppers is the United States, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel are merely facilitating this policy on behalf of the US and in accordance to their independent regional pursuits, that converge however on the removal of Assad and the use of ISIS as a proxy army to remove Assad.


Michael Cameron 24 Nov 2015 17:05

Events like today's become a useful window on an otherwise murky, indecipherable geopolitics. In the fraught aftermath of the Paris attacks, we should do our best to see ISIS for what they are and have always been: the entree to the main course proxy war between Russia and Western allied interests.

The idea they're an imminent threat and immediate concern of Cameron and co suddenly hoves into view as hogwash on stilts. Their grandstanding over bombing ISIS while at once supporting their biggest enabler (Can anyone doubt Turkey's laissez-faire stance?) makes sense as an admission of complete powerlessness to resolve an issue above his pay grade i.e. taking on Putin. The extent to which all of these actors are clueless is terrifying. Foreign policy operations as fitful and faltering as anything this side of the Christmas board game.

fantas1sta 24 Nov 2015 17:04

Turkey has been looking for reasons to invade Syria for a long time:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/europe/high-level-leaks-rattle-turkey-officials.html?_r=0

Artur Conka 24 Nov 2015 17:03

A quote from Erdoğan about todays events.

"The reason why worse incidents have not taken place in the past regarding Syria is the cool-headedness of Turkey," Erdoğan said. "Nobody should doubt that we made our best efforts to avoid this latest incident. But everyone should respect the right of Turkey to defend its borders."

The arrogance of this man is beyond belief, as Al Jazeera reported that the plane, believed to be a Russian-made Sukhoi Su-24, crashed in Syrian territory in Latakia's Yamadi village and NOT in Turkish Airspace. What I love about this statement is the "cool-headedness of Turkey".

What about the headless act of supporting ISIS, and what about the fact that Turkey has some of the worst crackdown of journalist and freedom of speech of any country. Far worse then China.

I truly don't understand how Nato and Turkey's allies support its actions, especially the US. Could someone please explain.

WarlockScott 24 Nov 2015 17:03

Turkey is kinda fucked now, the US could potentially extract a lot out of it in return for 'protection'... For instance stop murdering Kurds or cut off all ISIS links, hell maybe even both. There's no way Erdoğan can play Putin as the counterbalance card now.


arkob 24 Nov 2015 17:02

Methinks the wheels are falling off the Syrian project and there is a scramble for the door and people are getting stabbed in the back all over the shop.

Look at the leaks over the last few weeks implicating the US DoD, Turkey, France and soon the UK, now Obama is telling us his intel assessments were "tainted" *cough*

Today a Russian plane goes down and first of all it's Turkey's fault, but Turkey wouldn't have done that without explicit permission to do so from either NATO or the US, but then a few hours later as it all looks really bad for Turkey (and by association everyone else in the "coalition") it turns out to have been Turkmen, but which ones? There's two factions, one is a "rebel" group backed by the US, the other is a "terrorist" group (aligned with "ISIS") and backed by the US. They are both fighting Assad.

More to come in the next few days, I reckon.

Branislav Stosic 24 Nov 2015 17:01

Cards can definitely be open to see :who wisely silent is on the terrorists side( read USA) and who is really against. There wont be some of the current uncertainties and media acting in this struggle. I hope that at least the European countries together wake up their unhealthy slumber after the terrorist actions in the neighborhood and together, not only in words ,start to put out the source of the fire and of terrorism in which some cunning players constantly topping oil on the fire.

madtoothbrush -> QueenElizabeth 24 Nov 2015 17:00

It's a well known fact that Turkey purchases oil from ISIS occupied territory. Not to mention they bomb Kurds that are fighting ISIS.

Vizier 24 Nov 2015 16:56

Perhaps Russia would like to provide air cover to the Kurds who are under murderous assault by Turkey in their own country. Carving about 20% off Turkey would be a good start.

Gglloowwiinngg 24 Nov 2015 16:55

Senator John McCain can be thankful the North Vietnamese were not as bad as these Turkmen Turks. "Turkmen militiamen in Syria claimed to have shot the pilots as they descended on parachutes from the stricken Su-24 bomber." What the Turkmen brag about having done is something neither the North Vietnamese nor the actual Nazis would have condoned.

NezPerce 24 Nov 2015 16:55

By then, Isis had become a dominant presence in parts of north and east Syria.

This is the problem, Turkey is in a struggle with Iran and the Kurds. Assad is seen as the enemy because he is closer to Iran.

It should be remembered that the Turks see the Kurds as biggest the threat and ISIS as an ally and that the U.S. not Russia has been arming the Kurds. It looks as if the Turks also want to send a message to the US and Europe, a message via air to air missile.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/world/europe/despite-crackdown-path-to-join-isis-often-winds-through-porous-turkish-border.html?_r=0

The issue has highlighted the widening gulf between Turkey and its Western allies, who have frequently questioned why Turkey, a NATO member with a large military and well-regarded intelligence service, is not doing more to address the jihadist threat.
In recent testimony in Washington before Congress, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, was asked if he was optimistic that Turkey would do more in the fight against the Islamic State.

"No, I'm not," Mr. Clapper said in an unusually blunt public criticism. "I think Turkey has other priorities and other interests."

Georwell -> musterfritz 24 Nov 2015 16:54

nop, just an pair of fighters patrolling the zone 24/7 , since the radars told them the russians daily pattern on bombing the terrorists, AND an green-card to kill a russian plane on first occasion, even if that mind to (again) enter on syrian air space, for the matter. Fact is, the russian pilots do not believe the turks will really open fire - now they know - in the hard way; Was that an planed ambush ? I bet was.

Was a war crime to execute on mid-air the pilots descending on parachute ? Yes it was. Was a war crime to assault the body of the dead pilot ? (are several pictures on the net showing the pilot body stripped and pieces of flesh missing) - yes, was another war crime. All on the line of liver-eaters and "moderate" terrorists.

Maybe when those animals will target another EU capital the peoples will realize who its the true enemy here. For (to many..) bigots here the tragedy on Paris was not enough to bring them the the real picture.

Aneel Amdani -> musterfritz 24 Nov 2015 16:50

Russia did coordinate with other coalition members of US so I suppose Turkey should have been aware of this. F-16 should have bene in air and giving 10 warnings is utter nonsense. Russia has said no warning was given and their plane was in Syria territory. Turkey has a rule of engagement that their territory and threat are well in 5 km of Syria itself. So they take it as a threat. Turkey has gone nuts. they have first increased terrorism and now officially become the Air Force of SIIS. or more, they should have shown a response to Russians for busting more than 1000 oil tnakers that supply cheap oil to Turkey.

rumelian -> jonsid 24 Nov 2015 16:49

Surely, Russia will respond to that incident. I supposed it was not at all expected by Russians, and they will figure out a strategy on what kind of response it will be. I think too, that consequences for Turkey could be serious . But maybe it is a destiny for a country where almost half of the population votes for the corrupt, backward islamists, and their megalomaniac leader.

copyniated 24 Nov 2015 16:48

Let's assume that this lying ISIS loving terrorist, Erdogan, is speaking the truth. He says Russia has been attacking Syrian Turkoman who are defending their land.
One should ask this blood-thirsty ape this question: What then are Kurdish people in Turkey doing?

HuggieBear -> Mindmodic 24 Nov 2015 16:47

"I get the impression that a greater proportion of people in the US are blinded by patriotism" - patriotism would actually require disengaging with the mediaeval oil monarchies of the Middle East and butting out of the world's hot spots. Something Pat Buchanan has advocated for aged.

Aneel Amdani 24 Nov 2015 16:44

the residents of France and Belgium should ask their governments why did they let it to happen in the first place. ISIS was created by West and funded extensively by the Saudis, Turley and Qatar. US is not a kid that after spending more than a 100 billion on intelligence and CIA networks globally, never knew ISIS was getting rich. And now so when everyone knows Turkey buys cheap Oil from ISIS, why aren't they being sectioned or why individuals donating funds to these terrorists being sanctioned.

US is very prompt in going and sanctioning nations that are not with them, but they never sanction dictators like the kings and presidents that support terrorism. the blood of those who died in Paris and those all along since the war in Iraq are all to be blamed on these war hawks in west. If even now Paris cannot ask questions on their governments involvement in destabilizing Libya now, then I guess they will again see Paris happen again. West should be stopped from using the name of terrorism and a Muslim Jihad for their own strategic gains.

jmNZ -> earthboy 24 Nov 2015 16:38

That's the whole problem. The banksters and corporations that run the US have too much to lose in Saudi Arabia and the Persian gulf. And they want that pipeline from the Gulf to the Levant but Syria (with its secular ruler, hated by the jihadists) won't play ball with the banksters. Hence, with American corporations' blessing, Turkey and Arabia loose the Daesh on them . And al-Qeada and al-Nusra and all the other "moderate" rebels supplied with modern weapons by American arms corporations.


fantas1sta Roger -> Hudson 24 Nov 2015 16:36

Turkey has spent a lot of time and money to cultivate an image of itself as a modern, secular, democratic state - it is none of those. It's an ally of the US like Saudi Arabia is an ally of the US, it's a marriage of convenience, nothing else. The US knows that both countries fund terrorists, but they need some kind of presence in that region. The Turks and Saudis need a customer for their oil and someone to run to when they need their autocratic regimes propped up.

Roger Hudson 24 Nov 2015 16:29

Turkey buys ISIL oil.
Turkey helps foreign terrorists to get to ISIL.
Turkey attacks Kurds fighting ISIL.
Turkey facilitates the route of people including terrorists into Europe.
Turkey is run by a megalomaniac.
Turkey got into NATO as a US/CIA anti -Russian (USSR) puppet.
What the sort of corrupt people like Hammond think of their people, fools. Of course Turkey is on the 'wrong side'.

fantas1sta -> MaryMagdalane 24 Nov 2015 16:29

There's no reason for the US to directly antagonize one of the few countries in the world that has a military strong enough to enact its policy goals without the backing of another power - see Crimea. Why would Obama order a Russian plane to be shot down and then call for de-escalation?


jonsid Budovski -> Ximples 24 Nov 2015 16:28

They do have history;-
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/europe/high-level-leaks-rattle-turkey-officials.html?_r=0


altergeist Pupkin 24 Nov 2015 16:23


Erm on balance, yes. Empirically, provably more repugnant. Russia hasn't killed well over a million civilians since 2001, nor laid waste to an entire region, causing untold misery and suffering, screwing allies and enemies alike and helping (both by accident and design) the rise of ISIS. I'm no fan of Putin, and let's be honest, there's no nice people at that level in politics, but the US is far and away ahead of Russia on the dick-ometer these last 20-30 years.


Budovski Ximples 24 Nov 2015 16:23

Yes, of course he's right. What's wrong is that its taken journalists this long to even dare to look at the relationship between Turkey and Islamic State. Or specifically, Erdogan and Islamic State.

Turkey has been directly dealing with various terrorist groups in Syria, supplying weapons, fighters, intelligence and arms as well as buying massive amounts of oil from ISIS refineries (which Russia just pulverized).

They have left their borders open, allowing terrorists to go in and out of Syria as they please.

Their claims to be fighting ISIS are a joke. In their first week of 'fighting ISIS' they did 350 strikes on the Kurds and literally 1 on ISIS.

The terrorist attack by ISIS, aimed at Erdogans opponents, was timed so perfectly to help Sultan Erdogan get elected that I'd go as far as suspect direct Turkish intelligence involvement.

Bonnemort 24 Nov 2015 16:21

Turkey are complicit in terrorism, but then so are the Gulf States/Saudis/US and UK. They're just a bit closer and their hands a bit bloodier. Putin is correct,

Just think, only two years ago Cameron wanted us to join the Syrian civil war on ISIS' side.

And also think - Cameron and Boris Johnson want Turkey to be a full EU member as soon as possible.

Roger Hudson -> Samir Rai 24 Nov 2015 16:21

Turkey was let (pulled) into NATO during the cold war just so US missiles and spy bases could get up on the USSR border. Turkey was run by a military junta at that time.
Same old CIA/US nonsense.

Turkey should be kicked out of NATO and never be allowed near the EU.

photosymbiosis -> kahaal 24 Nov 2015 16:04

Ah, the oil smuggling route to Turkey runs right through a zone controlled by these 'moderates' - perhaps middlemen is a better word? - and so you can't really cut off the flow of oil out of ISIS areas without bombing those convoys even if they are under the temporary protection of "moderates" - so it looks like Turkish oil smugglers and their customers (Bilal Erdogan's shipping company? commodities brokers? other countries in the region?) are working hand in hand with ISIS and the moderates to deliver some $10 million a week to ISIS - and that's how terrorists in Brussels can establish safe houses, purchase weapons and explosives on the black market, and stage attacks - isn't it?

Alexander Hagen 24 Nov 2015 16:02

That is interesting that Erdogan and Assad were on good terms previously. That is hard to fathom. I cannot imagine two people with more differing world views. I did not meet a single Turk while travelling through Turkey that had a kind word about Erdogan, so elevating him to a higher level (mentor) might require some qualification. Though it is true the Turkish economy grew enormously under Erdogan, "The lights of free expression are going out one by one" - paraphrasing Churchill.

cop1nghagen 24 Nov 2015 16:01

"Turkish businessmen struck lucrative deals with Isis oil smugglers, adding at least $10m (£6.6m) per week to the terror group's coffers, and replacing the Syrian regime as its main client."

Why doesn't The Guardian grow a pair and investigate the role of Turkish President Erdogan in this illegal oil trade, specifically through his son Bilal Erdogan, whose shipping company (jointly owned with two of Erdogan's brothers) BMZ Group has a rapidly expanding fleet of oil tankers...

photosymbiosis 24 Nov 2015 16:01

Would anyone be surprised to find that the accomplices of ISIS in Turkey - i.e. the oil smugglers who operate with the full knowledge of the Turkish government - are also transferring cash on behalf of ISIS to their 'recruiters and activists' (aka: 'terrorists') in places like London, Paris, Brussels, etc.?

The lure of oil profits make relationships with terrorists very attractive, it seems - kind of like how Royal Dutch Shell and Standard Oil kept selling oil to the Nazi U-boat fleet right up to 1942, when the US Congress finally passed the Trading With The Enemy Act.

[Nov 25, 2015] Turkish military releases recording of warning to Russian jet

www.theguardian.com

Konstantin Murakhtin, a navigator who was rescued in a joint operation by Syrian and Russian commandos, told Russian media: "There were no warnings, either by radio or visually. There was no contact whatsoever."

He also denied entering Turkish airspace. "I could see perfectly on the map and on the ground where the border was and where we were. There was no danger of entering Turkey," he said.

The apparent hardening of both countries' versions of events came as Russian warplanes carried out heavy raids in Syria's northern Latakia province, where the plane came down. Tuesday's incident – the first time a Nato member state has shot down a Russian warplane since the Korean war – risks provoking a clash over the ongoing conflict in Syria, where Russia has intervened to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

... ... ...

Later, in a telephone call with John Kerry, the US secretary of state, Lavrov said Turkey's actions were a "gross violation" of an agreement between Moscow and Washington on air space safety over Syria. The state department said Kerry called for calm and more dialogue between Turkish and Russian officials.

... ... ...

Russian officials made it clear that despite the fury the reaction would be measured. There is no talk of a military response, and no suggestion that diplomatic relations could be cut or the Turkish ambassador expelled from Moscow. However, the tone of relations between the two countries is likely to change dramatically.

... ... ...

A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, hit out at the US state department official Mark Toner, who said the Turkmen fighters who shot the Russian airman as he parachuted to the ground could have been acting in self defence. "Remember these words, remember them forever. I will never forget them, I promise," Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

[Nov 25, 2015] The shooting down of a Russian jet tangles the diplomatic web still further

Notable quotes:
"... Recently, Moscow's rapprochement with the Syrian Kurds, the PYD, only added to the huge complexity of the situation. ..."
"... any solution of the Syrian conflict will be based on a precondition that the US and Russia put aside their differences, ..."
"... At least one good thing has come from all of this. At least it took Putin to be the first leader to openly say exactly what turkey actually is. A despicable, Islamist supporting vile wolf in Sheep's clothing. ..."
"... well , just think for a second .... all the image - they were shooting him while he was in the air , shouting "Allah Akbar " then they showed a photo with dead pilot , being proud of that ..... Those ppl are the "hope" for a Syria post-Assad....don't you feel that something is wrong here ? ..."
"... Also as soon as the noble Turkman started shooting at the pilot and navigator once they'd bailed out of the plane they showed themselves to be the terrorists they are. Playing "no prisoners" against Russia. ..."
"... At the G20 Antalya summit of Nov 15, Putin embarrassed Obama publicly showing satellite pictures of ridiculously long tanker lines waiting for weeks to load oil from ISIS, as the coalition spared them any trouble. "I've shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil," said Putin. ..."
"... So there you have it. For 15 months, the US didn't touch the oil trade that financed ISIS affairs, until Russia shamed them into it. Then, the mightiest army in the world bombs 400 trucks, while Russia destroys 1000. Then Russia provides videos of its airstrikes, while the US doesn't, and PBS is caught passing off Russian evidence as American. ..."
"... Of course Turkey did not need to down this jet: well planned and a clear provocation to start the propaganda war against Russia which actually wants to stop this war before a transition without a pre-planned (US) outcome. ..."
"... With Saudi and Turkish support for ISIS , just who have they bothered saving and sending out into Europe amongst their name taking and slaughters ? Wahabists? How many cells set up now globally? ..."
"... The turkmen are illegally staging war. Russia is the only country legally in Syria. That's why CIA, Saudi, Turk, Israel etc etc etc operate clandestine. But they all enjoy bombing hotheads. A pity so many of them think their brands of religion or old stories from centuries ago of enemies have any bearing today. Or perhaps they just believe rich mens newspapers and media too much. Maybe all their educations and futures were lost by gangsters that were funded and protected and given country ownership for oil and now forces clean up their centuries long mess for newer deals. ..."
"... I thought Russia was INVITED by the Syrian Gov. to assist them in eradicating ALL rebel factions including a bunch of Turkmen rebels funded by Erdogan. No others operating in Syria are legitimate. Any cowards shouting Allah uakbar and killing POWs should be eradicated ..."
"... According to the BBC the Turkmen fight with Al Nusra. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34910389 UN Resolution 2249 calls not only for action against IS but also Al Nusra and other AQ associated groups. ..."
"... I also know Turkey has been "laundering" ISIS oil from Syria and Iraq to the tune of $2 million/day. ..."
"... Well, a US Air Force has now also suggested that the Turkish shooting down of the Russian had to have been a pre-planned provocation. Also US officials have said it cannot be confirmed that the Russian jet incurred into Turkish territory. And of course there is the testimony of the Russian pilot. ..."
"... What ethnic cleansing??? Assad has a multi sect and multi ethnic government. Meanwhile western and Turkish backed jihadist have openly said they will massacre every last Kurd,Christian,Alawi and Druze in the country. ..."
"... Shooting down the Russian plane was Turkey's way of flexing its muscles. The murder of the pilot in the parashoot was a cowardly act. These are the people the US are backing. They can be added to Obama's list of most favored and join the ranks of the Saudis who behead and crucify protesters ..."
"... Erdogan is playing both NATO and Russia for fools. Trying to create a wedge and sabotage the restoration of stability in Syria. ..."
"... It is all a giant make-believe. They are only using ISIS as a pretext to occupy and breakup Syria. And Western populations swallow all these lies without blinking and feel victimized by refugees. ..."
"... Now, I'd bet that Putin has no plans to exacerbate the current situation by shooting down any Turkish jets out of revenge for yesterday's incident. But it will be unsettling for Turkish flyboys and their bosses to know that a good chunk of their a airspace is totally vulnerable and they fly there only because Russia lets them. ..."
"... it's astonishing how many of the Putin hating NATObots from the Ukrainian-themed CIF threads turn out to be ISIS supporters. ..."
"... indeed, with the "stench" of US grand mufti all over them.. How far do you think Obama will bow on his next visit to Saudi. ..."
"... Yup the FT estimated before the Russians got involved that ISIS were producing between 30,000 and 40,000 barrels of oil a day. You would need over 2000 full size road tankers just to move one days output. Now its fair to assume after filling up it takes more than a day before it gets back to the pump. Surprisingly the US has neither noticed all these tankers and even more surprisingly the oil tanks and installations. ..."
"... The whole regime change plan is hanging in the balance and every day Russia solidifies Assad's position. If this continues for even another month it will be virtually impossible for the Western alliance to demand the departure of Assad. ..."
"... Their bargaining position is diminishing by the day and it is great to watch. Also good to read that the Russians have been pounding the shi*e out of those Turkmen areas. Expect those silly buggers to be slaughtered whilst Erdogan and the Turks watch on helplessly. If they even try anything inside the Syrian border now the Russians will annihilate them. ..."
"... Erdogan's reaction to Syria shooting down a Turkish jet in 2012. "Erdogan criticized Syria harshly on Tuesday for shooting down the Turkish fighter jet, saying: "Even if the plane was in their airspace for a few seconds, that is no excuse to attack." "It was clear that this plane was not an aggressive plane. Still it was shot down," the corrupt ISIS supporting scumbag said" ..."
www.theguardian.com

The nervousness displayed by the AKP administration, in Ankara, has a lot to do with Turkey's Syria policy being in ever-growing disarray, and its failure to set priorities to help resolve the conflict. As the Syrian quagmire deepened, old anti-Kurdish fixations in Ankara came to the surface, and clashed with the priorities of its allies, centred on Isis. Ankara's blocking moves against the only combat force on ground, the PKK-YPG axis, has impeded the fight against jihadists, and its constant redrawing of red-lines (Kurds, Turkmens, no-fly zone, Assad gone etc) may have been frustrating the White House, but does not seem to affect Moscow. Recently, Moscow's rapprochement with the Syrian Kurds, the PYD, only added to the huge complexity of the situation.

In the recent G20 summit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was once more keen to underline that "terror has no religion and there should be no our terrorist and your terrorist"

... ... ...

So, the tension now rises between one determined and one undecided, conflicted player – one lucid on strategy, the other lacking it. If any, the lesson to be drawn from this showdown is this: any solution of the Syrian conflict will be based on a precondition that the US and Russia put aside their differences, agree in principle on the future of the region, build a joint intelligence gathering and coordinated battle scheme against jihadists, and demand utter clarity of the positions of their myopic, egocentric allies. Unless they do so, more complications, and risks beyond turf wars will be knocking at the door

Eugenios -> André De Koning 25 Nov 2015 23:24

Assad is targeted because it is a necessary prelude to an attack on Iran. Pepe Escobar called that long ago. What is sought is a Syria in the imperialist orbit or in chaos.

Attack on Iran by whom--you ask? Actually several in cahoots, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, et al.

Lyigushka -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 23:22

BBC maps show ISIS controlled territory only a few miles from the Turkmen area where the shooting down took place.
Your not very good at this are you
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27838034

Lyigushka -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 23:11

A brief search on the internet shows many items referring to Turkish support for IS.

Now the SAA with Russian support is on the border dealing with the jihadist Turkmen, Turkey's duplicity is in danger of being revealed .

Hence the impotent rage and desperate pleas for support to its other US coalition partners and the strange reluctance of the complicit western MSM to fully reveal the lies and double standards of the western allies in this foul business.

Only the other day a US TV program was trying to con its viewers that the US was bombing ISIS oil trucks, with video from a Russian airstrike.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/11/pbs-uses-russian-airstrike-videos-to-claim-us-airstrike-successes.html

James H McDougall 25 Nov 2015 23:09

At least one good thing has come from all of this. At least it took Putin to be the first leader to openly say exactly what turkey actually is. A despicable, Islamist supporting vile wolf in Sheep's clothing. Who else was buying ISIS oil....the tooth fairy ? Never in my life did I think I'd be defending the red team yet here I am.

AtelierEclatPekin -> murati 25 Nov 2015 23:06

well , just think for a second .... all the image - they were shooting him while he was in the air , shouting "Allah Akbar " then they showed a photo with dead pilot , being proud of that ..... Those ppl are the "hope" for a Syria post-Assad....don't you feel that something is wrong here ?

Shankman -> ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 23:02

He was awfully quick to accept Turkey's version of events.

As for his Nobel "Peace" Prize, Alfred Nobel is probably still turning in his grave.

Lyigushka -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 23:02

Of course Turkey supports ISIS and has done for all its existence as part of an opposition to its main enemies, Assad and the Kurds.

A brief search of the internet provides countless articles on this without even having to quote Russian sources. Examples
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/research-paper-isis-turke_b_6128950.html
http://www.infowars.com/former-nato-commander-turkey-is-supporting-isis/

iusedtopost 25 Nov 2015 23:01

.....and the censors are out again.....SHAME on you Guardian.

I say again.....MSM now referring to "Turkmen" like they are cuddly toys FFS

They are head chopping....moon howling....islamo-terrorists.

Russia has the right idea....kill the lot them

ianhassall -> ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 22:56

Also as soon as the noble Turkman started shooting at the pilot and navigator once they'd bailed out of the plane they showed themselves to be the terrorists they are. Playing "no prisoners" against Russia.

And as for the US - they can bomb a Medicin sans Frontiers field hospital in Afghanistan for 37 minutes and the best excuse they come out with is "the plane's email stopped working, it didn't know where the target was, they didn't know where they were, so they just attacked something that looked like". So much for US military's navigation abilities.

NikLot -> LordMurphy 25 Nov 2015 22:44

Dear Lord, where did I defend it?!! How do you read that?!!! Of course it is appalling!!!

I wanted to point out that the 'good terrorist' Turkmen militia or whoever else did it would have done the same to NATO pilots and that the story should be explored from that angle too. Statement by Turkey's PM today, if true, confirms my concern:

"Davutoglu told his party's lawmakers on Wednesday that Turkey didn't know the nationality of the plane that was brought down on Tuesday until Moscow announced it was Russian."

ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 22:38

Its amazing that NATO have been bombing ISIS for 2 years and did very little to halt its progress.

Russia's been doing it for a month and have bombed ISIS, the military supplies NATO have been giving ISIS, and the illegal oil racket that Turkey's been running with ISIS - all at a fraction of the cost that's going into supporting ISIS and other Syrian terrorist groups.

I can see why Turkey's upset. Also anyone who thinks Turkey shot down this plane without the approval of NATO and Obama is kidding themselves. Obama has blood up to his armpits with what's been going on in Syria, despite his Peace Prize credentials.


luella zarf -> ArundelXVI 25 Nov 2015 22:28

OK I did some research and I was somewhat wrong, Russia did initiate the bombing of the oil delivery system, but at the G20 summit. This is the actual chronology:

At the G20 Antalya summit of Nov 15, Putin embarrassed Obama publicly showing satellite pictures of ridiculously long tanker lines waiting for weeks to load oil from ISIS, as the coalition spared them any trouble. "I've shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil," said Putin.

The next day, on Nov 16, the US bombed a truck assembly for the first time in the history of the coalition and then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers. In the meantime, Russia carried on its own airstrike campaign, destroying more than 1,000 tankers and a refinery in a period of just five days, and posting video footage of the airstrikes.

Because the US never made available any recordings, on Nov 19 PBS used footage of Russian fighter jets bombing an oil storage facility and passed it off as evidence of the US hits. The Moon of Alabama website was the first to notice. On Nov 23, a second American air raid claimed to have destroyed 283 oil tankers.

So there you have it. For 15 months, the US didn't touch the oil trade that financed ISIS affairs, until Russia shamed them into it. Then, the mightiest army in the world bombs 400 trucks, while Russia destroys 1000. Then Russia provides videos of its airstrikes, while the US doesn't, and PBS is caught passing off Russian evidence as American.

idkak -> John Smith 25 Nov 2015 22:17

Currently 18 aircraft are patrolling the area on a daily basis, they must have misread the memo.... Downing a Turkish plane over Turkish soil, or attacking a NATO aircraft on mission in Syria within the alliance that is currently bombing ISIS or other terrorist variants... won't be favorable for Russia or their forces in Syria. Even without NATO, Turkey has a very large military and the location we are talking about is about 2-5 minutes to bomb, and 1-2 minutes to intercept.. so the attack would be about the same level of strategic stupidity as attacking Russia from the Ukraine.

André De Koning -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 22:16

How naive: downing a jet who fights al-Nusra. Of course Turkey has supported terrorist there for a long time and left the border between Turkey and Syria porous, so the proxy war can be fought against Assad (just one man (?) always features in the multi-factorial warfare, which is easy on the ears of simpletons). There were already plans in 1957 and more modern ones in the US to ruin Syria and take the land and resources and use it for the oil pipelines from Saudi to Turkey (Assad did not sign off in 2009, so war was bound to happen).

André De Koning 25 Nov 2015 22:11

Imagine a US fighter being shot down? From the beginning of the war Russia and Syria said there were not just peaceful demonstrators, but people who were shooting and grew into ISIS and Al-Nusra and al-Qaeda. This did not fit the western propaganda and the Divide and Ruin policy (title of Dan Glazebrook's recent book of articles) which is that Syria was a on the Ruin-map for a long time. Turkey's Erdogan is intellectually an Islamist and together with Saudi they and the terrorists are fighting this proxy war the US can hardly afford.

In 7 weeks Russia destroyed more of ISIS infrastructure and oil tankers than the US did in a year (the superpower has managed to make ISIS increase seven-fold). The only objective is one man: Assad and the ruin of Syria to be 'rebuilt' (plundered) by western investments and domination of the entire region of the Middle East. The rest is lies to prop up propaganda and doing as if they bring democracy (like the West does in Saudi?! the biggest friend and weapons buyer. Just like Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, which did not play ball, it will be destroyed by the West. It gets harder with Russia actually wishing to stop the proxy war: Syria itself deciding what their future will be? No way as far as US and UK are concerned (and the weak EU following with their businessmen contingent to reap the benefits). Absolutely disgusting that the people have to suffer it.

Of course Turkey did not need to down this jet: well planned and a clear provocation to start the propaganda war against Russia which actually wants to stop this war before a transition without a pre-planned (US) outcome.

EightEyedSpy -> Eugenios 25 Nov 2015 21:59

Meanwhile, Turkey just gave the Russians a no-fly zone--against Turks.

Not true - unless Russia intends to breach the resolution unanimously passed by the UN Security Council authorising all member nations to fight against ISIS on territory controlled by ISIS in Syria.

Pursuant to the Security Council resolution, which Russia voted for, all member nations have the legal right to use Syrian airspace and traverse Syrian territory for the purpose of fighting ISIS in Syria.

If Russia attempts to impose a no-fly zone against Turkey in Syria, Russia will violate the Security Council resolution ...

btt1943 25 Nov 2015 21:59

Forget about whether Russian jet has infiltrated Turkey's airspace or not as claimed by one and denied by other, the bottom line is Turkey has been wanting to play a big and decisive role in Syrian conflict and ISIS's rise. Ankara does not wish to see Russian's growing influence and intervention in the messy region.


Jimmi Cbreeze -> Normin 25 Nov 2015 21:49

With Saudi and Turkish support for ISIS , just who have they bothered saving and sending out into Europe amongst their name taking and slaughters ? Wahabists? How many cells set up now globally?


Jimmi Cbreeze EightEyedSpy 25 Nov 2015 21:17

The turkmen are illegally staging war. Russia is the only country legally in Syria. That's why CIA, Saudi, Turk, Israel etc etc etc operate clandestine. But they all enjoy bombing hotheads. A pity so many of them think their brands of religion or old stories from centuries ago of enemies have any bearing today. Or perhaps they just believe rich mens newspapers and media too much. Maybe all their educations and futures were lost by gangsters that were funded and protected and given country ownership for oil and now forces clean up their centuries long mess for newer deals.

And then you have the Murdochs and the Rothchilds and the arms industries.

Because where the people are'nt divided by cunning for profit, they are too lunatic and gangster minded to live in peace with each other anyway.
The whole matter is a multi joint taskforce of opportunism. And wealth is going for broke stamping and taking as much corporate ground as possible worldwide.

What chance is there of calling peace? Where and when are all these lunatics going to live in peace and constructively? How would they with half the the globe shitstirring and funding trouble amongst them for profit and gain?

Turkey has attacked Russia on Syrian soil and Russia is the only country legally at arms in Syria. Makes you wonder that Turkey does'nt like Turkmen or consider them a problem. That they provoke getting them wiped out of Syria. How could Assad or anyone govern getting undermined from a dozen directions.

Who knows, the place is a mess. It's no use preaching peace inside the turmoil. It has to come from outside and above. But it appears with this lot-what peace ever.

Bosula trandq 25 Nov 2015 21:07

Since you can't or don't bother to actually read the Guardian or other papers you probably missed that UN Resolution 2249 calls not only for action against IS but also Al Nusra and other AQ associated groups in Syria. The Syrian Free Army is linked with these groups, particularly Al Nusra.

Now you have learned something.


Eugenios 25 Nov 2015 21:04

It seems more likely than not that the Russians will make an effort to capture and try the moderate terrorists who shot the Russian pilot parachuting. It is a war crime after all. The old Soviets would have dispensed with such niceties as trials, but the RF is more legalistic. Nicely enough the moderate terrorists identified themselves on video, don't you know?

There may also be several legal cases brought against Erdogan and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkey just gave the Russians a no-fly zone--against Turks.


ozhellene -> trandq 25 Nov 2015 20:57

I thought Russia was INVITED by the Syrian Gov. to assist them in eradicating ALL rebel factions including a bunch of Turkmen rebels funded by Erdogan. No others operating in Syria are legitimate. Any cowards shouting Allah uakbar and killing POWs should be eradicated


luella zarf -> ArundelXVI 25 Nov 2015 20:54

US air strikes destroys 283 oil tankers used for smuggling to fund terror group. You were saying? I don't know why some people around here just feel free to make things up.

Give us a break. The US hit ISIS oil tanks 6 full days after Russia released footage which showed its fighter jets targeting 200 oil trucks and a refinery. In 15 months of bombing ISIS, there were no American airstrikes on oil tanks until Russia came along and showed them how it's done. Even PBS pointed out when reporting the attack "For the first time, the US is attacking oil delivery trucks."

ozhellene 25 Nov 2015 20:35

will this be a "turkey shoot"? Big mistake Mr Erdogan! You just condemned you Turkmen buddies to be bombed by the Russian bears.
Turkey will never avoid the Kurdish finally taking back their rightful lands, stolen during the Ottoman rule.
Never forget that Kurds make up a lot of your population.....waiting for the right moment...

WalterCronkiteBot 25 Nov 2015 20:32

According to the BBC the Turkmen fight with Al Nusra. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34910389 UN Resolution 2249 calls not only for action against IS but also Al Nusra and other AQ associated groups.

These guys advertise and run jihadist training camps for children. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/09/uighur-jihadist-group-in-syria-advertises-little-jihadists.php

They might not be explicitly AQ affiliated or Al Nusra itself but they share similar doctrines and fight together. Attacking them may not be by the word of the resolution but its certainly in the spirit of it.


ianhassall -> ianhassall 25 Nov 2015 20:13

Whether I think the Turkman should be wiped out is generally irrelevent.

I just know in the past 24 hours I've seen Turkey shoot down a Russian plane over Syria to defend the Turkmen. I also saw the Turkmen shooting at 2 Russian pilots why they attempted to parachute to safety, and one was killed. And I've seen the Turkmen fire a Saudi Arabia-supplied TOW missile at a Russian rescue helicopter, destroying it and killing two pilots.

I also know Turkey has been "laundering" ISIS oil from Syria and Iraq to the tune of $2 million/day.

You reap what you sow.

nnedjo 25 Nov 2015 19:49

In the recent G20 summit, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was once more keen to underline that "terror has no religion and there should be no our terrorist and your terrorist".

Yes, just when Erdogan says this, he thinks only on the Kurds, and wonder why the rest of the world considers the Kurds as freedom fighters, and only Turkey considers them as [its] terrorists.

However, the main message of this article is correct. In order to achieve peace in the Middle East, first the rest of the world must come to terms. The divisions in the world, inherited from the times of the Cold War were reflected also on the Islamic world, and so deepened or even provoked a new sectarian Sunni-Shia divisions and conflicts. So although it's "a chronic disease", it is fallen now into an acute phase in Syria and Iraq. And the urgency of the case requires that really has to come to some deal, primarily between the US and Russia, that it could reach the end of the civil war in Syria, but also in Iraq, because it's all inter-connected. Otherwise, this problem will become even more complicated and prolonged, with unforeseeable consequences.

Eugenios 25 Nov 2015 19:58

Well, a US Air Force has now also suggested that the Turkish shooting down of the Russian had to have been a pre-planned provocation. Also US officials have said it cannot be confirmed that the Russian jet incurred into Turkish territory. And of course there is the testimony of the Russian pilot. No doubt the Guardian will be covering these points, yes?

ianhassall -> EightEyedSpy 25 Nov 2015 19:47

Yes, I know. Why shouldn't Turkey defend terrorits and shoot down a Russian jet while its flying missions in Syria and not incur any wrath.

Russians have been fighting Islamic extremists for a bit longer than the West, who have generally only ever funded or armed them. I'd believe Putin 99 times out of a 100 before I'd believe Obama once.

illbthr22 -> EightEyedSpy 25 Nov 2015 19:21

What ethnic cleansing??? Assad has a multi sect and multi ethnic government. Meanwhile western and Turkish backed jihadist have openly said they will massacre every last Kurd,Christian,Alawi and Druze in the country.

Andrew Nichols -> Jeremn 25 Nov 2015 19:14

We don't have a clear, clear understanding of everything that happened today, okay? I've said that and I can keep saying it all day. We're still trying to determine what happened. It's easy to rush to judgments and to make proclamations and declarations after an incident like this.

Which is exactly what the US did - by supporting Turkeys side of the story. Dont you wish the journalist would point this out?

Cecile_Trib -> Spiffey 25 Nov 2015 19:12

Turkmen terrorists backed by Turkey (now from the air) are there not to fight with Assad but to wipe out Kurds in this region - Edorgan's sweet dream to get the political weight back.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/08/12/world/middleeast/turkey-kurds-isis.html?_r=0

spitthedog -> centerline 25 Nov 2015 18:43

Amazing how Russia attacking the ISIS oil operation can suddenly embarrass the Yanks into doing the obvious. Why didn't they do it before? If ISIS and their FSA buddies loses they can't get rid of Assad for Bibi, simples. The good old FSA, chanting Jihad and carrying white on black Al Qaeda flags. We have an interesting idea of what "moderate" is. Then again Blair was a moderate and he.... ummm....errrr....oops!

luella zarf -> TheOutsider79 25 Nov 2015 18:38

are France the only honest brokers in all of this, the only ones actually doing what they say they are doing - targeting ISIS

No, of course not. It's all spin. France, which was Syria's colonial master, is hoping to regain some of its former influence. ISIS is just a pretext, and they really have no incentive of destroying their only justification for being there in the first place.

When France launched its first airstrikes in Sep, Reuters wrote: "Paris has become alarmed by the possibility of France being sidelined in negotiations to reach a political solution in Syria. A French diplomatic source said Paris needed to be one of the "hitters" in Syria - those taking direct military action - to legitimately take part in any negotiations for a political solution to the conflict."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/27/us-mideast-crisis-france-syria-idUSKCN0RR07Y20150927

This is why they are participating - to get a seat at the table when the great powers break up Syria and hand out land rights for pipelines to big oil.

SallyWa -> HHeLiBe 25 Nov 2015 18:46

Turkey has no interest in the peaceful settlement to the conflict in Syria that world powers are negotiating. As it gets desperate, Turkey will attempt to bring focus back on the Assad regime and reverse the losses it has made both in Syria and geopolitically.


SallyWa -> FelixFeline 25 Nov 2015 18:45

Really? I guess I'll have to take your word for that.

Really. That's sort of your issue, not mine.

Do you have any links to support your claims about these lost ISIS territories?

For example http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/12/russian-airstrikes-support-syrian-troops-to-push-back-rebels-in-strategic-town
Article tried to call ISIS as rebels, though, it happens sometimes as those are always "good terrorists" or just "rebels" if they do what we need, like in this case if they are anti-Assad .


midnightschild10 25 Nov 2015 18:33

Although there has been a war of words between Greece and Turkey, with Turkey charging the Greeks with invading its air space, Turkey has yet to fire on a Greek plane. The turkmen are considered "moderates, and the US arm them to fight the Assad government. Shooting down the Russian plane was Turkey's way of flexing its muscles. The murder of the pilot in the parashoot was a cowardly act. These are the people the US are backing. They can be added to Obama's list of most favored and join the ranks of the Saudis who behead and crucify protesters, one upmanship over ISIS gruesome beheadings, and of course there is alSiSi, who executes all opposition. Petroshenko, wants to freeze the people of Crimea, and has over 6500 Ukrainian deaths notched on his belt since Nuland and Obama gave him the keys to Kiev.

Turkey feels feisty right now, but he obviously isn't aware of the talk coming from Washington about dividing up Syria among four leaders like they did to Berlin.

Turkey will have no part to play, and the US really wants to keep Russia out of the picture. They blame Assad for ISIS but the vacuum left by the US and the coalition left in Iraq is what gave birth to ISIS. Easy to depose governments, and then let chaos reign. Since Obama keeps bringing up the right of a sovereign nation to protect its borders, he should realize that the Syrian government never invited the US onto its soil. The Turkmen through their actions have shown they are terrorists, and Russia will treat them accordingly.

HHeLiBe 25 Nov 2015 18:32

Erdogan is playing both NATO and Russia for fools. Trying to create a wedge and sabotage the restoration of stability in Syria.

Branko Dodig 25 Nov 2015 18:26

The Russian plane was shot over Syrian airspace. Even if it had strayed over Turkish airspace, it was not shot down there. Basically, an act of revenge for bombing their "rebel" buddies.

SallyWa -> FelixFeline 25 Nov 2015 18:24

It is "Turkey screwed up and overreacted". Not confusing at all.

SallyWa -> FelixFeline 25 Nov 2015 18:23

Sorry, but I'm not Russian and also where have you been - Russia has been fighting ISIS in Syria better than US/coalition, though US/coalition did it like for a whole year.The result is that ISIS lost territories which it gained under US's "watch".

centerline 25 Nov 2015 18:12

Since the G20 meeting, Russia has photographed and destroyed the Turkish/ISIS oil convoys.

In the day or so since Turkey shot down the Russian plane in defence of al Qaeda, Russia has for the first time attacked a Turkish logistics convoy to ISIS and al Qaeda right at the main border crossing to Allepo. A number of trucks destroyed and 7 killed in that operation. turkey will pay dearly in the days to come, without Russia ever having to move into Turkish territory.

Any Turks running errands for AQ and ISIS within Syria will now be an endangered species. Or more to the point they will simply be eradicated like the vermin they are.

luella zarf -> TonyBlunt 25 Nov 2015 18:10

What a joke.

In one year of bombing, August 2014-July 2015, the coalition conducted 44,000 airstrikes in Syria-Iraq and killed 15,000 ISIS fighters, which comes at 3 sorties per terrorist!

It is all a giant make-believe. They are only using ISIS as a pretext to occupy and breakup Syria. And Western populations swallow all these lies without blinking and feel victimized by refugees.


pfox33 25 Nov 2015 17:49

The US and Israel were totally freaking when Russia first considered selling Iran S-300 systems, even though they're defensive. It would have taken the feasibility of bombing Iran's nuclear infrastructure to an unknown place. Russia sold these systems to select customers, like China. The S-400 is not for sale. Any search of Youtube will explain why.

When the S-400 is set up around Latakia they will effectively own the surrounding skies for 400 miles in every direction. That extends well into Turkey.

Now, I'd bet that Putin has no plans to exacerbate the current situation by shooting down any Turkish jets out of revenge for yesterday's incident. But it will be unsettling for Turkish flyboys and their bosses to know that a good chunk of their a airspace is totally vulnerable and they fly there only because Russia lets them.

So maybe the Turks pissed in the pickles. This little problem is keeping the Nato nabobs up at night. They haven't said a fucking word.


Geraldine Baxter -> SallyWa 25 Nov 2015 17:47

it's astonishing how many of the Putin hating NATObots from the Ukrainian-themed CIF threads turn out to be ISIS supporters.

indeed, with the "stench" of US grand mufti all over them.. How far do you think Obama will bow on his next visit to Saudi.


Liesandstats -> luella zarf 25 Nov 2015 17:47

Yup the FT estimated before the Russians got involved that ISIS were producing between 30,000 and 40,000 barrels of oil a day. You would need over 2000 full size road tankers just to move one days output. Now its fair to assume after filling up it takes more than a day before it gets back to the pump. Surprisingly the US has neither noticed all these tankers and even more surprisingly the oil tanks and installations.

jonsid 25 Nov 2015 17:33

An article about Syria is now infested with Banderites. They need to worry more about their own long-time disaster of a country instead of stalking every article mentioning Russia.

Anette Mor 25 Nov 2015 17:29

Russians spent all this time signing the rules of engagement and recognition of each other air crafts over Syria with the US, only to be shot by Turkey. Does NATO even exist as a unit other than in the headquarter offices? They constantly refer to the terms which could allegedly force then to support each other in case of external threat, while clearly they will fuck each other on technicalities for years before doing anything practically viable. Russia waste their time talking to NATO, instead had to bribe Turkey separately into a workable local deal. I am sure Turkey got just the same conclusion after wasting time in NATO talks. Corruption and complicity eaten away common sense in western politician and military heads. They only think how weak or strong they would look imitating one or another decision.

aretheymyfeet -> psygone 25 Nov 2015 17:22

Hilarious, checkmate Putin? The only reason the Turks took this drastic action is because the Western alliance has lost the initiative in Syria and they are desperately trying to goad Russia into overreacting. But, as we have seen time and again from the Russians (Lavrov is an incredibly impressive Statesman) that they are cool headed, and restrained.

The whole regime change plan is hanging in the balance and every day Russia solidifies Assad's position. If this continues for even another month it will be virtually impossible for the Western alliance to demand the departure of Assad.

Their bargaining position is diminishing by the day and it is great to watch. Also good to read that the Russians have been pounding the shi*e out of those Turkmen areas. Expect those silly buggers to be slaughtered whilst Erdogan and the Turks watch on helplessly. If they even try anything inside the Syrian border now the Russians will annihilate them. I'd say if anything, the Turks have strengthened the Russians providing them with the perfect excuse to close the Syrian air space to "unfriendly" forces. Check.


thatshowitgoes 25 Nov 2015 16:56

Erdogan's reaction to Syria shooting down a Turkish jet in 2012. "Erdogan criticized Syria harshly on Tuesday for shooting down the Turkish fighter jet, saying: "Even if the plane was in their airspace for a few seconds, that is no excuse to attack." "It was clear that this plane was not an aggressive plane. Still it was shot down," the corrupt ISIS supporting scumbag said"

SallyWa -> psygone 25 Nov 2015 16:56

means he's politically impotent, militarily boxed in a corner and incompetent for self-inflicting

You know you just described Obama and all his policies in a nutshell.

Bob Nassh -> keepithuman 25 Nov 2015 16:54

I believe there's conditions within the NATO treaty that prevent them from defending another member nation providing the conflict was instigated by war crimes committed by the member nation.


MRModeratedModerate 25 Nov 2015 16:50

But of course Turkey was exposed last year...Yet our governments continue to ignore and cover.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/research-paper-isis-turke_b_6128950.html?ir=Australia

luella zarf Jeremn 25 Nov 2015 16:45

The US doesn't bomb ISIS, only pretends it does. Actually nobody bombs ISIS there except Russia.

Only between August 2014 and July 2015 the coalition aircraft have flown nearly 44,000 sorties, according to USNews, and Airwars said the strikes have killed more than 15,000 Islamic State militants during this period.

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/07/21/stealthy-jet-ensures-other-war-fighting-aircraft-survive

So they needed 3 sorties per terrorist! I have no idea how they manage to be this ineffective unless a) they are world's worst airforce b) it's all make-believe. My money is on option b).

Yury Kobyzev -> Valois1588 25 Nov 2015 16:41

Now fact - turkey government is on ISIS side. Its simplifies situation. Russia now quite free to clean the Turkey border from interface with ISIS. It's half a job in fight.

I don't see why Russia can be damaged by so stupid current west policy. I think that clever part of west will change policy towards Russia in near future and will find there friends as it was during ww2. You can repeat mantra Pu... tin as I use Ooom ... but is he of your level?

Chummy15 25 Nov 2015 16:30

Turkey has made it pretty clear where its primary loyalties lie, with ISIS and the other anti-Assad elements. It was a foolish move shooting down the Russian plane which clearly was no threat to the security of Turkey whether or not it had violated Turkish airspace, something that happen around the world regularly. It adds a further dimension to an already complicated war

[Nov 24, 2015] Nato meets as Russia confirms one of two pilots dead after jet shot down - live updates

Notable quotes:
"... Turkey's international airports have also been busy. Many, if not most, of the estimated 15,000-20,000 foreign fighters to have joined the Islamic State (Isis) have first flown into Istanbul or Adana, or arrived by ferry along its Mediterranean coast. ..."
"... The influx has offered fertile ground to allies of Assad who, well before a Turkish jet shot down a Russian fighter on Tuesday, had enabled, or even supported Isis. Vladimir Putin's reference to Turkey as "accomplices of terrorists" is likely to resonate even among some of Ankara's backers. ..."
"... Lavrov, speaking to reporters in the southern Russian city of Sochi, advised Russians not to visit Turkey and said the threat of terrorism there was the no less than in Egypt, where a bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger plane last month. ..."
"... One of the possible retaliatory measures Russia could take would be ban flights to Turkey, as Moscow did with Egypt after the Metrojet bombing over Sinai last month, writes Shaun Walker. There are dozens of flights a day between the two countries, so such a move would undoubtedly seriously affect trade and tourism. ..."
www.theguardian.com

Martin Chulov

When Putin labeled Turkey "accomplices of terrorists," he was hinting at complex relationship which includes links between senior Isis figures and Turkish officials, explains the Guardian's Martin Chulov in this analysis.
Turkey's international airports have also been busy. Many, if not most, of the estimated 15,000-20,000 foreign fighters to have joined the Islamic State (Isis) have first flown into Istanbul or Adana, or arrived by ferry along its Mediterranean coast.

The influx has offered fertile ground to allies of Assad who, well before a Turkish jet shot down a Russian fighter on Tuesday, had enabled, or even supported Isis. Vladimir Putin's reference to Turkey as "accomplices of terrorists" is likely to resonate even among some of Ankara's backers.

From midway through 2012, when jihadis started to travel to Syria, their presence was apparent at all points of the journey to the border. At Istanbul airport, in the southern cities of Hatay and Gaziantep – both of which were staging points – and in the border villages.

Foreigners on their way to fight remained fixtures on these routes until late in 2014 when, after continued pressure from the EU states and the US, coordinated efforts were made to turn them back.

Lavrov cancels planned visit to Turkey
No great surprise this, but Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cancelled a planned visit to Turkey.

Lavrov was due to visit Ankara on Wednesday for bilateral talks. Turkish officials had insited it would go ahead as planned.

Lavrov, speaking to reporters in the southern Russian city of Sochi, advised Russians not to visit Turkey and said the threat of terrorism there was the no less than in Egypt, where a bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger plane last month.

One of the possible retaliatory measures Russia could take would be ban flights to Turkey, as Moscow did with Egypt after the Metrojet bombing over Sinai last month, writes Shaun Walker. There are dozens of flights a day between the two countries, so such a move would undoubtedly seriously affect trade and tourism.

(That's it from me. I'm handling the live blog over to Mark Tran).

Shaun Walker

...Writing on Twitter Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament's international relations committee, said: "Ankara clearly did not weigh the consequences of its hostile acts for Turkey's interests and economy. The consequences will be very serious."

Here's video of Putin's response to the downing of the Russia jet:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/nov/24/vladimir-putin-turkey-russian-jet-video

Here are the key quotes from Putin's statement:

  • "The loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists. I can't describe it in any other way."
  • "Our aircraft was downed over the territory of Syria, using air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16. It fell on the Syrian territory 4km from Turkey."
  • "Neither our pilots nor our jet threatened the territory of Turkey."
  • "Today's tragic event will have significant consequences, including for Russia-Turkish relations ... Instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from Nato to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours."
  • "Do they want to make Nato serve ISIS? ... We hope that the international community will find the strength to come together and fight against the common evil."

Summary

... ... ...

Russia's president Vladimir Putin has warned Turkey of 'serious consequences' after a Russia fighter jet was shot down close to Turkey's border with Syria. Putin described the incident as a "stab in the back" and accused Turkey of siding with Islamic State militants in Syria.

... ... ...

[Nov 24, 2015] Russo-Syrian Forces Close to Cutting Off ISILs Supply Routes From Turkey

Notable quotes:
"... "The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria's borders. Turkey's provocation is just such a measure," he emphasizes. ..."
"... "As in the game of chess, a player often seeks to provoke their opponent into a series of moves," Cartalucci notes. ..."
sputniknews.com

Geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci draws attention to the fact that over the recent weeks Russian and Syrian forces have been steadily gaining ground in Syria, retaking territory from ISIL and al-Qaeda.

"The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has even begun approaching the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off ISIS [ISIL] from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory," Cartalucci narrates in his latest article for New Eastern Outlook.

He explains that from there, Syrian troops with Russian air support would move north, into the very "safe zone" which Washington and Ankara have planned to carve out of Syria. Cartalucci points out that the "safe zone" includes a northern Syria area stretching from Jarabulus to Afrin and Al-Dana.

If Syrian troops establish their control over this zone, the Western plan of taking and holding the territory (with the prospect of further Balkanization of the region) would fall apart at the seams. In light of this, the regime change project, harbored by the West since the very beginning of the Syrian unrest, would be "indefinitely suspended," Cartalucci underscores.

"The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria's borders. Turkey's provocation is just such a measure," he emphasizes.

"As in the game of chess, a player often seeks to provoke their opponent into a series of moves," Cartalucci notes.

According to the geopolitical analyst, Russia's best choice now is to continue winning this war, eventually taking the Jarabulus-Afrin corridor. By fortifying this area Russian and Syrian forces would prevent NATO from invading Syria, at the same time cutting off the ISIL and al-Nusra Front supply route from Turkey.

Russo-Syrian victory would have far-reaching consequences for the region as a whole. "With Syria secured, an alternative arc of influence will exist within the Middle East, one that will inevitably work against Saudi and other Persian Gulf regimes' efforts in Yemen, and in a wider sense, begin the irreversible eviction of Western hegemony from the region," Cartalucci underscores.

[Nov 24, 2015] Putin condemns Turkey after Russian warplane downed near Syria border

Notable quotes:
"... "We have always treated Turkey as a friendly state. I don't know who was interested in what happened today, certainly not us. And instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from Nato to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours." ..."
www.theguardian.com

A government official said: "In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15km or less away from the border. The aircraft didn't heed the warnings and proceeded to fly over Turkey. The Turkish air forces responded by downing the aircraft.

More on this topic: Turkey caught between aiding Turkmen and economic dependence on Russia

"This isn't an action against any specific country: our F-16s took necessary steps to defend Turkey's sovereign territory."

The Turkish UN ambassador, Halit Cevik, told the UN Security Council in a letter that two planes had flow a mile into Turkey for 17 seconds. "Following the violation, plane 1 left Turkish national airspace. Plane 2 was fired at while in Turkish national airspace by Turkish F-16s performing air combat patrolling in the area," he wrote.

... ... ...

Putin said there would be "serious consequences" for Russia-Turkish relations.

"We have always treated Turkey as a friendly state. I don't know who was interested in what happened today, certainly not us. And instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from Nato to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours."

[Nov 24, 2015] Nato meets as Russia confirms one of two pilots dead after jet shot down - live updates

Notable quotes:
"... Turkey's international airports have also been busy. Many, if not most, of the estimated 15,000-20,000 foreign fighters to have joined the Islamic State (Isis) have first flown into Istanbul or Adana, or arrived by ferry along its Mediterranean coast. ..."
"... The influx has offered fertile ground to allies of Assad who, well before a Turkish jet shot down a Russian fighter on Tuesday, had enabled, or even supported Isis. Vladimir Putin's reference to Turkey as "accomplices of terrorists" is likely to resonate even among some of Ankara's backers. ..."
"... Lavrov, speaking to reporters in the southern Russian city of Sochi, advised Russians not to visit Turkey and said the threat of terrorism there was the no less than in Egypt, where a bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger plane last month. ..."
"... One of the possible retaliatory measures Russia could take would be ban flights to Turkey, as Moscow did with Egypt after the Metrojet bombing over Sinai last month, writes Shaun Walker. There are dozens of flights a day between the two countries, so such a move would undoubtedly seriously affect trade and tourism. ..."
www.theguardian.com

Martin Chulov

When Putin labeled Turkey "accomplices of terrorists," he was hinting at complex relationship which includes links between senior Isis figures and Turkish officials, explains the Guardian's Martin Chulov in this analysis.
Turkey's international airports have also been busy. Many, if not most, of the estimated 15,000-20,000 foreign fighters to have joined the Islamic State (Isis) have first flown into Istanbul or Adana, or arrived by ferry along its Mediterranean coast.

The influx has offered fertile ground to allies of Assad who, well before a Turkish jet shot down a Russian fighter on Tuesday, had enabled, or even supported Isis. Vladimir Putin's reference to Turkey as "accomplices of terrorists" is likely to resonate even among some of Ankara's backers.

From midway through 2012, when jihadis started to travel to Syria, their presence was apparent at all points of the journey to the border. At Istanbul airport, in the southern cities of Hatay and Gaziantep – both of which were staging points – and in the border villages.

Foreigners on their way to fight remained fixtures on these routes until late in 2014 when, after continued pressure from the EU states and the US, coordinated efforts were made to turn them back.

Lavrov cancels planned visit to Turkey
No great surprise this, but Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cancelled a planned visit to Turkey.

Lavrov was due to visit Ankara on Wednesday for bilateral talks. Turkish officials had insited it would go ahead as planned.

Lavrov, speaking to reporters in the southern Russian city of Sochi, advised Russians not to visit Turkey and said the threat of terrorism there was the no less than in Egypt, where a bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger plane last month.

One of the possible retaliatory measures Russia could take would be ban flights to Turkey, as Moscow did with Egypt after the Metrojet bombing over Sinai last month, writes Shaun Walker. There are dozens of flights a day between the two countries, so such a move would undoubtedly seriously affect trade and tourism.

(That's it from me. I'm handling the live blog over to Mark Tran).

Shaun Walker

...Writing on Twitter Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament's international relations committee, said: "Ankara clearly did not weigh the consequences of its hostile acts for Turkey's interests and economy. The consequences will be very serious."

Here's video of Putin's response to the downing of the Russia jet:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/nov/24/vladimir-putin-turkey-russian-jet-video

Here are the key quotes from Putin's statement:

  • "The loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists. I can't describe it in any other way."
  • "Our aircraft was downed over the territory of Syria, using air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16. It fell on the Syrian territory 4km from Turkey."
  • "Neither our pilots nor our jet threatened the territory of Turkey."
  • "Today's tragic event will have significant consequences, including for Russia-Turkish relations ... Instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from Nato to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours."
  • "Do they want to make Nato serve ISIS? ... We hope that the international community will find the strength to come together and fight against the common evil."

Summary

... ... ...

Russia's president Vladimir Putin has warned Turkey of 'serious consequences' after a Russia fighter jet was shot down close to Turkey's border with Syria. Putin described the incident as a "stab in the back" and accused Turkey of siding with Islamic State militants in Syria.

... ... ...

[Nov 24, 2015] Russo-Syrian Forces Close to Cutting Off ISILs Supply Routes From Turkey

Notable quotes:
"... "The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria's borders. Turkey's provocation is just such a measure," he emphasizes. ..."
"... "As in the game of chess, a player often seeks to provoke their opponent into a series of moves," Cartalucci notes. ..."
sputniknews.com

Geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci draws attention to the fact that over the recent weeks Russian and Syrian forces have been steadily gaining ground in Syria, retaking territory from ISIL and al-Qaeda.

"The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has even begun approaching the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off ISIS [ISIL] from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory," Cartalucci narrates in his latest article for New Eastern Outlook.

He explains that from there, Syrian troops with Russian air support would move north, into the very "safe zone" which Washington and Ankara have planned to carve out of Syria. Cartalucci points out that the "safe zone" includes a northern Syria area stretching from Jarabulus to Afrin and Al-Dana.

If Syrian troops establish their control over this zone, the Western plan of taking and holding the territory (with the prospect of further Balkanization of the region) would fall apart at the seams. In light of this, the regime change project, harbored by the West since the very beginning of the Syrian unrest, would be "indefinitely suspended," Cartalucci underscores.

"The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria's borders. Turkey's provocation is just such a measure," he emphasizes.

"As in the game of chess, a player often seeks to provoke their opponent into a series of moves," Cartalucci notes.

According to the geopolitical analyst, Russia's best choice now is to continue winning this war, eventually taking the Jarabulus-Afrin corridor. By fortifying this area Russian and Syrian forces would prevent NATO from invading Syria, at the same time cutting off the ISIL and al-Nusra Front supply route from Turkey.

Russo-Syrian victory would have far-reaching consequences for the region as a whole. "With Syria secured, an alternative arc of influence will exist within the Middle East, one that will inevitably work against Saudi and other Persian Gulf regimes' efforts in Yemen, and in a wider sense, begin the irreversible eviction of Western hegemony from the region," Cartalucci underscores.

[Nov 24, 2015] Putin condemns Turkey after Russian warplane downed near Syria border

Notable quotes:
"... "We have always treated Turkey as a friendly state. I don't know who was interested in what happened today, certainly not us. And instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from Nato to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours." ..."
www.theguardian.com

A government official said: "In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15km or less away from the border. The aircraft didn't heed the warnings and proceeded to fly over Turkey. The Turkish air forces responded by downing the aircraft.

More on this topic: Turkey caught between aiding Turkmen and economic dependence on Russia

"This isn't an action against any specific country: our F-16s took necessary steps to defend Turkey's sovereign territory."

The Turkish UN ambassador, Halit Cevik, told the UN Security Council in a letter that two planes had flow a mile into Turkey for 17 seconds. "Following the violation, plane 1 left Turkish national airspace. Plane 2 was fired at while in Turkish national airspace by Turkish F-16s performing air combat patrolling in the area," he wrote.

... ... ...

Putin said there would be "serious consequences" for Russia-Turkish relations.

"We have always treated Turkey as a friendly state. I don't know who was interested in what happened today, certainly not us. And instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from Nato to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours."

[Nov 15, 2015] Paris attacks Andrew J. Bacevich A war the West cannot win

"It's past time for the West, and above all for the United States as the West's primary military power, to consider trying something different.
Rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one. Instead of attempting to impose its will on the Greater Middle East, it should erect barriers to protect itself..."
Notable quotes:
"... Today, notwithstanding the Obama administration's continuing appetite for military piddling - air strikes, commando raids, and advisory missions - few Americans retain any appetite for undertaking further large-scale hostilities in the Islamic world. ..."
"... In proposing to pour yet more fuel on that fire, Hollande demonstrates a crippling absence of imagination, one that has characterized recent Western statesmanship more generally when it comes to the Islamic world. There, simply trying harder won't suffice as a basis of policy. ..."
"... Rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one. Instead of attempting to impose its will on the Greater Middle East, it should erect barriers to protect itself from the violence emanating from that quarter. Such barriers will necessarily be imperfect, but they will produce greater security at a more affordable cost than is gained by engaging in futile, open-ended armed conflicts. Rather than vainly attempting to police or control, this revised strategy should seek to contain. .. ..."
Nov 14, 2015 | The Boston Globe

French President Francois Hollande's response to Friday's vicious terrorist attacks, now attributed to ISIS, was immediate and uncompromising. "We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless," he vowed.

Whether France itself possesses the will or the capacity to undertake such a war is another matter. So too is the question of whether further war can provide a remedy to the problem at hand: widespread disorder roiling much of the Greater Middle East and periodically spilling into the outside world.

It's not as if the outside world hasn't already given pitiless war a try. The Soviet Union spent all of the 1980s attempting to pacify Afghanistan and succeeded only in killing a million or so Afghans while creating an incubator for Islamic radicalism. Beginning in 2003, the United States attempted something similar in Iraq and ended up producing similarly destabilizing results. By the time US troops withdrew in 2011, something like 200,000 Iraqis had died, most of the them civilians. Today Iraq teeters on the brink of disintegration.

Perhaps if the Russians had tried harder or the Americans had stayed longer they might have achieved a more favorable outcome. Yet that qualifies as a theoretical possibility at best. Years of fighting in Afghanistan exhausted the Soviet Union and contributed directly to its subsequent collapse. Years of fighting in Iraq used up whatever "Let's roll!" combativeness Americans may have entertained in the wake of 9/11.

Today, notwithstanding the Obama administration's continuing appetite for military piddling - air strikes, commando raids, and advisory missions - few Americans retain any appetite for undertaking further large-scale hostilities in the Islamic world. Fewer still will sign up to follow President Hollande in undertaking any new crusade. Their reluctance to do so is understandable and appropriate.

It's difficult to imagine the nihilism, and contempt for humanity, that could motivate such cold-blooded rage.

The fact is that United States and its European allies, to include France, face a perplexing strategic conundrum. Collectively they find themselves locked in a protracted conflict with Islamic radicalism, with ISIS but one manifestation of a much larger phenomenon. Prospects for negotiating an end to that conflict anytime soon appear to be nil. Alas, so too do prospects of winning it.

In this conflict, the West generally appears to enjoy the advantage of clear-cut military superiority. By almost any measure, we are stronger than our adversaries. Our arsenals are bigger, our weapons more sophisticated, our generals better educated in the art of war, our fighters better trained at waging it.

Yet most of this has proven to be irrelevant. Time and again the actual employment of that ostensibly superior military might has produced results other than those intended or anticipated. Even where armed intervention has achieved a semblance of tactical success - the ousting of some unsavory dictator, for example - it has yielded neither reconciliation nor willing submission nor even sullen compliance. Instead, intervention typically serves to aggravate, inciting further resistance. Rather than putting out the fires of radicalism, we end up feeding them.

In proposing to pour yet more fuel on that fire, Hollande demonstrates a crippling absence of imagination, one that has characterized recent Western statesmanship more generally when it comes to the Islamic world. There, simply trying harder won't suffice as a basis of policy.

It's past time for the West, and above all for the United States as the West's primary military power, to consider trying something different.

Rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one. Instead of attempting to impose its will on the Greater Middle East, it should erect barriers to protect itself from the violence emanating from that quarter. Such barriers will necessarily be imperfect, but they will produce greater security at a more affordable cost than is gained by engaging in futile, open-ended armed conflicts. Rather than vainly attempting to police or control, this revised strategy should seek to contain. ...

Fred C. Dobbs ->Fred C. Dobbs...

'Rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one. Instead of attempting to impose its will on the Greater Middle East, it should erect barriers to protect itself from the violence emanating from that quarter. Such barriers will necessarily be imperfect, but they will produce greater security at a more affordable cost...'

The question remains: Is it possible to do this?

Granted, the Mediterranean Sea is an insufficient barrier.

anne ->Fred C. Dobbs... November 14, 2015 at 12:35 PM
'Rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one. Instead of attempting to impose its will on the Greater Middle East, it should erect barriers to protect itself from the violence emanating from that quarter. Such barriers will necessarily be imperfect, but they will produce greater security at a more affordable cost...'

The question remains: Is it possible to do this?

Granted, the Mediterranean Sea is an insufficient barrier.

[ My understanding is that such a barrier is only possible to maintain when there are working governments in countries through the Middle East. Destroying the governments of Iraq and Libya proved disastrous strategic mistakes, destroying the government of Syria would be another such mistake but we have been determined to do just that. Yemen, the same.

Iraq was a strategic disaster but we learned nothing and went after Libya and now Syria and Yemen. ]

pgl ->Fred C. Dobbs... November 14, 2015 at 12:46 PM
ISIS is doing a lot of boosting now. Osama bin Laden was doing a lot of past late in 2001. What ever happened to that guy? Pissing off both the French and the Russians by killing 100s of their citizens is a good way to get yourself killed.

[Nov 06, 2015] Facebook Revenue Surges 41%, as Mobile Advertising and Users Keep Growing

In after Snowden world, is this a testament that most smartphone users are idiots, or what ?
Notable quotes:
"... The company said mobile advertising in the third quarter accounted for a colossal 78 percent of its ad revenue, up from 66 percent a year ago. ..."
"... ... ... ... ..."
Nov 06, 2015 | The New York Time

Facebook is so far defying concerns about its spending habits - a criticism that has at times also plagued Amazon and Alphabet's Google - because the social network is on a short list of tech companies that make money from the wealth of mobile visitors to its smartphone app and website. The company said mobile advertising in the third quarter accounted for a colossal 78 percent of its ad revenue, up from 66 percent a year ago.

... ... ...

Revenue was also bolstered by Facebook increasing the number of ads it showed users over the past year, said David Wehner, the company's chief financial officer. And video advertising, a growth area for Facebook, is on the rise: More than eight billion video views happen on the social network every day, the company said.

Hand in hand with the increased advertising is more users to view the promotions. The number of daily active users of Facebook exceeded one billion for the first time in the quarter, up 17 percent from a year earlier, with monthly active mobile users up 23 percent, to 1.4 billion.

... ... ...

Beyond the properties it owns, Facebook is dabbling in partnerships with media companies that could prove lucrative in the future. In May, the company debuted a feature called Instant Articles with a handful of publishers, including The New York Times, which lets users read articles from directly inside the Facebook app without being directed to a web browser.

[Nov 06, 2015] How Firefox's New Private Mode Trumps Chrome's Incognito

11/05/15 | Observer

Comment

Firefox ups its privacy game with version 42.

Mozilla made a bit of a splash this week with the announcement of its updated "private mode" in Firefox, but it's worth spelling out exactly why: Firefox's enhanced privacy mode blocks web trackers.

Users familiar with Chrome's "Incognito Mode" may assume that's what it does as well, but it doesn't. It's no fault of Google or the Chromium Project if someone misunderstands the degree of protection. The company is clear in its FAQ: all Incognito Mode does is keep your browsing out of the browser's history.

'We think that when you launch private browsing you're telling us that you want more control over the data you share on the web.'

Firefox's new "Private Mode" one-ups user protection here by automatically blocking web trackers. Nick Nguyen, Vice President for Product at Mozilla, says in the video announcement, "We think that when you launch private browsing you're telling us that you want more control over the data you share on the web." That sounds right. In fact, most people probably think private modes provide more safety than they do.

Firefox has been working to educate web users about the prevalence of trackers for a long time. In 2012, it introduced Collusion to help users visualize just how many spying eyes were in the background of their browsing (a tool now known by the milquetoast name 'Lightbeam') and how they follow you around.

Privacy nuts might be thinking, "Hey, isn't the new Private Mode basically doing what the Ghostery add-on/extension does already? It looks that way. Ghostery was not immediately available for comment on this story. This reporter started using Ghostery in earnest in the last few weeks, and while it does bust the odd page, overall, it makes the web much faster. As Mr. Nguyen says in the video, Firefox's new mode should do the roughly the same.

The best way to update Firefox is within the 'About Firefox' dialogue. Open it and let it check for updates (if it doesn't say version 42.0 or higher, the browser doesn't have it). On Macs, find "About Firefox" under the "Firefox" tab in the menu bar. On a PC, find it in the hamburger menu in the upper right.

Competition in the browser battles keeps improving the functionality of the web. When Chrome first came along, Firefox had become incredibly bloated.

Notice of what's new in 'Private Mode' when opened in Firefox, after updating. (Screenshot: Firefox)

Notice of what's new in 'Private Mode' when opened in Firefox, after updating. (Screenshot: Firefox)

Then, Chrome popularized the notion of incognito browsing, back when the main privacy concern was that our roommate would look at our browsing history to see how often we were visiting Harry Potter fansites (shout out to stand-up comic, Ophira Eisenberg, for that one).

As the web itself has become bloated with spyware, incorporating tracker blocking directly into the structure of the world's second most popular browser is a strong incentive for web managers to be more judicious about the stuff they load up in the background of websites.

Don't forget, though, that even with trackers blocked, determined sites can probably identify visitors and they can definitely profile, using browser fingerprinting. If you really want to hide, use Tor. If you're mega paranoid, try the Tails OS.

[Nov 06, 2015] Wikileaks' Hacked Stratfor Emails Shed Light on Feds Using License Plate Readers

Oct 01, 2015 | observer.com

Federal law enforcement began planning to use license plate readers in 2009 to track cars that visited gun shows against cars that crossed the border into Mexico, according to notes from a meeting between United States and Mexican law enforcement, released on Wikileaks. The notes were taken by Marko Papic, then of Stratfor, a company that describes itself as a publisher of geopolitical intelligence.

License plate readers are becoming a standard tool for local and national law enforcement across the country. In 2013, the ACLU showed that state and local law enforcement were widely documenting drivers' movements. Ars Technica looked at license plate data collected in Oakland. In January, the ACLU described documents attained from the Drug Enforcement Agency under the Freedom of Information Act that showed that agency has been working closely with state and local law enforcement. Many of the findings in these latter documents corroborate some of the insights provided by the 2009 meeting notes on Wikileaks.

Wikileaks began publishing these emails in February 2012, as the "Global Intelligence Files," as the Observer previously reported. The documents have to be read with some caution. These were reportedly attained by hackers in December 2011. A Stratfor spokesperson declined to comment on the leaked emails, referring the Observer instead to its 2012 statement, which says, "Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic. We will not validate either."

While it's hard to imagine that such a giant trove could be completely fabricated, there is also no way to know whether or not some of it was tampered with. That said, details about federal license plate reader programs largely square with subsequent findings about the surveillance systems.

The meeting appears to have been primarily concerned with arms control, but related matters, such as illegal drug traffic and the Zetas, come up as well. The focus of the meeting appears to be information sharing among the various authorities, from both countries. Among other initiatives, the notes describe the origins of a sophisticated national system of automobile surveillance.

Here are some findings on law enforcement technology, with an emphasis on tracking automobiles:

The notes themselves are not dated, but the email containing them is dated September 4, 2009. It provides no names, but it cites people from the Mexican Embassy, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firerearms, DEA, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and others. The only person named is Marko Papic, who identifies himself in this hacked email. Stephen Meiners circulated Mr. Papic's notes from the summit's morning and afternoon session in one email.

The Supreme Court of California is set to review police's exemption to sharing information on how they use license plate reader data in that state. A court in Fairfax County, Virginia, is set to consider a suit against police there over local law enforcement keeping and sharing of data about people not suspected of a crime.

The DEA and the ATF did not reply to a request for comment for this story.

[Nov 06, 2015] An Entire City Trolled NSA Spies Using an Art Project

Notable quotes:
"... This created an open communication network, meaning that with the use of any wifi-enabled device, anyone could send anything (text messages, voice calls, photos and files) anonymously for those listening to hear. ..."
"... "If people are spying on us, it stands to reason that they have ..."
"... To no surprise, there was a ton of trolling. ..."
observer.com

When it was revealed in 2013 that the NSA and its UK equivalent, GCHQ, routinely spied on the German government, artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter came up with a plan.

They installed a series of antennas on the roof of the Swiss Embassy in Berlin and another giant antenna on the roof of the Academy of Arts, which is located exactly between the listening posts of the NSA and GCHQ. This created an open communication network, meaning that with the use of any wifi-enabled device, anyone could send anything (text messages, voice calls, photos and files) anonymously for those listening to hear.

"If people are spying on us, it stands to reason that they have to listen to what we are saying," Mr. Jud said in a TED Talk on the subject that was filmed at TED Global London in September and uploaded onto Ted.com today.

This was perfectly legal, and they named the project "Can You Hear Me?"

To no surprise, there was a ton of trolling. One message read, "This is the NSA. In God we trust. In all others we track!!!!!" Another said, "Agents, what twisted story of yourself will you tell your grandchildren?" One particularly humorous message jokingly pleaded, "@NSA My neighbors are noisy. Please send a drone strike."

Watch the full talk here for more trolling messages and details about the project:

... ... ...

[Nov 06, 2015] An Entire City Trolled NSA Spies Using an Art Project

Notable quotes:
"... This created an open communication network, meaning that with the use of any wifi-enabled device, anyone could send anything (text messages, voice calls, photos and files) anonymously for those listening to hear. ..."
"... "If people are spying on us, it stands to reason that they have ..."
"... To no surprise, there was a ton of trolling. ..."
observer.com

When it was revealed in 2013 that the NSA and its UK equivalent, GCHQ, routinely spied on the German government, artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter came up with a plan.

They installed a series of antennas on the roof of the Swiss Embassy in Berlin and another giant antenna on the roof of the Academy of Arts, which is located exactly between the listening posts of the NSA and GCHQ. This created an open communication network, meaning that with the use of any wifi-enabled device, anyone could send anything (text messages, voice calls, photos and files) anonymously for those listening to hear.

"If people are spying on us, it stands to reason that they have to listen to what we are saying," Mr. Jud said in a TED Talk on the subject that was filmed at TED Global London in September and uploaded onto Ted.com today.

This was perfectly legal, and they named the project "Can You Hear Me?"

To no surprise, there was a ton of trolling. One message read, "This is the NSA. In God we trust. In all others we track!!!!!" Another said, "Agents, what twisted story of yourself will you tell your grandchildren?" One particularly humorous message jokingly pleaded, "@NSA My neighbors are noisy. Please send a drone strike."

Watch the full talk here for more trolling messages and details about the project:

... ... ...

[Nov 05, 2015] This 19th-Century Invention Could Keep You From Being Hacked

Just typing your correspondence on disconnected from internet computer and pointing it on connected via USB printer is enough. Or better writing letter using regular pen.
observer.com

The most secure and, at the same time, usable, method of creating, sharing and storing information is to write it up on a manual typewriter and store it in a locked filing cabinet

If the CIA's Director John Brennan can't keep his emails private, who can? Sadly, the fact that email and instant messaging are far more convenient than communicating via papers in envelopes or by actually talking on the phone, or (God forbid) face to face, these technologies are far more insecure. Could it be that the old ways protected both secrecy and privacy far better than what we have now?

The men and women in the United States government assigned to protect our nation's most important secrets have good reason to quote Allen Ginsberg, the Beat poet who proclaimed, "The typewriter is holy." For that matter so are pens, pencils, carbon paper and ordinary paper. In the digital age privacy as we once knew it, is dead, not just for ordinary citizens, but for government officials including, apparently, the head of the CIA-not to mention our former Secretary of State. Neither the NSA nor the U.S. military have been able to keep their secrets from being exposed by the likes of WikiLeaks or Edward Snowden.

... ... ...

Given America's failures to protect our own secret information, one hopes and wishes that the U.S. is as successful at stealing information from our potential foes as they are at stealing from us.

In the private sector, hackers steal information from countless companies, ranging from Target to Ashley Madison. The banks rarely let on how badly or how often they are victimized by cybercrime, but rumor has it that it is significant. At least for now, the incentives for making and selling effective cyber security systems are nowhere near as powerful as the incentives for building systems that can steal secret or private information from individuals, as well as from corporations and governments. In the digital age, privacy is gone.

Increasingly, organizations and individuals are rediscovering the virtues of paper. Non-digital media are simply invulnerable to hacking. Stealing information from a typewriter is harder than stealing it from a word processor, computer or server. A physical file with sheets of paper covered in words written either by hand or by typewriter is a safer place to store confidential information than any electronic data storage system yet devised.

[Nov 04, 2015] Surveillance Q A: what web data is affected – and how to foil the snoopers

Notable quotes:
"... The government is attempting to push into law the ability for law enforcement agencies to be able to look at 12 months of what they are calling "internet connection records", limited to the website domains that UK internet users visit. ..."
"... It does not cover specific pages: so police and spies will not be able to access that level of detail. That means they would know that a person has spent time on the Guardian website, but not what article they read. ..."
"... Information about the sites you visit can be very revealing. The data would show if a person has regularly visited Ashley Madison – the website that helped facilitate extramarital affairs. A visit to an Alcoholics Anonymous website or an abortion advice service could reveal far more than you would like the government or law enforcement to know. ..."
"... In using a VPN you are placing all your trust in the company that operates the VPN to both secure your data and repel third parties from intercepting your connection. A VPN based in the UK may also be required to keep a log of your browsing history in the same way an ISP would. ..."
"... One way to prevent an accurate profile of your browsing history from being built could be to visit random sites. Visiting nine random domains for every website you actually want to visit would increase the amount of data that your ISP has to store tenfold. But not everybody has the patience for that. ..."
The Guardian

Critics call it a revived snooper's charter, because the government wants police and spies to be given access to the web browsing history of everyone in Britain.

However, Theresa May says her measures would require internet companies to store data about customers that amount to "simply the modern equivalent of an itemised phone bill".

Who is right? And is there anything you can do to make your communications more secure?

What exactly is the government after?

The government is attempting to push into law the ability for law enforcement agencies to be able to look at 12 months of what they are calling "internet connection records", limited to the website domains that UK internet users visit.

This is the log of websites that you visit through your internet service provider (ISP), commonly called internet browsing history, and is different from the history stored by your internet browser, such as Microsoft's Edge, Apple's Safari or Google's Chrome.

It does not cover specific pages: so police and spies will not be able to access that level of detail. That means they would know that a person has spent time on the Guardian website, but not what article they read.

Clearing your browser history or using private or incognito browsing modes do nothing to affect your browsing history stored by the ISP.

What will they be able to learn about my internet activity?

Information about the sites you visit can be very revealing. The data would show if a person has regularly visited Ashley Madison – the website that helped facilitate extramarital affairs. A visit to an Alcoholics Anonymous website or an abortion advice service could reveal far more than you would like the government or law enforcement to know.

The logged internet activity is also likely to reveal who a person banks with, the social media they use, whether they have considered travelling (eg by visiting an airline homepage) and a range of information that could in turn link to other sources of personal information.

Who will store my web browsing data?

The onus is on ISPs – the companies that users pay to provide access to the internet – to store the browsing history of its customers for 12 months. That includes fixed line broadband providers, such as BT, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin, but also mobile phone providers such as EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

... ... ...

Don't ISPs already store this data?

They already store a limited amount of data on customer communications for a minimum of one year and have done for some time, governed by the EU's data retention directive. That data can be accessed under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa).

The new bill will enshrine the storage of browsing history and access to that data in law.

Can people hide their internet browsing history?

There are a few ways to prevent the collection of your browsing history data, but each way is a compromise.

The most obvious way is the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). They channel your data from your computer through your ISP to a third-party service before immersing on the internet. In doing so they can obfuscate your data from your ISP and therefore the government's collection of browsing history.

Companies routinely use VPNs to secure connections to services when off-site such as home workers. Various companies such as HotspotShield offer both free or paid-for VPN services to users.

Using the Tor browser, freely available from the Tor project, is another way to hide what you're doing from your ISP and takes things a stage further. It allows users to connect directly to a network of computers that route your traffic by bouncing it around other computers connected to Tor before emerging on the open internet.

Your ISP will see that you are connected to Tor, but not what you are doing with it. But not everybody has the technical skills to be comfortable using Tor.

Is there any downside to using a VPN?

In using a VPN you are placing all your trust in the company that operates the VPN to both secure your data and repel third parties from intercepting your connection. A VPN based in the UK may also be required to keep a log of your browsing history in the same way an ISP would.

The speed of your internet connection is also limited by the VPN. Most free services are slow, some paid-for services are faster.

Tor also risks users having their data intercepted, either at the point of exit from the Tor network to the open internet or along the path. This is technically tricky, however. Because your internet traffic is bounced between computers before reaching you, Tor can be particularly slow.

Can I protest-browse to show I'm unhappy with the new law?

One way to prevent an accurate profile of your browsing history from being built could be to visit random sites. Visiting nine random domains for every website you actually want to visit would increase the amount of data that your ISP has to store tenfold. But not everybody has the patience for that.

At some point it will be very difficult to store that much data, should everyone begin doing so.

... ... ...

[Nov 02, 2015] The Fatal Blindness of Unrealistic Expectations

Notable quotes:
"... Snowden revealed some outrageous practices and constitutional abuses and the Obama administration - yes the same one that has not managed to bring a single criminal charge against a single senior banker - wants to charge Snowden with espionage. ..."
"... The fact is that Mr Snowden committed very serious crimes, and the US government and the Department of Justice believe that he should face them." ..."
Peak Prosperity
cmartenson
Speaking of not having a clear strategy or vision

Snowden revealed some outrageous practices and constitutional abuses and the Obama administration - yes the same one that has not managed to bring a single criminal charge against a single senior banker - wants to charge Snowden with espionage.

It bears repeating; US Bankers committed literally hundreds of thousands of serious felonies and *not one* was ever charged by the Justice Dept. under Obama's two terms.

Recently the White House spokesman said "The fact is that Mr Snowden committed very serious crimes, and the US government and the Department of Justice believe that he should face them."

Well, either you believe serious crimes should be prosecuted or you don't.

Pick one.

But to try and be selective about it all just makes one something of a tyrant. Wielding power when and how it suits one's aims instead of equally is pretty much the definition of tyranny (which includes "the unreasonable or arbitrary use of power")

However, the EU has decided to drop all criminal charges against Snowden showing that the US is losing legitimacy across the globe by the day.

EU parliament votes to 'drop any criminal charges' against whistle-blower

The European parliament voted to lift criminal charges against American whistle-blower Edward Snowden on Thursday.

In an incredibly close vote, EU MEPs said he should be granted protection as a "human rights defender" in a move that was celebrated as a "chance to move forward" by Mr Snowden from Russia.

This seems both right and significant. Significant because the US power structure must be seething. It means that the EU is moving away form the US on important matters, and that's significant too. Right because Snowden revealed deeply illegal and unconstitutional practices that, for the record, went waaaaAAaaay beyond the so-called 'meta-data phone records' issue.

And why shouldn't the EU begin to carve their own path? Their interests and the US's are wildly different at this point in history, especially considering the refugee crisis that was largely initiated by US meddling and warmongering in the Middle East.

At this point, I would say that the US has lost all legitimacy on the subject of equal application of the laws, and cannot be trusted when it comes to manufacturing "evidence" that is used to invade, provoke or stoke a conflict somewhere.

The US is now the Yahoo! of countries; cheerleading our own self-described excellence and superiority at everything when the facts on the ground say something completely different.

Quercus bicolor

cmartenson wrote:

Recently the White House spokesman said "The fact is that Mr Snowden committed very serious crimes, and the US government and the Department of Justice believe that he should face them."

And this "serious crime" was committed by Snowden because he saw it as the only viable path to revealing a systematic pattern of crimes by none other than our own federal government that are so serious that they threaten the basic founding principles on which our REPUBLIC was founded.


lambertad

Truth is treason

You know how the old saying goes "truth is treason in the empire of lies". I'm a staunch libertarian, but I wasn't always that way. Before that I spent most of my 20's in Special Operations wanting to 'kill bad guys who attacked us' on 9/11. It wasn't until my last deployment that I got ahold of Dr. Ron Paul's books and dug through them and realized his viewpoint suddenly made much more sense than anyone else's. Not only did it make much more sense, but it was based on Natural Law and the founding principals of our country.

A lot has been made of the fact that Snowden contributed money to Dr. Paul's 2008 presidential campaign and that this was an obvious tell that he was really an undercover (insert whatever words the media used - traitor, anarchist, russian spy, etc.). The part that I find troubling is the fact that Snowden revealed to the world that we are all being watched, probably not in real time, but if they ever want to review the 'tapes' they can see what we do essentially every minute of every day. That's BIG news to get out to the citizenry. If you've got access to that kind of data, you don't want that getting out, but here's the kicker - Very few in this country today even care. Nothing in this country has changed that I'm aware of. GCHQ still spies on us and passes the info to the NSA. The NSA still spys on everyone and the Brits and passes the info to GCHQ. Austrialia and NZ and Canda still spy on whoever and pass the info on to whoever wants it. It's craziness.

At the same time, as Chris and others have pointed out, we're bombing people (ISIS/Al Nusra/AQ) we supported ('moderate rebels) before we bombed them (AQ) after we bombed Sadaam and invaded Iraq. Someone please tell me the strategy other than the "7 countries in 5 years plan". Yup, sounds a lot like Yahoo!.

I'm looking forward to Christmas this year because I get to spend 5 days with my wife's family again. My father-in-law is a smart man, but thinks the government is still all powerful and has everything under control. It should make some interesting conversations and debating.

Thanks for the article Adam, interesting parallel between TPTB and Yahoo!.

[Oct 31, 2015] Congresswoman Calls US Effort To Oust Assad Illegal, Accuses CIA Of Backing Terroists

Neocon Wolf Blitzer against Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
Notable quotes:
"... This is one incredible person, she stands in a league of her own. The only pol Ive heard in a decade that makes a bit of sense. I now despise only 534 members of CONgress. ..."
"... Former CIA director Allen Dulles ordered JFKs assassination because he was a threat to national security, a new book has claimed. ..."
"... Allen Dulles most certainly was involved with the murder of JFK, and ensuing coverup. Dulles was central in the Warren Commission whitewash as well ..."
"... Elected in 2012, she is the first American Samoan[3] and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress,[4] and, along with Tammy Duckworth, one of its first female combat veterans.[5] ..."
"... She has a lot of guts unlike the shitty little vile NeoCons like McCain and Lindsay Graham and the Neo-Zio-Libs like Feinstein and Schumer who are dual shit-i-zens. ..."
"... fighting against Islamic extremists. ..."
"... What the CIA, et alia, ..."
"... Islamic extremist groups, ..."
"... terrorism, ..."
"... uccessfulness ..."
"... insanities. ..."
"... AFGHAN OPIUM PRODUCTION INCREASES 35-FOLD SINCE U.S. INVASION ..."
"... http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/10/afghan-opium-produ... ..."
"... "Hoisted on their own petard" is an apt aphorism. ..."
"... Petard action happens at 6 minutes in, when Tulsi explains how if the U.S. repeats the same action as Iraq and Libya, the results will equal. ..."
"... That seed was already planted ..."
"... not a good interview for zio Wolfe ... ..."
Oct 31, 2015 | Zero Hedge
One point we've been particularly keen on driving home since the beginning of Russian airstrikes in Syria is that The Kremlin's move to step in on behalf of Bashar al-Assad along with Vladimir Putin's open "invitation" to Washington with regard to joining forces in the fight against terrorism effectively let the cat out of the proverbial bag.

That is, it simply wasn't possible for the US to explain why the Pentagon refused to partner with the Russians without admitting that i) the government views Assad, Russia, and Iran as a greater threat than ISIS, and ii) Washington and its regional allies don't necessarily want to see Sunni extremism wiped out in Syria and Iraq.

Admitting either one of those points would be devastating from a PR perspective. No amount of Russophobic propaganda and/or looped video clips of the Ayatollah ranting against the US would be enough to convince the public that Moscow and Tehran are a greater threat than the black flag-waving jihadists beheading Westerners and burning Jordanian pilots alive in Hollywood-esque video clips, and so, The White House has been forced to scramble around in a desperate attempt to salvage the narrative.

Well, it hasn't worked.

With each passing week, more and more people are beginning to ask the kinds of questions the Pentagon and CIA most assuredly do not want to answer and now, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is out calling Washington's effort to oust Assad both "counterproductive" and "illegal." In the following priceless video clip, Gabbard accuses the CIA of arming the very same terrorists who The White House insists are "our sworn enemy" and all but tells the American public that the government is lying to them and may end up inadvertently starting "World War III."

Enjoy:

https://youtu.be/IHkher6ceaA

For more on how Russia and Iran's efforts in Syria have cornered the US from a foreign policy perspective, see "ISIS In 'Retreat' As Russia Destroys 32 Targets While Putin Trolls Obama As 'Weak With No Strategy'"

aint no fortunate son's

This is one incredible person, she stands in a league of her own. The only pol I've heard in a decade that makes a bit of sense. I now despise only 534 members of CONgress.

Paveway IV

"...Gabbard accuses the CIA of arming the very same terrorists who The White House insists are "our sworn enemy" and all but tells the American public that the government is lying to them and may end up inadvertently starting "World War III."..."

Oh, then you're saying that that's future PRESIDENT Gabbard...

Sergeiab

Damn, you might be right. Look: see the public opinion is totally shifting (Easy when you have access to all the comments of all medias, including the moderated ones). Find someone among the democrats who voice it. Give her/him "random" media exposure (she was on Bill Maher few days ago) "Sudden rise of an outsider". She's a soldier/veteran/surfer 32yo. "Incredible American story". And at some point, she says she's transgender. Instant POTUS. That fits. That fits the "change/let's do something wild for once" that everybody's craving for (Trump). And it can't be random that a dissident voice is given media exposure. And she's beyond democrat/gop... That's a lot.

Is there a closing date for the primaries?

If not, she/he might well be the 45th president.

Sergeiab

Actually she's gonna be 35 in 2016...

And she did it again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSnXtapv9oQ

G.O.O.D

Accuses CIA Of Backing Terroists.

She left out Mossad, mI6, Saudis, Turkey and how many other zionist controlled CUNTries.

Dick Buttkiss

"Accuses CIA Of Backing Terroists."

Backing terrorist? How about being terrorists?

dot_bust

I agree. Good point.

I'd like to add that President John F. Kennedy issued an NSAM forbidding the CIA from conducting an further paramilitary operations and turned those operations over to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

President Truman only intended the CIA to analyze data from the other U.S. intelligence agencies, not to engage in any field operations. Here's his original op-ed piece about that very subject: http://www.maebrussell.com/Prouty/Harry%20Truman's%20CIA%20article.html

In the op-ed, Truman said that the CIA had begun making policy instead of simply analyzing data. He also emphasized his discomfort with the idea of the Agency participating in cloak-and-dagger operations.

SWRichmond

Thanks for the link. Truman says:

I well knew the first temporary director of the CIA, Adm. Souers, and the later permanent directors of the CIA, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg and Allen Dulles. These were men of the highest character, patriotism and integrity-and I assume this is true of all those who continue in charge.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3271482/Did-CIA-Director-Allen-D...

Former CIA director Allen Dulles ordered JFK's assassination because he was a 'threat to national security', a new book has claimed.

Bay of Pigs

Allen Dulles most certainly was involved with the murder of JFK, and ensuing coverup. Dulles was central in the Warren Commission whitewash as well. People forget he was dumped after the Bay of Pigs fiasco with JFK saying at the time that he would "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds".

Author David Talbot interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anYqrPRvhgo

km4

Lookout because Tulsi Gabbard has some impressive credentials

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Gabbard

Elected in 2012, she is the first American Samoan[3] and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress,[4] and, along with Tammy Duckworth, one of its first female combat veterans.[5]

Military service (2004–present)

https://www.votetulsi.com/tulsi-gabbard

In 2004, when Tulsi's fellow soldiers from the 29th Brigade were called to war in Iraq, Tulsi volunteered to join them. She didn't need to put her life on the line. She could have stayed in the State House of Representatives, but in her heart, she felt it was more important to stand in solidarity with her fellow soldiers than to climb the political ladder.

Her two deployments to the war-torn and dangerous Middle East revealed both Tulsi's natural inclination to self-less service and her ability to perform well in situations demanding confidence, courage, and the ability to perform well as a member of a team. The same maturity and character that served Tulsi well in the Middle East makes her exceptionally effective in the political world.

Freddie

These banksters wars like all wars are total shit but I like her.

She is half Samoan and was a Catholic but became a Hindu.

She has a lot of guts unlike the shitty little vile NeoCons like McCain and Lindsay Graham and the Neo-Zio-Libs like Feinstein and Schumer who are dual shit-i-zens.

SWRichmond

Graham is the quintessential chickenhawk.

Radical Marijuana

While I agreed with your overview, WTFRLY, at the 1:25 mark I think she is seriously mistaken about the priority being fighting against Islamic extremists. The real enemy of the American People has been the international bankers, who have almost totally captured control over the government of the USA, through POLITICAL FUNDING ENFORCING FRAUDS.

Her basic opinion regarding 9/11 deliberately ignores that 9/11 was an inside job, false flag attack, which was aided and abetted by the Deep State Shadow Government. Everything that the USA has been doing has been actually carrying out the international bankers' agenda. The countries targeted for regime change were obstacles to the consolidation of the globalized hegemony of the international bankers, who are the best organized gangsters, the banksters, that have already captured control over all NATO governments, as is painfully obvious to anyone who thinks critically about how and why those governments ENFORCE FRAUDS by privately controlled banks.

What the CIA, et alia, having been doing, since the overthrow of the government of Iran back in 1953, has been creating "Islamic extremist groups," as the responses of the various Islamic countries having been controlled by the European invasions, and later American invasions, which were always directed at capturing control over the development of the natural resources, through maintaining the control over the monetary systems through which that was done.

The whole of human history has been the exponential growth of social pyramid systems based upon being able to back up lies with violence, becoming more sophisticated and integrated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which have become globalized systems of electronic money frauds, backed by the threat of force from atomic bombs. There is indeed a serious risk of NATO countries, already almost totally controlled by the international bankers, getting into conflicts with the national interests of various countries which no longer are so easy for the banksters to continue to control.

The banksters have been pushing through their agenda of wars based on deceits, in order to back up their debt slavery systems, and those were primarily the reasons for the series of regime changes, which appear to have stalled with respect to Syria. That Russia has decided that it is geopolitically able, along with the propaganda cover of fighting "terrorism," to step in with significant military support of the Syrian regime is indeed in severe conflict with the agenda of the international banksters, who are collectively a group of trillionaire mass murderers.

Human history has become the excessive successfulness of the application of the methods of organized crime to control governments, through the vicious spirals of POLITICAL FUNDING ENFORCING FRAUDS, to develop to the point of runaway criminal insanities. While the Congresswoman above provided more penetrating analysis than one is used to be presented on the mainstream mass media, and she did that fairly well, she still is presenting the political problems only on very superficial levels ...

JLee2027

When a Hindu women who rides a surfboard starts making more sense than the President, and the entire Democratic Party I become speechless.

scrappy

She is an example of integrity standing up for what is right. I see many people of heart doing the same as this unfolds. We are supposed to support the "Underdog" Remember?

UNDERDOG Cartoon Intro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHej4ZqZDwo&html5=1

WTFRLY

White House, Media Silent One Year After Murder of US Reporter Who Exposed Western Links to ISIS October 20, 2015

JustObserving

Heroin production up only 3500% since US invaded:

AFGHAN OPIUM PRODUCTION INCREASES 35-FOLD SINCE U.S. INVASION

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/10/afghan-opium-produ...

MEFOBILLS

"Hoisted on their own petard" is an apt aphorism.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hoist_by_one%27s_own_petard

To be hurt or destroyed by one's own plot or device intended for another; to be "blown up by one's own bomb"

The beautiful Tulsi Gabbard excerpt from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Gabbard

Her father is of Samoan/European heritage and is a practicing Catholic who is a lector at his church, but also enjoys practicing mantra meditation, including kirtan.[7] Her mother is of Euro-American descent and a practicing Hindu.[7] Tulsi fully embracedHinduism as a teenage

At 5 minutes in to video, Wolf B. mentions that Tulsi is a combat veteran. She is also on Senate Arms services committee.

The not so beautiful Wolf Blitzer:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Blitzer

Blitzer was born in Augsburg, Germany] the son of Cesia Blitzer (née Zylberfuden), a homemaker, and David Blitzer, a home builder. His parents were Jewish refugees from O?wi?cim, Poland, and Holocaust survivors… While at Johns Hopkins, Blitzer studied abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he learned Hebrew.

Petard action happens at 6 minutes in, when Tulsi explains how if the U.S. repeats the same action as Iraq and Libya, the results will equal.

"Things that are being said right now about Assad, were said about Ghadaffi.., they were said about Saddam Hussein, by those who were advocating for the U.S. to intervene, to go overthrow those regimes and dictators. The fact is, if that happens here in Syria,….far worse situation, persecution of religious minorities and Christians."

Who advocated to start ME wars? Wolf then puts words in her mouth, suggesting that Hezbollah and Russians are doing the U.S. a favor.

To give Wolf full credit, he doesn't explode when Tulsi mentions persecution of the Christians, as said Christians MUST be his enemy and color Wolf's wordview, given his parents refugee history. Oh the web we weave, when we intend to deceive.

rejected

Well, she managed to get in the meme "We were attacked by Al Qaeda on 9/11". They push that meme every chance they get.

The spooks at the CIA know how to push propaganda. She will get all kinds of credibility appearing to oppose the spooks and very few will notice the 9/11 comment but the seed will be fertilized and grow stronger.

ebear

"....very few will notice the 9/11 comment but the seed will be fertilized and grow stronger."

I beg to differ. That seed was already planted. Why are we supporting the people who attacked us? - keeps it nice and simple. Turns the entire narrative against them.

One dragon at a time.

Omega_Man

not a good interview for zio Wolfe ...

I didn't like this girl before, but starting to like her.

She needs a security team... to protect her from the US Gov... no joke

[Oct 29, 2015] Sheldon Wolin's the reason I began drinking coffee

Sheldon Wolin RIP -- Wolin's Politics and Vision, which remains to this day the single best book on Western political theory
Notable quotes:
"... In classic totalitarianism, thinking here now about the Nazis and the fascists, and also even about the communists, the economy is viewed as a tool which the powers that be manipulate and utilize in accordance with what they conceive to be the political requirements of ruling. ..."
"... Now, in inverted totalitarianism, the imagery is that of a populace which is enshrined as the leadership group but which in fact doesn't rule, but which is turned upside down in the sense that the people are enshrined at the top but don't rule. ..."
"... democracy, I think, from the beginning never quite managed to make the kind of case for an economic order that would sustain and help to develop democracy rather than being a kind of constant threat to the egalitarianism and popular rule that democracy stands for. ..."
"... Capitalism is destructive because it has to eliminate the kind of custom, mores, political values, even institutions that present any kind of credible threat to the autonomy of the economy. And it's that–that's where the battle lies. Capitalism wants an autonomous economy. They want a political order subservient to the needs of the economy. ..."
Oct 28, 2015 | coreyrobin.com

Sheldon Wolin's the reason I began drinking coffee.

I was a freshman at Princeton. It was the fall of 1985. I signed up to take a course called "Modern Political Theory." It was scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 am. I had no idea what I was doing. I stumbled into class, and there was a man with white hair and a trim white beard, lecturing on Machiavelli. I was transfixed.

There was just one problem: I was-still am-most definitely not a morning person. Even though the lectures were riveting, I had to fight my tendency to fall asleep. Even worse, I had to fight my tendency to sleep in.

So I started-- drinking coffee. I'd show up for class fully caffeinated. And proceeded to work my way through the canon-Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, along with some texts you don't often get in intro theory courses (the Putney Debates, Montesquieu's Persian Letters, and for a last hurrah: Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations)-under the guidance of one of the great readers of the twentieth century.

More than anything else, that's what Sheldon Wolin was: a reader of texts. He approached The Prince as if it were a novel, identifying its narrative voice, analyzing the literary construction of the characters who populated the text (new prince, customary prince, centaur, the people), examining the structural tensions in the narrative (How does a Machiavellian adviser advise a non-Machiavellian prince?), and so on. It was exhilarating.

And then after class I'd head straight for Firestone Library; read whatever we were reading that week in class; follow along, chapter by chapter, with Wolin's Politics and Vision, which remains to this day the single best book on Western political theory that I know of (even though lots of the texts we were talking about in class don't appear there, or appear there with very different interpretations from the ones Wolin was offering in class: the man never stood still, intellectually); and get my second cup of coffee.

This is all a long wind-up to the fact that this morning, my friend Antonio Vazquez-Arroyo, sent me a two-part interview that Chris Hedges conducted with Wolin, who's living out in Salem, Oregon now. From his Wikipedia page, I gather that Wolin's 92. He looks exactly the same as he did in 1985. And sounds the same. Though it seems from the video as if he may now be losing his sight. Which is devastating when I think about the opening passages of Politics and Vision, about how vision is so critical to the political theorist and the practice of theoria.

Anyway, here he is, talking to Hedges about his thesis of "inverted totalitarianism":

In classic totalitarianism, thinking here now about the Nazis and the fascists, and also even about the communists, the economy is viewed as a tool which the powers that be manipulate and utilize in accordance with what they conceive to be the political requirements of ruling. And they will take whatever steps are needed in the economy in order to ensure the long-run sustainability of the political order. In other words, the sort of arrows of political power flow from top to bottom.

Now, in inverted totalitarianism, the imagery is that of a populace which is enshrined as the leadership group but which in fact doesn't rule, but which is turned upside down in the sense that the people are enshrined at the top but don't rule. And minority rule is usually treated as something to be abhorred but is in fact what we have. And it's the problem has to do, I think, with the historical relationship between political orders and economic orders. And democracy, I think, from the beginning never quite managed to make the kind of case for an economic order that would sustain and help to develop democracy rather than being a kind of constant threat to the egalitarianism and popular rule that democracy stands for.

… ... ...

Capitalism is destructive because it has to eliminate the kind of custom, mores, political values, even institutions that present any kind of credible threat to the autonomy of the economy. And it's that–that's where the battle lies. Capitalism wants an autonomous economy. They want a political order subservient to the needs of the economy. And their notion of an economy, while it's broadly based in the sense of a capitalism in which there can be relatively free entrance and property is relatively widely dispersed it's also a capitalism which, in the last analysis, is [as] elitist as any aristocratic system ever was.

Have a listen and a watch. Part 1 and then Part 2.

Pt 1-8 Hedges & Wolin Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist

Pt 2:

see also

[Oct 28, 2015] Guest Post Inequality Undermines Democracy

There is a strong evidence to suggest that representative democracy is not compatible with deep economic inequality. As a recent study found, "politicians in OECD countries maximize the happiness of the economic elite." However, it was not always that way: In the past, left parties represented the poor, the center and the middle class. Now all the parties benefit the richest 1& of earners. As FDR warned, "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob."
Notable quotes:
"... politicians in OECD countries maximize the happiness of the economic elite ..."
"... In the past, left parties represented the poor, the center and the middle class. Now all the parties benefit the richest 1 percent of earners, Jimenez reports. ..."
"... politician's bias toward the rich has reduced real social spending per capita by 28 percent on average ..."
"... the rich are more likely to oppose spending increases, support budget cuts and reject promoting the welfare state - the idea that the government should ensure a decent standard of living. ..."
"... What f*cking democracy in the land of the free? Its a fascist, police state run by a troika of the MIC, Wall Street and Spooks. ..."
"... The secret collaboration of the military, the intelligence and national security agencies, and gigantic corporations in the systematic and illegal surveillance of the American people reveals the true wielders of power in the United States. ..."
"... The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media. -- William Colby, former CIA Director ..."
"... Paul Craig Roberts had a great take on this a while back. He pointed out that unions used to have significant political influence because of their financial resources. Democrats by and large sought their backing, and had to toe the line. Now, not so much. So, he observed, both parties began seeking out contributions from the same oligarchs. Even if you hate unions, it is a valid observation. ..."
Zero Hedge

Guest Post: Inequality Undermines Democracy

Authored by Sean McElwee, originallyu posted at AlJazeera.com,

In recent years, several academic researchers have argued that rising inequality erodes democracy. But the lack of international data has made it difficult to show whether inequality in fact exacerbates the apparent lack of political responsiveness to popular sentiment. Even scholars concerned about economic inequality, such as sociologist Lane Kenworthy, often hesitate to argue that economic inequality might bleed into the political sphere. New cross-national research, however, suggests that higher inequality does indeed limit political representation.

In a 2014 study on political representation, political scientists Jan Rosset, Nathalie Giger and Julian Bernauer concluded, "In economically more unequal societies, the party system represents the preferences of relatively poor citizens worse than in more equal societies." Similarly, political scientists Michael Donnelly and Zoe Lefkofridi found in a working paper that in Europe, "Changes in overall attitudes toward redistribution have very little effect on redistributive policies. Changes in socio-cultural policies are driven largely by change in the attitudes of the affluent, and only weakly (if at all) by the middle class or poor." They find that when the people get what they want, it's typically because their views correspond with the affluent, rather than policymakers directly responding to their concerns.

In another study of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, researcher Pablo Torija Jimenez looked at data in 24 countries over 30 years. He examined how different governmental structures influence happiness across income groups and found that today "politicians in OECD countries maximize the happiness of the economic elite." However, it was not always that way: In the past, left parties represented the poor, the center and the middle class. Now all the parties benefit the richest 1 percent of earners, Jimenez reports.

In a recent working paper, political scientist Larry Bartels finds the effect of politician's bias toward the rich has reduced real social spending per capita by 28 percent on average. Studying 23 OECD countries, Bartels finds that the rich are more likely to oppose spending increases, support budget cuts and reject promoting the welfare state - the idea that the government should ensure a decent standard of living.

JustObserving

What f*cking democracy in the land of the free? It's a fascist, police state run by a troika of the MIC, Wall Street and Spooks.

JustObserving

Who rules America?

The secret collaboration of the military, the intelligence and national security agencies, and gigantic corporations in the systematic and illegal surveillance of the American people reveals the true wielders of power in the United States. Telecommunications giants such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, and Internet companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter, provide the military and the FBI and CIA with access to data on hundreds of millions of people that these state agencies have no legal right to possess.

Congress and both of the major political parties serve as rubber stamps for the confluence of the military, the intelligence apparatus and Wall Street that really runs the country. The so-called "Fourth Estate"-the mass media-functions shamelessly as an arm of this ruling troika.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/10/pers-j10.html

Snowden's documents revealed that the NSA spies on everyone:

The most extraordinary passage in the memo requires that the Israeli spooks "destroy upon recognition" any communication provided by the NSA "that is either to or from an official of the US government."

It goes on to spell out that this includes "officials of the Executive Branch (including the White House, Cabinet Departments, and independent agencies); the US House of Representatives and Senate (members and staff); and the US Federal Court System (including, but not limited to, the Supreme Court)."

The stunning implication of this passage is that NSA spying targets not only ordinary American citizens, but also Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and the White House itself. One could hardly ask for a more naked exposure of a police state.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/09/13/surv-s13.html

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." -- William Colby, former CIA Director

LetThemEatRand

Paul Craig Roberts had a great take on this a while back. He pointed out that unions used to have significant political influence because of their financial resources. Democrats by and large sought their backing, and had to toe the line. Now, not so much. So, he observed, both parties began seeking out contributions from the same oligarchs. Even if you hate unions, it is a valid observation.

LetThemEatRand
I get your point and I'm not your downvote, but in my view the MSM has hijacked the issue of "inequality." The real issue is the oligarch class that has more wealth than half the country. We were a successful, functioning society when we had a middle class. There were rich people, poor people, and a whole lot in between. And it's the whole lot in between that matters. The minimum wage is a distraction. The two big issues are loss of manufacturing base and offshoring in general, and financialization of the economy (in large part due to Fed policy).

LetThemEatRand

...A big part of the "inequality" discussion is equal application of law. I recall when TARP was floated during the W administration, the public of all persuasions was against it. Congress passed it anyway, because of Too Big to Fail. TBTF should not be a liberal or conservative issue. Likewise, the idea that no bankers went to jail is an issue of "inequality." The laws do not apply equally to bankers. And the same with Lois Lerner. She intentionally sent the IRS to harass political groups based upon ideology. She got off scott free. Inequality again.

MASTER OF UNIVERSE

Inequality does not undermine democracy because democracy does not really exist. Faux democracy is actually Totalitarianism under the guise of 'democracy'. In brief, democracy is just a word that has been neutered, and bastardized too many times to count as anything real, or imagined.

They should name a new ice cream DEMOCRACY just for FUN.

[Oct 28, 2015] The Senate, ignorant on cybersecurity, just passed a bill about it anyway

Notable quotes:
"... a spying bill that essentially carves a giant hole in all our privacy laws and allows tech and telecom companies to hand over all sorts of private information to intelligence agencies without any court process whatsoever. ..."
"... Make no mistake: Congress has passed a surveillance bill in disguise, with no evidence it'll help our security. ..."
"... They were counting on nobody paying much attention. Didnt you hear somebody got killed on Walking Dead? Whos got time to talk about boring nonsense like a Congressional bill? ..."
"... Inverse totalitarianism. Read Sheldon Wolin. Were sliding down the slippery slope. ..."
"... On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted 74 to 21 to pass a version of CISA that roughly mirrors legislation passed in the House earlier this year, paving the way for some combined version of the security bill to become law. ..."
www.theguardian.com

This is the state of such legislation in this country, where lawmakers wanted to do something but, by passing Cisa, just decided to cede more power to the NSA

Under the vague guise of "cybersecurity", the Senate voted on Tuesday to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (Cisa), a spying bill that essentially carves a giant hole in all our privacy laws and allows tech and telecom companies to hand over all sorts of private information to intelligence agencies without any court process whatsoever.

Make no mistake: Congress has passed a surveillance bill in disguise, with no evidence it'll help our security.

eminijunkie 28 Oct 2015 17:34

Being competent requires work. Actual work.

You can't honestly say you expected them to do actual work, now can you?

david wright 28 Oct 2015 13:44

'The Senate, ignorant on cybersecurity, just passed a bill about it anyway '

The newsworthy event would be the Senate's passage of anything, on the basis of knowledge or serious reflection, rather than $-funded ignorance. The country this pas few decades has been long on policy-based evidence as a basis for law, rather than evidence-based policy. Get what our funders require, shall be the whole of the law.

Kyllein -> MacKellerann 28 Oct 2015 16:49

Come ON! You are expecting COMPETENCE from Congress?
Wake up and smell the bacon; these people work on policy, not intelligence.

VWFeature -> lostinbago 28 Oct 2015 13:37

Bravo!

"...There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. ... Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing." -- Daniel Webster, June 1, 1837

"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." -- Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787

lostinbago -> KhepryQuixote 28 Oct 2015 12:09

We became the enemy when the people started attacking the Military Industrial Corporate complex and trying to regain our republic from the oligarchs.

lostinbago 28 Oct 2015 12:07

Congress: Where Catch 22 melds with Alice in Wonderland

Phil429 28 Oct 2015 11:44

we now have another law on the books that carves a hole in our privacy laws, contains vague language that can be interpreted any which way, and that has provisions inserted into it specifically to prevent us from finding out how they're using it.

They were counting on nobody paying much attention. Didn't you hear somebody got killed on Walking Dead? Who's got time to talk about boring nonsense like a Congressional bill?

guardianfan2000 28 Oct 2015 08:53

This vote just showed the true colors of the U. S. Government,...that being a total disregard for all individuals' privacy rights.

newbieveryday 28 Oct 2015 02:11

Inverse totalitarianism. Read Sheldon Wolin. We're sliding down the slippery slope. Who's going to be der erster Fuehrer? David Koch?

Triumphant George -> alastriona 27 Oct 2015 18:55

From elsewhere:

On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted 74 to 21 to pass a version of CISA that roughly mirrors legislation passed in the House earlier this year, paving the way for some combined version of the security bill to become law.

CISA still faces some hurdles to becoming law. Congressional leaders will need to resolve remaining differences between the bills passed in the Senate and the House.

President Obama could also still veto CISA, though that's unlikely: The White House endorsed the bill in August, an about-face from an earlier attempt at cybersecurity information sharing legislation known as CISPA that the White House shut down with a veto threat in 2013.

--"CISA Security Bill Passes Senate With Privacy Flaws Unfixed", Wired

[Oct 24, 2015] The best lesson China could teach Europe: how to play the long game

Notable quotes:
"... There is a lot that is positive about China's transformation. However, it is quite telling that many of China's new rich cant get their money out of the country quickly enough. ..."
"... It isn't so much a case of whether the UK will become a province, I suspect the whole world will. China is close to the GDP of the USA and will overtake it in about 18 months, with GDP per head only about $8k. If Chinese GDP per head even doubles, it's economy will at least double, and that isn't taking into account population growth. China's economy has already grown by about 1000% since 2002. ..."
"... China is a very fascinating place with a very fascinating history... But this misguided sinophilia is exasperating. Half the time the Chinese government doesn't even know what it's doing. ..."
"... If you talk to Chinese people in private most of them take a pretty dim view of the invasion of Iraq and western interventionist foreign policy in general. Their government, however, don't put out grand press releases about it because that's not the way the Chinese do foreign diplomacy. ..."
"... Gunboat diplomacy, opium wars, putting down mutinies in India and elsewhere, black hole of Calcutta,thrashing the native language out of the Maori and Aborigines-forcing them to speak English, World War One and World War Two, suez, the Falklands. ..."
"... They will have to reject US inspired economic voodoo if they are to ever prosper again. There is little to no chance of a federal state. The cultural, language and political differences are insurmountable. ..."
"... Stopped reading at that point, author is obviously a neoliberal rent-a-mouth. If it's rights against interests there's nothing to balance, to suggest otherwise is agenda setting. ..."
"... The public opinion in France should remember about Frances' real place in the world, and mind its own business avoiding poking its long nose in other peoples' affaires. ..."
"... Bonapartism is an old French mental disorder. ..."
"... I didn't say the US completely controlled Europe, I just said that the US can bend Europe to its will in certain circumstances. For example it currently forces European banks to disclose customer information to the US Treasury and it is trying to get European countries to agree to allow US border control in European airports, so that the US can question UK citizens in London. ..."
"... i want to see a chinese century, at least the chinese wont invade other countries with the excuse of democracy or human rights ..."
"... LOL European democracy was born in Greece which is now under the full control of ECB and IMF The EU is a silly clown at the US court What are you talking about? ..."
"... To be fair to the Chinese, at least they're not evangelical about spreading their 'Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics' now are they? In fact, it's quite the opposite with their non-interference mantra. ..."
"... The rise of China is largely a good thing for Europe. The US will not hesitate to use its power to bend Europe to its will where necessary (and who can blame it, all countries do this when they can) and the cultural and political diversity of Europe means the EU is unlikely to rival the US or China anytime soon. But the rise of China allows Europe to play one great power off against the other to resist bullying and extract concessions from one or both. ..."
"... You can have democracy with a long memory see periods before 1970's (neoliberalisation requires a small memory). ..."
"... If Europe continues to have a long term strategy the 'long-term' has not started yet. It is currently in the process of internal devaluation and the morons in charge happily attack labor conditions which weakens spending which further degrades potential GDP increases hidden unemployment and stagnation. Germany did this first and now continues to leverage the small head start it got during the 90's for doing so. ..."
"... It has nothing to do with that reasoning. It was always predicted the West will self destruct. Inventing Globalisation and then closed down places of work for its citizen and export them la, la lands benefiting very few people, the beneficiaries who end up sending their monies to tax havens un-taxed and sponsoring some selected people to power to do their biding was always self defeating. ..."
"... We gave China our jobs and cheap technologies that have taken us centuries to develop in of getting cheap goods. As a result China did not have to pass through the phases we passed through in our early industrial age when Machines were more expensive than humans before the reverse. ..."
"... Who speaks for Europe? No-one is the answer. It is the single largest economy on the plant. Biggest exporter on the planet. Arguably the richest middle class on the planet; combined, possibly the biggest defense budget on the planet, and all this with a central government driving foreign policy, defense, economic strategy, monetary policy, nor any of the other institutions of a Federal State. China knows this, the Americans know this; and Europe keeps getting treated as the "child" on the international scene. It's too bad, because Europe, as a whole, has many wonderful positives to contribute to the world. ..."
Oct 23, 2015 | The Guardian

SystemD -> paddyd2009 23 Oct 2015 23:13

The problem is how do you define civilization? The urban centres were in the Middle East, and long pre-date China. 6,000 years ago, the world's largest towns and cities were in the Balkans - the Tripolye-Cucuteni culture. Because of the conventions of nomenclature, they don't count as a civilization. This raises the question, when does a culture become a civilization? There are certainly well attested archaeological cultures in China going back a long way, but there are equally ancient cultures in Europe. Should we then say that Europe has 4,000 or 5,000 or more years of civilization?

Good records for Chinese history go back about 3,000 years. Anything before that becomes archaeological rather than historical, based on artifacts rather than records. References to different dynasties don't help - there are no records comparable to Near Eastern king lists, or the Sumerian or Hittite royal archives. China set up the Three Kingdoms Project to try to find the 'missing' 2,000 years of Chinese history - i.e. the history that they claim to have, but have no direct evidence. They didn't find it.

Adetheshades 23 Oct 2015 22:52

There is a lot that is positive about China's transformation. However, it is quite telling that many of China's new rich cant get their money out of the country quickly enough.

They obviously know more than the average Guardian reader, and apparently don't feel their cash is safe. This causes problems of its own, when they start splashing this cash in the UK property market, causing further price escalation if any were needed.

There isn't much we can do about the size and wealth of China.

It isn't so much a case of whether the UK will become a province, I suspect the whole world will. China is close to the GDP of the USA and will overtake it in about 18 months, with GDP per head only about $8k. If Chinese GDP per head even doubles, it's economy will at least double, and that isn't taking into account population growth. China's economy has already grown by about 1000% since 2002.

At what point will we drop French from the school curriculum in favour of Mandarin is the question.

To say Beijings influence is growing is a lovely little piece of understatement.

Adamnuisance 23 Oct 2015 21:22

China is a very fascinating place with a very fascinating history... But this misguided sinophilia is exasperating. Half the time the Chinese government doesn't even know what it's doing. Being passive aggressive and claiming to be 'unique' are their real specialties. I have little doubt that China will become even more powerful with time... I just hope their backwards politics improves with their economy.

Thruns 23 Oct 2015 20:44

The first long game was Mao's coup.
The second long game was the great leap forward.
The third long game was the cultural revolution.
The fourth long game was to adopt the west's capitalism and sell the west its own technology.
At last the "communist" Chinese seem to have found a winner.

tufsoft Maharaja -> Brovinda Singh 23 Oct 2015 20:30

If you talk to Chinese people in private most of them take a pretty dim view of the invasion of Iraq and western interventionist foreign policy in general. Their government, however, don't put out grand press releases about it because that's not the way the Chinese do foreign diplomacy.

nothell -> Laurence Johnson 23 Oct 2015 20:16

Your comment about the British Empire must be tongue in cheek.

Gunboat diplomacy, opium wars, putting down mutinies in India and elsewhere, black hole of Calcutta,thrashing the native language out of the Maori and Aborigines-forcing them to speak English, World War One and World War Two, suez, the Falklands.

Anything but peaceful and anything but fair. Europe had the past, let Asia have the future.

slightlynumb -> theoldmanfromusa 23 Oct 2015 20:10

They will have to reject US inspired economic voodoo if they are to ever prosper again. There is little to no chance of a federal state. The cultural, language and political differences are insurmountable.

Rasengruen 23 Oct 2015 20:05

All of this presents well-known dilemmas for Europeans, such as how to balance human rights and economic interests.

Stopped reading at that point, author is obviously a neoliberal rent-a-mouth. If it's rights against interests there's nothing to balance, to suggest otherwise is agenda setting.

philby87 23 Oct 2015 18:50

public opinion in France, which had been shocked by an outbreak of violent repression in Tibet

The public opinion in France should remember about Frances' real place in the world, and mind its own business avoiding poking its long nose in other peoples' affaires. A good example is Japan which is twice larger than France, but never lectures its neighbors about what they should and shouldn't do. Bonapartism is an old French mental disorder.

skepticaleye -> midaregami 23 Oct 2015 18:04

The Yue state was populated mostly by the members of the Yue people who were not Han. The South China wasn't completely sinicized well into the second millennium CE. Yunnan wasn't incorporated into China until the Mongols conquered Dali in the 13th century, and the Ming dynasty eradicated the Mongols' resistance there in the 14th century.

PeterBederell -> Daniel S 23 Oct 2015 17:54

I didn't say the US completely controlled Europe, I just said that the US can bend Europe to its will in certain circumstances. For example it currently forces European banks to disclose customer information to the US Treasury and it is trying to get European countries to agree to allow US border control in European airports, so that the US can question UK citizens in London.

Europe often has to agree to these indignities because it needs access to the US market and to keep the US sweet. But with a strong China, it can use the threat of following China in some way the US doesn't like as a bargaining chip, like joining China's Development Bank, which put the US in a huff recently.

Chriswr -> AdamStrange 23 Oct 2015 17:54
What we in the West call human rights are creations of the Enlightenment and only about 300 years old. As a modern Westerner I am, of course, a big supporter of them. But let's not pretend they are part of some age-old tradition.
sor2007 -> impartial12 23 Oct 2015 17:48
i want to see a chinese century, at least the chinese wont invade other countries with the excuse of democracy or human rights
ApfelD 23 Oct 2015 17:42
China can rightly point out that it was already a civilisation 4,000 years ago – well ahead of Europe – and it uses that historical depth to indicate it will never take lessons on democracy.
LOL European democracy was born in Greece which is now under the full control of ECB and IMF The EU is a silly clown at the US court What are you talking about?

HoolyK BabylonianSheDevil03 23 Oct 2015 17:34

To be fair to the Chinese, at least they're not evangelical about spreading their 'Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics' now are they? In fact, it's quite the opposite with their non-interference mantra. When the Chinese see the following:

1. the West preaches democracy and human rights
2. is evangelical about it and spreads it by hook or crook into the Middle East
3. this causes regimes to be changed and instability to spread
4. the chaos causes a massive refugee crisis, washing these poor huddled masses onto the shores of Europe
5. the human rights preached by the West demands that the the refugees receive help
6. the native population is slowly being displaced
7. native population is further screwed, with austerity, financial crisis and now said Syrian refugees
8. Fascist and Nazis parties are elected into office, civil strife ensues

Now, what do you think the Chinese, who ABHOR chaos, think about democracy and human rights ??

PeterBederell 23 Oct 2015 16:47

The rise of China is largely a good thing for Europe. The US will not hesitate to use its power to bend Europe to its will where necessary (and who can blame it, all countries do this when they can) and the cultural and political diversity of Europe means the EU is unlikely to rival the US or China anytime soon. But the rise of China allows Europe to play one great power off against the other to resist bullying and extract concessions from one or both.

HoolyK -> AdamStrange 23 Oct 2015 16:30

Anatolia is inhabited by Turks from Central Asia who settled in the 11th century, Iraq/Syria was overrun by Muslims in the 7th century. China is still Han Chinese, as it was 5000 years ago.

'human rights' really? then do you support the human rights of tens of thousands of refugees from Syria to settle in Britain and Europe then? I ask this awkward question only because I know the Chinese will ask ....

dev_null 23 Oct 2015 16:23

China deploys a long-term strategy in part because it has a very long memory, and in part because its ruling elite needn't bother too much about electoral constraints.

The two are not mutially exclusive. You can have democracy with a long memory see periods before 1970's (neoliberalisation requires a small memory).

China's longest 'strategy' was to leverage its currency artificially lower than it should be in order to net export so many manufactured goods. Nothing else.

If Europe continues to have a long term strategy the 'long-term' has not started yet. It is currently in the process of internal devaluation and the morons in charge happily attack labor conditions which weakens spending which further degrades potential GDP increases hidden unemployment and stagnation. Germany did this first and now continues to leverage the small head start it got during the 90's for doing so.
Eurozone = Dystopia

China can rightly point out that it was already a civilisation 4,000 years ago – well ahead of Europe

No sorry europe contained many advanced cultures going back just as far. This is incompetent journalism. China was not 'china' it was many kingdoms and cultures 4000 years ago, as was Europe at the time. Fallacy of decomposition.

MeandYou -> weka69 23 Oct 2015 16:11

It has nothing to do with that reasoning. It was always predicted the West will self destruct. Inventing Globalisation and then closed down places of work for its citizen and export them la, la lands benefiting very few people, the beneficiaries who end up sending their monies to tax havens un-taxed and sponsoring some selected people to power to do their biding was always self defeating.

We gave China our jobs and cheap technologies that have taken us centuries to develop in of getting cheap goods. As a result China did not have to pass through the phases we passed through in our early industrial age when Machines were more expensive than humans before the reverse. We gave China all in a plate hence the speed neck speed China has risen. The Consumerism society the political class created they were stupid enough to forget people still need money to buy cheap goods. Consumerism does not run on empty purse.

wintpu 23 Oct 2015 15:57

You are preaching a China Containment strategy:
[1] This is racist viciousness, colonial mentality, or white supremacist conspiracy, believing that containment is your moral right. You seem to be wallowing still in the stiff upper lipped notions that you are the betters versus the east. Colonialism is over and still you cling to the notion that the EU should get together and try to destroy China's social system because it is different from yours. Your records on human rights, governance and effectiveness are all droopy examples to be object lessons rather than role models for emulation by developing countries. Your opium war denials [simply by not mentioning it] give you very little high ground to hector China and the Chinese people.

[2] Recent Behavior. Putting aside your opium war robbery, your behavior in the run up to 1997 Hong Kong hand back shows your greedy sneakiness. Chris Patten infamously tried to throw a monkey wrench into an agreed-upon process by trying to steal the Hong Kong treasury, then planting the seeds of British wannabees. You passed a special law to deny the 1.36 million Hong Kong residents who had become British Citizens was one of the most shameful racist acts of your colonial record. Cameron is now bending over backwards post haste in order to side-step the long long memory of the Chinese people.

[3] Crying about getting other EU nations to do aiding and abetting of your vendetta against a rising China? Trying to reduce and contain China does you no good. So it is a simple case of mendacity. But you forget that the Germans have already gone to China honestly and co-operated since the time of Helmut Kohl and the CPC has not forgotten their loyal friends. Today most CPC leaders drive Audis. There is no turning Germany away from their key position in Chinatrade to become enemies of China because of your self-serving wishes. Even now, France has jumped in on the nuclear niche to present you with a package you cannot refuse.

samohio 23 Oct 2015 15:51

Who speaks for Europe? No-one is the answer. It is the single largest economy on the plant. Biggest exporter on the planet. Arguably the richest middle class on the planet; combined, possibly the biggest defense budget on the planet, and all this with a central government driving foreign policy, defense, economic strategy, monetary policy, nor any of the other institutions of a Federal State. China knows this, the Americans know this; and Europe keeps getting treated as the "child" on the international scene. It's too bad, because Europe, as a whole, has many wonderful positives to contribute to the world.

[Oct 24, 2015] Snowden NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You)

that's pretty superficial coverage. Capabilities of smartphone mike are pretty limited and by design it is try to suppress external noise. If your phone is in the case microphone will not pick up much. Same for camera. Only your GPS location is available. If phone is switched off then even this is not reality available. I think the whole ability to listen from the pocket is overblown. There is too much noice to make this practical on the current level of development of technology. At the same time I think just metadata are enough to feel that you are the constant surveillance.
Notable quotes:
"... the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot. ..."
"... According to Snowden, the UK's spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, uses NSA technology to develop software tools to control almost anyone's smartphone. He notes that all it takes is sending an encrypted text message to get into virtually any smartphone. Moreover, the message will not be seen by the user, making it almost impossible to stop the attack. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com . ..."
Oct 15, 2015 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
You are a tool of the state, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA in the U.S., and its equivalent in the UK, GCHQ, are taking control of your phone not just to spy on you as needed, but also to use your device as a way to spy on others around you. You are a walking microphone, camera and GPS for spies.

Snowden, in a BBC interview, explained that for the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot.

According to Snowden, the UK's spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, uses NSA technology to develop software tools to control almost anyone's smartphone. He notes that all it takes is sending an encrypted text message to get into virtually any smartphone. Moreover, the message will not be seen by the user, making it almost impossible to stop the attack.

GCHQ calls these smartphone hacking tools the "Smurf Suite." The suite includes:

Snowden said the NSA has spent close to $1 billion to develop these smartphone hacking programs.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.

[Oct 24, 2015] The best lesson China could teach Europe: how to play the long game

Notable quotes:
"... There is a lot that is positive about China's transformation. However, it is quite telling that many of China's new rich cant get their money out of the country quickly enough. ..."
"... It isn't so much a case of whether the UK will become a province, I suspect the whole world will. China is close to the GDP of the USA and will overtake it in about 18 months, with GDP per head only about $8k. If Chinese GDP per head even doubles, it's economy will at least double, and that isn't taking into account population growth. China's economy has already grown by about 1000% since 2002. ..."
"... China is a very fascinating place with a very fascinating history... But this misguided sinophilia is exasperating. Half the time the Chinese government doesn't even know what it's doing. ..."
"... If you talk to Chinese people in private most of them take a pretty dim view of the invasion of Iraq and western interventionist foreign policy in general. Their government, however, don't put out grand press releases about it because that's not the way the Chinese do foreign diplomacy. ..."
"... Gunboat diplomacy, opium wars, putting down mutinies in India and elsewhere, black hole of Calcutta,thrashing the native language out of the Maori and Aborigines-forcing them to speak English, World War One and World War Two, suez, the Falklands. ..."
"... They will have to reject US inspired economic voodoo if they are to ever prosper again. There is little to no chance of a federal state. The cultural, language and political differences are insurmountable. ..."
"... Stopped reading at that point, author is obviously a neoliberal rent-a-mouth. If it's rights against interests there's nothing to balance, to suggest otherwise is agenda setting. ..."
"... The public opinion in France should remember about Frances' real place in the world, and mind its own business avoiding poking its long nose in other peoples' affaires. ..."
"... Bonapartism is an old French mental disorder. ..."
"... I didn't say the US completely controlled Europe, I just said that the US can bend Europe to its will in certain circumstances. For example it currently forces European banks to disclose customer information to the US Treasury and it is trying to get European countries to agree to allow US border control in European airports, so that the US can question UK citizens in London. ..."
"... i want to see a chinese century, at least the chinese wont invade other countries with the excuse of democracy or human rights ..."
"... LOL European democracy was born in Greece which is now under the full control of ECB and IMF The EU is a silly clown at the US court What are you talking about? ..."
"... To be fair to the Chinese, at least they're not evangelical about spreading their 'Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics' now are they? In fact, it's quite the opposite with their non-interference mantra. ..."
"... The rise of China is largely a good thing for Europe. The US will not hesitate to use its power to bend Europe to its will where necessary (and who can blame it, all countries do this when they can) and the cultural and political diversity of Europe means the EU is unlikely to rival the US or China anytime soon. But the rise of China allows Europe to play one great power off against the other to resist bullying and extract concessions from one or both. ..."
"... You can have democracy with a long memory see periods before 1970's (neoliberalisation requires a small memory). ..."
"... If Europe continues to have a long term strategy the 'long-term' has not started yet. It is currently in the process of internal devaluation and the morons in charge happily attack labor conditions which weakens spending which further degrades potential GDP increases hidden unemployment and stagnation. Germany did this first and now continues to leverage the small head start it got during the 90's for doing so. ..."
"... It has nothing to do with that reasoning. It was always predicted the West will self destruct. Inventing Globalisation and then closed down places of work for its citizen and export them la, la lands benefiting very few people, the beneficiaries who end up sending their monies to tax havens un-taxed and sponsoring some selected people to power to do their biding was always self defeating. ..."
"... We gave China our jobs and cheap technologies that have taken us centuries to develop in of getting cheap goods. As a result China did not have to pass through the phases we passed through in our early industrial age when Machines were more expensive than humans before the reverse. ..."
"... Who speaks for Europe? No-one is the answer. It is the single largest economy on the plant. Biggest exporter on the planet. Arguably the richest middle class on the planet; combined, possibly the biggest defense budget on the planet, and all this with a central government driving foreign policy, defense, economic strategy, monetary policy, nor any of the other institutions of a Federal State. China knows this, the Americans know this; and Europe keeps getting treated as the "child" on the international scene. It's too bad, because Europe, as a whole, has many wonderful positives to contribute to the world. ..."
Oct 23, 2015 | The Guardian

SystemD -> paddyd2009 23 Oct 2015 23:13

The problem is how do you define civilization? The urban centres were in the Middle East, and long pre-date China. 6,000 years ago, the world's largest towns and cities were in the Balkans - the Tripolye-Cucuteni culture. Because of the conventions of nomenclature, they don't count as a civilization. This raises the question, when does a culture become a civilization? There are certainly well attested archaeological cultures in China going back a long way, but there are equally ancient cultures in Europe. Should we then say that Europe has 4,000 or 5,000 or more years of civilization?

Good records for Chinese history go back about 3,000 years. Anything before that becomes archaeological rather than historical, based on artifacts rather than records. References to different dynasties don't help - there are no records comparable to Near Eastern king lists, or the Sumerian or Hittite royal archives. China set up the Three Kingdoms Project to try to find the 'missing' 2,000 years of Chinese history - i.e. the history that they claim to have, but have no direct evidence. They didn't find it.

Adetheshades 23 Oct 2015 22:52

There is a lot that is positive about China's transformation. However, it is quite telling that many of China's new rich cant get their money out of the country quickly enough.

They obviously know more than the average Guardian reader, and apparently don't feel their cash is safe. This causes problems of its own, when they start splashing this cash in the UK property market, causing further price escalation if any were needed.

There isn't much we can do about the size and wealth of China.

It isn't so much a case of whether the UK will become a province, I suspect the whole world will. China is close to the GDP of the USA and will overtake it in about 18 months, with GDP per head only about $8k. If Chinese GDP per head even doubles, it's economy will at least double, and that isn't taking into account population growth. China's economy has already grown by about 1000% since 2002.

At what point will we drop French from the school curriculum in favour of Mandarin is the question.

To say Beijings influence is growing is a lovely little piece of understatement.

Adamnuisance 23 Oct 2015 21:22

China is a very fascinating place with a very fascinating history... But this misguided sinophilia is exasperating. Half the time the Chinese government doesn't even know what it's doing. Being passive aggressive and claiming to be 'unique' are their real specialties. I have little doubt that China will become even more powerful with time... I just hope their backwards politics improves with their economy.

Thruns 23 Oct 2015 20:44

The first long game was Mao's coup.
The second long game was the great leap forward.
The third long game was the cultural revolution.
The fourth long game was to adopt the west's capitalism and sell the west its own technology.
At last the "communist" Chinese seem to have found a winner.

tufsoft Maharaja -> Brovinda Singh 23 Oct 2015 20:30

If you talk to Chinese people in private most of them take a pretty dim view of the invasion of Iraq and western interventionist foreign policy in general. Their government, however, don't put out grand press releases about it because that's not the way the Chinese do foreign diplomacy.

nothell -> Laurence Johnson 23 Oct 2015 20:16

Your comment about the British Empire must be tongue in cheek.

Gunboat diplomacy, opium wars, putting down mutinies in India and elsewhere, black hole of Calcutta,thrashing the native language out of the Maori and Aborigines-forcing them to speak English, World War One and World War Two, suez, the Falklands.

Anything but peaceful and anything but fair. Europe had the past, let Asia have the future.

slightlynumb -> theoldmanfromusa 23 Oct 2015 20:10

They will have to reject US inspired economic voodoo if they are to ever prosper again. There is little to no chance of a federal state. The cultural, language and political differences are insurmountable.

Rasengruen 23 Oct 2015 20:05

All of this presents well-known dilemmas for Europeans, such as how to balance human rights and economic interests.

Stopped reading at that point, author is obviously a neoliberal rent-a-mouth. If it's rights against interests there's nothing to balance, to suggest otherwise is agenda setting.

philby87 23 Oct 2015 18:50

public opinion in France, which had been shocked by an outbreak of violent repression in Tibet

The public opinion in France should remember about Frances' real place in the world, and mind its own business avoiding poking its long nose in other peoples' affaires. A good example is Japan which is twice larger than France, but never lectures its neighbors about what they should and shouldn't do. Bonapartism is an old French mental disorder.

skepticaleye -> midaregami 23 Oct 2015 18:04

The Yue state was populated mostly by the members of the Yue people who were not Han. The South China wasn't completely sinicized well into the second millennium CE. Yunnan wasn't incorporated into China until the Mongols conquered Dali in the 13th century, and the Ming dynasty eradicated the Mongols' resistance there in the 14th century.

PeterBederell -> Daniel S 23 Oct 2015 17:54

I didn't say the US completely controlled Europe, I just said that the US can bend Europe to its will in certain circumstances. For example it currently forces European banks to disclose customer information to the US Treasury and it is trying to get European countries to agree to allow US border control in European airports, so that the US can question UK citizens in London.

Europe often has to agree to these indignities because it needs access to the US market and to keep the US sweet. But with a strong China, it can use the threat of following China in some way the US doesn't like as a bargaining chip, like joining China's Development Bank, which put the US in a huff recently.

Chriswr -> AdamStrange 23 Oct 2015 17:54
What we in the West call human rights are creations of the Enlightenment and only about 300 years old. As a modern Westerner I am, of course, a big supporter of them. But let's not pretend they are part of some age-old tradition.
sor2007 -> impartial12 23 Oct 2015 17:48
i want to see a chinese century, at least the chinese wont invade other countries with the excuse of democracy or human rights
ApfelD 23 Oct 2015 17:42
China can rightly point out that it was already a civilisation 4,000 years ago – well ahead of Europe – and it uses that historical depth to indicate it will never take lessons on democracy.
LOL European democracy was born in Greece which is now under the full control of ECB and IMF The EU is a silly clown at the US court What are you talking about?

HoolyK BabylonianSheDevil03 23 Oct 2015 17:34

To be fair to the Chinese, at least they're not evangelical about spreading their 'Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics' now are they? In fact, it's quite the opposite with their non-interference mantra. When the Chinese see the following:

1. the West preaches democracy and human rights
2. is evangelical about it and spreads it by hook or crook into the Middle East
3. this causes regimes to be changed and instability to spread
4. the chaos causes a massive refugee crisis, washing these poor huddled masses onto the shores of Europe
5. the human rights preached by the West demands that the the refugees receive help
6. the native population is slowly being displaced
7. native population is further screwed, with austerity, financial crisis and now said Syrian refugees
8. Fascist and Nazis parties are elected into office, civil strife ensues

Now, what do you think the Chinese, who ABHOR chaos, think about democracy and human rights ??

PeterBederell 23 Oct 2015 16:47

The rise of China is largely a good thing for Europe. The US will not hesitate to use its power to bend Europe to its will where necessary (and who can blame it, all countries do this when they can) and the cultural and political diversity of Europe means the EU is unlikely to rival the US or China anytime soon. But the rise of China allows Europe to play one great power off against the other to resist bullying and extract concessions from one or both.

HoolyK -> AdamStrange 23 Oct 2015 16:30

Anatolia is inhabited by Turks from Central Asia who settled in the 11th century, Iraq/Syria was overrun by Muslims in the 7th century. China is still Han Chinese, as it was 5000 years ago.

'human rights' really? then do you support the human rights of tens of thousands of refugees from Syria to settle in Britain and Europe then? I ask this awkward question only because I know the Chinese will ask ....

dev_null 23 Oct 2015 16:23

China deploys a long-term strategy in part because it has a very long memory, and in part because its ruling elite needn't bother too much about electoral constraints.

The two are not mutially exclusive. You can have democracy with a long memory see periods before 1970's (neoliberalisation requires a small memory).

China's longest 'strategy' was to leverage its currency artificially lower than it should be in order to net export so many manufactured goods. Nothing else.

If Europe continues to have a long term strategy the 'long-term' has not started yet. It is currently in the process of internal devaluation and the morons in charge happily attack labor conditions which weakens spending which further degrades potential GDP increases hidden unemployment and stagnation. Germany did this first and now continues to leverage the small head start it got during the 90's for doing so.
Eurozone = Dystopia

China can rightly point out that it was already a civilisation 4,000 years ago – well ahead of Europe

No sorry europe contained many advanced cultures going back just as far. This is incompetent journalism. China was not 'china' it was many kingdoms and cultures 4000 years ago, as was Europe at the time. Fallacy of decomposition.

MeandYou -> weka69 23 Oct 2015 16:11

It has nothing to do with that reasoning. It was always predicted the West will self destruct. Inventing Globalisation and then closed down places of work for its citizen and export them la, la lands benefiting very few people, the beneficiaries who end up sending their monies to tax havens un-taxed and sponsoring some selected people to power to do their biding was always self defeating.

We gave China our jobs and cheap technologies that have taken us centuries to develop in of getting cheap goods. As a result China did not have to pass through the phases we passed through in our early industrial age when Machines were more expensive than humans before the reverse. We gave China all in a plate hence the speed neck speed China has risen. The Consumerism society the political class created they were stupid enough to forget people still need money to buy cheap goods. Consumerism does not run on empty purse.

wintpu 23 Oct 2015 15:57

You are preaching a China Containment strategy:
[1] This is racist viciousness, colonial mentality, or white supremacist conspiracy, believing that containment is your moral right. You seem to be wallowing still in the stiff upper lipped notions that you are the betters versus the east. Colonialism is over and still you cling to the notion that the EU should get together and try to destroy China's social system because it is different from yours. Your records on human rights, governance and effectiveness are all droopy examples to be object lessons rather than role models for emulation by developing countries. Your opium war denials [simply by not mentioning it] give you very little high ground to hector China and the Chinese people.

[2] Recent Behavior. Putting aside your opium war robbery, your behavior in the run up to 1997 Hong Kong hand back shows your greedy sneakiness. Chris Patten infamously tried to throw a monkey wrench into an agreed-upon process by trying to steal the Hong Kong treasury, then planting the seeds of British wannabees. You passed a special law to deny the 1.36 million Hong Kong residents who had become British Citizens was one of the most shameful racist acts of your colonial record. Cameron is now bending over backwards post haste in order to side-step the long long memory of the Chinese people.

[3] Crying about getting other EU nations to do aiding and abetting of your vendetta against a rising China? Trying to reduce and contain China does you no good. So it is a simple case of mendacity. But you forget that the Germans have already gone to China honestly and co-operated since the time of Helmut Kohl and the CPC has not forgotten their loyal friends. Today most CPC leaders drive Audis. There is no turning Germany away from their key position in Chinatrade to become enemies of China because of your self-serving wishes. Even now, France has jumped in on the nuclear niche to present you with a package you cannot refuse.

samohio 23 Oct 2015 15:51

Who speaks for Europe? No-one is the answer. It is the single largest economy on the plant. Biggest exporter on the planet. Arguably the richest middle class on the planet; combined, possibly the biggest defense budget on the planet, and all this with a central government driving foreign policy, defense, economic strategy, monetary policy, nor any of the other institutions of a Federal State. China knows this, the Americans know this; and Europe keeps getting treated as the "child" on the international scene. It's too bad, because Europe, as a whole, has many wonderful positives to contribute to the world.

[Oct 21, 2015] Andrew Bacevich A Decade of War

May 15, 2012 | YouTube

Qeis Kamran 1 year ago

I just love Prof. Bacevic. Nobody has more credit then him on the subject. Not only for his unmatched scholarship and laser sharp words, but moreover for the unimaginable personal loss. He is my hero!!!!

Boogie Knight 1 year ago

How many sons did the NeoCon-Gang sacrifice in their instigated Wars in foreign lands....? Not one. Bacevich lost his son who was fighting in Iraq in 2007 - for what?!

Yet the NeoCon warcriminals Billy Cristol, Wolfowitz and/or Elliott Abrams are all still highly respected people that the US media/political elite loves to consult - in 2014!

[Oct 21, 2015] The End of American Exceptionalism with Andrew J. Bacevich - November 7, 2013

An excellent explanation of the key postulates of Neoconservatism.
Notable quotes:
"... We need to reexamine what it means to be free. A moral reorientation of the country as Carter suggested in 1979. Bacevich says it isnt ever going to happen. ..."
Nov 7, 2003 | YouTube
Phil Anderson
Excellent as always. Lecture by Bacevich starts around 13:42.
Wendell Fitzgerald
We need to reexamine what it means to be free. A moral reorientation of the country as Carter suggested in 1979. Bacevich says it isn't ever going to happen.

[Oct 21, 2015] CIA chief's emails exposed Key things we learned from WikiLeaks' Brennan dump

Notable quotes:
"... A 2007 draft position paper on the role of the intelligence community in the wake of the 9/11 attacks shows that Brennan was already aware that numerous federal agencies – the FBI, CIA, NSA, Defense Department and Homeland Security – "are all engaged in intelligence activities on US soil." He said these activities "must be consistent with our laws and reflect the democratic principles and values of our Nation." ..."
"... Brennan added that the president and Congress need "clear mandates" and "firm criteria" to determine what limits need to be placed on domestic intelligence operations. When it comes to situations beyond US borders, Brennan said sometimes action must be taken overseas "to address real and emerging threats to our interests," and that they may need to be done "under the cover of secrecy." He argued that many covert CIA actions have resulted in "major contributions" to US policy goals. ..."
"... "enhanced interrogation" ..."
"... Some of the techniques Bond suggested that Congress ban included: forcing the detainee to be naked; forcing them to perform sexual acts; waterboarding; inducing hypothermia; conducting mock executions; and depriving detainees of food, water, or medical care. ..."
"... "Limitations on Interrogation Techniques Act of 2008." ..."
"... The bill prohibited the use of many of the same techniques listed in the previous document, though it was not passed. Ultimately, President Obama issued an executive order banning officials from using techniques not in the Army Field Manual. ..."
Oct 21, 2015 | RT USA

US government 'engaged' in spying activities on US soil

Debate over torture restrictions

Bond's suggestions get a bill

[Oct 21, 2015] The CIA director was hacked by a 13-year-old, but he still wants your data

Notable quotes:
"... With a properly run service provider, neither the helpdesk drones nor the admin staff should be able to see any user's password, which should be safely stored in an encrypted form. ..."
"... This is a turf war between bureaucrats who are born incompetent. The NSA has been increasing its share of budgetary largesse while the CIA and other security units have each been fighting to keep up. Politicians, being bureaucrats themselves, engage in the turf war. To them its all great fun. ..."
"... Lets be clear: it is very hard to see how blanket surveillance of American citizens is beneficial to American citizens. It tips over the power balance between government and citizen - it is undemocratic. It is unAmerican. ..."
"... It would be funny if it wasnt for the fact that the kid will most likely regret this for the rest of his life and nothing will change for Government or Brennan. ..."
"... Ive said it before and Ill say it again: incompetence is the main bulwark against tyranny. So let us be grateful for John Brennan. ..."
www.theguardian.com

Paul C. Dickie 20 Oct 2015 12:32

With a properly run service provider, neither the helpdesk drones nor the admin staff should be able to see any user's password, which should be safely stored in an encrypted form.

AmyInNH -> NigelSafeton 21 Oct 2015 11:59

You seriously underestimate the technical incompetence of the federal government. They buy on basis of quantity of big blue arrows, shown on marketing slideware.

Laudig 21 Oct 2015 05:31

This is great. This man is a serial perjurer to Congress. Which does eff-all about being lied to [they lie to everyone and so don't take offense at being lied to] and now he's hacked by a 13 year-old who, until a few weeks ago was protected by the The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998.
Well done, CIA or whatever you are.

So your well constructed career gets collapsed by someone who is still in short pants. The Age of Secrets is over now.

Stieve 21 Oct 2015 02:54

Er, why has no-one mentioned, why has there been no press coverage, why has not a single presidential candidate been asked to comment on the fact that The USA has been the victim of a military coup?

All pretence of government oversight has been dropped. The NSA, CIA and most likely every other arm of the "intelligence service" have simply taken over the elected government, ripped up The Constitution and transformed The US into a police state. Seven thousand people disappeared in Chigaco? Exactly why have there not been massive arrests of these Stasi? Or riots on the streets? Exactly why has there not been an emergency session of The Senate or Congress to find out why Chicago is being run like an Eastern Bloc dictatorship? Exactly why are police departments been given military hardware designed to be used by an occupying army?
I'll tell you exactly why.

Because The US actually has been taken over

Glenn J. Hill 21 Oct 2015 01:28

LOL, the Head of the CIA put sensitive info on an personal AOL ACCOUNT !!!!! What an total idiot. Just proves the " Peter Principle", that one gets promoted to one`s point of incompetent!

Can he be fired ? Locked up for gross stupidity ?? Will he come hunting for me, to take me out for pointing out his asinine stupidity ??

Fnert Pleeble -> Robert Lewis 20 Oct 2015 23:42

Congressmen are self motivating. They want the gravy train to continue. The carrot is plenty big, no need for the stick.

Buckworm 20 Oct 2015 21:51

Those old, tired, incompetent, ignorant, trolls are asking for more and more access to citizens data based on the assumption that they can catch a terrorist or another type of psycho before they act out on something. Don't they realize that so far, after 15 years of violating the citizen's constitutional rights, they HAVE NEVER CAUGHT not even ONE single person under their illegal surveillance.

This is the problem: they think that terrorists are as stupid as they are, and that they will be sending tons of un-encrypted information online- and that sooner or later they will intercept that data and prevent a crime. How many times have they done so? Z E RO . They haven't realized that terrorists and hackers are waaaaayyy ahead of them and their ways of communicating are already beyond the old-fashioned government-hacked internet. I mean, only a terrorist as stupid as a government employee would think of ever sending something sensitive through electronic communications of any kind - but the government trolls still believe that they do or that sooner or later they will!! How super-beyond-stupid is that? Congress??

Don't even talk about that putrid grotesque political farce - completely manipulated by the super-rich and heated up by the typical white-trash delusional trailer park troll aka as the "tea party". We've had many killing in the homeland after 9/11 - not even one of them stopped by the "mega-surveillance" - and thousands committed by irresponsible and crooked cops - and this will continue until America Unites and fight for their constitutional rights. That will happen as soon as their priority is not getting the latest iPhone with minimal improvement, spends endless hours playing candy crush,stand in long lines to buy pot, get drunk every evening and weekends, and cancel their subscription to home-delivered heroin and cocaine. So don't hold your breath on that one.

Wait until one of those 13-yr old gets a hold of nuclear codes, electric grid codes, water supply or other important service code - the old government farts will scream and denounce that they could have prevented that if they had had more surveillance tools - but that is as false as the $3 dollar bills they claim to have in their wallets. They cannot see any further from their incompetence and ignorance.

Robert Lewis -> Giants1925 20 Oct 2015 18:38

Did the FSB cook data so the US would invade Iraq and kill 1,000,000 civilians?

yusowong 20 Oct 2015 18:20

This is a turf war between bureaucrats who are born incompetent. The NSA has been increasing its share of budgetary largesse while the CIA and other security units have each been fighting to keep up. Politicians, being bureaucrats themselves, engage in the turf war. To them it's all great fun.

Triumphant -> George Giants1925 20 Oct 2015 14:41

Are you saying that because you aren't in a concentration camp, everything's pretty good? That's a pretty low bar to set.

Most people probably didn't vote for your current leader. To compare, in the UK, only 37% of the popular vote went for the current government. And once you leader is voted in, they pretty much do as they please. Fortunately, there are checks and balances which are supposed to prevent things getting out of control. Unfortunately, bills like the cybersecurity bill are intend to circumvent these things.

Let's be clear: it is very hard to see how blanket surveillance of American citizens is beneficial to American citizens. It tips over the power balance between government and citizen - it is undemocratic. It is unAmerican.


Red Ryder -> daniel1948 20 Oct 2015 14:16

The whole freakin government is totally incompetent when it comes to computers and the hacking going on around this planet. Hillary needs to answer for this email scandal but currently she is making jokes about it as if nothing happened. She has no clue when she tried to delete her emails. Doesn't the government know that this stuff is backed up on many computers and then stored it a tape vault somewhere. Hiding emails is a joke today.

mancfrank 20 Oct 2015 13:27

It would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that the kid will most likely regret this for the rest of his life and nothing will change for Government or Brennan.

Giants1925 20 Oct 2015 12:53

I still don't understand why Russia is allowed to have the FSB but the US is forbidden from having the CIA Who makes these rules again? Because frankly I'm tired of the world being run by popular opinion.


bcarey 20 Oct 2015 12:33

The bill is so bad that the major tech companies like Google and Amazon all came out against it last week, despite the fact that it would give them broad immunity for sharing this information with the government.

The usual show... "We're totally against it, but it's okay."


Donald Mintz 20 Oct 2015 12:02

I've said it before and I'll say it again: incompetence is the main bulwark against tyranny. So let us be grateful for John Brennan.

[Oct 21, 2015] Andrew Bacevich A Decade of War

May 15, 2012 | YouTube

Qeis Kamran 1 year ago

I just love Prof. Bacevic. Nobody has more credit then him on the subject. Not only for his unmatched scholarship and laser sharp words, but moreover for the unimaginable personal loss. He is my hero!!!!

Boogie Knight 1 year ago

How many sons did the NeoCon-Gang sacrifice in their instigated Wars in foreign lands....? Not one. Bacevich lost his son who was fighting in Iraq in 2007 - for what?!

Yet the NeoCon warcriminals Billy Cristol, Wolfowitz and/or Elliott Abrams are all still highly respected people that the US media/political elite loves to consult - in 2014!

[Oct 10, 2015] Forums and bulleting board users are watched by GCHQ

Oct 10, 2015 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Warren , September 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm

et Al , September 26, 2015 at 4:23 am

A top-secret GCHQ document from March 2009 reveals the agency has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale. It shows a sample search in which the agency was extracting data from cookies containing information about people's visits to the adult website YouPorn, search engines Yahoo and Google, and the Reuters news website.

Other websites listed as "sources" of cookies in the 2009 document (see below) are Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, WordPress, Amazon, and sites operated by the broadcasters CNN, BBC, and the U.K.'s Channel 4.

…A top-secret GCHQ document from March 2009 reveals the agency has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale. It shows a sample search in which the agency was extracting data from cookies containing information about people's visits to the adult website YouPorn, search engines Yahoo and Google, and the Reuters news website.

Other websites listed as "sources" of cookies in the 2009 document (see below) are Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, WordPress, Amazon, and sites operated by the broadcasters CNN, BBC, and the U.K.'s Channel 4…
###

And I bet the Guardian too as it is 'the world's most widely read new site'. They probably keep automatic tabs on this site considering how it has grown over the last couple of years.

I do wonder though, with all those stories about those thousands of Kremlin controlled Russian trolls on British news websites, whether some of this comes from carefully massaged data from GCHQ through third parties to the Pork Pie News Networks via 'unnamed sources', i.e. the usual bollox.

May I suggest to fellow commenters here, if at any point you loose your smart phone (etc.) just call GCHQ and they'll tell you where you left it. I wonder if they provide a data back up service?!

et Al, September 26, 2015 at 4:48 am

…The agency operates a bewildering array of other eavesdropping systems, each serving its own specific purpose and designated a unique code name, such as: …and INFINITE MONKEYS, which analyzes data about the usage of online bulletin boards and forums…

…Authorization is "not needed for individuals in the U.K.," another GCHQ document explains, because metadata has been judged "less intrusive than communications content." All the spies are required to do to mine the metadata troves is write a short "justification" or "reason" for each search they conduct and then click a button on their computer screen…

…When compared to surveillance rules in place in the U.S., GCHQ notes in one document that the U.K. has "a light oversight regime."

The more lax British spying regulations are reflected in secret internal rules that highlight greater restrictions on how NSA databases can be accessed. The NSA's troves can be searched for data on British citizens, one document states, but they cannot be mined for information about Americans or other citizens from countries in the Five Eyes alliance….
#####

It's just what is expected from the junior in the US/UK relationship. For the UK to retain privileged access to the US' global spy network, it needs to give the US what it wants, a way to circumvent the US' own laws. Dial back to when Gary Powers & his U-2 were shot down over the Soviet Union. All subsequent overflights by US manned and operated aircraft were prohibited, so, the US used British pilots and Canberras.

Once you understand the relationship and the goals that they have, you can work backwards and make fairly good conclusions about what tools would be required and used to get to those conclusions and try not think whether they are legal or not. What people can do to protect themselves is a) don't change most of your digital habits (as this would raise a flag); b) just don't do or say obvious things that you wouldn't do in real life in your digital life; c) use encryption such as PGP for email and products using perfect forward secrecy for chat/etc.; d) don't write about what not to do on the Internet as I have just done! ;)

The most disturbing thing about it all is that it puts us one step away from a totalitarian system. All that is required is a political decision. All the tools are in place and depending on how much information they have actually kept they can dip in to it at any time throughout your life as a rich source of blackmail, probably via third parties. It's not exactly threatening to send you to a concentration camp (or disappeared to one of Britain's (and others) many small overseas territories, but it is total control.

If the European economy completely crashes and mass instability ensues (or whatever), then the politicians will be told, or even ask, "What tools do we have to control this?".
Forget about 'checks and balances' – they're the first thing to be thrown out of the window in an emergency. Arbeit macht frei!

et Al , September 26, 2015 at 9:52 am

This should be a massive story as the parliamentary security committee gave the intelligence services a 'clean bill of health' not so long ago.

Since then, they've lost intelligence 'yes man' Malcolm Rifkind to an expenses scandal so the make up of the committee has changed a bit.

What it does show is that we cannot even trust the gatekeepers (above) who are give very limited info from the security services.

And let us not forget the dates that this occurred under a Labor administration and continued under a Conservative-Liberal Democrat and now a Conservative one.

It will be interesting to see if this story gains any traction, though I suspect that it will be much bigger outside of the UK, at least initially,

The cat is, again, out of the bag!

marknesop , September 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm

GCHQ and the CIA are in bed with one another, and have been for years. This might be a timely occasion to mention once again that both are capable of hacking into smartphones by all leading manufacturers; in the case of the IPhone the CIA uses a program application called Dropout Jeep.

We can thank Edward Snowden for that; the NSA spying scandal revealed a great deal more than just the information the CIA is snooping on your phone calls and collecting information on everyone. As the second reference relates, the CIA also diverted laptops ordered online so that government spyware could be installed on them. Intelligence agencies are determined that citizens shall have no privacy whatsoever. You might as well assume they are watching everything you do and listening to everything you say. Give the window the finger at random times just in case, and slip embarrassing revelations on the sexual proclivities of intelligence agents into your telephone conversations.

Canada's Blackberry was once safe, but GCHQ broke that. So now there is no smartphone that is private, except maybe for Russia's YotaPhone. Probably not that either, though, since it is sold in the USA, and if they couldn't break into the phone they would just hack the carrier. And the Canadian government bought all of its Secure Telephone Units (STU) from the NSA, so say no more about the "security" of those.

A few companies, like Silent Circle, pitch a privacy phone like the Blackphone, but it originates in the USA and everyone's paranoia has become so acute that the instant suspicion is they are telling you it is more private just because it is wired straight to the NSA. You can't believe anyone any more.

[Oct 03, 2015] Moscow and Kiev in positive mood over talks to end east Ukraine conflict

Notable quotes:
"... The EU cannot do anything about Ukraine Right Sector radicals and its other nutters in the Mafia. ..."
"... But the Donbas situation is more mixed, however, even before the trouble in 2014, what I DID encounter in Kiev in particular (not so much Galycnya) was a regard of the SE UA citizens as second-class citizens, as well as attitudes that could be accurately be described as quasi-facist, ..."
"... I wonder why you call Western airstrikes "tactical". The coalition launched >7,000 military aircraft sorties in over a year, apparently carefully "missing" ISIS targets, killing on average ~0.4 terrorist per sortie and freeing up as much as 15 square kilometers of territory from ISIS. As you can easily imagine, a lot of people made huge amounts of money in the process. So we should call this a resounding success, on par with $10 billion no-bid Halliburton contract in Iraq. Wouldn't you agree? ..."
"... Does it really matter if they have ? We know the West has been involved so it would be pretty much par for the course if Russia was involved. The main thing is Ukraine becomes a peaceful nation for the benefit of its citizens, not for the benefit of either the West or Russia. ..."
Oct 02, 2015 | The Guardian

Елена Соловьева -> BMWAlbert 3 Oct 2015 20:37

Dear, you refer to "one blonde said!". On some vague feelings, assumptions... Enough speculation about Crimea, please! Let's stick to facts! Crimea 80% of the population - Russian. Not only Pro-Russian, and ethnic Russians. Russia does not need were the little green men of Crimea! But for drunk and scared of the Ukrainian military in the Crimea, for the Wahhabis, who through the streets went to the cars with black flags for Ukrainian neo-Nazis, importing explosives and suitable for shooting on the streets, probably Yes. Crimea was similar to the Autonomous Republic, until authonomy has destroyed by abandoning the Constitution. It was abolished by the President! Crimea held a referendum for secession from Ukraine long before the coup in Ukrainein 2014 .

Note that the Americans tried to seize Crimea under the guise of NATO exercises! Was absolutely illegal attempt to build an American military base in Crimea for the U.S. Navy landed the Marines on may 26, 2006, of which the citizens of Crimea dishonorably discharged. And during the state coup in Ukraine in the Black Sea suddenly a us warship.

In Debaltsevo the Ukrainian neo-Nazis fought with men that were deprived of the government, the President, sovereignty, language, external management is introduced, destroyed the economy. Take away the right to life. Whose wives, parents and children every day are killed by shells from anti-aircraft weapons in schools, hospitals, shops, bus stops, fill up with planes of white phosphorus, the water is shut off and the light stopped issuing wages and pensions, imposed humanitarian blockade.

To fight with desperate men, defending their home, or engage in rape and looting among the civilian population, where the majority of the elderly, women, children - different things.

Sarah7 -> Sarah7 3 Oct 2015 19:58

One more thing:

Actually, the first photograph accompanying this piece by Shaun Walker shows Poroshenko looking particularly angry and miserable -- if looks could kill, Merkel would be in big trouble!

That said, in the same photo, Putin appears calm, sanguine, and in a very 'positive mood' compared to his counterparts. Go figure.

Sarah7 3 Oct 2015 19:49

Moscow and Kiev in 'positive mood' over talks to end east Ukraine conflict

If you look at the photographs that accompany the following piece, Poroshenko does not appear to be in a 'positive mood' over the recent meeting of the Normandy Four, and Merkel looks like she is going to spit nails. Perhaps this explains their dour faces:

Checkmate!

3 October 2015

Finally the Penny Drops: Merkel Admits Crimea is Part of Russia
http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151003/1027980523/merkel-admits-crimea-is-part-of-russia.html

German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time publically accepted the fact that Crimea doesn't belong to Ukraine and that the peninsula will stay as part of Russia, Alexei Pushkov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma, said on his Twitter account, according to Gazeta.ru. (Emphasis added)

"Important: After a meeting in Paris, Merkel for the first time admitted that Crimea won't return to Ukraine. That means the crisis is only about the east of the country," Pushkov wrote. (Emphasis added)

The Normandy Four talks on Ukraine reconciliation concluded in Paris on Friday.

The leaders of the Normandy Quartet countries managed to agree on the procedure of the withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.

"We were able to agree on the withdrawal of heavy weapons," Merkel said following the Normandy Four talks in Paris. "There is hope for progress. We are moving toward each other."

On the whole, the results of Friday's Normandy Four talks in Paris set a positive tone, Angela Merkel said, adding that she was satisfied with what the participants achieved during the meeting.

The Normandy Four are planning to meet for a followup in November, presumably to keep Poroshenko in compliance and moving head with the implementation of Minsk II.

PS -- It was the evil Putin wot done it!

HollyOldDog -> Laurence Johnson 3 Oct 2015 18:55

The EU cannot do anything about Ukraine Right Sector radicals and its other nutters in the Mafia. This mess is for Ukraine alone to sort out and Mikheil Saakashvilli is not the man for the job - his corruption runs far to deep for any action that is more than cosmetic.

BMWAlbert -> Елена Соловьева 3 Oct 2015 18:38

IDK the number of Russian nationals in the Donbas forces, something between 1-10K as a rough guess, these are not formal formations (some are organized at the battalion level as all-Russian units, just an observation from the Russian language news coverage of the closing of Debaltsevo earlier this year, e.g. so called "Khan" battalion, this is just televised news, but there must be more than one such unit, hence the estimate-there are enough weapons captures from UAF in the earlier battles also to arm a small army in Donbas, but this does not rule-out direct supplies (I would imagine something low-key and NOT the big white convoys), this would be the natural minimal level of support I would infer/expect in this case and seems a fair inference. I am not replicating mindless statements from ATO leaders, and remember that Rada twice tried

Crimea was an autonomous region in UA and with rights to hold a referendum under the early 2014 UA Constitution and an earlier legal attempt in 1993 was surprised, also that RU had large forces already legally stationed in Crimea/Krim according to the Kharkov treaty and that in some cases, civic authority, Sebastopol by the RU naval command being a case in point-a continuation of old practices. My sense from personal friends is that among the young, and old generally, the pro-RU sentiment in Krim is strong (incl. one girl with whom I have lost contact, who works there in what is now RU, due to current conditions).

But the Donbas situation is more mixed, however, even before the trouble in 2014, what I DID encounter in Kiev in particular (not so much Galycnya) was a regard of the SE UA citizens as second-class citizens, as well as attitudes that could be accurately be described as quasi-facist, this includes well-educated people, ibcl. in one case (a blonde) the desire to 'exterminate' the Russians-but I would not count the opinions in Donbas as only those enduring the bombardments, there are also many refugees, many in RU itself of course, whose opinions vary from those expressed sometimes here with all due respect, so yes it is complicated.


HollyOldDog -> William Snowden 3 Oct 2015 18:13

Putin wants Ukraine to succeed but the only way it can do this is for the Ukrainian citizens to take over its government and boot out the Self-serving Oligarchs. The Oligarchs have their place in Ukraine but that is to stay out from forming Government decisions and confine their endeavors to modernizing and improving the infrastructure of Ukraine Industrial base which would improve the finance and conditions for all of Ukrainian citizens. It's going to be a difficult road but Russia and the EU can help, though clinging on to the influences of the USA would surely be a retrograde step.

Елена Соловьева -> BMWAlbert 3 Oct 2015 18:07

What's so complicated? The war is real or not! Evidence of finding the 200 000 Russian soldiers in Lugansk and Donbass, or have or not! Crimea after the collapse of the USSR was a disputed territory, which Ukraine annexed unilaterally, without considering the opinion of the Russian Federation and, more IMPORTANTLY, against the wishes of the citizens of the Crimean Republic, which, actually, was constitutional and presidential, while Ukraine did not destroy this status! It is Ukraine annexed the Crimean Republic, and the Russian city Sevastopol, which is in the Republic even geographically not part of, Mr. specialist on Ukraine! Demarcation implies the absence of territorial disputes. And, by the way! Another monstrous stupidity of your media! Poor Ukraine after the coup d'état, followed by the external management of the country by the EU and the US are terrorized by the evil Russian, because it is weak and has no nuclear weapons because of the Treaty of non-aggression from the Russian Federation? Really? Ukraine did not pay its portion of external debt of the USSR and the Russian Empire, therefore, is not the successor,and cannot claim to nuclear power status! Ukraine is a priori not have a right to this weapon, because it was not the owner initially, as the successor! The coup in Kiev was held under the slogan "Cut all Russians!", which in Ukraine 2 years ago, it was a few million, and that is what they are doing throughout the Ukraine, especially in Eastern Ukraine and was planning to do in Crimea. The burning of people in Odessa - a vivid example.

Beckow -> Bart Looren de Jong 3 Oct 2015 17:11

You cannot survey people in the middle of a civil conflict on how much they like or dislike what is described as the "enemy". It simply cannot be done, the numbers are meaningless.

Look at Ukraine's economy and you will see the future of this conflict. The living standards are down so low that all else will become meaningless - people actually care about their incomes and living standard.

Your slogans about "illegal", "privileged sphere" are not what any of this is about, they are not what people in Ukraine think about or what matters to them. But if you insist on slogans, there is one simple answer: Kosovo. West bombed Serbia, killing about a thousand civilians, to force Albanian separation in Kosovo. All talk about "international law" is kind of meaningless after that.

Informed17 -> Laurence Johnson 3 Oct 2015 15:53

I wonder why you call Western airstrikes "tactical". The coalition launched >7,000 military aircraft sorties in over a year, apparently carefully "missing" ISIS targets, killing on average ~0.4 terrorist per sortie and freeing up as much as 15 square kilometers of territory from ISIS. As you can easily imagine, a lot of people made huge amounts of money in the process. So we should call this a resounding success, on par with $10 billion no-bid Halliburton contract in Iraq. Wouldn't you agree?

Manolo Torres -> Bart Looren de Jong 3 Oct 2015 15:49

I have condemned the actions of the Russian government in chechnya many times, if you are going to speak about anyones hypocrisy, you should at least know with whom are you talking.

Manolo Torres
9 Sep 2014 09:42
0 Recommend
Look, I already replied, I wasn´t careful with my question. Of course the Russians have committed many abuses, namely the war in Chechnya. I also explained the differences between that war and the wars by US/NATO that have simply no justification on grounds of self defense.


My concern with human life was shown by my condemnation of every violent act: the massacre in Odessa, the airstrikes and shelling that killed thousands in Ukraine, the war in Iraq and Syria, the war in Chechnya or the neo-nazi movement inside Russia (as we were discussing yesterday before you started shouting and got overwhelmed by the numbers I showed you).

As for the Ukrainians I don´t you are as stupid as to blame Putin for the Ukrainian governments shelling of residential areas. And perhaps you know that there is an investigation for MH17.

i am not like you Rob, I am not a fanatic and I only make judgements when I think I know the facts. You are just shouting and looking every time more ridiculous.

A good start for you would be to say that you stand corrected for the Amnesty report. Do it, I have done it, feels good.

Can I do anything else for you?

Laurence Johnson -> gimmeshoes 3 Oct 2015 14:15

Poroshenko is in a bit of a legal quagmire as his government has not at any stage controlled the entire nation and its borders at any time. His current claim on Eastern Ukraine in legal terms is more a wish list than a legal document of fact.

His only path is partition to legalise his government to govern what they have today, or to negotiate the handing over of East Ukraine to his governments control in order that he can legitimately govern the entire nation and its borders. An invasion of East Ukraine is probably not going to work legally, or on a more practical basis.

Informed17 -> Worried9876 3 Oct 2015 14:10

This is too categorical. Chocolate man wants anything that allows him to keep cashing in on his "president" title. The only thing that's unacceptable to him is if his masters try to prevent his thievery. Then he is likely to become angry and unpredictable. Might even remember about Ukraine, although that's highly unlikely.

elias_ 3 Oct 2015 14:04

Looks to me like Putin wins. Crimea in the bag, the eastern regions stay in Ukraine with enough clout to prevent nato membership and keep the nazis at bay. And stupid EU and US get to pay the bill for reconstruction. The sanctions hurt all sides but are forcing much needed reforms in his country, he may even become a net exporter of food products instead of importing from the eu. He gets a refund for the Mistrals and makes the poodle French look untrustworthy. Oh well, serves the sneaky bastards right (you know who i mean "fuxx the eu").

Laurence Johnson -> Alexzero 3 Oct 2015 14:03

Does it really matter if they have ? We know the West has been involved so it would be pretty much par for the course if Russia was involved. The main thing is Ukraine becomes a peaceful nation for the benefit of its citizens, not for the benefit of either the West or Russia.

[Oct 03, 2015] Fascism and Neoconservative Republicans

"... A Fascist is one who believes in a corporatist society. In other words, it is a political philosophy embodying very strong central government, with the authority to move in decisive steps to accomplish goals. It would be characterized by a unity of purpose, with more or less all the levels of the hierarchy in unison, starting at the top and working down. It is a top-down government involving an alliance of industry, military, media and a political party. ..."
"... It is interesting to note that at least two of the three Parties had origins as Socialist and morphed into strong, Right Wing, authoritarian rules as a result largely of expediency. ..."
"... As soon as they took power, which they did partially through gangs and mobs, intimidation and demonstrations and-in Mussolini's case an outright coup - they allied themselves with the biggest corporations and the military general staff. In addition, even before taking complete power, they began to wrest control of the media away from other political parties, and to use it for their own propaganda. ..."
"... Hitler's "Big Lie" basically blamed rampant inflation and lack of jobs on the Jews. He blamed all their economic ills on the restraint of Germany by other nations and the presumed taking over of German lands (which they themselves had only won through aggressive wars.) ..."
"... In a fascist system, the whole idea is to have an efficient method of getting things done. If you want to build an "autobahn" you simply tell the transportation minister to get started. You control everything at every level. It will go faster because it is for the good of all the people, so no one will have the right to object or interfere. It is, Fascists would say, about efficiency, getting things done for the people. ..."
"... You attack other countries so that they cannot attack you. You start wars (Iraq) to prevent dangerous men from attacking you. It makes sense. Military efficiency in a Fascist state means that if the top guy (President or Dictator) wants to be absolutely certain that no other country is superior, he can build up the military industry and the military at any pace or at any cost. ..."
"... Everyone salutes and follows the lead from the top down ..."
"... In a Fascist state, policy is largely being written through a cooperative effort with the industries involved, in this case the health care industry. The slow, ragged, messy and Democratic process involved with our current health care reform process would never happen under a Fascist government. Whatever the decision, there would be no appeal. If a million or fifty million were left out, because, let's say, that the President needed more money for war machines that would be the decision- with no question or appeal. ..."
"... Republicans, remember, have the complete support of Fox News, the Fox television Network, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and any number of television stations around the country, plus somewhere between 600 and 1600 radio stations ..."
"... The Neocons are out of power, but they are unrelenting in their efforts to control as much of the political discourse as possible, no matter how damaging to society. They bring mobs and riff-raff out, some with guns, trying to scare the average citizen. They send messages out over radio with lunatic commentators, some who are not even allowed to visit other countries because of their hate speech…yet we tolerate it. ..."
March 25, 2010 | Populist Daily
The word "Fascist" as with the terms "Socialist" and "Communist" are thrown around a lot by people who have no idea what they mean. If you want to know what those terms really mean, find someone who was in some branch of military counterintelligence, the CIA, the security section of the State Department, Defense Intelligence, or in the FBI.

In all those areas, the first day of basic training involves comparative forms of government. You can't spot a Communist if you don't know what a Communist is. You can't tell the difference between a Communist and a Fascist unless you know the difference in the two systems. It is Intelligence, and more specifically, Counterintelligence 101.

So, let's go right to Fascism. A Fascist is one who believes in a corporatist society. In other words, it is a political philosophy embodying very strong central government, with the authority to move in decisive steps to accomplish goals. It would be characterized by a unity of purpose, with more or less all the levels of the hierarchy in unison, starting at the top and working down. It is a top-down government involving an alliance of industry, military, media and a political party.

Because Fascism has been associated with the 1930s German Nazis, the Italian Fascists under Mussolini and the Falangists, under the Spanish Dictator, Francisco Franco, the term "Fascist" has taken on a sinister meaning. Not fewer than 10 million direct deaths resulting from the rule of these three may have something to do with it. On the other hand, philosophies don't kill people; people kill people.

It is interesting to note that at least two of the three Parties had origins as Socialist and morphed into strong, Right Wing, authoritarian rules as a result largely of expediency. It is also interesting to note that all three were not only intimately connected to the largest industrial corporations, but as soon as possible with the military leadership. While Fascism as a political philosophy is not innately evil, given the results, it is worth noting how things turned out.

Both the German and the Italian Fascist parties were also both revolutionary and conservative at the same time. Both Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini were aggressive, anarchic leaders. Both served time in jail. Both served in the enlisted ranks with the military in war. Both used that experience to organize mobs of thugs to agitate against an established government, not for a more democratic regime, but for a more authoritarian one. You can begin to see some similarities with contemporary political activities.

As soon as they took power, which they did partially through gangs and mobs, intimidation and demonstrations and-in Mussolini's case an outright coup - they allied themselves with the biggest corporations and the military general staff. In addition, even before taking complete power, they began to wrest control of the media away from other political parties, and to use it for their own propaganda.

Once they had control of the radio and newspapers, which were then the prominent sources of information, they could begin to broadcast their messages. Hitler's "Big Lie" basically blamed rampant inflation and lack of jobs on the Jews. He blamed all their economic ills on the restraint of Germany by other nations and the presumed taking over of German lands (which they themselves had only won through aggressive wars.)

But let's for a minute assume that we know nothing about Fascism except that it exists. We have a group, here in America that believes in a corporatist political philosophy. What would that look like? If it were a true Fascist organization, they would ally themselves with big corporations, like the health care industry, oil and mining, pharmaceuticals, media corporations and the military-industrial complex.

They would try to control the message, particularly in radio and television. They would become as closely allied with the top military brass as possible, offering them a seat at the table in the running of the economy. Retired Generals would be assured of positions involved with military hardware and strategic planning.

And what about the people? In a fascist system, the whole idea is to have an efficient method of getting things done. If you want to build an "autobahn" you simply tell the transportation minister to get started. You control everything at every level. It will go faster because it is for the good of all the people, so no one will have the right to object or interfere. It is, Fascists would say, about efficiency, getting things done for the people.

Defense is about protecting the people. You attack other countries so that they cannot attack you. You start wars (Iraq) to prevent dangerous men from attacking you. It makes sense. Military efficiency in a Fascist state means that if the top guy (President or Dictator) wants to be absolutely certain that no other country is superior, he can build up the military industry and the military at any pace or at any cost.

In a Fascist state the idea is to have one set of rules, coming from the top down. No one votes as an individual, only as a part of the group that is assigned a task. It is corporate, total-totalitarian. So, if you decide that a national health care program is not right for the country, you all vote against it in a totally militaristic way. Everyone salutes and follows the lead from the top down. The only problem is when you do not have a strong leader.

The Democrats, for example, want to farm decisions out to others, let the opposition have their input. It slows the process. A Fascist health care program would be one decided upon by the President, discussed and worked out with the corporations, mandated to his staffs and enacted without any discussion or public debate in a matter of a few months.

In a Fascist state, policy is largely being written through a cooperative effort with the industries involved, in this case the health care industry. The slow, ragged, messy and Democratic process involved with our current health care reform process would never happen under a Fascist government. Whatever the decision, there would be no appeal. If a million or fifty million were left out, because, let's say, that the President needed more money for war machines that would be the decision- with no question or appeal.

So, if you want efficiency, you not only should you look to the Republicans, but you may have no choice. The Republicans, remember, have the complete support of Fox News, the Fox television Network, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and any number of television stations around the country, plus somewhere between 600 and 1600 radio stations on which literally 9 out of 10 commentators are paid by those network owners to be Conservative (Neoconservative Republican.) They have expanded to very large numbers of web site bases, delivering whatever type of information they want, truth, lies, anything in between… accusations without proof…Socialist, Communist, government takeover of this or that…no need to be truthful. It is all propaganda.

Just as Herr Goebbels and Mussolini did in the 1930s-and except in the Communist counties and a few Latin American dictatorships there hasn't been anything to speak of similar to this in the Western advanced societies since then-the unchallenged message of the Right Wing goes out. The radio commentators today get their message from the top, from the Republican Party. Fox News Channel internal memos have shown that they literally decide what policies the Republican Party wished to champion, and then they attack rather than merely delivering the news.

So do we need to be civil about it-about these lies? Is it important to challenge people, like these Right Wing commentators who tell you that your current health care is sufficient? It is good for corporations, for health care insurance companies. But is it good for you not to be sure you can get health insurance? So if they tell you that something is a government takeover and it is not, so you vote against health care or you respond to a poll in a way that is against your own best interests…do you need to be civil about being lied to? You shouldn't be lied to by media. You need the truth, the facts, to make decisions.

It is a pretty simple answer. Should you be civil to people who lie to you and urge you to buy something that turns out to hurt you, or your family, or cause you to lose your job, or kill your sister, brother, neighbor? If I lie to you and say it is safe to swim across the channel and you are attacked by sharks that I knew were there…should you not care? This is what is happening, right now…today. In the consumer products market, we call that fraud and companies can be criminally liable.

So let's describe what a Fascist government or a political party attempting to introduce a Fascist government would look like and see if either or any of our political parties fits that description:

If any of this seems familiar to you, then you see something "Fascist" in the current political process. Of course, one thing that wasn't mentioned. Fascists always need someone to stigmatize. In Germany, it was the Jews. In Italy it was the Socialists. In Spain it was the Communists. It seems clear that, in this country it is the Democrats.

The Neocons are out of power, but they are unrelenting in their efforts to control as much of the political discourse as possible, no matter how damaging to society. They bring mobs and riff-raff out, some with guns, trying to scare the average citizen. They send messages out over radio with lunatic commentators, some who are not even allowed to visit other countries because of their hate speech…yet we tolerate it.

We even allow asininely preposterous lies from a possibly psychotic television commentator…to be used to stoke the race-hatred of many tea party members, and thugs against a distinguished African-American President who won 54% of the vote, the largest since Ronald Reagan and who also won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The case is pretty clear. The Neoconservative Republicans are headed for Fascism if they are not there already. The latest round of insults, threats, lies, window breakings all contribute to the evidence. Sooner or later this totalitarian attitude will either be denounced or will have serious responses. One thing is sure, with the problems facing our country, we cannot afford the kind of anarchist attacks as were exhibited in the bombing of a Federal building in Oklahoma City or the flying of an aircraft into a building housing an IRS office.

This radical, violent, arrogant Fascist attitude has to stop. The first step in preventing this kind of political outcome is to identify and react to Fascism when it appears. Neoconservative Republicanism is Fascism. Republicans must return to sanity or be treated as a very dangerous and radical political party.

Mike // Mar 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I agree with everything you say, except for the statement that the fascists have chosen the Democrats as a focus for hate. They have chosen everyone who is not a fascist republican, and esp. the 'middle to the left', which they label 'liberal'.

It is frightening to see the second party of a two party system turn fascist in the United States. Anyone who says it isn't so, isn't paying attention. What is even more frightening is the level of ignorance that must exist for people to believe those fascists. When you watch that certain mentally mal-adjusted on Fox and see him ramble on incoherently for an hour while he spews lies and distortions, any thinking individual has to ask him/her self "What moron would fall for this drivel?" But they do.

It is truly frightening, and it is easy to see how people like Hitler manage to rise to power, when people wilfully shut off any reasoning skills they ever had.

[Oct 03, 2015] The Athens Affair shows why we need encryption without backdoors

"... after the 2004 Olympics, the Greek government discovered that an unknown attacker had hacked into Vodafone's "lawful intercept" system, the phone company's mechanism of wiretapping phone calls. The attacker spied on phone calls of the president, other Greek politicians and journalists before it was discovered. ..."
"... all this happened after the US spy agency cooperated with Greek law enforcement to keep an eye on potential terrorist attacks for the Olympics. Instead of packing up their surveillance gear, they covertly pointed it towards the Greek government and its people. But that's not all: according to Snowden documents that Bamford cited, this is a common tactic of the NSA. They often attack the "lawful intercept" systems in other countries to spy on government and citizens without their knowledge: ..."
"... It's the exact nightmare scenario security experts have warned about when it comes to backdoors: they are not only available to those that operate them "legally", but also to those who can hack into them to spy without anyone's knowledge. If the NSA can do it, so can China, Russia and a host of other malicious actors. ..."
Sep 30. 2015 | The Guardian
Revelations about the hack that allowed Greek politicians to be spied on in 2004 come at a time when the White House is set to announce its encryption policy

Just as it seems the White House is close to finally announcing its policy on encryption - the FBI has been pushing for tech companies like Apple and Google to insert backdoors into their phones so the US government can always access users' data -= new Snowden revelations and an investigation by a legendary journalist show exactly why the FBI's plans are so dangerous.

One of the biggest arguments against mandating backdoors in encryption is the fact that, even if you trust the United States government never to abuse that power (and who does?), other criminal hackers and foreign governments will be able to exploit the backdoor to use it themselves. A backdoor is an inherent vulnerability that other actors will attempt to find and try to use it for their own nefarious purposes as soon as they know it exists, putting all of our cybersecurity at risk.

In a meticulous investigation, longtime NSA reporter James Bamford reported at the Intercept Tuesday that the NSA was behind the notorious "Athens Affair". In surveillance circles, the Athens Affair is stuff of legend: after the 2004 Olympics, the Greek government discovered that an unknown attacker had hacked into Vodafone's "lawful intercept" system, the phone company's mechanism of wiretapping phone calls. The attacker spied on phone calls of the president, other Greek politicians and journalists before it was discovered.

According to Bamford's story, all this happened after the US spy agency cooperated with Greek law enforcement to keep an eye on potential terrorist attacks for the Olympics. Instead of packing up their surveillance gear, they covertly pointed it towards the Greek government and its people. But that's not all: according to Snowden documents that Bamford cited, this is a common tactic of the NSA. They often attack the "lawful intercept" systems in other countries to spy on government and citizens without their knowledge:

Exploiting the weaknesses associated with lawful intercept programs was a common trick for NSA. According to a previously unreleased top-secret PowerPoint presentation from 2012, titled "Exploiting Foreign Lawful Intercept Roundtable", the agency's "countries of interest" for this work included, at that time, Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt and others. The presentation also notes that NSA had about 60 "Fingerprints" - ways to identify data - from telecom companies and industry groups that develop lawful intercept systems, including Ericsson, as well as Motorola, Nokia and Siemens.

It's the exact nightmare scenario security experts have warned about when it comes to backdoors: they are not only available to those that operate them "legally", but also to those who can hack into them to spy without anyone's knowledge. If the NSA can do it, so can China, Russia and a host of other malicious actors.

... ... ...

Disclosure: Trevor Timm works for Freedom of the Press Foundation, which is one of the many civil liberties organizations to have called on the White House to support strong encryption.


TDM MCL -> LePloumesCleau 30 Sep 2015 21:21

You are getting very warm near the real reasons why the government does not want your to have full privacy....encryption (of a certain type, not your usual off the shelf type mind you), is the threat that all power greedy controlling tyrant governments phreak out about....they tell you it's about national security...

if you don't find the contradiction in that line of thinking...you are not thinking carefully.

which is precisely what the elites desire..you ! no thinking...do what you are told..get in line..work hard...don't ask questions...

this is the world powers at work...and the minions of narrow minded geeks that support them in exchange for unbelievable amounts of money, influence and true freedom...it's ironic, really..that the world's smartest people have to steal your power from you, in order to have any themselves.

but it is what makes the current regimes' clock ticking.

TDM MCL -> Ehsan Tabari 30 Sep 2015 21:16

only by the most self favored moralistic nationalist bigotry can one assume that a "certain" kind of government can pull off mass surveillance "responsibly"!

and apparently, the USA would have you believe there is some significant difference in how well they perform the freedom robbing than their comrades..

I call them both tyrants..how bout them apples?!

TDM MCL -> ACJB 30 Sep 2015 21:12

what makes you believe that ALL NON-TRIVIAL communications are not being surveilled in real time at this moment, now?

If any entity of any significance is communicating, it is surely being tracked... this isn't some conspiratorial thinking either...

The vast reach and capacity for surveillance infrastructure is many time more then necessary to capture all real time communications. The most important significant communications are in fact the target...

Mom sending her sister a recipe on her aol account never registers....the "machine"...listens specifically.. it is far more intelligent and directed than most people understand.

But it also has the capacity to target just about anything..and that is the danger... What happens to the newsie or the everyday fella that takes note of something very disturbing...illegal even..or morally objectionable?

Remember why the tor network was designed for...mostly to allow people that could not talk freely to do so..in warzones..or where their discussions would bring grave danger to them and others....

Tor was hacked and it a dead animal to privacy for over 6 years now...don't use it, unless you want to the information to be used against you...

There are very few private venues anymore...the world has gone to shit


TDM MCL -> Crashman55 30 Sep 2015 20:58

It happens more often than most people understand.

If you want to get a reality test of this, here is how you too can verify that the spy agencies are very prevalent in every day communications.

btw: this simple type of test, is best applies using several of the off the shelf encryption programs ...in this way, you get verification of what snowden and many others have acknowledged for quite some time.

a. create a secure email ...join a secure vpn..use encrypted off the shelf s/w for your message.

b. send "someone" that you know ..that you call first ...that wants to play along...and within the email message...write some off the wall content about terrorism...bombs...etc..use all the sorted "key words"..it's easy to locate a list...google is your friend. Just make sure they understand that the purpose of the test to to verify that security exists..you will find..it doesn't...

c. it is best that your "friend" be localed outside of the us...middle east ...or russia...or china...ukraine...gernamny.,.,..etc..you get the idea.

d. repeat, rinse and wash using all the garden variety of the shelf security...PGP...GPG...CRYPTZONE...SYMANTEC...HPSECURE...ETC..ETC...DO ANY AND ALL OF THEM THAT YOU LIKE TO TEST. Fire them out like a shotgun...if you can enlist the help of hundreds to chain the mail along, even better.

When the agencies contact you...and they will depending on how authentic you have decided to mask your traffic and how authentic they consider your email content exchange merited inspection...you will discover what anyone who has actually used encyption in a real world way has come to understand...

if you are using typical commercially available encryption..there is NO privacy.

meaning it is not simple possible to crack..but easily...


Zhubajie1284 GoldMoney 30 Sep 2015 20:29

Facebook and Twitter were banned in China after someone posted a bunch of gruesome photos from some rioting in Xinjiang. It looked to me, as an outsider, that someone was trying to provoke anti-Muslim rioting elsewhere in China. It would be reasonable for Chinese security people to suspect the CIA or some other US agency famous for destabilizing foreign governments. The US had already announced it's strategic pivot towards Asia, which can easily be interpreted as a declaration of Cold War on China.

I don't know the whole truth of the incident, but people in PR China have good reason to be suspicious.

now, what is the risk...you may be harassed..but unless I am missing some new law, none of this type of testing is unlawful...

for real world security that works...similar kinds of penetration tests are used as above....

hey you can even honey pot a public network if you wanted to....you know just to prove to yourself there is no such thing as secrecy achieved by using a public library or a "shared" computer.

note: one of the first indications that you are being surveilled, is that there will a subtle but noted performance hit on your machine..if you attach a security gateway with logging, even better...or a high end hardware firewall-gateway, that sniffs...

watch also for some very interesting emails to hit all of your "other" accounts.

if you do this, I can predict at least the following:

your machine will take a hit...
you will get notified most likely by the FBI, via your isp.
if you do this on your smartphone and that is linked to other accounts..you can guarantee to have spread malware abundantly to all other accounts linked.
if the FBI asks that you reveal the content of emails...ask them to show you first...and grin very large when you say that...if it's a low end non-tech....force them to gain a warrant...and contact your lawyer...

is it a waste of time for law enforcement to show their hand in how intimately they have backended encyption..? or is worth it to you to understand that it is common..and secret..and very broad...

that time when making things better is waning...and narrowing..if you aren't willing to take a stand and object and posit your own resistance to overreaching spying..then the awful dreadful future that awaits you, is just as much your own fault.

that is where I land on the issue.


for the issue, now...not later!

take a stand!

TDM MCL martinusher 30 Sep 2015 20:27

the real issue with the "legal tacK' wrt to halting the fed from building backdoors or mandating them, is the reality that most of the high level secret business of spy agencies DEFY any law. As is the case with most software and hardware corporations..there is massive financial and intelligence capitol that depends on building backdoors in secret..sharing them with the government simply provides "cover"...

the real threat of all of this of course is the very reason why the constitution was written and preoccupied with protecting freedom and liberty...eventually, abuses from a tyranny government or fascist state comes into power.

some say we have already passes that threshold...given the broad "known" abuses of the 300+ secret spy agencies and the secret laws that not only authorize them but threaten companies who do not comply...you really can't deny the fact that the target is you and me. And sometimes, although, seemingly unproven, some existential external terror organization.

I've long since held that a formal security arrangement can implemented by ISP's where ALL internet traffic is routed...and where the most inteligent and efficient means to shut down malware and other activities that are unlawful and harmful...

I has never been seriously considered or even suggested by the government .....you have to serious be suspicious why that has never been considered...

perhaps too much intelligent security programs, would put all of the security industry and fear agencies out of business...What else would they do with their time...

I have zero faith in the US government to do the right thing anymore..they have been vacant at their core responsibility to protect its citizens. They have built a wall of mistrust by their abuses.

to the technologically talented, what this all means is that the US government has created a niche market that is growing ever larger...and that is to establish highly secure networks for end users. It also happens to make them appear to be criminals.

Imagine that...a software engineer who is actually doing the business of protecting a persons right to privacy...immediately falls into the long list of persons of interest!

the government has parted company with its responsibilities..and has created a adversarial rife with the people of its own country...I give it less than 10 years before the people perform their own arab spring...it really is going to get very bad in this country.

beelzebob 30 Sep 2015 17:34

This is all very interesting from a certain standpoint. 21 CFR Part 11 requires all drug companies, and other companies doing business before the FDA to take reasonable steps to ensure the security of all of their data to guarantee that the data are not tampered with. If the FBI and CIA are inserting backdoors into electronic communications devices, defined broadly to include everything from telephones to the Internet, there is no reasonable way to ensure that unauthorized parties can not use these devices to alter drug company data. Thus, it appears that drug companies, and their employees, contractors and suppliers, can not use the internet or anything connected to the internet as part of their FDA regulated operations.

kenalexruss 30 Sep 2015 14:02

Data is big business and ironically, only serves big business. The US government couldn't tell it's head from its ass regarding the stuff, but the data is critical for corporations. Since corporations are people and dictate government policy and are also the primary government interest, there will be back doors. Apple, google, microsoft, et.al. are ALL big business and they don't want you knowing how they really feel about it, so they feign objections. It's all about money, as usual.

martinusher 30 Sep 2015 13:23

There was an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times yesterday that suggested that adding backdoors or otherwise hacking into people's computers was a violation of the 3rd Amendment.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-gatto-surveillance-3rd-amendment-20150929-story.html

Quite apart from that never making it past the Roberts court (although it might be worth trying) I daresay proponents of universal surveillance will argue that businesses aren't covered by this so hacking into servers &tc. is OK.

Government agencies do appear to be out of control. Its not the snooping so much as their general ineffectiveness when it comes to crime and the Internet -- you can get your identity stolen, your back account hacked and so on and they shrug as if to say "What's this got to do with us?". The seem to be only interested in a very narrow range of political activities.

Phil429 30 Sep 2015 12:14

Coming out strongly against such a mandate [to eliminate everyone's security] would be huge on multiple fronts for the Obama administration: it would send a strong message for human rights around the world, it would make it much harder for other governments to demand backdoors from US tech companies and it would also strengthen the US economy.

Only if you assume some connection between the administration's stated policies and its actions.


GoldMoney -> RoughSleeper 30 Sep 2015 12:05

I don't care about mass surveillance, because I have nothing to hide! I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear, those that are trying to hide private lives, must have something to fear"....Signed GCHQ/MI5/Police/Council troll

haha - I loved that post, so true!


GoldMoney -> koichan 30 Sep 2015 11:49

The TSA travel locks for use in air travel have a backdoor and now can be opened by pretty much anyone in the world now. Now imagine the same thing applying to bank transactions, credit/debit card payments and so on...

Very good point.

By having backdoors you compromise the entire security of the system and make it vulnerable to attackers in general.

Snowden deserves the Nobel peace prize if you ask me....

While we are on the topic - lets take back the prize from Obama....


GoldMoney -> LePloumesCleau 30 Sep 2015 11:39

If people don't trust the security of encryption then there is no point in using it.

Exactly right.

I think the internet as we know it will break down in the future as countries will not trust foreign technology companies colluding with their home intelligence agencies.

Its already happening in China - most western technology companies like FB, Twitter, etc. are banned there for fear they could be used by the US to spy on Chinese citizens or to orchestrate a "Chinese Spring" there....


Crashman55 30 Sep 2015 11:13

You can go online and get the source codes off of several excellent encryption websites, and then develop your own. My brother and I did this, and we were sending our weekly NFL football picks back and forth each week. We stopped after the FBI came to my brother's place of business, after a couple months, and questioned him. When my brother asked how they able to even look at our emails, they said they had a computer program in place that kicked out encrypted emails. After being threatened with arrest at his job in front of everyone, he showed them the unencrypted versions.

They said that our silliness had wasted valuable FBI time and resources. If you don't think Big Brother is watching...


Peter Dragonas -> Ehsan Tabari 30 Sep 2015 10:25

Why do you think the anti-American Muslim Community and others, call us TERRORISTS? OUR COMPASS is as faulty as ????????. The world situation is a mirror of Grandiose Individuals who look down on reality. Reality is an obstruction to their neediness for attracting attention and control.


Peter Dragonas 30 Sep 2015 10:19

Another major "foundation section" removed from our Country's integrity. Sick, paranoia, similar to the "J. EDGAR HOOVER ERA & CONTINUATION THROUGH HIS LEGACY FUNDS TO THIS DAY". Could this be true, I could think the "The Athens Affair" predates the elements that brought down Greece, in favor of pushing Turkey to becoming the American doorway into Asia & the Middle East. Just a theory. Yet, where there is smoke, something is cooking, which requires political FIRE.


RoughSleeper 30 Sep 2015 08:50

I don't care about mass surveillance, because I have nothing to hide! I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear, those that are trying to hide private lives, must have something to fear"....Signed GCHQ/MI5/Police/Council troll

  • I don't care about State cameras recording everyone out, because I don't go out. I don't care about those that do.
  • I don't care about State cameras recording wives, girlfriends, children, because I don't have any. I don't care about those that do.
  • I don't care about the right to privacy because I have nothing of any value to hide. I don't care about those that have.
  • I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing of any value to say. I don't care about those that have.
  • I don't care about freedom of the press because I have nothing of any value to write. I don't care about those that have.
  • I don't care about freedom of thought, because I have no thoughts of any value. I don't care about those that have.
  • I don't care about the right to privacy of intellectual property, because I have no intelligence of any value. I don't care about those that have.
  • I don't care about the right to privacy of bank details, because I have nothing of any value in my bank account. I don't care about those that have.
  • I don't care about the right to privacy of love letters, because I have no love of any value. I don't care about those that have.
  • I don't care about the rights of HR activists, because I don't contribute anything to HRs. I don't care about those that do.
  • I don't care about society, community, future, because I don't contribute anything to them. I don't care about those that do.
  • I don't care about the right to privacy of my vote, because we have no democracy of any value anyway. I don't care about countries that have.
  • I don't care about Gypsies, Blacks, Jews, Invalids, Unions, socialists, Untermensch, because I am not one. I don't care about those that are.
  • I only care about me, here & now! It's look after number one, as the Tories tell us.

  • koichan 30 Sep 2015 08:39

    For the less technically minded, heres another example of whats wrong with government backdoors:

    http://boingboing.net/2015/09/17/3d-print-your-own-tsa-travel-s.html

    The TSA travel locks for use in air travel have a backdoor and now can be opened by pretty much anyone in the world now. Now imagine the same thing applying to bank transactions, credit/debit card payments and so on...

    LePloumesCleau 30 Sep 2015 08:10

    I would only ever trust open source encryption software. I don't trust the "encryption" built into Windows or Apple software at all.

    If people don't trust the security of encryption then there is no point in using it.

    [Oct 03, 2015] Moscow and Kiev in positive mood over talks to end east Ukraine conflict

    Notable quotes:
    "... The EU cannot do anything about Ukraine Right Sector radicals and its other nutters in the Mafia. ..."
    "... But the Donbas situation is more mixed, however, even before the trouble in 2014, what I DID encounter in Kiev in particular (not so much Galycnya) was a regard of the SE UA citizens as second-class citizens, as well as attitudes that could be accurately be described as quasi-facist, ..."
    "... I wonder why you call Western airstrikes "tactical". The coalition launched >7,000 military aircraft sorties in over a year, apparently carefully "missing" ISIS targets, killing on average ~0.4 terrorist per sortie and freeing up as much as 15 square kilometers of territory from ISIS. As you can easily imagine, a lot of people made huge amounts of money in the process. So we should call this a resounding success, on par with $10 billion no-bid Halliburton contract in Iraq. Wouldn't you agree? ..."
    "... Does it really matter if they have ? We know the West has been involved so it would be pretty much par for the course if Russia was involved. The main thing is Ukraine becomes a peaceful nation for the benefit of its citizens, not for the benefit of either the West or Russia. ..."
    Oct 02, 2015 | The Guardian

    Елена Соловьева -> BMWAlbert 3 Oct 2015 20:37

    Dear, you refer to "one blonde said!". On some vague feelings, assumptions... Enough speculation about Crimea, please! Let's stick to facts! Crimea 80% of the population - Russian. Not only Pro-Russian, and ethnic Russians. Russia does not need were the little green men of Crimea! But for drunk and scared of the Ukrainian military in the Crimea, for the Wahhabis, who through the streets went to the cars with black flags for Ukrainian neo-Nazis, importing explosives and suitable for shooting on the streets, probably Yes. Crimea was similar to the Autonomous Republic, until authonomy has destroyed by abandoning the Constitution. It was abolished by the President! Crimea held a referendum for secession from Ukraine long before the coup in Ukrainein 2014 .

    Note that the Americans tried to seize Crimea under the guise of NATO exercises! Was absolutely illegal attempt to build an American military base in Crimea for the U.S. Navy landed the Marines on may 26, 2006, of which the citizens of Crimea dishonorably discharged. And during the state coup in Ukraine in the Black Sea suddenly a us warship.

    In Debaltsevo the Ukrainian neo-Nazis fought with men that were deprived of the government, the President, sovereignty, language, external management is introduced, destroyed the economy. Take away the right to life. Whose wives, parents and children every day are killed by shells from anti-aircraft weapons in schools, hospitals, shops, bus stops, fill up with planes of white phosphorus, the water is shut off and the light stopped issuing wages and pensions, imposed humanitarian blockade.

    To fight with desperate men, defending their home, or engage in rape and looting among the civilian population, where the majority of the elderly, women, children - different things.

    Sarah7 -> Sarah7 3 Oct 2015 19:58

    One more thing:

    Actually, the first photograph accompanying this piece by Shaun Walker shows Poroshenko looking particularly angry and miserable -- if looks could kill, Merkel would be in big trouble!

    That said, in the same photo, Putin appears calm, sanguine, and in a very 'positive mood' compared to his counterparts. Go figure.

    Sarah7 3 Oct 2015 19:49

    Moscow and Kiev in 'positive mood' over talks to end east Ukraine conflict

    If you look at the photographs that accompany the following piece, Poroshenko does not appear to be in a 'positive mood' over the recent meeting of the Normandy Four, and Merkel looks like she is going to spit nails. Perhaps this explains their dour faces:

    Checkmate!

    3 October 2015

    Finally the Penny Drops: Merkel Admits Crimea is Part of Russia
    http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151003/1027980523/merkel-admits-crimea-is-part-of-russia.html

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time publically accepted the fact that Crimea doesn't belong to Ukraine and that the peninsula will stay as part of Russia, Alexei Pushkov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma, said on his Twitter account, according to Gazeta.ru. (Emphasis added)

    "Important: After a meeting in Paris, Merkel for the first time admitted that Crimea won't return to Ukraine. That means the crisis is only about the east of the country," Pushkov wrote. (Emphasis added)

    The Normandy Four talks on Ukraine reconciliation concluded in Paris on Friday.

    The leaders of the Normandy Quartet countries managed to agree on the procedure of the withdrawal of heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.

    "We were able to agree on the withdrawal of heavy weapons," Merkel said following the Normandy Four talks in Paris. "There is hope for progress. We are moving toward each other."

    On the whole, the results of Friday's Normandy Four talks in Paris set a positive tone, Angela Merkel said, adding that she was satisfied with what the participants achieved during the meeting.

    The Normandy Four are planning to meet for a followup in November, presumably to keep Poroshenko in compliance and moving head with the implementation of Minsk II.

    PS -- It was the evil Putin wot done it!

    HollyOldDog -> Laurence Johnson 3 Oct 2015 18:55

    The EU cannot do anything about Ukraine Right Sector radicals and its other nutters in the Mafia. This mess is for Ukraine alone to sort out and Mikheil Saakashvilli is not the man for the job - his corruption runs far to deep for any action that is more than cosmetic.

    BMWAlbert -> Елена Соловьева 3 Oct 2015 18:38

    IDK the number of Russian nationals in the Donbas forces, something between 1-10K as a rough guess, these are not formal formations (some are organized at the battalion level as all-Russian units, just an observation from the Russian language news coverage of the closing of Debaltsevo earlier this year, e.g. so called "Khan" battalion, this is just televised news, but there must be more than one such unit, hence the estimate-there are enough weapons captures from UAF in the earlier battles also to arm a small army in Donbas, but this does not rule-out direct supplies (I would imagine something low-key and NOT the big white convoys), this would be the natural minimal level of support I would infer/expect in this case and seems a fair inference. I am not replicating mindless statements from ATO leaders, and remember that Rada twice tried

    Crimea was an autonomous region in UA and with rights to hold a referendum under the early 2014 UA Constitution and an earlier legal attempt in 1993 was surprised, also that RU had large forces already legally stationed in Crimea/Krim according to the Kharkov treaty and that in some cases, civic authority, Sebastopol by the RU naval command being a case in point-a continuation of old practices. My sense from personal friends is that among the young, and old generally, the pro-RU sentiment in Krim is strong (incl. one girl with whom I have lost contact, who works there in what is now RU, due to current conditions).

    But the Donbas situation is more mixed, however, even before the trouble in 2014, what I DID encounter in Kiev in particular (not so much Galycnya) was a regard of the SE UA citizens as second-class citizens, as well as attitudes that could be accurately be described as quasi-facist, this includes well-educated people, ibcl. in one case (a blonde) the desire to 'exterminate' the Russians-but I would not count the opinions in Donbas as only those enduring the bombardments, there are also many refugees, many in RU itself of course, whose opinions vary from those expressed sometimes here with all due respect, so yes it is complicated.


    HollyOldDog -> William Snowden 3 Oct 2015 18:13

    Putin wants Ukraine to succeed but the only way it can do this is for the Ukrainian citizens to take over its government and boot out the Self-serving Oligarchs. The Oligarchs have their place in Ukraine but that is to stay out from forming Government decisions and confine their endeavors to modernizing and improving the infrastructure of Ukraine Industrial base which would improve the finance and conditions for all of Ukrainian citizens. It's going to be a difficult road but Russia and the EU can help, though clinging on to the influences of the USA would surely be a retrograde step.

    Елена Соловьева -> BMWAlbert 3 Oct 2015 18:07

    What's so complicated? The war is real or not! Evidence of finding the 200 000 Russian soldiers in Lugansk and Donbass, or have or not! Crimea after the collapse of the USSR was a disputed territory, which Ukraine annexed unilaterally, without considering the opinion of the Russian Federation and, more IMPORTANTLY, against the wishes of the citizens of the Crimean Republic, which, actually, was constitutional and presidential, while Ukraine did not destroy this status! It is Ukraine annexed the Crimean Republic, and the Russian city Sevastopol, which is in the Republic even geographically not part of, Mr. specialist on Ukraine! Demarcation implies the absence of territorial disputes. And, by the way! Another monstrous stupidity of your media! Poor Ukraine after the coup d'état, followed by the external management of the country by the EU and the US are terrorized by the evil Russian, because it is weak and has no nuclear weapons because of the Treaty of non-aggression from the Russian Federation? Really? Ukraine did not pay its portion of external debt of the USSR and the Russian Empire, therefore, is not the successor,and cannot claim to nuclear power status! Ukraine is a priori not have a right to this weapon, because it was not the owner initially, as the successor! The coup in Kiev was held under the slogan "Cut all Russians!", which in Ukraine 2 years ago, it was a few million, and that is what they are doing throughout the Ukraine, especially in Eastern Ukraine and was planning to do in Crimea. The burning of people in Odessa - a vivid example.

    Beckow -> Bart Looren de Jong 3 Oct 2015 17:11

    You cannot survey people in the middle of a civil conflict on how much they like or dislike what is described as the "enemy". It simply cannot be done, the numbers are meaningless.

    Look at Ukraine's economy and you will see the future of this conflict. The living standards are down so low that all else will become meaningless - people actually care about their incomes and living standard.

    Your slogans about "illegal", "privileged sphere" are not what any of this is about, they are not what people in Ukraine think about or what matters to them. But if you insist on slogans, there is one simple answer: Kosovo. West bombed Serbia, killing about a thousand civilians, to force Albanian separation in Kosovo. All talk about "international law" is kind of meaningless after that.

    Informed17 -> Laurence Johnson 3 Oct 2015 15:53

    I wonder why you call Western airstrikes "tactical". The coalition launched >7,000 military aircraft sorties in over a year, apparently carefully "missing" ISIS targets, killing on average ~0.4 terrorist per sortie and freeing up as much as 15 square kilometers of territory from ISIS. As you can easily imagine, a lot of people made huge amounts of money in the process. So we should call this a resounding success, on par with $10 billion no-bid Halliburton contract in Iraq. Wouldn't you agree?

    Manolo Torres -> Bart Looren de Jong 3 Oct 2015 15:49

    I have condemned the actions of the Russian government in chechnya many times, if you are going to speak about anyones hypocrisy, you should at least know with whom are you talking.

    Manolo Torres
    9 Sep 2014 09:42
    0 Recommend
    Look, I already replied, I wasn´t careful with my question. Of course the Russians have committed many abuses, namely the war in Chechnya. I also explained the differences between that war and the wars by US/NATO that have simply no justification on grounds of self defense.


    My concern with human life was shown by my condemnation of every violent act: the massacre in Odessa, the airstrikes and shelling that killed thousands in Ukraine, the war in Iraq and Syria, the war in Chechnya or the neo-nazi movement inside Russia (as we were discussing yesterday before you started shouting and got overwhelmed by the numbers I showed you).

    As for the Ukrainians I don´t you are as stupid as to blame Putin for the Ukrainian governments shelling of residential areas. And perhaps you know that there is an investigation for MH17.

    i am not like you Rob, I am not a fanatic and I only make judgements when I think I know the facts. You are just shouting and looking every time more ridiculous.

    A good start for you would be to say that you stand corrected for the Amnesty report. Do it, I have done it, feels good.

    Can I do anything else for you?

    Laurence Johnson -> gimmeshoes 3 Oct 2015 14:15

    Poroshenko is in a bit of a legal quagmire as his government has not at any stage controlled the entire nation and its borders at any time. His current claim on Eastern Ukraine in legal terms is more a wish list than a legal document of fact.

    His only path is partition to legalise his government to govern what they have today, or to negotiate the handing over of East Ukraine to his governments control in order that he can legitimately govern the entire nation and its borders. An invasion of East Ukraine is probably not going to work legally, or on a more practical basis.

    Informed17 -> Worried9876 3 Oct 2015 14:10

    This is too categorical. Chocolate man wants anything that allows him to keep cashing in on his "president" title. The only thing that's unacceptable to him is if his masters try to prevent his thievery. Then he is likely to become angry and unpredictable. Might even remember about Ukraine, although that's highly unlikely.

    elias_ 3 Oct 2015 14:04

    Looks to me like Putin wins. Crimea in the bag, the eastern regions stay in Ukraine with enough clout to prevent nato membership and keep the nazis at bay. And stupid EU and US get to pay the bill for reconstruction. The sanctions hurt all sides but are forcing much needed reforms in his country, he may even become a net exporter of food products instead of importing from the eu. He gets a refund for the Mistrals and makes the poodle French look untrustworthy. Oh well, serves the sneaky bastards right (you know who i mean "fuxx the eu").

    Laurence Johnson -> Alexzero 3 Oct 2015 14:03

    Does it really matter if they have ? We know the West has been involved so it would be pretty much par for the course if Russia was involved. The main thing is Ukraine becomes a peaceful nation for the benefit of its citizens, not for the benefit of either the West or Russia.

    [Oct 03, 2015] Fascism and Neoconservative Republicans

    "... A Fascist is one who believes in a corporatist society. In other words, it is a political philosophy embodying very strong central government, with the authority to move in decisive steps to accomplish goals. It would be characterized by a unity of purpose, with more or less all the levels of the hierarchy in unison, starting at the top and working down. It is a top-down government involving an alliance of industry, military, media and a political party. ..."
    "... It is interesting to note that at least two of the three Parties had origins as Socialist and morphed into strong, Right Wing, authoritarian rules as a result largely of expediency. ..."
    "... As soon as they took power, which they did partially through gangs and mobs, intimidation and demonstrations and-in Mussolini's case an outright coup - they allied themselves with the biggest corporations and the military general staff. In addition, even before taking complete power, they began to wrest control of the media away from other political parties, and to use it for their own propaganda. ..."
    "... Hitler's "Big Lie" basically blamed rampant inflation and lack of jobs on the Jews. He blamed all their economic ills on the restraint of Germany by other nations and the presumed taking over of German lands (which they themselves had only won through aggressive wars.) ..."
    "... In a fascist system, the whole idea is to have an efficient method of getting things done. If you want to build an "autobahn" you simply tell the transportation minister to get started. You control everything at every level. It will go faster because it is for the good of all the people, so no one will have the right to object or interfere. It is, Fascists would say, about efficiency, getting things done for the people. ..."
    "... You attack other countries so that they cannot attack you. You start wars (Iraq) to prevent dangerous men from attacking you. It makes sense. Military efficiency in a Fascist state means that if the top guy (President or Dictator) wants to be absolutely certain that no other country is superior, he can build up the military industry and the military at any pace or at any cost. ..."
    "... Everyone salutes and follows the lead from the top down ..."
    "... In a Fascist state, policy is largely being written through a cooperative effort with the industries involved, in this case the health care industry. The slow, ragged, messy and Democratic process involved with our current health care reform process would never happen under a Fascist government. Whatever the decision, there would be no appeal. If a million or fifty million were left out, because, let's say, that the President needed more money for war machines that would be the decision- with no question or appeal. ..."
    "... Republicans, remember, have the complete support of Fox News, the Fox television Network, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and any number of television stations around the country, plus somewhere between 600 and 1600 radio stations ..."
    "... The Neocons are out of power, but they are unrelenting in their efforts to control as much of the political discourse as possible, no matter how damaging to society. They bring mobs and riff-raff out, some with guns, trying to scare the average citizen. They send messages out over radio with lunatic commentators, some who are not even allowed to visit other countries because of their hate speech…yet we tolerate it. ..."
    March 25, 2010 | Populist Daily
    The word "Fascist" as with the terms "Socialist" and "Communist" are thrown around a lot by people who have no idea what they mean. If you want to know what those terms really mean, find someone who was in some branch of military counterintelligence, the CIA, the security section of the State Department, Defense Intelligence, or in the FBI.

    In all those areas, the first day of basic training involves comparative forms of government. You can't spot a Communist if you don't know what a Communist is. You can't tell the difference between a Communist and a Fascist unless you know the difference in the two systems. It is Intelligence, and more specifically, Counterintelligence 101.

    So, let's go right to Fascism. A Fascist is one who believes in a corporatist society. In other words, it is a political philosophy embodying very strong central government, with the authority to move in decisive steps to accomplish goals. It would be characterized by a unity of purpose, with more or less all the levels of the hierarchy in unison, starting at the top and working down. It is a top-down government involving an alliance of industry, military, media and a political party.

    Because Fascism has been associated with the 1930s German Nazis, the Italian Fascists under Mussolini and the Falangists, under the Spanish Dictator, Francisco Franco, the term "Fascist" has taken on a sinister meaning. Not fewer than 10 million direct deaths resulting from the rule of these three may have something to do with it. On the other hand, philosophies don't kill people; people kill people.

    It is interesting to note that at least two of the three Parties had origins as Socialist and morphed into strong, Right Wing, authoritarian rules as a result largely of expediency. It is also interesting to note that all three were not only intimately connected to the largest industrial corporations, but as soon as possible with the military leadership. While Fascism as a political philosophy is not innately evil, given the results, it is worth noting how things turned out.

    Both the German and the Italian Fascist parties were also both revolutionary and conservative at the same time. Both Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini were aggressive, anarchic leaders. Both served time in jail. Both served in the enlisted ranks with the military in war. Both used that experience to organize mobs of thugs to agitate against an established government, not for a more democratic regime, but for a more authoritarian one. You can begin to see some similarities with contemporary political activities.

    As soon as they took power, which they did partially through gangs and mobs, intimidation and demonstrations and-in Mussolini's case an outright coup - they allied themselves with the biggest corporations and the military general staff. In addition, even before taking complete power, they began to wrest control of the media away from other political parties, and to use it for their own propaganda.

    Once they had control of the radio and newspapers, which were then the prominent sources of information, they could begin to broadcast their messages. Hitler's "Big Lie" basically blamed rampant inflation and lack of jobs on the Jews. He blamed all their economic ills on the restraint of Germany by other nations and the presumed taking over of German lands (which they themselves had only won through aggressive wars.)

    But let's for a minute assume that we know nothing about Fascism except that it exists. We have a group, here in America that believes in a corporatist political philosophy. What would that look like? If it were a true Fascist organization, they would ally themselves with big corporations, like the health care industry, oil and mining, pharmaceuticals, media corporations and the military-industrial complex.

    They would try to control the message, particularly in radio and television. They would become as closely allied with the top military brass as possible, offering them a seat at the table in the running of the economy. Retired Generals would be assured of positions involved with military hardware and strategic planning.

    And what about the people? In a fascist system, the whole idea is to have an efficient method of getting things done. If you want to build an "autobahn" you simply tell the transportation minister to get started. You control everything at every level. It will go faster because it is for the good of all the people, so no one will have the right to object or interfere. It is, Fascists would say, about efficiency, getting things done for the people.

    Defense is about protecting the people. You attack other countries so that they cannot attack you. You start wars (Iraq) to prevent dangerous men from attacking you. It makes sense. Military efficiency in a Fascist state means that if the top guy (President or Dictator) wants to be absolutely certain that no other country is superior, he can build up the military industry and the military at any pace or at any cost.

    In a Fascist state the idea is to have one set of rules, coming from the top down. No one votes as an individual, only as a part of the group that is assigned a task. It is corporate, total-totalitarian. So, if you decide that a national health care program is not right for the country, you all vote against it in a totally militaristic way. Everyone salutes and follows the lead from the top down. The only problem is when you do not have a strong leader.

    The Democrats, for example, want to farm decisions out to others, let the opposition have their input. It slows the process. A Fascist health care program would be one decided upon by the President, discussed and worked out with the corporations, mandated to his staffs and enacted without any discussion or public debate in a matter of a few months.

    In a Fascist state, policy is largely being written through a cooperative effort with the industries involved, in this case the health care industry. The slow, ragged, messy and Democratic process involved with our current health care reform process would never happen under a Fascist government. Whatever the decision, there would be no appeal. If a million or fifty million were left out, because, let's say, that the President needed more money for war machines that would be the decision- with no question or appeal.

    So, if you want efficiency, you not only should you look to the Republicans, but you may have no choice. The Republicans, remember, have the complete support of Fox News, the Fox television Network, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and any number of television stations around the country, plus somewhere between 600 and 1600 radio stations on which literally 9 out of 10 commentators are paid by those network owners to be Conservative (Neoconservative Republican.) They have expanded to very large numbers of web site bases, delivering whatever type of information they want, truth, lies, anything in between… accusations without proof…Socialist, Communist, government takeover of this or that…no need to be truthful. It is all propaganda.

    Just as Herr Goebbels and Mussolini did in the 1930s-and except in the Communist counties and a few Latin American dictatorships there hasn't been anything to speak of similar to this in the Western advanced societies since then-the unchallenged message of the Right Wing goes out. The radio commentators today get their message from the top, from the Republican Party. Fox News Channel internal memos have shown that they literally decide what policies the Republican Party wished to champion, and then they attack rather than merely delivering the news.

    So do we need to be civil about it-about these lies? Is it important to challenge people, like these Right Wing commentators who tell you that your current health care is sufficient? It is good for corporations, for health care insurance companies. But is it good for you not to be sure you can get health insurance? So if they tell you that something is a government takeover and it is not, so you vote against health care or you respond to a poll in a way that is against your own best interests…do you need to be civil about being lied to? You shouldn't be lied to by media. You need the truth, the facts, to make decisions.

    It is a pretty simple answer. Should you be civil to people who lie to you and urge you to buy something that turns out to hurt you, or your family, or cause you to lose your job, or kill your sister, brother, neighbor? If I lie to you and say it is safe to swim across the channel and you are attacked by sharks that I knew were there…should you not care? This is what is happening, right now…today. In the consumer products market, we call that fraud and companies can be criminally liable.

    So let's describe what a Fascist government or a political party attempting to introduce a Fascist government would look like and see if either or any of our political parties fits that description:

    If any of this seems familiar to you, then you see something "Fascist" in the current political process. Of course, one thing that wasn't mentioned. Fascists always need someone to stigmatize. In Germany, it was the Jews. In Italy it was the Socialists. In Spain it was the Communists. It seems clear that, in this country it is the Democrats.

    The Neocons are out of power, but they are unrelenting in their efforts to control as much of the political discourse as possible, no matter how damaging to society. They bring mobs and riff-raff out, some with guns, trying to scare the average citizen. They send messages out over radio with lunatic commentators, some who are not even allowed to visit other countries because of their hate speech…yet we tolerate it.

    We even allow asininely preposterous lies from a possibly psychotic television commentator…to be used to stoke the race-hatred of many tea party members, and thugs against a distinguished African-American President who won 54% of the vote, the largest since Ronald Reagan and who also won the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The case is pretty clear. The Neoconservative Republicans are headed for Fascism if they are not there already. The latest round of insults, threats, lies, window breakings all contribute to the evidence. Sooner or later this totalitarian attitude will either be denounced or will have serious responses. One thing is sure, with the problems facing our country, we cannot afford the kind of anarchist attacks as were exhibited in the bombing of a Federal building in Oklahoma City or the flying of an aircraft into a building housing an IRS office.

    This radical, violent, arrogant Fascist attitude has to stop. The first step in preventing this kind of political outcome is to identify and react to Fascism when it appears. Neoconservative Republicanism is Fascism. Republicans must return to sanity or be treated as a very dangerous and radical political party.

    Mike // Mar 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I agree with everything you say, except for the statement that the fascists have chosen the Democrats as a focus for hate. They have chosen everyone who is not a fascist republican, and esp. the 'middle to the left', which they label 'liberal'.

    It is frightening to see the second party of a two party system turn fascist in the United States. Anyone who says it isn't so, isn't paying attention. What is even more frightening is the level of ignorance that must exist for people to believe those fascists. When you watch that certain mentally mal-adjusted on Fox and see him ramble on incoherently for an hour while he spews lies and distortions, any thinking individual has to ask him/her self "What moron would fall for this drivel?" But they do.

    It is truly frightening, and it is easy to see how people like Hitler manage to rise to power, when people wilfully shut off any reasoning skills they ever had.

    [Oct 02, 2015] The pretense that it was a Russian invasion in Donetsk is exactly that, a pretense.

    At fist I thought that Twaddleradar, member since Aug 9, 2015A is a new NATObot. It it looks like he is a regular Russophob... Still amazingly prolific spamming the whole discussion. It's definitly not enough for him to state his point of view and voice objection. Such commenting incontinence is very disruptive in Web forums.
    Notable quotes:
    "... WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE!?!? After 2 weeks in syria you have loads of satellite pictures of the Russian base/troops, but after a year + in Ukraine all your evidence is taken from social media posts? Good thing more and more people are refusing to swallow your daily dose of bullshit. ..."
    "... The pretense that this was a Russian invasion is exactly that, a pretense. ..."
    "... Something tells that it's easy to say but hard to implement. Far right powers in Ukraine would resist such a law very much. ..."
    Oct 02, 2015 | The Guardian

    ID075732 2 Oct 2015 22:51

    Russia has denied military involvement in the conflict despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    This old chestnut again... Evidence please of this sweeping claim?

    No mention of Putin drafting the Minsk agreement, this is what happened. Then presenting it as a road map for a resolution to the Ukrainian Civil war? As I recall it was Merkell and Holland who rushed to Moscow in February to meet with Putin and thrash out a solution which was then presented to Poroshenko.

    As the USA is now in an election cycle and with the Syrian War on Isis takes centre stage with Russian involvement, it looks like the their sock puppet, Petro Poroshenko has been hung out to dry. Finally being told to get back in his box... for now, probably as no more funds via the IMF will be directed into this proxi-conflict if it continues (well they were breaking their own rules giving Ukraine money when it's at war with itself).

    Finally, this made me smile...

    It has been a busy diplomatic week for Putin, who has not been a frequent guest in western capitals over the past year

    Actually Putin has had a very busy diplomatic year building international partnerships across Asia and the BRIC's, Trade agreements with China and Saudi Arabian investment into Russia. The Silk Route project and much more. It seems to me some of the Graun's journalists should get out more, like Putin has been doing!

    PrinceEdward -> Twaddleradar 2 Oct 2015 21:12

    Meanwhile every Ukrainian male is so full of patriotism, there is no need for a 5 draft rounds in Ukraine because they're flooding with so many volunteers, they turn them away. Stories of parents paying $1000 to get their kids out of the draft, or countless thousands of 20-something Ukrainians running away to Russia and Poland to get student visas, is just propaganda.

    MrJohnsonJr 2 Oct 2015 21:07

    Ukraine has a fucking nerve to require a diplomatic effort to have it explained to them what a murderous losers the turned out to be and that another of their "revolutions" brought nothing but a major waste of human life and EU and Russian taxpayer money.

    KriticalThinkingUK 2 Oct 2015 20:39

    Its great isnt it what can be achieved when Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine get together for serious negotiations. Just like in Minsk 1 and 2 when the same group first established peace in Ukraine, behind the backs of the USA and UK who were pointedly not invited to those talks either.

    What is the key to this progress? Simple. Dont invite the rightwing cold war loonies to attend. Keep them out at all costs. That is to say exclude from all talks USA, UK, NATO, Poland and the rest of the crazy warmongers who have worked so hard to encourage conflict.

    If these negotiations are successful expect further progress over the next decade in other spheres between Germany and Russia. In fact objectively by all measures it is in the long term interests, both economic and political, for these two major European powers to co-operate as natural trading partners....the US warmongers worst nightmare!

    Interesting times................

    Mazuka 2 Oct 2015 20:35

    " Russia has denied military involvement in the conflict despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

    WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE!?!? After 2 weeks in syria you have loads of satellite pictures of the Russian base/troops, but after a year + in Ukraine all your evidence is taken from social media posts? Good thing more and more people are refusing to swallow your daily dose of bullshit.

    NotYetGivenUp -> HHeLiBe 2 Oct 2015 19:18

    You confuse Crimea, which voted for secession after Russian forces ensured Kiev military didn't engae in anti-secessionist reprisals (as stated by Putin), with East Ukraine, in which Kiev generals admitted they were fighting Donbass forces, not Russian forces.

    The pretense that this was a Russian invasion is exactly that, a pretense. But any honest appraisal of the facts on the ground, through observation of events as they happened, show that the rejection of the Kievan coup was by the people of Donbass, and is a popular rejection, not the nonsense Russian invasion peddled by the media in the west.

    Mr Russian 2 Oct 2015 19:13

    The compromise plan would involve the Ukrainian parliament passing a law stating these elections were indeed legal, but they would be organised by the rebels.

    Something tells that it's easy to say but hard to implement. Far right powers in Ukraine would resist such a law very much.

    [Oct 02, 2015] The pretense that it was a Russian invasion in Donetsk is exactly that, a pretense.

    At fist I thought that Twaddleradar, member since Aug 9, 2015A is a new NATObot. It it looks like he is a regular Russophob... Still amazingly prolific spamming the whole discussion. It's definitly not enough for him to state his point of view and voice objection. Such commenting incontinence is very disruptive in Web forums.
    Notable quotes:
    "... WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE!?!? After 2 weeks in syria you have loads of satellite pictures of the Russian base/troops, but after a year + in Ukraine all your evidence is taken from social media posts? Good thing more and more people are refusing to swallow your daily dose of bullshit. ..."
    "... The pretense that this was a Russian invasion is exactly that, a pretense. ..."
    "... Something tells that it's easy to say but hard to implement. Far right powers in Ukraine would resist such a law very much. ..."
    Oct 02, 2015 | The Guardian

    ID075732 2 Oct 2015 22:51

    Russia has denied military involvement in the conflict despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    This old chestnut again... Evidence please of this sweeping claim?

    No mention of Putin drafting the Minsk agreement, this is what happened. Then presenting it as a road map for a resolution to the Ukrainian Civil war? As I recall it was Merkell and Holland who rushed to Moscow in February to meet with Putin and thrash out a solution which was then presented to Poroshenko.

    As the USA is now in an election cycle and with the Syrian War on Isis takes centre stage with Russian involvement, it looks like the their sock puppet, Petro Poroshenko has been hung out to dry. Finally being told to get back in his box... for now, probably as no more funds via the IMF will be directed into this proxi-conflict if it continues (well they were breaking their own rules giving Ukraine money when it's at war with itself).

    Finally, this made me smile...

    It has been a busy diplomatic week for Putin, who has not been a frequent guest in western capitals over the past year

    Actually Putin has had a very busy diplomatic year building international partnerships across Asia and the BRIC's, Trade agreements with China and Saudi Arabian investment into Russia. The Silk Route project and much more. It seems to me some of the Graun's journalists should get out more, like Putin has been doing!

    PrinceEdward -> Twaddleradar 2 Oct 2015 21:12

    Meanwhile every Ukrainian male is so full of patriotism, there is no need for a 5 draft rounds in Ukraine because they're flooding with so many volunteers, they turn them away. Stories of parents paying $1000 to get their kids out of the draft, or countless thousands of 20-something Ukrainians running away to Russia and Poland to get student visas, is just propaganda.

    MrJohnsonJr 2 Oct 2015 21:07

    Ukraine has a fucking nerve to require a diplomatic effort to have it explained to them what a murderous losers the turned out to be and that another of their "revolutions" brought nothing but a major waste of human life and EU and Russian taxpayer money.

    KriticalThinkingUK 2 Oct 2015 20:39

    Its great isnt it what can be achieved when Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine get together for serious negotiations. Just like in Minsk 1 and 2 when the same group first established peace in Ukraine, behind the backs of the USA and UK who were pointedly not invited to those talks either.

    What is the key to this progress? Simple. Dont invite the rightwing cold war loonies to attend. Keep them out at all costs. That is to say exclude from all talks USA, UK, NATO, Poland and the rest of the crazy warmongers who have worked so hard to encourage conflict.

    If these negotiations are successful expect further progress over the next decade in other spheres between Germany and Russia. In fact objectively by all measures it is in the long term interests, both economic and political, for these two major European powers to co-operate as natural trading partners....the US warmongers worst nightmare!

    Interesting times................

    Mazuka 2 Oct 2015 20:35

    " Russia has denied military involvement in the conflict despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

    WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE!?!? After 2 weeks in syria you have loads of satellite pictures of the Russian base/troops, but after a year + in Ukraine all your evidence is taken from social media posts? Good thing more and more people are refusing to swallow your daily dose of bullshit.

    NotYetGivenUp -> HHeLiBe 2 Oct 2015 19:18

    You confuse Crimea, which voted for secession after Russian forces ensured Kiev military didn't engae in anti-secessionist reprisals (as stated by Putin), with East Ukraine, in which Kiev generals admitted they were fighting Donbass forces, not Russian forces.

    The pretense that this was a Russian invasion is exactly that, a pretense. But any honest appraisal of the facts on the ground, through observation of events as they happened, show that the rejection of the Kievan coup was by the people of Donbass, and is a popular rejection, not the nonsense Russian invasion peddled by the media in the west.

    Mr Russian 2 Oct 2015 19:13

    The compromise plan would involve the Ukrainian parliament passing a law stating these elections were indeed legal, but they would be organised by the rebels.

    Something tells that it's easy to say but hard to implement. Far right powers in Ukraine would resist such a law very much.

    [Sep 27, 2015] Since st least 2009 GCHQ has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale

    BBC used by GCHQ to spy on Internet users https://theintercept.com/2015/09/25/gchq-radio-porn-spies-track-web-users-online-identities/
    "... I do wonder though, with all those stories about those thousands of Kremlin controlled Russian trolls on British news websites, whether some of this comes from carefully massaged data from GCHQ through third parties to the Pork Pie News Networks via 'unnamed sources', i.e. the usual bollox. ..."
    "... …The agency operates a bewildering array of other eavesdropping systems, each serving its own specific purpose and designated a unique code name, such as: …and INFINITE MONKEYS, which analyzes data about the usage of online bulletin boards and forums… ..."
    "... Once you understand the relationship and the goals that they have, you can work backwards and make fairly good conclusions about what tools would be required and used to get to those conclusions and try not think whether they are legal or not. ..."
    "... The most disturbing thing about it all is that it puts us one step away from a totalitarian system. All that is required is a political decision. ..."
    "... Forget about 'checks and balances' – they're the first thing to be thrown out of the window in an emergency. Arbeit macht frei! ..."
    "... GCHQ and the CIA are in bed with one another, and have been for years. This might be a timely occasion to mention once again that both are capable of hacking into smartphones by all leading manufacturers; in the case of the IPhone the CIA uses a program application called Dropout Jeep. ..."
    "... the CIA also diverted laptops ordered online so that government spyware could be installed on them. ..."
    "... You can't believe anyone any more. ..."
    Sep 27, 2015 | marknesop.wordpress.com
    Warren, September 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm
    https://theintercept.com/2015/09/25/gchq-radio-porn-spies-track-web-users-online-identities/

    et Al, September 26, 2015 at 4:23 am

    A top-secret GCHQ document from March 2009 reveals the agency has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale. It shows a sample search in which the agency was extracting data from cookies containing information about people's visits to the adult website YouPorn, search engines Yahoo and Google, and the Reuters news website.

    Other websites listed as "sources" of cookies in the 2009 document (see below) are Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, WordPress, Amazon, and sites operated by the broadcasters CNN, BBC, and the U.K.'s Channel 4.

    …A top-secret GCHQ document from March 2009 reveals the agency has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale. It shows a sample search in which the agency was extracting data from cookies containing information about people's visits to the adult website YouPorn, search engines Yahoo and Google, and the Reuters news website.

    Other websites listed as "sources" of cookies in the 2009 document (see below) are Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, WordPress, Amazon, and sites operated by the broadcasters CNN, BBC, and the U.K.'s Channel 4…
    ###

    And I bet the Guardian too as it is 'the world's most widely read new site'. They probably keep automatic tabs on this site considering how it has grown over the last couple of years.

    I do wonder though, with all those stories about those thousands of Kremlin controlled Russian trolls on British news websites, whether some of this comes from carefully massaged data from GCHQ through third parties to the Pork Pie News Networks via 'unnamed sources', i.e. the usual bollox.

    May I suggest to fellow commenters here, if at any point you loose your smart phone (etc.) just call GCHQ and they'll tell you where you left it. I wonder if they provide a data back up service?!

    et Al, September 26, 2015 at 4:48 am
    …The agency operates a bewildering array of other eavesdropping systems, each serving its own specific purpose and designated a unique code name, such as: …and INFINITE MONKEYS, which analyzes data about the usage of online bulletin boards and forums…

    …Authorization is "not needed for individuals in the U.K.," another GCHQ document explains, because metadata has been judged "less intrusive than communications content." All the spies are required to do to mine the metadata troves is write a short "justification" or "reason" for each search they conduct and then click a button on their computer screen…

    …When compared to surveillance rules in place in the U.S., GCHQ notes in one document that the U.K. has "a light oversight regime."

    The more lax British spying regulations are reflected in secret internal rules that highlight greater restrictions on how NSA databases can be accessed. The NSA's troves can be searched for data on British citizens, one document states, but they cannot be mined for information about Americans or other citizens from countries in the Five Eyes alliance….
    #####

    It's just what is expected from the junior in the US/UK relationship. For the UK to retain privileged access to the US' global spy network, it needs to give the US what it wants, a way to circumvent the US' own laws. Dial back to when Gary Powers & his U-2 were shot down over the Soviet Union. All subsequent overflights by US manned and operated aircraft were prohibited, so, the US used British pilots and Canberras.

    Once you understand the relationship and the goals that they have, you can work backwards and make fairly good conclusions about what tools would be required and used to get to those conclusions and try not think whether they are legal or not.

    What people can do to protect themselves is

    1. don't change most of your digital habits (as this would raise a flag);
    2. just don't do or say obvious things that you wouldn't do in real life in your digital life;
    3. use encryption such as PGP for email and products using perfect forward secrecy for chat/etc.;
    4. don't write about what not to do on the Internet as I have just done! ;)

    The most disturbing thing about it all is that it puts us one step away from a totalitarian system. All that is required is a political decision. All the tools are in place and depending on how much information they have actually kept they can dip in to it at any time throughout your life as a rich source of blackmail, probably via third parties. It's not exactly threatening to send you to a concentration camp (or disappeared to one of Britain's (and others) many small overseas territories, but it is total control.

    If the European economy completely crashes and mass instability ensues (or whatever), then the politicians will be told, or even ask, "What tools do we have to control this?".

    Forget about 'checks and balances' – they're the first thing to be thrown out of the window in an emergency. Arbeit macht frei!

    et Al, September 26, 2015 at 9:52 am
    This should be a massive story as the parliamentary security committee gave the intelligence services a 'clean bill of health' not so long ago. Since then, they've lost intelligence 'yes man' Malcolm Rifkind to an expenses scandal so the make up of the committee has changed a bit.

    What it does show is that we cannot even trust the gatekeepers (above) who are give very limited info from the security services. And let us not forget the dates that this occurred under a Labor administration and continued under a Conservative-Liberal Democrat and now a Conservative one.

    It will be interesting to see if this story gains any traction, though I suspect that it will be much bigger outside of the UK, at least initially. The cat is, again, out of the bag!

    marknesop, September 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    GCHQ and the CIA are in bed with one another, and have been for years. This might be a timely occasion to mention once again that both are capable of hacking into smartphones by all leading manufacturers; in the case of the IPhone the CIA uses a program application called Dropout Jeep.

    We can thank Edward Snowden for that; the NSA spying scandal revealed a great deal more than just the information the CIA is snooping on your phone calls and collecting information on everyone. As the second reference relates, the CIA also diverted laptops ordered online so that government spyware could be installed on them. Intelligence agencies are determined that citizens shall have no privacy whatsoever. You might as well assume they are watching everything you do and listening to everything you say. Give the window the finger at random times just in case, and slip embarrassing revelations on the sexual proclivities of intelligence agents into your telephone conversations.

    Canada's Blackberry was once safe, but GCHQ broke that. So now there is no smartphone that is private, except maybe for Russia's YotaPhone. Probably not that either, though, since it is sold in the USA, and if they couldn't break into the phone they would just hack the carrier. And the Canadian government bought all of its Secure Telephone Units (STU) from the NSA, so say no more about the "security" of those.

    A few companies, like Silent Circle, pitch a privacy phone like the Blackphone, but it originates in the USA and everyone's paranoia has become so acute that the instant suspicion is they are telling you it is more private just because it is wired straight to the NSA.

    You can't believe anyone any more.

    [Sep 27, 2015] Since st least 2009 GCHQ has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale

    BBC used by GCHQ to spy on Internet users https://theintercept.com/2015/09/25/gchq-radio-porn-spies-track-web-users-online-identities/
    "... I do wonder though, with all those stories about those thousands of Kremlin controlled Russian trolls on British news websites, whether some of this comes from carefully massaged data from GCHQ through third parties to the Pork Pie News Networks via 'unnamed sources', i.e. the usual bollox. ..."
    "... …The agency operates a bewildering array of other eavesdropping systems, each serving its own specific purpose and designated a unique code name, such as: …and INFINITE MONKEYS, which analyzes data about the usage of online bulletin boards and forums… ..."
    "... Once you understand the relationship and the goals that they have, you can work backwards and make fairly good conclusions about what tools would be required and used to get to those conclusions and try not think whether they are legal or not. ..."
    "... The most disturbing thing about it all is that it puts us one step away from a totalitarian system. All that is required is a political decision. ..."
    "... Forget about 'checks and balances' – they're the first thing to be thrown out of the window in an emergency. Arbeit macht frei! ..."
    "... GCHQ and the CIA are in bed with one another, and have been for years. This might be a timely occasion to mention once again that both are capable of hacking into smartphones by all leading manufacturers; in the case of the IPhone the CIA uses a program application called Dropout Jeep. ..."
    "... the CIA also diverted laptops ordered online so that government spyware could be installed on them. ..."
    "... You can't believe anyone any more. ..."
    Sep 27, 2015 | marknesop.wordpress.com
    Warren, September 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm
    https://theintercept.com/2015/09/25/gchq-radio-porn-spies-track-web-users-online-identities/

    et Al, September 26, 2015 at 4:23 am

    A top-secret GCHQ document from March 2009 reveals the agency has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale. It shows a sample search in which the agency was extracting data from cookies containing information about people's visits to the adult website YouPorn, search engines Yahoo and Google, and the Reuters news website.

    Other websites listed as "sources" of cookies in the 2009 document (see below) are Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, WordPress, Amazon, and sites operated by the broadcasters CNN, BBC, and the U.K.'s Channel 4.

    …A top-secret GCHQ document from March 2009 reveals the agency has targeted a range of popular websites as part of an effort to covertly collect cookies on a massive scale. It shows a sample search in which the agency was extracting data from cookies containing information about people's visits to the adult website YouPorn, search engines Yahoo and Google, and the Reuters news website.

    Other websites listed as "sources" of cookies in the 2009 document (see below) are Hotmail, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, WordPress, Amazon, and sites operated by the broadcasters CNN, BBC, and the U.K.'s Channel 4…
    ###

    And I bet the Guardian too as it is 'the world's most widely read new site'. They probably keep automatic tabs on this site considering how it has grown over the last couple of years.

    I do wonder though, with all those stories about those thousands of Kremlin controlled Russian trolls on British news websites, whether some of this comes from carefully massaged data from GCHQ through third parties to the Pork Pie News Networks via 'unnamed sources', i.e. the usual bollox.

    May I suggest to fellow commenters here, if at any point you loose your smart phone (etc.) just call GCHQ and they'll tell you where you left it. I wonder if they provide a data back up service?!

    et Al, September 26, 2015 at 4:48 am
    …The agency operates a bewildering array of other eavesdropping systems, each serving its own specific purpose and designated a unique code name, such as: …and INFINITE MONKEYS, which analyzes data about the usage of online bulletin boards and forums…

    …Authorization is "not needed for individuals in the U.K.," another GCHQ document explains, because metadata has been judged "less intrusive than communications content." All the spies are required to do to mine the metadata troves is write a short "justification" or "reason" for each search they conduct and then click a button on their computer screen…

    …When compared to surveillance rules in place in the U.S., GCHQ notes in one document that the U.K. has "a light oversight regime."

    The more lax British spying regulations are reflected in secret internal rules that highlight greater restrictions on how NSA databases can be accessed. The NSA's troves can be searched for data on British citizens, one document states, but they cannot be mined for information about Americans or other citizens from countries in the Five Eyes alliance….
    #####

    It's just what is expected from the junior in the US/UK relationship. For the UK to retain privileged access to the US' global spy network, it needs to give the US what it wants, a way to circumvent the US' own laws. Dial back to when Gary Powers & his U-2 were shot down over the Soviet Union. All subsequent overflights by US manned and operated aircraft were prohibited, so, the US used British pilots and Canberras.

    Once you understand the relationship and the goals that they have, you can work backwards and make fairly good conclusions about what tools would be required and used to get to those conclusions and try not think whether they are legal or not.

    What people can do to protect themselves is

    1. don't change most of your digital habits (as this would raise a flag);
    2. just don't do or say obvious things that you wouldn't do in real life in your digital life;
    3. use encryption such as PGP for email and products using perfect forward secrecy for chat/etc.;
    4. don't write about what not to do on the Internet as I have just done! ;)

    The most disturbing thing about it all is that it puts us one step away from a totalitarian system. All that is required is a political decision. All the tools are in place and depending on how much information they have actually kept they can dip in to it at any time throughout your life as a rich source of blackmail, probably via third parties. It's not exactly threatening to send you to a concentration camp (or disappeared to one of Britain's (and others) many small overseas territories, but it is total control.

    If the European economy completely crashes and mass instability ensues (or whatever), then the politicians will be told, or even ask, "What tools do we have to control this?".

    Forget about 'checks and balances' – they're the first thing to be thrown out of the window in an emergency. Arbeit macht frei!

    et Al, September 26, 2015 at 9:52 am
    This should be a massive story as the parliamentary security committee gave the intelligence services a 'clean bill of health' not so long ago. Since then, they've lost intelligence 'yes man' Malcolm Rifkind to an expenses scandal so the make up of the committee has changed a bit.

    What it does show is that we cannot even trust the gatekeepers (above) who are give very limited info from the security services. And let us not forget the dates that this occurred under a Labor administration and continued under a Conservative-Liberal Democrat and now a Conservative one.

    It will be interesting to see if this story gains any traction, though I suspect that it will be much bigger outside of the UK, at least initially. The cat is, again, out of the bag!

    marknesop, September 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    GCHQ and the CIA are in bed with one another, and have been for years. This might be a timely occasion to mention once again that both are capable of hacking into smartphones by all leading manufacturers; in the case of the IPhone the CIA uses a program application called Dropout Jeep.

    We can thank Edward Snowden for that; the NSA spying scandal revealed a great deal more than just the information the CIA is snooping on your phone calls and collecting information on everyone. As the second reference relates, the CIA also diverted laptops ordered online so that government spyware could be installed on them. Intelligence agencies are determined that citizens shall have no privacy whatsoever. You might as well assume they are watching everything you do and listening to everything you say. Give the window the finger at random times just in case, and slip embarrassing revelations on the sexual proclivities of intelligence agents into your telephone conversations.

    Canada's Blackberry was once safe, but GCHQ broke that. So now there is no smartphone that is private, except maybe for Russia's YotaPhone. Probably not that either, though, since it is sold in the USA, and if they couldn't break into the phone they would just hack the carrier. And the Canadian government bought all of its Secure Telephone Units (STU) from the NSA, so say no more about the "security" of those.

    A few companies, like Silent Circle, pitch a privacy phone like the Blackphone, but it originates in the USA and everyone's paranoia has become so acute that the instant suspicion is they are telling you it is more private just because it is wired straight to the NSA.

    You can't believe anyone any more.

    [Sep 26, 2015] Phone Passwords Protected By 5th Amendment, Says Federal Court

    Sep 26, 2015 | yro.slashdot.org
    September 24, 2015

    imothy

    Ars Technica reports that a Federal court in Pennsylvania ruled Wednesday that the Fifth Amendment protects from compelled disclosure the passwords that two insider-trading suspects used on their mobile phones. In this case, the SEC is investigating two former Capital One data analysts who allegedly used insider information associated with their jobs to trade stocks-in this case, a $150,000 investment allegedly turned into $2.8 million. Regulators suspect the mobile devices are holding evidence of insider trading and demanded that the two turn over their passcodes.However, ruled the court , "Since the passcodes to Defendants' work-issued smartphones are not corporate records, the act of producing their personal passcodes is testimonial in nature and Defendants properly invoke their fifth Amendment privilege. A"

    [Sep 26, 2015] NSA Director Admits that Sharing Encryption Keys With the Government Leaves Us Vulnerable to Bad Guys

    "... Writing your own encryption is a recipe for disaster. Only peer-reviewed algorithms and implementations should ever be used. They must also use reliable random number generators. ..."
    Sep 26, 2015 | www.zerohedge.com
    Sep 26, 2015 | Zero H4edge
    GreatUncle

    Drop the random number generator method that is already venerable now.

    Go for an encryption key of length > data length instead so each data bit is uniquely encrypted by a unique key bit.

    Break one bit has no bearing on breaking any other bit.

    For the NSA comes the headache under such an encryption method a 10 letter statement can be any other 10 letter statement from different keys.

    Now it gets interesting "I love you" is from one encryption key whilst another key says "I hate you".

    Now each message generated if asked for the key you provide one of an infinite number of keys where the the key you give is for the message you wish them to see provided it makes sense any evidence used through a prosecution on this is only ever circumstantial evidence and quite easily refuted questioning only the key being used.

    Kind of like it myself.

    SgtShaftoe

    Bullshit. Encryption works. Even if the NSA had some back-door in a particular encryption algorithm, or weakened a random number generator (Microsoft, cough), the NSA does not have the processing power to decrypt everything.

    Snowden has stated as much, I've seen the same thing in .mil circles during my time there. Using decent encryption works. It's far easier to attack the people directly with social engineering than crack decent encryption.

    logicalman

    The world has gone totally batshit crazy.

    NSA want to watch everyone and also have the ability to plant damaging or malicious files on targeted computers.

    What a fucking trick!

    On a good day you can trust yourself.

    John_Coltrane

    What type of encryption is being discussed? I've notice very few actually understand how encryption works. When public/private key encyption is used only the public key is ever available to the counterparty and can be freely published. The secret key is kept on your machine only and never shared. Both parties/computers use the others public key to encrypt the plaintext and only the person with the unique secret key on both ends can read it. Authentication is also facile: You simply sign using the secret key. Only your public key can decrypt the signature so anyone intercepting and attempting to change your message cannot do so (spoofing impossible). Unbreakable and requires no secure key exchange like like two way keys such as AES, for example. This is what happens on https sites where key pairs are generated by both parties and the secret keys are never exchanged or shared-new key pairs are generated each visit. Intercepting the encrypted message is useless since the secret key remains physically in your possesion. That's why the NSA and any government hates this algorithm. Make the key at least 2048 bits long and you'll need more time than the age of universe to crack it by brute force with the entire computing power of every machine on earth. Even 256 bits is sufficient to protect against anyone before they die.

    blindman

    information is power and access to information is big business. the taxpayer pays the bills for the gathering, hell, the individual "user" of the technology pays for the surveillance and data collection themselves. we are paying to have our privacy sold to corporations. get that, it is freakin' brilliant! and the "officials" sell the access for personal gain. the corporations love to eat it all up and reward the loyal local success story dupes, pimps and prestitutes. everyone is on stage 24/7 and no one is the wiser in the field of cultural normalcy bias, mind control and entertaining with the Jones's. soft control moving into hard up confiscation, then incarceration. wonderfully yokel deterioration impersonating culture and civilization, what many call government, but i take exception to every term and wonder wtf.

    q99x2

    The NSA works for corporations and they need to break into peoples stuff to steal from them as well as to steal from other corporations. There is a war going on but it is much larger than a war on nations or citizens of bankster occupied nations.

    Gaius Frakkin' ...

    With one-time pad, the software is trivial.

    There are two big challenges though:

    1) Building a hardware random number generator which is truly random, or as close as possible.

    2) Getting the keys to your counter-party, securely. It has to be down physically ahead of time.

    HenryHall

    E.R.N.I.E. - the electronic random number indicator equipment was used with British Premium Bonds in the 1950s. A chip based on digital counting of thermal noise must be easy to make. Getting the keys to thye other party just involves handing over a chip. 16Gigabytes or so miniSD should be good for enough emails to wear out a thousand or more keyboards.

    It just needs to be made into a product and sold for cash.

    Open source encryption software may or may not be trivial, but it sure isn't easy to use for folks who aren't experts in encryption.

    Lookout Mountain

    The NSA decided that offense was better than defense. Suckers.

    ah-ooog-ah

    Write your own encryption. Use AES - freely available. Exchange keys verbally, face to face, or use One Time Pads (once only!!). If you didn't write, don't trust it.

    SgtShaftoe

    Writing your own encryption is a recipe for disaster. Only peer-reviewed algorithms and implementations should ever be used. They must also use reliable random number generators.

    If you don't know what you're doing and are very very careful and exacting in running a OTP system (One time pad) you will be fucked. That's why they aren't typically used except in very small use cases. They're hard to run properly.

    Anyone claiming to have an encryption product for a computer based on a one time pad is full of shit. Cough, Unseen.is, cough. It's a glorified Cesar cypher and the NSA will have your shit in 2.5 seconds or less.

    Good encryption works. Snowden stated that fact. Don't use shitty encryption, unless you want everyone to know what you're doing.

    There's plenty of open source projects out there based on good encryption, twofish, serpent, AES, or ideally a combination of multiple algorithms. Truecrypt is still alive and has been forked with a project based in Switzerland. I think that's still a good option.

    I wouldn't use MS bitlocker or PGP unless you trust symantec or microsoft with your life. Personally I wouldn't trust those companies with a pack of cigarettes, and I don't even smoke.

    Nels

    Writing your own encryption is a recipe for disaster. Only peer-reviewed algorithms and implementations should ever be used. They must also use reliable random number generators.

    I read the original note to mean you use a peer reviewed algorithm, but write the code yourself. Or, at least review it well. Some open source code tends to be a bit tangled. Checkout Sendmail and its support for X.400 and other old mail protocols, as well as a convoluted configuration setup. At some point, with code with that much historical baggage and convoluted setup becomes impossible to really check all possible configurations for sanity or safety.

    If you believe that the simpler the code the safer it is, code it yourself.

    . . . _ _ _ . . .

    Power grab by the NSA (deep state) basically saying that they don't trust the hand that feeds it. So why should we? What level of classification would this entail? Are we then supposed to trust the NSA? Civil War 2.0.???

    Sorry for all the questions, but... WTF?

    S.N.A.F.U.

    SgtShaftoe

    It really starts with asymmetry of power. If some agency or person has a asymmetric level of power against you and lack of accountability, you should be concerned about them.

    That's a much easier test case vs enemy/friend and far more reliable.

    Urban Roman

    Long self-published certificates, Novena and Tails.

    [Sep 26, 2015] Standing Before Congress, Pope Francis Calls Out the Industry of Death

    Sep 26, 2015 | original.antiwar.com
    Sep 26, 2015 | Antiwar.com

    Pope Francis' address to Congress was almost certainly not what John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and other congressional leaders had in mind when they invited the pope to speak.

    It probably wasn't what they were all thinking about during the last standing ovations. But here was Pope Francis, revered as the People's Pope, calling out war profiteers and demanding an end to the arms trade. Just as simple and as powerful as that.

    ... ... ...

    "Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world," the pope said. Then he asked the critical question: "Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?"

    He answered it himself: "Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade."

    Stop the arms trade. What a simple, clear call.

    That means the ending things like the $60 billion arms deal the US made a few years back with Saudi Arabia, where those weapons are, in the pope's words, "inflicting untold suffering on individuals and society," especially in Syria and Yemen. It means ending things like the $45 billion in new military aid – mostly in the form of advanced new weapons – the Israeli government has requested from Washington between now and 2028. It means ending the provision of new arms to scores of unaccountable militias in Syria, where even the White House admits a nonmilitary solution is needed. And it means ending things like the $1.1 billion in arms sales the United States has made to Mexico this year alone.

    And, of course, it means no longer diverting at least 54 cents of every discretionary taxpayer dollar in the federal budget to the US military.

    Actually, members of Congress – so many of whom rely on huge campaign donations from arms manufacturers, and so many of whom refuse to vote against military procurement because often just a few dozen jobs connected to it might be in their district – really should have expected the pope to say exactly what he did.

    It was only last May, after all, that Pope Francis told a group of schoolchildren visiting the Vatican that the arms trade is the "industry of death." When a kid asked why so many powerful people don't want peace, the pope answered simply, "because they live off wars!" Francis explained how people become rich by producing and selling weapons. "And this is why so many people do not want peace. They make more money with the war!"

    The pope's speech to Congress was quite extraordinary on a number of fronts.

    ... ... ...

    Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of the forthcoming Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer. Manuel Perez-Rocha is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy In Focus.

    [Sep 26, 2015] US and China back off internet arms race but Obama leaves sanctions on the table

    "... How can the U.S. say cyber hacking must stop when we know very well that they have been cyber spying and hacking for years, Snowden spilt the beans on that issue, big brother raising his head again. ..."
    "...
    ..."
    "... I see a contradiction here that you critcize for not warring with Xi/China and then bemoaning the obviously damaging costs of what looks like perpetual wars. ..."
    "... In the main, Obama has not slipped out of his arrogant school master's tone and role, but we keep hearing he does it to please the American electorate. If the NSA in Germany (Bad Aibling) is allowed to sniff out commercial secrets on German computers (an issue for over 10 years, it's only the spinlessness of the elites that keep allowing that) then surely it's all 'open platform'. I only read German and English well enough to ascertain what's what in the spying game, so I can only refer to Germany. Maybe we get some Spanish, Italian, French etc reading people to tell us if sniffing out Germany's company secrets is unique, probably not. ..."
    "... Nice little bit of spin here. It gives the impression that the US is telling the PRC what to do when the reality is this is part of the previous and current five year plan. ..."
    "... This looks a bit odd to me. Is he saying that Snowden forged the ten thousand records detailing US cyber spying on fifty countries or is he asking for Chinas assurance that the CCP are not sponsoring the attacks. In any case...I Obamas full of shit. ..."
    "... the US has offered no proof that China hacked American records, while the world knows that the worse hacker on the planet is the US as shown via the Snowden documents - we even hack our allies. You know, there is a saying about glass houses and throwing stones. ..."
    "... Its a fallacy that you can separate business spying and state secrets spying. If there is going to be war, it will be all out, no sacred cows. Don't expect an agreement to leave space satellites out for example. People are still living in this utopia that a war can happen somewhere else and life will go on as normal. For China, the war will be for its own existence and there will be no holds barred. Look at the Vietnam war for example and you will see how much the Vietnamese sacrificed for that ultimate victory. So I believe that a more comprehensive framework is required for the assured future for both nations. ..."
    "... Every year the same blame the Chinese happens. US agencies will always fabricate foreign threat so annual budgets can be increased $$$. The fiscal year ends in Sept. "My dept. needs more taxpayer funding, the Chinese and Russians are attacking!" ..."
    "... In the name of "National Security" anything goes (except sabotage in peace time), so long as it is not used for "competitive advantage". Nice to have a mutually approved set of labels to continue doing what both sides have always been doing. ..."
    Sep 25, 2015 | The Guardian

    JoeCorr -> Erazmo 25 Sep 2015 23:57

    The US has no class...

    They call it 'American directness'. In fact it's gross bad manners but thats how the Empire of the Exceptionals sees itself.

    A John Wayne mindset and a Lex Luthor worldview. Being dismantled with astonishing ease by the PRC.


    Eugenios -> SuperBBird 25 Sep 2015 23:58

    The Chinese Communists are humanists itself compared to the brutality of the US.

    Just compare prison populations, for examine. The US has more people in prison both proportionately and absolutely than all of China.


    HollyOldDog -> TheEqlaowaizer 25 Sep 2015 21:30

    Looks like the wise words of the Pope has not penetrated the 'brains' American State Department or its President, if all that Obama can say is to threaten sanctions against another country. Is the BRICS alternative bank such a worry to the Americans as their first thoughts are bullying tactics.


    ID240947 25 Sep 2015 21:22

    How can the U.S. say cyber hacking must stop when we know very well that they have been cyber spying and hacking for years, Snowden spilt the beans on that issue, big brother raising his head again.


    JoeCorr -> goatrider 25 Sep 2015 21:08

    Take all that cheap junk

    Cheap junk? Its 2015 can you even just try to keep up. We're buying Chinese flat screens the size of billboards and China leads the world in home appliances. BYD and Shanghai Auto sales are expanding at warp speed. I could go on but thats enough.

    The US and Europe made the same stupid jibes at Japan before they decimated our electrics, shipbuilding, auto manufacturing and every single electronics company outside military patronage.

    Its not China whos at fault here. It's people like you with your head so deeply wedged in the sand your shitting pebbles.


    JoeCorr 25 Sep 2015 21:01

    My daughter drew speech balloons on this photo and mages it to the fridge.

    Obama is saying. " Sanctions are still on the table". Xi is saying. " Poor thing. Allah will look after you"

    Which I thought kinda perceptive for a 13 year old.


    HauptmannGurski -> Sam3456 25 Sep 2015 20:46

    I see a contradiction here that you critcize for not warring with Xi/China and then bemoaning the obviously damaging costs of what looks like perpetual wars. Never mind, we all get emotional in these troubled times and find ourselves in contraction with ourselves.

    In the main, Obama has not slipped out of his arrogant school master's tone and role, but we keep hearing he does it to please the American electorate. If the NSA in Germany (Bad Aibling) is allowed to sniff out commercial secrets on German computers (an issue for over 10 years, it's only the spinlessness of the elites that keep allowing that) then surely it's all 'open platform'. I only read German and English well enough to ascertain what's what in the spying game, so I can only refer to Germany. Maybe we get some Spanish, Italian, French etc reading people to tell us if sniffing out Germany's company secrets is unique, probably not.

    (PS: if we think that the perpetual wars are too costly, in the sense that the populations miss out more and more, then we ought to keep an eye on the US job figures. There's a view out there that it's been US arms sales under Obama which underpin the 'recovery'. The Nobel Peace prize committee would take the prize back now, I gues, but that's not in the rules.)

    goatrider 25 Sep 2015 20:37

    How is America going to sanction a country that produces a majority of the items sold in America? Take all that cheap junk off the shelves of box stores and the American people will revolt----they are addicted consumers of cheap junk and fast food.


    JoeCorr -> vr13vr 25 Sep 2015 20:15

    Whom exactly did we fire, prosecute or whatever else after all those NSA revelations?

    Bradley Manning. Aaron Swartz driven to Suicide having never broken a single law. Snowden driven to exile. There are many others.


    JoeCorr 25 Sep 2015 20:00

    News of this deal, first revealed on Thursday, was followed up before...

    Nice little bit of spin here. It gives the impression that the US is telling the PRC what to do when the reality is this is part of the previous and current five year plan.

    The 'sanctions' are another interesting bit of spin. How would you enforce sanctions against almost a quarter of the worlds population when they are your most reliable customer and literally thousands of American companies have invested and relocated there.

    what I am hoping that President Xi will show me is that we are not sponsoring these activities and that … we take it seriously and will cooperate to enforce the law."

    This looks a bit odd to me. Is he saying that Snowden forged the ten thousand records detailing US cyber spying on fifty countries or is he asking for Chinas assurance that the CCP are not sponsoring the attacks. In any case...I Obamas full of shit.


    Erazmo 25 Sep 2015 19:12

    The US has no class and is a paper tiger. First, no one in the administration met President Xi when arrived on American soil. This is an insult to the Chinese and shows no class on the part of the Obama administration. Sure, the Pope was here at the same time but I don't understand why some schedules couldn't have been changed a little to accommodate the visit the leader of the world's most populous country. Second, the US continues to accuse and scold China as if they were a kid. Yet, the US has offered no proof that China hacked American records, while the world knows that the worse hacker on the planet is the US as shown via the Snowden documents - we even hack our allies. You know, there is a saying about glass houses and throwing stones.


    Chin Koon Siang 25 Sep 2015 19:05

    Its a fallacy that you can separate business spying and state secrets spying. If there is going to be war, it will be all out, no sacred cows. Don't expect an agreement to leave space satellites out for example. People are still living in this utopia that a war can happen somewhere else and life will go on as normal. For China, the war will be for its own existence and there will be no holds barred. Look at the Vietnam war for example and you will see how much the Vietnamese sacrificed for that ultimate victory. So I believe that a more comprehensive framework is required for the assured future for both nations.

    vr13vr -> CitizenCarrier 25 Sep 2015 18:42

    Whom exactly did we fire, prosecute or whatever else after all those NSA revelations?

    vr13vr 25 Sep 2015 18:40

    Obama never stops surprising with his manners. Or actually a lack of such. He just made an agreement with a leader of another country, a large and powerful country mind you. And right away he publicly expresses a doubt whether the other party intends to carry the agreements. Basically calling his counterpart a liar for no good reason. And as a cheap bully, inserts more threats of more sanctions. Sure, the president of the other country had more class, he stayed there and smiled friendly, but with such arrogant display of disrespect and bullying, nobody would ever take Obama serious. And nobody should.

    shawshank -> CitizenCarrier 25 Sep 2015 18:24

    Grasping at straws? Xi is not Hitler. Also, Snowden already exposed that the US was spying on China.


    Book_of_Life -> CitizenCarrier 25 Sep 2015 18:10

    "Acts of war"
    USA are worlds biggest warmongers instigators including false flags and regime changes covert activity black ops

    you better check yourself before you wreck yourself
    cause i'm bad for your health, i come real stealth
    droppin bombs on ya moms
    So chikity-check yo self before you wreck yo self
    Come on and check yo self before you wrikity-wreck yourself


    Lrgjohnson -> canbeanybody 25 Sep 2015 18:00

    Every year the same blame the Chinese happens. US agencies will always fabricate foreign threat so annual budgets can be increased $$$. The fiscal year ends in Sept. "My dept. needs more taxpayer funding, the Chinese and Russians are attacking!"


    Book_of_Life CitizenCarrier 25 Sep 2015 17:22

    American Hypocrisy "fuck off"
    say countries spied on
    http://time.com/2945037/nsa-surveillance-193-countries/


    canbeanybody 25 Sep 2015 15:59

    It is plain silly and ridiculous to pin blame of the so-called theft of finger prints of American 5.6 millions employees.

    Those rubbish finger prints have zero value to anyone other than those who are at position to manipulate, modify or even fabricate them.

    In any case why should a technological so advanced American system need to keep the finger prints of their own employees? Is it impossible for American government to keep the finger prints of own employees safe?


    peternh 25 Sep 2015 15:57

    "President Xi indicated to me that with 1.3 billion people he can't guarantee the behaviour of every single person on Chinese soil."

    Although that is, in fact, what his government is entirely dedicated to attempting to do, by controlling all education, all media, what may and may not be said publicly, and controlling everything that happens on the Internet inside the Great Firewall.

    Utter hypocrisy.


    bujinin 25 Sep 2015 15:24

    Analysis:

    In the name of "National Security" anything goes (except sabotage in peace time), so long as it is not used for "competitive advantage". Nice to have a mutually approved set of labels to continue doing what both sides have always been doing.


    Sam3456 25 Sep 2015 15:24

    Another useless summit with a lame duck President who achieved the Nobel Peace Prize for being an ineffectual player on the world stage and propagating constant war for the profit of his corporate puppet masters.

    [Sep 20, 2015] The History of Witchhunts and Their Relevance to the Present Day

    Sep 20, 2015 | naked capitalism
    bh2 September 20, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    The witch-burning craze would be best suited as yet another unwritten chapter in Mackay's "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds".

    If both men and women were charged and tried for this imaginary crime driven by baseless superstition, a narrative proposing it was really an ancient war on women is logically absurd - and therefore also a baseless superstition.

    craazyman September 20, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    It wasn't unwritten. He wrote it!

    "The Witch Mania" between "The Crusades" and "The Slow Poisoners".

    Laughingsong September 20, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    We could lump it all together and I do agree that the context is important, but it is much easier to see why members of new religions were targeted than peasants being accused of being witches.

    I find the theory fascinating because it does provide a possible explanation for something that does not really fit the usual "threat to power/otherness" explanations. I don't know if the theory is correct but I find it intriguing, especially after reading the Sonia Mitralias article yesterday.

    sd September 20, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Not having read the book, is there any mention of c (ergot) in relation to witch hunts? I first heard of this thesis in my college botany class. The theory seems controversial even though there's archaeological evidence of rye cultivation as far north as Scandinavia by 500 AD.

    sd September 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Worth noting that rye blight typically affects the poor and those with limited food resources.
    http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/wong/BOT135/LECT12.HTM

    skippy September 20, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    If memory serves, the Salem witch saga was defined by topographical elevation e.g. poor down the hill, the soggy bottom, elites up the hill, w/ poor consuming the lesser status rye whilst the elites consumed wheat.

    Its not hard to imagine the elites with their religious "self awarded" superiority complex, that any, straying from the narrative would just reinforce the aforementioned mental attitude. As such any remediation would be authoritatively administered by the elites as they owned the code [arbiters of religious interpretation].

    Skippy…. the old NC post on that provincial French town would make a great book end to this post, by Lambert imo….

    BEast September 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Two other noteworthy aspects of he witch hunts: one, they were an attempt by the Catholic Church to destroy non-Church authorities; and two, they were an attempt by physicians (nobles) to destroy alternate sources of medical care.

    Thus, the targets were frequently midwives and herbalists.

    (It's also worth noting that the court physicians had no scientific basis for their treatments - that was shoehorned in later. So the traditional healers were, and remained for centuries, to the extent they and their methods survived, the better choice for health care, particularly for childbirth.)

    Jim September 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    False Foundations of Capitalism?

    "Primitive accumulation is the term that Marx uses in Capital vol.1, to characterize the historical process upon which the development of capitalist relations was premised. It is a useful term, for it provides a common denominator through which we can conceptualize the changes that the advent of capitalism produced in economic and social relations. But its importance lies, above all in the fact that primitive accumulation is treated by Marx as a foundational process, revealing the structural conditions for the existence of capitalist society."

    Marx seemed to seek the determinants of capitalism's genetic process in the logic of the preceding mode of production–in the economic structure of feudal society. But is such a description an explanation for the transition from feudal to capitalistic society?

    Doesn't Marx's explanation of the origins of capitalism seems to presuppose capitalism itself?

    Doesn't Marx's use of only economic variables lead into a blind alley in terms of understanding the origins of capitalism?

    Shouldn't the collapsing Left finally take a serious look at cultural and political explanations for the origins of capitalism?

    What about a cultural explanation in which the creation and role of nationalism in 16th century England provided a key competitive individual motivating factor among its citizens– as a possible cause of capitalism? What about the emergence of the autonomous city as a primary political cause of capitalism? Was capitalism born in Catholic, urban Italy at the end of the Middle Ages?

    Why has the search for explanations of the origins of capitalism, only in the economic sphere, come to occupy such a central place in our thinking?

    craazyman September 20, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I think this analysis is off the mark and probably a convolution of an array of underlying variable and functions.

    It's as if the author says z = g(x); when in fact x = f(z,t,u and v).

    To conclude that z relies on x is a distortion of the underlying phenomenological structure and also distorts the agency by which z, t, u and v correspond to z.

    one item that is quite significant to note, and perhaps is one of the underlying variables, is the urgency by which authorities demanded "confessions' by witches, which in and of itself was sometimes enough to ameliorate punishment.

    The other underlying variable is the reality of paranormal phenomenon. We think witchcraft is a doddering myth invented by overly imaginative minds, but the reality is quite other than that.

    Relating "capitalism" to persecution of witches on the basis of their femaleness lacks all precision. The Roman empire was capitalist but accepted paganism. Our current culture would view persecution on the basis of witchcraft as daftminded lunacy. yet pagan cultures in Africa do so even today.

    The book author throws up an interesting cloud of ideas but doesn't seem capable of credible navigation, based simply on the summary offered here. I suspect it has to do less with capitalism and femaleness in particular and more, in general, in terms of threats posed by alternative consciousness structures to the dominant structure of social organization (inclusive of economics, theology, eshatology, etc.) These would be the z, t, u and v of the underlying f-function. It's seen the world over in varying guises, but the underlying variables manifest in different costumes, in varying degrees of malision.

    DJG September 20, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    The problem of witches depends on the history of individual countries and also on religious orthodoxies, Catholic as well as Calvinist and Lutheran.

    As is often the case, Italy is contradictory and somewhat of an exception. Yet the exceptions are regional. The peasants on the Peninsula ruled by Naples were treated differently from northern Italians. Venice was an exception.

    The process of liberation seems to have begun earlier in Italy than the Black Death. While doing research about Bologna, I ran across this:

    "Liber Paradisus
    The Liber Paradisus (Heaven Book) is a law text promulgated in 1256 by the Comune of Bologna which proclaimed the abolition of slavery and the release of serfs (servi della gleba)."

    So you have emancipation and the development of an idea of human rights a hundred years before the Black Death. But the source was a social war and a desire for higher wages.

    Throughout Italy, too, the Inquisition and its treatment of witches was highly uneven. I happen to have studied the benandanti, who didn't consider themselves witches, but had visions and myterious rituals. Some were healers. The Franciscans who investigated them were considered lousy Inquisitors (not tough enough) and the results are highly ambiguous. See Carlo Ginzburg's works, and see the work of Italian scholars who found even more ambiguities. Many of the benandanti in trouble were men–and the women and men reported the same mystical experiences, many of which are astounding and rather beautiful. Reports of benandanti extend into the early 1800s.

    Piero Camporesi also wrote about the economic status of Italian peasants, the rituals of their year (which didn't always coincide with Catholic orthodoxy), and the strength of ancient pagan customs.

    I realize that your point is witchcraft as a kind of collision with the growth of the state and "modern" markets. Yet I'd encourage you to consider Italy as a counterexample. On the other hand, fragmented Italy was the most highly developed economy in Europe during most of the middle ages and up to roughly 1550, so the markets may have developed (capitalistically as well as by state intervention, especially in Venice) more slowly, more peculiarly, and less disruptively. There are peasant revolts in Italian history, but not regions in flames and years and years of scorched-earth actions against rebellious peasants.

    Chauncey Gardiner September 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Enlightening observations regarding the premeditated, planned and organized use of witch-hunts by the elite of that period as a vehicle of social control. I was surprised at the level of elite information and coordination in what I had previously viewed as a very primitive era of considerable physical isolation. The events discussed here suggest there was a fairly high level of communication and organization among and by the elite.

    However, I would question to what extent the extreme 14th century depopulation of Europe and Britain caused by the great plague pandemics, the Great Famine, wars and weather would have led to similar elite initiatives, regardless of the transition to capitalism.

    Appears to share some common threads with events and behaviors which have occurred in our own time – from those mentioned in the article to the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s, the Powell memorandum of 1971 and related subsequent behavior, including the forms of "primitive accumulation" cited that led to the 2008 financial collapse.

    Thank you for the review of Silvia Federici's book, Lambert, and your related observations. Seems worthwhile reading.

    LifelongLib September 20, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    There was at least one man in the Salem witch trials who did save his wife. At the preliminary hearing he cursed the judges for allowing her to be imprisoned, saying God would surely punish them. When she was bound over for trial anyway, he broke her out of jail and fled with her to New York.

    Would that all of us men had that kind of courage and resourcefulness. Sadly most of us don't.

    [Sep 09, 2015] What spawned Russia's 'troll army'? Experts on the red web share their views

    What is funny that Havingalavrov, and Alderbaran participated in the discussion ;-).
    Sep 08, 2015 | The Guardian

    Is the Guardian disproportionately targeted?

    Havingalavrov, 08 September 2015 12:23pm

    Judging by the amount of comments on articles about Russia I see on the Guardian website , it seems to me that it holds more importance over others in being targeted. Is this true ? If so why ?

    Which western news outlets do you believe the Kremlin is most interested in targeting with its campaign ?

    Yes, of course the Guardian is a prominent target. Mostly because others British papers are not so popular in Russia. Stories from the Guardian are translated on daily basis, and foreign correspondents are well known, especially among Moscow's liberal intelligentsia.

    Can we learn anything about Russian foreign policy?

    This comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debate

    Alderbaran, 08 September 2015 7:07am

    A question: Do you think that by watching trends in coordinated comments, you can gain insights into what is sometimes a very hard to judge Russian foreign policy?

    You might understand what is trending right now, but you can't predict the next one. Russian foreign policy is notorious for sudden turns, and trolls would be told afterwards, not in advance.

    They are not spin-doctors, close to the Kremlin, Putin or his advisers. They are given very simple directives by people who have no real access to the Kremlin decision-makers.

    [Sep 09, 2015] What spawned Russia's 'troll army'? Experts on the red web share their views

    What is funny that Havingalavrov, and Alderbaran participated in the discussion ;-).
    Sep 08, 2015 | The Guardian

    Is the Guardian disproportionately targeted?

    Havingalavrov, 08 September 2015 12:23pm

    Judging by the amount of comments on articles about Russia I see on the Guardian website , it seems to me that it holds more importance over others in being targeted. Is this true ? If so why ?

    Which western news outlets do you believe the Kremlin is most interested in targeting with its campaign ?

    Yes, of course the Guardian is a prominent target. Mostly because others British papers are not so popular in Russia. Stories from the Guardian are translated on daily basis, and foreign correspondents are well known, especially among Moscow's liberal intelligentsia.

    Can we learn anything about Russian foreign policy?

    This comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debate

    Alderbaran, 08 September 2015 7:07am

    A question: Do you think that by watching trends in coordinated comments, you can gain insights into what is sometimes a very hard to judge Russian foreign policy?

    You might understand what is trending right now, but you can't predict the next one. Russian foreign policy is notorious for sudden turns, and trolls would be told afterwards, not in advance.

    They are not spin-doctors, close to the Kremlin, Putin or his advisers. They are given very simple directives by people who have no real access to the Kremlin decision-makers.

    [Aug 31, 2015] Ukrainian guardsman killed in protests against vote on rebel autonomy

    Guardianista with their classic British elite hypocrisy did not put this news on the front page... Real number of casualties is unclear. Initially five killed officer were reported by Ukrainian authorities. According to the Ukrainian National Guard about 50 officers sustained injuries.
    Note how those neoliberal stooges report the grenade attack on police defending Parliament Building (clearly a terrorist act) which as attack on Parliament is worse then Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris: "A Reuters TV cameraman at the scene said several police officers were knocked off their feet by a grenade explosion."
    Aug 31, 2015 | The Guardian

    A Ukrainian national guardsman has died and many more have been injured in clashes with nationalist protesters outside parliament in Kiev, the interior minister said.

    A Reuters TV cameraman at the scene said several police officers were knocked off their feet by a grenade explosion. Two officers were treated for wounds at the scene and there were pools of blood on the street, the cameraman said.

    Clashes had erupted outside parliament in Kiev on Monday as politicians gave initial approval to constitutional changes granting more autonomy to pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    The western-backed constitutional reforms are required under the terms of a peace deal signed in February, which called for Kiev to implement "decentralisation" by the end of this year. But critics have branded the reforms "un-Ukrainian".

    A total of 265 politicians voted in favour of the reforms at a stormy session of parliament, with protests both inside and outside the buidling.

    Dozens of demonstrators scuffled with police, Agence France-Presse journalists said. Protesters fired at least one grenade that sent up a cloud of black smoke outside the building. Teargas was used by both sides, an AFP correspondent said.

    An adviser for the interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said one person had died. "A soldier from the National Guard has died of a gunshot wound in the heart," the adviser, Anton Gerashchenko, said. "Apart from using grenades, the provocateurs were using firearms, fired secretly."

    The controversial reforms have been sought by Kiev's western allies, who see them as a way of trying to end the armed conflict in the east that has claimed more than 6,800 lives over the past 16 months.

    The bill has sparked heated debate in Ukraine where opponents see it as an attempt to legalise the de facto rebel control of part of Ukraine's territory.

    The reform bill grants more powers to regional and local politicians, including in the eastern areas currently under rebel control.

    But contrary to separatists' expectations, it does not definitively hand the largely industrial eastern region the semi-autonomous status that the insurgents are seeking.

    According to the text of the draft legislation, the region's status needs to be defined by a separate law.

    Kiev and the west accuse Russia of backing the rebels militarily and deploying its troops to the conflict zone, claims that President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin have repeatedly denied.

    A group of Ukrainian politicians had earlier on Monday disrupted the parliament to block the vote on the constitutional reforms, which they condemned as "anti-Ukrainian" and "pro-Vladimir Putin".

    Politicians from the Radical party – part of the pro-western coalition behind President Petro Poroshenko – had also blockaded the speaker's rostrum in an attempt to halt the crucial session.

    Members of the extreme-right Pravy Sektor group blocked traffic outside the parliament, while several hundred activists from the nationalist party Svoboda rallied outside the building against the western-backed reform.

    At the weekend, Poroshenko met politicians from the pro-presidential coalition who oppose the reform in an attempt to persuade them to change their minds.

    [Aug 27, 2015] Digital surveillance 'worse than Orwell', says new UN privacy chief

    "...He added that he doesn't use Facebook or Twitter, and said it was regrettable that vast numbers of people sign away their digital rights without thinking about it."
    Aug 24, 2015 | The Guardian

    The first UN privacy chief has said the world needs a Geneva convention style law for the internet to safeguard data and combat the threat of massive clandestine digital surveillance.

    Speaking to the Guardian weeks after his appointment as the UN special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci described British surveillance oversight as being "a joke", and said the situation is worse than anything George Orwell could have foreseen.

    He added that he doesn't use Facebook or Twitter, and said it was regrettable that vast numbers of people sign away their digital rights without thinking about it.

    "Some people were complaining because they couldn't find me on Facebook. They couldn't find me on Twitter. But since I believe in privacy, I've never felt the need for it," Cannataci, a professor of technology law at University of Groningen in the Netherlands and head of the department of Information Policy & Governance at the University of Malta, said.

    ... ... ...

    But for Cannataci – well-known for having a mind of his own – it is not America but Britain that he singles out as having the weakest oversight in the western world: "That is precisely one of the problems we have to tackle. That if your oversight mechanism's a joke, and a rather bad joke at its citizens' expense, for how long can you laugh it off as a joke?"

    He said proper oversight is the only way of progressing, and hopes more people will think about and vote for privacy in the UK. "And that is where the political process comes in," he said, "because can you laugh off the economy and the National Health Service? Not in the UK election, if you want to survive."

    The appointment of a UN special rapporteur on privacy is seen as hugely important because it elevates the right to privacy in the digital age to that of other human rights. As the first person in the job, the investigator will be able to set the standard for the digital right to privacy, deciding how far to push governments that want to conduct surveillance for security reasons, and corporations who mine us for our personal data.


    Mario_Marceau 26 Aug 2015 07:27

    At the time of writing this comment, there are only 155 other comments. This is a very important article. A crucial one. Nobody's reading. It is as though nobody gives a damn anymore*. (Taylor Swift just opens her mouth and thousands of comments fill the pages.)

    People have very clearly become numb to the idea of privacy mining. By this I mean everyone knows that their privacy is being eradicated, we all despise the idea, but somehow, very few get involved and are taking steps to prevent it from going further or, dare I hope, roll it back!

    After the revelations by Edward Snowden (a very important apex for TheGuardian), one would expect the entire western world to be up in arms about unlawful government surveillance and big corporation scooping our privacy away. Yet big brother and major corporations have been able to perform 'damage control' with surgical precision, going as fas as manipulating or intimidating the press, therefore keeping their precious status quo on the issue and keeping people across entire nations hostage and on a very tight leash.

    I hope Mr Cannataci is taking or will take into account the fact that the *people have seemingly given up while in fact they are worried but don't know what to do anymore and feel utterly helpless. I strongly believe this aspect of the whole fiasco on privacy constitute perhaps the most important cog in the gear of online positive changes when it comes to taking back our rights.

    guardianfan2000 26 Aug 2015 00:55

    British oversight of GCHQ surveillance is non-existent. If you live or work in Britain your privacy is wholly violated on everything you do. Pervasive snooping.

    luella zarf syenka 25 Aug 2015 23:54

    Ultimately it may be necessary for anyone desiring real privacy to learn to code and build his or her own encryption.

    Also if anyone desires protection from abusive police officers it might be necessary to set up a private army.

    If you desire to avoid being poisoned by Monsanto it might be necessary to purchase giant farms and grow your own food: corn, wheat, rice, avocados, melons, carrots, pigs, cattle, tilapia, hazelnuts... and make cheese and butter!

    And ultimately, for those of us desiring to avoid being cooked up by the fossil industry and its minions, it might be necessary to acquire another planet, which we could call Absurdistan.


    newschats4 Barbacana 25 Aug 2015 18:00

    The Toshiba laptop - the least expensive model I could find as a replacement - came with windows 8. I am trying to use the internet without getting hooked on all the expensive come-ons, the confusing and even contradictory offers, amenities, protection programs (some of which are scams) and other services, that unless you are in the business, most people don't seem to know much about how they all work or what is really reliable or necessary. I don't know how many times sites have tried to change my home page or provide a new tool bar to control what I'm doing, just because I responded to a "free offer" like solitaire games. Ads are enough pay off for those offers aren't they? Being electronically shanghaied is a step too far. I even unchecked the box to opt out of the tool bar but got it anyway. Now I have to try to figure out how to remove it again.
    The personal computer business is the capital city of artificial obsolescence and quackery. it is also highly addictive even for people who don't really need it for business. But having an email address is almost as necessary now as having a phone number or even a home address. The situation offered by most suppliers of equipment and even the providers is "take it or leave it". But the internet is driving out the older print media (a subscription to a physical newspaper is so much more expensive) and is becoming a requirement of classrooms at all levels, so "take it or leave it" isn't good enough. For an industry intent on dominating all aspects of life, "take it or leave it" can't be tolerated forever. I have tried at times to read the policies I have to accept or not use the product and all the protection is one-sided: the industries aren't liable for one damned thing: they could destroy your computer and you couldn't do anything about it. But it isn't an honest choice if the user, having purchased the product, has only the option to accept with no other provisions allowed, except refusal. You can shop for all sorts of alternatives for access and protection but the sheep still have to buy from the wolves to use any of them.

    Statutes governing "mail fraud", as it is called in the US, should apply to dubious scams that occur on the internet. The internet is very nearly a world wide public utility and as such should be very heavily regulated as one. It is barely regulated at all and the industry seems to be the only effective voice with regulators like the FCC.

    You can't be spied on legally on the telephone system, or with the public mails, but apparently anyone can do it with the internet as long as they know how to do it and know how to go undetected.

    BTW - I followed that link and saw no price mentioned.

    FreedomAboveSecurity -> newschats4 25 Aug 2015 15:02

    Not to mention that you had to agree to access to your computer by Microsoft before activating Windows 8. The agreement states that they can shut down your laptop anytime they find malicious files...indefinitely. You don't really own your computer under this agreement or any of the programs you paid for in purchase. There is a clause about third party access, too. One questions if the agreement provides backdoor authority. I returned both laptops with 8 on them. Oh...and you promised to connect to the net, preventing air-gapping as a privacy tactic.

    newschats4 25 Aug 2015 14:32

    It is obvious that the consumer has little or no protection on the internet or even with the manufacturers and providers. And even antivirus protection can, itself, be a form of protection racket.

    The internet is supported by industries that can make the problems they can then make even more money on by claiming to solve them.

    BTW - I have had a new laptop that I reluctantly purchased in January 2014 because I was notified (and confirmed) that I had to get an updated program because windows XP was no longer "supported". I wasn't getting updates anymore. But updates never said what they were doing or why they were doing it. It is also very obvious that the personal computer works both ways. If you can look "out", other can just as easily look in.

    When I got the new laptop with windows 8, my first impression was it was glitzier but also dumbed down. It was stuffed with apps for sale that I didn't want and I quickly removed. But what really angers me about the come-ons is, updates have removed apps I did want and found free online that someone doesn't want me to have. I had a free version of Google earth that I downloaded easily but has since disappeared.

    But now when I try to download the free version, the google earth site says that windows 7, windows XP and one other are required but not windows 8. ?? I get an error message and am told I have to download a site that will allow Google earth to keep a log of my hard drive so they can determine why I get an error message.

    I am sure that the execs at the top of the ladder know that the vast majority of internet users are sheep to be shorn. But those corporate decision makers are also the only people in key positions to know they can make the sheep pay for the razors that they will be shorn with.

    And now the school systems are raising a new generation of sheep that won't be able to live without the internet. They will feel helpless without it.


    syenka -> Robert987 25 Aug 2015 12:44

    Good point about the NSA and the GCHQ. However, neither of these outfits has magical powers and really solid encryption can pretty effectively stymie their efforts to pry. The question remains whether software purveyors can resist the government's insistence that there be a backdoor built in to each program. Ultimately it may be necessary for anyone desiring real privacy to learn to code and build his or her own encryption.


    AdMelliorandum 25 Aug 2015 08:08

    Better late than never…

    Let's wish the United Nations first UN privacy chief, Mr. Cannataci, success in "challenging the business model of companies that are "very often taking the data that you never even knew they were taking"."

    Likewise consider the ongoing investigation in Switzerland against Microsoft, as pertains the alleged Windows 10 theft of client information and privacy violations.
    See the corresponding article titled:

    "Berne a lancé une procédure concernant Windows 10", (roughly translated as: "Berne has launched a procedure concerning Windows 10"),
    published on 24.08.15 on the "Le Tribune de Geneve" newspaper:

    http://www.tdg.ch/economie/berne-lance-procedure-concernant-windows-10/story/29192122

    Excerpts from said article follow, translated using Google Translate:

    "The federal policeman launched a clarification process on Windows 10 de Microsoft."
    ". . . infringement of privacy committed by Microsoft. He demanded the examination of several issues related to the operating system of Windows 10."
    "The computer program automatically captures and shares information from its users with software vendors. They transmit them further, including for advertising."
    "In Valais, the cantonal officer Sébastien Fanti had expressed his indignation at the beginning."
    "If Microsoft does not review its privacy policy, Windows 10 could be the subject of a recommendation prohibiting the purchase" in the canton. . ."

    wichdoctor 25 Aug 2015 02:32

    I have been pointing these dangers out for over 20 years ever since the local authority stuck CCTV around the town without any consultation. If these systems were only there to act as spectators then the authorities should have no objection to slaving every camera to a publicly viewable screen or even the web. Since they do object we have to suppose they are using these things to spy on us.

    Then there are the ANPR systems that allegedly log every vehicle journey between every town on mainland UK. There is no trustworthy independent oversight on how the data is stored or used just the usual "trust us we are the police".

    Then there is the private stasi style database of the credit reference companies. No real control over their compilation or use. Use extended from credit checking to being used in employment references. Can even be used to track movements of a spouse by a vindictive ex.

    DVLA? A long history of letting any gangster with a business card access to anyone's data. Same with the electoral roll. Anyone wanting to avoid being tracked by someone bent on violence such as an ex spouse or gangster can not safely exercise their right to vote.

    I don't use social networking sites and until recently used an assumed name for voting. After a career spent in IT specialising in data acquisition I'm well aware just how easy it is to suck data a database using very basic tools. I hide my data as much as possible even though at my stage in life I probably have little to fear from the state or even the bankers


    WalterBMorgan 25 Aug 2015 01:11

    In many respects we are the problem. As pointed out we give away our privacy too easily and too cheaply. We accept massive CCTV intrusions because we fear crime unduly but don't wish to pay for more police officers instead. We want free email, news, and entertainment if we can get it so we end up with the KGB of the digital age following us about. We are bombarded with advertising yet most of us don't fight back with ad blockers or protest the over intrusion of billboard advertising. Government will spy on us and business will exploit us if we let them. Both business and government can be good and necessary but we connive with their downsides because it's cheaper.


    JaitcH BritCol 24 Aug 2015 23:40

    I live in an 'authoritarian' [state] and yet we enjoy more personal freedom that do people in Australia, Canada, the UK and USA!

    xxxsss MrPotto51 24 Aug 2015 17:16

    Encryption is all well and good, but engaging in an encryption arms race with business and governmental bodies is not going to end well; there is no point encrypting your emails if the spies have backdoors in your OS or whatever.

    We need to debate and then come to a truce, as well as clearly setting out what is acceptable, and unacceptable, behaviour.

    BritCol 24 Aug 2015 15:14

    I agree entirely with this assessment, and especially how ominous surveillance has become in the UK. When I grew up outside London it seemed to be the freest nation on Earth. We would visit North America and found the city police to be gun-toting thugs (they still are) but England has become the world's worst police state in surveillance techniques.

    Not even Russia or China spies on its citizens as much.


    Lafcadio1944 24 Aug 2015 14:06

    Way too little way too late. Just think about the vast amount of personal data that is already out there and the vast amount that is entered every minute. The dependence society and business on the internet and the fact that the data on the internet is INDELIBLE!! Everything having been collected by the NSA/GCHQ/BND etc could be accessed by hackers in the future who could trust them to actually protect it. Even the super high tech super security company Hacking Team which sells hacking and spying tools to governments and government agencies all over the world (with no concern about who they are) was itself hacked. Given that and the fact that the spyware and hacking techniques are becoming known by more and more people each day how is an ordinary internet used to protect himself? - he can't. Look at the Ashly Madison hack which was apparently done for purely personal petty grievances and adolescent morality. This can only increase with all sorts of people hacking and releasing our data can only get worse and the INDELIBLE data is always there to take.

    We all thought the internet would be liberating and we have all enjoyed the movies, porn social networking and the ability to make money on the internet but what has been created is a huge monster which has become not our friend but our enemy.


    well_jackson rationalistx 24 Aug 2015 13:59

    "I doubt if George Orwell had the imagination to conceive of airliners being hijacked and being flown into buildings, killing thousands."

    I seem to recall George Bush saying a similar thing about his own government on countless occasions following 9/11. The fact NORAD were carrying out mock exercises that same morning, including this very scenario, seems lost on people.

    As for the train shooting, it sounds like utter nonsense to me. This man well known to the intelligence agencies but allowed to roam free gets stopped by Americans and Brits just as hell is to be unleashed (I bet they were military or ex military weren't they? UK/US public love a good hero army story).... smells like BS.

    Besides, if these events tell us anything it's that surveillance never seems to work when needed most (there are very limited videos of 7/7 bombers, the pentagon attack lacked video evidence, virtually every nearby camera to the pont d'alma tunnel was not working as Diana hurtled through to an untimely end, etc, etc)....

    [Aug 16, 2015] The Real News - 9/11 The Man Who Knew Too Much

    "Mass surveillance is not about protecting people; it is about social control.

    The shadow government is its own enterprise, and it rewards those who pay obesiance quite richly"


    Here is the second segment of a fascinating five part interview about the deep state and the mechanics of what some might call corporatism.

    You may watch all five segments of this interview at The Real News here. Note that they are listed in descending order on the site, so start from the bottom up to see them in order.


    [Aug 08, 2015] Tom Clancy, Military Man by Andrew J. Bacevich

    Oct 1, 2013 | The Baffler

    Word of Tom Clancy's passing in October reached me at a local gym. Peddling away on an elliptical trainer, I welcomed the distraction of this "breaking news" story as it swept across a bank of video monitors suspended above the cardio machines. On cable networks and local stations, anchors were soon competing with one another to help viewers grasp the story's significance. Winning the competition (and perhaps an audition with Fox News) was the young newsreader who solemnly announced that "one of America's greatest writers" had just died at the relatively early age of sixty-six.

    Of course, Tom Clancy qualifies as a great writer in the same sense that Texas senator Ted Cruz qualifies as a great orator. Both satisfy a quantitative definition of eminence. Although political historians are unlikely to rank Cruz alongside Clay, Calhoun, and Webster, his recent twenty-one-hour-long denunciation of Obamacare, delivered before a near-empty Senate chamber, demonstrated a capacity for narcissistic logorrhea rare even by Washington standards.

    So too with Clancy. Up in the literary Great Beyond, Faulkner and Hemingway won't be inviting him for drinks. Yet, as with Ted Cruz, once Clancy got going there was no shutting him up. Following a slow start, the works of fiction and nonfiction that he wrote, cowrote, or attached his moniker to numbered in the dozens. Some seventeen Clancy novels made it to the top of the <em">New York Times bestseller list, starting with his breakthrough thriller The Hunt for Red October. A slew of titles written by others appeared with his imprimatur. Thus, for example, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Choke Point or Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Aftermath.

    Tom Clancy qualifies as a great writer in the same sense that Texas senator Ted Cruz qualifies as a great orator.

    Similarly, on those occasions when Clancy partnered with some retired U.S. four-star to craft the officer's memoirs, the result was a tome "by" Tom Clancy "with" General So-and-So, the difference in font size signaling who was the bigger cheese. And then there is Tom Clancy's Military Reference series, another product line in the realm of fictive nonfiction. Each title-Fighter Wing, for example, or Armored Cav-promises a Clancy-led "guided tour" of what really goes on in the elite corners of the United States military.

    Clancy did for military pop-lit what Starbucks did for the preparation of caffeinated beverages: he launched a sprawling, massively profitable industrial enterprise that simultaneously serves and cultivates an insatiable customer base. Whether the item consumed provides much in terms of nourishment is utterly beside the point. That it tastes yummy going down more than suffices to keep customers coming back.

    If Clancy was a hack, as he surely was, he was a hack who possessed a remarkable talent for delivering what his fans craved. Nor did the Tom Clancy brand confine itself to the written word. His oeuvre has provided ideal fodder for Hollywood too. Movie adaptations chronicling the exploits of Jack Ryan, Clancy's principal protagonist, and starring the likes of Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, and Ben Affleck, became blockbuster hits. Then there are the testosterone-laced videogames, carrying titles like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2.

    Clancy-approved videogames captured the Pentagon's fancy. In 2007, Red Storm Entertainment, the gaming arm of Clancy's empire, released America's Army: True Soldiers, advertised as an "Official U.S. Army Game." ("Created by Soldiers. Developed by Gamers. Tested by Heroes.") The accompanying copy assures prospective purchasers/recruits that "combat action doesn't get any more authentic than this":

    Become one of America's bravest in this game developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army. See what it's like to live life as an infantryman. Take on the role of a Rifleman, Grenadier, Automatic Rifleman, or Sniper. Develop skills including Valor, Marksmanship, Stealth, and more.

    Here profit and propaganda blend into a seamless package.

    Did I mention Clancy-themed board games, music CDs, toys, and apparel? There is even a Clancy line of pseudo-military collectibles. Among the items available for purchase is the Ghost Recon "Future Soldier"-your choice: statuette or stuffed toy.

    Don't expect Clancy's departure to stem this tsunami of stuff. Although the founder himself may have left the scene, Clancy Inc. gives every indication of carrying on. A new Clancy novel called Command Authority arrived in December. And a new Jack Ryan movie, this one not based on previously published material, is in the works.

    Yet to argue that Clancy's books and ancillary byproducts offer little in terms of lasting value is not to say that they have lacked influence. Indeed, just the reverse is true. As a shaper of the zeitgeist, Tom Clancy may well rate as one of the most influential creative entrepreneurs of the last several decades.

    In whatever medium, Clancy's abiding theme is the never-ending struggle between good guys and bad guys. His bad guys tend to be irredeemably bad. His good guys are invariably very, very good-Americans devoted to the cause of keeping their countrymen safe and the world free. As good guys, they subscribe to old-fashioned virtues while making skillful use of the latest technology. Whether garbed in battledress or trenchcoats, they are cool, professional, dedicated, resourceful, and exceedingly competent. These are, of course, the very qualities that Americans today ascribe to those who actually serve in uniform or who inhabit the "black world," whether as CIA agents or members of highly specialized units such as Delta Force or SEAL Team Six.

    What's worth recalling is that the prevailing view of America's warriors was not always so favorable. In the wake of Vietnam, shortly before Clancy burst onto the scene, the books that sold and the scripts attracting Hollywood's attention told a different story. Those inhabiting positions of responsibility in the United States military were either venal careerists or bunglers out of their depth. Those on the front lines were victims or saps. When it came to military-themed accessories, the preferred logo was FTA.

    Clancy was among the first to intuit that the antimilitary mood spawned by Vietnam represented an opportunity. The legions who did not find Catch-22 particularly amusing, who were more annoyed than entertained by M*A*S*H, and who classified Jane Fonda as a traitor were hungry to find someone to validate their views-someone who still believed in the red, white, and blue and who still admired those fighting to defend it. Clancy offered himself as that someone.

    To be more accurate, Ronald Reagan had already offered himself as that someone. What Clancy did was seize the role of Reagan's literary doppelgänger-what the Gipper might have become had he chosen writing instead of politics after ending his acting career.

    Clancy's own career took off when President Reagan plugged Red October as "my kind of yarn." As well he might: Clancy shared Reagan's worldview. His stories translated that worldview into something that seemed "real" and might actually become real if you believed hard enough. Reagan was famous for transforming the imagined into the actual; despite never having left Hollywood during World War II, he knew, for example, that he had personally witnessed the liberation of Nazi death camps. Similarly, Clancy, who never served in the military, imagined a world of selfless patriots performing feats of derring-do to overcome evil-a world that large numbers of Americans were certain had once existed. More to the point, it was a world they desperately wanted to restore. Clancy, like Reagan, made that restoration seem eminently possible.

    What Clancy did was seize the role of Reagan's literary doppelgänger.

    Soon after Clancy's death, the Washington Post published an appreciation entitled "How Tom Clancy Made the Military Cool Again," written by a couple of self-described Gen-Xer policy wonks. "Clancy's legacy lives on in the generations he introduced to the military," they gushed, crediting Clancy with having "created a literary bridge across the civil-military divide." His "stories helped the rest of society understand and imagine" the world of spooks and soldiers. Perhaps not surprisingly, those who served or aspired to serve found those stories to be especially gratifying. Clancy depicted American soldiers and would-be soldiers precisely as they wished to see themselves.

    But any understanding gained by either soldiers or society,whether engaged in Patriot Games or fending off The Sum of All Fears, was illusory, rooted in fantasies that sanitized war and conveyed a false sense of what military service really entails. Instead of bridging the civil-military divide, Clancy papered it over, thereby perpetuating it. By extension, he contributed in no small way to the conditions breeding the misguided and costly military adventurism that has become the signature of U.S. policy.

    Clancy did prove to be a figure of consequence. Alas, almost all of those consequences have proven to be pernicious. And there's no Jack Ryan anywhere in sight to come to our rescue.

    [Aug 08, 2015] Tom Clancy, Military Man by Andrew J. Bacevich

    Oct 1, 2013 | The Baffler

    Word of Tom Clancy's passing in October reached me at a local gym. Peddling away on an elliptical trainer, I welcomed the distraction of this "breaking news" story as it swept across a bank of video monitors suspended above the cardio machines. On cable networks and local stations, anchors were soon competing with one another to help viewers grasp the story's significance. Winning the competition (and perhaps an audition with Fox News) was the young newsreader who solemnly announced that "one of America's greatest writers" had just died at the relatively early age of sixty-six.

    Of course, Tom Clancy qualifies as a great writer in the same sense that Texas senator Ted Cruz qualifies as a great orator. Both satisfy a quantitative definition of eminence. Although political historians are unlikely to rank Cruz alongside Clay, Calhoun, and Webster, his recent twenty-one-hour-long denunciation of Obamacare, delivered before a near-empty Senate chamber, demonstrated a capacity for narcissistic logorrhea rare even by Washington standards.

    So too with Clancy. Up in the literary Great Beyond, Faulkner and Hemingway won't be inviting him for drinks. Yet, as with Ted Cruz, once Clancy got going there was no shutting him up. Following a slow start, the works of fiction and nonfiction that he wrote, cowrote, or attached his moniker to numbered in the dozens. Some seventeen Clancy novels made it to the top of the <em">New York Times bestseller list, starting with his breakthrough thriller The Hunt for Red October. A slew of titles written by others appeared with his imprimatur. Thus, for example, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Choke Point or Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Aftermath.

    Tom Clancy qualifies as a great writer in the same sense that Texas senator Ted Cruz qualifies as a great orator.

    Similarly, on those occasions when Clancy partnered with some retired U.S. four-star to craft the officer's memoirs, the result was a tome "by" Tom Clancy "with" General So-and-So, the difference in font size signaling who was the bigger cheese. And then there is Tom Clancy's Military Reference series, another product line in the realm of fictive nonfiction. Each title-Fighter Wing, for example, or Armored Cav-promises a Clancy-led "guided tour" of what really goes on in the elite corners of the United States military.

    Clancy did for military pop-lit what Starbucks did for the preparation of caffeinated beverages: he launched a sprawling, massively profitable industrial enterprise that simultaneously serves and cultivates an insatiable customer base. Whether the item consumed provides much in terms of nourishment is utterly beside the point. That it tastes yummy going down more than suffices to keep customers coming back.

    If Clancy was a hack, as he surely was, he was a hack who possessed a remarkable talent for delivering what his fans craved. Nor did the Tom Clancy brand confine itself to the written word. His oeuvre has provided ideal fodder for Hollywood too. Movie adaptations chronicling the exploits of Jack Ryan, Clancy's principal protagonist, and starring the likes of Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, and Ben Affleck, became blockbuster hits. Then there are the testosterone-laced videogames, carrying titles like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2.

    Clancy-approved videogames captured the Pentagon's fancy. In 2007, Red Storm Entertainment, the gaming arm of Clancy's empire, released America's Army: True Soldiers, advertised as an "Official U.S. Army Game." ("Created by Soldiers. Developed by Gamers. Tested by Heroes.") The accompanying copy assures prospective purchasers/recruits that "combat action doesn't get any more authentic than this":

    Become one of America's bravest in this game developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army. See what it's like to live life as an infantryman. Take on the role of a Rifleman, Grenadier, Automatic Rifleman, or Sniper. Develop skills including Valor, Marksmanship, Stealth, and more.

    Here profit and propaganda blend into a seamless package.

    Did I mention Clancy-themed board games, music CDs, toys, and apparel? There is even a Clancy line of pseudo-military collectibles. Among the items available for purchase is the Ghost Recon "Future Soldier"-your choice: statuette or stuffed toy.

    Don't expect Clancy's departure to stem this tsunami of stuff. Although the founder himself may have left the scene, Clancy Inc. gives every indication of carrying on. A new Clancy novel called Command Authority arrived in December. And a new Jack Ryan movie, this one not based on previously published material, is in the works.

    Yet to argue that Clancy's books and ancillary byproducts offer little in terms of lasting value is not to say that they have lacked influence. Indeed, just the reverse is true. As a shaper of the zeitgeist, Tom Clancy may well rate as one of the most influential creative entrepreneurs of the last several decades.

    In whatever medium, Clancy's abiding theme is the never-ending struggle between good guys and bad guys. His bad guys tend to be irredeemably bad. His good guys are invariably very, very good-Americans devoted to the cause of keeping their countrymen safe and the world free. As good guys, they subscribe to old-fashioned virtues while making skillful use of the latest technology. Whether garbed in battledress or trenchcoats, they are cool, professional, dedicated, resourceful, and exceedingly competent. These are, of course, the very qualities that Americans today ascribe to those who actually serve in uniform or who inhabit the "black world," whether as CIA agents or members of highly specialized units such as Delta Force or SEAL Team Six.

    What's worth recalling is that the prevailing view of America's warriors was not always so favorable. In the wake of Vietnam, shortly before Clancy burst onto the scene, the books that sold and the scripts attracting Hollywood's attention told a different story. Those inhabiting positions of responsibility in the United States military were either venal careerists or bunglers out of their depth. Those on the front lines were victims or saps. When it came to military-themed accessories, the preferred logo was FTA.

    Clancy was among the first to intuit that the antimilitary mood spawned by Vietnam represented an opportunity. The legions who did not find Catch-22 particularly amusing, who were more annoyed than entertained by M*A*S*H, and who classified Jane Fonda as a traitor were hungry to find someone to validate their views-someone who still believed in the red, white, and blue and who still admired those fighting to defend it. Clancy offered himself as that someone.

    To be more accurate, Ronald Reagan had already offered himself as that someone. What Clancy did was seize the role of Reagan's literary doppelgänger-what the Gipper might have become had he chosen writing instead of politics after ending his acting career.

    Clancy's own career took off when President Reagan plugged Red October as "my kind of yarn." As well he might: Clancy shared Reagan's worldview. His stories translated that worldview into something that seemed "real" and might actually become real if you believed hard enough. Reagan was famous for transforming the imagined into the actual; despite never having left Hollywood during World War II, he knew, for example, that he had personally witnessed the liberation of Nazi death camps. Similarly, Clancy, who never served in the military, imagined a world of selfless patriots performing feats of derring-do to overcome evil-a world that large numbers of Americans were certain had once existed. More to the point, it was a world they desperately wanted to restore. Clancy, like Reagan, made that restoration seem eminently possible.

    What Clancy did was seize the role of Reagan's literary doppelgänger.

    Soon after Clancy's death, the Washington Post published an appreciation entitled "How Tom Clancy Made the Military Cool Again," written by a couple of self-described Gen-Xer policy wonks. "Clancy's legacy lives on in the generations he introduced to the military," they gushed, crediting Clancy with having "created a literary bridge across the civil-military divide." His "stories helped the rest of society understand and imagine" the world of spooks and soldiers. Perhaps not surprisingly, those who served or aspired to serve found those stories to be especially gratifying. Clancy depicted American soldiers and would-be soldiers precisely as they wished to see themselves.

    But any understanding gained by either soldiers or society,whether engaged in Patriot Games or fending off The Sum of All Fears, was illusory, rooted in fantasies that sanitized war and conveyed a false sense of what military service really entails. Instead of bridging the civil-military divide, Clancy papered it over, thereby perpetuating it. By extension, he contributed in no small way to the conditions breeding the misguided and costly military adventurism that has become the signature of U.S. policy.

    Clancy did prove to be a figure of consequence. Alas, almost all of those consequences have proven to be pernicious. And there's no Jack Ryan anywhere in sight to come to our rescue.

    [Aug 01, 2015] Ron Paul: All Wars Are Paid For Through Debasing The Currency

    Zero Hedge
    Submitted by Mac Slavo via SHTFPlan.com,

    And at some point, all empires crumble on their own excess, stretched to the breaking point by over-extending a military industrial complex with sophisticated equipment, hundreds of bases in as many countries, and never-ending wars that wrack up mind boggling levels of debt. This cost has been magnified by the relationship it shares with the money system, who have common owners and shareholders behind the scenes.

    As the hidden costs of war and the enormity of the black budget swell to record levels, the true total of its price comes in the form of the distortion it has caused in other dimensions of life; the numbers have been so thoroughly fudged for so long now, as Wall Street banks offset laundering activities and indulge in derivatives and quasi-official market rigging, the Federal Reserve policy holds the noble lie together.

    Ron Paul told RT

    Seen from the proper angle, the dollar is revealed to be a paper thin instrument of warfare, a ripple effect on the people, a twisted illusion, a weaponized money now engaged in a covert economic warfare that threatens their very livelihood.

    The former Congressman and presidential candidate explained:

    Almost all wars have been paid for through inflation… the practice always ends badly as currency becomes debased leading to upward pressure on prices.

    "Almost all wars, in a hundred years or so, have been paid for through inflation, that is debasing the currency," he said, adding that this has been going on "for hundreds, if not thousands of years."

    "I don't know if we ever had a war paid though tax payers. The only thing where they must have been literally paid for, was when they depended on the looting. They would go in and take over a country, and they would loot and take their gold, and they would pay for the war."

    As inflation has debased the currency, other shady Wall Street tactics have driven Americans into a corner, overwhelmed with debt, and gamed by rigged markets in which Americans must make a living. The economic prosperity, adjusted for the kind of reality that doesn't factor into government reports, can't match the costs of a military industrial complex that has transformed society into a domestic police state, and slapped Americans with the bill for their own enslavement.

    Dr. Paul notes the mutual interest in keeping the lie going for as long as the public can stand it… and as long as the gravy keeps rolling in:

    They're going to continue to finance all these warmongering, and letting the military industrial complex to make a lot of money, before it's admitted that it doesn't work, and the whole system comes down because of the debt burden, which would be unsustainable."

    Unsustainable might be putting it lightly. The entire thing is in shambles from the second the coyote looks down and sees that he's run out over a cliff.

    [Jul 25, 2015] The Eurasian Big Bang How China Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

    Jul 24, 2015 | Zero Hedge

    The Eurasian Big Bang: How China & Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

    07/24/2015

    Authored by Pepe Escobar, originally posted at TomDispatch.com,

    Let's start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations -- the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS' New Development Bank) -- whose acronyms you're unlikely to recognize either. Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.

    Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran's "nuclear weapons program." And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia -- a place you've undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S. And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.

    The Eurasian Silk Road

    With the Vienna deal, whose interminable build-up I had the dubious pleasure of following closely, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his diplomatic team have pulled the near-impossible out of an extremely crumpled magician's hat: an agreement that might actually end sanctions against their country from an asymmetric, largely manufactured conflict.

    Think of that meeting in Ufa, the capital of Russia's Bashkortostan, as a preamble to the long-delayed agreement in Vienna. It caught the new dynamics of the Eurasian continent and signaled the future geopolitical Big Bangness of it all. At Ufa, from July 8th to 10th, the 7th BRICS summit and the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit overlapped just as a possible Vienna deal was devouring one deadline after another.

    Consider it a diplomatic masterstroke of Vladmir Putin's Russia to have merged those two summits with an informal meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Call it a soft power declaration of war against Washington's imperial logic, one that would highlight the breadth and depth of an evolving Sino-Russian strategic partnership. Putting all those heads of state attending each of the meetings under one roof, Moscow offered a vision of an emerging, coordinated geopolitical structure anchored in Eurasian integration. Thus, the importance of Iran: no matter what happens post-Vienna, Iran will be a vital hub/node/crossroads in Eurasia for this new structure.

    If you read the declaration that came out of the BRICS summit, one detail should strike you: the austerity-ridden European Union (EU) is barely mentioned. And that's not an oversight. From the point of view of the leaders of key BRICS nations, they are offering a new approach to Eurasia, the very opposite of the language of sanctions.

    Here are just a few examples of the dizzying activity that took place at Ufa, all of it ignored by the American mainstream media. In their meetings, President Putin, China's President Xi Jinping, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked in a practical way to advance what is essentially a Chinese vision of a future Eurasia knit together by a series of interlocking "new Silk Roads." Modi approved more Chinese investment in his country, while Xi and Modi together pledged to work to solve the joint border issues that have dogged their countries and, in at least one case, led to war.

    The NDB, the BRICS' response to the World Bank, was officially launched with $50 billion in start-up capital. Focused on funding major infrastructure projects in the BRICS nations, it is capable of accumulating as much as $400 billion in capital, according to its president, Kundapur Vaman Kamath. Later, it plans to focus on funding such ventures in other developing nations across the Global South -- all in their own currencies, which means bypassing the U.S. dollar. Given its membership, the NDB's money will clearly be closely linked to the new Silk Roads. As Brazilian Development Bank President Luciano Coutinho stressed, in the near future it may also assist European non-EU member states like Serbia and Macedonia. Think of this as the NDB's attempt to break a Brussels monopoly on Greater Europe. Kamath even advanced the possibility of someday aiding in the reconstruction of Syria.

    You won't be surprised to learn that both the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the NDB are headquartered in China and will work to complement each other's efforts. At the same time, Russia's foreign investment arm, the Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), signed a memorandum of understanding with funds from other BRICS countries and so launched an informal investment consortium in which China's Silk Road Fund and India's Infrastructure Development Finance Company will be key partners.

    Full Spectrum Transportation Dominance

    On the ground level, this should be thought of as part of the New Great Game in Eurasia. Its flip side is the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Pacific and the Atlantic version of the same, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, both of which Washington is trying to advance to maintain U.S. global economic dominance. The question these conflicting plans raise is how to integrate trade and commerce across that vast region. From the Chinese and Russian perspectives, Eurasia is to be integrated via a complex network of superhighways, high-speed rail lines, ports, airports, pipelines, and fiber optic cables. By land, sea, and air, the resulting New Silk Roads are meant to create an economic version of the Pentagon's doctrine of "Full Spectrum Dominance" -- a vision that already has Chinese corporate executives crisscrossing Eurasia sealing infrastructure deals.

    For Beijing -- back to a 7% growth rate in the second quarter of 2015 despite a recent near-panic on the country's stock markets -- it makes perfect economic sense: as labor costs rise, production will be relocated from the country's Eastern seaboard to its cheaper Western reaches, while the natural outlets for the production of just about everything will be those parallel and interlocking "belts" of the new Silk Roads.

    Meanwhile, Russia is pushing to modernize and diversify its energy-exploitation-dependent economy. Among other things, its leaders hope that the mix of those developing Silk Roads and the tying together of the Eurasian Economic Union -- Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan -- will translate into myriad transportation and construction projects for which the country's industrial and engineering know-how will prove crucial.

    As the EEU has begun establishing free trade zones with India, Iran, Vietnam, Egypt, and Latin America's Mercosur bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela), the initial stages of this integration process already reach beyond Eurasia. Meanwhile, the SCO, which began as little more than a security forum, is expanding and moving into the field of economic cooperation. Its countries, especially four Central Asian "stans" (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) will rely ever more on the Chinese-driven Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the NDB. At Ufa, India and Pakistan finalized an upgrading process in which they have moved from observers to members of the SCO. This makes it an alternative G8.

    In the meantime, when it comes to embattled Afghanistan, the BRICS nations and the SCO have now called upon "the armed opposition to disarm, accept the Constitution of Afghanistan, and cut ties with Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations." Translation: within the framework of Afghan national unity, the organization would accept the Taliban as part of a future government. Their hopes, with the integration of the region in mind, would be for a future stable Afghanistan able to absorb more Chinese, Russian, Indian, and Iranian investment, and the construction -- finally! -- of a long-planned, $10 billion, 1,420-kilometer-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline that would benefit those energy-hungry new SCO members, Pakistan and India. (They would each receive 42% of the gas, the remaining 16% going to Afghanistan.)

    Central Asia is, at the moment, geographic ground zero for the convergence of the economic urges of China, Russia, and India. It was no happenstance that, on his way to Ufa, Prime Minister Modi stopped off in Central Asia. Like the Chinese leadership in Beijing, Moscow looks forward (as a recent document puts it) to the "interpenetration and integration of the EEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt" into a "Greater Eurasia" and a "steady, developing, safe common neighborhood" for both Russia and China.

    And don't forget Iran. In early 2016, once economic sanctions are fully lifted, it is expected to join the SCO, turning it into a G9. As its foreign minister, Javad Zarif, made clear recently to Russia's Channel 1 television, Tehran considers the two countries strategic partners. "Russia," he said, "has been the most important participant in Iran's nuclear program and it will continue under the current agreement to be Iran's major nuclear partner." The same will, he added, be true when it comes to "oil and gas cooperation," given the shared interest of those two energy-rich nations in "maintaining stability in global market prices."

    [Jul 20, 2015] The Dangerously Vague Romance of War by Shane Smith

    July 20, 2015 | original.antiwar.com
    Which sounds better, to "die for your government", or "give your life for your country"? The first could be interpreted, after a mountain of bodies pile up, as a mistake. As something that would seem to require scrutiny, admissions of having been wrong, of blame to be placed. Dying for a government, or more precisely, dying for a select group of political figures at a certain moment in time for very specific reasons, doesn't hide behind a fluttering flag quite as well as "dying for country". Which is why we never hear it. War, in the mind of the Middle America that still thinks on it, is shrouded in a sepia-toned composite of images and sounds, stories of soldiers, duty to country, service, songs, movies, and myth that give politicians far more leverage than they would otherwise have, when executing another war. No, "service to country" is the emotional and moral narcotic we administer to ourselves, almost automatically, at the inception of a new war. War is all wrapped up in our American Mythos so tight that it seems astonishing that we haven't descended utterly into a pure American-style fascism. Maybe a few more 9/11-style attacks and the transformation would be complete. 9/11 was an unparalleled opportunity for the explosion of government growth, and as much as "war is the health of the State", so are foreign attacks on the home State, attacks that can be perfectly molded so as to stoke the maximum amount of nationalist rage from the citizens. Those attacks were a godsend for a government that had been starved of an actual threat for far too long. And they took full advantage of the opportunity. Fourteen years later, the Warfare State is petering out from the evaporating fumes of 9/11, and their looking for a new fix.

    But what of those who lied the country into igniting a regional dumpster fire after 9/11? Once the war hysteria evaporates, where are What would it really take to hold any one politician for a military disaster halfway around the world? It is blindingly obvious that there will never be a reckoning for those who hustled us into the Iraq war. What about Libya? Syria? How bad does it have to get for there to be something resembling accountability? War atrocities seem to have become less of a chance for justice and lessons learned than as a new precedent that the progenitors of the next war can point to when their war goes bad. And creators of war did learn a few things from Iraq and Afghanistan. They learned that flag-draped coffins do focus the attention of the citizenry. And drone strikes don't, really.

    That hazy collage of feel-good nationalism is trotted out every election year, and every candidate engages in it to one degree or another. Peace is a hard sell next to the belligerent effusions of a Donald Trump. His crazed rantings against immigrants, his bizarre fantasies as to how he would handle world leaders via telephone call, as well as his boorishness in general, has thousands flocking to hear him speak. But what they're cheering is an avatar of a blood-soaked ideology, one that cloaks itself in the native symbols and culture, breeding hate and intolerance, until the bilious nationalism reaches just the right temperature and then boils over into lawless fascism. As Jeffrey Tucker points out, Trump is nothing new. The graveyard of twentieth century tyrannies is a testament to just how much death and destruction can be induced by a charismatic parasite bellowing the tenets of a flag-wrapped tyranny. Most of what we hear coming from leaders today is fascism to a greater or lesser extent. If what we mean by fascism to be a Religion of the State, a militant nationalism taken to its logical conclusion, then every leader engages in it, because it ignites something primitive and sinister in the minds of voters.

    We understand war theoretically, and distantly, but what of those who are forced to carry out the fever dreams of politicians? Blindly thanking veterans for their service, we feel a sense of duty discharged, and never think to look more deeply into their traumas, or the scheme they were tricked into executing. Military recruiters, the unscrupulous peddlers of military slavery, are treated as a benign influence on young people today. Their pushy, overindulgent attitude toward our 18-year olds should piss us off more than it does, since what they are conning the young into is becoming the expendable plaything for the whims of the current Administration.

    War is the pith of total government. The source of all its power, war and the threat of war provide the excuse for every injustice, every outrage, every restriction of liberty or further bilking of the citizen-hosts. As the Warfare State trots out the familiar sermons of threats from abroad, potential greatness at home, and wars to be fought, one would do well to reflect that war enriches the State at the expense of the rest of us. It consumes our lives, our liberty, our wallets, and the future of our children and grandchildren. The current crop of candidates who peddle military greatness are the enemy of peace and prosperity, and when they so openly declaim their lust for war, we should frankly believe what they say. And after hearing them, we should recognize the would-be tyrant in our midst, hawking hyper-militarism under the guise of national greatness, and treat them like the vermin they clearly are.

    Shane Smith lives in Norman, Oklahoma and writes for Red Dirt Report.

    Read more by Shane Smith

    [Jul 11, 2015]Merkel and the NSA - Analysis

    October 24, 2013 | www.tomroganthinks.com

    Accusations that the NSA has listened in on Chancellor Merkel's conversations are not conducive to positive German-US relations. Interestingly, the fact that the White House is saying that they 'are not' monitoring and 'will not' monitor Merkel, suggests that 'they have' monitored her in the past. To be sure, as I noted yesterday, there are worthwhile reasons behind US intelligence collection operations in Europe. Still, targeting the phone of a close ally (especially a head of state and especially one as friendly as Merkel) is a dangerous gamble. It risks significant blowback in terms of personally alienating a valued American friend. The NSA will have known this. Correspondingly, I assume that Merkel was targeted for a short time and in pursuit of specific information. Perhaps in regards to her position during a conference/financial negotiations (international meetings are a playground for intelligence officers).


    There's another point here; as Marc Ambinder (a top journalist on the NSA) notes, if Merkel was indeed targeted, then why wasn't her position as an intelligence source more highly classified? Ambinder hints at the larger truth. If she was monitored, Merkel was effectively a deep cover source. In that regard, it's truly ridiculous that Snowden was able to gain access to such an operation. He was a contractor, not the Director of the NSA. As I've argued before, the US Government has a serious problem with its protection of its highly classified sources.


    Of course, all of this raises the broader question as to what other information Snowden might have given Greenwald. Does he have agents/officers details? The British certainly think so. Based on what's happening at the moment, we must assume that Greenwald is upping the ante. This may signal how he'll conduct himself at Omidyar's new media endeavor. Ultimately, this is what will most concern the US Government - signal intelligence programs can be reconstructed. Humans cannot.

    [Jul 10, 2015] US torture doctors could face charges after report alleges post-9/11 collusion

    "...medical professionals lied and covered up their extensive involvement in post-9/11 torture. "
    .
    "...Psychologists are not medical professionals. Why does the Guardian keep mistakenly referring to them as such? This habitual error casts doubt on the credibility of this and related articles. "
    .
    "...the APA has a code of ethics, modelled after the Hippocratic oath. these psychologists violated that code of ethics, and then the APA took steps to protect them, at the expense of their own ethical code. that's the problem, independent of the guilt or innocence of the people tortured. "
    .
    "...One question here - what about the use of psychoactive / neuroleptic drugs in interrogation? Was that used? I just ask because those few Gitmo detainees seen in public so far have that kind of nodding dazed drooling expression of the lithium / tricyclic / SSRI victim of excessive drug treatment - nodding, dazed, stumbling, etc? Have they been doing drug-based interrogation on top of the waterboarding?"
    .
    "...I don't want my life purchased by torture. I agree with those who don't believe that it saves anyone, anyway, but come down to it? I'm radical. Don't want to live in a world in which torture is"just n case" standard procedure. Sorry. Ends don't justify means. Appeal to self-interest here is shabby and false."
    .
    "...The APA is currently lobbying the AMA (American Medical Association) and Congress to be permitted to prescribe and dispense drugs used to treat psychological/psychiatric disorders. Unless the APA outs every single one of these guys and kicks them out of APA permanently, yanks their licenses, and gets rid of every member of their Association's Board of Governors who 'covered up' these ethical breaches, no psychologist should be eligible for insurance reimbursement. Nothing happens until you hit the pocketbooks of the whole community."
    .
    "...True psychologists are not physicians. However, there were a number of "real" physicians, i.e. AMA accredited doctors, that worked at Guantanomo who monitored the health of torture victims and alerted the interrogators that their subjects were close to death and they did two things: stopped the torture and then treated the victims back beyond the verge of death. At that point the torturers could resume their "interrogation". We know this was happening. So far these doctors names have not been revealed."
    .
    "...Stephen Behnke, has a Yale law degree and a psychology Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. How ominous does that sound?"
    Jul 10, 2015 | The Guardian

    The largest association of psychologists in the United States is on the brink of a crisis, the Guardian has learned, after an independent review revealed that medical professionals lied and covered up their extensive involvement in post-9/11 torture. The revelation, puncturing years of denials, has already led to at least one leadership firing and creates the potential for loss of licenses and even prosecutions.

    For more than a decade, the American Psychological Association (APA) has maintained that a strict code of ethics prohibits its more than 130,000 members to aid in the torture of detainees while simultaneously permitting involvement in military and intelligence interrogations. The group has rejected media reporting on psychologists' complicity in torture; suppressed internal dissent from anti-torture doctors; cleared members of wrongdoing; and portrayed itself as a consistent ally against abuse.

    Now, a voluminous independent review conducted by a former assistant US attorney, David Hoffman, undermines the APA's denials in full – and vindicates the dissenters.

    Sources with knowledge of the report and its consequences, who requested anonymity to discuss the findings before public release, expected a wave of firings and resignations across the leadership of an organization that Hoffman finds used its extensive institutional links to the CIA and US military to facilitate abusive interrogations.

    ... ... ...

    Substantial sections of the report focus on the APA ethics chief and describes Behnke's "behind-the-scenes attempts to manipulate Council of Representatives actions in collusion with, and to remain aligned with DoD" – a reference to the Department of Defense.

    A University of Michigan-pedigreed psychologist, Behnke has held his position within the APA since 2000, and, according to sources, used it to stifle dissent. Hoffman's report found Behnke ghostwrote statements opposing member motions to rebuke torture; was involved in voter irregularity on motion passings; spiked ethics complaints; and took other actions to suppress complaints.

    ... ... ...

    Behnke was hardly the only psychologist involved in the establishment and application of torture.

    According to two landmark Senate reports, one from the armed services committee in 2009 and the other from the intelligence committee in 2014, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were instrumental in persuading the CIA to adopt stress positions, temperature and dietary manipulation, sleep deprivation and waterboarding in interrogations. (Neither man is an APA member.)

    Psychologists assigned to the CIA's office of medical services assisted abusive interrogations, which the Guardian revealed in June appear to violate longstanding CIA rules against human experimentation.

    Those tactics, save waterboarding, spread from the CIA to the military. Psychologists joined "behavioral science consultation teams" that advised interrogations at Guantánamo Bay.

    ... ... ...

    Yet the organization withstood all public criticism, until New York Times reporter James Risen revealed, based in part on a hoard of emails from a deceased behavioral-science researcher named Scott Gerwehr, the behind-the-scenes ties between psychologists from the APA and their influential counterparts within the CIA and the Pentagon.

    In 2002 – the critical year for the Bush administration's embrace of torture – the APA amended its longstanding ethics rules to permit psychologists to follow a "governing legal authority" in the event of a conflict between an order and the APA ethics code.

    Without the change, Risen wrote in his 2014 book Pay Any Price, it was likely that psychologists would have "taken the view that they were prevented by their own professional standards from involvement" in interrogations, making it "far more difficult for the Justice Department to craft opinions that provided the legal approvals needed for the CIA to go ahead with the interrogation tactics".

    In 2004, after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal burst into public view, the emails detailed a private meeting of APA officials with CIA and military psychologists to "provide input on how the APA should deal with the growing furor", Risen wrote.

    Ethics chief Behnke emailed: "I would like to emphasize that we will not advertise the meeting other than this letter to the individual invitees, that we will not publish or otherwise make public the names of attendees or the substance of our discussions, and that in the meeting we will neither assess nor investigate the behavior of any specific individual or group."

    Risen went on to report that six of the 10 psychologists on the seminal 2005 APA taskforce "had connections with the defense or intelligence communities; one member was the chief psychologist for US Special Forces". The subject of tremendous internal controversy, the APA ultimately rescinded the taskforce report in 2013.

    In October, the APA called Risen's account "largely based on innuendo and one-sided reporting". Yet the next month the association announced it had asked Hoffman to investigate potential "collusion with the Bush administration to promote, support or facilitate the use of 'enhanced' interrogation techniques by the United States in the war on terror".

    Throughout the controversy, the APA has preferred to treat criticism of its involvement in torture, either from journalists or from human rights-minded psychologists, with dismissal. Its internal investigations of the criticisms have typically ended up exonerating its members.

    "A thorough review of these public materials and our standing policies will clearly demonstrate that APA will not tolerate psychologist participation in torture," the APA communications chief, Rhea Farberman, told the Guardian in January 2014, after the Guardian revealed that an APA inquiry declined to pursue charges against a psychologist involved in the Guantánamo Bay torture of Mohammed al-Qahtani.

    The psychologist, former US army reserve major John Leso, took part in a brutal interrogation of Qahtani, the suspected intended 20th 9/11 hijacker, according to a leaked interrogation log and investigation by the Senate armed services committee.

    Interrogators extensively deprived Qahtani of sleep, forced him to perform what the log called "dog tricks", inundated him with loud music for extended periods, and forcibly hydrated him intravenously until he urinated on himself.

    "The concern that APA's decision to close the matter against Dr John Leso will set a precedent against disciplining members who participate in abusive interrogations is utterly unfounded," the APA's Farberman told the Guardian in January 2014.


    Apteryx05 10 Jul 2015 22:05

    If these doctors are guilty as alleged, then why aren't Bush, Cheney and the rest of their cabal of war criminals facing prosecution?

    WatchEm 10 Jul 2015 22:04

    Just the APA?? Of course elements of their APA membership are torturers - and they know this only too well. Don't leave out 'psychologists' who are not APA members and get profitable government contracts to develop 'better ways to torture'...

    Add psychiatrists, 'government employees', mercenary profit centers aka 'contractors', police officers with torture expertise, the alphabet soup of government agencies and purported humans from the rank of major to general. The latter being directors and instigators of torture where a number of them were promoted for their efficiency in the finer arts of torture.

    At the lower echelons of torture are military cannon fodder who are often assigned blame and have been known to be prosecuted. Just watch a few tapes of them speaking on camera and it's easy to see thru them - ranging from just sad to being control freaks. They are what is known as the "few bad apples" in the barrel full of bad apples.

    There is no such thing as an old torturer... Add a few criminal retirees with long track records of torture and experience of slaughtering men, women and children. They were pulled out of retirement to show their expertise in the killing, torture and operating death squads - paid for by the US taxpayer.

    Never leave out US 'ambassadors' who magically appear like bees to a honeypot when torture is in the air - e.g. Negropointe is an example of a US 'torture ambassador' with considerable experience in the slaughtering, torture and particularly in the rapes of innocent people. His latest skill set extends to being a diplomat for death squads.

    In the Washington swamp there are the legal lemmings specialising in opinions of torture. All legal opinions are, of course, simply to support the rear ends of policy makers on torture - and their non-legal opinions violate the Convention against Torture and literally every human rights and crimes against humanity treaty ever ratified by the USG.

    At the top of the pack of cards are the policy makers - Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, the Black Widow Pianist, Wolfowitz and other self-relevant sickos, plus circa 400-500 of their I'm-very-innocent sycophants from almost every department of government. They will explain how torture is not torture - despite a written policy on torture. Needless to say, the travel opportunities of this group outside US jurisdiction is somewhat restricted.

    Not unsurprisingly, US society is marinated in this vermin and some of them are pillars of society - e.g. college deans et al. Dysfunctional, corrupt and criminal would be an understatement. In most other nations with a real functioning justice system, most of this swamp with the vermin of humanity would be in jail cells.

    The APA? Hell they are just a segment of a torture regime...

    JinTexas -> Haynonnynonny 10 Jul 2015 22:03

    In light of this:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/02/ndaa-historic-assault-american-liberty

    How would we know if they've stopped doing it or not?

    rfs2014 -> Slo27 10 Jul 2015 22:03

    no, doctors are the worst. it's their job to help people. not so with lawyers.

    dakaygees -> Haynonnynonny 10 Jul 2015 22:02

    Which US was able to correct it self by condemning torture? You must be living on another planet.

    TheBBG 10 Jul 2015 22:01

    The Americans need Tony Abbott and his far right wing Liberal-Fascist Party for salvation. He will show them how to make it legal to torture and illegal to tell anyone about it, first or second hand.

    bobliv -> Haynonnynonny 10 Jul 2015 22:00

    Read the White Rabbit by Bruxe Marahall, just a variation on theme.

    rfs2014 -> Lex Lozano 10 Jul 2015 22:00

    by that logic, you should have no problem with terrorists capturing and torturing american armed services personnel (whose main goal may be to kill as many terrorists as possible).

    the geneva conventions are there for a reason - each side believes it's right, so we need some basic standards by which to conduct ourselves in times of war. not torturing the other side is a good place to start.

    Athell -> William Brown 10 Jul 2015 21:58

    Of course, any fascist surveillance state considers everyone a threat

    Athell -> Haynonnynonny 10 Jul 2015 21:57

    Ha ha ha true - but I just think he was trying to compare the level of atrocities committed by the nazis to the one committed by the US government since the Bush years - and perpetuated by the Obama administration

    Athell alverta 10 Jul 2015 21:55

    Yeah, that bunch of criminals have evaded justice for many years.

    Haynonnynonny 10 Jul 2015 21:55

    In the history of humanity, all nations will torture, and fall from good character: only some, unlike the US teeter there longer, stay there, or go so far off the deep end they end up like Nazi Germany, or the Soviets. That the US was able to correct its self, and condemn the torture, and move on, drives many mad.

    tomjoadmcalister 10 Jul 2015 21:53

    Psychologists are not medical professionals. Why does the Guardian keep mistakenly referring to them as such? This habitual error casts doubt on the credibility of this and related articles.

    en1gm4 -> MondoFundi 10 Jul 2015 21:53

    Bingo. Democracy, rule of law etc is just a charade. In reality the rulers of today are no different than those of years ago. We're just compliant because we have a little version of freedom. So they keep us happy whilst they do what they want.

    Maybe some time in the future justice will prevail but for now nothing is going to happen.

    Haynonnynonny kowalli 10 Jul 2015 21:51

    The Nazi never water boarded any one. If you get a chance, stop by your local library, and get a history book.

    alverta 10 Jul 2015 21:44

    Start with Bush. Cheney, Rummie and Condi first... Add in Wolfie and all who are already signed on to advise Jebbie.


    Mansa Mahmoud gastinel1 10 Jul 2015 21:42

    US foreign policy is dictated by US corporate interests. Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany (prior to WW1) were focused on colonization. Under the colonization model, the European countries owned the colonized countries and extracted resources and cheap labor to support the 'Home' economy.

    America (aside from Okinawa Japan, Phillipinnes, Guam) prefers not to maintain direct control. Rather america installs puppets; the purpose of the puppets is to make it easy for american companies to exploit the resources of the proxy (via puppets) controlled nations. During the cold war, the USSR wasted resources in trying to finance and manage warsaw pact nations. The USSR did it (partially) for ideological reasons. USA focused on maintaining proxy control and creating access to cheap resources for american companies. That is the entire premise of globalization.. it enables an american (by brand only) company to access cheap labor and provides said company with access to a world of consumers.

    Once you understand that fundamental concept, then american foreign policy makes absolute sense. America is run for the benefit of the big dollar people; nothing less, nothing more. Read the book "Confessions of a Hit Man".

    kowalli 10 Jul 2015 21:39

    nazi at the full face. USA are bunch of nazi

    William Brown StuartBooth 10 Jul 2015 21:37

    The U.S. Government considers its own citizens a threat. That's why they spy.

    Brian Lippe 10 Jul 2015 21:37

    Typical. They should start with Cheney if they're going to prosecute anyone and spread out from there. He's still saying it was OK!

    StuartBooth 10 Jul 2015 21:34

    American Exceptionalism allows Americans carte blanch to commit any crime against foreigners. Like standing on a cockroach.

    Alistair73 10 Jul 2015 21:30

    Lets not forget all the commie regimes... Stalin and Lenin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Un and his daddy and grand daddy, and now Maduro in Venezuela, Castro in Cuba, Mugabe in Zimbabwe. You would think the left would embrace state sanctioned torture since it has been relentlessly practiced by all of its heroes.

    camerashy 10 Jul 2015 21:24

    Every god damn single one of these psychopaths must prosecuted and put behind bars! No apologies should be accepted. They're nothing but human scum!

    philbertdelamorgue -> Trig Satyr 10 Jul 2015 21:22

    the APA has a code of ethics, modelled after the Hippocratic oath. these psychologists violated that code of ethics, and then the APA took steps to protect them, at the expense of their own ethical code. that's the problem, independent of the guilt or innocence of the people tortured.

    gastinel1 -> Mansa Mahmoud 10 Jul 2015 21:21

    I appreciate what you are saying, however US foreign policy adopted the theme of 'America First' long before Bush and Cheney. This policy runs counter to its own stated values of freedom and democracy because it necessitates ensuring compliance from other regimes to American capitalist aspirations.

    confettifoot -> libbyliberal 10 Jul 2015 21:19

    It's a hard education. The best among us recoil; it breaks the heart and poisons everything, knowing. That's the problem. It wasn't so long ago that the Nazis discovered the same - make it so awful that no one can quite wrap their mind around it, so atrocious that it can't be discussed at table, so ugly that passing the information feels like assault. Make it very expensive to resist, make it life-wrecking - someone suggested that we stop paying taxes. That won't catch on. It's not just America. The world is full of good Nazis, frowning silently into the middle distance. We're all deploring like crazy in here. Who among is is actually doing something?

    photosymbiosis 10 Jul 2015 21:13

    One question here - what about the use of psychoactive / neuroleptic drugs in interrogation? Was that used? I just ask because those few Gitmo detainees seen in public so far have that kind of nodding dazed drooling expression of the lithium / tricyclic / SSRI victim of excessive drug treatment - nodding, dazed, stumbling, etc? Have they been doing drug-based interrogation on top of the waterboarding?

    confettifoot -> Jake Wilson 10 Jul 2015 21:11

    Pogo. You know. "I have seen the enemy...".

    confettifoot -> pogomutt 10 Jul 2015 21:10

    I don't want my life purchased by torture. I agree with those who don't believe that it saves anyone, anyway, but come down to it? I'm radical. Don't want to live in a world in which torture is"just n case" standard procedure. Sorry. Ends don't justify means. Appeal to self-interest here is shabby and false.


    fairandreasonabletoo 10 Jul 2015 21:06

    The spirit of one Doctor Josef Mengele……….found its way to America with all the other NAZI baggage….

    It would seem?


    gastinel1 10 Jul 2015 21:05

    Its interesting isn't it, how governments justify torture. The Nazis were convinced that they needed to weed out dissidents and spies by any means possible. When the Allies occupied Germany, suspected Nazis were also given a very rough time. Those post war interrogators gained a lot of 'useful' experience and that has really formed the basis of postwar interrogation techniques - human rights be damned.

    gastinel1 10 Jul 2015 20:57

    They could have saved themselves a bit of money by recruiting NCO's from the British Army who served in Northern Ireland. They know all the techniques. To be fair to the UK Government, they did apologise. But then again, why did the UK go back to doing it with the Americans? What values did they say they are protecting?

    CostaParkiMik -> Emily Pulane 10 Jul 2015 20:54

    such sincerity ..... while forgetting that your lot were the illegal invading force operating in the interests of corporations and zionist interests.... who had spent years degrading the public infrastructure of a sovereign nations causing the deaths of many hundreds and thousands of women, children the old and the sick.

    libbyliberal 10 Jul 2015 20:52

    In Jan. 2014 I attended a "World Can't Wait"-sponsored NYC forum on Gitmo and a screening of "Doctors on the Dark Side" directed by psychologist Martha Davis.

    Todd Pierce, who had been a Gitmo prisoner lawyer, said that our society expects professional people to exhibit high ethical standards. This has not been the case and an alarming number has colluded with the amoral Bush administration's torture program.

    From the film I learned about the horrific tortures some ended by the Obama adm. and SOME NOT at Gitmo!

    Temperature extremes, sensory deprivation, 24 hour flourescent lighting, 24 hour sustained assaultive noise, solitary confinement, riot squad attacks and punchouts with night sticks, sleep deprivation, aggressive force feeding, genital mutilation, sexual degradation, threats to kill a prisoner's family members, manipulation with drugs, stress positions, organ-damaging, bone-breaking sustained shackling and suspension from vulnerable body parts, withholding of appropriate and timely medical care, the infamous water boarding, etc. ETCETERA!!!

    I also learned that having military personnel present motivated torturers to push torture to nth degree. Emergency tracheotomies at times had to be conducted on prisoners who had been zealously waterboarded. In spite of medical personnel present at least 100 prisoners were "inadvertently" tortured to death. Medical personnel were then pressured to falsify death certificates to cover up such mistakes.

    UK's Andy Worthington spoke of not only the number of wrong place/wrong time innocent men rendered and tortured but how Obama's promises of release and then betrayals is a spiritual torture that has resulted in profound despair and even suicides. How the US Congress is heartless about Gitmo, wanting to posture as tough on terror and Pentagon issues propaganda about recidivism rates to back them up.

    Worthington said Obama has decided to kill people with drones instead of use capture and imprisonment. Once again, innocent lives are destroyed with this reckless program.

    Debra Sweet of WCW said instead of trying to win foreign hearts and minds the US is instead traumatizing and terrorizing foreign hearts and minds (and radicalizing them) with its draconian detention and torture programs.

    Torture begats false confessions which the Bush administration used to justify its war.

    Mitchell and Jenner who reversed the SERE program and set up the advanced interrogation program Worthington disclosed are now covered by a $5 million defense fund provided by CIA against attempts at liability and accountability. Mitchell was the one who decided one prisoner be waterboarded 83 times!


    creweman 10 Jul 2015 20:50

    Who wants to bet that the maximum penalty imposed on any individual will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist? The United States Of Hypocrisy will see to that.


    CostaParkiMik Urgelt 10 Jul 2015 20:47

    "....There are no such pressures on the FBI or the Attorney General to do their jobs and enforce the law....."
    I could imagine with white man, intellectual arrogance that they saw it as part of their "mission" to maintain and spread all that's good and right about the American way and do away with threats to that mission..... self righteous neo christian nazis.

    F H Dar 10 Jul 2015 20:46

    21st Centuries truly Savage State, which a 'special relationship' with Britain?


    reto 10 Jul 2015 20:44

    It's a little like the death penalty... I don't really care what they do to terrorists who have carried out attacks and killed innocent people but do really hope they only do it to people who are guilty. What is clear is that the guy who is actually torturing is crazy afterwards. As for the APA... this organisation is so awash with group think and peudo-expertise I doubt they have found out anything at all despite their many "experiments". Being a scientist requires a minimum IQ. Look, if you actually can find out things using torture, why not have it in your arsenal but experience after 9/11 (see Senate report), the last couple of hundred years and the inquisition seems to suggest that it doesn't work well for most purposes. Names are just codes these days and aren't that important anymore in a cell command structure.

    BrianHarry 10 Jul 2015 20:24

    If medical professionals were coerced into lying about torture after 9/11, it's not to hard to imagine that the N.I.S.T. report(the official explanation of what happened on 9/11) is also a lie.

    The question is, "Who in government, CIA, FBI, etc, found it necessary to coerce these people into lying"? And Why?


    PamelaKatz JohnML2015 10 Jul 2015 20:15

    The APA is currently lobbying the AMA (American Medical Association) and Congress to be permitted to prescribe and dispense drugs used to treat psychological/psychiatric disorders. Unless the APA outs every single one of these guys and kicks them out of APA permanently, yanks their licenses, and gets rid of every member of their Association's Board of Governors who 'covered up' these ethical breaches, no psychologist should be eligible for insurance reimbursement. Nothing happens until you hit the pocketbooks of the whole community.

    1cjcarpenter 10 Jul 2015 20:14

    In my opinion the APA and its members lost the majority of their credibility well before any CIA involvement. The 1995 Little Rascals day care trials, for a start, showed a degree of irresponsibility that I would have labeled criminal.

    pogomutt 10 Jul 2015 20:13

    "Community standards" What a fucking joke. The American Psychological Association came out with a position paper only a few years back that classified the rape of children by homosexuals as an "orientation". It's TRUE, Guardian! Live with it!

    ID5175635 FancyFootwork 10 Jul 2015 20:00

    A bit overboard, don't you think? APA is an organization. Some in that organization may be guilty of wrongdoing. The vast majority of APA members are psychologists who work in schools, workplaces, universities, for NASA, the DOD, and other workplaces and have no relationship with torture in any manner.

    Michael Williams 10 Jul 2015 20:00

    Right. Blame the doctors. Not the people giving the orders.

    When Bush hangs, then we can worry about the doctors.

    Barry_Seal franzbonsema 10 Jul 2015 19:57

    They have domestic assassination squads and NSA surveillance teams to deal with any prosecutors who get any funny ideas which might threaten "national security"

    Barry_Seal 10 Jul 2015 19:52

    The CIA is absolutely untouchable. They are the law and they are the true government of the USA. They cannot and will not be prosecuted for anything. This is not because they never do anything illegal; it is because they are the government agency tasked with doing that which is illegal. This is the true reason why the CIA must necessarily be so secretive - nearly everything they become involved with is a grave legal and moral crime.


    Angelaaaa Brucetopher 10 Jul 2015 19:51

    Probably because alcohol, drugs and so-called "truth serums" don't actually deliver the truth. They just lower inhibitions. As anyone who has listened to chemically-enhanced stream-of-consciousness rambling will gather. You may get some truth (Grandma smells ... ) but probably no razor-sharp insights.

    Of course, torture doesn't deliver the truth either. Just for other reasons.

    The point that no one in power ever wants to acknowledge is that the most reliable way to get the truth is from someone who really wants to deliver it.


    Bankhead 10 Jul 2015 19:50

    Is it correct to refer to psychologists as part of the medical community? The writer perhaps should distinguish between Psychiatrists (medical doctors) and Psychologists (PhDs). As I recall, the Psychiatric professional association(s) were demonstrably against participation in military interrogation during the period in question.

    Denial, however, is a term familiar to both professions. There is an irony on display here, and not a small amount of hubris.


    Haggala Jeffrey_Harrison 10 Jul 2015 19:40

    When the Americans were accused of torture after the world saw the Abu Ghraib images, the American administration to let themselves off the hook just redefined the terminology.

    And that is what humanity does to allow itself to make the same mistakes of the past, it changes the definition unconsciously mostly but in the Abu Ghraib situation that was a conscious change.

    And still GTMO is in operation where there are still untried prisoners being interrogated, where we may wonder is the beast we fight actually the image in the mirror


    Angelaaaa synchronicfusion 10 Jul 2015 19:39

    No. It's a fairly straightforward definition of the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist - the terms are not interchangeable.

    The difference is important because psychologists want desperately to be acknowledged as "doctors" (Mengele notwithstanding) - rather than expensive crackpots for the chattering classes. To that end, their organisations adopt similar ethical commitments. However, unlike psychiatrists, joining these organisations is voluntary. And even if they kick out a member, that psychologist can still hang out a shingle and continue counselling, regardless of whether s/he is guilty of government-sanctioned torture, sleeping with patients or just really bad at the job.

    Psychiatrists however, as doctors, can be stripped of the right to practice if they are proven to be incompetent or unethical.


    ro2124 Will D 10 Jul 2015 19:34

    Indeed if it was some African dictator Mr Yankee would be screaming for justice!

    Still guess we should not be surprised after all the illegal wars, torture, lies, illegal gathering of information by the NSA and the way their police forces are behaving at the moment gunning down unarmed people like there was no tomorrow.

    The Yanks have absolutely no credibility left whatsoever !!

    But, hell when someone exposes the truth like Mr Snowden then they fall over themselves and scream about justice, etc what a bunch of damn hypocrites!

    FancyFootwork 10 Jul 2015 19:30

    Finally, those righteous and morally upright men and women, who for a very long time cried foul very loudly will feel vindicated that an upcoming report by an investigator, who was personally chosen by the brass of the APA is slated to point fingers at the organization, its leadership and members.

    The report will blast a bombshell, which will be seriously consequential to the livelihood, reputation and possibly freedom of many in the APA, which includes the elite brass, who where involved with the Bush Administration by schooling, aiding and abetting its its principal torturing institution: The CIA

    Now the APA will forever be decidedly linked with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Who can forget the image of the imprisoned man at Abu Ghraib, kneeling on the floor, hands tied and been stared at eye level by a barking German Shepherd, which looked ready to bite and sever his head from his body. The horror displayed by the man was unsettling. How about the image of a hooded person in a black robe, arms spread, standing to look like enduring crucifixion? And the APA will also be forever lined with the term WATERBOARDING.

    This is an institution that was entrusted to use the science of psychology to safeguard the mental and psychological health of Americans. Instead, it used its knowledge and power to do to engage in morally and ethically reprehensible acts of torture.

    No doubt, the anticipated report will provide tremendous moral and political boost to those, who endured years of humiliation, rebuke, ridicule and even threats to their livelihood for opposing torture in all its forms. They will come back swinging with a swagger, aiming and hoping for a grand slam. My hope is that, once the necessary number of APA heads are bashed, the momentum will shift to go after Bush Administration officials Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, the former president himself and many other big fish, or small minnows that were involved in the CIA torture program.

    Now, that will be quiet an event bigger in scale to the impeachment of former President Nixon, who by comparison committed far lesser reprehensible act than George W Bush and cohorts

    Ali Kerrouzi 10 Jul 2015 19:27

    And then they wander why USA is hated all over the world, Bush's administration is partly responsible what's happening in Iraq now and Syria, Bush & Blair made our world more dangerous created more terrorism they get away with it in this life but they will have to answer God on the judgment day for the blood on their hand, the torture, millions of refugees

    IntoOblivion 10 Jul 2015 19:26

    Better late than never. Many of us already knew what "enhanced interrogation techniques" really meant, an euphemism for terrorism. And that "responsible and humane medical practices" were never compatible with "EIT".
    That doesn't mean that the ones who ordered the torture are not the ones we should really blame and that should face justice. But doctors were also aware of what they were doing.

    Bklynite53 10 Jul 2015 19:23

    Why do they always go after the bottom feeders first. Time to start at the top and that means the commander-in - chief.


    talenttruth Juan Olmo (MOSAICOS COQUI') 10 Jul 2015 19:19

    I HOPE that this is satire. If so, funny. If not . . .

    The "war" against terrorism is an INVENTED FANTASY LIE, by the U.S. military industrial complex, to waste American's money, even beyond the 53% of our ENTIRE national budget going to Eternal War (and huge eternal profits for the criminals behind the "war industry".)

    Yes there are insane "terrorists." And they have insane, sociopathic leaders and lost, borderline personality "followers." But the American response (all for PROFITS) is to turn everything into a fear/fear/fear 24/7 "War."

    The Republicans are the paid representative of the Eternal War Profits machine.

    Having the APA support Bush, or any other criminal who kills hundreds of thousands of people, just to further enrich themselves, is despicable. And Yichen Hu is partly right, Bush, Cheney, Halliburton's entire board and a host of other criminals should have been prosecuted for war crimes years ago.

    Theodore Svedberg Laudig 10 Jul 2015 18:58

    True psychologists are not physicians. However, there were a number of "real" physicians, i.e. AMA accredited doctors, that worked at Guantanomo who monitored the health of torture victims and alerted the interrogators that their subjects were close to death and they did two things: stopped the torture and then treated the victims back beyond the verge of death. At that point the torturers could resume their "interrogation". We know this was happening. So far these doctors names have not been revealed.

    If the APA is now cleaning house on their torturer enablers maybe it is about time for the AMA to start looking into the "real" doctors that were part of this system.

    ro2124 Brucetopher 10 Jul 2015 18:57

    >Why do elaborate, horrendously painful, cruel and vicious actions need >to be undertaken

    No doubt some are sadists and enjoy it and as any real interrogator knows, evidence under torture is mostly useless. If someone wired up my dangly bits to the mains, I am sure I would confess anything from eating babies for breakfast to being the best mate of Osama Bin Liner!

    and the Yanks still insist on lecturing the rest of us about morals and the "Land of the Free" and all the other bullshit they like to spout ...but slowly we are seeing what a bunch of hypocrite F**** they really are!


    Littlemissv norecovery 10 Jul 2015 18:51

    Here is a comment from JCDavis with some important information:

    Russ Tice revealed that the NSA was spying on Obama as early as 2004 at the behest of Dick Cheney, who had already convinced the NSA's director Hayden to break the law and spy on everyone with power.

    It can't be any coincidence that President Obama went (or was sent) to Bill "Cheney is the best Republican" Kristol to get his foreign policy validated, and Kristol congratulated him on it, calling him a "born-again neocon."

    And it is no coincidence that Obama has the Cheney protegee Victoria Nuland in his administration, right in the center of his new cold war with Russia. And no coincidence that she is the wife of neocon Robert Kagan, who with Bill Kristol founded PNAC. PNAC counts neocon Paul Wolfowitz as a member, who saw Russia as our main obstacle to world empire.

    It's a nest of neocons running Obama as a puppet and pushing us into a confrontation with Russia while smashing all the Russian allies according to the Wolfowitz doctrine.

    Littlemissv -> marydole 10 Jul 2015 18:46

    the US and it's partners in crime turn around and say "gee how come all these folks got radicalised and are out to kill us"?

    Gore Vidal explained why very well back in 2002 in his book, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated

    Littlemissv -> ID8918386 10 Jul 2015 18:41

    I'm reminded of the work of R J Lifton

    Yes! Lifton appeared on Democracy Now two months ago: Robert Jay Lifton, Author of "The Nazi Doctors": Psychologists Who Aided Torture Should Be Charged

    Everyone should watch Amy Goodman's terrific interview with the 89-year-old, and very wise Lifton.

    gtggtg -> IanCPurdie 10 Jul 2015 18:29

    "I think you will find the USA has exempted itself from international law, ..."

    Yes, and they should be called on it, relentlessly. Law is not law, only tyranny, if one can exempt oneself from it.

    When a Spanish court took on Pinochet and by extension his US partners, this scared the shit out of powerful people here in the US, much more than has been let on. File charges against the bastards; demand their appearance; when they refuse to show up, try them in absentia; if found guilty, arrest them should they ever touch foot in that jurisdiction or wherever there is recognized procedures for extradition. Keep doing it again and again and again. Eventually it will have an effect, although it may seem hopeless now.


    Imran Nazir 10 Jul 2015 18:23

    Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake. . Puts things into perspective.

    Longasyourarm KDHymes 10 Jul 2015 18:21

    Regrettably true. The problem began with the notion that putting pharma into bed with academics would generate miracles, a delusion shared by many neocon governments.

    confettifoot Longasyourarm 10 Jul 2015 18:19

    No - I read the link. "Learned helplessness" is a thing that's been around since Pavlov, and is helpful in compassionately understanding depression. It wasn't developed for the military, and you've taken Seligman's comments wildly out of context. I HATE these bastards, want them out of the profession - Seligman is very much a pacifist, well-known good guy, actually well out of the medicalized model, against coercion, opponent to bad stuff in the profession and that's why I was shocked.

    If you have real source that he was hushing up whistleblowers show me and I'll loathe him, but it would be extraordinarily out of character. Be careful with people's reputations.


    frazzerr 10 Jul 2015 18:18

    This is great don't get me wrong, they deserve to be jailed and for a considerably long time, but who oversaw all of the torture and sometimes the torture of innocent people?

    He is also responsible for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as a direct reaction to the 9/11 bombing when neither Iraq or Afghanistan had any connections with Al-Qaeda.

    I'll never forget his comment, "'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

    When is George W. Bush going to tried for his war crimes?


    redpill 10 Jul 2015 18:02

    US torture doctors could face charges after report alleges post-9/11 'collusion'

    Good. Let them try using the Nuremberg defence!


    MiniMo 10 Jul 2015 18:01

    "an independent review revealed that medical professionals lied and covered up their extensive involvement in post-9/11 torture. The revelation, puncturing years of denials, creates the potential for leadership firings, loss of licenses and even prosecutions."

    The very sad part of this is that they were involved in even a slightest way in torture, not that they might lose their jobs or prosecuted.They fully deserve to lose their jobs at the very least.

    They are expected to be caring professionals. Obviously not always so, and they've let down most of their colleagues so very badly, as the majority of them really do care.


    KDHymes Pete Street 10 Jul 2015 18:01

    Your last paragraph pretty much reveals your true point of view. Know any women in the military? Bet they'd appreciate your words so much.

    You know what? We could argue all day about whether any of this was justified, and as others have pointed out, your argument is irrelevant because all of it is illegal under both US and international law. But let's stick with something you might understand: it does not work. Period. Coerced confessions lead to bad decisions by those who use the information. How's things going for the US and Europe in the Middle East? Did any of these crimes make a single thing better?

    Please enlighten us as to what difference torture made for us. And you'll have to do better than citing the same discredited cases over and over again. EVERY TIME the government has claimed to receive useful intel from torture, it has been disproved by those actually in the know. If they have evidence that is valid, they would surely be presenting it. But no, they don't have that, because there isn't any, so the only things they can do is lie and hope the first media report out-shouts the correction.

    These people are very very stupid. NGIC is right up the road from me. They continue to have amazing smug confidence about their work. And yet their work has consistently been poor and misleading. Same goes for Homeland Security, the CIA, and the NSA. Every time we actually get a look at the details, it's obvious they don't know what they are doing at all, they're just spending their budgets, and sometimes indulging their sadism and racist paranoia.

    But this has been the case all along with bloated intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Look at the FBI in the 60s and 70s. It's criminal, but it's also frankly laughable. There's a culture that builds up of certainty and self-reinforced ideology, and it becomes incapable of thought. It's worse now, because so much of the intelligence gathering is done from a desk. They know very little, but pretend they know so much. All that tech and all that spying can't make you smart. And we're all paying the very high price in dollars and military lives for their willful ignorance.

    confettifoot marydole 10 Jul 2015 17:55

    That's correct. And we all become good Nazis insofar as we tolerate it - but the average citizen has very little power against uber-powerful institutions like those that perform these abominations with our tax dollars. It's an outrage not only against the direct victims, but against every decent American and the conscience of this country.

    IGiveTheWatchToYou 10 Jul 2015 17:52

    "Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian, empower the agency's director to "approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research". The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency's history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people."

    I assume there's a tranche of records waiting to be discovered from US black sites around the world detailing various unspeakable illegal human experimentation projects with subjects rendered, I mean kidnapped from a war zone, by the military.


    KDHymes Longasyourarm 10 Jul 2015 17:49

    Here's an alum who heartily agrees with you. I've watched this pseudo-science play havoc with family members, generating income and label after label, while ignoring crimes. I worked as a residential social worker in Ohio for 7 years, with people who were placed in group homes and apartments after the Athens Mental Health Center was closed. Several were simply slightly eccentric people whose families had committed them for the sin of inconvenience, or in one case for daring to stand up to sexual abuse. The "care" was a scandalous mixture of polypharmacology and hideous punishments. Yeah, it was a while ago, but these folks are still alive, and the "doctors" who signed off on all of it have never been held accountable, never even been forced to apologize to them. And these days what we seem to have in the US is, like everything else, multi-tiered according to class and ethnicity and income. Being weird while poor is a shooting offense. Being an abusive sociopath while rich gets you a label and a suspended sentence, with the help of well paid "expert witnesses."

    There is no integrity, no real science, behind any of it. Partly this results from the ongoing fantasy that human behavior can be reduced to chemicals and imaging. But a lot of it has to do with the profit motive and attendant careerism, with the pharmaceutical industry and the psychotherapeutic industries smiling hand in hand on the way to the bank.


    aardivark 10 Jul 2015 17:49

    Stephen Behnke, has a Yale law degree and a psychology Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. How ominous does that sound?

    Mike Casey 10 Jul 2015 17:48

    As these build, more and more people will be implicated. The APA, being a private organization can be held accountable more easily than can government officials. Hopefully this will lead to prosecution of decision makers within the government. We the people need to make our leaders accountable!

    Jeffrey_Harrison usernameshinobi2 10 Jul 2015 17:35

    You make me sick to my stomach. Just a few bad apples? Right. Torture is illegal under US law and our treaty obligations. For the military to conduct it, everybody from the CinC down to the individual torturer knew that. That's not a few nor were they rogue individuals acting on their own as you imply. This was systematic abuse of human beings deliberately conducted by the United States Government aided and abetted by Psychologists. They are scum and should be a total embarrassment to their profession although transparently the "profession" doesn't see it that way.

    Contrary to your assertions, torture was not practiced nor condoned by the US military in the past and individual service members who tortured, even in the heat of battle, were punished. We also convicted foreigners who perpetrated the things that these psychologists did of war crimes after WWII. But never fear! I'm sure Egypt or Libya has an open slot for you in their system.


    Longasyourarm 10 Jul 2015 17:35

    http://www.thedp.com/article/2014/12/penn-study-influence-on-cia-torture-techniques

    The leading scumbag in the above story is illustrated in the link. He was instrumental in hiding and excusing the links between the corrupt APA and the CIA These greedy psychologist parasites are not physicians, everyone should realize, even though they make No attempt to clear the confusion that they are medical doctors.

    The abject debasement of their own professional standards owes much to this Martin Seligman who was president of the APA and tried to squelch the whistleblowers.

    He should be jailed and tortured by those who have suffered from the application of his crackpot theories, which he developed by giving electric shocks to dogs. The poor excuse for a university department that is psychology at Penn should be closed.

    TaiChiMinh Pete Street 10 Jul 2015 17:35

    Sorry for posting this twice, it was meant as a response to the apologist for US crimes, Pete Street:

    >> The context of this historical period justifies torture not involving death or permanent physical injury, in order to protect national security at home and abroad. This context we call wartime.

    Actually, the UN treaty (signed by the US in 1988 and ratified by the US in 1994) - Convention against Torture and Other Inhuman and Degrading Acts - specifically rejects the case you are trying to make, which makes you an apologist for crimes:

    "2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture."

    Nor does US law make an exception for wartime: "18 U.S. Code § 2340A - Torture

    (a) Offense.- Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life. . . .

    (c) Conspiracy.- A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy."

    Throw the book at them - and the people up to W who designed this criminal enterprise.

    Maybe you can come up with an rectal destruction exception? Keep, er, probing . . .


    Gegenbeispiel 10 Jul 2015 17:35

    Is there way for the International Criminal Court in the Hague to issue arrest warrants against these people? The US would not, of course, recognise them but it would keep them out of international professional conferences and make them afraid to ever travel outside the US.


    DerekCurrie richy1 10 Jul 2015 16:43

    richy: I warned you that 'the masses' aren't prepared to face the treasonous nightmare. Don't feel bad.

    Meanwhile, the proven evidence of the enablement of 9/11 by the Bush League continues to collect. Hiding from it and hating on it won't change the facts. No looniness or anti-Semite bad attitude is required to read what really went on that day and thereafter. No clap trap. No Holocaust denial. No anything denial. Just the facts. Sorry about that.


    drew4439 10 Jul 2015 16:41

    Witch hunt.. Where are Cheyney, Rumsfeld and Pearl in all this..


    MiltonWiltmellow 10 Jul 2015 16:25

    In 2004, after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal burst into public view, the emails detailed a private meeting of APA officials with CIA and military psychologists to "provide input on how the APA should deal with the growing furor", Risen wrote.

    The word "collusion" comes to mind.

    Perhaps "criminal conspiracy."

    Kudos to those APA members/agitators who forced a reckoning.

    As long as the CIA (DoJ) isn't setting up Behnke et al as scapegoats to distract from the institutional criminality of the Bush administration, this is a great report. One doesn't need the ethics of the APA to read and understand the Constitutional prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment."

    Finally a reckoning appears on the horizon.

    I hope it isn't a mirage.

    These people attacked and harmed America as surely as the terrorists. Their self-proclaimed virtue and patriotism aren't relevant. (For instance, by their actions, they allow members of ISIS to argue their atrocities are reprisals.)

    Let's see the DoJ and FBI perform their actual duties rather than interdicting terror plots which they imagine, instigate, finance and then -- with much publicity -- discover and prevent.

    DerekCurrie 10 Jul 2015 16:17

    This minor revelation about 9/11 is nothing compared to the Bush League's involvement in enabling that day and lying their way into the Iraq War, as per the plans of both the Israeli government and their pawn in the USA: PNAC, Project for the New American Century, run by the Neo-Con-Jobs. So much of this is out for anyone to read and prove to themselves at least a critical part of what really happened that day and thereafter. But the masses still aren't prepared to face that treasonous nightmare.

    But if you want to get started!
    Here's where scientists and engineers are collecting proven data about the actual 9/11 events. You won't enjoy it:

    http://www.911truth.org

    kgb999again 10 Jul 2015 16:17

    I'm almost positive Mitchell and Jessen were members of the APA when they were designing and selling torture campaigns a decade ago. IIRC, at the time they were vocally supported by the then-president who also had ties to some of the companies that were monetizing interrogation techniques.

    No longer being members seems irrelevant to the actions the APA has taken over the years defending the behavior of these two specifically - and the consistent APA defenses of these practices in general.

    John Smith 10 Jul 2015 16:14

    OK, this mind come across as a bit cold, but human rights aside, what most amazes me about this whole sad affair is that the APA didn't brief the US government about what value of intel can be gained from torture.

    Torture has been found to be excellent in extracting confessions: the subject, once deprived of all hope and having to rely on their torturer for all emotional support and empathy, will confess to anything. Even shooting Kennedy.

    As a means of securing reliable, actual info, it's worse than useless. Subjects will give answers to please their captors, and avoid pain.
    This is widely known. If the APA didn't pass this advice on, they are actually complicit in undermining the safety and effectiveness of the US intelligence gathering organisations.

    The APA would appear to have been caught up in both a blood lust for terrorists, and root and branch stupidity. What a mess.

    sampson01 10 Jul 2015 16:13

    The APA chose to be a rubber stamp for the govt, and allow for its members to be there to reaserch what the boundries were separating 'enhanced interrogation' and torture. Thus using human subjects being exposed to enhanced interrogation in an experiment to assess if it was in fact torture. One of the architects of this program (though hadn't renewed his APA membership) has admitted (proudly on Fox News) that he personally water boarded a prisoner during an interagation session.

    [Jul 03, 2015] Throughout history, debt and war have been constant partners

    "...So, to recap: corrupt German companies bribed corrupt Greek politicians to buy German weapons. And then a German chancellor presses for austerity on the Greek people to pay back the loans they took out (with Germans banks) at massive interest, for the weapons they bought off them in the first place. "
    "...Debt and war are constant partners."
    "...And the reason the USA dominated the world after WW2 was they had stayed out of both wars for the first 2 years and made fortunes lending and selling arms to Britain (and some to the Axis). It was the Jewish moneylenders of the Middle Ages who financed the various internal European wars, created the first banks, and along with a Scot formed the Bank of England."
    Jul 03, 2015 | The Guardian

    omewhere in a Greek jail, the former defence minister, Akis Tsochatzopoulos, watches the financial crisis unfold. I wonder how partly responsible he feels? In 2013, Akis (as he is popularly known) went down for 20 years, finally succumbing to the waves of financial scandal to which his name had long been associated. For alongside the lavish spending, the houses and the dodgy tax returns, there was bribery, and it was the €8m appreciation he received from the German arms dealer, Ferrostaal, for the Greek government's purchase of Type 214 submarines, that sent him to prison.

    There is this idea that the Greeks got themselves into this current mess because they paid themselves too much for doing too little. Well, maybe. But it's not the complete picture. For the Greeks also got themselves into debt for the oldest reason in the book – one might even argue, for the very reason that public debt itself was first invented – to raise and support an army. The state's need for quick money to raise an army is how industrial-scale money lending comes into business (in the face of the church's historic opposition to usury). Indeed, in the west, one might even stretch to say that large-scale public debt began as a way to finance military intervention in the Middle East – ie the crusades. And just as rescuing Jerusalem from the Turks was the justification for massive military spending in the middle ages, so the fear of Turkey has been the reason given for recent Greek spending. Along with German subs, the Greeks have bought French frigates, US F16s and German Leopard 2 tanks. In the 1980s, for example, the Greeks spent an average of 6.2% of their GDP on defence compared with a European average of 2.9%. In the years following their EU entry, the Greeks were the world's fourth-highest spenders on conventional weaponry.

    So, to recap: corrupt German companies bribed corrupt Greek politicians to buy German weapons. And then a German chancellor presses for austerity on the Greek people to pay back the loans they took out (with Germans banks) at massive interest, for the weapons they bought off them in the first place. Is this an unfair characterisation? A bit. It wasn't just Germany. And there were many other factors at play in the escalation of Greek debt. But the postwar difference between the Germans and the Greeks is not the tired stereotype that the former are hardworking and the latter are lazy, but rather that, among other things, the Germans have, for obvious reasons, been restricted in their military spending. And they have benefited massively from that.

    Debt and war are constant partners. "The global financial crisis was due, at least in part, to the war," wrote Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, calculating the cost of the US intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq, pre-financial crash, to have been $3tn. Indeed, it was only this year, back in March, that the UK taxpayer finally paid off the money we borrowed to fight the first world war. "This is a moment for Britain to be proud of," said George Osborne, as he paid the final instalment of £1.9bn. Really?

    The phrase "military-industrial complex" is one of those cliches of 70s leftwing radicalism, but it was Dwight D Eisenhower, a five-star general no less, who warned against its creeping power in his final speech as president. "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government … we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society." Ike was right.

    This week, Church House, C of E HQ, hosted a conference sponsored by the arms dealers Lockheed Martin and MBDA Missile Systems. We preach about turning swords into ploughs yet help normalise an industry that turns them back again. The archbishop of Canterbury has been pretty solid on Wonga and trying to put legal loan sharks out of business. Now the church needs to take this up a level. For the debts that cripple entire countries come mostly from spending on war, not on pensions. And we don't say this nearly enough.
    @giles_fraser

    marsCubed, 3 Jul 2015 12:21

    Syriza's position has been stated in this Huffington Post article.

    Speaking to reporters in Washington on Tuesday, Yiannis Bournous, the head of international affairs for Greece's ruling Syriza party, heartily endorsed defense cuts as a way to meet the fiscal targets of Greece's international creditors.

    "We already proposed a 200 million euro cut in the defense budget," Bournous said at an event hosted by the Center for Economic Policy and Research and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, referring to cuts in Syriza's most recent proposal to its creditors. "We are willing to make it even bigger -- it is a pleasure for us."

    Europe Offered Greece A Deal To Meet Its Obligations By Cutting Military Spending. The IMF Said No Way.

    If the report is correct, ideology is playing just as much of a role as arithmetic in preventing a resolution. The IMF's refusal to consider a plan that would lessen pension cuts is consistent with itshistorically neoliberal political philosophy.


    Giftedbutlazee 3 Jul 2015 11:52

    we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex.

    Still as relevant now, 54 years after Eisenhower said it.


    BritCol 3 Jul 2015 11:39

    And the reason the USA dominated the world after WW2 was they had stayed out of both wars for the first 2 years and made fortunes lending and selling arms to Britain (and some to the Axis). It was the Jewish moneylenders of the Middle Ages who financed the various internal European wars, created the first banks, and along with a Scot formed the Bank of England.

    The moral? War ma