Dumb US General, John Nicholson, Thinks Russia Must Be Arming the Taliban. Like the USA is arming Al-Qaeda?

US General Thinks Russia Must Be Arming the Taliban

Provides No Evidence for Allegations of ‘Malign Influence’

The Afghan War is going extremely poorly, 16 years in, and the US military needs someone to blame for its failures. The first choice among a lot of top military figures seems to be Russia, and while they offer no evidence to back up their claims, several have alleged that Russia might conceivably be arming the Taliban.

US commandeer Gen. John Nicholson appeared to be joining that camp today during comments in Kabul, complaining about the “malign influence” of Russia in the country, and insisting that he was “not refuting” allegations of Russia shipping weapons to the Taliban.

“Not refuting” is a very weak version of alleging, in this case, as US officials have offered no evidence that this is the case, nor any plausible reason why Russia would conceivably do this, as Russia fought materially the same insurgency during the 1970s and 1980s.

The only rationale for Russia backing the Taliban against the US seems to be that the US cheerfully backed the insurgency during the Russian occupation. Russia, however,, has long supported the US-led war in Afghanistan, hoping it would prevent the spread of Islamist forces into former Soviet republics in Central Asia, nations which Russia has defensive treaties with, and which could quickly suck Russia into a very unpopular regional war.

Given this, and the absolute lack of evidence, the allegations that Russia might be arming the Taliban, or at least that it can’t be ruled out, appears to be a very desperate attempt by the military brass to shift the blame for a failing war to an external party.

America Aggression: A Threat To The World

America Aggression: A Threat To The World

 

436453434The war machine that is the United States of America, not content with threatening the world with its missile attack on a Syria airbase, not content with massing its forces around the Korean Peninsular and threatening to murder its leaders and massacre its people, not content with its escalating hostility towards Russia and China, decided the world needed one more demonstration of its power today, Thursday, April 13 by dropping its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on an Afghanistan saturated with its bombs.

This demonstration, using a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Blast Bomb (MOAB), that the Americans like to call the ‘mother of all bombs,” weighing almost 22,000 pounds, was dropped from an American C130 transport plane. They claimed to be bombing an “ISIS” base and cave systems. The bomb is meant primarily to destroy large spatial areas but can also penetrate 200 feet of earth and 60 feet of concrete before exploding and so destroy cave and bunker systems.

The news that ISIS is now in Afghanistan may surprise some. The US and others claim that elements of ISIS have “fled” into Afghanistan, from Iraq and Syria, and have clashed with American and allied Afghan forces there, as well as with the Taliban. Just as in Syria, the appearance of ISIS in a region often heralds an attack by America and its allies on the forces they want eliminated, in Syria, the government forces, or its occupation of the territory of a sovereign country it wants to break apart.

In Afghanistan it seems the Americans either need a force to counter the Taliban forces that have succeeded in gaining some legitimacy internationally or they are just relabeling Afghan resistance forces as ISIS to try to justify their claim that their world mission is to eliminate ISIS. One could think that instead of fleeing into Afghanistan, the ISIS units, if they are really going there, are not fleeing but being sent there by the nation that claims to hunt them. But we have to suspect that ISIS now fills in for “communist” in the new American order and wherever there is resistance to that order, then there is ISIS. How long will it be before they claim ISIS elements are operating in Russia and Iran and so the chase has to continue there as well?

Nevertheless this was the excuse the Americans have given for using the “mother of all bombs” for the first time in combat and it naturally draws the question; was this really just to hit a local guerrilla base or for something else, and I suggest it is something else, a demonstration to North Korea of the capacities of the US forces to destroy large areas and to penetrate bunker systems without using nuclear weapons. It was a warning; this is what is coming from the sky unless you obey our diktats to disarm so that you will be defenceless against us.

It was also a demonstration to the Russians, Pakistanis and Chinese that they ignore American interests in Afghanistan at their peril, as they conduct their peace talks initiative with India, Iran and Afghanistan. The Americans have no interest in the success of that initiative. They want control of Afghanistan and the have just shown, they think, that they are the big shots and they are going to use their big shot weapons to keep it.

The Russians are probably not impressed since they are reputed to have a bomb with four times the blast radius and twice the heat generated by the explosion of the equivalent of 44 tons of TNT- whereas the American device is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT- called the “Father Of All Bombs (FOAB). Still, to anyone experiencing it, the blast would be little different from a nuclear weapon. But the Russians don’t think that dropping these bombs on places to show how strong you are is any way to conduct diplomacy, whereas, for the Americans, threats and violence are diplomacy.

The media were very quick to spread the news of this demonstration, for after all it would serve no purpose to use this huge bomb on a few guerrillas in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan, when ordinary mortars and artillery would do the job, unless the world is made to watch the demonstration. And so we have the Mirror in the UK stating,

“It’s a weapon that justifies the use of the word “terrifying” to describe its power and marks a deadly ramping up of America’s military initiative abroad.”

You have to admire the turn of phrase “military initiative abroad” used for “military aggression against the world.” These propagandists are well schooled.

Haaretz stated, “MOAB is thought to be the most fearsome explosive weapon in the Pentagon’s possession…”

Again, making sure that the reader has to reach for a tranquilizer to calm the nerves after being reduced to a quivering nervous wreck, cowering in fear beneath the shadow of the American flag.

The New York Times, BBC, and all the rest are duly impressed with the “shock” and the “awe” of it and think we should be too, and all the leaders of the nations of the world.

But if they think North Korea or Russia or China are trembling in their boots at the American power they are very mistaken. In fact this demonstration of their power is a demonstration of their fundamental weakness. This weapon is of no practical use in attacking any country with air defence systems since it has to be carried on a lumbering and slow C130 Hercules transport plane. To be able to use it would require escort planes so it could get close to the target and against any modern air defence system it the planes would be destroyed before the bomb could be used. We saw the American weakness again in the attack on Syria where less than half of the cruise missiles used reached the target. Whether this is due to electronic countermeasure used by the Russian air defence systems in Syria, which seems the most likely reason, or technical faults in these weapons is not yet clear. But losing over half your weapon systems in a few minutes before they even get near the target is not a show of strength but a revelation of the vulnerability of the American war machine.

Yet, the real tragedy of the American action is that it once again proves that the modern era is a wild and apparently aimless struggle between all that is noblest and all that is basest in our common humanity. International law is trampled under American army boots. The United Nations is reduced to a circus in which the Americans and British play destructive clowns. The governments of the NATO war alliance, by their support of the American actions, lies, threats and bullying, are members of a criminal conspiracy to rule the world through brute force. The western news media are reduced to propaganda units of the NATO military forces and the people in general have, through a constant barrage of false information, manipulation, fear, bigotry, and a general ignorance of history and other peoples, become willing dupes of this machine.

Here in Canada the government and press proclaim their slavering support for the American war crimes, and are glorifying the useless slaughter of the First World War as the nation’s “defining moment.” Not the linking of the nation from Atlantic to Pacific by a great railway built at great human cost, nor the defeat of the American invasion in 1812, nor the defeat of the fascists in 1945; no, for they have become the fascists and relish the symbols of death, of slaughter, and all but worship war as our destiny and the death of others as a beautiful thing.

Frankly, I am tired of the debate whether Trump, the new Duce, has “sold out” or been compromised by the war faction in the United States. I think it was clear from the beginning that he would be as destructive as the rest of their leaders. Does it really matter any longer what leader is in charge of the United States? Has there even been a president dedicated to living in peace with the world since that country was founded? Not one. It is long past time to ask why this or that American regime wants war here, there and everywhere. The problem lies much deeper in the American psychology; for we can say that nations have a psychology, a manner of general behaviour and thinking, arising from their history and culture. I will leave that for political philosophers, sociologists and psychologists to examine but the existential fact is the world is faced with a threat to its survival and that threat is the United States of America.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

War on Afghanistan is a profit driven “Resource War”. Minerals, natural gas, pipelines & Opium

“The War is Worth Waging”: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky,

The War on Afghanistan is a Profit driven “Resource War”.

"The War is Worth Waging": Afghanistan's Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas

Author’s Note

US and NATO forces invaded Afghanistan more than 16 years ago in October 2001. It’s has been a continuous war marked by US military occupation.

The justification is “counterterrorism”.  Afghanistan is defined as a state sponsor of terrorism, allegedly responsible for attacking America on September 11, 2001. 

The war on Afghanistan continues to be heralded as a war of retribution in response to the 9/11 attacks. US troops are still present and deployed in Afghanistan.

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The legal argument used by Washington and NATO to invade and occupy Afghanistan under “the doctrine of collective security” was that the September 11 2001 attacks constituted an undeclared “armed attack” “from abroad” by an unnamed foreign power, namely Afghanistan. 

Yet there were no Afghan fighter planes in the skies of New York on the morning of September 11, 2001. 

This article, first published in June 2010, points to the “real economic reasons”  why US-NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.  

Under the Afghan-US security pact,  established under Obama’s Asian pivot, Washington and its NATO partners have established a permanent military presence in Afghanistan, with military facilities located within proximity of China’s Western frontier.  The pact was intended to allow the US to maintain their nine permanent military bases, strategically located on the borders of  China, Pakistan and Iran as well as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

In recent developments, President Trump in his February 28, 2017 address to a joint session of  Congress vowed to “demolish and destroy” terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq as well as in Afghanistan under a fake counter-terrorism mandate.

According to Foreign Affairs, “there are more U.S. military forces deployed there [Afghanistan] than to any other active combat zone” and their mandate is to go after the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS (which are supported covertly by US intelligence). 

There is both a geopolitical as well as an economic agenda in Afghanistan requiring the permanent presence of US troops.

In addition to its vast mineral and gas reserves, Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the World’s supply of opium which is used to produce grade 4 heroin.

US military bases in Afghanistan are also intent upon protecting the multibillion narcotics trade.  Narcotics, at present, constitutes the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s export economy.

The heroin trade, instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979 and protected by the CIA, generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year.

“The highest concentration of NATO servicemen in Afghanistan is being accompanied with the highest concentration of opium poppy, ….  That situation causes doubts about the anti-terrorist mission and leads to the conclusion about catastrophic consequences of the eight-year stay [of coalition forces] in Afghanistan,” (Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov, January 2010)

Michel Chossudovsky,  March 25, 2017

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“The War is Worth Waging”: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas

The War on Afghanistan is a Profit driven “Resource War”.

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

October 2010

The 2001 bombing and invasion of Afghanistan has been presented to World public opinion as a “Just War”, a war directed against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, a war to eliminate “Islamic terrorism” and instate Western style democracy.

The economic dimensions of  the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) are rarely mentioned. The post 9/11 “counter-terrorism campaign” has served to obfuscate the real objectives of the US-NATO war.

The war on Afghanistan is part of a profit driven agenda: a war of economic conquest and plunder,  ”a resource war”.

While Afghanistan is acknowledged as a strategic hub in Central Asia, bordering on the former Soviet Union, China and Iran, at the crossroads of pipeline routes and major oil and gas reserves, its huge mineral wealth as well as its untapped natural gas reserves have remained, until June 2010, totally unknown to the American public.

According to a joint report by the Pentagon, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and USAID, Afghanistan is now said to possess “previously unknown” and untapped mineral reserves, estimated authoritatively to be of the order of one trillion dollars (New York Times, U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com, June 14, 2010, See also BBC, 14 June 2010).

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said… “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines. (New York Times, op. cit.)

Afghanistan could become, according to The New York Times “the Saudi Arabia of lithium”. “Lithium is an increasingly vital resource, used in batteries for everything from mobile phones to laptops and key to the future of the electric car.” At present Chile, Australia, China and Argentina are the main suppliers of lithium to the world market. Bolivia and Chile are the countries with the largest known reserves of lithium. “The Pentagon has been conducting ground surveys in western Afghanistan. “Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large as those of Bolivia” (U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com, June 14, 2010, see also Lithium – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

“Previously Unknown Deposits” of Minerals in Afghanistan

The Pentagon’s near one trillion dollar “estimate” of previously “unknown deposits” is a useful smokescreen. The Pentagon one trillion dollar figure is more a trumped up number rather than an estimate:  “We took a look at what we knew to be there, and asked what would it be worth now in terms of today’s dollars. The trillion dollar figure seemed to be newsworthy.” (The Sunday Times, London, June 15 2010, emphasis added)

Moreover, the results of a US Geological Survey study (quoted in the Pentagon memo) on Afghanistan’s mineral wealth were revealed three years back, at a 2007 Conference organized by the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce. The matter of Afghanistan’s mineral riches, however, was not considered newsworthy at the time.

The US Administration’s acknowledgment that it first took cognizance of Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth  following the release of the USGS 2007 report is an obvious red herring. Afghanistan’s mineral wealth and energy resources (including natural gas) were known to both America’s business elites and the US government prior to the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1988).

Geological surveys conducted by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and early 1980s confirm the existence of  vast reserves of copper (among the largest in Eurasia), iron, high grade chrome ore, uranium, beryl, barite, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, lithium, tantalum, emeralds, gold and silver.(Afghanistan, Mining Annual Review, The Mining Journal,  June, 1984). These surveys suggest that the actual value of these reserves could indeed be substantially larger than the one trillion dollars “estimate” intimated by the Pentagon-USCG-USAID study.

More recently, in a 2002 report, the Kremlin confirmed what was already known: “It’s no secret that Afghanistan possesses rich reserves, in particular of copper at the Aynak deposit, iron ore in Khojagek, uranium, polymetalic ore, oil and gas,” (RIA Novosti, January 6, 2002):

“Afghanistan has never been anyone’s colony – no foreigner had ever “dug” here before the 1950s. The Hindu Kush mountains, stretching, together with their foothills, over a vast area in Afghanistan, are where the minerals lie. Over the past 40 years, several dozen deposits have been discovered in Afghanistan, and most of these discoveries were sensational. They were kept secret, however, but even so certain facts have recently become known.

It turns out that Afghanistan possesses reserves of nonferrous and ferrous metals and precious stones, and, if exploited, they would possibly be able to cover even the earnings from the drug industry. The copper deposit in Aynak in the southern Afghan Helmand Province is said to be the largest in the Eurasian continent, and its location (40 km from Kabul) makes it cheap to develop. The iron ore deposit at Hajigak in the central Bamian Province yields ore of an extraordinarily high quality, the reserves of which are estimated to be 500m tonnes. A coal deposit has also been discovered not far from there.

Afghanistan is spoken of as a transit country for oil and gas. However, only a very few people know that Soviet specialists discovered huge gas reserves there in the 1960s and built the first gas pipeline in the country to supply gas to Uzbekistan. At that time, the Soviet Union used to receive 2.5 bn cubic metres of Afghan gas annually. During the same period, large deposits of gold, fluorite, barytes and marble onyxes that have a very rare pattern were found.

However, the pegmatite fields discovered to the east of Kabul are a real sensation. Rubies, beryllium, emeralds and kunzites and hiddenites that cannot be found anywhere else – the deposits of these precious stones stretch for hundreds of kilometres. Also, the rocks containing the rare metals beryllium, thorium, lithium and tantalum are of strategic importance (they are used in air and spacecraft construction).

The war is worth waging. … (Olga Borisova, “Afghanistan – the Emerald Country”, Karavan, Almaty, original Russian, translated by BBC News Services, Apr 26, 2002. p. 10, emphasis added.)

While public opinion was fed images of a war torn resourceless developing country, the realities are otherwise: Afghanstan is a rich country as confirmed by Soviet era geological surveys.

The issue of “previously unknown deposits” sustains a falsehood. It excludes Afghanstan’s vast mineral wealth as a justifiable casus belli. It says that the Pentagon only recently became aware that Afghanistan was among the World’s most wealthy mineral economies, comparable to The Democratic Republic of the Congo or former Zaire of the Mobutu era. The Soviet geopolitical reports were known. During the Cold War, all this information was known in minute detail:

… Extensive Soviet exploration produced superb geological maps and reports that listed more than 1,400 mineral outcroppings, along with about 70 commercially viable deposits … The Soviet Union subsequently committed more than $650 million for resource exploration and development in Afghanistan, with proposed projects including an oil refinery capable of producing a half-million tons per annum, as well as a smelting complex for the Ainak deposit that was to have produced 1.5 million tons of copper per year. In the wake of the Soviet withdrawal a subsequent World Bank analysis projected that the Ainak copper production alone could eventually capture as much as 2 percent of the annual world market. The country is also blessed with massive coal deposits, one of which, the Hajigak iron deposit, in the Hindu Kush mountain range west of Kabul, is assessed as one of the largest high-grade deposits in the world. (John C. K. Daly,  Analysis: Afghanistan’s untapped energy, UPI Energy, October 24, 2008, emphasis added)

Afghanistan’s Natural Gas

Afghanistan is a land bridge. The 2001 U.S. led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has been analysed by critics of US foreign policy as a means to securing control  over the strategic trans-Afghan transport corridor which links the Caspian sea basin to the Arabian sea.

Several trans-Afghan oil and gas pipeline projects have been contemplated including the planned $8.0 billion TAPI pipeline project (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) of 1900 km., which would transport Turkmen natural gas across Afghanistan in what is described as a “crucial transit corridor”. (See Gary Olson, Afghanistan has never been the ‘good and necessary’ war; it’s about control of oil, The Morning Call, October 1, 2009). Military escalation under the extended Af-Pak war bears a relationship to TAPI. Turkmenistan possesses third largest natural gas reserves after Russia and Iran. Strategic control over the transport routes out of Turkmenistan have been part of Washington’s agenda since the collapse of the Soviet union in 1991.

What was rarely contemplated in pipeline geopolitics, however, is that Afghanistan is not only adjacent to countries which are rich in oil and natural gas (e.g Turkmenistan), it also possesses within its territory sizeable untapped reserves of natural gas, coal  and oil. Soviet estimates of the 1970s placed “Afghanistan’s ‘explored’ (proved plus probable) gas reserves at about 5  trillion cubic feet. The Hodja-Gugerdag’s initial reserves were placed at slightly more than 2 tcf.” (See, The Soviet Union to retain influence in Afghanistan, Oil & Gas Journal, May 2, 1988).

The US.Energy Information Administration (EIA) acknowledged in 2008 that Afghanistan’s natural gas reserves are “substantial”:

“As northern Afghanistan is a ‘southward extension of Central Asia’s highly prolific, natural gas-prone Amu Darya Basin,’ Afghanistan ‘has proven, probable and possible natural gas reserves of about 5 trillion cubic feet.’ (UPI, John C.K. Daly, Analysis: Afghanistan’s untapped energy, October 24, 2008)

From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979, Washington’s objective has been to sustain a geopolitical foothold in Central Asia.

The Golden Crescent Drug Trade

America’s covert war, namely its support to the Mujahideen “Freedom fighters” (aka Al Qaeda) was also geared towards the development of the Golden Crescent trade in opiates, which was used by US intelligence to fund the insurgency directed against the Soviets.1

Instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war and protected by the CIA, the drug trade developed over the years into a highly lucrative multibillion undertaking. It was the cornerstone of America’s covert war in the 1980s. Today, under US-NATO military occupation, the drug trade generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, see also Michel Chossudovsky, Heroin is “Good for Your Health”: Occupation Forces support Afghan Narcotics Trade, Global Research, April 29, 2007)

Towards an Economy of Plunder

The US media, in chorus, has upheld the “recent discovery” of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth as “a solution” to the development of the country’s war torn economy as well as a means to eliminating poverty. The 2001 US-NATO invasion and occupation has set the stage for their appropriation by Western mining and energy conglomerates.

The war on Afghanistan is  a profit driven “resource war”.

Under US and allied occupation, this mineral wealth is slated to be plundered, once the country has been pacified, by a handful of multinational mining conglomerates. According to Olga Borisova, writing in the months following the October 2001 invasion, the US-led “war on terrorism [will be transformed] into a colonial policy of influencing a fabulously wealthy country.” (Borisova, op cit).

Part of the US-NATO agenda is also to eventually take possession of Afghanistan’s reserves of natural gas, as well as prevent the development of competing Russian, Iranian and Chinese energy interests in Afghanistan.

Note

1. The Golden Crescent trade in opiates constitutes, at present, the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s export economy. The heroin trade, instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979 and protected by the CIA, generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year.

Since the 2001 invasion, narcotics production in Afghanistan  has increased more than 35 times. In 2009, opium production stood at 6900 tons, compared to less than 200 tons in 2001. In this regard, the multibillion dollar earnings resulting from the Afghan opium production largely occur outside Afghanistan. According to United Nations data, the revenues of the drug trade accruing to the local economy are of the order of 2-3 billion annually.

In contrast with the Worldwide sales of heroin resulting from the trade in Afghan opiates, in excess of $200 billion. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism”, Global Research, Montreal, 2005)

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America’s “War on Terrorism”

Michel Chossudovsky

The original source of this article is Global Research

Who owns the planes and the ships that transport 90% percent of the world’s heroin from Afghanistan?

Heroin, a major factor in the USA’s continued occupation of Afghanistan

A Conspiracy Theory that became a “Conspiracy Fact”: The CIA, Afghanistan’s Poppy Fields and America’s Growing Heroin Epidemic

CIA-US-MILITARY-HEROIN

First published by Global Research in July 2016

The heroin epidemic resembles the days when “Crack cocaine” became the major drug that destroyed communities across the United States and other parts of the world including the Caribbean that began in the early 1980’s. The Crack epidemic coincidently began around the same time when the Iran-Contra Scandal was being exposed. U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York City experienced a rise in crime and disease. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported back in 2015 that “heroin use in the United States increased 63% from 2002 through 2013.” Fast forward to 2016, heroin is sweeping across the United States at unprecedented levels.

According to an NBC affiliate  reported that state officials were set to declare a “public health emergency” in New Haven, Connecticut over the rise of heroin use which has resulted in two deaths:

Officials in New Haven on Friday were set to address a public health emergency declaration brought on by a rash of heroin overdoses in the city beginning Thursday. New Haven police said emergency responders saw at least 15 overdoses since Thursday afternoon, and possibly up to 22. At least two people have died. The city is warning residents that there is a batch of tainted, life-threatening heroin on the streets

In the suburbs of Long Island, NY, heroin use is an increasing problem. According to www.suburbanheroin.com a website devoted to the heroin epidemic on Long Island states that in 2012 – 2013 more than 242 people died from heroin use. Long Island is home to some of the wealthiest communities in New York State which goes to show that heroin is affecting all neighborhoods rich and poor. The NBC news report said that the CDC admitted that heroin has become an epidemic since 2002 

“The CDC reports that between 2002 and 2014 the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths more than quadrupled and more than 10,500 died nationwide in 2014.”

Now the question is why heroin use has dramatically increased since 2002? Maybe the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 after the September 11th attacks under the Bush regime had something to do with it? The main-stream media (MSM) establishment mouthpiece The Washington Post admitted in 2006 that heroin production in Afghanistan “broke all records” while under U.S. occupation:

Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday.

In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year — for a total of 5,644 metric tons — the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent

Washington claims that Mexico is the source of the heroin that is flooding U.S. streets “with 10,500 hectares under poppy cultivation in 2012” while Afghanistan had “224,000 hectares” according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in a 2014 report but the numbers tell a different story. Mexico’s heroin trade is small in comparison although it has been increasing its production capabilities.

However, not only heroin from Afghanistan is the major source for U.S. citizens, “BigPharma”, or the ‘corporate drug dealers’ who sell “legal drugs” also have a hand in the epidemic because they produce and sell ‘Opioids’ such asOxyContin and Percocet which is similar to heroin. Opioid medications are normally used as painkillers for broken bones, lacerations or post-surgery pain. However, abusing Opioids can also lead to heroin use.

The online news source The Huffington Post published an article titled ‘Ron Paul Had Accurate Conspiracy Theory: CIA Was Tied To Drug Traffickers’ highlights what the former Libertarian Presidential nominee Dr. Ron Paul said on the involvement of the CIA in the drug trade which was not a “Conspiracy Theory” but a fact when taking into consideration the Iran-Contra Scandal:

In 1988, while running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, he highlighted yet another conspiracy theory, and this one doesn’t collapse under investigation: The CIA, Paul told a gathering of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, was involved in trafficking drugs as part of the Iran-Contra debacle.

Drug trafficking is “a gold mine for people who want to raise money in the underground government in order to finance projects that they can’t get legitimately. It is very clear that the CIA has been very much involved with drug dealings,” Paul said. “The CIA was very much involved in the Iran-Contra scandals. I’m not making up the stories; we saw it on television. They were hauling down weapons and drugs back. And the CIA and government officials were closing their eyes, fighting a war that was technically illegal”

The Taliban banned the production of opium in 2000. The War in Afghanistan was mainly about producing opium which did end up in the streets of Iran, Russia and China. According to a Pravda report in 2015 by William Edstrom titled ‘Heroin Dealer in Chief. Afghanistan, Source of 90% of The World’s Heroin’ stated the impact of Afghanistan’s opium production on neighboring countries:

Afghanistan, source of 90% of Earth’s heroin, ended 90% of Earth’s heroin problems when Taliban outlawed opium in 2000. The reason for War in Afghanistan was because Taliban outlawed opium growing which ended economic wars (opium wars) against Iran, Russia and China

The heroin epidemic is now affecting cities and towns across the U.S. Edstrom estimates that 165,000 American’s will die from the heroin epidemic in the next 10 years:

The War in Afghanistan began as an opium war against Iran, Russia and China, the tables are turning into an opium war against Americans on track to kill 165,000 Americans (2016-2026). Americans, 5% of Earth’s population, take 60% of painkillers on Earth

The death rate could go much higher considering the increasing level of poverty in the U.S. especially in the inner cities where the highest unemployment rates is among the 18-34 year olds. Many young adults will unfortunately turn to the drug trade whether they sell or use as hope fades for the lack of jobs or opportunities.

Fox News had a segment with Geraldo Rivera that shows how the U.S. government (in this case, the U.S. Marines) is involved in Afghanistan’s heroin production with Washington’s approval of course. Watch Video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgKmJESBFsw

Heroin is a valuable commodity as long as the War on Drugs remains in effect, that’s why Obama extended the Afghan mission until 2017, for the next U.S. elected president to occupy the White House. If it’s Hillary Clinton, U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan indefinitely. Trump might do the same, but that still remains to be seen. On July 7th, 2015 NBC reported on Afghanistan’s opium production and where they stand in terms of world supply

“According to the United Nations, the war-torn nation provides 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium poppy, the bright, flowery crop that transforms into one of the most addictive drugs in existence.”NBC also quoted John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction who did say that “Afghanistan has roughly 500,000 acres, or about 780 square miles, devoted to growing opium poppy. That’s equivalent to more than 400,000 U.S. football fields — including the end zones.”

That’s a large amount of land devoted to opium production which provides an opportunity for the CIA to cash in on the illegal drug trade for their secret covert operations (which avoids public scrutiny) and re-establish a drug trade route to target the populations of China, Iran and Russia.

The heroin crisis then and now is a direct consequence of the Military-Industrial Complex. During the 1970’s, around the same time during the Vietnam War, heroin made its way to the United States from the Golden Triangle which became an epidemic. It was estimated that more than 200,000 people in New York City alone were using heroin. At one point in time, you were able to find used syringes on public playgrounds. Now, heroin from Afghanistan has made its way back to the U.S. Heroin is profitable as much as it is strategic; it is also used as a weapon against Chinese, Iranian and Russian populations which has led to addiction, crime and helped spread diseases such as AIDS. Heroin is now affecting the United States, the CIA’s very own territory. Not that the CIA really cares who it effects when you closely examine their history of drug trafficking with the Iran-Contra Scandal or the Golden Triangle during the Vietnam War as author and activist William Blum noted in his book Rogue State,

 “The CIA flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia, to sites where the opium was processed into heroin, and to trans-shipment points on the route to Western customers.”

As long as the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan continues under the guise of establishing a democratic government, the flow of heroin will continue unabated. One question we should ask is “who owns the planes and the ships that transport 90% percent of the world’s heroin from Afghanistan to the rest of the world in the first place? It sure isn’t the Taliban.

New Military Alliance to Be Formed in Middle East

New Military Alliance to Be Formed in Middle East

PETER KORZUN | 17.02.2017 | WORLD

New Military Alliance to Be Formed in Middle East

Combining available information to get the whole picture, one can see the situation in the Middle East changing drastically, especially as the US strategy is reviewed and new alliances are formed.

The Trump administration is in talks with Middle East allies about forming a military alliance that would share intelligence with Israel to help counter Iran, according to several Middle Eastern officials.

The planned coalition would include countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain. Egypt and Jordan have longstanding peace treaties with Israel. For the Arab countries involved, the alliance would have a NATO-style mutual-defense component under which an attack on one member would be treated as an attack on all, though details are still being worked out. The US and Israel will cooperate without full-fledged membership. According to the Wall Street Journal, «one Arab diplomat suggested that the notion that the Trump administration might designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group was being floated as an incentive for Egypt to join the alliance».

US President Donald Trump has assured visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Tehran would never be able to build a nuclear weapon.

«The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which I’ve talked a lot about. One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen is the Iran deal», Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with Netanyahu at the White House. Reading the statement between the lines, it becomes evident that the US is ready to go much further than warnings and sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability.

Russian Izvestia daily reported the US plans to substantially increase its military presence in Iraq. The newspaper cited its own sources in the U.S. Republican Party. The plans include a few thousand troops to arrive in Iraq in the coming months. The reinforcement will continue the policy of the Obama administration, which was gradually expanding the military presence in that country.

It was reported on February 16 that the Pentagon was developing proposals for sending an unspecified number of American military personnel into Syria, conventional ground forces which would augment the 500 combat advisers already there coordinating efforts to destroy the Islamic State (IS).

Military Times reports that multiple US Army sources indicated that about two thousand soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team may soon bolster other Army elements already in the region. Currently, about 1,800 paratroopers from the 2nd BCT are in Iraq participating in the US military’s train-and-advise mission. The 82ndAirborne Division is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Citing an unidentified U.S. defense official, CNN indicated additional deployments could happen within weeks. Today, there are about 5,000 US troops deployed to Iraq and another 500 in Syria.

The White House indicated in January that it could task the military with establishing «safe zones» on Syrian soil. A large number of troops would be needed to defend havens, pitting them against pro-government forces as well as rival rebel groups. Without approval by UN Security Council, few nations will contribute leaving the US alone to shoulder the main burden. Hundreds of aircraft will have to be deployed to carry out the mission.

Deploying substantial forces in the Middle East risks putting the US on a slippery slope to further involvement in the war. Safe zones should not become no-fly zones to impede the operations of Russian and Syrian air forces. If the US decides to continue with the idea, it should it become an issue on the agenda for talks with Russia before any practical steps are taken to implement it.

It’s not Arab states only. Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, told lawmakers on February 9 that thousands more American or NATO troops are needed to break the «stalemate» between Afghan forces and the Taliban insurgent group while the IS also remains active in the nation. The general did not specify how many additional troops were needed, but did not rule out the potential for up to 30,000.

The strategy, which relied on special forces teams and intensive operations conducted by drones, may become a thing of the past, with the U.S. returning to large-scale presence.

The terrorist activities of the IS go beyond the scope of a regional problem. There are a few options here for cooperation of the military agencies and special services of Russia and the US ranging from intelligence exchange on IS to exercising influence on the countries affected by the war with the terrorist threat.

Whatever are the plans of Trump’s administration aimed at changing the Middle East strategy, the US cannot go it alone there. It needs allies, partners, and friendly pertinent actors to coordinate activities with. This shows how important it is to speed up bilateral and multilateral discussions.

It all goes to show that Russia and the US should speed up launching regular contacts to exchange opinions on the situation in the Middle East. On February 16, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford met face to face with their Russian counterparts Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chief of General Staff General Valeriy Gerasimov in Bonn and Baku respectively. Hopefully, the first contacts will spur the process and the parties will be engaged in dialogue concerning major security issues. The volatile situation in the Middle East should be addressed without delay as part of preparations for a possible summit in Slovenia.

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: the need for epistemology in the age of information clutter

January 25, 2017

by Anwar Khan

Certain knowledge about things inaccessible to the senses has always been a challenge to man. It has especially become so in our times—those of the fake news days. As news of the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey hit the waves, it was another field day for the alternative media folks to provide “analysis” and “conclusions” on the issues related to this sad event. As always, it ranged from the erudite to the outlandish. One particular Youtube video I was sent went so far as to claim that the whole event was an elaborate hoax, staged in a studio. The speaker “proves” this to be the case based on some pictorial anomalies, videography technique, and appearance of symbols and numbers of occult nature, according to him, indicating the fingerprints of some secret society. The video was watched by many and if the comments section was any indication (which is disabled now), his judgement on the issue was beyond a reasonable doubt. All the while the casket of the slain ambassador was being afforded state funeral, attended by his wailing family.(1)

While the space that the internet affords the voices we call the alternative narrative (a collective of blogs, radio shows, websites, researchers, writers and activists who challenge the false narratives and lies of the corporate media) is undoubtedly one of the most cherished developments, as it add tremendously to the richness of the information we receive, and advance our understanding of the world, this democratization of information also has a down side. It has caused a phenomenon we may call “information clutter” where on any particular issue many different claims can be made without anything ever being proved. This has resulted in utter confusion among many whose loathing and distrust of the corporate media has caused them to turn to the alternative narrative for information but only to find many varying and often contradicting information on the same subject matter. The average person has never been this overwhelmed by data before at any point in history and this has lead to a paradoxical state of affairs: an information surplus but a coherence deficiency.

The so called “truther movement” is a sobering example. Currently there are at least half a dozen groups fighting ferociously among themselves regarding whose take on the collapse of the two Trade Towers on 9/11 is most congruent with reality. The proponents of direct energy call the thermate folks “disinformation agents”, the mini-nuke fraternity call both “controlled opposition”. The no-plane theorists call everyone else “shills” while itself being labelled “kooks” by all the other factions for taking poetic license to a whole new level. The hubris of each group holding fanatically to their theories and failing to form a consensus on the least common denominator amongst the leading theories has done tremendous harm to the “truther movement”, and has arrested to a great degree the potential it once had to achieve a great deal more than it has thus far—in the process disillusioning many of this movement’s veterans. Some may say the beauty is in the detail, such that it is of essence to know “how” things are done. But this is more a case of looking at the finger and neglecting the heavenly glory, a state of affairs most desirable to Cass Sunstein—the government wizard in charge of fighting “conspiracy theories”.

In the light of all these divisions, squabbles, name-callings, all and all mistrust of each other in the leading alternative narrative movements (hereafter AN), we need to ask ourselves if it is, in its current state, offering any substantial diagnosis to our miseries – or is it just another instrument in the orchestra? Is the AN playing any decisive role in the collective awakening of the masses, or is it only adding to their confusion and bewilderment? Are we any closer to dislodging the corrupt centers of power that is taking humanity to the slaughter-house, or is it that, the AN, unknowingly acts as a ventilation for the frustrated, providing an illusion of freedom yet really constituting an inextricable part of the matrix? Clearly, the answers to these questions are not simple. What constitutes the alternative narrative? How do we measure success or failure? What exactly is the “purpose” of the AN? These are all valid rejoinders. Leaving philosophical hairsplitting for another day, let me take a bold stance and claim that I believe that as a whole the AN has failed to live to its potential, excepting certain noteworthy exceptions within it. We have won a few minor battles but winning the war is increasingly becoming a farfetched idea.

As a Muslim who lived through 9/11, I can assure you that today myself and 12 million other Muslims in the U.S. have never been more restless about our future. Islamophobia in the US and in Europe has never been this existentially threatening. A nuclear war with Russia has scarcely ever been so real. The Palestinian Question—a moral blemish on global conscience since 1947— has never been this removed from political priorities (the silly UNSC resolutions notwithstanding). Since the 13th century Mongol invasion, the Middle East has never been in such an extreme state of confusion and disorder (many would argue that this is on the whole far worse). ISIS and Co, despite some setbacks in Syria and Iraq, are not going anywhere any time soon. (They will metamorphosis into something much more sinister, just like how Al Qaeda turned into ISIS, reminding us of the truth of Einstein’s ‘energy cannot be destroyed’ theory). On a deeper level, the human condition has never been in such disarray; our minds have never been so confused; our nature never so badly manipulated; empathy never in such low supply; apathy never existing in such high quantities. And most pertinent to our discussion here, the alternative narrative has never been this divided amongst itself.

It is wholly possible, nay most probable, that the current divisions in the AN is to a great degree the machinations of Cass Sunstein and Co. After all the likes of his are experts in how to infuse genuine movements with co-intel, disinformation agents, gate-keepers and controlled opposition infiltrations to arrest the momentum in forming vehicles of genuine change in society. As Lenin said, “the best way to control an opposition is to lead it”. That is a reality as old as humanity itself and it is here to stay. But I wonder if Sunstein and his ilk would enjoy this much success had the AN had some sound principles to abide by, some intellectual framework underpinning its quest, some axioms binding all the different voices within it, rather than just their mistrust of the military-industrial-media complex?

Therefore, I will not— for a change—put the focus on the enemy’s strength and cunning. Rather, I will place it upon our weakness and failures. Moreover, I will assume—to the extent possible—that most people within the AN are genuine about their desire to reach to the bottom of the issues but are mistaken about some judgements, which have arisen from certain defective conceptions. This is usually the case when sound intellectual principles are missing from the cognitive process. In my own lifetime I have seldom interacted with a truth-seeker, activist, writer, researcher, radio-host within the alternative narrative except that I have been left with a bitter taste in the mouth. Part of it was my own shortcomings, perhaps for projecting my sensibilities onto others. But mostly it was my witnessing that many of the characters in the AM lack sound intellectual and logical principles which would enable them to grapple with the ever more sophisticated mind-rape that we are treated with, and are often clueless in finding coherence within the noise.

Towards that end, I would like to offer one potential solution that can address the increasing divisions, dissensions and resultant information clutter that is undermining the work of the AN and impeding its purpose and potential. I believe the AN needs to “standardize” its epistemology—the investigation of what justifies sound belief and distinguishes it from mere unsupported opinion— or risk being a collection of such a cognitive spectrum (which it currently is) where it is impossible to find two people of similar belief, a recipe for information clutter, confusion and ultimately failure to change our collective disposition.

Standardization is mainly an accident of centralization. The AN, on the other hand, by its very nature is decentralized, and staunchly independent. Each person within it operates on individually driven principles and motivations. They are bound together by some abstract concepts perhaps and nothing more at times. The voices within are so various and multifaceted that the very idea of brining them together in some shape or form sounds like an exercise in self-delusion. Maybe. But we also see an indisputable harmony and synchronicity within it that is driving many of its relative achievements. (Here I am a Muslim writing from a Muslim-centric point of view for the Saker, a platform dedicated to “stopping Empire’s war on Russia”. This is not just convergence of conveniences. There are things that bring us together on a deep level). Could it be that some agreed upon driving principle might be able to mitigate the many disappointments and dissensions that has plagued the AN? I believe it can if we standardize (not to be mistaken with homogenize) certain important principles in what we might call our “epistemology”, in order to make it less hackable by… well everything under the sun.

Every field has a “quality standard”, against which various bodies within it compare, judge and improve their trade. This encourages production of the best possible product. Shouldn’t the AN have a similar standard, in order to check the quality of its output? You may say what we are dealing with is conceptual and not material so standardization may not necessarily apply. I could not disagree more. Concepts (and conclusions) also have a quality standard. It is called logic: the validity or lack thereof of reasoning in statements. It is an unassailable achievement of us humans (some say gift from God) to come up with a mode of communication that calls out invalid reasoning entering communication.

People often say “mathematics is the only language shared by all human beings regardless of culture, religion, or gender. Pi is still approximately 3.14159 regardless of what country you are in”. Yes, but this applies even more fundamentally to logic. If A is B, and B is C, then A is C, is the same regardless of what country you are in. We often forget that mathematics is a branch of logic and not vise versa. But logic only will not help us for our purpose here. It only serves us with the proper arrangement and logical entailment of statements, not necessarily of their meaning. What we need is a framework that provides meaning beyond the mere arrangement and entailment of statements. What we need is hikma(‘wisdom’ in Arabic)the science which investigates the nature of things as they really are, to the best of human effort. (2) As grandiose as it sounds, I truly believe that this form of traditional philosophy can provide a sound standard of epistemology, guiding us on how to organize our thinking, and to separate the political wheat from the political chaff.

In my days of studying classical Islamic sciences, we spent a great deal of time studying Aristotelian logic, Arabic grammar and rhetoric before we delved into metaphysics, with theology being the crowning jewel. This method—study of logic, grammar and rhetoric—is called the Trivium in the West. The trivium (which means “intersection of three roads” in Latin) along with the Quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) constituted the liberal arts curriculum. This time tested way of learning was discontinued—barring some exceptions— in the US and European public schools in the early decades of the 20th century, mainly due to the influence of the Rockefeller run General Education Board and its European subsidiaries. In our times it is mainly taught in private schools and religious seminaries, in watered-down incarnations.

This curriculum was the cream of hundred years of human experience and analysis of “knowing”. The purpose of this approach to learning was to free the mind of incorrect beliefs, and to understand reality to the extent afforded by the human intellect. Theology was the premier study (before the Enlightenment pushed it to the back rows of intellectual human inquiry). One had to be equipped with all the right intellectual tools to avoid faulty judgements before arriving at Revelation, (after which the intellect was subservient to it in some degree)(3). Grammar was the systematic method of gathering raw data of a similar nature into a body of knowledge. When that gathering is complete we call it a subject. Logic was the method of bringing full understanding to that body of knowledge by systematically eliminating contradictions within it. Rhetoric was to communicate the result of grammar and logic to ourselves and to others with wisdom and persuasive appeal. The purpose of all this learning was to arrive at hikma.

The purpose of this needed detour is to point to the challenges of arriving at hikma in the absence of the prerequisite learning to learn process—which the Trivium really was— that is missing from many amongst us, even in the AN who pride themselves with their ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the absence of an education system that prepares us for understanding reality, we all need to re-asses if we are intellectually geared to not only detect the lies and half-truths of the MSM, but also the faulty reasoning and judgements from the AN that often gets a free pass? Perhaps some of us need to revisit what makes for sound education (which is the opposite of schooling). This is not to say that to get to the reality of things, one necessarily has to systematically study these disciplines. Many people have the God-given ability to see things for what they are. But in our times that very ability is manipulated on so many levels that the need to study epistemology is greater than ever.

Revisiting epistemology

Epistemology comes from the Greek episteme (knowledge) and logeo (to speak). It means the theory of knowledge: the study of the nature, sources, and validity of knowledge, or in other words how you know what you know. There are two components to it, (1) knowledge, and (2) how one arrives at it. Let us examine both.

Knowledge (ilm) is when a perception of something takes place in the mind. It divides into two parts: conception (taṣawwūr) and judgement (tasdiq). Conception is a perception of something that is free of any judgement. For example, we imagine the person of John without affirming or negating anything in relation to him. If we affirm or negate anything in relation to him – in other words predicate – for example, we say, “John is tall”, then we call this judgment. Now if this judgement is based on a conviction that is firmly rooted in the heart and also congruous to reality, we call it certainty (yaqīn), as in the statement “9/11 is an inside job”. If the judgement is based on a conviction that is firmly rooted in the heart but not congruous to reality, we call it compound ignorance (jahl murakkab), as in the statement, “They (Muslims) hate us for our freedom”. If the judgement is based on a conviction but not firmly rooted in the heart such that it maybe uprooted with some skeptical remarks, it is called immitation (taqlid), as in the statement, “Trump will fight the establishment”. If a judgement is not based on conviction at all – and therefore lacks any firmness in the heart – it is called conjecture (zann), as in “Russia hacked the US elections”. Therefore conjecture is the weakest of judgements.(4)

Macintosh HD:Users:anwarmangal:Desktop:epistemologylatest.png

 

Now let us see what is usually said about the second component of epistemology—how we arrive at it, or the causes of knowledge. Again, here we are drawing on the shared rational tradition of medieval Jews, Christians and Muslims, much of which was inherited from the Greeks. It is not peculiar to any one group.(5)

Causes of knowledge are three things: (a) sound senses, (b) Reason, (c) unanimously agreed upon report.(6)

The senses, the notion that hearing, seeing, smelling, taste, and touch, causing certain knowledge does not require much comment. But if for any reason you are in doubt, touch the nearest flame to remove it.

Reason is a cause of certain knowledge also. And whatever of it is established is self-evident, requiring no demonstration, just as the knowledge that the whole of a thing is a greater than the part of it. There are three modes of rational judgements: they are either characterized by necessity, possibility or impossibility.

1)Necessity is that whose non-existence the mind cannot conceive, for example 1+1 equal to anything other than 2

2)Impossibility is that whose existence the mind cannot conceive, for example a number being odd and even at the same time.

3)Possibility is that whose existence or non existence the mind can equally conceive, for example the Loch ness monster.

Unanimously agreed upon report (UAUR), something established by so many different chains of narration, such that it is inconceivable that all of the narrators would have been able to come together to agree on a falsehood.(7) For example the historical reports of a certain Alexander of Macedonia, or that there is a place called Madagascar. Unanimously agreed report also causes certain knowledge. Most of what an average person “knows” through the media—print and electronic—are assumptions of UAUR. In our age—the age of information warfare— the abuse and manipulation of this cause of knowledge is one of the main reasons of our political realities. Therefore, getting UAUR right is the most important pillar of a sound framework for the AN to start unclogging the information clutter which is an obstacle in valid judgements.

This brief prefacing on epistemology was to bring us to the forefront of the investigation on how we know what we know. It is a succinct analysis of the subject matter from a body of knowledge that is quite voluminous. The idea being that to be able to apply hikma to phenomenon we experience, we need to be standing on a solid ground which is not particular to us as individuals but rather universal to all.

Now let us move to some axioms—derived from the conceptual framework stated above—that I believe can further help the AN in separating the wheat from the chaff. Axiom is a statement that is regarded as established or self-evidently true. But here it is given a more liberal application, which is to say that it has some room for slight disagreement (with emphasis on ‘slight’), a confession of my fallibility if you will. The list here is, again, not exhaustive by any means but a starting point which should be further examined and added to as the AN consensus see fit. Am I asking for a Philadelphia Convention(8) to ratify the AN constitution? Perhaps I am. I will leave the preamble to the wordsmiths among you. I will go straight to the articles:

The 4 (for now) Articles of Hikma for the Alternative Narrative

(I) Anyone or any group that denies 9/11 being an inside job/conspiracy can not be part of the solution, and therefore not part of the AN. 9/11 being the watershed event of our lives that changed the world as we knew it, is the perfect litmus-test of our moral courage, intelligence and integrity. Our judgement of it being an inside job is corroborated by all the causes of knowledge, leading to a level of certainty that only a fool or a fraud will deny.

(a) While the AN may accept contributors who are silent on the issue (some may have legitimate reasons), the AN should never accept those who explicitly deny it, or subscribe to some half-baked, mainstream approved soft conspiracy theories.

(b) Any theory on 9/11 which directly or indirectly absolves state actors from responsibility— even if its subscriber hold the official version as a lie—should not be adopted by the AN as a strategy, and not necessarily as a final judgement on the ‘impossibility’ of such a claim. What is even worst is to ascribe the actions of 9/11 to ‘non-human entities’. This undeniably pushes the subscriber into a state of awe from which it is difficult to see the playing field level, as the antagonist is perceived bigger than life, and thus any action futile. This conveniently serves the Empire.

(c) Anyone maintaining the inside job narrative of 9/11 yet whitewashing Israel from participation in it cannot be part of the AN. (9)

 

(II) AN needs experts in their respective areas. Jack of all trade, ace of none cannot be a motto to live by. Mainstream academia, politics aside, have some very erudite experts in their areas of study, and this is something the AN can learn from them. A commentator on Russia should ideally know Russian and lived in Russia. A commentator on the Middle East should ideally know at least one Middle Eastern language and lived amongst its people. An occultist— the increasing favorite of the New Age conspiracists — should be able to interpret ancient Egyptian texts, among others, and not just sleuthing happily on Youtubistan, peddling other people’s ideas. Usually speaking, a mainstream academic will put many AN commentators to shame with their ability to deeply understand the subject matter, especially with research and bibliography (AN researchers love to quote Wikipedia on most affairs). It is an entirely different matter why mainstream academics choose to serve the Empire with their scholarship rather than fight it.

AN media, especially radio, suffers from adding to the information clutter by broadcasting opinions of all and sundry without checking their qualifications first. Have you found yourself listening to some show where the guest covers topics such as UFOs, Free Masonry, Muslim Brotherhood, and GMO in half an hour?

(III) While the role of the occult in today’s political, economic and social realities is a subject that demands close scrutiny, and most certainly not be dismissed out of hand, the way it is often blown off proportions by many in the AN conveniently serves the interest of Empire in more than one way. Some—like the Zeitgeist films—connect major modern political realities to secret societies (that also happen to be behind the creation of religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism according to them), whose roots go back to ancient Egypt. The AN will do itself a world of good to stay away these New Age conspiracists who seek to fill the spiritual vacuum created by modernity by subscribing to unsubstantiated and shoddy conclusions, which not only fail the UAUR and Occam’s Razor test, but fail many other heuristic tool available to us. The same would apply to the subscribers of any idea that puts the levers of global institutions of influence in the hand of alien entities— the Reptilian Agenda being one of them. While AN should not adjudicate the claim as ‘impossible’, it does violate the principles of hikma on many levels and should be courteously discarded. This is not the same as denying the truth or role of the Anti-Christ or Dajjal in our political and social realities. It should ideally work as a spiritual element that pierces the modern material dialectics of our realities today and not necessarily as a notion that determines our strategies.

(IV) “Islamic terrorism” is a reality created and sustained by the Empire and not something that exists independent of it. Islamophobia is the desired reaction. Russophobia — the latest trend — is from the same sources. Those subscribing to it or help maintain this narrative should not be part of AN.(11)

Conclusion

I know I am being naive perhaps to (a) suggest a rather simple solution to a very complex situation, and (b) being slightly presumptuous that my “axiomatic” musings will somehow set us on the path of deliverance from a divisive state which would have left many a great mind clueless. But as long as basic conceptual shortcomings exist in any area, someone will try to point them, not necessarily believing it will lead to heavenly glory but rather to correct a flaw. Again, what is mentioned here is intended to start a process. It is not an end in itself. I intended to raise more questions than provide answers. This is the reason I have not mentioned other important issues that also have a direct bearing on the subject at hand, like what do I mean by the term “Empire”?

Is it the American Empire? Anglo-Zionist Empire? Jewish Empire? Illuminati/Free-Mason Empire? Or a combination of some or all of them? I will leave that for our Convention to determine. So by a raise of hand, who is attending it?

Notes

(1) While the claim that the assassination of the Russian ambassador was a “hoax”, is not impossible, it is highly improbable and badly misinformed. For the simple reason that it violates, among other things, the law of parsimony or Occam’s Razor: among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Occam’s Razor, while not being an indisputable proof, is nonetheless a very useful heuristic tool to understand phenomenon. It is within the framework of hikma.

For the assassination to be a hoax, Turkish and Russian authorities would have necessarily cooperated quite intimately because this did not take place in some back alley in the dark of the night. It was in a state institution, in front of TV cameras, and many witnesses. Since the event took place in Turkey, she would have been naturally more involved. Turkey already suffering from falling tourist numbers due to many terrorist attacks this year, is risking decimating her tourism industry entirely— a significant 15% of her GDP— with this hoax (if the place is not safe for high level delegates it can not be that safe for average foreigners surely). Tourism lose means a tremendous hit to the economy. Which can send the ruling AKP party to the cleaners in elections and result in their ouster even before it. Who wants to be removed from office for a hoax that is achieving nothing more than “sending occult messages” to whom it may concern on “who rules the world”?. Also, it effectively means the acting ambassador will be living the rest of his life in some house in the Siberian expanse, or going through at least 10 major plastic surgeries to change his entire face, or a combination of both. It would have been easier for the Turks and Russians to actually assassinate him than go through the myriad problems associated with hoaxing it. Also, if it was a hoax, the Americans—the nemesis of the Russians — would have tried to point to it somehow. Unless they are also part of it — which is another assumption of this claim— in which case the whole Putin vs US narrative is a hoax itself. Anyone holding that cannot possibly be enjoying life. Therefore this theory has more assumptions than Joan Rivers’ plastic surgeries, and thus cannot possibly be that useful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAMSLCfaD4M

(2) This is the same slogan raised by philosophical trends since the Enlightenment, but who, in actuality, are doing nothing more than serving positivist scientism, and deliberately stifling the bigger questions that was the Principale Propositum of the philosophical inquiry.

(3)“Reason is subservient to Revelation”, this is in a very specific sense and the truth of revelation does become established purely through reason (the rational entailment implied by a miracle occurring at the hands of someone claiming prophethood) but that once the revelation is proven true, not everything in scripture can be strictly reduced to something which has a linear logical structure – although this isn’t to say that it is ever “irrational”.

(4)While this particular passage is from Islamic sources(the examples being replaced with modern ones), this understanding of knowledge is by no means peculiar to Islamic scholarship only. Invariably there are similar definitions by Greek, Christian and some Jewish (Maimonides being one of them) scholars of hikma.

(5) Wolfs, The Philosophy of Spinoza, II, 133.

It is noteworthy that Muslims were studying Greek didactic philosophy and producing commentaries on Aristotle (that was then translated into Latin from the Arabic for teaching in European centers of learning in medieval times) because in the rational traditions of the Greeks, the Muslims saw an opportunity to refine the intellect in understanding shared concepts. Wisdom derived from it was for all. As the Prophet of Islam said “wisdom is the lost property of the believer, where ever he/she finds it, he/she may claim it”.

(6)Illumination—knowledge derived through a hyper-spiritual state— is also a valid source of knowledge, but particular to the recipient only. What is known through it may not be generalized.

(7)That historians Plutarch and Diodorus mention this monumental figure, whose name and exploits are also available in Sassanian and Sanskrit historical sources of the time; not to mention the cities that still exist by his name (Alexandria), with Hellenist architecture still surviving today in places he is purported to have conquered; and ethnic groups that are known to be of Greek origin (for example the Nuristanis of Afghanistan) in the midst of other homogenous groups. All these factors make the invention of Alexander inconceivable.

(8) The 1787 meeting that ratified the US Constitution.

Interestingly there is another AN convention taking place in Philadelphia where some brilliant ideas are being presented. But I often wonder if such events— in the absence of a basic intellectual framework around which to build a consensus upon— is nothing more than reinforcing common held beliefs of unfalsifiable nature, usually accompanied by self-congratulatory air of being “liberated”, and ultimately glorification of the ego, more than providing any strategy to overcome the Empire.

http://www.freeyourmindconference.com/

(9) This excludes Alex Jones as being part of a genuine AN. I promised I will not take names but this was a must. Other than his efforts to whitewash Israeli involvements in 9/11 and other conspiracies, Alex Jones violates our epistemology on so many levels that it is a disgrace to see this man become the face of the AN.

(10) One of the reasons I was attracted to the Saker was his undeniable expertise on the subject matter he dedicated his writing: Russia and military affairs. The Saker also seems to be one of the few in the AN who is consistently rational with his judgements. That is to say he is willing to suspend judgement till the very last minute, and entertain many competing theories without necessarily accepting them. This is deductive reasoning in action. He avoids pontificating on issues outside his area of expertise. Another example is Sibel Edmonds. I like her measured approach to Big Brother and whistle blowing issues and staying within her range of expertise, without unnecessarily delving into the occult and other unrelated issues. I should also mention James Corbett of thecorbettreport.com and Kevin Barrett of Truth Jihad. Their style of AN journalism should be a guide to those who want to go that route: reasonable, courageous, and relevant. Finally I should mention Sofia Smallstorm of http://www.aboutthesky.com/who is doing some tremendous work on chem-trails and nano technology. There are many unsung heroes of the AN who deserve mentioning and salutations for their services. We own them a heartfelt thank you!

(11)I know this will infuriate many, but I believe Russia Today’s news, unfortunately, often fails this test. RT talks shows and documentaries are definitely a breath of fresh air, a most important contribution to the AN. But RT news (especially online) does not live to this expectation (sometime I feel as if they are two different organizations). RT news has been consistently peddling many uncorroborated news items, most dealing with refugee crimes in Europe and Muslim “brutalities” in general— something that is increasingly becoming RT news’ mainstay. The latest being this news item: “A 30-year-old woman has been beheaded in a remote Afghan village for visiting a local market alone, without her husband, local media report citing officials. The people behind the beheading may have links to the Taliban.” Other than the total irrelevance of such a random piece of news (there are thousands of such crimes daily), this is also fake news, reported by the USAID funded Tolo News — an operation of Saad Mohseni, chairman of the Moby Group and as far as I am concerned a CIA asset. Not only did the Taliban have no relation to this event (I am no fan of Taliban but I know that killing a woman in such an unwarranted manner in a tribal society where reprisals from her family and tribe can spell the end of Taliban operations in the area, is not a very smart strategy), the incident itself is most certainly fake news. There is no word from the victim’s family, no name, no interview, just a “confirmation from the provisional governor’s spokesperson” (who conveniently has a dog in the fight as this means more money extorted from the government for “security” operations) and “confirmed by Sar-e-Pul women’s affairs head Nasima Arezo”, (whoever she is) who most probably was informed by the governor’s office, without any further access.

https://www.rt.com/news/372124-afghan-woman-beheaded-husband/

I know it might be new to some people but killing women— as if they are cucumbers waiting to be chopped at any time— is not a favorite pastime in Afghanistan. Soros affiliated news organizations would like you to believe that but it really is not the case. Yes, there are the sad incidents of “honor” killings but not quite as many (every 15 seconds if you are following the MSM) as they would like you to believe. I can assure you that. I work in Afghanistan. And if such barbaric practices still take place, we need to be thankful to the American war in Afghanistan which has destroyed most traditional institutions like the tribal Jirgas(meetings) which used to settle “honor” related issues, often humanely. A far cry from the vigilantism that prevails because of the security situation.

Why is RT peddling sensationalist uncorroborated news (just like the MSM) that is disparaging the name of Islam and Muslims, while at the same time challenging other false premises of the Empire, is something that I would love to be enlightened about. AN has to be the vanguard against fake news, its raison d’être. It cannot participate in it.

Three Realities You Aren’t Being Told About Afghanistan. “USA is Not Fighting Terrorism”

Three Realities You Aren’t Being Told About Afghanistan. “US is Not Fighting Terrorism”

By Ulson Gunnar,

afghanistan war

US commander of US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) General John Nicholson’s December 2016 briefing was paradoxical and perhaps indicative of the bankrupted foreign policy that defines America’s occupation in Afghanistan.

The US Department of Defense published General Nicholson’s full briefing titled, “Department of Defense Press Briefing by General Nicholson in the Pentagon Briefing Room.” In it, three truths in particular emerged.

1. “Stronger Afghan Military” Still Requires Years More of US Hand-Holding

The briefing paradoxically claimed that America’s proxy regime in Kabul it has attempted to prop up for the past 15 years is gaining strength and independence from US-NATO assistance, even as US Marines prepared to deploy back to Afghanistan’s Helmand province for what the Pentagon announced will be years more of US troop rotations.

The Washington Post in an article titled, “Thousands of Marines fought in southern Afghanistan. Now, the service is going back,” would report that:

About 300 Marines with a unit called Task Force Southwest will deploy, advising the Afghan army’s 215th Corps and Afghan national police with the 505th Zone. The forces will work in part from a large Afghan installation known during earlier Marine operations as Camp Leatherneck, but will be based in other locations and could face combat, senior Marine officers said Friday.

The Post would also report:

Senior Marine officials did not say why the service will take over the mission in Helmand, but it is expected that there could be several rotations of Marine task forces there in coming years.

In other words, promises of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan, promises that formed the foundation of political campaign promises for years, were made in vain with US troops facing an unending, futile commitment to occupying the Central Asian state for years to come, just as US troops did in Vietnam during the 1960s-1970s.

Likewise, claims by military commanders and US policymakers that Afghanistan’s government is becoming increasingly “independent” defies even the most basic admissions the US military and government themselves provide in terms of statistics and US troop deployment schedules.

Like the now non-existent South Vietnamese government, the current Afghan government cannot sustain itself without a significant foreign presence, because despite the immense amount of monetary, military and political resources poured into it, it lacks legitimacy in Afghanistan itself where it matters most.

2. US Taxpayers Will Pay Twice for Afghanistan’s Ineffectual Military 

General Nicholson’s briefing also revealed that the military assets US taxpayers have provided Washington’s proxy regime in Kabul will essentially be rendered void since most of them depend on Russian parts and maintenance assistance no longer available under Washington’s ever-expanding sanctions targeting Moscow.

General Nicholson, in response to a question during the briefing, would state:

…the Afghans traditionally had a core of MI-17 pilots who were trained on the airframe and some of them very experienced. So early before Crimea, Ukraine, before sanctions, there was international support for continuing with Russian-made airframes.

That all changed after 2014 and after those sanctions were imposed. So the issue now is the sustainment of that — of that fleet to continue while we field a new fleet. President Obama forwarded to the Hill a request and the supplemental for purchase of UH-60 alpha model helicopters. So these helicopters will be modified with an improved drivetrain transmission so to enable them to operate better in the environment up there. But it will involve a transition for the pilots.

This means fleets of Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters Afghan forces have used for years will be replaced by US-made Sikorsky (owned by defense giant Lockheed Martin) UH-60 Black Hawks.

With this move, not only will pilots have to be retrained to fly the Black Hawks, but part inventories, airport infrastructure, supply chains, ground crew training and all other aspects necessary to sustain the Black Hawks will have to be established and maintained as well.

In essence, US taxpayers find themselves paying twice for helicopter transport capabilities with the Black Hawks costing drastically more – the entire plan costing hundreds of millions of dollars more according to Reuters – to support an Afghan military already struggling just to survive.

3. The US is not Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan  

During General Nicholson’s briefing, he claimed that the US presence in Afghanistan persisted in order to defeat Al Qaeda and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS). However, it was clear that listening to his briefing, that the US-backed proxy regime in Kabul’s primary threat was the Taliban.

General Nicholson berated Pakistan, Russia and Iran for what he claimed was their collective “malign influence” within Afghanistan. In particular, he condemned Russian and Iran for lending legitimacy to the Taliban.

General Nicholson would claim:

Russia has overtly lent legitimacy to the Taliban. And their narrative goes something like this: that the Taliban are the ones fighting Islamic State, not the Afghan government.

However, General Nicholson strategically omits the fact that the US and some of its closest allies in the Middle East have lent the Taliban legitimacy as well, with the US attempting to negotiate with the group and its ally Qatar allowing the Taliban to open what is for all intents and purposes an embassy in Doha, Qatar’s capital.

UK newspaper, The Times, in a 2011 article titled, “Taliban office in Qatar approved by US,” would report that:

The US has given its blessing for the Taliban to be brought in from the cold with a critical step towards reconciliation as the world paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Washington has endorsed plans for the Islamist network to open political headquarters in the gulf state of Qatar by the end of the year. The move has been devised so the West can begin formal peace talks with the Taliban.

More recently, the US State Department’s Voice of America media platform in a December 2016 article titled, “Taliban Seeks Recognition for Qatar Office, Direct Talks With US,” would report:

The U.S. State Department released a statement Friday that acknowledged American officials have seen the Taliban’s statement, and appeared not to explicitly rule out the prospect of talks with the militant group.

“As we have long said, the only way to end the conflict in Afghanistan is through a peace and reconciliation process with the Taliban. We are ready to accept any political resolution of the conflict between the Afghan government and the Taliban so long as the outcome of any process ensures that the Taliban cease violence, break associations with international terrorism, and accept Afghanistan’s constitution, including its protections for women and minorities,” the statement said.

This clearly conflicts directly with General Nicholson’s statements.

By recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate political movement, and with US allies affording the Taliban offices in their capital cities from which to bolster their legitimacy, the US, not Russia, has done the most to undermine its own narrative regarding the so-called “War on Terror” and the entire premise with which it justifies its continued presence in Afghanistan.

While the US claims that it is fighting Al Qaeda and the so-called “Islamic State” in Afghanistan, it is clear that the real battle it fights is against the Taliban and its control over the country vis-a-vis America’s proxy regime in Kabul. The negotiated settlement it is trying to concurrently strike with the Taliban as its military campaign against the movement approaches two-decades, is both a bid to save its struggling proxy regime in Kabul, and an acknowledgement of the limitations of US influence in the region.

Coverage of America’s ongoing presence in Afghanistan has dwindled within the US and European media specifically because the alleged narrative underpinning the occupation has diverged so drastically from reality. Over the next year, for those who carefully follow the conflict, the US will continue manufacturing excuses to remain in the country while it focuses on both negotiating with the Taliban and attempting to diminish them politically and militarily.

For the Taliban, time is on their side, and if General Nicholson’s statements are true about the Taliban receiving protection and resources from abroad are true, then no amount of negotiations or military might within Afghanistan itself will render victory for Washington and its proxies in Kabul.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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