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Eric Margolis

Paper Tiger ISIS Digs Into Mosul

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As a former soldier and war correspondent who has covered 14 conflicts, I look at all the media hoopla over tightening siege of Mosul, Iraq and shake my head. This western-organized “liberation” of Mosul is one of the bigger pieces of political-military theater that I’ve seen.

Islamic State (IS), the defender of Mosul, is a paper tiger, blown out of all proportion by western media.  IS is, as this  writer has been saying for years, an armed mob made up of 20-something malcontents, religious fanatics, and modern-day anarchists.  At its top is a cadre of former Iraqi Army officers with military experience.

These former officers of Saddam Hussain are bent on revenge for the US destruction of their nation and the lynching of its late leader. But IS rank and file has no military training, little discipline, degraded communications, and ragged logistics.
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Khadaffi's Murder

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“We came, we saw…he died” boasted a beaming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaking of the 2011 western overthrow of Libya’s leader Muammar Khadaffi.

She was, of course, shamelessly paraphrasing Caesar’s famous summary of his campaign around the Black Sea. Mrs. Clinton, who seems ordained to be America’s next president, should have been rather more cautious in admitting to murder.

This week marks the fifth anniversary of Khadaffi’s grisly death. The Libyan leader was fleeing in a motor convoy to reach friendly tribal territory when French warplanes and a US drone attacked and destroyed the vehicles. Wounded, Khadaffi crawled into a culvert where he was captured by French and US-backed rebels.

Khadaffi was severely beaten, then anally raped with a long knife. At least two bullets finally ended his suffering. Thus ended the colorful life of the man who wanted to be the second Nasser and leader of a united Arab world. His death was a warnings to others trying to challenge the Mideast status quo I call the American Raj.

I was invited to interview Khadaffi in 1987 at his Tripoli headquarters in the Bab al-Azizya barracks. This was on the one year anniversary of 1986 US air attacks on the barracks that sought to assassinate Khadaffi, described by US President Ronald Reagan as the “mad dog of the Mideast.” But that night, the ‘Leader,’ as he liked to be called, went to his Bedouin tent in the courtyard and thus escaped death – for a time.
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America’s Longest War Gets Longer

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Fifteen years ago this week, the US launched the longest war in its history: the invasion and occupation of remote Afghanistan. Neighboring Pakistan was forced to facilitate the American invasion or  “be bombed back to the stone age."

America was furious after the bloody 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration had been caught sleeping on guard duty. Many Americans believed 9/11 was an inside job by pro-war neocons.

Afghanistan was picked as the target of US vengeance even though the 9/11 attacks were hatched (if in fact done from abroad) in Germany and Spain. The suicide attackers made clear their kamikaze mission was to punish the US for “occupying “ the holy land of Saudi Arabia, and for Washington’s open-ended support of Israel in its occupation of Palestine.

This rational was quickly obscured by the Bush administration that claimed the 9/11 attackers, most of whom were Saudis, were motivated by hatred of American “values" and  “freedoms." This nonsense planted the seeds of the rising tide of Islamophobia that we see today and the faux  “war on terror."

An anti-communist jihadi, Osama bin Laden, was inflated and demonized into America’s Great Satan. The supposed  “terrorist training camps “ in Afghanistan were, as I saw with my eyes, camps where Pakistani intelligence trained jihadis to fight in India-occupied Kashmir.
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How Far Are We From War With Russia Over Syria?

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OK you Russians! No more gentle American diplomacy! No more Mr. Nice Guy! So thundered US Secretary of State John Kerry last week.

Right on cue, the usually overwrought US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, blasted the Russians as ‘barbaric’ for their bombing campaign in Syria. She made no mention of the US using B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers as well as killer drones in Afghanistan. The lapdog US and British media were quick to run anguished pictures of Syrian babies but we saw narry a picture of an injured Afghan child.

Noble Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama, ducked and left Washington’s growing anti-Russian jihad to his aides while he flew off to Israel for the state funeral of Shimon Peres, by now sainted by media as Israel’s ‘man of peace.’ In fact, Peres was the father of Israel’s nuclear weapons programs.

Under Peres’ auspices, Israel secretly offered nuclear warheads and then Jericho missiles to the embattled South African apartheid government. This was ironic because Israel has been insisting that Iran – which does not have nuclear weapons – will proliferate them around the globe.

Back in Washington, just about everyone is now ignoring lame duck Obama and doing their own thing. Recently, the Pentagon, which has no use for Obama, likely sabotaged joint US-Russians plan to end the bloody Syrian civil war by bombing a Syrian Army camp and killing close to 100 Syrian troops. ‘Ooops, sorry, a mistake’ explained the Pentagon.
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Truth About 9/11

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As Americans enter the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on their nation, they still have not understood the true cause of these dreadful attacks.

Who can blame them? Our politicians and media have totally obscured the truth behind these and subsequent attacks that we call ‘terrorism.’ While we mourn 9/11, US B-52 heavy bombers are raining bombs on what’s left of Afghanistan in a futile attempt to crush tribal forces (aka Taliban) fighting western occupation.

We did the same thing in Laos in the 1980’s, as President Barack Obama properly noted during his visit there last week. Laos has never recovered and Afghanistan won’t either.

Since 2015, the US has dropped at least 32,000 – 1,000-2,000 lb. bombs on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan – all Muslim nations. US bomb inventories are running critically low as arms makers work overtime.
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US V US in Syria

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What a mess!  In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be?

It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up the war in Syria but then lost control of the process. When the US has a strong president, he can usually keep the military and intelligence agencies on a tight leash.

But the Obama administration has had a weak secretary of defense and a bunch of lady strategists who are the worst military commanders since Louis XV, who put his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, in charge of French military forces during the Seven Year’s War. The French were routed by the Prussians. France’s foe, Frederick the Great of Prussia, named one of his dogs, "la Pompadour."

As a result,  the two arms of offensive US strategic power, the Pentagon, and CIA, went separate ways in Syria. Growing competition between the US military and militarized CIA broke into the open in Syria.
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Even Nukes Grow Old

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Everything grows old. I’m told one day the stars and planets will turn to dust. So I suppose it’s no surprise that America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons is also showing signs of advancing age, and may have to be replaced.

One would think that the growing decrepitude of our nukes would be a fine time to dismantle and junk these horrible weapons. President Barack Obama has fulsomely preached for the past seven years on the need to get ride of the nukes. Very nice.

Yet once away from the microphones, Obama has let the military-industrial-financial complex generate plans to refresh and update the US nuclear arsenal in a massive project estimated to cost at least $1 trillion.

No major effort has been made to assemble the world’s declared and undeclared nuclear powers and hammer out a plan to junk all nukes and make sure they are not replaced. On the contrary, it’s full speed ahead in the devil’s workshop.

The US Air Force wants to replace by 2044 all of its 1960’s vintage Minuteman ICBMs with 642 new ground-based, silo-launched ICBMs. Some $7 billion was already spent over the past two decades modernizing them.
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Trump's Mouth is His Worst Enemy

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It’s been the week from hell for Donald Trump. Everything seems to be going wrong for him. The worst was the foolish and painful fight he picked with the grieving Khan family.

What happened was clearly a very clever ambush devised by the Clinton camp. A Muslim-American attorney, Khizr Khan, whose army officer son had been blown up in Iraq, was put on show at the Democratic Convention to attack Donald Trump’s ignorant and stupid anti-Muslim policies – and to embarrass him.

It worked brilliantly. Trump, like an enraged mastodon, fell right into the trap. After being sternly rebuked by Mr. Khan, Trump foolishly attacked Mrs. Khan, inferring that she was an oppressed Muslim woman and thus unworthy of our attention. The Khan’s dignified response to Trump’s boorish behavior shamed him and upset many voters.

Instead of attacking Mrs. Khan, Trump should have reminded them that Senator Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq invasion, now seen by many as a major crime. The Khan’s son would likely be alive today – along with 4,491 US soldiers and a million or so Iraqis – if the Bush administration, with almost total Democratic support, had not fabricated and waged this ugly war.
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America's Longest War Gets Longer

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Anti-Russian hysteria in America reached its apogee this week as Democrats tried to divert attention from embarrassing revelations about how the Democratic Party apparatus had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders by claiming Vlad Putin and his KGB had hacked and exposed the Dem’s emails.

This was rich coming from the US that snoops into everyone’s emails and phones across the globe. Remember German chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone being bugged by the US National Security Agency?

Unnamed US ‘intelligence officials’ claimed they had ‘high confidence’ that the Russian KGB or GRU (military intelligence) had hacked the Dem’s emails. These were likely the same officials who had ‘high confidence’ that Iraq had nuclear weapons.

Blaming Putin was a master-stroke of deflection. No more talk of Hillary’s slush fund foundation or her status as a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street. All attention was focused on President Putin who has been outrageously demonized by the US media and politicians.
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The Real Story Behind The Turkish Coup

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September 1961. Geneva, Switzerland. A Turkish classmate of mine named Turgut burst into my room, crying, "those bastards just hanged my father!"

The bastards’ in question were Turkey’s generals. They had overthrown the civilian government of Adnan Menderes and hanged my friend’s father. Since, then, the mighty Turkish armed forces has tried to overthrow the government about every ten years.

Last weekend’s military coup in Turkey was the fifth coup since the 1960’s. Many had believed the mighty, 610,000-man Turkish armed forces, backed by 379,000 trained reserves, NATO’s second largest forces after the US, had finally been driven back to its barracks by the popular democratic AK party government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

So it seemed until last Friday when tanks seized the two Bosphorus bridges in Istanbul, and attacks were staged against key targets, like TV stations, the intelligence HQ, and government buildings. Five very senior generals and 25 colonels were reportedly at the core of the uprising.
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