Saturday, September 06, 2014

Who Is ISIS? An open source investigation

Another ISIS analysis–James Corbett’s “Who Is ISIS? An open source investigation”

by Eva Bartlett - In Gaza

In his remarkable style of presenting the lies we’ve been told are truths, James Corbett breaks down the history of what is currently known as ISIS or IS, the key players (and their various reincarnations), and possible links to Western regime-changers (John McCain)

I’ve included excerpts from this fascinating article and would encourage you to read the entire piece at the Corbett Report, as well as peruse his hundreds of archived audio interviews and podcasts, and the other material on his site.

Who Is ISIS? An open source investigation
Sept 6, James Corbett:

“The Islamic State has gone through numerous name changes since its founding in Iraq in 1999. originally known as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād (JTJ), (“The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad”), it changed to Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn (“The Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers”) in 2004 after the group swore allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. During this period it was popularly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). In 2006 it became the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), but changed again in 2013 after expanding into Syria. At that point it became Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Its latest moniker, the “Islamic State,” came about after the proclamation of a new caliphate on June 29, 2014.

The group was founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999. Zarqawi, a Sunni militant from Jordan, enjoyed a remarkable career that involved numerous imprisonments, escapes, evacuations, deaths and resurrections. Meeting Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan at the tail end of the Soviet-Afghan war, Zarqawi was imprisoned in Jordan for six years for attempting to overthrow the Jordanian government. Released in 1999, he made his way to Afghanistan where he ran a militant training camp before making his way to Iraq, allegedly via Iran. During his time in Iraq, he was killed in a bombing raid in April of 2003; miraculously resurrected to be arrested in Fallujah in 2004; re-arrested in Baakuba in January of 2005; evacuated from Iraq in May of 2005; killed in fighting in June of 2005; and once again resurrected to be killed once again (presumably for good) in 2006.

…This has led many to speculate on the group’s possible founding and backing by Western intelligence as a front for foreign policy goals such as the sectarian division of Iraq or as an excuse to keep the west militarily involved in the region. As far back as 2006 the UK Telegraph reported that prominent Sunni insurgent leaders in Iraq were claiming that the group’s founder, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was “”an American, Israeli and Iranian agent who is trying to keep our country unstable so that the Sunnis will keep facing occupation.” This sentiment is echoed to the present day, with Saudi scholar Consultative Assembly member Dr. Aissa Al-Ghaith claiming that the Islamic State is backed by America, Israel and Iran. This sentiment is bolstered by the revelation earlier this year that ISIS fighters were trained by the US military at a camp in Jordan in 2012.

…There is still no answer as to who staged the beheading video of James Foley or why it was faked

An image of US Senator John McCain in Syria in April 2013 has generated controversy for claims that it pictures him with ISIS member Mohammad Nour and even ISIS leader Baghdadi himself. Some have cast doubt on whether the man in the photograph is Baghdadi, but the man does bear an uncanny resemblance to the official picture of Baghdadi on the State Department “Rewards for Justice” website.

What's To Be Done About ISIS?

What to Do About ISIS

by David Swanson - War is a Crime 

John Horgan asked me for a paragraph on what to do about ISIS. I sent him this:

I'd say start by recognizing where ISIS came from.

The U.S. and its junior partners destroyed Iraq, left a sectarian division, poverty, desperation, and an illegitimate government in Baghdad that did not represent Sunnis or other groups. Then the U.S. armed and trained ISIS and allied groups in Syria, while continuing to prop up the Baghdad government, providing Hellfire missiles with which to attack Iraqis in Fallujah and elsewhere.

ISIS has religious adherents but also opportunistic supporters who see it as the force resisting an unwanted rule from Baghdad and who increasingly see it as resisting the United States. It is in possession of U.S. weaponry provided directly to it in Syria and seized from the Iraqi government. At last count by the U.S. government, 79% of weapons transferred to Middle Eastern governments come from the United States, not counting transfers to groups like ISIS, and not counting weapons in the possession of the United States.

So, the first thing to do differently going forward: stop bombing nations into ruins, and stop shipping weapons into the area you've left in chaos.

Libya is of course another example of the disasters that U.S. wars leave behind them -- a war, by the way, with U.S. weapons used on boith sides, and a war launched on the pretext of a claim well documented to have been false that Gadaffi was threatening to massacre civilians.

So, here's the next thing to do: be very sceptical of humanitarian claims. The U.S. bombing around Erbil to protect Kurdish and U.S. oil interests was initially justified as bombing to protect people on a mountain. But most of those people on the mountain were in no need of rescue, and that justification has now been set aside, just as Benghazi was.

Recall also that Obama was forced to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq when he couldn't get the Iraqi government to give them immunity for crimes they commit. He has now obtained that immunity and back in they go, the crimes preceding them in the form of 500 pound bombs.

While trying to rescue hostages and discovering an empty house, and racing to a mountain to save 30,000 people but finding 3,000 and most of those not wanting to leave, the U.S. claims to know exactly whom the 500-pound bombs are killing.

But whoever they are killing, they are generating more enemies, and they are building support for ISIS, not diminishing it. So, now the U.S. finds itself on the opposite side of the war in Syria, so what does it do? Flip sides! Now the great moral imperative is not to bomb Assad but to bomb in defense of Assad, the only consistent point being that "something must be done" and the only conceivable something is to pick some party and bomb it. But why is that the only conceivable thing to be done?

Russell Brand Reads

I can think of some others:

1. Apologize for brutalizing the leader of ISIS in Abu Ghraib and to every other prisoner victimized under U.S. occupation

2. Apologize for destroying the nation of Iraq and to every family there

3. Begin making restitution by delivering aid (not "military aid" but actual aid, food, medicine) to the entire nation of Iraq

4. Apologize for role in war in Syria

5. Begin making restitution by delivering actual aid to Syria

6. Announce a commitment not to provide weapons to Iraq or Syria or Israel or Jordan or Egypt or Bahrain or any other nation anywhere on earth and to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from foreign territories and seas, including Afghanistan. (The U.S. Coast Guard in the Persian Gulf has clearly forgotten where the coast of the U.S. is!)

7. Announce a commitment to invest heavily in solar, wind, and other green energy and to provide the same to democratic representative governments.

8. Begin providing Iran with free wind and solar technologies -- at much lower cost of course than what it is costing the U.S. and Israel to threaten Iran over a nonexistent nuclear weapons program.

9. End economic sanctions.

10. Send diplomats to Baghdad and Damascus to negotiate aid and to encourage serious reforms.

11. Send journalists, aid workers, peaceworkers, human shields, and negotiators into crisis zones, understanding that this means risking lives, but fewer lives than further militarization risks.

12. Empower people with agricultural assistance, education, cameras, and internet access.

13. Launch a communications campaign in the United States to replace military recruitment campaigns, focused on building sympathy and desire to serve as critical aid workers, persuading doctors and engineers to volunteer their time to travel to and visit these areas of crisis.

14. Work through the United Nations on all of this.

15. Sign the United States on to the International Criminal Court and voluntarily propose the prosecution of top U.S. officials of this and the preceding regimes for their crimes.

What a Difference a Decade (or so) Makes: Canadian Forces to Iraq

What a Difference a Decade (or so) Makes: Canadian Forces to Iraq

by C. L. Cook - Pacific Free Press

Fresh from the NATO confab in Wales, Stephen Harper announced Canadian troops will be sent to Iraq, ostensibly to aid in the fight against ISIS.

Candidates for the Canadian Special 
Operations Regiment train in Kamloops, B.C.
 (Lt(N) Meghan Marsaw/Combat Camera) 

Days before 9/11's 13th anniversary, and nearly eleven and a half years after George W. Bush's declaration of "mission accomplished" in America's war against Saddam Hussein, Canada will finally (officially) have 'boots on the ground' in that benighted nation.

It's a move resisted in bygone days by former prime minister, Jean Chretien, and opposed vociferously then by his Liberal party and the left-leaning New Democrats. But, why is the official opposition, and the unofficial government-in-waiting now on board with the PM and, what will Canadian Forces be doing when they get over there?

According to state broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) "No specifics were available on what type of work they'd be doing." But, the CBC reports;

"Harper has said the Canadian Forces deployed to Iraq won't be involved in combat." 

What the PMO can say, and the CBC is ready to relay about the mission is that several dozens of members from the Special Operations Regiment will be deployed in an effort to provide, "strategic and tactical counsel to Iraqi forces before they start tactical operations" against ISIS, or the Islamic State in Syria, also known as ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The ultimate aim the CBC says, is that, "[O]ver time, ISIS could be pushed back into Syria." Presumably, they will then be left alone to do what the Americans had equipped and trained this "scourge," as Liberal Marc Garneau describes them, namely continue killing and beheading, terrorizing and maiming Syrian civilians.

Speaking to the House's unanimity on the Harper initiative, former astronaut and Liberal party star Garneau says, "we all have the same interests here. ISIS is a scourge and we have come together to help Iraq here."

That's right, after eleven years of horror Iraqis can rest easy because we're only here to help!

Without complicating the issue, or putting too fine a point on what constitutes "involvement" and what "commitment," Canadians should be disabused of the notion their country had no part in the invasion and occupation of Iraq from the outset. All parties in the House of Commons maintained the fiction of Canadian neutrality (itself a tacit approval of U.S. actions there) as the country's corporate players made like bandits, American planes refueled in Newfoundland, the nation's Navy ran patrol and "interdiction" on behalf of the "allied forces," and, as Canadian author, Yves Engler documents, Canadian soldiers did indeed take part in ground operations. Canada's air force too took part, running "training" missions over Iraq; training that doubtless proved useful later during the bombing of Libya.

The only element missing then was an official 'Made in Canada' stamp of approval, one endorsed by a consensus of the Parliament. That seal of approval is now provided*, as the "opposition" NDP's foreign affairs "critic" Paul Dewar assures, characterizing his government counterpart, John Baird's visit to Iraq as a "multipartisan trip to assess what’s happening in Iraq, to assess what Canada can do."

Canadian involvement is good news for America's Secretary of State, John Kerry who, while stressing the importance of the fight against ISIS at the recently concluded NATO meetings, outlined his nation's priorities, saying;

"We need to attack them in ways that prevent them from taking over territory, to bolster the Iraqi security forces and others in the region who are prepared to take them on, without committing troops of our own."  


"Obviously I think that's a red line for everybody here: no boots on the ground."

All this comes at a time of intense war weariness in the West, where a growing skepticism of the benefits of military actions around the globe and ever greater demands of NATO-member nation monies for war and war preparedness strain credulity. This despite the media's best efforts to bolster the militarist agenda in the middle east, Asia, and now in Ukraine, where U.S. and NATO's assertions of Russian belligerence being the driver of the crisis there, (a claim the most basic internet search easily puts the lie to) sound more bizarre by the hour. 

Nevertheless, Stephen Harper, so far backed by the major parties in the Parliament, is committing Canada to greater military involvement in Iraq and against Russia, while also making quiet promises to dedicate more of the country's GDP for NATO's ever-broadening military ambitions. All naturally in an effort to "help."

Friday, a government press release assured "a special meeting of the House of Commons standing committee on foreign affairs and international development will be provide information to Members of Parliament." Next is Canada's further progress towards what is shaping up to be a 21st Century global conflict whose promise can only be one of unprecedentedly disastrous potential.

*Elizabeth May's and the Green Party of Canada's reaction to the Harper announcement at time of writing is unavailable, but presumably will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Calling Out Obama and the Jingoist Media on Ukraine Lies Before the Next War

Iraq Has WMDs and Russia Has Invaded!

by David Swanson - War Is a Crime

How did they imagine they'd get away with it, claiming that Iraq had vast stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and even nuclear weapons?

Defectors had made clear the chemical and biological weapons (some of them provided by the United States) had been destroyed. Inspectors had searched almost every inch of Iraq and said they'd get to the last few inches if given a few more days. Iraq was screaming that it had no such weapons. Numerous nations around the world were agreeing with Iraq. Colin Powell's own staff warned him that his claims would not be deemed plausible.

And yet, they got away with it to such an extent that most well-intentioned people in the United States to this day maintain that nobody can possibly be sure that Bush, Cheney, et alia, knew their statements were false when they made them.

"All this was inspired by the principle -- which is quite true within itself -- that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods." — Adolf Hitler

The U.S. media has repeatedly been claiming that Russia has invaded Ukraine.

They claim it for a while, and there's obviously been no invasion, so they pause.

Then they claim it again.

Or they claim that a convoy of aid trucks constitutes an invasion.

But the aid trucks look like aid trucks in all the photographs, and yet nobody has taken similar photographs of any invasion.

When Ukrainian tanks rolled into eastern Ukraine and were surrounded by civilians, we saw photographs and videos. Now there's just a Colin-Powellesque satellite photo from NATO supposedly showing Russian artillery in Ukraine.

The major Russian invasion, that apparently comes complete with some sort of muggle-and-photographer-repellant charm, is said to consist of 1,000 troops -- or roughly as many troops as the U.S. has now sent back into Iraq in no sort of invasion to worry about whatsoever.

But where are the 1,000 Russian troops invading Ukraine? Ukraine claims to have captured 10 of them, but the captured troops don't seem to have agreed to the story. And what happened to the other 990? How did someone get close enough to capture 10 but not photograph the other 990?

Meanwhile Russia says it's all lies and publicly urges the United States to engage with Ukraine diplomatically and urge the Ukrainian government to stop bombing its own citizens and work out a federalist system that represents everyone within its borders.

But NATO is busy announcing a counter-invasion to the invisible Russian invasion.

How do they imagine they'll get away with it? Well, let's see. Not a single individual responsible for the lies that launched the destruction of Iraq and the death of some million people and the predictable and predicted chaos now tormenting Iraq's whole region has been held accountable in any way.

The lie that Gadaffi was about to slaughter innocents, the lie that facilitated the attack on Libya and the hell that has now been established there -- No one has been held accountable for that lie in any way whatsoever.

The lie that the White House had proof that Assad had used chemical weapons -- No one has been held accountable. No one has even had to recant as they switch targets and propose bombing Assad's enemies.

The lie that drone strikes don't kill innocents and don't kill those who could easily have been arrested instead -- No one has been held accountable.

The lie that the United States had proof Russia had shot down an airplane over Ukraine -- No one has been held accountable, and the United States is opposing an independent investigation.

The lie that torture makes us safe, a lie that led to the United States torturing some folks -- No one at the level of air-conditioned office work has been held responsible at all.

Why do they think they can get away with it?

Because you let them. Because you don't want to believe they commit such atrocities. Because you don't want to believe they tell big lies.

You know, some people feel like idiots for having believed the Iraq lies. Imagine how they're going to feel when they find out they believed a nation had been invaded when it hadn't.

David Swanson is author of War Is A Lie.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Telling the Big Lie: Washington Post Goes Beyond the Call of Duty on Ukraine Reportage

Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ on Ukraine?

by Robert Parry - Consortium News

If you wonder how the world could stumble into World War III – much as it did into World War I a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire U.S. political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats vs. black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason.

The original lie behind Official Washington’s latest “group think” was that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis in Ukraine as part of some diabolical scheme to reclaim the territory of the defunct Soviet Union, including Estonia and other Baltic states. Though not a shred of U.S. intelligence supported this scenario, all the “smart people” of Washington just “knew” it to be true.

Yet, the once-acknowledged – though soon forgotten – reality was that the crisis was provoked last year by the European Union proposing an association agreement with Ukraine while U.S. neocons and other hawkish politicos and pundits envisioned using the Ukraine gambit as a way to undermine Putin inside Russia.

The plan was even announced by U.S. neocons such as National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman who took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post nearly a year ago to call Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important interim step toward eventually toppling Putin in Russia.

Gershman, whose NED is funded by the U.S. Congress, wrote: “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

In other words, from the start, Putin was the target of the Ukraine initiative, not the instigator. But even if you choose to ignore Gershman’s clear intent, you would have to concoct a bizarre conspiracy theory to support the conventional wisdom about Putin’s grand plan.

To believe that Putin was indeed the mastermind of the crisis, you would have to think that he somehow arranged to have the EU offer the association agreement last year, then got the International Monetary Fund to attach such draconian “reforms” that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych backed away from the deal.

Then, Putin had to organize mass demonstrations at Kiev’s Maidan square against Yanukovych while readying neo-Nazi militias to act as the muscle to finally overthrow the elected president and replace him with a regime dominated by far-right Ukrainian nationalists and U.S.-favored technocrats. Next, Putin had to get the new government to take provocative actions against ethnic Russians in the east, including threatening to outlaw Russian as an official language.

And throw into this storyline that Putin – all the while – was acting like he was trying to help Yanukovych defuse the crisis and even acquiesced to Yanukovych agreeing on Feb. 21 to accept an agreement brokered by three European countries calling for early Ukrainian elections that could vote him out of office. Instead, Putin was supposedly ordering neo-Nazi militias to oust Yanukovych in a Feb. 22 putsch, all the better to create the current crisis.

While such a fanciful scenario would make the most extreme conspiracy theorist blush, this narrative was embraced by prominent U.S. politicians, including ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and “journalists” from the New York Times to CNN. They all agreed that Putin was a madman on a mission of unchecked aggression against his neighbors with the goal of reconstituting the Russian Empire. Clinton even compared him to Adolf Hitler.

This founding false narrative was then embroidered by a consistent pattern of distorted U.S. reporting as the crisis unfolded. Indeed, for the past eight months, we have seen arguably the most one-sided coverage of a major international crisis in memory, although there were other crazed MSM stampedes, such as Iraq’s non-existent WMD in 2002-03, Iran’s supposed nuclear bomb project for most of the past decade, Libya’s “humanitarian crisis” of 2011, and Syria’s sarin gas attack in 2013.

But the hysteria over Ukraine – with U.S. officials and editorialists now trying to rally a NATO military response to Russia’s alleged “invasion” of Ukraine – raises the prospect of a nuclear confrontation that could end all life on the planet.

The ‘Big Lie’ of the ‘Big Lie’

This madness reached new heights with a Sept. 1 editorial in the neoconservative Washington Post, which led many of the earlier misguided stampedes and was famously wrong in asserting that Iraq’s concealment of WMD was a “flat fact.” In its new editorial, the Post reprised many of the key elements of the false Ukraine narrative in the Orwellian context of accusing Russia of deceiving its own people.

The “through-the-looking-glass” quality of the Post’s editorial was to tell the “Big Lie” while accusing Putin of telling the “Big Lie.” The editorial began with the original myth about the aggression waged by Putin whose “bitter resentment at the Soviet empire’s collapse metastasized into seething Russian nationalism. …

“In prosecuting his widening war in Ukraine, he has also resurrected the tyranny of the Big Lie, using state-controlled media to twist the truth so grotesquely that most Russians are in the dark — or profoundly misinformed — about events in their neighbor to the west. …

“In support of those Russian-sponsored militias in eastern Ukraine, now backed by growing ranks of Russian troops and weapons, Moscow has created a fantasy that plays on Russian victimization. By this rendering, the forces backing Ukraine’s government in Kiev are fascists and neo-Nazis, a portrayal that Mr. Putin personally advanced on Friday, when he likened the Ukrainian army’s attempts to regain its own territory to the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War II, an appeal meant to inflame Russians’ already overheated nationalist emotions.”

The Post continued:

“Against the extensive propaganda instruments available to Mr. Putin’s authoritarian regime, the West can promote a fair and factual version of events, but there’s little it can do to make ordinary Russians believe it. Even in a country with relatively unfettered access to the Internet, the monopolistic power of state-controlled media is a potent weapon in the hands of a tyrant.

“Mr. Putin’s Big Lie shows why it is important to support a free press where it still exists and outlets like Radio Free Europe that bring the truth to people who need it.”

Yet the truth is that the U.S. mainstream news media’s distortion of the Ukraine crisis is something that a real totalitarian could only dream about. Virtually absent from major U.S. news outlets – across the political spectrum – has been any significant effort to tell the other side of the story or to point out the many times when the West’s “fair and factual version of events” has been false or deceptive, starting with the issue of who started this crisis.

Blinded to Neo-Nazis

In another example, the Post and other mainstream U.S. outlets have ridiculed the idea that neo-Nazis played any significant role in the putsch that ousted Yanukovych on Feb. 22 or in the Kiev regime’s brutal offensive against the ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine.

However, occasionally, the inconvenient truth has slipped through. For instance, shortly after the February coup, the BBC described how the neo-Nazis spearheaded the violent seizure of government buildings to drive Yanukovych from power and were then rewarded with four ministries in the regime that was cobbled together in the coup’s aftermath.

When ethnic Russians in the south and east resisted the edicts from the new powers in Kiev, some neo-Nazi militias were incorporated into the National Guard and dispatched to the front lines as storm troopers eager to fight and kill people whom some considered “Untermenschen” or sub-human.

Even the New York Times, which has been among the most egregious violators of journalistic ethics in covering the Ukraine crisis, took note of Kiev’s neo-Nazi militias carrying Nazi banners while leading attacks on eastern cities – albeit with this embarrassing reality consigned to the last three paragraphs of a long Times story on a different topic. [See’s “NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War.”]

Later, the conservative London Telegraph wrote a much more detailed story about how the Kiev regime had consciously recruited these dedicated storm troopers, who carried the Wolfsangel symbol favored by Hitler’s SS, to lead street fighting in eastern cities that were first softened up by army artillery. [See’s “Ignoring Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers.”]

You might think that unleashing Nazi storm troopers on a European population for the first time since World War II would be a big story – given how much coverage is given to far less significant eruptions of neo-Nazi sentiment in Europe – but this ugly reality in Ukraine disappeared quickly into the U.S. media’s memory hole. It didn’t fit the preferred good guy/bad guy narrative, with the Kiev regime the good guys and Putin the bad guy.

Now, the Washington Post has gone a step further dismissing Putin’s reference to the nasty violence inflicted by Kiev’s neo-Nazi battalions as part of Putin’s “Big Lie.” The Post is telling its readers that any reference to these neo-Nazis is just a “fantasy.”

Even more disturbing, the mainstream U.S. news media and Washington’s entire political class continue to ignore the Kiev government’s killing of thousands of ethnic Russians, including children and other non-combatants. The “responsibility to protect” crowd has suddenly lost its voice. Or, all the deaths are somehow blamed on Putin for supposedly having provoked the Ukraine crisis in the first place.

A Mysterious ‘Invasion’

And now there’s the curious case of Russia’s alleged “invasion” of Ukraine, another alarmist claim trumpeted by the Kiev regime and echoed by NATO hardliners and the MSM.

While I’m told that Russia did provide some light weapons to the rebels early in the struggle so they could defend themselves and their territory – and a number of Russian nationalists have crossed the border to join the fight – the claims of an overt “invasion” with tanks, artillery and truck convoys have been backed up by scant intelligence.

One former U.S. intelligence official who has examined the evidence said the intelligence to support the claims of a significant Russian invasion amounted to “virtually nothing.” Instead, it appears that the ethnic Russian rebels may have evolved into a more effective fighting force than many in the West thought. They are, after all, fighting on their home turf for their futures.

Concerned about the latest rush to judgment about the “invasion,” the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group of former U.S. intelligence officials and analysts, took the unusual step of sending a memo to German Chancellor Angela Merkel warning her of a possible replay of the false claims that led to the Iraq War.

“You need to know,” the group wrote, “that accusations of a major Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the ‘intelligence’ seems to be of the same dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.”

But these doubts and concerns are not reflected in the Post’s editorial or other MSM accounts of the dangerous Ukraine crisis. Indeed, Americans who rely on these powerful news outlets for their information are as sheltered from reality as anyone living in a totalitarian society.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Deep State, Deep Six: Perpetual War's Enduring Appeal

The Zero-Sum Game of Perpetual War

by Bill Blunden - CounterPunch

Readers with a morbid sense of curiosity can visit a web site called NukeMap that allows visitors to witness the devastation caused by nuclear weapons of varying yields on a city of their choosing[i]. Herman Kahn, who was an armchair theorist from RAND during the Cold War, insisted that nuclear war was winnable[ii]. But a few hours with NukeMap will disprove Kahn’s folly and the baleful smiley face that he tried to slap over human extinction.

Against this backdrop it’s no wonder that recent developments in the Ukraine have been known to cause night terrors. Your author can vouch for this. Last week there was an earthquake in the Bay Area and at the outset I woke up mistaking it for a shock wave from sub-megaton warhead hitting Silicon Valley.

One could posit that what’s happening in Eastern Europe offers a look-see into the nature of the groups that are calling the shots in the United States. Do they care that their destabilization program in Ukraine provokes a nuclear-armed country or enables neo-Nazis to assume vital positions in government[iii]? So far almost 2,600 civilians have been killed in the ongoing humanitarian crisis[iv]. While the corporate press does its best to create the impression of a “shining city upon a hill” which aims to “spread democracy” and conduct “humanitarian intervention[v],” a different sort of world power is clearly visible to those who look carefully.

The appalling savagery of radical groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reflects the appalling savagery of American military incursions[vi]. Or perhaps the collective consciousness of the United States has already forgotten over hundreds thousand dead Iraqi civilians [vii] and the long trail of drone induced “bug-splats[viii].” Ruthless men like Genghis Khan didn’t vanish into history books. Oh no, they’re still around. Some of them are right here in the good old U.S.A. It’s just that they’ve replaced scepters with hand-tailored suits and have traded thrones for seats on corporate boards.


Such men often go unnoticed because they tend to exercise power discreetly, standing behind a veil of propaganda[ix]. For instance Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Steve Coll has called ExxonMobil an “invisible company” thanks to a disciplined and well-funded public relations division[x]. This underscores the fact that the narratives put forth by the press are under the influence of an extensive subversion apparatus that CIA officer Frank Wisner referred to as the Mighty Wurlitzer[xi]. Powerful groups build consensus behind closed doors and then, as Chomsky and Herman explain, coax the rest of society along by manufacturing consent[xii]. Thus enabling what’s known as democratic elitism.

Despite all the filtering that occurs, readers will still, occasionally, get a glimpse of politicians dutifully lining up to kiss the boots of plutocrats[xiii]. Political leaders like Barack Obama and George W. Bush are merely hired help, useful lightning rods who draw our attention away from the men working the levers of power in Washington D.C.

Pluralists contend that we, the voters, own these levers. Published research says otherwise.

Who Are Those Guys?

So just who are the “deciders”? American philosopher John Dewey answered this question in one crisp sentence[xiv]: “Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business.”

A number of sociologists have arrived at the same basic conclusion. For example, back in the 1950s a professor at Columbia named C. Wright Mills described national policy decisions as being forged by a small group of power elite who were bound together by shared class interests. The work of contemporary sociologists like G. William Domhoff[xv] and Peter Phillips[xvi] further substantiate the conclusions of Mills.

It’s alleged that when Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office told labor activists “I agree with you, now go out and make me do it.” Which, if true, is a reminder that most politicians could care less about genuine social justice and are far more concerned about doing whatever it takes to stay in office.

A natural corollary of this is that lawmakers respond to those groups which are capable of rewarding and punishing them. This is in line with the Investment Theory of Party Competition, a model devised by political scientist Thomas Ferguson. Ferguson’s theory describes the political process as being dominated by corporate interests which coalesce into factions and compete to guide policy. A couple of researchers, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, have published a paper that offers quantitative validation of Ferguson’s model concluding that[xvii]:

“Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.”

Note the mention of “organized groups” in the previous excerpt. Although political mobilization is typically associated with unions and social movements, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson explain in their book Winner Take All Politics that corporations have used similar collective strategies to coordinate their efforts and instrument policy changes. The media likes to portray political contests as one individual versus another (as American culture is rooted in the myth of rugged individualism) but it’s more accurate to view political struggle as a form of conflict between organizations. A billionaire like George Soros isn’t just a lone citizen, he represents a small army of people.

Let’s take a look at some of these corporate sets.

Corporate Emperors: The Banks

The late Michael Ruppert once stated that “The CIA is Wall Street. Wall Street is the CIA[xviii].” There’s definitely something to this as the figures responsible for creating the CIA, men like Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles, were heavily linked to Wall Street[xix]. This is only logical as the global nature of espionage during World War II required people who were steeped in the nuances of international law and trade. Both Allen and John Foster were partners in Sullivan and Cromwell, a Wall Street law firm that remains one of the most profitable legal practices in the world.

Is it any surprise that both subcultures ─spies and bankers─ exhibit indications of being above the law? For example, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper perjured himself on camera with little or no fallout[xx]. The Director of the CIA outright lied about monitoring the Senate Intelligence Committee and in return received the full backing of POTUS[xxi].

Spies by virtue of their work break laws in other countries on a regular basis. Some intelligence officers become rather adept at it. It would be naïve to think that agencies like the CIA, answering only to the President and shielded by official secrecy, might be tempted to take shortcuts with the legal system here in the United States. Journalist Gary Webb, who investigated the CIA’s connection to drug smuggling, arrived at this conclusion. He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Twice[xxii].

Likewise Bank of America was recently fined over $16 billion for mortgage fraud and the company’s stock price jumped 4 percent[xxiii]. The CEO of JPMorgan presided over various scams that resulted in $20 billion worth of fines and, for his trouble, he was awarded a 74 percent raise[xxiv]. No one outside of a few sacrificial lambs like Bernie Madoff is serving jail time. Hunter S. Thompson disciple Matt Taibbi points out the obvious: rule of law has broken down[xxv]:

“In the case of a company like HSBC, which admitted to laundering $850 million for a pair of Central and South American drug cartels, somebody has to go to jail in that case. If you’re going to put people in jail for having a joint in their pocket or for slinging dime bags on the corner in a city street, you cannot let people who laundered $800 million for the worst drug offenders in the world walk.”

In addition to their role in the origins of U.S. intelligence, large financial institutions maintain a special position in the power structure because they’re the primary architects of the West’s economic model, driven by an ideological vision of open markets and accessible resources. As custodians of the world’s reserve currency they work diligently to realize this vision. Bankers have demonstrated the ability to shape history and spur military engagement[xxvi]. When push comes to shove, as we saw during the 2008 financial crisis, they can hold entire economies hostage[xxvii].

This isn’t necessarily surprising given the amount of assets that they have at their disposal. For instance, Richard Fisher of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank has reported that 12 American megabanks control something on the order of 70% of the American banking industry’s assets[xxviii]. Or consider the investment management company BlackRock which holds over $3 trillion in assets[xxix]. This figure is on par with the 2013 U.S. Federal Budget.

Corporate Emperors: Other Sectors

Rivaling the banks are the fossil fuel companies. For example oil monolith ExxonMobil, a corporate descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, brings in annual revenue on the order of half a trillion dollars.[xxx] Thus making ExxonMobil roughly as big as the economy of Poland.

Over the past two decades the company has spent more than $200 million lobbying on the D.C. beltway[xxxi]. Modern society runs on oil and this translates into a mountain of money and a comparable level of influence. Like the bankers[xxxii], the executives of the fossil fuel industry has the resources to reward those politicians who attend to their needs[xxxiii].

Finally there’s the defense industry and its hi-tech offshoots. This is a sector of the economy that has held sway since the end of World War II, when Charles Wilson, then the president of General Electric, promoted the idea of a permanent war economy[xxxiv]. Not only does the defense industry arm and equip the most powerful military on the planet, whose budget for 2014 is over $500 billion[xxxv], but it also dominates the international arms market. In 2012 the New York Times reported that United States weapons exports were more than 75% of the global market[xxxvi].

Defense companies in the United States sell heavy weaponry to repressive governments in Saudi Arabia[xxxvii], Egypt[xxxviii], and Israel[xxxix]. Business is thriving, enough so that taken in aggregate defense contractors like Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon form a prevalent lobbying force in Washington.

Think of it this way, these are businesses that manufacture the weapons which can level cities. Defense companies are intimately connected to people who wield such weapons both in the government and in the mercenary outfits of the private sector. The defense industry embodies the primeval archetype of unencumbered raw violence, the tip of the imperial spear, the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about as he left office. No one crosses these executives, not even allegedly progressive political candidates who promise “change.”

An Elite Backdoor: The Deep State

How is it that influential corporate factions, with no constitutional authority whatsoever, are able to exercise state power? Congressional staff member Mike Lofgren claims that the corporate elite go through a Deep State[xl]. An extension of the visible state that resides below the surface of the body politic.

The derin devlet, or “deep state”, was a term coined in Turkey to describe a shadow government that existed as an outgrowth of covert operations launched during World War II. It consisted of government officials, spies, and organized crime elements[xli]. The Turkish Deep State served as a means to quash countervailing power centers that threatened the established secular order.

The ongoing instability in Egypt has also revealed the presence of a deep state in that country[xlii]. Powerful interests anchored in the nation’s military and security services have aggressively attacked anyone and anything that represents a threat, as a court ruling which sentenced hundreds of people to execution for the death of a single police officer demonstrates[xliii].

Like Turkey and Egypt, Ukraine also has a deep state. The New York Times describes it as being choreographed by a league of oligarchs[xliv]:

“The ultra-wealthy industrialists wield such power in Ukraine that they form what amounts to a shadow government, with empires of steel and coal, telecoms and media, and armies of workers.”

It’s interesting that although the New York Times openly refers to oligarchs in Ukraine in its headlines, the editors are far more demure in terms of how they refer to the ruling class here in the United States.

The American Deep State, or what Colonel Fletcher Prouty called the Secret Team, is a structural layer of political intermediaries: non-governmental organizations (e.g. National Endowment for Democracy, Ford Foundation), lobbyists (e.g. Chamber of Commerce, AIPAC), media outlets (e.g. Time Warner, News Corp), dark money pits (e.g. Freedom Partners, NRA), and private sector contractors (e.g. Booz Allen, SAIC) that interface with official government organs (CIA, Department of Defense)[xlv]. This layer establishes a series of informal, often secret, backchannels and revolving doors through which profound sources of wealth and power outside of government can purchase influence.

As in Turkey, Egypt, and Ukraine, the American Deep State is a fundamentally anti-democratic apparatus that caters to the agenda of heavily entrenched elites. CIA Officer John Stockwell explains what ties the Deep State together[xlvi]:

“The CIA and the big corporations were, in my experience, in step with each other. Later I realized that they may argue about details of strategy – a small war here or there. However, both are vigorously committed to supporting the system. Corporate leaders fight amongst themselves like people in any human endeavor. They raid and hostilely take over each other’s companies. Losers have been known to commit suicide. However, they firmly believe in the capitalist system”


Looking back at the past two decades, U.S. intervention in the Middle East has failed to “spread democracy” or win the “war on terror.” It has only succeeded in creating more instability, more conflict, and more enemies[xlvii]. After spending $25 billion to equip and train Iraqi security forces[xlviii], our military ends up bombing its own equipment[xlix] to fend off CIA-armed jihadist forces[l] in anticipation of providing even more military aid to the Kurds[li].

One thing is certain: the Middle East is awash with armaments supplied by the United States.

There are those who would argue that this incongruous state of affairs is intentional, that stated claims about WMDs and nurturing democracy are a mere pretext for a more ominous stratagem. More than a decade ago John Stockwell presciently pointed out an unsettling logic, an instance of Hegelian Dialectic where the ruling class creates its own enemies to feed off of the ensuing carnage[lii]:

“Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the U.S. military machine to turn. If the world were peaceful, we would never put up with this kind of ruinous expenditure on arms at the cost of our own lives. This is where the thousands of CIA destabilizations begin to make a macabre kind of economic sense. They function to kill people who never were our enemies-that’s not the problem-but to leave behind, for each one of the dead, perhaps five loved ones who are now traumatically conditioned to violence and hostility toward the United States. This insures that the world will continue to be a violent place, populates with contras and Cuban exiles and armies in Southeast Asia, justifying the endless, profitable production of arms to ‘defend’ ourselves in such a violent world”

The defense industry thrives from regional conflicts like this, a constant stream of flash points in America’s self-perpetuating campaign to eradicate terrorism. The cost for the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan reaches into trillions of dollars and much of that funding ends up covering military expenses[liii]. About a year ago, back when President Obama announced he was thinking about bombing the Assad regime, Raytheon’s stock jumped[liv].

And the defense executives aren’t alone, the fossil fuel industry also extracts its pound of flesh[lv]. It’s the failed state model for neocolonialism[lvi]. Non-nuclear countries that have been ravaged by war are more susceptible to opening their doors and yielding nationalized resources on behalf of corporate pressure. Before the United States invaded Iraq its oil wells weren’t accessible to outside firms. After the invasion Western oil interests like Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil have all gained entry to one of the world’s largest sources of oil[lvii]. In March of 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iraq’s oil output was at its highest point in more than 30 years[lviii].


As perennial conflict abroad is leveraged as a tool of empire, at home it leads to repression. The late Chalmers Johnson, who studied this phenomenon as a professor at UC San Diego, characterized this with the adage “Either give up your empire, or live under it.”

With the public exposure of the NSA’s global surveillance apparatus there are intimations that this process is already underway. In 2005 there were revelations of warrantless wiretapping under President George W. Bush[lix], a story that the New York Times sat on for months[lx]. Then a slew of NSA whistleblowers like Russell Tice[lxi], Thomas Drake[lxii] and William Binney[lxiii] publicly came forward with allegations that the NSA’s monitoring programs were unconstitutional. And in May of 2013 the other shoe dropped when a Booz Allen contractor named Ed Snowden handed over a large set of classified documents[lxiv] to journalists in Hong Kong.

The purpose of the NSA’s panopticon is to further the interests of the corporate elite. In an open letter to Brazil Ed Snowden clearly states as much[lxv]:

“These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.”

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that the origins of the emerging police state can be traced much farther back[lxvi]. For example, in the late 1960s the Department of Defense conceived Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, code named Operation Garden Plot, which included “plans to undercut riots and demonstrations” using “information gathered through political espionage and informants.[lxvii]

In 1971 an instructor for the U.S. Army, a man named Christopher Pyle, revealed that the military had been tracking civilian political activists and demonstrations for several years. A few years later in 1974 Seymour Hersh, writing for the New York Times, exposed a CIA program called CHAOS (aka MCHAOS) which targeted antiwar activists in the United States[lxviii].

Though the trend of militarization is hard to dismiss[lxix], how exactly does military action overseas incite civilian persecution within our borders? George Orwell in his timeless book 1984 provides a succinct explanation:

“War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”

American society cannot endure perpetual war and maintain a healthy middle class. Especially when plutocrats[lxx] and executives[lxxi] do everything in their power to avoid[lxxii] paying taxes[lxxiii]. The decree of maximizing profit requires them to extract value from the commons and then fail to offer anything in return, to the tune of trillions of dollars a year. Hence the burden of supporting an endless series of bloody military campaigns falls on the rest of us.

So while the public eye is distracted with military shock and awe overseas the middle class fails to grasp its inevitable decline. A captive state strips away civil liberties, divests in social programs, infrastructure, education, and anything else that might help normal people cope as wages stagnate and jobs go offshore. Resources that could be devoted to sustaining and growing the middle class are diverted to the extractive Deep State. The masters of mankind, as Adam Smith referred to them in The Wealth of Nations, witness record profits[lxxiv].


By the end of World War II the United States had replaced Britain as global hegemon. Over the course of the Cold War the one countervailing world power that represented an alternative ideology, the Soviet Union, dissolved. Since German unification NATO has gradually expanded into former Soviet territory (Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, etc.) despite explicit verbal guarantees to Mikhail Gorbachev that it would not[lxxv]. And now the plutocrats standing behind Victoria Nuland want Ukraine. Never mind that Ukraine is a border country which Russian leadership views as vital to their national security.

In 2006 journalist John Pilger spoke with Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, a CIA officer who supervised agency operations in Latin America back in the 1980s. Pilger queried Clarridge as to what gave the CIA the right to overthrow foreign governments, Clarridge responded[lxxvi]: “Like it or lump it, we’ll do what we like. So just get used to it, world.”

There you have it. When they want something they take it. Native Americans can attest to the veracity of this statement. This, dear readers, is the mindset of the ruling class, the true face of empire. Blind ambitious of this sort has always existed. Only now the CIA is up against an adversary that is just as skilled and just as heavily armed (a scenario, by the way, which past U.S. leaders have studiously avoided). Late at night in some far corner of the Pentagon the ghost of Herman Kahn chuckles.

Bill Blunden is an independent investigator whose current areas of inquiry include information security, anti-forensics, and institutional analysis. He is the author of several books, including The Rootkit Arsenal , and Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex. Bill is the lead investigator at Below Gotham Labs.

End Notes


[ii] Louis Menand, “Fat Man: Herman Kahn and the nuclear age,” New Yorker, June 27, 2005,

[iii] Jim Naureckas, “Denying the Far-Right Role in the Ukrainian Revolution,” FAIR, March 7, 2014,

[iv] “Ukraine Crisis Escalates as Russian Forces Cross Border, NATO Moves to Expand in Region,” Democracy Now! August 29, 2014,

[v] “Glenn Greenwald on Iraq: Is U.S. “Humanitarianism” Only Summoned to Control Oil-Rich Areas?” Democracy Now!, August 13, 2014,

[vi] Garry Leech, “The Beheading of James Foley,” Counterpunch, August 22-24, 2014,

[vii] Sabrina Tavernise And Donald G. Mcneil Jr., “Iraqi Dead May Total 600,000, Study Says,” New York Times, October11, 2006,


[ix] Psywar, Directed by Scott Noble, Metanoia Films, 2010,

[x] “ExxonMobil’s Dirty Secrets, from Indonesia to Nigeria to Washington: Steve Coll on ‘Private Empire’,” Democracy Now!, May 7, 2012,

[xi] Wilford, Hugh, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America, Harvard University Press, 2008.

[xii] Excerpts from Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky interviewed by various interviewers,—-02.htm

[xiii] David Firestone, “The Line to Kiss Sheldon Adelson’s Boots,” New York Times, March 31, 2014,

[xiv] Robert Brett Westbrook, John Dewey and American Democracy, Cornell University Press, 1991, page 440.

[xv] G. William Domhoff, “C. Wright Mills, Power Structure Research, and the Failures of Mainstream Political Science,” New Political Science 29 (2007), pp. 97-114,

[xvi] Peter Phillips, “Inside Bohemian Grove,” Counterpunch, August 13, 2003,

[xvii] Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Perspectives on Politics, Fall 2014,

[xviii] Michael Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, New Society Publishers, 2004, Chapter 3.

[xix] Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War, Times Books, 2013.

[xx] Glenn Kessler, “James Clapper’s ‘least untruthful’ statement to the Senate,” Washington Post, June 12, 2013,

[xxi] Mark Mazzetti, “Obama Expresses Confidence in CIA Director,” New York Times, August 1, 2014,

[xxii] Sam Stanton, “Reporter’s suicide confirmed by coroner,” Sacramento Bee, December 15, 2004,

[xxiii] Peter Eavis and Michael Corkery, “Bank of America’s $16 Billion Mortgage Settlement Less Painful Than It Looks,” New York Times, August 21, 2014,

[xxiv] James Stewart, “Accounting for Dimon’s Big Jump in Pay,” New York Times, January 31, 2014,

[xxv] “Who Goes to Jail? Matt Taibbi on American Injustice Gap from Wall Street to Main Street,” Democracy Now! April 15, 2014,

[xxvi] Nomi Prins, All the Presidents’ Bankers, Nation Books, 2014,

[xxvii] Michael Kirk, “Inside the Meltdown,” FRONTLINE, February 17, 2009,

[xxviii] Richard W. Fisher, Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’: A Proposal for Reform Before It’s Too Late (With Reference to Patrick Henry, Complexity and Reality), Dallas Federal Reserve, January 16, 2013,

[xxix] Peter Phillips and Kimberly Soeiro, “The Global 1%: Exposing the Transnational Ruling Class,” Project Censored, August 22, 2012,


[xxxi] Top Spenders 1998-2014,,

[xxxii] David Corn, “Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs Problem,” Mother Jones, June 4, 2014,

[xxxiii] Matea Gold, “Koch-backed political network, built to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012 elections,” Washington Post, January 5, 2014,

[xxxiv] Doug Henwood, “NBC: The GE Broadcasting Co.,” FAIR, November 1, 1989,


[xxxvi] Thom Shanker, “U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market,” New York Times, August 26, 2012,

[xxxvii] Thom Shanker, “U.S. Arms Deal With Israel and 2 Arab Nations Is Near,” New York Times, April 18, 2013,

[xxxviii] Steve Kenny, “Egypt: U.S. to Deliver Helicopters,” New York Times, April 23, 2014,

[xxxix] Jeremy Sharp, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” Congressional Research Service, April 11, 2014,

[xl] Mike Lofgren, “Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State,” Bill Moyers and Company, February 21, 2014,

[xli] Dexter Filkins, “The Deep State,” New Yorker, March 12, 2012,

[xlii] Sarah Childress, “The Deep State: How Egypt’s Shadow State Won Out,” FRONTLINE, September 17, 2013,

[xliii] David D. Kirkpatrick, “Hundreds of Egyptians Sentenced to Death in Killing of a Police Officer,” New York Times, March 24, 2014,

[xliv] Andrew Kramer, “Ukraine Turns to Its Oligarchs for Political Help,” New York Times, March 2, 2014,


[xlvi] John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order, South End Press, 1999, page 59.

[xlvii] Patrick Cockburn, “Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed,” Counterpunch, August 21, 2014,

[xlviii] Eric Schmitt and Michael Gordon, “The Iraqi Army Was Crumbling Long Before Its Collapse, U.S. Officials Say,” New York Times, June 12, 2014,

[xlix] Jason Fields, “COLUMN-In Iraq, U.S. is spending millions to blow up captured American war machines,” Reuters, August 19, 2014,

[l] C.J. Chivers and Eric Schmitt, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” New York Times, March 24, 2013,

[li] Helene Cooper and Alissa Rubin, “Pentagon Says Airstrikes Have Slowed but Not Stopped Sunni Militants,” New York Times, August 11, 2014,

[lii] John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order, South End Press, 1999, page 93.

[liii] Neta Crawford, “U.S. Costs of Wars Through 2014: $4.4 Trillion and Counting,” Boston University, June 25, 2014,

[liv] John Bennett, “Analysts: Spurred by Syria Talk, Raytheon’s Stock Price to Remain High,” Defense News, August 28, 2013,

[lv] Antonia Juhasz, “Why the war in Iraq was fought for Big Oil,” CNN, April 15, 2013,

[lvi] Gilbert Mercier, “Engineering Failed States: The Strategy of Global Corporate Imperialism,” News Junkie Post, February 18, 2014,

[lvii] Dahr Jamail, “Western oil firms remain as US exits Iraq,” Al Jazeera, January 7, 2012,

[lviii] Sarah Kent, “Iraq’s Oil Output Surges to Highest Level in Over 30 Years,” Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2014,

[lix] James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts,” New York Times, December 16, 2005,

[lx] Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser, “United States of Secrets (Part One): The Program,” Frontline, May 13, 2014,—the-program

[lxi] “EXCLUSIVE: National Security Agency Whistleblower Warns Domestic Spying Program Is Sign the U.S. is Decaying Into a ‘Police State’,” Democracy Now! January 3, 2006,

[lxii] Jane Mayer, “The Secret Sharer,” New Yorker, May 23, 2011,

[lxiii] “Exclusive: National Security Agency Whistleblower William Binney on Growing State Surveillance,” Democracy Now! April 20, 2012,


[lxv] Mike Masnick, “Ed Snowden Sends Open Letter To Brazil… Which The Press Blatantly Misrepresents,” Tech Dirt, December 17, 2013,

[lxvi] “Chris Pyle, Whistleblower on Domestic Spying in 70s, Says Be Wary of Attacks on NSA’s Critics,” Democracy Now! June 13, 2013,

[lxvii] Frank Morales, “U.S. Military Civil Disturbance Planning: The War At Home,” Covert Action Quarterly, #69 Spring/Summer 2000,

[lxviii] Seymour Hersh, “Huge CIA Operation Reported in US Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years,” New York Times, December 22, 1974,

[lxix] ACLU, War Comes Homes, June 2014,

[lxx] David de Jong and Robert LaFranco, “The Super-Rich’s Offshore Tax Avoidance Strategies,” Businessweek, May 2, 2013,

[lxxi] “The Biggest Tax Scam Ever: How Corporate America Parks Profits Overseas, Avoiding Billions in Taxes,” Democracy Now!, August 28, 2014,

[lxxii] Tim Dickinson, “The Biggest Tax Scam Ever,” Rolling Stone, August 27, 2014,

[lxxiii] Zachary Mider, “Tax Dodge Used by Bain Escapes Scrutiny on Inversions,” Bloomberg, August 25, 2014,

[lxxiv] Robin Sidel and Saabira Chaudhuri, “U.S. Bank Profits Near Record Levels,” Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2014,

[lxxv] Peter Beinart, “No, American Weakness Didn’t Encourage Putin to Invade Ukraine,” Atlantic, March 3, 2014,

[lxxvi] John Pilger, “In an Age of ‘Realists’ and Vigilantes,” Counterpunch, September 19, 2013,