Intelligent, fascinating, and interesting video on the real reasons why the Middle East is continuously attacked by the West. With a CERN twist.
Published on 16 Jun 2019
Intelligent, fascinating, and interesting video on the real reasons why the Middle East is continuously attacked by the West. With a CERN twist.
Published on 16 Jun 2019
Israel should definitely be placed on the top list of who could have done this false-flag operation.
It is known that the US has for long had a comprehensive and combined plan with Israel to attack Iranian targets with huge, non-nuclear, bunker-busting, 10 ton, GBU-43 air-blast bombs capable of destroying the deepest underground installations – these are the most powerful non-nuclear ordnance pieces ever produced – but first the Trump-Netanyahu war-plan needed a credible excuse.
It is also known that the Israeli military have been an integral part of that US plan to first cripple the Iranian economy with global oil sanctions and then to initiate an air and sea attack against the Iranian state and its people.
But first, a credible excuse was required. That excuse was orchestrated jointly by a belligerent Trump and Netanyahu, this week, when two oil tankers were structurally damaged by limpet mines, off the coast of Oman – subsequent to a similar action the previous week – and the sabotage immediately blamed by US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, without any evidence whatsoever, upon Iran. However, the state actor concerned was, almost certainly, not Iran but very probably the Israeli navy with its state-of-the-art, German-built, nuclear-armed submarines, covertly patrolling the deep waters of the Gulf.
Iran, of course, unlike Israel, has no nuclear weapons of mass destruction but does have a nuclear-power program and it is these non-military installations that the combined forces of the US and Israel are determined to destroy at any cost in order to further cripple Iran’s civil infrastructure in addition to enforcing a global ban on its oil so as to decimate its economy and to force, yet another, regime change.
The deliberate sabotaging of four shipping tankers in the Gulf and the too obvious accusations against Iran, indicate that US-Israeli plans for a combined attack against the Iranian state are now fairly imminent. And that fact should make the world take notice because such unwarranted and unprovoked aggression against a sovereign state could very easily escalate into a global conflict. These are very dangerous times, indeed, with an unpredictable and unstable US President determined to instigate a war in the Middle East with a committed partner who has long wanted to destroy Iran in its own bid for regional dominance.
If the conflict materialises and there is an attack against Iran by combined US-Israeli forces, then oil prices could double overnight with devastating global consequences upon all but America who is self-sufficient in oil. That would be reflected in stock-markets worldwide and could lead to a global economic recession in which Europe would suffer disproportionately.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom government should carefully reconsider and recalibrate its response. Much of its future could depend upon it, and its rushed endorsement of unfounded US-Israeli accusations might well prove, in hindsight, to have been unwisely premature.
Hans Stehling (pen name) is an analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
A hawkish Republican senator has suggested that the United States should take military action against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro so countries opposing the US are intimidated and surrender to Washington’s demands.
To handle foreign conflicts “we need points on the board,” Senator Lindsey Graham, who is a close ally of President Donald Trump, was quoted as saying on Friday by Fox News.
The warmonger from South Carolina told Fox News that the US needed to resolve its issues with other countries using military actions.
The Chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary suggested using US military force to resolve America’s conflicts with countries opposed to US foreign policy.
“Do what Reagan did in Grenada. Put military force on the table … start with your own backyard,” he suggested.
Graham implied that after the US military invasion of Venezuela, other Latin American counties, as well as countries opposed to US foreign policies such as North Korea and Iran, would be intimidated and give in to US demands.
“Fix Venezuela, and everybody else will know you’re serious,” Graham, who is a notorious supporter of US interventionism, suggested to the Fox News host.
Graham has in the past repeated his call for US military intervention in Venezuela. Last month, as representatives of the Venezuelan government and opposition forces were meeting in Norway for talks on resolving the political crisis in the Latin American country, the Republican senator dropped another Grenada reference aimed at scaring government representatives.
In 1983, Reagan ordered US troops to invade the small Caribbean island nation of Grenada, resulting in an easy victory for the Americans.
Japanese officials say Tokyo has dismissed a claim by the United States that Iran attacked two oil tankers — both of them carrying “Japanese-related” cargo — in the Sea of Oman.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency cited informed state officials as saying Tokyo had demanded that Washington examine the case further, and that grainy video footage released by the US as supposed evidence was unclear and could not be used to prove anything.
One official said the Japanese government was not convinced by the material, which the official called “nothing beyond speculation.”
The official said Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono had in a Friday phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded more data in the case.
The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and Norwegian-owned Front Altair oil tankers were struck by explosions near the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Thursday morning. Japan’s government said both vessels were carrying “Japanese-related” cargo.
Shortly after the two tankers were hit by the explosions, Pompeo blamed Iran. A day later, US President Donald Trump made a similar claim. Neither offered any evidence, and the footage that was released was said by US officials to show Iranian personnel removing an “unexploded” mine.
Iran has rejected the allegations.
Experts have said the explosions could have been false flags to implicate Iran at the time of a historic visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Iran, a first of its kind in more than 40 years. Prime Minister Abe was meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei when the explosions happened.
According to Kyodo, a source close to Prime Minister Abe also said that the footage did not prove an Iranian attack.
Separately, a Japanese Foreign Ministry source said the attack being sophisticated was no reason to blame Iran. Such a characteristic, according to the source, could also implicate the US and Israel — Iran’s main adversaries.
The Japanese operator of one of the tankers also said it had been hit by “a flying object,” not a mine.
A short while after the incident, Iranian rescue officials picked up a distress signal sent by the tankers and scrambled a vessel, which then safely removed the crew from the waters around their burning ships.
‘The video means nothing!’
Independent intelligence experts have expressed doubts about whether the footage released by the US incriminates Iran, as US officials have claimed.
William Church, a former military investigator for the United Nations Security Council, told Newsweek on Saturday that the US had doctored evidence before.
“The US track record on ginning up evidence for war is not good,” he said. “It lied in the run-up to the Vietnam war [by inventing a North Vietnamese attack on a US Navy ship in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964], and it lied about WMD (weapons of mass destruction) before the Iraq war. So when these tanker attacks happen, we have to ask why and what’s the motivation in addition to examining the evidence.”
Church said much more needed to be known.
“The video means nothing. We need to know how it was taken, when was it taken, what was the total sequence. Then you’d have to talk to the people in the video to get their view of what happened. I would check to see if the video was doctored. You would need to do everything that a trained investigator would do,” he said.
Ayham Kamel, the head of Middle East analysis for the Eurasia Group, an international risk analysis consultancy, suggested that Saudi Arabia might have carried out attacks on the tankers to blame them on Iran because Riyadh was increasingly under pressure from retaliatory strikes by Yemeni Houthis, whom the Saudis claim are Iranian-backed.
“The Saudis are alarmed [by the retaliatory Yemeni strikes,” Kamel said. “Their response is going to be to try to pressure the US into action.”
Anthony Cordesman, a strategic analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, also raised the possibility that Riyadh, or Abu Dhabi or Daesh, could have been behind the incidents.
“One has to keep asking the question, well, if it isn’t Iran, who the hell is it?” he said. “You come up with the possibility that ISIS (Daesh) carried out the attack as a trigger to turn two enemies — the United States and Iran — against each other. Or you’re watching Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates create an incident that they can then use to increase the pressure on Iran.”
“The truth of the matter is either you have evidence, or you don’t,” he added. “Is there hard evidence that Iran is guilty? The answer is no.”
Homelessness today is often blamed on both “gentrification” and “neoliberalism.” When these terms are used in the context of urban housing, it is usually implied that too much market freedom makes housing unaffordable to large swaths of the population. Thus, we are told capitalism is the primary culprit we now find in many large cities from Boston to Los Angeles.
But there is much more to the story.
Since the Progressive Era, government agencies — from the federal level on down — have been front and center in subsidizing, regulating, and planning city development in ways that have made housing in city centers more sparse and more expensive for households who aren’t part of the hipster-millionaire demographic that so many urban planners and politicians are working hard to attract.
While rising demand for housing in a fixed number of square miles will indeed increase the price of land and housing, various types of government intervention make housing more expensive than it would otherwise be. And sometimes, through zoning ordinances and other regulations, cities largely outlaw just the sorts of housing that are most needed by low-income residents.
To gain a better understanding of why homelessness is a recurring problem with apparently growing numbers, it is helpful to examine the origins of what is now standard operating procedure for cities: centralized urban planning. While very-low-income households and persons have long been part of the urban landscape in both the United States and Europe, city officials in the past often recognized that low-income neighborhoods were simply something that had to be tolerated. Although reformers often complained of the unclean and allegedly immoral nature of these places, a lack of government power — and resistance from private owners — prevented city officials from abolishing the areas of cities that provided housing. This housing — however sub-optimal it may have been — was preferable to homelessness.
Those low-income communities began to meet more organized opposition during the Progressive Era, although it’s not difficult to see why the idea of urban planning as we now know it was first embraced by Progressives. By the late nineteenth century, the situation in many American cities filled many middle-class Progressives with dismay. Lower-income neighborhoods of cities often lacked proper sewage infrastructure. They were dirty. Homicide rates were probably higher than they are today in many urban areas.
Much of the problem was blamed on “congestion” or “overcrowding” which today we would sometimes just call “density.”
According to Steven Conn in his book Americans Against the City,
For Progressives in every major city, crowding was the scourge that had to be eliminated. “It is the overcrowding that breeds crime and vice,” exhorted one writer, who insisted that the residents of these areas were not inherently bad, but were made so by their surroundings.
In many places, however, the awfulness of these places was exaggerated by reformists. After all, many of these “slums” contained multi-generational families, and longtime residents who made real efforts to maintain some level of safety and stability in the community. Many of the slums were really neighborhoods of boarding houses. They were crowded and uncomfortable. But they weren’t shantytowns either.
Common Progressive “solutions” to the asserted problems of the slums can be found in a 1911 report from a New York City Commission on congestion. The recommendations include:
Most of these recommendations assumed a much larger role for the state in regulating, inspecting, and mandating changes to the current use of space. With this new sort of city planning, governments would need far more housing inspectors, zoning commissions, and a legal apparatus necessary to compel compliance.
Other cities followed suit, and “between 1907 and 1916 half of the nation’s fifty largest cities did commission or publish comprehensive city plans to deal with overcrowding.”
Conn concludes: “Thus did city planning arrive in the Progressive City.” And with it came zoning and a host of other mandates which gradually eliminated existing low-income housing units, while preventing the construction of new units to replace them.
Inherent in the new ideals, not surprisingly, was the idea that private sector actors ought not to be allowed to decide on their own what was built in the city, and where. In the Progressive mind, too much private sector freedom had produced the “congestion” which Progressives sought to abandon and reform. This market activity was to be replaced by the decisions of city planners.
Progressive reformers, however, were limited in pursuing these goals by a lack of funding and by political opposition from both property owners and the residents of housing which was targeted for reform. After all, if housing was to be regulated with new occupancy rules and mandatory changes in density, this would lead to both rising prices and forced removals from existing housing.
Property owners likewise, opposed reforms because low-rent units are often only worth the trouble when a large number of paying customers are concentrated in a relatively small space.
To be sure, private owners were open to having their property purchased by government. And many cities were eager to tear down “blighted” neighborhoods. But government funding was often scarce. As noted by Colin Gordon, local governments
could not overcome the pervasive obstacles to redevelopment: private interests had no incentive to facilitate public policy, and public interests had no money to acquire or assemble private property.
Things changed, however, with the advent of the New Deal and the end of the Second World War.
What had a been a largely local move to reduce density and forcibly “clean up” lower-income neighborhoods in the Progressive Era became a national movement under the New Deal. The National Housing Act of 1937, for example, established a system of loans and grants-in-aid to local public housing authorities. Unfortunately, the thrust of these efforts was redevelopment and not the production of new units. In fact, use of the federal funds for redeveloping housing units “required the clearance of an equal number of ‘blighted’ properties.”
Government subsidized redevelopment accelerated under the 1949 Federal Housing Act which
made federal funds available for the redevelopment of large areas rather than merely the removal of discrete slum conditions. Under the new law, local redevelopment corporations could buy and clear blighted areas with federal money, sell the land to private developers, and use the proceeds to cover the redevelopment costs.
There was opposition from “private interests threatened or displaced by urban redevelopment plans,” but
state and federal courts persistently held that the broad public purpose of redevelopment over-rode the claims of individual property owners, and that resale of cleared properties to private developers amounted to an appropriate public use.
Over time, the new spirit of urban renewal, propelled forward by federal legislation and federal money, resulted in a war on “blighted neighborhoods,” with the term “blight” proving to be quite flexible. Indeed, any neighborhood or city block that city planners regarded as producing too little tax revenue, or was simply unattractive, was targeting for a government funded-buyout, leveling, and redevelopment.
Through it all, government officials claimed they were increasing housing supply for American families. As noted by Walter Thompson:
Razing slums was key to reviving city centers, held the prevailing wisdom for many decades last century. In his 1949 State of the Union, President Harry Truman hailed “slum clearance” as a weapon to combat the nation’s post-World War II housing shortage. As a 1945 San Francisco Chronicle op-ed stated, “bluntly, nothing can be done to improve housing conditions here until a lot of people clear out.”
But urban renewal only improved conditions for some people. In his article “No Room at the Inn: Housing Policy and the Homeless,” Todd Swanstrom notes “It is well documented that the urban renewal programs of the 1950s and 1960s tore down more housing than they replaced.”
This is because, as Gordon describes it, federal policy was “committed to improving the housing stock without increasing it.”
Yes, the bulldozed units in the slums were replaced with some units of higher quality. But they were rarely replaced with enough units to replace those that had been torn down.
City planners were happy to show off the shiny new projects they had used government money to redevelop. But unseen were the households who simply could not afford units in the new buildings.
After all, the poor that lived in the slums lived there precisely because it was cheap, low-rent housing. Reformers admitted there were no “pat answers” to explain what would become of the displaced families. But few reformers seemed much troubled by it. Then, as now, it may have been what really mattered to reformers was to be able to claim they were doing something. And besides, living in the slums was obviously a bad thing. But as Swanstrom very pragmatically suggests: “these accommodations [in the slums] may have been offensive by middle-class standards, [but] they were nevertheless better than living on the streets.”
But many reformers ignored this bit of wisdom and insisted on housing policy built around urban central planning, anti-slum mandates, and redevelopment which favored urban commercial development where residential development once had been.
Meanwhile, federal policies were introduced during the New Deal and in later iterations of expansionist federal social policy which encouraged more spending in the suburbs than in the cities. Federal programs designed to increase suburban single-family homes proliferated with new federal creations like Fannie Mae and new mortgage insurance programs. Federal grants also encouraged construction of new freeways out of the city, and building more suburban infrastructure. The dollars spent on subsidizing the suburbs thus greatly outnumbered those spent on subsidizing construction of new housing in city centers. Combined with anti-slum policies, federal policy and federal spending patterns acted to drain central cities — and their neighborhoods — of capital while demolishing the housing that remained.
By the 1980s, as homelessness became a frequent topic of research, some scholars began to recognize how federal urban renewal policy had laid the groundwork for the rise in homelessness that occurred in that decade. It turned out that the federal government’s grand plan of leveling flophouses and residential hotels in the name of “beautifying” cities, mostly just resulted in destroying the only housing the very-low-income population could afford. Deprived of their units in the slums, these people ended up living in tent cities and cardboard boxes instead.
Today, little has changed for those with the lowest incomes. The options once available to them in the pre-1950s world are gone and were never replaced.
Thanks to the persistence of the Progressive mindset in cities, zoning, “redevelopment” and a centralized control of new construction remains the norm. “Density” is the new “congestion” and the attitude of city planners remains the same. They bemoan the lack of affordable housing while also blocking efforts to build more housing. Meanwhile, they tighten controls on modern-day boarding houses and other private-sector attempts to provide low-cost housing. Planners impose height restrictions and density controls. They create arbitrary minimum sizes for units. In many states and cities, the definition of “blight” remains flexible, empowering governments to further eliminate old housing units at the discretion of city planners.
Moreover, the old urban renewal methods persist in updated forms. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) legislation is geared not toward low-cost housing, but toward new commercial development. Often, that development is built where “unsightly” (but affordable) housing once existed. Its destruction is encouraged by government policy. Federal tax policy and mortgage policy continues to draw capital away from urban rental housing and into suburban single-family housing.
Yet, city centers remain the most practical place for very-low-income housing to be built and sustained. This is because the lowest-income households need to be close to the densest areas that sustain mass transit and access to employment. By destroying the urban ecosystem of very-low-income housing, though, governments have left many of these people few options other than living in cars, alleyways, and sidewalks. This, of course, is far more dangerous than living in a run-down residential hotel with a functioning toilet down the hall, and a locking door on the room.
But even if city governments were to begin allowing the private sector to freely build again, it would likely take decades to produce the housing infrastructure necessary to address the housing needs in city centers. We continue to live with the wreckage of failed urban renewal, and the evidence can be seen in the tent cities and makeshift latrines we now see in public spaces.
Generally, when discussing air-defense systems here, we are referring to Russian devices that have become famous in recent years, in particular the S-300 (and its variants) and the S-400. Their deployment in Syria has slowed down the ability of such advanced air forces as those of the United States and Israel to target the country, increasing as it does the embarrassing possibility of having their fourth- or fifth-generation fighters shot down.
Air-defense systems capable of bringing down fifth-generation aircraft would have a devastating effect on the marketability and sales of US military hardware, while simultaneously boosting the desirability and sales of Russian military hardware. As I have often pointed out in other analyses, Hollywood’s role in marketing to enemies and allies alike the belief that US military hardware is unbeatable (with allies being obliged to buy said hardware) is central to Washington’s strategies for war and power projection.
As clashes between countries in such global hot spots as the Middle East increase and intensify, Hollywood’s propaganda will increasingly struggle to convince the rest of the world of the continued efficacy and superiority of US weapons systems in the face of their unfolding shortcomings.
The US finds itself faced with a situation it has not found itself in over the last 50 years, namely, an environment where it does not expect to automatically enjoy air superiority. Whatever semblance of an air defense that may have hitherto been able to pose any conceivable threat to Uncle Sam’s war machine was rudely dismissed by a wave of cruise missiles. To give two prime examples that occurred in Syria in 2018, latest-generation missiles were intercepted and shot down by decades-old Russian and Syrian systems. While the S-400 system has never been employed in Syria, it is noteworthy that the Serbian S-125 systems succeeded in identifying and shooting down an American F-117 stealth aircraft during the war in the Balkans.
There is a more secret aspect of the S-400 that is little disclosed, either within Russia itself or without. It concerns the S-400’s ability to collect data through its radar systems. It is worth noting Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon’s alarm over Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400:
“We have been clear that purchasing the S-400 would create an unacceptable risk because its radar system could provide the Russian military sensitive information on the F-35. Those concerns cannot be mitigated. The S-400 is a system built in Russia to try to shoot down aircraft like the F-35, and it is inconceivable to imagine.
Certainly, in the event of an armed conflict, the S-400’s ability to shoot down fifth-generation aircraft is a huge concern for the United States and her allies who have invested so heavily in such aircraft. Similarly, a NATO country preferring Russian to American systems is cause for alarm. This is leaving aside the fact that the S-400 is spreading around the world, from China to Belarus, with dozens of countries waiting in line for the ability to seal their skies from the benevolent bombs of freedom. It is an excellent stick with which to keep a prowling Washington at bay.
But these concerns are nothing when compared to the most serious threat that the S-400 poses to the US arms industry, namely, their ability to collect data on US stealth systems.
Theoretically, the last advantage that the US maintains over her opponents is in stealth technology. The effectiveness of stealth has been debated for a long time, given that their costs may actually outweigh their purported benefits. But, reading between the lines, what emerges from US concerns over the S-400 suggests that Moscow is already capable of detecting US stealth systems by combining the radars of the S-400 with those of air-based assets, as has been the case in Syria (despite Washington’s denials).
The ability of the S-400 to collect data on both the F-35 and F-22 – the crown jewels of the US military-industrial complex – is a cause for sleepless nights for US military planners. What in particular causes them nightmares is that, for the S-400 to function in Turkey, it will have to be integrated into Turkey’s current “identification friend or foe” (IFF) systems, which in turn are part of NATO’s military tactical data-link network, known as Link 16.
This system will need to be installed on the S-400 in order to integrate it into Turkey’s defensive network, which could potentially pass information strictly reserved for the Russians that would increase the S-400’s ability to function properly in a system not designed to host such a weapon system.
The final risk is that if Turkey were to fly its F-35s near the S-400, the Link 16 system would reveal a lot of real-time information about the US stealth system. Over time, Moscow would be able to recreate the stealth profile of the F-35 and F-22, thereby making pointless Washington’s plans to spend 1.16 trillion dollars to produce 3,000 F-35s.
What must be remembered in our technological age is that once the F-35’s radar waveform has been identified, it will be possible to practice the military deception of recreating fictitious signals of the F-35 so as to mask one’s own aircraft with this shape and prevent the enemy’s IFF systems from being able to distinguish between friend or foe.
Of particular note is the active cooperation between China and Russia in air-defense systems. The S-400 in particular has already been operational in China for several years now, and it should be assumed that there would be active information sharing going on between Moscow and Beijing regarding stealth technology.
It turns out that the S-400 is a weapon system with multiple purposes that is even more lethal than previously imagined. It would therefore not be surprising that, were S-400s to be found in Cuba and Venezuela, Washington’s bellicose rhetoric against these two countries would come to an abrupt halt.
But what US military planners fear more than the S-400 embarrassing their much-vaunted F35 and F22 is the doubts they could raise about the efficacy of these stealth aircraft in the minds of allies and potential buyers. This lack of confidence would deal a mortal blow to the US arms industry, a threat far more real and devastating for them than a risk of conflict with Moscow or Beijing.