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Written by Dmitry Kalinichenko for Investcafe.ru    Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:04    PDF Print E-mail
“The Golden Trap of Chess Master Vladimir Putin”

 

While Obama and The Cabal yell "BINGO!" Putin whispers "Check, mate . . ."

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https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/putin-golden-trap-1/

An article definitely to be spread and read, especially by those who have not well understood the political economic and military strategy of Putin and today’s Russia. (SFP)

putin-chess-vs-eu-usa-529x336

“The Golden Trap of Chess Master Vladimir Putin”

By Dmitry Kalinichenko for Investcafe.ru

Accusations of the West towards Putin traditionally are based on the fact that he worked in the KGB. And therefore he is a cruel and immoral person. Putin is blamed for everything. But nobody ever accused Putin of lack of intelligence.

Any accusations against this man only emphasize his ability for quick analytical thinking and making clear and balanced political and economic decisions.

Often Western media compares this ability with the ability of a grandmaster, conducting a public chess simul. Recent developments in US economy and the West in general allow us to conclude that in this part of the assessment of Putin’s personality Western media is absolutely right.

Despite numerous success reports in the style of Fox News and CNN, today, Western economy, led by the United States is in Putin’s trap, the way out of which no one in the West can see or find. And the more the West is trying to escape from this trap, the more stuck it becomes.

What is the truly tragic predicament of the West and the United States, in which they find themselves? And why all the Western media and leading Western economists are silent about this, as a well guarded military secret? Let’s try to understand the essence of current economic events, in the context of the economy, setting aside the factors of morality, ethics and geopolitics.

After realizing its failure in Ukraine, the West, led by the US set out to destroy Russian economy by lowering oil prices, and accordingly gas prices as the main budget sources of export revenue in Russia and the main sources of replenishment of Russian gold reserves.

It should be noted that the main failure of the West in Ukraine is not military or political. But in the actual refusal of Putin to fund the Western project of Ukraine at the expense of the budget of Russian Federation. What makes this Western project not viable in the near and inevitable future.

Last time under president Reagan, such actions of the West’s lowering of oil prices led to ‘success’ and the collapse of USSR. But history does not repeat itself all the time. This time things are different for the West. Putin’s response to the West resembles both chess and judo, when the strength used by the enemy is used against him, but with minimal costs to the strength and resources of the defender. Putin’s real policies are not public. Therefore, Putin’s policy largely has always focused not so much on effect, but on efficiency.

Very few people understand what Putin is doing at the moment. And almost no one understands what he will do in the future.

No matter how strange it may seem, but right now, Putin is selling Russian oil and gas only for physical gold.

Putin is not shouting about it all over the world. And of course, he still accepts US dollars as an intermediate means of payment. But he immediately exchanges all these dollars obtained from the sale of oil and gas for physical gold!

To understand this, it is enough to look at the dynamics of growth of gold reserves of Russia and to compare this data with foreign exchange earnings of the RF coming from the sale of oil and gas over the same period.

Russian_Central_Bank_Gold_Reserves

Moreover, in the third quarter the purchases by Russia of physical gold are at an all-time high, record levels. In the third quarter of this year, Russia had purchased an incredible amount of gold in the amount of 55 tons. It’s more than all the central banks of all countries of the world combined (according to official data)!

Russian_Central_Bank_Gold_Reserves_Chart_6

In total, the central banks of all countries of the world have purchased 93 tons of the precious metal in the third quarter of 2014. It was the 15th consecutive quarter of net purchases of gold by Central banks. Of the 93 tonnes of gold purchases by central banks around the world during this period, the staggering volume of purchases – of 55 tons – belongs to Russia.

Not so long ago, British scientists have successfully come to the same conclusion, as was published in the Conclusion of the U.S. Geological survey a few years ago. Namely: Europe will not be able to survive without energy supply from Russia. Translated from English to any other language in the world it means: “The world will not be able to survive if oil and gas from Russia is subtracted from the global balance of energy supply”.

Thus, the Western world, built on the hegemony of the petrodollar, is in a catastrophic situation. In which it cannot survive without oil and gas supplies from Russia. And Russia is now ready to sell its oil and gas to the West only in exchange for physical gold! The twist of Putin’s game is that the mechanism for the sale of Russian energy to the West only for gold now works regardless of whether the West agrees to pay for Russian oil and gas with its artificially cheap gold, or not.

Because Russia, having a regular flow of dollars from the sale of oil and gas, in any case, will be able to convert them to gold with current gold prices, depressed by all means by the West. That is, at the price of gold, which had been artificially and meticulously lowered by the Fed and ESF many times, against artificially inflated purchasing power of the dollar through market manipulation.

Interesting fact: the suppression of gold prices by the special department of US Government – ESF (Exchange Stabilization Fund) – with the aim of stabilizing the dollar has been made into a law in the United States.

In the financial world it is accepted as a given that gold is an antidollar.

  • In 1971, US President Richard Nixon closed the ‘gold window’, ending the free exchange of dollars for gold, guaranteed by the US in 1944 at Bretton Woods.
  • In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reopened the ‘gold window’, without asking Washington’s permission.

Right now the West spends much of its efforts and resources to suppress the prices of gold and oil. Thereby, on the one hand to distort the existing economic reality in favor of the US dollar and on the other hand, to destroy the Russian economy, refusing to play the role of obedient vassal of the West.

Today assets such as gold and oil look proportionally weakened and excessively undervalued against the US dollar. It is a consequence of the enormous economic effort on the part of the West.

And now Putin sells Russian energy resources in exchange for these US dollars, artificially propped by the efforts of the West. With which he immediately buys gold, artificially devalued against the U.S. dollar by the efforts of the West itself!

There is another interesting element in Putin’s game. It’s Russian uranium. Every sixth light bulb in the USA depends on its supply. Which Russia sells to the US too, for dollars.

Thus, in exchange for Russian oil, gas and uranium, the West pays Russia with dollars, purchasing power of which is artificially inflated against oil and gold by the efforts of the West. But Putin uses these dollars only to withdraw physical gold from the West in exchange, for the price denominated in US dollars, artificially lowered by the same West.

This truly brilliant economic combination by Putin puts the West led by the United States in a position of a snake, aggressively and diligently devouring its own tail.

The idea of this economic golden trap for the West, probably originated not from Putin himself. Most likely it was the idea of Putin’s Advisor for Economic Affairs – doctor Sergey Glazyev. Otherwise why seemingly not involved in business bureaucrat Glazyev, along with many Russian businessmen, was personally included by Washington on the sanction list?  The idea of an economist, doctor Glazyev was brilliantly executed by Putin, with full endorsement from his Chinese colleague – XI Jinping.

putin-chinese

Especially interesting in this context looks the November statement of the first Deputy Chairman of Central Bank of Russia Ksenia Yudaeva, which stressed that the CBR can use the gold from its reserves to pay for imports, if need be. It is obvious that in terms of sanctions by the Western world, this statement is addressed to the BRICS countries, and first of all China. For China, Russia’s willingness to pay for goods with Western gold is very convenient. And here’s why:

China recently announced that it will cease to increase its gold and currency reserves denominated in US dollars. Considering the growing trade deficit between the US and China (the current difference is five times in favor of China), then this statement translated from the financial language reads: “China stops selling their goods for dollars”. The world’s media chose not to notice this grandest in the recent monetary history event . The issue is not that China literally refuses to sell its goods for US dollars. China, of course, will continue to accept US dollars as an intermediate means of payment for its goods. But, having taken dollars, China will immediately get rid of them and replace with something else in the structure of its gold and currency reserves. Otherwise the statement made by the monetary authorities of China loses its meaning: “We are stopping the increase of our gold and currency reserves, denominated in US dollars.” That is, China will no longer buy United States Treasury bonds for dollars earned from trade with any countries, as they did this before.

Thus, China will replace all the dollars that it will receive for its goods not only from the US but from all over the world with something else not to increase their gold currency reserves, denominated in US dollars. And here is an interesting question: what will China replace all the trade dollars with? What currency or an asset? Analysis of the current monetary policy of China shows that most likely the dollars coming from trade, or a substantial chunk of them, China will quietly replace and de facto is already replacing with Gold.

Shanghai_Gold_Reserves

In this aspect, the solitaire of Russian-Chinese relations is extremely successful for Moscow and Beijing. Russia buys goods from China directly for gold at its current price. While China buys Russian energy resources for gold at its current price. At this Russian-Chinese festival of life there is a place for everything: Chinese goods, Russian energy resources, and gold – as a means of mutual payment.Only US dollar has no place at this festival of life. And this is not surprising. Because the US dollar is not a Chinese product, nor a Russian energy resource. It is only an intermediate financial instrument of settlement – and an unnecessary intermediary. And it is customary to exclude unnecessary intermediaries from the interaction of two independent business partners.

It should be noted separately that the global market for physical gold is extremely small relative to the world market for physical oil supplies. And especially the world market for physical gold is microscopic compared to the entirety of world markets for physical delivery of oil, gas, uranium and goods.

Emphasis on the phrase “physical gold” is made because in exchange for its physical, not ‘paper’ energy resources, Russia is now withdrawing gold from the West, but only in its physical, not paper form. So does China, by acquiring from the West the artificially devalued physical gold as a payment for physical delivery of real products to the West.

The West’s hopes that Russia and China will accept as payment for their energy resources and goods “shitcoin” or so-called “paper gold” of various kinds also did not materialize. Russia and China are only interested in gold and only physical metal as a final means of payment.

For reference: the turnover of the market of paper gold, only of gold futures, is estimated at $360 billion per month. But physical delivery of gold is only for $280 million a month. Which makes the ratio of trade of paper gold versus physical gold: 1000 to 1.

Using the mechanism of active withdrawal from the market of one artificially lowered by the West financial asset (gold) in exchange for another artificially inflated by the West financial asset (USD), Putin has thereby started the countdown to the end of the world hegemony of petrodollar. Thus, Putin has put the West in a deadlock of the absence of any positive economic prospects.

The West can spend as much of its efforts and resources to artificially increase the purchasing power of the dollar, lower oil prices and artificially lower the purchasing power of gold. The problem of the West is that the stocks of physical gold in possession of the West are not unlimited. Therefore, the more the West devalues oil and gold against the US dollar, the faster it loses devaluing Gold from its not infinite reserves.

In this brilliantly played by Putin economic combination the physical gold is rapidly flowing to Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and India, the BRICS countries, from the reserves of the West. At the current rate of reduction of reserves of physical gold, the West simply does not have the time to do anything against Putin’s Russia until the collapse of the entire Western petrodollar world. In chess the situation in which Putin has put the West, led by the US, is called “time trouble”.

The Western world has never faced such economic events and phenomena that are happening right now. USSR rapidly sold gold during the fall of oil prices. Russia rapidly buys gold during the fall in oil prices. Thus, Russia poses a real threat to the American model of petrodollar world domination.

The main principle of world petrodollar model is allowing Western countries led by the United States to live at the expense of the labor and resources of other countries and peoples based on the role of the US currency, dominant in the global monetary system (GMS) . The role of the US dollar in the GMS is that it is the ultimate means of payment. This means that the national currency of the United States in the structure of the GMS is the ultimate asset accumulator, to exchange which to any other asset does not make sense.

What the BRICS countries, led by Russia and China, are doing now is actually changing the role and status of the US dollar in the global monetary system. From the ultimate means of payment and asset accumulation, the national currency of the USA, by the joint actions of Moscow and Beijing is turned into only an intermediate means of payment. Intended only to exchange this interim payment for another and the ulimate financial asset – gold. Thus, the US dollar actually loses its role as the ultimate means of payment and asset accumulation, yielding both of those roles to another recognized, denationalized and depoliticized monetary asset – gold.

Traditionally, the West has used two methods to eliminate the threat to the hegemony of petrodollar model in the world and the consequent excessive privileges for the West.

One of these methods – colored revolutions. The second method, which is usually applied by the West, if the first fails – military aggression and bombing.

But in Russia’s case both of these methods are either impossible or unacceptable for the West.

Because, firstly, the population of Russia, unlike people in many other countries, does not wish to exchange their freedom and the future of their children for Western kielbasa. This is evident from the record ratings of Putin, regularly published by the leading Western rating agencies. Personal friendship of Washington protégé Navalny with Senator McCain played for him and Washington a very negative role. Having learned this fact from the media, 98% of the Russian population now perceive Navalny only as a vassal of Washington and a traitor of Russia’s national interests. Therefore Western professionals, who have not yet lost their mind, cannot dream about any color revolution in Russia.

As for the second traditional Western way of direct military aggression, Russia is certainly not Yugoslavia, not Iraq or Libya. In any non-nuclear military operation against Russia, on the territory of Russia, the West led by the US is doomed to defeat. And the generals in the Pentagon exercising real leadership of NATO forces are aware of this. Similarly hopeless is a nuclear war against Russia, including the concept of so-called “preventive disarming nuclear strike”. NATO is simply not technically able to strike a blow that would completely disarm the nuclear potential of Russia in all its many manifestations. A massive nuclear retaliatory strike on the enemy or a pool of enemies would be inevitable. And its total capacity will be enough for survivors to envy the dead. That is, an exchange of nuclear strikes with a country like Russia is not a solution to the looming problem of the collapse of a petrodollar world. It is in the best case, a final chord and the last point in the history of its existence. In the worst case – a nuclear winter and the demise of all life on the planet, except for the bacteria mutated from radiation.

The Western economic establishment can see and understand the essence of the situation. Leading Western economists are certainly aware of the severity of the predicament and hopelessness of the situation the Western world finds itself in, in Putin’s economic gold trap. After all, since the Bretton Woods agreements, we all know the Golden rule: “Who has more gold sets the rules.” But everyone in the West is silent about it. Silent because no one knows now how to get out of this situation.

If you explain to the Western public all the details of the looming economic disaster, the public will ask the supporters of a petrodollar world the most terrible questions, which will sound like this:

How long will the West be able to buy oil and gas from Russia in exchange for physical gold?

And what will happen to the US petrodollar after the West runs out of physical gold to pay for Russian oil, gas and uranium, as well as to pay for Chinese goods?

No one in the west today can answer these seemingly simple questions.

And this is called “Checkmate”, ladies and gentlemen. The game is over.

English Translation by Kristina Rus




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Written by      Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:07    PDF Print E-mail
Ferguson a stark reminder of US human rights issues - media

Protesters face off against a line of police during a              demonstration outside LAPD headquarters
The protests have spread to other US cities, including Los Angeles.

There has been enormous headline reaction in the world's media to the Ferguson protests, and many commentators have taken the opportunity to question America's credentials as a human rights champion.

European papers highlight inequalities in American society, and a South African commentator sees echoes of his country's own grim racial history.

China

The death of Michael Brown, whose killing sparked the unrest, is "a stark reminder for Uncle Sam that there are a lot of human rights violations on its own soil," says China's official news agency Xinhua.

"It should first fix its own problems before criticizing other countries."

Xinhua adds that few other countries are "as self-righteous and complacent as the United States when it comes to human rights issues, but the Ferguson tragedy is apparently a slap in the face".

Iran

Iran's Press TV dedicated all of its morning programmes to the Ferguson clashes, showing what appeared to be "live" video from the protests.

Press TV reported that attorneys for Mr Brown's family had said that the "grand jury process was rigged to clear the white officer" who shot him.

Iranian newspaper E'temad
Iranian reformist daily E'temad: "Anger and arson in Ferguson"
Iranian newspaper Javan
Iranian hard-line daily Javan: "Non-indictment of a white policeman;
anger engulfs 90 American cities"

Iran's State TV said the grand jury decision "indicates the existence of racial discrimination in the USA".

The protests in Ferguson are also one of the top stories in the Iranian press.

The conservative newspaper Kayhan carried a collage of pictures from Ferguson, including a US flag being set on fire. Its headline said: "A rebellion in 90 American cities as a result of the non-indictment of the murderer policeman."

Javan, another hardline daily, carried a report headlined, "Non-indictment of a white policeman; anger engulfs 90 American cities".

Middle East

The story also features on the front pages of several Arab dailies.

In Egypt, Al-Wafd sums up the widely-expressed view in the headline "An uprising against racism in the USA".

Qatar's Al-Watan says US cities have been denouncing "lethal racism", and Syria's official Al-Thawrah newspaper notes that protests against police violence and racism are on the increase.

On social media, some Arabic-language posts have been mocking the US government and even gloating over its mishandling of the case. The Twitter hashtag #USAprotests in Arabic has been used more than 4,000 times since Tuesday.

Russia

The #Ferguson hashtag is also among the top 10 Twitter trends in Russia, and press articles have drawn parallels between Ferguson and the Maidan protests in Ukraine.

Russian newspaper                  Izvestiya
Russian newspaper Izvestiya compares the US to Ukraine and how government protests
in Kiev's Maidan Square began the ongoing unrest in the east of Ukraine.

"Barack Obama gets his own Maidan", the pro-Kremlin daily Izvestiya says.

Ren TV plays on the racial aspect of the Ferguson protests and also brings in the Ukrainian crisis, describing the demonstrations as a "colour revolution" and "an attempt to start a civil war in the US".

Europe

Ferguson is also a front-page story in the German press.

Uwe Schmitt, the former Washington correspondent for Germany's centre-right daily Die Welt, writes it is a "predictable explosion" given the juxtaposition of a "grotesquely over-armed police force" with a black community "untouched by economic recovery".

He accuses many Americans of "self-delusion" when they ask how such violence can recur again and again, while abroad "people shake their heads unsurprised, either in mourning or glee".

German newspaper Die Welt                  and French newspaper Liberation
"America's ordeal" and "United States injustice" - European papers
provide more of the same sentiment, of problems at home for the US.

An editorial in France's Liberation newspaper says: "Ferguson is a long way from being the post-racial America dreamed of by Barack Obama."

In Spain, Pere Vilanova writes in El Periodico that "perhaps the symbolic value of the election of a black man as president in 2008 has been overestimated and inter-communal wounds will never be healed".

In Italy, La Stampa's New York correspondent Paolo Mastrolilli says the discussion has become one about the race problem "connected to inequality and economic disparity". He notes that some of the white demonstrators in New York and Los Angeles wanted to broaden the debate in that direction.

South Africa

Writing in South Africa's Daily Maverick, Richard Poplak finds that images of officers facing off against enraged citizens show "an American city aping South African archival footage".

"It's a reminder that in divided countries, with histories of institutionalized racism, reconciliation without actually reconciling... justice is not just impossible, but a massive cover-up, a ruse used by power."



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Written by Kate Abbey-Lambertz    Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:16    PDF Print E-mail
Another Mistrial In Case Of Officer Who Shot Sleeping 7-Year-Old To Death

AIYANA
In this May 18, 2010, file photo Dominika Stanley, left, the mother of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones, sits next to Aiyana's father, Charles Jones, holding Aiyana's photo, in Southfield, Michigan. | ASSOCIATED PRESS 
 

A mistrial has been declared in the trial of the Detroit police officer who shot a sleeping 7-year-old to death.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said that Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway declared a mistrial Friday after the jury deadlocked. Jurors had been deliberating over a misdemeanor charge for Officer Joseph Weekley, who killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a botched 2010 police raid.

"No matter the outcome of any jury's decision, I have already been devastated and my life has been ruined irreparably by the events that occurred on May 16, 2010," Weekley said in a statement, according to the Detroit News.

"No parent ever deserves to lose a child, regardless of the circumstances," he also said. "I know in my heart and before God that what transpired that day was out of my control, but I will still have terrible grief weigh upon me every day for the rest of my life."

The jury began deliberating Tuesday on the charge of careless discharge of a firearm causing death, which carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. Jurors would later tell the court they were having difficulty reaching a decision.

Weekley went into the trial last month charged additionally with a count of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a 15-year maximum prison sentence. The judge dismissed the charge during the trial after a motion by the defense, citing a lack of evidence.

Roland Lawrence, chairman of the Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee, said in a statement Friday that the trial was both a "travesty and a comedy."

"This trial is a travesty because the judicial system allowed the death of a child by a well-trained police agency to go unpunished," he said. "It is comedy because the people of [southeast] Michigan actually think that Aiyana's family is responsible for Aiyana's death."

Shortly after midnight on May 16, 2010, Weekley entered the Stanley-Jones home. He was the first through the door as part of the Detroit Special Response Team's search for a murder suspect. As a crew filmed for an A&E reality series about murder investigations, another officer is said to have thrown a flash-bang grenade, allegedly making it difficult for Weekley to see. Weekley then fired the shot that killed Aiyana, who was sleeping on the couch with her grandmother, Mertilla Jones.

In court, Weekley maintained that Jones struck his gun, which caused him to shoot. Jones, a primary witness in the trial, denied doing so or being close to Weekley. The prosecution argued that Weekley shouldn't have had his finger on the trigger of his gun, per his professional training.

"The only evidence that points to any kind of knowingly creating a danger or intending to cause injury, the only testimony is that of Mertilla Jones, which is by its nature and by comparison to the other testimony, including the medical examiner, is completely and totally unbelievable," Weekley's lawyer, Steve Fishman, told the judge last week.

The shooting of the black child by a white officer, who continues to work on the Detroit police force, has caused some to draw parallels to other cases of police shootings and to criticize the justice system's handling of cases involving police officers and black victims.

Several weeks before Weekley's latest trial began, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot unarmed, black 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking mass protests, a heightened police response and nationwide conversations about institutional racism in police forces across the country. Before Weekley's trial began, potential jurors were asked questions about the Ferguson shooting and police militarization and whether their thoughts might influence their decision in the case.

Last year, Mertilla Jones drew a connection between her granddaughter's death and that of black teen Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed when he was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida. She spoke during a rally after Zimmerman was acquitted.

"I'm out here to fight any way for the other Aiyanas that's to come," she said, "because it ain't stop at just my grandbaby."

Weekley was tried last year for involuntary manslaughter in Aiyana's death, but the first jury also failed to come to a decision. The next court date in the case has been set for Nov. 21.



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Written by Minister of Information JR Valrey    Monday, 24 November 2014 09:36    PDF Print E-mail
From the front lines in Ferguson: ‘We will go out hard’

St. Louis rebels Chip Wiley and his friend Tommy exchange war stories and pictures from the previous night. These photos were taken in August, in over 100-degree heat. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

St. Louis rebels Chip Wiley and his friend Tommy exchange war stories and pictures from the previous night. These photos were taken in August, in over 100-degree heat. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Though not in so many words, the media predict the Grand Jury has already decided that Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Black Ferguson teenager Mike Brown, will get a slap on the wrist and may even completely walk after the Aug. 9 cold blooded murder that has led to civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, ever since. While the mainstream media hypes up the fight between the people and the state police and military apparatus, many are wondering what is going through the heads of young Black men who are the main targets of this weapons build-up in this Mid-Western city.

I talked with lifelong St. Louis resident Chip Wiley, whose family history living in the area goes back a few generations. Chip was also one of the young Black men who were on the front lines of the rebellion in Ferguson right after the senseless police murder of Michael Brown. I think that it is important that we hear news besides what mainstream is putting out about this Black town that is under police and military siege. Check out this brother in his own words …

M.O.I. JR: For the people who only saw it on TV, can you give a run-down of the situation in St. Louis and surrounding areas since the Aug. 9 murder of Michael Brown.

Chip Wiley: Well, there’s two different types of people in this situation. There are people who think the Michael Brown situation was an isolated situation and has nothing to do with over-policing or disparities in prosecution or the conviction and sentencing or incarceration of Blacks. To them it has nothing to do with any of those things. It has to do with the executive bench warrant and the disrespect with the police, the lack of value on the lives of Black men nationwide.

On West Florissant, two young protesters, unintimidated by a mobile highway sign, declare their determination to survive police terrorism and fight for freedom. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

On West Florissant, two young protesters, unintimidated by a mobile highway sign, declare their determination to survive police terrorism and fight for freedom. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

It has nothing to do with any of those things. It has nothing to do with yet another White officer killing another unarmed Black kid. Basically the Mike Brown situation – jaywalking, which is not illegal in the state of Missouri – got turned into capital punishment. And for a lot of people here that are White – again, this is an isolated situation – they think that this is about Mike Brown.

They don’t understand that this is a microcosm and a snowball effect over a lot of years. But to break it down for you, what happened that day, the long-short of it is that he got killed in the streets in broad daylight in the middle of the day.

It was about noon and they left his body out for about four hours, which was very reminiscent of – you know there’s a lot of older Black folks that live in that area in those apartment buildings in Canfield – very reminiscent of letting a man hang in a tree so everybody can see. Once the people didn’t stand for that anymore and basically rebelled, it was like we’ll get rid of this body ourselves and get him to the hospital.

It was about noon and they left his body out for about four hours, which was very reminiscent of – you know there’s a lot of older Black folks that live in that area in those apartment buildings in Canfield – very reminiscent of letting a man hang in a tree so everybody can see.

They denied two ambulances coming back there and just left him out there for four hours. So the people got aggressive. The people were like, “We’re not standing for this anymore.” And when the people actually started to move and they tried to make something happen with the body, they brought in police dogs, attack dogs.

The attack dogs turned into like over 30 counties being called in and that turned into the scene that everybody saw on CNN with all the police and the tanks and the riot gear. But really all the people wanted was for the police to get out of the neighborhood. It was at that moment that everybody just collectively lost respect for the “governing body.”

So they fought them, every day. It was a Saturday, and that Sunday night they rioted, looted. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday they fought Ferguson until they got them out of their neighborhood. Ferguson would come over the intercom at night when the cells were off and say, “This is no longer a peaceful protest.” You know, the people were doing the exact same thing that they were doing all day.

When the people actually started to move the body, they brought in police dogs, attack dogs. The attack dogs turned into like over 30 counties being called in and that turned into the scene that everybody saw on CNN with all the police and the tanks and the riot gear. But really all the people wanted was for the police to get out of the neighborhood. So they fought them, every day.

The police would just decide that the protests were over, and they would fire tear gas into the crowd – women and children out there, the whole deal. So that was the first night. The second night guys basically got together and said we’re not standing for it; and it was those nights, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, that were probably the most violent and the most embarrassing really, on an actual scale.

From that point, the governor stepped in and was like, we gotta pull Ferguson out, we gotta pull St. Louis County out. That was on Wednesday. So the streets were really quiet the following day. The prosecutor came over. He (Mike Brown) died on Saturday. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we rioted and looted. That Thursday the governor stepped in and pulled everybody out.

“The Blu Klux Klan is getting ready to terrorize, hurt and kill people on Day 14 in Ferguson, near St. Louis, Missouri,” writes Minister of Information JR on the morning of Friday, Aug. 22, to describe this photo, which almost put JR in jail. Eight cops, some in military fatigues hassled him even though he was outside the yellow tape. A Black cop intervened and the rest backed off. Eight buses were lined up to transport the police. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

“The Blu Klux Klan is getting ready to terrorize, hurt and kill people on Day 14 in Ferguson, near St. Louis, Missouri,” writes Minister of Information JR on the morning of Friday, Aug. 22, to describe this photo, which almost put JR in jail. Eight cops, some in military fatigues hassled him even though he was outside the yellow tape. A Black cop intervened and the rest backed off. Eight buses were lined up to transport the police. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

He brought in the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Everything was cool. Ferguson had been pulled out of the spot. The people had pretty much won at that point.

What I think is that St. Louis County tried to counter; they came over the prosecutor. The prosecutor came on a press conference and was like basically, “This is an embarrassment to the men and women of St. Louis County that protect whatever, whatever. The same governor is doing this and pulling our people out because they’re incompetent, which they clearly were.

And so what they did was that Thursday they dropped that video of him in the store supposedly stealing Cigarillos, that we found out later that he did pay for. And they dropped that video along with finally, I guess five or seven days later, they dropped that video along with the officer’s – Darren Wilson’s – name that we had been asking for since Saturday.

So it became this weird little one-up deal between state and local. Once they did that, they pretty much incited a riot because that was the beginning of the demonization of Mike Brown. That was when they really started to make him look like this 6-foot-3-inch menacing Black kid that was just “rah, rah, rah.” Of course, that incited another night of looting and rioting.

At which point the Missouri Highway Patrol just sort of stepped back and let it happen. The people out there –a lot of locs out there – they got up with a couple of cats from the other side and shook on it and squashed all of the street beefs and lined up along the store and didn’t allow anybody else to loot. I didn’t see much coverage on that, but that was like a really, really real moment in this whole process.

The people out there –a lot of locs out there – they got up with a couple of cats from the other side and shook on it and squashed all of the street beefs and lined up along the store and didn’t allow anybody else to loot. I didn’t see much coverage on that, but that was like a really, really real moment in this whole process.

So after that it was pretty much downhill because they brought back in Ferguson and St. Louis County and basically the prosecutor made it seem like the Missouri Highway Patrol was going to flip this because it was just too out of control for them. So from that point on, fast forward if I could.

M.O.I. JR: Before we do that, can you address the youngster who was murdered by the police on tape not too long after Mike Brown?

Chip Wiley: Yeah, it’s been two crazy, crazy murders here since that happened – about a month after that – it’s on tape. You can YouTube it; just type in “St. Louis cop shoots kid with knife.” This goes back to the issue of community policing. If you’re policing your own neighborhood in which you live, you are a lot less likely to talk crazy to the kids you have to walk past to go to your front door. You don’t talk crazy to a kid where you have to live with your wife and kids.

This goes back to the issue of community policing. If you’re policing your own neighborhood in which you live, you are a lot less likely to talk crazy to the kids you have to walk past to go to your front door.

And the last part about community policing is knowing who’s in your community. That kid that they killed with the knife was mentally ill, basically retarded for lack of a better word. He was mentally disturbed and he had a little episode, he was tripping and two cops pulled up and they pulled up like … you have to see the video. The video, oddly enough, brought laughter to me, as sick as it was to watch.

Crips and Bloods were camping on West Florissant in Ferguson together each night after the rebellions. They said that they would be there until the officer who killed Mike Brown is indicted. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Crips and Bloods were camping on West Florissant in Ferguson together each night after the rebellions. They said that they would be there until the officer who killed Mike Brown is indicted. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

It was just amazing like how worthless life is, Black life is. It was on display. You guys have to watch the video, man. The cops were on the scene for 22 seconds. They pulled up, the kid had a knife; they were like, “Put the knife down!” He got within about, I’d say, 8-10 feet or them, and both cops on both sides of the car – they shot him 12 times.

But my thing is that with community policing, they’d be like, “Hey, man, chill out.” Or you can pull out your taser or your mace or your baton or your cuffs – any of those nonlethal items that you have – and handle that situation.

Excuse me for holding the police to a higher standard, but it just seems like they’re hiring chumps, man. These guys are scared of anything with Black skin – I don’t care how young it is, I don’t care how old it is. They’re chumps.

You go to your police academy for six to eight weeks and you learn how to restrain and subdue grown men, but when you come across an 18-year-old kid, the first thing you’re reaching for is a pistol. And it just comes off real weak, really, to me. I’m 30 and there’s not an 18-year-old kid on earth that I’d be scared for my life with if it was just me and him. But that’s neither here nor there really.

The last police shooting, the one that sparked the protest on Grand, it wasn’t as egregious – it didn’t seem as egregious as Mike Brown. But the deal here was, the long and short, kids were coming out of a corner store, undercover comes out of the corner with a gun and says, “Don’t move!” I guess they considered one of the kids a hustler.

But he doesn’t announce himself as an officer and he had plain clothes on, so of course the kids hit it. They break on just a little corridor and, well, nobody really knows what happened. But the cops shot him I don’t how how many times. He was riddled with bullets. I think he was 17. But the kid was shot and killed.

CNN commentator Don Lemon throws his hands up in solidarity with the people rallying for justice for Mike Brown. During Brown’s funeral, he was ironically reporting from a platform 10 feet off the ground. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

CNN commentator Don Lemon throws his hands up in solidarity with the people rallying for justice for Mike Brown. During Brown’s funeral, he was ironically reporting from a platform 10 feet off the ground. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

The story was the kid shot at the cops and that’s why he got shot and killed. When we went to forensic evidence, what the autopsy found out about several of those bullets, he was shot in the back several times. So apparently he wasn’t facing this guy and he wasn’t shooting at this guy.

It just seems like at this point it’s like, what y’all gon’ do? I was talking to a friend and he said these cats kind of sound like ISIS to me. So they’re like, “Fuck it. I can die out here for nothing going at these cats from the other side or I could die for justice tonight with these police.”

They’re fearless. They’re like, “Forget these police. They don’t respect us, so I don’t respect them. And they gon’ take me out anyway like they took out Mike Brown. He graduated high school. He was fixing to go to college. That wasn’t enough. They killed him anyway. He was two days away from being enrolled.”

They’re like, “Fuck it. I can die out here for nothing going at these cats from the other side or I could die for justice tonight with these police.” They’re fearless – they’re ready to be a martyr.

So it’s real hopeless almost with these young guys out here. Lack of knowledge of self, lack of knowledge period and they just – they’re ready to be a martyr. That warrior spirit is really bleeding through. It’s disturbing for somebody like me who’s on the ground who’s looking at these cats every day, looking them in the eyes and you see how real it is to them and you see how they ready they are. They’re scary, man.

So the governor, Jay Nixon, came out a couple of days ago …

M.O.I. JR: Let me ask you before we get into that, has the movement unified and polarized the community?

Chip Wiley: Yeah, this is St. Louis. We’ve always been a murder capital; we always have been. What’s crazy is, man, the murders have subsided if you look at the stats. All the street beefs have been squashed. There’s only been a couple of incidents with young guys who were just wilding out and doing what they do.

A young man with his little girl on the way to Mike Brown’s funeral wears a shirt with a photo of himself, rockin’ through the teargas. It seemed like everybody came to the funeral to make it plain what they expected to happen with the officer who shot Mike Brown and the other brotha in Ferguson and St. Louis. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

A young man with his little girl on the way to Mike Brown’s funeral wears a shirt with a photo of himself, rockin’ through the teargas. It seemed like everybody came to the funeral to make it plain what they expected to happen with the officers who shot Mike Brown and the other brotha in Ferguson and St. Louis. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

But for the most part, like I said, the murders have subsided. Everybody is just kind of watching the police. Nobody has any more respect for the police, Black or White. Nobody feels like the police are going to do anything. Nobody feels like the police are going to protect them.

I just read a stat yesterday that said that since the whole Mike Brown thing, CCW, concealed carries, have gone up something like 30 percent. It’s ridiculous. Everybody’s buying a gun right now. The media’s putting out these vibes that basically these young boys are going to be running through your front door when this comes out, so be prepared. So that’s been kind of trippish, you know, watching these older White men load up preparing for the purge. It’s been kind of crazy, man.

M.O.I. JR: Well, I know that there’s been a certain level, not a certain level but a huge amount of activism on every level, from musicians to the streets. I know that y’all in St. Louis had a protest on the freeway. It’s been huge. Jesse Jackson’ been ran up out of there, Al Sharpton been ran up out of there, so it’s been going down.

Where is it at now, now that they’re putting in the media that the grand jury is about to come to a decision? Where’s the hood? Where’s everybody at? What are y’all seeing in terms of the police? Because what we’re seeing on the news, we’re seeing tanks and all kinds of military hardware being brought in and the military think they’re fighting ISIS.

Chip Wiley: Yes, yes, the governor, Jay Nixon, just came out Tuesday. He had a press conference. The long and short of it is that people need to act dignified and respect the court’s decision, whatever that may be, and just know that we are ready to protect the city to the fullest extent of the law.

So basically Tuesday he came out and was just like, “Look, we’re not going to convict this guy – and we’ll kill you niggers if we have to.” So basically after that, if you’re not one of those people at home watching your 60-inch, high definition TV in the comfort of y’all home, it’s there that you can continually forget that, you know, it’s real out here, man. You forget the indiscretion of your own children.

This is crazy. man. This is crazy. Nobody realizes that this comes from a history of lynching and oppression and discrimination and abuse and predatory lending that is manifested in not only the endangerment of the psychological situation that these kids are going through and these Black people are going through in these areas and surrounding areas of St. Louis, but also in the very world that they live in. It’s not promising.

This comes from a history of lynching and oppression and discrimination and abuse and predatory lending that is manifested in not only the endangerment of the psychological situation that these kids are going through and these Black people are going through in these areas and surrounding areas of St. Louis, but also in the very world that they live in. It’s not promising.

I wish you could be out there, bro’. Like right now the hood is like, “We ready. Whatever is gonna happen, we ready.”

They called out over a thousand police, man, over a thousand police officers. Let me put this in perspective for you, bro’. I was watching CNN a couple of days ago. Obama deployed 1,500 Marines over there on Iraq soil for ISIS, bro’. They have 1,000 cops, bro’, from all over the states of the Midwest coming to St. Louis tomorrow for this garbage.

This is the message this store owner wanted the protestors and the media to see as his response to the rebellions. Many merchants, whether to deter looting or in genuine solidarity, were providing free water and snacks to the protesters in August. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

This is the message this store owner wanted the protestors and the media to see as his response to the rebellions. Many merchants, whether to deter looting or in genuine solidarity, were providing free water and snacks to the protesters in August. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Let me put this in perspective for you yet again. Now all of this money that it must cost to bring all these cops in, all the money it must cost to call in the Missouri Highway Patrol, all the taxpayer dollars it must cost to call in the National fucking Guard, bro’, all y’all had to do was put one man in jail. That’s it! Even if you locked him up and he bailed out, it’s about perception, bro’. Like basically y’all didn’t do shit.

Now all of this money that it must cost to bring all these cops in, … all y’all had to do was put one man in jail. That’s it!

You should see the police report. There’s not even a paragraph from Darren Wilson. He didn’t say shit about what happened. Like they didn’t interview him, nothing. I mean even with the Trayvon situation, the man got arrested and interviewed.

But this all seems very egregious and very sneaky and very blatant in a lot of ways. I mean it was thoroughly frustrating if you’re here and you really get it. You know, like a thousand police officers are going to be here in St. Louis and for what? To go out and kill another unarmed Black kid in the streets and then leave him there for four hours and then stuff him in the back of an SUV to get him off the streets?

A thousand police officers are going to be here in St. Louis and for what? To go out and kill another unarmed Black kid in the streets and then leave him there for four hours and then stuff him in the back of an SUV to get him off the streets?

M.O.I. JR: Do you think that St. Louis and the surrounding areas or, for that matter, America, the United States, do you feel that the United States is forever changed after this incident as well as the response from the community?

Chip Wiley: It will be. It ain’t yet, but it will be. I think that the ripple effect of this is going to rock the whole nation, and I think that this has the potential to be the tipping point for race relations in America when it comes to policing. It’s just different for us, man.

I think that the ripple effect of this is going to rock the whole nation, and I think that this has the potential to be the tipping point for race relations in America when it comes to policing.

Many whites “get it,” even in Ferguson. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Many whites “get it,” even in Ferguson. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

But like I said, there are two different types of people in this situation. People that feel like that the Mike Brown situation is an isolated incident and has nothing to do with any other things that are relevant but it’s – man, it’s crazy, bro’.

This is the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in my own city, and it ain’t with my people or even the White folks. It’s with the straight police, man, the police. Like I said, even the White folks, that’s why they buying all these guns. They don’t feel these police be protecting their property. They don’t have that level of comfort right now. So it’s a trip, man; it’s a real trip. It’s very uncomfortable out here.

And again there are two types of White people: White people that are like, “Man, they fucked up what they did to that boy who was unarmed and never had a gun. I don’t care what he did to the police; I don’t care if he punched that cop in the face five times. He’s a cop, man. Sometimes you gon’ get punched in the face five times. That’s what you went to the Academy for.”

And so a lot of people were saying. “Well, he stole Cigarillos, so he got what he deserved.” I feel like I don’t care if he stole a Cadillac. So like I said, it’s two different types of people here. It’s blatant who they are. There are White people on the other side of the fence that don’t really speak, that are really uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than usual. It’s just crazy, man, no eye contact, not really speaking. It’s crazy what’s going on here.

M.O.I. JR: What do you recommend that we look at as far as media to get the best coverage as to what’s going on in St. Louis and in Ferguson?

Chip Wiley: Well, it’s my opinion that MSNBC has been doing an awesome job. Home-boy from CNN has been doing a pretty solid job too – not Don Lemon, but the other guy – what’s his name? Vance. I can’t think of his name right now, but there’s another Black guy on CNN that’s pretty solid. Don Lemon can be a little weird at times; he does a good job of straddling the line as far as I’m concerned, my own personal opinion.

But MSNBC has been the one news source that I’ve been going to try to figure out what is really going on. MSNBC really seems to get it, and what’s weird is I didn’t feel like they got it until they deployed onto the actual soil. What’s the dude’s name – Chris Hayes, I guess, Rachel Maddow – they seemed to really get it.

They get the frustration of the people, they get the unequivocal disrespect that comes between Blacks and Whites in this area. Melissa Harris Perry, she has had a couple of very – man, I hope they’re on the Internet; if you look up Melissa Harris Perry, Ferguson – she had some awesome, absolutely awesome closing statement in her show about Ferguson and the state of race relations in America.

A lot of people get it, man; a lot of people get it. They’re still a small percentage and that’s the thing. I don’t want people to feel like it’s just a bunch of White people running around with sheets out here. That’s not the case, and if you watch TV and if you really look at it good, you’ll see as many White folks out there screaming and yelling about Mike Brown and the injustice out here as there are Blacks. Some days it’s even more.

Michael Brown funeral Jasiri X, JR, Malik of Occupy the Hood, St. Louis rebel Chip, Carmen, others St. Louis 082514 by JR BR

Conscious rapper Jasiri X, the People’s Minister of Information JR, Malik from Occupy the Hood, Carmen and St. Louis rebel Chip Wiley shared a meal after Mike Brown’s funeral in St. Louis. – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

I know during the Grand protest when they went into St. Louis campus, I mean, shit, that was one of the coolest moments of the whole protest. I mean, man, they went up and down Grand about the kid that got killed and who got shot in the back lots of times. They went up and down Grand protesting. St. Louis University is at Grand and the expressway. When they got onto the campus, bro’, it was the craziest thing to see the dorms just pour out. These kids are just coming out the dorms joining the protest, bro’. It was crazy.

So, I mean, at that moment you had – shit, it must have been 70-30 Whites, you know what I’m saying. They were out there protesting and were involved and active. That was the one Cornel West was there for. That was when Cornel West got arrested.

So yeah, man, we’re not going to stop. We’re not letting them forget. We’re not letting them think that we forgot.

And we will go out hard, the hardest as I’ve seen them go for any one cause as a unit, Blacks and Whites, rich and poor. So that’s why I think it’s going to be a caustic situation if they do not indict Darren Wilson on some charge. I mean at what point is it not excessive? Yeah, man, the state of the community, it’s very clear who’s on what side. So God bless my city, man, when they come out with this verdict.

Chip Wiley – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

Chip Wiley – Photo: JR Valrey, Block Report

M.O.I. JR: We’re going to leave you on that note. I just want you to know that the Block Report and the Bay View are with y’all soldiers and soldierettes on the front line of the war on police terrorism right here in the United States out there in Ferguson and St. Louis. We appreciate y’all from the bottom of our heart and y’all keep standing tall, man. Salute.

Chip Wiley: I appreciate y’all reaching out up there, man. You know we have a lot of respect for Oakland, man. We know y’all the home the Black Panthers. We know y’all the home of this unity. There’s a lot of unity in Oakland. It’s a very united front. So in St. Louis, we see y’all, we learn from y’all and we rock with y’all.



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Written by Adam Hudson    Friday, 21 November 2014 00:00    PDF Print E-mail
US’ anti-ISIS campaign: Emulating the ‘success’ in Somalia and Yemen?

US President Barack Obama pointed to “successful” campaigns in Yemen and Somalia as models for his strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But in both countries, US military action has only worked to embolden extremist groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Shabaab.

Recently, US President Barack Obama gave a speech delineating his strategy to eliminate ISIS, the militant group that has taken over swaths of eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq. One part of Obama'sspeech was particularly galling and revealing in terms of what it says about US military strategy:

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"But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years."

This means the Obama administration is modeling its military campaign in Iraq and Syria on its campaigns in Yemen and Somalia – air and drone strikes, missile attacks, training and supporting local forces, and missions conducted by special operations forces. Since entering office in 2009, President Obama has favored this style of militarism. It projects American power with less financial cost and risk to US military personnel. So it is no surprise that he would implement the same strategy in Iraq and Syria.

This means the Obama administration is modeling its military campaign in Iraq and Syria on its campaigns in Yemen and Somalia – air and drone strikes, missile attacks, training and supporting local forces, and missions conducted by special operations forces.But for him to call the US military campaigns in Yemen and Somalia "successful" completely obliterates history as US militarism in Yemen and Somalia has been far from triumphant. The impacts of US militarism, particularly the killing of civilians, has emboldened groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen and al-Shabaab in Somalia. To duplicate that strategy essentially means that the US will swell, rather than quell, ISIS.

US intelligence agencies and many counterterrorism experts say that ISIS is not an immediate threat to the United States. They even point out that ISIS could become a threat if the US launches a military action against them. But this has not stopped the march to war.

However, the latest American military adventure in Iraq and Syria has less to do with mitigating extremist threats and more to do with protecting US "interests" in the region. One of those "interests" is oil. ISIS' presence in northern Iraq puts it dangerously close to the city of Erbil, the oil-rich capital of the Kurdish Regional Government. American oil and gas companiesExxonMobil and Chevron have contracts to drill in Kurdistan. Along with the oil companies come American facilities and personnel like "the usual contractors, the oilfield service companies, the accountants, the construction firms, the trucking firms, and, at the bottom of the economic chain, diverse entrepreneurs digging for a score," according to the New Yorker. ISIS may not be a threat to domestic American security, but its presence could upset the flow and American control of Iraqi oil, which is something the United States is deeply concerned about.

Before Obama's speech, by September 10, US Air Force and Navy aircrafts had already flown more than 2,700 missions in Iraq, including 156 airstrikes. As of now, the US has launched around 190 airstrikes in Iraq since bombing began in August. These strikes will increase as the US military campaign continues.

Recently, the United States, along with Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, launched airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, marking the beginning of a longer military campaign.

Meanwhile, the United States unilaterally fired Tomahawk cruise missiles at an al-Qaeda splinter group called the Khorasan Group in sites near Aleppo. The US government alleges Khorasan – largely unknown by the public until now – was plotting "imminent" attacks against the West. However, it is likely that the threat is overblown. Keep in mind that the Obama administration destroyed the meaning of the word "imminent" to the point where, according to a White House memo, in order to launch a strike against al-Qaeda and its affiliates, it is not required to have "clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future." As of this writing, while US airstrikes hit dozens of militant targets, they also killed at least 10 civilians, according to the Syrian Human Rights Committee.

The United States already has 1,600 troops in Iraq, mainly special operations forces to protect US personnel and facilities and advise Iraqi and Kurdish fighters. As the war continues, the US may put more. The US government insists these troops will not serve a combat mission but, rather, focus on advising local forces. Should airstrikes not work, the US military might recommend sending ground troops to join Iraqi and Kurdish forces in combat missions against ISIS. However, according to aDaily Beast eye-witness report, American special operations commandos are already on the ground fighting in Iraq alongside Iraqi and Kurdish forces despite President Obama's assurances that the US will not get bogged down in another ground war in Iraq and Syria.

Along with the US Congress' 2002 Iraq invasion resolution, the Obama administration is using the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force(AUMF) to justify military action in Iraq and Syria. Passed merely days after 9/11, the AUMF authorized the President to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against those responsible for or who aided the 9/11 attacks. This makes it the legal linchpin for the global war on terror.

As of this writing, while US airstrikes hit dozens of militant targets, they also killed at least 10 civilians, according to the Syrian Human Rights Committee.For military action in Syria, the Obama administration's twist of the 2002 Iraq resolution is particularly clever. Administration officials told theNew York Times, that "the 2002 Iraq war authorization can be read in part as promising to help foster a stable, democratic government in Iraq, which would include defending it from terrorist attacks."

However, the AUMF has been stretched far beyond its original mandate. It is now used to go after groups neither responsible for, nor active at the time of the 9/11 attacks, such as AQAP and al-Shabaab. The AUMF is used to support drone strikes and other special operations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. To do this, the Obama administration stretched the AUMF to cover not just al-Qaeda and the Taliban but also "associated forces", or co-belligerents, of those groups. This makes it apply to AQAP, al-Shabaab, and other Islamic militant groups. Thus, not only is the Obama administration applying the Yemen and Somalia military strategies to Iraq, it is also using the same legal authority to justify it. This is despite ISIS being a different and antagonistic organization to al-Qaeda.

Somalia: Strengthening al-Shabaab through air strikes

The covert US war in Somalia has been destructive and counterproductive. On September 1, a US airstrike killed al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane in a vehicle and compound south of Mogadishu. Months before that, in late January, another US airstrikekilled Godane's associate Ahmed Mohammed Amey. The US government presented Godane's death as a major success. After confirming Godane's death, Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said, "Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabaab."

However, al-Shabaab quickly overcame that "major symbolic and operational loss." A few days after Godane's death, al-Shabaab appointed a new leader to replace him – a man named Ahmed Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah. So the US killed one al-Shabaab leader who was then quickly replaced by someone else. Success?

The story of al-Shabaab's rise goes back almost a decade. After 9/11, the United States formed a strong alliance with Ethiopia. In 2008, the US gave the country $1 billion in aid, making Ethiopia one of the largest African recipients of American aid. As a predominantly Christian country bordered by Muslim countries, such as Somalia, with alleged ties to al-Qaeda, Ethiopia was seen by the US as a natural ally in the global “war on terror.”

In 2006, the Islamic Court Union (ICU) – a loose organization of Islamic judiciaries – rose to power in Somalia and provided a sense of order during a time of great instability, which earned it substantial support among Somalis. Meanwhile, the United States and Ethiopia suspected the ICU had ties to al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups and sought to eliminate it. However, at the time, there were very few al-Qaeda fighters in Somalia. Al-Shabaab was one faction, among 13, of the ICU but had very little power.

The covert US war in Somalia has been destructive and counterproductive.Initially, Ethiopia was hesitant to invade Somalia because it lacked the resources to implement such a large military operation. But thanks to US pressure, it did. In December 2006, Ethiopia, withsubstantial American help, invaded and occupied Somalia until 2009. During the war, the USprovided Ethiopian troops with intelligence, training, weapons, and launched its own airstrikesagainst alleged Islamic militant fighters that wound up killing civilians in the process. The Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia was essentially a US proxy war in the Horn of Africa.

The 2006-2009 US-backed Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia was a total disaster. The war killed thousands of people, including many civilians, displaced millions, and created further human suffering and turmoil in Somalia. As a result of the war's destruction, more Somalis supported the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab. While the group preaches a very extreme branch of Islam, it also offers social services to a suffering population. Moreover, it proved itself as a formidable fighting force against the invaders. Rather than rooting out extremism, the US-backed Ethiopian war in Somalia exacerbated it.

Given these lessons, Obama's war against ISIS will likely embolden rather than quell the group.Now the US is waging a covert war against an enemy it helped create. The US conducts air and drone strikes, helicopter and AC-130 gunship attacks, commando raids, and backs local warlords to hunt down or kill alleged al-Shabaab fighters. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US covert operations in Somalia, so far, have killed about 171 people, including 48 civilians, since 2007.

Yemen: Exacerbating extremism

In Yemen, the US has waged another covert war against AQAP in the form of air and drone strikes, missile attacks, and backing Yemeni security forces. This war, like the US war in Somalia, has destabilized and inflicted further human suffering in Yemen.

America's covert war in Yemen began when the Bush administration launched a drone strike in 2002 that killed six people, including a US citizen. Since 2009, the Obama administration ramped up that war by increasing air and drone strikes. When the Obama administration first came into office, in December 2009, it launched a cruise missile attack in southern Yemen that massacred 52 people, including 14 women and 21 children. They were mostly civilians.

The American covert war in Yemen, so far, has killed anywhere between 489 and 1,400 people, including around 200 civilians, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. However, these figures don't tell the full story. The Obama administration considers any military-age male in a strike zone to be a "militant," unless proven innocent after death. Drone strikes often target and kill low-level fighters involved in internal struggles in countries like Pakistan or Yemen, but who pose little threat to the United States. Targeting for drone strikes is based on tracking and metadata analysis of cell phone SIM cards rather than human intelligence. Because SIM cards often switch hands in places like Pakistan and Yemen, drone strikes often accidentally kill innocent civilians. Under Obama's watch, US drone strikes have killed over 2,400 people in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

AQAP came into existence in 2009. As with the war in Somalia, US covert operations in Yemen have exacerbated, rather than deterred, extremism. In 2009, AQAP had no more than 300 fighters. By 2012, after the intensification of drone strikes, their numbers grew to over 700. The civilian deaths, trauma, and other human suffering inflicted by US drone strikes and other covert operations anger civilian populations and encourage them to support AQAP.

Given these lessons, Obama's war against ISIS will likely embolden rather than quell the group. American military campaigns strenghtened AQAP and al-Shabaab in Yemen and Somalia respectively. The New York Times recently reported that American airstrikes have not pushed back ISIS from the territory it controls. If this trend continues, the United States will likely be drawn into another ground war in Iraq. This would further destabilize the region, kill more innocent people, and further devastate Iraq and Syria.

Adam Hudson is a freelance journalist and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He covers US national security, war and peace issues, Guantanamo, human rights, police brutality, and institutional racism. He tweets @adamhudson5



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