Putin is taking center Stage in the Middle East but what is his real agenda?

Moscow’s military campaign in Syria is relying on supply lines that require air corridors through both Iranian and Iraqi air space. The only alternatives are naval supply lines running from Crimea, requiring a passage of up to 10 days round-trip. How long that can be sustained is unclear.

Early on the morning of Sept. 30, a Russian three-star general approached the American embassy in Baghdad, walked past a wall of well-armed Marines, to deliver face-to-face a diplomatic demarche to the United States. His statement was blunt: The Russia military would begin air strikes in neighboring Syria within the hour — and the American military should clear the area immediately.

It was a bout of brinksmanship between two nuclear-armed giants that the world has not seen in decades, and it has revived Cold War levels of suspicion, antagonism and gamesmanship.

With the launch of airstrikes in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated a proxy war with the U.S., putting those nation’s powerful militaries in support of opposing sides of the multi-polar conflict. And it’s a huge gamble for Moscow and quite difficult and logistically complex. The Russians don’t have much in the way of long-range power projection capability.

That and other questions about Russian military capabilities and objectives are taking center stage as Putin shows a relentless willingness to use military force in a heavy-handed foreign policy aimed at restoring his nation’s stature as a world power. In that quest, he has raised the specter of resurgent Russian military might — from Ukraine to the Baltics, from Syria to the broader Middle East.

VLADIMIR Putin is preparing to send 150,000 troops to Syria in a bid to wipe out the evil Islamic State once and for all.

The Russian leader is reportedly mounting an enormous military mission to take control of the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa.

The city is the self-declared capital of ISIS in Syria and is patrolled by as many as 5,000 jihadi members.

Putin is set to mobilize 150,000 reservists who he conscripted into the military earlier this week.

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It is very clear that Russia wants to sweep up the west of the country, taking Raqqa and all the oil and gas resources around Palmyra. Putin knows that this is fast becoming a race to Raqqa – to secure the oil fields they need to cleanse the region of insurgents, and the IS capital is vital to do that while Obama stance and strategy is to .

It comes a day after Russian jets obliterated nine ISIS outposts in just 24 hours using bunker-busting bombs.

Russian jets pounded terrorist targets and blew up a command center, potentially killing dozens of fighters.

Confirming the successful raids, Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army vowed to ramp up the pressure, saying: “We will not only continue strikes… We will also increase their intensity.”

And Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations.

A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions.

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These and other highly exact means of attack in recent days have been used to target objects of Islamic State terrorists. It is reported that these command posts, stores of weapons and oil products, workshops where weapons of suicide bombers are made.

Meanwhile a terrorism expert revealed that ISIS have vastly exaggerated their military strength and called on Western leaders to launch a coordinated fightback which would obliterate the hate group.

Has ISIS become its own worst enemy with its campaign of terror against the West, which has prompted an international backlash?

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Other reports from those strategists say it won’t take very long at all to drive them, if not out of all of Iraq or Syria, then certainly the majority of their territories.

“They will hide in towns, but I would say do not to follow them as they would use innocent civilians as human shields.”

David Cameron initially gave the Russian air strikes a cautious welcome and said the UK would need to look very carefully at Putin’s operations. David Cameron said Russia was targeting anti-Assad rebels over Daesh militants.

David Cameron Has said Russian President Vladimir Putin is making a terrible mistake by sending jets to prop up Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

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The Prime Minister said most of the Russian airstrikes in Syria appeared to have been in areas not controlled by Islamic State but by other opponents of the regime.

He told the BBC the Russians were “backing the butcher Assad, which is a terrible mistake for them and for the world. It is going to make the region more unstable. It will lead to further radicalization and increase terrorism.asaadputin

“I would say to them: ‘Change direction, join us in attacking Isil, but recognize that if we want to have a secure region, we need an alternative leader to Assad’.”

But yesterday he warned the intervention is making the situation worse and helping to support the “butcher” president Bashar Assad.

Separately Mr. Cameron pledged to “beef up” the SAS and double the number of British drones to combat ISIS militants in an interview ahead of today’s Conservative conference.

The Prime Minister said investment in Special Forces and surveillance was essential to meeting the terrorist threat facing the UK.

He revealed that the UK will buy a fleet of 20 new Protector Drones capable of targeting IS extremists in Iraq and Syria.

The Russians called it Center 2015: a series of military exercises they carried out in mid-September involving some 95,000 troops. In contrast to common practice, Moscow outlined publicly with great specificity what type of exercises its troops conducted. Its Hind attack helicopters, for example, practiced rocket and bombing runs against ground targets and provided air cover at very low altitude to ground forces. They fired unguided rockets against military columns below. They practiced flying with one engine off—simulating engine failure—at just 650 feet above the ground.

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Whether Russia’s incursion into the increasingly deadly Syrian civil war was foreseeable or not—and if it was, whether it was deterrable—is now moot. Russian President Vladimir Putin has in an instant changed markedly the course of a conflict that has claimed at least 250,000 lives and displaced millions—numbers that may yet grow much higher. Moscow and Iran, Damascus’s heretofore primary benefactor, are now making it clear that they are all-in when it comes to defending the current regime. On September 21, Iran began dispatching hundreds of elite Quds Force soldiers—the expeditionary arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard—as well as its leader, Qassem Suleimani, to lead ground assaults backed by Russian airpower against the forces opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They have since been joined, according to intelligence reports, by deployments of Iranian and Iraqi Shiite militias.

They are there for a very specific reason, which is not simply to combat ISIS. By October 5, in fact, the Pentagon had become convinced that the majority of Russian air strikes thus far had targeted not ISIS units, but U.S. trained rebel groups in various parts of the country. The Russian troops are there to combat anyone and everyone who might fight against Assad, who the U.S. and its coalition partners still insist has to go. Indeed, on September 29, at the United Nations, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir could not have been clearer: “Assad has no future in Syria. Any attempt to whitewash him or make him acceptable is a nonstarter,” he told reporters.

The Russian intervention, as President Barack Obama, al-Jubeir and everyone else involved understands, comes at a critical moment. Despite the relative passivity and ineptness of the United States in funding and training anti-Assad rebels, the dictator’s position was slowly eroding as he attempted to fight off multiple rebel groups of varying sectarian and ethnic stripes (everything from hard-core ISIS fighters to more “moderate” Sunnis to Syrian Kurds). For Putin, a man who says repeatedly—because he believes it—that the greatest “geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century was the demise of the Soviet Union.

But from Moscow’s perspective, there likely was more to it than that—much more. The move provides a foothold in a part of the world that the Soviet Union was kicked out of four decades ago. At a moment when the United States appears to be washing its hands of the increasingly bloody and chaotic region, it gives Russia an expanding military presence in the Mediterranean on the doorstep of a NATO ally (its newly established airfield at Latakia in eastern Syria sits just 75 miles from the border with Turkey), and the gambit may yet serve as leverage with the West as Putin seeks to get out from under economic sanctions imposed as a result of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.

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Is Putin’s actions game-changing? Obama seemed less impressed—or less willing to congratulate the Kremlin on its cunning, at least in public. All this was done out of a position not of strength but of “weakness,” he said at a White House news conference in early October. “This is not a smart strategic move on Russia’s part.”

Throughout much of the Middle East, that declaration was met with howls of derision (for reasons that we will get to); at home, it was dismissed by many as petulant spin from a president who had been badly wrong-footed in this war. But whether Obama had been wrong-footed or not, the logic behind what he said is not obviously wrong. That Syria’s a snake pit couldn’t be more obvious. And it’s true, as sources in Moscow and the Middle East acknowledge, that if Russia decides more troops are needed to bolster its position, it may be drawn into a quagmire it can ill afford.

Despite a still-grim economy in Russia, Putin remains popular in his country. Most of what he does to show that Moscow is a serious player on the world stage only buttresses that good opinion. But the public appetite for a war against anti-Assad rebels in Syria appears limited, to say the least.

In Sunni Arab capitals around the Middle East, one word is being uttered with increasing frequency: “Afghanistan.” Not the ongoing post-9/11 U.S. war there, but the one before it: when the mighty Soviet army was driven out by jihadi rebels (who were funded by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states) and armed by the United States. As a student of what is known in Russia as the “catastrophe,” Putin knows that the humiliating Soviet withdrawal came in 1989, after a decade of war.

By 1992, his beloved Soviet Union ceased to exist. He also knows that the same countries that aided the Afghan rebels in the 1980s are now funding anti-Assad rebel groups.

So should the United States just say, “After you, Vladimir Vladimirovich? Be our guest! Syria’s all yours,” as GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, among others, has advocated? If at least part of Putin’s plan is to combat ISIS—which, after all, the U.S. seeks to “degrade and destroy”—shouldn’t we welcome Moscow’s intervention, as Secretary of State John Kerry indicated Washington might?

The reasons why that’s probably a terrible idea are numerous. The deployment of the Russian military and increased Iranian ground forces means Assad can stay in power for as long as his two patrons desire. At the same time, there is also little evidence that the axis supporting Assad has the wherewithal to crush the Sunni-backed rebel groups.

It’s hard, therefore, to draw anything but the grimmest of conclusions. Syria—already a “geopolitical Chernobyl,” as former CIA chief David Petraeus recently put it—is about to get worse. Is it possible that the advent of Russian reinforcements is likely only to cement a brutal stalemate that has driven millions of people from their homes, radicalized the region, cause a humanitarian apocalypse, and turn Syria into a magnet for global jihadists?

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The Russian move into Syria will only deepen concern among Washington’s traditional allies in the Middle East about U.S. goals in the region. Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies have all watched, with varying degrees of alarm over the last five years, as the Obama administration zealously pursued a nuclear deal with Iran, an archenemy to all of those countries. Obama did so over their strenuous objections. Many suspect—indeed, some are convinced—that his overarching goal in the region was to legitimize Iran, integrate it into the international system so as to, as his stance was back in 2014 to create an “equilibrium” between “Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare.”

If Obama’s goal was to get Iran to that place, starting with a nuclear deal, how likely was it that he was going to attack Syria in the wake of its chemical attacks, even having drawn a “red line” in 2012? Similarly, Tehran didn’t want a more aggressively funded and trained Western-backed rebel force in Syria, and Obama hasn’t done much to provide one. Had there been some firm action, we would not be in the place we are in.

This relative inaction has bred toxic suspicions throughout Washington’s traditional allies in the region—suspicions that are rarely voiced publicly but have hardened over the past 18 months. Simply put, they believe the Obama administration has not just pulled away from the Middle East but rather switched horses—backing Iran in search of that equilibrium the president spoke of last year. The White House has consistently and furiously denied this.

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Now, with Putin in Syria and Obama just 15 months from his White House retirement, the likelihood that the U.S. will do anything of consequence to change the status quo on the ground is slim. It seems extremely unlikely that Obama will risk a direct conflict with Putin. Any hope of a no-fly zone in Syria, or even an intensification of U.S. airstrikes, is likely gone as well. Indeed, with Europe under tremendous pressure from the crush of Syrian refugees, the fear among Sunni Arabs is that the West will latch on to Putin and Iran as the only hope for reining in Assad.

But that’s not why Russian troops are now fighting in Syria. They are there to prop up Assad by helping him destroy “terrorists”—defined as anyone fighting against his regime. It’s been about four and a half years since Syria’s civil war commenced—since it became a “geopolitical Chernobyl.” The meltdown may have only just begun.

El Salvador gang violence making Latin America murder Capital.

Gang violence is soaring in El Salvador. The country’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world. Now, amid criticism, the government is debating whether it should deploy the military.

El Salvador, one of the poorest and most violent countries in Latin America, saw well over 150 gang-related homicides within the last month alone. Now its constitutional court has classified the gangs as terrorist organizations.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR, 2015.05.21: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The 'halcones' respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The ‘halcones’ respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

Authorities in El Salvador have registered closer to 4,000 homicides in the past year. If the death toll continues to rise at the same pace, one in every thousand of its 6.3 million Salvadorans will have been murdered by the end of the year. Outside war zones, only Honduras has a comparable homicide rate.

In both countries, the murders can mostly be traced back to “Maras”, one of the gangs whose income is derived from hold-ups, extortion, arms trafficking and the illegal drug trade. Their roots go back to gangs in the Latin districts of Los Angeles in the 1980s, when many Salvadorans fled their country during the civil war.

When the conflict was over, the gangs formed criminal organizations in El Salvador. “This process was accelerated after the USA began deporting illegal immigrants to their home countries,” states a study conducted by the research department of the US Congress.

Today, UN drug authorities estimate a total of 54,000 members in “Mara Salvatrucha” (known as MS-13) and the 18th Street gang (also known as Barrio 18) in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. El Salvador, the smallest of the three countries, is home to 22,000 of them. In neighboring Nicaragua, many smaller gangs are active.

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Gang recruiters target students

Maras’ recruiters often target high school students. The organization offers youngsters what their parents often lack: the prospect of a livelihood and the feeling of being respected. Gang members often cover themselves in tattoos, which are earned through respect and brutality.

As many adolescents are recruited, Maras groups are often referred to as “youth gangs.” Anyone who thinks they are less harmful because of their age has another thing coming. The average age of the gang members is low because their life expectancy is proportionately lower.

Lucrative truce

For years, the gangs fought bloody turf wars. In 2012, Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 agreed to a truce. Homicide figures dropped from over 4,000 in the previous two years to 2,500 in 2012 and 2013. The ceasefire has been maintained because it is more profitable when each Mara can call the shots on its own turf in apparent peace.

 

 

But now, the killing is on the rise again: the death toll reached over 3,900 in 2014. If the current daily murder rate stays at 16 homicides per day, then last year’s total will be surpassed by the end of August 2015.

The spiral of violence

Ever since the gang truce was established, the victims of gang activities have been mainly civilians. But the gangs are now fighting each other again. According to El Salvador’s defense minister, David Munguia Payes, 85 percent of last weeks’ victims belonged to gangs.

Furthermore, the feud between the police and gangs has exacerbated: in January 2015, seven officers were killed in two weeks. According to sources in MS-13 circles, these were apparently acts of revenge for police tyranny. The police, for their part, swiftly announced that it would crack down on gang activities.

Organized crime in North and South America is continuing to spiral out of control and resulting in more violence and more deaths. They say, “The retaliatory nature together with the rhetoric is telling.” But this is nothing new, either is the escalation of government corruption.

This evokes reminders of the past: Salvadoran presidents have often stated that they would strike back hard. The gangs have always responded brutally to such declarations: in 2009, for instance, during the rule of former president Antonia Saca, known as “Super Mano Dura” (Super Hard Hand) the homicide rate rose to a historic high of 4,367 killings. This record may just well be broken this year.

Government making efforts

It is obvious that the government is taking the route of confrontation. Several months ago, a business association invited former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani to El Salvador to advise the country on security issues. During the Giuliani administration, the crime rate in New York went down drastically. Giuliani practiced a no-tolerance policy against offenders and he has recommended the Salvadoran government do the same.

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Classifying Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 as terrorist organizations might demonstrate that the government is probably following the former New York City mayor’s advice and considering deploying the military, although there is little evidence to prove that military measures will reduce the violence. It might mirror what the results we’ve seen with the Cartels in Mexico. Doubts have arisen about the feasibility of Giuliani’s tactics in Central America, where officers are paid much less than in the US and, accordingly, tend to give in to corruption.

It is most likely that the first rehabilitation program for gang members in the history of the country may be established by the government as part of its anti-gang measures. The costs, however, could exceed the governments’ financial means. Approximately 700 police officers have been temporarily suspended for disobeying regulations. Another 200 were expelled from the force. A functioning police force would be the first step towards greater security. Positive changes could attract investors who can offer young people a better perspective than organized crime. Private sector certainly can be a solution.

Operation Greystone

Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, President Bush called an emergency meeting in his cabinet Room, calling together the major defense and CIA officials.

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Not much earlier, CIA Director J. Cofer Black and top officials had prepared a plan to take down Al-Qaeda. Black approached President Bush with this plan immediately afterwards. Bush had just given the CIA a very broad approval to enter Afghanistan and carry out operations against the terror group Al-Qaeda in any way it pleased.

CIA Operatives entered at least a dozen different countries, including Afghanistan, and began training locals and government security forces to track down insurgents and terrorists.

Elite CIA Operatives trained northern Alliance soldiers in Afghanistan; the Taliban fell from power within a matter of months.

We now know that Operation Greystone involved, in large part, inaccurate drone strikes and secret prison-based interrogations of high-risk terrorists who simply disappeared during the course of the operation.

Realizing a greater potential threat facing America post 9/11, intelligence agencies became more secretive and cautious. They took on a greater role by phone tapping and tracking emails and created Operation Greystone enacted by President Bush which it sent CIA in front of the military for the first time, in order to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan which was the first start of a new covert was style.

Realizing we were facing a far greater potential terrorist threat and whereas most wars are a show of power, Operation Greystone began as an infiltration for information.

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CIA operatives entered at least a dozen different countries, including Afghanistan who joined up with the Northern alliance, a resistance force made up of rebels and from the shadows effectively began tracking down insurgents and terrorists who were paid to hunt down, fight and kill.  These operations operated in the shadows effectively dismantling the Taliban which led to numerous victories and dubbed as the “War on Terror”.

Elite CIA operatives trained Northern Alliance soldiers in Afghanistan; the Taliban fell from power within a matter of months.

We now know that Operative Greystone involved, in large part, inaccurate drone strikes and secret prison-based interrogations of high-risk terrorists who simply disappeared during the course of the operation.

One event that raised concerns of the scope of government power was a drone missile that blew up a vehicle occupied by an Al Qaeda leader. Although the government called it a success and celebrated, many were unaware of the power of the government weapons and the ability of the government to kill easily.

The major problem is that because everything is now done in secret, no one truly knows the extent to which the government is performing.

A second occurrence was the enhanced interrogation techniques that ensured, such as water boarding which is considered torture but was labeled as an enhanced technique and approved by the Justice Department.

In addition, the CIA had created a series of “black sites” throughout the world, which are prison camps for people to be tortured in. Again, in complete secrecy.

Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld began a program called Joint Special Operations Command, which singles out terrorist leaders and kills them one by one. They don’t call themselves a covert operation but instead military operation to avoid needing approval of president and effectively doing as they please. JSOC operates with CIA special activities division.

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Rumsfeld also created the Office of Special Plans, which created links that the CIA would not release. It was used to create the link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. It has “all source clearance,” the ability to access all information.

The OSP uses unapproved troops, acting independently and with mainly political intent in Iraq such as in summer of 2004 when the CIA led troops to Pakistan with attacks to defeat Al Qaeda and terrorists.

They then attacked Iraq to prevent damage from weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein, and eventually led to the destruction of the NSA at home. It intercepts phone calls and emails without warrant, in all effort of preventing another 9/11.

This was allowed by the Terrorist Surveillance Program, enacted by Bush.

At this time, these new anti-terrorist groups have far more power than they should, being not regulated and also closed off to public knowledge.

In fact, after 8 months, it turned out there was not any “weapons of mass destruction” at all in Iraq, and the CIA took blame for all intelligence failure. It begs the question of just how much they know, and the lack of reason behind their activity.

A few years later, Obama was sworn in and swore to end invading privacy. Yet it turns out he reauthorized many programs including Greystone to find Osama bin Laden. JSOC raids, drone strikes, and essentially every program was kept or increased in order to continue fighting a “War on Terror”.

About 1.5 trillion dollars has been spent so far, and yet the only notable achievement is the death of Osama bin Laden. Perhaps instead of all this need to keep all actions secret, the government updates the public so it can realize if a search such as for WMD’s is hopeless and stop activity on it, and then try to refocus on other good leads on terrorist groups.

Drones are “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” capable of delivering guided missiles to targets up to 1800 miles away. They are relatively small, equipped with a camera and controlled remotely from an operator on the ground. Since they are unmanned, drones greatly reduce the risk and cost of requiring a pilot and can effectively target key enemy positions.

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The CIA uses drones to conduct targeted killings of Taliban members and other militant groups.  In effect, it targets and eliminates insurgents on the ground without the implementation of need of excessive boots on the ground and unnecessary loss of ground troops. In turn, it also saves the lives of thousands of victims at the hands of the very growing numbers of extremists looking to dominate the world.

When it comes to drone strikes, the UN Human Rights Council fears that the United States has not taken proper accountability and precautionary and precautionary measures in conducting these targeted killings. According to Philip Alston, “the UN special Rappaorteurs on extrajudicial summary on arbitrary executions stated, “the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is running a programme that is killing a significant number of people, and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international law.” My query to Mr. Alston is has he been to Iraq, Syria Kobane to see firsthand the thousands of beheading at the hands of ISIS the crimes against humanity of ISIS/ISIL killing hundreds of children and infants and the raping of women as young as 6 years old? Boys given automatic weapons and grenades and sent to suicide school instead of elementary school to kill all “non-believers”.

Since 2004, the Special Activities Division of the CIA had conducted hundreds of drone strikes in northern Pakistan. By the end of Obama’s first term in office, the CIA had conducted 44 drone strikes in Pakistan, killing approximately 400 people. In the years following, the number of strikes increased dramatically, and by 2011, the CIA had conducted over 240 drone strikes in Pakistan. The Obama administration maintains that the drone program is classified, and thus they are unable to reveal specific information about the targeted killings. Consequently, when such a program is classified, serious accountability and human rights dilemmas emerge.

A 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment Soldier provides overwatch on an Afghan valley during Operation Verendrye near the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Going into the 21st century, posturing and humane reasoning would dictate that the CIA must recognize the potential dangers of wielding such a powerful network of drones. With such a network, the CIA could hypothetically kill anyone on its “target list” from a remote location halfway across the world, effectively dehumanizing the entire process of assassination. The CIA must be sure to follow UN guidelines, while simultaneously maintaining a level of secrecy that gives it an advantage over terrorist organizations. The CIA must also be cautious of overusing drones also one would posture. The purpose of employing drones in Pakistan is to defeat terrorist organizations operating in the area but excessive use of drones may increase the already growing anti-American sentiment in the region. Will drones make America too powerful for its own good?

If drones are extremely effective is waging the war on terror, we cannot ignore it. We must not only continue the effective campaign but escalate it without mercy and conduct a “search and destroy” ground attack with “boots on the ground” giving us maximum exposure to eliminate any threat.

Why is the United States the Police Department for the World?

Why is it incumbent for us to intervene in almost every conflict and put our troops in harm’s way? With the ever escalating fiscal crisis in our country and our own domestic conflicts to fight here with our oversight committees in Washington, there appears to be hundreds of oversights to be accountable right here.

The United States is simply not the emergency police service of the world when another country pushes the buttons for 911 as no other country dialed in on 9-11 in New York. Our interests are served just fine enough with diplomacy, not military might. We have the Department of Defense, not the Department of War nor the Department of 9-11 Crisis.

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Our past Presidents has thrown us into Wars that is not our fight but into a conflict that is simply a civil war and unrest between rival nations and not a war with the United States. Obama was a President voted into office because of his views in part to his approach to the use of armed forces so Americans chose a candidate who has opposed Bush’s was in Iraq and bring U.S. commitments back in line where the Norwegian Nobel Committee thought so to all too soon. However, as we saw all, Hussein was the only Muslim and President in history who bowed to an Arab Sheik which is a sign of weakness. This set an epitome.

If we are stockpiling weapons, why are we handing billions of dollars of weaponry to countries that are inevitably used against our troops? War does have its place when it is justified as in War War II. We must be serving the American people, not the Arab world or the Islamic state.

We are the problem. We have allowed our government to make decisions that is not in the best interests of the American people. I always believe till today, that the government are elected officials who are public servants to serve and preserve liberty and freedom and the American taxpayer. Here and not abroad.

History have proven that approximately 6,000 U.S. troops were Killed in action and immeasurable were wounded. Almost the same committed suicide upon their return. In the Iraq conflict, almost 7,000 U.S. troops were killed and the much higher number in military contractors and more wounded. The cost to the United States was about 2 TRILLION dollars.

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We need to reign in establish a multi-disciplinary approach to tax and fiscal analysis and the utility of government in America that is fully transparent. We must demand and wipe away the obscurity of the government’s ability to enhance the quality of life to compliment the prosperity of our society at large and not the political machine. I believe that our government has set an example of a greedy corrupt mechanism of a new world order.

We no longer require rhetoric, we should thirst for a directive action that is in the best interests of the American public and no one else. The public needs to take back our country and know if our leadership is working in the best interests of our nation and not ‘special interests’ hell bent on greed. They can be terminated just like any hard-working American. We need to reign in politicians who spend our money lavishly because they believe in entitlement. The only entitlement they deserve is what we are entitled to; a reasonable pay check, accountable to pay their child support, taxes, be arrested for their crimes and removed from office like any other citizen. No one is above the law.

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We need to clean house. Lower unemployment and crime. Give jobs to the citizens of this country and not outsource to third world toilets. Our military can fill positions to watch our borders, fill law enforcement positions and create other agencies to deport all illegal aliens, tighten, enhance and provide proper law enforcement training who are in positions to also ‘serve and protect’ and not beat and menace.

I remember when my parents, grandparents came to this country, it was not a right and a privilege. You had to earn your right to enter this country thru Ellis Island. Today, most people if not all believe in the opposite with their hands out and our government obliges handing them food stamps, housing, and education on our dime. What has happened?

There is so many important changes that needs to be addressed and all of us have a voice. Why are so many mute and afraid to speak? God, gave you a voice. Cowards hide in the shadows, Bystanders stand with the ignorant and are the catalyst for failure. What is important to you?

The Militarization of U.S. Police Departments  

Do you remember the ‘Posse Comitatus Act’ in 1878. “The purpose of the act… (was) to limit the powers of the Federal government in using its military personnel to enforce the state laws“

The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law enacted by Rutherford B Hayes in which the purpose of the act is to limit the powers of the federal government is using its military personnel to enforce state laws. They set as a priority legislation to prohibit any future President or Congress from directing, by military order or federal legislation, the imposition of federal troops in any U.S. state.

Since the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, therefore, the U.S. government has been constrained overall in the use of military force domestically in any of the U.S. states.

This constraint, though, has never been the case in U.S. international policies and, therefore, the U.S. has engaged in militarizing the domestic arenas of other countries that fall under U.S. areas of interest (such as the Philippines, South American countries, the Middle East, etc.).

Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) is a “Policing/Militarization of the U.S. Empire”

What is “Low-Intensity Conflict”? There are seemingly many definitions of the term. Regarding the impact of the U.S., however, I refer to it as “low-intensity” only for the U.S. military. In other words, the U.S. military does not get its hands dirty nor is it violently impacted but instead trains others for this insidious work. This is in contrast to those who are the recipients of it.

“Low Intensity Conflict” is simultaneously “high intensity” for those outside the U.S. who are victims of these U.S. international LIC policies. These victims are often under intimidating surveillance, sometimes suffer or are killed by summary execution, torture, displacement etc. by military or police in their own country who are trained philosophically and militarily by the U.S. In other words, it is a method employed to “police/militarize” the U.S. political and economic interests. This could also be referred to as war capitalism.

When militarizing the domestic arena of its areas of influence in the world, it pays no attention to its own domestic laws that do not easily allow for this militarization in its own domestic sphere.

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So instead of the United States military goes into about 70 countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Columbia, Argentina, etc. to train troops from these countries which is to serve the interests of the United States and the friendly elite of these countries. Again, it is a “policing” or “militarization” of countries in what the United States considers its empire of interests. The reality is, these countries are not friendly nor allies of the U.S. Once trained and given military grade weapons, they are later used against our own troops.

As with the international structural adjustment policies that are now being implemented in the United States, as mentioned above, I have always assumed that the U.S. would also want to implement the LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) strategies or increased domestic militarization in the U.S. as well. The Posse-Comitatus Act has invariably prevented this from happening to any significant degree. One way around this, as in by not being able to send in the federal troops to cities and states, is to militarize the local police forces and this is happening to a significant degree in the United States.

As the ACLU has reported:

All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.

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Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. Any yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.

As our new report makes clear, it’s time for American police to remember that they are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.

cop-soldiersThe “war on terror” has come home–and it’s wreaking havoc on innocent American lives. The culprit is the militarization of the police….

A recent New York Times article by Matt Apuzzo reported that in the Obama era, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”  The result is that police agencies around the nation possess military-grade equipment, turning officers who are supposed to fight crime and protect communities into what look like invading forces from an army. And military-style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year.

According to Alex Kane’s “11 shocking facts about the militarization of the U.S. police” are:

  1. It harms, and sometimes kills, innocent people.
  2. Children are impacted.
  3. The use of SWAT teams is unnecessary.
  4. The “war on terror” is fueling militarization.
  5. It’s a boom to contractor profits.
  6. Border militarization and police militarization go hand in hand.
  7. Police are cracking down on dissent.
  8. Asset forfeitures are funding police militarization.
  9. Dubious informants are used for raids.
  10. There’s been little debate and oversight.
  11. Communities of color bear the brunt.

There is a rampant and systematic abuses by police to beat and kill innocent unarmed American citizens. Police officers excessive use of force is observed on a daily basis in the United States in direct view of the public.These are barbaric and savage crimes. It is also corruption by the very judicial system that is also established to protect us by failing to prosecute these officers for obvious crimes.

This is collusion in that it promotes dishonesty and fraud, which, in turn,undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system.We know that law enforcement and prosecutors are married at the hip. Therefore when law enforcement commit the assaults and murder are generally never charged. In turn, from their respective departments suspended from duty nor disposed from duty. Most of their actions are legitimized by their departments and swept under the carpet of the code of silence.

Some of these abuses and murder of citizens are carried out when the oppressed is in custody and restrained with handcuffs. There is anywhere from 4-16 officers on hand to control one individual who is at times begging for their lives. Some never get the chance as they are killed within a minute.

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There should be no escalation of lethal force with anyone that is not carrying any weapon and can be controlled with ANY non-lethal weapon.  If not, the police academy do not have proper standards and training. The golden rule is to use one more ounce of force that is used against you. If you cannot accomplish this and control any given situation, you should not be an officer of the law that is sworn “to protect and serve”. The problem initiates with the foundation of training. However, any citizen that endeavors to become an officer of the law needs to have rigorous psychological assessments before moving ahead with training and re-evaluated on a steady basis.

Scott Bernstein  – International Tactical Law Enforcement & Military Trainer. ‘Global Security International|Bounty Hunter Training Academy’

CIA Interrogation Techniques

I always thought CIA interrogations methods even till today were clandestine. Through research, CIA interrogators waterboarded their first prisoner, Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, in 2002 justifying the simulated drowning as a vital tool to extract secrets about future attacks against the United States.

At a secret prison In Thailand for about 20 days, the CIA implemented round the clock interrogations, waterboarding, physical assaults and confinement. Their conclusions was the Saudi Operative knew nothing about new plots.

Such techniques are used to break a person will or ability to resist. The goal is obtain the confidential intelligence information and access undisclosed threat information.

These types of treatments got into the hands of the Senate Intelligence Committee recently which was placed into scrutiny. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks, under intense demands to produce usable intelligence, the agency resorted to deception, manipulation and intellectual contortions to rationalize and continue using interrogation techniques that even some of its own officials worried amounted to illegal torture, the report documents.

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At CIA headquarters, officials repeatedly pushed interrogators at secret detention facilities in Poland, Thailand, Afghanistan, Romania and elsewhere to intensify the harsh treatment, even after officers at the sites had concluded there was little more information to be gained from a prisoner.

CIA Director John Brennan said in a statement “we acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the agency made mistakes.” He added that “the most serious problems occurred early on and stemmed from the fact that the agency was unprepared and lacked the core competencies required to carry out an unprecedented, worldwide program” of detention and interrogation.

The interrogations chief became so disillusioned as the treatment of detainees that he called the ‘program’ a train wreck waiting to happen and wanted off the train and no longer wanted to be associated with the program “in any way.”

There was conflicting reports about the methods used against Nashiri who the CIA claimed to be involved in the bombing of the US Cole where interrogators was allegedly hanging him upside down, holding a drill next to his body and a pistol next to his head. Those techniques reportedly were not authorized by either the CIA or the Justice Department but ruled that the interrogation practices did not violate U.S. laws against torture.

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There were two former military psychologists who were the chief architects of the interrogation program and personally conducted some of the waterboarding, even though they had no direct experience with the practice

The CIA relied on the two men to assess the psychological effects of waterboarding and other techniques on individual prisoners. That put them in position to judge the effectiveness of interrogations. A company the two formed to help run the program received $81 million from the CIA from 2002 to 2009, a Senate investigation found.

In January 2003, one of the psychologists arrived at the detention site where Nashiri was being held to assess whether he should be subjected to additional harsh interrogation measures. He recommended going ahead with “the full range of enhanced exploitation and interrogation measures” to establish a “desired level of helplessness.

Nearly two years after the CIA’s last interrogation of Nashiri, an assessment by one of the psychologists who had recommended his harsh treatment concluded the prisoner had “provided essentially no actionable information.” In 2006, Nashiri was transferred to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo.

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when detaining prisoners was first discussed within the Bush administration, CIA officials promised their facilities would be comparable to federal prisons or would meet Pentagon standards for prisoners of war.

The facilities fell far short of those standards. In 2002, when officials from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons visited a CIA prison in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit, they were stunned to find detainees shackled in their cells in complete darkness and isolation, with only buckets for human waste.

The program grew so quickly that the agency had difficulty keeping track of all of its detainees and in 2003 discovered they were holding a number of detainees the knew little about and had not been questioned for months.

CIA officers involved in the program worried from the start that they might face criminal charges and began to seek assurances from Atty General Ashcroft immunity from prosecution which was denied.

Are interrogation methods in other countries any different towards Americans and foreign Journalists?  Are interrogation methods instrumental to the national security of our country? Does the intensity of the interrogation own up to the horrors and severity we see in the terroristic annihilation of humanity?

Our leadership rhetoric has always been that we do not negotiate with terrorists. Is this is valid, why is terrorism so rampant in the world?

Mexico police on payroll with the Drug Cartels

A couple of months ago, 43 students embarked on a journey that ended in horrific deaths. The bus that they were journeying on was stopped by the police and was fired upon according to a survivor.

Later, the bodies were removed, placed in an isolated garbage dump by drug gang members ordered by the drug cartels and were covered by rocks and tires. They then poured diesel and gasoline all over the bodies with some of the students still alive. The gang members then incinerated the pile. The bodies burned for over 24 hours. When they returned and the fire was out and cooled, they were ordered to remove the ashes and placed them with the students bones fragments into trash bags and thrown into a river bank.

VIGILANTE

This is just an example of how Mexican law enforcement works with the Mexican drug Cartels and how the cartels with law enforcement authorities are more dangerous now than ISIS.

The only prevalent force fighting the war against trafficking and corruption is armed civilians as a militia who creates a curfew and road blocks.

Mexican authorities admit that drug-trafficking gangs pay around 1.27 billion pesos (some $100 million) a month in bribes to municipal police officers nationwide.

Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said that figure was calculated based on perceptions of municipal officers themselves and an analysis of a list of cops recruited by the cartels that was found during a police operation. High ranking officials defend this because it makes up for what the government does not pay and allows them to live their lives with “dignity.”

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Authorities assert that of the country’s 165,510 municipal officers nationwide, just over 20% earns less than 1,000 pesos ($79) a month, while 60.9% earn no more than 4,000 pesos ($317) monthly.

The secretary, who backs President Felipe Calderon’s proposal for a single police force per state, said municipal officers currently account for 38.73% of all police in the country, adding that rather than combat crime they merely comply with the guidelines of their jurisdictions. Their training is lacking and they require stricter oversight however, that does not excuse the mass corruption of the alliance with the cartels and their reign of terror.

I believe that a leader with strong disciplines and leadership bringing a single federal authority will be a start to end the corruption. The military might of Mexico needs to combat the terrorism of the Cartels.

Nearly 30,000 people have died in incidents blamed on organized-crime groups, mainly drug traffickers. In Mexico since late 2006, newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police to nearly a dozen states in a bid to stem the violence and root-out corruption in local law-enforcement agencies.

hangingbodiesState and local police in Mexico are poorly paid and are often confronted with the choice known here as “plomo o plata” (lead or silver): accept a bribe for looking the other way or get killed for refusing.

During Calderon’s tenure, a total of 915 municipal police, 698 state police and 463 federal agents have been killed at the hands of criminal gangs, according to Public Safety Secretariat figures. These figures are grossly inaccurate – as are Caledron’s accomplishments!