The Slimy World Of PsyOps

Psy Ops or what is fondly called “brain games”……

The US is desperately searching for something that can counter ISIS/AQ techniques for recruitment of the disenfranchised…..

There is a branch in the military as well as the intel community that is tasked with dirty tricks…..one such trick recently came to light……a program of fake ISIS/AQ videos…….

It has already been well-documented that the Pentagon spent a substantial amount of money on propaganda during the occupation of Iraq, running pro-occupation commercials and also covertly getting pro-occupation news stories into the media around the region. It turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg.

It has now been revealed that there was a third program ongoing, in which a London-based PR agency was paid $540 million to make fake al-Qaeda propaganda videos for Pentagon use. The videos were intended to use existing al-Qaeda footage, and to be in RealMedia format, and burned onto CDs.

Then, during the many US military raids going on during the occupation, a few of the fake propaganda CDs were scattered around here or there in the wreckage of smashed-up houses and compounds. Officially, the goal was for al-Qaeda sympathizers to get ahold of them.

Unspoken within the reports as they’ve emerged so far, having “al-Qaeda propaganda” laying around in the wreckage of US raid targets was likely also an end unto itself, as anyone who came to investigate after the fact would see them and assume the raid was on an actual al-Qaeda target, never suspecting the US troops were planting the discs.

(antiwar.com)

Good idea?  How many of these “tapes” were found by those that had no idea about the program?  How many were turned over to the intel agencies as “actual” terrorists tapes?  How many raids were planned around faulty info?

Finally, just what did we get for the $540 million spent on this hair brain scheme?

Exploiting Disorder: al-Qaeda and the Islamic State

It looks like I am the only blogger watching ISIS and other groups…..that is other than the occasional hateful post about Muslims…..but someone has to keep an eye on the happenings beyond the elections of this country.

In my research into terrorism I have found many good papers that offer some insights into this act of barbarism….I spend about 3-4 hours a day reading papers on the subject and one of the better sources of information (there is the Right’s ugly word),I have found that the stuff published by the International Crisis Group is timely and well thought out…..

This paper points to many of the reasons that groups like ISIS and AQ are able to function and gain in their influence…..

The Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda-linked groups, Boko Haram and other extremist movements are protagonists in today’s deadliest crises, complicating efforts to end them. They have exploited wars, state collapse and geopolitical upheaval in the Middle East, gained new footholds in Africa and pose an evolving threat elsewhere. Reversing their gains requires avoiding the mistakes that enabled their rise. This means distinguishing between groups with different goals; using force more judiciously; ousting militants only with a viable plan for what comes next; and looking to open lines of communication, even with hardliners. Vital, too, is to de-escalate the crises they feed off and prevent others erupting, by nudging leaders toward dialogue, inclusion and reform and reacting sensibly to terrorist attacks. Most important is that action against “violent extremism” not distract from or deepen graver threats, notably escalating major- and regional-power rivalries.

Source: Exploiting Disorder: al-Qaeda and the Islamic State | International Crisis Group

There are regions that are looking at an increase in instability….and when that happens we open the door for a rise in the extremism that we all fear.

The collapse of ISIS in Iraq and Syria could end up increasing the risk of terror attacks on the West, the country’s anti-terror prosecutor has warned.

ISIS has suffered a series of military setbacks after losing territory in Iraq in recent months while one of its most prominent leaders, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, was killed in an air strike in Syria in August.

There is a wealth of research that says that the total destruction of ISIS could be problematic…..

Maybe a new approach should be found and maybe we could avoid some of this death and destruction….just a thought.

The Ghost Of Bin Laden

That would be OSAMA with an “S”…just in case there are any Breibart trolls in hiding.

The day is 02May2011….Obama (with a “B”) announced the news that Osama bin Laden, head of Al-Qaeda, has been killed in Pakistan….and the country went into a euphoric celebration….vengeance has been ours.

Since that day all AQ communications has come through the new leader of the group, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, that is until now…..the ghost of Ossama has spoken through his son, Hamza……

The son of al-Qaeda’s slain founder Osama bin Laden has urged Saudis to “overthrow” the kingdom’s “oppressive and tyrannical” rulers to free themselves of US influence.

In an audio message released by the militants’ media outlet, Hamza bin Laden urged the Saudi tribes to join the Yemen-based al-Qaeda franchise to “gain the necessary experience” to “wage jihad” against the House of Saud.

“There must be an uprising against the American agents, [true] Islamic law ruling the land and the overthrow of the criminal ruling family, which has turned the Land of the Two Holy Mosques into a kingdom of [the West and Iran],” bin Laden said.

Source: Bin Laden’s son calls for uprising against Saudi king

The apple does not fall from the tree….now does it?

The Name Game

Most Americans are well aware of a group named Al-Qaeda….in case the mind is going….that is the group founded by Osama and was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.  Keep that in mind……

Now we move to Syria…..there is an affiliate of AQ operating in the country…Jabbat al-Nusra…at times they are at odds with the barbarous bunch called ISIS…..there is also reports that sya as horrible as ISIS is al-Nusra is more dangerous……

Hardly a day goes by without news of the progress being made in the war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In recent months, American-backed forces have secured much of the Syrian-Turkish border, recaptured Ramadi, and stemmed the flow of fighters and supplies to the terror group’s capital cities of Raqqa and Mosul.
But momentum is not the same as winning, and the U.S. has fallen into a number of traps in Iraq and Syria — the most deadly of which has been set by al Qaeda.
Jabhat al-Nusra, al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, is more dangerous than ISIS — and while the two groups share the common goal of establishing a global caliphate, they are using different means to achieve it.

Al-Nusra first emerged in January 2012, 10 months after the start of anti-government protests that were brutally repressed by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, leading to a now more than five-year-old multi-sided conflict.

The group is an offshoot of the Islamic State in Iraq, Al-Qaeda’s former affiliate in the country, in which Jolani was a leading figure in Nineveh province, a jihadist stronghold in the north.

In April 2013, Al-Nusra refused to join up with IS and pledged allegiance instead to Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later proclaimed Al-Nusra the only branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria.

Believing that their public status as al-Qaeda’s formal “affiliate” in Syria has made them a target, the Nusra Front is announcing its intention to rebrand as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or Sham Liberation Front, which itself won’t officially be affiliated with al-Qaeda’s parent organization.

More info on al-Nusra……

Source: Everything You Need To Know About the New Nusra Front | TIME

All this drama is a ruse…..it has been planned for awhile to take the heat off the group……

….. the ruse is transparent, since al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a public audio statement only back in May suggesting Nusra could make a public break with al-Qaeda as a way to unify Islamists to form an “emirate” to rival ISIS. Whatever the reason, there is no suggestion this is going to leave Nusra, or whatever it calls itself, as anything but Syria’s al-Qaeda.

Nothing has changed…the group will still be as barbarous as usual…the only purpose of this “switch” is to try and lessen the attacks by the US and others with the hope it can survive past this conflict.

Jabhat al-Nusra, or JAN, is many things at the same time. It includes nationalists, nationalist-Islamists, Islamists, Syrians, non-Syrians, elements who reject global terrorism, global terrorists, hardliners, relative moderates, and many other ideological strains. The cement holding this organization together is composed of two parts: Opposing Assad, and an organizational structure that is able to provide an ideological frame, a political platform, a plan of action and operational structure, a disciplinary system, and the means to survive and continue the fight.

Attempts to reduce JAN to ISIL part deux are mistaken insofar as they neglect structural and ideological differences between the two groups. This is not to say that JAN is more or less dangerous than ISIL. It is to say that the two groups are completely different along both ideological and organizational lines. Overlooking those differences is natural in public opinion, but it is not suitable for experts or policy makers, as in the field of fighting terrorism, every detail matters.

Source: The Future of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria | Middle East Briefing

Same game….different name?

Distancing itself from the ambitions of its sponsor is both good politics and may be good for Syrians.

And yet, the announcement has been received internationally with weary scepticism and‎ a level of cynical dismissiveness that fails to understand the opportunity this decision represents.

The principal Western response has been that al-Nusra Front leadership’s decision is merely cosmetic, designed to remove itself from the list of groups subject to bombardment. This, of course may be true but it misses the point.

Source: Tough choices ahead as al-Nusra splits from al-Qaeda – Al Jazeera English

 

Can You Explain Al-Qaeda?

May the fourth be with you!  Today is Star Wars Day….go figure.

Remember back to 9/11…..all the deaths and destruction was the result of one organization and only one….Al-Qaeda.

Osama became the world’s most wanted fugitive and resources were spent hand over fist to find him and eliminate him….Hell we even went to war to get the SOB that attacked the US on 9/11.

After 15 years of war and drone strikes killing more people than the attacks on 9/11…we are still NO closer to eliminating this group from the face of the earth….we did however eliminate the head of the snake but the snake still lives.

They have moved into Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria……and all those locations we are dropping ordinance on them like a summer rain…..that is all over but in Syria……

Say what?  Why would the US give AQ Syria a break from the battering?

There is an easy answer….AQ Syria is on our side in our battles with ISIS, the scourge of the Middle East…..

Now we see the extraordinary situation where the US government admits that the militia groups Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham are fighting alongside and are “intermingled with” al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, but resoundingly rejects the Russian request to therefore classify these two groups terrorist.

In fact, not only does fighting alongside and “intermingling with” al-Qaeda not get a group classified “terrorist,” the US government is actually asking Russia and the Syrian government to stop shooting at such groups!

So the State Department is urging the Syrians and Russians to stop bombing Aleppo because Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham are operating there, even though it also admits that the groups are “intermingling” with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Do you find this unusual?

You should not….think back….Noriega, Saddam, etc….those bastards were once friends with the US and the CIA but found themselves on the wrong end of the politics of DC…..

Now the question is…..Is AQ still a terrorists organization?  Or do they get a deferment but only in Syria?  What will happen when ISIS is NO longer a threat?  Will AQ once again be on the “bad boys” list?

I wrote a op-ed for my friends at Ace News Room about how confusing the conflict in Syria has become……

I thought at the very beginning of the civil war in Syria that the situation was confusing…..we had 34+ factions fighting the Syrians, the US, ISIS, each other and God knows what else.  And t…

Source: Syria: Just How Confusing Can One Conflict Be?

Now this turn of events……do you get the feeling that these jokers have NO idea what they are doing in Syria?

While you were worried about all those refugees our country is in bed with the same organization that caused the attacks on 9/11……

Is anyone listening?

Does anyone know what SNAFU means?

 

War in Yemen: Al-Qaeda is Stronger Than Ever

Does anyone think about al-Qaeda anymore?

You remember them….the USS Cole, 9/11 and all that stuff…..ring any bells?

Of course not…..there is another “bad boy” on the corner and all our interests and focus has been on them and let AQ slide for the time being….

Last year Saudi Arabia in their paranoid state decided that the Houthis (a shia sect) was becoming too powerful and dangerously close to the Sacred Sites of Islam.  Well what to do if you are Saudi?  Start a war and make your point….after all you have a protector ion your back pocket….the US.

The Saudis have always had a hard on for Yemen….why?  (you guessed it….a historical perspective)……..

Back in the day Mecca in Saudi Arabia,a trading center , was in competition with Sana’a in Yemen….well things got hot when the king of Yemen, Abraha al-             Ashramm attacked Mecca….well the war did not go well for Yemen and their army was defeated….all this in the year 560CE…..to this day the Saudis are still pissed about the war even though they won.

Now back to the present……for over a year the Saudis have been attacking by air Yemen and causing a huge humanitarian crisis for the civilians…..but in all the time the war has been going on…..which was started to protect SA from the “bad guys”……..but all this conflict has done nothing to control the Houthis and has had another aspect that was unforeseen……AQ HAS GROWN STRONGER!

One unintended consequence of the war in Yemen: Al Qaeda now runs its own mini-state, flush with funds from raiding the local central bank and levying taxes.

…….Al Qaeda fighters there have abolished taxes for local residents, operate speedboats manned by RPG-wielding fighters who impose fees on ship traffic, and make propaganda videos in which they boast about paving local roads and stocking hospitals.

The economic empire was described by more than a dozen diplomats, Yemeni security officials, tribal leaders and residents of Mukalla. Its emergence is the most striking unintended consequence of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. The campaign, backed by the United States, has helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to become stronger than at any time since it first emerged almost 20 years ago.

Source: How Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has made al Qaeda stronger and richer

Now that AQ is on the back burner….how will this effect their operations against the West?

The all consuming hatred of ISIS has made it possible for AQ to once again arise from the ashes left by ISIS.

If the US is playing chess then they are in serious jeopardy.

Cunctis Vigilis!

Afghanistan: War Without End

Does anyone out there remember Afghanistan?

It was that war of yesteryear that we focused all of our patriotic zeal toward……but now?  Not so much…..remember now?

My granddaughter was born after the US invaded Afghanistan….she is going on 13 and she has never known a time when the US was not at war…..though she probably does not know of it because the media and the government does not want a repeat of the 60’s and 70’s protests…….

In 2001 after the 9/11 attacks we invaded Afghanistan in search for the mastermind of the attacks…..Osama…..with the help of a few of our allies and the Northern Alliance we went in and kicked the Taleban and AQ in the stomach…..the only blotch on our achievements was that the military and others allowed the most wanted man escape across the mountains into Pakistan……

So for over 15 years we have been in a running battle with AQ, the Taleban and whoever else wants to join the fray….you would think with the might of the US military would have worn down the Taleban to a few isolated pockets, right?

You would be mistaken…….

15 years into the US occupation of Afghanistan, the nation is a less occupied than ever, as a new report to Congress warns that the Taliban’s military gains have left it in control of a bigger chunk of the country than at any time since the 2001 US invasion.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the author of the quarterly report, cited tens of billions of dollars in waste and a general lack of security, warning the situation in Afghanistan is worsening by most metrics.

Pentagon officials have been warning for awhile that the situation on the ground is deteriorating, but the SIGAR report offered more specifics and a stark metric, territory hold, by which to measure just how badly things are getting.

What is the end game for Afghanistan?

Pentagon officials have recently talked of the 2017 pullout date as though it’s all but abandoned already, suggesting the US would remain in the nation for “generations” to come. Nicholson may be overseeing the transition to that permanent occupation.

I think that the last paragraph says it all……

Anyone think that maybe a new plan would be advisable?  This pre-World War Two thinking is getting this fight nowhere…..15 years and we are NO better situated than we were when we invaded….

Time for a massive re-think………America does not need a war without end.