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So Who’s Really Sponsoring ISIS? Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Other U.S. “Allies”

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Mass surveillance at home and endless military projection abroad are the twin sides of the same coin of national security, which must simply be maximized as much as possible. 

Conspicuously missing from President Hollande’s decisive declaration of war however, was any mention of the biggest elephant in the room: state-sponsorship.

A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

ISIS, in other words, is state-sponsored — indeed, sponsored by purportedly Western-friendly regimes in the Muslim world, who are integral to the anti-ISIS coalition. Which then begs the question as to why Hollande and other Western leaders expressing their determination to “destroy” ISIS using all means necessary, would prefer to avoid the most significant factor of all: the material infrastructure of ISIS’ emergence in the context of ongoing Gulf and Turkish state support for Islamist militancy in the region.

There are many explanations, but one perhaps stands out: the West’s abject dependence on terror-toting Muslim regimes, largely to maintain access to Middle East, Mediterranean and Central Asian oil and gas resources.

– From the excellent Nafeez Ahmed article: NATO is Harbouring the Islamic State

With the way the French government’s cracking down on the civil liberties of its own citizens, you’d think the general public was supporting and funding ISIS as opposed to the French government allies who actually are.

As an example, we learn the following from ArsTechica:

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Saudi Arabia and ISIS – A Side by Side Comparison

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Just yesterday, I published an article highlighting the latest deranged idea floated by Saudi Arabia’s monarchs to sue Twitter users comparing the barbaric kingdom to ISIS.

Today, I present to you a powerful graphic courtesy of Middle East Eye, which demonstrates precisely why the Saudis are so sensitive about the topic. Namely, because the accusations are true.

From Middle East Eye:

The Islamic State (IS) and Saudi Arabia prescribe near-identical punishments for a host of crimes, according to documents circulated by the militant group. 

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Another New Low – Saudi Arabia Threatens to Sue Twitter Users Who Compare it to ISIS

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Saudi Arabia never, ever disappoints when it comes to barbarism and backwardness. The latest example is a supposed threat to sue a Twitter user for making the obvious and accurate comparison of the regime to ISIS, something I myself have done on countless occasions.

The Washington Post reports:

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have long been annoyed that everyone keeps suggesting they are anything like the Islamic State. Sure, they say, perhaps some of the laws on the books may look similar to the punishments in the extremist organization, but the Saudi kingdom is a sovereign state that abides by the rule of law and uses these punishments with discretion.

Now, reports in the Saudi press suggest that authorities have a new tactic for those who compare them to the Islamic State: taking them to court. According to a report in pro-government newspaper Al Riyadh, the Saudi justice ministry is planning to sue a Twitter user who suggested that a death sentence recently handed out to a Palestinian artist for apostasy was “ISIS-like.”

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Hillary Clinton Exposed Part 2 – Clinton Foundation Took Millions From Countries That Also Fund ISIS

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The Washington Post reported last week that foreign sources, including governments, made up a third of those who have given the foundation more than $1 million over time. The Post found that the foundation, begun by former president Bill Clinton, has raised nearly $2 billion since its creation in 2001.

Foreign governments and individuals are prohibited from giving money to U.S. political candidates, to prevent outside influence over national leaders. But the foundation has given donors a way to potentially gain favor with the Clintons outside the traditional political limits.

– From the Washington Post article: Foreign Governments Gave Millions to Foundation While Clinton Was at State Dept.

Of all the idiotic wars that the dangerously inept American politicians propagandize the public into accepting, the latest ISIS conflict is the most Orwellian and terrifying. Not only was the emergence of ISIS the direct consequence of the chaos left over by the Iraq war — which in itself was based on lies and inaccurate information — but the primary funders of the latest existential terrorist threat du jour are America’s Persian Gulf allies.

This is something I’ve covered before. For example, in last summer’s piece, America’s Disastrous Foreign Policy – My Thoughts on Iraq, I highlighted:

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Obama Signs Executive Order Blocking Certain Russian Assets Due to Ukraine Crisis

Ok, so this seems like a very big deal and may represent a serious escalation in the soft conflict happening between the U.S. and Russia. As of today, the U.S. seems to be using financial warfare in its response. Not only does this Executive Order issued today appear to block certain Russian assets, it also imposes travel restrictions. The question on my mind now is, does Russia hold some of its treasuries in the custody of the Federal Reserve? If so, are these now frozen?

Here’s the text of the Executive Order (emphasis mine):

Executive Order — Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

BLOCKING PROPERTY OF CERTAIN PERSONS CONTRIBUTING TO THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the actions and policies of persons — including persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine — that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State: 

(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:

(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine;

(B) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or

(C) misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine;

(ii) to have asserted governmental authority over any part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine;

(iii) to be a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of this section or of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;

(iv) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any activity described in subsection (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(v) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

Sec. 2. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in subsection 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).

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Contest Announced – Win $1,500 for Most Offensive Limerick Mocking Turkish President Erdogan

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The EU is turning a blind eye to an opposition crackdown in Turkey that’s polarizing society and complicating efforts to find a political solution to the nation’s Kurdish conflict, Demirtas said in an impromptu interview en route to Brussels. European leaders are expected to ink an agreement with Turkey on Monday that will offer faster EU membership negotiations and visa-free travel in exchange for stopping refugees from crossing the country to enter Europe.

Demirtas was speaking two days after Turkish government trustees took over one of Turkey’s primary opposition newspapers in a dramatic raid that sparked clashes between protesters and police. The seizure reflects a broader intolerance of dissent that has also undermined the HDP, who are now largely excluded from mainstream media coverage.

On the same day that authorities took control of the Zaman newspaper, European Council President Donald Tusk, who was in Istanbul, tweeted a picture of himself with Erdogan in front of a pair of golden throne-like seats.

It was almost identical to a photo-op with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year, which was around the same time that the EU agreed to Erdogan’s request to withhold a critical report on Turkish democracy until after the general election a few days later.

– From the post: As Turkey Turns Totalitarian, EU Officials Move to Accelerate EU Membership Bid

It’s been really nauseating watching German Chansellor Angela Merkel pander to Turkey’s thin-skinned, petty tyrant of a President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the hopes that he will reduce the flow of refugees into Europe.

By now, you’ve probably all heard about how Merkel cowed to Erdoğan’s demands by allowing the prosecution of a German comedian for the crime of mocking the sensitive strongman. As the Washington Post reported:

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Saudi Arabia Sentences Journalist to Five Years in Prison for Insulting the Kingdom’s Rulers

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Over the weekend, I published a post titled Al Jazeera Presenter to Saudi Ambassador – “Why Support Democracy in Syria but Not Saudi Arabia? in which the Saudi Ambassador claimed subjects of Saudi Arabia don’t want or need elections because they are so enamored with the absolute monarchy’s management of society. Yes, and I just had lunch with the Easter Bunny.

Here’s the clip if you missed it:

Not that you need additional evidence demonstrating the ridiculousness of his answer, but I’ll provide some anyway. Reuters reports:

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Al Jazeera Presenter to Saudi Ambassador – “Why Support Democracy in Syria but Not Saudi Arabia?”

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This past week, Al Jazeera presenter Mehdi Hasan sat down with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN. He asked him a very pointed question regarding why he supports democracy in Syria but not in Saudi Arabia.

It’s a great question, and let’s just say the answer was not at all convincing.

Too much media these days merely serves as public relations for the status quo. What Mr. Hasan does in this interview is exactly what journalists are supposed to be doing, but very rarely do in these United States:

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Leading Turkish Journalists Face Life in Prison

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Hundreds of Turkish academics are waiting to find out whether they will be prosecuted or sacked for spreading “terrorist propaganda”, after they signed a petition calling for violence to end in Turkey’s southeast, where government forces have been fighting Kurdish separatists.

After the petition provoked a furious response from Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, several universities in the country have begun investigations into signatories among their faculty — which could lead to their dismissal if accusations of unlawful political agitation hold up. On 15 January, police arrested and later released 27 academics, according to local media reports, including economists, physicians and scientists.

Turkey’s government has previously clamped down on scientists and students who question its policies, imprisoned scientists charged with terrorism offenses, and restricted the freedom of funding agencies and scientific academies. But the number of arrests and investigations makes the current episode one of the larger Turkish attacks on freedom of expression in recent years, prompting outrage among human-rights advocates.

– From the post: U.S. Ally Turkey Arrests Academics for the Crime of Signing a Peace Petition

Over the past several months, the nation of Turkey has rapidly devolved into a tyrannical, rogue regime under an increasingly despotic president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It’s a disturbing reality I’ve highlighted frequently in recent months, particularly since the country remains a close U.S. government ally and is actively attempting to join the EU.

Well the hits just keep on coming. From the AFP via Yahoo News:

Istanbul (AFP) – Two Turkish journalists went on trial in Istanbul Friday facing possible life terms on controversial espionage charges, with the court immediately barring the public from a case seen as a test of press freedom under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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America’s Top Rogue Mercenary – Blackwater’s Erik Prince is Under Federal Investigation

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Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

–  From the post: New York Times Reports – Blackwater Threatened to Kill a State Dept. Official and the U.S. Government Did Nothing

A little over two years ago, I published a post titled, How Erik Prince, Founder of Blackwater, Will Help China Subjugate Africa. Here’s what we learned at the time:

Shares of DVN Holdings, controlled by Hong Kong businessman Johnson Ko Chun-shun and state-owned Citic Group, surged 7.3 per cent after it appointed Erik Prince – former owner of controversial US security firm Blackwater – as chairman, and granted him more share options.

Prince last November sold to DVN a company that plans to build a pan-Africa provider of aviation, logistics, risk management, security services and exploration support services, needed by many Chinese businesses active in Africa. He received US$3 million plus the first batch of options.

Prince has logistics, aviation, manufacturing, resources and energy business interests in Africa, the Middle East and North America, and is the founder of Frontier Resource Group, a private equity firm active in African aviation, exploration, mining and logistics, DVN said.

The firm subsequently paid US$42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of US export rules, to avoid criminal charges, The New York Times reported.

The writing was on the wall back then, and it appears the Department of Justice has finally picked up on the shadiness of it all.

Earlier today, The Intercept published a detailed account of the ongoing investigation into America’s number one mercenary, Erik Prince. Here are a few excerpts:

Erik Prince, founder of the now-defunct mercenary firm Blackwater and current chairman of Frontier Services Group, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and possible money laundering, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case.

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