“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, March 25, 2016

Israel is turning a blind eye to Al-Nusra, and Turkey wants radical Islamists to prevail in the Middle East: Shocking insights from King Abdullah of Jordan

Israel Key Link in Exporting ISIS Oil:

‘SAS are in Libya; Erdogan wants radical Islam’: Jordanian king’s secret US briefing leaked

A flag bearing the emblem of the Special Air Services (SAS). © Cathal McNaughton
The UK has covertly deployed special forces in Libya, Israel is turning a blind eye to Al-Nusra, and Turkey wants radical Islamists to prevail in the Middle East, are the shocking insights King Abdullah of Jordan confidentially shared with US lawmakers.

READ MORE: Ex-Blackwater ‘no sh*t’ mercenary Erik Prince feels wrath of US justice dept, reports The Intercept

The leader of the Middle Eastern state, who has been in power since 1999, gave this frank regional assessment to congressional leaders, including John McCain and Paul Ryan, in a closed-door meeting during his visit to the US back in January. Minutes from the briefing have now been obtained by the Guardian via an unsanctioned leak.

In the most substantive revelation, the royal said that Jordanian special forces operating in Libya had been embedded with a more sizeable British SAS contingent to help them overcome cultural barriers, including understanding “Jordanian slang [which] is similar to Libyan slang.”
WU.S. President Barack Obama meets with King Abdullah of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington February 24, 2016. © Kevin Lamarque
The UK Foreign Office does not comment on the whereabouts of the elite SAS and other special forces as a matter of policy.

The security intelligence agency Stratfor had already alleged the UK’s involvement earlier this month, saying that SAS units had been “escorting MI6 teams to meet with Libyan officials about supplying weapons and training to the Syrian army and to militias against the Islamic State. The British air force bases Sentinel aircraft in Cyprus for surveillance missions around [ISIS-controlled Libyan city of] Sirte as well.”

However, David Cameron has refused to provide any information on this even to closed parliamentary committees, saying earlier this week that the SAS is already“subject to international law as everyone else is in our country but I do not propose to change the arrangements under which these incredibly brave men work.”

Officially, Britain will station 1,000 troops to help train locals in Libya and aid its teetering government in the near future, but so far none have supposedly been sent to the country, which has been in the grip of an ethnic and sectarian war since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Prime Minister’s office has refused to answer press calls concerning the latest leaks, The Guardian says.

Other statements made by the 54-year-old King Abdullah are more gossipy, but indicative of deep rifts between the US and Saudi-headed coalitions tasked with eliminating Islamic State and restoring the rule of law to the region.

Abdullah said that Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan “believes in a radical Islamic solution to the problems in the region.” He went on to say that “that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy, and Turkey keeps getting a slap on the hand, but they get off the hook.”

READ MORE: ISIS, oil & Turkey: What RT found in Syrian town liberated from jihadists by Kurds (EXCLUSIVE)

The revelation comes just after the announcement of a deal that Turkey struck with the EU earlier this month to aid it in solving its refugee problem in exchange for billions of euros.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. © Umit Bektas
Israel is accused of “looking the other way” when it comes to Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra, which controls large swathes of land in Syria including territory on the Israeli border, because the group is “an opposition to Hezbollah,” the Iranian-funded Lebanese militia fighting for President Bashar Assad in the Syrian conflict. There have previously been accusations in the media claiming that Israel was even giving medical treatment to al-Nusra fighters before sending them back out on the battlefield, and that a direct communication link had been established between the Israeli army and the terrorist group. The IDF has always denied these allegations, however.

King Abdullah’s biggest warning came regarding al-Shabaab, an east African jihadist group with a lower profile than ISIS, Boko Haram and others, but which has begun to “feed into Libya.”
An Islamist fighter from Al-Shabaab Mujaahidin. © Feisal Omar
“Jordan is looking at al-Shabaab because no one was really looking at the issue, and we cannot separate this issue, and the need to look at all the hotspots in the map. We have a rapid deployment force that will stand with the British and Kenya and is ready to go over the border into Somalia,” he told congressmen.

The Jordanian embassies in the US and UK have refused to verify the claims, while one congressman has admitted to the Guardian that the briefing did happen, but would not authenticate its talking points.

rt news


  1. RAQQA, Syria — It’s widely recognized that Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the terrorist group often called IS, ISIS or ISIL in the West) depends on oil sales to fuel its armies. Until recently, it’s been less clear who is buying Daesh’s oil, and how it ends up in their hands.

    However, recent reports suggest that the oil flows to Europe and Asia through a complex process that implicates allies of the United States like Turkey and Israel. The U.S. is also facing increasing criticism for its failure to target the terrorist group’s oil infrastructure in a serious way until recently.

    Cam Simpson and Matthew Philips, writing in November for Bloomberg Businessweek, called recent U.S. attacks on oil trucks an attempt by the Obama administration to “quietly” fix a “colossal miscalculation.” Government experts now argue that the U.S. dramatically underestimated Daesh’s oil profits:

    “The Obama administration ‘misunderstood the [oil] problem at first, and then they wildly overestimated the impact of what they did,’ says Benjamin Bahney, an international policy analyst at the Rand Corp., a U.S. Department of Defense-funded think tank, where he helped lead a 2010 study on [Daesh’s] finances and back-office operations based on captured ledgers.”

    U.S. intelligence officials now believe Daesh is making at least $500 million from oil sales each year, $400 million more than previous official estimates. “You have to go after the oil, and you have to do it in a serious way, and we’ve just begun to do that now,” Bahney told Bloomberg.

    Officials also cited potential civilian casualties to explain their reluctance to go after truckers transporting oil from Daesh-controlled territories. That reluctance apparently ended on Nov. 16, when the U.S. destroyed 116 oil trucks after airplanes “first dropped leaflets warning drivers to scatter.”

    Reluctance to harm civilians hasn’t prevented the U.S. from creating high civilian death tolls on other fronts of the “global war on terror.” In August, Airwars, a coalition of independent journalists, estimated that at least 459 civilians had been killed in U.S. airstrikes on Daesh, and those numbers are continuing to rise, with the group’s most conservative estimate of civilian casualties now standing at least 682. Additionally, U.S. drone strikes have proven especially ineffective, hitting more civilians than members of al-Qaida, according to a September report from the United Nations.

    Recent developments suggest that U.S. allies directly benefit from the flow of cheap terrorist oil and, given the United States’ role in the creation of Daesh, this could suggest that the reluctance to target Daesh’s oil profits prior to the Paris attacks may be motivated by self-interest.


    1. {...}

      How ISIS Oil Reaches Israel

      On Nov. 26, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a London-based media outlet focusing on the Arabic world, published a detailed investigation tracing Daesh’s oil from the massive oilfields in Iraq and Syria to refineries in Israel, where it’s ultimately exported to Europe.

      The enormous scale of Daesh’s oil production infrastructure in the Middle East is further evidence of the importance of energy exports to the group. The oil is first extracted from captured oil fields:

      “IS oil production in Syria is focused on the Conoco and al-Taim oil fields, west and northwest of Deir Ezzor, while in Iraq the group uses al-Najma and al-Qayara fields near Mosul. A number of smaller fields in both Iraq and Syria are used by the group for local energy needs.

      According to estimates based on the number of oil tankers that leave Iraq, in addition to al-Araby’s sources in the Turkish town of Sirnak on the border with Iraq, through which smuggled oil transits, IS is producing an average of 30,000 barrels a day from the Iraqi and Syrian oil fields it controls.”


    2. {...}

      Unfortunately, like many reports on the topic, many of Al-Araby’s sources remain anonymous for their own safety. A member of the Iraqi intelligence services informed the reporters about the complex path the oil takes, traveling in dozens of tankers at a time into Zahko, a city controlled by Iraqi Kurds near the border with Turkey:

      “After [Daesh] oil lorries arrive in Zakho – normally 70 to 100 of them at a time – they are met by oil smuggling mafias, a mix of Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, in addition to some Turks and Iranians,” the colonel continued.”

      The gangs compete in sometimes deadly bidding wars to purchase and smuggle the oil onto the next stage, and “[t]he highest bidder pays between 10 and 25 percent of the oil’s value in cash — US dollars — and the remainder is paid later, according to the colonel.”

      These “oil mafias” then bring the product to rudimentary refineries for simple processing from crude into oil, “because Turkish authorities do not allow crude oil to cross the border if it is not licensed by the Iraqi government,” the colonel explained.


    3. {,,,}

      Al-Araby’s sources reported that from Turkey the oil flows through three ports — Mersin, Dortyol and Ceyhan — into Israel. And from Israel, the oil seeps into Europe:

      “According to a European official at an international oil company who met with al-Araby in a Gulf capital, Israel refines the oil only ‘once or twice’ because it does not have advanced refineries. It exports the oil to Mediterranean countries – where the oil “gains a semi-legitimate status” – for $30 to $35 a barrel.”

      Reports also suggests that Daesh’s oil is not just passing through Turkish soil on its way to Israel, but also being aided in its journey by the country’s elite. A July investigation by AWD News accused Bilal Erdoğan, son of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of owning one of the maritime companies responsible for shipping this contraband oil:

      “Bilal Erdoğan who owns several maritime companies, had allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. Turkish government unwittingly supports ISIS by buying Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi sized oil wells. Bilal Erdoğan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports transporting [Daesh]’s smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.”

      However, an anonymous writer on ZeroHedge, an economic news website, noted on Nov. 30 that while Bilal Erdoğan does seem to be moving Kurdish oil in his tankers, “we’ve yet to come across conclusive evidence of Bilal’s connection to [Daesh].”


    4. {...}

      In a Nov. 19 investigation, international security scholar and journalist Nafeez Ahmed, documented the mounting evidence of direct ties between Turkey and Daesh, noting that a Turkish daily reported that Daesh fighters had 100,000 fake Turkish passports, a number the U.S. Army’s Foreign Studies Military Office reported was likely exaggerated even as it corroborated reports of the flow of fake passports. Digging further, Ahmed cites a number of other credible reports, from a November Newsweek report that Daesh “sees Turkey as an ally,” to accusations of oil sales in Turkey from June 2014 by a member of Turkey’s opposition party, and leaked Turkish-language documents that show Saudi royalty shipped weapons to Daesh through Turkey.

      An August report from Financial Times supports Al-Araby’s assertion that massive quantities of oil flow through the hands of Kurdish sellers into Israel. According to David Sheppard, John Reed and Anjli Raval, “Israel turns to Kurds for three-quarters of its oil supplies. They allege that Israel purchased about $1 billion in oil from the sellers between May and August of 2015.

      In his analysis of the flow of oil, Shadowproof’s Dan Wright noted that Daesh seems “embarrassed” by the reports of oil sales to Israel. Al-Araby reported that “someone close to [Daesh]” reported via Skype:

      ‘To be fair, the organisation sells oil from caliphate territories but does not aim to sell it to Israel or any other country,’ he said. ‘It produces and sells it via mediators, then companies, who decide whom to sell it to.’”

      Even without the potential ties to Daesh, Kurdish oil trading has proven controversial. The Iraqi government is struggling to put an end to the trade that they claim circumvents deals that were made to limit sales, while Kurdish officials claim the sales are necessary to maintain their financial independence. Iraq’s leaders are also threatening lawsuits against maritime shipping companies that accept Kurdish oil.


      Israel has bought as much as three-quarters of its oil from Iraqi Kurdistan in recent months, the Financial Times reported Sunday. 

      According to the report, which cited shipping data, trading sources and satellite tanker tracking, Israeli refineries and oil firms have imported more than 19 million barrels of Kurdish oil over the course of three months, from the beginning of May to August 11. 

      The sales are reportedly worth $1 billion, which would prove a vital source of income to Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish north as it fights Islamic State militants. More than a third of all northern Iraqi oil exports, shipped from the Turkish port of Ceyhan, are said to have gone to Israel during that time.

      The report cited analysts as suggesting that Israel could be buying the oil at a discounted price, while others say this might be a way for Israel to support the Kurds financially.

      Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials denied selling oil to Israel. 

      “We do not care where the oil goes once we have delivered it to the traders,” a senior Kurdish government adviser was quoted as saying in the report.  “Our priority is getting the cash to fund our Peshmerga forces against Daesh [ISIS] and to pay civil servant salaries.”

      Israel began buying oil from northern Iraq in June 2014, Reuters reported at the time. The Liberian-registered SCF Altai tanker delivered a cargo of a million barrels of disputed crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan's pipeline for the first time on June 20. The Iraqi government claimed that the oil belongs to Iraq and can only be sold through Iraq’s Petroleum Ministry.
      Late last year the Iraqi government reached a deal with the Kurds to end the dispute over the Kurdish oil exports and civil service payments from Baghdad. The sides agreed to jointly export the oil. But Baghdad's payments to the KRG have been limited as the government struggled with a budget crisis. As a result, the KRG has sold more oil on its own.

      read more:


      Follow the money.


    Close U.S. ally Saudi Arabia sentenced prominent journalist Alaa Brinji to five years in prison for a series of pro-human rights tweets, according to a report by Amnesty International.

    The Saudi absolute monarchy found the journalist guilty on March 24 of “insulting the rulers,” “inciting public opinion,” “ridiculing Islamic religious figures” and “accusing security officers of killing protestors.”

    Brinji faced numerous charges for tweeting in support of human rights advocates and prisoners of conscience, and for calling for the right of Saudi women to drive cars.

    The Western-allied theocratic Saudi regime, which governs according to an extremist, sectarian interpretation of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism, does not allow women basic rights such a driving cars or traveling without the accompaniment of a male guardian.

    1. Three young Saudi activists who were arrested as teenagers currently sit on death row in Saudi Arabia, having been sentenced to beheading for attending peaceful anti-regime protests. They have allegedly been tortured, and at least one was also sentenced to crucifixion.

      Critics have compared the theocratic Saudi monarchy’s religious extremism to that of violent groups like ISIS. The Saudi regime has spent more than $100 billion in recent decades spreading its fundamentalist Wahhabi interpretation of Islam around the world, particularly in poor Muslim-majority countries.

      Meanwhile, the U.S. considers the Saudi regime, which sits on the world’s second-largest oil reserves and has approximately $100 billion in active weapons deals with the U.S., a “close ally.”

      In early March, the U.S. State Department released its new fact sheet on Saudi Arabia, which insists the theocratic sectarian regime “plays a crucial role in maintaining security in the Middle East, due to its economic, political, and cultural importance and its strategic location.”

      The department said it works “with Saudi Arabia to support counterterrorism efforts and a shared interest in regional stability.”

  3. Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

  4. An Israeli soldier has been detained after a video emerged showing him apparently shooting a Palestinian in the head as he lay wounded and motionless on the ground.

    The Palestinian was soon declared dead. He was one of two attackers who had earlier stabbed another Israeli soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron.

    The Israeli military said the shooting was a "grave breach of IDF (Israel Defense Forces) values".
    The soldier has not been identified.

    "In light of the initial probe into the incident, a military police investigation has been launched," the Israeli army said on Thursday.
    The shooting occurred just minutes after two Palestinian attackers stabbed an IDF soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron.
    The Palestinian shown in the video was shot and wounded during the attack.

    Footage filmed by a bystander then shows one of Israeli soldiers appearing to take aim and fire a shot into the Palestinian's head.

    1. Yep, there were calls that the terrorist had a bomb vest...

      Good shooting..

    2. Boo fucking hoo...

      A TERRORIST was shot to death..

      But he was on the GROUND!!!

      I guess our host never heard of a bomb vest...

      Oh, yeah, Standard Operating Procedure for the terrorists...

      Bomb vests...

      The Terrorist, a Palestinian, is dead...

      boo fucking hoo..

  5. "Israel has bought as much as three-quarters of its oil from Iraqi Kurdistan in recent months, the Financial Times reported Sunday.

    According to the report, which cited shipping data, trading sources and satellite tanker tracking, Israeli refineries and oil firms have imported more than 19 million barrels of Kurdish oil over the course of three months, from the beginning of May to August 11.

    The sales are reportedly worth $1 billion, which would prove a vital source of income to Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish north as it fights Islamic State militants."

    Good for Israel !!

    The Kurds surely use the money to buy weapons, which we have declined to provide to them.

    Good for Israel !

    The Kurds seem to have the only military force that has consistently beaten ISIS.

    1. Israel and the Kurds know that have to stand up for themselves...