http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/feed en Paying In A Broken World http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/paying-broken-world <p><a href="https://projectchesapeake.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/paying-in-a-broken-world/"><em>Submitted by Tom Chatham via Project Chesapeake</em></a>,</p> <p><strong>It is a common reaction to ask, how much is that, when we see something we want or need. </strong>The question is answered with some monetary figure that people will recognize and use to determine if they can afford it. <u><strong>But what happens when the monetary system we know becomes so dysfunctional that common monetary values mean little.</strong></u></p> <p><strong><em>This could happen due to massive inflation, currency collapse or a frozen banking system that prevents you from accessing your funds.</em></strong> If you have no way to pay for something, it does not matter how much or little it costs. It will be out of your reach unless you have some means to pay.</p> <p><u><strong>Some people keep cash on hand for just such a problem.</strong></u> They know they will be able to pay cash when everything else stops working. That will work for a time but eventually paper currency will be looked on as a diminishing asset as physical goods become more valuable to those that need them. Paper currency is not much different than a check you write on your account. If the account is empty your check is no good.</p> <p>The same can be said for those entities that issue paper money. If they are bankrupt or shut down, the value of their printed certificates will be worth the same as the bad check. Nobody will want to accept it after they realize it may not be honored for the value it supposedly holds. While a local store may accept it out of habit, eventually businesses will figure out the truth.</p> <p><u><strong>In times like this alternative forms of money may become more viable to local individuals such as gold and silver.</strong></u> But, that may take some time and most people will not own any of these precious metals for trade. Some may resort to direct barter with some of the things they have amassed over the years to get the necessities they need and under these circumstances values will be variable and disconnected from reality at times.</p> <p><strong><u>Some people have stored barter items for this eventuality rather than precious metals</u> and there is nothing wrong with that if it gives them the feeling of safety they desire.</strong> One of the reasons they desire goods instead of metals is the fear that governments will call in precious metals as they did in 1933 and that is a legitimate fear but must be taken with some reflection on the facts.</p> <p><strong>In 1933, gold and silver coinage was the circulating currency in the nation meaning most people had some in their possession. </strong>That is not the reality today as very few people have any knowledge of the value of metals and do not have them in their possession. The fact that the government can call in metals does not mean they will be able to relieve you of them.</p> <p>In 1933, on the river where I grew up, there was a store on the bank of the river that did a good business with all of the ships that came by. <strong>When the gold was called in in 1933, the store owner did not want to turn it in so he kept it hidden away. </strong>At the time he had a small chest full of gold coins. He kept that chest of coins until the 1970&rsquo;s when gold was legal to own again and then he sold it for a good profit. This is a true story and just one example of how hard it would be for the government to call in all of the metals in private hands.</p> <p><strong>It does not matter what you hold your savings in only that it will retain value when conventional paper currencies become a despised possession.</strong> When that happens you need the ability to buy the things you need with what you physically have on hand. The question you must answer is what will you have on hand when that day comes.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="471" height="325" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150731_pay.jpg?1438376469" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/paying-broken-world#comments Precious Metals Reality Sat, 01 Aug 2015 02:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 510816 at http://www.zerohedge.com XOM http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/xom <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/20175843305/in/dateposted-public/" title="XOM"><img src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/507/20175843305_36e539c153_b.jpg" alt="XOM" width="1024" height="560" /></a></p> <script src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js"></script> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/xom#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 02:18:57 +0000 williambanzai7 510839 at http://www.zerohedge.com The World Map Of Hubris & Humiliation http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/world-map-hubris-humiliation <p><strong>The journey from hubris to humiliation in EM has taken roughly 5 years. </strong>As BofAML notes, despite muted asset returns, 2015 has seen the emergence of two big trends: the risk of a bubble in US health care &amp; technology; and the crash in EM/Resources/Commodities. The two trends are best exemplified by the &quot;Map of Hubris &amp; Humiliation&quot; which shows among other things that <strong>the market cap of MSCI Russia is currently equivalent to Intel&rsquo;s</strong>, while the <strong>market cap of Netflix equals that of MSCI Chile</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/07-overflow/20150731_hubris.jpg"><img height="304" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/07-overflow/20150731_hubris_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Back in late 2010, when Sepp Blatter announced that Russia &amp; Qatar would follow Brazil as hosts of the FIFA World Cup, both China &amp; India were on course for &gt;10% GDP growth, EM spreads were significantly lower, and the market cap of EM ($3.7 trillion on December 1st 2010) was twice the market cap of US banks, and exceeded the combined market cap of US tech &amp; health care.</p> <p>Today, <strong>the market cap of EM equities is the same, while the combined market cap of US tech, health care and banks is over $10 trillion.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Source: BofAML</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1972" height="1000" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150731_hubris.jpg?1438374320" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/world-map-hubris-humiliation#comments Brazil China India Sat, 01 Aug 2015 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 510810 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ron Paul: "All Wars Are Paid For Through Debasing The Currency" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/ron-paul-all-wars-are-paid-through-debasing-currency <p><a href="http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/ron-paul-all-wars-paid-for-through-debasing-the-currency_07302015"><em>Submitted by Mac Slavo via SHTFPlan.com</em></a>,</p> <div style="padding: 10px 0px 0px 0px;"> <p><img alt="currency-collapse1" height="223" src="http://shtfplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/currency-collapse1.png" width="226" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>And at some point, all empires crumble on their own excess, </strong>stretched to the breaking point by over-extending a military industrial complex with sophisticated equipment, hundreds of bases in as many countries, and never-ending wars that wrack up mind boggling levels of debt. This cost has been magnified by the relationship it shares with the money system, who have common owners and shareholders behind the scenes.</p> <p><strong>As the hidden costs of war and the enormity of the black budget swell to record levels, the true total of its price comes in the form of the distortion it has caused in other dimensions of life</strong>; the numbers have been so thoroughly fudged for so long now, as Wall Street banks offset laundering activities and indulge in derivatives and quasi-official market rigging, the Federal Reserve policy holds the noble lie together.</p> <p>Ron Paul <a href="https://www.rt.com/usa/311198-ron-paul-wars-inflation/" target="_blank">told RT</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3yzlRINmohU" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Seen from the proper angle, the dollar is revealed to be a paper thin instrument of warfare, a ripple effect on the people, a twisted illusion, a weaponized money now engaged in a covert economic warfare that threatens their very livelihood.</strong></em></span></p> </blockquote> <p>The former Congressman and presidential candidate explained:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Almost all wars have been paid for through inflation&hellip; the practice always ends badly as currency becomes debased leading to upward pressure on prices.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;Almost all wars, in a hundred years or so, have been paid for through inflation, <strong>that is debasing the currency,&rdquo;</strong></em> he said, adding that this has been going on <em>&ldquo;for hundreds, if not thousands of years.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know if we ever had a war paid though tax payers. The only thing where they must have been literally paid for, was when they depended on the looting. They would go in and take over a country, and they would loot and take their gold, and they would pay for the war.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As inflation has debased the currency, other shady Wall Street tactics have driven Americans into a corner, overwhelmed with debt, and gamed by rigged markets in which Americans must make a living. The economic prosperity, adjusted for the kind of reality that doesn&rsquo;t factor into government reports, can&rsquo;t match the costs of a military industrial complex that has transformed society into a domestic police state, and slapped Americans with the bill for their own enslavement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dr. Paul notes the mutual interest in keeping the lie going for as long as the public can stand it&hellip; and as long as the gravy keeps rolling in:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>They&rsquo;re going to continue to finance all these warmongering, and <strong>letting the military industrial complex to make a lot of money, before it&rsquo;s admitted that it doesn&rsquo;t work, and the whole system comes down because of the debt burden, which would be unsustainable.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Unsustainable might be putting it lightly. <strong>The entire thing is in shambles from the second the coyote looks down and sees that he&rsquo;s run out over a cliff.</strong></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="218" height="215" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150731_paul.jpg?1438376346" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/ron-paul-all-wars-are-paid-through-debasing-currency#comments Federal Reserve Reality Ron Paul Sat, 01 Aug 2015 01:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 510815 at http://www.zerohedge.com Goldman Warns "The Global Economy Is Going Round In (Smaller & Smaller) Circles" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/goldman-warns-global-economy-going-round-smaller-smaller-circles <p>Amid the collapse in commodities, crashing Chinese stocks, the weakest US wage growth in US history, and a data-dependent Fed; Goldman Sachs fears the new normal is &#39;shorter-and-faster&#39; business cycles with no persistence primed by monetary policies. Most wprryingly, they conclude, <strong>will short business cycles beget shorter business cycles?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/07-overflow/20150731_round.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/07-overflow/20150731_round_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 493px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>As Goldman notes,</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Cycles: Shorter and faster</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another factor keeping capex weak is <strong>poor visibility on global growth.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The rate of change in our economists&rsquo; Global Leading Indicator, which tracks ten early indicators of global activity, suggests that <strong>cycles are becoming shorter over the last few years, i.e. neither positive nor negative data points persist for too long.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This uncertainty provides a reason for companies to delay long-term capex and instead opt for as-a-service alternatives that provide greater flexibility. But, extending this argument on outsourcing capital intensity to its extreme would also imply shorter capex cycles for the users.<strong> If the advent of ERP software led to more efficient supply chains and shorter inventory cycles, we wonder if the rise in tech-driven services business models could do the same for capital investment cycles.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>In other words, will short business cycles beget shorter business cycles?</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="929" height="764" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150731_round.jpg?1438374599" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/goldman-warns-global-economy-going-round-smaller-smaller-circles#comments Global Economy goldman sachs Goldman Sachs New Normal Rate of Change Sat, 01 Aug 2015 00:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 510812 at http://www.zerohedge.com The IMF Experts Flunk, Again http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/imf-experts-flunk-again <p><a href="http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/imf-experts-flunk-again"><em>Submitted by Steve Hanke via The Cato Institute</em></a>,</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalasia.org/">My <em>Globe Asia</em> column in May was titled &ldquo;Greece: Down and Probably Out.&rdquo;</a> Well, it&rsquo;s out. Yes, Greece descended from drama to farce rapidly.</p> <p><strong>If all goes according to plan, the left-wing Greek government will come to an agreement with the so-called troika &mdash; the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) &mdash; over the details of a third bailout program by August 20th.</strong> This rescue package will probably be worth &euro;86 billion (U.S. $94.5 billion). So, since 2010, Greece will have received three bailouts worth a whopping &euro;430 billion (U.S. $472.2 billion). This amounts to a staggering &euro;39,000 (U.S. $42,831) for every man, woman, and child in Greece.</p> <p><strong>Like past bailouts, the third one will fail to stop Greece&rsquo;s economic death spiral. </strong>The experts from the EC, ECB, and particularly those from the IMF have been wrong about the prospects for the Greek economy since day one. <strong>The experts have failed to embrace a coherent theory of national income determination.</strong> Indeed, they have often engaged in <em>ad hoc</em> theorizing that has, at times, appeared to be convoluted and politically motivated. <strong>The result has been a series of wildly optimistic forecasts about the course of the Greek economy followed by wrongheaded policies.</strong></p> <p>What has been missing from the experts&rsquo; toolkit is the monetarist model of national income determination. The monetary approach posits that changes in the money supply, broadly determined, cause changes in nominal national income and the price level (as well as relative prices &mdash; like asset prices). <strong>Sure enough, the growth of broad money and nominal GDP are closely linked. The data in the following chart speak loudly to the linkage.</strong></p> <p class="center"><img alt="image" src="http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/images/globeasia-aug-2015-1.jpg" style="border: 0px;" width="600" /></p> <p><strong>Greece&rsquo;s monetary tune started to be played by the ECB in 2001, when Greece was allowed to adopt the euro on false pretenses. </strong>Yes, the experts at the Hellenic Statistical Authority had cooked the Greek books, and the experts at Eurostat knew the Greek data were phony. Still, Greece was allowed to enter the eurozone.</p> <p>Following the Northern Rock fiasco and bank run in September 2007 and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, the ECB allowed the supply of state money to grow. Then, in 2009, Jürgen Stark, the ECB chief economist, convinced the President of the ECB Jean-Claude Trichet that state money (the monetary base) was growing too rapidly and that excessive inflation was just around the corner. In consequence, <strong>the ECB withdrew its non-standard measures (read: credit facilities) to Greek banks in the spring of 2010.</strong> As the accompanying chart shows, <strong><u>that fateful ECB withdrawal marked a turning point in the growth of broad money in Greece</u></strong>. It, and the Greek economy, have been contracting ever since. This was in spite of a massive fiscal stimulus (a fiscal deficit of 12.7% of GDP) in 2009, prior to the October elections. Money dominates. The important thing to watch is the growth of broad money.</p> <p class="center"><img alt="image" src="http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/images/lobeasia-aug-2015-2.jpg" style="border: 0px none; height: 481px; width: 600px;" /></p> <p>Shortly after the October 2009 victory of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement brought George Papandreou to power, his government passed a so-called austerity budget in which the fiscal deficit was supposed to be squeezed down to 9.4% of GDP.</p> <p>Greece was clearly in trouble and needed a helping hand. But, the EC and ECB were untrusting of the Greek government. So, in March 2010, the IMF was called in to negotiate loan conditions for new Greek financing. Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) was the IMF&rsquo;s managing director and was preparing to run for the French presidency as the Socialist candidate. DSK was more than willing to give his socialist brothers in Athens a helping hand. <strong>In 2010, Greece received a massive bailout.</strong></p> <p><strong>Just how massive? </strong>Normally, the IMF is limited to lending up to six times a country&rsquo;s IMF quota subscription to that country. However, if the IMF judges a country&rsquo;s debt to be sustainable, then that country can qualify for &ldquo;exceptional access,&rdquo; and the IMF credit extended to such a country can exceed the 600% limit. Thanks to DSK and the IMF experts, the debt sustainability reports were rosy, until recently. The IMF, as well as the other members of the troika, extended credit to Greece, and did so generously.</p> <p><strong>The following table tells the tale. Greece holds the record for the highest IMF credit level relative to a country&rsquo;s quota.</strong></p> <p class="center"><img alt="image" src="http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/images/globeasia-aug-2015-3.jpg" style="border: 0px none; height: 493px; width: 600px;" /></p> <p><strong>The first and second bailouts of May 2010 and February 2012 did boost the growth rate of state money. But, bank money, which accounts for the lion&rsquo;s share (over 80%) of total money (M3) contracted at a very rapid rate. </strong>In consequence, the money supply (M3) has generally plunged since the bailouts, and so has nominal (and real) economic activity. And the worst is yet to come: note that the last dismal data for state and bank money in Greece are for June. Since then, things have deteriorated, with bank closures and the imposition of capital controls. This spells more trouble for Greek banks that produce over 80% of Greece&rsquo;s money and for the economy.</p> <p><strong>The four big Greek banks were already in trouble (as of Q1 2015). </strong>The accompanying table presents the Texas Ratios for the four banks that make up 87% of bank assets in Greece. Ratios over 100% mean that, if nonperforming loans must eventually be written off, a bank will become insolvent. If current data were available, I believe the nonperforming loans would be much higher than in the first quarter of 2015. In addition, with the collapse of the money supply and little chance of a recovery in the production of bank money, a high percentage of nonperforming loans will be written off. <strong>In consequence, the Greek banking system will be insolvent. This means that calls for a fourth Greek bailout are right around the corner.</strong></p> <p class="center"><img alt="image" src="http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/images/globeasia-aug-2015-4.jpg" style="border: 0px none; height: 384px; width: 600px;" /></p> <p class="center">&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>The IMF failures in Greece bring back vivid memories of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98.</strong></u> On August 14, 1997, shortly after the Thai baht collapsed on July 2nd, Indonesia floated the rupiah. This prompted the IMF to proclaim that &ldquo;the floating of the rupiah, in combination with Indonesia&rsquo;s strong fundamentals, supported by prudent fiscal and monetary policies, will allow its economy to continue its impressive economic performance of the last several years.&rdquo;</p> <p>Contrary to the IMF&rsquo;s expectations, the rupiah did not float on a sea of tranquility. It plunged from 2,700 rupiahs per U.S. dollar at the time of the float to lows of nearly 16,000 rupiahs per U.S. dollar in 1998. Indonesia was caught up in the maelstrom of the Asian crisis.</p> <p>By late January 1998, President Suharto realized that the IMF medicine was not working and sought a second opinion. In February, I was invited to offer that opinion and began to operate as Suharto&rsquo;s Special Counselor. I proposed as an antidote an orthodox currency board in which the rupiah would be fully convertible into the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate. On the day that news hit the street, the rupiah soared by 28% against the U.S. dollar. These developments infuriated the U.S. government and the IMF.</p> <p>Ruthless attacks on the currency board idea and the Special Counselor ensued. Suharto was told in no uncertain terms &mdash; by both the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, and the Managing Director of the IMF, Michel Camdessus &mdash; that he would have to drop the currency board idea or forego $43 billion in foreign assistance.</p> <p>Why all the fuss over a currency board for Indonesia? Politics. The U.S. and its allies wanted a regime change in Jakarta, not currency stability. Former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleberger weighed in with a correct diagnosis: &ldquo;We were fairly clever in that we supported the IMF as it overthrew [Suharto]. Whether that was a wise way to proceed is another question. I&rsquo;m not saying Mr. Suharto should have stayed, but I kind of wish he had left on terms other than because the IMF pushed him out.&rdquo; Even Michel Camdessus could not find fault with these assessments. On the occasion of his retirement, he proudly proclaimed: &ldquo;We created the conditions that obliged President Suharto to leave his job.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>As the Indonesian episode should teach us, the IMF&rsquo;s management can be very political and often neither trustworthy nor competent. Greece offers yet another chapter.</strong></u></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="598" height="395" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150731_imf.jpg?1438375828" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/imf-experts-flunk-again#comments Bank Run Cato Institute Dominique Strauss-Kahn European Central Bank Eurozone Fail fixed George Papandreou Greece International Monetary Fund Lehman Lehman Brothers M3 Monetary Base Money Supply Nominal GDP recovery Trichet Sat, 01 Aug 2015 00:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 510814 at http://www.zerohedge.com Al-Qaeda Attacks CIA-Trained Syrian "Freedom Fighters"; Commander Captured http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/al-qaeda-attacks-cia-trained-syrian-freedom-fighters-commander-captured <p>Attempts to make sense of the prolonged, bloody conflict in Syria which threatens Turkey’s southern border and long ago spilled over into Iraq, are everywhere and always complicated by the constantly shifting alliances among the various groups fighting for control of the country.&nbsp;</p> <p>For instance, commentators were taken off guard in April when al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra appeared to be working in tandem with rival ISIS in a push to control the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. The siege - which transformed the camp into what Ban Ki-Moon called "<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-09/isis-al-qaeda-battle-hamas-militiamen-and-assad-darkest-circle-hell">the worst circle of hell</a>" - also saw Palestinian militiamen forge awkward alliances with the Assad regime in the face of the militant assault.&nbsp;</p> <p>Just this week, Turkey began bombing raids on ISIS targets, marking a departure from the country’s previous position and leading many to question why, given widespread suspicion that Turkey has been cooperating with ISIS for some time, Ankara would suddenly decide to go on the offensive (as we’ve shown, Erdogan’s motivation is <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-30/real-story-behind-turkeys-us-backed-war-terror">purely political</a>, but the official line is that a suicide bombing in Suruc forced the President’s reluctant hand). Turkey has also funnelled money to ISIS’ rivals in Syria in an effort to support any and all efforts (well, aside from those of the YPG) to overthrow Assad.</p> <p>As for the US, it’s virtually impossible to say which groups the CIA has or hasn’t supported over the course of the war and indeed, many suspect US intelligence of funding and training the very militants who eventually became ISIS (a suspicion that was <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-23/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-us-created-isis-tool-overthrow-syrias-president-assad">recently confirmed</a> in a leaked Pentagon document).</p> <p>Through it all, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has desperately clung to power although a speech delivered last Sunday <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-28/end-draws-near-syrias-assad-putins-patience-wears-thin">suggested</a> that the strongman’s grip on the country had weakened materially in the face of a manpower shortage.</p> <p>Amid the chaos, the one thing that is abundantly clear is this: the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other parties with a vested interest in the trajectory of Syria’s political future all want Assad gone, and for Washington, openly supporting the various groups battling the regime is now virtually impossible given the now widespread acknowledgement that nearly everyone the US has trained or armed over the course of the civil war either already was or has since become an "extremist" (however one wishes to define that admittedly amorphous term).&nbsp;</p> <p>The US effort to recruit and allign with "moderate freedom fighters" reached peak absurdity in May when the Pentagon <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-08/what-difference-between-isis-terrorist-and-freedom-fighter-appropriate-vetting">announced</a> that it would train "appropriately vetted" combatants who would help "meet the needs of Syrian opposition forces."</p> <p>How has that program been going you ask? </p> <p>Not well. </p> <p>In fact, the US has only managed to recruit and train 54 people in three months- and that, believe it or not, is not the most embarrassing part.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here’s <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/world/middleeast/us-trained-islamic-state-opponents-reported-kidnapped-in-syria.html">The New York Times with more</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>A Pentagon program to train moderate Syrian insurgents to fight the Islamic State has been vexed by problems of recruitment, screening, dismissals and desertions that have left only a tiny band of fighters ready to do battle.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Those fighters — 54 in all — suffered perhaps their most embarrassing setback yet on Thursday. One of their leaders, a Syrian Army defector who recruited them, was abducted in Syria near the Turkish border, along with his deputy who commands the trainees.</strong> They were seized not by the Islamic State but by its rival the Nusra Front, an affiliate of Al Qaeda that is another Islamist extremist byproduct of the four-year-old Syrian civil war.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The abductions illustrate the challenges confronting the Obama administration as it seeks to marshal local insurgents to fight the Islamic State, which it views as the region’s biggest threat.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user92183/imageroot/2015/07/Nusra_0.png" width="500" height="336" /><br /></em></p> </blockquote> <p>So al-Nusra which, as The Times also notes, "dealt a more serious blow to the CIA program last year, attacking and dismantling its main groups, the Syrian Revolutionaries Front and Harakat Hazm, and seizing some of their American-supplied, sophisticated antitank missiles," has now captured the commander and deputy commander of the new US "force", marking a terribly humiliating blow to the latest ill-fated CIA -backed effort to locate and train the "good guys." Reuters has <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/31/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-nusra-idUKKCN0Q50TK20150731">more on the story</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong><em>Al Qaeda's Syria wing said on Friday it had detained members of a Syrian rebel group who had just returned from U.S. training, in a direct challenge to Washington's plan to train and equip insurgents to combat the hard-line Islamic State group.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>In a statement that appeared to contradict comments from the Pentagon, Nusra Front said the men it was holding had entered Syria several days prior and had been trained under the supervision of the Central Intelligence Agency.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>It described them as agents of America and warned others they should abandon the programme. It also said a U.S.-led coalition had mounted air strikes against Nusra Front positions during fighting between the group and the rebels.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Syrian opposition sources and a monitoring group said earlier this week that Nusra Front had detained the leader of the U.S-trained rebel "Division 30" and a number of its members. The Pentagon cast doubt on the reports on Thursday, saying no members of the "New Syrian Force" had been captured or detained.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user92183/imageroot/2015/07/Nusra2_0.png" width="500" height="338" /><br /></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>"We warn soldiers of (Division 30) against proceeding in the American project," Nusra Front said in a statement distributed online. <strong>"We, and the Sunni people in Syria, will not allow their sacrifices to be offered on a golden platter to the American side."<span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp;</span></strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>So ultimately, the CIA's newest band of "freedom fighters" who are supposed to be fighting ISIS, are now fighting al-Nusra which is receiving funding from Turkey which as of last week, is now allied with the US in a fight against ISIS, only Turkey isn't really fighting ISIS, it's fighting the PKK which backs YPG which <em>is</em> really fighting ISIS and everyone involved is fighting Assad who would probably find the whole thing comically absurd were it not for the fact that it is ultimately his head that everyone is after.</p> <p>It goes without saying that all of this serves to make Washington look absolutely ridiculous and indeed, this may mark a new record low for US foreign policy gone horribly awry.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="584" height="396" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user92183/imageroot/Nusra2.png?1438372905" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/al-qaeda-attacks-cia-trained-syrian-freedom-fighters-commander-captured#comments Iraq New York Times Obama Administration Reuters Saudi Arabia Turkey Fri, 31 Jul 2015 23:30:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 510811 at http://www.zerohedge.com Bernie, The Koch Brothers, & Open Borders http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/bernie-koch-brothers-open-borders <p><a href="https://mises.org/library/bernie-koch-brothers-and-open-borders"><em>Submitted by Jeff Deist via The Mises Institute</em></a>,</p> <div class="body-content"> <p>Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders recently<strong> raised the ire of both progressives and libertarians with <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/28/bernie-sanders-denounces-higher-immigration/" target="_blank">his remarks</a> concerning immigration</strong>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Open borders? No, that&rsquo;s a Koch brothers proposal,&rdquo; Sanders said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It would make everybody in America poorer &mdash; you&rsquo;re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s any country in the world that believes in that,&rdquo; Sanders said. &ldquo;If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or (the United Kingdom) or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>In just a few sentences, <strong>Sanders manages to demonstrate a hodgepodge of nativist, nationalist, protectionist, and socialist sentiments. </strong>But for anyone wondering why he wandered off the progressive narrative on immigration, it&rsquo;s because protectionist labor unions <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?type=C&amp;cid=N00000528&amp;newMem=N&amp;cycle=2014" target="_blank">pay him better</a> than, say, La Raza.</p> <p>If Bernie Sanders sounds like Donald Trump when it comes to &ldquo;taking our jobs,&rdquo; consider that both are statists who reflect the widely and deeply held belief that <em>nations are defined by states</em>. <strong>This may be an uncomfortable reality for libertarians, but it is reality nonetheless.</strong></p> <p>National borders by definition are <em>political</em> boundaries. They mark the edge of a particular territory over which a political entity &mdash; a state &mdash; claims exclusive jurisdiction.</p> <p>Since political borders require states, &ldquo;open borders&rdquo; is an oxymoron. Nothing controlled by government is &ldquo;open,&rdquo; whether we&rsquo;re talking about the New York City taxi market or federal ethanol subsidies or the Brownsville, Texas border bridge.</p> <p><strong>Open borders can exist only if states do not exist. States require borders because they are defined by borders.</strong></p> <p>So from the statist perspective, Sanders is right: you can&rsquo;t have large centralized states and unregulated borders, because those borders are at the heart of the state&rsquo;s identity and its <em>raison d&rsquo;etre</em>: control.&nbsp;The political technocrats who run modern nation-states have zero incentive to cede control over the flow of humans entering (or in some cases leaving) their territories. If anything, the political impulse is ever and always to expand the state&rsquo;s zone of control by pushing borders outward.</p> <p><strong>Immigration is a tricky issue for libertarians</strong> precisely because the very concepts of states, borders, and &ldquo;public&rdquo; land (the commons) are wholly inconsistent with a political and legal philosophy based on self-ownership and property rights. It&rsquo;s hard to speak rationally about immigration under the present circumstances, because we&rsquo;re so far from a free society that we risk piling one kind of illibertarian &ldquo;solution&rdquo; upon another.</p> <p>While the understandable libertarian impulse is to comport our principles with the innately human desire for free migration, we too often forget that the Noble Immigrant archetype is rooted in a statist view of immigration: one controlled by the state, in which public space trumps private property and free association. The benefits and detriments of immigration are weighed only in terms of their impact on the state.</p> <p><em><strong>In a libertarian society, there is no commons or public space. There are property lines, not borders. When it comes to real property and physical movement across such real property, there are owners, guests, licensees, business invitees, and trespassers &mdash; not legal and illegal immigrants.</strong></em></p> <p>Admittedly, it might be quite difficult to establish rightful (lawful) property owners under some sort of Lockean homesteading analysis &mdash; even in a nation as young as the US. While libertarians generally are absolutist regarding unfettered immigration, they will entertain &ldquo;halfway&rdquo; arguments about the most libertarian path available in a statist world on other topics (for example, see <a href="http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2015/06/tgif-libertarian-case-for-legalizing.html" target="_blank">Sheldon Richman&rsquo;s cogent argument</a> analogizing access to public roads with access to publicly-issued marriage licenses).&nbsp;But if Hans-Hermann Hoppe offers an <a href="https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/07/hans-hermann-hoppe/open-borders-2/" target="_blank">interim argument</a> for dealing with the societal costs imposed by immigrants given&nbsp;our current system of &ldquo;public goods&rdquo; and entitlements, he is considered a wrongheaded statist.&nbsp;<strong>The same progressives and left-libertarians who champion tort liability for corporations when it comes to environmental damage fall strangely silent on the externalities caused by human migration.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Let&rsquo;s be clear:</strong></u> the tendencies of a society based on property rights may well make progressives and left-libertarians quite unhappy. Such a society necessarily entails freedom of association and its corollary, the right to exclude. <strong>Free association might well result in&nbsp;regions that develop naturally based on (gasp) shared familial, economic, linguistic, social, and cultural interests. Contra <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gLa9Te8Blw" target="_blank">the DNC</a>, government is not &ldquo;the only thing we all belong to.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><u><strong>This is not to say that a&nbsp;libertarian&nbsp;concept of naturally arising &ldquo;nations&rdquo; entails&nbsp;a clannish retreat into suspicious enclaves.</strong></u>&nbsp;Surely a free society would have regions where market demand for the cosmopolitan benefits of life in a multicultural society prevails (imagine a stateless Singapore).&nbsp;But multicultural social democracies with vast welfare states, like Western Europe and the US, did not arise through the &ldquo;market.&rdquo; They are big-government constructs, and they are quickly becoming unsustainable. Multicultural welfare states are a recipe for disaster. &nbsp;</p> <p>Unfortunately, it appears for now we are stuck with the likes of Mr. Sanders and his faulty concept of nation-states.<strong> But if we want to advocate for a freer society, we need to apply first principles rather than sentimentality. </strong>There is a deep-rooted and natural human preference for the familiar face over the stranger, and human migration in a free society is likely to reflect this reality.</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="198" height="166" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150731_bernie.jpg?1438375046" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/bernie-koch-brothers-open-borders#comments Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Mises Institute New York City Reality United Kingdom Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 510813 at http://www.zerohedge.com Should It Be A Crime To Shoot Down A Drone Over Your Property? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/should-it-be-crime-shoot-down-drone-over-your-property <p><strong>A Hillview man has been arrested after he shot down a drone flying over his property - but he&#39;s not making any apologies for it.</strong> &quot;I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard,&quot; said William Merideth, 47, &quot;I went and got my shotgun and I said, &quot;I&#39;m not going to do anything unless it&#39;s directly over my property.&quot;&quot; That moment soon arrived, <strong><em>&quot;within a minute or so, here it came... it was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky.&quot; </em></strong>Merideth was arrested and <strong>charged with first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment...</strong></p> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://WDRB.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=964129;hostDomain=www.wdrb.com;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=11718386;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlay'></script><p><a href="http://www.wdrb.com" title="WDRB 41 Louisville News">WDRB 41 Louisville News</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wdrb.com/"><em>As WDRB reports, </em></a>Hillview Police say they were called to the home of 47-year-old William H. Merideth after someone complained about a firearm, Sunday night at a home on Earlywood Way, just south of the intersection between Smith Lane and Mud Lane in <strong>Bullitt County</strong>, according to an arrest report.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>When they arrived, police say Merideth told them he had shot down a drone that was flying over his house. The drone was hit in mid-air and crashed in a field near Merideth&rsquo;s home.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Police say the owner of the drone claimed he was flying it to get pictures of a friend&rsquo;s house &mdash; and that the cost of the drone was over $1,800.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Merideth was arrested and charged with first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment. He was booked into the Bullitt County Detention Center, and released on Monday.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WDRB News spoke with Merideth Tuesday afternoon, and he gave his side of the story.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Sunday afternoon, the kids &ndash; my girls &ndash; were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard,&rdquo; Merideth said. &ldquo;And they come in and said, <strong>&lsquo;Dad, there&rsquo;s a drone out here, flying over everybody&rsquo;s yard.&#39;&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Merideth&rsquo;s neighbors saw it too.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off,&rdquo; said neighbor Kim VanMeter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Merideth agrees and said he had to go see for himself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor&rsquo;s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they&rsquo;ve got under their back yard,&rdquo; Merideth said.<strong> &ldquo;I went and got my shotgun and I said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m not going to do anything unless it&rsquo;s directly over my property.&rsquo;&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>That moment soon arrived, he said.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Within a minute or so, here it came,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t shoot across the road, I didn&rsquo;t shoot across my neighbor&rsquo;s fences, I shot directly into the air,&rdquo; he added.</p> </blockquote> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t long before the drone&rsquo;s owners appeared.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Four guys came over to confront me about it, </strong>and I happened to be armed, so that changed their minds,&rdquo; Merideth said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;They asked me, &lsquo;Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?&rsquo; and I said, &lsquo;Yes I am,&#39;&rdquo; he said.<strong> &ldquo;I had my 40 mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, &lsquo;If you cross my sidewalk, there&rsquo;s gonna be another shooting.&#39;&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>A short time later, Merideth said the police arrived.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;There were some words exchanged there about my weapon, and I was open carry &ndash; it was completely legal,&rdquo; he said. <strong>&ldquo;Long story short, after that, they took me to jail for wanton endangerment first degree and criminal mischief&hellip;because I fired the shotgun into the air.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Merideth said he was disappointed with the police response.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t confiscate the drone. They gave the drone back to the individuals,&rdquo; </strong>he said. &ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t take the SIM card out of it&hellip;but we&rsquo;ve got&hellip;five houses here that everyone saw it &ndash; they saw what happened, including the neighbors that were sitting in their patio when he flew down low enough to see under the patio.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hillview Police detective Charles McWhirter says <strong>you can&rsquo;t fire your gun in the city.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Well, we do have a city ordinance against discharging firearms in the city, but the officer made an arrest for a Kentucky Revised Statute violation,&rdquo; </strong>he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the Academy of Model Aeronautics safety code, unmanned aircraft like drones may not be flown in a careless or reckless manner and has to be launched at least 100 feet downwind of spectators.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The FAA says drones cannot fly over buildings &mdash; and that shooting them poses a significant safety hazard.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air,&rdquo;</strong> said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Merideth said he&rsquo;s offering no apologies for what he did.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;He didn&rsquo;t just fly over,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;If he had been moving and just kept moving, that would have been one thing &mdash; but when he come directly over our heads, and just hovered there, I felt like I had the right.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;You know, when you&rsquo;re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t know if he was looking at the girls. We don&rsquo;t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>For now, <strong>Merideth says he&rsquo;s planning on pursuing legal action against the owners of the drone.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not going to let it go,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I believe there are rules that need to be put into place and the situation needs to be addressed because everyone I&rsquo;ve spoke to, including police, have said they would have done the same thing.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Because our rights are being trampled daily,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Not on a local level only &ndash; but on a state and federal level. We need to have some laws in place to handle these kind of things.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>So, should it be a crime to shoot down drones over your private property?</strong></u></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Finally, as an addenda, we note, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33735048">as The BBC reports,</a><strong> the law isn&#39;t always in favour of drone pilots.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Over the weekend, Californian officials agreed to offer a total of $75,000 (&pound;48,000) in rewards for information that would help catch drone operators who flew their vehicles over recent wildfires in San Bernardino County.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The flight of hobbyists&#39; drones near to wildfires caused firefighting aircraft to be grounded for safety reasons, leading to the faster spread of the fires.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>District attorney Mike Ramos said in a statement: &quot;We want to know who was flying drones, and we want them punished.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Someone knows who they are, and there is $75,000 waiting for them.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="205" height="196" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20150731_drone.jpg?1438374103" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/should-it-be-crime-shoot-down-drone-over-your-property#comments KIM Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 510809 at http://www.zerohedge.com NATO Member Busted Supporting ISIS … Now Declares War Against ISIS, But Instead Bombs Its Political Rival (the Main Force ... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/nato-member-busted-supporting-isis-%E2%80%A6-now-declares-war-against-isis-instead-bombs-its <h3 style="color: #000099;">Turkey Enabling ISIS</h3> <p>NATO member Turkey has been busted supporting ISIS.</p> <p>The Guardian <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/26/isis-syria-turkey-us?CMP=share_btn_tw" target="_blank" title="reported">reported</a> this week:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>US special forces raided the compound of an <a class="u-underline" data-component="auto-linked-tag" data-link-="" href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/isis" name="auto-linked-tag" target="_blank" title="Islamic State">Islamic State</a> leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an <a class="u-underline" data-component="in-body-link" data-link-="" href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3084323/US-special-forces-kill-ISIS-commander.html" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf">Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf</a>. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria&rsquo;s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues &ndash; and Turkish buyers were its <strong>main clients</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the wake of the raid that killed Abu Sayyaf, suspicions of an undeclared alliance have hardened. One <strong>senior western official</strong> familiar with the intelligence gathered at the slain leader&rsquo;s compound said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking Isis members was now <strong>&ldquo;undeniable&rdquo;</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;There are hundreds of flash drives and documents that were seized there,&rdquo; the official told the <em>Observer</em>. &ldquo;They are being analysed at the moment, but the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, Turkey has openly supported other <a class="u-underline" data-component="in-body-link" data-link-="" href="http://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/523" name="in body link" target="_blank" title="jihadi groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham">jihadi groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham</a>, which espouses much of al-Qaida&rsquo;s ideology, and Jabhat al-Nusra, which is proscribed as a terror organisation by much of the US and Europe. &ldquo;The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,&rdquo; said the western official. &ldquo;There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One Isis member says the organisation remains a long way from establishing a self-sustaining economy across the area of Syria and Iraq it controls. &ldquo;They need the Turks. I know of a lot of cooperation and it scares me,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t see how Turkey can attack the organisation too hard. There are shared interests.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>While the Guardian is one of Britain&rsquo;s leading newspapers, many in the alternative press have <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/allegations-u-s-allies-back-isis-islamic-terrorists.html" title="long">long</a> <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/09/turkey-israel-directly-supporting-isis-al-qaeda-syria.html" title="pointed">pointed</a> <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/top-u-s-generals-american-allies-support-isis.html" title="out">out</a> Turkey&rsquo;s support for ISIS.</p> <p>And <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/turkey-created-a-monster-and-doesnt-know-how-to-deal-with-it-2015-2" target="_blank" title="experts">experts</a>, <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/2014/10/31/kurds-accuse-turkish-government-supporting-isis-278776.html" target="_blank" title="Kurds">Kurds</a>, and <a href="http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/10/turkish-president-erdogan-demands-joe-biden-apologize-for-blaming-turkey-for-rise-of-isis/" target="_blank" title="Joe Biden">Joe Biden</a> have accuses Turkey of enabling ISIS.</p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">Has Turkey Changed Its Ways?</h3> <p>On Tuesday, Turkey proclaimed that it will now help to <em>fight</em> ISIS.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t buy it &hellip;</p> <p>Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson &ndash; former chief of staff to Colin Powell, and now distinguished adjunct professor of Government and Public Policy at William &amp; Mary &ndash; <a href="http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=31&amp;Itemid=74&amp;jumival=14355" target="_blank" title="asked">asked</a> yesterday:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>What is [Turkish president] Erdogan&rsquo;s ultimate purpose? He hates Assad. He&rsquo;d love to bring him down. Is that why he&rsquo;s doing this?</p> </blockquote> <p>There&rsquo;s also the Kurds &hellip;</p> <p>As Time Magazine <a href="http://time.com/3932515/the-kurds-are-building-a-country-with-every-victory-over-isis/" target="_blank" title="pointed out">pointed out</a> in June:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Ethnic Kurds&mdash;who on Tuesday scored their second and third significant victories over ISIS in the space of eight days&mdash;are <strong>by far the most effective force fighting ISIS</strong> in both Iraq and Syria.</p> </blockquote> <p>And yet Turkey is trying to destroy the Kurds. Time <a href="http://time.com/3974399/turkey-kurds-isis/" target="_blank" title="writes">writes</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Since [Turkey announced that it was joining the war against ISIS] it has arrested more than 1,000 people in Turkey and carried out waves of air raids in neighboring Syria and Iraq. But <strong>most of those arrests and air strikes</strong>, say Kurdish leaders,<strong> have hit Kurdish and left wing groups, not ISIS</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kurds are an ethnic minority that live in parts of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. They have been persecuted for decades &mdash; from Turkey&rsquo;s suppression of Kurdish identity and banning of Kurdish language to Saddam Hussein&rsquo;s use of chemical weapons on Kurdish communities. Their leaders, from the numerous different parties and rebel groups that represent them, have long sought an independent Kurdish state encompassing that territory and have fought against their respective governments to try to achieve that.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hoshang Waziri, a political analyst based in Erbil, says <strong>the Kurds&rsquo; recent territorial gains in Syria along Turkey&rsquo;s border and their increasing political legitimacy in the eyes of the West, have made the Kurds a bigger threat to Turkey than ISIS</strong>. &ldquo;The fear of the Turkish state started with the Kurdish defeat of ISIS in Tel Abyad,&rdquo; says Waziri.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The image in the West of the Kurds as a reliable ally on the ground is terrifying for Turkey,&rdquo; says Waziri. &ldquo;So before it&rsquo;s too late, Turkey waged its war &mdash; <strong>not against ISIS, but against the PKK</strong>.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some see the war against ISIS simply as a cover for an attack on Kurdish groups. Of the more than 1,000 people Turkey has arrested in security sweeps in recent days, 80% are Kurdish, associated either with the PKK or the non-violent Kurdish Peoples&rsquo; Democratic Party (HDP), says ?brahim Ayhan, a member of parliament for the HDP.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ayhan says the AKP needs a state of &ldquo;chaos&rdquo; to perusade voters that it is the only bulwark against chaos. As of yet no new government has been formed in Turkey and if that doesn&rsquo;t happen in the next few weeks, new elections will be called. By that time Ayhad fears many of the leaders of his HDP party will be in jail and some even worry the HDP will be outlawed. At the same time, Erdo?an and his AKP hope they will have shown only they can defend Turkey from internal and external threats.</p> </blockquote> <p>The Wall Street Journal <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/07/30/how-turkeys-fight-against-isis-advances-its-war-against-the-kurds/" target="_blank" title="reports">reports</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Turkey&rsquo;s military activity against Islamic State does not stem from sudden realizations about threats from ISIS but appears designed to elicit international support for its fight against the Kurds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Kurdish Workers&rsquo; Party, known as the PKK, was locked in a bloody war with the Turkish state from the mid-1980s until 2013. The cease-fire has, for all intents and purposes, been destroyed. Turkey is battling both ISIS and the PKK under the guise of fighting terrorism. Yet Turkish attempts to conflate ISIS and the PKK&ndash;even in the wake of the suicide bombing in a Kurdish border town that killed 32 young people&ndash;effectively ask people to overlook some salient facts:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Kurds are Islamic State&rsquo;s ideological opposites. The Kurds have been fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq for some time; in particular, the Kurdish People&rsquo;s Protection Unit (YPG) in northern Syria has been among the most effective forces at repelling ISIS efforts to take control of the Syrian-Turkish border. Kurdish military resistance in Syria and, to a lesser extent, the Kurdish autonomous government in Iraq have shouldered the lion&rsquo;s share of the ground conflict against Islamic State, standing their ground at high cost and with limited support from the Western coalition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A declaration of a state of emergency in Turkey would give the Justice and Development Party (or AKP), which lost its parliamentary majority in June elections, more flexibility to crack down on political opponents such as the Kurdish majority People&rsquo;s Democratic Party. More than 1,300 people have been detained recently under the guise of cracking down on domestic PKK and ISIS elements in Turkey.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The AKP has declared the peace process with the Kurdish separatists dead and is trying to discredit the only recognized political representatives of the Turkish left and the Kurdish population; the Kurdish People&rsquo;s Democratic Party won a 13% share of the Turkish parliament in the June elections&ndash;a sign of its rising popularity not only among Kurds but also with increasingly disgruntled Turkish liberals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>***</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If a governing coalition isn&rsquo;t formed, early elections will be held. The AKP appears to be hoping for that&ndash;under the thinking that a majority of voters would seek to maintain the status quo in a time of uncertainty and potential civil war, and that AKP&rsquo;s standing in parliament would, in turn, be strengthened.</p> </blockquote> <p>So Turkey isn&rsquo;t really going after ISIS &hellip; instead, the ruling party is going after its main political threat &ndash; the Kurds &ndash; and continuing its long-term effort to overthrow Syria&rsquo;s Assad.</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-31/nato-member-busted-supporting-isis-%E2%80%A6-now-declares-war-against-isis-instead-bombs-its#comments Iran Iraq Joe Biden Time Magazine Turkey Wall Street Journal Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:52:11 +0000 George Washington 510824 at http://www.zerohedge.com