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12 May 2016

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Babak Makkinejad

One must appreciate the fact that NATO states have had a good and solid relationship with Saudi Arabia and Gulfies going back for decades.

There is a long history of mutual aide and succor in this which survived numerous Arab-Israeli Wars as well as the Oil Embargo of 1973.

Furthermore, Gulfies financially helped in the war against USSR in Afghanistan and later against Iraq in 1991.

And then there are very real and substantial financial and commercial interests between NATO states and the Gulfies.

For example, outside of the arms trade, there is very very substantial presence of United Kingdom subjects in the aviation and banking sectors of UAE.

Money comes from the Gulfies, and the managerial leadership is supplied from UK.

I would expect that NATO states would endeavor to sweep under the rug all sorts of malfeasance or otherwise unsavory behaviors by their Gulfie partners.

Furthermore, one has to admit that the Iran's Islamic Revolution severed NATO states from Iran in 1979 and the subsequent events - such as Iran-Iraq War (1980-9188), Israeli's invasion and occupation of Lebanon (1982-2000), Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006, and lastly the NATO states' economic war against Iran (2003-2016) & the Syrian War (2011 to Present) further removed the possibility of any alternatives to the Gulfies to the NATO states.

NATO states are stuck with a genuine Wahhabi-takfiri revivalism cycle to which they are neither conceptually, nor intellectually, nor politically equipped to respond.


SmoothieX12

"NATO states are stuck with a genuine Wahhabi-takfiri revivalism cycle to which they are neither conceptually, nor intellectually, nor politically equipped to respond."

And they will continue to be not ready. For starters, they are incapable (or impeded) of identifying the root cause of the issue and then, the process of de-Hellinization (as Robert Reilly defines it), that is of abandoning a rational view of the world is in full swing now. This, plus, of course, vast numbers of representatives of Western political class being in the deep pockets of Gulfies. It is a perfect storm, really, but in the end, West has only oneself to blame.

Jackrabbit

While I agree with you that speculation can sometimes go too far, the fact is governments and government officials 'conspire' to advance their interests – and lie/mislead as they deem necessary. It is hard work to gain some understanding of the true state of things. A few examples:
>> NATO expansion? “not one inch”
>> “They hate us for our freedoms”
>> Clapper lies to Congress about NSA data collection;
>> Gen. Alexander lies to Congress saying that NSA spying has prevented terr0rist attacks on Homeland;
>> Rumsfeld: “We are an Empire now … we make our own reality”
>> Benghazi: “Spontaneous demonstration" sparked by an anti-Islamic video

Addressing your points in order:

1) “The jihadists are NOT agents or dupes of anyone or anything except their own god drunk minds.”
They are agents/dupes of whomever has/is funding and organizing them. Note: there has been no attempt to curtail the madrasas and dozens of Saudi clerics publicly called for supporting the jihadis after Russia's intervention in Syria.

2) “Western intelligence was simply lazy and incompetent in not comprehending the riding jihadi tide”
>> Biden and Dempsey have spoken of allies that support ISIS/jihadis, and there is plenty of “open source” intel regarding funding and arms traffic to jihadis;
>> the West openly supports “moderate rebels” that often work with the jihadis and pass on weaponry;
>> A DIA report obtained by Judicial Watch spoke of “our allies” supporting the establishment of a Caliphate in Iraq-Syria;
>> It is hard to ignore the commercial and FP benefits that accrue to the West from the use of extremists as a weapon:
- countering Iranian/Russian influence;
- record arms sales;
- future reconstruction contracts;
- etc.;

3) “. . . collectively incompetent in not penetrating the Bin Laden sect before 9/11?”
This 'sect' enjoyed the support of the govt of Afghanistan, ISI, and powerful Saudis – leading one to question if the persistence of today's jihadis imply such (governmental) support (much circumstantial evidence indicates that this is indeed true);

4) “Brennan is a friend of the jihadis?
Our 'Lead from Behind' (“LfB”) M.E. foreign policy = support for the initiatives of our allies – even if immoral. Brennan/CIA is a loyal government official following a policy that advances US interests. That jihadis benefit from this policy doesn't make him their 'friend' – though it may (legally) make him complicit in their crimes.

apol

I assume Patrick BAHZAD will have heard that François Hollande's 'gouvernement' is planning to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Verdun ( where over 300,000 French soldiers lost their lives ) with a rap concert in Verdun.
The petition protesting this outrage can be found here.

http://www.net-petitions.com/contre-la-venue-du-rappeur-black-m-a-verdun/

Babak Makkinejad

MRW & Tyler:

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/social-mobility-memos/posts/2016/05/11-glass-barrier-to-upper-middle-class-hardening-reeves

David Habakkuk

All,

A characteristically sober, and incisive, piece posted by Philip Giraldi last month is I think well worth a close read. An excerpt:

‘And, of course, the big question is motive. That Saudi Arabia might be bribing a home grown terrorist group to leave it alone is perhaps not surprising, but if they were supporting that group knowing that it was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States that would be something quite different. Lacking Saudi government internal documents, I would imagine the 28 pages will be unable to determine whether or not that was the case and one might well assume that it would have been insanity for the Saudis to support such an initiative.’

(See http://www.unz.com/article/the-missing-28-pages/ .)

As to the Israelis – or one might perhaps better say, some Israelis – such people certainly had a motive.

The notion that they were actively involved in instigating the attack seems to me wildly improbable. That they knew, and let the attack go forward, does not seem to me anything like as improbable. But it could equally well simply be a coincidence.

The point is that we need a proper investigation, designed to ascertain the truth.

The most fundamental problem, I think, was pinpointed by Putin in his address to the U.N. last September. Two key paragraphs:

‘It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

‘I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here? The recent incident where the most “moderate” opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.’

(See http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50385 .)

As so often, a stupid intellectual arrogance is the Achilles heel of many. Time and again, the notion that fanatics are fools blows up in one’s face.

It is perhaps understandable that, in the circumstances of the time, the Imperial German General Staff thought it was a bright idea to assist in the transportation of Lenin – in the famous sealed train, as though he was a kind of poison bacillus – from Switzerland back to Russia.

Again, it is perhaps not entirely incomprehensible that, in the circumstances of the early ‘Thirties, German conservatives thought that Hitler would be a manipulable instrument, who could employ the ‘black arts’ of ‘mass politics’ pioneered by the Bolsheviks in support of conservative agendas.

In both cases, a ‘devil’s pact’ laid up problems for the future.

The Anglo-American ‘devil’s pact’ with the Saudis has been very advantageous for a great many people, in all kinds of ways. It was, of course, originally pioneered by ourselves, before being taken over by you people.

But it has involved spreading the Wahhabist toxin throughout the Islamic world.

Even without this, as discussions on this blog have brought out, the task of finding some kind of reconciliation between Islam and ‘modernity’ would be difficult enough.

For Britain and the United States to be suggesting that there are ‘moderate Islamists’ who can lead Syria, or Turkey, or Chechnya, into a ‘modern world’, while employing jihadists sponsored by the Saudis as an instrument for this anticipated
transition, is almost surreally stupid.

However, Babak Makkinejad and ‘SmoothieX12’ are quite wrong in thinking that it is clear that we will go on, as it were, ‘reinforcing failure’.

As I have tried to explain in previous comments, what is happening in Britain is an immense collapse of confidence in élites. How this is developing, and will develop, is utterly unpredictable: it could end quite benignly, or utterly catastrophically.

What is clear is that changing responses to Islam are at the centre of this. At the popular level, however, what almost all of these have in common is a hostility to Wahhabism. And implicit in this is a question – why are people like Blair and Cameron behaving as they do? A possible answer is: because the Saudis paid them.

(One of my all-time favourite films, was called, for its American release, ‘Out of the Past’: did they want to make it appear boring? Released in Britain, it was called by the more evocative name: ‘Build my Gallows High.’)

Tidewater

Tidewater to F5F5F5,

Yes, I agree that one must proceed cautiously in this matter. Hasn't it already been said that the Saudi government officials who may have been involved were officials in the religious ministries? If you go back to the 1979 Grand Mosque takeover you can see the back and forth between various elements of the religious side of the Saudi government and the secular as they desperately struggled to find a way to deal with the Juhayman insurrection that some of the religious authorities sympathized with. Incidentally, there was a lot of "muscle" from the Southwest mountains, including Asir, with Juhayman at Mecca, just as there was on 9/11. (I think that there are connections in 9/11 that go way back.)

But one thing needs to be said about the Tablighi Jamaat, which you mention as being from India. I don't know the point of origin of the Tablighi, but they have been well established in Pakistan going all the way back to the 80's, for sure. I once talked with someone who rode from Quetta on a bus with his student organization to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering at Raiwind Markaz, which is outside of Lahore. This is the second largest gathering of Sunni Muslims after Haj. I have looked at videos of this meeting on Youtube. It is very impressive how they do it. Feeding all those people, for example. You can perceive a very beneficient mood among those "maken pilgrimage" as Chaucer put it, didn't he? "Wan thot Aprila wit its sura sota the drogtht of Marsch hath pierced to the rota..." ?? (Ok. Ok. ..Go easy on me. I can't find my OBEV.) (How's that for an abbreviation!) (It's still April, cold and raining off and on here in C-Ville. I express my sense of gratitude, and is it restlessness?) My cats close around me, Lada on top of my modem, which maybe is not good for her? (Warm though.)

My friend said that important Saudis fly in. I think there is a landing strip there, they can see the Gulfstreams coming in. At night, the landing lights. There is a sense of the approval and benediction of their (from over the kala pani) brothers, the magnificent One Percent who also happen to be the Keepers of the Holy Places. The Arabs are very distinctive and impressive, tall fiigures in their impeccable and elegant robes. They are invariably there for the last day or two days of prayers, in which, row by row, in a vast assembly, each row recites a line of the Koran. Surely it must go long into the night. There is a tremendous emotional sense of brotherhood and salvation.

I think that it is obvious that vast amounts of Saudi money--whether from the religious side of the government or from individual Princes and rich Arab businessmen --have been given in support of the Tablighi. I would think there could be concern in one part of the Saudi government at what another side of the government is doing, and not a lot the pragmatists can do about it. Definitely private money from Saudi Arabia going to Tablighi!

Guess who started the religious thing rolling in Pakistan. The Carter administration.

I also agree with TTG that at some point this thing has to be opened up. (Carefully.)

Babak Makkinejad

I think you are wrong about calling me and Smoothie12 wrong.

NATO states, indeed any non-Muslim state, cannot adjudicate among Muslims - good, bad, or ugly; radical, moderate, extremist etc.

You guys are in your post-Christian phase, you will not be able to even adjudicate among various Christian sects - since, by definition, that is now outside of the purview of your normal politics.

To combat jihadists and Deobandis and all other such Muslims one needs enlist the aid of Muslim states.

In my opinion, the only credible and conceivable way that this could be achieved is by crafting a unified political and religious position between Iran and Turkey.

These two states are the only Muslim states that might be able to, over a long hard slug, fight and discredit and destroy the Jihadists and such hard cases as takfiri revivalism across the Muslim world.

That is, these two states will be able to beat some sense into the rest of Islamdom.

However, NATO states have burnt their bridges with Iran and Turkey - evidently due to internal as well as unfulfilled promises made by her allies to her - has gone off the reservation, so to speak.

NATO states have no choice except walking down this path - the price of normalization with Iran, inducements for Turkey, and settlement with Russia is too steep to pay; in my opinion.

A man such as Nixon, or Deng could have done this but there is no Western statement that is capable of this either.

Jack

David

I'm curious how this "immense collapse of confidence in elites" is manifesting itself in Britain?

From my following the Brexit campaign from across the pond, the Stay side is backed by the political and financial elites. Both Conservative and Labor party establishments with massive financial backing are using the most true and tried approach of fear to rally voters to reject Brexit and the sovereignty of the British parliament.

My view is that while confidence in elites is waning here in the US they still have a strangehold on the organs of power. Who Trump selects as his running mate and key advisors will be a giant tell. I will not be surprised at all if he goes the way of Mr. Hope & Change, who I knew would be a Borgist when TurboTax Timmy and Larry Summers were appointed. There was no chance then of shining light on the financial malfeasance that led to the 2008 credit crisis as both were deeply implicated. Trump's fund raising chief is from Goldman Sachs. That is reason for some caution in optimism around his candidacy as a major change from the Borg.

The Twisted Genius

David Habakkuk,

Yes, that man Putin is a genius in understanding the human condition. In my last assignment, my detachment went after an unusually crafty and ingenious foe and did so on that foe's home territory. I admonished my people to remember that no matter how smart and skilled they were, there is always someone out there either smarter than you or luckier than you. Never assume you have outwitted your foe.

Whether "the powers that be" will break out of this destructive cycle of thinking themselves too clever by half is an open question.

Jackrabbit

Good Points.

Seems appropriate to add:
1) Many point to the neocon's call for a "new Pearl Harbor" as stated in PNAC (Project for the Next American Century) as proof by association for Israel's complicity. This alone means little. But:

>> the neocons worked hard to buttress and re-orient the American military after the end of the Cold War toward re-making the M.E.

>> Al Queda had already attacked the WTC in 1993 and it was well known (by those that followed ME affairs) that they often returned to complete a failed attack. Those that didn't understand al Queda (like the neocons) couldn't comprehend the danger.

Did the neocons refrain from expressing their concerns in the hope of a successful attack?!?!?!

2) Netanyahu has said - in regards to the Sunni-Shia conflict - that one should not interfere when one's enemies are making a mistake. Really? Aren't there human rights implications? Allowing other nations to support extremists begs the question of who is responsible for unintended consequences.

Legally, the driver of the getaway car is just as responsible as the perpetrators for the (unintended!) death of a Bank clerk or security guard. And those who have foreknowledge a crime can be guilty of conspiracy or obstruction.

IMO anyone that wishes to lead the world must act morally. Our leaders think that only the propaganda-induced APPEARANCE of morality is necessary.

ToivoS

Your interpretation of this information is flawed. It is well known that 1000 deg does not melt steel or cast iron. However, it is well documented that the load bearing strength of structural steel is compromised at 500 deg. In fact, in one study I looked at the load bearing strength was reduced by 90% as the temperature increased to 500 deg. Your Weber barbecue is not made out of load bearing steel for the simple reason cast iron is sufficient for cooking purposes. One cannot build a building of more than 8 or so stories out of cast iron, that is why it is tempered to produce structural steel. The science on this problem was worked out at the end of the 19th century.

MRW

I remember when it went down on 9/11 afternoon. I had the BBC as a pic-in-pic on my computer. Do you know I couldn’t get anyone to believe me for three years?

I’m really simple-minded. I hear all the accusations of it being the USG, the Saudis, or the Israelis behind this. How can anyone make these claims? It’s all conjecture.

First job is what happened and how. And no one has answered that yet. NIST’s reasoning is insane, from a scientific POV.

The British Steel association (renamed itself in the 00’s) did extensive fire tests for structural engineers in 1995 at the Cardington Labs in some British university over a two-year period. Every major European steel company was involved. Their main report was issued in June, 2000, 15 months before 9/11. They built an eight-story steel-framed office building specifically to study the effect of fire on every material imaginable. They rebuilt the building after every experiment.

I have copies of all their reports but no links. Google "cardington british steel” They photographed the effect on steel beams--negligible--and have highly detailed data that only an engineer whose job determines whether a person lives or dies would love. Hundreds of pages per report. They let the fires burn for days in some experiments. They studied the different grades of steel. They studied office equipment. Wall treatments. Vertically contained areas like stairwells and elevator shafts. The effect of various fuels. Molecular structures. Whether the fire was exogenous or endogenous. You name it.

Except for the US-based Czech scientist who developed the pancake theory within 48 hours of the towers’ collapse, you won’t find a single structural engineer in good standing, and who values his reputation, who believes the official bullshit story.

Tidewater

Tidewater to Tidewater,

(Did I just commit some sort of crime?)


I. The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400)


Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
Bifel that, in that sesoun on a day,
In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay
Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Caunterbury...


Interesting to me that there was more than one pilgrimage route to Canterbury. One route was from the southern ports, for pilgrims came from across the Channel. And another route was from western England, and stopped the night before at Chilham, four or five miles from the cathedral. The Tabard Inn, across the Thames in London, at Southwark (known for its watermen) must have had as its sign the red cross on white, the flag of England now, which was put on the cotton or canvas tunic worn over armor, the unforgettable sign of the Crusader. It took me the longest time to realize the significence of "Tabard". I assume the inn specialized to the trade. Man, that is some swell use of the colon there right before "Than longen folk.." Sets it up nice.

Thomas

TTG.

David Habakkuk linked to Phil Giraldi's article below on The Missing 28 Pages which has this statement.

"The five “dancing Israeli” celebrants, who turned out to be employees of an Israeli-owned moving company in New Jersey, were arrested after 9/11 and held in Brooklyn, initially on charges relating to visa fraud. FBI interrogators questioned them for more than two months. Several were held in solitary confinement so they could not communicate with each other and two of them were given repeated polygraph exams, which they failed when claiming that they were nothing more than students working summer jobs. The two men that the FBI focused on most intensively were believed to be Mossad staff officers and the other three were volunteers helping with surveillance. After 71 days, the Bush White House intervened, ordering the Israelis to be released and deported. They later complained about their treatment and sued the United States government."

http://www.unz.com/article/the-missing-28-pages/

Thomas

"I find it very interesting that many pro-Israeli sources in the USA have recently been throwing KSA under the bus."

When you look at the recent talk of the privatization of Aramco, it could be part of a shakedown play to get the Saudis to allow the Hedge Funds to turn their commercial paper into something of value before the coming apocalypse of "Margin Call".

MRW

Toivo, well the 19th C science is superseded by the two-year Cardington Fire Frame Experiments done in 1995, which was performed on an eight-story building built with structural steel. See my post once the Colonel approves it. You can research it yourself.

500 deg my ass. Fire broke out in the North Tower in February, 1975 on the 11th floor and spread to the 9th and 19th floors. NYT photos showed it engulfed the entire perimeter. Flames leapt from the 11th to the upper floors. It burned for hours from 11:30 PM well into the night. I watched it from the Jersey side.

Furthermore, the Cardington building had unprotected beams/trusses. There was no fire-rated suspended ceiling or spray-on retardant. Also, the Cardington tests showed that the relatively cool concrete slabs on each floor strengthened the structural frame, something they hadn’t anticipated. (It takes decades for cement to cure. The Boulder Dam, built in 1935+, is still curing. Heat gets the moisture out.)

Walrus

I had an Australian researcher working on a joint project at an American Government laboratory at and before 9/11. I was project managing our (Australian) end of the work.

My researcher was an extremely verbose person via email.

He sent me either weekly or monthly (I forget which) copies of his official lab security warning emails that were sent, as far as I can tell, to all Federal employees at that time.

The gist of those security warnings was that America, Americans and American Government facilities were targets for terrorist operations and that the danger was real. The warnings may have alluded to a heightened threat, but I can't remember. Employees were warned to be on the lookout and to be on their guard.


I also recall, I think, and this is critical, that the warning emails stopped after 9/11 which suggests that intelligence knew something was planned, but not what it was.

I would imagine that some members of SST may have received similar blanket warnings at the time.

Cieran

MRW:

With all due respect, your last paragraph may be true, but not in the sense you intended. The simple truth is that the NIST report does explain how the twin towers collapsed, and those explanations have been debated in the open literature in engineering, with a resulting understanding the the collapse based on the laws of physics and chemistry, as expressed via the profession of structural engineering.

What it takes to appreciate the content of those debates in a solid understanding of the dynamics of large structures, including plenty of calculus, engineering mechanics and material science as a prerequisite technical foundation. Subject matter expertise in these fields is in short supply among the general populace (including many engineers, and virtually all architects), so there's no surprise that lots of people don't believe the NIST report: understanding it takes more technical chops than most of the population possesses.

The bottom line is that people who don't know what an LFRS is, and how it works, or are not fluent in the interaction of margins of safety and dynamic load factors, are not going to understand the physics of the collapse. Those of us who do (and yes, I am a structural engineer, though my expertise tends towards the weapons-effects-on-buildings end of the picture instead of the design and construction of high-rises: in my end of the engineering world, the latter are generally referred to as "targets", not as "buildings") know that the NIST report is as accurate a picture as we'll get for an event with as much inherent uncertainty as the 9/11 attack. I am sorry if that causes troubles for your beliefs, but folks like me live in the world of physical facts, not conspiracy theories.

And as far as WTC 7 is concerned, while I wish we could explain every observed physical response perfectly, we can't. We simply don't have much experience with what happens to high rises designed for east-coast structural practices when a couple skyscrapers collapse suddenly right next door. That's not exactly something we can simulate in the lab. We do have lots of experience with why some buildings collapse or burst into flames due to other forms of ground shock (like earthquakes), and that experience leads us to wonder if that might be the root cause of the WTC 7 failure.

But they key word is "wonder". That is the beauty of science: it makes one wonder, and in the best case that wonder leads to rational and verifiable explanations of how nature plays havoc with our built environment. On the other hand, irrational speculation and appeals to pseudo-authorities on the physical response of large structures doesn't lead to wonder: it all too often leads to mistrust, paranoia and anger instead.

I highly recommend choosing wonder.

--Cieran

Jackrabbit

Correction: Those who didn't understand al Queda (like the neocons DID)...

A. Pols

Plenty

VietnamVet

TTG

The world turned upside down. For those left with pensions and professional jobs in the West, it is just about the same as ever except public services are fraying and user fees increasing. For the millions who lost their jobs and homes; it is hellish, softened by alcohol and opiates. For the wealthy few, it is their world now. The era of the sovereign states, mass armies and the professional officer corps are long gone. To fight its Empire wars, the Western elite have had to use proxy jihadists, neo-Nazis and mercenaries supported by special operators. This has created strange bedfellows that are best ignored by hush money and weapon sales. America’s allies Turkey, Gulf Monarchies and Israel are vested in prolonging the existence of the Sunni Caliphate and continued, never ending, warfare in the Levant. With allies like this, America doesn’t need enemies.

The basic question is how will the people regain control of the lives and their government.

Dubhaltach

Please tell us preferably with the aid of a map _precisely_ which "former territorie" Iran has regained and when it lost them.

Dubhaltach

In reply to SmoothieX12 13 May 2016 at 08:55 AM


"together with Qatar"


Keeping pushing that loud and clear and repeatedly they may not be as internally vicious as the Saudis and it's for sure a much nicer place to visit (if you're male, well-connected, and have something they want) but when it comes to promotion of Wahabbism they're in competition with the Saudis as to who spread it the most.

This fact is sedulously ignored by westerners in general, if they knew it in the first place.

optimax

Here's a video of a blacksmith demonstrating structural steel bending like a noodle at 1800 degrees. Aviation fuel burns at 1500 but if you add the other fuel sources, paper and wood,it could easily add 300 degrees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzF1KySHmUA

Next are accounts of survivors and structural engineers and other experts who knew the towers were coming down before they collapsed. The buildings were swaying and falling apart, obviously structurally compromised.

https://sites.google.com/site/911stories/accountsoftowerstructuralinstabilityande

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