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Global Depopulation, Bush Family Secrets & The Rise of the 4th Reich – Talk Radio

Uploaded by Cain Cawthon

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Published on Oct 2, 2015

Jim Marrs - Alternative Media - EOTM Radio - LipTV

 ”In the explosive video below Jim Marrs explores the frighteningly real possibility that today, in the United States, an insidious ideology thought to have been vanquished more than a half century ago is actually flourishing. At the end of World War II, ranking Nazis, along with their young and fanatical protégés, used the loot of Europe to create corporate front companies in many countries, worming their way into corporate America. They brought with them miraculous weapons technology that helped win the space race. But they also brought their Nazi philosophy based on the authoritarian premise that the end justifies the means—including unprovoked wars of aggression and curtailment of individual liberties—which has since gained an iron hold in the “land of the free.”Jim Marrs has gathered compelling evidence of the effort that has been under way for the past sixty years to bring a form of National Socialism to modern America, creating in essence a new empire-or “Fourth Reich”! – Amazon Books

Notably, global depopulation and the Nazi policy has always been linked to the Bush family, fluoridation, and the New World Order. Will water wars and the struggle for resources shape the decades to come? Is there an organized plot to wipe out 7 billion people on Earth? Check out the amazing interview with Marrs, hosted by Sean Stone, (Watch Below)

Jim Marrs - Rise of The Fourth Reich on LIPTV

Jim Marrs is an award-winning journalist and author. After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism, Marrs worked for and owned several Texas newspapers before becoming an independent journalist/author. Marrs is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, the basis for the Oliver Stone film JFK, and Rule by Secrecy. His in-depth overview of the UFO phenomenon, Alien Agenda, is the best-selling nonfiction book on UFOs in the world, having been translated into several foreign languages. He is a frequent guest on several nationwide radio talk-show programs and television programs.

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Outgoing Presidential Adviser John Podesta Tweets Regret On Not Securing UFO Disclosure

By Carla B.

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Obama aide regrets not securing UFO files disclosure

Just in case you missed it, outgoing senior US presidential adviser John Podesta revealed last week that his main regret of the past year of his service at the White House was keeping Americans away from learning the truth about UFOs.



Podesta, 66, tweeted– the last day as Obama’s counselor a list of his “favorite memories” of the year, ending with his biggest regret. See tweet Below.

Conveniently and not surprisingly, media bigwigs down played the tweet. USA Today featured a story titled, “Punchlines: UFOs and other political sightings.

The Washington Post elaborated on how Podesta is a big fan of the “X-Files,” noting:

Our colleague Karen Tumulty asked him in 2007 about the FOIA jam at the library, and Podesta, through a spokesman, replied: “The truth is out there.” That’s the show’s tag­ line.

Back in 2002, at a press conference organized by the Coalition for Freedom of Information, he said: “It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there. We ought to do it, really, because it’s right. We ought to do it, quite frankly, because the American people can handle the truth. And we ought to do it because it’s the law.”

Podesto also previously served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and is reportedly set to join Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a senior adviser in the run-up to Barack Obama’s second term ending in 2016.
PureVPN

MUST READ:American Medical Association Oppose Mandatory Vaccines: Medical Ethics Statement, Report

UFO ALIEN DISCLOSURE By Canadian Minister of Defense


Before coming to the White House, Podesta founded the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank.

SEE ALSO: 1998 Movie ‘Deep Impact’ And Its Likeness To ‘Comet 67P’ And NASA’s ‘Orion Mission’

What are your thoughts on his tweet? Share with us in the comments below.


2 Dead and Explosions Heard in Belgian Counter-Terrorism Raid

By Cain Cawthon

At least two people have been killed after Belgian police launched a major operation against a suspected jihadist terrorist cell a week after the attacks on Paris which left 20 people dead.

Belgian media has reported that two people have died in the eastern town of Verviers


The raid in Verviers in eastern Belgium was targeted against a group of three young men who had recently returned from Syria, according to the Belgian authorities.

Two people were killed and one other was arrested in a shoot-out before 6pm (5pm GMT) during an anti-terrorist raid in Belgium, authorities said. Belgian media reported another was seriously injured. It was not immediately clear if they were suspects.

Witnesses to the operation described a barrage of explosions and multiple gunshots as police entered a building close to the town’s railway station shortly before 6pm (5pm GMT). Sharpshooters were posted on rooftops surrounding the building.

There were also several arrests as part of the operation, which the authorities said had taken place at several locations across Belgium including the Brussels area.

Prosecutors said that the alleged terror cell was suspected of planning attacks on police stations, where security measures were increased yesterday.

The federal prosecutor, Eric Van Der Sypt, told reporters that Belgian police and special forces launched the operation on Thursday evening after receiving information that a cell was poised to launch a serious terror strike in the country. The raids were focused on individuals in the Brussels region and Verviers who were believed to have returned home after fighting in Syria.

“A specialized investigating judge in Brussels specialised in terrorism commanded about 10 search warrants,” Mr Van Der Sypt said. “These search warrants were executed in an investigation concerning several people who we think are an operational cell – certain people who came back from Syria. During the investigation we found this group was about to commit terrorist attacks in Belgium.”

As soon as police launched the raid on the property in Verviers, “certain suspects immediately opened fire with automatic weapons at special forces of the police.” Mr Van Der Sypt said the gunfire went on “for several minutes” before two suspects were shot dead. He said that no police or passers-by were injured in the confrontation at a property in central Verviers near the train station.

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While the authorities would give no further information about the investigation or reveal the identities of the suspects, they said they would be raising the national security alert level.

PureVPNAuthorities in Brussels were already on high alert after Mehdi Nemmouche – a Frenchman who had been to Syria – shot dead four people in a Jewish museum in Brussels last May.

It was not known if the operation was linked to ongoing efforts by French police to track down potential accomplices to last week’s attacks in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher grocery store, which claimed the lives of three terrorists and their 17 victims.

Prior to events in Verviers, the Belgian authorities had announced the arrest of a man in Charleroi, close to the French border, on suspicion of supplying ammunition to Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman responsible for shooting dead four Jews in the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris on Friday.

The man voluntarily surrendered himself to police, claiming he had conned Coulibaly in a deal to buy a car but denying any involvement in arms sales.

Belgium was targeted by jihadists last year when a gunman shot dead four people at a Jewish museum in Brussels in May last year. Mehdi Memmouche, 29, a Frenchman who had previously acted as a jailer to Western hostages for Isis in Syria, is awaiting trial for the murders.

The events in France’s northern neighbour took place as President Francois Hollande vowed to protect Muslims in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders and Pope Francis intervened in the debate about the Paris attacks by saying there were limits to freedom of expression.

During a visit to Washington, British Prime Minister David Cameron gave his response to the events in Belgian.

“It’s still early days in terms of getting information but it looks like yet another indication of the huge risk that we face from Islamist extremist terror in Europe after the attacks in Paris, after events here in America now we see this.”

He added: “We have to remain extremely vigilant we have to take all the steps we can to beat this evil. I’ll be discussing this issue with Barack Obama this evening.”

Read more via our ‘Media Partner,’ Independent.co.uk


President Obama moves to normalize relations with Cuba

By Tanya Blake

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The sudden and shocking change in policy was announced simultaneously by Obama in Washington and Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana at midday after a phone call between the two leaders and the release of an American contractor imprisoned in Cuba for five years.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced a shift in policy toward Cuba. - Image credit: POOL/REUTERS

The U.S. will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending a half-century of Cold War estrangement with the Communist nation just 90 miles off the Florida coast, President Obama said Wednesday.

The thaw was the result of 18 months of hush-hush talks between the two nations, including secret meetings in Canada and the personal involvement of Pope Francis.

The sudden and shocking change in policy was announced simultaneously by Obama in Washington and Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana at midday after a phone call between the two leaders and the release of an American contractor imprisoned in Cuba for five years.

SEE ALSO: Historic Speech in Damascus sends Shock-waves around the World

As part of the policy shift, Obama is easing restrictions on travel to Cuba, including for family visits, official government business and educational activities, and he is seeking to expand economic ties.

The longstanding ban on Cuba’s famous cigars is also gone; American travelers will be able to return home with up to $100 of tobacco or alcohol products from the island for personal consumption.

But normal tourist travel remains banned.

It all represents an extraordinary undertaking by Obama without Congress’ authorization as he begins the final years of his presidency.

“It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous and stable Cuba,” said Obama. “We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse.”

The U.S., he said, will establish an embassy in Havana, where the old one was shuttered in January 1961 after the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power on Jan. 1, 1959.

Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, said, “This decision of President Obama deserves the respect and acknowledgment of our people.” He added, “We have to learn the art of living together with our differences in a different way.”

The old way, during the 1960s, included the failed Bay of Pigs invasion to topple the Castro regime; failed CIA murder plots against Fidel Castro, and the nuclear gamesmanship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Relations between the two nations remained in a deep freeze even as the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Communist nations of Eastern Europe embraced democracy and turned toward the West.

The seeds of change were planted after Obama’s 2012 reelection, when he huddled with advisers and asked them to “think big” about a second-term agenda, including the possibilities of new starts with longstanding U.S. foes such as Iran and Cuba, The Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, church bells pealed across Cuba, and teachers paused for a moment to mark the new relationship between the two longtime enemies.

But the bold stroke was greeted with skepticism and disdain by those opposing liberalized contact with Cuba.

“Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, much less normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom — and not one second earlier,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also denounced the rapprochement. “Today’s policy announcement is misguided and fails to understand the nature of the regime in Cuba that has exerted its authoritarian power over the Cuban people for 55 years,” said Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants.

But Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro characterized Obama’s move as “a gesture that was courageous and historically necessary.”

The deal was facilitated by a swap of long-imprisoned spies, Cuba’s promise to release 53 Cubans identified as political prisoners by the United States government, and Havana’s release of Alan Gross, 65, of Maryland, who was arrested in 2009 while working in Cuba.

During five years of detention, Gross lost 100 pounds, several teeth and sight in one eye, and he contemplated suicide.

On Wednesday morning, he was picked up by a U.S. government jet in Havana and flown to Washington. The father of two traveled back to America with three U.S. lawmakers and his wife, Judy, who unceasingly led the call for his release. A corned beef on rye and bowls of popcorn were onboard for his trip home.

He was busted while working on a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development to set up Internet access for Cuban Jews. Cuban authorities accused him of spying and sentenced him to 15 years in prison for crimes against the state.

He said he was innocent and described himself as a “trusting fool” for going to Cuba, but family members say he never got angry at the Cuban people — instead watching local baseball and jamming with his jailers.

“It’s good to be home,” an emotional Gross said in his lawyer’s office, with a pair of U.S. flags as the backdrop.

He quickly offered his support for the President’s move to alter America’s relationship with Cuba.

“Two wrongs never make a right,” said Gross. “I truly hope that we can now get beyond these mutually belligerent policies. … This is game-changing.”

While much will change, the long American embargo on Cuba — which forbids regular travel with the island nation and normal business dealings — will remain.

Only Congress can end the embargo, and that seems unlikely anytime soon, given how negatively Republicans reacted to the deal and the fact that the GOP will take full control of Capitol Hill in January.

The potential opening of the Cuban market could offer lucrative opportunities to American travel companies, farmers, energy producers and rum importers.

Obama and Raul Castro finalized details of the deal during an hourlong Tuesday phone chat. Obama said both men agreed the time was right for action. “We are choosing to cut loose the anchor of the past, because it is entirely necessary to reach a better future,” said Obama.

Their unlikely union was arranged in part by the Pope, who wrote letters to both men urging a change in the nations’ relationship, officials said. Cuban and American officials began secret meetings in June 2013, and at one point Francis hosted talks at the Vatican. “The holy father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision,” said a statement from the Vatican.

As part of the thaw, the U.S. will review its designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, the White House said, and is expected to lift the designation quickly.

Menendez noted that Cuba still harbors accused killer Joanne Chesimard, who remains on the FBI Most Wanted List for the 1973 murder of New Jersey state Trooper Werner Foerster.

Cuban-Americans in New York and New Jersey called Obama’s speech historic — but not all agreed it was a step in the right direction. Older Cuban-Americans, especially those who fled the Castro regime, appeared more opposed than their children and grandchildren.

Manuel Dominguez, 48, came to the Artesano restaurant in Union City, N.J., to ponder the news. “This is going to open a lot of doors for everyone. It will help people here connect with Cubans,” Dominguez said. “I left Cuba when I was 10 years old. My brother still lives there. I hope this new direction helps us connect with our loved ones.”

His son Brandon Dominguez, 21, hopes this will help him to visit his father’s homeland one day. “I grew up here. I’ve never been to Cuba. I’d like to see it one day,” he said. “I hope this opens opportunities for both countries. There aren’t many opportunities for people there now.”

Cuban immigrant Chris Aleman, whose parents and brother still live there, had tears in his eyes when he heard the President’s speech. “I did watch the speech,” Aleman said in the West Village. “It made me very emotional. Finally we’ll have a relationship with Cuba, our families there. It’s not just about my family. This is good for everyone in Cuba.

On Wednesday morning, long-imprisoned Alan Gross was picked up by a U.S. government jet in Havana and flown to Washington. The father of two traveled back to America with three U.S. lawmakers and his wife, Judy, who unceasingly led the call for his release. A corned beef on rye and bowls of popcorn were onboard for his trip home. - Image credit: Lawrence Jackson/The White House

In Miami’s Little Havana, there were tears of joy in a restaurant, applause in a local barbershop and several dozen protesters on the street.

“We shouldn’t do business with dictators,” said John Hernandez. “They’re assassins. They have killed Americans before. I feel disgraced.”

Others, like 27-year-old Daniel Lafuente, praised the olive branch extended by the White House.

“Now there’s going to be a greater enthusiasm for trying out new means of interacting economically, socially, culturally,” said the son of Cuban exiles. “It’s a really big step. Cuba is back on the map.”

Good afternoon. Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba.

In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas.

There’s a complicated history between the United States and Cuba. I was born in 1961 –- just over two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, and just a few months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, which tried to overthrow his regime. Over the next several decades, the relationship between our countries played out against the backdrop of the Cold War, and America’s steadfast opposition to communism. We are separated by just over 90 miles. But year after year, an ideological and economic barrier hardened between our two countries.

Meanwhile, the Cuban exile community in the United States made enormous contributions to our country –- in politics and business, culture and sports. Like immigrants before, Cubans helped remake America, even as they felt a painful yearning for the land and families they left behind. All of this bound America and Cuba in a unique relationship, at once family and foe.

Proudly, the United States has supported democracy and human rights in Cuba through these five decades. We have done so primarily through policies that aimed to isolate the island, preventing the most basic travel and commerce that Americans can enjoy anyplace else. And though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, no other nation joins us in imposing these sanctions, and it has had little effect beyond providing the Cuban government with a rationale for restrictions on its people. Today, Cuba is still governed by the Castros and the Communist Party that came to power half a century ago.

Neither the American, nor Cuban people are well served by a rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born. Consider that for more than 35 years, we’ve had relations with China –- a far larger country also governed by a Communist Party. Nearly two decades ago, we reestablished relations with Vietnam, where we fought a war that claimed more Americans than any Cold War confrontation.

That’s why -– when I came into office -– I promised to re-examine our Cuba policy. As a start, we lifted restrictions for Cuban Americans to travel and send remittances to their families in Cuba. These changes, once controversial, now seem obvious. Cuban Americans have been reunited with their families, and are the best possible ambassadors for our values. And through these exchanges, a younger generation of Cuban Americans has increasingly questioned an approach that does more to keep Cuba closed off from an interconnected world.

While I have been prepared to take additional steps for some time, a major obstacle stood in our way –- the wrongful imprisonment, in Cuba, of a U.S. citizen and USAID sub-contractor Alan Gross for five years. Over many months, my administration has held discussions with the Cuban government about Alan’s case, and other aspects of our relationship. His Holiness Pope Francis issued a personal appeal to me, and to Cuba’s President Raul Castro, urging us to resolve Alan’s case, and to address Cuba’s interest in the release of three Cuban agents who have been jailed in the United States for over 15 years.

Today, Alan returned home –- reunited with his family at long last. Alan was released by the Cuban government on humanitarian grounds. Separately, in exchange for the three Cuban agents, Cuba today released one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba, and who has been imprisoned for nearly two decades. This man, whose sacrifice has been known to only a few, provided America with the information that allowed us to arrest the network of Cuban agents that included the men transferred to Cuba today, as well as other spies in the United States. This man is now safely on our shores.

Having recovered these two men who sacrificed for our country, I’m now taking steps to place the interests of the people of both countries at the heart of our policy.

First, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to reestablish diplomatic relations that have been severed since January of 1961. Going forward, the United States will reestablish an embassy in Havana, and high-ranking officials will visit Cuba.

Where we can advance shared interests, we will -– on issues like health, migration, counter-terrorism, drug trafficking and disaster response. Indeed, we’ve seen the benefits of cooperation between our countries before. It was a Cuban, Carlos Finlay, who discovered that mosquitoes carry yellow fever; his work helped Walter Reed fight it. Cuba has sent hundreds of health care workers to Africa to fight Ebola, and I believe American and Cuban health care workers should work side by side to stop the spread of this deadly disease.

Now, where we disagree, we will raise those differences directly -– as we will continue to do on issues related to democracy and human rights in Cuba. But I believe that we can do more to support the Cuban people and promote our values through engagement. After all, these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach.

Second, I’ve instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. This review will be guided by the facts and the law. Terrorism has changed in the last several decades. At a time when we are focused on threats from al Qaeda to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.

Third, we are taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba. This is fundamentally about freedom and openness, and also expresses my belief in the power of people-to-people engagement. With the changes I’m announcing today, it will be easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, and Americans will be able to use American credit and debit cards on the island. Nobody represents America’s values better than the American people, and I believe this contact will ultimately do more to empower the Cuban people.

I also believe that more resources should be able to reach the Cuban people. So we’re significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba, and removing limits on remittances that support humanitarian projects, the Cuban people, and the emerging Cuban private sector.

I believe that American businesses should not be put at a disadvantage, and that increased commerce is good for Americans and for Cubans. So we will facilitate authorized transactions between the United States and Cuba. U.S. financial institutions will be allowed to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions. And it will be easier for U.S. exporters to sell goods in Cuba.

I believe in the free flow of information. Unfortunately, our sanctions on Cuba have denied Cubans access to technology that has empowered individuals around the globe. So I’ve authorized increased telecommunications connections between the United States and Cuba. Businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries.

These are the steps that I can take as President to change this policy. The embargo that’s been imposed for decades is now codified in legislation. As these changes unfold, I look forward to engaging Congress in an honest and serious debate about lifting the embargo.

Yesterday, I spoke with Raul Castro to finalize Alan Gross’s release and the exchange of prisoners, and to describe how we will move forward. I made clear my strong belief that Cuban society is constrained by restrictions on its citizens. In addition to the return of Alan Gross and the release of our intelligence agent, we welcome Cuba’s decision to release a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team. We welcome Cuba’s decision to provide more access to the Internet for its citizens, and to continue increasing engagement with international institutions like the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross that promote universal values.

But I’m under no illusion about the continued barriers to freedom that remain for ordinary Cubans. The United States believes that no Cubans should face harassment or arrest or beatings simply because they’re exercising a universal right to have their voices heard, and we will continue to support civil society there. While Cuba has made reforms to gradually open up its economy, we continue to believe that Cuban workers should be free to form unions, just as their citizens should be free to participate in the political process.

Moreover, given Cuba’s history, I expect it will continue to pursue foreign policies that will at times be sharply at odds with American interests. I do not expect the changes I am announcing today to bring about a transformation of Cuban society overnight. But I am convinced that through a policy of engagement, we can more effectively stand up for our values and help the Cuban people help themselves as they move into the 21st century.

To those who oppose the steps I’m announcing today, let me say that I respect your passion and share your commitment to liberty and democracy. The question is how we uphold that commitment. I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result. Moreover, it does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. Even if that worked -– and it hasn’t for 50 years –- we know from hard-earned experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos. We are calling on Cuba to unleash the potential of 11 million Cubans by ending unnecessary restrictions on their political, social, and economic activities. In that spirit, we should not allow U.S. sanctions to add to the burden of Cuban citizens that we seek to help.

To the Cuban people, America extends a hand of friendship. Some of you have looked to us as a source of hope, and we will continue to shine a light of freedom. Others have seen us as a former colonizer intent on controlling your future. José Martí once said, “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest.” Today, I am being honest with you. We can never erase the history between us, but we believe that you should be empowered to live with dignity and self-determination. Cubans have a saying about daily life: “No es facil” –- it’s not easy. Today, the United States wants to be a partner in making the lives of ordinary Cubans a little bit easier, more free, more prosperous.

To those who have supported these measures, I thank you for being partners in our efforts. In particular, I want to thank His Holiness Pope Francis, whose moral example shows us the importance of pursuing the world as it should be, rather than simply settling for the world as it is; the government of Canada, which hosted our discussions with the Cuban government; and a bipartisan group of congressmen who have worked tirelessly for Alan Gross’s release, and for a new approach to advancing our interests and values in Cuba.

Finally, our shift in policy towards Cuba comes at a moment of renewed leadership in the Americas. This April, we are prepared to have Cuba join the other nations of the hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas. But we will insist that civil society join us so that citizens, not just leaders, are shaping our future. And I call on all of my fellow leaders to give meaning to the commitment to democracy and human rights at the heart of the Inter-American Charter. Let us leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, the tyranny of drug cartels, dictators and sham elections. A future of greater peace, security and democratic development is possible if we work together — not to maintain power, not to secure vested interest, but instead to advance the dreams of our citizens.

My fellow Americans, the city of Miami is only 200 miles or so from Havana. Countless thousands of Cubans have come to Miami — on planes and makeshift rafts; some with little but the shirt on their back and hope in their hearts. Today, Miami is often referred to as the capital of Latin America. But it is also a profoundly American city -– a place that reminds us that ideals matter more than the color of our skin, or the circumstances of our birth; a demonstration of what the Cuban people can achieve, and the openness of the United States to our family to the South. Todos somos Americanos.

Change is hard –- in our own lives, and in the lives of nations. And change is even harder when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders. But today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do. Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future –- for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.

TRANSCRIPT: Excerpts of Cuban President Raul Castro’s remarks on Cuba policy changes

…We carry forward, given the difficulties, with the actualization of our economic model to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism. There resulted a high-level dialogue, including a telephone conversation I had yesterday with President Barack Obama. We have been able to advance the solutions of some themes of interest to both nations…

…This decision of President Obama deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people. I want to recognize the support of the Vatican, especially Pope Francis, to the betterment of the relations between Cuba and the U.S. Equally, to the Canadian government for helping realize the high-level dialogue between the two countries…

…This does not mean the principal issue has been resolved: the blockade which causes much human and economic damage to our country should cease. Although the blockade has become law, the President of the U.S. can modify it through executive actions…

…We propose to the U.S. government to adopt mutual measures to improve the bilateral climate and advance the normalization of links between our countries, based on the principles of international rights and the United Nations. Cuba reiterates it disposition to participate in organizations like the U.N…

…Recognizing we have profound differences — fundamentally in the themes of national sovereignty, human rights and foreign policy — we reiterate our disposition to dialogue on all these themes. I exhort the United States government to remove the obstacles that impede or restrict the links between our peoples, the families and the citizens of both countries. In particular, relative to travel, direct postal service and telecommunications…

The progress attained in the interchange show it is possible to find solutions to many problems… As we have repeated we should learn the art of coexistence in a civil manner with our differences.

 

TRANSCRIPT: Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks on Cuba policy changes

I was a seventeen year old kid watching on a black and white television set when I first heard an American President talk of Cuba as an “imprisoned island.”

For five and a half decades since, our policy toward Cuba has remained virtually frozen, and done little to promote a prosperous, democratic and stable Cuba. Not only has this policy failed to advance America’s goals, it has actually isolated the United States instead of isolating Cuba.

Since 2009, President Obama has taken steps forward to change our relationship and improve the lives of the Cuban people by easing restrictions on remittances and family travel. With this new opening, the President has committed the United States to begin to chart an even more ambitious course forward.

Beginning more than twenty years ago, I have seen firsthand as three presidents — one Republican and two Democrats — have undertaken a similar effort to change the United States’ relationship with Vietnam. It wasn’t easy. It isn’t complete still today. But it had to start somewhere, and it has worked.

As we did with Vietnam, changing our relationship with Cuba will require an investment of time, energy and resources. Today’s step also reflects our firm belief that the risk and the cost of trying to turn the tide is far lower than the risk and cost of remaining stuck in an ideological cement of our own making.

This new course will not be without challenges, but it is based not on a leap of faith but on a conviction that it’s the best way to help bring freedom and opportunity to the Cuban people, and to promote America’s national security interests in the Americas, including greater regional stability and economic opportunities for American businesses.

In January, as part of the President’s directive to discuss moving toward re-establishment of diplomatic relations, my Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere Roberta Jacobson will travel to Cuba to lead the U.S. Delegation to the next round of U.S.-Cuba Migration Talks. I look forward to being the first Secretary of State in 60 years to visit Cuba. At President Obama’s request, I have also asked my team to initiate a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

Going forward, a critical focus of our increased engagement will continue to be on improving the Cuban Government’s respect for human rights and advocating for democratic reforms within Cuba. Promoting freedom of speech and entrepreneurship and an active civil society will only strengthen Cuban society and help to reintegrate Cuba into the international community.

News Source: AP


The Truth About ISIS & Obama’s Speech – YOU Decide

By Tanya Blake

Follow us: @eotmonline on Twitter| eotm.media on Facebook

By announcing a plan to arm so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels who have directly provided weapons to ISIS terrorists, in addition to air strikes inside Syrian territory, Obama is pouring gasoline on a raging inferno.

SEE ALSO:Israel ill-fated, United States Busted buying STOLEN Oil





Source: Prison Planet

President Barack Obama authorized the start of U.S. airstrikes in Syria and expanded a month long bombing campaign in Iraq to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic militants who recently beheaded two Americans.

SEE President Obama’s Full Speech on ISIL NOW

Read the full text of his speech below:

My fellow Americans, tonight I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.

As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people. Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.

Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. We can’t erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. And that’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge. At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL — which calls itself the “Islamic State.”

Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.

In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide. And in acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists — Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.

So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East — including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. Our Intelligence Community believes that thousands of foreigners — including Europeans and some Americans — have joined them in Syria and Iraq. Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.

I know many Americans are concerned about these threats. Tonight, I want you to know that the United States of America is meeting them with strength and resolve. Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then, we’ve conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. These strikes have also helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. And that’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days. So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.

Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.

First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense. Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.

Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground. In June, I deployed several hundred American servicemembers to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi security forces. Now that those teams have completed their work — and Iraq has formed a government — we will send an additional 475 servicemembers to Iraq. As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission — we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq. But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment. We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control.

Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I call on Congress again to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters. In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its own people — a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.

Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks. Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East. And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.

Fourth, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.

So this is our strategy. And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners. Already, allies are flying planes with us over Iraq; sending arms and assistance to Iraqi security forces and the Syrian opposition; sharing intelligence; and providing billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. Secretary Kerry was in Iraq today meeting with the new government and supporting their efforts to promote unity. And in the coming days he will travel across the Middle East and Europe to enlist more partners in this fight, especially Arab nations who can help mobilize Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria, to drive these terrorists from their lands. This is American leadership at its best: We stand with people who fight for their own freedom, and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.

My administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home. I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL, but I believe we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. So I welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.

Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved — especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.

My fellow Americans, we live in a time of great change. Tomorrow marks 13 years since our country was attacked. Next week marks six years since our economy suffered its worst setback since the Great Depression. Yet despite these shocks, through the pain we have felt and the grueling work required to bounce back, America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.

Our technology companies and universities are unmatched. Our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving. Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades. For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history. Despite all the divisions and discord within our democracy, I see the grit and determination and common goodness of the American people every single day — and that makes me more confident than ever about our country’s future.

Abroad, American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists. It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression, and in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny. It is America — our scientists, our doctors, our know-how — that can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola. It is America that helped remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons so that they can’t pose a threat to the Syrian people or the world again. And it is America that is helping Muslim communities around the world not just in the fight against terrorism, but in the fight for opportunity, and tolerance, and a more hopeful future.

America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden. But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead. From Europe to Asia, from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East, we stand for freedom, for justice, for dignity. These are values that have guided our nation since its founding.

Tonight, I ask for your support in carrying that leadership forward. I do so as a Commander-in-Chief who could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform — pilots who bravely fly in the face of danger above the Middle East, and servicemembers who support our partners on the ground.

When we helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on a distant mountain, here’s what one of them said: “We owe our American friends our lives. Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people.”

That is the difference we make in the world. And our own safety, our own security, depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation and uphold the values that we stand for — timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.

May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America.

RELATED: Obama Approves More Airstrikes Against ISIS in Iraq



What are your thoughts on Obama’s Speech & ISIS aka ISIL? Share in the comments below!

Image credit: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

N-word in the White House: Pro-Obama op-ed, Racism or ‘Stimulating Journalism’?

Published by EOTM News Editor on July 7th, 2014 - in Breaking News, EOTM News, EOTM Politics, News and Politics

By Jimmy Baker

Follow this author on Twitter @getinthe_game

James Lincoln Collier, a columnist for the WestView News in New York — is under fire for calling President Obama a ni**er in its headline.

(“The Nigger in the White House.”) — a disparaging term used for a black person.

Photo: West View News

Our news affiliate, The Raw Story had this to say about the article:

Collier, author of the award-winning children’s book My Brother Sam Is Dead. It is actually supportive of the president, arguing that “these far right voters hate Obama because he is black.”

“The simple truth,” Collier continued, “is that there is still in America an irreducible measure of racism,” which he connects to the position on immigration that allowed David Brat to defeat Eric Cantor in a Republican primary last month.

He wanted to use the word in the headline “to shock [readers] into accepting that there still are people who believe and use this outrageous word.”

George Capsis, the 86-year-old editor and publisher of the paper, prefaced the column by noting that, in it, “Jim reminded me that The New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that WestView should.” He also mentioned that the paper’s editorial staff “continues to object” to the word’s use.

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In fact, Collier’s column shared a page with another titled “The Headline Offends Me,” written by the paper’s African-American columnist, Alvin Hall. “The decision to use the headline feels misguided to me,” he wrote, adding that “just seeing the n-word in a headline or in an article always makes me bristle.”

Previously the journalist penned the novel, Jump Ship to Freedom, which has been frequently challenged and removed from libraries because of the use of the word “nigger” by characters in the book.

What are your thoughts? Share in the comments below.

By Scott Kaufman — Contributing author Jimmy Baker (EOTM Media)


President Obama vilified for Hiding Public Information from American Taxpayers

Though President Obama vowed to run the most transparent administration in history, his White House has quietly empowered itself to censor or delay the release of information in ways that not even Richard Nixon envisioned during the Watergate scandal, according to federal workers on the front lines of processing open records requests.

The workers, who spoke to The Washington Times only on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said that an April 15, 2009, memo from White House Counsel Gregory Craig to all federal agencies has slowed, and in some cases nixed, the public release of government documents that would have been released under prior administrations.

It also has given the White House the ability to track in real time who is asking for derogatory information about the Obama administration, the workers said.

Mr. Craig’s memo instructed federal agencies that they no longer could release under the Freedom of Information Act documents that contained “White House equities” — essentially any information involving or referencing communications with the White House — without first clearing it with presidential attorneys.

Because the White House is not a federal agency, it is exempt under the FOIA law and, as a matter of general principle, is not supposed to interfere with agency reviews of FOIA requests or the release of federal agency documents, legal analysts say.

But the memo — which first surfaced about a year ago — has been interpreted by agencies as requiring an extra layer of review for “anything that could embarrass the White House,” said one longtime FOIA officer at a federal agency.

Added a second FOIA officer who worked in the Bush and Obama administrations: “Under the Obama administration, I am personally aware of multiple cases [including those in litigation] in which records were sent to the White House simply because they dealt with a politically hot topic. The records did not originate from or even mention the White House.”

Such sweeping reviews were never required during the first five decades of the law’s existence, and the new instructions have had a chilling effect on what federal agencies have been willing to release to the public, the workers said.

“If it sounds vague, it’s because it was,” one FOIA officer said. “Congressman Darrell Issa once commented that the White House was keeping a Nixonian list of FOIA requesters and if you think about it, it’s exactly that. They not only want to know what is sent out from the government, but also who’s doing the asking.”

SEE ALSO: World News: ISIS establishes ‘caliphate,’ changes name

Mr. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told The Times that the White House’s use of the equities policy to commandeer federal agency FOIA requests was illegitimate.

“When the White House puts itself in the role of information gatekeeper, they’re politicizing a process that is governed by the law and agency rules,” Mr. Issa said. “Courts have recognized that some internal White House conversations deserve protection from disclosure, but their claims that they can hide interactions with public agencies are illegitimate.”

White House officials declined to speak about the directive or how it has impeded the release of information, saying only that the memo “speaks for itself” and that its attorneys want to review only information that affects the White House or the president.

White House spokesman Matthew Lehrich told The Times via email, “It’s simply false to say that agencies consult the White House on all FOIAs. As has long been the practice across administrations of both parties, agencies consult the White House as a courtesy when White House equities are implicated.”

When The Times called Mr. Lehrich and asked him to clarify the policy by defining the phrase “White House equities,” he demurred. “I’m going to let the memo speak for itself and wish you a good day,” he said.

ACLU says ‘very troubling’

Open-government advocates said they had not heard of the memo — even though it first surfaced in media reports a year ago — and were worried about its impact on the daily flow of information Congress intended to make public when it passed the landmark FOIA law in 1966.

“In our experience, the White House generally gets involved in Freedom of Information Act requests in only exceptional cases,” said Alex Abdo, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union that frequently sues to force the government to release information it doesn’t want to make public. “It would be very troubling if the effect of White House review of FOIA requests were to slow down access to information of public interest because of the possibility of embarrassment.

“Congress passed FOIA to shine a light on government, not to insulate governmental waste and mismanagement from public accountability,” he said.

Anne Weismann, chief counsel of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog ethics group that sued to force the Obama White House to better disclose its visitors logs, said the impact of the memo depends on how federal agencies are interpreting it.

“It’s hard to evaluate the policy if you don’t know what it means. Is this overbroad? Are they asking for something that is inappropriate under the FOIA? The real question is, how is this applied,” she said. “Obviously, if agencies use the consultation process to delay or to prevent the disclosure of documents that are not exempt, then that is a problem.”

Advance requests sought

FOIA officers at the federal agencies said the edict has created an additional series of reviews for documents mentioning the White House that did not exist before Mr. Obama took office, and it has slowed the release of information.

“Under the Bush administration, the White House would sometimes want a heads-up if very sensitive information had been requested, but they didn’t care if they heard about it after documents had already been sent out; FOIA requests were not going there for approval,” said one FOIA officer. “What changed with President Obama’s administration was that the White House wanted to see requests far in advance, and they wanted to control the timing of the release and what was going to be released.”

Mr. Craig, who left the White House in 2010, specifically said in his memo that any employees of federal agencies considering releasing government memos or data under FOIA must “consult with the White House Counsel’s Office on all document requests that may involve documents with White House equities.”

The term “White House equities” does not appear anywhere in the Freedom of Information Act, the landmark law Congress enacted to empower citizens to request and receive information in a timely manner from government agencies.
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In fact, Congress explicitly exempted the White House from the law, meaning documents specifically created by the White House were not required to be released. But the law left it to federal agencies to process the release of all other information requested by citizens, even documents that mentioned the president or White House officials.

To defenders of open government, Mr. Craig’s edict stands in stark contrast to the spirit of a Jan. 21, 2009, memo authored by Mr. Obama the day after he took office in which he vowed that his administration would promote “an unprecedented level of openness in government.”

Beyond Nixon

Nixon is most famous for trying to block the release of government information, invoking “executive privilege” in a failed effort to block embarrassing information from reaching Watergate investigators.

Most presidents since — from Ronald Reagan during Iran-Contra to Bill Clinton during impeachment — have invoked executive privilege to block the narrow release of information they believed impinged on their constitutional right to get private advice.

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But none before Mr. Obama has ever envisioned a concept that all federal agency documents that mention White House communications be subjected to a review by the president’s attorneys before they would be released, legal analysts said.

Since the edict, information releases have slowed. By the end of 2011, the Obama administration faced 644,000 FOIA requests and a record-breaking backlog that jumped from 70,000 to more than 83,000 during the same period. FOIA lawsuits also increased by 28 percent during the administration’s first term.

Congress held a hearing last week that showed Environmental Protection Agency employees believed the White House had veto power over the release of FOIA materials, noting that the agency asked White House counsel whether it would “concur” with the release of documents.

While questioning EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Mr. Issa threatened during that hearing to hold the agency in contempt for not turning over subpoenaed documents that demonstrate a pattern of White House intervention.

“This investigation has everything to do with White House interference with the discovery process,” Mr. Issa told her. “When we issue a subpoena, to then go into a series of negotiations, what’s going to be redacted and so on with people at the White House, that is now part of the subpoena request.”

Ms. McCarthy responded, “Mr. Chairman, this is a long-standing practice.”

Mr. Issa fired back by saying, “Practices are written in the Constitution, you do not — there is no precedent for this — and quite frankly, the long-standing practice that you speak of is a long-standing practice that I inherited because for two years, the minority [Democratic Party], when they were in the majority, did no oversight.”

Information slowing

Other lawmakers have made similar inquiries about why the release of information has slowed under Mr. Obama.

A Nov. 9, 2010, letter from Treasury Department Inspector General Eric M. Thorson to Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, revealed that investigators in the department confirmed that the new layer of review for White House equities was affecting the release of public information under FOIA.

To address the delays, Mr. Thorson’s office attached a report citing reasons such as “addressing the equities meant to coordinate with other offices having an interest in the requested material” and noted that “White House equities” were involved “when a member of the White House staff was a recipient or commenter in an email chain.”

Cause of Action, a government ethics group in Washington that uncovered the Craig memo from a federal whistleblower, said the White House should not intervene in FOIA decisions.

“The very people who are shielded from FOIA are now in charge of reviewing FOIA requests being sent to federal agencies,” said Daniel Epstein, the group’s executive director. “There’s a huge risk that the White House is influencing FOIA decisions of other federal agencies, assessing documents it otherwise may not have seen and is interjecting itself into the FOIA process, which is bad for transparency.”

Lanny Davis, an attorney for the Clinton White House, said he, too, doesn’t believe the White House “should generally be involved in any decisions to comply with FOIA.”

“Attorneys who have filed FOIA requests under both Republican and Democratic administrations almost all agree that FOIA is a statute too often seen by some in government as a threat to be resisted,” said Mr. Davis, who helped Mr. Clinton navigate a series of scandals in the 1990s. “I wish the White House — any White House — would order agencies to fully and rapidly comply, rather than drag their feet.”

News Source: Survivalbackpack.us

 

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World News: ISIS establishes ‘caliphate,’ changes name

Published by EOTM News Editor on June 29th, 2014 - in Breaking News, EOTM Politics, News and Politics, World News

By Cain Cawthon

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After months of gaining territory, weapons, and cash, ISIS is putting its global credibility on the line in a play that could backfire spectacularly.

On Sunday morning, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, or ISIL, if you must) pronounced the reformation of the caliphate—the historical Islamic state that once stretched over much of the modern-day Muslim world—with ISIS emir Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as the man in charge.

Reuters

It’s arguably the boldest move yet by the group, which renamed itself simply The Islamic State. But if ISIS isn’t careful, this could be the moment when all of its gains in Iraq and Syria are squandered; when would-be allies are alienated; and when the group’s critics within the jihadi community were proven right all along.

In the statement—released in Arabic, English, German, French, and Russian—ISIS claimed that it had fulfilled all the legal requirements for the caliphate and that all existing jihadi groups and indeed all Muslims around the world were religiously obligated to swear loyalty to the new Caliph Ibrahim (using the name provided by ISIS in the course of proving that Baghdadi has the required lineage for the title).

Prior to this pronouncement, my assessment was that there was almost no way ISIS could exit June in worse shape than it entered the month, and that still holds. But July is beginning to look like an open question. ISIS, an al Qaeda breakaway group, had made a bold move to seize territory in Iraq that had resulted in tremendous gains in both equipment and money. Even if it lost all of the territory it gained in June, it would still retain many of those spoils, with new clout, status and physical assets to compete with the other jihadi groups operating in Syria and near the Iraq border.

The declaration of the caliphate is a massive gamble that puts many of these gains at risk, although the potential benefits are also substantial. Here’s a quick rundown of the moving parts:

Competition with al Qaeda

As I’ve discussed previously, ISIS has been competing with the original al Qaeda for leadership of the global jihadist movement (a great history of the conflict can be found here by Aaron Zelin).

ISIS’s recent gains in Iraq projected strength and dynamism, while AQ Classic looked weak and indecisive. AQ has maintained a slim but diminishing lead over ISIS among key influencers in the movement, and more recent data suggested that it was hurting AQC in fundraising networks, although it also appeared to be diminishing enthusiasm for the jihad in Syria overall.

RELATED: Washington secretly backs rebels to fight al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) in Syria

The pronouncement of the caliphate is sure to be wildly controversial on religious grounds, but ultimately it could cut either way. The backlash may harden the pro-AQ segment of the global jihadist movement against ISIS, especially with the announcement’s flat out demand that all other jihadist groups are religiously obligated to pledge loyalty to ISIS. But it will also generate some enthusiasm from footsoldiers and different segments of the global movement that see ISIS as a rising star.

There is a risk of high-level defections from AQ to ISIS, particularly in North Africa, where several groups and segments of groups have already broadly telegraphed their sympathies toward ISIS. A significant number of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) supporters in Yemen have also been showing signs of sympathies to ISIS for some time. Since the announcement, social networks in the neighborhood of AQAP appear to be supportive.

ISIS’s Newest Recruits Are 10 Years Old -- Ahmed Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty

On the other hand, Muslims worldwide are likely, on the whole, to react negatively to the pronouncement. The question here is how many currently nonviolent radicals will jump toward ISIS and how many will jump away from it. Again, this is a high-risk, high-reward scenario for ISIS. It could reap considerable benefits, but the backlash could be severe.

Regardless of how that plays out, today’s pronouncement will likely generate new streams of fundraising and fighter recruitment, even as it depresses others.

The long term outcome is unclear, but much may depend on what happens next in Iraq.

On the Ground in Iraq
ISIS made its gains in Iraq as part of a coalition of Sunnis with grievances against the Maliki government. Those groups may have seen a temporary advantage in aligning with ISIS, but the pronouncement of the caliphate sends a clear message to all of ISIS’s Iraqi partners that they are the subordinate parties in this alliance. ISIS may have cleared this move with its key allies in advance, but if it didn’t, the power grab could splinter the very coalition that allowed it to seize territory in the first place.More significantly, the calculus of holding territory has now changed. Prior to the pronouncement, ISIS could have fallen back to its previous domain along the border of Iraq and Syria with little loss of face and a huge increase in its warfighting capabilities, thanks to captured weaponry and millions of dollars worth in stolen funds.Now, if ISIS is driven back, Baghdadi risks being seen as the man who grasped for the caliphate, held it in his hands for one brief shining moment, then lost it all.Such a loss would highlight the hubris of ISIS in making this pronouncement and would also seem to validate the arguments of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri that ISIS’s methodology was flawed and that the splinter group was putting the cart of an Islamic state ahead of the horse of fighting jihad.The question now is how confident ISIS is about its ability to hold substantial territory in Iraq (reports suggest it is under heavy pressure in Tikritalready, and the United States has yet to deploy any airpower against the insurgents). If ISIS made sure its partners are the ground would support the pronouncement and if it withheld the pronouncement until it was sure it had consolidated its gains, then it is in a position to reap benefits.If ISIS rushed its timeline or overruled objections from local partners, it may lose its territorial gains quickly and end up condemned for an arrogant and ill-advised power grab. The wording of its pronouncement certainly reeks of arrogance, demanding an oath of loyalty from essentially all Muslims, with dissenters being labeled sinners at best, or apostates at worst.At best, and in the absence of any surprising new information (which could certainly be coming), ISIS appears to be standing on the edge of a precipice with an adolescent faith in its ability to keep its balance.
PureVPNIt may be able to walk that line, but it’s a stunning and unnecessary risk by a group that could have navigated the next few months with excellent odds of an outcome that ranged from good to very good. Now it has introduced a much higher risk of an outcome that is truly bad for its long-term prospects.

One Potential Path Through

There is one factor that could cause all of this to work out dramatically in ISIS’s favor, but it would require a large number of variables to fall into place. That factor is U.S. intervention.

The prospect of a U.S. military intervention, most likely in the form of air strikes, was already problematic. While there are many who understandably favor hitting ISIS in order to deny it control of territory in Iraq, such a strike would bestow on ISIS the one thing it has until now been unable to definitively claim—legitimacy. A potential new line of jihadist argument then emerges: The caliphate was restored, but it was directly destroyed by the United States.

(Iran could also possibly fill the villain role here, resulting in a different possible tectonic shift in the global movement. And I suppose the Israelis could also intervene, which would probably overturn the entire playing board and start a new, very unappealing game.)

Even before today’s pronouncement, there was a substantial risk that U.S. strikes on ISIS would bolster its standing in the global jihadist community, allowing it to gain ground against al Qaeda in the battle for hearts and minds.

U.S. strikes could also subvert the trend in recent years toward the localization of jihadist conflicts or unite the currently splintered jihadist movement against the U.S. as its primary enemy once more, with ISIS subsequently holding a central position in a unified global struggle.

If the pronouncement of the caliphate is received as legitimate by some significant number of jihadists and their stay-at-home supporters worldwide and…

If the United States is seen to be the most important contributor to destroying that nascent caliphate…

…there could be cascading consequences on a scale we have not previously seen. It could result in waves of terrorist attacks in the West, a surge in foreign fighter recruitment and fundraising, and significant instability in the remaining Middle Eastern states that aren’t already experiencing it.

But those are two extremely large ifs.

If this has been ISIS’s plan all along, it is audacious but borders on the insane. It is an all-or-nothing gambit. ISIS has meaningfully put its existence on the line with today’s pronouncement. It is playing the lottery, and while the odds are stacked against it, sometimes people win the lottery.

Above all else, it is clear that ISIS is an adrenaline addict. If the group survives, it may be emboldened to take even greater risks in the future, and our strategy needs to be informed by that understanding.


The article originally appeared at Intelwire, which delivers breaking news, primary source research, and critical analysis on terrorism, homegrown extremism, and national security.

 

Washington secretly backs rebels to fight al-Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) in Syria

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According to the Telegraph & the Washington Times the United States is backing ‘friendly’ rebels with millions in cash and non lethal aid to take on extremists in Syria

A Free Syrian Army fighter fires an anti-tank missile - Photo: reuters

The United States and Gulf countries have been secretly backing efforts by opposition rebels to destroy al-Qaeda’s most extreme wing in Syria, diplomats and rebels involved in the plan have told The Telegraph.

Washington has also been quietly supporting moves by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to give weapons and cash to rebel groups to fight al-Shams (ISIS) in Syria.

One source said the US was itself handing out millions of dollars to rebel groups best equipped to take on the extremists while another confirmed America was providing non-lethal aid.

The development marks a new phase in the conflict, with international backers working directly with rebel commanders to target al-Qaeda cells, who are seen as a major threat by Western intelligence agencies.

Officials say they are tracking the movements of funds from various wealthy individuals in the Persian Gulf, but the governments of key Gulf countries are reluctant to crack down.

“Unless the money is actually in the U.S. financial system, you have to point out to these governments where the money is going and try to work with them to make sure it goes to legitimate groups,” said one U.S. official who spoke with The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of intelligence related to tracking such money.

“The U.S. can’t shut down bank accounts in Kuwait or Qatar,” the official said. “We can tell them, ‘Look at what this person is doing.’”

The extent to which that money is aiding the rise of extremists in Syria seemed to burst open recently when 11 Syrian rebel groups, including the Nusra Front — an organization U.S. officials link to al Qaeda — banded together in a public rejection of the more secular political opposition groups outside the country that are receiving aid from Washington.

By calling for a new government in Syria to be ruled by Islamic law, the newly formed coalition dealt a major blow to U.S.-led efforts to support a democratic alternative to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A report released last month by Human Rights Watch said members of the Nusra Front and ISIS were among rebel fighters who killed some 190 unarmed civilians during an August offensive on villages perceived to be supporting the Assad government. The report said 67 of the civilians were slain at close range while trying to flee.

The bottom line is that the landscape of extremist groups among the opposition has grown increasingly complex over the past year, said Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, an advocacy arm of Syria’s more secular political opposition that lobbies in Washington for a greater U.S. role in the conflict.

An image uploaded on June 14, 2014 on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin allegedly shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) executing dozens of captured Iraqi security forces members at an unknown location in the Salaheddin province. (AFP Photo)

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has increasing power and influence in places like Aleppo and Raqqa Province,” said Mr. Mustafa. “But at the same time, other Islamist battalions have coalesced and improved their organizational structures while rejecting both the ISIS and the more secular outside political coalition.”

When it comes to ISIS, said Mr. Moustafa, “you’re talking about al Qaeda’s network, and I would assume most of the aid and resources they’re getting comes directly from Iraq, where the system was already in place to raise money going back to the rise of al Qaedain Iraq several years ago.”

He said that “all of these groups are getting assistance” and that the task of pinning down the precise source of the money is difficult. “That’s the million-dollar question,” he said.

The rise of extremists among Syria’s rebels, meanwhile, has set off a political storm in Turkey, where the leadership of the nation’s main opposition party is accusing the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of supporting al Qaeda-linked groups in the nearby war zone.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who heads the Republican People’s Party — or CHP, as it is known in Turkey — declared in a speech last month that al Qaeda “is now under the protective wings of Erdogan.”

Analysts say such claims are based mainly on politics, but also partly on the ease with which jihadist foreign fighters seeking to join Syria’s opposition rebels have been able to cross the long border between Turkey and its southern neighbor over the past two years.

The situation prompted concern among some national security and intelligence circles in Washington last month when a German news report was posted online that purported to show foreign fighters from around the world, bound for Syria, flowing through a jihadist safe house along the Turkish side of the border.

The report showed footage of a gray-bearded man who, according to the report, had arrived from California to join the jihad in Syria.

Asked about the German report, one senior U.S. intelligence official told The Times that “it would be inaccurate to suggest the government of Turkey is helping foreign jihadists enter Syria.”

“Preventing extremists from crossing the roughly 500-mile Turkish border to join the Syrian opposition is among the many security challenges Turkey faces,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of not being named in this article.

A Turkish government source, who also asked not to be named, said the U.S. comment was unsurprising “because American authorities are very well aware of our operations against al Qaeda.”

“To claim that Turkey is supporting terrorism is an insult to Turkey,” said the Turkish source. “We’re trying to control our borders as much as we can.”

Others say the situation is complex and nuanced by Turkey’s domestic and regional political strategies.

Hugh Pope, an Istanbul-based program director for the International Crisis Group, said the Erdogan government may have deliberately blurred its border with Syria in order to provide aid for hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing into Turkey from Syria, but dismissed the notion that the Erdogan government supports al Qaeda-linked fighters crossing the other way.

“This is certainly not Turkey embracing al Qaeda,” Mr. Pope said in an interview with The Times. “Al Qaeda has blown plenty of stuff up in Turkey. Turkey is an enemy to al Qaeda and has been a partner to the United States in aiding the fight against al Qaeda in all kinds of ways.”

Paul Pillar, a former CIA officer who now teaches at Georgetown University, said that “if the Erdogan government is relaxed about aid getting into the hands of Nusra, it’s because they see Nusra as one of the more effective fighters against Assad and not because this is some kind of backdoor way of aiding whatever particular ideology Nusra represents.”

News Source: Telegraph & Washington Times