America on a War Path

SUBHEAD: Around the world the USA military is challenging Russia, Iran and China as the pot boils.

By Juan Wilson on 13 October 2016 for Island Breath  -

Image above: American and Russian flags in flames. From

The United States seems to be unable to handle its any of its substantial problems or even identify them. Looking at the presidential race it would seem the most important issue is who-grabbed-who-where.  It comes down to deciding who is dirtier between Trumps or Clinton.

No debate about finding peaceful solutions in the Middle East, Eastern Europe or South China Sea. No back-and-forth on ways to avoid the climate catastrophe we face. No proposals for getting off dirty fossil fuel dependence. No plans for mitigating the damage from the nearing economic bubble collapse.

Both Trump and Clinton have their bogeymen. For Trump its China, for Clinton its Russia. Both these candidates seemed poised to take a punch at their nemesis.

Both Clinton and Trump agree on vilifying Iran. They see Iran's proxy Hezbollah as the source of many evils in the Middle East beginning in the 1980s with the Lebanese Civil War to today with "tentacles" in Yemen and Syria. But it gets complicated. 

It seems Iran is the nexus between Russia and China. Both Russia and China are Iran's neighbors. Russia and Iran share borders on the Caspian Sea and China and Iran share borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Iran is also a longtime ally of Syria and its current ruling Assad family. And, since the United States dumped Saddam Hussein and the Sunni leaders in Iraq, Iran has had an opening to the Shia leadership in Iraq. And the only thing that separates Syria from Iran is Iraq.

So China and Russia and Iran all have more close vital interests in the area than the United States. 

American resentment for Iran links us to continuing confrontation with both Chinese and Russian activities in the region.

We've been at war there for a very long time. It should be noted how very far away from the United States this part of the world is and how it has proved to create for us quagmires in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria.  

Our potential "enemies" have been building up their capabilities as we have spilled blood and treasure in the sand. The sounds of our saber rattling will not strike them as so terrifying the next time it comes down to a fight.

US joins Saudis in Yemen conflict

SUBHEAD: US actively joins Yemen conflict with cruise missile strikes on anti-Saudi targets.

By Tyler Durden on 13 October 2016 for Zero Hedge -

Image above: USS Mason (DDG-87) fires an SM-2  missile during a March 2016 exercise. Photo by US Navy. From (

We can now put away any speculation whether the US will limit its support and arming of Saudi Arabia in its ongoing campaign over Yemen over "war crime" concerns.

Overnight, the U.S. military not only did not rebuke the Saudis for a military campaign that has claimed nearly 10,000 innocent civilian lives, but became the latest entrant in the Yemen offensive, when it launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, in what was supposedly a retaliation after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said.

Cited by Reuters, U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. Navy destroyer USS Nitze launched the Tomahawk cruise missiles around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT). The strikes, authorized by President Barack Obama, represent Washington's first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen's conflict.

As we reported previously, U.S. officials said there growing indications - if no official proof - that Houthi fighters, or forces aligned with them, were responsible for Sunday's attempted strikes, in which two coastal cruise missiles designed to target ships failed to reach the destroyer.

And like on all previous occasions when the US got involved in a nation's sovereign affairs, the Pentagon stressed the limited nature of the strikes, aimed at radar that enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. Navy ship USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday.

What it did, however, was make Saudi incursions into Yemen even easier, providing the Saudi airforce a corridor deep into the country which making sure Yemen was unable to retaliate against its invaders.

Of course, the official line is different. "These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook adding that "these radars were active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on ships in the Red Sea," including the USS Mason, one of the officials said, adding the targeted radar sites were in remote areas where the risk of civilian casualties was low.

In retrospect one now wonders if the "cruise missiles" that fell close to the US ships were merely the latest false flag providing the US cover to launch another foreign intervention.To be sure, the Houthis, who are battling the internationally-recognized government of Yemen President Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, denied any involvement in Sunday's attempt to strike the USS Mason.

On Thursday, the Houthis reiterated a denial that they carried out the strikes and said they did not come from areas under their control, a news agency controlled by the group reported a military source as saying.  The allegations were false pretexts to "escalate aggression and cover up crimes committed against the Yemeni people", the source said.

it wouldn't be the first time that the US has done just that to launch an offensive war (without Congressional approval). Sure enough, the US from immediately launching a strategic attack.
According to Reuters, the US military official identified the areas in Yemen where the US strikes took place as near Ras Isa, north of Mukha and near Khoka.

There may have been another reason for the strikes: shipping sources told Reuters sites were hit in the Dhubab district of Taiz province. As the map shows, the area impacted by US air strikes overlooks the Bab al-Mandab Straight known for fishing and smuggling; also known for being one of the world's busiest transit spots.

The missile incidents, along with an Oct. 1 strike on a vessel from the United Arab Emirates, add to questions about safety of passage for military ships around the Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the world's busiest shipping routes.

This latest US attack appears to be just the beginning: Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook warned against any future attacks, adding that "The United States will respond to any further threat to our ships and commercial traffic, as appropriate."

Others chimed in:
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a leading member of a Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting to end Houthi control, denounced the attacks on the Mason as an attempt to target the freedom of navigation and to inflame the regional situation. 

Although Thursday's strikes against the radar aim to undercut the ability to track and target U.S. ships, the Houthis are still believed to possess missiles that could pose a threat.

Reuters has reported that the coastal defense cruise missiles used against the USS Mason had considerable range, fuelling concern about the kind of weaponry the Houthis appear willing to employ and some of which, U.S. officials believe, is supplied by Iran.  One of the missiles fired on Sunday traveled more than two dozen nautical miles before splashing into the Red Sea off Yemen's southern coast, one U.S. official said.
And suggesting that Yemen is about to become the next major geopolitical hotzone, earlier today Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that Iran sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, establishing a military presence in waters off Yemen where the U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes on areas controlled by Iran-backed Houthi forces.

"Iran's Alvand and Bushehr warships have been dispatched to the Gulf of Aden to protect trade vessels," Tasnim reported.
As a result, we expect many more "false flag" events in the coming days.

British has Green Light in Syria
SUBHEAD: Royal Air Force pilots can shoot down Russian jets over Syria if they feel threatened.

By Tyler Durden on 13 October 2016 for Zero Hedge -


Image above: A British Tornado is one of a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing multi-role combat aircraft manufactured by Panavia  for Britain, Italy and Germany. From (

As the US officially enters the Yemen military campaign, the UK appears ready and willing to precipitate a catalytic event from which there is no going back.

With relations between Russia and the West at post-Cold War lows and deteriorating fast, Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots have been given the go-ahead to shoot down Russian military jets when flying missions over Syria and Iraq, if they are endangered by them.

The development comes with warnings that the UK and Russia are now "one step closer" to being at war, according to the Sunday Times.

While the RAF's Tornado pilots have been instructed to avoid contact with Russian aircraft while engaged in missions for Operation Shader, the codename for the RAF's anti-Isis work in Iraq and Syria, their aircraft have been armed with air-to-air missiles and the pilots have been given the green light to defend themselves if they are threatened by Russian pilots.

"The first thing a British pilot will do is to try to avoid a situation where an air-to-air attack is likely to occur — you avoid an area if there is Russian activity," an unidentified source from the UK's Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) told the Sunday Times.

"But if a pilot is fired on or believes he is about to be fired on, he can defend himself.

We now have a situation where a single pilot, irrespective of nationality, can have a strategic impact on future events."

Where things get tricky is the qualifier "if he believes he is about to be fired on" - since this makes open engagement a function of threat evaluation in real time during stressed conditions, the likelihood of an escalation that could result in two warplanes shooting at each other, just jumped significantly. 

The RAF Tornados aircraft will be armed with heat-seeking Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (Asraams, also called AIM-132 missiles), the IBT adds. These weapons, which cost £200,000 each, have a longer range than other air-to-air missiles, allowing RAF pilots to shoot down enemy aircraft without being targeted themselves.

Providing cover to the largely underreported, if substantial escalation, according to the Sunday Times report an appraisal carried out by UK defence officials said: "It took six days for Russia to strike any Isis targets at all. Their air strikes have included moderate opposition groups who have been fighting to defend their areas from Isis.

Among the targets hit were three field hospitals." In the past 24 hours Russia's Defence Ministry said that it has continued its air strikes on IS positions in Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Raqqa. It reported that the attacks resulted in the "complete destruction" of "53 fortified areas and strong points with armament and military hardware", seven ammunition depots, four field camps of "terrorists", one command centre, and artillery and mortar batteries.

Russia has countered that US airstrikes have failed to make much of an impact on ISIS targets, and as reported last month, a "mistaken" strike by the US coalition forces killed over 60 Syrian soldiers in a move Russia accused of being a provocation to war.

The Sunday Times' report quoted a defence source as saying: "Up till now RAF Tornados have been equipped with 500lb satellite-guided bombs — there has been no or little air-to-air threat. But in the last week the situation has changed. We need to respond accordingly."

But another source of the original story summarized the severity of the situation best when he said that "we need to protect our pilots but at the same time we're taking a step closer to war.

It will only take one plane to be shot down in an air-to-air battle and the whole landscape will change."

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Russia warns of shooting down US jets 10/6/16

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