The Business of War

The only “racket” there is wherein “the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives” — Major General Butler

Below, you’ll find the Reasoning & Rationale to what we call a Bill-Request. Once certain milestones are met, as defined HERE, lawyers will be called upon to draft what will then become a Bill-Demand to Congress and the President.

“In war, truth is the first casualty.”


Published in 2015, then updated.

At the time of his passing in 1940, Smedley D. Butler was the most decorated soldier to have served in the U.S. Marine Corps. In his service to country, he made the rank of Major General, the highest those days. By the end of his career, Butler had been awarded sixteen medals, five for heroism . He was one of only nineteen men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of only three to receive both the Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to receive the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate acts of valor in combat. As for some of what he saw in some wars, here’s what Major General Butler had to say:

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. [War] is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. Out of war, a few make huge fortunes.

I spent 33 years and 4 months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force … I served in all commissioned ranks … And during that period, I spent most of my time being a muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers … I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts — I operated on three continents.

I suspected I was part of a racket at the time — now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

Most American soldiers died fighting foes who posed no threat to the United States. Our soldiers died for secret agendas of which they knew nothing. [Big Business and Wall Street] hid their self-interests behind the flag, and our boys died for [their] bottom line.

“America must remain the planet’s mightiest military by the widest of technological margin. It must be able and willing to kill when it’s justified to kill. But it must pick its fights honestly and wisely.”

Economic Party

Peel back the covers on the motives for modern warfare and, near invariably, you’ll find money a dominant motive. Often, that money will source from oil & gas.

Let’s now rewind in time and then fast forward, to make a connection…

We’ve learned from Paul O’Neill, George W Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, that invading Iraq and cornering its vast oil wealth was Priority #1 of the Administration because Iraq — and invading it — came up, front and center, at the first ever meeting of the President’s National Security Council in January 2001. (Note that the attacks of September the 11th, and its use as a pretext to invade Iraq, was still almost 8 months away from happening when that first NSC meeting was convened in Jan 2001.)

With respect to finding a way to justify the invasion, we’ve found in Ron Suskind’s book The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill:

“It was all about finding a way to do [the invasion]. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this [invasion],’” says O’Neill.

[O’Neill] obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5 2001 [i.e more than 6 months before 9/11], entitled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts,” which included a map of potential areas for exploration.

Fast forward to 2009 and beyond, and it was onto the second component in oil & gas (i.e. gas) that’s fomenting a new war.

This time, the Establishment decided it wanted to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Why? Two reasons, the first pertaining to natural gas pipeline disputes, and the second pertaining to the disputed Golan Heights, its immensely-huge and unheard-of oil reserves, a U.S. led entity called Genie Oil, and the who’s-who sitting on the Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Oil. But let’s look at the first reason for now, and then get to the second reason by means of a link at the bottom of this page, under Related Recommended Reading.

(1) Assad was not letting some natural gas pipeline from U.S. ally Qatar go through its territory to U.S. ally Turkey from where it could get to all of Europe, an energy conduit the U.S. and its allies wanted because:

  • With Qatar laying claim to a near 900 trillion cubic feet and about 14% of the planet’s known natural gas reserves, there was hundreds of billions of dollars to harvest in having the pipeline. Remember, natgas used to be $13 per mmBTU back in June 2008, and — although it sank to under $2 in 2015 — back in 2009/2010 the American government’s fantasy was that there’d be a full blown economic recovery, worldwide, leading to nat-gas going back to its nonsensical 2008 highs.
  • With pro-Assad Iran laying claim to a near 1,100 trillion cubic feet and about 16% of the planet’s known natural gas reserves, a Qatari pipeline — with no Assad — would terminate U.S. archenemy Iran’s proposed pipeline through Syria to Europe.
  • With pro-Assad Russia laying claim to a near 1,800 trillion cubic feet and about 24% of the planet’s known natural gas reserves, a Qatari pipeline — with no Assad — would circumvent European and NATO need for U.S. archenemy Russia to supply them. By starving Russia’s Gazprom of EURO/NATO demand, the intent was to curtail (if not cutoff) the Kremlin’s lifeline of dependence on European reserve currencies, leading to the economic destabilization of Russia eventually, and the fall of Putin finally.
  • The Russians would then no longer be able to hold Europe, or NATO, economic hostage to the threat of supply shortages or outages that could see natural gas prices spiking in Europe, sending economies in the doldrums already into even deeper malaise.

So, yes, Vladimir Putin had fallen out of favor with the West, and having fallen out of bed with the Obama Administration after a tepid attempt at a Russian “reset” by some officials at State, Putin was now first in line to be thrown out the bedroom window as well.

President of the Russian Federation, Putin, ascended to the pinnacle of Russian power in 1999, with the resignation of Yeltsin. The reasons for Yeltsin’s resignation are many. That he’d run around drunk in the middle of the night in his underwear, in Washington DC, was one embarrassment too many; that he’d been held hostage by the West for a multibillion dollar “diversion” of funds from the I.M.F. was one act of corruption too many; that he’d run afoul with Putin and the FSB, successor to the FSK which was in turn a successor to the KGB, for being an accommodator to NATO and being a patsy to Bill Clinton, factored large in the pressure Yeltsin was under, domestically, with the Russian Federation’s intelligence services especially.

That NATO would not continue to encroach on Russia’s borders, by way of the former Soviet satellites of the now defunct Warsaw Pact, mattered a great deal to Putin who vowed to “restore Russia’s honor” and “reinstate Russia’s leadership” in the world. 

The NATO encroachment upon Russia’s borders had begun with Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic entering NATO in 1999. Then, in 2004, NATO celebrated the accession of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

In 2009, on truly an April Fool’s Day to high-up’s in Russia’s military, Albania and Croatia latched on to NATO’s ever elongating chain.

So, when Ukraine came into play in 2014 to the consternation and chagrin of many, Putin and his circle could take no more, and thus the generals annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, in retaliation. (That Crimea had many natural gas fields, onshore and offshore, being drilled by western oil and gas companies prior to annexation, was not lost to Putin’s calculus in making the move.)

On Dec 2 2015, NATO invited Montenegro to start accession talks to become the 29th member of the Alliance. Georgia could be next. What’s left of Ukraine could follow.

No wonder the Kremlin feels besieged from all sides.

Europe as a whole, plus Turkey, consumed about 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2013. Russia supplied a little less than a third of this consumption. Russia also supplied a little less than a third of the European Union’s uranium imports, a little more than a quarter of the EU’s crude oil imports, and about a quarter of the EU’s coal imports. NATO doesn’t like that level of dependence on anyone it’s itching to rattle sabers with.

Not that Russia would cut off supply — it needs the harder currencies of Europe to protect the softness in its Ruble. So, Russia will keep doing what it can to keep its own internals stable. And that means keeping its European customer base intact. All of which made for the collision course that began in 2009 when the Qatari pipeline idea was proposed to Assad, and, under pressure by the Putin & Co, rejected by Assad. 

To assuage at least some of the (somewhat neutral) parties to the contentious issue, Putin got behind the idea of Iran — with gas reserves second in size only to Russia — also supplying Europe, with an Iranian pipeline going through Iraq and Syria. The U.S. government did not like that idea, since Russia was militarily aligned with Iran, an alignment that the West may have tried to dislodge in 2015 with the lifting of sanctions that the E.U. and the U.S. had imposed on Iran.  

While the brinkmanship continues, with NATO feeling cocky and Russia feeling cornered, there is (no doubt) a conflagration brewing in the Middle East, one that could turn serious, very serious, especially as the Russian economy turns down hard into the commodities bloodbath that, by Dec 2015, was showing a major commodity index at a low not seen since 1999.

Putin’s popularity and political life depend on him meeting America head on — an America that Russia’s citizens by and large see as confrontational, hostile. (Just as the U.S. mainstream media likes to portray the Russians as aggressors, Russia’s MSM is more than happy to reciprocate.)

Count on hostilities to escalate as 2017 comes around. For, as we’ve insinuated elsewhere on this site, when the Establishment’s bankers fall and need bailouts all over again in late 2017 or early 2018, the way we spelled out here and here, the Establishment will try its darndest to blame the fall of those bankers and their banks on War, and distract the people from seeing through that liewith War.

Besides, there’s no better way to get oil & gas prices up, temporarily, in a global economy of oversupply and dwindling demand, than channel disruptions throughout the Middle East, brought on by all-out war in the Middle East. The respite (of higher prices) might even save some governments from a popular revolution that leads to extinction. (This file image should give you an idea of how bad things are looking, from a budgetary perspective, for several energy producers, with just crude in free-fall.)

As for ISIS and whatever else infests the area up ahead, what can we say except that “Regime Change”in pursuit of money sourced from oil & gas, in particularcan have inconvenient consequences, the migration to Europe by millions of refugees being just one of them.

The last time we did “Regime Change” in pursuit of oil & gas interests — with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein — we delivered an enemy of Iran (i.e. Saddam’s Iraq) to Iran. By Dec 2015, Iraq’s government was not only allied to Iran’s ayatollahs, but trending fast towards an axis of military cooperation with Moscow. How many tens of thousands of American lives and limbs did we sacrifice to arrive at that end-result!

Per the declassified Department of Defense assessment on Islamic State, as obtained by Judicial Watch, excerpts:

The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.

AQI, through the spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) … is calling … [for] war against the Syrian Regime …

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition, while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

(With Iraq’s oil being pilfered by various infiltrators garnering western support, even Iraq’s taken the other side, in support of the regime.)

It ought to be accepted as fact by now that the American Government has long had a knack for financing and raising its own monsterseven bin Laden would vouch for that.

By now, anyone with half a conscience should know that Islamic State, like al Qaeda, is an American invention, with Saudi co-invention. Once a future president, from perhaps the Economic Party, declassifies those redacted 28 pages, everyone will finally see how much of a co-inventor the Saudis are, on so many things we see as diabolical. 

The week of Nov 16 2015in the aftermath of the Islamic State inspired Paris attacks that killed and maimed hundreds, CNN’s senior White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, asked the following of Barack Obama:

“A lot of Americans have this frustration that they see the United States has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on ISIS. I guess the question is, and if you’ll forgive the language, but why can’t we take out these bastards?”

We are normally not one to quote a Russian official for an answer to to an American journalist’s question to a U.S. President, but Sergei Lavrov may have had the best answer for the clueless mouthpieces of the mainstream media that White House correspondents have become. Here’s what the Foreign Minister of Russia had to say:

“Despite announcing ambitious plans for its coalition against Islamic State, the analysis of those [US-led] airstrikes over a year, lead to the conclusion that they [the U.S. and its allies] were hitting selectively, I would say sparingly, and, on most occasions, didn’t touch those Islamic State units which were capable of seriously challenging the Syrian army.

“Apparently, it’s a kind of a ‘honey is sweet, but the bee stings’ situation: they want Islamic State to weaken Assad as soon as possible to make him leave somehow, but at the same time they don’t want to overly strengthen Islamic State, which may then seize power.

“Russia’s assessment of the US-led antiterror operation in Syria is based on observations of specific results, and there are little results … except the fact that, during this period, the Islamic State has grown on the territories they control.”

Until at least the Russians started their bombing campaign, we heard ISIS was making millions of dollars a day selling stolen raw crude. We heard ISIS had an oil supply route to U.S. NATO ally, Turkey, a route kept off-limits to Western bombing campaigns by order of those Western governments. Just as middlemen were buying from Islamic State, we heard Turkey too was buying at a black market rate from Islamic State. Half-priced oil (at the black market rate) implies there’s 100% profit potential for the middlemen, for Turkey, and whoever else that intermediates after Turkey.

Millions of dollars a daythat’s a whole lot of money in that part of the world, probably enough to recruit a thousand jihadists from just 9am-to-5pm every day. Why was this “funding of terrorists” allowed to go on for so long? If they’d bothered to listen, Sergei Lavrov may have given our so-called journalists, in the ‘prestigious’ White House Press Corps, their answer.

And then there was this nugget (also the same week) from the Director of Central Intelligence, John Brennan, that sort of encapsulates everything:

Criticizing the restraints put on the intelligence community by Edward Snowden’s revelations, DCI Brennan admitted the CIA was privy to “strategic warning” of the Paris attacks, that they were “not a surprise”, and that they’d been planned over “several months”. He then went on to suggest in DCI parlance (which is often mumbo-jumbo, in the interests of national security) that were it not for “a lot of handwringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists”, perhaps the attacks could have been thwarted.

Translation: Americans must accept an evisceration of their Constitutional Rights, or risk attacks by the monster the CIA, itself, gestated to term and delivered.

In conclusion:

Picking a fight with a nuclear-weapons-packed Russia over financial interests, is hardly wise.

Putting our men and women in uniform in harm’s way for any reason related to financial interests, is hardly honest.

Again, as the Economic Party stated under Our Origins:

America must remain the planet’s mightiest military by the widest of technological margin. It must be able to decimate when required to decimate. It must be willing to kill when it’s justified to kill. But it must pick its fights honestly and wisely.

So far, our government has scored poorly on both honesty and wisdom. It’s “High Time” we change that.

From our blog:

On April 5 2017, Donald Trump went from ‘no’ to regime change in Syria, to somewhere between ‘maybe yes’ and ‘definitely yes’ to regime change, in response to a chemical munition going off somewhere in Syria, killing scores of civilians including dozens of children.

Neo-Conservatives and Neo-Liberals could barely contain their glee in Trump’s 180 degree switcharoo to his longstanding posture that regime change in the muslim middle east was a folly of Administrations past, a misadventure leading invariably to a political-vacuum-producing hellhole into which extremists, like ISIS, piled in to fill the void.

Meantime, Libertarian giant Ron Paul and tenacious House Freedom Caucus member Thomas Massie took to questioning the official assignment of blame that Assad ordered the chemical hit. They wondered aloud why Assad would provoke Trump with such a flagrant provocation, when Assad was already winning the civil war, and had a U.S. president looking the other way indifferently.

Just days earlier, Trump had cast aside the ‘overthrow Assad’ stance of the previous administration, much to the dismay — and, in some instances, fury — of Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs everywhere. (McCain, for one, was seething.) So why mess with that presidential indifference?

On the British Broadcasting Corporation’s radio service, former British ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, chimed in with his own questioning of the official assignment of blame that Assad ordered the chemical hit:

“There is no proof that the cause of the explosion was what they said it was. Remember what happened in Iraq…

“I’ve seen testimony alleged from witnesses who said they saw chemical bombs dropping from the air. Well, you cannot see chemical weapons dropping from the air. Such testimony is worthless.

“It does not make sense that Assad would do it. Lets not leave our brains outside the door when we examine evidence. It would be totally self-defeating as shown by the results… Assad is not mad.”

(Peter Ford’s questioning of the official line is here.)

Ron Paul went so far as to suggest that the warmongers in the Establishment (i.e. those who seethe in the absence of war) would not be averse to orchestrating false flag attacks to resume their agenda, the very agenda pursued by Barack Obama in the Oval and Hillary Clinton at State.

(Tom Massie’s questioning of the official line is here. Ron Paul’s questioning of the official line is here.)

The very same day, when Syria and Assad had to be front-and-center in classified conversations at the National Security Council, Stephen “I want to bitch-slap the Establishment” Bannon — a hater of all things ‘neo’ be they neocons or neolibs — got booted out of the N.S.C. so as to perhaps never learn what actually transpired, in the air and on the ground, in regard to the incident that released the deadly sarin gas.

Numerous reports suggested Mr. Bannon threatened to quit in response to the expulsion from the NSC — a demotion by any measure to anyone who understands the White House pecking order. But, the word is, he’d been reeled back into staying on by billionaire Breitbart shareholder Rebekah Mercer.

Meantime, some folks we know were on the receiving end of a number of communiqués from producers of alternative media — yes, in the blogosphere, where, sometimes, the real news is found. The bloggers had asked: If the chem-bombing of a rebel-held piece of Syria was indeed Assad’s doing, wouldn’t he have needed Putin’s permission first? In context, the bloggers added: You know Assad cannot make a single major military maneuver without Putin green-lighting it beforehand, and you know Assad’s Putin-led handlers in Damascus would’ve shot down any suggestion of a sarin detonation with a firm-fisted “Nyet! Durak!”— as in ‘no, you f’ing idiot!’

Facts & Maps:

With a U.S. led puppet government in place in Ukraine by 2014, Russia sought the comfort of also having an alternate route to pipeline its gas to Europe, in a way that bypassed Ukraine. Through Assad’s Syria, here’s that MAP.

Iran’s proposed pipeline goes through Iraq before it gets into Syria. If Saddam Hussein (or his heirs) were still ruling Iraq, Iran’s dream of a pipeline (through Iraq) would’ve been a pipe-dream. In context, under Our Origins, we wrote:

Sometime after George W Bush had Saddam Hussein strung up and hung, the Financial Times asked Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister whether Iran was looking to destabilize Iraq.

“Why should we do that?” hissed the Deputy Minister. “Why should we undermine a government in Iraq that we support more than anybody else?”

There’s little doubt to the veracity of that quote.

You see, as far back as 1639, the Treaty of Qasr-i-Shirin established the border between Ottomans and Persians, dividing up Shiite and Sunni-ruled lands. Iran fought Iraq through the 1980s in a long war, intending to breach those lines. The Reagan Administration supported Iraq’s Saddam for partly strategic reasons — an Iranian victory could’ve delivered majority-Shiite Iraq to Shiite Iran, and transported Iran to the border of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia. The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, its largest province, is mostly Shiite, and by happenstance is home to most of Saudi oil production. Other borders beckoned as well. Bahrain, where Shiites outnumber Sunnis by a factor of two, was under a Sunni monarch, and by happenstance home to a US naval base.

After 8 years and more than a million Iranians dead, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini won nothing and lost much. Then George W Bush changed all that in 2003 and, with barely an Iranian soldier scratched, got it done for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in just 18 days.

Soon, Iraq became Iran’s steadfast behind-the-scenes ally, doing all it could to help Iran evade international economic sanction. Iraq allowed Iran to fly its air space, and cross its land, to aid and supply the besieged regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Through Syria, the proposed pipelines of both Qatar and Iran, are on this MAP.

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