– A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog: Occasional Musings –

‘Al Jazeera‘s Martine Dennis travelled to Erbil, the capital of the Kurds semi-autonomous region in the north of the country – where they have prospered since the removal of Saddam Hussein – to find out whether we are truly witnessing the start of the break-up of Iraq. Masoud Barzani talks to Al Jazeera about autonomy, the current state of Iraq and the Kurds’ role in the country (19 July 2014)’.

Dr Farsat Sofi, an MP from Barzani’s dynastic Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) some time ago said that a “greater Kurdistan is the dream of every Kurd. But for now we want to set up a state in this country”, and adding that “We never wanted to be in Iraq in the first place. It’s been forced upon us”. And finally, Farsat Sofi spelled it out: “If [Nouri al-Maliki] continues like this we will use this right to self-determination”.[1]

The Guardian‘s Luke Harding and Fazel Hawramy elucidate that since “2003, Kurdistan’s regional government in Irbil, the KRG, has been locked in a bitter dispute with Iraq’s federal leaders in Baghdad. The row encompasses revenue sharing, the implementation of the 2005 constitution – which is supposed to determine what happens to contested territories outside the autonomous Kurdish region – and al-Maliki’s alleged dictatorial tendencies”.[2]


[1] Luke Harding and Fazel Hawramy, “Kurds hope oil boom will fuel prosperous independent future” The Guardian (14 July 2014). http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/14/kurdish-technocrats-discuss-kurdistan-oil-wealth.

[2] Luke Harding and Fazel Hawramy, “Kurds hope oil boom will fuel prosperous independent future”.


‘President Barack Obama announced new sanctions on Russian companies after he said the Russia had failed to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine (16 July 2014)’.

On Point with Charlie McGrath – RAND Corp Leaked Memo Spells Out Ukraine Blitzkrieg

‘Charlie McGrath presents activist Gary Hendershot and an overview of leaked RAND Corp memo (11 July 2014)’.

Already on 5 July 2014, RT reported that even “if the leaked plan of ‘handling’ Ukrainian crisis was not produced by the RAND corporation, events on the ground very much resemble the shocking points of the memo and the “guidelines for genocide” exported by the US, Don Debar from CPR News told RT. A memorandum, recently leaked to online media, suggested surrounding eastern Ukrainian cities and placing citizens in internment camps. The document bears a logo of RAND corporation think-tank, but the company denies producing such a report. While the authenticity of the document could not be independently verified, anti-war activist and journalist Don Debar told RT the guidelines amount to ‘serial war crimes’ some of which are already happening on the ground”.[1]

Don DeBar, Morning Show host on “Community Progressive Radio – From the Metropolitan NY area to the World” told RT that “actually knowing something about RAND Corporation, that is where reports credit the memo, it rings very true. RAND Corporation in the 1950s, for example, was contracted to take a look at the emerging political power of minorities in the cities. People were learning, as they got concentrated at the ghettos, people actually learned that they could accumulate political power, elect people to Congress, and state legislators and things. And this became a problem for the status quo. So RAND basically advised them to destroy neighborhoods, scatter the populations to the four corners of the region and thereby decimate political power. And urban renewal accomplished that. As far as its coming from RAND it is quite credible to me, it is the kind of work that they engage in”, adding significantly that “my understanding is that they advise the Pentagon to this day, yes”.[2]

Predictably, RAND itself released the following statement: “Some media outlets have circulated a memo purportedly prepared by the RAND Corporation regarding military operations in eastern Ukraine. RAND has produced no such document”.[3]


[1] “Guidelines for genocide is US prime export product’” RT (05 July 2014). http://rt.com/op-edge/170588-us-export-guidelines-genocide/.

[2] “Guidelines for genocide is US prime export product’”.

[3] “RAND Statement on Phony Ukraine Memo” RAND (07 July 2014). http://www.rand.org/news/press/2014/07/07.html.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Spain cracks down on members of one of Italy’s biggest mafias, Ukraine’s military says it’s found a secret rebel base after recapturing Sloviansk, Russia launches the first newly designed rocket since the Soviet era, and a U.S. study shows plants can ‘sense’ predators (10 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Mexican train derailment strands migrants trying to reach American border, head of U.S. Homeland Security seeks quicker deportation of migrants, Texas city purifies wastewater to increase drinking water supply, and Polish company produces guns for urban warfare.

MEXICO. Train Derailment Strands U.S.-Bound Migrants. About 1,300 migrants were aboard the cargo train when it came off the tracks in Oaxaca state.

GUATEMALA. U.S. Homeland Security Chief Calls for Speedier Deportation. Jeh Johnson told regional officials thousands of unaccompanied children who crossed the border aren’t exempt and will be returned home.

U.S.A. A City’s Toilet-to-Tap Approach to Drought. Wichita Falls, Texas, is purifying sewage water to increase the supply of drinking water.

POLAND. A New Generation of User-Friendly Rifles. The line allows a swift change from sniper to assault rifle (11 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: French defense minister announces end to Mali military operations, denial and suspicion hinder efforts to contain ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Afghan presidential candidates agree to accept results of recount, and Peru considers old strategy to combat drug trafficking.

MALI. France to Widen Military Operations to Sahel Region. Foreign minister says the troops will be redeployed to protect the area from extremists.

SIERRA LEONE Fear Fuels the Spread of Ebola. Health workers say many people refuse to get tested and choose to stay home even if they exhibit symptoms.

AFGHANISTAN. Opponents Agree to Accept Recount Results. The United Nations will supervise a full audit of the June 14 presidential run-off.

PERU. Government Considers Old Strategy to Fight Drug Trade. The military may soon be allowed to shoot down planes used to smuggle drugs (14 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Boko Haram leader mocks #BringBackOurGirls campaign, French police disperse pro-Palestinian rally, Iraqi cleric calls on volunteers to protect holy sites, and Chinese designers produce small 3D-printed boat.

NIGERIA. Boko Haram Leader Mocks ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Campaign. Abubakar Shekau danced around in a video, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to release some of his fighters.

FRANCE. Police Disperse Pro-Palestinian Rally in Paris. Ten thousand people marched through the French capital against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

IRAQ. Volunteers Help Protect Samarra from Militants. Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on his supporters to guard the country’s holy sites.

CHINA. Design Team Test 3D-Printed Boat. The two-person rowboat took 10 hours to make and cost around $80 dollars (15 July 2014)’.

‘The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: U.S. completes first expedited deportations of Central American migrants, North Korean leader directs military drills near South Korean border, Cambodian security forces clash with protesters, and Thailand melts thousands of guns into recycled metal.

HONDURAS. U.S. Completes First Fast-Track Deportations. American officials say they’re the first of several expedited proceedings to deal with the cross-border surge.

NORTH KOREA. Kim Jong-Un Supervises Military Drills. The country rarely carries out such exercises so close to the South Korean border.

CAMBODIA. Protesters Beat Guards in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park. Activists are demanding the government re-open the capital’s main protest site.

THAILAND. Police Destroy Thousands of Guns. They melted down 34,000 firearms into nearly 30 tons of recycled metal (16 July 2014)’.

Before Turning the Gun on Himself is the eighth stand-up comedy album by Doug Stanhope, released on November 6, 2012, by Roadrunner Records. It was recorded live at The Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah’.

Last year, the current presidential candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for Turkey’s opposition CHP (or Republican People’s Party) spoke to Al Jazeera. At the time, Ihsanoglu was still secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by Islamic nations across the world. Jane Dutton sat down with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to discuss some hot topics in Europe at present: including discrimination, freedom of expression and religious persecution (1 June 2013).


‘Join Avi Oren and American Empire as we explore the phenomenon referred to by the west as the Color Revolutions that are sweeping the globe. We explore the US/CIA involvement in “spreading democracy” around the world and the negative impact it has on the people’s so desperately wanting change in their home countries. Are authentic revolutions based in actual human suffering being hijacked by US foreign policy to enact the desires of Washington? What role do NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) play in these revolutions? Is the CIA and White House involved in the practice and spread of revolution as a tool for regime change? Who are the organizations, names and faces of the perpetrators? (5July 2014)’.

As I wrote at the end of February 2011, while the Egyptian revolution was unfolding: “Following the breakup of the Soviet Empire, the proliferation of color revolutions throughout former Communist countries also appeared spontaneous and driven by the popular will. In hindsight, however, it has come to light that their organization and planning was funded by the West. Rather than spontaneous and popular, nowadays these ‘revolutions’ have often been called ‘orchestrated’. The people of Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan were manipulated by U.S. intelligence agencies and NGOs like Freedom House and the Albert Einstein Institution to overthrow their pro-Russian leadership. So, what about the recent events in Egypt? Is the Middle East now being remade in the shadow of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s ‘arc of crisis’? In this context, Gene Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution appear crucial. Sharp, also known as the ‘Machiavelli of nonviolence’ or the ‘Clausewitz of nonviolent warfare’, has written a great many books on ‘Civilian-Based Defense’ and democracy that can serve as blueprints for popular uprisings against authoritarian regimes. On the institution’s website many books, such as From Dictatorship to Democracy, are available for free download in many languages, including Arabic. The protestors in Tahrir Square time and again stressed the peaceful nature of their actions, only to be violently disrupted by pro-Mubarak or ‘pro-stability’ activists on horseback and mounted on camels one day, leading to significant casualties and fatalities”.[1]


[1] C. Erimtan, “Behind the scenes of Egypt’s revolution” Hürriyet Daily News (27 Feb 2011). http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=behind-the-scenes-of-egypt8217s-revolution-2011-02-24.



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