Operation BENELUX: More Bosnian Terror

Most of this is breaking news to me !!

Apparently, our media consider it unimportant – and the Beautiful People can’t be bothered.

The XX Committee

Today’s news beings word of the arrest of four Islamist terrorists by Bosnian authorities. The four men, three Bosnians and one Swedish national, were planning to carry out terrorist attacks in a Scandinavian country, presumably Sweden. Three men were arrested by authorities while trying to leave Bosnia by car — a bomb was found in the trunk — while the fourth man was picked up in Sarajevo.

55032831-c684-4560-9954-66b0b0094cfb-slika1-2Details remain sketchy at this hour, but the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) admits to two raids on Sarajevo locations subsequent to the arrests. The improvised explosive device had been requested by radicals in Scandinavia for use there. Think of it as a bespoke bomb.

The multinational and interagency effort to round up this terror cell before they were able to launch an attack — left of boom as counterterrorism professionals like to say — was termed Operation BENELUX. It was…

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Why Hillary’s EmailGate Matters

I think of Hillary Clinton as one of “The Beautiful People” – who write The Narratives we are expected to believe in and act upon-but who hold themselves immune to such belief and actions.

The XX Committee

For the last couple weeks, Hillary Clinton’s budding 2016 presidential race has been buffeted by revelations she used her own private email account exclusively when she was Secretary of State during President Obama’s first term. Her ham-handed effort to make this rising scandal go away with a controlled press conference did Hillary no favors. At this point, EmailGate seems to have legs and may pose serious problems for her aspirations to move back into the White House in January 2017.

Let me get out up front that I’m no Hillary hater. I share much of the view of the late Christopher Hitchens that Bill and Hillary are, at root, political grifters, but I prefer corruption to fanaticism. I thought she was a far better choice for the Democratic nomination in 2008 than Barack Obama was, and I still believe that. I also think, security and email issues aside, Hillary…

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Czech Republic Expels Three Russian Spies

Good stuff here !

The XX Committee

An exposé published today by the Czech news magazine Respekt has blown the lid off a major spy scandal that played out in Prague over the last few months. The report, based on sources inside the Security Information Service (BIS), the Czech counterintelligence agency, reveals that no less than three Russian intelligence officers have been declared persona non grata by Prague in the last nine months.

The first case involved a Russian diplomat who was not accredited to the Prague embassy, rather he had recently come from another (unidentified) country, but was in the Czech Republic when he wound up on BIS radar. Czech counterintelligencers determined that the “diplomat” was engaged in espionage — exactly what he was doing was unclear — and he was sent on his way.

More serious was the case of two Russian diplomats whom BIS determined were engaged in espionage on Czech soil. One was…

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How Ukraine Can Win

Very interesting strategy .

The XX Committee

As we are now in a lull in Russia’s war against Ukraine that Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin began one year ago, it’s time to assess how Kyiv can do better at war-fighting. Not for want of courage, Ukraine’s efforts to defend its territory and sovereignty from Russian aggression have been failures, as I’ve explained many times. I’ve repeatedly counseled Ukraine to emulate how Croatia in 1991 lost one-third of its territory to Serbian rebels, only to regain almost all that territory through quick, decisive military operations in 1995. As a template for strategic success against a more powerful enemy at a reasonable cost in lives and treasure, Zagreb’s model from the early 1990’s cannot be improved upon.

This has been met with whining from supporters of failing President Petro Poroshenko that 1. War is hard, and 2. Russia isn’t Serbia. The latter is true, but it’s also worth…

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Snowden’s Lies Take Aim Southward

Good solid stuff !!

Please keep it coming, Dr. Schindler !

The XX Committee

Whether or not Edward Snowden actually wants to return to the United States to face a raft of espionage-related charges stemming from his unprecedented theft of classified materials and subsequent defection to Moscow, as his FSB-supplied lawyer maintains, the Snowden Operation keeps rolling on with revelations of alleged misdeeds by Western — and only ever Western — intelligence.

The latest target is, believe it or not, New Zealand. Yes, that tiny, peaceful country in the South Pacific stands accused of violating the privacy of its own citizens and that of its even smaller Pacific neighbors such as Samoa, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. The basis of this claim, per usual, is Ed Snowden’s cache of stolen documents from the National Security Agency and its closest partners, the Five Eyes of the Anglosphere, of which New Zealand forms a part.

The report published in Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept, with assistance…

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Hope Dies Last

The dangers of “mirror thinking” are made explicit here.
Folks would rather sleep than resist, I guess.

The XX Committee

As the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, with the Russian military and its “rebel” minions never having honored the Minsk-brokered “ceasefire” for even an hour, something like low-grade panic is setting in among NATO capitals. Western elites have a tough time sizing up Putin and his agenda realistically, for reasons I’ve elaborated, and the situation seems not to be improving.

German has a delightfully cynical line, die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt (hope dies last), that sums up much of the wishful thinking that currently holds sway in Berlin, Paris, and Washington, DC. As the reality that Putin knows he is at war against Ukraine, and may seek a wider war against NATO too, is a prospect so terrifying that thousands of Western diplomats and “foreign policy experts” would rather not ponder it, so they don’t.

A classic example comes in a recent press report about how Western foreign ministries…

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When Kremlin Trolls Attack

Definitely worth reading !!

The XX Committee

The issue of online trolls doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has been getting some mainstream media attention, finally. The reality that Russia buys, or at least rents, trolls by the battalion to harass, intimidate and make life unpleasant for anybody who opposes Moscow policy, while employing aggressive agitprop to further Putinist propaganda, isn’t exactly news, but it’s nevertheless welcome to see mainstream outlets doing some digging into what’s going on.

I’ve dealt with more than my share of Kremlin trolls ever since the Edward Snowden story broke in June 2013. As a major spokesman for the anti-Snowden viewpoint, as well as the only former NSA counterintelligence officer who’s talked publicly about this case at length, I’ve gotten my share of grief and then some from online Pals of Putin, with their usual modus operandi: smears, lies, slurs, and threats.

Some of these Kremlin clowns…

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Why the West is Losing

Very thorough critique !

The XX Committee

That the West is quaking down to its foundations at present seems broadly understood by many Westerners, based on numerous opinion polls. The population of the West, despite its vast wealth, is mired in self-doubt and worries about its future. Recent events in Ukraine and the Middle East are part of this concern. Resurgent Russia, led by the boastfully confident Vladimir Putin, is openly mocking ceasefires in Ukraine, which he agreed to with major NATO members, while the ink remains less than fully dry. Meanwhile, the Islamic State continues its murderous march across Iraq and Syria, undeterred by intermittent U.S.-led airstrikes, butchering and decapitating for the cameras now on the Mediterranean shore. Rome is preparing for war on Libya, a troubled state pushed past the point of coherence by botched NATO intervention in 2011, so grave does the threat appear to Italian eyes.

In contrast, President Obama sees little…

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Obama, the Un-War President

Anti-war ?? Not really opposed to use of force per se…

The XX Committee

It’s been a tough week for anyone seeking to defend President Obama’s record, particularly in foreign policy, against rising accusations of fecklessness. Seven days ago, the White House unveiled its overdue National Security Strategy, five years after its last edition, to understated fanfare, with National Security Adviser Susan Rice mostly complaining that nobody understands how great things are going globally — minor incidents like the rise of the Islamic State and the aggressive war waged by Russia against Ukraine notwithstanding — and that national security is, you know, a tough job.

The mantra attached to the new NSS is Strategic Patience, which was met with guffaws, since it seems to be more a rationalization of Obama’s (in)actions over the last six years than any bona fide strategy. Mostly, it appears to be “don’t do stupid shit,” the administration previous foreign policy mantra, dressed up in grad school IR cliches.


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Media, Murder, and The Narrative

Well said, Dr. Schindler !

The XX Committee

This morning brought the terrible news of the murder of three young people in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The victims, Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), Yusor Mohammad (21), and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (19) — tragically, the first two were newlyweds — were all students at the University of North Carolina. They are reported to have been killed by gunshots to the head, in what sounds like an execution-style murder.

Police already have their supposed killer in custody, Craig Stephen Hicks (46), of Chapel Hill. Since the victims were Muslims, Twitter immediately exploded with outrage and, of course, a hashtag: #MuslimLivesMatter. My Twitter feed filled with rants that nobody cares about Muslim dead and where is the coverage? — when, of course, I saw little but media coverage of this horrific crime. Predictably, the Angry Muslim Brigade was out in force online, insisting that this is a clear case of Christian terrorism, while Islamic State barbarism says nothing…

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