Sunday, May 18th, 2014
Robert D. Kaplan’s Geopolitical Bunkum: Inside the Fanciful World of Stratfor
16 May 2014 – By Steve Breyman – Truthout
Readers of Time were recently treated to an absurd take on Ukraine, Putin, “the West” and a bunch of other stuff by journalist Robert D. Kaplan, “chief geopolitical analyst” of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., popularly known as Stratfor.
Stratfor bills itself as a “private global-intelligence firm” that provides “strategic intelligence on global business, economic, security and geopolitical affairs.” Some bamboozled critics and fans call it “the shadow CIA.” Its mocking critics claim “Stratfor is just The Economist a week later and several hundred times more expensive.”
In addition to having its interns use Google to “gather intelligence,” Stratfor reportedly operates by paying corporate and foreign policy informants via Swiss bank accounts and prepaid credit cards for inside information that it then repackages as “analysis” and peddles to those of its 300,000 subscribers and clients – who include Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, the US Marine Corps, the Defense Intelligence Agency, Henry Kissinger, and Dan Quayle – foolish enough to pay for it. It also follows the online antics of activists (including PETA and the Yes Men), “monitors the media” (for, among other things, coverage of Union Carbide’s chemical massacre in Bhopal 20 years on) and provides “information on the financial sector.”
Anonymous hacked Stratfor servers two years ago. The hackers turned over five and a half million emails to Wikileaks, which published them on the web. From the emails, we learned that Russia and Israel sold out arms deal customers to their enemies, the United States has a sealed indictment against Julian Assange, unnamed Pakistani intelligence and military officials knew the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and other such not very surprising nuggets.
Kaplan published “The Dangers of Peace,” in which he warned that the United States was at risk from peacetime’s “numbing and corrosive illusion.”
According to his Wikipedia page (from where this biographical background comes), Robert D. Kaplan, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, is a New Yorker who served in the Israeli army, traveled around a lot, and reported on fundamentalist resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan for Readers Digest. His 1993 book Balkan Ghosts allegedly convinced Bill Clinton “against intervention in Bosnia,” a result Kaplan found appalling. Kaplan or whoever wrote his Wikipedia entry, fails to explain how Clinton’s 1999 war against Serbia, complete with thousands of bombing sorties (including against the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade), massive industrial destruction, grievous civilian casualties and lasting environmental damage constituted nonintervention.
In 2000, Kaplan published the essay “The Dangers of Peace,” in which he warned that the United States was at risk from peacetime’s “numbing and corrosive illusion.” He’s consulted for the Army, Marines and Air Force. He’s lectured at war colleges, the FBI, the NSA, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs. These institutions embrace people like Robert D. Kaplan because he tells them what they want to hear. …more
lsa Alaali was released on bail on the 16th of May 2013; the amount being 200 Bahraini dinars. His case was to be taken up by the high court. Following his release, lssa AI-Aali was offered a financial incentive in exchange for his cooperation in acting as an informant; upon his refusal, lssa ai-Aali was threatened with prison and death.
lsa Alaali was arrested a second time on the 19th of September 2013, at a funeral procession in the village of AI-Dayah. Security forces entered the home that he was in, and he was subjected to physical abuse from the moment he was arrested until his arrival at the police station. The prosecution ruled that he be detained for 45 days whilst investigations are carried out.
He was then charged with the following:
1. Gathering and rioting
2. Attacking security officials
3. Injuring security officials
Isa Alaali was released on bail on the 29th of October 2013, for 100 Bahraini dinars, whilst his trial continues. He was arrested a third time on the 17th of December 2013 in Manama, after being abused physically and verbally. One day after his arrest, he appeared in front of the prosecution, who ruled that he be detained for 45 days whilst investigations are carried out. He appeared in front of the prosecution again on the 9th of January 2014, after 24 days.
He came to U.K three months ago on 14th February 2014 to claim political asylum but has been stuck in detention since arrival. Two other Bahrainis are at risk of deportation as the Khalifas try to stop activists settling in U.K. Whilst the Government and the royals are fawning over the Khalifas, we should recognise the real situation is in that unhappy country and their continuous attack of young people who want democracy.
Isa won’t have an M.P. as he hasn’t left the detention centre. If he’s at the centre near Heathrow, perhaps the local M.P. could help to find what stage of the procedure he’s at.