#1 – those Toyota trucks
As with most official narratives, the ISIS rhetoric is left largely unexamined by mainstream media, while at the same time being used as a major motivation for continued and increasing war in the Middle East. Given the growing chaos in the region, now spreading to Yemen, and the increasingly blurry role ISIS would appear to be playing, as media fear-porn, war-provocateur and enemy of western enemies, lets do a short series asking some of the largely un-addressed questions about these people, and who may be offering them direct or indirect support.
The official story is ISIS stole them from the “Good Terrorists”, (Al Nusra), who were originally given their cool wheels by the US government. Which would seem to beg a couple of enquiries. Not least of which is – why are the US giving any terrorists matching fleets of luxury SUVs? And for that matter, how many fleets are we talking about?
So, exactly how many trucks did the US supply? Where are ISIS currently garaging this impressive collection? And why do they all have to be Toyotas? Is it a terrorist thing, or simply a US Govt preference? Do Toyota mind the brand-association? Or the fact that so many of the ISIS drive-by photo-ops look like perverted car ads?
Specifically – who takes those PR style pics of the matching fleets sailing by, replete with gun-toting, flag-waving terrorists leaning out of every window? Are they just being caught in transit by various opportunist photographers? Or are they pre-planned drive-buys for the purpose of publicity?
If the former, then do ISIS travel everywhere like that – with guys leaning out the windows holding massive ISIS flags? Wouldn’t that slow them down and also make them really easy to identify and take out?
If the latter – who is handling their publicity?
Did they make this video?
Is it by any chance the same people who keep giving them free cars?
#2 Does ISIS really smuggle “$3M worth of oil” into Turkey EVERY DAY?
Last summer, and quoting David Cohen, the “US Treasury department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence” or a statement from Iraq Energy, a “non-profit policy Institute”, ISIS was suddenly revealed by media storm to be bootlegging crude across the Turkish border, and to be getting shockingly rich as a result. The media reaction was intense and – as ever – unified. Claims were rarely examined, sources rarely verified, amounts were often vague, but by God the message was clear.
ISIS raking in cash: Extremists earn more than $1 million a day…” National Post October 23
the ISIS–controlled oil market in Iraq…is believed to be raising at least $2 million a day…” CNN August 22
ISIS Makes Up To $3 Million a Day Selling Oil…”ABC News August 2
It’s timely to remember at this juncture that ISIS was allegedly selling their crude at around $US20 – $US40 a barrel, one third of the going rate at the time. At this price they would need to be shipping around 100,000 barrels of crude every day to be raking in the most extreme of these astronomical sums. Even the most conservative figure of $1USm per day at the highest estimated rate of $40 a barrel would require shipping 20,000+ barrels. This is a very large quantity to be processing. How were/are they doing it?
[ISIS] were quickly able to make [the captured oil fields] operational and then tapped into established trading networks across northern Iraq, where smuggling has been a fact of life for years. From early July until late October, most of this oil went to Iraqi Kurdistan. The self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate sold oil to Kurdish traders at a major discount. From Kurdistan, the oil was resold to Turkish and Iranian traders. Last November the Guardian explained this to its readers.
What’s even worse and more difficult to understand though is that all the efforts to stop them, via airstrikes, political intervention and border-policing have been almost completely futile.
The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting.
This may be connected with the fact the US was bombing the wrong stuff, according to Reuters:
Maybe it was the growing implausibility of the narrative of ISIS as COBRA that led to it being quietly pushed on the back burner for the moment, and maybe it was in an attempt to reset the paradigm that the Wall Street Journal in a paywalled article from September 16 decided to take the story in a low-tech, low-key, bare bones direction
The Islamic State is funding its rapid push into Syria and Iraq with a labyrinthine oil-smuggling operation that starts at seized Syrian oil fields, goes through makeshift refineries and can end up in jerrycans carried by mules into the hilly borderland of Turkey
Yes, you did read correctly. That word is “mules.” The Wall Street Journal is telling us ISIS is making its $1 million (or two or three or six million) a day by smuggling crude oil in jerrycans. Carried by mules.
Assuming two barrels per mule, that’s anything from 10,000 – 100,000 mules a day.
I think we should just leave it there.
source and research The Off Guardian | Reuters.