by Gordon Duff, VT Senior Editor, … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow
[ Editor’s note: The wars can be long running moving targets, where even years into them, new pieces of the puzzle are being found, or discovered when they had been missed. Today we delve into the deep end of the pool in Iraq with a completely new look at who really is ISIL in Iraq.
Gordon is especially well-suited to weigh in here, as he was stationed in Erbil post-Iraqi war in a UN position working with the Kurds, and knew Barazani well. A key part of his work was being a middle man in working out the economic values on the oil-producing region of northern Iraq.
He has been to every oil well in northern Iraq, seen the test results of its quality (like sulfur content), the transportation cost to the nearest pipeline connection to determine the sale price per barrel. He was not a fast learner for this Erbil gig, but had a long history in the oil contracting business, with transactions covering 30 to 40 countries.
VT has a long history where, after we get new information, we update our readers, as that is the process followed in formal Intel analysis contracting work. The readers see other readers critique our work in the comment section, but not the professional interchanges that take place at a different level, where even more adjustments might take place as we work to get closer and closer to the real deal… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … March 22, 2016 –
Recent revelations inside Iraq have exposed ISIS. They don’t exist, simple as that, not across Iraq, not in Mosul, not in control of any oil regions, not in any way remotely resembling what the world has been told.
The real “ISIS,” more recently identified as a Turkish, Israeli, Saudi construct is, at least in Iraq, run out of Erbil, not Mosul or Raqqah, cannot be identified, or explained. It is a ghost. Let our story begin.
In January 2014, I met with Sunni governors to discuss their views on the ISIS threat as it applied to their regional security issues. At that time ISIS was in Ramadi only, seen by a cynical but powerful few as a useful tool to leverage political reforms from the Shiite led government.
The subsequent almost magical rise of ISIS across Iraq was believed by all though it made no sense. The ISIS of January 2014 and the ISIS of September 2014 were unrelated, certainly not the same entity.
The new “ISIS” made militarily impossible simultaneous moves across Anbar, Nineveh, Salahaddin, Tamim, Dyala, Karbala, Babil, Najaf, Qadisiyyah and even Sulaymania provinces — and this is in Iraq alone.
This evidenced early on that the tribal, interrelated Sunni political groups, all of which had long since formed militia organizations with which I am very familiar, had suddenly become “ISIS” in Iraq but that there were other powers as well acting under the theatrical guise of ISIS or ISIL or the Islamic State.
Thus, we knew from the first, and by “we,” I mean the Iraqi government, Iran, Russia and maybe even the United States, that the ISIS threat was misrepresented.
This has long been an unspoken fact that the insurgency we suspected was nothing more than an Iraqi civil war, not the rise of a mystical cult of “head choppers” with mad internet skills and lots of Hollywood backing.
If the thought has crossed your mind that ISIS isn’t what it seems to be, your suspicions may well have been justified. If you had heard of conspiracy theories about ISIS, that intelligence agencies were helping it or that it isn’t quite what it seems, there is reason to believe, reason rooted in facts that you are shooting well short of the mark.
We now have reason to believe that there really is no “ISIS”, not as represented by anyone, not even by conspiracy theorists. In fact, the closest anyone has come to what we are now learning about who and what they really are came out in December 2014 during the Damascus Security Conference when the American delegation headed by Colonel James Hanke and I named ISIS as only an “arm” of a global organized crime syndicate.
Last week, the regional government in Erbil covering the Kurdish areas of Iraq, received a very strange and inexplicable payment of $200m from Turkey for “oil revenue shortfalls.”
However, records indicate that in accordance with Iraq’s constitution, Erbil had received its requisite 17% of Iraq’s oil revenue with consistency.
Also note that the constitution of Iraq expressly prevents the Kurdish Regional Government from directly negotiating oil sales with any nation or corporate entity.
Moreover, Iraq’s massive Kirkuk oil reserves are well outside the borders of the Kurdish Regional Government’s limited control. Then, however, KRG Prime Minister Barzani announced that he was planning to annex Iraq’s major oil fields as part of a ploy to withdraw from Iraq.
Adding to this, all in one week mind you, including another $300m payment to Erbil from an oil company in the West to secure oil rights within the territory Barzani said he plays to seize.
The problem is, Barzani already seized that territory and has, since 2014, been selling the oil to Turkey.
Moreover, according to a June 10, 2014 story from the Iraqi News, the government of Iraq has cited Barzani personally as having sold $119b in Kirkuk oil through Turkey and Israel and for personally pocketing the entire amount, sales from 2010 onward, an amount now believed to exceed $160 billion American dollars.
That entire amount, according to the Baghdad government, cannot be found in any account. All the while, the people of the KRG are told they are bankrupt and local services are being curtailed.
We Said Erbil Had Seized the Oil Fields, What Did We Mean?
Back in November 2015, Russian Aerospace forces attacked oil truck convoys, at places moving four abreast, near the Turkish border crossing of Zahko. Though this was announced by no one, that border crossing is not between Syria and Turkey but rather Iraq and Turkey.
The oil transported along this ground route, parallel with the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline, brought high grade light sweet Iraqi crude oil from fields north and east of Baghdad that were very remote from any known ISIS military capability.
We were told that ISIS had conquered the oil fields and refinery facilities that the Erbil government, since 2003, had coveted and had made more than two dozen military grabs to seize, each blocked by the Baghdad government with overwhelming force, something known well in Iraq but never reported in the West.
Until the “ISIS” moves across Iraq, the ones cited as Sunni militias pretending to be ISIS and limited real ISIS activities in and around their only base of operations in Ramadi, the Baghdad government had kept strong military forces between these oil facilities and production regions and the incursions from Erbil.
Where we had assumed that ISIS had taken these areas, though militarily impossible, and had somehow been allowed to transit oil directly through Erbil controlled territory into Turkey, perhaps explaining the $200m payment, thus representing a partnership between Turkey, ISIS and the KRG, we find we had this wrong. We had underestimated the situation.
We have now realized that, in fact, the Pergmersha had taken the oil fields based on, as Barzani has stated, “Baghdad’s inability to defend them.” Moreover, Erbil’s sales of oil to Turkey, all shipped through Mosul, supposed ISIS capitol, past the new Turkish base in Iraq, and up to Zahko where Russian attacks have attenuated this activity, tell another story.
Mosul is not an ISIS capitol at all. It is the home base for an international criminal conspiracy that Erbil is a prime member of and that the Turkish forces to the North of Mosul and the Pergmersha forces who have, for years now sat only miles away to the East, are there to protect their investment, not lay siege.
Thus, when Obama announced a plan to recapture Mosul in late 2014 and to have complete control by March 2015, we now know why these plans failed to materialize. There simply is no ISIS occupation of oil fields, production facilities and the oil route to Turkey, a route which is flowing cash into the Swiss bank accounts of friends of Erdogan and Barzani.
According to the Baghdad government, this is also an oil trade shared by the state of Israel in every way.
Did the Pipeline Really Blow?
Our next question involves the mysterious pipeline explosion supposedly blocking oil from Kirkuk, held by ISIS or is it the Pergmersha, and Turkey or is it Israel?
On July 29, 2015, Turkey announced a massive explosion of the 670 mile long pipeline that had been transporting 400,000 barrels a day of oil from “ISIS controlled” regions of Iraq to Turkey and to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
There, tankers from Exxon and British Petroleum carry this oil to world markets and no one has ever asked who gets the billions of dollars from these sales. From 2003 onward, Iraqi oil, or by estimates 40% of Iraqi oil shipped through Ceyhan, the entire production of the Kirkuk oil fields, largest known oil reserves in the world, was paid for.
In fact, there are no real figures on how much oil has left Iraq from 2003 onward with up to $1.5 t, and yes we are saying “trillion,” missing and unaccounted for. Whether talking hundreds of billions or in really serious figures, this kind of money can only not only be moved but in actuality “exist” within the network of Rothschild banks and within a global criminal organization itself beyond any nation state or “superpower.”
Let us return to why we are discussing the offending pipeline which may or may not have been destroyed back in 2015, which Turkey claims is related to their recent $200m payment to Erbil. Again, we preface with the simple fact that Erbil in no way, manner nor form has any financial rights to monies tied to the sale of Iraqi crude oil, whether trucked or “pipelined” out of Iraq.
There is no “Kurdish oil,” either within the borders of the KRG or within areas theoretically held by ISIS on behalf of Erbil or Turkey or Israel, if ISIS exists as described.
What we do know is this, there is no evidence of any kind that a pipeline was destroyed but we do have evidence that Turkey clamped down on the press in that region and has ethnically cleansed the city of Cizre, killing hundreds of civilians in a reign of terror.
Were one of a conspiratorial bent and were one to assume that some if not all or perhaps “many” of the recent bomb attacks inside Turkey are “false flag” based on the timing and victims, and we ascribe to that hypothesis, then it is also conceivable that Turkish military action, or at least part of it, is to cover a massive asset theft on behalf of a global criminal conspiracy.
Where this the case, and we believe this to be so, then Turkish actions inside Ukraine that now threaten Crimea, Turkish interest in biochemical warfare production at Tbilisi, now well established as fact, and Turkey’s recent moves in Qatar, Nigeria and Ghana take on a sinister aspect.
Were one then to look at what many deem the inevitability of Saudi collapse, the dire straits of Israel’s international standing, their damaged relationship with the US and Europe, then an impetus for possible dangerous and ill-conceived actions by Turkey endanger the region.
When one also assumes that Erdogan, through his recent behaviors, showing signs of increasingly instability and a narcissistic personality disorder of the highest level and yet observes his continued ability to bring Germany and much of the European Union to heel, normal analytical tools fail, the idea of an “unseen mover,” as hypothesized, an all-powerful criminal enterprise, a veritable hydra of bloodline, Illuminati, Bilderberg, P2, Red Circle entities, begins to take on form.
Then we return to the map, beginning with the rightist revolution in Poland, the unadmitted collapse of Ukraine, Africa in turmoil, Afghanistan and Pakistan in a dance of death, and everything in between at the edge of Armageddon, all of this with no opposing religions, no clash of civilizations, no political theories at odds, nothing but what?
There is no answer but global crime, feeding on assets, more base than empire building, no land to conquer only things to steal, people to slaughter, to burn, to debase and destroy.
Were this a battle of good against evil only one thing is missing. There is no “good.”
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of VT, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.