You know, sometimes you start out with a simple question.
And you start exploring for possible answers to that question; only to end up falling down a deeper rabbit-hole than you had expected. Then you just end up with more questions.
A lot of coverage was given to Donald Trump’s decision apparently to announce withdrawal of US troops from Syria. My initial question was simply why the US President had suddenly announced this: and why the Defense Secretary James Mattis had resigned in response.
But instead this has become a much longer article, linking up everything from Syria, Libya and Africa to China, the possible nature of the ‘Trump vs China’ pantomime, possible groundwork for a future ‘New World Order’ control model and the ‘armies’ of the future, and even Cambridge Analytica.
As it happens, the reason is because one man – one machiavellian, enigmatic figure – appears to be a nexus connecting all of these seemingly disparate things.
Let’s start first with the proposed Syria withdrawal.
Supporters took this as validation of their belief in Trump as an anti-interventionist and as someone who had never been in favour of US military involvement in places like Syria. Some also took it as a good sign of the US stepping away from the mess it helped create and allowing the Syrian government and its allies to get on with the business of rebuilding and stabilising that war-torn country.
Of course, the announcement also caused problems and divisions. Chief of these were Defense Secretary James Mattis resigning from his position (according to most MSM reports, in protest against or disagreement with Trump’s announcement). There were also concerns about America’s Kurdish allies being left to the mercy of the Turkish military – and this being after the Kurds had spent years fighting against the Islamic State group on the ground and trusting in Washington to have their backs.
We’d have to wait and see whether there is a full withdrawal from Syria.
But something else also cropped up on the radar a few weeks later: that related directly to Trump’s proposed Syria withdrawal, but it also led me into a number of other – apparently unrelated – stories and allowed me to step back and glance across a broader, scarier picture that formed.
And that picture worries me.
Let’s start with this.
Recently, there was a statement by Erik Prince – founder of the infamous Blackwater mercenary firm – that private military contractors should replace US troops when Trump pulls them out of Syria.
Prince’s reasoning for this seems to be that America should honour its relationship with its on-the-ground allies – specifically the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), mostly the Kurdish militias that have been key in the fight against ISIS.
Which is definitely a valid reason. The West’s tendency to use and then abandon the Kurds like expendable pawns seems to be multi-generational: a seemingly vicious cycle. This betrayal of the Kurds theme is something I’ve written about here before.
But curiously, Prince seems to have said that the danger to the SDF comes not from Turkey, but from Syria and Iran. But it’s absolutely clear that the SDF itself views Turkey as the threat to them – and not so much Damascus. In fact, after Trump’s announcement of withdrawing US troops from Syria, the SDF began negotating with the Syrian goverment to allow regime forces into key SDF-controlled areas in order to deter Turkish advances. And in fact, last year – as I seem to recall – when Turkish forces were advancing on Afrin, the Kurdish fighters made an alliance with Syrian government forces against the Turkish incursion.
So it’s odd that Prince might think Turkey isn’t the problem for the Kurds, but that Syria and Iran is: or that he wants us to think that’s the case.
It prompts one to wonder if Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops with the full knowledge that plans already existed to replace them with private contractors: essentially, allowing it to look like the troops are ‘coming home’ or something like that, while nevertheless maintaining a military presence in Syria, albeit under another guise.
But the real meat in this lame stew is to be found when you remind yourself of who Erik Prince is: and, more importantly, what else he has been doing. The picture gets bigger and bigger, and more worrying, the more you dig.
Who is Erik Prince? Most people know him as the founder of the infamous Blackwater mercenary firm that gained notoriety during the Iraq War when some of its personnel murdered Iraqi civilians.
As I noted when Trump was about to be inaugurated, Erik Prince was already in a position of influence in the incoming White House administration. He has been close to Trump from the start. He has also been in with the Bannon and Breitbart crowd, appearing as a guest on several occassions.
Erik Prince donated a quarter of a million dollars to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. His sister, Betsy DeVos, was one of Trump’s first administration picks – as Secretary of Education. So he is also linked to the White House by blood relation.
Prince’s closeness to Trump caused concern among a number of observers from early on. The Intercept published this article, for example, titled ‘Notorious Mercenary Erik Prince is Advising Trump From the Shadows‘.
His story reads like that of a diabolical Marvel villain plotting behind the scenes: there can be few real-life operators so comparable to a fictional Hydra villain. But his tentacles seem to be in everything.
Erik Prince is such a ridiculous rabbit hole himself.
When I was looking at these statements of his concerning Syria, I decided to look back through other notes I’d made in recent years relating to Prince and his activities.
And then it just kept building a bigger picture: a bigger picture with all kinds of implications and questions.
For one thing, Prince had also drawn attention recently for talking about replacing US troops in Afghanistan with mercenaries too. Prince’s proposal was to send some 5,000 private military contractors to Afghanistan. Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon were said to have both been keen for that plan to be implemented, but others in the Trump administration – particularly Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R McMaster – were opposed to it (as were, reportedly, Afghan officials themselves). Though it’s worth noting that both McMaster (ousted by the Zionist element in the White House) and now Mattis are gone.
Mattis was reported to have resigned based on disagreement with Trump’s stated plan to withdrawn all US troops from Syria: but I wonder now if it’s possible it was more to do with the President possibly being in favour of Prince’s ideas to replace them with private contractors?
According to reports from the time (concerning Afghanistan), Prince’s ideas were for private military contractors to take over the war and to report directly to the US president. It’s no surprise then that traditional military figures and leaders like Mattis would see the idea of private contractors taking over as unacceptable or even insulting.
Coverage in newspapers told us the matter had ‘raised ethical and security concerns among senior military officials, key lawmakers and members of Trump’s national security team.’
In fact, this business with Prince and the activities of mercenary squads and private military forces is widespread, very interesting and quite worrying: and it’s worth looking at how far this goes.
There’s a long, sordid story that has been unfolding since long after the Iraq War and the Blackwater infamy.
Let’s look at a New York Times article from 2011, for example. The whole article is very comprehensive and interesting; but I’m just pulling out a few pieces of it here (the highlighting is mine).
Let’s look at what Prince was doing in the United Arab Emirates. The article painted a dubious picture: ‘Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand… The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom…’
The investigation explained that Prince was hired ‘by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents...’
What was its purpose?
Apparently, ‘The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country…’
Really? Inside AND outside?
‘Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year...’
Uh-huh. So the idea was to provide a foreign mercenary army for the U.A.E to put down domestic protesters? And at the same time and in the same year, the US and the rest of NATO was bombing Gaddafi’s forces in Libya for allegedly trying to suppress domestic Libyan protesters? And that was the same year the protests broke out in Syria.
The article went on, ‘The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.’
It remained entirely murky as to whether Prince had any sanction in Washington or whether he was in fact a rogue operator violating the law.
A State Department spokesperson, we were told, said they were ‘investigating to see if the training effort was in violation of American laws.’ It also pointed out that ‘Blackwater (which renamed itself Xe Services) paid $42 million in fines last year for training foreign troops in Jordan and other countries over the years.’
That latter reference is interesting too: because this article was from mid-2011 and, if you recall, there were claims not long later from within Syria that armed anti-government militias and jihadists that were pouring into Syria had been coming from the Jordanian border.
Just the Syria thing alone is curious just in terms of Erik Prince’s activities.
But still the rabbit hole keeps going.
Fast forward a couple of years and we find it reported that Prince has been in China, offering his expert services.
Said Buzzfeed, ‘Erik Prince’s new company is “setting up a private army for China”…’
Buzzfeed told us that ‘Erik Prince – founder of the private military company Blackwater, financial backer of President Donald Trump, brother to the new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and frequent Breitbart radio guest of White House power broker Stephen Bannon – has been offering his military expertise to support Chinese government objectives and setting up two Blackwater-style training camps in China, according to sources and his own company statements…’
As was pointed out here and in other sources, Prince’s activities in China were potentially violating US law, which prohibits the export of military services to China.
The article went on. ‘Multiple sources inside the company are now blowing the whistle on the proposal, however, alleging that Prince has “been working very, very hard to get China to buy into a new Blackwater” and is “hell bent on reclaiming his position as the world’s preeminent private military provider”…’
And what, behind all of the smokescreen and double-speak, was the real character of Prince’s activities in China? According to the article, ‘The controversial businessman envisions using the bases to train and deploy an army of Chinese retired soldiers who can protect Chinese corporate and government strategic interests around the world…’
What? Isn’t Prince buddies with Trump? Isn’t Trump all about combating China’s influence and competition? Aren’t the US and China rivals?
The Frontier Services Group (FSG), of which Prince is chairman, ‘issued a press release that outlined plans to open “a forward operating base in China’s Yunnan province” and another in the troubled Xinjiang region, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.’
This is troubling if you consider the allegations now springing up about Chinese state abuse and oppression of minorities.
There are serious accusations being made by international observers about what the Chinese state is doing as part of its broader crackdown against dissidents, protesters and activists across China.
Recent coverage has been of Chinese state crackdowns against Christian communities and churches and against Muslim communities and mosques.
In both cases – and the two are pretty much indivisible, both part of the same crackdown – there have been claims of violent suppression, mass round-ups, detainment camps and allegations of torture.
In the case of Christians, it has been reported that Chinese Christians have had to resort to secret, underground churches just to have any chance of practising their faith. See the BBC report here.
The Buzzfeed piece specifies Prince’s FSG operating with the Chinese state in Xinjiang region, home to the Uighur minority. Well, BBC coverage from three months ago claimed that Uighur minorities were being rounded up, with ‘up to a million detained‘ in camps in the Xinjiang region.
The BBC said: ‘Former prisoners told us of physical as well as psychological torture in the camps. Entire families had disappeared, and we were told detainees were tortured physically and mentally. We also saw evidence of almost a complete surveillance state in Xinjiang.’
Now, to represent the Chinese state’s perspective for a moment, they seem to argue that the Uighurs have ‘terrorist’ and/or ‘separatist’ intents or leanings. Which might or might not be true (though that doesn’t explain the parallel crackdown against Christians): but what’s interesting is that, although I’ve seen this situation in Xinjiang being reported on in a handful of news sources, I’ve yet to see anyone also mention the fact that the former founder of Blackwater has been in China, offering his services, specially in relation to Xianjiang.
The BBC report also makes reference to the Chinese state targeting related minorities or groups across the region: and specifies Myanmar as one example. Which begs questions about the violent campaign that Myanmar’s military has been carrying out against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups in that country.
The most odd part about this ‘Chinese Blackwater’ story is that it allegedly involves former Palestinian freedom fighters (or terrorists – depends on how you look at it) being shipped in apparently to form an irregular force to serve Chinese interests (equivalent, I guess, to the Columbian guerillas being flown in to the U.A.E).
Apparently shipping in foreign muscle to deal with domestic populations is something Prince advocates and specialises in.
This story about the Blackwater founder being in China was also covered by The Corbett Report, which reminds us, ‘Prince’s budding career as a contract killer went down in flames in 2009 after it was revealed that Blackwater was a front for a secret CIA assassination program. He later admitted that Blackwater “became a virtual extension of the CIA” and took orders directly from the agency.’
Well, that’s interesting: because, when he was a guest of Steve Bannon’s Breitbart radio, he was advocating a reviving of the CIA’s Phoenix Program.
It’s also interesting because the CIA has apparently been playing the foreign-mercenary game anyway, in Syria for example or in Libya. In the latter instance, it was openly admitted that the CIA had shipped in jihadist mercenaries from Afghanistan (about 1,500 of them: as I covered in ‘The Libya Conspiracy‘) to take part in the uprising against Gaddafi.
Prince’s company – Frontier Services Group (FSG) – was in fact founded and funded in China.
His project in China is really curious to me: again, bear in mind this is someone very close to the current US President and also someone with a blood relative in the Trump administration.
In a 2016 article covering Prince being under federal investigation for his activities, the following was reported: ‘In 2010, amid public scandals and government investigations, Prince began to sell off his Blackwater empire… Eventually, the former Navy SEAL and self-proclaimed American patriot began building close business ties with powerful individuals connected to the Chinese Communist Party. In January 2014, Prince officially went into business with the Chinese government’s largest state-owned investment firm, the Citic Group, and founded Frontier Services Group…’
The piece continued, ‘Working with a small cadre of loyalists — including a former South African commando, a former Australian air force pilot, and a lawyer with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Israel — Prince sought to secretly rebuild his private CIA and special operations enterprise by setting up foreign shell companies and offering paramilitary services, according to documents reviewed by The Intercept and interviews with several people familiar with Prince’s business proposals…’
The Intercept quoted an intelligence official and another source aware of Prince’s activities when informing us that Prince ‘traveled to Beijing, where he met with Chinese agents from the Ministry of State Security‘.
Much of this related to Prince’s plans to create a private military force inside Libya (supposedly for the purposes of stopping the movement of refugees from Libya to Europe): a plan that, we’re told, was rejected by European governments and US officials, but in which he was apparently collaborating with China.
Prince’s plans for Libya – as it seems to be everywhere in the world – was to throw mercenaries at the problem. Weird, because it was foreign, US-backed mercenaries who played such a key role in the violent overthrow of Gaddafi’s state in the first place, creating the lawless, chaos-riddled vacuum that has characterised Libya ever since.
Prince’s Libya plan ‘called for a series of “border security” bases housing intelligence centers, helicopters, surveillance airplanes, and weaponized vehicles. Prince proposed a fully equipped, contemporary military force to be staffed in part by foreign mercenaries…‘
And now Prince is pushing his ‘solutions’ for Syria (pretty much the same solution) – at least in the media. You would have to assume he has also pushed it to the US President directly.
And again, I wonder if this is what drove General Mattis out. It seems to me that an experienced, traditional military officer like Mattis would naturally despise someone like Prince and his ideas.
In some of these cases, it isn’t clear how much headway Prince has made. Clearly, he has been under investigation by American authorities. We’re told, ‘Prince has been ‘under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and possible money laundering, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case…’
That article added, ‘The Justice Department, which declined to comment for this article, is also seeking to uncover the precise nature of Prince’s relationship with Chinese intelligence…’
Clearly, there are plenty of high-ups in the US who don’t like or approve of what he’s been doing: and there are whistleblowers from inside his own companies who’ve exposed some of his activities and ideas to certain journalists because they’re worried about what he is doing. His solutions for Syria and Afghanistan haven’t officially been adopted or talked about. His Libya agenda doesn’t appear to have been implemented yet: but, in Libya as it currently is, who can even know WHAT’s really going on on the ground?
But he certainly seems to be EVERYWHERE, pushing his ‘solutions’ all over the world: China, Sudan and Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, U.A.E, Afghanistan, Syria.
It’s the China element that makes me most curious. And it makes me wonder whether Prince is one of the key characters paving the way into New World Order territory, pushing to create these private armies and military companies that respect no national boundaries or national sovereignty. I mean, he was pulling in Columbian mercenaries to directly work as an army for a Gulf State monarchy: and, allegedly, even Palestinians to work for a Chinese force – in both cases for the stated purposes of violently suppressing domestic targets (protesters were cited in one instance, with ethnic or religious minorities implicated in the Chinese example).
Is Prince establishing the future model not just for common warfare, but for population control? Look again at what his U.A.E and China activities were about and the picture is very much one of POPULATION CONTROL and the suppression of dissidents, minorities or protesters.
And Prince appears to be flogging these solutions around the world, including to America’s chief ‘rival’, China.
That’s some scary shit. And is Prince a totally rogue operator? Or does he have support within various agencies, such as the CIA?
If he is ‘rogue’, then why is he still being allowed to operate freely all over the place, particularly when there have already been investigations into his activities?
If Prince – who has already previous said Blackwater was a CIA front – is still aligned (covertly) to the CIA, how can he be at the same time linked up with Chinese intelligence?
What the actual fuck is actually going on here?
Are the ‘Deep States’ (and I use that term loosely) in different countries – even the US and China – working in conjunction with each other?
It’s one possibility, which I’ve touched on before in regard to China’s possible role in the ‘New World Order’ model. What Prince is trying to push everywhere could easily be a construed as the model for future ‘NWO’ policing and social control: where controlled populations are, in many cases, being policed or suppressed by hired thugs from other countries.
As for warfare, we very much are in an age where traditional national armies aren’t engaging, but everything is being done through mercenary forces, proxy militias and armies-for-hire. Note the sheer numbers of foreign fighters who flooded into Libya and Syria, Iraq, even Eastern Ukraine.
The kind of private forces someone like Prince is flogging around the world are all-purpose creatures.
And you also have to wonder if this has implications in false-flag terrorism in the West too: in how many instances have supposed terror attacks in fact been carried out by trained mercs, perhaps even brought in from abroad to do the deed? There’s one good example already of a well-known mercenary firm carrying out a terrorist attack: specifically the Boston Marathon Bombing, in which henchmen from ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle‘s company were without question behind the incident.
Whatever Prince is ultimately up to, you have to wonder how Prince could’ve been under investigation by the Justice Department in the US, while still being close to President Trump, while simultaneously working with the Chinese state (in violation of US law), and while not having any of his nefarious activities placed under restrictions.
And yet the rabbit hole goes even deeper still. Because it doesn’t just stop at mercenary services and private armies.
In addition to mercenary services, Prince – as reported in 2016 – has also been building a private air force.
Jeremy Schahill’s 2016 piece for The Intercept is a very long, detailed read, but worth the effort: laying out FSG’s dubious and secretive operations across multiple countries and including its involvement in the Sudanese Civil War.
The article paints a picture that is almost cinematic in its tone: but it’s worth reading to really get a sense of how this is operating. ‘On a crisp Saturday in November 2014, a black Mercedes SUV pulled onto the tarmac of an Austrian specialty aviation company 30 miles south of Vienna. Employees of the firm, Airborne Technologies, which specialized in designing and equipping small aircraft with wireless surveillance platforms, had been ordered to work that weekend because one of the company’s investors was scheduled to inspect their latest project…’
‘For four months, Airborne’s team had worked nearly nonstop to modify an American-made Thrush 510G crop duster to the exact specifications of an unnamed client. Everything about the project was cloaked in secrecy. The company’s executives would refer to the client only as “Echo Papa,” and instructed employees to use code words to discuss certain modifications made to the plane. Now the employees would learn that Echo Papa also owned more than a quarter of their company…’
‘A fit, handsome man with blond hair and blue eyes got out of the Mercedes and entered Airborne’s hanger. Echo Papa, who was often just called EP, shook hands with a dozen Airborne employees and looked over the plane. “He was the sun, and all the management were planets rotating around him,” said one person present that day…’
‘One of the mechanics soon recognized Echo Papa from news photos — he was Erik Prince, founder of the private security firm Blackwater. Several of the Airborne staff whispered among themselves, astonished that they had been working for America’s best-known mercenary. The secrecy and strange modification requests of the past four months began to make sense. In addition to surveillance and laser-targeting equipment, Airborne had outfitted the plane with bulletproof cockpit windows, an armored engine block, anti-explosive mesh for the fuel tank, and specialized wiring that could control rockets and bombs. The company also installed pods for mounting two high-powered 23 mm machine guns...’
It goes on. ‘By this point, the engineers and mechanics were concerned that they had broken several Austrian laws, but were advised that everything would be fine as long as they all kept the secret…’
I’m curious how many other people in how many other companies or countries have also “kept the secret”.
Is that enough rabbit hole for one day? Apparently not. Because it was also widely reported a year ago that Erik Prince (and his China collaborators) is also directly involved with Cambridge Analytica!
As reported in multiple outlets in March 2018: ‘President Donald Trump’s former digital operation Cambridge Analytica reportedly has links to Erik Prince, the founder of former mercenary firm Blackwater…’ And that ‘Cambridge Analytica has ties to “a Chinese security and logistics company run by Erik Prince”…’
Here’s the Associated Press report.
Is there anything this guy isn’t involved in? And who is he really working for? What agenda is he ultimately helping put into motion?
I’m finding it less and less plausible that Prince is merely a ‘rogue’ guy out for himself and his own bank balance. I’m sure that’s a major part of it: but, no, there are other things been put into play here.
And it’s all quite worrying.
Read more: ‘China, 1984 & the New World Order‘, ‘US-Trained Death-Squads & the Murdered Environementalist‘, ‘A Tale of Two Murdered Children & an Unending War on Terror‘, ‘The Truth About the Boston Marathon Bombing‘, ‘The Azov Batallion, Ukrainian Mercenaries & the Rise of the Modern Fascist Armies‘, ‘History Repeating: The Betrayal of the Kurds‘, ‘The Dyncorp Rabbit-Hole: Child-Trafficking, Black Ops & a Sordid History‘…