Author: Admin

Our media are not fit for purpose

by Philip Roddis This morning, just after eight, BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys interviewed an American ‘expert’ – didn’t catch the name – on the first meeting, today, of Trump and Putin. In the time between my reaching for the bread bin, and two slices of the moderately browned popping from the toaster, said expert had presented as incontestable truth – no need to back up such a claim – Russia’s ‘aggression’ as against America’s ‘caution’. People buy this crap, you know, if only subliminally. Why? Because the west, anglo saxon west in particular, long ago traded independence of foreign policy for favoured status in Washington, so framing the boundaries for mainstream discourse on global affairs. And because, thanks to English as world lingua franca, most of us grew up on a cultural diet of the US as force for good: the orientalist corollary being the inscrutable asiatic; untrustworthy and capable of unspeakable acts. (Nowadays no one says such things out loud of course. An age that’s given rise to so many new and useful …

The Economic Motive for America’s Current Wars

Russia has long been the chief seller of energy — mainly gas and oil — in the world’s largest energy-market: the EU, or Europe. This means that U.S.-based energy companies, such as Exxon and Halliburton, aren’t the ones who dominate in supplying oil, gas, pipelines, and other energy-supplying needs, to the consumers and businesses in the world’s largest energy-market: Europe.

Enclosure of Gaza as a “Prison Territory”

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, via Global Research Construction of New High Tech Surveillance Wall to Separate Gaza from Israel Israeli media reports confirm the construction of a new high tech 65 km security and surveillance wall equipped with cameras and sensors “to separate Gaza from Israel” thereby reinforcing the enclosure of Gaza as a de facto “prison territory” with a population of more than 1.85 million. This initiative constitutes the latest stage of a process started in 1994 with the establishment of the so-called Israel Gaza security barrier. As we recall the barrier was in part torn down during the Second Intifada in 2000 and was then rebuilt. There has been virtually no coverage or analysis of this latest project. “The ambitious project, budgeted to cost 3 billion shekhels ($850 million), will see an integrated wire fence, 6 to eight metres high, equipped with sensors and cameras built above the ground, over the 65-kilometre Gazan border, while heavy concrete slabs strengthened with iron rods will be built dozens of metres underground.” The Jerusalem Post (June …

Trump Has Been Continuing Obama’s Syria-Policy

by Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama’s foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as the U.S. President, committed himself quite clearly to continuing Obama’s publicly stated policy on Syria, which policy was to place, as the first priority, the elimination of ISIS, and as the policy to follow that, the elimination and replacement of Syria’s government. I have previously indicated that on June 19th “Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria — War Against U.S. There”, and that the early indications are that Trump has changed his Syria-policy to accommodate Russia’s demands there; but, prior to June 19th, Trump was actually following Obama’s publicly stated Syria-policy. As also will be shown here, Obama’s publicly stated policy — to destroy ISIS and then to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad — was actually less extreme than his real policy, which was to overthrow Assad and to use the jihadist forces in Syria (especially Al Qaeda in Syria) to achieve that objective. Trump, at least until 19 …

Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States

by John Staunton, via Global Research The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security,and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website. They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies. UNICORE/FPI makes its pitch for employing call center support personnel to firms thinking about off-shoring their call center functions. The logic is that, hey!, they may be prisoners, but it’s keeping the jobs in the USA that matters. Fair enough. That approach cuts out the middleman though, those Americans desperate for any kind of work but, through no fault of their own, are not behind prison bars and employable by UNICORE/FPI. Sure, it seems a heartless statement and there are any number of angles to take on why the USA is the world’s number one incarcerator: Capitalism, racism, social and political injustice, a pay-as-you-go legal system, bone-headed policy …

Washington’s Dangerous Middle East Agenda

from New Eastern Outlook It’s clear at this point that the recent visit of US President Trump to Saudi Arabia and Israel was about setting events into motion in order to fundamentally alter the present balance of power in the entire Middle East to the greater advantage of the United States and US energy geopolitics. As with most everything that Washington tries to do to rebuild its rapidly declining global dominance, this latest move by Washington to incite the Saudi Kingdom to ignite regime change in Qatar and escalate a form of oil war disguised as a Sunni-Shi’ite power conflict already looks in serious trouble. I share with you a recent interview with an Arabic-language Middle East magazine in question and answer format. Q: What can you say about the conflict between Qatar Gulf at this moment after the Arabic-Islamic-American summit at Riyadh? WE: In my view this is a deep power struggle between Qatar and Saudi Arabia that has little to do with stated reasons regarding Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. The action to isolate …

Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria

Late on Monday the 19th, was reported by Russia’s Sputnik: “In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets” — meaning ordered out, or else immediately shot down.

Nuclear Weapons Ban? What Needs to be Banned Is U.S. Arrogance

by Diana Johnstone, from Global Research In a context of almost total indifference, marked by outright hostility, representatives of over a hundred of the world’s least powerful countries are currently opening another three-week session of United Nations talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons. Very few people even know this is happening. Ban nuclear weapons? Ho hum… Let’s change the subject. Let’s talk about Russian hacking instead, or the rights of trans-sexuals to use the toilet of their choice, or even about something really important: climate change. But wait a minute. The damage to human society, and to “the planet”, from the projected rise of a few degrees of global temperature, while commonly described as apocalyptic, would be minor compared to the results of all-out nuclear war. More to the point, the degree of human responsibility in climate change is more disputed among serious scientists than the public is aware, due to the role of such contributing factors as solar variations. But the degree of human responsibility for nuclear weapons is …

Liberals’ massive increase in defence spending is a budgetary coup

by Murray Dobbin, from rabble.ca The arrogance of power could scarcely be more dramatically demonstrated than by the tag team of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announcing that Canada was going to cave in to Donald Trump’s demand that we spend two per cent of GDP on defence. We will be increasing military spending by 70 per cent over 10 years — an obscenity when so many social needs go unmet. Not only does this make a mockery of Trudeau’s election pledge to return to Canada’s historic peacekeeping role but surrenders to the absurd one-size-fits-all NATO imperative. Nothing has changed internationally to justify such an increase. There are no existential threats to Canada on any horizon. As Trudeau said in March, Canada more than pulls its weight in NATO: we are the sixth-highest spender in NATO and 16th in the world. Giving Freeland the opening role on the announcement raises the question of her disproportional position in changing Canada’s defence posture. Her contradiction-filled foreign policy speech in the House of …

OffG is now on Patreon

Following the freezing of our PayPal account we have decided to move to Patreon. The URL is https://www.patreon.com/offguardian Please note that even if we regain access to our PayPal account we won’t be opening it for donations again as we don’t think it’s a reasonable risk to take with our supporters’ money, since PayPal have made it clear they can at any time take possession of funds in any account without redress. Unfortunately this does mean we are starting from scratch. So, if you were kind enough to set up a recurring donation with PayPal, as well as canceling that donation ASAP please consider pledging to us on Patreon instead. And for those who haven’t made that step yet, maybe this could be the moment to do so? We are a team of four, which in practical reality is often three, two or even just one. We don’t accept advertising or sponsored content. We have no large financial backers. Donations from our readers is our only means of survival. We aren’t currently offering incentives, because …

OffG’s PayPal Account has been frozen – please cancel any recurring donations

OffG’s PayPal account has been frozen for what are described as “security” reasons. We have no access to the funds you have donated and – given PayPal’s history with other alternative news sites – it’s possible we may not be able to regain access. Please do NOT make any more donations to this account and cancel any recurring donations you may have set up. If PayPal closes the account, they will retain the funds and WILL NOT return them to the people who donated. So be warned. Many of our followers have suggested we move to a Patreon account, and this might be an opportune moment to do this. We’ll be posting more information about this soon. UPDATE: We have now set up a Patreon account at http://patreon.com/offguardian.

Why Americans Don’t Understand Terrorism, At All

by Joe Giambrone “Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” Seymour Hersh, The Redirection, 2007 We live in an invisible empire, and so the mechanics of the empire are never openly discussed with the rabble. Americans don’t comprehend how power actually works across the planet that their country seeks to control. They live from momentary headline to headline without any honest, in-depth analysis of why events like the Manchester bombing occur and keep occurring. When it comes to terrorism it is dire, urgent, and desperate that the public understand, if anything is to change. But it certainly appears that Americans never will. Perhaps Britons may, and then lead the effort to stop it. In the United States, a bigoted faction demonizes all Muslims. That faction calls for more weapons and for their own wanton terror …

The US takes Syria’s Al-Qaeda off Terror Watch-lists

by Nauman Sadiq According to a recent report [1] by CBC Canada, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which was formerly known as al-Nusra Front and then Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) since July 2016, has been removed from the terror watch-lists of the US and Canada after it merged with fighters from Zenki Brigade and hardline jihadists from Ahrar al-Sham and rebranded itself as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in January this year. The US State Department is hesitant to label Tahrir al-Sham a terror group, despite the group’s link to al-Qaeda, as the US government has directly funded and armed the Zenki Brigade, one of the constituents of Tahrir al-Sham, with sophisticated weaponry including the US-made antitank TOW missiles. The overall military commander of Tahrir al-Sham continues to be Abu Mohammad al-Julani, whom the US has branded a Specially Designated Global Terrorist with a $10 million bounty. But for the US to designate Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist organization now would mean acknowledging that it supplied sophisticated weapons to terrorists, and draw attention to the fact that …

General Election 2017 – the Tories “won” but spectacularly lost

Despite the two-year long rabid anti-Corbyn propaganda from the Murdoch tabloids, traditional Tory press and establishment at large. Despite the  shamefully lukewarm  and last minute semi-endorsement from the Guardian.  Despite the opinion polls that apparently predicted an increased Conservative majority and a collapse of the Labour voteTheresa May and her colleagues achieved the near impossible and contrived to be so incompetent, blundering, arrogant, vitriolic, greedy and estranged from reality they ended up with a tottering minority government, no mandate and – as a bonus –  a complete moral victory for Corbyn and his team and a rout for the Blairite wing of the Labour party.

Sticking Your Neck-and-Neck Out

by W Stephen Gilbert Now we dare to hope. If the rain isn’t too relentless on Thursday…If the Momentum activists do their stuff and all those who’ve volunteered to phone voters with the free-to-use app do so…If whatever low stunts have been pulled by The Sun, the Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph on Thursday morning can be laughed off…If nobody has a seriously damaging last-minute gaffe…And if the ever-unreliable opinion polls are a day or two behind the trend… Who imagined that this was possible seven weeks ago? Well, I did. Jeremy Corbyn’s galvanising candour and cool have worked miracles before. We saw it last year and the year before. Alone among Tories, Ken Clarke warned of its power two years ago. But a sense of righteous entitlement has misled smarter people than Theresa May. She never credited the possibility of failure. If he becomes Prime Minister on Friday or after a week or two of haggling or after a second election in the autumn, it will be Corbyn’s triumph way beyond …

Terror in Britain: What did the Prime Minister Know?

by John Pilger The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy. Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist “assets” in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal “review”. The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years. The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation which seeks a “hardline Islamic state” in Libya and “is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida”. The “smoking gun” is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in “battle”: first to remove …

What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say?

by Philip Giraldi from UNZ Review The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan’s public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with: Brennan’s explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump. The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign: reviewed intelligence that showed ‘contacts and interaction’ between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign.” Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: “Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides”. The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is: “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the …