All posts filed under: latest

Is history a new NATO weapon against Russia?

by Adomas Abromaitis On Wednesday (July 11th) NATO and Russia have got a new reason to argue and make claims to each other. NATO posted an 8-minute online documentary feature video, glorifying activity of the Baltic partisan movement “Forests Brothers” (see above). The matter is for the Baltic States WWII did not end in 1945, as well as for the Soviet army soldiers who faced unexpected violent resistance from national partisans. The Forest Brothers actively fought the Soviet army from 1948 until the late 1950s or early 60s. It should be noted that the Forests Brothers’ activity is little known and controversial piece of history of the Baltic States. There are two radically opposite points of view. From one point of view the Forest Brothers were partisans who continued armed resistance to the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania after the end of the Second World War. From the second point of view such treatment of their activity is very contradictory, because there are facts that many of the Forest Brothers were former Nazi …

Number of European working poor doubles in a decade

by Elisabeth Zimmermann , 12 July 2017, WSWS More and more people in work in Europe are being forced into poverty. This is demonstrated by a new study by the Hans Böckler Foundation which was made public last Thursday.  The study, titled “Activation policies and poverty,” notes that a growing proportion of the population of Europe live in poverty, although they are working. The researchers from the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Böckler Foundation examined the effects of labor market and social policy measures in 18 EU countries from 2004 to 2014. All of the measures were aimed at forcing unemployed people into low-wage labor. According to their research, an average of about 10 percent of the workforce aged between 18 and 64 in the countries studied were “working poor.” This means they earn less than 60 percent of the average income in their country. The proportion of working poor was highest in Romania at 18.6 percent, followed by Greece, 13.4 percent, and Spain, 13.2 percent. In Germany, the number of working …

«War in the Balkans» – the Memoirs of a Portugese Peacekeeper (II)

by Stephen Karganovic, July 9, 2017, Strategic Culture In his memoir, «War in the Balkans», (1) retired Portuguese general Carlos Martins Branco, who was during the conflict in the Former Yugoslavia in the strategically important post of Deputy Head of Mission of UN Military Observers in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994-1996), recounts his knowledge of events that took place around Srebrenica in July of 1995. In contrast to the fanciful tales of a bevy of dubious «experts», false witnesses, and outright propagandists, General Martins Branco reports facts as they were observed or collected by intelligence and other sources in the field.  That information made its way through official channels to his desk in Zagreb, where the headquarters of the UN Observer Mission was located.  Martins Branco’s facts and conclusions are hardly susceptible to off-hand dismissal. Excerpts cited below are on pages 201 – 206 of his memoir. We will begin with the general’s conclusion challenging the received wisdom that Srebrenica was genocide and then work our way back from there: «Had they entertained the …

«War in the Balkans» – the Memoirs of a Portugese Peacekeeper (I)

by Stephen Karganovic, July 7, 2914, via Strategic Culture General Carlos Martins Branco is one of the most fascinating (and until quite recently also inaccessible) actors in the Srebrenica controversy.  From his Zagreb vantage point as deputy head of the U.N. Protection Force (UNPROFOR) between 1994 and 1996, during the latter phase of the 1990s Yugoslav conflict as it unfolded in Croatia and Bosnian and Herzegovina, this Portuguese officer had privileged access to significant information.  Confidential reports about the goings on in the field were crossing his desk.  With first-hand information and further enlightened by discrete conversations with colleagues from various intelligence structures, Martins Branco was positioned ideally to learn facts which many officials would have preferred to cover up, and the media frequently ignored. With a typically Latin emotional flair, refusing to remain silent as the «Srebrenica genocide narrative» was taking shape in the second half of the 1990s, Martins Branco published in 1998 an article provocatively entitled «Was Srebrenica a Hoax? Eyewitness Account of a Former UN Military Observer in Bosnia».  In that early plunge …

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence

by Stephen Gowans, July 11, 2017 A barbed criticism aimed at the International Socialist Organization, shown [in our cover illustration], under the heading “If the ISO Existed in 1865” encompasses a truth about the orientation of large parts of the Western Left to the Arab nationalist government in Damascus.  The truth revealed in the graphic is that the ISO and its cognates will leave no stone unturned in their search for an indigenous Syrian force to support that has taken up arms against Damascus, even to the point of insisting that a group worthy of support must surely exist, even if it can’t be identified. Of course, Washington lends a hand, helpfully denominating its proxies in the most laudatory terms.  Islamist insurgents in Syria, mainly Al Qaeda, were not too many years ago celebrated as a pro-democracy movement, and when that deception proved no longer tenable, as moderates.  Now that the so-called moderates have been exposed as the very opposite, many Leftists cling to the hope that amid the Islamist opponents of Syria’s secular, Arab …

Mass Arrests of Protesters: Outrageous in Russia, Barely Worth Mentioning in US

by Adam Johnson, July 13, 2017, FAIR Major media’s relative lack of interest in the mass arrests by Metro DC police on Inauguration Day is a fact noted by activists and journalists since the incident almost six months ago. One way to measure the dearth of coverage is to compare the attention paid to comparable protester arrests in Russia last month. On June 12, over 1,700 Russians throughout the country were arrested for “unauthorized protests” in opposition to President Vladimir Putin and government corruption. “Dozens”—including opposition leader Alexei Navalny—were kept in jail longer than a day, but the vast majority were let go immediately. (Navalny, as well as some others, got between 15–30 days in jail.) More than 200 Americans were arrested on January 20 after “rioting” broke out in downtown Washington, DC, in the hours leading up to and after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Some were let go over the next few weeks, but the bulk of the 200+ still face 10–80 years in federal prison for “felony rioting.” It’s important to note at least two major differences …

Russia: a target, not a superpower

by Sara Flounders, via Workers.org The corporate media’s constant use of Cold War terminology to describe the meeting of the U.S. and Russian presidents as a meeting of the “two superpowers” masks the present relationship of forces. U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin met at the Group of 20 summit on July 7 in Hamburg, Germany. Old preconceptions and terms must be challenged in order to have an accurate view of the present international situation. Russia today, as a capitalist country, is not even a fifth-rate economic power. The Russian economy is smaller than the economy of Brazil, south Korea or Canada. According to World Bank and International Monetary Fund measurements, Russia now ranks 12th globally in its gross domestic product. This measurement is the market value of goods and services. Today’s Russian Federation is a vastly different state — socially, politically, economically and militarily — from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of even 27 years ago. It is important to understand what Russia is today in order to understand …

CNN Hires Top al-Qaeda Propagandist for Documentary

by Jay Syrmopoulos, July 12, 2017, Free Thought Project Bilal Abdul Kareem, of On the Ground News, was contracted by CNN to film a documentary called Undercover in Syria.  Kareem is a self-proclaimed media activist living in rebel-held Syria and is considered “one of the top English-language propagandists for al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabat al-Nusra,” according to an Alternet expose on Abdul Kareem and his connections to terrorism and CNN. On June 16 Abdul Kareem went public with his intimate connection to CNN, and its documentary “Undercover in Syria”.  He relayed his frustration with the network, having essentially whitewashed him out of his credit for a documentary he had a large hand in creating for CNN, which won a prestigious Peabody Award. Abdul Kareem explained how CNN contracted him and his online news outlet, On the Ground News, to film the award-winning documentary. “This was with CNN and their correspondent Clarissa Ward, which I have big-time respect for, big-time respect as a journalist, as a person,” Abdul Kareem said. “This Undercover in Syria, you can Google it — it won the prestigious Peabody Award, and …

The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

byEric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at all. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn’t even built on trading-blocs. In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said: In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties.17 After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States19, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly. It goes on to observe: Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today,119 it is not uncontested on theoretical and …

A Brief History of Mass Theft

by Darren Allen Our institutionalised brand of democracy goes by the name of capitalism. In such a system the word democracy, as Noam Chomsky points out actually means, run by the business classes. If it’s not run by business, it simply doesn’t count as democratic. Capitalist democracy is one in which all capital is privately, albeit indirectly, owned by a tiny club of psychologically stunted monsters. It is a democracy that asks us to vote, every four or five years, for people who have almost zero influence over the totalitarian corporate structures that actually run the planet and in which we spend most of our actual lives; a democracy that can only survive by making its members as stupid, anxious, greedy and hateful as possible so that they continue to vote for the owners and managers who sit at the bottom of the democratic money-funnel with their golden buckets, laughing like this: It’s worth asking, I think, how we could get to such a state. Ask yourself this; what do these six things have in …

Hungary: Paradise for liberals

by István Lovas Do you wonder what you are going to read in the mainstream press on Hungary tomorrow? I will tell you. The same as yesterday, and the same as in the past almost seven years since Hungary’s right-of-center Fidesz government, led by the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was elected. You will learn that Mr. Orbán is a populist, an autocratic ruler, a menace to Europe, and a politician not hesitating to use anti-Semitic language in order to win over voters of the far-right Jobbik, and cover up uncomfortable truths about whatever is on the agenda in Hungary on that day. He, of course, has muzzled the media, made the court system a handmaiden of the ruling elite, abolished checks and balances, while he is suffocating the voice of dissenters, creates inordinate fear, chases away half of the country beyond Hungary’s borders, and the rest of the stuff. Lately, Hungary has been called the safe haven of the European ultra-right. At the time when Hungary’s authorities have arrested and expelled two such figures, such …

The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord

By Ray McGovern via Information Clearing House The U.S. mainstream media remains obsessed over Russia’s alleged “meddling” in last fall’s election, but the real test of bilateral cooperation may come on the cease-fire in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. July 09, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the “regime change” dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by bringing the U.S. military and intelligence bureaucracies into line behind a cease-fire rather than allowing insubordination to win out? These are truly life-or-death questions for the Syrian people and could have profound repercussions across Europe, which has been destabilized by the flood of refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the six-year proxy war that has ripped Syria apart. But you would have little inkling of this important priority from the large page-one headlines …

VIDEO: Requiem for the Suicided – Danny Casolaro Part 1

Danny Casolaro was a freelance journalist who told his friends and family that he was close to cracking a story he called ‘The Octopus’, which he referred to as the political conspiracy of the century. In August of 1991 he packed his notes and headed to West Virginia to conduct some final interviews for his forthcoming book. On August 10, 1991, he was found dead in his hotel room. The death was immediately ruled a suicide. Join us on this episode of The Corbett Report as we go in search of the story behind the story of the mysterious death of Danny Casolaro. See Part 2 here.

Multipolar World Arrives: Russia, China Face Down US Bully

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during the 2016 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in Lima, Peru. Photo Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters   Finian Cunningham writes in Strategic Culture Foundation: The United States’ hegemonic dominance in the world is heading to the exits. The decline in US unipolar power has been underway for several years, in line with the emergence of a multipolar world. This week, Russia and China showed important resolve to face down American bully tactics over North Korea. The confrontation suggests a turning point in the transition from American world dominance to a multipolar one. US President Donald Trump reiterated the possibility of military attack on North Korea while in Poland this week. This was also while Washington was hectoring China and Russia to join in a tougher response to North Korea over its ballistic missile launch days before – the former two nations themselves having recently been sanctioned anew by the US. Talk about American audacity and double think. However, the crass arrogance shown …

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 …

What “community standards” did this comment breach? #15

I don’t comment on the Guardian anything like as much as I used to, it has become largely pointless due to the massive and dishonest moderation. But the recent spate of rather retro anti-Russian articles caused me a brief bout of sarcasm under this article, headlined: I thought nothing in Russia could shock me. Then I went to a television broadcast It’s a forgettable book-plug, neck-deep in condecension, telling the story of how – in horrible evil Russia – there’s a person that tells the audience when to clap and when to stop clapping. The fact this is exactly how television all over the world works is not mentioned. I posted the following comment: Natrually, I was immediately called a “putinbot” by the sort of high-minded individuals who, 500 hundred years ago, would have been having epileptics burnt at the stake: Interestingly, when it came time to remove comments, it wasn’t the abusive response that was removed, but the whole section: Anyhow… Does it “misrepresent the Guardian and its journalists”? Is it “persistent trolling or …

Online Freedom: Are We Past the Point of No Return?

by Carla, therightsideoftruth.com, via The Sleuth Journal Internet freedom is on the decline. It has been ever since companies began centralizing control over where users congregate, and things have only gotten worse with ever increasing government intervention. Some might see said claims as alarmist and will say things aren’t “that bad,” citing dictatorships such as North Korea as examples of true restriction of internet freedom. But this comparison doesn’t do justice to the extent to which online freedom is being limited. Truly, the enemy is among us, and it has been for quite some time. Self-interested organizations including big record companies, movie studios and even the government have been slowing chipping away at individual freedom as they fear losing control over the economy and the people. Beyond that, government organizations continue to tighten their grip as internet freedom threatens the status quo. The real question we need to be asking, though, is this: Are we past the point of no return? The Patriot Act In the West, specifically in the US, the first serious threat …