All posts filed under: latest

Signs Indicate Trump Continuing Obama’s Support for Al Qaeda in Syria

by Eric Zuesse, September 22, 2017 According to a report issued on September 22nd by the most accurate reporter on the current status of forces in the war against Syria — the anonymous military and geostrategic blogger who owns, and posts exclusively at, the “Moon of Alabama” blog — the effort by the previous U.S. President Barack Obama in support of Al Qaeda in Syria, is continuing under the current U.S. President Donald Trump. However, that report isn’t the only indication of Trump’s continuing Obama’s war against Syria, and of the U.S. Government’s continuing pro-Al-Qaeda policy in Syria. And, furthermore, the U.S. Government even supports ISIS in Syria when ISIS is being attacked by Syria’s secular and non-sectarian Government, which Government the U.S. Government has been trying to overthrow and replace by Saud-financed fundamentalist-Sunni Islamists, ever since 1949. Back on 14 October 2016, Patrick Cockburn appropriately headlined in Britain’s Independent, “We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding ISIS”, but any reference to the government …

U.S. Near Bottom in Public Trust of Newsmedia

by Eric Zuesse According to the most extensive study ever done of the public’s usages of, and trust in, the news media in their country — a study that (in late January early February) scientifically sampled thousands of people in each one of 36 different industrialized countries — the United States scored #28, which was in the bottom 22% of all 36 nations, regarding the public’s trust of the news media.  However, the average American had a 53% level of trust in the news-sources he or she is relying on.  The country with the highest level of trust in the news media generally was Finland, where 61% of the population trust the nation’s news media.  Two countries were tied for the last place in trusting the media among the 36 nations surveyed, both scoring a 23% level of trust: Greece, and Korea.  All of the countries that scored below the U.S. (in order increasingly less-trusting than America, down to the very bottom) were: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Taiwan, France, Malaysia, Slovakia, and then, Greece and …

Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

by Simon Wood, September 20, 2017 “As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by an aggressive hostile force with nuclear weapons. The DPRK will faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for global denuclearization.” – Kim Jong Un, May 8, 2016 Attention: António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations Sir, I am writing in regard to a speech given by US President Donald Trump to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) earlier this week, in particular the following excerpt: “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” As Secretary-General you are sworn to uphold the principles enshrined in the United Nations charter. Article 1: [The Purposes of the United Nations are:] [1.] To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of …

Korea Solution Needs US to Sign a Peace Treaty

by Finian Cunningham, via Strategic Culture Germany and France have backed the stance of Russia and China for negotiations to avert the Korea crisis. South Korea and Japan also seem to be amenable to recent calls by Russian President Vladimir Putin for exclusively diplomatic efforts. Any other option in the alarming standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program portends disaster. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has endorsed the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran as a model for possible negotiations. That puts the United States on the margin of international consensus, with its repeated threats to use military force as an option against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Last week, following another North Korean ballistic missile test that overflew Japan, US President Donald Trump’s top national security adviser reiterated Washington’s self-declared right to use pre-emptive military force, tacitly including the deployment of nuclear weapons. «For those who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option», said General HR McMaster to reporters in Washington. While McMaster and President Trump, as …

America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People

by Lynn Parramore, April 20, 2017, via Institute for New Economic Thinking A new book by economist Peter Temin finds that the U.S. is no longer one country, but dividing into two separate economic and political worlds You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.”  But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place. In a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear:  America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates. Two roads diverged In one of these countries live members of what Temin calls the “FTE sector” (named for finance, technology, and electronics, the industries which largely support its growth). These are the 20 percent of Americans who enjoy college educations, have good …

Google offers to take food pictures for me

by Denis Churilov, September 20, 2017 You know you’re boring when even the NSA doesn’t bother collecting data on you. I feel sorry for the large IT-corporations, though.  Unlike government agencies, I give them my personal information voluntarily just by using their services, so they HAVE TO store and analyse it all (regardless of whether they want to) to find patterns for target advertisements (not that there is much variety in the data about my life… just saying). Whenever I go to a local restaurant, Google Search app notices it through GPS-tracking and offers me to take pictures and write a review.  So thoughtful of it.  It always knows what I’m up to and what I’m about to have (pfff, as if I’m impressed by it; the staff in all local fast-food stores know me by my name and what I’m going to order at any given day of the week too).  I’m wondering when will my phone start sending me notifications saying something like “What?  Nado’s?  This place again?  Really?  Denis, have you ever …

The Rohingya Psyops: Waging Covert War on Myanmar

The United Nations has accused the Government of Myanmar of committing ‘genocide’ against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s troubled Rakhine State. In recent weeks the crisis in Myanmar has escalated, with human rights groups and NGOs publishing copious denunciations of the alleged human rights abuses and mass murder committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces, (Tatmadaw). The Myanmar government claims that they are fighting a war on terrorism against forces which seek to destabilise the state, Islamist forces in particular. They also claim that the so-called ethnic minority commonly referred to as ‘Rohingya’ are really illegal East Bengali immigrants.

We Lived Better Then

by Stephen Gowans Over two decades ago Vaclav Havel, the pampered scion of a wealthy Prague family, helped usher in a period of reaction, in which the holdings and estates of former landowners and captains of industry were restored to their previous owners, while unemployment, homelessness, and insecurity—abolished by the Reds– were put back on the agenda. Havel is eulogized by the usual suspects, but not by his numberless victims, who were pushed back into an abyss of exploitation by the Velvet revolution and other retrograde eruptions. With the fall of Communism allowing Havel and his brother to recover their family’s vast holdings, Havel’s life—he worked in a brewery under Communism—became much richer. The same can’t be said for countless others, whose better lives under Communism were swept away by a swindle that will, in the coming days, be lionized in the mass media on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s demolition. The anniversary is no time for celebration, except for the minority that has profited from it. For the bulk …

Is Sri Lanka being used by big powers to make the Indian Ocean another South China Sea?

by Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, September 17, 2017, via Defend Democracy Press The Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) organised by the India Foundation and held at the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s official residence ‘Temple Trees’ from Aug. 31 to Sept.1, was billed as a gathering of Indian Ocean Region countries and ‘other concerned nations’ with a view to advancing ‘Peace, Progress and Prosperity” in the Indian Ocean. While this is no doubt a laudable goal, the absence of perspectives from regional players like China and Pakistan points to somewhat more partisan objectives than those advertised. The delegate described as ‘Principal, Ambassadors’ LLC Group, China’ was actually an American citizen, and while there was ambiguity as to the interests she represented it would be safe to surmise that she did not represent the People’s Republic of China. However, the US, also an external power, was represented by its Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, Alice Wells. A post on the Conference’s Facebook page points to objectives not revealed elsewhere. It describes the gathering as being …

Terror in Myanmar as US faces off against China

by Sean Stinson China’s Belt and Road Initiative portends a monumental transformation of the global economic order; one which poses an existential threat to the Pax Americana which has existed since the end of the Cold War. Understanding this context is critical to making sense of the current hysteria gushing from the NGO-Industrial complex and being fuelled by Western liberal punditry. As I’ve argued previously, decisions taken by the Trump administration since January indicate a shift in US foreign policy. No longer concerned with waging petty wars on behalf of the Israel lobby and the billionaire class, attention has been focused acutely on Asia, and in particular China. Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was quite forthright about this in his August 16 interview with American Prospect magazine in which he stated unequivocally “To me, the economic war with China is everything. We have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never …

Guardian Plugs War Criminal’s Book

by Kit Nobody should be surprised to learn that Alistair Campbell, the former Blair PR guru, suffers from psychological problems. Obviously, lacking empathy to the extent that you can start an illegal war with a peaceful country, for the lone purpose of enriching corporate interests, would be a red flag to any psychiatrist worth his salt. Even supposing you weren’t entirely psychopathic beforehand, the associated guilt-rotting of the soul, after the fact, would surely be enough to drive one mad. Just look at Blair. Look at his mummified, rictus grin and tell me that’s not a man whose evil has stained his face. No, no one is surprised that Alistair Campbell has mental problems. And, sadly, no one is surprised that the Guardian gives him column inches – not just to whine about the stress involved in coordinating (among other things) mass-murder – but also to plug his book. I will not name it or link to it here, it doesn’t deserve the clicks. In any right-thinking society, this man would be in prison for …

Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton’s New Book

Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened”, a memoir of a fairly disastrous and ridiculously expensive Presidential campaign, went on sale a few days ago. Within hours it had over 1500 reviews on Amazon, many of them very, very negative. Amazon responded by deleting over 900 of them. 95% of those left are 5 star reviews. Zero Hedge have a great selection of screengrabs showing the progression. Putting aside the questions of corruption and corporate censorship, this is not new ground for Clinton’s camp, or for power structures in general. During the early stages of the Ukrainian coup in 2014, many mainstream news outlets (and especially the Guardian) responding to dissention in the comments by deleting swaths of them. That policy is the very reason this website exists. During the Presidential election the press was filled to the brim with babble, that never once touched on some important issues. American TV networks cut-off people mid-interview for saying the wrong thing. Three. Separate. Times. The media completely denied Clinton was sick, deriding it as a “conspiracy theory”, until …

The Bloviations of Christiane Amanpour, Queen of Fake News

by Sassy Surstein, December 11, 2016 The last week has peppered my feed with a clip of Amanpour accepting an award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, those most valuable of all citizens if you ask a journalist. Having worked in “alternative” foreign-policy journalism for years, I’m familiar with this walking talking intel op’s career shilling for US foreign policy, and it ain’t pretty. But watching this speech made me actually feel my face turning red, my heart pump a little harder. This hack had the gall to warn us about the dangers of “fake news.” This, from the mouthpiece who had a major hand in the media demonization of the Serbian people that made it easier for the US to intervene in the Balkans wars and finish off the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They bombed Serbia for 78 days, killing around 500 people. She also sneered at the “kangaroo courts” journalists often find themselves in after being accused of subversion (in bad non-Western countries, of course). In that room perhaps only she might recognize …

If you don’t see that Washington is driving to war with Russia, you are a dumbshit American

by Stephen Lendman In response to the Trump administration’s illegal seizure and search of Russian diplomatic properties in San Francisco, a total violation of diplomatic immunity, Vladimir Putin responded to a reporter’s question, saying “Trump is not my bride, and I am not his bride or groom.” He and other Russian officials remain understandably furious. US government hostility toward Russia is unrelenting. At the weekly press briefing of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova commented on the deplorable action, mocking State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert’s explanation, including Nauert’s claim that Washington seeks normal relations with Moscow. “How does the illegality that is happening on the territory of the Russian Federation building, which formerly housed the Russian General Consulate in San Francisco, contribute to normalizing the situation,” Zakharova asked? “Why are agents of the US government whom we do not know and whom we have not invited violating our property for who knows what reason? Do these illegal intrusions also ‘contribute to the normalization of bilateral relations?’” “Who sent them there? For what purpose? What are …

US Left, You Have Been Duped

by Richard Hugus, via Dissident Voice On August 19, a week after a heavily publicized clash over a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, an estimated 8,000 people converged on Boston Common to protest a speaking event organized by a group calling itself the Boston Free Speech Movement. Who are the Boston Free Speech Movement and what do they stand for? We’ll never know because antifascists, leftists, anti-racists, and progressives of Boston prevented them from even speaking. Some might say this was a good thing — no one wants to hear from bigots (if that’s who they were) — but, in fact, the left in all its self-righteousness was duped into an assault on the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right of free speech, for everyone. The left have been the pawns of much more powerful forces who, if they aren’t organizing these news events and provocations outright, are certainly happy to see precedents set for publicly shutting down free speech by the use of force. First it will …

Germany’s Minister of Defense is the first victim of “Zapad 2017”

Adomas Abromaitis Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen at a defense ministers’ summit in Estonia on September, 7 criticized upcoming Russian-Belarusian Zapad 2017 military exercises. She said that around 100,000 Russian soldiers will take part in the upcoming Zapad 2017 war games, despite Moscow’s claims that they will only have 12,700 participants and exercise will not exceed the 2011 Vienna Document limits. Moscow and Minsk also insist on defensive character of the exercise. Two countries that constitute the Union State of Russia and Belarus pre-declared intention to improve interoperability of staffs of different levels as well as interfacing of prospective troops and armament control systems in order to be prepared to react adequately to emerging threats. The statement of Germany’s Minister of Defense fully contradicts these official sources and was likely made in order to divert attention from internal problems in the German Army and switch it to external factors. Is Germany itself really ready to cope with rapidly changing geopolitical situation? This question should logically be addressed to the country’s Minister of Defense …

Common Knowledge vs. Reality: The propaganda ghosts of the Cold War

by Denis Churilov Russians are extremely sceptical people. This is partly due to the fact that the modern Russian history has been turbulent, rollercoaster-like, with ideological frameworks changing a few times within a single person’s lifetime. Take the last 40 years, for instance: Soviet propaganda, blatant anti-Soviet propaganda during Perestroika years, (neo-)liberal propaganda, followed by the economic reforms and privatization, which led to a disappointment in capitalism and “free market” by the majority of the population during the 1990s, the attempted “de-Sovietization” information campaign with a second wave of anti-Soviet propaganda during Medvedev years. The list goes on. There is an old joke: Russia, among all countries, has the most unpredictable past. Russian society’s view of its own history is very fluid, with official narratives changing every 4-12 years. The re-evaluation of paradigms happens often, with debates on fundamental historical and political issues being vibrant and mainstream. Most Russian people have learned how to be sceptical and how to not easily trust the official stories. Things are different in the West. Unlike Russia, the Western …

Syria: Breaking the ISIS siege of Deir ez-Zor was “a historic day”

  Screencap from the video below […] RT:  The siege of Deir ez-Zor has now been broken, and the Syrian president has congratulated the country’s military. How big a victory is this? What is the strategic or symbolic importance? Ammar Waqqaf: This is in Syrian terms a historic day. There are many aspects to why this is hugely significant. The first aspect is that there is a group of Syrians, a segment of the Syrian population, who refused to say at a certain moment in time when all the omens said something different – that the government in Damascus is going to collapse imminently and so on. They refused to succumb to the incoming forces of Islamic fanatics, unlike other places. They stuck with their government, and they stuck with their army, and now their suffering has been vindicated. This marks a huge shift in the whole set of choices that have been made by various segments of the Syrian population throughout this crisis. Another aspect of significance is that the government of President Bashar …

Video: In Syria, Deir ez-Zor civilians celebrate imminent lifting of IS blockade (updated)

RT reports: Encouraged by reports that the lifting of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) blockade of Deir ez-Zor was days away, defenders of the city celebrated the news on Sunday night, as footage from inside the city shows. The video was reportedly shot in the Jura district of the city, which has been besieged by the Islamic State terrorist group since 2014.Syrian government forces are advancing from several directions to break the blockade of the provincial capital, with the Russian Air Force supporting the offensive from the air. Related: Mohammed Ibrahim Samra, the governor of Deir ez-Zor has stated that the Syrian Arab Army is 24 to 48 hours away from storming the gates of Deir ez-Zor city which for years has been besieged by ISIS. Furthermore, Deir ez-Zor has subsumed the role as the major ISIS stronghold in Syria as fighters continue to flee the self-proclaimed ISIS capital of Raqqa. While the United States and its Kurdish proxies who lead the SDF are struggling to break into Raqqa city, which is being held …

The United States of Manufactured Hysteria

C.J. Hopkins in Counterpunch: Thank God for the Charlottesville Nazis! For a moment there, it was looking like we were actually going to have a few days to stop and reflect on the state of America without being subjected to some new form of manufactured mass hysteria. Seriously, just a few short weeks ago, as the corporatist ruling classes’ ridiculous attempt to convince the world that Donald Trump is some sort of Russian sleeper agent appeared to be finally fizzling out, a significant number of leftist types were beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fact that the United States government is controlled by a global corporate plutocracy that has no allegiance to any nation, or people, or to anything other than itself, and that is in the process of demonizing and potentially deposing an elected president … that maybe that might be something to focus on, not exclusively, by any means, but alongside other vital issues, like defending the rights of transgender drone pilots and purging syllabi of oppressive pronouns. Fortunately, thanks to the Nazis …