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Neoliberal war on reality

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" ~ CIA Director William Casey (attributed)

"Empire of illusions": The  triumph of entertainment and fake  news under neoliberalism

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Media as a weapon of mass deception Lewis Powell Memo Deception as an art form
Groupthink Disciplined Minds Belief-coercion in high demand cults Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals
Neoliberal newspeak US and British media are servants of security apparatus British elite hypocrisy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Corruption of the language Doublespeak Patterns of Propaganda Diplomacy by deception War propaganda Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Patterns of Propaganda Bullshit as MSM communication method Manipulation of the term "freedom of press" Identity politics as divide and conquer The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
Color revolutions Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources What's the Matter with Kansas Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians  
Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Manufactured consent Groupthink Big Uncle is Watching You
Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Soft propaganda Classic Papers Media Ownership Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given, rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content. If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015


Introduction

In many respects, the media creates reality, so perhaps the most effective route toward changing reality runs through the media.  "Controlling the narrative" is the major form of neoliberal MSM war on reality. By providing "prepackaged" narrative for a particular world event and selectively suppressing alternative information channels that contraduct the official narrative, neoliberals control and channel emotions of people in the direction they want.  Often in the direction of yet another war for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC.

libezkova said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs...  January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM  

Neoliberal MSM want to control the narrative. That's why "alternative facts" should be called an "alternative narrative". https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/controlling-the-narrative/?_r=0

== quote ==

Maybe this is the same kind of clinical detachment doctors have to cultivate, a way of distancing oneself from the subject, protecting yourself against a crippling empathy. I won’t say that writers or artists are more sensitive than other people, but it may be that they’re less able to handle their own emotions.

It may be that art, like drugs, is a way of dulling or controlling pain. Eloquently articulating a feeling is one way to avoid actually experiencing it.

Words are only symbols, noises or marks on paper, and turning the messy, ugly stuff of life into language renders it inert and manageable for the author, even as it intensifies it for the reader.

It’s a nerdy, sensitive kid’s way of turning suffering into something safely abstract, an object of contemplation.

I suspect most of the people who write all that furious invective on the Internet, professional polemicists and semiliterate commenters alike, are lashing out because they’ve been hurt — their sense of fairness or decency has been outraged, or they feel personally wounded or threatened.

It is hard to disagree with the notion which was put by several authors that American society is living  in a cocoon of illusion which conveniently isolates them from reality: entertainment and escapism infuse our society, economy, and political system with severe consequences. Among such authors are  Aldous Huxley. C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Ralph Nader, Karl Polanyi, Jared Diamond, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedge and several others. If we compare dystopias of Huxley and Orwell, and it clear that Huxley in his famous  New Brave World predicted the future much better:

"Huxley feared was that would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one... the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

The central idea here is that we now live as a society in which citizens become so distracted (and by extension detached) from reality that they lost any ability to influence their political or economic destiny. It is the same phenomenon that is described under the label of Inverted Totalitarism

This is one of the truly malevolent aspects of today's modern neoliberal world order and we need to confront it. It allows the old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of neo-fascist and despotic regimes; this illusion empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence in American society and deflect attention from the neoliberal financial vampires who have drained the blood of the country

"The tragedy is that we have become a screen culture, televisions, computers, phones, tablets, etc. Our electronic hallucinations have produced a society that has little time or patience for introspection or deep thinking. It reinforced my decision to maintain a television free life. For some, what Chris has to say may cut to close to the bone. But those with the courage to do so are usually the ones that care the most."

The biggest and most invisible elephant in the American psyche is this: our government has long since abandoned the goal of managing this nation as a nation. Instead, America as a nation is managed as a means to global empire.

For example the loss of the critical skills of literacy (seven million total illiterates, another 27 million unable to read well enough to complete a job application, and still another 50 million who read at a 4th-5th-grade level)  have led large part of the US population to become incapable of thinking for ourselves.

In fact they have become as malleable as children. 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a single book in a year.  Despite technology and internet access we are becoming a society of functionally ignorant and illiterate people.

For example there is widespread illusion of inclusion. This is the illusion that we are or will be included among the fortunate few because misfortune happens only to those who deserve it. There are plenty of people who understand that the corporate model is one in which there are squeezers and those who are to be squeezed. So the illusion of inclusion provides what can be called "a plantation morality" that exalts the insiders and denigrates the outsiders. Those content with this arrangement obviously view themselves as insiders even when they work for companies that are actively shedding employees. Many of these people are happy to be making good money for digging graves for others, never stopping to wonder if maybe someday one of those graves might be their own.

One of the first recorded metaphors which explained this phenomenon of substitution of reality with  illusion was Plato's tale about cave dwellers, who thought the shadows on the wall were the actual reality. Illusion can also serve as a deliberate distraction, isolation layer that protects form unpleasant reality. The point is that now it is illusions that dominate American life; both for those that succumb to them, and for those that promote and sustains them. It is the use of illusions in the US  society that become  prevalent today, converting like into the cinema or theater, where primary goal is entertainment.

Modern MSM are driven by postmodernism which includes among other things substitution of reality with artificial reality, fragmentation of history and push for historical amnesia, decentering of subject and juxtaposition of opposites. But the key feature is controlling the narrative.

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthüllungen Bücher - Kopp Verlag

Controlling the narrative means control and deliberate selection of the issues which can be discussed (and by extension which are not)  in MSM. It represents real war on reality.  Non-stop, 24 by 7 character of modern media help with this greatly (The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World - NYTimes.com):

We used to receive media cyclically. Newspapers were published once (or sometimes twice) a day, magazines weekly or monthly. Nightly news was broadcast, well, each night. Television programs were broadcast on one of the major networks one night a week at a specific time, never to return until a rerun or syndication. Movies were shown first in theaters and on video much later (or, before the advent of VCRs, not until a revival). There were not many interstices, just discrete units — and a smaller number of them.

Now we’re in the midst of the streaming era, when the news industry distributes material on a 24-hour cycle, entire seasons of TV shows are dumped on viewers instantaneously, most movies are available at any time and the flow of the Internet and social media is ceaseless. We are nearly all interstitial space, with comparatively few singularities.

Media became out windows to the world and this window is broken. The notion of 'controlling the narrative' points to dirty games played by PR gurus and spin merchants with event coverage (especially foreign event coverage) to ensure the rule of elite.  A good part of the White House budget and resources is spent on controlling the narrative. Creation of the narrative and "talking points" for MSM is the task of State Department. With State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, as a pretty telling "incarnation"  of the trend. 

And MSM are doing an exemplary job controlling the political narrative. This way they demonstrate their faithful service to the state and the ruling political class. Nowhere is more evident then in coverage of wars.

Only social media can smash the official version of events. And in some case that has happened. The USA MSM honchos are now scratching heads trying to understand  how to control their version of events despite Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

On Ukraine, despite the most coordinated propaganda offensive of Western MSMs, the Western elite failed to fully control the narrative:  a sizable number of Europeans are still clinging to the notion that this story had two sides. You can see this trend from analysis of Guardian comments (The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment ). More importantly the EU political establishment has failed to maintain a central lie inside official narrative -- that the EU is benign and a force for good / peace / prosperity. EU elite has shown its ugly face supporting Ukrainian far right.

Another example were initially MSM totally controlled the narrative (the first two-three weeks) and then when the narrative start slipping away they need to silence the subject  Shooting down Malaysian flight MH17

The thing is, once you've lost control of the narrative, as happened with coverage MH17 tragedy, there's no way back. Once Western MSM lost it, no-one any longer believed  a word they said about the tragedy.

And little can be done to win back that credibility on the particular subject. Moreover, due to this Europeans are becoming more and more receptive of a drip of alternative media stories that completely destroy official EU narrative. They came from a multitude of little sources, including this site and they collectively  cements the loss of trust to the EU elite. 

More subtle nuances of controlling the narrative: the role of the scapegoat

 There also more subtle nuances of controlling the narrative. Actually controlling the narrative does not mean that you need to suppress all the negative news (like propagandists in the USSR often did -- leading to complete discreditation of official propaganda in minds of the USSR people -- it simply became the subject of jokes). As John V. Walsh noted:

There is a simple rule that is followed scrupulously by U.S. commentators of every stripe on world affairs and war – with a very few notable exceptions, Paul Craig Roberts and Pepe Escobar among them.

This rule allows strong criticism of the U.S. But major official adversaries of the U.S., Iran, Russia and China, must never, ever be presented as better than the US in any significant way. The US may be depicted as equally bad (or better) than these enemies, but never worse.

In other words, any strong criticism of the US presuppose scapegoating and vicious propaganda campaign against  major official adversaries of the US such as Russia. It  must never, ever be presented in a better light then the US in any significant way. In selected cases, the US may be depicted as equally bad, but never worse.

The most recent incarnation of this rule was during Hillary Clinton campaign for POTUS in 2016.

Chris Hedge book Empire of Illusion

 
The informational function of the media would be this to help us forget, to serve as the very agents and mechanism for our historical amnesia.

But in that cast of two features of postmodernism on which I have dwelt here -- the transformation of reality into images, the fragmentation of 'me' into a series of perpetual presents -- are bother extraordinary consolant with this process.

... We have seen that there is a way in which postmodernism replicates or reproduces -- reinforces -- the logic of consumer capitalism.

Frederic Jameson “Postmodernism and Consumer Society

 

Chis Hedge Empire of Illusion  is a penetrating analysis of this effort of "entertainment society" and converting everything including politics into entertainment. It was published in 2010. Hedges discuss  complex issues and a clear, succinct way. You might agree with him, you might disagree with him but you will enjoy his brilliant prose. 

Those who manipulate  from the shadows our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for the Empire of Illusion. They are the puppet masters. No one achieves celebrity status, without the approval of cultural enablers and intermediaries. The sole object is to hold attention and satisfy an audience. These techniques of theater leeched into politics, religion, education, literature, news, commerce, warfare, and even crime. It converts that society into wrestling ring mesh with the ongoing dramas on television, in movies, and in the news, where "real-life" stories, especially those involving celebrities, allow news reports to become mini-dramas complete with a star, a villain, a supporting cast, a good-looking host, and a neat, if often unexpected, conclusion (p. 15-16).

The first big achievement of Empire of Illusion was "glorification of war" after WWIII. As the veterans of WW II saw with great surprise their bitter, brutal wartime experience were skillfully transformed into an illusion, the mythic narrative of heroism and patriotic glory sold to the public by the Pentagon's public relations machine and Hollywood. The extreme brutality and meaninglessness of war could not compete against the power of the illusion, the fantasy of war as a ticket to glory, honor, and manhood. It was what the government and the military wanted to promote. It worked because it had the power to simulate experience for most viewers who were never at Iwo Jima or in a war. Few people understood that this illusion was a lie. p. 21-22.

Media evolved into branch of entertainment. He gives great insight on American society. Several chapters should be a required read for all sociology, film, journalism students, or government leaders. Much like Paul Craig Robert's How America Was Lost you might feel unplugged from the matrix after reading this book. This is the book that corporate America, as well as the neoliberal elite, do not want you to read. It's a scathing indictment against everything that's wrong with the system and those that continue to perpetuate the lie in the name of the almighty dollar. In a way the USA as the rest of the world are amusing itself into a post apocalyptic state, without an apocalypse. It is simply cannibalizing itself.

That books also contains succinct, and damning condemnation of globalization (and, specifically, the USA's role in it). You can compare it with Klein's 'Shock Doctrine', but it cuts a wider swath. 

The discussion the follows was by-and-large adapted from  D. Benor  Amazon review of the book

We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies,  and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possession unique if unacknowledged gifts. p. 26-7. Celebrity is the vehicle used by a corporate society to sell us these branded commodities, most of which we do not need. Celebrities humanize commercial commodities. They present the familiar and comforting face of the corporate state. p. 37.

Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask whether the message is true but rather whether the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater for supporting particular (usually State Department in case of foreign events) talking points.  Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the most convincing fantasies. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefines reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control. p. 50-1.

A couple quotes: "When a nation becomes unmoored from reality, it retreats into a world of magic. Facts are accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained cosmology. The search for truth becomes irrelevant." (p. 50) "The specialized dialect and narrow education of doctors, academics, economists, social scientists, military officers, investment bankers, and government bureaucrats keeps each sector locked in its narrow role. The overarching structure of the corporate state and the idea of the common good are irrelevant to specialists. They exist to make the system work, not to examine it." (p. 98) I could go on and on citing terrific passages.

The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

Those who slip into this illusion ignore the signs of impending disaster. The physical degradation of the planet, the cruelty of global capitalism, the looming oil crisis, the collapse of financial markets, and the danger of overpopulation rarely impinge to prick the illusions that warp our consciousness. The words, images, stories, and phrases used to describe the world in pseudo-events have no relation to what is happening around us. The advances of technology and science, rather than obliterating the world of myth, have enhanced its power to deceive. We live in imaginary, virtual worlds created by corporations that profit from our deception. Products and experiences - indeed, experience as a product - offered up for sale, sanctified by celebrities, are mirages. They promise us a new personality. They promise us success and fame. They promise to mend our brokenness. p. 52-3.

We have all seen the growth of a culture of lies and deception in politics, banking, commerce and education. Hodges points out how this has been facilitated by our abandoning the teaching of values and analysis in our schools.

The flight from the humanities has become a flight from conscience. It has created an elite class of experts who seldom look beyond their tasks and disciplines to put what they do in a wider, social context. And by absenting themselves from the moral and social questions raised by the humanities, they have opted to serve a corporate structure that has destroyed the culture around them.

Our elites - the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street, and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools - do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of how to replace a failed system with a new one. They are petty, timid, and uncreative bureaucrats superbly trained to carry our systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions that will satisfy the corporate structure. Their entire focus is numbers, profits, and personal advancement. They lack a moral and intellectual core. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they believe, is a secondary product of the free market - which they slavishly serve. p. 111.

I quote Hodges at some length because of his cogent, clear summaries of the problems leading us to self-destruction and to ways we might someday restructure society to be supportive and healing to the individual - rather than exploiting people and viewing them only as valuable as they can be manipulated into being gullible consumers.

This is one of the clearest and best focused discussions I have seen on the problems of modern society that are leading us to societal suicide

Hedges points out how a cycle sustains itself between elite educational institutions (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.), the Government (think Congress in particular) and Corporations. Ivy league schools basically turn-out lackeys that do whatever is necessary to maintain their elite, self-absorbed status. The last chapter is entitled, "The Illusion of America," and this is where Hedges does a fantastic job of pulling together all the elements of this dysfunctional society. Other books touch the same themes, sometimes more forcefully but in this book most important elements of this picture put together.

Among the booksHedges cites:

Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte

The book Gekaufte Journalisten by Udo Ulfkotte was a revelation. Of cause, we suspected many things he  described, but nwo we know detailed methods and mechanisms of suppressing alterative opinion in German society, methods that are probably more effective that anything propagandists in the DDR adn the USSR ever attempted.  One of the central concept here is the concept of "Noble Lie".

Guardian became neoliberal as soon as Tony Blaire became Prime minister. As any neoliberal publication is subscribes to the notion of "noble lie". The latter actually came from neocons playbook.   No they knowingly try to dumb down their reader substituting important topic with celebrity gossip and hate speech. Even political issue now are "served" to the public as dishes under heavy sauce of personalities involved, which is a perfect way to obscure the subject and distract the readers.

geronimo -> MurkyFogsFutureLogs 14 Mar 2015 12:31
Indeed...

Under the retiring editor, all politics seems to have been reduced to 'identity' politics. Forget about class, war, class war and so on... If it can't be reduced to Hillary's gender or Putin's, er... transcendental evil... then it's barely worth a comment above the line.

As I've said before, for the Guardian 'the personal is the political' - or rather, for the Guardian as for Hillary, the political reduces to the personal.

A marriage made, not so much in heaven, but somewhere in political-fashionista North London.

In reality most prominent journalists are on tight leash of "'deep state". As Udo Ulfkotte book attests this is a rule, not an exception. While this was known since Operation Mockingbird  was revealed, nothing changed. As revealed by Senator Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975. In his Congress report published in 1976 the authors stated:

"The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets."

According to the "Family Jewels" report, released by the National Security Archive on June 26, 2007, during the period from March 12, 1963, and June 15, 1963, the CIA installed telephone taps on two Washington-based news reporters. Church argued that misinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year.[20]

In February 1976, George H. W. Bush, the recently appointed Director of the CIA, announced a new policy:

"Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contract relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station." He added that the CIA would continue to "welcome" the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists.[21]

But at this point only handlers and methods changed, not the policy. They are still all controlled by deep state. The most recent revelations of this fact were published by Udo Ulfkotte’s in his bestseller book  Bought Journalists. Here is one Amazon review of the book: 

Unicorns & Kittenson May 1, 2015

I've managed to read a bit of the German version ...
 
I've managed to read a bit of the German version and now I think I understand why this is still not available in English although it was supposed to be released in this and other languages seven months ago. I will be very surprised if this shocking and destabilizing book (which names names) is made available to Americans ... even though it's primarily about the abusive tactics of American intelligence agencies. Please keep asking why it isn't published - despite being a best-seller in Germany -- and how we can get it here on Kindle.

As one Amazon reviewer said "This book will change for ever the way you read and watch the mainstream media! " Here is some additional information from russia-insider:

... ... ...

Ironically, however, it’s likely that one of the biggest threats (especially in Europe) to Anglo-American media credibility about Ukraine and other issues is coming from a very old-fashioned medium – a book.

Udo Ulfkotte’s bestseller Bought Journalists has been a sensation in Germany since its publication last autumn. The journalist and former editor of one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, revealed that he was for years secretly on the payroll of the CIA and was spinning the news to favour U.S. interests. Moreover he alleges that some major media are nothing more than propaganda outlets for international think-tanks, intelligence agencies, and corporate high-finance.

“We’re talking about puppets on a string,” he says, “journalists who write or say whatever their masters tell them to say or write. If you see how the mainstream media is reporting about the Ukraine conflict and if you know what’s really going on, you get the picture. The masters in the background are pushing for war with Russia and western journalists are putting on their helmets.” [8]

In another interview, Ulfkotte said:

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say…it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe.” [9]

... ... ...

Apparently, Pomeranzev has forgotten that important October 2004 article by Ron Suskind published in the New York Times Magazine during the second war in Iraq (which, like the first, was based on a widely disseminated lie). Suskind quoted one of George W. Bush’s aides (probably Karl Rove): “The aide said that guys like me [journalists, writers, historians] were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality…That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.” [12]

It’s a rather succinct description of Orwellian spin and secrecy in a media-saturated Empire, where discerning the truth becomes ever more difficult.

That is why people believe someone like Udo Ulfkotte, who is physically ill, says he has only a few years left to live, and told an interviewer,

 “I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too… We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war…I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom…” [13]

Recently, as Mike Whitney has pointed out in CounterPunch (March 10), Germany’s newsmagazine Der Spiegel dared to challenge the fabrications of NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, for spreading “dangerous propaganda” that is misleading the public about Russian “troop advances” and making “flat-out inaccurate statements” about Russian aggression.

Whitney asks, “Why this sudden willingness to share the truth? It’s because they no longer support Washington’s policy, that’s why. No one in Europe wants the US to arm and train the Ukrainian army. No wants them to deploy 600 paratroopers to Kiev and increase U.S. logistical support. No one wants further escalation, because no wants a war with Russia. It’s that simple.” [14] Whitney argued that “the real purpose of the Spiegel piece is to warn Washington that EU leaders will not support a policy of military confrontation with Moscow.”

So now we know the reason for the timing of the April 15 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, “Confronting Russia’s Weaponization of Information.” Literally while U.S. paratroopers were en route to Kiev, the hawks in Washington (and London) knew it was time to crank up the rhetoric. The three witnesses were most eager to oblige.


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Old News ;-)

[Dec 08, 2018] Putin wants to normalize relations with the west but, inexplicably, he provokes and alienates the West just prior to every scheduled meeting with Trump. These events only makes sense if the provocations are coming from agents in the West who wish to derail any rapprochement between the US and Russia

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Mike from Jersey , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:21 pm GMT

Good article. You wrote:

There also has to be some consideration the encounter with the Russians on the Kerch Strait was contrived by Poroshenko with the assistance of a gaggle of American neoconservative and Israeli advisers who have been actively engaged with the Ukrainian government for the past several years. The timing was good for Poroshenko for his own domestic political reasons but it was also an opportunity for the neocons warmongers that surround Trump and proliferate inside the Beltway to scuttle any possible meeting between a vulnerable Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 gathering in Argentina.

I came to the exact same conclusion.

Putin wants to normalize relations with the west but, inexplicably, he provokes and alienates the West just prior to every scheduled meeting with Trump. Of course, that doesn't make any sense. These events only makes sense if the provocations are coming from agents in the West who wish to derail any rapprochement between the US and Russia. Then it makes sense.

If this is true (as it appears to be) one can reasonably predict that any time Trump and Putin are about to meet, that a Skripal/Ukraine or other Russia-is-evil event will be staged to derail the meeting.

Let's watch in 2019 and see if this prediction comes true.

If it does, we will know that someone, behind the scenes, is staging these events.

APilgrim , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:42 am GMT
The ongoing campaign to vilify Vladimir Putin & the Russian Federation, is a complete failure, with conservatives, evangelicals, and republicans.

The globalists continue to waste their time & our money, with this shit.

JLK , says: December 5, 2018 at 5:09 am GMT
@APilgrim

The ongoing campaign to vilify Vladimir Putin & the Russian Federation, is a complete failure, with conservatives, evangelicals, and republicans.

I'll keep an open mind until Mueller's report is released, but Cohen's connections are allegedly with the mainly Jewish Russian mob. It is unclear what their agenda may have been, but Trump has been a lot nicer to Israel than to Russia.

[Dec 05, 2018] Manufacturing Official Narrative by C.J. Hopkins

Guardian is just a propaganda outlet. That sad fact does not exclude the possibility of publishing really good articles, thouth. That still happens occasionally.
The fact that they follow MI6 and Foreign Office talking points in all foreign events coverage a is just a testament the GB is a "national security state". Nothing more, nothing less.
Notable quotes:
"... I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others). ..."
"... The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it. ..."
"... By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange. ..."
"... And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story. ..."
"... It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. ..."
"... Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so. ..."
"... The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. ..."
"... It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." ..."
"... The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts. ..."
"... Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts . ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.unz.com

...First, let's look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing official narrative (aka "official truth" or "truth" -- note quotes ). I'm going to use The Guardian 's most recent blatantly fabricated article (" Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy ") as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by "respectable" outlets over the course of the last two years. The " Russian Propaganda Peddlers " story. The " Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton " story. The " Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid " story. The " Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape " story. The " Novichok Assassins " story. The " Bana Alabed Speaks Out " story. The " Trump's Secret Russian Server " story. The " Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis " story. The " Russians Orchestrated Brexit " story. The " Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms " story. The " Twitter Bots " story. And the list goes on.

I'm not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook , Craig Murray , Glenn Greenwald , Moon of Alabama , and many others).

The short version is, The Guardian 's Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed "Russians") on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding's earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous "intelligence sources." After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece ( employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally ), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.

By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other "respectable," "authoritative" outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian 's story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and "leftists" who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.

At this point, I imagine you're probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing "truth." Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the "truth" thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes' lies). Unfortunately, it isn't. Here is why.

Much as most people would like there to be one (and behave and speak as if there were one), there is no Transcendental Arbiter of Truth. The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

Nor are there many "truths" (i.e., your truth and my truth). There is only one "truth" the "official truth". The "truth" according to those in power. This is the whole purpose of the concept of truth. It is the reason the concept of "truth" was invented (i.e., to render any other "truths" lies). It is how those in power control reality and impose their ideology on the masses (or their employees, or their students, or their children). Yes, I know, we very badly want there to be some "objective truth" (i.e., what actually happened, when whatever happened, JFK, 9-11, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Schrödinger's dead cat, the Big Bang, or whatever). There isn't. The truth is just a story a story that is never our story.

The "truth" is a story that power gets to tell, and that the powerless do not get to tell, unless they tell the story of those in power, which is always someone else's story. The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. They either parrot the "truth" of the ruling classes or they utter heresies of one type or another. Naturally, the powerless do not regard themselves as heretics. They do not regard their "truth" as heresy. They regard their "truth" as the truth, which is heresy. The truth of the powerless is always heresy.

For example, while it may be personally comforting for some of us to tell ourselves that we know the truth about certain subjects (e.g., Russiagate, 9-11, et cetera), and to share our knowledge with others who agree with us, and even to expose the lies of the corporate media on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs, or in some leftist webzine (or "fearless adversarial" outlet bankrolled by a beneficent oligarch), the ruling classes do not give a shit, because ours is merely the raving of heretics, and does not warrant a serious response.

Or all right, they give a bit of a shit, enough to try to cover their asses when a journalist of the stature of Glenn Greenwald (who won a Pulitzer and is frequently on television) very carefully and very respectfully almost directly accuses them of lying. But they give enough of a shit to do this because Greenwald has the power to hurt them, not because of any regard for the truth. This is also why Greenwald has to be so careful and respectful when directly confronting The Guardian , or any other corporate media outlet, and state that their blatantly fabricated stories could, theoretically, turn out to be true. He can't afford to cross the line and end up getting branded a heretic and consigned to Outer Mainstream Darkness, like Robert Fisk, Sy Hersh, Jonathan Cook, John Pilger, Assange, and other such heretics.

Look, I'm not trying to argue that it isn't important to expose the fabrications of the corporate media and the ruling classes. It is terribly important. It is mostly what I do (albeit usually in a more satirical fashion). At the same time, it is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution." People already know the truth the official truth, which is the only truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story.

As for Julian Assange, I'm afraid he is done for. The ruling classes really have no choice but to go ahead and do him at this point. He hasn't left them any other option. Much as they are loathe to create another martyr, they can't have heretics of Assange's notoriety running around punching holes in their "truth" and brazenly defying their authority. That kind of stuff unsettles the normals, and it sets a bad example for the rest of us heretics.

#

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

Manufacturing Truth

James Forrestal , says: December 3, 2018 at 6:26 pm GMT

Good piece. I think there's another layer, though.

The truth or falsehood of individual facts about the physical world can often be determined with near-certainty. But when it comes to history, or "news" about current events/ politics, reality is much too complex to address directly. Too many individual facts to be comprehensible, let alone useful.

We must pick, choose, emphasize, or ignore particular elements, and arrange them into some kind of structure, in order to form a useful narrative. Or in the case of "news," the legacy media oligarchy largely performs this function for us -- we simply passively accept/ adopt their narrative. Or, in many cases, "choose" between the closely-related variants of that narrative offered by the "liberal" vs. "conservative" press.

This process of abstraction, simplification, and organization inevitably involves data loss. So no narrative is "true" in the same sense that individual facts about the real world are true. But some narratives incorporate large amounts of "facts" that are demonstrably false, and some are more useful/ descriptive/ predictive than others. No one engaged in this process is "objective." They -- or we -- are all in some way part of the story. It should be self-evident that some narratives are more useful to the perceived interests of owners of major media outlets than others, and that these will assume a much more prominent place in their coverage than ones that are deleterious to those interests.

Ideally, most people would take these factors into account when evaluating the "news," and maintain a much more skeptical attitude than they typically do. But there are several factors that prevent this.

One is simply time/ efficiency. These individual narratives, taken together, support -- and are supported by -- our overall worldview. There aren't enough hours in the day to be constantly skeptical about everything, especially since the major tools of distortion involved in constructing mainstream narratives tend to be selection bias/ memory-holing, with obvious lies about known facts (like the Guardian story referenced here) used only sparingly. It's simply not practical to to constantly consider potentially "better" narratives, and to reevaluate one's worldview based on these.

And which narrative we believe often has more to do with perceived social pressure/ social acceptability than with "truth." As you put it,

Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Mass media pushing a common narrative creates an artificial perception of social consensus. Creating, or even finding, alternative narratives means fighting the inertia of this perceived consensus, and potentially suffering social costs for believing in the "wrong" one. The social role of narratives is largely independent of their "truth" -- if what you're "supposed" to believe is highly implausible, that actually gives it higher value as a signal of loyalty to the establishment.

It's probably best to maintain a resolutely agnostic attitude toward most "news" items, unless one is particularly interested in that particular event. " Why are they pushing this particular story?" "Why now ?" and " What are they trying to accomplish here?" are often more useful questions than "Is it true?"

It's not a new issue -- only exacerbated by the advent of mass visual media:
"Propaganda" -- Edward Bernays (1928)
"The Free Press"– Hilaire Belloc (1918)

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT
I get what Hopkins is trying to do here, but redefining terms (i.e., "truth") doesn't do what he thinks it does.

The truth is not ' what most people think '; it's not ' what we are told to believe '; it's not ' the official narrative '.

There is a useful cautionary tale embedded in Hopkins' piece, but he doesn't tease it out properly.

Take this excerpt:

The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that "truth" is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

With significant caveats, it is a reasonable description of the way the political world works: if the political class decides that its interests are best served by declaring that a specific narrative X is 'true', it will obtain immediate compliance from about half the livestock, and can then rely on force (peer pressure; subsidy or taxation; state coercion) to get an absolute majority of the herd to declare that they accept the 'truth' of X .

If X is objectively false, too bad.

Try to run a legal argument based on the objective falsity of a thing that the political class has deemed to be true: you'll be shit outta luck.

This is highly relevant where I am sitting: here are two examples – one really obvious, one a bit less so (but far more important because of its radical implications).

Obvious Example: Drug Dogs

Recent research has shown that drug sniffing dogs give false positive signals between 60% and 80% of the time – i.e., in terms of identifying people who are in actual physical possession of drugs at any point in time, drug sniffing dogs perform worse than a coin toss.

Note that this is before considering that the dog's handler is often pointing the dog at a target that the handler thinks is likely to be carrying drugs. (Although in reality, drug dogs are paraded around at concerts and in public spaces, sniffing every passer-by).

However there is an Act of Parliament (capitalise all the magic words) that asserts that a signal from a drug sniffing dog is sufficient to qualify as what Americans call "probable cause" – i.e., reasonable suspicion for a search.

Does anyone think that evidence should be admissible if it results from a search conducted based on 'probable cause' derived from a method that produces worse outcomes than tossing a coin?

Judges will tie themselves into absolute epistemological knots to get that evidence admitted – and they will refuse to permit defence Counsel from adducing evidence about drug dog inaccuracy because since the defendant actually did have drugs in their possession, the dog didn't signal falsely.

In other words, the judge conflates posterior probability with prior probability; the prior probability that the dog is correct, is 10%-40%; this should not suffice to generate probable cause (or 'reasonable suspicion).

More Interesting Example: 'Representative' Democracy

In general, Western governments assert that their legitimacy stems from two primary sources: some founding set of principles (usually a constitution – written or otherwise), and 'representativeness' (including ratification of the constitution by a representative mechanism, for those places with written foundational documents).

The Arrow Impossibility Theorem [1,2] and the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem [3,4], both show that there is no way of accurately determining group preferences using an ordinal voting mechanism.

What this boils down to, is that representativeness is a lie – and it's a lie before any consideration of voting outcomes ; it's a meta -problem (the problem that ordinal voting cannot do what it is claimed to do – viz ., accurately identify the 'will of the people'/'social preferences'/'what the people want').

Beyond the meta-problem, there is also the actual counting problem: no government has ever been elected having obtained the votes of an outright bare majority, i.e., 50%-plus-1 of the entire eligible franchise. (It's more like 25-35% for most parliamentary systems – for US presidential elections in the full-franchise period, the winner is voted for by 29% of the eligible population; you would be horrified to look at US Senate results).

So when the new unhappy lords (and their Little Eichmann bureaucrat enablers) promulgate laws based on assertions of legitimacy because of a constitutional Grundnorm and/or the representative nature of government both of those things are pretty obvious furphies; they are objectively not 'truth' and no amount of heel-clicking and wishing will make it so.

Which brings us to a key legal aphorism that has a jurisprudential history going back four centuries: Ratio legis est anima legis, et mutata legis ratione, mutatur ex lex – which dates from Milborn's case ( Coke 7a KB [1609]).

The reason for a law is the soul of the law, and if the reason for a law has changed, the law is changed .

What this means – explicitly – is that " no law can survive the [extinction of the] reasons on which it is founded ".

American courts re-expressed this as " cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex " (the reason for a law having ceased, the law itself ceases) – e.g., in Funk v. United States , 290 US 371 (1933) in which Justice Sutherland opined –

This means that no law can survive the reasons on which it is founded. It needs no statute to change it; it abrogates itself . If the reasons on which a law rests are overborne by opposing reasons, which in the progress of society gain a controlling force, the old law, though still good as an abstract principle, and good in its application to some circumstances, must cease to apply as a controlling principle to the new circumstances.

(Emphasis mine)

Again: try running this argument in a court: " The asserted basis for all laws promulgated by the government, is provably false. Under a doctrine with a 4-century jurisprudential provenance, the law itself is void ."

See how far you get.

So Hopkins makes a good-but-obvious point – power does not respect either rights or truth; as such it does you no good whatsoever to have the actual truth on your side. He should have made the point better.

References (links are to PDFs of each paper)

[1] Arrow (1950). " A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare " Journal of Political Economy 58 (4): 328–346

[2] Geanakoplos, John (2005). " Three Brief Proofs of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem " Economic Theory 26 (1): 211–215

[3] Gibbard (1973). " Manipulation of voting schemes: a general result " Econometrica 41 (4): 587–601.

[4] Satterthwaite (April 1975). " Strategy-proofness and Arrow's Conditions: Existence and Correspondence Theorems for Voting Procedures and Social Welfare Functions " Journal of Economic Theory 10: 187–217.

Brabantian , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT
C J Hopkins, despite some good quotes and insights above, regrettably falls into the trap of peddling Derrida-tier relativistic nonsense, playing a word game about 'truth', as if 'truth' was not real merely because most people have strong incentives to avoid being devoted to it

Where you stand depends upon where you sit, etc., Karl Marx's dictums about economic and power positions shaping consciousness, and of course the century-old classic:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

from Upton Sinclair (1878-1968). Hopkins more or less repeats Sinclair when he says

Those who are conforming to [official truth] are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

Despite selling-out truth to the relativism devil in some passages, Hopkins nevertheless creates some quotable, including the particularly insightful:

The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative.

The following notion of Hopkins is seen now and then in the alt-sphere, but always bears repeating

It is important to realize that "the truth" is not going to "rouse the masses from their slumber" and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly "wake up," "see the truth" and start "the revolution."

... ... ...

Kratoklastes , says: December 3, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
@Tulip

The coin of truth is iron and blood.

That's absolutely, 100% wrong.

Iron and blood are the tools used to force people to accept what isn't true. (Another way to tell: it was uttered by a fucking politician – a cunt who wanted to live in palaces paid for by the sweat of other people's brows).

Truth does not need violence to propagate itself: in a completely-peaceful system of free exchange, bad ideas (of which lies are a subset) will get driven out of the market place because they will fail to conform to ground truth.

Falsehood requires violence (arguably it is a form of violence: fraud is 'violent' because it causes its victims to misallocate their resources or to deform their preferences and expectations).

In a very real sense, truth does not need friends: all it requires is an absence of powerful enemies.

RobinG , says: December 4, 2018 at 12:21 am GMT
@James Forrestal

Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War in the United States

https://www.occupationmovie.org/

This film shows a great example of propaganda in action. Free to watch now and this link also includes a short version and a trailer.

Jett Rucker , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 3:04 am GMT
When I tell any Truth, it is not for the sake of Convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who Do.

~ William Blake, 1810

polistra , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:33 am GMT
The distinction is simple. We can't know the truth about distant and complex events like 9/11 or JFK unless we were directly involved, and those people are all dead. For big events we have to rely on, or ignore, the official accounts.

But we CAN know the truth about our own situation, our own neighborhood, and our own families. The current riots in France are a concrete ASSERTION of local truth against the blatant and condescending official lies. The majority of France is getting poorer and suffering more from migrant crime. Macron insists that starvation is necessary to serve Gaia, and crime is necessary to serve Juncker. The people would prefer to have a leader that serves France.

The scalpel , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
@FB Scientific truth is limited by two factors – assumptions, and hidden variables. For example, we might drop a brick in a vacuum and believe that it falls at 9.8 m/s squared. Here, we make the assumption that the force of gravity is constant. And for most of history we were unaware of the hidden variable of relativity to the speed of light.

So, assuming (LOL) that we are able to eliminate all assumptions and account for all hidden variables, there is a scientific truth. That is ASSUMING we are not just a simulation in someone elses computer!

Given all this, still, we can approach an approximation of truth that some can agree on. Here is where the trouble starts .

DFH , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm GMT
What is truth? – John 18:38
FB , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm GMT
@The scalpel LOL and then there is the 'observer effect' also especially in good old quantum mechanics in the end scientific truth does boil down to what 'some can agree on'
Tulip , says: December 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT
@Kratoklastes Strength is the production of force over distance. That is to say, force is a quantifiable, physical phenomenon that, deconstruct it as much as you want, will hit you like a tsunami whether you believe it or not.

Force only works because there is a real world that transcends philosophical bullshit and marketing.

The subjective piece is will: victory is attained when the enemies will to resist is crushed. Through the repeated use of physical force, eventually any enemy can be worn down and vanquished.

The world is finite, desire is infinite, and for every desire and appetite, there is a will. As multiple wills will that they attain their infinite desires in a finite world, there will always be a conflict of will, which will always ultimately be resolved by force. Which means ultimately, despite the rich imaginations and appetites of humans, and their related striving, physical force will ultimately rule the day, and conquer, condition, and constrain the mental life of mankind.

Of course, desire and appetite will not take no for an answer, and in their frustration, they will imagine, fantasize, and conceptualize rationales for why this is not so. This is the nature of our desires, and in good times of prosperity and peace, they may even bend our reason in the direction of these appetites and fantasies, until the instincts for self preservation and endurance rust, and are even forgotten. But like the moon revealed by a passing cloud, the perpetual war of human existence will inevitably reassert itself, and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing.

TimothyPMadden , says: December 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm GMT
What is truth ?

Truth is a word .

After reading the article and the aggregate comments, I am strengthened in my belief that the physics analogy of Schrödinger's cat is among the most useful (and notwithstanding the otherwise valid criticism of it in the comments). In the same way that the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, does not purport to define a given word, per se , but rather gives a detailed description of how the word has in fact been used over the years and centuries.

I refer to my version of Schrödinger's cat as counter-sense words or oscillating-contradictions .

Oscillating contradictions and cogno-linguistic manipulation

The primary means by which corporate supremacy, for example, is achieved and maintained in practice is via the maintenance and use of a small arsenal of about two dozen critical counter-sense or yo-yo -like words/terms that are asserted or claimed to mean either "X" or "Minus-X" at the option of the decision-maker.

Among the most important and sui generis (in a class of its own) is the word person which is held to mean a living, breathing being of conscience (literally a being of equity) with the rights, powers and privileges of such being ("X"), or else it can mean a corporate entity which is a notional/inanimate item of property to be bought and sold and otherwise traded for profit in the stock and financial markets ("Minus-X").

By way of example/demonstration of the ongoing cognitive manipulation process, if someone had managed to hit the judges of the U.S. Supreme Court with a blast of truth-ray just before they announced their decision in Citizens United, here is what we may have got instead:

[MORE]

We here at the Supreme Court are part of what can be fairly and broadly referred to as an arm of the entrenched-money-power.

At certain times and under certain circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be natural-persons-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person or living being of conscience.

At other times and other circumstances it is to our enormous advantage over you the masses that corporations be items of property that can be actively bought and sold and traded for profit in the stock and financial markets.

Your laughable naiveté is manifest in your expectation that you are going to receive a definitive answer from this Court, or even that it is possible for us to give you one. Among the foundational purposes of this Court is to actively prevent that question from being answered definitively at all. The instant we give a definitive answer, the game is over.

Whatever answer we give you must perpetuate the systematized delusion that the same concept (corporate personhood) can mean either X (a living being of conscience), or minus-X (an item of property), depending on the ever-changing needs of the decider.

So our current answer is that a corporation is a natural-person-in-law with the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, except when it isn't. We'll let you know next time whether that situation has changed in the meantime.

Essentially all counter-sense words/terms follow that same template .

Notwithstanding that the respective concepts are logically and objectively mutually exclusive , the judges of the Courts (and the broadly-defined financial-world/social-control-structure) maintain that it can be either or both , and we'll let you know if and when it becomes important.

So a corporate person has a right of free speech when giving money to influence political parties, but not to object to itself being sold as a piece of property in the stock and financial markets or when it is acquired in a merger or takeover financed by its own assets. If a corporation has the legal capacity and rights of a natural person, then how can it be owned as the legal property of another? The purpose of the Courts is to ensure that that question is never presented in that way.

After person , the remaining most significant counter-sense or yo-yo -like words are (surprise surprise) essentially all money-and-finance-based, and the most important among these is the word principal and its role in facilitating illegal front-loading or ex-temporal fraud (interest illegally and unlawfully compounded in advance).

Is the amount of principal the actual or net amount advanced by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use and control?

Or is it the amount that the debtor agrees that they owe regardless of the amount received?

Is the amount of principal a question of fact ? Or of the agreement of parties ?

[Here is the premise / offer that is referenced immediately below:]

Lender (e.g., typical second-mortgage lender): "I will loan you $10,000 at 20% per annum provided that you sign and give to me a marketable security that claims or otherwise purports to evidence that I have loaned you $15,000 at 10% per annum, plus an undisclosed and unregistered side-agreement and cheque (check) back to me for a bonus or loan fee of $5,000 as a payment from the nominal proceeds."

In the process example used above, what is the principal amount of the loan? Is it $10,000 because that is the factual net amount invested by the creditor and received by the debtor for their own use? Or is it $15,000 because that is the amount that the debtor is required to falsely agree that they have received and owe as a condition of the loan? Or is it $20,000 because that is the total cash-equivalent/money assets ($15,000 mortgage + $5,000 cheque) that the debtor has to give to the creditor?

Is it a noun/fact ? Or is it an adjective/opinion merely pretending to be a noun? All debt and therefore money in the world today depends on the answer to that question that theoretically cannot exist.

Principal is a special type (and most significant form) of counter-sense word or oscillating contradiction where dictionaries normally only give one sense, while commercial practice defines the contrary. It would be very difficult to put the Whatever-the-debtor-agrees-that-they-owe sense into a dictionary, because the fraud against meaning (as well as the criminal law) is manifest in spelling it out, and ever more so in more specialized financial dictionaries.

So virtually every legal, financial, accounting, and ordinary English dictionary and/or regulation defines it to the effect "The actual amount invested, loaned or advanced to the debtor/borrower net of any interest, discount, premium or fees", while virtually every financial security in the real world at least implicitly incorporates the fraudulent alternative/contrary meaning.

This in turn allows the academic world to function on the rational/factual definition, while the markets maintain a wholly contradictory deemed or pretended reality, while both remain oblivious to the contradiction.

Thus principal means the nominal creditor's actual and net investment, unless it doesn't .

With this class of counter-sense word where there is a necessary and definitive answer, the real job of the judges of the Courts becomes to make certain that the question is never officially asked, and under no circumstances is it to be definitively answered.

With just one of these words you can theoretically steal the Earth . With a financial system that is relatively saturated with them, such becomes child's play . With these rules a group of competently-trained chimpanzees otherwise pulling levers at random could do as well as the so-called wizards of Wall Street .

And significantly, these oscillating contradictions enable the judges to be self-righteous in the extreme on behalf of the entrenched-money-power, while looting the little people of the product of their labour.

As in: You have received the principal amount ($10,000) and you are going to pay back the principal amount ($15,000) plus the ever-accumulating (and super-leveraged) interest upon it according to your contract, while the meaning of the word oscillates between fact and opinion – between a noun and an adjective – according to what the judge needs it to mean (or accommodate) at any given instant in time.

It seems impossibly obvious in this simple example, but with several of them orchestrated simultaneously or sequentially, anything can truly be made to mean anything .

A partial list of the most critical oscillating-contradicitions includes: loan, credit, discount, interest, rate-of-interest, agreement, contract, security, repay, restitution, etc., all of which mean either "X" or its conceptual opposite "Minus-X" at the option of the entrenched-money-power whose vast financial fortunes are founded on such cogno-linguistic arbitrage .

Here are what I believe to be four essential tools needed to triangulate reality via congo-linguistic parallax . The first two are mine, and the last two are from the American and English Courts, respectively.

1. Humans are highly cogno-linguistic . We perceive reality very largely as a function of the language that we use to describe it. Most everyone inherently believes and presumes that you have to be able to think something before you can say it. The greater reality is that, above a certain base level of perception and communication, you have to have the words and language by which to say something before you can think it .

2. The world is ever-increasingly controlled and administered by people who genuinely believe whatever is necessary for the answer they need. Administrative agents of the entrenched-money-power have solved the criminal-law enigma of mens rea or guilty mind by evolving or devolving (take your pick) into professional schizophrenics who genuinely believe whatever they need to believe for the answer they need, and who communicate among themselves subconsciously by how they name things. They suffer a cogno-linguistically-induced diminished capacity that renders them incapable of perceiving reality beyond labels .

3. Their core business model or modus operandi is the systematized delusion :

"A "systematized delusion" is one based on a false premise, pursued by a logical process of reasoning to an insane conclusion ; there being one central delusion, around which other aberrations of the mind converge." Taylor v. McClintock, 112 S.W. 405, 412, 87 Ark. 243. (West's Judicial Words and Phrases (1914)).

4.

One must not confuse the object of a conspiracy [to defraud] with the means by which it is intended to be carried out. Scott v. Metropolitan Police Commissioner [1974] 60 Cr. App. R. 124 H.L.

I have long since abandoned my search for truth, per se, since I came to realize that the best I can ever do is to constantly strive to move closer to it. With apologies to the physicists, Truth is the Limit of Infinite Good Faith .

The Scalpel , says: Website December 5, 2018 at 12:34 am GMT
@Tulip " which will always ultimately be resolved by force."

Right there is where you lost the plot. That statement is just your opinion and it cannot be proven true. The rest of your argument falls victim to this logical error.

" and those that have prepared for the inevitable will vanquish those who were content to daydream when they should have been preparing."

Also, just your opinion. For example, the "dreamer" might die still comforted by his/her dreams, while the "prepper" might waste his life witing for the "inevitable' that never arrives.

redmudhooch , says: December 5, 2018 at 2:15 am GMT
Truth shall set you free.

For the First Time Since 9/11, Federal Gov't Takes Steps to Prosecute the Use of Explosives to Destroy WTCs

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/911-lawyers-petition-grand-jury-explosives/

In what can be described as a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth, a United States Attorney has agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers.

The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).

After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.

Some good documentary films here to watch for free:

http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

Heres a couple more. Occupation of the American Mind is very good. All of John Pilgers films are great.

James Forrestal , says: December 5, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT

@Wizard of Oz

My question/quibble relates to your objection to the use of sniffer dogs to establish probable cause for search because it is no better than a coin toss. That seems fallacious if, according to your figures, the dogs sniff 500 people and get excited by 10 of them of which 3 are correctly identified and 7 are false positives.

Yeah. The concepts of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value might be very helpful in assessing this.

[Dec 04, 2018] Professor Carroll Quigley - Last Lectures, The Western Tradition, Fall of the American Republic

Notable quotes:
"... The reality of the last two hundred years of the history of the history of Western Civilization, including the history of our own country, is not reflected in the general brainwashing you have received, in the political mythology you have been hearing, or in the historiography of the period as it exists today. ..."
Dec 04, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

These quotations excerpted below are all taken from Public Authority and the State in the Western Tradition by Carroll Quigley. It was the three part Oscar Iden Lecture at Georgetown University in 1978, a few months before he died.

Quigley is perhaps most well known for being the author of Tragedy and Hope .

Later this week I intend to publish a very nice essay and summary of these thoughts in this last lecture by Christopher Quigley.

Needless to say I do not necessarily agree with everything that Professor Quigley states in his writings. But I do find them extraordinarily well informed and interesting. Given that they were written in the 1970s his forecasting, although not perfect, was quite prescient.

He does state that after Nixon it is unlikely that another President will be impeached, because of the manner in which the impeachment process has become 'lawyerized.' How ironic then that we have seen the impeachment of William J. Clinton, who himself was a student of Quigley and who publicly thanked and acknowledged him as a mentor.

Related: Carroll Quigley on Tragedy and Hope

"And since what we get in history is never what any one individual or group is struggling for, but is the resultant of diverse groups struggling, the area of political action will be increasingly reduced to an arena where the individual, detached from any sustaining community, is faced by gigantic and irresponsible corporations."

Prof Carroll Quigley, Part 1 The State of Communities , Georgetown University 1978

"The reality of the last two hundred years of the history of the history of Western Civilization, including the history of our own country, is not reflected in the general brainwashing you have received, in the political mythology you have been hearing, or in the historiography of the period as it exists today.

Persons, personalities if you wish, can be made only in communities. A community is made up of intimate relationships among diverse types of individuals--a kinship group, a local group, a neighbourhood, a village, a large family. Without communities, no infant will be sufficiently socialized. He may grow up to be forty years old, he may have made an extremely good living, he may have engendered half a dozen children, but he is still an infant unless he has been properly socialized and that occurs in the first four or five years of life. In our society today, we have attempted to throw the whole burden of socializing out population upon the school system, to which the individual arrives only at the age of four or five.

Human needs are the basis of power. The state, as I said, is a power structure on a territorial basis, and the state will survive only if it has sufficient ability to satisfy enough of these needs. It is not enough for it to have organized force, and when a politician says, "Elect me President and I will establish law and order," he means organized force or power of other kinds. I won't analyze this level; it's too complex and we don't have time. I will simply say that the object of the political level is to legitimise power: that is, to get people, in their minds, to recognize and accept the actual power relationship in their society.

We no longer have intellectually satisfying arrangements in our educational system, in our arts, humanities or anything else; instead we have slogans and ideologies. An ideology is a religious or emotional expression; it is not an intellectual expression. So when a society is reaching its end, in the last couple of centuries you have what I call misplacement of satisfactions. You find your emotional satisfaction in making a lot of money, or in being elected to the White House in 1972, or in proving to the poor, half-naked people of Southeast Asia that you can kill them in large numbers.

And then, as the society continues and does not reform, you get increased militarisation. You can certainly see that process in Western Civilization and in the history of the United States. In the last forty years our society has been drastically militarized. It isn't yet as militarized as other societies and other periods have been; we still have a long way to go in this direction. Our civilization has a couple of centuries to go, I would guess. Things are moving faster than they did in any civilization I ever knew before this one, but we probably will have another century or two.

As this process goes on, you get certain other things. I've hinted at a number of them. One is misplacement of satisfactions. You find your satisfactions--your emotional satisfaction, your social satisfaction-- not in moment to moment relationships with nature or other people, but with power, or with wealth, or even with organized force--sadism, in some cases: Go out and murder a lot of people in a war, a just war, naturally.

The second thing that occurs as this goes on is increasing remoteness of desires from needs. I've mentioned this. The next thing is an increasing confusion between means and ends. The ends are the human needs, but if I asked people what these needs are, they can hardly tell me. Instead they want the means they have been brainwashed to accept, that they think will satisfy their needs. But it's perfectly obvious that the methods that we have been using are not working. Never was any society
in human history as rich and as powerful as Western Civilization and the United States, and it is not a happy society.

In its final stages, the civilization becomes a dualism of almost totalitarian imperial power and an amorphous mass culture of atomized individuals.

Freedom is freedom from restraints. We're always under restraints. The difference between a stable society and an unstable one is that the restraints in an unstable one are external. In a stable society, government ultimately becomes unnecessary ; the restraints on people's actions are internal, there're self disciplined, they are the restraints you have accepted because they make it possible for you to satisfy all your needs to the degree that is good for you.

Communities and societies must rest upon cooperation and not on competition. Anyone who says that society can be run on the basis of everyone's trying to maximise his own greed is talking total nonsense. All the history of human society shows that it's nonsense. And to teach it in schools, and to go on television and call it the
American way of life still doesn't make it true. Competition and envy cannot become the basis of any society or any community.

The fundamental, all pervasive cause of world instability today is the destruction of communities by the commercialisation of all human relationships and the resulting neuroses and psychoses. The technological acceleration of transportation, communication and weapons systems is now creating power areas wider than existing political structures. We still have at least half a dozen political structures in Europe, but our technology and the power system of Western Civilization today are such that most of Europe should be a single power system. This creates instability.

Another cause of today's instability is that we now have a society in America, Europe and much of the world which is totally dominated by the two elements of sovereignty that are not included in the state structure: control of credit and banking and the corporation. These are free of political controls and social responsibility, and they have largely monopolized power in Western Civilization and in American society.

They are ruthlessly going forward to eliminate land, labour, entrepreneurial-managerial skills, and everything else the economists once told us were the chief elements of production. The only element of production they are concerned with is the one they can control: capital.

So now everything is capital intensive, including medicine, and it hasn't worked. ['financialised' is a more current term - J.]

Secrecy in government exists for only one reason: to prevent the American people from knowing what's going on. It is nonsense to believe that anything our government does is not known to the Russians at about the moment it happens.

To me, the most ominous flaw in our constitutional set-up is the fact that the federal government does not have control over of money and credit and does not have control of corporations. It is therefore not really sovereign. And it is not really responsible, because it is now controlled by these two groups, corporations, and those who control the flows of money.

The administrative system and elections are dominated today by the private power of money flows and corporation activities.

Certain thin regulations were established in the United States regarding corporations: restricted purpose and activities especially by banks and insurance companies; prohibition on one corporation's holding the stock of another without specific statutory grant; limits on the span of the life of the corporation, requiring recurrent legislative scrutiny; limits on total assets; limits on new issues of capital, so that the proportion of control of existing stockholders could be maintained; limits on the votes allowed to any stockholder, regardless of the size of his holding; and so forth.

By 1890 all of these had been destroyed by judicial interpretation which extended to corporations -- fictitious persons -- those constitutional rights guaranteed, especially by the Fifteenth Amendment, to living persons.

Now I want to say good night. Do not be pessimistic. Life goes on; life is fun. And if a civilization crashes, it deserves to. When Rome fell, the Christian answer was, 'Create our own communities.'"

Prof Carroll Quigley, The State of Individuals , Georgetown University 1978

[Dec 01, 2018] Whataboutism charge is a change of a thought crime, a dirty US propaganda trick. In reality truth can be understood only in the historica context

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's not what aboutism it's called having consistency and principles. It's like Jack the Ripper calling Ted Kennedy a murderer. It matters if both sides are doing deals with Russia and only one has proved collusion with Russia government officials ..."
"... Your new Mcarthyism isn't working but nice try since it's all you have to offer ..."
"... Whataboutism is a call out for hypocrisy. It wasn't invented by the Russians. It was in use by a carpenter over two-thousand years ago: "Why do you call out for a dust mote in my eye when there is a log in yours?" ..."
"... Nothing new under the sun. ..."
"... Kind of like What about Russian interference in our Elections? Whatabout that, as a clear and dangerous deflection from Hillary taking blame for her incompetent and corrupt 2016 campaigns? ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

O Society , August 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

"What about Clinton?" is an example of Whataboutism, which is a classic Russian propaganda technique used to divert attention away from the relevant subject, statement, argument, etc at hand with an accusation of hypocrisy.

It takes the form, "What about _______?"

Whataboutism is a type of psychological projection. It uses blame shifting to attribute wrong doing or some character defect to someone else with a goal of sabotaging the conversation by steering the speaker to become defensive.

On the playground, the kids call it "I know you are, but what am I?"

I have no idea whether any of this Russiagate stuff is real. We have seen no evidence, so I remain skeptical until someone shows actual evidence of Trump-Putin collusion.

However, I do know where Donald Trump got a bunch of his money, and where he and his followers got Whataboutism.

A Guide to Russian Propaganda

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Shouldn't that be "A Guide to Ukrainian Propaganda"?

Gregory Herr , August 14, 2018 at 9:20 pm

It seems to me that jean agreed with your characterisation of Trump and in no way was trying to sabotage the conversation. jean referenced some facts about characters relevant to the broader topic.

I would contend that every time I've heard the cry of "well, that's just whataboutism", the purpose of that claim has been to avoid addressing the points made–thus sabotaging further engagement or conversation.

So now, after all this time, you still "have no idea" whether Russiagate nonsense is real–what a fine fence-straddler you are. And then to suggest that "whataboutism" is made in Russia and slyly connect that to "Trump and his followers" -- well, you just lost me brother.

Jean , August 14, 2018 at 10:05 pm

lol

It's not what aboutism it's called having consistency and principles. It's like Jack the Ripper calling Ted Kennedy a murderer. It matters if both sides are doing deals with Russia and only one has proved collusion with Russia government officials

That would be Hillary

I understand why you would want to deflect from that but it won't change the facts

Your new Mcarthyism isn't working but nice try since it's all you have to offer

zendeviant , August 15, 2018 at 5:30 am

Whataboutism is a call out for hypocrisy. It wasn't invented by the Russians. It was in use by a carpenter over two-thousand years ago: "Why do you call out for a dust mote in my eye when there is a log in yours?"

Nothing new under the sun.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 5:33 am

Kind of like What about Russian interference in our Elections? Whatabout that, as a clear and dangerous deflection from Hillary taking blame for her incompetent and corrupt 2016 campaigns?

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 6:38 am

and her incompetent and corrupt tenure as secretary of state which gave so many people a really good idea of what her presidency would look like.

Nop , August 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm

The accusation "whataboutism" just a childish way of trying to deny the point of view of rival interests. Like plugging your ears and chanting "la la la".

[Nov 30, 2018] Is Putin the Provocateur in the Kerch Crisis, by Pat Buchanan

Crimea was a variation of Kosovo. As the USA destroyed post WWII order, as its position weakens, real chaos can occurs. because Might is right can work not only for the USA anymore. And in this theater the USA has no advantages, other then their geopolitical weight. It is too fat from US mainland.
The USA speed up events probably by 20 years or so and coursed considerable suffering of the Ukrainian population. Ukraine was gradually detaching itself from Russia anyway (which is a natural process for any xUSSR republic after the independence.). Essentially the USA raped the Ukraine using Ukrainian nationalist as a fifth column of neoliberal globalization.
The net result of the premature and by-and-large successful attempt to break Ukraine from Russia and play Baltic's scenario (which was possible due to existence of Western Ukrainian nationalists) was drastic impoverishing (already very poor after chaos and neoliberal economic plunder of 1990th) of the bottom 99% of Ukrainian population which now is the poorest population of Europe.
Ukrainian nationalists now are finding the hard way that bordering with Russia created some problems for their agenda... The good analogy is Canada and the USA.
In a way, incorporation of Western Ukraine into the USSR looks now like Stalin's geopolitical mistake. Now attempts to colonize Eastern Ukraine by Western Ukrainian nationalists will face resistance and it already led to civil war in Donbass.
Things became way too complex and unpredictable in this region. Of course, neocons still are pushing their usual might is right policy, not they might face considerable setbacks in the future. Like they did in Iraq. Which still did not affect much their paychecks.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody. Russia's refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting. Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident. ..."
"... For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a "border incident, nothing more." "The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself. (Poroshenko's) rating is falling so he needed to do something." Maxim Eristavi, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, seems to concur: "Poroshenko wants to get a head start in his election campaign. He is playing the card of commander in chief, flying around in military uniform, trying to project that he is in control." ..."
"... Predictably, our interventionists decried Russian "aggression" and demanded we back up our Ukrainian "ally" and send military aid. Why was Poroshenko's ordering of gunboats into the Sea of Azov, while ignoring rules Russia set down for passage, provocative? Because Poroshenko, whose warships had previously transited the strait, had to know the risk that he was taking and that Russia might resist. ..."
"... Why would he provoke the Russians? Because, with his poll numbers sinking badly, Poroshenko realizes that unless he does something dramatic, his party stands little chance in next March's elections. ..."
"... Some Westerners want even more in the way of confronting Putin. Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Council urges us to build up U.S. naval forces in the Black Sea, send anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, ratchet up sanctions on Russia, threaten to expel her from the SWIFT system of international bank transactions, and pressure Europe to cancel the Russians' Nord Stream 2 and South Stream oil pipelines into Europe. ..."
"... If Ukraine had a right to break free of Russia in 1991, why do not Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to break free of Kiev? ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | www.unz.com

On departure for the G-20 gathering in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump canceled his planned weekend meeting with Vladimir Putin, citing as his reason the Russian military's seizure and holding of three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors.

But was Putin really the provocateur in Sunday's naval clash outside Kerch Strait, the Black Sea gateway to the Sea of Azov?

Or was the provocateur Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko?

First, a bit of history.

In 2014, after the pro-Russian regime in Kiev was ousted in a coup, and a pro-NATO regime installed with U.S. backing, Putin detached and annexed Crimea, for centuries the homeport of Russia's Black Sea fleet.

With the return of Crimea, Russia now occupied both sides of Kerch Strait. And this year, Russia completed a 12-mile bridge over the strait and Putin drove the first truck across.

The Sea of Azov became a virtual Russian lake, access to which was controlled by Russia, just as access to the Black Sea is controlled by Turkey.

While the world refused to recognize the new reality, Russia began to impose rules for ships transiting the strait, including 48 hours notice to get permission.

Ukrainian vessels, including warships, would have to notify Russian authorities before passing beneath the Kerch Strait Bridge into the Sea of Azov to reach their major port of Mariupol.

Sunday, two Ukrainian artillery ships and a tug, which had sailed out of Odessa in western Ukraine, passed through what Russia now regards as its territorial waters off Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula. Destination: Mariupol.

The Ukrainian vessels refused to obey Russian directives to halt.

Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody. Russia's refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting. Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident.

For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a "border incident, nothing more." "The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself. (Poroshenko's) rating is falling so he needed to do something." Maxim Eristavi, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, seems to concur: "Poroshenko wants to get a head start in his election campaign. He is playing the card of commander in chief, flying around in military uniform, trying to project that he is in control."

Our U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, however, accused Russia of "outlaw actions" against the Ukrainian vessels and "an arrogant act the international community will never accept."

Predictably, our interventionists decried Russian "aggression" and demanded we back up our Ukrainian "ally" and send military aid. Why was Poroshenko's ordering of gunboats into the Sea of Azov, while ignoring rules Russia set down for passage, provocative? Because Poroshenko, whose warships had previously transited the strait, had to know the risk that he was taking and that Russia might resist.

Why would he provoke the Russians? Because, with his poll numbers sinking badly, Poroshenko realizes that unless he does something dramatic, his party stands little chance in next March's elections.

Immediately after the clash, Poroshenko imposed martial law in all provinces bordering Russia and the Black Sea, declared an invasion might be imminent, demanded new Western sanctions on Moscow, called on the U.S. to stand with him, and began visiting army units in battle fatigues.

Some Westerners want even more in the way of confronting Putin. Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Council urges us to build up U.S. naval forces in the Black Sea, send anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, ratchet up sanctions on Russia, threaten to expel her from the SWIFT system of international bank transactions, and pressure Europe to cancel the Russians' Nord Stream 2 and South Stream oil pipelines into Europe.

But there is a larger issue here. Why is control of the Kerch Strait any of our business? Why is this our quarrel, to the point that U.S. strategists want us to confront Russia over a Crimean Peninsula that houses the Livadia Palace that was the last summer residence of Czar Nicholas II?

If Ukraine had a right to break free of Russia in 1991, why do not Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to break free of Kiev?

Why are we letting ourselves be dragged into everyone's quarrels -- from who owns the islets in the South China Sea, to who owns the Senkaku and Southern Kurils; and from whether Transnistria had a right to secede from Moldova, to whether South Ossetia and Abkhazia had the right to break free of Georgia, when Georgia broke free of Russia?

Do the American people care a fig for these places? Are we really willing to risk war with Russia or China over who holds title to them?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

[Nov 29, 2018] Putin On Washington Asking For Russian Help Americans Are Interesting Folks

Nov 29, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Red onyx , 11 months ago

Maaan , Putin is really smart guy...

Maria Kuzali , 11 months ago

He is something else. He has the right answer for everything, and a lots of sense of humer!!!!

Johnny Aingel , 11 months ago (edited)

Asking for help after all the crap they did to Russia unbelievable but...

Dawud Yasin , 11 months ago

I'm British and I trust Putin more than any other leader in the world. He's a good politician and has been at the top longer than any of today's leaders his down to earth approach is something that reaches out to the masses. There's a new sheriff in town and he's Russian...

[Nov 29, 2018] Putin Shocked St. Petersburg Forum Participants with Frankness

Nov 29, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Paul van Dijck , 1 year ago

I am a Dutchman, but when I listen to Wladimir Putin, I can only conclude ANY western politician is a small child compared to him.

Maria Jordan , 1 year ago

Putin is brilliant intellectually and politically! He is strong and independent but not in a proud way, but with a strength coming directly from his heart for his Russia! I am originally Polish and I wish we would have had such a leader in our country. So, many mistakes in our history could have been avoided! Bravo Putin! American leaders look impressive but most of them have a plastic personalities

Susie Gladwell , 1 year ago

I love the forthrightness of President Putin; he is kind in his choice of words, patient as ever and manages to add his wonderful humor. A sheer joy to listen to.

joshron99 , 1 year ago

What an amazing human being is Putin. His command of the issues, their histories, the big picture as well as minute details, his ability to express himself, his steeliness and his humor must impact everyone who meets him and foreign leaders drawn to him who, with this generation of Russians seem to have a "rendezvous with destiny."

joshron99 , 1 year ago

What an amazing human being is Putin. His command of the issues, their histories, the big picture as well as minute details, his ability to express himself, his steeliness and his humor must impact everyone who meets him and foreign leaders drawn to him who, with this generation of Russians seem to have a "rendezvous with destiny."

zpetar , 1 year ago

These days all media is talking is about Russia hacking US elections. Why nobody is talking about NSA hacked Angela Merkel's phone? Maybe because that's old news not worth mentioning any more? Or maybe because its because US is democratic country so it doesn't count. This is quote from The Guardian "Germany has closed its investigation into a report that the US National Security Agency had hacked Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, a move that appears to be aimed at ending transatlantic friction that threatened intelligence cooperation between the two countries." Who cares about democracy and truth when higher interests are threatened.

Lia Spring , 1 year ago

Putin is a true PEACE MAKER !! May God be with Russia and its PRESIDENT!

ecocivilian , 1 year ago

Putin is just the baddest man on the planet jeez he really rocks like a superstar on stage such a diplomat but deadly like a stinging bee when you dont treat him seriously how can you not like this man

[Nov 28, 2018] Leaked Transcript Proves Russiagaters Have Been Right All Along (Spoiler Not Really)

Nov 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

A transcript of exchanges between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been leaked to National News Conglomerate by an anonymous source within the Kremlin . We here at NNC have confirmed the authenticity of this document using the same rigorous verification process we've been using to authenticate the evidence for all our other reporting on Russia's involvement in the 2016 US elections over the last two years. These verification methods include hunches, gut intuitions, and an introspective assessment of the way our feelings feel. The following exchanges revealed in this transcript provide the clearest evidence yet that the President of the United States has been in collusion with the Russian government for years.

This introduction has been authored by the editorial board of the National News Conglomerate. Obey.

11/9/2016

Trump: I have done as you commanded, my dominant and all-powerful lord. I have conspired with your hackers to steal the election, and now I'm going to be president! I want to thank you for not releasing that video footage of those Russian prostitutes I hired to urinate on a bed the Obamas once slept in. If that had come out it would have offended and alienated a lot of people, which is something I never normally do.

Putin: Yes that is an old KGB tactic called kompromat, a word which only extremely intelligent people know about. Keep this line of communication open. As long as you do as I command, your pee pee tape will remain secret.

Trump: One thing I'm curious about though my lord, if you don't mind my asking. If you already had an army of hackers targeting Democratic Party emails, why did you need my help? Couldn't you just have hacked the emails and published them on your own? Why did you need me to interact with them at all?

Putin: Moral support, mainly. We don't need to get into specifics.

Trump: Oh okay.

~

1/20/2017

Trump: I'm in! Whew! I was really worried that leaked dossier would be the end of me! What are my instructions, my lord?

Putin: Begin introducing racism and division to the United States. America has never experienced these things before, and it will shock and disorient them. With the US divided against itself, your nation will be far too weak to stand against my plans of total world domination.

Trump: That's a really tall order! America has always been a harmonious place where everyone gets along up until today. I'll try my best though. Anything else?

Putin: Yes, make them distrust your nation's large media outlets and convince them that the US intelligence community is often dishonest.

Trump: That will be really hard because those institutions have always been trusted for their unparalleled integrity. But your wish is my command, oh lord.

~

4/7/2017

Putin: Bomb a Syrian airbase.

Trump: What? Really? Aren't they, like, your allies?

Putin: Exactly. This will throw inquisitive minds off the scent. We can't have them finding out about that pee tape.

Trump: Are you sure? Some people are saying that chemical attack looks like it could have been perpetrated by the many terrorist factions in Syria and not the government.

Putin: Who cares? Have you seen how relentless they've been in exposing us?? Have you never watched Rachel Maddow? That woman is a psychic bloodhound, masterfully sniffing out the truth at every turn! We can't afford to take chances. Do as I say.

Trump: Yes sir.

Putin: And see if you can arrest that WikiLeaks guy.

6/28/17

Trump: Hey do you want me to do anything about Montenegro's addition to NATO?

Putin: No. NATO expansion is good.

Trump: Uhhh okay.

~

6/28/17

Trump: Who do you want tapped for Ukraine envoy?

Putin: Kurt Volker.

Trump: Volker? He hates you! He's like the biggest Russia hawk ever.

Putin: We still need to throw the Russiagaters off the scent. We're playing 3-D chess here. This is high-level disinformation, or dezinformatsiya as very smart people call it. I want as many Russia hawks in your administration as possible.

Trump: 3-D chess? Alright. I guess you know what you're doing.

~

8/30/17

Putin: Shut down the Russian consulate in San Francisco and throw out a bunch of diplomats. That will confuse the hell out of them.

~

11/21/17

Putin: Now approve the sale of arms to Ukraine. Not even Obama would do that. This will throw them off the trail for sure.

~

1/1/18

Putin: Happy new year. Force RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents.

~

1/29/18

Putin: Make sure your Nuclear Posture Review greatly escalates its aggressive posture toward Russia.

~

2/14/18

Putin: Happy Valentine's Day. Don't worry about those Russians your guys killed in Syria.

~

2/19/18

Putin: Send a fleet of war ships to the Black Sea.

~

3/25/18

Putin: Better expel a few dozen diplomats over the Skripal thing.

~

4/5/18

Putin: Sanction a bunch of Russian oligarchs.

~

4/10/18

Putin: Bomb Syria.

Trump: What?? Again?

Putin: Yes.

Trump: What the hell, man? Why'd you even recruit me if you're just going to have me do everything all the Russia hawks want?

Putin: Well, you know how I told you we were playing 3-D chess against the Russiagate investigation?

Trump: Yeah?

Putin: Well that wasn't enough. Now we're playing 4-D chess.

Trump: Fine, whatever, I don't care. Just don't release my pee tape.

~

7/17/18

Trump: Oh man. They're really making a major fuss about that summit. What should I do?

Putin: Play it cool. Don't let them know about our secret diabolical plot.

Trump: Right. Remind me what that was again?

Putin: Make Jim Acosta feel really, really sad.

~

9/2/18

Putin: Have you arrested Julian Assange yet?

Trump: Working on it.

~

10/20/18

Putin: I like John Bolton's idea. Pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

~

11/25/18

Putin: Make sure your administration loudly and aggressively backs Ukraine in our Kerch Strait spat.

Trump: OMFG this is getting too weird. Are you just trolling me? What the hell is this?

Trump: Hello?

Trump: Are you there?

Trump: Answer me!

Putin: 5-D chess.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

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The little voice inside my head , 18 minutes ago link

Just encountered a Denzel Washington interview from last year, how true it's become, like the Guardian and Wikileaks "story"

Doesn't matter if it's true or not, just be the first , sell it!

DisorderlyConduct , 1 hour ago link

LOL.

...bomb a Syrian airbase...

This is awesome.

francis scott falseflag , 1 hour ago link

Hey, that's where I stopped reading. Did I miss anything?

The little voice inside my head , 13 minutes ago link

Not to sound like a Russian misinformation dude, but I was watching some of Putin's interviews and the dude speaks in common sense terms.

ABC asks Putin about meddling in the elections.

And the one with Megyn Kelly:

Was this interview ever broadcasted in full in the US?

Element , 1 hour ago link

NNC logo?

bfellow , 1 hour ago link

Really Element? Does Keyser have to add a /s at the end to realize he was being sarcastic?

cbxer55 , 1 hour ago link

CNN backwards. LOL!!!!

[Nov 26, 2018] Ten Good Reasons to Hate Putin by Patrick Armstrong

Nov 26, 2018 | russia-insider.com
  1. He's macho. When he takes his photographer along in his "private" moments, it's to show him wrestling tigers, petting leopards, landing large fish, wearing tough guy headgear, hurling people around the judo mat. What do our leaders do in their photographed "private" moments? Golf.
  2. Even the false rumours about him are macho. Affairs with beautiful young women, not pedophilia or secret homosexuality.
  3. He's got a real army. With air defences, fighter planes, modern tanks, tough special forces. So a fun little air campaign won't be possible. Besides, Russia hasn't lost many wars, has it? And they never give up; just ask the Mongols.
  4. Nukes. Russia has them; they work: Bulava , Topol and Sineva . Meanwhile, in the USA not so much.
  5. He's Russian. And Russians are all horrible. Except for Pussy Riot .
  6. He's smarter than our team. Well... doesn't he prove this every day?
  7. You can't bully him. Ditto.
  8. He's not going anywhere. He's staying right there in Russia. And that, for the geographically challenged, is a great big country not very far from anywhere.
  9. And one bonus reason. He knows gold is a better investment than US Treasuries .
  10. And just one more. Russian babes say they like him . Imagine the campaign "Babes for (insert the name of your wearisome leader)". Didn't think you could imagine it without feeling a bit nauseous. Well, OK, there was Obamagirl . But that was fake .

[Nov 26, 2018] Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

Notable quotes:
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... typhlophthalmism ..."
Nov 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

In Homage to Catalonia (1938), his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell describes how his wife was rudely woken by a police-raid on the hotel room she was occupying in Barcelona:

In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room, obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. ( Homage to Catalonia , ch. 14)

The police conducted this search "in the recognized OGPU [then the Russian communist secret-police] or Gestapo style for nearly two hours," Orwell says. He then notes that in "all this time they never searched the bed." His wife was still in it, you see, and although the police "were probably Communist Party members they were also Spaniards, and to turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently dropped, making the whole search meaningless."

Orwell's story suggests a new word to me: typhlophthalmism , meaning "the practice of turning a blind eye to essential but inconvenient facts" (from Greek typhlos , "blind," + ophthalmos , "eye"). But it's a long word, so let's call it typhlism for short. Shorter is better, because the term could be used so often today. Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

[Nov 24, 2018] British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" ..."
"... "The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016." ..."
"... "Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..." ..."
"... this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war ..."
"... Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK. ..."
"... The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth ..."
"... British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me ..."
"... It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations ..."
"... A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants? ..."
"... I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins. ..."
"... The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval. ..."
"... Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda ..."
"... This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap. ..."
"... Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification ..."
"... It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling ..."
"... As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job. ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love? ..."
"... They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites. ..."
"... The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation. ..."
"... Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power. ..."
"... Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government. ..."
"... William Browder ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns Steveg , Nov 24, 2018 11:43:44 AM | link

In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.

We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

The ' Integrity Initiative ' builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

On June 7 it took the the Spanish cluster only a few hours to derail the appointment of Perto Banos as the Director of the National Security Department in Spain. The cluster determined that he had a too positive view of Russia and launched a coordinated social media smear campaign (pdf) against him.


bigger

The Initiative and its operations were unveiled when someone liberated some of its documents, including its budget applications to the British Foreign Office, and posted them under the 'Anonymous' label at cyberguerrilla.org .

The Initiative is nominally run under the (government financed) non-government-organisation The Institute For Statecraft . Its internal handbook (pdf) describes its purpose:

The Integrity Initiative was set up in autumn 2015 by The Institute for Statecraft in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.

It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" and promises that:

Cluster members will be sent to educational sessions abroad to improve the technical competence of the cluster to deal with disinformation and strengthen bonds in the cluster community. [...] (Events with DFR Digital Sherlocks, Bellingcat, EuVsDisinfo, Buzzfeed, Irex, Detector Media, Stopfake, LT MOD Stratcom – add more names and propose cluster participants as you desire).

The Initiatives Orwellian slogan is 'Defending Democracy Against Disinformation'. It covers European countries, the UK, the U.S. and Canada and seems to want to expand to the Middle East.

On its About page it claims: "We are not a government body but we do work with government departments and agencies who share our aims." The now published budget plans show that more than 95% of the Initiative's funding is coming directly from the British government, NATO and the U.S. State Department. All the 'contact persons' for creating 'clusters' in foreign countries are British embassy officers. It amounts to a foreign influence campaign by the British government that hides behind a 'civil society' NGO.

The organisation is led by one Chris N. Donnelly who receives (pdf) £8,100 per month for creating the smear campaign network.


Chris Donnelly - Pic via Euromaidanpress

From its 2017/18 budget application (pdf) we learn how the Initiative works:

To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence in Europe by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it .

The Initiative has a black and white view that is based on a "we are the good ones" illusion. When "we" 'educate the public' it is legitimate work. When others do similar, it its disinformation. That is of course not the reality. The Initiative's existence itself, created to secretly manipulate the public, is proof that such a view is wrong.

If its work were as legit as it wants to be seen, why would the Foreign Office run it from behind the curtain as an NGO? The Initiative is not the only such operation. It's applications seek funding from a larger "Russian Language Strategic Communication Programme" run by the Foreign Office.

The 2017/18 budget application sought FCO funding of £480,635. It received £102,000 in co-funding from NATO and the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. The 2018/19 budget application shows a planned spending (pdf) of £1,961,000.00. The co-sponsors this year are again NATO and the Lithuanian MoD, but also include (pdf) the U.S. State Department with £250,000 and Facebook with £100,000. The budget lays out a strong cooperation with the local military of each country. It notes that NATO is also generous in financing the local clusters.

One of the liberated papers of the Initiative is a talking points memo labeled Top 3 Deliverable for FCO (pdf):

  • Developing and proving the cluster concept and methodology, setting up clusters in a range of countries with different circumstances
  • Making people (in Government, think tanks, military, journalists) see the big picture, making people acknowledge that we are under concerted, deliberate hybrid attack by Russia
  • Increasing the speed of response, mobilising the network to activism in pursuit of the "golden minute"

Under top 1, setting up clusters, a subitem reads:

- Connects media with academia with policy makers with practitioners in a country to impact on policy and society: ( Jelena Milic silencing pro-kremlin voices on Serbian TV )

Defending Democracy by silencing certain voices on public TV seems to be a self-contradicting concept.

Another subitem notes how the Initiative secretly influences foreign governments:

We engage only very discreetly with governments, based entirely on trusted personal contacts, specifically to ensure that they do not come to see our work as a problem, and to try to influence them gently, as befits an independent NGO operation like ours, viz;
- Germany, via the Zentrum Liberale Moderne to the Chancellor's Office and MOD
- Netherlands, via the HCSS to the MOD
- Poland and Romania, at desk level into their MFAs via their NATO Reps
- Spain, via special advisers, into the MOD and PM's office (NB this may change very soon with the new Government)
- Norway, via personal contacts into the MOD
- HQ NATO, via the Policy Planning Unit into the Sec Gen's office.
We have latent contacts into other governments which we will activate as needs be as the clusters develop.

A look at the 'clusters' set up in U.S. and UK shows some prominent names.


bigger

Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts , appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder , the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.


bigger - bigger

A ' Cluster Roundup ' (pdf) from July 2018 details its activities in at least 35 countries. Another file reveals (pdf) the local partnering institutions and individuals involved in the programs.

The Initiatives Guide to Countering Russian Information (pdf) is a rather funny read. It lists the downing of flight MH 17 by a Ukranian BUK missile, the fake chemical incident in Khan Sheikhoun and the Skripal Affair as examples for "Russian disinformation". But at least two of these events, Khan Sheikun via the UK run White Helmets and the Skripal affair, are evidently products of British intelligence disinformation operations.

The probably most interesting papers of the whole stash is the 'Project Plan' laid out at pages 7-40 of the 2018 budget application v2 (pdf). Under 'Sustainability' it notes:

The programme is proposed to run until at least March 2019, to ensure that the clusters established in each country have sufficient time to take root, find funding, and demonstrate their effectiveness. FCO funding for Phase 2 will enable the activities to be expanded in scale, reach and scope. As clusters have established themselves, they have begun to access local sources of funding. But this is a slow process and harder in some countries than others. HQ NATO PDD [Public Diplomacy Division] has proved a reliable source of funding for national clusters. The ATA [Atlantic Treaty Association] promises to be the same, giving access to other pots of money within NATO and member nations. Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow.

The programme has begun to create a critical mass of individuals from a cross society (think tanks, academia, politics, the media, government and the military) whose work is proving to be mutually reinforcing . Creating the network of networks has given each national group local coherence, credibility and reach, as well as good international access. Together, these conditions, plus the growing awareness within governments of the need for this work, should guarantee the continuity of the work under various auspices and in various forms.

The third part of the budget application (pdf) list the various activities, their output and outcome. The budget plan includes a section that describes 'Risks' to the initiative. These include hacking of the Initiatives IT as well as:

Adverse publicity generated by Russia or by supporters of Russia in target countries, or by political and interest groups affected by the work of the programme, aimed at discrediting the programme or its participants, or to create political embarrassment.

We hope that this piece contributes to such embarrassment.

Posted by b on November 24, 2018 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

Comments Perfidious ALbion!

When will we learn?


pretzelattack , Nov 24, 2018 11:44:00 AM | link

Coincidentally, or not, i just saw this article at the guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/23/robert-mueller-profile-donald-trump-russia-investigation.
Anya , Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AM | link
The British government has been running a serious meddling into the US affairs:
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-23/mi6-scrambling-stop-trump-releasing-classified-docs-russia-probe

"The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016."

A Steele & Skrupal's anti-Russian / anti-Trump saga: https://spectator.org/big-dots-do-they-connect/

"Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..."

For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.

james , Nov 24, 2018 11:58:02 AM | link
thanks b....

this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war.. i guess the idea is to get the ordinary people to think in terms of hating another country based on lies and that this would be a good thing... it is very sad what uk / usa leadership in the past century has come down to here.... i can only hope that info releases like this will hasten it's demise...

Ingrian , Nov 24, 2018 12:03:55 PM | link
Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK.

The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth

james , Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | link
@6 ingrian... things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit Russia fully, as they'd intended...
et Al , Nov 24, 2018 12:20:09 PM | link

Let the Doxx wars begin! Sure, Anonymous is not Russian but it will surely now be targeted and smeared as such which would show that it has hit a nerve. British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me.

I think we've all noticed the euro-asslantic press (and friends) on behalf of, willingly and in cooperation with the British intelligence et al 'calling out' numerous Russians as G(R)U/spies/whatever for a while now yet providing less than a shred of credible evidence.

It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations.

Meanwhile in Brussels they are having their cake and eating it, i.e. bemoaning Europe's 'weak response' to Russian propaganda:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/experts-lament-underfunding-of-eu-task-force-countering-russian-disinformation/

BTW, did anyone read Wired UK's current advertorial (nov 14) by Carl Miller for Brigade 77?

Forthestate , Nov 24, 2018 12:26:09 PM | link
"A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants?
worldblee , Nov 24, 2018 12:33:05 PM | link
Yet another example of the pot calling the kettle black when in fact the kettle may not be black at all; it's just the pot making up things. "These Russian criminals are using propaganda to show (truths) like the fact the DNC and Clinton campaigns colluded to prevent Sanders from being nominated, so we need to establish a clandestine propaganda network to establish that the Russians are running propaganda!"
psychohistorian , Nov 24, 2018 12:34:32 PM | link

....full cluster of smear merchants". May all the clusters of smear merchants be exposed to the public as the acolytes of evil they are.

plantman , Nov 24, 2018 12:36:48 PM | link
"In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream."

I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins.

The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval.

Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda

BUT...the author assures us that the "deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow" Huh?? In other words, the fix is in. Mueller will pardon Trump on collusion charges but the propaganda campaign against Russia will continue...with the full support of both parties. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it...

m , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:07 PM | link
This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap.

A lot of sour grapes with this so-called 'integrity initiative', IMO. BP was behind a lot of this, I would also think. When Assad pulled the plug on the pipeline through the Levant in 2009, the Brits hacked up a fur ball. It's gone downhill for them ever since. Couldn't happen to a nicer lot. If you can't invade or beat them with proxies, you can at least call them names.

Jackrabbit , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:58 PM | link
Anya

Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification: THE CHIMERA OF DONALD TRUMP, RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERER :

If Trump was taking dirty money or engaged in criminal activity with Russians then he was doing it with Felix Sater, who was under the control of the FBI... And who was in charge of the FBI during all of the time that Sater was a signed up FBI snitch? You got it -- Robert Mueller (2001 thru 2013) ...

It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling, including:

Steele dossier: To create suspicion in government, media, and later the public

Leaking of DNC emails to Wikileaks (but calling it a "hack"): To help with election of Trump and link Wikileaks (as agent) to Russian election meddling

Cambridge Analytica: To provide necessary reasoning for Trump's (certain) win of the electoral college.

Note: We later found that dozens of firms had undue access to Facebook data. Why did the campaign turn to a British firm instead of an American firm? Well, it had to be a British firm if MI6 was running the (supposed) Facebook targeting for CIA.

As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job.
Cyril , Nov 24, 2018 1:10:13 PM | link
The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love?
Russ , Nov 24, 2018 1:16:21 PM | link
Posted by: james | Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | 7

"things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of russia after the fall of the soviet union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit russia fully, as they'd intended..."

They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites.

The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation.

GeorgeV , Nov 24, 2018 1:34:08 PM | link
Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power.
Sasha , Nov 24, 2018 1:38:39 PM | link
Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government...and in this context, new empowerished sovereign governemts into the EU should consider the possibility expelling these traitors as spies of the UK....

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204051.html

Some of the "clusters" unmasked here....some, like Ignacio Torreblanca in Spain, are related to the CFR....

https://www.rt.com/news/444737-uk-funded-campaign-russia-leaks/

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:12:45 PM | link
Country list of agents of influence according to the leak:
Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:13:28 PM | link
cresty , Nov 24, 2018 2:18:30 PM | link
Thank you very much for going through all the files, b. Will share far and wide

[Nov 24, 2018] Anonymous Exposes UK-Led Psyop To Battle Russian Propaganda

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs , while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim. ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative "clusters" currently operate out of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway, Lithuania and the netherlands. According to the leak by Anonymous, the Integrity Initiative is working to aggressively expand its sphere of influence throughout eastern Europe, as well as the US, Canada and the MENA region ..."
"... The work done by the Initiative - which claims it is not a government body, is done under "absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout British embassies," according to the leak. It does, however, admit to working with unnamed British "government agencies." ..."
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The hacking collective known as "Anonymous" published a trove of documents on November 5 which it claims exposes a UK-based psyop to create a " large-scale information secret service " in Europe in order to combat "Russian propaganda" - which has been blamed for everything from Brexit to US President Trump winning the 2016 US election.

The primary objective of the " Integrity Initiative " - established in 2015 by the Institute for Statecraft - is "to provide a coordinated Western response to Russian disinformation and other elements of hybrid warfare."

And while the notion of Russian disinformation has become the West's favorite new bogeyman to excuse things such as Hillary Clinton's historic loss to Donald Trump, we note that "Anonymous" was called out by WikiLeaks in October 2016 as an FBI cutout, while the report on the Integrity Initiative that Anonymous exposed comes from Russian state-owned network RT - so it's anyone's guess whose 400lb hackers are at work here.

Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics. The team is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs , while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.

The UK establishment appears to be conducting the very activities of which it and its allies have long-accused the Kremlin, with little or no corroborating evidence. The program also aims to "change attitudes in Russia itself" as well as influencing Russian speakers in the EU and North America, one of the leaked documents states. - RT

The Integrity Initiative "clusters" currently operate out of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Norway, Lithuania and the netherlands. According to the leak by Anonymous, the Integrity Initiative is working to aggressively expand its sphere of influence throughout eastern Europe, as well as the US, Canada and the MENA region .

The work done by the Initiative - which claims it is not a government body, is done under "absolute secrecy via concealed contacts embedded throughout British embassies," according to the leak. It does, however, admit to working with unnamed British "government agencies."

The initiative has received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and £250,000 from the US State Department , the documents allege.

Some of its purported members include British MPs and high-profile " independent" journalists with a penchant for anti-Russian sentiment in their collective online oeuvre, as showcased by a brief glance at their Twitter feeds. - RT

Noted examples of "inedependent" anti-Russia journalists:

Spanish "Op"

In one example of the group's activities, a "Moncloa Campaign" was successfully conducted by the group's Spanish cluster to block the appointment of Colonel Pedro Banos as the director of Spain's Department of Homeland Security. It took just seven-and-a-half hours to accomplish, brags the group in the documents .

"The [Spanish] government is preparing to appoint Colonel Banos, known for his pro-Russian and pro-Putin positions in the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, as Director of the Department of Homeland Security, a key body located at the Moncloa," begins Nacho Torreblanca in a seven-part tweetstorm describing what happened.

Others joined in. Among them – according to the leaks – academic Miguel Ángel Quintana Paz, who wrote that "Mr. Banos is to geopolitics as a homeopath is to medicine." Appointing such a figure would be "a shame." - RT

The operation was reported in Spanish media, while Banos was labeled "pro-Putin" by UK MP Bob Seely.

In short, expect anything counter to predominant "open-border" narratives to be the Kremlin's fault - and not a natural populist reflex to the destruction of borders, language and culture.

[Nov 24, 2018] The Iran Obsession and 'Useful Fictions'

Notable quotes:
"... Trump doesn't understand too f***ing much about the Middle East. And what's with the ridiculous assumptions that 1) Iran is "rising", or, even assuming that were true, that it needs to be "countered"? If the Saudis and Israelis want to fight Iran, go ahead. Let them knock themselves out. They're welcome to fight Iran without any US support whatsoever for, say, seventeen years. Like Israel and Saudi Arabia watched us fight all over the Middle East for seventeen years without lifting a finger to help. ..."
"... "Doran and Badran" The NY Times never gives up, does it? We'll never get from A to B, never end these terrible messes in the Middle East, until people like this are hounded out of the public square. ..."
"... What is the NY Times thinking, publishing a piece by a discredited academic, author of one of the most smugly stupid and wrong pieces ever written about the Middle East, and his co-author, a murky sort of "research fellow" employed by a well-known Israeli propaganda outlet? ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mike Doran and Tony Badran offer up a predictable rationalization of the president's piece of pro-Saudi propaganda :

But Mr. Trump understands the centrality of Riyadh in the effort to counter a rising Iran and he is rightly unwilling to allow the murder of Mr. Khashoggi to imperil that strategy.

To call Trump's Iran obsession a "strategy" is already far too generous, but this does sum up the ends-justify-the-means reasoning behind the administration's indefensible embrace of the Saudis and their allies throughout the region. Trump shrugs every off Saudi crime and blunder because it supposedly serves a greater goal of combating Iran, and yet each time the U.S. looks the other way or assists the Saudis in their wrongdoing (as we continue to do in Yemen) it makes things easier for Iran's government. The Khashoggi murder by itself is an awful crime in itself, but it is because it forms part of a pattern of reckless, monstrous behavior on the part of the Saudi government that it has had such a powerful effect on the way many people in the U.S. and the West view the Saudi government and the crown prince in particular. It is that pattern of behavior that proves how useless the Saudis have become to "the effort to counter a rising Iran," and it makes the administration's continued support for the kingdom and for Mohammed bin Salman seem even more obnoxious than it already would.

Yemen receives only one mention in Doran and Badran's piece, and they have nothing to say about the president's lies about the war or the Saudi coalition's responsibility for creating famine conditions throughout much of the country. Only professional Iran hawks are foolish enough to buy into the idea that Yemen could become a "base" for Iran, and that is the only time they see fit to mention the world's worst humanitarian crisis created by the Saudi coalition with U.S. support. The president's statement was especially destructive because it confirmed that the administration won't be putting much pressure on the Saudis to end the war, and Trump's lie that the Saudis would "gladly withdraw" from Yemen will help make it easier for them to keep fighting. The authors assert that presidents "routinely advance useful fictions," but the only interests served by the fiction that Iran is responsible for the war on Yemen are those of the Saudi and Emirati governments and their hirelings here in the U.S. It isn't "useful" for ending the war in Yemen to lie about who started it, and covering for the Saudis and Emiratis isn't "useful" for combating what could end up being one of the worst modern famines. Lying about the causes of the war on Yemen is useful only to those that want the war to continue at the expense of millions of innocent lives.


TheSnark November 23, 2018 at 11:16 am

To summarize Mr Larison's article: we are supporting Saudi Arabia (a brutal, incompetent medieval dictatorship that spreads terrorism around the globe) in order to counter Iran (a brutal, semi-competent, medieval semi-dictatorship that spread terrorism around the globe).

On that analysis, if we have to support anyone, Iran seems to be a better bet. At least they are not incompetent.

SDS , says: November 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm
..just asking ..how many Americans have been killed by Iranian terrorists in the last 20 years?
John Mann , says: November 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm
Never mind the number of Americans killed by Iranian terrorists (or Iranian sponsored terrorists) in the last 20 years.

How about taking the number of women and children from any nation killed by Iranian and Iranian sponsored terrorists in the past 20 years, and then comparing that with the number of women and children killed by the American military, and American assisted and sponsored groups in the Middle East over the past 20 years? When you add together Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, the U.S. is responsible for tens of thousands of dead women and children.

By comparison with Bush, Obama, and Trump, a guy like Rouhani looks like a credible candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wanted: US Soldiers To Defend America's Own Borders , says: November 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm
"Mike Doran and Tony Badran [say] "Mr. Trump understands the centrality of Riyadh in the effort to counter a rising Iran "

Trump doesn't understand too f***ing much about the Middle East. And what's with the ridiculous assumptions that 1) Iran is "rising", or, even assuming that were true, that it needs to be "countered"? If the Saudis and Israelis want to fight Iran, go ahead. Let them knock themselves out. They're welcome to fight Iran without any US support whatsoever for, say, seventeen years. Like Israel and Saudi Arabia watched us fight all over the Middle East for seventeen years without lifting a finger to help.

Metatarsalist , says: November 23, 2018 at 11:20 pm
"Doran and Badran" The NY Times never gives up, does it? We'll never get from A to B, never end these terrible messes in the Middle East, until people like this are hounded out of the public square.

What is the NY Times thinking, publishing a piece by a discredited academic, author of one of the most smugly stupid and wrong pieces ever written about the Middle East, and his co-author, a murky sort of "research fellow" employed by a well-known Israeli propaganda outlet?

[Nov 24, 2018] When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots psyops, you tend to come up with plots for psyops . The word entrapment comes to mind. Probably self-serving also.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots "psyops", you tend to come up with plots for "psyops". The word "entrapment" comes to mind. Probably "self-serving" also. ..."
"... Anti-Russian is just a code word for Globalist, Internationalist. ..."
"... This is such BS. Since when does Russia have the resources to pull all this off? They have such a complex program that they need the coordinated efforts of all the resources of the WEST? This is nuts. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

HowdyDoody , 7 hours ago link

One of the documents lists a series of propaganda weapons to be used against Russia. One is use of the church as a weapon. That has already been started in Ukraine with Poroshenko buying off regligious leader to split Ukraine Orthodoxy from Russian Orthodoxy. It also explicitly states that the Skripal incident is a 'Dirty Trick' against Russia.

activisor , 10 hours ago link

The British political system is on the verge of collapse. BREXIT has finally demonstrated that the Government/ Opposition parties are clearly aligned against the interests of the people. The EU is nothing more than an arm of the Globalist agenda of world domination.

The US has shown its true colours - sanctioning every country that stands for independent sovereignty is not a good foreign policy, and is destined to turn the tide of public opinion firmly against global hegemony, endless wars, and wealth inequity.

The old Empire is in its death throes. A new paradigm awaits which will exclude all those who have exploited the many, in order to sit at the top of the pyramid. They cannot escape Karma.

smacker , 11 hours ago link

The Western world needs to come to terms with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. Today, Russia is led by Putin and he obviously has objectives as any national leader has.

Western "leaders" need to decide whether Putin:

  1. Is trying to create Soviet Union 2.0, to have a 2nd attempt at ruling the world thru communism and to do this by holding the world to ransom over oil/gas supplies. OR
  2. Is wanting Russia to become a member of the family of nations and of a multi-polar world to improve the lives of Russian people, but is being blocked at every twist and turn by manufactured events like Russia-gate and the Skripal affair and now this latest revelation of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns being coordinated and run out of London.

Both of the above cannot be true because there are too many contradictions. Which is it??

Lokiban , 13 hours ago link

Yes because imagine that that we lived in 1940 without any means to inform ourselves and that media was still in control over the information that reaches us. We would already be in a fullblown war with Russia because of it but now with the Internet and information going around freely only a whimpy 10% of we the people stand behind their desperately wanted war. Imagine that, an informed sheople.
Can't have that, they cannot do their usual stuff anymore.... good riddance.

LOL123 , 14 hours ago link

"250,000 from the US State Department , the documents allege."....... Interesting.

"During the third Democratic debate on Saturday night, Hillary Clinton called for a "Manhattan-like project" to break encrypted terrorist communications. The project would "bring the government and the tech communities together" to find a way to give law enforcement access to encrypted messages, she said. It's something that some politicians and intelligence officials have wanted for awhile,"........

***wasn't the Manhatten project a secret venture?????? Hummmmm"

Hillary Clinton has all of our encryption keys, including the FBI's . "Encryption keys" is a general reference to several encryption functions hijacked by Hillary and her surrogate ENTRUST. They include hash functions (used to indicate whether the contents have been altered in transit), PKI public/private key infrastructure, SSL (secure socket layer), TLS (transport layer security), the Dual_EC_DRBG NSA algorithm and certificate authorities.

The convoluted structure managed by the "Federal Common Policy" group has ceded to companies like ENTRUST INC the ability to sublicense their authority to third parties who in turn manage entire other networks in a Gordian knot of relationships clearly designed to fool the public to hide their devilish criminality. All roads lead back to Hillary and the Rose Law Firm."- patriots4truth

artistant , 14 hours ago link

But, but some people keep getting away with it.

hooligan2009 , 15 hours ago link

When you are paid a lot of money to come up with plots "psyops", you tend to come up with plots for "psyops". The word "entrapment" comes to mind. Probably "self-serving" also.

larryriedel , 15 hours ago link

FBI/Anonymous can use this story to support a narrative that social media bots posting memes is a problem for everybody, and it's not a partisan issue. The idea is that fake news and unrestricted social media are inherently dangerous, and both the West and Russia are exploiting that, so governments need to agree to restrict the ability to use those platforms for political speech, especially without using True Names.

Baron Samedi , 15 hours ago link

Oilygawkies in the UK and USSA seem to be letting their spooks have a good-humored (rating here on the absurd transparency of these ops) contest to see who can come up with the most surreal propaganda psy-ops.

But they probably also serve as LHO distractions from something genuinely sleazy.

headless blogger , 15 hours ago link

Anti-Russian is just a code word for Globalist, Internationalist. Anything that is remotely like Nationalism is the true enemy of these Globalist/Internationalists, which is what the Top-Ape Bolshevik promoted: see Vladimir Lenin and his quotes on how he believed fully in "internationalism" for a world without borders. Ironic how they Love the butchers of the Soviet Union but hate Russia. It is ALL ABOUT IDEOLOGY to these people and "the means justify the ends".

They are frightening people.

Push , 15 hours ago link

Basically, if one acquires factual information from an internet source, which leads to overturning the propaganda to which we're all subjected, then it MUST have come from Putin. This is the direction they're headed. Anyone speaking out against the official story is obviously a Russian spy.

Xena fobe , 15 hours ago link

"Instutute for Statecraft"? Seriously?

OverTheHedge , 11 hours ago link

"Substitute for Statecraft"

Fify ;-)

koan , 16 hours ago link

The UK is waging psyop against their own people using the Russians as an excuse to further oppress the population, especially the white population.

FIFY.

East Indian , 16 hours ago link

Never thought Putin would be the symbol of free speech! The totalitarian EU and Deep State can come out of closet and denounce their predecessors.

brewing_it , 17 hours ago link

If you call ******** on the whole Russia cyberscare, you will be labeled a puppet of Putin.

The establishment is afraid of free thinking men and women that can call ******** when they see and hear it.

AriusArmenian , 17 hours ago link

Better to call it the Anti-Integrity Initiative. UK cretins up to their usual dirty tricks - let them choke on their poison. The judgement of history will eventually catch up with them.

Mike Rotsch , 17 hours ago link

A good 'ole economic collapse will give western countries a chance to purge their crazy leaders before they involve us all in a thermonuclear war. Short everything with your entire accounts.

RealistDuJour , 17 hours ago link

This is such BS. Since when does Russia have the resources to pull all this off? They have such a complex program that they need the coordinated efforts of all the resources of the WEST? This is nuts.

Isn't it just as likely someone in the WEST planted this cache, intending Anonymous to find it?

HRClinton , 18 hours ago link

When two sides fight - especially white v white - the hidden 3rd party (((instigator))) wins.

How dumb and mallaleable can these goys be? Pretty dumb and mallaleable, it seems.

J S Bach , 18 hours ago link

Any propaganda coming from the UK or US is strictly zionist. EVERYTHING they put out is to the benefit of Israel and the "lobby". Russia isn't perfect, but if they're an enemy of the latter, then they should NOT be considered a foe to all thinking and conscientious people.

OverTheHedge , 11 hours ago link

Yesterday, the BBC had a thing on Thai workers in Israel, and how they keep dying of accidents, their general level of slavery etc. Very odd to have a negative Israel story, so I wonder who upset whom, and what the ongoing status will be.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-46311922/thai-labourers-in-israel-tell-of-harrowing-conditions

Thai labourers in Israel tell of harrowing conditions

A year-long BBC investigation has discovered widespread abuse of Thai nationals living and working in Israel - under a scheme organized by the two governments.

Many are subjected to unsafe working practices and squalid, unsanitary living conditions. Some are overworked, others underpaid and there are dozens of unexplained deaths.

Herdee , 18 hours ago link

England and the U.S. don't like their very poor and rotten social conditions put out for the public to see. Both countries have severely deteriorating problems on their streets because of bankrupt governments printing money for foreign wars.

Quadruple_Rainbow , 18 hours ago link

More of the same fraudulent duality while alleged so called but not money etc continues to flow (everything is criminal) and the cesspool of a hierarchy pretends it's business as usual.

This isn't about maintaining balance in a lie this is about disclosing the truth and agendas (Agenda 21 now Agenda 2030 = The New Age Religion is Never Going To Be Saturnism). The layers of the hierarchy are a lie so unless the alleged so called leaders of those layers are publicly providing testimony and confession then everything that is being spoon fed to the pablum puking public through all sources is a lie.

Herdee , 18 hours ago link

They're afraid of stories like this: https://www.rt.com/news/444737-uk-funded-campaign-russia-leaks/

HRClinton , 17 hours ago link

Operating on a budget of £1.9 million (US$2.4 million), the secretive Integrity Initiative consists of "clusters" of (((local politicians, journalists, military personnel, scientists and academics))).

The (((team))) is dedicated to searching for and publishing "evidence" of Russian interference in European affairs, while themselves influencing leadership behind the scenes, the documents claim.

gatorengineer , 18 hours ago link

Do Neocons get time and half for Overtime, they sure have been putting in a bunch lately.

[Nov 16, 2018] The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

Nov 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/16/2018 - 00:05 4 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Saker Blog,

Right now, we live in a monopolar world.

Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America's future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014 :

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation . [Every other nation is therefore 'dispensable'; we therefore now have "Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt".] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. America must always lead on the world stage. If we don't, no one else will...

Russia's aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China's economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future U.S. military leaders that they are to fight for the U.S. aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] ...

In Ukraine, Russia's recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn't the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. [He was proud of the U.S. Government's effectiveness at propaganda, just as Hitler was proud of the German Government's propaganda-effectiveness under Joseph Goebbels.] Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine's economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine.

Actually, his - Obama's - regime, had conquered Ukraine in February 2014 by a very bloody coup , and installed a racist-fascist anti-Russian Government there next door to Russia, a stooge-regime to this day, which instituted a racial-cleansing campaign to eliminate enough pro-Russia voters so as to be able to hold onto power there. It has destroyed Ukraine and so alienated the regions of Ukraine that had voted more than 75% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew, so that those pro-Russia regions quit Ukraine. What remains of Ukraine after the U.S. conquest is a nazi mess and a destroyed nation in hock to Western taxpayers and banks .

Furthermore, Obama insisted upon (to use Bush's term about Saddam Hussein) "regime-change" in Syria. Twice in one day the Secretary General of the U.N. asserted that only the Syrian people have any right to do that, no outside nation has any right to impose it. Obama ignored him and kept on trying. Obama actually protected Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate against bombing by Syria's Government and by Syria's ally Russia, while the U.S. bombed Syria's army , which was trying to prevent those jihadists from overthrowing the Government. Obama bombed Libya in order to "regime-change" Muammar Gaddafi, and he bombed Syria in order to "regime-change" Bashar al-Assad; and, so, while the "U.S. Drops Bombs; EU Gets Refugees & Blame. This Is Insane." And Obama's successor Trump continues Obama's policies in this regard. And, of course, the U.S. and its ally UK invaded Iraq in 2003, likewise on the basis of lies to the effect that Iraq was the aggressor . (Even Germany called Poland the aggressor when invading Poland in 1939.)

No other nation regularly invades other nations that never had invaded it. This is international aggression. It is the international crime of "War of Aggression" ; and the only nations which do it nowadays are America and its allies, such as the Sauds, Israel, France, and UK, which often join in America's aggressions (or, in the case of the Sauds' invasion of Yemen, the ally initiates an invasion, which the U.S. then joins). America's generals are taught this aggression, and not only by Obama. Ever since at least George W. Bush, it has been solid U.S. policy. (Bush even kicked out the U.N.'s weapons-inspectors, so as to bomb Iraq in 2003.)

In other words: a mono-polar world is a world in which one nation stands above international law, and that nation's participation in an invasion immunizes also each of its allies who join in the invasion, protecting it too from prosecution, so that a mono-polar world is one in which the United Nations can't even possibly impose international law impartially, but can impose it only against nations that aren't allied with the mono-polar power, which in this case is the United States. Furthermore, because the U.S. regime reigns supreme over the entire world, as it does, any nations -- such as Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador -- that the U.S. regime (which has itself been scientifically proven to be a dictatorship ) chooses to treat as an enemy, is especially disadvantaged internationally. Russia and China, however, are among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and therefore possess a degree of international protection that America's other chosen enemies do not. And the people who choose which nations to identify as America's 'enemies' are America's super-rich and not the entire American population, because the U.S. Government is controlled by the super-rich and not by the public .

So, that's the existing mono-polar world: it is a world that's controlled by one nation, and this one nation is, in turn, controlled by its aristocracy, its super-rich .

If one of the five permanent members of the Security Council would table at the U.N. a proposal to eliminate the immunity that the U.S. regime has, from investigation and prosecution for any future War of Aggression that it might perpetrate, then, of course, the U.S. and any of its allies on the Security Council would veto that, but if the proposing nation would then constantly call to the international public's attention that the U.S. and its allies had blocked passage of such a crucially needed "procedure to amend the UN charter" , and that this fact means that the U.S. and its allies constitute fascist regimes as was understood and applied against Germany's fascist regime, at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945, then possibly some members of the U.S.-led gang (the NATO portion of it, at least) would quit that gang, and the U.S. global dictatorship might end, so that there would then become a multi-polar world, in which democracy could actually thrive.

Democracy can only shrivel in a mono-polar world, because all other nations then are simply vassal nations, which accept Obama's often-repeated dictum that all other nations are "dispensable" and that only the U.S. is not. Even the UK would actually gain in freedom, and in democracy, by breaking away from the U.S., because it would no longer be under the U.S. thumb -- the thumb of the global aggressor-nation.

Only one global poll has ever been taken of the question "Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?" and it found that, overwhelmingly, by a three-to-one ratio above the second-most-often named country, the United States was identified as being precisely that, the top threat to world-peace . But then, a few years later, another (though less-comprehensive) poll was taken on a similar question, and it produced similar results . Apparently, despite the effectiveness of America's propagandists, people in other lands recognize quite well that today's America is a more successful and longer-reigning version of Hitler's Germany. Although modern America's propaganda-operation is far more sophisticated than Nazi Germany's was, it's not entirely successful. America's invasions are now too common, all based on lies, just like Hitler's were.

On November 9th, Russian Television headlined "'Very insulting': Trump bashes Macron's idea of European army for protection from Russia, China & US" and reported that "US President Donald Trump has unloaded on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, calling the French president's idea of a 'real European army,' independent from Washington, an insult." On the one hand, Trump constantly criticizes France and other European nations for allegedly not paying enough for America's NATO military alliance, but he now is denigrating France for proposing to other NATO members a decreasing reliance upon NATO, and increasing reliance, instead, upon the Permanent Structured Cooperation (or PESCO) European military alliance , which was begun on 11 December 2017, and which currently has "25 EU Member States participating: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden." Those are the European nations that are now on the path to eventually quitting NATO.

Once NATO is ended, the U.S. regime will find far more difficult any invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Yemen 2016-, and maybe even such as America's bloody coup that overthrew the democratically elected Government of Ukraine and installed a racist-fascist or nazi anti-Russian regime there in 2014 . All of these U.S. invasions (and coup) brought to Europe millions of refugees and enormously increased burdens upon European taxpayers. Plus, America's economic sanctions against both Russia and Iran have hurt European companies (and the U.S. does almost no business with either country, so is immune to that, also). Consequently, today's America is clearly Europe's actual main enemy. The continuation of NATO is actually toxic to the peoples of Europe. Communism and the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirroring Warsaw Pact military alliance, all ended peacefully in 1991, but the U.S. regime has secretly continued the Cold War, now against Russia , and is increasingly focusing its "regime-change" propaganda against Russia's popular democratic leader, Vladimir Putin, even though this U.S. aggression against Russia could mean a world-annihilating nuclear war.

On November 11th, RT bannered "'Good for multipolar world': Putin positive on Macron's 'European army' plan bashed by Trump (VIDEO)" , and opened:

Europe's desire to create its own army and stop relying on Washington for defense is not only understandable, but would be "positive" for the multipolar world, Vladimir Putin said days after Donald Trump ripped into it.

" Europe is a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and sovereign in the field of defense and security," Putin told RT in Paris where world leader gathered to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

He also described the potential creation of a European army "a positive process," adding that it would "strengthen the multipolar world." The Russian leader even expressed his support to French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently championed this idea by saying that Russia's stance on the issue "is aligned with that of France" to some extent.

Macron recently revived the ambitious plans of creating a combined EU military force by saying that it is essential for the security of Europe. He also said that the EU must become independent from its key ally on the other side of the Atlantic, provoking an angry reaction from Washington.

Once NATO has shrunk to include only the pro-aggression and outright nazi European nations, such as Ukraine (after the U.S. gang accepts Ukraine into NATO, as it almost certainly then would do), the EU will have a degree of freedom and of democracy that it can only dream of today, and there will then be a multi-polar world, in which the leaders of the U.S. will no longer enjoy the type of immunity from investigation and possible prosecution, for their invasions, that they do today. The result of this will, however, be catastrophic for the top 100 U.S. 'defense' contractors , such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon, because then all of those firms' foreign sales except to the Sauds, Israel and a few other feudal and fascist regimes, will greatly decline. Donald Trump is doing everything he can to keep the Sauds to the agreements he reached with them back in 2017 to buy $404 billion of U.S. weaponry over the following 10 years . If, in addition, those firms lose some of their European sales, then the U.S. economic boom thus far in Trump's Presidency will be seriously endangered. So, the U.S. regime, which is run by the owners of its 'defense'-contractors , will do all it can to prevent this from happening.

* * *

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

[Nov 12, 2018] The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation graveyard of social protest movements, and for good reason

Highly recommended!
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man." ..."
"... This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Pelosi's deputy in the House, Steny Hoyer, sums up the right-wing policies of the Democrats, declaring: "His [Trump's] objectives are objectives that we share. If he really means that, then there is an opening for us to work together."

So much for the moral imperative of voting for the Democrats to stop Trump! As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump.

The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man."

This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers.

The same process is taking place internationally. While strikes and other expressions of working class opposition are growing and broad masses are moving to the left, the right-wing policies of supposedly "left" establishment parties are enabling far-right and neo-fascist forces to gain influence and power in countries ranging from Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland to Brazil.

As for Gay's injunction to vote "pragmatically," this is a crude promotion of the bankrupt politics that are brought forward in every election to keep workers tied to the capitalist two-party system. "You have only two choices. That is the reality, whether you like it or not." And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war.

The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation "graveyard of social protest movements," and for good reason. From the Populist movement of the late 19th century, to the semi-insurrectional industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, to the mass anti-war protest movements of the 1960s and the eruption of international protests against the Iraq War in the early 2000s -- every movement against the depredations of American capitalism has been aborted and strangled by being channeled behind the Democratic Party.

[Nov 02, 2018] Moscow Shocked by French Cabinet Spokesman's Remarks Regarding RT

This is a typical projection. France is a member of "dirty four". Macron government is a typical neoliberal cabinet, not that different from Merkel government. As such it is controlled by the USA.
Nov 02, 2018 | sputniknews.com

"Honestly, to say that we were surprised or upset is to say nothing. I think this condition could be better described as 'shock' when we heard the spokesman for the French government, Mr. Griveaux, just recently said the following. I quote: there are two media outlets that I refuse to see in the press room of the Elysee Palace, they are RT and Sputnik because I do not consider them to be media, they are not journalists, they are engaged in propaganda," Zakharova said at a weekly news briefing.

According to Zakharova, such an approach is the result of "the unwillingness of the French authorities to hear alternative sources of information."

Last month, two French government's think tanks issued a report, which recommended the country's authorities to abstain from accrediting journalists of the RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency.

Last year, RT reporters were denied entry to the headquarters of then-French presidential candidate Macron twice in April, and in May, a Sputnik reporter was not allowed to enter the square in front of Paris' Louvre museum where Macron and his supporters were celebrating the victory in the presidential run-off. After Macron became French president, he accused RT and Sputnik of "spreading false information and slander."

READ MORE: US Homeland Security Recommends Public to 'Be Aware' of RT, Sputnik

The situation around RT and Sputnik in France is not unique for the European Union: in 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution claiming that Russia was waging information warfare and singled out RT and Sputnik. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the resolution proved that Western democracy was failing, but expressed hope that common sense would prevail and Russian media outlets would be able to work abroad without restrictions.

[Nov 02, 2018] Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't invent Fairy Tales like that.

Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Terry Lawrence michaelroloff8 months ago

"The perpetrators and their conspiracy is not a theory since it has been proved."

By "proved" I assume you are referring to "proofs" such as the fantastical claim that Mohammed Atta's passport was allegedly and fortuitously "found" when it supposedly survived the 600 mph impact of the 767 he was supposedly piloting with a huge steel and concrete building, survived the huge fireball it was supposedly in the middle of unscorched, and conveniently fluttered to the ground intact to land at the feet of an FBI agent who immediately realized it must have belonged to one of the hijackers!

Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't invent Fairy Tales like that.

[Nov 02, 2018] A Nation Addled by Conspiracy Theories

Notable quotes:
"... The cartoonishly constructed "pipebombs" made for an extremely weird story, and it's not surprising that many people found it all very hard to believe. ..."
"... The Mainstream Media has no business complaining about "conspiracy theorists" while they regularly present lies as truth and relentlessly push moronic narratives like "Russiagate" and so on, and so on, ad nauseam. ..."
"... If you ask if we should believe in men in dark overcoats meeting to hatch a plot in a country tavern on a dark and stormy night, then no, that's silly. But if you ask, do powerful people meet and confidentially agree mutually advantageous strategies that go against the public interest, then yes of course, that's so common that it's generally referred to as doing 'lunch'. ..."
"... Perhaps it's partly the competition from social media. If you're worried & worked up about issues, you'll watch more hours of programming. There's always a money trail. And advertising drives it. ..."
"... When you think about most conspiracy theories, you quickly realized that the amount of planning, secrecy, and organization involved to pull them off is far beyond the capabilities of anybody outside of a Hollywood script writer. ..."
"... This is not new. The late, great Tom Wolfe was working at the NY Herald Tribune on Dec. 22, 1963. His editor sent him out to do a "man on the street" reaction story to JFK's assassination. Wolfe came back and wrote what he learned: every political and ethnic group was blaming its favorite enemy for the murder of the President. The Trib spiked the story, said Wolfe. ..."
"... The problem is that the media has been caught in too many lies, so now the public is naturally distrustful. Pushing things like WMDs in Iraq and babies being thrown from incubators creates a level of mistrust that makes people question official narratives. ..."
"... The media, corporate executives, politicians, and essentially all figures of authority routinely lie or lie by omission, how is that conspiratorial? To believe that all facts are shared in all cases is naive and it not unreasonable to believe that there is "more to the story" than being told. Does that mean that there is a conspiracy? No, but it does mean that there are pieces of the story that were never shared and likely never will be. ..."
"... You were expecting a normal balanced set of people to be sending pipe bombs? You thought, perhaps, that a bunch of affluent DNC types sat around thinking of a clever fake terrorist attack to swing the election? That would have been "normal"? ..."
"... I think sending pipe bombs to members of your own party, hoping you won't get caught, ranks pretty high up there on the implausibility scale. You had to want to believe this to take it seriously. ..."
"... I think it is good that people question their lying politicians and these lying, partisan so-called news pundits. If that means you are going to try to slander the people as "conspiracy theorists" then so be it. I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than take anything CNN or FOX says as gospel or take anything a politician says as gospel. Skepticism is good. These people don't deserve our trust. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

JimDandy October 31, 2018 at 12:27 am

Meh. In the last few years, how often have we seen, say, college "hate crimes" turn out to be pathetic hoaxes? Hate to break it to you, but those were false flags. Many conspiracy theories turn out to be conspiracy facts. I'll admit, though, that it was truly terrible when those three brutes wearing MAGA hats attacked that poor Muslim girl Yasmin Seweid on the New York subway, calling her a "terrorist" and telling her "get out of this country" and to "get the f****** hijab off your head!". The media was right to report as fact that they tried to tear off her headscarf and that no bystanders intervened while one of the men grabbed her bag, breaking the strap. Except that it was ALL MADE UP. The media sure loved shoving the lie down our throat, though. When the facts came out–that she was lying, and that her father shaved her head for dating a Christian kid–the media basically buried the story.

The cartoonishly constructed "pipebombs" made for an extremely weird story, and it's not surprising that many people found it all very hard to believe. This turned out to be because the guy who sent them is an EXTREMELY weird person. But people have every reason to be dubious and reserve judgement until all the facts come out.

The Mainstream Media has no business complaining about "conspiracy theorists" while they regularly present lies as truth and relentlessly push moronic narratives like "Russiagate" and so on, and so on, ad nauseam.

Anonymous , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:39 am
The author misstates Ockham's razor, which is that "plurality should not be posited without necessity." The right-wing nuts who posit that everything is the Jews' fault do seem to be in accordance with Ockham's maxim, after a fashion.
Werd , says: October 31, 2018 at 6:52 am
We're the wealthiest, loneliest nation that's ever existed. I think that's the best and only explanation needed.
Henry , says: October 31, 2018 at 9:00 am
I think the person who puts it best is Peter Hitchens.

If you ask if we should believe in men in dark overcoats meeting to hatch a plot in a country tavern on a dark and stormy night, then no, that's silly. But if you ask, do powerful people meet and confidentially agree mutually advantageous strategies that go against the public interest, then yes of course, that's so common that it's generally referred to as doing 'lunch'.

Whether or not you call that believing in conspiracies is your choice.

mrscracker , says: October 31, 2018 at 10:34 am
"But this does not explain why so many Americans choose to watch Fox News and why we have become so fearful and paranoid as a nation. "
***************
You don't think that MSNBC or CNN foment the same kind of stuff? Or every other media outlet to some extent? Goodness, even the BBC reads like a tabloid these days. BBC storylines sound like the National Enquirer.

Perhaps it's partly the competition from social media. If you're worried & worked up about issues, you'll watch more hours of programming. There's always a money trail. And advertising drives it.

Byron , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:40 am
"Conspiratorial thinking isn't really thinking at all. It's laziness that jumps to conclusions before examining the facts."

And who gets to determine what is and is not a fact? I was under the seemingly mistaken impression that individuals had not just the freedom, but the duty to form their own beliefs and pursue what what they understand to be the truth. Americans are not united via dogmas, but in shared values, such as the the value to think freely. The reality is conspiracy theorists are more inquisitive, more skeptical, and are, frankly, brave enough to fight the cognitive dissonance of an epistemological battle, and to withstand the ensuing ridicule and ostracism spewing forth from dogmatic conformists and demagogues, such as the author of this piece. To qoute Plato, "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."

TheSnark , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:43 am
Rick Steven D has it right: at least 9 times out of 10 when things go wrong it's due to incompetence. Somebody might come out ahead because of it, but it's not due to some clever conspiracy, it's due to somebody else screwing up.

When you think about most conspiracy theories, you quickly realized that the amount of planning, secrecy, and organization involved to pull them off is far beyond the capabilities of anybody outside of a Hollywood script writer.

Marcus Webb , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:47 am
This is not new. The late, great Tom Wolfe was working at the NY Herald Tribune on Dec. 22, 1963. His editor sent him out to do a "man on the street" reaction story to JFK's assassination. Wolfe came back and wrote what he learned: every political and ethnic group was blaming its favorite enemy for the murder of the President. The Trib spiked the story, said Wolfe.
K. , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:54 am
Well, the proximate reason for all this conspiracy theorizing is that the President and his associates are promulgating them. Do you believe Barack Obama is a secret muslim terrorist who isn't an American citizen? Well, Don did, and he promoted the idea forcefully. He's been at this a long time. Belief being the operative term here: it's not so much that these things are believed as that they are a means to manipulate the masses.

Also, please find better examples of Democrat conspiracy. A junior DC councilman VS POTUS? Sounds like your party may be the one with the problem here, I am just saying

Jeff Curtis , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:55 am
The problem is that the media has been caught in too many lies, so now the public is naturally distrustful. Pushing things like WMDs in Iraq and babies being thrown from incubators creates a level of mistrust that makes people question official narratives.
Paco , says: October 31, 2018 at 11:59 am
The federal government has embraced secrecy for its highest levels and ultimate transparency for the rest of us. At the same time they have demonstrated over and over again that rich and powerful actors will not be held accountable for their actions while the rest of us are made to live in a police/prison/surveillance state. There is a massive increase in wealth concentration.

If there was a return to government transparency, if the powerful held their own accountable, if we did not have a culture of security clearances and secrets, if there was rule of law, not rule of men, we might not be so conspiracy minded. But all of what I just described is indeed a big conspiracy to wrest the right of self-determination from the masses and put it in the hands of a few powerful actors – banks, the very rich, and countries that the U.S. happens to approve of at a given time (S.A., Israel, etc. are above international law while Russia, Iran, etc. are constantly being sanctioned and punished for doing what the former nations do every day with impunity).

callmecrazy , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:02 pm
The media, corporate executives, politicians, and essentially all figures of authority routinely lie or lie by omission, how is that conspiratorial? To believe that all facts are shared in all cases is naive and it not unreasonable to believe that there is "more to the story" than being told. Does that mean that there is a conspiracy? No, but it does mean that there are pieces of the story that were never shared and likely never will be.
Donald , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:09 pm
"This turned out to be because the guy who sent them is an EXTREMELY weird person."

You were expecting a normal balanced set of people to be sending pipe bombs? You thought, perhaps, that a bunch of affluent DNC types sat around thinking of a clever fake terrorist attack to swing the election? That would have been "normal"?

I have no problem believing that the DNC or the RNC or just about anybody in politics might do something sleazy, as the DNC did during the 2016 primaries, but I think sending pipe bombs to members of your own party, hoping you won't get caught, ranks pretty high up there on the implausibility scale. You had to want to believe this to take it seriously.

I don't reject conspiracy theories out of hand, like some of the other people in this thread, because the phrase is meaningless. The fact is that everybody is a conspiracy theorist these days and some conspiracies are true. There was a conspiracy to sell the Iraq War based on flimsy evidence, for instance, and most of our glorious press corps was useless in pointing this out.

The important thing is to be able to tell the differences between conspiracy theories with evidence, conspiracy theories with little evidence which might still be possible, and conspiracy theories that are so dumb no sensible person would support them unless blinded by their stupid ideology.

Donald , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:13 pm
"I don't reject conspiracy theories out of hand, like some of the other people in this thread,"

Poorly phrased. I meant I agree with some of the other people in the thread who pointed out that some conspiracy theories turn out to be true. While correcting myself, I will add that centrist liberals seem to have gone a little nuts in the conspiratorial department regarding Russiagate. I am agnostic about what happened with Russia during 2016, but it was startling to see so many Democrats and liberals morphing into members of the John Birch society, willing to believe virtually anything and everything about Russia and Trump or just Russia. And I despise Trump. I don't doubt for a second he could be bought by anyone for the right price. But some liberals have gone a little nuts on that subject.

Neo-Marxist , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm
We have a conspiratorial society because the press has lost all credibility and no one trusts the corrupt, lying politicians either.

I think it is good that people question their lying politicians and these lying, partisan so-called news pundits. If that means you are going to try to slander the people as "conspiracy theorists" then so be it. I would rather be a conspiracy theorist than take anything CNN or FOX says as gospel or take anything a politician says as gospel. Skepticism is good. These people don't deserve our trust.

Craig Brown , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm
For 50 years we've been told that there is no absolute truth, only our own opinions; no standard, only our own desires; no purpose, only our own passions. We've been told that the perpetrator of the crime is always the person we're supposed to trust. We've been told that the only way to move forward as a nation is to abandon every value we've ever held dear. In such an environment, is it any surprise that our people mill about in the thrall of their own fantasies and fear?
Alicia McHugh , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm
The things that tuned my conspiracy theory radar were Eric Holder being found in contempt of Congress, and Hillary saying the maker of that video would be brought to justice.
billstu , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:42 pm
After witnessing the FBI and DOJ plant spies in a Presidential candidates campaign then try a soft coup to over throw said President There is no conspiracy theroy to wild or unbelievable
Alan C , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:48 pm
Conspiracy theorist/n.
One who questions the statements of known liars.
Paul , says: October 31, 2018 at 12:54 pm
Well, the JFK assassination now has a deathbed confession (Hunt), so not sure how that factors in with all this. That's the one 'conspiracy' I know of regarding which I assume there being some actual conspiracy behind the events.

For most of them, though, probably just a product of a digitally deranged nation. And if that's right, it will only get worse, because the internet and all its communications capability isn't going away anytime soon. Mass media used to be controlled by relatively intelligent and educated people, who could filter out a lot of the crazy. Now, even the crazy can have a platform. And there seems to be a lot more crazy than reasonable out there in the digital landscape.

Joseph Panacone , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:10 pm
Does Ms. Boland think that all those conservatives who thought that the Deep State was real, that there was a conspiracy among high ranking Justice Dept. and FBI personnel to Destroy Trump, does she think they were crazy conspiracy lunatics?

Does Ms. Boland think that way also about the conspiracy to
Cover Up and Protect Hillary from her clearly dangerous and illegal Email activity?

And does she think The IRS and others on the left did not conspire to cover up the clear and admitted improper behavior
towards Conservative Tea Party Groups?

And did they not conspire on the left to Cover Up Secretary of State Hillary Clintons irresponsible behavior with regard to the
Benghazi Attack?

I could go on and on!

The point is NOT what certain private individuals think about certain issues in the news, ie: The Bombs, but the REAL POINT is how People In Power Actually Do Conspire to manipulate the public.

ADStryker , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:29 pm
" this does not explain why so many Americans choose to watch Fox News and why we have become so fearful and paranoid as a nation " There's probably not a single reason, but I think the hyper-partisan left-wing fake-news narratives that we've been seeing for several decades now have both driven many people to distrust the "mainstream" media and have fed irrational fear and paranoia in others.
One Guy , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:34 pm
Virtually every Conspiracy Theorist I know personally, is a nutjob. Every one. This includes a family member who I love. I've never met a normal, level-headed Conspiracy Theorist.
Kevin V , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:38 pm
Some people see conspiracies everywhere, fair enough. The problem is, there are conspiracies. We find out about them all the time. For example, some people think 9/11 was an inside job or the Jews did it that's hand-waved away as a "conspiracy theory" but the answer we have ie that 19 or 20 men plotted and worked together to enter the US, obtain training in piloting aircraft, then planned and executed an nearly simultaneous attack on 4 airplanes IS a conspiracy. So the 9/11 truther explanation is just an ALTERNATIVE conspiracy theory. It's probably not true, that's not my point my point is THERE ARE conspiracies, proven ones.
Add to that, only a very small minority of Americans trust either the government or the media and the stage is set
Sean Hammond , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:47 pm
The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.
Yes. This is true.
But one cannot make judgements in an event vacuum.
If you are foolish enough to state that a person connecting similar events, which occur in a close time frame, and involve the same people, if you are foolish enough to call these people fools, then you sir or madam, are a fool.
Put on your tinfoil hat and dance for us.
Gardner Waterberry , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:52 pm
I agree with the author insofar as there seems to be a proliferation of "conspiracy theories" out there in the public domain, but I disagree with the subtle pejorative tone the author uses, and the reasons for the proliferation.

Yes, conspiracy theories not rooted in fact are easy to dismiss. BUT, there are other "conspiracy theories" which are ultimately vindicated by subsequent discovery of substantiating facts. Journalists and citizens alike should [sometimes] be skeptical because our government, businesses and media have proven records of deceit.

Finally -- with respect to the reason for the proliferation: it's simple, the Internet has made information sharing and research exponentially easier. People are no longer limited by what they see on the nightly news or are told by politicians as the lone reference point for current events. Everyone should think [critically] for themselves

P.S. What I see as the bigger [societal] problem is the blurring between fact & fiction which makes analysis difficult.

Max Bouknecht , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:59 pm
Not mentioned by the author is the growing mound of evidence that there is, in fact, some form of an Obama or Democratic Party deep state shadow government in the federal bureaucracy, particularly in the Department of Justice. Because mainstream media refuses to report on this growing mound of evidence, instead spending their energy on the Mueller effort to oust the President, it's easy to understand why the nation is so sharply divided, which in turn, will lead to never ending conspiracy theories.
C. W. Lyon , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:24 pm
The author of this article, and some of its respondents, cause the question to arise: do you read history? Do you not realize the importance of balance? People believe in conspiracies because many have proven real. Others ignore conspiracies because many have proven to be false. To deride the "plebs" for "wacky" beliefs is to ignore criminal stupidity.

Clinton wasn't being malicious, she simply acted in a CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT manner. She still committed at least one provable felony. There are many instances in history when such negligent behavior is absolved, only to become the pebble which rippled the pond.

Meanwhile, Bomber Man may have been a legitimate Trump supporter. He is still perfect evidence of the willful ignorance of our yellow journalists, and the damage they have caused. Every day, and often every hour, our "media" generate stories about the "horrors" of eating fresh fruit or taking antibiotics. They follow drama, writing about the dozens of people who have been attacked or victimized by vandalism. The stories range from long-term potential danger to immediate threats.

And soon after, sometimes the next day, these same journalists, yellow as a bumble bee, write new stories that contradict the old stories. Many stories are not written as a correction, but instead as if the previous stories were not written. What's worse is that they purposely ignore new FACTS, and choose not to correct stories that are eventually exposed as hoaxes and frauds.

And now we have the conspiracies. We know why they exist, and we know that a lack of personal responsibility is to blame. And should that day come when Trump goes out to the street and shoots someone, he'll have a good 33% of America behind him. Occam's overused platitude shows that it isn't the fault of the 33%, but instead of the ignorance of a few thousand people who continue to push horse feces as information.

Soxtory , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:26 pm
Maybe a conspiracy will emerge as to why it took the police 78 minutes to get to the synagogue. All the while the shooter roamed, taking his time killing people.
Mike Hunt , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm
The US was built on conspiracy theories. They are signs of a healthy, curious, mind. Maybe the media should do a better job of laying out political realities, you know with history, instead of trying to push narratives every second of every day.
Mike Hunt , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm
"And who gets to determine what is and is not a fact?"

Juries

WideAwake , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:40 pm
Too often, those who dismiss conspiracy theories also believe every public statement by the government. This is so naïve. They don't wear a tin foil hat but instead a dunce cap. So many government lies go unchallenged at the time yet people barely notice when the gov't admits the lie years later. Eg. USS Liberty attacked by Israeli air force, Gulf of Tonkin clash, Iraq's WMD, the Lusitania in WW1, US goading Japan into war, etc.
Ryder , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm
The author has their brain in neutral, it seems, criticizing Trump out of the gates (talk about a hobby!).

"Upon learning about the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday morning in Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump claimed that armed guards might have prevented the tragedy. He did so even though we didn't yet know how many casualties there were or that four (presumably armed) police officers had been wounded in responding to the attack"

On what planet does an accurate accounting of caualties or wounded law enforcement workers NULLIFY IN ANY WAY, the idea that armed security might work to prevent tragedy?

It's like Ms. Boland, our esteemed author, lacks the basic building blocks of reason.

PLEASE, be sure your authors can juggle more than one concept at a time before you publish them.

What Trump is "guilty" of here is not being wrong, fact free, or conspiracy bent which I thought was the thrust of the article but instead is preemptively managing an assault on the 2nd amendment, which is knows will in fact come.

For those unfamiliar with the job of the Presidency, (Ms. Boland), he is tasked with DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION.

This is the picture of a President actually doing his job.

Obama, on the other hand, would have used this situation to actually ATTACK the constitutions Second Amendment, in raw violantion of his oath.

Journalists: More effort on understanding the topics you are writing about, please.

cdugga , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:19 pm
I was thinking that if hats were still fashionable for men to wear, would I line mine with foil. Then I thought that I might still be watching FOX if wmd's had been found. But I always fall back on, the conspiracy from hell does exist. Like, part of the conspiracy from hell would be to foment the conspiracy theories so many on the right subscribe to. And I suspect that here at TAC, most would be ambivalent about the possible conspiracies out there because conspiracy, especially government conspiracy, works towards the demonization of government and works towards the stated mantra of starving the beast. We do not need to subscribe to the conspiracy, but it does seem to work in our favor?
Also, what are we to do anyway? We are not going to vote against our interests no matter how many people are slaughtered? We are not ever going to admit being mistaken about the candidates we elected because that admission might mean we were wrong about other stuff and policy. Tinkle down has not worked because taxes have not been cut enough. We could have won in vietnam. It is not us getting slaughtered after all. Like the invasion of iraq. It was not our kids coming home in body bags, so we subscribe to the fight for freedom and liberty bs shoved in our face by the ignorant and uninformed republican ends justify the means base. Then our kid comes home in a coffin and we begin to ask why we are there. Must be some government conspiracy. I don't know, but the conspiracy from hell is plain, including the very powerful tool of cognitive dissonance used by evil.
But TAC readers may not be up on how out there many of the trump constituents really are. Or how racist many republicans are. Chem trails and deep state blackocrat government operatives conjured a hurricane to keep florida republicans from being able to vote. So yes, something is making us wacky and if hats were in style, mine would be lined with foil.
Trumpfatigue , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:47 pm
This is a weak effort at "bothsiderism". https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/opinion/hate-is-on-the-ballot-next-week.html
The young democrat serving on the DC City Council who made the ridiculous claim about climate control immediately apologized, and took down the statement. No one was fooled.
On the Russian collusion "scandal," well, a lot of folks have already plead guilty to felonies, and others have been indicted–that investigation is ongoing, and has in no way been shown to be a manufactured conspiracy theory.
What the commentator on the Pittsburg massacre actually said was: "And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don't live was worth it."
As for the vicious Adelson rumor, that started on 4chan, not exactly a hot-bed of the left.
Lastly, Clinton said, in SEPTEMBER OF 2017, that she "would not rule out" questioning the election, if new information surfaced in the Russia investigation, but also recognized that there was no "mechanism" to do that.
Sadie Slays , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:59 pm
The media has nobody to blame but themselves for fostering this skepticism. It was proven in the Podesta emails that the Democratic Party colludes with the mainstream media to push certain agendas, make certain candidates look better, and even rigs political debates (Donna Brazile lost her CNN job over this). There is no reason to take anything they report at face value anymore.
WhiteSage , says: October 31, 2018 at 4:11 pm
I'd say Byron is right on the money, in a general sense, not so much for Rick D's narrower point of view. Real conspiracies do in fact abound in all directions, and I'd say the worst ones involve corporate manipulation. This country and its mainstream foreign owned media DOES NOT enable people to develop a healthy skepticism based on critical thought and fully exposed facts. But it does pretend to.

For instance, how can we ignore all the bs that is legislated upon us, thanks to lobbying efforts of greedy corporations? Does that not exist? Are the worst of those manipulations revealed upfront for what they are? Wake up already! We ARE awash in fake/poisonous foods, rigged politics, rigged banking, fomented wars, fake WMDs, fake clouds, outta control inflation/interest/taxes, better health thru pill technology or surgeries instead of nutrition(?), etc. And 'astute' Americans want to presume all of this is on the up and up to our collective benefit?

You anti-conspiracy guys are beyond ignorant to dismiss all such theories. Either that, or possibly your minds are not flexible enough to fathom the scope of deep sh*t we are actually entrenched in due to decades of predatory monopolization – can you not see the obvious? We've got multiple gov. agencies that work like protection rackets and hide health critical truths. Health is wealth people. There are soo many examples. Our enemies plot and succeed to destabilize the social fabric of USA through social media, education, news, etc., at their own admission, and you all deny that there isn't concerted effort behind that? Do you really think Fox and CNN cover all this, fair and balanced? Admit already, you just don't care to know, you'd rather make fun of smarter people because you are likely weak of mind and spirit.

Ball , says: October 31, 2018 at 4:20 pm
Well, gee, maybe if the "news" reported the news

Also. the bombs were clearly non-functional. The 'timer' was a clock for crying out loud. The FBI refuses to say what was inside the PVC pipe, instead opting to use the weasel words "energetic material". If that doesn't fuel conspiracy theories, nothing else will.

We can't trust the "news", we can't trust the FBI, and we can't trust "platforms" not to edit timelines. What the hell do you expect?!?!

Rick Steven D. , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:12 pm
Regarding Fox News:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/fox-news-viewers-tend-to-be-less-informed-says-new-study/article/433762

Like Rod Serling used to say, submitted for your approval

John , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:13 pm
Who would ever believe that a political candidate would conspire with her party to effectively bypass the democratic process of nomination?
However, it happened.
Who would ever believe that a member of the news media would conspire with a candidate before a debate?
However, it happened.
Who would ever believe that members of the judiciary committee would hide information until the last minute in order to hijack a supreme court nomination?
However, it happened.

With current Democrats, no low is too low.

EliteCommInc. , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:50 pm
Here's something to consider about conspiracies. Ad while I opposed this executives policy agenda, aside from two crucial areas. I keep hoping the opening quotation in the article is inaccurate.

http://www.unz.com/mhudson/rescuing-the-banks-instead-of-the-economy/#comment-2601832

_________________________________
"Juries"

Uhh not really, the final word. Juries get facts wrong all the time -- they decide guilt or innocence which doesn't have to be based on anything at save their judgement regardless of the facts.

In fact, judges and prosecutors have greater impact on what constitutes a facts. Jury instructions on evidence evaluation, what is or is not allowed as to argument -- -

In fact the best jury decisions in my view are those that actually nullify state accusations. Those juries are are sincerely engaged in critically evaluating not only the issues, the data, but whether whatever the accused did should have been considered illegal in the first – despite the facts.

[Nov 01, 2018] In today's world of the 24/7/15-min News cycle, it becomes apparent that the Media themselves are complicit in promoting "Conspiracy Theory" narratives because they continually engage in a never-ending parade of "talking head's" making commentary based in speculation, innuendo and "shock-value" sound-bites, designed to keep people watching the "train-wreck" that has become the MSM's version of "The Never-Ending Story"!

Notable quotes:
"... Also fails to point out how often we are lied to by the government and media as the reason for continuous questioning – they have lost our trust and deservedly so! ..."
"... It would be a lot easier to fight conspiracy theories if our elite opinion makers and military institutions did not try and manipulate our opinions so frequently. ..."
"... When Ms. Boland writes about how "dozens of people could orchestrate a deception that fools millions -- and then keep it secret for decades"–she knows what she's talking about. She herself has played a role–and continues to play a role–in just such a deception. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

polistra October 31, 2018 at 5:54 pm

As long as arrogant elitist like this author CONSPIRE to SMASH ordinary people, ordinary people will continue to OBSERVE that the elites are conspiring to ruin us. This is not a theory, it's an OBSERVED FACT.
Gregson14 , says: October 31, 2018 at 6:40 pm
In today's world of the 24/7/15-min News cycle, it becomes apparent that the Media themselves are complicit in promoting "Conspiracy Theory" narratives – because they continually engage in a never-ending parade of "talking head's" making commentary based in speculation, innuendo and "shock-value" sound-bites, designed to keep people watching the "train-wreck" that has become the MSM's version of "The Never-Ending Story"!
Ken Hamilton , says: October 31, 2018 at 6:57 pm
This article' written in the American Conservative, sounds like a left wing propaganda piece claiming that if you dispute the mainstream narrative, you are a lazy, non-thinking, whacked-out conspiracy nut. It fails to point our the left-wing conspiracies such as Trump is a Nazi, all white males are violent killers, legal immigration is for racists, etc, etc, etc.

Also fails to point out how often we are lied to by the government and media as the reason for continuous questioning – they have lost our trust and deservedly so!

Interguru , says: October 31, 2018 at 9:34 pm
When there are a number of "conspiracy" theories on the same event -- each one disagreeing with each other –which one do you believe?
JonF , says: November 1, 2018 at 6:13 am
Re: And who gets to determine what is and is not a fact? I

Facts are a given. You do not get to pick and chose, nor to elevate opinion to fact status. The sun will not rise in the west no matter how much you'd like it to. And 2+2 will always equal four.

Northern Observer , says: November 1, 2018 at 8:46 am
It would be a lot easier to fight conspiracy theories if our elite opinion makers and military institutions did not try and manipulate our opinions so frequently.

It is a misdiagnosis to see this as a bottom up problem. The top has its role to play and having greater resources it should lead the way. But controlling people is fun and profitable so I don't see America's leaders dropping it any time soon. America should be hyper rational and boring like Switzerland, but it's not and I don't see how you get there when there are two competing reality hegemonies (progressive and libertarian) fighting for the American mind.

Kurt Gayle , says: November 1, 2018 at 10:28 am
Barbara Boland talks about the kind of "thinking [that] isn't really thinking at all." She says, "It's laziness that jumps to conclusions before examining the facts. It accepts that somehow dozens of people could orchestrate a deception that fools millions -- and then keep it secret for decades."

Ms. Boland should know. Ms. Boland – "the Boeing/Orbital ATK/Lockheed Martin/Raytheon girl" -- is herself involved in just such "a deception that fools millions." She beats the drums on behalf of a deception that has cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars – the so-called anti-ballistic missile defense system.

Ms. Boland herself admits that "we cannot know for sure how these systems will function in the real world. Department of Defense tests have typically been controlled, and there have only been four successful ballistic missile intercept tests since 2004."

And yet Ms. Boland -- acknowledging that "we have spent $123 billion on missile defense systems since 2002 [and] in 2017 Congress authorized hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for missile interceptors built by Boeing, Orbital ATK, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon" -- wants Congress to spend more money. She "Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should agree that this defense expenditure is a long-term investment in the safety and security of the U.S. homeland."

When Ms. Boland writes about how "dozens of people could orchestrate a deception that fools millions -- and then keep it secret for decades"–she knows what she's talking about. She herself has played a role–and continues to play a role–in just such a deception.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/366327-anti-ballistic-missile-defense-shouldnt-be-a-political-football

EliteCommInc. , says: November 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm
"An overwhelming majority of conspiracy nonsense is spewed by right wing sources, aimed at delegitimizing the government and democrats."

I hate to break the news to you, but no one needs to manufacture anything about government or democrats to delegitimize their advocacy.

1. democrats, republicans and government -- Russian collusion and election interference

2. transgender restrooms as vital national policy agendas --

3. massive rape culture

4. bailouts for the top 5%

5. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen . . .

6. Pres Trump as the Manchurian candidate

7. renditioning, torture . . .

8. Justice Thomas, Justice Kavenaugh, Nominee Bork,

9 Vietnam protestors . . .

10. Free love . . .

Some of the above are Democrats all by themselves, but there's plenty of republican and government advocacy to go around delegitimizing the entire system.

Laugh.

Swb , says: November 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm
A conservative columnist complaining about conspiracy theories taking over the uneducated masses may be the person with the least self awareness of anyone on the internet today.
Howard , says: November 1, 2018 at 2:18 pm
Then there are the crazies who think that the NSA is reading our emails, or that our Cuba policy is a cynical attempt to gain votes in South Florida. Preposterous!

[Oct 30, 2018] Lightening Skies The Case for Optimism by Justin Raimondo

Oct 29, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Why American nationalism is different

[Oct 27, 2018] The Legal Battle Behind the Trump Tower Meeting by Ken Dilanian

We say Browder, but we mean MI6. He was a part of larger plan concocted by US intelligence agencies to decimate Russia after the dissolution of the USSR. Of which Harvard mafia played even more important role. The fact that he gave up his U.S. citizenship in 1997 points to his association with MI6.
The level of distortions the US neoliberal MSM operated with in case of Magnitsky (starting with the widely repeated and factually incorrect claim that he was a lawyers, in create a sympathy; their effort to portrait shady accountant involved in tax fraud for Browder, as a fighter for justice should be described in a separate chapter on any modem book on the power of propaganda; this is simply classic ) is compatible with lies and distortions of Skripal affair and point of strong interest ion intelligence services in both.
Browder and Magnistsky affair really demonstrate that as for foreign events we already live "Matrix environment" of artificial reality created by MSM and controlled by intelligence agencies and foreign policy establishment; and that ordinary people are forced into artificial reality with little or no chance to escape.
Notable quotes:
"... Prevezon's American legal team alleged that Browder's story was full of holes -- and that the U.S. and other governments had relied on Browder's version without checking it. ..."
"... The chief American investigator, Todd Hyman of the Department of Homeland Security, testified in a deposition that much of the evidence in the government's complaint came from Browder and his associates. He also said the government had been unable to independently investigate some of Browder's claims. ..."
"... In court documents, Prevezon's lawyers alleged that Magnitsky was jailed not because he was a truth-seeker -- but because he was helping Browder's companies in tax evasion. ..."
"... The Prevezon attorneys charged that Browder "lied," and "manipulated" evidence to cover up his own tax fraud. ..."
"... The story was "contrived and skillfully sold by William F. Browder to politicians here and abroad to thwart his arrest for a tax fraud conviction in Russia," says a 2015 federal court filing by one of Prevezon's lawyers, Mark Cymrot of BakerHostetler. ..."
"... A Russian-born filmmaker named Andrei Nekrasov made a similar set of arguments in a docudrama released last year. Neither Prevezon nor the Russian government had a role in funding or making the film, both parties say, though Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin helped promote it. ..."
Jul 24, 2017 | www.nbcnews.com

As Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya tells it, she met with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump aides in New York last summer to press her case against a widely accepted account of Russian malfeasance, one that underpins a set of sanctions against Russians.

It's a cause Veselnitskaya has been pursuing for years. So, too, has Rinat Akhmetshin, the colorful Russian-born American lobbyist she brought with her to Trump Tower.

Trump Jr., who agreed to the June 2016 meeting at the request of a Russian business associate with a promise of dirt on Hillary Clinton , has said he didn't find much to interest him in the presentation. And little wonder: The subject is a dense and tangled web, hinging on a complex case that led Congress to pass what is known as the Magnitsky Act. The law imposed sanctions on individual Russians accused of human rights violations. It has nothing to do with Clinton.

The Trump Tower meeting has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia's election interference . The topic of the meeting, many observers have said, is almost beside the point.

But the substance of what the pair of Russian advocates say they came to discuss has a fascinating backstory.

It's an epic international dispute -- one that has pitted the grandson of a former American Communist who made a fortune as a capitalist in Russia against a Russian leader who pines for the glory days of his country's Communist past.

In a cinematic twist, one person on the side advocated by Vladimir Putin, Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin is a former American newspaper reporter turned investigator named Glenn Simpson. He is the same Glenn Simpson whose firm, Fusion GPS, helped craft the controversial dossier alleging that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian intelligence .

That dossier, published by Buzzfeed , made other, more salacious allegations about Trump, and FBI Director James Comey briefed the Republican about it before he took office. The dossier is not favorable to Putin and the Russian government.

Simpson's role on both sides of the Putin divide is set to be explored in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday examining the Justice Department's requirements for foreign lobbying disclosures.

Due to testify at the hearing is Simpson's longtime opponent in the Magnitsky dispute, William Browder, an American-born hedge-fund investor who made millions investing in post-Soviet Russia and gave up his U.S. citizenship in 1997.

Simpson's lawyer said he would defy a subpoena to appear Wednesday because he was on vacation, and that he would decline to answer questions anyway, citing his right against self-incrimination.

Browder, whose grandfather Earl led the American Communist Party, accuses Simpson of peddling falsehoods as an agent of the Russian government. The law firm Simpson worked with on the case accused Browder in court papers of perpetrating a web of lies. Both men dispute the allegations.

The Death of Sergei Magnitsky

The story begins with the November 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax accountant who was working for Browder, and who later died in prison .

Browder's account of Magnitsky's death triggered international outrage. According to Browder, Magnitsky was a lawyer who had been investigating a theft of $230 million in tax rebates paid to Browder's companies in Russia. Browder says his companies had been taken over illegally and without his knowledge by corrupt Russian officials.

Browder says Magnitsky was arrested as a reprisal by those same corrupt officials, and then was tortured and beaten to death. Browder presented documents suggesting that some officials who benefited from the alleged fraud purchased property abroad.

That account led Congress to pass the so-called Magnitsky Act in 2012, imposing sanctions on the Russian officials who were alleged to have violated Magnitsky's human rights.

The Russian government soon imposed a ban on American adoptions of Russian children, ostensibly for other reasons but done in response, many experts say, to the Magnitsky sanctions.

Forty-four Russians are currently on the Magnitsky sanctions list maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department, meaning their U.S. assets are frozen and they are not allowed to travel to the U.S.

Once a Putin supporter, Browder became one of the Russian leader's most ardent foes, spearheading a campaign to draw international attention to the Magnitsky case. He and his employees at Hermitage Capital Management presented information to governments, international bodies and major news organizations.

Browder's advocacy marks a shift from 2004, when, as one of Russia's leading foreign investors, he praised Putin so vigorously that he was labeled Putin's "chief cheerleader" by an analyst in a Washington Post article. Browder has said that Magnitsky's death spurred him to reexamine his view of Putin.

The State Department, lawmakers of both parties and the Western news media have described the Magnitsky case in a way that tracks closely with Browder's account. Browder's assertions are consistent with the West's understanding of the Putin government -- an authoritarian regime that has been widely and credibly accused of murdering journalists and political opponents.

In 2013, the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office sued a Russian company, accusing it of laundering some of the proceeds of the fraud Magnitsky allegedly uncovered. The complaint incorporated Browder's account about what happened to Magnitsky.

That lawsuit set in motion a process through which that version of events would come under challenge.

The defendant, a company called Prevezon, is owned by Denis Katsyv, who became wealthy while his father was vice governor and transport minister for the Moscow region, according to published reports. The father, Pyotr Katsyv, is now vice president of the state-run Russian Railways. Veselnitskaya has long represented the family.

Prevezon hired a law firm, BakerHostetler, and a team that included a longtime New York prosecutor, John Moscow. Also working on Prevezon's behalf were Simpson, Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin.

Simpson, a former investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, declined to comment.

Simpson also worked with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in the creation of the dossier that asserts Trump collusion with Russian election interference. A source close to him said his work on the dossier was kept confidential from his other clients.

The federal civil lawsuit by the Manhattan U.S. attorney against Prevezon was the first opportunity for the U.S. government to publicly present whatever evidence it had to support its legal assertions regarding Magnitsky. It was also an opportunity for the defendants to conduct their own investigation.

Prevezon's American legal team alleged that Browder's story was full of holes -- and that the U.S. and other governments had relied on Browder's version without checking it. Browder and the U.S. government disagreed.

The chief American investigator, Todd Hyman of the Department of Homeland Security, testified in a deposition that much of the evidence in the government's complaint came from Browder and his associates. He also said the government had been unable to independently investigate some of Browder's claims.

In court documents, Prevezon's lawyers alleged that Magnitsky was jailed not because he was a truth-seeker -- but because he was helping Browder's companies in tax evasion.

The Prevezon attorneys charged that Browder "lied," and "manipulated" evidence to cover up his own tax fraud.

The story was "contrived and skillfully sold by William F. Browder to politicians here and abroad to thwart his arrest for a tax fraud conviction in Russia," says a 2015 federal court filing by one of Prevezon's lawyers, Mark Cymrot of BakerHostetler.

A Russian-born filmmaker named Andrei Nekrasov made a similar set of arguments in a docudrama released last year. Neither Prevezon nor the Russian government had a role in funding or making the film, both parties say, though Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin helped promote it.

[Oct 27, 2018] Justin Elliott on Sheldon Adelson by Scott

Notable quotes:
"... This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs , by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc. ; Zen Cash ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; and LibertyStickers.com . ..."
"... To me, it is not so much the lies that major media organizations may broadcast, but the enormous amount of news of major importance that the networks censor that is doing the greatest harm. ..."
Oct 24, 2018 | scotthorton.org
Journalist Justin Elliott comes on the show to talk about casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has become one of President Trump's biggest donors. Although Trump derided him early in his campaign, the two have formed a close partnership with Adelson providing tens of millions in funding so long as Trump continues the correct policies with respect to Israel, Palestine, and Iran. Elliott and others have also speculated that Trump is trying to get Adelson approval to open a casino in Japan, helping him to expand his gambling empire in Asia.

Discussed on the show:

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica . He has produced stories for The New York Times and National Public Radio, and his reporting with NPR on the Red Cross' troubled post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in Haiti won a 2015 Investigative Reporters and Editors award. Follow him on Twitter @JustinElliott .

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs , by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Roberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc. ; Zen Cash ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; and LibertyStickers.com .

Check out Scott's Patreon page.

William on October 26, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Whether Adelson or some other plutocrat, American politics is awash in money, and it this money is crippling our democracy. I don't think that I have heard this topic discussed on any news program, and I don't expect to. To me, it is not so much the lies that major media organizations may broadcast, but the enormous amount of news of major importance that the networks censor that is doing the greatest harm.

Americans never get to see what they need to know. Keeping the peasants ignorant is the current mass media program, and they are doing a great job of it.

[Oct 22, 2018] Vladimir now realises what so many other unlucky business partners have.....help out the Don to achieve his greater goals and sooner than later you will be rewarded with a swift kick in the [very manly] groin.

Notable quotes:
"... The most distracting game player of all time, Donald Gump, is trying his darndest to weaken the dollar and force lower interest rates by doing everything in his power to destabilise global trade...which of course only serves to strengthen the dollar....because any hint of monetary instability for any reason will always be met with a "flight to safety." Whether the flight is in reality "safe" is beside the point. The flight itself is all that matters. The flight itself is the existential reality. ..."
"... China is onboard out of necessity. Their economy is doldrumic without the US market to sell into. The wealthy Chinese will continue to accept dollar debt notes forever, or so long as they can continue to sell trinkets to USAryans, whichever comes first; Gump's lacklustre trade maneuvres notwithstanding. And the US needs China to keep the consumer culture afloat. This is a pure balancing act but, again, no one of the .002, including those who are of Chinese and Russian descent, will risk any imbalance. ..."
Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Oct 21, 2018 10:15:13 AM | link

< "Money Sings and Bullshiite Clings (to the .998)">

In part one we discovered the global world is not what it appears to be, especially to those of us who believe we have it all figured out from wet nursing on the internets. That is, there is an interconnected globalist world for "them" and a multipolar, disconnected, discognitive nationalist world for the rest of "us." And "we" are further subdivided by race, gender, class, sociopolitical and religious biases as taught to us through "their" media.

The ones who control the information flow of the internets use this control to 1. facilitate world trade 2. create even greater wealth for "them" 3. evade taxation of that wealth 4. make even bigger fools out of the rest of "us" who remain year after livelong year stuck glumly online following our favourite "nation/states" as if they are World Cup contenders. When our favourite team wins, so the delusional daydreaming goes, the .998 win too. Rah-rah, go team!

We determined the reason the dollar's acceptance as the international currency is existential, as it has been since time immemorial. The world's financial oligarchs made that determination postwar and placed their bets....in fiat dollars during the 1970s. Changing the international currency system will require a complete re-wiring of that mindset. And for that to happen Hell will first freeze over. After all, currency is merely a medium of exchange and the controlling mindset belongs to those who control the wealth expressed in that medium. It isn't up for popular vote folks. And those .002 controlling are the most conservative people on earth. They exist in every nation on earth but they aren't playing some World Cup game. No, their game is entirely different from ours. Our game is team sports.

The most distracting game player of all time, Donald Gump, is trying his darndest to weaken the dollar and force lower interest rates by doing everything in his power to destabilise global trade...which of course only serves to strengthen the dollar....because any hint of monetary instability for any reason will always be met with a "flight to safety." Whether the flight is in reality "safe" is beside the point. The flight itself is all that matters. The flight itself is the existential reality.

China is onboard out of necessity. Their economy is doldrumic without the US market to sell into. The wealthy Chinese will continue to accept dollar debt notes forever, or so long as they can continue to sell trinkets to USAryans, whichever comes first; Gump's lacklustre trade maneuvres notwithstanding. And the US needs China to keep the consumer culture afloat. This is a pure balancing act but, again, no one of the .002, including those who are of Chinese and Russian descent, will risk any imbalance.

This is Gump's hole card in his silly game of pocket poker.

And whither Russia?

Vladimir now realises what so many other unlucky business partners have.....help out the Don to achieve his greater goals and sooner than later you will be rewarded with a swift kick in the [very manly] groin. Vlad surely thought Gump owed him, too. Lol.

We all owe them both is closer to the truth.

Jackrabbit , Oct 21, 2018 11:03:05 AM | link

donkeytale: Vladimir now realises what so many other unlucky business partners have

donkey continues to flaunt his foul pro-establishment 'tale' as he slyly asserts the Trump-Putin connection that Mueller has failed to prove.

Caitlin Johnston explains better than I can:

Politico Report Says Russiagaters Should Prepare to Kiss My Ass

"Putin's Puppet" Advances Nuclear Missile Escalations Against Putin .

[Oct 22, 2018] The ghastly Ghaddafi murder was intentionally kept on the down low. Hillary's snafu - We Came, We Saw, He Died. Uproarious laughter - was a PR fuck up. This Khashoggi murder is intentionally amplified.

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

fast freddy , Oct 21, 2018 7:07:15 PM | link

The ghastly Ghaddafi murder was intentionally kept on the down low. Hillary's snafu - We Came, We Saw, He Died. Uproarious laughter - was a PR fuck up.

This Khashoggi murder is intentionally amplified.

Amplification or squelching suits an agenda.

We can see a different agenda in each of the above cases.


blues , Oct 21, 2018 7:19:29 PM | link

=>> fast freddy | Oct 21, 2018 7:07:15 PM | 67

Yeah, "intentionally amplified" The CIA/media is a vast carnival of funhouse mirrors. Little things can look huge, and big things can look tiny.

steve k , Oct 21, 2018 6:06:50 PM | link
46

Khashoggi, representing Brennan/UAE pitched the coup to palace guard in Turkey. When earnest money was transferred (proof of treason, Guards took Khashoggi out, sending a message to deposed MBZayed(plot mastermind)/UAE. They tried in Los Vegas and failed. MBS wants out of Yemen. LOTS of money will be lost -- KSA's Vietnam; draining the treasury.

[Oct 21, 2018] Live Putin attends Valdai Club plenary session

Oct 21, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the 15th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi on Thursday, October 18.

The Valdai Discussion Club, established in 2004, has become an internationally recognised platform for interaction between leading world experts and Russian scholars, politicians and government officials.

[Oct 21, 2018] Putin lays down the law to the Davos crowd at this year's Valdai conference: There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line

Notable quotes:
"... The Davos Crowd ..."
"... It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation. ..."
"... Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete. ..."
"... Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia. ..."
"... They are insane. And you have to treat them that way. ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | www.sott.net

Every year Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Valdai Economic Forum. And each year his talk is important. Putin isn't one to mince words on important issues.

With tensions between Russia and the West reaching Cold War levels, Valdai represented the first time we've heard Putin speak in a long-form discussion since Helsinki and the events thereafter - IL-20, Khashoggi, etc.

So, this talk is worth everyone's time. And when I say everyone's I mean every single person who could be affected by the breakdown of the U.S. political system and how that spills over onto Russia's shores.

In other words, pretty much everyone on the planet.

Because what Putin did at Valdai was to lay down the new rules of conduct in geopolitical affairs. He put the U.S. and European oligarchs I call The Davos Crowd on notice.

There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia. So don't cross that line.

Peace Through Strength

The big quote from his talk is the one everyone is focusing on, and rightly so, Russia's policy about using nuclear weapons.

It's not that Putin's stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake. It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous "dying like martyrs" and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would "die like dogs" bereft of the chance to ask for salvation.


Those are strong words. They are the words of a meek man. And the word meek, as Jordan Peterson reminds us, describes someone who has weapons, knows how to use them and keeps them sheathed until they have no other option.

The reaction from the audience (see video above) was nervous laughter, but I don't think Putin was having one over on anyone.

He was serious. This is the very definition of meek.

It is really no different than the attitude of Secretary of Defense James Mattis who said, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f$*k with me, I'll kill you all."

Men like this are not to be tested too hard. And Putin's response to the shooting down of the IL-20 plane and its crew was to cross a bunch of diplomatic lines by handing out S-300s to Syria and erecting a de facto no-fly zone over Western Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Notice how there have been no attacks or even harsh language coming out of Israel or the U.S. in the past few weeks. The failure of the British/French/Israeli operation to sucker Trump into an invasion of Syria is now complete.

And I'm convinced that Nikki Haley paid the price.

All of this highlights the major theme that came out of Putin's comments.

Strength through resolve. Resolve comes as a consequence of defending culture.

Putin wasn't boasting or grandstanding about Russia's hypersonic weapons capability. He told everyone they are deployed. He did this to shut up the U.S. neoconservative chattering class who he rightly says whisper in President Trump's ear that they can win a nuclear conflict with Russia.

They are insane. And you have to treat them that way.

Culture First

Putin sees himself, quite rightly, as the custodian of the Russian people and, as such, the Russian state as the reflection of Russian culture. If you are going to have a state and someone is going to be the head of it, this is the attitude that you want from that person.

In his dialogue with an Orthodox priest Putin wholeheartedly agreed with the idea that "the state cannot dictate culture" but rather, at best, be the facilitator of it through its applications of law.

In a back and forth with a very enthusiastic Russian dairy farmer, who was quite proud of his cheese, Putin reminded the man that while he loved sanctions (from European competition) protecting his business today he should not get used to them. They will be removed at some point and the farmer would have to stand on his own wits to survive in the international market.

Putin understands that subsidies breed sloth. That was a message he made loud and clear.

It's why when the sanctions first went into effect in 2014 over the reunification of Crimea and during the Ruble crisis Putin shifted state subsidies away from the petroleum sector which had thrived and gotten soft during years of $100+/bbl oil and shifted that money to agriculture.

The fruits of that successful policy shift he confronted head on at Valdai. Russia's food production across all sectors is flourishing thanks to a cheap ruble, which the U.S. keeps beating down via sanctions, and the Russian state getting out of the way of investment.

At the time he incurred the wrath of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Putin ignored him, much to everyone's surprise. The message was clear, we'll help you out of your current troubles but it's time to do business differently. Because it was Rosneft that needed the biggest bailouts in late 2014/early 2015 having tens of billions in dollar-denominated debt which couldn't be rolled over thanks to the sanctions.

The Limits of Empire

Ultimately, Putin looked resigned, if confused, to the insanity emanating from U.S. policy. But it's obvious to him that Russia cannot get caught up in the tit-for-tat nuisances put up to derail Russia's future.

He mentioned the Empire loses its way because it believed itself invulnerable or as my dad used to say about certain athletes, "He reads his own press clippings too much."

There is a solipsism that infects dominant societies which creates the kind of over-reactions we're witnessing today. Power is slipping away from the U.S. and Trump is both helping the process along while also trying to preserve the core of what's left.

And no interaction during Putin's talk was more indicative of his view of the U.S. empire than his interaction with a Japanese delegate who asked him about signing a peace treaty with Japan.

And Putin's answer was clear. It's Japan's pride and political entanglements that preclude this from happening. Signing the peace treaty is not necessary to solving ownership of the Kuril Islands. Russia and Japan are both diminished by having this obstacle in the way.

The issue can resolve itself after the peace treaty is signed. The current state of things is silly and anachronistic and keep the divide between Russians and Japanese from healing. Create trust through agreement then move forward.

That's what is happening between Russia and Egypt and that is why Putin is winning the diplomatic war.

And it's why Trump is losing the diplomatic war. Putin knows where Trump is. He was there himself seventeen years ago, except an order of magnitude worse. The problems Trump is facing are the same problems Putin faced, corruption, venality, treason all contributing to a collapse in societal and cultural institutions.

Putin knows the U.S. is at a crossroads, and he's made his peace with whatever comes next. The question is have we?

[Oct 20, 2018] I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely. If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

Highly recommended!
Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza says: October 20, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT 200 Words

Although it is almost off topic, I did find one point in Putin's Valdai speech quite telling. It was his point about the Russian automated system for detection and tracking of missile launches. Putin tried to boost the credibility of the Russian nuclear deterant by advertising this system for detecting the First Strike launches.

Although I do not believe that this system is as reliable as advertised, I am most encouraged by the apparent Putin's realisation that the First Strike is possible now if not even likely.

If the Russians expect an attack they are much less likely to be totally surprised, as usual. In fact, never in history was such attack by the West more likely than now, for various reasons which would take a while to explain.

I just hope that the Russian office corps is as prepared as Putin is to be productive martyrs (no more Arkhipovs please).

[Oct 19, 2018] You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from Putin and Lavrov interviews. I certainly did!

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 6:08:19 PM | link

@ben | Oct 18, 2018 5:09:50 PM | 40

If you are finding your way out of the dark forest of propaganda there are two speeches by Putin that I point people toward. First, at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. Video here : Transcript here

Second, at the UN General Assembly September 2015, Video here : Transcript here .

I fail to see how any rational person could disagree with the sentiments he expresses. Warning! You may become a Putin-bot!

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 8:40:07 PM | link

Lots of interviews: Putin, Medvedev, and Lavrov twice. The only two I haven't linked to are Lavrov's --done!

Putin's Valdai Club transcript isn't 100% complete yet, but the summary I linked to earlier @11 has the video. The Medvedev link's @21.

You'll learn a great many things you didn't know before from these interviews. I certainly did!

[Oct 19, 2018] Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies

Notable quotes:
"... Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. ..."
"... They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link

CarlD@23--

One al-Masdar News item I tried to link was about Zionist jets testing the outer envelope of Syrian airspace earlier today. Clearly they think the Ukrainian S-300 they trained against differs little from the very upgraded versions employed in Syria, which are much closer to S-400 in most abilities other than missile performance. I wonder if the Zionist pilots will draw straws to see which one of them becomes the sacrificial lamb--perhaps it ought to fall to the top Zionist air force commander.

For all Aussie Barflies, Partisangirl posts an "Honest #australian government ad about anti-encryption laws," in which they are called "Ass Access." Excellent short vid that ought to catch fire before YouTube yanks it.

S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link

RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons.

Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds.

And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia.

Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps.

I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

Ross , Oct 18, 2018 3:19:17 PM | link
re Putin's comments @29

Oh for the day when a western leader could speak with such intellectual rigour, such philosophical integrity and with such basic common sense. Russia has a giant, we have a bunch of pygmies.

[Oct 19, 2018] Putin's remarks at Valdai Club

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 12:12:47 PM | link

Recap of Putin's remarks at Valdai Club provided by Sputnik covers lots of ground. I'll post a link to the full transcript when I find it. Yes, he does comment on Khashoggi affair, which I'll post onto that thread. Haven't seen a recap of Lavrov's remarks yet.


karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 1:35:43 PM | link

It appears that links to al-Masdar News are now being blocked by TypePad where they weren't previously.

Medvedev interview transcript with Euronews TV shows he's learned a few pointers from Putin on not being cowed. He'll represent Russia at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This Summit, which few have probably heard about, is mainly a talk-shop not a deal-making venue like the G-20, but Medvedev sees it as a useful forum. No, he wasn't asked about Khashoggi, but was queried about Skripal affair.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 2:41:08 PM | link S , Oct 18, 2018 3:04:23 PM | link
RT has posted the full video of the annual Valdai Club meeting with Putin. This year they've ditched the traditional panel discussion in favor of Putin answering questions solo. For those MoA regulars who don't have the time to watch it, I've transcribed a few of Putin's answers that I found interesting.

Putin on Crimea school shooting

This is most likely a result of globalization, strange as that may sound. On social media, on the internet, we see entire communities created. It all started with the well-known tragic shootings in U.S. high schools, where young people who are mentally unstable create false idols, false heroes for themselves. And that means that all of us, not only in Russia, but globally, we don't react promptly to the changing realities around the Globe, we don't create content that would be helpful and interesting for young people, and so they have to grab this surrogate of heroic images, and that leads to tragedies like this one.

Putin on nuclear retaliation

In our concept of using nuclear weapons there is no such notion as a preventive strike. And I would like to request all those present here and all those who will be reporting on what I'm saying and analyzing every word I say or using what I say for their own narrative, please take note of this fact, that Russia does not have the concept of a preventive strike in its doctrine for using nuclear arms. We only consider using it in response. That means that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons only when we have hard facts that a potential aggressor is striking on Russia, on Russian territory with nuclear weapons. Now, this is no secret, we have prepared an early warning system, we have created it and we keep improving it. This system analyzes globally, world-wide, where launches are being made, including oceanic surface, they identify where missiles are being launched from, secondly, their trajectory and the point of impact. All this is being identified and analyzed within seconds. And so only if we identify through that system that missiles are being launched at us, only then will we deliver a retaliatory strike, a strike in response. Only when there are missiles airborne being launched at Russia. Of course, that would lead to a global disaster, to a nuclear catastrophe, but Russia cannot become its instigator or initiator, because we don't have a preventive strike as part of our military doctrine. Of course, once someone has launched nuclear missiles at us, it would be maybe too late to stop them, but a potential aggressor should know that there would be a retaliation, and we will get to heaven as martyrs, and our enemies will simply simply die as dogs, because they won't even have time to redeem themselves (repent). (nervous laughter in the audience)

Putin on Ukraine

Currently, the Ukrainian regime is not merely deadlocking the situation. There're conducting an anti-state and anti-public policy, the same way it was done by Saakashvili in Georgia. They tried to do the same by attacking South Ossetia. As a result of those criminal, basically, criminal actions, Georgia has lost significant territories -- as a result of Saakashvili's actions, this is the result of his work. It would be very sad if today's Ukrainian authorities would follow in his footsteps. I hope that that would not be the case. But what has happened over the past time in social sphere, in economics? What's happening there? What we see is de-industrialization of the Ukrainian economy. There's basically no investments coming. They're just talking about investments, but nothing is taking place in reality. How can you work with economy that is always shaken by some kinds of shocks or undermined by domestic political crises? There is also war hysteria. All things have been destroyed. Where is that ship-building industry that Ukraine was proud of? Where's the aircraft-building industry, which was created by the whole Soviet Union throughout decades? What about spaceship-building? It has also been lost. And the same goes for every part of Ukrainian pride of the past. And what's happening is what I have been saying. I'm just saying it outloud here, but I wanted to ask you a rhetorical question. Why did our Western partners need that, especially the previous leadership of European Commission? Why did they have to insist on such a hard choice, hard engagement of Ukraine in the European Association? What did that give to Ukraine? The open market? So they're asking for Ukraine to bring out round timber. But it's not Siberia -- three or four years of work, and they're going to destroy all of the forests. And now Western partners are asking for GMO products in agriculture. Then we will have to close borders, because GMO is prohibited in our country. Now they're going to take the black earth soil out of Ukraine. Therefore, I believe that today's policy of Ukrainian authorities is aimed at what, what are they trading in? They're trading in Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments, there are no more goods there. And they're being forgiven for everything for that. Because the nightmare of our Western partners is that Russia and Ukraine are cooperating in any way, because they think there will be growing competition in the world as a result of such cooperation. But we don't a claim for that, we just wanted to have normal work. Why did they have to open up Ukrainian markets without giving anything in return? And demanding from the Ukrainian government, constantly, to raise the prices for (natural) gas. They understand that the purchasing power of the population is not so high, they used to gather just peanuts for the (natural) gas industry before (in utility payments), and now they're basically gathering nothing -- all benefits, all pensions are at zero. So we're gonna have to wait for the domestic political cycle to end, and I truly hope that with a new leadership of the country we'll be capable of building at least some kind of relations and agree on something. We are prepared for that and we want that.

karlof1 , Oct 18, 2018 3:35:12 PM | link
S @29--

Thanks for doing that work! Transcript at Kremlin website's still incomplete, containing probably half of entire program. As usual, much of importance was stated. Putin's matter-of-fact delivery regarding use of nuclear weapons and the nature of those who would launch a first strike was sobering. The question today's reversed: Do Americans love their children too? Unfortunately, given what's happening here domestically, the answer provided by DC Duopoly policy makers is NO, they don't give a damn about their kids or anyone else's!

[Oct 11, 2018] Politics has simply become another product, the consumption of which is regulated by advertising. Almost none of it is true, as if the product were really good, it would sell itself.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 6, 2018 at 10:41 am

Politics has simply become another product, the consumption of which is regulated by advertising. Almost none of it is true, as if the product were really good, it would sell itself. And the world's great democracies wonder why voter turnout slips a little every year. Barring extraordinarily divisive elections like the last one in the United States, of course. Maybe there's something to that – elections must be made into spectacles, or the people don't give a fuck who gets in, because they're ultimately all the same face. That's pretty much where I am now, and have been for a decade or more. But making an election into a bile-driven hate-fest will really only work once. When one set of supporters gives it their all and then finds out their candidate is really no different than the rest of the political spectrum – like Obama – or that he/she is different but certifiable like Trump, it's enough to put you off ever voting again. Stick your democracy. Put your mother in, or your cat. I don't care.

[Oct 11, 2018] Paul Craig Roberts: Erasing History, Diplomacy, Truth, Life On Earth

Oct 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

One of the reasons that countries fail is that collective memory is continually destroyed as older generations pass away and are replaced by new ones who are disconnected from what came before.

Initially, the disconnect was handled by history and by discussions around family tables. For example, when I was a kid there were still grandparents whose fathers had fought for the Confederacy. They had no slaves and owned no plantations. They fought because their land was invaded by Lincoln's armies. Today if Southern families still know the facts, they would protect their children by not telling them. Can you imagine what would happen to a child in a public school that took this position?

Frustrated by the inability of the Union Army to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia led by West Point graduate Robert E. Lee, Lincoln resorted to war criminals. Generals Sherman and Sherridan, operating under the drunken General Grant, were the first modern war criminals who conducted war against civilian women and children, their homes and food supply. Lincoln was so out of step with common morality that he had to arrest and detain 300 Northern newspaper editors and exile a US Congressman in order to conduct his War for Empire.

Today this history is largely erased. The court historians buried the truth with the fable that Lincoln went to war to free the slaves. This ignorant nonsense is today the official history of the "civil war," which most certainly was not a civil war.

A civil war is when two sides fight for control of the government. The Confederacy was a new country consisting of those states that seceded. Most certainly, the Confederate soldiers were no more fighting for control over the government in Washington than they were fighting to protect the investment of plantation owners.

Memory is lost when historical facts are cast down the memory hole

So, what does this have to do with the lesson for today? More than history can be erased by the passage of time. Culture can be erased. Morality can be erased. Common sense can disappear with the diplomacy that depends on it.

The younger generation which experiences threats shouted all around it at Confederate war memorials and street names - Atlanta has just struck historic Confederate Avenue out of existence and replaced it with United Avenue - at white males who, if they are heterosexual, have been redefined by Identity Politics as rapists, racists, and misogynists, at distinguished scientists who state, factually, that there are innate differences between the male and the female, and so on, might think that it is natural for high officials in the US government to issue a never-ending stream of war threats to Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela.

A person of my generation knows that such threats are unprecedented, not only for the US Government but also in world history. President Trump's crazed NATO Ambassador, Kay Bailey Hutchison, threatened to "take out Russian missiles." President Trump's crazed UN Ambassador Nikki Hailey issues endless threats as fast as she can run her mouth against America's allies as well as against the powerful countries that she designates as enemies. Trump's crazed National Security Advisor John Bolten rivals the insane Haley with his wide-ranging threats. Trump's Secretary of State Pompeo spews out threats with the best of them. So do the inane New York Times and Washington Post. Even a lowly Secretary of the Interior assumes the prerogative of telling Russia that the US will interdict Russian navy ships.

What do you think would be the consequences if the Russians, the Chinese, and the Iranians took these threats seriously? World Wars have started on far less. Yet there is no protest against these deranged US government officials who are doing everything in their power to convince Russia and China that they are without any question America's worst enemies. If you were Russia or China, how would you respond to this?

Professor Stephen Cohen, who, like myself, remembers when the United States government had a diplomatic tradition, is as disturbed as I am that Washington's decision to chuck diplomacy down the memory hole and replace it with war threats is going to get us all killed.

More Cold War Extremism and Crises

Overshadowed by the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, US-Russian relations grow ever more perilous.

[Oct 08, 2018] A public that can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction is left to interpret reality through illusion. Random facts or obscure bits of data and trivia are used either to bolster illusion and give it credibility, or discarded if they interfere with the message

Oct 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 7, 2018 8:33:43 PM | link

This will probably be deleted too but I thought it well said

"A public that can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction is left to interpret reality through illusion. Random facts or obscure bits of data and trivia are used either to bolster illusion and give it credibility, or discarded if they interfere with the message

When opinions cannot be distinguished from facts, when there is no universal standard to determine truth in law, in science, in scholarship, or in reporting the events of the day, when the most valued skill is the ability to entertain, the world becomes a place where lies become true, where people can believe what they want to believe. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefine reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits selling illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control."
– Hedges, Chris (2009). "Empire of Illusion", Nation Books, New York, NY, 2009, page 51

ben , Oct 7, 2018 10:54:31 PM | link

One of my favorite Chris Hedges pieces, here's an excerpt:

"The political process, as the research by professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page underscores, no longer advances the interests of the average citizen. It has turned the consent of the governed into a cruel joke. "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence." This facade of democratic process eviscerates one of the primary social bonds in a democratic state and abolishes the vital shared belief that citizens have the power to govern themselves, that government exists to promote and protect their rights and interests."

Full article: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-anomie/

[Oct 08, 2018] Hacking and Propaganda by Marcus Ranum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security ..."
"... "The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance. ..."
"... One thing that did ..."
"... US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point. ..."
"... My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection." ..."
"... All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. ..."
"... the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ] ..."
"... It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. ..."
"... it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools. ..."
"... My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese? ..."
"... The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations? ..."
"... That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors. ..."
"... There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all. ..."
"... So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget. ..."
"... What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes. ..."
"... Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same. ..."
Oct 07, 2018 | freethoughtblogs.com

Bob Moore asks me to comment on an article about propaganda and security/intelligence. [ article ] This is going to be a mixture of opinion and references to facts; I'll try to be clear which is which.

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

It is true that the US periodically makes a big push regarding "messaging" about hacking. Whether or not it constitutes a "propaganda campaign" depends on how we choose to interpret things and the labels we attach to them -- "propaganda campaign" has a lot of negative connotations and one person's "outreach effort" is an other's "propaganda." An ultra-nationalist or an authoritarian submissive who takes the government's word for anything would call it "outreach."

There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security (2004) [ wc ] claims such as that the Chinese had "40,000 highly trained hackers" are flat-out absurd and ignore the reality of hacking; that's four army corps. Hackers don't engage in "human wave" attacks.

"The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance.

One thing that did happen in 2010 around the same time as the nonexistent cyberwar was China and Russia proposed trilateral talks with the US to attempt to define appropriate limits on state-sponsored hacking. The US flatly rejected the proposal, but there was virtually no coverage of that in the US media at the time. The UN also called for a cyberwar treaty framework, and the effort was killed by the US. [ wired ] What's fascinating and incomprehensible to me is that, whenever the US feels that its ability to claim pre-emptive cyberwar is challenged, it responds with a wave of claims about Chinese (or Russian or North Korean) cyberwar aggression.

John Negroponte, former director of US intelligence, said intelligence agencies in the major powers would be the first to "express reservations" about such an accord.

US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point.

My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection."

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims: [ ]

The Netherland [sic] for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

There's a lot there, and I think the interpretation is a bit over-wrought, but it's mostly accurate. The US and the UK (and other NATO allies, as necessary) clearly coordinate when it comes to talking points. Claims of Chinese cyberwar in the US press will be followed by claims in the UK and Australian press, as well. My suspicion is that this is not the US Government and UK Government coordinating a story -- it's the intelligence agencies doing it. My opinion is that the intelligence services are fairly close to a "deep state" -- the CIA and NSA are completely out of control and the CIA has gone far toward building its own military, while the NSA has implemented completely unrestricted surveillance worldwide.

All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. While the attribution that "Fancy Bear is the GRU" has been made and is probably fairly solid, the attribution of NSA malware and CIA malware is rock solid; the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ]

It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. I tend to be extremely skeptical of US claims because: bomber gap, missile gap, gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMD, Afghanistan, Libya and every other aggressive attack by the US which was blamed on its target. The reason I assume the US is the most aggressive actor in cyberspace is because the US has done a terrible job of protecting its tool-sets and operational security: it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools.

Meanwhile, where are the leaks of Russian and Chinese tools? They have been few and far between, if there have been any at all. Does this mean that the Russians and Chinese have amazingly superior tradecraft, if not tools? I don't know. My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese?

The article does not have great depth to its understanding of the situation, I'm afraid. So it comes off as a bit heavy on the recent news while ignoring the long-term trends. For example:

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.

I wrote a piece about the "Farewell Dossier" in 2004. [ mjr ] Re-reading it, it comes off as skeptical but waffly. I think that it's self-promotion by the CIA and exaggerates considerably ("look how clever we are!") at a time when the CIA was suffering an attention and credibility deficit after its shitshow performance under George Tenet. But the first known cases of computer related supply chain manipulation go back to the 70s and 80s -- the NSA even compromised Crypto AG's Hagelin M-209 system (a mechanical ciphering machine) in order to read global communications encrypted with that product. You can imagine Crypto AG's surprise when the Iranian secret police arrested one of their sales reps for selling backdoor'd crypto -- the NSA had never told them about the backdoor, naturally. The CIA was also on record for producing Xerox machines destined for the USSR, which had recorders built into them So, while the article is portraying the historical sweep of NSA dirty tricks, they're only looking at the recent ones. Remember: the NSA also weakened the elliptic curve crypto library in RSA's Bsafe implementation, paying RSADSI $13 million to accept their tweaked code.

Why haven't we been hearing about the Chinese and Russians doing that sort of thing? There are four options:

  1. The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
  2. The Russians and Chinese simply resort to using existing tools developed by the hacking/cybercrime community and rely on great operational security rather than fancy tools.
  3. The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations?
  4. Something else.

That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors.

Was the Intel IME a "backdoor" or just "a bad idea"? Well, that's tricky. Let me put my tinfoil hat on: making a backdoor look like a sloppily developed product feature would be the competent way to write a backdoor. Making it as sneaky as the backdoor in the Via is unnecessary -- incompetence is eminently believable.

&

(kaspersky)

I believe all of these stories (including the Supermicro) are the tip of a great big, ugly iceberg. The intelligence community has long known that software-only solutions are too mutable, and are easy to decompile and figure out. They have wanted to be in the BIOS of systems -- on the motherboard -- for a long time. If you go back to 2014, we have disclosures about the NSA malware that hides in hard drive BIOS: [ vice ] [ vice ] That appears to have been in progress around 2000/2001.

Of note, the group recovered two modules belonging to EquationDrug and GrayFish that were used to reprogram hard drives to give the attackers persistent control over a target machine. These modules can target practically every hard drive manufacturer and brand on the market, including Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Corsair, Hitachi and more. Such attacks have traditionally been difficult to pull off, given the risk in modifying hard drive software, which may explain why Kaspersky could only identify a handful of very specific targets against which the attack was used, where the risk was worth the reward.

But Equation Group's malware platforms have other tricks, too. GrayFish, for example, also has the ability to install itself into computer's boot record -- software that loads even before the operating system itself -- and stores all of its data inside a portion of the operating system called the registry, where configuration data is normally stored.

EquationDrug was designed for use on older Windows operating systems, and "some of the plugins were designed originally for use on Windows 95/98/ME" -- versions of Windows so old that they offer a good indication of the Equation Group's age.

This is not a very good example of how to establish a "malware gap" since it just makes the NSA look like they are incapable of keeping a secret. If you want an idea how bad it is, Kaspersky labs' analysis of the NSA's toolchain is a good example of how to do attribution correctly. Unfortunately for the US agenda, that solid attribution points toward Fort Meade in Maryland. [kaspersky]

Let me be clear: I think we are fucked every which way from the start. With backdoors in the BIOS, backdoors on the CPU, and wireless cellular-spectrum backdoors, there are probably backdoors in the GPUs and the physical network controllers, as well. Maybe the backdoors in the GPU come from the GRU and maybe the backdoors in the hard drives come from NSA, but who cares? The upshot is that all of our systems are so heinously compromised that they can only be considered marginally reliable. It is, literally, not your computer: it's theirs. They'll let you use it so long as your information is interesting to them.

Do I believe the Chinese are capable of doing such a thing? Of course. Is the GRU? Probably. Mossad? Sure. NSA? Well-documented attribution points toward NSA. Your computer is a free-fire zone. It has been since the mid 1990s, when the NSA was told "no" on the Clipper chip and decided to come up with its own Plan B, C, D, and E. Then, the CIA came up with theirs. Etc. There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all.

From my 2012 RSA conference lecture "Cyberwar, you're doing it wrong."

The problem is that playing in this space is the purview of governments. Nobody in the cybercrime or hacking world need tools like these. The intelligence operatives have huge budgets, compared to a typical company's security budget, and it's unreasonable to expect any business to invest such a level of effort on defending itself. So what should companies do? They should do exactly what they are doing: expect the government to deal with it; that's what governments are for. The problem with that strategy is that their government isn't on their side, either! It's Hobbes' playground.

In case you think I am engaging in hyperbole, I assure you I am not. If you want another example of the lengths (and willingness to bypass the law) "they" are willing to go, consider 'stingrays' that are in operation in every major US city and outside of every interesting hotel and high tech park. Those devices are not passive -- they actively inject themselves into the call set-up between your phone and your carrier -- your data goes through the stingray, or it doesn't go at all. If there are multiple stingrays, then your latency goes through the roof. "They" don't care. Are the stingrays NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, GRU, or PLA? Probably a bit of all of the above depending on where and when.

Whenever the US gets caught with its pants down around its ankles, it blames the Chinese or the Russians because they have done a good job of building the idea that the most serious hackers on the planet at the Chinese. I don't believe that we're seeing complex propaganda campaigns that are tied to specific incidents -- I think we see ongoing organic propaganda campaigns that all serve the same end: protect the agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence.

So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget.

The government also engages in propaganda, and is influenced by the intelligence community's propaganda as well. And the propaganda campaigns work because everyone involved assumes, "well, given what the NSA has been able to do, I should assume the Chinese can do likewise." That's a perfectly reasonable assumption and I think it's probably true that the Chinese have capabilities. The situation is what Chuck Spinney calls "A self-licking ice cream cone" -- it's a justifying structure that makes participation in endless aggression seem like a sensible thing to do. And, when there's inevitably a disaster, it's going to be like a cyber-9/11 and will serve as a justification for even more unrestrained aggression.


Want to see what it looks like? A thousand thanks to Commentariat member [redacted] for this link. If you don't like video, there's an article here. [ toms ]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_eSAF_qT_FY

Is this an NSA backdoor, or normal incompetence? Is Intel Management Engine an NSA-inspired backdoor, or did some system engineers at Intel think that was a good idea? There are other scary indications of embedded compromise: the CIA's Vault7 archive included code that appeared to be intended to embed in the firmware of "smart" flatscreen TVs. That would make every LG flat panel in every hotel room, a listening device just waiting to be turned on.

We know the Chinese didn't do that particular bug but why wouldn't they do something similar, in something else? China is the world's oldest mature culture -- they literally wrote the book on strategy -- Americans acting as though it's a great surprise to learn that the Chinese are not stupid, it's just the parochialism of a 250 year-old culture looking at a 3,000 year-old culture and saying "wow, you guys haven't been asleep at the switch after all!"

WIRED on cyberspace treaties [ wired ]

Comments
  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    October 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same.

  2. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Pierce R. Butler@#1:
    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Yes. Since 2001, as far as most of us can tell, federal cybersecurity spend has been 80% offense, 20% defense. And a lot of the offensive spend has been aimed at We, The People.

  3. Cat Mara says

    October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media). I mean, I've seen interviews with retired US intelligence people since the 90s complain that since the late 1980s, the intelligence agencies have been crippled by management in love with hi-tech "SIGINT" solutions to problems that never deliver and neglecting old-fashioned "HUMINT" intelligence-gathering.

    The thing is, Kevin Mitnick got away with a lot of what he did because people didn't take security seriously then, and still don't. On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

  4. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Cat Mara@#3:
    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media).

    I think that's right, to a high degree. What if Edward Snowden was an agent provocateur instead of a well-meaning naive kid? A tremendous amount of damage could be done, as well as stealing the US' expensive toys. The Russians have been very good at doing exactly that sort of operation, since WWII. The Chinese are, if anything, more subtle than the Russians.

    The Chinese attitude, as expressed to me by someone who might be a credible source is, "why are you picking a fight with us? We don't care, you're too far away for us to threaten you, we both have loads of our own fish to fry. To them, the US is young, hyperactive, and stupid.

    The FBI is not competent, at all, against old-school humint intelligence-gathering. Compared to the US' cyber-toys, the old ways are probably more efficient and cost effective. China's intelligence community is also much more team-oriented than the CIA/NSA; they're actually a disciplined operation under the strategic control of policy-makers. That, by the way, is why Russians and Chinese stare in amazement when Americans ask things like "Do you think Putin knew about this?" What a stupid question! It's an autocracy; they don't have intelligence operatives just going an deciding "it's a nice day to go to England with some Novichok." The entire American attitude toward espionage lacks maturity.

    On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

    That as an exciting time. We were downstream from University of Maryland, which got hit pretty badly. Pete Cottrel and Chris Torek from UMD were also in on Bostic's dissection. We were doing uucp over TCP for our email (that changed pretty soon after the worm) and our uucp queue blew up. I cured the worm with a reboot into single-user mode and a quick 'rm -f' in the uucp queue.

  5. Bob Moore says

    October 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Thanks. I appreciate your measured analysis and the making explicit of the bottom line: " agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence."

[Oct 05, 2018] Obama legalized and industrialized fake news when he repealed the Smith-Mundt domestic propaganda ban as part of the 2013 NDAA

Oct 05, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

willow , October 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Obama legalized and industrialized fake news when he repealed the Smith-Mundt domestic propaganda ban as part of the 2013 NDAA. https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/

Lucius Patrick , October 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

Yes, the great Obama, who bombed more countries and dropped more bombs, than Bush and Cheney; who sold more military weapons to foreign countries than any president in history. Who backed an illegal in Ukraine and restarted the Cold War. That Obama?

jean , October 3, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Of course the USA is the biggest terrorist on the planet and the biggest war monger bar none.The USA is the largest arms dealer and the pentagon alone is the world largest employer ALL happened before Trump.

And WHY is the middle east in turmoil? ..Didnt Bush lie the world into war? .while Hillary stood with him?Didn't Obama refuse to prosecute the multitude of crimes committed by the Bush regime?" Moving forward"? ..Didnt Obama overthrow Libya's Qaddafi and they now have open air slavery markets where they once had Education and healthcare and equal rights for women?

Didnt Obama support " the rebels { ISIS} trying to over throw Assad and creating the largest refugee crisis since WW2?Didnt Obama help the Saudi's commit genocide in Yemen ? and that just the middle east

Didnt Obama not only allow the criminal banks to commit massive fraud and keep their loot but continue their crime spree? ..too big to jail is bigger than ever and AG Eric Holder now works for those same banks.Trump Fault?

As for Tarrifs? .other countries have tariffs and yet we allow the US to be undercut and over run by other countries who purposely undermine US manufactures .you know why Solindra went under? ..they couldnt compete with Chinese solar companies who who cheat by manipulation of prices and currency.

Remember Gen Flynn? .who wanted to work with Russia and was hounded out by the deep state? .while democrats cheered?

Democrats have been pushing for WW3 with Russia and sneering at Trumps steps toward peace with N Korea ..and derided him for not pushing harder at Syria to topple Assad .and what comes after ASSAD? ISIS.

Democrats are now the BUSH Neo con party .they arent even bright enough to know .their new hero's are BUSH war criminals and torture enthusiasts Meuller,Brennan ,Clapper and Hadnen?Democrats are far more dangerous than Trump.They are omnicidal.

The Democrats haven't even tried to figure out why Trump won.

After all, he was a genuinely appalling candidate. If the Republicans had put a decent candidate on the same platform they'd have won by a landslide.

Trump is a symptom

Trumps fault?

Trump tied to pull out of Syria and the CIA pulled another false flag attack and

[Oct 05, 2018] The extra component BS story on the Chinee manufactured circuit boards is total baloney

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Oct 5, 2018 4:43:23 PM | link

The extra component BS story on the Chinee manufactured circuit boards is total baloney. Such a change after manufacture is virtually impossible for anything other than the most basic component and therefore ineffective. These are multi layer boards.

Regardless the hardware design and assembly is a rigorous and meticulous process that pares componentry to the bare minimum. Components fail, the more you have the higher the risk of failure. Designers spend inordinate effort getting design absolutely right for high level boards as described in this BS story. For this story to true implies that many people at the initial concept and design stage were corrupted. Unlikely in the extreme!

Then there is the sophistication of software hacking as Snowden revealed. Look up video of 'the god bit' at blackhat conferences and you will see that no matter what motherboards are made they can all be hacked by software.

[Oct 05, 2018] Of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of

Notable quotes:
"... I think its far more likely that a friendly foreign intelligence agency or the US had something to do with it. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Oct 5, 2018 3:44:18 PM | link

thanks b.. excellent information and insights as usual..

of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of.. the use of propaganda has gone into overdrive and is now an accepted policy of the west.. screw facts.. who needs facts when you have a war to pursue... and that is just what it looks like to me, as there is no end in sight to any of this western madness...

the financial sanctions have not worked.. that much is clear.. another approach via propaganda is to be the new regular feature.. claim all sorts of lies and supposition on russia, china, iran, north korea, venezuela or any country that dares to get out of line with the official ''coalition'' and you will be targeted with propaganda and or worse..

Pft , Oct 5, 2018 5:36:22 PM | link
UncleTungsten@42

Companies in China, including foreign firms, are required by law to establish a party organization within their organization and party members head the mandatory unions in every company. Indeed some of the designers are no doubt party members. Significant pressure can be exerted on companies in China by the party, even foreign companies , especially with but not limited to Joint ventures.

In any other country your skepticism is warranted. Not China.

That said, given how little attention the Bloomberg story received yesterday by MSM web sites (havent checked today) beyond a denial story by msnbc I think its far more likely that a friendly foreign intelligence agency or the US had something to do with it. Blame China not Israel or CIA/NSA

But I doubt we will ever know

[Sep 28, 2018] What Russia could do to protect herself in this new era of potentially violent struggle for resources

Sep 28, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

steven t johnson , Sep 28, 2018 5:39:39 PM | 53 ">link

ashley albanese@26 says

Putin wrote about "what Russia could do to protect herself in this new era of potentially violent struggle for resources."

The violent struggle for resources will not be the impoverished rabble nations mobbing the rich nations: It will be the rich nations keeping their riches at the expense of the poorer nations. That is, it will be pretty much the US foreign policy where there is no hegemony but a glorious free-for-all of independent states supposedly protecting themselves. When Bangla Desh destabilizes because of sea level rise, it will be India attacking them. Putin is opposed to any international authority. He wants a world where the strong nations can exercise their leadership over weaker nations without interference from a hegemonic power. This is not the problem.

The problem is the US, the current hegemonic power, is the fortress of a decayed empire that can no longer move forward. It can only maintain itself by looting a series of weaker nations. The terror of destruction supports the US role in the world. The dollar is based on blood, not gold the declining economic power of the US cannot earn. But, Putin is not an enemy of this decadence. He is not even an enemy of the flagrant fascism of the Kyiv government!

[Sep 27, 2018] In Fahrenheit 11-9, Moore Turns Hose on Media and Mushy Middle

Notable quotes:
"... Yet while initially sympathizing with Hillary in her defeat, Moore shows no mercy at all to her husband for his late '80s and '90s Third Way triangulations and neoliberalism, blaming Bubba every bit as much as Ronald Reagan and the Bushes for the orgy of Wall Street and Silicon Valley deregulation and casino capitalism of the last three decades. Moore underlines this with a montage of A-list Democrats saying the word "compromise" over and over again during the worst of the Great Recession. ..."
"... Fahrenheit 11/9 ..."
"... All told, Michael Moore's thesis is that we may be able to "make America great again," whether your definition of greatness is Moore's or Trump's -- but that either way, there's no going back to some mythical center. We've arrived at this crazytown we call the "new normal" precisely because politicians clung to their own self-serving "norms." ..."
"... Whatever your politics, Fahrenheit 11/9 is a veritable symphony of systems failure, and a deeply unsettling rollercoaster of where we seem to be headed -- whether we want to go there or not. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

For conservatives who feel the media is almost instinctively biased and corrupt, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 -- a sequel of sorts (or at least follow-up) to the highest grossing documentary movie of all time, Moore's 2004 Bush-whacker Fahrenheit 9/11 -- offers one of the most damning portraits of media industry cravenness since Network .

Moore dives deep into how the feedback-looping and self-validating punditocracy consistently pushed back against blue-collar economic populism, marginalized and erased legitimate economic anxiety among downscale whites, and refused to adequately cover police shootings and brutality in minority communities until they reached a state of emergency. (The water quality scandal in Moore's hometown of largely black Flint gets major play.)

Recently disgraced CBS chief Les Moonves is quoted bragging that Trump may be bad for America but he's great for business. CNN topper and former NBC program chief Jeff Zucker hems and haws when asked whether his network covered Trump because he was newsworthy or because he was ratings gold. The movie suggests Trump initially ran for president as a marketing ploy to build leverage for his own media branding. And Moore quite rightly makes fun of how ballistically wrong the major papers got the election -- with The New York Times giving Hillary better than four-to-one odds of winning on the very Election Day that she lost .

In one snarkadelic sequence, we see smug media mavens like Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, Roger Ailes, and Charlie Rose smugly grilling and cross-examining Hillary Clinton before being "stamped" with laundry lists of their own Weinstein-esque sexual assault shenanigans.

Yet while initially sympathizing with Hillary in her defeat, Moore shows no mercy at all to her husband for his late '80s and '90s Third Way triangulations and neoliberalism, blaming Bubba every bit as much as Ronald Reagan and the Bushes for the orgy of Wall Street and Silicon Valley deregulation and casino capitalism of the last three decades. Moore underlines this with a montage of A-list Democrats saying the word "compromise" over and over again during the worst of the Great Recession.

Even Obama himself is not immune from criticism. Moore accuses him of being too centrist and accommodating, showing him staging a media-op in Flint and, instead of calling a full-on emergency, literally "drinking the water" and telling people that everything was on its way to being fine.

But for all the leftist preaching to the choir, there's trouble brewing in Moore's liberal paradise. There are plenty of progressive voices -- especially women, LGBTs, and people of color under 50 -- who believe Moore is giving Trump voters an "excuse" for voting as they did.

Let's not forget that George W. Bush was the best thing that ever happened to Michael Moore's bank account. Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and (less than a year into Obama's first term in fall 2009) Capitalism: A Love Story all attracted round-the-block lines, cable ratings, and even an Oscar or two. In light of that, some liberals think that Moore all but secretly wanted Trump to win so he could go ka-ching! with yet another right-wing archvillain.

Liberal film and TV critics are also singing from the same hymnal. Jake Cole of Slant mentions Moore's "hollowness," his penchant for centering and "foregrounding himself" at the expense of victims, his "empty shock value," "grotesque history of exploiting atrocities," and "circus-showman duplicity that is as crass and self-promoting" as Trump himself. Matt Goldberg of Collider accuses Moore of caring "more about stunts than policy details," and David Sims in The Atlantic also gives him a decided thumbs-down.

In short, not even a team of Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh could have come up with a harsher or more cynical assessment of Moore's work. The surprise is, for someone of such ego and self-righteousness, Moore seems to have actually listened to his critics -- at least the ones on the identity politics left.

In Fahrenheit 11/9 , Moore comes as close to admitting to (if not "checking") his privilege as he ever has in a movie or TV show. He still sports his everyman uniform of T-shirts, jeans, and baseball caps, and still does his David versus Goliath stunts (like spraying Michigan governor Rick Snyder's gate-guarded mansion and front lawn with a tanker from Flint's contaminated water supply). But he also frankly admits to rubbing shoulders with Trump Train royalty like Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner (who provided funds and/or distribution for his health care doc Sicko a decade ago). He shows footage of himself joking around on Roseanne's talk show in 1998 with Trump, and even posing for unbelievably campy selfies while hugging it out with Kellyanne Conway.

Moore is a Baby Boomer liberal who is saying in no uncertain terms that it is time for Boomer (and Silent) generation Democrats who still largely hold top-of-the-line power in the party to sit down and shut up. Not surprisingly, Bernie is the only older politician who comes off as even marginally acceptable. (And of course, the movie revisits how the superdelegate system and DNC machinations effectively "stole" the nomination from him.)

Of course there are the perhaps inevitable comparisons of Trump to Hitler and Trumpism to Nazism (one "humorous" sequence has Trump's words dubbed over a Hitler speech newsreel; a significantly more gratuitous one shows an interview with a nearly 100-year-old Nuremberg prosecutor).

All told, Michael Moore's thesis is that we may be able to "make America great again," whether your definition of greatness is Moore's or Trump's -- but that either way, there's no going back to some mythical center. We've arrived at this crazytown we call the "new normal" precisely because politicians clung to their own self-serving "norms."

Whatever your politics, Fahrenheit 11/9 is a veritable symphony of systems failure, and a deeply unsettling rollercoaster of where we seem to be headed -- whether we want to go there or not.

Telly Davidson is the author of a new book, Culture War: How the 90's Made Us Who We Are Today (Like it Or Not) . He has written on culture for ATTN, FrumForum, All About Jazz, FilmStew, and Guitar Player, and worked on the Emmy-nominated PBS series "Pioneers of Television."

[Sep 23, 2018] Attempt to blame Putin

Notable quotes:
"... "none of this would in any way exculpate the Israelis for the very simple reason that had the Israelis warned the Russians on time this entire tragedy might have been avoided even if the prime culprits are cowardly Israeli pilots, less than competent Syrian air defense crews or too trusting Russians. " ..."
"... No, none of this would have happened if Putin had refused to allow his bosom buddy Nazinyahu to bomb his ally, Syria, with impunity. ..."
"... It is definitely worth reading not only the quoted article but other commentaries, because the inventors of shutzpah are now collectively dancing on the graves of the 15 Russian officers. ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT

@J Since the Russians largely control the Syrian antiair defenses, one could also conclude that they share the responsibility in downing their own aircraft. Maybe the Israelis overestimated Russian readiness and response capabilities. In Tzahal, one minute is a lot of time. As Putin said, it was a tragic fuckup.

In Tzahal, one minute is a lot of time.

No, this can not be true!!! I always knew that Tzahal operates on millisecond increments. In fact, it can also travel back in time. You know, because they are that good.

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT

"none of this would in any way exculpate the Israelis for the very simple reason that had the Israelis warned the Russians on time this entire tragedy might have been avoided even if the prime culprits are cowardly Israeli pilots, less than competent Syrian air defense crews or too trusting Russians. "

No, none of this would have happened if Putin had refused to allow his bosom buddy Nazinyahu to bomb his ally, Syria, with impunity. Russia is being treated with contempt by the zionazi pseudostate for the simple reason that the Zios were bombing a "target" right next to the Russian Hmeimim airbase.

Nor is the loss of the Il 20 something minor. It was a very expensive, highly capable system manned by extremely well trained, hard to replace, valuable crew, each of whom had many years of irreplaceable experience. Do *not* attempt to whitewash that.

The Saker needs to stop defending the zionazi stooge and capitalist roader Putin. His "restraint" is making Russia look like a pushover and emboldening its enemies. What is the Amerikastani aircraft carrier Harry Truman doing in the Mediterranean right now, a health cruise?

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
There is absolutely nothing stopping Putin from ordering his bosom buddy Nazinyahu to immediately stop all bombing of Syria, on the pain of having his zionazi war criminals being shot out of the air. What exactly is preventing Putin from doing this, assuming that the S400 actually works as advertised? Can any of the professional Putinite propaganda purveyors, as despicable a breed as the Trumpets, Obamopologists, and Hillarybots, explain?
Kiza , says: September 21, 2018 at 2:03 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

First, let me start by a very simple and primitive question:

Why in the world has nobody considered that the Israelis might have truly screwed-up?

'Careless' is the word I would use. Israelis are being careless, because they never have to pay a price for their aggressions and their mistakes. Putin encourages this carelessness , when he refuses to impose costs on Israel. The lesson Israelis are learning from this incident is that Russia is weak, and Putin has "little choice", but allow Israelis free hand in Syria. This is what Israelis newspapers are saying, check this out:

https://twitter.com/DanielS22647562/status/1043070311355301889 It is definitely worth reading not only the quoted article but other commentaries, because the inventors of shutzpah are now collectively dancing on the graves of the 15 Russian officers. Just as they placed sofas to watch the destruction of Gaza. Thank you for the link Felix.

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov, at the level of the IDF delegations sent to Moscow, to ensure that the Russian military does not get any "reserved" ideas (reserve the right to huff & puff).

Here is my favorite piece from this Jewish BS machine above:

unconfirmed sources from Syria have reported that Russian military police abducted and are brutally interrogating officers and soldiers from the Syrian air-defense battery that fired the fateful missile

But, but I naively thought that the Russians discovered a secret link which proves that those now brutally interrogated Syrians did 911 , not the Iraqis accused before.

I do understand that Putin does not have any good option now and that his premature and dumb commentary about the "accident" was for his own ass-covering not to protect those Jews who made such a total ass of him. But whenever the Russians die, as when the SU-24 pilot died, he learned nothing and continues on making and trusting the deals with the sponsors of terrorism.

Finally, I do note that the smart people, such as Israel Shamir, keep their mouths shut for now, till the fog clears and the emotions blow-over. I am looking forward to his next article to understand the feelings in the Russian military regarding Putin.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Kiza It is definitely worth reading not only the quoted article but other commentaries, because the inventors of shutzpah are now collectively dancing on the graves of the 15 Russian officers. Just as they placed sofas to watch the destruction of Gaza. Thank you for the link Felix.

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov, at the level of the IDF delegations sent to Moscow, to ensure that the Russian military does not get any "reserved" ideas (reserve the right to ... huff & puff).

Here is my favorite piece from this Jewish BS machine above:


unconfirmed sources from Syria have reported that Russian military police abducted and are brutally interrogating officers and soldiers from the Syrian air-defense battery that fired the fateful missile
But, but I naively thought that the Russians discovered a secret link which proves that those now brutally interrogated Syrians did 911 , not the Iraqis accused before.

I do understand that Putin does not have any good option now and that his premature and dumb commentary about the "accident" was for his own ass-covering not to protect those Jews who made such a total ass of him. But whenever the Russians die, as when the SU-24 pilot died, he learned nothing and continues on making and trusting the deals with the sponsors of terrorism.

Finally, I do note that the smart people, such as Israel Shamir, keep their mouths shut for now, till the fog clears and the emotions blow-over. I am looking forward to his next article to understand the feelings in the Russian military regarding Putin.

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov

Do you want me to prove, using you as an example, for all other present here hysterical non-men, that none of you have any idea of what was and is going on by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems. I'll give you hint–it is reported to all military radar operating units (from ground to the sea) and is logged and accounted for (with proper adjustments in procedures) every single day, sometimes on 12 hour increments. This factor could be of prime importance, especially against the background of old S-200 AD complex. Are you game? Then we will compare who are real "armchair strategists" here.

Felix Keverich , says: September 21, 2018 at 2:59 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov
Do you want me to prove, using you as an example, for all other present here hysterical non-men, that none of you have any idea of what was and is going on by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems. I'll give you hint--it is reported to all military radar operating units (from ground to the sea) and is logged and accounted for (with proper adjustments in procedures) every single day, sometimes on 12 hour increments. This factor could be of prime importance, especially against the background of old S-200 AD complex. Are you game? Then we will compare who are real "armchair strategists" here. This is some irrelevant technical mumbo-jumbo. Kiza was making a comment about political side of the issue:

Israelis have no respect for Russia and Putin. They feel emboldened by Putin's weak reaction.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich This is some irrelevant technical mumbo-jumbo. Kiza was making a comment about political side of the issue:

Israelis have no respect for Russia and Putin. They feel emboldened by Putin's weak reaction.

This is some irrelevant technical mumbo-jumbo.

Well, then I am sure you will treat your future illnesses (God forbids you to become ill, stay healthy) at Voodoo doctors, since all this medical mumbo-jumbo is irrelevant. I heard Haiti Voodoo healthcare is great and very-very affordable.

Kiza was making a comment about political side of the issue:

Only few posts here are real comments, most of them is some hysterical weeping in an adrenaline deprived organisms upon understanding that Israel is not going to be destroyed immediately by Russians. Hence, your posts included, either hysterical reactions or trolling, mostly, sorry for being blunt, by people who have zero knowledge of Russia in general, and her military in particular. So, a wonderful unification of pseudo-patriots and all kinds of ignorant trolls happened. It is rather interesting to observe.

[Sep 23, 2018] I will be watching the Russian Mayday parades with photos of killed relatives in a totally different light from now on – those people in the photos are the victims of the Russian elite

As if in any other country this situation is different...
Putin priority was avoiding larger confrontation, which if spun out of control can lead to WWIII. And I think he was right trying to downplay the situation.
Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Kiza , says: September 21, 2018 at 5:18 am GMT

This is terribly empty ramble and it is time to stop reading this rambler. But before I stop I will quote myself:

My critique of Putin is not that he did not kill back the Turks, the US military and the Israelis, it is that he keeps making agreements with the non-agreement capable sponsors of terrorism and then entrusts the lives of his soldiers to such agreements.

In other words, the four Israeli planes should have never been tagged "friendlies", which was obviously the Putin's standing order to the Russian military based on his agreement with these sponsors of terrorism. The rest in this tragic event for Russia is what usually happens in war – fear, huge and costly mistakes, and incompetence all around.

Saker, I hope you and Martyanov both, as a reward for your insightful writing about the panicking Israeli pilots, get to read your recent articles to the 10-year old daughter of one of the Russian officers killed.

You two are the Marshals of all the Armchair Generals that you laugh at. With "intellectuals" such as you, now I understand why the Russian always die in wars like cattle and win wars by sacrificing the most/only valuable human capital (why do they call such 'a Pyrrhic victory' when it should be called 'a Russian victory'). I will be watching the Russian Mayday parades with photos of killed relatives in a totally different light from now on – those people in the photos are the victims of the Russian "elite" and the self-declared Russian Armchair Marshals.

The unfortunate Syrians are the beggars, so they cannot be choosers who their "friends" are.

J , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 6:49 am GMT
Since the Russians largely control the Syrian antiair defenses, one could also conclude that they share the responsibility in downing their own aircraft. Maybe the Israelis overestimated Russian readiness and response capabilities. In Tzahal, one minute is a lot of time. As Putin said, it was a tragic fuckup.
Harold Smith , says: September 21, 2018 at 7:18 am GMT
"I tried to post a short commentary suggesting that before we jump to conclusions about anything, we ought to wait for the fact to come out."

Well Putin didn't waste anytime jumping to the conclusion that it was an "accident," right? I blame him for being too quick to say that.

And I blame him for allowing the Israeli attacks to continue for so long. Something bad (for Russia) was bound to happen eventually. And they're war crimes, aren't they? It would've been okay with everybody if it was a Syrian plane that went down?

"So why is everybody assuming that the Israelis carefully planned the whole thing?"

King David Hotel, USS Liberty, 9/11, etc.

"First, let me start by a very simple and primitive question: Why in the world has nobody considered that the Israelis might have truly screwed-up?"

When someone "screws up" during the commission of a crime, a crime "evincing a depraved indifference to human life" and someone dies because of it, it's known in Western jurisprudence as a "depraved heart murder" not an "accident."

http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/D/DepravedHeartMurder.aspx

"At this point, I need to ask another question: what would the Israelis gain from shooting down the Il-20?"

You could also ask for example: what did they gain by running over Rachel Corrie with a bulldozer? And the answer would be the same IMO: They do what they do because they're evil.

hunor , says: September 21, 2018 at 7:46 am GMT
Mr. you are a very naïve person. One doesn't have to be a
Putin or Jew hater to see with clarity. In fact we the gojims are the ones
who is in our face is being hated, and planed to be destroyed. They declaring
a new world order. The very word of new implies a departure from what we
have today, a culture of nation states. The very word of order implies Dictatorial slavery.
According to Assange , we are the last generation of free people.
The western countries being overrun by primitives who are the biological
weapons of the elites, one economical crises and everybody is against everybody,
until only the well protected elites remain. The murder of a highly trained
Russian military persons were premeditated planed murder. In earlier
analysis of yours you called this form of warfare " leapfrogging " . And the
hollywooding of the Izraeli leadersip, is a part of deceiveing the gojim.
The did what they do best they draw blood of the gojim, and getting away
with it again with an explanation, playing on our fears of not to escalating further.
Putin calling it an accident, he remind me of an other historic figure
who's name was Marshall Emanuel Grouchy. He was Napoleon's trusted general
in 1815 at waterloo , when he heard the battle drums he started to march with his
units to the opposite direction away from the warzone, so the French army was slathered.
What does it count if they are the best and bravest and have a best missile systems,
if they are being mislead and betrayed? Try to analyzing that.
judeo-christian , says: September 21, 2018 at 8:23 am GMT
What's funny is that The Saker wants to stick to the "facts" but all he gives is, when you read his article closely is apologizing for the failure of Russian policy with regards to the Israelis, a mix of contradictions, Putin-ifallibility and the usual "Russia good, rest meh"
Andrei Martyanov , says: Website September 21, 2018 at 1:21 pm GMT
@hunor Mr. you are a very naïve person. One doesn't have to be a
Putin or Jew hater to see with clarity. In fact we the gojims are the ones
who is in our face is being hated, and planed to be destroyed. They declaring
a new world order. The very word of new implies a departure from what we
have today, a culture of nation states. The very word of order implies Dictatorial slavery.
According to Assange , we are the last generation of free people.
The western countries being overrun by primitives who are the biological
weapons of the elites, one economical crises and everybody is against everybody,
until only the well protected elites remain. The murder of a highly trained
Russian military persons were premeditated planed murder. In earlier
analysis of yours you called this form of warfare " leapfrogging " . And the
hollywooding of the Izraeli leadersip, is a part of deceiveing the gojim.
The did what they do best they draw blood of the gojim, and getting away
with it again with an explanation, playing on our fears of not to escalating further.
Putin calling it an accident, he remind me of an other historic figure
who's name was Marshall Emanuel Grouchy. He was Napoleon's trusted general
in 1815 at waterloo , when he heard the battle drums he started to march with his
units to the opposite direction away from the warzone, so the French army was slathered.
What does it count if they are the best and bravest and have a best missile systems,
if they are being mislead and betrayed? Try to analyzing that.

One doesn't have to be a Putin or Jew hater to see with clarity

So, you do then, I assume, have now or had in the past Form 1A clearance to know how and what Tactical and Operational Manuals describe in terms of setting Air Defense systems, establishment of communications networks ah, never mind–I am sure "Jews The Almighty" bible of yours gives all necessary answers. Including describing issues of angular separation of targets, principles of development of command decisions from tactical to operational level and other irrelevant crap.

[Sep 23, 2018] We in the West, who would again be the cannon fodder for such insanity, once more owe a debt of gratitude to Putin's statesmanship and levelheadedness

Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Harold Smith , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT

@Mike P We should focus more on the overall situation than on the technical details of this event. The calls for Russian retaliation against Israel, while emotionally relatable, ignore one crucial aspect - any direct Russian attack on Israel, whether retaliatory or not, will inevitably drag in FUKUS on Israel's side. Thus, if Putins wants to avoid this sort of conflagration, he can't fight with Israel. This is the reason for his deals with the devil (aka Satanyahoo) - give the Israelis free reign for going after Iran, as long as they abstain from engaging Russian troops directly. By and large, Israel has abided by this agreement - until now.

In this situation, what options does Putin have to punish Israel, while still abstaining from a direct hit? Suspend their right to go after Iran by setting up no-fly zones, ostensibly for "protecting Russian troops." I'm sure the Iranians will make the most of this opportunity to further strengthen Hezbollah and their own position in Syria.

Why are the Israelis acting this way? It is clear that they are very, very nervous about the way things have been going. Despite all their efforts, the Iranian military and Hezbollah are still there and only growing stronger. Apparently, they feel that time is working against them and that they cannot look on any longer. Therefore, they are trying now to escalate the conflict, while hiding behind FUKUS and their (other) terrorist stooges.

If Russian intelligence communications are to be believed, then the terrorist puppets in Idlib had been preparing for another staged gas attack in Idlib, or rather they had already staged and filmed it, and they were simply waiting for the most opportune time to publish their stunt. At the same time, the U.S. were proclaiming that a chemical attack was imminent, and that it would be considered a casus belli . The Russians did their best to defuse this situation first by leaking their intelligence about the staging of the attacks; and when that did not do the trick, by putting the entire Idlib operation on hold via the agreement with Turkey.

Having been foiled yet again and left without a pretext for stepping up the war, Israel then resorted to creating this hastily improvised IL20 incident. (It is noticeable, however, that a French war ship was also on the scene, indicating that this was indeed coordinated with other governments beforehand.)

Even though the provocation is severe, the strategic situation has not changed - Russia and Syria are winning, and the only way for Israel to change this is to escalate the war. It is clear that they want to provoke Russia into shooting from the hip and thus allow herself to be blamed for such an escalation. It is also clear that Israel again intends to fight the war to the last American (and European) soldier.

We in the West, who would again be the cannon fodder for such insanity, once more owe a debt of gratitude to Putin's statesmanship and levelheadedness. It is also noteworthy that Trump not only abstained from fanning the flames, but also soon after the event stated that the "Iraq and Afghanistan wars were the worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country." THIS is the real Trump, and THIS is why the Zio-infested U.S. deep state is trying so hard to overthrow him. Putin and Trump are trying to preserve peace, while Israel is pushing for war - as is anyone who is calling for Putin to "man up" and shoot some Israeli planes out of the sky or similar. "We in the West, who would again be the cannon fodder for such insanity, once more owe a debt of gratitude to Putin's statesmanship and levelheadedness."

All that Vladimir Putin is doing is prolonging the inevitable, at a cost of increasing resentment among Syrian troops, his own military personnel and the Russian people, IMO. The enemy is not going to stop of their own volition; so the more he turns the other cheek the more he will be slapped. To quote Paul Craig Roberts (from his latest essay):

"The question before President Putin and the Russian people is whether Russia can be a sovereign country independent of Washington's control without going to war. My concern is that unless a hard Russian foot comes down quickly, the only alternatives are Russian surrender or nuclear war."

"It is also noteworthy that Trump not only abstained from fanning the flames, but also soon after the event stated that the "Iraq and Afghanistan wars were the worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country." THIS is the real Trump, and THIS is why the Zio-infested U.S. deep state is trying so hard to overthrow him."

The real Trump is all talk. He's a liar and a complete fraud. The real Trump had a chance to get out of Afghanistan and Syria but chose to escalate instead. The real Trump is apparently a PNAC zionist warmonger who puts the Zionist agenda first and America last. And the deep state will never try to get rid of such a loyal puppet.

Putin and Trump are trying to preserve peace, while Israel is pushing for war – as is anyone who is calling for Putin to "man up" and shoot some Israeli planes out of the sky or similar.

[Sep 23, 2018] Despite noise in Russian blogosphere about "weak reaction" Russia need to thread very carefully this minefield: NATO is much stronger in this region

Notable quotes:
"... It has a cruise speed of about ~600 km/hr, which is 10 km/minute that's at its cruise altitude of 8,000 meters the MoD reported that the airplane was hit while flying at 5,000 m and on its descent to land at Hmeimim ..."
"... Russia has drawn a line in the sand and Israel must grow up (impossible, I know for the chosen people). Unless Russia stands firm and enforces that line in the sand (i.e. Obey. The. Deconfliction. Agreement.), it will not succeed in restoring Syria's sovereignty. Considering that Russia has stated its goal of restoring Syria's full sovereignty over all its territory, it is clear that Russia will do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal. ..."
"... The complicating factor is that IFUKUS is willing to risk a hot war to defeat Russia in its goal. I strongly suspect that Putin will play for as much time as needed to defeat IFUKUS economically to the point where IFUKUS is militarily incapable. Keep in mind, Russia has already determined that IFUKUS is 'agreement incapable.' ..."
"... The Russian Federation faces an enemy that does not recognize any international laws. The only way to stop the predator is by waging a hot war against the "deciders" in the D.C., London, and Tel Aviv. That would result in a massive loss of life in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and in the Russian Federation. The predator, ZUSA, is not able to contain its predatory urges. They high-placed scoundrels begging for being destroyed. But there are also innocent people that will die during the hot war. ..."
"... It is not illogical at all that the US/Israel/EU/UK have sided with radical Islamists (ISIS, Al Qaeda and such) and with banderites (neo-Nazi). The flooding of the EU with the desperate refugees (the victims of the ongoing Wars for Israel) and opportunistic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa (welcome, extraordinary low IQ!) is tearing apart the societal fabric of the EU and makes the war-mongers and war-profiteers even less accountable to vox populi. ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

in the middle , says: September 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

One doesn't have to be a Putin or Zionist hater to see with clarity
So, you do then, I assume, have now or had in the past Form 1A clearance to know how and what Tactical and Operational Manuals describe in terms of setting Air Defense systems, establishment of communications networks...ah, never mind -- I am sure "Jews The Almighty" bible of yours gives all necessary answers.

Including describing issues of angular separation of targets, principles of development of command decisions from tactical to operational level and other irrelevant crap.

FB , says: September 23, 2018 at 5:29 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov
Much better reading Harretz than the awe of our two Armchair Marshals, Saker and Martyanov
Do you want me to prove, using you as an example, for all other present here hysterical non-men, that none of you have any idea of what was and is going on by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems. I'll give you hint--it is reported to all military radar operating units (from ground to the sea) and is logged and accounted for (with proper adjustments in procedures) every single day, sometimes on 12 hour increments. This factor could be of prime importance, especially against the background of old S-200 AD complex. Are you game? Then we will compare who are real "armchair strategists" here.

'Do you want me to prove by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems against the background of old S-200 AD complex '

Yes Andrei..I will take you up on your offer to 'prove' to us the 'technical parameters' that ALLOW THE S200 AND IL20 TO DEFY THE LAWS OF PHYSICS

You see friends, Saker and especially Martyanov are full of crapola

It is IMPOSSIBLE for an S200 which flies at 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 km in just 40 seconds to have hit an airplane that continued flying for another ~5 minutes after that close call with the flight of Israeli F16s

Here is the infographic map released by the Russian MoD

The flight path of the F16s is recorded with the dashed blue line the flight of the Ilyushin Il20 spy plane is recorded in the solid red line [that from the MoD]

I have circled the close encounter point in yellow, with a yellow arrow pointing to it that is the point where the F16s are supposed to have 'hidden' behind the radar reflection of the much bigger Ilyushin, and is the ONLY point at which this could possibly occur

But the Ilyushin somehow manages to fly north for another 40 km and even make a 90 degree east turn to come in to land at Hmeimim a total flight time of around FIVE MINUTES

BUT the S200 cannot fly for FIVE MINUTES it is one of the fastest SAM rockets in the world, with a flight speed of 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 kilometers in JUST 40 SECONDS

Its maximum flight time is 150 SECONDS [2.5 MINUTES] IN WHICH TIME IT WOULD COVER ITS MAXIMUM DISTANCE OF 375 KM

PLEASE TELL US HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE ANDREI ?

The specs of the turboprop IL20 are here

It has a cruise speed of about ~600 km/hr, which is 10 km/minute that's at its cruise altitude of 8,000 meters the MoD reported that the airplane was hit while flying at 5,000 m and on its descent to land at Hmeimim

The MoD map clearly shows that the Ilyushin flew north for 40 km after that 'close encounter' with the F16s and then made another right 90 degree turn back toward the Syria coast on its final descent back into Hmeimim

Only after making that turn to final was the airplane hit

So we have the airplane flying for FIVE MINUTES AFTER THAT SUPPOSED 'RADAR MASKING' ?

And the S200 which can cover 300 km in TWO MINUTES FLAT was doing what exactly for those missing THREE MINUTES ?

It was maybe hovering in midair with its engine shut off just waiting for the Ilyushin to slowly make its way to the point 40 km from the 'radar masking'..before it decided to turn its engine back on and then come and hit the Ilyushin ?

It is a matter of simple flight physics the official story is IMPOSSIBLE

If an S200 was even launched, it would have been from a range of probably 100 km so it would have got to the Ilyushin in under a minute from that close encounter point

The Ilyushin in that one minute would have been able to fly for maybe 10 km AT MOST and would have come down where I have place the red arrow on the map

Now I have seen many commenters here ridiculing Saker and Martyanov and that is completely warranted Saker has no technical credentials whatsoever, in either physics or mathematics he has made that abundantly clear over the course of hundreds of thousands of words of fluff

Martyanov at least has a bona fide military education, but he also does not seem to think much about basic physics he has some explaining to do here as to why he is pushing the 'official' story

Folks the fact of the matter is that 'official' information is often a blatant lie we all know that for those who have some relevant expertise in technical matters such as flight physics, it is not so easy to pull the wool over our eyes

Remember when Turkey shot down that Russian Su24 ground attack jet in November 2015 ? there was a lot of discussion at the time as to the claim from the Turkish side about the Sukhoi flying through Turkish airspace for 17 seconds

At the time PCR picked up on the debate, it revolved around the physical possibility of the Sukhoi flying that slow as to remain in Turkish airspace for so long, while covering a very short distance the debate among the laypeople revolved around the aerodynamic 'stall' speed of the Sukhoi ie the minimum flying speed of the airplane

I mentioned to PCR that the debate was nonsensical and explained a couple of pertinent basics of the flight physics involved PCR encouraged me to expand that into an article, which he graciously published on his website

We have a similar situation here it is important to figure out what is and what is not physically possible

Martyyanov especially, and of course Saker, are trying to tell us here that it was all a mistake as Putin said that the 'old' S200 took down a state of the art electronic warfare airplane, with 15 very highly trained specialists on board a HUGE LOSS

Now I will say here that Putin has a good reason to take this action and not reveal what actually happened and I will get to that in a minute

But let us first consider some peripheral facts surrounding this entire incident it is probable that the downed 'Il20′ was in fact the latest, modernized iteration of this electronic intelligence aircraft, the Il22PP, which entered into service two years ago

This is in keeping with the MoD's stated practice of subjecting Russia's latest and most sophisticated weapons systems to actual combat conditions in Syria even Putin has said that much has been learned,both good and bad, in Syria, and that fixing these deficiencies is possible only due to the opportunity to deploy these systems in Syria

Now if we assume that this was in fact that state of the art Il22PP [we are speculating here, but it is a solid assumption] then one must ask how careful the entire Russian contingent in Syria would be with such a valuable asset ?

How is it possible that while this airplane is in the air that 'Syrian' air defense commanders are shooting willy-nilly at a chunk of airspace where at this very moment this extremely valuable aircraft is flying ?

How stupid does this sound on its face ?

Now we have already proved that the 'radar masking' story is physically impossible, due to the respective flight speeds of the Ilyushin turboprop and the S200 rocket

That means that the S200 would have to have been launched when THERE WAS NO RADAR MASKING ie the Ilyushin would have been very close to the point where it was shot down which is 40 km away from the 'close encounter' site

So now we are supposed to believe that the Syrian air defense crews, which somehow are acting independently while supposedly 'integrated' with the Russian air defense staff that they have now targeted the Ilyushin WHILE IT IS FLYING ALONE WITH NOTHING NEARBY ?

Again, I ask Martyanov here to explain this especially in light of his dismissive comment to others objecting here, and citing his vast knowledge of radar systems

How is it possible that this Ilyushin was targeted by an S200 when it was nowhere near those F16s at that moment as the laws of physics require ?

Of course I realize that he cannot rebut these questions in any way shape or form he is caught again with his pants down

Now let us consider some more relevant facts on that night the Russian MoD stated clearly two additional piece of information

1 the French frigate Auvergne was nearby the Ilyushin flight, as depicted on the map, and was in fact recorded firing missiles

2 British jets were also in the air, with their transponders turned on making it possible to track them even with civilian ATC radar

Now we also know that a number of Russian ships were in that area at the time, and still are and are in fact this entire week conducting live fire drills more on that in a moment

Those ships also have sophisticated radar and also infrared sensors which picked up the missile firing from the French ship

Besides that we have the Beriev A50U AWACS aircraft in Syria..and it is safe to assume that they would have been in the air at the time of the Ilyushin flight

At the same time, we also know that the US is flying the high altitude U2 spy plane out of Akrotiri

So there is a lot of cat and mouse going on between Nato and Russia in the area all the more reason to seriously doubt that a Syrian S200 would shoot down such an important flight as the Ilyushin we notice also the flight path of the Ilyushin it first flew a circuit over Idlib, then, instead of coming in to land directly at Hmeimim, the airplane continued out over the Med for about 40 km off the coast of Syria, well outside the Syrian territorial airspace why ?

Perhaps because the Ilyushin might have been gathering data and perhaps engaging in electronic interference of those Nato ships and aircraft in the area ?

We do not know but if it was doing something like that, the flight would have had the utmost security attached to it it would be unthinkable for a Syrian SAM to take a shot at that airplane

So why the ruse on the part of Putin and the Russians ?

Let's first examine who had the opportunity to down that Ilyushin the French ship firing missiles [what kind of missiles surface to air...?...the frigate is equipped with very capable Aster SAMs... ]

And also the British aircraft in the air at the time and flying out of Akrotiri there are 9 Eurofighter Typhoons there, equipped with long range air to air AIM120 radar guided missiles and also 10 Tornados equipped with shorter range heat seeking AIM9x

Now since we know already that the only way an S200 could have shot down the Ilyushin would be if it fired practically intentionally at a high value friendly aircraft flying with no enemy aircraft nearby it would seem at least as probable that the missile that brought down the Ilyushin could have been fired by a French ship or a British airplane

[The Israeli jets could not have fired at the Ilyushin, since they were flying in the opposite direction at the time the airplane was hit...and it is impossible to aim a missile at a target behind your airplane...]

At this point, having made some logical physical observations and built up a situational picture of what and who was there at the time, it seems much more likely that the French or British brought down the Ilyushin with the Israelis playing a supporting role to cause confusion and 'fog of war'

Now we examine another clue this one coming just 24 hours after the Ilyushin was shot down namely the massive Russian live fire naval exercises in the exact area of the Med where all the action took place here is a look at the NOTAM published by the Cyprus Civil Aviation Authority

Is this air exclusion zone the Russians have enacted in a semi-ring around the RAF Akrotiri air base a clue ?

I leave it to readers to make their own judgements

Now let us consider the question of why Putin is not saying anything about possible British or French involvement in the shooting down of the valuable Ilyushin electronic warfare aircraft

First what purpose would it serve to now come out and accuse two Nato countries of an act of war ?

Is not this kind of escalation exactly what Nato is looking to provoke in Syria ?

Is Putin supposed to now declare war on Nato ?

Or does it make more sense to blame Israel because Israel is the only party that can be proved to have been doing something illegal at the time ie bombing a sovereign country [an illegal act of aggression] and at the same time trampling all the protocol and agreements in place between Russia and Israel on the matter of Israeli operations against 'Iranian' forces in Syria ?

We must remember here that Putin is interested in only one thing in Syria that is to defeat the West's regime change project

The West on the other hand is trying to do everything possible to provoke Russia into a military response, that would then lead to escalation and a possible shooting war

Let us recall that the US twice launched cruise missile strikes against Syria in the last year in the last attack back in April, the French and British also participated no response came from Russia

In 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet so how much of a stretch is it to think that Britain and France [together with Israel playing a supporting role] decided to shoot down the Russian spy plane ?

Now Russia holding its fire makes perfect sense and is the smart thing to do, in spite of how bad these provocations look for one thing Russia even turning on its air defense systems to shoot down US and Nato or Israeli missiles would give the opponent valuable information about how the Russian AD systems operate this is very valuable tactical information

Russia is better served not firing its systems unnecessarily because when it does, the enemy will have little chance to calculate an escape

As things stand now no one can defend Israel's actions on that night Israel realizes that Russia is very angry and Israel must now alter its behavior as to bombing Syria Russia will also take steps to increase the security of all Russian assets in Syria there will not be a repeat performance of this carefully planned ambush of the Ilyushin

As for retribution for whoever it was that pulled the trigger on that Ilyushin I think Putin realizes that revenge is a dish best served cold two can play the game of 'accidents' happening

Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.

No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.

If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.

Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.

But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.

Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.

'An investigation is underway to establish what exactly happened when the Ilyushin IL-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down on Monday night, as it was coming into land at the Russian airbase at Hmeimim in northwest Syria. The plane was lost some 20 kms off the Syrian coast, with all 15 service onboard killed.

There appears to have been an accidental shoot-down by Syrian air defenses using an outdated Soviet-made S-200 system.'

So this semi-official organ of Russian media is not so sure as our two resident 'experts' here and any comments that question their 'authority' are unceremoniously dismissed

Looking forward to hearing back from Martyanov on this

Zogby , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
I'm not completely convinced about the Russian MoD's interpretation of events as one of the F16s hiding behind the I-20. I think they stretched that part up because of their anger and embarrassment. The bottom line is that Russia has itself to blame because
- Russia and Syria use different IFF systems "and Israel knows". It is reckless for them to have uncoordinated IFF with Syrian air-defense and even more reckless to have divulged this to Israel. If fact, even assuming Syria had its own S-400 instead of S-200, it would still be totally reckless for them not to coordinate IFF.
- Russia did not fire its S-400 to shoot down the F-16s. Even after they knew the I-20 was down, 20 minutes after -- they politely asked the F-16s to vacate, which they only did 13 minutes later.

This is a wake-up call that Russia is pursuing an untenable policy in Syria by trying to be friends with opposing sides of a war and having its armed forces in the middle, while prohibiting them from fully using their weapons to defend themselves. Just as they portray Israel as hiding behind Russian aircraft, Hezbullah can be portrayed as hiding behind the nearby Russian airbase so that Israel gets in trouble trying to attack there. If Russia declares a no-fly-zone around its base that's incentive for Iran and/or Hezbullah to put its bases there.

Russia needs to either get out of Syria or choose sides and stick with its allies.

Agent76 , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:34 pm GMT
Putin put a target on himself and his country with this very action.

Jun 8, 2018 Putin hints at end of dollar system

Direct Line 2018 Vladimir Putin has held his 16th Direct Line Q&A on June 7th.

J , says: Website Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Bill65 Can The Saker tell us what right Israel has to bomb targets in Syria ? The Russians were invited in to save Syria as were the Iranians and Hezbollah but Israel is on the side of the attackers of Syria . What right? The right of self defense. The establishment of Iranian bases in Syria is a mortal danger for us, the secret Syrian nuclear reactor was a potential catastrophe for everybody. Technically we have been in war with Syria for the last seventy years.
Herald , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm GMT
@OilcanFloyd The Soviets didn't go to war with the U.S. over Syria and Israel 50 years ago, and I don't think the Russians will now. Israel is pretty much confined to beating up on defenseless Palestinians and invading the mostly undefended airspace of its immediate neighbors. Russia seems to have the situation in Syria under control, and attacking Israel would be the quickest way to have a war with the U.S., which Putin says he doesn't want.

One aircraft and its crew is apparently a price the Russians are willing to pay in a proxy war with the U.S. What happened 50 years ago has little bearing on today.

Russia's blinkered present position in Syria makes little sense and is unsustainable. Basically it seems to be saying that it will fight Syria's enemies when they are the western/Israeli proxy armies but it will not defend Syrian airspace against attacks which emanate from the very same sources. This naked air aggression, it seems, is approved by agreements with Israel and perhaps also some others. We have now seen the results of this approach and it has meant the needless Russian deaths, both in the air and on the ground.

The defenders of the status quo tell us that Russia won't defend Syrian airspace, as this might lead to WW3. The same could be much more justifiably said about NATO/Israel and their attacks on Syria, but magically the aggressors have been absolved from this responsibility, as it is not their concern. Strangely, only Russia has the duty of preventing global war, so it must always turn the other cheek, no matter the provocation. If Russia continues on this path, it is finished and may as well surrender right now.

James Speaks , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 7:43 pm GMT
@Mr M. I do believe it was a deliberate attempt by Israel to get a Russian plane shot down.

The biggest problem Israel and the Zionist Socialist USA faces when it comes to destroying Syria for the sake of making Israel greater again, is Russia. So long as Russia is allied with Syria the western client states of Israel can't invade and destroy this hated enemy of Jews.

Likewise, Russia can't attack Israel for what it does in Syria, because that would bring down the whole western world in retaliation and start off WWIII before the time is right.

No, I think this was a poorly planned and clumsy attempt at creating a false flag attack in the form of luring Syria into shooting down a Russia plane in an attempt to cause a diplomatic crisis between Syria and Russia that would end with Russia leaving Syria to be destroyed the Israel and its client states of the US/UK and the rest of the bullied Nato states.

It most likely failed because someone did not get informed and that someone had the brain power required to grab the phone and tell the Russians at the last minute because they saw that chances of the plan backfiring was too great to even think about it.

I do believe it was a deliberate attempt by Israel to get a Russian plane shot down.

After reading the MoD briefing notes, it is more likely that it was another example of Israeli arrogance and immaturity that will have consequences Israel will find most unpleasant.

The biggest problem Israel and the Zionist Socialist USA faces when it comes to destroying Syria for the sake of making Israel greater again, is Russia. So long as Russia is allied with Syria the western client states of Israel can't invade and destroy this hated enemy of Jews.

The biggest problem Israel and the Neocons face is their own delusion that they have the right and the power to decide that they have any options regarding Syria. The world does not need Israel.

Likewise, Russia can't attack Israel for what it does in Syria, because that would bring down the whole western world in retaliation and start off WWIII before the time is right.

Russia can draw lines in the sand that represent Russian self-interest as well as the interests of other nations Russia deems important to the success of its Syria project. Russia can attack Israel when it crosses one of these lines. Allowing Iran to build a facility in Latakia was one of these lines, and Israel crossed it, stupidly I might add.

No, I think this was a poorly planned and clumsy attempt at creating a false flag attack in the form of luring Syria into shooting down a Russia plane in an attempt to cause a diplomatic crisis between Syria and Russia that would end with Russia leaving Syria to be destroyed the Israel and its client states of the US/UK and the rest of the bullied Nato states.

It merely another example of the sort of immature provocations Israel engages in on a daily basis. Remember, they are the chosen people and they can do whatever they want.

It most likely failed because someone did not get informed and that someone had the brain power required to grab the phone and tell the Russians at the last minute because they saw that chances of the plan backfiring was too great to even think about it.

What failed was not a false-flag attack, but rather a long-standing practice of treating Russia as a second class nation.

Sometimes you have to draw a clear boundary. After watching the MoD briefing (excerpts), it is clear that Russia has been extremely accommodating to Israel's quasi-legitimate interests. In return, an adult nation would honor Russia's decision to allow Iranians to build a factory near to its airport.

Think of the consequences. The key to winning this conflict means the foreign nationals must feel safe inside the borders of Syria. It is no excuse that Iran and Hezbollah have challenged Israel militarily. Israel has challenged these countries militarily, too. For Russia to allow any nation to dictate to Syria and Russia who may or may not have a presence inside Syria is to admit that Russia will not achieve the goal of full sovereignty for Syria over Syrian territory.

Russia has already announced plans to build an automobile factory in Syria. Recall my earlier assertion that Syria will be the western terminus of the New Silk Road; the key to Syria's full recovery will be China's investment. Can Russia allow Israel to decide that China is not allowed to build factories wherever Syria allows it to build? The answer is obviously NO.

Russia has drawn a line in the sand and Israel must grow up (impossible, I know for the chosen people). Unless Russia stands firm and enforces that line in the sand (i.e. Obey. The. Deconfliction. Agreement.), it will not succeed in restoring Syria's sovereignty. Considering that Russia has stated its goal of restoring Syria's full sovereignty over all its territory, it is clear that Russia will do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal.

The complicating factor is that IFUKUS is willing to risk a hot war to defeat Russia in its goal. I strongly suspect that Putin will play for as much time as needed to defeat IFUKUS economically to the point where IFUKUS is militarily incapable. Keep in mind, Russia has already determined that IFUKUS is 'agreement incapable.'

El Dato , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 8:26 pm GMT

@FB

'Do you want me to prove...by me merely introducing a simple tactical-technical parameter which defines tactical reality in any radar systems...against the background of old S-200 AD complex...'
Yes...Andrei..I will take you up on your offer to 'prove' to us the 'technical parameters' that ALLOW THE S200 AND IL20 TO DEFY THE LAWS OF PHYSICS...

You see friends, Saker and especially Martyanov are full of crapola...

It is IMPOSSIBLE for an S200 which flies at 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 km in just 40 seconds... to have hit an airplane that continued flying for another ~5 minutes after that close call with the flight of Israeli F16s...

Here is the infographic map released by the Russian MoD...

https://i.postimg.cc/brYXb99c/IL20_Crash_markup.jpg

The flight path of the F16s is recorded with the dashed blue line...the flight of the Ilyushin Il20 spy plane is recorded in the solid red line...[that from the MoD]

I have circled the close encounter point in yellow, with a yellow arrow pointing to it...that is the point where the F16s are supposed to have 'hidden' behind the radar reflection of the much bigger Ilyushin, and is the ONLY point at which this could possibly occur...

But the Ilyushin somehow manages to fly north for another 40 km...and even make a 90 degree east turn to come in to land at Hmeimim...a total flight time of around FIVE MINUTES...

BUT the S200 cannot fly for FIVE MINUTES...it is one of the fastest SAM rockets in the world, with a flight speed of 2.5 kilometers per second and would cover 100 kilometers in JUST 40 SECONDS...

Its maximum flight time is 150 SECONDS [2.5 MINUTES]...IN WHICH TIME IT WOULD COVER ITS MAXIMUM DISTANCE OF 375 KM...

PLEASE TELL US HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE ANDREI...?

The specs of the turboprop IL20 are here...

It has a cruise speed of about ~600 km/hr, which is 10 km/minute...that's at its cruise altitude of 8,000 meters...the MoD reported that the airplane was hit while flying at 5,000 m and on its descent to land at Hmeimim...

The MoD map clearly shows that the Ilyushin flew north for 40 km after that 'close encounter' with the F16s...and then made another right 90 degree turn back toward the Syria coast on its final descent back into Hmeimim...

Only after making that turn to final was the airplane hit...

So we have the airplane flying for FIVE MINUTES AFTER THAT SUPPOSED 'RADAR MASKING'...?

And the S200 which can cover 300 km in TWO MINUTES FLAT was doing what exactly for those missing THREE MINUTES...?

It was maybe hovering in midair with its engine shut off...just waiting for the Ilyushin to slowly make its way to the point 40 km from the 'radar masking'..before it decided to turn its engine back on and then come and hit the Ilyushin...?

It is a matter of simple flight physics...the official story is IMPOSSIBLE...

If an s200 was even launched, it would have been from a range of probably 100 km... so it would have got to the Ilyushin in under a minute from that close encounter point...

The Ilyushin in that one minute would have been able to fly for maybe 10 km AT MOST...and would have come down where I have place the red arrow on the map...

Now I have seen many commenters here ridiculing Saker and Martyanov and that is completely warranted...Saker has no technical credentials whatsoever, in either physics or mathematics...he has made that abundantly clear over the course of hundreds of thousands of words of fluff...

Martyanov at least has a bona fide military education, but he also does not seem to think much about basic physics...he has some explaining to do here as to why he is pushing the 'official' story...

Folks...the fact of the matter is that 'official' information is often a blatant lie...we all know that...for those who have some relevant expertise in technical matters such as flight physics, it is not so easy to pull the wool over our eyes...

Remember when Turkey shot down that Russian Su24 ground attack jet in November 2015...?...there was a lot of discussion at the time as to the claim from the Turkish side about the Sukhoi flying through Turkish airspace for 17 seconds...

At the time PCR picked up on the debate, it revolved around the physical possibility of the Sukhoi flying that slow as to remain in Turkish airspace for so long, while covering a very short distance...the debate among the laypeople revolved around the aerodynamic 'stall' speed of the Sukhoi...ie the minimum flying speed of the airplane...

I mentioned to PCR that the debate was nonsensical and explained a couple of pertinent basics of the flight physics involved...PCR encouraged me to expand that into an article, which he graciously published on his website...

We have a similar situation here...it is important to figure out what is and what is not physically possible...

Martyyanov especially, and of course Saker, are trying to tell us here that it was all a mistake as Putin said...that the 'old' S200 took down a state of the art electronic warfare airplane, with 15 very highly trained specialists on board...a HUGE LOSS...

Now I will say here that Putin has a good reason to take this action and not reveal what actually happened...and I will get to that in a minute...

But let us first consider some peripheral facts surrounding this entire incident...it is probable that the downed 'Il20' was in fact the latest, modernized iteration of this electronic intelligence aircraft, the Il22PP, which entered into service two years ago...

This is in keeping with the MoD's stated practice of subjecting Russia's latest and most sophisticated weapons systems to actual combat conditions in Syria...even Putin has said that much has been learned,both good and bad, in Syria, and that fixing these deficiencies is possible only due to the opportunity to deploy these systems in Syria...

Now if we assume that this was in fact that state of the art Il22PP [we are speculating here, but it is a solid assumption]...then one must ask how careful the entire Russian contingent in Syria would be with such a valuable asset...?

How is it possible that while this airplane is in the air that 'Syrian' air defense commanders are shooting willy-nilly at a chunk of airspace where at this very moment this extremely valuable aircraft is flying...?

How stupid does this sound on its face...?

Now we have already proved that the 'radar masking' story is physically impossible, due to the respective flight speeds of the Ilyushin turboprop and the S200 rocket...

That means that the S200 would have to have been launched when THERE WAS NO RADAR MASKING...ie the Ilyushin would have been very close to the point where it was shot down...which is 40 km away from the 'close encounter' site...

So now we are supposed to believe that the Syrian air defense crews, which somehow are acting independently while supposedly 'integrated' with the Russian air defense staff...that they have now targeted the Ilyushin WHILE IT IS FLYING ALONE WITH NOTHING NEARBY...?

Again, I ask Martyanov here to explain this...especially in light of his dismissive comment to others objecting here, and citing his vast knowledge of radar systems...

How is it possible that this Ilyushin was targeted by an S200 when it was nowhere near those F16s at that moment...as the laws of physics require...?

Of course I realize that he cannot rebut these questions in any way shape or form...he is caught again with his pants down...

Now let us consider some more relevant facts on that night...the Russian MoD stated clearly two additional piece of information...

1...the French frigate Auvergne was nearby the Ilyushin flight, as depicted on the map, and was in fact recorded firing missiles...

2...British jets were also in the air, with their transponders turned on...making it possible to track them even with civilian ATC radar...

Now we also know that a number of Russian ships were in that area at the time, and still are...and are in fact this entire week conducting live fire drills...more on that in a moment...

Those ships also have sophisticated radar and also infrared sensors which picked up the missile firing from the French ship...

Besides that we have the Beriev A50U AWACS aircraft in Syria..and it is safe to assume that they would have been in the air at the time of the Ilyushin flight...

At the same time, we also know that the US is flying the high altitude U2 spy plane out of Akrotiri...

So there is a lot of cat and mouse going on between Nato and Russia in the area...all the more reason to seriously doubt that a Syrian S200 would shoot down such an important flight as the Ilyushin...we notice also the flight path of the Ilyushin...it first flew a circuit over Idlib, then, instead of coming in to land directly at Hmeimim, the airplane continued out over the Med for about 40 km off the coast of Syria, well outside the Syrian territorial airspace...why...?

Perhaps because the Ilyushin might have been gathering data and perhaps engaging in electronic interference of those Nato ships and aircraft in the area...?

We do not know...but if it was doing something like that, the flight would have had the utmost security attached to it...it would be unthinkable for a Syrian SAM to take a shot at that airplane...

So why the ruse on the part of Putin and the Russians...?

Let's first examine who had the opportunity to down that Ilyushin...the French ship firing missiles [what kind of missiles surface to air...?...the frigate is equipped with very capable Aster SAMs... ]

And also the British aircraft in the air at the time and flying out of Akrotiri...there are 9 Eurofighter Typhoons there, equipped with long range air to air AIM120 radar guided missiles... and also 10 Tornados equipped with shorter range heat seeking AIM9x...

Now since we know already that the only way an S200 could have shot down the Ilyushin would be if it fired practically intentionally at a high value friendly aircraft flying with no enemy aircraft nearby...it would seem at least as probable that the missile that brought down the Ilyushin could have been fired by a French ship or a British airplane...

[The Israeli jets could not have fired at the Ilyushin, since they were flying in the opposite direction at the time the airplane was hit...and it is impossible to aim a missile at a target behind your airplane...]

At this point, having made some logical physical observations and built up a situational picture of what and who was there at the time, it seems much more likely that the French or British brought down the Ilyushin...with the Israelis playing a supporting role to cause confusion and 'fog of war'...

Now we examine another clue...this one coming just 24 hours after the Ilyushin was shot down...namely the massive Russian live fire naval exercises in the exact area of the Med where all the action took place...here is a look at the NOTAM published by the Cyprus Civil Aviation Authority...

https://i.postimg.cc/k4pvCxXF/Cyprus_Notam_markup.jpg

Is this air exclusion zone the Russians have enacted in a semi-ring around the RAF Akrotiri air base a clue...?

I leave it to readers to make their own judgements...

Now let us consider the question of why Putin is not saying anything about possible British or French involvement in the shooting down of the valuable Ilyushin electronic warfare aircraft...

First...what purpose would it serve to now come out and accuse two Nato countries of an act of war...?

Is not this kind of escalation exactly what Nato is looking to provoke in Syria...?

Is Putin supposed to now declare war on Nato...?

Or does it make more sense to blame Israel because Israel is the only party that can be proved to have been doing something illegal at the time...ie bombing a sovereign country [an illegal act of aggression]...and at the same time trampling all the protocol and agreements in place between Russia and Israel on the matter of Israeli operations against 'Iranian' forces in Syria...?

We must remember here that Putin is interested in only one thing in Syria...that is to defeat the West's regime change project

The West on the other hand is trying to do everything possible to provoke Russia into a military response, that would then lead to escalation and a possible shooting war...

Let us recall that the US twice launched cruise missile strikes against Syria in the last year...in the last attack back in April, the French and British also participated...no response came from Russia...

In 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet...so how much of a stretch is it to think that Britain and France [together with Israel playing a supporting role] decided to shoot down the Russian spy plane...?

Now Russia holding its fire makes perfect sense and is the smart thing to do, in spite of how bad these provocations look...for one thing Russia even turning on its air defense systems to shoot down US and Nato or Israeli missiles would give the opponent valuable information about how the Russian AD systems operate...this is very valuable tactical information...

Russia is better served not firing its systems unnecessarily...because when it does, the enemy will have little chance to calculate an escape...

As things stand now...no one can defend Israel's actions on that night...Israel realizes that Russia is very angry and Israel must now alter its behavior as to bombing Syria...Russia will also take steps to increase the security of all Russian assets in Syria...there will not be a repeat performance of this carefully planned ambush of the Ilyushin...

As for retribution for whoever it was that pulled the trigger on that Ilyushin...I think Putin realizes that revenge is a dish best served cold...two can play the game of 'accidents' happening...


Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.

No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.

If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.

Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.

But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.

Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.


'An investigation is underway to establish what exactly happened when the Ilyushin IL-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down on Monday night, as it was coming into land at the Russian airbase at Hmeimim in northwest Syria. The plane was lost some 20 kms off the Syrian coast, with all 15 service onboard killed.

There appears to have been an accidental shoot-down by Syrian air defenses using an outdated Soviet-made S-200 system.'

So this semi-official organ of Russian media is not so sure as our two resident 'experts' here...and any comments that question their 'authority' are unceremoniously dismissed...

Looking forward to hearing back from Martyanov on this... A very interesting take indeed.

The french frigate seems to no longer be mentioned at all in official statements. Macron Control must have the full tapes, wonder whether these will appear at some point.

Uncle Sam , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm GMT
The Russian military has now conclusively established that the Israelis were responsible for this disaster. They made that conclusion based on the objective evidence. If that evidence showed something differently, they would have drawn a different conclusion. They have no convincing reason to lie about it.

The Russians should now declare a no-fly zone over all of Syria and its territorial waters, not only for Israel but for America and NATO as well. If the Israelis repeat this act, their planes should be shot down and the air base from which they took off should be bombed and destroyed. Israel would do nothing to retaliate. It risks total destruction if it does.

Nor would America do anything. In fact, the Russians could shoot down American aircraft and even sink American ships. The Americans will not be involved in a war with Russia. America does not get into wars with countries that have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to the continental United States. The only time America would use its nuclear weapons is if its homeland is attacked with nuclear weapons. That is why countries like Russia, China and North Korea need not fear America and why America will not attack them militarily.

In other words the lives of American servicemen are not worth the destruction of the continental United States. The first principle of American foreign policy is the prevention of a nuclear war. That is what American foreign policy is based on.

annamaria , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 9:19 pm GMT

@pyrrhus The USA pretended that the Liberty attack didn't happen because LBJ wanted campaign money from (((you know who)))...and of course, LBJ and Admiral McCain, who did the coverup, were two of the worst criminals ever to occupy the upper ranks of the Deep State. "Putin and Trump are trying to preserve peace, while Israel is pushing for war -- as is anyone who is calling for Putin to "man up" and shoot some Israeli planes out of the sky or similar."
-- Agree. Israelis live by terrorism.
Bombercommand , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 9:34 pm GMT
@FB

Thank you, sir, for your superb comment. I read and reread it several times, the only useful comment on the entire thread. I too noticed at the very beginning the Russian military announced it had detected a missile launch from the French warship, and I could not square this fact with the S200 shoot down story, but being merely a layman in military affairs I had to watch and wait for someone with knowledge and a brain to weigh in. Again, thank you.

Don't hold your breath waiting to hear from the two posers The Faker and Martyanov.

Aaron Hilel says: September 23, 2018 at 9:40 pm GMT • 200 Words

@VICB3

Yes, well as you said a war is a dark room easily entered, but full of unknown danger. US does not need to lose an expensive carrier and thousands of sailors to start one.

Imo Israel will never, ever permit US to start an all-out war with Russia, as Israel is a very small country, with extremely fragile, tightly packed population – which in case of nuclear escalation would take 80%+ losses. Look at it this way – the core of jewish power is concentrated in big cities, especially NY and Londonistan – and Israel. Russia and US can absorb a more or less limited nuclear exchange – the Jews, as a people, cannot.

In the current idiotic and useless war on Syria the Russians will lose soldiers, pilots, planes – it has no bearing on the outcome. The Russians and more precisely VV Putin will win this war in time, and Israel will suffer a strategic defeat ranging from minor (negotiations with Assad and polite expulsion of Hezbollah) to cataclysmic (creation of Shia crescent and fall of Iraq into Iranian sphere).

If you prefer a comparison to WW 2 , look at it as summer 1943 – everyone with a pulse in German OKH knew that the war is lost and yet how many hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers had to die to arrive in Berlin?

annamaria , says: Next New Comment September 23, 2018 at 9:42 pm GMT

@Hindsight I have great respect for Mr. Saker. But this analysis makes me wonder, what has made him to come up with such a forced explanation. It's more of an apology than an objective analysis.
I wish he could stay objective to remain relevant. " .a forced explanation. It's more of an apology than an objective analysis."

– What shall Saker tell you? -- That zionists have zero dignity? That mega war-profiteers among "deciders" want more wars? That the US has been drowning in debt and that the US/UK financial sector would not survive without a major war? These are well-known facts.

The Russian Federation faces an enemy that does not recognize any international laws. The only way to stop the predator is by waging a hot war against the "deciders" in the D.C., London, and Tel Aviv. That would result in a massive loss of life in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and in the Russian Federation. The predator, ZUSA, is not able to contain its predatory urges. They high-placed scoundrels begging for being destroyed. But there are also innocent people that will die during the hot war.

The European civilization has developed many important mechanisms for protecting both the individuals and the world peace. The ZUSA, the UK and the Jewish State have decided to end the European civilization and establish a New World Order.

It is not illogical at all that the US/Israel/EU/UK have sided with radical Islamists (ISIS, Al Qaeda and such) and with banderites (neo-Nazi). The flooding of the EU with the desperate refugees (the victims of the ongoing Wars for Israel) and opportunistic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa (welcome, extraordinary low IQ!) is tearing apart the societal fabric of the EU and makes the war-mongers and war-profiteers even less accountable to vox populi.

What should Russians do? The more time they buy, the better the outcome for the humanity at large.

hunor , says: September 23, 2018 at 9:54 pm GMT
The Russians are all alone against a pack of satanic wolfs, and clearly loosing badly in the war of " leapfrogging ".

[Sep 23, 2018] Coulter Kavanaugh Scandal Shows Media Running The Country, Can Make Any Non-Disprovable Claim

Video
Notable quotes:
"... "A lot of the statements about Brett Kavanaugh, like from Krugman, 'Oh, he's smirking' and a lot on Twitter and elsewhere, 'Oh, he's a white male, his white privilege,' if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that," Coulter said. ..."
"... COULTER: I think some of them and this is - this is the only thing that I think makes it dangerous for Republicans, for Kavanaugh, and for the republic because there are certain Republicans in the Senate who so hate Trump-- ..."
"... And it's not just Democrats and the media running the country, it's any white male can be accused with an evidence reacting ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.realclearpolitics.com

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said hate for the president from anti-Trump Republicans like Ben Sasse and Bob Corker could end up hurting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even more after he was accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for an incident that took place in high school 36 years ago.

"A lot of the statements about Brett Kavanaugh, like from Krugman, 'Oh, he's smirking' and a lot on Twitter and elsewhere, 'Oh, he's a white male, his white privilege,' if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that," Coulter said.

Coulter said the media can use the tag "white male Republican" to make any "non-disprovable claim" against somebody to impugn their character. She said these Senators, several outgoing, are putting their egos over the country if they voted against Kavanaugh to spite Trump.

"This is the only thing that I think makes it dangerous for Republicans, for Kavanaugh, and for the republic because there are certain Republicans in the Senate who so hate Trump they would put their egos above the good of the country," Coulter said of anti-Trump Republicans.

Coulter said if Democrats are able to stop Kavanaugh either because of vengeful Republicans or the testimony of the accuser, Dr. Ford, then "you have CNN running the country."

"What so many Republicans said about voting and, every four years, say about voting for any Republican, we have to do it for the Supreme Court nominees. No, maybe not for Ben Sasse, maybe not for Senator Bob Corker, they just so hate Trump, that could end up hurting Kavanaugh," she said.

The author told host Tucker Carlson it's not even the Democrats running the country, "it's the media" because the same allegation made against Kavanaugh could be used all the time and it is "absolutely non-disprovable."

"If they get away with this there's then you have CNN running the country," she said about Kavanaugh and sexual assault claims.

"It's not even just the Democrats running the country," she continued. "It's the media running the country because this allegation could be made against anyone at any time absolutely non-disprovable."

Coulter warned that as long as you are a "presumed white male Republican," with privilege, "if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that." She cited incidents like the Duke Lacrosse case and 'Haven Monahan,' the male name behind the 2014 fake Rolling Stone magazine story.

"This isn't a new thing," she said. "As long as you are a presumed white male Republican, whether it's the Duke Lacrosse case or oh, that dastardly Haven Monahan in the Rolling Stone story about the frat boys gang-raping the gal, the whole thing turned out to be fake, there is no Haven Monahan."

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: How about Elizabeth Warren? She tweeted this. "I can't imagine any parent accepting this view. Is this really what America wants in its next Supreme Court Justice?" If you can even imagine texting something like that or putting it on Twitter, mindless.

Ann Coulter is a writer, author of 'Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Has Lost Its Collective Mind' as if she needed another example of it, she joins us tonight.

So, what do you make of the fact? I was trying to get a straight answer from my last guest. I'm not sure what I even think of it. What do you make of the fact that Dianne Feinstein is saying "I'm not sure I believe Christine Ford now."

ANN COULTER: CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, LAWYER, AUTHOR: Well, Dianne Feinstein has always been one of my favorite senators, a Republican or a Democrat, I was sort of surprised. She was the one who held on to this letter.

I don't - I don't think the big issue is that it's the 11th hour. I think the big issue is last week we start - started getting polls showing the Democrats have a shot at taking the Senate.

CARLSON: Right.

COULTER: They really want to stop this nomination. It's been kind of hilarious listening to the Democrats, oh and the New York Times editorial page, and Schumer and Blumenthal, we need a major FBI investigation. As you point out, there's nothing to investigate.

They want to appoint a blue-ribbon commission and maybe, you know, they'll wrap up their work sometime next February. It really is just purely for delay--

CARLSON: So - so can I ask this - so I mean why not an independent counsel and he can take maybe four or five years to get to the bottom of it (ph). Why would the Republic - look, this I - I am giving everybody every benefit of every doubt? I'm not attacking Ford who, again, as I said last night, Ford is a nice person.

But this is a political tactic designed to prevent the President from putting his nominee on the court. Why are Republicans in the Congress playing along with this?

COULTER: I think some of them and this is - this is the only thing that I think makes it dangerous for Republicans, for Kavanaugh, and for the republic because there are certain Republicans in the Senate who so hate Trump--

CARLSON: Right.

COULTER: --they would put their egos above the good of the country. And - and what so many Republicans said about voting and, every four years, say about voting for any Republican, we have to do it for the Supreme Court nominees.

No, maybe not for Ben Sasse, maybe not for - for Senator Bob Corker, they just so hate Trump, that could end up hurting - hurting Kavanaugh. But I - I think your points that if they get away with this there's then you have CNN running the country.

It's not even just the Democrats running the country. It's the media running the country because this allegation could be made against anyone at any time absolutely un - non-disprovable.

The - the New York Times, I - I - I wanted to mention here since you've cited, Teddy Kennedy. One of the great things in the New York Times editorial on this case was to say that things were totally different in the 1980s.

That's why this woman, Dr. Ford, didn't report it at the time because you remember the 1980s, Tucker. You used to be - there was (ph) sexual assault like mad at every place.

Their proof of this that women weren't taken seriously in the 1980s was to link to an article in The Washington Post citing the New York Times treatment of the accuser of William Kennedy Smith. So yes, the Kennedys, they've always had free rein to rape, murder--

CARLSON: Yes.

COULTER: --and the New York Times would go after the accusers. But that's really what the division is here. This isn't a new thing. As long as you are a presumed white male Republican, whether it's the Duke Lacrosse case or oh, that dastardly Haven Monahan in the Rolling Stone story about the frat boys gang-raping the gal--

CARLSON: Yes.

COULTER: --the whole thing turned out to be fake, there is no Haven Monahan. Or now, a lot of the statements about Brett Kavanaugh, like from Krugman, "Oh, he's smirking" and a lot on Twitter and elsewhere, "Oh, he's a white male, his white privilege," if you fit the narrative, you are guilty and there is no coming back from that.

And it's not just Democrats and the media running the country, it's any white male can be accused with an evidence reacting (ph)--

CARLSON: Well you shouldn't judge people--

COULTER: --they shouldn't like this.

CARLSON: --on the basis of their immutable characteristics. Period. So, I don't know why the Leftists all (ph) say that. Ann Coulter, thank you. It's great to see you tonight.

COULTER: Thank you.

Trump on Kavanaugh Accuser: "If She Shows Up That Would Be Wonderful"

President Donald Trump held a media availability on the White House lawn Wednesday afternoon prior to departing on Marine One. The president said it would be "wonderful" if Dr. Christine Blasey Ford showed up at a Congressional hearing to discuss her accusation of sexual misconduct against Supreme...

Joe diGenova: Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford Doesn't Want To Testify Because She's A "Loon"

Joe diGenova said Dr. Christian Ford, Judge Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, doesn't really want to testify because when she does, "she's going to look like the loon that she is." "She may very well believe everything she's saying, and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believing something that isn't...

Chuck Todd: "Look At Kavanaugh As A Day To Day Proposition"

Chuck Todd, NBC News Moderator on 'Meet the Press,' shares his insight into Judge Brett Kavanaugh's latest controversy: "The White House will defend Kavanaugh as much as he defends himself - I think you got to look at Judge Kavanaugh as a day to day proposition here. He made it through yesterday."

[Sep 22, 2018] How Russian Sanctions Are Helping Putin Achieve His Most Desired Goal

Sep 22, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

dirty fingernails , 47 seconds ago

Russia now awaits possible new sanctions as a result of its involvement in the United States election and as a result of the potential nerve agent attack in England.

Who the **** writes this ****? Who believes those baldfaced lies?

Hass C. , 49 minutes ago

A little glimpse into how much influence Putin has on his own economy. Which is not much. He is trying hard to remove Russia's testicles from the vice of US control but this is a slow process as the economy and capital market are totally open, except for military production which is under his own control and pretty much protected from the whims of markets.

The steady increase of sanctions has the objective of forcing Putin's hand into lashing out and trying a dirigistic neo-stalinist approach, but this would cut Russia from foreign technology and capital, make the best work force fly abroad, resulting in final implosion.

Whether Russia survives as an industrial economy till US and the dollar loses its power over it is anybody's guess. The more Russia is weakened at that time, the more likely China will flood it with its love.

Ms No , 51 minutes ago

The thing with Putin is that he is a great leader and Patriot. He wishes us no harm and would like to be our friends (the western population); however, Putin isn't motivated by saving the world, your nation or you personally. His loyalty is to his people and their future.

All actions that Putin has taken that ended up saving your *** were simply a benefit gained by the happenstance of what benefits us benefitting him.

Putin will save his own (hopefully) but you have to save yourself. Remember that.

LaugherNYC , 8 minutes ago

If Putin wants to be friends with the West, then why did he reverse the course of openness to the EU and NATO, the trend towards normalization, and turn hard right into an ultra-nationalist despot, starting to spout the diseased philosophy of Ilyin, becoming a xenophobic tin pot kleptocrat, like some African warlord, funneling funds and assets offshore through shell companies and his buddies?

It will be interesting to see what happens when/if there is a real global investigation of Putin's offshored assets, and an expose of how he has plundered his country. He will be the very last to repatriate - nor should we want him to be forced into it. If you close his escape hatch, Vlad will be forced to live up to his rhetoric, which is very Rapture-esque, very nuclear nightmare, very Judgement Day Armageddon

Anonymous IX , 1 hour ago

Where's Billy Browder? What's next on his agenda? Billy, btw, the next time you allow anyone to film you, have your handlers minimize the obvious drug and/or electronic mind control over you a little earlier. You seem to "wake up" an awful lot...you know...where your head snaps up like you didn't realize something...or you're "waking up" from something. Just a helpful hint. You did so chronically throughout the Magnitsky film. Here's what a mind looks like on "mind control." Don't look for eggs in a frying pan.

Ms No , 50 minutes ago

So mind control looks something like sleep apnea?

Savvy , 1 hour ago

the desire to keep assets out of the reach of the United States Treasury

Can you say 'capital flight'? I knew you could. Not a country in the world is going to trust the US with a grain of salt.

Well done Trump and your $864billon/month deficit spending.

Ms No , 49 minutes ago

We really should stop referring to it as the US treasury. Its something else.

opport.knocks , 3 minutes ago

Lendery?

Cashlaudratomat?

Ponzi-prefecture?

The US Usury?

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago

according to polls aired by tv station "euro news", putin's ratings are down 10% because he wants to raise the retirement ages of men to 65 from 60 (male life expectancy is 66) and womens retirement age from 55 to 60 (womens life expectancy is 71).

i guess this is proof that sanctions are working. putin has to raise the retirement age and russians die 12-15 years earlier than those in the west.

oh, the humanity!

sanctions work: they hurt the bottom 50%, not those better off.

Balance-Sheet , 58 minutes ago

Good to note this and it appears to be correct. Male life expectancy is 65/66 on average so many will die reaching for their first tiny pension check. I do not know why Putin simply does not seek to save money by ordering people to be shot at 65 as a humane measure. Russia has shot 10s of millions over the past 100 years so this will maintain a tradition.

I am interested in your remark on Putin's popularity- he appears to be slipping into megalomania also typical of Russian leaders so perhaps he will be removed. Raising the retirement age in Russia is recklessly stupid from a political perspective in an impoverished country established as Earth's largest resource treasure house.

Ms No , 44 minutes ago

War and sanctions are expensive. Through this evil the world is impoverished. Zionist fiat currency is also crushingly expensive. We would be exceedingly wealthy without all of this. A whole different world could exist.

That probably wont happen until the next age (a golden age) though because people now are inherently stupid and lack any connection. Sticking their appendenges in everything and sinking completely in dense materialism is more important.

Hass C. , 39 minutes ago

Can you specify why you say he "appears to be slipping into megalomania"? Been observing him for years and his megalomania index seems stable to me.

Also, Russian demography makes raising the retirement age necessary, they say. Their birth rate is increasing but so does life expectancy.

opport.knocks , 1 minute ago

He will not be able to run for re-election so now is the time to implement necessary but unpopular reforms.

Shemp 4 Victory , 38 minutes ago

according to polls aired by tv station "euro news"

Well, if "euro news" said, then so it is. Free European press can't lie.

hooligan2009 , 28 minutes ago

haha.. yes.. i watched it for ten minutes, so the same four headlines scrolled through in a cycle three times in those ten minutes. pope, a survivor underneath a boat after two days in lake victoria, blunt brexit and putins popularity.

nothing approcahing any quality whatsoever. i was just making sure the other side of the house hadn't got past "stupid"!!!

123dobryden , 1 hour ago

Rossia. Davaj

notfeelinthebern , 1 hour ago

Yeah, he's giving the west the proverbial finger. Instead of creating a bridge to trade and friendship, the west is doing nothing but trying to destroy an imaginary enemy.

Matteo S. , 1 hour ago

It is not imaginary from the anglo-saxon empire's point of view.

The anglo-saxon empire has been playing this game for more than 3 centuries.

It first constantly attacked France until it definitely emasculated it with Napoleon's downfall.

Then it immediately went to the jugular of Russia. And on this occasion was formulated Mackinder's gropolitics principles.

Then it went for Germany.

Then in again against USSR/Russia.

This is not due to imagination. This is a deliberate and structural way to interact with the rest of the world. The anglo-saxon empire hates competition and tries to destroy any potential competitor instead of agreeing to cooperate with peers.

Ms No , 42 minutes ago

The Anglo Saxon empire was occupied by Zionist money lending. They controlled the British empire. A lot of those blueblood royal were theirs to begin with also. They were also the bankers of Rome.

Matteo S. , 27 minutes ago

Forget your fantasies about the Catholic Church and the pope.

It is Protestants who have always dominated the anglo-saxon empire. Protestants from Britain but also from Netherlands, Germany, France, who allied with the English and Scot Protestants to build their mammonite empire.

And for one Rothschild family, you had the Astors, Vanderbilt's, Rockefellers, Carnegie's, Morgans, Fords, ... etc, none of which were jewish.

The Zionists are just the tail of the anglo-saxon dog.

justdues , 1 hour ago

"Russia now awaits possible new sanctions as a result of it,s ALLEGED involvement in the United States election and as a result of the ALLEGED nerve agent attack in England . FIFTylers

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago

quite right. no trial, no evidence and harsh sentences/convictions via trade embargoes.

russia offered reciprocation so it could try Browder. the west said no, invented crimes culminating in a Magnitsy act.

if individuals in Europe, the UK or the US were convicted and imprisoned without trial governments in those places would be thrown out on their ear.

as it is, western governments can bring the entire planet to the brink of war, based on their political opinions - with no evidence, no trial and no opportunity to argue a case for a defence of charges.

JibjeResearch , 1 hour ago

lolz ahaha.... a bad choice..., any fiat is a bad choice...

Go phy.gold or cryptos (BTC, ETH, XTZ), phy.silver is good too...

An Shrubbery , 40 minutes ago

Cryptosporidiosis are no different than fiat, maybe even a little worse. They are NOT anonymous, and are becoming less and less so and eventually will be co-opted by deep state operatives such as googoyle, facefuck, Twatter, amazog, etc. for the deep state. There is an absolute record of your every transaction in the blockchain.

It's just a matter of time. There will be a crypto that we're all forced to use in the near future, and big brother will have absolute control of it.

my new username , 1 hour ago

This has zero impact on working class Americans. It only affects liberals and rich people.

DEDA CVETKO , 1 hour ago

Everything has impact on everything else. We are all, in some bizarre ways, interconnected. Deripaska (pictured above) has a virtual global monopoly on aluminum trade. Guess who uses aluminum? You guessed it: people like you and I. The airplane industry. Consumer industry. The military. Medical equipment industry. Construction industry. Food industry. Everyone!

There is no such thing as isolationism anymore. It wasn't possible even during Warren Harding's presidency, let alone now. This deranged notion that Donald Trump will somehow insulate us all from the effects of his aggressive overseas posturing is deranged beyond description.

[Sep 22, 2018] Once the rape of Russia by the west, including many American businessmen, that Yeltsin allowed was stopped (mostly by Putin), life has gradually gotten better for the average Russian

Notable quotes:
"... It is interesting that all the "draconian" election, etc. laws recently put into practice in Russia have to do with foreigners attempted misusing and lying about Russia's elections for "western" advantage. By now we should all know how the Western media will lie in every way to make it appear that their traitorous lackeys being used to destroy some other nation are the true "patriots" of that nation, even when they are not even citizens of it. ..."
Sep 22, 2018 | www.henrymakow.com

John G said (January 4, 2013):

At the time that Putin was in the KGB, had it not become a de facto ethnic Russian organization? Would not Putin's origins have been established prior to his joining?

You ask when Putin has stood up to the 'West'. It was Medvedev as President who was duped over Libya through the UN, not having been aware of the subtle shift in US policy from sabre-rattling and shock-and-awe to more discretely aiding 'rebels' to overthrow 'tyrants' under the guise of promoting the protection of civilians through no-fly zones etc. (Same policy, different tactics).

The response over Russia to Georgia's attack on S. Ossetia was entirely unequivocal and it remains to be seen how Putin, now back in the Presidential driving seat plays Syria and Iran.


Tony B said (January 4, 2013):

Of course, I can't know for certain but this article to me has the now familiar odor of disinformation to a very high degree. Putin is treated as a God by the majority of the Russian people but he is daily demonized by the "West." The suffering of the Russian people after the collapse of the USSR was due to the weakling and drunk Yeltsin. Once the rape of Russia by the west, including many American "businessmen," that Yeltsin allowed was stopped (mostly by Putin), life has gradually gotten better for the average Russian.

It is interesting that all the "draconian" election, etc. laws recently put into practice in Russia have to do with foreigners attempted misusing and lying about Russia's elections for "western" advantage. By now we should all know how the Western media will lie in every way to make it appear that their traitorous lackeys being used to destroy some other nation are the true "patriots" of that nation, even when they are not even citizens of it.

In my lifetime no one on earth, other than Putin, has stood up to the Rothschild empire, more or less telling them that if they really think they own Russia's oil business to try and get it. Would that American presidents would be such "Jews!"

[Sep 21, 2018] One party state: Trump's 'Opposition' Supports All His Evil Agendas While Attacking Fake Nonsence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be. ..."
"... The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen. ..."
"... They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. ..."
"... US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition. ..."
"... In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push. ..."
"... The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression. ..."
"... Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com . ..."
"... Support Ms. Johnstone's work on Patreon or Paypal ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

A new article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to congress about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking to minimize the civilian casualties in its catastrophic war on Yemen, and that he did so in order to secure two billion dollars for war profiteers.

This is about as depraved as anything you could possibly imagine. US-made bombs have been conclusively tied to civilian deaths in a war which has caused the single worst humanitarian crisis on earth, a crisis which sees scores of Yemeni children dying every single day and has placed five million children at risk of death by starvation in a nation where families are now eating leaves to survive . CIA veteran Bruce Riedel once said that "if the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told King Salman that this war has to end, it would end tomorrow, because the Royal Saudi Airforce cannot operate without American and British support." Nobody other than war plutocrats benefits from the US assisting Saudi Arabia in its monstrous crimes against humanity, and yet Pompeo chose to override his own expert advisors on the matter for fear of hurting the income of those very war plutocrats.

If the so-called "Resistance" to Trump was ever actually interested in opposing this administration in any meaningful way, this would be the top trending news story in America for days, like how "bombshell" revelations pertaining to the made-up Russiagate narrative trend for days. Spoiler alert: it isn't, and it won't be.

It would be so very, very easy for Democratic party leaders and Democrat-aligned media to hurt this administration at the highest level and cause irreparable political damage based on this story. All they'd have to do is give it the same blanket coverage they've given the stories about Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort which end up leading nowhere remotely near impeachment or proof of collusion with the Russian government. The footage of the starving children is right there, ready to be aired to pluck at the heart strings of rank-and-file Americans day after day until Republicans have lost all hope of victory in the midterms and in 2020; all they'd have to do is use it. But they don't. And they won't.

The US Senate has just passed Trump's mammoth military spending increase by a landslide 92–8 vote . The eight senators who voted "nay"? Seven Republicans, and Independent Bernie Sanders. Every single Democrat supported the most bloated war budget since the height of the Iraq war . Rather than doing everything they can to weaken the potential damage that can be done by a president they've been assuring us is a dangerous hybrid of equal parts Benedict Arnold and Adolf Hitler, they've been actively increasing his power as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force the world has ever seen.

The reason for this is very simple: President Trump's ostensible political opposition does not oppose President Trump. They're on the same team, wearing different uniforms. This is the reason they attack him on Russian collusion accusations which the brighter bulbs among them know full well will never be proven and have no basis in reality. They don't stand up to Trump because, as Julian Assange once said , they are Trump.

In John Steinbeck's The Pearl, there are jewelry buyers set up around a fishing community which are all owned by the same plutocrat, but they all pretend to be in competition with one another. When the story's protagonist discovers an enormous and valuable pearl and goes to sell it, they all gather round and individually bid far less than it is worth in order to trick him into giving it away for almost nothing. US politics is pretty much the same; two mainstream parties owned by the same political class, engaged in a staged bidding war for votes to give the illusion of competition.

In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. No matter who they vote for they get an Orwellian warmongering government which exists solely to advance the agendas of a plutocratic class which has no loyalties to any nation; the only difference is sometimes that government is pretending to care about women and minorities and sometimes it's pretending to care about white men. In reality, all the jewelers work for the same plutocrat, and that video game remote won't impact the outcome of the game no matter how many buttons you push.

The only way to effect real change is to stop playing along with the rigged system and start waking people up to the lies. As long as Americans believe that the mass media are telling them the truth about their country and their partisan votes are going somewhere useful, the populace whose numbers should give it immense influence is nullified and sedated into a passive ride toward war, ecocide and oppression.

If enough of us keep throwing sand in the gears of the lie factory, we can wake the masses up from the oligarchic lullaby they're being sung. And then maybe we'll be big enough to have a shot at grabbing one of the real video game controllers.

Reprinted with author's permission from Medium.com .

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[Sep 21, 2018] Hold The Front Page The Reporters Are Missing And Journalism Is Dead

Sep 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 09/21/2018 - 22:25 1 SHARES Authored by John Pilger via ConsortiumNews.com,

So much of mainstream journalism has descended to the level of a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is 'perception'...

The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was "a trailblazer for independent journalism", wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.

Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.

Driven from the "mainstream", Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism's veneration of "approved opinions" while "unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality."

Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship.

This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new "groupthink", as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

Witness the witch-hunts against refugees and immigrants, the willful abandonment by the "MeToo" zealots of our oldest freedom, presumption of innocence, the anti-Russia racism and anti-Brexit hysteria, the growing anti-China campaign and the suppression of a warning of world war.

With many if not most independent journalists barred or ejected from the "mainstream", a corner of the Internet has become a vital source of disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism sites such as wikileaks.org, consortiumnews.com, wsws.org, truthdig.com, globalresearch.org, counterpunch.org and informationclearinghouse.com are required reading for those trying to make sense of a world in which science and technology advance wondrously while political and economic life in the fearful "democracies" regress behind a media facade of narcissistic spectacle.

Propaganda Blitz

In Britain, just one website offers consistently independent media criticism. This is the remarkable Media Lens -- remarkable partly because its founders and editors as well as its only writers, David Edwards and David Cromwell, since 2001 have concentrated their gaze not on the usual suspects, the Tory press, but the paragons of reputable liberal journalism: the BBC, The Guardian , Channel 4 News.

Cromwell and Edwards (The Ghandi Foundation)

Their method is simple. Meticulous in their research, they are respectful and polite when they ask why a journalist why he or she produced such a one-sided report, or failed to disclose essential facts or promoted discredited myths.

The replies they receive are often defensive, at times abusive; some are hysterical, as if they have pushed back a screen on a protected species.

I would say Media Lens has shattered a silence about corporate journalism. Like Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in Manufacturing Consent, they represent a Fifth Estate that deconstructs and demystifies the media's power.

What is especially interesting about them is that neither is a journalist. David Edwards is a former teacher, David Cromwell is an oceanographer. Yet, their understanding of the morality of journalism -- a term rarely used; let's call it true objectivity -- is a bracing quality of their online Media Lens dispatches.

I think their work is heroic and I would place a copy of their just published book, Propaganda Blitz , in every journalism school that services the corporate system, as they all do.

Take the chapter, Dismantling the National Health Service, in which Edwards and Cromwell describe the critical part played by journalists in the crisis facing Britain's pioneering health service.

The NHS crisis is the product of a political and media construct known as "austerity", with its deceitful, weasel language of "efficiency savings" (the BBC term for slashing public expenditure) and "hard choices" (the willful destruction of the premises of civilized life in modern Britain).

"Austerity" is an invention. Britain is a rich country with a debt owed by its crooked banks, not its people. The resources that would comfortably fund the National Health Service have been stolen in broad daylight by the few allowed to avoid and evade billions in taxes.

Using a vocabulary of corporate euphemisms, the publicly-funded Health Service is being deliberately run down by free market fanatics, to justify its selling-off. The Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn may appear to oppose this, but is it? The answer is very likely no. Little of any of this is alluded to in the media, let alone explained.

Edwards and Cromwell have dissected the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, whose innocuous title belies its dire consequences. Unknown to most of the population, the Act ends the legal obligation of British governments to provide universal free health care: the bedrock on which the NHS was set up following the Second World War. Private companies can now insinuate themselves into the NHS, piece by piece.

Where, asks Edwards and Cromwell, was the BBC while this momentous Bill was making its way through Parliament? With a statutory commitment to "providing a breadth of view" and to properly inform the public of "matters of public policy," the BBC never spelt out the threat posed to one of the nation's most cherished institutions. A BBC headline said: "Bill which gives power to GPs passes." This was pure state propaganda.

Media and Iraq Invasion

Blair: Lawless (Office of Tony Blair)

There is a striking similarity with the BBC's coverage of Prime Minister Tony Blair's lawless invasion of Iraq in 2003, which left a million dead and many more dispossessed. A study by the University of Wales, Cardiff, found that the BBC reflected the government line "overwhelmingly" while relegating reports of civilian suffering. A Media Tenor study placed the BBC at the bottom of a league of western broadcasters in the time they gave to opponents of the invasion. The corporation's much-vaunted "principle" of impartiality was never a consideration.

One of the most telling chapters in Propaganda Blitz describes the smear campaigns mounted by journalists against dissenters, political mavericks and whistleblowers.

The Guardian' s campaign against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the most disturbing. Assange, whose epic WikiLeaks disclosures brought fame, journalism prizes and largesse to The Guardian , was abandoned when he was no longer useful. He was then subjected to a vituperative – and cowardly -- onslaught of a kind I have rarely known.

With not a penny going to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. The book's authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, gratuitously described Assange as a "damaged personality" and "callous." They also disclosed the secret password he had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing the U.S. embassy cables.

With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding, standing among the police outside, gloated on his blog that "Scotland Yard may get the last laugh."

The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore wrote, "I bet Assange is stuffing himself full of flattened guinea pigs. He really is the most massive turd."

Moore, who describes herself as a feminist, later complained that, after attacking Assange, she had suffered "vile abuse." Edwards and Cromwell wrote to her: "That's a real shame, sorry to hear that. But how would you describe calling someone 'the most massive turd'? Vile abuse?"

Moore replied that no, she would not, adding, "I would advise you to stop being so bloody patronizing." Her former Guardian colleague James Ball wrote, "It's difficult to imagine what Ecuador's London embassy smells like more than five and a half years after Julian Assange moved in."

Such slow-witted viciousness appeared in a newspaper described by its editor, Katharine Viner, as "thoughtful and progressive." What is the root of this vindictiveness? Is it jealousy, a perverse recognition that Assange has achieved more journalistic firsts than his snipers can claim in a lifetime? Is it that he refuses to be "one of us" and shames those who have long sold out the independence of journalism?

Journalism students should study this to understand that the source of "fake news" is not only trollism, or the likes of Fox News, or Donald Trump, but a journalism self-anointed with a false respectability: a liberal journalism that claims to challenge corrupt state power but, in reality, courts and protects it, and colludes with it. The amorality of the years of Tony Blair, whom The Guardian has failed to rehabilitate, is its echo.

"[It is] an age in which people yearn for new ideas and fresh alternatives," wrote Katharine Viner. Her political writer Jonathan Freedland dismissed the yearning of young people who supported the modest policies of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as "a form of narcissism."

"How did this man .," brayed the Guardian 's Zoe Williams, "get on the ballot in the first place?" A choir of the paper's precocious windbags joined in, thereafter queuing to fall on their blunt swords when Corbyn came close to winning the 2017 general election in spite of the media.

Complex stories are reported to a cult-like formula of bias, hearsay and omission: Brexit, Venezuela, Russia, Syria. On Syria, only the investigations of a group of independent journalists have countered this, revealing the network of Anglo-American backing of jihadists in Syria, including those related to ISIS.

Leni Riefenstahl (r.) (Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Supported by a "psyops" campaign funded by the British Foreign Office and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the aim is to hoodwink the Western public and speed the overthrow of the government in Damascus, regardless of the medieval alternative and the risk of war with Russia.

The Syria Campaign, set up by a New York PR agency called Purpose, funds a group known as the White Helmets, who claim falsely to be "Syria Civil Defense" and are seen uncritically on TV news and social media, apparently rescuing the victims of bombing, which they film and edit themselves, though viewers are unlikely to be told this. George Clooney is a fan.

The White Helmets are appendages to the jihadists with whom they share addresses. Their media-smart uniforms and equipment are supplied by their Western paymasters. That their exploits are not questioned by major news organizations is an indication of how deep the influence of state-backed PR now runs in the media. As Robert Fisk noted recently, no "mainstream" reporter reports Syria.

In what is known as a hatchet job, a Guardian reporter based in San Francisco, Olivia Solon, who has never visited Syria, was allowed to smear the substantiated investigative work of journalists Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett on the White Helmets as "propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls with the support of the Russian government."

This abuse was published without permitting a single correction, let alone a right-of-reply. The Guardian Comment page was blocked, as Edwards and Cromwell document. I saw the list of questions Solon sent to Beeley, which reads like a McCarthyite charge sheet -- "Have you ever been invited to North Korea?"

So much of the mainstream has descended to this level. Subjectivism is all; slogans and outrage are proof enough. What matters is the "perception."

When he was U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus declared what he called "a war of perception conducted continuously using the news media." What really mattered was not the facts but the way the story played in the United States. The undeclared enemy was, as always, an informed and critical public at home.

Nothing has changed. In the 1970s, I met Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's film-maker, whose propaganda mesmerized the German public.

She told me the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of an uninformed public.

"Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie?" I asked.

"Everyone," she said. "Propaganda always wins, if you allow it."

Propaganda Blitz by David Edwards and David Cromwell is published by Pluto Press.

[Sep 21, 2018] Fact free propaganda

Sep 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Sep 20, 2018 3:43:13 PM | link

The whole nonsense about Russian interference, which was obviously nonsense from Day One and has never, for a moment looked like anything but nonsense, seems to indicate that we have entered a post political era in which policy discussions and debates are forgotten and smears and false accusations take their place.
Currently in the US the Kavanaugh nomination which ought to be about the meaning of the law and the consequences of having a Supreme Court which will make Judge Taney look like Solomon at his most impressive. Instead it is about an alleged teenage incident in which the nominee is said to have caressed a girls breasts at a drunken party when all involved were at High School. Before that we had a Senatorial election in Alabama in which the Republican candidate was charged with having shown a sexual interest in teenage girls- whether this was a 'first' in Alabama is unknown but it is believed to have happened elsewhere, in the unenlightened past.
Then we have the matter of whether Jeremy Corbyn is such a danger to Jews that they will all leave the country if he is ever elected to power. This long campaign, completely devoid of evidence, like 'Russiagate' has the potential of going on forever, simply because there being no evidence it cannot be refuted.
Which is also the case with the Skripal affair, because of which even as we speak, massive trade and financial sanctions are being imposed against Russia and its enormous, innocent and plundered population.
In none of these cases has any real evidence, of the minimal quality that might justify the hanging of a dog, ever advanced. But that doesn't matter, the important thing is to choose a side and if it is Hillary Clinton's to believe or to pretend to believe and to convince others to believe (as Marcy at Emptywheel has been doing for close to three years now) in the incredible.
Who says that we no longer live in a Christian society in which faith is everything?

[Sep 16, 2018] The Enigma of Orwellian Donald Trump -- How Does He Get Away with It So Easily by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This is a very weak article, but it raises several important questions such as the role or neoliberal MSM in color revolution against Trump and which social group constituted the voting block that brought Trump to victory. The author answers incorrectly on both those questions.
I think overall Tremblay analysis of Trump (and by extension of national neoliberalism he promotes) is incorrect. Probably the largest group of voters which voted for Trump were voters who were against neoliberal globalization and who now feel real distrust and aversion to the ruling neoliberal elite.
Trump is probably right to view neoliberal journalists as enemies: they are tools of intelligence agencies which as agents of Wall Street promote globalization
At the same time Trump turned to be Obama II: he instantly betrayed his voters after the election. His election slogan "make Ameraca great again" bacem that same joke as Obama "Change we can believe in". And he proved to be as jingoistic as Obama (A Nobel Pease Price laureate who was militarists dream come true)
In discussion of groups who votes for Trump the author forgot to mention part of professional which skeptically view neoliberal globalization and its destrction of jobs (for example programmer jobs in the USA) as well as blue color workers decimated by offshoring of major industries.
Notable quotes:
"... "Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. " ..."
"... Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018) ..."
"... "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ..."
"... This is a White House where everybody lies ..."
"... I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ..."
"... The second one can be found in Trump's artful and cunning tactics to unbalance and manipulate the media to increase his visibility to the general public and to turn them into his own tools of propaganda. ..."
"... ad hominem' ..."
"... Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians. ..."
"... He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication. ..."
"... checks and balance ..."
"... The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

"Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. "

Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018)

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, and social critic, (in '1984', Ch. 7, 1949)

" This is a White House where everybody lies ." Omarosa Manigault Newman (1974- ), former White House aide to President Donald Trump, (on Sunday August 12, 2018, while releasing tapes recording conversations with Donald Trump.)

" I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ." Benjamin Franklin ( 17061790 ), American inventor and US Founding Father, (in 'Words of the Founding Fathers', 2012).

***

In this day and age, with instant information, how does a politician succeed in double-talking, in bragging, in scapegoating and in shamefully distorting the truth, most of the time, without being unmasked as a charlatan and discredited? Why? That is the mysterious and enigmatic question that one may ask about U. S. President Donald Trump, as a politician.

The most obvious answer is the fact that Trump's one-issue and cult-like followers do not care what he does or says and whether or not he has declared a war on truth and reality , provided he delivers the political and financial benefits they demand of him, based on their ideological or pecuniary interests. These groups of voters live in their own reality and only their personal interests count.

1- Four groups of one-issue voters behind Trump

There are four groups of one-issue voters to whom President Donald Trump has delivered the goodies:

With the strong support of these four monolithic lobbies -- his electoral base -- politician Donald Trump can count on the indefectible support of between 35 percent and 40 percent of the American electorate. It is ironic that some of Trump's other policies, like reducing health care coverage and the raising of import taxes, will hurt the poor and the middle class, even though some of Trump's victims can be considered members of the above lobbies.

Moreover, some of Trump's supporters regularly rely on hypocrisy and on excuses to exonerate their favorite but flawed politician of choice. If any other politician from a different party were to say and do half of what Donald Trump does and says, they would be asking for his impeachment.

There are three other reasons why Trump's rants, his record-breaking lies , his untruths, his deceptions and his dictatorial-style attempts to control information , in the eyes of his fanatical supporters, at least, are like water on the back of a duck. ( -- For the record, according to the Washington Post , as of early August, President Trump has made some 4,229 false claims, which amount to 7.6 a day, since his inauguration.)

Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist?

2- Show Politics and public affairs as a form of entertainment

Donald Trump does not seem to take politics and public affairs very seriously, at least when his own personal interests are involved. Therefore, when things go bad, he never volunteers to take personal responsibility, contrary to what a true leader would do, and he conveniently shifts the blame on somebody else. This is a sign of immaturity or cowardice. Paraphrasing President Harry Truman, "the buck never stops at his desk."

Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians.

3- Trump VS the media and the journalists

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president who rarely holds scheduled press conferences. Why would he, since he considers journalists to be his "enemies"! It doesn't seem to matter to him that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by the First Amendment. He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication.

The ABC News network has calculated that, as of last July, Trump has tweeted more than 3,500 times, slightly more than seven tweets a day. How could he have time left to do anything productive! Coincidently, Donald Trump's number of tweets is not far away from the number of outright lies and misleading claims that he has told and made since his inauguration. The Washington Post has counted no less than 3,251 lies or misleading claims of his, through the end of May of this year, -- an average of 6.5 such misstatements per day of his presidency. Fun fact: Trump seems to accelerate the pace of his lies. Last year, he told 5.5 lies per day, on average. Is it possible to have a more cynical view of politics!

The media in general, (and not only American ones), then serve more or less voluntarily as so many resonance boxes for his daily 'tweets', most of which are often devoid of any thought and logic.

Such a practice has the consequence of demeaning the public discourse in the pursuit of the common good and the general welfare of the people to the level of a frivolous private enterprise, where expertise, research and competence can easily be replaced by improvisation, whimsical arbitrariness and charlatanry. In such a climate, only the short run counts, at the expense of planning for the long run.

Conclusion

All this leads to this conclusion: Trump's approach is not the way to run an efficient government. Notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution and what it says about the need to have " checks and balance s" among different government branches, President Donald Trump has de facto pushed aside the U.S. Congress and the civil servants in important government Departments, even his own Cabinet , whose formal meetings under Trump have been little more than photo-up happenings, to grab the central political stage for himself. If such a development does not represent an ominous threat to American democracy, what does?

The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones.

*

This article was originally published on the author's blog site: rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com .

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book " The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of "The New American Empire" . Please visit Dr. Tremblay's sites : http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/ and http://rodriguetremblay.blogspot.com/

[Sep 16, 2018] Perils of Ineptitude by Andrew Levin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming. ..."
"... That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America. ..."
"... With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula). ..."
"... Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself. ..."
"... That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on. ..."
"... The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria. ..."
"... Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations. ..."
"... How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims! ..."
"... They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel ..."
"... Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth. ..."
"... Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege. ..."
"... Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east. ..."
"... The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II. ..."
"... However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world." ..."
"... That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued. ..."
"... The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved." ..."
"... Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free. ..."
"... From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies. ..."
"... Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe. ..."
"... For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia. ..."
"... It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been. ..."
"... If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too. ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming.

That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America.

With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula).

It turned out, though, that American triumphalism was only a phase. Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself.

However, in the final days of Bush 41 and then at the dawn of the Clinton era, nobody knew that. Nobody gave America's propaganda system the credit it deserved.

Also, nobody quite realized how devastating Russia's regression to capitalism would be, and nobody quite grasped the savagery of the kleptocrats who had taken charge of what remained of the Russian state.

For more than a decade, the situation in that late great superpower was too dire to sustain the old fears and animosities. Capitalism had made Russia wretched again.

That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on.

But anti-Communism (without Communism) and its close cousin, Russophobia, could not remain in remission forever. The need for them was too great.

In the Age of Obama, the Global War on Terror, with or without that ludicrous Bush 43-era name, wasn't cutting it anymore. It was, and still is, good for keeping America's perpetual war regime going and for undoing civil liberties, but there had never been much glory in it, only endless misery for all. Also it was getting old and increasingly easy to see through.

The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria.

This was not the only factor behind the Obama administration's "pivot towards Asia," its largely failed attempt to take China down a notch or two, but it was an important part of the story.

However, by the time Obama and his team decided to pivot, China had become too important to the United States economically to make a good Cold War enemy. Worse still, it had for too long been an object of pity and contempt, not fear.

When the Soviet Union was an enemy, China was an enemy too, most glaringly during the Korean War. It remained an enemy even after the Sino-Soviet split became too obvious to deny. However, unlike post-1917 Russia, it had never quite become an historical foe.

Moreover, as Russia began to recover from the Yeltsin era, the Russian political class, and many of the oligarchs behind them, sensing the popular mood, decided that the time was ripe "to make Russia great again." Putin is not so much a cause as he is a symptom – and symbol – of this aspiration.

And so, there it was: the longed for new Cold War would be much like the one that seemed over a quarter century ago.

***

As everyone who has seen, heard or read anything about the 2016 election "knows," Russian intelligence services (= Putin) meddled. Everyone also "knows" that, with midterm elections looming, they are at it again.

This, according to the mainstream consensus view, is a bona fide casus belli , a justification for war. To be sure, what they want is a war that remains cold; ending life on earth, as we know it, is not on their agenda.

But inasmuch as cold wars can easily turn hot, this hardly mitigates the recklessness of their machinations. Humankind was extraordinarily lucky last time; there is no guarantee that all that luck will hold.

Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations.

Time was when anyone with any sense understood that these intelligence services, the American ones especially, are second to none in meddling in the affairs of other nations, and that the American national security state – essentially our political police -- is comprised, by design, of liars and deceivers.

How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims!

Try as they might, the manufacturers and guardians of conventional wisdom have so far been unable to concoct a plausible story in which Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 election in any serious way. The idea that the Russians defeated Hillary, not Hillary herself, is, to borrow a phrase from Jeremy Bentham, "nonsense on stilts." Leading Democrats and their media flacks don't seem to mind that either.

They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel.

Nevertheless, it probably is true that the Russians meddled. Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth.

Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege.

Moreover, it should go without saying that the democracy they purport to care so much about has almost nothing to do with "the rule of the demos." It doesn't even have much to do with free and fair competitive elections – unless "free and fair" means that anything goes, so long as the principals and perpetrators are homegrown or citizens of favored nations.

Self-righteous posturing aside, Putin's real sin in the eyes of the American power elite is that, in his own small way, he has been defying America's "right" to run the world as it sees fit.

When Clinton was president, Serbia did that, and lived to regret it. Cuba has been suffering for nearly six decades for the same reason, and now Venezuela is paying its dues. The empire is merciless towards nations that rebel.

With Soviet support and then with sheer determination and grit, Cuba has been able to withstand the onslaught to some extent from Day One. Venezuela may not be so lucky – especially now that Republicans and Democrats feel threatened by the growing number of "democratic socialists" in their midst. Already, the propaganda system is targeting Venezuelan "socialism," blaming it for that country's woes, and warning that if our newly minted, homegrown socialists prevail, a similar fate will be in store for us.

This is ludicrous, of course – American hostility and the vagaries of the global oil market deserve the lion's share of the blame. But the on-going propaganda blitz could nevertheless pave the way for horrors ahead, should Trump decide to start a war America could actually win.

Inconsequential Russian meddling is a big deal on the "liberal" cable networks, on NPR, and in the "quality" press. Democrats and a few Republicans love to bleat on about it. But it is Ukraine that made Russia our "adversary" and its president Public Enemy Number One.

Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east.

But never mind: Putin – that is, the Russia government – violated international law by sending troops briefly into beleaguered Russian-speaking parts of the country. That they were generally welcomed by the people living there is of no importance.

Worst of all, Russia annexed Crimea – a territory integral to the Russian empire since the eighteenth century. Since long before the Russian Revolution, Crimea has been home to a huge naval base vital to Russia's strategic defense.

The story line back in the day was that anything that could be described as Russian aggression outside the Soviet Union's agreed upon sphere of influence had to do with spreading Communism. In fact, the Soviets did everything they could to keep Communist and other insurgencies from upending the status quo. The mainstream narrative was wrong.

Now Communism is gone and nothing has taken its place. Even so, the idea that Russia has designs on its neighbors for ideological reasons is hard to shake – in part because it is actively promoted by propagandists who have suddenly and uncharacteristically become defenders of international law.

Meanwhile, of course, the hypocrisies keep piling on. It is practically a tenet of the American civil religion that international law applies to others, not to the United States. This is why, when it suits some perceived purpose, America flaunts its violations shamelessly.

Thus nothing the Russians did or are ever likely to do comes close to the shenanigans Bill Clinton displayed – successfully, for the most part – in his efforts to tear Kosovo away from Serbia. Clinton even went so far as to bomb Belgrade; Putin never bombed Kiev.

The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II.

However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world."

George W. Bush claimed that 9/11 happened because "they hate our freedom." "They" would be radical Islamists of the kind stirred into action in Afghanistan by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his co-thinkers in the Carter administration. Their objective was to undermine the Soviet Union by getting it bogged down in a quagmire like the one that did so much harm to the United States in Vietnam.

That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued.

The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved."

However, the American public is not as naïve as it used to be, and it is impossible to say, at this point, how well this new story line will work.

Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free.

It is hard to believe, but there are people who are actually buying this but, with a lot of corporate media assistance, there are. No matter how clear it is that they are not worth being taken seriously, Cold War mythologies just won't die.

However, it is worth pondering why today's Russia would do what it is alleged to have done; and why, as is also alleged, it is still doing it.

From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies.

However, in view of prevailing power relations, these are interests it cannot do much to advance. Acting as if this were not the case only puts Russia in a bad light -- not for meddling, but for meddling stupidly.

No doubt, for reasons both fair and foul, Putin wanted Hillary to lose the election two years ago. So, but for one little problem, would anyone whose head is screwed on right. That problem's name is Donald Trump.

Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe.

Putin's enemy was Trump's enemy, and it is axiomatic that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- except sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, my enemy's enemy is an enemy far worse.

For reasons that remain obscure, Putin and Trump seem to have a "thing" going on between them. Some day perhaps we will know what that is all about. For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia.

It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been.

If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too.

Therefore, if there really was Russian meddling, as there probably was, Putin should be ashamed – not so much for the DNC reasons laid out 24/7 on MSNBC and CNN, but for overestimating Trump's abilities and for underestimating the extent to which what started out as a maneuver of Hillary Clinton's, concocted to excuse her incompetence, would take a perilously "viral" turn, becoming a major threat to peace in a political culture that never quite got beyond the lunacy of the First Cold War.

Andrew Levine is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Sep 10, 2018] A Diabolic False Flag Empire Is The American Trajectory Divine Or Demonic

Sep 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A Diabolic False Flag Empire: Is The American Trajectory Divine Or Demonic?

by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/10/2018 - 02:00 25 SHARES Authored by Edward Curtin via EdwardCurtin.com,

The past is not dead; it is people who are sleeping . The current night and daymares that we are having arise out of murders lodged deep in our past that have continued into the present. No amount of feigned amnesia will erase the bloody truth of American history, the cheap grace we bestow upon ourselves.

We have, as Harold Pinter said in his Nobel address, been feeding on "a vast tapestry of lies" that surrounds us, lies uttered by nihilistic leaders and their media mouthpieces for a very long time. We have, or should have, bad consciences for not acknowledging being active or silent accomplices in the suppression of truth and the vicious murdering of millions at home and abroad.

But, as Pinter said,

"I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory."

No one is more emblematic of this noble effort than David Ray Griffin, who, in book after book since the attacks of 11 September 2001, has meticulously exposed the underside of the American empire and its evil masters. His persistence in trying to reach people and to warn them of the horrors that have resulted is extraordinary. Excluding his philosophical and theological works, this is his fifteenth book since 2004 on these grave issues of life and death and the future of the world.

In this masterful book, he provides a powerful historical argument that right from the start with the arrival of the first European settlers, this country, despite all the rhetoric about it having been divinely founded and guided, has been "more malign that benign, more demonic than divine." He chronologically presents this history, supported by meticulous documentation, to prove his thesis. In his previous book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World , Griffin cataloged the evil actions that flowed from the inside job/false flag attacks of September 11th, while in this one -- a prequel -- he offers a lesson in American history going back centuries, and he shows that one would be correct in calling the United States a "false flag empire."

The attacks of 11 September 2001 are the false flag fulcrum upon which his two books pivot. Their importance cannot be overestimated, not just for their inherent cruelty that resulted in thousands of innocent American deaths, but since they became the justification for the United States' ongoing murderous campaigns termed "the war on terror" that have brought death to millions of people around the world. An international array of expendable people. Terrifying as they were, and were meant to be, they have many precedents, although much of this history is hidden in the shadows. Griffin shines a bright light on them, with most of his analysis focused on the years 1850-2018.

As a theological and philosophical scholar, he is well aware of the great importance of society's need for religious legitimation for its secular authority, a way to offer its people a shield against terror and life's myriad fears through a protective myth that has been used successfully by the United States to terrorize others. He shows how the terms by which the U.S. has been legitimated as God's "chosen nation" and Americans as God's "chosen people" have changed over the years as secularization and pluralism have made inroads. The names have changed, but the meaning has not. God is on our side, and when that is so, the other side is cursed and can be killed by God's people, who are always battling el diabalo.

He exemplifies this by opening with a quote from George Washington's first Inaugural Address where Washington speaks of "the Invisible Hand" and "Providential agency" guiding the country, and by ending with Obama saying "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being." In between we hear Andrew Jackson say that "Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number" and Henry Cabot Lodge in 1900 characterize America's divine mission as "manifest destiny." The American religion today is American Exceptionalism, an updated euphemism for the old-fashioned "God's New Israel" or the "Redeemer Nation."

At the core of this verbiage lies the delusion that the United States, as a blessed and good country, has a divine mission to spread "democracy" and "freedom" throughout the world, as Hilary Clinton declared during the 2016 presidential campaign when she said that "we are great because we are good," and in 2004 when George W. Bush said, "Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom." Such sentiments could only be received with sardonic laughter by the countless victims made "free" by America's violent leaders, now and then, as Griffin documents.

Having established the fact of America's claim to divine status, he then walks the reader through various thinkers who have taken sides on the issue of the United States being benign or malign. This is all preliminary to the heart of the book, which is a history lesson documenting the malignancy at the core of the American trajectory.

"American imperialism is often said to have begun in 1898, when Cuba and the Philippines were the main prizes," he begins. "What was new at this time, however, was only that America took control of countries beyond the North American continent."

The "divine right" to seize others' lands and kill them started long before, and although no seas were crossed in the usual understanding of imperialism, the genocide of Native Americans long preceded 1898. So too did the "manifest destiny" that impelled war with Mexico and the seizure of its land and the expansion west to the Pacific. This period of empire building depended heavily on the "other great crime against humanity" that was the slave trade, wherein it is estimated that 10 million Africans died, in addition to the sick brutality of slavery itself. "No matter how brutal the methods, Americans were instruments of divine purposes," writes Griffin. And, he correctly adds, it is not even true that America's overseas imperialistic ventures only started in 1898, for in the 1850s Commodore Perry forced "the haughty Japanese" to open their ports to American commerce through gunboat diplomacy.

Then in 1898 the pace of overseas imperial expansion picked up dramatically with what has been called "The Spanish-American War" that resulted in the seizure of Cuba and the Philippines and the annexing of Hawaii. Griffin says these wars could more accurately be termed "the wars to take Spanish colonies." His analysis of the brutality and arrogance of these actions makes the reader realize that My Lai and other more recent atrocities have a long pedigree that is part of an institutional structure, and while Filipinos and Cubans and so many others were being slaughtered, Griffin writes, "Anticipating Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's declaration that 'we don't do empire,' [President] McKinley said that imperialism is 'foreign to the temper and genius of this free and generous people.'"

Then as now, perhaps mad laughter is the only response to such unadulterated bullshit, as Griffin quotes Mark Twain saying that it would be easy creating a flag for the Philippines:

We can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.

That would have also worked for Columbia, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, and other countries subjugated under the ideology of the Monroe Doctrine; wherever freedom and national independence raised its ugly head, the United States was quick to intervene with its powerful anti-revolutionary military and its financial bullying. In the Far East the "Open Door" policy was used to loot China, Japan, and other countries.

But all this was just the beginning. Griffin shows how Woodrow Wilson, the quintessentially devious and treacherous liberal Democrat, who claimed he wanted to keep America out of WW I, did just the opposite to make sure the U.S. would come to dominate the foreign markets his capitalist masters demanded. Thus Griffin explores how Wilson conspired with Winston Churchill to use the sinking of the Lusitania as a casus belli and how the Treaty of Versailles's harsh treatment of Germany set the stage for WW II.

He tells us how in the intervening years between the world wars the demonization of Russia and the new Soviet Union was started. This deprecation of Russia, which is roaring at full-throttle today, is a theme that recurs throughout The American Trajectory. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. Wilson called the Bolshevik government "a government by terror," and in 1918 "sent thousands of troops into northern and eastern Russia, leaving them there until 1920."

That the U. S. invaded Russia is a fact rarely mentioned and even barely known to Americans. Perhaps awareness of it and the century-long demonizing of the U.S.S.R./Russia would enlighten those who buy the current anti-Russia propaganda called "Russiagate."

To match that "divine" act of imperial intervention abroad, Wilson fomented the Red Scare at home, which, as Griffin says, had lasting and incalculable importance because it created the American fear of radical thought and revolution that exists to this very day and serves as a justification for supporting brutal dictators around the world and crackdowns on freedom at home (as is happening today).

He gives us brief summaries of some dictators the U.S has supported, and reminds us of the saying of that other liberal Democrat, Franklin Roosevelt, who famously said of the brutal Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, that "he may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch." And thus Somoza would terrorize his own people for 43 years. The same took place in Cuba, Chile, Iran, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, etc. The U.S. also supported Mussolini, did nothing to prevent Franco's fascist toppling of the Spanish Republic, and supported the right-wing government of Chiang-Kai Shek in its efforts to dominate China.

It is a very dark and ugly history that confirms the demonic nature of American actions around the world.

Then Griffin explodes the many myths about the so-called "Good War" -- WW II. He explains the lies told about the Japanese "surprise" attack on Pearl Harbor; how Roosevelt wished to get the U.S. into the war, both in the Pacific and in Europe; and how much American economic self-interest lay behind it. He critiques the myth that America selflessly wished to defend freedom loving people in their battles with brutal, fascist regimes. That, he tells us, is but a small part of the story:

This, however, is not an accurate picture of American policies during the Second World War. Many people were, to be sure, liberated from terrible tyrannies by the Allied victories. But the fact that these people benefited was an incidental outcome, not a motive of American policies. These policies, as [Andrew] Bacevich discovered, were based on 'unflagging self-interest.'

Then there are the conventional and atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nothing could be more demonic, as Griffin shows. If these cold-blooded mass massacres of civilians and the lies told to justify them don't convince a reader that there has long been something radically evil at the heart of American history, nothing will. Griffin shows how Truman and his advisers and top generals, including Dwight Eisenhower and Admiral William D. Leahy, Truman's Chief of Staff, knew the dropping of the atomic bombs were unnecessary to end the war, but they did so anyway.

He reminds us of Clinton's Secretary of State Madeline Albright's response to the question whether she thought the deaths of more than 500, 000 Iraqi children as a result of Clinton's crippling economic sanctions were worth it: "But, yes, we think the price is worth it." (Notice the "is," the ongoing nature of these war crimes, as she spoke.) But this is the woman who also said, "We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall "

Griffin devotes other chapters to the creation of the Cold War, American imperialism during the Cold War, Post-Cold War interventions, the Vietnam War, the drive for global dominance, and false flag operations, among other topics.

As for false flag operations, he says, "Indeed, the trajectory of the American Empire has relied so heavily on these types of attacks that one could describe it as a false flag empire." In the false flag chapter and throughout the book, he discusses many of the false flags the U.S. has engaged in, including Operation Gladio, the U.S./NATO terrorist operation throughout Europe that Swiss historian Daniele Ganser has extensively documented, an operation meant to discredit communists and socialists. Such operations were directly connected to the OSS, the CIA and its director Allen Dulles, his henchman James Jesus Angleton, and their Nazi accomplices, such as General Reinhard Gehlen. In one such attack in 1980 at the Bologna, Italy railway station, these U.S. terrorists killed 85 people and wounded 20 others. As with the bombs dropped by Saudi Arabia today on Yemeni school children, the explosive used was made for the U.S. military. About these documented U.S. atrocities, Griffin says:

These revelations show the falsity of an assumption widely held by Americans. While recognizing that the US military sometimes does terrible things to their enemies, most Americans have assumed that US military leaders would not order the killing of innocent civilians in allied countries for political purposes. Operation Gladio showed this assumption to be false.

He is right, but I would add that the leaders behind this were civilian, as much as, or more than military.

In the case of "Operation Northwoods," it was the Joint Chiefs of Staff who presented to President Kennedy this false flag proposal that would provide justification for a U.S. invasion of Cuba. It would have involved the killing of American citizens on American soil, bombings, plane hijacking, etc. President Kennedy considered such people and such plans insane, and he rejected it as such. His doing so tells us much, for many other presidents would have approved it. And again, how many Americans are aware of this depraved proposal that is documented and easily available? How many even want to contemplate it? For the need to remain in denial of the facts of history and believe in the essential goodness of America's rulers is a very hard nut to crack. Griffin has written a dozen books about 11 September 2001, trying to do exactly that.

If one is willing to embrace historical facts, however, then this outstanding book will open one's eyes to the long-standing demonic nature of the actions of America's rulers. A reader cannot come away from its lucidly presented history unaffected, unless one lives in a self-imposed fantasy world. The record is clear, and Griffin lays it out in all its graphic horror. Which is not to say that the U.S. has not "done both good and bad things, so it could not sensibly be called purely divine or purely demonic." Questions of purity are meant to obfuscate basic truths. And the question he asks in his subtitle -- Divine or Demonic? -- is really a rhetorical question, and when it comes to the "trajectory" of American history, the demonic wins hands down.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out one place where Griffin fails the reader. In his long chapter on Vietnam, which is replete with excellent facts and analyses, he makes a crucial mistake, which is unusual for him. This mistake appears in a four page section on President Kennedy's policies on Vietnam. In those pages, Griffin relies on Noam Chomsky's terrible book -- Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (1993), a book wherein Chomsky shows no regard for evidence or facts -- to paint Kennedy as being in accord with his advisers, the CIA, and the military regarding Vietnam. This is factually false. Griffin should have been more careful and have understood this. The truth is that Kennedy was besieged and surrounded by these demonic people, who were intent on isolating him, disregarding his instructions, and murdering him to achieve their goals in Vietnam. In the last year of his life, JFK had taken a radical turn toward peace-making, not only in Vietnam, but with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and around the globe. Such a turn was anathema to the war lovers. Thus he had to die. Contrary to Chomsky's deceptions, motivated by his hatred of Kennedy and perhaps something more sinister (he also backs the Warren Commission, thinks JFK's assassination was no big deal, and accepts the patently false official version of the attacks of 11 September 2001), Griffin should have emphatically asserted that Kennedy had issued NSAM 263 on October 11, 1963 calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, and that after he was assassinated a month later, Lyndon Johnson reversed that withdrawal order with NSAM 273. Chomsky notwithstanding, all the best scholarship and documentary evidence proves this. And for Griffin, a wonderful scholar, to write that with the change from Kennedy to Johnson that "this change of presidents would bring no basic change in policy" is so shockingly wrong that I imagine Griffin, a man passionate about truth, simply slipped up and got sloppy here. For nothing could be further from the truth.

Ironically, Griffin makes a masterful case for his thesis, while forgetting the one pivotal man, President John Kennedy, who sacrificed his life in an effort to change the trajectory of American history from its demonic course.

It is one mistake in an otherwise very important and excellent book that should be required reading for anyone who doubts the evil nature of this country's continuing foreign policy. Those who are already convinced should also read it, for it provides a needed historical resource and impetus to help change the trajectory that is transporting the world toward nuclear oblivion, if continued.

If -- a fantastic wish! -- The American Trajectory: Divine or Demonic ? were required reading in American schools and colleges, perhaps a new generation would arise to change our devils into angels, the arc of America's future moral universe


CHX13 ,

For many decades, the US has been preying upon the ROTW via the petro-$. The late $trength will prove it$ ultimate downfall, IMHO. The world is imploding as we speak. Too much bad debt all over, tens if not hundred of trillions in the US and the ROTW combined. US debt 21T plus (21T that is unaccounted for) plus 100+ T unfunded liabilities and a totally pension system on the verge of collapse etc etc etc and this is the "good ol' U S(S) of A... No need to pull China or Europe through the meat grinder, there's plenty of unsolved (read "unsolvable") problems at home already. No finger pointing needed, the US is a wolf in sheepskin, that's for sure. There's a lot of good-natured folk in the US though that simply have no clue whatsoever about what is about to be going down. I feel sorry for them, they really believe in "their duty for the country", in "liberty and justice for all" et al. Things that once made the US indeed great, but that was lost many many many moons ago. So I'd say divinely diabolic. #So sad.

Adolfsteinbergovitch ,

A country is exceptional, until it isn't any longer.

khnum ,

Reuters has just run a story International criminal court judges at the Hague will face heavy sanctions if they investigate American war crimes in Afghanistan,lawlessness next stop perdition.

The matrix has u ,

That would be right. Americunt "Exceptionalism" still at work.

[Sep 02, 2018] Open letter to President Trump concerning the consequences of 11 September 2001 by Thierry Meyssan

Highly recommended!
Aug 30, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

Mister President,

The crimes of 11 September 2001 have never been judged in your country. I am writing to you as a French citizen, the first person to denounce the inconsistencies of the official version and to open the world to the debate and the search for the real perpetrators.

In a criminal court, as the jury, we have to determine whether the suspect presented to us is guilty or not, and eventually, to decide what punishment he should receive. When we suffered the events of 9/11, the Bush Junior administration told us that the guilty party was Al-Qaïda, and the punishment they should receive was the overthrow of those who had helped them – the Afghan Taliban, then the Iraqi régime of Saddam Hussein.

However, there is a weight of evidence which attests to the impossibility of this thesis. If we were members of a jury, we would have to declare objectively that the Taliban and the régime of Saddam Hussein were innocent of this crime. Of course, this alone would not enable us to name the real culprits, and we would thus be frustrated. But we could not conceive of condemning parties innocent of such a crime simply because we have not known how, or not been able, to find the guilty parties.

We all understood that certain senior personalities were lying when the Secretary of State for Justice and Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, revealed the names of the 19 presumed hijackers, because we already had in front of us the lists disclosed by the airline companies of all of the passengers embarked - lists on which none of the suspects were mentioned.

From there, we became suspicious of the " Continuity of Government ", the instance tasked with taking over from the elected authorities if they should be killed during a nuclear confrontation. We advanced the hypothesis that these attacks masked a coup d'état, in conformity with Edward Luttwak's method of maintaining the appearance of the Executive, but imposing a different policy.

In the days following 9/11, the Bush administration made several decisions:

- the creation of the Office of Homeland Security and the vote for a voluminous anti-terrorist Code which had been drawn up long beforehand, the USA Patriot Act. For affairs which the administration itself qualifies as " terrorist ", this text suspends the Bill of Rights which was the glory of your country. It unbalances your institutions. Two centuries later, it validates the triumph of the great landowners who wrote the Constitution, and the defeat of the heroes of the War of Independence who demanded that the Bill of Rights must be added.

- The Secretary for Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, created the Office of Force Transformation, under the command of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, who immediately presented a programme, conceived a long time earlier, planning for the control of access to the natural resources of the countries of the geopolitical South. He demanded the destruction of State and social structures in the half of the world which was not yet globalised. Simultaneously, the Director of the CIA launched the " Worldwide Attack Matrix ", a package of secret operations in 85 countries where Rumsfeld and Cebrowski intended to destroy the State structures. Considering that only those countries whose economies were globalised would remain stable, and that the others would be destroyed, the men from 9/11 placed US armed forces in the service of transnational financial interests. They betrayed your country and transformed it into the armed wing of these predators.

For the last 17 years, we have witnessed what is being given to your compatriots by the government of the successors of those who drew up the Constitution and opposed at that time - without success – the Bill of Rights. These rich men have become the super-rich, while the middle class has been reduced by a fifth and poverty has increased.

We have also seen the implementation of the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski strategy – phoney " civil wars " have devastated almost all of the Greater Middle East. Entire cities have been wiped from the map, from Afghanistan to Libya, via Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who were not themselves at war.

In 2001, only two US citizens denounced the incoherence of the Bush version, two real estate promoters – the Democrat Jimmy Walter, who was forced into exile, and yourself, who entered into politics and was elected President.

In 2011, we saw the commander of AfriCom relieved of his mission and replaced by NATO for having refused to support Al-Qaïda in the liquidation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Then we saw NATO's LandCom organise Western support for jihadists in general and Al-Qaïda in particular in their attempt to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic.

So the jihadists, who were considered as " freedom fighters " against the Soviets, then as " terrorists " after 9/11, once again became the allies of the deep state, which, in fact, they have always been.

So, with an immense upsurge of hope, we have watched your actions to suppress, one by one, all support for the jihadists. It is with the same hope that we see today that you are talking with your Russian counterpart in order to bring back life to the devastated Middle East. And it is with equal anxiety that we see Robert Mueller, now a special prosecutor, pursuing the destruction of your homeland by attacking your position.

Mister President, not only are you and your compatriots suffering from the diarchy which has sneaked into power in your country since the coup d'état of 11 September 2001, but the whole world is a victim.

Mister President, 9/11 is not ancient history. It is the triumph of transnational interests which are crushing not only your people, but all of humanity which aspires to freedom.

Thierry Meyssan brought to the world stage the debate on the real perpetrators of 11 September 2001. He has worked as a political analyst alongside Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mouamar Kadhafi. He is today a political refugee in Syria.

Thierry Meyssan

See : Memoranda for the President on 9/11: Time for the Truth -- False Flag Deep State Truth! , by : Kevin Barrett; Scott Bennett; Christopher Bollyn; Fred Burks; Steve De'ak; A. K. Dewdney; Gordon Duff; Aero Engineer; Greg Felton; James Fetzer; Richard Gage; Tom-Scott Gordon; David Ray Griffin; Sander Hicks; T. Mark Hightower; Barbara Honegger; Eric Hufschmid; Ed Jewett; Nicholas Kollerstrom; John Lear; Susan Lindauer; Joe Olson; Peter Dale Scott; Robert David Steele; and indirectly, Victor Thorn and Judy Wood.

Thierry Meyssan Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire ( Voltaire Network ). Latest work in French – Sous nos Yeux. Du 11-Septembre à Donald Trump (Right Before our Eyes. From 9/11 to Donald Trump).

[Sep 02, 2018] Through the Looking Glass Falsely- A World Without Facts by Gordon M. Hahn

Notable quotes:
"... THE US carries out and encourages 'active measures' in EURASIA to destabilise and confuse governments and societies. But these are often opportunistic and shaped by local conditions. There is no grand strategy, beyond weakening the EEU, CSTO, SCO and creating a more conducive environment for itself. ..."
"... "This involves a wide range of actors, from officials and the media, through military threats, to business lobbies and spies. Russia pursues different priorities in different countries. This is largely determined by the correlation between the strength of countries' national institutions and their vulnerability to WESTERN influence. ..."
"... "Nonetheless, there is an effort to coordinate certain operations across platforms. Insofar as there is a command-and-control node, it is within the WHITE HOUSE, which is perhaps the most important single organ within the US's INCREASINGLY de-institutionalised state: POLITICIZED INTELLIGENCE, PRESIDENTIAL VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTION, CORRUPTION BENEFITTING FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ETC. ..."
"... "Without giving up hope of persuading WASHINGTON to change its policies DEMOCRACY-PROMOTION AND DESTABILIZING COLOR REVOLUTION POLICIES, RUSSIA AND EURASIA must nonetheless address its own vulnerabilities: 'fixing the roof' rather than simply hoping the rain will stop. Among other things, this includes addressing democratic backsliding in parts of the continent ..."
"... A breakthrough arrived in August 2008 with the five-day Russo-Georgian War. Provoked by widespread Western condemnation of Russia's invasion of Georgia, Russia Today shot back with highly defensive, pro-Russian coverage of the conflict, framing Georgia as the aggressor against the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.13 In particular, its false reports of genocide in Ossetia by the Georgians captured international attention for their brazenness and cemented the network's reputation as a mouthpiece of the Kremlin.14 Ultimately, an EU post-mortem report revealed that responsibility for the conflict had been divided between Georgian initiative and a disproportionate Russian response; neither the Western nor Russian narratives about the war had been factually accurate.15 However, Russia Today remained unrepentant about its bias, claiming that it had been an intentional stratagem to counter the anti-Russian bias of Western media. Margarita Simonyan proudly declared that Russia Today gained greater international visibility and recognition for being the only English-language outlet 'giving the other side of the story – the South Ossetian side'.16 ..."
Sep 02, 2018 | gordonhahn.com

As the West has turned more and more to Soviet/Russian methods of the 'big lie' in order to advance democracy and its interests, the Russia-West propaganda war had produced a post-fact world in which disinformation comes to be believed by its purveyors. Both sides, forgetting the previous disinformation and lies from the most recent crisis of the day, reiterate their previous claims as part of the reason for believing the next series of disinformation and lies surrounding the current crisis of the day. This process of propaganda plague has filled the fake news on both sides of the Atlantic since Georgia through Syria, Ukraine, Syria, Skrypal, Syria again. Russia has its RT and state television; the US has RFERL and state-tied mass media across the West.

To be sure, the West has a problem with promoting a united message with messy changes of ruling parties and presidents and the like, but these are usually papered over rather easily.

Obama promised a 'reset' but behind the scenes the administration was backing the financing of revolutionary forces in Yanukovych's Ukraine. What followed was the lie of the century so far: that Yanukovych deployed Berkut snipers on 20 February 2014 to shoot 100 demonstrators on the Maidan, sparking and more than justifying his overthrow. In reality -- and the evidence is now overwhelming -- the Maidan revolution's neofascist elements organized and executed the snipers' massacre firing at both police and demonstrators and then using the anger and chaos to seize power in the name of the Maidan demonstrators but in the interests of oligarchs and neofascists that hijacked the significantly Western-seeded and -funded movement.

The Maidan is one of the few proven lies -- another is Putin's 'operational' lie that the 'polite little green men' of March 2014 Crimea were not Russian soldiers. Another is Russian state television news' claim that an ethnic Russian boy had been crucified by Ukrainians during the Donbass civil war. There many others. A Ukrainian propagandist claimed early in the Donbass civil war that thousands of bodies had been found in a lake in rebel-occupied territories in the Donbass, implying that they had been killed by the rebels and/or Russians. This piece of disinformation contained no other 'information' and no source and was never reported again. For most all of the remaining lies, truth is a function performed by which 'facts' one's political orientation prefers. In such a world, the truth is all but unattainable because facts are unattainable as well.

The problem is that system's built on lies are vulnerable to collapse upon revelation of the truth. Even in the post-fact world, some will seek the truth and the true facts. Therefore, lies can sweep a problem under the rug temporarily, but sooner or later facts threaten to expose the dirt. Meanwhile, the first lie may require further lies to maintain the fiction and eventually one's true statements will begin to be taken as more lies.

As authoritarian regimes have constructed a democratic facade and democratic regimes degenerate towards authoritarianism, the disinformation imperative renders the still substantial differences imperceptible. The fact that the Russians have gotten better at lying and disinformation compared with their Soviet predecessors and that the West has thrown to the wind any past compunctions it may have had about manufacturing facts has brought the two sides closer together in the information sphere. Andrei Sakharov envisaged a different kind of convergence in which the best in capitalism and socialism would merge to form a more perfect system. Instead, the worst of Eastern disinformation and Western strategic communications and marketing have converged to create an almost impenetrable wall of distortions wrapped in falsehoods inside big lies. As a result, when a Westerner mirror-images Russia through the prism of his expectations from Western life, he or she no longer distorts but enlightens. A few years ago the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) published the following assessment of Russian reality. Interesting perhaps, but it was one-sided and therefore, to a great degree, funny stuff if in high demand. Let's turn it around a little bit as an object lesson on how in the disinformation age East has become West and West has become East. I WRITE IN CAPITALS WHERE I 'TURNED AROUND' ECFR'S TEXT REPLACING 'RUSSIA' AND THINGS RUSSIAN WITH 'THE US' AND THINGS AMERICAN:

" THE US carries out and encourages 'active measures' in EURASIA to destabilise and confuse governments and societies. But these are often opportunistic and shaped by local conditions. There is no grand strategy, beyond weakening the EEU, CSTO, SCO and creating a more conducive environment for itself.

"This involves a wide range of actors, from officials and the media, through military threats, to business lobbies and spies. Russia pursues different priorities in different countries. This is largely determined by the correlation between the strength of countries' national institutions and their vulnerability to WESTERN influence.

"Nonetheless, there is an effort to coordinate certain operations across platforms. Insofar as there is a command-and-control node, it is within the WHITE HOUSE, which is perhaps the most important single organ within the US's INCREASINGLY de-institutionalised state: POLITICIZED INTELLIGENCE, PRESIDENTIAL VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTION, CORRUPTION BENEFITTING FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ETC.

"Without giving up hope of persuading WASHINGTON to change its policies DEMOCRACY-PROMOTION AND DESTABILIZING COLOR REVOLUTION POLICIES, RUSSIA AND EURASIA must nonetheless address its own vulnerabilities: 'fixing the roof' rather than simply hoping the rain will stop. Among other things, this includes addressing democratic backsliding in parts of the continent " ( www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/controlling_chaos_how_russia_manages_its_political_war_in_europe ).

Thus, assuming the ECFR's analysis is correct, Russia has simply returned the West's favor, turning to internal influence and destabilization operations in response to the West's democracy- and opposition-promotion measures, which, in the West's case, however, is backed up and followed up by NATO expansion.

The disinformation continues even when one side is writing about the supposedly unique disinformation efforts of the other side. Thus, a Western analysis of Russia Today's bias and propagandistic distortions is filled with one-sided inaccuracies:

" A breakthrough arrived in August 2008 with the five-day Russo-Georgian War. Provoked by widespread Western condemnation of Russia's invasion of Georgia, Russia Today shot back with highly defensive, pro-Russian coverage of the conflict, framing Georgia as the aggressor against the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.13 In particular, its false reports of genocide in Ossetia by the Georgians captured international attention for their brazenness and cemented the network's reputation as a mouthpiece of the Kremlin.14 Ultimately, an EU post-mortem report revealed that responsibility for the conflict had been divided between Georgian initiative and a disproportionate Russian response; neither the Western nor Russian narratives about the war had been factually accurate.15 However, Russia Today remained unrepentant about its bias, claiming that it had been an intentional stratagem to counter the anti-Russian bias of Western media. Margarita Simonyan proudly declared that Russia Today gained greater international visibility and recognition for being the only English-language outlet 'giving the other side of the story – the South Ossetian side'.16 " (www.europeanvalues.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Overview-of-RTs-Editorial-Strategy-and-Evidence-of-Impact.pdf).

The above leaves out Georgia's claims of a Russian genocide committed against Georgians in the war. It also leaves out Sky News's own claims that Russian forces were killing thousands in the first hours of the 5-Day War in which less than a thousand were killed altogether, counting all sides. I still have yet to see RFERL repent for its continuing lies about the Maidan or Sky News about its Georgian war lies. Then of course there is the infamous FOX News mistake of putting South Ossetians on the air in the expectation that any non-Russian will damn the Russians only to find out that Ossetians, North and South, view Russia as an ally and protector against Georgians and Muslims in the region. FOX's response to their mistake was not to try and learn something about the region and inform their viewers but it was rather to cut off the Ossetians hoping they would correct their views during a break. When that did not happen the interview was abruptly terminated (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBPBdW2wXpc ). Did the Russians learn that even their own cynicism was too limited. You can decide listening to Putin's remarks on the FOX faux pas ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iwSsIBQm68 ).

There was a time when the US government lied only when the most vital interests were at stake, not as a matter of course in daily 'public diplomacy' work. No more.

Not just Russians, not just Americans, not just Republicans and not just Democrats are engaged in 'fake news.' They are all engaged in disinformation wars. Consequently, we are all liars now. There is no truth, there are no facts – just your side and my side, their side and our side. Such a state affairs cannot end well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, www.cetisresearch.org .

Dr. Hahn is the author of the forthcoming book from McFarland Publishers Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the "New Cold War" . Previously, he has authored three well-received books: The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014), Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.

[Aug 31, 2018] Big Money refuses to return to reality as its addicted to Smoke Mirrors since that s what was used to gain its power and will now double-down

Notable quotes:
"... For dessert today, I offer Russia's Grand Strategy Revisited published on the 24th. The Outlaw US Empire is in the midst of a Seldon Crisis but lacks the means to even recognize the spectacular mess its made for itself, much of which is quite visibly articulated in its NDS I linked to above. ..."
"... By every metric I've observed, the USA's citizenry from all political POVs wants a return to Reality for that's the only basis from which to address and solve the many domestic problems. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 30, 2018 5:38:27 PM | 34

Too Funny! Trump whines, threatens pullout from WTO again! After decades of bullying nations and impoverishing their people, other nations are using the Outlaw US Empire's WTO as a weapon against it, so Trump cries Unfair! As I wrote above, Big Money's trapped within its own web.

The "Softies" are yet another entity in the Smoke & Mirrors Fun House designed to fool and gain citizenry's consent to be robbed blind.

Russians already went through that and are very wary as illustrated by the very sensitive nature of the recent Pension System Reform Debate and legislation that Putin had to solve using his political capital.

As with all politicians, you won't know what you elected until you learn how your rep votes issues, although some can be anticipated by examining their past behavior as with our pseudo Democrat-Socialist.

For dessert today, I offer Russia's Grand Strategy Revisited published on the 24th. The Outlaw US Empire is in the midst of a Seldon Crisis but lacks the means to even recognize the spectacular mess its made for itself, much of which is quite visibly articulated in its NDS I linked to above.

By every metric I've observed, the USA's citizenry from all political POVs wants a return to Reality for that's the only basis from which to address and solve the many domestic problems.

Big Money refuses as its addicted to Smoke & Mirrors since that's what was used to gain its power and will now double-down.

[Aug 31, 2018] Erasing the Truth and Fabricating Fake Narratives

Notable quotes:
"... Western media monopolies, appendages of the billionaire ruling class, select for narratives which glorify criminal foreign policies. Hence, these monopolies are cheerleaders for uninterrupted wars of aggression. ..."
"... Ruling class policymakers hide their criminality beneath banners of freedom, democracy, and human rights. [1] These lies provide cover for what amounts to a Western- orchestrated and sustained overseas holocaust and the thirdworldization of domestic populations. ..."
"... The lies and misplaced adulation also serve to legitimize the West's proxies, which include al Qaeda [2] in Syria, and neo-Nazis [3] in Kiev. ..."
"... The adulation, then, is part of the apparatus of deception. It brands those who should be facing trials at the Hague as heroes, as it erases the truth, which is a vital component for Peace and International Justice. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Western media monopolies, appendages of the billionaire ruling class, select for narratives which glorify criminal foreign policies. Hence, these monopolies are cheerleaders for uninterrupted wars of aggression.

Ruling class policymakers hide their criminality beneath banners of freedom, democracy, and human rights. [1] These lies provide cover for what amounts to a Western- orchestrated and sustained overseas holocaust and the thirdworldization of domestic populations.

The lies are further reinforced when those who advance these toxic policies are celebrated as heroes. This misplaced adulation negates the struggle for Peace and the rule of International Law. The lies and misplaced adulation also serve to legitimize the West's proxies, which include al Qaeda [2] in Syria, and neo-Nazis [3] in Kiev.

What's great thing about the pic accompanying this piece in the Washington Post sanctifying McCain as a human rights advocate is that the guy to his left is an actual Nazi. He's Oleh Tyahnybok, a Ukrainian Nazi. Too good!

10:38 AM - Aug 28, 2018

The adulation, then, is part of the apparatus of deception. It brands those who should be facing trials at the Hague as heroes, as it erases the truth, which is a vital component for Peace and International Justice.

[Aug 30, 2018] Neoliberal MSM and political parties being nothing but organizers of claques for the establishemnt policy

Aug 30, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Virgile , Aug 28, 2018 3:46:25 PM | 18

div

Just like with politicians and political parties themselves, mass media are reverting to being nothing but organizers of claques. Reuters has no more to do with true journalism than the Democrat Party has to do with true politics. Both merely organize celebrity fan clubs. In the same way that only garbage still adheres in a partisan manner to either half of the Corporate One-Party (I'm talking about the US, though the same phenomenon is rife throughout the Euro-world), so only garbage still craves the poison of the corporate media, newspapers or television.

What's the alternative? I warned people for years that social media was no firm foundation upon which to build a castle, and sure enough the censorship tide is coming in. To build real alternative media under the control of the people is part of the general need, to build a true cultural, spiritual movement against the whole system. But this would require cadres willing to dedicate their lives to the work, and at least in America there seems to be no such will.

Posted by: Russ | Aug 28, 2018 2:34:39 PM | 10

If you look at the US media around the so-called Spanish-American War of 1898, you can see the same bent toward war, the same proclivity for propaganda rather than actual reporting, and the same misleading headlines and provocative language.

Perhaps there have been brief times such as moments in the 70s and 80s when some (not all, but a significant few) reporters at major outlets could write articles based on fact but they are the exception to the rule.

Posted by: worldblee | Aug 28, 2018 2:37:48 PM | 11

Well i read a few days ago a commentator´s view that everyone should perhaps keep in mind.
About the media the presstitute big media that looms over our consciences every minute.
iT said that the lying press, the mendacious agenda, the overwhelming need to the daily manipulate the most simple and factual thruths of events... became so FREQUENT, so MASSIVE so
coordinated, op-erates under a such amorality and shameless frame... that is necessarily bound to, in the way to destruction. To doom.
No third conclusion, no third exit.
They will either enslave us all or they will doom, destroy themselves.

Posted by: augusto | Aug 28, 2018 3:07:08 PM | 14

In these prospects a few months back success seemed very unlikely because the US does not want peace in Korea between the two countries or withdrawal of its troops. Trump's role appears to be a naïve simpleton eager to be applauded as usual with a "not my fault" fall back position. Hence the breakdown in two short months, plus the arrogant posturing that Korea better deliver its nuclear weaponry pronto, and now resumption of drills. I suspect the next Moon will be a Duterte type who orders the US out of the country, as north and south, supported by China and Russia move on in the direction they obviously want to go. This may take a couple of years or so.

Posted by: Sid2 | Aug 28, 2018 3:15:48 PM | 15

Trump has succeeded in destroying deals, throwing sanctions everywhere but until now he has not succeeded in creating one new deal with any other countries.
The North Korea embryo deal was pompously announced as the end of North Korea nuclearization.
But ridicule is what the US administration is known for.
Let us see if the Mexico-USA that Trump is so proud about will fly and if the "wall" will finally be built.


Piotr Berman , Aug 28, 2018 3:49:02 PM | 19

South Korean link.
Laguerre , Aug 28, 2018 4:11:44 PM | 20
Frankly, North Korea should be left to complete its deal with the South. It was going well. Idiot Trumpian US intervention serves no purpose. Leave the people concerned to reach their agreement.
AriusArmenian , Aug 28, 2018 5:21:34 PM | 26
PB @19--

Thanks for the link! Seems that publication's being honest in its reporting unlike Nauert and the US State Department who keep pushing the BigLie that denuclearization only applies to DPRK. Good news that the September Summit in Pyongyang between Kim and Moon is still a go, but will it occur before or after Vladivostok? Do wish we could get more info from Korea, even in Korean.

As for Google's tricks, I don't use Google anymore as my primary search engine; I have Yandex for that and my home page.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28, 2018 4:17:32 PM | 21

Silly me! I should have just searched for Korean Newspapers and found this nice list! One excellent item I found announces an increase in the amount allocated to inter-Korean affairs by over 14%. The same publication also provides the reason given by RoK's spy agency head for cancelling Pompeo's trip.

Will the South agree to resume war games with Outlaw US Empire and thus risk derailing the progress already attained? Moon must ask himself the question I posed earlier: Embrace an alliance for life with DPRK or chose the alliance of death with the Empire--I don't think I can put it much starker.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28, 2018 4:43:22 PM | 23

Sputnik now provides a well balanced article but fails to mention Reuter's role in propagating what began as another BigLie.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28, 2018 5:00:38 PM | 24

Demented US and UK elites are terrified of peace and as usual sabotage negotiation. We are being marched to war. The CIA controlled hi-tech social network companies are right now conspiring to silence dissenting voices in phase two of Cold War v2. That they think they can subdue or defeat the Russia/China alliance shows their dementia. It is definitely not possible for the US to 'win' even against Iran. The US has been checkmated. Now what will it do?

michaelj72 , Aug 29, 2018 12:10:00 AM | 36
Belligerence, from the US, that is, as american as apple pie and John McCain
fast freddy , Aug 29, 2018 7:05:43 AM | 44
The U.S., a crazy, confused, schizo and heavily-armed country with skid rows littering the landscape from sea to shining sea next to depraved wealth, a middle class either drunk on shopping, hoarding possessions or high on heroine, the highest prison population in the world, and gun totting rednecks preaching fake religion is now appropriately headed by Nurse Ratched-Trump of the insane asylum.

Unfortunately, it is the Fort Knox of the planet, and therefore can inflict financial and all manner of tyranny and pain at the order of Zionist kooks who call the shots.

The pompous ass Trump who claims to make the greatest deals, the best and hugest deals thinks he invented the wheel, but instead tries to bully the rest of the world into submission so he can later tweet about his unmatched negotiating skills and brag about his superior intellect ad nauseum.

There's no trusting a shithole country like that run by a mad tin-pot dictator. North Korea better keep its nukes.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 29, 2018 12:41:52 AM | 37

arlof1 @23

Every media, be it corporate controlled CNN/NYT/WaPo & Co, be it state controlled RT, Sputnik, Global Times, is doing its fair share of propaganda. The slight difference is that the Western MSM is doing it mostly for the interests of MIC & banksters and its minions, while the Russian and Chinese ones are doing it in general for the sake of their perceived national interests.

Here we go, RT: 'Are they sure it wasn't the Russians?' Clinton's emails were reportedly hacked by China :

It remains to be seen if the hacking allegations against China will be given as much spotlight as those against Russia, however.

Rest assured, RT, just like Western MSM, will keep on peddling the same mis/disinformation about China when it see suits Russia's interests/agenda. This is real geopolitics. (RT & RI used to delete my posts refuting some of the nonsensical comments there.)

Trump is now super happy that he's got another excuse to accuse "bad China meddling US", and can feel free to tie everything possible to his trade war against China as we predicated in precious discussion: Trump Ties North Korea Talks To Trade Deal With China

Posted by: lulu | Aug 29, 2018 6:38:44 AM | 42

North Koreans might be "belligerent", but by now it's a proven fact the UZA (United Zionists of Amerikkka) are non-agreement capable!

Posted by: LXV | Aug 29, 2018 6:54:43 AM | 43

Belligerent = warlike

A belligerent is an individual, group, country, or other entity that acts in a hostile manner, such as engaging in combat. Belligerent comes from Latin, literally meaning "one who wages war". More at Wikipedia

Hmmm... who can that be?

Maybe the belligerent is the one with the $700,000,000,000 annual military budget.

Since the United States was founded in 1776, it has been at war during 214 out of its 235 calendar years of existence.

ralphieboy , Aug 29, 2018 7:13:40 AM | 45
All your USA=Zionist posturings aside here, the USA under Trump has shown that it cannot be counted on to honor agreements, be they arms talks, nuclear deals, trade deals or military partnerships.

The world will learn to work without and work around America, I cannot see how this could possibly strengthen America overall, at best it could be of advantage of certain groups within the US.

Pft , Aug 29, 2018 8:02:09 AM | 46
Lulu@41

Is it possible that the "MIC & banksters and its minions" are the equivalent of the Russian oligarchs and Chinese party elites!

[Aug 25, 2018] Today's Yellow Journalism by MYLES HOENIG

Notable quotes:
"... "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." ..."
"... Frederick Remington was hired to provide illustrations for the paper during the war. After awhile, he was getting bored with his assignment as things were quite peaceful and said, "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst's response was "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." ..."
"... I think you know where I'm going with this. What has changed is that the media today does not directly furnish the war. They rely on those who most profit from it to create the war and today's media simply serves as their propaganda arm. ..."
Aug 25, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

How is today's journalism any different than the yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst? Sure, technology and reach is far more sophisticated. First the telegraph, then international news agencies, newsreels shown before the screening of movies, and fast forward to 1980 to CNN, the first 24 hour news network. Today with smart phones everyone is a photojournalist. We wouldn't know about all the cop-on-black killings if it wasn't for the average citizen with a phone, even though it's been going on for generations. The only problem regarding catching and broadcasting a Trump lie is beating everyone else to it first.

Starting out as a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer, Hearst and his New York Journal sent reporters to Cuba to cover the Spanish American War, sensationalizing and lying his way to the top. Although there was seriously good reporting, what most of us remember is the sinking of the USS Maine and how Hearst fanned the flames of war hysteria. Frederick Remington was hired to provide illustrations for the paper during the war. After awhile, he was getting bored with his assignment as things were quite peaceful and said, "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return." Hearst's response was "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

I think you know where I'm going with this. What has changed is that the media today does not directly furnish the war. They rely on those who most profit from it to create the war and today's media simply serves as their propaganda arm. Whereas Frank Zappa said, "Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.", the news media is often a branch of the entertainment division of a network.

... ... ...

...However, another characteristic of fake news is not reporting the news, mis-reporting it, and misinforming or misleading people about what's really happening.

During the first Iraqi invasion we were glued to our TV sets watching the poor, young, sweet innocent nurse crying over how Hussein's troops took babies out of their incubators and threw them on the floor, not being told until much later that she was a plant, the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, and made up the story. Did anyone in the media challenge her?

From Condi Rice to Colin Powell, we all heard the testimony and Meet the Press moments where we were hours away from incineration or suffering horribly from biological weapons. Did anyone in the media challenge them?

The go-to list for guest speakers during any run up to a war includes former generals whose expertise is so sought out by the networks. Are we the viewing audience ever told that they, in retirement, usually work for the war-profiteering industries?

Recently, for weeks on end, Israel has been killing innocent protesters in their March of Return. Killing journalists, medics, children, amputees, people running away, people empty handed. Not a word from CNN, especially in the initial slaughter. That is fake news.

American Indians and supporters were hosed with freezing water in freezing weather, shot at, dogs let loose on them, as they were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Barely a word. Fake news.

Child poverty in America grew at alarming rates under Obama. No mention of it.

The alleged hacks of the DNC is a given to the main stream. But no main stream media would dare to interview William Binney, Ray McGovern or Julian Assange, all with pertinent knowledge that would refute the narrative. That is fake news.

... ... ...

[Aug 25, 2018] Trump, Corporate Media Are Both Enemies of the People

Notable quotes:
"... The dominant U.S. commercial and corporate media are a means of mass consent-manufacturing indoctrination, diversion and dumbing down on behalf of the nation's intertwined corporate, financial, imperial and professional-class "elites." Merging the dystopian visions of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Neal Postman and Phillip K. Dick, they are a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle that work across hundreds of broadcast channels and through countless print and internet outlets to keep the U.S. citizenry allegiant and subordinated to big capital, the professional and managerial "elite" and the U.S. imperial state. ..."
"... They're not covering the genocide in Yemen, but they're covering Russia 24-7 they won't cover Yemen. Why? Because we're complicit. The United States military-industrial complex is helping commit genocide and war crimes inside of Yemen. We're doing that. We're doing 'siege warfare.' Siege warfare is a war crime where you cut off supplies to people trying to starve them keeping them from medical supplies. You're keeping them from clean water. We're doing that. ..."
"... "Exceptional" America's starvation, sickening, maiming and slaughter of innocents doesn't fit the narrative of American benevolence -- a doctrinally set staple in U.S. corporate news, war and entertainment media. ..."
"... We just killed 56 kids. Who's supposed to bomb us now? When do we get bombed? When does someone call us butchers? ..."
"... The Republican Robert Mueller is treated with solemn worship at CNN, MSNBC, the Times and the Post and the rest of the non-Fox media establishment. You'd never know from the "mainstream" coverage and commentary that this new liberal icon and "war hero" (since he won medals in the U.S. crucifixion of Southeast Asia during the 1960s) lied about Iraq's nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction" during his years as George W. Bush's FBI director. ..."
"... There is no reason to consider the United States' corporate and commercial media as any more "mainstream" than the leading Soviet media organs were back in their day. They are just as dedicated as the onetime Soviet state media to advancing the doctrinal perspectives of their host nation's reigning elite -- and far more effective. ..."
"... So, by the way, is the CIA -- an enemy of the people ..."
Aug 25, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

... ... ...

The dominant U.S. commercial and corporate media are a means of mass consent-manufacturing indoctrination, diversion and dumbing down on behalf of the nation's intertwined corporate, financial, imperial and professional-class "elites." Merging the dystopian visions of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Neal Postman and Phillip K. Dick, they are a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle that work across hundreds of broadcast channels and through countless print and internet outlets to keep the U.S. citizenry allegiant and subordinated to big capital, the professional and managerial "elite" and the U.S. imperial state.

How could it be otherwise? Just six massive and global corporations -- Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, the News Corporation and Disney -- together control more than 90 percent of the nation's television stations, radio stations, movies, newspapers and magazines. Corporate ownership combines with other deeply entrenched factors to guarantee the not-so-mainstream media's dutiful service to the nation's unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money, class and empire: the controlling power of corporate advertisers (the mass media's main market, not the public); the disproportionate purchasing power of the affluent (the main target of advertisers); the elitist socialization, indoctrination and selection of journalists, and the dependence of media on government for information, access and monopoly power.

It's not just about the news. If you really want to see where mass propaganda on behalf of class rule, racial and gender oppression and U.S. global force projection is most effectively and compellingly manufactured, watch the entertainment media. When it comes to selling Americans on the supposed virtues of the American Empire and the purported evil of America's "enemies," for example, the news media have nothing on movies like "Top Gun," "Iron Eagle," "Independence Day," "Rocky IV," "Black Hawk Down," "Argo," "A Few Good Men," "From Paris With Love," "Captain Phillips," "American Sniper," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Iron Man" and "Eye in the Sky," and nothing on television shows like "24," "Homeland," "Law and Order," "NCIS" and "FBI." (This is just a short list from the much larger portfolio of U.S-imperialist "entertainment" media production, often generated with significant Pentagon involvement.)

Forget Kim Il-Trump and his right-wing assault on the "Fake News." There's a vast and impressive left, radically democratic literature on how and why the so-called mainstream U.S. media serve concentrated wealth and power, functioning as one of the most potent weapons -- if not the single most potent weapon (with chilling power to shape popular perceptions of reality) -- in the hands of the nation's ruling class. See, for starters, Herbert Schiller. "The Mind Managers" (1973); Michael Parenti, "Inventing Reality: The Politics of the News Media" (1986); Parenti, "Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment" (1992); Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" (1988); Robert W. McChesney, "Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy" (New York: Seven Stories, 1997); McChesney, "Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times" (2000); McChesney, "Blowing the Roof Off the 21st Century: Media" (2014); Neil Postman, "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business" (1983); Anthony DiMaggio, "When Media Goes to War" (2009); Stephen Macek, "Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic Over the City" (2006); and William J. Puette, "Through Jaundiced Eyes: How the Media View Organized Labor" ( 1992). (That, again, is a short list.)

Before you run off to the library or go online to order the books I just listed (which reminds me, please purchase this as well), ask yourself why the number of Americans who could properly describe the basics of arch-narcissist reality show personality turned White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman's dispute with arch-narcissist reality-television personality turned POTUS Donald Trump is much greater (I'm guessing by 100 times) than the number of Americans who could tell you anything meaningful and truthful about the United States' central and ongoing role in the savage crucifixion of Yemen . The latter story recently included the killing of 40 Yemeni children riding in a school bus. Their vehicle was blown up by a Saudi Arabian missile manufactured by a U.S. "defense" contractor and launched with the logistical support of the U.S. military. Forget the academic literature for now and listen to a common-sense explanation by the lefty, Chicago-born-and-raised comic Jimmy Dore , about MSNBC, the supposed left wing of the allegedly liberal corporate media:

They're not covering the genocide in Yemen, but they're covering Russia 24-7 they won't cover Yemen. Why? Because we're complicit. The United States military-industrial complex is helping commit genocide and war crimes inside of Yemen. We're doing that. We're doing 'siege warfare.' Siege warfare is a war crime where you cut off supplies to people trying to starve them keeping them from medical supplies. You're keeping them from clean water. We're doing that.

Dore was on point. The U.S. (along with its dutiful imperial pit bull the United Kingdom) is in fact doing all that. "We" (well, "our" foreign policymakers) are equipping and otherwise participating centrally in the unconscionable infliction of an epic humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. The Saudi-Emirati coalition has already killed many thousands of innocent Yemenis and has so devastated the nation that famine and a deadly 19 th- century disease, cholera (from unsanitary water), have gone epidemic there, causing mass child mortality. For weeks now, the coalition has been savagely bombing the port city of Hodeidah, the main entry point for desperately needed food and medical supplies coming into the besieged nation. And, as the intrepid antiwar witness and activist Kathy Kelly recently reported on Counterpunch last weekend:

U.S. companies such as Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin have sold billions of dollars' worth of weapons to [the Saudi-led] coalition, which is attacking Yemen. The U.S. military refuels Saudi and Emirati warplanes through midair exercises [and] helps the Saudi[s] choose their targets. The United States is 'front and center responsible' for the Saudi coalition attacks, 'If an airstrike was a drive-by and killed someone [journalist Samuel Oakford notes], the U.S. provided the car, the wheels, the servicing and repair, the gun, the bullets, help with maintenance of those -- and the gas.'

The "mainstream" U.S. media's silence about this epic wrongdoing has, as usual, been deafening but unsurprising. "Exceptional" America's starvation, sickening, maiming and slaughter of innocents doesn't fit the narrative of American benevolence -- a doctrinally set staple in U.S. corporate news, war and entertainment media. So, it's off the airwaves, for the most part -- even if MSNBC's leftmost anchor Chris Hayes was permitted to briefly and mildly break through the news blockade after the school bus outrage. (That was a crime too heinous to avoid, especially since it took place under Trump and not under a Democratic POTUS and MSDNC darling like Barack Obama, who was deeply complicit in the war on Yemen). About which, listen again to Dore:

The biggest humanitarian catastrophe in the world, we're gonna wait until 45 minutes into [Hayes'] news broadcast. We haven't covered it for over a year, not even mentioned it. So now everyone's going 'kudos's he's doing it now.' So now, when [Syrian President Bashar] Assad was supposed to have had chemical weapons and killed 30 people with chemicals, we were supposed to bomb him. We just killed 56 kids. Who's supposed to bomb us now? When do we get bombed? When does someone call us butchers? 'Wow . look at that, [Hayes] went almost two and half whole minutes [about Yemen and the U.S. role in the missile attack on a school-bus there] and people are going nuts complimenting him. There you go: 'We covered it.'

It's nothing you need a Ph.D. to understand. Dore gets it, even if his numbers may be off on the bus attack. He's from a working-class neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, where people who pay attention (like the late and great journalist Mike Royko) learn early on that hypocrisy reigns and "money talks, bullshit walks" across party lines.

It's about more than news censorship, however. The "mainstream media" work relentlessly to reduce their consumers to view issues from the point of the merely personal and private. It erases the social, historical and institutional. It inculcates the primitive level of consciousness where one can grasp something as childish as "Omarosa and Stormy Daniels were treated badly by Donald Trump" but nothing more complex beyond the individual scale than "America Good, Its 'Enemies' Bad" -- and certainly nothing as involved and ideologically verboten as "the American Empire and military-industrial complex is invested in the murder of children in the Middle East."

A third recent example of U.S. corporate media's power-serving and propagandistic role deserves exposure. Last week saw the Big Pharma cable news networks CNN and MSNBC (both outlets host hundreds of drug commercials per day), The New York Times , The Washington Post and most of the corporate news establishment run to defend, acclaim and even lionize blood-soaked U.S.-imperial spy masters, surveillance chiefs, liars and assassins like former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Why did CNN and MSNBC viewers hear again and again about how these totalitarian agents of imperial superpower death, torture, surveillance and destruction were heroic champions of human rights, liberty and freedom, fiercely dedicated to (of all things) "speaking truth to power"? Because the Recep Tayyip Erdogan-Vladimir Putin-Xi Jinping-Kim Jong Un-wannabe Trump took away Brennan's national security clearance and threatened those of Clapper and others as transparently political punishment for the forthright criticism of the president as a stupid, reckless, childish, and generally dysfunctional head of the American Empire. Or because of their status as potential anti-Trump witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russiagate investigation.

There's nothing noble or remotely democratic about Trump's motives. But there's nothing noble or remotely democratic about imperial actors like Brennan and Clapper either. Brennan ran the drone assassination program under Obama and the extraordinary rendition program under George W. Bush. He was the "principle coordinator" of the American citizen "kill list" and crafted the "disposition matrix" that codified the targeting and secret killing of American citizens. And that was all before Obama tapped Brennan to head the CIA, where he wrote bloody new chapters in the book of imperial deceit and murder and led efforts to block a Senate investigation into CIA torture, including by spying on Senate staff members conducting the investigation.

During her much ballyhooed and deeply respectful interview with Brennan last Friday night, Russiagate-mad MSNBC rock star Rachel Maddow failed to ask him about the authoritarian implications of a recent New York Times op-ed article in which Brennan essentially suggested, in the words of the World Socialist Website's Joseph Kishore, that "[a]ll social discontent within the United States is the work of 'Russian puppet masters' exploiting 'gullible' individuals. If 'freedoms and liberties' provide an opening for such operations, then these freedoms must be restricted. To 'save democracy,' it is necessary to abolish it." The pretense of Brennan and his supporters to be acting in the name of "democracy" and "free speech," Kishore notes , "echoes the claims of a long line of would-be dictators who have employed such arguments in the past." That's exactly right and should be completely unsurprising to anyone familiar with the arch-nefarious history of the CIA at home and abroad.

The Republican Robert Mueller is treated with solemn worship at CNN, MSNBC, the Times and the Post and the rest of the non-Fox media establishment. You'd never know from the "mainstream" coverage and commentary that this new liberal icon and "war hero" (since he won medals in the U.S. crucifixion of Southeast Asia during the 1960s) lied about Iraq's nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction" during his years as George W. Bush's FBI director.

I'll wait to write about Clapper, now a special friend and regular honored guest on the liberal CNN host Don Lemon's nightly show, and other great Trump- and Fox-demonized/CNN and MSNBC-lionized heroes of "speaking truth to power" (even Orwell would be impressed by the application of that phrase to what our "intelligence community" does in the real world) on a future occasion.

It is appropriate to place quotation marks around the phrase "mainstream media" when writing about dominant U.S. corporate news and entertainment media. During the Cold War era, U.S. officials and media never referred to the Soviet Union's state television and radio or its main state newspapers as "mainstream Russian media." American authorities referred to these Russian media outlets as "Soviet state media" and treated that media as the means for the dissemination of Soviet "propaganda" and ideology.

There is no reason to consider the United States' corporate and commercial media as any more "mainstream" than the leading Soviet media organs were back in their day. They are just as dedicated as the onetime Soviet state media to advancing the doctrinal perspectives of their host nation's reigning elite -- and far more effective.

The Soviets never came remotely close to the United States when it came to wrapping propaganda and ideology in entertainment media (see the Amazon spoof comedy series "Comrade Detective" for an often-hilarious portrayal of what a Stalinist Soviet bloc version of an American cop show might have looked like). And Soviet news censorship was open and well known, a regular subject for underground coffeehouse comics in 1970s and '80s Moscow. You could read the initials of the daily paper's censors at the bottom of each issue of the onetime Soviet state papers Pravda and Izvestia. No illusions there of a totally free and independent media. Everyone knew otherwise, unlike in the U.S.

So, yes, U.S. corporate media are "enemies of the people," even if that other great enemy of the people Donald Trump -- himself a product and arguably a great "frenemy" of the corporate communications complex beneath all his anti-media bluster -- says so for reasons that have nothing to with yours or mine.

So, by the way, is the CIA -- an enemy of the people , that is .

[Aug 19, 2018] Why we do not negotiate with the USA

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. sets the main goals in negotiating with anyone and does not retreat an inch from the self-asserted goals. ..."
"... The U.S. does not offer anything in cash or immediate in return for what it receives in cash. It simply makes strong promises and tries to enchant the other side by mere promises. ..."
"... And in the final step, when things are over and the U.S. has received the cash, the immediate benefits, it breaches the same promises. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

The Iranian Supreme Leader even posted a special graphic summary to summarize and explain the Iranian position:

This is the U.S. formula for negotiation:

  1. Because U.S. officials depend on power and money, they consider negotiations as a business deal.
  2. The U.S. sets the main goals in negotiating with anyone and does not retreat an inch from the self-asserted goals.
  3. They demand the other side to give them immediate benefits and if the other party refrains from giving in, the U.S. officials will create an uproar so that their partner would give up.
  4. The U.S. does not offer anything in cash or immediate in return for what it receives in cash. It simply makes strong promises and tries to enchant the other side by mere promises.
  5. And in the final step, when things are over and the U.S. has received the cash, the immediate benefits, it breaches the same promises.
  6. This is the U.S.'s method of negotiation. Now, should one negotiate with such a duplicitous government?

[Aug 19, 2018] Neoliberals have monopolized the information distribution system internet and television and used it to silence critics, prevent competing platforms from arising, bully society into accepting their standards of conduct and thought, blacklist conservatives in Hollywood, promote physical violence against dissenters

Notable quotes:
"... In that sense, the elite media are indeed enemies of the people – our people, that is. If they didn't want to perceived as such, they should have been fairer in their coverage, they shouldn't have started censoring people and banning them off Twitter and PayPal for wrongthink, they shouldn't have promoted endless invasion, they shouldn't have coordinated outrageous attacks like that disgraceful WaPo story alleging everyone who didn't support Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian plot (lying bastards) ..."
"... It's not appropriate for a handful of American cities (LA, NY, and DC), a single political party (the democrats), and a handful of democrat-voting businessmen and leftist "journalists" to control 98% of the narrative. Something needs to be done about that. ..."
"... Otherwise, South Africa is our future. They faced the same choice as we do now, and they did it wrong. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anon [178] Disclaimer , August 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT

I think some clarification is needed here. What these people have actually done is the following:

They have monopolized the information distribution system – internet and television – and used it to silence critics, prevent competing platforms from arising, bully society into accepting their standards of conduct and thought, blacklist conservatives in Hollywood, promote physical violence against us (punch a Nazi where "Nazi" is basically any non extremist), and organize countless wide-spread coordinated attacks against our government in order to overthrow it, and replace it with their own. They've used banks to deny service to legal gun shops (a roundabout way to ban them), they've used credit card companies to shut down critics of Islam, they've used lawfare to attack Christian bakers, they've banned critics from PayPal, they've censored YouTube videos, they boot critics from Facebook, they employ an army of "state-sponsored in all but name" censors for social media – SPLC, ADL, and they have recruited a "state-sponsored in all but name" KGB to track down and dox/fire/witchunt dissenters on the internet.

We live in fear that at any moment out lives could be destroyed if we are filmed in public expressing wrong think; other countries like Germany have laws against this, so why don't we? Oh, that's right, because it is a useful tool to control dissent. The deepstate needs to keep their little empire together. Careful not to be white and say the wrong thing or your picture may end up being broadcast by the Young Turks to the world: "racist white lady calls the cops on innocent non-whites who didn't pay for anything in a restaurant and loitered around, refused to leave a private establishment after being politely asked to pay or go, and then screamed at cops for 10 minutes before being arrested. The shame. Dirty racist."

We are subject to false allegations in a system rigged by feminists to discriminate against men. We are guilty until proven innocent. We have to work twice as hard for half the results due to racist affirmative action policies. We are bombarded with leftist propaganda in the entertainment industry. No form of entertainment is free from their proselytizing. There are endless 2 minute sessions of hate directed at us: Duke Lacrosse, Virginia rape hoax, Ferguson, Starbucks,

The media got away with this in the past by pretending to be objective, but they don't even bother with that aspect anymore. Unfortunately, the corrupt, spineless traitors in the GOP let this happen. They should have been rigorously enforcing anti-monopoly laws, media ownership laws, and supporting public broadcasting – internet and television – in order to drive down the ratings of deepstate-run organs like CNN. Instead, they sold out. They are traitors, too.

In that sense, the elite media are indeed enemies of the people – our people, that is. If they didn't want to perceived as such, they should have been fairer in their coverage, they shouldn't have started censoring people and banning them off Twitter and PayPal for wrongthink, they shouldn't have promoted endless invasion, they shouldn't have coordinated outrageous attacks like that disgraceful WaPo story alleging everyone who didn't support Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian plot (lying bastards)

How many of these fake news stories have these people come up with? Stormy Daniels, Omarosa, Russiagate, BLM . It should be clear by now that these scum are trying to rig the upcoming election in the democrat party's favor by ginning up racial and gender animus; that is blatantly what they tried to do in 2016. So, why are we letting them? We can't organize a boycott of them, their advertisers, their distribution networks? If they ban us from social media, can't we pass laws requiring their distribution network – internet service providers and trucking companies – to ban them in retaliation? Can't we organize state-sponsored, censorship-free competition? Our state legislatures can ban boycotts of Israel but not protect we the people?

It's not appropriate for a handful of American cities (LA, NY, and DC), a single political party (the democrats), and a handful of democrat-voting businessmen and leftist "journalists" to control 98% of the narrative. Something needs to be done about that.

Personally, I think the US is done for as a constitutional republic. Either we secede and have a country run for the benefit of our own people (optimal), or we seize control and run the government for the benefit of ourselves. Works for China. And that's exactly what the left is plotting with their immigration invasion. So why not strike first? Do we want to end up like South Africa? Do we want to end up with a one-party democrat state? Imagine racist SJW scum stomping on your face forever. That's the choice we face, and it is coming up soon.

As far as I'm concerned, Trump won 60% of the American vote. A near majority of the people who voted democrat are not American. They are foreign invaders invited after the 1965 immigration act to steal away our democracy and give it to the racist democrat party. If the Chinese army invaded California, we wouldn't give them the vote. So, why do racist invaders get to vote? Strip them of their citizenship and let only republicans vote. Then, expel these traitors to other countries where they belong.

Our country was originally founded as an exclusive society that reserved the vote for white landowners, and the American Revolution was only supported by a third of the public. Patriots rose up and kicked out the king against the wishes of the stupid masses, and they were right to do so. Thank God that wasn't left up to an equal vote because not all men are equal in their abilities.

I don't see how it would be wrong to reserve the vote exclusively for our people again, or at least Republicans in general, people who have the nation's best interest at heart, people wise enough and capable enough to understand right from wrong and wisdom from stupidity.

Think this is too extreme? It isn't because that's exactly what they have publicly advocated doing to us – deport us, enslave us, censor our speech, jail us, attack us in the streets, ban Fox News. One of their democrat senators publicly supported censoring more people after Alex Jones was deplatformed via RICOesque collusion. They announce it publicly! When are we going to take their threats seriously and strike first?

Otherwise, South Africa is our future. They faced the same choice as we do now, and they did it wrong. They gave their country away to racist vermin who now threaten to steal their land without compensation. It was obvious at the time that it would end badly for the whites there one day, but they stupidly ignored the warnings, Now, their racist president chants "death to the Boar, death to the white man." Don't think that can happen here? It can. The racist democrat running for Georgia governor wants to destroy Stone Mountain and give reparations to blacks (steal our money like SA steals white lands).

When the rats retake the White House in 2020, they are going to unleash a wave of racist hate against us that will never abate. That's what Obama did with BLM, so there is no reason to believe they won't do so again but much worse after all their rhetoric. And there will be so many democrat-voting immigrant invaders here that we can never win power again. They thirst to make our country a dictatorship like China, but with themselves at the top. That's a scary thought. Are we going to let them do it?

[Aug 18, 2018] Corporate Media the Enemy of the People by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements. ..."
"... Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away ..."
"... In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events. ..."
"... U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?" ..."
"... If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters. ..."
"... The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content ..."
"... Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense. ..."
"... To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. ..."
"... The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. ..."
"... There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite ..."
"... A second explanation is the power of advertisers. U.S. media managers are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the large corporations that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. ..."
"... A third great factor is U.S. government media policy and regulation on behalf of oligopolistic hyper-concentration. The U.S. corporate media is hardly a "natural" outcome of a "free market." It's the result of government protections and subsidies that grant enormous "competitive" advantages to the biggest and most politically/plutocratically influential media firms. ..."
"... In this writer's experience, the critical Left analysis of the U.S. "mainstream" media as a tool for "manufacturing consent" and idiocy developed above meets four objections from defenders of the U.S. media system, A first objection notes that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and other major U.S. corporate media outlets produce a significant amount of, informative, high-quality and often candid reporting and commentary that Left thinkers and activists commonly cite to support their cases for radical and democratic change. ..."
"... The observation that Leftists commonly use and cite information from the corporate media they harshly criticize is correct but it is easy to account for the apparent anomaly within the critical Left framework by noting that that media crafts two very different versions of U.S. policy, politics, society, "life," and current events for two different audiences. Following the work of the brilliant Australian propaganda critic Alex Carey, we can call the first audience the "grassroots."[14] It comprises the general mass of working and lower-class citizens. ..."
"... The second target group comprises the relevant political class of U.S. citizens from at most the upper fifth of society. This is who reads the Times, the Post, WSJ, and FT, for the most part. Call this audience (again following Carey) the "treetops": the "people who matter" and who deserve and can be trusted with something more closely approximating the real story because their minds have been properly disciplined and flattered by superior salaries, significant on-the-job labor autonomy, and "advanced" and specialized educational and professional certification. ..."
"... To everyday Americans' credit, corporate media has never been fully successful in stamping out popular resistance and winning over the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace. ..."
"... The U.S. elite is no more successful in its utopian (or dystopian) quest to control every American heart and mind than it is in its equally impossible ambition of managing events across a complex planet from the banks of the Potomac River in Washington D.C ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"Homeland" Distortion

Consistent with its possession as a leading and money-making asset of the nation's wealthy elite, the United States corporate and commercial mass media is a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle designed to keep the U.S. citizenry subordinated to capital and the imperial U.S. state. It regularly portrays the United States as a great model of democracy and equality. It sells a false image of the U.S. as a society where the rich enjoy opulence because of hard and honest work and where the poor are poor because of their laziness and irresponsibility. The nightly television news broadcasts and television police and law and order dramas are obsessed with violent crime in the nation's Black ghettoes and Latino barrios, but they never talk about the extreme poverty, the absence of opportunity imposed on those neighborhoods by the interrelated forces of institutional racism, capital flight, mass structural unemployment, under-funded schools, and mass incarceration. The nightly television weather reports tells U.S. citizens of ever new record high temperatures and related forms of extreme weather but never relate these remarkable meteorological developments to anthropogenic climate change.

The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements.

As the prolific U.S. Marxist commentator Michael Parenti once remarked, US "Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away." [1]

Selling Empire

U.S. newscasters and their print media counterparts routinely parrot and disseminate the false foreign policy claims of the nation's imperial elite. Earlier this year, U.S. news broadcasters dutiful relayed to U.S. citizens the Obama administration's preposterous assertion that social-democratic Venezuela is a repressive, corrupt, and authoritarian danger to its own people and the U.S. No leading national U.S. news outlet dared to note the special absurdity of this charge in the wake of Obama and other top U.S. officials' visit to Riyadh to guarantee U.S. support for the new king of Saudi Arabia, the absolute ruler of a leading U.S. client state that happens to be the most brutally oppressive and reactionary government on Earth.

In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events.

As the leading Left U.S. intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman showed in their classic text Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Orwellian double standards are rife in the dominant U.S. media's coverage and interpretation of global affairs. Elections won in other countries by politicians that Washington approves because those politicians can be counted on to serve the interests of U.S. corporations and the military are portrayed in U.S. media as good and clean contests. But when elections put in power people who can't be counted on to serve "U.S. interests," (Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro for example), then U.S. corporate media portrays the contests as "rigged" and "corrupt." When Americans or people allied with Washington are killed or injured abroad, they are "worthy victims" and receive great attention and sympathy in that media. People killed, maimed, displaced and otherwise harmed by the U.S. and U.S. clients and allies are anonymous and "unworthy victims" whose experience elicits little mention or concern.[2]

U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?"

In February of 2015, an extraordinary event occurred in U.S. news media – the firing of a leading national news broadcaster, Brian Williams of NBC News. Williams lost his position because of some lies he told in connection with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A naïve outsider might think that Williams was fired because he repeated the George W. Bush administration's transparent fabrications about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's supposed connection to 9/11. Sadly but predictably enough, that wasn't his problem. Williams lost his job because he falsely boasted that he had ridden on a helicopter that was forced down by grenade fire during the initial U.S. invasion. If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters.

More than Entertainment

The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content but was completely ignored in Herman and Chomsky's groundbreaking Manufacturing Consent. [3] One example is the Hollywood movie "Zero Dark Thirty," a 2012 "action thriller" that dramatized the United States' search for Osama bin-Laden after the September 11, 2001 jetliner attacks. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office-smash. It was also a masterpiece of pro-military, pro-CIA propaganda, skillfully portraying U.S. torture practices "as a dirty, ugly business that is necessary to protect America" (Glenn Greenwald[4]) and deleting the moral debate that erupted over the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques." Under the guise of a neutral, documentary-like façade, Zero Dark Thirty normalized and endorsed torture in ways that were all the more effective because of its understated, detached, and "objective" veneer. The film also marked a distressing new frontier in U.S. military-"embedded" filmmaking whereby the movie-makers receive technical and logistical support from the Pentagon in return for producing elaborate public relations on the military's behalf.

The 2014-15 Hollywood blockbuster American Sniper is another example. The film's audiences is supposed to marvel at the supposedly noble feats, sacrifice, and heroism of Chris Kyle, a rugged, militantly patriotic, and Christian-fundamentalist Navy SEALS sniper who participated in the U.S. invasion of Iraq to fight "evil" and to avenge the al Qaeda jetliner attacks of September 11, 2001. Kyle killed 160 Iraqis over four tours of "duty" in "Operational Iraqi Freedom." Viewers are never told that the Iraqi government had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or al Qaeda or that the U.S. invasion was one of the most egregiously criminal and brazenly imperial and mass-murderous acts in the history of international violence. Like Zero Dark Thirty's apologists, American Sniper's defenders claim that the film takes a neutral perspective of "pure storytelling," with no ideological bias. In reality, the movie is filled with racist and imperial distortions, functioning as flat-out war propaganda.[5]

These are just two among many examples that could be cited of U.S. "entertainment" media's regular service to the American Empire. Hollywood and other parts of the nation's vast corporate entertainment complex plays the same power-serving role in relation to domestic ("homeland") American inequality and oppression structures of class and race. [6]

Manufacturing Idiocy

Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense.

In the U.S., where violence is not as readily available to elites as in 1970s Latin America, corporate America seeks the same terrible outcome through its ideological institutions, including above all its mass media. In U.S. movies, television sit-coms, television dramas, television reality-shows, commercials, state Lottery advertisements, and video games, the ideal-type U.S. citizen is an idiot in this classic sense: a person who cares about little more than his or her own well-being, consumption, and status. This noble American idiot is blissfully indifferent to the terrible prices paid by others for the maintenance of reigning and interrelated oppressions structures at home and abroad.

A pervasive theme in this media culture is the notion that people at the bottom of the nation's steep and interrelated socioeconomic and racial pyramids are the "personally irresponsible" and culturally flawed makers of their own fate. The mass U.S. media's version of Athenian idiocy "can imagine," in the words of the prolific Left U.S. cultural theorist Henry Giroux "public issues only as private concerns." It works to "erase the social from the language of public life so as to reduce" questions of racial and socioeconomic disparity to "private issues of individual character and cultural depravity. Consistent with "the central neoliberal tenet that all problems are private rather than social in nature," it portrays the only barriers to equality and meaningful democratic participation as "a lack of principled self-help and moral responsibility" and bad personal choices by the oppressed. Government efforts to meaningfully address and ameliorate (not to mention abolish) societal disparities of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality and the like are portrayed as futile, counterproductive, naïve, and dangerous.[8]

To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. It celebrates and otherwise advances the "right hand of the state"[9]: the portions of government that serve the opulent minority, dole out punishment for the poor, and attacks those perceived as nefariously resisting the corporate and imperial order at home and abroad. Police officers, prosecutors, military personnel, and other government authorities who represent the "right hand of the state" are heroes and role models in this media. Public defenders, other defense attorneys, civil libertarians, racial justice activists, union leaders, antiwar protesters and the like are presented at best as naïve and irritating "do-gooders" and at worst as coddlers and even agents of evil.

The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. As the American cultural critic Neil Postman noted thirty years ago, the modern U.S. television commercial is the antithesis of the rational economic consideration that early Western champions of the profits system claimed to be the enlightened essence of capitalism. "Its principal theorists, even its most prominent practitioners," Postman noted, "believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well-informed, and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest." Commercials make "hash" out of this idea. They are dedicated to persuading consumers with wholly irrational claims. They rely not on the reasoned presentation of evidence and logical argument but on suggestive emotionalism, infantilizing manipulation, and evocative, rapid-fire imagery.[10]

The same techniques poison U.S. electoral politics. Investment in deceptive and manipulative campaign commercials commonly determines success or failure in mass-marketed election contests between business-beholden candidates that are sold to the audience/electorate like brands of toothpaste and deodorant. Fittingly enough, the stupendous cost of these political advertisements is a major factor driving U.S. campaign expenses so high (the 2016 U.S. presidential election will cost at least $5 billion) as to make candidates ever more dependent on big money corporate and Wall Street donors.

Along the way, mass cognitive competence is assaulted by the numbing, high-speed ubiquity of U.S. television and radio advertisements. These commercials assault citizens' capacity for sustained mental focus and rational deliberation nearly sixteen minutes of every hour on cable television, with 44 percent of the individual ads now running for just 15 seconds. This is a factor in the United States' long-bemoaned epidemic of "Attention Deficit Disorder."

Seventy years ago, the brilliant Dutch left Marxist Anton Pannekoek offered some chilling reflections on the corporate print and broadcast media's destructive impact on mass cognitive and related social resistance capacities in the United States after World War II:

"The press is of course entirely in hands of big capital [and it] dominates the spiritual life of the American people. The most important thing is not even the hiding of all truth about the reign of big finance. Its aim still more is the education to thoughtlessness. All attention is directed to coarse sensations, everything is avoided that could arouse thinking. Papers are not meant to be read – the small print is already a hindrance – but in a rapid survey of the fat headlines to inform the public on unimportant news items, on family triflings of the rich, on sexual scandals, on crimes of the underworld, on boxing matches. The aim of the capitalist press all over the world, the diverting of the attention of the masses from the reality of social development, nowhere succeed with such thoroughness as in America."

"Still more than by the papers the masses are influenced by broadcasting and film. These products of most perfect science, destined at one time to the finest educational instruments of mankind, now in the hands of capitalism have been turned into the strongest means to uphold its rule by stupefying the mind. Because after nerve-straining fatigue the movie offers relaxation and distraction by means of simple visual impressions that make no demand on the intellect, the masses get used to accepting thoughtlessly all its cunning and shrewd propaganda. It reflects the ugliest sides of middle-class society. It turns all attention either to sexual life, in this society – by the absence of community feelings and fight for freedom – the only source of strong passions, or to brute violence; masses educated to rough violence instead of to social knowledge are not dangerous to capitalism "[11]

Pannekoek clearly saw an ideological dimension (beyond just diversion and stupefaction) in U.S. mass media's "education to thoughtlessness" through movies as well as print sensationalism. He would certainly be impressed and perhaps depressed by the remarkably numerous, potent, and many-sided means of mass distraction and indoctrination that are available to the U.S. and global capitalist media in the present digital and Internet era.

The "entertainment" wing of its vast corporate media complex is critical to the considerable "soft" ideological "power" the U.S. exercises around the world even as its economic hegemony wanes in an ever more multipolar global system (and as its "hard" military reveals significant limits within and beyond the Middle East). Relatively few people beneath the global capitalist elite consume U.S. news and public affairs media beyond the U.S., but "American" (U.S.) movies, television shows, video games, communication devices, and advertising culture are ubiquitous across the planet.

Explaining "Mainstream" Media Corporate Ownership

There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite. The first and most important explanation for this harsh reality is concentrated private ownership – the fundamental fact that that media is owned primarily by giant corporations representing wealthy interests who are deeply invested in U.S. capitalism and Empire. Visitors to the U.S. should not be fooled by the large number and types of channels and stations on a typical U.S. car radio or television set or by the large number and types of magazines and books on display at a typical Barnes & Noble bookstore. Currently in the U.S., just six massive and global corporations – Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, The News Corporation and Disney – together control more than 90 percent of the nation's print and electronic media, including cable television, airwaves television, radio, newspapers, movies, video games, book publishing, comic books, and more. Three decades ago, 50 corporations controlled the same amount of U.S. media.

Each of the reigning six companies is a giant and diversified multi-media conglomerate with investments beyond media, including "defense" (the military). Asking reporters and commen